Last week we used Deborah Chester's method from The Fantasy Fiction Formula to explore heroes. Up this week: the antagonists. The idea is to give them five bad qualities and two good ones, as opposed to five good and two bad qualities for the heroes. I tried to pick villains that everybody loves to hate, but who have depth and motivation for their actions, too. Okay, let's get to work.
Here's a fan favourite: George R. R. Martin's Cersei Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire
+ loves her children
Next we have Baron Harkonnen from Frank Herbert's Dune.
- prone to excess
Here's one from the Mass Effect games: Saren
- superior, in an insulting way
I've been re-watching Babylon 5, and I just couldn't leave out Psi Cop Alfred Bester
+ patient, thinks things through
What about Sauron from Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings? He's often cited as the epitome of the dark lord, thoroughly evil and one-dimensional by modern standards. Would he look like this:
But is that the whole truth? If you look through the appendixes and read The Silmarillion, nuances do start to appear, even a character arc.
On the other had, isn't he an effective villain? I think he is.
And what about monster-type villains like the terminator and the alien hunting Ripley? Not many-faceted, but would anyone argue that they aren't effective as antagonists? Maybe they're in a category of their own?
What do you think?