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Secondary Villains Who You Hate Even More Than The Big Bads

Updated February 4, 2021 1.1k votes 168 voters 3.0k views14 items

List RulesVote up the villains who still make your skin crawl even though they're not the main villain.

Have you ever seen a film that made you hate the secondary antagonist even more than the final villain? Maybe they were a sadistic scientist, a whiny snitch who'd do anything to get ahead, or an emotionless bruiser of a henchman. While their exact role may change, one thing remains constant: These are the villains actually doing the dirty work. Depending on how dirty that work gets, these can be the bad guys that you're still a little mad at as you walk away from the theater. 

This list will be going over all of the most hated and villainous right-hand men and women in cinema history - the ones who truly relish their role in making heroes' journeys even harder. So, check it out, and vote up the elite evil underlings that still make you sick to think about. 

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  • Dolores Umbridge In The 'Harry Potter' Series
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Few characters in the history of cinema are as universally despised as Dolores Umbridge. While she certainly isn't as evil as Voldemort (is anyone?), it's quite possible that the readers and watchers of Harry Potter hate her even more. Her grating brand of authoritarian cruelty just has a way of getting under your skin. 

    Whether she's attempting to embarrass or discredit longtime Hogwarts professors, being extraordinarily prejudiced against magical creatures, threatening to use one of the unforgivable curses on a student, or just being downright annoying, there's no denying that Umbridge is the absolute worst.

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    Ramsay Bolton In 'Game of Thrones'

    Ramsay Bolton In 'Game of Thrones'
    Photo: HBO

    Fans of Game of Thrones know just how demented Ramsay Bolton truly is. His depraved acts still echo in fans' minds more than the Night King. After taking Winterfell from Theon Greyjoy, Ramsay is given full control over what to do with the Ironborn noble. Ramsay subjects him to incredibly graphic forms of torment, including cutting off Theon's privates and then forcing his prisoner to watch him eat pork sausage. Ramsay eventually breaks Theon to the point that he becomes his personal servant and goes by the name "Reek." 

    Theon isn't the only character he violates throughout the series. Ramsay also forces Sansa Stark into a torturous marriage with him, in which she is assaulted and locked in her room at all times. After Sansa and Reek manage to escape and connect with Jon Snow and his unified forces, Ramsay takes one more pot shot at the original lords of Winterfell by slaying Rickon Stark before the Battle of the Bastards.

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  • Gríma Wormtongue In 'The Lord of the Rings'
    Photo: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers / New Line Cinema

    First and foremost, Wormtongue is creepy. As King Théoden sits withering away on his throne, Wormtongue is by his side, always ready to whisper (way too closely) into his ear. As audiences soon discover, Théoden wasn't actually sick; he was infected by Wormtongue at the evil wizard Saruman's command. Once Théoden is freed from Wormtongue's thrall, Wormtongue slinks off in a predictably cowardly fashion back to Saruman's side. The sniveling lackey has no trouble infecting Rohan from within, but he doesn't have the nerve to face his fate.

    In some cases, a servant character can be somewhat redeemed in the audiences' eyes if they actually seem loyal to the person they're serving, but Wormtongue can't even claim that. In fact, he's the one who ends up slaying Saruman before immediately getting an arrow through the heart from Legolas. No amount of betrayal could redeem him for LOTR fans.

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  • Bellatrix Lestrange In The 'Harry Potter' Series
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 / Warner Bros. Pictures

    A good way to cement yourself as one of the evilest villains in a franchise is to slay beloved characters, and Beatrix Lestrange checks that box by taking out both Sirius Black and Dobby the house-elf. Lestrange has a Joker-ish quality that makes it impossible to predict what she's going to do next. This causes the viewer to feel naturally uncomfortable whenever she's on screen, and makes her hard to forget even once she's off. 

    Bellatrix's most memorable (and hateable) moment in the series is when she torments Hermione. Fans may have forgiven her (or even understood) if she spent a couple of minutes twisting the knife on someone like Ron - but Hermione? Unforgivable. In the scene, Bellatrix carves "Mudblood" into Hermione's arm. It doesn't help Bellatrix's case that the scene is so harsh and hard to watch, with Emma Watson very realistically portraying the anguish her character experiences.

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