Quite some time ago, dear reader, I was tagged to write a post on my “Top Ten Villains”.
Hannah A. Krynicki, a most discriminating blogger, was the responsible party, and though I was busy at the time I determined that the matter would receive my earliest attention.
First of all, I present for your consideration, The Rules. (To be followed if convenient.)
- Post the button. (That’s it up there ^^^)
- Thank the blogger who tagged you. (Thanks Hannah.)
- List your top ten favorite villains (they can be from movies or books).
- Tag ten other bloggers. (More or less.)
These are in roughly reverse order, starting with the somewhat less villainous villains, and proceeding to the super-villainous villains, but you are free to quibble with the order, if you wish. Please note, these are merely some of my favourite villains. They are not guaranteed to be the best villains in literature, nor are they all well known.
#10. Prince Humperdinck, from The Princess Bride (William Goldman)
Such a fun name to say! His claims to villainhood are plentiful, including, but not limited to:
- Trying to marry the heroine.
- Being a warthog faced buffoon.
- Condoning torture.
- Cowardice, underhandedness, and general sliminess.
#9. Ivan Ivanovich Sakharine, from The Adventures of Tintin
Sakharine seeks revenge for a centuries old offense, pursuing Captain Haddock relentlessly. It is not enough, however, to steal the captain’s ship and beat him to the treasure. Sakharine needs Haddock to remember the old family grudge to satisfy his thirst for vengeance.
#8. General Woundwort, from Watership Down (Richard Adams)
The amount of drama Adams injects into a tale about rabbits is astonishing. Woundwort is fixated on keeping his warren safe, and is blind to the fact that he is hurting the rabbits under him, by forcing them to live unnaturally. When Hazel helps some of Woundwort’s rabbits escape, and takes them to Watership Down, Woundwort follows with an army, to retake them. Woundwort is a strong leader, but he is unable to grasp Hazel’s vision of peace and friendship between their warrens. Instead he fights to the death for the old way of life.
#7. Mr. Curtain, from The Mysterious Benedict Society (Trenton Lee Stewart)
He is trying to control the world through a mind machine, kidnapping children to help him accomplish his task, and wiping the memories of any adults who stand in his way. Employing Ten Men, who use office supplies as torture devices, he is the most chilling villain I have come across in children’s literature.
#6. Saruman, from The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien)
Really, Tolkien has a lot of good villains, and I had to pick one. I chose Saruman over Sauron because Saruman, though really a wizard, is more like a human, and we are given more background behind his turning into a villain. Once he was the greatest and wisest of the wizards, until the power of the ring drew him to evil.
#5. O’Brien, from Nineteen Eighty-Four (George Orwell)
I hated the ending of Nineteen Eighty-Four. All the way through, I was hoping that the power of Ingsoc would be broken, that the world would become sane again. Instead, the resistance is a fake, and O’Brien is actually working for Big Brother all along. (The image is from a movie version, which I have never watched. From reading the book, I would not recommend watching a film version.)
#4. Chauvelin, from The Scarlet Pimpernel (Baroness Emmusca Orczy)
Chauvelin is devoted to the revolution. The only person who manages to outsmart him is the Scarlet Pimpernel, and as a result, Chauvelin becomes obsessed with capturing him. Each time Sir Percy escapes his clutches, he is more determined to bring him to “justice”.
#3. Richard III, from Richard III (William Shakespeare)
A classic villain, Richard the III was in some ways my introduction to the Villain character. Shakespeare makes him pure evil, a cold, scheming mastermind who will stop at nothing.
#2. Screwtape, from The Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis)
Again, I had to pick just one of Lewis’s villains. I could have chosen the White Witch, or the Unman/Weston from Perelandra (both excellent villains), but I ended up going with Screwtape. The advice he gives his nephew is frighteningly accurate. Each time I read the book, I find myself expecting the demons to win. It seems there is no way for the man to escape their lies. I can well imagine that it was a hard book to write—it is hard to read as well.
#1. Satan, from Paradise Lost (John Milton)
From the most beautiful angel to the ruler of the demons, Milton makes Satan an intensely compelling character. His first fatal mistake is completely underestimating God’s power. Once he is thrown out of heaven, he changes tactics, from confrontation to sabotage. His successful temptation of Eve is also foreseen by God, of course, but it is still brilliant.
Now the bloggers I chose to tag:
- Rebekah Eddy at Rebekah’s Remarks
- Emily McConnell at The Imaginary World of Emily McConnell
- Jesseca Dawn at A Kansas Wind
- Eowyn at Inklings Press
- Heather at A Writer’s Reflections