Matilda's vicious, child-hating headmistress Agatha Trunchbull of "Crunchem Hall Primary School" tops my list of favorite villains because she's so utterly deplorable, despicable, and repulsive.
She's a former Olympian (whom I doubt would pass a drug-screening test these days), expert in the hammer throw -- as she practices on her students. Her hero is Wackford Squeers (the horrific headmaster in Dicken's Nicholas Nickleby), and she loathes children.
I don't like small people. I can't for the life of me understand why they take so long to grow up. I think they do it on purpose.
And who else in children's lit has a chokey?!?
I love how Roald Dahl creates these characters that are so unbelievable, we have to believe. Even Matilda and her friends know that if they go home with stories about Miss Trunchbull, their parents would never believe them.
And there's absolutely nothing redeemable about her which goes against everything we're taught to do as writers when we create characters. And it works. It goes to show that if you know how to break the rules creating a character that is absolutely enthralling, your readers will jump in with you!
Roald Dahl is an artist and Agatha Trunchbull is one of his masterpieces! (Or, should I say, a piece of work?!)