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When you want to use a character's name for a title, you have several options. The most obvious choice is The Hero's name, but you could also go with a Secondary Character Title. Or you could title it after your protagonist's primary antagonist.

Note that this does not apply to a work titled after a Villain Protagonist or to a Villain Based Franchise. This trope has nothing to do with morality but with role. If there is a clear protagonist (regardless of Anti-Hero status and/or Black and Grey Morality), and the film/book/what-have-you they're in just happens to be titled after the person, group, or force The Hero fights against, then it's an Antagonist Title.

This is one title you do not want to mix with I Am Not Shazam or Protagonist Title Fallacy.

Examples of Antagonist Title include:

Anime & Manga

Comic Books


Game Shows


  • The Snow Queen: Gerda is the protagonist.
  • Andersen's The Shadow is also named for its antagonist.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Sauron is the eponymous Lord of the Rings, fought against by the host of protagonists. I Am Not Shazam applies, and is indeed referenced in-universe when Pippin calls Frodo "Lord of the Ring" and Gandalf tells him not to Speak of the Devil.
    • Note that in-universe, the title is meant to be a contraction of The Downfall of the Lord of the Rings and the Return of the King.
    • This is a major difference between the two Swedish translations, where the old one called the series Härskarringen ("The Master Ring"), and the newer one bore the title Ringarnas Herre ("The Lord of the Rings").
  • Dracula: Jonathan Harker is the protagonist.
  • Inkheart. While this is not the villain's actual name, it is the description of him given by his creator: "...a man whose heart was as black as ink."
  • Tartuffe: Orgon is the protagonist.
  • Some James Bond novels/movies: Dr. No, Goldfinger
  • The Witches by Roald Dahl. The unnamed orphan is the protagonist.
  • In Harry Potter, this trope is subverted. The titular prisoner is set up as a villain for the whole book, only for it to be revealed at the end that he was a good guy all along and that he had been framed by the real villain.
    • Also, Half Blood Prince ends with the Prince killing a major character and running off with Death Eaters. It's also a subversion, although that's not revealed until the next book.
    • Even without the revealation the real antagonist of the book is Draco Malfoy. What with doing all the troubles in hogwarts during the year. With voldemort most certainly being the Bigger Bad
  • Many of the novellas about The Shadow, by Walter B. Gibson in the 1930s.
  • The Phantom of the Opera: Disregarding the Draco in Leather Pants effect, Raoul and Christine are the protagonists in the original novel. Protagonist Title Fallacy applies.
  • Red Dragon and Hannibal
  • From Stephen King:
  • Moby Dick. The protagonist is either Ahab or Ishmael, depending on interpretation.
  • Scorpia is the organisation Alex Rider has to stop. Ditto Snakehead.
  • The Keys to the Kingdom series features seven books, each named after one of the antagonistic Morrow Days. Subverted in Drowned Wednesday.
  • The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara has a Big Bad Ensemble, and each book in the trilogy is named for the main villain it spotlights- Ilse Witch, Antrax, and Morgawr.
  • Three of the Redwall series books are named for the main villain or group of villains: Marlfox, Doomwyte, and The Sable Quean.

Live Action TV

Tabletop Games

  • Magic: The Gathering does this a lot with sets. The last two blocks ended this way, with Rise of the Eldrazi and New Phyrexia.

Video Games

Western Animation

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