There are plenty of villains in children’s literature. Some of these villains are big and bad and have a tendency to blow houses down, while others lure children into candy houses for…um…dinner. Today I’m going to count down five of my favorite literary villains.
5. The Cat from Cat in the Hat.
This feisty feline may seem like a lot of fun, but he has a penchant for messing up houses when parents are away. He is an unwanted guest who does not seem to take a hint, even when he’s blatantly asked to leave. Despite all the mischief he causes, this cat does have a redeeming quality: He picks up his toys after he’s done, leaving the house spotless for when the parents do arrive home.
4. Any witch from a Grimm’s fairy tale.
Whether they’re poisoning apples (Evil Queen in Snow White) or throwing tantrums because they weren’t invited to a party (Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty), the witches of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales sure do know how to cause a ruckus. While many of today’s children are probably more familiar with the Disney versions, the original Grimm witches are just as chilling (maybe even more so).
3. Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events.
When it comes to bad guardians, children’s literature is full of them: the Dursleys in Harry Potter, Matilda’s parents, etc. But Count Olaf takes the cake. Not only is he suspected of starting the fire that killed the Baudelaire children’s parents, but he also treats the children very poorly and attempts to trick the oldest, Violet, into marrying him so that he could get their inheritance. Olaf is definitely a horrible person, but a great villain.
2. The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
This witch has a fear of water and an obsession with a pair of silver (not ruby) shoes. She’s the most feared witch in all of Oz, and she controls a horde of various animals, including wolves, crows, bees, and, of course, winged monkeys. Her heart is so black that she not only captures a little girl, but her little dog too. While the movie version made her iconic in 1939, this witch has been causing chaos in Oz since 1900.
1. Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter.
While he started out as a bright, young Hogwarts student, Lord Voldemort’s vaulting ambition and thirst for power caused him to split his soul seven ways, which resulted in him becoming the biggest baddie in the Harry Potter universe. Therefore, he’s at the top of my list of literary villains.
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