Don’t we love a good villain? An evil villain that makes you hate them outright with no pretense of being good but just pure villainy?
Many times after reading a book or watching a comic adaptation of a book, I get pissed off by villains that go on fancy oratory exhibitions when all they should have done was to cut the figurative rope and send the hero to their death. But no! You just had to give us your backstory!
I mean, how relevant is this information to a hero on the cusp of death? Why not just sniff out their lives first and monologue later?? That’s why the heroes survive more often than not! A good example is Batman, who always uses the duration of the premature winner speech to plan his escape.
But I digress. In no particular order, here is the compilation of the best evil villains in fictional history:
1. Cruella De Vil (The Hundred and One Dalmatians)
Cruella De Vi loves dogs, alright; she just wants their skin for her coat!
2. Scar (The Lion King)
Scar features in a classic Cain kills Abel role as he is jealous and wants what his brother has. Like Cain, it doesn’t end well for him.
3. Jafar (Aladdin)
Jafar wanted power, fame, money, and the Sultan dead. Dedicating the latter half of his life to gaining ownership of a magic lamp containing an all-powerful genie- to that end, Jafar would control cosmic power.
Like the other villains in this list, it didn’t end well for Jafar.
4. Gaston (Beauty and the Beast)
Pompous, narcissistic, and shallow, he is all you don’t need in a partner, but his handsomeness makes him believe he is God’s gift to ladies. When Belle refuses to marry him, he calls up a mob and ignites the people to violence to get her hand, even killing the hero.
But love wins the day.
5. Monseigneur Claude Frollo (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame)
Monseigneur Claude Frollo believes he is doing the right thing by carrying out God’s will. Talk about a self-righteous villain.
6. Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter)
Another self-righteous villain believed she was doing well but was whacking chaos wherever she went and only listened to what she wanted to hear. I still cannot forgive her for scarring words into Harry’s skin.
7. Wicked Witch of the West (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
The Wicked Witch of the West was always one step ahead of Dorothy.
8. The White Witch (The Chronicles of Narnia)
The White Witch (Jadis) in The Chronicles of Narnia series wanted the glory alone and was willing to do anything to get it, even putting the land in an unending winter.
9. Professor James Moriarty (The Final Problem: Sherlock Holmes)
He was a brilliant villain who gave it all he got. You know he is good when Sherlock complains that he is a thorn in his side.
10. Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter)
He wanted to be the most powerful wizard and went about it wrong until he met with love. A brilliant wizard, he eventually lost to his ultimate foe, the universally-celebrated Harry Potter.
11. Bill Sykes (Oliver Twist)
Stepbrother to Oliver Twist, his cruelty and lawless behavior led him to remove his brother from a good life just to give him hell, but fate had other plans. His cruelty also made him lose the one person who truly loved him.
12. Mr. Hyde (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde)
It is the side you feed that grows stronger.
13. Lady Macbeth (Macbeth)
Crazy, crazy woman. I mean, her husband was a spineless warrior, but deep down, he was a good man. She manipulated him until he became a murderer of not just the King; she ensured he murdered the princes for good measure. She also made him kill many people to fuel her inordinate ambition of becoming queen.
14. Fernand Mondego (The Count of Monte Cristo)
In a bid to claim the love of a woman, he sent his friend to prison by framing him for treason. He also sold women into slavery- an upgrade to his villain status.
15. Lord Walder Frey (A Storm of Sword: A Song of Ice and Fire)
Lord Walder took revenge against the King in the North for breaking his pact to marry one of his daughters to his son by slaughtering all of the honored guests at the make-up nuptials between Edmure Tully and Roslin in the now legendary Red Wedding. Horrific!
16. Ayoola (My Sister, the Serial Killer)
Sweet, petite, and beautiful Ayoola is the last person you would ever consider a serial killer. Not only does she not feel remorseful after each killing, but she also goes on to live her life and date someone else, and the cycle continues again.
You can read a review of the book here.
17. Eugene Achike (Purple Hibiscus)
Having a highly conservative view of moral behavior, he was the embodiment of goodness outside, but nobody was above the belt in his home, not even his pregnant wife. He used violence and used it well, and it eventually led to his death.
So, there goes my list. If I missed out on any notably evil villains or you disagree with my inclusions, do share your thoughts in the comments.