Updated: Dec 9, 2021
Villains are essential in literature, most importantly because of their ability to make stories happen. In the journals of literary history, there have been some downright reprobates. To have a hero, you need to have a villain. We've selected a few of the worst - or best. The way their motives are layered is like a masterpiece but they surely go about things in the wrong way. These wicked characters are confined to pages, that we are thankful for. These are the greatest villains in literature. The meter of their evilness is too subjective to be quantified!
1) Lord Voldemort - The Harry Potter Series
Lord Voldemort is a sobriquet for Tom Marvolo Riddle. Nearly every witch and wizard dares not utter his name and refers to him as "He Who Must Not Be Named". His obsession with blood purity signifies his aim to rid the wizarding world of Muggle (non-magical) heritage and to conquer both worlds.
2) The White Witch - The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
Jadis commonly referred to as the White Witch is a natural-born sorceress and a cunning strategist, Jadis is arrogant and cruel, considering herself above all rules and viewing others as tools to be used or obstacles to be demolished. Her most feared weapon is her wand, whose magic is capable of turning people into stone. The petrified remains of her enemies decorate the halls of her castle.
3) Lady Tremaine - Cinderella
As the cold-hearted stepmother of the title character, Lady Tremaine doesn't harm her stepdaughter physically. Rather, she seeks to punish and abuse her psychologically, motivated by her jealousy of Cinderella being far more beautiful and graceful than her own awkward daughters.
4) Dolores Umbridge - The Harry Potter Series
The primary antagonist of the fifth novel Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. She was stationed at Hogwarts by the Ministry of Magic to take power away from Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore. Umbridge used her position of power to use her hatred for half-breeds to pass new laws, such as the Anti-Werewolf Legislation.
5) Professor Moriarty - Sherlock Holmes
Moriarty is introduced as a criminal mastermind who protects nearly all of the criminals of England in exchange for their obedience and a share in their profits. Holmes, by his own account, was initially led to Moriarty by his perception that many of the crimes he investigated were not isolated incidents, but instead the machinations of a vast and subtle criminal organization.
6) Shere Khan - The Jungle Book
Shere Khan is a fictional Bengal tiger and the main antagonist of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book and its adaptations. Shere Khan is arrogant and regards himself as the "rightful" lord of the jungle. The only creature who looks up to him is Tabaqui, a cowardly and despised golden jackal.
7) Lady Macbeth - Macbeth
Lady Macbeth is the secondary antagonist of Shakespeare's play Macbeth. She is the wife of Lord Macbeth of Scotland, and it is she who gives him the idea of killing the King. Because of her part in the crimes, Lady Macbeth is so remorseful that she walks in her sleep and eventually kills herself.
Which one do you believe is the greatest villain of all time? Comment below!