To pass some time, here are some summaries of my favourite, meanest, nastiest, fictional villains of our generation.
Villains in your novels are an important part of your writing. Your central antagonist is going to be driving your character throughout the plot as the antagonist causes trouble for the protagonists and the rest of the people involved in the story. The villain needs to have an air of power and intimidation, and the better their motivations or their execution of evil acts is, the more thrilling they will be to see in your novel.
The idea of this is to be able to examine the characters through their brief summary, somewhat objectively.
Here are the rules I used:
-The villain MUST be fictional. No actual, non-fiction serial-killers used in fictional books (like Ted Bundy or Osama Bin Laden, or something).
-The villain MUST be from a movie, video game, novel, or other form of fiction.
-No villains from beyond twenty years ago: nothing before 1990.
-However, if the villain was created before 1990, but made an appearance in some form of movie/book/game, it is acceptable.
Who are some of your favourite villains of fiction and why? Tell us now in our ask box!
The Dark Lord Voldemort – Also known as Tomas Marvolo Riddle and He-Should-Not-Be Named, Lord Voldemort is the most dangerous dark wizard on the planet in the Harry Potter series. Growing up as an orphan, he attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft. After graduation, he fades into obscurity to study the Dark Arts. In this time, he creates seven Horcruxes, powerful magical objects that hide shards of his soul after the act of murdering someone. With each Horcrux, his soul is ripped in half, grotesquely degrading his body, especially his face. He gathers followers known as Death Eaters, who agree with Voldemort’s belief that society should be run through a system of eugenics, where only those of pure-blood ancestry to wizarding families should be allowed to be part of a functioning international society. Killing his enemies one by one in increasingly brutal ways, his plans are foiled when a killing curse rebounds when he attempts to assassinate the child Harry Potter. Voldemort revives himself, and dedicates the rest of his life attempting to take over the Ministry and kill Harry Potter, killing all who oppose him. In a final battle with Harry Potter, Voldemort meets his demise as a lone dictator, friendless and completely without love.
Darth Vader – né Anakin Skywalker, Darth Vader is the apprentice of the Darth Sidious, The Galactic Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars saga. As a child, he grew up as a slave with his mother on a backwater planet of Tatooine. He encounters the Qui’Gon Jin and Obi-Wan Kenobi, two Jedi, and helps them earn money to leave Tatooine. Always dreaming of leaving this planet himself, he is offered the opportunity, though he leaves his mother behind. He follows the Jedi in an attempt to become a Jedi himself, however his request is denied, though later accepted as Obi-Wan’s apprentice. He falls in love with Princess Amadala during his training, and they have a covert love affair. His mother is killed during his training off of Tatoonie, and in a rage due to her death, slaughters a village of sandpeople – an example of the rage lurking within him. Eventually, Anakin is lured with prospects of the Dark Side by Darth Sidious, and is renamed Darth Vader. He assassinates countless innocents in the Jedi council and abandons his pregnant fiancée, Princess Amadala. Vader later encounters his old master, Obi-Wan and his fiancée together. In a fit of rage, he attacks his fiancée, then Obi-Wan, until Darth Vader falls into a pool of lava. He is later repaired, only to learn his fiancée had died. He continued his life to serve the Emperor, even to the point where he (unknowingly) attempts to kill his own son and daughter. Darth Vader is eventually killed, but not before coming to terms with his life and returning to the Light Side.
Sauron – The Dark Lord Sauron is the evil force who created the One Ring of Power, giving him the strength to rule over all Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings saga. Amassing an army as had never seen before, he launches an assault on the civilizations of Middle Earth. By chance, the King of Men cuts the ring from the hand of Sauron, and Sauron is defeated. However, Sauron’s soul is bound to the Ring, and he remains very much alive in spirit. Using his influence, Sauron forces the ring into hiding for many years. When the time is right, he attempts to seize the ring and regain his power, until Frodo is given the ring. As Sauron amasses a second army to destroy the world, be slowly begins degrading Frodo’s pure soul with malice and hate. He wants nothing more than complete annihilation and rule over all. He is emotionless and craves nothing but total domination. He meets his demise when Frodo takes the Ring to Mount Doom, destroying the Ring and ending Sauron’s reign forever.
Sephiroth – Sephiroth is the primary antagonist in Final Fantasy VII. A revered Soldier, strongest in all the land, he is hailed for his skill in battle. However, unknowing to him, he is a genetic experiment by the mad scientist Dr. Hojo. By chance, on a trip with the military to the village of Nibelheim, he and a squad of Soldiers travel to a reactor where the genetic experiments were being held. Learning of the horrid genetic experimentation, he reviews his mentor – Dr. Gast’s – notes on the experiments. He learns of his heritage as a genetic experiment, and enters a deep depression. Misinterpreting the information he discovers, he assumes he is an Ancient, believing he is intended to act out an ancient prophesy to destroy the world. Being consumed by a deranged sense of purpose, he enters insanity. He immediately attacks his fellow Soldiers, murders the entire townsfolk of Nibelheim, and burns the village to the ground. He continues his bizarre journey, killing all in his way without emotion. Eventually, he fulfills the ancient prophesy, summoning a giant Meteor that will impact the planet and destroy the entire world.
Jafar – Jafar is the Royal Vizier to the Sultan of Agrabah in the Disney film Aladdin. He wishes to be Sultan, and has spent years conniving on how to achieve this. His plan: to seek out a magic lamp, and use the genie within to wish for the thrown of Sultan. He uses his black magic to influence the Sultan to get what he wants, and betrays those who help him. He betrays Aladdin by attempting to kill him and steal the lamp, but fails. In a new ploy, he attempts to marry Princess Jasmine in hopes of earning the throne, but is thwarted again by Aladdin, who has disguised himself as a prince from a far away land. Realizing that the suitor to the Princess is Aladdin in disguise, he exposes Aladdin and steals the lamp for himself. First, he wishes for the throne, and usurps the Sultan. Secondly, he wishes to be the greatest sorcerer in the world. He uses his magic to attempt to kill Aladdin by sending him to the Antarctic, turns Princess Jasmine into his concubine, and forces the former Sultan to be his personal slave. Upon the return of Aladdin, he forms into a giant cobra with his magic. In a final wish, he becomes a genie himself, which leads to his downfall.
Scar – Scar is the brother of King Mufasa in The Lion King. Scar is the king of the Badlands, but yearns for the throne of the King. A true Machiaveli, Scar conspires with his henchmen to usurp Mufasa. He convinces the son of the King, Simba, to put himself in danger by leading Simba to a canyon before forcing a stampede of wildebeest upon him. Knowing the king would rush to his son’s rescue, Scar lures Mufasa to the scene, and when Mufasa’s guard is down, Scar murders his brother in cold blood, sending him tumbling off a cliff to his death. Simba, witnessing the death but not the murder, is then ordered into exile, and chased out of the kingdom for years. Scar rules as a tyrant, destroying the kingdom due to years of neglect on his part. When Simba returns to reclaim the throne, Scar is forced to publicly admit to the murder of his brother the King. Nevertheless, he uses dirty tactics to try and kill his enemies and Prince Simba. His tyrannical rule ends in his downfall, when Scar’s henchmen rebel against him, slaying him.
Bill – Bill is the leader of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, a group of the most skilled assassins in the world. An influential man, he takes on an apprentice – Beatrix Kiddo – and spoils her with affection and an opportunity to train with the greatest kung-fu expert in the world. Bill and Beatrix later fall in love, and eventually, Beatrix becomes pregnant. Beatrix flees the assassin’s life for a life of calm. This sends Bill into a violent depression. Unable to cope with the loss of his love, his sadness turns to rage. He begins following his girlfriend’s trail, searching for whom he believes killed her. He finds her at the end of the trail, still alive in El Paso, Texas, 8 months pregnant, marrying another man. In a fit of rage, he orders his assassin squad to kill her fiancé and all the attendants at a wedding dress-rehearsal. He then takes his pistol and shoots his pregnant lover in the head. Beatrix is unkilled, but is thrust into a coma; however, Bill and Beatrix’s child is born prematurely. Bill raises his new daughter until Beatrix reawakens. When Beatrix seeks revenge, killing all her former partners in crime to get to Bill, he waits patiently for his lover to return and discover their daughter. He apologizes for his reactions, but feels no remorse. Beatrix kills Bill in a final act of revenge.
Tyler Durden – Tyler Durden is the dual-personality of the Narrator in the novel/film Fight Club. Seemingly a charismatic and interesting man, he is the psychological manifestation of The Narrator’s tendency to suppress his emotions. Tyler convinces Narrator to form a Fight Club as a way for the Narrator to let off steam. Eventually, however, Tyler begins to change in his views from complete freedom to nihilism. He begins to evolve the local Fight Club into an anarchist terrorist group against all things involving consumerism, capitalism, and materialism, with the objective of upturning all civilization. His increasing strength in the mind of the Narrator later unhinges the binary of the personalities, allowing Tyler Durden to act independently of Narrator’s self-control. Tyler is killed when Narrator rebels against his dual-personality and attempts to kill himself.
The Joker – The Joker is the primary antagonist in the film The Dark Knight (excluding past history from his appearance in comics). Very little is known about the Joker’s history. However, he is seen now as an extremely violent, homicidal, sometimes mentally unstable criminal. Despite his mental instability, The Joker is extremely intelligent. He is an anarchist, and finds great pleasure in disrupting the establishment, whether the establishment is the police, the government, or the law. “Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. And you know the thing about chaos: it’s fair.” His first act is to stir the mob of Gotham City by robbing a mob bank; he steals the mobs money, kills all of his own henchmen, and presumably kills the mob-sponsored bank manager. After the mob elects the Joker to help kill the Batman, Joker maims and kills a young man on public television. Joker kills the hearing judge against the mob who was serving in a courtcase, followed by the police commissioner, and almost kills District Attorney Harvey Dent, who Batman saves. The Joker attempts to throw Batman’s ex girlfriend – his love – off a skyscraper, but she is saved. Joker later makes a public assassination attempt on the mayor’s life, then on the District Attorney, causing havoc on the streets of Gotham. In a ploy, he is captured, lures the police away from the station, kills Batman’s lover, and violently injures Dent, who is later turned by Joker into the villain Two Face. Joker continues to cause chaos, causing open panic and martial law in Gotham, and risking the lives of hundreds of people.
Ganondorf – Ganon, also known as Ganondorf, is the main antagonist in the Zelda series. He is a devlish man who is in search of complete, unadulterated power. In Ocarina of Time, he is the leader of the Gerudo, a kingdom in the desert lands of Hyrule. He swears allegiance on behalf of his nation of Gerudo peoples, while this is in fact a ploy to inevitably betray the King and usurp him. Eventually, his plan works when Ganon gains the Triforce of Power, one of three pieces of a magical relic, this piece endowing the bearer with unimaginable power. He takes the entire of Kingdom of Hyrule under his ruling, turning the entire Kingdom to ruin with his malice. When challenged by Link in battle, as he begins to lose, Ganon sacrifices himself to the power of the Triforce of Power, which transforms his body into his bestial form, which is that of a giant pig.
Pyramid Head – Pyramid Head is a manifestation of James Sutherland’s nightmarish experience upon entering the cursèd town of Silent Hill, in the video game Silent Hill 2. Before his trip to Silent Hill, Sutherland’s wife Mary contracts an incurable disease – presumably cancer – which takes a toll on her body. Her mind slowly degrades from the pain of the illness, and she becomes very hostile and angry toward everyone, including James. He was forced to attempt taking care of someone who seemingly hated him; his dedication sent him into a depression, fueled by frustration and guilt for his inability to help her, anger at their perfect life which fell apart around him, and sexual repression during the last three years of his marriage. The town of Silent Hill manifested James’ psyche into the real world in the form of an ugly netherworld filled with mutant creatures, including Pyramid Head, a giant masculine creature with large muscles and a giant slab of iron in the shape of a pyramid for a head. This monster wanders around the netherworld completely berserk. It fights anything in its path, friend or foe, ripping them apart in extremely grotesque manners. Pyramid Head frequently rapes other monsters whenever he pleases often killing his victims when he’s finished. This creature is a figment of James’ inner psyche – symbolism of his anger and sexual repression – which now threatens James’ very life as he survives in Silent Hill.
Light – Light, also known as Kira, is the owner and user of the Death Note, and is the central protagonist in the live-action series Death Note (disregarding anime and manga). The son of a famous police officer and a budding law student, Light is frustrated with the law after he begins to see weaknesses. He learns that many known criminals either live calm lives in prison seemingly unpunished, or remain free to commit more crimes. Angry that the law is letting down the people, he discovers the Death Note, dropped by the God of Death Ryu. Light is the new owner of the Death Note, a demonic notebook; whomever’s name is written on the notebook will die. Light begins killing criminals that escape the law: the ultimate punishment. When he is pursued by his nemesis L, Light’s ideology diverges. He begins killing FBI agents who are pursuing him. In a coup de grace to prove his innocence, he connives to have his own love, his girlfriend, killed. His ultimate objective becomes killing L. When his identity is discovered, he attempts to kill everyone around him, including his father. He is instead killed by his own friend, the God of Death.
Hey look, we actually made a video for once! This is partially in association with a flurry of comments and asks on the Yeah Write Tumblr, talking about Twilight. Thought we’d toss our literary voice into the fray.
This time, we’re talking about Twilight, and what makes it a good series. You read that properly. And no, this video is not sarcastic.