Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Top Ten Criminals, Villains and Degenerates

In no particular order:

1. Jarlaxle from R.A. Salvatore’s Legend of Drizzt series and now his own Sellswords trilogy. Jarlaxle is a male who survived in a female dominated society by forming his own mercenary group. He’s innovative and intelligent. He might even turn into a good-guy one day.

2. Draco Malfoy from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. I love a villain who’s not all bad. Draco just had a bad father who followed a bad man. In the end, he sees the light. I like redemption.

3. Bertha Antoinetta Mason, aka: Mrs. Rochester from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. I don’t know what’s worse than having a crazy lady standing in the way of your true happiness.

4. Lucy Steele from Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. Speaking of crazy ladies… well, she not actually crazy. She’s just an opportunistic b*&%^, who gets in the way of Elinor and Edward’s happiness.

5. George Wickham from Jane’s Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I don’t think he’s all bad. He made some bad choices and had to give up his desire for love and replace it with the need for money.

6. Gollum from J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord Of The Rings. What can I say about Gollum? His obsession brought about his destruction.

7. Count Olaf from Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. He’s just plain nasty.

8. The man in black/Walter o’Dim/Marten Broadcloak/Randall Flagg from Stephen King’s The Stand, The Dark Tower series, etc. He’s the man of many faces. He wreaks havoc, though for a moment, he loved his enemy’s mother. He’s the ultimate villain for King, I think, as he keeps using him in many different books.

9. Big Brother from George Orwell’s 1984. He is the unseen villain, the omnipresent but never met force. His representative in Winston’s story is O’Brien. Someone who watches and uses your own inner most thoughts against you.

10. Hatsumomo from Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha. She is vindictive and spiteful. I felt sorry for her only for a moment, she lost everything. Mostly, though, I hated her.

Honourable mention to Voldemort.  I figured he'd be on a few lists though, so I didn't need to write about what a crazy bad guy he is.

After reading my list, I think that I like villains who have some kind of redeemable quality to them, something that makes them not all bad. I also like villains that are just totally, plain evil, something to be afraid of. Who’s your favourite baddie?


  1. Nice list. My favorite villains are the ones you can't really understand. I don't know why Iago was so hell-bent on destroying Othello, which I think makes him so much worse than if he had some clear cut motivation.

  2. Draco is a nice addition, I put Snape instead though.
    here is mine

  3. Wickham, really? That's interesting, I would have put him in the Top 10 Dunces List :D Gollum is a nice addition.

  4. I'm a big fan of Gollum - he grew on me through the series...
    Re. Mrs. Rochester the 1st, I recently read Wide Sargasso Sea for a different take on her background and experience.

  5. 3. Bertha Antoinetta Mason, aka: Mrs. Rochester from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. I don’t know what’s worse than having a crazy lady standing in the way of your true happiness.

    Have you read Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys? It's a nice interpretation of Bertha's background/history - makes you sympathize with her. Great book in general, too.

  6. Great list! I like how you mentioned you like villains who aren't ALL bad. It makes you like to hate them.

  7. Oh, Lucy Steele - great choice! How she infuriated me, so smug...grrr...

  8. Wickham - I was surprised to see all the P&P characters popping up this week. I never really thought "Austen" when I thought villain, but I can see how characters like Wickham and Lady Catherine could make the list. I'd always thought it'd be interesting to have a book from Wickham's POV - I mean, what we hear about him and how bad he is is mostly from Darcy, and wouldn't it be interesting if Darcy got it wrong? Maybe he really loved Georgiana and Lydia ;D

    Wow, I completely forgot about Hatsumomo, but what a vindictive bitch :/ Pumpkin turned out to be pretty cruel, too, in the end. Although personally, I never liked Sayuri too much, either. Poor Nobu.

  9. I like your thoughts on redemption and villains. I thought about including Ebeneezer Scrooge for that reason, but he's more of a malevolent protagonist and than a villain proper.

  10. It's so weird you have Bertha Mason on your list of villains--I have Mr. Rochester on my list for the way he treats Bertha (and the not completely honorable intentions he might have had towards Jane). I guess it just depends on the reader as to who some villains are :)

  11. Good and varied list.

  12. I think Wickham is a great choice, he's so charming on the surface and always plotting and scheming underneath!

  13. Red, I can’t believe I forgot Iago. He’s an amazing villain.

    Teacher, Kayla & Cyna, 1girl, Wickham is surely a dunce, but he’s also a heartbreaker and his behaviour might not make him a villain like Gollum or Voldemort, but he’s still a villain to Lizzie and the Bennets, even if they all don’t see it. I think Austen had some great characters who’s behaviour and motivations made them into villains.

    I feel sorry for Pumpkin. I feel like Hatsumomo influenced her for the worse. I also felt bad for Nobu. I kept hoping that Sayuri would see the error of longing for the Chairman and just try to make Nobu happy.

    Kate, Reader, I’ll have to take a look at that book.

    This list could have been so much longer. There are great writers out there, who have created some amazing villains.

  14. Gollum. Yes. Interesting choice.

    Here's my Top Ten Baddies List.

    I hope you will also stop by my blog, Readerbuzz, and enter to win A TRIP TO PARIS or a $25 AMAZON GIFT CERTIFICATE!

  15. - The Commander from THE HANDMAID'S TALE. He's party to the horrible things done in the Republic of Gilead, but he comes across as very mundane and, dare I say, "normal".

    - Javert in LES MISERABLES. His intentions are noble in that he seeks justice and order, but in his rigid fanaticism is is blind to those he harms.

    - Baron Harkonnen in DUNE. Ruthless, deceitful, manipulative, and depraved, he is a villain's villain.