Lawful Evil

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Bringing order to the galaxy. Even if we have to choke the shit out of it.

"Peace through tyranny."

A Lawful Evil character is an evil character who either tries to impose or uphold a lawful system, and / or adheres to a particular code. They believe in order, but mostly because they believe it is the best way of realising their evil wishes, or they feel it is a realistic and necessary compromise or restraint on them.

Though Lawful Evil characters are often found in charge, these characters also make good henchmen or mooks. Though they lack any moral scruples that may impair their work, a cautious villain will find they respond well to concepts like 'loyalty' 'duty' and 'honour'. The caution however should be remembered though, as these characters also respond poorly to Bad Bosses and Dirty Cowards, as well as simple incompetence that could lead them to deciding to either find a more worthy master, or take over 'for the good of the cause'.

A Character Alignment made popular by Dungeons & Dragons, Lawful Evil comes in four flavors:

  • Type 1 is those who believe in civic order, and are the villains who believe either in keeping order and control at all costs, or that it's much easier to become ruler of the world by exploiting the existing system than by tearing it down and starting anew. Maybe they like to rule with an iron fist, or publicly playing by rules gives them enough Good Publicity to get away with their evil schemes. If the villain is supreme ruler of their realm, then they are probably either Lawful Evil or The Caligula.[1] This is the canonical alignment of devils in Dungeons & Dragons. Lawful Evil can be the most dangerous alignment because it represents intentional, methodical and frequently successful evil. More than likely megalomaniacal sorts out to "restore/maintain order" by - you guessed it - Taking Over The World.
  • Type 2 is a baddie with a code of honor (personal order) that prevents them from doing truly heinous things, or at least keeps them focused and disciplined. Often a form of Principles Zealot. This code of honor sometimes leads to the Type 2 conflicting with Type 1's when their values and codes conflict with those of main-stream society. This does not make them Chaotic. Types 2's do have a sense of order, just not the one that society at large possesses. If this is the case, expect the Type 2 to be a Byronic Hero or Ubermensch. They typically value loyalty in their minions and possess Evil Virtues, and tend to be reliable allies in an Enemy Mine situation where alignments would fizzle out. The second type tends to either perform a Heel Face Turn or suffer death by redemption. The alternative is that they ultimately choose evil over this and cross the Moral Event Horizon. Note that these two types are not mutually exclusive.
  • Type 3 can be The Dragon in a Five-Bad Band or a minion of lower rank. Perhaps they lack the same pure drive that the Big Bad has, or maybe they're just not quite as smart, but they both do what they are told or do what they say that they are going to do, taking the most straightforward and efficient means of accomplishing the task they set out to do. They're a genuine threat, but they're not the real danger. If they're loyal to the Big Bad then they take orders without any problems, and they obey the Big Bad without any complaints. If the villains are going to be killed off, you can bet this guy is going to go down with the Big Bad. They are not The Starscream because of their loyalty to their boss, but they're just as mean in real life as they are at their job, so they're not a Punch Clock Villain either. Type 3 may work temporarily with The Hero if the Big Bad goes temporarily nuts, but this isn't a Heel Face Turn, as they will go straight back to their boss once it's all sorted out.
  • Type 4 is a rare case of characters that simply hate freedom and will enslave people out of malice, or those who get their jollies from imposing ridiculously harsh rules with even more ridiculous consequences for breaking them. Dystopia Justifies the Means can fall under this category and it tends to be the Lawful Evil type that is most likely to be a Complete Monster, as they use law and order principally as instruments of suffering and oppression for its own sake and not (just) that of power or running The Empire efficiently. They might keep up appearances of a Noble Demon but at best they will abuse the hell out of Exact Words and at their worst they will flat out lie and cheat in spite of it. Darkseid is the classic example of this sort of villain and demonstrates just why it is the worst of the Lawful Evil types.

All four variants are likely to take advantage of Questionable Consent, pushing people into "agreements" and then pushing them to uphold their end of the "bargain."

If you have a difficulty deciding which alignment an evil-aligned character belongs to, the main difference between Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil and Chaotic Evil is not their devotion to their evil wishes, but the methods they believe are best to realize it:

  • Even though there are some situations where they can't always use this method, Lawful Evil characters believe the best way is to have a specific, strict code of conduct, whether self-imposed or codified as a law. Their first impulse when making a moral decision is to refer back to this code; those with externally imposed systems (codes of laws, hierarchies, etc.) will try to work within the system when those systems go wrong. Depending on whether they are more Lawful or more Evil, they will either refuse to break the code even though it would hurt their evil objectives, or else break it only very reluctantly, and only when it would hurt their evil objectives if they kept their code.
  • Neutral Evil characters are indifferent to Order Versus Chaos, and their only interest is in realizing their evil wishes. They will use whatever means will help in realizing their evil wishes, whether that means tearing down a code of laws, following a code of laws, creating an orderly society, causing the breakdown of justice, or staying away from society altogether. Their only goal is to realize their evil wishes, full stop.
  • Most Chaotic Evil characters don't constantly break the law, but they cannot see much value in laws (or, for weaker-CC Es, do not see the value in laws that do not function solely to their depraved objectives). They believe that their own evil impulses are their best guides, and that tying themselves to any given code of conduct would be limiting their own ability to realize their depraved wishes. They do not get along with anyone who tries to instill any kind of order over the Chaotic Evil character, believing these people to be restricting their freedom; Chaotic Evil characters often focus very strongly on their own individual rights and freedoms, and will strongly resist any form of oppression of themselves.

In a nutshell, these are a variety of evil characters who don't care if what they do is "heinous" or "horrible", but who will always follow certain rules.

Such characters are, for example:

A warlord who would kill anyone who threatens him—and, let's say, would always spare the enemies that can serve him; or a Complete Monster who believes in playing by the story conventions; or a villain whose word is absolutely binding but would still kill a pregnant woman; or any kind of evil character that might commit mass genocide but for some reason Will Not Tell a Lie. Or a character who does, without flinching, anything their master orders them to do, anything, because their one rule is absolute obedience.

Remember, being Lawful does not imply at all that you have moral standards, and any one of these character archetypes have just as much potential as a Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil character to be truly despicable. Being lawful is thus a matter of ethical concerns and not moral ideas; alternatively, a lawful character may work within and abuse the rules. Lawful evil is not always the "Nicest" of the Evil alignment. It is just the most consistent and orderly. In short, an evil character who feels that the rules is what gives them strength or superiority. This includes upholding Evil as an ideal in and of itself, coupled with a sense of duty to promote it wherever possible and by any means. They're likely to have standards, but they're just as likely to have such a warped moral code that they're Complete Monsters regardless.


Lawful Evil type typically includes:

No real life examples, please; first, this is a trope about how characters are depicted in media. Real people are far more complex than fictional characters, and cannot be pigeonholed this way. (For that matter, many if not most fictional characters cannot be pigeonholed this way, either; see below for the standards on whether to use this trope at all.) Second, calling real-life people "evil" is an extremely bad idea.

Examples of Lawful Evil include:

When dealing with the examples of specific characters, remember that assigning an alignment to a character who doesn't come with one is subjective (and, at All The Tropes, discouraged). If you have a problem with a character being listed here, it probably belongs on the discussion page. There will be no Real Life examples under any circumstances; it just invites an Edit War.

On works pages: Character Alignment is only to be used in works where it is canonical, and only for characters who have alignments in-story. There is to be no arguing over canonical alignments, and no Real Life examples, ever.

Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Arguably, Light Yagami/Kira from Death Note. He's certainly got his own plans for the world, including a rigid social structure and oppressive laws, all punishable by death (note). He starts out pretty much Lawful Good, following his father's example, until he finds the Death Note and goes Jumping Off the Slippery Slope (though some argue he became Neutral Evil later on.)
    • Most members of the Yotsuba group is of this alignment, especially since in the manga, it is revealed that they like what Kira is doing because a peaceful world (even one ruled by fear), is good for business, and they have no qualms about killing business rivals.
    • Mikami Teru and Kiyomi Takada are also of this alignment.
  • In contrast of many pirates in One Piece being Chaotic Good, but still labeled as villains, the World Government is a good example of this, although there are some Lawful Neutral (Smoker) and even Lawful Good (T-Bone) members.
    • Of particular note are the members of CP9, who are professional assassins hired by the World Government. Though, some of them really push the limits of what can be defined as Lawful Evil.
    • Admiral Akainu is the epitome of this, being the only one of the Admirals (Aokiji being Lawful Good and Kizaru being Lawful Neutral) willing to open fire on ships full of civilians just in case criminals he's after got onboard. He gets even worse in the Marineford arc, killing soldiers who try to flee the battle, and being so willing to kill as many pirates as possible (even after Ace and Whitebeard's death) that he tries to kill one who begs everyone to stop fighting just for wasting time.
  • Xellos the Trickster priest from the Slayers universe.
  • Griffith from Berserk, using the system to grab hold of as much power as he can, no matter who has to suffer. Dips into Neutral Evil during his Complete Monster moment, but then pulls back into Lawful for a turn as a Dark Messiah.
    • The Idea Of Evil, the actual Big Bad of the story, also qualifies. It is the one who gives orders to Griffith and the Godhand by strictly applying the rules of Causality to Berserk's Crapsack World to attain its goal.
    • Noble Demon Nosferatu Zodd is also an example. Although he is a Blood Knight who loves to fight and kill, his first loyalty is to the Godhand, and he eventually becomes Griffith's Dragon.
  • Lucemon of Digimon Frontier, who thought people were unable to properly rule themselves, and that the world would have been a much better place if he decided everything for everyone. He even had his "thought police" in the form of the Royal Knights.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist Kaname Tousen of Bleach initially seems Lawful Good, but supports killing people who disrupt order despite otherwise being a pacifist, and sides with the Big Bad. Might have become Lawful Good in his last moments, though.
    • Noble Demon Ulquiorra is one of the more loyal Espada to Aizen, consistently following orders, and showing distaste for arranncar that disobey them. He has nothing against killing, but does not do so without reason; he states that while Orihime may be disposed of after she is no longer useful to the villains, he must kill Ichigo in order to protect Las Noches.
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy Nagi from My-HiME and Mai-Otome. He plays with people's emotions like a six-string guitar, but rarely ever attempts to physically harm anyone still useful to him.
  • Gihren Zabi from Mobile Suit Gundam. Both in the series itself and among fans, he's commonly known as "the Universal Century's version of Hitler".
    • Do not forget to mention Anavel Gato as well as the Titans.
    • Haman Kahn from ZZ Gundam qualifies as well.
    • Char Aznable, the single most popular character in the franchise, probably started out Lawful Neutral. However, in Char's Counterattack, he has given in to his disillusionment about mankind, has turned Lawful Evil and has become a Well-Intentioned Extremist who wants to realize his father's dream by dropping Axis on Earth and forcing humanity to live in space. He freely admits he's committing an act of evil, but sees it as necessary for the future of mankind. Oh, and he has no problem manipulating the people next to him, especially Nanai and Quess, into being loyal to him just like he did to Lalah Sune.
      • As a homage to Char Aznable, Full Frontal succeeds him as the Lawful Evil leader of Neo Zeon.
    • Crossbone Vanguard, led by Carlozzo "Iron Mask" Ronah, and Zanscare Empire are also Lawful Evil Knight Templars just like Zeon, particularly Zanscare.
    • Shifting focus to the Cosmic Era, Gilbert Durandal from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, a Well-Intentioned Extremist as well, whose plan consisted of creating a society where people's future and standing in society was determined by genes. Durandal insists he was right, but his actions (among which, trying to wipe out countries who rejected his Destiny Plan with a Wave Motion Gun) speak otherwise.
    • Durandal's Rey is a classic Lawful Evil villain. He's The Stoic, believes My Master, Right or Wrong, shares Durandal's Utopia Justifies the Means philosophy, and is characterised by his Undying Loyalty. His rival, Neo Roanoke, is an example of reluctant Lawful Evil, willingly obeying Lord Djibril, because he sees no other option.
      • The first series from the Cosmic Era, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, featured Knight Templar and General Ripper Patrick Zala, who sincerely believed that Coordinators were the next step in human evolution and found it only logical that all Naturals should thus be wiped out.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Big Bad Ribbons Almark sees himself as God and wants to turn all of humanity into Innovators in order to bring about eternal peace, however he has no problem using orbital death rays or mind controlling his subordinates in order to stamp out opposition.
  • Gouda from Ghost in The Shell Stand Alone Complex is this. He doesn't even try to hide or deny that he uses people as tools and views lives as expendable. But in the World of Ghost in the Shell, that doesn't mean he can't be a productive and highly regarded employee of the Ministry of the Interior.
  • The Anti-Spirals from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann are Lawful Evil taken to its logical extremes. They seek to protect the universe from the dangers of Spiral Power and to do this they are willing to exterminate any race that contains that power.
    • Lordgenome, who keeps humanity caged in underground villages and kills any who wander to the surface in order to protect the human race from complete annihilation by aforementioned Anti-Spirals (their Doomsday Device will activate when the surface human population reaches 1 million).
  • Yagyu Retsudo from Lone Wolf and Cub. He wants to wipe out the Ogami family, come out on top, and sacrifice as many of his friends and family as he needs to, but he wants to do it by the book. He has no problem doing horrible things to innocent people, but he hates doing dishonorable things.
  • The Red Ribbon Army from the original Dragon Ball series.
  • Alucard, the Villain Protagonist and Sociopathic Hero of Hellsing, enjoys slaughtering his opponents with sadistic glee even if they're innocent pawns, but must first get the command of his master Integra Hellsing in order to do so.
  • Danzo in Naruto, who wants to turn Konoha into a militaristic state with himself as Hokage, and is willing to see it destroyed to take power because he cares more about what's good "for the village" than the actual villagers. Homura and Koharu, his accomplices in orchestrating the Uchiha clan massacre, also count. Pain's goal of establishing world peace by creating and making publicly available a weapon that would destroy entire countries also counts.
  • The Demon Lord Vearn from Dai no Dai Bouken is the textbook example of this.
  • Chairman Keel Lorenz and the SEELE council in Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • Emperor Charles zi Britannia and Prince Schneizel el Britannia of Code Geass, though Schneizel could qualify as Lawful Neutral or Neutral Good in Knightmare of Nunnally.
  • Magnificent Bitch Balalaika from Black Lagoon.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist Choji Suitengu of Speed Grapher.
  • In the manga version of Yu Yu Hakusho, it is revealed that King Yama is of this alignment, despite initially being Lawful Neutral, as he released captured demons to attack humans as a justification for maintaining the barrier on Demon World and to portray the Spirit World as being the defenders of humanity. Sakyo, the main antagonist of the Dark Tournament arc, also qualifies, as while he wants to open a portal to the Demon World that will allow powerful demons into the human world, he dislikes foul play and is willing to honor his agreements, including betting his life on Toguro's victory- and honoring his end of the deal when he loses the bet.
    • The younger Toguro, being the more honorable villain of the series, also fits. He typically follows the orders of his clients, but often expresses distaste toward needless killing, like when Tarukane had him kill one of his pet monsters to prove his strength.
    • Demon Lord Yomi also fits this alignment.
  • King Bradley from Fullmetal Alchemist, who mercilessly kills his enemies and is responsible for genocide while head of state for Amestris. His generals in the military who are loyal to the homunculi also count.
    • Not to mention The Truth, which trades with alchemists for the right to gaze into the vast collection of all knowledge it serves as the guardian for. The catch? It usually trades in their own body parts, or even their souls, rarely tells them before pushing them in, and clearly takes immense sadistic delight in the whole process. However, because his actions are meant to punish the arrogance of humans who would tread in God's domain, one could qualify that he's more Lawful Neutral.
    • Big Bad Father in the manga qualifies as well.
    • Envy is this to Dante in the first anime. Which makes more sense when it's revealed that she is technically his mother.
    • General Ripper Frank Archer, being a ruthless Glory Hound who works within the Amestrian system to obstruct, and later try to kill, the heroes. He knows Bradley is a homunculus, but he doesn't care.
  • Makoto Shishio in Rurouni Kenshin sits hear about 50% of the time. His goal is to come into power as ruler of Japan, and his methods revolve around coming out on top of the oil industry. However, his plans for Japan (as well as his background) make him Chaotic Evil the other 50% of the time.
  • The End of the World in Revolutionary Girl Utena (or as you may know him, Akio), seems Chaotic Evil at first, what with his Casanova attitude and weakness for vice, but Fridge Logic makes you realize that his obsession with rules and mastermind plots is definitely not the sign of a Chaotic soul. Either way, he's still awesome.
  • Shin, Souther, and Raoh from Fist of the North Star.
    • and Joker, a subordinate of Shin in the anime.
  • Nakago from Fushigi Yuugi
  • Anubis from Ronin Warriors. In one of the episodes he reluctantly goes against Talpa, his emperor in order to kill the Ronins in a "fair fight" as opposed to simply using the Dark Realm to annihilate them all. He also feels himself compelled to keep from killing two of the Ronins when they fall unconscious and unable to fight, as it would be dishonorable.
  • Chiri Kitsu from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei starts the series off as simply Lawful Neutral, being concerned mostly with things being done properly and precisely, however, later on she becomes this trope as her obsession with properness drives her to more and more violence to the point where her default response to things being done unproperly is murder. It's Played for Laughs, of course.
  • The Majority of Ninjas in Basilisk can qualify, but the biggest example is Yakushiji Tenzen, He is The most evil character in Basilisk (and that is saying a lot.).
  • One must not deny that Takatori Shuuichi in Weiss Kreuz is a Lawful Evil, too, as a Well-Intentioned Extremist who opposes his Complete Monster brother Reiji. He works as the mastermind behind the titular assassins to kill other villains in bloody means.
  • Pan Guang-Lin from Fist of the Blue Sky, although the protagonist Kenshirou sides with him because they are best friends. He is the first mastermind (later replaced by the new Big Bad Pan Yu-Lin, his sister and Kenshirou's sweetheart) of the infamous drug-dealing gang Qing Bang who aim to take control over the entire Shanghai City, which they say would gain control over the entire China. The fact they fight against the even worse Hong Hua Hui does not help, either.
    • And remember, Kasumi Kenshirou, as mentioned above, is one as well as he is loyal to the gang, although a kind-hearted, honorable man in nature.
  • Ukyo, the ultimate Big Bad of Samurai Seven fits this to a t. He's the end product of a Designer Babies experiment with some Lamarck Was Right thrown in aimed at producing the perfect Emperor. Unfortunately, things went horribly right, resulting in a guy who is a brilliant Machiavellian and knows exactly the right things to do to become incredibly popular and dispose of those who would act against him. In practice, this means that he quickly sets himself up as a Villain with Good Publicity, goes around disposing of allies who are no longer useful, and plans to Take Over the World through a Playing Both Sides Plan.
  • Moo, the Big Bad of Monster Rancher.
  • Kuyou, the first major villain from Rosario + Vampire, truly believed himself to be the true voice of justice, and anyone who opposed him to be evil. Oh, and he believed that any human who discovered Youkai Academy, a place where monsters learn to coexist with humans, should be put to death. Huh?
  • The Demon Sisters from Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt (and their father, Mayor Corset) fall into the extremely 'lawful' aspect. They're obsessed with rules and believe in a strictly regimented, fascistic society, even applying it to the school system. Conformity and order is encouraged, the food is nutritious but bland, and from the two of them down, students are strictly regimented by grades and ability.

Kneesocks: Excuse me? I realize this may be difficult for low-IQ bottom-feeders to understand, but there's only one way to stem the tide of rampant debauchery under the guise of freedom!

  • Lelouch/Zero of Code Geass is viewed by the public as being Chaotic Good, but in actuality he leans more on the side of Lawful Evil. His ultimate goal is to create a world in which his Little Sister can live in. To do so he gradually preform more cruel and "villainous" acts to achieve his goal. By the end of the series, Lelouch accepts that in order to achieve this utopia, he would be forced to become a full blown dictator himself to direct all hatred towards him.
  • Dartz from Yu-Gi-Oh. Noah may also count.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Alignment? Bah! Doom does not fit into your pathetic categories!
  • Superman's archfoe Lex Luthor, given his constant manipulation of the Metropolis legal system to keep himself out of hot water, not to mention his vast network of supervillain contacts. However, his overwhelming greed, jealousy and desire for revenge on Superman often puts him in Neutral Evil territory.
  • Elseworld Kryptonian Gar-El arrived on Earth in the 18th century and allied himself with the British king, aiding him in stopping the The American Revolution and then takes over the world with all the powers of Superman. He claimed that he "brought peace, imposed order", and wasn't above executing his own half-human progeny for treasonous thoughts against his rule.
  • Magneto, when he's written as a villain, is a classic example, seeking World Domination to feed his own ego but also and more importantly to safeguard the future of the mutant race, and protecting it from the very real threat of genocidal anti-mutant prejudice. His principle foes are the X-Men but he generally regards them and most other superheroes worthy of respect, even non-mutant ones, and (Grant Morrison aside) there are several lines he absolutely will not even think of crossing. His Ultimate X-Men incarnation is also this, though very much of the Complete Monster type who evidently doesn't consider humans or anyone in his way to matter much in his personal, amoral ethical code.
  • The Iron Man villain, the Mandarin, fits the examples of Lawful Evil. He's an Evil Overlord through and through. On one occasion, he destroyed one of his martial arts students for cheating by trying to drug him in a training session
  • The DCU's uber-Big Bad Darkseid is Lawful Evil in its purest form. His goal is to rule the entire universe by finding the Anti-Life Equation, which would destroy the free will of everyone except him. One blogger called him "the god of fascism," and although it's not mentioned in the comics very often, he literally is the god of tyranny.
  • Dimension Lord Dread Dormammu, despite his title of Lord of Chaos, has a twisted sense of fair play and honor, and displays consistent behavior in attempting to conquer Earth's dimension. As Doctor Strange mentions "Spontaneity is something Dormammu cannot fathom. Like all tyrants, his mind is rigid...he follows set formulas."
  • Zarda from Supreme Power is the team Sociopathic Hero. She kills without hesitation those in her way, but she is committed to the goal of world domination. But for that to happen she needs Hyperion to realize it so she stays with the Squadron and goes on missions where her powers and brutality are best served: warzones. It was during one of these incidents that she approved of an Pay Evil Unto Evil incident involving an abused girl taking revenge on her tormentors.
  • Likewise, The Punisher often slides into this alignment, Depending on the Writer. He is sometimes depicted as a guy who simply enjoys killing, and targets criminals simply to give himself a twisted form of self-justification. He is always depicted as a guy driven by a desire for personal revenge, and frequently tortures the perp in various especially brutal ways. The fact that most of the criminals he does this too are usually portrayed as worse (or just as bad) is the only thing that might get him off of this.
  • Former Green Lantern Sinestro seeks to bring order to the universe. And what better way to do that than through fear?
  • When he's thinking straight, Spider-Man archnemesis and current Marvel Universe Big Bad Norman Osborn under the name of Iron Patriot is LE in true Manipulative Bastard fashion. Of course, when the Green Goblin comes out to play...
    • And while on the subject of the Dark Avengers, Moonstone fits the LE alignment as well..
  • The Adversary, also known as Gepetto from Fables. He truly believes that his Empire is for the good of all, citing the necessity of murdering millions to provide prosperity to billions.
  • The One Sith from Star Wars Legacy. Their goal is galactic peace and order- as enforced by galaxy-spanning totalitarian dictatorship. They do seem to genuinely believe their rhetoric and are loyal to each other, but don't think for a minute they won't commit as many atrocities and previous Sith Orders in pursuit of their goal.
  • Korvac during the Korvac Saga of The Avengers appears to be Lawful Evil. Before taking godhood, he sought to build a paradise planet. But after having taken godhood, he carefully and methodically planned to take over the universe to make it one of a perfect order. He also killed anyone who found out the truth about him, but stated that it is necessary and that he regrets doing it. Moon Dragon mistook him for Lawful Good during a mindscan, but his evil showed itself in a What If comic.
  • Thanos of Titan. While sometimes the arch-typical Omnicidal Maniac and has the trappings of Chaotic Evil (skull-motif being one of them), he approaches his goals with ruthless efficiency, flawless logic, and methodical planning which usually delivers the results he desires. His goal is usually all-encompassing and once he is set to a task he will do anything to accomplish it: kill half the universe, betray others, blow up worlds---because the ends justify the means. Fans could also also argue he has acted with honor in the past and keeps his word when he gives it, even if it is his Exact Words. He even acted to save the universe several times using the same methods he once used to try to conquer it. He acted sadistic and inflicted horrible torture on others not because he actually enjoyed it, but believed that is what Death wanted from him; and so he attempted to oblige her. Loyal evil is typically Lawful Evil.
    • Ultimate Thanos is certainly this. His mission is stated as being "To make life a little more like death, Ordered. Perfect. Predictable."
    • This attitude is fitting, as Thanos is basically Cosmic Marvel's version of Doom, with all that implies.
  • The protagonist of Miracleman, was able to throw a Bus Full of Innocents to Kid miracleman.
  • The Beast from Transmetropolitan. A true bastard, but he nevertheless plays by the rules. He's ever so slightly preferable to The Smiler.
  • The Authority
  • Scrooge McDuck, especially in the Italian comics. Depending on the Writer, he can be surprisingly nasty. Often ruthless, unscrupulous and uncaring, he routinely threatens, even beats his nephew Donald Duck to do his bidding. He pays below minimum wage (if anything) and is totally ok with firing thousands of employees just to save a buck.
  • Given he's normally the posterboy for Lawful Good, it's fitting that his Soviet counterpart is this. He takes over most of the world, even finding an alternative to murder, so that violence and aggression is a thing of the past.
  • The demonic lord Azazel from X-Men. His film version counts too.


Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • The Villain Protagonist of the Mass Effect fanfic The Council Era is Lawful Evil. He exploits the corrupt natures of the Council in order to "improve" the galaxy through questionable means, and takes their seat of power eventually. He fully believes that laws should be followed and that government should enforce the practice of civilized society. All of his questionable acts are sanctioned and supported by the Council, even the mass-murder and cultural genocide.
  • The Star Father of The Shape of the Nightmare to Come, who is a future version of The Emperor of Mankind that Came Back Wrong and became the Chaos God of Order. He seeks to completely destroy free will, ushering in a universe of nightmarish, self-defeating order.
  • Hetalia Dark Fic tend to make the former Empires into this. Specially in the case of Japan, World War Two!Prussia and World War Two!Germany.


Film - Animated[edit | hide]


Film - Live Action[edit | hide]

  • Darth Vader, and The Empire more generally, in Star Wars.
    • Well, the empire except Palpatine himself, who is more along the lines of Neutral Evil. Other than that, however, the original trilogy seems to be a conflict between the Lawful Evil empire and the Chaotic Good rebel alliance, whose priorities are "freedom and justice," (according to the "opening crawls" at least) whereas the (expressed) priorities of Darth Vader are peace and order above all else.
  • Clu from Tron: Legacy fits this to a T. "Create a perfect system?" Sure. Just get rid of an entire species that doesn't fit the idea of perfection, trap his Chaotic Good creator in cyberspace exile, brainwash the biggest Lawful Good badass into his dragon, turn the Games lethal to weed out any imperfection or weakness among Programkind. And, of course, nothing is more flawed than a User...
  • Both Loco and Silence in the Big Silence who always kill in Self Defence or Legally
  • Dr. Evil of Austin Powers, right down to attending Evil Medical School.
  • Michael Corleone from The Godfather. He began as either Lawful Neutral or True Neutral but moved steadily towards evil.
  • The Operative from Serenity, who ruthlessly pursues anyone or anything which threatens the perfect utopia he hopes to build, even if it means slaughtering entire worlds or murdering children. To his credit, he never claims that what he does is right or just, only necessary, and freely admits that he's a monster who will have no place in the utopia he dreams of.
  • Eden Fletcher is a bad bad man.
  • The Master from Manos the Hands of Fate.
  • Peter Creedy in the V for Vendetta movie adaptation (more than in the comic book) comes across as a textbook Lawful Evil character.
  • Harry Waters from In Bruges. That fucking motherfucker sticks to his fucking principles.
  • Charlie Prince in the Three Ten to Yuma remake is a trigger-happy, murderous bastard, but his loyalty and devotion to his boss Ben Wade are impressive - he goes to almost superhuman lengths to rescue him. With maybe a slight hint of subtext.
  • Darryl Revok of Scanners. He started out Chaotic Evil ("highly self-destructive") but by the time the film is set, he's mellowed out to Lawful Evil.
  • The Abominable Dr. Phibes. Yes, he's a murderous nut, but he's also extremely focused in his work, wrapped around a fairly lawful system of revenge, and in love with ceremony. The one thing he has that most Lawful Evil characters don't is creativity.
  • Lord Summerisle. The crops will not fail.
  • The Confederacy in CSA: Confederate States of America goes as far as to legally trade slaves with African countries.
  • Vaako, The Dragon from The Chronicles of Riddick. He genuinely believes in the Religion of Evil, and unlike his wife, binds himself to its principles. As a result, he resists her pressure to attempt a Klingon Promotion on the Lord Marshall, until Vaako himself comes to believe that the Lord Marshall has come to violate the Necromonger code through the Marshall's weakness. Vaako and Riddick both attack the Marshall, but Riddick strikes the killing blow. Rather than attempting to finish Riddick off, Vaako is the first to bow and declare him the new Lord Marshall, because "You keep what you kill" is part of the Necromonger code too.
    • The Necromongers in general are Lawful Evil: their end-goal may be the death and/or conversion of the entire universe, but its done with forthright honesty, military discipline and meticulous planning. All the members are loyal to the death, and even look forward to dying in the service of the Necromongers. Indeed death is the ultimate goal for them.
  • The Predators are about as Lawful Evil as they come. They participate in brutal bloodsport that involves the hunting of other alien species, but adhere to a strict honor code that prohibits the killings of innocents or the weak, and will always permit a leveling of the playing field to give their opponents a better chance of defending themselves (For example: Dutch in Predator is unarmed for the last half of their final confrontation, so the Predator starts beating him half to death until it decides to finish him. Hanzo in Predators is only armed with a katana, so the Predator he's facing only comes at him with his blade). That said, they are absolutely merciless when it comes to the hunt itself, and will not bat a single eyelash against ripping your spine out and displaying it as a trophy.
  • Lenny from RocknRolla likes to paint himself as this, declaring that he is there to keep order in the underworld. However, the truth is that Lenny is slimy, selfish, greedy, and willing to break his word and bargains with anyone doing business with him. Plus Lenny is secretly a rat who has been selling all of his criminal associates to the law one by one for years in order to avoid doing jail time himself. Archy, Lenny's dragon is the real thing: supremely loyal, true to his word, and willing to go out and kill anyone he's ordered to, or that it's necessary to kill, even while he shows that he's upset by Lenny's more selfish actions and double-crossing ways.
  • Saito from Inception, though he sides with the protagonist. He uses his inception team to plant a false idea into the mind of his rival businessman to crush the energy monopoly, primarily to clear the obstacle to his own power expansion.
  • Captain Vidal from Pans Labyrinth, as is typical of Fascist-type villains. He's a good example of how an evil character who's lawful can be every bit as despicable as one who doesn't follow the rules.
  • Bill "The Butcher" Cutting in Gangs of New York is definitely this. He's a community leader who cares deeply for his city, country and his American countrymen. He is also a racist, ruthless killer who tries to manipulate the law to his own advantage wherever possible, forging political alliances that benefit him, but he has limits imposted by his principles of honour which he will not bend or stretch at any price.
  • Sheriff William "Little Bill" Daggett, the primary antagonist of Unforgiven. Sure, he's a lawman with the noble goal of cleaning up the town of Big Whiskey, but he's also a ruthless Knight Templar for whom the chance to dish out the occasional Cold-Blooded Torture, No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, or Vigilante Execution is among the biggest perks of the job.
  • Angel Eyes, the titular "Bad" from The Good the Bad And The Ugly. "When I'm paid, I always see the job through." So when a man he's been paid to kill offers him twice that money to kill his boss, he accepts, takes the money, and kills both of them.
  • The Mist's Mrs. Carmody is the definition of this alignment: being able to justify atrocities by twisting inhumane, cruel and archaic laws to her favor and following them to the letter and spirit.
  • Chocolat (2000) takes place in a 1950s French village dominated by a mayor who is staunchly Catholic (as are the residents). Most of the characters are unhappy in some way because of the demand for "tranquility" - a woman is submitting to her abusive husband, a grandmother isn't allowed to see her grandson because her daughter doesn't approve of her free-spirited tendencies, an old man pines for a widow but cannot get up the nerve to woo her. Then Blithe Spirit Vianne, a non-churchgoing chocolatier, arrives in town and sets up a sweet shop during Lent when everyone is supposed to be fasting from indulgences. The sweets are not only hard to resist, but they also encourage people to follow their hearts again (the battered woman leaves her husband, the family slowly reunites, the old folks date) and find true happiness, much to the mayor's displeasure - though he is ultimately brought around when he accidentally tastes some of the candy near the end.
  • The Mayor from Pleasantville fits this trope. Practically trying to prevent the town from becoming "colored" and back to their "perfectly pleasant" ways.
  • Ro-Man and the Great One from Robot Monster. Ro-Man kills off nearly the entire human race because he was ordered to, and follows orders to kill the others up until his Face Heel Turn.
  • Two-Face in The Dark Knight Saga is definitely of this alignment after his Face Heel Turn from the Lawful Good Harvey Dent. While The Joker is the embodiment of Chaotic Evil and Two-Face's Face Heel Turn was sparked by him, Two-Face always flips a coin to decide if somebody should live or die. It's a rule of his that he will adhere to, instead of killing by impulse.
  • Ivan Drago seems like this for most of Rocky IV. After Rocky defeats him though, he says he wants to box for himself instead of Russia.


Folk Lore[edit | hide]


Literature[edit | hide]

  • The book version of Chocolat basically follows the pattern in the film example above, but the agent of lawful evil is the village priest and not the Mayor (his Moral Event Horizon is where he gives a speech in one of his internal monologues which can be basically summed up as 'if I allow chocolate, then it will be followed by other evil things like sex and liberals'.) While it is possible to justify the priest's behaviour by examining the plot with his dying father, the film version was more careful than the book to avoid the trope.
  • Somewhat Deconstructed Trope in the Dragonlance novel The Doom Brigade. Draconians are supposedly Exclusively Evil, but Kang and Slith, the leaders of a draconian troop, teach the soldiers about honor, teamwork and loyalty in addition to hating the forces of good and especially elves. Although they start out as devoted servants of the evil goddess Takhisis, they slowly shift from Lawful Evil to Lawful Neutral - and arguably in the end to Lawful Good, when they side against Mina and the forces of Takhisis at the end of Dragons of a Vanished Moon.
    • Raistlin Majere. Willing to kill anybody who is either blocking him or no longer useful to him. But he scrupulously honors his debts, upholds the magic order, and claims his ultimate goal to be creating a new world once he achieves godhood.
      • The minotaurs, likewise, are classed as a Lawful Evil race; while they believe most other races are so inferior as to be only good as slaves or corpses, they have a strict code of honour that they will adhere to. It's for this reason that they have grudging respect for Solamnic Knights, as well as their martial prowess.
  • In Harry Potter:
    • Umbridge exemplifies this trope, even if she initially appeared as Lawful Neutral to some. She works for the corrupted government, creates safe and harmless ways to practice magic, and yet makes students carve sentences in their hands with their own blood as detention, for contradicting the Minister of Magic. If anyone had any doubt that she was Lawful Evil at heart, Deathly Hallows removed it, with her cheerfully threatening Muggle-born witches and wizards with the Dementor's Kiss or hauling them off to Azkaban.
    • The Malfoys easily fall here; they clearly prefer being in positions of power and privilege, and Lucius seemed to be at his best when he was working for Voldemort within the Ministry. After the fifth book, which both lost him his position at the Ministry and his favor with Voldemort, he seemed to be defeated.
  • The Auditors from Discworld who have repeatedly tried to exterminate all life on the Disc (and in one case Earth) to leave a more orderly Universe. Really, Death says it best:

Death: Down in the deepest kingdoms of the sea, where there is no light, there lives a type of creature with no brain and no eyes and no mouth. It does nothing but live and put forth petals of perfect crimson where none are there to see. It is nothing but a tiny yes in the night. And yet... And yet... It has enemies who bear it a vicious, unbending malice, who wish not only for its tiny life to be over but also that it had never existed. Are you with me so far?
Susan: "Well, yes, but-"
Death: Good. Now, imagine what they think of humanity.

    • It should be noted that the Auditors are only "lawful" because they basically are the rules and if they didn't follow the rules they wouldn't exist.
    • In fact, Lawful Evil is the alignment of choice for many Discworld villains: Trymon, Vorbis and Lilith Weatherwax most clearly.
    • Evil Harry Dread in the Discworld novel The Last Hero selects his guards for stupidity and designs his dungeons to facilitate escape, all out of a sense of professional ethics and playing-the-game; he betrays Cohen and the Silver Horde at the first opportunity for exactly the same reason.
      • He's actually praised by them for this, they would have had it no other way.
    • Havelock Vetinari at one point describes himself this way to Samuel Vimes, citing that Good really can't plan - especially for when the Lawful Evil empire gets overthrown. However, his reign is overall benevolent enough that he could easily be seen as Lawful Neutral.
  • Artemis Entreri from R.A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms book is officially this. Scarred at a young age by being continuously raped and beaten by his uncle and/or his father, then sold to a pedophile slave merchant at age nine by his mother (the only person he trusted and cared for, and the only one who'd never hurt him), then escaping across the desert on foot to live on the streets as a child thief, resulting in Artemis spending the rest of his life completely focused on refining his skills so that he need not rely on anyone else. He would not kill those who were not important or related to his objective simply because he had no reason to as it gains him nothing, though it's indicated he might have had a deeply-buried moral code of some kind, but he was wholly focused on himself. In the Sellswords trilogy, dark elf Jarlaxel managed to pry a little of the bitterness away (with the help of an emotional-manipulating flute); by the time Artemis takes his leave of Jarlaxel, he might not be very evil at all.
  • Professor Moriarty of Sherlock Holmes - "The Napoleon of Crime".
  • "Gentleman Johnnie" Marcone from The Dresden Files, a control-freak crime lord who keeps such an orderly rule over Chicago's criminal underworld that the authorities actually prefer having him there, rather than several rival gangs constantly fighting it out. He also has a definite sense of honor and obligations, and is a prime example of Even Evil Has Standards. Like the aforementioned Lord Vetinari, he straddles the line between Lawful Evil and Lawful Neutral.
  • The government of Oceania from George Orwell's novel 1984 (The most common inspiration for the first kind in modern Western literature).
  • Sauron. Possibly a surprise to those who are only familiar with The Lord of the Rings (by which era he has undergone considerable canon Villain Decay and Motive Decay towards Chaotic Evil) but in the beginning, according to Word of God, he only followed Morgoth out of the desire to build a rigidly ordered empire, quite the opposite of Morgoth's motivations. The character of Saruman is in many ways a reflection of Sauron's original reasons for turning evil, and the contrast with present-day Sauron is meant to highlight how futile those desires for order are, as evil always ends in chaos.
    • Sauron would be a good candidate. Tolkien once explained evil is either total selfishness or total madness. Sauron was totally selfish - he wanted to rule the world, while Morgoth was totally insane - he simply wanted to destroy, spoil, maim and waste everything around him out of pure spite.
      • Speaking of Saruman, he really passes through all three evil alignments during his career. He starts out as a Lawful Evil Well-Intentioned Extremist, devolved into a Neutral Evil who was only out for his own advancement, and ended up a Chaotic Evil revenge-obsessed loony after losing his powers and his base of operations.
      • Tolkien once said Sauron has today no descendants, but Saruman has many apprentices, implying that the age of grand empires had gone, but many petty tyrants and dictators are carving themselves petty empires, especially in the underdeveloped countries.
    • As we are into Tolkien, the last Nûmenorean king, Ar-Phazaron, would fit the bill. He wanted nothing more and nothing less than the regency of the whole world.
    • Fëanor in The Silmarillion, who went Motive Decay from Lawful Good to Lawful Neutral into Lawful Evil, raising a mutiny against the valar, resulting in Kinslaying of Alqualondë and drawing the High Elves (noldor) into exile, war and immeasurable sufferings - all because of the silmarils
      • Likewise, all Fëanor's sons can be considered to be Lawful Evil.
    • Glen Cook's Black Company shows pretty well what Sauron could be if he didn't suffer Motive Decay - imagine him using Nazguls to patrol roads and being so merciless on any form of crime that even lone virgin can safely travel through Mordor, and you pretty much get Lady from The Books Of North
  • Lord Tywin Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire. His son Jaime probably also fits, up until his Heel Face Turn.
    • It's discussed around if Sansa Stark may or may not end up as this. On one hand, her (now, pretty much disappeared) clan is Lawful Good Or used to be. On the other, the kid's mentor is none other than Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish.
    • Roose Bolton also comes across as this alignment, masking sadism with a polite and reasonable persona, and he always acts within the system and is a big believer in Pragmatic Villainy, knowing that the best guarantee of being a Karma Houdini is keeping a low profile. Also pretty Lawful Evil is his claim that his treachery toward the Starks was done for the good of the realm.
  • The devils in The Screwtape Letters are a group of scheming bureaucrats who have quite a few rules in Hell to better manipulate each other with.
  • The Las Vegas in Stephen King's The Stand run by Randall Flagg. They may be an evil kingdom but they execute drug-users by crucifixion.
  • Roland Croninger, Colonel Macklin and the Army of Excellence in the post-apocalyptic novel Swan Song. After the bombs fall, they have a twisted desire to restore the United States by forming an army of raiders and acquiring enough people and resources to re-build a nation devoid of people marked by radiation burns. They also recognize the use of symbols (Nazi uniforms for one) and the power of fear. Roland and Macklin are both unhinged, but they have a twisted sense of loyalty to each other and are ruthlessly efficient in dividing up the spoils of their raids.
  • King Gasam, in John Maddox Roberts's Stormlands series, who seems to be somewhat based off of Genghis Khan.
  • The Book of Lord Shang explicitly states that it is better for a country to be run by evil men, because they will follow the law to the letter, while good men will be willing to overlook minor offenses if the perpetrator had a good reason.
  • Many of the villains in Dean Koontz's novels act in a Lawful Evil manner. Helios from his Frankenstein Trilogy wants a perfectly ordered world run with the efficiency of a beehive and wants to replace humanity with a new race that will do just that. The villain in Midnight also works towards this, even though he only wants it to be his playground to fulfill his perverted and sadistic desires. The villains in Nightchills come up with an effective method of mind control through Subliminal Advertising and seek to make the world perfectly ordered, but their agent quickly succumbs to Power Perversion Potential when testing its effects on a small town. The government assassin in Dark Rivers of the Heart wants a world where everything is moderate and no one is ugly and is eager to kill those that seem too imperfect to live. The Conspiracy in Door To December wanted to rule the world and were willing to perform cruel psychic experiments on a little girl to give them the perfect spy. The cult in Servants of Twilight were Well Intentioned Extremists and Knight Templars and worked methodically to kill what they thought was the Anti Christ. Even the sadistic and arbitrary serial killer in Intensity always keeps his word, has a well-ordered and scrubbed clean house, and even paid for his purchases made at a gas-station after killing the attendant...because he is a killer, not a thief.
  • Pick a slave narrative - from lecherous Dr. Flint in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl to sadistic Simon Legree in Uncle Toms Cabin, the slaveholder will be the first to insist another human being is "their property" to rape, torture and murder as they please because it's the law.
  • The Vord Queen from Codex Alera is a rare Lawful Evil Omnicidal Maniac. She wants to wipe out all life that isn't Vord, but this is out of a compulsion innate to her species (she even calls it "the Purpose") rather than malice, and as a being of pure if twisted logic she's incredibly organized and structured in going about it.
  • The Portland Protective Association in S.M. Stirling's Emberverse series, founded by SCAdians fulfilling their darker fantasies, lampshaded by their taking the Eye of Sauron as their symbol, although their leader, Norman Arminger has Neutral Evil tendencies as well. After their defeat and his death it slowly develops in a more Lawful Neutral / True Neutral direction.
  • Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men is a brutal and ruthless killer with a strict code of honor when it comes to fulfilling promises and honoring agreements, i.e. Carla Jean's murder and recovering the botched drug deal money.
  • A large number of villains in The Wheel of Time fit are Lawful Evil. The darkfriend organization as a whole is actually surprisingly ordered, which is perhaps ironic considering the nature of the Dark One (hint: he wants to destroy reality), and many of the darkfriends we meet seem to be LE. Of the Chosen Forsaken, Demandred, Sammael, Rahvin, Mesaana, and perhaps Be'lal exhibit clear signs of a lawful inclination. Of the non-shadow villains, Elaida evolves from Lawful Neutral to this as the series goes on. Others include several of the Whitecloaks, particularly Asunawa and Eamon Valda (and maybe Niall, depending on how you view his Well-Intentioned Extremist status), and a few of the Shaido. Therava is definitely LE, and Sevanna may be as well. And good chunks of the nobility of Tear and Cairhien.
  • The Thrawn Trilogy's titular character is absolutely loyal to the Empire, strongly aristocratic and cultured, pragmatic and unwilling to treat his men as disposable, and a coldhearted, unapologetic Manipulative Bastard. The fact that despite this he's vastly less evil than most other Imperials in the Star Wars Expanded Universe says a lot about how black-and-white most of it is. His second-in-command, Pellaeon, starts as this and evolves, through Thrawn's more positive influences, into Lawful Neutral, even Lawful Good by the Hand of Thrawn duology.
    • Darth Bane, who appears in the Darth Bane trilogy and various graphic novels, most notably Jedi vs. Sith mentions several times that if a death "serves no purpose", it is pointless and foolish to cause. Bane would never go out of his way to cause unnecessary chaos, and scorns those who would do so for the sake of their own amusement or ego. However, though he has no respect or obligation to serve any law, he does have an affinity for the Sith Code, saying that its words completely changed his perspective. A few examples of his Lawful Evil personality show when he slaughters a small family so that he may survive. In the scene, he is dying of a poisoning, and so he uses what little strength he has to first kill the children in front of the father, dragging out his torment, before finally killing him as well. In this manner, he 'feeds' off their fear as if it were sustenance, all the while justifying it by saying that they were weak, and that they were destined to serve him by dying. Had he not been dying, he wouldn't have looked at them twice. A chapter or two later, Bane meets the True Neutral healer Caleb (who refuses to help either light or dark), and manages to blackmail him into fully healing him, remarking afterwards that "his death would serve no purpose", and so lets him live.
  • General Woundwort from Watership Down is a classic Lawful Evil villain. He truly believes his tyranny is what's best for rabbit-kind, and only kills those who actively resist him.
  • According to the Doctor Who Virgin Missing Adventures novel The Dark Path, the Master started his villainous career with this alignment. After experiencing a disastrous series of tragic events, he resolves to bring his own order to the universe at the expense of free will and becoming its Master. Whether he shifted to Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil by the time of the TV series is a matter of debate among fans.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Lois from Malcolm in the Middle.
  • Oz gives us Complete Monster Vern "I never broke a law I didn't have to" Schillinger, who seems perfectly at home in prison as the Aryan Brotherhood's leader. In case you forgot "Lawful" and "Good" are two completely different things.
    • Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment is in play here, but it should be noted [2] that the Real Life Aryan Brotherhood operates on a very strict (and undeniably warped) code and punishes infractions with the same ruthlessness they employ against rival gangs.
  • Kai Winn, the Bajoran spiritual leader for most of the run of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, is pretty thoroughly Lawful Evil, with a bit more emphasis on law and a little less on evil. Then, she becomes a little more thoroughly evil and a little less thoroughly lawful...and finally becomes a pretty solid lawful and a pretty solid neutral.
    • Cardassian society from Star Trek, with its heavy undertones of Fascism, is a good example of a strongly Lawful Evil state. Which is probably why they were able to align with the Founders, who are so obsessed with creating "perfect order" that they have bred an unstoppable army of fanatical Jem'Hadar soldiers to conquer everything and rule it with an iron fist.
    • And the Founders' Dominion itself can be best described as Lawful Evil, although the backstory suggests they became evil due to having been oppressed by cultures' biases against them.
  • Burn Notice: Breaking and Entering Michael Westen comes to a mercenary CEO disguised as a South African diamond executive wanting to hire a death squad to "deal with" a village on property he supposedly wants to mine. The CEO's response is, "You just solicited me for an illegal act". He is apparently not worried that that would be a crime against humanity but only that it is for some reason against the law and more to the point probably a sting set up by the police to see if he would bite.
  • Criminal Minds usually shows Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil unsubs, but a few fall into this category.
    • Vincent Rowlings, who follows a very strict pattern due to his Super OCD, but also turns out to be Affably Evil and deeply caring for the blind son of one of his victims.
    • Reckoner has Hanging Judge Boyd Schuller.
  • The Daleks and Cybermen from Doctor Who.
    • Time Lords too, post-"Trial of a Time Lord". They started off Neutral enough (probably Lawful Neutral or True Neutral, in the not-giving-a-shit sense) but get darker as Who progresses. By the end of the Tenth Doctor's time, they're full-blown Lawful Evil.
  • The Wire provides textbook examples of two different variations on this alignment in Stringer Bell and Maurice Levy. Bell is a ruthless drug kingpin who will have anyone and everyone who gets in his way killed in cold blood, but he's also a methodical and calculating planner who believes that order, loyalty, and iron-fisted discipline are the keys to running a successful drug operation. Levy is a money-grubbing Amoral Attorney who does everything he can to help his criminal clients exploit flaws in the legal system, all the while carefully avoiding actually breaking the law himself as he does so.
    • I raise you Stan Valchek.
  • Malcolm Tucker of The Thick of It and In the Loop is an amoral, backstabbing, manipulative, angry, and verbally abusive human being, but everything he does is for the direct benefit of the Party, to which he is loyal above all.
  • Roscoe P. Coltrane's factory specs call for Lawful Evil alignment, but danged if, no matter how often ol' Cooter has him up on the alignment jig an' how many shims he uses, he just keeps on driftin' out to Lawful Stupid. Must be all those hard landings, gol'durn it!
  • Esteban of Weeds. Charming, charismatic, handsome, the mayor of Tijuana, and a drug kingpin. He's almost always polite, but when he shows his dark side, it's downright scary.
  • Arguably Bionicle's Makuta Teridax.
  • Evil Chancellor and Magnificent Bastard Francis Urquhart MP from House of Cards (British series), who manipulates party politics to his advantage while keeping very close to the letter of the law.
  • The eponymous Villain Protagonist of Dexter qualifies for Lawful Evil by his strict adherence to "The Code."
  • Prince of Fire from Lexx. Despite being something of an Affably Evil, manipulative, Magnificent Bastard, he never reneges on a deal and rarely lies outright.

Prince: I may be bad, but I always stick to my deals, and I very rarely ever lie. It's much more fun to tell the truth!

    • His Divine Shadow probably lies somewhere between here and Neutral Evil; though he does seem to stand on ceremony and rely on an ordered society (with some of the squickiest correctional department ever seen on TV) it all seems mostly in place to flatter his own ego.
      • More specifically, HDS is neutral evil wearing the hat of lawful evil as part of a thousands-of-years-long Gambit Roulette. He's the last survivor of the Insect Empire, passing his consciousness through various human avatars. He's developed not only a galaxy-spanning empire (the League of 10,000 planets) but a religion dedicated to worshiping him. His first goal was to wipe out any significant threats, such as the Brunan'G. His second goal was to eventually use this empire/religion to gather enough "organic material" to allow his Insect body to regenerate; this was accomplished in the Great Purge, which wiped out 99% of human life in the *universe*. The only ones spared were those so on the fringes of society that they either skimmed beneath the radar or were already on the run.
  • Uther Pendgraon from Merlin fits either here or in Lawful Neutral. He has outlawed magic in Camelot, which the use of or vague association with is punishable by death, without trial. Note that magic-users include the main character and his ward. However, he does have some good intentions in mind, justifying the law as magic apparently "tore this kingdom apart" years ago, and he does have genuine love for his son and ward.
  • The Mayor from Buffy the Vampire Slayer fits this trope. A charming, family values man who genuinely loves Faith, but a man who sold his soul 100 years ago and is willing to do anything to ascend to being a demon, including corruption, assassination, and devouring an entire town.
  • Manipulative Bastard Adam Monroe of Heroes. A man who wants to poison most of the world's population to save and eventually rebuild it.
  • Lucas Buck from American Gothic uses his position as Sheriff of Trinity to commit evil; using the law as your primary weapon is a characteristic trait of Lawful Evil. Add to the fact that he engages in carefully-worded agreements with most of the town's inhabitants in order to corrupt and control them places Buck squarely in this territory. He might tempt others to turn to evil, but ultimately he lets them be responsible for their failings.
  • Scorpius from Farscape: refined, educated, dedicated to the goal of saving the Peacekeepers from destruction at the hands of the Scarran Imperium and is willing to do anything, including stalking and torturing protagonist John Crichton for the Wormhole technology that he thinks will safeguard his race.
    • The Peacekeepers in general, actually - they are a highly-regimented mercenary force who are generally very eager to force the rest of the galaxy to follow their rules (and incredibly unforgiving if they don't). Somewhat understandable when faced with a more powerful Chaotic Evil enemy like the Scarrans, other times...less so.
      • Even the Scarrans are made out to be Lawful Evil in the Expanded Universe of the Farscape RPG with a strong sense of loyalty to family and one's superior. Their brutal conquest and destruction of other species is more of a survival imperative bred into them when they evolved on a resource-poor world rather than true malice, and is seen as necessary if their species is to survive and prosper. During a peace negotiation, it is the Scarrans that plead to the Peacekeepers not to use violence.
  • Sterling from Leverage fits this trope. An insurance investigator, he's technically on the side of the law. He catches criminals and keeps his company from paying out bogus claims. However, he's an absolute Magnificent Bastard and has Chessmaster skills comparable to Nate's that he uses to not only keep ordinary good people from getting the money they deserve but has consistently tried to have Nate and his team killed or sent to jail, taunting them all the while. One episode even has him stating the following:
  • Ecliptor from Power Rangers in Space is very much this. He's evil, and wants to destroy the Power Rangers. However, he has his limits, and is extremely loyal to Astronema, who he has raised from childhood.
    • A few Lost Galaxy villains are like this. While major villains like Trecheron count, one episode had Maya facing an old, good-turned-evil warrior, looking for one last fight. He ultimately lost, but Maya respected her fallen enemy by marking his gravesite with his sword, resembling a tombstone.
    • Then there's Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue, whose villains waited patiently for their leader, and even raised her baby.
  • Zachariah the Jerkass angel on Supernatural.
    • Don't forget Crowley who becomes epitome of Lawful Evil in Season Seven when he destroys one of his underlings who cashes in early on the Crossroads Deals he made with his victims by sending another demon to kill them just days after the deal was made.

Crowley: This isn't Wall Street; this is 'Hell'! We have a little something called 'integrity'!

  • Wolfram & Hart on Angel. What's more Lawful Evil than an avowedly Evil Lawyer Joke law firm?
    • Illyria's natural impulses run this way, despite her Lovecraftian nature and constant talk of the chaos of the Primordium. While she doesn't seem particularly phased by betrayal and chaos, everything she actually does is purposeful and rigidly true to her word.
  • Jim Fenner from Bad Girls. Abuses his position as a prison guard and the regulations within in order to further his own career, make money on the side and have sex with both female prisoners and guards. Also the Magnificent Bastard of the series until half the prisoners on G Wing finally attempt to kill him.
  • The organization Red Flag in Alphas. They wish to promote Alphas and kill anyone who gets in their way, even if they are other Alphas.
  • Rumplestitskin in Once Upon a Time tends towards this. He will never break a deal or his word, but said deals are usually costly, and the contract's wording can be a Half Truth.

Mythology[edit | hide]

  • Satan is often portrayed as this, especially when dealing with contracts. There are many popular embodiments of this trope, especially with those referencing The Devil and Daniel Webster.


Newspaper comics[edit | hide]

  • In the Dilbert strips, Catbert is the evil director of human resources who helps make the lives of Dilbert and his co-workers miserable by creating ethically questionable policies, never providing useful help, and downsizing workers.
  • Ming the Merciless, ruler of Mongo in Flash Gordon.


Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • WWE's Triple H is often referred to as "The Cerebral Assassin" for the way he manipulates the system, his opponents, and anybody whose head he can get inside to maintain his position on top of the mountain. He's at his most comfortable when he's surrounded by "friends" who help him carry out his plans, but no matter what happens, he is always out for himself and his own betterment in the end.
  • Vince McMahon in his Kayfabe gimmick as a Corrupt Corporate Executive. The intro to Over The Edge 1998 pretty much sums up not just the "Mr McMahon" character but also the essence of his feud with the Chaotic Neutral Stone Cold Steve Austin.
  • Any heel with some degree of booking power is going to fit this trope. Examples besides the two above include The Corporation, Eric Bischoff, and the Immortal stable.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • The Imperium of Man, Craftworld Eldar, Tau Empire, and Necrons of Warhammer 40,000 all lean towards this end to varying degrees-the first three vary between Lawful Evil and Lawful Neutral, while the last are so enigmatic that no one's sure where they fall, but Lawful Evil seems to fit them the most.
    • Tzeentch and his servants are often mistaken for this by virtue of their scheming, cunning and seemingly methodical nature. They're always manipulating and working towards some end. Unfortunately there are no ends, just manipulation and scheming for its own sake. Hence Chaos.
    • The Chaos Marines known as the Word Bearers are noted for being more organized than the other Chaos space marines by devoting themselves to all four Chaos powers at once. They are chaos and evil that is restrained by religious devotion and military discipline. They are all willing to die for the greater glory of Chaos.
    • Also the Red Corsairs. Like the Word Bearers, they are devoted to all four Chaos powers, and are thoroughly corrupted, but they still operate like a Space Marine chapter, with organized battle-companies and internal departments like a Librarium and Apothecarion.
  • Dark Elves in Warhammer Fantasy Battle. They have a strict, law-bound society which is evil to the boot.
    • The human domains, Bretonnia and Empire, also have shades of this, but not nearly to the degrees of their 40k counterpart.
    • While many of them have different motivations setting them apart from each other, the Vampire Counts usually tend to lean in this direction too, especially as a larger force. They fight Chaos, but they are also hell-bent on conquering the Empire and turning all of it's living citizens into undead minions not only to deny chaos new worshippers, but also to create a new order without any fear of resistance. Vlad von Carstein himself is a prime example of this, and he even came frighteningly close to achieving said goal too.
  • Hobgoblins in Dungeons & Dragons are just as brutal as orcs, but have a regimented society and cooperative spirit that makes them doubly dangerous.
    • The Devils are the archetypal Lawful Evil creatures (as opposed to the Chaotic Evil Demons). They have a strict hierarchy, and seek to conquer rather destroy the multiverse. They are extremely organized but utterly ruthless. In 4th edition, Asmodeus, the lord of all devils was actually made into the god of Tyranny.
      • Somewhat paradoxically he isn't Lawful Evil, as 4th removed that piece of the alignment table.
    • Seeing as monks have to be Lawful Something, this would be the canonical alignment of a given D&D campaign's Arrogant Kung Fu Guy.
    • Pathfinder keeps Asmodeus as the God of Tyranny, and adds another Lawful Evil deity in Zon-Kuthon, god of darkness, envy, pain, and loss. With a strictly regimented church based around the initiates ability to survive torture, Zon-Kuthon is an even more twisted version of this trope than the Well-Intentioned Extremist Asmodeus.
  • Magic: The Gathering has the highly organized and deadly plane of Phyrexia and its lord Yawgmoth.
    • The few White and Blue villains fall into this. As well as several Black villains, and villains that are a mixture of either two of those three colours.
      • Blue does not necessarily mean lawful, but they do have lawful tendencies due to their close association with it's neighboring colour, white. This does not mean they aren't more flexible with rules, for example, so Neutral Evil and even Chaotic Evil examples crop up occasionally.
    • New Phyrexia unites the two previous examples, giving us the white praetor Elesh Norn and the blue praetor Jin-Gitaxias.
  • Cecylene and She Who Lives In Her Name, two of the Yozis in Exalted, although for different reasons. Cecylene is Lawful Evil because she is a Social Darwinist who believes the strong have both a right and a duty to rule the weak. She Who Lives In Her Name, on the other hand, just hates individuality and free will with a passion.
  • The Coalition States of Rifts is made out to be this: totalitarian, militaristic, and expansionist, strange as they have a Chaotic Evil emperor. The magical nation of Tolkeen became this alignment during their war with the coalition states, becoming their reflection and turning a blind eye to all the evil magic they embraced in order to fight the war.


Theatre[edit | hide]


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Bowser of the Mario series. As a typical Evil Overlord who wants to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom, he fits into this territory.
  • Greyfield, from Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. He maintains control of his army through threats and manipulation.
  • NiGHTS' Evil Twin Reala is also his exact opposite in alignment: utterly loyal to the evil Wizeman, not to mention dirty, cruel and insidious.
  • Anna Navarre from Deus Ex is a classic example. She's very loyal to UNATCO and always obeys orders, but is elated whenever the orders involve killing people. She also has a distaste for agents like Paul Denton, who revile killing others.
  • In Mega Man NT Warrior's Stream season, we have Slur, Duo's right-hand-woman. Utterly and unswervingly loyal to her master, she despises humans, considering them a cancer to the universe, and thinks they deserve to be exterminated for their evil. Unlike Duo himself, she obviously takes cruel delight in handing out punishment and killing those who go against her master's word.
  • Vulcanus from Disgaea, who wants to call himself the Peacebringer by destroying all demons and ruling the humans. Of course, he's an angel.
  • In Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten it has been stated that demons have the job to scare the humans to keep them in order. By scaring the humans it also provides "fear energy" to the Netherworld,which the Netherworld practically runs on. When humans pray for protection to heavens, Celestia gains "awe energy", which gives the angels courage.
  • The Begnion senators in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and especially Radiant Dawn fit the description to a T (excluding Sepheran). They're genocidal, greedy, ruthless, and collectively wield power over the most influential nation in the continent. Their only hindrance is the more benevolent empress who is politically above them, but they can still get away with, say, enslaving an entire war-torn nation by hiding their actions and shifting blame to subordinates.
    • Their alignment (and fitting the first description) are, of course, derived from the goddess they serve. Wanting to keep the order at all costs, the "Good" goddess Ashera that they serve is willing to statue-ize every living thing on the planet to stop the war they're caught up in. The only exceptions were the followers of Ashera (the aforementioned senators) and the ones under the protection of Ashera's Chaotic Good counterpart "Evil" goddess Yune (the party members). This alignment mix was to prove that Chaotic isn't always evil and Lawful isn't always good.
  • Kil'Jaeden the Deceiver in Warcraft. In addition to being a fan of chess, he seems to be pretty much the only demon in the universe who gives minions second chances to further his plans rather than just kill everyone who fails him like the common Bad Boss.
    • Kel'Thuzad, the right hand of the Lich King. While the Dark Lord's alignment kind of fluctuates from time to time, good old Kel stays the same ever since swearing his soul to the master of death. In Warcraft III, his Lawful Evil poses a nice comparison to Arthas' Neutral Evil.
      • Ironically, the frequently ignored role-playing game guides put both Kel'Thuzad and Arthas under Chaotic Evil, both obviously more methodic in their workings than Illidan, who is listed as Neutral Evil. But, since these guides are full of fallacies in character alignments anyway (the definitions for the alignments seem to differ a lot from the D&D one), this is obviously more of a case of bad design. Kel'Thuzad is still definitely Lawful Evil.
    • Based on what remains of their legends, the ancient troll empires fell into this category. While they likely practiced many of the same barbaric traditions as seen today, like cannibalism, their rule was perhaps one of the most peaceful periods in Azeroth's history.
      • To further prove their inclination towards lawfulness, those trolls that were deemed too savage and barbaric by the southern trolls were banished to the icy reaches of Northrend.
    • While Sylvanas Windrunner's alignment may have been debatable up until this point, in the upcoming Cataclysm expansion, she undoubtedly falls here, with the occasional foray into Neutral Evil.
  • Aribeth de Tylmarande may bounce back and forth on the good-evil axis, but she never deviates from a lawful alignment. Likewise, Mephistopheles in the second game is bound by rules just as much as any paladin, he just has no conscience to go along with the rules.
  • Several people from the Final Fantasy franchise:
  • Kane of Command & Conquer fits this to the letter.
  • Agent 47, the Anti-Hero/Villain Protagonist of the Hitman series, especially in the last two games. He is a cold-blooded and ruthless assassin, but has a strict, self-imposed policy of not killing innocents, except if they are directly threatening the success of his mission, or if it's explicitly ordered by his contract agency. In the Lighter and Softer first two games, he is more Lawful Neutral/True Neutral.
  • Saren Arterius in Mass Effect ("Is submission not preferable to extinction?").
    • Cerberus, which is a pro-human organization led by "The Illusive Man" willing to do some brutal experimentation and methods for the sake of securing human dominance.
  • Possibly, Goenitz in The King of Fighters.
  • The majority of Organization XIII in Kingdom Hearts are either this or Lawful Neutral (with a few exceptions like Chaotic Evil Larxene).
  • The instruction booklet for Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin explicitly states that Death is Lawful Evil.
    • Along with Death, we also have Carmilla, another loyal servant to Dracula.
  • In Overlord, your Evil Chancellor Gnarl advises you to be this, stating that being Ax Crazy and slaughtering everyone in your way, while can be boatloads of fun is not good for long-term world domination since you will need servants for your empire. He also sees giving peasants some help as Pragmatic Villainy, saying that "gratitude comes with it's own rewards". Still, the decision is all up to you as a player and he does delight in acts of particularly vicious evil, though canonically it's suggested that the Overlord was a Noble Demon who at the least saved the elves and slain the Fallen Heroes ruining the lands. In the sequel this is known as Domination, with the Overlad merely choosing to brainwash any civilians he comes across to become slaves that toil for him. Alternately you can be Chaotic Evil and choose Destruction instead, killing them all.
  • M. Bison, who practically lives by his main goal to, you guessed it, Take Over the World. (OF COURSE!)
  • Baron Praxis from the second Jak and Daxter game.
  • Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney has Manfred Von Karma and Damon Gant, both of whom used every tactic from deception to murder to gain and maintain control of the legal system. Shelley De Killer is an example of this: a ruthless assassin who takes his contracts very seriously and is a man of his word.
  • Lord Recluse is an Evil Overlord who rules his island nation with an iron first, but privately relishes a chance to get blood on his hands.
  • Hector from the Dept Heaven series is a tough call between this and Neutral Evil. He's at the top of Asgard and his ultimate desire was to rule over the world as god.
  • Canderous in Knights of the Old Republic prefers to operate within the Mandalorian rules of war, but has no particular objection to vaporising urban centres in order to achieve an objective. He doesn't like it, but nor does he feel any particular distaste for it.

"The strong are meant to rule the weak! It is the way of the universe!"

  • Prince Maximillian in Valkyria Chronicles is the ruler of The Empire and overall Big Bad of the game who invades the main characters' nation. However he's also a strict follower of the rules of war and has an officer of his court-martialled for war crimes.
  • Very common in the Wild ARMs series.
  • Several characters and factions are in Fallout are this alignment, most notably the Enclave.
    • Caesar's Legion in Fallout: New Vegas are this too, using methods such as slavery and torture to achieve their goals of conquering the west in the glory of Caesar and his empire.
    • According to J.E. Sawyer, Colonel Cassandra Moore of the NCR is somewhere in-between Lawful Evil and Neutral Evil.
  • YHVH from the Shin Megami Tensei series takes it to the extreme in Shin Megami Tensei II, when he orders Satan to wipe "unworthy" life from Earth with the Megiddo Ark. Which at the time would have included several cities expressly aligned with him and at least one urban core full of worshippers. He only gets worse in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, where it's revealed he's been orchestrating the death and rebirth of countless billions of parallel Earths.
    • And the real reason he comitted said act? He seeks to create a world where nobody, ever, has to suffer The Evils of Free Will.
  • Ryo Ishikawa of Shogo: Mobile Armor Division is quite ruthless in his plan to control Cronus's supply of Kato, but rather than do anything overtly illegal, he settles for manipulating the UCA into destroying the Fallen to create a power vacuum.
  • The Morag Tong and the Dark Brotherhood, the guilds of assassins in The Elder Scrolls Universe. The Morag Tong has worked alongside the government of Morrowind to allow it's members to murder with impunity, and the Dark Brotherhood is dependent on order and regulation of it's members to preserve its secrecy.
  • In Halo, Colonel James Ackerson. While he works with the UNSC for the survival of the Human race, he is a monster when it comes to his remorseless actions: He tried to have the Master Chief killed when he was first trying the MJOLNIR Mark V; He hoped Reach would have been completely glassed by the Covenant just so Halsey and the SPARTAN-II are no longer a threat to him (regardless of the enormous use they had to UNSC High Command), and refused to send a ship to look for survivors when there were suspicions that the Master Chief had survived; He kidnapped a Spartan from Halsey for his own Project; and sent children at the ages of twelve, by the hundreds, to die in suicide missions.
    • The Prophets (the entire race, actually) are this. They are an extremely political race, and a very manipulative and evil one. They keep order within the Covenant, but treason, blackmail, and assassination are their everyday bread. The main antagonist of the series, the Prophet of Truth, especially, is this by ordering the annihilation of humanity (heirs of their Gods they adored) to keep the Covenant together. They are so vile to the point their scientific name in the Bestiarium is Perfidia Vermis, "Worm of Treachery".
  • Loghain from Dragon Age used to be Lawful Neutral (and thinks he still is), doing "what has to be done" for the sake of the nation and his own sense of self sacrificing honour. By the time of the game however this has warped itself to Lawful Evil, as it has long since grown into resentment and malice towards those who he feels don?t deserve their power (by virtue of not being him).
    • Bhelen would also fit this as well. He's one of the dirtiest players of politics and will gladly manipulate and blackmail his way through politics to get what he wants, even getting his eldest sibling killed and his second-eldest sibling exiled. However, upon being crowned the king Bhelen will abolish the Caste system, give more rights to the commoners in exchange for military service that helps them push back the Darkspawn and make Orzammar more open to surfacers.
    • Meredith from the sequel.
  • Ganondorf, who fits the classic Evil Overlord mold to a tee.
  • This is the default Alignment of Jin Kisaragi, or in fact most of the NOL members. They abide to their oppressive rules which earns the ire of many many citizens, though as Jin coined, they're doing it so 'there's no misuse of Armagus'.
    • Continuum Shift DOES have one character to exemplify a monstrous Lawful Evil: Relius Clover. He is responsible for various horrendous experiments, which may include the player character if he ever meets them in their bad ends, as well as casually turning his wife and daughter into automaton and cares really little for his son. However, he's highly respecting the authority and less-chaos loving than his ally Hazama. And if you look at his hobby, you do see that he lives in an orderly manner, likes opera shows and... what does he dislike? Unarranged book shelves
  • Pokey from EarthBound is clearly Chaotic Evil during the game, but takes a turn towards Lawful Evil some time after Earthbound and before Mother 3, aiming more for enslaving everything rather than complete annihilation, while still maintaining his highly dickish personality.
  • The indie strategy title Solium Infernum, based around the nobles of hell fighting for dominance after Lucifer vanishes, runs on this trope. War can only be declared as a response to one player publicly provoking the other and is fought to a pre determined time limit and goal. The game is usually won not by wiping the other players out, but by being regarded as the biggest Magnificent Bastard in hell when the election takes place.
  • The Space Pirates from Metroid. They live in what is very literally a fascist dictatorship, with harsh punishments for disobedience (although free speech is allowed), and want to dominate the galaxy, killing or enslaving all other sentient races and removing all of those useless things covering planets, like ancient ruins.
  • Although it is hard applying any sort of alignment to most characters in Team Fortress 2, the Announcer definitely has to qualify as Lawful Evil. This is the kind of character who is equally disgusted by friendship and cheating, and values loyalty extremely high according to all official material released by Valve, including executing You Have Failed Me... whenever she is displeased with the efforts of either team. Lawful Evil all over.
  • Officer Frank Tenpenny from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas definitely qualifies.
  • Sigma in the Mega Man X series, is a Lawful Evil Complete Monster who will gleefully do anything to wipe out all humans on Earth.
  • Moebius from Legacy of Kain fits here. Truly believes in fate and that free will is an illusion, and is the loyal servant of an evil god, Moebius has organized not one, not two, but three Knight Templar crusades to exterminate vampires, and willingly sacrifices countless lives in pursuit of this goal. A Manipulative Bastard that borders on and occasionally crosses the line into magnificence, Moebius toys with people's destinies for his own amusement, not by ignoring, breaking, or working outside of the rules—but by playing and abusing the rules of the system to his own advantage.
  • The Combine from Half-Life 2. They are extremely well organized, going from world to world, conquering it, sucking all the resources off of it, turning the local populace into soldiers, oppressing its people, and keep the planet occupied as they use it to invade the next planet, or the next dimension. There is also the numerous regulations that must be obeyed by the citizens, unless they want a stun stick courtesy of Civil Protection. Also, by extension, both Dr.Breen and the combine advisors, along with the Civil Protection, but they all have their Neutral Evil moments.
  • Shao Kahn is the tyrannical ruler of a parallel dimension, bent on conquering Earth. Thing is, in the MK universe, the Elder Gods have established rules for waging war on other dimensions, which Shao Kahn adheres to unquestioningly. The closest he's ever come to working outside the system was using a loophole in these rules to gain a foothold on Earth in MK3.
    • Hotaru. He's cynically militant in that believes order, rules, law, and control is the only way to make sure society is peaceful and functional, and has no regard for the battle between good and evil, just as long as he suppresses chaos, and stops people breaking the rules. He comes from Seido, or Orderrealm, as part of the Sedian guard that very much share his philosophy that freedom leads to anarchy, and anarchy leads to suffering. He doesn't care how order is carried out, just that it is. For example, he opposes the long running evil of Shao Kahn, because Shao Kahn achieves his plans of total realm merging through invasions and wars that Hotaru finds chaotic. However he pledges allegiance to the still diabolical evil Dragon King, Onaga, who threatens to merge all the realms into one under his wrath using a different method, combining the special kamidogu so the realms merge automatically, because he believes that this is orderly and disciplined, seemingly ignoring the destruction and evil that would come with it. Could be seen as Lawful Stupid in that in his militant haste to achieve order whenever he can, rather than say adhering to a certain ethical code in particular, he seems completely oblivious that he's unmaking reality and bringing about the end of the realms as he knows it. That he religiously adheres to an evil ruler, and commits evil under obedience because he's being 'lawful', while seemingly showing no compassion, means Lawful Neutral would not be an appropriate place to put him, perhaps focusing on his own ideology at the selfish expense of someone suffering.
  • Zato-1 from Guilty Gear, as the leader of the Assassins Guild and the Evil Mentor to Millia and Venom.
  • As pointed out in The Spoony Experiment 's Ultima overview, one of the most insidious things about evil is that it can take something like rules for living well and twist them into something unrecognizable. Ultima IV had no Big Bad, just a mission for you to learn a bunch of virtues to be the embodiment of good. In Ultima V, those same virtues are being enforced by law; crushing, stringent law which slowly but surely turns the world into a hellhole for the average citizen, all in the name of goodness.
  • Andrew Ryan, Atlas (spoiler for first game), and Sofia Lamb, all of whom are power-hungry monsters seeking to seize control the underwater city of Rapture for themselves.
  • Toyotomi Hideyoshi in Sengoku Basara is hellishly ruthless to those who oppose him and plans for uniting the land with brute force. Once you get on his side, however, he shows quite the charisma to make you worship him properly, as well as having a strict code of conduct. In fact, most of the Toyotomi followers are like this, Takenaka Hanbe is slavishly loyal to him, Ishida Mitsunari takes the 'evilness' to the extreme in form of being massively murderous to those who are against the Toyotomi, and Otani Yoshitsugu is still loyal to it despite having tendencies for Neutral Evil. The main exception is Kanbe, who is ambitious and backstabbing (though incredibly unlucky and incompetent) and not particularly evil, being roughly Chaotic Neutral.
  • Touhou: Remilia Scarlet is Lawful Evil by necessity, what's with being a vampire. She claims to be a descendant of Vlad Tepes. Yeah, that Vlad.
  • Golden Sun's Agatio is the only Fire Clan antagonist who fits neatly into a character alignment, despite how little characterization he receives in the games. He is shown to defer to authority figures (lawful), and outright boasts to Felix's party that he wants the Fire Clan to rule the world and will do everything in his power to make it happen (evil). This basically makes him the "loyal subservient villain" type, though he's a bit sneakier and more independent than that phrase implies.
  • Dirty Cops in L.A. Noire, especially Roy Earle.
  • Carter Blake in Heavy Rain due to his aggressive and shitty attitude in law enforcement. He acts as the opposite of Norman Jayden.
  • The Olympians in the God of War series. The world is at peace under them, but only because it's their world.
  • Colonel Vanek in F.E.A.R., as well as Armacham Technology Corporation in general. While they've got a profit motive, Vanek and the ATC director's board are also disgusted by he extent of the horrors caused by the psychic warfare research division. Vanek even makes it clear that he considers the idea behind the Replica program to be "fucking crazy" but that doesn't stop him from dutifully carrying out massacres of civilians, and if it weren't for the Origin facility explosion killing them all before he arrived, he would have purged the entire student body of Wade Elementary.
  • Hotaru of Mortal Kombat is either this or Lawful Stupid. He believes that order is superior to all, opposes everything related to Chaosrealm, and is more than willing to kill if he thinks someone is on the side of chaos. He sided with the Big Bad of Deception, his debut appearance, because he believed it would bring order to the realms, sided with the forces of evil in Armageddon, and was the first to kill in the Battle of Armageddon. Fittingly, the character he killed was Chaotic Good.


Webcomics[edit | hide]

Redcloak: Do they think crushing an entire civilization beneath our heels "just happens?" It's all fun and games for them, but I'm the one who has to make the magical lightning-powered trains run on time.

    • Elan's Evil Twin brother Nale is also LE, all the better to contrast with the Chaotic Good Elan. Note that much like Belkar and Xykon are both Chaotic Evil but ultimately very different both in personality and motive, they're not all that similar. Alignment not being a straitjacket is one of the comic's major themes.
    • Daimyo Kubota, a corrupt aristocrat of Azure City, can be considered Lawful Evil, exploiting every legal loophole he could find in his schemes to assassinate Hinjo and seize power. It takes a bit of chaotic action to bring him down.
    • Elan and Nale's father, Tarquin, has now emerged. He's Lawful Evil, thus far appearing to be of the more affable type (unless you cross him, as his son Nale learned just before Tarquin killed him.).
  • Tarvek Sturmvaraus, most likely. He seems to care about his subjects in Sturmhalten and he prefers it when people help him voluntarily, but part of his plan to take over the Baron's empire involved using The Other's technology to help him win the battle of hearts and minds with mind control.
    • He's confirmed himself to be this by one of his latest rants:

Tarvek: If someone can't handle an unpleasant truth? Lie to them. If someone won't listen to reason? Make them. If people don't choose to live peaceable? Don't give them a choice. If you don't like the rules - change the game.

      • All of which he says he learned from Baron Wulfenbach, who is himself either Lawful Evil or Lawful Neutral.
    • Post-timeskip stories show him as still being Lawful, but the Evil part might be disappearing.
  • The particular hat of elves in 8-Bit Theater, from main character Thief to villain Astos. This accurately sums up the 'easier to become ruler of the world by exploiting the existing system' flavour of Lawful Evil.
  • The Elite Guard from Goblins are almost explicitly Lawful Evil - they're confirmed Evil, and it's hard to imagine a guard could be anything but Lawful.
  • In Looking for Group, this seems to be the default alignment for Legaria, especially Aelloon.
  • The majority of The Feline Empire in Blade of Toshubi are of this alignment. Advisor Toh, Lamika and Major Kohi are probably Neutral Evil, though.
  • Gordon Frohman of Concerned is a fanatical follower of The Combine and is a self-proclaimed enemy of the Human Resistance and Gordon Freeman due to a genuine and incredibly idiotic love of tyranny.
  • Brian and Angelo, from Our Little Adventure. They run a tyrannical empire together but seem hung up on professionality and try their best to be friendly with the staff. Even Angelo said he would make amends to the employee he killed by resurrecting her and giving her a raise.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Transformers: Megatron in almost all of his incarnations, especially Beast Wars and Transformers Animated.
    • Lockdown from Transformers Animated is also Lawful Evil - after all, a well ordered system is so much easier to exploit - but it is very obvious that he prefers to work for the Decepticons, because Evil Pays Better.
  • Clock King, a villain from Batman: The Animated Series, who did everything according to his own by-the-minute schedule every single day. The one time he didn't...er, things didn't go so well.
  • Most of the villains from Kim Possible are Lawful Evil, since they do follow the traditions of villainy. Often lampshaded due to the fact that it is this very tradition that lets Team Possible come out of the traps alive.
    • Señor Senior Senior, in particular, literally goes by the book (of villainy).
    • The only exception is Shego, who's Neutral Evil and not interested/motivated in taking over the world; and Warhok and Warmonga, who are Chaotic Evil, as they want to destroy the world instead.
  • The Venture Brothers: parodied/deconstructed with the Guild of Calamitous Intent.
  • Lemongrab of Adventure Time. Although he isn't evil, and is arguably a sympathetic character (thanks to his... eh, delicate mental condition,) he does end up sending literally everybody in the kingdom to the dungeon, when he's in power. All he wants is order, peace and quiet, and cleanliness. Unfortunately, he tries to achieve this through terribly misguided means.
  • G.I. Joe: "Hail Cobra!"
  • Total Drama Action: Courtney fits this trope, seeing how she calls her lawyers when something doesn't go her way.
  • HP and the pixies on The Fairly OddParents want to bring absolute order to both Fairy World and Earth. This is, until "Fairly Oddbaby" where they randomly team up with the anti-fairies and try to destroy Earth.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender's Dai Li and their leader Long Feng are the purest Lawful Evil. They're all about preserving order and stability at the cost of happiness and free will, and have connived and manipulated their way to the top of the government in Ba Sing Se to make sure of that. Favored tactics include kidnapping, misinformation, and total brainwashing.
    • Arguably original alignment of Iroh in his days as General and conqueror (or perhaps most Lawful Neutral)...
      • Fire Lord Sozin and Fire Lord Azulon also fit the alignment of Lawful Evil.
      • Councilman Tarrlok from Sequel Series The Legend of Korra fits this definition as well.
  • Chase Young of Xiaolin Showdown.
  • Lucius Henious VII on Jimmy Two-Shoes runs Miseryville with an iron fist, and he actively goes against anyone who doesn't conform to his rules.
  • The Delightful Children From Down The Lane.
  • Superjail: Jailbot catches criminals, enforces the rules, and unquestioningly carries out the Warden's commands. He tends to go a little overboard in his execution.
  • ReBoot: Megabyte sought to conquer all of Mainframe, and also the Supercomputer, because that was his viral imperative, in direct opposition to his sister Hexadecimal, who was a batshit crazy chaos virus.
  • Anti-Villain and Magnificent Bitch Nerissa of WITCH.
  • Futurama:
  • Uncle Ruckus from The Boondocks is either this or Lawful Neutral depending on what race he's addressing. The senior Ed Wuncler is a straight example.
  1. in which case they are probably (though not inevitably) either Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil, as The Caligula is defined by his willingness to violate the norms and rules of leadership for petty, sadistic and spiteful reasons
  2. or not