Main Antagonist

by Lara

Hi, my question is regarding about my antagonist, I have here antagonist A who I decide the story's main opposition. But somehow I tempted to an idea to have his master,a stronger than him, which will come in the end of the story and duels the main character. Which should be my antagonist?


Answer: Two things happen regularly in stories.

1. Sometimes in addition to the antagonist (who is driven to oppose the story goal and force the goal to be reconsidered) there is a minor villain who takes on a contagonist role. A contagonist is a character who is driven to impede other characters and tempts them to abandon their goal -- to choose short-term rather than long-term rewards. (Of course, the contagonist does not have to be a villain nor on the villain's team, it just happens sometimes.)

2. The other thing that can happen is a hand-off or stand-in. For instance, one character may take on the antagonist role early in the story, but later turn out to be just an underling who is holding the position until the real villain enters (rather like how a legal guardian can act for an underage king until he comes of age). In other cases, a villain may be killed, but his death causes his big brother, boss, or mentor to enter the story. The role of antagonist is thus inherited by someone else.

For instance, in the first Star Wars film (Episode IV), Governor Tarkin is a stand-in for the Emperor who doesn't actually appear until the next film, after Tarkin dies.

What you don't want is two characters taking on an antagonist role at the same time, because that would be redundant. So before your second villain arrives, the first should step down or be forced out (by dying perhaps).

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