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Voldemort Named Among Worst Literary Villains by Penguin

Books
Posted by: Edward
January 16, 2009, 10:21 PM

Dark Lord Voldemort has made the top ten list of 'scariest villains in children's literature' according to a report in the Scotsman.  The paper details the results of a new list from the Penguin Group, which polled 600 readers, asking them to rank the literary characters they most feared.  Coming in at number six, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named from the Harry Potter books by author J. K. Rowling stands along side such other great literary villains as The White Witch from C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, Captain Hook from J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, and The Wolf from Red Riding Hood by Brothers Grimm.  The article also quotes Booktrust children's website editor Rebecca Wilkie as saying:

"A good villain is larger than life and does things we would never dare, but usually gets their comeuppance in the end.  Who can forget Harry Potter triumphing over Lord Voldemort and Roald Dahl's witches being turned into mice?
She goes on to note that, "For all of us, there is something comforting in the ultimate triumph of good over evil."  The full list of the Top Ten Literary Villains is as follows:
  1. White Witch (The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis – 1950)
  2. Captain Hook (Peter Pan by JM Barrie – 1904)
  3. The Grand High Witch (The Witches by Roald Dahl – 1983)
  4. Wicked Stepmother (Snow White by Brothers Grimm – 1810)
  5. Cruella De Vil (The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith – 1956)
  6. Voldemort (Harry Potter books by JK Rowling – 1997)
  7. The Child Catcher (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming – from the 1968 film. Not the original book)
  8. Miss Trunchbull (Matilda by Roald Dahl – 1988)
  9. The Wolf (Red Riding Hood by Brothers Grimm – 1810)
  10. Long John Silver (Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson – 1883)

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81 Comments

Confederate Lady

Number 6, is pretty good, and he’s in good [or is that bad] company! I don’t see a single “villain” that I was not scared of, at some time or another. And remember, folks. These are villains, in literature! Not movies…although nearly every one has been in a movie, with the exception of ‘The Grand High Witch’ from ‘Witches’ and the ‘Wolf’ from ‘Little Red Riding Hood’. Somehow, they all become much scaryier, in the Movies, because they are SEEN. Everyone has their own “visualization” of each of these. It is the visualization that makes these villains so “scary”. The line, in the quote, is right on: “There is something comforting in the triumph of good over evil”…and everyone, on this list, has that trait! Bell’s comment is a very good analogy, for the “modern age”….

Posted by Confederate Lady on January 17, 2009, 08:34 AM report to moderator
dobbie

what about sauron? the fear u feel during lotr is super
but voldemort IS the most scary

Posted by dobbie on January 17, 2009, 08:45 AM report to moderator
DeliaDee

Yeah, I think the penchant for genocide itself is pretty darn scary. He’s Hitler fictionalized and twisted to be just as ugly physically as he is mentally and spiritually. His reach is long – as demonstrated by the fact that he took over the ministry and, therefore, a good deal of the British magical world. Penchant for theatrics aside, he’s both intelligent and insane – never a good mix. His magical power is unquantifiable, his desire for death and destruction unmatched (Deatheaters don’t count as he is their leader – without Voldie they have no real stronghold), and he’s performed so many rituals he looks as far from human as it gets. Yes, folks. Voldemort is a scary villain.

Posted by DeliaDee on January 17, 2009, 08:46 AM report to moderator
Elie

Voldy should be closer to the top!!!

Posted by Elie on January 17, 2009, 09:44 AM report to moderator
emmy

Captain Hook, scarier than Voldemort!! And those others.. Oh well. 600 people in a poll isn’t THAT much. And we all know he’s the scariest ;)

Posted by emmy on January 17, 2009, 09:52 AM report to moderator
anne

I think it’s his power over his Death-eaters and what that means, ie the ability to infiltrate the Ministry (which as an institution is meant to protect and safeguard its citizens) and Hogwarts school, thereby causing fear and misery in every wizard’s day to day existence (whether pureblood or not), that makes him scary. Like a Stalin or Hitler.

But I’m also not sure I would want to be Harry on a motorbike looking over my shoulder and seeing that particular vision heading in my direction either!

Posted by anne on January 17, 2009, 10:00 AM report to moderator
matea

The Dark Lord always wins.always

Posted by matea on January 17, 2009, 10:38 AM report to moderator
Lorelai

If I was a little kid Voldy would be at #1 for me.
And I love all of the books on this list. :)

Posted by Lorelai on January 17, 2009, 10:40 AM report to moderator
Narcissus

Personally, I’ve never found Voldemort very scary. Sometimes it felt Rowling wanted to make him TOO scary, too much of supervillain so he was somewhat forced IMO. In Book 3, I found Sirius Black waaay scarier and a more threatening villain in general than Voldy (well, before he was revealed to be good), I feared for Harry’s life. And I think Voldy was outsmarted too many times in the course of the series.

And yeah, he is kinda like a totalitarian dictator, but when I think of a Hitler or a Stalin, I feel disgust, not fear. Two totally different emotions. But with Voldemort, I didn’t really feel disgust either. He was too… detached to generate any signifant emotions from me.

He was more like a natural force or something like that. A general persona of evil, but the ultimate form of that was the Dementors. Anyway, that’s my opinion.:)

But congrat!

Posted by Narcissus on January 17, 2009, 11:47 AM report to moderator
blah

voldi is the scariest fo sho

Posted by blah on January 17, 2009, 11:50 AM report to moderator
Katie

Voldemort is way worse than any of those people! They say Hook is scarier than him? Um no.

Posted by Katie on January 17, 2009, 12:36 PM report to moderator
PadfootLover

UM…#6? That’s just a little off. Voldemort is by far more evil then everyone on that list!!! For crying out load he killed a ton of people!!! Come on wouldnt you be more scared if voldemort was real then if the other people were real he has Death Eater!!! Voldemort isWAY scarier than those other people.

Posted by PadfootLover on January 17, 2009, 01:19 PM report to moderator
Amanda

Voldemort should be number 2 at least because none of the other villains were taking over their fantasy world and our world. also Voldemort was torturing and killing more than any other villain and no one could defeat him unless they knew about his horcruxes. I remember being terrified of Voldy when i was little.

Posted by Amanda on January 17, 2009, 01:28 PM report to moderator
PadfootLover

Oh no it’s going to be winter forever!!!! Come on, the witch isnt scary!! Come on Voldy cant love, he splits his souls, if he came into the house right now I would be saying my last goodbyes. If the white witch came I’d be like oh darn lets go buy more jackets!! lol

Posted by PadfootLover on January 17, 2009, 01:34 PM report to moderator
Tim

Wrong the worst villian is Rick Warren

Posted by Tim on January 17, 2009, 01:58 PM report to moderator
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