No other character really shapes a story as much as the villain. The greatest books, movies, or shows are often the ones with the greatest villains. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the Ranting Dragon staff of reviewers and editors have their own favorite antagonists.
Here are five of our favorites, in no particular order:
|Voldemort from Harry Potter
|Maybe because the last movie just came out, or maybe because Harry Potter is the series that really turned me on to fantasy as a child, Voldemort is my favorite villain. He is appropriately wicked and makes my skin crawl, but at the same time is a fully fleshed out character with believable (if not relatable) reasons for being the way he is. The juxtaposition between Voldemort and Harry really drives home Rowling’s underlying message about destiny being a choice and the power of love.|
|Demandred from The Wheel of Time
|Though I may have to change my answer after the release of A Memory of Light, Demandred is my favorite villain from the series I have been reading since my early teens. He operates behind the scenes, proving himself to be smarter and more effective than any of the other Forsaken. The reader can never be certain what chaos he is responsible for, but we know he has made the Dark One very happy.|
|Johnnie Marcone from The Dresden Files
|A guy without morals, “Gentleman” Johnnie Marcone makes the rules but only has one of his own. At times, you want to hate his guts, but at other times, you just want to cheer him on for the utter badass he is. I mean, heck—the guy threw a knife to open an escape route while spinning suspended over a pit forty feet deep—with a werewolf coming to eat him. He is truly a morally ambiguous character, and while he is currently not necessarily classified as a villain, he is definitely an antagonist within the grand scheme of The Dresden Files.|
|The rogue dragons from A Memory of Flames
|You probably wouldn’t immediately think of rogue dragons as villains, right? But imagine a world where dragons have been enslaved by mind-dulling potions for centuries. What if those dragons accidentally escape and, realizing what humans have done, are out for revenge? Hell yeah, you’re in trouble. So if you happen to live in the world of Stephen Deas’s dragon novels, you better hide in your basement!|
|Gaius Baltar from Battlestar Galactica
|I love Villains. I always crush on the villains somehow. I don’t know why; probably because they’re always broken inside. As for a favorite… Gaius Baltar from Battlestar Galactica. Although I don’t think he’s truly evil, he’s a pure antagonist and one of the greatest. He is awesome and my favorite character on BSG (along with Six). Although, I have to say I don’t really crush on Gaius… more so on Six. I love Tricia Helfer.|
So, who is your favorite villain from the realms of speculative fiction? Let us know in the comments below, or on the forums!