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Though not as dramatic as being related to a hero, a villain being the hero's or one of the primary protagonist's former friend is a recurring trait in fiction. This is because the idea of a person the hero trusted as a friend turning on them can often have a great psychological effect on the hero and make them reluctant to fight that person. Frequently, the friend joins the side of evil because of being brainwashed/possessed so as to be used against the hero, which makes the hero even more reluctant to fight them. These characters can also be on and off villains, changing between evil and good. 

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