It is my genuine pleasure to see the first countdown of 2022 be centered around a subject that I was immensely enthusiastic to see explored and discussed. I absolutely adore villains in fantasy and science fiction. I love discussing them, their strange foibles, complex plots, and thematic backgrounds. Through villains, we can see a vast variety of eclectic personalities and wonderfully eccentric scenery-chewing. Villains often get to have the best scenes in their respective movies and, as a result, my generation seems to have always had a strong connection to the villains we grew up with.
This week will focus on the fantasy side of villainy, but rest assured that the science fiction villains countdown will be coming towards the end of next month, to help keep everything spread out. Also, I would like to note that next week will be my routine health week, where I take a week off from article releases to focus on my own personal health and well-being. I will be using that week to travel to Texas with a friend and attend HarmonyCon 2022.
I'm super excited and you will be able to hopefully get a few updates and interesting conversations on my Patreon account. You can also follow me @TheBronyCritic on Twitter, where I may post pictures of cool things I see while I spend my first time in Texas and on a plane (so excited!).
But that's next week. We are in this week now and we will jump right into my countdown on some of my favorite villains from various fantasy IPs.
- Only a single villain from any IP, so as to ensure that we present a wide variety of villains from both film, television, games, etc.
- Only villains for fantasy properties will be considered for this list. I understand that there is quite a bit of crossover in terms of fantasy and science fiction, so fantasy villains will be those which are tied to worlds with a heavy focus on fantasy. While science fiction elements may be present, the daily lives of the villains must lean towards fantasy and fairy tales; so more sword and sorcery.
- Films, video games, television shows, books, and tabletop games will all be considered.
|Sauron, the Lord of the Rings
The lore and mythology surrounding Sauron is, like most characters in Tolkien's legendarium, deeply rooted in connections to Celtic and Anglo-Saxon mythology, alongside a few subtle Catholic influences. Sauron is classified as a Maiar, the same type of being as Gandalf and Saruman, and essentially an angel that sought to subjugate all the races of Middle-Earth because he abhorred all the disorder and chaos that the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth brought with them and his desire to create a new world that matched with his image for how a world should be.
In terms of physical attributes, I'm fairly certain the imagery of a flaming eye atop a massive black tower has become iconic, especially following the release of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy propelled Tolkien's legendarium into the mainstream. And while I do think that Sauron is perhaps a bit too passive as a villain, being locked away behind his tower of Barad-Dur, the armies of Orcs and evil men that he commands, as well as the ever present corruption of the One Ring, help to keep Sauron's presence always on the mind of both the protagonists and the readers, which is in my mind the true sign of a fantastic villain.
The upcoming Amazon adaption is set to cover events preceding The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, possibly covering the Akallabêth (Fall of Numenor) and the First War of the Ring that appears in the prologue of Fellowship of the Ring. If this is the case, I am super excited to see that as Sauron plays a major role in both stories; so we have absolutely not seen the last of the Second Dark Lord of Middle-Earth.
|Lord Voldemort, He Who Must Not Be Named
|Cersei Lannister, Light of the West
- Joffrey Baratheon, the incest-born teenage psychopath who relishes in the death and mutilation of everything around him.
- Ramsey Snow, the torturer who literally is aroused by the pain he inflicts on people including flaying people alive.
- Euron Greyjoy, the pirate who spends equal times killing as he does raping and pillaging and plotting to take over the world with dragonfire and dark magic.
- Petyr Baelish, the unscrupulous moneylender and whoremonger whose machinations lead directly to the War of the Five Kings and the near destruction of House Stark.
|Kefka, the Psycho Clown
|Ganondorf, the King of Evil