Villains We All Secretly Love

By Bea

Villains always have things way harder compared to the heroes. It’s kind of easy to conclude why this is so, but with more movies starring the bad guys coming out, we are slowly learning to sympathize with them. Learning their backstories make us more understanding of villains. Sometimes, we even end up liking the villains more than the heroes. Am I right? Check out some of our favorite villains that we all secretly love more than the heroes!


Loki started out as Thor’s arch-nemesis, but he was so awesome at it that it was hard to dislike him even when he wanted to conquer the world. He’s smart, witty, powerful, and funny. He may have wanted to kill his brother, but his redemption arc at the end of Avengers makes him all the more loveable.

Hannibal Lecter

Now, you may think “who would love someone who eats people?” Well, if you’ve seen Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, or Red Dragon, you would know why. Hannibal Lecter, iconically portrayed by Anthony Hopkins, is one intelligent and charming villain. You wouldn’t imagine that he’s a serial killer who enjoy eating human flesh.


Like all other villains, Maleficent started as a kind-hearted and powerful fairy. Her downfall was when she fell in love with a human peasant who tried to kill her to become king. Because of his betrayal, Maleficent became vengeful towards his daughter Aurora. And the rest is history. Again, this is a classic story of good guy turned bad all because of life’s circumstances.

Darth Vader

Before Darth Vader turned to the dark side, he was Anakin Skywalker, a goodhearted Jedi and hero of the Clone Wars. Yet again, because of love, he broke the Order’s code and married Padme Amidala. His story is a tragic one indeed, but his redemption, though it killed him, makes him a villain we all love.


Spike played many roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, including villain, anti-hero, and romantic interest. His story was a complicated one because as a vampire, he didn’t have a soul and often acted selfishly. But when he falls in love with Buffy, he fought to have a soul and even sacrificed his life to save her.


Joker is one misunderstood guy. His whole life he was judged and mistreated by those around him which eventually lead to his psychotic break. You have to hand it to the guy though. In spite of his darkness, he still found a way to sneak in some humor in his life.

Cruella De Vil

Cruella may be a cold-hearted, puppy-killing villain, but we have to give the woman credit for being so fashionably badass. She’s got style, wit, and sass. You may think you know her, but the recent film shows us how she became the psycho villain we secretly love.

Draco Malfoy

No matter how self-entitled and egoistic Draco Malfoy is, he’s still one funny and likable character. I mean, you can’t really blame him for the way he is when you realize who his father is. The thing about him is that he’s not actually evil. Ultimately, he’s just a spoiled kid who could have been friends with Harry under different circumstances.

The Phantom of the Opera

I guess in the 1880s, people weren’t as accepting towards minorities as we are now. Phantom was born with a physical deformity, and people hated him for it. This, of course, made him into the spiteful, insecure guy that he is. He may have been stalker-obsessed with Christine, but at least he let her go in the end.


Yes, Gollum may do evil deeds and may have been corrupted by the One Ring. However, he does occasionally show a good side, and you can’t help but love him.

Lex Luthor

Considering he’s Clark Kent’s ex-best friend, there’s probably something good about him. If you’re willing to look past the fact that he’s selfish, manipulative, and capable of killing to get his way, he’s not totally bad. That’s if we’re talking about Lex Luthor on Smallville.

Cersei Lannister

You’ve got to love Cersei Lannister for being so unapologetic about her ruthlessness and sass. She’s just one of those characters you love to hate.

Serena Joy

You can’t help but sympathize and hate Serena Joy. On one hand, she’s a lonely, desperate woman who wants to have a child of her own. But on the other hand, she’s a selfish, manipulative woman who would go to great lengths to get what she wants. She did have some redeeming moments on the show that makes you like her.

Mr. Gold / Rumpelstiltskin

Mr. Gold was a great villain-slash-anti-hero on Once Upon A Time. His constant battle between good and evil made his redemption, in the end, all the more satisfying.

Severus Snape

Professor Snape isn’t really a villain if you ask me. Yes, he disliked Harry and his friends and treated them unfairly in school, but the guy dedicated and sacrificed his entire life to protect Harry (in spite of Harry being a constant reminder that Lily never loved him back).

Check out the best anime redemption story arcs here!

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