Of all the dastardly no-goodniks in literature, my favorite bastard has to be Stephen King’s Randall Flagg. He’s often the primary villain in a story, but even when he’s not, he’s set on doing some real harm in the world. He shows up when you least expect him (except that, after appearing in at least nine of King’s novels, we really should expect him by now), charming the pants off of everyone (sometimes literally), and sowing chaos and discord wherever he goes.
He has been described by King as being a “gigantic evil,” relishing evil deeds and installing evil into the minds of everyone he can reach. Even when given more of a backstory in The Dark Tower, he remains unsympathetic, as what could possibly be attributed to a need for retribution spirals into pathology. His goals range from blowing up college buildings in Hearts in Atlantis (arguably appearing as Raymond Fiegler) to ruling Delain in Eyes of the Dragon or the former United States in The Stand, to becoming God and ruling all of existence in The Dark Tower. He goes by many names, but can always be recognized by his truly evil nature.
Randall Flagg, while not always the primary antagonist, is a sly and mysterious bastard. He’s got magic and cunning and charm and wit, and sometimes even humor, combined with the apparent ability to hop through time and parallel universes at will. His role is to wreak havoc and incite terror–and he accomplishes both. Randall Flagg is the epitome of bastards.