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In Harmony with Nature

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This, simply, is a character or a society who, either by training or by intuition, understands the resources and rhythms of nature exceptionally well, and lives accordingly. They may be able survive in, or travel through, an apparently forbidding wilderness with ease. If they're not an actual Nature Hero, they'll probably be a virtually self-sufficient farmer or gardener, able to coax glorious harvests out of the ground with a single trowel and love (and certainly never with pesticides) and will pontificate about the ancient wisdom of the soil. At the very least, they'll be able to experience a simple jaunt through the countryside on a deeper level to any more urban-minded people around them. They are, invariably, Nature Lovers.

In more Green Aesop Anvilicious works, this overlaps with Friend to All Living Things. Usually, however, living In Harmony With Nature requires you to kill the occasional creature, and even if you never take more than you need and have immense respect for the little critters you're roasting over the campfire, this does tend to deter them from gathering around you adoringly while you sing.

When confined to cities, characters who are In Harmony With Nature will often become distressed and wonder how the other characters can bear to live in such choking sterile surroundings. Characters Raised by Wolves will almost inevitably be like this, as will the Magical Native American and the Noble Savage. Often a characteristic of a Mary Suetopia.

See also Harmony Versus Discipline, this trope being Harmony. See Transflormation for when a character is necessarily in harmony with nature because they're biologically part of it.

Contrast with Nature Is Not Nice.


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     Comic Books 

  • Definitely the Wolfriders and Sun Folk in ElfQuest, but subverted by the Gliders, who've cut themselves off from nature. As for the Go-Backs, they're too busy fighting the trolls to care one way or another.



  • The Lord of the Rings. Partly by virtue of the quasi-medieval setting, many of the societies and individuals included are depicted In Harmony With Nature in one way or another:
    • The hobbits, especially Sam, in that farmerly-wisdom, son-of-the-soil sort of way. This is also given as one of the reasons (the other being they spend their lives honing this inborn skill paired with, well, their smaller statures being of advantage) why hobbits are so quiet of feet and why they can hide themselves so easily that it seems like magic despite lacking the least ounce of magical talent.
    • Radagast the Brown fits this trope perfectly.
    • The elves in the spiritual "the trees are talking to me" way. After Tolkien's depiction of elves as this, pretty much all elves in any fantasy work ever are like this.
    • Aragorn in the "I can tell you the entire life story of who walked through that hedge and bent that twig" way.
    • Given Tolkien's quasi-Biblical creation myth for the setting, a case can be made that "harmony with nature" directly correlates to "goodness", period. So "good" people and races do live in accord with nature as Eru intended it (without actually going to tree-hugging extremes), morally more ambiguous ones allow themselves to grow out of touch, and "evil" ones just plain can't be bothered to care or actively want to despoil it.
  • The elves in Inheritance Cycle are even more In Harmony With Nature than even Tolkien's elves, to the point that they are almost universally vegetarian and use magic to bend nature to their will.
  • In How I Live Now, nine-year-old Piper is like this.
  • Neville Longbottom, from Harry Potter, is an Herbology prodigy, eventually taking over the Professorship in that subject upon the retirement of Professor Sprout.
  • This trope is parodied with various characters in Cold Comfort Farm, notably Elfine.
    "She learns from the skies and the wild marsh-tiggets, not out o' books."
    "How trying," observed Flora.
  • In Adiamante, a science fiction novel by LE Modesitt Jr, the future people of Earth are In Harmony With Nature because they have to be. The environmental damage of the past has so damaged the planet that even the most "minor" disruptions would have big consequences.
  • In the Star Trek Novel Verse, the Kazarites and Irriol are two races like this. The Kazarites have telepathic and empathic links with animals, and accordingly have a culture greatly concerned with preserving natural eco-systems. This empathy extends to animals beyond Kazar itself, allowing them to aid in the restoration of other, more damaged planets. In Star Trek: Mere Anarchy, their "ecopaths" play a role in the terraforming of central planet Mestiko, which has been heavily damaged by a pulsar. The Irriol are even more In Harmony With Nature, to the point where they are willing to sacrifice their lives to predators if they sense that the ecosphere is better served by their deaths.
  • Discworld:
    • Parodied when the wizards expected Mustrum Ridcully to be a "roams the forests with every beast his brother" talking-to-birds type, because he was a wizard who lived in the countryside. He turned out to be a Great White Hunter who shouted at birds ("Winged yer, yer bastard!"), but he's still more in harmony with nature than the other wizards, who never leave the city if they can avoid it.
    • Magrat seems to expect witches to embody this trope, even though she's seen enough of them to know they're more farm-oriented than wilderness-oriented. Witches were generally depicted as more In Harmony With Nature than bookish wizards, at least until I Shall Wear Midnight pointed out that urban witches are entirely possible.
  • Dickon in The Secret Garden astounds even his family with how happy he is on the moors and how well he gets along with animals. He teaches Mary, Colin, and even Ben Weatherstaff to do the same, though his knack is always the best.
  • In Heidi, Alm-Uncle has many elements of this trope (with the comeuppance that he is not a people person.) Heidi manages to live in harmony with the goats and charm everyone around her. She also suffers in city environments.
  • In The Blue Castle, Barney lives this way, and when Valancy comes along to live with him she takes to it like a fish to water.
  • In fact, the vast majority of L. M. Montgomery heroines possess this trope. In Anne of Green Gables, Anne asserts that she could never be happy someplace that didn't have trees. Jane of Lantern Hill blossoms when she moves out to the countryside, is a great gardener, and even before then, had an affinity for the moon. Marigold (from Magic for Marigold) loves nothing better than to roam the hills and shore of Prince Edward Island.
  • In Zilpha Keatley Snyder's The Changeling, Ivy Carson is a combination of this, Nature Lover and an Earthy Barefoot Character. In fact, she comes within a hair's breadth of being a Friend to All Living Things. This is why it's so jarring when we're told she ends up studying ballet in New York City.
  • The Sevenwaters clan in The Sevenwaters Trilogy. They are also savage Warlike, and constantly feuding with, well, everyone.

     Live-Action TV 

  • The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams: Grizzly Adams lives like this.
  • Cody Lundin of Dual Survival is another example, trying to live as close to nature as possible and having worn neither long pants, shoes, nor underwear in the last 20 years. However, he's no idiot (the man knows how to survive in potentially deadly situations) and is willing to compromise in some situations (he'll wear protective footwear in terrain that warrants it, like snowfields and sharp rocks).


  • The subject of "In Perfect Harmony" by Within Temptation, natch.
  • The Songs Of The Humpback Whale, which was the first album to feature nothing but sounds of whales singing. The sounds are wonderful, soft and peaceful, though sometimes they can be melancholic and haunting too. Either way the listener will feel great warmth and wonder towards these animals in their natural environment. It inspired both the New Age movement as well as the "Save The Whales" activists.

     Tabletop Games 

  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Druids. Their spells tend to be split between clerical 'holy' spells and spells that affect and draw on nature. Some can also shape-shift to battle.
    • Rangers are also generally portrayed like this but have more leeway. Barbarians and spirit shamans are also liable to be associated with this.
    • Fifth Edition's subclasses have added ways to turn less-nature classes into this:
      • The Nature domain for Clerics gives access to a number of Druid spells and a number of plant and animal manipulating abilities.
      • The Scout archetype for Rogues turns you into a hardened survivalist and guerilla fighter, similar to the Ranger.
  • In In Nomine, this is especially common for angels of Flowers, whose gifts relate to plants, nature, joy, and peace. But even roses have thorns, and the Archangel of Flowers does have a few warrior Malakim for those times when trying kindness first simply does not work.

     Video Games 

  • World of Warcraft features druids, who are described as this. Night elf and Tauren druids especially.
  • Warcraft III's Night Elves are so in harmony their lumber gatherer doesn't even harm the trees (though it gathers it five units at a time, when the other factions get ten or twenty).
  • Subverted in Dragon Age: Origins, where an elven clan living in the woods is mistrustful of outsiders for all the usual elfy reasons. Then it turns out that they're actually in conflict with a local nature spirit who their Keeper invoked to put a curse on the humans who raped and murdered his children. Problem is, that was centuries ago - the curse has kept spirit and Keeper alive long past their time, and is now only hurting the killers' descendants (and causing problems for the elves too).
  • The Cetra or Ancients as they are sometimes known in Final Fantasy VII are an entire race of people like this combining motifs from both Judaism and the Animist traditions.
  • In Battleborn, this is the main deal with the Eldrid. They believe in the natural order of the universe and prefer harmonizing with the universal laws rather than altering them as seen with their abilities and technology. For this, they've been called space hippies by other factions. Although they may come off as such, that doesn't mean they're pacifists who'll just hug it out when pushed. They'll fight to preserve the natural order of the universe against those who would disrupt it.
  • In Dwarf Fortress, any civilization or creature with the [AT_PEACE_WITH_WILDLIFE] tag. Nature Is Not Nice, and most creatures, knowing this, consider wildlife hostile by default. With this tag, Nature makes an exception and is nice just to you, at least as long as you don't provoke it. Elves have it, of course, as do cats for some reason.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X: The Tree Clan Prone are a downplayed example. They are big on being in tune with the cycle of life, hunting for their food, training wild animals, etc. but they don't disdain technology, nor do they look down on the more technologically advanced people they come into contact with. The closest any of them comes is one warrior stating a preference for bow and arrow over the advanced firearms and plasma weapons available, but conversations with other Prone indicate this is more just that one guy and not representative of their whole culture. Another Prone does admit some confusion and disgust upon hearing that the humans abandoned their natural bodies for robotic ones, saying that the Prone would never consider doing such a thing... but he also doesn't judge humanity for it, recognizing they only did so out of extreme need and knowing that humans are desperately trying to return to natural bodies.
  • In The Elder Scrolls, as seen in Morrowind's Bloodmoon expansion and Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC, the Noble Savage Skaal people of the frozen, inhospitable island of Solstheim follow "The Path of the All-Maker." Whatever that is taken from the All-Maker must be repaid somehow. For example, their hunters only kill when absolutely necessary as part of the cycle of life, and never for sport. They only harvest firewood from fallen trees, never cutting down live trees for it.

     Web Original 

  • Kuraii, from a type of cat species in The Gungan Council, is as close to nature as most sentient beings could ever be.

     Western Animation 

  • In a Camping Episode of The Simpsons, Marge and Lisa were separated from the rest of their family. With nothing, they managed to have a nice fire and a comfortable place to rest. Marge was even seen sweeping out the hut and arranging the living animals in a row. Homer and Bart, on the other hand, were not so lucky...
  • The ponies, in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, aren't so much in harmony with nature as crucial to its functioning. They clean up the winter snow, change the seasons and the weather, tend the 'wild' animals, and nurture the plants. The characters even speaks of the Everfree Forest as an unnatural place because the plants grow on their own and the animals take care of themselves, and the clouds move on their own.
  • The fairies in FernGully: The Last Rainforest are like this, as guardians of a rainforest.
  • The Wood Forgers seen in the ThunderCats (2011) episode "The Forest of Magi Oar" think they are this, being the Forest's self-proclaimed guardians. They're not. Their desire for power is harming the forest (through a paper mill), so much so that Viragor, the true guardian of the Forest, wants to evict them.

     Real Life 

  • Ancient Hawaii. The people had sort of a shifting schedule of taboo that made sure that they never ran out of a resource.
  • The Australian Aborigines. Even their religion was based on being in harmony with nature.
  • Often assumed to be the case with native North American society, but not really. These guys lived in complicated societies with trade routes, urban centres, and, yes, deforestation. On the other hand, they did understand the North American environment far better than the white settlers did, but that was because they have lived there for thousands of years before any settlers came. It turns out that Native people are human, and not, in fact, elves.
  • In a subversion C. S. Lewis in Reflections on the Psalms claims that a purely aesthetic appreciation of nature does not come to most peoples until they are capable of making artificial environments(I.E. cities) and points out that in many works of ancient poetry when people say that nature is beautiful they mean it is useful. That is under this theory a hunter-gatherer would think an antelope beautiful because it is tasty but a leopard definitely ugly because it might think him tasty; but city folk think leopards beautiful because they live far away from leopards. Of course in that sense primeval man is In Harmony With Nature; because he is acting just like it.
  • The ideal is Older Than Radio. In the eighteenth century, Jean-Jacques Rousseau spearheaded the back-to-nature fad, which was part of the overall Romanticism movement. Marie Antoinette was a big fan and had a hamlet built where she could fulfill her fantasy of living the "natural life". The simple folk were assumed to be pure and close to nature, so Marie Antoinette had an artificially idealized version of their lives created for herself, where she could dress up in peasant clothes and play shepherdess with her ladies-in-waiting. The starving actual peasants of France weren't amused and viewed it as a mockery of their plight.