Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Villains I Can’t Help But Root For

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Villains (favorite, best, worst, lovable, creepiest, most evil, etc.).” I love a book with a great villain and even better, I love a book where the villain is actually the protagonist. When this happens, I sometimes find myself rooting for them. But they are so deliciously evil, who can blame me? Covers are linked to Goodreads.


1. Bellatrix Lestrange from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – Why do I have such a fascination with this character? It’s not that I was rooting for Voldemort, but I really like Bellatrix’s character, probably because she was so unapologetically bad.

2. Lada from And I Darken series by Kiersten White – I’ve only read the first book, but based on it and the little I know of Vlad the Impaler, whom Lada is based upon, I would consider her a villain. And yet, I kind of respect her mercilessness and would actually like to see more female characters valued for things other than their softness.

3. Xifeng from Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao – I need more villain origin stories like this one where it’s so well done that by the end you forget to root for the good guys.

4. Jude from The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – This might be a weird choice, but I’m considering Jude to be the villain in The Cruel Prince because it takes place in a fairy world without the real world being a place the protagonist wishes to return to. Her goal is to earn a place in this otherworld despite being mortal which means screwing over a lot of fairies in the process and being a villain to them. Gosh, I love the concept behind this story so much.

5. Dane Twins from A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Scwab – This is particularly aimed at Astrid Dane, but you can include Athos Dane as well. You ever come across a villain that is so evil and enjoys being evil that you accidentally kind of want to be on their side?

6. Adelina from The Young Elites by Marie Lu – I wasn’t completely satisfied with the conclusion of this series, but I loved seeing Adelina’s fall from grace and felt that the injustices done to her kind of justified that fall.

7. Kit from Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell – We’re not supposed to root for serial killers, right? It’s been a while since I read this one and I’m a little fuzzy on the details, but I remember when Kit was under suspicion for being a serial killer, how badly I wanted her to get away with it.

8. Frankenstein’s Monster from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – I’ve read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein several times and have called both Frankenstein and the monster villains. Maybe there is no right way to look at this novel, but the consensus in popular culture is that we should fear the creature rather than the creator. I am of the opinion that anyone who digs up graves, steals body parts, and them mashes together in order to prove he can be God himself is far more dangerous than an existential crisis.

9. Maram from Mirage by Somaiya Daud – At first I was nowhere near a fan of Maram because of how she treats the protagonist Amani, but like Amani, Maram kind of grew on me and I’m still hoping for a redemption arc for her.

10. The Grinch from How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss – My final pick is the Grinch, based on the story from the movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I have very strong feelings about this movie. The Whos hated the Grinch because he was different, bullied him out of school, and then judged him for not loving a holiday that brought back all those terrible memories for him. With the exception of Cindy Lou, they all deserved for their Christmas to be ruined.

Which villains have you accidentally rooted for? Do you love any of these bad guys like I do? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

68 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Villains I Can’t Help But Root For

  1. Loved this list! I rooted for Killmonger in Black panther ! Thoroughly Enjoyed your blog. I just started WP and I blog about my life as a med student in NYC as well as general life tips for millennials so this was a treat to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jude is very interesting to me for that very reason. I haven’t read it yet but it seems SO morally gray, I’m chomping at the bit to read it.

    Forest of a Thousand Lanterns just sounds really awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Adelina made my list this week too. I felt that the ending of the series was slightly… incomplete… which is why I’ve been writing a fanfic to continue the series, written from Magiano’s point of view. I’m about 2/3 done, but hope to finish it sometime next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. For morally gray type of villains, I’d go with Holland in the Shades of Magic series. Also, Victor Vale in Vicious by Schwab. She has some great villainous type of characters that you just want to help! LOL

    And I’m with you on the Grinch. That poor guy!


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Adelina made my list too. I love her (though I haven’t read the conclusion yet.). And the Grinch 😆 Of course he should be on a list.

    Here is our TTT.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You’re comment about Lada from And I Darken being based on Vlad the Impaler has now convinced me to put that book on top of my TBR list. For real. Thanks! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I would have to vote for the father from the novel Cruddy by Lynda Barry. If we’re including movies, I would pick Ursula from The Little Mermaid. I’m also rooting for Maxim in the novel Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

    Liked by 1 person

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