Meme: Top Ten Villains, Criminals & Degenerates

The Top Ten Tuesdays meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. To see more villains, criminals and degenerates, why not head on over there and click on some of the other entries.

I am dividing my gallery of villains and monsters into two groups: the possible and the impossible:

  • Count Dracula from Dracula by Bram Stoker. A monster capable of turning his victims into monsters.
  • Dorian Grey from The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde. All the more evil for being so charming and innocent-looking. Comes under this heading because of the painting.
  • The Queen from various Discworld books by Terry Pratchett, especially The Wee Free Men and Lords and Ladies. She knows people think she is evil and she doesn’t care.
  • The Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. A totally loony, creepy villainess.
  • The Snow Queen from 'The Snow Queen' by Hans Christian Andersen. Creepy and completely evil.I found her terrifying when I was a child.

The possible:
  • Hannibal Lecter from Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris (I haven't read the rest). The guy nobody wants to meet in a dark alley – or have dinner with.
  • Tom Ripley from the books by Patricia Highsmith. Even more dangerous than Lecter, this charming sociopath will charm and befriend you before he kills you. But at least he will not eat you. Probably.
  • Iago from Othello by William Shakespeare. Possibly the slimiest villain in all of classical literature.
  • Humbert Humbert from Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. I haven’t even read the book, but I have a special loathing for pedophiles, so he is included here.
  • The Marquise de Merteuil from Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. Does what she does because it amuses her, and enjoys watching the consequences.

Possibilities I considered as well:

Victor Frankenstein from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley; Mr. Teatime from Hogfather by Terry Pratchett; Carcer from Night Watch by Terry Pratchett; Lily Weatherwax from Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett; Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte; Cruella de Vil from The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith; Mr. Hyde from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by R.L. Stevenson; Professor Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle: Lady Macbeth from Macbeth by William Shakespeare; The Grand High Witch from The Witches by Roald Dahl.


Dorte H said…
I think it is hopeless to make those lists; I like or loathe far too many characters.

You´ve made a great selection, though. Perhaps I should re-read The Picture of Dorian Grey. I really liked that one. The Snow Queen is also a wonderful choice - and such a suitable name!
Bibliophile said…
Dorte, the Snow Queen was THE villain of my childhood. C.S. Lewis' White Witch (who is clearly based on her) isn't even half as scary.

I re-read The Picture of Dorian Grey every now and then, and always find myself wishing Wilde had written more novels.
Sarah said…
I like how you separated them into categories... Tom Ripley is definitely one sick, evil man. Victor Frankenstein did make my list...

Tony D said…
Read the book. Lolita is awesome. And Humbert will remain on your list.;)
Bibliophile said…
Tony - it's on my TBR list and has been for several years, but somehow I never get round to reading it. Maybe next year...
Red said…
Iago's on my list as well. He's an awful person but one of my favorite Shakespeare characters. I hate what he's doing but at least it's interesting to watch him work.
Bibliophile said…
Red, I find Iago absolutely fascinating, in an icky kind of way. He is so good at manipulating people that it's scary.
danya said…
I can't believe I didn't put Iago on my list. He is such a sneaky villain!
George said…
My villains tend to come from the comic books I read as a kid: The Joker, Lex Luthor, etc. But I agree with you about Iago. He's endlessly fascinating.
smellincoffee said…
I can barely remember the White Which, but of course Iago's always a favorite.
The Red Queen, nice call! Wish I'd thought of her! Hannibal made my list as well. You can check out my top ten list here.
E. L. Fay said…
Heathcliff was #9 on my list.

Possible actually outnumbers Impossible on my list 6:4. I think that's because I generally find realistic villains so much more frightening . . . precisely because they can exist!
readerbuzz said…
You certainly had no problem coming up with candidates for this list. Good work.

Here's my post.
What a great list! It's so cool to see Dorian Gray on it. I didn't even think of him, but he truly is an evil man. Great choices!
Anonymous said…
Oh the Snow Queen! Yeah, I was terrified of her as a child. I can't even revisit it now.

I've never read Les Liasions Dangereuses but I think I'd like to give it a go.

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