- Szass Tam, a powerful necromancer and lich, could be a natural choice for the next villain in a potential sequel to Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.
- The inclusion of the iconic demon lord Demogorgon, known for its chaotic nature and unique appearance, could bring star power and intrigue to the sequel.
- The Xanathar, a beholder and leader of an underground criminal organization, would be an excellent fit for showcasing the diverse and captivating aspects of the Dungeons & Dragons world to a wider audience.
In 2023, a wider audience was introduced to the world of Forgotten Realms in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, but the film has only scratched the surface of the world’s countless villains that could appear in a sequel. In the film, Edgin Darvis and his plucky crew embark on a light-hearted romp through the Forgotten Realms, one of the most famous settings Dungeons and Dragons games are played in. The party honors the time-honored tradition of going up against a nefarious overarching villain, typically referred to as a B.B.E.G. by players, standing for Big Bad Evil Guy or Big Bad Evil Gal.
In the case of Edgin and his crew, their final confrontation was with Red Wizard Sofina in the Honor Among Thieves ending, thwarting her devious attempt to magically enslave the city of Neverwinter. The Red Wizards are crucial to the Forgotten Realms, frequently appearing to cause havoc over the years of written media and official campaigns released using the setting. With the possibility of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves having a sequel, the next film’s primary antagonist could be lurking within the myriad pages of pre-existing Forgotten Realms content.
10 Szass Tam
Perhaps the most obvious choice for the next villain, Szass Tam had already appeared in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, pulling strings from the shadows to set the film’s events in motion. Directly above Sofina, Szass Tam was responsible for turning the Red Wizard’s homeland of Thay into a nation of undead, unleashing a similar spell to the one Sofina almost can complete on the city of Neverwinter. It’s unlikely that the archmage would allow the defeat of Sofina at the hands of Edgin’s party to be allowed to go unpunished.
Outside the film, Szass Tam is a significant character within the Forgotten Realms. An accomplished necromancer, Szass Tam is also a lich, a powerful undead magic user who has managed to bind their soul to an object to prevent themselves from passing on. As a villain, Tam is deliciously evil, animating his former master’s corpse as a walking skeletal servant, never wasting another dead body to put to use. Having already been teased, Szass Tam would make sense for the natural progression of the story for Edgin’s party to face next.
While it was made famous to general audiences thanks to the creature of Stranger Things fame, Demogorgon is an important figure in the mythology of the Forgotten Realms. One of the ten terrifying demon lords to inhabit the lower planes of the universe, Demogorgon is a ferocious beast and the embodiment of chaos. This is best displayed with its bizarre body, featuring twin baboon-like heads, reptilian legs, and snaking tentacles for arms.
As a sequel villain for Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, the Demogorgon would prove tricky to implement. Not only an expensive character in the special effects department, but the sheer scale and nigh-godhood of the legendary beast would stretch disbelief should Edgin’s inexperienced crew manage to take it down. Still, the star power of the Demogorgon’s name and appearance on the cover of Out Of The Abyss, one of the better-received official adventures for the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons, might make his inclusion worthwhile.
8 The Xanathar
A crazed boss of an underground criminal organization, The Xanathar is a title as well as a name, referring to the boss of the enigmatic Xanathar’s Thieves Guild. Despite being the reclusive master of a humanoid organization, The Xanathar is a Beholder, a type of monster from Dungeons and Dragons resembling a giant, floating, cyclopean head crowned with eye stalks. This bizarre creature is unique to the franchise, which would make it an excellent fit for a film determined to show off to a wider audience what the series has to offer.
While a powerful magic user, The Xanathar is also a schemer, plotting in the depths beneath the city of Waterdeep, one of Forgotten Realms’ most iconic locations. His status as a leader of a thieves’ guild could be a perfect way to introduce him to Edgin’s party, having done their fair share of thievery. Though he would be expensive to implement, The Xanathar would be a fitting and iconic villain for the sequel to pit the adventurers up against.
When it comes to liches, few are as well-known or widely feared within the Forgotten Realms setting as the devious Acererak. A multiversal traveler, Acererak is a feared spellcaster of the highest order. Interestingly enough, Acererak is not a native of the planet of Toril where most of the Forgotten Realms take place, making him a true alien invader. When he does appear, his schemes have lasting impacts across the entire world.
In his most recent appearance, Acererak serves as the final boss of the 5th edition adventure Tomb Of Annihilation. In the adventure, his machinations have released a curse affecting the entire planet that causes those who have been magically resurrected to slowly rot away. This “Death Curse” could be a perfect storyline to adapt for the big screen, as the characters would have a personal stake in the matter due to Holga’s resurrection at the end of the film.
As terrifying as the archlich Acererak is, he is merely an apprentice to one of Dungeons and Dragons’ most well-known villains of all time, Vecna. Once a human king, Vecna went on to become a lich and then seized even more power in an ascent to godhood. Vecna is so terrifying that even his lost body parts, his eye, and hand, became mythological artifacts sought for power in their own right. The gravity of the undead god’s inclusion as a villain would certainly not be lost on fans of the franchise.
Vecna would be a tall order for the likes of Edgin and his friends to defeat, his very name inspiring fear in the hearts of mortals. However, the use of Vecna’s name in Stranger Things has already put the fearsome villain into the general moviegoer’s minds. Not only that, Vecna is a key figure in the world of Critical Role, the most beloved Dungeons and Dragons web series that was popular enough to get its own animated spin-off show, The Legend of Vox Machina. The inclusion of a relatively well-known character could be worth Paramount’s time in drawing in an audience.
5 Artemis Entreri
Though not as famous or powerful as other Forgotten Realms villains, Artemis Entreri would arguably make more sense in a sequel to Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves than other, more bombastic villains, his power level being more in line with what Edgin and his party are used to. An expert assassin, Artemis Entreri is the bitter rival of famed Drow hero Drizzt Do’urden, one of the most famous adventurers in Forgotten Realms’ lore. An emotionless professional, Artemis is a dyed-in-the-wool killer who became obsessed with perfecting his combat ability.
Considering Drizzt Do’urden was almost included in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, it’s no stretch of the imagination to assume that the fan-favorite adventurer could appear in the sequel. As such, Artemis would make a compelling villain to introduce as well, the human assassin becoming obsessed with besting Drizzt in combat. At one point, Artemis became frustrated by his age holding him back compared to his rival’s elven lifespan, using a vampiric dagger to de-age himself. The disparity between the longevity of the various races in the Forgotten Realms could also be an interesting, unexplored topic to pursue in the sequel through Artemis.
After Drizz Do’urden, Jarlaxle is one of the most famous members of the evil Drow in the Forgotten Realms’ land of Faerun. Though most members of the race of subterranean dark elves are depicted as evil and hostile to the surface world, Jarlaxle is more of an opportunist. Having more of a moral gray area than most DnD villains, Jarlaxle is even more of an anti-hero at times, his charisma and willingness to make deals with his enemies masking his desire for power.
Jarlaxle is significant for his ability to break the glass ceiling of the matriarchal Drow society, making himself indispensable to the female-ruled dark elf city of Menzoberranzan through his connections to the surface world. Known by his trademark feathered hat and eye patch, Jarlaxle is a scheming, charming, but ultimately ruthless villain whose loose ethics and shifting allegiances would make a terrific villain for Edgin’s conflicting morals to grapple with. He also has the notable distinction of being one of the few Forgotten Realms characters to appear in multiple published 5th-edition adventures.
3 Halaster Blackcloak
One of the most notorious magic users within the Forgotten Realms setting, Halaster Blackcloak, also known as the Mad Mage, would be a treat for returning audiences. Halaster Blackcloak has some of the most ancient origins of any human character in the setting, being the survivor of a long-topped civilization that had cast himself thousands of years into the future with a magical stasis spell. This process left Halaster utterly insane, his stark raving mad antics contrasting with his unheard-of mastery of spellcasting.
Blackcloak is most famous for creating and residing in the Undermountain, a massive dungeon network that extends deep into the earth under the populous city of Waterdeep. Obsessed with collecting magical power and monsters to add to his lair, the Mad Mage would be an entertaining force to pit Edgin’s hapless crew up against. Not only that, but the grand mysteries of the Undermountain would be a treat to watch the party uncover as they delved into the mega-dungeon.
The evil goddess of dragons, Tiamat is an infamously feared entity across the Forgotten Realms. The mother of all chromatic dragons, Tiamat has five heads, each of them representing one of the elemental draconic archetypes. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves had many monsters, but it was incredibly faithful in its depiction of the elemental dragons already, featuring a black dragon that correctly spat acid rather than fire.
Tiamat is a cruel goddess, who seeks to bring about the end of the world through her devoted Cult of the Dragon. Usually trapped within the Nine Hells, Tiamat’s emergence into the world of Faerun would all but certainly be too much for Edgin and his crew to handle. However, a story that saw the party grappling with Tiamat’s cult and attempting to halt its influence could be appearance enough for the demonic queen of the dragons to make a true impact on audiences.
1 Count Strahd Von Zarovich
Coming from the popular Curse of Strahd adventure module, the vampire lord Strahd von Zarovich is the very face of villainy in Dungeons and Dragons. Originally royalty, Strahd made a pact with the Dark Powers in a bid to kill his brother and take his wife, Tatyana, as his own. In the process, he became a vampire, and doomed the people of his land, Barovia, into a sunless existence, shrouding the valley in mist and lifting it out of the physical realm and straight into the Domains of Dread.
The vampire lord rules over Barovia with an iron fist, making playthings out of any adventurers who somehow find themselves in his gloomy pocket dimension. Seeing Edgin and his crew stumble into Strahd’s domain and do battle with him would be a dream come true for many Dungeons and Dragons players. Strahd has a very personal sense of evil to him unmatched by other villains in the franchise, and his power level would make him threatening, but not hopeless to defeat Edgin’s crew. Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves could hardly do better in selecting a villain for its sequel than the Devil Strahd himself.