troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
God of Evil
"BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!
SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!"

"I am called a villain, but mine is a doctrine reflected in the unspoken truths behind all other philosophies. Recognize that truth, my child: Strife is the single element most essential to meaning and existence. Without conflict, without struggle, all of creation might as well be so many unmoving, unfeeling stones. Without me to hate, who would have cause to call themselves holy or just?"
The Book of Charnel, Sacrifice

In a polytheistic religion each God and Goddess serves a specific role and fills a certain niche: love, life, war, death, and everything in between; be it Aardvarks or Zebras. One such incredibly vital purpose, believe it or not, is Evil.

Please allow us to play as (uncomfortably) literal Devil's Advocates. On the one hand, the Balance Between Good and Evil must perforce have Evil to balance Good, lest the latter become an intolerant conformist theocracy. Likewise, it also serves as a definition of what not to do for worshipers of all the Good and Neutral gods. Most importantly for purposes of this Wiki, it also serves as an excellent plot enabler and antagonist for the heroes and forces of good to fight against.

Being the absolute apex of the Sliding Scale of Villain Threat, The Chosen One can spend an entire series fighting their way up from the Religion of Evil, the Black Pope, its Dark Messiah, and then fight the God of Evil itself... or at least enable a good god that was a Sealed Good in a Can to do so.

This God/dess Of Evil can take any shape or form... not just as a master tempter and deceiver, but because evil includes a heady and large portfolio. As Characters they can have as varying a range of personalities as any normal villains.

Here are a few popular variants: Standard Gods Of Evil can take after Satan, being rebels from The Light or God of Good and tempting peasant and king alike. Kind of a non-denominational counterpart of Crystal Dragon Jesus. However, most aren't futile rebels; they are very real and threats often motivated by goals other than rebellion for its own sake. The Grim Reaper is at times represented as a God of Evil, wanting nothing but the death of every living thing, and the protagonist in particular. War too may be shown this way, desiring to bring about a world where Asskicking Equals Authority and the weak are killed just for being weak... which does raise the question of whether or not it's ironic for heroes to vanquish them by fighting. If they have any philosophy, ethos, or commandment, it's usually that Might Makes Right, that ethics and morality are mere shackles for The Fettered masses of Muggles, and that Evil represents the path to power.

Not surprisingly, they tend to be cruel, dominating and treacherous. If there is more than one God of Evil in a setting, they usually engage in Eviler than Thou, betraying each other before any lasting headway against the forces of good can be made. Their metaphysical home, where worshipers and non-worshiping sinners end up, is usually akin to Hell. Given the above, why would anyone worship them? Well, they usually offer worshipers power in life via a Deal with the Devil, fine print and afterlife be damned (literally). Plus, just because they'll go to hell if/when they die, doesn't mean they'll be tortured souls... they might become the torturers. Provided they don't fail their dark lord first, that is. And of course, most gods of evil are worshipped out of fear of what would happen if they ''stopped'' worshipping. Is it any surprise their pawns in the Divine Chessboard are usually unwitting or unwilling?

Their followers include Cults, the Religion of Evil and Path of Inspiration. Necromancers and Infernalists usually get their powers by worshipping them. Expect them to forge many an Artifact of Doom as a source/repository of their power. When they or their agents are actively recruiting, expect them to be The Corrupter. They're a Card-Carrying Villain by definition and sometimes the God of Evil is also literally Evil. Likely candidate for Ultimate Evil and As Long as There Is Evil. A theocracy to one of these is probably The Empire. May be creator of an Always Chaotic Evil race. May have a court of Demon Lords and Archdevils, or if they exist at all these may be upstarts or otherwise in opposition. Gods of evil may have The Legions of Hell at their command.

Often, there is a God of Good who stands in opposition to the God of Evil; the two are locked in an eternal Divine Conflict that dictates the Balance Between Good and Evil. The God of Good has his own agents or agent to fight against the God of Evil.

Contrast Eldritch Abomination, which, as horrifying as it may be and act, is completely amoral and not malicious. Compare God Is Evil, and Everybody Hates Hades. If a God of Evil exists in a setting where the Big Bad who actually drives the plot is a mortal, they'll be the Bigger Bad. May overlap or also be a Mad God. May be The Anti-God if it's powerful enough.

To avoid Flame Bait and Edit Wars, note that this trope isn't about gods who simply are evil, it's about gods of evil. Jerkass Gods that are petty, vain, or prone to Disproportionate Retribution do not qualify.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Hades in Saint Seiya: The Hades Chapter acts like a stereotypical God of Evil. He harbors a vaguely articulated hatred for the living and wants to end all life on Earth in "the Great Eclipse", and he wishes that his kingdom of the dead expand with their inclusion. Either way, he and most of his lackeys manifest some of the most potent evil auras of any enemies ever faced. Even Poseidon escapes this treatment, being a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • Jashin of Naruto means "Evil God". He/she/it is mostly an excuse to allow his follower Hidan to practice his Religion of Evil Blood Magic (read: fight and kill people). The Ten-Tails also counts, despite being the progenitor of all that exists in the world.
  • Ruby-Eye Shabranigdo in Slayers, along with three other Dark Lords that exist in The Multiverse it features. Before the world as everyone knows it existed, Shabranigdo started a war against the Lords of Light. The war almost destroyed existence itself, but the Lords of Light prevailed and the world was created.
  • Dark Star Dugradigdu in Lost Universe is named after one of the above-mentioned Dark Lords, and is sometimes believed to be one and the same as him.
  • The Idea of Evil and the God Hand from Berserk. The former is interesting in that is was made from our need for there to be a God of Evil.
  • Despite his intention to do good, you might consider Light Yagami this with his later murders.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion Homura becomes a goddess of evil and suppresses Madoka's powers as the goddess of good in order to bring her back to earth and erase her memories. She actually comes off as an Ambiguously Evil Well-Intentioned Extremist given that she just wants Madoka to be happy...which means making everyone else happy.
  • Zorc/Zork Necrophades (spelling varies on translation), the Eldritch Abomination from Yu-Gi-Oh!. He's the god of darkness and ultimately the main villain of the series, [who either controlled or was directly allied with some of the biggest villains earlier.

    Comicbooks 
  • For DC Comics:
    • Darkseid, the Big Bad of Jack Kirby's New Gods, has been called the God of Evil by many people in the DCU. And in Final Crisis he comes close to being a full blown Eldritch Abominationhis very existence is causing reality to die. Just to bring this point home, here's what Boss Dark Side says: "There was a war in Heaven. I won." He is the poster boy for Dystopia Justifies the Means- his goal is to turn the entire universe into an even more hellish version of Apokolips, a world of perpetual enslavement and burning fire pits where the only purpose you are told to have is to endlessly worship Darkseid.
    • Ares, God of War, is the Arch-Enemy of Wonder Woman.
    • Trigon the Terrible isn't just referred to as a god, but the Literal Manifestation of ALL Evil that has ever existed. Think Dormmamu, but in the DC Universe instead of Marvel.
  • And for the Marvel Universe:
    • The Elder Gods, powerful magical entities native to Earth, born billions of years ago shortly after the planet was created. While they did not originate as evil, they began cannibalizing each other once they found out that they could gain more power that way, eventually degenerating into extremely powerful demons. Only Gaea and Oshtur did not join their brethren; the latter fled to another dimension and eventually became one of the Vishanti, while the former birthed the entity Atum which proceeded to hunt down and eat the Elder Gods themselves. A handful escaped into other dimensions and Gaea and Atum set up numerous magical barriers to hamper their returning, while Atum degenerated himself into the evil creature the Demogorge due to the demons he consumed; he expelled this from himself and it became The Legions of Hell- demons such as Thog and Mephisto-, while he retired to live in the sun. The Elder Gods include:
      • Set, a multi-headed serpent who was the first to cannibalise, and the demon partly responsible for the death of the dinosaurs; he managed to bypass the barriers and started feasting on the life energies of the dinos, but after learning Gaea planned on making them extinct and starting over with mammals, used mind control to send them to kill all mammilian creatures. Gaea responded by waking up Atum and the battle between the two, apart from costing Set his original head (two more kept replacing them when Atum cut them off, until he had seven), ended up causing the extinction event itself and left Set so weakened he had to flee again. He later returned as a major recurring villain during Marvels take on Conan the Barbarian.
      • Chthon, the writer of the Darkhold, an evil magical tome responsible for, amongst other things, the creation of vampires; the god of Chaos, and more specifically chaos magic. He is the source of the power of the Scarlet Witch, with the long term plan of using her as a host, and is currently sealed away in Mount Wundagore (or at least, part of him is), which became the magical (and irradiated) source of clay for Fantastic Four villain the Puppet Master. He is the Evil Sorceror of the group.
    • Aside from the Elders, the regular gods are divided into pantheons, each of which has their own bad guys:
      • Loki, foster brother and Arch-Enemy of The Mighty Thor, is the God of Mischief and Evil in Marvel's Norse pantheon, a powerful magician and Manipulative Bastard extraordinaire who seeks to conquer Asgard and kill his heroic sibling. He is technically not a god, but a very small, god-sized Frost Giant, adopted by Odin as a babe as penance after Odin slew his father in battle. Loki bares no real grudge for that (in the comics, anyway), but instead grew resentful because he thought Thor was treated as the favourite, especially by other Asgardians. As boys, he often tricked Thor into getting into dangerous situations hoping he would die in the process, and as full grown gods got him banished from Asgard on several occasions. Accidentally caused the formation of The Avengers when he pitted Thor against the Incredible Hulk, and remains one of their most persistent and powerful adversaries, often by giving common thugs superpowers and sending them into battle against them, or using his magic to cause all sorts of trouble. He is the father of various evil creatures as well as Hela, Goddess of Death, who borders on an Everybody Hates Hades evil god herself.
      • Amatsu-Mikaboshi, for the Shinto pantheon, a demonic creature and a malevolent Death God (not their only death god, just their bad one) that serves as the God of Evil for those gods, and their most primal enemy. He/ she/ it is the Anthropomorphic Personification of the primordial darkness that once ruled the Earth after the defeat of the Elder Gods; prior to that, it once ruled the Marvel Universe and prior to that, it ruled the universe preceding that universe, and originally was the nothingness before existence. Over time it had to constantly descend as it dealt with the various new creatures and gods that peppered the planet It regained some of its old stature by slaughtering, eating and enslaving hundreds of gods and demons (notably Zeus and Nightmare) to become the Chaos King, where it (re)joined the cosmic pantheon alongside Eternity and Death, seeking to destroy the multiverse and return it all to primordial darkness. At full power it just falls short of being some kind of Anti-God, though it might be more accurate to say it is anti-Creation, preferring to exist in and rule over a chaotic nothingness.
      • Set, not the Elder God but the God of Evil for the Heliopolitan (ie. Egyptian) pantheon, based on the mythological Set but, in-universe, taking the name of the Elder God for its badass connotations. Like Set and Loki, he uses magic and soul-stealing to enhance his powers, to the point he now rivals Odin, arguably the most powerful god in any pantheon.
      • Everybody Hates Hades and, as Pluto, this Death God of the Greek pantheon serves as their resident bad guy, and enemy of Marvels' Hercules. In DC he is portrayed more faithfully as a more neutral figure. Aside from him there is Ares, God of War, though in recent years Ares has become an Ascended Extra and morphed into an Anti-Hero, albeit a very dark and violent one.
    • Eldritch Abominations like Shuma-Gorath and Dormammu are worshiped as gods in the dimensions they rule over, and numerous others, and wield nigh-omnipotent power arguably above every other god previously mentioned, at least at full strength and in their own worlds. For both Shuma-Gorrath and Dormammu, worship serves as a source of power, though for Shuma-Gorath, both his power and physical size is based off how much fear he can induce in the realm (in his native Chaos Dimension, he is larger than a galaxy), and commanding regular human sacrifices worked well enough. Both seek to conquer the Earth- Shuma-Gorath has actually already done this, twice (first during the age that Conan the Barbarian takes place in), in ancient times- and can be guaranteed to torture and kill everything on the planet/ universe if they ever succeed. Hell Lords like Mephisto wield godlike power within their dimensions, but are not treated as gods per say, or seemingly worshiped in any way except by the odd gullible mortal. In fact, the description of the Hell Lords listed on Satanic Archetype explains why NONE of them ever try to become the one true god of evil.
    • Some other Marvel supervillains are sometimes worshiped as gods themselves, most notably Apocalypse who was, as it happens, also mistaken for Set and various other gods throughout his immortal lifespan, and would use this influence to force civilizations to fight to the death until only the strongest survived. In the Legacy novel series Magneto was worshiped as God on Genosha, while Doctor Doom has successfully stolen godlike power numerous times from cosmic beings, though on such occasions he prefers to be actively worshiped as a King or Emperor rather than a deity. Selene, another X-Men villain, is a 17,000 year old vampiric mutant sorceress named after and sometimes worshiped as a goddess, the attainment of which is her ultimate goal. The Green Goblin once thought he was one of these, but he was actually just driven mad(der) by an Artifact of Doom.
    • The Big Bad of Fear Itself the Serpent is the Asgardian god of fear and Odin's brother Cul Borson.
  • Anathos from Les Légendaires; he was part of the Gods who created Alysia, but turned against them because he wanted to become a "Mastergod", destroyed the original Alysia, was sealed away by them after his defeat and came back in order to attempt The End of the World as We Know It. He even stated to have created this universe's version of Hell.
  • In the Nodwick print comic, Baphuma'al is one of several evil gods (being a D&D-style setting, he seems to be a little-known or mostly forgotten deity of magic and undeath). He serves as Big Bad of the comics because he explicitly broke the 'rules' all the gods play by and is actively trying to ascend to the level of The Powers That Be and Take Over the World. The other gods weren't overly concerned they know he's doomed to fail anyway until our noble heroes inadvertently messed it up.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami features and entire pantheon- and Ami is out to make enemies of them All! First, there's Azarratha, The Mighty Tyrant (God of Martial Force), Crowned Death (God of Undeath and Necromancy), The Unraveller of Mysteries (God of Amoral Curiousity). In addition, the Vermin Lord and Flame Emperor have been mentioned...
  • The Pony POV Series has Discord's parents Havoc and Entropy, the Anthropomorphic Personifications of mass hysteria and heat death, respectfully, who have the attitudes to match.
    • A straighter example is Morning Star, a Fallen Alicorn who was originally supposed to be the embodiment of Perfection and Beauty, but after falling became Temptation and Evil. Where Havoc and Entropy are Eldritch Abominations that run on Blue and Orange Morality, Morning Star is described as being as evil as Discord is.
    • There's also Father Deer, the Hooviets' deity. He's basically said to be the embodiment of their 'Greater Good' philosophy...which is just a fancy way to say 'destroy freedom, stomp all non-deer races under an iron hoof, and Take Over the World'. However, there's question in universe as to whether or not he even exists.
  • The Ponies Of Olympus series has Erebos, the god of darkness, who seems to be the Big Bad. He was the one who corrupted Luna into Nightmare Moon in an attempt to bring about eternal night. On top of that, he's also Chrysalis' master.
  • Eugenesis mentions that the Quintessons have five gods, all of them as twisted as the Quints. Case in point, one of them is Unicron himself.

    Film 
  • La Magra, the vampire Blood God from the Blade movies. The evil scheme in the first film is to complete a ritual to summon him into a vampire avatar so he can walk the earth. If he fights humanity, he will turn everyone into vampires by his mere presence. Deacon Frost summons La Magra into himself and becomes much more powerful, being made entirely of blood and showing insane regenerative powers. Blade kills Frost by loading him with anti-coagulents, but it's unknown if this killed La Magra too.
  • The Facts in the Case of Mister Hollow follows an Occult Detective's investigation of a Mystery Cult in northern Ontario that engages in Human Sacrifice and worships the Keres, understood to be evil Greco-Roman goddesses. Though not detailed in the film itself, in Classical Mythology they are the daimones (Anthropomorphic Personifications) of violent, painful death, and serve as particularly nasty Psychopomps who thirst for human blood.

    Gamebook 

    Literature 
  • Set is the most evil of gods in the Conan the Barbarian world.
  • Morgoth in The Silmarillion. Then in The Lord of the Rings, Sauron tries to ascend to this level, but is more of a demigod of evil.
  • The Dark One from The Wheel of Time is one of the quintessential examples of this trope.
  • Lord Foul the Despiser. He was imprisoned with Time by his opposite, the Creator, for planting various sources of evil magic into the universe shortly following the creation, and he's been trying to get out ever since- and because he's super-intelligent and unrepentantly horrible, this generally means misery for everyone else unlucky enough to be stuck in the Land with him.
  • From The Cosmere by Brandon Sanderson:
    • Ruin from Mistborn is something of a subversion- he's definitely a god and as far as humans are concerned he's pretty clearly evil, but he doesn't think of himself as such and isn't interested in either ruling people or corrupting them. He does use mortal pawns, but some of those include the heroes doing heroic things that happen to speed along the destruction of the world. He does have some unequivocally evil tendencies (namely a fondness for Evil Gloating), but these seem to have been picked up from mortals rather than the reverse.
    • The Stormlight Archive introduces Odium who fits more directly as a God of Evil being the Anthropomorphic Personification of hatred. Though he's not shown up in person yet, his reputation precedes him and it's not pretty.
  • There's a third of the Dragonlance pantheon called the Gods of Darkness, and they're, well, Exactly What It Says on the Tin. In something of a subversion, they're considered nasty but necessary parts of the cosmos, though every so often one of them (usually Takhisis or her consort Sargonnas) gets a bit too ambitious and needs to be put back in their place.
  • Kushiel's Avatar by Jacqueline Carey involves Angra Mainyu, taken from real life Zoroastrianism. (See the Real Life section below for more details.)
  • In Animorphs, Crayak is this.
  • David Eddings likes this one. In his Belgariad-verse, Big Bad Torak is one of these and losely follows the Satan model, as does the mentioned but never directly confronted King of Hell. In The Elenium, Azash is an elder evil that verges on Eldritch Abomination if he didn't manipulate human desires so often (though it's clear his understanding of humanity is imperfect, and largely based on the cultural group most of his worshippers come from), while Cyrgon is a straight example and Klael is the god of Gods of Evil. To round the roster out, The Redemption of Althalus has Daeva, a god of destruction who morphed into this when he promoted himself from "takes out the cosmic trash" to "Omnicidal Maniac".
  • The Crimson King from Stephen King's The Dark Tower series definitely qualifies. Before he got nerfed he was depicted as an invincible anti-God that had always existed, but was trapped on a balcony near the top of the Dark Tower. Even trapped his avatar "The Court of the Crimson King" was so powerful that almost no force in King's multiverse could stand against it. Supposedly if his physical body was free he would become utterly infallible, and so he planned to bring the Tower (and by proxy all of existence) crashing down. Later King retconned him into a senile half-god that was not nearly so imposing.
  • The Incarnations of Immortality series has this as one of its offices. However, the particular office holder in the series averts this; he's less interested in being a relentless evil and more interested in simply being a fair evil - that is, separating good and evil people through temptation so that they can go to Heaven or Hell rather than stuck in Purgatory.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero Lost, Theo recounts how the Orbis Suleimani eradicated knowledge of the supernatural. This was to prevent people from trying to solve problems by appealing to supernatural beings, many of which demanded worship and some of which were evil. Success resulted in the Industrial Revolution.
  • Tash is described this way in The Last Battle, the final book of The Chronicles of Narnia, with Crystal Dragon Jesus Aslan outright stating that Tash is his antithesis. Interestingly, while Tash is very much a Card-Carrying Villain, his own religion is not a Religion of Evil, given that it apparently includes a number of sincere followers who believe Tash to be a just and righteous god.
    • Unfortunate Implications are entirely intentional, here—the Calormenes are straight out of the Arabian Nights, and Tash (who looks like a particularly frenetic Hindu statue) is Lewis' idea of Allah. Emeth is his concession to Muslims not being Always Chaotic Evil.
    • It gets better - Tash is so evil that you cannot commit a good act in his name - they automatically are assumed as your service to Aslan. The opposite is also true - if you do something terrible in the name of Aslan, you're really serving Tash.
    Aslan: No service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him.
  • Gyphon from Mithgar is both the overarching Big Bad of the series and its primary God of Evil. Specifically, he represents tyranny, since he holds to the belief that the strong should use their powers to control the weak and in fact opposed giving mortals (and non-divine immortals) free will in the first place. Other, lesser Gods of Evil who follow him are namedropped occasionally, but none of them ever do anything directly and very little is ever revealed about them.
  • The "nuclear chaos" and "daemon sultan" at the center of the universe, the Outer God Azathoth of H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos is often at times interpreted as this. Judging by what would happen if Azathoth's literary inspiration, Mana-Yood-Sushai awakens, it would likely seem that Azathoth has the power to end everything in the universe, including all the other eldritch horrors - but for now just chooses not to. Throughout Lovecraft 'cannon' Azathoth is frequently referred to as the "blind idiot god", not because it is in any way stupid, but because you would have to be a blind idiot to worship it.
  • Malazan Book of the Fallen:
    • The Crippled God Deconstructs this trope. He essentially fills this niche, but he's more like a god of suffering than evil- and while he certainly inflicts more than his fair share of suffering on the world, he also continually suffers himself. In the end, after a bunch of AbusivePrecursor Knight Templars hijack his power, he ends up becoming a more sympathetic deity who empathizes with those who suffer.
    • Bellurdan Skullcrusher, the Dying God, is the trope more or less played straight, corrupting people with his toxic blood into becoming his followers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Dahak from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess is described as being the source of all hate, and the worst of the Jerkass Gods won't hesitate to stop it from achieving the power it desires.
  • The First Evil from Buffy the Vampire Slayer exists As Long as There Is Evil, and is ultimately responsible for every evil being and act in the series.
  • Charmed had The Source of All Evil (usually just referred to as The Source), who was the ruler of the underworld and the Bigger Bad for the first half of the series' run. It was later revealed that "The Source" was actually a primordial force that lived inside whatever demon was currently leader of the underworld at the time.
  • In "Doctor Who" the Black Guardian could be seen in this role, being the Anthropomorphic Personification of Chaos.
    • There is also Fenric, who according to the Doctor is evil from the dawn of time.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • Some more dualistic forms of Zoroastrianism claim Angra Mainyu (better known by the Persian name Ahriman) as the Evil Counterpart to Ahura Mazda. In other words, he is essentially the anti-God, or God of evil.
    • Furthermore on that topic, Angra Mainyu isn't so much a name as a description of his nature. Angra can be translated as "destructive" or "malign", while Mainyu can mean "spirit" but also "mind", "concept" or "thought". Ergo, Angra Mainyu = The Idea of Evil
  • Egyptian Mythology has Apep (or Apophis), the monstrous serpent that tried to eat Ra every night and wasn't so much worshipped as worshipped against, straddling the line between God of Evil and Eldritch Abomination.
    • Set is portrayed as this to a degree in later versions of Egyptian Mythology, though contrary to popular opinion he wasn't a snake god, and was actually a good guy in earlier myths; Set lost ground as the Horus cult gained it in later centuries, and became more identified with foreigners and the desert, even becoming identified sometimes with the chaos-serpent he had used to fight. By the time Petrarch recorded the most familiar-to-moderns versions of the Egyptian gods, he was bidding fair for this role.
  • Satan is often portrayed this way in Western media, as a direct Evil Counterpart of God. This is the result of Word of Dante however and in contrast to most Christian doctrine, where Satan is recognized as being a far lesser power than God and has no chance of succeeding in his cosmic takeover bid. Satan is never described in The Bible as being a representation of evil, merely an evil angel. However, while angels are nothing compared to YHWH that's because He's an omnipotent Cosmic Entity beyond all space-time, and angels still have god-like power (in the lesser sense). A comparison would be that Zoroastrianism portrays Ahriman as an Evil Overlord of a hostile empire, while Christianity portrays Satan as a terrorist.
  • In Shinto Ama-no-Kagaseo is the Anthropomorphic Personification of Amatsu-Mikaboshi, which is essentially The Dark Side. So it is the personification of Evil, or at least discord, destruction and chaos, and destructive impulses.
  • Medieval Maori religion gives us Whiro, who manages to some way or another cause practically every problem we have while locked in the underworld. He will eventually escape and destroy everything besides himself and the ashes.
  • A religion that has conquered another religion often turns the old gods into demons. This is the origin of the word "demonize". And now you know.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons usually has at least one (but usually three) in each setting.
    • Dragonlance, being almost entirely about the Balance Between Good and Evil, divides all its gods into gods of good, gods of evil, and gods of neutrality. Obviously, each of them does have the own unique spheres of influence above and beyond their alignment.
    • Special mention should go to Asmodeus, ruler of hell and supreme archdevil now become the god of sin.
    • Also Cyric. Who could make a page on Gods of Evil without mentioning him? He's really the God of Lies, Trickery, Deceit, etc, but he's most certainly evil. Along with his pets Kezef (a giant dog capable of devouring gods, he even bit off Tyr's, the God of Justice, hand) and the Night Serpent (who will devour the sun while she feeds on the dreams and souls of the dead). Oh, and Cyric murdered good, pure-hearted goddess Mystra (though with the aid of another) out of pure bitterness and jealousy. He is currently imprisoned, but that doesn't stop him from doing evil. He's a god of trickery. Who knows if that is the real Cyric that Tyr imprisioned? Or how long until he somehow tricks Malik (his extremely stupid demi-god Chosen) into getting him out? His destiny is also to destroy the world in a battle-to-the-death with Torm (new Chief of the Gods since Tyr's death) where they kill each other and destroy the world. Somehow the Tormish (Torm-worshippers) think this is a good thing and will lead to a new world of goodness and renewal.
    • And Bane! THE God of Evil. Cyric seems more of a trickster type, despite being completely nutters by now. The title of Forgotten Realms real god of evil should go to Bane. His most devoted follower even got turned into a demi-god of "worship of evil". What other god can say they have another god as their follower?
    • And in the Eberron setting, you've got the Dark Six, a whole pantheon of these (though they can have positive effects, they do have plenty of non-evil worshippers in certain parts of the world, and it's likely they were originally the gods of the goblin empire before humans moved in). There are also the Rakshasa Rajahs, ancient demonic beings who once ruled the world, each corresponding to a different kind of evil. The other main dark powers in the setting (the Dreaming Dark and the Daelkyr) are, however, closer to Eldritch Abominations.
    • Izrador of the Midnight setting is fairly standard as dark gods go. The other gods tried to banish him from heaven, but did not expect the unforeseen side effect that it would not only send him to the world of mortals, but also severed all connection between heaven and earth. Think of Sauron if he got his ring back, only worse.
    • Pathfinder features six in the basic manual: Asmodeus, former Archdevil and Lawful Evil god of tyranny, contracts, slavery and Pride; Lamashtu, former Demon Lord and the Chaotic Evil goddess of madness, monsters, and nightmares; Norgorber, Neutral Evil god of poison, secrets, greed, and murder; Urgathoa, Neutral Evil goddess of disease, undeath, and gluttony; Zon-Kuthon, Lawful Evil god of pain, envy, darkness, and loss; and Rovagug, Chaotic Evil Eldritch Abomination of wrath, disasters, destruction, and Nietzsche Wannabes. There's also the Four Horsemen and the Oinidaemon who rule the Neutral Evil, nihilistic daemons and may well be powerful enough to count.
    • As of 4th Edition, Tharizdun the Chained God may be the worst of the lot. He's an Omnicidal Maniac who is so awful that all of the other gods, good and evil, put aside their differences to seal him in another dead universe after he used a shard of evil to create the Abyss. If he ever broke free, the current universe would soon be as dead as his prison. He was just as bad in Greyhawk as the god of Eternal Darkness, Decay, Entropy, Malign Knowledge, Insanity, and Cold that is worshipped by Eldritch Abominations. He is the literal Ultimate Evil of Dungeons & Dragons.
  • The Chaos Gods of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 straddle the line between this trope and Eldritch Abomination. They are closer to gods of, well, Chaos rather than Evil, being conglomerations of every mortal emotion; however, the relentless Crapsack World means they aren't fed with many good emotions, and those emotions are taken to such extremes anyway that they and their followers inevitably embrace madness, destruction and mayhem.
    • The C'tan in 40K have no ambition other than sealing off the warp (which would be bad news for anything with a soul), killing most forms of life in the universe and feasting on the survivors. Or at least they did, before the Necrons rebelled and shattered them into pieces.
    • There are, however, some fairly unambiguously evil gods in Warhammer, although there is generally some argument (in-universe and out) as to whether they are gods in their own right, or aspects of another (and occasionally, as to which other god they are an aspect of). Khaine (God of Murder, Assassins and Poisoners) is a case in point, with some claiming he is an aspect of Khorne as worshipped by the elvesnote , while some say he's an aspect of Morr (God of Death, Dreams and Omens), and those who say Khaine is a god in his own right are split as to whether he's Morr's younger brother, or one of the children of Asuryan and Eldaneshnote . Stromfels (God of Storms, Pirates, Sharks and Wreckers) is in a similar, though less extreme positionnote . The Horned Rat, though, is pretty much a pretty straightforward evil god, complete with his own species of evil anthropomorphic rats to worship him.
    • Khaine in 40K. He was the elven pantheon's God of Evil, but when Slaanesh killed the rest of the gods, only Khaine was able to stand up to him. While he lost the battle with Slaanesh and could not prevent the Chaos god's ascension, he remains alive and the Eldar still pray to him on the basis that he's a monster and a villain, but he's still their monster and villain. Ultimately, while Khaine is war-like, arrogant and relishes in killing, he remains an Eldar god and doesn't want to see the Eldar die out.
    • The two Ork Gods, Gork and Mork, from 40K may be this, or may not. They are the Gods of being "brutally kunnin'" and "kunnin'ly brutal," one hits you in the back while the other hits you when you're looking at them (though no Ork really is sure which is which) and they do like to murder, kill, and fight just as any Ork. They are rarely not actively attacking and fighting anyone besides each other.
  • Exalted has the Forbidden Gods, deities whose areas of influence are so thoroughly depraved by any moral standard that they've been cut off from the support of the Celestial Bureaucracy and are forbidden to be worshipped.
    • If the definition of "god" is expanded a bit beyond the setting's use of the term, the Yozis, the Neverborn, and some behemoths all qualify.
    • The Ebon Dragon invented the concept of betrayal, and had a significant hand in creating both fate and free will because the potential suffering caused by the contradiction between the two amuses him; this was before he became a Yozi. However, the Ebon Dragon is more accurately the God of Shadow Archetypes, the Primal Nemesis. He defines himself as the Nemesis of Light, so he's Darkness. He defines himself as the Nemesis of Trust, so he's Betrayal. He defined himself as the Nemesis of the Four Virtures of Compassion, Conviction, Temperance, and Valor, so he's Cruel, Pragmatic, Unfettered, and Spineless. In fact, he's stated to not truly exist in metaphysical terms-without other beings to state what his evil is, he's nothing at all.
  • Magic: The Gathering has the God of Phyrexia, Yawgmoth, known in several cultures of Dominaria as the Dark Lord, the Hidden One, and the Lord of Wastes. It took a massive effort and the lives of countless people, including several Planeswalkers, to stop him when he attempted to take over Dominaria and spread dominion over The Multiverse. While he is believed to be dead, nothing is ever certain with Yawgmoth, and rumors linger that he is still alive, biding his time as he recovers his strength.
    • The Eldrazi and Nicol Bolas. The former were once worshiped as the gods of Zendikar.
    • While the Theros block (based on Classical Mythology) averts this with Erebos, it still has two downrightly evil gods: Phenax, the deity of deceit and lies, and Mogis, the god of bloodlust, savagery and canibalism.
  • Two flavours in The Dark Eye: Demons want to destroy creation, the strongest are dark shadows of the major gods. The Nameless God is a renegade god who wants to rule creation and doesn't shirk from anything imaginable (and unimaginable) to achieve that goal.
  • The World of Darkness has a field day with this trope.

    Video Games 
  • The God of Death Oswald Leingold from Fantasia - Realm of Thanos, who much prefers to be called the Demon Lord.
  • Charnel from Sacrifice is a Card-Carrying Villain God of Evil who is Genre Savvy about how important his place is in the pantheon. Amusingly, Charnel is publicly the most fervent opponent of the game's Final Boss, Omnicidal Maniac Marduk, as he doesn't like competitors. It remains ambiguous just how much he knows about who's really responsible for summoning Marduk and whether his lines of reasoning for siccing you on the other gods are genuine or simply him using you to settle his old grudges.
  • Silent Hill is unhelpful as to whether the power of the eponymous town and the deity its cult attempts to summon is a God of Evil or an Eldritch Abomination. It could even very well be entirely neutral, with characters projecting their own evil onto it.
  • In Fire Emblem Tellius, the Goddess of Evil is also a Sealed Evil in a Can which will awaken when enough violence and fighting takes place. Until it turns out that she's really just the Goddess of Chaos, counterpart of the "good" Goddess of Order, and mankind cannot exist properly without both of them in balance.
  • Technically, Yami from Ōkami is the God of Darkness (and Machines), but he could easily be described as this as well. He rules over all the previous villains of the game and is only defeated due to all the people of the world praying for the protagonist to win.
    • Akuro of Okamiden is either his successor or the true God of Evil for the past game.
  • Kri from Rise of the Kasai. Neither it nor its followers make any attempt to hide or justify it.
  • The Old Gods of World of Warcraft. Yogg-Saron is all over this one: "BOW DOWN BEFORE THE GOD OF DEATH!!!"
  • Shinnok of Mortal Kombat is a definite God of Evil.
  • Falerin of AdventureQuest is an interesting subversion; he is the God of Evil, but he is not malevolent and bloodthirsty. He's quite gentlemanly and passive; in fact, he helps the protagonists indirectly against the actual Big Bad.
  • Fain of Lusternia. He's not an Anthropomorphic Personification, and eviller "Gods" exist, but given the way he tempts and manipulates mortals and other Gods, he's the closest (sentient) thing to it in the game.
  • The final bosses of Dragon Quests 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8.
  • Persona's Nyarlathotep, an Eldritch Abomination Anthropomorphic Personification of the entirety of Humanity's collective evil. He was cast away at the end of 2. Though he may have resurfaced as Persona 4 Arena's Malevolent Entity.
  • The Daedric Princes of The Elder Scrolls are generally regarded as such by human society. Most of them are just very morally flexible with how they and their followers accomplish their goals—no Prince's domain is straightforward "evil". However, Mehrunes Dagon is the Prince of chaos and destruction, Molag Bal is the Prince of dominion and rape, and Vaermina is the Prince of fear and nightmares, so they more or less fit the trope to a T.
    • And within that set, Molag Bal is the closest there is to an actual God of Evil. While Mehrunes Dagon and Vaermina simply have domains with negative connotations (and Mehrunes has some with fairly neutral connotations, it's just that he favours the more negative ones), Molag Bal is also the god of corruption - he gets his power by making mortals do evil deeds. Essentially, he's the Elder Scrolls equivalent of Satan, particularly the older depictions of Satan when he was more of a corrupter of mankind than a general embodiment of evil.
    • Also Sithis is said to be a representation of one of the primordial states of chaos. He is the patron god of the Dark Brotherhood assassins. He is technically neither Daedra or Aedra. The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Wiki has a full writeup, based on all the references to "him" in the games.
  • Medusa in Kid Icarus is the goddess of darkness in a world were Dark Is Evil. Her sister is the goddess of light.
  • Return To Krondor has Narlor, the Dark God. A god that had to be sealed away. A god that if released, could prove to be an Eldritch Abomination for Midkemia.
  • Deconstructed horrifically in Arc Rise Fantasia. Prince Weiss accuses the god Eesa of being one of these. The other gods, Real and Imaginal are an Omnicidal Maniac and a racist jerkass, so the party doesn't really have any other frame of reference... until it's revealed that Eesa is actually an emotionally-broken Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. How she became one is pure Tear Jerker material.
  • Dragon Quest VII gave us the Dark Lord Orgodemir, the Big Bad of the game. He actually poses as God at one point!
  • Zophar in Lunar 2: Eternal Blue certainly qualifies.
  • The Elder God in Legacy of Kain is eventually revealed to be this in Deception, following truckloads of Foreshadowing in Soul Reaver 2.
  • Tathamet, the Prime Evil and God of Chaos in the Diablo verse. When Tathamet suffered a Mutual Kill with Anu the God of Order, his body became Hell and his seven heads became the Seven Great Evils, including series Big Bad Diablo. In Diablo III, it's revealed that Diablo's scheme all along was to reunite the Great Evils into Tathamet reborn (with Diablo at the helm) to end the war between Heaven and Hell once and for all.
  • The Demon Sovereign from the rebooted Might and Magic series (Heroes of Might and Magic V and VI as well as Dark Messiah Of Might And Magic) is the setting's Crystal Dragon Satan equivalent. HOMM 6 shows that he was a regular demon lord who ascended to the position through politics and conquest.
    • While Kha-beleth fulfills a similar role as Satan, the real God of Evil is Urgash, the Dragon of Chaos.
  • The Guardian essentially took this role in the later Ultima games.
  • The Painkiller series started out with Satan in the role, but he was killed in the first game, and a veritable conga line of successors would pop up in the expansion packs one after the other to claim the title (first Alastor, then Eve, then Samael).
  • Skorm from Fable, who the PC can make human sacrifices to. Doesn't actually exist.
  • In EarthBound, many hints given throughout the game indicate that Giygas has essentially become this. Porky's statement during the final battle even says that he is evil itself.
  • Bethrezen and Mortis in the Disciples series. Bethrezen is the god the Legions of the Damned worship and Mortis is the goddess of The Undead Hordes. Bizarrely, they are also the most sympathetic deities in the setting. The "good" gods are a bunch of Jerkass Gods whose cruelty towards Bethrezen and Mortis drove them to evil in the first place.
    • Bethrezen is the creator of Nevendaar, the world where everything takes place but was not a deity in his own right, being instead an angel of the elder god Highfather. Both Bethrezen and Mortis are Mad Gods, as is Gallean.
  • Demise from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
  • In Age of Mythology, Greek, Egyptian and Norse mythology are simplified somewhat from the original myths for the sake of the campaigns. As a result, Set becomes this for the Egyptian, Loki for the Norse (especially notable for turning up as an antagonist in person, and serving a much more direct role than Set), and Poseidon for the Greek. However, the ultimate God of Evil is Kronos, from the Atlanteans, since the other three are ultimately subservient to him, and his master scheme of breaking loose and causing The End of the World as We Know It. All the Titans except Gaia also qualifies, while Cerberus and Ymir are more Eldritch Abominations anyway. The game is notable for averting Everybody Hates Hades though, Hades is somewhat neutral, and his only contribution is helping the heroes escape Erebus when they are trapped there by Gargarensis, the servant of Kronos.

    Visual Novels 
  • Played with in Fate/stay night. During the Third Holy Grail War the Einzberns tried to guarantee a victory by summoning the Zoroastrian god of evil, Angra Mainyu. What they in fact summoned was a man whose village had declared him to be the source of all their sins, his existence being the origin of Angra Mainyu's myth. Having no special abilities he was quickly killed and absorbed by the Grail. But because this man represented the wish of those ancient villagers for there to exist a singular source of evil, the Grail attempted to grant that wish. Had there been a victor in either the Fourth or Fifth Grail Wars, he would have become a Physical God.

    Webcomics 
  • The Demon King in Sluggy Freelance is worshiped by his demon followers and was powerful enough to defeat the Goddess of Goodness. He even sealed her away in a plastic baggie, which he kept in his refrigerator.
  • "Black Mother, pass us by! We are not here!"
  • Axel of Ansem Retort achieves total inner peace through evil and chaos, a process known as "Reverse Nirvana". This turns him into an evil Bhuddist god with mind bullets.
  • In the backstory for The Order of the Stick, we have The Dark One, a goblin warlord and Dark Messiah who — upon his death — was elevated to godhood by the belief of his followers (specifically, after they went on a year-long slaughter in his name). Redcloak is his high priest.
    • Due to the D&D-style setting, there exist various gods belonging to different pantheons, some of which are deemed "evil" gods. Despite this they seem to get along well enough with their good counterparts (as shown by the interactions between Loki and Thor, and in some prequels) with the worst clashes being arguments over what to do in certain circumstances... and for good measure the "good" gods aren't always Genre Savvy.

    Western Animation 


God JobGod TropesGod of Good
Godly SidestepTropes of the DivineGod of Good
Flaming DevilInfernal TropesHell Hound
God EmperorImageSource/Tabletop GamesKill It with Fire
God JobCosmic EntityGod of Good
God Is EvilVillainsGod Save Us from the Queen!
God Is EvilEvil TropesGood Girl Gone Bad
God in Human FormCharacters as DeviceGod of Good
God-Karting with BeelzebubReligion TropesGod of Good
The Power of FriendshipStory Breaker PowerHostage for MacGuffin

alternative title(s): Gods Of Evil; Goddess Of Evil
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
132101
3