Villain Playing Hero YKTTW Discussion

Villain Playing Hero
As far as the villain is concerned, he's the hero of the tale and the heroes are the villains
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(permanent link) added: 2013-03-02 00:40:35 sponsor: DrakeClawfang (last reply: 2013-03-05 02:00:19)

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"Everyone is the hero of his own life story"

This villain isn't your Card-Carrying Villain or Classic Villain, but he's not simply Necessarily Evil or a Well-Intentioned Extremist either. In the eyes of this villain, they are The Hero. The actions they perform and the goal they seek are the right path, the characters that stand in their way are the true villains that need to be put down, and they will be recognized as a hero when they emerge victorious. They may or may not have merit in this way of thinking, but it's what they think.

What separates this type of character from a straight Hero Antagonist is that this type of villain is not merely opposed to the heroes but has altruistic goals, they are still objectively evil. They do things that are clearly wicked and ammoral and pursue goals of the same quality, but the villain just doesn't see themselves as evil. They may be misguided, their personal sense of morality may be skewed, or they may be slightly insane, but they really think they are doing the right thing when they are doing evil.

Subtrope of Anti-Villain and cousin to the Hero Antagonist, where the villain really is a good guy that merely opposes the heroes. Compare Well-Intentioned Extremist, Knight Templar and Necessarily Evil, when the villain does evil in the name of good. See also Unintentionally Sympathetic and Rooting for the Empire, which may occur if viewers agree with the villain and want to see them win instead of the heroes.



  • Tai Lung of Kung Fu Panda wants the Dragon Scroll he believes is rightfully his, and that Shifu betrayed him after building up his dreams and letting Oogway reject him.

Video Games

  • In Final Fantasy VIII, Seifer grew up watching films about Sorceresses who tried to bring peace to the land and were protected by Sorceress Knights, and it was his dream to be such a Knight. He seizes the chance when this occurs in the game, becoming Sorceress Edea's bodyguard and deciding Squall and SeeD are enemy mercenaries he has to protect her from.
  • The Knights Templar in the Assassin's Creed series. Best summed up by the "Reason You Suck" Speech Warren Vidic delivers to Assassin Desond Miles in Assassin's Creed III:
    Vidic: We want to help the world, Desmond. To save it from itself! But you keep getting in the way. All our hard work, ruined! You're a fanatic! All your kind. Maintaining the erroneous belief that we are evil. That the work we do is wrong. We enrich lives here! We save and transform them! But you... you just keep taking... and taking what isn't yours.
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