Communicator (communicator) wrote,


The Telegraph persist in issuing literary lists, although we mock them so. Here are the top 50 literary villains. List below the cut. I have bolded the ones I think are excellent baddies.

ETA metafilter discussion of the list. Loads of omissions of course (Richard III for instance, Anton Chigurh). I agree with the commentator who would put The Judge from Blood Meridian at #1. Edmund the Bastard and Mrs Coulter are my other favourites.

50 Helen Grayle/Velma Valento from Farewell, My Lovely, by Raymond Chandler
49 Steerpike from Titus Groan and Gormenghast, by Mervyn Peake
48 Shere Khan from The Jungle Book stories, by Rudyard Kipling
47 Long John Silver from Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
46 Moriarty from The Final Problem, by Arthur Conan Doyle

45 The White Witch from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis
44 Milo Minderbinder from Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
43 Fred from The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
42 Grendel's Mother from Beowulf
41 O'Brien from Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell

40 Captain Hook from Peter and Wendy, by J M Barrie
39 Moby-Dick from Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
38 Gil-Martin from The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, by James Hogg.
37 Surtur in A Voyage to Arcturus, by David Lindsay
36 The Judge from Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy
35 Mrs Coulter from the His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman

34 Clare Quilty from Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
33 Count Fosco from The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins
32 Signor Montoni from The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe
31 Tom Ripley from The Talented Mr Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith
30 Bill Sikes from Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens
29 Marquise de Merteuil from Les Liaisons Dangereuses, by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
28 Quilp from The Old Curiosity Shop, by Charles Dickens
27 Alec d'Urberville from Tess of the d'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy
26 Cthulhu from The Call of Cthulhu, by HP Lovecraft
25 Sauron from The Lord of the Rings, by J R R Tolkien
24 Don Juan in (among others) El Burlador de Sevilla, by Tirso di Molina
23 The Joker from Batman, by Bob Kane, Bill Finger and Jenny Robinson
22 Ernst Stavro Blofeld from the James Bond novels, by Ian Fleming
21 Augustus Melmotte from The Way We Live Now, by Anthony Trollope
20 Mr Hyde from Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson
19 Edmund from King Lear, by William Shakespeare

18 Mrs Danvers from Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier
17 Patrick Batemen from American Psycho, by Bret Easton Ellis
16 Ferdinand from The Duchess of Malfi, by John Webster
15 Svengali from Trilby, by George du Maurier
14 Hannibal Lecter from Red Dragon, by Thomas Harris
13 Count Dracula from Dracula, by Bram Stoker
12 Barabas from The Jew of Malta, by Christopher Marlowe
11 Pinkie Brown from Brighton Rock, by Graham Greene
10 Vindice from The Revenger's Tragedy, by Thomas Middleton
9 Mr Kurtz from Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
8 Claudius from Hamlet, by William Shakespeare
7 Ambrosio from The Monk, by M G Lewis
6 Robert Lovelace from Clarissa, by Samuel Richardson
5 Voldemort from the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
4 Iago from Othello, by William Shakespeare

3 Cruella de Vil from The Hundred and One Dalmatians, by Dodie Smith
2 Samuel Whiskers from The Tale of Samuel Whiskers, by Beatrix Potter
1 Satan from Paradise Lost, by John Milton
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