- Coach Kim Joo Young – SKY Castle
- Jang Deok-su – Squid Game
- Lee Jae Kyung – My Love From the Star Villian
- Park Joong Heon – Goblin (Guardian)
- Cho Cheol-gang – Crash Landing on You
- Kang Hee Soo – Boys Over Flowers
- Jang Dae Hee – Itaewon Class
- Min Joon-gook – I Can Hear your Voice
- Han Sang Hoon – W: Two Worlds Villan
- Queen Consort Cho – Kingdom
Korean drama villains take many forms, and a great Korean drama will have at least one true villain. A memorable villain does more than provide someone for the main characters to fight, they help in revealing the protagonists for who they are by demonstrating who they are not. While we love a good hero in a Korean drama, there is nothing quite like a great villain. Here are our rankings of who we think are the 10 greatest villains in Korean Dramas.
Coach Kim Joo Young – SKY Castle
Many might know the scary world of the Korean educational system. However, Coach Kim Joo Young (Kim Seo Hyung) will make you never want to put your child in the system…ever. Coach Kim Joo Young is an exclusive tutor that has a 100% success rate in getting students into one of the three top universities in Korea. What makes her character so scary is that you can see how a character like this could exist in South Korea. The lengths that she will go to and the things she will do (even murder) will send chills down your spine. The movie does a great job of using her character as an instrument for parents to get what they want for their kids. Safe to say the tutoring industry in Korea took a bit of a hit by her character alone.
Jang Deok-su – Squid Game
Jang Deok-su is also known as Player 101 in the global Korean drama hit Squid Game. If you want to see the ultimate evil Korean gangster, you have him in Jang Deok-su. He was a major villain in the first season of Squid Game, but the good news is that he will not be coming back for season 2 as he was killed in the 5th game. In the series, he was not only brutal but a total sociopath that loved targeting weaker players in the game. He has no redeeming qualities and is always eager to do whatever he can to survive, even if it means killing.
Lee Jae Kyung – My Love From the Star Villian
Lee Jae Kyung (Shin Sung-rok) is one of the best villains of all time. Some might feel he is too comical in his evil role, but he still comes across as a very sinister character. He does a lot of evil acts in the drama, from trying to silence Song-yi and exploiting Min-joon’s weaknesses. All this is to protect himself and only himself. Truly, one of the more selfish characters in any Korean drama. Just when you think he can’t be more hated, he injures Se-mi’s older brother!
Park Joong Heon – Goblin (Guardian)
Park Joong Hoon (Kim Byung Chul) might be the most manipulative and cunning villain in Korean drama history. He was able to brainwash and drive King Wang Yeo (Grim Reaper) crazy. He killed a family line to get his favorite to become the successor. All that he does is purely in self-interest and about growing his power. The previous King knew this.
Cho Cheol-gang – Crash Landing on You
Cho Cheol-gang (Oh Man-seok) is the Lieutenant Commander of the North Korean Armed Forces Security Bureau. He is involved in not only racketeering but also murder. Cho gets found guilty of his crimes and is sent to jail but can escape to Seoul. He is driven by revenge and goes after both Jeong-hyeok and Se-ri. What makes him so dangerous is that he heads a vast criminal operation that stretches across the Korean peninsula.
Kang Hee Soo – Boys Over Flowers
Before there was Coach Kim Joo Young, there was Kang Hee-Soo (Lee Hye Young), the mother of Gu Jun Pyo. She is a leading ruthless businesswoman in Korea, but what makes her so evil is the things she will do to ensure her son does not end up with Jan-di. She uses a variety of methods to break them apart. How can you not hate a character that tries to break up one of the greatest KDrama couples of all time? However, she was successful in destroying her daughter’s previous relationship, which shows just how heartless she is.
She is not only manipulative but also very selfish and immature. Her main focus is always on the company and her family’s public image. The reason why she is not higher on this list is that by the end of the series, she seems to have had a change of heart and lets Gu Jun Pyo and Jan Di’s relationship happen.
Jang Dae Hee – Itaewon Class
Jang Dae Hee (Yoo Jae Myung) is one of the most evilest characters in a Korean drama you will find. However, he is very critical of the series. His complete lack of remorse and his desire to win at any cost makes him so hated. It doesn’t matter who he hurts as long as he gets what he wants. He shows very little emotion for those who have worked for old-fashioned CEOs…Jang Dae Hee is the embodiment of the classic evil CEO conglomerate. The biggest satisfaction came when Jang Dae Hee ended up kneeling in front of Saeroyi…that is an image you will never forget.
Min Joon-gook – I Can Hear your Voice
Min Joon-gook (Jung Woong-in) is the murderer of Soo-ha’s father. He went to jail for ten years due to Hye-sung’s testimony. Upon his release, revenge was his top priority. To get convicted of murder, Min Joon-gook goes after Hye-sung and Soo-ha.
Han Sang Hoon – W: Two Worlds Villan
Han Sang-Hoon (Kim Eui Sung) would be #1 on this list if it were the most evil-looking villain in a Korean drama. He is the real killer of Kang Chul’s family. However, his true identity is not revealed until later in the series. His evil presence is still felt throughout the series, mostly appearing in a shadowy, faceless human form.
Queen Consort Cho – Kingdom
Those that have seen Kingdom might think it can’t get worse than the zombies. However, one character is the true villain in the series. Queen Consort Cho was born evil and would stop at nothing until she had the ultimate power. This even means spreading the virus in the palace and country so that she doesn’t have to give up her position as de facto queen. Furthermore, she ends up stealing a baby boy from another mother because she fails to give birth. She makes this list because she gets what she deserves in the end.