Credit to BrokeandtheBookish.com for the meme.
(This is Mogambo, my favourite Bollywood villain played by the late Amrish Puri)
So can you tell that I love this topic? I have a thing for villains. I find them complex characters and it’s so much fun to delve into their psyche–there’s a lot of potential for story with them. Here are some of my favourites:
- Libba Bray’s Little John (I may be getting the name wrong but I do feel John is it) from The Diviners. He is so freaking scary. *shiver*
- Áine’s dad from The Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill. He has just the right mix of crazy and love for his daughter which is probably the only pure thing about him.
- All the characters in The Young Elites by Marie Lu. Haha. I’m not sure which one is the actual villain since even the good characters have some badness in them.
- The Red Queen from The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. She was awesome until the end when she wasn’t awesome anymore.
- The king in A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge. So the King has two personalities. One is awake during the day, the other during the night (or something like that). And both of them are at war against each other so…things are pretty interesting.
- The demon from The Demon Catchers of Milan by Kat Beyer. It would be too easy to dismiss him as simply evil. There’s a story behind his manifestation and I can’t wait to find out.
- The disfigured character from Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine. This is a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera so I guess it’s the phantom character that I find so intriguing.
- Zuko in season one of Avatar: The Last Airbender. The attitude! The temper tantrums! My goodness, Zuko. Also, that hair! Zuko is annoying even when his backstory comes out… and then he slowly grows up to be one of the most complex characters on the show. I love redemptive story arcs!
- Jet in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Get that straw out of your mouth, boy. And stop being smarmy and arrogant. Ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh.
- Mako in seasons one and two of The Legend of Korra. He matures a little by season three. Or else I’d built up immunity by then. Hard to tell.
- Big Brother – I just love to hate the Big Brother figure in dystopian reads. Be it Big Brother from 1984 or President Snow from The Hunger Games or corporate America from Feed these figures are generally not as complex as they seem but rather straightforward and sometimes… overly simple, puppet-ish. But their motivations and their reasoning are what I love to read about and decode they aren’t simply evil for the sake of it, they have an agenda.
- If the good guy is too much of a goody two shoes then I often like to root for the baddie, this occurs often in works for kids or overly moralistic fairy tales – i.e. I enjoy Voldemort because sometimes Harry is just too good and it’s nice to see the other side, and, ooh! the wolf from Red Riding Hood who, herself, hardly has any character and when given one is often sickly sweet. Well ok, except for Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles…
- Which reminds me! I do love to hate Queen Levana from Meyer’s series, I have yet to read Fairest which is all about this character, but it’s coming up on the list! She is just downright nasty!
- I love to hate the Red Herring, if you know what I mean. I just finished the first three books of Theodosia and I absolutely loved hating on Clive Fagenbush. We love to hate Snape and his ridiculous unfairness throughout the series, though of course he’s not that bad. This sort of character is the red herring and it’s kind of a trope by now, but I’m still enjoying it.
- Lastly, I love to hate real life and how unfair it is. Often the villain in realistic fiction is simply life (or death) and coming to terms with it. It often feels so unfair and that just sink right into the character as they learn to cope with the reality of how unfair life can be.
- I’m with Steph on the last one, but I also just finished reading All the Rage by Courtney Summers, so my first pick as the most villainous villain in all of villaindom would be the patriarchy! Grr.
- Channary from Fairest by Marissa Meyer. I mean, also Levana, but I place most of the blame on Channary who was villainous, but also managed to “get away with it”.
- Robert Lynburn from The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan. Evil fathers. Just the worst.
- Martino Amouteru from The Young Elites by Marie Lu. See above.
- Valentine Morgenstern from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. You probably thought I’d pick Sebastian, but you know what, Sebastian was literally a demon. Valentine was an awful, awful human being who made Sebastian what he was. Man … lots of horrid father figures in YA, huh?