Rule #1: Do not act incautiously when confronted by bald, wrinkly, smiling men.
This rule applies to all elderly people who smile knowingly in the face of danger. It’s always worth listening to walking sticks to check for hidden swords, or observe hairpins for potential weaponization. Are those slippers for shambling slowly to the bathroom, or for whupping young whipper snappers into shape? Do they still have their own teeth? Either way it’s bad news.
Join us as we take register of the residents of this old folks dojo and secret underground retirement facility. This is our Top 10 Dangerous Elderly Characters.
10) Stinky Pete the Prospector – Toy Story 2
When you have a prospector in charge of looking after a group of pristine toys, complete with their original packaging, you know they’re going to be in safe hands. At least, so long as you don’t threaten to take the toys away. Stinky Pete wanted nothing more than to be a collectable, but to do so, he needed to be part of a range of toys, which Woody and Jessie were a part of. But that doesn’t make him a dreadful individual.
See, he’s actually just afraid of change and much like others who are scared and feeling like they’re backed in a corner, he’s incredibly dangerous! With a pickaxe which he isn’t afraid to use, he can go from being a kindly old man, to a terrifying manipulator. He convinces toys to go to a collector’s museum with him, however this doesn’t mean he gets what he wants. Once the film is over, he begins to realise the error of his ways, but it doesn’t stop the fact that this elderly toy wanted nothing more than to push his own ideology onto others.
9) President Coriolanus Snow – The Hunger Games
Power: Absolute power! That’s what Coriolanus commands, as he’s the president of Panem; a group affiliated with providing entertainment for the masses. However, the catch to this group is that they provide entertainment, whilst trying to distract people from genuine issues. However, the Hunger Games itself wouldn’t be what it is without this group – And it’s led by President Snow, who isn’t afraid to use force.
With military at his disposal, as well as being a local to The Capitol, he has power aplenty and he knows how to use it. Tyrant doesn’t do this man justice, he’s evil and he’s a real dictator. He’s not exactly an imposing figure, being quite small and frail looking, however the power he commands is all he needs. And you know what? He’s definitely not afraid to take what he wants by force. It makes for great entertainment.
8) Grand Maester Pycelle – Game of Thrones
Not everyone on our list presents a direct threat. Here is a man who understands that power comes from knowledge and perception, as Grand Maester of the Citadel he has all the historical knowledge he could ever want, as an advisor to the crown and whoever wears it he has all the dirt one could hope to shovel, and he knows that the crown holds utterly no power. He’s spent a lifetime consolidating a network of spies and allies amongst those who hold the actual power in the realm, and feigning frailty and ignorance of the machinations that go on around him.
As he stands upright and drops all pretence of the decrepit old man routine he has adopted, his diabolus scheming becomes readily apparent. He has been playing the gamer harder than anyone, better than the Spider, Imp, or Little Finger. It takes a truly unstable and unpredictable force to cut the strings Pycelle has been pulling for decades, and even then it could only have happened with Tywin Lannister out of the way first.
7) Vera “Granny Rags” Moray – Dishonored
How dangerous is the mad old biddy in the boarded up house in the Flooded District? She’s blind, and still polishes her silver despite the rats in her hovel and the gangs at her door. She gives you little trinkets for running her errands, and has a nice young man with jet black eyes visit her to offer her gifts.
Granny Rags killed her husband some time after receiving the mark of the Outsider, crafting bone charms from his corpse. Soon after this she found a means of binding a sliver of her soul to a cameo of herself, rendering her partially immortal, and even after her “demise” her severed hand still makes for a potent magical artifact that tries to kill you. While alive she has assassins, vermin, and dark powers at her disposal, and thinks nothing of the bloodshed her parlour games require, only wanting a longer life… unnaturally so.
Granny Rags is no mere witch of the industrial age, she’s a straight up lich, and not far off Vecna’s level of power.
6) Madame Gao – Marvel Defenders
There’s still some interesting questions raised about the smiling old lady who masterminds the chinese heroine manufacturing and supply chain in Marvel’s Netflix smash hit. She appears to have strong affiliations with the mystic ninja cult The Hand, and possesses staggering strength for a woman who apparently depends upon a cane to walk, flooring the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen with an out-thrust palm, and facing down the Iron Fist with barely a blink.
The common theory, one that has become increasingly possible with her recruitment of the Steel Serpent, Davos, is that she is Crane Mother, which suits the puppet-master methodology of the little drug empress. We know she’s not from China, and has intimate knowledge of the immortal weapons and K’un Lun, and that she deems a life of crime as a mere path to further her real goals. But there’s still so much more to discover. We know she’s scary, and up to something, all of it is enough to put her firmly on the list.
5) Jinpachi Mishima – Tekken
Jinpachi is the father of Heihachi, the grandfather of Kazuya and the great grandfather of Jin. He was a powerful man who led the Mishima Zaibatsu, a corporation that he founded. Jinpachi is a little bit different to the rest of the Mishima’s, who are a family of corruption and greed. Instead, he was an honourable man, a noble fighter and all in all a compassionate person who was good friends with another dangerous elderly man, Wang Jinrei.
Whilst he may have been a good guy deep down, unfortunately he was taken over by the evil within him. He was imprisoned and then was ultimately defeated in the events in Tekken 5 by his Great Grandson, Jin. However, should you lose against him in the arcade mode, you get another cutscene… Where he cries, as no one was able to stop him… And then the world as they knew it was changed. Evil corrupted everything and took over.
4) Cohen The Barbarian – Discworld
Beware of any old men in a profession where one traditionally dies young. Cohen is a lifetime in his own legend, and still charges through life with the bloodthirst and combat prowess of his youth, but tempered by experience and a need to stay close to a bathroom. He was just shy of his first century when he took an entire empire with only a handful of men at his side, the youngest of which was 80.
After growing tired of fading into mythology, Genghiz Cohen elected to reenact the actions of the first hero, but rather than stealing fire, he brought it back in force, and set about blowing up the mountain city Dunmanifestin, which he did not do because he is ultimately faced down by another, much younger hero who attempts to arrest him.
3) Doctor Wily – Megaman
Doctor Wily is a frequent reminder of why we shouldn’t leave mad scientists unchecked for more than 10 main series games. A man who is absolutely hell-bent on power, he’s willing to create some of the most dangerous robots known to mankind, called the Robot Masters. With Megaman fresh on his trail, seemingly forgetting everything at the start of every game, it’s up to the blue bomber to defeat the Robot Masters and let the world be safe once more.
Unfortunately, Wily is known for a number of problematic behaviours. He’s willing to lie and steal, which is basic evil stuff really, but he’s also rather good at turning things intended to be good into evil. You could argue that he and Doctor Eggman from Sonic are effectively the same villain, but Eggman at least isn’t elderly. Wily, for all of his wrong doings, has the potential to turn good – But why do that, when the world has wronged him? Well, in his eyes, he’s been wronged.
2) Christopher Lee – Saruman, Count Dooku, Death, War Hero
Let’s talk about one of the film industry’s most awesome men. Saruman, Count Dooku, Bond Villain, The Devil, both Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, and even Death himself. Lee’s deep voice lent itself so elegantly to the ominous types with copious amounts of gravitas, a man capable of so evenly depicting villain and old master of whatever form he chooses, but that’s not even the start of it.
As a younger man and member of Britain’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare he hunted Nazis during the second world war. He told Peter Jackson that he knows the sound of being stabbed in the back. He was a polyglot, and also had guest vocals on a heavy metal album about Charlemagne… sorry, two heavy metal albums about Charlemagne and two heavy metal Christmas EPs.
Name a more iconic Dracula. Name a knight of the realm more fitting of the title. Name a more awesome 80 year old, any who lived! His passing was a loss to us all, but his catalogue of work has changed the face of film and music alike.
1) Master Roshi – Dragon Ball/Z
The ultimate martial artist; Well at least he was… Master Roshi is one of the strangest men on this list. If you were to look at him, he seems like nothing more than a creepy old man who likes to look at ladies in rather tasteless ways. He hits on Bulma, he hits on Launch, gosh darn he hits on just about any lady! He’s a complete womaniser, but that’s not all that he is. He’s also an incredible martial artist who trained Earth’s strongest warrior, Goku. But what makes this letch so dangerous?
Master Roshi is credited with creating the Kamehameha Wave, a powerful charge of Ki energy which is focused into a blast. Being the teacher of the Turtle Hermit style, Master Roshi taught this powerful technique to a variety of fighters, whom later formed the Z warriors. Whilst Roshi isn’t as powerful as Goku, he’s certainly able to hold his own against planet-threatening aliens. Looks be damned, this nimble old letch is one to keep your eye on.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to bingo. Waiting just behind the other sword wielding codgers and diabolical octogenarians in the pension line, there’s still a few more who have dodged the coffin by filling it with the unsuspecting. Bow down and respect your elder honourable mentions.
Snake? SNAKE– Ah you get the picture.
So Snake gets on this list, as we all remember the game where you are playing as an elderly version of Snake. Yes, Solid Snake ages throughout the franchises relatively convoluted timeline and he doesn’t seem to lose a step. Still a smoker, still an incredibly crafty and dangerous man. Age doesn’t seem to slow him down much, but it does make for a rather powerful cutscene.
We all know and love Solid Snake for everything he’s done, but in Metal Gear Solid 4, you play as ‘Old Snake’ and get to fight against Big Boss. Now, say what you will about the franchise as a whole, as it’s certainly a divisive franchise, but we look at Old Snake and can’t help but say “Yeah – That’s old dangerous old dude!”
Zilean – League of Legends
Zilean is the Chronokeeper, a magically altered human from Urtistan. He’s an inventor and a time mage – A sorcerer who survived the Rune War and who was utterly obsessed with time. He lived in the Clock Tower, where he would experiment with temporal magic, to try and understand all possible futures, as he wanted to find a way to bring peace, rather than war to this once great city.
Unfortunately, through all of his magic, he became unaware of everything that was happening around him. So in an act of both intelligence and defiance, the armies that stormed his city left Zilean alone in the clock tower. When he finally snapped out of it, he was an immortal, with chrono-displasia. Now, this once-old-timer drifts through time, always stuck with the memories of what his powerful magics failed to save. All because he was playing with time just that bit too much.
He was obsessed with time so much, that it ultimately became his greatest accomplishment and yet also his bane.
The worst is over. Nurses gather round to mop up the blood and hand out the medication, while we treat our zimmer-frame bruises and sit wondering what on earth just happened. In the meantime you have a chance to vote on our Top 10 for next week… before the old folks come home.
This week, there will be a slight difference with our vote. With Kitacon looming, Tim and I will be doing our Top 10 for the 26th of this month at the convention! Face to face, talking, and possibly fighting it out like real people instead of cursors on a Google document. For your vote this week, the first place winner will be our Top 10 for next week, and the second place will be the week after. Get to deciding, your vote has never mattered more…
… To us! Just participate in the political system folks.
Who’s missing from our run down of wrinklies? Did your favourite old timer make the list? What injustice has been done that we can undo? Are these pensioners in a correct and orderly queue? Can your grandad beat up our grandad? Leave your smack talk in the comments below, or on our Facebook, Reddit, or Twitter.