June 23, 2010

Top 10 Villains

They are the foul, cruel and heartless fiends in literature. We just love to hate literature's villains. But without these wicked characters, our stories wouldn't be the same. This is my top 10 list of the worst/best literary villains.

10. Mrs Coulter from His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip PullmanShe's beautiful and elegant and chief "Gobbler", and not nearly as friendly as she sounds. She wants to amputate children's souls, or their "daemons", for scientific purposes. Eventually she sees her evil ways but lets face it, she's no Mary Poppins.

9. The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank BaumThe Wicked Witch of the West is always trying to kill Dorothy and her companions, for her silver slippers. She tries to starve the Cowardly Lion, burn the Scarecrow and uses wolves, bees, winged monkeys and crows to try and kill Dorothy. Even the Wizard is afraid she will kill him. Finally Dorothy has enough and throws a bucket of water on her. Overall the Wicked Witch of the West is just plain mean.

8. Count Dracula from Dracula by Bram Stoker
If his peculiarly sharp teeth and decaying castle don't scare you, I don't know what will. Dead and buried in a great tomb in the chapel of his castle, Dracula returns from death as a vampire and lives for several centuries. Although Stoker did not invent the vampire, it has been responsible for many theatrical, film and television interpretations. Even my dad was terrified of the old black and white Dracula movies. Dracula has been scaring us for centuries.

7. The Queen of Hearts from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Most literary villains resort to plotting and trickery, but Wonderland's toddler trantrummy Queen gets straight to the point. 'Off with her head!' The Queen of Hearts is constantly ordering people to be decapitated, if it doesn't get more evil than this, than I just don't know.

6. Cruella de Vil from The Hundred and One Dalmations by Dodie Smith
Likes: Fur coats, pepper, hot things, one side of her hair is white, the other black. Dislikes: Animals. Creuella is vile, she has a sinister interest in the Dalmatians and treats them like clothing to be worn. When she first sees the spotless skins of the newborn puppies she is revolted and offers to have them drowned at once. To some she may seem like a normal pampered heiress, to others a monster. I guess it depends on what you think of dogs.

5. Iago from Othello by William Shakespeare
Behind the smiles and jokes, Iago's mind is pure evil. He's an envious, petty, backstabbing, corrupt, conniving character. He has been said to have no motive for destroying the life of every major character in the play, other than revenge.

4. Sauron from The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
The unsleeping eye of Sauron constantly scours Middle Earth for the One Ring. All he wants is control and power over all of Middle Earth. "The Eye was rimmed with fire, but was itself glazed, yellow as a cat's, watchful and intent, and the black slit of its pupil opened on a pit, a window into nothing." *Shiver* He's just over all intense.

3. Hannibal Lecter from Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
A sophisticated and brilliant psychiatrist, aslo a cannibalistic serial killer. He sautees the brains of the living, enjoys human liver, he appreciates opera, if only he'd known that eating people is wrong.

2. Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
He aims to take over the wizarding world and the "Muggle" world as well. True we do feel some symathy for the character. He's an orphan, a "half-blood", friendless. Yet he is so feared that no one dares to say his name, referring to him instead by "You-Know-Who" or "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named." Sadly though, the "most powerful Dark wizard who ever lived" is defeated time and time again by Harry Potter. Thats got to put a damper on things for The Dark Lord.

1. Satan from Paradise Lost by John Milton
A beautiful youth, charismatic and persuasive, a tragic figure, best described by his well known words: "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven". His motive for attempting to overthrow God is that he believes himself to be more beautiful, more powerful, and thus rightfully deserving of the Throne of Heaven. Satan is the rebel's rebel, the villain's villain - "Hell within him for within him Hell/ He brings...". It doesn't get much more evil and villainous than this.

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