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Makings of a Villian


Started by Horizon Seeker
Post #17977
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For every hero there is a villian. For every protagonist there is an antagonist. And unless you want to get very technical: one cannot exist without the other!

Very often they build off one another to make themselves greater. If a stalwart hero has a pushover villian, the hero doesn't seem too amazing when he wins. If the hero faces off against a terrifying villian, then the hero seems much more courageous and admirable.

There is however a notable difference between memorable villians and the forgettable one. Some villians you look at and say "Wow, that guy is scary/badass/awesome." While other villians you either roll your eyes at or burst out laughing, or simply forget them as they are completely boring.

But what makes a memorable antagonist? Is it their destructive power? Their sinister intentions? A tragic backstory? A super evil laugh? Crazy skulls on their shoulders? What they have so far brought to ruin? A dynamic persona? A really snazzy cape?

Figured we could have a discussion on this so we could recognize the interesting from the generic. What features do you think make a memorable antagonist?


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Taren Jucanis - Imperial Deserter (Used for The Black Shroud RP)
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Post #17984
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A memorable antagonist is one that has more to them than meets the eye. And I'm not just talking about Megatron. I mean they have multiple layers of intentions. Their plans are well thought-out and executed and they don't have to be all-powerful to show how nefarious they truly are (though that helps). The Dark Knight's representation of The Joker is an amazing modern day example of how evil a villain could be without being seemingly supernatural.

They find a way to thwart the hero every time, but they also have flaws that might make you sympathize with them. Their story is also deep as to why they are villains. Ultimately, they are evil for a reason and there are reasons they are successful while evil that make them story-worthy.
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Post #17998
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There is often a myth that's built around the villain by the ordinary people or by the hero himself. Like in Moby Dick, Ahab is no hero but the entire book he curses the damn whale and all you have is speculation and little stories. You read pages and pages and the fucking whale haven't even been found yet but you feel that it's made of pure evil. But the white whale is not evil, it's just a whale that doesn't want to become oil.


Wherever they go, evil shall arise. Wherever they speak, their words shall bring ill counsel. Whatsoever they do shall turn against them. They shall die without hope, cursing both life and death.
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Post #18054
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I've yet found the standards of what makes an good villain or antagonist. So many traits to go after. Perhaps I'd say that the antagonist has to be an intriguing one, he doesn't have to be anything special in terms of power. But the antagonist needs to carry interest from the beginning till' the end.


Come, Unstoppable Eraser Rain
Throat Adder | Societas Daemonica
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Post #18079
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The best villain so far to me is the joker.

he's twisted, extremely clever and sly and the way he shows himself is more than through and through evil - there is more to it. Motives etc.
The villain has to have depth and a certain unique captivating aura around him.


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Voth Ahkrin!
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cadian13
Post #18090
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The most insidious villain is the one who truly believes in their heart that they are doing good.

Close behind are villains who are nihilists.

Villains who actually want power and control are a distant third.
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Post #18092
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Of course villains are the evil masters, pulling the strings of the plot or being obvious overlords. But all the villains have minions. The minions are quite as important as the villain himself to make him a good and feared villain. Great and mighty minions show the true power of the villain. It´s like Count Dooku and General Grivous. Grivous was a killing machine and a brilliant strategic, though Dooku had the might to controll him. And behind both: Palpatine, the Imperator! How ruthless he sacrificed both for his materplan! Great! And later on, he controlled Darth Vader!

What would Alduin been without the other dragons? The raising of Salohkniir was one of the best moments in Skyrim I guess. And remember the Dragonpriests! And the Draugr!

Minions are great, I say!


Who controls the Septim crown?
Who keeps the Allesian Heresy down?
We do, we do

Who knocked Yokuda off the maps?
Who keeps the Dwemer under wraps?
We do, we do

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Post #18105
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villains are better if they have proper motivations , if they see themselves as heroes. also they need to be very dangerious, probably insanity helps too.
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Post #18112
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For me, a hero is a strong character. Strength comes in many ways. The fragile, usually frightened and apprehensive woman who has been bullied since childhood with her slight hunchback, who suddenly rises to the occasion when her village is set on fire, makes much more of an interesting and strong persona than the hero in badass armour and an even more badass sword and his badass voice and badass beard and badass wink and badass everything who with a casual woosh of said badass sword takes down the bandit leader in one swing. Strength comes in many forms, but the most interesting characters are flawed, have layers, and show development.




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Post #18133
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All this input is great! It is true that many factors go into making an effective antagonist.

I definitely agree that more detailed/layered characters tend to be more interesting, whether they are the protagonist and antagonists. But villians definitely don't need to be one-dimensional or have the simple motivation of "Muwaha! Destroy everything! Why? Erm... because I'm evil! Muwaha!"

I think an important thing to consider is the depiction of why the antagonist is an antagonist. Sure, at some point someone could say the guy is evil; but as in most cases actions speak louder than words. The conflict between a hero and a villian shouldn't be a one sided fight. It is what seperates the tacky from the sinister.

If the villian actually accomplishes something terrible that the hero could not prevent; then the audience is captivated by the fact that the villian is formidable. The Joker has been used as an example in this thread so far and if we're talking about the most recent movie depiction of him; Batman couldn't stop him all the time. The Joker actually had as much attention as Batman in that movie.

Two sides of a story means two characters, so being able to view both sides helps.


Character Profiles:
Endaros Ilmori - Buoyant Armiger
Sunrio - Aldmeri Justiciar

Taren Jucanis - Imperial Deserter (Used for The Black Shroud RP)
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Triskele
Post #18181
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A story about the downfall of said villian (often left very vague to be even more intriguing) is for me key. No matter how great the villian is, if he or she doesn't have a character that is relatable to or able to sympathise with in any way, then the villain is no good. What makes villians truly great is when they let you know that it could be you standing there, doing those same things. All it takes is for something to break you. That is the reason the Joker in the Dark knight became so succesful, he pulled exactly the right strings.


If an argonian turned into a werecrocodile would there be any difference in appearance? Like, at all?

The story of Achren Hlaren, Part 1: http://www.tesof.com/topic-achren-hlaren-part-1
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Post #18182
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A villain doesn't neceserally need a motive. Consider Moriarty, he just liked making people dance for him. Another is that s/he's insane although this can be boring if they are just "raving lunatics" . Most insane antagonists tend to be the more well thought but no motive kind of insane. Having a mother who was a prison psychologist at Frankland led to some intresting bedtime stories...
Mainly a good villain has to be admired for his ruthlessness and his ability. Think of Richard lll. I saw some people saying that a good villain is one who thinks they are right and I've seen some that do (inquisitors, crazy monks, Bolsheviks etc) but I think when you get to a certain level, good and evil are abstract. As much as I hate to quote Rowling, Voldemort said "There is no good or evil, only power". While I think that Harry Potter is overrated I think this is a good point to villains.

Heroes are overrated. Personally I think the second charcters are better. Think about Frodo and Sam. All Frodo had to do was carry a ring. Sam had to save him from a massive spider, rescue him from a tower of orcs, then carries him up to Mount Doom. And still Frodo gets all the credit. You can make a much more interesting character out of the secondary characters...
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Post #18333
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(December 14th 2012 03:16 PM)Iogairn Wrote:  Think about Frodo and Sam. All Frodo had to do was carry a ring. Sam had to save him from a massive spider, rescue him from a tower of orcs, then carries him up to Mount Doom.

THIS SO MUCH.

Stupid Frodo.




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Post #18340
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(December 15th 2012 10:57 AM)Triskele Wrote:  
(December 14th 2012 03:16 PM)Iogairn Wrote:  Think about Frodo and Sam. All Frodo had to do was carry a ring. Sam had to save him from a massive spider, rescue him from a tower of orcs, then carries him up to Mount Doom.

THIS SO MUCH.

Stupid Frodo.

This is exactly what I said. @Both Iogairn and Triskele. Frodo is so useless.


Please use the Help & Feedback section if you need help. This will help others that may have the same questions and you will receive a faster response.
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Post #18344
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(December 15th 2012 11:08 AM)Tecca Wrote:  
(December 15th 2012 10:57 AM)Triskele Wrote:  
(December 14th 2012 03:16 PM)Iogairn Wrote:  Think about Frodo and Sam. All Frodo had to do was carry a ring. Sam had to save him from a massive spider, rescue him from a tower of orcs, then carries him up to Mount Doom.

THIS SO MUCH.

Stupid Frodo.

This is exactly what I said. @Both Iogairn and Triskele. Frodo is so useless.

1. Get friends together for a LotR-marathon.
2. Every time Frodo stumbles and falls, everyone takes a shot of tequila.
3. Last person standing wins and clearly has a liver of steel.




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