Villains. You’ve gotta hate them. They’re sneaky, evil, horrid, clever, seemingly invincible (at times), hateful, manipulative, and just downright bad. Still, there’s a certain fascination that hangs around many villains. We might be rooting for the hero (at least, I hope we are!) but sometimes the baddies can be so smart, funny, and (in some cases) attractive, that we kind of hope that they get away in the end – or that they turn good (a villain/antagonist turned good guy is amazing, IMO).
Anyway, this is my list of my top ten favorite villains. It’s not comprehensive, it’s a strictly personal list, but I had fun with it. There’s five male and five female bad guys/girls because I like making things even.
// Ben Wade – ‘3:10 to Yuma’ //
I wrote an entire post rhapsodizing about why this guy is my favorite villain of all time and having recently re-watched + loved ‘3:10’, I see no reason to change my opinion. Just check out my post; it’ll be much more eloquent than anything I could scribble down here.
// Mother Gothel – ‘Tangled’ //
Manipulative. That’s the best word to describe Mother Gothel. Over the past seven years since ‘Tangled’ was released in theaters (has it really been that long?) people have debated over whether or not Gothel actually loved Rapunzel somewhat or was simply using her all along. I think the answer’s pretty obvious. As soon as Rapunzel told Mother Gothel that she would never let her hair be exploited again, any pretense of affection on Mother Gothel’s part instantly vanished. She’s a horrible woman…but a great villainess.
// Jim Moriarty – ‘Sherlock’ //
Every girl who watches ‘Sherlock’ ends up falling for Moriarty sooner or later. It’s a basic fact of life. I think as soon as he showed up in ‘The Great Game’ (as himself, that is, not “Jim from work”) I became fascinated with him in that “you’re a despicable person, but still insanely clever/attractive” way. It’s really weird. (I was so disappointed when BBC did the bait-and-switch thing in the very last episode with the flashback. Even after Sherlock concludes Moriarty’s dead, you always wonder.) His dedication to defeating Sherlock is a bit crazy – I mean, he commits suicide to gain the upper hand. That is a serious super villain move.
// Solovet – Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins //
Worst mom of the century award goes to Solovet. Easily. She locks Hamnet away without light, without human contact, for a month and then expects him to still be her loyal little son? Who does that? (I’m writing some fanfiction right now surrounding those events, so I’m more triggered about it than usual.) I will say, however, that Solovet is the least villainous person on this list. She’s more of an antagonist than a villain and I still do feel a little sad when she gets sacrificed for TGG (the greater good) near the end of the series.
// Zemo – ‘Captain America: Civil War’ //
Um…I mostly included Zemo because he has a Tragic Backstory and he’s *cough* rather handsome and I’m rather tired of monstrous comic book villains. Zemo’s normal compared to a bunch of Marvel and DC villains. But I don’t particularly think he’s an epic villain, per se. (Though I will defend the brilliance of his plan. Complexity of that sort amazes me.)
// Queen Levana – Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer //
The Lunar gift is both fascinating and terrifying. Can you imagine what the world would be like if people actually had that kind of power? Levana is a master at manipulating bioelectricity, which makes her frightening and unpredictable. She, too, has the typical Tragic Backstory but she’s also just plain evil and a little unhinged as well (that always helps). Even when I read Fairest, which is Levana’s story, it didn’t really make me sympathize with her (though it was written from her POV) because she is so weird/creepy/heartless.
// Scarecrow – the Dark Knight trilogy //
Speaking of weird and creepy…there’s plenty of weirdness and creepiness going on in Gotham and a lot of that is connected with Arkham Asylum and Jonathon Crane, AKA Scarecrow. To be honest, my interest in Scarecrow may have more to do with the fact that I really, really like Cillian Murphy than any of Crane’s sterling qualities (I’M KIDDING), but there’s also something of a villain crush going on there as well. One thing I find interesting in ‘Batman Begins’ is the power struggle. Falcone thinks he’s so powerful and everything, but then he gets taken down by Crane who acts so superior and then R’as al Ghul sweeps into Gotham and takes over everything. That being said, I put Scarecrow on the list (as opposed to R’as) because I find Scarecrow more interesting.
// Lina – ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ //
One word that sums up Lina? Nasty. Or, rather, nastiness personified. She’s deceived herself into believing that she and Don will eventually be together as a couple, so she gets Kathy fired and throws temper tantrums whenever she’s contradicted, and generally makes an idiot of herself. She’s definitely one of those ‘love to hate’ villains and her downfall is exquisitely perfect.
// Ratigan – ‘The Great Mouse Detective’ //
Look at that – another Sherlockian baddie! Ratigan was my number one villain for the longest time and he’s still really high up on my list (just not on this list, ’cause I didn’t really rank anyone here except for my real number one). One reason for Ratigan’s awesomeness is the fact that he gets TWO villain songs (I know I’ve said that before, but I still find it really, really cool). He’s the perfect opponent and foil for Basil (in a similar way to how Moriarty and Sherlock are so evenly matched) and Vincent Price’s voice acting is a real treat.
// The Wicked Stepmother – ‘Cinderella’ //
What is it with stepmothers being so evil? Lady Tremaine is pretty much the epitome of evil stepmothers and Cate Blanchett brought her to life with biting accuracy. *shivers*
Do you spot any evil favorites on this list? Who are some of your favorite villains?