There is nothing like a good villain to set your hero’s teeth on edge. The greater the evil, the greater the acclaim your hero gets when they finally defeat them. This week on Top Five Wednesday, Chelsey and I talk about our Top Five Favourite Book Villains.
Villains can be anything: the traditional evil overlord that corrupts the land by just existing or an all powerful wizard who’s search for immortality causes him to do horrible evil and destructive things. One could say absolute power corrupts absolutely… right?
Top Five Wednesday is a book tag started by GingerReadsLainey. Join the goodreads group to get each week’s topic and participate yourselves!
5. SAURON FROM THE LORD OF THE RINGS – J.R.R. TOLKIEN
When a lot of people think about Sauron, they think of the version from the movies. A gigantic flaming eyeball that is always watching. Book Sauron is a little different, he never interacts with our characters. Instead he is just this malevolent presence that is just there. The characters know he is watching, but he lacks physical form. He’s your stereotypical evil overlord and a lot of evil lords who have come after have been modelled like him. Sauron’s existence is so evil and so unnatural that he corrupts the land just by existing.
If you’re looking for Sauron’s backstory it does exist! If you pick up some of Tolkien’s other works like The Silmarillion and the History of Middle Earth books you can track his development from angelic spirit to the dark lord we have all come to know and love.
4. VALENTINE MORGENSTERN FROM THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS – CASSANDRA CLARE
Like many villains, Valentine Morgenstern believes that he is the hero of his story. He believes that he is right and he is doing what is best for his people and his culture. What makes him creepy is just how self assured he is. Valentine also has a human side, which comes out during his interactions with Jace and Clary and from stories of his past told by Jocelyn and Luke. I like complicated villains like this. They’re harder for the heroes to overcome because for every awful act they commit they do do something to help other people. It forces the heroes to confront their own morality and decide what is right and what is wrong.
3. TYWIN LANNISTER & JOFFERY BARATHEON FROM A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE – GEORGE R.R. MARTIN
Both of these characters are evil but in completely different ways. Since Game of Thrones became the hit HBO show, Joffery has become one of the most hated figures in pop culture. Someone took the scene of Tyrion slapping Joffery and looped it so it would run for ten hours. That’s how much hate this prick has managed to amass. Joffery is a twist on the traditional prince charming persona. He’s the good looking prince who has arrived to sweep Sansa off her feet and take her to the capital, but once we get him alone and he opens his mouth, you realize just how horrible he is.
Then there is Tywin Lannister, he’s more along the same lines as Valentine. He’s so self assured that what he is doing is right.Even thought the man is an all round bastard, you can’t say that he isn’t good at his job. You know he has ulterior motives but he manages to accomplish his job and further himself and his family at the same time. He’s the type of character who you love to hate. In the Game of Thrones TV show he was cast perfectly and is portrayed by Charles Dance.
2. VOLDEMORT FROM HARRY POTTER – J.K. ROWLING
Voldemort is a good response to Sauron in the fact that they are both Evil Overlords. Yet where Sauron is removed, Voldemort is directly involved. As the series progresses the reader gets to see Voldemort’s descent into evil, starting as a fairly normal kid and ending up as soul shattered monstrosity. It’s Voldemort’s dark past that colours the entire series. He has this reputation that he brings to the story, which drives the narrative. Voldemort’s sole focus is to become immortal and what he’s willing to do to achieve that goal is terrifying.
1. KING LECK FROM THE GRACELING TRILOGY – KRISTIN CASHORE
This guy was pretty evil. You don’t see much of him in Graceling, but you get the idea that he is someone who shouldn’t be trifled with. We’re going off of Bitterblue, where you find out absolutely everything that he did. In Bitterblue you see how he ripped apart people’s lives in some of the most horrifying ways. The characters are trying to figure out what happened in this time period because the events are just a blur in people’s minds. At the end of the day, that’s what Leck does: he controls your mind.
Chelsey and I filmed a review on the first book in the Graceling trilogy. You should watch it!
The great (but annoying) thing about villain lists, are they are always growing. This is a topic that we may come back to some time in the future because we’ll have more entries. But until then… these are our favourites.
What are your favourite book villains? Tell us about them in the comments below. And until then, HAPPY READING!