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Lawful Evil

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"Peace through tyranny."
Megatron, Transformers

The Dungeons & Dragons Character Alignment system originally defined characters' moral dispositions only on a Law/Chaos axis, with Law seen as usually involving moral goodness, and Chaos, evil. Eventually, Good/Evil was introduced as a separate parameter. One reason for this was the slightly odd but not all that rare case of characters who are clearly evil, but nevertheless organised, consistent, rule-abiding, or maybe even trustworthy and reasonable in their own limited way — in other words, Lawful Evil.

A Lawful Evil character is an evil character who either tries to impose or uphold a lawful system on others without regard for their wishes, and/or adheres to a particular code. They believe in order, but mostly because they believe it is the best way of realizing their evil wishes. They will obey the letter of the law, but not the spirit, and are usually very careful about giving their word. However, there is also the Knight Templar variant, who believes their rules actually make them the good guy — when they and their rules have in truth ended up at the lower end of the slippery slope to evil and tyranny.

Though Lawful Evil characters are often found in charge, these characters also make good henchmen or mooks. Though they lack any moral scruples that may impair their work, a cautious villain will find they respond well to concepts like "loyalty", "duty" and "honour". The caution, however, should be remembered, as these characters also respond poorly to Bad Bosses and Dirty Cowards,note  as well as simple incompetence that could lead them to deciding to either find a more worthy master, or take over "for the good of the cause".

Lawful Evil allows for a wide spectrum of character types to work with. Neutral Evil characters tend towards It's All About Me and Lack of Empathy for anyone else being willing to do anything to achieve, what will usually be, completely personal or selfish ends that at best would only incidentally benefit others. Chaotic Evil is even harder to portray as anything remotely sympathetic because even if they have a Freudian Excuse, they usually go so far off the deep end straight into the Moral Event Horizon territory that Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse. Lawful Evil on the other hand allows for many more facets with some interesting types being the Noble Demon who will fight honorably, Affably Evil characters who believe that doing bad things will lead to a better outcome, an Anti-Villain who believes that the cost of their morally questionable actions is worth the benefits to others with all of these types usually believing Even Evil Has Standards.

Lawful Evil tends to be the hardest type of evil to get rid of, especially when it's working within an established system. If the system itself is evil, then it's Inherent in the System, and thus the evil parts can't be changed without major upheaval or the complete destruction of the system. If the system is being used by evil individuals, that's even worse, as these types often perpetrate Loophole Abuse combined with Rules Lawyering to make it impossible to separate where the legal parts end and the illegal parts begin. If legally challenged, the Lawful Evil types will employ the most finely-tuned and detailed legal arguments you've ever heard to counter your loopholes, or even create Legalized Evil to specifically permit their brand of evil by law. Lastly, if the evil isn't part of a large system but rather as a group, it's still difficult to stop; those that are part of the group are generally doing it by following an ideal, and You Cannot Kill An Idea. So even if the current version of the group is stopped, it may not prevent a new version following the same ideals from emerging later on down the road.

Lawful Evil usually comes in at least three types:

  • Type 1: Lawful over Evil — This type uses Evil means to achieve Lawful ends. Essentially, any villain who would consider their goals to be Lawful Neutral or Lawful Good, but who is in practice too ruthless or extreme to qualify. They may honestly believe that an orderly society or way of living is the best, but they are ruthless or cruel enough to take a Necessarily Evil approach to enforcing them. This type can be found in- and sometimes even be sincerely loyal to- any kind of society, including Neutral and Good aligned ones; the problem is, they are prepared to commit evil actions for it, and are prone to invoke Moral Myopia or A Million is a Statistic to justify their deeds.
  • Type 2: Evil Over Lawful — This type uses Lawful means to achieve Evil ends. A monster with a rigid Code of Honour, or a Card-Carrying Villain who follows a strict set of rules. This is the kind of villain who follows an orderly way of living because they think that this is the best way to achieve their evil desires or goals — For the Evulz with discipline. Some are merely selfish, while others are vengeful, cruel, power-hungry or outright sadistic, with Lawful variants of Dystopia Justifies the Means often falling into this type, but they all prefer to go about their villainy in an orderly manner or with some sort of excuse. They differ from Neutral Evil in that the latter might obey some rules out of convenience or pragmatism, while this type does so out of genuine, if self-serving commitment.
  • Type 3: Balance Seeker — This type seeks a balance between Lawful and Evil, usually an Evil character who uses "Lawful" as a substitute for "Good". This type likes to dissociate their Evil motives and deeds from the other aspects of their life, using Lawful codes of conduct or honour to achieve this. This category usually covers the more Lawful examples of the Professional Killer, Just Following Orders, the family values and churchgoing villains, Evil Parents Want Good Kids etc. Organised crime tends to default as this category (unless they enjoy being evil too much), as do most who follow a Lawful Evil religion or god (and sometimes those gods themselves), and are often villains who (sincerely) use Nothing Personal as an excuse for their behaviour. They usually do not see themselves as "good" or "evil", except perhaps in the technical sense, but may use Even Evil Has Standards as an excuse for their various misdeeds.

All variants are likely to take advantage of Questionable Consent, pushing people into "agreements" and then pushing them to uphold their end of the "bargain".

Lawful Evil characters may not be motivated by anything but a paycheck. Many soldiers and henchmen working for an evil government or ruler fall into the "lawful evil" category by default. Being a genuinely committed member of a military organization makes one lawful by default, and if the government or ruler one works for is evil, then one naturally falls into the category of "lawful evil."

If you have a difficulty deciding which alignment an evil-aligned character belongs to, the main difference between Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil and Chaotic Evil is not their devotion to their evil wishes, but the methods they believe are best to realize it:

  • Even though there are some situations where they can't always use this method, Lawful Evil characters believe the best way is to have a specific, strict code of conduct, whether self-imposed or codified as a law. Their first impulse when making a moral decision is to refer back to this code; those with externally imposed systems (codes of laws, hierarchies, etc.) will try to work within the system when those systems go wrong. Depending on whether they are more Lawful or more Evil, they will either refuse to break the code even though it would hurt their evil objectives, or else break it only very reluctantly, and only when it would hurt their evil objectives if they kept their code.
  • Neutral Evil characters are indifferent to Order Versus Chaos, and their only interest is in realizing their evil wishes. They will use whatever means will help in realizing their evil wishes, whether that means tearing down a code of laws, following a code of laws, creating an orderly society, causing the breakdown of justice, or staying away from society altogether. Their only goal is to realize their evil wishes, full stop.
  • Most Chaotic Evil characters don't constantly break the law, but they cannot see much value in laws that do not function solely to their depraved objectives. They believe that their own evil impulses are their best guides, and that tying themselves to any given code of conduct would be limiting their own ability to realize their depraved wishes. They do not get along with anyone who tries to instill any kind of order over the Chaotic Evil character, believing these people to be restricting their freedom; Chaotic Evil characters often focus very strongly on their own individual rights and freedoms, and will strongly resist any form of oppression of themselves.

In a nutshell, these are a variety of evil characters who don't care if what they do is "heinous" or "horrible", but who will always follow certain rules.

Such characters are, for example:

A warlord who would kill anyone who threatens him — and, let's say, would always spare the enemies that can serve him; or someone who believes in playing by the story conventions; or a villain whose word is absolutely binding but would still kill a pregnant woman; or any kind of evil character that might commit mass genocide but for some reason Will Not Tell a Lie. Or a character who does, without flinching, anything their master orders them to do, anything, because their one rule is absolute obedience. A Lawful Evil character can also be an Omnicidal Maniac just as easily as Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil can be; in such cases, they usually either hold Fantastic Racism towards all other living beings or they wish to impose a new order by annihilating everything and starting from scratch.

Remember, being Lawful does not imply at all that you have any moral standards, and any one of these character archetypes have just as much potential as a Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil character to be truly despicable. Being Lawful may involve some kind of ethical values or moral codes, but they're more about abstract rules than actually caring about other people; alternatively, a lawful character may work within and abuse the rules. Lawful Evil is not always the "nicest" of the Evil alignments, though in individual cases the Lawfulness may make for a Noble Demon. It is just the most consistent and orderly. In short, an evil character who feels that the rules is what gives them strength or superiority. This includes upholding Evil as an ideal in and of itself, coupled with a sense of duty to promote it wherever possible and by any means. They're likely to have standards, but they're just as likely to have a warped moral code regardless. Notably, Hextor, the iconic god of Lawful Evil in Dungeons & Dragons is not sympathetic in the slightest. That being said, many, perhaps most evil characters who end up siding with heroes permanently without undergoing a Heel–Face Turn tend to be Lawful Evil, as they are the most likely of the evil alignments to work within the system; type 1s are particularly prone to this, due to their views on order.

Finally, it should be remembered that while many Lawful Evil types may value the law and may obey it in many cases, being Lawful Evil does not necessarily mean that the character will necessarily obey the actual laws of the land — many of them are fully prepared to commit illegal acts or to twist the laws to their own purposes, and even to annihilate entire systems or civilizations. Some may justify this by saying they are trying to create a superior lawful society; others may assume that their own personal code supersedes any loyalty to the authority of mere mortals; others still may think that the only law they obey is that of their own masters. No Lawful alignment is necessarily inclined to obey every law or any law.

See Also: Lawful Good, Neutral Good, Chaotic Good, Lawful Neutral, True Neutral, Chaotic Neutral, Neutral Evil, Chaotic Evil

Lawful Evil type typically includes:


When dealing with the examples of specific characters, remember that assigning an alignment to a character who doesn't come with one is pretty YMMV. If you've got a problem with a character being listed here, it probably belongs on the discussion page. There will be no Real Life examples under any circumstances; it just invites an Edit War. Plus, real people are far too complex and multi-dimensional to really be classified by such a straightforward alignment system.

On works pages: Character Alignment is only to be used in works where it is canonical, and only for characters who have alignments in-story. There is to be no arguing over canonical alignments, and no Real Life examples, ever.

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Esdeath from Akame ga Kill! is the General Ripper type, serving the empire as its top rebel killer, her convictions had cursed her to hunt down her once loyal superior. Though she may act superior to lesser folk, she is still capable of love (which she recently desired most in life) and would adore a man but only if he too is capable of greatness.
  • The Central Military Police Brigade of Attack on Titan is a clear Type 1 example. They are willing to persecute and destroy inventors who threaten to pull the Walled Cities out of Medieval Stasis with their innovations, intellectuals who research life before the coming of the Titans, and anyone else who threatens to "rock the boat". At least one of them defends these actions as justified and even commendable because it prevents outbreaks of unrest that humanity's only known inhabitable space cannot afford.
  • Death Note:
    • Most members of the Yotsuba group is of this alignment, especially since in the manga, it is revealed that they like what Kira is doing because a peaceful world (even one ruled by fear) is good for business, and they have no qualms about killing business rivals. Though, the actual Kira of their group turns out to be Neutral Evil and is mostly in it for his own gain, only playing along with Kira because he has to.
    • Mikami Teru and Kiyomi Takada are also of this alignment. Mikami is a zealous prosecutor who is completely devoted to Light's cause with no real limits to his black and white morality and Takada prefers to operate within the system to gain more influence and fame.
    • Light himself qualifies too. Despite believing himself to be Lawful Good, he uses the death note to kill anyone and everyone who either breaks the law or questions his methods. The criminals he kills also range from clear cut Asshole Victims, to purse snatchers. Light actively believes that All Crimes Are Equal and fantasizes about becoming god of a new world free from crime, even if he has to kill innocents to achieve said goal.
  • Lucemon of Digimon Frontier, who thought people were unable to properly rule themselves, and that the world would have been a much better place if he decided everything for everyone. He even had his "thought police" in the form of the Royal Knights.
  • Frieza's planet trade organization in Z. This is the most likely reason why the Kais left Frieza and his family alone despite having the power to kill them. Better to have someone controlling parts of the galaxy, even if they're evil, than complete chaos if they took down its leaders.
  • Both Piccolo and Vegeta display traits of Type II during their villain arcs: power-hungry and prideful, yet displaying a rough sense of fair-play and honor for challenge if nothing else.
  • Father qualifies as well. Sure, he's an evil Eldritch Abomination with ego issues, but his plans require very specific circumstances that he's very particular about keeping in place, and he founded the entire country of Amestris to meet them. This also means he's in complete charge of the government, and thus is technically in charge of all law enforcement — and while he finds humans to be utterly beneath him and generally doesn't care about their well-being, leaving politics to Bradley, he does occasionally step in when needed — such as when Bradley is presumed assassinated near the beginning of Mustang's coup, and the military is in a state of panic.
  • Fujino Asagami of The Garden of Sinners, as confirmed by Fate/Grand Order. She has morals, for sure— she is genuinely kind and polite to people she likes, and prefers to not start trouble. She also happens to enjoy ripping people apart with her Psychic Powers, and can't be bothered to feel remorse about the deaths she causes. If she feels stressed or cornered, she stops being concerned with whether or not her victims deserve to die.
  • Gouda from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is this. He doesn't even try to hide or deny that he uses people as tools and views lives as expendable. But in the World of Ghost in the Shell, that doesn't mean he can't be a productive and highly regarded employee of the Ministry of the Interior.
  • Golgo 13 is an amoral assassin who ALWAYS carries through with the job. It makes no difference if the target is a woman he has slept with, or a child.
  • Gundam:
    • Gihren Zabi from Mobile Suit Gundam. Both in the series itself and among fans, he's commonly known as "the Universal Century's version of Hitler". He aims to force the entire world to bend to his will, and plans to reduce the population to less than a billion so they will be easier to control.
  • Evil Chancellor Haman Kahn from ZZ Gundam qualifies as well. She believes that free will causes violence and the only way to prevent future wars is to grind the entire populace under her jackbooted heels.
  • Char Aznable probably started out Neutral Evil. However, in Char's Counterattack, he has turned Lawful Evil and become a Well-Intentioned Extremist who wants to realize his father's dream by dropping Axis on Earth and forcing humanity to live in space. He freely admits he's committing an act of evil, but sees it as necessary for the future of mankind. Oh, and he has no problem manipulating the people next to him, especially Nanai and Quess, into being loyal to him just like he did to Lalah Sune.
  • Yagyu Retsudo from Lone Wolf and Cub. He wants to wipe out the Ogami family, come out on top, and sacrifice as many of his friends and family as he needs to, but he wants to do it by the book. He has no problem doing horrible things to innocent people, but he hates doing dishonorable things.
  • Hades Vandein, a Corrupt Corporate Executive and the Big Bad of Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force, is the kind of guy who'd cheerfully order mass murder on the fringes of known space to test the weapon prototypes his company developed, but won't resist arrest as long as he is read his rights and won't strike back at a group of assassins coming after him until they have attacked him first—all so he can claim "justifiable self-defense" later.
  • In MegaMan NT Warrior's Stream season, we have Slur, Duo's right-hand-woman. Utterly and unswervingly loyal to her master, she despises humans, considering them a cancer to the universe, and thinks they deserve to be exterminated for their evil. Unlike Duo himself, she obviously takes cruel delight in handing out punishment and killing those who go against her master's word.
  • Stain from My Hero Academia is a hardline fanatic who believes heroism has been corrupted by "wannabe heroes" looking for fame and riches and goes around crippling and murdering those he deems unworthy. To date, only two heroes have lived up to his exceedingly lofty standards: All Might and Izuku, the main character.
  • Nagi from My-HiME and My-Otome. He plays with people's emotions like a six-string guitar, but rarely ever attempts to physically harm anyone still useful to him.
  • Danzo in Naruto, who wants to turn Konoha into a militaristic state with himself as Hokage, and is willing to see it destroyed to take power because he cares more about what's good "for the village" than the actual villagers. Homura and Koharu, his accomplices in orchestrating the Uchiha clan massacre, also count. Pain's goal of establishing world peace by creating and making publicly available a weapon that would destroy entire countries also counts.
  • Chairman Keel Lorenz and the SEELE council in Neon Genesis Evangelion. They want to enhance humanity's development and are willing to use the system to accomplish this.
  • One Piece:
    • The members of CP9 are professional assassins hired by the World Government, though some of them really push the limits of what can be defined as Lawful Evil.
    • Admiral Akainu is the epitome of this, being the only one of the Admirals (Aokiji being Lawful Good and Kizaru being Lawful Neutral) willing to open fire on ships full of civilians just in case criminals he's after got onboard. He gets even worse in the Marineford arc, killing soldiers who try to flee the battle, and being so willing to kill as many pirates as possible (even after Ace and Whitebeard's death) that he tries to kill one who begs everyone to stop fighting just for wasting time.
  • Ainz Ooal Gown from Overlord is a Villain Protagonist example. He is an immensely powerful undead sorcerer who rules over the mighty Tomb of Nazarick, and his goal is to Take Over the World in order to make it into a utopia where all races are equal. In order to do so, he will not shy away from committing atrocities, ranging from Cold-Blooded Torture to Engineered Heroics and the use of the fantasy equivalent of weapons of mass destruction to outright genocide. While he is a Benevolent Boss to his minions and a fair ruler to his subjects, he cares nothing for those outside his own circle and his kingdom is a Police State where dissent can be punished with death or worse.
  • The Demon Sisters from Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt (and their father, Mayor Corset) fall into the extremely 'lawful' aspect. They're obsessed with rules and believe in a strictly regimented, fascist society, even applying it to the school system. Conformity and order is encouraged, the food is nutritious but bland, and from the two of them down, students are strictly regimented by grades and ability.
    Kneesocks: Excuse me? I realize this may be difficult for low-IQ bottom-feeders to understand, but there's only one way to stem the tide of rampant debauchery under the guise of freedom!
  • Puella Magi Oriko Magica has Oriko Mikuni, a Type 2 who believes it is her purpose in life to kill Apocalypse Maiden Madoka Kaname, and will freely butcher innocent people if it means preventing her transformation. Her best friend, Kirika Kure, is a rather erratic Type 3, who cheerfully carries out her dirty work. The alternate timeline of Symmetry Diamond shows them both in a more positive (though still generally selfish) mode, thanks to both their nobler goals and the help of Yuma.
  • Ashram, Knight of Marmo in Record of Lodoss War — clearly a bad guy from his leading a massacre, and commanding general of an invading army at the start of the series (Even wearing all-black armor!), he nonetheless has a code of honor he will not violate and is looking out for his people.
  • The End of the World in Revolutionary Girl Utena (or as you may know him, Akio), seems Chaotic Evil at first, what with his Casanova attitude and weakness for vice, but Fridge Logic makes you realize that his obsession with rules and mastermind plots are definitely not the sign of a Chaotic soul. Either way, he's still awesome.
  • Kuyou, the first major villain from Rosario + Vampire, truly believed himself to be the true voice of justice, and anyone who opposed him to be evil. Oh, and he believed that any human who discovered Youkai Academy, a place where monsters learn to coexist with humans, should be put to death. Huh?
  • Makoto Shishio in Rurouni Kenshin sits here about 50% of the time. His goal is to come into power as ruler of Japan, and his methods revolve around coming out on top of the oil industry. However, his plans for Japan (as well as his background) make him Chaotic Evil the other 50% of the time.
  • Ukyo, the ultimate Big Bad of Samurai 7 fits this to a T. He's the end product of a Designer Babies experiment with some Lamarck Was Right thrown in aimed at producing the perfect Emperor. Unfortunately, things went horribly right, resulting in a guy who is a brilliant Machiavellian and knows exactly the right things to do to become incredibly popular and dispose of those who would act against him. In practice, this means that he quickly sets himself up as a Villain with Good Publicity, goes around disposing of allies who are no longer useful, and plans to Take Over the World through a Playing Both Sides plan.
  • Chiri Kitsu from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei starts the series off as simply Lawful Neutral, being concerned mostly with things being done properly and precisely. However, later on she becomes this trope, as her obsession with propriety drives her to more and more violence to the point where her default response to things being done improperly is murder. Played for Laughs.
  • Xellos The Trickster priest from the Slayers universe. He seems to be Chaotic Neutral most of the time but is actually following orders from his superiors Hellmaster and Beastmaster.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist Choji Suitengu of Speed Grapher. Suitengu wants to destroy the corrupt system that has caused so much misery, but chooses to do so by manipulating that system.
  • Raios Antonius and Humbert Zizek from Sword Art Online are a pair of Nobles who live in the Underworld, a virtual world created for the purpose of creating Artificial Fluctlights for use in warfare. Like many Nobles in the Underworld, they take advantage of the fact that the Taboo Index, a set of laws that all Underworlders must adhere to at the risk of execution, show heavy bias towards the nobility and find loopholes in it so they can perform cruel actions without fear of punishment. This includes destroying the flowers Kirito was growing for his mentor as graduation gift since he didn't technically own the soil, or Humbert sexually harassing his page out of anger to tying with Eugeo in a duel, not facing punishment due to ranking higher than her on the Underworld's pecking order. This eventually culminates in them tricking Kirito and Eugeo's pages into calling them out for the aforementioned sexual harassment so they can abuse their Noble privileges to enact punishment on the two lower-class girls for "insulting their good character", deciding to do so by raping them while Eugeo is forced to stand there and do nothing since trying to stop them would break the Taboo Index and get him executed. This however leads to Raios' ironic end, as after losing both his arms to Kirito he demands that Humbert, who lost one of his arms to Eugeo, use the rope closing his wound to help him, only to suffer a Logic Bomb upon realizing that forcing Humbert to die to save him would defy the Taboo Index, the very thing he used to commit his atrocious actions, ultimately causing his Fluctlight to collapse and kill him.
  • The Anti-Spirals from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann are Lawful Evil taken to its logical extremes. They seek to protect the universe from the dangers of Spiral Power and to do this they are willing to exterminate any race that contains that power.
    • Lordgenome, who keeps humanity caged in underground villages and kills any who wander to the surface in order to protect the human race from complete annihilation by aforementioned Anti-Spirals (their Doomsday Device will activate when the surface human population reaches 1 million).
  • YuYu Hakusho:
    • In the manga version it is revealed that King Yama is of this alignment, despite initially being Lawful Neutral, as he released captured demons to attack humans as a justification for maintaining the barrier on Demon World and to portray the Spirit World as being the defenders of humanity. Sakyo, the main antagonist of the Dark Tournament arc, also qualifies, as while he wants to open a portal to the Demon World that will allow powerful demons into the human world, he dislikes foul play and is willing to honor his agreements, including betting his life on Toguro's victory- and honoring his end of the deal when he loses the bet.
    • The younger Toguro, being the more honorable villain of the series, also fits. He typically follows the orders of his clients, but often expresses distaste toward needless killing, like when Tarukane had him kill one of his pet monsters to prove his strength.

    Comic Books 
  • Apocalypse, one of the X-Men's more dangerous foes, is this, although he does not seem to be bound by anything approaching the morality of mortals. His envisioned victory involves endless direct Social Darwinist competition between the strongest creatures on Earth, with himself as the projected ultimate victor. It's telling that in many future dystopias, his only servants are beings who have been forcibly transmuted into his slaves or robots.
  • Doctor Doom seeks to Take Over the World to bring it order and peace, rules his home country as either a benevolent but iron-fisted despot or a crazed megalomaniac Depending on the Writer, and is generally loyal to the letter of his oaths and his personal code. His need for domination over others is so all-consuming it makes him Immune to Mind Control because he will not accept any position but absolute superiority.
  • Elseworld Kryptonian Gar-El arrived on Earth in the 18th century and allied himself with the British king, aiding him in stopping The American Revolution and then taking over the world with all the powers of Superman. He claimed that he "brought peace, imposed order", and wasn't above executing his own half-human progeny for treasonous thoughts against his rule.
  • Magneto, when he's written as a villain, is a classic example, seeking world domination to feed his own ego but also and more importantly to safeguard the future of the mutant race, and protecting it from the very real threat of genocidal anti-mutant prejudice. His principal foes are the X-Men but he generally regards them and most other superheroes as worthy of respect, even non-mutant ones, and (Grant Morrison aside) there are several lines he absolutely will not even think of crossing. His Ultimate incarnation is also this, though he evidently doesn't consider humans or anyone in his way to matter much in his personal, amoral ethical code.
  • Iron Man villain the Mandarin is an Evil Overlord through and through. On one occasion, he destroyed one of his martial arts students for cheating by trying to drug him in a training session.
  • The DCU's uber-Big Bad Darkseid is Lawful Evil in its purest form. His goal is to rule the entire universe by finding the Anti-Life Equation, which would destroy the free will of everyone except him. One blogger called him "the god of fascism," and although it's not mentioned in the comics very often, he is the god of tyranny.
  • Dimension Lord Dread Dormammu, despite his title of Lord of Chaos, has a twisted sense of fair play and honor, and displays consistent behavior in attempting to conquer Earth's dimension. As Doctor Strange mentions "Spontaneity is something Dormammu cannot fathom. Like all tyrants, his mind is rigid...he follows set formulas."
  • Zarda from Supreme Power is the team Sociopathic Hero. She kills those in her way without hesitation, but she is committed to the goal of world domination. But for that to happen, she needs Hyperion to realize it, so she stays with the Squadron and goes on missions where her powers and brutality are best served: warzones. It was during one of these incidents that she approved of a Pay Evil unto Evil incident involving an abused girl taking revenge on her tormentors.
  • Likewise, The Punisher often slides into this alignment, Depending on the Writer. He is sometimes depicted as a guy who simply enjoys killing, and targets criminals simply to give himself a twisted form of self-justification. He is always depicted as a guy driven by a desire for personal revenge, and frequently tortures the perp in various especially brutal ways. The fact that most of the criminals he does this to are usually portrayed as worse (or just as bad) is the only thing that might get him off of this.
  • Green Lantern:
    • Former Green Lantern Sinestro seeks to bring order to the universe. And what better way to do that than through fear?
    • The Guardians of the Universe have been on a gradual slide to this in recent issues. Finally culminating in bringing order to the universe by just replacing everyone in it with their Third Army in an Assimilation Plot.
  • Spider-Man villain Knight of the super-villain duo, Knight and Fog, is certainly this. He is a contract killer, but never kills unless he is specifically ordered to. Unlike his Chaotic Evil partner, Fog, he never gains any pleasure from torturing his victims before dispatching them.
  • The Adversary, also known as Gepetto from Fables. He truly believes that his Empire is for the good of all, citing the necessity of murdering millions to provide prosperity to billions.
  • The One Sith from Star Wars: Legacy. Their goal is galactic peace and order- as enforced by a galaxy-spanning totalitarian dictatorship. They do seem to genuinely believe their rhetoric and are loyal to each other, the one betrayal done because they became a liability to their greater goal. But don't think for a minute they won't commit as many atrocities as previous Sith Orders in pursuit of their goal.
  • Korvac during The Korvac Saga of The Avengers appears to be Lawful Evil. Before taking godhood, he sought to build a paradise planet. But after having taken godhood, he carefully and methodically planned to take over the universe to make it one of a perfect order. He also killed anyone who found out the truth about him, but stated that it is necessary and that he regrets doing it. Moondragon mistook him for Lawful Good during a mindscan, but his evil showed itself in a What If? comic.
  • Ultimate Thanos is certainly this. His mission is stated as being "To make life a little more like death, Ordered. Perfect. Predictable."
  • The Beast from Transmetropolitan. A true bastard, but he nevertheless plays by the rules. He's ever so slightly preferable to The Chaotic Evil Smiler.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Scrooge McDuck, especially in the Italian comics. Depending on the Writer, he can be surprisingly nasty. Often ruthless, unscrupulous and uncaring, he routinely threatens, even beats his nephew Donald Duck to do his bidding. He pays below minimum wage (if anything) and is OK with firing thousands of employees just to save a buck.
  • Adam Susan from V for Vendetta believes that order and stability take precedence over anything else and will commit a second holocaust to eliminate those he believes would destabilize it.
  • The "Mutants" gang members in Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. They have a quota system for committing crimes!
  • Judge Dredd: The Dark Judges, a group of superpowered undead Judges from another dimension where they already killed every living thing. Their basic mission, formulated by their leader Judge Death, is to create a universe free of crime. Since only the living commit crimes, they decide to pre-emptively murder all potential offenders. They take their fanatical belief in the supremacy of law to the point where they became the worst evil in the whole setting. A prequel story shows that Death actually annihilated most of the other Dark Judges because they adhered too much to Chaotic Evil behavior.
  • Black Adam fits, as he was the wizard's original champion, before suffering a tragedy caused him to go the fascistic route. Of course, like a lot of DC villains, he has been known to veer into Lawful Neutral.

    Fan Works 
  • Most of the villains in Child of the Storm:
    • Lucius Malfoy, Baron Strucker, and Baron Zemo all qualify in the first book, the former two as leaders of HYDRA bent on taking over the world, the latter working as The Dragon to ensure it. That said, Lucius is initially more interested in self-preservation, he comes around to the idea of imposing HYDRA's order, his order, on the world. Doctor Zola, meanwhile, is on the Lawful side, but mostly just For Science!, and has an Odd Friendship with Gravemoss, HYDRA's ally, who's on the Neutral Evil end - he aspires to rule a universe of the undead, and even he baulks at the pure Chaotic Evil Chthon, but one of his primary concerns is being as big of a dick as he can.
    • In the sequel:
      • General Lukin as leader of the Red Room, being intent on re-establishing Russia's empire with himself at the head and enforcing a military structure of command. Sinister, as his ally, vacillates between this and True Neutral (an unusual combination, explained by his dedication to proper scientific procedure and absolute control of his subjects, combined with the fact that he'll work for anyone who provides him with suitable test subjects).
      • Dracula, Vampire Monarch of the Grey Court, is an Affably Evil Noble Demon who upholds his word (and is enraged by the idea that he wouldn't) to the letter - even, sometimes, to the spirit too.
      • Surtur, the original Dark Phoenix, who has become obsessed with the concept that creation is inherently flawed and that he must fix it by burning it all down and starting again, creating a neater and more orderly universe - even before he ended up Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, he was engineering his people to make them 'better'. This is even evident in a glimpse of Muspelheim, which is perfectly engineered, and more like a machine than an actual world full of living beings.
  • Rarity from The Killer Rarityverse falls under this alignment after becoming an Element of Harmony. At first, she would qualify as Chaotic Evil because her killings would often be random and whenever it was possible to do so. However, afterwards, she feels that doesn't deserve to be the Element of Generosity unless she limited her kills only to those that she sees as "deserving". From then on, she follows a code that involves not killing foals or those who are innocent.
  • In the Pony POV Series, Grogar has been referred as this by Word of God. Whereas Discord is absolute Chaotic Evil, Grogar is absolute Lawful Evil, being obsessed with order to the same extreme.
  • The two main villains of Kintsukuroi fall into this alignment. Colonel Sharon Hillridge and Dr. Elias Dreschner lead the massacre of hundreds of mutants for two well-defined goals: Hillridge aims at the creation of supersoldiers for the supremacy of her country while Drescher searches for a cure for cancer.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Giant Magnet from The Brave Little Toaster has a simple role: carry metal scraps from the junkyard to the trash compactor. Because this film is a deconstruction of anthropomorphic electronics, that makes it an imposing enemy for Toaster and his friends to face against. While it initially appears as a Lawful Neutral Punch-Clock Villain, merely performing the role it was created to do, it establishes itself as this trope when it relentlessly pursues the main characters and nearly kills them - along with their human Master - to satiate its own spite.
  • Boss Wolf from Kung Fu Panda 2 fits this alignment. He shows no concern in carrying out Lord Shen's evil plans of conquest, yet he shows an unyielding loyalty to his own wolf pack, behaving like A Father to His Men. This costs him his life when he refuses to shoot his soldiers.
  • Professor Screweyes from We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story uses contracts and deals to enslave others to his Circus of Fear, but he keeps his end of the deal. He also desires absolute control of his fear by scaring others.
  • Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame is one Disney villain who is different from all of them. He is just a normal human who doesn't see himself as evil, and commits all those horrendous acts for good.
  • Mirage from The Incredibles (before her Heel–Face Turn) has no problems efficiently luring dozens of superheroes into a death trap for her boss without seemingly having anything personal against them (though she draws the line at murdering children).
  • Lord Business of The LEGO Movie is a Control Freak obsessed with maintaining order in the LEGO world. He plans to use the Kragle to freeze the entire world so that everything will be stuck the way he wants it to be.
  • The Iron Giant: Kent Mansley, a paranoid government agent willing to destroy a child's life in order to eliminate a potential threat.
  • The Road to El Dorado: Tzekel-Kan, a religious fanatic who runs an empire of Human Sacrifice.
  • The Prince of Egypt: Ramses is a Nepharious Pharaoh who refuses to free Egypt's slaves because he wants them to build amazing monuments, to the point of being willing to threaten genocide when Moses tries to force the issue. He's a tragic example, as this is all motivated by his own issues with a father who never thought he was good enough.
  • DC Universe Animated Original Movies:
    • Green Lantern: First Flight: Sinestro genuinely believes that fear is the best way to regulate a populace, and is willing to destroy the Green Lantern Corps and set up his own corps to implement this policy.
    • Superman vs. the Elite: The Elite decide Superman's Thou Shalt Not Kill rule is limiting, and they need to monitor the world and kill any criminal they find.
    • Superman Unbound: Brainiac abducts entire cities he keeps in bottles and destroys the rest of civilization because he can't bear the thought of information existing that he does not control. In fact, he's such a Control Freak that Superman defeats him by exposing him to chaotic nature, which causes such an overload that it fries his circuits.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 2019: After the Fall of New York: The Euracs ar a totalitarian empire willing to experiment on civilians to bring fertility back to the human race.
  • 2020 Texas Gladiators: Black One takes advantage of the post-apocalyptic chaos to impose a fascist dictatorship on a small settlement, enslaving the entire civilian populace.
  • Charlie Prince in 3:10 to Yuma (2007) is a trigger-happy, murderous bastard, but his loyalty and devotion to his boss Ben Wade are impressive — he goes to almost superhuman lengths to rescue him. With maybe a slight hint of subtext.
  • The Abominable Dr. Phibes. Yes, he's a murderous nut, but he's also extremely focused in his work, wrapped around a fairly lawful system of revenge, and in love with ceremony. The one thing he has that most Lawful Evil characters don't is creativity.
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood: Prince John Lackland, who uses the fact that his brother the King is on a crusade to tax and oppress the peasantry with impunity.
  • Alien: Ash, an android who follows his programming to acquire a Xenomorph to the letter, regardless of who gets hurt. While one might argue this makes him Lawful Neutral (he's just following his programming), he clearly gets some kind of enjoyment out of the Xenomorph's killing abilities and even makes a quip on just how little chance Ripley has confronting it.
  • American Justice: Sheriff Payden runs his town like a small fiefdom, absolutely dominating the mayor and extorting money and drugs from the criminal element. When his men kill a drug dealer, Payden frames an out-of-towner for the crime, intending to kill him and claim it happened during an escape attempt.
  • The Big Doll House: Miss Dietrich appears to be a kindly prison warden blissfully unaware of her guards' corruption and sadism, but it's revealed she deliberately facilitates the atrocities because she sees lawbreakers as filth.
  • The Big Short: The entire American banking system is portrayed like this, as they're perfectly willing to lend people mortgages for homes they can't afford so they can foreclose on the homes, and have rigged the government to be cool with it.
  • The Black Room: Gregor de Berghman uses his barony to kill women for fun and oppressively tax the townspeople, killing his brother and stealing his identity to keep doing so after pretending to abdicate.
  • The Blob (1988): Dr. Christopher Meddows, a government agent willing to slaughter an entire town to test a bioweapon he invented.
  • The Brain (1988): The Brain is biologically wired to be lawful evil, being a creature who literally eats independent thought, and seeks to consume the entire planet's thoughts.
  • Brotherhood of Death: Harold Turner, local Grand Cyclops of The Klan, uses his position as county attorney to further oppress the local black community.
  • Casablanca: Major Heinrich Strasser, a Nazi officer tasked with keeping order in Casablanca, and spends the movie hunting for a resistance leader.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick:
    • Vaako, The Dragon. He genuinely believes in the Religion of Evil, and unlike his wife, binds himself to its principles. As a result, he resists her pressure to attempt a Klingon Promotion on the Big Bad Lord Marshall, until Vaako himself comes to believe that the Lord Marshall has violated the Necromonger code through the Marshall's weakness. Vaako and Riddick both attack the Marshall, but Riddick strikes the killing blow. Rather than attempting to finish Riddick off, Vaako is the first to bow and declare him the new Lord Marshall, because "You keep what you kill" is part of the Necromonger code too.
    • The Necromongers in general are Lawful Evil: their end-goal may be the death and/or conversion of the entire universe, but it's done with forthright honesty, military discipline and meticulous planning. All the members are loyal to the death, and look forward to dying in the service of the Necromongers. Indeed death is the ultimate goal for them.
  • Citizen X: The Soviet government are perfectly willing to cover up a Serial Killer to get one over on the Americans.
  • The Confederacy in C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America goes as far as to legally trade slaves with African countries.
  • The Skeksis from The Dark Crystal. They are essentially a Decadent Court of evil creatures who dislike each other, but are bound by a strict adherence to social rituals. When one is exiled for losing in a competition against his rival to the imperial throne, he constantly seeks to regain his status rather than revenge.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
    • Ra's Al-Ghul in Batman Begins is the leader of a cult of ninja-vigilantes with a draconian sense of justice and an expectation that their followers are willing to kill on command in service to it. Throughout history they have periodically destroyed entire cities that they deem to have grown corrupt and decadent in order to "restore the balance", and they have set their sights on Gotham as their latest target.
    • Two-Face in The Dark Knight is definitely of this alignment after his Face–Heel Turn from the Lawful Good Harvey Dent. While The Joker is the embodiment of Chaotic Evil and Two-Face's Face–Heel Turn was sparked by him, Two-Face always flips a coin to decide if somebody should live or die. It's a rule of his that he will adhere to, instead of killing by impulse.
    • The Gotham National Bank manager, who still believes in honor and respect even when the Joker has him by the balls. Also Gambol, who goes so far as to put a hit on the Joker for robbing the GNB (and partially for making a potshot at his grandmother).
    • Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. Despite appearing Chaotic Evil, he is actually an extremist member of the League of Shadows and wishes to continue their quest to root out crime and corruption by destroying cities, though he takes it to a suicidal extreme as does Talia, Ra's daughter.
  • Darkman: Louis Strack, Jr., a Corrupt Corporate Executive who wants to gentrify the slums and is willing to bribe and kill anybody to do it.
  • Demolition Man: Dr. Raymond Cocteau finagles the vast majority of his society to comply with his nanny state ambitions, and awakens some frozen criminals to assassinate a Rebel Leader fighting against him. Unfortunately, this includes the immensely Chaotic Evil Simon Phoenix, who kills him.
  • The Devil's Advocate: Satan is running an Occult Law Firm, what do you think? Specifically though, when pressed about his master plan, he explains that he intends to keep pumping out Amoral Attorneys so he can game the legal system and let as many horrible people off the hook as possible. Eventually, even Heaven will have to take notice of how much he's perverting Creation and fight him directly, which he's also planning ahead for by trying to raise a worthwhile heir.
  • The senior house slave Stephen in Django Unchained is utterly devoted to his master and wholeheartedly upholds the institution of slavery. A collaborator if there ever was one.
    Django: Ain't nothin' lower than a black slaver. Black slaver's even lower than the head house nigger, and buddy, that's pretty fucking low.
  • Escape 2000: President Clark, a corporate executive willing to slaughter the Bronx to keep his urban renewal plans going.
  • First Blood: Sheriff Will Teasle is a more sympathetic example, being a cop who genuinely believes the law is a good thing, but is willing to persecute drifters on good days and goes to increasingly extreme measures to capture one of them when the drifter retaliates and kills one of his friends.
  • In the Flash Gordon film, the entire society of Mongo. They embrace cruelty and treachery, and the nobles plot overthrows and scheme against one another, but they always follow the articles of Ming's law. Vultan describes it as being a "damn nuisance," but he follows it anyway when called upon.
  • Frankenstein's Army: Dr. Viktor Frankenstein genuinely believes that society would be better if everybody was his cyborg slave, and is willing to work with and then betray the Nazis to achieve this despite being Jewish himself.
  • Full Metal Jacket: Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, a drill sergeant who absolutely brutalizes people in order to make them into perfect Marines.
  • Don Vito Corleone from The Godfather sticks to omerta, sees great value in honor and respect, and rejects drug dealing out of principle, but it does not make his motives or methods anything other than evil. His agent Luca Brasi ends up doing similar out of pure Undying Loyalty.
  • Gory Gory Hallelujah: The government of Jackville is a theocracy that explicitly doesn't have human rights, bans books, and has the church and jail in the same building. Meanwhile, their leader Preacher John wants to start a Zombie Apocalypse to punish mankind for their sins.
  • Loco in The Great Silence uses the legal bounty hunter profession to cover his evil acts, except in extreme circumstances. His boast is always that his acts have been "all according to the law." This is a form of Pragmatic Villainy too, as it helps him to get away with them.
  • Pinhead and most other cenobites along with their god Leviathan from the Hellraiser film series. In contrast to most slasher villains who are chaotic wisecrackers or Ax-Crazy brutes, Pinhead is orderly and rational above all else. He genuinely believes in what the order represents and can be reasoned with.
  • House of Whipcord: Margaret Wakehurst leads an operation to kidnap women and imprison them for being indecent by her arch-conservative puritan standards. She's so fanatical she has a woman hanged for stealing food.
  • Saito from Inception, though he sides with the protagonist. He uses his inception team to plant a false idea into the mind of his rival businessman to crush the energy monopoly, primarily to clear the obstacle to his own power expansion.
  • The John Wick franchise revolves around an organization called the High Table that controls organized crime worldwide, and employs the assassins of the Continental network as Murder, Inc.. Both have extensive codes of rules, which are enforced either by the assassins themselves or by Adjudicators working for the kingpins seated at the Table: among them, the Continental hotels are Truce Zones where no violence of any kind is permitted, and "markers" representing favors owed must be honored on pain of death.
  • Kill Bill: O-Ren Ishii runs the organized crime in Tokyo like a professional businesswoman. She encourages her minions to discuss plans with her and always maintains a polite, controlled behavior, unless you question her heritage, which means instant beheading.
  • Two Examples from the Mad Max franchise:
    • Aunty Entity from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome rules Bartertown with a firm hand and is willing to brutally punish anyone who threatens the stability of that settlement. But, she remains Affably Evil and is always keeps her word.
    • Immortan Joe from Mad Max: Fury Road is the tyrannical ruler of the citadel, who is worshipped as a god by the War Boys who serve him. He also managed to gain control of numerous resources and established trading partners, bringing about a rare area of stability in the lawless wasteland.
  • Man of Steel gives us General Zod, the man who is willing to commit genocide and forcefully terraform a planet to recreate his homeworld because he is absolutely certain it is his duty to serve his society, by whatever means necessary.
    "Every action I take, no matter how violent or cruel, is for the good of my people."
  • Men Behind the Sun: The majority of Unit 731 are genuinely patriotic, to the point that they'll experiment on innocent civilians to help the war effort. Their leader, Shiro Ishii, is the selfish variant of Lawful Evil, being far more interested in his own advancement than the glory of Japan.
  • The Man with the Iron Heart: Reinhard Heydrich is tasked with maximizing the efficiency of the Nazis' purges of Jews and dissidents, kickstarting The Holocaust in the process.
  • Manborg: Count Draculon, a commander of The Legions of Hell who brutally represses humanity for his masters.
  • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The Incredible Hulk (2008) and Captain America: Civil War: General Thunderbolt Ross, a crotchety US general who believes Bruce Banner is property of the US government because of his Hulk mutation. Later, he's the one sent to break the news on the UN's attempt to bring the Avengers under their heel.
    • In Captain America: The First Avenger, the Red Skull demonstrates discipline, taste, and Faux Affably Evil civility despite being an ex-Nazi despot who believes that he is the superior and rightful ruler of the planet. Although he also could be classified Neutral Evil for having his own agenda separate from Hitler and the other Nazis. However, he's ultimately defeated by Captain America, who is his Lawful Good counterpart. Their fight is pretty much a straightforward a classic Good vs. Evil battle as you can get.
    • In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this applies even moreso to HYDRA, the organization formed by the Red Skull. After their defeat in the first film, they learned the folly in trying to stamp out freedom by force (as the Red Skull, convinced of his own superiority, had done), and instead opt for a Type 1 approach, using the flaws in the current lawful system against it to slowly take over and corrupt it from the inside out. As such, they created a world so chaotic and dangerous that its people gladly ran to any kind of order they could find, allowing HYDRA to assume control without anyone ever noticing.
    • Black Panther (2018): Killmonger overthrows the Wakandan government and becomes a full tyrant, plotting to Take Over the World so that black people can reign supreme.
    • Avengers: Infinity War casts Thanos in this light. Much like his Ultimate counterpart, this Thanos acts under the belief that the universe must be oppressed for its own good. He desires the Infinity Stones so that he can wipe out half of all sentient life in the cosmos, to improve the quality of life for the other half by increasing the ease with which they can gain resources. That said, there is evidence that this is a facade that he puts on not just for his cause but to maintain the lie to himself; as what Thanos truly desires is to be right above being a savior. The Neutral Evil time-displaced counterpart in Avengers: Endgame demonstrates what lies beneath Thanos's claims that he is bringing a balanced and bountiful universe.
      Thanos: "Perfectly balanced, as all things should be."
    • The MCU version of the Kree Empire. With the possible exception of Ronan the Accuser, they are pretty much textbook Lawful Evil. The Kree are a hierarchical, xenophobic and militaristic culture governed by the Supreme Intelligence. From their perspective, they are the good guys, bringing order to a lawless cosmos. They are mostly evil because their vision of “order” tramples on everyone else: Skrulls, Xandar, humans, etc. They are basically Imperial Japan IN SPACE! or Marvel's version of the Imperium of Man.
  • While technically Mary Poppins has No Antagonist, Mr. Dawes Sr. comes closest to one. As the elderly boss of a successful bank, Mr. Dawes Sr. and his many colleagues (one of which is his own son), have high regards for investment. Dawes Sr. badgered Michael about the importance of money, ultimately swindling the poor boy and ending up firing George Banks for his sons unruly behaviour. Ironically when Dawes Sr. dies of laughter, his colleagues appear again during the end, except a lot more relieved. The honor of a character respecting this trope in the original books by P. L. Travers feature Miss Andrew, who is the polar opposite of Mary Poppins who handles her children...with extreme tactics, hence her moniker the Holy Terror.
  • The Mist's Mrs. Carmody is the definition of this alignment: being able to justify atrocities by twisting inhumane, cruel and archaic laws to her favor and following them to the letter and spirit.
  • Other People's Money: Danny DeVito wants to take over the company but legally through the board of directors.
  • Captain Vidal from Pan's Labyrinth, as is typical of Fascist-type villains. He's a good example of how an evil character who's lawful can be every bit as despicable as one who doesn't follow the rules.
  • The Mayor from Pleasantville fits this trope. Practically trying to prevent the town from becoming "colored" and back to their "perfectly pleasant" ways.
  • The Predators are about as Lawful Evil as they come. They participate in brutal bloodsport that involves the hunting of other alien species, but adhere to a strict honor code that prohibits the killings of innocents or the weak, and will always permit a leveling of the playing field to give their opponents a better chance of defending themselves. For example: Dutch in Predator is unarmed for the last half of their final confrontation, so the Predator starts beating him half to death until it decides to finish him. Hanzo in Predators is only armed with a katana, so the Predator he's facing only comes at him with his blade. That said, they are absolutely merciless when it comes to the hunt itself, and will not bat a single eyelash against ripping your spine out and displaying it as a trophy. Which in itself appears to be a sign of respect and honor, that they considered you a Worthy Opponent.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera: Rotti Largo managed to make it legal to repossess organ transplants and uses this law to the fullest advantage.
  • Ro-Man from Robot Monster. Ro-Man kills off nearly the entire human race because he was ordered to, and follows orders to kill the others up until his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Lenny from RocknRolla likes to paint himself as this, declaring that he is there to keep order in the underworld. However, the truth is that Lenny is slimy, selfish, greedy, willing to break his word and bargains with anyone doing business with him. Plus, Lenny is secretly a rat who has been selling all of his criminal associates to the law one by one for years in order to avoid doing jail time himself. Archy, Lenny's dragon is the real thing: supremely loyal, true to his word, and willing to go out and kill anyone he's ordered to, or that it's necessary to kill, even while he shows that he's upset by Lenny's more selfish actions and double-crossing ways.
  • Memnon, the villain from The Scorpion King, summarizes it nicely.
    Memnon: You think I'm cruel, don't you? Perhaps you've forgotten what it's like outside these walls? Heartless, ignorant, and savage. But I can change that. I will bring order after centuries of chaos. An order that will last for a thousand years.
    Sorceress: Rivers of blood can never bring peace.
    Memnon: But they can bring obedience! That will suffice for now.
  • The Operative from Serenity, who ruthlessly pursues anyone or anything which threatens the perfect utopia he hopes to build, even if it means slaughtering entire worlds or murdering children. To his credit, he never claims that what he does is right or just, only necessary, and freely admits that he's a monster who will have no place in the utopia he dreams of. When he sees how horrible the utopia he was building would be, he abandons his quest to build it.
  • The Serpent and the Rainbow: Captain Dargent Peytraud, an agent of the Haitian Secret Police and voodoo priest who uses his position to torture people and make zombie slaves.
  • The Shawshank Redemption: Warden Samuel Norton pretends to be a stern, but fair Christian out to rehabilitate the prisoners of Shawshank. In reality, he's a corrupt scumbag who allows rampant abuse by the guards and launders money.
  • Sin City: The Roark family use influence and atrocities alike to maintain their control of Basin City.
  • Spotlight: Cardinal Bernard Law is so obsessed with the Catholic Church's public image that he's willing to cover up mass paedophilia.
  • Star Wars:
    • Darth Vader, and The Empire more generally. As a young man, Anakin is shown to already have dictatorial tendencies after growing up as a slave on a lawless gang-run planet and seeing the corruption and bureaucratic inefficiency of the late Republic. As a Sith Lord, he chokes the shit out of anyone in his way and has no tolerance for incompetence, but he crucially never kills for his own amusement (unlike the Emperor) and has Pet the Dog moments to those he has a common affinity with, such as the Noghri or slaves; his goals — to bring order to the galaxy regardless of how many people he needs to brutally oppress — are classic Lawful Evil motivations. Palpatine himself is the exception to this, as he's more along the lines of Neutral Evil. Other than that, however, the original trilogy seems to be a conflict between the Lawful Evil empire and the Chaotic Good rebel alliance, whose priorities are freedom and justice, (according to the opening crawls at least) whereas the (expressed) priorities of Darth Vader are peace and order above all else.
    • While the Empire as a whole can be called this in most places, there are various portions of it that tip straight into Chaotic Evil, mainly whether through the Reborn Emperor Palpatine in the Dark Empire stories or various Imperial officials that believe that they can do whatever they want because they have the firepower to back it up.
    • The First Order from The Force Awakens continues the trend and increases the Nazi imagery. Captain Phasma and General Hux define The First Order's ethics the most, being both tyrannical and committed. Kylo Ren also fits this alignment in this film. He seems to see his devotion to the dark side as kind of knight’s code of honor, and even talks about resisting the temptation of the light side of the force, as if having a conscience is a moral failing that he has to overcome. He also deliberately tries to imitate Darth Vader, his grandfather, but doesn’t quite succeed, and at times comes off as more Brainwashed and Crazy than malicious.
    • Before Vader and the Empire, Count Dooku aka Darth Tyrannus, showed much promise as an obedient servant of Darth Sidious. As one of the main instigators of the Clone Wars, Dooku was the face of the Sith, keeping both Grievous and the Separatists on a leash. For the longest time, Dooku was always one step ahead of the Jedi and the Republic. But he was one of the very few, who knew exactly who was manipulating the senate from the shadows.
  • Super Fly: Deputy Commissioner Reardon uses his police connections to control Harlem's drug trade.
  • Tank Girl: Water & Power, a Mega-Corp that wants to control the world's water so it can control the world.
  • The Devil in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. Turns out that despite being ruler of Hell, he still has to adhere to the Demon Code, which has a rule stipulating that demons must always accept a declaration of a rock-off challenge. His multiple Precision F-Strike shows he's not happy about being forced to do this, and even then he doesn't even try to cheat. He blows the D away on drums, guitar and vocals and wins against their (comparatively) unimpressive attempt at rocking.
  • Toys: General Leland Zevo, who seeks to take over his brother's toy company so he can brainwash children into being good soldiers.
  • TRON:
    • TRON: The Master Control Program takes over his creators' computer network and forces all the other programs to do his bidding, including Gladiator Games.
    • Clu from TRON: Legacy. "Create a perfect system?" Sure. Just get rid of an entire species that doesn't fit the idea of perfection, trap his Chaotic Good creator in cyberspace exile, brainwash the biggest Lawful Good badass into his dragon, turn the Games lethal to weed out any imperfection or weakness among Programkind. Nothing is more flawed than a User...
  • Turbo Kid: Zeus, a post-apocalyptic warlord who genuinely believes he owns everything and everyone in his territory, and has a right to control it all as brutally as he wants.
  • Sheriff William "Little Bill" Daggett, the primary antagonist of Unforgiven. Sure, he's a lawman with the noble goal of cleaning up the town of Big Whiskey, but he's also a ruthless Knight Templar for whom the chance to dish out the occasional Cold-Blooded Torture, No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, or Vigilante Execution is among the biggest perks of the job.
  • The Wicker Man (1973): Lord Summerisle exploits his community's pagan beliefs to maintain his own power, down to being willing to commit Human Sacrifice. The crops will not fail.

  • SPECTRE in the James Bond books is this due to their evil plots and strict code of conduct.
  • The book version of Chocolat follows the pattern in The Film of the Book, but the agent of Lawful Evil is the village priest and not the Mayor (his Moral Event Horizon is where he gives a speech in one of his internal monologues which can be summed up as 'if I allow chocolate, then it will be followed by other evil things like sex and liberals'.) While it is possible to justify the priest's behaviour by examining the plot with his dying father, the film version was more careful than the book to avoid the trope.
    • The Comte in The Film of the Book. He uses his power over the townspeople to turn them against what he considers "unwanted elements" in the town, essentially bullying said "unwanted elements" into moving away, but he is strictly against the use of violence, going as far as banishing the local bartender from the town for the rest of his life for burning down a houseboat belonging to a group of gypsies, which the Comte himself had disapproved of.
  • Masks of Aygrima: The Autarch and his servants are this, turning Tamita, the capital city, into a borderline police state and installing watchers in all other towns to keep order. The masks everybody wears are used to squash all thoughts of rebellion by showing watchers those thoughts. The masks are later altered to change people's personalities to stop all possibilities of revolution everywhere.
  • The Big Bad of The Name of the Rose, Jorge of Burgos, hates happiness and free will with religious zeal, to the point where he believes laughter to be the work of the Devil. Nothing short of utter monastic devotion is acceptable.
    • The inquisitor Bernard Gui is completely uninterested in finding the culprit for the murders, and stages a witch trial to discredit his opponents and enhance his reputation. What would you expect of a Middle Age inquisitor?
  • Used in the Dragonlance novel The Doom Brigade. Draconians are supposedly Always Chaotic Evil, but Kang and Slith, the leaders of a draconian troop, teach the soldiers about honor, teamwork and loyalty in addition to hating the forces of good and especially elves. Although they start out as devoted servants of the evil goddess Takhisis, they slowly shift from Lawful Evil to Lawful Neutral — and in the end to Lawful Good, when they side against Mina and the forces of Takhisis at the end of Dragons of a Vanished Moon.
    • Raistlin Majere. Willing to kill anybody who is either blocking him or no longer useful to him. But he scrupulously honors his debts, upholds the magic order, and claims his ultimate goal to be creating a new world once he achieves godhood.
    • Raistlin's sister Kitiara is loyal to her family and Tanis Half-Elven, and appreciates the order and power the Dragonarmies bring, but she is not beyond some plotting for personal aggrandisement, so veers towards Neutral Evil. She probably qualifies as an example of Type 2 Lawful Evil.
    • The minotaurs, likewise, are classed as a Lawful Evil race; while they believe most other races are so inferior as to be only good as slaves or corpses, they have a strict Code of Honour that they will adhere to. It's for this reason that they have grudging respect for Solamnic Knights, as well as their martial prowess.
  • In Harry Potter:
    • Dolores Jane Umbridge exemplifies this trope, even if she initially appeared as Lawful Neutral to some. She works for the corrupted government, creates safe and harmless ways to practice magic, and yet makes students carve sentences in their hands with their own blood as detention, for contradicting the Minister of Magic. If anyone had any doubt that she was Lawful Evil at heart, Deathly Hallows removed it, with her cheerfully threatening Muggle-born witches and wizards with the Dementor's Kiss or hauling them off to Azkaban. She revels in doing harm to others, but doesn't have the courage to do it outside the sanction of the law.
    • The Malfoys easily fall here; they prefer being in positions of power and privilege, and Lucius seems to be at his best when working for Voldemort within the Ministry. After the fifth book, which both lost him his position at the Ministry and his favor with Voldemort, he seemed to be defeated.
  • The Discworld offers a number of different variants on the alignment:
    • The Auditors of Reality are something like the collective Anthropomorphic Personification of the rules of the universe. However, they have managed to develop a hostile, definitely not neutral, and ironically human attitude towards life because it's so disorderly. As such, they actively try to remove life (and especially humanity) from the universe.
      Death: Down in the deepest kingdoms of the sea, where there is no light, there lives a type of creature with no brain and no eyes and no mouth. It does nothing but live and put forth petals of perfect crimson where none are there to see. It is nothing but a tiny "yes" in the night. And yet... And yet... It has enemies who bear it a vicious, unbending malice, who wish not only for its tiny life to be over but also that it had never existed. Are you with me so far?
      Susan: Well, yes, but—
      Death: Good. Now, imagine what they think of humanity.
    • Ymper Trymon in The Light Fantastic presents an earlier version of some of the Lawful Evil ideas appearing in later characters. Originally, it's not clear that he's downright evil, but he does give everyone the creeps because of his rationalistic, every-thing-in-its-place-and-people-are-also-things thinking. After he gets possessed by the Things from the Dungeon Dimensions, Rincewind sees that he would control the world with an emotionless tyranny by giving people the order they crave.
    • Lilith de Tempscire of Witches Abroad thinks of herself as the good guy. She also enforces a tyrannical rule over a city where everyone has to follow fairytale tropes; it looks very neat, but no-one is allowed to step out of line, even if that means doing nothing actually wrong by moral standards.
    • Vorbis, the head of the Quisition (read: Inquisition) of Omnia in Small Gods, believes that it is his god's will that everyone's thoughts and actions be kept in line by means of strict social control, torture and killing.
    • Evil Harry Dread in The Last Hero selects his guards for stupidity and designs his dungeons to facilitate escape, all out of a sense of professional ethics and playing-the-game; he betrays Cohen and the Silver Horde at the first opportunity for exactly the same reason. He's actually praised by them for this; they would have had it no other way. Given Pratchett's attitude toward traditional heroic values, which often include looting, pillaging and ravishing maidens, it is unclear exactly what separates "Evil" Harry from his erstwhile foes, and as such he might be considered Lawful Neutral.
    • Havelock Vetinari at one point describes himself this way to Samuel Vimes, citing that Good really can't plan — especially for when the Lawful Evil empire gets overthrown. However, his reign is overall benevolent enough that he could easily be seen as Lawful Neutral.
    • Discworld demons generally are unimaginative traditionalists and care a great deal about hierarchy. (There's probably individual variation among them, though, including not all even being that evil.) In Eric, Astfgl, the new demon king, had finally made Discworld Hell actually unpleasant by adding unnecessary bureaucracy, and because Even Evil Has Standards, the other senior demons conspire to get rid of him by "promoting" him even higher to a position where he had no actual influence, and possibly not even contact with anyone outside his office, though it makes him feel important.
    • The vampire Count de Magpyr from Carpe Jugulum wishes to create a modern, "civilised" and rationalised way of being a vampire, which involves the vampires ruling over others (destroying old magical races they consider old-fashioned) and people lining up politely to have their blood sucked on the arrangement that it's done only so often. The villagers put up an act of being all right with this, but it becomes clear they feel it's absolutely terrible. His wife the Countess also counts, as she mostly goes along with whatever he says. On the other hand, the old Count de Magpyr seems to have represented a nicer kind of Lawful Evil (if evil at all), honourable and traditionalist rather than totalitarian; people actually liked him and his Contractual Genre Blindness, at least in comparison. (Granny Weatherwax isn't remotely impressed with him, which might hint that the villagers are being silly and nostalgic in thinking so highly of him. Even if he did so as a sportsman and with a willingness to be temporarily defeated, presumably he would still prey on people like a non-reformed vampire does.)
    • The Agatean Empire in Interesting Times, ostensibly ruled by an aged emperor but with his likely successor Lord Hong having a lot of power, is a place where almost everyone is cowed into unthinking obedience, and the local great wall is meant to keep people in. Lord Hong himself is something of an Evil Counterpart to Lord Vetinari — and sees him as a Worthy Opponent, possibly as the only person he can think of in such terms. He seems to have even greater talent in other fields outside of politics than Vetinari, but his grasp of psychology is lacking. Where Vetinari is genuinely rational as a "tyrant" and only intervenes at strategic moments, Lord Hong tries to control everything and doesn't understand what (other than fear) makes people tick.
    • The Assassins' Guild is Lawful Evil bordering on True Neutral. They have so many strict rules about who they're supposed to kill and how that they mostly either appear in roles other than actually assassinating people, or take out people who were worse than they were. Not coincidentally, Vetinari was an Assassin. (There are exceptions; Mr. Teatime from Hogfather is Chaotic Evil and, at the complete other end of the spectrum, Pteppic from Pyramids doesn't believe in killing people and actually qualifies for a Good alignment.)
  • Artemis Entreri from R.A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms book is officially this. Scarred at a young age by being continuously raped and beaten by his uncle and/or his father, then sold to a pedophile slave merchant at age nine by his mother (the only person he trusted and cared for, and the only one who'd never hurt him), then escaping across the desert on foot to live on the streets as a child thief, resulting in Artemis spending the rest of his life completely focused on refining his skills so that he need not rely on anyone else. He would not kill those who were not important or related to his objective simply because he had no reason to as it gains him nothing, though it's indicated he might have had a deeply-buried moral code of some kind, but he was wholly focused on himself. In the Sellswords trilogy, dark elf Jarlaxel managed to pry a little of the bitterness away (with the help of an emotion-manipulating flute); by the time Artemis takes his leave of Jarlaxel, he might not be very evil at all.
  • U.N. Owen, the Poetic Serial Killer villain of And Then There Were None. He, by his own admission, is something of a sadist, and takes absolute pleasure in causing pain and death, but while retaining his justice-driven nature, primarily dishes it out to people who really deserve it. Some of his intended victims fit this alignment too, like Principles Zealot Emily Brent and Hanging Judge Wargrave ( the latter, however, never sentenced an innocent to death and is in fact U.N. Owen).
  • "Gentleman Johnny" Marcone from The Dresden Files, a control-freak crime lord who keeps such an orderly rule over Chicago's criminal underworld that the authorities actually prefer having him there, rather than several rival gangs constantly fighting it out. He also has a definite sense of honor and obligations, and is a prime example of Even Evil Has Standards. Like the aforementioned Lord Vetinari, he straddles the line between Lawful Evil and Lawful Neutral.
  • The government of Oceania from George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four subjects every citizen to constant surveillance, tortures dissidents into abandoning their ideologies before killing them and wiping them from history, literally rewrites the English language to suppress thought, and if O'Brien is telling the truth, does it all for power's sake.
  • Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, et al.:
    • Sauron. Possibly a surprise to those who are only familiar with The Lord of the Rings (by which era he has undergone considerable canon Villain Decay and Motive Decay towards Chaotic Evil), but in the beginning, according to Word of God, he only followed Morgoth out of the desire to build a rigidly ordered empire, quite the opposite of Morgoth's motivations. The character of Saruman is in many ways a reflection of Sauron's original reasons for turning evil, and the contrast with present-day Sauron is meant to highlight how futile those desires for order are, as evil always ends in chaos. Tolkien once explained evil is either total selfishness or total madness. Sauron was selfish — he wanted to rule the world — while Morgoth was insane — he simply wanted to destroy, spoil, maim and waste everything around him out of pure spite.
    • Speaking of Saruman, he really passes through all three evil alignments during his career. He starts out as a Lawful Evil Well-Intentioned Extremist, devolved into a Neutral Evil who was only out for his own advancement, and ended up a Chaotic Evil revenge-obsessed loony after losing his powers and his base of operations. Tolkien once said "Sauron has today no descendants, but Saruman has many apprentices," implying that the age of grand empires had gone, but many petty tyrants and dictators are carving themselves petty empires, especially in more underdeveloped countries.
    • Fëanor in The Silmarillion, who went Motive Decay from Lawful Good to Lawful Neutral into Lawful Evil, raising a mutiny against the valar, resulting in Kinslaying of Alqualondë and drawing the High Elves (noldor) into exile, war and immeasurable sufferings — all because of the silmarils. Likewise, all Fëanor's sons can be considered to be Lawful Evil.
  • Glen Cook's The Black Company shows pretty well what Sauron could be if he didn't suffer Motive Decay — imagine him using Nazguls to patrol roads and being so merciless on any form of crime that even lone virgin can safely travel through Mordor, and you get Lady from The Books of North
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Lord Tywin Lannister. He is primarily concerned with establishing House Lanister as the dominant family in Westeros. He demands loyalty from his family and order in his realm, even if he has to break ancient customs to secure it. Isn't that right, Robb Stark?
    • Lord Roose Bolton also comes across as this alignment, masking sadism with a polite and reasonable persona, and he always acts within the system and is a big believer in Pragmatic Villainy, knowing that the best guarantee of being a Karma Houdini is keeping a low profile. Also pretty Lawful Evil is his claim that his treachery toward the Starks was done for the good of the realm. In contrast to his Chaotic Evil son, Ramsay, Roose restrains himself so that his more questionable habits aren't discovered. Most notably, his philosophy cements him both as a Type I and II.
      Roose: A peaceful land, a quiet people. That has always been my rule. Make it yours.

  • The devils in The Screwtape Letters are a group of scheming bureaucrats who have quite a few rules in Hell to better manipulate each other with.
  • The Las Vegas in Stephen King's The Stand run by Randall Flagg. They may be an evil kingdom but they execute drug-users by crucifixion. This may be due to the Lawful Evil Lloyd Henreid running the day to day operations. Flagg himself, on the other hand, is far more chaotic and ultimately self-destructive.
  • Roland Croninger, Colonel Macklin and the Army of Excellence in the post-apocalyptic novel Swan Song. After the bombs fall, they have a twisted desire to restore the United States by forming an army of raiders and acquiring enough people and resources to re-build a nation devoid of people marked by radiation burns. They also recognize the use of symbols (Nazi uniforms for one) and the power of fear. Roland and Macklin are both unhinged, but they have a twisted sense of loyalty to each other and are ruthlessly efficient in dividing up the spoils of their raids.
  • King Gasam, in John Maddox Roberts' Stormlands series, who seems to be somewhat based off of Genghis Khan. He thinks everyone except him and his wife needs to be owned and thinks he and his wife are the ones for the job.
  • The Book of Lord Shang explicitly states that it is better for a country to be run by evil men, because they will follow the law to the letter, while good men will be willing to overlook minor offenses if the perpetrator had a good reason.
  • Many of the villains in Dean Koontz's novels act in a Lawful Evil manner. Helios from his Frankenstein Trilogy wants a perfectly ordered world run with the efficiency of a beehive and wants to replace humanity with a new race that will do just that. The villain in Midnight also works towards this, even though he only wants it to be his playground to fulfill his perverted and sadistic desires. The villains in Nightchills come up with an effective method of mind control through Subliminal Advertising and seek to make the world perfectly ordered, but their agent quickly succumbs to Power Perversion Potential when testing its effects on a small town. The government assassin in Dark Rivers of the Heart wants a world where everything is moderate and no one is ugly and is eager to kill those that seem too imperfect to live. The Conspiracy in Door To December wanted to rule the world and were willing to perform cruel psychic experiments on a little girl to give them the perfect spy. The cult in Servants of Twilight were Well Intentioned Extremists and Knight Templars and worked methodically to kill what they thought was The Antichrist. Even the sadistic and arbitrary serial killer in Intensity always keeps his word, has a well-ordered and scrubbed clean house, and paid for his purchases made at a gas-station after killing the attendant... because he is a killer, not a thief.
  • Pick a slave narrative — from lecherous Dr. Flint in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl to sadistic Simon Legree in Uncle Tom's Cabin, the slaveholder will be the first to insist another human being is "their property" to rape, torture and murder as they please because it's the law.
  • The Vord Queen from Codex Alera is a rare Lawful Evil Omnicidal Maniac. She wants to wipe out all life that isn't Vord, but this is out of a compulsion innate to her species (she even calls it "the Purpose") rather than genuine malice, and as a being of pure (if twisted) logic, she's incredibly organized and structured in going about it.
  • Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men is a brutal and ruthless killer with a strict code of honor when it comes to fulfilling promises and honoring agreements, i.e. Carla Jean's murder and recovering the botched drug deal money.
  • A large number of villains in The Wheel of Time. The darkfriend organization as a whole is actually surprisingly ordered, which is perhaps ironic considering the nature of the Dark One (who wants to destroy reality), and many of the darkfriends we meet seem to be LE. Of the Forsaken, Demandred, Sammael, Rahvin, Mesaana, and perhaps Be'lal exhibit clear signs of a lawful inclination. Of the non-shadow villains, Elaida evolves from Lawful Neutral to this as the series goes on. Others include several of the Whitecloaks, particularly Asunawa and Eamon Valda (and maybe Niall, depending on how you view his Well-Intentioned Extremist status), and a few of the Shaido. Therava is definitely LE, and Sevanna may be as well. And good chunks of the nobility of Tear and Cairhien.
  • The Thrawn Trilogy's titular character is absolutely loyal to the Empire, strongly aristocratic and cultured, pragmatic and unwilling to treat his men as disposable, and a coldhearted, unapologetic Manipulative Bastard. The fact that despite this he's vastly less evil than most other Imperials in the Star Wars Expanded Universe says a lot about how black-and-white most of it is.
    • Thrawn's second-in-command, Pellaeon, starts as this, hating the "Rebellion" fiercely and watching in awe as Thrawn artfully dismantles it. He evolves, through Thrawn's more positive influences and a sense of pragmatism as the New Republic keeps pushing the Empire back, into Lawful Neutral, even Lawful Good by the Hand of Thrawn duology.
    • Darth Bane, who appears in the Darth Bane trilogy and various graphic novels, most notably Jedi vs. Sith mentions several times that if a death "serves no purpose", it is pointless and foolish to cause. Bane would never go out of his way to cause unnecessary chaos, and scorns those who would do so for the sake of their own amusement or ego. However, though he has no respect or obligation to serve any law, he does have an affinity for the Sith Code, saying that its words completely changed his perspective. A few examples of his Lawful Evil personality show when he slaughters a small family so that he may survive. In the scene, he is dying of a poisoning, and so he uses what little strength he has to first kill the children in front of the father, dragging out his torment, before finally killing him as well. In this manner, he 'feeds' off their fear as if it were sustenance, all the while justifying it by saying that they were weak, and that they were destined to serve him by dying. Had he not been dying, he wouldn't have looked at them twice. A chapter or two later, Bane meets the True Neutral healer Caleb (who refuses to help either light or dark), and manages to blackmail him into fully healing him, remarking afterwards that "his death would serve no purpose", and so lets him live.
    • The Yuuzhan Vong, mixed with a bit of Blue-and-Orange Morality. They have a strict hierarchy for their whole society, not just their Warrior Caste, and while Asskicking Leads to Leadership they don't really subscribe to the concept of Klingon Promotion. Their secondary hat, after being Scary Dogmatic Aliens, is being a Manipulative Bastard, winning their early conflicts with the New Republic as much through guile and misdirection as force of arms. And everything they do is for the glory of the Yuuzhan Vong, their gods, and the Supreme Overlord.
  • General Woundwort from Watership Down is a classic Lawful Evil villain. He truly believes his tyranny is what's best for rabbit-kind, and only kills those who actively resist him.
  • According to the Doctor Who Missing Adventures novel The Dark Path, the Master started his villainous career with this alignment. After experiencing a disastrous series of tragic events, he resolves to bring his own order to the universe at the expense of free will and becoming its Master. Whether he shifted to Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil by the time of the TV series is a matter of debate among fans.
  • The Demon Headmaster is another textbook example, wanting a stable and well-ordered society, whatever the cost in terms of human life. The heroes are aware that he wouldn't bother trying to take over Britain / the world unless he actually believed his own rhetoric — otherwise, his powers could give him a cushy life with far less effort.
  • The entire capitol in The Hunger Games is this, right down to the way they resort to forcing a bunch of kids and teenagers to slaughter each other on live television just to maintain their grip on the country of Panem.
  • Redeemer Bosco from The Left Hand of God trilogy, the hated mentor of the protagonist Thomas Cale. He appears at first as a tyrannical and abusive disciplinarian as the Redeemers are prone to being to their novices, though he's not arbitrarily so (except sometimes when he sees a rational reason to be "arbitrary"). This in itself would likely qualify him, but later his motives are revealed to be more complex: he's only cruel when it serves a purpose, and he's grooming Cale for the role of Angel of Death, the embodiment of God's wrath, who will wipe out humanity for its intolerable sins. As such, he's an Omnicidal Maniac who abuses children, tortures, kills and massacres, and despises humanity, but he's also rational given his insane aims, and sees them as being grounded in justice and duty.
  • A Christmas Carol: Ebenezer Scrooge, before his redemption, cares only about the pursuit of money, has nothing but contempt for the poor, and doesn't care who gets screwed over in his business dealings. However, he has no interest in cheating or violating the letter of the law, and is grudgingly acknowledged as being fundamentally honest.
  • in Gulliver's Travels, the Houyhnhnms are this, as despite seemingly being Always Lawful Good they seem to regard all other races as inferior, and while most of their cruelty is directed towards the Yahoos, they also look down on humans. Even worse, after spending enough time among them Gulliver himself starts to hate other humans and regard them as no better than the Yahoos.
  • Setheris Nelar, the protagonist's abusive guardian in The Goblin Emperor. The Lawful seems to be a matter of principle with him, the Evil is temperament aggravated by circumstance. Setheris was a mean-spirited, tyrannical, racist Resentful Guardian who made Maia's life miserable when they were trapped together. But Setheris has enough respect for law, hierarchy, and proper procedure that once Maia becomes emperor Setheris gives him his full political loyalty, despite their long history of mutual dislike.
    "And I believe in the law. And I believe 'you' believe in the law." ... "I am many things, Serenity, but I am not a traitor."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Oz gives us Vern "I never broke a law I didn't have to" Schillinger, who seems perfectly at home in prison as the Aryan Brotherhood's leader. In case you forgot "Lawful" and "Good" are two completely different things.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
  • Cardassian society from Star Trek, with its heavy undertones of Fascism, is a good example of a strongly Lawful Evil state. Which is probably why they were able to align with the Founders, who are so obsessed with creating "perfect order" that they have bred an unstoppable army of fanatical Jem'Hadar soldiers to conquer everything and rule it with an iron fist.
  • The Dominion, ruled by the Founders, is a theocratic oligarchy dedicated to two things above all: order and control. If the Founders don't rule it, they'll conquer it. If it's too strong to be easily conquered, they'll use their abilities to cause it to dissolve into chaos, then conquer it. Their code of law for use among themselves is in many ways quite strict: at one point Odo is forced to reach their homeworld and have his shapeshifting stripped away because their law states that changelings shall never kill each other, even though Odo has no way of actually knowing their law.
  • This is the Ferengi ideal. Ferengi idolise personal gain and wealth, to the point where failing to turn a profit can earn you a stay in Hell, but are supposed to abide strongly by the will of the Nagus, the admittedly loose dictates of the Rules of Acquisition, and the terms of any contract they sign with another Ferengi. Among Ferengi, Brunt is the most malevolent: he repeatedly goes out of his way to use the power and authority granted by his rank to make Quark's life miserable.
  • Criminal Minds usually shows Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil unsubs, but a few fall into this category:
    • Karl Arnold, "The Fox", is a Family Annihilator, a serial mass-murderer of families, with deranged power fantasies and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. A child psychologist, his wife and children left him due to him being a Control Freak, and he turned his rage on the families who came to him for help, taking detailed notes of their routines, invading their homes at vulnerable hours and taking them all hostage for days and forcing them to treat him as the head of the household, then murder them all one by one- saving the husband / father for last to show him he was "weak" for letting this happen to his family; in a later episode it's also revealed that he raped the daughters as well.
    • Charles Holcombe is a "House Cleaner" — he targets the homeless in order to "clean up" the streets of his city, and he proves to be so successful that the officer assigned to the district he operates in gets the credit for crimes and homeless rates going down, something that irritates Holcombe. A wealthy but extremely narcissistic loner and Control Freak, he bullies a dim-witted accomplice into kidnapping unsuspecting victims and taking them to an abandoned meat factory he owns that he has converted into a house of death traps, promising them they can live if they survive to the end, then killing them anyway if they make it.
    • Vincent Rowlings, who follows a very strict pattern due to being Obsessively Organized, but also turns out to be Affably Evil and deeply caring for the blind son of one of his victims.
    • Tivon Askari, a Torture Technician who served as J.J.s Arch-Enemy and ended up torturing her for information. He formerly assisted the United States in Iraq as a "specialist" but turned out to be corrupt and in league with an American marine who was more of a Neutral Evil money-grubbing traitor. What makes him more Lawful is that the profile the team devises for him states that torturers like him like to see themselves as a Punch-Clock Villain and develop rituals, routines and moralistic excuses to dissociate themselves from the horrible pain they inflict on others, which is indeed shown to be the case.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Cybermen are pure Lawful Evil, with the delusion that their society is perfect and that they are therefore justified in doing anything to survive, but obliged to forcibly "welcome" others into it, where possible.
    • The Daleks are an example of an entire race of Lawful Evil Omnicidal Maniacs. Culturally and genetically bred to be super-intelligent, these cybernetic mutants live in pressurised pepper pot tanks out of a paranoid fear of contamination from other forms of life, deciding the only long-term solution is Extermination for everything non-Dalek. They operate in a highly rigid command structure and are loyal-unto-death to the cause of Dalek racial purity, are absolutely obedient to their superiors so long as neither deviates from this cause, and in spite of their extraordinary intellects they utterly lack imagination and are largely incapable of thinking for themselves unless some sort of outside influence rewrites their social or biological programming. Nonetheless, they are also ruthlessly efficient and over the course of the series grow from a closed-off Fascist society on a barren world to THE dominant threat to all life in the entire multiverse, such is their single minded fanatical determination.
    • Time Lords too, post-"Trial of a Time Lord". They started off Neutral enough (probably Lawful Neutral or True Neutral, in the not-giving-a-shit sense) but get darker as Who progresses. By the end of the Tenth Doctor's time, they're full-blown Lawful Evil. One of the Founders of Time Lord Society and the First President Rassilon, is implied to have been this despite being portrayed as a great hero in the official version of history. It could be argued the Time Lords finally tipping into Lawful Evil could be due to his return during the Time War. However, it's not entirely clear if Rassilon was Evil All Along or fell to He Who Fights Monsters during the Time War (in TV continuity, that is, many Doctor Who Expanded Universe works tend much more heavily to the Evil All Along interpretation). As the leader of Time Lord society during that era, it's hard to imagine anyone having spent more time staring into the abyss.
    • The Valeyard, either an evil future version of the Doctor or an Enemy Without of the Doctor created in an unknown future incident, seems to have started out like this (trying to railroad the Doctor to the gallows in "The Trial of a Time Lord," he hopes to gain the Doctor's remaining regenerations, but seems to believe everything he's saying about the Doctor is true.) However Big Finish Unbound shows that if he had won he would have become Chaotic Evil.
    • The Dominators. Their hat is subjugating and enslaving other races out of racism and the desire for their own glorification, but they will follow very strict and rather bureaucratic protocol in order to achieve this, such as obsessively studying natives' physical and intelligence levels before sending them to toil in the mines. Toba, who doesn't care about protocol and just wants to blow everything up, is considered by Rago to be a contemptible moral deviant.
  • The Wire provides textbook examples of two different variations on this alignment in Stringer Bell and Maurice Levy. Bell is a ruthless drug kingpin who will have anyone and everyone who gets in his way killed in cold blood, but he's also a methodical and calculating planner who believes that order, loyalty, and iron-fisted discipline are the keys to running a successful drug operation. Levy is a money-grubbing Amoral Attorney who does everything he can to help his criminal clients exploit flaws in the legal system, all the while carefully avoiding actually breaking the law himself as he does so.
    • Omar Little. Robs drug dealers, kills without compunction — but never raised his weapon on anyone who wasn't in the game. He wholeheartedly believes that "A man must have a code." He sees himself as morally equivalent to Maurice Levy, and it's hard to argue against him. In his own words (while being cross-examined by Levy during the trial of Barksdale enforcer Marquis "Bird" Hilton for the murder of state's witness William Gant):
      Levy: You are amoral, are you not? You are feeding off the violence and despair of the drug trade. You are stealing from those who are themselves stealing the life blood from our city. You are a parasite who leeches off the culture of drugs...
      Omar: Just like you, man.
      Levy: Excuse me? What?
      Omar: I got the shotgun. You got the briefcase. It's all in the game though, right?
  • Malcolm Tucker of The Thick of It and In the Loop is an amoral, backstabbing, manipulative, angry, and verbally abusive human being, but everything he does is for the direct benefit of the Party, to which he is loyal above all.
  • Esteban of Weeds. Charming, charismatic, handsome, the mayor of Tijuana, and a drug kingpin. He's almost always polite, but when he shows his dark side, it's downright scary.
  • Evil Chancellor and Magnificent Bastard Francis Urquhart MP from House of Cards (UK), who manipulates party politics to his advantage while keeping very close to the letter of the law.
  • The eponymous Villain Protagonist of Dexter qualifies for Lawful Evil by his strict adherence to "The Code." He only targets other serial killers (and occasionally rapists), but he's not Lawful Neutral because his motivation is not based on justice, but rather satisfying his bloodlust in such a way as to avoid getting caught (i. e., by preying on people society doesn't care about).
  • Prince of Fire from Lexx. Despite being something of an Affably Evil, manipulative, Magnificent Bastard, he never reneges on a deal and rarely lies outright.
    Prince: I may be bad, but I always stick to my deals, and I very rarely ever lie. It's much more fun to tell the truth!
    • His Divine Shadow probably lies somewhere between here and Neutral Evil; though he does seem to stand on ceremony and rely on an ordered society (with some of the squickiest correctional department ever seen on TV) it all seems mostly in place to flatter his own ego. More specifically, HDS is neutral evil wearing the hat of lawful evil as part of a thousands-of-years-long Gambit Roulette. He's the last survivor of the Insect Empire, passing his consciousness through various human avatars. He's developed not only a galaxy-spanning empire (the League of 10,000 planets) but a religion dedicated to worshipping him. His first goal was to wipe out any significant threats, such as the Brunan'G. His second goal was to eventually use this empire/religion to gather enough "organic material" to allow his Insect body to regenerate; this was accomplished in the Great Purge, which wiped out 99% of human life in the *universe*. The only ones spared were those so on the fringes of society that they either skimmed beneath the radar or were already on the run.
  • Uther Pendragon from Merlin (2008) fits either here or in Lawful Neutral. He has outlawed magic in Camelot, which the use of or vague association with is punishable by death without trial. Magic-users include the main character and his ward. However, he does have some good intentions, justifying the law as magic apparently "tore this kingdom apart" years ago, and he does have genuine love for his son and ward.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The Mayor fits this trope. A charming, family values man who genuinely loves Faith, but a man who sold his soul 100 years ago and is willing to do anything to ascend to being a demon, including corruption, assassination, and devouring a town. At one point Giles stabs him through the heart, and he is pissed-not because Giles attacked him (he was invincible at the time, so it didn't hurt him), but because he was genuinely shocked that Giles would be so violent in front of a group of teenagers. The very same teenagers he had threatened to kill and eat a minute earlier.
    • Vengeance demons have to abide by certain codes of conduct when wreaking vengeance. Most of them also tend to wreak vengeance only on a particular type of victim-Halfrek seeks out abusive or neglectful parents, Anya exclusively targeted men who cheated on their wives/girlfriends, etc.
  • Manipulative Bastard Adam Monroe of Heroes wants to poison most of the world's population to save and eventually rebuild it.
  • Lucas Buck from American Gothic (1995) uses his position as Sheriff of Trinity to commit evil; using the law as your primary weapon is a characteristic trait of Lawful Evil. Add to the fact that he engages in carefully-worded agreements with most of the town's inhabitants in order to corrupt and control them places Buck squarely in this territory. He might tempt others to turn to evil, but ultimately he lets them be responsible for their failings.
  • Scorpius from Farscape: refined, educated, dedicated to the goal of saving the Peacekeepers from destruction at the hands of the Scarran Imperium and is willing to do anything, including stalking and torturing protagonist John Crichton for the Wormhole technology that he thinks will safeguard his race.
    • The Peacekeepers in general, actually — they are a highly-regimented mercenary force who are generally very eager to force the rest of the galaxy to follow their rules (and incredibly unforgiving if they don't). Somewhat understandable when faced with a more powerful Chaotic Evil enemy like the Scarrans, other times...less so.
      • Even the Scarrans are made out to be Lawful Evil in the Expanded Universe of the Farscape RPG with a strong sense of loyalty to family and one's superior. Their brutal conquest and destruction of other species is more of a survival imperative bred into them when they evolved on a resource-poor world rather than true malice, and is seen as necessary if their species is to survive and prosper. During a peace negotiation, it is the Scarrans that plead to the Peacekeepers not to use violence.
  • The Galactic Federation from Blake's 7 largely fit this, to the point that some of their officers are basically Punch-Clock Villains, and some of their supporters like Kayn oppose Blake because they see him as a threat to order. While Servalan, whose actions are often for personal gain, is more Neutral Evil, the initial portrayal of Travis, who is totally dedicated to the Federation, definitely qualifies, at least until the rest of the Federation decide that the brutality he commits on their behalf is a bit too brutal and he ends up on the run with a death sentence hanging over him.
  • The Sons of Anarchy, due to their name and their status as an outlaw biker gang initially appear Chaotic Evil or Chaotic Neutral, but in fact they are extremely Lawful, it's just that the laws they follow are the club rules, which are almost diametrically opposed to the laws of mainstream society, and which they rigidly follow and lethally enforce.
  • Sterling from Leverage fits this trope. An insurance investigator, he's technically on the side of the law. He catches criminals and keeps his company from paying out bogus claims. However, he's an absolute Magnificent Bastard and has Chessmaster skills comparable to Nate's that he uses to not only keep ordinary good people from getting the money they deserve but has consistently tried to have Nate and his team killed or sent to jail, taunting them all the while. One episode even has him stating the following:
  • Power Rangers:
  • Ecliptor from Power Rangers in Space is very much this. He's evil, and wants to destroy the Power Rangers. However, he has his limits, and is extremely loyal to Astronema, who he has raised from childhood.
  • Lost Galaxy was notable for having villains like this. Examples are:
    • Treacheron, who is basically an alien samurai whose only motivation is his loyalty to his master Scorpius. He died at the Rangers' hands trying to prove said loyalty, after he was framed by Scorpius' daughter Trakeena.
    • Villamax. He saved Trakeena from a band of thugs, trained her to be a badass warrior princess and wanted to help her avenge her father's death at the hands of the rangers. He also keeps his word during bargains, even when not doing so would be more advantageous. Another unique thing about Villamax is that he does not want to involve innocent people in his battles. He even disobeyed Trakeena when she ordered him to fire at defenseless civilians.
    • One episode had Maya facing Loyax, an old warrior who used to fight on the side of good, but pulled a Face–Heel Turn since he felt this battle was futile. As he felt his old age catching up to him, he wanted to have one last battle against a worthy foe; the Rangers. He ultimately lost, but Maya respected her fallen enemy by marking his gravesite with his sword, resembling a tombstone.
  • Then there's Power Rangers Light Speed Rescue, whose villains waited patiently for their leader, and raised her baby. It turns out that their leader wasn't nearly as loyal to them, though, and you end up pitying even the most evil of them, and cheering the Heel–Face Turn of the character who was first introduced as the Dragon-in-Chief!
  • Power Rangers Wild Force has a similar setup. Co-Dragons Toxica and Jindrax are fighting the Rangers and trying to destroy humans, but their goal is having their own species thrive, and since Orgs rise from pollution, they feel that their very existence proves Humans Are the Real Monsters and don't deserve the planet anyway. Every Org has Undying Loyalty to any higher-ranked Org, and all serve the dream of an Org world. Instead of being Card Carrying Villains like most PR baddies, they are simply following a definition of "good" that is harmful to humans. (As with Lightspeed, though, the two Big Bad figures were purely motivated by selfish gain or revenge, treated their followers like less than dirt, and eventually, Toxica and Jindrax help the Rangers so they can be free, and say Screw This, I'm Outta Here before the final act.)

  • Doctor Wily from the Mega Man Rock Opera Father of Death by The Protomen. Ever wonder how a conversation about to improve society would go if a Lawful Good and Lawful Evil character were the ones talking? Just listen to "The Good Doctor": Doctor Light talks about how the robots they will make will improve the lives of the poor miners, while Doctor Wily talks about how the robots will deliver him the power he thinks that he has earned. Both want the same thing for society, but for the opposite reasons.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In the Dilbert strips, Catbert is the evil director of human resources who helps make the lives of Dilbert and his co-workers miserable by creating ethically questionable policies, never providing useful help, and downsizing workers.
  • Ming the Merciless, ruler of Mongo in Flash Gordon.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Evil ECW referee/member of the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission Bill Alfonso is an invoked Type 1. His whole act, from his debut at ECW Enter Sandman, May 13th, 1995, until he became the heel-turned Taz's manager at November to Remember, was about angering the fans by enforcing the rules in a promotion that generally avoided them.

  • Satan in Old Harry's Game his demons to a certain standard of evilness. He's very cruel towards those who aren't evil enough, but has absolutely no tolerance for those who are too evil for his liking. He's also got a few personal rules that he follows at all times; contrary to popular belief, he doesn't possess people (albeit not so much on moral grounds as that he simply considers it a bit Squicky), nor does he ever directly kill people. However, he's quick to remind anyone who would doubt his evilness because of this that while he may be more affable than most would expect, he is still the Devil, and he has no qualms about torturing people or convincing people to kill each other.

    Religion & Mythology 
  • Satan is often portrayed as this, especially when dealing with contracts. There are many popular embodiments of this trope, especially with those referencing The Devil and Daniel Webster. This has much to do with works like The Divine Comedy, but it is one of the few things about Satan that popular culture gets right. Those who study The Bible will note that Satan may have started in this alignment (basically wanting to be openly worshipped while God was more the invisible creator), but after becoming a fallen angel, his desire is to be Chaotic Evil. However, he is forced to remain Lawful because God forces it on him. Still, Satan's goal is to twist or pervert nearly everything God has created, and he tries to sow chaos whenever possible. So, to simplify, he's forced to be Lawful Evil, but wants to be Chaotic Evil.
  • Dullahans from Celtic Mythology are spirits that are better known for removing their heads, with perhaps the most famous example being The Headless Horseman. They are tasked to collect the souls of the dead/dying. It is impossible to delay them this job, and spying on them may gain you a harsh punishment, from having blood poured on you to getting your own eyes lashed out. In other words, don't get in their way.
  • Across Alpine European folklore, Krampus fulfills this role during the holiday season. Yes, he is a horrid, black-furred, long-tongued cloven-hooves demon that terrorizes the populace, but he has a system that he upholds. To nice children, he gives them modest gifts like dried fruit and chocolate; to the naughty ones, he whips them with birch rods and sometimes takes them away in a sack on his back. Despite being an openly malevolent creature, he is an enforcer of a system rather than an exception to it.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer:
    • The Dark Elves have a strict, law-bound society which is evil to the boot in order to keep their decadent lifestyle in check. The Cult of Khaine that includes the Ax-Crazy Witch Elves leans more to Chaotic Evil however.
    • While many of them have different motivations setting them apart from each other, the Vampire Counts usually tend to lean in this direction too, especially as a larger force. They fight Chaos, but they are also bent on conquering the Empire and turning all of its living citizens into undead minions not only to deny Chaos new worshippers, but also to create a new order without any fear of resistance. Vlad von Carstein himself is a prime example of this, and he even came frighteningly close to achieving said goal too.
    • The Tomb Kings. They are very content with staying in their deserts in Nehekara, but will send their skeletal legions to attack anyone who dares steals their treasure. They wage war with the dwarfs over a single coin, and will lay siege on the Empire's capital to recover their magical artifacts locked in the wizards' vaults.
    • Nagash the Undying definitely fits this alignment. He wants to turn every single living being in the world into undead creatures just so they can act as an extension of his power and rationalizes by saying that the dead do not squabble among themselves and a world made up only of them would be at peace under him. He also loathes the Chaos Gods almost as much as he despises Sigmar, and he actively plots to destroy them. Seems like the Undead's affinity for being Lawful Evil is derived from Nagash.
    • While most Orcs and Goblins are firmly Chaotic Evil, the Black Orcs lean more towards this alignment. They take fighting much more seriously than other Orcs do, and look down on the aimless squabbling of other Orcs — in their minds, they should be focused on bringing down the enemies of their kind and ensuring Orcish dominion over the world, and the constant in-fighting other Orcs love is a pointless waste of time and energy. This is reflected in their battlefield behavior, too — unlike other Orcs, who charge into battle in screaming hordes, Black Orcs fight silently and impassably, advancing in locked ranks and battling with discipline and trained skill, and forgo the usual post-battle games and brawls in favor of methodical drills and weapon maintenance.
    • In spite of their name, the Chaos Dwarfs fit this alignment quite well as a result of being a corrupt and tyrannical offshoot of the staunchly Lawful Neutral to Lawful Good Dwarfs, and embody tradition curdled into dogmatism and rule of law turned oppressive and tyrannical. They live in a monolithic, strictly hierarchical society dominated by a strict theocracy and military government, every aspect of which is driven by the toil of legions of slaves, strictly overseen by cruel taskmasters and dedicated to fueling their empire's immense war machine. There is no room in Chaos Dwarf society of freedom, creativity or self-expression — not that they would want any such thing to begin with — only work in the forges and service in the legions and the temples.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Imperium of Man, Craftworld Eldar, Tau Empire, and Necrons all lean towards this end to varying degrees — the first three vary between Lawful Evil and Lawful Neutral, while the last are so enigmatic that no one's sure where they fall, but Lawful Evil seems to fit them the most.
    • Tzeentch and his servants are often mistaken for this by virtue of their scheming, cunning and seemingly methodical nature. They're always manipulating and working towards some end. Unfortunately there are no ends, just manipulation and scheming for its own sake. Hence Chaos. Considering Tzeentch's reason for existing is to be a Magnificent Bastard and carry out insanely complicated plans for their own sake, one could argue he falls under Blue-and-Orange Morality. Perhaps best exemplified in the relationship between Tzeentch and his Greater Daemons, the Lords of Change. In both Warhammer and 40k lore, daemons are actually merely aspects of their parent Chaos god, and especially the Greater Daemons are -more or less- lesser avatars of the gods. The Lords of Change, thus being aspects of Tzeentch, have access to his/its knowledge and powers of precognition. It is stated in the fluff that Lords of Change can only be defeated if it's part of Tzeentch's plan, because in this instance he tricks his own daemon to further some ends. Considering the aforementioned relationship between the Chaos Gods and their Greater Daemons, this means that Tzeentch is not merely purposefully sacrificing his own chess pieces, but that he effectively does it in a game against himself. Chaos exemplified.
    • The Chaos Marines known as the Word Bearers are more organized than the other Chaos space marines by devoting themselves to all four Chaos powers at once. They are chaos and evil that is restrained by religious devotion and military discipline. They are all willing to die for the greater glory of Chaos, and are the only Traitor Legion still acting as a mostly-unified force, although they still have internal frictions.
    • Also the Red Corsairs. Like the Word Bearers, they are devoted to all four Chaos powers, and are thoroughly corrupted, but they still operate like a Space Marine chapter, with organized battle-companies and internal departments like a Librarium and Apothecarion.
    • The Iron Warriors mostly default to this. While they're Chaos Marines, the actual Chaos thing isn't relevant to them — they fight the Imperium out of a deep-seated bitterness and resentment, not any particular loyalty to the Dark Gods (indeed, there's a subtle disdain for the Dark Gods within much of the Legion, because as Chaotic influences the favours of the Gods are too unreliable). With a coldly methodical worldview, a blunt disregard for anything other than results, a callous indifference to the lives of their slaves, cultists, allies and even fellow Iron Warriors, a strict hierarchy within warbands and a tendency to turn any Daemon World they claim into a coldly authoritarian nightmare of rusted metal, Industrialized Evil and slaves who are little more than cogs in the hellish machinery, the Iron Warriors are as Lawful as any Chaos Legion can be. Indeed, if you were to strip away the Imperium's actual goals and left only its day-to-day functioning, what you'd have would be a lot like the Iron Warriors.
    • The Space Marine chapter the Marines Malevolence. They are loyal to the Imperium, but have low views on civilians, or anyone other than themselves for that matter. For them they will complete their mission at all costs, even if it means killing thousands of civilians in the crossfire.
    • From Horus Heresy, Horus Lupercal and Konrad Curze. The former initially wants to save the Imperium from a bad future where the Emperor is worshipped as a god, but is corrupted to the point where his main goal is to take over the Imperium for himself. The latter has a strong sense of justice and genuinely wants to create an ordered society, but said society would be created by brutally destroying all criminals.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Hobgoblins are just as brutal as orcs, but have a regimented society and cooperative spirit that makes them doubly dangerous.
    • Kobolds, vicious, sadistic little bastards as they are, are also highly organized and cooperative, each doing his part for the benefit of the entire tribe, up to and including dying for it — at least if he cannot make some other unlucky kobold die in his stead.
    • The Devils are the archetypal Lawful Evil creatures (as opposed to the Chaotic Evil Demons). They have a strict hierarchy, and seek to conquer rather than destroy the multiverse. They are extremely organized but utterly ruthless. In 4th edition, Asmodeus, the lord of all devils was actually made into the god of Tyranny. Somewhat paradoxically, he isn't Lawful Evil, as 4th removed that piece of the alignment table.
    • Some chromatic dragons default to Lawful Evil, like green dragons. They fall into the category of "Evil over Lawful", since these kinds of dragons will quite often be just as dangerous as the Always Chaotic Evil red dragons. The difference is that green dragons will often honor their word, have some sort of line they won't cross, or can be talked out of doing something evil if they can be convinced that it's not worth the trouble for them. A specific example of this attitude is the "Divine Contention" campaign, where the green dragon Claugiyliamatar (aka "Old Gnawbone", for ease on the tongue) is a threat to the town of Leilon, but can be convinced not to attack the town if she's given what she wants. She later gets possessed by the Chaotic Evil spirit of the black dragon Chardansearavitriol the Ebondeath. After freeing Claugiyliamatar from Ebondeath's spirit by exorcising him, one of the ways to convince Claugiyliamatar to leave the town without fighting any further is that the player(s) saved her life, so she owes them a debt.
    • Evil Monks of 3rd and 3.5 Edition, since Monks have to be Lawful, representing their dedication to their training and unique fighting style.
    • The Forgotten Realms setting has Bane, the god of tyranny and strife who wants to subjugate the mortal world under his black fisted rule.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Asmodeus is the God of Tyranny, ruling over the Orwellian dictatorship of Hell and seeking to bring all of creation under his strict, unyielding order and stricture. In his view, mortal free will was a mistake that should never have been part of creation to begin with.
    • The Hellknights are an organization dedicated to enforcing law and order at any costs, modeling themselves after the hierarchy of Hell and willing to use torture and mass executions to achieve their goals.
    • Zon-Kuthon, the god of darkness, envy, pain, and loss. With a strictly regimented church based around the initiate's ability to survive torture, Zon-Kuthon is an even more twisted version of this trope than Asmodeus.
  • Magic: The Gathering has several examples:
    • The highly organized and deadly plane of Phyrexia and its lord Yawgmoth.
    • White and Blue villains tend to fall into this. The white Praetor Elesh Norn of New Phyrexia is a fairly extreme example. She runs a Religion of Evil that tortures people into the faith in the name of order and structure. Some offshoots of the religion actually believe that the only way to achieve true order is to physically become one by stitching people together. Jin-Gitaxias, the blue Praetor, is a Well-Intentioned Extremist whose faction conducts endless painful experimentations to achieve the dream of the Great Synthesis with scientific rigor and efficiency.
    • After being completed by the Preators, Atraxa now fulfills the role of Mouth of Sauron for New Phyrexia.
    • The Orzhov Syndicate in Ravnica combines white's methods (law and order) with black's motivations (power and greed), resulting in a protection racket that masks itself as a church.
    • Heliod, God of the Sun from Theros, is an interesting example of a mono-White villain. After the mad planeswalker Xenagos manages to become a god and upset the natural order Heliod wants him dead. But the gods are forbidden from killing each other so he gives Elspeth, his champion, a weapon capable of killing gods and tells her to do it. However the moment she reports her success Heliod murders her. Why? Because a mortal killing a god also goes against the natural order.
    • The White-aligned faction of New Capenna, the Brokers, are lawyers specialised in demonic contracts. To make matters worse they can erase the memories of said contract, so when they need it they can raise armies worth of sleeper agents coerced to act against their will. Their leader, Falco Spara, believes this is an acceptable means of keeping the city from falling apart, though the fact that he's not above killing his employees for failure makes it very clear he's heavy on the "evil" side of the equation.
  • Exalted: Cecylene and She Who Lives In Her Name, two of the Yozis, although for different reasons. Cecylene is Lawful Evil because she is a Social Darwinist who believes the strong have both a right and a duty to rule the weak. She Who Lives In Her Name, on the other hand, just hates individuality and free will with a passion.
  • Rifts: The Coalition States are made out to be this: totalitarian, militaristic, and expansionist; strange as they have a Chaotic Evil emperor. The magical nation of Tolkeen became this alignment during their war with the coalition states, becoming their reflection and turning a blind eye to all the evil magic they embraced in order to fight the war.
    • The equivalent alignment in Palladium's alignment chart is "Aberrant". Aberrant characters have a goal, and they set rules for themselves. Absolutely anything that isn't covered by those rules is free game to commit, especially if it moves them closer to the goal. They will gladly kill people... but there's always a reason for it. They will carry out Cold-Blooded Torture... if it will advance their plans. In neither case will they do so for its own sake. And they absolutely despise the other "Evil" alignments (Miscreant and Diabolic).
  • Old World of Darkness:
    • The medieval Tzimisce and the few traditional or "Old Clan" Tzimisce elders in modern times are this. They are utterly cruel and merciless, and adhere to a highly alien philosophical system. At the same time, they are highly cultivated and intellectual, courteous in the extreme to other Cainites (sometimes even to their mortal victims, although then it's probably more a form of elaborate cruelty) and bound by their own odd, but existent brand of an honour system. They are fully capable of lying, but never of betraying their word. And Tzimisce hospitality laws ensure that, if another Cainite, even from an enemy clan, is given guest-right in their domain, he/she is perfectly safe from harm: the Tzimisce will treat him as being under their protection even if they're mortal enemies, simply because "tradition dictates so".
    • The Shabbat followers on the Path of Honorable Accord place honor and chivalry foremost and never go back on their word, unlike the rest of their Chaotic Evil brethren. Their chivalry does not mean that they are any nicer to humans, however.
    • The Camarilla, the organization of vampires that are presented as the "good guys" of the setting, follow a strict Obstructive Code of Conduct to ensure the survival of kindred everywhere, the most important of which is the titular Masquerade which the setting is based around, and are willing to go through almost any length to enforce it. While of course most vampires within the Camarilla are generally nicer than this, most elders of the sect are extremely manipulative, not caring much about the moral implications of these things, as long as they can enforce these golden rules that keep the kindred as a society alive in a world that would easily want them dead if they got found out.
  • New World of Darkness: The most notable Lawful Evil faction is probably the Seers of the Throne from Mage: The Awakening, who favour the Evil over Lawful path. Any given Seer is essentially out for himself, seeking personal gain at the expense of others in ostensible service to the Exarchs, and their main sub-factions are based on different ways to make the world more hierarchical, cruel and authoritarian, to keep the Sleepers quiet and themselves in power: some set up tyrannical or legalistic governments, while others use perpetual surveillance, religiously motivated bigotry and exclusion, corporate-backed corruption or perpetual conflict to keep people enslaved. Anyone in the NWOD who supports a worldview where a given social order trumps compassion and humanity is ultimately helping the Seers in their quest to keep humanity docile and unlikely to find enlightenment, be it the pastor who views gay people as not worthy of equitable treatment, the millionaire who cares more about keeping his taxes down than the social good his tax payments can do, the general who tacitly encourages war crimes in order to demoralise the enemy, the techbro working on a new algorithm to gather data his company can sell or the nationalist who views immigration as a threat to the purity of his nation. Mage: the Awakening is not a game that believes in "keeping politics out of it".
  • Iron Kingdoms has multiple Lawful Evil factions, although individual members can be respectable enough.
    • Khador. A ruthlessly expansionistic imperial power, Khador is ruthless enough that one unit, the Doom Reavers, are people chained to Orgoth fellblades and pointed at the enemy.
    • The Protectorate of Menoth. It's The Theocracy, wants to force all of humanity to kneel before Menoth, and has a particular line in Disproportionate Retribution — burglary can get you the rack, public drunkenness a session in the torture chamber, and improper speech, counterfeiting, and tax evasion are all punishable with death by burning. Their patron god, Menoth, is such a jackass that the Neutral Evil goddess of darkness, Thamar, is generally viewed more sympathetically.
    • The skorne. They have a ruthless honour code, the hoksune, pursue world domination, and run their entire empire on torture, slavery and pain. One warlock, Xerxis, glories in the title "Tyrant". Another is titled "Master Tormentor and Lord Assassin".

  • Antigone: Creon is a tyrant who rules Thebes with an iron fist and sees no problem with doling out the death penalty for minor crimes. However, he makes a point of keeping his word and won't go so far as to punish the outright innocent. In some ways, he is shown to be more willing to listen to reason than his Good Counterpart in Oedipus Rex.
  • The Crucible: Abigail Williams exploits Salem's religious fervour to cause literal witch hunts out of spite for being rejected.
  • Doctor Faustus: Mephistopheles, in contrast to Faustus himself, who personifies Chaotic Evil. Mephistopheles is blindly obedient to Lucifer, and fulfills his contract with Faustus fully to the letter and spirit. He even tries to talk Faust out of it, pointing out that if he, a demon, exists, then wouldn't it stand to reason that God also exists, and that Faust, by implication, would be making a horrible mistake by taking Mephistopheles up on his offer? Faust replies that that doesn't follow at all, since just because one part of a story turns out to be true, it doesn't prove that the whole story is true. Mephistopheles concedes the point.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Judge Turpin, who framed Sweeney and had him sent to a penal colony so he could rape Sweeney's wife and marry his daughter Johanna when she turned 16.
  • Urinetown: Mr. Cladwell's evil goals are mainly about keeping order through complete and utter control and imposing strict regulations.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney has Manfred Von Karma and Damon Gant, both of whom used every tactic from deception to murder to gain and maintain control of the legal system. Shelley De Killer is a different example of this: a ruthless assassin who takes his contracts very seriously and is a man of his word. In De Killer's case, if you ever hire him, don't betray his trust.
    • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney has Kristoph Gavin, although his concern for the law seems to be unconnected to his penchant for Disproportionate Retribution. In fact, his Villainous Breakdown is best summed up as a rant about the potential inefficiency of the recently reimplanted Jurist System.
  • Greyfield, from Advance Wars: Days of Ruin maintains control of his army through threats and manipulation.
  • Caustic from Apex Legends is a Mad Scientist obsessed with his gaseous experiments and achieving "results". He's a cynical and antisocial Doctor, viewing everything with a sour, matter-of-fact disposition. That said, he's not above thanking those of use to him. But his ambitions come above all else, keep that in mind.
    • Ash can be ruthless, blunt and objectively driven to the point of being disdainful of any foolish behavior. She is very critical, and definitely not a character to be messed with.
  • The Templars from Assassin's Creed. They seek to bring peace and order to the world by completely removing the concept of free will, and as a whole they have no qualms about killing hundreds, thousands, even millions of people to achieve this goal. World War II was an entire Templar plot just to move a Piece of Eden from Point A to Point B, to give you an idea. The Assassins, on the other hands, seek to ensure free will among all killing anyone who would dare suppress it. Both have also allied with people traditionally cast as good guys and bad guys throughout history: for example, traditional villains Hitler and Stalin were Templars, but so were Churchill and FDR, while the Assassins hunted down John Wilkes Booth after he murdered Lincoln but were later allied to the likes of Vladimir Lenin and Mao Zedong.
    • One of the best examples was Haytham Kenway. He wasn't as overtly cruel, vile nor power-hungry as say the Borgia Family. In fact, for many fans he was very likable because he whole-heartedly believed in the Templar cause. Haytham was principled and gentlemanly, something Connor lacked entirely.
  • Baldur's Gate, which features the Dungeons & Dragons alignment system, has a few Lawful Evil characters. They include:
    • Edwin Odesseiron is a member of the Red Wizards of Thay specialising in Conjuration. Rude, mean-spirited and ridiculously smug about his admittedly powerful magic, Edwin aspires to Take Over the World once he's increased his own magical power and acquired a few magic items in the process. Nonetheless, he is a man of his word: he makes use of bargains and quid pro quo to get into the party (hiring you to help him with a quest in the first game, trading a MacGuffin for a spot in the sequel). For all his talk about inevitably betraying the party/killing them in their sleep, Edwin is actually one of the most loyal recruitable characters in the game.
    • Kagain in the first game is this. He's a dwarf fighter who runs a mercenary company and is pretty damn greedy, but otherwise people consider him one of the least villainous characters available to you, as he's not actively malevolent, has no deep-seated issues or mental instability and is happy to earn his gold through an honest day's work instead of resorting to banditry. Generally, the most villainous thing he does is act like a big grump.
    • Abazigal, a half-blue dragon antagonist from Throne of Bhaal. He doesn't get much chance to demonstrate it, but blue dragons are this in Dungeons & Dragons proper, so it makes sense.
  • BioShock: Andrew Ryan and Sofia Lamb are power-hungry monsters seeking to seize control of the underwater city of Rapture for themselves, adhering with a religious fanaticism to their ideology (Objectivism for Andrew Ryan, Collectivism for Sofia Lamb).
  • BlazBlue: This is the default Alignment of Jin Kisaragi, and most of the NOL members. They abide to their oppressive rules which earns the ire of many many citizens, though as Jin coined, they're doing it so "there's no misuse of Armagus".
    • Continuum Shift DOES have one character to exemplify a monstrous Lawful Evil: Relius Clover. He is responsible for various horrendous experiments, which may include the player character if he ever meets them in their bad ends, as well as casually turning his wife and daughter into an automaton, and cares really little for his son. However, he's highly respectful of authority and less chaos-loving than his ally Hazama. If you look at his hobbies, you see that he lives in an orderly manner, likes opera shows and what does he dislike? Unarranged book shelves.
  • The instruction booklet for Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin explicitly states that Death is Lawful Evil. Along with Death, we also have Carmilla, another loyal servant to Dracula.
  • City of Heroes: Lord Recluse is an Evil Overlord who rules his island nation with an iron first, but privately relishes a chance to get blood on his hands.
  • Hector from the Dept. Heaven series is on the border between this and Neutral Evil. He's at the top of Asgard and his ultimate desire was to rule over the world as a god.
  • Anna Navarre from Deus Ex is a classic example. She's very loyal to UNATCO and always obeys orders, but is elated whenever the orders involve killing people. She also has a distaste for agents like Paul Denton, who revile killing others.
  • Disgaea:
  • Loghain from Dragon Age: Origins used to be Lawful Neutral (and thinks he still is), doing "what has to be done" for the sake of the nation and his own sense of self sacrificing honour. By the time of the game, however, this has warped itself to Lawful Evil, as it has long since grown into resentment and malice towards those who he feels don't deserve their power (by virtue of not being him).
    • Meredith from the sequel. As Knight-Commander of Kirkwall's Templars, her duty is to protect the city's mages and keep them from practicing Blood Magic — but she only seems concerned with the second part. She steadily deprives her charges of their legal rights, executes attempted escapees as a "lesson" to others, and turns a blind eye to beatings, sexual assaults and repeated misuse of the Rite of Tranquility (the magical equivalent of lobotomy). For some unaccountable reason, mages start resorting to blood magic in droves under her rule.
  • Pokey from EarthBound (1994) is clearly Chaotic Evil during the game, but takes a turn towards Lawful Evil some time after Earthbound and before Mother 3, aiming more for enslaving everything rather than complete annihilation, while still maintaining his highly dickish personality.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Mannimarco, the leader of Order of the Black Worm and the First Lich of Tamriel. He sought domination and undeath through the power of Molag Bal. He succeeded.
    • Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of domination, does this as his career and his calling card; he's responsible for the creation of vampirism by dominating the hosts with his own blood.
    • Tiber Septim (Talos) can be considered as Lawful Evil as he had his Dunmer (Dark Elf) mistress abort his hybrid child, by force, to prevent him/her from challenging his legitimate children for the throne and waged war on various provinces, massacring thousands, to unite them under a single empire. However, the humans see him as Lawful Good.
    • The Dark Brotherhood is a group of amoral assassins, many of them are sadistic psychos that revel in murder and they will target anyone so long as the Night Mother commands it. They also follow five tenets: do not dishonor the Night Mother, do not betray the Brother, do not kill or steal from another member. To do so is to invoke the wrath of Sithis.
    • The Morag Tong and the Dark Brotherhood, the guilds of assassins. The Morag Tong has worked alongside the government of Morrowind to allow its members to murder with impunity, and the Dark Brotherhood is dependent on order and regulation of its members to preserve its secrecy.
  • The United Empire in Endless Space, a borderline Privately Owned Society that operates on a policy of cruel efficiency, and are listed as an "Evil" empire. Human rights are suppressed, slavery is tolerated, and dukes and their corporations are all given effectively free reign in the name of profit. If a company gets too greedy about not paying their taxes, the UE Navy (composed of corporate and imperial craft) stands ready to put them down. The United Empire is an industrial and military juggernaut, rivaling the industrious Neutral Good Automatons and the expansionist Neutral Evil Hissho. However, the often brutal methods of the UE led to the creation of the Pilgrims, Chaotic Good rebels and intellectuals.
  • Several characters and factions are in Fallout are this alignment:
  • The Master from the original Fallout. He tries to bring peace to the wasteland by forcefully converting everyone into Super Mutants and killing anyone who opposes him.
  • Caesar's Legion in Fallout: New Vegas are this too, using methods such as slavery and torture to achieve their goals of conquering the west in the glory of Caesar and his empire. They believe they are doing tribals a favor by enslaving them and giving their life purpose.
  • JSawyer, the developers' own mod for F:NV, reclassifies the character Col. Cassandra Moore as Evil (from Neutral). Their reasoning is that she's clearly an evil person faithfully serving the (on average) good-aligned New California Republic, channelling her bloodlust in ways at least superficially in line with Republic's interests.
  • Father Elijah, the Arc Villain of the Dead Money DLC, believes that free will is a pernicious inconvenience that ought to be stamped out.
  • The Institute of Fallout 4 makes a decent example of this alignment. Generally their attitude towards chaos and the unruly ways of the Commonwealth is zero tolerance bar none. In fact, because of their reputation for covert and mysterious operations, many have mixed views about them. Ultimately their goal is to cleanse the Commonwealth, whether it means wiping out all other groups or corrupting the media is of course all For Science!.
    • The Operators from the Nuka-World DLC generally commit evil for profit, they are the money makers between the Chaotic Evil Pack and the Neutral Evil Disciples, who are the more vicious raiders.
  • Fate/stay night:
    • This is Saber Alter's In-Universe alignment. It's noted that at her core, Saber hasn't changed much from when she was Lawful Good— her goals are still the same, but she no longer cares about other people's impression of her.
    • True Assassin and all the other Servants who have taken the mantle of Hassan-i Sabbah, also carry this alignment. Their goals and honor codes make them reliable allies to whoever summons them, but their methods are a reminder that they're all ruthless assassins.
  • Several people from the Final Fantasy franchise:
    • Emperor Mateus Palamecia from Final Fantasy II, who is so evil that upon being killed descends into hell, and becomes the ruler of it, but is somehow good enough to have a half of his soul go to heaven... and become its ruler too! And that half of him's ALSO a bastard! In Dissidia Final Fantasy, his alignment is changed to Neutral Evil, as he neither enforces nor follows any laws.
    • Emperor Gestahl from Final Fantasy VI, a tyrannical despot who is basically A Nazi by Any Other Name.
    • The Shinra Corporation from Final Fantasy VII is a ruthless corporation that runs the world.
    • Edea from Final Fantasy VIII, alongside the general Galbadian government. However, it's revealed that Edea is actually possessed by Ultimecia; the real Edea is Neutral Good.
    • Queen Brahne, the fat evil empress striving for world domination, and Garland, whose evil is enacted because he wishes to salvage the planet he presides over, in Final Fantasy IX.
    • Final Fantasy X has its own evil government, hiding important secrets from the people. Maester Mika and Maester Kinoc are specific examples. They end up clashing with the Neutral Evil Seymour, who is among their ranks. Yunalesca, a ruthless Knight Templar Humanoid Abomination who continually sacrifices summoners to uphold Yevon's control over the world, is also an example.
    • The Evil Empire in Final Fantasy XII, especially main villain Vayne and Mad Scientist Dr. Cid.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • The Begnion Senators in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn fit the description to a T (excluding Sephiran, who is something very similar, but motivated by a vastly different reason). They're genocidal, greedy, ruthless, and collectively wield power over the most influential nation in the continent. Their only hindrance is the more benevolent Empress who is politically above them, but they can still get away with, say, enslaving a war-torn nation by hiding their actions and shifting blame to subordinates. Their alignments are derived from the goddess they serve. Wanting to keep the order at all costs, the "Good" goddess Ashera that they serve is willing to petrify every living thing on the planet to stop the war they're caught up in. The only exceptions were the followers of Ashera (the aforementioned senators) and the ones under the protection of Ashera's Chaotic Good counterpart "Evil" goddess Yune (the party members). This alignment mix was to prove that Chaotic isn't always evil and Lawful isn't always good.
    • In Fire Emblem Gaiden, Rudolf is a tyrant who wants to conquer all of Valentia with his military might. At least, that's what he wants you to think. In reality, his goal is to make Alm strong enough to defeat Duma, who has gone mad with power, by providing him a blatant Evil Overlord to overthrow. This makes him Chaotic Good in intent and Lawful Neutral in methodology.
  • Colonel Vanek in First Encounter Assault Recon, as well as Armacham Technology Corporation in general. While they've got a profit motive, Vanek and the ATC director's board are also disgusted by he extent of the horrors caused by the psychic warfare research division. Vanek even makes it clear that he considers the idea behind the Replica program to be "fucking crazy", but that doesn't stop him from dutifully carrying out massacres of civilians, and if it weren't for the Origin facility explosion killing them all before he arrived, he would have purged the entire student body of Wade Elementary.
  • The Olympians in the God of War series. The world is at peace under them, but only because it's their world.
  • Golden Sun's Agatio is the only Fire Clan antagonist who fits neatly into a character alignment, despite how little characterization he receives in the games. He is shown to defer to authority figures (lawful), and outright boasts to Felix's party that he wants the Fire Clan to rule the world and will do everything in his power to make it happen (evil). This makes him the "loyal subservient villain" type, though he's a bit sneakier and more independent than that phrase implies.
  • The Combine from Half-Life 2. They are extremely well organized, going from world to world, conquering it, sucking all the resources off of it, turning the local populace into soldiers, oppressing its people, and keeping the planet occupied as they use it to invade the next planet, or the next dimension. There is also the numerous regulations that must be obeyed by the citizens, unless they want a stun stick courtesy of Civil Protection.
  • Halo:
    • Colonel James Ackerson. While he works with the UNSC for the survival of the human race, he is a monster when it comes to his remorseless actions: He tried to have the Master Chief killed when the latter was first trying the MJOLNIR Mark V, hoped Reach had been completely glassed by the Covenant just so Halsey and the Spartan-IIs were no longer a threat to him (regardless of the enormous use they had to humanity as a whole), refused to send a ship to look for survivors when there were suspicions that the Master Chief had survived, and kidnapped a Spartan from Halsey for his own project, which involved sending hundreds of children to die in suicide missions. However, he does somewhat redeem himself before his death, by first leading a valiant defense on Mars, and then tricking his Covenant captors into thinking that there was a Forerunner artifact in Cleveland, delaying its glassing so that its residents (including his brother) could have a chance to escape.
    • Many Prophets (San'Shyuum) are this. They are an extremely political race, infamous for their manipulative abilities. They rule the Covenant, but treason, blackmail, and assassination are their everyday bread. In fact, the High Prophets of Truth, Mercy, and Regret (the leaders of the Covenant) ordered the annihilation of humanity (heirs of their Gods they adored) to simply keep the Covenant together under their rule. They are so vile that their scientific name in the Bestiarium is Perfidia Vermis, "Worm of Treachery". On the other hand, their highly advanced prehistoric ancestors, while still considered universally slippery, were at least no more evil as a whole than either their human allies or their Forerunner enemies, while expanded universe media have given us plenty of genuinely heroic Prophets, even if they're overshadowed by their eviler brethren.
    • While Faber, the Master Builder of the Forerunners, was the one who commissioned the only weapons capable of stopping the Flood, he was also an exceptionally cruel and arrogant individual who approved experimenting on sentient beings, was perfectly willing to torture and kill anyone who crossed him, and test-fired the Halos by wiping out almost every San'Shyuum left in existence. Eventually, he realizes what an asshole he's been, and sacrifices himself in an attempt to protect the Greater Ark.
  • Carter Blake in Heavy Rain due to his aggressive and shitty attitude in law enforcement. He acts as the opposite of Lawful Good Norman Jayden.
  • Dmitri Johannes Petrov from Henry Stickmin Series is an prison warden of a complex who treats both the convicts and employees badly, and he's also willing to do anything to imprison a criminal, whether it be by ignoring an official pardon from the government and arresting them anyways, to having his men open fire on said government if they get in his way.
  • Hitman:
    • Agent 47, the Anti-Hero/Villain Protagonist of the series, especially in the later games. He is a cold-blooded and ruthless assassin, but has a strict, self-imposed policy of not killing innocents, except if they are directly threatening the success of his mission, or if it's explicitly ordered by his contract agency. In the Lighter and Softer first two games, he is more Lawful Neutral/True Neutral.
    • The Agency which he works for also qualifies, since they much prefer to accept contracts on criminals and shady people in general, such as drug lords, gangster bosses, and human traders, over political leaders and other public figures, since their continued existence relies on a very delicate balance act in the world politics, and too much chaos and public attention towards them from government agencies could very easily shift this.
  • Infamous Second Son: Augustine is willing to torture and imprison innocent people so she can maintain her authority. This is in contrast to the chaotic good hero Desin or the chaotic evil infamous Desin, as well as his brother, the lawful good Reggie.
  • Injustice:
    • In Injustice: Gods Among Us, the Justice League in an alternative universe has turned into a Lawful Evil world regime that keeps order by force. They're so good at it that Ares wants them overthrown because they are stopping all the conflict in the world. They could almost be Lawful Neutral or even harsh Lawful Good because of this if it wasn't for how far they're willing to go. They're led by a coldly deranged Superman who varies between "Order can only and must be maintained with an iron fist" and "Shut up, I've been hurt badly and I will kill anyone who complains." Wonder Woman has clearly made it her ideology to believe in the first of those statements but has absolutely no qualms even when faced with the second, even on a scale so massive it's clearly a temper tantrum by Superman that will cause far more harm and chaos than anything else. The others siding with Superman include a few sadistic villains but also (former) superheroes going sort of "Gee, I guess this is good we're doing, and anyway I don't want to think about it too hard because then Superman will kill me." As such, only a few of the members seem to be Lawful Evil, but the organisation on the whole certainly is.
    • The follow up Injustice 2 introduces Brainiac, who is a rare example of a lawful evil Omnicidal Maniac: despite invading Earth with the intention of harvesting the planet's knowledge and valuable contents and then destroying it when he is done, he is actually an agent to the Lords of Order, who realized that Earth's balance was ruined when Superman and his Regime were overthrown. As such, they allow an alien overlord to destroy the Earth and forbid Dr. Fate from intervening because an even worse catastrophe will result if Brainiac is defeated.
    • The Lords of Order initially themselves appear to be Lawful Neutral or at very least act on Blue-and-Orange Morality, they actually belong in this alignment according to Raiden's ending where its revealed they are engineering said catastrophes themselves with the intent of forcing order not just on the Injustice Earth, but across all the multiverse, requiring Raiden to team up with the Justice League Dark to stop them.
  • Canderous in Knights of the Old Republic prefers to operate within the Mandalorian rules of war, but has no particular objection to vaporising urban centres in order to achieve an objective. He doesn't like it, but nor does he feel any particular distaste for it. This (paraphrased) quote from KOTOR I if he's in your party when effectively mugging a poor citizen of Tatooine for her only real item of value speaks volumes:
    "The strong are meant to rule the weak! It is the way of the universe!"
    • Uthar Wynn in Knights of the Old Republic, is the Master of the Sith Academy on Korriban. He is completely loyal to the ideal of the Sith, and if the player character is revealed to be Revan he swears fealty to the player, and assures them that once Malak is dead, that he, and all Sith will be at your service.
    • Despite being the Dark Lord of the Sith, it's heavily implied that Darth Revan fell under this alignment, rarely killing those he did not need to, such as the Rakata Elders on Lehon. This trait seems consistent with how they were as a Jedi. This is more or less confirmed in the sequels. Revan knew the Republic was too weak to resist the true Sith Empire and believed he could use the Star Forge to quickly conquer and reshape it into a force that could oppose the Emperor.
    • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, a Neutral-Sided Sith Warrior comes across as a firm Type 2, as despite their Blood Knight tendencies, they keep themselves in check by refusing to take lives that are unnecessary to their goals. Imperial Agents of Neutral or Dark alignments tend to be a Type 1, as their role is to maintain order in the Empire by whatever means necessary.
  • Moebius from Legacy of Kain truly believes in fate and that free will is an illusion, and is the loyal servant of a God of Evil. To be fair, he thought he was serving a Good is Not Nice Creator God, while he was actually serving a parasitic Eldritch Abomination; nonetheless, he clearly takes cruel and sadistic delight in carrying out the commands of his "god" and has zero problem with killing innocents or treating people like pawns. He has organized not one, not two, but three Knight Templar crusades to exterminate vampires, and willingly sacrifices countless lives in pursuit of this goal. A Manipulative Bastard that borders on and occasionally crosses the line into magnificence, Moebius toys with people's destinies for his own amusement, not by ignoring, breaking, or working outside of the rules— but by playing and abusing the rules of the system to his own advantage.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Cerberus, which is a pro-human organization led by "The Illusive Man" willing to do some brutal experimentation and methods for the sake of securing human dominance.
    • There's also the Reapers. ("We impose order on the chaos of organic evolution. You exist because we allow it, and you will end because we demand it.")
  • The Space Pirates from Metroid. They live in what is a fascist dictatorship, with harsh punishments for disobedience (although free speech is allowed), and want to dominate the galaxy, killing or enslaving all other sentient races and removing all of those useless things covering planets, like ancient ruins.
  • Mortal Kombat:
    • Onaga, the previous ruler of Outworld, was full-on Lawful Evil as the realm was orderly under his (tyrannical) rule. While his usurper Shao Kahn is more of a Chaotic Evil Blood Knight whose only law is "obey Shao Kahn", Onaga was considerably more organised and efficient, and it was noted that while he may have been just as ruthless and power-hungry a dictator as Kahn ever was, Outworld under him was much more orderly and his underlings did not squabble with each other for his favour.
    • Hotaru is cynically militant in that believes order, rules, law, and control are the only way to make sure society is peaceful and functional, and has no regard for the battle between good and evil, just as long as he suppresses chaos and stops people breaking the rules. He comes from Seido, or Orderrealm, as part of the Sedian guard that very much share his philosophy that freedom leads to anarchy, and anarchy leads to suffering. In Deception, his debut appearance, he chose to support Onaga because he believed it would bring order to the realms, sided with the forces of evil in Armageddon, and was the first to kill in the Battle of Armageddon. Fittingly, the character he killed was Chaotic Good.
  • Neverwinter Nights:
    • Aribeth de Tylmarande may bounce back and forth on the good-evil axis, but she never deviates from a lawful alignment.
    • Grimgnaw, being from the Order of the Long Death, is both highly disciplined and bound tightly to the tenets of his order, and utterly obsessed with death as a concept and bringing it to others; he gravitates to you mainly because he senses there is a lot of painful death in your coming path. He respects your beliefs, but knows they don't really matter in the face of the sheer amount of slaughter you must commit in your quest, a greater service to his Silent Lord than any other.
    • Mephistopheles in the second expansion is just as much bound by rules as any paladin, he just has no conscience to go along with them.
    • Nathyrra, a drow (dark elf) assassin who's made a Heel–Face Turn and loyally serves a good drow leader, doesn't seem evil but is listed as Lawful Evil. This could just be because the rules say she has to be evil to have the Assassin class, and Lawful Evil is sometimes seen as the "mildest" evil.
  • In NiGHTS into Dreams…, NiGHTS' Evil Twin Reala is also his exact opposite in alignment: utterly loyal to the evil Wizeman, and dirty, cruel and insidious.
  • Overlord:
    • Your Evil Chancellor Gnarl advises you to be this, stating that being Ax-Crazy and slaughtering everyone in your way, while it can be boatloads of fun, is not good for long-term world domination since you will need servants for your empire. He also sees giving peasants some help as Pragmatic Villainy, saying that "gratitude comes with its own rewards". Still, the decision is all up to you as a player and he does delight in acts of particularly vicious evil, though canonically it's suggested that the Overlord was a Noble Demon who at the least saved the elves and slew the Fallen Heroes ruining the lands.
    • In the sequel, the Lawful Evil path is known as Domination, with the Overlad merely choosing to brainwash any civilians he comes across to become slaves that toil for him as opposed to the Chaotic Evil path of Destruction, which involves just straight-up killing them all.
    • The Minions in general are a subservient form of this. They are a Henchmen Race who take great pride in killing and destroying things on command, but the entire extent of their society and culture is built around serving whoever holds the title of Overlord in whatever capacity they require. Want to sacrifice them in a pit to restore your health or mana? They'll agree to it. Want to use their essence to forge powerful magic items? They'll throw themselves into the melting pot without hesitation. At no point does it ever occur to them to question or disagree with actions likely or guaranteed to get them killed; what the Overlord wants, the Overlord gets. It's that simple. According to Gnarl, without an Overlord, their lives completely lack direction or meaning. This alignment becomes a plot point in the first game when your predecessor returns and usurps the title of Overlord from you. Gnarl is forced along with several of his compatriots to accede to his authority because his entire existence is to be loyal to the title, not whoever happens to be wearing it, but he hints he likes you better and encourages you to take back the title.
  • Pathfinder: Kingmaker has one canonically Lawful Evil character you can add to your party, and a few NPC characters.
    • Kanerah is a tiefling Blood Magic user from a country that heavily discriminates against tieflings. She more or less defines Ambition Is Evil, though tempered in a strong belief in Evil Virtues like hard work, pragmatism, self-reliance and in keeping her word. In contrast to her Chaotic Good sibling Kalikke, Kanerah made a Deal with the Devil in return for a disguise that let her infiltrate her country's society, allowing her to legally enter the hierarchy and work her way to the top. She views the main character as her patron and is very open about working with you for your mutual benefit.
  • Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, similarly, has one lawful evil party member, and a number of NPC characters.
    • The Devil ascension path is Lawful Evil. Choosing for the Commander to embrace devilhood through being corrupted as an azata or an aeon sets their alignment to lawful evil, grants a set of 'edicts' that lets them twist reality through interpretation of reality's laws, and opens the ability for to more fully ally the crusade with Cheliax and the devils.
    • Regill Derenge is a paralictor (an officer) of the hellknight orders of Cheliax. A fully embraced officer of law and evil, Regill is orderly, pragmatic, as devoted to his cause as any paladin, and also thoroughly merciless and devoid of sympathy for weakness or failure. Respecting results more than the process, however, he will faithfully serve any Commander who makes notable advances in beating back the forces of the Abyss, including an azata or even a trickster one.
  • Fhjull Forked-Tongue from Planescape: Torment is a devil, a being made of Law and Evil, and is this by definition. In tune with Planescape's tendency to twist the alignment system, Fhjull is forced by a compact with an angel to only perform saintly and good deeds until he becomes genuinely good. Being forced to do good does however not make him good, as unlike Fall-From-Grace he has made absolutely no attempt at redemption or defying his nature. (It does, however, make killing or betraying him an evil act).
  • Cyrus of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and Lysandre of Pokémon X and Y believe themselves to be this, but they're more under delusions of lawfulness in order to justify their Neutral Evil behavior and actions.
  • GLaDOS from Portal is this alignment, since her evil behaviour is largely the result of her corrupt core programming. When freed from its influence, her personality shifts to Chaotic Good.
  • The Boss from the Saints Row series, but particularly in Saints Row 2. They are obviously Evil because they are entirely devoid of empathy and will readily use the most cruel yet effective methods to deal with anyone who opposes them and even those they have no interest in. What makes them Lawful, however, is their personal code, which revolves around Undying Loyalty to their gang, the 3rd Street Saints, and its individual "canonized" members. Anyone who is loyal to the gang and to them personally can rely on the Boss' support 100%, but anyone who betrays either of them immediately gets to deal with their nastier, Evil sides. This is particularly obvious in how the Boss treats two ex-Saints, Troy and Julius, in the second game: the former, despite becoming the Chief of Police, uses his position to look out for the Saints and thus has nothing to fear from the Boss; the latter, however, is shot by them on sight for trying to kill them and dismantling the Saints after the first game.
  • Toyotomi Hideyoshi in Sengoku Basara is ruthless to those who oppose him and plans to unite the land with brute force. Once you get on his side, however, he shows charisma to make you worship him properly, and has a strict code of conduct. In fact, most of the Toyotomi followers are like this; Takenaka Hanbe is slavishly loyal to him, Ishida Mitsunari takes the evilness to the extreme in form of being massively murderous to those who are against the Toyotomi, and Otani Yoshitsugu is still loyal to it despite having tendencies for Neutral Evil. The main exception is Kanbe, who is ambitious and backstabbing (though incredibly unlucky and incompetent), being roughly Chaotic Neutral.
  • YHVH from the Shin Megami Tensei series takes it to the extreme in Shin Megami Tensei II, when he orders Satan to wipe "unworthy" life from Earth with the Megiddo Ark. Which at the time would have included several cities expressly aligned with him and at least one urban core full of worshippers. He only gets worse in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, where it's revealed he's been orchestrating the death and rebirth of countless billions of parallel Earths. He seeks to create a world where nobody, ever, has to suffer The Evils of Free Will.
    • SMT spinoff Persona 5 has a large ensemble of villains who use their positions of authority to exploit those beneath them for their own gain. The one behind it all is the suspiciously familiar Yaldabaoth, a god who wants to enforce law and order by tossing the chaotic elements of the world into a deep, dark hole from which there is no escape.
  • Ryo Ishikawa of Shogo: Mobile Armor Division is quite ruthless in his plan to control Cronus' supply of Kato, but rather than do anything overtly illegal, he settles for manipulating the UCA into destroying the Fallen to create a power vacuum.
  • Silent Hill 2: Pyramid Head is a walking beacon of symbolism, mainly James' self-imposed need to be punished for his crimes. Pyramid Head's main symbolism is that of a perversion of justice. He targets James because it's what he's made to do, and he does it with the same gusto he puts into violating the other, more feminine monsters in the game.
  • The indie strategy title Solium Infernum, based around the nobles of hell fighting for dominance after Lucifer vanishes, runs on this trope. War can only be declared as a response to one player publicly provoking the other and is fought to a pre determined time limit and goal. The game is usually won not by wiping the other players out, but by being regarded as the biggest Magnificent Bastard when the election takes place.
  • Both Ur-Quan branches in Star Control. They are ordered, avoid what they see as unnecessary cruelty and have a sense of honor — it's just that the horrific things they had to live through (the Ur-Quan have a racial memory) have led the Kzer-Za to conclude that all non-Ur-Quan sapience must be enslaved (they do, in fairness, have a fairly broad definition of slavery, and they regard protecting their slaves as part of the deal), while the Kohr-Ah came to the conclusion that all non-Ur-Quan sapience must be exterminated. It comes out the most for Kzer-Za, since they're the ones with the most peaceful interactions with others and for quite some time were the only Ur-Quan known to humans.
  • Street Fighter:
    • M. Bison, who practically lives by his main goal to, you guessed it, Take Over the World. He operates through the vast Nebulous Evil Organisation Shadaloo, and likes to use Better Living Through Evil as a recruiting tactic.
    • Akuma is definitely Lawful: he follows a code of conduct that says that he only fights fair battles, he only fights those worthy of fighting (no ordinary people), and he also only fights them at their full strength (he ended a fight early with Gen after he found out he was sick). He is Evil because every fight with a worthy opponent must also be a fight to the death, and he shows no compassion or mercy once a fight has begun. There is only one fight he chose not to fight fairly, and that is against M. Bison, because Bison stole his power rather than gain it on his own, and this merited death in Akuma's eyes. This establishes Akuma as Lawful Evil.
  • Super Danganronpa Another 2: The mastermind, Mikado Sannoji, falls under this alignment, as he is the one who has trapped the other students in a killing game akin to the canon Danganronpa games. However, he participates fairly in the class trials, acts in the name of a clear and concrete goal, and always plays by his own rules even when he eventually murders someone.
  • Although it is hard applying any sort of alignment to most characters in Team Fortress 2, the Announcer definitely has to qualify as Lawful Evil. This is the kind of character who is equally disgusted by friendship and cheating, and values loyalty extremely high according to all official material released by Valve, including executing You Have Failed Me whenever she is displeased with the efforts of either team. Lawful Evil all over.
  • Tyranny:
    • Graven Ashe, Archon of War and leader of the Disfavored, is a Type 1. He's honest and trustworthy, in addition to being A Father to His Men who grants his troops a Healing Factor by taking their wounds upon himself. He willingly serves Kyros, though. In addition, his kinder nature is limited almost exclusively to his troops, and while he is capable of harboring some respect for allied outsiders (provided they hold themselves to the same standard of honor he holds the Disfavored to), he is openly racist toward Tiersmen and Beasts to the point of bordering on genocidal. This racism, in turn, results in him having little regard for civilian casualties; he advocates putting entire towns to the torch for aiding rebels and even goes so far as to Salt the Earth in order to starve the Scarlet Chorus.
    • Barik, one of the Disfavored's rank and file, is another Type 1, sharing his commander's racist views and preference for harsh treatment of rebels. He sometimes straddles the line between Lawful Neutral and Lawful Evil, though, being more willing to Pet the Dog than Ashe. In Bastard's Wound, the Player Character can give him an extra nudge away from evil by convincing him that Ashe's treatment of Tiersmen goes too far.
    • Tunon the Adjudicator, Archon of Justice, straddles the line between being Lawful Neutral and a Type 1. Though he willingly serves Kyros, he shows signs of being more loyal to Kyros' laws than to Kyros himself/herself. He can't in good conscience kill someone he knows to be innocent, so upon being ordered to kill the player character, he chooses to put them on trial with the intent to convict them. If convinced the player character is innocent, he'll swear fealty to them without a fight.
  • As pointed out in The Spoony Experiment's Ultima overview, one of the most insidious things about evil is that it can take something like rules for living well and twist them into something unrecognizable. Ultima IV had no Big Bad, just a mission for you to learn a bunch of virtues to be the embodiment of good. In Ultima V, those same virtues are being enforced by law; crushing, stringent law which slowly but surely turns the world into a hellhole for the average citizen, all in the name of goodness.
  • Undertale:
  • Prince Maximillian in Valkyria Chronicles is the son of the ruler of The Empire and overall Big Bad of the game who invades the main characters' nation. However he's also a strict follower of the rules of war and has an officer of his court-martialled for war crimes.
    • The Empire as a whole, or at least its aristocracy, appears to lean towards this. Though extremely brutal and racist (ironically, a trait Maximillian doesn't share) they are always polite even in a warzone, and display frequent tendencies of Honor Before Reason and My Master, Right or Wrong.
  • In the Warcraft universe:
    • The Dark Titan Sargeras, founder of the Burning Legion and the residential God of Evil. Sure, he does want to destroy all worlds in creation, and most of his minions are Chaotic Evil demons who revel in said destruction, but there is actually a clear endgoal in his plan: to deny the Void Lords access to the mortal plane and prevent them from enslaving all life in existence — because by the time he's done with the universe, there won't be that much life to enslave. Some of his more reasonable servants may also qualify, such as his Shivarra worshippers or Kil'jaeden, who genuinely believe in Sargeras' crusade and its righteousness.
    • The Lich King, ruler of the Scourge, because he is a corrupted Lawful Good paladin. To quote ''Chronicles'':
      "As a Paladin, Arthas had always sought to bring order and justice to Azeroth. That desire remained, but it was now far more twisted than ever before. A world ruled by the Undead would have no more injustice, no more wars, no more mortal flaws. Perhaps most important to the Lich King, he believed his Scourge was far more capable of defending Azeroth against the threats that would try to conquer it. He had observed the awakening of C'thun and the Burning Legion's attempts to launch other attacks on Azeroth. Neither the Demons nor the powers of the Void would rest until they controlled the world. A fractured world, constantly beset by skirmishes between the Alliance and the Horde, simply would not be prepared for another incursion."
    • Lei Shen, the Thunder King, is kind of similar to Sargeras: one's a corrupted Lawful Neutral Titan, the other's a particularly misguided Titan creation. After learning of the Titans' demise thanks to the Titan Keeper Ra-den, he swore to finish the work of his gods — which, in his mind, meant taking the power of a Titan Keeper and using it to unite all Pandaria under his tyrannical rule.
    • Garrosh Hellscream and Prophet Zul. Unlike the three examples above, who were motivated more by the overall idea of universal order, these two villains were concerned solely with the welfare of their races, the orcs and the trolls respectively. In order to ensure prosperity for their people, they sought to enslave or exterminate all other races, as well as to harness the power of the Old Gods. Garrosh in particular emphasises the Lawful part of Lawful Evil, keeping to orcish honour even as he changes himself into a deformed Old God monstrosity, while Zul is closer to Neutral Evil, considering his disregard for traditional troll gods and customs.

  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Redcloak is a textbook example of having a Lawful Evil attitude and proud of it. A Visionary Villain who believes the goblinoid races were screwed over by the gods and seeks to build a goblin nation to rival those of any of those ruled by humanoids. Even if he has to destroy the world so his god might have a hand in creating the next one.
      Redcloak: Do they think crushing an entire civilization beneath our heels "just happens?" It's all fun and games for them, but I'm the one who has to make the magical lightning-powered trains run on time.
    • Elan's Evil Twin brother Nale is also LE, all the better to contrast with the Chaotic Good Elan. Notably, despite having the same alignment, Nale and Redcloak aren't all that similar. Redcloak values order, logic, and knowledge, makes simple, effective plans based off those things, and is motivated by a (misplaced) sense of how to further the general good for his people. Nale is a self-aggrandizing ego maniac fueled by his personal desires, has a Complexity Addiction (for example, his class build is a Fighter/Rogue/Sorcerer hybrid, which is a less optimized Bard in practice because Bards are not allowed to have a Lawful alignment), holds vicious personal grudges due to small (or imagined) slights, and wants power and control mostly to please his own ego and be the guy that everyone else has to bow down to. Alignment not being a straitjacket is one of the comic's major themes.
      • Before Nale died, it was implied that while he thought he was Lawful Evil, he was actually Chaotic Evil. There are Lawful Evil villains that are not like Redcloak, though: see below.
    • General Tarquin's version of Lawful Evil comes through Genre Savvy: Tarquin treats his life as an ongoing narrative arc in a Heroic Fantasy (in which he is the Evil Overlord fated to one day fall in an epic battle against a worthy hero), making him Genre Savvy because he knows the tropes and clichés and can act appropriately to shape it to his liking in accordance with the Theory of Narrative Causality. On the flip side, it means he judges people according to their story role (or, at least, what he thinks is their role) and has little to no understanding of them as people. He's quick to get rid of (or, in the rare cases where they matter to him for some reason, correct) people who don't stick to his vision of the script, all while refusing to ever acknowledge the possibility that he may not have the right view of the script to begin with.
      Tarquin: As I've said before, procedure matters. [The Safety of the world] is meaningless if everyone is going to run around doing whatever they feel like, without regard for proper story structure. There must be some sense of order — personal, political, or dramatic — and if no one else is going to bring it to this world, I will.
    • Tarquin's best friend and longtime adventuring companion Malak is yet another take on the alignment. Malak is devoutly religious and believes that everyone in the world has to answer to other, greater, beings, and the proper response is to embrace the control of those greater beings and serve them with pleasure, essentially a Happiness in Slavery mentality. Any rise in standing or power is accomplished through that service.
      Malak: Living or dead, we are all of us marching to our orders — you no less than I, Durkon. It does not matter from whence these orders come, be it man or god. Our place is as an obedient slave to those who command us. Through service, we are rewarded. That is the true natural order.
  • The particular hat of elves in 8-Bit Theater, from main character Thief to villain Astos. This accurately sums up the "easier to become ruler of the world by exploiting the existing system" flavour of their Always Lawful Evil tendencies.
  • The Elite Guard from Goblins are almost explicitly Lawful Evil — they're confirmed Evil, and it's hard to imagine a guard could be anything but Lawful.
  • Gordon Frohman of Concerned is a fanatical follower of The Combine and is a self-proclaimed enemy of the Human Resistance and Gordon Freeman due to a genuine and incredibly idiotic love of tyranny.
  • Brian and Angelo, from Our Little Adventure. They run a tyrannical empire together but seem hung up on professionalism and try their best to be friendly with the staff. Even Angelo said he would make amends to the employee he killed by resurrecting her and giving her a raise.
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • Psyk the demon is the organiser and voice of reason among the generally more chaotic inhabitants of the Dimension of Pain. Towards his fellow demons, he is Lawful Neutral, almost a Nice Guy. That doesn't keep him from slaughtering and conquering humans along with the others when they get a chance, though.
    • Binky and Clyde are initially two mooks working for various supervillainish crime-lords. They identify themselves as evil minions first and foremost, so that when they end up in a random dimension, they gladly take orders from Dambdulf the wizard just after meeting him once they interpret his order to Shoot the Dog as evil. They go on to decide to become heroes instead and save the town of Dumbblefolk from dragons... only to switch sides again as soon as they are asked to defend it from an evil wizard because he gives them a chance to be evil minions again, and that's just what they do. And they live happily ever after.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: The Iron Sociopath is a "superhero" who fights crime because he figured out he gets to commit violence more freely if he obeys the law while doing so. He's also a politician. This could be seen as a case of someone with a Neutral Evil disposition deciding to be Lawful Evil.
  • Tower of God: "Kaiser" is the merciless ruler of the Name Hunt Station, a place built around peculiar rules of slavery and human trafficking. Really, though, she's herself in willing slavery to her family, who profit from her work there, and whose forgiveness she still hopes for, even though it's already been a thousand years. So she's not only a tyrant but a servant motivated by a strong sense of duty of sorts.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja:
    • Donald McBonald is a ruthless businessman willing to branch out into outright villainy, at least against a Chaotic Good protagonist who physically attacked him before. He prefers to have the law on his side but has no real moral scruples. In the last story, he says he's not the villain in the conflict between himself and the protagonist, but when McNinja says he has a point and asks whether McBonald would have been willing to take his complaint into account at the start if he had asked nicely, McBonald says "No, I would have ruined you in court."
    • The dinosaur president from "Futures Trading" puts on a civil facade and pretends to care about the rights of his human subjects as well as dinosaur ones. But really the humans are treated very badly, and only the divided public opinion among dinosaurs is stopping the president from launching a human genocide.
  • Solomon David from Kill Six Billion Demons: A dictator "regarded as just, even-handed, and incredibly brutal by most of his subjects." (From Word of God here.) He simultaneously both fails at basic human decency and sets moral standards so high nobody else can meet them.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Transformers: Megatron in almost all of his incarnations, especially Beast Wars and Transformers: Animated. In most cases he seeks to tear down the existing order (which he sees as unfair and corrupt) and replace it with his own. As the leader of the Decepticons he rules them with an iron fist.
    • Lockdown from Transformers: Animated is also Lawful Evil — after all, a well ordered system is so much easier to exploit — but it is very obvious that he prefers to work for the Decepticons, because Evil Pays Better.
    • Swindle is exactly the same — at one point he even mentions Lockdown as a kind of business associate.
  • Clock King, a villain from Batman: The Animated Series, who did everything according to his own by-the-minute schedule every single day. The one time he didn't... er, things didn't go so well.
  • Most of the villains from Kim Possible, since they do follow the traditions of villainy. Often exploited because it is this very tradition that lets Team Possible come out of the traps alive. Señor Senior Senior, in particular, goes by the book (of villainy). The only exception is Shego, who's Neutral Evil and not interested/motivated in taking over the world, and Warhok and Warmonga who are Chaotic Evil, as they want to destroy the world instead.
  • Lemongrab of Adventure Time. Although he isn't evil, and is a sympathetic character (thanks to his... eh, delicate mental condition,) he does end up sending everybody in the kingdom to the dungeon, when he's in power. All he wants is order, peace and quiet, and cleanliness. Unfortunately, he tries to achieve this through terribly misguided means. Later on, he DOES become evil and unsympathetic due to his desire to make his earldom orderly to impress his "mother", turning on his own children and brother in the process and becoming a truly Lawful Evil dictator. He ends up killed and then remade and merged with pieces of his brother, so hopefully he'll be better off now.
  • Recess: Randall Weems is hated in the whole school since all he does is snitching on other kids to Miss Finster whom he is loyal to. The reason for this seems to be a combination of nasty sadism towards the other students with a genuine respect for authority. In "Randall's Friend", it's revealed that his father, Leonard, was just like him, and as he put it:
    Leonard Weems: Remember, a Weems never lies or sneaks around behind the back of authority, unless of course he is turning the favor of an even bigger authority.
  • Total Drama Action: Courtney fits this trope, seeing how she calls her lawyers when something doesn't go her way.
  • Shere Khan of TaleSpin is definitely of this alignment. A Corrupt Corporate Executive who seeks money and power and is willing to gouge prices and stage "accidents" for rivals. However he is very polite and always "pays his debts and never goes back on a deal" and is unwilling to mistreat his employees.
  • The Fairly OddParents!:
    • HP and the pixies want to bring absolute order to both Fairy World and Earth. This is, until "Fairly Oddbaby" where they randomly team up with the anti-fairies and try to destroy Earth.
    • Denzel Crocker is a bonafide Type 2 example, using his teacher job mostly to mentally torture children as well as keep tabs on them for any potential fairy godparents, which he wants to capture in order to rule the world.
    • Vicky used to be this in earlier seasons, where she was more of a bully that used her babysitter job mostly to boss children around. Later seasons flanderized her into pure evil incarnate, becoming something much closer to Chaotic Evil instead.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • The Dai Li and their leader Long Feng are the purest Lawful Evil. They're all about preserving order and stability at the cost of happiness and free will, and have connived and manipulated their way to the top of the government in Ba Sing Se to make sure of that. Favored tactics include kidnapping, misinformation, and total brainwashing.
    • Fire Lord Sozin and Fire Lord Azulon also fit the alignment. Unlike the Neutral Evil Ozai who wanted power above all else, Sozin sought to change the world for the better. Through, tyranny of course. While is less clear that this were Azulon's motivations —and he was more interested in world domination, like his younger son Ozai— he was a fierce defender of Iroh's birthright, his first born, and he expressed outrage when Ozai suggested that Iroh should be stripped of it due to Lu Ten's death.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Councilman Tarrlok is a Corrupt Politician that dominates and oppresses by seemingly legal methods who's end goal is to control Republic City where the Neutral Evil Yakone failed, by exploiting the system and the will of the people.
    • The equalists, and especially their leader Amon, being a revolutionary movement with clear goals, hierarchy and precision.
    • As of the Korra Book 4, former Metal Clan guard captain turned would-be dictator Kuvira seems going in this direction. She's ruthless, tyrannical and loves her fiancee Bataar Jr. Not to mention being much more meritocratic and loathing monarchy.
  • Chase Young of Xiaolin Showdown is scrupulously honest in his dealings with the protagonists and always keeps his word.
  • Super Jail: Jailbot catches criminals, enforces the rules, and unquestioningly carries out the Warden's commands. He tends to go a little overboard in his execution.
  • ReBoot: Megabyte sought to conquer all of Mainframe, and also the Supercomputer, because that was his viral imperative, in direct opposition to his sister Hexadecimal, who was a batshit crazy chaos virus.
  • Futurama:
    • The Robot Devil follows this alignment, too. Being based on the traditional portrayal of Satan, he's a sadist who has no problem with torturing people for eternity, but always keeps his agreements, even if it's not in his own interests to do so.
    • Robot Santa: a Knight Templar with impossibly high standards on decency and morality, judging everyone who doesn't follow his rigid code to be bad, and therefore worthy of elimination. Given the ways in which he decides to kill people, one could easily mistake him for straight-up Chaotic Evil.
  • Big Bad Venger from the Dungeons & Dragons (1983) cartoon does have a few deceptive schemes, but if he strikes a deal with someone, he's not likely to be the one who breaks it, and the heroes are often surprised that he doesn't backstab them when they agree to cooperate.
  • South Park:
    • Lennart Bedrager qualifies due to his fanatical belief in a perfect world. While his plans require chaos, it's so he can set up a new society. Subverted later on when it's revealed he's secretly a Chaotic Evil asshole trying to troll the whole world.
      We're going to use you. To set the world on fire. When the (troll trace) servers go online, there will be panic, chaos, and war. And from the ashes a new world will rise—A world where everyone is happy and a-singing and has no secrets. Like Denmark!
    • PC Principal definitely qualified when he debuted. A strict Headmaster and leader of the ambitious PC Delta, PC Principal takes crap from nobody; even little brats like Cartman suffer his wrath (i.e. he brutally assaults Cartman, a little kid, for using slurs). Aggressive and militaristic, running the school with an iron fist is easy for him. PC ousts people (and students) out for debating sensitive subjects, from which he often issues ridiculous or unfair punishments to wrong-doers. He mellows out into Lawful Neutral later on though, which is closer to how he actually saw himself.
  • Grayson from Spirit: Riding Free is the son of a judge, knows the law back and forth, and never does anything illegal. What makes him evil is that he’s a totally unethical jackass who delights in finding ways to screw people without technically breaking the law, especially if he gets to taunt them later.
  • Peridot from Steven Universe stands on the far lawful side of this, being a technician doing a job. That this job indirectly involves the eradication of sentient life doesn't appear to bother her, and she has personally attempted to kill a small child without a moment of hesitation. The only time we've seen her morally outraged was at the chaotic actions of her superior, Yellow Diamond, looking deeply offended when she was told just follow her orders, ignoring her suggestions to use the Earth for their benefit in a more peaceful way. Indeed, after many episodes of heading towards Lawful Neutral, her Heel–Face Turn is finally cemented when it becomes clear that Yellow Diamond is Chaotic Evil (with the chaotic offending her FAR more than the evil).
    • Blue Diamond, as well. Unlike Yellow Diamond, Blue Diamond is fully willing to do "Rose Quartz's" trial as if it was any other trial, including allowing "her" to make "her" case, complete with a zircon lawyer and everything (even though she's only doing so to prepare a Fate Worse than Death scenario when she's found guilty).
    • White Diamond, the supreme leader of the Gem Homeworld and the overall Big Bad of the original series, is an extreme example. She is the one who established the strict caste system for all Gems to follow in accordance to their natural functionality and demands perfection from all her subjects, from the lowliest Pearl to her fellow Diamonds. If they fall short, or show any signs of weakness or doubt, she makes them "perfect" through direct possession. This is ultimately the key to her undoing. When Steven demonstrates that he's not Pink Diamond, White Diamond undergoes a Villainous Breakdown. Upon realizing the immaturity of this, she gets flustered and realizes that she's not perfect either. Her worldview gets instantly shattered and she finally starts listening to Steven.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has two obvious examples:
    • King Sombra, who ruled the Crystal Empire with an iron fist... er, hoof a thousand years before the main story and would have done so again if he wasn't stopped. In the timeline in "The Cutie Re-mark" where he rules, he has successfully enslaved the Crystal Empire, fitted its citizens with mind-control helmets to turn them into an army of Slave Mooks and embarked on a crusade to bring the rest of Equestria under his rule.
    • Starlight Glimmer, who is a firm believer in The Evils of Free Will and forced a whole town of ponies to give up their cutie marks and live under her strict rules under the guise of giving them "equality" due to her belief that differences and pride in one's special talents are the root of all suffering in society. She didn't give up her cutie mark, but she made an attempt to justify that as a necessity, showing that she believes in her system, even if she is a Hypocrite.
  • Commander Peepers of Wander over Yonder is a type three, although what he lacks and finds in his boss is physical strength and the ability to strike fear into enemies (as he himself is an adorable short eyeball man). He has been shown to be incredibly loyal to Lord Hater, although he gets often frustrated with Hater's disorganized and distracted tendencies.
  • Doctor Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb. While his affability and ineffectuality might make him seem like a Chaotic Neutral figure, "Phineas And Ferb's Quantum Boogaloo" and Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension show that if he ever successfully took over THE ENTIRE! TRI-STATE AREA!, the resultant Villain World would be a horrific dystopian tyranny. The only thing keeping him from being a serious threat is his Contractual Genre Blindness; he insists on following certain "rules" in his Evil Plans which make it easy for Perry to defeat him, like intentionally designing his traps to only work for as long as necessary to explain his backstory, or giving all his devices a self-destruct button or other highly visible weakness.
  • Darkwing Duck: Dark Warrior Duck could define this trope — he's a dictator who sentences people to death for jaywalking, arrests people for being out after curfew, and plans to go back in time to alter the history of laws. He makes a strong contrast to Darkwing's other Evil Counterpart, Negaduck, who is Chaotic Evil.
  • Rick and Morty: The AI for Rick's Ship straddles the line between this and hard Lawful Neutral. It will fulfill Rick or Summer's orders to the letter, but what clinches it as Lawful Evil is that it picks the most horrifying method allowed to execute its duties, with liberal use of Exact Words. Rick instructs it to keep Summer safe? It kills the first person that threatens her. Summer instructs it not to kill anyone? The next person gets a laser to the spinal cord. The only time it doesn't kill/cripple/psychologically scar someone is when Summer restricts the parameters of its operations to peaceful options.
  • Stewie Griffin in Family Guy. How "evil" he is varies from episode to episode, but his crimes include assault, murder, attempted murder, mass murder, kidnapping, theft, frameups, terrorism, blackmail, torture, bids for world domination and many more. Despite this long list of crimes and atrocities, he is consistently shown to believe that as long as agrees with the rules in question (or, as as long as the rules don't restrict HIM personally), he is 100% in favour of an orderly authoritarian society and can be a petty Rules Lawyer towards people who break them (such as showing up at Woodstock to lecture hippies on the dangers of drugs and singing about how great the Establishment is). In an episode where he actually achieves World Domination that turned out to be a virtual reality simulation but whatever he showed that he would rule as an incredibly petty tyrant with a "little list" of people he wants to kill, consisting entirely of people who are annoying or lame, or as he summed it up "everyone who has ever made me PISSED!".
  • While it is true that some of them are genuinely nice people and very likable, it isn't inaccurate to place all of the lead characters of Inside Job (2021) in this category, due to working for a morally bankrupt company that profits off of a worldwide coverup of numerous cryptic entities, appeals to a council of enigmatic and malevolent robed figures, and keeps the populace ignorant and dependent through coercion, manipulation, brainwashing, and murder.
  • The Guild of Calamitous Intent from The Venture Bros. are a coalition of malevolent supervillains, criminals, and malefactors that prides itself on being "the recognized leader in organized havoc". Despite their evil intent, they are not immune from the wide-reaching red tape of bureaucracy. The Guild partakes in mundane but neccesary tasks such as hero/villain screenings to make nemisis rivalries equal, avoids altercations with more mundane law enforcement officers (keeping "regular crime" apart from "super-crime"), running on strict timelines and organized shifts, and abiding to personal heatrhcare policie for both heroes and villains. The heroic organizations that oppose them like the OSI, try hard to not take unfair advantage of these rules, considering that those rules are the one thing keeping them in manageable territory.
    Brock Samson: These guys like their system. It's what they do. You take that away, and you are looking at a bunch of pissed off nutbags with ray guns and giant... I don't know, a giant octopus-slash-tank with laser eyes!


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Lawful Selfish


The Devil

The Devil may be pure evil, but even pure evil must adhere to a code.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / LawfulEvil

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