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What is your favorite antagonist?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Nomadica, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. Nomadica

    Nomadica Troubadour

    What is your favorite antagonist and why?
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    I have a couple of types, more than specific villains. One is the implacable force. It could be nature or it could be something like Sauron, or it could be Fate. It's a force that is all the more terrifying for being mindless (or being single-minded). Closely related is the sociopath, like the kid in Brighton Rock or in A Clockwork Orange. Someone who is so unpredictable as to be like a mindless force. Against such an opponent, all plans are never more than a desperate hope, and only courage can see the hero through.

    The other type is the hero herself. Her own faults, prejudices, even her own ambitions, set her feet upon dangerous paths. There is no opponent more difficult to overcome than one's self.
    pmmg likes this.
  3. My favorite stories are those where the greatest antagonist is within the hero themselves. I love my antiheroes.
    Xitra_Blud likes this.
  4. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    There's also my mom's sister. She's the auntie hero.

    I'm leaving now.
  5. TheKillerBs

    TheKillerBs Inkling

    My favourite kind of villain is the manipulator behind the scenes. Like the Emperor from Star Wars
  6. I prefer antagonists who are genuinely smart.
  7. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    Hanibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, but I'm not sure he counts as an antagonist. :/
  8. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

    Hector from the Illiad. A good family man, patriot and soldier protecting his homeland from his sister-in-law's possessive ex and his egomaniac demigod buddy. He's such a cool guy that medieval knights emulated him.
    I tend to gravitate towards heroic or sympathetic antagonists.
    pmmg likes this.
  9. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    This took some thought, and I’m not totally sure I have a favorite “type”, but I’ll throw out a character and explanation that might be it.

    Cersei Lannister: She believes 100% in her motives and justifies every evil, her motives are relatable, and so are her actions to some degree, no matter how evil. She’s a delicious antagonist type of character.

    This is the sort of “evil” I’m setting out to create... in book 1, the evil seems pretty pure, but in book 2 questions will arise, and by the end of the trilogy the evil will still be unforgivable (I suspect) but the following question might also arise: Was he right?
    Thoras and Heliotrope like this.
  10. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

    Do people call her Aunt Agonis? :p

    Wait for me.
    skip.knox likes this.
  11. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    Aunt Agonia, properly, but etymologists are constitutionally unable to pun.
  12. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

    This is funny because Cersie came to my mind as my favourite as well. I think because I'm a mother, her motives don't sit with me, but at the same time, I am sort of forced to questions what lengths I would go to to protect my own kids. Could I be that bad? Sure my kids aren't love children from incest, but they are still kids... would I be willing to go to the lengths she does?

    She is so confusing. I just love it.

    On the flip side, another antagonist I LOVE is the "perfect person". I'm thinking Melany Hamilton from Gone With The Wind. It is easy to hate someone who is loathsome and disgusting, like The Grinch, but little Melany Hamilton, all weak and demure and modest and perfect is harder to hate, you hate her for being so perfect, but you also realize how terrible that is of you. She gets in the way of what Scarlett wants most (Ashley Wilkes) but you can't help but like her (as Scarlet figures out by the end).

    I always think that is so fun when writers manage to do that, especially in romance. Introduce the guy who is supposed to be the "villain" and he is so darn good! So handsome! So charming! Works with orphans in Africa and adopts disabled puppies... So I guess I like ironic antags. You see this is comedy a lot.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
    Demesnedenoir likes this.
  13. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    Heliotrope's post made me think of a similar villain--the little girl in the movie The Bad Seed. Quite an unusual movie all the way round.
  14. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    One of my favorites is Elan's dad, General Tarquin, from Order of the Stick. His plan is to live a good life, running an empire behind the scenes while letting different puppet kings and queens take the blame, and then set up his son to defeat him in what he wants to be a grand legend that will be remembered for the ages. It's so epic, and petty, and manipulative, and meta, all at the same time. And in the end, he comes across looking a bit pathetic.
    Peat and TheCrystallineEntity like this.
  15. ^Definitely Tarquin. :D
  16. Dark Squiggle

    Dark Squiggle Troubadour

    Neverwhere's Crouch and Vandemar. Never angry, always chill, jus' doin' the' job, y'know, but I'll crucify you just for kicks...
    I like bad guys (and good guys) who are not sane.
  17. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

    For me, first solid thing that came to mind are a duo: Light Yagami and L from the anime Death Note.

    The show is odd because some people view Light as the antagonist--he is the villain--but I instead view L to be the antagonist although he's putatively the hero by the end. The story begins entirely from Light's perspective, and it's his actions and motivations that propel the plot forward; so, protagonist.

    I thought Light was sympathetic for about the first half, but he transitions into a full-bodied villain by the end.

    When L appears, he appears as the antagonist to Light's endeavors. He's very interesting at first but doesn't transition into likable until about halfway through, for me at least.

    These are a cat-and-mouse duo, perfectly matched: both are extremely intelligent and incredibly proactive during their simultaneous hunt for each other, villain vs detective. I love the dynamic these two created.
    Devor likes this.
  18. Alexander Lore

    Alexander Lore New Member

    Can't really name one in particular, but i think i have a similar idea to the rest of you. Love Grey Characters, Ones who can do dark and twisted acts , but that you can't completely condemn because of the reasoning behind them. the event and actions that made them who they are make you question whether or not you wouldn't end up making the same or worse decisions if you were led then the same road.
  19. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Auror

    Vetinari sorts are my favorites. Even if he really no longer counts as one. The suave and smart and always three or four steps ahead of everyone else around them. Though the Dark Lords are a favorite if only for aesthetics. Not so much their reasonings. If they have reasons, even if not good ones and some ideals.
    Dark Squiggle likes this.
  20. Peat

    Peat Sage

    How dare you make me choose. HOW VERY DARE.

    I guess one of my very favourite first antagonists was Martel from the Elenium. He's smart, stylish, ruthless, pleasant enough company if he likes you but still really rather contemptible in their amoral mercenary ways, and somewhat tragic in what they are and what they could have been. Someone who could have been a hero save for a few flaws, a few bad decisions. I guess I've got a few others like that in my likes list; Kitiara from Dragonlance, Melisandre from Kushiel.

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