“A Villain is just a victim whose story hasn’t been told yet.”
Ah, villains. In literature, you cannot have a story without the dark side of it- because without the dark, there is no light. We’ve all read about countless villains and hated them because, well, they are meant to be hated. But, sometimes, they strike us as something more than a half crazy being hungry on power- that is, when they are more realistic. Not agreeable, but sympathetic. I love it when authors work on the villains so much that you can see shades of gray in them- and maybe even get why they do the stuff they do.
So, here’s the list of my 7 most admired villains that I’ve read about in books-
Seven: President Snow
“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective, a lot of hope is dangerous.”
-President Snow, The Hunger Games
As far as literary characters go, Snow is definitely not the one I’d want as my President. That man takes “proving a point” to a whole new level, taking pleasure in kids killing each other and fighting to death for mere entertainment of the viewers.
Six: Lord Voldemort
“I’m going to kill you, Harry Potter. I’m going to destroy you. After tonight, no one will ever again question my power. After tonight if they speak of you, they’ll only speak of how you begged for death. And how I being a merciful Lord… obliged.”
-Voldemort, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Lord Voldemort, or He Who Must Not Be Named, is one of the most greatest, iconic villains of our time so it goes without saying that he’ll make this list. Hell, even his name- “mort” in French means death. Can you go darker than that?
Five: Dolores Umbridge
“As I told you, Mr. Potter, naughty children deserve to be punished.”
-Dolores Umbridge, Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix.
Oh, this bitch. Come on, admit it, we all wanted her dead more than Voldemort. I don’t think there’s ever been a character whom I hated more than this woman. I don’t think it’s even possible to create someone who’s as annoying as she is, so kudos to J.K. Rowling for pulling that off. The reason why Umbridge is on this list is because her ability to evoke such mutual, universal warm and fuzzy feelings from readers everywhere deserves to be showcased. Ugh. I really don’t like her.
Four: Luke Castellan
“Where is the glory in repeating what others have done?”
-Luke Castellan, The Lightening Thief
I think Luke Castellan is one of Rick Riordan’s best works. He’s complex, complicated and has been misunderstood on so many occasions. Let down by everyone, including his own father, his actions aren’t and cannot be justified, but we all love him. We love him because we know why he did what he did and… he was okay. If there was ever a character with some intense shades of gray, it was Luke.
Three: Billy Ray Sanguine
“Shackles can’t hold me, pretty lady. I’m immune to just about every binding spell I reckon you ever heard of, and a few more you haven’t. That’s what makes me special.”
-Sanguine, Playing With Fire.
It was a hard, hard job to choose just one Derek Landy villain because, man, Skulduggery Pleasant has a great collection to choose from. Lord Vile, Darquess… where should I start? Ah, well, Sanguine is one of the most consistent and the best villains out there so there you go. I’m aware that he, or rather this series, isn’t as popular as it should be so you might not have heard of him but you need to. You’d miss out on a lot if you don’t read these books. Seriously, Skulduggery Pleasant is one of the most underappreciated series that I’ve read with brilliant, brilliant characters.
Two: Adelina Amouteru
“I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside. It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.”
-Adelina Amouteru, The Young Elites
The Young Elites is a legit story about villains so, yeah man, Adelina rocks it. The reason why this book is so unique is because this story isn’t about a hero, but how a villain is made. Sold.
Adelina is a great villain. Her story is sympathetic, cruel yet extremely scary, dark and heart wrenching. How she slowly turns from a scared, vulnerable girl to a dark shell who’s ready to hurt and destroy? It’s mind blowing, guys. In a genre of repeated, exhausted story lines and plots, Marie Lu brings in a fresh perspective- of a villain’s. And it’s one that’s going to blow your socks off.
One: The Commandant
“If you are working with the resistance, if you contact them, if you think of contacting them, I will know and i will destroy you.”
-Keris Veturia, An Ember in the Ashes
If you’ve read An Ember In The Ashes and A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir, you’d know why the Commandant or Keris Veturia is an absolute savage. I don’t even know how many times I’ve talked about these books on my blog yet, but you get the idea.
A huge reason why I adore AEITA is because Sabaa Tahir never flinches from showing violence, hence, characters like Keris are a rarity. Obviously, I hate her, but I love her. She’s cruel- and not a misunderstood, struggling to be her true self- cruel. She’s brutal and violent and the epitome of a gruesome person. I kinda adore her character.
So, there you go! These are some of my favorite villains and let me know who are your favorite literary villains down below.