Worldbuilding Wednesday 5/30/18: Fantasy Villains

A good villain needs a good name.

 

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.

Villains


MALE

Senator Zuthrum Epdark

Scaralax

The Marquise of Bronzegaunt

Count Bindwither

Mzarane Satskrit

Shinker Grayscar

Izund Kilshiv

Jopaz Burnlick

Gleriax Ravenpoint the Bloodkissed

Count Perviage Baleform

Killamprey

Duke Oetri Fennaurcht

The Wizard Whitewhisper

Jarins von Strabbark

Emporer Terius Blackblaes

Barch Fexwood

Mournmist the Assassin

FEMALE

Yna Umbrex

Lady Pendothy Penbitter

Ludzmira Crydarken

Princess Nephothry

Lady Veska of North Grimstark

Guild Mistress Symitra Thraunshift

Scorla the Sorceress

Aenlie the Hag

Helitta Darkjaw

Silona Redworm, the Witch of Legankills

Lazullanjre

Lady Mareslaughter

Gineffarvra Scabshard

Princess Demiseena Traskaith

Vintzeda di’ Micairre

Jarinza Darksparrow

Mitchra Jeiki Hartvenom

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