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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 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 Utopia.

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 the Ecocidal Antagonist, who deliberately disregards and desecrates nature for no good reason at all.

Compare and contrast with Nature Is Not Nice; being in harmony with Nature means knowing how to avoid predators or poisonous plants.

Real Life examples are unlikely because this trope requires knowledge about any species and its environment.


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     Comic Books 

  • ElfQuest: The Wolfriders and Sun Folk. 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.

     Films — Animation 
  • This trope is almost the point of Disney's Pocahontas, although it's not really historically accurate. She can paint with the colors of the wind!
  • The fairies in FernGully: The Last Rainforest are like this, as guardians of a rainforest.

     Films — Live-Action 
  • The Na'vi in Avatar live in the midst of a jungle, and actually communicate with other animals directly. This makes it really easy to accomplish, compared to humans but humans are shown doing it too.
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters: Monarch proposes that humanity's best chance to survive is to try and coexist with the more benevolent Kaiju like Godzilla, Kong and Mothra, relying on them to defend us: they can fight off the more hostile monsters such as the MUTOs, Skullcrawlers, Rodan and Ghidorah, and they also cause ecosystems to flourish in the urban ruins their battles leave which can reverse manmade global warming, plus their waste and other products are a source of new, green fuel for humanity. The alternative is almost-certain human extinction. The government don't care and think all the Kaiju should be wiped out, which has drastic consequences at the midway point of the film.
  • RRR (2022): The indigenous Gond people are portrayed as living peacefully in the forests of India. A pivotal scene sees Lacchu goad a snake into attacking Ram, gloating that only his tribesmen know the cure. Bheem is Ram's Bash Brother, but claims that Ram's lofty revolutionary ideals are a bit beyond him.
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre: Done subtly-not-subtly with Howard. He's the only one who knows at all what he's doing out in the desert with his fellow prospectors, seems to have a better sense of human nature than them as well, and is so spry that Dobbs complains he must be part mountain goat and reveals that he considers the mountain a living place to be respected when he insists on dismantling the played-out mine.
    Howard: We've wounded this mountain. It's our duty to close her wounds. It's the least we can do to show our gratitude for all the wealth she's given us. If you guys don't want to help me, I'll do it alone.
    Curtin: You talk about that mountain like it was a real woman.

  • Adiamante: A science fiction novel by L.E. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Brother Eagle, Sister Sky tells that we must live as best we can in harmony with nature so that it supports us and we it. Asks that those who buy land from natives preserve it for their own children as natives have for theirs.
  • 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 Color of Distance: The aliens are an interesting case: they've lived peacefully for untold millennia hunting, gathering, and cultivating bees, in idyllic rainforest villages where each adult is tasked with keeping a part of the ecosystem in harmony. And they can do the link thing from Avatar, but better. This sounds like a setup for the author lecturing readers on how much wiser and nobler her aliens are than those disgusting polluting humans, but instead, their harmony with nature also makes them creepy-to-horrifying casual about dying (Killing themselves when their apprentice metamorphoses into an adult to avoid overpopulation, killing themselves when the land's carrying capacity falls and someone has to go, eating their tadpoles...), so they're not depicted as superior. Yet they're not depicted as a False Utopia either, they and humanity are both amazed by the other.
  • Cooking With Wild Game: The tribe of Forest's Edge is valued (not respected) by their urban overlords because they're the only people badass enough to live in the local Hungry Jungle, alongside the bloodthirsty Kiba that would ravage farms if the tribe's hunters didn't keep their population in check. The tribe literally isn't allowed anything but what they can buy from the city or gather from a small section of the wilderness, yet they have survived and thrived, because, as mentioned: badass. Naturally, their belief system centers around thanking the forest for its blessings, and they are very angry when it's confirmed that the Suun clan aren't doing their duty to the food chain or the farmers.
  • 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.
  • Evolution: Subverted with early human hunter-gatherers, who believed they were living in harmony with nature by hunting animals lightly. In other words, they were driving their prey to extinction by killing the animals when they were vulnerable, by selectively killing off the young, disrupting habitats, and taking out key components of the food web.
  • Harry Potter: Neville Longbottom is an Herbology prodigy, eventually taking over the Professorship in that subject upon the retirement of Professor Sprout.
  • Hayy ibn Yaqzan: Hayy decides that killing animals and plants anymore than necessary is wrong, because it prevents them from fulfilling the purposes that God created them for. He only eats as much as he needs to to stay healthy, only hunts the most abundant animals, tries to avoid eating unripe plants, and scatters the seeds in fertile soil. He also helps any animal that he sees in need, waters plants, and removes blockages in streams so more creatures can drink from them.
  • 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.
  • Inheritance Cycle: The elves are almost universally vegetarian and use magic to bend nature to their will.
  • Once: The faerefolkis, by nurture of nature, enables Earth to support life. They long for a time when abandonment of materialism will reacquaint humanity with "the grand consciousness," and with their elemental forebears.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • The Lord of the Rings:
      • 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 so easily that it seems like magic despite lacking the least ounce of magical talent.
      • The elves in the spiritual "the trees are talking to me" way. After Tolkien's depiction of elves, 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.
    • The History of Middle-earth: As seen in the Tale of Adanel, the first men lived in harmony with animals and plans before swearing fealty to Morgoth, whereupon animals ran away from them or attacked them (previously, predators generally let them alone).
    • The Fall of NĂºmenor: Prior to their corruption, NĂºmenoreans generally lived simple -and often rural- lives, respecting their environment and in turn being respected and even liked by their island's animal life in turn. Eagles nested in the king's palace, sea birds flew around returning ships in greeting, and humans were delighted to treat squirrels and wild bears who wandered around their homesteads with corns and honey. One of the first signs of their civiliation's decline was the felling of great swathes of wood with the purpose of building ships to explore (and later colonize) foreign lands.
  • The Secret Garden: Dickon 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.
  • 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 ecosystems. 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 "eco-paths" 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.

     Live-Action TV 
  • Dual Survival: Cody Lundin tries 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 Life and Times of Grizzly Adams: Grizzly Adams lives in the wild like a hunter-gatherer.

  • The Songs Of The Humpback Whale, which was the first album to feature nothing but the 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 admiration and wonder toward these animals in their natural environment. It inspired both the New Age movement and the "Save The Whales" campaign.

     Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Druids are spellcasters who worship and draw their power from nature. In most settings, they live in secluded societies that exist to protect nature, both from external threats and internal imbalance, and themselves live in ways that draw on the bounty of nature without draining or imposing on it.
  • 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.
  • Princess: The Hopeful: This is one of the defining attributes of the Court of Clubs. Their ethos revolves around living in harmony both with each other and with their surroundings, and they have the vast majority of the Charms that interact with plants, animals, or spirits.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Battle: The Asrai live in a careful balance with the natural world, harvesting wood in ways that do not harm the trees, hunting in a manner carefully integrated into natural cycles of predators and prey, and living as equals with the spirits of nature. They have the same standards of everyone else, and take an extremely dim view of those who cut down trees or overhunt beasts.

     Video Games 
  • Battleborn: The Eldrid believe in the natural order of the universe and prefer harmonizing with 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.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: Subverted. 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 whom 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).
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Final Fantasy VII: The Cetra or Ancients as they are sometimes known are an entire race of people like this combining motifs from both Judaism and the Animist traditions.
  • Genshin Impact: Kazuha has a deep connection with nature, which gives him insight into the essence of things around him and has attuned his senses to extreme keenness. When the Traveler meets him for the first time, he immediately identifies traces of Anemo and Geo energy on their person, as well as the power of the stars.
  • Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos': The Night Elves are so in harmony their lumber gatherer doesn't even harm the trees, although it gathers five units at a time when the other factions get ten or twenty.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X: The Tree Clan Prone is 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's opinion 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.

     Web Original 
  • Can You Spare a Quarter?: The medicine man Pony Twofeathers has told Jason that one should never take too much from nature, which is why he takes only five fish they have angled.

     Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The ponies 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 to the 'wild' animals, and nurture the plants. The characters even speak 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 Simpsons: In "The Call of the Simpsons", Marge and Lisa are separated from the rest of their family. With nothing, they manage to have a nice fire and a comfortable place to rest. Marge is even seen sweeping out the hut and arranging the living animals in a row. Homer and Bart, on the other hand, are not so lucky...
  • ThunderCats (2011): The Wood Forgers seen in "The Forest of Magi Oar" think they are this, being 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.


Steady as the Beating Drum

Seasons go and seasons come

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