September 18, 2019, 11:22:58 PM

Author Topic: Fantasy-Faction Book Battles: Favorite Antagonist Nominations  (Read 7906 times)

Offline Lanko

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Re: Fantasy-Faction Book Battles: Favorite Antagonist Nominations
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2016, 09:42:41 AM »
Antagonists often fall flat for me. They end up being either too weak (Regal), too impersonal (Sauron), or too distant (Kresimir). Only two nominations from me as a result:

The Lord Ruler (Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson)
He was an incredibly powerful antagonist, and could easily have become just another impersonal force of evil, but Sanderson managed to slowly reveal a much more nuanced character. He's conflicted and flawed, and found himself with horrible decisions to make.


I was gonna nominate The Lord Ruler too, but I went only for the "evil" guys. Good call. Definitely the Lord Ruler, for the same reasons, I even posted about him being the best character of Mistborn, as I have only recently read it: http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/fantasy-book-discussion/brandon-sanderson/msg140636/#msg140636

Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline Victoria Hooper

Re: Fantasy-Faction Book Battles: Favorite Antagonist Nominations
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2016, 10:30:55 AM »
I'm having trouble thinking of these actually. I'm finding it hard to remember antagonists from a lot of books, or else there isn't really a specific antagonist. Or the really memorable bad guys aren't actually the Big Bad itself. For example, can I nominate the Imperators from the Ketty Jay series? They really made an impression on me and they're very effective bad guys that pop up in every book in the series. But I suppose the actual main antagonist for that series is the religious order, the Awakeners? I'm gonna nominate both for now and see what others think.

The Imperators, from Tales of the Ketty Jay, Chris Wooding
The Awakeners, from Tales of the Ketty Jay, Chris Wooding
The Auditors, from Discworld, Terry Pratchett
The Lord Ruler, from Mistborn, Brandon Sanderson
Prince Humperdinck, from The Princess Bride, William Goldman
Voldemort, from Harry Potter, JK Rowling
Bellatrix, from Harry Potter, JK Rowling
The Witch of the Waste, from Howl's Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones
Cersei, from A Song of Ice and Fire, George RR Martin

I'll probably add more when I think of some. :)

Offline ultamentkiller

Re: Fantasy-Faction Book Battles: Favorite Antagonist Nominations
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2016, 05:14:13 PM »
I'm not sure you can nominate an entire group of people.

Offline Peat

Re: Fantasy-Faction Book Battles: Favorite Antagonist Nominations
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2016, 05:48:02 PM »
I'm not sure you can nominate an entire group of people.

I reckon there's something to this.

Besides, if we exclude races/cultures, we have a whole brand new poll to do :D
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Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Fantasy-Faction Book Battles: Favorite Antagonist Nominations
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2016, 07:37:29 PM »
I'm not sure you can nominate an entire group of people.

I reckon there's something to this.

Besides, if we exclude races/cultures, we have a whole brand new poll to do :D

If we start nominating entire races/ cultures we see as protagonists, we might risk the first ever correct evocation of Godwin's Law.
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Offline Mr.J

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Re: Fantasy-Faction Book Battles: Favorite Antagonist Nominations
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2016, 07:41:33 PM »
Who nominated an entire race/culture of people? :P

Is it something from Ketty Jay?

Offline ultamentkiller

Re: Fantasy-Faction Book Battles: Favorite Antagonist Nominations
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2016, 07:52:15 PM »
Yes. The Imperators, the Awakeners, etc.

Offline Revan

Re: Fantasy-Faction Book Battles: Favorite Antagonist Nominations
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2016, 09:51:22 PM »
Shai'tan - The Wheel of Time
Ishamael - The Wheel of Time
Demandred - The Wheel of Time
Lanfear - The Wheel of Time
The Lord Ruler - Mistborn
Ruin - Mistborn
Chandrian - The Kingkillers Chronicles
Mamun - The First Law
Lady - The Black Company (antagonist only in the first three books)
Soulcatcher - The Black Company
Kennit - Liveship Traders (does he count as antagonist)
Sauron - The Lord of the Rings
The Falconer - Gentlemen Bastards
The Dead King - The Broken Empire
Grandmother Wexen - The Shattered Sea
The Ally - Raven's Shadow
Brandin - Tigana
The Others - A Song of Ice and Fire
Tywin Lannister - A Song of Ice and Fire
Jeoffrey 'Baratheon' - A Song of Ice and Fire
« Last Edit: May 28, 2016, 11:48:17 PM by Revan »

Offline Revan

Re: Fantasy-Faction Book Battles: Favorite Antagonist Nominations
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2016, 09:55:02 PM »
Antagonists often fall flat for me. They end up being either too weak (Regal), too impersonal (Sauron), or too distant (Kresimir). Only two nominations from me as a result:

The Lord Ruler (Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson)
He was an incredibly powerful antagonist, and could easily have become just another impersonal force of evil, but Sanderson managed to slowly reveal a much more nuanced character. He's conflicted and flawed, and found himself with horrible decisions to make.

Captain Kennit (Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb)
Found him to be fascinating. He's charming, charismatic, and utterly amoral, solely driven by his lust for power; picture Jack Sparrow with no conscience or inhibitions. Yet in many ways his legacy in the world is hugely positive, and through his actions he wins the loyalty of good people. He's the opposite side of the "bad deeds done with good intentions" coin, and it works brilliantly. Note: while you could argue that he's a secondary character (or even protagonist), he definitely fits best here, since he's the primary antagonist for the real protagonists in the series.

Have you read Dune books? Lord Ruler is essentially the God Emperor of Dune.

Saying that, I liked him more than God Emperor considering that Frank Herbert's main purpose on writing story was to give philosophical mumbo jumbo there, while Sanderson on the other hand tells good (although watered down) stories, which don't make you hate the book you're reading.

Offline Lanko

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Re: Fantasy-Faction Book Battles: Favorite Antagonist Nominations
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2016, 09:58:27 PM »
Since Star Wars is also a book, Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine (or Darth Sidious) can enter the contest! Right?
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Offline Raptori

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Re: Fantasy-Faction Book Battles: Favorite Antagonist Nominations
« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2016, 02:02:32 AM »
Antagonists often fall flat for me. They end up being either too weak (Regal), too impersonal (Sauron), or too distant (Kresimir). Only two nominations from me as a result:

The Lord Ruler (Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson)
He was an incredibly powerful antagonist, and could easily have become just another impersonal force of evil, but Sanderson managed to slowly reveal a much more nuanced character. He's conflicted and flawed, and found himself with horrible decisions to make.

Captain Kennit (Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb)
Found him to be fascinating. He's charming, charismatic, and utterly amoral, solely driven by his lust for power; picture Jack Sparrow with no conscience or inhibitions. Yet in many ways his legacy in the world is hugely positive, and through his actions he wins the loyalty of good people. He's the opposite side of the "bad deeds done with good intentions" coin, and it works brilliantly. Note: while you could argue that he's a secondary character (or even protagonist), he definitely fits best here, since he's the primary antagonist for the real protagonists in the series.

Have you read Dune books? Lord Ruler is essentially the God Emperor of Dune.

Saying that, I liked him more than God Emperor considering that Frank Herbert's main purpose on writing story was to give philosophical mumbo jumbo there, while Sanderson on the other hand tells good (although watered down) stories, which don't make you hate the book you're reading.
Only the first few - thought the first one was incredible, the first two sequels a bit crap, didn't bother carrying on - so I don't think I got far enough to encounter that.  :-\
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Offline Revan

Re: Fantasy-Faction Book Battles: Favorite Antagonist Nominations
« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2016, 09:09:03 AM »
Antagonists often fall flat for me. They end up being either too weak (Regal), too impersonal (Sauron), or too distant (Kresimir). Only two nominations from me as a result:

The Lord Ruler (Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson)
He was an incredibly powerful antagonist, and could easily have become just another impersonal force of evil, but Sanderson managed to slowly reveal a much more nuanced character. He's conflicted and flawed, and found himself with horrible decisions to make.

Captain Kennit (Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb)
Found him to be fascinating. He's charming, charismatic, and utterly amoral, solely driven by his lust for power; picture Jack Sparrow with no conscience or inhibitions. Yet in many ways his legacy in the world is hugely positive, and through his actions he wins the loyalty of good people. He's the opposite side of the "bad deeds done with good intentions" coin, and it works brilliantly. Note: while you could argue that he's a secondary character (or even protagonist), he definitely fits best here, since he's the primary antagonist for the real protagonists in the series.

Have you read Dune books? Lord Ruler is essentially the God Emperor of Dune.

Saying that, I liked him more than God Emperor considering that Frank Herbert's main purpose on writing story was to give philosophical mumbo jumbo there, while Sanderson on the other hand tells good (although watered down) stories, which don't make you hate the book you're reading.
Only the first few - thought the first one was incredible, the first two sequels a bit crap, didn't bother carrying on - so I don't think I got far enough to encounter that.  :-\

God Emperor is the fourth one. A bit better than the two sequels, but still boring. I quit reading the saga after it.

Offline Victoria Hooper

Re: Fantasy-Faction Book Battles: Favorite Antagonist Nominations
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2016, 10:47:48 AM »
Who nominated an entire race/culture of people? :P
Is it something from Ketty Jay?
Yes. The Imperators, the Awakeners, etc.

Not really. Neither the Imperators nor the Awakeners are an entire race/culture of people. You may be getting them mixed up with the Sammies or the Manes from the same books? Nominating the Awakeners would be a bit like nominating the Catholic Church (the organised leadership rather than the religion itself) in a story where its leaders have been deliberately manipulating events to take control, but the leaders themselves are not really big characters. I think people would refer to the Church as the antagonist in a story like that. But as I said in my post, I'm not sure if we're counting stuff like that.

Nominating the Imperators is a bit like nominating the Praetorian Guard, or the Inquisitors from the Mistborn series. They are a group of elite enforcers for the bad guys and I always got the impression there weren't very many of them. In a series that lacks one Big Bad, they stick out to me.

But if you want to keep antagonists  strictly to one person rather than a small group of people or an organisation of bad guys, I can totally understand that.  :) In that case, nominating the auditors from Discworld might be a bit of a stretch too, though I guess they are more like a kind of hivemind, so perhaps they can still count?

Offline Peat

Re: Fantasy-Faction Book Battles: Favorite Antagonist Nominations
« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2016, 04:25:13 PM »
In that case, nominating the auditors from Discworld might be a bit of a stretch too, though I guess they are more like a kind of hivemind, so perhaps they can still count?

I'd agree with that.

I've no particular brief either way, other than a greed for popularity contests and a belief that a separate one for organisations/cultures/races/whateverthehelltheauditorsare could be fun :p

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Offline Peat

Re: Fantasy-Faction Book Battles: Favorite Antagonist Nominations
« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2016, 05:23:52 PM »
I've found this one difficult too. I tried very hard to pick a full 20 and couldn't. And alright, I've been a little hipster in places to try and widen the pool/maybe jog people's memories, and probably coulda made the full 20 if I'd leaned a little more on the popular names here - hah, no, wait, 20, and with a glorious glorious choice. At the bottom. Alright, lets do this folk.

Melisande Shahrizai (Kushiel's Legacy) (Jacqueline Carey) - Not often do protagonists appear so terrified of their villain. A glorious manipulator.
Bellatrix Lestrange (Harry Potter) (JK Rowling) - As true, faithful and manic a servant as any evil overlord could wish
Cersei Lannister (Song of Ice and Fire) (GRR Martin) - Her neurotic arrogance drives the books to a huge degree
Martel (Elenium) (David Eddings) - Cynical, amusing, and a figure of great pathos
Lady Invidia Aquitaine (Codex Alera) (Jim Butcher) - Vaulting ambition never leaped higher
Lanfear (The Wheel of Time) (Robert Jordan) - The ultimate stalker; loved watching the way desire was sublimated to greed for power
Nicodemus (The Dresden Files) (Jim Butcher) - Megalomanical plotting and evil done proper
Mr Wednesday (American Gods) (Neil Gaiman) - Wonderful style, wonderful cunning, wonderful need
Brandin of Ygrath (Tigana) (Guy Gavriel Kay) - Very human, very admirable, but with that one unforgivable stain on his name
Nimue (Chronicles of Arthur) (Bernard Cornwell) - A true believer, letting the fire of it consume her every day
Lasciel (The Dresden Files) (Jim Butcher) - Everything a fallen angel should be
Ishmael (The Wheel of Time) (Robert Jordan) - A wonderfully creepy nihilistic muddafudda
Jonathan Teatime (The Hogfather) (Terry Pratchett) - "Brilliant like a fractured mirror".
Kitiara Uth Matar (Dragonlance) (Margaret Weis/Tracy Hickman) - Not a huge fan of the series, but a fine villain with her conflicted loyalties
Tasaio of the Minwanabi (Empire trilogy) (Raymond E. Feist/Janny Wurts) - A satisfyingly nasty piece of work
Samildanach (Knights of Dark Renown) (David Gemmell) - The perfect knight turned into the perfect monster
Carcer (Night Watch) (Terry Pratchett) - A great representation of the worst of man
Lancelot (Chronicles of Arthur) (Bernard Cornwell) - What a slime ball
Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter) (JK Rowling) - Truly the banality of evil made flesh. Just a captivatingly horrible person.
Littlefinger (Song of Ice and Fire) (GGR Martin) - Charming, wicked, clever. Part of me wants him to get away with it tbh.

I think I'm the first to nominate the last two and I sorta can't believe it. Obviously I reckon all of these are worth consideration, but the last two surely deserve a place.

In the event, I made two last minute changes to this, so maybe there's more good villains than I thought. But I think too many authors don't take us close enough to their villains, or chuck them away too readily.

This list would look very different if graphic novels was part of it; they seem to do it better. There were also a lot of people who I feel wondered the line between antagonist and not a little too much; clearly they're the best type of villain. Sometimes.

Final musing - As Sir Mixalot might have said, "I like bad girls and I cannot lie". Lotta female characters, most quite glamourous *cough*.