Created By: zarpaulus on April 2, 2013 Last Edited By: hamza678 on May 7, 2016

Both Order and Chaos Are Dangerous

In an OrderVsChaos situation, both sides can go too far

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Trope
DAN 004 wuz ere takin over ur druft


"To choose order over disorder, or disorder over order, is to accept a trip composed of both the creative and the destructive. But to choose the creative over the destructive is an all-creative trip composed of both order and disorder. To accomplish this, one need only accept creative disorder along with, and equal to, creative order, and also willing to reject destructive order as an undesirable equal to destructive disorder."
-The Principia Discordia

Order vs. Chaos is increasingly being used as an alternative to Good vs. Evil, but oftentimes it gets simplified to Chaos Is Evil, yet frequently Order is no better. Where Chaos has Bomb-Throwing Anarchists, Order has the Knight Templar. That's not to say that there are no good people on either side - but this trope is in effect whenever a good number of either sides are taking their "order" and "chaos" way too far.

If optimistic the work may present a third option in the form of Balance Between Order And Chaos.

The creators can present the two sides of the conflict as Dramatically Missing the Point, and the Good thing is to Take a Third Option, by balancing the two extremes. Too much "order" would result in a static and unchanging world. Too much "chaos" would destroy it.

This works out to be a more understandable version of the Balance Between Good and Evil, because Good comes from the balance between the agents advocating conformity and the agents advocating individual choice, rather than some unspecified meaning of "balance". Creators can now use a Morality Kitchen Sink of characters in the conflict, as both sides believe their side is morally correct behaviour. Often becomes classified as a Grey and Gray Morality story.

See also:


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Psycho-Pass has the Sibyl System being Order and Shogo Makishima being Chaos. The Sibyl System has essentially removed almost all free will and individuality from society, and turned it into a "happier" version of Nineteen Eighty Four where people have to be happy or calm, or else be arrested or killed just for thinking negatively once they step outside. Makishima despises the Sibyl System, and wants to free people from its control...but he also loves violence and the darker sides of humans, often finding ways to free people to commit the crimes they've imagined of but were forced to hide from the outside world in order to wonder about them. Oh, and Makishima also believes societal collapse is an admirable goal to work towards.
  • One Piece: Pirates and Knight Templar Marines seem to embody this. Pirates that aren't the Straw-Hats tend to terrorize and pillage, which is characteristic of them. However, some marines go to extreme measures to take down pirates and other criminals who go against justice.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: It's hard to say which side is better between the Isshin-Shishi and Shogunate. While the former group initially portrayed as freedom fighting, various characters such as Sanosuke note that power has only changed hands. Shishio seems to arguably be a product of this. The Shogunate, wanting to maintain their order, opposed the Isshin-Shishi and their tendencies show with Knight Templar Saitou.

Comic Books
  • From The DCU:
    • Prominent villains Lex Luthor and Joker embody these opposite extremes. Lex seeks to stand above humanity and control them like a God, while Joker is completely chaotic and does whatever he wants.
    • There's also the Lords of Order and Chaos, opposite ends of a Blue and Orange Morality scale who all consider themselves Beyond Good & Evil
  • PS238: When the forces of Chaos and Order (resembling demons and angels) find a way back to the earth they were barred from, they turn superheroes against their own children.
  • Representatives from both Order and Chaos show up to try to claim Hell in The Sandman, after Lucifer decides that he's done managing Hell and it's time to move on with his life. Neither comes off as better than the other: Order seems to suffer from quite a case of Creative Sterility, has slaves, and wants to make Hell into a more efficient realm, while the representative from Chaos incarnates as a psychopathic brat who threatens Dream with eternal war should he turn Hell over to anyone else, and later reveals that Chaos never really wanted Hell, but simply wanted to prevent Order from getting it.
  • Averted in Marvel Comics. Both Order and Chaos are good, or at least decent enough not to get in the way of things, most of the time, which compared to most cosmic beings makes them "good".
  • In the "Dead End Kids" arc of Runaways, the team gets sent back in time to 1907, and finds themselves in the middle of a gang war between the Upward Path, who represent legal and religious authority, and the Sinners, who represent the various vices. The Runaways quickly realize that neither group would make good allies.

Film Live Action
  • This is the theme of Demolition Man: A cop is brought from the past to enforce order but quickly shows everyone that strict order can be just as evil as absolute chaos. In the end, the two leaders that represent chaos and order find they have to negotiate with each other in order find a good balance.
  • In The LEGO Movie, Lord/President Business represents Order to a fault, wanting to keep all of the Lego realms separate and freeze them in place with the Kraggle so that their "perfection" can never be altered. Cloudcuckooland, a place with no rules, is initially presented as a preferable alternative, but main character Emmet ultimately finds a lot to admire in Lord Business' ambition and meticulous attention to detail mirroring Finn's reconciliation with his father. At the end, a more threatening personification of Chaos invades: the Duplo Planet aka Finn's younger sister.

Literature
  • In Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion sagas, it ultimately does not matter if the Champion serves Chaos or Law. In the end, every manifestation of the Champion - and the Eternal Enemy - discovers his purpose is to maintain the Balance, a state lying beyond Chaos and Law, two states which in their absolute form only bring sterility and barren endings. The champion Corum goes one further - he is the unwitting servant of the Great Old Ones, who physically destroy all the Gods of chaos and law, demonstrating that Mankind doesn't need them and must make its own way.
  • In the 5 books focusing on Merlin in The Chronicles of Amber, both the Pattern (the symbol of order) and its chaos counterpart the Logrus turn out to be sentient. They're both cold, inhuman forces willing to use the lives of its initiates like chess pieces as they try to win their battles with each other. The second pattern that Corwin created has far more empathy for human life, however.
  • In The Adversary Cycle this is done in a manner somewhat similar to Black and Gray Morality. Chaos wants to destroy all indigenous life on Earth To Create a Playground for Evil. Order opposes chaos... purely to win some unknown, possibly galaxy or universe wide conflict between the two, and doesn't give much of a crap about living creatures, including its own champion. But while order may ignore humanity and not lift a finger to help it unless chaos is involved, at least it's not looking to snuff it out either.
  • The two masterminds behind Westerosi politics in A Song of Ice and Fire. Lord Varys represents order, and his goals are restoring order to the Seven Kingdoms by this, he means undoing Robert's revolution and returning the old dynasty to the throne. Lord "Littlefinger" Baelish represents chaos, and his goals are fomenting unrest and civil war and raising himself in society. Both are lethally dangerous, especially if your TV series counterpart is played by Sean Bean.
  • In Discworld, the ultimate representatives of order and chaos (the Auditors of Reality and the Things from the Dungeon Dimensions respectively) are both menaces whose victory would destroy the Disc. The Auditors deliberately try to destroy life and especially intelligence because it's bizarrely unpredictable and messes up their filing, whereas the Things are simply too much crazy for the universe to contain.
  • In the Dragon Knight books, the Dark Powers' constant goal is to tip the balance between the forces of History and Chaos, in either direction. The success of History would result in complete societal (and possibly temporal) stasis, while the victory of Chaos would shatter all authority and stability and leave the world a kaleidoscope of terror.
  • Honor Harrington has the two main villains of the People's Republic of Haven and the Solarian League. The PRH didn't set out to be chaotic, but its constant disruption of leadership, ever more extreme ideology and habit of destroying anything that smells like tradition puts them firmly there. Meanwhile, the League's attempt to create a harmless legislature instead created a Vast Bureaucracy, which by the time of the story was hideously corrupt, fueled itself by economically plundering frontier worlds, and considered itself to be immovable and unstoppable.
  • In The Lost Fleet, Geary comes to the conclusion that both extremes are dangerous to the user. The Alliance's old way of a fleet of unorganized lone wolves was plainly idiotic, but the perfect hierarchical order of the "bear-cows" they encounter later is little better because it eliminates all initiative, so they can never have any ideas better than the herd-leader's.
    Too much discipline and too little discipline were two sides of the same disastrous coin, which could only purchase defeat.

Live-Action TV
  • In Babylon 5 the Vorlons, representing Order, and the Shadows, representing Chaos, have been fighting a war for millennia and manipulating younger races into acting as their proxies. The series' Myth Arc concludes with the Babylon 5 races collectively telling them to take their war and stick it where the sun don't shine, refusing to fight for them anymore.
    Sheridan: Now get the hell out of our galaxy!
  • Firefly and Serenity end up implying this as a sort of Accidental Aesop. In the Core Worlds people are prosperous and live in relative luxury, at the cost of the Alliance controlling everything and being able to do virtually anything they can remotely justify—like experimenting on teenage girls and using an entire planet as guinea pigs in a social engineering experiment Gone Horribly Wrong. On the Rim the Alliance has little presence. Life is much harder and more anarchic, but you can always look your enemy in the eye and settle things the old-fashioned way. The argument seems to be that a healthy society needs both.

Tabletop Games
  • Warhammer:
    • The setting has Gods of Law as well as the more infamous Chaos Gods. But they're not particularly popular in setting (and thus less powerful) because even The Empire considers them a bit extreme.
    • One Well-Intentioned Extremist vampire count tried to turn humans undead, which would free them from the influence of Chaos once and for all.
    • The Slann, giant frog-like servants of the Old Ones (who planted life on the world and opposed Chaos) to their best to follow their disappeared master's plans. Unfortunately, while they're the best chance the world has against Chaos, their morality is so far removed from human's they sometimes do more harm than good (rearranging some mountain ranges, which completely destroyed the Dwarf empire inside).
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • This time there's the forces of Chaos and the Necrons. The Chaos gods need life to exist, manifesting in disease, mutation, rape and mass murder. The Necrons are trying to destroy Chaos by annihilating all sentient life in the galaxy.
    • The Imperium represents Order in that despite the ever worsening decay, they refuse to change in any way. The Machine Worship cult that services their machinery forbids any form of experimentation (to them all knowledge was once held by mankind, and must now be found rather than discovered) and unknowingly worship one of the Necron's gods.
    • The Eldar, Space Elves who have their own vendetta against the forces of Chaos and also represent (to a degree) the force of Order. However, they are incredibly elitist with prejudices against almost every other race out there for being inferior to them and are so dogmatic that they'll only listen to their own kind. But whereas the Imperium demonstrates a manifest destiny to conquer the universe at all costs, the Eldar are on an increasingly rapid descent from the greatness they once held (That is, until they brought about Slaanesh with their own depravity) and constantly struggle to survive.
  • Players of Dungeons & Dragons who play Lawful Neutral or Chaotic Neutral characters have a tendency to slip into Lawful Evil or Chaotic Evil. Though Chaotic Neutral is often misinterpreted as being batshit insane.
  • The Druids of Iron Kingdoms believe if chaos or order gets too powerful, the god of the other side will destroy the material world to stop the other from drawing power for their endless battle. Currently they are spreading chaos because the rule of civilisation and law has become too strong.

Video Games
  • In 'Mortal Kombat'' there are the realms of Orderrealm and Chaosrealm. Orderrealm's characters consist of the Knight Templar Hotaru who aided the Big Bad of Deception, Onaga. Darius, a man rebelling against Orderrealm's establishment who set up the deaths of Dairou's family to get turn him against the Seidan Guard. And Dairou himself, a Hired Gun who is said to take jobs no matter how inhumane they are. From Chaosrealm there is Havik, who managed to help get Kabal back into the Black Dragon after he tried to reform, goes and aids Shao Kahn in his Deception ending, and is part of the Forces of Darkness in Armageddon. To say nothing of the Elder Gods, who have shown their share of questionable behavior, such as reviving Scorpion's clan as undead beings after fighting against Onaga in Deception.
  • Shin Megami Tensei has lawful vs chaotic alignments. The lawful alignment represents God, order, and security, and the chaotic alignment represents Lucifer, freedom, and war. At their extremes lawful characters want an elitist dictatorship ruled by God, with the few judged worthy of being alive under its rule doing nothing but worshiping Him for eternity. Extreme chaotic characters want a world of anarchy, unchecked vice, and endless war where strength is all that matters. You can also essentially say "screw everyone" and chose the Neutral alignment.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion — Shivering Isles has Sheogorath, Daedric Prince of Madness, and Jyggalag, Daedric Prince of Order. Sheogorath is as likely to treat you to a sumptuous banquet as he is to kill you in amusing ways For the Lulz, while Jyggalag's idea of order is to turn the Shivering Isles into a lifeless wasteland where nothing ever does anything. The trick is, they're the same guy: the other daedric princes thought Jyggalag was too powerful and cursed him into spending most of his time as Sheogorath. He changes back once every few centuries and depopulates the Shivering Isles, then turns back into Sheogorath and rebuilds the place. But then the hero of Cyrodil frees Jyggalag from the cycle and becomes the new Sheogorath.
  • In the Soul Series, the Soul Edge is the central antagonist throughout the vast majority of the series. To combat its wanton murder, destruction and madness, many characters seek or wield its polar opposite, the Soul Calibur. However, in Soul Calibur IV, it's revealed that Calibur is just as bad, in its own way. While the Edge seeks destruction, death, and ever-lasting torment, the Calibur wants stability, peace, and ever-lasting calm... by freezing the entire world over so that nothing can move. And the fifth game shows that it's not above manipulation or possession of its host to get its way, either.

Web Comics
  • Dominic Deegan: In the "Storm of Souls" storyline when a cult devoted to chaos threatened to consume the world it initially seemed that Dominic was the "Champion of Order" to counter their "Champion of Chaos". But later it was shown that the founder of the cult was once the Champion of Order as a brutal tyrant who sacrificed dozens of people to create a golem from their souls. Rather Dominic is the Champion of Balance, like Acibek the gestalt golem who turned against his creator.
  • In the concluded webcomic Indefensible Positions the avatars of order and chaos are wizards who took on the personas of Generals Grant and Lee respectively. When Grant is first introduced he is preparing a ritual involving Human Sacrifice of sexual deviants in an attempt to reduce perversion, and Lee thinks 9/11 was a good thing.
  • In The 10 Doctors, the Tenth Doctor is given the choice of either siding with the White Guardian in establishing complete order or with the Black Guardian in establishing complete chaos. As both choices would lead to the end of the Universe as we know it, he, with a little help from his previous self, advocates a balance between order and chaos.

Western Animation
  • The primary antagonists of Reboot, Megabyte and Hexadecimal, represent order (possibly tyranny) and chaos (possibly anarchy), respectively.
    • Later on in the series, there is Daemon, who despite being Affably Evil, aspires to control the net. She later does battle with Hexadecimal, who having gone through a Heel–Face Turn, is fighting on the side of Mainframe.
    • The contrast between order and chaos impacts the heroic side, too. Dot is more methodical and tries to solve problems through planning, while Bob is more impulsive and tends to lean towards the Indy Ploy.
  • Exemplified in the second half of Legend Of Korra by the last two primary antagonists. Zaheer is an anarchist whose powers are tied to spiritual freedom. He wanted to free the people from (what he considered to be) tyrants, believing that chaos was the natural state of the world. Kuvira is a dictator who's hellbent on bringing a continent under her heel. She wanted to protect people who were suffering in the absence of a strong government, believing that any disruption to uniformity had to be crushed. Ironically, Kuvira helped Korra bring down Zaheer in Book 3 and Zaheer helped Korra bring down Kuvira in Book 4. The title of the final book, as well as a major theme of the series overall, is "Balance", indicating going to either extreme is wrong.


Community Feedback Replies: 104
  • April 2, 2013
    JonnyB
    Toward the end of the Shadow War, Babylon 5 was this. Both the Shadows (Chaos) and the Vorlons (Order) leaned so far toward their perspective alignments that they were total dicks with complete disregard for the younger races.
  • April 2, 2013
    xanderiskander
    Videogames

    • Shin Megami Tensei: Has lawful vs chaotic alignments. The lawful alignment represents, God, order, and security, and the chaotic alignment represents Lucifer, freedom, and war. At their extremes lawful characters want an elitist dictatorship ruled by God, with only a few judged worthy of being alive under it's rule. Extreme chaotic characters want a world of anarchy, unchecked vice, and endless war. You can also essentially say "screw everyone" and chose the Neutral alignment.
  • April 3, 2013
    KevinKlawitter
    The primary antagonists of Reboot, Megabyte and Hexadecimal, represent order (possibly tyranny) and chaos (possibly anarchy), respectively.
  • April 3, 2013
    AgProv
    Literature

    In Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion sagas, it ultimately does not matter if the Champion serves Chaos or Law. In the end, every manifestation of the Champion - and the Eternal Enemy - discovers his purpose is to maintain the Balance, a state lying beyond Chaos and Law, two states which in their absolute form only bring sterility and barren endings. The champion Corum goes one further - he is the unwitting servant of the Great Old Ones, who physically destroy all the Gods of chaos and law, demonstrating that Mankind doesn't need them and must make its own way.
  • April 3, 2013
    darkclaw
    Psycho Pass has the Sibyl System being Order and Shogo Makishima being Chaos. The Sibyl System has essentially removed almost all free will and individuality from society, and turned it into a "happier" version of Nineteen Eighty Four where people have to be happy or calm, or else be arrested or killed just for thinking negatively once they step outside. Makishima despises the Sibyl System, and wants to free people from its control...but he also loves violence and the darker sides of humans, often finding ways to free people to commit the crimes they've imagined of but were forced to hide from the outside world in order to wonder about them. Oh, and Makishima also believes societal collapse is an admirable goal to work towards.
  • April 3, 2013
    TwoGunAngel
    This one's definitely related to God And Satan Are Both Jerks.
  • April 3, 2013
    Chabal2
    • Warhammer 40 K has the forces of Chaos and the Necrons. The Chaos gods need life to exist, manifesting in disease, mutation, rape and mass murder. The Necrons are trying to destroy Chaos by annihilating all sentient life in the galaxy.
      • The Imperium represents Order in that despite the ever worsening decay, they refuse to change in any way. The Machine Worship cult that services their machinery forbids any form of experimentation (to them all knowledge was once held by mankind, and must now be found rather than discovered) and unknowingly worship one of the Necron's gods.

  • April 3, 2013
    Chabal2
    • Warhammer: Similar to 40K, one Well Intentioned Extremist vampire count tried to turn humans undead, which would free them from the influence of Chaos once and for all.
      • The Slann, giant frog-like servants of the Old Ones (who planted life on the world and opposed Chaos) to their best to follow their disappeared master's plans. Unfortunately, while they're the best chance the world has against Chaos, their morality is so far removed from human's they sometimes do more harm than good (rearranging some mountain ranges, which completely destroyed the Dwarf empire inside).
  • April 3, 2013
    StarSword
    TV:
    • In Babylon Five the Vorlons, representing Order, and the Shadows, representing Chaos, have been fighting a war for millennia and manipulating younger races into acting as their proxies. The series' Myth Arc concludes with the Babylon 5 races collectively telling them to take their war and stick it where the sun don't shine, refusing to fight for them anymore and telling them both to vacate the Milky Way.
  • April 3, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    Regarding Shin Megami Tensei example above, Neutral doesn't necessarily means the best. The reason the angels and demons came in the first place is usually because humanity is going downhill and will end up destroying the world. The angels and demons want to prevent that. By choosing the Neutral route, you're basically leaving things as they are to the humans, and hoping that humanity will redeem itself.
  • April 3, 2013
    xanderiskander
    ^ That's only rarely. Most Shin Megami Tensei games treat the "neutral" ending as the "canon ending" and the best possible future since it's the balance point of both extremes. Although considering they live in a crapsack world that's not saying much. The only exception I can think of where all three are equally wrong is Shin Megami Tensei Strange Journey.

    But this trope doesn't need the third option "to be the best" anyway (the example also doesn't describe it like that). You only need to explain why order and chaos are portrayed as dicks in the series. And all things considered they definitely aren't nice guys at all.
  • April 3, 2013
    StarSword
    Also, you might take a look at the Accidental Aesop example on YMMV.Firefly.
  • April 4, 2013
    zarpaulus
    Any suggestions for a better name?
  • April 4, 2013
    xanderiskander
    Order And Chaos Are Jerks?

    All I see wrong with it is it doesn't need the word "both". Besides that it describes the actual trope really well.
  • April 4, 2013
    StarSword
    TV:
    • Firefly and Serenity end up implying this as a sort of Accidental Aesop. In the Core Worlds people are prosperous and live in relative luxury, at the cost of the Alliance controlling everything and being able to do virtually anything they can remotely justify--like experimenting on teenage girls and using an entire planet as guinea pigs in a social engineering experiment Gone Horribly Wrong. On the Rim the Alliance has little presence. Life is much harder and more anarchic, but you can always look your enemy in the eye and settle things the old-fashioned way. The argument seems to be that a healthy society needs both.
  • April 5, 2013
    StarSword
    Video Games:
    • The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion -- Shivering Isles has Sheogorath, Daedric Prince of Madness, and Jyggalag, Daedric Prince of Order. Sheogorath is as likely to treat you to a sumptuous banquet as he is to kill you in amusing ways For The Lulz, while Jyggalag's idea of order is to turn the Shivering Isles into a lifeless wasteland where nothing ever does anything. The trick is, they're the same guy: the other daedric princes thought Jyggalag was too powerful and cursed him into spending most of his time as Sheogorath. He changes back once every few centuries and depopulates the Shivering Isles, then turns back into Sheogorath and rebuilds the place.
  • April 5, 2013
    sgamer82
    Fan Work
    • This is part of the climax of The 10 Doctors. Specifically, the White and Black Guardians try to make the Doctor choose one or the other, and neither is pleased when the Doctor wants to Take A Third Option.
  • April 5, 2013
    MrRuano
    Also adding onto the 40K example are the Eldar, Space Elves who have their own vendetta against the forces of Chaos and also represent (to a degree) the force of Order. However, they are incredibly elitist with prejudices against almost every other race out there for being inferior to them and are so dogmatic that they'll only listen to their own kind. But whereas the Imperium demonstrates a manifest destiny to conquer the universe at all costs, the Eldar are on an increasingly rapid descent from the greatness they once held (That is, until they brought about Slaanesh with their own depravity) and constantly struggle to survive.
  • April 5, 2013
    blueflame724
    This feels like a different form of Grey and Grey Morality, or Black and Black Morality. Does it fall in those categories?

    In DC comics, it seems prominent villains Lex Luthor and Joker embody these opposite extremes. Lex seeks to stand above humanity and control them like a God, while Joker is completely chaotic who does whatever he wants.

    One Piece: Pirates and Knight Templar Marines seem to embody this. Pirates that aren't the Straw-Hats tend to terrorize and pillage, which is characteristic of them. However, some marines go to extreme measures to take down pirates and other criminals who go against justice.
  • April 7, 2013
    StarSword
    ^This is certainly related to Grey And Grey Morality and Evil Versus Evil.

    Also, minor expansion for the D&D example: For Chaotic Neutral characters this is partly because of the common misinterpretation of the alignment as batshit insane.
  • April 7, 2013
    StarSword
    And cleaned the draft to match up with style guidelines and added a hat. EDIT: Or tried to; seems I already hatted this.
  • April 7, 2013
    DaibhidC
  • April 7, 2013
    MrInitialMan
    Wasn't Order and Chaos portrayed this way in the Recluse novels?
  • April 7, 2013
    StarSword
    Try asking on the forums or in You Know That Show. I have no idea.

    And fixed Example Indentation again.
  • April 8, 2013
    Apep
    • In Mortal Kombat there are the realms of Orderrealm and Chaosrealm. Orderrealm's characters consist of the Knight Templar Hotaru who aided the Big Bad of Deception, Onaga. Darius, a man rebelling against Orderrealm's establishment who set up the deaths of Dairou's family to get turn him against the Seidan Guard. And Dairous himself, a Hired Gun who is said to take jobs no matter how inhumane they are. From Orderrealm there is Havik, who who managed to help get Kabal back into the Black Dragon after he tried to reform.
  • April 8, 2013
    blueflame724
    Rurouni Kenshin: It's hard to say which side is better between the Isshin-Shishi and Shogunate. While the former group initially portrayed as freedom fighting, various characters such as Sanosuke note that power has only changed hands. Shishio seems to arguably be a product of this. The Shogunate, wanting to maintain their order, opposed the Isshin-Shishi and their tendencies show with Knight Templar Saitou.

    I don't know if this example quite counts, since it seems more like "antagonists came from both sides", rather than order or chaos being portrayed as evil.

  • April 11, 2013
    StarSword
    ^I'm sure there's a trope there somewhere (possibly Full Circle Revolution), but I don't think this is it.
  • April 13, 2013
    KingZeal
    In the Soul Series, the Soul Edge is the central antagonist throughout the vast majority of the series. To combat its wanton murder, destruction and madness, many characters seek or wield its polar opposite, the Soul Calibur. However, in Soul Calibur IV, it's revealed that Calibur is just as bad, in its own way. While the Edge seeks destruction, death, and ever-lasting torment, the Calibur wants stability, peace, and ever-lasting calm . . . by freezing the entire world over so that nothing can move. And the fifth game shows that it's not above manipulation or possession of its host to get its way, either.
  • April 13, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    This may be related to Golden Mean Fallacy.
  • April 24, 2013
    zarpaulus
    Bump
  • April 26, 2013
    DunDun
    If this is going to be a snowclone, can we at least move the "both" to where it is in God And Satan Are Both Jerks?
  • April 30, 2013
    KevinKlawitter
    Another note on Reboot... the contrast between order and chaos impacts the heroic side, too. Dot is more methodical and tries to solve problems through planning, while Bob is more impulsive and tends to lean towards the Indy Ploy.
  • April 30, 2013
    LOAD
    ^The title is clunky but I can't think of one better, so I'm going to have to agree to move the Both.
  • April 30, 2013
    zarpaulus
    ^ What would be the point?
  • May 1, 2013
    StarSword
    I prefer the "both" at the front. Has a better rhythm.
  • May 7, 2013
    AndyLA
    This reminds me of Ben 10 Alien Force and the whole thing about Alien X and the Voices of Compassion and Aggression. They're always too busy arguing to let Ben do anything at all. Not sure if it falls under here, but the concept sure is similar.
  • August 18, 2013
    darkclaw
    Bump. Thought this trope was a really good idea.
  • August 19, 2013
    zarpaulus
    ^ I honestly wasn't too sure.
  • December 10, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    Terrible Snowclone. description needs a bit more work. removed a hat for that.

    how about Neither Order Nor Chaos is Good?

    Hats are for a YKTTW that is ready to publish as is.

    it's not for "i agree with this trope! have a hat!" purposes.
  • December 21, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Eh, it's a good snowclone. :O
  • December 22, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Yeah, the title is fine.
  • December 22, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    I think that the current proposal leans too heavily in the direction that "Order is bad" and "Chaos is bad". The direction will encourage too much emphasis on describing examples that lean towards Evil Vs Evil. While that works for God And Satan Are Both Jerks, I think it fails to address the point that many creators are trying to convey with their creations. Namely, that the main characters need to Take A Third Option for a Good result.

    Rather than just complaining, though, I have a rewriting suggestion:
         Suggestion 
    Name: Balance Between Order And Chaos

    Laconic: In Order Vs Chaos, the Good solution is a result of trying to Take A Third Option.

    Draft:// When a work presents the main conflict between two sides in an Order Vs Chaos conflict, it isn't required that either one of those sides be "good", in the sense of morally correct. Instead, the creators can present the two sides of the conflict as Dramatically Missing The Point, and the Good thing is to Take A Third Option, by balancing the two extremes. Too much "order" would result in a static and unchanging world. Too much "chaos" would destroy it.

    This works out to be a more understandable version of the Balance Between Good And Evil, because Good comes from the balance between the agents advocating conformity and the agents advocating individual choice, rather than some unspecified meaning of "balance". Creators can now use a Morality Kitchen Sink of characters in the conflict, as both sides believe their side is morally correct behaviour. Often becomes classified as a Grey And Gray Morality story.

    See also:
  • December 22, 2013
    DAN004
    I do believe that Both Order And Chaos Are Jerks and Balance Between Order And Chaos are 2 different things...
  • December 28, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    Technically, as a snowclone, "Both are jerks" should require a personification of order and chaos. I don't see that distinction present in the examples here. Otherwise, I'm not sure what the difference you're trying to point to is.
  • December 28, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Ah, I see.
  • May 10, 2014
    jormis29
    • The Druids of Iron Kingdoms believe if chaos or order gets too powerful, the god of the other side will destroy the material world to stop the other from drawing power for their endless battle. Currently they are spreading chaos because the rule of civilisation and law has become too strong.
  • May 10, 2014
    DAN004
    So who wanna grab this? I thought crazysamaritan's hands were itchy for that. :P
  • May 10, 2014
    dalek955
    • In Discworld, the ultimate representatives of order and chaos (the Auditors of Reality and the Things from the Dungeon Dimensions respectively) are both menaces whose victory would destroy the Disc. The Auditors deliberately try to destroy life and especially intelligence because it's bizarrely unpredictable and messes up their filing, whereas the Things are simply too much crazy for the universe to contain.
    • In the Dragon Knight books, the Dark Powers' constant goal is to tip the balance between the forces of History and Chaos, in either direction. The success of History would result in complete societal (and possibly temporal) stasis, while the victory of Chaos would shatter all authority and stability and leave the world a kaleidoscope of terror.
  • May 10, 2014
    Kakai
    Can we change the description to crazysamaritarian's version? It's much better. Also, I think in Mistborn Preservation can be a destructive force (it set the world on fire at one point) and Ruin is the The Big Bad of the series. They finally settle on Harmony and it seems to be working.
  • May 10, 2014
    dalek955
    ^I don't think Preservation would count. The incident in question (both times) is a combination of Preservation's power being wielded by new and inexperienced Shardholders, and Ruin letting said new Shardholders make mistakes and then blocking their attempts to fix them.
  • May 11, 2014
    aurora369
    The two masterminds behind Westerosi politics in A Song Of Ice And Fire. Lord Varys represents order, and his goals are restoring order to the Seven Kingdoms by this, he means undoing Robert's revolution and returning the old dynasty to the throne. Lord "Littlefinger" Baelish represents chaos, and his goals are fomenting unrest and civil war and raising himself in society. Both are lethally dangerous, especially if your TV series counterpart is played by Sean Bean.
  • May 12, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    Comic Books
    • In the "Dead End Kids" arc of Runaways, the team gets sent back in time to 1907, and finds themselves in the middle of a gang war between the Upward Path, who represent legal and religious authority, and the Sinners, who represent the various vices. The Runaways quickly realize that neither group would make good allies.
  • September 8, 2014
    dalek955
    Bump.
  • September 8, 2014
    Daefaroth
    Possible page quote: "To choose order over disorder, or disorder over order, is to accept a trip composed of both the creative and the destructive. But to choose the creative over the destructive is an all-creative trip composed of both order and disorder. To accomplish this, one need only accept creative disorder along with, and equal to, creative order, and also willing to reject destructive order as an undesirable equal to destructive disorder." -The Principia Discordia

    Which is quite amusing that a religion based on Eris, Goddess of Chaos makes the statement that not all chaos is good and not all order is bad.
  • September 8, 2014
    DAN004
    May gonna take this over.
  • September 8, 2014
    DAN004
    May gonna take this over.
  • September 8, 2014
    zarpaulus
    Go ahead.
  • September 9, 2014
    Cider
    Averted in Marvel Comics. Both Order and Chaos are good, or at least decent enough not to get in the way of things, most of the time, which compared to most cosmic beings makes them "good".
  • September 9, 2014
    TheWanderer
    • In the 5 books focusing on Merlin in The Chronicles Of Amber, both the Pattern (the symbol of order) and its chaos counterpart the Logrus turn out to be sentient. They're both cold, inhuman forces willing to use the lives of its initiates like chess pieces as they try to win their battles with each other. The second pattern that Corwin created has far more empathy for human life, however.
    • In The Adversary Cycle this is done in a manner somewhat similar to Black And Gray Morality. Chaos wants to destroy all indigenous life on Earth To Create A Playground For Evil. Order opposes chaos... purely to win some unknown, possibly galaxy or universe wide conflict between the two, and doesn't give much of a crap about living creatures, including its own champion. But while order may ignore humanity and not lift a finger to help it unless chaos is involved, at least it's not looking to snuff it out either.
    • Representatives from both order and chaos show up to try to claim Hell in The Sandman after Lucifer decides that he's done managing Hell and it's time to move on with his life. Neither comes off as better than the other: order seems to suffer from quite a case of Creative Sterility, has slaves, and wants Hell to make a more efficient realm out of it, while the representative from chaos incarnates as a psychopathic brat who threatens Dream with eternal war should he turn Hell over to anyone else and later reveals that chaos never really wanted hell, they simply wanted to prevent order from getting it.
    • In Discworld, pure order is represented by the Auditors of Reality, cosmic Obstructive Bureaucrats who hate all life because it's far too messy, while pure chaos is represented by the Dungeon Dimension, home of Eldritch Abominations that would destroy our entire dimension without noticing if they even incarnated on this plane.
  • September 9, 2014
    bejjinks
    • This is the theme of Demolition Man A cop is brought from the past to enforce order but quickly shows everyone that strict order can be just as evil as absolute chaos. In the end, the two leaders that represent chaos and order find they have to negotiate with each other in order find a good balance.
  • September 15, 2014
    TheWanderer
    If we're going to go away from the original idea of both chaos and order being bad, we're probably going to have to prune out some of the examples given, since they may not necessarily fit the new title, about the aesop of finding balance.
  • September 15, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ my bad.

    I was going to make crazysamaritan's suggestion an Internal Subtrope instead of the "main thing". Cuz I believe "both order and chaos are presented as bad" is still tropable.
  • September 16, 2014
    dalek955
    You have Discworld examples in both the Comics and Literature sections.
  • September 16, 2014
    Chabal2
    Final Fantasy X: Seymour's master plan is to kill everybody on Spira, that they will no longer have to fear death (but also never changing, and the goal of the game is breaking the cycle of the giant monster Sin waking up, rampaging and being put back to sleep for a few years). This is due to the fact that on Spira, people only really "die" if they are Sent, otherwise their restless souls coalesce into the Random Encounters that infest the world, and being Unsent makes you immortal.
  • September 16, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Where's the emphasis of "chaos" or "order" there?
  • September 29, 2014
    DAN004
    Buuuuump
  • September 29, 2014
    hbi2k
    In The Lego Movie, Lord/President Business represents Order to a fault, wanting to keep all of the Lego realms separate and freeze them in place with the Kraggle so that their "perfection" can never be altered. Cloudcuckooland, a place with no rules, is initially presented as a preferable alternative, but main character Emmet ultimately finds a lot to admire in Lord Business' ambition and meticulous attention to detail mirroring Finn's reconciliation with his father. At the end, a more threatening personification of Chaos invades: the Duplo Planet aka Finn's younger sister.
  • October 8, 2014
    DAN004
    I thought we had a YKTTW called Justice Discipline And Chaos. Now where was it?
  • October 14, 2014
    DAN004
    Bump
  • October 20, 2014
    dalek955
    BTW, in the Lego Movie, "Kragle" is spelled with one G Krazy Glue
  • October 20, 2014
    Openlake
    Bump
  • November 30, 2014
    crazysamaritan
    At the moment, many of the examples contain "this villain represents chaos and this villain represents order". Works that have villains in each category don't seem to be a trope, although I wonder if we have an Order Is Evil trope.
  • November 30, 2014
    dalek955
    ^Seems like a perfectly good trope to me. It's a little broader than that, but a villain in each corner is the easiest way to represent this trope.

  • December 1, 2014
    DAN004
    disregard
  • December 1, 2014
    crazysamaritan
    ^^ fighting an Order Is Evil Monster Of The Week one episode and fighting a Chaos Is Evil Monster Of The Week next episode isn't the same as advocating a balance.

    That's the problem with examples like Discworld, Luthor and Joker, and D&D; there isn't a balancing act beween them, only the presence of two tropes.
  • December 1, 2014
    KyleJacobs
    Balance isn't required; there's a reason it's an internal subtrope and not the trope itself here.
  • December 2, 2014
    Daefaroth
  • December 2, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Also The Empire
  • December 16, 2014
    crazysamaritan
    ^^^ then the laconic is in error. The laconic presents conflict between order and chaos.
  • December 16, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ That's my intention
  • December 16, 2014
    crazysamaritan
    Fighting an Order Is Evil Monster Of The Week one episode and fighting a Chaos Is Evil Monster Of The Week next episode isn't the same as advocating a balance.

    That's the problem with examples like Discworld, Luthor and Joker, and D&D; there isn't a balancing act, no conflict, between them. Only the presence of two tropes.
  • December 16, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ then this may be only tangentially related to Order Vs Chaos

    Now I'm seeing two tropes here:
    • one chaos side and one order side who are in conflict against each other and neither of them are better than the other
    • a hero has both order and chaos villains

    ... the second variant would be Justice Discipline And Chaos, not here.
  • December 17, 2014
    NemuruMaeNi
    ^ Whose place is to say there is a better side of the two? Who decides there is something better or there isn't? Word of god? Ymmv? Characters per alleged points presented in dialogues (given undue weight)?
  • December 17, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ none.

    As in, both sides are meant to be bad. Where do you get the "one is better than the other" from?
  • December 22, 2014
    NemuruMaeNi
    ^ A metaphor. A lime is as sour as a lemon. How do you know? You take a certain human, who's able to taste things, you give that human a taste of lemon, lime, grapefruit, premium marrocan tangerine and some particularly nasty pickled cucumbers, then scrutinize that human's experience report in preestablished terms of sourness.

    If you're keen on knowing the truth, your choice of that human is not random. You won't take a guy who's known for lying left and right. You won't take a kid who's allergic to citrus. You won't take a brain-damaged patient with communication disorders. You won't take a sly fox who could pretty much know that much money rides on this sourness assessment, if you strongly doubt she hasn't been approached by people from large lemon producing corporation and lime importing conglomerate. Etc., etc.

    If your answer is you're going to dive into the trees' consciousness and extract the information how sour each of them meant to make their fruits,.. well, good luck to you.
  • January 13, 2015
    DAN004
    bump
  • January 13, 2015
    ThatFanwiththeGlasses
    In The 10 Doctors, the Tenth Doctor is given the choice of either siding with the White Guardian in establishing complete order or with the Black Guardian in establishing complete chaos. As both choices would lead to the end of the Universe as we know it, he, with a little help from his previous self, advocates a balance between order and chaos.
  • January 14, 2015
    Unknown Troper
    • Exemplified in the second half of Legend Of Korra by the last two primary antagonists. Zaheer is an anarchist whose powers are tied to spiritual freedom. He wanted to free the people from (what he considered to be) tyrants, believing that chaos was the natural state of the world. Kuvira is a dictator who's hellbent on bringing a continent under her heel. She wanted to protect people who were suffering in the absence of a strong government, believing that any disruption to uniformity had to be crushed. Ironically, Kuvira helped Korra bring down Zaheer in Book 3 and Zaheer helped Korra bring down Kuvira in Book 4. The title of the final book, as well as a major theme of the series overall, is "Balance", indicating going to either extreme is wrong.
  • January 14, 2015
    crazysamaritan
    ^ & ^^ Those are good examples of a balance between the two, the Avatar example fits well because of the spoiler text: balance is taken from both sides.

    To DAN's "Now I'm seeing two tropes here:"
    Works that have villains in each category don't seem to be a trope.
  • January 14, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ no, it is a trope. But it's not this trope.
  • January 14, 2015
    crazysamaritan
    Does that mean you'll remove them?
  • January 14, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ "them"?
  • January 14, 2015
    MorningStar1337
    ^ I think he's talking about the examples. Personally I think the Korra example fits this trope. (Book 3 shows Chaos as a negative force with the Red Lotus, and Vatuu, and the other books show Order can be misused with Kuvera and the Earth Empire at large, Amon and the Equalists, Tarrlok, and arguably Unalaq)
  • January 14, 2015
    DAN004
    Maybe a good way to see this thing in action is when our protagonist takes a side/is introduced as being a member of one side. When the protagonist is in neither side, that's what crazysamaritan described: a hero having both orderly and chaotic villains.
  • February 3, 2015
    DAN004
    Bumpity
  • March 17, 2015
    dalek955
    • In The Lost Fleet, Geary comes to the conclusion that both extremes are dangerous to the user. The Alliance's old way of a fleet of unorganized lone wolves was plainly idiotic, but the perfect hierarchical order of the "bear-cows" they encounter later is little better because it eliminates all initiative, so they can never have any ideas better than the herd-leader's.
      Too much discipline and too little discipline were two sides of the same disastrous coin, which could only purchase defeat.
  • March 17, 2015
    DAN004
    Somebody has made Balance Between Order And Chaos as a redirect to something else...
  • March 19, 2015
    crazysamaritan
    Creating subtropes is allowed. The "something else" is the same idea, focused on the Good Vs Evil conflict.
  • March 19, 2015
    hbi2k
    Yeah, I'm not sure what the procedure for repurposing redirects is, but Balance Between Order And Chaos seems like a no-brainer for the title of this trope.
  • March 19, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ it's more about an Internal Subtrope of this, since it depends on the state of having 2 sides being unsavory/hard to take, the main point of this trope.
  • April 29, 2016
    Berrenta
    Is this trope truly ready to launch? It was launched suddenly with no input to do so.
  • April 29, 2016
    DAN004
    ^ something's still in dispute from the last conversation, so... no.
  • May 6, 2016
    DAN004
    Bump
  • May 7, 2016
    ErikModi
    Discussed in The Lost World 1995 with "The Edge of Chaos." Complexity (formerly Chaos) Theory applied to evolution, the idea being that species survive best at The Edge of Chaos. Too much stability, and they stop adapting and are wiped out. Too much instability, they collapse and are wiped out.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=wqhjc0yqs9gqyhgntn0ezckk