October Fright: Beware! Here Be Villains

AKernelOctober

October is the perfect month to showcase some of my favorite villains. Not everyone on this list is from a horror book, but my goodness, they should be. These are the villains who keep you up at night, the ones who have you checking to make sure all your windows and doors are locked, they’re also the reason you keep a bat close by while you sleep (is this only me?). If you ever met them in a dark alley, there’s a good chance you’d die of fright or at the very least, let out a whimper. So in no particular order, here are some of my favorite villains who make me shudder. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

1. Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

One of the most nefarious villains I’ve ever read. Chapter Thirteen of the Order of the Phoenix is the moment I began to hate her and not even Lord Voldemort elicits the kind of anger I see for this character within this fandom.

“I want you to write, ‘I must not tell lies,'” she told him softly.

“How many times?” Harry asked, with a creditable imitation of politeness.

“Oh, as long as it takes for the message to sink in.”

Can you say child abuse?! I will never forget her willingness to inflict that kind of pain on students. She used her authority to control those with little power, was rigid in her philosophy, and found a way to make me want her dead even more than Voldemort.

2. Mayor Prentiss from the Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

Manipulative, power-hungry, mentally-disciplined, calculating, merciless. He’s the kind of villain you do not want to go up against. In a world where the thoughts of men are heard by all, Mayor Prentiss has somehow managed to reign in his “Noise”, his thought are focused and disturbingly calm in a chaotic world.

“And when you pass by the Mayor’s House…they’re always doing these thought exercises, these counting things and imagining perfect shapes and saying orderly chants like I AM THE CIRCLE AND THE CIRCLE IS ME…it’s like he’s molding a little army into shape, like he’s preparing himself for something, like he’s forging some kind of Noise weapon.”

This man is so awful he managed to take a character I hated in the first book and turn him into a sympathetic one in the second. Anytime he’d even speak to the protagonist Todd, I was screaming at him to stay away from my precious boy.

3. Billy Dent from the Jasper Dent trilogy by Barry Lyga

Of all the books about serial killers that I’ve read (is it weird that it’s a pretty good number?), Billy Dent is the one who makes my skin crawl the most. I think a part of the reason is that the protagonist Jasper, having been raised by Billy and brought up to become his successor, has been so brainwashed over the years that his inner voice often takes on Billy’s form and it’s just like having a serial killer whisper in your ear. Eww.

“I’m not afraid of you.”
“Course not. You’re not smart enough to be afraid of me.”

There’s also another character who gives me the creeps in this trilogy who might have made the list as well, but I can’t say who because of spoilers. Excerpt taken from Blood of My Blood, the final book in the trilogy.

4. Annie Wilkes from Misery by Stephen King

I’ve only read two Stephen King books; even so, I’m pretty sure Annie is one of the most terrifying characters he’s ever written. If you’ve ever seen the movie, you know she’s pretty crazy, but in the book she’s even more ruthless and insane.

“I thought you were good, but you are not good. You are just a lying old dirty birdie.”

If you ever think you’re a little too enthusiastic about a book series, just read this one, it will make you feel better about your obsession. And if you could see yourself caring just as much as Annie, please seek help.

5. Queen Levana from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

If you haven’t read Fairest, but are a fan of the Lunar Chronicles, I highly recommend you pick it up. It gives great insights into just what kind of villain Queen Levana is and I got to say, I shudder.

“Levana had not seen the bodies, but she had seen the bedrooms the next morning, and her first thought was that all that blood would make for a very pretty rouge on her lips.”

There were times while I was reading Fairest that I almost felt sorry for Levana, but this woman is so effortlessly evil, I’m not sure redemption is even possible for her.

6. Zombies in Benny Imura series by Jonathan Maberry

Zombies are just one of my favorite villains overall, but the ones in the Benny Imura series freak me out, specifically this kind.

“As he pivoted, he saw the zom scramble to stop at the top of the slope and wheel around. The sword had cut completely through the right side of its chest, from front to back. Muscle and bone were destroyed, and the monster’s right arm sagged down. It did not even pause. There was no reaction to damage; there was no pain.

It growled and came charging again, and Benny tried the same trick, aiming lower this time, trying to catch the leg.

The creature dodged out to the way.

Dodged.”

I’m sorry, but the undead, (you know, human beings who have died and are now mindless creatures with an insatiable hunger for brains) should not under any circumstance learn to dodge. Excerpt taken from Flesh & Bone, the third book in the series.

What do you think? Would you run the other way if you met any of these villains in a dark alley? Who are some literary villains who give you the creeps? Share your thoughts in comments!

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9 thoughts on “October Fright: Beware! Here Be Villains

  1. Ohhh…Queen Levana is a very good one! Marissa Meyer did such a great job of making her into a villain, yet somehow, I couldn’t help empathizing with her vulnerability. My favorite villain is Szeth, the Assassin in White, a killer who weeps as he takes his victim’s life in The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive Series 1).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Queen Levana is vile! She’s so sneaky and insidious and reading her book almost made it worse. you think you can sympathize at first but nope. She’s a sociopath.

    And Umbridge is the WORST. Arguably the worst villain in HP besides Voldemort. Maybe even worse than Voldemort. She makes my blood boil. Fun post!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: October Fright: The Grueseome Recap | A Kernel of Nonsense

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