The world of fantasy is a broad and all-encompassing universe in which our greatest dreams can be brought to life through literature, animation, film, performance, and graphic novels. However, many heroes are only as great as their strongest villain, so along with our dreams, sometimes comes incredibly complex and powerful nightmares. Sometimes these villains are so well conceived that they make their corresponding hero seem shallow or one-dimensional. Other times they do exactly what we need them to: create a strong, thoughtful antagonist to a well-developed protagonist. Using an extremely complex algorithm that combines fame and power level (basically… I winged it), here are 25 Diabolical Fantasy Villains That May Cause You To Shiver In The Night.
Bellatrix Lestrange – Harry Potter Series (Books / Films)
Combine the insanity of the Joker with the vile, hateful evil of Umbridge, then add much more respectable magical power, and you get Bellatrix Lestrange. She was the dark lord’s most loyal consort and reveled in torturing and killing all who opposed him. (Especially if they were disowned members of her own family!) Lestrange was responsible for murdering some of Harry Potter’s closest allies including Nyphadora Tonks, Dobby the House Elf, and her cousin (and Harry’s Godfather) Sirius Black.
Jareth The Goblin King – Labyrinth (Film)
Love makes us do crazy things. Such was the case for the King of the Goblins, Jareth. While certainly less evil than some listed before, Jareth already had some pretty twisted ideas of love in his head, and then he allows his desire and jealousy for Sarah to bring him to kidnapping, torture, extortion, and a number of other implied horrors. As the ruler of the labyrinth and the goblin city, he wielded a multitude of magical powers, mostly involving dreams and desires, along with his army of minions.
Professor Moriarty – Sherlock Holmes Stories (Books)
Wait, what? Why is Moriarty so high on this list? (I actually wanted him higher, but couldn’t justify it.) One word: Mastermind. We’ve had some extremely intelligent villains on the list so far, but compared to the mental ability of Professor James Moriarty, they are amateur at best. No matter the powers of some of the previous entries, Moriarty would run circles around them and likely defeat them before they ever set eyes on him. He is a genius at manipulation, utilizes advanced mechanical devices (that would be impressive even now,) and sets elaborate traps for his victims.
Ursula the Sea Witch – Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Animated Film)
Ursula has all the scheming of previously mentioned Disney villains, but a whole lot more power to back it up. In addition to being able to transform body mass and state, she is super-humanly strong and can see remotely via minions as her avatars. Ursula is also a master manipulator (as evidenced by all the poor unfortunate souls she has collected), which compliments her greatest power: the power to draw up one-way contracts that can achieve a number of effects, but more importantly reduce those who fail her contracts to helpless polyps in her collection.
Jafar – Disney’s Aladdin (Animated Film)
Jafar is a close match for Ursula, but thanks to his evolution, just barely notches her out. Jafar is a textbook psychopath and a skilled manipulator. He initially relies on cunning and certain artifacts (such as his staff) for his power. However, once he wishes to become a sorcerer, he gains an impressive amount of power and is not limited by specific way of casting (as Ursula is until she gets the Trident).
You won’t believe who made number 2! It’s quite unexpected.