Top Ten Villainous Mancandy

It’s October. Time to celebrate everyone’s favorite holiday.

Columbus Day! Go take credit for discovering a new land and mistreat its natives!

Look at that saucy mancandy right there. Work that hat you saucy beast.

😀

Seriously though, in honor of the Halloween I will present you with my top ten villainous mancandy. Heroes are wonderful but the most of us have a weakness for the baddies, even ones we’d never go near in real life. So enjoy!

Note: There are characters far more villainous and messed up than these. However my list has characters that are both bad and have some attractive quality to them. The Callenwold character from Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy and Jame Gumb from The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris are terrifying but are not in any way mancandy to me, so they are not on the list.

10. Mr. B from Pamela by Samuel Richardson

Our number 10 slot is filled by the leading man. Pamela is one of those 18th century novels that written to make sure good young ladies kept it in their pants. The basic and repeating plot is this: Pamela is a servant of Mr. B. Mr. B has major major hots for Pamela who is so good and beautiful so he concocts all these different ways to get into her pants–abducting her, posing as a housekeeper, just manhandling her–and each scene usually ends in her fainting and then waking up yet untouched. Finally he realises the error of his ways and marries her. Then you get about 100 more pages of his cruel mother thinking Pamela’s just a harlot and Mr. B exhibiting general douchebaggery until they live happily ever after.

Even still, its one of those books you can’t put down because you just need to know what happens next. And the 18th century views and culture are well detailed. Mr. B is a douche-y, creepy guy but not so repulsive that I wasn’t a tiny bit relieved when they finally got married. But that’s probably because I was tired of their crazy cycle.

9. Henry Crawford from Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Mansfield Park is Jane Austen’s least popular novel. The heroine is a tad uppity and the hero makes you want to tear out your hair and yell “Really? Really??” but I liked it better than Sense & Sensibility. (If you’re wondering, my favorite Austen novel is P&P, followed closely by Persuasion) Henry Crawford is the dashing gentleman who, with his sister Mary, upsets the lives of those in Mansfield Park. He’s not too terrible. The reason I can’t hate him is that he has a period in between his villainy where he seems earnest in his courtship of Fanny Price. I didn’t trust his motives during this time but I got the sense he liked her a great deal before deciding to run off with Maria Bertram/Rushworth. Henry and his sister are more obstacles to Fanny and Edmund’s happiness than true villains.

8. Severus Snape from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Snape, Snape, Severus Snape.

Snape is complicated. I wasn’t enthused about him for most of the books because…well he was a jerk. And Rowling was very good at making him jerky. But slowly she revealed to us that maybe he wasn’t so bad. Maybe he’d had a hard life. maybe James Potter had been a jerk-ass too. After the 6th book when they had the “Snape is a Bad Man” or “I Trust Snape,” I decided to trust Snape.

And I was rewarded. The best chapter in that whole book was Snape’s history and about how he had loved Lilly Evans/Potter. JK Rowling was forgiven for the scene in the 6th book with Ginny and Dean “locked in a passionate embrace” behind a tapestry. Snape may be a bitter antagonizing fellow but he’s one of the best-written characters in the series. (And if I had to teach Harry Potter as he got steadily more angsty, I’d be a jerk too.)

7. Erik (the Phantom) from The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

So…Erik. I like the Phantom. But I do not like the idea that Christine should have chosen him over Raoul. Yes the Phantom is a complex, pitiable character but he’s still a psycho murderer who Christine thought was her father or at least a messenger from him. That’s…messed up. Sorry. The book version is a darker character than the musical version, less sympathetic since he doesn’t have Michael Crawford’s soothing voice making him dashing. (I like Gerard Butler but I apply to him the same rule I apply to Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth: Please keep being in movies and acting because I love you but please never ever be in a musical again.)

6. Flauvic from Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith

Crown Duel was originally two novels titled Crown Duel and Court Duel. When I read it, it was released as one book. The second half of Crown Duel’s villain is Flauvic, a smooth nobleman with whom the heroine Meliara shares a strange attraction. He’s very subtle–you’re led to believe that someone else is the baddie throughout most of the novel. To Meliara he poses several types of threats. I like that about him. The quiet villains are sometimes the scariest of them all.

5. Eblis from Many Waters by Madeleine L’Engle

I will always be miffed that I misplaced my copy of Many Waters. It’s my favorite of the Time Quartet (though A Swiftly Tilting Planet is a close second). The ensemble of villains, the nephillim are intimidating and charismatic. Elbis, the nephillim who tempts the book’s heroine Yalith is the best example of the combination, especially in the way he draws the reader in though everything about him screams bad guy! bad guy! You don’t want to root for him at all but a tiny bit of you does anyway. Is that just me? I hope not.

4. Irial from Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

I love Irial.

Like really, really love Irial. When I read the final book in the series I plan on dedicating a post to him. He’s not truly villainous so he’s only number four but he is a character familiar with the shadowy parts of life and desire. What I enjoy most about his is that he is a warm, rounded character despite how much he skirts that hero/villain line. His choices may not always be right but they are sympathetic and legit.

And he’s the most physically attractive character on this list 😉

3. Dracula from Dracula by Bram Stoker

How sexual you consider Dracula depends on how you interpret the original novel and probably which movie adaptation you’re more familiar with. (The Coppola version pictured above falls on the more romantic/erotic side of the equation, even with Keanu Reeves in the cast.) For me, Stoker’s Dracula is sexual in a very creepy stalker/sociopath sort of way instead of the tortured hero some portray him as. He’s not the most evil vampire I’ve read but he is definitely evil.

2. Barlow from Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

This is the most evil vampire character I’ve ever read. Stephen King at his best terrifies me to my core (I didn’t want to go near my shower for a day after I read The Shining.) Mr. Barlow has the charisma many of the others on the list has but he also is one hell of a sociopath. It’s one thing for the villain to kill a character you’ve become attached to. But when that villain turns her into a vampire and makes her new boyfriend have to stake her…well that’s Hannibal territory.

Speaking of…

1. Dr. Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

Is anyone surprised? You can read my in-depth review of Dr. Lecter for a detailed analysis but Hannibal is my favorite villainous mancandy. Smooth, cultured, intelligent, diabolical and sexy. Yeah, sexy. More so the Anthony Hopkins movie role then the book character but the latter has some spice to him as well. He’s subtle with his villainy and while my review of him had a lower grade because of his criminal acts, I still think he is the epitome of the character you love to hate to love.

Agree? Disagree? Have someone I missed?

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3 Responses to “Top Ten Villainous Mancandy”


  1. 1 Merriska November 24, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    IrialIrialIrialIrialIrialIrial <3<3<3

  2. 2 jk rowling December 8, 2012 at 8:23 pm

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  3. 3 Rafael August 12, 2013 at 6:57 am

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