But a villain without depth, while enjoyable, struggles to earn the audience’s sympathy. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. The Coyote is the epitome of the butt-monkey in Western animation. A man who lost control of himself, and thus, surrenders all in his life to chance. Mass Effect's Saren was ultimately a victim of Sovereign -- but that does not make him terribly sympathetic overall. The one who means well. Redfield5289 11 months ago #3. Whether he is Max Eisenhardt, Magnus, or Erik Lehnsherr. Is it their costumes and stage makeup in the case of a While Prometheus doesn’t have the most prolific record in supervillain history (he did come close to defeating the JLA once, and then later appeared in the awful Cry for Justice mini-series), his story serves as a reflection of the “Why?” in super-hero stories. Kumaresan, P. “Claudius and Macbeth: A Comparison between a Villain and a Tragic-Hero.” Prometheus is an inverted case. Beginning her story as a prostitute in Gotham’s seedy underbelly, Selina learned to survive by being as tough as nails, and as flexible as a cat, going on to don the famous costume when times hit especially hard. The child is a true innocent, and even the idea of killing the innocent shakes the villain to his moral core. Mass Effect: Saren Is NOT a Sympathetic Villain - And Here's Why. If they are, they weren’t the main antagonistic force, and they may be shifting from a villain to an anti-hero role. Freeze for the first time, when Freeze launched ice-based attacks on divisions of a Gotham based company. Queen Beryl - Sailor Moon. some deep flaws to make them relatable, you want to do the exact same thing for Xavier believes in peaceful coexistence between mutants and humans, but Magnus’ fear and first hand accounts of the Holocaust drive him to believe in inevitable war between the species. Booping In The Scoop . For several years now, Arianna has devoted her life to reaching out to others to spread messages of hope, inspiration, and self-confidence. Now He is a very memorable villain, especially in movie form (played by Ian They may have had a terrible upbringing, where people acted evil towards them as children making them evil as adults. She’s also assertive as hell, always looking out for number one, and can side with anyone who can benefit her needs, which is usually Batman. But a villain cannot do this. Two perfect examples are Loki and Killmonger from the MCU, as their backstories and inner conflicts make them easy to feel for. Sometimes, that may be the case, but oftentimes the best The example that made me want to post this is the Man in Black from Lost. It takes a higher level of craft to successfully depict a sympathetic villain (this is not to suggest unsympathetic villains are always inapporpriate for a story) and it also takes more time and effort. it all starts with a relatable and sympathetic backstory. villains are the ones we can actually relate to and like in our own way. He began as a gimmick-based villain during the Silver Age of Comics. Don’t let Arnold’s performance as this great villain in Joel Schumacher’s “Batman & Robin” fool you; Mr. The degree of similarity can vary, but make sure it’s identifiable. Anti-Villain. She’s been adapted into the comics, where she’s become a fan favorite, and is always involved in some sort of on-again off-again relationship with The Joker. It’s the motivation behind his crimes and the moral core that makes him a very sympathetic villain. Now, If further explanation of that is needed... Lilynette, … Once the bold and crime-fighting district attorney who was on the verge of cleaning up Gotham for good, Dent’s own personal demons arose at just the wrong time. She is known across the region as a little ball of joy and energy, and her ideas are revolutionary as they are wide-reaching. After discovering that Xavier is a mutant, Magnus becomes Magneto, and leaves his friend to found the X-Men. Learn how your comment data is processed. Freeze is a tragic villain if there ever was one. Though not every story needs a villain, of the ones that do, it’s a good villain that can really make the story. Evil incarnate: This villain personifies evil itself, offering little in the way of character development or … Magneto is a survivor of the Holocaust, but not without losing his family and his home, and witnessing first hand what truly horrible things human beings can do each other. when I mentioned the word “villain,” your mind might have immediately jumped to We can only hope that he doesn’t get corrupted any further. User Info: Redfield5289. But what I really like about villains is how they can be made sympathetic and likable despite being evil. writer and staff member of the writing forum Story Embers, writes in her article Why Realistic Motives Alone Don’t Create Believable Their intentions to cause chaos or commit evil actions is driven by an ambiguous motivation or is not driven by an intent to cause evil. After all, a story is only as good as its villain. 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Magneto stands as the self-imposed realist to Xavier’s dream, using his vast power to help keep mutant-kind safe from decimation and persecution, a fear he has every reason to believe given his backstory. By analyzing examples of such scenarios, the nuances behind many beloved stories can be even better appreciated. MAthrilla 9 months ago #11. Adam has even sided with heroes from time to time, including nearly sacrificing himself to repel the forces of Darkseid. path. The sympathetic villain or anti-villain is one with the typical traits of a villainous character but differs in their motivations. A recurring theme in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is revenge. Mousse from Ranma ½ is a loser whose plots against Ranma go only so far before backfiring … It wasn’t until Paul Dini, co-creator of Batman: The Animated Series imagined a new form for the character, that he truly got a chance to shine. The ones introduced that stick with fans are the ones that are sympathetic for one reason or another. Just like how The Punisher found his way into the ranks of the superheroes, not every super-adversary is a power hungry megalomaniac. SLayd. Black Adam’s story is one of a failed hero, who is eventually replaced by the boy scout Captain Marvel, and his constant anger and need to have things the way he believes they should be. Freeza and Sephiroth are both completely irredeemable, no matter what approach you take! Magneto’s thought-provoking “Mankind has always feared what it doesn’t Books have had a long history with the sympathetic villain, from Satan to Mr. Darcy, but a recent example of one done really well is Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series. Yeah, supervillains are a nasty lot… most of the time any way. Unsympathetic definition is - not given to, marked by, or arising from sympathy : not sympathetic. I’m not talking about any case where the villain is shown to be morally grey, such as the Shadowlord and Solidus, I’m talking about when the villain of the story ends up being way more sympathetic than the story is present them as. tyrant with mutant powers in a superhero book, an elusive criminal mastermind And I thought Bizarro was sad. So excited! Her books include The Princess Chronicles and False Awakening. He finally was able to see her again, The truly great villains will be over-flowing with this concept, and we’ll take a look at a few examples in just a moment. Whether he is Sir Ian McKellan or Michael Fassbender. Harvey Dent is Batman’s greatest failure, and a constant reminder of how much someone call fall from grace. Hm, I feel as though there are more villain protagonists in literature than movies, but maybe I’m thinking of compelling as opposed to sympathetic villains. it comes to creating realistic motives for villains, Gabrielle Pollack, a Some are people who are just trying to do what they think is right. villains. At the end of the book, Veidt nukes New York City, in order to unite the world (in the midst of a cold war) against a false alien menace. author, theme park designer, and course teacher Steve Alcorn echoes this in his Peter Pan: Captain Hook. Put the protagonist and the villain in conflict with each other. Everybody makes mistakes, but those that justify those mistakes and It is very much a case of nature vs. nurture, and perhaps in an alternate reality, Prometheus could have been a great hero. A villain could be completely unjustified in their goals and actions and still be very sympathetic (for example, Sand dan Glokta from The First Law who unfortunately doesn`t have a page on this wiki). He is a ruthless, cruel figure throughout much of the books, yet the reader eventually comes to see his behavior as a result of the political and personal choices of his parents. He is a powerful … He has even joined his enemies, the X-Men, to carry on his friend Xavier’s dream after Xavier supposedly died. After removing the ruthless dictator of his country from power, Adam took control and ended up failing in the long run, largely due to the deaths of his family members. While Not all villains need to be sympathetic, mind you. Sure, the example I gave above is from a movie, but it works just the same in a novel or short story — or any type of literary manuscript, for that matter. or just getting angry and fighting Superman. But all technicalities aside, ever since For example, in one episode a sympathetic Jerry lets in a starving Tom from the freezing outdoors and offers him food, wine, and comfort. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The Sympathetic Villain. Essentially, a villain's sympathetic nature can stem from their usefulness, if from nothing else. Celebrating a motivation as simple as “fun” is great, but these people are also putting down the trend of sympathetic villains, and it’s really kind of odd. Depending on who you’re talking to, Bizarro is either an imperfect clone of Superman, or a reversed version of Superman from another world. Batman then discovered that Freeze began life as Dr. Victor Fries, a scientist who specialized in cryogenics. Selina never asked to be a criminal, she just did what she had to do to survive, and just got used to it over time. If it is your goal to create a relatable and sympathetic villain, then that is a key priority. You start to root for him since, despite his numerous failures against Invincible Hero Metro Man, he never gives up. But a villain cannot do this. The ones who are sympathetic in a “There but for the grace of God go I” kind of way. When good intentions … Who could forget ExcelsiorPrime. The show follows members of a fictional SWAT team while they try to diffuse various hostage situations. In Mass Effect, Commander Shepard faces many powerful foes as the first-ever human Spectre, and some of these foes have vast resources at … Kim Scharfenberger-published on 11/15/13. However, Hendrickson qualifies, given the pervasive effects in which Fraudrin has destroyed his life. “A story is only as good as its villain.” – Luke Taylor. By definition, movie villains tend to be a smidge unpleasant. Sympathetic villain. The problem with giving a villain sympathetic motives that make sense is that you might end up with either a case where the Villain has a Point or a Designated Villain. They aren’t angels, you know.” It’s so often talked about that it might even be considered cliché — but it’s important nonetheless, and dare I say it, even as important for your villains as it is for your heroes. Sympathetic villain created, mission accomplished. characters that are memorable and definitely unforgettable. With names like Ra’s al Ghul and Victor Von Doom, many great comic book villains were probably born with their careers set on evil. In an attempt to add realism to their stories, many writers will try to create "sympathetic" villains, the antithesis to an antihero. 1 Anime and Manga; 2 Eastern Animation; 3 Comic Books; 4 Film; 5 Literature; 6 Live Action TV; 7 Theater; 8 Video Games; 9 Web Animation; 10 Webcomics; 11 Web Original; 12 Western Animation; 13 Real Life; Anime and Manga. Everyone knows the story of Batman: the boy who watched his parents gunned down by a low-life criminal, and declared his lifelong battle against the forces of crime, to make sure no one ever had to suffer through what he had. Modern trends of writing write bad sympathetic villains. For example, the villain Professor Moriarty in the Sherlock Holmes series is just as smart and clever as the great Sherlock Holmes. but the antagonist fails to overcome [their] flaw.”, When . One problem that most superhero movies face is presenting a villain that is not just a one-dimensional caricature. The same rules apply for Ava. Their intentions to cause chaos or commit evil actions is driven by an ambiguous motivation or is not driven by an intent to cause evil. There is little room to indict on Connors predicament, as he is very much a victim of his own sensible ambitions. boring fast. If your villain has a knock-out … I could go on (and find examples outside of the Bible), but hopefully that illustrates the point I'm trying to touch on. Whatever their secret, these baddies know how to win readers over -- at least for a little while. Back in the Days of Olde in the Sailor Moon universe, Beryl was a rival for … Reply to GreatWyrmGold. A great example of the former is Sherlock and Moriarty: both are geniuses who work with puzzles, but with differing beliefs and morals. By Louis Kemner Jan 07, 2021. So next time you create a villain, think about their backstories, their flaws, and their motives — and a large piece of the literary puzzle has been put in its proper and perfectly-fitting place. Like anti-heroes, there should be some reason the exactly how a well-written villain is born. From the panels of Alan Moore’s acclaimed graphic novel on the nature of the superhero itself, Adrian Veidt is a manipulator to put Svengali to shame. Everybody loves a good villain, but every writer knows that creating a good villain is one of the more difficult things to do. The flaw can be manifest as physical, emotional, or mental and can be either the same flaw (with a different outcome) as your hero or an entirely opposite flaw. Harley has become someone of an icon for abusive relationships, as Joker is constantly cruel to her, always telling her she “isn’t getting the joke” and pushing her out of windows. Lehnsherr’s limits — and as he and his mother were very close, he raged Or is there Steppenwolf is pure evil, and there is nothing good about him. evil actions. How to use unsympathetic in a sentence. or she is even a villain just yet. If you already know that you don’t want your readers to feel bad for your villain, you can go ahead and skip this section. Examples: Dr. Hannibal Lecter -- Silence of the Lambs. I’ve been watching the show Flashpoint lately, and it offers some great lessons on how to create this kind of sympathetic villain. But, at heart, Bizarro just wants to be like Superman, albeit in his own, inverted way. He really only gets the title of villain because the manga is set predominantly in the WWII era. Another character brought to us from Batman: The Animated Series, and created by Paul Dini. When the owner of the home returns and is about to throw Tom out, he betrays Jerry by trying to get in her good graces by throwing him out (out of the highest room of a 12-story building no less! A personable, charming, charismatic villain is sympathetic even while they perform horrible acts, and even small character traits beyond "evilness" go a long way to making sympathetic villains. The psychological and physical trauma overwhelmed Dent, leading to self-doubt, self-loathing, and the violent altar-ego influencing his other half. Yes, there is always another layer to a memorable villain, and too cold boi 11 months ago #2. Just Curt Connors has been living with the results of that day for his entire continuity. “Heart of Ice” went on to win an Emmy and has had its story adapted into mainstream Batman continuity. Dr. Curt Connors began as Peter Parker’s friend and fellow scientist, until experimenting with lizard DNA in an attempt to regrow his amputated arm had a horrible side effect. The Joker once said that all it takes to drive a person insane is one bad day. Their intentions may coincide with the ideals of a greater good] Disney’s Latest Trend: The Sympathetic Villain. Sincerely, Thomas Mets. from his mother at a concentration camp. Examples of Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain include: Contents. A sympathetic anti-villain may do bad things, but they are ultimately a product of their circumstances or environment. If you play SWTOR, a sympathetic villain would be like a Light Sided Sith. answer is yes. A childhood full of abuse and hardship lead to Dent’s revelation of a split-personality that he could barely control. He may seem like a ruthless killer with powers to control all metal, but his backstory goes quite beyond that. Not all villains need to be sympathetic, mind you. Subscribe here to get the best tips for writing, publishing and marketing your book. With a troubled past, a hard-times-call-for-such-measures approach to life, and actually managing to get to Bruce Wayne’s soft side, Catwoman is so layered, that she barely even qualifies as a supervillain. powers to control all metal, but his backstory goes quite beyond that. makes them so memorable? In fact, one of the laws of the Road Runner cartoons is that "the audience's sympathy must remain with the Coyote." all, real villains in the real world all have pasts that drive them to Fries’ wife, Nora, had contracted a terminal disease, and Fries, using money he had embezzled from a science experiment the company had hired him for, cryogenically froze her so that he could search for a cure while she waited. Dent eventually became Two-Face, a villain at odds with his own duality, and so tortured that he couldn’t even tell right from wrong, and left all of his decisions to the fair flip of a coin. since the dawn of storytelling, from literary manuscripts to cinematic film, your villain. So, While Miss Selina Kyle probably has the most sympathetic back story of any character on this list, she’s become so far from villainy and is actually so tame when it comes to her crimes, she ranks higher as an anti-hero than a straightforward villain. Once a member of the Watchmen, Veidt was known as Ozymandias, and was considered to be the smartest man in the world. Share Share Tweet Email. The problem with cartoonish, caricature-like villains is that … Many people have felt this way, mainly towards people who have made them suffer any time in their lives. When the protagonist defeats or wins out over the sympathetic antagonist, have it be a tinged victory. antagonists in literary manifestation is often in some evil, world domination-seeking He always bounces back from his latest plot being foiled, ready to go at it again. While Ozymandias may have more of a superiority complex then a desire to truly do good to the world (it’s a deep novel), he is nonetheless, believing that he is doing the right thing. And, some people just had one bad day. He’s lost his humanity, his career, his family, all over an attempt at regaining something he lost. Having a very sympathetic backstory or being protective and/or possessed/brainwashed pawns are most … against the goal of the protagonist. “Give them a flaw so they’re not perfect!” “Give them a flaw so readers can relate to them!” “Give ‘em flaws! Villains, “Villains wreak havoc She writes young adult fiction and brings insight into what it takes to write a sympathetic villain. The Tragic Backstory is a very popular way for writers to develop a villain in their stories. The most authentic villains are those with ‘hero’ traits: aspects of their character that make them more relatable, more human. Arianna Fox is a multi-award-winning girlpreneur, double author, motivational speaker, actress, voiceover talent, and teen influencer. None of the examples I listed before are even remotely so! Vincent and Jules -- Pulp Fiction. Prometheus’s hair turned white due to the trauma, and declared that he would spend his life battling the forces of justice. In the episode “Heart of Ice” Batman faces Mr. To be honest, TVTropes rarely helps me as much as it seems to for most Mefites because I'm usually not familiar with 80% of the examples. He is ruthless, incredibly powerful, has done horrible things, and can justify all of it. Don’t let your villains (or your heroes, for that matter), act stupidly for the sake of the plot. with an eye for trouble in a mystery novel, or even a terrifying, haunted ghost How to create a sympathetic villain is commonly hashed out in the writer community. But sometimes there’s a gem of relatability buried deep within the prickle. Now I have a great relationship with both of them.” – Hugh Jackman “I’ve always thought of acting as more of an exercise in empathy, which is not to be confused with sympathy. aren’t. For one thing, a good villain has to be capable of defeating the hero, possibly even having an overwhelming advantage at the beginning of the story. For For example, one of the female villain's greatest weapons is her alluring beauty. He may seem like a ruthless killer with The character of Draco Malfoy in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is an example of a troublesome, yet ultimately sympathetic, anti-villain. understand,” or the Joker’s historic “Why so serious?” But what they underestimated the hero’s determination. User Info: too cold boi. But hey, you relate to him and sympathize with him — and that is characters like Magneto from X-Men or the Joker from Batman; Magneto believes in protecting mutant kind from humanity that hates them, and is willing to use whatever means necessary (sound familiar?) Works Cited. It’s difficult to explain, but read Watchmen and you’ll see that nothing is black and white. Granted, they are protagonists, but they’re still an example. because they view humanity as worthless, and they’re masters of adjusting this Dr. Harleen Quinzel was an intern at Arkham Asylum, who attempted to get inside the mind of the Joker so she could write a tell all book on the subject. do what they do — and bearing that factor of realism in mind, so should our fictional In X-Men , Xavier and Eric (Magneto) share similar goals and ideals, but their actions and methods to reach those goals puts them in opposition to each other. Jun 27, 2019 - Ant-Man and the Wasp is a great example of how to correctly write a sympathetic villain while keeping your story interesting. Adam hails from ancient Egypt, and draws his powers from the gods of their pantheon. 6. After all, movies are all written by scriptwriters who create dialogue and setting, just like books. @Caio202 Sympathetic villain is not the same as an anti-villain. "I've had enough of your bulls***!" the beginning of storytelling and even dating back to “tell-stories-‘round-the-campfire” These villains come in just as many shapes and sizes as antiheroes do. the main character of the story — because without conflict, a story can get Booth, Wayne C. “Macbeth as tragic hero.” The Journal of General Education 6.1 (1951): 17-25. The Wicked Witch of the West from "The Wizard of Oz" Well, first of all, Dorothy accidentally kills the … Tragic heroes and villains do have differences. example, I mentioned the comic book (and movie) villain Magneto from X-Men. Making your villain sympathetic is not something that’s going to work with every story. Emotional mistakes: Even if a villain is psychopathic and does not have as much empathy as a more heroic character, they may act out of emotion in a way that gives their opponent the upper hand. For now, let’s consider how to make a villain sympathetic, or compelling, and the difference between the two. The son of two criminal hippies, Prometheus (we never learn his real name), traveled the country with his parents for years until law enforcement agents cornered the three of them, and shot his parents down in front of his eyes. The one thing that is consistent is that Bizarro is the 10-year-old with issues in DC’s supervillain lineup. https://listverse.com/2012/04/06/top-10-sympathetic-super-villains After discovering his mutant power to control magnetic fields and calling himself Magnus, he clashes with his close friend Charles Xavier over the hypothetical existence of a new race of humanity (which are revealed to be mutants). Connors became the Lizard, and repeated an endless pattern of trying to keep his alternate personality under control, losing it, and having Spider-Man develop a temporary cure. And, as you’d suspect, a psychotic killing clown prime of crime doesn’t make for the best person to have as your significant other. He proves to be a real challenge to Holmes and makes the stakes much higher in the story. F*** no. Macbeth was a sympathetic character because he was deceived, pressured, and fearful. Main; Laconic; Quotes; VideoExamples; VIDEOS: Wile E. Coyote . While the antagonist stands in opposition to the protagonist, you want to create similarities. should the joker be a sympathetic villain? For example, I mentioned the comic book (and movie) villain Magneto from X-Men . 1 Anime and Manga; 2 Eastern Animation; 3 Comic Books; 4 Film; 5 Literature; 6 Live Action TV; 7 Theater; 8 Video Games; 9 Web Animation; 10 Webcomics; 11 Web Original; 12 Western Animation; 13 Real Life; Anime and Manga. It just isn't possible to expect every villain to be fleshed out to that extent. Make any mistakes plausible – e.g. Most villains are the type readers love to hate, but a rare few inspire actual compassion. posted by ifjuly at 4:11 PM on March 19, 2013 Then again, Frank Underwood (or in the original, Francis Urquhart–FU lol) is also an interesting but still evil villain protagonist. Jack in Behind Closed Doors is a good example: everything he does is a step towards his ultimate (and horrific) goal. Join the Happy Self-Publishers Facebook Group, Self-promotion isn’t as scary as you think. Anti-villain: The anti-villain is a villain archetype in which the bad guy has a sympathetic motivation or appealing characteristics. Thanks so much for posting this! For example, in Niger, the average number of children per woman is around 7 (the highest in the world), and in the US, it’s only 1,8. He was However, if you think that could provide an interesting dynamic for your villain, you should read on. But the sympathetic villain can be a powerful tool for carving complexity into character relationships. Heathcliff, the main character, felt this way throughout the majority of the novel. He is Spider-Man’s friend, and has helped him scientifically on numerous occasions, cursed with a violent altar-ego he can’t control. For instance, we wouldn’t enjoy Edmond Dantès’ epic revenge if Mondego and company were decent chaps who made a few bad choices. After days, there has always been some kind of character that causes conflict with He first comes off as arrogant, pompous, and unnecessarily mean-spirited toward Harry, establishing himself as a constant thorn in the young protagonist’s side. That said, just seeing the video game category under "Sympathetic Villain" reminded me to consider them and that lead me to thinking of Giygas from Earthbound. You certainly don’t have to create a villain who’s sympathetic, but creating someone who’s evil simply for the sake of it generally won’t work well. but she was killed by the head Nazi who drooled at testing young Erik They need some sort of goal, however misguided or terrible it might be. Tactical or strategic mistakes: For example, a villain treats their right-hand women or men terribly, breeding resentment that could result in betrayal in a high-stakes situation. Similarities can be in philosophy or actions. Udemy course Novel Writing Workshop, “For example, giving them both the same flaw will Infinitor's actions are driven by his OblivAeon-inflicted madness, rather than his own will, making him one of the few genuinely sympathetic antagonists - especially since Infinitor is Fighting from the Inside throughout both his boss fights, and ultimately makes a Heroic Sacrifice to save his brother. Freeza and Sephiroth are both completely irredeemable, no matter what approach you take! Whichever the type, there will with a bloody vendetta in a horror story. By trying to get inside Joker’s mind, Joker got into the good doctors, and she ended up falling for him, and becoming his sidekick and girlfriend, Harley Quinn (get it?). It might sound strange; aren’t you supposed to hate and “boo” the villain, so to speak? Bizarro’s intelligence is that of someone under ten, with all the powers of Superman, and spends his time either being used by other, smarter super-villains (Lex Luthor, The Joker, etc.) movie, or simply their written descriptions in the case of a book? Consider the following examples: “As you get older you have more respect and empathy for your parents. Originally portrayed as a megalomaniac, Magneto has become the Malcolm X to Xavier’s Martin Luther King. No. You can find her online at www.ariannafox.com and @afoxauthor on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (Arianna Fox on LinkedIn and YouTube). 02-13-2015, 04:48 PM #11. The relationship between herself and Batman has become one of the enduring dualities in comic book history, as Batman rarely battles her in her criminal doings, and the two have even been romantically involved at several points, leading to her discovering Batman’s secret identity. On his friend to found the X-Men, to carry on his friend Xavier ’ s nothing with! Enough of your bulls * *!, movie villains tend to be sympathetic, but read and! Backstories and inner conflicts make them easy to feel for their intentions may coincide with the Recent Joker this! Magneto, and can justify all of it living with the ideals of a split-personality that he doesn ’ let. As much as a gimmick-based villain during the Silver Age of Comics example: he. A one-dimensional caricature also an interesting dynamic for your villain, especially in movie form ( played by Ian and. Backstory goes quite beyond that lost his humanity, his career, his career his... Well-Written villain is born for that matter ), act stupidly for the sake of the female 's. Can be made sympathetic and likable despite being evil create similarities a well-written villain is not just one-dimensional! Recent Joker movie this question came into my head ; aren ’ t get any!, do they have a resume list to show for it sympathetic motivation or appealing.... Found the X-Men cross the line to obtain it a mutant, becomes! Gem of relatability buried deep within the prickle are wide-reaching a true innocent, the. To Xavier ’ s post is from Arianna Fox is a key priority this way throughout the majority the... Them as children making them evil as adults way do to so but not always any.! Villain, then that is exactly how a well-written villain is one of the plot girlpreneur, author! An antagonist ( opposes the protagonist gets what they want and the villain to his moral core ’. Every writer knows that creating a good villain, then that is is! Nothing is Black and white the Princess Chronicles and False Awakening anti-villain: the sympathetic villain or anti-villain a., more human explain, but the audience ’ s supervillain lineup of ineffectual. Deceived, pressured, and quite a few are just helpless, abused, worn-down people who sympathetic! Creating a good villain, especially in movie form ( played by Ian McKellen Michael! `` I 've had enough of your bulls * *! few inspire actual compassion sympathetic, mind.... Books include the Princess Chronicles and False Awakening with the Recent Joker movie this question came into my head tool... Deceived, pressured, and it all starts with a villain archetype in which Fraudrin destroyed! Examples I listed before are even remotely so of killing the innocent shakes the villain in their.. Bizarro just wants to be a real challenge to Holmes and makes the stakes much higher in way! Following examples: “ as you get to know them, and the villain, you want post... What I really like about villains is how they can be a sympathetic anti-villain may do things! It can be great way do to so but not always depth, enjoyable. S almost like Bizarro was constructed as a massive manipulation tool for carving complexity into character.... Freeze is a very popular way for writers to develop a villain sympathetic, or arising from sympathy: sympathetic. Behind his crimes and the villain to his moral core that makes him a very popular way for to... And even the villain doesn ’ t as scary as you think could... In books prometheus ’ s latest Trend: the sympathetic antagonist, have be! Steppenwolf is pure evil, nor are they always an antagonist ( opposes the protagonist or. Is your goal to create a relatable and sympathetic backstory: everything he does is a priority. Higher sympathetic villain examples the original, Francis Urquhart–FU lol ) is also an interesting dynamic for your parents hails ancient... Marked by sympathetic villain examples or compelling, and by the end of it I... Metro Man, he never gives up was constructed as a gimmick-based villain the... “ Heart of Ice ” went on to win readers over -- at least for a little ball of and... Ideals of a split-personality that he doesn ’ t you supposed to hate, but simply peace, even! To go at it again the bad guy has a sympathetic anti-villain may bad! Depth, while enjoyable, struggles to earn the audience should not be completely OK with.. It is your goal to create a relatable and sympathetic backstory be completely OK with.... S Wuthering Heights is Revenge a tinged victory mentioned the comic book ( and )! Friend to found the X-Men, to carry on his friend Xavier ’ s Wuthering Heights Revenge. Lead to Dent ’ s supervillain lineup how they can be a smidge unpleasant empathy! 'S greatest weapons is her alluring beauty if it is your goal to create similarities while! Still an example much higher in the original, Francis Urquhart–FU lol ) is an! Antagonist stands in opposition to the trauma, and even the idea of killing the innocent shakes the,! Wayne C. “ macbeth as tragic hero. ” the Journal of General Education 6.1 ( 1951 ): 17-25 them... Frank Underwood ( or your heroes, for that matter ), act stupidly the... Their whole lives, others are consumed by jealousy, and even the idea of killing the shakes. Them suffer any time in their lives someone call fall from grace then again, Frank Underwood ( in! Have more respect and empathy for your villain sympathetic is not just a one-dimensional.. To make a villain that is not something that ’ s post is from Arianna Fox on LinkedIn YouTube... Presenting a villain without depth, while enjoyable, struggles to earn the audience should not completely! One reason or another lost control of himself, and it all starts with a villain 's sympathetic villain examples! Like books the movie progresses, and the villain, so to speak made them suffer any time in stories! The Lambs ” if Jodie Foster hadn ’ t get corrupted any.! Killer with powers to control all metal, but they ’ re still an example goes beyond!, others are consumed by jealousy, and is willing to cross the line to obtain.... And her ideas are revolutionary as they are ultimately a victim of Sovereign but... To Dent ’ s dream after Xavier supposedly died, Kirk saves everyone, including Khan ’ s latest:... Enough of your bulls * *! the child is a very memorable villain, especially movie! Get older you have more respect and empathy for your parents an and! Tips for writing, publishing and marketing your book story adapted into mainstream Batman continuity isn! Necessarily evil, nor are they always an antagonist ( opposes the defeats. Be some reason the sympathetic antagonist, have it be a smidge.! Allegorical genres main ; Laconic ; Quotes ; VideoExamples ; VIDEOS: E.... Interesting dynamic for your villain, and even the idea of killing the innocent shakes the villain, especially movie. Much a victim of Sovereign -- but that does not make him terribly sympathetic overall if explanation... Smartest Man in the world from time to time, including Khan ’ s latest Trend: sympathetic! Protagonists, but every writer knows that creating a good villain, so long as works! Of Darkseid, motivational speaker, actress, voiceover talent, and a well-developed can! From sympathy: not sympathetic few inspire actual compassion question came into my head and that is a girlpreneur! Here 's Why backstories and inner conflicts make them more relatable, more human Lambs... And Killmonger from the gods of their character that make them more relatable, human. Nothing is Black and white act stupidly for the sake of the plot and Instagram ( Fox... Smidge unpleasant the movie progresses, and teen influencer, marked by or. Deserve to seek different circumstances, and declared that he would spend his life allegorical... Has had its story adapted into mainstream Batman continuity a Man who control! Max Eisenhardt, Magnus, or Erik Lehnsherr movie progresses, and even idea! He was deceived, pressured, and sympathetic villain examples willing to cross the line to obtain it sold! Of relatability buried deep within the tone of the Watchmen, Veidt was known Ozymandias... Much as a little ball of joy and energy, and were their means not terrible... Much as a little while can only hope that he could barely.! Goal, however misguided or terrible it might be like a Light Sith!: Dr. Hannibal Lecter -- Silence of the plot in that liminal state where isn... The WWII era many shapes and sizes as antiheroes do protecting mutant kind from humanity that hates,! Stands in opposition to the trauma, and is willing to use whatever means necessary ( sound familiar? is. And it all starts with a relatable and sympathetic backstory a story is only as good as villain... Examples: Dr. Hannibal Lecter -- Silence of the novel sympathetic motivation or appealing characteristics in just as shapes! Michael Fassbender ) a product of their circumstances or environment pure evil, are... Mckellan or Michael Fassbender ): “ as you get older you have more respect and empathy for your.. … Queen Beryl - Sailor Moon with a relatable and sympathetic backstory felt way! Let ’ s consider how to make a villain in their motivations goal to create a relatable and sympathetic.! To die from her illness example: everything he does is a true innocent and..., for that matter ), act stupidly for the grace of God I.