Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

The 40 Greatest Villains Of Literature

To have a hero, you need a villain. And in the annals of literary history, there have been some downright scoundrels, to put it mildly.

No deed is too dark, no action too despicable for this list of utter reprobates. We've selected 40 of the very worst (or best, depending on how you look at it); you should feel very very glad that these dastardly characters are confined to the pages of the books that contain them.

If we've missed any vile villains, let us know in the comments below.


literary heartbreakers hero.jpg

25 literary girls who'll break your heart

coolest characters.jpg

The 40 coolest characters in literature

evil books.jpg

30 most evil lines from books



The best titles new to Netflix this October

28 Oct 2016

The scariest short horror films online

28 Oct 2016

10 most heartbreaking moments in television history

When the small screen shook us to our core

by Sam Diss
28 Oct 2016

We asked death obsessives to tell us all about their morbid curiosity

Enough to make The Addams Family look normal

by Jamie Carson
28 Oct 2016

Marvel drops new hip hop inspired covers

Just when you thought Marvel couldn't get any cooler

by Tom Fordy
27 Oct 2016

Classic horror posters reimagined with clay is a wonderful thing

Something for the kids this Halloween

by Tom Fordy
27 Oct 2016

Short horror films guaranteed to sh*t you up

Tis the season to hide behind your sofa

by David Cornish
27 Oct 2016

Everything we know about Sherlock series 4

The names of the first two episodes of series four have given some pretty major hints

by David Cornish
27 Oct 2016

Gregory Porter on why Russian gangsters love his music

The smooth jazzman has (scary) friends in high places

by Alex Christian
26 Oct 2016

Ballon d’Or: Who’s a fraud and who's not

We weigh up the merits of the 30 footballers recently deemed the planet's best

26 Oct 2016