By far the most compelling part of a story is the antagonist. They are reasons for the conflict that our protagonist has to deal with and it leads to adventure, character development, and, overall, just more of an exciting story. In this article I’ll be listing some types of antagonists and what makes them so great.
But before I get to antagonist types I must list what makes an antagonist, an antagonist. An antagonist is a person who opposes someone. In this case a protagonist of a story. An antagonist must first oppose the protagonist otherwise there isn’t any conflict, secondly, they must be stronger than the protagonist at least until the later parts of the story.
Now it is time to get into the varying types of antagonists.
The powerhouse antagonist is the strongest character in the entire story. That can be physically strongest such as Homelander from The Boys, Thanos from Avengers: Infinity War. They can be the strongest in terms of abilities and techniques like Voldemort or Darth Vader. What makes these antagonists so effective is that no one can stand up to them or that it would be near impossible to defeat them. By sheer strength alone they create fear in the eyes of viewers and characters in the story.
The mastermind antagonist is often weaker than the protagonist, but they make up for it in intelligence. They’re able to manipulate the characters in the story whether it’s through charisma and charm or through intimidation and fear. Good mastermind antagonists that come to mind would be The Riddler from The Batman, Johan Liebert from Monster. What makes a mastermind so appealing is their intelligence and or charisma. Also, they are antagonists most people will relate to hating because they face more manipulators than any other type of antagonist in their lives.
-The Force of Nature
The force of nature’s antagonist is unchanging. They are more representatives than characters. They represent specific forces in reality such as chaos, power, gluttony, and so on. Great examples would be The Joker from The Dark Knight, Sauron from The Lord of The Rings. What makes them interesting is their unchanging ways and the way they cause conflict with the protagonist. The way that they embody everything the protagonist would be against is based on the protagonists’ morals.
These to me are some of the most effective antagonists in stories and I personally like these 3 types the most. You could also combine antagonist types such as a powerhouse force of nature and so on. Antagonists are vital to a story, if you fail on the antagonist part, your story is in jeopardy and will most likely not succeed. Pay attention when watching shows or movies about antagonists, chances are you’ll find they’re much deeper than you thought they were.