Best of the Bad Guys

the-original-movie-villainAnd gals.

There are so many ways this list could go, from the truly terrible Judge Holden of Blood Meridian and the ghastly Cathy of East of Eden to the more humorous, but no less evil Corrine of Flowers in the Attic. The former are of a rather literary nature and the latter is…not.

I think this list will be somewhere in between*. In no particular order, some of my favorite villains include:

Corrine Dollanganger (Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews). Because she really is quite awful, as are the books.

Randall Flagg (The Stand by Stephen King). Because there’s needs to be at least one Stephen King character on a list on villains.

Annie Wilkes (Misery by Stephen King). And in this case, there are two. The axe…

Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling). Sometimes the greatest evil hides in plain sight (in a pink suit).

Lydia Bennett (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen). Not evil, but seriously annoying.

Becky Sharp (Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray). On one hands, she really gets shit done. On the other… My goodness, have a heart.

Hannibal Lecter (Red Dragon by Thomas Harris). No list would be complete without the addition of a snobby cannibal.

Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte). You cannot use love to excuse all your bad behavior, so Heathcliff makes the list too (being vicious and devious and all).

Who do you love to hate? For more villains, go here.

*I find the older I get, the less tolerance I have for truly evil villains (like in American Psycho or The Wasp Factory), horror movies, and the like. Apparently I scare easily these days.


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  • Kate

    I love/ hate Becky Sharp. I saw a great Vanity Fair miniseries years ago – maybe a BBC production?? – anyway, whoever the actress was, was the perfect Becky. Vanity Fair is one book that I read in my youth and have been meaning to revisit.

    • Weezelle

      I know exactly the mini series – she was a fabulous Becky Sharp.

    • Rory O’Connor

      Now I have to find said miniseries, because the Reese Witherspoon one just doesn’t cut it.

  • Chrissi Reads

    Brilliant list! I love to hate Umbridge. She’s such a frustrating but wonderful character.

    • Rory O’Connor

      Right?! She is.

  • Weezelle

    Mr Twit is up there too I reckon. He’s rank.

    • Rory O’Connor

      Roald Dahl has some great villains.

  • Sarah

    I like your list! Randall Flagg is one of my favourite villains as well, loved the Stand and the Dark Tower Series 🙂 You could probably fill a whole Top Ten list with King characters only

    • Rory O’Connor

      You absolutely could!

  • Sarah (Sarah’s Book Shelves)

    So many great (and classic ones) on this list that I didn’t even think about when creating my list!

    Annie (I did think about her, but she didn’t fit my spin on the topic), Hannibal. I included the grandmother from Flowers in the Attic…could have thrown Corrine in there too!

    • Rory O’Connor

      Corrine and the grandmother are both terrible. I don’t know know who I dislike worse… Probably Corrine for the selfishness.

  • Lori

    Umbridge definitely tops my most hated list. She was truly awful.
    My Top Ten

    • Rory O’Connor

      I still cringe when she crosses my mind!

  • Lauren

    Umbridge tops my list of HP villains!

    Lauren @ Always Me

    • Rory O’Connor

      She’s somehow more evil (in a realistic way) than Voldemort.

  • Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

    HP had so many great villains! Umbridge is definitely one of the worst of the bunch. I love that you put Lydia on your list. I’d totally want to punch her in the face if she were my real life sister. Great list!

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

    • Rory O’Connor

      Right? At the very least, Lydia deserves a good slap.

  • girlaboutlibrary

    Annie Wilkes! I haven’t read the book “Misery”, yet. But that movie definitely gives me the creeps. She is a terrifying villain!

    • Rory O’Connor

      She’s just as bad in the book!

  • mariahelena

    Umbridge still gives me nightmares.

    • Rory O’Connor

      She’s just too…plausible!

  • Rory O’Connor

    I really do think she’s worse! And to be worse than Voldemort?!

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