Some villains are loud and useless like empty vessels. They will throw a parade and show off their so-called glory but when it comes to getting on the field, they will run for the mountains. They had just tapped on the phenomenon of ‘fear of the unknown’. But when the heroes really took the courage to get above their fear and face the villain, they found nothing but a spineless wannabe. These villains started out as intimidating but chickened out when they had to face the music. Here are the 10 scary villains who were cowards in reality. They might be cowards, but that doesn’t make them unworthy of our hatred. Just look at Dolores Umbridge and Pennywise.
Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds
Hans Landa is one of the most iconic villains in the history of cinemas. He started off as a cold Nazi who sniffed out Jews and killed them mercilessly. The vicious Landa was called the “Jew Hunter” and his mere presence could turn the room chilly. He looked very calm but no one knew that he was watching everyone with his eagle eyes. He thought he was helping the whole plot during World War II when he revealed Nazi secrets to the Americans in exchange for freedom. But one of the basterds decided to “screw the rules” and carved a Swastika on Landa’s forehead. As fear took over Hans, he transformed into a screaming and whimpering victim of bullies.
Colonel Jessup in A Few Good Men
Jack Nicholson appears in “A Few Good Men” as Colonel Nathan R. Jessup. Colonel Jessup initially came across as a fierce and ruthless man who was serving as base commander at Guantanamo Bay. What made him a villain wasn’t his arrogance, but his cowardice. In the face of danger, he sent others forward to die while he hid behind them and flew off when the coast was clear.
Pennywise in It Chapter II
Pennywise was portrayed as one of the nastiest and scariest clowns in movies and everywhere. He is the reason many of us are scared to not trust clowns. But It Chapter II ruins that image of Pennywise who transforms from a terrifying clown to a whimpering spider who finally dies when the Losers muster courage to taunt him with verbal insults.
Scar in The Lion King
Even formidable villains like Thanos and Killmonger in the MCU fight with honor and dignity. But Scar fought for the throne by going behind his brother’s back. He conspired with his kingdom’s enemies, the hyenas, to get his brother and nephew killed. But when his nephew Simba comes back stronger and braver, Scar changes sides and puts the entire blame on the hyenas to save his back.
Gaston in Beauty and the Beast
Gaston may be large in fame but he was a personification of a coward. He instigates a fight with the Beast by shooting him from the back. Really? And when the injured Beast manages to defeat him and swings him in midair, Gaston pleads for mercy. Later when the Beast approaches Belle, Gaston attacks the defenseless Beast from the back again.
Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Voldemort may have been the primary villain of the iconic Harry Potter Universe but Umbridge was the most hated character throughout the series. She was simply toxic and vicious who boiled your blood. Umbridge was inflated with pride and power as long as she had the ministry to back her up. She tortured young children who couldn’t use powers against her and half-giant Hagrid in absence of Dumbledore, only to remind them who’s the boss. But she ran for the hills when Fred and George’s fireworks followed her and walked behind Harry and Hermione in fear when they took her to the Forbidden Forest.
McGavin in Happy Gilmore
Shooter McGavin was a ridiculous and shallow man with an inflated ego. He liked pretending to be all tough and badass but literally used to run away from confrontations and fights. If his ego was wounded with harmless jokes and banter, he would respond with lame comebacks. All his tough persona was a sham as he paid someone else to fight Happy and preferred running over the latter with his car instead of showing courage to face him directly.
Ernst Stavro Blofeld in For Your Eyes Only
One of the most intimidating and popular James Bond villains is Blofeld. However, his entire brand was punctured in “For Your Eyes Only” since no one expected the villain to cry and plead to Bond for his life while dangling by the helicopter. And just like that, the most-feared villain of the franchise dropped into a chimney.
Carter Burke in Aliens
Carter Burke was the greedy and deceiving businessman who ordered his pawns to search the spaceship. He was sweet and amicable on the outside but a dangerous and merciless man in reality who wanted to use aliens as weapons. However, when the aliens finally showed up to face him, Burke chickened out and ran for the nearest hiding place.
Captain Hook in Peter Pan
Captain Hook has quite a feared reputation in Disney World but don’t believe what you hear. He was the main villain in Peter Pan’s story only for namesake. Captain Hook was nothing if not a comedy. He stuttered when his authority was threatened and cried whenever the croc was near (understandable).