Necessity knows no law.
— Arnold Schoenberg
Elmer's answer made Huey confirm this: That boy in front of him was the kind of human being who would not hesitate to manipulate, deceive, step on, and control other people for the sake of his own goals. In other words, he was pure evil to an absurd degree.
And I thought: My God... the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we.
— Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, Apocalypse Now
The Board of Governors: This seems a steep price for so small a service: to crush a powerless cripple.
Tan'elKoth: Doubly fools. He does have power. One power: the power to devote himself absolutely to a single goal, to be ruthless with himself and all else in its pursuit. It is the only power he needs - because, unlike the great mass of men, he is aware of this power, and he is willing, even happy, to use it.
Master Payne: For all we know, those are some new form of revenant, and the only thing to do is kill them. Could you burn down people — women and children — even if you knew they had become monsters?
Agatha: I ... No ... I don't know.
Master Payne: The Baron can. The Baron has. I respect him for that, but I don't want to be him.
I was away for a few years and I come back to a world in ruins. Death, destruction, chaos - the endless fighting - it was like the Heterodyne Boys had never existed. Things were worse than ever. So I stopped it. And I did it my way this time. No more negotiating. No more promises. No more second chances. And I did it alone. Because I had to. And it worked.
— Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, Girl Genius
The only limit to my freedom is the inevitable closure of the universe, as inevitable as your own last breath. And yet, there remains time to create, to create, and escape.
And escape will make me God.
— Durandal, Marathon
Only the insane have strength enough to prosper, only those that prosper truly judge who is sane.
— Imperial proverb, Warhammer 40,000
A role for each primarch-son. A role for each primarch's Legion. Defenders and champions, storm troops and praetorians... we all have our duties. Sixth Legion are the executioners. We are the last line. When all else fails, we are the ones expected to do whatever is necessary. [...] There are lines that other Legions will not cross. There are divides of honour and fealty and devotion. There are some acts so ruthless, some deeds so unpalatable, that only the Vlka Fenryka are capable of undertaking them. It's what we were bred for. It's the way we were designed. Without qualm or sentiment, without hesitation or whimsy. We take pride in being the only Astartes who will never, under any circumstances, refuse to strike on the Allfather's behalf, no matter the target, no matter the outcome.
Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose to impose. This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children, not Fate that butchers them or Destiny that feeds them to the dogs.
It's us. Only us.
The void breathed hard on my heart, turning my illusions to ice, shattering them. Was reborn then, free to scrawl own design on this morally blank world.
They realized that to be in power, you didn't need guns, or money, or even numbers. You just needed the will to do what the other guy wouldn't [...] Soze looks over the faces of his family... and showed these men of will what will really was.
Annina: Monsieur Rick, what kind of a man is Captain Renault?
Rick: Oh, he's just like any other man, only more so.
I didn't betray my dream. That's all.
— Griffith, Berserk
No endeavor to make life "better" in some way can be entirely free of this sort of person. They're all very useful - inspiring, even! - until they go too far. Not that Too Far is ever clearly defined; after all, how far would you go to defend what you truly believe in, and what keeps you from going further?
Nite Owl: No. I just don't buy it. Any of it. You wouldn't kill half New York. You couldn't...
Ozymandias: I could. I did. If you like, I'll tell you how.
In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it's impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them... I destroy them. I make it impossible for them to ever hurt me again. I grind them and grind them until they don't exist.
— Ender Wiggin, Ender's Game
Ender Wiggin is no killer. He just wins. Thoroughly.
Let me ask you something: if the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?
— Anton Chigurh, No Country for Old Men
I wanted to breathe smoke. I wanted to burn the Louvre. I'd do the Elgin Marbles with a sledgehammer and wipe my ass with the Mona Lisa. This is my world, now. This is my world, my world, and those ancient people are dead.
— The Narrator, Fight Club
You have to know - not fear, but know - that one day you are going to die. Until then, you are useless. It's only once we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
— Tyler Durden, Fight Club
I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
The thought ripped into my mind like a supercharged chainsaw, shredding the resentment I'd been nursing. His shadowy friends had made me take some life-or-death risks, sure. But they played for the same stakes, every day. Where would I draw the line if I thought someone was trying to exterminate my whole family? When it comes to fighting off genocide, there's no rules.
Control the space between each second to compress time, fold the world to erase the story of my life, and rewrite the future without limit... I can bring them back! Do you hear me, Xelor!? I'll surpass you and bring back my family! NOTHING WILL EVER STOP ME!
Zoran Lazarevic: Are you a student of history, Mr. Drake?
Nathan Drake: I've read a book or two.
Zoran Lazarevic: Genghis Khan. Hitler. Stalin. Pol Pot. They were all great men. But do you know why they prevailed?
Nathan Drake: I'm sure you're gonna tell us.
Zoran Lazarevic: Because they had the will to do what other men would not. (shoots the hostage in the head) Compassion is the enemy. Mercy defeats us! Now, unless you wish to test me still further, you will drop your weapons!
— Uncharted 2, Among Thieves
If all on Olympus will deny me my vengeance, then all on Olympus will die. I have lived in the shadow of the gods for long enough. The time of the gods HAS COME TO AN END!
— Kratos, God of War II
Ours is the victory, Nyder. They talk of "democracy", "freedom", "fairness" - those are the creeds of COWARDS! The ones who would listen to a thousand opinions and try to satisfy them all. Achievement comes through absolute power! And power through strength! They have lost.
— Davros, "Genesis of the Daleks", Doctor Who
He doesn't even blink when he kills people. It means NOTHING to him.
— Adolf Junkers about Johan Liebert, Monster
A threat this big, rules go out the window.
— Commander Shepard (Renegade), Mass Effect 2
Do not care what others think. Do you what you must.
— Javik, Mass Effect 3
You think I've crossed a line. There is no line. For the safety of this planet, there is no one I will not sacrifice, no monster I will not call friend, no enemy I will not sleep with.
— Special Agent Abigail Brand, X-Men
Even if I am to carry all the evils of this world Ė it won't matter. If that can save the world, then Iíd gladly accept it.
— Emiya Kiritsugu, Fate/Zero
Well. Here we are at last. You and me, Sherlock, and our problem. The final problem. Staying alive!... It's so boring, isn't it?
— Jim Moriarty, Sherlock
You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you? Perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility. I admire its purity. A survivor... unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.
— Ash, Alien
A knife is a scary thing right enough, held to your throat, sharp and cool. The fire too, and the rack. And an old ghost on the Lichway. All of them might give you pause. Until you realize what they are. They're just ways to lose the game. You lose the game, and what have you lost? You've lost the game.
That's the secret, and it amazes me that it's mine and mine alone. I saw the game for what it was the night when Count Renar's men caught our carriage. There was a storm that night too, I remember the din of rain on the carriage roof and the thunder beneath it.
Big Jan had fair hauled the door off its hinges to get us out. He only had time for me, though. He threw me clear, into a briar patch so thick that the Count's men persuaded themselves I'd run into the night. They didn't want to search it. But I hadn't run. I'd hung there in the thorns, and I saw them kill Big Jan. I saw it in the frozen moments the lightning gave me.
I saw what they did to Mother, and how long it took. They broke little William's head against a milestone. Golden curls and blood. And I'll admit that William was the first of my brothers, and he did have his hooks in me, with his chubby hands and laughing. Since then I've taken many a brother, and evil ones at that, so I'd not miss one or three. But at the time, it did hurt to see little William broken like that, like a toy. Like something worthless.
When they killed him, Mother wouldn't hold her peace, so they slit her throat. I was stupid then, being only nine, and I fought to save them both. but the thorns held me tight. I've learned to appreciate the thorns since.
The thorns taught me the game. They let me understand what all those grim and serious men who've fought the Hundred War have yet to learn. You can only win the game when you understand it is a game. Let a man play chess, and tell him that every pawn is his friend. Let him think both bishops holy. Let him remember happy days in the shadows of his castles. Let him love his queen. Watch him lose them all.
— Honorous Jorg Ancrath, The Prince of Thorns
In the film The Usual Suspects, the dominating criminals reach the conclusion that to win, you just had to have the will to do what the others won't- which was co-opt by Keyser Soze. I think that's what The Joker is: not necessarily insane, just a man who's willing to do what the others won't; the kind of person who'll haul a dead body in a batman costume on a carefully calculated length of rope into City Hall, just to mess with people. Maybe that's crazy... or maybe that's someone just really confident in himself. That's why he and Batman are evenly matched: they are just as smart, both know the city- the good guys, the bad guys- and how to prepare for the unexpected. But while Batman brings in greater combat skill, the Joker has one serious advantage: he's willing... to do... anything.
Faultline: All of the war crimes, kidnapping people, human experimentation, creating monsters, creating psychopathic monsters, letting millions dieÖ and you think itís for nothing?
Doctor Mother: It's very likely.
Weld: Then why?
Doctor Mother: Because we decided in the very beginning that we donít want to be left wondering if we could have done more, in the moments before humanity ceases to exist. Why did we make you into what you are, Weld? Because it was an option, a step forward. Why did we keep it secret? It improved our chances. Why did we not tell you about Scion? Because it improved our chances.
Weaver: You made sacrifices, you made sacrifices on the behalf of others, and you made the hard calls, but it was all for something greater. I bet you think you wonít have any regrets at the end.
Doctor Mother: Itís been some time since I lost sleep because of a heavy conscience.
Harry would learn whatever he had to learn, invent whatever he had to invent, rip the knowledge of Salazar Slytherin from the Dark Lord's mind, discover the secret of Atlantis, open any gates or break any seals necessary, find his way to the root of all magic and reprogram it.
He would rip apart the foundations of reality itself to get Hermione Granger back.