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50-greatest-villains-in-literature
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Book News
 23 Jul 2011, 13:22 #124697 Reply To Post
The 50-greatest-villains-in-literature

Source: Telegraph View the complete list

48 Shere Khan from The Jungle Book stories, by Rudyard Kipling

His name and character, if not his physical appearance or his species, are based on a Pashtun prince. And there is something refreshingly simple about his aims: to eat Mowgli. To this end he sows dissent among wolf pack (enough alone to get him down to the eighth circle of Dante's hell) and causes Mowgli all sorts of trouble. TC


45 The White Witch from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis


Beautiful, proud, cruel and with an excellent line in confectionery, though since it's always winter and never Christmas, you won't get any in your selection box. At her house, all towers and statuary, she comes to an end as sticky as her Turkish delight. AMcK

44 Milo Minderbinder from Catch-22, by Joseph Heller


Milo is the squadron's mess officer, a prototypical capitalist who accepts payment from the Germans to bomb his base. He is a comic character until the last, when it turns out that he has sold the morphine in the medical kits, just when Yossarian and the kid in the back of the plane most need it. TC

22 Ernst Stavro Blofeld from the James Bond novels, by Ian Fleming

Hijacker of nuclear missiles. Deranged overseer of a Japanese Garden of Death. 007's arch nemesis is after not just money, but social advancement. He claims to be a count. Who could disagree? Top style tips: in the Alps, he wears green contact lenses, to lessen, he claims, the glare from the snow. SMcK



11 Pinkie Brown from Brighton Rock, by Graham Greene


A teetotal 17-year-old Catholic who roams Brighton with a razor blade and a bottle of vitriol, Pinkie is the prototype of every stab-happy teenage thug, although one with a very Greene-ish concern for his immortal soul. JK

View the complete list

Who would you add, and who is number one?

Judi Moore
 24 Jul 2011, 15:55 #124859 Reply To Post
Rather a lot of stock villains in the 'Graph's list for my taste. And to cite Moby Dick as a villain is (in my view anyway) rather to miss the point.

I like the 'orribly 'umble Uriah Heep for the top 50. And - if one may be permitted a couple rather than a single individual - Mr and Mrs Macbeth not only deserve each other but leave much to be desired as hosts.

Judi
PERRY
 29 Aug 2011, 09:41 #128269 Reply To Post
Quote: Book News, Saturday, 23 Jul 2011 13:22
The 50-greatest-villains-in-literature

Source: Telegraph View the complete list

48 Shere Khan from The Jungle Book stories, by Rudyard Kipling

His name and character, if not his physical appearance or his species, are based on a Pashtun prince. And there is something refreshingly simple about his aims: to eat Mowgli. To this end he sows dissent among wolf pack (enough alone to get him down to the eighth circle of Dante's hell) and causes Mowgli all sorts of trouble. TC

Dear me, no Moriarty from Conan Doyle's masterpieces, no Ringer from Wallace's, no Vetinarii from Pratchett's Discworld, and none of the delicious villains from the Belgariad, never mind Saruman and Sauron from Tolkien's Lord of The Rings? How very stultified.


45 The White Witch from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis


Beautiful, proud, cruel and with an excellent line in confectionery, though since it's always winter and never Christmas, you won't get any in your selection box. At her house, all towers and statuary, she comes to an end as sticky as her Turkish delight. AMcK

44 Milo Minderbinder from Catch-22, by Joseph Heller


Milo is the squadron's mess officer, a prototypical capitalist who accepts payment from the Germans to bomb his base. He is a comic character until the last, when it turns out that he has sold the morphine in the medical kits, just when Yossarian and the kid in the back of the plane most need it. TC

22 Ernst Stavro Blofeld from the James Bond novels, by Ian Fleming

Hijacker of nuclear missiles. Deranged overseer of a Japanese Garden of Death. 007's arch nemesis is after not just money, but social advancement. He claims to be a count. Who could disagree? Top style tips: in the Alps, he wears green contact lenses, to lessen, he claims, the glare from the snow. SMcK



11 Pinkie Brown from Brighton Rock, by Graham Greene


A teetotal 17-year-old Catholic who roams Brighton with a razor blade and a bottle of vitriol, Pinkie is the prototype of every stab-happy teenage thug, although one with a very Greene-ish concern for his immortal soul. JK

View the complete list

Who would you add, and who is number one?



PERRY
 29 Aug 2011, 09:51 #128270 Reply To Post
My apologies, I had not read the full list. I would still add Saruman from the Lord of The Rings since Sauron was more a hidden menace than a villain for the greater part of the books, Old Man Willow even having a greater impact on our heroes per se and the attraction of The Ring itself certainly.

The Gnome King from the OZ books was certainly unpleasant.
Joe 90
 30 Aug 2011, 14:10 #128394 Reply To Post
The fox twins from Rupert Bear stories.
my website
F L Burrows
 01 Sep 2011, 15:36 #128568 Reply To Post
I think there's definitely something lacking in that list.

Some of the most memorable, influential villains are those of the fairy tales collated by the Brothers Grimm.
One might call them villainous archetypes.
Who doesn't know of the witch living in the gingerbread house in Hansel and Gretel?
Evil step mothers and wicked step siblings galore.

Surely they are more obvious candidates than something from the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Then there's myths and legends.
Nothing in King Arthur makes it onto this list?
The Niebelungs?
What about the ancients? The Minotaur? The Hydra? The Medusa? The Graeae? One can go on...

If in their definition of literature it needs to be attributable, then the Iliad and the Odyssey are Homer's.
The Syrens? The Cyclops?

Now I know none of the above are Blofeld or Hannibal Lecter, which means they've never been immortalised by Anthony Hopkins or Donald Pleasence.

However, they're about as archetypical as you can possibly get.

I'm sure Freud could have written reams about the Syrens.
Then again, my not being too familiar with his work, perhaps he did....
Mostar
 02 Sep 2011, 18:58 #128716 Reply To Post
C'mon! It's got to be the Child-catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

*****

PERRY
 03 Sep 2011, 12:44 #128791 Reply To Post
Excellent choice, mostar. The Sirens weren't villains, just lonely and horny. The cyclops was just hungry and naffed off at trespasser stealing his sheep. Hannibal Lecter - Brian Cox's portrayal in Manhunter, the original version of Red Dragon, knocks Hopkins into a biscuit tin, as William Peterson's performance (later known as Gil Grissom) does to Ed Norton's flaccid portrayal. Gore will never replace substance. No offence Al!
Talking Horse
 06 Sep 2011, 20:03 #129031 Reply To Post
How is E Bronte's Heathcliffe neglected?
Or is this tall dark stranger seen as a 'victim' as he winds up wreaking havoc on his new family. The problem in devising a character like this in a story is not making him/her a caricature but a 'believable' character. This does present difficulties for the writer.

I see King Lear's Edmund is 19th, where's our Macbeth? Am not a 'Shakespere expert' but who plotted to kill the King of Scotland, our Mac wasnt it, and he's not in this top 50; is he?
LCMC
 25 Oct 2011, 17:18 #133473 Reply To Post
Norman Osborne (Green Goblin) from Spider-man - end of!
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