Villainous Meter

After watching quite a few movies and probably thinking too much, I decided to make some sort of villainous meter thing to describe how evil a villain is. With books, the villains are normally a 3 or 4, but TV shows tend to have a bit more variety, mostly due to young viewers and the writers wanting to keep characters alive for an extended period of time.

Type 1 This type won’t kill people, even in combat. Generally, they are seen in kid’s shows and books. Because of this, 1’s are hard to identify since you often can’t tell if they’re just not killing due to the audience or if it’s in their personality to hold back. If these are seen in more adult shows, they are often forced to work for the bad guy.

Type 2 These will kill in combat though generally not in cold blood. They will not torture. If you got captured by one, you’d probably have all your limbs when the ordeal was over.
Paige from Tron Uprising most likely fits this category, though she may be borderline 1. (Considering torture happened on that show, it’s easier to tell where the characters fit in the spectrum.)

Type 3. These villains will kill or torture for personal gain though they generally do not do it for fun.
Deathstroke in Young Justice fits here. He didn’t seem to kill if he wasn’t getting paid. Jango Fett, Boba Fett, and Deadshot are other TV and movie examples.

Type 4. These villains are the worst kind, who like to torture and kill for the fun of it. Getting captured by them would be very bad.
Demona is one of the few villains in a kids’ show that might actually fit this category. The Joker, Darth Maul, Cad Bane and Sidious are more examples. In the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, many of the Lunars are like this. Clove from The Hunger Games is another literary example.

Now for some borderline characters I like.

I like to think Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender is a solid 1, but since he tends to attack others with things that could easily kill them if they didn’t dodge in the nick of time, he’s probably closer to a 1.5.
Another borderline is Azula and Ozai. Being in a kids’ show, I’d put them at 3.5. If they weren’t in a show for kids, I have a feeling they would have sunk to being 4s.


About Jessi L. Roberts

I live and work on my family’s cattle ranch in eastern Montana. I have a flock of chickens, a hyper golden retriever, some cows, and a few horses. I enjoy fantasy and science fiction and my head is full of wild sci-fi story ideas, some involving apocalypses and others involving aliens. I have been published twice in Havok Magazine, an imprint of Splickity.
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2 Responses to Villainous Meter

  1. Cool meter! I guess 4’s would be the ones we love to hate because they’re just so evil, and 1’s and 2’s would be more of antagonists than villains. I’m not sure which kind are my favorites though. They can all end up with such interesting qualities, depending on the story and the writer.



    • Yep. 4’s are the terrifying ones you really don’t want to meet. 1’s are the types you really hope won’t get hurt. I guess it also depends on the story’s genre. If it’s a romance, chances are all the villains are 1’s, but in action-based stuff, 1’s aren’t much threat.


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