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Top Ten Fantasy Villains

Lord Voldemort, the Beast or Smaug, perhaps? Who is your favourite bad guy? Here’s my list of the top ten fantasy villains of all time.
Steve Dean on Top Villains
Steve Dean on Top Villains

Hello! Below is my list of the top ten fantasy villains of all time. I suppose it should be the bottom ten really, as these are the baddies, but I’m sure you know what I mean. No one here has anything to be proud of, they’re definitely all on Santa’s naughty list.

10. Jareth

Steve Dean on Top Villains. Jareth the Goblin King
Jareth The Goblin King. Image: Alice Ravenna

Jareth the Goblin King from the Labyrinth is played by the late David Bowie. How he got to be king of the goblins isn’t explained, he’s not even a goblin. Maybe there weren’t any other applicants, or maybe he bribed the selection committee. If anyone knows the truth, let us know. He’s not massively evil but has such style we had to include him. Ok, kidnapping babies is pretty bad, and breaking into song halfway through a scene is a crime in my book. 

9. Sauron

Sauron. Image: Collectivebay

As a bad guy, Sauron is pretty good. Enslaving people with rings, building huge armies of blood-thirsty creatures, making poor oliphaunts fight for him. But personality-wise, he’s a bit two-dimensional. Ok, I get the whole big fiery eye thing, looking down on his slaves and being intimidating. But really, other than the mass slaughter, slavery and animal cruelty, there’s not much to him, so he gets relegated to number 9 in our list.

8. The White Witch

Steve Dean on Top Villains. White Witch
White Witch

From the Chronicles of Narnia, the White Witch, first name Jadis, surname unknown, is an Ice Queen in word and deed. Not only does she cover the land in deep snow, (Where does all the food come from, I ask, but this is fantasy, so they probably import it through the back of a wardrobe) she bans snowboarding and cancels Christmas for a hundred years. (Poor retailers and turkey farmers!) She also kills Aslan the out of place lion and murdered her own sister. Personally, if I had the power I’d make it summer all year round and Christmas every month, but each to their own

7. Thulsa Doom

Steve Dean on Top Villains. Thulsa Doom
Thulsa Doom. Image: Rafael Danesin

This guy is here mainly for comedy value. Sorry, Mr Jones but you’re completely miscast as a baddy in the original Conan The Librarian. Nice voice, of course, but otherwise he looks like a geek. Ok, he does the old hypnotism thing and turns into a snake, and cuts Conan’s mother’s head off, proving he’s very bad but in an amusing way. And I suppose with that name his fate was sealed from birth. Unless he changed it, maybe he was originally called Florian Ecklesworthy but wanted something a bit more edgy. 

6. The Beast

Steve Dean on Top Villains. The Beast
The Beast

From the film Krull, the Beast sets himself up as the baddy right from the start, sending in his imaginatively-titled Slayers to crash a wedding, kill the bride and groom’s fathers and kidnap the bride, depriving them of their wedding day, and more importantly, their wedding night. The groom doesn’t take this lightly of course, as he was really looking forward to it, and sets out on a quest to rescue his intended. The Beast, a really ugly bloke who deserves his title, lives in a flying mountain, which is cool and has these robotic Slayers, which is even cooler. 

5. Lord Voldemort

Steve Dean on Top Villains. Lord Voldemort
Lord Voldemort. Image: Ryan Blake

Don’t say this out loud, obviously, you don’t want this nose-less freak turning up in your bathroom. He is, of course, from the Harry Potter series, the main baddy, thwarted at every turn by a child, his two friends, and an interfering teacher, but not before wreaking havoc and killing several people along the way. Much like Sauron, he came back from almost nothing, pulled himself up by his bootstraps to return to being chief bad guy. But Voldemort had a pet snake, good choice on his part. 

4. Queen Bavmorda

Steve Dean on Top Villains. Queen Bavmorda
Queen Bavmorda

The baddy from Willow, Queen Bavmorda orders the death of every child in the known world to prevent a prophecy about her death. Yes, I know messing with prophecies always makes them come true, but this baby-killing, soldiers-into-pigs sorceress just has a great time of it all. She laughs in almost every scene, often for no reason at all. It’s nice to see someone enjoying their work, and I do like a woman with a good sense of humour. 

3. Dagda Mor

Steve Dean on Top Villains. Dagda Mor
Dagda Mor. Image: Deviant Art

Elven druid gone bad, Dagda Mor (sometimes The Dagda Mor, not sure if it’s a name or a title) is the chief villain in the Shannara Chronicles, played on screen by that adaptable actor Jed Brophy, who is once again buried under prosthetics. So he made a few bad life-choices, hooked up with the wrong crowd, and now the Ellcrys is dying he wants to break out of the Forbidding and kill all the Elves. (We’re talking about Dagda Mor here, not Jed Brophy, not sure what his plans are.) 

2. Joffrey Baratheon

Steve Dean on Top Villains. Joffrey Baratheon
Joffrey Baratheon

Joffrey Baratheon of A Song of Ice and Fire, or Game of Thrones if you prefer, is, unsurprisingly, quite bonkers. He’s supposed to be the son of King Robert Baratheon, and so ascends the throne when the king dies in a “hunting accident.” He’s actually the son of Cersei Lannister and her brother Jamie. While having only one set of grandparents saves him a fortune in birthday presents, it hasn’t done his mental health any good. He’s a king surrounded by thugs and sycophants, it has to end badly.

1. Smaug

Steve Dean on Top Villains. Smaug
Smaug. Image: Even Amundsen

Despite his really non-epic name, and my personal love of all things dragony, I feel we had to give the number one slot to the dragon from The Hobbit. He’s one of the largest baddies most heroes encounter, and what could be more classic fantasy than a fire-breathing dragon? His list of crimes is short but serious. He destroys a town and kills a lot of people, goes to sleep on some gold, (not sure about the legal situation here) wakes up, then destroys another town and kills more people. (In his defence, he was provoked.) And he hints that he’s siding with the necromancer in the coming war, which would probably have assured victory. Might have been better to leave him asleep. (I’m looking at you Gandalf.). 

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