10 greatest villains in all of literature

There are many unforgettable villains in literature, but only a handful of them have stood the test of time. To make it onto this list, our villains had to be terrifying, ruthless, conflicted, and compelling. Our villains are the most memorable ones we could find in contemporary and classic literature. These 10 are our favorite literary bad-guys. 

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10. Dr. Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Known as the “Napoleon of Crime,” this man is Holmes’s mysterious archenemy and the criminal mastermind who is behind almost every case Holmes solves. He does not take it well when his plans are foiled and has no qualms about killing the innocent to take out his revenge. He is the one who is finally able to defeat Holmes in “The Final Problem,” as he had been threatening to do since their first encounter.

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