Pink is the New Evil

I Am Kitty.  Fear Me.

Nathan Bransford posted a question in his blog:  who is the evillest villain ever?  I couldn’t decide for myself, as characteristically, I have a soft spot for villains (Draco? Smeagol? Vader?  They’ve all got their reasons for being evil).  So, I decided to peek through the answers and see if I agreed with any of the ones there.

Vincent Kale gave this response, and I wanted to share it, because it made me smile:

“Greatest Villain in Fiction goes to:
Dolores Umbridge, HP:Order of the Phoenix

No one character ever got under my skin more than she did. Sure Voldemort is trying to kill everyone and take over the world, blah, blah, blah.

But Umbridge’s sadism, sense of propriety and the insufferable decor of her office (so much pink!) just made me squirm.

Stephen King agrees, as he “noted the success of any novel is due to a great villain, with Umbridge as the “greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter…”.”

So, even though I remain undecided (Vogons? de Glanville?  The Man in Black?)  I dare open up the question to you:  who is the most terrifying literary villain of all time?  Since I am undecided, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to convince me that your favourite villain is the only villain for the job.

Greatest Villain in Fiction goes to:
Dolores Umbridge, HP:Order of the Phoenix

No one character ever got under my skin more than she did. Sure Voldemort is trying to kill everyone and take over the world, blah, blah, blah.

But Umbridge’s sadism, sense of propriety and the insufferable decor of her office (so much pink!) just made me squirm.

Stephen King agrees, as he “noted the success of any novel is due to a great villain, with Umbridge as the “greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter…”.

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9 Responses to “Pink is the New Evil”


  1. 1 Daryl July 28, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Umbridge is going to be hard to top. I think Vincent nailed that one!

    That whole “evil posing as (or believing it is) good” thing hits so many inner buttons – especially when that evil character is in a position of power. Then the fear and loathing the character triggers are coupled with helpless, impotent frustration.

    For me, Umbridge-induced feelings echoed the ones I had in the real world in the recent past, when even legitimate questions about the rightness of what we were doing as a country were met with barbed wire accusations of anti-patriotism.

    The Voldemorts may be more outwardly evil and ruthless, but that obvious kind of evil seems more likely, eventually, to make people band together to fight it, or to burn itself out from its own hunger for power.

    The other kind, the Umbridge kind, is insidious, and its spies and allies seem even more shady and scary.

    • 2 slytherclawchica July 28, 2010 at 10:07 pm

      Because Voldemort’s motive is so weak (it’s very whiny, immature, I-hate-everyone-and-want-to-rule-the-world) I don’t find him particularly terrifying. Just a typical villain with typical motives. Tom Riddle I think is BETTER, but Voldemort has lost pretty much all of his humanity.

      The amount of CONTROL Umbridge has is truly terrifying.

  2. 3 unabridgedgirl July 28, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    I love this question! LOVE IT. I have so many favorite villans, though, so it’s hard…

    1. Mr. Dark from Bradbury’s, Something Wicked This Way Comes. I read this every October, and I still feel the chills when I read the library scene between Dark and Halloway. And there is something so intriguing about the way he is described. I love it!

    2. Iago from Shadkespeare’s, Othello. Why? Because he is just plain evil. Bad, bad, bad.

    3. I agree with Umbridge. EW.

    4. Alec from Hardy’s, Tess of the d’Urbervilles. What a jerk-face.

    And really? I could go on and on. But I won’t bore you! LoL

    • 4 slytherclawchica July 28, 2010 at 10:09 pm

      No.s 2, 3, and 4 were all listed on Nathan’s Post. But Mr. Dark… I didn’t even think of him. He IS terrifying, isn’t he.

      I think that Shylock (Merchant of Venice) may get to play with Iago. If he can’t get the money, he wants a pound of flesh from an innocent man. Yuck.

      Feel free to go on! I’m difficult to bore.

      • 5 unabridgedgirl July 28, 2010 at 11:19 pm

        Hahaha. Obviously I need to go and read his post! 🙂 And I agree with Shylock. Shakespeare had some great bad guys.

  3. 6 deepwellbridge July 30, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    I would have to say the greatest villain comes from the greatest sci-fi book of all time, “Dune”. The Baron from house Harkonnen was a nasty over-weight vulture of a man. He took pleasure in the death and disgrace of others. He relished it, all the while bobbing about in a body so large, it had to be held up by hover machines.

    • 7 slytherclawchica July 31, 2010 at 3:44 am

      O.O

      I’ve tried to erase all memories of Dune from my existence.

      Just kidding. Sort of. It wasn’t so bad, but the ten-page essay I had to write on it was.

      I think I had a difficult time with Dune, because I WANTED Paul to mess up and ruin things because his character made me mad. So, sadly, in a twisted way, I was cheering on anyone who wanted to foil him.

  4. 8 Cassandra Jade July 31, 2010 at 11:03 am

    I think the idea that the most evil person would be someone who honestly believes what they are doing is right and they are coldly efficient about going about their business. People who know that what they are doing is for personal gain or revenge or whatever have nothing on those characters that commit vile acts in the name of what is right and proper.

    • 9 slytherclawchica July 31, 2010 at 1:45 pm

      That’s true. Crimes in the face of moral justice are different than selfish crimes. But history is painted in the eyes of the victors: Hitler really believed in what he was doing and he thought it was good and right. If he had been victorious in WWII, chances are we’d see the world differently. Personally, I’m glad he didn’t win (of course!) but I think you see my point.

      And in this place, we get people like Prospero in the Tempest, who truly believed what he was doing was for right and good reasons. But since he was laid as the villain, his opinion doesn’t matter, because he’s the minority.

      Motive is all very complicated.


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