Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Bionic Bookworm! If you’re interested in participating, check out her wonderful blog to get the details and the prompts for each week!
Today’s Top 5 Tuesday prompt is supposed to be Worst Rulers, but I’m tweaking it a bit to talk about Worst Leaders instead. I had a lot of fun brainstorming for this topic, and I’m quite pleased with the characters I picked out. Below are five characters who I think are some of the worst leaders in literature.
The Wizard of Oz from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum: I don’t know why, but this is one of the first characters to came to mind when I saw this prompt. The Wizard of Oz is a con artist and a fraud, and he’s not supposed to be the leader of Oz. He uses magic tricks to convince people that he’s great and powerful, but in actuality, he’s an ordinary person who accidentally ended up in Oz.
Captain Hook from Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie: I decided to include Captain Hook on this list because he’s so focused on revenge. I understand that he’s upset about losing his hand to a crocodile, but his need for revenge is obsessive. He has a terrible temper, he doesn’t treat his crew very nicely, and he’s manipulative and cruel. All these qualities make him a poor leader, and to top it off, he doesn’t even accomplish the goal he’s obsessing over.
Cornelius Fudge from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling: Cornelius Fudge was the Minister of Magic, and he was terrible at it. He made so many terrible decisions, including sending Dementors to Hogwarts, which was a bafflingly stupid idea. He didn’t believe that Voldemort had returned, and instead of taking precautionary steps, he slandered Harry and Dumbledore to protect himself. He was a coward, an idiot, self-centred, and all-around awful.
Queen of Hearts from Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: The Queen of Hearts is a terrible leader because her temper is out of control, and she has violent tendencies. The playing cards are terrified of her, and they’re willing to go to great lengths to hide their mistakes because they don’t want to deal with the threat of execution. Her favourite hobby, Wonderland Croquet, is full of animal abuse. Also, her orders are seldom carried through because the King of Hearts pardons her victims, or her knights don’t listen.
Zaphod Beeblebrox from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: Depending on how you look at it, Zaphod Beeblebrox is either the best or the worst President of the Galaxy. The position of President of the Galaxy is a powerless one, and it’s meant to take the attention away from whoever is actually in charge, and Zaphod is excellent at distracting. He’s narcissistic, insensitive, and reckless, which are all terrible qualities for a leader. He also steals the Heart of Gold spaceship, which leads to an entirely new set of problems. Zaphod might be perfect at distracting, but if his title held any real power, he’d be a horrendous leader.
What do you think? Who are some of the worst leaders in literature?
P.S. The Wizard of Oz bookmarks are from Happy Hello Co (I don’t know if they’re still available but there are hundreds of different sets to choose from), the Peter Pan, Harry Potter, and Alice in Wonderland bookmarks are from Bibliophile Prints (I’m currently an affiliate for them and you can use BOOKSARE15 to save on your purchase), and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Pin is from Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes.