6 thoughts on “50 greatest villains in literature”

  1. That was an amusing list, but not sure about the ordering of the villains… Samuel Whiskers worse than Voldemort or Commander Fred? Weird.

    Have you ever noticed the resemblance between Cthulhu and the Flying Spaghetti Monster? (Good thing the Fundagelicals haven’t noticed…)

  2. I suspect one of the journalists may have suffered a Beatrix Potter-related trauma at an early age.

    A surprisingly catholic selection, I thought; Cthulhu wasn’t a surprise since I know Sam Leith likes Lovecraft but they also included Steerpike and–very surprisingly–Surtur from A Voyage to Arcturus, a fantasy classic which few lit critics have even heard of, never mind read.

    Lovecraft was an avowed atheist so he would have approved of the FSM and its pasta tentacles.

  3. Why does Cthulhu get all of the attention, when Nyarlathotep is the one pulling all of the strings? I guess when its pulp, most people never bother reading between the lines no matter how well-done for pulp it is.

  4. Cthulhu is the name that everyone knows, not least because Lovecraft’s mythos bear its name. I thought Azathoth was the big boss anyway? Not that the hierarchy has ever been clear. HPL was smart in keeping things vague, that way they retain their mystery.

  5. I’ll clarify since your view makes just as much sense to me-

    Azathoth, it would seem through Lovecraft’s words (he was a mad dog when it came to writing, but he was far more capable of being subtle when he wanted to than people give him credit for) was the dark god/outer being/whatever, whose power was the most far-reaching, but he is a blind, mad, idiot god whose direct servants are equally so.

    Nyarlathotep on the other hand, though appearing smaller, seems no less powerful than all the others, sans Azathoth, and he doesn’t ever seem to need to hibernate like the others always do. Whenever, in his later stories, the force afflicting the protagonist is vague, half of the time it is somewhere identified by, or associated with, one of Nyarlathotep’s thousand different little-known pseudonyms that Lovecraft scattered throughout his body of work to, under perhaps the ‘veil’ of my interpretation, make the ‘Crawling Chaos’ seem as though its claws/hands/tentacles/whatever everywhere.

    If this were a Lovecraft forum, I’d start a debate thread on members’ interpretation of supposed hierarchy, just out of curiosity.

  6. The Crawling Chaos was also imprisoned in the Starry Wisdom church, wasn’t it? Or part of it was… As I said above, things are so vague that a hierarchy is impossible, probably even nonsensical since hierarchies are a human (or animal) concern. HPL’s gods served the function of replacing the Christian cosmology while still leaving room for supernatural evil that would satisfy an atheist. In which case they’re a very clever creation.

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