The grim, volatile foe of the protagonist, who, through a series of inexplicable events up to and including attempted murder, gains grudging respect for said hero/heroine (and may even save them
) and goes from intolerable ass
to tolerable ass.
They usually never measure up in a crisis and ofttimes end up sacrificing their lives (Redemption Equals Death
) so everybody else can have Character Development
. Unless they're a Dark Magical Girl
. Frequently a Foil
for the hero, showing what he could have become
Usually begins the series with a leg up
on The Hero
If fate is unkind, they may be the Butt Monkey
version, the Unknown Rival
. If they start out as an Aloof Ally
, a Heel Face Turn
can be expected somewhere down the line. Occasionally a regular villain might go through a similar process and become a Friendly Enemy
. Will probably lead to Foe Romance Subtext
Often subject to an Embarrassing Rescue
. Might turn evil
. On the other hand, the rival might develop a genuine friendship
with the hero. If the character in question is also a bit of a rebel
, then expect some bad posture and a tendency to lean against things
. Compare with the Arch-Enemy
and Sitcom Arch-Nemesis
, which may or may not overlap and The Lancer
, with a similar personality but on the side of The Hero
. Could one of the Opposed Mentors
. See also Fandom Rivalry
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- In the Back Story of James Swallow's Warhammer 40000 Deus Encarmine, Rafen and Sachiel were rivals. Lends an edge to their clashes, and their Foil status.
- Sammael of The Wheel of Time turned to the dark side because he was jealous of his rival (the former incarnation of the protagonist).
- Demandred has essentially the same motivation, but much, much stronger- he was born (birth name Barid Bel Medar) one day after Lews Therin Telamon (aforementioned prior incarnation) and his life followed that pattern from there on, with him being second to Lews Therin in almost every way, including skill with magic, political success, good looks, and even height. They even both courted the same woman, but she preferred Lews Therin. Then the War of Power broke out, and Barid Bel found out he was better than Lews Therin at one thing- war. Unfortunately, the powers that be made Lews Therin their top general anyway, and that final straw snapped Barid Bel's mind completely so that he became obsessessed with killing Lews Therin and joined the Shadow to better accomplish it, changing his name to Demandred in the process and quickly becoming its most feared general note . In the last book of the series, Rand (who now has memories of his life as Lews Therin back) reflects on how he encouraged this rivalry and expresses regret that he drove Demandred to madness and evil when he could have been one of the greatest heroes of the age- had he not been born at the same time as Lews Therin.
- In Aaron Allston's Galatea in 2-D, Kevin's attitude toward Roger and Donna.
- In Robert E. Howard's "The Scarlet Citadel," Conan the Barbarian rescues Pelias, rival to Evil Sorcerer Tsotha-lanti.
- Tower of God - Novick sees himself as a rival of Koon's half-brother Ran, who in turn sees him as nuisance.
- In Faeries Landing, Miranda (Medea) hates Fanta and frequently tries to one-up her, but Fanta really doesn't care much. Also, Yuri sees Fanta as a rival for Ryang's affections.
- Yeong In from Hot Blooded Woman.
- For Lotto, Aradon in ''Yureka.
- Ah-ra towards Ma-ri for Jae-min's affections in Orange Marmalade.
- Captain Gamer's nemesis (Czar Gamer) regularly swings from friendly rival to bitter enemy and back again.
- In Sluggy Freelance, Lord Horribus considered himself to be Torg's rival, though Torg didn't take this too seriously for much of the series. After Horribus killed Alt-Zoe, Torg still denied him the chance for a final showdown.
- Bun-Bun also has a Rival in the form of Santa Claus, who tries to kill him each Christmas. An odd version of the trope, since Bun-Bun is a sociopath, and Santa is generally portrayed as a decent (if slightly obsessed) guy just trying to see that justice is done.
- Lance has a rival in Gold Coin Comics named Blake, who has traits from Seifer in FFVIII.
- Sixx and Butterfly, and to an extent Ginger and Laura in Collar 6.