1. gusain
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    gusain New Member

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    Is it necessary for the protagonist to kill antagonist always?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by gusain, Oct 5, 2015.

    Hi, this is my first post so I am a bit of nervous...

    So anyways I have started to write a story but due to some restrictions my protagonist doesn't have the power to kill antagonist. So can anyone else kill him in the climax? Is it okay?
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    The antagonist doesn't have to die by anyone's hand. If the antagonist does die, I certainly think it is OK to have someone else do it. Maybe a victim of his - I've seen that before. The protagonist should have a lot to do with setting up that possibility, imo.
     
  3. gusain
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    gusain New Member

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    where have you seen it before? I would like to read that book
     
  4. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Of course not. Sometimes the protagonist(s) manage to find a way to stop the antagonist without killing him/her/them. It's very doable. Authors do that all the time, especially when they give their protagonist a "Thou Shalt Not Kill" clause. Back in the old days (not sure if they do now), Disney would have the villain die by falling from great height by a force of nature, their own clumsy self, or 'accidental encouragement' from the protagonist. Sometimes the protagonist(s) even see what's about to happen in advance and try to warn the antagonist(s), but it's usually too late by then.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2015
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  5. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Definitely not. An antagonist doesn't even have to be an animate object, so in some cases it can't die.

    Anyway, if you do have an animate antagonist and they must die, I agree with @Steerpike. Fine to have someone else do it, but the protagonist should contribute within their limitations.
     
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  6. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Depends on how you set it up. Think of Star Wars - would anyone be cool if Luke was incapacitated and R2D2 zoomed in and killed Darth Vadar? The set up just wouldn't allow for it. If you're building for the hero/mc to have a climatic fight with the antagonist it won't work if you sabotage it, but if you set it up that the mc might need help than the reader won't feel cheated.
     
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  7. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    Up until this most recent film interpretation, Superman had a strict "Do Not Kill" code. There are other ways his villains were ultimately brought down.
     
  8. Kata_Misashi
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    Kata_Misashi Active Member

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    GlaDos, Vegeta, The Joker. All antagonist that still live (in fiction ;3) to this day! If the story calls for it, then sure but if it doesn't then the villain doesn't always have to die. Heck, the villain doesn't always have to lose either. It's all about how you portray the story my friend. Hope this helps. ^w^
     
  9. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure which question you're asking:

    - Whether the antagonist has to die, or whether it's enough just to be defeated?
    - Whether the protagonist has to be the one to defeat the antagonist?
    - Whether the protagonist has to directly defeat the antagonist, rather than just setting something into motion that ends up defeating him/her?
    - Whether the antagonist actually has to be defeated?
    - All of the above?

    I'd say that none of those are mandatory. It all depends on what kind of story you're writing.
     
  10. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    First off - not all antagonists have to die.

    That said, if the antagonist is defeated in any way, it doesn't always have to be by the protagonist. The classic case here would be Lord of the Rings. Frodo is not the one that destroys the ring. Heck, Sam doesn't even destroy the ring. Gollum accidentally destroys the ring by biting off Frodo's finger in a vain attempt to grab it himself, then falling off a ledge into a lava pit, sending both the ring an himself to a fiery death. In that case it works in the sense that the evil force is essentially consumed by it's own moral toxicity.

    So, yeah - lots of creative ways to do that. I'm planning on having my side characters gang up on my antagonist as a reaction against her mistreatment of the apparently-defeated protagonist. So in that sense my protagonist doesn't win because of her strength, but rather because her goodness has rubbed off on all of the morally gray characters around her.
     
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  11. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not all conflicts have lives at stake. And, as mentioned above, not all antagonists are people/entities which can be killed. There are plenty of Man Vs. Himself, Man Vs. Nature/God, and Man Vs. Machine conflicts out there.
     
  12. Bocere
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    Bocere Member

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    Ah, the advantage of creative writing over pretty much any other activity - as long as you can justify it to the reader, you can do just about anything you want.

    Honestly, in a lot of cases the stories that don't follow the norms are the most intriguing of all, so enjoy the freedom of the craft and don't feel the need to be restricted by what you've seen done before. :)
     
  13. Greenwood
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    Greenwood Active Member

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    Not at all. Anything is possible as long as it is presented believable. Even a scenario of an antagonist turning into protagonist and vice versa is possible, if done right. It's called creative writing after all, and there are few restrictions save for those laid upon a writer by the writer itself. It all depends on how it is presented. If it's done badly, then it sucks. If it's done in a brilliant way, it may just be brilliant.

    So in your case someone else killing your protag is fine, as long as it is done in a good way that your reader understands and rejoices in.
     
  14. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Short answer then.... no lol
     
  15. ADreamer
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    ADreamer Banned Sock-Puppet

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    The "antagonist" in real life is killed a variety of ways - shot by his own colleagues, revenge killing by a victim's family member, his own cockiness, etc., etc. Nor do they always die.

    The character in my signature, Tobias, was somewhere between anti-hero and antagonist in the story. The protagonist pretty much turned a blind eye on his getting away.
     
  16. Australis
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    Australis Active Member

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    In my stories, I have many types of endings, from the protagonist killing; to the antagonist walking away to have a feast, leaving the heroine lying in a pool of her own blood.
     

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