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Character Cases || The Antagonist

Hi guys! I’m super excited for the second installment of my Character Cases series. You can check out my post on main characters here. The villains, or the antagonists are typically some of my favorite characters. I just love the drama they bring to the story – after all, what is a story without an antagonist? They’re almost essential. Figuring them out is a mystery in an of itself, so without further ado, let’s get into it.

The Cold and Calculating Antagonist

Description: The cold villain is commonly placed in books for younger audiences (although not necessarily always), because they provide a good sense of what the obvious “right” side of the equation is. What we as readers know is that they’re evil, no question about it. Sometimes, the author will delve into the motives for this wickedness, but more often than not, they’re just left alone to be vanquished. When motives are provided, they usually don’t cause too much pity on the reader’s side because of the extreme deeds they have committed.

Traits: Seemingly emotionless, powerful, fear inspiring, sometimes they seem almost invincible.

Examples: Jeanine Matthews from Divergent by Veronica Roth, Hideo from Warcross by Marie Lu, the Darkling from the Grishaverse by Leigh Bardugo and Levana from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

My opinions on this type: I don’t mind this type, in fact, I loved Hideo (in the first book), and Levana’s backstory in Fairest sparked some pity in me. Sometimes they can be a bit basic, but some books don’t need the villain or antagonist to be a huge part of the book other than what they do.

The Trusted Antagonist

Description: The trusted antagonist is an antagonist that seems like they’re on the “good side”, but turns out to be the person the protagonist is fighting against all along. This creates more drama and basically scars the protagonist and the reader from the betrayal (I’m talking from past experience – it hurts!).

Traits: Seemingly on the protagonist’s side but turns out to be bad.

Examples: Godfrey Abelwhite from The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins.

My opinions on this type: These are pretty good, when done well. Some of them are trusted by a character, but not trusted by the reader (like Godfrey), which makes it all the more frustrating for the reader, but it’s good.

The Unknown Antagonist

Description: The unknown antagonist is the person you either didn’t know about or didn’t consider when thinking about the evil deeds they’ve committed. They are commonly found in mysteries, but can be found in other genres as well.

Traits: Secretly masterminding the whole ordeal.

Examples: Monks (Edward Leeford) from Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon and Simon from One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus.

My opinions on this type: It depends. Sometimes I like them (Simon shocked me in One of Us is Lying), or sometimes they’re just there. If it’s a mystery where they pop out of nowhere and I’ve never heard of them before, it can be quite frustrating. I like the ones who are there all along in the background better.

The Antagonist that’s actually the Protagonist

Description: These are currently my favorite type of antagonists. I’m obsessed with writing and reading anything with this type of character. They seem like they’re the protagonist, sometimes even gather followers as the protagonist, but in the end, they’re the antagonist. It causes so much drama and confusion, I love it.

Traits: Not who they say they are.

Examples: Cath from Heartless by Marissa Meyer.

My opinions on this type: I love this type. It just messes with me in such a great way. If you have recommendations for appropriate books with this type, please let me know.

I hope you guys liked this post. I think this is going to be one of my favorite in this series. Who are your favorite villains? What’s your favorite type? Have you thought of a type that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments!

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