Bookish Ramblings: Antagonists & Villains


Antagonists. Villains. Foes. Anti-heroes. The bad guys. Their presence is an important part of many books.  They add plot and substance to a novel. A lot of blog posts and praise go to the protagonists and heroes of books. I’m here to shine a light on the dark side! Antagonists, which don’t necessarily have to be evil, bring conflict and tension into the story. They test the protagonist and allows readers to see how they react to obstacles and being put under pressure. Along with that, they can essentially teach us about rights and wrongs. The circumstances surrounding the protagonist and antagonist can even help us in real life situations. One of my favorite things about books is when author create and write a well-written and complex antagonist. I don’t think I’ve ever vied for the antagonists but I do enjoy learning about them. However, I despise it when authors redeem the irredeemable villains. That’s probably the number one thing I can’t stand. There are some very well-written antagonists out there that will stick with me forever and they deserve their own spotlight.

My Top 10 Favorite Antagonists or Villains that I Love to Hate:

1. The Darkling from The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
2. Queen Levana from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
3. Axel Mortmain from The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare
4. Clancy Gray from The Darkest Minds Trilogy by Alexandra Bracken
5. Lord Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange from The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
6. King Clarkson Schreave from The Selection Series by Kiera Cass
7. King of Adarlan from The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas
8. Daedalus/Department of Defense from The Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout
9. The Alchemists from The Vampire Academy Series The Bloodlines Series by Richelle Mead
10. King Leck/King of Monsea from Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Which antagonists/villains would make your list? Do you think every story should have an antagonist? Do you usually cheer for the good side, the bad side, or does it depend on the character? Let me know your thoughts!


About Anjie @ Love thy Shelf

Hello there -- call me Anjie! I made this book blog where I can put down all my bookish ramblings and talk to those who have the same interests!
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8 Responses to Bookish Ramblings: Antagonists & Villains

  1. YES to the Darkling. Although I kind of want to marry him too. (Him and Alina were my OTP). Hahaha.


  2. THANK YOU. Someone who appreciates the awesomeness and complexity of villains. I just find villains so intriguing and fascinating. I’m usually always rooting for the good guys, but i just love to see what the villain will do next. And in some cases, I feel like the villain is just misunderstood. YES to Queen Levana. I’m SO excited to read Fairest because villain backstory? YES PLEASE. Levana is just downright evil and it will be great to read about her! King Leck is one of the first villains i felt a strong love/hate thing for. He is evil and manipulative and cunning, but he’s just such a great character. I wanted him to die, but still there’s a measure of respect when i come across such a wonderfully villainous villain. And Daedalus is the ultimate “are they evil? Or aren’t they?”. Really well done on the part of Jennifer L. Armentrout.
    As far as great antagonists, definitely read The Young Elites by Marie Lu. Adelina, the MC is an anit-hero and basically the villain of the story. It’s wonderful and dark and I love it SO MUCH.
    Caleb from Divergent is probably my #1 most hated fictional character. I agree on you with “I despise it when authors redeem the irredeemable villains.”. YES. THAT IS CALEB. Caleb is downright backstabbing and evil and there are no mildly interesting or redeemable qualities about him.
    Wow, that was long. I have a lot of feeling in this subject. Perhaps I’ll have to make a discussion post about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you make a discussion post about it, I’d love to read your thoughts on it! I agree, there are some villains that are misunderstood and of course the point of view in the book makes it a challenge for us, especially when written in first person because we see what the protagonist sees. I think it would be very interesting to see a novel written in the villain’s point of view instead of the hero. I’m excited for Fairest as well. King Leck ugh I hated him so much. Right?! Daedalus did have some good things, they were trying to find cures for all these disease. If only they didn’t force the lux and hybrids to do it. Yes I still have to read Legend from Marie Lu. I have the first book in the trilogy. Oh my gosh! Yes! Caleb! I almost put him on there. I despise him to much. I was done with him when he turned in his sister. Thank you for taking time to comment!


  3. I think it just depends on the character for me. I love me an awsome villain!

    Liked by 1 person

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