"Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire,
I hold with those who favor fire..."
Fire is destructive, chaotic, and painful to touch. It has destroyed buildings, killed millions of people, and scarred others. Because of all the destruction and blood lost to it, it will often be associated with evil. Whether it's orange, red, blue, or green
, it's always going to be evil. The fire doesn't even have to be your ordinary campfire, it could be the unholy fires
of Fire and Brimstone Hell
itself or a similarly evil variant.
This trope has many uses. Fire could be used to create the atmosphere for the Big Bad
's throne room or arena. A Volcano Lair
or even a big fiery place with lots of volcanoes could be the domain
of the evil emperor. The villain may have control over fire
, appear Wreathed in Flames
, or even be (literally) hot blooded
themselves. But, nonetheless, fire will be associated with evil.
Can occasionally overlap with Light Is Not Good
since fire also produces light. Contrast
with Evil Is Deathly Cold
and Holy Burns Evil
. For a different kind of "hot", see Evil Is Sexy
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Anime and Manga
- Taken further by the villain Akainu from One Piece, who's made of frigging magma.
- To some degree, even Ace. While he generally a likable person, he is still a reckless, dine-n'-dashing criminal nonetheless who is (wrongly) considered to be evil via his bloodline in-universe and holds a bounty of 550,000,000. Oh, and of course, he is made of fire.
- From Fairy Tail, the villain Zancrow from Grimoire Hearts, who is a fire Godslayer.
- From Great Mazinger, The Emperor of Darkness is a living pyre of flames.
- Suzaku from YuYu Hakusho
- Zhuqiaomon from Digimon Tamers can be argued as this, due to his hatred for humans and the one responsible for sending the Devas to the human world.
- The Titans from Attack on Titan have a low-key variant of this, being noted to possess an abnormally high body temperature. In particular, the Colossal Titan constantly emits clouds of steam from its body and is able to release pressurized blasts as a defensive mechanism, as well as igniting his own body to injure anyone that gets close.
- Pyro from X-Men, whose power is control over fire, is almost always a villain. Same goes for the movie version in X-2 and X-Men: The Last Stand.
- The Flash has Heat Wave, who occasionally teamed up with Captain Cold to encompass both villainous temperature extremes.
- Willy Pete from Empowered is the only one in the series with fire related powers...His body burns hotter than the sun, and he can fill a room with flames that incinerate everyone in it upon entering. He's also evil in its purest, most sadistic form.
Films — Animated
- Hades in Hercules has blue fire for hair (which takes on its usual reddish color when he's enraged), and he's the Big Bad and god of the underworld.
- In the final segment, the Obviously Evil Chernobog covers himself in fire.
- Fantasia 2000 has the Firebird, representing the natural chaos and destruction of a volcano.
- Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty is often surrounded by eerie green flames. She even becomes a dragon at the end of the film.
- At the climax of The Lion King, fires caused by lightning set the stage for the battle against Scar. Scar also sings his Villain Song in a geothermically-active area with geysers, steaming vents, and lava.
- The Lord of the Rings:
- The eye of Sauron is described as being rimmed in fire; his hand is burning hot as well, which is why his ring glows when it's on his finger.
- The Balrogs, which had the ability to shroud themselves in fire and were armed with fiery whips. The Balrog of Moria used a flaming sword.
- Saint Dane in The Pendragon Adventure.
- There's a powerful Dark Art spell in Harry Potter called "Fiendfire", which creates a wicked mass of demon-shaped flames.
- In Michael Moorcock's The War Hound and the World's Pain, Lucifer took the form of a human being covered in flames.
- In Chronicles of the Emerged World, the Land of Fire is one of the first lands fallen under The Tyrant and is a very bad place to live in. Furthermore, both the evil twins Sameion and Dameion and the Black Dragons in general came from that land.
- In the Firebird Trilogy, the evil within Firebird's mind manifests as black flames.
- In The Realms Trilogy, Ashar is the god of fire, and his minion Taws is a creature that has great fire-related powers.
- Charmed: With all the demons, ghosts, sorcerors, evil priestesses, alchemists, elves, trolls, banshees, and general baddies inhabiting the world (and underworld), it's expected for at least a few to be able to manipulate fire. Demons are often shown throwing streams or balls of fire at the sisters. Some demons can even teleport by turning into fire or flames. In one particular arc, Phoebe basically has an unborn devil brewing in her stomach and she temporarily gains the ability to throw blue fire. Also, in the eighth season, Christy, an agent of the Big Bads, had the ability of pyrokinesis, the ability to create fire.
- Stargate SG-1 references how flames are typically associated with demonic influence in human mythology and suggests it's due to the influence of the Ancients keeping the Ori at bay.
- In one episode of The Outer Limits Revival, a group of scientists enter the mind of a patient who has bad memories of his dad trying to make him kill his girlfriend. The dad is surrounded by flames, along with everything else, while screaming at him.
- Twin Peaks had it as Arc Words: "Fire, walk with me".
Mythology and Religion
- Satan and Hell are usually represented in pop culture as being associated with fire. The Divine Comedy is a notable aversion of this, since Satan is trapped in the coldest part of hell. In The Bible, though, Satan is not really associated with fire and only ends up in fire because God throws him into the Lake of Fire at the end of the world. He is actually associated thoroughly with air and light, traditionally more "heavenly" elements, and in Revelation, he vomits water.
- In Islam, Iblis and, by extension, Satan, are Djinn made of fire. Hell has flames that burn so hot they're pitch black.
- Loki from the original Norse Mythology is the God of Fire.
- Dungeons & Dragons. The Chaotic Evil Balor demon can immolate (create flames around) itself. It was inspired by the balrog in The Lord of the Rings. And iconic Red dragons. Overall, though, it's more "Flaming Sword vs. Flaming Sword" and Kossuth himself isn't any more or less malevolent than other elemental lords.
- Al Qadim has Brotherhood of the True Flame, a society of evil fire elementalist wizards. They tend to fight for monopoly about as much as for superiority of their element, though.
- Super Mario Bros.: Bowser's trademark ability is to breathe fire, and he's usually surrounded by flaming or flame-like objects like lava and stars in the main platformers.
- Team Magma from the Pokémon's third generation has an affinity for fire, but they're only evil in Ruby and Emerald. They are allies in Sapphire.
- Used to dramatic effect in Sephiroth's iconic Unflinching Walk through fire in Final Fantasy VII.
- Soul Calibur II - the game's end boss, Inferno, is essentially Soul Edge come-to-life as a being of living fire. The arena itself is an open field of flames.
- Street Fighter Alpha - typically seen during Akuma's win pose where dark flames appear on his shoulders. This doubles as his taunt in subsequent games.
- Darkstalkers - Pyron is an evil being, said to be the physical embodiment of the sun. Like Inferno, he too is made of living flames.
- The overall villain of the Arson case desk in L.A. Noire is a former flamethrower who served under Cole in Vietnam. He brought his weapon home with him. While it might seem inevitable that the villain of that part of the game would be so inclined, he was essentially The Dragon (made to burn down houses for profit), until the manipulations of his psychiatrist backfired and finally drove him into full on Axe Crazy territory, and he suddenly burst in, strangled the Doctor, and kidnapped the Love Interest.
- The main enemy/Man Behind the Man of the Warcraft series is the Burning Legion. Also, many of its creatures are wreathed in flame; the Infernals spring to mind.
- Ganon uses flames as an attack in A Link to the Past.
- In inFamous 2, the evil end gives Cole fire powers.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Iblis is a fire being that is one of the two main villains of the game.
- Castlevania: Dracula has always been associated with fire, from his trademark three-fire balls to giant meteors.
- Utsuho Reiuji (aka Okuu), the Big Bad of Touhou's Subterranean Animism throws giant suns at you...IN HELL!
- Kid Icarus: Uprising: Hades gains flaming hair in the final battle, after being decapitated. In addition, Pyrrhon turns on the other gods to try to gain control of the Aurum, and may have been planning to do so the whole time.
- King Onyx from Odin Sphere may not be flat-out evil, but he's still a tremendous Jerkass and ends up burning down Ringford Forest and annihilating the fairies during Armageddon.
- Brand, the Burning Vengeance, in League of Legends is pretty much the fire counterpart to Lissandra, a wicked spirit that wants nothing but to end the world in fire. His skill pretty much revolve around burning his enemies to death.