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->''"You have two options. You can wait until I leave, and then murder [[spoiler:Abigail]]. But then I'll come back. I'll slay every lice-ridden peasant, anything that moves and can't climb a tree. Or, you can lead honorable lives; clear your conscience and start again, like humans. The choice is yours."''
-->-- '''Geralt''', to an entire village of {{Corrupt Hick}}s, ''VideoGame/TheWitcher''

Good's version of temptation. When moral argument falls on deaf ears, a GoodShepherd might have a Dark Shepherd moment, herding the sheep along the path of righteousness with the stabby end of the crook.

If the baddie has been remonstrated in some morally sound way, once they're around the corner, [[WhatYouAreInTheDark safe and alone]], [[IgnoredEpiphany they may suffer doubt]]... or perhaps he was only ''acting'' remorseful to escape, with no intention of repentance. Whether out of habit or malice, the villain is poised to forget the moral lesson and do the exact same thing that got him in trouble. At which point, the Dark Shepherd steps in.

The Good Shepherd is optimistic in his heavenly intentions and arguments, but the Dark Shepherd focuses on the evil in people. The Dark Shepherd is a spiritual DrillSergeantNasty who resorts to threats and fear in the sheep's moment of doubt or descent, to scare the sheep away from the edge of the cliff.

The Dark Shepherd can be evil. His point is that you shouldn't be. While his GoodCounterpart has integrity, the Dark Shepherd has low expectations. Out of sympathy or disgust, he sees the sheep as egocentric, thoughtlessly driven by pleasure or pain, incapable of learning, or perhaps just too addicted to bad behavior, too weak to make the right decision like a hero.

If the sheep won't do the right things for the right reasons, the Dark Shepherd encourages an alternative.

A Dark Shepherd moment can become a lasting transformation when a good character is made weak by a lapse of faith, resorting to evil methods (intimidation, insult, injury) to achieve an end. The underlying assumption can be dark: Good deeds aren't intrinsically satisfying enough. However, the Dark Shepherd may remain good and faithful if the motivation behind his action is merciful: Good is hard to understand and choose at first, so in the meantime...

{{Heaven}} is the carrot; {{Hell}} is the stick; the Dark Shepherd wields the latter.

(Watch for common markers such as surprising the sheep alone with their conscience and giving incentive that a more moral character Good Shepherd is unable to give with integrity.)

A form of GoodIsNotNice. Through the lens of GoodCopBadCop, the Dark Shepherd closes the sieve. However, usually aware of the somewhat shameful nature of his persuasion, the Dark Shepherd's work is often private, behind the back of any Good Shepherd that may put a stop to it.

Compare KnightTemplar and HobbesWasRight. Not to be confused with DarkMessiah.



[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In ''ComicBook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns'', the title character foils a store robbery. When the robber is tied up, the shopkeeper picks up his shotgun and threatens him with it. The Batman still has a code, though.
-->'''Batman''': Pull the trigger... and I'll be back for you.


[[folder: Fan Fiction ]]

* ''FanFic/ShatteredReflection'', a ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' fanfic: Having a seriously DarkAndTroubledPast involving [[EtTuBrute being betrayed]] by her own version of the Shepherds, Rose has absolutely no faith in their ability to make moral and rational decisions when she visits the timeline that the story takes place in, and thus defaults to this whenever trying to get them to do something.


[[folder: Film ]]

* The twins and Il Duce of ''Film/BoondockSaints'' have a Dark Shepherd final speech, unique in that they are warning the unidentified stray sheep via P.A.
* Paul "Pious" Schäfer from the movie ''Film/LaColonia''. He rules his commune, ''Colonia Dignidad'' (Dignity Colony) with an iron fist, and keeps men and women separate because he believes that [[SexIsEvil the love between a man and a woman is wicked and sinful,]] but [[PedophilePriest the (physical) love between man and child is saintly.]] Although the story itself is fiction, [[TruthInTelevision Schäfer did run his commune in the isolated foothills of the Chilean Andes,]] and he died in prison after being sentenced for sexually abusing children.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* The grim hermit Michael of Macedonia in the ''Literature/BelisariusSeries'' is both a GoodShepherd and a DarkShepherd, who later helps raise up an AlternateHistory version of the Knights Hospitalier.
* At the end of ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'' [[spoiler: Andy Shanks is jumped in an alleyway by Pepe, who basically says that Mr Nutt forgave him and that's lovely, but someone ought to leave him with a reminder not to do it again.]]
* Harry Dresden of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' has elements of this in how he treats his apprentice Molly, combined with ScareEmStraight. In an earlier moment, Cassius, who is host to a dangerous demon, fakes a HeelFaceTurn and the Knights have to leave him alone as he has given up the demon, even though it's blatantly obvious he did this to not be harmed. As he still has crucial information to his boss' evil plan, Harry gives a candidate for the page quote.
--> Fortunately for you, [Michael and Sanya] are good men. Unfortunately for you... ''*produces baseball bat*'' I'm ''not''.
* ''Literature/{{Victoria}}'' has [[KnightTemplar Governor Kraft]], the ruler of the Confederation. He purges the [[DirtyCommunists Marxists]] out of the country and enforces his reactionary ideology through informal pressure rather than law, eventually creating a stable equilibrium. By the end of the story, his state is described as virtually utopian, since all the evil forces were so thoroughly scared away.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'':
** River Tam clarifies Jayne's situation ("Also, I can kill you with my brain.") when she suspects that Simon's eloquent trust speech may not be effective. An example of an arguable good-neutral character borrowing the crook for a moment.
** Shepherd Book from ''Firefly'' is a Good Shepherd with Dark Shepherd moments, as when he warns Mal that taking advantage of a naive and innocent [[ConArtist (-seeming)]] young woman will get him sent to a "special hell" in "Our Mrs. Reynolds". Also, while he [[ThouShaltNotKill won't kill]], the Good Book is a mite fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.


[[folder: Oral Tradition ]]

* A common joke whose basic skeleton is that an atheist challenges God to knock him down if He exists. Some audience member comes up and shoves the guy, stating: "God was busy, so He sent me." The words alone are Good Shepherd; the threat implied by the violence is Dark Shepherd.


[[folder: Politics ]]

* Russian Stalinists think UsefulNotes/JosefStalin was this, and the purpose of his cruelty was [[ScareEmStraight scare any and all crooks, mobsters, corrupt bureaucrats and conspirators straight]]. Since UsefulNotes/TheNewRussia is particularly full of mobsters and corrupt bureaucrats, they desperately want someone to do this again.
* UsefulNotes/MaoZedong and [[UsefulNotes/{{Cambodia}} Pol Pot]] were both ruthless leaders who were determined to create a "proletarian paradise", and had no problems in disposing millions of people they considered enemies or of no use to them.


[[folder: Religion ]]

* The prophets who were sent by {{God}}, especially those of the [[Literature/TheBible Old Testament]], have often preach sermons which deals with warnings of punishments to humanity if they don't repent, making this OlderThanFeudalism.
** UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}} also counts. For someone who preaches about love and {{forgiveness}}, He also (in a rather gentle manner, mind you) warns people of eternal damnation in Hell if they don't repent of their sins and accept Him as Lord and Savior. [[BerserkButton And there was this one time when he lost His temper with merchants and moneylenders doing their business on Temple grounds...]]
-->And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade." [Jn 2:1316]


[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* The [[ReligionOfEvil inverse-Catholic]] (with [[EqualOpportunityEvil inverse-Anglican, Baptist, Jewish and Muslim]] sects) covenant of the Lancea Sanctum from ''TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem'' doctrinally claim this is their relationship with humanity. Sanctified vampires "[[ScareEmStraight scare humans straight]]" into the arms of God by acting as the predators that they are.
** This is carried over from ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'', where the followers of the [[PathOfInspiration Path of Night]], mostly [[CorruptChurch Lasombra]], considered themselves dark angels of God's wrath. Their goal was to [[ScareEmStraight terrify sinners and force repentance]], with a [[NobleDemon strict policy]] of [[ThouShaltNotKill never killing their victims]].


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* If the player chooses Renegade options in the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' trilogy, the protagonist, Shepard, will act like this. (Taking Paragon options makes them a GoodShepherd, and both courses of action have pros and cons.) Either way, Shepard ends up saving the galaxy.
* In ''VideoGame/TheWitcher'', Geralt of Rivia has seen too much to believe that monsters are always defined by their species. If anyone commits horrible crimes for reasons that are exceptionally stupid, he can threaten to consider them monsters and kill them because he really, really wants to kill bad people. Most are pretty stupid, but a few consider throwing down their arms and going home.
* Prophet Sachary Comstock from ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite'' counts. He convinced everyone in [[FloatingContinent Columbia]] that God told him to build the city as a haven for the chosen people: [[WhiteAngloSaxonProtestant non-Irish white people]] who believe his message that the lesser races are only meant to be used as [[MadeASlave free labor for the chosen few,]] and that a "false shepherd" with [[MarkOfTheBeast an evil mark (AD),]] "will lead [[TheChosenOne the Lamb]] astray."


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* Baron Wulfenbach's modus operandum in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius''; since the aristocracy can't be relied on to develop a decent society, he'll civilize Europa with an iron fist. The main law of his empire is thus: "Don't make me come over there." His son Gil is struck with an epiphany of this, after beating down a thug persistently strong-arming him into returning to his father against Gil's protests.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' is full of classic Dark Shepherd, usually used on civilians who are corrupt but not yet evil. The Batman doesn't claim to be good, he doesn't act good, but he wants everyone to be good. Most common Dark Shepherd scenario: vanishing, leaving a potential villain with food for thought, [[NothingIsScarier but not a scratch on him yet]].
* [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Sister Butch]] of ''WesternAnimation/JohnCallahansQuads''. Her only motivation (read: ''only motivation'') for doing anything in life is her faith, and you'd better believe she'll do anything from ''threaten people with eternal damnation for not donating enough to a charity'' to breaking and entry to [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome taking on {{Satan}} in a wrestling arena]] for that purpose.
* A Book 3 episode of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' has [[spoiler:Katara]] become this when [[spoiler:Zuko joins the group]]. She basically threatens to kill him if she even thinks he's about to go back to his old ways.
** Unalaq from SequelSeries ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' wants to unify the Water Tribes whether they want it or not. That, and he also sets up Tonraq to be banished from the North by destroying the spirit forest so that he could be chieftain instead.
* ''WesternAnimation/LittlestPetShop2012'' has a villainous example: Fisher Biskit considers his AlphaBitch twin daughters Whittany and Brittany to be absolutely rotten people. Due to that, he repeatedly creates [[SecretTest tasks and trials]] in a constant effort to get them to behave more respectfully towards other people and appreciate their kindness. [[StatusQuoIsGod It invariably fails]], causing the opinions of his daughters to sink further each time. This example doubles as HiddenDepths, as he is depicted as a CorruptCorporateExecutive most of the time, but he is shown to truly understand compassion, honesty, and generosity, repaying it when done to him and hoping that someday, his daughters will do the same.