Blog Hop: The bad guy you love to hate

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Book Blogger Hop

This week’s blog hop from Crazy-for-Books asks for your all-time favorite book villain.  You can hop along by going to Crazy-for-Books or clicking on the button above.

For me, in a good book the villain isn’t really evil or bad so much as misguided.  A person who for some reason is making some bad choices.  It’s a hard lesson to teach my students, but that’s the way it is in real life, too.  No one actually thinks they’re the villain, even when they’re doing some pretty heinous stuff.  We all have our own rationalizations and justifications.  Which isn’t to say that morally some things are wrong, but I think it’s very rare that people don’t have some kind of justification for themselves when they do something others might consider wrong.

So, I like my villains sophisticated, and therefore, ambiguously villainish.  I’ve had extensive debates with folks about whether Severus Snape from Harry Potter is a villain.  I think that in the end, he’s not, though he does some fairly villainish things.  I like Snape because he’s more complicated than Voldemort, and he demonstrates my theory of what makes a good villain…someone who has complex reasons for his actions but in the end is always redeemable.  Think Darth Vader.  Also, I want there to be some Slytherins who are not all bad, because the first time I ever got “sorted” (on my friend’s pda, I think), I came out Slytherin and have since developed a strong loyalty to my house.

Second place would be Eric from the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries.  Again, is he a villain?  I don’t know.  But I recently read the mystery where Eric loses his memory and becomes all sweet and kittenish.  Powerful, villainish man made helpless…yum.

Favorite non-book villain of all time?  No contest.  Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


  1. Hopping by your blog!

    The last blog I was at also listed Snape, and I also said there that I think he's a great choice because of his ambiguity. He's very clearly a bad guy with regards to Harry as a person, but through the books, it's not clear whether he has evil intent toward the world in general. That makes him interesting to me.

  2. My favorite book villain is, hands down, is the Napoleon of crime –
    Professor James Moriarty.

    It took me less than ten seconds to come up with my answer. But you'll
    never guess why.

    Hop on over to my blog and find out —

    Howard Sherman

  3. Robyn, I keep wanting to get sorted into Slytherin but I never have. Actually my dream house would be Slytherclaw, but I digress. Voldemort is such a two-dimensional character that I'm surprised he passes such muster among HP readers. Personally I found Professor Umbridge to be far more terrifying!

  4. And oh, yes–Buffy! I adored Spike, too. And currently am rather enamored with Damon on The Vampire Diaries.

  5. Hopping through. I love Snape. I think he's both a villain and not a villain.
    My Hop

  6. Stopping by on the Hop!

    Hope to visit again soon!

    Books are Life,

  7. Villains aren't my typical fare. But I managed to think up three. Happy Blog Hop!

  8. Coming through on the blog hop. Voldemort and Snape seems to be the top choices. Please come over to my blog and see my choice of villain.

  9. Hello! I'm here to let you know I want to give your blog an award. Because I love it 🙂 The details are over here One Lovely Blog Award. Enjoy!

  10. New and following.
    Saw your posting on Goodreads forum.

    Looking forward to seeing more


  11. Laura, yes, Snape seems to be a popular choice all around. Harry Potter has a lot of good villains to pick from.

    Howard Sherman, yes, Moriarty is a good one.

    Emily, Slytherclaw? Sounds like there's a story there. Yes, Umbridge is terrifying. The image of Harry having to write sentences on his hand in blood was really deeply disturbing. I love the kittens, though.

    Alison, yes, Snape staddles that line.

    Heather, thanks for hopping by and come back soon!

    pussreboots, thanks for coming by.

    Mystica, Mr. Wickham is a good pick.

    DizzyC, thanks for following and welcome to the blogosphere. Nice review and blog.

    Kathmeista, thanks for the award! That's, well, lovely! I'm working on my list of 8 blogs to pass it along to.

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