Villains are a key part of any story- although more accurately what we mean by that is antagonists, effectively the conflict needed for a story to work. Below are some examples of different types of villains (WARNING- Some spoilers.)
Let’s go over each example one by one, to help you create your own villains. We also help regular fan Elie Renard Delisle Lafortune develop his own villain in this video-
These should be scary, with no real elements of sympathy. Often they tend to be the dark inversion of the hero, or represent a terrible opposite to them. For example, Captain Planet is a hero who represents conservation and the environment, so it makes sense that his villains reflect destruction and lack of care.
Sometimes a villain is a bit more complex- they say they want one thing, but in addition there is a subtext alongside that. For example, Scar in The Lion King says he wants to be king, but equally it is not hard to see that a lot of it comes from unresolved childhood resentment and envy, and that the desire for power is as much to prove a point as it is the power itself.
Broadly speaking I would put henchmen in this category- essentially they are the ones that do the heavy lifting for the villain. A good example of this would be Bebpop and Rocksteady in the Ninja Turtles series. In our case, Caramel Girl and Insect Girl often fill that role, serving Mega Fox’s requirements as he puts a plan in place.
A hero, comic relief or villain can all be tricksters- in the case of Reynard City we have a couple of characters that come under this category. Warp King is the gatekeeper between the dimensions, but you can’t always be sure where his loyalties lie, while Temptress uses her manipulation skills to get what she wants (btw I also include “twist” villains in this category, such as in some recent Disney films.)
For a time William Atherton cornered the market in bureaucratic antagonists- not outright villains, but the embodiment of “just doing my job.” Ironically in the case of Ghostbusters the person who’s job it is to protect the environment ultimately does the most damage. This character can be very clichéd so it’s important to think of how to portray them.
Sometimes the environment itself is the antagonist- in this instance the idea is that the protagonist has to take on this change in the environment, often failing to warn authorities as it happens. This can work well, but again it is important to be wary of stock clichés with this kind of story, and to show protagonists progressing as they fight against the situation.
This is where a villain redeems themselves at the end of a story- there are a lot of examples, such as Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2 and Jaws in the James Bond franchise. Ultimately the idea is they realise the error of their ways and do something heroic at the end, though ideally this should not be at the expense of the protagonist.
Finally the sympathetic villain. Essentially we understand their motives, even if we do not agree with their actions. General Hummel in The Rock is a great version of this, due to the fact his motivation is to support the families of soldiers that he felt did not get their due.
If you would like to know any more about writing villains, please comment below. Once again, massive thanks to our sponsors and Patreon backers who keep this project going, there will be a big update on this tomorrow!