So I've been looking at the antagonists for my latest story idea, and...
Well, it started out as a matter of making sure that their role in the story made sense. (It does. This is a huge relief.)
And they're not typical villains, which is very much what I wanted. I mean, it's also what I needed for this plot, but... I didn't want a Big Bad who just A Villain, just doing evil for evil's sake. (That might make an appearance in the Ash Knight story, but not here.) But what they're doing, both the taking risks and the acting with restraint, makes sense for their background and motivation. And as a result, well... The story could be told from their side just about as easily, and they would look completely heroic.
It's all in how you tell it. And my current protagonist has made his fair share of dick moves, and the villains are also pulling some dick moves -- but they both have morals, and they both have limits, and they both have reasons.
Heroes are often assholes, if you step back and look at them closely. It comes with the territory.