Homelander, the deeply flawed superhero from Amazon Prime’s The Boys, has become a symbol of villainy that audiences love to hate. His narcissistic personality, lack of empathy, and ruthless pursuit of power make him a compelling antagonist. However, the landscape of film and television is filled with villains who have managed to surpass even Homelander in terms of audience disdain. Let’s explore some of these characters.
Joffrey Baratheon – Game of Thrones
Joffrey Baratheon, a character from “Game of Thrones,” is widely reviled by audiences due to his cruel, arrogant, and entitled nature. As the young king of Westeros, Joffrey frequently abuses his power, displaying a sadistic pleasure in inflicting pain and suffering on others.
His cruelty is particularly evident in his treatment of Sansa Stark, whom he torments both physically and psychologically. Joffrey takes pleasure in tormenting Sansa, both physically and emotionally, such as when he orders his guards to strip and beat her in court, or when he forces her to look at the decapitated head of her father, Ned Stark. Furthermore, Joffrey often orders brutal punishments for minor offenses, such as when he commands the execution of a bard for composing a satirical song about the royal family.
Moreover, his lack of effective leadership skills, characterized by impulsive decision-making and a disregard for wise counsel, contributes to the instability and chaos in the Seven Kingdoms.
Dolores Umbridge – Harry Potter Series
Dolores Umbridge, a character from the “Harry Potter” series, is widely disliked by audiences due to her authoritarian, cruel, and hypocritical nature.
As a high-ranking official in the Ministry of Magic and later as the Headmistress of Hogwarts, Umbridge uses her positions of power to enforce oppressive rules and punishments, often under the guise of maintaining order.
Her cruel nature is particularly evident in her use of the “Black Quill” detention method, which forces students to write lines with a quill that carves the words into their own flesh.
Despite her sweet and prim exterior, Umbridge is hypocritical and corrupt, using her authority to further her own interests and the interests of the Ministry, often at the expense of truth and justice.
Her refusal to acknowledge the return of Voldemort, despite clear evidence, and her subsequent persecution of those who do, further contributes to her unlikability. Her character, which embodies bureaucratic evil and the abuse of power, makes her one of the most hated characters in the “Harry Potter” series.
Ramsay Bolton – Game of Thrones
Ramsay Bolton, another character from “Game of Thrones,” is widely reviled by audiences due to his sadistic, manipulative, and power-hungry nature.
As the illegitimate son of Roose Bolton, Ramsay is portrayed as a psychopath who derives pleasure from torturing others, both physically and psychologically.
His sadistic tendencies are highlighted through his brutal treatment of several characters, most notably Theon Greyjoy.
After capturing Theon, Ramsay subjects him to horrific physical abuse and psychological manipulation, breaking his spirit to the point where Theon forgets his own identity and adopts the persona of “Reek.”
Another chilling display of Ramsay’s sadism is his practice of hunting humans for sport. He releases his captives into the wilderness, then hunts them down with his hounds, promising a quick death only if they provide a “good hunt.”
Ramsay’s cruelty extends to his own family as well, as evidenced when he murders his father, Roose Bolton, and orders the killing of his stepmother and newborn half-brother to secure his claim to the Bolton name and lands. His treatment of Sansa Stark, his forced wife, further underscores his sadistic nature, as he subjects her to physical and sexual abuse and involves Theon in his cruel games.
Ramsay’s manipulative skills are evident in his ability to control and intimidate those around him, using fear as a tool to assert his power.
His relentless pursuit of power and recognition, often at the expense of innocent lives, further contributes to his unlikability. Despite his eventual downfall, Ramsay’s cruel actions throughout the series leave a lasting impression on viewers, making him one of the most hated characters in the “Game of Thrones” universe.
Negan – The Walking Dead
Negan, a prominent character in “The Walking Dead,” is often the subject of audience disdain due to his violent, manipulative, and arrogant nature.
His introduction into the series is marked by a shocking display of brutality, where he uses his signature weapon, a barbed-wire-wrapped baseball bat named “Lucille,” to kill beloved characters in a gruesomely memorable scene. As the leader of the Saviors, Negan rules with an iron fist, employing fear and intimidation to manipulate and control those around him, further cementing his role as a classic antagonist.
His arrogance and smug demeanor, coupled with a cruel sense of humor, often exacerbate the viewers’ dislike for him. Moreover, Negan’s apparent lack of remorse for his actions, and his enjoyment of the power he wields, make it difficult for audiences to find redeeming qualities in his character. Despite his character’s evolution in later seasons, these initial impressions have left a lasting impact on how viewers perceive Negan.
Kingpin – Daredevil
The Kingpin, also known as Wilson Fisk, is a character from the “Daredevil” TV series who often draws the ire of audiences due to his ruthless, manipulative, and violent behavior.
As a powerful crime lord, Fisk employs brutal tactics to maintain his grip over Hell’s Kitchen, including murder and intimidation, which positions him as a formidable antagonist.
His cunning manipulation, particularly his exploitation of the legal system and his use of others as mere pawns in his grand schemes, further amplifies his unlikability.
Despite his complex backstory and occasional displays of vulnerability, Fisk’s relentless pursuit of power, often at the expense of innocent lives, overshadows any potential sympathy viewers might feel for him. His cold, calculating demeanor, coupled with his blatant disregard for human life, make him a character that audiences love to hate, solidifying his status as one of Daredevil’s most iconic villains.
Nurse Ratched – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Nurse Ratched, a character from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” is widely disliked by audiences due to her manipulative, authoritarian, and cold-hearted nature.
As the head administrative nurse in a mental institution, she wields her power in a way that dehumanizes the patients, suppressing their individuality and enforcing a rigid order that prioritizes control over care.
Her manipulative tactics, which include psychological intimidation and emotional manipulation, are used to maintain her authority and keep the patients in line.
Nurse Ratched’s cold-heartedness is particularly evident in her lack of empathy towards the patients and her willingness to use harmful treatments as a form of punishment.
Her character, devoid of warmth and compassion, stands in stark contrast to the spirited and rebellious protagonist, Randle McMurphy, making her a figure of audience disdain. Her oppressive regime and the suffering it causes make Nurse Ratched one of cinema’s most notorious villains.
Percy Wetmore – The Green Mile
Percy Wetmore, a character from “The Green Mile,” is widely disliked by audiences due to his sadistic, cowardly, and arrogant nature.
As a prison guard, Percy frequently abuses his power, tormenting the inmates under his watch with a level of cruelty that is both unnecessary and unsettling.
His sadistic tendencies are particularly highlighted in his treatment of Eduard Delacroix, which culminates in a horrifying execution scene that leaves a lasting impression on viewers. Percy’s cowardice is also a source of audience disdain, as he often hides behind his familial connections to avoid repercussions for his actions. His arrogance, coupled with his lack of empathy and remorse, further exacerbates his unlikability.
Despite being a minor character, Percy Wetmore’s actions and demeanor make him one of the most despised characters in “The Green Mile.”
Commodus – Gladiator
Commodus, a character from the film “Gladiator,” is widely disliked by audiences due to his treacherous, cruel, and narcissistic nature.
As the Roman Emperor, Commodus is portrayed as a man who seizes power through deceit and murder, notably killing his own father, Marcus Aurelius, to ascend to the throne.
His cruelty is further highlighted through his vindictive actions towards the film’s protagonist, Maximus, whom he orders to be executed and whose family he has killed.
Commodus’s narcissism is evident in his desire for adulation and his use of the gladiatorial games to manipulate public opinion. His lack of the noble qualities typically associated with leadership, such as honor, courage, and justice, starkly contrasts with the virtuous Maximus and his actions throughout the film, driven by personal ambition and spite rather than the good of Rome, solidify his status as a memorable cinematic villain.