If you know me, you know that I adore villains. I love how cunning they are, and I love learning about what pushes them over the edge enough to turn their back to the world and cause chaos. Villains are always the most complex characters in a storyline, so in honor of their cryptic motivations, I wanted to share my favorite lines said by some of my favorite villains.
Joker, The Dark Knight (2008)
The Joker is by far my most favorite villain that is ever changing and unpredictable. I love his lines because they tend to contradict himself and show that the story he has written for himself is one that he cannot keep up with.
“Why so serious? Let’s put a smile on that face!”
The Darkling, Shadow and Bone
The Darkling is definitely my most favorite literary villain of all time simply because he is so suave and makes me root for him, even though I know his intentions are evil.
“Fine,” he said with a weary shrug. “Make me your villain.”
Cersei Lannister, Game of Thrones (Season 1)
Cersei is the type of villain who you absolutely loathe, at first, and then grow to love because of all she’s been through. Her personality also mirrors Lady Macbeth’s personality, so I have grown to appreciate her motives and personality, over time.
“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”
Luca Changretta, Peaky Blinders (Season 4 Episode 3)
Luca was a recent addition to the Peaky Blinders show, but I absolutely adored his character, probably because he acted like he came straight out of The Godfather.
Polly: I don’t dance anymore
Luca: That’s a shame, because you’re dancing with me.
Smaug, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
Who can resist an evil dragon with a vendetta against a town? I sure can’t. This quote will leave you in shock, once the movie fades to black, and is one of the best closing lines to a film that I’ve ever seen. Once you see this film, you’ll know how impactful this line really is when it’s uttered by a breathless, vividly angry dragon.
“I am fire. I am death.”
The Joker, Batman (1989)
While Nicholson’s portrayal of the Joker isn’t my favorite, he did have some amazing lines that struck me, when watching the classic Batman film.
“Tell me something, my friend. You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?”
Lady Macbeth, Macbeth
Lady Macbeth is the ultimate female villain, and to be honest, she is sort of an inspiration. She is a true Slytherin queen that is ready to tear the world to shreds if it means getting her way. I have yet to find an accurate portrayal of her, in any Macbeth adaptation, but I just think that’s because her character is too big for anyone to take on.
“Look like the innocent flower, But be the serpent under ‘t.”
Scar, The Lion King (1994)
Scar is my favorite Disney villain, and I love many lines that he says in his sarcastic drawl, but this has to be my favorite line said by him.
“Yes, my teeth and ambitions are bared / Be prepared!”
Azula, Avatar: The Last Airbender
I really do love Azula because she makes sure that she is the best in every aspect of her life and will not quit when life puts roadblocks in her way. She is a character who masks her emotions and puts her fury at the forefront, and I wish we had more backstory because she is such an interesting character that I wish the show focused more on.
“I don’t have sob stories like all of you. I could sit here and complain how our mom like Zuko more than me. But I don’t really care. My own mother… thought I was a monster… She was right of course, but it still hurt.”
Bane, The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
At first, I wasn’t a fan of Bane’s character in The Dark Knight Rises, but after rewatching the movie a few times, I realized how his villainy is so well-written, and his lines are striking.
“We will destroy Gotham, then when it is done and Gotham is ashes, then you have my permission to die.”
Erik Killmonger, Black Panther (2018)
Killmonger is a recent addition to my favorite villains, but he’s different than all the rest. He is a villain that everyone roots for, deep down. His vision is something that we’d all like to see play out, but what tips him over the edge into villainy is the way he wants to execute his dreams. The best kinds of villains are ones that you find yourself rooting for because, in a way, you know what they are doing is right, but the way they are doing it is wrong, and that is exactly who Killmonger is.
“Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships, cause they knew death was better than bondage.”
Who are your favorite villains? I love rooting for them and learning more about what pushes them because the things they conjure up and the things they go through are some of the most engaging parts of a story.