When the villain’s plan is vague and shadowy, the audience can fill in the blanks with whatever most scares them. The sympathetic villain is one of Blizzard Entertainment’s favorite tropes to use in its epic fantasy and sci-fi games. Once the big bad realizes strike force #2 deliberately didn’t come back and must have failed, they still don’t know much damage strike force #2 did, or if they even found the heroes. Villains like the Master and Davros don’t just show them their plan to boast about how they can’t be stopped, they recognise that the Doctor is likely the only person who would be able to appreciate how clever they are to be able to enact it in the first place (Journey’s End is a Good example, where Davros delights in the Doctor’s recognition as he realises what his super-weapon actually does). Even if the villain has plenty of qualified applicants lining up for the lieutenant’s job, it should be clear that the lieutenant actually made poor choices. The adage goes that everyone is the hero of their own story, even the villain. GET 2 MONTHS OF SKILLSHARE PREMIUM FOR FREE! In Return of the Jedi, Palpatine dresses like an evil emperor because he has no need to downplay his evilness for Luke. Not all villains have to be sympathetic, of course. Expect the victim to have been an asshole. How’s it going to go wrong and how will they innovate their way out?… and the reason you pretty much never heard Hannibal tell the whole plan to the A-Team before the Work Montage and then the insane plan was executed (no wonder he loved it when a plan came together– his always did, because the audience never found out what it was before the bad guys did! Let’s explore new ways to write villains and step away from these villain tropes. Are you there any villain tropes you’re tired of? Monologue get is less overblown when half the plan involves the satisfaction of gloating. A second option is to use the killing of a lieutenant to show that the villain is unraveling. May or may not be Unintentionally Sympathetic. But most damningly, Deucalion’s pack of werewolves only numbered four to begin with. This makes the show’s main villains feel impotent and robs the conflict of any tension because, no matter what Angel does, he never faces any retribution. It is so much more satisfying when the hero Understands the plan rather than having it explained to them. No one gets up in the morning and decides to look evil. Me: *thinking it over* Dangit! Feminists and Romance Fans: Let’s Fight Our Common Enemy. And someone who is intelligent and competent, but also completely focused on one goal and unscrupulous enough (which should be another characteristics of a good villain), will not be reasoned with and do whatever they deem necessary. https://skl.sh/jenna22This video was sponsored by Skillshare. In realist writing, villains need to be at least a little relatable (a little sympathetic) in order to be believable. The Shogun is actively hunting Isheen & Azure, but doesn’t realize just how much of a threat they are so its solely for their crimes of killing some of his soldiers, and everyone else has to figure out his empires schemes on their own. Ran’s villain is literally her own family who tout the importance of :Loyalty to family” and due to her being an ideal member 80% of the time, just killing her for some disobedience or outside friendships would look bad. For #3, I’d love to see an example that goes full-on Bond-villain stupid, explains the entire plan to the captured hero halfway into the story… And then when said hero inevitably escapes, their counters to that fully-explained, plausible plan set up the stuff the villain *actually* needs for their real plan (like moving troops away from the real target to protect the fake one), so the hero has to scramble desperately to stop the villain. But once the plan is known, it can lose a lot of its threat. Instead of a villain who meets the hero and is enamored at first sight, the villain should have a deep-seated motivation. This kind of thing easily leads into Anti-Villain when more than a smidgen of these tropes is added. This was a fantastic post, kudos on the breakdown and examples, it was all so well done! At first, he pretends he’s just into her, but it quickly becomes clear that Kira is a symbol to him of the entire Bajoran people. This obsession should be directly related to the villain’s goals, not a distraction from them. However, in my latest reread of the LOTR trilogy I found it hard to brush past the clearly racially inclined descriptions Tolkien has for his characters. The novel focuses mostly on Paulo doing an uneventful environmental survey and drinking beer. Before I kill you, Mr. Bond… Actually, how about I just kill you? © 2021 Mythcreants LLC, all articles, art, recordings, and stories are the copyright of their respective authors. When you buy through these links, Book Riot may earn a commission. They had a strong brotherly bond that the Agent was so hurt when the Hero left the Roundheads after becoming disillusioned with Cromwell and his politics. Player: Ha! Sympathetic villain The sympathetic villain is one with the typical traits of a villainous character but differs in their motivations. The progatonist from "The Brain That Wouldn't Die" (as seen on TV's Mystery Science Theater 3000) is also the main villain.We're not supposed to notice at first, but given his first few lines of dialogue it's rather like staring at the sun.. The best subversion of #3 is “I did it thirty-five minutes ago” You get the satisfaction of Veidt explaining his plans and motivation and totally owning the heroes regardless. When the villain kills their lieutenant, they slam the door shut. VILLAIN: That’s it? A villain’s competence is vital to the story because the villain provides opposition. The Hobbits, sometimes described as ruddy, are always white. Villainy is a profession loaded with tropes. But for storytellers who are prepared to dive deep into the nuts and bolts, many bad tropes can be turned into an advantage. He created a whole new world with languages and folklore and yet he, with his brilliant mind, fell prey to one of the most dangerous villain tropes. Many stories wouldn’t get very far if the villain killed the hero at the first opportunity, so this trope is not without value. Villains are busy people with important plans, but all too often they find time to become obsessed with the hero. (A Tragic Villain could become such if they lose their sympathetic traits or take actions that overwhelm said traits.) *Spoilers* The climax of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a perfect example. Or maybe death is too good for the hero, and they must be left alive until their spirits are properly crushed. Your exemple in “Teen Wolf” is misplaced, since that season’s villain explained that the more pack members he kills the stronger he becomes. Recently, it’s seemed like every other storyline has been about someone’s big plan to get the Doctor, and I far prefer the wanderer who breaks in on situations like a living deux ex machina. Snape might as well have been wearing a T-shirt that said “Hi, I’m a Death Eater spying for Voldemort! 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