Stories have always had conflict, whether it was man vs nature, or even man vs self. Conflict brings about change, and it challenges the hero to greater heights. The most obvious source of conflict in most storylines though, would come from the antagonists.
Traditionally thought of as the evil mastermind, most viewers now have a deeper appreciation of complex characters, and many antagonists today may not necessarily be evil, but simply someone whose actions oppose that of the protagonist, and many a time, a foil to that hero.
In no particular order whatsoever:
Crowley (Supernatural – CW) Played by Mark Sheppard
The King of Hell takes the form of a Scottish tailor who sold his soul to hell for a couple of extra inches below the waist. It’s a very unassuming and humble background for a demon, since you’d expect to be sent to hell for greater things, like genocide and wide-spread devastation. Over the seasons, he’s ascended the throne as King of Hell with no small amount of deception, ruthlessness and treachery to his own kind.
His allegiance to himself, unlike most demons, and desire for self-preservation is actually what gives him an edge in a race of hive-minded beings, ultimately putting him on top of hell’s hierarchy.
Haytham Kenway (Assassin’s Creed 3 – Ubisoft/Assassin’s Creed:Forsaken – Oliver Bowden) Voiced by Adrian Hough
Born an assassin, moulded a Templar, Haytham Kenway is the father of Connor Kenway and the grandmaster of the Templars in America. He’s calculative, he’s calm, and he’s a great deal of sarcasm rolled into a very sassy being, and while his portrayals in the game and the book can be a bit different, he’s nonetheless a very manipulative and dangerous opponent. Charles Lee might have been the most important target in Connor’s books, but there’s no question as to how significant Haytham was to Connor, with his death being one of the major turning points in Connor’s life.
James “Jim” Moriarty (Sherlock – BBC) Played by Andrew Scott
Madman. Egomaniac. Genius. Crimelord. That’s what Moriarty is. Bored with how mundane and predictable the world was, Jim Moriarty sought excitement. With an equal unfound, Moriarty went for dominance instead. You know, the next best thing. “Every fairytale needs a good old fashioned villain,” he tells Sherlock, and that’s exactly how he’s fashioned himself. Still, you can’t help but feel that if you could chip away at that image, there’s a lot more to him than that.
Loki Laufeyson/Odinson (The Avengers; Marvel Cinematic Universe – Marvel Studios) Played by Tom Hiddleston
Ah, the God of Mischief. In Avengers, Loki comes off as a wild maelstrom hidden underneath a façade of classy sleekness. He’s charming, he’s a fair bit more powerful than he was in Thor, and he’s so very angry. He wages war, seeking to dominate Earth with his army, and his lack of compassion for humans is strikingly obvious as he smirks while digging out the eyeball of a German official.
There’s a bit of speculation as to Loki’s motives, with some suggesting that Loki was controlled by a greater evil, and others proposing that Loki’s actions were entirely voluntary. Regardless, what’s evident is contempt and hate for his ‘family’ and a very clear desire for attention, bad or otherwise, from them.
Regina Mills/Evil Queen (Once Upon A Time – ABC) Played by Lana Parrilla
In fairytales as most people know, there’s the hero, there’s a princess who may also be the hero (usually in the case of Disney adaptations), and there’s the cruel Overlord that needs to be defeated. In Once Upon A Time, Regina is that character. She’s the evil Queen who gives Snow White that infamous apple, and she’s behind all sorts of other nefarious things that foil the heroes’ plans. But she’s also a lot more than that. Twisted by revenge, Regina lords over her subjects and controls them with fear, while she grieves for the loss of her lover, and becoming exactly like the one person she swore not to be.
By Chua Yuxuan
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