Created By: MorningStar1337 on November 14, 2013 Last Edited By: MorningStar1337 on December 6, 2013
Troped

Lightning-Fire Juxtaposition

Fire and Lightning used as a Motif for Foils and rivalries

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Fire. An elemental force by nature and Longtime rival to Water (and by extension Ice) However recently some writers replaced water and Electricity has been poised to rival the burning element. Therefore two partners, rivals, or Foils would have one of them become associated with flame, and the other lightning.

This might be because the two forces are similar yet different, Fire and Electricity, are both forms and sources of energy, Both are destructive in a uncontrolled state. both are forms of light. Both are symbols of life-lightning of giving life. live saving fire. Both are symbols of power. Both have been used as symbols of divine anger. Both have been used to represent technological advancements. Lighting is direct but short, fire takes its time. Lightning makes fire, and fire used right can generate electricity. Both are part of an elemental trinity. As a result, this is used to underscore the Not So Different of Foil aspect, in fact people at ancient times thought that Lightning was celestial Fire.

Another use of this trope is to symbolize ideals and truths, Using them as foils instead of characters. Fire is used to symbolize man's beginnings (Prometheus brought fire to man, and with it intelligence), home, truth, purification and strong feelings. Lightning symbolizes loss of ignorance (The Tower was struck by a bolt of lightning), divine punishment, destiny, epiphany and Man as he is now. Both can also symbolize creativity, divine powers, destruction, and energy.

A Sister Trope to Fire/Water Juxtaposition. If combined with the latter that might be Fire, Ice, Lightning. Compare Elemental Rivalry.


Examples

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     Anime and Manga 
  • In InuYasha, one Monster of the Week is a pair of twins with intertwined bodies who are always fighting for the control of the body. One of them uses a sword that sparks lightning, and the other uses a conch that breathes fire.
  • In Soul Eater, the students are grouped into teams consisting of three meisters and their weapons which tend to form Freudian Trios. One minor group consists of Kim Diehl & Jacqueline Dupre as the id (fire), Ox Ford & Harvar D. as the superego (lightening) and Kilik & Pot of Fire and Pot of Thunder as the ego (one of the pots is fire based, the other is lightening based). Kilik is also an example on his own, since using two elements symbolises that he's really good at synchronizing with weapons ( at one point he's able to wield four partners at once, when most meisters can only manage one).
  • In the Lyrical Nanoha series, there is a special ability called Mana Conversion Affinity, which allows a mage to spontaneously convert her mana into electric or thermal energy at will (though a single person can only do one of these). In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, Fate, who has lightning-type MCA, is repeatedly pitted against Signum, the leader of the season's "villains" who has flame-type MCA. Although their enmity doesn't last the season itself, their friendly rivalry continues far beyond that.
  • In Fairy Tail: aside from Gajeel and Wendy, Laxus is one of the many Foils to Natsu. In his case, he acts as a superior, calm (unless he snaps) foil to Natsu (not unlike Gajeel, but he's more Not So Different since he's stubborn as iron). In fact, the three share A LOT of characteristics among them (like Blood Knight for all three, Leeroy Jenkins tendencies for Natsu and Gajeel). Gajeel is often stuck as inferior to both, since Iron conducts both electricity and heat...

     Film 
  • In Lincoln, there is a scene where Lincoln is arguing with his wife on the morality of going to war. There is lighting flashing through the dark window on Lincoln's side, while there is fire burning in a fire place next to the wife. Lincoln is arguing going to war to stop slavery and stop an insurrection. Meanwhile, his wife is arguing that the lives of young soldiers and consequently their families are at stake. It seems that the use of lightning and fire shows that both are serious arguments-but both have different connotations. Lincoln's lightning might represent both the "divine" justice needed to be done and Lincoln's strong ideological stance. His wife's stance is depicted as a fire-place, usually a symbol of home, and fire as a symbol of truth, indicating there would be a high cost to pay for the war. Also, male vs female.(Justice Ideals vs Justice truths?)

     Mythology and Religion 
  • The Myth of Promethues states that he brought fire to man giving them intelligence. This led the thunderbolt associated Zeus to chain him to a rock to be tortured for eternally.

     Live-Action TV 
  • On Charmed's last season, The Halliwells fight with Billie and Christy, using lightning based powers against their fire based powers.

     Video Games 
  • Adell, the Hot-Blooded Red-Headed Hero of Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories and his Unknown Rival, the self-proclaimed Dark Hero Axel. Adell's attacks are fire elemental and some of Axel's attacks include Lightning (and he has blond hair and purple Big Ol' Eyebrows shaped like lightning bolts)
  • Pokémon has two pairs like this. The Electabuzz and Magmar evolutionary lines, who are respectably Thunder and Fire type, and Zekrom and Reshiram, two Olympus Mons who represent the two elements as power sources. Zekrom represents Ideals using a lighting/electric tech robotic theme while Reshiram represents truth through an organic fire combustion theme. This in Ideals vs truth is based on ying-yang taoistic themes. With ice, neutral, apathetic, undead? Kyurem it become Fire, Ice, Lightning.
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga: Mario and Luigi get Fire and Lightning abilities respectively. This might be due to their personalities. Mario, a hero, is brave and consistent, though his Fire powers existed before this game as the Fire Flower powerup. But Mario is also aggressive and impulsive, showing a little hotheadedness. Luigi, who is slightly lazy and cowardly, (You could say that he's gone in a flash) but is also more expressive in his emotions and funny (he might have a spark of life in him). When Luigi does act, he can make all the difference, and he is as brave as his brother during events with strong enemies. Hence, the partnership between the two.
    • In Super Paper Mario, Luigi's dark side call himself the Green Thunder.
    • While they lack their powers in Partners in Time, the final boss has a notable attack that uses the fire and lightning imagery as a tell. Using fire to launch a projectile means it's going to hit Mario, and using lightning to launch one means it's going to hit Luigi.
  • Dwarves in Heroes of Might and Magic V generally feel a great affinity towards fire, borne from their connection with the dragon-god Arkath, but there are some exceptions; the rune-mage Svea is regarded as an oddity because she developed a talent for lightning magic while acting as an ambassador to the Silver Cities, and the Thanes can use either fire or lightning to enhance their combat abilities (Flame Thanes can generate shockwaves and burn their enemies, while Thunder Thanes use Chain Lightning to attack multiple foes at once).
  • In Guilty Gear, Sol Badguy uses Fuuenken (aka Fireseal) and his foil/rival, Ky Kiske, uses Fuuraiken (aka Thunderseal).
  • In The King of Fighters, before the start of the series Kyo and Benimaru were rivals, but nowadays have become great friends. They're based of a Japanese saying: "Lightning strikes ground and creates fire" (with their friend, Goro Daimon, as the "ground").
  • Fire and thunder are very prominent visual themes in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. The protagonist of that game, Raiden is named for one of Japan's gods of thunder and the fight against Armstrong takes place near the burning ruins of one of the Metal Gears.

     Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, and somewhat in the sequel series The Legend of Korra, lightning-bending is a form and result of fire-bending that applied the techniques of it's elemental opposite water. Zuko and Azula fit the Foil aspect of this trope best, as Lightning generation requires an absence of emotion and peace of mind, which reflects pretty nicely Azula's cold an calculative nature, whereas Zuko used (at least at first) rage as a source of power for his firebending.
  • The characters Jay and Kai of Ninjago are lightning and fire respectively. Kai is rash and impulsive like fire, Jay is... erratic and spontaneous like lightning(in contrast to the usual for this trope) and They often act as foils.


NOTE: The only examples I can think off the top of my head are Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories (Adell and Axel) and Pokémon Black and White (Reahiram and Zekrom, and to a lesser extent, the Magmar and Electabuzz lines) So I'm not sire if its common enough to be a trope. Also I need help with the description.
Community Feedback Replies: 60
  • November 14, 2013
    KZN02
    Mario And Luigi Superstar Saga: Mario and Luigi get Fire and Lightning abilities respectively.
  • November 14, 2013
    TotallyEpicNerd
    Signal boost! More examples: In Avatar:The Last Airbender, and somewhat in the sequel series Legend of Korra, lightning-bending is a form of fire-bending. The characters Jay and Kai of Ninjago are lightning and fire respectively. They often act as foils. I had a couple more but have forgotten them in the time it took to type up the rest of this.
  • November 14, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Don't forget Zuko and Azula from the original series. Lightning generation requires an absence of emotion and peace of mind, which reflects pretty nicely Azula's cold an calculative nature, whereas Zuko used (at least at first) rage as a source of power for his firebending.
  • November 14, 2013
    Astaroth
    • Dwarves in Heroes Of Might And Magic V generally feel a great affinity towards fire, borne from their connection with the dragon-god Arkath, but there are some exceptions; the rune-mage Svea is regarded as an oddity because she developed a talent for lightning magic while acting as an ambassador to the Silver Cities, and the Thanes can use either fire or lightning to enhance their combat abilities (Flame Thanes can generate shockwaves and burn their enemies, while Thunder Thanes use Chain Lightning to attack multiple foes at once).
  • November 14, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    maybe make this an internal sister trope(is that even allowed?)? while this certainly is a trope, i haven't really seen this a lot.

    don't really wanna see yet another Weapon As Familiar quality(read: subpar) trope.
  • November 14, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ I don't think that internalized sister tropes are allowed, unless you want to make this trope and Fire Water Juxtaposition internalized subtropes of (and merged with) Elemental Rivalry.

    Again, I don't know if this is Too Rare To Trope, nor don't know what qualifies as subpar. (If you meant tropes like Five Man Band or tropes about appearance, which encourage Zero Context Examples because its impossible to add context to these tropes [mostly in the latter's case as the fixing of the former led to people actually adding context])

    Also, If you think that subpar tropes are getting thought perhaps you should Ask The Tropers about enacting some stricter guidelines (Like the Three Rules Of Three with regards to examples. I'm sure that there are some YKTT Ws with exactly three examples that is still Too Rare To Trope, and even then the examples might be dubious at best and square pegs or worse chairs at worse)
  • November 14, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ check the Weapon As Familiar page(i meant this, not the trope itself.) and tell me it isn't subpar: that article has just six examples. Example As A Thesis. the actual description is just one paragraph. no quote, no image, twelve wicks.

    yeah, guess i'll try my hand @ TRS now instead of bitching about the article in YKTTW...
  • November 14, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    • In Inu Yasha, one Monster Of The Week is a pair of twins with intertwined bodies who are always fighting for the control of the body. One of them uses a sword that sparks lightning, and the other uses a conch that breathes fire.
  • November 14, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^^ I see. Well I'm well aware the description needs help. But I don't know why this Motif is used. I've PM'd The Mighty Heptagon for assistance, but I didn't get a response.
  • November 14, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ i see. by the way. i removed a link in the laconic. it causes problems in editing the title or laconic.

    on this motif... well. fire and lightning are both energy or light(plasma? sorry, i've long forgotten my grade school days)

    in Avatar The Last Airbender. these elements "rise with the sun". further cementing the light association.
  • November 14, 2013
    Koveras
    You could argue that internal combustion engines vs. electric cars is a fire vs. lighting rivalry, since one uses thermal energy and the other, electricity to do the same thing. ;-)

    But here is a real example:

    • In the Lyrical Nanoha series, there is a special ability called Mana Conversion Affinity, which allows a mage to spontaneously convert her mana into electric or thermal energy at will (though a single person can only do one of these). In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha As, Fate, who has lightning-type MCA, is repeatedly pitted against Signum, the leader of the season's "villains" who has flame-type MCA. Although their enmity doesn't last the season itself, their friendly rivalry continues far beyond that.
  • November 15, 2013
    DAN004
    Dunno though, fire and ice/water have been portrayed as enemies for long (it's one of The Oldest Ones In The Book) whereas this is much newer. It'd be hard to find a real life analogy for this trope, but @Koveras seems to make a good point.

    Though I have examples
    • In Guilty Gear, Sol Badguy uses Fuuenken (aka Fireseal) and his foil/rival, Ky Kiske, uses Fuuraiken (aka Thunderseal).
    • In Soul Eater, Kim's weapons are a pair of pots: Pot of Fire and Pot of Thunder.
    • In King Of Fighters, before the start of the series Kyo and Benimaru were rivals, but nowadays have become great friends. They're based of a Japanese saying: "Lightning strikes ground and creates fire" (with their friend, Goro Daimon, as the "ground").
  • November 15, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    another variant of this is Lightning vs Air... windmills vs lightning conductor? or rather, storms.

    Mythology

    Anime And Manga
    • Naruto and Sasuke are often depicted in a "fuujin vs raijin" scenario. since they use wind and lightning jutsus primarily, respectively.
  • November 15, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^The Naruto example might go in Elemental Rivalry, but I think the wind-lingtning juxtaposition should be separate from this.
  • November 15, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    eh... checked it. already there.

    also, lightning is still usually "calm" in this juxtaposition by the way.
  • November 15, 2013
    DAN004
    IDK, both lightning and fire aren't "calm" by any means. Lighting is just slightly less... impulsive.
  • November 15, 2013
    DAN004
    Sorry, for Soul Eater example, it's Kilik, not Kim.
  • November 18, 2013
    TheHandle
    Fire and thunder are very prominent visual themes in Metal Gear Rising Revengeance.
  • November 18, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ I might more contex. I get the Lightning part, but I'm not sure where the Fire comes into play (except maybe the Final Boss)
  • November 21, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    quick question, slightly relevant here:

    Is the Lightning Wind Juxtapostion (Storm Tempered Duo, to vaguely reference Stone Temple Pilots) mentioned above worth troping? also, is Gale Blaze Duo (Fire Wind Juxtaposition) noteable enough?

    • Zuko and Aang fits that. hell, The firebending masters episode even emphasize it, Aang refueling Zuko, Zuko being fueled by chasing after the avatar, etc.
    • Agni and Rudra of Devil May Cry too. if you kill one of them, the remaining guy takes the other's sword and gains access to more powerful attacks involving both wind and fire.

    for thematic reasons, the former refers to storms and "sky elements", the latter refers to how air fuels fire or how fanning coal makes it burn more.
  • November 21, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ If they are then may try making separate YKTT Ws for these after I get this launched, however you may wnatt o Ask The Tropers to see if "Element X-Element Y Juxtaposition tropes would not obsolete Elemental Rivalry or run into Bad Snowclone territory)
  • November 21, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    good idea. will do... tomorrow. too sleepy.
  • November 21, 2013
    DAN004
    How would lightning-wind or fire-wind antagonize each other? And how deep (i.e old) are their basis?
  • November 21, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ I'm guessing as old as Fujin and Raijin.
  • November 21, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    fire wind don't antagonize, the wind guy motivates/complements the fire guy, and may or may not be rivals.

    ^^ morning star's got me covered on lightning wind, though it pobably goes way back. personifying storms as separate wind lightning concepts is probably found on other cultures too like The Phoenix and Turtles All The Way Down.

    and since you're asking that on mine, why are you not asking that on this?
  • November 21, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ Hold your horses, first i gotta get this trope launched, then I I gotta Ask the tropers if it would be alright to have a third Elemental Juxtaposition trope.
  • November 22, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ lol,i wrote it too soon. but very well. i won't do a thing until this gets launched.
  • November 25, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    uh, ya want examples? if this doesn't thrive will you go to the Missing Supertrope route?

    Anime And Manga
  • November 26, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ You mention Fairy Tail and Natsu and yet you forgot Gray??
  • November 26, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ he's An Ice Person(so Water). notice i only mentioned fire, lightning (and Metal), and wind, and i mentioned supertrope; also, he's not a Dragon Slayer.
  • November 26, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Oh, the more I know then :P (never read Fairy Tail, to be honest)
  • November 26, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ I watched, never read, put it on hold for being damn long. though i wonder how you knew about Gray.

    btw. expanded upon ninjago. Jay's more Blow You Away in terms of personality frankly. given the odd Four Element Ensemble in play.
  • November 26, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Just from trope pages and other mentions in the internet. =P
  • November 27, 2013
    IndirectActiveTransport
    Honestly the only reason I might see this being a separate page is that Fire and Electricity are not necessarily "opposing" elements the way Fire and Water might be. Electricity and Wind is already covered by Elemental Rivalry as far as I am concerned. Fujin and Raijin were on that page and they will be back on as soon as I can convince Starsword to put them back.

    For that I think Fire Water Juxtaposition is a redundant page to Elemental Rivalry already (but I guess that is another discussion).
  • November 27, 2013
    DAN004
    So, one question: Why do you think the fire and lightning motif are paired together?

    The answer should help build this trope.
  • November 27, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    I think it has something to do with the Not So Different trope. Fire and Lightning are forms and sources of both light and energy, both elements harbor destructive power. and both are part of an Elemental trinity (Fire Ice Lightning). But I already mentioned that in the description and I I don't know how to explain in greater detail.
  • November 27, 2013
    IndirectActiveTransport
    Oh I get it, as said we could add a qualifier to elemental rivalry that they have to be oppositional or heavily contrast elements (reading the you know that thing where for the trope suggest Fire Vs Electricity was rejected because they were too similar). But that would make me shoot down wind and lightning because those were seen as different enough.
  • November 27, 2013
    CrazyCatKid
    In Lincoln (2012 film), there is a scene where Lincoln is arguing with his wife on the morality of going to war. There is lighting flashing through the dark window on Lincoln's side, while there is fire burning in a fire place next to the wife. ( Ideals vs hard truths?)
  • November 27, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ could be. Remember pokemon Black and white running with ideals vs truth and I think that the trope can be used to symbolize both sides, but I'm gonna need someone to elaborate on why fire and lighting could be used for that symbolism.
  • November 28, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    Indirect Active Transport

    Elemental Rivalry is about rivals having opposite elements.

    this one (or rather the supertrope Element Juxtaposition) is about two thematically connected elements used together for whatever reason.

    usually used as Elemental Rivalry, but some just use it for Foils and others don't use it for people at all.

    the trope image in Fire Water Juxtaposition says it all.
  • December 1, 2013
    CrazyCatKid
    @Morning Star 1337: Both are destructive, full of energy. Both are symbols of life-lightning of giving life, live saving fire.Both are symbols of power.Both have been used as symbols of divine anger. Both have been used to represent technological advancements. Lighting is direct but short, fire takes its time. Lightning makes fire, and fire used right can generate electricity.
  • December 1, 2013
    CrazyCatKid
    I'm thinking the elements are more like similar yet different rivals.
  • December 1, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^^, ^ Thanks for that info
  • December 2, 2013
    thewriter
    On Charmed's last season, The Halliwells fight with Billie and Christy, using lightning based powers against their fire based powers.
  • December 3, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    Zero Context Example alert.

    • Inu Yasha — needs to indicate their personalities. this trope just seems to emphasize their difference or duality.
    • Soul Eater — okay, so he uses dual elemental. how does this reflect his personality or fighting style? also Duality Motif.
    • Lincoln — we need to know what their arguing about so we know why the have lighting/fire behind them.
    • Charmed — what's their relation with the charmed ones? rivals? old flame?
    • Pokemon — indicate their lores please.
    • Mario And Luigi Superstar Saga — these two are popular, but it needs a bit of explanation as to why the juxtaposition is used for those who haven't played the game.
  • December 3, 2013
    Bisected8
    Expanding on the Soul Eater example;

    • In Soul Eater, the students are grouped into teams consisting of three meisters and their weapons which tend to form Freudian Trios. One minor group consists of Kim Diehl & Jacqueline Dupre as the id (fire), Ox Ford & Harvar D. as the superego (lightening) and Kilik & Pot of Fire and Pot of Thunder as the ego (one of the pots is fire based, the other is lightening based). Kilik is also an example on his own, since using two elements symbolises that he's really good at synchronizing with weapons ( at one point he's able to wield four partners at once, when most meisters can only manage one).
  • December 3, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    Okay Added the Soul Eater one. I still need help with the Inuyasha and Charmed examples.
  • December 5, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    This Troper(red link, but it exists as a warning) NEEDS TO DIE (seriously, who put that there?). the mario and luigi example is similar to ninjago. one is passionate and aggressive like fire, the other is erratic and unpredictable like lightning.
  • December 5, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ Okay how would you suggest fixing the examples then?
  • December 6, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    just kill This Troper. their personalities reflect their elements, so checking here should help a bit relating their personalities with their elements. you did great on Lincoln so this should be easy.
  • December 6, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ Okay is this better? Also I think someone else edited the Lincoln example.
  • December 6, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    mario's good. but you apparently forgot the lightning part on luigi.
  • December 6, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Fixed the broken spoiler tags in the Metal Gear Rising Revengeance example.
  • December 6, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^^ Okay I think that i fix the Luigi thing as much as I could, but I don't think that i can make it clear enough (One of the edits includes a pun). If anyone who knows the character more cna help me, I would certainly appreciate it.

    ^ Thanks.
  • December 6, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ you actually got it right on luigi.
  • December 6, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ Really thanks.
  • December 6, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    Corrected a typo in the description. this isn't strictly about foils by the way. It's exactly like Fire Water Juxtaposition but FOR LIGHTNING.

    for one, Lincoln doesn't feature Foils, but ideals... which are played against each other as foils.

    take Fire Water Juxtaposition as a template and rewrite this a bit (talk about themes, atmosphere, possible mythological/religious/traditional origins,etc). then you can have my hat.

    EDIT:

    note to self: Rising Revengeance also has an example of lightning vs air. in the form of Monsoon vs Raiden.
  • December 6, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    Okay. I've added some notes on the symbolism of the elements (and added a folder because at this point the trope is flexible enough to include the Prometheus thing)
  • December 6, 2013
    pinkdalek
    More Mario & Luigi: While they lack their powers in Partners in Time, the final boss has a notable attack that uses the fire and lightning imagery as a tell. Using fire to launch a projectile means it's going to hit Mario, and using lightning to launch one means it's going to hit Luigi.
  • December 6, 2013
    CrazyCatKid
    Sorry i haven't been archiving the changes I've made to Lincoln, Pokemon, Mario & Luigi, and Avatar. Anyways, in Super Mario Strikers Series, Luigi's emblem is a lightning bolt.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=8k5ogrkmrc216dj5ppzj6gup&trope=LightningFireJuxtaposition