History Main / GreyAndGrayMorality

4th Dec '16 6:29:48 PM jeez
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* The Solar Empire and Luna Republic in the MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Fic ''FanFic/HarmonyTheory'', despite having opposing ideologies and being on the brink of war, neither is particular worse-though neither is exactly as good as Equestria used to be either-they both have their good and their bad and are even hinted to NotSoDifferent. [[note]] As it turns out, a Democracy and monarchy are just as bad, as long as they are both corrupt. [[/note]]

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* The Solar Empire and Luna Republic in the MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Fic ''FanFic/HarmonyTheory'', despite having opposing ideologies and being on the brink of war, neither is particular worse-though neither is exactly as good as Equestria used to be either-they both have their good and their bad and are even hinted to be NotSoDifferent. [[note]] As it turns out, a Democracy and monarchy are just as bad, as long as they are both corrupt. [[/note]] [[/note]]
* ''Fanfic/ChrysalisVisitsTheHague'': While Chrysalis seems to be firmly (and proudly) rooted on the black side of things, the actual protagonists of the story, the defence and the prosecution, have this kind of thing going on. On a broader scale, both the Equestrians and humans are in equal parts jaundiced, smarmy and secretive towards each other (though nominally well-intentioned in trying to bring justice to the Chrysalis matter).
2nd Dec '16 3:11:24 AM Dark_Lord_
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* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', is even better at this. The main enemies are the Equalists, who show FantasticRacism towards bending and wish to eradicate it, and their leader [[BigBad Amon]] can be very brutal and callous in his treatment of benders. On the other hand, [[VillainHasAPoint he has a point]] - the Council of Republic City is itself very prejudiced towards ''non''-benders, and only Tenzin appears to represent their best interests as well as those of benders. There are good and bad people on both sides - Tarrlok vs. Tenzin on the council, and Amon's side has people like [[spoiler:Hiroshi Sato]], who despises benders for similar reasons but is still more sympathetic than the BigBad. On a non-political level, Korra and her friends aren't depicted as paragons of goodness (though they ''try'' to do what's right), and even characters like [[{{Jerkass}} Tahno]] and [[DaChief Lin Beifong]] have multiple dimensions to their personalities. Only Tenzin's family can be considered purely "white", while Yakone and [[spoiler:his son Tarrlok]] ''might'' well be purely "black". [[spoiler: And the latter made a HeelFaceTurn.]]

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* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', is even better at this. In the fourth season, its outright mentioned the intentions each of the antagonists has aren't evil in and of themselves, but the way they go about it is.
** Book 1:
The main enemies are the Equalists, who show FantasticRacism towards bending and wish to eradicate it, and their leader [[BigBad Amon]] can be very brutal and callous in his treatment of benders. On the other hand, [[VillainHasAPoint he has a point]] - the Council of Republic City is itself very prejudiced towards ''non''-benders, and only Tenzin appears to represent their best interests as well as those of benders. There are good and bad people on both sides - Tarrlok vs. Tenzin on the council, and Amon's side has people like [[spoiler:Hiroshi Sato]], who despises benders for similar reasons but is still more sympathetic than the BigBad. On a non-political level, Korra and her friends aren't depicted as paragons of goodness (though they ''try'' to do what's right), and even characters like [[{{Jerkass}} Tahno]] and [[DaChief Lin Beifong]] have multiple dimensions to their personalities. Only Tenzin's family can be considered purely "white", while Yakone and [[spoiler:his son Tarrlok]] ''might'' well be purely "black". [[spoiler: And the latter made a HeelFaceTurn.]]]]
** Book 2 veers more into BlackAndGreyMorality, with little spots of white mixed in. Unalaq's intentions are clearly evil, as he wants to plunge the world into darkness by [[spoiler:merging with the GodOfEvil Vaatu]]. Then there is Varrick, a CorruptCorporateExecutive who uses a civil war to get rich and resorts to things such as intimidation, bribery and even kidnapping [[spoiler:the president]]. He does help the heroes, but only when he knows he'll get better for it. On the heroic side of things, Korra casually threatens a corrupt judge with death to have him spill the truth, while the Republic City police force is portrayed as a bunch of incompetent bureaucrats.
** Book 3 is a very good example of this trope. The villains are called the Red Lotus, who seek to create a world in which all people can be free. The way they go at it, is planning to assassinate all world leaders, as they believe having a leader decide what's best for the people is the exact opposite of freedom. They do have a point however, as many of the world leaders portrayed in both ''Avatar'' and ''Korra'' are at best incompetent and at worst tyrannical. Case in point being the Earth Queen, who raises the Earth Kingdom taxes to impossible levels in order to indulge herself with luxuries. The Red Lotus members portrayed are shown to be AffablyEvil, as they are quite civil to even their enemies and only resort to intimidation and violence when they believe it will further their agenda and not just ForTheEvulz.
** Book 4 has a similar but opposite situation. Because of the actions of the Red Lotus, the Earth Kingdom fell into anarchy, with much of the country being plagued by roving bands of bandits. On the other end of the spectrum is Kuvira, who restores order to the land by dealing with the bandits and bringing supplies to the villages having suffered under them, but soon after establishes a military dictatorship.
29th Nov '16 10:58:54 PM CountDorku
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* The three core factions of ''TabletopGame/MobileFrameZero'' have varying motives but there's no designated Evil faction: the Solar Union is trying to maintain order, the Free Colonies mostly want to get rid of the Union to be free, and the Ijad are trying to protect their (actually reasonably benevolent) religion. Even the PuppeteerParasite side of the Ijad is downplayed to make them more sympathetic, since they're looking for willing symbiotic hosts or unintelligent beasts of burden rather than enslaving humans. The core rulebook also has a FanworkBan that insists all factions be pursuing a reasonably defensible goal that can be achieved with negotiation, authoritarianism and anarcho-capitalism ''cannot'' be shown positively, and absolutely no Nazis or Nazi-inspired mech names ever, to encourage homebrew factions to further this trope.
22nd Nov '16 2:01:35 PM Pseudoname
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* Both sides of the human-monster war in ''VideoGame/{{Evolve}}''.
** The humans are... well, humans. They've had hundreds of years of wars, charities, and everything in between, while individuals run the gamut from paragons of virtue to vicious sociopaths, but they band together to prevent the slaughter of their race.
** The monsters, while being exactly what they sound like, are still on equal moral footing with the humans. They massacre humans and raze worlds because [[spoiler: that's what the humans have been doing to ''them'', albeit unintentionally, for hundreds of years]]. Trying to judge them at an individual level falls flat because of the vast differences between [[StarfishAliens their own nature]] and humans, let alone [[spoiler: the differences between them and [[EnergyBeings anything that naturally has a physical form]]]].
17th Nov '16 3:24:01 PM margdean56
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* ''ThePillowman'' uses it to stunning effect. From the beginning, Tupolski is clearly the hero of the story, Katurian is a MagnificentBastard writer and murderer, and Ariel is the grey between the two, clearly being opposed to Katurian but constantly going against Tupolski. It's turned completely on it's head when [[spoiler:Katurian is revealed to be innocent, or at least under extenuating circumstances for the three murders he ''did'' commit. From that point onward, Tupolski is still pushing to execute Katurian and Ariel loses all of his nerve. It ends on a technicality, that Katurian confessed to murders he didn't commit, and the agreement was that they would save his legacy if he confessed truthfully, so they are "entirely within [their] rights to burn all of Mr. Katurians work".]]

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* ''ThePillowman'' uses it to stunning effect. From the beginning, Tupolski is clearly the hero of the story, Katurian is a MagnificentBastard writer and murderer, and Ariel is the grey between the two, clearly being opposed to Katurian but constantly going against Tupolski. It's turned completely on it's its head when [[spoiler:Katurian is revealed to be innocent, or at least under extenuating circumstances for the three murders he ''did'' commit. From that point onward, Tupolski is still pushing to execute Katurian and Ariel loses all of his nerve. It ends on a technicality, that Katurian confessed to murders he didn't commit, and the agreement was that they would save his legacy if he confessed truthfully, so they are "entirely within [their] rights to burn all of Mr. Katurians Katurian's work".]]
17th Nov '16 3:21:37 PM margdean56
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** Similarly, Wolf and/or Coyote, depending on the region and tribe (and even storyteller). Sometimes, he's a Prometheus-like creature who stole fire from the Gods to give birth or help humanity. Sometimes he's just looking for a meal, and isn't any more harmful than WesternAnimation/BugsBunny. Sometimes, he's a rapist coward who murders men, women, and children by tricking them into deadly games. One rape of a woman lead him into pitying her and helping her give birth, while others have him return food and protect those he stole from. He's a complicated case.

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** Similarly, Wolf and/or Coyote, depending on the region and tribe (and even storyteller). Sometimes, he's a Prometheus-like creature who stole fire from the Gods to give birth to or help humanity. Sometimes he's just looking for a meal, and isn't any more harmful than WesternAnimation/BugsBunny. Sometimes, he's a rapist coward who murders men, women, and children by tricking them into deadly games. One rape of a woman lead leads him into pitying her and helping her give birth, while others other tales have him return food and protect those he stole from. He's a complicated case.
17th Nov '16 3:17:38 PM margdean56
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* In ''Literature/DarkOnesMistress" the MC Clarabelle learns the ruler of her kingdom (the Dark One of the title) uses criminals in the royal army, keeping them leashed by way of [[spoiler:stealing their souls]]. Innocents people sometimes get caught in this web and while killing him off is the only way to free them, it would basically [[spoiler:unleash hell on the populous]].

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* In ''Literature/DarkOnesMistress" ''Literature/DarkOnesMistress'' the MC Clarabelle learns that the ruler of her kingdom (the Dark One of the title) uses criminals in the royal army, keeping them leashed by way of [[spoiler:stealing their souls]]. Innocents Innocent people sometimes get caught in this web and while killing him off is the only way to free them, it would basically [[spoiler:unleash hell on the populous]].populace]].
17th Nov '16 3:07:44 PM margdean56
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A result of the above is that Grey and Gray Morality has one potentially great advantage: It can be easier to maintain suspense regarding the ending. In BlackAndWhiteMorality and BlackAndGrayMorality situations, the ending is [[TheBadGuyWins almost]] always a [[TheGoodGuysAlwaysWin forgone conclusion; good wins in the end]], it's just a matter of how. In a Grey-and-Grey situation, either side might conceivably win, or both, or neither. Another great advantage of this kind of moral model is that the experience can end up entirely different between two viewers: one viewer may prefer to side with Faction A over Faction B for any number of different reasons, and another viewer may think the opposite for other reasons. Properly written, this can make for some ''very'' interesting story-telling. {{Video Game}}s in particular are a good medium for this, due to their interactive nature.

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A result of the above is that Grey and Gray Morality has one potentially great advantage: It can be easier to maintain suspense regarding the ending. In BlackAndWhiteMorality and BlackAndGrayMorality situations, the ending is [[TheBadGuyWins almost]] always a [[TheGoodGuysAlwaysWin forgone foregone conclusion; good wins in the end]], it's just a matter of how. In a Grey-and-Grey Grey-and-Gray situation, either side might conceivably win, or both, or neither. Another great advantage of this kind of moral model is that the experience can end up entirely different between two viewers: one viewer may prefer to side with Faction A over Faction B for any number of different reasons, and another viewer may think the opposite for other reasons. Properly written, this can make for some ''very'' interesting story-telling. {{Video Game}}s in particular are a good medium for this, due to their interactive nature.
8th Nov '16 11:22:30 AM megagiga43
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* A main theme of ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'', according to its creators, is that almost nobody is truly good or truly evil. Antagonists aren't permanent, and are all multi-faceted with a chance of [[HeelFaceTurn redemption]]. The protagonists also have the capacity to become [[FaceHeelTurn malicious and harmful]]. However, they are very unlikely to become largely 'evil' compared to 'evil' characters becoming 'good', making the show lean slightly towards WhiteAndGreyMorality at times. The major theme of season 3 is showing that while the Crystal Gems were fighting for a good cause against Homeworld's imperialist conquering, Gems on both sides suffered a lot during the Gem war. Rose Quartz was always implied to have done many questionable things during her time, with Garnet saying out right that she kept many secrets from them. As Bismuth's reappearance in the present day proved, the decisions of a leader are never easy. When Bismuth presented her with a weapon known as the Breaking Point that was capable of shattering Gems, effectively fragmenting their beings into several self-aware pieces that are subjected to AFateWorseThanDeath, Rose wouldn't stand for the thought of shattering as it would taint her belief that all life was worth giving a chance and making them no better than the Diamonds. Bismuth understandably upset seeing her friends broken in battle and having her creation rejected, faught Rose to take back the weapon for herself, forcing Rose to bubble Bismuth who was too dangerous to be set free. Yet she never told any of the Crystal Gems what happened to their friend, making them believe she was lost. For all that, Jasper reveals a few episodes later during one hell of a VillainousBreakdown that the vicious, uncaring soldier who spared no pity for others came back to Earth to get revenge on Rose for shattering Pink Diamond, an act equivalent to deicide in Homeworld society. As a Ruby and later Garnet confirmed, Rose went against her own morals because she felt it was for the greater good, so that Earth, humanity, the Crystal Gems, and Steven to exist, compromises had to be done. And for all that, the Homeworld Gems who faught in the war are crushed to know that all their sacrifice and centuries of fighting were for nothing. As Greg said back in season 1, "There's no such thing as a good war, Kiddo."

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* A main theme of ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'', according to its creators, is that almost nobody is truly good or truly evil. Antagonists aren't permanent, and are all multi-faceted with a chance of [[HeelFaceTurn redemption]]. The protagonists also have the capacity to become [[FaceHeelTurn malicious and harmful]]. However, they are very unlikely to become largely 'evil' compared to 'evil' characters becoming 'good', making the show lean slightly towards WhiteAndGreyMorality at times.
**
The major theme of season 3 is showing that while the Crystal Gems were fighting for a good cause against Homeworld's imperialist conquering, Gems on both sides suffered a lot during the Gem war. Rose Quartz was always implied to have done many questionable things during her time, with Garnet saying out right that she kept many secrets from them. As Bismuth's reappearance in the present day proved, the decisions of a leader are never easy. When Bismuth presented her with a weapon known as the Breaking Point that was capable of shattering Gems, effectively fragmenting their beings into several self-aware pieces that are subjected to AFateWorseThanDeath, Rose wouldn't stand for the thought of shattering as it would taint her belief that all life was worth giving a chance and making them no better than the Diamonds. Bismuth understandably upset seeing her friends broken in battle and having her creation rejected, faught Rose to take back the weapon for herself, forcing Rose to bubble Bismuth who was too dangerous to be set free. Yet she never told any of the Crystal Gems what happened to their friend, making them believe she was lost. For all that, Jasper reveals a few episodes later during one hell of a VillainousBreakdown that the vicious, uncaring soldier who spared no pity for others came back to Earth to get revenge on Rose for shattering Pink Diamond, an act equivalent to deicide in Homeworld society. As a Ruby and later Garnet confirmed, Rose went against her own morals because she felt it was for the greater good, so that Earth, humanity, the Crystal Gems, and Steven to exist, compromises had to be done. And for all that, the Homeworld Gems who faught in the war are crushed to know that all their sacrifice and centuries of fighting were for nothing. As Greg said back in season 1, "There's no such thing as a good war, Kiddo."
31st Oct '16 12:12:32 PM DKW001
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** Unity gets back on track, but largely by making both sides too ineffectual to amount to anything. The Continental Assassins are so wrapped up in arcane rules and hierarchy that they butt heads with Arno on just about everything, despite the fact that he's pretty much the only member getting anything accomplished. (In one revealing scene, he brings Belloq to justice after Belloq murdered their Mentor and gets ''punished'' for it.) They completely fail to prevent a bloody revolution, protect their most powerful ally, the King, or stop any of the atrocities that happen after his death. Meanwhile, the Templars have a ludicrously complicated scheme to portray the King as an out-of-touch petty tyrant so that the people will overthrow him, which will lead to chaos and teach them to hate that, but realize that the ''real'' problem was an absolute ruler who ''lacked order'' and that putting the Templars into power was the solution...[[InsaneTrollLogic or something]]. Arno singlehandedly thwarts them at every turn, and despite the fact that he isn't popular at all within the Assassin organization and was never particularly heroic to begin with, making him the ''perfect'' candidate for a Shay-esque turn, they ''never'' even attempt to win him to their side. Ultimately their plan succeeds, ''but they gain nothing from it because Arno killed them all''. As for Arno himself, he starts out as a good-for-nothing young punk a la Ezio and gets drawn into the Assassins out of a desire for revenge, but never truly embraces their way of thinking and is motivated primarily by his love for Elise (which...doesn't end well). In the end, he's been kicked out of the Order, he's all alone in a land ravaged by war and chaos, he has no ambitions or plans for the future, and he pretty much just wants to leave France and never return.

to:

** Unity gets back on track, but largely by making both sides too ineffectual to amount to anything. The Continental Assassins are so wrapped up in arcane rules and hierarchy that they butt heads with Arno on just about everything, despite the fact that he's pretty much the only member getting anything accomplished. (In one revealing scene, he brings Belloq to justice after Belloq murdered their Mentor and gets ''punished'' Mentor, for it.which he's ''punished''.) They completely fail to prevent a bloody revolution, protect their most powerful ally, the King, or stop any of the atrocities that happen after his death. Meanwhile, the Templars have a ludicrously complicated scheme to portray the King as an out-of-touch petty tyrant so that the people will overthrow him, which will lead to chaos and teach them to hate that, but realize that the ''real'' problem was an absolute ruler who ''lacked order'' and that putting the Templars into power was the solution...[[InsaneTrollLogic or something]]. Arno singlehandedly thwarts them at every turn, and despite the fact that he isn't popular at all within the Assassin organization and was never particularly heroic to begin with, making him the ''perfect'' candidate for a Shay-esque turn, they ''never'' even attempt to win him to their side. Ultimately their plan succeeds, ''but they gain nothing from it because Arno killed them all''. As for Arno himself, he starts out as a good-for-nothing young punk a la Ezio and gets drawn into the Assassins out of a desire for revenge, but never truly embraces their way of thinking and is motivated primarily by his love for Elise (which...doesn't end well). In the end, he's been kicked out of the Order, he's all alone in a land ravaged by war and chaos, he has no ambitions or plans for the future, and he pretty much just wants to leave France and never return.
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