Villains deserve just as much characterization as heroes. Without it, the story becomes laughingly dull. But it’s often hard to make a character that’s both evil and believable. This tutorial will give you various examples of effective villains, including one I made up, and hopefully make the process a little easier.
You need to give your villain a method for their madness. Nobody is going to believe that they burnt down the king’s castle and killed everyone inside just because they felt like it. There has to be a bigger reason. Examples include:
- Revenge plot
- Power hungry
- Superiority complex
- Lashing out because of a tragic past
- Born into evil and knows no different
- Just hates everyone
There could be multiple reasons in the same villain, or there could be just one. Look at these villains and try to determine which reason, or reasons, they have for being evil.
Ashnard (Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance)
Prince Ashnard was pretty much a jerk who wanted things his way or the highway. He knew that the laguz (humans that transform into animals) chose leaders based on strength alone. This was a big difference from the politics that his people used, and he liked that idea better. So he killed his father to become king, and commanded the royal army to invade a neighboring nation.
When the world was young, a dark god caused a flood that almost resulted in the end of all life. But a divine goddess ended the flood and sealed the dark god’s spirit away. The goddess then warned that if the world were to ever be engulfed in savage war and chaos again, the dark god’s spirit would break free. Ashnard’s reasoning for starting the war was this: release the dark god, and remake the world so that power overrides authority.
The Sorceress (Spyro: Year of the Dragon)
The Sorceress lived in a world whose magic was fading more and more every day. Long ago, dragons lived there. But when they left, they took the world’s magic with them.
She wasn’t going to let that happen, so she stole 150 dragon eggs and brought them to her world, intending to drain the draclings’ magic so she could live forever. While restoring magic to a world seems innocent enough, she is a villain because of the cruel method she chose. A dragon with no magic is a dead dragon, after all.
Cyrus (Pokemon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum)
As a child, Cyrus was never very social. He preferred to be around machines rather than people. Fast forward to adulthood, and he’s the leader of a group called Team Galactic. Team
Galactic steals Pokemon from their trainers, and generally causes trouble everywhere.
Cyrus’ purpose for Team Galactic is to create a new world, one without emotion and spirit. We never find out exactly why, but my best guess is that he had a tragic childhood or something. Sometimes plot holes can actually be good things though! They make excellent fanfic ideas…
Nyra (Guardians of Gahoole)
In a world of owls, there is a sinister organization known as the Pure Ones. The Pure Ones are a group of barn owls who view themselves as better than all the other types of owls. Picture the Nazis of the Holocaust as owls, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what the Pure Ones are.
Nyra was born and raised in the Pure Ones. She, like all the others in the organization, aims to dominate the owl world.
Onetooth (Valenon Saga)
Years ago, vampire packs lived all over the world. The three races (vampires, humans, elves) lived their lives in the same areas with minimal conflict. But when a rogue vampire started attacking humans and elves without any mercy whatsoever, that all changed. Armies of humans and elves fought back. They forced the packs off their lands. The packs that willingly moved got away without a scratch, but the packs that refused to move disappeared forever.
Onetooth is the daughter of the one responsible for the vampires’ spoiled reputation. She got her scar at the age of three, when her psychopath father slashed her face with a knife as a punishment for disobeying. Her left fang never grew in, which is how she got her nickname. She runs a group of rogues(not loyal to any pack)who are bent on getting the old land back and destroying all opposition.
I hope this helped. Have fun creating that badass villain :)