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"The ultimate villain of the story, who's causing the problem the heroes must solve."

Note that Big Bad is not a catch-all trope for the biggest and ugliest villain of any given story. The Big Bad is the one who turns out to be behind several other seemingly independent threats.
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* The ''Literature/AgeOfFire'' series:
** ''Dragon Champion'': [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Wrimere the Wrymmaster]] (who's also the BiggerBad for the next two books)
** ''Dragon Avenger'': [[EvilOverlord Thane Hammar]] [[BigBadEnsemble and]] [[EvilOverlord King Fangbreaker]]
** ''Dragon Outcast'': The Lavadome [[RoyallyScrewedUp Imperial Line]] is full of [[DecadentCourt backstabbing schemers]], but [[spoiler: [[ObfuscatingStupidity SiMevolant]]]] is the only outright antagonist.
** ''Dragon Strike'': [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen The Red Queen]]
** ''Dragon Rule'': [[WeUsedToBeFriends NiVom]] [[UnholyMatrimony and]] [[ManipulativeBitch Infamnia]] [[spoiler: (later revealed to be [[DemonicPossession possessed by the Red Queen]])]]
** ''Dragon Fate'': [[spoiler: [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder Infamnia/Red Queen]] [[BigBadDuumvirate and]] [[MadDoctor Rayg]]]]
* The Literature/AgentPendergast series has one in each novel:
** ''[[Literature/TheRelic Relic]]'': Mbwun
** ''{{Literature/Reliquary}}'': [[spoiler: Dr. Frock]]
** ''Literature/TheCabinetOfCuriosities'': [[spoiler: Anthony Fairhaven]]
** ''Literature/StillLifeWithCrows'': [[spoiler: Job]]
** ''{{Literature/Brimstone}}'': [[spoiler: Count Fosco]]
** ''Literature/DanceOfDeath'' and ''Literature/BookOfTheDead'': Diogenes Pendergast
** ''Literature/TheWheelOfDarkness'': [[spoiler: Scott Blackburn]] is technically the major antagonist in the novel, but for the last third or so of it he's overshadowed by [[spoiler: Captain Carol Mason]].
** ''Literature/CemeteryDance'': [[spoiler: Alexander Esteban]]
** ''Literature/FeverDream'': [[spoiler: [[BigBadDuumvirate Judson Esterhazy and Mike Ventura]]]]
* The ''Literature/AlexRider'' books by Anthony Horowitz have a big bad in each one:
** ''Storm Breaker'': [[spoiler: [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Herod Sayle]] ]]
** ''Point Blanc'': [[MadScientist Dr.]] [[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain Hugo Grief]]
** ''Skeleton Key'': [[RenegadeRussian General Alexei Sarov ]]
** ''Eagle Strike'': [[spoiler: [[KnightTemplar Damian]] [[WellIntentionedExtremist Cray]] ]]
** ''Scorpia'': [[TheBaroness Julia Rothman]] who is also a member of the [[NebulousEvilOrganization titular organization]]
** ''Ark Angel'': [[spoiler: [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Nikolei Drevin]] ]]
** ''Snakehead'': [[DragonInChief Major Winston Yu]] who is also a member of [[NebulousEvilOrganization Scorpia]]
** ''Crocodile Tears'': [[spoiler: [[VillainWithGoodPublicity Desmond]] [[ScaryBlackMan McCain]] ]]
** ''Scorpia Rising'': [[spoiler: [[TheSociopath Abdul-Aziz al-Razim]], or [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname "Razim"]], yet another member of [[NebulousEvilOrganization Scorpia]]. ]]
** ''Russian Roulette'': [[spoiler:Vladimir Sharkovsky]]
* The ''{{Literature/Alterien}}'' series:
** Alterien: Once Was Lost - The Big Bad of this story turns out to be another superhuman named Theseus Spencer, who tells Oberon they are both Alteriens.
** Alterien: Shadows of the Past - Oberon's former teammate, Ulysses River aka The Leopard. Oberon has to stop him from killing his sister.
** Alterien: Path of Redemption - There are actually two Big Bads in this story. One of them is Helena Velazquez, who reveals a startling secret of her own. The other is Theseus Spencer again in another plot that could drive two countries to war.
** Alterien: The Ghost Men - A team of mercenaries who are capable of passing through walls.
** Alterien: Return of the Light - An enhanced man from Oberon's past, Ustaz Mamur. He's determined to get revenge for a botched SABER operation that left many of his people dead.
** Alterien: The Orion Directive - Recurring terrorist group, Al-Dhi'ban.
* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'': Visser Three is the Yeerk enemy the Animorphs encounter the most. However, the {{Big Bad}}s of the series are The Council of Thirteen, who are in charge of him. They only appear once in a side-story, and [[spoiler: it is ultimately the defeat of Visser Three that ends the war.]] And then there's Visser One (the original, before he takes her position), and Crayak...
* ''Literature/TheApprenticeRogue'': Averted. There is no head villain [[spoiler: but there is still an EvilPlan.]]
* Each book in the ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'' series has a big bad. The first book has the titular character as the big bad.
** ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'': [[VillainProtagonist Artemis Fowl]], though the ''antagonist'' is [[KnightTemplar Briar Cudgeon]]
** ''The Arctic Incident'': [[BigBadDuumvirate Briar Cudgeon and Opal Koboi]]
** ''The Eternity Code'': [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Jon Spiro]]
** ''The Opal Deception'': [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge Opal Koboi]]
** ''The Lost Colony'': [[spoiler: Leon Abbot]]
** ''The Time Paradox'':[[spoiler: [[TheManBehindTheMan Opal Koboi]] ]]
** ''The Atlantis Complex'': [[spoiler: [[DiabolicalMastermind Turnball Root]]]]
** ''The Last Guardian'' : [[spoiler: Opal Koboi]]
* Count Olaf for most of ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'', though we eventually discover that he's more like a [[TheDragon Dragon]] to a [[NebulousEvilOrganization larger organization]]. [[spoiler:His incredibly horrifying superiors, however, are polished off in the second-to-last book, and Olaf enters into an EnemyCivilWar with KnightTemplar Ishmael in the finale. It's implied they kill each other.]]
** The prequel series, ''Literature/AllTheWrongQuestions'', has [[spoiler: Mr. Hangfire]].
* There are too many plot-lines in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' to pick a single Big Bad; the series mostly features morally ambiguous and sympathetic humans pitted at odds with each other, making it difficult to pick out heroes and villains at all. When the Others finally come, ''everyone's'' gonna be screwed.
** The Big Bad of the civil war plotline of the first three books appears to be Tywin Lannister for the most part, but in the end it's revealed the ''true'' Big Bad is [[spoiler: Littlefinger]]; who is responsible for the books' main action, notably [[spoiler: the murder of John Aryyn and the death of Joffrey.]]
** It's hard to say for sure given the series' long hiatus, but ''Feast for Crows'' appeared to be setting up [[spoiler: Euron Greyjoy]] as a Big Bad in the aftermath books, as well as [[spoiler:Roose and Ramsay Bolton]].
* The ''Literature/AstralDawn'' series:
** Astral Dawn: The End of Paradise - Captain Ciaran Devlyn
** Astral Dawn: The Moment of Creation - The Chinese goddess of drought, Nu-Ba, and a team of Defilers.
** Astral Dawn: Design of Destiny - Devlyn
** Astral Dawn: Records of Nazyra - Dark Awakening - Set
** Astral Dawn: Records of Nazyra - Hell Under Siege - Veyothiel
** Astral Dawn: The Maganu Saga - Genesis of Maganu - Ominus
** Astral Dawn: The Maganu Saga - Divinity of Maganu - Ominus
** Astral Dawn: The Maganu Saga - The Fall of Maganu - The Aash Ra
* ''Literature/TheBoneSeason'' has Nashira Sargas. A nearly immortal [[TheFairFolk Rephaim]], she captures rare magic users known as voyants and kills them, forcing them to become her "fallen angels" which protect her eternally and from which she draws all her powers.
* ''Castaways of the Flying Dutchman'':
** Obadiah Smithers in ''Castaways of the Flying Dutchman'' with Percival Bowe as BiggerBad.
** Captain Redjack Teal in the first part of ''Angel's Command'' and Maguda Razan in the second part.
** Al Misurata in ''Voyage of Slaves''.
* Ezekiel Bloor in the ''Literature/ChildrenOfTheRedKing'' series.
** Count Harken Badlock became DragonInChief at the end of the last book.
* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'':
** Queen Jadis the White Witch in ''The Magician's Nephew'' and ''The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe''.
** [[SimSimSalabim The Tisroc of Calormen]] in ''The Horse and His Boy'', though his son and [[TheDragon Dragon]] [[AbhorrentAdmirer Rabadash]] gets more pagetime.
** The [[BigBadDuumvirate Big Bad Triumvirate]] of Miraz, Glozelle, and Sospesian in ''Prince Caspian''.
** ''The Voyage of the Dawn Treader'' has no one Big Bad, though there are individual villains encountered at various stops along the titular voyage.
** The Lady of the Green Kirtle in ''The Silver Chair''.
** [[{{Satan}} Tash]], the Calormene GodOfEvil and [[BiggerBad overall biggest bad of the setting]] in ''The Last Battle''.
* The ''Literature/ChroniclesOfPrydain'' has several [[BigBad Big Bads]]. Really, there is a single Big Bad, Arawn Death-Lord, and a bunch of others trying to usurp his position.
** ''The Book of Three'' has [[EvilOverLord Arawn Death-Lord]], ruler of the land of Annuvin, and the ultimate antagonist that the Companions have to defeat. Queen Achren, former ruler of Prydain until Arawn took over, could also be considered to be in a BigBadEnsemble with Arawn in this book.
** ''The Black Cauldron'' has a BigBadEnsemble between Arawn and [[spoiler:King Morgant]], and both want the titular Black Cauldron (Arawn had it in ''The Book of Three'', only to lose it before this book began).
** ''The Castle of Llyr'' has Queen Achren returning, now trying to make a comeback with Magg as her [[TheDragon Dragon]].
** ''Taran Wanderer'' has a BigBadEnsemble between Morda, an evil sorcerer and enemy of the Fair Folk, and Dorath, the AxCrazy leader of a group that wants whatever's at Lake Llunet, though they don't serve as Big Bad at the same time.
** ''The High King'' has Arawn return as the Big Bad with [[spoiler:King Pryderi]] as a BigBadWannabe. Dorath also returns to make a BigBadEnsemble in this book.
* ''Literature/CircleOfMagic'': Some of the books have NoAntagonist, but the ones that do...
** ''Tris's Book'': Queen Pauha and her mage brother, a nasty pair of type 1 {{Pirate}}s who takes advantage of the earthquake damage from the first book to attack Winding Circle and its treasures, [[spoiler:enslaving Aymery and nearly ensnaring the Circle kids as their slaves too]]. They cause a lot of death and destruction as well as a loss of innocence when Tris in particular gets blood on her hands to drive them away.
** ''Street Magic:'' Lady Zenadia. She "adopts" a street gang to use as her personal toy because her retirement's a bit dull. She orchestrates their battles with other gangs and tries to abduct Evvy because she thinks a stone mage would be a good asset.
** ''Will of the Empress:'' Empress Berenene. Unlike other antagonists, as a ruler she has many strong qualities. However, she financially squeezes Ambros in an effort to make Sandry return so Berenene can have her married off to one of the suitors she's chosen, so she can have access to the Landreg wealth. She starts this with a charm offensive on Sandry and her friends, but the claws come out when Sandry decides to leave after one kidnapping too many.
** ''Battle Magic'': Emperor Weishu. He's a ruthless tyrant who has been conquering his neighbors already in a bid to seize Gyongxe so he can claim to own the land of the gods. Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy all leave with [=PTSD=] thanks to his atrocities.
* Lord Foul the Despiser from the ''Literature/ChroniclesOfThomasCovenant''.
* ''Literature/CodexAlera'' plays with this one. In the first book we're introduced to [[TheChessmaster High Lord Aquitainus Attis]] and his wife [[LadyMacbeth Invidia]], who are the masterminds of several schemes against the Realm, aren't defeated or even directly confronted by the heroes, and keep up their role as main villains in the subsequent books. The catch -- neither is the Big Bad. That would be [[spoiler: the Vord Queen]], a monster TheHero wakes up during a SideQuest early on, and is gradually revealed to be not the mindless creature she initially appeared, but an incredibly powerful and cunning adversary far more dangerous than either Aquitaine could ever hope to be. [[spoiler: Meanwhile, Lord Aquitainus got CharacterDevelopment moving him more towards AntiVillain territory, culminating in RedemptionEqualsDeath mixed with AlasPoorVillain, while Invidia was pressed into service by the Vord Queen as TheDragon and died in that role]].
* CompanionsQuartet has Kullervo, a shape shifter that wants to wipe aout humanity
* Michael Crichton often has themes of man vs. nature (or technology) in his books, but several of them still have Big Bads:
** Literature/TheTerminalMan: [[{{AxCrazy}} Harry Benson.]]
** Literature/RisingSun: The mastermind is revealed to be [[spoiler:Masao Ishiguro]], who was also the [[spoiler:murderer]] himself.
** Literature/TheLostWorld1995: Lewis Dodgson, who appeared as more of a BiggerBad in the [[{{Literature/JurassicPark}} first one]], but has a more direct role in this one.
** {{Literature/Airframe}}: [[spoiler:[[{{BigBadDuumvirate}} John Marder and Bob Richman]]]]
** {{Literature/Timeline}}: Lord Oliver de Vannes.
** Literature/StateOfFear: [[spoiler:Nicholas Drake.]]
** Literature/PirateLatitudes: Cazalla appeares to be this, but it's really [[spoiler:[[{{BigBadDuumvirate}} Robert Hacklett and Samson]]]] in the end.
** {{Literature/Micro}}: [[{{CorruptCorporateExecutive}} Vincent Drake]]
* Cthulhu in The Franchise/CthulhuMythos series and adaptions but in the original mythos, there were a whole ''[[BigBadEnsemble load]]'' of {{Eldritch Abomination}}s with their own agendas, and Cthulhu was one of the less powerful. The reason why it's called CthulhuMythos is that he's the closes to Mankind - other Old Ones are living on other planets or dimensions, Cthulhu sleeps a few miles off the Atlantic Coast. There are some hints that Azathoth might be somehow controlling all or many of the others ([[MadGod even if he doesn't know it]]) so if there's a Big Bad at all it's more likely to be him.
* ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle'' initially appears to have [[SorcerousOverlord Lord]] [[BadassGrandpa Xar]] as Big Bad, though he is played with a good deal of sympathy and the main character is his [[TheDragon Dragon]], [[HeelFaceTurn at first]]. However, further books complicate matters by creating a BigBadEnsemble with [[{{Necromancer}} Kleitus]] and [[KnightTemplar Samah]] in the mix as well, and ''then'' [[TheHeartless the Serpents]] show up about halfway through and blow everyone else out of the water in terns of sheer power and evil.
* The dactyl demon Bestesbulzibar in RA Salvatore's ''Demon Wars Saga''. Rather unusually, he's defeated in his physical body at the climax of the first book; he spends most of the saga as a disembodied spirit influencing other villains, who believe ''they're'' the Big Bad.
* In ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'', the [[GodOfEvil dark goddess]] Takhisis is usually the Big Bad, though at various points of the timeline she's been overshadowed by [[EldritchAbomination Chaos]], the dragon overlord Malystryx, and once nearly by [[MagnificentBastard Raistlin]].
* Most individual books in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' have one of these.
** ''Storm Front'': Victor Sells
** ''Fool Moon'': [[spoiler:Agent Denton]]
** ''Grave Peril'': Bianca
** ''Summer Knight'': [[spoiler:Aurora]]
** ''Death Masks'': Nicodemus
** ''Blood Rites'': Lord Raith
** ''Dead Beat'': Cowl
** ''Proven Guilty'': We're not quite sure ''who'' sent those wraiths, but the running theory is either Maeve or Queen Mab.
** ''White Night'': Cowl
** ''Small Favors'': Nicodemus
** ''Turn Coat'': [[spoiler: Peabody]]
** ''Changes'': Duchess Ariana ''and'' the Red King
** ''Ghost Story'': [[spoiler: Corpsetaker]]
** ''Cold Days'': [[spoiler: Maeve]], though ultimately under the influence of [[spoiler: Nemesis]].
** ''Skin Game'': Nicodemus
** That said, the driving force behind everything is the [[spoiler:Black Council, which is believed to have been involved in setting up many of these Big Bads. Cowl is known to be a member. Nicodemus gets an honorable mention for being a non-Black Council recurring Big Bad in his own right.]] ''Cold Days'' further complicates matters by introducing [[spoiler: Nemesis, a form of quasi-intelligent magical infection which takes people over and causes them to act on behalf of [[EldritchAbomination the Outsiders]] and is implied to be behind most of the various bad happenings in the series. Nemesis and its tools may or may not be the same thing as the Black Council]].
* The ''Literature/{{Emberverse}}'' books have [[EvilOverlord Norman Arminger]] in the original trilogy, and the Prophet (leader of the [[ReligionOfEvil Church Universal and Triumphant]]) in the later books.
* In the first ''Literature/FaeriesOfDreamdark'' book, it's [[NamesToRunAwayFrom/{{Colors}} the Blackbringer]]. The next book features [[spoiler: Dusk, an old friend of Magpie's]] and to a lesser extent, Ethiag. Ethiag is the general (and mind-controller... person) of a huge horde of other demons, but he's still only second in command.
* Literature/FirebirdTrilogy
** ''Firebird'': Phoena Angelo is the sponsor of Dr. Cleary's biological weapons research and thus the driving force behind the invasion of Veroh, which resulted in Veroh being rendered open-air uninhabitable, the disappearance of several merchant ships, the Netaian resistence against the Federacy, and the need for Brennen Caldwell and Firebird Angelo to infiltrate and partially destroy Hunter Heights, which got them both nearly killed (by Phoena) and Brennen court-marshalled and dismissed.
** ''Fusion Fire'': Eshdeth Shirak, as the leader of the Shuhr, is the mastermind behind the Sunton massacre (utter destruction of a residential town), the attack on the Sentinel College, the deaths of the two child princesses of Netaia, Phoena's departure to the Shuhr and her imprisonment by them, Brennen's captivity after he tries to rescue Pheona on the Federacy's orders, and the plan to kill Firebird to break Brennen.
** ''Crown of Fire'': Modabah Shirak, Eshdeth's son, takes over where his father left off. He orchestrates a number of plans within plans in an attempt to re-capture Brennen, including taking over the Netaian government from the shadows and several attempts on Firebird's life.
** ''Wind and Shadow'': This book features two Big Bads, one for each thread of the story.
*** The Shadow possessing Tamím Bar'Baror kidnaps Kiel Caldwell, thinking him the Boh-Dabar[[note]]a long-expected spiritual leader who was supposed to restore all people and remake the world[[/note]], in an attempt to corrupt him and causes or encourages a number of destructive events, including the destruction of the planet Three Zed.
*** Jahana is the leader of the neo-Shuhr group and is a cruel but powerful woman. She is responsible for a number of deaths and disappearances and intends to take over the galaxy through a combination of reviving ancient technology, bringing the Shuhr policies of unlimited use of telepathy back into play, and posing Kinnor Caldwell as Boh-Dabar and using him as her spokesman.
** ''Daystar'': Piper Gambrel, along with the Shadow possessing him (a different Shadow than the above), is determined to wipe out the Sentinels. To this end, he manufacture fear and persecution of the Sentinels, forcing them all to take refuge on their sanctuary world. Once he has them thus isolated, he comes up with a way to introduce a virus which will kill them and only them, plus he has several back-up plans in place in case that fails.
* The Gaiaphage/Darkness from the ''Literature/{{Gone}}'' series.
* ''Literature/GuardiansOfGaHoole'' has first [[spoiler:Kludd]], and then later, Nyra. The first book had Skench and Spoorn, but they don't stick around.
* Voldemort from the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series. Each book also has its own main villain, but with the exception of the fifth, all of them trace back to or are acting under the orders of Voldemort. The fifth book's Big Bad (at least until the Ministry battle) is [[TyrantTakesTheHelm Dolores Umbridge]], a SadistTeacher extraordinaire utterly convinced of her own righteousness who is the series' biggest HateSink.
* Literature/InDeath series: In each book, the murderer Eve is trying to get would be considered the villain. However, for the entire series, Max Ricker qualifies as the Big Bad. Why? Well, he's a crime boss who controls a vast criminal empire. He had dealings with the terrorist organization Cassandra from ''Loyalty in Death''. He appears again in ''Promises in Death'', despite being in prison. Eve's father Richard Troy and Roarke's father Patrick Roarke actually worked for Max Ricker, although they were not particularly high up in the ranks of his organization. If all this does not make Max Ricker the overall Big Bad, then what does?
* Like in the films, most ''Literature/JamesBond'' novels have a Big Bad.
** ''Literature/CasinoRoyale'': Le Chiffre
** ''Literature/LiveAndLetDie'': Mr. Big
** ''Literature/{{Moonraker}}'': [[spoiler:Hugo Drax]]
** ''Literature/DiamondsAreForever'': Jack and Serrafimo Spang although [[spoiler:Jack is the dominant one, being ABC.]]
** ''Literature/FromRussiaWithLove'': Rosa Klebb with General G as the BiggerBad.
** ''Literature/DrNo'': Doctor Julius No
** ''Literature/{{Goldfinger}}'': Auric Goldfinger
** ''Literature/{{Thunderball}}'': Emilio Largo, with Ernst Stavro Blofeld as the BiggerBad.
** ''Literature/TheSpyWhoLovedMe'': Sol Horowitz and Sluggsy Morant. Although they were both sent by Mr Sanguinetti, he is never confronted directly, and is implied to have [[spoiler:arrested by the Border Patrol while fleeing the US]].
** ''Literature/OnHerMajestysSecretService'': Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
** ''Literature/YouOnlyLiveTwice'': Dr Guntram Shatterhand/[[spoiler:Ernst Stavro Blofeld]]
** ''Literature/TheManWithTheGoldenGun'': Francisco Scaramanga
** ''Literature/ColonelSun'': Colonel Sun Liang-tan
** ''Literature/LicenceRenewed'': Dr. Anton Murik
** ''Literature/ForSpecialServices'': [[spoiler:Nena Bismaquer/Blofeld]]
** ''Literature/{{Icebreaker}}'': Count Konrad von Glöda/[[spoiler:Colonel Aarne Tudeer]]
** ''Literature/RoleOfHonour'': Jay Autem Holy is TheDragon to [[spoiler:Tamil Rahani.]]
** ''Literature/NobodyLivesForEver'': Tamil Rahani
** ''Literature/NoDealsMrBond'': [[spoiler:General Konstantin Nikolaevich Chernov/Blackfriar]]
** ''Literature/{{Scorpius}}'': Vladimir Scorpius/Father Valentine
** ''Literature/WinLoseOrDie'': Bassam Barradj
** ''Literature/{{Brokenclaw}}'': Brokenclaw Lee Fu-chu
** ''Literature/TheManFromBarbarossa'': [[spoiler:General Yevgeny Yuskovich]]
** ''Literature/DeathIsForever'': Wolfgang Weisen
** ''Literature/NeverSendFlowers'': [[spoiler:David Dragonpol]]
** ''Literature/SeaFire'': Sir Max Tarn
** ''Literature/{{COLD}}'': [[spoiler:General Brutus Clay]]
** ''Zero Minus Ten'': [[spoiler: Guy Thackeray]]
** ''The Facts of Death'': Konstantine Romanos [[spoiler:until he is thwarted by Hera Volopoulos.]]
** ''High Time to Kill'': Roland Marquis with Le Gerant as the BiggerBad.
** ''Doubleshot'': Domingo Espada and Le Gerant
** ''Never Dream of Dying'': Le Gerant
** ''The Man With the Red Tattoo'': Goro Yoshida
** ''[=SilverFin=]'': Lord Randalph Hellebore
** ''Blood Fever'': Count Ugo Carnifex
** ''Double or Die'': Colonel Irena Sedova/Babushka
** ''Hurricane Gold'': Theda Glass
** ''By Royal Command'': [[spoiler:Dr Perseus Friend]]
** ''Literature/DevilMayCare'': Dr Julius Gorner
** ''Carte Blanche'': [[spoiler:Felicity Willing]]
** ''Solo'': [[spoiler:Hulbert Linck]]
* Literature/JohnDevil and Colonel Bozzo of ''Literature/TheBlackCoats'' by Creator/PaulFeval
* In Bryan Miranda's ''Literature/TheJourneyToAtlantis'', most of the violent "natural" things that happen to the characters are actually the result of [[spoiler: the mischievous beast-god Loki]].
* Shere Khan in ''Literature/TheJungleBook'' and its adaptations, especially the Disney films.
* Subverted in ''Literature/TheKingdomsOfEvil'' with the main character, who is a moral person forced to act as an evil overlord.
* Gwilanna from [[Literature/{{Dragons}} The Last Dragon Chronicles]]. Until the Ix show up.
* In ''[[Literature/TheLaundrySeries The Laundry Files]]'', the overall biggest threat are the various [[EldritchAbomination soul-sucking horrors from beyond space-time]] poised to descend upon Earth [[spoiler:once CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN goes active]], and in particular the most powerful of them: [[spoiler:N'Yar Lath-Hotep, The Black Pharaoh]]. However, each book has a (usually human) villain who presents a smaller and more immediate threat, who are usually taking orders from one of the aforementioned soul-sucking horrors.
** ''The Atrocity Archive'': Set up to be whoever's in charge of the [[{{Ghostapo}} Ahnenerbe SS]], but is actually [[spoiler:[[SpacetimeEater The Infovore]]]].
** ''The Jennifer Morgue'': [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Ellis]] [[DiabolicalMastermind Billington]], [[spoiler:with JENNIFER MORGUE as [[TheManBehindTheMan the creature behind the man]]]].
** ''The Fuller Memorandum'': [[spoiler:Iris]], although the real surprise is [[spoiler:that the Eater Of Souls ISN'T the BiggerBad]].
** ''The Apocalypse Codex'': [[SinisterMinister Pastor Raymond Schiller]], who is taking orders from [[spoiler:The Sleeper In The Pyramid On The Dead Plateau]].
* Ouyang Feng, towards the end of ''Literature/LegendOfTheCondorHeroes''.
* Eustace 'The Evil' De Mharburg from Paul Kelly's 'The Lost Brigade'. A man so heinous that he was deleted entirely from history...
* The Crippled God is this for most of the ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen''. Though not directly introduced until the third book, being TheManBehindTheMan to, most prominently, the [[ReligionOfEvil Pannion Domin]], the [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized Whirlwind rebellion]], and [[TheEmpire Lether]] makes him the most significant and with the widest reach of any villain in the series. Ultimately subverted when after the events of book seven (when his followers lose control of Lether), the Crippled God loses most of his influence in the mortal world [[spoiler: and the protagonists end up having to save him in the last book when a bunch of AbusivePrecursors called the Forkrul Assail hijack his powers for their own purposes]].
* ''{{Literature/Malevil}}'' has Fulbert, a SinisterMinister who turns a town into a post-Apocalypse "religious" dictatorship.
* The Trunchbull of ''Literature/{{Matilda}}'' by Roald Dahl.
* [[DragonInChief Assistant Director Janson]], better known as "the Rat-Man", is the primary antagonist of ''[[Literature/TheMazeRunner The Maze Runner Trilogy]]''.
* The ''Literature/MediochreQSethSeries'' looks to be building up "[[HiddenAgendaVillain The Organisation Which I Represent]]" as the overall BigBad. However, they mostly operate as a behind-the-scenes BiggerBad while more immediately-pressing plots are going on at the behest of a more temporary BigBad.
** [[DiabolicalMastermind Sapphire]] serves the role of immediate BigBad in ''The Good, the Bad and the Mediochre''.
** ''Black, White and Shades of Mediochre'' has [[spoiler: the [[EvilOverlord necromancer]]]], although there are indications that [[EmotionlessGirl Obsidian]] may qualify as a [[BigBadEnsemble separate]], [[BigBadDuumvirate joint]] or even [[TheManBehindTheMan superior]] contender.
* [[GodOfEvil Gyphon]] is the overall villain of the ''Literature/{{Mithgar}}'' series. However, most of the individual books have their own {{Big Bad}}s, who may or may not be trying to curry his favor, and usually come up with an enact their own schemes in the hopes of getting his support. Sometimes Gyphon's active Big Bad himself, sometimes he's TheManBehindTheMan, and in other cases he's just the BiggerBad.
* Gabriel from the ''Literature/ModestyBlaise'' series is a low-key, but memorable Big Bad. After appearing in the character's first adventure, he then re-appears in ''A Taste For Death" [[spoiler: wherein, in the words of series creator Peter O'Donnell (who was worried that a regularly-recurring villain might weaken the series), he is definitively killed at the hands of an even Bigger Bad than himself.]]
* An impersonal example is the comet in ''[[Literature/TheMoomins Comet in Moominland]]'' that besides threatening to cause TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt by colliding with said world causes all kinds of strange portents of doom for the heroes to contend with (ash all over the place, drying seas, storms) before it even gets there.
* Valentine Morgenstern for the first half of ''Literature/TheMortalInstruments'' series.
* [[spoiler:Kronos]] in ''Literature/OfSnailSlime''
* The ''OldKingdom'' Trilogy:
** ''Sabriel'': [[OurLichesAreDifferent Kerrigor]]
** ''Lirael'': [[EvilSorcerer Hedge]], though the end of the book reveals that [[spoiler: he's actually working on behalf of [[EldritchAbomination Orannis the Destroyer]].]]
** ''Abhorsen'': [[spoiler: The Destroyer]] takes over directly, though Hedge sticks around as TheDragon.
* [[Literature/OrigamiYoda The ''Origami Yoda'' series]]:
** [[spoiler: Harvey at first, but then Rabbski. They both have [[HeelFaceTurn Heel-Face Turns]] eventually, though.]]
* ''Literature/TheOutsiders'' has the Socs.
* ''Literature/{{Petaybee}}'': The Intergal corporation sends all of the major villains in the series to Petaybee and gets involved itself toward the end.
* Ultimately, [[{{Satan}} Chaos]], the King of the [[EldritchAbomination Old Ones]], is this for ''Literature/ThePowerOfFive''. However, he spends most of his time as an off-screen BiggerBad while the humans trying to unleash him take the Big Bad role for each of the first four books:
** Sir Michael in ''Raven's Gate''.
** Diego Salamanda in ''Evil Star''.
** Mr Chairman in ''Night Rise'' (with Susan Mortlake as TheDragon) and ''Necropolis''.
** Finally Chaos himself in ''Oblivion'' (with Jonas Mortlake and the new Chairman as CoDragons and Commander Strake and Field Marshall Akkad as {{Mook Lieutenant}}s).
* ''The Psalms of Isaac'' toys with this one. Initially, it looks like [[PresidentEvil Overseer]] [[SmugSnake Sethbert]] was the ultimate villain, but by the end of the first book it was plain he was a StarterVillain whose strings had been pulled by someone else. Several characters' suspicions then fall on [[TheChessmaster Vlad Li Tam]], but he's more morally ambiguous than outright evil, and he turned out to be as ignorant of the true cause as anyone. Then mysterious forces in the service of [[DarkMessiah the Crimson Empress]] showed up, but [[spoiler: she was eventually revealed to be a little girl- one raised for power, certainly, but hardly in a position to actually wield it yet]]. The ''real'' Big Bad appears to be [[spoiler: the Empress's father, the ancient Wizard King [[DarkLordOnLifeSupport Ahm Y'Zir]]]].
* The ''Literature/RainbowMagic'' series has Jack Frost, who is always sending his goblins out to do his dirty work before appearing in the climax of a series.
* ''RangersApprentice'' starts off with Morgarath as its Big Bad in books one and two; the Skandians aren't really Big Bads in book three, but the closest there are to antagonists; the Temuji in book four; [[spoiler:Keren]] in books four and five; the Tualaghi in book seven; Tennyson in books eight and nine; and Arisaka in book ten.
* Literature/{{Redwall}}:
** Cluny the Scourge in ''Redwall''.
** Tsarmina Greeneyes in ''Mossflower''.
** Slagar the Cruel in ''Mattimeo''.
** Gabool the Wild in ''Mariel of Redwall''.
** Feragho the Assassin in ''Salamandastron''.
** Badrang the Tyrant in ''Martin the Warrior''.
** Urgan Nargu in ''The Bellmaker''.
** Swartt Sixclaw in ''Outcast of Redwall''.
** Emperor Ublaz Mad Eyes in ''Pearls of Lutra''.
** Damug Warfang in ''The Long Patrol''.
** Mokkan in ''Marlfox''.
** Vilu Daskar in ''Legend of Luke''.
** Ungatt Trunn in ''Lord Brocktree''.
** ''Taggerung'' has many major villains, with Vallug Bowbeast as the most prominent.
** Princess Kurda in ''Triss'', with King Agarnu as the incredibly pathetic BiggerBad.
** Raga Bol in ''Loamhedge''.
** Gulo the Savage in ''Rakkety Tam''.
** Riggu Felis in ''High Rhulain''.
** Vizka Longtooth in ''Eulalia!''.
** Korvus Skurr in ''Doomwyte''.
** Quean Vilaya in ''The Sable Quean''.
** Razzid Wearat in ''The Rogue Crew''.
* ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'': [[TwistEnding The twist]] of the third book makes it obvious that [[spoiler: the protagonist has become one.]]
* Creator/BrianKeene's ''The Rising'' book series has Ob, the leader of a demonic group of sort-of zombies that possess dead bodies and turn them against humankind. However, in the first book he is in a BigBadEnsemble with [[ColonelKilgore Colonel Schow]], the leader of an entire platoon of {{Sociopathic Soldier}}s. In the second book, with [[spoiler:Schow dead]], Ob takes his position as the true Big Bad once again.
* ''Literature/RogueSorcerer'' has Lyr Yarika, the once-powerful lord of a noble house who has since been reduced to running a quiet little inn.
* The central villain of ''Literature/TheRunelords'' is essentially that universe's equivalent to {{Satan}} though it manifests in [[FightingAShadow several forms]] throughout, including the One True Master, Shadoath, and Lord Despair.
* The Inchoroi and the Consult of the Literature/SecondApocalypse series. Mostly because they apparently want to rape everything ever. [[spoiler:And also because, according to Kellhus, the only way they can save their souls from being sent to Hell by the God is to exterminate the vast majority of the human race.]] The No-God is, in a way, something of a subversion of this: despite his overwhelming presence and the fact that his very existence makes every human baby stillborn, he doesn't really know what he's doing. '''WHAT DO YOU SEE? I MUST KNOW WHAT YOU SEE. TELL ME. WHAT AM I?''' Somehow, Bakker makes a {{Woobie}} out of an EldritchAbomination.
* In ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'':
** [=DomDaniel=] in ''Magyk'' and ''Flyte''.
** Queen Etheldredda in ''Physik''.
** Tertius Fume in ''Queste'' and ''Syren''.
** [[spoiler: Merrin Meredith in ''Darke'']].
* The Big Bad of ''Literature/SeventhSon'' is John Alpha, the initial subject of a decades long cloning experiment who got bitter, got crazy and got his hands on advanced cloning and memory manipulation technology.
* ''[[Literature/ShadowsontheMoon Shadows on the Moon]]'' has Terayama, even if he's offstage for two-thirds of the book.
* ''Literature/{{Shannara}}'':
** The [[Literature/TheSwordOfShannaraTrilogy original]] Literature/{{Shannara}} trilogy has [[spoiler: The Ildatch]] as TheManBehindTheMan to both [[SorcerousOverlord Brona]] and the Mord Wraiths in the first and third books (and the prequel ''First King''), and [[DemonLordsAndArchDevils the Dagda Mor]], an independent villain, in the second.
** The [[Literature/TheHeritageOfShannara sequel]] has [[ManipulativeBastard Rimmer Dall]] and his [[TheHeartless Shadowen]].
** ''Literature/TheVoyageOfTheJerleShannara'' has [[EvilSorcerer The Morgawr]].
** ''High Druid of Shannara'' has [[DemonLordsAndArchDevils Tael Riverine]].
** ''Literature/TheGenesisOfShannara'' has [[HeroKiller Findo Gask]].
** ''Legends of Shannara'' has a BigBadEnsemble of whom the two most important members are [[EvilOverlord Taureq Siq]] and [[OurDemonsAreDifferent the Ragpicker]].
** ''Dark Legacy of Shannara'' has Tael Riverine again.
* Morgoth in ''Literature/TheSilmarillion''. He was originally Melkor, but after he crossed the MoralEventHorizon in a spectacular manner, the Noldor [[MeaningfulRename renamed him "Dark Enemy" in their tongue.]] [[SealedEvilInACan After he was banished from the world]], Sauron, previously TheDragon, [[DragonAscendant assumed]] his EvilOverlord role.
** Smaug in ''Literature/TheHobbit''
** Sauron in ''Literature/LordOfTheRings''
* Literature/SisterhoodSeries by Creator/FernMichaels: Well, there are certainly a number of Big Bad characters in the series!
** ''Weekend Warriors'': Doctor Clark Wagstaff, Doctor Sidney Lee, and Doctor Samuel La Fond are a BigBadTriumvirate of dentists and rapists!
** ''Payback'': Senator Mitchell "Mitch" Webster is a Big Bad, and an HMO consisting of Elaine Monarch, Derek Monarch, and Ethan Monarch seem to be a BigBadTriumvirate. They have seemingly no connection to each other, but apparently Mitch had sex with Elaine and got AIDS from her and gave it to Julia Webster! Hoo, boy!
** ''Vendetta'': John Chai.
** ''The Jury'': The Barringtons were being set up as this... but they got away! So the story throws in an unrelated Big Bad in the form of DomesticAbuster and National Security Advisor Karl Woodley.
** ''Sweet Revenge'': Rosemary Hershey. Bobby Harcourt seemed to be a big guy at first, but it turns out that he's just a HorribleJudgeOfCharacter who finally wised up!
** ''Lethal Justice'': Arden Gillespie. Roland Sullivan is more of TheDragon to her than a Big Bad.
** ''Free Fall'': Michael "Mick" Lyons. There are four men who are apparently subordinate to him.
** ''Hide and Seek'': Mitch Riley, assistant director of the [[FBIAgent FBI]].
** ''Hokus Pokus'': Grant Conlon and Tyler Hughes appear to be a BigBadDuumvirate.
** ''Fast Track'': Maxwell "Max(ie)" Zenowicz.
** ''Collateral Damage'': Dan Winters and Baron Russell are likely a BigBadDuumvirate.
** ''Final Justice'': Hank Owens, with four men working for him.
** ''Under the Radar'': Harold Evanrod, the Prophet of a pedophile polygamist cult called Heaven On Earth.
** ''Razor Sharp'': Vice-President Hunter Pryce, with several men being subordinate to him.
** ''Vanishing Act'': [[spoiler: Margaret Pearson and William "Bill" Bell]], identity thieves and a BigBadDuumvirate.
** ''Deadly Deals'': Baron Bell, with Adel Newsom acting as TheDragon.
** ''Game Over'': Strangely enough, President Martine Connor is being set up as this, but it gets subverted when it turns out that she had been reluctant to throw out {{Obstructive Bureaucrat}}s that had barred her at every turn, and simply needed some urging to do it.
** ''Cross Roads'': Henry "Hank" Jellicoe, with Little Fish and Stu Franklin acting as CoDragons.
** ''Deja Vu'': Henry "Hank" Jellicoe.
** ''Home Free'': Owen Orzell and Jason Parker are apparently a BigBadDuumvirate. Interestingly, Owen reveals that he was part of a BigBadTriumvirate consisting of {{CIA}} director Calvin Span and Henry "Hank" Jellicoe. Henry is now rotting in federal prison, and Calvin is now dead from a heart attack he got while shovelling his driveway!
** As indicated, Henry "Hank" Jellicoe could qualify as an overall Big Bad, especially after ''Free Fall''.
* The ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'' series.
** The overall Big Bad of the series looks set to be [[OmnicidalManiac Darquesse]], [[spoiler: SuperpoweredEvilSide of Valkyrie Cain]], although [[EldritchAbomination The Faceless Ones]] - who were the {{Bigger Bad}}s of the first three books - may yet be making a comeback.
** The Big Bad of the setting in backstory was [[EvilSorceror Mevolent]] (or possibly his [[EvilMentor literally-nameless]] [[BiggerBad mentor]]).
** [[CardCarryingVillain Nefarian]] [[DragonAscendant Serpine]] was the Big Bad of ''Skulduggery Pleasant'' itself.
** [[GeneralRipper Baron]] [[HairTriggerTemper Vengeous]] was the Big Bad of ''Playing With Fire''.
** [[IJustWantToBeSpecial Batu]] was the Big Bad of ''The Faceless Ones'' - at least until he [[TheManBehindTheMonsters summoned]] some of the titular {{Bigger Bad}}s.
** [[LegionOfDoom Dreylan]] [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge Scarab]] was the Big Bad of ''Dark Days''.
** [[TheHeartless The Remnants in general]] were the Big Bad of ''Mortal Coil''.
** [[ReligionOfEvil Cleric]] [[KnightTemplar Craven]] was the Big Bad of ''Death Bringer'' - at least until [[DragonWithAnAgenda Melancholia]] went DragonAscendant on him, then [[ImplacableMan Lord]] [[SuperpoweredEvilSide Vile]] [[GodzillaThreshold showed up]], [[SerialEscalation then]] [[PersonOfMassDestruction Darquesse]] [[EvilVersusEvil joined in]].
** ''Kingdom of the Wicked'' has two: [[EvilOverlord Mevolent]] for the alternative universe and [[spoiler:[[KnightTemplar Argeddion]] ]] for the normal one.
* ''Literature/TheSovereignStone'' has Dagnarus, Lord of the Void, as its Big Bad. Interestingly, though plainly the bad guy, he's also [[VillainProtagonist the main character]]; the heroes who oppose him come and go, but in the end the trilogy is concerned primarily with Dagnarus, his rise, rule, and fall [[note]]This is especially true for the first book, set several centuries before the other two, which provides the origin story for Dagnarus and his QuirkyMinibossSquad, but while he has less "face time" in books two and three, he's still more central to the story than any individual hero or group of heroes[[/note]]
* The Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse novels have had several. In addition to Emperor Palpatine (who usually takes the role by default during any work set during the timeframe of the movies, or is at least the BiggerBad) some of the most notable are:
** In the Franchise/XWingSeries, Ysanne Isard for the Rogue Squadron arc and Warlord Zsinj for the Wraith Squadron arc.
** The BigBadDuumvirate of [[MagnificentBastard Thrawn]] and [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity C'baoth]] from TheThrawnTrilogy (though each could be said to think of himself as sole Big Bad, with the other as TheDragon and TheStarscream).
** Nil Spaar from ''The Black Fleet Crisis''.
** In ''Literature/TheCourtshipOfPrincessLeia'', Zsinj for his fleet and Gethzerion for the Nightsisters. [[EvilVersusEvil He's blockading her planet]].
** Thracken Sal-Solo from ''The Corellian Trilogy'' (notable among StarWars villains for [[SmugSnake just being scum]] as opposed to an avatar of pure evil, and for surviving to take a supporting villain roles in later series).
*** Actually, Thrackan is simply an opportunist claiming credit for the actions of the real [[BigBad Big Bads]], the Sacorrian Triad, a mysterious council that rules one of the Corellian system's worlds, Sacorria.
** From the Literature/NewJediOrder series, [[EvilOverlord Supreme Overlord Shimrra]], absolute ruler of the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Yuuzhan Vong]] is presented as the Big Bad [[spoiler: ... until the climax, when it's revealed that his insane court jester/slave Onimi was [[TheManBehindTheMan pulling the strings all along]].]]
*** The Yuuzhan Vong have [[TheManBehindTheMan a whole succession]] of leaders throughout the series, each of whom inevitably [[SmallNameBigEgo is convinced he is/ought to be in command of the whole invasion]]: Prefect Da'Gara of the Praetorite, who isn't even a warrior (the title makes him a high-level bureaucrat. Seriously, no wonder he lost); Shedao Shai, fleet commander; Tsavong Lah, Warmaster, who actually ''is'' in charge of the warrior caste; Supreme Overlord Shimrra; [[spoiler: and Onimi]].
** In the Literature/DarkNestTrilogy, the titular HiveMind, controlled by [[spoiler: Lomi Plo]].
** Disra, Tierce, and Flim, the three Imperials who created the hoax of Thrawn's rebirth, in the Literature/HandOfThrawn.
** In ''Literature/LegacyOfTheForce'', [[DarkActionGirl Lady Lumiya]] was the one who set things up, but as she was killed half-way through, in the end the role fell to her protege, Jacen Solo/Darth Caedus.
*** Thrackan, who likes to think he's in charge of the separatist forces. He ''is'' actually a credible threat, too, with his contacts. [[spoiler: Until he gets shot.]]
** And the currently running Literature/FateOfTheJedi brings us the mysterious but undeniably powerful [[spoiler: [[EldritchAbomination Abeloth]]]].
** The '80s-era Lando Calrissian trilogy features Rokur Gepta, the last Sorcerer of Tund. In the first book, he tries to con Lando (whom he selected essentially at random) into finding an ancient artifact for him. When Lando outsmarts him, he becomes so obsessed about taking his revenge that he abandons his plans to subvert Palpatine's Empire to spend the next two books chasing one guy across the galaxy and making his life hell.
** ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'' is set soon after Film/ANewHope. The villain behind all the events of the first six books is in the Emperor's employ and sometimes gets examined by Vader, but he's allowed a lot of discretion and neither the Emperor nor Vader have much of a hand in those events. So for those six books it is [[MadScientist Borborygmus Gog]] who is the Big Bad. For the rest of the series our heroes are fleeing TheEmpire, but there's no coordinated effort to catch them.
** Cleanly averted in the standalone novel ''Literature/DeathStar''. The book has no overall villain; the closest thing is the Rebellion which is at best a recurring antagonist to the Imperial characters.
** In the "Literature/BountyHunterWars" trilogy, Prince Xizor is the Big Bad of the flashback arc, orchestrating events to destroy the political power of the Bounty Hunters' Guild and leave a large assortment of freelance bounty hunters for the Empire's use. In the "current" arc, the Big Bad is Kuat of Kuat, [=CEO=] of the most powerful shipyards in the galaxy, Kuat Drive Yards. Kuat of Kuat is trying to kill Fett to cover up a defunct, now inconvenient conspiracy against Xizor.
** ''Literature/SplinterOfTheMindsEye'', the earliest Expanded Universe novel, has Darth Vader.
** ''Literature/TheGloveOfDarthVader'' has [[BigBadWannabe Trioculus]] and "Supreme Prophet of the Dark Side" Kadann (later retconned to be an Imperial agent posing as Kadann).
** The "Literature/JediAcademyTrilogy" had several alternating Big Bads. The first book of the series had ''Jedi Search'', and the Big Bads were Moruth Doole, administrator of the prison world Kessel, and Natasi Daala, admiral of an Imperial superweapon facility and fleet cut off from the rest of the galaxy. In ''Dark Apprentice'', it's the ancient Sith spirit Exar Kun, who possesses a powerful but inexperienced and embittered Jedi apprentice named Kyp Durron. Imperial Ambassador Furgan also serves as a Big Bad. In the final book of the trilogy, ''Champions of the Force'', Daala, Exar, and Furgan all serve as Big Bads.
** In ''Darksaber'', second book of the unofficial "Literature/TheCallistaTrilogy," the Big Bads are Durga the Hutt and Daala.
** The first six books of "Literature/YoungJediKnights," "The Rise of the Shadow Academy," the Big Bads are a cabal of rogue Imperial Royal Guards, who are manipulating Brakiss, the faux Big Bad. The next five books, "The Fall of the Diversity Alliance," feature rabid anti-Human terrorist Nolaa Tarkona.
** The Big Bad of the "Literature/JediApprentice" series is Qui-Gon Jinn's ex-Padawan, Xanatos, though individual books might have their own Big Bad, with Xanatos sometimes being the BiggerBad.
** For ''Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter'', the Big Bad is Darth Sidious.
** The Big Bad of the "Literature/JediQuest" series is Granta Omega, Xanatos' son, though like its predecessor series, "Literature/JediApprentice," some books had an individual Big Bad, with Omega often being the BiggerBad.
** In ''Literature/TheApproachingStorm'', the Big Bad is a Hutt called Soergg, who is attempting to manipulate the planet Ansion into joining the Separatists, which would mean a host of planets, due to an entangling alliance, would follow with. Shu Mai, leader of the Commerce Guild and Separatist backer, might also qualify, as she is the one who hires Soergg to do this.
** The Big Bads of "Literature/TheHanSoloTrilogy" alternate. The Big Bad of the first book, ''The Paradise Snare'', is the t'landa Til "High Priest" Teroenza, who runs a spice-treatment operation as a sham religious retreat. The BiggerBad behind him is Aruk the Hutt, leader of the cartel that owns the operation. The Big Bad of ''The Hutt Gambit'' is Moff Sarn Shild, who leads an assault on the smuggling "capital" of Nar Shaddaa as a prelude for his plans to carve out his own independent domain in the galaxy's Outer Rim. It's implied, however, that the BiggerBad is Palpatine, who used the Force to manipulate Shild in order to commit treason to give him a pretext to remove him from power. In ''Rebel Dawn'', Teroenza is the main villain, though Han's old flame and Rebel leader Bria Tharen might count. While definitely not "bad," she tricks the smugglers, including Han, into attacking Teroenza's operation in order to seize its wealth for the Rebel cause.
** The Big Bads of the "Boba Fett" series (featuring a ''young'' Boba Fett) vary. The first book lacks a Big Bad, but the second, ''Crossfire'', has two: Count Dooku, who is prepared to kill Boba to prevent him from telling anyone that he is both the leader of the Separatists and the creator of the Republic's army, and Aurra Sing, who covets his father's wealth. Aurra remains the Big Bad for the third book, ''Maze of Deception''. ''Hunted'', the fourth book, features Gilramos Libkath, a small-time crime lord who uses children as his minions. In ''A New Threat'', Wat Tambor is the Big Bad by default of being the villain Fett is hired to kill. The final book, ''Pursuit'' the main antagonist is [[HeroAntagonist Mace Windu]].
** ''Tatooine Ghost'' has Grand Admiral Thrawn as the Big Bad. Interestingly, neither he nor the New Republic realize that he's the Big Bad. He's simply attempting to purchase a piece of art, which happens to contain the communications device linking the New Republic to its numerous spies. The New Republic, on the other hand, only knows that some mysterious Imperial is trying to purchase it.
** In ''Shatterpoint'', the Big Bad is a powerful dark-side-using Force Adept called Kar Vastor.
** In ''Literature/LabyrinthOfEvil'', it's Palpatine himself.
** ''Literature/OutboundFlight'': The two Big Bads are Palpatine and the Miskara, leader of an expansionist alien species known the Vagaari.
** In the first book of the "Literature/RepublicCommandoSeries," ''Hard Contact'', the Big Bad is a Separatist scientist named Ovolot Qail Uthan, who was developing a virus targeting Fett clones. In ''Triple Zero'' it's Perrive, leader of a Separatist terrorist cell. ''True Colors'' has no Big Bad, but ''Order 66'' has Palpatine. Though he has no direct involvement in the plot, the characters of the series recognize that Palpatine is unlikely to appreciate Imperial soldiers going [=AWOL=], or taking an ex-Jedi with them. ''501st'' also lacked a Big Bad.
** Darth Vader is the Big Bad of ''Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader''.
** The Big Bad of ''Allegiance'' is the corrupt governor Barshnis Choard, who seeks to carve out his own independent state in the Shelsha sector.
** Darth Bane is the Big Bad of the eponymous "Literature/DarthBane" series. The ''main antagonists'', however, differ by book. In the first book, ''Path of Destruction'', the primary antagonist is Kaan, rival Sith Lord and leader of the Brotherhood of Darkness. In ''Rule of Two'', Johun Othone, a Jedi Knight, is the primary antagonist. In ''Dynasty of Evil'', the primary antagonist is Darth Zannah, his apprentice who, according to the Rule of Two he himself instituted, seeks to supplant him as Sith Master.
** In ''Literature/LukeSkywalkerAndTheShadowsOfMindor'' the Big Bad is Cronal, also known as Blackhole or Shadowspawn, an Emperor's Hand who held to a philosophy known as the Way of the Dark, a nihilistic view that stated that everything was doomed ultimately to destruction, and goals dedicated to destruction or achieved through destructive means would succeed.
** The Big Bad of ''[[Literature/StarWarsBladeSquadron Blade Squadron]]'' is Admiral Jharred Montferrat, commander of the Star Destroyer ''Devastator'', which Blade Squadron is tasked with destroying during the Battle of Endor.
* In the ''Literature/StoriesOfNypre'' series we have the unnamed creature that controls the Night Land who is behind most atrocities in the series.
* The ''Literature/SwordOfShadows'' series has numerous mortal villains running around, but they all pale compared to the incoming threat of [[OmnicidalManiac the Endlords]], nine godlike personifications of destruction and entropy.
* ''Literature/TheSwordOfTruth'' has Darken Rahl in the first book, the Sisters of the Dark in the second book, and Jagang for the rest of the books, though most of those also have their own baddie for Richard to deal with, but they're almost always minions of Jagang's and the Imperial Order. The new book seems to have a villain named Hannis Arc, if the online blurbs released are to be believed.
* In ''Literature/ThoseThatWake'', Man in Suit is this; he can influence and control almost anyone through spreading hopelessness, and is behind several major events in the present day and backstory. The sequel, ''What We Become'', has the Old Man, who secretly runs the world via corporate dealings and has many subordinates on hand.
* ''Literature/TortallUniverse:''
** ''Literature/SongOfTheLioness:'' Duke Roger of Conte. In an effort to usurp Prince Jon's place in the line of succession, he calls a plague, manipulates Jon into exploring an incredibly dangerous place, engineers a war with Tusaine and tries TheUriahGambit, tries to kill Queen Lianne... when [[spoiler:Alanna kills him, he's actually not quite dead and one of his allies manipulates Alanna's own brother into bringing him back, and he promptly begins plotting again]].
** ''Literature/ProvostsDog:'' Pearl Skinner in ''Bloodhound''. She's terrified Sir Lionel into not interfering with her at all, which hamstrings the Guard and allows her to run wild making counterfeit silver--Lionel actively prevents anyone from investigating her too closely. She also murders anyone who risks exposing her. [[spoiler:She got the original idea from Hanse Remy, but he banked on the fact that she'd take it to an extreme.]]
* ''Literature/TrappedOnDraconica'': Gothon is TheEmperor that invades the good guy kingdom and tries to capture TheProtagonist. [[spoiler: He's actually an UnwittingPawn for the ManBehindTheMan, Kazebar.]]
** In the sequel, ''Literature/LegacyOfTheDragokin'', this role goes to Jihadain. She is TheLeader of the Khtonian Knights and the villain with the EvilPlan that moves the plot forward. [[spoiler: Unfortunately by the time she's killed her mother wakes up and becomes the TrueFinalBoss.]]
* The ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' series has the Volturi, who are the most effective villains in the series. Namely Aro, who is rightfully considered to be the overall leader.
** In the first book it's James.
** In the second book the Volturi finally become involved in the story.
** In the third book, it's [[AvengingTheVillain Victoria]]; the Volturi are involved, but it becomes and EnemyMine of sorts.
** In the fourth and final book, it's the Volturi, again.
* Pearlpelt, or [[spoiler:the Bane. Literally.]]in ''Literature/TheUnderlandChronicles''.
* Azrael de Gray from JohnCWright's ''Literature/WarOfTheDreaming'' spends roughly two-thirds of the series as the Big Bad. [[spoiler: Then he suffers a HeelRealization and aboutfaces, and the GodOfEvil takes over this trope.]]
* ''Literature/WarriorCats'': Tigerstar is the main one. Most of the story arcs have their own Big Bad (book 1 has Brokenstar, book 6 has Scourge, series 2 has Hawkfrost...), but the majority of the time, even these characters are working for Tigerstar.
* The Dark One from ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' is the living manifestation of evil in that universe. His real name also happens to be [[{{Satan}} Shai'tan]].
* ''The Winds of the Forelands'' has [[EvilSorcerer the Weaver]] [[spoiler: whose real name is Dusaan]]. [[TheEvilPrince Numar]] also acts as a secondary Big Bad for the middle three books of the five-book series.
** The SequelSeries ''Blood of the Southlands'' plays this one interestingly. [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds Lici]] is responsible for setting pretty much all of the trilogy's bad events in motion directly or indirectly [[spoiler: but then she dies early in the second book]] and the remainder of the trilogy is more a case of GreyAndGreyMorality.
* The Big Bad of the Literature/YoungWizards series is the Lone Power, the creator and embodiment of death and entropy. Good luck, heroes.
* [[spoiler: Isabel Kabra]] in the first series of The39Clues, Vesper One in the second.
* With a blatant disregard for history, Alexandre Dumas makes [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardinal_Richelieu Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu]] the Big Bad of ''Literature/TheThreeMusketeers''. And he does it again with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_de%27_Medici Catherine de' Medici]] in ''[[Literature/LaReineMargot Queen Margot]]''!
* Creator/CharlesDickens frequently used big, clear villains in his morality plays cleverly disguised as novels.
** ''Literature/DavidCopperfield'': Uriah Heep
** ''Literature/ATaleOfTwoCities'': Madame [=DeFarge=]
*** The Marquis de Saint-Evremonde might also count, for the one chapter he's alive, anyway. Also an example of EvilVersusEvil; Madame [=DeFarge=] is one of the leaders of the revolutionaries who are going around bumping off nobles like the Marquis.
** ''Literature/GreatExpectations'': Compeyson
** ''Literature/OliverTwist'': Mr. Monks. He's usually omitted from adaptations, oddly enough, with the role of Big Bad typically shifted to Bill Sikes, who is TheDragon in the book.
* Creator/CliveCussler's novels typically have at least one.
** ''NUMA Series'':
*** ''The Mediterranean Caper'': Bruno von Till
*** ''Iceberg'': Oskar Rondheim
*** ''Raise the Titanic'': Andre Prevlov
*** ''Vixen 03'': Pieter de Vaal
*** ''Night Probe'': Henri Villon is nominally the BigBad but he's mostly overshadowed by Foss Gly.
*** ''Pacific Vortex'': Delphi Moran
* Creator/DanBrown is fond of making it seem like a huge, shadowy conspiracy is going on, when actually it's all plotted by a Big Bad -- always a character who is already relevant to the plot before TheReveal -- some underlings, pawns and a lot of theatricality.
** [[spoiler:Trevor Strathmore]] in ''Literature/DigitalFortress''.
** [[spoiler:Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca]] in ''Literature/AngelsAndDemons''.
** [[spoiler:William Pickering]] in ''Literature/DeceptionPoint''.
** [[spoiler:Sir Leigh Teabing]] in ''Literature/TheDaVinciCode''.
** [[spoiler:Zachary Solomon]] in ''Literature/TheLostSymbol''.
** [[spoiler:Sienna Brooks]] in ''[[Literature/DanBrownsInferno Inferno]]''.
* DavidEddings:
** ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' (and prequels): [[GodEmperor Kal Torak]]
** ''Literature/The Malloreon'': [[VainSorceress Zandramas]], though near the end she gets [[BiggerBad overshadowed]] by [[spoiler:[[ArtifactOfDoom Cthrag Sardius]]]]
** ''Literature/TheElenium'': [[EldritchAbomination Azash]]
** ''The Tamuli'': Several villains vie for the role, but in the end [[spoiler: it's Klael]]
** ''Literature/TheRedemptionOfAlthalus'': [[OmnicidalManiac Daeva]]
** ''The Dreamers'': [[HiveQueen The Vlagh]]
* Creator/StephenKing books often have one:
** ''Literature/{{Carrie}}'': Christine Hargensen
** ''Literature/SalemsLot'': Kurt Barlow
** ''TheStand[=/=]Literature/TheEyesOfTheDragon'': Randall Flagg
** ''Literature/TheTalisman'': Morgan Sloat
** ''Literature/{{It}}'': Pennywise/It
** ''Literature/NeedfulThings'': Leland Gaunt
** ''Franchise/TheDarkTower[=/=]Literature/{{Insomnia}}[=/=]Black House'': The Crimson King
** ''Literature/RoseMadder'': Norman Daniels
** ''Literature/{{Desperation}}[=/=]Literature/TheRegulators'': Tak
** ''Literature/BagOfBones'': Has a BigBadEnsemble of Sara Tidwell and Max Devore.
** ''Literature/DumaKey'': Perse
** ''Literature/UnderTheDome'': Big Jim Rennie
** ''Literature/{{Christine}}'': Christine, which is possessed by Roland D. [=LeBay=].
** ''Literature/CycleOfTheWerewolf'': [[spoiler: Reverend Lester Lowe]]
** ''Literature/TheGreenMile'': A BigBadEnsemble of Percy Wetmore and Wild Bill Wharton.
** ''Literature/{{Misery}}'': Annie Wilkes
** ''Film/TheShawshankRedemption'': Samuel Norton
** ''Literature/{{Firestarter}}'': John Rainbird
** ''Literature/TheDeadZone'': [[spoiler: Greg Stillson]]
* Rick Riordan's series:
** [[spoiler: Kronos]] in ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians''.
** [[spoiler: Apophis]] in ''Literature/TheKaneChronicles''.
** [[spoiler: Gaea]] in ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus''.
* Creator/BrandonSanderson[='s=] Franchise/TheCosmere:
** From the ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'' trilogy, [[EvilOverlord the Lord Ruler]] is set up like this [[spoiler: in the first book, until he's killed at the end. Later books reveal he was a WellIntentionedExtremist, and the real Big Bad was Ruin, the dark god he'd been keeping imprisoned]].
** ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'' has [[spoiler:Odium]]. He ''might'' not be the Big Bad himself, but there's definitely one somewhere, and he's a pretty good candidate, considering he [[spoiler:killed Honor]].
* Creator/WilliamShakespeare has various antagonists in his plays. The comedies tend to lack them though; if a major antagonist ''is'' present in a comedy, they will rarely be legitimately evil. [[note]]This list is incomplete. Feel free to help.[[/note]]
** ''Theatre/TitusAndronicus'': [[CardCarryingVillain Aaron the Moor.]]
** ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'': [[FeudingFamilies The heads of the Montague and Capulet families]], though Tybalt is the most antagonistic.
** ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice'': [[GreedyJew Shylock]] [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation or Antonio and Portia.]]
** ''Theatre/MuchAdoAboutNothing'': [[BastardBastard Don John.]]
** ''Theatre/TwelfthNight'': [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain Malvolio.]]
** ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'': [[EvilUncle Claudius.]]
** ''Theatre/{{Othello}}'': [[ManipulativeBastard Iago.]]
** ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'': [[VillainProtagonist Macbeth.]]
** ''Theatre/KingLear'': [[BigBadDuumvirate Goneril and Regan]] at first, later [[BastardBastard Edmund.]]
** And of course, Richard III, the VillainProtagonist of ''Theatre/RichardIII''.
* From Creator/TadWilliams's works:
** ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn''- [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds The Storm King]], who could arguably be said to form a BigBadDuumvirate with [[TheChessmaster the Norn Queen]].
** ''Literature/{{Otherland}}''- [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Felix Jongleur]] and John Dread compete for the honor.
** ''Literature/TheWarOfTheFlowers''- [[AristocratsAreEvil Lord Hellebore]]. Lords Thornapple and Foxglove are initially [[BigBadDuumvirate equal partners]], but in the end Hellbore is clearly in charge.
** ''Literature/{{Shadowmarch}}''- [[EvilOverlord Autarch]] [[TheCaligula Sulepis]] is built up as this [[spoiler: but he's really just a pawn for Zosim the Trickster God]].

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