10. Lucius Malfoy – I love Malfoy senior’s name from the Harry Potter books. Lucius is reminiscent of Lucifer while Mal is French for ‘bad’ which gives you some indication of his character.
9. Wackford Squeers in Nicholas Nickleby. Squeers is the headmaster of the school Dotheboys Hall in the story. He is mean and cruel as his name would seem to suggest.
8. The white witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is all the more evil for her beauty. She also has a fiendish penchant for plots – the fact that it is always winter in Narnia but never Christmas is diabolical. She does have some great garden statues, though.
7. Captain Hook from JM Barrie’s Peter Pan is more like a pantomime villain (oh no he’s not, oh yes he is!) than an evil mastermind, but he does have to put up with marauding children. He also has a terrifying nemesis himself in the crocodile that appears whenever he is least expecting it. At least the wrist watch inside it means he can hear it coming.
6. The Child-Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was all the more scary by the portrayal brought to life on the screen by Robert Helpmann whose evil looks have brought nightmares to generations of children.
5. Ebenezer Scrooge has a great name that suggests mean with money and miserly. Sure enough, early on in the novel, we see him begrudging his clerk extra firewood to heat the office and expecting him to come into work during the Christmas season.
4. Voldemort in the Harry Potter series has a very sinister name, and it makes it more evil when people are afraid to say his name, referring to him instead as ‘he who shall not be named’. His gang, the Death-eaters are also villains that strike fear into the wizard’s hearts.
3. Ursula the sea witch in The Little Mermaid is evil in the extreme. Not content with tricking the little mermaid into exchanging her voice for a pair of legs, she then changes the game when it looks like she is going to lose. Not a very nice person.
2. Miss Trunchbull – Matilda isn’t cowed by Miss Trunchbull, but she’s the only one. Miss Trunchbull makes small children quiver in their shoes as she shouts at them and shuts them in the chokey. This is not a woman who will get teacher of the year award.
1.Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter is the most evil creation I know. Her love of fluffy kittens and the colour pink contrasts sharply with her vindictive nature and her influence on Harry is far worse than that of Voldemort as she has full access to him in school. She is a bully of the worst kind and I consider one of the worst villains in literature.
This is my list of fictional villains and it has been hard to keep it to 10. What would your list look like and who is your all-time villain? Post them in the comments below.