T Nation

Best and Worst Villains in Fiction

Just a place to banter about some of the best written and most clever villains, and the supremely dumb ones. Fiction can include books/film/TV/music/games etc…

Not interested in ranking them, just BSing. I know some of you guys are more into comics than I am, so I thought it would be fun.

Well written villain: Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men. Guy is unapolagetec, unstoppable and does everything right. A good blend of malicious intent and competence. He shoots his boss for double booking the job FFS.

Poorly Written Villain: Voldemort. What a moron this guy is. If he leaves one hapless child alone, he gets world domination. Have one of your henchmen kill Harry with a rock, or stab him in his sleep. Why the focus on killing Harry with his own wand and that one exact spell.

Honorable mention: Harry and Marv from the Home Alone series.


Clay from Sons of Anarchy. Character and actor were charming and cool. And two faced and duplicitous. I liked and hated him. For me, he totally made the whole show. Watching this villian made me want to see more stuff with this actor.

Ramsey Snow/Bolton from Game of Thrones. I hate this dude! Not really a great or well developed character, and I don’t really care much about the actor who played him. But I was so, so excited and thrilled to see him defeated. I felt like I personally won the fight.


Cool thread idea! Some of my favourites:

Gary oldman in Leon

Alan Rickman in Robin Hood

The T1000



Hero(?): I’m gonna go with James Spader as James Spader in Boston Legal and The Blacklist.

Villian: Max Cady in Cape Fear


He was cool as Ultron too. Pretty much rescued that movie


Kefka from Final Fantasy VI

Video game villains tend to be pretty awful and one dimensional. Kefka was mind blowing in '94. Zero motivations outside of nihilism and misanthropy, and a demonstration of the exact consequences of trading humanity for power.

I’m also upset that @Yogi1 picked out Gary Oldman from Leon, so I’ll throw in Joe Pesci in Casino.

EDIT: Oh yeah, Larry from Burn Notice as well for best villains. Greatly enjoyed his character. Completely off the rails, broke all the rules, lived in chaos, reveled in being a monster. Loved when he stabbed the one dude that prided himself on always being a step ahead of the other players.


He’s the fucking Lizard King lol.


Moriarty from BBC’s Sherlock comes to mind.

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My favorite villain is the Joker in Dark Knight. Brilliant performance.
Some other good villains-
Bill Lumbergh (The Office)
Lord Farquaad (Shreck)- Best meme villain.
T 800 Series Terminator - who doesnt love Arnold.
Loki (Thor-The Dark World)
General Zod (Man of Steel)

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Best Villain = Johnny Ringo (Tombstone)
Worst Villain = Bolo Yeung (Bloodsport)
Honorable mention goes to Darth Vader

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I forgot Dolph in Rocky IV

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“You smell that Bill? Smells like someone died.”


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Best villain: John Kreese of Cobra Kai dojos.

This dude will drop kick your grandma, sweep your aunt’s knees, and sucker punch your sister. Luckily, Danny LaRusso and his small-statured mentor from Okinawa were not afraid of his blunt threats and crass violence, defeating him and his team of violent disciples fair and square.




Edit: Crikey, size of that bastard


Gary Oldman in Leon is a top answer, he was also great in Bram Stokers Dracula
Joker (Heath Ledger)
Hannibal Lecter
Tommy DeVito ( Goodfellas )

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(edit)-Who doesn’t want a super-weapon attached to their groin?

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Adrien Veidt from Watchmen comes to mind, though I think that the comedian is the most interesting character in the book

Baron Harkonnen in Dune, interesting to me to see a villain who is politically savvy, who truly respects his enemy.

Long John Silver from Treasure Island has always been a favorite, but that is perhaps mainly because I always wanted to be a pirate as a child.

and then of course



Was just about to type Jack Nickelson in a Few Good Men.

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Randall Flagg, aka The Man in Black, aka a few other names. He’s insidious. King is my absolute favourite author, (like, I went to Maine and toured Bangor like a fangirl), and I love how Flagg is just…everywhere. And he’s so charming, and dirty, and sneaky, he’s like the personification of all that’s wrong with humanity.


Flagg is King’s personal demons manifested in his writing … it’s why he’s in a chunk of his works. Good call btw.