Follow TV Tropes


Evil Is Deathly Cold

Go To
Who needs Hellfire when you're this cool?

"In fire there is the spark of chaos and destruction, the seed of life. In ice there is perfect tranquility, perfect order, and the silence of death."

Evil is not only dark, it is also cold and deadly, while good embodies warmth and life as well as light.

Much more likely for the Big Bad or Evil Overlord than pettier sorts of villains. Tends to factor into Fisher King. Whereas Good is probably located in the Ghibli Hills or Arcadia, Evil is often located in the Grim Up North or the "icy wasteland" version of Mordor.

Very common for The Undead. Even ghosts leave conspicuous cold spots where they wander.

Can feature with a Winter Royal Lady, An Ice Person or Tragic Ice Character, but does not have to; ice can also be an elemental power unrelated to good vs. evil. The key is whether the cold is used as an indicator of evil and death. It will be more destructive than other elemental powers in this trope. Evil items like the Artifact of Doom may exhibit this as Thermal Dissonance; they're always cold no matter where you put them.

The obvious foil to Fertile Feet. Indeed, it may not be clear in a story whether the return of sunshine, life, and warmth is owning to the hero's influence or because the Big Bad's has No Ontological Inertia.

The elemental opposite is Evil Is Burning Hot. However, the two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive within a single setting. Extreme temperatures in either direction are inimical to human life, so there are evil forces in fiction who make use of both to make our heroes miserable.

May be a factor in why Spring Is Late is such a dangerous trope.

Not to be confused with Evil Is Cool.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Akame ga Kill! gives us the villain Esdeath, a hardcore Sadist and Blood Knight whose Teigu allows her to create and control ice.
  • Code:Breaker: Sakura, who is sensitive to people's scents and body heat, is shocked when she discovers her friend Ogami's Evil Twin Light Is Not Good possible brother's body is "as cold as ceramic".
  • In Delicious in Dungeon spirits freeze things with a touch. Senshi realizes that this has caused his bottle of "holy water" to become sherbet.
  • Digimon Adventure: (2020) has SkullBaluchimon, an enormous fossil beast that hates all life. Where the Soulmon that appear with it have to make a concerted effort to spread their Ghostly Chill to the forest and the DigiEggs within, SkullBaluchimon gives off a constant aura of darkness and cold and exhales cold vapors from its Nested Mouths.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • In Dragon Ball Z, this is a running theme with the names in Frieza's family: Lord Frieza/Freeza, King Cold, Cooler, Chilled... Interestingly enough, it's all In Name Only. None of them have any ice-related powers.
    • Eis Shenron of Dragon Ball GT has power over ice, and is easily the most evil and despicable of all seven Shadow Dragons.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Vampires have incredibly cold body temperatures. In fact, Joseph was able to tell Straizo was a vampire simply by the fact that his breath was not visible when temperatures were below freezing. One of the (inconsistent) explanations for the vampires' ability to flash-freeze their enemies' blood is that they are simply that cold.
  • Pokémon Adventures: The main villain of the GSC arc is called Mask of Ice, having mastery over ice. He's revealed to be Pryce, the Ice-type Gym Leader of Mahogany Town.
  • In Sailor Moon Crystal, snow is periodically shown flurrying in through the Dark Kingdom's colonnades, and neither evil minion Jadeite nor his youma seem remotely bothered by the wind or cold, despite being generally underdressed.
    • Present also in both the manga and 90's anime as well during the Infinity Arc. The manga notes that Professor Tomoe's hands are like ice hinting early that he's no longer human and in the anime, Uranus and Neptune note when confronting the Messiah of Silence that her throne room is deathly cold (which would explain the Ominous Fog).

    Comic Books 
  • Mr. Freeze from Batman is a twist, in that he's a villain, and he's deathly cold, but in his case the cold is used to stave off death and without it Freeze would already be dead.
  • In The DCU, Kid Eternity was surprised to find, after being dragged into Hell by Beelzebub, that Hell is incredibly cold. Beelzebub explains that "It's cold in Hell. So cold you'll pray for eternal fire. And eventually, we answer your prayer."
  • The Hellraiser comics have a cenobite describe hell as cold, but they tend to go in for more of an Ironic Hell so it might be personal.
  • Judge Dredd:
    • A group of escaped convicts from the prison planet Titan return to Mega-City One after they were transformed into hideous ice monsters on the Death World of Enceladus. Their crashed ship actually radiated cold that threatened to turn the whole city into a perpetual Siberia.
    • The Dark Judges tend to attract cold. During Necropolis, a serial killer was looking for their base of operations for weeks until he realized that it was the coldest spot in the city. The ice moon Dominion also plays a large part in the "Dark Justice" arc.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • N'Kantu, the Living Mummy, describes undeath as "like life, only colder."
    • Mephisto once teleported Daredevil into Hell. The latter experienced it as a permanent blizzard.
  • In Preacher, the Saint of Killers' hate is so strong that when he's killed and sent to Hell, it freezes over.
  • Spider-Man: Villain Tombstone is described as being cold to touch.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: The realm of King Pluto, being under the ice of the planetiod, is so cold that if he did not put his victims through the odd ethereal process that leaves them weak phantoms they would quickly freeze to death before he had a chance to feed on them.
  • Superman:
    • The Great Darkness Saga: When Phantom Girl phases through a Servant of Darkness, she feels his body is unbearably cold.
    • The Supergirl-Batgirl Plot: The ghostly hand created by reality-warping villains Mxyzptlk and Batmite to capture Supergirl and Batgirl feels unbearably cold. Supergirl comments its overpowering glacial aura is so intensely cold it's even making her -who routinely flies through the void of space- shiver.

    Fan Works 
  • The Bridge: When the Big Bad Omnicidal Maniac Bagan takes over the realm of Zenith, he changes it from a Fire and Brimstone Hell to a realm of darkness and cold. It is so cold that certain characters who can survive the vacuum of space like Monster X and Gigan get shocked that they are able to feel it. Bagan's minion Enjin is also described as being nail-bitingly cold to the touch. Bagan's minion Mizu is so cold that in the spinoff The Bridge: A Shimmer in the Dark, Countess Mircalla, who is a vampire and generally unaffected by cold, can feel it.
  • In Deserted Distractions, a shadow demon's presence freezes Ryou as it drains him of positive emotions, eventually making him go numb from the cold, and later does the same to Bakura.
  • The Plains of Death in With Strings Attached are desperately cold: "The chill of death." The Twisted Temple, high up in the Misery Mountains, is also frigid, and The Brothers of Doom are immune to cold.
  • Princess of the Blacks: Dark magic is consistently described as feeling icy-cold to Jen's sonar, while light magic is described as feeling warm or fiery.
  • A Clash Of NEETS, a Massive Multiplayer Crossover based in Westeros, the Others are this as always, but now the Great Other is Arthas Menethil, the Lich King himself.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: The non-human Heavy of the story the Emerald Tablet generally seems to radiate a strong aura of cold where ever it goes.
    • Asuka notices when it disguised as her younger self, grabs her by the wrist.
      It was like being touched by a rotting corpse. There was no warmth in the touch, just a cold sense of inhumanity.
    • Kluge also notices it when he observes the Tablet having possessed the body of a Kaworu clone inside the glass tube it is being held in. He especially takes note of the absolutely chilling sensation he gets from touching the glass.
  • Frozen Turtles: In this incarnation, the mutagen that turns Shredder into Super Shredder is also mixed with Elsa's DNA, granting him her cryokinetic abilities, albeit colored black, and even turning parts of his body into ice itself. He even brings up The Divine Comedy, specifically how the final ring of hell is an icy wasteland reserved for traitors, fitting for how his addled mind views Splinter as a traitor who stole Tang Shen and Miwa from him.
  • The DOOM Chronicles: Despite its fire and brimstone appearance and the fire alignment of most demons, the atmosphere in Hell is icy cold, enough to cause hypothermia in under-dressed humans, moreso when the wind blows. It gets to be a problem when characters get teleported forcefully there and lose everything in their possession, even their clothes.
  • Ben 10: Prime Force: When Gwen uses her mana detection on Cybertronians, she finds that the sparks of Autobots feel warm whereas those of the Decepticons are cold. As such, she gets suspicious of Wheeljack (or rather, Makeshift disguised as Wheeljack) when his spark feels cold.

    Films — Animated 
  • Frozen (2013): Ultimately subverted with Queen Elsa, who is accused of being an evil witch but is a heroic character. This was almost played straight (sort of). For most of the story's development, Elsa was a villain, but later became Anna's sister with more Anti-Villain elements to her character. At the last minute the developers decided to change her into a sympathetic character after recognizing that she had actually done nothing wrong. Elsa's near-finalized version wasn't evil in the truest sense but she was an antagonist nevertheless. She was a somewhat campy character who had been ostracized by her kingdom due to her ice powers, and the fact she fit the description of the person in a prophecy about how someone with a "frozen heart" would be the downfall of her kingdom. She decided to just run with the prophecy because everyone already thought she was evil.
  • The North Wind, the evil ice spirit from the obscure Spanish animated film The Legend of the North Wind serves as the titular main antagonist, with the pirate Athanasius serving as his main human henchman. He plans to turn the world into a frosty wasteland after killing all the whales and the three Heroes.
  • Averted with Jack Frost and North/Santa Claus in Rise of the Guardians who are associated with cold temperatures and winter but are good people. Invoked by Pitch when tempting Jack to join him that cold and dark go well together.
  • The dark Wizard Nekron’s whole schtick is this in Fire & Ice. And how can it not be when he’s commanding a giant glacier and moving it ever southwards to rule the world?
  • The Ugly Duckling: The Winds of Winter, a trio of animated snow clouds, and Frost, a humanoid imp made out of ice crystals, are some of the movie's most openly cruel and malicious villains, delighting in spreading their ice, snow and cold winds over the land and cruelly mocking those caught in the inclement weather they sow.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Inverted in The Amityville Horror (2005), where George feels cold everywhere in the house except the basement, where the evil originates.
  • Subverted and lampshaded in The Bag Witch Project, a short Blair Witch parody film about four roleplayers who get lost during GenCon and can't find their way back to the occupied part of the Milwaukee convention center. Would be this trope, if it weren't a satire:
    "I'm tired, I'm hungry, I'm even cold. How can it be cold? We're indoors. And it's August!"
  • In the Asian movie Beyond Hypothermia, the main character is a female assassin who has an abnormally low body temperature.
  • In The Exorcist, Regan is a victim of Demonic Possession and her bedroom is shown at times to be so cold that other characters pause to put on heavy coats before entering the room.
  • Keeping true to their makers' Viking heritage, Frostbite has the vampires living in the coldest area in Sweden and Ukraine.
  • In The Secret Life of Ian Fleming (1990) — yes, that Ian Fleming — Fleming is able to identify female enemy agents by the fact that their lips are cold (presumably because they're faking their passion). Later, he hooks up with his UST and notes that her lips are burning hot.
  • A major theme of Krampus, where the title character summons a gigantic, supernaturally cold blizzard to trap his targets in their homes and knock out all their power, but can be held at bay by keeping the fire hot. The climax of the movie, however, links the Krampus to a conventional Fire and Brimstone Hell.
  • The Last Leprechaun: The banshee turns the basement into an ice cave.
  • Officer Matt Cordell of the Maniac Cop trilogy is a Revenant Zombie described as feeling like ice, even through his clothing. At one point in Maniac Cop 2, a blind war veteran describes coming into contact with Cordell as being similar to an incident in the war where he was trapped under a pile of mangled corpses.
  • Poltergeist — evil is shown as cold throughout all the movies, but especially in Poltergeist III, during Lara Flynn Boyle's shower sequence.
  • In Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Luke feels cold when he's near the Dark Side cave on Dagobah.
  • In Thor, the Frost Giants have ice-based powers, and their homeworld is an inhospitable frozen wasteland. The Asgardians believe that they are all terribly sinister. One of the Frost Giants is a Disc-One Final Boss, the other is the film's Big Bad.
  • In Van Helsing, Dracula lives in a frozen castle and it can only be found on the other side of a mirror made of ice.

  • The 13 Clocks: The Duke is explicitly described as cold while his niece is warm. The title clocks are frozen, and the Duke has concluded that he has killed time. In the end, his niece gets them to move again.
    He was six feet four, and forty-six, and even colder than he thought he was.
  • A Chorus of Dragons: Demons consume energy to live, including heat, and thus tend to be accompanied by areas of intense cold. They also tend to produce chilling, ghostly blue Cold Flames.
  • The final story of Margaret Mahy's The Chewing-Gum Rescue and Other Stories, "The Devil and the Corner Grocer", has the grocer feel a chill whenever the villain walks into the shop. At the climax, the demon manifests without his disguise, and it's freezing — until the grocer calls on the angel who's also been appearing throughout the story, who turns up with a much more convivial temperature.
  • C. S. Lewis' Jadis the White Witch plunged Narnia into unending winter and turned her opponents into stone; the arrival of Aslan brought spring, and he transformed the statues back to life. This even carries over into the characters' colour schemes: the White Witch wears white fur and is very pale, while Aslan is a big golden lion.
  • The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper: The Dark uses powerful cold-based magic to prevent the retrieval of one of the six Signs. Also averted, as the ice candles are actually neutral and end up being reclaimed by the Light.
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover, being rather cold itself, says that Zandru has seven hells, each one colder than the one before.
  • Dark Shores: The fortress of the evil queen Rufina is much colder than the city outside. As it turns out, there is a pit in her throne room, from which frigid air flows — and it is strongly suggested that the pit has a connection with the Seventh god.
  • In The Final Reckoning, the third book in Robin Jarvis' Deptford Mice trilogy, Jupiter intends to plunge the world in eternal winter. It's explained that, as a spirit, he is used to the icy chill of the void and so prefers cold weather.
  • Older Than Print: While Christian Hell is usually hot, Dante's The Divine Comedy portrays the Ninth Circle of Hell (the lowest and innermost), for the worst evil, as the frozen lake of Cocytus. It's frozen because Satan, the giant trapped in the middle of it all, whose beauty has been twisted into hideous ugliness, is constantly beating all six of his wings, trying to get up to Heaven, and the resulting wind re-freezes the water (which itself is Satan's tears, as he is weeping and wishing he could undo his betrayal). Of course, if he ever stopped trying to ascend, the ice would melt and he could be free.note  The sinners down there — guilty of treachery — are frozen solid, conscious, with the amount of their bodies frozen increasing as the degree of treachery gets worse. There are four circles: Caina, for people who betrayed their families (in ice up to their necks), Antenora, for people who betrayed their countries (in ice up to their heads), Ptolomaea, for people who betrayed their guests or hosts (only their faces out of the ice, and their tears freeze over their eyes), and Judecca, for people who betrayed their benefactors (completely encased in ice and twisted into grotesque positions). The fire and brimstone levels are higher up, for sinners whose crimes are comparatively less severe (or are at least considered so for the time).
  • Fistandantilus as presented in the Dragonlance main series and the Kingpriest Trilogy combines this with Walking Wasteland, as he's surrounded by a continuous aura of cold that withers plants and kills small animals near him. The spellbooks he writes are also painfully cold to touch. Inverted with his apprentice/reincarnation Raistlin, whose skin is inhumanly hot and whose spellbooks give off an unnatural warmth.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • In Grave Peril, Harry describes a vicious spell as "cold"; Michael suggests it was "evil" and Harry agrees.
    • In Dead Beat, after an encounter with evil magic, Harry's lips are blue from the cold.
  • In Andre Norton and A.C. Crispin's Witch World novel Gryphon's Eyrie, the shadow creatures are bitterly cold and prey on the main character's warmth. At the climax, they deliberately go for the pregnant Joisan's baby.
  • In the novel Grunts!, the Nameless Necromancer gets a freezing aura in addition to his Animate Dead skills. It's sufficient to coat nearby grass with frost as he walks.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Dementors, who cause the temperature of whatever room they're in to drop about 30-50 degrees. note  In the movie version, they cause ice to form around everywhere.
    • Also, the wizarding school Durmstrang — where Dark Arts are actually taught to students and former Death Eater Karkaroff is headmaster — is 'somewhere north', based on their heavy cloaks and school clothes.
    • Inferi (animated corpses) are described as being cold, and they fear fire.
  • In The Heroes of Olympus, Leo mentions feeling a cold sensation when he suddenly attacked Camp Jupiter; this turns out to be a case of Demonic Possession.
  • In Hero in the Shadows, the arrival of demons is preceded by clouds of flesh-freezing mist.
  • House of Leaves: the hallways that begin to appear in the house on Ash Tree Lane are described as being very cold, so that when Navidson and the others go on the explorations, they wear winter coats. Navidson himself almost dies of cold after being inside for too long.
  • In The Kingdom Keepers, Maleficent causes the air to drop to freezing temperatures whenever she's around, to the point of leaving the ground where she walks frozen.
  • The Laundry Files: This is the hallmark of a very bad Eldritch Abomination. Abominations on a certain level tend to consume information, thus immediately reducing their surroundings to maximum entropy. Since entropy has hit maximum nothing around them is doing anything, rendering the place deathly cold.
  • Lensman features several species of very alien life evolved at near-absolute-zero temperatures. (In a prequel story, one of them colonizes Pluto.) When visiting environments capable of sustaining human life, they freeze everything in the vicinity. While not all of these species (or all members of these species) are villainous, all display a more than mildly unsettling Lack of Empathy.
  • The Norns in Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn are very fond of the cold, and their master, the Sealed Evil in a Can Storm King, both uses and draws his strength from the power of cold.
  • In Teresa Frohock's Miserere: An Autumn Tale, Catarina's amulet is burning cold to Lindsey's touch
  • In Momo, people feel a chill whenever one of the Grey Men shows up, which gets worse the longer he's present or the closer attention he's paying, and multiplies when there are more than one present. In their secret stronghold there is a vault that has to be constantly kept at a freezing temperature, which is apparently achieved without any artificial aids just by having a sufficiently large group of Grey Men in it at all times.
  • While she isn't evil as much as just lonely and pure horror itself, the Groke from The Moomins is also very, very cold and probably as close to a cosmic horror you can have in that kind of series.
  • In Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman, the vampire-like Lamia preys on humans by drinking heat from them. Death is also shown to be deadly cold as The Marquis discovers. Thanks to his Soul Jar, he gets better though.
  • In Garth Nix's Old Kingdom trilogy, the Book of the Dead has a clasp which frosts over with condensation and a leather cover which sweats even on the warmest day. People in its presence have been known to start shivering spontaneously. Most things related to Death have similar effects. True, the Book of the Dead and the realms of Death hew closer to True Neutral—death is less of a concern than those who won't accept it—but you don't exactly want to hang around.
  • Subtly invoked in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, with the white-clad, emotionless Big Nurse, in contrast with the friendly, redheaded McMurphy. They are usually described in terms suggesting winter and summer, respectively.
  • The Other in Otherland, also by Tad Williams, causes a sensation of killing cold in most people who encounter it within the virtual world. The reason for this is a key plot point.
  • In The Pendragon Adventure, Bobby describes Saint Dane as being deathly cold when he grabs him.
  • In the original novel The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, the phantom is described as having ice cold hands, likely an effect from living underground.
  • The Old Ones from The Power of Five have this effect.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero Regained, Hell has large chunks of frozen wasteland.
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, Jack Frost's presence creates cold wherever he goes. In early books, the goblins had this too.
  • Gossamer, the second Arc Villain of Holly Webb's Rose series, specializes in snow and ice-themed spells. He unleashes an Endless Winter on England in his first appearance, and wounds Mr. Fountain with an enchanted dagger that freezes its victim from the inside in the third book. Aptly, Gossamer is also associated with white, and his skin is "bonelike" pale.
  • In The Red Queen's War, a threat is brewing in the Grim Up North. The plot kicks off when a Viking slave is brought to the court of a southern city with tales of a necromancer raising a Night of the Living Mooks in his homeland. It's not clear whether there's anything inherently evil about the cold or cold about the evil, but the fact that the cold preserves dead bodies makes them more useful as weapons.
  • In The Reynard Cycle, Wulf, the god of death, is also called the Winter-King. The North and its inhabitants are considered inhumanly evil by many Southerners (and not without reason).
  • In The Rise of Atlantis: Light and Darkness, after King Anturoc and the Dark Stone Cutters were banished from the Stone Cutters, they rose Atlantis from the depths of the ocean to found their own kingdom. But because of the evil magic involved, the continent completely froze over, whereupon they gave it its new name Acheron. By contrast, the Stone Cutters live on a tropical island in the Pacific Ocean.
  • Darke Magyk in Septimus Heap is usually described as being freezing cold.
  • The Snow Queen (1845) by Hans Christian Andersen.
  • The Others from A Song of Ice and Fire are malevolent creatures in the North who are heavily associated with cold, ice, and darkness. The same goes with the wights that they create. A past age when the Others dominated the world was marked by an endless winter and The Night That Never Ends. In the R'hllor religion, a god called the Great Other is heavily associated with cold and is considered evil, though R'hllor at times seems no less destructive a force, and can easily come across as Evil Is Burning Hot to those of other religious faiths.
  • Spinning Silver: Over the last few years, the Staryk king has stolen so much sunlight from the mortal realm that there's now snow on the ground in June. He's doing it to protect his own kingdom against a magical attack, but he doesn't care in the slightest about the damage he's doing to the mortal realm and its people. Such indifference to the suffering of others qualifies as "evil" in most people's dictionaries.
  • In Stephen King's The Stand, Randall Flagg is repeatedly descibed as icy. Even in dreams, people feel cold when they come into contact with Flagg, which makes his sex scene—described from Nadine's point of view—pure, unadulterated terror.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe and Legends:
    • Good-aligned Force-sensitives sensing Dark Side practitioners and using cold-related terms to describe the feeling.
    • Tash Arranda in Galaxy of Fear meets Jerec.
      As Tash turned toward the voice, a wave of sheer terror overwhelmed her. She recognized the feeling. It was the dark side of the Force. She had felt it only once before, in the presence of Darth Vader! She felt it again now, like an ice-cold blast of air all around her.
    • In the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, this is how Anakin senses Count Dooku in the Force, going against his expectation that Evil Is Burning Hot.
  • Joe Chip from Philip K. Dick's Ubik plays the trope straight as he reflects on death: "They must be wrong about hell, he said to himself. Hell is cold; everything there is cold. The body means weight and heat; now weight is a force which I am succumbing to, and heat, my heat, is slipping away".
  • In Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • Morgoth in The Silmarillion causes all the extreme natural phenomena that make life in such an inhospitable world impossible, including scorching heat and bitter cold during Creation, and the hell-fortresses he builds (Utumno and Angband) are located in the far north, in extremes of freezing cold. After the heroes fail to defeat him in the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, his free reign results in the more temperate lands suffering terrible winters.
    • The Barrow-wights in The Lord of the Rings. The entire scene emphasizes almost ad nauseum how cold they and their haunts are, both literally and figuratively. The touch of the wight that grabs Frodo is apparently so cold that it causes him to lose consciousness.
    • When the Witch-king stabs Frodo with a magic knife, it's described as feeling "like a dart of poisoned ice," and the wound continues to feel as if frozen.
    • Incidentally, The Lord of the Rings is one of those settings that uses both this trope and Evil Is Burning Hot — Sauron himself more often embodies the latter.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
  • In Warrior Cats:
    • The Clans' version of Hell, called the Dark Forest or the Place of No Stars, is a forest locked in perpetual night with luminous fungi providing the only light source. It's muddy, cold and foggy, there's no food and it's so large that the souls of the damned can wander for years without running across one another.
    • In The Rise of Scourge, Scourge describes feeling an icy cold feeling in his belly when he kills his first cat, and he embraces the cold and lets it fill him.
    • The power of the Dark Forest freezes over StarClan territory in The Last Hope.
  • According to southern Scadrian lore in Wax and Wayne, Hell is a cold place in the sky. Fitting for a people who almost went extinct from a new ice age and can't retain body heat.
  • The Wheel of Time series starts off this way, with a "year without a summer" as the result of the Dark One's influence. Inverted several books later with a "year without a winter" from the same cause—or perhaps a subversion, since the first may have really been the work of Ishamael. In general, the Dark One is presented as being a fan of extreme and unnatural weather, whether it's too hot or too cold - fitting, for a god of chaos, decay, and evil.
  • Used in Melissa Mar's Wicked Lovely, where the main villain is the queen of the Winter Court, who made a deal that allowed her to seal the summer king's power and expand winter's influence, which would eventually plunge the world into endless winter and kill everything. Averted in later books, as the Winter Court comes under new leadership and the Dark and High Courts are explored. It's implied that none of the courts are truly good or truly evil, but are merely what they represent.
  • Wraith Knight: The King Below and his minions live in the Northern Wasteland, wield ice magic, and have their headquarters at the North Pole (called "The Eyes of the World"). The World Below is also an icy hell for the damned.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Game of Thrones, the White Walkers radiate cold. This is so potent that they snuff out fires just by being near them.
  • Kingdom (2019): The resurrection medicinal herb that leads to the zombie outbreak was found in an icy cave. This is also reflected in the zombies' ability to rise — they can stay active in the cold, such as nighttime and winter.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Sauron's evil fortress in Forodwaith is so cold that the fire from torches stops giving any heat at all. Furthermore, Galadriel is able to find the inner sanctum by following the coldest path.
  • Merlin's season four premiere shows the Dorocha, spirits of the dead resembling skeletons, who leave their victims frozen and dead with one touch.
  • The Stand. Nadine tells Randall Flagg that his seed is cold (in reference to the Fetus Terrible he's given her).
  • In Stranger Things, the Upside-Down is very cold, with bits of snow perpetually floating through the air. One of the signs of Will being possessed in Season 2 is that his body temperature is falling, and that he only wants to be in cold temperatures. The others use this to their advantage, using heat to drive the Mind Flayer out of his body.
  • In Supernatural, Lucifer shows this trope, freezing a window with his breath.
    "Sorry if it's a bit chilly. Most people think I burn hot. It's actually quite the opposite."

    Myths and Religion 
  • An early Christian sermon from England (and one of the few bits of literature we have left written in Anglo-Saxon English) speaks of Hell as a dark, cold place far to the north.
  • Christian missionaries to Native Alaskans spoke of Hell as a very cold place.
  • It has been suggested that the conception of Hell depends on the climate of the region where a religion was born - that Hell is the worst weather that region has, for all eternity. Thus Christianity/Judaism/Islam - born in an arid semi-desert region - have Hell as a place which is very very hot. The Nordic pantheon, from a region nearer to the Arctic, has Hell as a place of eternal cold and ice.
  • Some Jews who believe in Hell believe that some souls suffer in ice and others in fire.
  • In A Criminal History of Mankind, Colin Wilson claimed that the reason the Scots eagerly embraced John Calvin's hellfire Christianity was that "in Scotland's climate, any form of fire looks attractive."
  • In Buddhism, there are purgatories that are extremely cold and those that are extremely hot. All of them are reserved for people who are extremely evil, even being reincarnated as a perpetually hungry spirit is better.
  • This now infamous study got all sciency on some Bible scriptures and "proved" that Hell is deathly cold when compared to the much hotter Heaven.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Fog often precedes the arrival of The Undertaker, giving one the illusion his presence causes the temperature to drop.
  • Chikara has given The Colony numerous evil counterparts over the years, not all of which are immediately obvious. Gekido, with it's "Colony Extreme Force", which included Arctic Adventure Ant, was not too hard to figure out.
  • Autumn Frost was one of the heels of Wrestlicious and said to be a difficult opponent to wrestle because of her very low body temperature, more so than her knowledge of holds or counters. Also, Draculetta had a different fog effect but otherwise same arrive and temperature drops concept at The Undertaker.
  • In TNA, Winter embodied this concept, despite starting on the show as a face, despite her gimmick being more about wine, aggressive single minded sexuality, hoodoo Blood Magic and Reincarnation Romance than anything related to snow or ice. She was called "Winter" because she was so figuratively cold blooded throwing someone out in it and watching them freeze to death purely for amusement's sake wasn't beneath her(as implied in her entrance theme).

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Dark Eye: The Netherhells, home of the forces of chaos that want to destroy the world, are proverbially cold.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Nine Hells feature both "boiling hot" and "absolutely frickin' frigid" variants. One of the archdevils, Levistus, is actually trapped forever in unyielding ice, using telepathy to boss everyone around.
    • A line in the Book of Erotic Fantasy has a wizard commenting that having sex with a vampire was like having sex with "ice covered in thick velvet".
    • Gelugons are evil extraplanar entities also known as "ice devils". In addition to being immune to cold damage, they can cast Cone of Cold, Ice Storm and Wall of Ice at will.
    • Cold and death are the signatures of the Elder Evil Father Llymic, from the ice age he creates and the killing cold he wields in battle to the way his rise strangles all life and light from the world.
  • In Exalted:
    • Played straight with the Neverborn, who have a lot of imagery revolving around darkness, death, and the chill of the Void. The Ebon Dragon sometimes gets in on this act, but is more associated with shadows, treachery, opposition, and the Shadow Archetype than anything else. Averted with Ligier and anyone associated with him; as the Green Sun that illuminates Malfeas, he burns very hot indeed.
    • Likewise, the Abyssal Charmset often evokes instances of the icy grip of death, chilling, et cetera. In fact, there's even an Abyssal hearthstone to that effect.
  • In Infernum, the 2nd and 9th Circles of Hell are like this. Tempest, the second Circle, is an unbroken range of mountains locked under a perpetual storm, while Pandemonium is circled by a 15-mile wide river of supernatural ice. Demons with the Chain of the Screaming Sky can also turn their kingdoms into this.
  • Pathfinder has a Witch Hex called Hoarfrost, that delivers a slow and painful death by way of ice needles that burrow into the body of the afflicted, doing one point of damage to their Constitution score per minute, making them save each minute, and it goes til it kills them. This is subverted somewhat since hex can be used by both good and evil witches alike, but it's difficult to imagine a good aligned character using this and not being horrified by their actions.
  • Princess: The Hopeful: The All-Consuming Darkness is strongly associated with cold; many Caligines involve cold effects such as draining the heat from someone or generating a cold climate, and the Dark World itself is described as so cold most creatures who stay too long and too far from Tainted Areas while inside fall into an hibernation-like state, called "freezing".
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Unusual variant: the Necrons are often associated with cold, but not ice-and-snow sort of cold - rather, the cold nature of the mechanical and the chill of the void.
    • Played straighter in the Imperial Guard novel Ice Guard by Steve Lyons. The planet of Cressida is plunged into an ice age-like state by the Chaos powers that are taking it over.
    • Chaos itself is usually subject to this, as warp energy tends to cause a noticeable drop in temperature in the surrounding area of a daemon summoning.
    • Dark Eldar Mandrakes are beings of darkness and cold that drain light and heat wherever they go. A thin rime of ice hanging in the air is usually all the warning you get before they step out of your shadow and sink their icy claws into your heart.
  • Warhammer: Played perfectly straight. The Chaos Marauders, aligned to the Warhammer universe's version of hell, come from the frozen wastes of the north (equivalent to real-world Scandanavia). Go even further north and you'll enter the Realm of Chaos, a hellish, otherworldly realm where the laws of physics and causality no longer fully apply and daemons and gods roam freely. The strongest points of Chaos in the world are located at the north and south poles.

    Video Games 
  • A more comical example can be found in The Addams Family: Pugley's Scavenger Hunt. In which the last level takes place inside a fridge. The difficulty spikes up to eleven with ice spikes, evil snowmen, and slippery surfaces at every turn.
  • In Angband, put on a cursed item and a message will appear saying, "Oops! It feels deathly cold!"
  • In Battle for Wesnoth, cold-based attacks are the prerogative of two "dark" magic-using and one undead unit lines, all not so coincidentally of chaotic alignment: Dark Adepts, Saurian Augurs, and Ghosts.
  • Jin Kisaragi in BlazBlue. While his ice power is definitely not evil, his personality certainly gives off this vibe.
  • In Cryostasis, all of the enemies have ice motifs, all of the characters are trapped in the frozen Arctic Ocean, and Nesterov's life is heat.
  • In Deadbolt, the Undead describe themselves as being cold all the time in the tapes you get from killing them. The Dredged, allegedly, feel this the worst.
  • In Chapter 2 of Deltarune, Noelle is capable of using the IceShock spell, which can freeze enemies solid. While she herself isn't evil, her ice magic can only be brought to its full potential in the chapter's alternate route, which requires the player to psychologically abuse her into becoming a living weapon with the help of the opportunistic manipulator Spamton. The route culminates in her freezing Berdly with the "fatal" spell SnowGrave before going on a rampage with her ice magic, allowing Spamton to take over the Cyber World.
  • The Gloom armor of Yurt the Silent Chief of Demon's Souls steals the users body heat, leaving them shivering.
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze has Donkey Kong's peaceful tropical island taken over by the Snowmads, a villainous group of Viking-like arctic animals, led by Lord Fredrik, a Wily Walrus who uses his magical horn to cover the island in ice and snow and blow the Kongs away. The whole objective of the game is to help the Kongs get back to the island, defeat the Snowmads, and reverse the Endless Winter placed on the island.
  • Ethreain the Lich in Dota 2 uses a variety of frost-based magic, and is plenty villainous, but the crown jewel for this goes to Kaldr, the Ancient Apparition, a timeless manifestation of the Heat Death of the Universe, with suitably entropic and sinister magic.
  • The Death God boss in Dragon's Crown attacks with a variety of ice magic when it isn't swinging its scythe around. In addition, the elite Wight skeletons have a chance to freeze the characters they hit with each attack.
  • Dragon Quest series:
    • The recurring Frostburn/Blizzard monster has the ability to cast instant death spells on the entire party.
    • Zoma from Dragon Quest III is associated with ice elemental magic, which is elaborated on in sequels and spin-offs.
    • The recurring dragon zombie/Skullgon monsters often cast ice-elemetal magic and breaths, as well.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • The Kamal are a race of "snow demons" native to the continent of Akavir. They freeze every winter and thaw out every spring, where they attack the Tang Mo "monkey folk." The one time this Vicious Cycle was broken was to attack Tamriel (the continent where all of the games in the series to date have taken place) and it failed.
    • The Deadlands, the realm of Mehrunes Dagon, Daedric Prince of Destruction, looks as close to Fire and Brimstone Hell as Oblivion realms tend to get, and yet despite all the flowing magma and roaring fires the air feels so deeply cold even Nords, who are naturally resistant to the cold and come from the Grim Up North land of Skyrim, feel the chill there.
    • An affinity to cold and Frost-magic is a common trait of many of Tamriel's Vampire bloodlines. In addition, most are weak to fire. According to tales in the series' lore, this is especially true of Skyrim's vampires, who are said to be able to freeze enemies with their breath and ambush their prey from beneath frozen lakes without breaking the ice on the surface.
    • In Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC, Skyrim's Volkihar clan of vampires takes center stage. Even the lowest-leveled vampires are capable of using a "Chill Touch" spell, and it evolves into other kinds of Frost-magic from there. They also utilize Death Hounds, monstrous undead dogs that deal Frost damage with their bite and have a weak but permanent "Frost Cloak" spell that deals damage to any enemy within melee range.
    • Molag Bal's realm of Coldharbour is described in in-universe texts as a ruined Dark World of Tamriel that's so cold that magic intended to keep the caster warm is ineffectual. Molag Bal is notably the creator of the Vampires, meaning their affinity for the cold is something passed down from him.
  • In Evergrace, the tragic queen Xenovius in Rieubane Castle in a form of Self-Inflicted Hell complains about the cold of the castle after having been absorbed by a demon of ice, naked, crying out for help during your battle. It really makes you want to hug the boss, not fight her. There is, unfortunately nothing you can do.
  • The premise of Fade to Silence is that an Eldritch Abomination that likes cold caused another ice age, turning the world into a frozen Eldritch Location.
  • Subtle example in Final Fantasy X: Seymour passes as a perfectly decent, saintly public servant in subtropical Luca and the green forests surrounding the Moonflow river and his capital city of Guadosalam. We find out he is evil in the trip to Macalania — his temple, and frozen through and through.
  • In Genshin Impact, each of Teyvat's seven nations is ruled by a Physical God known as an Archon. The Archon of Cryo, the Tsaritsa, rules the frigid, unforgiving land of Snezhnaya, from which hail the Fatui, the game's most prominent antagonistic faction.
  • Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising justifies this. The genocidal 'alien' species thrives in cold weather by design, and purposefully chills the atmosphere both to sustain itself and render the islands uninhabitable to humans.
  • Inverted in InFAMOUS 2: The Good end of the Karma Meter gets you ice powers, the Evil end fire powers.
  • Vexen, Organization XIII's resident Mad Scientist from the Kingdom Hearts series. Master Xehanort has other powers, but uses ice magic for one of his biggest Kick the Dog moments in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep: freezing Ven solid and then dropping him off a cliff. He also uses it during his boss fight against Terra. His younger self also rains blocks of ice magic onto Riku in his boss fight in Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance]
  • Lissandra the Ice Witch from League of Legends is this trope personified. To set her apart from the other ice users in the game, her spells are described as black ice and her eventual goal is to bring a new ice age to the world. Killing or enslaving anyone who isn't Iceborn (which literally means everyone else as she's possibly the only one left).
  • Liches in Lusternia gain the ability to cloak themselves in an aura of cold, passively freezing their foes. They can do the same thing even faster with a touch.
  • In the Roguelike game Moria, equipping a cursed item causes the message, "Oops! It feels deathly cold!" to appear.
  • A few of the Robot Masters Mega Man has tangled with are ice-themed. Some, such as Ice Man, Blizzard Man, Chill Man, and Tundra Man are good robots reprogrammed into wreaking havoc by Dr. Wily. Others, such as Freeze Man, Frost Man, and Cold Man are Wily's loyal machines to begin with.
  • While it's more of an amoral wild beast than anything, Goss Harag from Monster Hunter: Rise is a terrifying oni-like bear that acts and looks the part of an ominous demon stalking the icy wilderness. It's aggressive, dangerous, and is even used as a boogeyman figure by parents who want to scare their children into behaving.
  • The mere awakening of the Banshee in Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove is enough to freeze Dire Grove and its surroundings. Should she be freed from her mystical tomb, she would freeze the entire world.
  • You get to visit one layer of hell (see Dungeons & Dragons under "Tabletop Games") in Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark. This one is so cold that you take continuous cold damage from just being there without the appropriate protection. This leads to an obligatory, predictable, yet irresistible pun after you get out.
    Mephistopheles: Last I knew, I thought I had trapped you for all eternity in an icy little place called Cania.
    Player Character: Sorry, Hell froze over.
    Mephistopheles: How very witty.
  • Stygia from Nexus War games does this and Fire and Brimstone Hell simultaneously. The entire plane is a horrifically cold frozen wasteland interrupted by blazing hot firepits, and the infinite malice of the Dark Powers ensures that there isn't any pleasant happy medium anywhere between the two.
  • In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, Sage Zinzolin primarily uses Ice-type Pokemon (ironic, since he constantly complained about cold temperatures and nearly froze to death in Cold Storage in Pokémon Black and White). Also, Ghetsis catches Kyurem, a powerful ice dragon, and uses it as his signature Pokémon, aside from his traditional Hydreigon.
  • Subverted and played straight in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity. Subverted with the Ice/Dragon legendary Kyurem, who is just evil due the fact that he foresaw the destruction of the world and simply wishes to carry it out. Played straight with the Bittercold, what is a crystalized form of all of the world's negative emotions who is the key of bringing the end of the world.
  • In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Chien-Pao is a member of the "Treasures of Ruin", being known as the "Sword of Ruin". The Treasures of Ruin are a group of four Pokemon born from intense negative emotions corrupting four ancient treaures. Chien-Pao was born from and is fueled by the hatred of everyone who has died by the sword, and has control over ice and snow. It forms a body out of snow, and its true form is the two halves of the broken sword forming its fangs. Fittingly, it is part Ice-type.
  • Eifer Skute from RosenkreuzStilette loves this trope. With Eiferstachel, in addition to using plants and energy balls, she can also fire her variation of Freudia's Freudenstachel as well. She also likes choosing cold places as her stages (two of which also feature such undead enemies as ghosts and skeletons), plus she's on the side of the Schwarzkreuz, a group that's witch-hunting the Magi of RKS (which, in truth, she's actually pretending, as, suffice it to say, she's actually affiliated with her creator, Iris Zeppelin).
  • A pretty subtle example, but in Silent Hill 2, unlike Angela's flame-filled otherworld, Eddie's otherworld is most clearly seen manifested as a cold meatlocker.
  • Silent Hill: Shattered Memories replaces the rust and fire the town's evil alternate dimension has become known for with cold, covering everything with thick layers of ice. Justified, considering the Rawshocks suck the heat from things they touch, which is how they kill you. Also worth noting is the scene in the car, in which you are trapped in a car at the bottom of the lake. Suddenly, a Rawshock comes up against your back window and the water all freezes (but somehow you can still move) and the phrases, "Stop fighting", "It will all be okay", and "So cold" appear scraped onto your window.
  • Bonechill in Super Paper Mario uses various ice-related powers. Oddly enough, his backstory seems to be largely based off of that of Satan in the aforementioned Dante's Inferno, as that of a Nimbi who fell from grace and was imprisoned in one of the lowest levels of the Underwhere (the Mario-verse's version of the Underworld) in ice.
  • In Total War: Attila, the world is entering a small ice age, which is used to great effect as part of the apocalyptic motif of the game. It's not a coincidence that the global cooling begins with the birth of Attila the Hun.
  • Unworthy has Death Speakers, the people who "embraced the nothing over the unknown, and in their nihilism they found strength", essentially escaping the uncertainty of life in a Crapsack World through serving Night God Death. This gives them the power to cast ice projectiles, as well as summoning Combat Tentacles from the ground to trap you in place.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The (now obsolete) Frozen Shadoweave armour set gives a bonus to shadow and frost spells and was a favorite of Warlocks, Shadow Priests, and Frost Mages. Although none of those classes could use shadow and frost spells, as might be expected.
    • Many parts of Northrend (the domain of the aforementioned Lich King) are snowy. And Death Knights (who are undead creations of the Scourge, albeit prone to Heel Face Turns) use shadow and ice-based attacks.
    • The Scourge in Warcraft III also featured the Lich hero (who could hurl ice blasts, etc) and the Frost Wyrm. It's probably not coincidental that Arthas' cursed blade is named Frostmourne. Liches who were normal mages/warlocks/shamans/bloodmages etc. in life suddenly become highly attuned to the power of cold when they enter the service of the Lich King. This was originally explained by their attunement to the frozen Northrend wastes, although there's also an unconnected lich found in a desert in Outland with the same mastery over cold.
  • One of the notable traits of The Wild Hunt in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is their ability to weaponize the White Frost, a mysterious magical ice that spreads throughout the multiverse and drains energy from anything it touches, and is believed by many to be how the world will eventually end. Soldiers of The Hunt can craft the ice into dog-shaped constructs which they use as hunting hounds and shock troops, open portals to worlds which the White Frost has consumed to harass and delay their enemies, and leave areas they attack blanketed in thick snow that will not melt even in the height of summer. Ironically, the White Frost poses just as much of a threat to the Wild Hunt since their own world is also being slowly consumed by it. They want to conquer Geralt's world because their own world is slowly dying.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Ice King in Adventure Time, as well as The Lich. The difference being that The Ice King is an Anti-Villain who's more sad and pathetic than menacing, while The Lich is a walking nuclear bomb who wants the extinction of all life.
    The Lich: Aren't you... cold?
  • In American Dad!, Karl Rove freezes Klaus in his bowl as he floats past.
  • The Highbreed in Ben 10: Alien Force are less pronounced than most examples, but they do have rather "cold" colours (white and purple, mostly), and their species get stronger and more comfortable in cold climate. Their minions frequently build weather machines to keep their bases snowy so they can go around at full potential.
  • Professor Coldheart of the Care Bears franchise is a villain with ice powers and an ice theme.
  • In Courage the Cowardly Dog's Whole-Plot Reference to The Exorcist, the possessed Muriel's bedroom is shown to have grown icicles over the door, and characters's breath is visible.
  • Nekron, the villain of Fire & Ice, has ice-based superpowers.
  • The Windigo blizzard spirits in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
  • In Star Wars Rebels, much like the Expanded Universe example above, this is how Force-sensitives react to the mere presence of Darth Vader. Ezra also feels incredibly cold after he channels the Dark Side while in a trance.
    Ezra: Do you feel that?
    Kanan:...The cold.

...But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction, ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
Robert Frost, "Fire and Ice"


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Evil Is Cold



Arktos is an evil, living snowman who commands an army of ice-dwelling animals. He wants to coat the world in snow so he can rule over it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / EvilIsDeathlyCold

Media sources: