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Top 10 Female TV Villains

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut
Written by Mark Sammut Underestimate them at your own peril. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Female Villains On Television. For this list, we’re looking at female antagonists who rank among TV’s best of the worst. While spoilers will be kept to a minimum, a couple of these women are not initially introduced as villains, so please keep that in mind.

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Underestimate them at your own peril. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Female Villains On Television.

For this list, we’re looking at female antagonists who rank among TV’s best of the worst. While spoilers will be kept to a minimum, a couple of these women are not initially introduced as villains, so please keep that in mind.

#10: Lucretia

“Spartacus” (2010-13)

She’s the perfect candidate for Game of Thrones. As Quintus Lentulus Batiatus' better half, Lucretia is enamored by her husband's unrelenting ambition and also yearns to move up the social ladder. Lucy Lawless' character is hard to pin down, as Lucretia often flip-flops from caring to hateful in a matter of seconds. In keeping with the times, the Roman woman treats her slaves like trash while simultaneously expecting to be adored by them. With a scheme always on the backburner, Lucretia will hurt anyone to improve her family's reputation, and that makes her a pleasure to watch.

#9: Missy

“Doctor Who” (2005-)

Call her the Ying to the Doctor's yang. As the Master's 19th reincarnation, Missy is short for Mistress and serves as the Doctor's arch enemy. As a renegade Time Lord, Missy is driven by a lust for power, although the villainess admittedly spends an inordinate amount of time messing with the Doctor. Missy is not out and out evil - the wayward Time Lord seems to be driven by a desire to bring the good Doctor down to her level more than anything else. While the two rivals always shared an odd relationship, the Master's female incarnation ramped up the sexual innuendos to try and lure the Doctor to the dark side.

#8: Number Six

“Battlestar Galactica” (2004-09)

This is multiple personality disorder elevated to the next logical level. As a Cylon with various copies, Caprica Six might always come packaged in a fancy red dress, but the model's behavior changes drastically from one version to the next. Whether mercifully snapping a baby's neck or a figment of Gaius Baltar's imagination, Tricia Helfer never fails to steal the show. Easily the most unpredictable character on this list, Number Six encapsulated the best and worst of human behavior, while perfectly representing Battlestar Galactica's many themes and concepts. In a show with a lot to offer, she nonetheless remains one of the show’s most compelling draws.

#7: Drusilla

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003) & “Angel” (1999-2004)

“Insane” and “vampire” are two words you never want to see together. Blessed with the "sight," Drusilla's innocence attracted the attention of the psychotic Angelus, who sired and tortured the young girl. As a nightwalker, the deranged Drusilla is blood-thirsty but intelligent, allowing the vampire to survive multiple battles against Buffy and Angel. Unlike Angelus and Darla, Drusilla seems to actually feel other emotions besides sadism and lust - though make no mistake… this vampire loves to shed blood just as much as the next one. In a series littered with great female villains like Dark Willow and Glory, the charismatic Drusilla stands as the most memorable of the bunch.

#6: Harley Quinn

“Batman: The Animated Series” (1992-95)

Hey, even villains need sidekicks. Despite Batman's impressive rogues gallery, the Animated Series saw fit to introduce its own villain in Harley Quinn. Originally a psychiatrist working at Arkham Asylum, Quinzel was charmed by the Joker and helped the villain escape from prison. Originally, Quinn was set for a one-off appearance, but the Jester's manic personality and wicked sense of humor quickly captured the hearts of viewers. Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine the world of the Dark Knight without Joker's leading lady and her many eccentricities.

#5: Azula

“Avatar: The Last Airbender” (2005-08)

Being a prodigy is not all it’s cracked up to be. From the second she was born, Princess Azula was hailed as an untouchable firebender, a proclamation that gave the young girl a massive ego. Jealous of Zuko's intimate relationship with their mother, Azula's short life up to the point that we meet her has been consumed by war, with the Princess never experiencing anything resembling a normal childhood. Due to her upbringing, Azula is quite a tragic character, as Ozai's daughter was never really given much of a choice in the matter.

#4: Katherine Pierce

“The Vampire Diaries” (2009-17)

The best villains usually tend to maintain a sliver of humanity. Whether a witch, vampire, or human, Katherine Pierce refuses to die. Originally a pretty decent human being who was shunned for bearing a child out of wedlock, Katherine's drive for self-preservation slowly started to trump any affection held for her companions. Characterized by a ruthless and rebellious personality, Katherine is more than just a cartoon villain - this vampire is capable of both love and remorse. Multi-layered and stylish to a fault, Katerina will take out anyone who stands in her way.

#3: Nina Myers

“24” (2001-14)

This was a twist that sent shockwaves around the world. As Los Angeles CTU’s second in command, Nina Myers initially served as Jack Bauer's trusted ally; but, eventually, the agent was exposed as a mole. Portrayed brilliantly by Sarah Clarke, the traitor used her position in the agency to sell information to the highest bidder and she was more than willing to kill to protect this secret. In a single twist, Clarke went from a secondary hero who believed in a just cause to a soulless villain driven only by money. Bauer faced some serious adversaries during the years, but Myers remains a standout.

#2: Constance Langdon

“American Horror Story” (2011-)

Skating the line between wonderfully campy and utterly bone-chilling, Jessica Lange's Southern Belle has amassed quite an impressive kill streak. Constance Langdon dreamed of living the Hollywood life but quickly grew weary of the film industry's treatment of women. With a background in acting, Constance knows how to play the part of a sweet and approachable maiden, but this persona could not be further removed from Langdon's true nature. A loving mother who often engages in sadistic and violent parenting, Lange's antagonist is a walking contradiction. Expertly played by Jessica Lange, she is arguably one of the more memorable and complex characters, let alone villains, in recent television history.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.


“Reboot” (1994-2001)

Rita Repulsa

“Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” (1993-95)

Evil Queen

“Once Upon a Time” (2011-)

#1: Cersei Lannister

“Game of Thrones” (2011-)

Seriously, is anyone surprised? Cersei Lannister is the very definition of power hungry. Stuck in an unhappy marriage with Westeros' reigning king, Cersei aspires to place a Lannister on the throne. Cold and cunning, the brother-loving sister does not hesitate to kill anyone who threatens her position. While you’d be remiss to underestimate the character, Cersei's arrogance is her greatest weakness, as Tywin's daughter often overestimates her own tactical nuance and fails to plan for the future. Of course, these flaws only improve Cersei as a villain. For every new slight against her, perceived offense or supposed betrayal, she responds with ever increasing fury… and it’s an absolute pleasure to watch her work.

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