Created By: neoYTPism on July 17, 2011 Last Edited By: neoYTPism on July 21, 2011

Protagonist-Antagonist Parallels

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Do We Have This One?? Oh, and I'm open to title suggestions.

This is for common ground between protagonists and antagonists in comparison to most other characters in a series... besides being more significant in role than most other characters, that is. (Although often it is precisely because they have such a significant role that they therefore have such traits.)

Often times this will have to do with both sides knowing things that most characters either aren't aware of or are disinclined to believe.

Evil Counterpart may be a subtrope of this in that it is stated to be about similarities in abilities and obstacles in particular, and also that such a character is written for this purpose.

Not to be confused with Not So Different, which is more about the moral distinction between the good guys and the bad guys being argued in-story to be less significant than the good guys are comfortable with.

Examples:

  • Harry Potter has major similarities between the title character and Voldemort; half-blood orphans who grew up amoung muggles (in an environment they hated), were never happy until they came to Hogwarts, had dark hair and their wands were "twins" (since they contained feathers from the same pheonix). They also both spoke parseltongue but that's a side effect of the curse Voldemort put on Harry, since that's an ability unique to him. If any user could provide the exact way it was worded in the book and/or movie, that would be appreciated, as it would make a good page quotation.
  • In Star Wars, or at least in the original trilogy, only the best of the good guys and the worst of the bad guys use the force; nearly everyone in between seems to see it as a mere religion.
  • In The Iron Giant, both Kent and Hogarth make reference to seeing a giant robot, and neither are taken seriously by the people they mention it to; well, earlier on, that is.
Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • July 17, 2011
    UnclGhost
    Star Wars could be extended to more between Luke and Vader, like losing a hand, the whole thing with the Emperor's manipulation, etc.
  • July 17, 2011
    fluffything
    • Both the Heisei (90s) incarnations of Godzilla and King Ghidorah were mutated by radiation, were created by alternating the past (Ghidorah was created as a means to replace the old Godzilla and the Heisei Godzilla was created when he was mutated by nuclear subs in the Bering Sea after his body had been moved in the past), and both end up saving Tokyo from being destroyed by one another (Godzilla fought King Ghidorah to stop him from being used to take over Japan and then Mecha-King Ghidorah was sent to stop Godzilla from destroying Tokyo).
  • July 17, 2011
    EmbracingShadows
  • July 17, 2011
    GinaInTheKingsRoad
  • July 17, 2011
    neoYTPism
    I already clarified the distinction in the description. @ Embracing Shadows

    As for Evil Counterpart, that is stated to be about similarities in abilities and obstacles, and also that a character is written for this purpose. That would be a subtrope of this, but not the same thing. I may as well work that into the description.
  • July 17, 2011
    AmyJade
    Foil Character?

    As you've defined it, this seems too broad and vague to be a good trope.
  • July 18, 2011
    Bisected8
    The common ground between Harry and Voldemort (as noted in the second book) was the fact that they were both; Half-blood orphans who grew up amoung muggles (in an environment they hated), were never happy until they came to Hogwarts, had dark hair and their wands were "twins" (since they contained feathers from the same pheonix). They also both spoke parseltongue but that's a side effect of the curse Voldemort put on Harry, since that's an ability unique to him.

    Although they also called back to this and contrasted them in other ways in the sixth book; Riddle had no doubt he was special and went off to explore diagon ally on his own, while Harry barely believed he was gettign away from the Dursleys and needed Hagrid's guidence the first time around Diagon Ally. Harry wanted friends and hated sticking out while Riddle wanted recognition and hated anything that made him the same as anyone else.
  • July 18, 2011
    pinkdalek
  • July 21, 2011
    neoYTPism
    We'll see @ Amy Jade

    Oh, and thanks for pointing out the further details @ Bisected8

    As for pinkdalek's response, Shadow Archetype doesn't seem to be quite this, as this is more general towards opposite sides sharing traits those in between don't have.
  • July 21, 2011
    Generality
    If I'm right, what you're describing here is a situation where the main protagonists and main antagonists share some trait or ability which no other characters possess. Thus they are connected by this rare trait that is common between them. And this in turn causes them to be Foils for each other, as each has taken the same trait or ability and used or interpreted it to different ends. The core of the story's conflict may well draw from this disagreement of interpretation. There could be something of a trope in this.
  • July 21, 2011
    AmyJade
    ^ Okay, that makes sense.
  • July 21, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    I think you'll want to quote from late in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when Dumbledore explains to Harry why Voldemort chose him over Neville (Harry and Neville were born on the same day, 31 July) as the likely foe meant by the prophecy. Sorry can't find my copy just now.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=9v00o7w5tfiposkkgy8sp11q