Created By: VampireBuddha on September 1, 2008
Nuked

Grey And Grey Morality

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Trope
What some people seem to think Black and Grey Morality is.

This trope is about where there are two sides in a conflict, but neither is clearly totally good or incredibly evil. Both consist of good, admirable people and have strong, justifiable reasons for fighting. Typically, the protagonists' side will come off as better than the other, but the audience will feel sympathy for the antagonists.
Examples:
  • Gundam Wing started off with the heroic Colonies rebelling against the evil Allaince and later OZ, but by the end, it was really hard to tell which side we were supposed to be rooting for.
  • Justice League Unlimited: For the Cadmus Story Arc, Cadmus is presented as rather dodgy, but with legitimate fears about the dangers of superheroes. The heroes, meanwhile, had a habit of putting the good of their own members ahead of that of unpowered individuals most at risk of supervillains.
  • According to this very wiki, Legend of Galactic Heroes is like this.
Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • September 1, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    • Shadows and Vorlons from Babylon5, both were ultimately in the wrong but neither was evil.
  • September 1, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    double post, please ignore.
  • September 1, 2008
    BlackHumor
    You're describing White And Grey Morality there.

    Grey And Grey Morality is something like V For Vendetta (the comic book at least); a sociopathic anarchist fighting a fascist dictatorship. If V wins and he does then everyone he's freed from the dictatorship is screwed from the lack of food or any kind of infrastructure. If the govt wins, it will continue persecuting all minorities, spying on its citizens, and being a dick in general. In short, You Cant Win.
  • September 1, 2008
    silver2195
  • September 1, 2008
    Iphigenia
    Black Humor: That's Black And Grey Morality. Grey And Grey Morality would be where both sides are neither particularly good, nor particularly evil (like... well, most conflicts in Real Life, probably). There will probably be a few characters on both sides who are unquestionably good, selfless and honorable, a few who are deeply unpleasant and sadistic, and the vast majority will be somewhere in the middle.
  • September 1, 2008
    jason taylor
    Midway. Both the Americans and Japanese were treated reasonably well in that movie. The fact is, almost every historical war movie has to be treated that way for the sake of fairness. Even the most evil causes have people fighting for them who don't know they are evil. Especially as most States when they make war don't really say, "we are going forth to pillage, destroy, and spread terror on the helpless. And most soldiers are fighting for their own country by default.
  • September 1, 2008
    Smokie
    I don't know if it fits well, maybe its just my interpretation, but in Suzumiya Haruhi there is no evil side, just factions with opposing views about how to save the world from the main antagonist (Haruhi), who isn't evil either. Maybe it is White And Grey Morality, was just a suggestion.

  • September 1, 2008
    VampireBuddha
    I haven't read the books, but from what I've seen of Haruhi, it seems like the different factions aren't actually in conflict with each other. Hence, morality doesn't really come into it.

    So, does V For Vendetta count or not?
  • September 1, 2008
    Conqueso
    Daein and Crimea engage in this for most of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (taking it so far that you, the player, actually control a party from each country at different points, even when those two parties fight each other) before finally banding together against the unequivocally black morality of Begnion's corrupt senate.
  • September 7, 2008
    VampireBuddha
  • September 13, 2008
    VampireBuddha
  • September 13, 2008
    Luc
    Definitely tropable. Maybe more examples are needed, though. The Civil War arc for the Marvel Universe was supposed to be Grey And Grey Morality, but a certain number of authors screwed that up by making Tony Stark a giant dick and Reed Richards an idiot.

    Although, if I may make a suggestion for a new name: Gray And Grey Morality. Note the spelling.
  • September 14, 2008
    VampireBuddha
    Gray And Grey Morality? I like it.

    It'll need a bunch of redirects to cover all the permutations, but that won't be any trouble.
  • September 14, 2008
    Smokie
    Come to think about it, what about Princess Mononoke? Two sides fighting each other, nothing more, nothing less.
  • September 14, 2008
    Etrangere
    Princess Mononoke is filed under Rousseau Was Right or White And Grey Morality (which redirects there)
  • September 14, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Code Geass seems like it could be a good example of this, (although I've only watched the earlier ones so this may have changed.)
  • September 15, 2008
    Gemmifer
    Many depictions of Feuding Families and Cycle Of Revenge are like this. It's understandable that one wants to take revenge, yet it creates a vicious cyrcle of suffering. Because it is so hard to stop.
  • September 15, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Battle for Wesnoth (version 1.4.5) a tactical rpg (think fantasy setting, fire emblem class ups, and the ability to recruit [weak] units at most any time) has this in the campaign Descent into Darkness. You control a young mage apprentice who takes up dark magic (read: animating corpses) to defend his town, and is exiled. His sister, the town guard, holy knights who show up for no reason but to piss you off in the hardest mission of the campaign all wish to have him killed. He takes revenge on them. In the end, it's mostly black versus black or black versus grey (with you playing the part of a very borderline black) but until they drop an anvil on you and have you fight endlessly repeating (and rather easy) battles against random commanders, you never genuinly know who to root for.
  • September 15, 2008
    Iphigenia
    One example is the English Civil War drama By The Sword Divided. There are some obviously 'good' characters, but none of them are perfect, while no one is shown as an out-and-out villain either.
  • September 15, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Homer's Iliad
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=el5vl5mm8tmv5dw8i8wjw1qi