TOP FIVE: Usurpers

For certain people/animals, more is never enough. Listed below are five of the most heinous, power hungry fiends to ever (dis)grace the silver screen.

5. Scar – The Lion King (1994) – Scrambling and clawing for survival, Mufasa cries out to his brother Scar for aid. Instead of help, he gets a vicious mauling and is hurled to his rocky, tramply death.

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4. Lady Asaji – Throne of Blood (1957)- In this epic Japanese Macbeth retelling, Washizu is the poor, tormented soul so desperate to remain loyal to his beloved Lord Tsuzuki. Unfortunately for him, it is Lady Asaji who wears the robes in their relationship and like a cork she twists him to betrayal and murder.

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3. Denethor-The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) – Denethor is delusional beyond reason; even the wise counsel of Gandalf cannot stop him now. He spends his time sitting in his ivory tower paying small boys (or if none can be found, the occasional Hobbit) to sing and dance whilst he gorges himself on roast chicken and tomatoes. So much tomato…

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2. Commodus- Gladiator (2000) – Simultaneous patricide, regicide and usurp plus infanticide, betrayal, incest and fixing sports events. The depravity of Commodus knows no bounds! 

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1. Sir Hiss – Robin Hood (1973) – Less usurper, more usurpent; Hiss hypnotizes the rightful King Richard into a crusading stupor, leaving the sickly Prince John to take his place as the mane man. Hiss is able to gain power through subversion and flattery; by allowing John to assert physical dominance he is dismissed as weak and thus allowed to slither ever closer to the throne. Before Hiss gets a chance to strike however, that pesky Robin Hood shows up to set him on the straight and arrow.

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