Thankful for books, and the villians, who is your favorite?

Grendel, Grendels mother, Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula, Sauron, Saruman, Khan, Medea,Voldemort, Professor Umbridge, Hannibal Lector, Lord Foul, The White Witch (Jadis),  and, well,  I could go on and on listing all of the good villains and monsters in literature that are the linchpin behind the actions of the stories.

Lets hear it for them!

They are either the driving reason for the plot line, or they are taking advantage of the protagonists issues making things worse. But, done correctly, a good villain can be more entertaining than the protagonist. In a strait across good against evil story, often the bad guy is the more fun and interesting character to read about. Take Gandalf, an excellent good guy. He is smart and wise, powerful and someone who is exactly who you want on your side. Compared to Saruman, however, maybe not as interesting. Don’t get me wrong, Gandalf, for me, is one of the greatest hero’s in literature, but Saruman, a traitor who came from the same place as Gandalf? How did that happen? There is a mystery surrounding him that makes one wonder. You don’t wonder about Gandalf’s character.

Or Beowulf, the archetypical hero. Strong arrogant, quite literally set the bar for fantasy heroes. Yet Grendel, and Grendel’s mother? Don’t you wonder about them more? We all have favorite villains who titillate us, frustrate us, or scare us, and isn’t that the reason we keep reading?

Who are you favorite villains in your favorite books and why? Are they more interesting than the main character?

Thoughts?

Promotional photo of Boris Karloff from The Br...

Promotional photo of Boris Karloff from The Bride of Frankenstein as Frankenstein’s monster. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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