This week’s TTT, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, is all about villains. I found this quite tricky; not everything I read actually involves a clear villain, so I had to do some intense soul-searching (and spend a lot of time in my book room) to write this list.
Marcus and The Commandant (An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir)
Sabaa Tahir’s books feature two completely horrible villains, both of whom possess the crucial villain qualities of being totally psychotic and really enjoying it. I hate them, but I also love them.
Iago (Othello by William Shakespeare)
One of Shakespeare’s most compelling villains, Iago manages to ensure that basically everyone dies without having to do much more than make up some vicious rumours. Not just evil, but energy-efficient.
Miss Trunchbull (Matilda by Roald Dahl)
Obviously the Trunchbull is one of the worst villains; she would most certainly fail the CRB checks all teachers are obligated to undertake, and I can’t imagine what Ofsted would have to say about the Chokey.
Wickham (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)
I’ve got a bit of a weird relationship with Wickham. Obviously I don’t actually like him, but he’s undeniably an attractive sort of villain: one on whom I would inevitably develop some kind of unhealthy crush before being rejected for not having enough money to keep him in natty-buttoned jackets.
Dracula (Dracula by Bram Stoker)
Here’s an obvious one; Dracula is creepy right from the start, imprisoning Harker and doing his vampire thing to Lucy. His villainous qualities are only highlighted by the complete awesomeness of the vampire-fighting dream team which forms around Van Helsing and my homegirl, Mina.
Quilp (The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens)
I pretty much hated The Old Curiosity Shop and the presence of Daniel Quilp didn’t help. Some villains are charming or simply misunderstood, but Quilp is pervy, manipulative and physically horrible too. The thought of him still makes my skin crawl.
Chigurh (No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
What was with this dude, seriously? Like everyone in McCarthy’s books isn’t bad enough for failing to speak in proper punctuation, Chigurh also has an unpronounceable name and a disturbingly strong liking for killing people. I am not a fan. On a related note, I find McCarthy’s books completely unreadable. I can’t keep myself from buying them, but then they just taunt me, unread, from my shelves.
Astrid and Athos Dane (A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab)
These two are completely bonkers and sadistic. Again, I obviously shouldn’t like them because that probably means I need to seek psychiatric help, but I get excited every time they appear in this series because their demented antics rule.
Cathy Ames (East of Eden by John Steinbeck)
This is where my twisted sympathies emerge. Although Cathy Ames is basically Satan in a dress, she’s one of the best characters I’ve ever encountered; completely compelling and, most importantly, completely and utterly evil. She’s a monster. I love her. I don’t want to think about what that says about me.