A wise man—or shall we say, a wise fictional character—once said, "Every fairytale needs a good old-fashioned villain." (Shout-out to Jim Moriarty from Sherlock.)
In other words, no story feels complete without at least one compelling villainous character, whether it’s a shrewd and calculating boss or a deeply sadistic killer with a complicated past. These are the characters that keep us on the edge of our seats and, oftentimes, force our favorite protagonists to step up as fearless heroes. And of course, we can’t forget about the antagonists who blurred the lines between good and evil, making us totally rethink what it means to be a villain. Keep reading for a ranking of the 40 best TV villains.