Saturday, May 29, 2010

Top Ten Picks: Best Villains

Top Ten Picks is hosted by Jillian at Random Ramblings. This week, the topic is "Best Villains". (Yeah, I know I should've done this last Tuesday. I'm late. My bad.)

So, without further ado, here are my Top Ten Picks for Best Villains:

10. Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling

This character made me grind my teeth and want to throw the book across the room. I don't know if I've every read about a character that was so infuriating. She's definitely not the most evil character out there, but she elicited so much frustration from me that the author must've done something right.

9. Lysistratus from Yarrow by Charles de Lint

It's been a while since I read this book, so I can't remember exactly what this character did that was so bad. I do remember that he was a deliciously nasty villain, though, so I'm including him on the list.

8. The Huntress from The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

It could probably be argued that the Crooked Man was the real villain of this book, but the events that happened in the huntress's cottage stayed with me (and haunted me) far more. She was the stuff of nightmares, and I'll probably never be able to look at centaurs again without being reminded of that passage. *shudder*

7. Laurel from Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones

There's nothing worse than a villain who does their best to keep two people who love each other apart. From a literary standpoint, though, there's probably nothing better, either. I love complications.

6. The Frenchman from The Dust of 100 Dogs by A. S. King

This guy was just foul. Cruel, heartless, and (evidently) unable to learn from his past mistakes. What a dickhead. It's so delicious when characters like this get what's coming to them.

5. El Patron from The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Although it could be argued that El Patron was simply acting out of self-preservation, he had a disregard for the value of the lives of others that was indeed chilling.

4. Electronic Metals from The Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee

This is a corporation, rather than a person. But who says corporations can't be evil? I can't say much more without giving away the ending... but suffice it to say that, if this company were real, I would be boycotting it.

3. Baba Yaga from Enchantment by Orson Scott Card

When we first meet her, she's extracting the eyeballs of a still-living victim simply because she liked their colour. You can't get much more evil than that.

2. The Nothing from The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

This is probably a more abstract villain, but it's still a formidable one... especially to anyone who values stories and dreams.

1. The Other Mother from Coraline by Neil Gaiman

When I heard they were making a movie of this book, I knew they'd need to get this character right for it to work. To my surprise, she was done pretty well. The book version still seems way more creepy to me... but I guess giving little kids nightmares would not be a good way to increase movie ticket sales.


  1. I agree, the mother from Coraline is quite wicked. And just this morning I was reading about that horrible Umbridge! Great post, by the way. Your blog header is very pretty:D


  2. Great picks!

    I've got The Book of Lost Things in my TBR.

  3. Enjoyed the post! Definitely agree with you on Umbridge....OMG what a character! Would love to have used the Pretrificua Totalis spell on her (LOL). The Nothing definitely had be closing my eyes (okay it was it's hench men wolf creature that was scary looking) as a child....and still cringing today. The Other Mother was definitely creepy too....agreed once again on the book version versus the movie. I was expecting more from the movie, but my imagination conjured up the goods needed when reading. Thanks for sharing....and happy reading! ^_^

  4. Right on with the Other Mother...she was pretty creepy all right. Those button eyes!

  5. Oh, and I started to read The Book of Lost Things, and I got to the part with the Huntress...and really it was so gory and disturbing that I put the book down and haven't picked it up since!

  6. Interesting! A lot of participants have been listing Voldemort but I definitely agree that annoying/frustrating characters are far worse than simply evil ones.

  7. Mother in Coraline, good one. I should also change my Lord Voldemort to Delores Umbridge. I think I hate her more.

  8. Yeah, sometimes I really think Umbridge was worse than Voldemort. At least Voldemort was pretty cut and dry evil. She was just -- ugh. I can't even describe her well.

  9. The Nothing is a great choice. Didn't even think of it. Very scary.

    Here's my Top Ten Baddies List.

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