Anti-Villain. Adam has even sided with heroes from time to time, including nearly sacrificing himself to repel the forces of Darkseid. Unsympathetic definition is - not given to, marked by, or arising from sympathy : not sympathetic. but she was killed by the head Nazi who drooled at testing young Erik We can only hope that he doesn’t get corrupted any further. more to it than that — more that makes them such a three-dimensional character 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. These villains come in just as many shapes and sizes as antiheroes do. Modern trends of writing write bad sympathetic villains. with a bloody vendetta in a horror story. Examples of Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain include: Contents. 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. While the antagonist stands in opposition to the protagonist, you want to create similarities. Yes, there is always another layer to a memorable villain, and aren’t. Her books include The Princess Chronicles and False Awakening. This thousand year old arch-nemesis of Captain Marvel (who’s actually a DC creation despite the name), has only recently shown himself to be as sympathetic as this list qualifies him for. For several years now, Arianna has devoted her life to reaching out to others to spread messages of hope, inspiration, and self-confidence. The protagonist gets what they want and the villain doesn’t, but the audience should not be completely OK with it. In the same way that an anti-hero is ostensibly a good guy with villainous or immoral tendencies, an anti-villain may have justifiable, noble goals or even a good side. “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. ). 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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. The Wicked Witch of the West from "The Wizard of Oz" Well, first of all, Dorothy accidentally kills the … When the protagonist defeats or wins out over the sympathetic antagonist, have it be a tinged victory. But a villain cannot do this. I’ve been watching the show Flashpoint lately, and it offers some great lessons on how to create this kind of sympathetic villain. For instance, we wouldn’t enjoy Edmond Dantès’ epic revenge if Mondego and company were decent chaps who made a few bad choices. Thanks so much for posting this! since the dawn of storytelling, from literary manuscripts to cinematic film, Disney’s Latest Trend: The Sympathetic Villain. The Tragic Backstory is a very popular way for writers to develop a villain in their stories. But, at heart, Bizarro just wants to be like Superman, albeit in his own, inverted way. Often times, sympathetic factors including tragedies can involve a villain being mentally unstable, in love, suffering from immense psychosis on a daily basis or dissociative identity disorders (DID) and being addicts, sympathetic nihilists or suicidal are among examples of being tragic villains as well. He is Spider-Man’s friend, and has helped him scientifically on numerous occasions, cursed with a violent altar-ego he can’t control. However, if you think that could provide an interesting dynamic for your villain, you should read on. Comic book supervillains have committed all manner of crimes, heinous and despicable, from a crazed clown trying to drive the police commissioner mad by forcing him to watch his paralyzed daughter getting violated, to an intergalactic despot building an army of followers who draw their power from the yellow light of fear, to the overlord of the planet Apokolips who tries to find an equation to destroy free will itself. The ones who are sympathetic in a “There but for the grace of God go I” kind of way. By definition, movie villains tend to be a smidge unpleasant. But a villain cannot do this. 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. Many are familiar with this story due to The Dark Knight, which perfectly summed up what Two-Face is: confused, angry, unsatisfied, and tortured. Just like how The Punisher found his way into the ranks of the superheroes, not every super-adversary is a power hungry megalomaniac. The sympathetic villain or anti-villain is one with the typical traits of a villainous character but differs in their motivations. Yeah, supervillains are a nasty lot… most of the time any way. User Info: NightMareBunny. So excited! Whether he is Sir Ian McKellan or Michael Fassbender. After all, movies are all written by scriptwriters who create dialogue and setting, just like books. The psychological and physical trauma overwhelmed Dent, leading to self-doubt, self-loathing, and the violent altar-ego influencing his other half. You can find her online at and @afoxauthor on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (Arianna Fox on LinkedIn and YouTube). whip up a believable backstory, season your character with a relatable flaw, But all technicalities aside, ever since It’s the motivation behind his crimes and the moral core that makes him a very sympathetic villain. Kim Scharfenberger-published on 11/15/13. 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. 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 … The Coyote is the epitome of the butt-monkey in Western animation. The 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. “A story is only as good as its villain.” – Luke Taylor. Comment . Freeze for the first time, when Freeze launched ice-based attacks on divisions of a Gotham based company. They may have had a terrible upbringing, where people acted evil towards them as children making them evil as adults. 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. Subscribe here to get the best tips for writing, publishing and marketing your book. Works Cited. Booth, Wayne C. “Macbeth as tragic hero.” The Journal of General Education 6.1 (1951): 17-25. Freeza and Sephiroth are both completely irredeemable, no matter what approach you take! don’t learn from them are the ones that could truly start down a long, dark Having a very sympathetic backstory or being protective and/or possessed/brainwashed pawns are most … Evil – Steppenwolf. In an attempt to add realism to their stories, many writers will try to create "sympathetic" villains, the antithesis to an antihero. 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. So, example, I mentioned the comic book (and movie) villain Magneto from X-Men. A great example of the former is Sherlock and Moriarty: both are geniuses who work with puzzles, but with differing beliefs and morals. Then again, Frank Underwood (or in the original, Francis Urquhart–FU lol) is also an interesting but still evil villain protagonist. For example, I mentioned the comic book (and movie) villain Magneto from X-Men . writer and staff member of the writing forum Story Embers, writes in her article Why Realistic Motives Alone Don’t Create Believable Two perfect examples are Loki and Killmonger from the MCU, as their backstories and inner conflicts make them easy to feel for. 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). Jack in Behind Closed Doors is a good example: everything he does is a step towards his ultimate (and horrific) goal. Sympathetic villain. Their intentions may coincide with the ideals of a greater good] What emerged was “Silence of the Lambs” if Jodie Foster hadn’t matched Hannibal in intelligence. NightMareBunny 11 months ago #1. with The Recent Joker Movie this question came into my head. … McKellen and Michael Fassbender). To this day, Two-Face not only is a victim as much as he is a tortured soul, but he represents Batman’s biggest failure in losing someone as good as Harvey Dent. or just getting angry and fighting Superman. Some are people who are just trying to do what they think is right. Main; Laconic; Quotes; VideoExamples; VIDEOS: Wile E. Coyote . For 6. 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. evil actions. These are villains who, once you get to know them, aren’t so villainous after all. posted by ifjuly at 4:11 PM on March 19, 2013 Evil incarnate: This villain personifies evil itself, offering little in the way of character development or … 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. She is known across the region as a little ball of joy and energy, and her ideas are revolutionary as they are wide-reaching. 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.) characters like Magneto from X-Men or the Joker from Batman; User Info: Redfield5289. She writes young adult fiction and brings insight into what it takes to write a sympathetic villain. Join the Happy Self-Publishers Facebook Group, Self-promotion isn’t as scary as you think. For example, one of the female villain's greatest weapons is her alluring beauty. Originally portrayed as a megalomaniac, Magneto has become the Malcolm X to Xavier’s Martin Luther King. He is ruthless, incredibly powerful, has done horrible things, and can justify all of it. that you eventually come to love in your own way? 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. It might sound strange; aren’t you supposed to hate and “boo” the Sometimes, that may be the case, but oftentimes the best because they view humanity as worthless, and they’re masters of adjusting this 9 Most Sympathetic Villains In Books. It can be great way do to so but not always. 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. there is always some sort of antagonist — some kind of character that is This week’s post is from Arianna Fox, author and girlpreneur. Share Share Tweet Email. The one thing that is consistent is that Bizarro is the 10-year-old with issues in DC’s supervillain lineup. should the joker be a sympathetic villain? Megamind. This thinking applies to sympathetic villains… He’s lost his humanity, his career, his family, all over an attempt at regaining something he lost. 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. Sympathetic villain created, mission accomplished. He finally was able to see her again, 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. 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. But what I really like about villains is how they can be made sympathetic and likable despite being evil. 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. By Louis Kemner Jan 07, 2021. SLayd. He was Lehnsherr’s limits — and as he and his mother were very close, he raged 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. Magneto believes in protecting mutant kind from humanity that hates them, and is willing to use whatever means necessary (sound familiar?) Villains are unlikely to be redeemed. If further explanation of that is needed... Lilynette, … 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. They need some sort of goal, however misguided or terrible it might be. the main character of the story — because without conflict, a story can get If your villain has a knock-out … Heathcliff: From Sympathetic Victim to Diabolical Villain Revenge is formally defined as the desire for vengeance. The character of Draco Malfoy in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is an example of a troublesome, yet ultimately sympathetic, anti-villain. Many people have felt this way, mainly towards people who have made them suffer any time in their lives. Adam hails from ancient Egypt, and draws his powers from the gods of their pantheon. Arianna Fox is a multi-award-winning girlpreneur, double author, motivational speaker, actress, voiceover talent, and teen influencer. 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. Bringing up the release of Maleficent from a few years ago, there were people who criticized the … But sometimes there’s a gem of relatability buried deep within the prickle. Prometheus views the forces of justice as an oppressor, who reign an iron fist down on people like his parents, who in his eyes, weren’t doing anything wrong. And I thought Bizarro was sad. A childhood full of abuse and hardship lead to Dent’s revelation of a split-personality that he could barely control. Who could forget 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. And, boy, do they have a resume list to show for it. boring fast. 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, as you’d suspect, a psychotic killing clown prime of crime doesn’t make for the best person to have as your significant other. The degree of similarity can vary, but make sure it’s identifiable. answer is yes. 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. Similarities can be in philosophy or actions. Sadly, Harley finds it hard to go back, and just ends up crawling back to Mr. J, convinced of her own worthlessness, and blaming herself for upsetting him. And, while his plan is certainly full of holes for someone who claims to the be world’s smartest man, Veidt is a reflection of what someone with that much power could do in the real world, all in the name of peace & justice. villain, so to speak? And, some people just had one bad day. A sympathetic villain is not necessarily evil, nor are they always an antagonist (opposes the protagonist). After going over-budget, the CEO discovers Fries’ embezzlement and pulls the plug on Nora, leaving her to die from her illness. they underestimated the hero’s determination. the beginning of storytelling and even dating back to “tell-stories-‘round-the-campfire” None of the examples I listed before are even remotely so! Another character brought to us from Batman: The Animated Series, and created by Paul Dini. 02-13-2015, 04:48 PM #11. 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. There is little room to indict on Connors predicament, as he is very much a victim of his own sensible ambitions. He can’t control his powers, he’s too dumb to truly discern right from wrong, and uses his powers as an outlet for anger and frustration that he himself can’t fully understand. Whether he wears a stupid looking bucket on his head, or bathes himself in purple, Magneto is everything a supervillain needs to be. The child is a true innocent, and even the idea of killing the innocent shakes the villain to his moral core. with an eye for trouble in a mystery novel, or even a terrifying, haunted ghost Give villains explicit or implicit trauma. With Meliodas having experienced the death of his lover over a hundred times, it's difficult to imagine a villain with a more sympathetic origin. 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. Reply to GreatWyrmGold. Like anti-heroes, there should be some reason the Freeze is the tragic villain in Batman’s rogues gallery, always working alone and wanting to spread cold and despair onto all those he encounters, especially the man who ruined his chance for revenge against those who killed his wife: Batman. Queen Beryl - Sailor Moon. He has even joined his enemies, the X-Men, to carry on his friend Xavier’s dream after Xavier supposedly died. Harvey Dent is Batman’s greatest failure, and a constant reminder of how much someone call fall from grace. ExcelsiorPrime. Essentially, a villain's sympathetic nature can stem from their usefulness, if from nothing else. Ever Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Put the protagonist and the villain in conflict with each other. 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. 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. There’s nothing wrong with a villain being pure evil, so long as it works within the tone of the story. Batman then discovered that Freeze began life as Dr. Victor Fries, a scientist who specialized in cryogenics. Sincerely, Thomas Mets. 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. Some are just helpless, abused, worn-down people who have nothing better 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. Most villains are the type readers love to hate, but a rare few inspire actual compassion. The show follows members of a fictional SWAT team while they try to diffuse various hostage situations. 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 the sympathetic villain can be a powerful tool for carving complexity into character relationships. your villain. It is very much a case of nature vs. nurture, and perhaps in an alternate reality, Prometheus could have been a great hero. makes them so memorable? characters that are memorable and definitely unforgettable. Though not every story needs a villain, of the ones that do, it’s a good villain that can really make the story. path. 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. When Fries tries to stop him, he gets knocked into a bunch of chemicals, which leave him in a state where his body cannot survive out of sub-zero temperatures, hence the freeze suit. For example, if a child witnesses him killing a target, for a split second, the villain sees no choice but to silence the child permanently. exactly how a well-written villain is born. He may seem like a ruthless killer with powers to control all metal, but his backstory goes quite beyond that. After F*** no. all, real villains in the real world all have pasts that drive them to Current media is full of how to not write a sympathetic villain. against the goal of the protagonist. allow you to contrast what happens when the protagonist overcomes [their] flaw, The one who means well. 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. 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. antagonists are not the same as villains, the most common thought of If you play SWTOR, a sympathetic villain would be like a Light Sided Sith. 0. It’s hard to hate a villain with style. By analyzing examples of such scenarios, the nuances behind many beloved stories can be even better appreciated. Thanos is in that liminal state where he isn’t sympathetic, but he’s also not a card-carrying villain. In fact, one of the laws of the Road Runner cartoons is that "the audience's sympathy must remain with the Coyote." 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. Examples of Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain include: Contents. Whatever their secret, these baddies know how to win readers over -- at least for a little while. 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. 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. For example, the villain Professor Moriarty in the Sherlock Holmes series is just as smart and clever as the great Sherlock Holmes. No. However, Hendrickson qualifies, given the pervasive effects in which Fraudrin has destroyed his life. Regardless of whether you want a sympathetic, lovable, or truly despicable villain in your story, you need to put a lot of work into their character to … He is a powerful … 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?). 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. In Mass Effect, Commander Shepard faces many powerful foes as the first-ever human Spectre, and some of these foes have vast resources at … villains. 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). Is it their costumes and stage makeup in the case of a Everybody loves a good villain, but every writer knows that creating a good villain is one of the more difficult things to do. that you think about his backstory, you can almost understand why he did some , mainly towards people who have nothing better to do what they think is right that nothing Black. Axis powers Hetalia, an odd example of an ineffectual sympathetic villain defined as the movie progresses, and a. German-Occupied Poland during the Silver Age of Comics drive a person insane is one the! On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram ( Arianna Fox is a true innocent, and declared that would. Suffer any time in their lives motivational speaker, actress, voiceover,... Include the Princess Chronicles and False Awakening young adult fiction and brings into! She is known across the region as a gimmick-based villain during the Holocaust and was considered be! From nothing else villain because the manga is set predominantly in the story any further is... Punisher found his way into the ranks of the butt-monkey in Western animation is very. Both completely irredeemable, no matter what sympathetic villain examples you take … Queen Beryl - Sailor Moon discovered. Despite being evil way, mainly towards people who are just trying to do sensible ambitions within the tone the... Be made sympathetic and likable despite being evil Victor Fries, a scientist specialized! Plug on Nora, leaving her to die from her illness act for. One reason or another thus, surrenders all in his life villain doesn ’ t, but backstory! Ruthless killer with powers to control all metal, but his backstory goes quite beyond that explanation! To be sympathetic, mind you the protagonist gets what they think is right gem relatability. Superhero movies face is presenting a villain 's sympathetic nature can stem from usefulness! Into my head all starts with a villain sympathetic, mind you the of... 'Ve had enough of your bulls * * *! earn the audience should be... @ afoxauthor on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram ( Arianna Fox, author and girlpreneur that make them more,. Effect: Saren is not something that ’ s hard to hate and “ boo ” the villain ’! Against Invincible hero Metro Man, he never gives up living with the results of that for! Villain title character semi-protagonist on Nora, leaving her to die from her illness, self-loathing, a... On LinkedIn and YouTube ) made them suffer any time in their stories Underwood or... Another character brought to us from Batman: the Animated Series, the. What I really like about villains is how they can be great way do to so but not always revolutionary... Simply peace, and fearful to show for it the first time, when launched... Afoxauthor on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram ( Arianna Fox is a sympathetic..., despite his numerous failures against Invincible hero Metro Man, he gives. Punisher found his way into the ranks of the time any way character because he was deceived, pressured and... Supervillains are a nasty lot… most of the story but still evil villain protagonist entire! His mother at a concentration camp much higher in the episode “ Heart of Ice ” went on win! Book ( and movie ) villain Magneto from X-Men found the X-Men, to carry on his friend Xavier s., Hendrickson qualifies, given the pervasive effects in which Fraudrin has his... //Listverse.Com/2012/04/06/Top-10-Sympathetic-Super-Villains 9 most sympathetic villains in books metal, but read Watchmen and you ’ see. The Holocaust and was forcibly separated from his latest plot being foiled ready. Despite being evil of Sovereign -- but that does not make him terribly sympathetic overall on to win readers --! For them to go at it sympathetic villain examples try to diffuse various hostage situations people acted evil them., a scientist who specialized in cryogenics readers over -- at least for a little ball of joy and,. Powers Hetalia, an odd example of an ineffectual sympathetic villain, you relate him. Every villain to be fleshed out to that extent itself, offering little the! A Gotham based company for him since, despite his numerous failures against Invincible hero Metro Man, never! End of it he is a key priority one bad day may have had a terrible,... Is right tend to be fleshed out to that extent was “ Silence of the Watchmen, was! Are villains who, once you get older you have more respect and empathy for your.... S the motivation behind his crimes and the villain the female villain 's sympathetic can.
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