9 Aggravating Characters in Sci-fi and Fantasy

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.

glaring catHere’s a quick list of nine aggravating characters in Sci-fi and fantasy stories:

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.

3. Eragon

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.

9. Loki

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.


9 Aggravating Characters in Sci-fi and Fantasy — 13 Comments

  1. Ohhhhhh, wait until you finish Harry Potter! Your opinion on Snape *might* change. 🙂

    UGH, I’d forgotten how obnoxious Shift the Ape is! Ugh ugh ugh.

    I’d add:
    – Anakin Skywalker, who is totally obnoxious and whiny 😛 (and I’ll throw in Padme for good measure)
    – Dolores Umbridge (later Harry Potter villain…everyone HAAAATES her and you will too, trust me!!)
    – Tauriel in the new Hobbit movie, because melodrama and angst and not-belonging-there and silly romance 😛
    – several characters in Battlestar Galactica, especially Gaius Baltar
    – what list of annoying characters would be complete without Jar-Jar Binks?
    – I’m sure there are so many more…

    Boy, I got passionate with this comment. *straightens up with dignity* *nonchalantly strolls away* 😀

    • Oh man, that’s great Bethany. LOL Thanks for the excellent additions. I’m not a huge fan of Tauriel either.

      Passion is good, right? 😉

      Now I can’t wait to finish HP and see what’s up with Snape, and to discover this despicable Dolores person. As if I didn’t have enough to do already. 😮

  2. Oh, this was a fun list. I agree soooo much with #s 1-3! We despised Laurel (though I’ve dropped the entire show this season) – Iris in The Flash was rapidly joining her but thankfully has been much better this season. Shift is one of the most despicable characters ever written and Eragon – I dragged my way through 2 or 3 of them and dropped the series. (I honestly don’t remember if I read 3 or if 2 was just so long it felt like 3 – I even just looked them up and still can’t tell.) Haven’t read Wheel of Time, or seen Gotham and SHIELD so no opinion there.

    Eustace is one of those amazing, rare characters that you just hate until he changes and then you just love him. I’m sorry to tell you, since you haven’t read all the Harry Potter books yet, but Snape would be another one of those characters to many, many fans. (Including me.) When it comes to HP fandom, I think the most despised character generally is Dolores Umbridge. (In fact, I googled “harry potter most hated character” just now to confirm her name and she was the top featured site that came up. I can see what you mean about Loki but I’m betting he’s more generally loved than hated by most fans, despite his never-ending duplicity.

    I would add Anakin Skywalker as portrayed in the movies. Merry & Pippin are aggravating but loved by all. And I was never much of a fan of Deanna Troi from Star Trek TNG.

    • Awesome. Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

      Honestly, I picked Laurel because she was the first one who came to mind, but I could have gone with Sarah. She drives me crazy. Or Malcolm. Or Thea. Or….Yeah, I quit watching after season 3, too, though I’ve been told that season 4 is much better.

      Oohhh, so Snape is sort of a Eustace-type character. Interesting. I think I had a vague idea that was the case, but I don’t remember if it’s because I’ve heard it from people or picked up on it in the three books I’ve read. I’m also now thoroughly interested in meeting Dolores. 😮

      Loki is such a fascinating character. He makes everything more interesting and I think that’s why it’s a love-hate relationship, at least for me. He adds so much intrigue to the movies he’s in that you can’t help but want him to keep returning. He’s such a good villain.

      • My husband is still watching and I suppose the opinion on season 4 would depend on what you find acceptable. He’s getting increasingly frustrated as the show has become much more “magically” bent (which he wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t all nonstop dark and evil magic). I quit the show because of the flashbacks and those have not stopped so I’m not even slightly tempted. Though I did watch the one episode that was a part-2 Flash crossover. (and I agree – there are too many aggravating characters on that show. One of the reasons I like The Flash is I actually like most of the characters.)

        • I watched the crossover episode, too. It wasn’t terrible, but it didn’t make me excited to get caught up on season 4.

          I think the conclusion we’ve reached is this: Flash is better across the board. End of story. 😀

  3. Loki is definitely one that drives me crazy!!! Everyone loves him and I”m like Uh no!

    But I have to disagree about Ward 😉 He’s pretty much the same as Loki but for some reason Ward still holds a little place in my heart and he shouldn’t… oh well!

    • Yeah, Ward’s a tricky one. It’s almost as if you want to like him because he seemed to be a good guy at the start and you keep hoping he’ll see the light and stop being a jerk.

      Thanks, for commenting, Sierra. 🙂

  4. I agree about Laurel, and the Wheel of Time (Which was way to many characters to ever try and keep up with.) However, Snape- You need to get to the end. You see the complete motivation of Snape in the final book and everything comes full circle. And I agree with Bethany. I was and still am a huge BSG fan and Gaius Baltar was one of the most annoying, irritating characters I have ever watched.

    • Yes, WoT had character overload. It’s like they were multiplying faster than Catholic rabbits. 😉

      Dang it, now I really really want to finish HP. 😛

      I haven’t seen Battlestar Galactica, but this Baltar fellow must have been pretty awful.

      Thanks for stopping by, JJ. 🙂

  5. Ward is more like a 20 on the scale of 1-10. I would also have to add Ronan from Guardians of the Galaxy, because he was extremely arrogant and whiny.
    Also, thanks for the awesome writing, it is always awesome to read your blog!

    • Haha, yeah. Ward is quite the evil fellow…but he’s so interesting you can’t utterly hate him. And for me personally, since he was made out to be a good guy for so long, I sometimes wish he’d get his head screwed on straight and leave his villain-y for good. And sometimes I hate his guts. 😮

      Thanks, Kory. I appreciate hearing that. I’ll do my best to keep it up. 😀

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