Let me tell you one thing, and then let us speak of it no more. Love is a weakness. Love is a cancer that grows inside and makes one do foolish things. Love is death.
Love can make you do stupid
things, and if you happen to be a good person, can make you suspectible to the Dark Side
. Things you'd never
in your sane mind do. A Genre Savvy
person—hero or villain—knows this. Whether or not they can actually have the object of their affections, if they can't have them
, or if they even try to
, love is forsaken because it's an undesirable weakness (they are not Genre Savvy
enough to know about the Power of Love
, however). These people often try to separate themselves from their loved one, try to remove the feeling, or, in an extreme case, a villain may choose to kill off the one they love. If the object of their affections loves them anyway knowing their turmoil, they become a Love Martyr
. Unlike a Celibate Hero
, this person can be someone who does
fall in love—but doesn't want to.
Love Is a Weakness
is invoked to avoid any number of Love Hurts
tropes—especially if a villain decides to take advantage of it in the meantime. If a villain decides to finally accept the love and it's not reciprocated
, it might be Sex Is Evil and I Am Horny
, Stalker with a Crush
, or Mad Love
. Requited, they may also be redeemed
through the Power of Love
, or an Unholy Matrimony
may be born. If a hero was wrong about love
, a Happily Ever After
might be in store.
While gender-neutral in terms of occurrence, this trope often has a very different flavor if the subject is male or female: a male character believing this is often a regular Celibate Hero
or an asexual
thinking poorly of romance in general and usually has never been in a relationship; by contrast, a female is usually a Broken Bird
who was shattered so hard by previous relationships that she just doesn't want one anymore. If the character is a villain, gender usually has no impact on their reasoning.
A variation of Allergic to Love
. Related to It's Not You, It's My Enemies
, where a hero gives up the love of their life so the Big Bad
can't strike at them through their Love Interest
. Subtrope of Virtue Is Weakness
. Contrast to In Love with Love
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Anime And Manga
- In Judge Dredd, it's Justice Dept.'s view that love corrupts a Judge's better sense of judgment. As such, "extrajudicial liaisons" are illegal and Judges are not allowed to marry or raise a family.
- In The Brat Pack, Moon Maiden is extremely clear on her view of relationships -a woman warrior doesn't need a man for anything but her own amusement. When her sidekick Lunar Lass turns up pregnant, she flips out and pressures her to give herself an abortion with a wire hanger.
- In the Batman Beyond comic book the hero, Terry McGinnis, has to fight the whole Justice League Unlimited of his era, one by one (short story: he need to handle an hostage situation alone, and the League wouldn't simply leave Gotham). While he manages to subdue most of the heavy hitters, he's left to face... Marina, the then current Aquagirl— the cute, meek, adorable Girl Next Door who everyone likes and always eschews unnecessary fighting. Bruce Wayne, on radio contact with Terry, has only a suggestion for him: "Fear the one you love most", suggesting he consider Aquagirl with extreme prejudice because of the crush almost every male hero, including Terry, usually has on her.
- Dr. Doom holds this belief.
- In the Hunger Games fanfiction Some Semblance of Meaning, we can gather from Obsidian's point of view that Careers have this drilled into their heads. ("In the arena, your life comes first and foremost. If you have a choice between saving your best friend’s life and your own, leave the poor sucker to get eaten by mutts.") We can also gather that Obsidian wasn't listening.
- His district partner, Amber, is definitely of this mindset, partially due to the fact that her older sister was killed at the end of the 40th Hunger Games by her district partner, who she had fallen in love with. Amber herself does not believe in love or compassion, and she is thus convinced that this will give her the strength to win.
- The Facing The Future Series shows this is Walker's opinion on Danny's feelings for Sam, stating she is one of the few weaknesses he really has.
- Davy Jones of Pirates of the Caribbean cuts out his own heart when it caused him too much pain, after Calypso stood him up.
- When told he will fall in love in Back To The Future III, Doc Brown insists that falling in love would be an unacceptable distraction from his scientific labors. His protestations don't last long when he meets her. Ironically, it does prove to be a distraction that nearly gets them all killed... in a fun, romantic way of course.
- In Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, the Red Queen loathes her little sister the White Queen because of the latter's ability to make everyone love her. The Dragon, the Knave of Hearts, inquires whether it's not better to be feared than loved. Later, when the Red Queen discovers that nearly every member of her court has been deceiving her as to their regard for her, she coldly declares that he's right - it is better to be feared than loved.
- Both the Jedi and the Sith from Star Wars consider love a weakness to be avoided, but for two very different reasons. The Jedi discouraged love because it led to attachment, and Jedi are supposed to be free from all emotions and materialism. The Sith however hate love because it leads to mercy, which was anathema to them.
- In Hercules, Megara tells Hades Hercules has no weaknesses, to which Hades replies "I think he does, Meg, I truly think he does" and grins evilly, burning the flower he gave her.
- In The Avengers, Loki claims this at every possible opportunity. He’s talking from personal experience.
- An old story of Alexander the Great and Aristotle has it he teaches Alexander that love is a weakness: Aristotle advised Alexander the Great not to love Phyllis too much, as too great a passion corrupted the reasoning faculty. Phyllis resolved to make a fool of the philosopher, and so wooed him. She then entreated Alexander to hide himself and watch secretly as she induced the old man to allow her to saddle him and ride him like an ass. Alexander laughed heartily at Aristotle, until the philosopher countered: "You see—if passion can so humiliate an old man and one accounted not the least wise, what could it not do to one younger and less experienced?" And so Alexander honored Aristotle, and held the more by his teachings.
- A Brother's Price: Trini thinks this is true. She has bad experiences with her sisters being in love, and doesn't trust their judgement on men. She expresses quite clearly that she thinks this is partly because of more ... physical desires.
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard has a story about a wizard who believed this, and therefore removed his own heart. It didn't end well.
- The Cockroaches, the rampaging evil aliens that created the cyborg Mickey Finn in Spider Robinson's Callahans Crosstime Saloon consider love to be a disease deserving of nothing but eradication wherever they find it.
- Quantum Gravity: Zal considers the possibility of loss inherent in allowing one's self to love to be too great, and so will not build a relationship with anyone but Lila, who is too underconfident to leave and too tough to be taken.
- In The 39 Clues, Isabel seems to realize this, because she practically forbids her son Ian from "having an inkling of a shadow of a thought..." (or, I think that's how it goes) about Amy.
- Cersei Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire tells Sansa Stark something along the lines of this.
- This is Torison's attitude towards love in Chronicles of the Kencyrath, largely do to his indoctrination at the hands of his insane father.
- Katniss Everdeen appears to have this frame of mind. Her parents were Happily Married and her mother crumbled completely when he died - in other words made her weak. In the first book she more or less says outright that she needs to keep emotional distance to Peeta to protect herself from that kind of weakness. Romantic love would also lead to marriage and children and she believes maternal love to be an even greater weakness, desperately wanting to protect herself from being a mother on Reaping Day.
Live Action TV
- Darth Sion declares to a female Exile in Knights of The Old Republic 2 that he hates her because she's beautiful to him, and for that she must die. In Sion's case, love literally is a weakness because The Power of Hate is what keeps his broken and decaying body from falling apart.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, Morrigan grows intensely fearful of her strengthening feelings for the Warden, and repeatedly begs him to end their relationship to stop future suffering. At one point, Leliana expresses certainty that Morrigan must be happy to be in love: her response is the page quote. Only at the very end of the game will she relent and fully accept the Warden's feelings while admitting her own.
- Inverted in Witch Hunt, where the Warden has traveled across Ferelden in their attempts to find her again, leading Morrigan to note the ironic role-reversal between them.
- Also, a romanced Zevran will eventually grow uncomfortable with how strongly he feels about the Warden, even refusing to sleep with him/her at one point because he realizes he is in love and everything he's ever been taught tells him this is wrong. In addition, Wynne will warn any warden in any relationship that Love Is A Weakness, asking them what they would do if it came to a choice between saving the world and saving their love. She does, however, eventually change her mind and apologize if the love interest's relationship reaches love, even one with Morrigan of all people.
- Viconia from Baldur's Gate 2 is pretty much identical to Morrigan in this aspect.
- In Neverwinter Nights 2, Bishop betrays and possibly attacks the Knight Captain because he's afraid of being tied down to her and falling in love.
- In Mass Effect 2, Samara is a Celibate Hero and regretfully stops her relationship with Shepard—not because the Justicar Order in which she belongs to insists, but because she can't be distracted from her duties as one. Contributing is also the fact that all three of her daughters are Ardat-Yakshi, or space succubi.
- In The Force Unleashed 2, Darth Vader is absolutely disgusted that his apprentice, Starkiller, is in love with Juno Eclipse. The Dark Side Ending reveals that Vader made a "perfect" clone of Starkiller, one that doesn't care about Juno at all.
- Toyotomi Hideyoshi from the Sengoku Basara series killed his wife Nene out of belief in this trope, and also to prove to himself that, if he was able to destroy what he loved the most to obtain his ambitions, nothing else would be able to stop him. It's implied Nene went to her death willingly out of love for him. He ends up imparting his ideals upon Katsuie in the fourth game, telling him that he must rid himself of his feelings for Oichi and end her if he ever wishes to become an equal to him and Nobunaga.
- Bill of The Last of Us was once with a man named Frank until the latter ran off. The experience seems to have only hardened him even more. However, he's obviously affected when he sees Frank's corpse hanging from a noose and is visibly heartbroken if Joel gives him a letter from Frank saying how much he despised Bill.
- Lord Entropy in Nobilis maintains that this is the case, and as a result there's pretty much a blanket ban on Nobles openly loving other Nobles, mortals, or anything else. It's unclear whether this is seriously what he believes or if he just hates love for some reason.
- That's the reason NASA won't allow couples into space together.
- Likewise, it's one historical argument against allowing women in the armed forces into combat, and has been occasionally trotted out against allowing gays in the military as well. The fear is that romantic relationships will develop which will hamper combat effectiveness.
- On a platonic (probably) level: An American soldier in Vietnam wrote home to tell his family about how awful it was when someone you cared about died. "The biggest mistake," he wrote, "is to get connected to someone personally."