Happy Leap Day, everyone! There’s something exciting knowing we have a whole extra day to be productive, have fun, or do whatever we like! Or is that just me? Time is a mischievous thing and likes to speed up or hide or just skip around like a lunatic, so adding a day to the year makes me feel as though, for just a moment, time has slowed and given us a moment to breathe.
If you’re at a loss on how to spend your time this extra day (or the rest of it since it’s almost over now, whoops), Katie Grace @ A Writer's Faith has 100 (very serious) ways to celebrate. There may or may not be much leaping involved.
Now then, on to the actual point of this post!
I’m once more joining in on Tracey's Lovely Books, a linkup going throughout the month of February that involves all that bookishness glory. The first edition we drooled over our favorite book covers and titles. The second there was much squealing over favorite literary couples. This third is wickedly fun. Why? Because it’s about VILLAINS. I love villains! Or, erm, love to hate them. . .? I don’t know. They’re just so INTERESTING. Sometimes I’m more interested in the villain than the hero. I know, I’m evil. (Yes, I did use that choice of wording on purpose. *grins*) What would stories be without that antagonist causing our dear heroes pain?
Don’t forget to visit Tracey's blog and linkup to your own post should you like. (Pst, you should.) The linkup is open until March 5th, so there’s still time.
With every edition, I tell myself I’m always going to choose ten favorites. And with every one, I ignored myself and did like fifteen. But this time I’m doing it! Just ten.
So, onward to the dastardly people themselves!
My Top Ten Favorite Villains
(Click on the covers to go to the book’s GoodReads page.)
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Perhaps my favorite villain of all time! Firstly, he’s a pirate. That’s reason enough. But who isn’t intrigued by this man who spends his life battling a “mere boy?” Who isn’t delighted at all the swashbuckling swordfights? Or amused at poor Hook’s incurable fear of ticking clocks? He’s also so intriguing. How did he end up in Neverland and come to lead such a life? Plus, he’s not always that bad of a guy.
“The man was not wholly evil; he loved flowers (I have been told) and sweet music
(he was himself no mean performer to the harpsichord); and, let it be frankly admitted,
the idyllic nature of the scene stirred him profoundly.
A bloodthirsty pirate who loves flowers. What’s not to like? Besides, how can you not admire a pirate who can play the harpsichord with a hook?
Queen of Hearts
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
This woman’s favorite pastime is playing croquet with hedgehogs and flamingoes, demands roses be painted another color, and goes around screaming “Off with their head!” at whim. She’s also rather spacey—often missing what’s going on around her due to her own haughtiness. And she’s got an army of playing cards. Her sense of justice is also not always. . .logical—claiming the sentence must be made before the verdict. (But hey, it is Wonderland.) Gotta love her.
Dragons in Our Midst/Oracles of Fire series by Bryan Davis
(You knew it was coming. Obviously I can’t do a villain post without mentioning a Bryan Davis villain!)
I basically am totally enthralled by all of Bryan Davis’s antagonists in this series, but for some reason Devin always stayed a favorite. He’s got a very long, in depth background that I won’t get into because spoilers, sweetie. But let’s just say he’s an epic dragon-slayer, perfectly nasty, and entirely diligent in his work. Very, very diligent. You have to admire his dedication, even if you hate him for it.
Echoes from the Edge trilogy by Bryan Davis
Yeeeah, another Bryan Davis one. *grins* This is the last! Even though I could seriously make this whole post about his villains. He comes up with the most complex antagonists! Their backstories just blow me away.
Anyways! I don’t actually remember as much as I’d like about Mictar (this trilogy is so confuzzling and timey-wimey my brain never can recollect all that happens). But I DO remember being utterly fascinated by him. And creeped out. This guy has some serious issues. Like sucking out people’s eyeballs. Yeah. He even looks creepy. All skeletal and pale. He’s the type of antagonist that’ll give you goosebumps. But, let’s be honest, isn’t that the villain’s we’re most intrigued by?
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Speaking of deliciously creepy villains. This guy! He’s the keeper of a silver forest where twelve dancing princesses steal away to dance the night. (Why yes, this is a Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling.) He’s handsome, charming, and perfectly polite. Just enough to give you the shivers. I detested him. I loved him. Just GAH. He’s honestly one of the best antagonists I’ve read in a long time. (Also this book is amazing. Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling, peoples! GO READ IT.)
Jadis/The White Witch
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Back to the classics it seems, but how can you have a list of favorite villains without the White Witch? Someway she both makes me admire and completely loathe her at the same time. She’s so clever. Her manipulation skills cannot be matched, but she’s certainly not humble about it. Somehow she manages to say things that sound great and profound, but they’re really just demeaning to others. I’ve also always loved her history and how she came to Narnia. Let’s face it, she’s utterly frustrating, far too smart, and just the kind of perfect villain you’d expect from C.S. Lewis. Also she totally got her comeuppence. *grins*
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
I’m going to admit something tragic. I’ve only read the first two books of this series! I know, I know. Horrid! But I read them each in one sitting because I enjoyed them that much. I’ve been slooowly collecting the entire series as I find them at secondhand bookstores and such. Once I’ve got them all, I’ll do an epic read of ALL of them. (I just need four more books!)
So I may not know about that nasty ‘ol Count Olaf as well as some, but the little I’ve seen of him instantly put him on my favorite villains list. He’s disgusting, yes. But he’s also quite clever. (I seem to have a thing for the clever ones. . .?) Always finding ways around the law to get what he wants. Or. . .try to get what he wants. He will literally stop at nothing to gain the Baudelaire children’s inheritance, and causes them, well, a lot of unfortunate events (haha, you’re sooo clever, Christine. *cough*). He amuses me greatly with his “acting skills” and “charms” and attempts at disguising himself. Not to mention his all around insanity. But this is Lemony Snicket, of course he’s amusing. I’ve always loved the humorous villains that end up getting into a lot of scrapes because of their own wickedness. Count Olaf really should give up. . .
Tales of Goldstone Wood series by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
I really, really wish there was more of the “Lady of Dreams” in this series. But perhaps it’s her mysterious aura that draws me to her. She works in the background of many characters’ lives, promising them their dreams realized. Except this is where the “be careful what you wish for” phrase comes in. These great dreams always end up in misery. And Life-in-Death merely sits back, watching in merriment the cruelty she caused. She basically makes people’s lives a game. Perfectly wicked, am I right?
The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien
Like I wasn’t going to put Smaug here! HA. He’s a DRAGON. I mean, duh. But not only is he a dragon, he’s a very clever dragon. (See? The clever ones. They seem to make the best villains.) He managed to claim an entire kingdom by himself and stay there for years. Quite admirable. And, ya know, he’s rich. He sleeps in a pile of gold. Like, what’s more appealing than that? He’s also extremely humble.
“My armor is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords,
my claws spears, the shock of my tail a thunderbolt,
my wings a hurricane, and my breath death!”
Adorable. Just like a big ol’ teddy bear.
The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
There is no way on this green earth I wouldn’t include Gollum here. He battles Hook for my favorite villain. First of all, his backstory is tragic and heartbreaking and horrible and just all around fascinating. I really like in depth backstories, okay! And Gollum has got quite the one! Second, he’s not really always that bad. Sometimes he’s good. Really, he’s just weak. The Ring’s power consumed him too much, controls his every move. Sméagol, the real Sméagol, the one without the ring, was a pretty sweet guy I like think. The Ring was just too much for him. I understand Bilbo and Frodo pitying him. It’s really just hard to hate that little creature. Plus, he’s the only thing I know that manages to be both horrific and adorable all at once.
He’s so precious. (See what I did there?)
~ ~ ~
And with that we come to the end. I appear to enjoy the creepy and clever villains the most. I’m not sure if to be disturbed by that or not. I also have a lot of classics on my list. I guess what they say is true, you can’t beat the classics.
I know there are many, many others out there that I’m not thinking of. I tend to find myself extremely interested in the villains. What makes them tick, what caused them to wreak such havoc. What can I say? They’re interesting people! There aren’t many villains I just in general don’t like or don’t enjoy hating on. After all, there’d be no story without the antagonist causing all that trouble in the first place.
Do head over to Tracey’s villain post to see all her creeptastic picks and join in on the fun!
So, my dear heroes and heroines, what villains do you love to hate and hate to love? Do we share any? And are you weird like me and enjoy reading about villains just as much or *gasp* more than the heroes? (Admit it, we all love ‘em.) Let us share in the villainy! *maniacal laughter*