10 Movie Villains Who Deserved MUCH WORSE

When the comeuppance doesn't actually come.

Oppenheimer Cillian Murphy
Universal Pictures

There is a saying that a story is only ever as good as its antagonist. Though typically built around the protagonist, there has to be an equally compelling obstacle in their way, something to truly test their resolve, and though the majority of the time an audience knows who will come out on top, at least make them doubt the final result even for just a little bit.

After watching the hero tussle with a villain throughout, if it's been crafted in the right way, seeing the bad guy get their comeuppance has to be one of the most satisfying parts of the entire thing, right?

Not always. Too often the punishment doesn't quite fit the crime, if there is any actual punishment at all. Sometimes they will get off lightly, while other times they will get off scot-free, usually leaving the audience entirely dissatisfied.

Villains who evaded the FBI were given jobs... with the FBI, murderers were rewarded with love and happy families, and usurpers to the throne were essentially given little more than a slap on the wrist. These bad guys deserved much worse than they got, and we all deserved to see it.

10. Saruman - The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

Oppenheimer Cillian Murphy
New Line

Though it was Sauron who was the ultimate big bad of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, as the literal Lord of the Ring, the malevolent monster waited in the wings for the first two movies. In his place was Saruman (Christopher Lee), who abandoned reason for madness and joined the Dark Lord.

Not only did the powerful wizard imprison Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen), he sent the Fellowship into Caradhras where his fellow sorcerer was killed by the Balrog; built an army of Uruk-hai for Sauron; and engineered the attack on Helm's Deep. It was essentially he who was going to take Middle-earth for Sauron in the name of Mordor.

However, when the White Wizard was defeated, thanks to Treebeard and his army of Ents at Isengard, he was just kept in solitary confinement in his tower. No punishment to be spoken of outside of complete isolation. 

Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) wanted Saruman killed, which would have been far more fitting of the crime(s), but Gandalf said no. Because Saruman had no power anymore he would no longer be a threat. This was especially stupid since a year earlier they believed Sauron to be without power, but he still managed to wage a bloody war on the whole of Middle-earth. Did Gandalf learn nothing?

In the extended edition of The Return of the King, Saruman was killed by his lackey, Grima Wormtongue (Brad Dourif), a much more fitting ending for such a villain.


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