*There are spoilers if you have not seen any of the mentioned movies or shows below*
The definition of a Villain: Is a character whose evil actions or motives are important to the plot. A cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime and a character who opposes the hero.
In every story, be it in a movie, TV show, book or play, the story just wouldn’t be the same if there was no villain in it. The villain is a tragic and complex character who adds some excitement to the story. Since most are evil to the core and since many are guilty of criminal behavior, we love to see them punished. Or maybe we love to see the hero shine as the villain attempts but usually fails in trying to triumph against them.
Over the years, we have been seeing more of a female presence when it comes to the villain which just goes to show that any female can be just as evil or tough as any male. When it comes to the bad girls, it was very hard for me to just choose five to cover. However, the five female villains that I did chose to go over, certainly fit the description of a villain. Plus I am sure that none of use would want to run into any of these five in a dark alley. Not only are they all some seriously scary females, they also all are important characters in the movies that they have appeared in and ones that without them, the stories for sure just wouldn’t be the same.
Nancy Downs: The Craft
First up is from one of my favorite movies, The Craft. That, of course, would be none other than Miss Nancy Downs. Nancy is one of the main characters of The Craft, eventually becoming the movies main antagonist. Nancy is a an outcast and a little bit different from her classmates. She practices witchcraft and has a coven with two friends Bonnie and Rochelle. Nancy seems to have gained magical abilities but she is seeking much more, she wants to invoke the spirit of Manon, which would make her an incredibly powerful witch, but also an extremely dangerous one.
Nancy is shown as a troubled and mentally unstable girl who over time becomes more unhinged and self-obsessed as the movie moves on. Nancy is often rude, extremely aggressive and anti-social. She has never had many friends and doesn’t trust many people as well. However, Nancy does show some kindness towards the few that she does care about. She reaches out to the new girl at school named Sarah by warning her about a guy named Chris. Sarah is interested in Chris but Nancy knows from previous experience that he is just a jerk who once he has slept with a girl, he then treats them like trash. Nancy also seems to care for her mother, and it is shown when she unleashes her first real display of power to protect her mother from her abusive stepfather who Nancy despises. However, as Nancy gains more power she loses her feelings of empathy and kindness, even towards her friends.
Sarah however, just so happens to be a natural witch. Bonnie catches her using her power in class and tells Nancy about her. They believe she is the missing link in the coven. The three befriend Sarah and it does appear that once Sarah is in the coven, the coven is complete. The girls have now gained new powers and seem invincible. Sarah casts a love spell on Chris and he is suddenly in love with her, Bonnie wishes for the scars all over her body to be gone and the next time she is at the doctor’s the scars vanish, Rochelle wishes for a girl who bullies her to stop and this as well begins to happen as the bully begins losing her hair. Nancy wishes for a better life where she and her mother have money and don’t have to live in the trailer park. One night causes her stepfather to have a heart attack which in turns ends up with her and mother becoming super rich from his insurance plan and they start living rather lavishly and move into a high rise condo.
Nancy is far from done though and encourages the others to join her in a rite called “Invocation of the Spirit”. Nancy wants to invoke the power of Manon into herself and needs to complete the rite to do so. The girls help and once the rite is complete, Nancy begins to change even more and from there on everything begins to take a turn for the worse. Nancy becomes even more power-hungry and even more detached from reality. She soon becomes hostile and even reckless with her friend’s lives. She now cares only about herself and her power from Manon. Nancy craved power and recognition from Manon and now that she has it, she will let no one take it away from her. Ultimately, this results in her being stripped of her power and going completely insane. The last we see of Nancy is of her in a mental institution.
Annie Wilkes: Misery
I don’t think there is anyone quite like Annie Wilkes. She is someone who you just can’t forget once you have seen the movie or read the book Misery. Annie is the type of character that stays in your mind long after the end of the story. The book Misery written by Stephen King in 1987 was inspired by Stephen King’s own struggle with addiction and self-doubt about his own work. Three years after it was written Rob Reiner made a movie adaptation of the book. The main character Annie is the villain in the story and she is played by the incredibly talented Kathy Bates in the movie. When novelist Paul Sheldon has a bad accident in the snow in the middle of nowhere, it seems as his luck could not be any better when he is discovered by a super fan of his, Annie Wilkes. It is also a fortunate thing that she is a trained nurse and without her discovery, Paul would have more than likely ended up dead. At first, it appears that Annie is a caring and nice women who is a huge fan of Paul’s romance novels where the main heroine is named Misery.
As Annie nurses Paul back to health, we begin to see that she is not really quiet who see seems to be. Not only is she a fan, she is an obsessed fan and not only obsessed, she is not mentally stable as well. As the days go by, Annie’s behavior becomes even more bizarre and when she learns that Paul is planning on killing off her favorite character in his next novel this pushes her over the edge. From there Annie tells Paul that he must rewrite the novel to her approval and unfortunately ever time Paul writes something Annie doesn’t like, well Paul pays! For every page Annie disagrees on, she punishes Paul. Annie lives miles from town and makes sure that when she does leave that there is no way for Paul to escape. Annie is a very cold woman and she has no problem hurting Paul to get what she wants. In the end, though, Paul outwits her and he finally gets free from her. I can see why Kathy Bates won an Academy Award for Best Actress in this movie because her performance was amazing. She brought us one scary female villain that I don’t think anyone would want to meet.
Selina Kyle: Catwoman
Selina Kyle doesn’t look or act like your typical villain but that all changes when she becomes Catwoman. Catwoman has been a part of the Batman story since pretty much the beginning and some might even say that Catwoman teeters the line between hero and villain compared to some of the other bad girls out there. However, due to her amazing jewel stealing talents and the fact that for most of her existence she has been considered a villain I would say that she more on the villain side than the hero.
Catwoman has made an appearance in comics for many years but she has also made a lot of amazing portrayals in the movies as well. Those performances including Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt, Michelle Pfeiffer, and most recently Anne Hathaway. One of my favorite portrayals will always be from Tim Burton’s 1992 movie Batman Returns by Michelle Pfeieffer. When Selina Kyle learns about her boss, Max Shrecks’s plan to build a power plant to steal Gotham’s electricity, he kills her by pushing her from the top of a building. Though she apparently died, she was mysteriously revived by alley cats and returned home in a daze. Inside, she hears a message for an ad on a perfume sold by Shreck on her answering machine and it causes her to have some kind of psychotic break. She trashes her apartment, destroying her possessions, and sows a homemade cat costume.
Calling herself Catwoman, Selina becomes a vigilante in her own right. On her first night, she beats a man for trying to rape an innocent woman and then tells the women it is her own fault for not being able to defend herself. Also, on her first night, she vows to get revenge on her boss and like a good villain, she won’t stop until she does.
Maleficent: Sleeping Beauty
In almost every Disney story, you will find a villain and in the story of Sleeping Beauty, you will find one of the evilest ones of all, Maleficent. Maleficent is a manipulate and heartless character. All it takes for her to get her crazy on is to not be invited to the christening of the newly born Princess Aurora. While the christening is going on Maleficent shows up and curses the baby Aurora that before the sun sets on her 16th birthday, she shall die by pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. After Maleficent leaves, the fairy Merry weather is not able to undo the curse but alters it so that instead of dying Aurora will fall into a deep sleep that can only be broken by true love’s first kiss.
Maleficent is only ever known to be kind to her pet crow and familiar, Diablo. Other than her little kindness to him, she is very cruel to everyone else and is only bent on seeing destruction and chaos in the world. She is very egotistical and describes her powers as all the powers of hell. Over the years, Maleficent tries to keep tabs on where Aurora is but her goons are unable to find her. With Aurora’s 16th birthday approaching, she gets Diablo to try find Aurora for her. Diablo is successful and once Maleficent knows, she is able to disguise herself and lead Aurora away from where she has been hidden by the fairies over all the years. She leads Aurora into a room and transforms herself into a spinning wheel. Aurora pricks her finger and suddenly falls into a deep sleep.
Fearing that Prince Philip is the key to breaking the curse, Maleficent has her goons find and capture him. Thinking all is safe now, Maleficent goes and rests, also thinking she has won. However, later when she awakes, she finds that Diablo has been turned into stone and that the fairies have released Prince Philip. Maleficent becomes enraged and finds Prince Philip, she tries killing him with lighting and then trapping him in a forest of thorns but Prince Philip is able to get past both attempts at stopping him. Maleficent then confronts Prince Philip in front of King Stefan’s castle where she transforms herself into a large and dangerous dragon. With the help of the three fairies who cast an enhancing enchantment on his sword of truth, Prince Philip is able to throw the sword into Maleficent’s heart, wounding her before she falls from a crumbling cliff to her death.
Katherine Pierce: The Vampire Diaries
Katherine Pierce is one of those villains that you just can’t help but hate. Katherine is a character from the TV show The Vampire Diaries played by Nina Dobrev. Katherine is not just your average girl though, although she once was, she is now a vampire and a Petrova Doppelganger. From the start Katherine is a cold and heartless character with little regard to other’s feelings.
Katherine Pierce was born Katerina Petrova and was a witch that belonged to a group called The Travelers. The Travelers were a millennia-old and powerful cursed sub-culture of witches that have been spreading their spells from one generation to another since around the time of the Roman Empire. In 1490, after Katherine gave birth to a baby girl out-of-wedlock, she was forced to give the baby up for adoption and sent to England for bringing shame to her family. There she meets two of the original vampires, Klaus and Elijah. It is also there that she learns that she is a Petrova Doppelganger and Klaus plans on sacrificing her to unlock the curse that bounds his Werewolf side. Since he is also a vampire, if he breaks the curse he will be an original hybrid and then he plans on making his own super species of vampire-werewolf hybrids. However, before Klaus can break the curse, Katherine tricked other vampires into turning her, thereby making her useless to Klaus since she is no longer human. She also steals the moonstone from Klaus which besides the Doppelganger is the other key in unlocking the curse. From there, Katherine spends the next 500 years running and hiding to escape Klaus’s wrath. She finally arrives in Mystic Falls, where she is now known as Kathrine Pierce. There she meets two brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore who both fall in love with her. When the town tries to get rid of their vamp problem by burning 26 of them all alive in a church cellar, Katherine who knew about this plan in advance goes to see Stefan one last time before she was going to escape town. Stefan believed that if his father knew the truth about Katherine, then he would help protect her, sadly his father felt the opposite and spiked Stefan’s drink with Vervain, which causes vampires to become weak and powerless. So when Katherine goes to see Stefan for the last time, she feeds off him and gets the Vervain in her system from Stefan’s blood. Once Katherine becomes weak, Stefan’s father orders her to be taken to the tomb where the rest of the vampires are. Damon arrives to save Katherine and in the process gets shot, when Stefan tries to shoot at whoever killed Damon, he is also shot as well. Katherine is then loaded on to a wagon headed for the tomb but with the help of John Lockwood, she escapes. The brothers awake the next day in transition since in the past Katherine had compelled Stefan to drink her blood and Damon had willingly drank it. Soon the brothers fully transition after their first kills.
Damon then spends the next 145 years thinking of bringing back Katherine who he believes is still in the cellar/tomb, so that they can be together forever. It is also over all those years that Damon feels a deep hatred towards his brother because Katherine turned Stefan into a vampire as well, where Katherine made Damon believe she would only turn him into one and that they would be together.
During the 20th century, she continued to keep tabs on where Stefan was. Stefan recently made his way back to Mystic Falls and there he meets Elena Gilbert who is another Petrova Doppelganger. After Damon thinks he has a way to bring back Katherine, he also finds his way back to Mystic Falls present day where he to runs into Elena. During this time, Damon finally realizes that Katherine never did really love him but instead loved Stefan. He stops caring about her and makes amends with his brother and helps in protecting Elena from some new Supernatural threats that have made their way into town.
Before long, Katherine appears in Mystic Falls and turns everyone’s world upside down. Her goal is to turn over Elena to Klaus so that he will stop hunting her. She will have to get past the brothers first though and they now both dislike her and consider her to be an enemy. Klaus, however, was able to break the curse on his own and this sends Katherine once again on the run. Later she is able to draw Klaus away from Mystic Falls and she returns. Bent on killing Elena because she believes that Elena got the life that she deserves, Katherine finds Elena and attacks her. Just when Katherine is about to finish off Elena, Elena takes a vile that holds a potion that reverses vampirism and shoves it down Katherine’s throat, this turns Kathrine back into a human for the first time in 500 years. This also causes her to have to go on the run from all the Supernatural enemies she has made from over the centuries. Katherine still does not give up on destroying the lives of others and due to the fact that she is a witch, she finds a way to transfer her spirit into the body of Elena. Stefan stabs Elena with a Traveler’s knife and this expels Katherine from Elena’s body.
After Katherine dies, she is denied entry to the “Other side”, which also means she will not be able to be reunited with her daughter. She is then seen being dragged off by unseen forces to what we can presume is a hell of some kind. It is revealed that it is Hell that Katherine is sent to. Even in Hell, it doesn’t stop her from being the manipulative person she is and she manipulates her way to become the Queen of Hell. Soon after she is Queen, Bonnie sends Hellfire back to Hell and Hell is destroyed. This leaves Katherine’s fate unknown.
Well there you have it, there is five of the best female villains! As I said, there are so many bad ass female villain characters out there, that it is very hard to just pick a few. However, I do know, that I would definitely never want to be on the bad side of any of these five ladies!
Thanks so much for reading and please leave in the comments who your female villain is.