It is reading break, and I have finally got my act together and am joining up with the splendid Tracey’s blog link-up, Lovely Books. Go check out her original post here.
This list was harder to come up with than I expected, perhaps because I have not read much lately due to school. But despite the struggles, here is a list of some of the villains who have stuck with me over the years. I admire these authors for writing their characters so well and so realistically that just thinking about it gets me mad on behalf of my beloved main characters.
And without further ado.. the list!
The Gentleman with the Thistle-Down Hair from Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
I probably mention JS and MN in every other post, but that is because the book is SO GOOD! And the Gentleman with the Thistle-Down Hair, whose real name either remains secret throughout the book, or I just can’t remember it right now, is the epitome of a sly villain. He is a Faery king, so he is very powerful, and he uses this power to wreak untold amounts of havoc in the lives of our main characters. He is very sleek about it though, as he has a certain charm that traps and tricks people into doing whatever he wants. He is also thoroughly insane. Every time he slid greasily into the scene, I would brace myself for something awful to happen, the whole time pleading with the main characters, “Don’t listen to him! He’s not a good person! No, don’t do it!”
Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter and The Order Of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling is undeniably a good author, and one thing I applaud her for is how she writes villainous characters who seem to have layer upon layer of nastiness. Umbridge is one of those characters whose personality is the equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard for me. She is so evil but disguises it all behind a sickly sweet exterior. She is also very interesting to read about because though she is a really awful person, she is technically on the “good” side in this book. She’s definitely one of those characters who I really want to see get what she has coming to her. Which sounds really awful, but she is just a fictional character… Ok, moving on.
Wormtongue from the Two Towers and The Return Of The King by J.R.R. Tolkien
Wormtongue is another complex and layered villain. He is, in some ways, a sympathetic character, ensnared and trapped by Sauromon’s lies and mastery, but at the same time, the damage he does to the kingdom of Rohan over the course of several years is really bad. Plus he is cowardly and selfish, and straight-up creepy. That’s about all I can say without getting spoiler-y.
Luke from Percy Jackson and The Olympians by Rick Riordan
Luke is a very interesting character, and even after reading this series several times, I’m still not sure if I can call him a villain. He is not exactly THE villain in this series, either. Basically, Luke is a very angry teen who makes some very very bad choices. He is the kind of villain who I always hoped would have some sort of redemptive change of heart, that his plots would be foiled in such a way that he would see what he was doing and have a 180* turn.
It from a Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’Engle
It is pure evil. L’Engle does a very good job of slowly revealing just how twisted everything It does – and makes others believe and do – is. From the first moment our main characters arrive on It’s planet, you get the feeling that something is not quite right, and that feeling only grows throughout the novel. It is also an interesting villain because it’s not actually a person with physical form. But even the whisper of It’s name causes people to shudder and look over their shoulders. There’s a lot more to say about It, but in the interest of keeping things spoiler free, I will stop there.
Phew, what a post! Thinking about all these villains has gotten me all worked up. But a good main character must have a good villain to fight against, and all of these books have made their way into my heart not only because of excellent main characters, but also because of the excellent villains they must overcome.
Who is your favourite book villain? Tell me below in the comments!