Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Working Title: Woobie Destroyer of Worlds: From YKTTW

alliterator: Removed the Columbine example, because I really don't think anybody considers them woobies. And I felt really uncomfortable with that example.

And, hang on, who is "that dude in Cowboy Bebop"? Could you vague that up for me?

pawsplay: You don't think the Columbine killers were sad, miserable people trying to take revenge on the world? As for Cowboy Bebop, there's some evil dude trying to kill everyone with a nanite weapon because he's sad and lonely and knows he's been screwed over somehow.

Attilargh: This trope seems awfully vague. Could someone beef the description up a bit?

Fast Eddie: Woo! Yeah, the initial YKTTW description had a bit that was more clear. I copied it in.

alliterator: You don't think the Columbine killers were sad, miserable people trying to take revenge on the world? Yes, but a) they weren't fictional, b) they were sad and miserable because of being bullied, not because their lives had been any worse than what most teens go through, and c) they weren't trying to take revenge on the world, but on the school and their peers. I just think a real world example like that doesn't belong on this page.

And I was attempting to point out that the Cowboy Bebop example was too vague. If you have the information to flesh it out, please do so.

pawsplay: Obviously, the Cowboy Bebop example was too vague. Just as obviously, I don't have the information and can't be arsed. :)

Clevomon: I'm hesitating before mentioning Shion from Higurashi. One or two complications with her: 1) she doesn't have the capability to do even the chunk of the world focused on (Hinamizawa). 2) Her motives are at the beginning about revenge, but then become more and more senseless as it goes on. Not sure if she's directly motivated by the Break the Cutie or not. Also debating adding Takano, but I'm not sure if she'd be considered a Woobie to begin with.

Cassy: I think Takano fits alright. Did you have a look at the arc about her childhood? It's one of the most Narmesque things ever, but she's a woobie of epic proportions when she loses her parents to a train accident and she's put in a foster home where she gets beaten and terrorized so much she seems to gradually go insane. It might even get worse after that, the rest hasn't been made into a manga yet and I haven't watched the whole anime. BTW, the title of this trope is Made of Win!

Dausuul: Corrected Moral Event Horizon to Morale Event Horizon. A Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds has crossed the Morale Event Horizon (utter despair resulting in permanent character change) pretty much by definition, but also by definition has not crossed the Moral Event Horizon (a crime so heinous as to make the character permanently irredeemable in the eyes of the audience); anyone who has crossed the Moral Event Horizon cannot be a Woobie.

Clevomon: Uh... so Takano goes back off? You'll find plenty of fans (including me) who think she's crossed that one.

ccoa: Removed this example:

  • Seymour in Final Fantasy X plans to destroy the world of Spira in order to stop what he calls its cycle of suffering, believing that he's doing everyone a favor by putting them out of their misery.

Because Seymour is not a woobie by any stretch of the imagination.

Bob: Despite the name, you don't actually have to be The Woobie for this. Seymour fits the "The Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds either thinks s/he is doing the world a favor" perfect. What doesn't fit is Dr. Horrible. How is he trying to destroy everything?


Meshakhad: I'm thinking of putting a picture of Dark Willow up as the trope image. She's a prime example. Any objections?

Plasma Wing: Cutting
  • Pain, in a sort of twist, kind of sees himself as this. The fanbase tends to disagree.
Pain doesn't really want to destroy the world to end his suffering, or because he thinks people being dead will end their suffering. He wants people to suffer because he believes that it will end war through fear, and even then he doesn't believe that it's a permanent solution. Also
  • Sasuke seems to be heading this way now. After discovering from Tobi that Itachi murdered all the Uchihas because they were planning to take over Konoha, he decides in his grief at what he's done (he killed Itachi shortly prior to this revelation) that the best course of action is to destroy Konoha himself, rendering Itachi's sacrifice completely moot. Not so much woobie in this case, though, depending on your point of view.
Don't see how this is an example of this trope at all.

Michael: Does Darth Sion count do you think?

Joie De Combat: Cutting the following re: Gundam SEED:
  • As he was Beam Spamming everything around him at the time, it may not have been intentional. Depends on the viewer's perspective, and probably how much you liked Flay in the first place.
...because it's clearly something he did intentionally just to screw with Kira - he wasn't Beam Spaming at the time.
Willbyr: I like the image of Shinji, but can it be shrunk down? The page formatting looks like crap trying to wrap around the image in its current size.

Meshakhad: I'm not so sure about that image, period. It doesn't evoke the trope at all - it's just a sad face. Nothing about "Destroyer of Worlds".

BritBllt: I laughed at the image, but yeah, it's not very helpful for anyone who doesn't already know Shinji. Still, I'm having a hard time thinking of any way to show "destroying the world for angsty reasons" in a picture. Maybe this pic plus a caption rewrite to get the "destroyer of worlds" bit across would help?

Meshakhad: The best I can think of is a screenshot of Willow holding Tara's body. The pure Dark Willow pic I had earlier wasn't much better.
BritBllt: Trimming this...

  • Azrael in Dogma: "Human, have you ever been to hell? I'd rather not exist than endure that experience a second longer, and if I have to drag down everyone else with me... so be it". Subverted, because Azrael was an egotistical jerk through the whole movie.

to this...

  • Azrael in Dogma: "Human, have you ever been to hell? I'd rather not exist than endure that experience a second longer, and if I have to drag down everyone else with me... so be it".

Despite the title, a character doesn't need to be The Woobie to be a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, and Azrael otherwise fits it to a tee. Having the unnecessary "subverted by him being a jerk" at the end just feels like the example's arguing with itself.

Peteman: Warren Mears? The guy was an asshole by and large who willingly chose to become a supervillain because he had nothing better to do. I would understand Jonathan, maybe Andrew but Warren? Maybe after getting flayed, but that would be because he was flayed alive, not because he was bullied relentlessly.

BritBllt: Hm, yeah, tossing that one...

  • Warren Mears was almost certainly this until the abuse of his peers drove him to a level of insanity usually only seen in works by H.P. Lovecraft.
    • You mentioned Buffy in this trope and didn't mention Willow trying to destroy the world? Fortunately for the world, she got better, thanks to Xander.

Because that's one, an awful lot of Alternate Character Interpretation (we never saw anyone bullying Warren, and he was already a jerk the first time we saw him), and, much more importantly, because he never tried to destroy the world at all - he had a vague idea about ruling the world, but mostly just wanted to kill Buffy. Jonathan would probably be the closest fit among the Trio, seeing that the first time we met him he was trying to kill himself, but again, he never tried to destroy the world (indeed, he got backstabbed while trying to save it).

Dark Willow, of course, is a huge example: I'll rewrite and add her back to the list.

...I thought so. Someone called The Adversary deleted a whole slew of entries with no explanation, including Willow. I'm not familiar with all of them, but I know for a fact Willow counts, and at least half the examples he deleted sound perfectly reasonable. Here they are for anyone else who wants to look over them and figure out what belongs and what doesn't, and I'm going ahead and adding Willow back...

  • Shinobu Sensui may count as one of these, as his plan to destroy humanity via the tunnel was really a way to end his suffering, both from the guilt of killing demons when younger/his resultant Split Personality, and also from a terminal disease. However, Your Mileage May Vary depending on whether or not you think he crossed the Moral Event Horizon.

  • The Joker, in some of his ever-shifting personae. Literally in the Emperor Joker storyline, where he almost destroys all of existence, having decided that any universe that could let a guy like him come into being and exist was too horrible to let live.
  • Hal Jordan was also like this for a fair amount of time, in his persona 'Parallax.' Literally, in the Zero Hour storyline, where Hal decided that he needed to remake the universe to prevent the recent loss (re: utter annihilation) of Coast City, his home town, among other major disasters.
  • Hank Henshaw, who provided us with the delightful page quote, is utterly convinced that existence is the source of nothing but pain and misery and wishes for a "A universe void... Of even a void." Incidentally, he is the one responsible for the destruction of Coast City mentioned above.

  • Judge Dredd has what is probably a interesting varient of this, Judge Death, who decided that only the Living commit Crime, thus Living itself must be a Crime (Try to guess the Sentence, look at his name for a clue ), and proceeded to commit Omnicide in his home dimension. Only it doesn't seem he was ever driven to do this by some terrible event in his life, and is a massive hypocryte, since he and his Dark Judges cheat his own system by being Walking Deadmen, thus exempt.

  • Jigsaw, one ungrateful bastard at a time. His first deathtrap is discussed in the fourth movie.

  • Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer attempted to do this in the sixth season finale because of the death of Tara and because her magic let her feel everyone on the planet's pain - oh, and made her perfectly capable of destroying the world. She was stopped by the The Power of Love.
    • Faith. Just...Faith.

  • Connor in Angel. He doesn't quite have the firepower to destroy the world, but he certainly expresses his desire to, and starts small.

  • Kerghan from Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura, who intends to destroy all life after a visit to the afterlife convinced him that life only creates pain and delusions and that death is the natural state of the universe. Basically, the Magneto side of Buddhism.
    • Virgil, after being resurrected from a plotline death, indicates that the afterlife is quite pleasant, so he has a point.
  • The Time Devourer in Chrono Cross, a Fusion Dance of Lavos and Schala, came to the conclusion that anything that killed another being in order to live did not deserve to exist. Therefore it would use Time Travel and Alternate Universe Jumping to make itself immortal and destroy all of space and time unless someone defeats it without simply using violence.

Sir Psycho Sexy: I did the Sensui one. I just put the Your Mileage May Vary to cover my bases. I really do think he counts, though.

BritBllt: I haven't seen most of YYH, but I just read about Sensui on The Other Wiki, and he sounds like a textbook Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds to me. I'll add him back, with a note to see discussion for details.

Okay, added it back as this...

  • Shinobu Sensui of YuYu Hakusho began as a heroic spirit detective, but had a mental breakdown after discovering humans torturing demons, throwing his life's work of protecting humans into question. His mind now fractured into seven split personalities, embarked on a plan to destroy humanity as a way of ending the confusion and guilt, along with a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum over his terminal illness.

Since my info's second-hand, it's all yours to re-edit if I'm missing anything. :)

BritBllt: I did some more edit history reading, and... well....

Moving The Adversary's comment to the bottom to reply...

The Adversary: Reworked it so the examples would match the description. By the way, we now need a trope for villains that want to end the world to end suffering.

BritBllt: I've read the thread, so now I see why you made so many changes, but since that new "mercy killing the world" trope hasn't been launched, this page has gone totally flanderized from its original premise (I mean, come on, Sephiroth? He wants to be a god!) without any other page left to carry the torch. The new description amounts to "villain you feel sorry for" and that's not only conceivably any villain, it has the potential to create endless YMMV edit wars over whether each particular example is sufficiently sympathetic.

At the least, Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds should stand as it was, an angsty mercy killer of worlds, until a replacement trope's fully up and running. Then, once that groundwork's in place, a link to that page can be added to the bottom of the new description and start actually separating examples (though I'm not sure this trope really has much of an objective meaning left once the "destroyer of worlds" part's taken out of it).

I think it's taking the trope name too literally, but then I have a problem with overly literal trope names... I can't imagine the original authors of this trope intended it to refer only to examples of Omnicide. Once you remove the poetic descriptors like "Woobie Destroyer of Worlds" and confine to literal meaning, TV Tropes loses its fun semantic value and becomes a style guide. That being said, the term has some meaning, and not just "sympathetic villains".

berr: Here's the change to the description that was made, for future reference. It seems to me that Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds does refer more to an oppressed character who lashes out destructively and screws everything up within the scope of the story (up to and including destroying the heroes' or villain's world if that is the scope of the story), does not just refer to an actual "mercy killing the entire world as a matter of principle" character — that sort of character is almost never a Woobie or else they would not have been vested with that power — unless they're a Person of Mass Destruction, in which case they fall under both types.

Changed lines 1 from: to:
  • This is a character who wants to destroy everything and everybody; but in contrast to the Omnicidal Maniac, the audience is supposed to feel some sympathy for him and/or his motives while accepting that he's got to be stopped. In rare cases, the character is even likeable, just... not all there in the head. In truly unusual cases the audience might even agree with him.