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Always Lawful Good

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"How do we know which side that bird is on? Why shouldn't it be leading us into a trap?"
"That's a nasty idea. Still—a robin, you know. They're good birds in all the stories I've ever read. I'm sure a robin wouldn't be on the wrong side."

A whole race or culture of fair and benevolent beings. Obviously, inverted Always Chaotic Evil. Sadly enough, not Truth in Television, but that's why these races exist: to show humans that they need to improve themselves.

This alignment is often justified by the race being somehow "close to Light". This trope is certainly very idealistic and is used mostly in shows with Black-and-White Morality. The more cynical shows love to subvert it by revealing they are not as good as they appeared.

Common examples of Always Lawful Good:

Both this trope and Always Chaotic Evil are less frequently used, especially with classical versions of this trope such as angels, elves, and fairies all increasingly portrayed as at best just as fallible as humanity. In extreme cases one or the other can disappear, depending whether the setting says Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids! or Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!. Either that, or both start to move towards the middle of the moral scale, as the setting becomes grayer in general.

Often a whole race of The Beautiful Elite or an Inhumanly Beautiful Race, since Beauty Equals Goodness. Compare Noble Profession. May be employed with Alike and Antithetical Adversaries. This is a Planet of Hats where the "hat" is being good. For this trope applied to humanity, see Humans Are Good.

Note that before adding examples to this list, just like its evil counterpart, Lawful Good is only the Trope Namer. Also, like Always Chaotic Evil, Always Lawful Good also does not necessarily mean that everybody of the race is of the same good alignment. While a race can literally be Always Lawful Good and apply for this trope, this also extends to races that are also Always Neutral Good and Always Chaotic Good, or races that have Lawful Good, Neutral Good and Chaotic Good individuals, but no evil individuals of any kind.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Wedding Peach have the angels fill this role. Even the worst of them is a Knight Templar who thinks the angels aren't doing enough to help the humans.
    • Averted in the OVA, where angels can fall and become demonic.
  • The Universe 6 Saiyans of Dragon Ball Super, while still being Blood Knights, use their powers to protect defenseless planets instead of pillaging them.
  • Jewelpet Twinkle☆: The Jewelpets themselves are this, due to Jewelina creating them out of the good qualities of humanity; their lot in life is to help people. Even the one Jewelpet created by the Big Bad instead of Jewelina, Diana, ultimately leans on the side of good. This is averted in the other anime seasons, which are all their own continuity. The Jewelpets run the whole gamut in them.
  • Pokémon: The Series establishes early on that no Pokémon are evil, even if they do obey evil trainers. This concept was dropped later with the appearance of actually evil Pokémon, and it was never true in the games.
  • Little yokai like Shippo in Inuyasha are basically good. Some of them tend to play pranks on people (prefered on humans), but none of them are really malicious, or they've ever done anything bad to someone.

    Audio Drama 
  • The Trell from Big Finish Doctor Who are implied to be this, with the Doctor saying they are a law-abiding species. A Police Marshal serves as a Reasonable Authority Figure and though some are mooks for the villain they are mind-controlled.

    Fan Works 
  • In Ashes of the Past, Riolu and Lucario have a sense of justice apparently written into their very DNA; Aaron's Lucario realizes that Ash is telling the truth when he sees his Riolu defending him, something that wouldn't happen if Ash was a bad person.
    • This is later exploited: during the Mirage Pokémon event, Dexter manages to access the system and manifest a Riolu briefly, which gives the Mirage Pokémon a conscience.
    • Which is why it's such an Oh, Crap! moment when Ash and Co. encounter a Shadow Lucario created by Team Galactic.
  • Dæmorphing: Since all Hork-Bajir hosts are involuntary, there's no risk of them betraying the Animorphs to the Yeerks. Marco mentions this when he's arguing in favour of giving the free Hork-Bajir warriors the morphing power.

  • The Mystics in The Dark Crystal. Justified in that they're the innocent, non-violent spiritual half of a species that became divided into two races, the other being the selfish, despotic Skeksis. They unfortunately also suffered from Good Is Impotent because all of the ambition went the Skeksis as well.

  • Elves in Tolkien's original conception. His original idea behind them was to depict a people not corrupted by the Original Sin. Most works inspired by Tolkien instead use Elves Versus Dwarves where dwarves are lawful and elves are chaotic, or have elves being another name for The Fair Folk, or outright go for Screw You, Elves!. For that matter, in the Norse Mythology that inspired Tolkien, the elves clearly aren't lawful good either. Only one ever sided with Morgoth, because he had a creepy lust for his cousin, and even then he was threatened with death beforehand so he didn't have that much choice.
    • There's also thralls, who willingly serve Morgoth, although it's implied that Morgoth controlled them somehow.
    • The Kinslaying at Alqualonde is pretty much the ultimate proof that Elves are more of a subversion.
  • Redwall: Mice, otters, hedgehogs, moles, hares, and squirrels are always good, and probably living in Redwall itself. Badgers are as well, though typically living outside Redwall as they seem to be both rarer and more aggressive. Shrews are generally Chaotic Good (but always chaotic); voles are good but sometimes whiny (though there was one vole in Martin the Warrior who was a traitor and a spy).
  • The eledhel (“elves of light”) in The Riftwar Cycle live in a perfect Hidden Elf Village Utopia with no internal strife. All named eledhel to date have been unfailingly wise, noble and heroic. Notable because in this world, they are the same race as the dark elves (moredhel), who are war-like and hostile, differing only in their mentality and lifestyle. Though it is possible for a moredhel to embrace the eledhel way of thinking and thus Return and become eledhel, the reverse does not happen. Ever. Making this a case of Incorruptible Pure Pureness.
  • Animorphs:
    • This is deconstructed with the Andalites. At first, all we know about them is that they're fighting the Yeerks, so the Animorphs assume that all of them are good - Jake even describes them as "the good guys of the galaxy" in an early book, and the resident Andalite is barely a teenager like them, so he doesn't know any better. Starting in The Hork-Bajir Chronicles, we see that the Andalites can be just as bad as the Yeerks (who were a deconstruction of Always Chaotic Evil), just in different ways (traitors, cowards, and genociders are among those we meet). Ax himself nearly gets himself outcast from his own society at the end when he stands by his allies rather than the Andalite soldiers (and then it turns out the Andalite military is not Andalite society, and there's an open channel to the rest of the Andalite population who are watching their military go all Knight Templar).
    • Tobias once morphed Ax and discovers they're not naturally "good" so much as have a sense of permanent optimism. Ax never comments on this even in the books where he's narrating, but then he's too distracted by his new senses when in human morph.
    • Played straight with the Pemalites, a highly developed and joyful race that praised life and abhorred violence, so much that when the Always Chaotic Evil Howlers arrived, Pemalites failed to muster any defence and were exterminated. But when Jake gets a Howler morph, he's horrified to discover they aren't Always Chaotic Evil murderers, but children who think they're playing a game with other species.
    • The Hork-Bajirs are a peaceful species that did not even know the concept of attacking each other until the Yeerks conquered their planet. After the Animorphs have freed the first Hork-Bajirs from the Yeerks who rule them, they realize how good-natured they are.
  • The Houyhnhnms of Gulliver's Travels. They are incredibly honorable, intelligent horses that live alongside feral, deformed humans (called "Yahoos") that appear to be Always Chaotic Evil, though this is later revealed to be a prejudice on the Houyhnhnms' part.
  • Adventure Hunters: War Golems are a race of Martial Pacifists. Every single one of them abhors violence. If you leave them alone, they will leave you alone. If you attack them, they will wreck you. This is because their personalities are copies of their creator, who was himself a pacifist.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Sylphrena and other honorspren are literally made out of Lawful Good-ness but sometimes she can't give Kaladin a good answer to his moral dilemmas. In particular, she has problems with dealing with the parshmen, who have been mindless slaves for centuries. Since honorspren are shaped by the human idea of honor, humanity's Fantastic Racism has seeped into them a bit.
    Kaladin: You're a... what, embodiment of human perceptions of honor? Shouldn't you at least think you have all the answers?
    Syl: Probably. Or maybe if there are answers, I should be the one who wants to find them.
  • The hydrites from the German SF series Maddrax are a species of fish people, which live completely peaceful and vegetarian. They consider humans to be barbarians, because the average hydrit is morally superior to the average human. But once they eat meat, their dark instincts awaken, and they are more a case of Always Chaotic Evil.
  • The shadowhunters in The Mortal Instruments should correspond exactly to this ideal. In fact, very often it is not the case. The protagonists were usually closer to Chaotic Good or Neutral Good, while most other shadowhunters were morally gray, or even evil. Even among the comparatively good shadowhunters, the rejection of vampires, werewolves and warlocks is widespread, and in the past they have hunted and killed them for minor reasons.
  • Isaac Asimov's "The Last Trump": The angels are product of Divine Will, and follow every Commandment they are given. This provides a bit of Good Versus Good conflict as Etheriel tries to get through the Celestial Bureaucracy and convince the Chief to not destroy the Earth.
  • The Silerian Trilogy: The Beyah-Olvari are all benevolent pacifists who live peacefully together, so much that they can't even bear people acting angrily in their presence.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Organians, and possibly the Metrons, on the original Star Trek. For that matter, most of Star Fleet itself is portrayed as something like this (with a few bad seeds), until the existence of Section 31 was revealed (after Gene Roddenberry's death, of course), and even they were Well Intentioned Extremists with Unscrupulous Hero tendencies rather than outright villains.
  • In Stargate SG-1:
    • The Nox always qualify. In one episode, they were called in to mediate a trial because everyone knows they'll be fair in their judgement.
    • The Asgard usually do since they're fighting the evil aliens and are mistaken for heroic deities like Thor.
    • The Ancients occasionally do (when they're not Always Lawful Stupid), depending on which episode in which series you're watching.
  • Babylon 5: Vorlons are a subversion as they turn out to be just as petty and terrorizing as their opposing species, the Shadows. As a whole they turn out to be merely Always Lawful, ranging from the Lawful Evil Ulkesh to the Lawful Good Kosh, with an emphasis on Good over strictly Lawful (he had no qualms about encouraging The Chosen One to bend the rules when necessary to maintain long-term order).
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Eternals were originally intended to be this, although not much is revealed about them in the show and the Expanded Universe depicts them as having their fair share of villains. Considering they exist outside time, they could be Above Good and Evil.
    • Some species, such as Star Whales and Thals, have also only been shown in a positive light, though only one Star Whale has been seen. In their first appearance the Thals claimed to have once been a race of warriors, but after war wrecked their planet they became peaceful. Also their pacifism goes to the extent that they are willing to die rather then fight the Daleks and the TARDIS team have to convince them otherwise.
  • Angel shows many different types of demons. In fact, there are many demons that can not be evil but neutral or even good. In an episode in the third season, a Yarbnie demon is brutally murdered by vicious humans, and Angel and his friends are horrified because Yarbnie demons (all of them), are absolutely peaceful and harmless.
  • Pup Academy subverts the trope. When Izzy first serves as a substitute teacher for the puppies, she assumes that they must be good (they're dogs, after all) and so doesn't realize that they're pranking her mercilessly. The academy's caretaker explains to her that they're acting no differently than the human kids Izzy attends elementary school with.

    Myths and Religions 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The game's dragons are a Trope Codifier. From the earliest editions, the difference between a good or evil dragon came down to whether their scales were metallic or chromatic. Metallic dragons are always good, and chromatic dragons are always evil. Later material has given more nuance to this, pointing out that even the noblest gold dragon still has an instinctive urge to increase the size of their Dragon Hoard, and will consider themselves superior to the mortal races around them, even if they're willing to help them out. Some sources add that the noble gold is also trying very hard not to think about the fact their human allies are crunchy and good with ketchup.
    • Outsiders from the Upper Planes, as codified in Planescape, are this since they are (to some extent) Made of Good. The Archons are the Lawful Good natives of the Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia and closely fit Western depictions of an angelic hierarchy, the Guardinals of the Blessed Fields of Elysium are a Neutral Good array of animalistic humanoids, and the Eladrin of the Olympian Glades of Arborea are more or less a Chaotic Good variant of The Fair Folk. Unlike the various kinds of fiends that are locked in the Blood War, the differing types of celestials do not wage war against each other, because even the stuffiest of archons would rather tolerate the fickleness of an eladrin over the Lawful Evil order imposed by a devil. That said, good outsiders are not always Always Lawful Good, as some can become Fallen Angels and be banished from the heavens.
    • For many editions, The Paladin class had to be Lawful Good, and losing that alignment meant losing several class abilities. Unfortunately, this gave Paladins a reputation as being Lawful Stupid because of their rigid adhereance to the law, lest they lose their powers. 4th Edition changed this, and has a class named "paladin" that is not an example of the trope The Paladin, since paladins from 4th Edition and beyond can be any one of the nine alignments, though 4E paladins have to match the alignment of their Patron God.
    • The supplement Remarkable Races introduces the kval and magogol, both of which are biologically forced to be Good.
    • Though Eberron mixed up most of the usual alignment codings (e.g. metallic and chromatic dragons aren't necessarily good or evil there, or even more likely to be), it added the kalashtar PC race, who are mostly Lawful Good, and unusually added a justification: kalashtar exist from birth in psionic symbiosis with one of 66 good quori (who are kind of smeared around the larger population). You're partly human with the usual genetic randomness, part a specific immortal good creature.
  • In the Lorwyn block of Magic: The Gathering, every race aside from the elves and fairies is generally benevolent on the majority, including the black aligned boggarts (though there are a few exceptions here and there, of course, like the kithkin Gaddock Teeg). Come Shadowmoor, and everyone becomes Always Chaotic Evil, with the exception of the elves, which pull a 180º and become the most benevolent race around.note 
  • Pathfinder, being a derivative of Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, retains the alignment rules for celestials, metallic dragons, and paladins, but makes them more flexible.
    • First Edition supplements for the default Golarion/Lost Omens setting give paladins of individual gods their own specific codes of conduct to follow instead of the generic code from the Core Rulebook, as well as introducing the Oathbound Paladin (a family of archetypes which add additional code tenets in exchange for alternate class features, such as binding a paladin to hunt and slay dragons or enforce the law against its makers and enforcers) and the Gray Paladin (permitted to be up to one "step" away from Lawful Good in exchange for weaker class features). It also introduced the Antipaladin as an Evil Counterpart (essentially the Blackguard from 3E but converted from a Prestige Class into a base class).
    • Metallic dragons are theoretically Always Good (Lawful for gold and silver, Neutral or Chaotic for other colors), but they're still dragons: their greed for material wealth and innate sense of superiority to humanoids can lead them to sometimes turn Knight Templar, as happens to Mengkare, the gold wyrm ruler of the island nation Magnimar, in some Second Edition materials.
  • Warhammer 40,000: By the standards of the Imperium (and not a sane human of the 21st century), the Grey Knights are this, refusing to consort with the kind of loonies who think using Chaos against Chaos is a good idea, and as a result, not one Grey Knight has ever fallen to Chaos (mentally, that is, they've died in droves to Chaos).
    • Note that because Good Is Not Soft and Good Is Not Nice, they also perform a lot of actions that warrant a What the Hell, Hero?, such as mind-wiping or executing ordinary Guardsmen to prevent the knowledge of Chaos from spreading. This sparked an outright war with the Chaotic Good Space Wolves (who objected to the murder of worthy veterans who'd fought alongside them) known for good reason as the Months of Shame, a conflict resulting in the Wolves' homeworld of Fenris taking more damage than during the entire Horus Heresy.
    • In later editions, this changed, with the Knights not only being allowed to use daemonhosts and other unholy relics, one of their characters actually uses a daemonsword under the pretext that only he has the mental fortitude to avoid falling to its whispers.
    • More close to being always lawful good would be the Custodians, the guards of the Emperor's palace. Literally none have them have fallen in their whole 10,000 years of existence.

    Video Games 
  • World of Warcraft ultimately subverts this trope. If any race appears to be this in the game, chances are there are at least some corrupt members of that race.
    • The naaru are basically angels but not so much when they "lose their light" and become Void Gods.
    • The Tauren and Draenei both seem to be overwhelmingly honorable on a cultural level and have often been accused of being this (or worse). However:
      • The Tauren have the vicious, xenophobic Grimtotem and Bloodtotem tribes and high-ranking members of the Twilight's Hammer (such as Warmaster Blackhorn, a boss in the Dragon Soul raid.)
      • There are also Draenei members of the Twilight's Hammer. In addition, many of the Draenei on the alternate Draenor are (openly or secretly) members of the Sargerei, an entire faction of corrupt Draenei.
      • It should also be noted that draenei are not a race; they are a faction (and a fairly small one at that) of the eredar, a race that is otherwise very, very evil. Presumably, any draenei who do not want to be goody two-shoes find their way into the Burning Legion, where the majority of their people are (which is what happens in Warlords).
    • The Pandaren are the only race so far that seem to lack villainous members. However, Hearthstone (a spinoff of dubious canonicity) shows a few Pandaren who serve the Old Gods, as well as an entire Pandarian Generic Ethnic Crime Gang, the Jade Lotus.
  • Super Mario Bros.
    • The Toads and Yoshis are always helpful. The RPGs have introduced exceptions, though never quite to the same level of outright villainy as the Koopa Troop.
    • Mario & Luigi: The Star Sprites are portrayed as benevolent angel-like protectors of the Mushroom Kingdom, even if Starlow, the only prominently featured member of their race, is portrayed as a bit of a Little Miss Snarker.
  • Divine Dragons in Fire Emblem are always good. All other types of dragons have at least one villainous member in the series (Earth/Dark Dragons are outright Always Chaotic Evil), but the only two times a Divine Dragon is fought in the series outside of multiplayer were Tiki in Shadow Dragon, who was brainwashed, and Morva in Sacred Stones, who was a reanimated corpse.
  • Shin Megami Tensei subverts this with their rendition of angels. Lawful? Certainly. Good? AHAHA no.
  • This is deconstructed in, of all things, Touhou Project. The Celestials are explicitly stated to be Always Lawful Good, since that's the requirement to become a Celestial. However, the only Celestial to be named in the story, Hinanai Tenshi, is one hell of a rabble rouser because she finds herself unable to live up to this standard.
  • The Legend of Zelda: If a race is made up of NPCs whom you can talk to and who don't have danger music playing when you are near them, then they're automatically this. The only time they actually become hostile to Link is if they've been forcibly turned into monsters. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages officially determines them to be two subraces of Zoras. The (usually) evil, monstrous-looking Zoras that debuted in the first game are called River Zoras, while the more humanoid Zoras that debuted in Ocarina are called Ocean/Sea Zoras. While River Zoras in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds are still hostile towards Link, there are a handful of them that are friendly and their queen states that some of her underlings ignore her orders on not attacking everyone they see.
  • Spyro the Dragon: Fairies are considered to be totally good by the older dragons, and there hasn't been anything to prove them wrong.
  • Ōkami: The Celestials, which are pretty much this game's version of angels, are implied to be this.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, the Cousland family, firm believers in noblesse oblige, are this to Ferelden. They govern the teyrnirnote  of Highever, and are ardently loyal to the Fereldan crown. Teyrn Loghain's claim that they were secretly Orlesian collaborators is met with suspicion and disbelief by much of the rest of the Fereldan nobility in the first game (and their suspicion is well-founded).
  • Every Darcsen character in Valkyria Chronicles is depicted as almost saintly. While there are plenty of flawed non-Darcsen characters, and admittedly there's only 6 named Darcsen in the entire game, every one is depicted as nice, patient, hard-working, intelligent, willing to turn the other cheek, close-knit with their fellow Darcsen, and with their only flaws being minor ones revolving around not liking certain terrain (and in the case of Princess Cordelia, being haunted by the Awful Truth of how her royal bloodline came to power to the point of inaction.) Even the Darcsen Calamity turned out to be nothing but propaganda. The only sin committed by any Darcsen that the player knows of is Cordelia's family selling out the other Darcsen for their own benefit after the Darcsen Calamity hoax was created. It isn't until Valkyria Chronicles II that Darcsen characters with actual major flaws start to surface.
  • Pokémon: The Lucario line is almost always used by heroic characters, and according to its Shield Pokédex entry, Lucario will only trust trainers who have justice in their hearts. The only notable exception to this is Volo from Legends: Arceus — a side effect of his team being a near-exact replica of Cynthia's champion team from Platinum.
  • Planescape: Torment features one example of a pretty literal angel in the form of Trias. It's game mechanically verifiable that he indeed has Good alignment, of course. This in spite of the fact that his personality isn't in accordance with this — besides being a Well-Intentioned Extremist bent on ending the infinite suffering of the Blood War by committing the unthinkable atrocity of leading an army of fiends to besiege heaven, he's just plain racist and thinks he's got no obligation to treat lesser (that is, most) beings morally. Presumably his Good alignment is just due to being Made of Good.


    Western Animation