American author Stephen King, a giant of horror and fantasy literature, recently unveiled his list of the greatest villains of all time. And given his work, we couldn’t have dreamed of a better place for such a ranking!
Really bad bad guys, really bad bad guys
We no longer feature Stephen King. The author from Maine is certainly one of the most important contemporary American writers. Author of 65 novels and 11 short story collections, he has been adapted many times for film and television by some of the greatest filmmakers of his time: Carrie au bal du Diable by Brian De Palma, The Shining by Stanley Kubrick, Creepshow by George A. Romero, Christine by John Carpenter, Dead Zone by David Cronenberg, Doctor Sleep by Mike Flanagan or, more recently, The Outsider on HBO.
When he’s not writing a new novel, Stephen King remains a fascinating commentator on popular culture. This is evidenced by his fascinating essay Anatomy of Horror, in which the master draws on very specific examples of the mechanisms and archetypes of the horror genre, or the opinions he publishes on the films, books or comics he loved.
A few weeks after the publication of the list of Hayao Miyazaki’s favorite films (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away), today we discover Stephen King’s favorite villains, the list of which has been published by our colleagues from Far Out. Without further ado, here are history’s greatest villains, according to the master of contemporary horror and fantasy.
Dracula (in “Dracula” by Bram Stoker) Pazuzu (in “The Exorcist” by William Peter Blatty) Sauron (in “The Lord of the Rings” by JRR Tolkien) Voldemort (in “Harry Potter” by JK Rowling) Rhoda Penmark (in “Bad Seed” by William March) Harry Powell (in Night of the Huntsman by Charles Laughton) Big Brother (1984 by George Orwell) Popeye (in Sanctuary by William Faulkner) Anton Chigurh (in No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy) Max Cady (in Nerves Raw, formerly A Monster to Slay, by John D. MacDonald).
We therefore find that the greatest villains in history, in Stephen King’s eyes, come mainly from literature. Each of these villains had the privilege of having a film staging. In addition, we can underline the very eclectic taste of Stephen King, who moves effortlessly from the “Great American Novel”, Faulkner’s haven, to the psychological horror (Mauvaise Graine), from the Gothic novel (Dracula by Bram Stoker) to fantasy (The Lord of the Rings , Harry Potter).
Some will also be surprised by the absence of Darth Vader from Stephen King’s list. But if you take a closer look, you’ll notice that each of these villains represents the evil that they are each an embodiment of. This isn’t the case with Darth Vader, who, impressive as he is, retains a good side. Finally, we will emphasize the humility of the master who did not quote any of his characters, although he could have done so without blushing, since his work is full of evil and devilish entities. In particular, think of Grippe-Sou in Ça or the entity of The Outsider.