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What is your favorite antagonist?

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

  1. Nomadica

    Nomadica Troubadour

    I like these answers, gets my creative juices flowing
  2. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

    Ok, my favorite antagonists of ALL TIME are from the manga/anime D. Gray-man. The main antagonist is the Millennium Earl who is introduced way at the beginning and now we are 227(?) chapters in and still NO ONE KNOWS WHAT HIS TRUE PLAN IS and we are just starting to learn about who he really is since about chapter 219. Along with him there is the Noah family who are at war with an order of Exorcists. The story introduces all these antagonists in ways that make them seem downright evil and then gradually makes you question your assumptions by showing the Noah family acting like an actual loving family and the Black Order acting like freaking evil Nazi scientists willing to do anything to defeat an enemy they don't even really know why they're fighting. At this point in the story (which isn't nearly finished yet) it's impossible to know who to route for to win the war. I'm expecting a huge upheaval once we finally find out the Earl's true motives.

    Another manga I love does something similar. Pandora Hearts begins with the sinister and mysterious "Baskervilles" as the villains in the aftermath of a tragedy that destroyed an entire city. The equally mysterious Jack Vessalius is viewed as the hero who ended the destruction. Eventually when the truth of the past is revealed the MCs learn that it was actually Jack who initiated the tragedy and the Baskervilles were his victims.

    So I guess what I really love is the mysterious, sinister villain whose true motivations are not knows in the beginning and then as the truth about the antagonist and their role in the conflict is revealed, it turns the tables on the whole thing, forcing you to question who is really the good guy and who is the bad guy.

    I also really like it when characters who were antagonists have a change of heart and join the protagonist's side. Usually after being defeated or being proved wrong in their beliefs about the conflict.
  3. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Archmage

    My favorite antagonists: The Borg, Terminators, and the Daleks. It's difficult to reason with them. They act according to their own codes of conduct. The protagonists might consider them evil, but evil isn't even in the vocabulary of the antagonist. They aren't forces of nature; they have smarts, and they will use them against you.

    Did you read The Eternal Champion by Michael Moorcock? If not, you might like it.
  4. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

    No, I haven't. I'm not really a fan of Moorcock. The man was so bitterly hateful of Tolkien and I can't really forgive him for that. Also having read a few Elric stories, I found Moorcock's anti-Tolkien writing aesthetic to be unsatisfying.
  5. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

    Of recent reads (over the last 5 years) I would say Loki from the Iron Druid Chronicles.

    I like the way the author (Kevin Hearne) blended mythology about the god with his urban fantasy world (the last few books in the Iron Druid Chronicles) and the story he's telling. Loki is smart, devious, but not all powerful or infallible. I do like how he is able to fool the main characters at times and pull strings behind the scenes.
  6. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Archmage

    Okay, we definitely have differing opinions about the aesthetic of Michael Moorcock's work. He's one of my major influences and all-time favorite author. I really respect a lot of what you have to say on these forums, and it makes me sad you don't like Moorcock, whatever your reasons (Epic Pooh?).

    Out of curiosity, have you read any Roger Zelazny (Amber series and other works) or Fritz Leiber (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser)? If so, what are your opinions on them and their works? I don't mean to derail the thread, but I just really want to know, and this is the convenient place to ask.

    CF WELBURN Dreamer

    Whilst I see the appeal of the embodiment of 'pure evil' from a fairytale / gaming perspective, I find a multifaceted, believable villain with motives and flaws to be much more satisfying and often more memorable than the 'hero' protagonist themselves. I read the Gormenghast trilogy a few years ago, and Steerpike, not Titus Groan, felt like the driving force of the book and has stayed with me ever since.

    “Equality,' said Steerpike,' is the thing. It is the only true and central premise from which constructive ideas can radiate freely and be operated without prejudice. Absolute equality of status. Equality of wealth. Equality of power.”
    - Mervyn Peake

    Similarly, as mentioned above, grey-characters / anti-heroes make things more interesting. The Lannisters spring to mind here.
  8. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    It's probably a cop-out but I like an antagonist when I as the reader don't know who or what they are or what they want.
    I like the mystery and the chase.
    I am two thirds through a detective story and I [and the characters] still don't know what is going on [on a grand scale]. They see their little bit but they [and I] don't know they "big picture", who the real threat is or what the threat may mean to them, or even what crime has really been committed.
    And yet it makes perfect sense when reading. I am working it out as they are.
    I have issues with some of the writing [it reads a bit too naturalistic for me] but I am hooked by the "Heroes" and by what will happen next... Who can ask for more?
    Peat likes this.
  9. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

    I love sympathetic antagonists like Loki from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I believe that the villain should always think of themselves as the hero in their own story. Even Darth Vader didn't roll out of bed every morning thinking, "I'm so evil." Those are the sorts of antagonists we strive for,

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