J is for Justification!
It’s natural. After all, everybody needs a reason to do what they do, right? Even the bad guy. Unless he’s just plain evil. And in that case, um…the devil made him do it? :D
In my book, Cornerstone Deep, Lord Dressen tried countless times to get Anna to fall for him. Since none of them worked, he upped the strategy. In his mind, it was his standing that kept her from considering a life with him so he removed the option of her considering altogether. He justified his plan by believing that she loved him and that he was helping her get past the obstacle. His unhealthy obsession with her to begin with is another story. And justification plays a role in it too.
To me, knowing why the antagonist does his deeds usually makes me dislike him all-the-more. Then when very different people lock horns and have their own views justifying their actions, things get exciting. The tension builds and I root for hero to save the day. (Or at least survive trying).
Would you rather have insight to why the villain does what he does? Or do you like to just hate the bad guy for doing it?