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Weekly Discussion Thread Week 1: Villains Soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 6967

Welcome to the weekly discussion thread! This week’s topic is Villains (Mwah-hah-hah!).
Villains are a specific type of antagonist, but they also come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. They can be psychotic, cruel, or simply misdirected. They typically play a major role in whatever story they’re in, and in many cases the villain can make or break a story.
>What are the most defining aspects of a good villain?
>What types of villains do you tend towards, whether reading them or writing them?
>What are some things to avoid in creating a villain?
Feel free to discuss the topic below. Responding to each other’s answers/questions is highly encouraged, but do be respectful!

FullmetalPony 6969

File: 1375502331075.jpg (Spoiler Image,156.44 KB, 867x922, crocpony.jpg)

Well, if we're talking about an all out villain and not a tragic on (see Nightmare Moon) I'd say a sense of irredeemability is a defining trait that shows them in a contemptible light no matter what they do.

Hidden for One Piece fans like the image
Take Crocodile's teamup with Luffy. It's not a sense of alliance but rather that Crocodile is still a monstrous human being that could easily turn on Luffy in a second, but he's so badass while he does it that you're both sickened by his actions and impressed by his skills.

The other aspect I like is they're not just a villain, they're motivated into action. For as much as the hero struggles to prevail, the villain works to succeed in the own plan. I especially enjoy when a villain's goal drives them so much that the hero starts as just a nuisance that builds and builds and pushes the villain to more and more drastic action that hopefully leads to an epic climax (ex. Chrysalis)

Given that, I try very hard to avoid making my villains the antagonist just because they're evil. It's why I Sombra so much because his villainy comes off more as a force of nature or a wild animal than a menacing villain. Yes, in the past he's shown being brutal and his failsafes in the Crystal Kingdom are intriguing, but they're diminished by his appearance as a literal shadow that looms over the Kingdom. Yeah, that's a little scary, but not in the same direct way Chrysalis, Discord, and Nightmare Moon were presented.

Sagebrush!neT57iwtRU 6970

I like a villain that can sway me towards their point of view, or, even better, that I might not recognize as a villain in the first place. Failing that, I like a villain that can at least make me laugh.

I suspect that a common theme in this thread will be that a villain should have motivations beyond being evil, so I'm going to preempt that a bit by saying it depends on what kind of story one is reading/trying to tell. A hammy ne'er-do-well might fit perfectly in a comedy. For example, Mojo Jojo. Bits of development are nice at times, but I think characters like that really hit their stride in their setting when they're being over-the-top jerks.

As for what makes a good villain, I'm not going to try to pin that down. They could be entirely detestable, like the internet tells me GoT's Joffrey Baratheon is, or they could be sympathetic, like Watchmen's Ozymandias. What I think is important is memorability, though there are many roads towards that end.

Anonymous 6971

I believe the best villains are the ones that recognize the threat that the hero poses to their own goals, and respects that threat, never to be consumed by his own ego and megalomaniac schemes.

Or whatever schemes a writer happens to give them.

Mainly, I think what makes a good villain is giving meaning to their face, rather than just inserting one for the hell of it.

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