I have told you all I know... if you have any mercy within you, please, let me die. Sarris:
When I grow weary of the noises you make, you shall die!
Torture. Sure, some characters gloat
until their victims are rescued
. But some gloat and torture at once. And others just get to doing it.
Often shown only by implication
, or in its aftereffects
(which can be nasty
even if the victim survives), for obvious reasons.
In ascending order of reason nastiness, the typical reasons: for information
, for punishment, and for pleasure
. The punishment may, indeed, be for another character to have to watch
or see the results
. But others are possible. A Mad Scientist
may torture to learn about the victim
. Human Sacrifice
may call for a particular and gruesome
death, and if mere death is too good for some criminal (or alleged criminal), he may be tortured to death. If the person wants to break the victim, this may be a way to force him to say that 2 + Torture = 5
, or somehow get the victim to join them
May be a Fate Worse Than Death
, calling for a Mercy Kill
or I Cannot Self-Terminate
when the hero comes upon the victim — the victim is likely to plead for death even if the hero can save him, but the hero is (obviously) prone to override the plea and drag him out of there, if he can. Recovery is likely to be improbably complete
, sometimes, when they are in a great rush and dire need, and there, the effects tend to be rather unrealistic
; in Real Life
, torture leaves physical scars and mental trauma, and tends to have poor results
in terms of getting reliable and accurate information. If the bad guys don't like getting their hands dirty, they are likely to employ a Torture Technician
or Robotic Torture Device
to do this for them.
One motive for Better to Die Than Be Killed
is to avoid this.
Any work that paints The Spanish Inquisition
(or their nearest fantasy analogue) as bad guys will often have them engaging in some form of this on people they suspect to be heretics or worse. This general portrayal of the Inquisition is known as the Black Legend.
Compare No-Holds-Barred Beatdown
. A "light" sci-fi and fantasy equivalent is the Agony Beam
... but if the Agony Beam is set to "Consciousness" expect unpleasant results
. But you never know — sooner or later you may find a victim who likes the frights.
See also To the Pain
, Electric Torture
, Mind Rape
, Room 101
, and We Have Ways of Making You Talk
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Dragon Ball Z:
- Frieza has this method of fighting, goring Krillin (and then flailing his limp body around to cause him even more pain) and brutally strangling and beating Vegeta before he kills him.
- Super Buu is no slouch in this department either, being worse or equal to Frieza in nature. His methods of killing are extremely brutal; he even killed a man by liquifying his own body, forcibly going down a guy's throat, and making him explode him from the inside out. Kid Buu has this style of fighting as well. He was brutally beating and strangling Vegeta.
- Used in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. It wasn't pretty. Ironically, the arc that actually showed the torture made the character performing it far more sympathetic with a well-done Start of Darkness showing how the universe hates her. Shinji Ikari has nothing on Shion Sonozaki.
- Talking about Miyo, what about the people at the orphanage? The anime censored it, the manga on the other hand..
- This trope occurs in Elfen Lied quite often, whether it's from the Ax-Crazy diclonius or the clearly more inhuman humans.
- Berserk's villains, being in a Dung Ages medievalesque Crapsack World, do this a lot, and it gets nasty. Griffith in particular suffers a nasty year-long torture as punishment for having sex with the King's daughter, and Bishop Mozgus crosses the Moral Event Horizon when he has some refugees put through this. Let's not even get into what Emperor Ganishka gets up to.
- Or what Griffith himself does to the Band of the Hawk.
- Especially what he does to Casca. Not only does he rape her right in front of the man she loves (which is traumatic enough already), but because she has the Brand of Sacrifice and is as close as anyone can possibly get to a member of the Godhand (which is closer than Guts himself was able to get to him in the Guardians of Desire arc because of the pain his own Brand was causing him), she is in utterly excruciating agony all the while he's doing this to her. And it's made all the worse by the effect of this horrible act on Guts himself, who is pinned down and completely at his mercy, a situation that is all too familiar to his first traumatic experience, which he's only told Casca about — and the possibility that Griffith may have gleaned this from either or both of them with his newfound powers as a Godhand and is deliberately using this to torture them both.
- That's not even mentioning the sort of things that Griffith is doing to Casca as he is raping her... It can only be described as pure sexual sadism, no more, no less.
- Guts himself. After being broken and turned into a near-soulless husk of pure rage by the horrible events of the Eclipse, he starts sending the pain right back. Knowing that what would definitely kill normal humans only hurts the Apostles, he pulls absolutely no punches. Particularly, the Baron, whom he riddles with crossbow bolts after rendering him crippled and helpless, and the Count, whom he stabs dozens of times in the face until his knife breaks off.
- In Deadman Wonderland, Genkaku does this to Nagi to try to get him to revert back to being Ax-Crazy and so that he'll join the Undertakers. It's shown to have been done mostly in the form of drugs and Mind Rape.
- In the first episode of Samurai Champloo, Mugen and Jin are captured by a corrupt magistrate who has them tortured with various methods over a period of several hours for their (at best very indirect) responsibility for his equally nasty son's death.
- A later episode has a government agent captured by criminals and tortured for an extended period, but essentially tells his captors nothing.
- Any Malomyotismon joke you have becomes a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment when you hear what he said when the dubbers weren't in control. He was not asking Arukenimon if she was afraid, he asked her if the torture hurt, and he pledged to give her a "million years of Hell." He then said very calmly how he would "evaporate that pitiful love Mummymon felt." Evaporation followed. He then declares he will crucify the Digidestined upon the same cross as his minions. Yikes. According to this version, the children were not yelling jobs, but expelling darkness from them. There was a reason this version has never been given to American kids.
- Uchiha Itachi has a power that serves as one of these. Tsukiyomi may appear to be a second-long Mind Rape to those outside, but those experiencing it they're suffering a near-eternity of endless physical and emotional torture. It's enough to leave them catatonic and Itachi doesn't even try to extract information with it; he just wants them out of the way.
- Jasshinism encourages its priests to drag out the suffering of their victims as long as possible before killing them. Experiencing the pain of his dying victim has an almost narcotic effect on Hidan; only when extremely angered or pressed for time will he make their deaths clean.
- Ibiki Morino, the head interrogator in the Konoha Intelligence Corps was subjected to nightmarish torture when he was captured on a mission. The top of his head is just one massive scab with several old scars...from drills, screws, and other implements used on him. He didn't break and escaped.
- In Nightmare Inspector, Chitose who is now the current Hiruko the Baku, was tortured for much of his backstory, for the entertainment of a mysterious group of people.
- Baccano!: Poor, poor Czeslaw Meyer. No wonder the kid's a little paranoid; he's gone through probably the single worst example of Who Wants to Live Forever? this side of I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream.
- Now and Then, Here and There...just, NATHAT. Abelia doing so to Shu is notable in that she's an adult and he's a young boy. You don't see that in media everyday.
- Blade of the Immortal has Hyakurin's torture which included being beaten, stabbed, poked with red-hot spikes, having her fingernails ripped off and her arm broken and being raped almost continuously for up to several days. She later learns that she is pregnant and she doesn't even know which of her attackers was the father.
- Bleach: In his released form, Szayel has the ability to create a small voodoo doll that has his enemy's likeness. Any damage done to the dolls' internal organs, accessed by taking the doll apart (which doesn't happen to the original) removing the organs and then crushing them, is done to the original, debilitating them from the inside. The doll's exterior has some effect on the victim as well, as seen when Ishida felt Szayel scratch and flick his doll's face. Szayel uses the voodoo dolls to sadistically torture Ishida and Renji. He tries to do the same to Mayuri who fakes that he's in pain, having replaced his organs with dummies before encountering Szayel.
- In Sakura Gari Katsuragi tortures Masataka because he's Yandere for Souma who is in love with Masataka. He does so by drugging Masataka after inviting him to his house for tea, tying him up, and then raping him. He follows that by whipping him, beating him up, and sticking a household object up Masataka's anus right after raping him. He then orders Masataka to give up on Souma and submerges his hand in boiling hot tea and Masataka retaliates by throwing the tea in Katsuragi's eyes, which allows him to escape.
- Also, almost every lover of either sex Souma takes in the Saiki household has been through this at the hands of Sakurako, his Yandere sister. Who not only tortures them, but also takes pictures of it for her amusement. The most notorious victims are Masataka (whom she ties up and feeds forcefully, while telling him to go away), Terashima (whose drawing hand she crushes, right before tossing him down a flight of stairs), and a young and pretty maid whom she got Bound and Gagged and savagely beat up, causing her to lose Souma's baby that she was pregnant with.)
- Ashley does this to Shusei in episode 10 of Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru via sticking long thin needles in a Voodoo Doll of Shusei which makes Shusei bleed and scream in agony.
- Oto x Maho features Kanata breaking Jou's arm, just to confiscate some pictures. Based on the class's reaction to the torture, Kanata performing this kind of torture is quite common.
- In Mirai Nikki Minene gets tortured by Twelth for information who pulls her bad eye out of her head.
- Most of what Greg does to Jeremy in A Cruel God Reigns mixed in with a lot of Mind Rape.
- L of Death Note occasionally employs this technique as part of his cold-blooded approach to investigation, though situations tend to be mostly ambiguous; the most blatant example, of course, is his treatment of Misa, which is far less than kind.
: (to Light)
I won't tell them anything, even if they torture me.
- Vincent from Pandora Hearts has been known to use this technique (scissors are usually involved) both as a way to get information and to get out of a bad mood. He is very good at it.
- In Attack on Titan, Minister Nick is tortured to try to get him to reveal Eren's location (he doesn't break). Later, Hanji and Levi do the same to the people who tortured him, partly for information, and partly as revenge. There's some Black Comedy in there too, when Hanji admits she doesn't really know how to torture, and the victim screams that she's supposed to ask questions before pulling the fingernails off.
- Tokyo Ghoul features several graphic scenes of torture throughout the series. Torture Technician Yamori and Psychopathic Manchild Juuzou both became warped individuals as a result of extensive torture in their pasts, and are prime examples of how Being Tortured Makes You Evil. But torture becomes a key plot point when Yamori manages to catch gentle and idealistic protagonist Kaneki Ken, who happens to possess a very powerful Healing Factor. Several chapters of graphic torture later, Kaneki is forced to abandon his kindness and turn on Yamori to save his own life. He emerges from over a week of torture a changed person, and is shown to be suffering serious psychological problems as a direct result.
- Rico from Gunslinger Girl is prone to this. Rico is a preteen girl who's also The Pollyanna of the group which makes her mercilessly beating full-grown adults to a bloody pulp the more eery.
- Scratch from We're Alive locks Burt up for months, starves him half to death, and finally gets fed up and destroys Shirley in front of him and then cuts off him trigger finger.
- In IDW Transformers, it's the purpose of the Decepticon Justice Division to locate and torture Decepticons who frustrate Megatron's goals, for the sole reason of making sure other hesitant 'cons fear repercussions from them enough to stay on the straight. And that's bad, but it's even worse when it's obvious that they care little for the Cause and mostly just get off on torturing people...or giant robots... whatever.
- In Kick-Ass, Dave is tortured through testicular electrocution, with his balls hooked up to a car battery, mainly for Red Mist's pleasure, because he knew Dave knew nothing.
- The Crime Doctor in The DCU Infinite Crisis miniseries Villains United.
- Chang Tzu in The DCU Outsiders tortured Captain Boomerang to force him to move at superspeed and let him get a reading (leaving him unable to stand) and started to vivisect the Black Queen (without, needless to say, anesthesia.)
- Even Ray Palmer (Yes, The Atom) gets in on the action in Justice League: Cry for Justice. See the quote in that page for the details of how he tortured one villain.
- The Punisher commonly uses this to extract information he needs, though he recognizes that it doesn't always take. He also tries not to drag it out, since he prefers his revenge cold.
- One memorable storyline in The Punisher MAX has Frank fighting European sex slavers. The evil they deal in makes him snap, with one book beginning with him reading up on human anatomy and ending with one of the ringleaders being left to talk or die, as his intestines are hanging above looped around a tree.
- Batman villain Roman Sionis - better known as Black Mask. It seems to be his hobby.
- The Reaver Cleaver from Preacher liked to chop off bits of his victims and send them to loved ones before killing them. His last victim survived, albeit without a face. Or a scrotum.
- Like in the film mentioned below, V from V for Vendetta starves and tortures his sidekick Evey for an indeterminate amount of time in order to "free" her, even if it meant driving her insane. It would be quite the What the Hell, Hero? moment if V were meant to be a hero in the comic.
- Sin City: The Sociopathic Hero Marv is really fond of torture, but only towards bad guys. Examples include:
- An unspeakably horrible example occurs in A History of Violence. Tom, the main character, and a friend robbed and murdered a group of New York gangsters when they were teenagers, partly as payback for the murder of the friend's brother. The friend is found out later, though, and we see him in a room with a hitman holding a hatchet. Tom has to make a run for it and change his name. Twenty years later, they catch up to him...and he learns that his friend is still alive. When you see what he looks like, you'll wish you hadn't.
- In a subversion of standard hero practice, when the friend begs for a Mercy Kill from Tom, he complies.
- Dick Grayson inflicts horrible torture and mutilation on Carrie in the finale of The Dark Knight Strikes Again.
- Subverted in Astérix: in the first tome, the Romans tie Getafix to a table and tickle his foot for hours, and Getafix doesn't even break a laugh. Later, they threaten to torture Asterix to force Getafix to prepare his magical potion: both Asterix and Getafix say that there is no way they are going to do it, but as soon as he starts to be tied to the table, Asterix starts to beg for mercy and Getafix decides to do what the Romans say. This is all a way for the Gauls to play the Romans like fools.
- It seems that to be a practitioner of The Dark Side in the Star Wars universe, you have to love torture. (Indeed, according to at least one RPG sourcebook, to become a Sith Lord you had to have endured unimaginable pains.) Palpatine, Count Dooku, Aleema and Satal Keto, and Asajj Ventress are some of the most sadistic examples. Sometimes it was done for information, sometimes for punishment, and often for pleasure.
- The Red Skull from the Marvel Universe loves torturing people. His second-in-command Crossbones probably enjoys torturing people even more.
- Batman regularly walks into Arkham Asylum and breaks peoples' bones; not because they know something, oh no, because they might know something. (Depending on the Writer. As always in comics.)
- Diabolik started out using this for interrogation. He currently uses realistic Truth Serums, but if you're either immune or allergic to it he'll first threaten you with torture... And then do it if you're stupid enough to not talk: torture may be unreliable, but if he has no choice...
- In Death Of The Family, Batman finds an audio tape that has Joker burning Alfred's eyes with ammonia. Batman is not pleased.
- X-23's treatment at the hands of the Facility falls into this. Among the highlights: Her Healing Factor was forcibly activated by exposing her to lethal radiation at age seven and her claws were removed one at a time to be coated in adamantium at the same age while she was wide awake, note while the process of conditioning her to respond to the Trigger Scent involved electrocution and near-drowning. When Laura is later recaptured by her abusive ex-handler Kimura, she goes to work on her with a chainsaw for being a "bad girl." Good Thing You Can Heal...
- As a trained assassin and spy, Laura herself isn't exactly squeamish about using the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique herself, and has been shown to torture mooks for information, much to the shock of her teammates.
- After monster hunter Robert Hellsgaard has taken out Morbius the Living Vampire with a burst of pure sunlight, he tells his henchmen, "Bring the good doctor. I will like to torture him."
- The Radix: Adriana Borgia (a descendant of 'that' Borgias) tortures Edgar Wurm. The scene becomes more creepy in hindsight, when we find out she was his daughter and knew it.
- In the Hurog duology, there is a literal example, where the torturer is just doing his job, with no emotional involvement whatsoever. His son, who is a bit more sensitive about the whole thing, doesn't want to follow in his footsteps and leaves the room, which means he survives when the torture-victim kills the torturer and escapes.
- The Reynard Cycle: Duke Nobel threatens to subject Hermeline to this in order to get Reynard to comply with him in Reynard the Fox. Given the severity of the crime (harming a priestess is a crime punishable by death no matter who you are), it's unclear whether or not he would have gone through with it.
- Ghul, a Glyconese Torture Technician, plans to make Reynard suffer very slowly before killing him.
- Transition has a torturer's POV, in which he describes, among other things, his favorite methods, the importance of simply scaring people into talking, and the need to inflict a minimum amount of pain so that the agency he works for will remain feared. Don't worry: he gets his.
- In the Gary Jennings novel The Journeyer, set in 12th-century China, torture is a trade. The royal torture artist is called "The Tickler" (due to the words for "torture" and "tickle" sounding very close in Chinese) and he has apprentices.
- In Micah E. F. Martin's short story "The Canticle", most of the cast are members of an inquisitorial sect. Naturally, this comes up often.
- In the Kushiels Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey, the protagonist, Phedre, is a true masochist and craves and enjoys pain, so normal BDSM torture occurs quite often. However, there is one scene in which Melisande tortures Phedre for sheer pleasure, and after a brief part of the scene is shown, we're treated to a literary Scream Discretion Shot.
- Dan Abnett has used this in various Warhammer 40,000 novels.
- In Xenos, Eisenhorn is captured and tortured by a Chaos cult. They demonstrate the techniques with their threats, including the promise he will never smile again — and the damage to his nerves is so extensive that he never will.
- In Malleus, Eisenhorn is going to be "questioned" — he knows he will not survive. His friends stage a rescue.
- In Brothers of the Snake, the Town with a Dark Secret had lured Space Marines to capture and sacrifice one of them. They are found after the Marine has nearly been tortured to death.
- In the Gaunt's Ghosts novel Only in Death, the discovered Blood Pact camp holds many prisoners who have been gruesomely tortured; Mkoll Mercy Kills them. Until he recognizes Gaunt from an old scar.
- In First & Only, Heldane tortures Rawne. We see it exclusively from the eyes of the rescue team, who hear his screams.
- In Honour Guard, Pater Sin tortures Yael to death as a sacrifice to his Chaos cult.
- In Necropolis, the Back Story between Gaunt and Kowle is that Gaunt had him transferred from the front after Kowle had a trooper flogged to death for improper uniform.
- In Aaron Allston's Galatea in 2-D, after the villain sends magically animated paintings after him to kill him, the hero tracks them down and tortures one in the front of the other to get information. Produces ghastly guilt; after defeating the villain, the hero tells them they can leave safely if they don't bother him again.
- In Spider Robinson's Very Bad Deaths, Alan is a wealthy hypersadist. Alan's repertoire includes drugs to enhance pain, drugs to prevent his victims from passing out, a perfect painkiller that lets him break every bone in someone's body then allows them to contemplate the excruciating pain they're about to experience. He boasts at one point that he kept someone dying horribly for 22 days.
- In Lois McMaster Bujold's The Vor Game, General Metzov's Back Story included torturing a prisoner to death.
- In Mirror Dance, Baron Ryoval tortures Mark in Revenge for what Miles did to him — not knowing, or caring, that it is Mark rather than Miles.
- In Borders of Infinity, the Cetagandan prison camp that Miles has infiltrated is full of subtle and not-so-subtle tortures designed to break the prisoners' will, and every one of these tortures abides by the letter to interplanetary treaties on how to treat prisoners of war.
- Access to trained medical personnel? Some of the prisoners are med-techs. They have no equipment, but they're medtechs.
- Sufficient lighting? It's on all the time.
- No solitary confinement? No individual cells at all.
- And so on.
- Konstantin Bothari, appearing in Shards of Honor, Barrayar and The Warrior's Apprentice, is a mentally ill soldier with a troubled past, and used as a torturer/rapist by a sadistic admiral. Cordelia (as a prisoner of war) observes that "there are two victims in this room".
- In The Warrior's Apprentice, Miles orders Bothari (then his bodyguard) to interrogate a prisoner, inadvertently causing Bothari to lose control and torture the prisoner to death.
- Invoked in G. K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday
Now listen to me. I like you. The consequence is that it would annoy me for just about two and a half minutes if I heard that you had died in torments. Well, if you ever tell the police or any human soul about us, I shall have that two and a half minutes of discomfort. On your discomfort I will not dwell. Good day. Mind the step.
- In Diana Gabaldon's Outlander, Col. Jack Randall tortures Jamie Fraser, shattering his hand and raping him. Earlier in the story, Randall had whipped Jamie twice in a week, so that he almost died. (His manner is disturbingly professional throughout, and his attentions, even when they aren't explicitly violent, are creepy. Jamie never physically recovers complete use of his hand, and keeps the scars through the series.)
- In Robert A. Heinlein's If This Goes On..., Johnny is captured and tortured by the authorities of the Corrupt Church. Later, when he is offered a position as assassin (to ensure he knows how serious his commitment must be), they point out that he has at least one useful qualification for it — they know that if the enemy catches him and puts him to the Question, he won't crack.
- Later in the novella, we learn that La Résistance has a ready source of suicide agents: men whose wives have been tortured by the secret police.
- In Robin Hobb's Royal Assassin, Fitz is subjected to torture. There are also suggestions that the Fool may have been tortured earlier in the same book.
- And then, at the end of the second series starring Fitz, (the Fool is physically and psychologically broken by a particularly horrific and extended series of torture, which included being flayed alive. Poor Fool).
- Talia was tortured in Arrows Fall by Mercedes Lackey. (Spoilered for gory details) Talia is raped repeatedly, burned, branded by Hulda's magic, and has her feet crushed. She was portrayed with fairly realistic mental and emotional symptoms after she is finally rescued, and needs the help of another Mind Healer to block the emotional pain. Talia is one of the few raped women who wasn't immediately cured by True Love. Bonus points to Lackey for that.
- Derry is tortured by Wencit and Rhydon in High Deryni. In The King's Justice, after Duncan is captured at Dorna, Loris and Gorony keep him drugged with merasha (the side effects are themselves very unpleasant) and torture him for hours, including multiple whippings and pulling out all his nails.
- In the Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series, Stephen Maturin is tortured by French officers in Mahon. Details are sparse: his fingernails were pulled out among other things (the damage to his hands remains throughout the rest of the series, impacting his musical skill), but not only did he not break, even to revealing his nationality, he steals important papers while he is being rescued.
- In J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter:
- The Cruciatus Curse. Repeated attacks drove Neville's parents insane, as revealed in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, then shown in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
- The Cruciatus Curse has been used on about half of the main characters in the series, Harry and Hermione probably being the most notable (with thanks to Voldemort and Bellatrix, respectively). Also, during the peak of Voldemort's reign, Hogwarts students were actually being forced by the Carrows to perform this curse on one another. Yeeps.
- Harry suffers this at the end of Book 4 when Voldermort ties him a gravestone and tortures him repeatedly while the death eaters watch.
- The Cruciatus Curse, a supreme form of torture such that no character has ever been shown withstanding it, seems to be definitively cold-blooded; it works best when the caster is in control, or who delights in the pain caused, whereas casting it out of spite or righteous anger is far less effective. Although, that said, it works just fine for Harry in Book 7 on Carrow because he "really means it".
- In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dolores Umbridge magically forces Harry to carve the words "I must not tell lies" onto the back of his hand through writing the line with a magic quill that cuts the line into his skin as he writes, pulling his blood out through the wounds and depositing it on the paper. By the end of the book, he's had to write "I must not tell lies" so many times that his hand is permanently scarred with it.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has Bellatrix torturing Hermione with a combination of the Cruciatus Curse and a knife for information. She seems rather fond of this—as Dumbledore says, she "plays with her food before she eats it". The film managed to make this even worse by having Bellatrix carve the word "mudblood" into Hermione's arm with her knife.
- In J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, when Pippin looks into the palantír, Sauron gives orders for him to be brought to Mordor rather than perform the on-the-spot Mind Probe that he could have done. Gandalf explains that Sauron wished to deal with Pippin himself — slowly. Brrrrrr...
- He also tortured Thráin (Thorin's father) while he had him prisoner in the Back Story to The Hobbit, and Gollum in the Back Story to The Lord of the Rings (the latter was how Sauron and his minions learned that the Ring was loose in Middle-Earth). And that's the named victims.
- He also tortured Celebrimbor (the chief maker of the Rings of Power) to death in an attempt to get him to tell where the Rings were. Then he used Celebrimbor's body as a flag when he invaded Eregion.
- Poor Frodo in the tower of Cirith Ungol. What exactly happened to him was never specified, but odds are it wasn't good.
- In J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, Maedhros is tortured when Morgoth captures him. Enough that he begs for death when Fingon tries to rescue him and looks like he won't succeed.
- While Húrin Thalion isn't physically harmed, he's still horrifically tortured.
- And in the "Lay of Leithian" when Sauron captures Beren, Finrod, and their ten followers, he has them "chained in chains that eat the flesh." And then has a demonic wolf eat them, one by one...
- In the Sherlock Holmes story "The Crooked Man" a soldier had been betrayed to the enemy by his rival in love and suffered horrific tortures.
- Coralyn in The Legendsong Saga encourages and makes extensive use of this practice, her son, Kalide, particularly enjoys it and is infamous for his 'skill'. He tends to be less cold-blooded about it, frequently becoming frustrated and losing control; getting him in trouble with Coralyn for causing excessive damage.
- Bleyd and Glynn are both on the receiving end from Kalide.
- Myrmidons fall into a coma to avoid it, requiring the trigger word within three days to waken them, or they die.
- Parodied in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy where a Vogon captian tortures Arthur and Ford with bad poetry
- It makes more sense when you realize that in the Hitchhiker's universe, Vogon poetry is capable of inflicting actual pain and suffering on its listeners. Vogons themselves are apparently immune to the effects.
- In Patricia C. Wrede's Talking to Dragons, one fire-witch tortured people to power her magic.
- Patrick Bateman from American Psycho is a master of this trope, creating some of the most sickening and gruesome tortures ever put to print. He even keeps his victims alive longer just so they can experience more pain.
- JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood has Phury — who, owing to a fucked-up mental state, enjoys taking a hammer and chisels to his enemies' joints and carving interesting shapes on their faces.
- The First Law trilogy features Deadpan Snarker Sand dan Glokta, an Inquisitor who does his job frequently and well. Since he was tortured horrifically for two years before taking up his current job and lives in constant pain, he really doesn't care about the agony he inflicts on others. He chops off, smashes and burns sensitive body parts several times in each book. Generally, this is done for information, but at other times he gets innocents to confess to crimes they never committed, after being ordered explicitly to do so. He also ends up torturing Arch Lector Sult for the amusement of both himself and Salem Rews, though the man certainly deserved it.
- In William King's Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf novel Ragnar's Claw, the enslaved convicts are kept in line with the lash or inquisitors' interrogation machines.
- In Wolfblade, Ragnor passes by where a prisoner is being questioned and feels rather queasy about it. When he realizes that the other Space Wolves, who have been on Terra longer, feel no misgivings at all about it, he is uneasy about the whole affair.
- Invoked in C. S. Lewis's The Horse and His Boy.
- A Song of Ice and Fire has the character of the Tickler, one of Gregor Clegane's merry band of psychopaths. He's first seen torturing civilians for information, and it's implied that he does very little else.
- There is also Ramsay Bolton, who likes to torture any living being, especially if said living being is a female. He also enjoys torturing the second Reek.
- In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 (noticing a theme yet?) Ultramarines novel Nightbringer, practiced extensively by the Dark Eldar and by de Valtos. When they raid de Valtos's estate, they find Solena Vergen's corpse and Taryn Honan, still alive and asking for death; they had outlived their usefulness.
- In Dead Sky Black Sun, the captured Space Marines are handed over to torturers.
- In The Killing Ground, the Grey Knight, Leodegarius, clearly disbelieves in Uriel's protests of innocence and burns him to secure his compliance with the ordeals to test him for Chaos taint. (Once they pass the first ordeal, a mind probe, Leodegarius is far more conciliatory.)
- In George Orwell's novel 1984, prolonged Cold-Blooded Torture of prisoners is standard practice at the Ministry of Love.
- In the first book of the Warchild Series, Big Bad Falcone tortures Jos at the climax. Because he is also the man who raped and abused Jos as a child, this scene is undoubtedly a source of terror for both the protagonist and the reader.
- In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 Blood Angels novel Deus Encarmine, the Word Bearers use this to make a sacrifice. Then, when one of them is captured, Inquisitor Stele uses it on him, culminating in a Mind Rape.
- In Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind, when Kvothe finds the massacre, he hears the killers talk; Lord Haliax rebukes Cinder for not killing cleanly.
- The Executioner. Being turned into a "turkey" is the fate of several people who anger The Mafia, usually leaving the protagonist Mack Bolan to inflict the Mercy Kill. Such torture is inflicted by specialists such as Morally Ambiguous Doctorate "Fat Sal", who tortured undercover Federal agent Georgette Chebleu. While Bolan is not into torture himself, he does blow Sal's kneecaps off on this occasion before executing him.
- At one point in Altered Carbon Takeshi Kovacs is captured and loaded into a VR torture program. This allows his captors to torture him in the body of a woman, which is more vulnerable to their techniques, as well as torture him to death before starting again in a fresh virtual body. Also, the accelerated time in VR means that they can subject him to several days of torture in only a few minutes.
- Torture of various forms crops up a several times in the sequel Broken Angels. The most notable are:
- The company goon whose cortical stack Kovacs captures. He sets him up in a bare-bones VR to interrogate him, but doesn't have the time or inclination to bother with the normal torture. So he just threatens to leave the guy there. In the VR that's just an empty room on an endless gray plane, with nothing to do whatsoever. And the hardware for the VR is a low power unit in a random location running on a high time ratio. So by the time the guy would be found (if ever) he would have spent the equivalent of several hundred years in an empty room with nothing to do and no way to even kill himself. Kovacs is confident that the goon would be utterly insane before the end. Naturally the guy cracks and tells Kovaks what he wants to know.
- One character is subjected to the Wedge punishment for traitors; a machine designed to slowly torture them to death over the course of a day. While the machine is busy flaying skin, breaking bones and cracking teeth for the enjoyment of the watching crowd, it's also carefully administering drugs and medical attention to ensure that the subject is alive and conscious for as much of the ordeal as possible.
- In the book Messiah by Boris Starling, the police are chasing a serial killer who believes himself to be Christ and is gathering apostles by murdering people by the names of James, Peter, Thomas, etc, based on how the apostle with the matching name is said to have died. One gruesome murder consists of the victim being flayed alive - while kept upside down in order to stay conscious for as long as possible.
- In Oath of Gold, the third novel of The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon, the paladin buys the freedom of the lost king by enduring days of torture at the hands of priests of Liart, the god of torment.
- In The Sword of Truth, this is the function of the Mord-Sith. Virtually all villains in the series demonstrate a fondness for torture, although at one point the "good guys" have an enemy soldier tortured to death after he gives them the information.
- In Edgar Rice Burroughs's A Princess of Mars, the Green Martians are fond of this. In Sola's Back Story, they tortured her mother in an attempt to learn who her father had been.
- In A Fighting Man of Mars, Tan Hadron is threatened with this twice.
- The Cable Street Particulars are ... particular in this regard in Terry Pratchett's Night Watch. When a building full of their victims is found, Vimes goes to each cell to give what help he can. He also has a knife with him, for the same reason. Think about that.
- In Susan Matthews's novel Exchange of Hostages, a doctor is drafted into service as an official torturer of the state. He is squicked to discover that he enjoys it - a lot.
- Walter Moers's book Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures has General Tictoc, the love of his life — a pimped-out Iron Maiden — and Rala, the main character's love interest.
- In The Dresden Files book Turn Coat, the skinwalker tortures Thomas by peeling strips of skin off and waiting for them to grow back. Once he's so low on vamp energy that he's about to die, it feeds him someone, who, given his current state, he's guaranteed to kill. Then it starts the process over. By the time Harry gets him back, Thomas is so completely broken that he's stopped caring about much of anything.
- Harry undergoes a milder version himself in Dead Beat at the hands of Cassius, who wanted revenge for Harry's Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique last time they met. It's mentioned three books later that he still has scars from having his stomach beaten with a chain for who knows how long.
- Yeah, the knife cutting into his abdominal wall had nothing to do with that.
- This trope barely covers what Mab did to the traitorous winter knight, from Summer Knight until Harry killed in Changes, which was roughly 6 years later
- Harry himself does this in White Night to one of a group of ghouls who raped, killed, and partially ate two teenage Wardens-in-training. He blasts a hole in the desert sand, dumps the ghoul in, melts the sand around it, then leaves a trail of orange juice from the ghoul to a nest of fire ants. He does Mercy Kill the ghoul eventually at the behest of Ramirez, but still, DAMN.
- Heavily implied that Lily was tortured by Maeve and Lloyd for an unknown amount of time for the amusement of the Winter Court
- The Yuuzhan Vong torture all the time, but as they attach spiritual significance to pain in all its forms, they're generally not "Cold-blooded" about it. (In fact, it's implied that they see torturing someone to death as being more merciful than straight-up killing them, as it gives them the chance to connect with the gods before they die. Yes, this civilization is massively screwed up. However did you guess?)
- In the Dale Brown novels, David Luger was tortured by his Soviet captors as part of his brainwashing. Wings of Fire has some redshirts tortured to death by the Libyans. Executive Intent has Wayne Macomber being badly beaten by GRU agents.
- Considering that it's the story of a professional torturer, there is surprisingly little of this trope in Book of the New Sun. (The narrator actually mentions that it isn't a book for people who enjoy reading about such things.) We do see a few torture-executions and one very horrible device, the Revolutionary: a Mind Rape device whose victims become their own worst enemy, to the point where they will tear off their own eyelids because they hate themselves so much.
- If it wasn't already obvious that Colonel Williams from Tranquilium was an antihero, there is a brief, but graphic description of how he had his men torture a key Soviet spy to death over a long period of time, drawing out enough information out of him to take down a huge part of the Soviet intelligence network in Tranquilium. Ofcourse, the Soviets try this on Gleb too, but it's rather subtler as they were trying to break his spirit and recruit him.
- Elric's torturer Doctor Jest gets his hands on some spies early in the series. It's a toss-up which is worse: the Doctor's gleeful professionalism, Elric's bored demeanor, or author Michael Moorcock's discrete yet horrifying references to the proceedings...
- Happens to Corum and the hands of Glandyth in one of his other series.
- In the Farsala Trilogy, Garren orders this done to Kavi. What makes it particularly horrifying is that, as far as torture goes, it's relatively tame, but relentless.
- Richard Marcinko is funny about this. On the one hand he sees torture as a necessary evil in obtaining information when lives are on the line. On the other hand, he despises those who go beyond the call of duty and enjoy it. In his post 9/11 novel he has a female soldier absolutely butcher a terrorist to death, however he taped the orders to do whatever it takes from the President and uses it as blackmail.
- Cree Bega, The Dragon in The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara, is fond of doing this. He and his Mwellrets eagerly torture the seer Ryer Ord Star, stripping, beating, cutting, and (possibly) raping her. He later tells her friend Ahren all about it.
- In Andy Hoare's White Scars novel Hunt for Voldorius, how the Alpha Legion tries to secure Malya's compliance.
- In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "A Witch Shall Be Born" Salome subjects her sister to this after usurping her throne, starting with rape; when physical pain no longer hurts her, she opts to demonstrate her Revenge by Proxy.
- In Perry Rhodan, the Empire of Arkon has been known to combine this with capital punishment in the form of the so-called "infinite" death penalty, which involves the condemned being repeatedly executed and promptly revived again for another round until the reanimation attempts finally fail for good. During some of the Empire's more decadent periods, this has been used as a form of public entertainment.
- In People of the Book, Reuben aka Renato, a converted Jew, is tortured to death for "Judaizing", trying to convert a Christian woman into a Jew.
- In Philip Kerr's The Second Angel, Prevezer is forced to do this to Gates and Dallas by Rimmer, under threat of death. Even though it doesn't go into explicit detail as to exactly what's happening to Dallas and Gates inside the Simworld, we're probably better off not knowing.
- In Blood of the Mantis, the Ants torture Sperra. Particularly cold-blooded in that they found her side innocent and show no remorse.
- The Empire does it throughout the series.
- In Stephen Hunt's The Court of the Air, Molly suffers this to control the Hexamachine through her.
- In The Rise of the Iron Moon, Molly and Coppertracks are subjected to this for scientific purposes.
- The In Death series: David Palmer from Midnight in Death has done this to his victims and so... clinically.
- Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: The Vigilantes have inflicted this on some villains, like John Chai from Vendetta and Karl Woodley from The Jury. It's okay, because those villains had it coming to them!
- Animorphs has a book where Tobias is captured by a sadistic human-controller named Taylor and tortured with an Agony Beam.
- In Teresa Frohock's Miserere: An Autumn Tale, Catarina did this to Lucian, laming him.
- The torture in later chapters of Count and Countess is calculated, methodical, and occasionally hard to read.
- Dark Future's Church Of Joseph engages in this in order to spill blood to hasten the coming of the Dark Ones. Seth deliberately pushes resettlers from their vehicles in Route 666, has Josephites flagellate themselves to death and Jesuit commandos crucified and kept alive with occasional doses of water in Krokodil Tears, in order that their deaths are prolonged to make them better food for the Dark Ones.
- In Gene Stratton Porter's Freckles, Black Jack agreed that Wessner can kill Freckles however he pleases, but object to watching.
We agreed to take out these trees and leave him for you to dispose of whatever way you please, provided you shut him up eternally on this deal. But I'll not see a tied man tormented by a fellow that he can lick up the ground with, loose, and that's flat. It raises my gorge to think what he'll get when we're gone, but you needn't think you're free to begin before.
- In Poul Anderson's "A World Called Maanerek", the Hegemony ship, having suffered too many discipline problems, had taken over part of a planet and let the men abuse the men and children there, and rape the women, freely to release their pent-up aggression.
- Several characters are subjected to this in Mockingjay including Johanna Mason, Annie Cresta and Peeta Mellark.
- The computer SIM, in Galaxy of Fear, can't use conventional tortures and has to get creative - but it is called torture, several times. This is done partially to get something equivalent to a Restraining Bolt removed, partly for fun - as soon as someone else undoes that, they start getting put through the same thing.
was a brilliant computer programmer, but not a very good soldier. Especially since I've kept him trapped in this room for hours, turning the lights on and off, raising the heat to the boiling point, then letting the room nearly freeze over. In between, I'd send crab droids
in to hunt him."
- The Firebird Trilogy
- The dendric striker is used once on a mook who had failed his mission and once on a prisoner who the Shuhr had no more need for and wanted to make a point with.
"It causes all the central motor neurons to fire. Every muscle contracts, every synapse sparks as if it were insane. It will tear your muscles from the bones, and eventually stop your breathing . . . but it leaves sensory nerves intact to the very end."
- The worst of the Netaian execution methods fall under this, too. There's the D-wave rifles, which disrupt and then destroy nerve cells, crazing the victim with pain. Firebird's sister intended to execute her using it under vigilante "justice." And then there's lustration, which is when super-heated plates are set at the end of the prisoner's extremities and very slowly moved inwards, vaporizing flesh and bone but leaving the victim alive until the plates reach the torso. Firebird was sentenced to die via this method.
- In Andre Norton's Catseye, Dragur observes that only the unimaginative resort to this, since a man will say anything to stop the pain.
- In Andre Norton's Storm Over Warlock, the Throg threatens Shann with this to get him to make a broadcast and lure a ship in, so that it can be disposed of, preventing news from getting back. He does make the broadcast, and gives the warning cryptically, so it's only when the ship veers off that they drag him off for it. They strap him to a frame so that arrivals will see him and be warned. When a counter-attack comes, the leader appears to ponder whether to drag him with them so that The Promise to do this can be fulfill. Thorvald, arriving to cut him loose, looks anxiously over him to see if he's hurt, and Shann assures him that they arrived soon enough.
- In Andre Norton's The Zero Stone, Jern arrived home to find his father dead, bound to his chair with ropes that are covered with blood — in a Ransacked Room.
- Torture of a rather Pavlovian nature makes up the backbone of A Clockwork Orange's second act, where Villain Protagonist Alex is "cured" of his criminal impulses by being forcibly drugged and brainwashed to become violently ill when he thinks of crime. Of course, this process is pretty nasty, and the resulting miserable helplessness is even worse, eventually leading him to attempt suicide.
Alex: Stop it, stop it, stop it. Oh, I've had enough. It's not fair, you vonny sods!
Dr. Brodsky: First class. You're doing really well. Just one more and then we're finished...
: Stop! Stop, you grahzny disgusting sods
. It's a sin, that's what it is, a filthy unforgivable sin, you bratchnies!
- The death penalty in Frostflower and Thorn is a form of this, and Frostflower herself experiences liberal amounts of torture when questioned about the identity of her "stolen" child's parents. While the priestly family stand singing hymns around the altar she is being tortured on.
- In The Red Vixen Adventures, pirate turned bodyguard Alinadar is captured by her old pirate commander and has her entire pelt shaved off and left bound outside in the cold rain to die of hypothermia.
- The Daniel Faust series:
- Torture — and making suspected troublemakers watch, to teach them a lesson — is Nicky Agnelli's preferred way of dealing with traitors. Juliette and Justine, his torture technicians, refer to the act as "our favorite game: attitude adjustment!"
- Caitlin grants Carl Holt a swift death, because he's mortally wounded, in shock, and torturing him "wouldn't have been any fun." His partner Alvin, on the other hand, isn't so lucky. Given some of Caitlin's remarks, she enjoys torture as a recreational pastime and according to Nicky, she tortured an angel she captured until its mind shattered.
- When Daniel first meets Naavarasi, she's torturing a food critic who panned her restaurant. It reads like she's acting more out of petty spite than actual sadism.
- In Vampire Academy, Victor Dashkov has a Torture Technician subject Lissa to it in order to make her heal his disease. He calmly watches in the process. The Torture Technician is an air user who uses air to pressure her skull, smother her, and leave her gasping for air.
- In Flash Gordon, Aura starts to torture Flash for refusing her. Fortunately for him, she's enough in love to freak out at the actual pain.
- After the large majority of Ring of Honor's roster was chased off by a weed whacker wielding Wife Beater after Arena Warfare, the CZW wrestlers tortured the one who did not get away, BJ Whitmer. Then CZW owner John Zandig threatened to break Whitmer's neck as his roster destroyed the ROH ring.
- Haine inflicts this on both Marcus and Sylvestre in Yu-Gi-Oh! East Academy. Never mind the Shadow Game, the deck he uses is essentially made as a collection of his favorite torture devices.
- Though we don't see it on-screen in The Order of the Stick, Redcloak tortures O-Chul for months in order to get information that he knows the paladin does not have, leading to massive scarring. He continues merely as a pretense to convince his boss Xykon that they should stay in the city. It doesn't work out for him.
- And now it has been shown on-screen that Tarquin (Elan's father and General-in-chief of the Empire of Blood) is definitely not above torturing women until they agree to marry him...*shudder*
- In Sluggy Freelance villains have tried this on Torg a couple times. They just never seem to get it quite right.
- Bun-Bun tries it after a fashion in this strip.
- In Goblins Dellyn Goblinslayer does "experiments" on monsters. It becomes clear however, that he does it mostly for pleasure, with the majority of information learned being new methods of causing pain in each race. But seeing as they're "evil monsters", all the "good" races think it's just.
- Perhaps the most chilling example was Kin, the Yuan-ti that Goblinslayer kept as a "pet". He used her to satisfy all of his carnal and sadistic urges at the same time. This was enough to turn Minmax, who was normally Dellyn's biggest fan, against him.
- Knight Templar Kore is an exceptionally brutal torturer. After capturing Chief, he began to torture him so that his screams of pain would draw the other goblins back, first using holy magic to heal him from the near fatal injury he'd caused capturing him, and then brutally mauling the goblin's body with his axe, including severing an ear and a hand. And the injuries he caused killed him soon after the torture stopped.
- The Asperpedia Four are put through this as their death sentence in Sonichu. Alec, the creator of Asperchu, gets the ten-button electric chair for not portraying Chris-Chan's characters "correctly", Sean, the creator of Moon-Pals, gets shot to death by three characters presumably for portraying them as stoners. Mao, the host of Asperpedia, gets ripped apart using psychic powers. Evan, the creator of Simonchu and whom Chris-Chan had shamelessly and imfamously stolen a character from, gets brutally drilled apart by a small child and then finished by the child and her father. This is from a webcomic that is supposedly meant for children.
- Bob and George: Here and here.
- Wapsi Square: The golem girls are victims of this in the backstory
- When a particularly vile character in Pibgorn learns that the title character can talk and feel pain, obviously this is the method used to explore that topic further.
- Exterminatus Now: First, the team will have Lothar cut your balls off. Then, you'll talk. And no, they didn't get that the wrong way around.
- Black Mage of 8-Bit Theater is of the Type 3 variety. While he mostly just enjoys killing, he sometimes takes his time, like with his blind brother. Said brother wasn't blind at first.
- In Minion Comics, Spencer and Dingus are allowed to pick their torture, with options ranging from "The Spiky Thing" to "The Shocker" to a George Lopez comedy special.
- Remus's Ryan Davidson has been on the receiving end of this from Williams.
- In Tales of the Questor, Nessie suffered it. Perhaps a less severe form that most, but she's only a little girl.
- In The Gamers Alliance, The Church of the Memory of Cardia and the Clergy of Mardük are fond of using cold-blooded torture on their captives.
- Kor from M.C.A. Hogarth's The Admonishments of Kherishdar is tortured by the Emperor as part of his training to become Shame. His role is to provide Correction to deviants in Kherishdar's society, and he is only permitted to use tortures that have been inflicted on himself. Suffice it to say he's one of the most effective Shames in history.
- Pretty Pink Ponytails in Angel Of Death has a special room in which she does this. So far, she's been seen preparing to press an electric sander against someone's hand with the intent of grinding it off (though something came up before she could get around to it). She also tortured a woman in an alley in order to attract the Angel of Death.
- In the Whateley Universe, mutant Phase is tortured by Mad Scientist Emil Hammond. Who is apparently working for Phase's family to learn about what makes mutants manifest.
- What's scary is how Emil Hammond always refers to Phase as 'it', and clearly is just doing this to learn more about Phase. The height would be 'what happens if Phase is in the middle of an object when he goes from light to solid.'
- "Apparently working" nothing. His family actually comes in at one point to see how things are going. When Phase calls for them to help, they ignore him at first and then quickly leave.
- In serial 2 of Spectral Shadows there's Omega, the Final Boss of The Aslander Roleplaying game. According to the Character Index he doesn't kill characters who fail to complete his stage. He likes to torture them by forcing them to listen to obnoxiously avant-garde Progressive Rock.
- J.R. Rizzolo of Survival of the Fittest is apparently rather fond of this, seeing how he viciously tortures Cara Scholte and Laeil Burbank (the former by cutting up the helpless Cara's face, breaking her fingers, and then mutilating her right hand with a morning star before finally pushing her off a nearby cliff, the latter by cutting out her left eye and crushing it. And you get to read about both of them in graphic detail.
- The Torture Game, a delightful little web game that lets you brutally torture some poor guy with: Ropes, guns, a flesh-stripping razorblade, a chainsaw, huge spikes that shoot out of the walls, and paint. It could either be seen as a great stress-reliever. Or perhaps both.
- The aptly-named Creepy Pasta Torture.
- In Pokémon Apokélypse, Brock is tied up, beaten, and tortured with a Magnemite.
- Thorolf, from The Saints, has a knife that keeps its victims alive for as long as it remains in their heart. He uses it to keep victims alive while he eats them. He doesn't have to eat them, he just wants to.
- Parodied in Megas XLR. Coop gets captured by the Glorft. Gorath's torture techniques? Eating a Philly Cheese Steak slowly in front of Coop. And smashing Mega Slushes. This would be considered Cool and Unusual Punishment, but since it's Coop... Humorously, it's just as much torture for Gorath, who can barely stomach the Philly Cheese Steak.
- ReBoot had Megabyte tear off Phong's head, stick in a jar, and torture that for information. Painful electroshock ripping the portal command codes right out of Phong's memory. When this takes too long Megabtye tells Herr Doctor to use other methods, involving saws. Thankfully Matrix interrupts Herr Doctor before he gets started with that. Despite all the pain Phong was defiant throughout all of the torture, never giving in to Megabyte.
- Appears in South Park. Kanye West really, really wants to know why Carlos Mencia is calling him a gay fish.
- A G-rated version appears in SpongeBob's "Krusty Land". For revenge against lying to the children of Bikini Bottom that Mr. Krabs' park will be fun and a clown will be there, Mr. Krabs is tied up to a post... and fed lima beans.
- Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker has the Joker cross the Moral Event Horizon once and for all when he kidnaps Tim Drake, Mind Rapes him over a period of six weeks to break his mind and get him to reveal Batman's secrets, mutilates him in order to turn him into "Joker Junior," then lures Batman to his hideout in the old Arkham building just so that he can torment Batman by showing him what he's done (most heinously, by showing Batman video footage of one segment of Robin's Electric Torture) and try to make the Brainwashed and Crazy Robin deliver the final punchline by murdering his former mentor. To top it all off, Robin is only a teenager when all of this happens.
- In Justice League this is what happens to The Question after he attempts to assassinate Luthor. After receiving a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Lex, Question is handed over to Cadmus and subjected to Electric Torture and something which causes him to hallucinate about the Alternate Universe Bad Future. The Torture Technician demands to know what Question found out about Cadmus and only gets nonsense comments in return.