In every type of media, whether I’m reading a book or watching a TV program or movie, if I know that there’s going to be a conflict like Good vs Evil I not only like knowing I’m going to be told the tale of/by an amazing protagonist but also that I’m going to come across a good villain.
It’s what really sells me on a story – if I can find a brilliant villain that really challenges the protagonist then I know I’m in for a good time. I thought about it for a while and decided to list 5 villains that I really love to hate.
1] Lord Loss
Created by Darren Shan, Lord Loss is a highly powerful Demon Master in the ten-part novel series, The Demonata. He’s honestly a very freaky character – he’s described as having pale red, lumpy skin, eight mangled arms, and a hole filled with venomous snakes where his heart should be. His skin is cracked to the point where any movement causes him to bleed.
Lord Loss is the only Demon Master able to traverse freely between the Demon world and the human world through the use of Window – doors that are openable by characters such as Demon Thief protagonist, Kernel. The thing that makes him so interesting is his lack of interest in killing. That’s not to say that he doesn’t kill, but Lord Loss is a character that feeds on the sorrow and suffering of humans – he’ll make sure to give a person the slowest, most painful death just to get a taste of the sadness and horror they feel during.
Never get into a game of chess with him.
2] Dolores Umbridge
For the Harry Potter series, the obvious choice should have been Voldemort – he’s there in every book, in one way or another, and it’s his actions that cause the entire series. However, not everyone knows a person like Voldemort personally. He’s a character akin in personality to political leaders, past and present, who have instigated war on particular sets of people.
Everyone knows a Dolores Umbridge.
At school and in other parts of life, there’s always that one person who has a personality like Umbridge. Thankfully, the law dictated that the levels of physical abusive that Umbridge is shown capable of during Order of the Phoenix never happened IRL for me, but cruelty in other forms is not uncommon.
Umbridge is a wickedly cruel person. Her prim and proper exterior, with her love of pink and omnipresent smile, single her out immediately as someone who isn’t going to like having a student debate with her. Or anyone at all, by the end of the series. She is devious and cunning, her love of authority is a staple of her character, and her loyalty is about as useful as stable as a table with a broken leg. She doesn’t care who she is following – the Minister of Magic or Voldemort – as long as she gets a percentage of power in some way, shape or form. She’s dangerous because of her own ego.
3] The Wights
A wight is a creature featured in the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children trilogy by Ransom Riggs, and they fall under the same kind of category as Lord Loss. At least for me.
In the Peculiar Children series, there are creatures hunting the children known as Hollowgasts – abominations with tentacles where their mouths are that crave the souls of peculiar children. They are frightening as only a select few can actually see them, such as the protagonist Jacob and his grandfather. When a Hollowgast consumes enough Peculiar souls, they transform into Wights.
Wights are a being more cunning than Hollowgasts. They appear human, with the single difference of pure white eyes, no iris or pupils. They are visible but lack anything remarkable – save for their easily hidden eyes – so are able to blend in easily. Even their accents are noted as being lacking therefore giving them the opportunity to fake their voices much easier than most.
The Wights plan – as it was when they originally became Hollowgasts – is to reach the Library of Souls and consume all the most powerful Peculiar souls so that they might become immortal. There are a couple that I could state who are particularly horrid, but… spoilers.
4] Queen Levanna
This woman is straight up cold. There are no redeeming qualities to her and I so wanted her to have some.
Queen Levanna Blackburn is the antagonist of the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. She’s the queen of Luna, the colony that lives on the moon, and she is brutal. I love her, despite having no redeeming qualities.
You get to see a bit more of her in the novella, Fairest, which focuses on her early years before she became queen and the subsequent events leading up to the beginning of the Lunar Chronicles. Though it gives answers, it does nothing to stop the fact that she is utterly ruthless. That is what I like though – Levanna learnt from a young age not to trust anyone, not even the man she loved. She was left disfigured by her sister and grew jealous of the natural beauty of people around her, using her glamour ability to make herself appear more beautiful than anyone else.
Not to mention, when she became Queen Regent after her sister’s death she thought that she was the best queen imaginable for her people though she ruled them through fear and never gave her niece a chance to prove herself. She lit a little kid on freaking fire just to stay queen! ON FIRE.
5] Count Olaf
I love him. I absolutely love him. I loved it when Jim Carrey played him in the film, and I hope I’m going to love Neil Patrick Harris playing him in the TV series.
Count Olaf is the deranged caretaker of the Baudelaire orphans in the A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket. Literally all he wants his the fortune the kids will inherit when the eldest child, Violet, turns eighteen. Unfortunately, he’s impatient and is always coming up with a variety of schemes to get his hands on the cash – which somehow always includes the death and/or harm of whichever guardian the children have been sent to next.
And he always gets away.
Honestly, his character is a testament to the stupidity of some of the others because as a kid, reading about this lunatic wandering around doing horrible things, the kids trying to point out that the strange new person who’s entered their lives is him AGAIN and getting ignored, was absolutely frustrating and entertaining all at once.