Villains

Analysis

Five More Underpowered Antagonists

A bird of prey exploding, from footage used in both Undiscovered Country and Generations.

Antagonists need to be threatening so they can provide tension. If the story doesn’t have tension, then the conflict isn’t interesting, and the audience will get bored in a hurry. Storytellers have many tools at their disposal to make bad guys more threatening, but there … read more »

Analysis

Six Reasons the Fire Nation Is Such a Good Villain

Toph, Suki, and Sokka in a Fire Nation airship.

While individual villains will always be important, villainous organizations really propel a story to the next level. They allow for conflict on a vast scale, not to mention giving the antagonist a pocketful of minions to throw at the hero. Storytellers can also use villainous organizations … read more »

Writing

When to Narrate a Villain’s Point of View

Through a doorway, Barty Crouch Jr kneels by Voldemort's char

Most writers know that their important protagonists should have the lion’s share of viewpoint scenes. However, some stories need another point of view to communicate information the protagonists don’t know. Often, that point of view comes from the primary antagonist. Unfortunately, using a villain’s point … read more »

Analysis

Five Underpowered Antagonists

Loki on the ground after being beaten up by the Hulk.

While not all antagonists are full villains, they all provide opposition to the protagonists. It’s their job to drive the story’s conflict, and to do that job well, it must feel like they can defeat the heroes. One reason we remember the likes of Darth Vader and … read more »

Storytelling

Crafting a Redemption Arc for Your Villain

Character change brings a lot to our stories, but the more dramatic the change, the harder it is to craft. That’s why arcs that transition characters between good and evil are some of the most difficult but also the most rewarding. Previously, I’ve covered arcs … read more »

Storytelling

Five Tropes That Make a Villain Look Incompetent

Villainy is a profession loaded with tropes. From the evil speech to the climactic duel against the hero, villainous behavior has been tweaked and refined through the ages. Unfortunately, some of these tropes make the villain look incompetent. They invoke eye-rolling from the audience and destroy tension in the … read more »

Podcast

122 – Redeeming a Villain

The Mythcreant Podcast

Everyone loves a villain. Sometimes we love villains so much we want them to be heroes. But how best to redeem them? Should they even be redeemed? Join us this week for a discussion on what goes into flipping a character from team bad to … read more »

Podcast

115 – Surprise Villains

The Mythcreant Podcast

Which one of the hosts will turn out to be evil this week? Surprise, none of us are villains! Or perhaps we all are, since we threw in spoilers for Shield and Child of Light without any warning. How rude. This week, we talk about … read more »

Storytelling

How to Realistically Depict Evil

Darth Vader and Luke from Empire Strikes Back

Evil is a difficult subject for storytellers. The over saturation of works like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, where evil celebrates itself with cartoonish glee, has caused many storytellers to eschew the idea of true evil in their work. Shades of grey* seem … read more »

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