Here we are in the second entry into my Villain Appreciation Month tribute. Last time I gave my list of the greatest movie villains of all time. If you haven’t seen it yet, here is a link to the article (https://ifihadanycentsatall.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/the-greatest-movie-villains-of-all-time/). This week, I’m giving my list of the greatest book villains of all time.
Now, just as a reminder, this is only one of four categories of villain lists. There are movies (the last one), books (this one), comic books, and video games. There is no overlap of villains, so all villains will only appear in the lists covering the medium that they originally appeared in, so Joker, for instance, won’t be in the movie list because he’s from a comic book.
And don’t forget to vote on who you think is the best at the bottom. After all the lists have been made, I’ll compile a top ten out of the villains you all voted for from all the lists, giving us the overall greatest villain of all time!
Oh, and uh… I made a mistake in the last list. The number 1 (and of course, it had to be number 1 :/) in my movie list, Norman Bates, turns out to be from a book, so I have to retract him. Fortunately, he’s being moved to this list, because, ya know, he’s from a book. Now, I know it’s hard to believe, and I’m sorry, but people on the internet make mistakes, too.
Anyway, without further ado,
Shall we begin?
10. The Frankenstein Monster – Frankenstein
There have been many incarnations of the Frankenstein monster over the years, but none has been more terrifying or iconic than the original. Mary Shelley’s version wasn’t just some grunting, slow-walking zombie, like later incarnations portray him. No, he was fast, he was strong, and above all, he was super smart. I’d even go as far as to say that he was even smarter than Victor Frankenstein, the man who created him. Couple that with the fact that he hates the world for being unable to see past his grotesque appearance, and you’ve got yourself a good villain. Sure, you can sympathize with him. After all, it’s not his fault he’s so ugly. But that doesn’t excuse him from being a murderer.
9. Wicked Witch of the West – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
She’s mean, she’s green, and she’s got an army of flying monkeys. Despite all her power, the Wicked Witch of the West is a little peculiar as far as witches go. She is afraid of the dark (odd, no?), mostly only has power over wild animals, and can be killed by a bucket’s worth of water. There’s a reason for this, though. She, like everything else in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, is a metaphor for the political world of the time it was written. That, though, is a story for a different post. And, metaphor or not, the Wicked Witch of the West is an awesome and brutal villain, certainly deserving this no. 9 spot on the list.
8. Ersnt Stavro Blofeld – You Only Live Twice / On Her Majesty’s Secret Service / Thunderball
This dude is the original super villain. Also known as Number 1, Blofeld is the head of an evil organization, has a fluffy white cat, is bald, has a big scary chair, and has plans for world domination. You can’t get much more evil than that! Arch enemy to James Bond, Blofeld and his organization, SPECTRE, has consistently been a major threat to the world. Oh, and if you noticed that he has a striking resemblance to Dr. Evil, it’s because Dr. Evil was modeled after him.
7. The White Witch – The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe / The Magician’s Nephew
She’s as evil as she is beautiful, and that’s pretty dang evil. A lot of villains try to conquer things. It’s a pretty evil thing to do, after all. But the White Witch, or Jadis, actually does, successfully taking over the land of Narnia, and ruling with an iron (er, icy) fist for 100 years. She is extremely powerful and possesses eternal youth. In fact, the only one that can stop her is Aslan (Lion Jesus), which is fitting, as she is pretty much the equivalent of the Devil in The Chronicles of Narnia.
6. Norman Bates – Psycho
Yeah, I screwed up on the last list. But now Norman is on the book list, where he belongs. Too bad for him that the competition is a little tougher here. He went from being no. 1 to no. 6. Ouch! Still, it can’t be denied that he is a horrifying villain, and one of the most realistic of the bunch. He could be an actual person. That’s TERRIFYING! The guy kills his mom, leaves her corpse in his house, dresses up like her, thinks he is her, and kills people! That’s downright creepy. The scariest part is, for all you know, this guy could be your neighbor. He’s one of the greatest villains, for sure. To be honest, I’m getting scared just thinking about him.
5. Professor James Moriarty – The Final Problem
Moriarty is to Sherlock Holms what Blofeld is is to James Bond. The arch nemesis! He is the architect of a great deal of the seemingly random crime in London, and amasses a vast fortune because of it. He is a bonafide genius, and evil to his core. The only complaint I have about this villain is what he has become in the recent Sherlock Holmes TV show. The show is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but that is not Moriarty, or at least not if you want to go by the book.
4. Hannibal Lector – Silence of the Lambs
He’s a serial killer. He’s a cannibal. He’s a genius. He is just plain creepy! Like Norman Bates, Hannibal Lector could exist in our real world. That’s just a terrifying concept, if I do say so myself, so I think I’d prefer to move on to no. 3. There’s really noting else to be said about this monster that hasn’t been already, anyway.
3. Voldemort – The Harry Potter series
Anyone who thinks that Voldemort is rated too high on this list isn’t very well versed in the Harry Potter books. He is a genius (Hmm… Seems like a lot of geniuses end up being villains, doesn’t it?), he’s a power hungry sociopath, and he’s a no good, mud-blood hating bigot. He desires nothing more than to rule the world, both magical and non-magical, and purify the wizarding race from all half-breeds (wizards and witches with non-magical ancestors). All those things make him sound a bit like Adolf Hitler, actually. The main exception being that Hitler wasn’t able to resurrect himself from the dead.
2. Sauron – The Lord of the Rings trilogy / The Silmarillian
Middle Earth’s version of the Antichrist, Sauron served the the Dark Lord, Morgoth (Middle Earth’s version of the Devil) before Morgoth was defeated and cast into the void until the end of days. After Morgoth’s defeat, Sauron took over the role of Dark Lord, forged the Rings of Power and attempted to conquer Middle Earth. And sorry if that quick synopsis sounds bit confusing. I did my best to explain it as simply as I could. The point is, this dude is one bad hombre, and is by far the most powerful villain on this list.
1. Dracula – Dracula
He’s not the scariest, nor is he the most powerful. He may not even be the most evil. But there is no denying that he is iconic. There have been countless adaptations of Count Dracula. Some might even argue that Bram Stoker’s original isn’t even the best. Regardless, Dracula, in one shape or another, has haunted the dreams and fascinated the minds of generations. If you think about it, he is kind of responsible for the Twilight series. After all, without him, vampires wouldn’t be cool. Now that is evil! He deserves to be no. 1. No doubt about it.
Or at least that’s what I think. This is only just one opinion, after all. What about you?
Vote below for your favorite. Remember, the most popular choices will go up against villains from movies, video games, and comics for the title of the greatest overall villain of all time!