Agent 007 is known for many things, fast cars, bombshell love interests, and shaken martinis. Above all, James Bond is known for the terrifying (and often cringe-worthy) villains he has defeated. The Bond villain has become a character trope after the series has cemented itself in cinema through decades of film. Bond villains range from charismatic to nightmarishly creepy.
A part of what makes 007 appealing as a character is his ability to gain the upper hand against his powerful enemies. As one of the longest-running film franchises in history, James has no shortage of bad guys to tussle with. After 26 movies and 6 iterations of everyone’s favorite secret agent, who is Bond’s most formidable foe?
10. Dr. No
Dr. Julius No (Joseph Wiseman) was the main villain of the first-ever bond film Dr. No. Debuting in 1962, the film launched one of the longest-running film franchises in history. Dr. Julius No was a mad scientist who lost his hands after dealing with too much radiation. He replaced the appendages with metal hands capable of crushing his enemies.
No used his many henchmen to try and kill bond and even attacked 007 himself before being defeated. His death was brought to his secret organization SPECTER’s attention, putting a huge target on James’ back.
9. Donald “Red” Grant
After the death of SPECTRE agent Dr. No, the evil organization had plans for neutralizing Agent 007. The crooked cabal hired an assassin to kill Bond. Donald “Red” Grant (Robert Shaw) was James’ equal in both skill and striking good looks. The highly trained assassin almost got the best of Bond using his signature weapon: his watch. The watch deployed a wire Grant used to strangle his prey, only this time it was he who was strangled.
Harold Sakata appeared in 1964’s Goldfinger as one of the most unforgettable Bond villains in the franchise, Oddjob. Oddjob was one of Auric Goldfinger’s henchman. He was capable of amazing feats of strength due to rigorous physical training. Oddjob’s defining characteristic is his signature Bowler hat.
Auric had Oddjob decapitate a statue using the hat as a show of strength to bond. Far from the only deadly accessory in the franchise, Oddjob’s weapon of choice is still so unique that it has become iconic.
7. Auric Goldfinger
1964’s Goldfinger would later become a historic film for the franchise. Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe) was an international gold smuggler obsessed with the precious metal. He was extremely wealthy, cunning, and even had some fighting prowess of his own despite having henchmen at his beck and call. Goldfinger is most known for an iconic scene where he had Bond strapped to a table and nearly cut in half by a laser.
6. Le Chiffre
Mads Mikkelsen’s Le Chiffre was the villain to a new generation’s Bond, Daniel Craig. Craig assumed the role of Bond after Piece Bronsan’s 7-year run as 007. In Casino Royale, Bond was tasked with stopping Le Chiffre from accumulating the wealth needed to continue funding terrorist organizations.
The bone-chillingly cool Le Chiffre held a high-stakes card tournament to recoup his earnings after Bond meddled in his plans. Bond was able to successfully infiltrate the tournament. James won the tournament but was tortured by Le Chiffre until SPECTRE member Mr. White killed him.
5. Mr. White
Mr. White, played by Jesper Christensen gets an honorable mention because of one reason: power. Appearing in Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and Spectre White had ties to two of the most powerful organizations in the franchise. Though White may not be as physically imposing or intimidating as other villains on the list, he gives a new meaning to the phrase “friends in high places.”
4. Raoul Silva
Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) proved that a spy’s life isn’t always martinis and Aston Martin’s. Silva worked for MI6 director M before she was top-brass in the intelligence organization. M chose to trade Silva to the Chinese government to release 6 other agents after she caught him disobeying orders.
Silva was brutally tortured while in captivity and tried to commit suicide by ingesting cyanide. Instead of killing him, the toxin mutilated Silva and caused him horrific pain. As a result of the betrayal, Silva became a cyberterrorist in Skyfall and a member of SPECTRE.
Jaws (Richard Kiel) comes in at #3 because he is a callback to the good old days. Not every Bond villain needs a monologue or laser to be terrifying. Some don’t even need to torture 007 to be memorable. Appearing in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, Jaws kept it simple.
He was a villain who used his size, strength, and steel chompers to terrorize his victims. Though Jaws eventually became reformed, his fights with Bond were nothing short of epic.
2. Alec Trevelyan
Who better to come in at #2 than 006, Alec Trevelyan? Played by Sean Bean in GoldenEye, Trevelyan was another MI6 agent gone bad. Bond’s former bestie revealed that the United Kingdom government’s rejection of his family was the cause of his parents’ murder/suicide.
The event that left Alec orphaned ruined his life, and he plotted to betray the UK from the time he was 6 years old. Trevelyan schemed to use the GoldenEye satellite to financially cripple the UK and strike a major economic blow to the world. Trevelyan is a perfect runner-up for the best Bond villain because he is the anti-007.
1. Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Not only is Blofeld the quintessential Bond villain, he may be one of the best villains of all time. Blofeld is the head of the infamous SPECTRE organization. He is, in many ways the architect of all 007’s woes. Ernst is the puppeteer behind many of Bond’s enemies and the reason many of the people he cared about have died.
Appearing in 10 Bond films, Blofeld has most recently been played by Christoph Waltz in the new continuity. Donald Pleasence played the iteration above, which is perhaps the most iconic in You Only Live Twice (1967). Ernst has got it all: power, evil schemes out the wazoo, a nasty scar, and even an equally evil feline friend. Ernst Stavro Blofeld is top of the heap because he has become the standard for generations of villains. They just don’t make ’em like they used to.
Top 10 Bond Villains
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