Well, after last week’s record-breaking number of responses (92 last time I checked–an all-time BTT record), I was tempted to use this week’s question to ask what you all thought about Harry Potter 7–but since a decent proportion of you weren’t going to be reading it at all, that seemed unfair. So instead . . .
Who’s the worst fictional villain you can think of? As in, the one you hate the most, find the most evil, are happiest to see defeated? Not the cardboard, two-dimensional variety, but the most deliciously-written, most entertaining, best villain? Not necessarily the most “evil,” so much as the best-conceived on the part of the author…oh, you know what I mean!
There's scads of good candidates, but since Iago was taken, I'll go with Tulkinghorn from Bleak House. He destroys, or tries to destroy, lives dispassionately and for no better reason than the enjoyment he gets from having his victims in his power.
I'd say that Shakespeare's Richard III meets the criteria for the most entertaining villain. Having read a surfeit of novels where Richard is all but beatified, I find his stage version rather refreshing!