(There will be no examples and hence no spoilers in this post! Gifs do not necessarily relate fandom and death.)
Psst! Interested in a breakdown of villain deaths from several popular book series? I compiled the stats to see which villain death is the most popular:
Yes, email me the breakdown of villain deaths!
One of the easiest ways for the protagonist to stand atop a pile of books and scream "HURRAH VICTORY" and eat all the takeout is after the antagonist dies. Because clearly that means the protagonist has won!
BUT. But you can't just kill off antagonists willy-nilly! Otherwise we didn't see the protagonists suffer enough and that's no good. Us in the blookunity require the perfect balance.
Pssst, if you'd like to see a villain death in action, I'll be sharing one in February's email newsletter — so join my takeout army before 12/2 to receive this extra-special death scene!
Without further ado, 7 ways to kill your antagonists and villains:
The Classic: the villain goes down in a glorious showdown.
Basically, the boss battle of a video game. (More accurately, the boss battle after 300 times of dying, but I digress.) The hero defeats all the minor pesky mooks, travels all the way to the villain's lair, and either alone, with a few friends, or with an entire army, takes on the villain in one last showdown.
The Betrayal: the villain's ally betrays and kills them.
The Suicide: Erm, what it says
Maybe the protagonist has cornered the villain. Maybe the protagonist accidentally says something incredibly damaging! Or maybe this is just the villain's way of causing the protagonist even MORE pain. Anyhow, the villain whips out a cyanide pill, or a gun, or a dagger, and WHOOPS. The End!
The Disney: where they die by a tragic fall (or other natural circumstances)
A close relation of The Suicide. Our protagonist is a shining rainbow of goodness, so he couldn't possibly kill the villain. But suicide is much too dark! It cannot be! So let the law of gravity decide this, hence absolving our protagonist of any guilt. Sometimes the protagonist will even try to catch the villain. Much goodness!
The One Where They're Not Really A Villain and Dies to Redeem Themselves
Interested in examples of villain deaths from real books? Get the breakdown of several popular series here:
Read all about which villain death is in popular books!
The One Where They're Not Really A Villain Because They Died 25% In
So there's this bad guy. He comes right in the first couple chapters doing baddie things and stealing children's cake — and then he dies?!? Maybe the hero succeeded too early and it's really about dealing with the fallout. Maybe he was killed by another villain! Maybe someone shot first.
The One Where They're Not Really Dead
Well, yeah. Sometimes the villain dies and there's so much emotional impact but then ... it just feels like a void. There's nothing for the heroes to fight anymore. So to solve this problem, the villain is brought back for the sequel.
So that's the seven types of villain deaths!
Now, the delight rating is simply my personal feelings, but interested in how popular these villain deaths are in books? I categorised the deaths of major villains in Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire, and A Darker Shade of Magic — and the stats are making me rethink how to kill of my own villains!
Get the breakdown of villain deaths in popular books!
Which is YOUR favourite villain death? Have I missed any villain deaths? (and mark spoilers for any passersby in the comments!)