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Carrie had some sort of power, but she was just like me. Like any of you. She had hopes and she had fears, and we pushed her. And you can only push someone so far… before they break.
~ Sue Snell giving a testimony of how Carrie White was bullied into madness.
Villains who, although acting for primarily evil goals, have understandable reasons for their motives due to suffering; hence, the reader/viewer can sympathize with them. Most of these villains are not in full control of their actions/emotions due to them not being evil by choice, but rather by them being, for the most part, a victim of circumstance.

These characters are often suffering from Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and can develop into delusionalinsecure, or egotistic villains because their experiences develop their beliefs into obsessions, twisting them to insanity.

There are three ways to declare a Tragic villain:

  • A villain with a backstory that has caused them anger and depression, shaping them into destructive and hateful beings. However, the broken heart is what is causing their evil actions. Rather, they're forced upon a path of darkness, and their past has caused them to become distrustful and misled. This can happen if the villain was a loner or became addicted, loses loved ones, gets bullied in childhood, was severely scarred, and so on (e.g. Atrocitus and Count Bleck).
  • Protective villains who commit crimes to protect the ones they care about. They are only looking out for whoever they love or care for, but use extreme measures to do so; due to this, they are sometimes confronted by the heroes, or even the people they protect, making it even more difficult to save them (e.g. Johnny Klebitz and Walter White).
  • Possessed or brainwashed characters who are either controlled or corrupted by some kind of evil presence. Therefore, they are not willingly evil, but are manipulated by the power that is controlling them (e.g. CujoGollum and Ice King).

/!\ However, Pure Evil villains CANNOT fall under Tragic.

Even if they are given a reason for doing what they are doing that involves a traumatic experience in their lives, they are FAR PAST tragedy due to their unforgivably horrendous actions. Good examples of this are Lots-O' Huggin' Bear (who was left behind by his previous owner Daisy along with Big Baby and Chuckles, which led to him corrupting and lying to his minions and ruling over Sunnyside Daycare with an iron fist) and Koba (who was captured and tortured by Steven Jacobs for days, which caused him to snap and kill Jacobs and led to him rebelling against humanity altogether, killing many apes as well).

Either their "tragedy" would be extremely and outrageously logic-defying to be realistic, or they'd simply use it as an excuse to justify themselves and nothing more. Through their evil acts and by having no empathy, the Pure Evil villain manages to destroy their own innocence and as a result, the villain is no longer sympathetic. Those villains fall under Vengeful categories instead.

Some of their excuses are just what they deserved; some even fake at least one tragedy occured on them. Example: Infinite's "tragedy" was that his entire squadren was wiped out by Shadow which caused him to rage that he is "not weak". He then fused with the final Phantom Ruby prototype to become the complete monster he is today.

Also, DO NOT add certain characters like these, even if they are not Pure Evil:

  • Villains who committed unforgivable crimes and have crossed the Moral Event Horizon - sometimes more than once - only due to a MERE EXCUSE which is FAR TOO PETTY to be counted as tragedy, and their crimes were too horrible that even their excuse or traumatic experience doesn't justify their actions, no matter how "sad" their experience seems. Syndrome of The Incredibles is a very good example of this since he killed many superheroes just because he was rejected as a sidekick of Mr. Incredible.
  • Villains who faked a tragedy, or rather brought the so-called "tragedy" (no matter how sad it seemed) on themselves but blamed or framed others for it. Cersei Lannister is an example.
  • Villains who merely has an ironic defeat (like being betrayed by people they trusted) but had no tragic backstory to begin with. Naria is an example.

This category is for characters whose tragedy is not only TRUE and LEGITIMATE, but STILL holds up even after they've crossed the Moral Event Horizon.

Most of these characters are Fallen Heroes

Subcategories

This category has the following 4 subcategories, out of 4 total.

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Pages in category "Tragic"

The following 200 pages are in this category, out of 5,288 total.

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