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32 Hero Villain Writing Prompts

Hero Villain Writing Prompts

Heroes represent the embodiment of virtue, valor, and righteousness, while villains personify the dark depths of ambition, cruelty, and cunningness. 

Together, they engage in a dance of conflict that drives the narrative forward, keeping us eagerly turning pages, or viewers glued to the screen.

But how do you create such epic stories? 

With the help of our list of some amazing hero villain writing prompts – each crafted with the right amount of mystery, thrill and anarchy. 

Hero Villain Writing Prompts

  1. The Reluctant Villain and the Compassionate Hero: In a world where superpowers are common, your protagonist is a villain, but not by choice. They’re compelled to commit crimes due to a curse or external manipulation. The hero, known for their strength and justice, discovers the villain’s plight and decides to help them break free from their bindings. Write about the dynamic between the hero and villain as they work together to overcome the villain’s curse.

  2. The Hero’s Shadow: Your story revolves around a hero who is universally loved and admired. However, their actions unintentionally create a villain, someone deeply affected by the hero’s decisions or actions. This villain could be a former ally, a victim of collateral damage, or someone who lost something precious due to the hero’s endeavors. Explore the moral complexities as the hero confronts the consequences of their actions in the form of this new villain.

  3. Double Lives: In this scenario, both the hero and the villain lead double lives. Unbeknownst to them, they are close in their everyday identities – they could be coworkers, friends, or even family members. Their conflicting alter egos are entirely unknown to each other. Write about the tension and drama as their dual lives inevitably collide, revealing their true identities.

  4. The Villain Redeemed: Your story begins with a classic hero-villain dynamic. However, as the story progresses, the villain starts to question their motives and actions. This leads to a gradual transformation where the villain seeks redemption, possibly even assisting the hero against a greater threat. Focus on the villain’s journey from darkness to seeking redemption and the hero’s reaction to this change.

  5. The Unlikely Alliance: A catastrophic event or a common enemy forces the hero and villain to form an unlikely alliance. This temporary truce is fraught with distrust and conflicting ideologies, but they must work together to achieve a common goal. Write about how this alliance challenges both the hero and the villain, leading to unexpected developments in their characters.

  6. The Fallen Hero: In this narrative, the hero becomes the villain. A series of tragic events, betrayals, or a gradual disillusionment with their ideals leads the hero to a darker path. A new hero, possibly a former sidekick or admirer, rises to confront them. Delve into the psychological transformation of the hero into a villain and the new hero’s struggle to face their once-idol.

  7. The Mask of Villainy: The protagonist is a hero posing as a villain, infiltrating the villainous underworld for a greater cause. Their actions and decisions while undercover start to blur the lines between right and wrong. Explore the moral dilemmas and identity crises that the protagonist faces as they delve deeper into their undercover role.

  8. Legacy of Heroes and Villains: Set in a world where the roles of heroes and villains are passed down through generations, your protagonist inherits the mantle of a hero/villain from their predecessors. They are forced to confront the legacy and expectations set before them, questioning whether they want to follow the same path or forge a new one. Write about the protagonist’s struggle with their inherited identity and the choice between legacy and personal conviction.

  9. The Hero’s Secret: In this story, the hero harbors a dark secret that, if revealed, could destroy their reputation. The villain, an expert in uncovering truths, learns of this secret and uses it to manipulate the hero. Despite their animosity, the villain’s actions are driven by a complex and possibly justifiable reason. Explore the tension and moral ambiguity as the hero tries to maintain their facade while dealing with the villain’s blackmail.

  10. The Villain’s Perspective: The story is told from the villain’s perspective, offering a narrative where they are the protagonist. They see the hero as the antagonist, obstructing their goals which, from their viewpoint, are justified and necessary. The villain’s background and motivations are deeply explored, revealing a more humane and relatable character. Write about the conflict from the villain’s perspective, challenging the traditional notions of good and evil.

  11. The Relic of Power: Both the hero and villain seek a legendary artifact that grants immense power. Their quest leads them through various challenges, forcing them to occasionally cooperate and at other times, confront each other. Throughout the journey, they learn more about each other’s past and motives, leading to a complex relationship. Focus on how their quest for the relic brings out unexpected qualities in both characters.

  12. The Hero Who Knew Too Much: The hero uncovers a deep and disturbing secret about the world they protect – a secret that involves the origins of the villain. This knowledge puts them in a precarious position, as revealing it could have catastrophic consequences. The villain, aware of the hero’s discovery, seeks to silence them. Delve into the hero’s internal conflict between revealing the truth and protecting their world from its potentially shattering implications.

  13. Villain Turned Protector: In a twist of fate, the villain is forced to protect someone or something they once sought to destroy or exploit. This responsibility leads to a profound change in their outlook, challenging their previously held beliefs and values. The hero, skeptical of this change, keeps a close watch on the villain’s actions. Write about the villain’s transformation and the evolving dynamics between the hero and the now-protector villain.

  14. Parallel Lives: The hero and villain, unbeknownst to them, share a significant parallel in their lives, such as a common origin, mentor, or personal tragedy. This parallel shapes their actions and philosophies in contrasting ways. When these similarities come to light, it forces both to reflect on their paths and choices. Explore how this revelation impacts their ongoing conflict and their understanding of each other.

  15. The Hero’s Sacrifice: To save the day, the hero must make a significant personal sacrifice, something that will change their life forever. The villain, witnessing this sacrifice, begins to question their own motives and actions, leading to a pivotal moment of self-reflection. Focus on the hero’s decision to sacrifice and its impact on both the hero and the villain.

  16. Crossing Paths: In a world where time travel is possible, the hero and villain inadvertently cross paths in different timelines. Their interactions in the past and future significantly impact their present conflict, adding layers of complexity to their rivalry. Write about how their time-traveling encounters shape their perspectives and strategies in the present-day conflict.

  17. The Villain’s Heir: The story centers on the child of a notorious villain who struggles with their legacy. Raised to follow in their parent’s footsteps, they grapple with the moral implications of their upbringing. The hero, aware of this lineage, approaches the situation with a mix of suspicion and empathy. Explore the internal conflict of the villain’s heir as they decide whether to embrace or reject their inherited path.

  18. The Reluctant Hero: Your protagonist never wanted to be a hero; they were thrust into the role by circumstances beyond their control. The villain, on the other hand, is fully committed to their cause. This story examines the dynamic between a determined villain and a hero who is still finding their footing, questioning their role and responsibilities. Write about the reluctant hero’s journey towards accepting or denying their role in the face of a determined adversary.

  19. The Hero’s Doppelgänger: The hero faces a new challenge when a villain with identical powers and appearance emerges. This doppelgänger commits acts that tarnish the hero’s reputation, leading to public distrust. The hero must not only combat this new foe but also restore their standing in the community. Focus on the hero’s struggle to differentiate themselves from their malicious counterpart and regain public trust.

  20. The Forgotten Sidekick: The story follows a sidekick who has been overshadowed and underappreciated by their more famous hero. Feeling resentful, the sidekick turns to villainy, using their intimate knowledge of the hero to enact revenge. Explore the transformation of the sidekick from a loyal companion to a formidable adversary, driven by a desire for recognition.

  21. The Villain’s Redemption Arc: After a catastrophic event, the villain genuinely seeks redemption, attempting to right their wrongs. The hero, skeptical of this sudden change, closely monitors the villain’s actions. This prompt explores the challenges and skepticism faced by someone trying to change their inherent nature. Write about the villain’s journey towards redemption and the hero’s dilemma in trusting their former adversary.

  22. The Hidden World: The hero discovers a hidden society or world, where the lines between good and evil blur. In this new realm, the villain is revered as a savior or hero. This revelation forces the hero to reconsider their own values and the nature of their conflict with the villain. Delve into the hero’s experience in a world where their enemy is celebrated, and their own beliefs are challenged.

  23. The Villain’s Sacrifice: In a surprising turn of events, the villain makes a significant sacrifice to save others, including the hero. This act of selflessness creates a complex dynamic between the hero and the villain, who has always been viewed as purely evil. Focus on the aftermath of the villain’s sacrifice and its impact on both characters and their ongoing conflict.

  24. The Switched Roles: A magical or scientific event causes the hero and villain to switch roles and perspectives, experiencing life in each other’s shoes. This unique situation offers insight into each other’s challenges and motivations, potentially altering their long-standing feud. Write about how experiencing each other’s lives affects their understanding of one another and the future of their conflict.

  25. The Villain’s Guardian: The story explores a villain who is unknowingly guarded by a hero. The hero, bound by a promise or a moral code, protects the villain from greater threats, all while trying to thwart their nefarious plans. Delve into the complexity of a hero who must balance their duty to protect with their mission to stop the villain.

  26. The Hero’s Illusion: The hero is revered for their impeccable moral compass and feats of bravery. However, their heroic image is a carefully crafted illusion, hiding a darker reality. The villain, once a victim of the hero’s true nature, seeks to expose the truth. Write about the unraveling of the hero’s façade and the villain’s quest for vindication.

  27. The Time-Traveling Nemesis: The hero and villain are locked in a conflict that spans different eras due to time travel. Their actions in the past significantly alter the course of history, including their own origins and the nature of their feud. Focus on the complexities and paradoxes of a conflict that changes with each alteration in the timeline.

  28. The Villain’s Code: Unlike typical villains, this antagonist adheres to a strict moral code, refusing to harm the innocent or cause unnecessary destruction. The hero, intrigued by the villain’s principles, finds themselves questioning their own methods. Explore the dynamic between a hero and a villain who challenges the conventional boundaries of right and wrong.

  29. The Hero’s Secret Ally: The hero has a secret ally who assists them from the shadows. This ally has their own reasons for opposing the villain, possibly connected to a personal vendetta or a hidden agenda. Write about the hero’s reliance on this mysterious figure and the eventual revelation of their true motives.

  30. The Villain’s Empathy: The villain starts to develop empathy for their victims, leading to a crisis of conscience. This internal struggle complicates their plans and makes them question their ultimate goal. The hero observes these changes, causing a shift in their approach to the conflict. Focus on the villain’s evolving empathy and its impact on both their actions and the hero’s response.

  31. The Cursed Hero: The hero is cursed with a power or burden that they struggle to control, and it threatens to consume them. The villain, aware of this curse, seeks to exploit it for their gain. Delve into the hero’s battle with their inner demons and the villain’s attempts to use this curse against them.

  32. The Unseen Mastermind: Behind the scenes, an unseen mastermind manipulates both the hero and the villain for a larger scheme. As the hero and villain become aware of this manipulation, they are forced to question their roles in a larger narrative. Write about the realization and alliance that forms between the hero and villain as they uncover the true enemy.
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Tom Clinton
Tom Clinton
3 months ago

Absolutely love this!