7 Religious Villains Whose Fanaticism is Terrifying Sep14

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7 Religious Villains Whose Fanaticism is Terrifying

Screenshot of Nathan Fillion as Caleb from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
September’s Area of Effect theme is “Religion,” and we asked folks which villains terrify them because of their warped devotion to a religion or specific belief. For some reason, there’s something extra creepy about characters who do horrible things in the name of holiness, or because they believe they’ve become godlike themselves.

1. Caleb, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

“Combine priest with serial killer, sociopath, and misogynist—that’s Nathan Fillion’s character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As the physical form of the First Evil with a strength to rival Buffy’s, he’s one of the most unsettling villains I’ve ever seen; the way he presents himself in such a logical, calm manner, even as he’s poking Xander’s eye out, is terrifying. ”

—Allison Barron

2. Apocalypse, X-Men: Apocalypse

“Since he’s the first of the Mutants, he has nearly infinite powers. And he’s willing to allow practically unlimited collateral damage to take over the world.”

—Alex Mellen

3. L’Rell, Star Trek: Discovery

“The use of prayer to awaken her lover from within their previously tortured enemy prisoner was really, truly terrifying. And, if I remember correctly, strong hearts are the most important part of Klingon religion, so she thought she was 100% justified in the manner with which she ‘saved’ Voq. The justification of warped theology that leads to further justification of immoral actions in a time of desperation terrifies me.”

—Ashley Mowers

4. Brother Justin Crowe, Carnivale

“The evil festering in his soul as he draws a huge crowd of the poor and marginalized to follow him for his own selfish reasons [is terrifying].”

—Derek White

5. Anubis, Stargate: SG-1

“Anubis is a goa’uld (which are scary enough because they can take over a host body). Anubis did something so horrible the other goa’uld tried to banish and kill him (which speaks to how evil he is if the other evil things think he crossed the line). He managed to escape, convince an ascended being to help him become a non-corporeal being, and gain advanced knowledge. He used that knowledge to amass advanced technology and forces to wipe out all opposing forces in the Milky Way Galaxy.”

—Dan Good

6. Brother Blood, DC Universe

“Brother Blood is a semi-immortal who believes it’s his divine right to rule over humanity; he leads a group called the hive and steals the powers of super-powered beings in order to fuel his ascension.”

—Josiah Baldwin

7. Frollo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

“He is so self-righteous in his religious practice that he is completely incapable of acknowledging his own wrongs or even showing empathy to those he considers beneath him. At times, his fanaticism seems to be a way to cover up his own weaknesses and hypocrisies. When confronted with the knowledge that he is imperfect and fallible, his response is to commit further evil acts, instead of truly seeking grace and receiving forgiveness. This is terrifying to me, because it shows the depravity human beings are capable of when they are convinced they can do no wrong and they have no need for grace.”

—Ray Evangelista

Allison Alexander

Allison Alexander

Art Director at Geekdom House
Allison is like Galadriel, offering wisdom where needed but turning treacherous as the sea when competitive games are involved. She manages Geekdom House's arts initiatives, including their magazine and choir. She spends the rest of her time writing, playing D&D, and exploring Hyrule, Middle-earth, or a galaxy far, far away.
Allison Alexander

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