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* ''Fanfic/HopeForTheHeartless'': When [[AllLovingHeroine Avalina]] attempts to escape from [[VillainProtagonist the Horned King's]] castle, she's attacked by the [[AxCrazy Mad]] [[SavageWolves Pack]] and [[VillainousRescue only the Horned King's arrival saves her life]]. After he kills the wolves and [[PostVictoryCollapse collapses]], she [[WhatYouAreInTheDark nearly takes her chance to be free of him]], but her heart argues with her head if it's right to [[MurderByInaction leave]] the monstrous warlord who imprisoned and nearly killed her and yet just saved her to die. Knowing that she couldn't live with herself if she did that and would be as guilty of murder as the Horned King is, she takes him back to the castle to be tended.

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* ''Fanfic/HopeForTheHeartless'': When [[AllLovingHeroine [[AllLovingHero Avalina]] attempts to escape from [[VillainProtagonist the Horned King's]] castle, she's attacked by the [[AxCrazy Mad]] [[SavageWolves Pack]] and [[VillainousRescue only the Horned King's arrival saves her life]]. After he kills the wolves and [[PostVictoryCollapse collapses]], she [[WhatYouAreInTheDark nearly takes her chance to be free of him]], but her heart argues with her head if it's right to [[MurderByInaction leave]] the monstrous warlord who imprisoned and nearly killed her and yet just saved her to die. Knowing that she couldn't live with herself if she did that and would be as guilty of murder as the Horned King is, she takes him back to the castle to be tended.

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** It's not specifically ''killing'' that Jedi must avoid (though they certainly ''prefer'' non-lethal options whenever possible). Jedi can and do kill when there's no other option, and Luke had certainly killed before. It's killing ''out of hatred'' that leads a Force-sensitive to the Dark Side. And since the Dark Side is [[TheCorruption highly addictive]], once a Jedi turns down that path it's very difficult for them to turn back. Luke was [[ThePowerOfHate consumed by rage]] when he overpowered Vader and was on the verge of killing him, so going through with the act would've corrupted him to the point that Palpatine might well have been able to convert him into a new Sith Lord.

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* ZigZagged in ''WesternAnimation/{{Jumanji}}'' where the villainous Van Pelt is an InvincibleVillain with ResurrectiveImmortality so simply "killing" him isn't an option in the first place, so the heroes instead devise a plan to trap him forever in a pit, which would potentially be a FateWorseThanDeath. The problem is that Van Pelt is not simply a person, but an actual creation of the game itself, so when their plan actually does work, Jumanji responds by literally transforming ''Peter'' into the next Van Pelt, and Peter Van Pelt gloats that if the other characters kill him, they will just transform into Van Pelt as well. The only way to get Peter back was to rescue Van Pelt from the prison they put him in, making it a bit of an intentional SpaceWhaleAesop.

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* ''Film/HannieCaulder'': This is basically what Price implies when he warns Hannie that taking revenge will change her forever, and Hannie's reaction after he finishes the Clemens brothers implies that he was right.
-->'''Thomas Price:''' Win or lose, you lose, Hannie Caulder.


If a villain clearly deserves death, he may become a [[SelfDisposingVillain self-disposing villain]], suffer a DisneyVillainDeath, be killed by his own men or another evil character, or even be offed by the hero's PoisonousFriend when they aren't looking. This way the villain is dead, and the hero gets to walk away scot-free and blameless for his death.

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If a villain clearly deserves death, he may become a [[SelfDisposingVillain self-disposing villain]], suffer a DisneyVillainDeath, be killed by his own men or another evil character, or even be offed by the hero's PoisonousFriend when they aren't looking. This way the villain is dead, and the hero gets to walk away scot-free and blameless for his death.the deed.


* ''Series/MacGyver'', being a TechnicalPacifist, was rather fond of pulling this gem out whenever his sidekick-of-the-week had the villain at their mercy.

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* ''Series/MacGyver'', ''Series/{{MacGyver|1985}}'', being a TechnicalPacifist, was rather fond of pulling this gem out whenever his sidekick-of-the-week had the villain at their mercy.


This trope is grounded on the basis that the act of killing is always wrong, no matter who it is directed against or how well-deserved, or even if it is done with the hope of preventing more evil in the future. This can come across as slightly disingenuous if the hero has [[WhatMeasureIsAMook slaughtered his way through dozens of faceless mooks]] just to reach the villain, only to hesitate or spare him at the end because "killing is wrong." In such a scenario, only CharacterDevelopment can make the disparity make sense.

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This trope is grounded on the basis [[ThouShallNotKill that the act of killing is always wrong, wrong]], no matter who it is directed against or how well-deserved, or even if it is done with the hope of preventing more evil in the future. This can come across as slightly disingenuous if the hero has [[WhatMeasureIsAMook slaughtered his way through dozens of faceless mooks]] just to reach the villain, only to hesitate or spare him at the end because "killing is wrong." In such a scenario, only CharacterDevelopment can make the disparity make sense. \n It is also one of the most common in-universe justifications for JokerImmunity.


* At the climax of ''Film/Blindspotting'', Collins holds [[spoiler:the killer cop]] at gunpoint, [[spoiler:struggling with whether to kill the man who shot an innocent and still haunts him. He ultimately tells the cop a version of this and walks out, unsatisfied.]]

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* At the climax of ''Film/Blindspotting'', ''Film/{{Blindspotting}}'', Collins holds [[spoiler:the killer cop]] at gunpoint, [[spoiler:struggling with whether to kill the man who shot an innocent and still haunts him. He ultimately tells the cop a version of this and walks out, unsatisfied.]]

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* At the climax of ''Film/Blindspotting'', Collins holds [[spoiler:the killer cop]] at gunpoint, [[spoiler:struggling with whether to kill the man who shot an innocent and still haunts him. He ultimately tells the cop a version of this and walks out, unsatisfied.]]


* In ''VideoGame/SplinterCellConviction'', the final boss gives you a choice to either kill him or spare him, either of which nets you an achievement. In the twist ending, if you spare him, Grim kills him instead.

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* In ''VideoGame/SplinterCellConviction'', ''VideoGame/SplinterCell: Conviction'', the final boss gives you a choice to either kill him or spare him, either of which nets you an achievement. In the twist ending, if you spare him, Grim kills him instead.


** Subverted in ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', Shephard and Michael fight on the roof-tops. Michael hangs from the roof by his finger-nails. Earlier in the episode. Michael had threatened Teyla's baby. Teyla stamps on one hand and then the other. Michael falls to his doom. Mom morality pwns Hollywood morality.

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** Subverted in ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', Shephard and Michael fight on the roof-tops. Michael hangs from the roof by his finger-nails. Earlier in the episode. episode, Michael had threatened Teyla's baby. Teyla stamps on one hand and then the other. other; Michael falls to his doom. Mom morality pwns Hollywood morality.

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** A minor villain in ''Battle For Azeroth'', Grozztok the Blackheart, tries to invoke this when you kill him, claiming that you are no better than he is for killing him. Given that he not only attacks the you first but is trying to unleash an EldritchAbomination upon the world, it's a fairly ridiculous claim.


--> '''Kara:''' If you kill him, what does that make you?\\

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--> '''Kara:''' '''Supergirl:''' If you kill him, what does that make you?\\


If a villain clearly deserves death, he may become a [[SelfDisposingVillain self-disposing villain]], or suffer a DisneyVillainDeath, or be killed by his own men or another evil character. This way the villain is dead, and the hero gets to walk away scot-free and blameless for his death.

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If a villain clearly deserves death, he may become a [[SelfDisposingVillain self-disposing villain]], or suffer a DisneyVillainDeath, or be killed by his own men or another evil character.character, or even be offed by the hero's PoisonousFriend when they aren't looking. This way the villain is dead, and the hero gets to walk away scot-free and blameless for his death.


* Actually [[LampshadeHanging discussed in-depth]] in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. Aang, a pacifist monk, agonizes about how he can stop main villain Ozai without killing him. When Aang consults with the avatars of his former lives on what to do, the show subverts this trope: as Chosen One, Aang's duty is to protect the world - if the only way to save countless lives and stop Ozai is to kill him, Aang must do it, even if it means sacrificing his own personal convictions. Even the previous airbender Avatar, who shared Aang's pacifist spiritual beliefs as an Air Nomad, told him that an Avatar has to place the good of the world above his own spiritual well-being, and if a threat to the world is so extreme that it's impossible to defeat non-lethally, it becomes his duty to kill. [[spoiler: After this discussion, the show [[PlayingWithATrope plays it straight]] with a DeusExMachina that gives Aang the ability to stop Ozai without killing him.]]

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* Actually [[LampshadeHanging discussed in-depth]] in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. Aang, a pacifist monk, agonizes about how he can stop main villain Ozai without killing him. When Aang consults with the avatars of his former lives on what to do, the show subverts this trope: as Chosen One, Aang's duty is to protect the world - if the only way to save countless lives and stop Ozai is to kill him, Aang must do it, even if it means sacrificing his own personal convictions. Even the previous airbender Avatar, who shared Aang's pacifist spiritual beliefs as an Air Nomad, told him that an Avatar has to place the good of the world above his own spiritual well-being, and if a threat to the world is so extreme that it's impossible to defeat non-lethally, it becomes his duty to kill. [[spoiler: After this discussion, the show [[PlayingWithATrope plays it straight]] with a DeusExMachina that gives Aang the ability to stop Ozai without killing him.]]

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