Watching a film, binge watching on a tv series, reading a book. We love a great plot line, but it’s the characters we invest in that keep us interested, who keep us wanting more.
Every story has characters that we favour and love; the ones we root for throughout. We want them to succeed, we want them to win. Then there are the characters we hate, characters with so few redeeming qualities that despising them is actually pretty fun. They are cruel and unashamedly so…
These are the characters we love to hate:
1. Dolores Umbridge
Book: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Professor Umbridge is a lot of things: callous, narrow minded, and cruel to name just a few. She shares of lot of her awful traits with Lord Voldemort, but it’s her manipulative streak and sickly sweet persona that makes her so unbearable.
2. Joffrey Baratheon
Book: Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire Series
We’ve seen him in the television programme, and his cruelty was relentless in that, but book Joffrey is even worse. He literally has no redeeming qualities - you can’t help but loathe the guy!
3. Amy Dunne
Book: Gone Girl
Her partner wasn’t much better with his egotistical ways, but at least there was a little glimmer of conscience there. Amy is grossly manipulative, and alarmingly clever with it. You hate her, but you’re equally intrigued by her.
4. Miss Havisham
Book: Great Expectations
An interesting one, we dislike her because she is mean, deceitful and unrelenting in her treatment towards Pip. For a good while, we do love to hate her. But in the end, we end up pitying her the fact that she felt that this sort of behaviour was the only way to get on in life.
5. Miss Trunchbull
She is textbook mean. Dahl threw every unlikeable trait he could at her, with great results. Readers love to hate her and they don’t feel the slightest bit bad about it!
6. Dorian Gray
Book: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Fascinating but not a nice person at all. Vain and vicious, with an incredible lack of empathy. All of his focus lays on what he looks like.
7. Nellie Olsen
Book: Little House on the Prairie
She’s only a girl, but we dislike her because she reminds us of the school bully that we’re all familiar with. It’s a bizarre feeling, we can’t stand her but at the same time we laugh at her and pity the fact that she fails to grow out of her sabotaging, scheming ways.
8. Tom Buchanan
Book: The Great Gatsby
Misogynistic, narrow minded, arrogant, ignorant - in a book filled to the brim with self-indulgent characters, he’s probably the worst of them!
There we have it. Some of literature’s most brilliant but nasty characters. Who would you add to the list?