I’ll be honest: sometimes I want the villains to win rather than the rallying humans in fiction. I watch movies like Independence Day and think “You know what, we’d probably be better off with aliens ruling us.” When I think of villains that I enjoy reading about, I think about people who have complicated pasts but own up to their mistakes. And are maybe a little swoon worthy as well.
I think the best villains are ones that we see a little bit of ourselves in and can relate to them on some level. We realize that maybe if we had the same power and opportunities as them, we also would be evil. Supervillains and superheroes are opposite sides of the same coins.
So here are my top 5 (well six but shhhh) favourite villains…
The Gossip Girl Website from Gossip Girl Series
You know what I love about Gossip Girl? Pretty much everything. But what the website does is allow others to prey on and tear each other down. Sure you could say that each of the characters individually is a villain in their own respect — they have all done a lot of effed up things, but the mastermind behind all of it is the website. Yes, someone is running it and someone came up with the idea of it and there are people who fuel it and continue to send in hateful things about others just so they can climb up the social hierarchy, but the website has a life of it’s own and it serves one purpose: to ensure no one stays Queen Bee for too long.
Light Yagami from Death Note
I don’t really know how to explain this one because no matter what I say is going to sound messed up on my part. Light is bored and smart and decides he is going to kill people and I read this and thought “lol #same.” I gotta say if a notebook like this actually fell into my hands, I might do the same thing. So, you know, there’s that. Also the cunning and cleverness that Light has and shows throughout the series is top notch. I’m 100% here for it.
Nimona from Nimona
I love Nimona. But she’s kind of a terrible person. And I’m 100% okay with this but I’m just throwing it out there that she is a terrible person. She definitely goes above and beyond what the “villain” of this story believes is right and even above and beyond what the actual villain believes is right. And she’s awesome for it.
Kissin’ Kate Barlow from Holes
Literal queen. She has a great backstory filled with tragedy and used it to rob men. Role model. She lived in a time where women either got married or got old alone and after the love of her life was taken from her, she found a way to make a name for herself and look hot while doing it. HERE FOR THIS.
Victor Vale and Eli Ever from Vicious
Eli and Victor were both masterfully crafted by Schwab. Eli is the kind of character that you can understand his motives and sympathize with him but still be scared shitless of. He has such a black and white way of seeing things — except when it is in relation to himself, which makes it 100 times scarier. And yet you still feel for him because you too see that ~something is missing from both him and Victor, so you understand where he is coming from. I just couldn’t get behind what he does to … rectify this in the story. And I mean, if I did, we should probably get me some help.
At the same time, Victor was just as relatable and messed up as Eli for a completely different reason. His reasons for wanting to become an EO were so disconnected from reality and yet it seemed like he became almost more of himself after he turned.
It was a nice change of pace that both Eli and Victor were the hero and the villain because, as it is mentioned in the book, sometimes we are the hero of our story but the villain in someone else’s.
I’d like to give a big thanks to Jamie for guest posting on the Vault and thank everyone else for reading! Give Jamie a follow if you haven’t, you will not regret it! 🐱