An important tip in the book “Writing Love: Screenwriting Tricks for Authors II” by Alexandra Sokoloff is that making lists of your favorite characters/ villains/ story endings is a helpful inspirational exercise. In the book, it says that analyzing your own list can give you insight on your own story’s characters, endings, and villains.
For me, the best villains are the charming, educated, tragic, twisted and obsessed. The ones a story protagonist could even sympathize and be friends with (if they don’t know better).
Here is my list of favorite villains, I also included the bad boys or the bad who turned out to be good.
Here it’s like Adele Dewitt so nicely says:
The first vampire, from the time these guys were still dark and not sparkling: Dracula
The obsessed and tragic husband: Soames Forsyte
Another case of obsessed love with tragic consequences: Claude Frollo
We all grew up with the tale of Darth Vader
This one had a tragic story leading to a dark path through Wuthering Heights: Heathcliff
A villain I could sympathize with because the people around her were not much better:
Including another villain whom she could not control: Desi Collings (you simply never take the dessert out of the hands of a woman)
This one managed to remain enigmatic to the end, to finally show he wasn’t the bad guy after all.(He reminds me of a teacher I had): Snape
And finally, the king of slimeballs, Sir Richard Carlisle
And you, do you have a favorite villain or bad guy/girl turned good, dark hero or bad boy/girl who wasn’t listed here?
Let me know in the comments.