The Dungeons & DragonsCharacter Alignment system originally defined characters' moral dispositions only on a Law/Chaos axis, with Law seen as usually involving moral goodness and Chaos evil. Eventually, Good/Evil was introduced as a separate parameter. One reason for this was the slightly odd but not all that rare case of characters who are clearly evil, but nevertheless organised, consistent, rule-abiding, and/or maybe even trustworthy and reasonable in their own limited way — in other words, Lawful Evil.
A Lawful Evil character is an evil character who either tries to impose or uphold a lawful system on others without regard for their wishes, and/or adheres to a particular code. They believe in order, but mostly because they believe it is the best way of realising their evil wishes. They will obey the letter of the law, but not the spirit, and are usually very careful about giving their word. However, there is also the Knight Templar variant, who believes their rules actually make them the good guy — when they and their rules have in truth ended up at the lower end of the slippery slope to evil and tyranny.
Though Lawful Evil characters are often found in charge, these characters also make good henchmen or mooks. Though they lack any moral scruples that may impair their work, a cautious villain will find they respond well to concepts like 'loyalty', 'duty', and 'honour'. The caution, however, should be remembered, as these characters also respond poorly to Bad Bosses and Dirty Cowardsnote not that a Dirty Coward themselves Lawful Evil is something unheard of, far from it, as well as simple incompetence that could lead them to deciding to either find a more worthy master, or take over 'for the good of the cause'.
Lawful Evil comes in four flavors:
Type 1 is those who believe in civic order, and are the villains who believe either in keeping order and control at all costs, or that it's much easier to become ruler of the world by exploiting the existing system than by tearing it down and starting anew. Maybe they like to rule with an iron fist, or publicly playing by rules gives them enough Good Publicity to get away with their evil schemes. If the villain is supreme ruler of their realm, then they are probably either Lawful Evil or The Caligula. This is the canonical alignment of devils in Dungeons & Dragons. Lawful Evil can be the most dangerous alignment because it represents intentional, methodical and frequently successful evil. More than likely megalomaniacal sorts out to "restore/maintain order" by — you guessed it — Taking Over The World.
Type 2 is a baddie with a code of honor (personal order) that prevents them from doing truly heinous things, or at least keeps them focused and disciplined. Often a Pragmatic Villain. This code of honor sometimes leads to the Type 2 conflicting with Type 1's when their values and codes conflict with those of main-stream society. This does not make them Chaotic. Types 2's do have a sense of order, just not the one that society at large possesses. If this is the case, expect the Type 2 to be a Byronic Hero or Übermensch. They typically value loyalty in their minions and possess Evil Virtues, and tend to be reliable allies in an Enemy Mine situation where alignments would fizzle out. The second type tends to either perform a Heel-Face Turn or suffer death by redemption. The alternative is that they ultimately choose evil over this and cross the Moral Event Horizon. Note that these two types are not mutually exclusive.
Type 3 can be The Dragon in a Five-Bad Band or a minion of lower rank. Perhaps they lack the same pure drive that the Big Bad has, or maybe they're just not quite as smart, but they both do what they are told or do what they say that they are going to do, taking the most straightforward and efficient means of accomplishing the task they set out to do. They're a genuine threat, but they're not the real danger. If they're loyal to the Big Bad then they take orders without any problems, and they obey the Big Bad without any complaints. If the villains are going to be killed off, you can bet this guy is going to go down with the Big Bad. They are not The Starscream because of their loyalty to their boss, but they're just as mean in real life as they are at their job, so they're not a Punch Clock Villain either. Type 3 may work temporarily with The Hero if the Big Bad goes temporarily nuts, but this isn't a Heel-Face Turn, as they will go straight back to their boss once it's all sorted out.
Type 4 is a common case of characters that simply hate freedom and will enslave people out of malice, or those who get their jollies from imposing ridiculously harsh rules with even more ridiculous consequences for breaking them. (Not totally arbitrary rules, though, that goes over to Chaotic.) Dystopia Justifies the Means can fall under this category and they use law and order principally as instruments of suffering and oppression for its own sake and not (just) that of power or running The Empire efficiently. They might keep up appearances of a Noble Demon but at best they will abuse the hell out of Exact Words and at their worst they will flat out lie and cheat in spite of it. Most Lawful Evil characters in Dungeons & Dragons are this type including Hextor, the iconic god of Lawful Evil. Darkseid is the classic example of this sort of villain and demonstrates just why it is the worst of the Lawful Evil types.
All four variants are likely to take advantage of Questionable Consent, pushing people into "agreements" and then pushing them to uphold their end of the "bargain."
Lawful Evil characters may not be motivated by anything but a paycheck. Many soldiers and henchmen working for an evil government or ruler fall into the "lawful evil" category by default. Being a genuinely committed member of a military organization makes one lawful by default, and if the government or ruler one works for is evil, then one naturally falls into the category of "lawful evil."
If you have a difficulty deciding which alignment an evil-aligned character belongs to, the main difference between Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil and Chaotic Evil is not their devotion to their evil wishes, but the methods they believe are best to realize it:
Even though there are some situations where they can't always use this method, Lawful Evil characters believe the best way is to have a specific, strict code of conduct, whether self-imposed or codified as a law. Their first impulse when making a moral decision is to refer back to this code; those with externally imposed systems (codes of laws, hierarchies, etc.) will try to work within the system when those systems go wrong. Depending on whether they are more Lawful or more Evil, they will either refuse to break the code even though it would hurt their evil objectives, or else break it only very reluctantly, and only when it would hurt their evil objectives if they kept their code.
Neutral Evil characters are indifferent to Order Versus Chaos, and their only interest is in realizing their evil wishes. They will use whatever means will help in realizing their evil wishes, whether that means tearing down a code of laws, following a code of laws, creating an orderly society, causing the breakdown of justice, or staying away from society altogether. Their only goal is to realize their evil wishes, full stop.
Most Chaotic Evil characters don't constantly break the law, but they cannot see much value in laws (or, for weaker-CCEs, do not see the value in laws that do not function solely to their depraved objectives). They believe that their own evil impulses are their best guides, and that tying themselves to any given code of conduct would be limiting their own ability to realize their depraved wishes. They do not get along with anyone who tries to instill any kind of order over the Chaotic Evil character, believing these people to be restricting their freedom; Chaotic Evil characters often focus very strongly on their own individual rights and freedoms, and will strongly resist any form of oppression of themselves.
In a nutshell, these are a variety of evil characters who don't care if what they do is "heinous" or "horrible", but who will always follow certain rules.
Such characters are, for example:
A warlord who would kill anyone who threatens him — and, let's say, would always spare the enemies that can serve him; or someone who believes in playing by the story conventions; or a villain whose word is absolutely binding but would still kill a pregnant woman; or any kind of evil character that might commit mass genocide but for some reason Will Not Tell a Lie. Or a character who does, without flinching, anything their master orders them to do, anything, because their one rule is absolute obedience. A Lawful Evil character can also be an Omnicidal Maniac just as easily as Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil can be; in such cases, they usually either hold Fantastic Racism towards all other living beings or they wish to impose a new order by annihilating everything and starting from scratch.
Remember, being Lawful does not imply at all that you have any moral standards, and any one of these character archetypes have just as much potential as a Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil character to be truly despicable. Being lawful is thus a matter of ethical concerns and not moral ideas; alternatively, a lawful character may work within and abuse the rules. Lawful Evil is not always the "Nicest" of the Evil alignment. It is just the most consistent and orderly. In short, an evil character who feels that the rules is what gives them strength or superiority. This includes upholding Evil as an ideal in and of itself, coupled with a sense of duty to promote it wherever possible and by anymeans. They're likely to have standards, but they're just as likely to have a warped moral code regardless. Notably, Hextor, the iconic god of Lawful Evil in Dungeons & Dragons is the Type 4 style and is not sympathetic in the slightest. That being said, many, perhaps most evil characters who end up siding with heroes permanently without undergoing a Heel-Face Turn tend to be Lawful Evil, as they are the most likely of the evil alignments to work within the system; type 1s are particularly prone to this, due to their views on order.
Finally, it should be remembered that being Lawful Evil does not necessarily mean that the character in question is inclined to obey the actual laws of the land- many of them are fully prepared to commit illegal acts or to twist the laws to their own purposes, and even to annihilate entire systems or civilizations. A Type 1 may justify this by saying they are trying to create a superior lawful society; a Type 2 may assume that their own personal code supersedes any loyalty to the authority of mere mortals; a Type 3 may think that the only law they obey is that of their own masters; and a Type 4 sees the law primarily as a means to oppress others and fulfill their sadistic desires. No Lawful alignment is necessarily inclined to obey every law or any law.
See Also: Lawful Good , Neutral Good, Chaotic Good, Lawful Neutral, True Neutral, Chaotic Neutral, Neutral Evil, Chaotic EvilLawful Evil type typically includes:
When dealing with the examples of specific characters, remember that assigning an alignment to a character who doesn't come with one is pretty YMMV. If you've got a problem with a character being listed here, it probably belongs on the discussion page. There will be no Real Life examples under any circumstances; it just invites an Edit War. Plus, real people are far too complex and multi-dimensional to really be classified by such a straightforward alignment system.On works pages: Character Alignment is only to be used in works where it is canonical, and only for characters who have alignments in-story. There is to be no arguing over canonical alignments, and no Real Life examples, ever.
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Anime and Manga
Light Yagami/Kira from Death Note. He's certainly got his own plans for the world, including a rigid social structure and oppressive laws, all punishable by death (note). He starts out Lawful Good, following his father's example, until he finds the Death Note and goes Jumping Off the Slippery Slope (though some argue he became Neutral Evil later on.)
Most members of the Yotsuba group is of this alignment, especially since in the manga, it is revealed that they like what Kira is doing because a peaceful world (even one ruled by fear), is good for business, and they have no qualms about killing business rivals.
Mikami Teru and Kiyomi Takada are also of this alignment.
The members of CP9 are professional assassins hired by the World Government. Though, some of them really push the limits of what can be defined as Lawful Evil.
Admiral Akainu is the epitome of this, being the only one of the Admirals (Aokiji being Lawful Good and Kizaru being Lawful Neutral) willing to open fire on ships full of civilians just in case criminals he's after got onboard. He gets even worse in the Marineford arc, killing soldiers who try to flee the battle, and being so willing to kill as many pirates as possible (even after Ace and Whitebeard's death) that he tries to kill one who begs everyone to stop fighting just for wasting time.
Xellos The Trickster priest from the Slayers universe. He seems to be Chaotic Neutral most of the time but is actually following orders from his superiors Hellmaster and Beastmaster.
Nosferatu Zodd from Berserk is also an example. Although he is a Blood Knight who loves to fight and kill, his first loyalty is to the Godhand, and he eventually becomes Griffith's Dragon.
Golgo13 is an amoral assassin who ALWAYS carries through with the job. It makes no difference if the target is a woman he has slept with, or a child.
Lucemon of Digimon Frontier, who thought people were unable to properly rule themselves, and that the world would have been a much better place if he decided everything for everyone. He even had his "thought police" in the form of the Royal Knights.
Noble Demon Ulquiorra is one of the more loyal Espada to Aizen, consistently following orders, and showing distaste for arranncar that disobey them. He has nothing against killing, but does not do so without reason; he states that while Orihime may be disposed of after she is no longer useful to the villains, he must kill Ichigo in order to protect Las Noches.
Char Aznable, the single most popular character in the franchise, probably started out Lawful Neutral. However, in Char's Counterattack, he has given in to his disillusionment about mankind, has turned Lawful Evil and has become a Well-Intentioned Extremist who wants to realize his father's dream by dropping Axis on Earth and forcing humanity to live in space. He freely admits he's committing an act of evil, but sees it as necessary for the future of mankind. Oh, and he has no problem manipulating the people next to him, especially Nanai and Quess, into being loyal to him just like he did to Lalah Sune.
As a homage to Char Aznable, Full Frontal succeeds him as the Lawful Evil leader of Neo Zeon.
The first series from the Cosmic Era, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, featured Knight Templar and General Ripper Patrick Zala, who sincerely believed that Coordinators were the next step in human evolution and found it only logical that all Naturals should thus be wiped out.
Mobile Suit Gundam 00Big Bad Ribbons Almark sees himself as God and wants to turn all of humanity into Innovators in order to bring about eternal peace, however he has no problem using orbital death rays or mind controlling his subordinates in order to stamp out opposition.
Gouda from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is this. He doesn't even try to hide or deny that he uses people as tools and views lives as expendable. But in the World of Ghost in the Shell, that doesn't mean he can't be a productive and highly regarded employee of the Ministry of the Interior.
The Anti-Spirals from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann are Lawful Evil taken to its logical extremes. They seek to protect the universe from the dangers of Spiral Power and to do this they are willing to exterminate any race that contains that power.
Lordgenome, who keeps humanity caged in underground villages and kills any who wander to the surface in order to protect the human race from complete annihilation by aforementioned Anti-Spirals (their Doomsday Device will activate when the surface human population reaches 1 million).
Yagyu Retsudo from Lone Wolf and Cub. He wants to wipe out the Ogami family, come out on top, and sacrifice as many of his friends and family as he needs to, but he wants to do it by the book. He has no problem doing horrible things to innocent people, but he hates doing dishonorable things.
The Red Ribbon Army from the original Dragon Ball series.
In the manga version of YuYu Hakusho, it is revealed that King Yama is of this alignment, despite initially being Lawful Neutral, as he released captured demons to attack humans as a justification for maintaining the barrier on Demon World and to portray the Spirit World as being the defenders of humanity. Sakyo, the main antagonist of the Dark Tournament arc, also qualifies, as while he wants to open a portal to the Demon World that will allow powerful demons into the human world, he dislikes foul play and is willing to honor his agreements, including betting his life on Toguro's victory- and honoring his end of the deal when he loses the bet.
The younger Toguro, being the more honorable villain of the series, also fits. He typically follows the orders of his clients, but often expresses distaste toward needless killing, like when Tarukane had him kill one of his pet monsters to prove his strength.
Demon Lord Yomi also fits this alignment.
King Bradley from Fullmetal Alchemist, who mercilessly kills his enemies and is responsible for genocide while head of state for Amestris. His generals in the military who are loyal to the homunculi also count.
Father qualifies as well. Sure, he's an evil Eldritch Abominationwith ego issues, but his plans require very specific circumstances that he's very particular about keeping in place, and he he founded the entire country of Amestris to meet them. This also means he's in complete charge of the government, and thus is technically in charge of all law enforcement - and while he finds humans to be utterly beneath him and generally doesn't care about their well-being, leaving politics to Bradley, he does occasionally step in when needed - such as when Bradley is presumed assassinated near the beginning of Mustang's coup, and the military is in a state of panic.
Makoto Shishio in Rurouni Kenshin sits hear about 50% of the time. His goal is to come into power as ruler of Japan, and his methods revolve around coming out on top of the oil industry. However, his plans for Japan (as well as his background) make him Chaotic Evil the other 50% of the time.
Kuyou, the first major villain from Rosario + Vampire, truly believed himself to be the true voice of justice, and anyone who opposed him to be evil. Oh, and he believed that any human who discovered Youkai Academy, a place where monsters learn to coexist with humans, should be put to death. Huh?
The Demon Sisters from Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt (and their father, Mayor Corset) fall into the extremely 'lawful' aspect. They're obsessed with rules and believe in a strictly regimented, fascistic society, even applying it to the school system. Conformity and order is encouraged, the food is nutritious but bland, and from the two of them down, students are strictly regimented by grades and ability.
Kneesocks: Excuse me? I realize this may be difficult for low-IQ bottom-feeders to understand, but there's only one way to stem the tide of rampant debauchery under the guise of freedom!
In Mega Man NT Warrior's Stream season, we have Slur, Duo's right-hand-woman. Utterly and unswervingly loyal to her master, she despises humans, considering them a cancer to the universe, and thinks they deserve to be exterminated for their evil. Unlike Duo himself, she obviously takes cruel delight in handing out punishment and killing those who go against her master's word.
The Central Military Police Brigade of Attack on Titan is a clear Type 1 example. They are willing to persecute and destroy inventors who threaten to pull the Walled Cities out of Medieval Stasis with their innovations, intellectuals who research life before the coming of the Titans, and anyone else who threatens to "rock the boat". At least one of them defends these actions as justified and even commendable because it prevents outbreaks of unrest that humanity's only known inhabitable space cannot afford.
Alignment? Bah! Doom does not fit into your pathetic categories!
Superman's archfoe Lex Luthor, given his constant manipulation of the Metropolis legal system to keep himself out of hot water, and his vast network of supervillain contacts. However, his overwhelming greed, jealousy and desire for revenge on Superman often puts him in Neutral Evil territory.
The DCU's uber-Big BadDarkseid is Lawful Evil in its purest form. His goal is to rule the entire universe by finding the Anti-Life Equation, which would destroy the free will of everyone except him. One blogger called him "the god of fascism," and although it's not mentioned in the comics very often, he is the god of tyranny.
Dimension Lord Dread Dormammu, despite his title of Lord of Chaos, has a twisted sense of fair play and honor, and displays consistent behavior in attempting to conquer Earth's dimension. As Doctor Strange mentions "Spontaneity is something Dormammu cannot fathom. Like all tyrants, his mind is rigid...he follows set formulas."
Zarda from Supreme Power is the team Sociopathic Hero. She kills without hesitation those in her way, but she is committed to the goal of world domination. But for that to happen she needs Hyperion to realize it so she stays with the Squadron and goes on missions where her powers and brutality are best served: warzones. It was during one of these incidents that she approved of a Pay Evil unto Evil incident involving an abused girl taking revenge on her tormentors.
Likewise, The Punisher often slides into this alignment, Depending on the Writer. He is sometimes depicted as a guy who simply enjoys killing, and targets criminals simply to give himself a twisted form of self-justification. He is always depicted as a guy driven by a desire for personal revenge, and frequently tortures the perp in various especially brutal ways. The fact that most of the criminals he does this too are usually portrayed as worse (or just as bad) is the only thing that might get him off of this.
The Guardians of the Universe have been on a gradual slide to this in recent issues. Finally culminating in bringing order to the universe by just replacing everyone in it with their Third Army in an Assimilation Plot.
And while on the subject of the Dark Avengers, Moonstone fits the LE alignment as well.
Spider-Man villain Knight of the super-villian duo, Knight and Fog, is certainly this. He is a contract killer, but never kills unless he is specifically ordered to. Unlike his Chaotic Evil partner, Fog, he never gains any pleasure from torturing his victims before dispatching them.
The Adversary, also known as Gepetto from Fables. He truly believes that his Empire is for the good of all, citing the necessity of murdering millions to provide prosperity to billions.
The One Sith from Star Wars: Legacy. Their goal is galactic peace and order- as enforced by a galaxy-spanning totalitarian dictatorship. They do seem to genuinely believe their rhetoric and are loyal to each other, but don't think for a minute they won't commit as many atrocities as previous Sith Orders in pursuit of their goal.
Korvac during The Korvac Saga of The Avengers appears to be Lawful Evil. Before taking godhood, he sought to build a paradise planet. But after having taken godhood, he carefully and methodically planned to take over the universe to make it one of a perfect order. He also killed anyone who found out the truth about him, but stated that it is necessary and that he regrets doing it. Moondragon mistook him for Lawful Good during a mindscan, but his evil showed itself in a What If? comic.
Ultimate Thanos is certainly this. His mission is stated as being "To make life a little more like death, Ordered. Perfect. Predictable."
Mongul is a type four lawful evil, and take extreme pleasure in oppressing and enslaving entire worlds.
The Beast from Transmetropolitan. A true bastard, but he nevertheless plays by the rules. He's ever so slightly preferable to The Smiler.
Scrooge McDuck, especially in the Italian comics. Depending on the Writer, he can be surprisingly nasty. Often ruthless, unscrupulous and uncaring, he routinely threatens, even beats his nephew Donald Duck to do his bidding. He pays below minimum wage (if anything) and is OK with firing thousands of employees just to save a buck.
The demonic lord Azazel from X-Men. His film version counts too.
Adam Susan from V for Vendetta, he believes that order and stability takes precedent over anything else and will commit a second holocaust to eliminate those he believes would destabilize it.
The "Mutants" gang members in Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. They have a quota system for committing crimes! Can't get much more lawful than obeying quotas.
Judge Dredd: The Dark Judges, a group of superpowered undead Judges from another dimension where they already killed every living thing. Their basic mission, formulated by their leader Judge Death, is to create a universe free of crime. Since only the living commit crimes, they decide to pre-emptively murder all potential offenders. They take their fanatical belief in the supremacy of law to the point where they became the worst evil in the whole setting.
The Villain Protagonist of the Mass Effect fanfic The Council Era is Lawful Evil. He exploits the corrupt natures of the Council in order to "improve" the galaxy through questionable means, and takes their seat of power eventually. He fully believes that laws should be followed and that government should enforce the practice of civilized society. All of his questionable acts are sanctioned and supported by the Council, even the mass-murder and cultural genocide.
In The 10 Doctors, it is revealed that the White Guardian, the Anthropomorphic Personification of Order, is this despite being seen in the series as Lawful Good. He/she is helping the Daleks as they would make the Universe more ordered. Though the Black Guardian of Chaos, his/her sibling, isn't really better.
Lord Maledict from Sonic X: Dark Chaos is this to a tee. He is willing to exterminate whole galaxies and start brutal wars in order to conquer the entire universe and all of creation. Ultimately, he's actually a Well-Intentioned Extremist taken to its logical conclusion, as he wants to do it in order to bring genuine peace to the universe.
Films — Animation
Boss Wolf from Kung Fu Panda 2 fits this alignment. He shows no concern in carrying out Lord Shen's evil plans of conquer, yet he shows an unyielding loyalty to his own wolf pack, behaving like A Father to His Men. This costs him his life when he refuses to shoot his soldiers.
Professor Screweyes from Were Back A Dinosaurs Story uses contracts and deals to enslave others to his Circus of Fear, but he keeps his end of the deal. He also desires absolute control of his fear by scaring others.
Auto from WALL•E was programmed to take full control of the Axiom in an attempt to preserve the Human race.
Films — Live-Action
Darth Vader, and The Empire more generally, in Star Wars. Vader chokes the shit out of anyone in his way and has no tolerance for incompetence, but he crucially never kills for his own amusement (unlike the Emperor) and has Pet the Dog moments to those he has a common affinity with, such as the Noghri or slaves.
Well, the empire except Palpatine himself, who is more along the lines of Neutral Evil. Other than that, however, the original trilogy seems to be a conflict between the Lawful Evil empire and the Chaotic Good rebel alliance, whose priorities are "freedom and justice," (according to the "opening crawls" at least) whereas the (expressed) priorities of Darth Vader are peace and order above all else.
Clu from TRON: Legacy. "Create a perfect system?" Sure. Just get rid of an entire species that doesn't fit the idea of perfection, trap his Chaotic Good creator in cyberspace exile, brainwash the biggest Lawful Good badass into his dragon, turn the Games lethal to weed out any imperfection or weakness among Programkind. Nothing is more flawed than a User...
TRON: Master Control and Sark also fell into this category, as did Ed Dillinger.
Both Loco and Silence in the Big Silence who always kill in Self Defence or Legally
In the movie Film/Ladyhawke, the Big Bad Bishop is this. In appearance, he is a devout member of the Church. In private, was willing to do a Deal with the Devil to curse two lovers to shapeshift, one by day, the other by night, so they can't be together, merely because he wanted the woman (Isabeau).
The senior house slave Stephen in Django Unchained is utterly devoted to his master and wholeheartedly upholds the institution of slavery. A collaborator if there ever was one.
Don Vito Corleone from The Godfather sticks to omerta and sees great value in honor and respect. He rejects drug dealing out of principle; but it does not make his motives or methods anything other than evil.
Vaako, The Dragon. He genuinely believes in the Religion of Evil, and unlike his wife, binds himself to its principles. As a result, he resists her pressure to attempt a Klingon Promotion on the Lord Marshall, until Vaako himself comes to believe that the Lord Marshall has come to violate the Necromonger code through the Marshall's weakness. Vaako and Riddick both attack the Marshall, but Riddick strikes the killing blow. Rather than attempting to finish Riddick off, Vaako is the first to bow and declare him the new Lord Marshall, because "You keep what you kill" is part of the Necromonger code too.
The Necromongers in general are Lawful Evil: their end-goal may be the death and/or conversion of the entire universe, but its done with forthright honesty, military discipline and meticulous planning. All the members are loyal to the death, and look forward to dying in the service of the Necromongers. Indeed death is the ultimate goal for them.
The Predators are about as Lawful Evil as they come. They participate in brutal bloodsport that involves the hunting of other alien species, but adhere to a strict honor code that prohibits the killings of innocents or the weak, and will always permit a leveling of the playing field to give their opponents a better chance of defending themselves. For example: Dutch in Predator is unarmed for the last half of their final confrontation, so the Predator starts beating him half to death until it decides to finish him. Hanzo in Predators is only armed with a katana, so the Predator he's facing only comes at him with his blade. That said, they are absolutely merciless when it comes to the hunt itself, and will not bat a single eyelash against ripping your spine out and displaying it as a trophy.
Lenny from Rock N Rolla likes to paint himself as this, declaring that he is there to keep order in the underworld. However, the truth is that Lenny is slimy, selfish, greedy, and willing to break his word and bargains with anyone doing business with him. Plus Lenny is secretly a rat who has been selling all of his criminal associates to the law one by one for years in order to avoid doing jail time himself. Archy, Lenny's dragon is the real thing: supremely loyal, true to his word, and willing to go out and kill anyone he's ordered to, or that it's necessary to kill, even while he shows that he's upset by Lenny's more selfish actions and double-crossing ways.
Saito from Inception, though he sides with the protagonist. He uses his inception team to plant a false idea into the mind of his rival businessman to crush the energy monopoly, primarily to clear the obstacle to his own power expansion.
Captain Vidal from Pan's Labyrinth, as is typical of Fascist-type villains. He's a good example of how an evil character who's lawful can be every bit as despicable as one who doesn'tfollow the rules.
Bill "The Butcher" Cutting in Gangs of New York is definitely this. He's a community leader who cares deeply for his city, country and his American countrymen. He is also a racist, ruthless killer who tries to manipulate the law to his own advantage wherever possible, forging political alliances that benefit him, but he has limits imposed by his principles of honour which he will not bend or stretch at any price.
Angel Eyes, the title "Bad" from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. "When I'm paid, I always see the job through." So when a man he's been paid to kill offers him twice that money to kill his boss, he accepts, takes the money, and kills both of them. Which is more of a textbook Neutral Evil since he's Only in It for the Money and double-crosses his bosses to get more of it.
The Mist's Mrs. Carmody is the definition of this alignment: being able to justify atrocities by twisting inhumane, cruel and archaic laws to her favor and following them to the letter and spirit.
Ro-Man and the Great One from Robot Monster. Ro-Man kills off nearly the entire human race because he was ordered to, and follows orders to kill the others up until his Face-Heel Turn.
Two-Face in The Dark Knight is definitely of this alignment after his Face-Heel Turn from the Lawful Good Harvey Dent. While The Joker is the embodiment of Chaotic Evil and Two-Face's Face-Heel Turn was sparked by him, Two-Face always flips a coin to decide if somebody should live or die. It's a rule of his that he will adhere to, instead of killing by impulse.
The Gotham National Bank manager, who still believes in honor and respect even when the Joker has him by the balls. Also Gambol, who goes so far as to put a hit on the Joker for robbing the GNB (and partially for making a potshot at his grandmother).
Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. Despite looking like he's Chaotic Evil, he is actually is a Type 1 who goes by his own set of principles. An example is how he doesn't want to kill Batman until Gotham was destroyed, therefore "giving him a reason to die."
Ivan Drago seems like this for most of Rocky IV. After Rocky defeats him though, he says he wants to box for himself instead of Russia.
The Devil in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. Turns out that despite being ruler of Hell, he still has to adhere to the Demon Code, which has a rule stipulating that demons must always accept a declaration of a rock-off challenge. His multiple Precision F-Strike shows he's not happy about being forced to do this.
Man of Steel gives us General Zod, the man who is willing to commit genocide and forcefully terraform a planet to recreate his homeworld because he is absolutely certain it is his duty to serve his society, whatever means neccessary.
"Every action I take, no matter how violent or cruel, is for the good of my people."
Home Alone gives you Buzz the older Mcallister brother who is cruel to Kevin but uses his status as the older sibling to get himself out of trouble.
The Skeksis from The Dark Crystal. They are essentially a Deadly Decadent Court of evil creatures who dislike each other, but are bound by a strict adherence to social rituals. When one is exiled for losing in a competition against his rival to the imperial throne, he constantly seeks to regain his status rather than revenge.
In Captain America: The First Avenger, the Red Skull demonstrates discipline, taste, and Faux Affably Evil civility despite being an ex-Nazi despot who believes that he is the superior and rightful ruler of the planet. He easily fits Type 4, as outlined above, although he also could be classified Neutral Evil for having his own agenda separate from Hitler and the other Nazis. However, he's ultimately defeated by Captain America, who is his Lawful Good counterpart. Their fight is pretty much a straightforward a classic Good vs. Evil battle as you can get.
In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this applies even moreso. After their defeat in the first film, they learned the folly in trying to stamp out freedom by force (as the Red Skull, convinced of his own superiority, had done), amd instead opt for a Type 1 approach, using the flaws in the current lawful system against it to slowly take over and corrupt it from the inside out. As such, they created a world so chaotic and dangerous that its people gladly ran to any kind of order they could find, allowing HYDRA to assume control without anyone ever noticing.
The book version of Chocolat follows the pattern in The Film of the Book, but the agent of Lawful Evil is the village priest and not the Mayor (his Moral Event Horizon is where he gives a speech in one of his internal monologues which can be summed up as 'if I allow chocolate, then it will be followed by other evil things like sex and liberals'.) While it is possible to justify the priest's behaviour by examining the plot with his dying father, the film version was more careful than the book to avoid the trope.
The Comte in The Film of the Book. He is willing to his power over the townspeople to turn them against what he considers "unwanted elements" in the town, essentially bullying said "unwanted elements" into moving away, but he is strictly against the use of violence, going as far as banishing the local bartender from the town for the rest of his life for burning down a houseboat belonging to a group of gypsies, which the Comte himself had disapproved of.
The Big Bad of The Name of the Rose, and please don't read the spoilers if you may read the book one day, Jorge of Burgos, hates happiness and free will with religious zeal, to the point where he believes laughter to be the work of the Devil. Nothing short of utter monastic devotion, with him in charge, is acceptable.
The inquisitor Bernard Gui is completely uninterested in finding the culprit for the murders, and stages a witch trial to discredit his opponents and enhance his reputation. What would you expect of a Middle Ageinquisitor?
Used in the Dragonlance novel The Doom Brigade. Draconians are supposedly Always Chaotic Evil, but Kang and Slith, the leaders of a draconian troop, teach the soldiers about honor, teamwork and loyalty in addition to hating the forces of good and especially elves. Although they start out as devoted servants of the evil goddess Takhisis, they slowly shift from Lawful Evil to Lawful Neutral - and in the end to Lawful Good, when they side against Mina and the forces of Takhisis at the end of Dragons of a Vanished Moon.
Raistlin Majere. Willing to kill anybody who is either blocking him or no longer useful to him. But he scrupulously honors his debts, upholds the magic order, and claims his ultimate goal to be creating a new world once he achieves godhood.
Raistlin's sister Kitiara. She is loyal to her family and Tanis Half-Elven, and appreciates the order and power the Dragonarmies bring, but she is not beyond some plotting for personal aggrandisement, so veers towards Neutral Evil. She probably qualifies as an example of Type 2 Lawful Evil.
The minotaurs, likewise, are classed as a Lawful Evil race; while they believe most other races are so inferior as to be only good as slaves or corpses, they have a strict code of honour that they will adhere to. It's for this reason that they have grudging respect for Solamnic Knights, as well as their martial prowess.
Umbridge exemplifies this trope, even if she initially appeared as Lawful Neutral to some. She works for the corrupted government, creates safe and harmless ways to practice magic, and yet makes students carve sentences in their hands with their own blood as detention, for contradicting the Minister of Magic. If anyone had any doubt that she was Lawful Evil at heart, Deathly Hallows removed it, with her cheerfully threatening Muggle-born witches and wizards with the Dementor's Kiss or hauling them off to Azkaban. She clearly seems to revel in doing harm to others, but just doesn't have the courage to do it outside the sanction of the law.
The Malfoys easily fall here; they clearly prefer being in positions of power and privilege, and Lucius seemed to be at his best when he was working for Voldemort within the Ministry. After the fifth book, which both lost him his position at the Ministry and his favor with Voldemort, he seemed to be defeated.
The Discworld offers a number of different variants on the alignment:
The Auditors of Reality are something like the collective Anthropomorphic Personification of the rules of the universe. However, they have managed to develop a hostile, definitely not neutral, ironically human attitude towards life because it's so disorderly, and actively try to remove life and especially humanity from the universe.
Death: Down in the deepest kingdoms of the sea, where there is no light, there lives a type of creature with no brain and no eyes and no mouth. It does nothing but live and put forth petals of perfect crimson where none are there to see. It is nothing but a tiny "yes" in the night. And yet... And yet... It has enemies who bear it a vicious, unbending malice, who wish not only for its tiny life to be over but also that it had never existed. Are you with me so far?
Susan: "Well, yes, but—"
Death: Good. Now, imagine what they think of humanity.
Lilith de Tempscire of Witches Abroad thinks of herself as the good guy. She also enforces a tyrannical rule over a city where everyone has to follow fairytale tropes; it looks very neat, but no-one is allowed to step out of line, even if that means doing nothing actually wrong by moral standards.
Vorbis, the head of the Quisition (ie. inquisition) of Omnia in Small Gods, believes that it is God's will that everyone's thoughts and actions be kept in line by means of strict social control, torture and killing.
Evil Harry Dread in the The Last Hero selects his guards for stupidity and designs his dungeons to facilitate escape, all out of a sense of professional ethics and playing-the-game; he betrays Cohen and the Silver Horde at the first opportunity for exactly the same reason. He's actually praised by them for this; they would have had it no other way. Given Pratchett's attitude toward traditional heroic values, which often include looting, pillaging and ravishing maidens, it is unclear exactly what separates "Evil" Harry from his erstwhile foes, and as such he might be considered Lawful Neutral.
Havelock Vetinari at one point describes himself this way to Samuel Vimes, citing that Good really can't plan — especially for when the Lawful Evil empire gets overthrown. However, his reign is overall benevolent enough that he could easily be seen as Lawful Neutral.
Artemis Entreri from R.A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms book is officially this. Scarred at a young age by being continuously raped and beaten by his uncle and/or his father, then sold to a pedophile slave merchant at age nine by his mother (the only person he trusted and cared for, and the only one who'd never hurt him), then escaping across the desert on foot to live on the streets as a child thief, resulting in Artemis spending the rest of his life completely focused on refining his skills so that he need not rely on anyone else. He would not kill those who were not important or related to his objective simply because he had no reason to as it gains him nothing, though it's indicated he might have had a deeply-buried moral code of some kind, but he was wholly focused on himself. In the Sellswords trilogy, dark elf Jarlaxel managed to pry a little of the bitterness away (with the help of an emotional-manipulating flute); by the time Artemis takes his leave of Jarlaxel, he might not be very evil at all.
Augustus's wife Livia justifies all her murders and deceit by claiming that they were for the good of the empire.
"Gentleman Johnnie" Marcone from The Dresden Files, a control-freak crime lord who keeps such an orderly rule over Chicago's criminal underworld that the authorities actually prefer having him there, rather than several rival gangs constantly fighting it out. He also has a definite sense of honor and obligations, and is a prime example of Even Evil Has Standards. Like the aforementioned Lord Vetinari, he straddles the line between Lawful Evil and Lawful Neutral.
In Skin Game, Donar Vadderung describes Goodman Grey as the kind of person who, once they accept a contract, stays true to it no matter who else makes a bigger offer.
The government of Oceania from George Orwell's novel 1984 (The most common inspiration for Lawful Evil in modern Western literature). While it at first appears to be the first kind, O'Brien's speech near the end of the book makes it quite clear that the Party is shooting for Type 4 in spades.
Sauron. Possibly a surprise to those who are only familiar with The Lord of the Rings (by which era he has undergone considerable canonVillain Decay and Motive Decay towards Chaotic Evil), but in the beginning, according to Word of God, he only followed Morgoth out of the desire to build a rigidly ordered empire, quite the opposite of Morgoth's motivations. The character of Saruman is in many ways a reflection of Sauron's original reasons for turning evil, and the contrast with present-day Sauron is meant to highlight how futile those desires for order are, as evil always ends in chaos.
Tolkien once explained evil is either total selfishness or total madness. Sauron was selfish — he wanted to rule the world, while Morgoth was insane — he simply wanted to destroy, spoil, maim and waste everything around him out of pure spite.
Speaking of Saruman, he really passes through all three evil alignments during his career. He starts out as a Lawful Evil Well-Intentioned Extremist, devolved into a Neutral Evil who was only out for his own advancement, and ended up a Chaotic Evil revenge-obsessed loony after losing his powers and his base of operations.
Tolkien once said Sauron has today no descendants, but Saruman has many apprentices, implying that the age of grand empires had gone, but many petty tyrants and dictators are carving themselves petty empires, especially in the underdeveloped countries.
Glen Cook's Black Company shows pretty well what Sauron could be if he didn't suffer Motive Decay — imagine him using Nazguls to patrol roads and being so merciless on any form of crime that even lone virgin can safely travel through Mordor, and you get Lady from The Books Of North
It's discussed around if Sansa Stark may or may not end up as this. On one hand, her (now, disappeared) clan is Lawful Good Or used to be. On the other, the kid's mentor is none other than Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish.
Roose Bolton also comes across as this alignment, masking sadism with a polite and reasonable persona, and he always acts within the system and is a big believer in Pragmatic Villainy, knowing that the best guarantee of being a Karma Houdini is keeping a low profile. Also pretty Lawful Evil is his claim that his treachery toward the Starks was done for the good of the realm.
The devils in The Screwtape Letters are a group of scheming bureaucrats who have quite a few rules in Hell to better manipulate each other with.
The Las Vegas in Stephen King's The Stand run by Randall Flagg. They may be an evil kingdom but they execute drug-users by crucifixion. Arguably, this is due to the Lawful Evil Lloyd Henry running the day to day operations. Flagg himself, on the other hand, is far more chaotic and ultimately self-destructive.
Roland Croninger, Colonel Macklin and the Army of Excellence in the post-apocalyptic novel Swan Song. After the bombs fall, they have a twisted desire to restore the United States by forming an army of raiders and acquiring enough people and resources to re-build a nation devoid of people marked by radiation burns. They also recognize the use of symbols (Nazi uniforms for one) and the power of fear. Roland and Macklin are both unhinged, but they have a twisted sense of loyalty to each other and are ruthlessly efficient in dividing up the spoils of their raids.
King Gasam, in John Maddox Roberts's Stormlands series, who seems to be somewhat based off of Genghis Khan.
The Book of Lord Shang explicitly states that it is better for a country to be run by evil men, because they will follow the law to the letter, while good men will be willing to overlook minor offenses if the perpetrator had a good reason.
Many of the villains in Dean Koontz's novels act in a Lawful Evil manner. Helios from his Frankenstein Trilogy wants a perfectly ordered world run with the efficiency of a beehive and wants to replace humanity with a new race that will do just that. The villain in Midnight also works towards this, even though he only wants it to be his playground to fulfill his perverted and sadistic desires. The villains in Nightchills come up with an effective method of mind control through Subliminal Advertising and seek to make the world perfectly ordered, but their agent quickly succumbs to Power Perversion Potential when testing its effects on a small town. The government assassin in Dark Rivers of the Heart wants a world where everything is moderate and no one is ugly and is eager to kill those that seem too imperfect to live. The Conspiracy in Door To December wanted to rule the world and were willing to perform cruel psychic experiments on a little girl to give them the perfect spy. The cult in Servants of Twilight were Well Intentioned Extremists and Knight Templars and worked methodically to kill what they thought was the Antichrist. Even the sadistic and arbitrary serial killer in Intensity always keeps his word, has a well-ordered and scrubbed clean house, and paid for his purchases made at a gas-station after killing the attendant...because he is a killer, not a thief.
Pick a slave narrative - from lecherous Dr. Flint in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl to sadistic Simon Legree in Uncle Tom's Cabin, the slaveholder will be the first to insist another human being is "their property" to rape, torture and murder as they please because it's the law.
The Vord Queen from Codex Alera is a rare Lawful Evil Omnicidal Maniac. She wants to wipe out all life that isn't Vord, but this is out of a compulsion innate to her species (she even calls it "the Purpose") rather than malice, and as a being of pure if twisted logic she's incredibly organized and structured in going about it.
The Portland Protective Association in S.M. Stirling's Emberverse series, founded by SCAdians fulfilling their darker fantasies, lampshaded by their taking the Eye of Sauron as their symbol, although their leader, Norman Arminger has Neutral Evil tendencies as well. After their defeat and his death it slowly develops in a more Lawful Neutral / True Neutral direction.
Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men is a brutal and ruthless killer with a strict code of honor when it comes to fulfilling promises and honoring agreements, i.e. Carla Jean's murder and recovering the botched drug deal money.
A large number of villains in The Wheel of Time. The darkfriend organization as a whole is actually surprisingly ordered, which is perhaps ironic considering the nature of the Dark One (hint: he wants to destroy reality), and many of the darkfriends we meet seem to be LE. Of the Chosen Forsaken, Demandred, Sammael, Rahvin, Mesaana, and perhaps Be'lal exhibit clear signs of a lawful inclination. Of the non-shadow villains, Elaida evolves from Lawful Neutral to this as the series goes on. Others include several of the Whitecloaks, particularly Asunawa and Eamon Valda (and maybe Niall, depending on how you view his Well-Intentioned Extremist status), and a few of the Shaido. Therava is definitely LE, and Sevanna may be as well. And good chunks of the nobility of Tear and Cairhien.
Darth Bane, who appears in the Darth Bane trilogy and various graphic novels, most notably Jedi vs. Sith mentions several times that if a death "serves no purpose", it is pointless and foolish to cause. Bane would never go out of his way to cause unnecessary chaos, and scorns those who would do so for the sake of their own amusement or ego. However, though he has no respect or obligation to serve any law, he does have an affinity for the Sith Code, saying that its words completely changed his perspective. A few examples of his Lawful Evil personality show when he slaughters a small family so that he may survive. In the scene, he is dying of a poisoning, and so he uses what little strength he has to first kill the children in front of the father, dragging out his torment, before finally killing him as well. In this manner, he 'feeds' off their fear as if it were sustenance, all the while justifying it by saying that they were weak, and that they were destined to serve him by dying. Had he not been dying, he wouldn't have looked at them twice. A chapter or two later, Bane meets the True Neutral healer Caleb (who refuses to help either light or dark), and manages to blackmail him into fully healing him, remarking afterwards that "his death would serve no purpose", and so lets him live.
General Woundwort from Watership Down is a classic Lawful Evil villain. He truly believes his tyranny is what's best for rabbit-kind, and only kills those who actively resist him.
According to the Doctor Who Missing Adventures novel The Dark Path, the Master started his villainous career with this alignment. After experiencing a disastrous series of tragic events, he resolves to bring his own order to the universe at the expense of free will and becoming its Master. Whether he shifted to Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil by the time of the TV series is a matter of debate among fans.
The Demon Headmaster is another textbook example, wanting a stable and well-ordered society, whatever the cost in terms of human life. The heroes are aware that he wouldn't bother trying to take over Britain / the world unless he actually believed his own rhetoric - otherwise, his powers could give him a cushy life with far less effort.
The entire capitol in The Hunger Games is this, right down to the way they resort to forcing a bunch of kids and teenagers to slaughter each other on live television just to maintain their grip on the country of Panem.
Redeemer Bosco from The Left Hand of God trilogy, the hated mentor of the protagonist Thomas Cale. He appears at first as a tyrannical and abusive disciplinarian as the Redeemers are prone to being to their novices, though he's not arbitrarily so (well, kind of isn't). This in itself would likely qualify him, but later his motives are revealed to be more complex: he's only cruel when it serves a purpose, and he's grooming Cale to the role of Angel of Death, the embodiment of God's wrath, who will wipe out humanity for its intolerable sins. As such, he's an Omnicidal Maniac who abuses children, tortures, kills and massacres, and despises humanity, but he's also rational given his insane aims, and sees them as being grounded in justice and duty.
Oz gives us Vern "I never broke a law I didn't have to" Schillinger, who seems perfectly at home in prison as the Aryan Brotherhood's leader. In case you forgot "Lawful" and "Good" are two completely different things.
Cardassian society from Star Trek, with its heavy undertones of Fascism, is a good example of a strongly Lawful Evil state. Which is probably why they were able to align with the Founders, who are so obsessed with creating "perfect order" that they have bred an unstoppable army of fanatical Jem'Hadar soldiers to conquer everything and rule it with an iron fist.
And the Founders' Dominion itself can be best described as Lawful Evil, although the backstory suggests they became evil due to having been oppressed by cultures' biases against them.
Time Lords too, post-"Trial of a Time Lord". They started off Neutral enough (probably Lawful Neutral or True Neutral, in the not-giving-a-shit sense) but get darker as Who progresses. By the end of the Tenth Doctor's time, they're full-blown Lawful Evil.
One of the Founders of Time Lord Society and the First President Rassilon, is implied to have been this despite being portrayed as a great heroin the official version of history. It could be argued the Time Lords finally tipping into Lawful Evil could be due to his return during the Time War.
It has been argued the Seventh Doctor is partially this.
The Valeyard, an evil future version of the Doctor, seems to have started out like this. However Big Finish Unbound shows that if he had won he would have become Chaotic Evil.
The Wire provides textbook examples of two different variations on this alignment in Stringer Bell and Maurice Levy. Bell is a ruthless drug kingpin who will have anyone and everyone who gets in his way killed in cold blood, but he's also a methodical and calculating planner who believes that order, loyalty, and iron-fisted discipline are the keys to running a successful drug operation. Levy is a money-grubbing Amoral Attorney who does everything he can to help his criminal clients exploit flaws in the legal system, all the while carefully avoiding actually breaking the law himself as he does so.
Omar Little, Type II. Robs drug dealers, kills without compunction - but never raised his weapon on anyone who wasn't in the game. He wholeheartedly believes that "A man must have a code." He sees himself as morally equivalent to Maurice Levy, and it's hard to argue against him.
I raise you Stan Valchek. Corrupt Cop, Obstructive Bureaucrat, petty as hell, and all around unlikable Jerk Ass. However, he is the ultimate master of the political game inside the Baltimore Police Department, so no matter what happens or how much of an asshole he is, he manages to befriend the right people at the right time or use to right loophole to keep rising in rank.
Malcolm Tucker of The Thick of It and In the Loop is an amoral, backstabbing, manipulative, angry, and verbally abusive human being, but everything he does is for the direct benefit of the Party, to which he is loyal above all.
Roscoe P. Coltrane's factory specs call for Lawful Evil alignment, but danged if, no matter how often ol' Cooter has him up on the alignment jig an' how many shims he uses, he just keeps on driftin' out to Lawful Stupid. Must be all those hard landings, gol'durn it!
His Divine Shadow probably lies somewhere between here and Neutral Evil; though he does seem to stand on ceremony and rely on an ordered society (with some of the squickiest correctional department ever seen on TV) it all seems mostly in place to flatter his own ego.
More specifically, HDS is neutral evil wearing the hat of lawful evil as part of a thousands-of-years-long Gambit Roulette. He's the last survivor of the Insect Empire, passing his consciousness through various human avatars. He's developed not only a galaxy-spanning empire (the League of 10,000 planets) but a religion dedicated to worshiping him. His first goal was to wipe out any significant threats, such as the Brunan'G. His second goal was to eventually use this empire/religion to gather enough "organic material" to allow his Insect body to regenerate; this was accomplished in the Great Purge, which wiped out 99% of human life in the *universe*. The only ones spared were those so on the fringes of society that they either skimmed beneath the radar or were already on the run.
Uther Pendgraon from Merlin fits either here or in Lawful Neutral. He has outlawed magic in Camelot, which the use of or vague association with is punishable by death, without trial. Magic-users include the main character and his ward. However, he does have some good intentions, justifying the law as magic apparently "tore this kingdom apart" years ago, and he does have genuine love for his son and ward.
Edmund Blackadder, is a Type III Dragon-in-Chief in his third incarnation. He is ruthlessly cunning and downright cold blooded. But he is quite loyal to his boss despite having no respect for him and could easily manipulate him into giving him all of his wealth and power, he never betrays him. He never even abandons him and always does his best to get him out of a deadly and dangerous situation. Until the third season finale where he fails to save his boss' life and abandons his memory by stealing his identity and taking his place as Prince Regent by impersonating him.
The Mayor from Buffy the Vampire Slayer fits this trope. A charming, family values man who genuinely loves Faith, but a man who sold his soul 100 years ago and is willing to do anything to ascend to being a demon, including corruption, assassination, and devouring a town.
Manipulative Bastard Adam Monroe of Heroes. A man who wants to poison most of the world's population to save and eventually rebuild it.
Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother. A man who adheres to the Bro Code and a small group of friends but those things aside he is a complete Jerk ass to everyone else and his friends despite being loyal to them, he also once sold a woman into slavery not even bothering to read the document so he can get a vehicle. He borders on Neutral Evil.
Lucas Buck from American Gothic uses his position as Sheriff of Trinity to commit evil; using the law as your primary weapon is a characteristic trait of Lawful Evil. Add to the fact that he engages in carefully-worded agreements with most of the town's inhabitants in order to corrupt and control them places Buck squarely in this territory. He might tempt others to turn to evil, but ultimately he lets them be responsible for their failings.
Scorpius from Farscape: refined, educated, dedicated to the goal of saving the Peacekeepers from destruction at the hands of the Scarran Imperium and is willing to do anything, including stalking and torturing protagonist John Crichton for the Wormhole technology that he thinks will safeguard his race.
The Peacekeepers in general, actually - they are a highly-regimented mercenary force who are generally very eager to force the rest of the galaxy to follow their rules (and incredibly unforgiving if they don't). Somewhat understandable when faced with a more powerful Chaotic Evil enemy like the Scarrans, other times...less so.
Even the Scarrans are made out to be Lawful Evil in the Expanded Universe of the Farscape RPG with a strong sense of loyalty to family and one's superior. Their brutal conquest and destruction of other species is more of a survival imperative bred into them when they evolved on a resource-poor world rather than true malice, and is seen as necessary if their species is to survive and prosper. During a peace negotiation, it is the Scarrans that plead to the Peacekeepers not to use violence.
The Galactic Federation from Blake's 7 largely fit this, to the point that some of their officers are basically Punch Clock Villains, and some of their supporters like Kayn oppose Blake because they see him as a threat to order. While Servalan, whose actions are often for personal gain, is more Neutral Evil, the initial portrayal of Travis, who is totally dedicated to the Federation, definitely qualifies, at least until the rest of the Federation decide that the brutality he commits on their behalf is a bit too brutal and he ends up on the run with a death sentence hanging over him.
Sterling from Leverage fits this trope. An insurance investigator, he's technically on the side of the law. He catches criminals and keeps his company from paying out bogus claims. However, he's an absolute Magnificent Bastard and has Chessmaster skills comparable to Nate's that he uses to not only keep ordinary good people from getting the money they deserve but has consistently tried to have Nate and his team killed or sent to jail, taunting them all the while. One episode even has him stating the following:
Ecliptor from Power Rangers in Space is very much this. He's evil, and wants to destroy the Power Rangers. However, he has his limits, and is extremely loyal to Astronema, who he has raised from childhood.
A few Lost Galaxy villains are like this. While major villains like Trecheron count, one episode had Maya facing an old, good-turned-evil warrior, looking for one last fight. He ultimately lost, but Maya respected her fallen enemy by marking his gravesite with his sword, resembling a tombstone.
Crowley who becomes epitome of Lawful Evil in Season Seven when he destroys one of his underlings who cashes in early on the Crossroads Deals he made with his victims by sending another demon to kill them just days after the deal was made.
Wolfram & Hart on Angel. What's more Lawful Evil than an avowedly evillaw firm?
Made somewhat ambiguous by Lilah clarifying to Holtz that she is a lawyer and doesn't care about the law. Considering that W&H operates in a rigid hierarchy but is not above betrayal (and routinely breaks human laws) they might be characterized as Neutral Evil.
Illyria's natural impulses run this way, despite her Lovecraftian nature and constant talk of the chaos of the Primordium. While she doesn't seem particularly phased by betrayal and chaos, everything she actually does is purposeful and rigidly true to her word.
Doctor Wily from the Mega ManRock OperaFather of Death by The Protomen. Ever wonder how a conversation about to improve society would go if a Lawful Good and Lawful Evil character were the ones talking? Just listen to "The Good Doctor": Doctor Light talks about how the robots they will make will improve the lives of the poor miners, while Doctor Wily talks about how the robots will deliver him the power he thinks that he has earned. Both want the same thing for society, but for the opposite reasons.
The album Master of Puppets by Metallica contains various themes of oppression, alienation, abuse, and zealotry.
In the Dilbert strips, Catbert is the evil director of human resources who helps make the lives of Dilbert and his co-workers miserable by creating ethically questionable policies, never providing useful help, and downsizing workers.
Ming the Merciless, ruler of Mongo in Flash Gordon. In the Flash Gordon film, the entire society of Mongo. They embrace cruelty and treachery, and the nobles plot overthrows and scheme against one another, but they always follow the articles of Ming's law. Vultan describes as being a "damn nuisance," but he follows it anyway when called upon.
WWE's Triple H is often referred to as "The Cerebral Assassin" for the way he manipulates the system, his opponents, and anybody whose head he can get inside to maintain his position on top of the mountain. He's at his most comfortable when he's surrounded by "friends" who help him carry out his plans, but no matter what happens, he is always out for himself and his own betterment in the end. In short, he is a JerkassManipulative Bastard who is a huge Base Breaker and wrestling's best example of a Villain with Good Publicity.
Any heel with some degree of booking power is going to fit this trope. Examples besides the two above include The Corporation, Eric Bischoff, and the Immortal stable.
Evil ECW referee Bill Alfonso is a definite Type 1. His whole act, from his debut at ECW Enter Sandman, May 13th, 1995, until he became the heel-turned Taz's manager at November to Remember, was about angering the fans by enforcing the rules in a promotion that generally avoided them.
Satan is often portrayed as this, especially when dealing with contracts. There are many popular embodiments of this trope, especially with those referencing The Devil and Daniel Webster. This has much to do with works like The Divine Comedy, but it is one of the few things about Satan that Popular culture gets right.
The Imperium of Man, Craftworld Eldar, Tau Empire, and Necrons of Warhammer 40,000 all lean towards this end to varying degrees-the first three vary between Lawful Evil and Lawful Neutral, while the last are so enigmatic that no one's sure where they fall, but Lawful Evil seems to fit them the most.
Tzeentch and his servants are often mistaken for this by virtue of their scheming, cunning and seemingly methodical nature. They're always manipulating and working towards some end. Unfortunately there are no ends, just manipulation and scheming for its own sake. Hence Chaos.
Perhaps best exemplified in the relationship between Tzeentch and his Greater Daemons, the Lords of Change. In both Warhammer Fantasy and 40k lore, daemons are actually merely aspects of their parent Chaos god, and especially the Greater Daemons are -more or less- lesser avatars of the gods. The Lords of Change, thus being aspects of Tzeentch, have access to his/its knowledge and powers of precognition. It is stated in the fluff that Lords of Change can only be defeated if it's part of Tzeentch's plan, because in this instance he tricks his own daemon to further some ends. Considering the aforementioned relationship between the Chaos Gods and their Greater Daemons, this means that Tzeentch is not merely purposefully sacrificing his own chess pieces, but that he effectively does it in a game against himself. Chaos exemplified.
The Chaos Marines known as the Word Bearers are more organized than the other Chaos space marines by devoting themselves to all four Chaos powers at once. They are chaos and evil that is restrained by religious devotion and military discipline. They are all willing to die for the greater glory of Chaos.
Also the Red Corsairs. Like the Word Bearers, they are devoted to all four Chaos powers, and are thoroughly corrupted, but they still operate like a Space Marine chapter, with organized battle-companies and internal departments like a Librarium and Apothecarion.
The Space Marine chapter the Marines Malevolence. They are loyal to the Imperium, but have low views on civilians, or anyone other than themselves for that matter. For them they will complete their mission at all costs, even if it means killing thousands of civilians in the crossfire.
Dark Elves in Warhammer. They have a strict, law-bound society which is evil to the boot.
The human domains, Bretonnia and Empire, also have shades of this, but not nearly to the degrees of their 40k counterpart.
While many of them have different motivations setting them apart from each other, the Vampire Counts usually tend to lean in this direction too, especially as a larger force. They fight Chaos, but they are also bent on conquering the Empire and turning all of it's living citizens into undead minions not only to deny chaos new worshippers, but also to create a new order without any fear of resistance. Vlad von Carstein himself is a prime example of this, and he even came frighteningly close to achieving said goal too.
The Tomb Kings, they are very content on staying on their deserts in Nehekara, but will send thousands of their skeletal legions on anyone who dares steals their treasure. They wage war with the dwarfs over a single coin, and will lay siege on the Empires capital to recover their magical artifacts locked in the wizards vaults.
Hobgoblins in Dungeons & Dragons are just as brutal as orcs, but have a regimented society and cooperative spirit that makes them doubly dangerous.
The Devils are the archetypal Lawful Evil creatures (as opposed to the Chaotic Evil Demons). They have a strict hierarchy, and seek to conquer rather destroy the multiverse. They are extremely organized but utterly ruthless. In 4th edition, Asmodeus, the lord of all devils was actually made into the god of Tyranny.
Somewhat paradoxically he isn't Lawful Evil, as 4th removed that piece of the alignment table.
Seeing as monks have to be Lawful Something, this would be the canonical alignment of a given D&D campaign's Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy.
Pathfinder keeps Asmodeus as the God of Tyranny, and adds another Lawful Evil deity in Zon-Kuthon, god of darkness, envy, pain, and loss. With a strictly regimented church based around the initiate's ability to survive torture, Zon-Kuthon is an even more twisted version of this trope than the Well-Intentioned Extremist Asmodeus.
The few White and Blue villains fall into this. As well as several Black villains, and villains that are a mixture of either two of those three colours.
Blue does not necessarily mean lawful, but they do have lawful tendencies due to their close association with it's neighboring colour, white. This does not mean they aren't more flexible with rules, for example, so Neutral Evil and Chaotic Evil examples crop up occasionally.
New Phyrexia unites the two previous examples, giving us the white praetor Elesh Norn and the blue praetor Jin-Gitaxias.
The Orzhov Syndicate in Ravnica combines white's methods (law and order) with black's motivations (power and greed), resulting in a protection racket that masks itself as a church.
Cecylene and She Who Lives In Her Name, two of the Yozis in Exalted, although for different reasons. Cecylene is Lawful Evil because she is a Social Darwinist who believes the strong have both a right and a duty to rule the weak. She Who Lives In Her Name, on the other hand, just hates individuality and free will with a passion.
The Coalition States of Rifts is made out to be this: totalitarian, militaristic, and expansionist, strange as they have a Chaotic Evil emperor. The magical nation of Tolkeen became this alignment during their war with the coalition states, becoming their reflection and turning a blind eye to all the evil magic they embraced in order to fight the war.
In the Old World of Darkness, the medieval Tzimisce and the few traditional or "Old Clan" Tzimisce elders in modern times are this. They are utterly cruel and merciless, and adhere to a highly alien philosophical system. At the same time, they are highly cultivated and intellectual, courteous in the extreme to other Cainites (sometimes even to their mortal victims, although then it's probably more a form of elaborate cruelty) and bound by their own odd, but existent brand of an honour system. They are fully capable of lying, but never of betraying their word. And Tzimisce hospitality laws ensure that, if another Cainite, even from an enemy clan, is given guest-right in their domain, he/she is perfectly safe from harm: the Tzimisce will treat him as being under their protection even if they're mortal enemies, simply because "tradition dictates so".
The Sabbat followers on the Path of Honorable Accord place honor and chivalry foremost and never go back on their word, unlike the rest of their Chaotic Evil brethren. Their chivalry does not mean that they are any nicer to humans, however.
The Camarilla, the organization of vampires that are presented as the "good guys" of the setting, follow a strict Obstructive Code of Conduct to ensure the survival of kindred everywhere, the most important of which is the titular Masquerade which the setting is based around, and are willing to go through almost any length to enforce it. While of course most vampires within the Camarilla are generally nicer than this, most elders of the sect are extremely manipulative, not caring much about the moral implications of these things, as long as they can enforce these golden rules that keep the kindred as a society alive in a world that would easily want them dead if they got found out.
Mr. Cladwell in the musical Urinetown. His evil goals are mainly about keeping order through complete and utter control, imposing strict regulations.
Bowser of the Mario series. As a typical Evil Overlord who wants to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom, he fits into this territory.
Tiber Septim (Talos) from the Elder Scrolls is lawful evil as he had his Dunmer (Dark Elf) mistress abort his hybrid child, by force, to prevent him/her from challenging his legitimate children for the throne and waged war on various provinces, massacring thousands, to unite them under a single empire.
GLaDOS from Portal is this alignment, since her evil behaviour is largely the result of her corrupt core programming. When freed from its influence, her personality shifts to Chaotic Good.
Greyfield, from Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. He maintains control of his army through threats and manipulation.
NiGHTS' Evil TwinReala is also his exact opposite in alignment: utterly loyal to the evil Wizeman, and dirty, cruel and insidious.
Anna Navarre from Deus Ex is a classic example. She's very loyal to UNATCO and always obeys orders, but is elated whenever the orders involve killing people. She also has a distaste for agents like Paul Denton, who revile killing others.
In Disgaea 4 it has been stated that demons have the job to scare the humans to keep them in order. By scaring the humans it also provides "fear energy" to the Netherworld, which the Netherworld practically runs on. When humans pray for protection to heavens, Celestia gains "awe energy", which gives the angels courage.
Their alignment (and fitting the first description) are derived from the goddess they serve. Wanting to keep the order at all costs, the "Good" goddess Ashera that they serve is willing to petrify every living thing on the planet to stop the war they're caught up in. The only exceptions were the followers of Ashera (the aforementioned senators) and the ones under the protection of Ashera's Chaotic Good counterpart "Evil" goddess Yune (the party members). This alignment mix was to prove that Chaotic isn't always evil and Lawful isn't always good.
Kil'Jaeden the Deceiver◊. In addition to being a fan of chess, he seems to be the only demon in the universe who gives minions second chances to further his plans rather than just kill everyone who fails him like the common Bad Boss.
Kel'Thuzad◊, the right hand of the Lich King. While the Dark Lord's alignment kind of fluctuates from time to time, good old Kel stays the same ever since swearing his soul to the master of death. In Warcraft III, his Lawful Evil poses a nice comparison to Arthas' Neutral Evil.
Ironically, the frequently ignored role-playing game guides put both Kel'Thuzad and Arthas under Chaotic Evil, both obviously more methodic in their workings than Illidan, who is listed as Neutral Evil. But the definitions for the alignments in these guides seem to differ a lot from the D&D one anyway.
Based on what remains of their legends, the ancient troll empires fell into this category. While they likely practiced many of the same barbaric traditions as seen today, like cannibalism, their rule was perhaps one of the most peaceful periods in Azeroth's history. To further prove their inclination towards lawfulness, those trolls that were deemed too savage and barbaric by the southern trolls were banished to the icy reaches of Northrend.
Aribeth de Tylmarande of Neverwinter Nights may bounce back and forth on the good-evil axis, but she never deviates from a lawful alignment. Likewise, Mephistopheles in the second game is bound by rules just as much as any paladin, he just has no conscience to go along with the rules.
Agent 47, the Anti-Hero/Villain Protagonist of the Hitman series, especially in the last two games. He is a cold-blooded and ruthless assassin, but has a strict, self-imposed policy of not killing innocents, except if they are directly threatening the success of his mission, or if it's explicitly ordered by his contract agency. In the Lighter and Softer first two games, he is more Lawful Neutral/True Neutral.
The Agency which he works for also qualifies, since they much prefer to accept contracts on criminals and shady people in general, such as drug lords, gangster bosses, and human traders, over political leaders and other public figures, since their continued existence rely on a very delicate balance act in the world politics, and too much chaos and public attention towards them from government agencies could very easily shift this.
Saren Arterius in Mass Effect ("Is submission not preferable to extinction?").
Cerberus, which is a pro-human organization led by "The Illusive Man" willing to do some brutal experimentation and methods for the sake of securing human dominance.
There's also the Reapers. ("We impose order on the chaos of organic evolution. You exist because we allow it, and you will end because we demand it.")
Along with Death, we also have Carmilla, another loyal servant to Dracula.
In Overlord, your Evil Chancellor Gnarl advises you to be this, stating that being Ax-Crazy and slaughtering everyone in your way, while can be boatloads of fun is not good for long-term world domination since you will need servants for your empire. He also sees giving peasants some help as Pragmatic Villainy, saying that "gratitude comes with it's own rewards". Still, the decision is all up to you as a player and he does delight in acts of particularly vicious evil, though canonically it's suggested that the Overlord was a Noble Demon who at the least saved the elves and slain the Fallen Heroes ruining the lands. In the sequel this is known as Domination, with the Overlad merely choosing to brainwash any civilians he comes across to become slaves that toil for him. Alternately you can be Chaotic Evil and choose Destruction instead, killing them all.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney has Manfred Von Karma and Damon Gant, both of whom used every tactic from deception to murder to gain and maintain control of the legal system. Shelley De Killer is a different example of this: a ruthless assassin who takes his contracts very seriously and is a man of his word.
Apollo Justice has Kristoph Gavin, although his concern for the law seems to be unconnected to his penchant for Disproportionate Retribution. In fact, his Villainous Breakdown is best summed up as a rant about the potential inefficiency of the recently reimplanted Jurist System.
Lord Recluse is an Evil Overlord who rules his island nation with an iron first, but privately relishes a chance to get blood on his hands.
Hector from the Dept Heaven series is a tough call between this and Neutral Evil. He's at the top of Asgard and his ultimate desire was to rule over the world as god.
Canderous in Knights of the Old Republic prefers to operate within the Mandalorian rules of war, but has no particular objection to vaporising urban centres in order to achieve an objective. He doesn't like it, but nor does he feel any particular distaste for it.
"The strong are meant to rule the weak! It is the way of the universe!"
Uthar Wynn in Knights of the Old Republic, is the Master of the Sith Academy on Korriban. He is completely loyal to the ideal of the Sith, and if the player character is revealed to be Revan he swears fealty to the player, and assures them that once Malak is dead, that he, and all Sith will be at your service.
Despite being the Dark Lord of the Sith, it's heavily implied that Darth Revan fell under this alignment, rarely killing those he did not need to, such as the Rakata Elders on Lehon. This trait seems consistent with how they were as a Jedi.
More or less confirmed in the sequels. Revan knew the Republic was too weak to resist the true Sith Empire and believed he could use the Star Forge to quickly conquer and reshape it into a force that could oppose the Emperor.
In Star Wars: The Old Republic, a Light-Sided Sith Warrior comes across as a firm Type 2, as despite their Blood Knight tendencies, they keep themselves in check by refusing to take lives that are unnecessary to their goals. Imperial Agents of both alignments tend to be a Type 1, as their role is to maintain order in the Empire by whatever means necessary.
Prince Maximillian in Valkyria Chronicles is the ruler of The Empire and overall Big Bad of the game who invades the main characters' nation. However he's also a strict follower of the rules of war and has an officer of his court-martialled for war crimes.
And the real reason he committed said act? He seeks to create a world where nobody, ever, has to suffer The Evils of Free Will.
Ryo Ishikawa of Shogo: Mobile Armor Division is quite ruthless in his plan to control Cronus's supply of Kato, but rather than do anything overtly illegal, he settles for manipulating the UCA into destroying the Fallen to create a power vacuum.
The Morag Tong and the Dark Brotherhood, the guilds of assassins in The Elder Scrolls Universe. The Morag Tong has worked alongside the government of Morrowind to allow it's members to murder with impunity, and the Dark Brotherhood is dependent on order and regulation of it's members to preserve its secrecy.
In Halo, Colonel James Ackerson. While he works with the UNSC for the survival of the Human race, he is a monster when it comes to his remorseless actions: He tried to have the Master Chief killed when he was first trying the MJOLNIR Mark V, hoped Reach would have been completely glassed by the Covenant just so Halsey and the SPARTAN-IIs were no longer a threat to him (regardless of the enormous use they had to UNSC High Command), refused to send a ship to look for survivors when there were suspicions that the Master Chief had survived, and kidnapped a Spartan from Halsey for his own project, which involved sending hundreds of children to die in suicide missions. However, he does somewhat redeem himself before his death, by first leading a valiant defense on Mars, and then tricking his Covenant captors into thinking that there was a Forerunner artifact in Cleveland, delaying its glassing so that its residents (including his brother) could have a chance to escape.
The entire race of Prophets (San 'Shyuum) are this. They are an extremely political race, and a very manipulative and evil one. They keep order within the Covenant, but treason, blackmail, and assassination are their everyday bread. In fact, the High Prophets of Truth, Mercy, and Regret (the leaders of the Covenant) ordered the annihilation of humanity (heirs of their Gods they adored) to simply keep the Covenant together under their rule. They are so vile to the point their scientific name in the Bestiarium is Perfidia Vermis, "Worm of Treachery".
On the other hand, their highly-advanced prehistoric ancestors, while still considered universally slippery, were at least no more evil as a whole than either their human allies or their Forerunner enemies.
While Faber, the Master Builder of the Forerunners, was the one who commissioned the only weapons capable of stopping the Flood, he was also an exceptionally cruel and arrogant individual who approved experimenting on sentient beings, was perfectly willing to torture and kill anyone who crossed him, and test-fired the Halos by wiping out almost every San 'Shyuum left in existence. Eventually, he realizes what an asshole he's been, and sacrifices himself in an attempt to protect the Greater Ark.
Loghain from Dragon Age: Origins used to be Lawful Neutral (and thinks he still is), doing "what has to be done" for the sake of the nation and his own sense of self sacrificing honour. By the time of the game however this has warped itself to Lawful Evil, as it has long since grown into resentment and malice towards those who he feels don't deserve their power (by virtue of not being him).
Meredith from the sequel. As Knight-Commander of Kirkwall's Templars, her duty is to protect the city's mages and keep them from practicing Blood Magic - but she only seems concerned with the second part. She steadily deprives her charges of their legal rights, executes attempted escapees as a "lesson" to others, and turns a blind eye to beatings, sexual assaults and repeated misuse of the Rite of Tranquility (the magical equivalent of lobotomy). For some unaccountable reason, mages start resorting to blood magic in droves under her rule.
This is the default Alignment of Jin Kisaragi, or in fact most of the NOL members. They abide to their oppressive rules which earns the ire of many many citizens, though as Jin coined, they're doing it so 'there's no misuse of Armagus'.
Continuum Shift DOES have one character to exemplify a monstrous Lawful Evil: Relius Clover. He is responsible for various horrendous experiments, which may include the player character if he ever meets them in their bad ends, as well as casually turning his wife and daughter into automaton and cares really little for his son. However, he's highly respecting the authority and less-chaos loving than his ally Hazama. And if you look at his hobby, you do see that he lives in an orderly manner, likes opera shows and... what does he dislike? Unarranged book shelves
Pokey from EarthBound is clearly Chaotic Evil during the game, but takes a turn towards Lawful Evil some time after Earthbound and before Mother 3, aiming more for enslaving everything rather than complete annihilation, while still maintaining his highly dickish personality.
The indie strategy title Solium Infernum, based around the nobles of hell fighting for dominance after Lucifer vanishes, runs on this trope. War can only be declared as a response to one player publicly provoking the other and is fought to a pre determined time limit and goal. The game is usually won not by wiping the other players out, but by being regarded as the biggest Magnificent Bastard when the election takes place.
The Space Pirates from Metroid. They live in what is a fascist dictatorship, with harsh punishments for disobedience (although free speech is allowed), and want to dominate the galaxy, killing or enslaving all other sentient races and removing all of those useless things covering planets, like ancient ruins.
Although it is hard applying any sort of alignment to most characters in Team Fortress 2, the Announcer definitely has to qualify as Lawful Evil. This is the kind of character who is equally disgusted by friendship and cheating, and values loyalty extremely high according to all official material released by Valve, including executing You Have Failed Me whenever she is displeased with the efforts of either team. Lawful Evil all over.
Sigma in the Mega Man X series, who will gleefully do anything to wipe out all humans on Earth.
Moebius from Legacy of Kain fits here. Truly believes in fate and that free will is an illusion, and is the loyal servant of an evil god, Moebius has organized not one, not two, but three Knight Templar crusades to exterminate vampires, and willingly sacrifices countless lives in pursuit of this goal. A Manipulative Bastard that borders on and occasionally crosses the line into magnificence, Moebius toys with people's destinies for his own amusement, not by ignoring, breaking, or working outside of the rules— but by playing and abusing the rules of the system to his own advantage.
The Combine from Half-Life 2. They are extremely well organized, going from world to world, conquering it, sucking all the resources off of it, turning the local populace into soldiers, oppressing its people, and keep the planet occupied as they use it to invade the next planet, or the next dimension. There is also the numerous regulations that must be obeyed by the citizens, unless they want a stun stick courtesy of Civil Protection. Also, by extension, both Dr. Breen and the combine advisors, along with the Civil Protection, but they all have their Neutral Evil moments.
Shao Kahn is the tyrannical ruler of a parallel dimension, bent on conquering Earth. Thing is, in the MK universe, the Elder Gods have established rules for waging war on other dimensions, which Shao Kahn adheres to unquestioningly. The closest he's ever come to working outside the system was using a loophole in these rules to gain a foothold on Earth in MK3.
Shao Kahn only obeys out of pure pragmatism- namely, the Elder Gods will destroy him if he tries to actually break the rules. In Mortal Kombat 9, he actually does this anyway once he's given the impression that the Elder's won't act- they do, but their attack seems impotent, and he laughs it off and assumes that they were weaker than he thought all along. Onaga, the previous ruler of Outworld, was full-on Lawful Evil as the realm was orderly under his (tyrannical) rule, but Kahn is Chaotic Evil, ruling Outworld as a Blood Knight and The Caligula, pitting his minions against each other to remain in power despite the result being inefficiency, and generally not giving a crap about laws beyond "what Shao Kahn feels like".
Hotaru. He's cynically militant in that believes order, rules, law, and control is the only way to make sure society is peaceful and functional, and has no regard for the battle between good and evil, just as long as he suppresses chaos and stops people breaking the rules. He comes from Seido, or Orderrealm, as part of the Sedian guard that very much share his philosophy that freedom leads to anarchy, and anarchy leads to suffering. He doesn't care how order is carried out, just that it is. For example, he opposes the long running evil of Shao Kahn, because Shao Kahn achieves his plans of total realm merging through invasions and wars that Hotaru finds chaotic. However he pledges allegiance to the still diabolical evil Dragon King, Onaga, who threatens to merge all the realms into one under his wrath using a different method, combining the special kamidogu so the realms merge automatically, because he believes that this is orderly and disciplined, seemingly ignoring the destruction and evil that would come with it. Could be seen as Lawful Stupid in that in his militant haste to achieve order whenever he can, rather than say adhering to a certain ethical code in particular, he seems completely oblivious that he's unmaking reality and bringing about the end of the realms as he knows it. That he religiously adheres to an evil ruler, and commits evil under obedience because he's being 'lawful', while seemingly showing no compassion, means Lawful Neutral would not be an appropriate place to put him, perhaps focusing on his own ideology at the selfish expense of someone suffering. and is more than willing to kill if he thinks someone is on the side of chaos. He sided with the Big Bad of Deception, his debut appearance, because he believed it would bring order to the realms, sided with the forces of evil in Armageddon, and was the first to kill in the Battle of Armageddon. Fittingly, the character he killed was Chaotic Good.
Its not to do with their different methods; Hotaru sides with Onaga because Onaga is a more Lawful tyrant and Outworld is less chaotic under his rule. Its not entirely clear if Hotaru is even aware that Onaga is trying to conquer all the realms (that is, anytime soon) and is more interested in bringing Order to Outworld by putting a more Orderly ruler back on the throne.
As pointed out in The Spoony Experiment 's Ultima overview, one of the most insidious things about evil is that it can take something like rules for living well and twist them into something unrecognizable. Ultima IV had noBig Bad, just a mission for you to learn a bunch of virtues to be the embodiment of good. In Ultima V, those same virtues are being enforced by law; crushing, stringent law which slowly but surely turns the world into a hellhole for the average citizen, all in the name of goodness.
BioShock: Andrew Ryan, Atlas/Frank Fontaine, and Sofia Lamb, all of whom are power-hungry monsters seeking to seize control the underwater city of Rapture for themselves.
Ryan and Lamb certainly qualify, with both adhering with a religious fanaticism to their ideology (Objectivism for Andrew Ryan, Collectivism for Sofia Lamb). Fontaine, however, is more of a Magnificent Bastard, willing to use anything at his disposal for a con.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi in Sengoku Basara is ruthless to those who oppose him and plans for uniting the land with brute force. Once you get on his side, however, he shows quite the charisma to make you worship him properly, as well as having a strict code of conduct. In fact, most of the Toyotomi followers are like this, Takenaka Hanbe is slavishly loyal to him, Ishida Mitsunari takes the 'evilness' to the extreme in form of being massively murderous to those who are against the Toyotomi, and Otani Yoshitsugu is still loyal to it despite having tendencies for Neutral Evil. The main exception is Kanbe, who is ambitious and backstabbing (though incredibly unlucky and incompetent) being roughly Chaotic Neutral.
Golden Sun's Agatio is the only Fire Clan antagonist who fits neatly into a character alignment, despite how little characterization he receives in the games. He is shown to defer to authority figures (lawful), and outright boasts to Felix's party that he wants the Fire Clan to rule the world and will do everything in his power to make it happen (evil). This makes him the "loyal subservient villain" type, though he's a bit sneakier and more independent than that phrase implies.
Colonel Vanek in F.E.A.R., as well as Armacham Technology Corporation in general. While they've got a profit motive, Vanek and the ATC director's board are also disgusted by he extent of the horrors caused by the psychic warfare research division. Vanek even makes it clear that he considers the idea behind the Replica program to be "fucking crazy" but that doesn't stop him from dutifully carrying out massacres of civilians, and if it weren't for the Origin facility explosion killing them all before he arrived, he would have purged the entire student body of Wade Elementary.
Dark Souls Gravelord Servants, The covenant of Gravelord Nito. The followers of Nito are granted the power to spread disaster in the world of others, creating red phantom enemies of per-existing monsters to kill other players.
Akuma from Street Fighter is definitely Lawful: he follows a code of conduct that says that he only fights fair battles, he only fights those worthy of fighting (no ordinary people), and he also only fights them at their full strength (he ended a fight early with Gen after he found out he was sick). He is Evil because every fight must also be a fight to the death, and he shows no compassion or mercy once a fight has begun. There is only one fight he chose not to fight fairly, and that is against M. Bison, because Bison stole his power rather than gain it on his own, and this deserved death in Akuma's eyes. This establishes Akuma as Type 2 Lawful Evil.
The Templars from Assassin's Creed. They seek to bring peace and order to the world by completely removing the concept of free will, and as a whole they have no qualms about killing hundreds, thousands, even millions of people to achieve this goal. World War II was an entire Templar plot just to move a Piece of Eden from Point A to Point B, to give you an idea. The Assassins, on the other hands, seek to ensure free will among all mankind...by killing anyone who would dare suppress it. Both have also allied with people traditionally cast as good guys and bad guys throughout history: for example, traditional villains Hitler and Stalin were Templars, but so were Churchill and FDR, while the Assassins hunted down John Wilkes Booth after he murdered Lincoln but were later allied to the likes of Vladimir Lenin and Mao Zedong.
Both Ur-Quan branches in Star Control. They are ordered, avoid what they see as unnecessary cruelty and have a sense of honor — it's just that the horrific things they had to live through (the Ur-Quan have a racial memory) have led the Kzer-Za to conclude that all non-Ur-Quan sapience must be enslaved (they do, in fairness, have a fairly broad definition of slavery, and they regard protecting their slaves as part of the deal), while the Kohr-Ah came to the conclusion that all non-Ur-Quan sapience must be exterminated. It comes out the most for Kzer-Za, since they're the ones with the most peaceful interactions with others and for quite some time were the only Ur-Quan known to humans.
Redcloak is a textbook example of having a Lawful Evil attitude and proud of it:
Redcloak: Do they think crushing an entire civilization beneath our heels "just happens?" It's all fun and games for them, but I'm the one who has to make the magical lightning-powered trains run on time.
Elan's Evil Twin brother Nale is also LE, all the better to contrast with the Chaotic Good Elan. Much like Belkar and Xykon are both Chaotic Evil but ultimately very different both in personality and motive, they're not all that similar. Alignment not being a straitjacket is one of the comic's major themes.
Daimyo Kubota, a corrupt aristocrat of Azure City, can be considered Lawful Evil, exploiting every legal loophole he could find in his schemes to assassinate Hinjo and seize power. It takes a bit of chaotic action to bring him down.
General Tarquin's version of Lawful Evil comes through Genre Savvy: Tarquin treats his life as an ongoing narrative arc in a Heroic Fantasy (in which he is the Evil Overlord fated to one day fall in an epic battle against a worthy hero), making him Genre Savvy because he knows the tropes and clichés and can act appropriately to shape it to his liking in accordance to the Theory of Narrative Causality. On the flip side it means he judges people according to their story role (or, at least, what he thinks is their role) and has little to no understanding of them as people. He's quick to get rid of, or in the rare cases where they mater to him for some reason correct, people who don't stick to (his vision for) the script.
Tarquin: As I've said before, procedure matters. [The Safety of the world] is meaningless if everyone is going to run around doing whatever they feel like, without regard for proper story structure. There must be some sense of order — personal, political, or dramatic — and if no one else is going to bring it to this world, I will.
Tarvek Sturmvaraus, most likely. He seems to care about his subjects in Sturmhalten and he prefers it when people help him voluntarily, but part of his plan to take over the Baron's empire involved using The Other's technology to help him win the battle of hearts and minds with mind control.
He's confirmed himself to be this by one of his latest rants:
Tarvek: If someone can't handle an unpleasant truth? Lie to them. If someone won't listen to reason? Make them. If people don't choose to live peaceable? Don't give them a choice. If you don't like the rules - change the game.
All of which he says he learned from Baron Wulfenbach, who is himself either Lawful Evil or Lawful Neutral.
Gordon Frohman of Concerned is a fanatical follower of The Combine and is a self-proclaimed enemy of the Human Resistance and Gordon Freeman due to a genuine and incredibly idiotic love of tyranny.
Brian and Angelo, from Our Little Adventure. They run a tyrannical empire together but seem hung up on professionalism and try their best to be friendly with the staff. Even Angelo said he would make amends to the employee he killed by resurrecting her and giving her a raise.
Psyk the demon in is the organiser and voice of reason among the generally more chaotic inhabitants of the Dimension of Pain. Towards his fellow demons, he is Lawful Neutral, almost a Nice Guy. That doesn't keep him from slaughtering and conquering humans along with the others when they get a chance, though.
Binky and Clyde are initially two mooks working for the supervillainish crime-lord Crushestro. They identify themselves as evil minions first and foremost, so that when they end up in a random dimension, they gladly take orders from Dambdulf the wizard just after meeting him once they interpret his order to Shoot the Dog as evil. They go on to decide to become heroes instead and save the town of Dumbblefolk from dragons... only to switch sides again as soon as they are asked to defend it from an evil wizard because he gives them a chance to be evil minions again, and that's just what they do. And they live happily ever after.
Megatron in almost all of his incarnations, especially Beast Wars and Transformers Animated. In most cases he seeks to tear down the existing order (which he sees as unfair and corrupt) and replace it with his own. As the leader of the Decepticons he rules them with an iron fist.
Lockdown from Transformers Animated is also Lawful Evil - after all, a well ordered system is so much easier to exploit - but it is very obvious that he prefers to work for the Decepticons, because Evil Pays Better.
Swindle is exactly the same - at one point he even mentions Lockdown as a kind of business associate.
Clock King, a villain from Batman: The Animated Series, who did everything according to his own by-the-minute schedule every single day. The one time he didn't...er, things didn't go so well.
Most of the villains from Kim Possible, since they do follow the traditions of villainy. Often exploited because it is this very tradition that lets Team Possible come out of the traps alive.
Señor Senior Senior, in particular, goes by the book (of villainy).
Lemongrab of Adventure Time. Although he isn't evil, and is arguably a sympathetic character (thanks to his... eh, delicate mental condition,) he does end up sending everybody in the kingdom to the dungeon, when he's in power. All he wants is order, peace and quiet, and cleanliness. Unfortunately, he tries to achieve this through terribly misguided means.
Later on, he DOES become evil and unsympathetic due to his desire to make his earldom orderly to impress his "mother", turning on his own children and brother in the process and becoming a truly Lawful Evil dictator. He ends up killed and then remade and merged pieces of his brother, so hopefully he'll be better off now.
Avatar: The Last Airbender's Dai Li and their leader Long Feng are the purest Lawful Evil. They're all about preserving order and stability at the cost of happiness and free will, and have connived and manipulated their way to the top of the government in Ba Sing Se to make sure of that. Favored tactics include kidnapping, misinformation, and total brainwashing.
Fire Lord Sozin and Fire Lord Azulon also fit the alignment.
Uncle Ruckus from The Boondocks is either this or Lawful Neutral depending on what race he's addressing. The senior Ed Wuncler is a straight example.
Uncle Ruckus is a very unpleasant man, but episodes have went out of there way to show he's far from evil. Obnoxious, but not at all evil.
Big Bad Venger from the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon does have a few deceptive schemes, but if he strikes a deal with someone, he's not likely to be the one who breaks it, and the heroes are often surprised that he doesn't backstab them when they agree to cooperate.