Fiction The Best Fictional Characters Who Turn Evil  

Ranker Characters
5.1k votes 705 voters 89.7k 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. 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.

 

1 410 VOTES

Darth Vader is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Turn Evil
Photo: via Imgur
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

Also Ranked

#9 on The Best Movie Characters of All Time

#2 on Vader to Binks: Best to Worst Star Wars Characters

#2 on The Greatest Movie Villains of All Time

#45 on The Most Hardcore Big Screen Action Heroes

283 127
Is their switch entertaining?
see more on Darth Vader
2 257 VOTES

Magneto is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Turn Evil
Photo: Marvel Comics
Magneto first appeared in "The X-Men" in 1963. He is a Jewish Holocaust survivor who would like to see mutants dominating the world.

Appears In: X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: First Class, Magneto, X-Men: The Last Stand, X2, + more

Powers & Abilities: Flight, Magnetism

Also Ranked

#1 on The Greatest Marvel Villains & Enemies Ever

#30 on The Best Fictional Characters You'd Leave Your Man For

#2 on The Best Comic Book Villains

#20 on The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

174 83
Is their switch entertaining?
see more on Magneto
3 277 VOTES

Harvey Dent

Harvey Dent is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Turn Evil
Photo: via Imgur
Harvey Dent was one of the best criminal attorneys in Gotham before being attacked with acid and becoming the crime boss Two-Face. He first appeared in "Detective Comics" in 1942.

Appears In: DC Universe

183 94
Is their switch entertaining?
4 212 VOTES

Jack Torrance is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fictional Characters Who Turn Evil
Photo: Metaweb (FB)
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

Also Ranked

#35 on The Best Movie Characters of All Time

#8 on The Greatest Movie Villains of All Time

#26 on Who Is The Most Famous Fictional Character From Your State?

#2 on The Greatest Possessed Characters in Film

138 74
Is their switch entertaining?
see more on Jack Torrance