Main Start Of Darkness Discussion

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02:50:23 PM Oct 13th 2015
edited by fandecarlislecullen
May I suggest renaming the trope Start of Evilness? Naming it Start of Darkness is contradicting the Dark is not Evil trope. After all, someone can become dark without becoming evil and, vice versa, someone can become evil without becoming dark.
05:15:39 AM Oct 14th 2015
Aye, this trope's name has always been a bit of an issue. You'll need to do a Wick Check first and then make a topic in the Trope Repair Shop if there is enough misuse.
05:09:43 PM Apr 11th 2013
There's several walls of text on there that could use trimming. I would but I don't know any of the stories well enough.
02:57:16 PM Jan 1st 2013
Will someone delete the meta example for Star Wars? It doesn't fit at all and it's most likely going to start flame wars.
01:11:58 AM Jan 2nd 2013
Good call. Deleted:

06:11:34 PM Dec 22nd 2012
Although it was only temporary evil, would the ending of Planet Hulk count as a start of darkness for World War Hulk?
04:23:56 PM Mar 18th 2011
edited by Kerrah
I went through the page and cut all non-examples that clearly didn't belong to the page. I also cut a bunch of stuff that was ambiguous about whether or not it fits the trope, so I'm listing those cases here in case it needs to be salvaged:


  • According to the director, Ga-Rei -Zero- is about Isayama Yomi's Start of Darkness.
  • Pain/Nagato's start of darkness in Naruto was because his parents were killed in self defense and his dog got blown up. After Nagato and co. grew up, they became the heads of some sort of fairly effective revolution/army/peacekeeping thing, but were ultimately ambushed by Hanzo, who feared they were a threat to his power. Hanzo kidnapped Konan and threatened to kill her if Nagato didn't kill Yahiko, at which point his best friend and leader Yahiko impaled himself on Nagato's kunai to save Konan, dying in Nagato's arms.
    • Danzo is the cause of the fall of Itachi and (indirectly) Sasuke.
      • It's even more ironic when flashbacks reveal Danzo himself had one as he tried to help the current Hokage of his day, a good friend of his, with defending the village, which led him down his own path.
    • It's actually quite odd that we were filled in on Orochimaru's back story without one of these. He's just a bad guy who kept going 'til he couldn't go any further. Took Sarutobi a while to face it, though.
      • The trick is that he wasn't originally evil. He was an orphan who first felt the loss of loved ones at a young age, like so many other characters. He actually SHEDS A TEAR when Tsunade's little brother dies. For him, it isn't any single moment so much as the constant degrading of his morals in pursuit of ways to overcome death. Possibly the moment where he came to be so utterly envious of the Sharingan's power could count. And then he decides to destroy Konoha because they reject him after all he's done to try and protect them, like dissecting their ninja. Yeah, he's pretty far gone at that point.
    • The entirety of Naruto could really be interpreted as one of these for Sasuke, who's been finding new Moral Event Horizons to cross steadily for a while now.
  • Berserk. The entire point of the anime, and a the portion of the manga that it follows, is to show just how the Big Bad came to be.
  • Apart from chopping out a lot of the story in order to make it a) easier to show on TV and b) comprehensible, one of the big differences between the anime and manga of Trigun is how they chose to deal with Starts Of Darkness. Even Wolfwood gets a backstory simplification, where they cut out a lot of the drama and the surgeries...and the fact that he can't possibly be over eighteen. Given the thematic importance of children in the story and Vash's age, this last is a fairly significant omission.
    • They changed Wolfwood's backstory so they could simplify his death scene. It was over a volume long. Healing Factor can be an issue. Either way, it's a Start of Darkness in that he's a fucking assassin who is in some way in the Big Bad's employ and this is why. But he's not a villain.
  • Similarly to Ga-Rei -Zero-, Puella Magi Madoka Magica mainly focuses on Sayaka in this way.


  • Introduced as a villain in Superman's adult adventures, a young Lex Luthor was introduced when the started telling stories about Superman's childhood adventures. Superboy and Lex were friends though Lex was jealous of Superboy because his inventions kept having problems requiring a Superboy rescue. Eventually, one such accident caused Lex to lose his hair. Baldness drove him to become the greatest criminal mastermind of our time.
    • In the more recent Superman Secret Origins, Lex is shown already being a bad apple (its mentioned that his father was an abusive alcoholic, but most such kids don't murder their parents to get seed money from the Life Insurance payout.)
      • This was actually in continuity long before the recent Superman Secret Origins - it was originally told in a slightly different fashion in a one shot from the late 80's. However, the one shot does make Lex a bit more sympathetic, he cut his parent's brakelines because not only was his dad an abusive alcoholic, but his dad had also put Lex's sister Lena in hospital as a part of a drunken rage.


  • Some think Hellseeker is this for Kristy Cotton.

Live-action TV:

  • Power Rangers Lost Galaxy gives this for the initial villain's daughter, Trakeena. Throughout the series we see her evolution from a selfish, but still somewhat innocent Libby who happens to be the daughter of a mob boss type thing, into a Complete Monster willing to use suicide bombers and kill her own mentor.
  • Walternate on Fringe became a completely cold and ruthless commander determined to destroy an entire universe after his son was kidnapped by an alternate version of himself. And eventually it's expanded on: He first suffered for six months of having no idea what had happened to his son, with his wife only able to say that the kidnapper was someone who looked, acted, and sounded exactly like him. Then Olivia accidentally hopped universes, ended up in his office, and introduced him to the idea of alternate universes while thinking she was talking to her world's Walter.

Video Games:

  • Donovan's storyarc in the Darkstalkers/Vampire Hunter games follow this path.
  • Konnan was a nice boy who was the apprentice of Battleon's blacksmith, until his family died at the hands of a powerful dragon, he swore revenge on the hero who failed to save them, he was trained by the resident pyromaniac psychopath mage, he went power crazy, and then he invaded the world as the villain Drakonnan. Just another day on the dark side of the world of DragonFable.
  • Grahf and Krelian from Xenogears, due to the sacrifice of a certain woman.

Web Comics:

  • MAG ISA. The villains in this comic pretty much had miserable lives before they became villains. (1) (2) (3).
11:04:01 AM Apr 16th 2011
There was another Madoka Magica example. Now removed. Seemed inaccurate since the character described isn't really a villain. Plus, I have no idea where the writer of that example got the idea that it was "storngly implied" that she (Homura) killed Mami and Sayaka out of necessity.
01:11:57 PM Nov 6th 2010
edited by TheUltimateHammer
Most of the examples don't fit the trope description. Also, could this be considered a subtrope of Protagonist Journey to Villain?
04:26:59 PM Mar 18th 2011
edited by Kerrah
Protagonist Journey to Villain is when you make a story about Original Character X, and the story is about him or her becoming evil.

Start of Darkness is when you explore or explain the events of that made a Pre-existing Villain Y evil.

Not a subtrope.
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