I have a confession to make (which, if you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, I’m sure you already know what it is):
I love villains.
We talk a lot about the hero characters we love and would die for, but I never see anyone (aside from myself) raving on about a villain and how much we love the bad guy/girl.
You might think me unhinged, and I wouldn’t blame you if you did. But I have always Stan’d the villains, ever since I was a kid. I don’t know why but something about their circumstances – the world viewing them a certain way, everyone ganging up on them when they just want to kill everyone and rule the world – really speaks to me. Ok, even I can admit that’s a little strange. (Please tell me you’re the same so I don’t feel like a weirdo.)
This post is essentially my love song to my all-time favourite villains: even if a majority of people out there hate you, I love you.
Note 1: ‘Villain’ is a really subjective term. I’m using it here to mean anyone who is an antagonist and/or is considered the ‘hero’s’ nemesis.)
Note 2: Some spoilers.
“Every villain is a hero in his own mind.” — Tom Hiddleston
10. Luke Castellan from the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
“Where’s the glory in repeating what others have done?”
Luke is the Ultimate Betrayer in the Percy Jackson books. His act of thievery sets off a chain of events that will, eventually, result in the rise of the Titan Cronus. He’s not the immediate villain in the series – that would be Cronus – but he’s also not a hero, although he certainly thinks of himself as such. He’s incredibly conflicted and desperately wants his father’s attention. At the end of the day, he’s a teenager who makes bad decisions, but he does eventually redeem himself … sort of. My baby.
9. Katharine from Three Dark Crowns series by Kendare Blake
“I want revenge. And then I want my crown.”
In the first novel of the series, Three Dark Crowns, Katharine is a timid, frightened young girl, way in over her head, convinced that one of her sisters will kill her. By the second novel, she is a power hungry queen who is hellbent on becoming the last queen standing. She drinks poison, has literal evil running through her veins, and has no conniptions about killing her sisters. I love her so much.
8. Cersei Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
“I am a lioness. I will not cringe for them.”
The biggest badass in the Seven Kingdoms, Cersei Lannister will do whatever it takes to protect her family … and then when that is no longer an option, anything to keep herself in power. A lot of fans despise her, but I’ve always loved her. Even when she commits terrible acts, I’ve loved her. I really respect a woman who goes after what she wants – right or wrong.
7. Aaron Warner from the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi
“I’m afraid I’m just the regular kind of murderer.”
Warner’s inclusion on my list can be debated, but he was most definitely a villain in the first two books of the Shatter Me series. I think everyone preferred him over *ew* Adam *ew*, but I loved him as a villain who showed no remorse. Of course his actions were explained later and he was redeemed (ugh), but at the time, reading about a villain getting the girl was everything I wanted.
6. The Seelie Queen from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
“She likes to be on the winning side of things, the Seelie Queen.”
Ok so the Seelie Queen made me bi, but that’s a story for a different time. But I loved reading her transformation from just a general nuisance to an antagonist to a full on villain in the Mortal Instruments series. She is unapologetically evil and enjoys playing with humans.
5. Lady Catherine De Bourgh from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
“Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?”
I call her the O.G. villain. Lady Catherine De Bourgh is a badass bitch who don’t want no hussy screwing with her family. In all seriousness, she’s an aristocratic matriarch and that in itself means she’s a villain. She is definitely set in her ways, but that doesn’t excuse her behaviour or treatment of Lizzie, and the way she controls members of her family. Also, she’s trying to prevent true love. Screw you, lady. But also, I love you, never change.
4. Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
This is probably a controversial inclusion, as I know Snape is a topical issue within the Harry Potter book community, but I freaking love him. Have loved him, in fact, since I read the very first book all those years ago. I fully understand the hate he gets, but, hey, I did say I love the villains. *shrugs* I’m not about to sit here and debate his ‘virtues’, or lack thereof, with Potter fans, mind. I don’t really care for his obsession with Lily Potter, or his eventual ‘redemption’. I just thought he was a bitchy teacher who made me laugh.
3. Adelina Amouteru from The Young Elites series by Marie Lu
“I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside. It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.”
Gorgeous. Amazing. Incredible. Would freaking die for her. Adelina definitely owns my heart, and is at the very, very top of my ‘book girlfriends’ list. I love everything about her and was there every step of the way with her as she went from a frightened girl to a dark, controlling queen. Give me more characters like Adelina in YA, please.
2. The Darkling/Aleksander Morozova from The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo
“Fine. Make me your villain.”
Wow, ok, so I am obsessed with the Darkling – have been since I read the very first Grisha book. I was fully shipping Alina and the Darkling, even after (perhaps even more so) we found out who he really is. It’s highly debated in the Grisha book community whether or not he actually loved her, or just wanted to use her powers, but I’m on Team Love and no one will ever change my opinion. Guys, I just want one book – one book – where the YA heroine/hero joins the villain and they rule the world together. Can’t you just give me that?! Oh, also, Aleksander is super hot (in my head, obvs).
1. Jonathan Morgenstern/Sebastian from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
“If I cannot move heaven, I will raise hell.”
No villain will ever quite compare, or live up to, my one true favourite, Jonathan Fucking Morgenstern. This psycho is a wild character, but you know what, I love him. I guess ‘love’ is a creepy way to put it – more like find him fascinating. I mean, he has done some terrible things, including genocide, falling in love with/attempting to assault his sister, killing an 11-year-old kid, etc. Wow, the more I list the crap he’s done, the more weird I sound for liking him. I can’t really explain my enjoyment of Jonathan’s character. I just like villains. *shrugs helplessly*