Villains and Antagonists, what is the difference?
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Villains and Antagonists, what is the difference?

Villains and Antagonists, what is the difference?


We all watch movies and read books with the bad people in them. However, what makes a character bad? This is often the most confusing part when it comes to writing your characters and you’ll need a clear knowledge of who they. What diverse the two? Villains and Antagonists, what is the difference?


We start with Antagonists


If you look up “Antagonists” in the dictionary, you’ll find this meaning


  1. a person who is opposed to, struggles against, or competes with another; opponent; adversary.
  2. the adversary of the hero or protagonist of a drama or other literary work:


So let’s say your main character is a thief or a serial killer the immediate thought is, he’s evil but that’s what the story focuses on and we as the audience, are following his point of view. He is your main character now, lets’ say the police are looking for him, the police are the good guys in our eyes but they become the antagonists because they want to catch our hero/main character. Antagonists don’t have to be “bad people” they can also be characters that prevent/stop the main character to achieve their desire.




Don’t confuse the antagonists with the antihero. That’s a different thing entirely, for example, Professor Snape in Harry Potter is an anti-hero, Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye is also classed as an antihero.


Antagonists can be a hero. Now in Villains and Antagonists what is the difference?




If you look u this word in the dictionary, you will get this meaning

  1. a cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime; scoundrel.
  2. a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot.



Villains are people you want to run away from. They are despicable, evil, and have no mercy. In their eyes, their mission might appear good but it is not, it causes nothing but destruction and chaos. They must be stopped at all costs. The plot drives them to do terrible things it doesn’t mean we can’t love them though. 


The most famous villains are Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter, Darth Vader (although much adored he is still a villain) or in the new saga Kylo Ren in Star Wars. Sauron and Smaug in Lord of the rings.


Happy writing and reading xx


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