Gerard Butler in Law Abiding Citizen. I got a murder boner every time he killed someone.
Always loved Magneto.
Good backstory, cool powers, kind of unflappable but genuinely human underneath.
A good villain always has a little bit of redemption and sympathy behind what he's doing, and Magento always ticked all the boxes for me.
Zuko, from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Kind of the bastard child, just wanted to belong. It's always easy to follow the path shown to you, instead he (eventually) forged his own path, became his own man.
Also the man threw flames around. Pretty dope.
I mean what's not to like? The voice, the dialogue the armour, the lightsabre, his pragmatic attitude, how others fear him, how he looks coming down the hallway in rogue one. It's all great.
Arthas Menethil. I've always thought that he made a right decision about Stratholme and Jaina was acting like an unbelievable hypocrite in that situation.
Also, The Death Knight questline is one of my all time favorite.
The Punisher, though he's more of an anti-hero, I suppose. If I were to lose everyone that keeps me tethered to humanity, I could certainly see going out in a flourish of pure vengeance.
In literature, the Judge, Judge Holden, from Cormac McCarthy's *Blood Meridian*. He is the embodiment of chaos and evil.
He is a 7+ foot tall man, pale, bulging with muscle and fat, a stomach like a baby, with hands a feet that are so tiny that they look delicate compared to the rest of him. He is completely hairless, bald, without eyebrows or even eyelashes.
Everywhere he goes, he brings with him hell. He is the most learned and brilliant man anyone in the west has ever met.
He is so ruthlessly horrifying in his actions that the book kept me awake some nights while I was reading it. Wherever he goes, children go missing. Whoever he talks to, he can identify the weakest parts of them. He is violence, incarnate. He is the true embodiment of man's tendency to war. He is that inherent part of all humans that lead us to violence.
>It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge. War endures. As well ask men what they think of stone. War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner. That is how it was it is and will be. That way and not some other way.
> - The Judge; Cormac McCarthy's *Blood Meridian*.
One of the best villains ever conceived, in one of the best novels ever written.
The original fairytale Maleficent.
She is evil just because - she has no purpose to her evilness; she doesn't want power, money, or anything else.
In the original fairytale the king and queen hosts a christening of Aurora for all the land to come. And the fairies are to have the finest plates, which are made of gold. But alas, they only have 12 gold plates and there are 13 witches. So Maleficent isn't invited for no other reason than that. And so she gets offended and hexes Aurora.
So basically she is evil, because she wasn't invited to a christening.
[Iago](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iago) from Shakespeare's Othello. Everyone in the play calls him "honest Iago" and think he is a great guy. But really he is so evil that he relishes his own wickedness. And while his motives are never clearly stated, there multiple possible reasons each of which is somewhat understandable and humanizing.
Frank Underwood is probably the closest modern equivalent, yet still not as good as the original.
I'm my eyes he isn't the villain that he is made out to be. His whole life he was following the law and doing his duty in order to retain the nuclear model of society. Then, after all those years he realises that ValJean wasn't as evil as the law made him out to be, rendering his whole life a huge lie and learning that the world isn't just black and white or good and bad so he kills himself. His life is so tragic and it's really sad to me that he is the antagonist of Les Mis. :(
Anton Chigurh because we as people can be just as cold and calculated.
Hannibal Lecter. Hes so Intelligent and charismatic. Small part of me wants him to win.
Patrick Bateman - I also really enjoy the music of Huey Lewis and The News and Phil Collins...and possibly, on occasion, also fantasize about violently murdering my colleagues and various random people.
Light Yagami/Kira (Death note, the anime) super intelligent strategist, charming, I get 100% behind his cause. He starts going crazy and delusional at the end but I still love him. Actually I enjoy pretty much his descent into madness.
Protip watch the series in original japanese vo with subs, the voice actor for kira is supreme.
Doctor Horrible from Doctor Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog. Neil Patrick Harris is brilliant. Dr. Horrible, the poor guy has to balance the relationship with his crush vs. his ambition to gain admission to the Evil League of Evil.
Griffith from this Japanese comic called *Berserk*.
Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish
When he was young, Petyr was in love with Catelyn. But he was beaten and nearly killed by Brandon Stark. Bran got Catelyn and poor Petyr felt humiliated and heartbroken. That's why he plotted to destroy the Starks by pitting them against the Lannisters.
Since he wasn't a strong warrior, he relied on his wits and rose to power, becoming Lord Protector of the Vale. All he wanted was revenge and love.
Well Tamatoa hasn't always been this Glam...
Ozymandias from Watchmen. I find myself relating to everyone from the brutal Rorschach to the god-like Doctor Manhattan. But given the situation, I agreed with everything ozymandias did. I'm still not very comfortable about the fact that I empathized with the villain so much.
Comics: Negan. He's an evil asshole, but you just can't help but love him because he's so unabashedly an asshole.
Literature: Pennywise from Stephen King's "It." Pennywise is a clown that can shapeshift into whatever you fear the most. That's pretty fucking intense. Also, Tim Curry did a pretty cool job as Pennywise in the miniseries. I have yet to see the reboot, but from what I've been hearing, it's pretty good.
Movies: Heath Ledger's The Joker from Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight." Heath Ledger's performance was definitely Oscar worthy because of how intense and real he made The Joker. Jared Leto ain't got shit on Heath Ledger's Joker.
Handsome Jack. He is easily one of my favorite villains ever. He's just so, asshole-y. But he does it in a good way. I never really hated him. Until the part late in the game, anyways. That "relatable" bit though? Well, pre-evil Jack was kinda like me. He got shat on a lot, metaphorically, of course, but once he got the means to gain power, he went mad. Kind of like I would envision myself doing, if I were given the means.
Tl;dr: don't put me in any positions of authority or power. I'll likely go insane and kill people.
Dio Brando from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
A cold calculating psychopath who can stop time. You could be dead before you even realized it.
A good villain *believes* they are right... a great villain actually is.