Sure, there are great moments in the movies when a villain gets their comeuppance - think Grand Moff Tarkin getting blown up along with the Death Star in the original Star Wars, or Hans Gruber falling to his demise from the top of a massive skyscraper in Die Hard. But isn't there something just more satisfying about watching TV villains meet their end? After watching a bad guy taunt the heroes, stir up trouble, and unleash chaos for multiple episodes (or even multiple seasons), it can be electrifying when we finally see them go down in flames. And if you need proof, here are some of the very best examples of TV villains whose punishments fit the crime.
- Photo: HBO
What Did He Do?
Joffrey starts off as merely a spoiled brat at the beginning of the series, a young prince who doesn’t hesitate to abuse others because his royal title means he rarely hears the word “no.” But when Joffrey ascends the throne, his full cruelty is revealed. He decides on a whim to have Eddard Stark beheaded for treason, despite pleas from his family and advisors that doing so would spark a civil war, and he later fires an arrow through a mistress just for fun. It’s possible that his vicious nature is the result of inbreeding: Joffrey isn’t actually the son of King Robert Baratheon or the heir to the throne, but a product of incest between siblings Cersei and Jaime Lannister.
After years of tormenting everyone around him, including members of his own family, Joffrey is poisoned on his wedding day. The dark joke is that nobody is sure who did the deed, since so many of the wedding guests had their own reasons for wanting him gone. (Although Joffrey’s uncle, Tyrion Lannister, is initially blamed for the act, it’s later revealed that the actual culprit was Lady Olenna.)
- Played By: Jack Gleeson
Ramsay Bolton (Game of Thrones)Photo: HBO
What Did He Do?
Where do we even start? Perhaps no TV villain of the last decade has been as loathsome and utterly irredeemable as Ramsay Bolton. The bastard son of nobleman Roose Bolton, Ramsay is a full-fledged psychopath who relishes in maiming his opponents (often by flaying them alive) and torturing his captives. After turning on his own father, he becomes the lord of Winterfell and imposes his brutal reign on the entire region of Westeros.
Jon Snow leads a desperate siege on Winterfell to retake the territory from Ramsay, and the tide turns in his favor when Sansa Stark and Petyr Baelish arrive with reinforcements at a crucial moment. Ramsay tries to retreat to his fortified settlement, but a giant wildling breaks down the gate, allowing Jon to rush in and challenge him to a one-on-one duel. Ramsay loses and is imprisoned in Winterfell, where Sansa gets revenge for his brutal treatment of her by letting his hunting dogs eat him alive.
- Played By: Iwan Rheon
- Photo: AMC
What Did He Do?
Before the zombie outbreak, Philip Blake was just an ordinary office worker and family man. After the outbreak, he becomes known as “The Governor,” the ruthless leader of a small community in Woodbury, GA. The Governor rules his town with his iron fist and doesn’t hesitate to do away with anyone whom he believes to be a threat to his order. When his spartan mentality clashes with the more humane philosophy of Rick Grimes and his band of survivors, a battle breaks out between the two groups.
Shortly after capturing and decapitating Hershel Greene, the Governor leads a siege on the prison where Rick and his fellow survivors are living. Rick and the Governor get into a brutal fight, and just as the Governor is about to finish him off, Michonne arrives and stabs him through the torso. As he lies bleeding, Lilly shows up to finish the job by shooting him in the head.
- Played By: David Morrissey
Stormfront (The Boys)Photo: Amazon Prime
What Did She Do?
Although she plays the part of a virtuous superhero for her massive social media following, Stormfront is really a closet white supremacist who is using her popularity to advocate for the white race and to start a race war. There's nothing "neo" about her - she's a literal Nazi. She was born in Germany in 1919 and stopped aging long ago thanks to an experiment that also gave her lightning superpowers. Now she believes it’s up to her to succeed where the Fuhrer failed.
Stormfront’s social media popularity crumbles when evidence of her past leaks and the public turns against her. Furious, she tries to exact her revenge on the Boys, but is subdued by the trio of Starlight, Kimiko, and Queen Maeve. But her fatal mistake comes when she threatens to harm Rebecca Butcher in front of Rebecca’s superpowered son Ryan - Ryan uses his heat vision to attack her, scorching her entire body and cutting off most of her limbs. Stormfront is left alive, but is now completely and utterly powerless.Karmic justice?