Today, though, I want to take a look back at the three most successful, effective and memorable villains, at least in my opinion. These are the characters I want to personally keep in mind when I do, in the future, try to write truly despicable characters, or at least more really evil antagonists. So without further ado, here they are. My top three favorite and most memorable villains.
1. Benjamin Linus: Yep, we're back to Ben Linus. You know me, I have to bring him up every once in a while or I start doubting myself. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Benjamin Linus is one of the most well-written and intriguing characters on television, and while the writing itself was quite brilliant, a lot of the credit goes to the paralyzingly genius Michael Emerson. You fellow Losties know what I mean. "So yes, I lied. That's what I do." You heard that in his voice, didn't you? For me, Ben Linus is in that same Incredibly Sympathetic and Heartbreaking category as Snape, but I'm adding him on this list because I know plenty of people who find him truly and thoroughly villainous. And while I think on Lost there were more true "villains" than him, none of them held a candle to the complexity and awesomeness that was Ben...er, Doctor Benjamin Linus.
2. Moriarty: How amazing is this character? I mean, the character of Sherlock Holmes needed a villain that could match him, and he got that in Moriarty. The version I'm really thinking of is, of course, the aching and slightly mad version played by the incredible Andrew Scott. I love me some quirk, and Scott's Moriarty has that in insane spades. Sherlock: "People have died." Moriarty: "That's what people DO!" Again, it's that genius voice and line delivery. Maybe it's the voice that truly makes the villain. It gets stuck in your head. "I'm *so* changeable!"
3. Wild Bill Wharton: Ok. When I think of truly despicable, awful, truly evil and completely unsympathetically villainous characters, this is the face that comes to my mind. (Either him or Bob Ewell from To Kill a Mockingbird.) In the book he is just as completely evil, but really I think, again, some of the credit is due to the chillingly fabulous and insanely underrated Sam Rockwell. (You've all seen The Way, Way Back, right? Right??) Seriously. Amazing. Pair that genius acting with a character by Stephen King and you've got a match made in...well, Hell. Percy Whetmore, also from The Green Mile, could also deserve a place on a truly despicable villains list like this. Thank you, Stephen King.
These are the first characters that come to my mind when I think genius villain. Mad villain props also have to be given to Dolores Umbridge, more despicable even than Voldemort in my opinion, Darth Vader, and of course, Heath Ledger's Joker. So yeah, I don't do well at villains, but as I try and teach myself, these are the evil masterminds I will try to learn from.
Who are your favorite/most successful/most memorable villains?