Being a criminal is a tricky business. It’s easy for heroes in any story to get away with causing massive destruction and taking risks, while villains earn a bad reputation. Criminals are not particularly praised for their actions, even when they do what they think is right.
Whether or not they had dealt with more trauma than the protagonist didn’t matter in the eyes of their enemy. They are hated, unappreciated, and fooled, only to lose in the end. Even if they have been handled badly or done their best for themselves, the job of criminals is not easy.
10 They Are Often Misunderstood
Whether they’re plotting the end of the world or the annihilation of their sworn enemy, some villains are simply misunderstood. It is not easy for good people to understand why a criminal chooses to blow up the power grid or destroy an entire school of students using magic.
More often than not, even after the protagonist takes the time to question the antagonist’s motives, they fail to help the villain, causing them to go down the wrong path. Some bad people deserve to be listened to and led back to the light.
9 Sometimes Criminals Just Want To Protect Their Home
At times, the strange villain might frown at them for causing a stir in their tenants’ homes. These tenants have a tendency to move out without considering the spirits they may share the house with.
Anyone would be a little evil if a group of strangers decided to attack their residence. Most criminals deserve to defend their homes, even if they’re just doing their job keeping their home in shape or just trying to keep their family business.
8 They May Have Rough Education
If someone has a pathetic background, the villain is usually a powerful figure. One can debate the topic of nature vs. nurturing, but sometimes criminals are formed from the two. It is natural for individuals to have chips on their shoulders if their guardians were not around to protect them as children or were never treated properly to begin with.
No one can blame criminals for making questionable choices if they were mistreated as a child. From orphaned to downright hated, antagonists are often the result of their childhood trauma.
7 They Act On Their Natural Instinct To Survive
Criminals don’t always stand on two legs and use their words to make hate comments; sometimes, they are just animals. To be fair, evil animals tend to be on the bigger and scarier side. However, wild animals of any kind only act on nature.
No one pays attention when a lion kills a deer for dinner, but if a mutant lizard causes mass destruction, no one tries to understand it. If they were in the ocean, or taken out of their natural habitat, wild animals would still be animals, and no one could blame the creatures for what they are.
6 They Often Lose Loved Ones
Criminal or not, victims of grief deserve the slightest sympathy and understanding for having to grieve. People deal with grief in different ways.
For some, death inspires them to do great things and ultimately save the universe, but others are driven into pure anger. From watching their love die in their arms to not being able to save their parents, it’s understandable that a criminal might have become angry with grief.
5 They May Not Be Mentally Healthy
More often than not, the tropes of mentally ill villains never fail to make their way into the movies. However, something about criminals struggling with their mental health makes them inherently human. Millions of people worldwide live with mental illness, sometimes undiagnosed.
It is almost impossible to blame criminals for making mistakes if they are not mentally fit. Of course, most people living with mental illness don’t hurt anyone in the real world. However, characters like Norman Bates or Arthur Fleck need significant psychiatric help (and are kept out of society).
4 Sometimes They Do What They Create
Artificial intelligence can be a scary subject, especially when they gain enough intelligence to fight humans. Most villains or robot antagonists tend to start their journey as a blank slate, absorbing information and serving their master. Often, their journey is diverted as they acquire personalities and form opinions.
From a distance, these villains may seem cold and callous in their endeavors, but they are only acting out what they have been programmed to learn. AIs may do what they feel is best for their human counterparts or simply try to be seen as equal. Regardless, this character was created for a reason.
3 Their Obsession With Monologue Can Be Harmful
Great monologues mostly come from awesome characters, but villains fail to control their impulses and overstep their boundaries. Antagonists can be a bit self-absorbed and love to hear themselves talk.
Their lack of self-control can result in a loss when the story’s heroes are plotting their imminent takedown. Despite their sense of style and their gravitas to finally amplify their voices, their speeches are often the beginning of their downfall. Even Syndrome Outstanding realized his mistake and then failed again.
2 Their Plans Usually Fail
One of the most predictable moves criminals make is their ultimate plan. Their motive for winning is impossible without a proper and well thought out blueprint. These complex schemes often fail to make it past the final stages, even if they are years in development or thought up in less than a minute.
From a mother seeking security for her daughter by eliminating competition, or a mischievous god trying to win the throne, these plans never work out the way they could. On the rare occasion that a villain’s plan succeeds, the hero is always there to stop the ultimate chaos just in time.
1 Their Sidekick or Minions Are Not Always Competent
Teamwork makes the dream work, but that’s not always the case when criminals are too smart for their helpers. Heroes may look like they are working alone to succeed, but they generally have a more extensive support system that gives them the upper hand.
Criminals don’t have loved ones to comfort them or support their dark ideas. They must find gullible individuals to help them. Usually, these sidekicks or evil minions only do work for a source of payment, either for food and shelter, out of fear, or both. Criminals tend to be the only ones capable of getting the job done.
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