All is one in Darkseid.
Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" And he replied, "My name is Legion, for we are many.
Humans are very social creatures, we enjoy being around each other a great deal. Our friends, our family, our lovers, our coworkers, are all sources of wholesome fun. If you're not into that sort of thing, well, there's something wrong with you
. But what happens when you go just a bit too far, become more and more of other people while less and less of yourself? Can you go so far that there's nothing left of you at all
If this sounds like you
, then your name may just be Legion.
I Am Legion is a Trope where some group or individual is made more sinister or strange by having them avoid referring to themselves in the singular. Through their speech and mannerisms they will make the viewer question the nature of the character. A lone character speaking as though they were chanting along as part of a chorus, or an assembly speaking in perfect unison, regardless of the situation.
Common quality of Hive Minds
, Mind Hives
, and cases of Many Spirits Inside of One
, but this isn't necessarily so. Not to be confused with Me's a Crowd
and Royal "We"
. Often speak with Voice of the Legion
. Has nothing to do with I Am Legend
. Roger Zelazny
's My Name Is Legion
(about a secret agent with a multitude of false identities) is also not an example of this trope. Could be a Limited Social Circle
that has Jumped Off The Slippery Slope
. I Am Spartacus
uses this as a diversion.
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Anime and Manga
- The Tachikoma in Ghost in the Shell are not a group of individual sentient robots, but are instead all remote controlled by a single computer. In regular intervals, the individual AI programs are stopped and all of the data each unit has gathered during the day is compared and analyzed. When the AIs are reinitialized, each one has exactly the same set of stored memories. Somehow they still manage to spend most of their idle time on philosophical debates with each unit expressing different views and opinions, which by all logical understanding should be impossible.
- The demonic sword Saika from Durarara!!. It leaves a cut in each of its victims' souls, where a "daughter sword" is born, thus making the victim a part of Saika as well as a servant and mouthpiece.
- Apocalymon from Digimon Adventure uses "we" to describe himself, being formed from the data of many Digimon.
- In Spider-Man, Eddie Brock's Venom usually refers to himself in the plural, referring to both himself and the symbiote bonded to him. The other hosts of the symbiote generally don't, as they take a drug to suppress the symbiote's influence, but if they start losing control, they begin slipping into the plural.
- In Spider-Girl, during the first appearance of the symbiote it outright possesses Spider-Man and is "I". Later, Normie Osborn wrapped in the symbiote, apparently civilizing it, goes by "we". So does May, although the symbiote - the same one that made half of Venom, which had just been transferred to her to heal a fatal wound - promptly jumps off her and dies in a Heroic Sacrifice for her and her father. By that point it's not exactly evil, unlike Carnage later.
- In The Spectacular Spider Man, Peter Parker notices himself thinking "we" instead of "I" after he starts using the symbiote.
- Carnage is an exception among Symbiotes; it refers to itself almost exclusively as "I" because Cletus and it's psychotic personalities sync up so well.
- Sonic the Hedgehog subverts this several times in its various incarnations of the villainous Dark Legion; despite the title, the only thing that makes them a "legion" is their great numbers and shared Hollywood Cyborg themes, otherwise they're as far from a Hive Mind as you can get (though the more recent incarnations' lust for absorbing new members into their ranks through "Legionization" parallels another cyborg race listed on here...)
- In Final Crisis, Darkseid essentially possesses half the human race and turns them into conduits for his will:
I. Am. The. New. God. All is one in Darkseid. This mighty body is my church. When I command your surrender, I speak with three billion voices. When I make a fist to crush your resistance. It is with three billion hands. When I stare into your eyes and shatter your dreams. And break your heart. It is with six billion eyes! Nothing like Darkseid has ever come among you: Nothing will again. I will take you to a hell without exit or end. And there I will murder your souls! And make you crawl and beg! And die! Die! Die for Darkseid!
- Oddly, enough, this Trope does not apply to X-Men character Legion, despite the fact that he once quoted the passage in the Bible where the name of the Trope came from to explain his Split Personality.
- Made fun of, and played straight in two different Naruto Fanfics. The first one (humor) has one of Naruto's Kage Bunshin say this to another shinobi, then another clone rolls his (its?) eyes and smacks it to get rid of it. The other one (horror) is the reason why it was forbidden. They eventually become flesh and blood, and psychically linked to the point where they lost track of the original.
- Done in the Neon Genesis Evangelion fanfic Nobody Dies, where a group of enthralled people speak in unison to punctuate the words of their leader. A direct Shout-Out to the trope picture above, from Final Crisis. "I am Legion, I am numerous. When I strike down your army, it is with SIX BILLION FISTS! When I stare my hatred into the depths of your soul, it is with SIX BILLION EYES!"
- In Batman Forever, Two-Face refers to himself using "we" due to his Split Personality.
- In the Ghost Rider movie, after absorbing the thousand souls from the contract, Blackheart quotes the phrase from the Bible. Unfortunately, he does this in probably the most Narmtacular way possible.
- In Pirates of the Caribbean, veterans of the Flying Dutchman's crew express a particularly strong "part of the crew, part of the ship" thought, to the point where they are eventually fused into the ship.
- Spawn finds out he actually has 4000 (?) souls. He quotes the same phrase from the Bible.
- Nestor from Battle Beyond the Stars are a hive mind species.
- Played with in the RiffTrax for Paranormal Activity, in the scene where Katie changes her mind about leaving, and Mike riffs, "For we are Legion, and we are very comfy here."
Live Action TV
- In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Primeval", while Buffy prepares to face Adam, the Scooby gang performs a power-joining spell that gives Buffy the combined power of all the past and future slayers, and speak with the combined voices of herself and those casting the spell.
"You could never hope to grasp the source of our power." *rips out Adam's uranium core* "But yours is right here."
- In the finale of Angel, Hamilton says to Angel that he would never defeat Wolfram & Hart because "[they] are Legion. They are forever."
- Doctor Who:
- The Cybermen on occasion, particularly in the new series. "You will become identical. You will become like us."
- The Ood pull a similar trick in "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit" once they're possessed by The Beast. "He is awake." "AND YOU WILL WORSHIP HIM."
- In "The End of Time" The Master transforms everyone on Earth into a clone of himself, with a single shared consciousness.
- In The Sarah Jane Adventures, we have the Trickster, especially in The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith.
- Appropriately enough, the Red Dwarf episode "Legion" (which had the working title "Call Me Legion") featured a being which only existed as a combination of nearby conscious minds. He was referred to as a "gestalt entity"; this term was also frequently used to describe the "Grant Naylor" persona under which the programme's co-creators Rob Grant and Doug Naylor were often presented.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: "WE ARE THE BORG. YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE."
- One episode of House, In which a game producer posts his symptoms online to find a diagnosis receives this as a suggestion. Foreman and Thirteen shoot it down as they go through several other suggestions:
Foreman - You are possessed by the biblical demon "Legion."
Thirteen - Nope, no jumping off a cliff in a herd of pigs.
Foreman - Otherwise, it did fit.
- The Mentalist: A common theory about the "He Is Man" message at the end of "Red John's Friends" is that it was supposed to read, "He Is Many." Given that Red John is said to have an absurdly high number of "followers..."
- In the A Haunting episode Diaobolical, a ghost hunter explains that some hauntings can be explained by one spirit taking the form of many, which are called Legion.
- Black Sabbath's "I" has the lyrics "I am Wicked / I am Legion / Strength in numbers a lie / The number is one".
- Hammerfall's song "Legion", which describes the Biblical demon.
- E Nomine's "Der Fürst Der Finsternis", actually about Satan, contains the line "My name is legion".
- Arch Enemy's song "Nemesis" has the line 'We are Legion/Voice of Anarchy'. Angela Gossow's singing style is the perfect compliment to the lyrics.
- Swedish Black Metal Band Marduk has a song called "Legion" with the line "My name is legion, for we are many in here".
- Warhammer 40000's Thousand Sons Traitor Legion have a rule representing their status as possessed suits of armour entitled "We Are Legion."
- The Delightful Children from Down the Lane in Kids Next Door. (Though this is due to a brainwashing device that overloaded.)
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- In the Avatar State, an Avatar is channeling the combined skill of every Avatar that came before him/her.
- Also Joo Dee. Aang and his friends started to get suspicious when Joo Dee (their guide and caretaker) disappeared and a clearly different woman took her place. In a later episode, we see a whole roomful of women being brainwashed into assuming the name and identity of "Joo Dee". Appropriately, according to Avatar Wiki, "Joo Dee" is the Chinese equivalent of "Jane Doe".
- Adventure Time: In the episode "Up a Tree" it has an obvious Shout-Out to Pirates of the Caribbean, creatures that live in a tree repeatedly say this: "In the tree, part of the tree. In the tree, part of the tree."
- Truth in Television: 4chan's Anonymous is a gigantic group of anonymous people, connected only by their anonymous identity, that, when angered, can seriously screw up a person's reputation. Or sanity. Most likely both. (We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.)
- The Situationalist International, Animal Liberation Front and The Invisible Party (Swedish Anarchist group) have used legion-like rhethoric.
- The royal "We", the king being assumed to be speaking on behalf of the whole kingdom. Referred to by Mark Twain:
- The fans of the Dutch football team Feyenoord are referred to as "The Legion". They even use is in songs (We are the Legion, and we will become champion). It scans a lot better in the original Dutch, mind you.
- Although trees can't talk in the typical way, clonal Aspen colonies that share a common root system are the living embodiment of this trope. The most famous example, Pando, is composed of 43,000 standing trees and is over 80,000 years old.