Every story has a beginning and an end. In every story, there is an protagonist (hero) and an antagonist (villain). The central concept of most of the stories is the epic rivalry between a hero and and a villain. It is a fact that everyone loves a hero and half of the time the villains are the one character that everyone loves to hate. In the past, most of the villain characters were literally evil with shades of black but today the character of an villain is much more complex and interesting with shades of grey. Today the line between a hero and a villain is blurred. It means that a hero is not always right and a villain is not always wrong. A few years back, people hated villain characters from deep down their hearts but today people are willing to understand the tragedy associated with a villain. They are willing to sympathise with him and deep down in their hearts they hope and pray to see a ray of redemption in him. I must say that all villains doesn't arouse such motherly feelings in people. Once in a while some villains are born who are hated by the people at the beginning but before the story ends, the same people who hated them starts to love and adore them. Why? The reason is simple because we all have shades of grey in us and none of us is as perfect as a hero. So, sometimes we feel more connected to a villain character. Lets take a look at some of the most popular villain turned hero characters.
1. The Joker
Joker is the greatest and the most complicated villain I've ever known. I think most of you will also agree with me. He can never be a hero but for most of the people he is an antihero. I think most of you are familiar with Batman comics and "The Dark knight" movie. Now lets see why he is the most popular villian? I know this article is not about popular villains but according to me Joker is an antihero, so the hero part is still there. Most of the villains indulge in evil and selfish acts because of some reason. For example, take the character of "Ra's al Ghul" from the Batman series. He can't be called a pure villain but his purpose is to eliminate human beings from the surface of the Earth because he thinks that human beings are destroying this planet. That's his purpose, so what is Joker's purpose? None and this is what makes him most interesting. The character of Joker can be described as humanity at its most worst state. He never feels guilt or shows any human emotions and he is a void in himself. Joker has so many fans because watching him makes us feel connected to our own inhuman side. Nothing describes him more than these words, "Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn".
2. Severus Snape
I am guessing that most of you have read "Harry Potter" series. If not, then I don't want to ruin your suspense because this article contains spoilers. So, Severus Snape is a name familiar to all Harry Potter fans. From the very beginning of this series, there was always a sense of suspense surrounding this lank haired and creeping character. The events associated with him always made me suspicious and I really thought that he was the bad guy. I think every Harry Potter fan thought so because Severus Snape disliked Harry Potter and his friends and every time something awry happened , Snape seemed to have a hand in it. I became more suspicious of him when I learnt that he and Harry's father were actually enemies in school. Then the unthinkable happened, Snape kills Dumbledore and at this point I was damn sure that Severus is an hardcore villain but after reading the final book, I realised I was an utter fool to consider Snape as an villain. Kudos to J.k Rowling for creating the greatest twist in this series. While dying, Snape admits that Dumbledore actually asked Snape to kill him because he was already dying due to Voldemort's curse. So, here it is, he is not a villain but why did he disliked Harry? Because Snape had loved Harry's mother, Lily Evans and whenever he saw Harry, it made him realise his past mistakes. Ultimately, Snape became a hero when he sacrificed his life to help Harry triumph over Voldemort.
3. Jaime Lannister
I'm a great fan of the "Game of Thrones" series by George R. R. Martin. I had finished reading all the books and eagerly waiting for the next book "The Winds Of Winter". I would recommended this series to anyone who is interested in knowing the complexity of human behaviour. This serious have numerous characters and every character has a shade of grey in them. Jaime Lannister was never my favourite character and because of him and his sister, Cersei Lannister I hated the Lannister Family apart from Tyrion Lannister. He is one of my favourite. So who is Jaime Lannister? He is the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. That is his identity. From the very beginning of this series I hated him for pushing Bran, an seven year old boy from a tower because the boy saw Jaime making love to his own sister. Jaime is also notoriously known as the "Kingslayer" because he murdered his king in cold blood and broke all the sacred vows associated with an Kingsguard. As you sow so shall you reap. So, ultimately Jaime also paid the price for his sins when his right sword hand was chopped off. Here comes the transformation in his character. If you had read the books then you will know that Jaime has no woman in his life other than his sister. So, you can feel the change in his soul when he jumps into a pit barehanded (one handed) to save an ugly woman, Brienne from a bear. This one act of selfless courage turned him into a real Kingsguard from a despicable character. After reading all the books, you will like him more but I don't want to discuss it here because it contains spoilers.
MegaMind is one of my most favourite animated movies. The tag line of this movie is enough to describe his character, "MegaMind is the most brilliant super–villain the world has ever known" but before this movie ends, he becomes the superhero. In this movie, the big blue headed MegaMind has a deep rivalry with the saviour of the Metro City, MetroMan. Finally, he succeeds in getting rid of Metro Man and becomes the evil ruler of Metro City. Very soon, he looses his interest in doing evil as he realises that no one is there to stop him. He understands that every yin has its ying. This understanding leads him to unimaginable consequences but eventually in the climax scene he saves the city and turns into a superhero. This movie has a great message.
5. Darth Vader
Darth Vader is considered to be one of the most iconic characters of the "Star Wars" franchise. If you haven't seen all the movies in this series, then the character of Darth Vader will be a villain for you. So you know what I am getting at. If you don't want to get hit by spoilers then leave this page. Darth Vader is a big hero for Star Wars fans like me who have seen all the movies. I accept that in the first few movies he did terrible things like destroying an entire planet and thus killing millions of people. Why did he did this? Because he was a Sith Lord and Servant to the Dark Side of the Force. Do you know why did he become a Sith Lord? If you have seen the movies, then you will know that Vader started out as "Anakin Skywalker". He was definitely one of the most talented Jedi ever to serve the Galactic Republic. Then what went wrong? Anakin was not only talented but he was also a man of justice and humanity. Our common sense tells us that men like him will definitely fall and that is what happened with him when he lost his one and only true love Padma. Then he switched off his humanity and took over as a Sith Lord. So, till now he is a villain but in the end he proved himself to be a Jedi again when he killed Darth Sidious, thus expelling Sith Lords from the galaxy once and for all. Thanks to his son, Luke Skywalker who encouraged Vader to see the difference between darkness and light.
So, I think no one is born a villain nor a hero but circumstances force them to chose what they want to be. Sometimes one last noble act can make up for so many years of evil.