My favorite books all have fabulous villains. A good villain can take a good book and make it great. I always end up crushing on the villain in the book I’m reading (okay, not always) and I’m interested in learning what makes them tic. Why are they evil? What do they hope to accomplish?
Good villains are more than just your token bad guy. He or she needs to be dangerous, frightening, and real. There needs to be a deeper level to them—a backstory or a reason behind their actions. Villains need to have a redeeming quality or two; something that makes them human. Sometimes, it’s enough if they’re good looking, but if you can give me a villain with a mystery, I’m going to love them. Often, I’m as obsessed with the villain of a story as I am with the protagonist.
Here are my top 10 favorite villains from books (one from a TV show).
Shredder is one of my all-time favorite villains. I watched TONS of Ninja Turtles as a kid because I had a secret crush on Shredder. Even though you never see his face, he has the most gorgeous eyes/eyebrows of any villain ever. In my ten-year-old mind, he would fall madly in love me with and suddenly become a good guy because he just couldn’t be evil anymore.
<<– This poster? You can get it on Amazon 😉
He’s totally creepy, yes. But he’s also seductive. For most of the book, you’re not sure if you love him, hate him, or just want to figure him out. He’s a character wrapped in mystery and intrigue. The Keeper is a villain that I still think about, even though it’s been several years since I’ve read the book.
It’s been a looooong time since I read this book, but I loved the Black Knight. I spent most of my time reading this book doubled over with gut-busting laughter. When I wasn’t laughing, I was secretly swooning over the Black Knight. I’ve always had a thing for the bad boys (fictional ones, real life ones not so much) and the Black Knight is handsome, mysterious, and charismatic. Plus, he’s an amazing kisser.
Speaking of gorgeous bad boys that you can’t help crushing on, meet Ignifex. At first, you want to hate him simply for being the beast Nyx believes he is. As the story progresses, you discover a complex man that you should despise, but fall for anyway. Even though you grow to love him, Ignifex is evil—and constantly reminds you of that. This villain keeps you guessing until the end.
I’ve included them both in here because you don’t know if both, either, or neither of them are the villain. The author does an amazing job of keeping you guessing and throwing twists at you faster than you can change your thought process. Besides that, they’re both mysterious, passionate, and interesting characters.
A lady in waiting with a black, greedy heart who will stop at nothing to achieve her goals? Yes! Selia is a unique villain because she possesses the traits that so many regular people have. She uses her charm and influence to win people over and blind them to her true nature. A master manipulator, brilliant, and cold-hearted, Selia is a force to be reckoned with.
Handsome, charming, and generous, Bernard appears to be everything a girl could want—even if he is twice your age. But behind the handsome face lies a dark mystery and a brilliant spider that will capture you in his net if you’re not careful.
Evilness oozes from every pore of Miss Fox’s body. She did something terrible, and she’ll stop at nothing to cover it up. Fear tactics and violence are favorite tools in her arsenal and she uses them freely. The best part about this villain is that she meets her match in a worthy heroine—shy, quiet Ivy.
Mrs. Considine is one of those fascinating villains because as the reader, you can see what she’s up to. You don’t know why she’s doing it or why Alison is willingly falling for it, but you know she’s not the person she appears to be. She’s kind of like Bernard from Strands of Bronze and Gold in the way she charms and dotes on her victim until the victim tries to escape. Then the mask falls away and we see the terrifying truth.
Manon first appeared in Heir of Fire, but I didn’t like her until Queen of Shadows when she became three-dimensional as a character. Now, she’s one of my favorite characters in this series. Manon isn’t the only villain, and her part in the story isn’t over, but she’s complex, gritty, and merciless. She’s pulled in different directions as she questions her traditions, embraces her soft spot for the weak, and learns what it means to hope—all while plotting with an evil duke to take over the world.
Who are your favorite villains from books or TV?
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