13 Worst Villains in Literature | #BookBreak

Welcome back to Book Break! And get ready to get terrified, because in
today’s episode, we’re going to be talking all about the best villains in literature. Or I should say the worst villains in literature,
the ones that always scared me the most. So everyone’s got their favourites, I won’t
be able to list them all, so please do leave a comment below, letting me know which villain
from which book always terrified you the most. But I’ve got, appropriately, an unlucky number
13 of the ones that I think are the scariest villains you’ll find in any book, to talk
to you about today. But first, let me just show you where I am. So this is the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies
Shop. This is, strictly speaking, just a shop for
monsters. But they very kindly let me in even though
I am just a human. This is where monsters come to stock up on
all their terrifying needs. So let’s have a look around. So I’m going to talk about my first three
villains up here by the death certificates. So if you want to be officially certified
as a member of the undead, the kind staff at this job will fill out this very morbid
death certificate for you. Love that. And if that doesn’t terrify you, I don’t know
what will, but probably Iago from Othello. Because he is one of the most dangerously
likeable villains in literature. Right from the beginning of the play, he really
draws you into his plan. And a lot of his lines are delivered to the
audience, but kind of off the side of his mouth, so you feel like he’s talking directly
to you and that you’re conspiring with him. So he’s a very complex villain, but a lot
more just flat out simple and terrifying one is Shere Khan from The Jungle Book. So his motive is a lot more simple than Iago’s. He just straight up wants to eat Mowgli. And throughout the stories that make up The
Jungle Book, Shere Khan keeps popping up, always with some new plan to sink his teeth
into Mowgli. And one more while I’m here, just because
these Petrified Mice reminded me of her. The Grand High Witch from The Witches. So the Grand High Witch leads a society of
witches, whose whole mission is dedicated to torturing and killing children. Like, how was that not supposed to terrify
us? Well one of their plans, you may remember,
was to turn all of the children into mice first, so that they could then kill them. So these mice are giving me the heebie-jeebies. But they also look delicious, because I love
sugar mice. Now, while I’m standing next to an actual
human brain, it seems appropriate to talk about the cleverest mastermind villain of
them all. And that is of course Professor Moriarty from
the Sherlock Holmes stories. Now if you haven’t read the books, you won’t
know quite how clever Moriarty is as a villain. We the reader never actually see him up until
the story The Final Problem, where he finally makes an appearance. Other than that, we just hear about him, or
catch tiny glimpses. Like the one time Watson sees a tall man disappearing
into a crowd. And that makes him so much scarier, never
knowing quite where he’s going to show up, and just trusting Sherlock Holmes that Moriarty
is capable of evil genius we cannot even imagine. I’m picking the brain up again for this next
one, because I just like holding it. So, warning, spoilers ahead for The Strange
Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, but if you don’t know the twist yet, how? Don’t know where you’ve been hiding. But skip ahead a few seconds if you don’t
want to know that, spoiler, Mr Hyde and Dr Jekyll are the same person. And that’s what makes Mr Hyde such a terrifying
villain. It’s the fact that he’s actually just the
darkest corners of Dr Jekyll’s own personality. It just leaves you thinking about what kind
of monster could be lurking inside your own brain? I’m going to put this brain down now, it’s
giving me the creeps. OK, I’m glad I put that brain down, otherwise
it could have got a bit gory talking about this next one. Because the next villain on my list is Hannibal
Lecter. So Dr Hannibal Lecter is charming and suave
and very well respected, other than the fact he has a habit of killing people and eating
their bodies. But in particularly gourmet ways, because
he’s a classy chap. To talk about our next vampire villain, I
thought it would be appropriate to come over to the Guts & Garlic Chutney, which by the
way, looks delicious. I may have been in this shop too long and
am turning into an actual monster. So who is the most famous vampire villain? It is of course Count Dracula. And a lot of the adaptations paint Dracula
in a much more sympathetic light, turning him into this man pining for a long-lost love,
who was turned into a vampire against his own will. But if you go back to the source material,
you will just find an evil creature delighting in his own monstrousness. Which is a million times more scary. And that leads me onto my next terrifying
villain, Judge Holden from Blood Meridian. Judge Holden is this almost supernatural presence
throughout the book. He’s about seven foot tall, he’s completely
hairless, and seemingly ageless. We meet him several times across different
decades, and he never seems to have aged a day. He rarely shows any emotions. He just stays totally calm amidst all this
horrible cruelty, which is what makes him such a chilling villain. So for my next one, I’m going to go back to
your childhood favourites, and talk about Cruella DeVil from 101 Dalmatians by Dodie
Smith. Now her surname is literally Devil, and she
lives at Hell Hall, so it’s not exactly a secret what we’re supposed to think of her. And I’m going to pick up this, maybe my favourite
item in this whole shop. This is a Vague Sense of Unease, and that
is definitely how you feel the second Cruella DeVil appears in that book. I mean there’s a reason the song says ‘If
she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will.’ Before I tell you my final four, I just want
to show you the Post Office here, because I think it’s so great. So this is a service where humans can come
into the shop, and write a letter to the monster of their choice, and send it in the special
post office here. And then they will actually get a personalised
response from their monster. You can get letters from monsters like Pudding
the Gremlin, and Betty the Yeti. But luckily not one from my next villain,
because I would not like to get a letter from him, and that is Patrick Bateman from American
Psycho. Patrick Bateman is a serial killer who isn’t
even trying to hide it. In fact, he often tells people throughout
the book about the crimes he’s committed, and they don’t even believe him. And even we’re not sure whether to trust him,
because some of the people that we’ve seen him brutally murder, crop up again later in
the book. But the part that most creeped me out when
I read this is the running joke throughout the book that Patrick Bateman’s friends never
recognise him. They’re always confusing him for other people. Meaning that Patrick Bateman, with all of
his dark and disturbing desires, could be anyone. A very different kind of villain is Mrs Danvers,
the stony and spiteful housekeeper from Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. So this is a book about the second Mrs DeWinter. She comes home with her new husband to find
that their house is just haunted by the memory of his first wife Rebecca. Who everyone was in love with, and who Mrs
Danvers the housekeeper was particularly obsessed with. She completely refuses to let the new Mrs
DeWinter settle into the house, at one point even leading her to a second floor window
and encouraging her to jump. And she’s also described as having a face
that looks like a skull, so that’s also pretty terrifying. Now of course, I couldn’t make a list of literary
villains without mentioning He Who Must Not Be Named, the villain from Harry Potter who
is so terrifying that wizards are too afraid to even say his name without becoming quivering
wrecks. Now Voldemort straight up tried to murder
Harry when he was a baby, and has committed himself to finishing the job ever since. As well as also trying to rid the magical
world of anyone whose blood he doesn’t deem pure enough. Really solid way to make your villain very
very scary, make them a little bit like Hitler. And finally, my personal scariest villain
of them all, because I have a lifelong fear of the sea and all that dwells in it. That is the shark from Jaws. The twenty foot long shark from Jaws that
keeps murdering people. Now the author of Jaws, Peter Benchley, actually
became a shark conservationist later in life, because he felt so bad about the terrible
reputation that he had given to sharks, but it is too late. I am never going in the sea again, and it’s
all because of this book. Now I’m going to get myself some of this Old
Fashioned Brain Jam to take home, and I will leave the link to the Hoxton Street Monster
Supplies shop website, so do come and visit. It’s a lot of fun here. And of course, do hit that subscribe button
below, because we post new videos here on Book Break every Thursday. And next week, we’re doing a round up of all
of the best new psychological thrillers, so you’re not going to want to miss out on that
one. And do give this video a thumbs up if you
liked it, and leave me a comment with your favourite villain of all time. See you next time!

18 Replies to “13 Worst Villains in Literature | #BookBreak

  1. Spooky looking place! And scary list of villains. But no mention of Black Jake (was he alled?) in the Little Wooden Horse…
    And actually, I've never read Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde so best I pop off and get it.

  2. OMG The Witches were TERRIFYING to me. Please can you do a whole video just on Roald Dahl – I love his stories so much

  3. Ursula from The Little Mermaid petrified me and Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty… shudder. YES Cruella Devil definitely. Oh my goodness I'm about to start American Psycho!!!! Also been trying to read Rebecca for a while but can't seem to get into it but it sounds so good damnit!!

  4. Lots of scary villains yet you still managed to make me laugh out loud multiple times! My fave monster is Frankenstein's monster – so complex and misunderstood. Mrs Danvers did used to give me nightmares though, I saw a play version of Rebecca and (semi spoiler) the bit with the fire was terrifying

  5. I hate that I so often have to take a break in a book from being scared and yet my one moment where it would be a useful personality trait and I can't remember a single one… Love the video, has made me nervous-excited to reread them all!

  6. Judge Holden is one of my favorite villains in literary history, just his description and the aura around him is one of the few things that's genuinely creepy.

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