Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Top Ten Villains, Criminals and Degenerates

Another Tuesday, another Top Ten hosted by the good folks at The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's topic is the top ten villains, criminals and degenerates.  The villains are usually more interesting than the heroes so I'm hoping to make it to 10.  Let's see...
  1. Acheron Hades from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde Acheron is the primary villain of The Eyre Affair, the first book in the Thursday Next series.  He can "lie in thought, deed, action, and appearance", is incredibly strong and more than anything else, he is incredibly intelligent and completely immoral.  His only purpose is to be evil, "committing loathsome and detestable acts...purely for their own sake". What more can you ask for in a villain?
  2. Aornis Hades from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde Aornis is Acheron's little sister.  She may not have all of Acheron's powers but she has her own tricks up her sleeve and she's just as evil.  She is a mnemonomorph (trying saying that three times fast.  Or, you know, once.  I can't.) meaning she can alter memories.  She is not quite as intelligent as her brother but she is by no means dumb and she causes plenty of damage.
  3. Iago from Shakespeare's Othello I love Shakespeare and Iago is one of my favorite characters.  He embodies the Machiavellian archetype; he uses what's around him, can think on his feet and is extremely smart and manipulative.  He doesn't seem to have a motive.  Sometimes he says he hates Othello because he promoted Cassio over him.  Other times he claims Othello slept with his wife Emilia.  Then other times he says he's in love with Desdemona and I've read read interpretations where he was actually in love with Othello.  He is remorseless and refuses to explain his actions.
  4. The zombies in World War Z by Max Brooks These guys go a different route from the other 3 I've mentioned: they aren't intelligent, they don't really have any special "powers" (unless you consider being able to exist in general a power) and they aren't even evil.  But I just finished reading World War Z and I don't want to go up against them. I won't make it.
  5. Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris Back to the crazy smart villains! Crazy smart and crazy, smart describe Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter. Harris gets you to root for him without ever really trying to make you sympathize with him.  And Hannibal is a scarier villain than Buffalo Bill, who is making a lady suit out of real lady skins.  The fact that he can outshine that says more than I could describe.
  6. Annie Wilkes from Misery by Stephen King Oh Annie Wilkes, Paul Sheldon's number one fan. She has so much power over Paul and very little grasp of reality, a dangerous combination. And she's pretty good at wielding that electric knife...
  7. Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling There are lots of villains in the HP universe but Umbridge is the one I hate the most.  Her punishments are sadistic and every time she did her little passive aggressive cough thing I wanted someone to punch her.  I know that wouldn't have actually fit in the story, it just would have been nice.  
  8. Patrick Bateman from American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis Considering how often I've said how much I dislike this book, I seem to talk about it a lot.  Bateman is a sociopath who engages in "murder, rape, cannibalism, torture, necrophilia and other wholesome activities."  He describes his horrendous acts in the same tone he describes the outfit of every single person around him (I hated when he went to parties) or detailing the history of the band Genesis.  The movie is great though, especially the business card scene.  
Well I made it to 8.  That's not so bad.  What are some of your top villains?