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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.


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    # 
  • Isabel Kabra in the first series of The 39 Clues, Vesper One in the second.
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    A 

    B 
  • In The Balanced Sword, it appears at first that the Big Bad is Kerlamion Blackstar, the King of All Hells, who is enacting a scheme to take over the world. Later it turns out that the underling who came up with the scheme for him, called Viedraverion, is a Dragon with an Agenda and the real threat.
  • Batman: Nightwalker: The boss of the Nightwalkers, Madeleine's brother, Cameron Wallace.
  • Battle Royale: The Supervisor. Mitsuko and Kazuo could count as secondary Big Bads.
  • Liane Moriarty's novel Big Little Lies has micro-managing business-mum Renata and abusive husband Perry in a Big Bad ensemble. Over time, Renata is portrayed more sympathetically and her involvement in the plot dissipates. The role of Big Bad is fully inherited by Perry when it's revealed that not only does he hit his wife, but he cheated on her with a close friend, abused her both physically and emotionally during sex and left her a struggling single mother.
  • The Bone Season has Nashira Sargas. A nearly immortal 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.
  • The Braided Path has the Weavers, who are led initially by Weave-lord Vyrrch and later by Weave-lord Kakre. However, the Weavers themselves are only to tools of the ultimate antagonist, the evil god Aricarat, who controls them through their enchanted masks.
  • Brimstone Angels has Bryseis Kakistos, heroine Farideh's ancestor who manipulates her descendants lives as part of a decades-spanning plot to avenge herself on Asmodeus, regardless of who else gets hurt in the process.
  • Brothers of the Snake has an unnamed Dark Eldar Archon who orchestrates several incidents in order to bring ruin to the Reef Worlds.
  • A Brother's Price has Kij Porter, and her whole family, who are behind literally every problem the protagonists encounter, even those that seem totally unconnected, like the problem of getting everyone in the family to agree to marry Jerin. Oh, and they also killed the princesses' father.
  • Dan Brown 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 The Reveal — some underlings, pawns and a lot of theatricality.
  • Bubble World has Todd Piloski, CEO of Bubble World. He emotionally manipulates both Freesia and her mom, and is only in it for the money. When Bubble World is retooled, he retains control of a military base to develop war games, which is what he wanted to do in the first place.

    C 
  • Castaways of the Flying Dutchman:
    • Obadiah Smithers in Castaways of the Flying Dutchman with Percival Bowe as Greater-Scope Villain.
    • 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 Children of the Red King series.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia:
    • Queen Jadis the White Witch in The Magician's Nephew and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
    • The Tisroc of Calormen in The Horse and His Boy, though his son and Dragon Rabadash gets more pagetime.
    • Miraz in Prince Caspian, until his Co-Dragons Glozelle and Sospesian decide to pull a Starscream on him, murdering him during his duel with Peter and becoming a Big Bad Duumvirate for the final battle.
    • 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.
    • Tash, the Calormene God of Evil and overall biggest bad of the setting in The Last Battle.
  • The Chronicles of Prydain has several 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 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 Big-Bad Ensemble with Arawn in this book.
    • The Black Cauldron has a Big-Bad Ensemble between Arawn and 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 Dragon.
    • Taran Wanderer has a Big-Bad Ensemble between Morda, an evil sorcerer and enemy of the Fair Folk, and Dorath, the Ax-Crazy 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 King Pryderi as a Big Bad Wannabe. Dorath also returns to make a Big-Bad Ensemble in this book.
  • The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant has Lord Foul the Despiser as the main antagonist of the entire series. His role is somewhat different in each arc:
    • In the First Chronicles, Foul is initially The Man Behind the Man to Drool Rockworm. After arranging Drool's defeat, Foul comes out of the shadows as an archetypal Evil Overlord for the remainder of the arc.
    • In the Second Chronicles, Foul takes a more subtle approach, using the power of the Sunbane to turn the Land into a Death World and then setting up the Clave to rule it as his proxies. Ordinary people (and most initiates of the Clave) are unaware of his involvement in these events.
    • In the Last Chronicles, Foul forms a Big Bad Duumvirate with Kastenessen, between them setting in motion a number of events intended to culminate in the utter destruction of the Land. Because Foul is both the smarter and the more completely evil of the pair, he remains the greater threat, even if Kastenessen's actions tend to be a bit more... obvious.
  • The Chaos Gods series has Rising Chaos, a long-imprisoned god which is struggling to break free so it can destroy the Four Realms and eradicate all life
  • CHERUB Series:
  • Chung Kuo: Howard DeVore.
  • Circleverse: Some of the books have No Antagonist, but the ones that do...
    • Tris's Book: Queen Pauha and her mage brother Enahar, a nasty pair of type 1 Pirates who takes advantage of the earthquake damage from the first book to attack Winding Circle and its treasures, 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.
    • The 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.
  • Short story "Clockpunk and the Vitalizer" features The Vitalizer, a semi-telekinetic powerhouse hell-bent on retrieving an unseen superweapon known as the Bull.
  • Codex Alera plays with this one. In the first book we're introduced to High Lord Aquitainus Attis and his wife 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 the Vord Queen, a monster The Hero wakes up during a Side Quest 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. Meanwhile, Lord Aquitainus got Character Development moving him more towards Anti-Villain territory, culminating in Redemption Equals Death mixed with Alas, Poor Villain, while Invidia was pressed into service by the Vord Queen as The Dragon and died in that role.
  • The Companions Quartet has Kullervo, a shapeshifter that wants to wipe out humanity.
  • Coraline: The Beldam/the Other Mother.
  • Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere:
    • From the Mistborn trilogy, the Lord Ruler is set up like this in the first book, until he's killed at the end. Later books reveal he was a Well-Intentioned Extremist, and the real Big Bad was Ruin, the dark god he'd been keeping imprisoned.
    • The Stormlight Archive has Odium. He might not be the Big Bad himself, but there's definitely one somewhere, and he's a pretty good candidate, considering he killed Honor. Word Of God also states he's responsible for the death/destruction of the shards Devotion and Dominion, and is actively interested in hunting down Ambition.
  • Michael Crichton often has themes of man vs. nature (or technology) in his books, but several of them still have Big Bads:
  • The Crimson Shadow: King Greensparrow, an evil wizard who rules Avon, Eriador and the islands nearby.
  • Cthulhu in the Cthulhu Mythos series and adaptions but in the original mythos, there were a whole load of Eldritch Abominations with their own agendas, and Cthulhu was one of the less powerful. The reason why it's called Cthulhu Mythos 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 (even if he doesn't know it) so if there's a Big Bad at all it's more likely to be him.
  • Clive Cussler's novels typically have at least one.
    • Dirk Pitt Adventures:
      • 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 Big Bad but he's mostly overshadowed by Foss Gly.
      • Pacific Vortex: Delphi Moran

    D 
  • The Dark Sea Annals: Morlan.
  • The Dead Zone: Greg Stillson.
  • The Death Gate Cycle initially appears to have Lord Xar as Big Bad, though he is played with a good deal of sympathy and the main character is his Dragon, at first. However, further books complicate matters by creating a Big-Bad Ensemble with Kleitus and Samah in the mix as well, and then 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.
  • Devils & Thieves has Darek is the cause of all the bad events in the story, from Michael Medici's death in the backstory to the disappearance of several characters in the main story. The ending solution requires taking him down.
  • Charles Dickens frequently used big, clear villains in his morality plays cleverly disguised as novels.
  • Lazarus in Dis Acedia, a malevolent god abducting people to the titular maze so as to play with them.
  • The Divergent series:
  • The Doctor Who Expanded Universe has managed a few:
    • The New Adventures: The Timewyrm tetralogy has the Timewyrm. The Alternate Universe Cycle has the Meddling Monk. The Psi Powers arc has the Brotherhood, ultimately led by the Grandmaster.
    • Eighth Doctor Adventures: The Faction Paradox storyline has Grandfather Paradox, although he's more of a Greater-Scope Villain. The Compassion arc has Romana of all people, seeking to capture Compassion in order to improve the Time Lords' TARDIS technology. The Sabbath arc has the Council of Eight, especially Octan.
    • Crossovers: The New Adventure "Blood Harvest" sets up Lord Yarven as the Big Bad of the first Missing Adventure "Goth Opera". The Missing Adventure "The Scales of Injustice" and the Past Doctor Adventure "Business Unusual" have Martin Townsend (AKA "the pale man") as the Big Bad.
  • The Dora Wilk Series has Raphael in the first three books. Then he's one-upped by Greater-Scope Villain Ibrahim, who's then overshadowed by yet another Greater-Scope Villain, Iris, who turns out to be behind this all.
  • Wraith from Dragoncharm wants to keep Charm from disappearing from the world. The Charm appears to be dying, which is scaring most of the Charmed dragons along with making them sick, but in truth it isn't dying, only going into a dormant state which it will wake up from in a few aeons - so long as the Seed of Charm gets planted. Wraith knows all this, but wants to keep the Seed and use its power for himself. To do this he orders the capture of at least one community of Natural dragons plus a group of pacifist Charmed dragons who want to stop him, sends selected acolytes of his to trigger deadly magical booby-traps, and murders Halcyon, the leader of the Charmed.
  • In Dragonlance, the dark goddess Takhisis is usually the Big Bad, though at various points of the timeline she's been overshadowed by Chaos, the dragon overlord Malystryx, and once nearly by Raistlin.
  • Gwilanna from Dragons. Until the Ix show up.
  • In the Dread Empire series, the Princes Thaumaturge initially seem to be a Big-Bad Ensemble - until they're killed off, that is. The Pracchia then emerges as the collective chessmasters behind the titular empire's civil war and subsequent wars of expansion and their leader is eventually revealed to be the Star Rider, who has been pulling everyone's strings for time immemorial and is firmly established as the overarching Big Bad of the entire saga.
  • Most individual books in The Dresden Files have one of these.
    • Storm Front: Victor Sells is behind the murders that have taken place in the book which Harry is investigating.
    • Fool Moon: Agent Denton is a Knight Templar who is hunting down criminals who escaped justice.
    • Grave Peril: Margravine Bianca St. Claire's plans for getting revenge on Dresden fuel the plot and would ultimately initiate the first magical war in centuries between the wizard white council and the red court vampires.
    • Summer Knight: Lady Aurora is the one behind the murder of the Summer Knight, in an effort to give his power to Winter to disrupt the balance between the winter and summer Fae Courts.
    • Death Masks: Nicodemus Archleone wants to use the Shroud Of Turin in order to spread the plague across the entire world.
    • Blood Rites: Lord Raith is the driving force of the plot being the one behind the murder of Arturo's workers as well as planning on killing Harry and Thomas to regain his lost glory and power.
    • Dead Beat: Cowl is the leader of the heirs of Kemmler and plans to consume the souls of thousands in order to make himself all powerful.
    • Proven Guilty: The plot involves various wraiths being unleashed across the city. We're not quite sure who sent those wraiths, but the running theory is either Maeve or Queen Mab.
    • White Night: Cowl returns here and is the most prominent threat in the novel as well as one of the main architects behind a plot to commit genocide on wizards.
    • Small Favor: Nicodemus Archleone returns here and plans on kidnapping the archive and turning her to the dark side.
    • Turn Coat: Samuel Peabody is the titular traitor on the wizard white council and is attempting to save himself from being found out as a spy for the evil Black Council.
    • Changes: '' Kukulcan, the Red King plots to cause the death of the entire Dresden family line by murdering Dresden's daughter. That being said, his daughter,Duchess Ariana Ortega is The Heavy who set most of the plot off by kidnapping [[spoiler:Dresden's daughter in the first place}}.
    • Ghost Story: Corpsetaker aka The Grey Ghost is the driving fore of the novel and intends to bring herself back to life through any means necessary including torture, Mind Rape, and murder.
    • Cold Days: Maeve who intends on unleashing the various evils and monsters contained in the magical prison, Demonreach upon the world. Though ultimately she was being influenced by the unseen Greater-Scope Villain, Nemesis.
    • Skin Game: Nicodemus Archleone returns again and plans on stealing various items from Hade's vault situated in the underworld.
    • That said, the driving force behind everything is the 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 Nemesis, a form of quasi-intelligent magical infection which takes people over and causes them to act on behalf of 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.
  • With a blatant disregard for history, Alexandre Dumas makes Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu the Big Bad of The Three Musketeers. And he does it again with Catherine de' Medici in Queen Margot!
  • The Dune universe has several big bads over the series.
    • The original Dune, and the Prelude to Dune prequels, have the infamous House Harkonnen
    • Dune Messiah introduces the Tleilaxu, with the Bene Gesserit and Spacing Guild as allies.
    • Children of Dune sets up the remnants of House Corrino to be this, but the ultimate threat is really a possessed Alia.
    • God-Emperor of Dune has Ix as the greatest threat to Leto II's Golden Path. They send both Malky and Hwi Noree to probe him for weaknesses, both tailored to seduce him and break his discipline. It is also Ix that posed the threat of the AI Hunter-Seekers of Leto's vision. Though Ix doesn't have a role in his death, his death actually furthers his plan.
    • Heretics of Dune introduces the Honored Matres, which then serve as the Big Bad.
    • Chapterhouse: Dune continues the Honored Matre threat, now personified by Dama the 'Spider Queen', however it turns out the Honored Matres are themselves fleeing a greater threat, which may or may not be the mysterious Daniel and Marty.
    • The Legends of Dune prequels have the thinking machines.

    E 
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    F 
  • In the first Faeries of Dreamdark book, it's the Blackbringer. The next book features 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.
  • Firebird Trilogy
    • 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-Dabarnote , 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.
  • Judge Craven in Flawed is the cause of all of Celestine's problems, from her multiple undeserved brandings, to getting rid of anyone that might support her in her plight.
  • In Flawed Dogs, Cassius is single-handedly responsible for getting Sam disowned and kicked out of the house, starting the conflict.
  • The Flying Boy has Dr. Paigne, a mad scientist who wants to take over the world.
  • Frankenstein: The creature.

    G 
  • In the Gameknight 999 Series, Herobrine is this for the second and third series, controlling huge armies of monsters to destroy the Minecraft world and threaten the safety of the real world. He also turns out to have been behind the villains of the first book.
  • The Gauntlet 2017: The game is ruled over by The Architect, who decides what challenges the players face, and keeps those who fail trapped in the game permanently.
  • Ghost Roads: Bobby Cross is an evil immortal who prolongs his life by killing people with his car and then consuming their ghosts. He also stands as heroine Rose Marshall's Arch-Enemy and main opponent due to his relentless pursuit of her as the victim that got away.
  • In The Girl from the Miracles District, Ture turns out to be behind most the threats and kidnappings that's been plaguing Nikita in recent days.
  • The Gaiaphage/Darkness from the Gone series.
  • Goosebumps:
    • Welcome To Dead House:: Compton Dawes.
    • Stay Out Of The Basement: Dr. Brewer, though not intentionally.
    • Monster Blood: Sarabeth, the Blood's original creator.
    • The Haunted Mask: The Shopkeeper, who created the masks and has a bad habit of letting them fall into the hands of children.
    • Be Careful What You Wish For: Clarissa.
    • Welcome To Camp Nightmare: Uncle Al.
    • Piano Lessons Can Be Murder: Mr. Toggle.
    • Return Of The Mummy: Princess Nila.
    • The Beast From The East: Fleg, the leader of the group of Beasts encountered by Ginger and her brothers.
    • Calling All Creeps: The Creep Commmander, eventually known as Ricky Beamer.
    • The Headless Ghost: The Sea Captain, whose actions before the story were what created the Headless Ghost and turned Hill House into a place of tragedy.
    • Headless Halloween: Brandon Plush. His sadistic pranks and morbid sense of humor put everyone in danger, and he winds up being put through hell to undo them.
  • Guardians of Ga'Hoole has first Kludd, and then later, Nyra. The first book had Skench and Spoorn, but they don't stick around.
  • The Guns of the South: Andries Rhoodie, the head of the AWB, who hope to prolong slavery and racism by giving AK-47's to the Confederacy only to turn on them and try to kill Robert E. Lee.

    H 
  • Halo: Shadow of Intent: The most active villain is the Prelate attacking peaceful colonies, but he works for the Minister of Preparation, who turns out to not be entirely truthful to his own soldiers and has his own plans for his enemies.
  • Lord Voldemort, aka Tom Marvolo Riddle, from the Harry Potter 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. In order:
    • Philosopher's Stone: Professor Quirinius Quirrell.
    • Chamber of Secrets: Salazar Slytherin's Basilisk and the memory of Tom Riddle, as well as Lucius Malfoy, who awakened the duo by arranging for the Diary Horcrux to be smuggled into Hogwarts - though we discover much later on he wasn't aware of the book's true power at the time.
    • Prisoner of Azkaban: The Dementors and Peter Pettigrew.
    • Goblet of Fire: Bartemius "Barty" Crouch Jr. who is posing as Professor Alastor Moody.
    • Order of the Phoenix: Dolores Umbridge. While she's loyal to Obstructive Bureaucrat Minister Cornelius Fudge, most of her actions (notably sending Dementors to kill Harry) are done entirely on her own initiative without his knowledge or approval.
    • Half Blood Prince: Draco Malfoy.
    • Dealthly Hallows: Voldemort himself.

    I 
  • The Immortal Rules: Sarren.
  • InCryptid series:
  • In Death 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?
  • Iron Man: Steel Terror has Comic Book/Ultron.

    J 
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    K 

    L 
  • The Land of Stories:
    • The Evil Queen for The Wishing Spell.
    • The Enchantress for The Enchantress Returns.
    • General Marquis for A Grimm Problem.
    • The Masked Man for Beyond the Kingdoms.
  • The Last Vampire:
    • The Last Vampire: Yaksha, the first vampire and the heroine Sita's sire plans to kill her in order to atone for his creation of vampires.
    • Black Blood: Eddie Fender is an evil, newborn vampire who plans on wiping out most of humanity and ruling over the survivors as there leader.
    • Red Dice: Arturo Evola plans to discover the secrets of vampires in order to gain divinity for mankind through the use of immortal vampire-human hybrids.
    • Phantom: Kalika is Sita's daughter whose apparent rising evil serves as the main plot of the novel.
    • Evil Thirst: Kalika initially seems to be this only for the reveal of the true main villain whose Ortyo/"James Seter" and plans on consuming a child who is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ in order to gain godly powers.
    • Creatures Of Forever: Landulf of Capa who plans on shifting the balance between good and evil towards evil by manipulating Sita.
  • The Last Rune has the Elder God Mohg. However, he's currently trapped between worlds and has to rely on proxies to do much of his heavy lifting - chiefly, the Pale King in the High Fantasy world of Eldh, and Duratek in the Urban Fantasy of modern Earth.
  • Last Sword of Power: Wotan, aka Molech.
  • In The Laundry Files, the overall biggest threat are the various soul-sucking horrors from beyond space-time poised to descend upon Earth once CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN goes active, and in particular the most powerful of them: 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.
  • Ouyang Feng, towards the end of The Legend of the Condor Heroes.
  • Let the Right One In: Conny.
  • Eustace 'The Evil' De Mharburg from Paul Kelly's The Lost Brigade. A man so heinous that he was deleted entirely from history...
  • Loyal Enemies': Tairinn orchestrated everything, from the raising interracial tensions, through monster attacks and up to the main scheme.

    M 
  • The Crippled God is this for most of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Though not directly introduced until the third book, being The Man Behind the Man to, most prominently, the Pannion Domin, the Whirlwind rebellion, and 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 and the protagonists end up having to save him in the last book when a bunch of Abusive Precursors called the Forkrul Assail to hijack his powers for their own purposes.
  • Malevil has Fulbert, a Sinister Minister who turns a town into a post-Apocalypse "religious" dictatorship.
  • Masks of Aygrima, The tyrannical Autarch of Aygrima. In Faces he becomes part of a Big-Bad Ensemble with The Lady of Pain and Fire. They both sap magic from their subjects to avoid dying of old age and want to take over Mara's body to live longer.
  • The Trunchbull of Matilda by Roald Dahl.
  • The Maze Runner:
    • Assistant Director Janson, better known as "the Rat-Man", is the primary antagonist of the series.
    • Gally more or less serves as this in the first book, where WICKED is monitoring things off-screen for the majority of the book. It's more explicit in the movie.
  • The Mediochre Q Seth Series looks to be building up "The Organisation Which I Represent" as the overall Big Bad. However, they mostly operate as a behind-the-scenes Greater-Scope Villain while more immediately-pressing plots are going on at the behest of a more temporary Big Bad.
    • Sapphire serves the role of immediate Big Bad in The Good, the Bad and the Mediochre.
    • Black, White and Shades of Mediochre has the necromancer, although there are indications that Obsidian may qualify as a separate, joint or even superior contender.
  • Michael Vey: Dr. C. James Hatch.
  • Gyphon is the overall villain of the Mithgar series. However, most of the individual books have their own Big Bads, 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 The Man Behind the Man, and in other cases, he's just the Greater-Scope Villain. The Eye of the Hunter has Baron Bela Stoke.
  • Moby-Dick: Captain Ahab
  • Gabriel from the Modesty Blaise 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" 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 Big(-ger) Bad than himself.
  • The Monarchies of God: Aruan.
  • The Moomins: An impersonal example is the comet in Comet in Moominland that besides threatening to cause The End of the World as We Know It 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 The Mortal Instruments series.
  • The Most Dangerous Game: General Zaroff.
  • Mythos Academy: Loki is an evil god who serves as the main threat of the series. He plans to revive himself to full power and bring about the age of chaos which would result in the deaths of all the other gods as well as the decimation and enslavement of humanity.

    N 
  • Neverwhere: Islington.
  • Nightfall (Series): Prince Vladimir has conquered the world and destroyed human civilization. Now, he breeds the surviving humans in farms for food and forces the Resistance to live in constant fear and on the brink of extinction.
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four: O'Brien is the central villain of the novel, and is responsible for the tortures of Winston and Julia and later death of the former. Big Brother is the Greater-Scope Villain, assuming that he's actually a person and not just a concept.
  • Northanger Abbey has John Thorpe, who causes all of Catherine Morland's problems in the novel, even after he disappears from the plot.

    O 
  • Janus from Obsidian Mirror is described as one by Sarah. He rules the world in the future she's from, and his abuse of the titular mirror is said to be creating a black hole that will destroy the world.
  • October Daye series:
    • Rosemary and Rue: Devin is the one responsible for the apparent death of Evening Winterrose which is the main plot of the novel.
    • A Local Habitation: Gordan is responsible for the various killings taking place at Tamed Lightning which Toby is investigating during this novel.
    • An Artificial Night : Blind Michael serves as the main villain of the book having abducted various children to help with his Wild Hunt.
    • Late Eclipses: Oleander de Merlands and Rayseline Torquill plot here to frame Toby for various murders that they committed in hopes of having her executed for them.
    • One Salt Sea: Rayseline Torquill and Dugan plot during the novel to incite a war between the Undersea and Kingdom of the Mists in order to take control of The Mists.
    • Ashes of Honor: Samson as well as Treasa Riordan are responsible for the kidnapping of a young changeling whose powers they plan to use in order to allow them to take over the court of cats from Tybalt and conquer a new realm respectively.
    • Chimes at Midnight: The false Queen of the Mists is responsible for the deaths of various changeling children due to her distributing and selling a fatal narcotic drug to them.
    • The Winter Long: Eira Rosynhwyr AKA Evening Winterrose plans to forcefully take over Shadowed Hills and has helped her descendants seize various kingdoms in order to allow her to rule.
    • A Red-Rose Chain: King Rhys plans on starting a war with the Kingdom of Mists in order to enact his racist blood purity policies on them as well as impress his love, the false Queen of the Mists by getting revenge on Toby for her.
    • Once Broken Faith: Queen Verona is responsible for the assassinations of royals which take place here. The main purpose of this is to help increase her power.
    • The Brightest Fell: Amandine the Liar is Toby's mother and the main antagonist of this novel. During the novel, she kidnaps and holds captive the Love Interest of Toby and will only free him should Toby find Amandine's eldest daughter.
  • The Old Kingdom Series:
  • Ollie's Odyssey has Zozo.
  • The Outsiders has the Socs.

    P 

    R 
  • The Rainbow Magic series has Jack Frost, who is always sending his goblins out to do his dirty work before appearing in the climax of a series.
  • Ranger's Apprentice 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; Keren in books four and five; the Tualaghi in book seven; Tennyson in books eight and nine; and Arisaka in book ten.
  • 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 Greater-Scope Villain.
    • 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.
  • Reef Of Death: Dr. Ecenbarger.
  • The Reynard Cycle: The twist of the third book makes it obvious that the protagonist has become one.
  • Reynard the Fox: In this medieval tale Reynard is the protagonist, but hardly an admirable character. He lies, cheats, murders, rapes, steals and betrays everybody and manages to get away with all of it in the end.
  • The Riddle Master Trilogy has a Big-Bad Ensemble of Ghisteslwchlohm and the shape-changers, who operate independently (and indeed, often at cross-purposes). Near the end of the third book, Eriel, the leader of the shape-changers, captures Ghisteslwchlohm and magically binds him to serve her as The Dragon.
  • The Riftwar Cycle:
    • Magician: Doesn't have a clear-cut example, since the Kingdom-Tsurani conflict is grey enough. The Tsurani Warlord Almecho is the closest thing to one, though he's removed from play with a good chunk of the plot left to resolve.
    • Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon: Murmandamus looks like this, but is ultimately revealed as The Dragon to the returning Valheru.
    • Serpentwar: The Emerald Queen who eventually gets killed and replaced by the demon Jakan.
    • Conclave of Shadows: Leso Varen
    • Darkwar: The Dasati Dark God
    • Demonwar: Belasco and Dahun are a Big Bad Duumvirate
    • Chaoswar: The Dread, which is revealed to have been The Man Behind the Man to most everything else, making it the overall Big Bad of the entire saga.
  • Rick Riordan's series:
  • Brian Keene'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 Big-Bad Ensemble with Colonel Schow, the leader of an entire platoon of Sociopathic Soldiers. In the second book, with Schow dead, Ob takes his position as the true Big Bad once again.
  • Rogue Sorcerer 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 The Runelords is essentially that universe's equivalent to Satan though it manifests in several forms throughout, including the One True Master, Shadoath, and Lord Despair.

    S 
  • Safehold:
    • The Gbaba, who nearly rendered humanity extinct, necessitating the creation of intentionally-Lost Colony Safehold in the first place.
    • In a Posthumous Character sense, Langhorne and Bédard, creators of the Path of Inspiration Church of God Awaiting, which they designed to try and prevent the re-emergence of advanced technology for all time.
    • Finally, the first nine books have Vicar Zhaspahr Clyntahn, the Church's Grand Inquisitor, who starts a war that eventually goes global out of rampant paranoia over a nation he doesn't like, and is an all-round despicable human being.
  • Savage, by Richard Laymon: Roderick Whittle, aka Jack the Ripper.
  • The Inchoroi and the Consult of the Second Apocalypse series. Mostly because they apparently want to rape everything ever. 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 Eldritch Abomination.
  • In Septimus Heap:
    • DomDaniel in Magyk and Flyte.
    • Queen Etheldredda in Physik.
    • Tertius Fume in Queste and Syren.
    • Merrin Meredith in Darke.
  • Count Olaf for most of A Series of Unfortunate Events, though we eventually discover that he's more like a Dragon to a larger organization. His incredibly horrifying superiors, however, are polished off in the second-to-last book, and Olaf enters into an Enemy Civil War with Knight Templar Ishmael in the finale. It's implied they kill each other.
  • The Big Bad of 7th Son 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.
  • Shadows of the Apt has a Big-Bad Ensemble between Emperor Alvdan and Uctebri the Sarcad, who are each manipulating the other for their own gain, in its first arc. After they both die, Alvdan's younger sister Seda steps up to the plate as the new Wasp Empress, proving to equal and exceed the combined strengths of both. Ultimately, Seda's pursuit of supreme magical power leads her to tamper with a Sealed Evil in a Can that really should have been left alone, leading to the final and greatest threat of the series being the ancient horror known as the Worm.
  • Shadows on the Moon has Terayama, even if he's offstage for two-thirds of the book.
  • The Shahnameh: Three of the most famous examples would be:
    • Zahhak, a tyrant with two snakes growing out his shoulders whom Zahhak must feed human brains to.
    • The White Demon, a cave-dwelling albino who rules Mazandaran.
    • Afrasiab and his brother Garsivaz who commit many atrocities including the execution of Siavash, which sends Rostam and the Persians on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Shannara:
  • Every novel in the Sharpe series has one, sometimes more:
    • Sharpe's Tiger: The Tippoo Sultan.
    • Sharpe's Triumph: A Big-Bad Ensemble of Anthony Pohlmann, William Dodd and Obadiah Hakeswill, although Dodd is working for Pohlmann for much of the novel under he deserts.
    • Sharpe's Fortress: William Dodd.
    • Sharpe's Trafalgar: The Big Bad Triumverate of Anthony Pohlmann, Peculiar Cromwell and Michel Vaillard. Lord William Hale is also a major antagonist, attempting to murder his wife Grace on learning she has been having an affair with Sharpe.
    • Sharpe's Prey: Captain John Lassiver.
    • Sharpe's Rifles: Colonel De L'Eclin, arguably in a Big Bad Duumvirate with Tomas Vivar.
    • Sharpe's Havoc: Colonel James Christopher.
    • Sharpe's Eagle: Sir Henry Simmerson and his Dragon Christian Gibbons. Lieutenant Berry serves as Simmerson's Co-Dragon in the adaptation of Sharpe's Eagle for Sharpe, but in the book he's merely the Mook Lieutenant.
    • Sharpe's Gold: El Catolico.
    • Sharpe's Escape: Ferragus.
    • Sharpe's Fury: Colonel Vandal for the French, Father Montseny for the inhabitants of Cadiz.
    • Sharpe's Battle: Major Pierre Ducos, who is The Man Behind the Man for Loup and Juanita.
    • Sharpe's Company: Hakeswill.
    • Sharpe's Sword: Colonel Philippe Leroux.
    • Sharpe's Enemy: Pot-au-Feu, with Hakeswill as his Dragon, although the French attack on Adradas is organised by Ducos.
    • Sharpe's Honour: Ducos.
    • Sharpe's Regiment: Lord Fenner.
    • Sharpe's Siege: Ducos. The French troops assaulting Teste de Buch are led by General Calvet but the plan is Ducos' with Calvet functioning as The Heavy.
    • Sharpe's Revenge: Ducos.
    • Sharpe's Waterloo: Effectively, Napoleon Bonaparte. On a more personal level, Sharpe's estranged wife Jane Gibbons encourages her lover Lord Rossendale to murder Sharpe.
    • Sharpe's Devil: A Big-Bad Ensemble of Governor-General Batista and Admiral Cochrane.
    • The short stories written by Bernard Cornwell: In "Sharpe's Skirmish", as far as Sharpe is concerned the Big Bad is General Herault, but again Ducos is The Man Behind the Man. "Sharpe's Christmas" has Colonel Caillou (although he dies without personally encountering Sharpe) and "Sharpe's Ransom" has Sergeant Challon.
  • Sherlock Holmes:
    • A Study in Scarlet: Jefferson Hope
    • The Sign of the Four: Jonathan Small
    • "A Scandal in Bohemia": Irene Adler
    • "The Red-Headed League": John Clay
    • " A Case of Identity": James Windibank
    • "The Bascombe Valley Mystery": John Turner
    • " The Five Orange Pips": Captain John Calhoun
    • "The Man with the Twisted Lip": Neville St. Clair
    • "The Blue Carbuncle": James Ryder
    • "The Speckled Band": Doctor Grimesby Roylott
    • "The Engineer's Thumb": Colonel Lysander Stark
    • "The Noble Bachelor": Francis H. Moulton
    • "The Beryl Coronet": Sir George Burnwell
    • "The Copper Beeches": Jephro Rucastle
    • "Silver Blaze": John Straker
    • "The Cardboard Box": Jim Browner
    • "The Yellow Face": Effie Munro
    • "The Stockbroker's Clerk": Beddington
    • "The Gloria Scott": Hudson
    • "The Musgrave Ritual": Richard Brunton
    • "The Reigate Squire": Alec Cunningham
    • "The Crooked Man": Colonel James Barclay
    • The Resident Patient": Biddle, Hayward and Moffat
    • "The Greek Interpreter": Harold Latimer and Wilson Kemp
    • "The Naval Treaty": Joseph Harrison
    • "The Final Problem": Professor James Moriarty
    • The Hound of the Baskervilles: Frank Stapleton
    • "The Empty House": Colonel Sebastian Moran.
    • "The Norwood Builder": Jonas Oldacre
    • "The Dancing Men": Abe Slaney
    • "The Solitary Cyclist": Jack Woodley
    • "The Priory School": James Wilder.
    • "Charles Augustus Milverton": Charles Augustus Milverton.
    • "The Six Napoleons": Beppo.
  • The Silerian Trilogy: Kiloran, one of the water lords who rules his people with an iron fist.
  • Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: 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 Big Bad Triumvirate 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 Big Bad Triumvirate. 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 Domestic Abuser 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 Horrible Judge of Character who finally wised up!
    • Lethal Justice: Arden Gillespie. Roland Sullivan is more of The Dragon 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 FBI.
    • Hokus Pokus: Grant Conlon and Tyler Hughes appear to be a Big Bad Duumvirate.
    • Fast Track: Maxwell "Max(ie)" Zenowicz.
    • Collateral Damage: Dan Winters and Baron Russell are likely a Big Bad Duumvirate.
    • 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: Margaret Pearson and William "Bill" Bell, identity thieves and a Big Bad Duumvirate.
    • Deadly Deals: Baron Bell, with Adel Newsom acting as The Dragon.
    • 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 Bureaucrats 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 Co-Dragons.
    • Deja Vu: Henry "Hank" Jellicoe.
    • Home Free: Owen Orzell and Jason Parker are apparently a Big Bad Duumvirate. Interestingly, Owen reveals that he was part of a Big Bad Triumvirate 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 Skulduggery Pleasant series.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • There are too many plot-lines in the series 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, though for the moment they have only been antagonists in the Night's Watch storyline, and for most of that storyline the Wildlings under Mance Rayder were more the antagonists, though the Wildlings have banded together and are trying to flee south in response to the Others... However the Others' threat starts to spill over into the main plotline when Stannis Baratheon saves the Night's Watch from the Wildlings on realizing that the Others are the true threat.
    • The Big Bad of the civil war plotline of the first three books appears to be Tywin Lannister for the most part, Warden of the West and head of the Lannister family, but towards the end it's revealed the true Big Bad is Littlefinger; who is responsible for the books' main action, notably the murder of Jon Aryyn and the death of Joffrey. Interestingly enough, officially in-universe Joffrey is the Big Bad, as he is the King the Lannisters and their allies are supporting, and thinks of himself as their leader, however he is so incompetent that his grandfather Tywin is clearly in charge.
    • Now that the combination of Tywin's death and their repeated defeats in battle has left the main antagonistic faction in disarray and largely supplanted by the Tyrells, there are three competitors for the title:
      • It's hard to say for sure given the series' long hiatus, but Feast for Crows and Dance With Dragons appeared to be setting up Euron Greyjoy as a Big Bad in the aftermath books, even though he doesn't appear in the first three books or play any role in the first two, outside the Appendixes, he is first mentioned in the third book when we hear after Balon Greyjoy's sudden death his brother Euron returned and claimed rule of the Iron Islands. So far, he has invaded and sacked the Shield Islands while dispatching the Iron Fleet to Essos under Victarion to bail out Daenerys (where they've left a trail of terror), with the implication that he plans to use magical artifacts he found to bend her dragons to his will. Book five ends with the Tyrells moving to confront him in the Reach.
      • Roose Bolton, Warden of the North, is this for the Northern story line and all the characters involved in it; he was arguably this since book three, both because of the role he plays in Jaime, Brienne, and Arya's chapters and because it's revealed he was subtly sabotaging Robb's whole cause ever since Stannis lost at the Blackwater, culminating in him and his allies butchering Robb's loyal followers in a dishonorable betrayal. Though he is acting in service of the Lannister regime, he doesn't interact with them much and his power base is effectively independent (it's also implied he approached the Lannisters with the betrayal idea rather than the other way around, and he enacts it without their troops present). The only reinforcements he gets are 2,000 Frey soldiers secured via marriage alliance, and any houses he can convert on his own initiative in the North. Much of book five revolves around Stannis building a loose alliance of southrons and northerners and leading them against him, while Jon watches anxiously from the Wall and POV characters Davos, Asha, Theon, and Melisandre are caught in the action; the book ends on a cliffhanger as Stannis's coalition engages a detachment of Roose's army, outmatched.
      • The aforementioned Littlefinger is still planning something with his politicking in the Vale, though whether this is part of a sinister master plan or just him trying to adapt is left ambiguous. Meanwhile, Tywin's daughter Cersei Lannister seemed set to become the main antagonist in book four, as she acts as regent for Tommen Baratheon, her weak-willed younger son, but she ends up a Big Bad Wannabe who quickly ends up purged by elements in her own capital.
  • The Sovereign Stone has Dagnarus, Lord of the Void, as its Big Bad. Interestingly, though plainly the bad guy, he's also 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 .
  • Spectral Shadows pretty much features at least one Big Bad per serial. Then there's Salocin, the evil God, who pretty much serves as the series' Greater-Scope Villain.
  • Spellfall: Hawk.
  • Spider-Man: Global War has Doctor Octopus.
  • In the new Star Wars Expanded Universe:
  • The Star Wars Legends 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 Greater-Scope Villain) some of the most notable are:
    • In Revan, it is the Sith Emperor.
    • In 'Fatal Alliance, it is Cinzia Xandret.
    • In the X-Wing Series, Ysanne Isard for the Rogue Squadron arc, Warlord Zsinj for the Wraith Squadron arc, Turr Phennir for Starfighters of Adumar and Stavin Thaal and Borath Maddeus for Mercy Kill.
    • The Big Bad Duumvirate of Thrawn and C'baoth from The Thrawn Trilogy (though each could be said to think of himself as sole Big Bad, with the other as The Dragon and The Starscream).
    • Nil Spaar from the Black Fleet Crisis trilogy.
    • In The Courtship of Princess Leia, Zsinj for his fleet and Gethzerion for the Nightsisters. He's blockading her planet.
    • Thracken Sal-Solo from The Corellian Trilogy (notable among Star Wars villains for 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 Big Bads, the Sacorrian Triad, a mysterious council that rules one of the Corellian system's worlds, Sacorria.
    • From the New Jedi Order series:
    • In the Dark Nest Trilogy, the titular Hive Mind, controlled by Lomi Plo.
    • Disra, Tierce, and Flim, the three Imperials who created the hoax of Thrawn's rebirth, in the Hand of Thrawn duology.
    • In the Legacy of the Force series, Lady Lumiya was the one who set things up, but as she is killed half-way through, in the end the role falls to her protege, Jacen Solo/Darth Caedus. As well, Thrackan Sal-Solo returns; he likes to think he's in charge of the separatist forces. He is actually a credible threat, too, with his contacts. Until he gets shot.
    • The Fate of the Jedi series brings us the mysterious but undeniably powerful Abeloth.
    • The Lando Calrissian Adventures 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.
    • The Galaxy of Fear series is set soon after A New Hope. 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 Borborygmus Gog who is the Big Bad. For the rest of the series our heroes are fleeing The Empire, but there's no coordinated effort to catch them.
    • Cleanly averted in the standalone novel Death Star. 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 Bounty Hunter Wars 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.
    • Splinter of the Mind's Eye, the earliest Legends novel, has Darth Vader.
    • The Glove of Darth Vader has Trioculus and "Supreme Prophet of the Dark Side" Kadann (later retconned to be an Imperial agent posing as Kadann).
    • The Jedi Academy Trilogy has several alternating Big Bads. The first book of the series is Jedi Search, and the Big Bads are 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 I, Jedi, retroactively inserted into the same time period, the Big Bads are Exar Kun and Leonia Tavira, an Imperial admiral leading a group of space pirates and Force sensitives.
    • In Children of the Jedi, the first book of the unofficial Callista Trilogy, the Big Bad is Roganda Ismaren, a former agent of the Emperor and Jedi initiate trying to gain control of the Eye of Palpatine superweapon. In Darksaber, the second book, the Big Bads are Durga the Hutt and Daala. In the third book, Planet of Twilight, the Big Bad is sentient droch Dzym, who tries to unleash the Death Seed Plague in order to quench his thirst for draining life.
    • The first six books of the Young Jedi Knights series, the "Rise of the Shadow Academy" arc, 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 Jedi Apprentice series is Qui-Gon Jinn's ex-Padawan, Xanatos, though individual books might have their own Big Bad, with Xanatos sometimes being the Greater-Scope Villain.
    • For Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, the Big Bad is Darth Sidious.
    • The Big Bad of the Jedi Quest series is Granta Omega, Xanatos's son, though like its predecessor series, Jedi Apprentice, some books had an individual Big Bad, with Omega often being the Greater-Scope Villain.
    • In The Approaching Storm, 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. 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 The Han Solo Trilogy 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 Greater-Scope Villain 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 Greater-Scope Villain 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. In the final book, Pursuit, the main antagonist is 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 Labyrinth of Evil, it's Palpatine himself.
    • Outbound Flight: The two Big Bads are Palpatine and the Miskara, leader of an expansionist alien species known the Vagaari.
    • In the first book of the Republic Commando Series, 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 lacks a Big Bad.
    • Darth Vader is both the Big Bad and the Villain Protagonist of Dark Lord—The Rise of Darth Vader.
    • The Big Bad of Star Wars: 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 Darth Bane trilogy. 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 Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor the Big Bad is Lord 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.
    • In Shadows of the Empire, Prince Xizor is the Big Bad.
    • The Truce at Bakura has a Big-Bad Ensemble of Admiral Ivpikkis, the commander of the Ssi-ruuk forces that attack Bakura, and Governor Wilek Nereus, the Imperial leader who plans to betray the rebels as soon as they have got rid of the Ssi-ruuk for him.
    • The Crystal Star has Lord Hethrir as the Big Bad.
    • The Last of the Jedi series has Emperor Palpatine as the Big Bad, with Darth Vader as The Heavy.
  • In the Stories of Nypre series we have the unnamed creature that controls the Night Land who is behind most atrocities in the series.
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Edward Hyde
  • The Survivor's Club: David Price.
  • Swordbird: Lord Turnatt Tyrant.
  • The Sword of Shadows series has numerous mortal villains running around, but they all pale compared to the incoming threat of the Endlords, nine godlike personifications of destruction and entropy.
  • The Sword of Truth 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.

    T 
  • The Thirteenth Tale: The real Adeline March.
  • In Those That Wake, 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.
  • Time Out Of Time: Balor The One-Eyed. He seeks to rule over the Travelers' Market, and have all myths and legends conform to the dark's wishes.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird: Bob Ewell is responsible for framing a black man for the savage beating he committed, taking advantage of the racist system of 1920's Alabama to do so.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
  • Tortall Universe:
    • Song of the Lioness: Duke Roger of Conté. 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 The Uriah Gambit, tries to kill Queen Lianne... when 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.
    • The Immortals: Emperor Mage Ozorne of Carthak, who has designs on conquering the Eastern Lands and sees sending thought-extinct immortals at the kingdoms of the north as a grand way to weaken them up for conquest. After he's deposed and turned into a Stormwing, he teams up with an even greater villain: Uusoae, the Queen of Chaos.
    • The second half of Protector of the Small has Maggur Rathhausak, King of Scanra, who employs the necromancer Blayce the Gallan in the first place. Rathhausak never makes an on-page appearance, however.
    • Beka Cooper: 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 coins — Lionel actively prevents anyone from investigating her too closely. She also murders anyone who risks exposing her. She got the original idea from Hanse Remy, but he banked on the fact that she'd take it to an extreme.
  • The Traitor Son Cycle: The Big Bad for the first three books (The Red Knight, The Fell Sword, and The Dread Wyrm) is Ash, a dragon of vast magical power who seeks to seize the gates, portals to other universes and key to his ambition of conquest. His success means the extinction or enslavement of man and the Wild. In the last two books of the series, The Plague of Swords and The Fall of Dragons, a Big-Bad Ensemble emerges as other powerful entities scheme to take the gates, including the Necromancer, the will, and the fire. note  All of them make and break alliances with each other, but at the end Ash is left as the biggest and baddest antagonist the Red Knight and his armies must face.
  • Trapped on Draconica: Gothon is The Emperor that invades the good guy kingdom and tries to capture The Protagonist. He's actually an Unwitting Pawn for the Man Behind the Man, Kazebar.
  • The 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 Victoria; the Volturi are involved, but it becomes and Enemy Mine of sorts.
    • In the fourth and final book, it's the Volturi, again.

    U 

    V 
  • Victor Dashkov in Vampire Academy. Turns out to be the one hunting down Lissa for the last few years. Responsible for her and Rose running away from Moroi society in the first place.
  • In The Videssos Cycle, the most obvious villain is Avshar, though he's technically the Dragon-in-Chief to Wulghash, the ruler of the Yezda Empire. At least until the final part of the last book, when Avshar deposes Wulghash and takes over as Big Bad full-time.
  • Vortex: Karl Adriaan Vorster.

    W 

    Y 
  • You Are Dead (Sign Here Please): Director Fulcher is the big bad for much of the series, as he is responsible for putting Nathan's file in order and goes to great lengths to accomplish it.
  • The Big Bad of the Young Wizards series is the Lone Power, the creator and embodiment of death and entropy. Good luck, heroes.


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