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Top Ten Tuesday – Villainous Traits We Love

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish in 2010 and was moved to Artsy Reader Girl in 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new topic is chosen, this week’s is: Character Traits I Love.

When Nen and I came to doing this week’s TTT theme we caught ourselves coming up with traits, only to realise once we’d maxed out ten that we were essentially listing VILLAIN traits. We have such a weakness for a ‘good’ villain and couldn’t help but decide to make this week’s topic all about our love of the bad guys. Who can resist falling for the bad guy? So we came up with our Top Ten Villains and listed their traits!

Here they are:

Loki the Mischievous – Do you get a more spiteful and malevolent villain than Loki? We must admit, our initial appreciation for Loki stemmed from the brilliant portrayal of his character by Tom Hiddleston… but really, who can resist Hiddles?? Loki’s endless ability to create chaos has him firmly placed in out Top Ten though!

Moriarty the Genius – If you’re in awe of Sherlock’s skills then you should definitely be in awe of Moriarty. It takes a genius to outwit a genius! Nen’s obsession with Sherlock soon meant that marathoning the BBC series was a MUST. After all, incredibly intelligent villains always come up with the most complex, yet effective, plans. They’re a delight to read and watch!

Pestilence in Love – So I realise this isn’t technically a trait (Jen here…) but I absolutely adore a love story where the villain gets a HEA. They deserve love too! Nen’s rolling her eyes at me. But honestly, the build-up to love in Pestilence was what made this story so amazing. The best villains are those that have EMOTIONS. One’s that we connect to the deepest. Don’t you think?

Sauron the Deceiver – You don’t get more straightforward than that. If you’re a Tolkien nerd like me (Nen here!), you’ll know that not many villains can get away with fooling so many different people (and species) like Sauron can. In fact, he’s so good at it, that he earned this moniker in Middle-Earth itself. There’s just something extra evil about a villain that can fool the world!

Darkling the Manipulative – Can we just segue in to this noting that I started this series for Ben Barnes. Admit it. I’m not the only one! But Ben Barnes aside, the Darkling is a manipulative and power-hungry villain that managed to win me over. I hope I’ll still love him this much by the time I finish the series, but even if I don’t, I’ll have the show to tide me over!

Joker the Amoral – Perhaps one of the most recognisable villains in the world, we couldn’t make this list without including one of my personal favourites (sorry, Jen!). The unpredictable nature of the Joker is always exciting – and a little worrying at times! In my opinion there’s no better (or worse) villain than the one willing to do just about anything to cause trouble.

Rhysand the Charismatic – Oh dear Rhysand. He was the bad guy in this book and I STILL LOVED HIM (Nen here). The charm, the wit, the cunning glint in his eye. I was never a Tamlin fan and it was all to do with Rhys. It’s safe to say my squeals of delight when reading the start of A Court of Mist and Fury could be heard from blocks away!

Pres. Snow the Blackmailer – If you’ve read The Hunger Games trilogy then you’ve probably hated President Snow at some point in your life too! His need for control and apathetic nature really make him a stand-out villain – especially when he’s blackmailing our favourite characters. We’ve all heard of someone like Snow!

Lord Ballister Blackheart the Principled – Blackheart’s staunch set of rules for villainy were essential to provide balance to the Sir Goldenloin’s heroic acts. Their relationship was SO CUTE and Blackheart was a contender for the Villain in Love but what really made him such a great villain was the principled nature of his plans. He refused to cause unnecessary harm or collateral damage and we respect that!

Lord Voldy made of Pure Evil – We were tempted to throw Umbridge on this list because, well…she deserves it! But this one is close to my heart. Harry Potter was my entire childhood and I finally managed to get Jen on board last year (exciting times)! Powerful, greedy, and amoral, Voldemort embodies what it really means to be a villain. And I’m still waiting for a spin-off, J.K.!

// who is your fav villain? are they on our list? //

Nen & Jen

46 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – Villainous Traits We Love

    1. Thanks KB! We really had fun listing all of our fav villains and their traits πŸ˜€ Loki/Moriarty and the Joker are so intelligent. It makes reading their ‘evil plans’ so much more interesting as they’ve really thought it through πŸ˜€ Jen

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  1. What a great list! I didn’t really come up with anything, so I just didn’t do a list this week but this one is really rather genius. You came up with so many great villains. I haven’t read most of those books but I’m kinda curious about the Darkling. Everybody seems to love him but I haven’t read the books yet. They are on my TBR though. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tirilu! We love villains so it was fun choosing them and their traits for this week’s post πŸ˜€ Darkling is a great villain! I hope you enjoy Shadow and Bone when you get around to reading it πŸ™‚ Jen

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  2. Great list. Loki was one of my favourite mythological figures before the Marvel films so Hiddles had a LOT to live up to (as did Second best-occasionally best- Chris with Thor) but he nailed it bringing a Shakespearean darkness to the comic book portrayal

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    1. YES I completely agree with you about Hiddles playing Loki well. He really did bring in the right level of wit and darkness for the role. He’s a gem ❀ Haha I'm not so much a fan of Thor but Nen is! He was hilarious in the Ragnarok movie and final End Game πŸ˜€ Thanks for the comment Lilyfae! πŸ™‚ Jen

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  3. This is such a great idea! Sauron and President Snow are definitely on my list of best villains and Rhys is the BEST ever and very similar squeals came from my house while reading ACOMAF. I would probably add AIDEN from Illuminae because I’m a sci-fi nerd. I always love reading your posts; great job! 😊

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    1. Ooh YES! How could I have forgotten AIDAN?? He really captured my heart when reading Illuminae. His whole ‘for the greater good’ thing is classic anti-hero/irredeemable villain. Rhys will always and forever be the best though ❀ Jen

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    1. Ooh yes! Anti-heroes are awesome! I love how immersed you can get in their motives, conflicted emotions and psyche. They’re so relatable because of their imperfections. I’ve actually never read Wuthering Heights but it’s on my shelf! I’ve been meaning to read it for AGES. Hopefully I’ll get around to it soon 😊 Thanks Emer!

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  4. Omg, I absolutely LOVE your take on this week’s TTT! I love how you identify what kind of villain they are as well 😍I don’t always tend to appreciate villains, especially when I’m all wrapped up in my hate for them. Most of the time I only just see them as bad bad characters, but this definitely makes me think more about the different types. Fantastic list!

    My TTT post

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    1. Thanks Dini! Nen adores villains! I have a weakness for the ones with painful pasts, vulnerabilities and those who fall in love… so the sappy villains πŸ˜‚ they match my sappy heart perfectly!! Jen

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    1. Ooh yes! I hadn’t thought of stalkers but there are some pretty great villains for that. Especially in crime fiction. I always tend to think fantasy first, since that’s the genre I read the most, but Nen and I forgot to include realistic villains like stalkers! Thanks for the comment Yesha πŸ˜€ Jen

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  5. Love what you did for this prompt! I’m not really a villain person but if I had to pick one I guess Jacks? xD he isn’t very villainous but oh well.

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    1. Haha we all have our own type of villain that we enjoy! Nen prefers the darker villains while I’m more inclined to fall in love with the ones who show vulnerability, painful pasts and fall in love themselves! πŸ’™ Jen

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  6. Wow this list is absolutely brilliant and I can’t disagree with any ….. it was nice remembering Ballister Blackheart after a long time 😊😊😊 I wish you had included Umbridge though 😜😜😜

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    1. Thanks Sahi! Ballister was such a charming villlain. I couldn’t help but love his principled nature and paternal instincts ❀ Nimona was such a fun book. Umbridge was definitely close to making the list! πŸ˜›

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  7. Lol, I’m geeking out at your list. I love villainous traits too, it’s the reason I listed negative traits instead. πŸ™‚

    Btw, nice meeting you Nen, I don’t think I’ve ever talked to you before. Am I right? I always think I’m talking to Jen. But if we had talked before and I didn’t know, I’m sorry. ❀❀❀

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    1. I loved your negative traits post! I enjoy getting immersed in a villains psyche to see their motives. This is Jen here (I always try to sign off with my name so people know 😊). Nen has just got back from holiday (lucky gal!) so she’ll be more present on the blog now. We’ll try to put our names on the bottom of comments though to have less confusion! πŸ˜„πŸ’™

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      1. I do think that villains are ore interesting than protagonists because really, the protagonists don’t exist without the villains so learning about villains stories, their motives, is very interesting. Besides, they’re the reason why the plot exist. If they didn’t do SOMETHING, the protagonist won’t move and do something. πŸ™‚

        I’m so glad to meet Nen. πŸ™‚ πŸ’™

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    2. Hi there! Nice to meet you too 😊you’re definitely right about that, Jen is an absolute champ for keeping this site up and running on her own!

      I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone though! – Nen 😊

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  8. Oh, I love your idea! I love well-done villains! I think my fav would be a less known one Roland from the Kate Daniels series.

    A failed idealist type who refuses to accept that he doesn’t know the best for everyone and that he is not absolute and the sacrifices he makes ‘for the better world’ aren’t his to make. Who is still capable of doing good things and loving people but that doesn’t make him redeemable.

    My TTT

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    1. I’ve heard of the Kate Daniels series but haven’t read any of the books yet. I love the villain that you’ve described! ‘For the greater good’ is used so often but when done well makes for such a relatable character. We all have instances (probably not quite that extreme) in which we think we’re doing things for the best even when failing to consider that it’s not our decision to make. These villains really allow you to get in to their psyche and motivations, which I love! I’ll check out your TTT now ❀ Jen

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  9. YESSSS to everyone on this list! I have no idea if Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of Loki is accurate according to the original comic book character but I don’t even care because he is EVERYTHING. He’s actually not just my fave Marvel villain, but also one of my fave Marvel characters of all time! 😍

    Also, I just want to say that I loved Rhys waaaaay back when everyone was hating on him in the first book. And then when things took a…turn…in the second book I was like I CALLED IT!!! πŸ˜‚

    πŸ’› Ngoc

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    1. OMG. I’m so glad we’re friends <– That was my first thought when I saw the Hiddles comment. Nen and I have a *slight* obsession with Loki as a villain and just Marvel films in general. And Rhys was my fav in ACOTAR as well! I never really liked Tamlin… he had something fishy about him. I was so, so happy after reading ACOMAF! ❀ Jen

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    1. YES. Nen and I absolutely adore Punisher. We binge-watched it in like a day I think? Nen loves Ben Barnes in it. I’m more of a Jon Bernthal fan in that show though πŸ™‚ I hope you enjoy Shadow and Bone too! πŸ™‚ Jen

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  10. I was going to read Pestilence but didn’t get to it before my KU expired, definitely still keen on reading it someday, sounds like an epic enemies to lovers. ❀ Also, much agreed on Darkling and Rhys. I wasn't too keen on Tamlin either.. until he *spoiler* became the bad guy. I have a problem with becoming too intrigued with villains LOL. But fantastic list.

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    1. Thanks Kitty Marie! Pestilence was the absolute perfect ‘I HATE HIM’ and then 200 pages later… ‘I FREAKING LOVE HIM’. The development of his character and their relationship was so perfect. Not everyone’s a fan of this book but I definitely am πŸ˜€ I hope you enjoy it when you get around to reading it! Tamlin always seemed to have something off about him. I couldn’t place it in the first book but as soon as ACOMAF had that spin at the start… I was so happy! ❀ Jen

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