Created By: Glixinator on September 13, 2011 Last Edited By: Glixinator on June 26, 2012

Power For Powers Sake

I want to be stronger. Why? To be stronger of course!

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"What do all men with power want? More power."
--The Oracle, The Matrix Reloaded

Lots of characters want power, its a common motivation, and most of them want it in order to fill some specific goal. This is why the rest of them want it. The power they want could be almost anything; strength, skill, magic, superpowers - what's important is the motivation. For them there is no plan to Take Over the World, destroy it, save it, saving or protecting those closest to you, or even simple Revenge. No, for this individual the power is not the means to a goal, but the goal unto itself. When this aproach is taken in stride with a Take Over the World scheme, you have Despotism Justifies the Means. However, characters with this motivation are more interested in personal power than power over others. The means of acheiving their power are also of a more neutral bent. If the fastest way to power is to destroy some great evil then they will Jump At The Call, but in other works it may be The Hero or maybe just the established government that gets in their way/presents an opportunity in their oposition. This could mean they end up saving the world/taking it over after all, but it this case their heroism or villainy will be the means to power rather than power being the means to their heroism/villainy. Their goal is to increase their own power and when someone asks them And Then What? they simply say to get even more power.

This may be a characteristic of a Flat Character, but this is just one dimention of the character and they could be an otherwise well rounded personality. Its just that their main motivation is to get stronger, and their reason for wanting to get stronger... is to get stronger. Expect Training from Hell to be involved.

To Be a Master is a similar motivation, but in this case the character is not just competing with others practicing the same skillset, the whole range of Fantasy Character Classes is present, and this character wants to be better than all of them. When The Rival, Arch-Enemy or other Worthy Opponent starts claiming A God Am I, that just means its time for this character to get stronger, beat them, then get even stronger. They won't respond in kind since they can't possibly be satisfied with any amount of power they manage to attain (at least not for long) while they still have the opportunity to gain even more.


[[folder:Anime an Manga]]
  • Dragon Ball: Goku's initial motivation, though he does start off with his own set of morals, it is only through Character Development that he expands those morals into a desire to use his power to protect others. Though this motivation never disappears completely as it is the reason for him entering the world martial arts tournament and his continued Training from Hell between Big Bads.

  • The Matrix: Le Merovingian, as the subject of the page quote.

[[folder:Music]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
  • Fire Emblem Elibe: The motivation for a number of characters from Blazing Sword
    • Nergal due to Motive Decay " Why? Why must I lose? More power... I must be...stronger... I... Why? Why did I... want power? [[hottip:*: ......Quintessence? ...Don't...under...stand... but... Gaa...]]"
    • Teodor models himself after the example who have come before him to take on this motivation "This is what I spoke of.... if only I had more power..."
    • and Bartre serves as a heroic example in the game, and he appears in Fūin no Tsurugi as well. If he thinks you're strong, he'll ask you to punch him as hard as you can.

Up for Grabs, Needs More Examples
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • September 13, 2011
  • September 14, 2011
    One of Madonna's songs from the Dick Tracey album. I think it's called "More".
  • September 14, 2011
  • September 14, 2011
    Possible page quote:

    "What do all men with power want? More power."
    The Oracle, The Matrix Reloaded
  • September 18, 2011
    Sorry for not putting the Rolling Updates label in sooner (I'm new to YKTTW) but anyways I've tried to encorporate all of these suggestions so far into the draft to the best of my ability and with the Trope I am trying to pin down in mind. Also I think alternate titles should be For The Powerz and Power Is Its Own Reward.
  • September 24, 2011
    • From Tangled Webs:
      I used to scorn the drow's constant scrambling for more and more power, like so many silly dragons collecting ever bigger heaps of gold. But I'm starting to see that power is also a tool...
  • November 5, 2011
    Haven't been back here for a while, sorry about that. I'm not sure what media you example falls under T Beholder. Putting it up for grabs would fix both problems, but I'm still not sure I'm getting what I'm trying to trope across. Not that I'm criticizing the example, its good, though slightly subverted by the part about it being a tool, the Madona one isn't too clear on the "power" part of it either until near the end.
  • June 26, 2012
  • June 26, 2012
    Aladdin: Jafar's Fatal Flaw is his lust for power. After becoming the sultan and sorcerer, he thinks he's covered as the powerful being on Earth, until Aladdin taunts that the Genie who made him both is still stronger than he is. Jafar then wishes to be a genie, gaining infinite cosmic power and being sealed inside a lamp like all genies must.
  • June 26, 2012
    • Black*Star from Soul Eater is motivated by this, initially. He eventually does some thinking and decides he'll use his power to help Kid bring order to the world (ironically meaning he's shifted his goal from "surpassing god" to serving/teaming up with a Physical God.