Main Lawful Evil Discussion

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03:11:34 AM Mar 5th 2016

Miseryville was never really shown to have any rules beyond "whatever Lucius says goes". Lucius was more of a Chaotic Evil character with Lawful Neutral underlings.
02:14:58 PM Apr 17th 2015
The Caligula (most often of either the Type 1 or 4 variety, if not Chaotic Evil or Neutral Evil)

I think this example should be removed if it says it can lend itself to both other evil alignments, thereby arguing with itself.
02:00:21 PM Apr 17th 2015
edited by VVK
Removed the following:

  • Mortal Kombat
    • 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.

The first example has a long paragraph under it explaining it's not an example. (See: Repair, Don't Respond, Conversation on the Main Page.) The second one is a bit confusing, but I disagree with the case that it's not some kind of Lawful Neutral, and the added paragraph (with the same faults as the last one) seems to provide evidence for that too. At the very least the second example would need a rewrite, but it seems to me it doesn't belong there at all.
11:44:19 AM Nov 6th 2015
Re-added but fixed.
04:45:54 PM Jul 4th 2014
edited by
Proposed Changes:

Take out Type 2 and 3 and just refer to them in the opening paragraphs; change Type 1 to mean "more Lawful than Evil", Type 2 to "more Evil than Lawful" and Type 3 to a fair balance, which is basically the current Type 4. This brings it in line with the Lawful Good / Chaotic Good and Chaotic Evil pages and just generally makes more sense; a Lawful Evil mook shouldn't be a specific Type any more than a Chaotic Evil mook is, and like "personal code" and "civic order" are really more about different kinds of Lawful than different types of Lawful Evil.

In other words:


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 , 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', although some might simply be weak-willed and need somebody to tell them what to do.

As with Lawful Good, a Lawful Evil character may believe in either civic Order (ie. an orderly society or organization, or following the rules) or personal Order (ie. following a personal code of honor or simply having personal rules out of pragmatism); many have both elements. The essential feature is that they are, by behaviour or nature, inclined towards order in some form.

Lawful Evil comes in three flavors:

  • Type 1 is those who are more Lawful than Evil. This type honestly believes that an orderly society or way of living is better for everyone or is just the way the prefer things to be, but are ruthless or cruel enough to take an "ends justify the means" approach to enforcing this. This type can be found in- and sometimes even be sincerely loyal to- any kind of society, including Neutral and Good aligned ones; the problem is, they are prepared to commit evil actions for it, and are prone to Moral Myopia, Lack of Empathy and Jerk Justifications to excuse their deeds. This type does not necessarily include any and all agents or upholders of Lawful Evil codes, cultures, empires etc. who may be Neutral or even Good-aligned, but have found themselves serving Evil by circumstance, cultural conditioning or birth. Expect Principles Zealot / Knight Templar behaviour as this type is often murderously intolerant of any opposition or perceived threats; also, though they may not hunger for power exactly, they might still seek it out in the name of security or to enforce their order on others. This can also be just as petty, vengeful or sadistic as any other villain; they are just much more likely to direct this against people who they feel have honestly wronged them or, in their mind at least, actually have it coming. They are also not any more trustworthy than any other evil character, as their first loyalty will be to their code or society or whatever and they may engage in betrayal either to advantage this or to eliminate a threat, or even because of Just Following Orders (real or presumed). At the high end, Totalitarian Utilitarian and those who seek to eradicate The Evils of Free Will often fall under this type.
  • Type 2 is more Evil than Lawful, the kind of villain who follows an orderly way of living because they think that this is the best way to achieve their evil desires or goals. This type resembles pure selfish Neutral Evil, but differ because they use lawful methods because they honestly think they are the best- or because that's just where their talents or inclinations lie- rather than out of pure circumstance or convenience; in other words, if a non-Lawful means of achieving their goal presented itself, they would still at least prefer the Lawful option. This type can be selfish, cruel, power-hungry and outright sadistic, but are reluctant to actually commit any evil deeds without some sense of organization or direction; for example, someone who joins the army in order to kill people For the Evulz with a veneer or legal permission, or someone who joins a gang or crime syndicate to have backup or support for their evil deeds, or the more compulsively organized sadistic Serial Killers or violent criminals. Many a chessmasters and Evil Genius (though by no means all) fit this type, as they prefer their crimes and orders to be carried out methodically. Often slightly more trustworthy than other evil types, but beware of Exact Words or simply catching them on a bad day.
  • Type 3 is a balance of both Lawful and Evil. They see little distinction their Lawful desires or inclinations and their Evil ones, and seek to satisfy both. Frequently the most dangerous type, at the extreme end this includes 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.

09:12:26 PM May 7th 2014
edited by
Challenging the Disgaea entry. Not the Vulcanus entry, but the other one. A lot of the lore implies that Disgaea demons don't nessecarily hate humans, suggesting Punch-Clock Villain in terms of collecting fear energy. Valvatorez personally wants humans to be good, acting like a Dark Shepard.

Noble Demon is pretty common in the series (many openly get disgusted with the acts of more vile characters such as Seedle, Zenon, Aurum, and Vulcanus), as is Poke the Poodle, such as this line from the 3rd game's bad ending. Mao: What? I only replaced all stop signs with yields, hid people's shoes, and prank called a few places at most! The 3rd game implies creatures of chaos.

Conclusion: Chaotic Neutral is more accurate. Note that Chaotic Neutral is a very common alignment for Noble Demon (actually being the most common one if not actually evil).
06:40:12 AM Oct 19th 2013
"Lawful Evil type typically includes:
  • Most Anti Villains"

Isn't it more fair saying "Many Anti Villains (especially Type I's)"? Characters of any alignment (including good ones) have the potential to be anti villains. But I think the archetypical Type I Anti-Villain AKA Noble Demon is a good candidate to Lawful Evil.
01:52:20 PM Aug 16th 2013
edited by
I am wanting discuss this recently removed example:
  • The Millennium organization from Manga/Hellsing. They are an organized nazi army but their only real goals are to wage endless destructive war and to kill Alucard, in other words are really similar to the habitants of Acheron, the Lawful Neutral/ Lawful Evil plane, and are vampires and not of the Friendly Neighbour Vampire variety
04:08:26 AM Jan 13th 2013
Two-Face from The Dark Knight: Isn't the whole point of his flipping a coin to decide actions to embrace the wantonness of life as described to him by the Joker? As a rule, it's also a nonsensical one and has random results, in a sense even more random than doing things at a whim.
06:44:02 AM Jan 13th 2013
edited by MagBas
The description of "chaos" in the Hypertext D20 is: "Chaotic characters follow their consciences, resent being told what to do, favor new ideas over tradition, and do what they promise if they feel like it."Chaos" implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them." ...this description not mentions randomness, but mentions follow their whims.
04:02:50 AM Jan 13th 2013
I didn't think the Numenorian king Ar-Pharazon sounded Lawful Evil when I was reading that story. More like just crazy. Is there some better reason for saying he was than just his wanting to rule the whole world?
09:57:04 PM Dec 11th 2012
Would Frieza ("the perfect emperor" according to his theme song) from [[Dragon Ball Z]] count? He has a royal title and appears to be the ruler of an entire organization with a rigid hierarchy of officials and subordinates.
04:01:14 AM Jan 13th 2013
Sounds like he would count.
07:29:41 PM Aug 16th 2012
edited by Stoogebie
Wouldn't Zolf J. Kimblee from Fullmetal Alchemist count as either this or Lawful Neutral? The "lawful" part being his deranged set of ethics/standards, which he holds himself to and also expects others to adhere to, and the "evil" part being that his code didn't say anything about turning people into living bombs - but he could be "neutral" (in Brotherhood, at least) because he doesn't necessarily carry the same Psycho for Hire flair as his anime counterpart, and is more of a Social Darwinist. I don't know, should I add?
07:16:04 PM Aug 22nd 2012
The Social Darwinist is usually Evil. Especially when they are remorseless mass murderers as both versions of Kimblee were. The Psycho for Hire just means a bad-guy mercenary; its not a personality description (at least, not a narrow one- evil wears many faces). Both versions are Psycho's For Hire.
10:07:15 PM Jun 9th 2012
I've been saying this for a while, but most Lawful Evil characters in Dungeons & Dragons are not sympathetic or well intentioned in the slightest, and are just likely to dabble into For the Evulz.

Noble Demon Lawful Evil characters are by far in the minority.

02:56:36 PM Mar 18th 2012
edited by HarleyQuinnhyenaholic
I removed Doctor Eggman from the list and moved him to Neutral Evil. I know he's Affably Evil but he's not Lawful. His goal is to tear down an old order and even though he may seek to replace it with his own, his methods are too chaotic, and his alliances too easily broken. Really, his 'code' extends only as far as "You can't destroy the planet because I want to run it".

It may feel easy to make him lawful because he's a scientist and because of those robots, but those are his Mooks, not him. He is also prone towards using the 'magic' of the Chaos Emeralds.
02:15:05 PM Aug 15th 2012
Character Alignment is about a lot more than methods; methods if anything are the least important aspect of it (though they still matter to an extent). Breaking alliances and using chaotic means to an end is something the majority of Lawful Evil characters do, and plenty want to bring down the old order and replace it with their own- why would they want to live under someone else's order?

And using the magic of the Chaos Emeralds means nothing- the Chaos Emeralds are just a tool, nothing more. Eggman may indeed be Neutral Evil, but if so you are Right for the Wrong Reasons- it mainly comes to how much he is driven by selfish ambition and such.
05:34:47 PM Aug 15th 2012
Here is the description of the alignment bits in the Hypertext D20: "Good characters and creatures protect innocent life. Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life, whether for fun or profit."

" Lawful characters tell the truth, keep their word, respect authority, honor tradition, and judge those who fall short of their duties.

Chaotic characters follow their consciences, resent being told what to do, favor new ideas over tradition, and do what they promise if they feel like it."

And the description of Lawful Evil and Neutral Evil

"Lawful Evil, "Dominator"

A lawful evil villain methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts. He cares about tradition, loyalty, and order but not about freedom, dignity, or life. He plays by the rules but without mercy or compassion. He is comfortable in a hierarchy and would like to rule, but is willing to serve. He condemns others not according to their actions but according to race, religion, homeland, or social rank. He is loath to break laws or promises."

" Neutral Evil, "Malefactor"

A neutral evil villain does whatever she can get away with. She is out for herself, pure and simple. She sheds no tears for those she kills, whether for profit, sport, or convenience. She has no love of order and holds no illusion that following laws, traditions, or codes would make her any better or more noble. On the other hand, she doesn’t have the restless nature or love of conflict that a chaotic evil villain has."
01:04:22 AM Dec 5th 2012
and his alliances too easily broken His alliances are only really broken because the other party betrayed him (and example of this can be seen in Sonic Adventure 1 where Chaos betrayed him.

Eggman does show a love of order in his dedication to taking over the world. This can even be seen in Shadowthe Hedgehog where Eggman said that if the Earth is destroyed he cannot rule.
01:03:30 AM Mar 7th 2011
edited by DJMarred
Could we make a special exception for Adolf Hitler? I know that character alignments are meant for 2D fictional characters, but Hitler would definitely be tagged as this if he were a fictional villain.
08:48:41 AM Mar 26th 2011
But he's not - and it's in rather poor taste to play this little Dungeons & Dragons mechanics game with real life mass murderers.
02:45:57 AM Aug 8th 2011
edited by DJMarred
You have a point; It seems quite childish to apply game mechanics to real life mass murderers. I take back what I had said before.
05:06:10 PM Apr 12th 2012
This is really one of the limitations of the whole Character Alignment system- most characters, but especially Real Life people, fit even more difficultly into these categories than they do simple ones of Good and Evil. Hitler would not easily fit into Lawful Evil since the idea of Fascism or Nazism as being about civic /state order above all else is a stereotype, albeit one they propounded and one they sort-of believed in. The reality is far more complex.

Hitler himself was a very lazy leader who was barely involved in the day to day running of things; his strategy of rulership was "divide and conquer" so he let his underlings compete for his patronage and even build their own mini-empires, resulting in crippling inefficiency throughout the German state and several govenment / Party / SS bodies doing the exact same job, making it a bureaucratic nightmare to work or live in. Furthermore the Nazi's in general and Hitler in particular felt that War Is Glorious and wanted a world of perpetual conflict and chaos, and felt that nations should compete violently for the right to be the dominant power, forever. There is also an extent to which he and they were just cynical opportunists who wanted glory and power for themselves.

In short, he combines Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil and Chaotic Evil traits.
07:21:36 PM Nov 27th 2010
edited by cclospina
Removed Affably Evil, because a Character Affably Evil not necessarily is Lawful Evil.

PS: The libby are Neutral Selfish, not Lawful Evil
08:52:51 AM Jun 7th 2010
  • Shinobu Sensui is often pegged as Chaotic Evil, but considering that he's got seven different personalities, the deal is much more complex than it seems. Out of said personalities, his original Shinobu one (which was hidden after Sensui went completely mad, only resurfacing while fighting the heroes) qualifies as very much Lawful Evil: he's determined to fulfill his mission as a Spirit Detective, and he goes to bloody lengths to get it - as much as the rules he follows allow him to. And it makes even more sense once you consider that he's the Evil Counterpart of the Spirit Detective that took his place, Yuusuke Urameshi, a textbook Chaotic Good.

Huhn?!? In no moment after his Face Heelturn is implied he want follow his old mission neither shows follow any rule-actually, he looks more a textbook example of The Unfettered.By the way, more Lawful Evil characters are Evil Counterparts to Lawful Good characters.
05:17:12 PM May 16th 2010
edited by
Are we going to draw a distinction between the "types" Once there was a "type 1" versus a "type 2". I'm not sure of what that distinction means. It would be very helpful to explain it. I came here after finding the character sheet for Viral on Gurren Lagann called him Lawful Evil (Type 2).
09:53:28 AM May 23rd 2010
Nah... why would we? There is only canonically one type just like there is only one type of every other alignment
05:20:31 PM Jun 6th 2010
edited by ExplodingFrogs
Wrong. Before 4e, Dn D rulebooks specifically mentioned the second type of lawful evil. Since was banned for his behavior on the alignment pages, you can officially disregard anything he has to say on the subject. The type distinction is going back.
05:36:58 PM Jun 6th 2010
...Wait, he was? Seriously? PRAISE THE LORD!

What was the final straw that doomed him?
05:41:35 PM Jun 6th 2010
edited by ExplodingFrogs
Dunno. Someone posted a ban request on Ask The Tropers. Just before the changeover to the current system, Fast Eddie posted that he had banned him. Presumably he looked up the guy's edit history.
01:07:16 AM Apr 29th 2010
Removed this:

  • Magnificent Bastard Benjamin Linus, from Lost, appears more Neutral Evil, until the end of the fourth season, where, for all the lying and backstabbing , he seems to have a genuine commitement to the interests of the Island.
    • Also, whatever else he may lie about (and he will lie about everything, just for the hell of it), whenever he gives somebody his word, he always honors it.

Nah, Ben's as NE as they come. Whne was the last time he 'gave his word' without trying to go back on it or hoping he wouldn't have to? (Locke blowing up the sub, letting Jack etc. leave on the helicopter and then moving the island and (by proxy) blowing up the freighter. He even admits in Season 6 there were only two things he cared about: Alex and his power. And (even though it broke him)he admits to choosing his power over her.
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