Tuesday, October 23

Deliciously Devil: Top 10 Villains I Love


Villains are the ultimate guilty pleasure. Whether we love-to-hate them or hate-to-love them they capture our imaginations in a way heroes very seldom do. Today's Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl was such a perfect Halloween theme! My picks are a mix of vilains I love (who kinda maybe have a point?) and villains who are so cruel and hateful and yet I love reading them anyway! 







The Darkling from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


Maybe a bit of an obvious pick this. The Darkling is the ultimate in relatable yet hateful villains. I love him to bits but want to scream at him for so many of the things he does. He also has a super solid origin story (although sometimes I love having a villain who was just born evil). 

Umbridge from the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

I think we can all agree that whilst Voldemort is more outright evil its Umbridge who most scared us/we most hated. I saw somebody once explain this by pointing out that whilst most of us wont have encountered many terrifying dictators out to commit genocide, we will have encountered those people in minor positions of power (ie. teachers) who use every bit of that power to squash you down. I've met Umbridges. We probably all have, and that's what makes her so terrifying.

A from Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

OK so I'll be honest - I've never actually read the books (although I have a solid grasp of the main differences between them and the show). But A is the perfect example of fearing the unknown and kinda being your own worst enemy. The best villains use you against yourself and A does that with such style. 

The House in The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

This is massively on my mind at the moment having just finished the Netflix series (more on that to come in another post). But in the book the house is the perfect villain. I love when authors make a location into a character in its own right and that was done so well here. We're left questioning the MC's sanity (and I'll be honest even my own perception) because the house messes with your head so much. It's brilliant. 

The White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Y'know, if the White Witch got on board with Christmas and Halloween I could totally get behind her. She has an amazing aesthetic, I love winter. I don't love Turkish Delight but otherwise - she has a solid point. She was also incredibly scary to childhood me and a really good lesson in not accepting sweets from strangers. 

Naughty John from The Diviners by Libba Bray

Every evil thing and person in this series is excellent but Naughty John is the first and best. He is so brilliantly creepy and horrifying. This is one of the few books that actually scared me.

The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Not to be confused with the Red Queen! The Queen of Hearts was my first ever experience of villainy (literally this was the first book I ever read) and has remained fixed in my mind as what all villains have to live up to ever since. She is so twisted and so cruel and absolutely bizarre and I love her.

President Snow from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

A masterpiece in creepiness (the roses???) and so very manipulative. There is another villain in this who I kinda hate more but that's a spoiler and I know these books came out a long time ago but I'm not gonna be the spoiler of something. President Snow is the perfect example of a villain who thinks he is doing the right thing. Or maybe he is just power mad. You decide.

Queen Levana from Cinder by Marissa Meyer

We do get a backstory for Levana from Fairest but I feel like reading it gave me even more questions than I had before. She was so twisted even from the beginning but I cant help feeling sorry for her one second and wanting to yell that its all her own fault the next.

Amy in Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

God I love Amy. So manipulative and selfish. She is the kind of character I really enjoy reading about (like a modern day Scarlett O'Hara or Becky Sharp). Technically almost every character in Gone Girl is awful but Amy is the one who stands out as the most interesting. 


Let me know some your favourite villains or leave a link to your list in the comments so I can check it out!

24 comments:

  1. The White Witch is a good one! She really was heartless and cruel. And Umbridge... ugh. She definitely made me list. The Darkling reminds me that I really need to continue the Grisha Trilogy! I read the first one and then just... stopped. Time to fix that!

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    1. The Grisha trilogy didn't fully grab me the first time I read it to be honest so I totally get just stopping. But it is worth sticking with - especially if you haven't read Six of Crows yet!

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  2. Umbridge seems so terrible lol (I've only read the first book so I haven't had the pleasure of her acquaintance yet lol). And Amy has me SO curious, everyone is saying I need to read Gone Girl and I think I do!

    The White Witch is awesome.

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    1. Oh so much for you to look forward to. Umbridge was the first villain to make me fully furious! And Amy is such an incredible character - I think you'd love Gone Girl and I'd love to see your thoughts!!

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  3. The White Witch made my short list. She was horrible! Queen of Hearts is a great pick too. I totally didn't think of her. Amy was a garbage human, and definitely a classic villain.

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    1. Amy is such a great character because she is so classically villainous in an almost Disney way but still so human and believable!!

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  4. I haven't read Gone Girl yet, but from what I heard there are a lot of devious villains in the story. Plus it is even more scary because of the somewhat realistic setting!

    Anyway, I definitely agree with Queen Levana. I liked Fairest and it was interesting ways that other villains backstories would not. It is a testament to her character that she could even have a full book written about her. I sympathize a little bit with her, but like you said, I still blame her for bringing things onto herself.

    Tessa @ Crazy for YA
    Here's my TTT: https://4evercrazyforya.blogspot.com/2018/10/moral-ambiguity-is-my-cup-of-tea-my.html

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    1. Oh Gone Girl is definitely realistic - I can so see it happening in real life!
      It's funny, I almost forgot Levana when writing up my list but now that seems so weird because she is SUCH an incredible villain! I love villain perspectives because I'm just so fascinated by how evil people become evil and Fairest was such an interesting one.

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  5. Umbridge is the worst of the lot--the smug, prissy self-satisfaction: So Trump-like, so Margaret Thatcher-like, so Nurse Ratched-like.

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    1. YES! Omg, SO much like them. Compared to the others on the list she might not have done as much evil but its how much she reminds me of irl evil people that scares me!

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  6. Great list! I gotta say, Umbridge is my fave Harry potter villain, she was an everyday-evil kind of character who can seem to be an exaggeration or charicature at first, but the more you think about it, the more you see you know people very much like her (my next door neighbor is super similar).
    On my list I'd have The Regent from The Captive Prince, Roland from the Kate Daniels series, [Redacted bc of spoilers] from the Newsflesh trilogy...

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    1. Oh god I am so sorry you basically live next door to Umbridge! That's not fun at all.
      I have not read The Captive Prince but its so often recommended!

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  7. Naughty John from The Diviners scared me, he was so creepy! I have President Snow and Queen Levana down on my list too!

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    1. He is SO creepy, The Diviners books are so brilliant because books don't usually scare me! Queen Levana especially seems a popular choice!

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  8. Naughty John is terrifying!

    I just finished House on Haunting Hill and it's all I can think about. I want to learn more about the others, but that Poppy is a piece of work.

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    1. I finished it a few days ago and still am constantly just thinking about Hill House! It was so good and has just stuck in my mind, I'm boring my whole family by talking about it!
      Poppy was such a good creepy character!!! I fully loved her and kinda want a prequel series about her.

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  9. I agree about Umbridge. She’s worse than Voldemort because she’s so self-righteous. She looks down on everyone and uses her power to cause misery.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I feel like Voldemort knows he is evil and just embraces it whilst Umbridge is sat there on her high horse thinking she is always right which drives me mad! People who misuse their power scare me so much, especially now.

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  10. I agree with Umbridge for sure. These are great villains and I've enjoyed "hating" several of them when reading/watching the works they starred in.

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    1. Its funny how enjoyable hating villains is isn't it? Probably some sort of catharsis. I'm loving how much people hate Umbridge, reaffirms my belief that she is legit the worst villain I've ever read.

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  11. So happy to see my top two bookish villains on this list! I love The Darkling and would totally marry him and side with him in supporting the darkness. I love Queen Levana because she scares even me with her manipulative evil ways. And if we are talking non-bookish villains. I love Loki. Because who doesn't?

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    1. OMG yes, never trust someone who doesn't love Loki cause like HOW?? Also with you on the siding with The Darkling thing!

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