“What would the world be like without Captain James Hook?” Villains I Can’t Live Without

I wasn’t actually planning on making this post… Somehow though, I couldn’t let my thoughts rest after talking about why villains are the greatest and I started mulling over which crooks are the very best at being bad guys…

AKA what villains could I not live without? Well, I’m here to tell you which baddies are some of my faves:

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Captain Hook– there’s a very obvious reason why I named Hook in the title of this post- he’s probably one of the best villains of all time! (not just because I love the movie Hook) As a man who grew into a tyrant, he is the perfect foil for someone who doesn’t want to grow up at all. There is no better symbol of what a person can become if they let their worst impulses get the better of them. Indeed, what would the world be like without Captain James Hook?!

richard iii

Richard III– I’m mostly trying to avoid putting anti-heroes on this list, because then I really could go on forever. Still, out of all Shakespeare’s villains, this is the one I find most compelling. I especially wanted to mention him, because I was reading the most incredibly thoughtful post a couple of days ago from Cameron @Here Be Wyverns (seriously recommend checking it out), where he described how you can’t make someone less villainous with a backstory and, well, I thought that’s it exactly. Characters like Richard III are a great example of this- they’re the sort where you see where they’re coming from and yet it’s impossible to excuse their actions. Plus I had to include dear old Richard; he’d have got the hump if I didn’t 😉

Joffrey_Season_4_Episode_2_TLATR

Joffrey Baratheon– GRRM has created some of my all-time favourite villains- yet I don’t think there’s any that I loathed more than Joffrey! (and that’s saying, especially since Ramsay Bolton was in the running!) One of the reasons he’s my pick is not only because he’s one of the first big bads in the story, he also somehow managed to get a lot of the action rolling by being such a vicious idiot. Also, as Drew pointed out in my why I love villains list, he’s a very notable villain- this one’s for you Drew 😉 I don’t think I can formulate the words “I love Joffrey as a villain” though- he’s not even remotely lovable.

eastofeden

Cathy Ames– aside from how much I love her introduction, she’s one of the most spiteful, vicious characters in literature. I love to loathe her.

 

 

 

armadale

Lydia Gwilt– it’s fairly simple why Armadale is one of my favourite classics: it has one of my favourite villains. I adore this femme fatale- she’s not one to be underestimated.

 

 

mrs danvers

Mrs Danvers– MRS DANVERS IS EVIL. That is all. (Seriously, I’ve hated this woman since I was 10)

 

 

thewitchesThe Grand High Witch– I always get the heebie jeebies whenever I think about the Witches- those long nails, bald heads and basically the fact that she’s pure evil made me terrified of her- arghh- like I said I don’t like to think of her!

 

doomspellDragwena– it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since I read this trilogy, I will always be terrified of the witch characters in Doomspell. With extra sets of teeth and a snake wrapped around her neck, there’s something endlessly ominous about her.

 

 

MissPeregrineCover (1).jpgHollowgast– that name is pretty genius, embodying a period of time and sense of dread, and subsequently demonstrating some of the inventiveness that made this series so powerful for me. I don’t always find myself fearing generic monsters in books, however, there’s something so unsettling about the creatures in Peculiar Children.

i see you sauron

Sauron– a lot of people would perhaps argue that Sauron is more of a force of evil and so not the best villain. However, not only is he creepilicious as a dark force overshadowing Middle Earth, having read the Silmarillion now, I can see how fully fleshed out he is, well, minus the actual body 😉

dolores umbridgeDolores Umbridge– more sinister than Voldemort, more unsettling than the Dementors, Umbridge definitely takes the biscuit for being my most hated Rowling villain. There are no words to describe how much I loathe this woman.

 

smaug 4Smaug!!! I was desperately trying not to include two Tolkien villains- but I can’t help it! I pretty much love all of Tolkien’s baddies, nonetheless, Smaug takes all the gold medals for being my favourite fictional dragon.

 

And finally some “you know who” villains ie ones that would be spoilery to name:

illuminae

gone-girl-PB

shades children

So what do you think with my list? Agree or disagree with any of them? And who are some of your favourite villains? Let me know in the comments!

82 thoughts on ““What would the world be like without Captain James Hook?” Villains I Can’t Live Without

  1. Joffrey was the worst! Almost too evil. Can someone really be that evil? That’s a dumb question I suppose, it’s clearly possible. Great character who makes me feel very angry just thinking about him!

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      1. That’s so true. Poor kid who played Joffrey, I’ll never buy him as some sweet boy in a movie or show no matter how well he acts. I’ll always be expecting him to impale someone.

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  2. I don’t know many of these I’m afraid but totally agree on the ones I do know. Joffrey is possibly one of the most evil and twisted villains but then GoT seems to have a lot of great villains.

    I’m a little on the fence about Captain Hook. I’m not sure I’ve ever read the original but a lot of recent retellings have flipped things around and actually had him as the good guy and Peter as the villain. I have always found Peter a bit creepy though.

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    1. Ah thank you!! He really is!! it really does!

      Oh yes, they’ve done that a lot- but I’m like you, I find Peter Pan a bit creepy and dark too (maybe I’m a bit biased from my reread a few years ago though, cos it was much darker than I remembered) but hook will always be a bit creepy for me as well.

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  3. Oh yeah… have to agree with Joffrey. He was just terrible. I think mostly because he was aware of what he was doing where in comparison to like Ramsay, who just seemed not right in the head anyway, Joffrey takes the cake.

    I know this is a movie villian here but I have to say Clyde Shelton (played by Gerard Butler) in Law Abiding Citizen is one of the most cunning villians I’ve seen in a movie as well. If you haven’t seen that movie, you should. He’s excellent.

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    1. Yeah he really was- and yes, Ramsay is more of a generic psychopath, but Joffrey, like you said is more aware of what he’s doing and that’s more terrifying to me.

      Oh I don’t know who that is… just looked up the trailer and *wow*. I have to watch that!!

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      1. He’s like a modern day Joffrey. The dialogue he spouts and the way his mind works, oh man you won’t be disappointed.plus Gerard Butler is nice to look at even though he’s evil in this film haha

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      1. Me too, I even met her perfect look-alike and even though the girl is really nice and kind, I can’t help myself, I always stare and I’m a bit afraid of her haha 😀 Yeah, he’s one of my favorites in any form and adaptation! (except that last one we won’t mention)

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  4. This is an awesome list! The Grand High Witch is one of my favorite villains too, I remember finding her so scary as a child and that hasn’t changed. I haven’t read Doomspell, but now I really want to. I just love reading about creepy witches… And the villain in Illuminae was the best part of the book for me!

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  5. I love Joffrey! One of the few that I loved the translation from book to show as well 🙂 (And I’m going to admit it but sometimes I did feel sorry for him.) But of the ones I’ve read on your list Umbridge might have to take the top prize.

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  6. I don’t think I have ever hated anyone more than Joffrey 😷….oh and they Umbridge woman 😂

    Shakespeare made Richard the third to sound awful…..but apparently a lot of it isn’t true. (And I only say this as my son is learning about Dickie in school and he is fascinated with him!) 😂

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  7. I see villains, I click like! No, but in all seriousness, another great post. James Hook is one of my favourites as well. As for GoT villains, I never liked the crazy ones like Joffrey and Ramsay as much as the quietly scheming ones like Littlefinger, but I suppose he never saw himself as a villain and maybe he wasn’t.
    And uhm … I wanted the Hollows as pets … I am an odd person hahaha

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  8. This is a great post, and I agree with so many of the characters you picked as well. Joffrey was probably my most hated character on Game of Thrones (until Ramsey Bolton came along that is) and Umbridge is definitely, 100% my most hated character in Rowling’s books full stop. Even more than Voldemort no competition. 🙂
    I loved the villain in Illuminae, (if we’re thinking of the same character that is) the book wouldn’t have been the same without them.
    Again great post! 🙂 ❤

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  9. I love the consensus around Umbridge being worse than Voldemort! She is te actual blurst!

    This list is great, but so different to what mine would be… I think the villains I love are the ones who make evil a little bit seductive, who make you question your ethical beliefs… Hook definitely counts there, at least as played by Dustin Hoffman

    That’s it, I’m writing a Top 10 “Villains who make you want to be evil” list! 😀 😀 😀

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  10. Nyyaaargh Dolores Umbridge. So much worse than Tom. Just pure evil for the sake of it.

    When we were about 8 our school showed us the witches film and it absolutely scared the shit out of me, even though I’d read the book and knew what was going to happen. I still can’t watch it now. Terrifying! Why show that to kids? Different times, eh?

    Also Mrs Danvers was just so insidiously evil – all passive aggressive scheming – but she’s the main reason I love Rebecca so much.

    I’d like to shout out Patrick Bateman from American Psycho (actual evil) and Mr Croup and Mr Vandemar from Neverwhere – there was something about them being able to sense where you were that really creeped me out.

    Great couple of villain posts! I didn’t realise how much I loved the dark side!

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  11. I agree about Joffrey and Umbridge SO much. It’s hard to surpass someone as evil as Voldemort but at least with him you know exactly what you’re getting into. Umbridge was just so much more vile! A tiny woman with a sweet voice and pink clothes? Gave me chills!
    Joffrey was so spiteful and you’re right, it’s hard to be worse than Ramsay but somehow he managed it. Then again, Martin is kind of a genius when it comes to villains and destroying his readers, basically.
    I loved the villain in Gone Girl. It was just so deliciously sick, it was like watching a trainwreck and hoping everyone would die screaming in it. (Just kidding! Haha. Or am I?) Seriously, though, what a twist!
    I really am super intrigued with East of Eden. I’ve heard so much about it and Cathy, I really must know!!
    Brilliant post, as always ❤

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  12. What a fantastic list of villains! I do think Moriarity has to go on it though…Sherlock is one of my most beloved characters..so (if only he were really Benedict Cumberbatch or vice versa). And the White Witch from The Lion, the With, and the Wardrobe was a terrible villain-what she did in Narnia was just psychotic. Wait, the Wicked Witch of the West was just awful too but there would be no Oz without her! LOL. Witches….they make such great villains! 😉

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  13. Great post! Yep, it has to be Dolores Umbrage for me too, without a doubt. Apparently, Stephen King said she was the greatest villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter! Funnily enough, I have a son who adores villains. In all make-believe, he wanted to play the baddie, and his first absolute hero (villain) was Darth Vader. Bless him…

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  14. I’ve already mentioned my Darth Vader obsession but Captain Hook has always been up there at the top my list too and I almost mentioned that the other day. LOL

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  15. Thanks to Shakespeare, I think Richard III has been turned into a villain even without solid proof that he was one. There’s been a lot of compelling theories on him in the past few years that are showing that maybe he really wasn’t this awful person after all and closer to a victim of all of the political turmoil occurring during the War of the Roses. In that way, I think he’s probably one of the most interesting villains in history!

    Also, the Illuminae villain is absolute perfection and I will stand by that statement until the end of time. 😉

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  16. LOL, I love the ending of this post. Villains who are too spoilery to name, heh. It’s true, though! Some stories have villains that are super sekrit.

    I haven’t read Richard III or Miss Peregrine yet, but want to read both of them soon.

    I’m totally with you on Jas Hook being my favorite villain, though. One of the things I love about him is that he has his own agenda, it’s not just that he’s evil because he’s the bad guy. He feels more real that way. And that’s why I also feel that Dolores Umbridge is a better villain than Voldemort, too. She feels more real, more deliberate, etc.

    Great list!

    PS: Dahl’s The Witches! Eeeee! I love finding other people who include this book on their lists.

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  17. I had to chuckle because I did a similar post todat and see we are on the same track with villians this week!❤ We love them. I was so close to adding the high witch and hook to my own. Walder Frey won over Joffrey.. but dang Marting pumps out the nastiest fictional villians haha. Great post my friend! Hope you are well.

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  18. Haha YES Mrs. Danvers definitely gave me the chills. She is one of the villains who scare me the most, all without any magical powers 🙂
    I also really love Amy from Gone Girl. That woman is ingenious 🙂

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  19. Bugsy Malone! I loved that movie as a kid. The music still gets caught in my mind. I watched it with my kids a few years back and my kids looked at me funny. They thought it was weird that the kids in the film were so sexualized. As a kid myself I never even thought of that… 😉

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  20. I love that you add three books at the end as a wink to everyone who has read them. *giggle*

    Also, yes, the witches are my faves! Who cares about that stinky boy who becomes a mouse. Pff.

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  21. Umbridge is a great choice, but you know, I love to hate Umbridge. You know which HP character I hate with every fiber of my being? Bellatrix Lestrange. I just feel so murderous every time I read her, see her picture, mention her. Ugh, the way she takes joy in hurting people! She doesn’t even care about Voldy’s cause, she just wants to torture people for fun. I HATE HER.

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  22. Haha I love all your choices here (especially Captain Hook, just cuz I freaking love Peter Pan), but I also love that you included the Grand High Witch; I’ve totally forgotten how darn creepy she was. XD

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  23. I love Captain Hook! Definitely one of my favorite characters (and villains), though maybe for different reasons than you? I just find him really interesting, all the more so because he’s terrible, but he’s not ALL bad. And honestly I think Peter is scarier in some ways in the original story, so I guess that made me appreciate Hook more. But yep, Umbridge has got to be the most hated person in the entire HP series!

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  24. Love your picks!! They are certainly all quite different kinds of villains. I think Joffrey and Umbridge stand out to me as the kind of villains that I absolutely loathed – the ones where I was itching to see them finally get their comeuppance. I really admire writers who manage to create villains that loathsome.

    I think if I had to pick some favourite villains myself I’d have to include Kilgrave from Jessica Jones (because he was vile, but also because he is possibly the only superhero villain I’ve ever felt truly frightened of), The Shrike from Hyperion (most terrifying monster ever!), and William Hamleigh from Pillars of the Earth (who was all the more plausible, hateable and disturbing because he had his own POV chapters).

    Oh and I loved the “you know who” villain from Illuminae too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! Ah yes I really agree with you- I don’t think there’s any villains who I’ve enjoyed the downfall for more.

      Oh yes, so agree about Killgrave!! He was both disgusting and terrifying. I don’t know the other two though (very curious since you hated/feared them so much!)

      hehe he’s amazing!!

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