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God Is Displeased

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You could say God wasn't too pleased with the bishop

"My patience for mortals has worn thin. If I am to protect Earthrealm, I must punish those who would threaten it."
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Something evil has appeared to destroy the Earth, and in the hopes that it can be stopped, some people turn to the local priesthood to pray to their gods for continued protection. But their prayers go unanswered. Their gods have grown angry.

Their gods are displeased, and have withdrawn all favor and protection they were once granted.

Reasons for this may vary, as well as how great in scope. Maybe it was a priest who has been abusing their power, or an entire people committing some great and terrible sin in the name of their gods. Or maybe the gods knew at least one of their servants was Evil All Along and was only waiting until they finally drop the facade and reveal their true nature. Either way, the gods have decided that the person or people they once protected has committed one sin too many, and withdraw their favor and protection.

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Oftentimes the offender doesn't find out until moments before their death. Nor is this restricted to the gods' mortal servants. After all, not even angels or demigods are above the laws of the gods.

On occasion, the gods may also decide that withdrawing their favor and protection isn't enough, and may go out of their way to personally punish the offenders, or send another powerful servant to do it in their place.

Can sometimes result in Disproportionate Retribution. May also overlap with Good Is Not Nice and Good Is Not Soft, if the gods in question are usually benevolent. Jerkass Gods may frequently invoke this, especially over lesser offenses. Have You Seen My God? may also come into play, if this trope has been invoked over a prolonged period of time in-universe.

Contrast with God's Hands Are Tied, where the gods can't revoke their favor and protection.

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See also: All-Powerful Bystander and The Gods Must Be Lazy.


Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • Aquila: Boudiccae achieves great successes against the Roman invaders thanks to the protection of the local gods. However, once she organizes reprisals against the Briton population she feels the gods leave her, leading to her defeat by Aquila. She asks of him that when he inevitably turns against the Roman emperor, that he should die hearing her name, a request Aquila agrees to (and does so at the end of the comic).
  • Black Moon Chronicles: After Wis destroys the Tables of the Covenant, God and the angels pull back from the world, although The Paladin managed to get his country magically teleported away. Wis manages to thwart the demonic invasion that soon follows, but unfortunately the villain's failsafe involves the inevitable destruction of the world. So Wis instead organizes a massive exodus of humans to other worlds (the elves and dwarves choose to stay).

     Film — Animated 
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire: Kida muses that the titular city was sunk because of the gods’ jealousy towards the Atlanteans. In truth, the Heart of Atlantis didn’t appreciate being used as a weapon, and sealed both itself and a comparative handful of the city’s population away while the rest perished under the flood.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Constantine: Gabriel believed that in order for humanity to be worthy of God's love, it had to suffer first. So they conspired with Mammon to unleash Hell on Earth. They try to destroy Satan when he intervenes, only for Satan to stop the blow from landing, revealing that Gabriel no longer has God's favor.

    Literature 
  • The Dresden Files:
    • The Judeo-Christian-Abrahamic God is one of the strongest forces of Light, Good, and Love. He normally keeps to the background, working with Contrived Coincidences as His Hands are frequently tied because of respecting Free Will. That said, if a human agent of His acts improperly when using one of the Swords of the Cross, He will, if temporarily, revoke the Blessings of the Sword. Or if one is a supernatural being who has done evil or holds certain evil within, the Sword won't allow itself to be used.
    • In Grave Peril Paladin Michael Carpenter lends his Sword Amoracchius, the Sword of Love, to Harry Dresden. However, in a moment of weakness, Harry tries to use the Sword to stop his Fairy Godmother from claiming him after years of evading him because of their pact. As she has fully honored her side of the deal and never coerced Harry into making the pact, God refuses to help with the consequences of Harry's own choices. This in turn causes the protections on the Sword to be weakened and allows Lea to grab hold of the Holy Blade and then give it to people who would try to unmake it all together.
    • In Death Masks, Harry makes an ally with a woman who is half-vampire. She was bitten and turned only partially. If she were to kill another person and drink the victim's blood, she would become 100% evil vampire. Despite helping Harry and the one of the other Knights of the Cross rescue Harry, when Harry was carrying Fidelacchius, he dropped it and the half-vampire grabbed the Sword and God did not approve. It stung her fiercely and left the whole arm numb for a month. Later, in Changes, when she needed to save her daughter from the vampire king, as long as she swore to not use the Sword improperly and return it when done, she may hold it, the Sword Amoracchius permitted her to wield it.
    • In Skin Game, a woman held a dangerous foe at the end of Fidelacchius, the Sword of Faith. The foe was an ancient, but still human, enemy. While he had surrendered to the woman and removed all his magical items, leaving him easily killable to a blade of any sort, he orders his comrade to kill Harry. This angers the woman so much she screams "Damn you" while aiming to make the final blow. This causes Fidelacchius to lose its powers and protections. The villain is able to grab the woman by the arms, twist her, and smashes the Sword against the cold hard ground, shattering it. He then beats down the woman and notes that he isn't sure what could have happened if she hadn't given into anger in those final moments when she swung the Sword.
    • This is His stance against The Knights of the Blackened Denarius. These are persons who have in their heads thirty of the most dangerous Fallen who either served Lucifer or played both sides. When one of these people who have the Fallen in his or her head, enters holy ground like a Church, God doesn't smite them, but simply passively lets them be. Harry realizes this is the point, like a father simply looking at a wayward child hoping he will change his path, God lets them feel Him and it causes them to remember the worth they had serving Him. And it makes them question their million plus years of certainty and pride in their choice to rebel. And maybe, just maybe, the Fallen will repent.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Supernatural, one of the reasons God has chosen to withdraw and be more passive in the greater scheme of things is because in the past many of his creations turned out to be evil. He was far more proactive in the olden days, but that didn't tend to go well.
  • Kings: King Silas Benjamin ascended to the throne of Gilboa by the grace of God, as he loves to recount the story where butterflies flocked on his head in the shape of a crown as a sign from the Lord. His rule causes a rift between him and his head priest, before the same butterfly crown is bestowed on David, thus indicating to Silas that he has fallen out of favor with God and starting his rivalry with the young war hero destined to replace him.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Greek Mythology:
    • The hero Tydeus was protected by Athena until he behaved so savagely towards an enemy (by cracking his head open and eating his brains) that she immediately stopped supporting him.
    • Atalanta and Hippomene were a couple thanks to Hippomene's praying to Aphrodite. In one version, they started Making Love in All the Wrong Places in a temple (belonging to Zeus or Aphrodite, depending on the version) and the deity turned them both into lions (the Ancient Greeks believed lions mated with leopards, but not each other).
  • God:
    • In Islam, the religious texts (mainly the Quran) document cases of towns getting demolished by God because of the citizens' debauchery and/or they refuse to follow the prophet designated to them.
    • In The Bible:
      • This is why God sent the flood, humanity having become too corrupted. So he told Noah to prepare the ark and basically just rebooted humanity.
      • Invasions from other nations are attributed to God withdrawing his protection after disobeying him.
      • God was very displeased with David's Uriah Gambit and subsequent marriage to Bathsheba, so he punished the household with public shame and war.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • In Bastion, it's heavily implied that the Gods turned on Caelondia. Trying to invoke them from their idols makes things harder (essentially serving as a challenge mode) by doing things like making enemies regenerate health or deal more damage. It's implied this is because Caelondia (unlike the Ura) had stopped treating them respectfully. Whether they're also pissed off that the Caelondians blew themselves up with a Doomsday Device, or they had a hand in making it backfire in the first place is left ambiguous. Downplayed in that the harder settings also give the player more experience and fragments, implying that they might simply be demanding penance rather than abandoning The Kid completely.
  • In Shining Force II, Volcanon claims that he is forsaking the humans in their war against the devils. This isn't entirely true, however, as he left the Jewel of Light in Bowie's possession and is implied to have subtly assisted in other ways as well.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
    • In the Dawnguard DLC, there are some subtle indications that Auri-El knew that Arch-Curate Vrythur would betray him and did not protect him from becoming a vampire in the first place as a result.
    • At some point prior to the events of main game, the Daedric Prince Nocturnal cursed the Thieves Guild with a long string of bad luck, having withdrawn her protection and influence as its unknown (to all non-Nightingale members of the Guild) patron deity, because of Mercer Frey's theft of the Skeleton Key and murder of Gallus, the previous Guildmaster.
  • Implied in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. It's never stated exactly how Ganondorf came into possession of the Triforce of Power, but the sages suggest that it was a "divine prank" suggesting that the goddess Din was responsible. In the end of the game, he loses the Triforce piece after Link stabs him through the chest (again, the exact reason why isn't stated). Stripped of it's divine protection, he succumbs to his wounds and Dies Standing Up.
  • In Mortal Kombat, Raiden, known as the God of Thunder, is the Guardian of the Earthrealm, standing against Shao Kahn and other realm menaces and recruiting Earth warriors to fight with him.
    • In the original timeline, Raiden died at the hands of Onaga in Mortal Kombat: Deception. Reviving later with desire of vengeance and seeing Earthlings don't learn from their mistakes, the god goes by himself in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge leaving Earthrealm to its own luck and reviving Liu Kang as a Revenant Zombie for his own goals.
    • In the rebooted timeline, Mortal Kombat X sees Shinnok corrupt the Jinsei for ultimate power to destroy; to purge the corruption, Raiden has to take it into himself, which he does knowing it will corrupt him in turn, drawing out his darker impulses for the rest of his days as the god of thunder. Afterwards is Raiden delivering a dire warning to revenants and now rulers of Netherrealm Liu Kang and Kitana not to fuck with Earthrealm lest he take his pound of flesh from them one way or another.
  • Age of Mythology has Arkantos believing that Poseidon was displeased with Atlantis, given his lack of protection from and even support towards their enemies. Subverted, as Poseidon has allied with Kronos and his minions in a bid for power, his absent protection having nothing to do with specific displeasure against Atlantis itself.
  • During the "Planes of Power" expansion pack for EverQuest, the mortals of Norrath invaded the planar realms and homes of the gods of influence. While they unintentionally thwarted an evil plot by the God of War and other evil gods to plunge Norrath into war through a convoluted scheme that involved the Plane of Time's control over time itself, the end result was the gods collectively sending the mortals of Norrath an ultimatum. Their defilement of their planar realms resulted in unanimous decision to withdraw their influence, intervention, and favors to the races of Norrath who were involved. This even played into the backstory of Everquest II, where the lack of the gods' presence resulted in Norrath being torn asunder by hundreds of years of natural disasters known as the Rendering. It wasn't until after 500 years that they returned to Norrath and allowed mortals to worship them properly again.
  • In Ancient Domains of Mystery, a player character can piss off their deity by defiling their altars, killing creatures they like, sacrificing stuff they don't approve of, or by asking for too many favors. You can become so hated by your god by asking for favors that they just stop talking to you.
  • In the City-Building Series:
    • Pharaoh and Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom have gods that need to be honored with occasional festivals and offerings. They'll curse your cities if they feel overly neglected, but offer powerful blessings if you're generous enough in your devotions.
    • Zeus: Master of Olympus: When a city constructs a sanctuary for a patron deity, it founds a Physical Religion where the deity walks the streets and offers blessings. However, it also sets certain expectations for ongoing worship and sacrifice, and the god's blessings turn to curses if the city fails to deliver.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Castlevania: During the attack on the town by Dracula's forces, the bishop comes to find out that in response to his abuse of power and the burning of Dracula's wife, God withdrew his protection—the demons can go straight into the town's chapel. Seconds later, the demons tear into and devour him. Notably, Trevor is able to find a priest in the town who is still able to create holy water. God is displeased, but only against those who are actually corrupt—unlike Dracula, who is willing to kill everyone over the actions of a few.

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