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"In the place of a Dark Lord you would have a Queen! Not dark but beautiful and terrible as the Morn! Treacherous as the Seas! Stronger than the foundations of the Earth! All shall love me and despair!"
Love is something best given freely, not demanded; it's something that has to be earned and worked at to keep alive, not a one sided entitlement
. However, the Love Hungry
character didn't get the memo. They are so insecure, greedy and/or starved of affection
, they don't care: they want absolute, unconditional and perpetual love and feel that the ends justify the means. They won't settle for being merely loved by others, but in having their love enslaved to always do so. Even a genuinely kind person
may become Love Hungry by being broken by fear
of losing their love, anger at rejection
, jealousy for another's love
, or a narcissistic desire to be the most loved.
This character may try to gain love through sabotaging other's relationships
or even murder
. If they lack this finesse or get really
desperate, they may kidnap the person(s) that they want to love them and try to create Stockholm Syndrome
. Of course, this Tragic Dream
usually gets the opposite result, with the target becoming angry or fearful and rejecting the Love Hungry. The presence of magic and powers usually means that Love Is in the Air
, Charm Person
will be used to create this forced love.
This plot usually has An Aesop
about not forcing others to love you, and many characters who try this regret doing so before long and return wiser to the Status Quo
. If they don't, it usually means they'll do a Face Heel Turn
, who is violent about keeping their lover. Compare All Take and No Give
, where the taker tries to force someone into loving and serving them. See also Love Makes You Evil
and Love Makes You Crazy
. Relate to Happiness Is Mandatory
and Getting Smilies Painted On Your Soul
, where happy emotions are forced on others. For a more literal take, see Emotion Eater
Anime and Manga:
- In the backstory material for Code Geass, CC, then a young slave, who is adorable but has never had a best friend, wishes that everyone would love her. It quickly becomes a Be Careful What You Wish For tale as she learns that if you force everyone to love you, then none of it will be genuine. Full spoilers here.
- Greg in A Cruel God Reigns. He is convinced that if he whips and rapes Jeremy enough, he will come to love him. Greg believes that everyone loves him, and therefore so should Jeremy, but it kind of backfires on him and Jeremy eventually tampers with his car and kills him.
- Oonagi in Copernicus Breathing, although he doesn't do this outright to Bird's Nest at the beginning. At first he is kind to him, but when Bird's Nest starts falling for his old circus co-worker Leo, Oonagi ties him up for days, demanding his love.
- In the second half of Princess Tutu, Mytho's emotion of Love is corrupted by the blood of the Raven king. Rather than "a prince who loves all and is loved by all", he demands that people love him, and hate everyone else.
Film - Live-Action
Film - Western Animation:
- In Preacher, the whole reason God Is Evil is because He wanted to be loved. He created the Heavenly Host so that He wouldn't be alone, but since they couldn't help but love Him, their "love" was meaningless. That's why life on Earth is full of so much strife and tragedy — God is putting humanity through the ringer just to make their love mean something.
- Jesse claims that God manipulated Genesis' parents into conceiving it because He wanted the love of a being more powerful than Himself.
- In The Rescuers, Babysitter From Hell Madame Medusa lampshades this. Penny might have been willing to accept Medusa as a foster parent if Medusa had not prioritized obtaining the MacGuffin over Penny's safety. Spoilers here.
Madame Medusa: Snoops, you don't have a way with children. (sweetly) You must gain their confidence... make them like you.
Snoops: Yeah? How do you do that?
Madame Medusa: (angrily) You FORCE them to like you, idiot!
- Rare, heroic example - The Child-Goddess Aphrael from David Eddings' Sparhawk setting. Rather than 'romantic' love, she aims for 'parental' affection, but it's no less binding, and she's perfectly ruthless about it, going so far as to be incarnated as Sparhawk's biological daughter, just so she'd have a stronger hold over him.
- The Belgariad provides a darker example. The Big Bad God of Evil, Torak, is driven by the need to be loved, by which he forces his people to make Human Sacrifice to appease him. At the climax of the series, he attempts to use his godly will to force Polgara to become his willing bride, and her ability to refuse him is what causes him to be defeated. Afterward, it's revealed that the other gods and his mother the Universe did love him, but he couldn't recognize it because he was so essentially narcissistic and self-centered that to him love meant obedience and abasement.
- In The Lord of the Rings, this is what would become of Galadriel if she had succumbed to the Ring and claimed it for her own. The current page quote is Galadriel's way of telling Frodo this.
- In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince it's revealed that Voldemort's mother, Merope Gaunt, was desperately in love with Tom Riddle Sr. So much so that she used a love potion to get him to elope with her. Tragically, she grew to want him to genuinely love her and released him from the effects of the potion. Once released he fled, leaving her with their unborn child. Her Death by Childbirth (possibly due to a combination of complications, depression, homelessness and a broken heart) left her son an orphan.
- One of the vignettes in Demon The Fallen has a recently released demon in possession of a human woman (it's closer to a Mental Fusion). She's tempted by an Eldritch Abomination with enough power to get everything she wants, and part of that included mentally enslaving her already loving husband to never stop loving her. Like Galadriel, she realizes the vision is ultimately hurtful and refuses.
- On one episode of Fairly OddParents due to Timmy's Wish, he and Trixie are the only two male and female left on the planet, and although Timmy initially enjoys being with his Love Interest due to Trixie's attention demanding personality, she wants Timmy to show her the attention that normally lots and lots of people would give to her, eventually exploding into full-on Yandere mode.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "The Best Night Ever," Fluttershy tries to get the woodland creatures around the gala to come to her in a Friend to All Living Things fashion. For some reason they're all scared of her (she usually can get wild animals to flock to her and sing on cue), and she slowly cracks to the point of trying to capture them all, culminating in causing a stampede of wild animals fleeing her in terror and ending with the page quote.
- A non romantic version of this ( similar to Galadriel's under Lord of the Rings above) serves as the main motivation behind Princess Luna's backstory. She wanted to be as loved and appreciated as her sister and wanted her night to be as loved and appreciated as the daytime. Her plan to achieve this? Muck about with dark magics ( which may or may not have possesed her) in order to become stronger than her sister, install herself as Equestria's sole ruler, and institute everlasting night in the hopes that finally her subjects would come to appreciate and love her and her night. Nevermind that most of Equestria's population would have starved to death had she suceeded...