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Old 01-13-2020, 04:53 PM   #21
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Default Re: The line between anti-hero and full on villain.

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Most well written villains will likely see themselves as heroes. Even those that recognize their own villainy will see their own actions as either justified or beyond their own control.
That seems like the definition of an anti-villain.
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:39 PM   #22
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Default Re: The line between anti-hero and full on villain.

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Most well written villains will likely see themselves as heroes. Even those that recognize their own villainy will see their own actions as either justified or beyond their own control.
That would describe Emperor Ezar Vorbarra in Vorkosigan Saga.
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:21 AM   #23
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Default Re: The line between anti-hero and full on villain.

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Most well written villains will likely see themselves as heroes. Even those that recognize their own villainy will see their own actions as either justified or beyond their own control.
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That would describe Emperor Ezar Vorbarra in Vorkosigan Saga.
Or at least, that was how he was trying to portray himself to Aral Vorkosigan.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:05 AM   #24
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Default Re: The line between anti-hero and full on villain.

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Or at least, that was how he was trying to portray himself to Aral Vorkosigan.
That's another possibility. But that is the picture we are given and as everything in his plan worked out the way he wanted and his plan was supposedly to make safe a decent Barrayaran government (not to mention protect his daughter in law and grandson), it is hard not to think of him as an antivillain.
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Old 01-14-2020, 02:37 PM   #25
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Default Re: The line between anti-hero and full on villain.

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Most well written villains will likely see themselves as heroes. Even those that recognize their own villainy will see their own actions as either justified or beyond their own control.
Jules Pierre Mao in The Expanse saw himself, this way, but he was clearly deluded.

Had he truly wished to protect humanity, he would have announced the discovery on Phoebe, and sought help understanding what his scientists had found.

Instead, he presumed that he was the only one smart enough to run the project, and tough enough to "do the necessary."

The fact that it also had the potentially to make him even more wealthy was just that setting's version of the delusion, "What's good for General Motors is good for America."

He was most certainly a villain, and one of the better ones I've seen depicted, lately.
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Old 01-14-2020, 02:48 PM   #26
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Default Re: The line between anti-hero and full on villain.

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The fact that it also had the potentially to make him even more wealthy was just that setting's version of the delusion, "What's good for General Motors is good for America."
Just as a note, what Wilson actually said was "For years I thought that what was good for our country was good for General Motors, and vice versa. The difference did not exist." (Per Wikiquotes.) I grant that that could still be a delusion, but the "vice versa" is important: It suggests that Wilson thought that making the US a safer or better place would make his company better off too, even if there wasn't an obvious effect on the profit and loss statement.
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:57 PM   #27
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Default Re: The line between anti-hero and full on villain.

Let's not forget that the Villain Protagonist is a thing. This is where the guy is clearly a villain - he is operating out of selfish reasons, doesn't care who gets hurt along the way, and/or is generally amoral - yet is the point of view character and the one driving the story.

Arguably, Thanos was the villain protagonist of Avengers: Infinity War . Likewise, MacBeth may start off the hero of Shakespeare's tragedy, but by the end of the play is the villain.



In times past, villain protagonists in literature were considered "anti-heroes", but over the last century the definition of "anti-hero" has changed.

My working definitions:

Anti-Hero: Does not consider himself the hero; is either out for himself but has lines he absolutely will not cross (see: Jack Burton), or acts for the greater good in a way that goes against most contemporary sensibilities, often violently so (see: Frank Castle). Willingly takes the law into his own hands. The ends often but not always justify the means.

Villain: Is out for himself and has few qualms about crossing lines to get results. Often works outside the law, but may work within the law, giving lip service while twisting the system to serve his own ambitions (see: Emperor Palpatine, Lex Luthor). May consider himself the hero; a rare few recognize that they are the villain and embrace the role. The ends always justify the means.

And somewhere in the dark gray area between those two you have the Anti-Villain and Non-Villain Antagonist.
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Old 01-14-2020, 07:10 PM   #28
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Default Re: The line between anti-hero and full on villain.

Don't forget Bogie. Most of his roles are antiheroic for the time they were written. His stereotyped character is dark and cynical and if he does heroic things it looks as if he is forcing himself. For instance, Rick Blaine is still in a depression over The One That Got Away. He maintains his nightclub by befriending an odious (if charming) petty local tyrant. In the past he was a merc and claims he was merely looking for money in defiance of Ilsa (despite what the movie said the other side would not have paid more in Ethiopia and it was a coin toss in Spain). He is not as natural a hero as Victor. On the other hand he takes good care of his staff, and even lets a young Bulgarian win a jackpot so that his wife won't give her honor for a passport. And in the end he lets The One That Got Away get away again and learns to accept it.

He is more subtle than later antiheros. But Rick, like other Bogies is definitely an antihero for his time.
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Old 01-14-2020, 07:23 PM   #29
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Default Re: The line between anti-hero and full on villain.

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Just as a note, what Wilson actually said was "For years I thought that what was good for our country was good for General Motors, and vice versa. The difference did not exist." (Per Wikiquotes.) I grant that that could still be a delusion, but the "vice versa" is important: It suggests that Wilson thought that making the US a safer or better place would make his company better off too, even if there wasn't an obvious effect on the profit and loss statement.
Of course there are plenty of heroic characters that profit by their heroism. Honor Harrington gets promotions, titles, lands, investments, high-placed alliances and money. She did not go into the RMN with that in mind and was happy as a Sphinxian frontierswoman. But that is what she got.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:55 AM   #30
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Default Re: The line between anti-hero and full on villain.

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Of course there are plenty of heroic characters that profit by their heroism. Honor Harrington gets promotions, titles, lands, investments, high-placed alliances and money. She did not go into the RMN with that in mind and was happy as a Sphinxian frontierswoman. But that is what she got.
That of course is the difference between "being rewarded for heroism" and "doing heroism for the rewards".

The latter is basically what defines Han Solo for most of the original Star Wars (Leia even calls him on it en route to Yavin); Honor Harrington is much more the former.
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