While it’s true that 2016 may not be remembered as a stellar year — we’ve lost a lot of pop culture greats, after all — on the whole, fans of movies, TV, and games have had quite a lot to be happy about. As the year comes to an end, it’s time to look back on the best of the best and select the winners of our Year in Fandom Awards. Have a look at the nominees, and cast your vote below!
Here are the nominees for Best TV Villain:
Negan (The Walking Dead)
If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead, perhaps you thought that the series’ earlier villain, The Governor (played by a fierce David Morrissey), was about as badass as a Walking Dead baddie could get. Then came Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s screen incarnation of the comic book’s Negan, introduced at the end of Season 6. In Season 7, we’ve seen him wage unrelenting bloody war on Rick’s group and though he’s a hard and cruel villain, his charming delivery and sense of humour make him just so darned likeable. With a pretty cool weapon in Lucille, his extended reign of terror and the sheer impact he’s had on the group, Negan is a serious contender for this title.
Ramsay Bolton (Game of Thrones)
Is there a sicker character in the whole of TV? With a penchant for torture and a predilection for flaying, Ramsay Bolton is a cruel and twisted man. If you still wince at the thought of him chopping off Theon Greyjoy’s wedding tackle but laugh at his subsequent sausage dinner in front of his sniveling victim, Ramsay Bolton could well be your choice for favourite TV villain. Other memorable scenes featuring Roose Bolton’s illegitimate son include the one in which he set his face-munching dogs on a servant girl for sport and the murder of his own father. Some might say Theon had it coming but his treatment of Sansa Stark was another matter, and ultimately audiences lapped up the moment she turned Ramsay’s own dogs on him.
Demogorgon (Stranger Things)
In among the human nominees sits a genuine monster – the Demogorgon from Stranger Things. The Netflix series was a word-of-mouth hit, combining 80s nostalgia with a horror vibe. Its charm, humour, mystery and tension helped embed it into popular culture but its moments of horror were what really marked it out. The beast from beyond known as the Demogorgon lurked in another dimension – the Upside Down – but was able to cross over into the ‘real world’ and snatch victims to feed on and/or use as a kind of incubator. It could smell blood and would be there in a jiffy, breaking through walls or squirming through the bases of trees to pounce. Its defining characteristic? Instead of a face, it had in its place one big orifice with four flaps that stretched right back.
Man in Black (Westworld)
The Man in Black from Westworld is interesting. First introduced as a mysterious figure bent on rape and murder, albeit within Robert Ford’s artificial world created for that very purpose, he becomes more sympathetic as the series unfolds. As the audience learns more about the grandiose theme park and ponders its many questions over morality and what it is to be human, we gradually find out more about the Man in Black until it all comes together at the end with the big reveal of his true identity. Plus, Ed Harris.
Chuck McGill (Better Call Saul)
Chuck is Jimmy McGill’s older brother, and for much of Season 1 of Better Call Saul, seems like a nice, if somewhat troubled soul. Suffering from ‘electromagnetic hypersensitivity’ he has previously been forced to leave his position as partner at a law firm, and now finds it hard to leave his house. He does love his brother however. Or does he? As Season 1 progressed Chuck seemed like an increasingly frustrated figure, resentful of Jimmy’s popularity and increasing legal smarts. And in Season 2 that anger turned Chuck into something of a monster, endeavouring to ruin things for Jimmy both professionally and personally, and committing a serious betrayal in the show’s final episode.