Shh, do you hear that? It sounds like the trees rustled over this way, quickly, hide in the underbrush. Now, careful, for today we’ve got to keep on the low-down, lest we become prey for them. Whether you’re a vampire, a beast, or even just an ordinary human, today we’re going to check out the Top 10 Hunters across all pop culture. Video games, Film, TV, Literature, you name it, we’ve got it covered.
10) Buffy the Vampire Slayer
In every generation there is a chosen one. She alone will stand against the vampires the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the slayer.
Buffy Summers lives on a hellmouth. Well it makes the commute easier I suppose.
Sunnydale is overrun with vampires and worse… actually probably some of the highschool students are as bad as it gets, but there have been incidents with witches, demons, machines, at least one antichrist, normal human serial killers, witches, trolls – real and internet, dark preachers, some kind of genie, politicians and bunny rabbits. It’s a busy little town, actually it had to be to fill up seven seasons and then on to a spinoff.
Buffy herself is fairly unique among slayers as she actually has friends and a support network, where others have had to do the duty alone, she’s had a great deal of assistance from her own home-brew Scooby Gang. In some cases it has made her the most formidable slayer yet, in others, far more vulnerable. She gets dumped to the bottom of the list for the number of times her humanity and human connection have been weaponised against her, but no way she wasn’t getting a slot here somewhere.
9) Hircine – The Elder Scrolls
Before we go any further into this, Hircine apparently means “of, pertaining to, or resembling a goat.” Go goats!
Anyway, Hircine is the primary antagonist of the Morrowind expansion pack: Bloodmoon. He is the Daedric Prince of the hunt, which is the sport of Daedra. Khajiit know him as The Hungry Cat, which I think is pretty adorable, but the most important take-away here is that his name means to look like a goat. Sorry, I’ll stop messing around now.
Hircine has a subtle part to play in the world of Tamriel, as he is the father of Lycanthropy. He created Werewolves; they are deadly, fearsome and can be cured. Unlike all of the other Daedric Princes however, he’s not always evil, per se. He’s just in it for the thrill of the hunt – And that means that once every thousand years, Hircine will appear in all of his magnificence to put on a massive game known as The Great Hunt.
8) Rexxar – Warcraft
This legendary hunter is exactly why hunters are what they are in World of Warcraft. With the new World of Warcraft Vanilla servers being out there, it’s probably a good time to remind players that characters like Rexxar is exactly who you should be looking at, especially if you pick the Hunter class. We could have picked any real hunter, including Illidan in his own weird way – But Rexxar is the de facto standard of hunters in Warcraft lore.
Rexxar choses a companion whom he hunts with; his most famous is the bear, Misha. He has his hawk, Spirit, his boar, Huffer and his wyvern, Leokk. All of these companions help him by helping him track down his prey. He’s fiercely loyal to the Horde, even if he spends a lot of his time in solitude. He’s still one of the Horde’s greatest allies, even to this day in current Warcraft – After all, a legendary hunter such as he can track down anyone or anything.
7) Vayne vs Warwick – League of Legends
Two hunters are now locked onto each other, but which one is the superior tracker?
Known as The Night Hunter, Vayne is a dangerous monster hunter who is devoted to finding and destroying the demon that killed her family. With a privileged upbringing, Vayne’s life changed when she saw a horned woman standing over the bodies of her parents. Now, devoted to hunting down that demon, Vayne sought out an expert monster hunter called Frey and learned how to play dirty to ensure she completed her hunt.
Being cursed (or blessed) with the power of being a monster, or at least what’s effectively a werewolf, Warwick is a manhunter. With powerful teeth and claws to shred through his opponents, Warwick can rip apart his prey in an instant. A powerful jungler, Warwick realised that he was never a good person before he became this; instead he was destined to hunt down killers.
Which of these two League of Legends champions is the superior hunter?
6) Boba Fett – Star Wars
From a monster hunter to a bounty hunter, Boba Fett might be Star Wars most cool hero of all. Oh sure, he’s not exactly the most successful character in all of the franchise, but you can’t deny that he’s got some insane street cred. He’s managed to be loved by so many people even though he says little to nothing throughout… And without ever taking off his helmet.
Boba Fett is known for being thrown into the Sarlacc pit, being eaten by the massive sand beast. Sure, he may have all of these tales of heroics, but the truth is that what we see of him is often met with some form of failure. Whether it’s failing to capture Han Solo, or being eaten alive, Boba isn’t exactly the most successful here – But he does it with such an air of mystery, that people just think he’s cool regardless.
Don’t worry, I’m in the camp who thinks that Boba is cool.
5) Geralt of Rivia – The Witcher
Geralt is a Witcher and a damn good one at that. Witchers are extensively trained, very disciplined monster hunters for hire, who only really are called upon during times of great stress. Witchers are often frowned upon, as they are exposed to a mutagen, which gives them greater speed, agility and more. However Geralt had an unusual tolerance for these mutagens, which meant he was given experimental mutagens, to push him even further.
A powerful hunter, an expert tracker and proficient with a sword, a silver sword for monsters and a steel sword for humans. Geralt is also excellent at placing traps and knowing what makes monsters tick. He doesn’t work for free, but he has his morals which he sticks to. There are few more reliable than Geralt to take down any beast that may be causing concern.
Watch this space, looking forward to the Netflix series!
4) Garruk – Magic: the Gathering
What a timely moment for this list to make its appearance; Magic’s very own dark hunter has just made a comeback with the upcoming set, Throne of Eldraine. He’s still a green and black sourced planeswalker and he’s come back with even more pets and lots more aggression. Be prepared, Garruk has truly gone down a dark path and he’s going to twist this fantasy land further.
Garruk started as any typical hunter does – Stalks a couple of beasts, proves his dominance in the woodlands, you know, typical hunter affair. However once he got a taste for hunting those with a Planeswalker’s Spark, he took that trusty axe and went on a murder spree. A dangerous opponent and an ally you’d have to think twice about befriending, Garruk is even more deadly than ever before.
3) The Winchesters – Supernatural
Sam and Dean have taken up the gap in the genre left behind by Buffy in the early 2000’s and took it for a long drive. They’ve been on air for far longer, more than twice as long in fact, and that’s probably helped by the sheer variety of creatures they’ve faced. More than the forces above and below, they’ve taken every page from the monster manual, delved deeper and wider into mythology and shone a big light on it all. Then they shot it full of rock salt.
They’ve bounced back and forth across the US, between life and death, pushed around by angels and demons, but across the board they’ve pushed back. They fight with an angel at their side, once guest character turned regular, Castiel. He’s profoundly aware of the inner workings of heaven and hell, but has some real trouble interacting with humans, despite siding with them in recent conflicts, and aiding in their various “travels” to and from various stages of afterlife, because dammit if those Winchester boys just won’t die… much like the series for that matter.
2) Van Helsing
The vampire hunter, since his inception in the days of Stoker’s Dracula the concept of Abraham Van Helsing has entered dark fantasy in ways only rivalled by Frankenstein and his eponymous creation. Becoming the name most often pinned to bloodlines, organisations, and mythologies surrounding the perfect mortal agent or agents to take down the horrors of the night, from vampires of the highest order, to werewolves, mutants, fiends, and assorted undead.
Brought to life a thousand times for screen, although there seems to be some neglect in recent years regarding his more prominent features, that is his thick multi-european accent, and the fact that dude was ginger (yeah that’s right, chalk up another one). He enters as someone eminently familiar with his quarry having already lost his son to the monster, Dracula, and that has become an integral part of the mythology, the Helsings are both blessed, and cursed. Funny how a single author can revamp a whole- oh god, sorry I didn’t mean that!
1) The Predator
I mean… right? It’s in the damn name for a start, although predation implies consumption – y’know what, let’s not quibble this.
The interstellar bounty hunting horrors are intelligent, live in a highly complex society based on prowess in combat, stalking, and the accumulation of trophies (there also appears to be some kind of genetics-based caste system, but besides the point). What little we know about them is that they collect skulls from a vast array of species, they have a special relationship with the xenomorphs as they are particularly hard to hunt and kill, and we appear to be some kind of favourite farm-animal, not good for a lot, but a decent enough fight that we’re worth the odd hunting trip or rounding a bunch of us onto an off-world ranch for safari purposes.
So strong is the pride in their job that there are some grand religious elements. Monuments have been constructed, suicide is preferable to a dishonourable death, and a straight fight when offered is impossible to decline. They’re masters of stealth and subterfuge, using mimicry, refractive cloaking, highly accurate energy weapons, deadly blades, and even trained “hounds”, as well as being staggeringly strong and durable.
They’re also as ugly as politics.
Stop, I see freshly made tracks. We’re going to do our best to hunt down those who brought us here, but we should take a moment to think about more hunters who deserve a mention. They may not have made it here, but they certainly should be discussed.
Rick Deckard – Blade Runner
Harrison Ford mostly plays people who run away rather than toward, a fugitive, a smuggler, part of the witness protection program, and the president sneaking his way through his own plane. Only Indiana Jones could have taken the spot, but somehow Treasure Hunter doesn’t seem right… maybe it’s own list? But Deckard is unique in this article for hunting down robots who are passed their sell-by-date to put them down before they start asking awkward questions, like “Why?” and “What is life and am I it?”
Despite the fact that Blade Runner is the job title describing the very act of replicant bounty hunting, that’s an easily forgotten aspect of a profound film, which addresses the themes made famous by Isaac Asimov; at what point does simulated life become life, how should it be treated, and how can we prevented it from replacing us altogether? Many of the above Deckard may have been forced to ask of himself after the events of the film.
Elmer Fudd – Looney Tunes
Be vewy, vewy quiet.
Relegation to the honourables list was something of an inevitability because of Fudd’s inability to actually catch or kill anything, but it’s not his fault! Elmer might not be the brightest of bulbs but consider his opponent here. Bugs Bunny my very well be the perfect monster, deceptive, incredibly fast, capable of incredible feats of reality warping and manipulation. Does one man with a blunderbuss really stand a chance?
Actually there may be some hope in the family, Elmyra Fudd is actually far more capable of catching animals, and genuinely runs the risk of killing them but not with a gun, or even with intent. Pure love and affection are her weapons, that, and monstrous strength. Her father remains forever outwitted, and despite his best efforts he may never catch that wascally wabbit. Or if he does it’ll be a very dark day at Warner Studios…
antonyms: See Wile E. Coyote
Now onto something a bit different for us. We’re always mentioning those who we put into the list, but we rarely list others who were considered for the role. Some of these are part of pop culture, some aren’t – But in all of their cases, they are memorable and are varying degrees of hunters.
Martian Manhunter – DC We looked into this one a little deeper, you know J’onn J’onzz doesn’t really do any manhunting? Really not sure where they get the name from, he’s a cool guy, with the classic DC superpower multipack: flight, invisibility, shapeshifting, super strength, telepathy, telekinesis, and deus ex comicbook. Not much manhunting though… he’s not going in the list though.
Blade – Marvel Half vampire vampire killer, the daywalker, and one of Marvel’s Knights, the edgier side of the Marvel roster. Blade gets dumped down here for being less memorable than the other vampire/monster hunters in the list, and for Wesley Snipes being kind of a douche on set.
Kraven the Hunter – Also Marvel Yeah we don’t usually do multiples from the same company where we can avoid it, but we don’t usually do mini-lists. Kraven is a nemesis of Spider-Man, initially brought in to take him down on behalf of another villain (and also his brother), Kraven now hunts the wall crawler to prove that he is the greatest hunter of all time.
Dog – The Bounty Hunter Dog, the Bounty Hunter, was a great TV show which featured the titular man, dog, not an actual dog, hunting down people for a bail bondsman company. Great show, not geeky what so ever, but still we wanted to give it a nod. Also Ozzy Osbourne sang his theme tune.
I’m the Dog, the big bad Dog, the Bounty Huntaah! Ha ha ha haaah. Ah, that was fun.
Capt. Ahab One of the most famous cautionary tales in all of literature, the story of Ahab warns us of the dangers of singular mindedness in pursuit of an unachievable goal and how being consumed with revenge can ultimately destroy us. The white whale is one of those great metaphors that pours out of the page and enters common lexicon and Gojira albums.
Crocodile Dundee Aussie wildman and friend of the natives, Croc Dundee was compulsive viewing many years ago, and while australians – native and otherwise – may have mixed feelings about him, we still love the fish-out-of-water story about a man so profoundly attuned with nature thrust into the big city.
The trap has been sprung, quickly, we better check to see if we caught them. Nope, nothing, just another damn bear. Perhaps I should stop setting up bear traps when trying to catch these hunters? It’s like they know what they’re looking for. Ah well, whilst I release this bear back into the wild, why don’t you all help the preparation for the next trap, I mean, the next Top 10 article?
With that bear released, I can only assume these master hunters and huntresses are going back to the wilds to hunt for their next victim. What did you think of the top hunters we could find? Did we forget an important hunter, or did we get them all? Perhaps our order is completely wrong? As ever, we love to hear from you, so share your thoughts in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter.