Archived Discussion

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Don't Screw with the Light launched as Light Is Not Good Discussion: From YKTTW

Sunder The Gold: Someone deleted two of my original paragraphs from the article. My kneejerk reaction was offense, but after review I concluded that at least the first paragraph was unnecessary, and the second might be too. I had a lot of trope ideas crowding my head when I wrote this one, so I probably overcomplicated this article. So, to whomever did it: A fair call. A fair call.

Sunder The Gold: I'm questioning whether this trope article needs the first two or three paragraphs. The third paragraph mostly fits, because Order Versus Chaos does tend to come into play when Light is attributed to the Bad Guys. Thoughts?

Wulf- On the Death Note Example- Maybe I'm misunderstading, but wasn't his name 'Light' in the original Japanese too, just made Raito for some other reason?

Vampire Buddha: 'Raito' is how the Japanese pronouce the English word 'Light', what with that whole L/R confusion thing. Some idiots people insist on calling him Raito because of Spell My Name with an "S"
Vampire Buddha: Restoring the YKTTW thread, which was deleted for some reason.

Sunder The Gold: Oh snap, that's not junk code? Oops. My fault - won't happen again. Gotta go see about fixing the others.

Sunder The Gold: I'm a bit uncomfortable with this title. See, it's true that neither Dark or Light is evil, but both of them are technically "good," in an objective sense rather than a moral one. That is, it is good that we have both light and darkness, like it's good that we have both fire and water, or earth and air. With all that in mind, how about changing this Trope's name to something like "Light Is Not Sacred"?

Vampire Buddha: In most works of fiction, Light is associated with Good and Dark with Evil. This trope is about works that associate Light with Evil and general Badness; also, the title was chosen as a counterpart to Dark Is Not Evil.

Sunder The Gold: I'm aware of the title contrast. But no work ever depicts Light as totally evil, because that would include the Sun and Daytime, both of which human beings are very fond of, being diurnal agriculturalists. Besides which, this is like saying "Women Are Not Evil" and "Men Are Not Good" — just because one title is completely good and true, doesn't mean the other is. Also, the trope is broader than "Light is Evil" — it also encompasses situations in which Light is merely elemental and neutral and any evil use is the fault of the user, not the element. Which is what portrayal in stories usually if not always amounts to in the first place.

Vampire Buddha: I see what you mean. However, the majority associate light with good, positive qualities. This trope is about where it is associated with bad, negative qualities which aren't good for humans. Furthermore, it does tend to be about the symbolism of Light as opposed to actual photons, much as Dark Is Not Evil tends to be about symbolic darkness rather than lack of photons.

Document N: Are there not alternate possible titles, like Light Does Not Mean Good or Light Does Not Equal Good?

Sunder The Gold: Five words certainly isn't as snappy as four, but it's far more accurate. There's also Light Is Not Always Good. The opposite trope would become Dark Is Not Always Evil, Dark Does Not Equal Evil.

A necessary trope. In fact, one should possibly expound a little on the philosophical or at least symbolical implications... It doesn't always have to be Knight Templars. Children, for example, are pure and innocent, as is associated with light, but they can also be incredibly cruel because they are so dumb they don't realize when they're doing evil things. One who is dark, however, knows the darkness and thus can tell right from wrong. Darkness could also be seen as suffering, and one who has suffered is more likely to be about to have sympathy for others than one to whom the concept is foreign.
Immediate example that jumps to mind is Carrot from Discworld. Generally, he's completely happy to be the one who will just talk things out and send someone on their way with an epiphany, but there's one time when he does quite differently. A villain is part of a plan to restore the monarchy of Ankh-Morpork and put Carrot on the throne. He is holding both Vimes and Carrot at gunpoint. He tries to get Carrot to examine some documents that would prove Carrot the rightful heir. Carrot pretends to look, but uses that as a distraction to kill the villain without warning, leaving Vimes to think that it's better to be at the mercy of a bad man, (who will gloat and do the evil laugh about it) than a good one, who will just kill you and be done with it.
  • I don't think the example of Carrot from Discworld really fits. He doesn't have any particular 'light' association, and in any case he is a good man (just not quite as naive and innocent as he seems).

I can't think of an example, but I think it is a trope that the side of Light, or Good, will put up with an hell of a lot, but if it decides that you are irredeemable, its vengeance will be far worse than that of the the Dark.
  • Nope, that's also Beware the Nice Ones. While a perfectly valid (and even Biblical) idea, it doesn't fit the spirit of this trope, which is about Evil masquerading with a bright and beautiful face.

Uknown Troper: I'm removing Trias. Not only is he explicitly described as fallen (his surname is, after all 'the betrayer') before you even meet him, he even has a Red Right Hand - his wings have burned away to a charred frame.
Bob: I'm cutting the Watchmen example because I don't think that individual qualify as "light" the way the article mean. Saved here.

Jordan: I think it would be really funny if the picture for this page was that of Light from Death Note with the caption "he sure isn't"
Drow Lord: Took out the Tsukihime example, which had nothing to do with light. See Yandere, instead.
Trogga: Anyone else think that the "literal examples" are really stupid?
Mike Rosoft: Removed non-example:
  • Averted in Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series where the Paladins, Marshalls Heralds do wear white and their angels, unicorns Companions take the form of beautiful white horses.