Villains and Kick @$$ Baddies.

I was reading a blog the other day about the virtues of a great protag and sub-plots. It was a great post and had valuable info. I mean who doesn't love a fantastic hero. But you know what? The hero can't be a hero with out someone to bounce his shiny teeth, shiny hair, shiny eyed virtuous self off of right?

Cue the Villain. Or Antagonist, for the smart people.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary defines villain as "a cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime; scoundrel; or a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot".

With out the villain everyone else is just that, everyone else. HHMM I do love a good villain. The ones that make you love to hate them and the ones that you hate to love. They want what the hero has and will stop at nothing to get it. Sometimes they are disfigured, the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera or beautiful (can't think of any right now but I know they exist). They are always there making mischief. Just when your knight in shining armor is set to rescue the princess the baddie sets fire to the castle. The villain is constantly out to thwart your hero's plans to save the little child from the runaway train. Heck, villains don't have to be someone. They can be the weather or Moby Dick from Moby Dick. They can be social standards like in Pride and Prejudice. You could have several villians. Maybe your story has a in your face villain or a more subtle one that keeps you guessing. You might not even know who you villain is until the very end of your story. You could have a book told BY the baddies pov.

My baddie in my wip is a narcissist and will stop at nothing to get rid of humanity. BUT he's hot so its easy to be duped by a pretty face you know. ;)

Either way, every single story MUST have a villain or baddie or antagonist if you want to sound intelligent. Here are some of my favorite baddies.

5. Sauron--LOTR tied with Satan --Paradise Lost
4. Dracula--Dracula
3. Magua--Last of the Mohicans (OMG I Love that movie and sound track)
2. Wicked Witch--The Wizard of Oz
1. Hannibal Lector--Silence of the Lambs (I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.)

So there you have my fav baddies. What are yours? What do you look for in a villain to make them believable but not over the top. Does your baddie have any must have traits?


  1. Love Hannibal Lector, but don't forget Lord Voldemort!

  2. Oh Hannibal is one of my favorite Bad guys! Great Post

  3. Lucifer from Paradise Lost & Regained is definitely one of the most believable villains I've ever read.

    Nice list :)

  4. Ooh. We need someone to root against! The villain that terrifies me is the sociopath. The joker in the dark night for example.

  5. Cherie,
    Oh I didn't forget him. He was #6. I guess I should have done a top ten list huh?

    Thanks. Yeah there's something about Lector that you almost admire. His intelligence and cool but phycotic demeanor.

    I have to be able to beleive that the character IS that capable of doing bad you know. I must admit I have not read Regained yet.

    YES exactly. The dumb baddies you can just take out a gun and shoot em. But a real sociopath is what makes a chiller for sure.

  6. Lucifer from Paradise Lost is the boss of bad-ass but Lord Voldemorte could give him a run for his money on a bad day. As a ACD fan I also have to put the boot-in on Prof Moriarty too. ;)

  7. Elaine,
    OHH I forget about the illustrious Moriarty. MMHHHH my list is not long enough.

  8. Beautiful villian: The White Witch. Also one of my favs.

  9. You're right - stories fall flat without some villain stirring things up!

  10. One of my favorites villains is Prof. Snape from Harry Potter. And, since you mentioned him, I LOVE The Phantom of the Opera! What a great villain there too. I always love your posts...they are great!

  11. Great list.

    There are so many that I can't really make a list though.


  12. Vicki,
    Gotta love those baddies.

    I was actually rooting for the Phantom. I've found I do that with some villains. I wonder what that says about me. ;)

    OMG I totally forgot about her which is crazy since I watched Narnia about 2 weeks ago.

    I know that is why I could only do top 5 , otherwish I'd still be putting some down.

  13. Interesting post. I often think about Sauron. He is a villain we never see but his presence is known and felt throughout the story. My villain, Renwyk, has the ability to control monsters and uses psychology along with psychic powers. He is also obsessed with the prince to the point that he sometimes misses opportunities. The Treasures of Carmelidrium.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  14. I love villains! More than protagonists, unfortunately. I just think they're so much fun to read and to write, because they have less restrictions than the other characters. My all time favorite villain would definitely be Hannibal the Cannibal.


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