How to name your villain
Darth Vader. Lord Voldemort. Maleficent. Hannibal Lecter. They pretty much have evil stamped on them from their name alone. Then there are the ones that creep up on you – Mr Hyde doesn’t sound to bad. Neither does Tom Ripley. Mrs Coulter from His Dark Materials trilogy gives nothing away by her name.
So how do you name a villain? Call them as they are or hold back a little? It depends mostly on their entrance into your story. Sometimes by painting a villain as pure evil from the get go can give them a strength makes the job of your hero seem harder. Giving your villain a more complex back story on top of this can make a turning point even more powerful if you have lead your audience to believe they are irredeemable – just think; ‘Luke, I am your father.’
But bear in mind that the ‘pure evil’ name usually exists because the villain themselves has chosen it, a moniker to demonstrate their allegiance to the dark side. Tom Riddle renamed himself Lord Voldemort, Darth Vader was once Anakin Skywalker.
So here are some lists to spark an idea for your next baddie – may the force be with you!
SOME SYNONYMS FOR ALL THINGS BAD AND VILLAINOUS:
SOME NAMES OF DEMONS (ACROSS DIFFERENT CULTURES):
SOME ANIMALS FREQUENTLY ASSOCIATED WITH EVIL:
Black and white are colours associated with evil; here are some names that reference these colours.
NAMES MEANING ‘BLACK’:
NAMES MEANING ‘WHITE’:
I’m off to find a home for Cole Beastly and Harrow Wolfbane. I hope you’ve found a villain too!