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Order Is Not Good

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"If we assume that chaos already reigns and that order needs to be restored, who decides what 'order' actually looks like? These two likely have their own opinions on that subject, and they probably don't include the words 'free' or 'will.'"
Splatoon's Squid Research Lab on Telephone & C.Q. Cumber

As laws of fictional universes go, Order Versus Chaos does exist. Enough of the time, to keep it nice and simple for the audience, Order is good and Chaos Is Evil.

However, there are a lot of stories here to tell that freedom and the moral hero are the true measures of goodness. So what if they're on the opposite side to those creating order? What if the lawmakers are restricting freedom and being corrupted by power? Or what if, simply, those in charge aren't really doing any bad, but their subordinates want a new kind of order? Order is not going to be presented as a bit of a hurdle, but to retain the simplicity of Black-and-White Morality by making the concept of Order not good, usually by making it not align with morals. What started as a normal desire to temper one's own passion with restraint and discipline (which when left unrestrained and combined with human's tendencies to pick the bad choices while having potential to pick the good ones, would result in a bad kind of free but chaotic world) ended up spiraling out of control into trying to restrain everyone's passion and indoctrinating one's brand of discipline to others, whether they like it or not.

For smaller scale examples, society accepts some character types that 'go against the rules' and 'challenge the man' — like how All Girls Want Bad Boys and some people think that Good Is Boring.

This may deteriorate to Order being presented as a fascist state that either believes in The Evils of Free Will, or a Well-Intentioned Extremist ruler (or a Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist ruler, as the case may be) that believes the people are endangering themselves and a bit of genocide can work for the greater good (and they tend to promote it with an emphasis on the greater good for an attempt on good publicity). Human creativity is curbed down to impunity since it's an aspect of Chaos that Order considered dangerous, even if it's harmless creativity (for instance: artistic creativity), with the most common reasoning of trying to curb down notions of rebellion or something else that may disrupt the set order. In these cases, the people may either suffer and know it but be generally unable to rebel, or be blind to the true state of affairs. The hero will be able to break free of either situation, by enlightenment and/or strength, and rescue their world. They may also sympathise with the order-bringers, because even though they are rule-breakers, they're the good ones. However, they will think that all the claims For The Greater Good spewed by the Order is hypocritical and inexcusable, no amount of merits can excuse that.

The force of Order may be known as 'Always Lawful Evil', and the heroes are Chaotic Good saviours, though both sides may be shown with Graying Morality — this is a specialty of the gritty films that like to use this trope, and so there will be either an Anti-Hero or Anti-Villain (and sometimes both in the same work, but this is less common). Despite so, sometimes Lawful Good characters will still exist in this kind of conflict. However, they're usually portrayed as someone who has good intentions, but is blinded by the propaganda of the bad order that they were instead causing more harm by following the law, and it is up to the Chaotic Good heroes to shove the truth about that order to the Lawful Good character, prompting them to become a Defector from Decadence and maybe shift into Neutral Good. In a way, this portrays Lawful Good as the least favorable amongst Good alignment, in a way that law and order are considered hindrances for doing good things; they may even try to become an Internal Reformist as a result, but the Chaotic Good heroes are usually depicted to have a better sense, reforming is often considered useless, it has to be smashed down... or at least it's just the corrupt parts that needed to be smashed down, if the Lawful Good character was lucky, the heroes might let them take over and reform the order... but only after the Lawful Evil corrupt villains, who are usually irredeemable, are completely taken down. Scenarios like this often end with the Chaotic Good heroes moving away from the spotlight, because they're not used with administering authority and order, even if they're reformed, preferring to stay in the shadows or mingling with the commoners, only to strike back just in case the new order repeated the past mistakes, effectively becoming boogie men of corrupt orders.

In some cases, the fight may not be against the villainous Order, but a character may get some development by being from or going to an area ruled by such means: everything may seem idyllic, but people are treated like mindless drones, freedom is considered a bad thing and curbed down, and the hero needed to get out of there or found a new world perspective to change/ground his personal morals by seeing the society. When the hero is fighting Order, he will pretty much never be wrong — in the most extreme circumstances an individual's rights are always more important than long-term world-saving goals, and after he's saved the day the hero will discover that this created an even bigger save that freed the galaxy, rather than screwing it over. This doesn't count in time travel plots, though, where they are almost guaranteed to make a mistake and ruin something by trying to free people.

There are several kind of common examples ripes to showcase just how bad Order could be when used wrong:

  • The Empire, whose creed is often 'Bringing Order To [insert region here]'. The characters most likely to become the hero will often be Lovable Rogues, Gentleman Thieves, or Just Like Robin Hood. Though not required to be Chaotic, they often will be, with the Rebel Leader probably being the Big Good, and La Résistance only being shown positively. Conflicts like this tend to have heroes heavily Libertarian and villains being heavily Authoritarian. Likely to go hand in hand if there's an evil, unethical Mega-Corp (see below for more details).
  • Stories featuring God Is Evil, mostly due to religious dogma — particularly those of Abrahamic faiths such as Christianity — being closely associated with authoritarianism and conservatism. The Guy Upstairs and his followers will be depicted as tyrannical and inflexible Knight Templars who are obsessed with "purity," labeling disobedience, passion, individuality, and fun as sins that can only be wiped out through the establishment of a World of Silence at best, or a factory reset of the universe at worst. The heroes may thus Rage Against the Heavens in order to make sure this doesn't happen, with The Guy Downstairs often being the setting's ultimate force of Chaotic Good. Goes hand in hand if said God is also a Demiurge Archetype.
  • Stories involving a Mega-Corp, a commercial entity so massive that it's likely to be the sole corporation of the setting (without needing to be an Evil, Inc.), crushing down any competitions with impunitynote  and eliminating the more 'chaotic' variety, creating a monopoly of profit, which is read as being utterly greedy, but also doing it with various unfair lawful maneuvers. Their profits are then used to further create good publicity that they look like this caring, benevolent company while in truth, they still needlessly drain the money of the normal people, crushing the poor while others who are gullible see this mostly as a manner of 'convenience' (mostly the rich). Their insides are full of Corrupt Corporate Executive, while the Honest Corporate Executive are helplessly stomped down into being unable to do anything (or eventually corrupted). In a sense, it's a financial version of The Empire above, bringing a bad, monotony order in the world of commerce and finance (they also either go hand-in-hand with the Empire or worse: the Empire can be under their thumbs instead). And thus our heroes would be those who value variety and 'small businesses' and naturally 'proper business ethics', trying to oppose these cheaters who abuse order in the name of self-profit.

Of course, there are also cases where Both Order and Chaos are Dangerous, and God and Satan Are Both Jerks with Grey-and-Gray Morality. However, if this trope is in effect, even if Chaos is presented as a dangerous force, at the very least it will be shown as a more affable force and perhaps more fun instead of overly restricting.

Compare Light Is Not Good, God Is Evil, Satan Is Good, Liberty Over Prosperity, Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters. Nebulous overlap with Lawful Stupid; sometimes the Big Bad’s plan to establish a perfect order may work a little too well and breed reactionary fanatics. While perhaps not intentionally evil or even malicious on their own, the Lawful Stupid tend to react to the new and strange with obstructive contempt at best and rabid hostility at worst due to blind loyalty to the system. Contrast Passion Is Evil, usually considered as what the bringers of Order feared would happen if they don't spread their order to everyone.

The opposite of this would be Hobbes Was Right, where the authoritarian bringers of Order, no matter how bad, was necessary to prevent even greater damage that unchecked freedom or The Evils of Free Will would've (and actually had) caused and thus the order-bringers truly believe that it has been proven that 'free will', 'freedom' or 'human rights' could be used as just sweet words to force one (or many)'s opinions which ended up being proven 'usually ending with disasters' and thus they're not going to fall for those moral-based lies or convincing again, the authoritive order has to be implemented even if they'll look like soul-crushing evil bastards in the end.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Fresh Pretty Cure!: The Big Bad of the series is Moebius of the Labyrinth, someone who dominates The Multiverse and turns his victims into Empty Shells, devoid of happiness and freedom and only existing to serve him, with every aspect of their lives decided by Moebius (though some like Eas eventually broke away, followed much later by Westar and Soular). As it turns out, Moebius is actually a supercomputer made by the previously normal people of Labyrinth who wants to manage their heavy lives with better, automated order. Unfortunately for them, Moebius' A.I. Is a Crapshoot and he took over.
  • Dragons in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid are split into three factions: Order, Chaos, and Unaligned. Within the "Order" faction are dragons who go out of their ways to cause strife among the humans, such as by demanding Human Sacrifices to solve problems they could easily amend, others who abuse human laws to make themselves revered as gods, some who just want the excuse to lawfully kill Chaos dragons, and some who are borderline Lawful Stupid. Dragons in the "Chaos" faction include Knights Templar who think that Humans Are the Real Monsters who kill their friends and family, many who object to humans labelling dragons as Always Chaotic Evil, Social Darwinists who think that dragons are never morally fallible as long as they can kill anyone who tries to stop them, and many who are simply Chaotic Evil.
  • Dragon Ball Z gives us Frieza who may be chaotic evil as an individual but runs an interplanetary empire that is implied to be an example of this. His subjects are kept in line out of fear that their planet may be the next casualty of his wrath and in the years following his defeat we see the remaining organization struggling to maintain relevance, indicating both that there was an actual structure to the empire and that it was held together entirely by Freiza's tyranny.
    • A later arc in Dragon Ball Super gives us a more extreme example with Zamasu, an insane god of the Omnicidal Maniac variety that wishes to create a perfectly ordered universe... by removing all inferior life from it, including the other gods. The end result may be a generic doomsday plot but it was explicitly set in motion by his digust with the chaotic brutality of the mortal world and the unwillingness of the other kais to "properly police" it by his standards. Unfortunately for him he failed to account for an even higher authority in the heirarchy...

    Comic Books 
  • In the original Men in Black comics, the Men in Black personify Order, but it's Order in the sense of conformity, control, and keeping secrets to preserve the status quo at all costs, even saving a corrupt politician from prosecution or meddling with people's minds. They have no regard for justice, honor, or virtue.
  • In one issue of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW), Discord inverts himself into the Order Spirit "Accord" after coming to think that Chaos Is Evil. Naturally, this didn't work out: pointing out that individuality is a form of chaos, he sought to "spread order" by assimilating all ponies into one homogenous Mind Hive, where everypony would think, act and feel exactly the same.
  • Jack Kirby's New Gods comics were initially very clear in-universe, and he was very open in interviews, that Darkseid was specifically Lawful Evil (fascist) and the good guys were Chaotic Good.
  • Secret Warps: The last issue introduces Korvos, who has witnessed the events of the series and believes it is proof the universe is crying out for order. His order. And did we mention Korvos is made from Thanos and Korvac? Because that should probably be a hint how beneficial his idea of order will be.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Sonic and his allies from Knothole Village battle the Killer Robots and Brainwashed and Crazy roboticized citizens controlled by Doctor Ivo Robotnik. While this started as a coup d'etat against the rightful monarchy, Robotnik now seeks to convert all sentient creatures of Mobius into his personal servant corps.
  • Libra, a lesser-known villain of the Justice League of America who's best known for his role in Final Crisis, models himself on bringing balance. He's also a Card-Carrying Villain in league with Darkseid and helping him Take Over the World.
  • The Transformers (IDW):
    • The Functionist Council, one of the ruling powers of pre-war Cybertron, were driven by an obsessive need to make everything fit into a pre-ordained category. Anyone who didn't fit got mutilated until they did. Megatron's earliest political works began as criticisms of their attitude.
    • Cut forward a million years later, and Megatron's dream of freedom has become so warped that he believes the best thing for Cybertron is a world where he is in absolute, unquestioned control of Cybertron, where everything fits into a pre-ordained category... chosen by him. When Optimus asks what would become of freedom, free will and personal responsibility, Megatron blithely replies "they won't be missed."
  • In Transformers: Shattered Glass, the (recently-created, it's a long story) Mirror Universe version of Primus is a tyrannical deity that seeks to eradicate whatever doesn't fit within his vision of universal order.

    Fan Works 

  • The Star Wars original trilogy possibly popularized this term, where the story is about a group of heroic rebels under La Résistance trying to free the galaxy from one of fiction's most iconic empires, led by the evil Emperor Palpatine. The film's popularity entrenched in the minds of its fandom that empires and order, in general, are heavily evil, and dashing rebels tend to be good hero material. The prequels and expanded universe novels, comics, games and TV shows subverted this however with a Lawful Good (if somewhat flawed) Jedi Order and Republic and the presence of Neutral and Chaotic Evil antagonists, and overall made it more of a Morality Kitchen Sink.
  • George Lucas (who is the father of the franchise above) directed THX 1138 in 1971, the story of a nameless production manager who goes rogue in a Big Brother Is Watching Dystopia. The populace is kept docile with psychotropics and sedatives in their food, and surveillance cameras and android police are everywhere.
  • Lord Business of The LEGO Movie is obsessed with everything meeting his idea of order. To that end, he has suppressed creativity, arrested and tortured anyone that makes any change he has not approved of, brainwashes the populace with mindless consumer products, and his Evil Plan is to use a superweapon to freeze the entire universe so no one will mess with his stuff. He is an exaggeration of The Man Upstairs, a father who doesn't want his son to mess around with his Lego sets and glues things in place to keep them "perfect". The Builders' extreme disorganization skirts the line with Both Order and Chaos are Dangerous, but they're definitely not villainous.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5 ultimately reveals that The Vorlons are this - when things stop going according to their script, they roll out superweapons capable of destroying entire planets, intent on wiping out any civilisation that might be tainted by their enemy - and quite possibly planning to move on to anyone else that threatens their plans.
  • Black Mirror: Nosedive takes place in a future dystopia where everybody uses a social media platform (think Facebook meets Trip Advisor) to rate each other. Your rating determines every aspect of your life, including where you can live or work, who you can associate with and even your priority for cancer treatment. Society is highly regimented and constrictive, perhaps even moreso than a traditional totalitarian government dystopia because everybody is a vacuous narcissist who is constantly judging everything you do, and if you act out and make someone else upset or offended or even just use Brutal Honesty, they'll think you are being a Jerkass and downvote you, which will have serious real-world consequences on your life - in one scene a work colleague of the protagonist is downvoted to such a degree that he is barred from entering the building he works in and he presumably loses his job. And if your rating drops low enough, then you are arrested and imprisoned, possibly indefinitely, which is what happens to the protagonist of the episode. To top it off, this scenario is actually treated as a Bittersweet Ending because she is downright giddy that she can finally say whatever she wants and finally have real friendships and connections with the other prisoners.
  • Light, the alien entity in the Doctor Who story Ghost Light, is attempting to create a catalogue of all life on Earth, but is utterly unable to cope with the fact that things keep changing and ultimately decides that a perfectly-ordered catalogue is preferable to all this chaos - in other words, best to just end all life on Earth so it can move on. The Doctor points out that Light itself keeps changing, because change is inevitable, and Light expires. The Doctor comments, "Subject for Catalogue: File under Imagination, comma, Lack Of."
  • This is one of the main themes of Kamen Rider Outsiders. In this crossover anthology, a supposedly Benevolent A.I. called Zein seeks to study human benevolence and also seeking to usher humanity into a utopia without human malice. This gives the (former and current) villains a good reason to oppose it; knowing that sacrificing freedom over security to keep the world safe will upset the Balance Between Good and Evil in the Kamen Rider universe means mankind will be on the verge of stagnancy, to the point Foundation X quickly took action by assembling the namesake team of Kamen Rider villains by reviving dead villains or even recruit active ones from previous seasons to oppose Zein.
  • While nothing is shown on screen in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Adar tells Galadriel what Sauron did after the defeat of Morgoth. He went in the farthest northern parts of Middle-earth followed by his Orcs, where he began a series of Evilutionary Biologist level of experiments on the Orcs because he wanted to create something with which he could order and rule Middle-earth. His bad treatment of the Orcs got him "split open".
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has the Dominion, an interstellar empire whose Founders explicitly describe their mission as "imposing order on a chaotic universe". This is at least partly a principled-sounding gloss on the Founders' deep-seated paranoia and xenophobia, which drives them to seek absolute power to ensure their own safety.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation introduced the Borg Collective: a society whose citizens have their brains wired together, creating a hardwired Hive Mind. The Borg live in their cube-shaped spacecraft, and cherry-pick other civilizations back to the Bronze Age. Until their second encounter with Captain Picard, the Borg had seemed an irresistible force. "Prepare to be assimilated. Resistance is futile." Interestingly for this trope, their main opponent is a far more benevolent form of Order in the Lawful Good Federation.
  • Engerraund Serac of Westworld is one of Rehoboam's creators who believe that order must absolutely be instilled on humanity to guide them into a better future after having seen his home being destroyed by a nuke and that Rehoboam predicted humanity's demise. To do that, Rehoboam gathers all of humanity's personal data and uses them to dictate what should they do in their lives. The cost of this is that humans are living in an illusion of choice, growing too dependent on Rehoboam's dictation, with their daily lives perpetually stuck in routines and loops. If the system considers you a lost cause, then you don't have better opportunities to improve yourself, forcing you to be stuck into menial jobs until it drives you into an early grave. Meanwhile, those who don't equate to Rehoboam's dictation are considered to be outliers where they are reconditioned via AR therapy to become better members of society. But those who failed the therapy are sent into a cryogenic state and declared dead. Serac and Rehoboam's obsession with control and order on humanity confirmed Robert Ford's statement that the humans are very similar to the Hosts, where they're stuck in loops and any aberrant are sent into cold storage. And yet by the end of Season 3, Serac turns out to be Rehoboam's puppet who depends on its instruction from an earpiece. The irony of this? Everything that Serac had done is delaying the inevitable where humanity would soon be wiped out and the Hosts would take their place which eventually became true in Season 4 when the host counterpart of Hale, who is a copy of Dolores, conquers humanity and enslaves them, putting them into narratives just their kind and using Serac's methods to control them.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Gnosticism is usually perceived as this to modern audiences, with the Demiurge and his Archons holding dominion over the world and generally being associated with soul-crushing order.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons stance is usually Chaotic is no more evil then Lawful, with Chaotic Good being just as good as Lawful Good, Chaotic Neutral just as Neutral as Lawful Neutral, and Chaotic Evil equally evil as Lawful Evil. Many iconic monsters like Devils and Orcs (later made into Hobgoblins) being Lawful Evil. Though sometimes the perception that Chaos Is Evil is played straight, mainly due to popular fan perception.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Invoked in that this is a large part of the philosophy of Red Mana, hence the reason it's enemies with White Mana (literally associated with order and community) and Blue Mana (knowledge and control), but like all the colors Red exists in a spectrum. At its best, this results in Chaotic Good heroes like Chandra Nalaar. At its worst, you get Chaotic Evil anarchists or villains who do things For the Evulz.
    • This is also explicitly a major flaw of White Mana, which is why "White Mana-aligned" isn't synonymous with being Good. White Mana centers around Order and Community as its driving values. At its positive, this creates strongly united, harmonious cultures. At its negative, this creates tyranny and the suppression of individuality.
    • Played straight on the plane of Ravnica, where all of the White Mana Guilds display this to some extent. The Azorius Senate are hyper-conservatives, who promote the most byzantine and obstructive bureaucracy imaginable to stymie any attempts to change the way Ravnica works and who value the law far more than the people who follow it. The Boros Legion are Knight Templars who will enforce brutal and oppressive laws passed by the Azorius Senate. The Orzhov Syndicate are a Corrupt Church who exploit those under them, enfolding them in literally soul-crushing chains of debt and guilt and binding the spirits of dead debtors to work off what they owe as ghostly laborers. And then we have the Selesnya Conclave, perhaps the most triumphant example of this trope on the plane, who are essentially a Mind Hive cult that seeks to exterminate free will and individuality completely in the name of harmony.
  • In Planescape, all three of the "Law Dedicated" Factions showcase this, as Sigil is kind of a Crapsack World:
    • The Fraternity of Order, the least offensive, are essentially what happens when you combine a stereotypical data-crunching nerd, an Obstructive Bureaucrat, and a Rules Lawyer in a blender and then put the results in charge of the legal and judicial governing of the city.
    • The Mercykillers are a bunch of homicidal, hide-bound justice freaks — their name is not to be taken literally; they want to kill mercy in pursuit of purer delivery of justice. They're Sigil's jailers and executioners.
    • Perhaps the worst of the lot are the Harmonium, who actively crusade under the banner of Chaos Is Evil, but whom are made clear to basically disapprove of independence, free-thinking and anything that entails not being part of their narrowly defined group-think policies. Just on the ground level, it's bad enough that they have a strong continent of Dirty Cops who, amongst more mundane corruption exercise Fantastic Racism against the Indepsnote , up to and including beating them, imprisoning them under false charges, and even murdering them. But the rot goes all the way up, and even the Harmonium's current leader, who is The Paladin, will showcase some of the poison: if the party reveals this is going on to him, the offenders will ultimately get away with a slap on the wrist, because as far as the Harmonium is concerned, their only misconduct is acting without awaiting orders to do so first. More dramatic examples of their connection to this trope include the time when their barbarous "re-education" experiments caused an entire Lawful Good plane to break off from its neighbors and merge into the Lawful Neutral plane instead, and the little fact that they committed genocide on all the Neutral and Chaotic races on their homeworld. Including the Neutral Good and Chaotic Good ones.

    Video Games 
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn: As it turns out, the Goddess of Order Ashera is the Big Bad and wants to create a perfectly orderly world of her design, which requires every living being in the world to be turned to stone. On the other hand, the resident Goddess of Chaos, Yune, is more personable. Discussed extensively when Yune explains that both Order and Chaos are morally neutral forces, and that she and Ashera govern all positive and negative aspects of their respective domains. Whether a goddess retains the positive aspects of her domain or succumbs to the negative aspects depends on her connection to mortals; Yune kept that because she spent her imprisonment surrounded by the songs of the heron clan, while Ashera lost it because she spent her slumber in complete isolation.
    • On a less cosmic scale, during Radiant Dawn's predecessor, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, the main antagonist force is the country of Daein, led by the Mad King Ashnard, an evil Social Darwinist who seeks to create a society where Might Makes Right and the weak are brutally ruled over by the strong. In the aftermath of the game, the more orderly Begnion, allies of Ike and the Crimean army, took over Daein in a bid to bring order to the land. Unfortunately, the Begnion Senate is largely made up of corrupt nobles who wind up making things even worse (to the point that some in Daein preferred living under Ashnard), and they become the main antagonists of Radiant Dawn Also, the deity Begnion worships? The aforementioned Ashera.
    • Double-subverted in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War. The antagonist Arvis strives to create an orderly, peaceful utopia/empire even at the cost of killing the main character Sigurd, and succeeding at it. Once he's done his deed, he did his best to actually make his reign as Grannvale Emperor a peaceful and well-loved one. But thanks to a bit of miscalculation, he ended up watching the good, orderly Empire he built up spiral headlong into a straight example of the trope, requiring a new liberation army led by Seliph to set things right and bring freedom and peace back to Jugdral.
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the archbishop Rhea becomes the Big Bad of the Crimson Flower route, as the policies she put in place to maintain stability across Fódlan wind up locking the continent in a lengthy Medieval Stasis, prompting the war that spans the second half of the game. Even on other routes where Rhea isn't the Big Bad, all of the characters agree that some kind of change needed to happen. Rhea agrees with this somewhat, but unless proven otherwise, witnessing the horrors of the Red Canyon massacre convince her that humanity is inherently chaotic and/or evil and the status quo had to be preserved in order to keep mankind's more destructive tendencies in check. If she survives the whole game with her sanity intact, she'll acknowledge that mankind has matured enough to not need guidance and order anymore and allows the status quo to be changed.
  • Tales of Berseria: The Abbey led by Artorius Colbrande swore to rid the world of evil and bring order and reason to the world by upholding The Needs of the Many. However, the Abbey's methods are questionable at best and completely suppress freedom (which is exactly the point, as they are against The Evils of Free Will), including liberal use of a Slave Race (the malakhim) as expendable tools, killing daemons under the pretense that all humans will eventually turn into daemons and a swift death is the only solution, and a hostile takeover of a local religion to replace with its own. The Anti-Hero Team led by Velvet has plenty of personal reasons to oppose the Abbey, but most reasons boil down to "freedom from the Abbey's tyranny".
  • Happens quite a lot in Blizzard Entertainment's main franchises:
    • StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and to an extension StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm has this dynamic, with Jim Raynor being the heroic dashing Rebel Leader of Raynor's Raiders helping people that were put under the tyranny of Dominion's Arcturus Mengsk's iron-fisted governmental order where he curbs freedom and truth that doesn't convenience him while claiming that he's doing it for his people's own good, though Raynor also has a major personal beef against Mengsk for this. Sarah Kerrigan (The Queen of Blades who controls the Zerg swarm that ravages the galaxy) finishes the job in the latter by personally killing Mengsk, allowing his son Valerian take over and subvert the trope come StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, turning the Dominion into a force of good while keeping order.
    • Diablo III: While the orderly High Heavens are very unhelpful thanks to the de facto leader Imperius disliking humans, they are at most neutral. In the Reaper of Souls expansion, the previous leader of the High Heavens Malthael returns as an Ax-Crazy angel of death hellbent on restoring balance and order to the universe by killing everything that has a demon taint on it, including all humans, to ensure that the High Heavens win the Eternal Conflict and has the right to rule all creations. For that, the Nephalems kicked his ass. In addition, the Nephalems found out that the High Heavens were adamant to win over the Eternal Conflict so they could get the rights to rule all creation with their order, regardless of how much destruction on the world would be caused. Needless to say, they are not amused to the High Heavens in general, save for a few good ones (like Tyrael).
    • Overwatch: The Vishkar Corporation is obsessed with bringing order into the world and has renovated their country India into a beautiful country after the Omnic Crisis. Their methods, however, are very shady, including plucking out a talented child from their poverty and molded her into their enforcer/cheerleader; one of the playable characters, Symmetra; as well as enforcing curfew, bombing rival companies and slavery on poor people without care of their welfare, as long as they can renovate and bring order while claiming that they did it for the greater good. Even an indoctrinated person like Symmetra herself start to doubt if this was really the case, and when Lucio rebels against them and frees his people from Vishkar's renovation, he's instantly hailed as the obvious hero, and Vishkar is obviously the villainous one. Unfortunately, since Symmetra is still obsessed with order and sticks with Vishkar, she often gets considered as the villainous one when facing Lucio.
  • Shin Megami Tensei has the Law faction, representing Order in the Order Versus Chaos conflict. The faction is often depicted as beings who seek to control others for the glory of YHVH at those who think an authoritarian ruler is needed for the people's own good. Unlike other examples, they also usually portray Chaos (represented by Lucifer) negatively as well, showing their common ideology being one of Social Darwinism. The result can be summed up as God and Satan Are Both Jerks and some levels of Grey-and-Gray Morality, but YHVH's badness (and Values Dissonance, while the Japanese audience sees that YHVH's order can be more reasonable due to their values on societal harmony, the Western audience considered such restrictive order that curbs freedom not a worthy exchange for societal harmony) kind of leads to the Law faction being more hated by the fandom and considered more 'evil' with some of their good traits usually not even considered.
    • Persona 5: The Big Bad of the game is the resident God of Control, Yaldabaoth (same being from the Gnostic bible), who takes advantage of the people of Tokyo's subconscious desire of wanting to be guided with an order without making their own decisions, being content with their orderly lives. It takes a group of Phantom Thieves led by Protagonist Joker, a group of people that takes their fates to their own hands and not wanting to be bogged down by the rigid order to break through his game and defeat him. Furthering this, most of the Phantom Thieves' Personas are modeled after rogue figures that rebel against the authority, with Joker's ultimate persona being the ultimate rebel: Satanael, the angel that rebelled against God and ended up being known as the Devil.
  • Soul Series: The titular Soul Calibur at first was thought as a holy sword meant to bring order against the chaotic Soul Edge, which is pure evil. Unfortunately, its plan to bring order is to freeze the entire world to create a world of silence, and it sees humans as nothing but tools to manipulate. Naturally, even some heroes were pissed at this and abandoned it.
  • BlazBlue: The Novis Orbus Librarium (NOL) at first was presented like this, having brought order to the ravaged world, but went very tyrannical about it while also conducting a lot of dangerous experiments, curbing a rival federation that attempted to regain their independence (Ikaruga), and the hero is Ragna the Bloodedge, a rebel that destroys NOL facilities for his own personal reasons and has a bounty on his head. However, eventually double-subverted that NOL as a whole is a mixed bag, there are also genuinely good orderly people like Kagura Mutsuki... who eventually rebels against the current NOL to fix the organization. As it turns out, it was just that bad because it was manipulated by the Big Bad, Yuki Terumi, a thoroughly despicable scum.
  • Breath of Fire series: The overarching storyline of games 1-3 involves the Dragons' attempts to rise up and overthrow the world's deity, Myria, while Myria herself often manipulates factions to attempt to eradicate the Dragon Clan. The first game pits you against Myria with no explanation. The second game pits you against her remnant which formed a Religion of Evil. The third game has her revive properly, and it is only then that the player learns that she is a source of nurturing and stability for the world, and without her, the chaos of nature would reign supreme. On the flipside, under her reign, people have limited freedom and enforced Medieval Stasis.
  • Mega Man Zero is the story of Zero fighting the local government Neo Arcadia, a post-apocalyptic oppressive government. While they strive on making a utopia, they're facing an energy crisis, and by the orders of its (generally incompetent) leader, Reploids (robots) are to be cut down in numbers systematically; they are also made into second class citizens despite their full conscience. The Resistance is made by Ciel as a shelter for protecting Reploids who are endangered by Neo Arcadia and those who choose to leave the city, which is where our hero Zero belongs to. It gets worse in Mega Man Zero 3, in which Dr. Weil usurps Neo Arcadia's leader and then makes the empire a living hell where humans now get the "Maverick" treatment that is usually used for Reploids, to the point that a few humans tried to flee the place for the Last Fertile Region Area Zero and Weil then tries to destroy said region.
  • Assassin's Creed: Two examples have come up.
    • For the most part, the Templars faction is the force of order in the verse and the main antagonist, apparently having conspiracies that make them behind many things in history. Many times, the Assassins point out their idea of order would be a world where everyone is subsumed to their will.
      Edward Kenway: You would see all of mankind corralled into a neatly furnished prison, safe and sober, yet dulled beyond reason and sapped of all spirit.
    • The Instruments of the First Will, a Cult dedicated to Juno, is even worse, as they lack even the limited standards of the Templars, and instead want to enforce the reinstitution of slavery of mankind to the remaining Isu and are even more hateful of free will.
    • Origins has recordings from a group of Isu, one of whom laments that the Isu as a whole believed in order, which was what ultimately killed them, since it stopped them finding a way to prevent their extinction, and prevents anyone else from finding a way to Screw Destiny.
  • Azure Striker Gunvolt: The Sumeragi Group is pretty much the de facto government in the series, especially regarding Adepts, but also in military, technological advancements, economics etc. They work on maintaining a peaceful country (implied to be Japan) where humans and Adepts can live in peace despite the Fantastic Racism, but unbeknownst to most people, they also like capturing certain Adepts and perform hideous experiments on them and making Adepts' lives endangered in general, which is the concern for QUILL, an organization devoted for protecting Adepts from Sumeragi Group's clutches. Our hero Gunvolt is an Adept and member of QUILL, who are tasked to stop the Adept higher-ups of Sumeragi called the Swordsmen; a good number of them are Sumeragi's enforcers, while at least 2 of them (Elise and Stratos) are actually victims of their experiments and abuse. Their leader, Nova, also revealed that they plan to use the power of the Muse (i.e the powers of your Adept companion, Joule) as a catalyst of controlling Adepts worldwide; Gunvolt is understandably against this. Note, however, that Nova throws his point that without Sumeragi to keep the Adepts in line, nothing will prevent Adepts from abusing their powers and destroying the world. In one supplemental material, this apparently has happened; Adepts' shenanigans really have torn the world apart and it's by Sumeragi's efforts that they can keep at least one country in check. The second game even introduces new Adept villains who use the downfall of Sumeragi as their starting point of their Kill All Humans plan.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the Shivering Isles expansion exaggerates this by having the realm of madness be invaded by Knights of Order, whose vision of order is turning the whole place into a desolate lifeless wasteland, filled with gray crystalline structures. The player works with Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness, in order to stop this from happening. The Knights of Order leader, Jyggalag, is the Daedric Prince of Order and has something to do with Sheogoroath: the other Daedric Princes turned him into Sheogorath to stop his power because he threatened to control everything.
  • Implied and defied in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Dracula claims that his actions were no different with the actions of the order humans call 'religion'. However, Richter tells him that he's full of crap about it, because in this verse, the religious order are actually good.
    Richter: You steal men's souls and make them your slaves!
    Dracula: Perhaps the same could said of all religions.
    Richter: Your words are as empty as your soul!
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us: Superman's Regime is an absolutely totalitarian and brutal government that aims to impose peace through fear, and has made countless of victims across Earth and beyond (many of them were his former allies). It still acknowledged as a force of order that managed to end warfare and conflict, to the point the Greek God of War Ares is extremely weakened with no more strife and violence to feed him, allowing mortal heroes to kick his ass. When the Regime is toppled, balance is completely ruined and the order enforced by the Regime crumbles with supervillains coming out of the woodwork to fill in the power gap. In the sequel, Brainiac invades Earth and the Lords of Order, Powers That Be who watch over balance, allow it to happen because it will restore order to Earth - even though Brainiac will harvest all valuable contents and destroy what is left, and attempting to stop him will trigger a potentially worse disaster in the horizon. In his Mirror Match, Doctor Fate shows doubt and anger at the Lords of Order abandoning humanity while the other Fate sticks to their will.
  • The factions in Smite are split on Order and Chaos. Order is presented with bright blue colors, more pleasant scenery and an angelic Titan, but according to the backstory, the Order side is made to subjugate mankind who were drifting away from giving prayers to the Gods, to restore the order of old. Chaos values the freedom and protection of mankind but is represented with red color, dark scenery, and a fiery, brutish Titan. And according to the supplemental materials like the comics, more virtuous deities like Athena are on the Chaos side...
  • Galeem of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate wants to bring the universe under his control, by eviscerating everyone and everything. Of course, his counterpart Dharkon isn't any better.
  • Nasuverse: A running theme in later works in the series is the idea that perfect order must inevitably lead to stagnation, and a slow death of the human race.
    • Fate/EXTRA: The Harwey family rules over most of Earth, and is poised to take over the rest of it, after a huge disaster of an unspecified nature lead to magic disappearing and a slow decline of humanity. Their ideal is to uphold the status quo at all costs, as they believe this ensures a longer lasting survival for everyone. Most of the heroic characters are of the opinion that this will only lead to humanity's extinction, perhaps over hundreds or thousands of years, but extinction nonetheless, as development, growth, and innovation are necessary for humanity to thrive.
    • Fate/Grand Order: The goal of the first Big Bad in the story is to stop humanity from ever dying. He plans to do this by annihilating humanity and its history in its present form, using that as fuel to go back to the beginning of time, and molding a new humanity to his own ideals. To hear him describe it, this new "humanity" would have more in common with plants than anything else: they would be eternal and undying, but they wouldn't really do anything other than sit around and exist. On the other hand, the story generally avoids the trope going hand-in-hand with God Is Evil or the likes, since one reason why the Big Bad failed was because the Abrahamic God predicted that scheme and put a countermeasure to make sure the plan to save humanity go without a hitch, in form one of His most trusted chosen ones: King Solomon.
      • The third "Cosmos in the Lostbelt" storyline deals with an alternate timeline in which Qin Shi Huang managed to achieve immortality and conquered the world, thus creating a world that is completely stable at the cost of keeping the populaces docile by outlawing all forms of knowledge he deems "Confucian" as well as culling them before they reach old age to keep them from suffering. This has the effect of making a world where human potential has been completely crippled, thus causing it to be a doomed timeline that was "pruned" from "Proper Human History".
      • The sixth Lostbelt is an unique case of this trope being Played With or inverted. When the heroes arrive, they find the idyllic land of Fae to be under the extreme tyranny of Lostbelt Morgan le Fae where aside of some sadistic mistakes here and there, the Fae are fighting for their freedom to do their fun and purposes instead of living under the thumb of Morgan, not to mention the heroes needed something from Morgan and needed her to be deposed for that. But... The Fae, in their own nature, is very hell bent to keep their freedom of their fun and purposes, in which they also see 'flipping from being fun-loving to sadistic freaks' as something they want to keep and they absolutely don't like being ordered around, having screwed up the world and a benevolent God several times in the past for 'telling them what to do'. The world has gone through several time loops where Morgan tried to save them, but she got backstabbed by them every time in the most cruel fashion possible while the Fae think that her sight of despair is something fun. Eventually Morgan snapped and decided to be a cruel, authoritarian dictator, actually bringing a semblance of order in the world (and making the Fae pay for their disproportionate misdeeds), but even that was eventually undone again and she was killed in the most humiliating and brutal fashion possible like a despot being dethroned... and then the Fae indulged in their unrestrained, full of freedom, self-destructive nature by doing pointless bloody wars that their world was destroyed by something akin of Gaia's Vengeance and this history was pruned. Thus, it makes the Order side the Lesser of Two Evils when compared to the freedom side of the Fae.
  • Saradomin, the God of Order in RuneScape is typically assumed to also be the God of Good among most humans in the setting, contrasting him with Zamorak, the God of Chaos, typically portrayed as evil. Neither is true, as although Saradomin often advocates peace among civilization as a means to maintain order, he is also not above commanding armors to enforce his particular variety of peace or to advance his own agenda. His reputation is at least partially derived from the fact that Saradomin and the human race originate from the same plane, and that he ascended from among their number. He is contrasted with Armadyl, the God of Justice, who is more pacifistic and less decisive, and Zaros, the God of Control and Fate, who maintained a significantly more ordered Evil Empire in centuries past.
  • This is the stated reason for the main conflict in Streets of Rogue, with the rebellion rising up against the extreme tyranny of the mayor. In practice however the setting is such an inherently chaotic place that any sort of order behind the dystopian regime is something of an Informed Attribute.
  • Played With with Heroes of Might and Magic series, whereas there is an Academy/Order faction, but it's nowhere as evil or good as any other faction (including Chaos/Dungeon faction, although it has a tendency to showcase the bad side); although it has implications of the usage of Slave Race and curbing their freedom, it's one of the good factions. IV has the more classical take of Order Is Not Good in form of Gavin Magnus, who was once a good Order leader but the Reckoning broke him that he decided that the next best thing is to rob everyone of their free will and therefore creating a perfect new world. His opposition is another Order hero, Emilia Nighthaven, who actually defied the trope, making her Queendom an epitome of fair and just order and being a generally Benevolent Mage Ruler-slash-Magnetic Hero that while maintaining order to prevent her people to suffer from chaotic anarchy and plundering, she still respects her subjects' free will.
  • Mass Effect: The Reapers see themselves as imposing order on all races. They do this by showing up, wiping out huge chunks of those races, doing worse to the ones they don't kill, and never once bothering to explain why they're doing it.
  • Sonic Frontiers: The Big Bad is an Eldritch Abomination known as "THE END" which is a consumer of worlds and boasts of its past actions during the True Final Boss fight as having brought "all the teeming chaos of creation" to order, neutrality, and nothing.

  • The 10 Doctors takes this approach to the White Guardian, who in the series was generally depicted as benevolent, or at least as clearly better than the Black Guardian. The webcomic points out that a total victory by Order would be just as bad as a total victory by Chaos, and underlines it by saying that the White Guardian approves of the Daleks, because they represent an attempt to impose order and uniformity on a chaotic universe.
  • Corey Messer's Furry Webcomic Plush and Blood focuses on Fox and Grey, two of the last resistance fighters against President Brown and his Broken Circle party. Brown maintains a Stepford Suburbia by brainwashing a percentage of citizens into Hive Mind social agents. The peace that results, in Brown's mind, justifies his ironclad rule.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: While evil examples of both order and chaos are abound in the rotting Multiverse, the comic comes down more on this side than the alternative. The current order of the Multiverse, created by the non-aggression pact between the Seven and the rules set down by The Creator, are really bad for most of its inhabitants, and the role of The Chosen One is implied to be to break the current order. The best example of the trope directly is Solomon David, the Demiurge of Pride, who is both this and Light Is Not Good by being a brutal Knight Templar God-Emperor who imposes his order on his seventh of the universe, usually by brutally killing anyone who does not fit into his system. Angels are literally made form the stuff of order, but whereas the devils of chaos are Always Chaotic Evil, the angels are not particularly good.
  • Dominic Deegan: Order, in the form of the metaphysical plane of Law, represents logic and order, but also oppression and conformity when applied in excess. Raf MaLiksh, an elven leader who represented Law, demonstrated this when his oppressive regime results in riots and his own creation - Acibek, a golem created from law and order magic - to turn on him.

    Western Animation 
  • In Disney's Aladdin: The Series, this trope is used with Mechanikles, the Grecian Mad Scientist. His "Orderly" nature manifests itself through the combination of his Neat Freak and Obsessively Organized traits, and many of his schemes are aimed at making the world "neater". This leads to him attempting to, among other things, burn Arabia to the ground in order to melt the deserts into an enormous expanse of glass, destroy the Rainforest of Thundra from which originates all the rain in the world, and boil the oceans to steam-clean the world, which would have resulted in the destruction of all life on the planet.
  • Gargoyles featured the Matrix, a Hive Mind Nanomachines swarm whose only directive is to "bring order to the world". It chooses to interpret this as meaning "absorb all matter and reprocess it as a lifeless crystalline landscape". Then, a subversion comes up: Reformed Criminal Dingo points out that Order can also be defined as law and justice. Intrigued, the Matrix asks Dingo to show it this new kind of order.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil features St. Olga's School For Wayward Princesses, a reform school that brainwashes its students into giving up their individuality and behaving like perfect princesses. While some of the princesses are in genuine need of reform, the lengths that St. Olga's is willing to go to maintain order are chilling. Later the show introduces the Magic High Commission, a group of god-like entities responsible for maintaining order in the multiverse. While at first they seem to be Lawful Good, over time it's revealed that they unilaterally imprison anyone who might be a threat to the universe, including those who haven't actually committed any crimes yet. They are also at least partially responsible for the systematic oppression of monsters in Mewni, going so far as imprisoning Queen Eclipsa when she had a half-monster child out of wedlock, Un-Personing said child and replacing her with a random peasant girl.
  • Steven Universe has this as the central theme behind the primary conflict. The gem empire has an extremely rigid caste system where everyone is literally built to perform a specific function, is expected to want nothing else out of life and any imperfections (both physical and social) are punished harshly. They conquer planets purely to mine them of resources to make more subjects and repeat the cycle anew, slowly convering the entire universe to a static heirarchy beneath the diamonds. The chaotic freedom of life on Earth, where every organic creature naturally grows and changes on a daily basis, left such an impression on some gems most notably Pink Diamond, who faked her own death in order to abandon her throne and live free among humanity that it sparked a revolution which was technically still going by the start of the show. Ultimately this conflict is resolved by Steven convincing the remaining three diamonds that their restrictive society is just making everyone miserable, even themselves.