Satan Is Good

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Lucifer is here to save the day and look gorgeous

"An apology for the Devil - it must be remembered that we have only heard one side of the case. God has written all of the books."

Samuel Butler

A Perspective Flip as applied on a cosmic level, and a natural corollary to God Is Evil.

You know the story: a long time ago, there was a conflict between the Powers That Be. The good guys won, and the bad guys got to suffer (a popular misconception would be to rule) in Hell instead. But it could be you're not getting the whole story. Maybe Old Scratch (or his in-world counterpart, thinly-veiled or not) has been Wrongly Accused. Maybe his loss in the war with God/the gods was the original Downer Ending, and the bastards who did win have been tarring him with the propaganda brush ever since. Wouldn't that be a Mind Screw?

Another variation is that God isn't necessarily evil; he and Satan may just have Creative Differences. Or maybe God just doesn't care. It's even possible that he and Satan are actually good buddies. In these versions, if the reasons behind it are mentioned at all, Satan's bad reputation may be chalked up to misinterpretation on the part of mankind; particularly if he and God don't really have anything against each other. It could even be that the entire "warring angels" part never really happened. "Demonizing" the, well, demons could be the work of a Corrupt Church.

This was quite common in earlier times, where Satan was seen as a servant of God, who performed an important role in testing peoples' resolve. Satan is derived from the Hebrew "ha-Satan", Which quite literally means "the Accuser"—and what he accuses you of is sin.[1]

Appears often in Rage Against the Heavens plots, although it doesn't have to - it's easy to portray God as the Big Bad without bringing Satan into it at all, usually by portraying humans as the good side. Also seen in settings with Black and Gray Morality, where Satan may not be good, but he's better. This kind of one-two punch is a red flag that you're living in a Crapsack World. There's no telling what The Legions of Hell will be like in a Satan Is Good setting; they may or may not even work for him, and if they do they may be just as Wrongly Accused as their leader or he may be just barely keeping them in check.

The important distinction between Satan Is Good and Villain Protagonist or Sympathy for the Devil is that, while the latter cases may make him sympathetic, in this case he's actually heroic. Depending on how idealistic the world is, he may be an Anti-Hero (he probably is) or even a Noble Demon, but he's definitely on the better side. In other words, Satan making an honorable decision, letting someone go because he has nothing against them, or helping the protagonist with something that is mutually beneficial does not immediately make for a Satan is Good situation. Note as well that just because God Is Evil it doesn't necessarily follow that Satan Is Good. He can just as easily be as bad as his counterpart, ineffectual, or absent. By the same token, just because Satan Is Good does not necessarily imply God Is Evil; Have You Seen My God? situations in particular allow for Satan Is Good without going in for God Is Evil.

If Satan Is Good, expect to be treated to A Hell of a Time when you die, assuming you don't end up on the other side of the fence. Remember: Dark Is Not Evil and Light Is Not Good.

Compare Cry for the Devil. See also God and Satan Are Both Jerks.

Examples of Satan Is Good include:

Anime and Manga

  • Heavily suggested in the backstory for Witch Hunter Robin, although the witch relating it came off (intentionally or not) as an Unreliable Narrator.
  • In Slayers: Next the Lord of Nightmares, the ultimate Creator beyond good and evil, maker of both with a purpose for each, ostensibly the source of all chaos in the universe and god-boss of all Mazoku (demons), doesn't quite live up to her bad hype, as she not only makes short work of the Big Bad (though admittedly in a very cruel manner) but also returns Lina to life when pressed by Gourry (instead of, say, smiting him). Xellos, the series' resident Devil in Plain Sight, chalks it up to her sense of humor. The bad reputation is presumably firstly due to the fact that a being that doesn't take sides is easier to put in the bad camp, and secondly because she is extremely destructive when invoked; people who see Giga Slave and know what it can do out of control undoubtedly have a hard time in considering its originator as anything but evil.
  • In Kaori Yuki's Angel Sanctuary, God is the big bad and Lucifer aka Sakura Kira most of the time isn't entirely evil, he's more an Anti-Hero who only does good things because he promised the woman he loves, Alexiel, to break her free which involves the destruction of fate. At the end, he himself tells Setsuna he did it all because of his promise. Furthermore, whether you're an angel or demon doesn't have anything to do with your alignment.
  • In Shina Dark he does appear to be good overall. Satan has all sorts of horrible things written about him (even to the point where he is believed to be a pedophile and a sex maniac). However, he really is just a good natured, lazy, couch potato, who has numerous 'accidental pervert' moments. In fact he doesn't even look like what you would expect him to look like. So much so that his Butler is often mistaken to be Satan. Though refusing to fight ('It goes against the Beauty of battle if you fight the boss first') and sending your maid to fight first and then attempting to duck out of the battle with out fighting may not be considered good by some. Then again, if said maid is a Robot Girl Person of Mass Destruction, that's pretty much justifiable.
  • In Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok, Loki the Trickster from Norse Mythology is not evil. Apparently Baldr tried to kill him and Loki killed him in self-defense; which caused Odin the All-Father to go insane and try to punish Loki by any means imaginable; even if it means trying to destroy the world in Ragnarok and blame it on him.
  • In Bastard!!, the fallen angel Lucifer better known as Lucien Renlen, Dark Schneider's alter ego fights to protect humanity when all the other angels are trying to exterminate them.
  • Dragon Ball has had Demon King Piccolo, who was later reincarnated into Piccolo Jr. who became good. There was also a character named Mr. Satan who was never evil to begin with. Finally, there's Dabura, a demon who went to Heaven and reformed his ways (anime version only).
  • In Ghost Sweeper Mikami, God and Satan are both good guys; the former is in charge of maintaining order, the latter in charge of maintaining chaos/change. The closest we have to a leader-of-all-wicked-things is Ashtaroth (and even then, it's implied that he only recently gained the ability to do that).

Comic Books

  • While he's not portrayed as especially friendly in the Sandman spinoff Lucifer, Lucifer is at least on the side of saving this universe (to say nothing of his own universe). He even ends up helping defend Heaven against the Lilim.
    • God is also sympathetic, making this the creative differences version. Indeed the final story makes it seem less like a great cosmic saga and more like the tales of a powerful and distant father and his troubled, bitter son.
    • His appearance in the Sandman is more ambiguous. His first appearance seems rather standard Lord of Damnation, but his later appearances show him as a mostly neutral force in things, trying to live his own life. Now that he's abandoned Hell. His rant about people choosing to come to Hell and their lies about him stealing souls pissing him off also made him far more sympathetic, if not necessarily good. Also, he has style. And admits that the sunset is fantastic. What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?
    • Neil Gaiman tends to portray Lucifer's Fall as all part of God's plan in his works. Albeit a plan poor Lucifer was never let in on...
  • The Satan figure of J. Michael Straczynski's Midnight Nation is not quite good but rather an Anti-Villain who works at undoing creation because of what he sees as the needless suffering and misery of those in it, and because God has refused to allow criticism of this.
  • In Crimson, Satan is the only one of the angels who maintains a close relationship with God. It's implied that the other angels have become so full of themselves that they can't recognize God for who he really is. God and Satan have creative differences but team up to manipulate the other angels into achieving mutual goals for each other.
  • In Proposition Player, Hell Mary points out that the "other side" rushed their book through production without letting her side make a point for them, and asks Joey if he could really picture his friends in heaven, kowtowing to the big guy and trying to outdo each other at telling Him how great he is. She is also savvy enough to level with Joey and, later, switches allegiance and joins his group when he decides to become a big player. Her celestial counterpart, meanwhile, is a huge jerk who alternately tries to buy off the souls or threaten Joey passive-agressively, and makes no secret of what a misogynistic, power-abusing, sociopathic asshole he is. (He also doesn't realize that intimidation doesn't work on a cynical bastard like Joey.)
  • Dilbert has Phil, the ruler of Heck and Prince of Insufficient Light. He's basically a harmless version of the devil who inflicts very minor punishments on people for very minor sins. He also turns out to be Dilbert's boss's brother.
  • In the French comic Professor Bell, every 1000 years a Devil gets 7 days to break out of Jerusalem, if he succeeds he is free to wreak havoc across the Earth. The Devil from 1000 years ago was vanquished by priest-mages who created golems to stop him. Eventually he ended up locked in a pit where his only distraction was a ton of Bibles to read, and over the years has turned... not exactly good, but True Neutral at worst.


  • Satan is portrayed quite sympathetically in his brief appearance in Wholly Moses.
  • Satan, played by Elizabeth Hurley, in the remake of Bedazzled , whose purpose is not so much to tempt men to fall but to offer the choice of falling and during that take the choice to redeem themselves, earning salvation. She's actually quite fun to be around and likes her most recent temptee. It's shown that there is no cosmic battle of good and evil between God and the Devil and they're actually on pretty good terms.
  • In the original 1967 Bedazzled, Satan (Peter Cook) isn't really evil, just kind of irritating in the pranks he pulls; he only tempts people to win a bet with God (first one to get 100 billion souls) and get back into Heaven. In the end, God is shown to be the something of a Jerkass when he denies poor old Lucifer access back into heaven on a technicality, and laughs about it. When Satan starts ranting about how much worse he's going to be from now on and how bad he's going to make the world, this seems to be exactly what God wants.
    • He even explains that he's only a fallen angel because God was being such a dick, he just said "Well, screw this!".
  • Little Nicky takes a slightly different route, with Hell being set up as a parallel agent to heaven less about tempting the good and more about punishing the bad. The only tempting is done by the devil's two mutinous sons. The current Devil is actually the second, replacing his father, and believes in maintaining the Balance Between Good and Evil and raising his kids right. The titular character is the product of a drunken tryst between Satan and an angel at a "Heaven/Hell mixer".
  • Drive Angry doesn't show Satan on screen, but The Accountant mentions that Satan is well read and an all around good guy. He even opposes the idea of having kids sacrificed in his name, making the cult leader villain of the film more evil than Satan himself.
    • Now the only thing left to explain is where the cult leader got his superpowers from if Satan hated him...
      • Probably just magic. And Satan didn't hate him, Satan knew nothing about him. As The Accountant says when one of his cult claims alleigance with Satan: "Funny, he's never mentioned you."
        • Word of God says there is nothing supernatural aside from Cage and the Accountant. The cult leader is just a madman. The human sacrifice would have got him nothing.
  • Cecil B. Demented, if his resident booster, Raven, is any indication, Satan Is Love!
  • In The Prophecy series, Satan acts like a complete asshole but for the most part is firmly on the side of humanity, due to his desire to maintain the status quo. The Big Bad is the Archangel Gabriel, who has gone rogue and started a second Civil War in heaven.


  • This is a common alternate reading of Paradise Lost, though it's almost certainly not what Milton intended. Satan's arguments are supposed to be persuasive and seem perfectly rational at the beginning, until later in the story when he admits to himself that he's a total fraud and is simply too weak to back down. Stanley Fish's Suprised by Sin suggests that Milton intended his audience to reenact the fall by sympathizing with Satan at first.
    • This trope is most certainly NOT what Milton intended. It may take Satan some time to admit he's a fraud but scratch the surface of his arguments and you see that his ideas, while superficially pleasing, benefit him more than anyone else. Then we find out that the actual reason he started the rebellion was not in response to God's absolute power exactly but rather God's elevation of Jesus over him and the angels.
  • The Master and Margarita: The Devil does not harm any good guys and even teaches the mains some wisdom.
  • William Blake's Prophecy epics heroicise Satan, or rather his allegorical equivalent Orc, against the tyrannical Angel of Albion. Blake is also perhaps the most prominent member of the Misaimed Fandom evoked above, famously writing that Milton was "a true Poet and of the Devils party without knowing it."
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's Job: A Comedy of Justice, Satan is much friendlier and more accessible than God, who's portrayed as kind of a dick, and neither of them is the true Supreme Being.
  • Satan and the rebel angels get a sympathetic portrayal in Steven Brust's To Reign in Hell. In this version, God is really just the the most powerful angel, who seizes absolute power in a fit of stubbornness and arrogance. The creation of the Jesus-like character is treated like a case of Multiple Personality Disorder. The rebel angels aren't evil, they simply reject their new "god's" authority.
  • In the "Von Bek" novels from Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion novels, Ulrich von Bek finds himself damned and in the presence of Lucifer, who is now good. Lucifer had decided he wished to make peace with God, and been charged with ending suffering on Earth as the price of his redemption. Lucifer can't act directly, so he asks von Bek to aid him by returning the Holy Grail to the earth and ending "the World's Pain." The Grail is a symbol for our power of rationality, which Moorcock sees as the only way we can end our suffering, and of course this being so would redeem Lucifer, as it would mean the entire apple thing was ultimately to our benefit.
  • In Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice, the titular Satan empathizes intensely with the pain of human existence, (particularly before there was a heaven and souls simply continued existing between worlds for all eternity) and frequently accused God of being arrogant and uncaring towards his creations. God eventually agreed, but gave Memnoch a job he despises; punishing the wicked and purifying them so they can enter Heaven. Granted, we only have Memnoch's word for this and he turned out not to be entirely trustworthy.
  • In the Empire of Man (also called the March Upcountry) sci-fi series by David Weber and John Ringo, one important supporting character's entire religion is based on this. The character's religion came about as a result of a religious purge war on her home planet, with everyone not in line with the Corrupt Church being labelled Satanists. Eventually, the "Satanists" agreed, saying that if God was really in charge the universe wouldn't suck quite so hard. They came to believe that the war of angels had Satan being on God's side, but God lost and was imprisoned by the rebel angels, who proceeded to attempt to dupe the world. Satan and his so-called demons were then forced into a resistance role, biding their time until the end days when they can defeat the evil angels imprisoning God and restore the universe to its rightful place. As a result, many of the 'Satanists' work in military careers, prepared to do their part when the liberation comes. The Satanists still refer to Satan as "His Evilness" and such as a tongue-in-cheek taunt towards the corrupt church that called them Satanists in the first place.
    • They pretty much just took the rites and litany of their Corrupt Church and switched all the names and references around. Hence, their religious practices bear little resemblance to those commonly associated with Satanists in the media; the entire name is arguably a joke masquerading as a religion.
  • The sixth book of Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series, For Love of Evil is based entirely on this trope, combined with a Perspective Flip from the previous five books.
  • Lucifer is the main character of Catherine Webb's Waywalkers duet, and is a bastard son of Time and Magic and mankind's last hope against Chronos. He has been subjected to a ruthless smear campaign by his half-brother, Jehovah, son of Time and Belief, to the extent that even most other immortals believe he is evil, though they really should know better. He is actually quite a nice guy who lives in London disguised as a mortal. Despite this, Jehovah is not evil, per se; he's just a Jerkass. On top of this, Lucifer's bad rep was one of the many result of his father's plan to turn him into the ultimate weapon against Chronos.
  • Not surprisingly, given its very anti-religious theme, the Adversary in the His Dark Materials trilogy is described as an extremely sympathetic figure - the leader of the rebel army of angels that attempted to overthrow the Authority (who was simply the oldest being, and only claimed to be the creator to legitimize bossing everyone else around) in aeons past.
    • Well, the character who was the leader of the fallen/rebel angels is the angel Xaphania, and she is pretty much still going around in the universes; needless to say she's wise and "good". Lord Asriel (named after the angel of death) fits the role better, but his Knight Templar status makes him occasionally quite unsympathetic, specially in the end of the first book, where he considers his goal more important than the life of his daughter's friend, Roger. Arguably, Metatron is also similar in role to Satan, having taken over from The Authority after being his right-hand angel, but he is clearly evil (and used to be a human).
  • Anne Bishop's Black Jewels trilogy is not a straight example, but still worthy of mention. Here, Hell is a gloomy but all-in-all pretty cozy place, and its ruler, Saetan Daemon SaDiablo, is easily the nicest guy in the entire series.
    • ....besides all the guys that don't torture, slaughter and generally rip to bits their enemies and the enemies of their families. But yes, overall very decent, definitely a protagonist.
      • Perhaps "easily one of the most upstanding, honorable, caring guys" would be a better way to put it. He can be nice, but even more than nice he cares deeply for others, and sometimes that involves showing some teeth. And after all, he is the father figure (or actual father) to every main protagonist and even the not-so-main protagonists in the series.
    • The other two male main characters are Daemon and Lucivar. It was obviously the author's intention to do this.
  • This is essentially the entire point of The Devil's Apocrypha.
  • Jeremy Leven's novel Satan, His Psychotherapy and Cure by the Unfortunate Dr. Kassler, J.S.P.S portrays Satan as essentially helpless and neuroses-ridden, subverting the "Lost Son" concept by making God and Satan half-brothers. They shared a mother, "Fear." The book was adapted to film in 2002 as Crazy As Hell. The book really leaves the question of whether or not Satan is evil up to the reader.
  • I, Lucifer, wherein Lucifer (he doesn't like to be called Satan) narrates his life and his brief attempt to earn his way into Heaven, doesn't present him as being good, but since God does present himself as good, Lucifer has to be evil by default. By anyone's standard, God is not exactly a good person; in the end, it's implied that God only offered Lucifer the chance to come back to Heaven because He's certain that the latter won't accept, and when it seems like he will, God manufactures an emergency in Hell that requires Lucifer's attention. It's not so much Satan Is Good or God Is Evil as They're Both Dicks.
  • In Fifth Business, the Devil figure in the story ends up being an intelligent and charming woman who helps the most in the main character's quest of discovering who he is. As he says later, "The Devil turned out to be a very good fellow."
  • In Timothy Findley's Not Wanted on the Voyage, Satan is a seven-foot-tall angel. In drag. Who goes by Lucy. And Satan's far, far, far better of a character and person than Noah and his ilk.
  • Several of Neil Gaiman's works, including Good Omens and "Murder Mysteries," enjoys playing with the morality paradox that God always intended for Satan to fall, and that by doing so he's performing his proper function in God's plan.
  • Peter Ustinov's (yes, the actor) novel The Old Man and Mr. Smith had God and Satan as best friends, traveling the countryside. Satan (Mr. Smith) tended to commit minor offenses, such as stealing, that bothered God (The Old Man) a bit, but it was always just to help out, and The Old Man couldn't deny that he directly benefited from Mr. Smith's pragmatic approach to problem-solving.
  • Shan-wei is the Safeholdian Church of God Awaiting's equivalent of Satan. However, what only a select few know is that Pei Shan-wei was an actual person who tried to deflate the A God Am I ambitions of her fellow "Archangels" Eric Langhorne and Adorée Bédard and was murdered for her trouble.
  • According to the Friar's Tale in The Canterbury Tales, all of Hell operates with permission from God. One minor demon observes that he and his guys actually provide opportunities for salvation, by resisting the temptation they offer.
  • In Jeff Long's Deeper Satan is a True Neutral entity that played a major part in uplifting the humanity to its current status in hopes of releasing himself from a metaphysical confinement beneath the Earth with its aid, but it's implied that if his release would actually happen, he would cause immense destruction without even noticing or caring, like only an immortal being with little experience with human contact could when facing fragile mortals.
  • While not quite calling him good Mark Twain opined in one of his essays that Satan had never gotten a fair trial and deserved to be able to tell his side of the story.
    • Then he gets his chance in Letters from the Earth. Satan's a little rebellious and every so often gets a time-out, but he just can't comprehend how much of a Crapsack World humans make for themselves, all in the name of a pseudo-God. The God Is Evil corollary here only applies to the fictional one that Man comes up with, not the 'real' one.
  • In Kurt Vonnegut's novel Timequake, Kilgore Trout writes a book that has the Devil giving Adam and Eve the apple, because he sincerely wants them to become intelligent.
  • In Natalia Vasilieva's Black Book of Arda, Melkor (the Tolkienverse's Satan equivalent) is good.
  • The Other Light faction in the Left Behind book Kingdom Come sees God Is Evil because He won't let "naturals" in the Millennial Kingdom live past 100 years of age as unbelievers, and claim in their If It's True manifesto that God has unfairly treated one of His angels (referring to Lucifer) and befouled his name and reputation by casting him out of His presence. To that end, the Other Light worked hard to pass their teachings to the next generation of converts so that the generation that gets to confront God and Jesus at the end of the Millennium will be "assured victory" when Lucifer is released. Unfortunately for them, it didn't go as they hoped.
  • Sammael in Storm Constantine's Burying the Shadow is an alternate world interpretation of Satan. In this world God was supposed to move on to another plane of existence and Sammael was to take his place, but he decides against it. This was starting to screw up the world, so Sammael and some of the eloim rebelled and were banished to Earth.
  • This is the ultimate goal of wizards and the Powers That Be in the Young Wizards universe. The Lone Power invented entropy and death, and for these gifts was sent away until he could learn better. Rhiow in The Book of Night with Moon describes it best:

But what time is about, they say, is slowly winning the Lone One back to the right side. When that happens, the Whisperer says— when a billion years' worth of wizards' victories finally wear sa'Rrahh down enough to show her what possibilities can lie beyond her own furious blindness and fixity - then death and entropy will begin to work backward, undoing themselves; evil will transform its own nature and will have no defense against that final transformation, coming as it will from within. The universe will be remade, as if it had been made right from the beginning. ... Every time one of us stands up knowingly to the Devastatrix, she loses a little ground. Every time one of us wins, she loses a little more. And the Whisperer says that the effect is cumulative. No wizard knows whether his or her act today, this minute or the next, might not be the one that will finally make the Lone Power say, 'I give up: joy is easier.' And then the long fall upward into the light, and the rebirth of the worlds, will start...

  • This is explored in the Joe Hill novel Horns, in which the protagonist wakes up one morning with a pair of horns and supernatural abilities allowing him to influence people and know their deepest, darkest thoughts. He soon comes to believe that he's becoming a devil, but for every character he punishes for their urges and transgressions, he helps just as many to find peace and happiness. He also muses on the nature of Satan, who does God's work by punishing sinners but also accepts humanity for what it is and celebrates sin/human nature, compared to a God who runs a theological protection racket.

Live Action Television

  • Subverted on Supernatural: Lucifer would like to convince you that he's the good guy, but he's clearly just an egotistical bastard. At times he'll come off as Affably Evil, but then he'll go and do something that completely averts this, i.e. killing off an army of demons (his children) to summon Death, exploding Castiel, snapping Bobby's neck, beating the living crap out of Dean (while wearing Sam's body!) etcetera, etcetera. Then again, on this show, no higher power can possibly be good.
  • The Devil as presented in Brimstone wasn't necessarily evil. In fact he was in charge of punishing evildoers, hence his need to get the 113 escapees back to hell. He was, however, an unrepentant Jerkass.
  • The Devil of The Collector, or so he claims.
  • A recurring bit on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" features them inviting the Devil on to discuss something heinous in the news, only to refuse to take credit on hearing the act actually described.


  • Not outright stating it, but Running Wild's song "Satan" shows him in more anti-heroic light.
  • Voltaire's "Almost Human" is, essentially, the Devil's lament about being cast from heaven and being constantly despised by angels (or The Fundamentalist; it's not exactly clear), despite being basically the same as humanity.
  • Despite the song's title, "Sympathy for the Devil" portrays Satan as an arrogant and malevolent presence who haunts all of humanity's great atrocities. Though there is an Aesop in there about how these evils are really the fault of humans.
  • OK Go wrote a musical response to "Sympathy for the Devil" called "A Good Idea At The Time," which depicts him as, at worst, apathetic to said atrocities.

Now it's true about my wealth, true about my taste
But you don't need no help from me, you'll lay yourself to waste

  • In Power Sympathy's "Lightbringer," Lucifer states that he was created as God intended, and that his fall and temptation of mankind is the will of God.
  • Cormorant's "Ballad Of the Beast" is a possible example, as it portrays Jesus giving in to all three of the devil's temptations and calling him his friend. At the end, Jesus claims that he is "now free". It may also be a case, for God sends out an angel to keep Jesus from dying when he jumps, of God and Satan Are Both Jerks.

Mythology / Religion

  • An Alternate Character Interpretation of the Christian Satan casts him as a Promethean figure trying to unshackle humanity from the tyranny of an unjust God.
  • In Judaism, Satan is not a fallen angel, the serpent in the Garden, or Lucifer. He's a regular angel submissive to God's will. He distinguishes himself by being critical of humanity's capacity for evil, and specifically proposes a test of faith for Job. His name comes from the word for "adversary" or "accuser" and his role is more like that of God's prosecuting attorney, the "devil's advocate." In fact, the title of Adversary does not necessarily belong to one angel; it could be the title of whichever angel is being argumentative at the moment.
    • It should be noted that the account of Job can be interpreted completely differently, seeing as Satan is directing his accusation to YHWH initially (specifically that YHWH bought Job's loyalty with favors and protection) and only later did he allege an inherent lack of loyalty on Humanity's part. He also isn't specifically noted to have a legitimate position before YHWH until a later assembly, which could be interpreted to him having lost a position earlier and YHWH allowing Satan to try him for the alleged grievances.
    • Jewish folklore also has Ashmodeus, the demon king (and a separate character from the above). He is presented as a malevolent tempter, but he's also kind of a Punch Clock Villain. When not "doing his thing", he spends his free time studying Torah and in several stories, he comes across as something of a Noble Demon.
    • Even in modern Christianity, it is established that Satan punishes bad people who have done bad things on earth for eternity. Isn't that... kind of... a wholly righteous activity?
      • Simply put, no. The Problem of Hell is that Hell, as lay persons understand it, is extremely difficult to square with a good and just God. According to this line of thought, no amount of human evil is worthy of eternal and unremitting punishment and Hell is impossible to reconcile with God's omnibenevolence. Others argue torture is always unjust as a punishment. A Satan who runs the "pop-culture" Hell is a Complete Monster, like a prison warden who torments all his inmates mercilessly, only Satan is in a prison where there is no chance for rest, succor, mercy, escape, pardon, liberation, or death. Sooner or later a sinner's suffering in Hell would be a mockery of justice, no matter how evil they were on earth. Satan willingly inflicting such agony would be evil beyond measure. God allowing this would be a cosmic-sized perversion of justice. Now, if God decreed such punishments, there is a trope for that. The Other Wiki can introduce a few of the arguments and discussions about the Problem of Hell, including various religious answers.
  • The Yazidis, a religious minority in western Iran, call the chief angel in charge of running the world on God's orders the Peacock Angel, Melek Tawuse. They consider him an intermediary between humanity and God. They don't even believe in Fallen Angels, considering evil to be entirely the result of human misbehavior. However, owing to a Yazidi myth about Melek Tawuse that closely resembles the Muslim myth of Iblis/Shaitan's rebellion against God,[2] they are very frequently accused of worshipping Satan by people with a One Myth to Rule Them All mentality.
  • Anton LaVey's Church of Satan, and Modern Satanism in general. Modern Satanists like LaVey don't believe in a literal Satan, but consider him to be a symbol. In his later writings, LaVey implied that God might very well exist, but if he does, he's an asshole.
    • There's also Traditional Satanism, which does believe in a literal Satan. Their view is that Satan is the one who really wants what's best for them, or that he simply wants them to think for themselves (most well-known example being the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil).
  • There was a group called the Luciferians that was persecuted by the Catholic Church as a heretical sect during the Middle Ages. As with this trope, the Luciferians believed that eating from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil was a positive thing, and that Lucifer was the noble Creator opposing an evil and repressive god who had better press. They never worshiped evil or performed dark sacrificial rituals the way Satanists in contemporary and modern media were/are supposed to do. There are also modern day Luciferians who believe the same thing.
  • In Classical Mythology, Prometheus subversively gives the gods' protected knowledge of fire to humanity, not unlike the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil offered by the evil serpent in The Bible. When the myth first appeared in Hesiod's Theogony, Zeus was a wise and just god who sentenced Prometheus to eternal suffering, while the Titan Prometheus was to blame for the suffering of humanity. Prometheus Bound turns this around, making Zeus a cruel tyrant and Prometheus the benefactor of humanity's rise to civilization (Older Than Feudalism).
    • The suffering of humanity was blamed on Pandora, not Prometheus.
  • The god Endovelicus became identified as Lucifer after Christianity became dominant on the Iberian Peninsula, but he was already quite established as a benevolent god in the native pantheon.
  • Theodicy is the philsophical/theological question of why evil exists. One thing that emerges from a study of theodicy is that, if you accept that God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving, then Satan must serve a good purpose, or else God wouldn't allow him to exist!

New Media

  • Michael Aquino's Morlindale is a retelling of some of the backstory of The Lord of the Rings that paints Melkor and Sauron as ultimately heroic figures.
    • Col. Aquino used to be the equivalent of an archbishop in the Church of Satan. Satan Is Good, indeed.
    • As an additional note, Eru Ilúvatar, the traditional analogue of God in the Tolkien mythos, is not evil; rather, he is a True Neutral embodiment of the natural order of Arda (although in the view of Melkor and Sauron ( and eventually Pallando), this order is inherently unjust and something to be struggled against). The Valar, on the other hand...
  • Lucy in the Mr. Deity online shorts. An amiable and rather pleasant (if short-tempered) woman and Mr. Deity's on-off girlfriend, who only agreed to be Lord of Hell to do Mr. Deity a favour, really doesn't like the 'passive-aggressive' references to her being a 'snake' in the 'script', and would much rather that her avatar be a bunny. The only thing about her that really comes even close to actually being 'evil' is her slight over-enthusiasm for the torture and punishment of adulterers, and it's implied by Mr. Deity's uncomfortable reactions whenever she brings it up that he's more than a little responsible for that particular attitude.
  • Satan attempts to clear up misconceptions about him on his FAQ page.


  • The Satan of Old Harrys Game is quite offended by suggestions he isn't the Ultimate Evil, or has some sort of soft spot, but the evidence is against him. One season involved him trying to make the world a better place, purely to alleviate the overcrowding in Hell, of course. In a later season, he's perturbed when dogs and babies start ending up in his domain, insisting things have to be fair, or what's the point? He also refers to the Rebellion as an attempt to bring some sort of democracy to Heaven (although he's a bit defensive when Gabriel asks if it was because he wasn't allowed to ride the flaming chariot).
  • Ghost, from True Capitalist, gets a few calls from Satanists, which made him sarcastically remark "Satan is good, Satin is my pal." Of course, this resulted in more than one Stupid Statement Dance Mix.

Tabletop Games

  • In White Wolf's Demon: The Fallen, the Player Characters are part of The Legions of Hell, and Lucifer is presented as the sympathetic leader of La Résistance. And not merely "sympathetic": Lucifer loves humanity probably more than anyone else ever did in the world's history, including the Jerkass God (and possibly even Jesus). It is exactly because he loved humans more than God that the Rebellion (later labeled "the Fall") happened, but this being the World of Darkness, it... didn't work as planned. After Lucifer tried summoning his former comrades, not knowing that time spent in the Abyss had caused them to become Eldritch Abominations, he created Christianity in order to fight them.
  • Some In Nomine campaigns feature this portrayal of Satan. The core books leave the characterization of both him and God ambiguous enough that it's mostly a question of how the Game Master portrays the world.
  • Nobilis second edition has Lucifer be so principled that millennia in Hell haven't corrupted him at all. And the major efforts of the Fallen Angels at this point in time are all about protecting the world from the omnicidal Excrucians. However, those principles he cleaves to so strongly? Inflicting Suffering, feeding Corruption, and using Power.
    • In third ed, the Angels love beauty and justice, but only the Devils love everything. For daring to stand up for the monstrous, the wicked, and the corrupt, the Angels cast the Devils into Hell.


  • In the "Don Juan in Hell" dream-sequence interlude of George Bernard Shaw's play Man and Superman, the difference between Heaven and Hell is not presented as being between good and evil. Rather, Hell is a place for those who love pleasure, love and beauty to be happy; Heaven is a place for the higher-minded, intellectual, aspiring sorts who worship the "Life Force" (a philosophical concept in which Shaw, apparently, actually believed). The Devil is a gentleman who left Heaven and set up Hell because he found Heaven intolerably boring. God is not mentioned at all; the implication is that there is no God, save the Life Force.

Video Games

  • Shin Megami Tensei games dance around this one. According to Christianity, he actually is a bishonen seraph. As it is their custom, Atlus did their homework. See the picture above; that's Helel, the Lightbringer (Lucifer's angelic form), who appears in tandem with the more "traditional" Lucifer, Rebel King of Hell, in their games. Also, Lucifer most often appears as a Chessmaster who honestly cares about Humanity in contrast with the angels, who only see them as cattle and labor. The problem? He has very interesting ideas about the concept of Perfection for Humanity... On the other hand, Satan is a very different gent altogether. Who just happens to have the angelic title of The Accuser, and simultaneously be YHVH's Dragon... and an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Elisa Than ("Satan") in The Bastard of Kosigan was actually out to save everyone from being subjugated by Gabriel's totalitarian regime (there is no actual God in that story). Leads to a bunch of entertaining revelations, like Jesus having been given his powers by the "demons" (John and Judas were the only actual supernatural beings among Jesus and his Apostles), and the "angels" starting Islam to force all of Europe to unite under Catholicism (which they created to subvert Jesus' original message).
  • The tenth Fire Emblem game, Radiant Dawn, also played with this. The role of God was taken by the Goddess of Order, Ashera, while Satan was depicted as the Goddess of Chaos, Yune. Neither goddess are truly good or bad (and are actually two parts to a whole), but ancient propaganda had Yune portrayed as a "dark goddess", although this was actually for a noble, albeit misguided, purpose to preserve ethnic and political relations. It doesn't last, and when Ashera decides to pass judgment on the world and turns humanity into stone, it's Yune, long depicted as the "dark goddess", who assists the heroes to save the world.
  • Satan is the protagonist himself and son of a Prometheus stand-in in Tears to Tiara. The angels are a bunch of jerkasses.
  • The land of Ivalice in Final Fantasy XII is ruled by the godlike Occuria, timeless beings that manipulate history in order to preserve peace according to their own designs. While their morality remains a matter of debate, among their ranks is Venat, a heretical Occuria who wishes to give humanity (and all other species on Ivalice) control over their own fate. Although it commits many, and terrible atrocities throughout the game to accomplish this, in the end its mission succeeds and Ivalice is free from the yoke of its abominable masters, and it joins the main antagonist in death as gratitude for their alliance.
    • Ivalice has it both ways, with two Satan counter-parts. One of them is the above mentioned Venat, whose strives to free the mortal characters from The Occuria, but the other is the esper Ultima, who rebelled against them out of pride, and ends up trying to take over Ivalice in Final Fantasy Tactics.
  • In The Elder Scrolls franchise, many of the religions share more than a few similarities in the origins of Nirn. What may be Lorkhan, a fallen god in the Elven pantheon that deceived all the other gods into creating the world, may be Shor, the champion of all mortals in the Nordic pantheon. Given that Lorkhan's importance varies between the pantheons, this overlaps with God Is Evil.
  • In Touhou, Shinki is basicly Satan; female, extremely powerful and somewhat nice. However provoking her is not a good idea and she could easily destroy entire cities on a whim. The sole reason why she was attacked in the first place by Reimu and Marisa was because she send demons to Gensokyo - as tourists. This caused a lot of trouble.

Web Comics

  • Satan is portrayed as a cute and generally nice young woman in the webcomic Casey and Andy; it's later revealed that God is her father.
  • Satan in Boy Meets Boy is, at worst, Affably Evil. The same goes for her daughter, the main characters' landlady.
  • In his brief appearance in The Non-Adventures of Wonderella, Satan isn't exactly good...however, he is a man of his word, and ends up whimpering, about his rebellion, "I just wanted to hear I did a good job sometimes." It's an impressive feat to make eight-foot-tall-muscley-red-demon!Satan have a moment of Woobiedom.
  • The Devil figure in Jack. He does not cause any evil, which is implied to be coming from ourselves and the bad choices the characters make. The Sins, on the other hand...
  • Not exactly good but in The Devil's Panties Satan comes across more as an Affably Evil Punch Clock Villain than really evil. In later strips there is a demon simply called "The Devil" who is a childish Cloudcuckoolander and is more mischievous than outright evil.
  • K's Uncle Luc in Blip appears, for all intents and purposes, to be Lucifer. But he's very polite, and visits her in her dreams to teach her art, music, literature and the like. He seems to be in conflict of some kind with Heavenly forces, but since those forces are conspiring to crush K's artistic potential, he comes across as a genuinely helpful fellow. K is the titular "blip" in god's plan, and her very existence threatens to alter the future in unpredictable ways, so it remains to be seen whether Luc's true intentions are good or bad, but it's easy to sympathize with him when his "crime" involves making one girl's life less miserable.
  • In Mortifer, Lucifer is actually an angel who's job is to prevent the fallen from escaping hell.
  • A Channel Ate strip dealt with the devil's confusion over his apparent bad reputation. It was appropriately titled Don't Believe Everything You Hear

Satan: Welcome to Hell, Mr. Jones, here is-
Jones: I don't understand! I know I could have tried to be a better person, but I did my best. I didn't kill anyone.
Satan: I know, great job. here is your welcome package with cologne, margarita mix, a bottle of Patron and a dance card. Enjoy the eternal party.
Seriously, what are they saying about us up there?

Western Animation

  • Satan in South Park is a rather nice Punch Clock Villain. He tortures people, sure, but mostly he is portrayed as naive and needy; his apparently-darker moments seem to mostly be an act. His boyfriend Saddam Hussein on the other hand... Furthermore, while we see more than a few people getting tortured, we also see plenty of people just wandering around doing their thing without hassle in parks and town squares that seem quite nice, considering the fire and brimstone surrounding them. Considering that only Mormons get into heaven in South Park, hell is filled with perfectly good people, so there's no reason for Satan to be mean to them. They might even get a chance at one of those nice condos out by the lake of fire! And don't forget the costume parties and Hawaiian-themed hula-dancing! And on one occasion, he even visited Heaven temporarily to ask God for advice.

Satan: Thanks, God. I forgot how clear you made things.
God: It was good to see you again, Satan.

    • Although, to be fair, most of the parties seem to be reserved for the Celebrities (and Hitler)
    • God points out in the aforementioned episode that Satan's gone through quite a bit of Villain Decay to get here.

"Driving to bur-ning man! Driving to bur-ning man!"

  • In the short-lived series God, the Devil and Bob, the Devil is portrayed as being needy and clingy, even whiny at times, although he is prone to violent outbursts. In his very first appearance, he complains about is failure to raise koi fish to God, with whom he seems to have a pretty amiable relationship.
  • Robot Devil in Futurama is actually most of the time rather polite as a character, despite being a robot Satan, and the depths to which Bender sinks at times leave even him appalled.
  1. Though it can be interpreted as him accusing YHWH of sin, and the Arabic "ash-Shayṭān" (from the same Semitic root) can also mean "the adversary", but that's besides the point.
  2. In the Muslim myth, God orders Iblis to bow down to Adam, and he refuses, starting the Rebellion of the fallen Djinn. In the Yazidi myth, God orders Melek Tawuse never to bow to anyone except God, then tests his obedience by ordering all the angels to bow to Adam. Only Tawuse passes the test by not bowing to a being less than God, earning him his place as the lead angel.