An antagonist is a character, group of characters, or institution, that represents the opposition against which the protagonist must contend. In other words, 'A person, or a group of people who oppose the protagonist, or most of the time the main characters.Mr. Big BadMusic for the First Half of the Article
Also Known as a "Evil Overlord" or "Diabolical Mastermind". Large and in Charge, with an inner circle of Goons to do their bidding and often also an Evil Army as well. Often will be more difficult to identify early on because of the very nature of a major villian, he's often caused everything. Occasionally pulls double duty as the Evil Genius.
The cause of all bad happenings in a story. A Big Bad could be a character with Evil Plans or it could be a situation, such as a comet heading towards the Earth. The Big Bad can (and often does) exert effect across a number of episodes, and even an entire season.
Note that Big Bad is not a catch-all trope for the biggest and ugliest villain of any given story.
The leader of the outlaw gang that the heroes face once or twice is not the Big Bad. The railroad tycoon who turns out to be using the gang as muscle is the Big Bad. If there is a constant Power behind the Throne story going on in order to reveal the big bad, then whoever is behind it all is the Big Bad, not every major villain in the lead-up. At other times, if a new enemy shows up to replace the previous Big Bad, then they are the Big Bads of their individual storylines.
The Big Bad may be confronted frequently, but is too powerful to finish off until the last episode of the sequence. The Big Bad may work through Evil Minions and will almost certainly have The Commander protecting him, to keep interest up and provide something for the good guys to defeat. When you look at a season-long story or a major Story Arc and you can identify that one villain as being the one in control of everything, that is the Big Bad. In many cases, you will find that while the Big Bad may be in control, the Commander-in-Chief would still be the greater threat.
The role remains largely the same, but it should be noted that they are the Big Bad of that particular organization. They are not just the leader of a Quirky Minion Squad, but is a set group to counter the roles in the heroes' Group. Whether or not they turn out to be the Big Bad of the entire work of fiction is not set in stone (although more often than not, they will be).
If a show has a series of Big Bad jeopardies, they can function like a series of Monsters of the Week that take more than a week to finish off. If there is a Legion of Doom, you can expect the Big Bad to be involved somehow.
They are Very dangerous and can do stuff like This
Sometimes they break into songs like This
Or Songs Like This
They also tend to have deep voices like ThisNon Action Big BadMusic for the Second Half of the Article
Mr. Big Bad, as everybody knows, is the ultimate evil in a work of fiction. But, what exactly makes him such a threatening villain? Is it because they're cunning? Eviler than anybody else? Or maybe because they're powerful? In practically every work of fiction centered around action, the latter is the case. Well, not always. This guy has zero fighting skills. He isn't interested in becoming stronger or more powerful either, but probably has a lust for conquest or something similar and will rely on a second-in-command or a Quirky Minion Squad to do all of the dirty work that needs to get done. Sometimes Mr. Big Bad is disappointingly. He is more deserving of a slap across the face than a pummeling, they are not even a remotely credible threat to the heroes.
Everytime the Heroes fight him he's often using some kind of machine for combat puroposes.
He's also physically weaker than a single common soldier.
He actually does have a Sword, the problem is that he can hardly use it properly.
However it may be because as a political or military Ruler they don't need to be and instead often have to file paper work.Commander in CheifMusic for the Third Half of the Article
The Commander-in-Chief serves as the de-facto Big Bad of the story. Though he's nominally subordinate to the "real" Big Bad, he's just so much smarter, stronger or skillful (and almost always scarier) that it's clear who's really the bigger menace. He tends to have almost no respect for Mr. Big Bad due to their comparative lack of vision, courage or common sense. Mr. Big Bad, for his part, either seriously or fatally overestimates The Commander's loyalty, or is just too afraid of him to be able to do much. In a nutshell, the Commander-in-Chief is the main villainous driving force behind the plot, even if he or she did not initiate it.
The defining feature of a Commander-in-Chief is that Mr. Big Bad's plans completely fall apart without them; essentially, the main story ends with the Commander's defeat. The Hero turns out to be way too much for Mr. Big Bad to handle, and The Commander is really the only significant threat in his arsenal. Typically, he and The Hero come from the same place, the same (usually violent) world and not the kind of environment in which Mr. Big Bad normally operates. The Commander and The Hero may have heard of each other by reputation, brewing a rivalry between the two. Alternatively, The Hero might have been after The Commander to begin with, such as for revenge for a past misdeed. In either case while Mr. Big Bad might stake all his fortune and dreams in the outcome of the fight, The Commander and The Hero see Mr. Big Bad as nothing more than an annoyance who should stay out of the way. Often Mr. Big Bad's only hope of survival is that these two destroy each other.
Because of their disrespect, there are few straight Commanders amongst Commander-in-Chief: They are either have a different agenda, a more dangerous Treacherous Subordinate, or just a more inevitable ascendant to throne (and don't be surprised if they are fought after Mr. Big Bad's Demise). The Comander with an agenda type will probably be using Mr. Big Bad for his own ends, working as a mercenary to fund his own projects that usually turn out to be much more threatening (or interesting) than Mr. Big Bad's goal.
If one of the other kinds, then they will probably be complaining about how Mr. Big Bad runs things — typically, they think that Mr. Big Bad either lacks ambition, or is just an idiot. These ones are often junior partners in Mr. Big Bad's business: After years of hard (but fun) living as a dangerous felon, he has found himself steady employment with Mr. Big Bad and hopes to take over the business some day or retire on the fortune made from his latest Master Plan. This is when he starts to complain about his unambitious or just plain incompetent way of running things, though Mr. Big Bad might retort that his way is from experience and The Commander's ways will ultimately lead to ruin. Occasionally, their warnings turn out to be right.
The most important thing is that Mr. Big Bad is just not a significant factor if this Commander is gone. This Big Bad must be much more manageable and less dangerous than their underling, or less likely to make a splash. The Commander-in-Chief is either the main villain or the star of the show in his own right, and the actual Big Bad ends up relegated to supporting villain status. The Commander can became the real Big Bad, while the theoretical Big Bad, would be moved to the position of the Evil Genius. Commander AscendantMusic for the Fourth Half of the Article
The heroes have defeated the Big Bad, and as they step out of the ashes and rubble, they congratulate themselves on a job well done. Now that the day is saved, they can relax and have a nice evening at home, knowing that the world is once again a safer place.
But wait! The Commander rises from the rubble, filled with determination and a thirst for vengeance. He was loyal to his former master, who may have even been an Evil Mentor. He might even turn out to be worse than his predecessor in terms of how threatning he is and how evil he is.
He may fused some of his bosses remains into his own body following the latter's death, and this act seems to have given him access to his bosses abilities. Which, displaying an absurd level of intelligence, he immediately used to revive and place under his control dozens of extremely powerful deceased enemies(including most of the previous Big Bads, hosts of an Cosmic Abomination, at least 3 Standard Evil Organization Squads, a number of Kages, any dead Main Characters.) making him one of the most powerful people on the planet. Treacherous Subordinate Music for the Fith Half of the Article
In some stories Mr. Big Bad casts a shadow over everyone: They might be afraid of him, they might be his minions, or they might be the heroes trying to defeat him.
A certain type of character falls outside this pattern: a villain too ambitious or individualistic or just too stubborn to accept the supremacy of Mr. Big Bad. Instead, this villain actually has dreams about overthrowing the guy everyone else fears and taking his place, therefore becoming the most dangerous person. He is loyal to no one and only cares about his own needs. Sometimes he is a grudging servant of the Big Bad(If he is The Commander is the most Likely one), sometimes he is entirely outside the established power structure. Either way, if Mr. Big Bad ever stumbles or shows weakness, this Treacherous Subordinate will be there, ready to kick him out of Power or even slay him. Depending on the nature of the character, he may be an over-optimistic fool or someone who might actually be able to pull it off. If the character is powerful enough, our heroes might be forced to try and stop him from toppling the original villain who is responsible for everything. It can be hard to justify why Mr. Big Bad keeps them around, but it may most commonly be so Mr. Big Bad has a reason to always keep his guard up because the reasons vary depending on the story (thus can rest assured that he will become very alert). In some stories he manages to become the main villian, while in others he fails completely.The Power Behind the ThroneMusic for the Sixth Half of the Article
This person does not always appear. When he does he is responsible for Mr. Big Bad's Current state of being. This Man has deeper problems, deeper motives and so much power that the heroes will have to go through another round of dungeon diving just to stand a chance. When he reveals his reasons for being evil, expect the theme of the plot to unfold quickly and dramatically.
In many genres, The Power Behind the Throne often has more sinister and apocalyptic goals than his predecessor. For example, while a puppet king or greedy corporation may want to take over the world, the real Big Bad may want to destroy the world, or even erase all of existence. He is the most dangerous person alive but the quest will always remain. Who is He?The Evil GeniusMusic for the Seventh Half of the Article
Operates the weapons or acts as Mission Control for the others. Often essential to the evil scheme; their screwing up could mean the entire thing falls apart. Most likely of this group to be heavily relied on for this very reason. Ironically, being less manically evil doesn't often make them a better candidate to reform. as they are often just completely amoral. More prone to insanity or other quirks than others. They Can Be a Mad Doctor, a Computer Hacker, a Millitary Strategist, a Magnificent Chessmaster, or a Smug Snake.
They're usually rather high-ranked, commonly below The Commander but above the Quirky Minion Squad. They are almost exclusively male except in fiction that either has an unusually high female ratio or a female motif for its villains. The Evil Genius is obviously intelligent, and is the one in charge of the Wave Motion Gun or shipping the nukes into the country or resurrecting the Lost Superweapon or what have you. This character is usually the one that will demonstrate to the Big Bad how to use a particular device. They're usually a Mad Scientist, a military tactician, a specialist in a particular field (such as computers or electronics), or has ties to The Government (or a combination), so they're in the best position to deliver the goodies to the Evil Overlord. In medieval fantasy settings, this role is often played by an evil strategist, rogue/spymaster, or a dark wizard.
In some cases they are actually more danerous than their boss because they will sometimes starts physically injuring the defenseless opponents and are in charge of interrogation and will often use methods that will turns them into screaming shambles.
They are Very dangerous and can do stuff like ThisThe BruteMusic for the Eighth Half of the Article
If the Commander doesn't lead the Goons, they will. While likely not better in a fight than The Commander, is often the most physically powerful and often the most sadistic. Likes to fight and get his hands dirty, and is usually second best to the Commander at doing so. Oh, and they are big, and sometimes (but not always) pretty dim.
the Brute is huge, all muscle, loves to fight and is very good at it. However, while he may first appear to be The Hero's equal in combat, subsequent battles will establish him as being the Goliath to the Hero's David.
He is usually a bully, incapable of empathy, and, more often than not, also very stupid, though there are exceptions. Super Strength and Nigh Invulnerability are common among powered varieties. Female brutes are rare outside of all-women groups, although not unheard of.
He is often the first opponent the heroes face after their successes require that someone more capable be sent to take care of them. He tends to be either blindly loyal or just too thickheaded and incompetent to ever stand a chance of overthrowing the leaders. Despite his role as the primary brute force of The Evil Army, he is rarely ever as strong as The Commander.
One thing to keep in mind with this character type is that it's the role and rank as opposed to just the personality that defines it. Psycho For HireMusic for the Ninth of the Article
A hired agent who is in it for their unhinged behavior. They may have other motivations, like money or power, but these are incidental to the sheer joy they get from obliterating their opponents.
Feel free to run and hide right now.
Most are mercenaries, the handful who aren't are summoned and controlled. They are almost never Mr. Big Bad, because unstable maniacs don't make good or interesting plotters. Mr. Big Bad often has contempt for them for precisely this reason.
In fact, it's hard to understand why any intelligent Big Bad would hire these guys, given their tendencies to attract attention by destroying vast numbers of bystandards, turn down easy chances to destroy the hero because "it wouldn't be fun", and turn on their bosses because of trivial or imaginary "insults" or just For the Evulz.
He just loves the fight and destroy.
They are Usally Chaotic Evil or Netural Evil, But can be Lawful Evil
If he has a position of power, he's usally a Judge that who rules his courtroom with an iron fist as his own personal fiefdom. He will hand out brutal sentences for the most minor infractions.
What makes him even more sinister than the other judges is the fact that the Town is undisputedly under his power, and he certainly has enough influence around this place to say that he IS the law-enforcement of the city.
On rare occausions they can be the Evil Guy if they are in league with the heroes, but the heroes will rarley hire this man (Good For them, wise decision).
They are very dangerous and can do stuff like ThisBig Bad DuumvirateMusic for the Tenth Half of the Article
You might ask your self what's worse than one Big Bad? Two Big Bads, possibly more, working in intentional collusion with each other. Sometimes they will work together just fine; being all respectful and well, but more often than not there will be rivalries between them, and they will tend to break out into a literal example of a Civil War. Sometimes they are friend other times they are in a romantic relationship what is clear is that both work togeather to complete whatever they want they want to achieve. They are not working attacking one another but instead they are working (sometimes witha silight rivarly) side by side. The HeavyMusic for the Eleventh Article
The Heavy is the villain whose actions drive the plot. One of the things that an average viewer has seen a million times.
This is a dominant role for an actor, frequently the largest role in a play or movie. The term, which goes back to theater in the 1800s, may refer to this player having the heaviest script.
In modern times the heavy can also the villian who has the most presence in the story
For example Sauron is the Big Bad of Lord of the Rings, but Saruman (and to an extent the Witch-King and the other Ringwraiths) are much more visible and involved villains, especially in the movies. The One Ring itself is more active and visible than Sauron. Sauron doesn't even really appear himself, ever. Gollum is more of an actual presence than the Big Bad!
In some cases they can actually be the Big Bad, but is more often The Commander, since keeping the Big Bad mysterious generally makes him scarier. This is especially true in the case of a Non-Action Big Bad. An example in the original Star Wars trilogy, Emperor Palpatine may be the Big Bad, but Darth Vader is The Heavy. He's seen more. He has more to do. He dominates the films, and as the prequels prove, the story is about him.
Dispite the role seeming simple they are actually Very Dangerous
They tend to be self-proclaimed tyrants and would-be Galactic Conqueror.
A user and abuser of his followers they divide the world into enemies and pawns, destroying or enslaving the former, and ruthlessly exploiting the latter. They demonstrate some sadistic tendencies, considers his own allies expendable, and hopes to bring world, and eventually the galaxy, under his heel.
They will not hesatate to wipe out an entire nation just so he could absorb the souls of every citizen.
They are also not above sacrificing all of their remaining troops in order to gain control of an anchient doomsday weapon and set out to overrun the galaxy.
They can also be anyone of these guys aboveBigger BadMusic for the Twelfth Half of the Article
Mr. Big Bad may be the one who is directly responsible for the plot, but is not necessarily the most powerful or significant evil presence in the setting. the setting has a villainous presence that is more significant than Mr. Big Bad in the setting as a whole, but isn't causing the conflict of the story (and may have little to do with it at all). Perhaps it's an important being sealed or in eternal sleep.
Big Bad will seek to exploit or make use of it though this doesn't always happen. If the Big Bad tries to harness the Bigger Bad for his own gain, he'll likely learn the painful lesson that Evil Is Not to be Toyed with.
A Bigger Bad is a more threatening force of evil in the setting and overshadows it, but due to mindlessness, imprisonment, lack of interest, or other factors it is disconnected on a personal level from the main plot, which is caused by Mr. Big Bad. Contrast with Power Behind the Throne, where a villain directly tied into the story is revealed to be controlling or manipulating Mr. Big Bad. In this case, the Man behind the Man is the actual hidden Big Bad. A being who fits this trope is likely a demon lord, archdevil, God of Evil or Cosmic Abomination with an Evil Religion and/or Path of Inspiration built around him/her/it. He/she/it is probably Made of Evil and will probably exist As Long as There Is Evil.
He is one of a group of Cosmic Abominations or Mysterious beings who personify and provoke in humans various forms of madness.
He might a reincarnation of a Demon Lord.
In all cases he manages to be an even more powerful enemy, dangerous and deadly.
One of them is an entity that existed before everything and wants to plunge everything into nothingness.
Another is a life-hating Cosmic Abomination that turns every planet he visits into sand dunes.
Yet another is a monster born out of humanity's collective negative emotions.
They Can also be a mad doctor who the aftermath of a devastating war, was sentenced to exile in Earth's orbit sealed within a space craft, who's body was modified into a cyborg contained within a bio-mechanical suit that would prevent him from deterioration and death. His memories were also converted into data, so that he would never forget his crimes, and was then banished into the wastelands he had created, to suffer eternally therein. Unfortunately, no one bargained on him coming back, and once he did, he set back to work
They Might be the parent or creator the Big Bad
They can also be the reason why the Big Bad turned evil
In more mundane cases, this role can be taken by a distant dictator who is not involved in the plot or a cursed object but plans not only to enslave the world but the entire universe that we live in.