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Who is the most villainous villain in all of fiction?

Open field here: movies, comics, tv, books, plays, or your favorite fan fiction - what villain holds the title of Most Villainous, according to you, and what makes them so evil?

5 years ago by a7h13f with 28 comments

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  • spaceghoti
    +14

    I think Professor James Moriarty still holds the title of the Most Villainous, a criminal mind at the head of a criminal empire capable of challenging the likes of even Sherlock Holmes himself.

  • spacepopper
    +12

    The Joker, he just wants to see the world burn.

    • Triseult
      +8

      That's my pick as well. The Joker as depicted in The Dark Knight is so downright villainous that he comes across as a malignant force of nature, like something out of a Greek tragedy. He has no redeeming qualities, no personal stake... He's just driven to chaos and destruction without any hint of a reason for doing it. He just is.

      Yet at the same time we understand his drive perfectly. He's a very clear and consistent character. A true villain, and not a hint of a tragic figure.

      • ClassyCritic
        +5

        Heath Ledger's performance in that movie is absolutely incredible. The best I've seen from an actor at least.

    • Qukatt
      +8

      I like the theory that he's actually the hero because he does more to get shit done than Batman ever did (regarding the gritty movie franchise part anyways)

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  • SevenTales
    +6

    Kefka, from Final Fantasy 6. Why you ask? The guy is a complete psychopath that values nothing, and decides to destroy the link in existence for the heck of it. There is no deeper meaning here. The guy is completely broken, beyond any redemption chance, and just wants to destroy everything. And he succeeds, remaking the whole of the world to his twisted image.

    • OnlySlightly
      +3

      I've always had issues with these kinds of villains. Making a villain that's bad just to be bad seems too easy to me. My favorite villains are the ones who are good people who came to do bad things due to circumstance, or to protect someone that they love enough to be willing to sacrifice others for. The kind of villains that you could see yourself becoming are the scariest ones.

  • a7h13f (edited 5 years ago)
    +6

    It's a tough one for me, as most of the antagonists I enjoy aren't truly evil, they've just lost sight of everything but their goals. I think I have to pick Grand Moff Tarkin from Star Wars. He destroyed an entire planet with a population of around 8 billion (I googled the numbers, not sure how accurate they are) for no good reason at all.

    • spaceghoti
      +4

      I thought Tarkin explained his reason perfectly well:

      Princess Leia Organa: No! Alderaan is peaceful! We have no weapons, you can't possibly...
      Governor Tarkin: [impatiently] You would prefer another target, a military target? Then name the system! I grow tired of asking this so it will be the last time: Where is the rebel base?
      Princess Leia Organa: ...Dantooine. They're on Dantooine.
      Governor Tarkin: There. You see, Lord Vader, she can be reasonable. Continue with the operation; you may fire when ready.
      Princess Leia Organa: WHAT?
      Governor Tarkin: You're far too trusting. Dantooine is too remote to make an effective demonstration - but don't worry; we will deal with your rebel friends soon enough.

      Granted, I think he was a little too one-dimensional in his portrayal here, but then again this is George Lucas writing here. With the exception of Darth Vader and Boba Fett most of the villains are one-dimensional, serving only to twirl their thin mustaches and give a hearty "muahahahahahaha!" on queue. Most of his heroes are likewise one-dimensional, but opposite.

      • a7h13f
        +4

        I do dislike the one-dimension characters he creates, even though I love the world. That was one of my largest problems with the prequels, so much wasted potential. Emperor Palpatine could have been a man of action who took control of the senate because it was a failing political institution. Anakin could have been anything but a perpetually whiny teenager. So much opportunity to add dimension to those characters and explore their motivations.

        Instead, we get weird aliens fighting robots.

  • TwoADay
    +5

    Khan is a walking, talking villain archetype. He had all the right traits and the right methods, and he made all of the right mistakes.

  • idlethreat
    +4

    Wished I could find the correct quote for it, but I'll give you the quick-and-easy version of it:

    There is no greater evil than a calm, sober man doing what he thinks is right

    So, the most evil person wouldn't really be the gloating king on his throne, nor the criminal mastermind plotting in the shadows. It's the simple man who picks a path that seems correct, and places all of his time and energy into seeing it happen.

    Khan from the Star Trek franchise would make such a "good man". In TOS, his goal was to see his people to a safe planet. He wasn't looking to destroy the universe, he wanted a better place for his people. Walter White from Breaking Bad also fits into this role nicely. His original goal was to provide for his family in case of his untimely demise. His goals shift quite a bit in the series, but his original ideas were pure.

  • voicesinmyhead
    +3

    I'm sure it's a predictable answer in this topic, but Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones. Total villain, absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Some would say it's all from how he was raised so he's not entirely to blame, but the depths of hate in his personality went way beyond that of any other Lannister.

    ...which is why it was so surprising to learn that Jack Gleeson (the actor) is widely regarded as one of the nicest, most humble, down-to-earth people you'd likely ever meet. :)

    • asipper
      +4

      I hated him in the books but Jack Gleeson was so good at being a villian I hated him [Joffrey] 20x more in the show than the books

      • Harold
        +3

        I hated him so much I started to love him.

    • cailihphiliac (edited 5 years ago)
      +2

      I don't think he counts as a villain. He's a spoiled, inbred, mentally retarded (medically, not colloquially) child.

  • pixelboot
    +1

    Ambrose from The King Killer Chronicles.