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Domain Holder

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Don't mess with Dream on his own turf.

"You don't get it. I built this place. Down here I make the rules. Down here I make the threats. Down here... I'm God."
Trainman, The Matrix Revolutions

Those with this kind of power have their own little domain — a Pocket Dimension, a Mental World, a section of Cyberspace, or a ritually established area overlapping the normal world — where they have editing rights over the laws of reality.

This is to give a character, possibly a protagonist, a challenge they CAN'T solve with their fists, since the first rule such a Domain Holder usually implements is "Violence doesn't work here, sucker!" There seems to be trade-offs involved in this case, since often, one of the rules is that the Domain Holder is required to fully explain the Rules to his "guests".

Subtrope (and most extreme form) of Home Field Advantage. Compare Field Power Effect and Place of Power. For large Pocket Dimensions, this may make the character a Dimension Lord. If the character has this power over dreams, it makes them a Dream Weaver. If the character's health is linked to that of the Pocket Dimension, they are a Fisher King. An already omnipotent being may be Even More Omnipotent in its home Domain.


Not related to the Real Life concept, which refers to the person or company that owns a website address.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Beelzebub: Chapter 135 introduces a character who can do this in his 'gameroom', causing all damage dished out inside to rebound on the attacker. To get past his gameroom, they need to solve a series of puzzles, including sudoku.
  • In Big Order, the protagonist can do this, imposing his rules on any area he has previously walked on.
  • Black Clover has Mana Zone, a technique that skilled mages use to control the mana in the area around them, increasing spells' power and range and attacking from any direction.
  • In Bleach, Yukio Hans Vorarlberna could put people inside video games, where he could control everything, including gravity and time. However, he was just as bound to the rules of the video game as anyone else.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, Babidi's base can simulate various environments and his henchmen use it to their advantage (although it fails spectacularly when a Heavy Worlder henchman tries increased gravity against Vegeta, who regularly trains in increased gravity.)
  • In Earwig and the Witch, Mandrake seems to possess some level of control over the physical make-up of the house, routinely moving doors and phasing through walls.
  • In Hell Girl, Ai Enma and her minions control an Afterlife Antechamber where they inflict some form of ironic torment on the current episode's antagonist before boating them off to Hell proper with the place's appearance directly reflecting the antagonist's crimes. The Spider is this to Hell itself, which is also of the personalized variety, at least for the antagonists.
  • In Hunter × Hunter, Cheetu gains the power to transport himself and anyone near him into a realm resembling an African savanna (or he temporarily restructures the surrounding area into it, but it's not made clear). Anyone caught in this realm must come in physical contact with Cheetu in the following 6 hours to escape. On paper, it complements Cheetu's Super Speed very well. In practice, he also has super-impatience and thus Didn't Think This Through: This was the only rule he created for the realm. The opponent does not need to chase him, there are no conditions for if his opponents fail to catch him, he created an excessively long amount of time, and he himself is trapped in there too. As a result, the first victim of this savanna realm casually took a rest by a tree, then rendered Cheetu unable to move by trapping him in a rope snare.
  • One Piece:
    • This is the essence of Trafalgar Law's Op-Op Devil Fruit ability, as it allows him to create a spherical space called "Room", where he can manipulate and modify everything inside. The concept of this power is based on the analogy of a surgeon (i.e. Law) having full control of his patients (i.e. everything) inside an operating room (i.e. the spherical space).
    • Capone "Gang" Bege's body is Bigger on the Inside, and he naturally controls everything inside it.
  • Soul Hunter has the Juttenkun from Kingo Islands: their unique Paopei are known as Zetsujin, and consist in a pocket dimension in which they're (almost) invincible and can manipulate the interior to defeat intruders. Most of them simply rely on Elemental Powers (Namely, flames, hurricane combined with Razor Floss, sand, blizzards and light, but three of them are atypical (One emloys soul-destroying Paper Talisman drones, one manipulate /turns people into/toys and one creates corrosive mist from his own blood).
  • In Ushio and Tora, some powerful Youkai can conjure a "Kekkai" (Think of a tridimensional barrier), usually undetectable and unbreachable from the outside. The first example is the Stone Eater, a demon who traps his victims inside his Kekkai and slowly turns them to stone before consuming them bit by bit.
  • YuYu Hakusho: Some characters can establish their own rules in a defined volume of space. This is called their "territory".
  • Jujutsu Kaisen: The ultimate ability of any Sorcerer or Curse is a "Domain Expansion": A technique which lets a Jujutsu-user create a pocket of space in which local reality is overwritten by their Innate Domain. Among other benefits, this lets a Curse-wielder boost the damage done by their techniques as well as make them impossible to dodge.

    Comic Books 
  • Die: The Masters of Die's various realms, who are based on (and are implied to actually be the spirits of) various famous novelists. The Grandmaster stands above all of them as Master of all of Die, bordering on being an outright Dimension Lord.
  • In Justice League of America, the Queen of Fables was originally trapped inside a story book, but broke free and gained the ability to travel back and forth. Inside the book, she is completely unkillable and controls all of reality.
  • The Sandman (1989):
    • The domains of the Endless work this way, as seen when Azazel believes himself to have devoured Dream in the center of his own palace, only to find himself in a jar in Dream's hand. The Dreaming is extremely malleable by it's nature, but the other Endless are believed to have similar control over their domains, as suggested when Delirium threatens to render Dream unable to leave when he visits her domain while she's in a foul mood.
    • Furthermore, much of the tension of the very first storyline deals with this; Dream has to enter domains not his own, and ones he may be in danger in, to reacquire his regalia of office. He was separated from them in the first place because he was summoned to the real world, where he was temporarily disoriented (he has power in the real world, but is also more vulnerable while in it). The arc's final villain then attempts to usurp control of the Dreaming by using a piece of Dream's regalia to absorb his power, but makes the mistake of destroying it and releasing the absorbed power.
    • This happens in Lucifer a lot, too. Lucifer is ludicrously powerful, but villains often bind him under pacts and rules within their own territories, making him vulnerable to their schemes. It is pointed out several times that the entire universe is God's domain too, making him pretty much impossible to defeat.
  • In an issue of X-Men set during the events of Avengers vs. X-Men, Colossus is host to both the powers of The Juggernaut and a fraction of the Phoenix Force. He goes to the realm of Cyttorak, the demon that grants the Juggernaut's abilities, and demands that Cyttorak remove the Juggernaut's powers. Cyttorak refuses, since Colossus has the potential to cause more chaos and destruction than any host Cyttorak has ever given his powers to. Colossus tries to force the demon to comply, but Cyttorak is unfazed because the Phoenix Force has no power in his realm. He merely boots Colossus out. Later on, after expressing his dejection to her, his sister Illyana references this fact when she takes him to her domain of Limbo and exorcises the Juggernaut power from him. Something she could have done at any time but hadn't because she wanted to teach her brother what it's like to be helplessly manipulated by demonic forces.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Matrix Revolutions, the Train Man has a small Matrix of his own, a train station used to smuggle renegade programs from the machine world into the Matrix. While inside it, he is basically omnipotent and can even curb-stomp Neo.
  • In Thor: Ragnarok, Hela is practically all-powerful as long as she's within Asgard. The only way the heroes can stop her is to summon Surtur to bring about the titular Ragnarok, destroying Asgard entirely.

  • Food Of The Gods by Cassandra Khaw: Yan Luo, Lord of the Dead, has effectively arbitrary power in Diyu, such that he effortlessly unwinds time on an Eldritch Abomination and brings it to heel.
    "This is not your house."
  • Played rather ambiguously in It's a Good Life and the famous Twilight Zone episode based on it. Are Anthony's reality-warping powers limited to Peaksville, and he's merely cut it off from the outside world? Or, much more horrifying, are his powers so limitless that he's literally wished the entire world outside Peaksville into non-existence?
  • An excellent example (and probably one of the oldest) is in The Lord of the Rings. Tom Bombadil has this within the Old Forest. There, he is "the Master" (not that one), and nothing can harm or even catch him there, while he has power over anything within it. It's stated by Gandalf that even if Sauron took over the rest of Middle-Earth, Tom and the Old Forest would be able to resist and would be the last to fall (of course, we don't know for sure if Sauron even could beat him; Gandalf speculates that he would eventually, but also admits that he doesn't know exactly who and what Tom is).
  • Keek from Magical Girl Raising Project has the power to create her own cyberspace world. She can customize the environment and the rules of the world to suit her needs, force other people to enter it without their knowledge, and manipulate any electronics brought into the world. She forces a group of magical girls to play through an RPG-inspired environment by claiming that it's a new kind of training simulator, but it's really an excuse to have them kill each other (which will kill them in the real world as well) as punishment for their past association with Musician of the Forest, Cranberry.
  • The Night Mayor is set inside a virtual reality domain created by the villain, within which he has complete control. An early example of this is when one of the protagonists attempts to shoot him, only for the gun to become a water pistol in the moment it takes to aim and fire. Later, as the protagonists continue to fight back, there are more grandiose examples, including a Living Statue of himself and a series of Body Horror transformations.
  • In Pact and Pale every practitioner has the capability to establish a "demesne" allowing them to be this trope within its boundaries as they possess supreme authority within its confines. They need to put up with multiple challenges generally over the course of three days. The scale of the benefits generally depends on some combination of the practitioner's power, knowledge and specialty with dabblers finding themselves naturally at home and master sorcerers being described as a step below a god within their demesne. Usually, a demesne is a single room or even an apartment but it can take virtually any form from a preexistent space to something handed down a family line to in one memorable case a large chunk of a town seen below.
    • Johannes Lillegard, a particularly powerful one, has managed, through trickery and great will, to secure the commercial area of the large town of Jacob's Bell as one, allowing him to distort the architecture so that nobody leaves if he does not wish it, and to prey upon those that inadvertently pass through it.
    • Pale gets into Seats or Judges which are a Position of Literal Power that have purview over the Magical Underpinnings of Reality of a given region can do this to an extent in the region itself. They have a Realm that they can do this trope more directly in though.
  • Cadaverous Gant from Skulduggery Pleasant has a unique magic that gives him full control over any building that's considered his home, inside which he is invincible and has superhuman strength. He can make the interior as large as he wants and fill it with anything he can think of, even creating a replica city populated by copies of himself. As a serial killer, he generally fills his homes with elaborate death traps. Outside his homes, he's an elderly man who didn't learn about magic until after he had a heart attack at age 78, so he's physically older and weaker than most other sorcerers and has to lure people into his homes to take advantage of his powers.
  • In Ward: minor supervillain "Happy Land" has this as his power, as he can draw people into an alternate dimension in which he is effectively omnipotent. Outside that dimension, he's otherwise a completely ordinary human. He used this power to torture and play with people for his own amusement.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Season 4 of Fringe, William Bell is trying to create his own Domain.
  • Michael from The Good Place is implied to be a Domain Holder; while in his neighborhood, he can effortlessly kick a dog into the sun, turn a two-storey house into a one-storey house, or create a massive sinkhole large enough to swallow a building, but he acts like a normal human when he leaves. He is also the only member of the neighborhood who can erase memories, as the other demons depend on him to reset the neighborhood and can't just do it themselves.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Chronicles of Darkness:
    • Changeling: The Lost: the True Fae basically are omnipotent when inside their own realms, primarily because said realms are part of them. This is the primary way they are capable of reshaping kidnapped humans into the titular Changelings. Especially powerful Changelings can also reshape parts of the Fae realm or make small sanctums of their own devising.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • It varies by edition and setting, but in general the gods of the various worlds have this privilege within their Place of Power (which could be of virtually any size). Whether or not they have "stats" elsewhere, it's not healthy for your 75th level archmage to decide he can simply kill one and take its place.
    • Several of the darklords of Ravenloft have the power to control weather, wildlife, and other natural forces within their domains, and a few of them (Easan, Davion) can actually manipulate the fabric of their realms' reality.
    • The gods of the Scarred Lands setting each have their own personal plane of existence where they can do pretty much anything. They never travel personally to Scarn, instead sending an avatar to take care of any business.
    • The Planescape setting is dominated by Sigil, a city under the total (though rarely exercised) control of the Lady of Pain. She has very few rules, but violators will suffer the consequences.
  • Magic: The Gathering has many of these, most notably those under the control of Nicol Bolas. He has a plane he created as his private sanctum and meditation area, and he bent and reshaped the plane of Amonkhet to his will, effectively making him the owner of the plane even though he didn't create it.
  • In Nobilis first and second editions, Nobles with the Realm attribute can shape the reality of their Chancel. In 3e, they can get a similar effect by taking "things of the Chancel" as a Domain.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Warp is this for anybody with the power and strength of will to shape it to create their own domain within it. Usually this means the four major gods: Tzeentch's domain is a constantly shifting crystalline labyrinth that's perceived in nine dimensions; Slaanesh's domain is a resplendent palace in the center of six concentric circles, each of which appeals to mortals' greatest desires in different ways; Khorne's domain is a blood soaked version of Mordor with a titanic citadel at the heart of it that houses a giant brass throne atop an ever growing mountain of skulls; and Nurgle's domain, arguably the most infamous, is a "garden" usually seen as a fetid swamp or jungle and crawling with horrifying pathogens, molds, insects, and all sorts of nasty lifeforms. These are huge places, but the total size waxes and wanes according to the owners' power relative to the other three, something that's always in flux.
    • Similarly, many Daemon Princes and Greater Daemons go outside their masters' domain and establish a minor exclave of their own, which takes on a landscape that the owner prefers. Most of these are strange and horrible places, and are incredibly unpredictable in the form they'll take or how long it'll be before they crumble under pressure from rivals the or master abandoning it. Many have stood for just a day while just as many have stood for nearly an eternity.
    • Daemon Worlds are actual planets from realspace that have somehow fallen into the warp, usually by warp rift or in the heart of a warp storm. In these places, since they technically occupy realspace and warpspace simultaneously, are very easy for daemons to manifest and even strike out from, though the main concern is usually simply keeping or protecting it, and are usually ruled by a daemon prince or a greater daemon who treats it as his own domain. On daemon worlds, physics is usually just a set of guidelines at best, and they tend to be very weird and dangerous places. Living on one and having a sustainable population of mortals is not impossible (though that varies case by case), though life there is, to put it mildly, usually short and unpleasant. Because of their nature, the servants of the dark gods wage wars for control of these worlds, either for their strategic value, symbolic value, or simply for the sake of having it.

    Video Games 
  • Bioshock: A non-magical, non-cyberspace version of this with Sander Cohen in Fort Frolic. Upon entering, when you try to quickly make your way through, he stops you, cuts off your Mission Control, and tells you he’ll only allow you passage if you do as he requests. While he doesn’t have total reality-bending control as is common in this trope, he has total control over its Splicers, communications, and security systems.
  • A staple in the Dragon Age series, where the Spirit World of Fade basically responds to any powerful magical being (whether a mortal mage or a demon), allowing them to shape huge domains around them over time and define their rules arbitrarily.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The Daedric Princes each possess their own planes within the infinite Oblivion inside of which they possess almost absolute power. In some interpretations, a Prince's realm is considered an extension of that Prince themselves, as their "body". Furthering the "body" analogy is that while a Prince has absolute power in their realm, it doesn't translate into omniscience within that Realm. External agents can still infiltrate and act against the Prince, akin to a virus invading a host body.
    • Mankar Camoran has one of these in Oblivion called Paradise. It is anything but.
    • The Ideal Masters are formerly mortal sorcerers who ascended in Oblivion as Energy Beings and carved out their own plane known as the "Soul Cairn". The Ideal Masters are most infamous for their trafficking in souls, especially "Black" sapient souls. All souls trapped in soul gems end up in the Soul Cairn and are considered property of the Ideal Masters. They and their Soul Cairn can be visited in the spin-off game Battlespire as well as Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, the boss Ozma (named and designed after the Bonus Boss from IX) contains within itself a Pocket Dimension consisting of a serene blue sky full of floating pillars and bits of landscape that it pulled into itself in the past. It can be seen from the outside before the players are pulled in and have to escape to continue the battle.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
  • In Saints Row: The Third, Matt Miller, emo-goth-cyberpunk master hacker and boss of his own emo-goth-cyberpunk gang, the Deckers, meets the player in a duel which takes place inside the Deckers' usernet, which is actually a TRON-eque cyberspace. While you advance through the virtual reality, Miller is changing laws of physics to slow your advance and mocking you with quotes of how he controls the very fabric of this world.
  • SCP – Containment Breach has SCP-106 (a.k.a. "The Old Man") — a sadistic Humanoid Abomination whose Intangibility not only makes him an Implacable Man, but also allows him to enter and/or drag others into his personal dimension from almost anywhere. Inside, he seemingly dictates everything, including space and time — which lets him prolong his current victim's suffering until he gets bored with them and decides to move on to another poor schmuck.
  • Super Paper Mario has Dimentio, who has his own Pocket Dimension (aptly called "Dimension D"). Inside, he can modify anyone's strength (but accidentally empowers the player alongside himself the first time around, though he claims I Meant to Do That).

    Visual Novels 
  • In the world of Dies Irae there exists something called a Creation Figment. This is something that allows the user to manifest their strongest wish or desire upon the world in various ways. Creation Figments can generally be divided into two main types, Transcendence and Emanation. The Emanation type specifically affects the users' surroundings and often sets up a realm which they can control freely within it's preset parameters. The most notable of these is Gladsheim, the Creation Figment of Reinhard. A giant floating golden castle where he can freely control his undead legion within its confines.
  • In the Nasuverse, some people's powers let them create Reality Marbles, which are basically Pocket Dimensions in which you can bend the laws of physics and magic, with the specifics varying for each case — Archer uses his as a source of weapons, while Nero Chaos created one inside his body, giving him Nigh-Invulnerability. Further, the Marble Phantasm power, which Arcueid has, lets her pull Domain Holder-type stunts in the real world.

  • In Champions of Far'aus, deities reside in elsewhere, a place where they are able to infinitely create and control as many realms as they please, and have the ability to force other deities out if they weren’t co-creators for a particular realm.
  • Falina from Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures created the Succubus And Incubus Academy in a Pocket Dimension specifically to train young cubi to use their powers wisely and to hone their melee combat skills. Cubi are highly susceptible to adventurers and dragons, and Falina's clan was obliterated long ago during a bloody clash. SAIA is her best effort to preclude further genocide against cubi, where Falina is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold adminstrator.
  • Dominic Deegan Oracle For Hire: The titular character is one of these within his own mindscape, a fact that at least one minor antagonist discovered to their sorrow when they tried to use mind-magic on him. This is apparently fairly common for those with the gift of second-sight, if they put as much time into training their gift as Dominic has.

    Web Original 
  • The SCP Foundation has SCP-106, a nigh-unstoppable grinning sadist who is able to enter and pull people into his own personal dimension of endless rooms and corridors by phasing through any surface. He has complete control over this dimension, which he uses to take his sweet time torturing whatever poor saps he's managed to grab. While it is possible to escape, he will generally try to drag back those who manage to.
  • Void Domain: Each demon has a personal "domain" within Void that they have intrinsic control over — at a bare minimum, they can rearrange the local scenery, but they can become godlike Reality Warpers with time and effort. It's mentioned as a source of Immortal Immaturity, since it's a safe space where they experience no meaningful challenges — unless a Pillar of Hell comes gatecrashing.

    Western Animation 
  • Ghosts in Gravity Falls seem basically omnipotent inside whatever building they haunt.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, King Sombra seems able to warp the Crystal Empire's physics to his liking. First off, he turns the whole place into a Mordor, complete with a Red Sky, Take Warning. Then, when Celestia and Luna invoke Sealed Evil in a Can on him, he makes the whole place vanish as well until his return — effectively giving 1) them a Pyrrhic Victory at best and 2) himself a window of opportunity to just pick up from where he left off. And later, when Twilight and Spike look for the Crystal Heart (his Achilles' Heel), they learn that he preemptively turned part of the Crystal Castle into a Pocket Dimensional system of Absurdly Long Stairways and Black Magic traps to hide said Heart behind.
  • The Crystal Temple seems to work this way in Steven Universe, at least for some characters. Each member of the Crystal Gems has a room in the temple, and while Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl have never been seen to alter their rooms in this manner, the room Steven inherited from Rose Quartz is basically a Holodeck that can simulate anything he wants (albeit prone to Exact Words and similar issues). A later episode reveals that Sardonyx has a similar room as long as Pearl and Garnet are fused, which she uses as a set for a mock Show Within a Show and expands one spotlight at a time to suit her needs. Unfortunately, rooms like this only last for the duration of the fusion; if they defuse while inside, it's not pretty.
  • In Teen Titans (2003), Mumbo the magician has a small Pocket Dimension inside his hat, in which he has total control of reality. He also seems to use it as a source for many of his summoning spells, implying he can "leak" its contents into the real world.