Last week, gretald tagged me for the Top 10 Villains post. With
cheering and trumpets moderate excitement, I now accept. And, Greta, in the words of Bilbo Baggins, thag you very buch.
So here are the rules. (Because what is fun without rules?)
- Post the button.
- Thank the blogger who tagged you.
- List your top ten favorite villains (they can be from movies or books).
- Tag ten other bloggers.
I will probably end up breaking #4, but so did Greta, so I am not too concerned about that one. One more thing you should know is that I am terrible at making “top ten” lists like these, as my favorite kind of anything tends to change weekly. I will probably reread an old favorite book next week and smack myself for not putting that particular bad guy on this list… but here it goes anyway. In no particular order, here are my top ten villains of all time.
Spoilers will necessarily follow…
Morgoth from The Silmarillion (J.R.R. Tolkien)
Tolkien knows how to write Dark Lords. As bad as we thought Sauron was, his boss Morgoth is even worse. He is evil personified. Dragons? Spiders? Balrogs? Torture chambers? You name it, he has it. Darth Vader and the Emperor have nothing on this guy- and he is dead set against the free peoples of Middle-earth. He is the villain, and he wants Silmarils! (history geek reference)
Richard from King Richard III (William Shakespeare)
Leave all historical debates aside on this one; Shakespeare’s portrayal of Richard is terrifying. Hunchbacked and hated, Richard believes that his only chance of fulfillment lies in the throne of England. A terrifying yet understandable villain drawn from English history? Duh, yes. Besides, I appreciate his dark sense of humor, which is much like my own.
Gru from Despicable Me (2013)
I’m chuckling evilly to myself as I type this. I. Love. This. Guy. He’s been equipped with gadgets and weapons and cool cars, more dark humor, a bizarre accent, many layers of complexity, and backstory which never fails to elicit an “aww, poor Gru.” Plus, he is one of those few sympathetic INTJs like me. So he doesn’t exactly play the role of Bad Guy in the story, but this a list of “villains,” not “antagonists.” He deserves a place with the best of the best.
Gollum from The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien)
What can I say? Gollum is simply adorable, and half the time he’s nothing worse than a Stinker. All he ever wanted was his Precious. I think we can all see a little bit of ourselves in Gollum sometimes: we all want to do good, but we have to fight with our darker side to do it.
Brian de Bois-Guilbert from Ivanhoe (Sir Walter Scott)
You cannot possibly understand the depths of my hatred for de Bois-Guilbert. The overweening Templar tries to seduce and then abuses the Jewish girl Rebecca while she is a prisoner in his buddy’s castle, only desisting when the house is burned to the ground. And even then he drags her off into the forest so that Ivanhoe can’t get at her. What sort of horrible person does that?
Loki from Thor (2011)
As overrated as the film itself may be, Loki is a believable, even sympathetic baddie. He starts out as a friendly little brother, and then his world is shattered by the news that he will never be a king, only “the monster that parents tell their children about at night.” You might say he was just a victim of bad parenting- even if the horns and super glowstick are a bit much.
Ra’s Al Ghul from Batman Begins (2005)
Ninja swords, tragic backstory, and Liam Neeson. ‘Nuff said.
Simon Legree from Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe)
Ugh, just thinking about wicked Simon Legree makes me shudder. I hate him for all the reasons I hated de Bois-Guilbert, except that no chivalrous knights stopped him from destroying the lives of two young girls and killing his other slaves. No wonder Stowe’s novel had such an impact in the 1800s; Legree is one character that you can never forget.
Baroness de Ghent from Ever After (1998)
I hated the stepmother from the original Cinderella because she was so irrationally evil, but I loathe the Baroness even more because she has reasons for being so terrible. Her husband died and left her with a headstrong daughter who threatens the wellbeing of her own children. Who wouldn’t turn a little bit nasty about that? And she is indeed nasty. Sometimes it almost seems as if she wants to love Danielle as a daughter, but she suppresses that tenderness and instead punishes the girl as a wicked servant.
Scar from The Lion King (1994)
As terrible as it sounds, I identify a little bit with Scar- that is, his cynical humor, meticulous mind, and unforgettable lines. He is never at a loss for words and always has a plan. And of course he is evil; Scar has no qualms about wreaking havoc on the whole kingdom so that he can take over it. Just like Richard III, and Loki, and Morgoth, and Gru… maybe I do have a favorite kind of villain after all.
Now for the tags. I don’t know many other bloggers who do villain posts, but, like Hans, I will do what I can.
- Olivia at A Great Reader
- E.J. W at Chokmah&Kishron
- Sarah at A Well Cultivated Mind. Hopefully book bloggers talk about villains, too…
Finally, if you are a blogger and want to take the tag, go right ahead- just let me know so that I can read about your top ten villains. Let’s see what y’all come up with. 🙂