What are some examples of great antagonists

antagonist

The antagonist is the opponent of the protagonist in a story or a fan fiction.

General [edit | Edit source]

Often the antagonist is a main character and has a similar focus as the protagonist. It is even possible, if the writer wants it, that the antagonist is the real protagonist.

It is possible that there are several antagonists, as with protagonists, however, a high number may lead to some of the antagonists becoming unintentional secondary characters.

But it is just as possible to write a story completely without an antagonist. Especially in love stories, dramas and other stories from genres that are mainly about relationships, there is no character who can be identified as an antagonist.

Types of antagonists Edit source]

As with the protagonist, there are also some stereotypes with antagonists that can be used for orientation or with which they can be classified into categories:

The great evil Edit source]

This antagonist stands for everything that goes bad. He is the final obstacle for the protagonist, without which he cannot find happiness. He is usually not present at the beginning of a story, except through the influences of his actions on the protagonist (s). The protagonist only rises to the level of his opponent in the course of the story and then confronts (and usually defeats) him in the finale. This antagonist usually cannot be saved and must therefore be killed. Only one great bad guy can appear in a story, but it is possible that after he is destroyed in the sequel, a new great bad guy will take his place.

A premature confrontation between this character and the protagonist usually ends with the latter's defeat. In doing so, he is either caught (whereupon he later escapes), rescued or can just escape.

Another peculiarity of the great evil is that it has subordinates who can represent their own kind of antagonist.

Examples of "The Big Bad" are: Voldemort from "Harry Potter", or Galbatorix from "Eragon"

The Minion [edit | Edit source]

This antagonist never appears alone, but is the appendage of an antagonist from the category "The Great Evil". He is subordinate to this, voluntarily or involuntarily, and is responsible for taking care of the "minor problems".

As a rule, the protagonist will meet increasingly strong opponents of this group in the course of the story and through the fight with them will achieve the strength / wisdom that is necessary to defeat the great antagonist.

When there are multiple minions, they often have relationships and hierarchies with one another. So it is possible that a Minion defeated by the protagonist had another Minion as a friend, who now wants to avenge him and thus becomes the protagonist's new enemy. It can also be that a minion temporarily allies itself with the protagonist in order to get rid of another protagonist as a rival.

Minions are either killed, but in some cases can switch sides or flee to survive or avoid punishment.

Antagonists in this category are usually supporting characters and only in very rare cases main characters.

Examples of minions are: The Death Eaters from "Harry Potter", or the Ginyu Sonderkommando from DragonBallZ.

The little evil Edit source]

This antagonist is a mix of the previous two types. It is not big and important enough to be the big bad, but is not subject to any big bad either, but is inherently hostile.

Small baddies can coexist with several side by side and / or a big bad guy and his minions. As with the minions, intentional or unintentional partner or enmity can arise or exist, which can lead to various consequences. (An example would be a love affair between a little bad guy and a Minion, causing the Minon to break away from his master.)

Examples of "The Little Evil" are: Umbridge from "Harry Potter" or most of the super villains in Marvel or DC-Commics

The opponent [edit | Edit source]

In contrast to the previous antagonists, the opponent has the same goal as the protagonist. He appears above all in romantic love stories or dramas. In order to achieve his goal he is usually ready for anything and does not shy away from dirty methods. Most of the time the opponent is in a worse position (e.g. the rejected suitor of love interest who feels drawn to the protagonist) either due to external circumstances or past mistakes.

Another topic that is frequently taken is that, as soon as he realizes the hopelessness of his endeavor, he resorts to violence, sabotage or other methods to prevent a happy ending for the protagonist.

Examples of the opponent are: Shampoo from "Ranma 1/2"

The rival Edit source]

The rival is similar to the adversary in that he pursues the same goal as the protagonist. In contrast to this, however, the rival is usually not ready to be unfair. He usually takes the view that an illegitimate victory is not worth calling a victory. The rival is often there, alongside the minions and the little bad guys, to prepare the protagonist for the confrontation with the big bad guy. He is often used to give the protagonist the first defeats, since he is the only antagonist who does not want to harm the hero himself.

It often happens that the rival and protagonist develop respect or even friendship for each other throughout the story. As a result, they will not only not harm each other but also help each other in emergency situations.

Examples of the rival would be: Seto Kaiba from "Yu-Gi-Oh" or Ryoga from "Ranma 1/2"