When writing fantasy, which is a genre that must be larger than life, your villains should be larger than life, too… and that means an evocative name, something to let the reader know they are, indeed, the villain, in whatever made-up language or naming system you’re using. Let’s look at a few.
In the Harry Potter series, Harry’s peer nemesis is named Draco Malfoy (All Latin derivatives: Draco = dragon, Mal = bad, Foy = via, or journey/travel/way) while his sister is Narcissa (read: Narcissism, from the Greek legend of a youth who fell in love with his reflection in a pool.) The word choices give us hints to their characters and roles in the series. And of course their aunt is named Bellatrix LeStrange, with its hints of both dominatrix and stranger. All are of the house of Slytherin, whose symbol is a slithering snake, and whose ethos of stealth, double-dealings, and espionage contrasts with Gryffindor’s robust, honest heroism.
J.R.R.Tolkien could have called Sauron the Darklord something else, but the Saur- nicely brings to mind ferocious tyrannosaurs, as well as sore.
Ba’alzamon of The Wheel of Time series is an unsubtle mashup of demons Ba’al, Amon, and Beelzebub.
The name of Queen Ravenna in the recent Snow White films lets us know this female villain is both ravenous for power and as spiritually dark as a raven is black.
Sometimes names for evil characters just sound bad. Consider Jorg Ancrath, Hugo Drax, Gargamel, Cthulhu, and Yyrkoon.
Here’s a few free names to use or inspire.
Senator Zuthrum Epdark
The Marquise of Bronzegaunt
Gleriax Ravenpoint the Bloodkissed
Count Perviage Baleform
Duke Oetri Fennaurcht
The Wizard Whitewhisper
Jarins von Strabbark
Emporer Terius Blackblaes
Mournmist the Assassin
Lady Pendothy Penbitter
Lady Veska of North Grimstark
Guild Mistress Symitra Thraunshift
Scorla the Sorceress
Aenlie the Hag
Silona Redworm, the Witch of Legankills
Princess Demiseena Traskaith
Vintzeda di’ Micairre
Mitchra Jeiki Hartvenom