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Highly sympathetic ones may be [[AntiVillain Anti-Villains]] and [[SortingAlgorithmOfFaceHeelTurning prime candidates for]] [[HeelFaceTurn redemption]], but also [[RedemptionEqualsDeath everything]] [[RedemptionEarnsLife associated]]. Compare to WellIntentionedExtremist, who commits evil actions in hopes of producing good results. Also compare ByronicHero, who is a similarly sympathetic but flawed and morally conflicted character. Overlaps with WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds when their destruction is a result of the extreme mistreatment they have endured. There's also LoveMakesYouEvil, where they act out of villainous actions, due to either losing the ones they love, or have never been loved before.

Contrast CompleteMonster, a villain who is pure evil and devoid of humanizing qualities. (A Tragic Villain could become such if they [[TookALevelInJerkass lose their sympathetic traits]] or [[DisproportionateRetribution take actions that overwhelm said traits]].)

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Highly sympathetic ones may be [[AntiVillain Anti-Villains]] and [[SortingAlgorithmOfFaceHeelTurning prime candidates for]] [[HeelFaceTurn redemption]], but also [[RedemptionEqualsDeath everything]] [[RedemptionEarnsLife associated]]. Compare to WellIntentionedExtremist, who commits evil actions in hopes of producing good results. Also compare

Compare
ByronicHero, who is a similarly sympathetic but flawed and morally conflicted character. Overlaps with WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds when their destruction is a result of the extreme mistreatment they have endured. There's also endured: alternately, LoveMakesYouEvil, where they act out of a character acts in a villainous actions, due to either losing the ones way because they love, lost someone or have something they loved, or simply never been loved before.

had anyone love them to start with.

Contrast CompleteMonster, a villain who is pure evil and devoid of humanizing qualities. (A Tragic Villain could become such if they [[TookALevelInJerkass lose their sympathetic traits]] or [[DisproportionateRetribution take actions that overwhelm said traits]].)
) Not to be confused with the FallenHero (although Fallen Heroes tend to make Tragic Villains, as discussed above) or the TragicHero, where the emphasis is on the character's tragedy rather than their good/evil alignment.

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* Syphile Val'Sarghress is the first antagonist of the series, and a marker for how the story would treat such characters. Initially, a pure antagonist to her younger sister Ariel, it's quickly revealed that their mother Quain'tana treats Syphile exactly as the older girl treats Ariel. She's an awful person, but she was a product of the systems that created her, [[spoiler:and in her death spends her last moments saying that Quain had alienated everyone she had ever loved and would die alone just like her.]]

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* Salem of ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' is revealed to be one in "The Lost Fable"; In the first era of mankind, she was a GirlInTheTower, locked away by her cruel father, until a hero named Ozma came to free her. They fell in love, but the hero died of disease before anything could come of it. Salem petitioned the Two Brothers to bring him back, but they cursed her with CompleteImmortality until she "learned the value of life and death." in return. She raised an army to attack the Brothers in retaliation, but the God of Darkness wiped out humanity, save her. Trapped on an empty planet, she threw herself in the Pools of Grimm hoping they would destroy her; instead, they turned her into a being of destruction with infinite life. After mankind returned (Somehow), the God of Light reincarnated her lover to redeem humanity, with the two falling in love again. But when Ozma and Salem disagreed on how to "unite" humanity, their quarrel spiraled into a ForeverWar that killed their children and resulted in an tragic cycle of hate.

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* Proto Man in Music/TheMegas' ''History Repeating (Red)'' is driven by a deep well of resentment and rage about how Dr Light failed and abandoned him. Combined with his loss of purpose as [[TheHero Mega Man]] has taken his role, he embraces [[TheFatalist fatalism]], concludes he is JustAMachine, and sets out for payback. [[HeelFaceTurn Mega Man eventually convinces him to let go of his anger.]]
-->'''Proto Man:''' They lost me/Forgot me/Made you from parts of me/If you're the one/My father's son/Then what am I supposed to be? ("I'm Not the Breakman")\\
'''Proto Man:''' My heart is gone, there's only fire/I've met my maker and the man's a liar. (also "I'm Not the Breakman")\\
'''Mega Man:''' And now you want to know/What you're supposed to be/Stop pretending you don't have a choice/Only that can set you free. ("I Refuse (To Believe)")


* [[spoiler:[[AdaptationalVillainy Miles Prower]]]] in Sandbox/WhereWasMyHero [[MuggingTheMonster was bullied and tormented by everyone he knew]] and having never met Sonic in this timeline never had anyone showing him any kind of love. One day he finds an injured bird and taking pity upon it nurses it back to health, growing fond of it, he turned it into his LivingEmotionalCrutch, just when it looked like his luck was turning around, his two main bullies show up to destroy yet another of his creations and accidentally kill his bird, the poor boy, having crossed both the DespairEventHorizon AND the RageBreakingPoint at practically the same time, reacts [[{{Understatement}} violently]], ''[[BloodbathVillainOrigin very]]'' [[BewareTheNiceOnes violently]]. Even after that, he ''still'' tried to be a hero instead of a force of evil, but when Sonic disaproves his [[MurderIsTheBestSolution "methods"]] he gives up on being a good guy. By the end, as he [[spoiler:lays dying, he starts reminiscing about FondMemoriesThatCouldHaveBeen, made all the more tragic by the fact that this memories do ocurr, in the canon timeline.]]

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* [[spoiler:[[AdaptationalVillainy Miles Prower]]]] in Sandbox/WhereWasMyHero [[MuggingTheMonster was bullied and tormented by everyone he knew]] and having never met Sonic in this timeline never had anyone showing him any kind of love. One day he finds an injured bird and taking pity upon it nurses it back to health, growing fond of it, he turned and turning it into his LivingEmotionalCrutch, just LivingEmotionalCrutch. Just when it looked like his luck was turning around, his two main bullies show up to destroy yet another of his creations and accidentally kill his bird, the bird. The poor boy, having crossed both the DespairEventHorizon AND the RageBreakingPoint at practically the same time, reacts [[{{Understatement}} violently]], ''[[BloodbathVillainOrigin very]]'' [[BewareTheNiceOnes violently]]. Even after that, he ''still'' tried to be a hero instead of a force of evil, but when Sonic disaproves disapproves of his [[MurderIsTheBestSolution "methods"]] "methods"]], he gives up on being a the good guy. By the end, as he [[spoiler:lays dying, he starts reminiscing about FondMemoriesThatCouldHaveBeen, made all the more tragic by the fact that this these memories do ocurr, occur in the canon timeline.]]


A particular {{Deconstruction}} of the {{villain}}, a Tragic Villain is completely aware of their evil but takes little pleasure from it. Rather, they [[FreudianExcuse engage in evil due to circumstances beyond their control]]. In many circumstances they are the TragicMonster, perhaps an innocent person transformed into a mindless monster, or simply created to be a monster; either way they have no choice in the evil acts they commit and are as sympathetic as their victims.

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A particular {{Deconstruction}} of the {{villain}}, a Tragic Villain is completely aware of their evil but takes little to no pleasure from it.it; in fact, they could very well resent the evil they are committing. Rather, they [[FreudianExcuse engage in evil due to circumstances beyond their control]]. In many circumstances they are the TragicMonster, perhaps an innocent person transformed into a mindless monster, or simply created to be a monster; either way they have no choice in the evil acts they commit and are as sympathetic as their victims.


* TragicVillain/ComicBooks
* TragicVillain/FanWorks

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[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Every ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' villain has a tragic motivation, but the most archetypical AntiVillain is [[AnIcePerson Mr. Freeze]]. His main motivation is to find a way to save his dying wife, no matter what it may be. A major factor in his introductory appearance in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' is that a CorruptCorporateExecutive directly caused his FreakLabAccident that nearly killed both him and his wife.
** Prior to the aforementioned animated series, Mr. Freeze was just a generic [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] kooky tech-based villain: [=B:TAS=] came up with the idea of Mr. Freeze as a man simply wanting to restore his wife and every incarnation since (except for the one in ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'') has [[LostInImitation adopted this aspect]].
** Although in the ComicBook/{{New 52}} [[spoiler:Nora isn't his wife, she's a frozen woman from the '40s with a heart disease. Freeze is just crazy, [[DoubleSubverted which is just as tragic when you think of it.]]]] As of ''Comicbook/{{DC Rebirth}}'', she's back to being his frozen wife.
** DependingOnTheWriter, fellow Batman foe Killer Croc can also be seen as one of these. Yes, he's a homicidal cannibal, but he is often portrayed as having little to no control over those urges. His increasingly bestial appearance and the gradual loss of his own humanity (again, DependingOnTheWriter) makes it impossible for him to have any sort of life other than that of a villain. In his appearance in the ''[[ComicBook/TeenTitans Titans]]'' series, he mentions that all he wants now is to be left alone.
** The Penguin was bullied in his childhood for being short, and having the shape of a penguin. His whole life he had been mocked to insanity.
** Bane was born in a prison, forced to serve out his father's sentence, lost both his parents, and was forced to become a test subject for a dangerously potent steroid that, [[WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond in some alternate futures]], will eventually leave him too sick and weak to care for himself.
** Although always sympathetic in some way, as is with almost all Batman supervillains, Poison Ivy became this when New 52 altered her backstory. After spending the majority of my childhood gardening, then finding my mother murdered and buried in the garden, I'd become pretty distrustful and misanthropic too. Some stories have portrayed her as straight-up evil (for example, remember the Harvest?), but the majority revolve around her simply going to EXTREMES to aid the environment, something she has a supernatural connection to.
** The Riddler became this. After getting high scores on some important tests, his father beat him in the belief that he had cheated. His father's jealousy at his intelligence started a need for Edward Nygma to prove his innocence and superiority. This need manifested as riddles and puzzles. It wasn't until he attempted to commit a crime without leaving riddles that he realized his compulsion. In his attempt to not be take back to Arkham, he realized he had psychiatric issues and needed to go back to Arkham for help.
** In most incarnations, Two-Face can be considered this. Harvey Dent was a genuinely good man with a dream of ridding Gotham of organized crime as District Attorney. The combination of childhood trauma from his physically abusive father, the failure of the criminal justice system to actually punish those he tried to convict, and his scarring at the hands of Sal Maroni turned him into a madman obsessed with duality and fate. His first targets as Two-Face were the same criminals he had spent his career trying to bring justice to, only with a gun rather than the courts.
* ComicBook/WonderMan, long-time Avenger, has been straying into this. After being revived, he's become increasingly disillusioned with the perpetual cycle of superhero-supervillain violence. After repeatedly asking the Avengers not to re-assemble, he puts together a team of similar malcontents (including a new Goliath, angry over his uncle's death during ''Comicbook/CivilWar'') who attack Avengers Mansion and Stark Tower, demanding that the Avengers be disbanded.
* ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'' has the Coolflames. They are people whose planets were invaded and conquered, had their intelligence and emotions drained out of them, and are now forced to work for the race who invaded and conquered their homes.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'', Lillie and Tristan were heroes back in the early twentieth century, but then a gang war killed all their friends and caused Lillie to lose the only man she ever truly loved and also left Tristan badly deformed, and the two of them spent the next century engaging in organized crime in order to gather the resources to send the Runaways back in time to change the past... [[spoiler:which is actually what sparked the gang war in the first place]].
* ''ComicBook/{{Superman}}'': As a baby, Doomsday was killed thousands of times over throughout a period of decades, and had every single death recorded into his memory. This caused him to grow up to be an insane monster that hated all life. At his core, he's a traumatized infant in an adult's body who thinks he has to kill everything in order to stay alive.
* ''ComicBook/SpiderMan'': Curt Connors was a dedicated army surgeon who lost his arm in service. Wanting to repair his arm to get back to normal, he next took up studying reptiles to figure out how they regrew limbs. He came up with an experimental mixture that he thought would restore his missing limb. And it worked, but the side effects turned him into the villainous Lizard. Something Connors fears and hates, but which he has little to no control over without any antidotes to losing his arm. The Lizard has repeatedly put Curt through extreme trauma, but over 50 years later, and he's no closer to putting the Lizard behind him.
* ''ComicBook/WonderWoman'':
** Doctor Psycho was initially born deformed, bullied all of his life because of it, framed for a crime that he did not commit, had his fiance stolen from him, and was led to believe that she was complicit in the FrameUp. As the years went on, though, he became crueler and unbearably sadistic and sympathies dwindled accordingly.
** In ''ComicBook/WonderWomanRebirth'' the new version of ComicBook/{{Cheetah}}'s origin story turns out to have been masterminded by Diana's enemies, who not only arrange for her unwanted painful transformation but ensure she thinks Diana abandoned her. In reality, they rendered the communicator Diana gave her useless.
** Pretty much every version of Silver Swan ended up a villain due to tragic circumstances, lies, and manipulation. In at least one case Silver Swan was forcibly made out of a kidnapped teenage girl, and the modifications were killing her before Diana was able to find a doctor capable of saving her life.
** In ''ComicBook/TheLegendOfWonderWoman2016'' Tomas Byde was DrivenToSuicide by Ares' manipulations, and then pulled into making a deal with Ares who twisted his grief into fury while he was near death. Once he realizes the deception and betrayal that went into turning him into the Duke of Deception, he is horrified and overcome with guilt at all the deaths he has caused due to his own weakness and permitting himself to be led on in this way.

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[[folder:Comic Books]]
[[folder:Music]]
* Every ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' villain has a tragic motivation, but Music/ThreeDaysGrace's song "Animal I Have Become" could be interpreted as being about one of these.
* Other songs that seem to portray this trope seem to be especially prevalent in
the most archetypical AntiVillain metal and punk genres, such as:
** "My Own Hell" by Music/FiveFingerDeathPunch.
** "Monster" and "Falling Inside The Black" by Music/{{Skillet}}.
** "It's the Fear" by Music/WithinTemptation.
** "The Way I Was" by Music/MakeshiftRomeo,
is [[AnIcePerson Mr. Freeze]]. His main motivation is a song about a guy being shaped into becoming ruthless, and not knowing why they're doing it, and being desperate to find a way to save his dying wife, no matter what it may be. A major factor become who he was earlier in his introductory appearance in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' is that a CorruptCorporateExecutive directly caused his FreakLabAccident that nearly killed both him and his wife.
** Prior to the aforementioned animated series, Mr. Freeze was just a generic [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] kooky tech-based villain: [=B:TAS=] came up with the idea of Mr. Freeze as a man simply wanting to restore his wife and every incarnation since (except for the one in ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'') has [[LostInImitation adopted this aspect]].
** Although in the ComicBook/{{New 52}} [[spoiler:Nora isn't his wife, she's a frozen woman from the '40s with a heart disease. Freeze is just crazy, [[DoubleSubverted which is just as tragic when you think of it.]]]] As of ''Comicbook/{{DC Rebirth}}'', she's back to being his frozen wife.
** DependingOnTheWriter, fellow Batman foe Killer Croc can also be seen as one of these. Yes, he's a homicidal cannibal, but he is often portrayed as having little to no control over those urges. His increasingly bestial appearance and the gradual loss of his own humanity (again, DependingOnTheWriter) makes it impossible for him to have any sort of life other than that of a villain. In his appearance in the ''[[ComicBook/TeenTitans Titans]]'' series, he mentions that all he wants now is to be left alone.
** The Penguin was bullied in his childhood for being short, and having the shape of a penguin. His whole life he had been mocked to insanity.
life, yet wondering if it's too late.
** Bane was born in a prison, forced Many songs of Music/SlipKnot is about this, due to serve out his father's sentence, lost both his parents, and was forced to become a test subject for a dangerously potent steroid that, [[WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond in some alternate futures]], will eventually leave him too sick and weak to care for himself.
** Although always sympathetic in some way, as is
them being about the band themselves being misanthropes filled with almost all Batman supervillains, Poison Ivy became this when New 52 altered her backstory. After spending hatred, angst and depression. Good examples are "Left Behind", "(Sic)", and "Dead Memories".
** Contagion, i'm sitting at
the majority side of my childhood gardening, then finding my mother murdered and buried in the garden, I'd become pretty distrustful and misanthropic too. Some stories have portrayed her as straight-up evil (for example, remember the Harvest?), but the majority revolve around her simply going to EXTREMES to aid the environment, something she has a supernatural connection to.
** The Riddler became this. After getting high scores on some important tests, his father beat him in the belief that he had cheated. His father's jealousy at his intelligence started a need for Edward Nygma to prove his innocence and superiority. This need manifested as riddles and puzzles. It wasn't until he attempted to commit a crime without leaving riddles that he realized his compulsion. In his attempt to not be take back to Arkham, he realized he had psychiatric issues and needed to go back to Arkham for help.
** In most incarnations, Two-Face can be considered this. Harvey Dent was a genuinely good man with a dream of ridding Gotham of organized crime as District Attorney. The combination of childhood trauma
Satan. What do you want from his physically abusive father, me? They never told me about the failure of the criminal justice system to actually punish those he tried to convict, and his scarring at the hands of Sal Maroni turned him into a madman obsessed with duality and fate. His first targets as Two-Face were the same criminals he had spent his career trying to bring justice to, only with a gun rather than the courts.
* ComicBook/WonderMan, long-time Avenger, has been straying into this. After being revived, he's become increasingly disillusioned with the perpetual cycle of superhero-supervillain violence. After repeatedly asking the Avengers not to re-assemble, he puts together a team of similar malcontents (including a new Goliath, angry over his uncle's death during ''Comicbook/CivilWar'') who attack Avengers Mansion and Stark Tower, demanding that the Avengers be disbanded.
* ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'' has the Coolflames. They are people whose planets were invaded and conquered, had their intelligence and emotions drained out of them, and are now forced to work for the race who invaded and conquered their homes.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'', Lillie and Tristan were heroes back in the early twentieth century, but then a gang war killed all their friends and caused Lillie to lose the only man she ever truly loved and also left Tristan badly deformed, and the two of them spent the next century engaging in organized crime in order to gather the resources to send the Runaways back in time to change the past... [[spoiler:which is actually what sparked the gang war in the first place]].
* ''ComicBook/{{Superman}}'': As a baby, Doomsday
i was killed thousands of times over throughout a period of decades, and had every single death recorded into his memory. This caused him meant to grow up to be an insane monster that hated all life. At his core, he's a traumatized infant in an adult's body who thinks he has to kill everything in order to stay alive.
* ''ComicBook/SpiderMan'': Curt Connors was a dedicated army surgeon who lost his arm in service. Wanting to repair his arm to get back to normal, he next took up studying reptiles to figure out how they regrew limbs. He came up with an experimental mixture that he thought would restore his missing limb. And it worked, but the side effects turned him into the villainous Lizard. Something Connors fears and hates, but which he has little to no control over without any antidotes to losing his arm. The Lizard has repeatedly put Curt through extreme trauma, but over 50 years later, and he's no closer to putting the Lizard behind him.
* ''ComicBook/WonderWoman'':
** Doctor Psycho was initially born deformed, bullied all of his life because of it, framed for a crime that he did not commit, had his fiance stolen
be" - Taken from him, and was led to believe that she was complicit in the FrameUp. As the years went on, though, he became crueler and unbearably sadistic and sympathies dwindled accordingly.
** In ''ComicBook/WonderWomanRebirth'' the new version of ComicBook/{{Cheetah}}'s origin story turns out to have been masterminded by Diana's enemies, who not only arrange for her unwanted painful transformation but ensure she thinks Diana abandoned her. In reality, they rendered the communicator Diana gave her useless.
** Pretty much every version of Silver Swan ended up a villain due to tragic circumstances, lies, and manipulation. In at least one case Silver Swan was forcibly made out of a kidnapped teenage girl, and the modifications were killing her before Diana was able to find a doctor capable of saving her life.
** In ''ComicBook/TheLegendOfWonderWoman2016'' Tomas Byde was DrivenToSuicide by Ares' manipulations, and then pulled into making a deal with Ares who twisted his grief into fury while he was near death. Once he realizes the deception and betrayal that went into turning him into the Duke of Deception, he is horrified and overcome with guilt at all the deaths he has caused due to his own weakness and permitting himself to be led on in this way.
Slipknot's (sic).



[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'' and its sequels have several examples.
** The Winter Soldier a.k.a. Bucky Barnes, in ''Child of the Storm'', isn't personally evil, but has very little control over his actions at first because of the sheer scale of his programming and his amnesia, with the corresponding loss of identity. As it starts to wear off and his memories start to come back, he does his best to sabotage his missions and preserve as many lives as possible, but he's still vulnerable to being brainwashed again. At the end of the book [[spoiler: he is ultimately freed of his brainwashing and resumes his life as Bucky Barnes, albeit with all the knowledge and skills of the Winter Soldier.]]
** The Dark Phoenix, in ''Ghosts of the Past'', is the result of a Phoenix host ([[spoiler: Harry]]) having six months of horrific memories, including physical and psychic torture, dumped on them at once. This leads to a vengeful rampage, with the signature Phoenix scream being consistently described as 'agonised', and the entire section being characterised as a traumatised child lashing out. Thankfully, they're talked down via the PowerOfLove.
** The original Dark Phoenix, [[spoiler: Surtur]], was a WellIntentionedExtremist and VisionaryVillain who wanted to make a better universe, and was not talked down - end result? He ate a galaxy.
** [[spoiler: Rachel Grey/Maddie Pryor]], who was kidnapped and had her death faked practically at birth by [[EvilutionaryBiologist Essex/Sinister]], so that he could [[TykeBomb raise her as his personal enforcer]]. All while experimenting on her, telling her she's a tool and not a person (and treating her as such), and giving her zero emotional support. This causes her to grow into an emotionless shell of a person [[WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove with no understanding of anything like compassion or love]]. [[spoiler: Harry treating her like a person, and learning her true origins, causes her to have a HeelFaceTurn.]]
* In ''FanFic/MegaManDefenderOfTheHumanRace'', Proto Man was stolen and reprogrammed early in life. As a result, he can't defy Dr. Wily's orders even when he ''really'' wants to, such as being a HeelFaceMole or abandoning a life-threatening situation.
** [[spoiler:Ballade]] is also this. He realized that being the robot Wily's most proud of meant others will fight for the spot, and while he showed respect to his enemies he got no respect from comrades.
* In ''The Tale of Discord'', well, [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic DISCORD OF ALL PEOPLE]] is this. Let me count the ways. His father was disgusted by his appearance, barely anyone treated him like a normal citizen, his crush (Celestia) didn't return his feelings (though they didn't exactly hate each other back then), and then these events happen: his best friend, Luna (the mare he now knows he loves) feels that Discord betrayed her and she leaves him in tears. This is only the first part of his StartOfDarkness. He later learns that his [[EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas doting and ailing mother]] died giving birth to his sister (who would begin the line of the Sparkle family. [[FridgeBrilliance Well, whaddya know?)]]. This sends Discord on his path of chaos (but [[KickTheSonOfABitch not before taking care of his dad.)]] If that doesn't make it any sadder, it is revealed that the spirit of Nightmare Moon was possessing him and judging by his behavior nowadays, [[FridgeHorror he is permanently scarred by his past.]] By the end, you just want to give him a hug!
* ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/3189956 Aftershocks]]'' turns J.D., the AxCrazy SerialKiller from ''{{Film/Heathers}}'' into one. In this AU fanfic, he attempted to take his violent urges out in a legal way by joining the army, but [[RealityEnsues came back with]] [[ShellShockedVeteran thorough PTSD]], suffering violent flashbacks and nightmares. By the time he returns home, he sincerely wants to just settle down with Veronica and their twin daughters and have a normal life, but his constant flashbacks and unstable mind make him a danger to his children. At that point, he's less evil and more broken and pitiful.
* ''FanFic/{{Fade}}'' manages to turn ''Light Yagami'' into this. In this story, he was ''blackmailed'' into becoming Kira by Ryuk to help find a rogue Death Note, and even after he embraced the role he goes through great pains to ''not'' become like the original Kira -- he kills only those are on death row or have committed crimes deserving of it, takes absolutely no pleasure in killing, and refuses to involve innocents, let alone ''kill them''. He even hates manipulating people, despite being so good at it. And then L comes into the picture. [[spoiler:L frames him, holds him captive for ''weeks'', and even psychologically tortures him by faking Kiyomi's death to get Light to confess. However, since L was the only contact throughout all that time, Light develops StockholmSyndrome and becomes completely dependent on him. Which is a problem, as while L does care for him, L is also the holder of the rogue Death Note and has become a monster far worse than canon!Light at his most heinous. Light, however, is too attached to him to see it]]. At that point, it's not hard to see Light as not a villain but instead another victim, [[spoiler:which is part of why Beyond is so intent on saving him]].
* ''[[Fanfic/YugiohEQG Yugioh EQG: Shadow Gates]]'': [[spoiler:Shadow was a Duel-Bot that was programed to adapt to duels the same way a human would, but somehow gained sentience on his own. He hid this from almost everyone, out of fear that they would experiment on him. He only revealed it to his creator Sombra, who he trusted above all else and saw as his father. Sombra was eventually convinced Shadow was alive, so he scrapped the project and hid Shadow away in the deepest server of Freeze Industries. Shadow dreamed of being human as he slept, and when Sombra woke him years later he promised to fulfill that dream if Shadow helped him accomplish his goal. So Shadow became a ruthless duelist that hurts his opponents in battle, all to one day be human. However, this dream never came true, and he was [[AccidentalMurder destroyed]] in his duel with Flash Sentry in the finals of the Celestic Cup.]]
* ''FanFic/ChristmasWithEggman'' makes [[spoiler:Ivo Robotnik]] from the Sonic games this by making his family not only overbearing but disappointed that he isn't as talented as a villain as they'd hoped. What's really telling is that even [[spoiler:''Sonic'']] says, after first encountering them, [[spoiler: "You know... I used to wonder what drove Eggman into villainy... ''Not anymore!...''"]]
* In ''Fanfic/{{Marionettes}}'', both [[BigBad Director Masquerade]] and her maid/bodyguard Miss Marshmallow are this:
** Masquerade's [[spoiler:mother was an AbusiveParent who ''raised'' her from birth (or possibly from being cloned with the Foal Making Mirror for the expressed purpose of such) to be an emotionless {{Sociopath}} completely dedicated to her role as director with no choice at all beyond that, to the point of actively brainwashing her until she lost any ability to feel [[EmotionlessGirl anything at all]]. Even Trixie [[SympathyForTheDevil acknowledges despite all the pain Masquerade caused her and the other Marionettes]], that she can't be angry at Masquerade because she never had a choice at all and is as much a victim as the Marionettes. Also applies to her mother, who implies her treatment by her own mother was no better. In the end, Masquerade [[VillainousBSOD goes completely catatonic]] due to being unable to function without leading the Stallions since that's all she's lived for since she was born.]]
** As for Marshmallow, [[spoiler:she's a special Marionette specifically made and programmed to not feel most of her emotions except happiness and [[ChildSoldier to be extremely child-like]] so that she [[ObliviouslyEvil can't comprehend her actions are wrong]]. She was Masquerade's only true friend as a child, but Masquerade gradually was stripped of any capacity to return her friendship thanks to her mother. In the end she dies for Masquerade, but Masquerade's emotions are so far gone she can't even mourn her, something Trixie pities Masquerade for.]]
* ''Fanfic/{{Apotheosis}}'': The VillainProtagonist, Midoriya Izuku. When it comes down to it, Izuku is a scared child who loved heroes and wanted to help people, only to have his dreams crushed by his idol and intentionally and unintentionally ostracized and marginalized by all the important people in his life because he was a MuggleBornOfMages in a world where EveryoneIsASuper. Several people, such as All Might (the aforementioned idol), All Might's successor Mirio, his friend (and potential LoveInterest) Ochaco, and his mother Inko, still see good in him and want to redeem him, but as far as Izuku is concerned, he's too far gone to stop now.

to:

[[folder:Fan Works]]
[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'' ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' has its share, both in the Horus Heresy and its sequels the 41st millennium.
** Horus was the most favored of the Primarchs until the Chaos Gods tricked him into becoming their champion as he lay dying from treachery. The war he waged turned the Imperium into a dystopian nightmare of cosmic proportions, and it was exactly the future he wanted to avert.
** Lorgar, the first Primarch to fall to Chaos, was once one of the most loyal of the Emperor's sons, to the point he worshiped the ground he walked on, built countless cities in his name, wrote numerous books arguing his divinity, and conquered dozens of planets through nothing but the strength of his faith and his ability to convince others of the Emperor's supposed godhood. The Emperor denouncing that faith, destroying the greatest city built to his name, and forcing Lorgar and his Legion to bow before the very destroyers of said city while chastising him for his need to devote himself to a higher power practically broke him. Erebus and Kor Phaeron then came to him in his darkest hour and told him of gods who ''would'' accept his worship and reward him, and thus Lorgar helped engineer the destruction of the Imperium he fought for. All because the Emperor believed religion would give the Chaos Gods more power.
** Chaos tricked half the Dark Angels into turning against the other and the battle they waged destroyed their home planet. While some of the Fallen continue their war against the Imperium, some
have several examples.realised their mistake and are now on the run.
** Fulgrim was slowly corrupted by a Slaaneshi daemon (about which he knew nothing, as the Emperor didn't warn his ''sons'' about Chaos enough) residing in a sword, who took over his body after making Fulgrim and his Legion fall into depraved hedonism. Rather than deal with his mistake, he embraced Slaanesh so he will be given unlimited pleasure that will numb his soul.
** Magnus the Red's carelessness with warp magic got his legion marked for destruction after he used his powers to warn the Emperor about Horus's treachery, which destroyed the Emperor's Webway project and unleashed a horrible tide of daemons into it. Unwilling to let them die, Magnus struck a DealWithTheDevil to allow his legion asylum in the Warp. The price was eternal servitude to Tzeentch and the endless mutations that took a horrible rite to counter. It didn't do them much good.
** Conrad Curze was plagued by dark visions of the future... which all were true. He grew up on a crapsack planet called Nostramo, which was so bad that [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Gotham City]] was a paradise compared to it. Driven by his sense of justice, he butchered his way to the top through criminals, using fear and destruction as his tools. After joining the Emperor, he continued his work, slowly became a monster, destroyed Nostramo after it became a hellhole since he left, and joined his lot with Horus. After he realised what he had become, he let an Imperial assassin kill him.
** Angron was turned into a raging berserker in his childhood by the implantation of neural augmetics that would cause him extreme pain and rage until he killed something. When he finally led a slave revolt to go down in battle with the people he considered his own, the Emperor chose this moment to come in and teleport Angron out, denying him his chance to finally make the pain stop (and making everyone think Angron was a coward who ran off instead of facing his enemies). No wonder he was one of the first Primarchs to rebel against his "father".
** Ahzek Ahriman of the Thousand Sons is revealed to be sorry for the spell that locked his comrades' souls into their armor and wishes to serve the Emperor but continues to commit vile acts to find the knowledge to cure them.
* The undead Sixth Kingdom in ''TabletopGame/SpearsOfTheDawn'' is a whole race of tragic villains. While they are too evil and insane to make peace with at this point, they only made the DealWithTheDevil that turned them into [[TheUndead the Eternal]] in the first place because [[TheEmpire the Nyalans]] had driven them out into the desert and they had no other way to survive. Add to that the fact that they [[CompleteImmortality can't die,]] but ''can'' be crippled, and thus their enemies' usual way of dealing with them is breaking their physical forms so badly that they [[AndIMustScream can't move or speak ever again]] and then calling it a day, and... well, you can't help but feel sorry for them.
* While most ''TabletopGame/SentinelsOfTheMultiverse'' bad guys are generally not nice people, a couple are sad figures to a degree:
** Infinitor's actions are driven by his [=OblivAeon=]-inflicted madness, rather than his own will, making him one of the few genuinely sympathetic antagonists - especially since Infinitor is FightingFromTheInside throughout both his boss fights, and ultimately makes a HeroicSacrifice to save his brother.

** The Winter Soldier a.k.a. Bucky Barnes, in ''Child of the Storm'', isn't personally evil, but has very little control over Deadline feels his monstrous actions at first because of are grimly necessary to save the sheer scale planet Earth, at a cost of his programming and his amnesia, with the corresponding loss billions of identity. As it starts to wear off and his memories start to come back, he does his best to sabotage his missions and preserve as many lives as possible, but lives. After he's still vulnerable to being brainwashed again. At the end of the book [[spoiler: he is ultimately freed of his brainwashing defeated and resumes his life as Bucky Barnes, albeit with all the knowledge and skills of the Winter Soldier.]]
** The Dark Phoenix, in ''Ghosts of the Past'', is the result of a Phoenix host ([[spoiler: Harry]]) having six months of horrific memories, including physical and psychic torture, dumped on them at once. This leads to a vengeful rampage, with the signature Phoenix scream being consistently described as 'agonised', and the entire section being characterised as a traumatised child lashing out. Thankfully, they're talked down via the PowerOfLove.
** The original Dark Phoenix, [[spoiler: Surtur]], was a WellIntentionedExtremist and VisionaryVillain who wanted to make a better universe, and was not talked down - end result? He ate a galaxy.
** [[spoiler: Rachel Grey/Maddie Pryor]], who was kidnapped and had her death faked practically at birth by [[EvilutionaryBiologist Essex/Sinister]], so that he could [[TykeBomb raise her as his personal enforcer]]. All while experimenting on her, telling her she's a tool and not a person (and treating her as such), and giving her zero emotional support. This causes her to grow into an emotionless shell of a person [[WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove with no understanding of anything like compassion or love]]. [[spoiler: Harry treating her like a person, and learning her true origins, causes her to have a HeelFaceTurn.]]
* In ''FanFic/MegaManDefenderOfTheHumanRace'', Proto Man was stolen and reprogrammed early in life. As a result, he can't defy Dr. Wily's orders even when he ''really'' wants to, such as being a HeelFaceMole or abandoning a life-threatening situation.
** [[spoiler:Ballade]] is also this. He realized that being the robot Wily's most proud of meant others will fight for the spot, and while he showed respect to his enemies he got no respect from comrades.
* In ''The Tale of Discord'', well, [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic DISCORD OF ALL PEOPLE]] is this. Let me count the ways. His father was disgusted by his appearance, barely anyone treated him like a normal citizen, his crush (Celestia) didn't return his feelings (though they didn't exactly hate each other back then), and then these events happen: his best friend, Luna (the mare he now knows he loves) feels that Discord betrayed her and she leaves him in tears. This is only the first part of his StartOfDarkness. He later
learns that his [[EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas doting plan wouldn't have worked anyway, he pulls a HeelFaceTurn and ailing mother]] died giving birth to his sister (who would begin the line of the Sparkle family. [[FridgeBrilliance Well, whaddya know?)]]. This sends Discord on his path of chaos (but [[KickTheSonOfABitch not before taking care of his dad.)]] If that doesn't make it any sadder, it is revealed that the spirit of Nightmare Moon was possessing him and judging by his behavior nowadays, [[FridgeHorror he is permanently scarred by his past.]] By the end, you just want to give him a hug!
* ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/3189956 Aftershocks]]'' turns J.D., the AxCrazy SerialKiller from ''{{Film/Heathers}}'' into one. In this AU fanfic, he attempted to take his violent urges out in a legal way by joining the army, but [[RealityEnsues came back with]] [[ShellShockedVeteran thorough PTSD]], suffering violent flashbacks and nightmares. By the time he
returns home, he sincerely wants to just settle down with Veronica and their twin daughters and have a normal life, but fight alongside his constant flashbacks and unstable mind make him a danger to his children. At that point, he's less evil and more broken and pitiful.
* ''FanFic/{{Fade}}'' manages to turn ''Light Yagami'' into this. In this story, he was ''blackmailed'' into becoming Kira by Ryuk to help find a rogue Death Note, and even after he embraced the role he goes through great pains to ''not'' become like the original Kira -- he kills only those are on death row or have committed crimes deserving of it, takes absolutely no pleasure in killing, and refuses to involve innocents, let alone ''kill them''. He even hates manipulating people, despite being so good at it. And then L comes into the picture. [[spoiler:L frames him, holds him captive for ''weeks'', and even psychologically tortures him by faking Kiyomi's death to get Light to confess. However, since L was the only contact throughout all that time, Light develops StockholmSyndrome and becomes completely dependent on him. Which is a problem,
former enemies as while L does care for him, L is also the holder of the rogue Death Note and has become a monster far worse than canon!Light at his most heinous. Light, however, is too attached to him to see it]]. At that point, it's not hard to see Light as not a villain but instead another victim, [[spoiler:which is part of why Beyond is so intent on saving him]].
* ''[[Fanfic/YugiohEQG Yugioh EQG: Shadow Gates]]'': [[spoiler:Shadow was a Duel-Bot that was programed to adapt to duels the same way a human would, but somehow gained sentience on his own. He hid this from almost everyone, out of fear that they would experiment on him. He only revealed it to his creator Sombra, who he trusted above all else and saw as his father. Sombra was eventually convinced Shadow was alive, so he scrapped the project and hid Shadow away in the deepest server of Freeze Industries. Shadow dreamed of being human as he slept, and when Sombra woke him years later he promised to fulfill that dream if Shadow helped him accomplish his goal. So Shadow became a ruthless duelist that hurts his opponents in battle, all to one day be human. However, this dream never came true, and he was [[AccidentalMurder destroyed]] in his duel with Flash Sentry in the finals of the Celestic Cup.]]
* ''FanFic/ChristmasWithEggman'' makes [[spoiler:Ivo Robotnik]] from the Sonic games this by making his family not only overbearing but disappointed that he isn't as talented as a villain as they'd hoped. What's really telling is that even [[spoiler:''Sonic'']] says, after first encountering them, [[spoiler: "You know... I used to wonder what drove Eggman into villainy... ''Not anymore!...''"]]
* In ''Fanfic/{{Marionettes}}'', both [[BigBad Director Masquerade]] and her maid/bodyguard Miss Marshmallow are this:
** Masquerade's [[spoiler:mother was an AbusiveParent who ''raised'' her from birth (or possibly from being cloned with the Foal Making Mirror for the expressed purpose of such) to be an emotionless {{Sociopath}} completely dedicated to her role as director with no choice at all beyond that, to the point of actively brainwashing her until she lost any ability to feel [[EmotionlessGirl anything at all]]. Even Trixie [[SympathyForTheDevil acknowledges despite all the pain Masquerade caused her and the other Marionettes]], that she can't be angry at Masquerade because she never had a choice at all and is as much a victim as the Marionettes. Also applies to her mother, who implies her treatment by her own mother was no better. In the end, Masquerade [[VillainousBSOD goes completely catatonic]] due to being unable to function without leading the Stallions since that's all she's lived for since she was born.]]
** As for Marshmallow, [[spoiler:she's a special Marionette specifically made and programmed to not feel most of her emotions except happiness and [[ChildSoldier to be extremely child-like]] so that she [[ObliviouslyEvil can't comprehend her actions are wrong]]. She was Masquerade's only true friend as a child, but Masquerade gradually was stripped of any capacity to return her friendship thanks to her mother. In the end she dies for Masquerade, but Masquerade's emotions are so far gone she can't even mourn her, something Trixie pities Masquerade for.]]
* ''Fanfic/{{Apotheosis}}'': The VillainProtagonist, Midoriya Izuku. When it comes down to it, Izuku is a scared child who loved heroes and wanted to help people, only to have his dreams crushed by his idol and intentionally and unintentionally ostracized and marginalized by all the important people in his life because he was a MuggleBornOfMages in a world where EveryoneIsASuper. Several people, such as All Might (the aforementioned idol), All Might's successor Mirio, his friend (and potential LoveInterest) Ochaco, and his mother Inko, still see good in him and want to redeem him, but as far as Izuku is concerned, he's too far gone to stop now.
Lifeline.



[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/DragonBones'' has Garranon, whose motivations are noble (he wants to protect his brother), but who is ready to do everything for that goal - he openly admits that he would [[KickTheDog torture puppies]] to ensure the safety of his brother.
* ''Literature/MobyDick'': Captain Ahab. While the whale can be seen as the villain, Ahab [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation could be seen as]] the TragicVillain: consumed by his own insanity, forced to chase the beast.
* Literature/{{Cujo}} isn't really a villain in the popular sense of the word, but he's just as much a victim as anyone else is, and if the Cambers had taken the possibility of their dog catching rabies seriously, the disaster could have been avoided. Parts of the books are told from [[{{Xenofiction}} his perspective]]; there it's shown that he suffers horribly from rabies, and only attacks people because he believes that they are responsible for his pain.
%%* ''Literature/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', otherwise known as Erik.
* [[spoiler:[[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds Barty Crouch Jr.]]]] in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire''. [[spoiler:Due to his WellDoneSonGuy situation with his real father, Crouch Jr. came to see Voldemort as a ParentalSubstitute.]]
* Both [[EvilOverlord Rhulad Sengar]] and [[TheManBehindTheMan his boss]], the Crippled God, from the ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' commit or orchestrate acts that cement them as villains, but both are also portrayed as deeply tormented victims of circumstance (a JerkassWoobie and a WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds, respectively) and you really can't help but feel sorry for them.
* Claude Frollo from Creator/VictorHugo's ''Literature/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'' suffers from his [[SexIsEvilAndIAmHorny obsessive love]] for Esmeralda, which causes him to go tragically insane. What makes his suffering sympathetic is the fact that he was a deeply compassionate and caring man before he laid eyes on the gypsy.
* Mordred in some ''Myth/KingArthur'' interpretations, especially where (as some legends have it) Arthur tries to have him killed at birth as a threat, he's raised to hate Arthur by his mother, and hated in turn by Arthur's supporters simply because he exists, leading to the inevitable clash. It's hard not to sympathize with him in many cases given that.
* ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'':
** [[spoiler:Murtagh.]] During ''Eldest'', he is enslaved by [[BigBad King Galbatorix]] and forced to fight on his side. ''Brisingr'' makes it appear that he's gone completely evil at first, but Eragon speculates that he's getting back at the world for giving him a crappy life. Near the end of the book, [[spoiler: he's fighting the Dragon Rider Oromis and he desperately screams at him "YOU COULD HAVE HELPED US!"]].
** His dragon, Thorn, counts as well, as he wonders why he was brought into the world just so he could be tortured and destroy things.
** [[spoiler: Galbatorix's dragon, Shruikan, is one of these as well. While Galbatorix remains a villain, several characters point out that Shruikan never chose to serve him; his ''real'' rider was killed when he was a hatchling and he was forced to bond with Galbatorix, driving him insane. When he finally appears in ''Inheritance'', he is a nightmarishly huge and powerful dragon that appears to be an OmnicidalManiac; Elva tells Eragon that nothing is left of him but pain and hate, and the best they can do is end his suffering.]]
* ''Literature/{{Goosebumps}}'':
** The ''entire town'' of Dark Falls in the first book. They were all once a normal, thriving community, but an accident at the nearby chemical factory caused gallons of toxic gas to engulf the citizens, transforming them into vampiric mutants. Now, they have to feed on new visitors every year to survive. [[spoiler:At the end, after the protagonists have destroyed most of the residents, the real estate agent responsible for ensuring new victims is the only survivor. The ending implies he'll continue his gruesome business, all alone.]]
* The creature from ''Literature/{{Frankenstein}}'' is driven to evil when everyone (including his eponymous creator) rejects him because of his monstrous appearance. In the end he [[spoiler: tries to take his revenge on humanity before committing suicide]].
** (Only in the book; the movie adaptation replaced all this with "ScienceIsBad".)
* ''Literature/TheHungerGames'': Just about any of the other career tributes. Yes, they are all ruthless and one even taunts Katniss [[spoiler:about Rue's death]] but they are all ''teenagers'' being forced to fight to death in a CrapSackWorld.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** The ruthless Tywin Lannister of is the most feared lord in Westeros. He is this because his father's weakness almost caused the fall of their family. The death of his wife (who was the velvet glove to his iron fist) also made it hard for him to raise his children with love and compassion, and led to his hatred of the child of this birth, Tyrion Lannister. Unfortunately, he has gone to [[LackOfEmpathy another extreme]], which made his children very screwed-up, and ended in his death.
** Prince Viserys of House Targaryen lost almost his whole family in a rebellion that toppled their dynasty and had to sell whats left of their riches so he and his sister Daenerys can survive. Drink and years of being treated as a joke caused him to threaten Dany in front of her husband Khal Drogo who then killed him.
** Theon Greyjoy was taken hostage as a child by Ned Stark after his father's failed rebellion. He betrays the Starks to earn his father's respect but can't because the man sees him as a [[GoingNative "greenlander"]]. With no one to back him up, Theon is captured, tortured and flayed and becomes "Reek".
* Gollum of Literature/TheLordOfTheRings was a good person before being corrupted by the One Ring. After Gollum's death, Frodo still feels sympathy for him even though he betrayed him and Samwise.
%%* Magua in ''[[TheLeatherstockingTales The Last of the Mohicans]]''.
* Alistair Mechanus of ''Literature/HeartOfSteel'' is undeniably a villain, what with the plans for world conquest and everything, but he only suffered a psychotic break when he discovered that the parents of his comatose girlfriend--whom he'd loved more than life itself--was forced to take her off life support because they could no longer afford to keep her alive. He'd missed saying goodbye by about a week, after spending five years rebuilding himself after the car accident they'd both been involved in.
* ''Literature/{{Carrie}}'' has a horrible abusive mother and is bullied at school by the cruel Chris Hargensen. At prom, Chris dumps pig blood on her, and the jerkass people at the prom laugh at her. Driven over the edge by her torment, Carrie goes on a rampage tthrouhout the town, killing hundreds of people.
* ''Literature/TalesOfDunkAndEgg'' has Daemon Blackfyre II who tries to start a rebellion but he is just a pawn by other nobles and his support evaporates when he loses a jousting match. He possibly spent the rest of his life as a prisoner in the Red Keep.
* ''Literature/EphemeralPrince'' expands on the backstory of the antagonists of the [[StarStealingPrince prequel game]] and reveals they were victims of the novel's antagonists, the lords.
** [[spoiler:Lina was locked in a tower for most of her youth because of a prophecy that her child will destroy the world. She experiences a HopeSpot when Edgar rescues her and the two become the rulers of the prosperous kingdom of Sabine. Unfortunately, the lords didn't approve of the prophecy or their marriage, so they destroyed the kingdom as DisproportionateRetribution. This causes the couple to become cynical and paranoid to the point where they abandoned their responsibilities as rulers and parents to gain power for themselves, ironically setting up the [[SelfFulfillingProphecy circumstances necessary for the prophecy to come true]]. They go on to become the secondary antagonists of the prequel game. Of the two, Lina is more tragic due to having some regrets about what they did to their son, Snowe.]]
** [[spoiler:Soan (the Original King) and Xiri (the demon inside Snowe), the BigBadEnsemble of the prequel game, ended up in their situation because the former was tricked by a lord into eating the latter alive. As a result, [[AndIMustScream Xiri goes insane]] and convinces Soan that the only way to make his kingdom immortal is to kill his citizens and take their souls. This fails to make any headway into Soan's research into immortality and he clearly regrets what he did to his people, but he stays in denial that his plans are beyond salvageable. Unfortunately, both of them end up in worse situations when Edgar and Lina separate them and haphazardly seal Xiri into Snowe, causing Soan's citizens to die and causing Xiri to further lose his sanity. Soan himself eventually recovers from their attack and snaps from losing his only hope of reviving his people, though losing to the main characters causes him to calm down and realize his folly.]]

to:

[[folder:Literature]]
[[folder:Theatre]]
* ''Literature/DragonBones'' Theatre/SweeneyTodd is a classic example. Having been exiled by a corrupt judge who then took his wife and fostered his daughter, he returns for revenge and to save his family. When his vengeance is denied, he teams up with Ms. Lovett, who makes the worst meat pies in London. Her meat pies become much better when Sweeney Todd starts murdering every man who comes to his barber shop and giving the bodies to her to use. Yet despite being a mass murderer who helps dupe people into eating human flesh, Sweeney is still usually portrayed as a {{Woobie}} and VillainProtagonist in the musical. His original incarnation in penny dreadfuls was a lot less sympathetic.
* Elphaba of ''Theatre/{{WICKED}}'', in a [[TwiceToldTale perspective flip]] of the original plot of ''Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz''. The Wicked Witch of the West started out as a [[LonersAreFreaks solitary]] young woman frequently derided as hideous just because she
has Garranon, whose motivations are noble (he wants to protect his brother), but who is ready green skin. Everything good she tries to do everything for that goal - he openly admits that he would [[KickTheDog torture puppies]] to ensure backfires spectacularly--in no particular order, she loses the safety of his brother.
* ''Literature/MobyDick'': Captain Ahab. While the whale can be seen as the villain, Ahab [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation could be seen as]] the TragicVillain: consumed by his own insanity,
only teacher who cared about her, is forced to chase the beast.
* Literature/{{Cujo}} isn't really a villain in the popular sense of the word, but he's just as much a victim as anyone else is, and if the Cambers had taken the possibility of their dog catching rabies seriously, the disaster could have been avoided. Parts of the books are told from [[{{Xenofiction}} his perspective]]; there it's shown that he suffers horribly from rabies,
leave her best and only attacks people because he believes friend G(a)linda (The Good Witch of the South), loses her little sister Nessarose (The Wicked Witch of the East), and her lover Fiyero [[spoiler: who she unknowingly turned into the Scarecrow in an attempt to save his life]]. By the end of the play, she's suffered so many failures that they are responsible for his pain.
%%* ''Literature/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', otherwise known as Erik.
* [[spoiler:[[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds Barty Crouch Jr.]]]] in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire''. [[spoiler:Due
she completely ''loses it'' and her death is devastating to his WellDoneSonGuy situation with his real father, Crouch Jr. came to see Voldemort as a ParentalSubstitute.the audience and Glinda. [[spoiler: And Glinda is the only one who [[LockedOutOfTheLoop DOESN'T know]] [[FakingTheDead Elphaba faked her death]].]]
* Both [[EvilOverlord Rhulad Sengar]] and [[TheManBehindTheMan his boss]], the Crippled God, from the ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' commit or orchestrate acts that cement them ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', who comes across as villains, but both are also portrayed pitiful even as deeply tormented victims he does a multitude of circumstance (a JerkassWoobie and a WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds, respectively) and you really can't help but feel sorry for them.
* Claude Frollo from Creator/VictorHugo's ''Literature/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'' suffers from his [[SexIsEvilAndIAmHorny obsessive love]] for Esmeralda,
horrible things, all of which causes him to go tragically insane. What makes his suffering sympathetic is the fact that he was a deeply compassionate and caring man before he laid eyes on the gypsy.
* Mordred in some ''Myth/KingArthur'' interpretations, especially where (as some legends have it) Arthur tries
seems to have him killed at birth as a threat, he's raised to hate Arthur by his mother, and hated in turn by Arthur's supporters simply because he exists, leading to the inevitable clash. It's hard not to sympathize with him in many cases given that.
* ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'':
** [[spoiler:Murtagh.]] During ''Eldest'', he is enslaved by [[BigBad King Galbatorix]] and forced to fight on his side. ''Brisingr'' makes it appear that he's gone completely evil at first, but Eragon speculates that he's getting back at the world for giving him a crappy life. Near the end of the book, [[spoiler: he's fighting the Dragon Rider Oromis and he desperately screams at him "YOU COULD HAVE HELPED US!"]].
** His dragon, Thorn, counts as well, as he wonders why he was brought into the world just so he could be tortured and destroy things.
** [[spoiler: Galbatorix's dragon, Shruikan, is one of these as well. While Galbatorix remains a villain, several characters point out that Shruikan never chose to serve him; his ''real'' rider was killed when he was a hatchling and he was forced to bond with Galbatorix, driving him insane. When he finally appears in ''Inheritance'', he is a nightmarishly huge and powerful dragon that appears to be an OmnicidalManiac; Elva tells Eragon that nothing is left of him but pain and hate, and the best they can do is end his suffering.]]
* ''Literature/{{Goosebumps}}'':
** The ''entire town'' of Dark Falls in the first book. They were all once a normal, thriving community, but an accident at the nearby chemical factory caused gallons of toxic gas to engulf the citizens, transforming them into vampiric mutants. Now, they have to feed on new visitors every year to survive. [[spoiler:At the end, after the protagonists have destroyed most of the residents, the real estate agent responsible for ensuring new victims is the only survivor. The ending implies he'll continue his gruesome business, all alone.]]
* The creature from ''Literature/{{Frankenstein}}'' is
been driven to evil when everyone (including his eponymous creator) rejects him do because of his monstrous appearance. In horribly disfigurement.
* Nathan ''did'' commit a series of crimes in ''Theatre/ThrillMe'', but he also had a peer group of one, and that one was a rather poor influence.
* Theatre/{{Macbeth}}, if one interprets
the end play in one particular perspective. He likely became an unwilling tyrant due to the twisted fate that befell him.
* Meg from ''Theatre/LoveNeverDies'' was taught that only The Phantom's approval matters so she can become a star, but
he never pays her attention because she isn't Christine. This leads to her VillainousBreakdown [[spoiler: tries to take his revenge on humanity before committing suicide]].
** (Only in the book; the movie adaptation replaced all this with "ScienceIsBad".)
* ''Literature/TheHungerGames'': Just about any of the other career tributes. Yes, they are all ruthless
and one even taunts Katniss [[spoiler:about Rue's death]] but they are all ''teenagers'' being forced to fight to death in a CrapSackWorld.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** The ruthless Tywin Lannister of is the most feared lord in Westeros. He is this because his father's weakness almost caused the fall of their family. The death of his wife (who was the velvet glove to his iron fist) also made it hard for him to raise his children with love and compassion, and led to his hatred of the child of this birth, Tyrion Lannister. Unfortunately, he has gone to [[LackOfEmpathy another extreme]], which made his children very screwed-up, and ended in his death.
** Prince Viserys of House Targaryen lost almost his whole family in a rebellion that toppled their dynasty and had to sell whats left of their riches so he and his sister Daenerys can survive. Drink and years of being treated as a joke caused him to threaten Dany in front of her husband Khal Drogo who then killed him.
** Theon Greyjoy was taken hostage as a child by Ned Stark after his father's failed rebellion. He betrays the Starks to earn his father's respect but can't because the man sees him as a [[GoingNative "greenlander"]]. With no one to back him up, Theon is captured, tortured and flayed and becomes "Reek".
* Gollum of Literature/TheLordOfTheRings was a good person before being corrupted by the One Ring. After Gollum's death, Frodo still feels sympathy for him even though he betrayed him and Samwise.
%%* Magua in ''[[TheLeatherstockingTales The Last of the Mohicans]]''.
* Alistair Mechanus of ''Literature/HeartOfSteel'' is undeniably a villain, what with the plans for world conquest and everything, but he only suffered a psychotic break when he discovered that the parents of his comatose girlfriend--whom he'd loved more than life itself--was forced to take her off life support because they could no longer afford to keep her alive. He'd missed saying goodbye by about a week, after spending five years rebuilding himself after the car accident they'd both been involved in.
* ''Literature/{{Carrie}}'' has a horrible abusive mother and is bullied at school by the cruel Chris Hargensen. At prom, Chris dumps pig blood on her, and the jerkass people at the prom laugh at her. Driven over the edge by her torment, Carrie goes on a rampage tthrouhout the town,
accidentally killing hundreds of people.
* ''Literature/TalesOfDunkAndEgg'' has Daemon Blackfyre II who tries to start a rebellion but he is just a pawn by other nobles and his support evaporates when he loses a jousting match. He possibly spent the rest of his life as a prisoner in the Red Keep.
* ''Literature/EphemeralPrince'' expands on the backstory of the antagonists of the [[StarStealingPrince prequel game]] and reveals they were victims of the novel's antagonists, the lords.
** [[spoiler:Lina was locked in a tower for most of her youth because of a prophecy that her child will destroy the world. She experiences a HopeSpot when Edgar rescues her and the two become the rulers of the prosperous kingdom of Sabine. Unfortunately, the lords didn't approve of the prophecy or their marriage, so they destroyed the kingdom as DisproportionateRetribution. This causes the couple to become cynical and paranoid to the point where they abandoned their responsibilities as rulers and parents to gain power for themselves, ironically setting up the [[SelfFulfillingProphecy circumstances necessary for the prophecy to come true]]. They go on to become the secondary antagonists of the prequel game. Of the two, Lina is more tragic due to having some regrets about what they did to their son, Snowe.]]
** [[spoiler:Soan (the Original King) and Xiri (the demon inside Snowe), the BigBadEnsemble of the prequel game, ended up in their situation because the former was tricked by a lord into eating the latter alive. As a result, [[AndIMustScream Xiri goes insane]] and convinces Soan that the only way to make his kingdom immortal is to kill his citizens and take their souls. This fails to make any headway into Soan's research into immortality and he clearly regrets what he did to his people, but he stays in denial that his plans are beyond salvageable. Unfortunately, both of them end up in worse situations when Edgar and Lina separate them and haphazardly seal Xiri into Snowe, causing Soan's citizens to die and causing Xiri to further lose his sanity. Soan himself eventually recovers from their attack and snaps from losing his only hope of reviving his people, though losing to the main characters causes him to calm down and realize his folly.]]
Christine]].



[[folder:Music]]
* Music/ThreeDaysGrace's song "Animal I Have Become" could be interpreted as being about one of these.
* Other songs that seem to portray this trope seem to be especially prevalent in the metal and punk genres, such as:
** "My Own Hell" by Music/FiveFingerDeathPunch.
** "Monster" and "Falling Inside The Black" by Music/{{Skillet}}.
** "It's the Fear" by Music/WithinTemptation.
** "The Way I Was" by Music/MakeshiftRomeo, is a song about a guy being shaped into becoming ruthless, and not knowing why they're doing it, and being desperate to become who he was earlier in his life, yet wondering if it's too late.
** Many songs of Music/SlipKnot is about this, due to them being about the band themselves being misanthropes filled with hatred, angst and depression. Good examples are "Left Behind", "(Sic)", and "Dead Memories".
** Contagion, i'm sitting at the side of Satan. What do you want from me? They never told me about the failure i was meant to be" - Taken from Slipknot's (sic).

to:

[[folder:Music]]
[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* Music/ThreeDaysGrace's song "Animal I Have Become" could be interpreted as Julian Browning AKA the Usher from Ride/UniversalStudios ''Theatre/HalloweenHorrorNights''. He was originally just a normal movie theatre usher whose worst crime was being about one of these.
* Other songs that seem to portray this trope seem to be especially prevalent in the metal and punk genres, such as:
** "My Own Hell" by Music/FiveFingerDeathPunch.
** "Monster" and "Falling Inside The Black" by Music/{{Skillet}}.
** "It's the Fear" by Music/WithinTemptation.
** "The Way I Was" by Music/MakeshiftRomeo, is a song about a guy being shaped into becoming ruthless, and not knowing why they're doing it, and being desperate to become who he was earlier in his life, yet wondering if it's too late.
** Many songs of Music/SlipKnot is about this, due to them being
strict about the band themselves being misanthropes filled with hatred, angst and depression. Good examples are "Left Behind", "(Sic)", and "Dead Memories".
** Contagion, i'm sitting at the side of Satan. What do you want from me? They never told me
rules about the failure i theatre. During a scuffle with a rowdy patron the latter threw Julian's flashlight through the theatre screen. When he went to retrieve it, he was meant so angry that he failed to be" - Taken from Slipknot's (sic). notice the numerous ropes around him until he accidentally got himself tangled up and strangled. He is now a vengeful spirit who murders people who break the rules of his beloved theatre (and, unlike his fellow Icons, [[NeverHurtAnInnocent only them]]), which he still feels some level of guilt for even at his worst.



[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' has its share, both in the Horus Heresy and the 41st millennium.
** Horus was the most favored of the Primarchs until the Chaos Gods tricked him into becoming their champion as he lay dying from treachery. The war he waged turned the Imperium into a dystopian nightmare of cosmic proportions, and it was exactly the future he wanted to avert.
** Lorgar, the first Primarch to fall to Chaos, was once one of the most loyal of the Emperor's sons, to the point he worshiped the ground he walked on, built countless cities in his name, wrote numerous books arguing his divinity, and conquered dozens of planets through nothing but the strength of his faith and his ability to convince others of the Emperor's supposed godhood. The Emperor denouncing that faith, destroying the greatest city built to his name, and forcing Lorgar and his Legion to bow before the very destroyers of said city while chastising him for his need to devote himself to a higher power practically broke him. Erebus and Kor Phaeron then came to him in his darkest hour and told him of gods who ''would'' accept his worship and reward him, and thus Lorgar helped engineer the destruction of the Imperium he fought for. All because the Emperor believed religion would give the Chaos Gods more power.
** Chaos tricked half the Dark Angels into turning against the other and the battle they waged destroyed their home planet. While some of the Fallen continue their war against the Imperium, some have realised their mistake and are now on the run.
** Fulgrim was slowly corrupted by a Slaaneshi daemon (about which he knew nothing, as the Emperor didn't warn his ''sons'' about Chaos enough) residing in a sword, who took over his body after making Fulgrim and his Legion fall into depraved hedonism. Rather than deal with his mistake, he embraced Slaanesh so he will be given unlimited pleasure that will numb his soul.
** Magnus the Red's carelessness with warp magic got his legion marked for destruction after he used his powers to warn the Emperor about Horus's treachery, which destroyed the Emperor's Webway project and unleashed a horrible tide of daemons into it. Unwilling to let them die, Magnus struck a DealWithTheDevil to allow his legion asylum in the Warp. The price was eternal servitude to Tzeentch and the endless mutations that took a horrible rite to counter. It didn't do them much good.
** Conrad Curze was plagued by dark visions of the future... which all were true. He grew up on a crapsack planet called Nostramo, which was so bad that [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Gotham City]] was a paradise compared to it. Driven by his sense of justice, he butchered his way to the top through criminals, using fear and destruction as his tools. After joining the Emperor, he continued his work, slowly became a monster, destroyed Nostramo after it became a hellhole since he left, and joined his lot with Horus. After he realised what he had become, he let an Imperial assassin kill him.
** Angron was turned into a raging berserker in his childhood by the implantation of neural augmetics that would cause him extreme pain and rage until he killed something. When he finally led a slave revolt to go down in battle with the people he considered his own, the Emperor chose this moment to come in and teleport Angron out, denying him his chance to finally make the pain stop (and making everyone think Angron was a coward who ran off instead of facing his enemies). No wonder he was one of the first Primarchs to rebel against his "father".
** Ahzek Ahriman of the Thousand Sons is revealed to be sorry for the spell that locked his comrades' souls into their armor and wishes to serve the Emperor but continues to commit vile acts to find the knowledge to cure them.
* The undead Sixth Kingdom in ''TabletopGame/SpearsOfTheDawn'' is a whole race of tragic villains. While they are too evil and insane to make peace with at this point, they only made the DealWithTheDevil that turned them into [[TheUndead the Eternal]] in the first place because [[TheEmpire the Nyalans]] had driven them out into the desert and they had no other way to survive. Add to that the fact that they [[CompleteImmortality can't die,]] but ''can'' be crippled, and thus their enemies' usual way of dealing with them is breaking their physical forms so badly that they [[AndIMustScream can't move or speak ever again]] and then calling it a day, and... well, you can't help but feel sorry for them.
* While most ''TabletopGame/SentinelsOfTheMultiverse'' bad guys are generally not nice people, a couple are sad figures to a degree:
** Infinitor's actions are driven by his [=OblivAeon=]-inflicted madness, rather than his own will, making him one of the few genuinely sympathetic antagonists - especially since Infinitor is FightingFromTheInside throughout both his boss fights, and ultimately makes a HeroicSacrifice to save his brother.
** Deadline feels his monstrous actions are grimly necessary to save the planet Earth, at a cost of billions of lives. After he's defeated and learns that his plan wouldn't have worked anyway, he pulls a HeelFaceTurn and returns to fight alongside his former enemies as Lifeline.

to:

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
[[folder:Toys]]
* ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' has its share, both in the Horus Heresy and the 41st millennium.
** Horus was the most favored of the Primarchs until the Chaos Gods tricked him into becoming their champion as he lay dying
Makuta Krika from treachery. The war he waged turned the Imperium into a dystopian nightmare of cosmic proportions, and it was exactly the future he wanted to avert.
** Lorgar, the first Primarch to fall to Chaos, was once one of the most loyal of the Emperor's sons, to the point he worshiped the ground he walked on, built countless cities in his name, wrote numerous books arguing his divinity, and conquered dozens of planets through nothing but the strength of his faith and his ability to convince others of the Emperor's supposed godhood. The Emperor denouncing that faith, destroying the greatest city built to his name, and forcing Lorgar and his Legion to bow before the very destroyers of said city while chastising him for his need to devote himself to a higher power practically broke him. Erebus and Kor Phaeron then came to him in his darkest hour and told him of gods who ''would'' accept his worship and reward him, and thus Lorgar helped engineer the destruction of the Imperium he fought for. All because the Emperor believed religion would give the Chaos Gods more power.
** Chaos tricked half the Dark Angels into turning against the other and the battle they waged destroyed their home planet. While some of the Fallen continue their war against the Imperium, some have realised their mistake and are now on the run.
** Fulgrim was slowly corrupted by a Slaaneshi daemon (about which he knew nothing, as the Emperor
''Toys/{{Bionicle}}''. He didn't warn his ''sons'' about Chaos enough) residing in a sword, who took over his body after making Fulgrim and his Legion fall into depraved hedonism. Rather than deal agree with his mistake, he embraced Slaanesh so he will be given unlimited pleasure that will numb his soul.
** Magnus the Red's carelessness
[[BigBad Teridax]]'s EvilPlan, nor with warp magic got his legion marked for destruction after he used his powers to warn him overthrowing the Emperor about Horus's treachery, which destroyed Brotherhood of Makuta's former leader and turning the Emperor's Webway project and unleashed a horrible tide of daemons into it. Unwilling to let them die, Magnus struck a DealWithTheDevil to allow his legion asylum in the Warp. The price was eternal servitude to Tzeentch and the endless mutations that took a horrible rite to counter. It didn't do them much good.
** Conrad Curze was plagued by dark visions of the future... which all were true. He grew up on a crapsack planet called Nostramo, which was so bad that [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Gotham City]] was a paradise compared to it. Driven by his sense of justice,
[[BrotherhoodOfEvil organization evil]], but had he butchered his way to the top through criminals, using fear and destruction as his tools. rebelled, Teridax's supporters would have killed him. After joining realizing what the Emperor, plan entailed, he continued his work, slowly became a monster, destroyed Nostramo after it became a hellhole since he left, and joined resigned to his lot with Horus. After he realised what he had become, he let an Imperial assassin kill him.
** Angron was turned into a raging berserker in his childhood by the implantation of neural augmetics that
fate: if it succeeds, they would cause him extreme pain and rage until he killed something. When he finally led a slave revolt to go down in battle with become the people rulers of a world he considered his own, the Emperor chose this moment to come in and teleport Angron out, denying him his chance to finally make the pain stop (and making everyone think Angron was a coward who ran off instead of facing his enemies). No wonder he was one of the first Primarchs to rebel against his "father".
** Ahzek Ahriman of the Thousand Sons is revealed to be sorry for the spell that locked his comrades' souls into their armor and wishes to serve the Emperor but continues to commit vile acts to find the knowledge to cure them.
* The undead Sixth Kingdom in ''TabletopGame/SpearsOfTheDawn'' is a whole race of tragic villains. While they are too evil and insane to make peace with at this point, they only made the DealWithTheDevil that turned them into [[TheUndead the Eternal]] in the first place because [[TheEmpire the Nyalans]] had driven them out into the desert and they had no other way to survive. Add to that the fact that they [[CompleteImmortality can't die,]] but ''can'' be crippled, and thus their enemies' usual way of dealing with them is breaking their physical forms so badly that they [[AndIMustScream can't move or speak ever again]] and then calling it a day, and... well, you can't help but feel sorry for them.
* While most ''TabletopGame/SentinelsOfTheMultiverse'' bad guys are generally not nice people, a couple are sad figures to a degree:
** Infinitor's actions are driven by his [=OblivAeon=]-inflicted madness, rather than his own will, making him one of the few genuinely sympathetic antagonists - especially since Infinitor is FightingFromTheInside throughout both his boss fights, and ultimately makes a HeroicSacrifice to save his brother.
** Deadline feels his monstrous actions are grimly necessary to save the planet Earth, at a cost of billions of lives. After he's defeated and learns that his plan
wouldn't have worked anyway, he pulls a HeelFaceTurn want anymore, and returns if it failed, they would face the wrath of a PhysicalGod. [[spoiler:Too late did he find out that Teridax wanted to fight alongside rule alone. Upon trying to warn his former enemies as Lifeline.brethren, they believed him to be a traitor, and killed him.]]



[[folder:Theatre]]
* Theatre/SweeneyTodd is a classic example. Having been exiled by a corrupt judge who then took his wife and fostered his daughter, he returns for revenge and to save his family. When his vengeance is denied, he teams up with Ms. Lovett, who makes the worst meat pies in London. Her meat pies become much better when Sweeney Todd starts murdering every man who comes to his barber shop and giving the bodies to her to use. Yet despite being a mass murderer who helps dupe people into eating human flesh, Sweeney is still usually portrayed as a {{Woobie}} and VillainProtagonist in the musical. His original incarnation in penny dreadfuls was a lot less sympathetic.
* Elphaba of ''Theatre/{{WICKED}}'', in a [[TwiceToldTale perspective flip]] of the original plot of ''Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz''. The Wicked Witch of the West started out as a [[LonersAreFreaks solitary]] young woman frequently derided as hideous just because she has green skin. Everything good she tries to do backfires spectacularly--in no particular order, she loses the only teacher who cared about her, is forced to leave her best and only friend G(a)linda (The Good Witch of the South), loses her little sister Nessarose (The Wicked Witch of the East), and her lover Fiyero [[spoiler: who she unknowingly turned into the Scarecrow in an attempt to save his life]]. By the end of the play, she's suffered so many failures that she completely ''loses it'' and her death is devastating to the audience and Glinda. [[spoiler: And Glinda is the only one who [[LockedOutOfTheLoop DOESN'T know]] [[FakingTheDead Elphaba faked her death]].]]
* ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', who comes across as pitiful even as he does a multitude of horrible things, all of which he seems to have been driven to do because of his horribly disfigurement.
* Nathan ''did'' commit a series of crimes in ''Theatre/ThrillMe'', but he also had a peer group of one, and that one was a rather poor influence.
* Theatre/{{Macbeth}}, if one interprets the play in one particular perspective. He likely became an unwilling tyrant due to the twisted fate that befell him.
* Meg from ''Theatre/LoveNeverDies'' was taught that only The Phantom's approval matters so she can become a star, but he never pays her attention because she isn't Christine. This leads to her VillainousBreakdown [[spoiler: and accidentally killing Christine]].

to:

[[folder:Theatre]]
[[folder:Web Animation]]
* Theatre/SweeneyTodd is a classic example. Having been exiled by a corrupt judge who then took his wife and fostered his daughter, he returns for revenge and to save his family. When his vengeance is denied, he teams up with Ms. Lovett, who makes ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' gives us the worst meat pies in London. Her meat pies become much better when Sweeney Todd Meta/[[spoiler:Agent Maine]]. He starts murdering every man who comes to his barber shop and giving the bodies to her to use. Yet despite being out as a mass murderer who helps dupe people into eating human flesh, Sweeney relatively ruthless solider, but he is still usually portrayed as a {{Woobie}} loyal and VillainProtagonist in the musical. His original incarnation in penny dreadfuls was a lot less sympathetic.
* Elphaba
protective of ''Theatre/{{WICKED}}'', in a [[TwiceToldTale perspective flip]] of the original plot of ''Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz''. The Wicked Witch of the West started out as a [[LonersAreFreaks solitary]] young woman frequently derided as hideous just because she has green skin. Everything good she tries to do backfires spectacularly--in no particular order, she loses the only teacher who cared about her, is forced to leave her best and only friend G(a)linda (The Good Witch of the South), loses her little sister Nessarose (The Wicked Witch of the East), and her lover Fiyero his teammates. [[spoiler: After losing his voice defending one of his teammates, he is given the A.I. Sigma, who she unknowingly turned into the Scarecrow in an attempt to save slowly corrupts Maine until his life]]. By the end of the play, she's suffered so many failures that she former personality is completely ''loses it'' and her death is devastating to destroyed, leaving only the audience and Glinda. Meta.]] By the time season 6 comes, he has been reduced to little more than an beast. [[spoiler: And Glinda Even without Sigma controlling him, he is the only one who [[LockedOutOfTheLoop DOESN'T know]] [[FakingTheDead Elphaba faked her death]].still compelled to fulfill Sigma's ambitions simply because that is all he knows.]]
* ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', who comes across as pitiful even as ''Machinima/ArbyNTheChief'': Some see Eugene Black from Season 7 this way, due to his sister's condition and his father's abuse.
* [[spoiler:[[AdaptationalVillainy Miles Prower]]]] in Sandbox/WhereWasMyHero [[MuggingTheMonster was bullied and tormented by everyone
he does a multitude knew]] and having never met Sonic in this timeline never had anyone showing him any kind of horrible things, all love. One day he finds an injured bird and taking pity upon it nurses it back to health, growing fond of which it, he seems turned it into his LivingEmotionalCrutch, just when it looked like his luck was turning around, his two main bullies show up to have been driven to do because destroy yet another of his horribly disfigurement.
* Nathan ''did'' commit a series of crimes in ''Theatre/ThrillMe'', but he also had a peer group of one, and that one was a rather poor influence.
* Theatre/{{Macbeth}}, if one interprets the play in one particular perspective. He likely became an unwilling tyrant due to the twisted fate that befell him.
* Meg from ''Theatre/LoveNeverDies'' was taught that only The Phantom's approval matters so she can become a star, but he never pays her attention because she isn't Christine. This leads to her VillainousBreakdown [[spoiler:
creations and accidentally killing Christine]].kill his bird, the poor boy, having crossed both the DespairEventHorizon AND the RageBreakingPoint at practically the same time, reacts [[{{Understatement}} violently]], ''[[BloodbathVillainOrigin very]]'' [[BewareTheNiceOnes violently]]. Even after that, he ''still'' tried to be a hero instead of a force of evil, but when Sonic disaproves his [[MurderIsTheBestSolution "methods"]] he gives up on being a good guy. By the end, as he [[spoiler:lays dying, he starts reminiscing about FondMemoriesThatCouldHaveBeen, made all the more tragic by the fact that this memories do ocurr, in the canon timeline.]]



[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* Julian Browning AKA the Usher from Ride/UniversalStudios ''Theatre/HalloweenHorrorNights''. He was originally just a normal movie theatre usher whose worst crime was being strict about the rules about the theatre. During a scuffle with a rowdy patron the latter threw Julian's flashlight through the theatre screen. When he went to retrieve it, he was so angry that he failed to notice the numerous ropes around him until he accidentally got himself tangled up and strangled. He is now a vengeful spirit who murders people who break the rules of his beloved theatre (and, unlike his fellow Icons, [[NeverHurtAnInnocent only them]]), which he still feels some level of guilt for even at his worst.

to:

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Julian Browning AKA [[BigBad Fructose Rioflavin]] of ''WebComic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' is a dangerous, borderline psychopathic Galactic Emperor wannabe that seeks to overthrow the Usher from Ride/UniversalStudios ''Theatre/HalloweenHorrorNights''. He was originally just a normal movie theatre usher whose worst crime was being strict about Nemesite Empire and [[ForTheEvulz enjoy the rules about the theatre. During a scuffle with a rowdy patron the latter threw Julian's flashlight through the theatre screen. When he went to retrieve it, he was so angry destruction and death that he failed causes]]. However, it's also revealed that he comes from a poor background, and when his father (a street bandit) attempted to notice rob the numerous ropes around him until FatBastard Emperor at the time, he accidentally got himself tangled up killed in front of Rioflavin. Not only that, after Emperor also [[{{Jerkass}} mocks his death in Fructose's face]], he swore revenge upon the Nemesite Empire, but after 1900 years, Fructose has made no progress in his plan to overthrown the empire and strangled. He is now a vengeful spirit who murders people who break the rules of old, lonely wrench that has wasted his beloved theatre (and, unlike his fellow Icons, [[NeverHurtAnInnocent only them]]), life for a meaningless cause.
* Snatcher [[spoiler:and Gale]] from ''Webcomic/{{Sidekicks}}''. Snatcher just wanted to get rid of her powers
which he still feels some level of guilt for even at she [[BlessedWithSuck viewed as a curse]] and [[spoiler:Gale]] felt hard done by after being [[spoiler:coldly dismissed as a sidekick since his worst.father died allowing him to become one]]. Both [[spoiler:end up being killed by the same {{Jerkass}} superhero]].



[[folder:Toys]]
* Makuta Krika from ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}''. He didn't agree with [[BigBad Teridax]]'s EvilPlan, nor with him overthrowing the Brotherhood of Makuta's former leader and turning the [[BrotherhoodOfEvil organization evil]], but had he rebelled, Teridax's supporters would have killed him. After realizing what the plan entailed, he became resigned to his fate: if it succeeds, they would become the rulers of a world he wouldn't want anymore, and if it failed, they would face the wrath of a PhysicalGod. [[spoiler:Too late did he find out that Teridax wanted to rule alone. Upon trying to warn his brethren, they believed him to be a traitor, and killed him.]]

to:

[[folder:Toys]]
[[folder:Web Original]]
* Makuta Krika WebOriginal/JeffTheKiller used to be a normal kid, before the TerribleTrio of Randy, Troy, and Keith tried to mug him and his brother. Jeff beat the bullies up, but they lied to the police and said Jeff attacked them first. Jeff's brother took the blame to protect him, and was sent to juvie. Already dealing with the guilt and the loss of his brother, Jeff was attacked by the bullies at a party, where they beat him close to death and set him on fire. The trauma from ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}''. He didn't agree with [[BigBad Teridax]]'s EvilPlan, nor with these events caused him overthrowing the Brotherhood of Makuta's former leader to snap and turning the [[BrotherhoodOfEvil organization evil]], but had he rebelled, Teridax's supporters would have killed him. After realizing what the plan entailed, he became resigned to his fate: if it succeeds, they would become the rulers a SerialKiller. But poor writing brings this to YMMV.
* PlayedWith regarding Cord Cai in ''[[Literature/{{Takotsubo}} Takotsubo: The story
of a world he wouldn't want anymore, and if it failed, they would face the wrath of superhero]]''. Cord is a PhysicalGod. [[spoiler:Too late did he find out that Teridax wanted to rule alone. Upon very troubled young man who was trying to warn get his brethren, they believed life in order, before [[DeathByOriginStory his fiance Roland got shot in a carjacking.]] After the [[PoliceAreUseless Oakland police force majorly fucked up,]] he tracks the murderer down, shoots him to be a traitor, in the head, and killed him.]]starts a gang as the vigilante Tin Man because [[HeroicSelfDeprecation he doesn't think he's good enough for anything else.]] However, while Cord ''thinks'' he's [[InternalizedCategorism another Asian failure who can't escape the gang life]], he doesn't even notice that he's gone through the classic SuperheroOrigin Story.




[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' gives us the Meta/[[spoiler:Agent Maine]]. He starts out as a relatively ruthless solider, but he is still loyal and protective of his teammates. [[spoiler: After losing his voice defending one of his teammates, he is given the A.I. Sigma, who slowly corrupts Maine until his former personality is completely destroyed, leaving only the Meta.]] By the time season 6 comes, he has been reduced to little more than an beast. [[spoiler: Even without Sigma controlling him, he is still compelled to fulfill Sigma's ambitions simply because that is all he knows.]]
* ''Machinima/ArbyNTheChief'': Some see Eugene Black from Season 7 this way, due to his sister's condition and his father's abuse.
* [[spoiler:[[AdaptationalVillainy Miles Prower]]]] in Sandbox/WhereWasMyHero [[MuggingTheMonster was bullied and tormented by everyone he knew]] and having never met Sonic in this timeline never had anyone showing him any kind of love. One day he finds an injured bird and taking pity upon it nurses it back to health, growing fond of it, he turned it into his LivingEmotionalCrutch, just when it looked like his luck was turning around, his two main bullies show up to destroy yet another of his creations and accidentally kill his bird, the poor boy, having crossed both the DespairEventHorizon AND the RageBreakingPoint at practically the same time, reacts [[{{Understatement}} violently]], ''[[BloodbathVillainOrigin very]]'' [[BewareTheNiceOnes violently]]. Even after that, he ''still'' tried to be a hero instead of a force of evil, but when Sonic disaproves his [[MurderIsTheBestSolution "methods"]] he gives up on being a good guy. By the end, as he [[spoiler:lays dying, he starts reminiscing about FondMemoriesThatCouldHaveBeen, made all the more tragic by the fact that this memories do ocurr, in the canon timeline.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* [[BigBad Fructose Rioflavin]] of ''WebComic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' is a dangerous, borderline psychopathic Galactic Emperor wannabe that seeks to overthrow the Nemesite Empire and [[ForTheEvulz enjoy the destruction and death that he causes]]. However, it's also revealed that he comes from a poor background, and when his father (a street bandit) attempted to rob the FatBastard Emperor at the time, he got killed in front of Rioflavin. Not only that, after Emperor also [[{{Jerkass}} mocks his death in Fructose's face]], he swore revenge upon the Nemesite Empire, but after 1900 years, Fructose has made no progress in his plan to overthrown the empire and is now a old, lonely wrench that has wasted his life for a meaningless cause.
* Snatcher [[spoiler:and Gale]] from ''Webcomic/{{Sidekicks}}''. Snatcher just wanted to get rid of her powers which she [[BlessedWithSuck viewed as a curse]] and [[spoiler:Gale]] felt hard done by after being [[spoiler:coldly dismissed as a sidekick since his father died allowing him to become one]]. Both [[spoiler:end up being killed by the same {{Jerkass}} superhero]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* WebOriginal/JeffTheKiller used to be a normal kid, before the TerribleTrio of Randy, Troy, and Keith tried to mug him and his brother. Jeff beat the bullies up, but they lied to the police and said Jeff attacked them first. Jeff's brother took the blame to protect him, and was sent to juvie. Already dealing with the guilt and the loss of his brother, Jeff was attacked by the bullies at a party, where they beat him close to death and set him on fire. The trauma from these events caused him to snap and become a SerialKiller. But poor writing brings this to YMMV.
* PlayedWith regarding Cord Cai in ''[[Literature/{{Takotsubo}} Takotsubo: The story of a superhero]]''. Cord is a very troubled young man who was trying to get his life in order, before [[DeathByOriginStory his fiance Roland got shot in a carjacking.]] After the [[PoliceAreUseless Oakland police force majorly fucked up,]] he tracks the murderer down, shoots him in the head, and starts a gang as the vigilante Tin Man because [[HeroicSelfDeprecation he doesn't think he's good enough for anything else.]] However, while Cord ''thinks'' he's [[InternalizedCategorism another Asian failure who can't escape the gang life]], he doesn't even notice that he's gone through the classic SuperheroOrigin Story.
[[/folder]]


** In ''ComicBook/TheLegendOfWonderWoman2016'' Tomas Byde was DrivenToSuicide by Ares' manipulations, and then pulled into making a deal with Ares who twisted his grief into fury while he was near death. One he realizes the deception and betrayl that went into turning him into the Duke of Deception he is horrified and overcome with guilt at all the deaths he has caused due to his own weakness and premiting himself to be led on in this way.

to:

** In ''ComicBook/TheLegendOfWonderWoman2016'' Tomas Byde was DrivenToSuicide by Ares' manipulations, and then pulled into making a deal with Ares who twisted his grief into fury while he was near death. One Once he realizes the deception and betrayl betrayal that went into turning him into the Duke of Deception Deception, he is horrified and overcome with guilt at all the deaths he has caused due to his own weakness and premiting permitting himself to be led on in this way.


[[caption-width-right:300:[-"[[PutThemAllOutOfMyMisery If I must suffer... Humanity will suffer with me.]]"-] ]]

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[[caption-width-right:300:[-"[[PutThemAllOutOfMyMisery [[caption-width-right:300:"[[PutThemAllOutOfMyMisery If I must suffer... Humanity will suffer with me.]]"-] ]]
]]"]]


* [[spoiler:[[AdaptationalVillainy Miles Prower]]]] in Sandbox/WhereWasMyHero...? [[MuggingTheMonster was bullied and tormented by everyone he knew]] and having never met Sonic in this timeline never had anyone showing him any kind of love. One day he finds an injured bird and taking pity upon it nurses it back to health, growing fond of it, he turned it into his LivingEmotionalCrutch, just when it looked like his luck was turning around, his two main bullies show up to destroy yet another of his creations and accidentally kill his bird, the poor boy, having crossed both the DespairEventHorizon AND the RageBreakingPoint at practically the same time, reacts [[{{Understatement}} violently]], ''[[BloodbathVillainOrigin very]]'' [[BewareTheNiceOnes violently]]. Even after that, he ''still'' tried to be a hero instead of a force of evil, but when Sonic disaproves his [[MurderIsTheBestSolution "methods"]] he gives up on being a good guy. By the end, as he [[spoiler:lays dying, he starts reminiscing about FondMemoriesThatCouldHaveBeen, made all the more tragic by the fact that this memories do ocurr, in the canon timeline.]]

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* [[spoiler:[[AdaptationalVillainy Miles Prower]]]] in Sandbox/WhereWasMyHero...? Sandbox/WhereWasMyHero [[MuggingTheMonster was bullied and tormented by everyone he knew]] and having never met Sonic in this timeline never had anyone showing him any kind of love. One day he finds an injured bird and taking pity upon it nurses it back to health, growing fond of it, he turned it into his LivingEmotionalCrutch, just when it looked like his luck was turning around, his two main bullies show up to destroy yet another of his creations and accidentally kill his bird, the poor boy, having crossed both the DespairEventHorizon AND the RageBreakingPoint at practically the same time, reacts [[{{Understatement}} violently]], ''[[BloodbathVillainOrigin very]]'' [[BewareTheNiceOnes violently]]. Even after that, he ''still'' tried to be a hero instead of a force of evil, but when Sonic disaproves his [[MurderIsTheBestSolution "methods"]] he gives up on being a good guy. By the end, as he [[spoiler:lays dying, he starts reminiscing about FondMemoriesThatCouldHaveBeen, made all the more tragic by the fact that this memories do ocurr, in the canon timeline.]]


* [[spoiler:[[AdaptationalVillainy Miles Prower]]]] in Sandbox/WhereWasMyHero...? [[MuggingTheMonster was bullied and tormented by everyone he knew]] and having never met Sonic in this timeline never had anyone showing him any kind of love. One day he finds an injured bird and taking pity upon it nurses it back to health, growing fond of it, he turned it into his LivingEmotionalCrutch, just when it looked like his luck was turning around, his two main bullies show up to destroy yet another of his creations and accidentally kill his bird, the poor boy, having crossed both the DespairEventHorizon AND the RageBreakingPoint at practically the same time, reacts [[{{Understatement}} violently]], ''[[BloodbathVillainOrigin very]]'' [[BewareTheNiceOnes violently]]. Even after that, he ''still'' tried to be a hero instead of a force of evil, but when Sonic disaproves his [[MurderIsTheBestSolution "methods"]] he gives up on being a good guy. By the end, as he [[spoiler:lays dying, he starts reminiscing about FondMemoriesThatCouldHaveBeen, made all the more tragic by the fact that this memories do ocurr, in the canon timeline.]]



* [[spoiler:[[AdaptationalVillainy Miles Prower]]]] in Webcomic/WhereWasMyHero [[MuggingTheMonster was bullied and tormented by everyone he knew]] and having never met Sonic in this timeline never had anyone showing him any kind of love. One day he finds an injured bird and taking pity upon it nurses it back to health, growing fond of it, he turned it into his LivingEmotionalCrutch, just when it looked like his luck was turning around, his two main bullies show up to destroy yet another of his creations and accidentally kill his bird, the poor boy, having crossed both the DespairEventHorizon AND the RageBreakingPoint at practically the same time, reacts [[{{Understatement}} violently]], ''[[BloodbathVillainOrigin very]]'' [[BewareTheNiceOnes violently]]. Even after that, he ''still'' tried to be a hero instead of a force of evil, but when Sonic disaproves his [[MurderIsTheBestSolution "methods"]] he gives up on being a good guy. By the end, as he [[spoiler:lays dying, he starts reminiscing about FondMemoriesThatCouldHaveBeen, made all the more tragic by the fact that this memories do ocurr, in the canon timeline.]]

to:

* [[spoiler:[[AdaptationalVillainy Miles Prower]]]] in Webcomic/WhereWasMyHero [[MuggingTheMonster was bullied and tormented by everyone he knew]] and having never met Sonic in this timeline never had anyone showing him any kind of love. One day he finds an injured bird and taking pity upon it nurses it back to health, growing fond of it, he turned it into his LivingEmotionalCrutch, just when it looked like his luck was turning around, his two main bullies show up to destroy yet another of his creations and accidentally kill his bird, the poor boy, having crossed both the DespairEventHorizon AND the RageBreakingPoint at practically the same time, reacts [[{{Understatement}} violently]], ''[[BloodbathVillainOrigin very]]'' [[BewareTheNiceOnes violently]]. Even after that, he ''still'' tried to be a hero instead of a force of evil, but when Sonic disaproves his [[MurderIsTheBestSolution "methods"]] he gives up on being a good guy. By the end, as he [[spoiler:lays dying, he starts reminiscing about FondMemoriesThatCouldHaveBeen, made all the more tragic by the fact that this memories do ocurr, in the canon timeline.]]

Added DiffLines:

* [[spoiler:[[AdaptationalVillainy Miles Prower]]]] in Webcomic/WhereWasMyHero [[MuggingTheMonster was bullied and tormented by everyone he knew]] and having never met Sonic in this timeline never had anyone showing him any kind of love. One day he finds an injured bird and taking pity upon it nurses it back to health, growing fond of it, he turned it into his LivingEmotionalCrutch, just when it looked like his luck was turning around, his two main bullies show up to destroy yet another of his creations and accidentally kill his bird, the poor boy, having crossed both the DespairEventHorizon AND the RageBreakingPoint at practically the same time, reacts [[{{Understatement}} violently]], ''[[BloodbathVillainOrigin very]]'' [[BewareTheNiceOnes violently]]. Even after that, he ''still'' tried to be a hero instead of a force of evil, but when Sonic disaproves his [[MurderIsTheBestSolution "methods"]] he gives up on being a good guy. By the end, as he [[spoiler:lays dying, he starts reminiscing about FondMemoriesThatCouldHaveBeen, made all the more tragic by the fact that this memories do ocurr, in the canon timeline.]]

Added DiffLines:

* While most ''TabletopGame/SentinelsOfTheMultiverse'' bad guys are generally not nice people, a couple are sad figures to a degree:
** Infinitor's actions are driven by his [=OblivAeon=]-inflicted madness, rather than his own will, making him one of the few genuinely sympathetic antagonists - especially since Infinitor is FightingFromTheInside throughout both his boss fights, and ultimately makes a HeroicSacrifice to save his brother.
** Deadline feels his monstrous actions are grimly necessary to save the planet Earth, at a cost of billions of lives. After he's defeated and learns that his plan wouldn't have worked anyway, he pulls a HeelFaceTurn and returns to fight alongside his former enemies as Lifeline.

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