We’ve all been around people we couldn’t stand. For whatever reason, they annoyed the heck out of us.
This holds true for fictional characters, too. Some we love. Some we tolerate. Some we despise. And then there’s a select group of characters, the ones that get under our skin, cause our blood to boil, and make us want to beat them over the head with an eggscalibur frying pan.
The reasons are abundant:
- They’re evil and we want to see them brought to justice
- They add nothing to the story except the ability to bog everything down
- They’re stupid, foolish, arrogant, selfish…you get the drift
It’s weird, because in some cases we love them. They bring a compelling dynamic to the story, such as the crafty villain who puts on a show of being upstanding and dupes everyone, but who we know is a slimy snake.
1. Laurel (Arrow TV show)
At the start, Laurel’s presence wasn’t a drag on the episodes, but the longer the series went, the more irksome she became. Her character came across as flat and she didn’t offer anything interesting or unique.
On top of that, she becomes a stereotypical kick-butt female character—complete with the shiny black suit and an overabundance of melodramatic fight scenes. Sigh.
2. Shift the ape (The Last Battle)
From the first time I met Shift, I knew he was a character to loathe. Even his name points to his devious nature. He’s cowardly and cares for no one but himself. He manipulates his gullible friend Puzzle the donkey and becomes a tyrant to other talking animals.
His worst offense, though, is his denial of and flippant attitude toward Aslan.
Where to start? His obsession with Arya. His pathetic attitude. For the star character in a long and popular (depending on who you ask) series, Eragon shouldn’t have to settle for second-rate.
Unfortunately, he did. There was nothing about him to keep you on the edge of your seat, breathlessly waiting for what would happen next. He reached “meh” level, but didn’t go above and beyond.
4. Three-quarters of the characters in Wheel of Time
I’m not even joking. So many annoying characters to choose from. But since I can’t complain about them all, I’ll choose the cream of the crop.
The top spot falls to Nynaeve al’Meara, who, if you know anything about her, is a piece of work in every sense of the word. Stubborn as a mule, arrogant as a wizard, fickle as the wind, petulant as a child at times. It’s a miracle the other characters didn’t go insane when dealing with her.
5. Severus Snape
I haven’t read all the books so this is only based on what I know so far. And so far, Snape is a sneaky, sour-faced snake. His personal vendetta against Harry is pathetic, but at the same time infuriating because he’s a headmaster and should know better.
He’s set in his ways and wants to make everyone’s life as miserable as his is. Talk about selfish.
6. Theo Galavan (Gotham TV show)
*scowls at computer while writing* If you haven’t seen the second season of Gotham, I won’t spoil it for you. But OH MY WORD! If ever anyone deserved the title of villain, Galavan sits right near the top.
He’s a slick, lying, despicable manipulator. What really made me wish I had that frying pan was his feigned innocence. He said the right things, acted the right way, but it was all a charade. He knew it, and he enjoyed duping people.
Okay, rant over. *deep breath*
7. Eustace Clarence Scrubb
Eustace has one of the most memorable introductions in literature, and for all the wrong reasons. He excels at being a whiny brat. He blames everyone else for everything and is so caught up in his tiny little existence that his heart is too small to make room for anyone else.
The beauty of his story, though, is his transformation from a two-legged monster to one of the heroes of Narnia.
8. Grant Ward (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Of all the most despicable, loathsome, maddening characters, Ward sits on a golden throne. Anyone who watches S.H.I.E.L.D. knows exactly what I’m talking about. On an aggravation scale of 1-10, he’s somewhere around 15.
He’s a double-crossing traitor, which gives him plenty of reason to be on this list, but as if that’s not enough, he’s a downright jerk about it. Sneering confidence mixed with feigned sincerity mixed with a conscience that’s either as hard as diamond or that abandoned him long ago, and you have the perfect recipe for a character you love to hate.
The scenes involving Ward are always more intense, more gripping, because you never know what he’s going to do. In a strange way, despite how disgusting he is, he ratchets up the show’s intrigue and makes you want him present.
Loki is easily one of my favorite villains, and that’s a compliment. He’s more complex than most villains, and you never know what he’s planning. At times he seems sincere, wanting to seek the good of others. But usually it ends up being a means to an end.
Which is both fascinating and exasperating. You keep hoping he’ll make the right choice and prove Thor’s belief in him hasn’t been misplaced, but given his devious past, you sit there while he’s doing something upstanding, waiting for the trickster to come out.
There you have it. I’m going to eat some food and calm down now. 😉
Who are some characters that drive you crazy? I’d love to hear your thoughts.