Created By: Omnicron13 on June 27, 2014 Last Edited By: Omnicron13 on February 18, 2017

Taking Over Heaven

A situation when a character or group of characters happens to claim dominion over the Heavens or Heaven setting of a story

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The Pearly Gates Have Fallen!

There was a war in Heaven...and I won.
Darkseid: Final Crisis

This trope involves the circumstance where one or many figures attempt and overtake and/or destroy the heavens and subjugate whoever happens to live there under their overwhelming heel. Gods? Beaten or kicked out. Angels? Annihilated or demolished. The heavens themselves have been attacked and conquered in a way that would make the Devil (or any other demonic figures) envious.

In many stories, powerful and malevolent supernatural figures are shown to plot and scheme of taking over or destroying the place where the supernatural forces of good or goody two-shoe souls would call a paradise or heaven. Many try and fail, usually ending in their imminent and painful downfall. However, in this case, they succeed!

In contrast with Hell Has New Management, as the subject in question has conquered or destroyed either the Heaven equivalent or one of many divine afterlives. This trope can result in an Infernal Paradise. However, if the trope is used in a setting in which the residents of the "Heaven" are malevolent, this situation can actually have beneficial effects if the conquerors are benevolent in nature.

A commonly seen form of this trope (if successful in its execution by the ones responsible) is Hell Invades Heaven.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the backstory of Kurohime, the title character attempted this. Kurohime completed a Tower of Babel-like stairway to heaven and attempted to overthrow the Jerkass Gods for humanity's sake, but was defeated and split into Shirohime, Goddess of Mercy, and the capricious little girl Himeko.

    Comic Books 
  • Preacher: The Saint of Killers (as seen in the main trope picture) effectively became the new ruler of Heaven after killing all of the Heavenly Host and eventually God himself. He cemented his victory by placing himself on the throne of God to finally rest.
  • In the God War arc of the Wonder Woman series, Cronus and his new Titan forces invade multiple realms of various mythological pantheons to absorb the essence of dead gods and eventually become God or The Presence Itself.
  • Ghost Rider: The traitorous angel, Zadkiel, managed to take over the throne of Heaven and usurp Yahweh's place as the ruler of creation after taking the powers of various Ghost Rider incarnations. Things went south for Zadkiel when God actually returned and sent Zadkiel to Hell where he was fated to be tortured by Lucifer (who he had betrayed at an earlier point) for eternity.
  • In the New52 reboot of the Wonder Woman series, the Firstborn, the first begotten son of Hera and Zeus, managed to conquer Olympus after single-handedly killing Apollo and transforming Olympus into a hellish flesh-like dominion.

    Film - Animated 
  • Hercules: Hades managed to conquer Olympus (albeit temporarily) by using the formerly imprisoned Titans to contain Zeus and utterly trounce the Olympians under his command. Then Hercules showed up.

  • In The Salvation War, humanity managed to invade Heaven and defeated the malevolent angelic forces as payback for having Hell invade Earth.
  • In Journey to the West, the Monkey King felt snubbed after being put in charge of cleaning the heavenly stables. In an act of defiance, the Monkey King declared himself "The Great Sage Equal to the Heavens" and proceeded to defeat every god, immortal, and miscellaneous divine spirit that happened to get in his way to prove himself superior as the master of the Heavens. When the entire combined forces of the heavens were shown to be unable to match him, the Buddha himself was forced to personally intervene to stop his rampage.

    Live Action TV 
  • In Supernatural, the former scribe angel, Metatron, managed to take over Heaven by tricking Castiel into helping him banish all angels in Heaven to Earth and cultivating the power of the Angel Tablet to make himself virtually unstoppable.
    • An earlier short-live example was present when Castiel absorbed the souls of Purgatory and slaughtered Raphael and his angel followers before claiming total dominance over Heaven.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • A primeval example from the Christian Scriptures would be the eponymous Lucifer's fall from grace after he attempted to overtake Heaven along with one-third of the Heavenly Host because of his refusal to bow down to mankind on the occasion of the creation of man, pride and gradual distancing from God through use of his free will, and/or the declaration by God that all were to be subject to his Son.
  • According to Hindu scriptures, an asura demon named Mahishasura obtained a boon from the creator deity, Brahma, that rendered him invincible to men of any species whether they were human, beast, or god. With his demon army, Mahishasura invaded the heavens and defeated the heavenly armies along with the God of the Heavens, Indra, himself. Mahishasura was eventually defeated in battle by Durga, the result of the "divine feminine force" created by the Great Trinity (Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu) being sent to Shiva's wife, Parvati.
  • According to one famous story in Greek Mythology, Typhon, The Father of All Monsters, attempted this. Typhon, according to Hesiod's Theogony, was the last child of Gaia (the Earth) and Tartarus (a violent and bottomless storm pit) born out of Gaia's revenge against the Gods for killing her Giant offspring.He attempted take over Mount Olympus, home of the gods, and with the exception of Athena and Zeus, all of the other Greek gods and goddesses fled the scene, opting to change forms and hide from the monster rather than try to fight him. After a long and arduous battle, Zeus managed to fling Typhon back into Tartarus and throws Mount Etna on top of him, forever trapping him under its weight.

    Video Games 
  • In Final Fantasy II, Emperor Mateus managed to conquer Heaven AND Hell after splitting his soul into its purest and darkest halves and defeating the respective rulers of both realms. This achievement had effectively made him to ruler of the afterlife itself.
  • In God of War, the lead character, Kratos, managed to destroy the Gods protecting Olympus, decimate their strongest forces and creations, and reduce Olympus to a pile of rubble. However, these actions had the side of effect of effectively creating chaos and untold suffering throughout the world.
  • In the finale of Act III of Diablo III, Diablo, upon his rebirth as the Prime Evil following Adria's betrayal, launches a full-scale assault with all his demonic forces on the High Heavens, seeking to destroy the Crystal Arch and plunge both the Heavens and Sanctuary into darkness forever. Because Diablo has become the embodiment of all seven of the Great Evils in one being, the angels did not have a chance in Heaven or Hell of stopping him.

Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • June 27, 2014
    • This occurs in an understated way at the end of Piers Anthony's Incarnations Of Immortality series. It is finally revealed that the reason God (the Incarnation of Good) has never done anything throughout the series is because, like Narcissus, he has become entirely enraptured with how awesome he is. So all the other incarnations, including Satan, the Incarnation of Evil, vote to replace him with someone who will finally do his damn job.
  • June 27, 2014
    Namespaced the Preacher example, changed the namespace of the God Of War example from "Video Game" to "Franchise" (since the mentioned incident doesn't actually happen in the first game, to where it was linked), and moved the Hercules example from Western Animation to Film - Animated.
  • June 27, 2014
    Web Original: The Salvation War ends with humanity invading Heaven as payback for having Hell invading Earth.
  • June 27, 2014
    • In Journey To The West, the Monkey King feels snubbed after being put in charge of cleaning the heavenly stables. So he declares himself "The Great Sage Equal to the Heavens" and proceeds to beat up every god and miscellaneous divine spirit that happens to get in his way. When the entire combined forces of the heavens are unable to match him, the Buddha himself is forced to personally intervene.
  • June 27, 2014
    Supertrope to Hell Invades Heaven.
  • December 30, 2015
    Like A Badass Out Of Hell has been split. The counterpart trope to this is now Hell Has New Management.
  • December 30, 2015
    Picture is really busy. It has angels, but considering comic books, that doesn't automatically mean it's Heaven. Also this at most shows an invasion, not a conquest.
  • December 30, 2015
    Anime and Manga:
    • In the backstory of Kurohime, the title character attempted this. Kurohime completed a Tower of Babel-like stairway to heaven and attempted to overthrow the Jerkass Gods for humanity's sake, but was defeated and split into Shirohime, Goddess of Mercy, and the capricious little girl Himeko.
  • January 2, 2016
    @Dragon Quest Z: How about this one?
  • January 2, 2016
    ^ Much better.
  • February 15, 2016
    The Chinese tale of the Monkey God had him declare himself, particularly in the television show as, "Great Sage, Equal of Heaven".
  • March 8, 2016
    @Lavalyte : That was the second example in the Literature section. Thanks anyway though. Try another example.
  • November 19, 2016
  • January 23, 2017
    Anyone find any other examples?
  • January 24, 2017
    Since Diablo III is already covered in the sub-trope Hell Invades Heaven, should it be listed here?
  • January 24, 2017
    Couple of questions:

    Is this limited to Christian-derived models, or would other homes of gods (Olympus, Asgard, wherever the Hindu Gods live, etc.) count?

    What about the original rebellion of the angels which resulted in Satan and his followers being cast out?
  • February 18, 2017
    @longWriter: I wanted to include examples where the character in questions manages to conquer the "heaven" of their setting. Since Diablo managed to take down the Angel forces before the player came in, I believe that example should be listed here.

    @Xtifr: Those other heavens would count as well. Just as long as it is a realm that is identified as a heavenly place commonly associated with Gods, Souls, and other divine creations. The original rebellion with Lucifer would count, since Lucifer and his forces tried and failed and were cast out in their attempt to takeover.