Growing up, I’m sure we all watched stories where the character opposing the hero was automatically evil.
That’s how it works, right? If you oppose the person everyone is cheering for, you must be evil?
I’ve often wondered why writers feel that’s how things have to play out, but I’m feeling encouraged by the number of books, movies, and television shows who are allowing the person in opposition to the hero be not evil. There’s this great new class of “bad guy” who isn’t selfish, mean, arrogant, or sabotaging. More often than not, they have someone like that near them who keeps trying to act in the name of the good villain, but they themself are actually a fairly nice person who isn’t getting what they want in this particular case, and they often handle it more gracefully than the hero handles winning.
It does kind of mess with the good vs. evil archetype, but I think it opens the field to tell more relevant, socially educational stories.
Definitely something to think about…