An archenemy, archfoe, archvillain or archnemesis (sometimes spelled arch-enemy, arch-foe, arch-villain or arch-nemesis) is the principal enemy of a character in a work of fiction, often described as the hero's worst enemy (compare nemesis). The reason why the particular villain stands out more than the rest of the protagonist's rogues gallery varies; they may be the hero's strongest enemy (Doctor Doom/Mister Fantastic), have strong connections with the hero's past (the Master/the Doctor), caused the hero a great deal of personal pain (the Joker/Batman), suffering or anguish (Green Goblin/Spider-Man), has the most personal grudge against the hero (Lex Luthor/Superman), or may be the most recurring enemy (Bowser/Mario). In certain cases, it is possible for a hero to possess more than one archenemy, as in the case of Spider-Man with the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, and Venom where all three villains have established themselves as the most recurring and the most iconic of Spider-Man's Rogues Gallery.
The word archenemy
originated around the mid-16th century
, from the words arch-
Comic book archenemies
- Abomination and the Leader - archenemies of the Hulk.
- Captain Cold - archenemy of the Flash.
- Cheetah - archenemy of Wonder Woman
- Deacon Frost, archenemy of Blade.
- Deathstroke the Terminator (also known as Slade), archenemy of the Teen Titans,
- Doctor Doom, archenemy of Mister Fantastic.
- Doctor Sivana, archenemy of DC Comics's Captain Marvel.
- Cobra Commander, and by extension the Cobra Organization, is the archenemy of G.I. Joe.
- Green Goblin ,archenemy of Spider-Man.
- The Joker, archenemy of Batman.
- Judge Death, archenemy of Judge Dredd.
- Kingpin, archenemy of Daredevil.
- Lex Luthor, archenemy of Superman.
- The Mandarin is the archenemy of Iron Man.
- Magneto, archenemy of Professor X.
- Ming the Merciless, archenemy of Flash Gordon.
- Red Skull, archenemy of Captain America.
- Sinestro, archnemesis of Green Lantern Hal Jordan and the whole Green Lantern Corps .
- The Shredder, archenemy of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- The Auditors of Reality are the archenemy of Death and Susan in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels.
- Carl Peterson is the archenemy of Bulldog Drummond.
- Captain Hook is the arch-nemesis of Peter Pan.
- Count Olaf is the archenemy of the orphans in A Series of Unfortunate Events.
- The Crimson King (and his various incarnations) is the archenemy of Stephen King's multiverse (see The Dark Tower).
- Derek Leech is the archenemy of Sally Rhodes (and to an extent Richard Jeperson) in Kim Newman's works.
- Lord Foul, is the immediate archenemy of Thomas Covenant and the longterm archenemy of his brother, The Creator, in The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.
- Fu Manchu is the archenemy of Commission Denys Nayland Smith.
- Greb Strakhov, is the archenemy of Mack Bolan, hero of the Executioner novels.
- Jack is the archenemy of Ralph in Lord of the Flies.
- Jadis the White Witch is the archenemy of Aslan the Lion in The Chronicles of Narnia book series.
- Inspector Javert is the archenemy of Jean Valjean in the classic French novel, Les Misérables.
- Professor James Moriarty is the archenemy of Detective Sherlock Holmes.
- Saruman is the archenemy of Gandalf. Although Sauron is the main villain, Saruman takes a more direct approach, becoming an arch-enemy as opposed to a Big Bad. In the Simarillion, the text which explains most of the mythology behind The Lord of the Rings, the archenemy is Morgoth, who is supposedly even more powerful and evil than Sauron.
- Lord Voldemort and Draco Malfoy are the archenemies of Harry Potter.
Austin Powers film series
- Heather Chandler - the snobbish rival of Veronica Sawyer
James Bond film series
The Matrix film series
- Rene Belloq - the archenemy of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark
- They are archenemies even in the prequel materials from the franchise.
Star Wars film series
- The Master and Davros are the archenemies of the Doctor, in the Doctor Who television series.
- And Davros's "children", the Daleks, serve as the Doctor's most recurring enemy.
- Newman is the archenemy of Jerry Seinfeld in the TV show Seinfeld.
- Paul Millander, a serial killer with an expert knowledge of forensic pathology, is the archenemy of forensic investigator Gil Grissom, in the television series CSI.
- Dale "The Whale" Biederbeck is the arch-nemesis of Adrian Monk in the TV series Monk.
- The Janitor is the archenemy of J.D. in the TV series Scrubs.
- Over the course of the science fiction series Stargate SG-1, the SG-1 team as a whole develop several archenemies in the form of recurring or seasonal villains. However these villains are usually also a personal archenemy of one particular member of the team. Examples include Apophis, the archenemy of Teal'c; Ba'al, the archenemy of General Jack O'Neill; Anubis, the archenemy of Daniel Jackson; the Replicator clone of Samantha Carter, the archenemy of the real Lt. Colonel Sam Carter; and Adria the Orici, the archenemy and daughter of Vala Mal Doran.
- Sylar is the archenemy and half-brother of Peter Petrelli in the television series Heroes.
- Ben Linus, John Locke, and Jack Shephard are each each others archnemesis' in Lost, since they have each tried to kill each other to achieve their goals.
- The omnipotent Q, from Star Trek: The Next Generation, is considered the archenemy of Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
- Callisto (Xena) is the archenemy of Xena on the television series Xena: Warrior Princess.
- Stone Cold Steve Austin is the rival of WWE owner Vince McMahon and The Rock.
American Dragon: Jake Long
- The Dark Dragon and the Huntsclan - the archenemies of Jake Long
Ben 10 and Ben 10: Alien Force
- Vilgax, Dr. Animo and Zs'Skayr/Ghostfreak - the archenemies of Ben Tennyson
- Charmcaster - the archenemy of Gwen Tennyson
- DNAliens - the archenemies of Ben, Gwen and Kevin
- JT and Cash - the school rivals of Ben Tennyson
Chop Socky Chooks
- Dr. Wasabi - the archenemy of Chuckie Chan, KO Joe, and Chickadee Pao/Chick P
- Gorgonzola - the archenemy of Chowder
- Edive - the archenemy of Mung Daal
Codename: Kids Next Door
- Doctor Von Goosewing - the archenemy of Count Duckula
Courage The Cowardly Dog
- Katz - the archenemy of Courage
- Mandark - the archenemy of Dexter
El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera
- Sartana of the Dead, El Oso, Black Cuervo, Dr. Chipoltle Jr and Senior Sinestro - the archenemies of El Tigre/Manny Rivera
The Fairly OddParents
- Mr. Crocker and Vicky - the archenemies of Timmy Turner
- Bronze Kneecap and the Nega Chin - the archenemies of Crimson Chin
- Invader Zim - the Irken archenemy of the Human Dib
The Life and Times of Juniper Lee
Masters of the Universe
Mobile Suit Gundam
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny
My Gym Partner's a Monkey
- Virgil Bull Sharkowski - the archenemy of Adam Lyon
Phineas and Ferb
- Katrina Stoneheart, Brattina and Catgut - the archenemies of Cooler, Whooper, Nose Marie, Bright Eyes, Howler and Holly
Red vs. Blue
Science Ninja Team Gatchaman
- Plankton - the archenemy of Spongebob and Mr. Krabs
- Kyle and Salty Mike - the archenemies of Rodney J. Squirrel
- Sister Thornley - the archenemy of Otto Osworth
Tom and Jerry
- Tom - the archenemy of Jerry
Total Drama Island
- Terence Lewis - the archenemy of Sam, Clover, and Alex
- In season 4, Terence leads a villainous team called LAMOS (League Aiming to Menace and Overthrow the Spies).
- Mandy Luxe - the snobbish rival of Sam, Clover, and Alex
- Ken, No-Neck and Zitzy - the archenemies of Abe, Madman, Nigel and Coco
- The Monarch - the archenemy of Dr. Venture
- Incidentally, this cartoon contains the first popular use of the term arching for the act of being an archenemy.
- Jack Spicer, Wuya, Chase Young, and Hannibal Roy Bean - the archenemies of Omi, Kimiko, Raimundo, and Clay
- The Night Master and Carl the Evil Cockroach Wizard - the archenemies of Yin, Yang and Master Yo
Video game archenemies
Command & Conquer series
- The Brotherhood of Nod and their leader Kane - the archenemies of the Global Defense Initiative
Compilation of Final Fantasy VII
Crash Bandicoot series
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
The Legend of Zelda series
Metal Gear and Metal Gear Solid series
Sly Cooper series
Sonic the Hedgehog series
Street Fighter series