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The Best Fictional Characters Who Turn Evil 

Ranker Characters
Updated January 15, 2020 8k votes 1.1k voters 106.9k views 35 items

List Rules Vote up the characters who make bad look good.

There are thousands of villains in fiction, from television, books, comics, and film, each with their own unique motives and methods of madness. But it can be rare to see a character go from a hero to villain before your own eyes. They might start out as an innocent person, with the best of intentions, before transforming into a monster. Many films spend significant time fleshing out their heroes' motivations, but what makes these fictional characters turn evil?

Sometimes they’re tempted by the power that comes from evil and darkness, like in the case of Anakin Skywalker, Peter Pettigrew, and Lex Luthor. Many of these villains had the best of intentions, but it only led to a place of evil, like in the case of "Breaking Bad" anti-hero Walter White.

A lot of the characters on this list began as close friends of the heroes of their stories. Buffy the Vampire Slayer saw both her boyfriend and best friend go from her allies to bitter enemies. Many of Shakespeare’s characters were corrupted by jealousy or thirst for power and end up committing extremely evil acts, as in the case of Macbeth and Iago.

This list features characters who weren’t born bad, but were made evil by unfortunate circumstances and their choices later in life.

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Darth Vader is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Turn Evil
Photo: flickr/CC0
At the start of the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy Anakin Skywalker is a young boy with the gift of The Force. As the story evolves, he joins the dark side, becomes Palpatine's Sith and becomes Darth Vader.

Appears In: Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, + more

Powers & Abilities: Telepathy, Levitation, Force

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Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Turn Evil
Photo: Metaweb (FB)
Macbeth is the title character of the William Shakespeare tragedy first published in 1606. He is a military hero until he is convinced to commit regicide to become the King of Scotland.

Appears In: Macbeth

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Jack Torrance is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Turn Evil
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At the start of Stephen King's novel "The Shining," Jack Torrance is a writer and family man who takes a job as a hotel caretaker to make some extra money. By the end of the story, he is a murderous monster possessed with deadly thoughts.

Appears In: The Shining

Powers & Abilities: Telepathy

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Michael Corleone is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Turn Evil
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Michael Corleone is the main character of "The Godfather" series and he first appeared in Mario Puzo's novel "The Godfather." He was a WWII hero before taking over the "family business."

Appears In: The Godfather Saga, The Godfather Part II, The Godfather Part III, The Godfather, The Godfather

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