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Old 08-26-2016, 07:03 AM
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Default The best of the worst! The worst of the best? Nominate the Top Villains!

Villains. Almost every good story has at least one. And sometimes those villains stand out, becoming the most memorable part of a story, and entering the public consciousness in a way that most heroes wish they could. Sometimes you love to hate them, sometimes you just hate them so much you can't stand it. But which ones are the true cream of the crop? Or as the case may be, the real scum at bottom of the barrel? Let's find out.

Send me a private message with your ordered list of up to the top 25 villains of all time. Your #1 will receive 25 points, #2 24 points, and so on. I'll tally up the votes and present a countdown of the 50 Best (or Worst) Villains, as decided by Talking Time. Also, please include the work that the character is from when you put it on your list. Some are obvious, and I'd like to think I'm fairly knowledgeable about popular culture, but this will avoid any confusion.

Guidelines (subject to change by popular demand):

1) What is a villain? To keep it simple, a villain must both be A) a morally evil or at least morally ambivalent character who causes harm to others in the story and B) an antagonist; that is, one who opposes the protagonist of the story. I know we all like antiheroes, protagonists of stories with compromised or even cruel values, but that's not what we're looking for here. And antagonists who are actually doing the right thing are interesting, but we don't want those either.

Exception: For protagonists who you feel go beyond antiheroism into true full-blown villain territory, you are allowed to include them, but please pay attention to number 4 below.

2) Fictional characters only. Look, we all know Hitler is one of the worst people to ever live, but I don't want to see him on any lists. It would seem strange or even insensitive to list people who have ruined real lives in comparison to nonexistent bad guys and decide who's a "better villain". Fictionalized depictions of real people should also be avoided, but characters loosely based on real people are probably okay as long as they're distinct enough that there's no confusion between the two. As far as religious/mythological figures, I think they're fine, as long as we're considering their value as characters in stories only.

3) Specific individuals, but not specific works. I considered whether to ask that people cite a specific work for classic characters that have existed for years for even generations, but that seems unnecessarily limiting on characters who have endured for a reason. Still make sure you're naming a specific individual, and not a group. I'm looking for Dracula, not vampires.

4) Changing allegiances. Sometimes in long-running stories, a good character will become bad, or a bad character will become good, or they'll waver back and forth repeatedly. Characters who only operate as villains part of the time are fine to include, but please only consider their time as villains when placing them on your list. So if you think Angelus is a great villain, go ahead and put him on your list, but his time as goodie two-shoes Angel shouldn't factor into your consideration. I know sometimes the transition isn't that black and white, so use your best judgment.

5) All media counts. Movies, TV shows, video games, comic books, novels, folklore, and kind of story is fine to select your villains from.

I think that covers everything I can think of, so get your votes to me by 12:00 AM EDT on September 16th.


Last edited by Adrenaline; 08-26-2016 at 10:25 AM.
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  #2  
Old 08-26-2016, 07:08 AM
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I'm not sure I'm down with no Walter White because he is basically a monster by the last season. Seasons 1-4, I get but his final destination is WAY villain in my opinion. But otherwise, works for me.

Does this go for other villains who are also the main characters?
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Old 08-26-2016, 07:12 AM
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I feel like an antagonistic role is a key feature of being a villain. But I can't stop people from nominating who they nominate.
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Old 08-26-2016, 07:53 AM
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Bryan Cranston was my number one pick so now I have to scramble everything around...

My number two choice is also kind of borderline like that, but I'll let the invisible hand of democracy say for sure.
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Old 08-26-2016, 07:55 AM
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This.... is gonna be tough. So much to choose from!
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2016, 08:00 AM
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As always, I say follow your heart and vote for what you want. If it makes the list then it was meant to be.
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Old 08-26-2016, 08:05 AM
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Should we draw a line between antiheroes (protagonists who have questionable values) and villainous protagonists (protagonists who drive a story through the harm they cause to others)? I'm fine with that if enough people think this list would be incomplete without it.
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Old 08-26-2016, 08:20 AM
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It's not going to ruin my list if you don't but I do think there is a definite difference, (though there are certain characters who blur that line).

EDIT: To be clear, they don't have to be mutually exclusive (if a villain is your protagonist, he is by definition an anti-hero) but some are ones who are on the line and there are others (like Jim Profit from the critically acclaimed but quickly cancelled Profit) who are simply outright villains.
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Old 08-26-2016, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solitayre View Post
As always, I say follow your heart and vote for what you want. If it makes the list then it was meant to be.
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  #10  
Old 08-26-2016, 09:36 AM
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OK OK, just one question.

Is Frankenstein a villain?
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  #11  
Old 08-26-2016, 09:49 AM
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Default That's what the rules are for!

Don't follow your heart! Your heart is dumb!
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Old 08-26-2016, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post
Is Frankenstein a villain?
Yes.

Frankenstein's monster, on the other hand is a force of nature.
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Old 08-26-2016, 10:26 AM
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I have softened the language on the first rule to be a bit more lenient. Remember that this is a top Villains list, though.
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:10 PM
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I'll spend some of my weekend thinking about this.
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  #15  
Old 08-26-2016, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Hedgehog View Post
Yes.

Frankenstein's monster, on the other hand is a force of nature.
Exactly.

Therefor; Frankenstein doesn't count.
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:38 PM
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This seems like a good time to remind everyone that "antihero" properly refers to protagonists who lack heroic qualities. Heroes have always been violent, angry, and morally ambiguous so that doesn't count. Tl;dr, Sailor Moon is an antihero, the Punisher is not.
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanagi View Post
"antihero" properly refers to protagonists who lack heroic qualities.
Quote:
Sailor Moon is an antihero
Come over here and say that again
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Old 08-26-2016, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falselogic View Post
Don't follow your heart! Your heart is dumb!
Villain list:
#1. Falselo--

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrenaline View Post
2) Fictional characters only.
Dammit.
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  #19  
Old 08-26-2016, 04:33 PM
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It still counts if you don't believe in him!
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Old 08-27-2016, 03:16 AM
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What's the general consensus on Hannibal Lecter?
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Old 08-27-2016, 03:51 AM
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Huh. Upon composing my list, I realized that the villainy of a lot of names in my list would constitute a huge spoiler for the uninitiated (*I read/play a bunch of whoddunit).

Any specific policy on that? I assume you (*Adrenaline) would be okay by being potentially spoiled on a bunch of stuff?
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Old 08-27-2016, 03:52 AM
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Quote:
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What's the general consensus on Hannibal Lecter?
Fictional.
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Old 08-27-2016, 04:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masterthes View Post
What's the general consensus on Hannibal Lecter?
Definitely a villain. He's just usually not the MAIN antagonist of the story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raven View Post
Huh. Upon composing my list, I realized that the villainy of a lot of names in my list would constitute a huge spoiler for the uninitiated (*I read/play a bunch of whoddunit).

Any specific policy on that? I assume you (*Adrenaline) would be okay by being potentially spoiled on a bunch of stuff?
I imagine there will be a few spoilers on the final list. Go ahead and don't worry about it.
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Old 08-27-2016, 07:14 PM
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Submitted my list. My top two are obvious for anyone who knows my tastes passing well.
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  #25  
Old 08-27-2016, 09:58 PM
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Does Trump count as a real person?
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  #26  
Old 08-27-2016, 11:37 PM
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How many females are on your list

I had 0

Can't even think of one

Edit: I thought of two now. I'll change my list tomorrow maybe
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Old 08-28-2016, 01:52 PM
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This is a more challenging topic than I expected. There's a whole lot of bland villains out there. And a lot of well-executed ones where it's unfortunate that pop culture has latched onto this particular portrayal of evil, and I'd honestly rather not see them ever again. And a lot of iconic characters that have been ruined by sequels/prequels/endless serialization, or the need to always go darker and meaner and stupider and more profitable and more juggalo-like.

I'm going to have to make my list just the ones that are interesting or entertaining to me, because there's too much to unpack with characters like the S-piece from Tetris or Manos, the Hands of Fate.
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How many females are on your list
Yeah, I'm looking at lists of villains now, and most of the female ones are gross stereotypes. In comics particularly, the female villains are basically the same fetish art redrawn a thousand times.
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Old 08-28-2016, 03:41 PM
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So just to get started on this, I've been combing through my lists for other fiction-related top 50s and thinking of villains from the same properties. Two things happened:

There are a lot of properties full of protagonists I *love* for which I can barely remember the villains. I guess good villains are hard.

Despite that, my draft list is already up to 70 entries. Cutting this down is going to be a paaaaaain. And there's still some categories I haven't looked at much.
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Old 08-28-2016, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guild View Post
How many females are on your list

I had 0

Can't even think of one

Edit: I thought of two now. I'll change my list tomorrow maybe
I have a couple, and a few that are kind of hard to classify either way...

But I also haven't finished building my primary list so who knows?
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Old 08-29-2016, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirin View Post
Despite that, my draft list is already up to 70 entries. Cutting this down is going to be a paaaaaain. And there's still some categories I haven't looked at much.
Yeah, I am convinced that there's several that I'm forgetting, and yet I also have way too many and am having an awful time paring my list down.
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