Best (worst?) villains in literature

I’m just glad the kid from The Giving Tree made it onto this list. Selfish little monster. Who would you add to this list? I’d add the “ocean” (or human hubris, whichever you think the bad guy) in Stanisław Lem’s Solaris. Terrifying and fascinating. Utterly alien even as it tries to communicate.

Villains are the best. We may not love them in our lives, but they’re often the best part of our literature—on account of their clear power, their refusal of social norms, and most importantly, their ability to make stories happen. After all, if everyone was always nice and good and honest all the time, literature probably wouldn’t even exist.

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