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The Most Powerful Fantasy Villains, Ranked

November 10, 2020 10.4k votes 1.7k voters 141.3k views14 items

List RulesVote up the most powerful villains in fantasy films.

Which malevolent magic-wielder comes to mind when you think about the most powerful fantasy villains of all time? Humankind has told stories of powerful magic-users misusing their abilities since the dawn of time, so there are plenty to choose from.

The best fantasy villains are generally incredibly powerful tyrants whose vast knowledge has allowed them to take control of their respective lands. They're normally then taken down by a hero foretold by prophecy - but what if that prophecy was thrown out the window? What if, instead of a hero winning with the "power of love" or whatever deus ex machina the writer thought up, these overpowered villains had to fight each other? Vote up your top picks for the strongest fantasy villains.

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  • Photo: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring / New Line Cinema

    Sauron began his existence as an angelic being, or Maia, known as Mairon ("the admirable"). Even in this form, Mairon was considered one of the most powerful members of his order. However, Mairon fell under the sway of Morgoth (basically the devil of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth), and became Sauron ("the abhorred"). Sauron served as Morgoth's lieutenant until the latter was banished into the Void. From that point forward, Sauron became the leading villain of Arda, or Middle-earth.

    In an attempt to rule over all beings, Sauron created rings of power, which he bestowed upon the various races. Little did they know, he also created a secret, more powerful ring that was able to rule over all others. Sauron used his newfound power to launch an all-out war in Middle-earth, becoming for a time the "Dark Lord of Mordor." Even after he had the ring cut off from his finger and his physical body was destroyed, Sauron continued to exist in a non-corporeal form. 

    As the symbol of evil and darkness in Middle-earth, Sauron's powers are kept purposefully vague. What audiences do know is that he's a near-immortal deceiver who takes on various forms to convince others to enact his will. He's also powerful enough to have created the rings of power and the One Ring himself. 

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  • Photo: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Voldemort is so powerful that the entire wizarding world is afraid to say his name. As a child, Tom Riddle grew up in an orphanage where he would inflict pain on the other children. At Hogwarts, he became obsessed with his heritage and assembled a group that would become the Death Eaters. He then tamed and released the Basilisk living in the Chamber of Secrets, in an attempt to eliminate students at Hogwarts whom he felt weren't worthy of studying there.

    After graduation, and a few more evil deeds (like picking off his family members), Riddle disappeared for a period of 10 years. He returned as the dark lord that everyone knows and fears today. His ultimate goal is to use his army of Death Eaters to overtake the wizarding world and achieve wizard supremacy on Earth. 

    Voldemort is thought to be the second strongest wizard in the wizarding world, just behind Dumbledore. He has achieved a type of immortality by splitting his soul among various "horcruxes," which all have to be destroyed to defeat him. He's proficient in using the three unforgivable curses, which allow him to torment and slay his adversaries. 

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  • Photo: Doctor Strange / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    The MCU's reimagining of the classic Doctor Strange villain Dormammu is an immensely powerful being. Wong describes him as being "the Cosmic Conqueror, the Destroyer of Worlds. A being of infinite power..." Dormammu uses his power to turn earthling sorcerers into his zealots so they can aid him in his quest to bring his dark dimension to Earth.

    Doctor Strange was only able to defeat Dormammu by using an Infinity Stone, which is one of the most powerful objects in the entire universe. This defeat was mostly due to the Infinity Stone having power over time, which doesn't exist in the dark dimension. Hence, Dormammu has no power over it. 

    Dormammu's power set basically amounts to him being the living embodiment of the Dark Dimension, as he has complete control over it, can't leave it, and has no corporeal form. His best way to interact with the world outside of his dimension is to bestow part of his almost infinite power onto other beings. 

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  • Photo: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest / Buena Vista Pictures

    Davy Jones didn't begin his life with tentacles on his face; at first, he was a normal pirate. Then he fell in love with a goddess named Calypso, and she gave him the task of collecting the souls of those lost at sea. After serving out this duty for 10 years on his magical ship, the Flying Dutchman, Jones realized he had been abandoned by the woman he loved. He then helped the "First Brethren Court," a meeting of the pirate lords, capture and imprison Calypso in her human form.

    Just for good measure, Jones then cut out this own heart and put it in the "Dead Man's Chest." As long as his heart was safe, he was immortal. Before long, Jones became a terror of the sea, extracting sailors from doomed ships to form his own gruesome crew.

    Jones is able to teleport and phase through objects. He also seems to have some power over the sea, like when he raised Jack Sparrow's ship, the Wicked Wench (which later became the Black Pearl), from its watery grave in exchange for Sparrow's future servitude. He's also in charge of the Kraken, a massive sea monster, which helps him deal with just about any opponent, magical or otherwise. And if an adversary can't get to his heart, he cannot be defeated.

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