Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Top Ten Tuesday is basically exactly as it sounds: participants list their ‘top ten’ of whatever the subject is every week.
This week was ‘all about villains’ and participants were challenged to come up with their own list about villains. My top ten (or rather, my top nine) this week is a list of villains that I found compelling, terrifying, or both. Everyone on this list added a necessary evil to the books they were in.
Now, in no particular order, here we go!
An arsonist with a deep desire to create orphans and acquire their inheritances, Olaf insinuates himself into their lives using murder, strange plots, and lots of disguises. Extremely creepy, he’s interesting because the reader never learns very much about him. However when his motivations become clearer (in The End) he becomes a more believably complex character and a masterful villain.
A more unsettling villain is hard to find in any other books. Leck is unquestionably a psychopath and a sadist. But the worst part about him is his insanely insidious gift that holds even after his death. Making people believe something is scary, but that belief passing unquestionably from person to person like a virus is next level terrifying.
Black Jack Randall
A sadist of the most disgusting kind, he derives a deep pleasure from torturing and hurting other people. He can’t perform sexually unless his (unwilling) partner is afraid or he is hurting them. He is obsessive and once fixated on someone will do everything he can to get what he wants from them.
While I’m absolutely positive that Irial doesn’t see himself as a villain, there is no question that he is one. Though granted he’s trying to strengthen his people, he forges a disgustingly perverse connection with a teenager. Sucking all of the negative emotion from her to keep himself strong, he commits unspeakable atrocities in front of her to gain them. Dark fae have always unnerved me, but this pushed me to absolute fear.
Skinner Sweet is the kind of character that you love to hate. Sometimes he’s just kind of a dick, and sometimes his actions are so completely reprehensible that you don’t want to believe them of him. He’s on this list because reading about him is always extremely enjoyable despite his awful actions.
Though some may disagree, Wanda is unquestionably the villain of this book for me (fight me). Part of a colonization after an invading force has taken over the Earth, she does her best to subsume the consciousness in the body that she’s stolen. She then proceeds to seek out that body’s lover, because through memories she also fancies herself in love with him. While there’s no doubt that she’s a likeable and sympathetic villain, she belongs on this list.
I’m sure you knew this one was coming. But really the man split his goddamned soul in the pursuit of immortality. In addition he basically enslaves the very people that seek utopia under his regime while using them to persecute all other groups of people. He has intense intelligence and magical power at his disposal, and those become more unstable as time goes on – making him unpredictable and thus even more dangerous.
Megalomania and insanity are not a good mix. No nation should have an immortal king who has committed genocide and murdered the entire order of people keeping the peace. While he’s kept a semblance of order, he destroyed a golden age and quickly halted all progress. Also he twisted a dragon to be his slave. Not cool, man.
A villain that becomes more terrifying in each book in which she appears, she’s the epitome of evil genius. She uses her intelligence to construct plots that become increasingly elaborate and which are meticulously planned. She’s also emotionally unstable and sometimes flies into rages. You never know when she’s going to pop up because she has a million failsafes in place for her own death.
Did any of my villains make their way to your list? What are some of your favourite villains in books?