You know those villains you love to hate? The ones you can sort of justify even if they are evil?
That was my goal with the antagonist of my novel, Tyg Marigen.
Before I talk about my second favorite character in my book, here’s a super short summary of Ora and the Old God:
When Ora’s brother is turned into a pig and she is stolen away by pixies, her life is forever altered. Not only does she cause the queen’s demise, she discovers she can use magic. With the help of a shapeshifter, she must flee and learn to use her magic to face a powerful enemy — the pixy who changed her brother and took the throne, Tyg.
You can get to know more about my protagonist, Ora Widogast, in this blog post.
Confession time: I love writing my antagonist. That’s why Tyg Marigen became such a big part of my book. That’s right. You get to see the villain’s perspective.
I chose to tell her side of the story because Tyg isn’t just evil for the sake of being evil. She is driven by a strong sense of duty as well as a hunger for power. I would go so far as to say her sense of duty is what makes her seek out power.
So who is Tyg? Beyond the whole “antagonist” label.
On the surface, Tyg is a pixy, a talented mage, and a warrior. In fact, she’s the head warmage of the fae kingdom’s most elite warriors, the Rangers. She is extremely proud of her position and has worked hard to develop a fierce reputation.
The magic she uses is highly destructive, and she tends to look down on other forms of magic, such as domestic spells and ritual magic used by other fae. She even takes it upon herself to keep revered magical scholars in check, even though she arguably knows less about magic.
Tyg truly believes in her motivations. At the beginning of the book, the fae kingdom is enjoying a period of peace, but she’s not at all pleased. In her eyes, their kingdom’s strength has diminished, and she doesn’t think there’s enough being done to quell outside threats. Threats like magic returning to the human realm as well as outlying fae clans gathering their strength.
Because no one else seems to be taking action against what she views as threats to the fae’s longstanding superiority (her values are messed up; she’s a villain, remember?), she views herself as the best person for the job. This leads her to seeking the throne, the power of a god, and a rigorous campaign to quiet dissent.
There’s only one problem.
Tyg has a vision that Ora will be the downfall of the fae realm. At this point, Ora has already offed the Queen (by accident) and displayed the ability to use magic (humans aren’t supposed to do that). Plus, Tyg and her husband were the ones who brought Ora to the fae realm to begin with.
She’s not going to let all this slide. Cue an obsessive manhunt.
For a taste of my book’s antagonist, here’s a little scene involving Tyg and someone else she really doesn’t get along with, the High Priestess.
Tyg did not wish to speak with her, but Aygriel reached out to touch her arm. She drew back with a grimace.
Still, the High Priestess persisted. “Might I have a word with you?”
“Whatever you’d like to say, say it now,” said Tyg.
Aygriel dared to lean in closer to the Ranger and spoke in a low voice. “I know what Basirah imparted to you. Perhaps it would be wise for you and me to put aside our differences. It’s all just politics, isn’t it?”
Amused by the High Priestess’ words, Tyg smiled and replied softly, “Perhaps.”
“Commander, I simply want what’s best for Rioc. I have no wish for—”
Tyg cut her off. “Aygriel, your duty is to carry out Cree’s will, is it not?”
“If it is Cree’s will that I should take the throne, then it is his will that you should be a loyal little priestess and obey your new queen. Is it not?”
“I—” Aygriel seemed ready to argue, but then she dropped her gaze and bowed her head. “Of course.”
“Good. Then, we don’t really have any differences to set aside, do we?”
Fun side note: I 100% did not intend on making both my protagonist and antagonist women. I do have some seriously wonderful male characters as well as a genderless shapeshifter coming up next.
Let me know your first impressions and be sure to hit that like button. We’re in the early stages here. Every bit of social media love counts.
Many thanks for reading.