(*warning* Number 10 on this list contains spoilers for the Bleach manga.)
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish, and this weeks theme is villains:
‘All About The Villains — I don’t think we’ve done a villains topic since back in November 2010 so let’s revisit: top ten favorite/most compelling villains in books, top ten of the most vile villains/bad guys in books, top ten villains I secretly (or not so secretly) love, favorite tv villains, favorite comic book villains, ten “villains” of contemporary lit.’
Sometimes when I’m read a book, I find myself thinking that the villain is under-developed, or too insipid, or just isn’t dark enough to pose a threat to the light of the protagonist. So for this week, I decided to go for my top ten villains that were malevolent enough to make me truly fear for the protagonists’ lives.
1. The Dane Twins from A Darker Shade of Magic
Astrid and Athos Dane from V. E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic series (as well as having fantastic names) were cruel, twisted and enjoyed tormenting people with their power. Their hunger for magic and ruthlessness had me seriously fearing for Kell and Lila’s lives for most of the first book.
2. Erawan from Throne of Glass
Erawan’s relentless desire to destroy Terrasen and his overwhelming power makes me genuinely fear for all my babies in the TOG series. I’m reading Empire of Storms right now and if anyone I love dies I am going to exit the stratosphere.
3. Smaug from The Hobbit
Smaug is a fire-breathing dragon, who’s been alive for eons and is about 86 times bigger than Bilbo and the dwarves. I don’t think I really need to say more.
4. Voldemort from Harry Potter
Perhaps the most villainous villain of all villains. Voldemort redefined what it means to be an antagonist, and at times when I was reading the series it felt like no-one was safe.
5. King Leck from Graceling
When I read Graceling, I remember feeling so helpless for Katsa and Po in the face of King Leck; his mental powers were so inescapable that it seemed the two protagonists would never escape him.
6. Prince Geoffrey from A Game of Thrones
Geoffrey is one of the most loathesome characters I’ve ever come across in a series, and his treatment of those around him (especially women) is just awful. There are moments, however, when karma comes to collect its dues, and boy did I enjoy those.
7. The High Lord from The Magician’s Guild
In the first book of the Magician’s Guild series, the High Lord is an incredibly cunning character, whose magical abilities are unparalleled. His ability to always be on step ahead made me fear for Sonea, her mentors and her friends.
8. The Confessor from The Fire Sermon
The Confessor’s abilities mean she is able to see across long distances and anticipate the thoughts and actions of the main character, Cass, giving her a somewhat omnipotent air. Cass feels as though she’ll never be free from the Confessor’s constant gaze, giving us as readers the same feeling of entrapment.
9. Angra from Snow Like Ashes
Angra is the King of Spring, and the extent of his power seems so overwhelming in comparison to those of our heroes, that I spent a good half of the novel in silent prayer that my babies wouldn’t die.
10. Aizen from Bleach
I couldn’t compete this list without mentioning one of the main villains from the Bleach manga and anime. As a captain-turned-villain, Aizen is arguably the most (or second most) powerful character in the Bleach universe, and during the winter war arc he certainly proves this as he cuts down numerous protagonists (my poor children). His casual arrogance and expanse of raw power make him one of the most potent villains I’ve ever come across in any manga series.
So that’s it for this week’s TTT! Let me know if you guys agree/disagree with anyone on this list and link me to your own TTTs so I can check them out!