One of the most gruesome scenes of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy for me was at the beginning of the Battle for Minas Tirith where the army of Mordor returns the Gondorian prisoners. Via catapult. And it’s just their heads. I’ve often wonder if that scene, like many others in LOTR, was inspired by the Bible, specifically the story of John the Baptist.
While the devil is the ultimate villain in all inspirational fiction (1 Peter 5:8), his influence is seen in human villains as well. Ephesians 6:12 is a good starting place to look for villains. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Often it is the villain that determines the course of the story. We all know Judas and Jezebel but here are some additional Biblical human villains —
Athaliah 2 Kings 2:11 And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal.
It’s hard to imagine a woman so greedy for power. She killed her family, her grandchildren, so she could be queen. Her reign was one of great evil and her wickedness had far reaching effects.
Haman Esther 3:6 wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.
This man didn’t kill one person he wanted to kill an entire race of people. We've seen genocidal maniacs in history and Haman falls in their ranks. Through trickery and deceit he wormed his way to the top. His end was fitting, hanged on gallows he'd built to kill others.
1 Samuel 13:13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee:
King Saul was a complicated man. There were times when he did serve God, then there were others when he was consumed with hatred and rage. He was obsessed. He cared for David and hated David. Their story, the interaction, is an amazing display of human nature. Saul consulted a witch, plotted murders, didn't keep his word.
Joshua 7:21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.
Achan willfully disobeyed God. He was in the right crowd but wasn't really a part of them. His values were different and because of that, caused great trouble.