I've noticed that barons more often are portrayed negatively in comparison to lords or royalty (though the latter is a mixed bag). Come to think of it, I can't think of a baron portrayed in a positive light. Examples include:
- Baron Vengeous from Skullduggery pleasant
- Baron Zemo from Marvel Comics
- The Bloody Baron from Harry Potter is the Slytherin house ghost with a dark history
- There appears to be plenty more on Wikipedia
What started this trend of Barons denoting bad people?