->"''The road to hell is paved with good intentions.''"
-->-- '''Bernard of Clairvaux'''

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[[VisionaryVillain A villain who has an overall goal]] which the heroes [[EvilVirtues can appreciate in principle]], but whose methods of pursuing said goal (such as mass murder) are [[DontShootTheMessage problematic]]; despite any sympathy they may have with his cause, the heroes have no choice but to stop him. Taken to extremes, he may fully believe that UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans. Such an idealistic extremist is likely to be either a TotalitarianUtilitarian or a PrinciplesZealot, depending on whether he's aiming ForHappiness or ForGreatJustice. The most well-written examples of this trope are the kind that the reader/viewer stops just short of agreeing with.

Other times, the villain may be out for simple {{revenge}} against a person or corporation or other entity that has undeniably wronged him. Again, the heroes may sympathize with his plight, but are obliged to stop him because he cares not who gets in the way of his planned revenge. However, the heroes will often investigate the villain's grievance themselves and will complement stopping the villain with taking down the offending party as well.

Either way, it's a common end result of JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope. Their favorite phrase is IDidWhatIHadToDo -- unless they are also the TautologicalTemplar and believe that what they do is good because a good person like them does only good things. They are not afraid to [[MyDeathIsJustTheBeginning sacrifice themselves for the cause]].

Often a [[FallenHero fallen]] WideEyedIdealist that [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope was driven over the edge]], and sometimes a WorthyOpponent or even ReluctantWarrior. The extreme of this is the KnightTemplar who [[VisionaryVillain fully believes that they are in the right]] and the best way to save the world is to [[TheEvilsOfFreeWill remove free will]]. VigilanteMan is a case where the Well-Intentioned Extremist [[MotiveDecay hasn't (yet) descended]] to the point of not caring who gets hurt. Often ends up in rivalries with the KnightInSourArmor. Some of those seeking to bring about a OneWorldOrder to end international strife may count as this.

Contrast with NecessarilyEvil, where the villain in question has a HeelRealization and recognizes that he deserves punishment (of course, he may always choose to just [[IgnoredEpiphany Ignore That Epiphany]]). See also ALighterShadeOfGrey. A staple trope of the MasterComputer [[AIIsACrapshoot gone mad]]. If the positive intention is overthrowing an evil government, the Well Intentioned Extremists will be an example of TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized. If his extremism actually ''succeeds'' in making the world a better place, it's TheExtremistWasRight. This trope is what the SmallStepsHero desperately doesn't want to become.

As this trope often goes hand-in-hand with the FaceHeelTurn, expect spoilers.

[[noreallife]]
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!!Examples:
[[index]]
* WellIntentionedExtremist/AnimeAndManga
* WellIntentionedExtremist/ComicBooks
* WellIntentionedExtremist/FanFic
* WellIntentionedExtremist/{{Film}}
* WellIntentionedExtremist/{{Literature}}
* WellIntentionedExtremist/LiveActionTV
* WellIntentionedExtremist/{{Machinima}}
* WellIntentionedExtremist/{{Music}}
* WellIntentionedExtremist/TabletopGames
* WellIntentionedExtremist/{{Theatre}}
* WellIntentionedExtremist/{{Toys}}
* WellIntentionedExtremist/VideoGames
* WellIntentionedExtremist/VisualNovels
* WellIntentionedExtremist/WebAnimation
* WellIntentionedExtremist/WebComics
* WellIntentionedExtremist/WebOriginal
* WellIntentionedExtremist/WesternAnimation

[[/index]]

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