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Gaia's Vengeance

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"Mammals, a day of reckoning is coming. That's right, the same plants and flowers that saw you crawl from the primordial soup will reclaim the planet. And there will be no one to protect you."
Poison Ivy, Batman & Robin


Oh great, now humanity has done it. We aren't just jerks, but we've gone and messed up the planet: environmental pollution, wars, negative karmic vibes, etc. Our development has become a Game-Breaker in the whole "survival of the fittest" thing, so humans are now alien to the planet that birthed us. (This also suggests that every other living species exists in some kind of Hive Mind state, so everything they do for survival follows "the rules.") Unlike in a case of Gaia's Lament, where Gaia is sad and depressed at what's happened and wallowing in self-pity, we aren't getting off easy this time. In this case, she's mad as hell and isn't gonna take it anymore. Nature is definitely not a toy.

This has resulted in a situation where Mother Earth has sicced her champions on us. This will result in either a bunch of ethnically diverse kids learning how to recycle while a hero beats up really idiotic and shallow villains... or Eldritch Abominations that are programmed to wipe out the infection; i.e., humankind.


A metaphor for the destruction that environmental damage will do, because really, what aesop can't be delivered through the metaphor of "If you do this, someone or something will beat the crap out of you?" In better series, this will be a logical effect of a certain action; in worse ones, this will just be a flat-out "Science Is Bad!"

If intelligent, Gaia's Vengeance can have contradictory assessments of humanity. Predators and parasites who kill are simply following their nature, but on the other hand, humans "should know better" yet shouldn't think themselves different from said animals.

We can divide this trope threefold:

  • Gaia's Vengeance proper — Nature is a sentient, or, at least, independent and real, being who can direct the efforts of an entire ecosystem, or even weather et al. and is willing to direct it against this annoying little sentient species that finally pissed it off. Considering species and even ecosystems are perfectly capable of dying out naturally, this approach is a lot more susceptible to Fridge Logic than the others. In reality, Mother Nature wipes out her own creations pretty regularly, so the idea of Nature as a sentient being who hates humans for doing the same is inconsistent, to say the least. On the other hand, it could be explained by nature lacking morals we can comprehend, instead operating on law of strongest-species adapt and grow in accordance to the world around them, and if they can't find a place in the ecosystem, they are gone. Problem is that humans are attempting to change the ecosystem and abnormally spread at the expense of everybody else.
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  • Gaia's Vengeance metaphorical — "Was I hallucinating, or was Jerry really eaten by a humongous shark?" This is the case when environmental neglect results in local or global tragedy. An example of the former would be a loose swarm of killer bees or an Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever fed on a local toxic waste dump; an example of the latter would be global warming. As opposed to above, it does not actually need Nature to act anymore than you'd need a snow devil or whatnot to start an avalanche.
  • Gaia's Avenger — Here, Nature may or may not be sentient, but pollution is a problem. One person took it as a personal quest to fight any real or perceived polluters, all in the name of Mother Earth. Knight Templarship abounds, but there are some who are right. The Nature Spirit, Plant Person, Beast Man, Treant and generally anyone who can "Feel the Planet's pain!" are likely avengers.

May be the reason for Absent Aliens; i.e., when they get too technologically advanced, they wipe themselves out, or their equivalent of Gaia does it.

Compare The Scourge of God, Green Aesop, Gaia's Lament, Nature Spirit, Eco-Terrorist, and Global Warning. Often a Space Whale Aesop. May be a time When Trees Attack. May be the motivation behind a Transflormation. Clock Roaches are this for Father Time.


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  • Comedy example: New Zealand brewery Speights ran an ad campaign with the tagline "don't mess with mother nature" where a man learns not to throw his gum out the car window. Learns hard.
  • Mocked in old Chiffon Margarine ads, where someone would declare the margarine tasted so much like butter it would fool Mother Nature. Cue lightning and thunder, and Mother Nature herself would appear and remind one and all, "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature."
  • "Don't Upset Mama Nature!", a New Zealand anti-littering PSA.

    Anime & Manga 
  • There's also Osamu Tezuka's 1980's film Bagi, the Monster of Mighty Nature which, in a very heavy-handed way, acts as a warning against messing with nature.
  • In the 2004 film Appleseed, the Elders of Olympus seem to view themselves as this, having seen man's propensity for war in the aftermath of World War III, which left humanity and the world with it in utter ruination. Deciding humanity must surrender its place on Earth to the Bioroids, the cloned race created with the absence of mankind's inherently flawed nature, the Elders conspired to render the human race infertile. Part of their plan involved convincing the city's primary AI, Gaia, that humanity had forsaken its worthiness; in a subversion of this trope, when Gaia concludes otherwise, the Elders choose to act alone.
  • In Blue Gender, "The Blue" was generated by Earth to answer the rampant pollution and overpopulation of humanity. The Blue slaughter humans who rise above the hunter-gatherer level and convert their bodies into incubation pods for trees. Whether or not Gaia/the Blue also blew up Second Earth, or if that was just humans being dicks, is unknown.
  • An episode of Cowboy Bebop featured a group of environmental terrorists who believed that being Gaia's Vengeance was their purpose in life. They had an obsession with the Ganymede Sea Rat, an animal that's considered a delicacy and isn't portrayed as endangered in any sense of the word. The "Space Warriors" as they call themselves broke off from the more moderate environmental groups, gun down everyone where the rat is served (and celebrate the loss of human life at their hands,) and willing to release a retrovirus that will turn anything remotely human into a hooting ape over the harvesting not being prohibited, instead of limited. The episode ends with them trapped in hyperspace and Hoisted By Their Own Petard.
  • Eureka Seven has one that is different in two ways. It's not actually the planet but a gigantic lifeform that covered Earth, forcing people to abandon it and move back to live on the new surface made from the lifeform without knowing it was earth, and also that it was something the Government Conspiracy was intentionally invoking. They had a series of Kill Sats attack specific points to slowly kill it. These attacks also caused huge uprisings of monstrous creatures that killed everyone very violently, and they then used the publicity of their ineffectual efforts to stop it to get public support.
  • The aliens in Gunbuster were apparently produced by the Universe itself to deal with the human infection. Considering that the creatures were the size of houses, used ships of astronomical scale and destroyed stars to reproduce, it's a bit questionable which species actually makes more objective harm on the galactic scale.
    • In order to defeat them, humanity kills the galaxy itself with the Black Hole Bomb, showing that it wasn't necessarily incorrect to view humans as a threat even if attempting to suppress them is what pushed them to taking that step. In the sequel humanity appears to be evolving to take on the role of galactic antibodies, ironically causing their own defense network to turn against them.
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam: Supposed main villain Master Asia turns out to be a Well-Intentioned Extremist who wants to rid earth of humanity by using Devil Gundam.
    • Additionally, the Ultimate Devil Gundam was originally programmed to help restore the Earth after a couple centuries of war, pollution, and periodic Giant Robot brawls turned it into a practical hell hole. Guess how it's decided to do that.
      • However, this is only because it was severely damaged.
  • In Mugen Densetsu Takamagahara: Dream Saga, the heroes go around Takamagahara calming the monsters that have sworn revenge on polluting humans. Then they find out that the whole journey they were chosen to complete was meant to destroy the worlds, as Amaterasu thought them too far gone. They obviously don't take this too well and decide to Save Both Worlds.
  • In Naruto, legend claims this is the true reason the Ten-Tails exists. It was originally the World Tree until a woman ate a Chakra-filled fruit so she could use its power to end war. The Tree was supposedly so enraged by the theft that it became a Beast and rampaged across the world in an attempt to take back Chakra from humanity. But Zetsu ultimately reveals this legend to be false, as the holy tree was completely indifferent to the theft. Its rampage was actually caused by Kaguya.
  • The central conflict of the Nasuverse, a series where planets evolve into a summation of its lifeforms, called an Ultimate One. Earth features two major wills/powers: Gaia, the "will of the planet", and Alaya, the "will of humanity to survive", purely because humans are not necessarily conductive to Gaia's goal of becoming an Ultimate One, but are nonetheless her creations. Because humanity is becoming too independent, Gaia seeks to kill them and destroy their progress however she can, and Alaya fights against her. They are both the same thing, albeit distinct and have conflicting goals. Both Gaia and Alaya have access to a third existence, the Counter Force, that applies a balancing mechanism and will also destroy anything that starts moving down a path which would threaten the planet. In general, individual humans will have to die no matter which side acts. Notably, unlike most examples, Gaia is unambiguously the villain in this scenario.
    • Gaia also has access to a monster called Primate Murder which has absolute authority over killing humans, and made a deal with Crimson Moon, the Ultimate One of the Moon, to create vampires to control the spread of humanity in the past. Alaya tasks Counter-Guardians, empowered spirits of exceptional persons, to destroy any threat to humanity's survival, which can include recklessly endangering the environment.
    • Kinoko Nasu's older work, Notes, deals with what happens in the apocalyptic future where Gaia finally dies. Humanity is left to fend on a dead planet that can't even support the basics of life as it was known for all of humanity's former existence, and the Ultimate Ones of the other planets come to mop up what's left of humanity because they had heard Gaia's death wail.
  • Neo Human Casshern has the Neo-Sapiens/Neoroids as androids designed to protect Earth's environment — who inevitably decide that the best way to accomplish this is to Kill All Humans. The live-action adaption, Casshern, reduces this to subtext of the Shoot the Shaggy Dog ending.
  • One-Punch Man features a slew of different enemies that are spawned from some force of nature, either as revenge against humans or as a monster trying to take over the world. The first foe we see Saitama face is a monster calling himself "Vaccine-Man", who claims to have been "spawned by the continuous pollution of Earth caused by you filthy humans." Saitama takes him down in one hit, establishing what kind of series this will be.
  • Origin: Spirits of the Past starts with an intelligent forest wiping out most of humanity, but they're genetically engineered so not really an example.
  • In Shaman King, main villain, Hao Asakura, is Gaia's Avenger. One of his primary reasons for wanting to wipe out humanity (along with most shamans having suffered some sort of prosecution at human hands and being driven mad by constantly hearing thoughts and feeling emotions of everybody around him) is his belief that humans are either contributing to destruction of planet or at best doing nothing to prevent it. To drive point home, he is master of all elements and his guardian spirit is the Spirit of Fire, oldest and most powerful of nature spirits, described as prototype of all fire gods from every mythology, created by The Great Spirits themselves.
    • In anime, Horohoro meets young shaman who is using his powers to scare away humans to prevent destruction of the forest. When things result in violence, Horo shows him better way.
  • In Parasyte, this is what the parasites are. Or think they are. It's involved, anyway.
  • Count D of Pet Shop of Horrors, and the entire D lineage, beings who can communicate with animals and sense their suffering and death, will apparently not rest until humans are driven to extinction as revenge for the animals that they have driven to extinction.
    • The D lineage also has a more personal issue against humanity: Humans killed all but ONE of D's kind, after all!
    • The current Count did tell Leo, as he was rescuing him, that if humanity obliterated the rest of life, that's when he'd take genocidal vengeance. What's more, the previous Count had held a desire to be reincarnated as a human. Most importantly, D told Leo that humanity had not yet earned the right to have a place on the fae ship. Meaning the D fae are still somewhere on the ambivalence spectrum regarding humanity (pretty close to the "efface" point, but not actually locked there). The best interpretation I can think of is that the current Count, while desiring to avenge ravaged nature, is not convinced that extermination is the only viable solution, and so goes on testing humanity to ensure it can still atone for its crimes with his "pets". When all the tests come up negative, that's when the Count will accept effacement, but not before.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew were born "Earth's chosen ones", but in a slight twist, genetic engineering (i.e. science) was required to complete the transformation into world-saving Magical Girls. The Mew Aqua, which turns polluted areas into Ghibli Hills, is also a natural phenomenon.
  • A few people in The World Is Mine wonder if Hakumadon, a giant bear-like creature, is an ancient Ainu spirit avenging the planet; other people think it's having a killing contest with a pair of Serial Killers.
  • The Dragons of Earth from X1999 are a loose confederation of Gaia's Avengers — seven human magic-users tasked with undoing the seven Kekkai seals hidden around Tokyo, which would trigger the Final Judgment, freeing the planet from humanity's domination. They are opposed by the seven Dragons of Heaven, guardians of the Kekkai and of humanity's continued existence.
  • Some GeGeGe no Kitarō adaptations (particularly the 80's and 90's) have this as motivation for the Yokai of the week's actions. Since in those decades (as every series is set in the decade it airs) civilization advances explosively, humanity begins to care less and less as long as their expansions are done. Naturally, this pisses the Yokai so much that they WILL get at humans no matter what. However, there are two lines of thinking among Yokai, those who must retaliate violently (the aforementioned Yokai of the week) even with innocent proxy, and those who try to stay amicable with Yokai (Kitaro and his family, among others). Cue the battles...

    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics:
    • Batman
      • The modus operandi of Poison Ivy is defending plant life against all of humanity.
      • This is also the motive of Ra's Al-Ghul, another Batman villain, who considers the earth vastly overpopulated and defiled by humanity. He's not really into the whole Gaia thing, though. He just wants to kill a lot of people and rule the ones left over.
    • The Superman foe Terra-Man also tried to defend Mother Nature against both humans and aliens.
      • In Superman: For Tomorrow, a sorceress creates four Elemental Embodiments, skyscraper-sized titans composed of earth, wind, fire, and water. They try to kill Superman, declaring that Supes is a foreigner, an intruder on Mother Earth. They say that to appease her anger, they will kill him, then kill everyone in Metropolis for harboring him. Superman demonstrates that they are not nearly powerful enough to kill him, then threatens to destroy Earth and move to another planet as revenge if they harm the people. The sorceress breaks down in tears and withdraws the titans. Superman later admits that he was bluffing, of course.
    • Brillantly subverted in the Alan Moore run of the Swamp Thing. Second-rate villain Jason Woodrue AKA the Floronic Man declares that the Green has told him to make all the plants on Earth pump out the purest of oxygen (which would be fatal to every single mammal, bird, bug, fish, and amphibian on Earth, both because pure oxygen is toxic and because it is highly flammable, as is shown when a man lights a cigar in a neighborhood that Woodrue has decided to make an example of). The Justice League of America just sits up in their satellite waiting for the end to come. Thankfully, Swamp Thing owns Woodrue by pointing out that without animals and humans to release carbon dioxide, all the plants would end up dying.
    • In Justice League of America #100, Mother Earth, fed up with humanity's warlike tendencies, decides to wipe humans out with a series of disasters, so The Elitenote  and the JLA hatch a plan to placate her by tricking humanity into uniting against a common foe — The Elite, who put on a show of trying to take over the world's governments and defeating the JLA.
    • The DCU also has The Green, the collected forces of plant-kind, with most of the plant-based heroes and villains (Poison Ivy, Swamp Thing, Black Orchid, The Floronic Man, etc.) being connected to it. There's also the Red (animals) and the Rot (decay).
  • The Authority #17-20 concerns a case of Gaia's Vengeance wherein Gaia is just an unwitting pawn in a large Hostage for MacGuffin scheme by a depowered and imprisoned "renegade Doctor", who, having somehow convinced the Earth that humanity is killing it, will only convince it to calm down after he's given back his powers.
  • The first series of the British comic Knights of Pendragon consists of Dai Thomas investigating various murders of eco-criminals. And then it gets weird (but still beautiful and heart-rending).
  • This is how Sonic the Comic villain Colonel Granite was finally defeated by a freak storm that took out his regiment and blew them back through the dimensional gateway to Earth — seemingly, the spirit of nature itself had fought back against Granite and his plans to destroy the ecosystem. He was last seen being arrested for war crimes on the order of the Prime Minister, who had encountered Sonic.
  • Anderson: Psi-Division: Mega-City One is plagued by bio-terrorists known as biophiliaca, who think humans should be wiped out to protect the planet. Anderson tracks down a biophile who heads over to a plant shopping center to mutate all the flora.

    Comic Strips 
  • Subverted in a strip of Calvin and Hobbes when the boy-tiger duo come upon an area of forest that's been felled for a new apartment complex. Calvin expresses outrage on behalf of the animals that have been displaced, and caustically wonders "how people would like it if animals demolished their homes and planted new trees". Cut to Hobbes sitting in a bulldozer, stating that unfortunately the construction workers didn't leave the keys.

    Fan Works 
  • Lunara becomes a full-fledged Gaia's Avenger in Heroes of the Desk: Repercussions. She has to be told to tone it down, even though it is her day job to keep watch over natural areas.
  • There are several examples in Pokédex. A lot of Pokémon have taken the role of Type 3s, with a touch of type 1 due to being animal equivalents themselves. Besides Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion (who act as they do in the video games) there are also Nidoking, who lead armies to attack human settlements for this reason as soon as they evolve, and Sudowoodo, who do not take kindly to anyone who destroys a forest that another Sudowoodo sacrificed its life to save. Also a type two in Dugtrio, which cause earthquakes if too many are caught; not intentionally, but when they are caught, the ground loses the support that they provided.
  • A variant occurs in the Pokemon fanfic You Thought. The Pokemon are rising up and fighting to reclaim and protect the Earth, but not against humans...

    Films — Animation 
  • Various beings in the works of Hayao Miyazaki, notably the Ohmu in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, the animal spirits in Princess Mononoke, and Fujimoto in Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea. Although the Ohmu were found to be Gaia's creation to help clean up the earth, not to destroy humanity. This is actually subverted in the manga: the whole new purifying ecosystem is revealed to have been created by human scientists before the collapse of civilization in order to eventually make the planet fit for a new human population.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Godzilla: Occasionally he'll kick the butt of other threats to the planet, but never forget he'll slap our human asses around if we get uppity with nuclear power.
  • Godzilla (2014):
    • Gareth Edwards stated that Godzilla is a "representation of the wrath of nature."
      Edwards: Godzilla is definitely a representation of the wrath of nature. The theme is man versus nature and Godzilla is certainly the nature side of it. You can't win that fight. Nature's always going to win and that's what the subtext of our movie is about. He's the punishment we deserve.
    • In-universe, Dr. Serizawa believes nature sent Godzilla to restore balance to the world by hunting the Mutos.
    • However, over the course of the film, Godzilla actually proves to be a more heroic champion of nature than his original incarnation, only attacking humans after they deliberately antagonize him, and even then he only retaliates against the military.
    • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), the movie reveals that the destruction Godzilla and the other Kaiju cause is allowing nature to heal from the damage humans have caused. During the end credits, we see that the Kaiju have caused lost rainforests to regrow, saved at least 14 endangered species from extinction, and even cooled the climate. certainly a valiant thing to do, but it meant the destruction of many major human cities and millions of human deaths. But averted hard by King Ghidorah, who is actually an extraterrestrial alien who wants to perform Hostile Terraforming on the planet to make it his ideal world, and as an Alpha Titan he has the ability to force the other Titans aside fellow Alphas like Mothra and Godzilla to cause indiscriminate harm to both man and nature alike.
  • The Heisei Gamera trilogy has characters on occasion worrying that the titular turtle will fill this role if humanity takes too many liberties with the environment. In the third movie, sinister Mister Exposition Kurata Shinji describes the enemy monster Irys this way... but he's pretty much nuts to begin with.
  • The Day After Tomorrow is a Green Aesop about the disastrous results of man-made global warming.
  • The Last Winter: When Alaska's northern areas start to melt, spirits of extinct animals start to manifest from the oil.
  • In Avatar, the humans invoke the wrath of the deity of the Na'vi, Eywa, a neural network that covers the entire moon, during their final assault. The helicopters get destroyed by a huge flock of ikran while the marines get run down by hammerhead titanotheres and viperwolves. Gaia apparantly died when Earth's atmosphere became only slightly less deadly than Pandora's (those oxygen masks are regular outerwear on Earth). In an early draft, Eywa and her creatures are unambiguously fighting the humans from the beginning, and in the end, Jake bluffs the humans into leaving forever by claiming Eywa had created a killer plague.
  • In the Australian cult classic Long Weekend and it's remake Nature's Grave, a couple of Jerkass characters go camping and act like jerks to nature. Nature then proceeds to give them what they've got coming.
  • The Z-List horror(ible) movie Birdemic suggests this is why a number of birds have decided to start randomly attacking humans in San Fransisco (And turning into exploding Kamekaze bombers, spraying humans with acidic... fluidnote ). Various theories involving bird flu, deforestation, and global warming are discussed, but given the writer/director's apparent (mis)understanding of the subject, one might as well say that God Is Pissed!
  • And speaking of Z-grade horror movies, the killer bee movie The Bees ends with a hillarious example of this involving the titular bees becoming sentient and delivering an ultimatum at the UN.
  • Speculated to be the case for the epidemic by some characters in George A. Romero's Living Dead Series.
  • The film version of Man-Thing portrays the title creature as a Gaia's Avenger hellbent on some human murder for the actions of the local corrupted oil rig owner.
  • Gaia is apparently suffering from depression in Melancholia, so she shoots a planet at her head.
  • 12 Monkeys features Gaia's Avengers releasing a plague that will kill all humans, including themselves, and return the earth to the care of animals.
  • After Earth: The trailer seems to imply that Gaia got hit by some sort of Hate Plague because "everything on [the] planet has evolved to kill humans" and it's been "quarantined" for so long the hero has to tell his son/student where they are. It's still really pretty, though. Of course, he could have been speaking literally. Without technology, weapons, or sufficient numbers with which to defend ourselves, Earth is essentially a Death World populated with creatures who can quite easily kill us.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, Valentine describes global warming in terms of a human body trying to fight off a disease. It's the fever meant to kill the virus (humans).

  • Toward the end of the golf course, Dave hit his ball into the woods and found it in a patch of pretty yellow buttercups. Trying to get his ball back in play, he ended up thrashing just about every buttercup in the patch. All of a sudden, in a flash and puff of smoke, a little old woman appeared. She said, "I'm Mother Nature. Do you know how long it took me to make those buttercups? Just for doing what you have done, you won't have any butter for your popcorn for the rest of your life. Better still, you won't have any butter for your toast for the rest of your life. As a matter of fact, you'll never have any butter for anything the rest of your life!" Then POOF!... she was gone! After Dave recovered from the shock, he hollered for his friend, "Fred, where are you?" Fred yells back, "I'm over here in the pussy willows." Dave shouts back, "Don't swing, Fred! For the love of God, don't swing!"

  • Dragon Bones has a fantastical example: After one owner of castle Hurog killed a dragon, there was a landslide that caused salty rocks to land on a field, and deteriorate soil quality to the point that nothing grows there. The land is magical and likes the dragons.
  • John Christopher's No Blade of Grass.
  • In David Brin's novel Earth, the primary villain thinks she's doing this by creating gravity wave creatures that attack humans, but she's just Ax-Crazy.
  • And then, of course, there's The Lord of the Rings, in which Saruman learns the hard way why you do not fuck with Fangorn Forest when the Ents tear his fortress apart stone by stone.
  • Happens in Good Omens, the result of a Reality Warper child reading all the local Granola Girl's magazines in one go. At which point the rainforest starts reclaiming South American shopping malls, and Leviathan awakes, and sets his sights on Japanese whalers.
    • On the other hand, the local nuclear power center stays running, at full capacity and without layoffs... it just no longer uses any fuel or produces pollution. This isn't all bad.
  • In Frank Schätzing's The Swarm, it seems that all the creatures of the sea have suddendly decided to exterminate mankind. It turns out that an hitherto unknown sentient species living in the ocean's depths is behind all this.
  • A short story from George R. R. Martin's Tuf Voyaging involves a small human colony provoking the wrath of a water world's life forms by snacking down on the local sentients, a sessile psionic hive mind called 'mud-pots'. Unknown to the humans, all the mud-pots experience the pain of being boiled alive each time one of them is dropped into a cooking pot.
  • Played really proper in The Heroes of Olympus, what with Gaia being the Big Bad and all. The only difference is Gaia is more angry at the Gods than humanity, though as she plans the desecration of the Gods and everything they stand for, which includes human society... humans aren't exactly getting off scot-free.
  • Subverted in Lords and Ladies, in which The Fair Folk assume that the natural world of Lancre will welcome them back because it hates humans and wants them suppressed. In fact, Lancre likes humans and needs them (especially their king) to care about it, and doesn't do squat to help the Always Chaotic Evil elves' return.
  • The squid in The Beast which is only attacking Bermuda because we wiped out its food supply. Whoops.
  • Happens in Animorphs, The Message, when Visser Three is chasing them. Cassie calls out to the whale she'd been communicating with earlier, and two humpbacks and several sperm whales respond to fight him. She said it seemed like the sea itself was fighting back.
  • The Tomorrow Code has a concept of some genetic engineering lab unlocking a Sealed Evil in a Can within, apparently, the genome of all Earth life forms, that ends up releasing a plague of white creatures explicitly modeled on the human immune system that reproduce within a spreading white mist. Apparently they're the Earth's immune system, and they go around killing off humans in order to keep them from hurting the Earth anymore.
  • In the Red Dwarf novel "Better Then Life", Earth had been turned into a giant garbage dump by humans, and accidentally tossed into the depths of space. When Lister crashlands on the now-unrecognisable planet, it reacts violently, throwing acid rain, earthquakes, oil storms, and lightning at the last human in an attempt to get rid of him. It is only after the half-mad Lister offers to make things right that the crazy weather stops, to be replaced by ordinary rain.
  • In Karen Thompson Walker's 2012 novel The Age of Miracles, the Earth's rotation starts slowing down, making solar days become progressively longer. This causes adverse tidal and climatic effects, animal and plant die-offs, with the ensuing economic effects (crops have to receive artificial lighting). Then the magnetic field starts to weaken, letting in stronger sunlight and solar storms during 60-hour day/night cycles. By the end of the novel, nine years later, the day/night cycles are weeks long, society has mostly collapsed, humanity has to spend the days mostly underground, and while the narrator is hoping to go to medical school she admits the long-term prospects for humanity aren't looking too good.
  • In Spinward Fringe, humanity has managed to terraform and colonise many planets, but only found one that could compare to Earth in the amount and variety of life that had already arisen on it. A Mad Scientist uploaded the brain of his terminally ill daughter to the AI tasked with looking after the human colonisation of Eden, who promptly decided that humans couldn't be allowed to mess the place up and told them to leave. When they refused and tried to deactivate her, this trope kicked in hard. At the time the books start, there are signs that her army of AIs may be gearing up to act as Gaia's Vengeance for the whole galaxy, but things quickly get rather more complicated.
  • Wet Desert: Tracking Down a Terrorist on the Colorado River: The motivation of the bomber is to bring back the natural flow of the Colorado River by blowing up the dams that are holding it back.
  • Zoo is about animals attacking humans and hunting them to the ends of the Earth.
  • In Joe Hill's The Fireman, John (the titular Fireman) suggests that the dragonspore is this: it stays locked in the polar ice caps until global warming releases it, at which point it neutralizes the threat and freezes again.
  • The counterdragons in Unlimited Fafnir are created by the world to oppose true dragons — a term which refers to anything that threatens the world. Two of the true dragons are the now-extinct Atlantean civilization and modern humanity. Notably, the counterdragons don't have to destroy their targets — modern humanity was handled by creating a vampire with the ability to control humans and prevent them from destroying the world. However, the previous counterdragons, having defeated their corresponding true dragons, have become threats to humanity. The main character is in fact one of the counterdragons.
  • The S.T. Coleridge poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" revolves around this, filtered through the lens of a superstitious sailor who shot an albatross and unwittingly invoked this trope.
  • The planet called the Fourth Colony in Dragon Pearl is uninhabitable due to this. The original colonists failed to sacrifice appropriately to the pox spirits, and now the planet is full of ghosts killed by the resulting plague.
  • Earth and the human species itself is in tatters at the hands of the EPO in Eve Of Man.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In-universe example in Garth Marenghis Darkplace — this appears to be a recurring theme in Marenghi's novels.
  • The "Gaia's Avenger" variant is a fairly common Police Procedural plot, particularly for shows trying to strike a balance between left-wing and right-wing villain politics. Law & Order, NCIS, CSI: NY, and Criminal Minds have all tackled eco-terrorist bombers who saw themselves this way.
  • Suggested in The Vampire Diaries, with Damon mocking of Stefan's eating habits.
    "Aren't you worried that one day all the forest animals are going to band together and fight back? I mean, surely they talk."
  • Ultra Series
    • Most of the Kaiju in Ultraman Max are implied to be or explicitly this. Professor Yoshinaga even theorizes that they're humanity's natural predator, because humans have grown too powerful and numerous.
    • Many of the evil aliens in the franchise also fancy themselves as doing justice for Earth. The Ultras (or human characters) will occasionally teach them that the value of human life is as important as those of other living creatures in the end, but more often than not they pay for their arrogance and hatefulness with a Finishing Move to the chest.
    • The heavily environmental-themed Ultraman: Towards the Future from Australia had done what Max did earlier and took it Up to Eleven. In the finale, the Earth itself gives birth to two kaiju to punish the entire human race and destroy Ultraman for protecting them.
  • One episode of Power Rangers Turbo featured a mysterious child named Erutan (spell it backwards) who lived in the forest and used nature-controlling powers to scare away litterbugs and vandals. Usually. The situation was reversed when Divatox released a Monster of the Week that unleashed a wave of pollution on the forest too much for him to handle, requiring the Rangers to come to his rescue.)
  • At the end of Edge of Darkness, it is implied that the Earth's eco-system is deliberately acting to increase the greenhouse effect in order to rid itself of human civilisation.
  • Subverted in the Doctor Who episode "In the Forest of the Night". Forests have mysteriously covered the entire surface of the Earth overnight, on a day when Earth is threatened by a massive solar flare. The Doctor spends most of the episode believing that the trees have covered the Earth and somehow called down the solar flare, in order to wipe out humanity. It turns out that the solar flare is a chance event, and that the trees forsaw it and have covered the Earth in order to absorb its impact and protect humanity.
  • In finale of first season of American Gods (2017) Ostara of Dawn/Eostre (better known as Easter), 12,000 year old goddess of spring, dawn and fertility, fed up with humans forgetting her holiday was HERS and not celebrating Coming of Spring anymore (plus thanks to Wednesday's manipulations and New Gods threatening her life) declares war on the New Gods by taking away spring-ie, killing all vegetation in America.
  • The opening monologue for seasons one and two of Zoo depicted its "animal uprising" this way, as Nature's creatures turning against humans as payback for centuries of abuse. By the end of season two, it became clear that it was actually the handiwork of a "Gaia's avenger" organization called the Shepherds, and in season three even that group's agenda became muddied by more of an Evilutionary Biologist stance.

  • The Creature Feature song "The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth" is about this trope. At least according to the liner notes — the lyrics are a little garbled by their standards.
  • The song "Insect Nation" by Bill Bailey.
  • "Deine Welt" by E Nomine.
  • "Another Way to Die" by Disturbed would be Gaia's Vengeance metaphorical, except for the line "Mother Earth will show her darker side / And take her toll".
  • Mago de Oz's song La Venganza de Gaia
  • Pink Floyd's "Take It Back". The lyrics describe an abusive relationship in which a patient, loving woman is eventually driven beyond her breaking point, the narrator finally earning her fearsome anger in place of her love. The music video shows that it's meant to be an allegory for humans' relationship with Earth.
  • "Watershed" by Vienna Teng.
  • Cerrone's disco hit Supernature.
  • "Nature's Way" by Spirit.
  • Blue Öyster Cult: "History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man... Godzilla!"
  • "Forest King" by 3 Inches of Blood: "Overtaking cities with branches they ensnare/Pushing the human race back a million years/The earth grows quiet all plant life will dominate again/When every structure falls you'll know the forest is king"
  • Tiamat's "Gaia" starts off as Gaia's Lament and turns into this:
    A new serum eradicates the illness, an old man rises from his wheelchair
    When suffering unknown attacks the painless and common animals are becoming rare
    As water spins in circles twice, spiders, snakes and little mice
    Get twisted round and tumble down — when Nature calls, we all shall drown
  • Amberian Dawn's "City of Destruction."
  • Iron Maiden's "Total Eclipse."
  • Sirena's "Maelstrom"
    For thy course now is wrought with despair
    And thy crew killed for thy costly fair
    Not a sail nor a soul did she spare
    Maelstrom, churn!
  • "Onyx" by Project Pitchfork:
    Hello mankind, you must understand
    Here comes your final punishment
    Mother Nature invoked a fatal child
    Her name is Onyx, she won't be mild
    She is coming from outer space
    'Cause the human race has fallen from grace
    Brace yourself, you're next on her list
    Her name is Onyx, she's really pissed
  • "Hole in the Sea" by Cormorant (with guest vocals by Aaron Gregory of Giant Squid) starts off with this, then is revealed to be a Restart the World by the end.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • God is implied to be Gaia's Avenger in the Book of Revelation, as Revelation 11:18 says in some translations that He will destroy those who destroy the earth.
    • Also somewhat averted in Genesis 9:5, where God says he will have animals who intentionally kill people to account for their actions, as well as humans. Whether or not this refers to the animals dying or going to God to somehow give an answer is unknown.
  • Various people throughout history have noticed that if you disrespect nature, particularly the sea or storms, then you will get hurt or killed. Sailors in particular were superstitious about the sea and how one should not curse at it. Whether or not there is an overall nature spirit or "hive mind" is up to discussion, metaphysics, and theology, and different people from all walks of life will have different beliefs regarding this, to the point where the Earth is a deity or otherwise a host to an "Earth spirit", to where the Earth isn't alive (other than life forms on it) and that no supernatural side of things exist.

    Print Media 
  • MAD aimed an unsubtle Take That! to the NRA with their back cover of issue #308, with Nature's Revenge Association.

  • In the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, this is the entire goal of the mastervillain Abyss. He's trying to return the Earth to the way it was when he was a child. The fact that he's a hyper-evolved Homo habilis whose childhood was a million years ago, before humans learned to make fire for themselves and were hunted by every predatory species to say "What's for dinner?" is why Abyss is considered a supervillain.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Changing Breeds in Werewolf: The Apocalypse were each created to aid Gaia in some fashion. Werewolves are Gaia's warriors, werebears are Gaia's healers, wereravens are Gaia's spies, weresnakes are Gaia's judges, and so on and so forth. Nowadays many of them are massively pissed off by humanity's destruction of the natural world and (what they see as) general acts of evil, that will cause The End of the World as We Know It (it is right there in the name of the game, after all), with some thinking that the biggest collective mistake made by shapeshifters was allowing humans to develop past the Stone Age.
  • New World of Darkness:
    • The supplement Changing Breeds for Werewolf: The Forsaken provides a look at several werecreatures who aren't Uratha and view themselves as stewards of the earth. The game gets a mixed reception from fans of the line, seeing as Werewolf has moved on from "Gaia's Vengeance" to "Spirit World border patrol."
    • In Demon: The Fallen, the Devourers were the angels in charge of the wilds before the Fall. Many of them have taken the mantle of "Avengers of the Earth" on themselves now that they've gotten out of Hell. Subverted in that the ones that want to Kill All Humans as revenge for the despoiling of Earth are generally the crazy ones, and that the angels of the actual Earth (the Malefactors) are far less depressed about the current state of things.
    • Fanmade gameline Siren: The Drowning, has Furies, monsters born of polluted areas that attack humans. Sirens of the Styx Current also act as this, reasoning that nature can only flourish without humans.
  • Magic: The Gathering: A fairly common motivation for Green characters and factions, but specific examples include:
    • In the "Invasion" storyline, the Phyrexians, demonic machine-monsters, invade the world of Dominaria seeking to kill all life to secure the planet for its resources, whereupon it's revealed that Gaea, Dominaria's living spirit and the only true god in the plane, had been preparing for this by "growing" the monstrous kavu — gigantic reptilians resistant to the Phyrexians — beneath her surface for thousands of years in advance. (Unfortunately for the humans, elves, and others holding back the Phyrexians, the kavu find machine-demons and mortals equally tasty...)
    • Zendikar has several lands that get up and hit people. Unlike their standard-set equivalents, where this represents soldiers or monkeys or what have you storming out, these are simply large and bad-tempered bits of scenery that can with little to no warning turn into large and bad-tempered bits of scenery that grab flyers out of the sky, grind opponents under"foot", or simply pop up under an unprepared planeswalker. It turns out this "vengeance" is the plane itself fighting the Eldrazi. What's really scary is that Zendikar is losing.
    • In general, one of green's specialties is the destruction of artifacts and enchantments, best shown with Naturalize, symbolizing the destruction of encroaching civilization.
    • Specific cards fitting the Gaia's Avenger version of this trope include Gaea's Avenger, a Treefolk representing beings empowered by Gaea after the destruction of the forest of Argoth, and Gaea's Revenge, an elemental.
    • Primeval Titan's card combines this with Getting Crap Past the Radar: "When nature calls, run."
    • The green/white Archenemy deck is based on this, with the title of "Trample Civilisation Underfoot".
    • Mirrodin featured elves fighting against the technology of the world for the sake of nature. Problem being, most the of the world was composed of metal, so other characters are quite happy to point out their hypocrisy.
    • Consciously averted with Green in the Kaladesh block, both because anti-technology sentiments can only get so boring after a while. Instead, the main facet of Green is technology inspired by nature, and the co-existence between civilization and the wilds. Nonetheless, flavor still mentions some elven factions dissatisfied with the spread of technology.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In most settings, it's part of druids' work to hand out Gaia's Vengeance in measured portions when there's demand.
    • Quite a few monsters are hostile to anyone who disrespects nature. Treants (who, not coincidentally, were based on Tolkien's ents) will punish or even kill anyone who maliciously despoils the forests they inhabit, unicorns will punish anyone who vandalizes a forest or torments its inhabitants, and dryads (in the 4th Edition especially) will do the same. Other fey beings are mentioned in various works, including the barkburr who will go so far as to curse the worst of offenders by turning them into trees as an ironic punishment for this sort of crime.
    • In 4E it's the basic premise of the whole Primal power source. The Primal Spirits are basically the natural world's counterpart to the Primordials and the Deities, and are just as powerful. While many individual ones (such as the spirit of a specific river or tree or animal) are weak, others are much stronger (the World Tree Spirit basically embodies the lifeforce of the entire physical world, while the Primal Beast is the embodiment of all animals), and all of them are concerned with one thing: making sure the natural world keeps on going. Should they ever bestir themselves, it falls under category 1, but this doesn't happen very often — being so tightly bound to the world means that they have the potential to destroy it by accident if they get too involved. Instead, most operate through the Primal classes, which fall under category 3; the Barbarian (Striker), Druid (Controller), Seeker (Controller), Shaman (Leader), and Warden (Defender).
    • The game's version of the Jabberwock (yes, that Jabberwock) is believed to be a Genius Loci manifested by old and ancient forests to ward off settlers, loggers, or others who would exploit or defile it.
    • Without a doubt, the most potent example of this trope in the game is the Nature Elemental, mentioned in a 3rd Edition sourcebook. Composed of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and also Life (believed by some to be the fifth element), this titanic elemental being is so powerful, it can only be summoned by a group of high-level druids working together. Not only is this creature powerful enough to likely defeat an army by itself, its mere presence obliterates manmade structures, causing lush and healthy plant life to sprout over in its wake; in addition, it can't be harmed, regenerating all damage done to it almost instantly unless it is somehow separated from all elemental material. (That includes air, meaning you'd have to somehow force or trick it into a vacuum before it could be killed, or maybe toe it into Wildspace.) What's more, the text in its entry suggests that the creature is actually an avatar of the living world itself, meaning that, for all practical pursposes, it is Gaia.
  • A very literal example happened in the history of the Scarred Lands setting. The only Titan to side with the gods in the original war between them was Denev, Scarn's equivalent of Gaia; her fellow Titans had no respect for nature and were ruining it. She was thus the only Titan to be spared when the gods triumphed.
  • Monsterpocalypse:
    • Subverted by the ancient Terrasaurs, who seem only interested in targeting industrial complexes so as to consume the raw pollution they produce. Besides this, and their occasional desire for a human-sandwich, they are quite tolerant of humanity as a whole.
    • The Empire of the Apes is a different story, intentionally taking up the mantle of Gaea's Avenger. It may not be a full consensus among them, though; one gets the feeling the hierophants tried to dissuade Kondo from leaving their ancestral home precisely so he wouldn't be inspired to do this...
  • The purpose of the Wood Elves in Warhammer Fantasy. No, really, if your army is 2,000 pts or over (large enough to include a Treeman Ancient as your General), the entire thing can be composed of walking tree-things out to destroy anyone who dares to cut a shrub inside the boundaries of Athel Loren. And given that they were hamstrung by the latest edition, the majority of Wood Elf armies are likely to present themselves as this, since the actual elves are overpriced. When the elves were rolled into the main elf faction in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, the tree spirits became their own faction in the Sylvaneth, personal servants of the Goddess of Life Alarielle with a grudge against the Chaos followers of Nurgle for daring to damage their forest realm and try to kill their queen.
  • In the sci-fi counterpart of the above, Warhammer 40,000, this is why it's a bad idea to try and attack Eldar Exodite worlds. Path Of The Renegade details a Dark Eldar raid on one of them; although the raid's primary objectivenote  was successful, the raid was difficult and costly, as hordes of wild beasts beset the piratical raiders and inflicted heavy casualties on them.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! card game has Green Baboon, Defender of the Forest. (And this yellow version too, who seems to be related.) Of course, we only have his name to indicate that he acts this way, but fanfic writers often portray him as such.
  • Iron Kingdoms mixes both Gaia's Avenger and Gaia's Vengeance. The Druids of the Circle Orboros work to maintain the balance between civilization and nature, destroying cities with natural disasters and protecting the wilds. They do this because if too much of the natural world is destroyed the god of the wild the Devourer Wurm will awaken and destroy all life and civilization in the world so that nature may return.
  • Shadowrun: The world in the 2060s, after decades of rampant urban growth, commercial exploitation and reckless pollution, is one severely depleted of resources and wild land and thoroughly tainted with toxicity and contaminants of every material and spiritual sort. Consequently, nature and what defenders it still has have become… aggressive in their methods.
    • The most common form of Gaia's Vengeance comes in the form of ecoterrorist groups like TerraFirst! and Greenwar, who routinely attack whoever they deem responsible for the state of the Earth, chiefly the MegaCorps but also most scientific institutions, in violent retaliatory attacks.
    • Spirits of various sorts also tend to be highly proactive about protecting what wild land remains. Numerous powerful Nature Spirits, for instance, came to the aid of the Yucatan rebels in response of the Azlanti troops' heavy use of slash-and-burn, defoliants and chemical warfare to destroy the jungles where the rebels were hiding.
    • Northernmost Spain has been covered by sylvan, magic forests inhabited by creatures of the folklore of those regions, such as as the "xana"note  and the "cuélebre"note , with little more than the city of Gijón resisting nature's onslaught.
    • The Feathered Serpent Hualpa led essentially every intelligent and/or supernatural creature in the tattered remnants of the Amazon basin — including the remaining native tribes, sympathetic metahumans, nature spirits, Awakened animals of numerous sorts and a host of lesser dragons — in an outright invasion of Brazil, which, in a world still trying to understand what magic was, was woefully outmatched and fell in short order. Hualpa then established the nation of Amazonia, set strict anti-pollution laws, made it very clear that deforestation wasn't going to be a thing anymore and limited dense urban settlement to the preexisting coastal cities. Amazonia then went on to conquer most of northern South America, establishing the same laws there as well.
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse has Akash'Buta who might as well be Gaia herself despite not actually being the earth but just a very powerful void spirit who's gone a little crazy. This quote from the Argent Adept sums it up nicely.
    Akash'bhuta isn't a force of nature. She's the force of nature.
  • Pathfinder: Bestiary 6, which features a large selection of nature-themed creatures, has several examples of powerful monsters that easily fill this role.
    • Three particular options are presented as evil, malicious forces attempting to utterly destroy civilization out of bitter hatred for anything not of the natural world; all are quite powerful and fully capable of presenting a serious threat to civilized cultures, but are luckily prevented from teaming up by their equally profound hatred of each other.
      • Blights are frighteningly intelligent oozes created when ancient serpentfolk druids created a powerful slime creature to destroy their Azlanti enemies. They succeeded a little too well — the resulting slime hated civilization and intelligent life so much that it immediately destroyed the druids before splitting into numerous smaller oozes, which then crawled off to hide in the hidden places of the world. Over time, they adapted to their various environments to form many types specialized for specific habitats — forest blights, tundra blights, cave blights, mountain blights, etc. — all united by a pathological hatred of intelligent life and a repertoire of magical skills tuned for weaponizing nature against the civilization they hate so much.
      • Mosslords are Lawful Evil, four-armed Treant-like creatures with particular dominion over fungus and rot. They exist for the sole purpose of grinding civilization into mulch, are immensely powerful and damn near impossible to kill permanently — even if utterly destroyed, they'll simply regenerate from their own spores — and are quite capable of posing existential threats to even large and powerful civilizations.
      • Whisperers are evil fey that haunt primal wildernesses and turn them into bulwarks against the creeping spread of civilization. They have a substantial repertoire of powers to aid them in holding back the frontier: they can cast curses over their homes that cause anyone who spends too long in them to suffer acute hallucinations and nausea before keeling over dead, brainwash victims into becoming obsessed with their chosen wilderness, turn mist and fog into tangible weapons, and come Back from the Dead as long as their chosen domain remains under the influence of their magic.
    • Green men are humanoid plant creatures and protectors of nature — or more specifically of plant life; their concern over what happens to fauna, geology, hydrology and so on is limited to its impact over the local flora, although the more benevolent ones sometimes forge tentative alliances with neighboring settlements. They have substantial magical control over plants of all kinds, and their presence alone is enough to cause animals and people to start transforming into plants. They're sometimes worshipped as gods by intelligent plants, druids and other wilderness residents, and they're powerful enough to grant divine magic to their worshippers.

    Theme Parks 
  • In the former Universal Studios Florida attraction, Disaster!, the end of the ride had a fake trailer for a movie called "Mutha Nature", where this is the main plotline; with nature fighting back against "a world corrupted by greed".

    Video Games 
  • The Devouring Earth in City of Heroes are animate plants, rocks, and fungi who were created by Hamidon Pasilima, an eco-terrorist Mad Scientist who turned himself into the Hamidon, a giant single-celled organism that's the toughest giant monster in the game.
    • Ironically and hypocritically enough, heroes (and villains) are fighting the Hamidon to keep it from devouring the entire planet.
  • Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri:
    • Not Earth-based, but Planet has the Mind Worms, which respond to excessive pollution by making a beeline for the offending habitation and gruesomely killing everyone inside. So, either you keep your Planet rating high, or you'd better have some real strong defences. By the way, some of them can fly, and they're perfectly capable of penetrating airtight sea-based colonies too.
      • In the expansion, Planet ups the ante with artillery (spore launchers), submarines (sealurks), and entire organic factory/fortress deals known as fungal towers. This is on top of the battleship/transport isles of the deep, mind worm standard combat troops, and airborne locusts. Did we mention they completely ignore your technology?
      • There are technologies that are useful against them (Neural Amplifier, Trance Training, etc.) and you can even breed your own, domestic mindworms.
    • Playing as the Gaian faction, naturally enough, enables environmental empathy that allows the mindworms to be captured and then used as weapons against the other factions in the game. This can lead to some nasty times for anyone who fights the Gaians while relying on spamming undertrained units, and can turn a relatively backwards Gaian player into a world conqueror if they play their cards right.
    • As if that weren't enough, the Cult of Planet (in the aforementioned expansion) declare themselves more or less Gaia's Avengers, with a, well, cult-like devotion to Planet and the environmental cause. As far as they're concerned, Humans Are Bastards and have already blown it by ruining Earth; only Planet is worthy of deciding if they're worthy of living here, and it's implied that if Transcendence is not possible then they will wipe out every other human faction and then commit mass suicide to ensure that Planet is free of human interference. Yikes.
  • Evolve: Possibly the nature of the monsters, given some of Kala's downed quotes, though for reality rather than Earth.
    Kala: The boundary of stability is wrong! We are the universe righting itself!
    Kala: We will nucleate a true vacuum! This abnormality will be erased!
  • Final Fantasy VII has an entire squad of colossal monstrosities called WEAPONs which are stated to be the planet's self-defence mechanism. Once awakened, they seek out and eliminate any threat to the planet's well-being with extreme prejudice. So, who do they go after first? Not the guy who summoned a giant magical meteor to destroy the planet so he could become a god OR the alien organism whose very presence on the planet perverts nature, no, they go straight for the humans who've all but destroyed the environment.
    • It has been suggested that the reason Holy didn't stop Meteor at the end of the game was because it felt that allowing Meteor to wipe out humanity would be a good thing for the Planet in the long term (given that the threat of Sephiroth had been neutralised by that point).
    • One of the later games puts a strange twist on the trope by implying the WEAPONS are a twisted effort to save humanity. If the Life Stream decides the planet is polluted beyond hope, it ejects itself into space to find another. The WEAPONS are sent to kill humans so their souls are re-absorbed rather than being left behind. Gaia's Tough Love?
    • Even the game's protagonists could qualify. It does, after all, begin with them blowing up a power plant that operates by draining the planet's life force.
  • Chrono Trigger has a benign example, in that the Entity theorized to be responsible for the Gates through time is speculated to be the spirit of the planet itself, defending itself against the interplanetary parasite Lavos.
  • Chrono Cross can be pretty Anvilicious about this trope.
    • If you decide to go to the Hydra Marshes to get a cure for a poisoned Kid, the native Dwarves will defend their soggy homeland against you interlopers while belittling humanity for cutting down trees (on an island covered in forests with only two small settlements). They do warn that the marshes will die without the hydra, but if you have the fairy Razzly with you, she'll find out that the monster was pregnant and give it a postmortem C-section so its offspring can survive and preserve its habitat. Yet even if you do this, the dwarves immediately go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge — against the fairies of Water Dragon's Isle, using a smoke-belching Steampunk tank to commit genocide, while they rant about humans not being able "to cherish nature like we do." And then the surviving fairies, whom you save from dwarven imperialism, will blame human greed for the whole fiasco.
    • The Criosphinx jumps you "to preserve the peace of the planet," trapping you in a game of riddles for trespassing in its lair. If you beat it with smarts, it lets you depart with your lives but gives you no other reward, while if you decide to just bash its face in, it gets pissed... but drops a pair of Cool Shades that is one of the best attack-boosting accessories in the game.
    • In the endgame, once FATE is defeated, the reunited Dragon God — a biotechnological relic of a civilization from another timeline in which humans went extinct in prehistory — allies with El Nido's demihumans and plans to wipe out mankind. They succeed in one of the endings, in which Harle expresses some remorse, while the other non-humans are as happy as a clam.
  • God of War II takes the term a bit more literally, as Gaia herself joins in the revolution against the Olympians (although this has more to do with avenging the Titans' defeat at the hands of the gods than avenging nature).
    • Like most God of War entries, it's worth noting Gaia was pretty much like this in Greek Mythology as well. There wasn't any generation of deities that she didn't take issue with. If she wasn't providing assistance to their enemies, she was spawning monsters to kill them on her behalf.
    • In the third game, Gaia turns on Kratos partly because his rampage has nearly destroyed the world.
  • The rarely Animesque videogame Shogo: Mobile Armor Division has these as the possible Big Bad, depending on the choices made by the player.
  • The protagonists of the video game Radiant Silvergun spend the entire game fighting an enigmatic stone-like object that had effectively destroyed the planet. However, at the end of the game, it's revealed that the object was Earth itself all along, wiping mankind off the face of the planet to effectively "reboot" the human race, due to their extreme warlike tendencies. It's also implied that the events of the game have happened before, many times, and that it potentially won't be the last time they do.
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time had the Exterminators once you got to the moonbase.
  • Jade Cocoon, a relatively obscure videogame created in part by Studio Ghibli, starts out after Gaia's Vengeance took place. Humans are barely clinging to meager existence, but it's clear that total obliteration is only a matter of time. Then, it gets worse.
  • World of Warcraft; Freya — a titan who seems to be Azeroth's closest equivalent to Gaia — does not consider mercy to be an option towards the Lich King, the Scourge, or any cultists affiliated with either. Her avatar — a scary-looking elemental in the shape of a female elf who towers about five-hundred-feet tall — demands "sevenfold" retribution, and only trusts the player after he or she helps deliver part of it. (And she desires even more proof of trust later in the same questline. Clearly, she's not find of mortals in general.)
  • SimEarth lets the player unleash the wrath of Gaia onto the planet they tend to, and oh — poking Gaia in the eye does piss her off.
  • In Secret of Mana, the Mana Fortress, a particularly evil Kill Sat, is fueled by the life-force of the planet. The champion of Earth du jour is the Mana Beast, a white dragon hell-bent on smashing the Fortress to pieces. In an odd twist, the Beast, while good-natured, has gone mad with rage, and destroying the fortress would cause a catastrophic restructuring of the balance. So the heroes have to kill the Beast after killing the Big Bad in charge of the Fortress.
  • In The King of Fighters, Orochi believes itself to be a servant of Gaea, carrying out her vengeful will (it even goes by the title of "Gaea's Will"). Of course, it's also an evil world-destroying god, and it's managed to forget that humans are as much children of Gaea as anything else on the world, so...
    • Although the Psycho Soldiers ending in '03 seems to imply that Orochi's corruption isn't absolute, at least not compared to the leader of Those From the Past; a further implication may be that Orochi fell under that thing's sway, and only then decided to resort to genocide.
  • Endless Ocean 2 features an enormous great white shark named Thanatos who specializes in hunting humans. Nothing much comes of this in the plot proper, but his character description wonders aloud if his emergence is Mother Nature's revenge for mankind's Disproportionate Retribution against shark attacks.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey features the Schwarzwelt, a release of demonic antibodies for when some species (in this case, humanity) threatens to bring life on Earth to utter ruin. Or at least, that was Hammerschmidt's theory. The problem is that the forces behind it, especially the actual Mother and origin of all life on Earth, Mem Aleph, want to wipe out humanity's civilization specifically for its depravity and excess, so that "nature can flourish freely" once again... but the Schwarzwelt's expansion results in the absorption and reconstruction of every last bit of the planet it comes in contact with, including all non-human life, which sort of defeats the purpose.
  • Savage: The Battle for Newerth plays this straight with Ophelia Grimm. Ophelia had a supernatural gift for communing with animals, and believed the Legion of Man should cooperate with the newly-intelligent Beasts, rather than killing them on sight. After watching Legionnaires kill a defenseless beast pup that was trying to give her a flower, she began to believe that humans had no redeeming traits at all, escaped into the wilderness, and taught the beasts to fight back, becoming a full-blown Gaia's Avenger.
  • Albion has a very direct example: metal is horrendously expensive because mining results in horrible monsters appearing to disembowel the offender, unless you perform a secret ritual which apparently appeases the local earth goddess.
  • This is basically the main premise of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, where villain Teams Magma and Aqua actually threaten to use Groudon/Kyogre to either dry out the entire planet or flood it instead.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity has a rare benevolent example of this in Hydreigon, who's not a true Pokémon, but the form taken by the Voice of Life, a being who embodies the world's will to survive and acts as one of its sworn protectors, addressing any threats to its safety. His goal is to destroy the Bittercold, but after becoming aware that neither he nor any Pokémon in the world was capable of doing so, called humans in to do the job. He eventually meets the player character and proceeds to guide them towards this aim, also acting as their guardian until circumstances force him to part ways. Once the world is saved, he ultimately decides to settle into a normal life in Post Town for the time being and helps his new friends/world saviors as a part of their team.
  • Baion from Solatorobo believes himself to be Gaia's Avenger, wanting to wipe out the "imperfect" Caninu and Felineko and restore the world to its natural state. After smacking him around a bit, Red tells him that Caninu and Felineko won't degenerate into fighting that tears the planet apart like the humans did before. Baion relents, and tells Red that, while they get a reprieve this time, he will be watching them.
  • The Gohma from Asura's Wrath are revealed to be the will of the planet itself corrupted by hatred and rage.
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, when Hades fools the human nations into warring over the Wish Seed (which wasn't even real), this proves too much for the Goddess of Nature, Viridi, who drops this trope on humankind, on a massive scale. She enters the conflict by dropping an organic bomb that wipes out humans and turns their cities into massive forests. For a fair number of chapters, the story focuses on stopping her from wiping out all of humanity for their wasteful and destructive ways.
  • The planet Ar Ciel in EXA_PICO has a will of its own formed by the consensus of several high-level consciousnesses known as the Wills of Ar Ciel. The wills of Ar Ciel all fulfills specific functions in the maintenance and preservation of the life on Ar Ciel and were once worshipped as Gods that matched their function (for example Soma, the will that created balance through natural selection, was worshipped as the Goddess of violence and catastrophes), with new wills being created when the consensus deems one to be necessary. Two major catastrophes that had occurred 700 years before the game proper due to the conflict between the nations of Sol Cluster and El Elemia had inflicted tremendous damage to Ar Ciel and shattered its core, causing the planet to be engulfed by the Sea of Death. Anyone and anything that approaches the deadly clouds for any reason would vanish without a trace, leaving only the titular towers as the only place where people may live. As if this wasn't enough, Ar Ciel's consensus had decided to reformat its biosphere and creates a new will called Ar Ru with the task of creating and commanding creatures called Antibodies who exist to eliminate all life from the surface of the planet. This becomes the central theme in the third game, as not all the Wills had agreed to their consensus, and eventually inhabits the body of the two Reyvateils in the party in their quest to revive the planet.
  • The flash horror platformer Gyossait has a very creepy version of this. The god Oyeatia creates mankind as a gift to the titular goddess of earth. But Gyossait sees mankind's treatment of her planet as an insult and unleashes a cataclysm that kills millions. This pisses off Oyeatia in turn, so he tears Gyossait to pieces and buries her essence inside a prison no god can reach. Not that it actually stops her...
  • League of Legends:
    • Maokai is the "monster created by environmental pollution" flavour. He's a nature spirit that was twisted by dark magic and bound to a tree. Dispising his situation, he takes revenge on anyone he deems responsible (anyone walking on two legs, really).
    • Zyra is a subversion. She's a sentient plant who took human form in order to escape her dying habitat. One of her abilities is even described as "the embodiment of nature's fury". However, she's mostly motivated by survival and hedonism.
  • Metaphorical invocation in Mass Effect 3. Plan A for dealing with the Reaper destroyer on Tuchanka is a two-pronged attack by turian fighters and krogan armor. Plan B? Summoning Kalros, "the mother of all thresher maws", who flying-tackles the Reaper and drags it underground. Wrex outright calls her Tuchanka's temper.
  • In Don't Starve, cutting down too many trees summons a Treeguard monster. Fortunately, the Treeguard can be mollified by planting some trees, and will even help you fight monsters. There's also Krampus, a monster that shows up and steals items from any chests you have lying around if you kill too many non-aggressive animals, but if you're able to chase him down and kill him you can take your stuff back.
  • In House of the Dead, this is the motive of Caleb Goldman for his bringing about a Zombie Apocalypse.
  • From Sin and Punishment: Star Successor, we have the Keepers, artificial life-forms designed to defend Earth from those who would try to harm it; Isa explains that they are the Earth's "immune system". The Keepers spend a great majority of the game harassing Isa and Kachi, as if the Nebulox weren't enough of a threat. In Stage 7, when it becomes clear that the Nebulox pose a major threat to the planet, the Keepers strike back against them, working alongside Isa and Kachi.
  • In Civilization: Beyond Earth, if an unwise player decides to re-enact Starship Troopers and expands too quickly and/or clears out too many alien nesting sites, then the planetary ecosystem goes into overdrive, producing hordes of hostile alien lifeforms which begin throwing themselves at their cities with the intent to wipe out "the invaders". Whatever you do, do not antagonise a Siege Worm; they're utterly gigantic and capable of destroying entire armies of early game units with ease.
  • In Factorio, the planet is populated by enormous insectoid aliens who are agitated by noise and air pollution, which is something practically all of your Diesel Punk machines produce. Trees do absorb pollution, but placing a small factory hidden in a forest is rather inefficient, but then of course going full Captain Planet villain and harvesting everything you can reach in a relentless march towards industrialisation will result in you and your factory getting overwhelmed by masses of chittering mandibles in no time. It's up to you to find a healthy balance between production and pollution levels while also building all the necessary weapons and defensive structures to keep everything protected.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Spriggans (a race of hostile tree-like Plant People) are referred to and revered as "Nature's Guardians." They are associated with Kynareth, one of the Nine Divines and goddess of the heavens, winds, and elements. Spriggans tend to live in secluded wilderness areas and will violently attack intruders, often commanding nearby animals to aid them as well. They are mortal enemies of the Hagravens, a flightless harpy Witch Species, who are typically an Enemy to All Living Things.
    • Y'ffre is the Bosmeri god of nature. During the creation of Mundus, Y'ffre brought forth "the Green", essentially bringing nature into existence. The Bosmer (Wood Elves) are said to be Y'ffre's creation, and he bound them to the "Green Pact", a set of laws which prevent them from harming the plant life within their home forests of Valenwood. Among the Bosmer, failure to adhere to the Green Pact is said to result in being "consigned back into the Ooze".
  • Swamp Thing pulls this in his Arcade Mode ending in Injustice 2. Fed up with his allies and enemies dismissal of the environment, he uses the power of Brainiac's ship to engulf the world in green.
  • Willo, Moji, and Grover from Paladins are champions who fight to protect and avenge the forests ravaged by the war between the Magistrate and the Paladins. Willo is a fairy, Moji is a rabbit sorceress, and Grover is an axe-wielding treant.
  • Lumberwhack: Defend the Wild is about animals taking revenge on lumberjacks who have captured them and are trying to cut down their forest, by outright attacking and killing said lumberjacks. You play as the side of the animals.
  • In Wayward, damaging the island's environment by cutting down trees, mining, or hunting causes your reputation to drop. Having negative reputation increases the amount of hostile creatures.

    Web Animation 
  • DSBT InsaniT: Michael and Ashley are involking this by destroying any man-made structures to restore things to their natural state.
  • Dreamscape: CHEN will only awaken when the planet is in great danger.

    Web Comics 
  • In this Wulffmorgenthaler strip, the whales hunt back the whalers.
  • In Stand Still, Stay Silent, this is an offered explanation for The Plague that caused The End of the World as We Know It. The initial outbreak of The Plague was followed by a The Magic Comes Back episode for the survivors and a few hints are dropped about the disease itself possibly having a magical factor to it, which contributes to the dominant Icelandic view that The Old Gods had something to do with it.
  • In White Dark Life, Malthus and his gang, the Light Demons, seek to cause the deaths of billions of people in order to ease the strain they put on the planet's ecosystems.

    Web Original 
  • In Orion's Arm, the AI named GAIA was slowly given more responsibility for running Earth. After some very serious disaster, GAIA finally decided that humans were the root cause for most of Earth's problems. She declared that all but a select few sentients had to leave, those who didn't were slaughtered (though GAIA was kind enough to build a fleet of starships capable of transporting humanity off-world first).
  • In the Whateley Universe, the story "The Braeburn Report" suggests that this trope is happening right now. Word of God says the authors of that report may not be right.
  • The SCP Foundation: SCP-1100 a.k.a. "Gaia's Blood" mutates living things in order to kill humans. It was thought to have been created by an Animal Wrongs Group, but it seems to be literally Gaia's blood and she's extremely pissed.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters but Gaia is a "Crazy Bitch-Bastard" who'd kill herself to make a point according to Cracked's Biggest Bastards Of 2011.
  • The settlers in shikuan-misiwe from The Wanderer's Library are killed to stop them from destroying the island they lived on.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Technically, Gaia isn't after vengeance; she just wants humanity to clean up its mess. Her young champions, the Planeteers, are in charge of doing what they can nonviolently/non-lethally, lest she become mortal. Also, it's considered a shock when one of them (Gi, over the shooting of a friend of hers, in an episode on gang violence) attempts murder.
  • In the Danny Phantom episode "Urban Jungle", Danny faces off against the evil plant ghost Undergrowth, who is bent on covering the planet in vegetation and enslaving humanity.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: "Zanzibar" ends with Ed Bighead polluting out of spite, only for a hole to open in the ozone layer above his house and give him a nasty sunburn. Captain Compost Heap summarizes the moral of the story as "If we're not nice to Mother Nature... she'll kick our butts!"
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • The Gaang briefly meets a spirit named Hei Bai, who is rampaging through a village because his forest was destroyed. After Aang reassures him that it will grow back, though, Hei Bai becomes an ally.
    • Zhao, who, while temporarily succeeding with the whole killing the moon thing, suffers a Karmic Death via a very vengeful Ocean Spirit. Which he'd rather have than be saved by Zuko. When Zhao shows up in Legend of Korra, his punishment is revealed to be VERY brutal.
    • This is one of the jobs of the Avatar himself; the duty of ironing out misunderstandings of the spirit world and the human world means he sometimes needs to put humans back in their place if they get too violent toward nature. When Aang defeats Fire Lord Ozai, his first act is to gently make the ocean rise just enough to extinguish the fires started by their battle, then push them back.
  • Played with in South Park. When Clyde is infested with head lice, the shots of him using delousing shampoo to get rid of them is interspersed with scenes from the lice's perspective, showing that to them, the casual scalp washing is basically this.
  • A really weird example in Transformers: Prime. The Earth formed around Unicron while he was sleeping. When he wakes up and notices all of that noisy organic life on him, he reacts in much the same way a human would react to waking up covered by roaches.
  • The second five-episode mini-series of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero can be an example of the metaphoric example. Cobra dares to play God and control the weather, but destroying their weapon should stop the disasters so the heroes blow it to pieces but... Oh, Crap!, it now it's even worse! Gaia only relents when the good guys decide to reassemble the thing to undo what the villains did.
  • The fourth season of Star Wars Rebels introduces loth-wolves, Force-empowered giant wolves connected to the planet Lothal, who manifest in reaction to its environmental degradation by the Empire. They mostly act with the heroes due to the Empire being a common enemy but their allegiance is to Lothal above all and they're ultimately wild creatures with their own rules.

    Real Life 
  • On November 20, 1820, the American whaling ship Essex was sunk on the high seas after being attacked by a sperm whale it had been hunting, which rammed the ship, not once, but twice! While the ship sank slow enough for the crew to load up a fair amount of provisions and supplies before evacuating the Essex on the ship's whaleboats, their food eventually ran out, and they were forced to resort to cannibalism of dead crewmen in order to survive. Only 8 of the 20-man crew would survive the hellish voyage, which would serve as inspiration for author Herman Melville's famous novel Moby-Dick.
  • In general (with more specific examples below), nature tends to react to humanity screwing with it by screwing us back. It's often said that no matter what we do, the world will survive just fine. It's us that may not be so lucky...
  • Perhaps the greatest and most relevant example is human-driven climate change.
    • Melting icecaps and heat expansion of water causes sea level to rise. Hundreds of millions people live within 5m of sea level.
    • High seawater temperature causes tropical cyclones to become even stronger and more frequent. Tropical cyclones are an area of low air pressure, most intense in its eye, which sucks up seawater wherever it goes, causing storm surges, which becomes even worse when stacked on top of the constant sea level rise. As the poles are warming faster than the rest of the world, the reduced temperature gradient causes cyclones to move slower; this means they both have more time to gather energy and can linger for extended periods and dump more torrential rain on land.
    • Changing climate (as well as land use change and human introduced species) threatens biodiversity worldwide, and humans who rely on Earth's complex system of life.
  • Plants and trees will release different chemicals when under assault that attract other predators to drive the things off; in the case of plants tended by ants, for example, the chemicals are a signal for a massive Zerg Rush.
  • Massive deforestation results in an erosion of top soil that causes floods and reduced land productivity; most farming societies learned very early on that it's a good idea to rotate crops to include plants that put nutrients back into the ground. But Mother Nature quickly recovers the lost ground immediately after farmers are gone. Most Green Aesops have a tendency to gloss over it — people have depleted the soils, cut down the forests and built industrial installations, and that was that. In practice, a short trip to an abandoned factory or farm shows how trees, shrubs, grasses, smaller animals who feed and thrive on them, and later large predators have repopulated the land in just 10-20 years.
  • Exhaust from factories and cars will cause acid rain, hazardous smog, and global warming.
  • Entire classes of chemicals have been banned (CFCs and insecticides, for example) due to their impact on the environment.
    • One of the effects being the evolution of insecticide-resistant insects. The same applies to herbicides, fungicides, antibiotics... Ironically, overusing products which have extremely valuable uses in moderation leads to their devaluation in the long term. And sets us up to get smacked when a system predicated on their function no longer has them.
  • The Whistling Thorn serves as a base of operation for its own private army of vicious ants that attack herbivores foolish enough to try and get past the thorns.
  • During the Vietnam War, a great deal of soldiers on both sides died not from combat, but from insect-carried diseases. Which was pretty standard for any war, up until WWII and the advent of antibiotics. And even then shortages were still common, especially in poorer countries.
  • Russia's greatest defense is not its vast armies, but harsh cold Russian winter that has claimed thousands of lives of over the centuries to anyone who dares to invade Mother Russia.
    • Ditto for Finland during the Winter War, though the ineptitude of the Russian army command and the frighteningly lethal strategies of the Finns probably did more damage than the actual weather. Death by skis, anyone?
    • They usually coupled this with their Scorched Earth tactic, leaving any invading army without any means of pillaging for resupply.
    • Japan's 'Divine Wind' similarly repelled invasions; attacks across the strait were crippled or destroyed by wind and waves.
    • Australia is seen as this, with Everything Trying to Kill You. Everything. The Australian Wildlife, the rocks, the trees, the fish, the plants, the ground... Aussies with Artillery provides details on how invading Australia would be kind of like challenging Wolverine with a feather, and Badass of the Week suggesting you have to be Commander Shepard to survive.
    • The Balkans are known for their mountainous terrain which, coupled with the state of the local roads, made military movements and administration difficult. It also offered perfect hiding places for bandits and guerrillas.
  • Delusional Serial Killer Herbert Mullin was convinced he needed to make blood sacrifices to nature, or else it would destroy California with earthquakes. He even killed some of his victims because they were "polluting".
  • Equally delusional mass murderer John Linley Frazier claimed to have killed an entire family because voices were telling him to "seek vengeance on those who rape the environment".
  • Cephalopods such as octopi and squid have increased in population in recent years, and this is believed to be due to factors such as overfishing (which removes predators and competitors) and climate change. These cephalopods may prey on species that are commercially valuable to humans, though they are themselves fished by humans. Some species are also increasing in size as well, such as the Humboldt squid, which is aggressive and known to attack humans.
    • Along similar lines, overfishing, and possibly also pollution and climate change, are causing a massive increase in jellyfish populations. Very poisonous jellyfish, more often than not.
  • In one particular forest, wolves were killed off by hunters and farmers who believed they would attack livestock. The wolves disappeared from the forest entirely, and as a result, the population of deer exploded and they caused massive damage to places where people lived. Oops. This was eventually fixed by the reintroduction of wolves into the forest.
    • Likewise, much of North America has a much higher population of coyotes today than ever existed when wolves were still common. If you think that's an improvement, know that coyotes are far more likely to come into towns and city parks, will happily hunt domestic cats in addition to their usual rabbit/rodent prey, and are much stealthier and therefore hard to keep out.
  • The sinking of the Titanic can often be framed as an example of something like this; probably the most sophisticated and technologically advanced passenger vessel of her age, she was heralded as a triumph of technology and empire and a popular (if misinterpreted) boast about her was that "God himself cannot sink this ship!". One collision with a stray iceberg later, she's resting at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean and around 1500 people are drowning or freezing to death. It's hard not to see the humbling lesson about hubris in the face of nature there, really...
  • A fellow by the name of James Wolcott gained attention with this view.
    “I root for hurricanes. When, courtesy of the Weather Channel, I see one forming in the ocean off the coast of Africa, I find myself longing for it to become big and strong — Mother Nature’s fist of fury, Gaia’s stern rebuke.”
  • Similarly, Finnish deep ecologist Pentti Linkola has praised man-made and natural disasters which kill large numbers of people, the Holocaust included. Unabomber Ted Kaczynski had this as his motivation, as outlined with his long, rambling manifesto Industrial Society and its Consequences. There is even an anarchist philosophy called anarcho-primitivism that believes humanity should return to living as hunter-gatherers when civilization collapses (which some believe is inevitable).
  • In Maoist China, one of the critters targeted by the "four pests" campaign was the sparrow, which was believed to eat too many grain seeds. Some of the birds were killed with guns and slingshots. Crowds of people would make noise to prevent the sparrows from landing, causing them to die of exhaustion. It worked and the birds became nearly extinct in China. Unfortunately, the sparrows also controlled the locust population, and millions of people were killed by the resulting famine. China ended up having to import sparrows from the Soviet Union.
  • Apparently even Gaia herself can play a trope for laughs.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Gaias Revenge



As an act of her resignation from the New Gods and as a classic request for prayer, Ostara uses her power as the Goddess of Spring to undo the spring itself.

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