The Top Five Villains on Television Right Now

It can be argued that movie villains are far more diabolical and even more extreme in their methods, but taking a closer look it’s easy to understand why. Where movie villains have 2 hours or less to establish their backstory, their motives, and their reasons for being so inherently bad, TV villains are often given an entire series if not longer to build their character and the reasons for why they’re so reviled. So with that being said, here are the top five villains on television as of now (in no particular order).

Frank Underwood -House of Cards

He might not seem like the typical bad guy, but there’s no doubt that Francis Underwood is all about furthering his career by doing whatever it takes and steamrolling over anyone that gets in his way. While he’s not the type to go on a rampage he has no trouble getting his hands dirty and more to the point he finds it exceedingly easy to smile at someone while sticking a knife in their back.

Mr. Gold – Once Upon A Time

There is always at least one troubled bad guy in any series that doesn’t necessarily want to be bad, but can’t help what he or she is. Mr. Gold, aka Rumpelstiltskin, is depicted as a coward at heart in this series, but is also a very vengeful character once he acquires the power he needs. To say he’s diabolical in his dealings with others is putting it mildly, especially considering that he is quite adept at playacting as the hero while maintaining the mantle of the villain.

Negan – The Walking Dead

Mean, cruel, and yet still he has a personal code of ethics that only Negan seems to understand. While “The Walking Dead” has featured its share of bad guys, Negan is the BIG BAD that takes the cake. He’s the one character that is powerful enough to capture the attention of most viewers and the one that had somehow garnered the favor of at least half the TWD fan base. Whether you love him or hate him Negan is without a doubt one of the most brutal bad guys to ever come walking out of the comics.

The Penguin – Gotham

Chester Cobblepot is perhaps described best in one word: unpredictable. While he’s seen as weak, wimpy, and even unstable, he’s still a force to be reckoned with considering that he’s quite intelligent and, in a word, crazy. He has his weaknesses, but often as not those weaknesses tend to make him even crazier, as his enemies have figured out in previous seasons.

Cersei Lannister – Game of Thrones

The torch for the most evil and vindictive baddies is no doubt resting firmly in the hands of the one woman in all Westeros that would see a kingdom fall just so that she might take her revenge, and the throne of course. Cersei not only refuses to shed tears after the death of her father, but is quick to claim the iron throne after blowing up a cathedral full of people and the subsequent death by suicide of her youngest son. There’s no doubt that the woman is evil, but she seems to set the bar inordinately high for those that might follow.

Final Thoughts

The measure for how villainous a character is changes as often as does the idea of heroism. Unlike its more noble counterpart however, the role of the villain will always belong to the character that simply doesn’t care for order, law, or anything other than their own needs.

*Gus Fring was more of a villain on Breaking Bad but he’ll be on this list eventually for Better Call Saul.

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