Villains We Love to Hate

Hey bookworms, I thought it was time I do a post honouring our favourite villains from the book world. No book is complete without a really good villain we can all simultaneously hate and love. What makes these characters so great is that even though they are awful we just can’t help but appreciate their role in the story. Without them books would be boring, so today is villain appreciation day. In my list of top ten villains we all love to hate I have only included literary villains, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t amazing bad guys left off this list (the many Disney villains, bond villains and of course the marvel crowd to name a few). As usual the list isn’t in any particular order as I find them all equally villainous.

There are some spoilers ahead especially for Red Queen and Percy Jackson.

1. Voldemort (Harry Potter Series)


You an’t have a list of villains without arguably one of the most famous of them all. Voldemort was not only a great antithesis to Harry throughout the 7 book series, but he was also evil to his core, making it so fun to hate him. When the books were brought to the big screen he got even scarier and cemented his place as one of the best villains books have to offer.

2. The Darkling (Shadow and Bone)


There are so many mixed feelings about the Darkling. Is he just misunderstood? is he really a villain at all? I think so, but there was also a complexity to him that made him an incredibly interesting character. I almost found myself rooting for him more than once throughout the series. I really wish we could get a book from his perspective!

3. Maven Calore (The Red Queen)

Here is another villain people both love and hate. I personally think he is a bad guy through and through (please don’t kill me Maven fans). He is a great villain because I didn’t see his treachery coming, but once it was out in the open the evil really suited his character. He made the books vastly more interesting, especially since both protagonists have an emotional connection to him.

4. Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter Series)


Umbridge may be the most evil villain of all time. I personally think she is worse than Voldemort because her evil is hidden behind a facade of pink and a chipper attitude. But one thing we can all say for sure is we love to hate her.

5. Luke Castellan (Percy Jackson Series)


I debated about Luke for a while, since at the end *SPOILER* he does turn things around and ultimately save the day, but before then he is a pretty nasty guy (especially to poor Percy). I think he was a great villain because I could understand where he was coming from, and I almost agreed with him. I much prefer him to the villains in the sequel series who are less relatable.

6. Amarantha (A Court of Thorns and Roses)


I kind of admire Amarantha, not in a I want to be her kind of way, but more that she is a female character that has incredible power and isn’t afraid to use it. Sure she is evil, manipulative and downright mean, but she was also a very dynamic character that played nicely off Feyre’s more rigid personality.

7. The Commandant (An Ember in the Ashes)

If you haven’t read An Ember in the Ashes you definitely should. The Commandant is one of the nastiest women in all the YA books I have read. She not only abandoned her son right after his birth, showed zero remorse for her actions, and then tried to kill him again, but she also abused everyone around her. I like that we get to see more of her backstory as the series progresses, and her actions are explained by her incredible greed and ambition.

8. Professor Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes)


I had to use a picture from Sherlock, because A- it is an amazing show, and B- this is my favourite portrayal of Moriarty. I think the Professor is a great villain, not only because he is completely insane, but because he is incredibly intelligent, which is not always something you get with villains. I like that he and Sherlock are mirror images of each other, bringing out their best and worst traits.

9. Count Olaf (A Series of Unfortunate Events)


Whether you are looking at the book series, the movie or the new Netflix show, Count Olaf is a despicable man. Who attacks orphaned children over and over again? He is definitely a ridiculous villain, and very easy to hate (though in the show I find him more funny than anything else).

10. Lady Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Macbeth)


Not only is she one of my favourite villains, she is also my favourite Shakespeare character. I realize that she feels remorse for her actions later in the play, and effectively becomes somewhat of a side character, but before then sh his a badass female character and ruthless villain.


What are some of your favourite villains, literary or otherwise?

19 thoughts on “Villains We Love to Hate

  1. Great choices…I totally agree that Umbridge is worse than Voldemort… I just hate her the most and the movie version definitely cements those feelings 😠😠😠
    The Darkling is a favorite of mine and I don’t think I can even hate him though he is so evil.. he is probably one of the best villains in the way his character is written.. so complex and alluring… I definitely loved him more than anyone in that trilogy.. why couldn’t have Alina ended up with him instead of Mal 😭😭😭
    I didn’t see Maven’s deception coming either, so that was a shock… and I actually don’t like Mare much, so he is definitely one of the main reasons why I’m still reading the series..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. your list is great!! i completely agree about Umbridge for me she is the most despicable villain in HP! the darkling is my favorite from the grishaverse and i wish we had few chapters from his perspective, since he’s character is more complex than the other characters. i don’t think i’ll continue reading red queen series, but if i ever did it will be because of maven!! having a villain as smart as the good guy is so interesting and adds a lot to the story!! the commandant is the worst!! she’s just too scary!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dolores Umbridge is spot on, definitely.
    Rodulf from “Blood of the North” trilogy is definitely a villain you can get to hate quite fast as well.
    Also, if I was to mention games, Adria from Diablo III.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this list…especially since you included Lady Macbeth and Moriarty. I actually find it rather hard to think of the Darkling and Luke as the Villians of their stories, just because I had this pseudo-crush on Luke the first time I read Percy Jackson…and yeesh, how could I not prefer the Darkling to boring Mal? :p

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If it’s from books, I’d say the Phantom of the Opera 🙂

    He’s a villain that has a somewhat great buildup in my opinion. I just love villains that we can hate, but also feel sympathy with XD

    Liked by 1 person

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