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Terrifying Villain

The Secret to Making a Truly Scary Villain

Storyteller OS users: Clip this video into your Knowledge Base and categorize it under Characters

This video explores what makes a villain truly terrifying, using Homelander from The Boys as an example. This video argues that a major factor in creating suspense and terror is uncertainty, and suggests various ways to make a villain unpredictable. Additionally, the video touches on the importance of power differentials, motivations, and histories of evil in crafting a truly frightening antagonist.



  • There are two kinds of hero-villain conflict: one where power levels are close and one where there is a vast power differential.
  • Villains who are vastly more powerful than the hero are often more terrifying.
  • Power differential alone is not enough to make a villain scary; they also need a credible motivation for committing evil.
  • Villains who have a history of evil are scarier because they have credibility.
  • Uncertainty is a key factor in making a villain terrifying.
  • Suspense and terror are linked; suspense is the probability of a bad outcome and terror is the fear of that outcome.
  • Villains who are predictable are rarely terrifying.
  • Uncertainty can be derived from a variety of factors, such as whether the villain knows key information or whether they have a hair trigger.
  • Volatile personalities are not necessary for a villain to be terrifying.
  • Insanity is not a sufficient motivation for a villain's actions.