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Order Versus Chaos

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Those roommate preference forms? They're just for the illusion of control.

"According to the philosopher, Ly Tin Wheedle, chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. It always defeats order, because it is better organized."

Bored of the age-old battle of Good versus Evil? Want something new to spice up your setting and throw your readers in confusion? Fear not! Cosmological Forces R Us has brought you the brand new dichotomy: Order versus Chaos.

Using it in a setting allows you to have two sides, in a similar way to Good and Evil. While the most traditional works have assigned Order to Good, and Chaos to Evil (with Card Carrying Villains of the latter often invoking Chaos), inversions of this are also common: often, you'll find a Chaotic Good band of rebels fighting against a Lawful Evil empire (Common enough it's becoming its own trope). In another take on the subject, true goodness is seen as the balance between the two forces, and both Order and Chaos are portrayed as evil when they are taken to their extremes.

Order, sometimes called Law, is associated with civilization, authority, rules, protection, the status quo, tradition, and, when stretched to its extreme, mindless obedience, totalitarianism, and abuse of power. It's quite common to depict what happens when Order takes their laws and oaths just a little too far, but also don't be surprised to see The Good King portrayed positively. When they have powers associated with them, it's often leadership, The Virus, Brainwashing, and the power to bind with rules and oaths. When used as a villain, he's likely to say "We Have Reserves."

Chaos is associated with change, The Trickster, free will, creativity, individualism, and, to the extreme, madness, savagery, solipsism, and selfish overindulgence. The powers associated with it are Shapeshifting, illusions, and matter transmutation, as well as Entropy and Chaos Magic in general. By nature, Chaos tends to be too disorganized to pose a serious unifed threat like Order, and may engage in an Enemy Civil War or find its members Divided We Fall. On the other hand, the forces of Chaos are the hardest to predict.

They're sometimes Anthropomorphic Personifications, struggling with the whole world at stake, and don'tcha know, the hero's just the one that's got to pick between one or the other to serve or choose neither one and keep them balanced because Both Order and Chaos are Dangerous. When they're not actual forces, they're broad themes represented by the agenda of specific groups of people.

Rarely is it brought up that by sorting the world into clearly defined categories of Chaos and Order, the trope inherently skews itself in favor of Order. It's also generally vague as to why the forces of discord and chaos are regimented and disciplined enough to have actual Forces of Chaos. Naturally this only applies to absolute, cosmic-level order and chaos, not human individuals who tend toward one or the other because humans are a diverse lot. Incidentally, this skews the trope in favor of Chaos, as does the very fact that there is a conflict between order and chaos in the first place.

When classifying people as one or the other, three factors tend to get elided into one:

  1. Whether they believe the universe to be ordered
  2. To what extent they support order in society
  3. How they conduct their lives.

There can also be a mixture within one character. For instance, a hero who flies by the seat of his pants can nevertheless believe in an orderly universe and support his society more or less according to whether it is in harmony with the greater order. Conversely, an obsessive-compulsive character may be reacting to his belief that the universe is chaotic, and society no better.

See also Character Alignment, where this is a major factor. See also Alike and Antithetical Adversaries for other variants on this conflict. Can often be involved with the dilemma of Harmony Versus Discipline. Visually represented on a smaller scale with Slobs Versus Snobs. Also not uncommon in Odd Couples.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Gatchaman Crowds Insight's main conflict is between those who believe that CROWDS shouldn't be given to the people because people will misuse them and will cause conflict (Order) against those who believe that CROWDS do more good than bad and humanity will evolve to use it responsibly in time, creating a better society in the future justifying the conflict it will take to get there. (Chaos)
  • One Piece has — at least as a background story so far — the war of the World Government and their policy of "absolute justice" against the free-spirited pirates. The World Government is portrayed as corrupt and pretty much completely evil, aside from a few story-prominent Navy officers who reject "absolute justice" in favor of their own brand of justice. The pirates, on the other hand, range from nice guys like Luffy to jerkasses like Buggy to dog-kicking scumbags like Arlong and Crocodile.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion: The ultimate question posed by Homura to Madoka after the former became a demon: does she consider stability and order more important than personal desire. Madoka establishes herself as the Lawful of the two when she answers that it would be wrong to selfishly break the rules, while Homura is the Chaotic one whose desires led her to betray her friends and remake the world in her own image.
  • s-CRY-ed (anime version) casts the independent mercenary Kazuma as a proponent of Chaos and the military-mindset HOLY member Ryuhou as a Orderly Knight Templar who's confidently skirting the Moral Event Horizon. Most of Kazuma's potential Inner allies aren't all that good, and Ryuho's fellow Cape Busters run the gamut from easygoing to The Caligula. Then Conflict Killer Kyoji Mujo shows up, having suckered the mainland brass into thinking him a full-blown Knight Templar when he's really a Social Darwinist. At this point, if the two are left unattended for more than two seconds they start pounding on each other, but both agree that he's the biggest threat.
  • Tsutomu Nihei's Blameverse features this conflict prominently. In Noise, the main character is a cop investigating a cult who worship the power of chaos who are kidnapping children to use for human sacrifices in their bizarre Magitek rituals. When they kill her, she is resurrected by an agent of the Safeguard, protectors of order, but they turn out to be a pack of fascists who plan on disenfranchising and killing everybody who can't afford network implants and brainwashing the ones who do. Then in Blame!, we see the aftermath of this; the cult succeeded in throwing the world into chaos, but since they're so poorly organized their descendants, the Silicon Lives, don't amount to much more than a bunch of roving cyber-barbarians. The Safeguard doesn't fare much better, as their directives become so corrupted that they essentially believe that everything that's not them must be exterminated.
    • This is one of those few times in fiction where the reader is shown exactly WHY the Balance Between Order And Chaos is so important and makes it clear that although Order is necessary, if it taken too far from the median line between Order and Chaos, extremes become implemented without a balancing force. In fact this is even evident in the Schizo Tech and Bizarchitecture seen in the manga, where widespread chaotic disruption results in the ever-growing expansion of the City, but the reason why that expansion continues is because the ordered directives of the builders demand logical progression and expansion. With no mediating force, one extreme inevitably bleeds into the other where neither are compatible for continued life.
  • In K, The 4th and Blue Clan stands for Order, and they get Chaos from both sides - the 3rd and Red Clan are their rivals for most of the series, but their element is Destruction. The Green Clan, JUNGLE, who Scepter 4 fights in the second season In an alliance with HOMRA, as well as the Silver Clan is Chaos.
  • Very much present in Soul Eater, which likes to play around with the concepts on a regular basis.
    • Mostly in the "pure chaos" results in total insanity with no control or direction, but "pure order" in fact amounts to nothingness where the chaotic nature of life is not present. You start to feel very bad for the Anthropomorphic Personifications who run the universe.
      • It says something when even they give up on the idea, and ultimately leave everything to humans. By the end of the manga, most of the 'verse's Anthropomorphic Personifications are either dead, imprisoned, or have sided with humanity against the remaining bad things in the world. There is still the matter of the one in the Book of Eibon, who was shown to be able to tip the balance significantly.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is very much about this trope: the good guys represent the forces of freedom, while the villains are the oppressors. However, every villain in the series is an Anti-Villain with Well-Intentioned Extremist reasons for their actions.
  • The World God Only Knows has a minor version of this in the second to last episode of the first season. Many students want to put a media room in the library, but Shiori, the student librarian, won't have it, preferring the library to be a place of quiet solitude for books to be enjoyed.
  • The overarching conflict in Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt is this, although it's played with a bit. The angelic Anarchy Sisters are Chaotic Neutral, being largely just selfish jerks who want to have fun heedless of the amount of mayhem they cause while protecting the city; by contrast, the demonic Daemon Sisters are Lawful Evil and make serious attempts to improve the quality of life by way of tyranny and enforced conformity.
    • Given the sheer selfishness and dubious moral choices that Panty and Stocking have both made over the series, most notably Panty indifferently telling the Daemon Sisters to kill Brief, even suggesting they take a crap in his mouth first to give him a last meal, their mutual decision to abandon their fellow survivors in "...of the Dead", and Panty refusing to catch Brief, even though he just restored her angelic powers, in the final episode, which leads directly to the Daemon's plan succeeding, it's not implausible to take a more cynical view and view the series as Lawful Evil Daemon Sisters vs Chaotic Evil Anarchy Sisters.
  • The Devilman spin-off manga AMON portrays conflict between God, Satan and Amon as this. God is a cruel tyrant who wants to exterminate demons just because he didn't create them and they don't fit his vision of order in the world. Satan, while defending demons, despises their chaotic nature and wants to rule over them. Amon, a deeply chaotic spirit, despises both of them.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL has the conflict between the Astral World (representing Order) and the Barian World (representing Chaos), with Earth caught up in the middle. The Astral World's ruler Eliphas is so fanatically devoted to Order that he stands in Yuma's way just because he has Chaos powers, even when Yuma uses them to heal several inhabitants of Astral World. After Yuma narrowly manages to defeat him, Eliphas realizes he was wrong, especially with the revelation that Chaos is the source of life, and the Astral World was slowly dying because they had purged it of Chaos.
  • Dragon society in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is divided into three factions: those who seek to keep the world in order, those who seek destruction and power, and those who seek neither. Tohru, Fafnir, and Ilulu are part of the chaos faction, Elma and Clemene are part of the order faction, and Lucoa is unaligned.
  • In My Hero Academia, this conflict is best exemplified with the introduction of the Meta Liberation Army. The QLA, an organization spanning generations since its founding by a villain named Destro, represents Chaos and the ability to freely use the Quirks (formerly known as "Meta" powers) which are possessed by the majority of the population, but they use terrorist tactics to push their agenda. On the side of Order, the government and law-enforcement maintain the peace with the help of licensed heroes. While this works for the most part, it requires that Quirks be very heavily regulated, with professional heroes being the only ones legally allowed to use their Quirks in combat while anyone else would be considered a "villain" for doing so.
  • In Attack on Titan, this trope is why Eren abandons Mikasa and rejects her allegiance. However compatible their personalities are, or how much she tries to accommodate him, they are too different on the inside to ever be allies. Mikasa, like everyone in her genetically-altered bloodline is always trying to build hierarchies and nurture her loved ones. Eren doesn't believe anyone should have power over anyone else, and would eagerly burn down the world if that's what it took to remove the tyrants running it. He's horrified when he realizes Mikasa thinks of herself as his 'inferior'.
  • Tanya von Degurechaff of The Saga of Tanya the Evil maintains neutrality in this debate, saying that that freedom without regulation leads to anarchy; while regulation without freedom leads to tyranny.
  • Food Wars!: During the Central Arc, once Azami Nakiri becomes the school dean, his first action is dissolving all autonomous organizations within Tootsuki and founding an organization named Central, set to be the only RS/Club/etc., led by him and the Council of Ten Masters. It decides all classes, all recipes, and all students must follow a specific and narrow way of cooking, which it considers to be the "correct way" to cook, thus fulfilling the role of Order. The role of Chaos is taken up by the Polaris Dorm, a rebel faction that refuses to obey Central, spearheaded by Soma and his friends. All of its members have their own way of cooking, and celebrate this diversity by trying each other's food and providing feedback. Erina, Azami's daughter, reflects that their chaotic collaboration and random ideas can create effective solutions, surprising even her God Tongue, which is supposed to be absolute and infallible.
  • Final Fantasy: Unlimited: This is the dynamic between Gaudium (the followers of the world-eating Eldritch Abomination Chaos) and the Comodeen (who want to defeat Chaos and build a stable society in Wonderland).

  • The Last Supper: Visually represented with the food around Jesus, as discussed in this blog. The food to Jesus's sides (and thus closer to his emotional, human Apostles) has fallen over, while the food directly in front of him is standing up to reflect Christ's serenity in the face of his suffering.

    Comic Books 
Examples by author:
  • Shows up quite commonly as a theme in the works of Grant Morrison, who is a self-described chaos magician and anarchist. As a result, Morrison's heroes tend to be agents of chaos trying to break free of the shackles of dull, conformist order.
    • The Invisibles has the good guys as agents of Chaos, fighting off the evil forces of eternal Order. The series often plays with these associations, as a member of the Outer Church (the Order side) tries to convince a bunch of outsiders they're the good guys by citing the story of Ahura Mazda versus Angra Mainyu (see below).
    • The original, Silver Age run of Doom Patrol has the team tending toward Good Chaos, as they're the rejects and cast-offs of society. Grant Morrison's later run kicks this into overdrive, with surreality as the order of the day, and characters like Crazy Jane (each of whose multiple personalities has its own superpower) and Danny the Street (a sentient transvestite boulevard). It also features Evil Chaos in the form of the Brotherhood of Dada, and Evil Order as Darren Jones and the Men From N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Granted, the Brotherhood of Dada isn't evil so much as plain weird. In fact, the heroes find themselves working to save the Brotherhood of Dada in their second appearance, and two of them even point out that the Brotherhood has the right idea. In the last issue of Morrison's run, Crazy Jane is kept in another world (implied to be our own), and her therapist insists her adventures with Doom Patrol are delusions. The therapist claims that some enemies the Doom Patrol faced — the Scissormen and Orqwith, the Men from N.O.W.H.E.R.E., the Sex Men, the Ant Farm and the Telephone Avatar — are representations of cold, alien, tyrannical authority (Evil Order), while others — Red Jack, Desecrator, Shadowy Mister Evans, the Candlemaker — are predatory forces of destruction (Evil Chaos) representing her father.
    • Nameless (2015) is a Cosmic Horror Story in which a monstrous, otherworldly intelligence has been imprisoned in our universe and punishes anyone who dares defy its whims — in other words, according to Morrison, it's the Christian God, ultimate symbol of order.
    • Seaguy is a more comedic take on this idea: a colorful, whimsical world in which the last superhero is no longer needed, because all of the villains were defeated long ago — and in which the apathetic citizens are secretly ruled by the tyrannical I-Pol.
Examples by work:
  • Asterix fits this theme. The Romans are well-organised (the story occasionally lampshades their beautiful maneuvers as a form of history-porn), trained, dress in uniforms, live in elegant villas or tidy little fortified camps, and are cultured and structured — although the characters given to the individual Romans show the cracks in the façade. The Gauls, on the other hand, have long, wild hair and facial hair, live in ramshackle huts, actively resist authority even if that authority might have a point and charge into battle anyhow with no plans and their biggest men at the front. It's worth observing that when the Gauls beat up the (ordinary) Romans, they tend to look messed up, but quite happy about it, as if they're just relieved to be liberated from the oppression of order. The Gauls export their particular brand of Chaos to the camps, eventually — a new centurion arrives to discover that no-one is in uniform and the soldiers, all bruised and missing teeth, have completely given up attacking the village and are now just hanging around enjoying food, drink, games and basically having a relaxed, good time. On the other hand, the Gaulish chaos isn't entirely good, since if they have no-one to fight against they just argue constantly with each other. Some later Goscinny stories, such as Asterix and the Soothsayer, and Asterix and Caesar's Gift (to name just a couple) make it very clear just how annoying it would be to live in the village if you are anything close to being a normal person.
  • Invoked in Birthright by God King Lore, who is universally branded as an evil overlord. Lore claims that the affected people spend all their time warring already, but if he conquers all the combatants then he can finally deliver peace.
  • The DCU:
    • The Energy Beings known as the Lords of Chaos and Lords of Order. Several previously existing magical beings were retconned to fit in with this; Dr. Fate's mentor Nabu became a Lord of Order, the Legion of Super-Heroes' antagonist Mordru was revealed as a Lord of Chaos, and so on. Most portrayals of these focused on balance, especially Hawk and Dove, who represent, respectively, Chaos and Order and were created by a Lord of Order and a Lord of Chaos who had fallen in love and tried to find some happy middle.
    • Batman and the Joker are Order and Chaos, respectively.
      • Batman upholds justice and the rule of law (the spirit if not always the letter). His mental discipline is the closest thing he has to a superpower, and prevents him from going mad in spite of all he has to deal with. Unquestionably a good guy, but difficult to get along with, and the possibility that a loss of human contact would drive him to Knight Templar tendencies is a disquieting one.
      • The Joker is strongly anti-authoritarian and anti-society, indiscriminately destructive, and downright insane. He's unquestionably evil, though sometimes his antics are meant to expose hypocrisy or evil in other people.
    • Modern Green Lantern comics have shades of this with emotional spectrum.
      • Green in the middle represents Order and the further you go from it, the more chaotic the corps become. Each color represents emotion, except for Green, which is willpower — the ability to overcome and control your emotions for the greater good, so the further you go from it, the less control you have.
      • Blue and Yellow — hope and fear, respectively — represent how you can use the emotions to affect and shape the world. Their goal is to establish order, but Blue Lanterns see it as harmony that can be built only in cooperation with Green, while the Sinestro Corps tries to impose tyranny and rule the Universe with an iron fist.
      • Orange and Indigo — greed and compassion — represent what happens when you let your emotions define your life. Indigo Tribe sacrifice their individuality for the common good, but it makes them detached and borderline sociopathic. Larfleeze, on the other hand, is completely selfish and cares only about himself.
      • Finally, we have Pink and Red — love and anger — who represent Chaos. Members of both corps lose their minds, taken by the representative emotion. Star Sapphires want to spread love through the Universe and are willing to go to extremes to do so, as well as tending towards yanderish behavior. Red Lanterns are a horde of berserkers destroying everything in their path and often fighting between each other, when not provided with better (as in, any) targets. In the beginning they were mindless and bestial, but Atrocitus allowed them to regain some degree of self-control since then.
    • It should be noted that Order isn't presented as completely good and Chaos as completely evil. The White Entity is composed of white light, (formed when all of the seven colors are combined), and represents life, which is a combination of all emotions, as well as order and chaos in all their forms. Meanwhile, Black represents absence of emotions and life, the state of emptiness and stasis. The Guardians' actions to purge emotions from the Green Lantern Corps allowed the forces of Black to infiltrate them, as their actions have bought them too close to this cold, emotionless state.
    • In the Fourth World of New Gods, Order is represented by the oppressive tyrant, Darkseid, who demands absolute obedience and seeks the Anti-Life Equation, mastery of which will force any mind to submit to the will of he who wields it. He's opposed by the Space Hippies of New Genesis, who believe in peace and free will ("That is the Life Equation!") — and his own son, who is essentially a personification of pure, primal fury. Amazingly, though Kirby clearly spells this out several times, many writers who followed him Just Didn't Get It, and explicitly flipped around the Order and Chaos attributions of the two factions. This may be because it was most clearly stated in The Forever People, the least well-regarded series in the saga. In the New 52, Highfather and Darkseid both represent order, with the Forever People rejecting both of them in favour of a chaotic third option.
  • The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil has the orderly world of Here haunted by the chaos of There lurking "beneath the skin of all things" that eventually invades in the form of the titular beard.
  • According the Hellraiser comics, the Cenobites are order. In one of the more comedic stories, an obnoxious, lazy office worker spends all his time tinkering with one of the puzzle boxes, distracting his fellow employees and annoying his borderline Clock King boss, who easily solves the puzzle for him, summoning some Cenobites. The Cenobites prepare to take the boss to the Labyrinth, only to be told off by him; the boss says he only solved the puzzle because it was disrupting the order, productivity and perfectionism he constantly strived for, which the Cenobites are now doing. The Cenobites mull this over for a bit, eventually decide the boss is essentially "doing Leviathan's work" and decide to take the employee, who the boss had earlier described as "a gear that has become misaligned", in his place.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Marvel has Lord Chaos and Master Order, two Anthropomorphic Personifications of the concepts. Usually, Lord Chaos serves the role as the antagonist, or they both team up to protect the universe against a greater threat. An exception was when the cosmic being Edifice Rex planned to revert the universe back to a point singularity — all of the other cosmic beings opposed him, except for Master Order who thought it was a wonderful idea.
    • Doctor Strange villains Dormammu and Shuma-Gorath have both been described as Lords of Chaos. There is also the God of Chaos Chthon, the source of power for the Scarlet Witch, who is more of a general Marvel-wide villain; he created Chaos Magic which causes Reality Warping and other chaotic-style stuff, but he also represents conquest. The personifications of Chaos and Order represent more of a Balance Between Good and Evil.
    • The Saga of Crystar, Crystal Warrior is about a war between the magical forces of Order and Chaos on the planet Crystalium. While the good guys are all allied with Order, and the demon lord Chaos is indisputably evil, it's worth noting that the Order wizard Ogeode recognizes that if Order were taken too far, it would be just as destructive as Chaos (his bosses don't like it when he talks like this); while Chaos's Dragon, Moltar, was railroaded into the job and clearly doesn't really believe in it wholeheartedly, either. Moltar finally does a Heel–Face Turn at the very end of the series.
    • The theme of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2010) is a war between science as a force for change (represented by Leonardo da Vinci) and science as a means of control (represented by Isaac Newton). The lead character, the son of Nikola Tesla, initially sides with Leonardo, before deciding both sides are wrong because they're locked into the idea there must be a war.
  • Nemesis the Warlock pits the titular powerful alien wizard in service of Kaos against the tyrannical bigot ruling humanity, Torquemada. At first it looks like Chaos/Nemesis is good and Order/Torquemada is bad, but as the series goes on it becomes clear Nemesis is manipulating both people around him and readers as well to portray himself as a hero, but in reality is a cruel, bored god prolonging the war for his own amusement, because Torquemada is the only man to give him any challenge. At the end it's clear they are both bastards.
  • PS238 does this, complete with angels of order and demons of chaos along with the fact that their conflicts are "mostly political nowadays," may be explained by the fact that PS238 is intended as a children's comic. There's also Malphast, whose parents are on opposite sides of this war.
  • Vampirella has a cosmic conflict between Order and Chaos, with the Conjuress representing the Balance Between Good and Evil. By and large, Vampirella sides with Order as that is associated with good and justice. However, she has several friends on the side of Chaos. It is also noted that Chaos, the Satanic Archetype ruler of Hell, is insane and not really doing his job well.
  • Subverted in V for Vendetta: V fights to bring down the oppressive government, but is careful to tell to Evey that it's law, rather than order, that he opposes. He also makes sure to explain that anarchy is not the same as chaos. This is because in oppression a resistance will always exist, while in anarchy it will not, as there is nothing to resist.

    Fan Works 
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic's fan works typically make more use of this than the TV show itself, most notably in the background characters. You have the obviously chaotic ones, or at least the ones most closely associated with any form of chaos (those usually being Derpy Hooves, Vinyl Scratch/DJ Pon-3, and Lyra Heartstrings), and you have their opposites, the ones portrayed as the more level-headed, orderly ponies (respectively, those usually being Doctor Whooves or Carrot Top/Golden Harvest, Octavia, and Bon-Bon). More often than not, you will typically find them serving as foils to each other in many a fanfiction, fan comic, or fan video.
    • Chronicles of Harmony's End features the gods of these forces, and as you'd expect, they really don't get along.
    • Contraptionology!: This is the nature of the conflict between Discord and the Nightmare — or, as they were known in ancient days, Change and Constancy. Constancy used to rule over the prehistoric world, keeping it in a constant, stable state of simplistic nature beneath a static moon and sun; then Change came, bringing motion to the heavens and seasons to the world, and setting existence into the cycle of constant progression and evolution that it has known since. They have warred ceaselessly against each other ever since, Discord seeking to bring randomness and constant novelty while the Nightmare drives ponies to grasp onto something, anything, to preserve in eternal and unchanging stability.
    • Pony POV Series: This contrast is embodied in the Alicorns, representing Nature's Law, and the Draconequi, representing Nature's Fury (although they favor Chaos, even though Discord is the Anthropomorphic Personification of it). However, while they did have a war at one point, they generally don't hate each other and are meant to balance one another out. During the Dark World Series, we find out that Discord and Grogar went to war, forming an all evil version of this trope.
    • A New World, A New Way: Discord (who is connected to the natural chaotic forces of the Everfree Forest) clashes with Zygarde, the Order Pokémon, when the latter starts to remove that Chaotic energy and replace it with Order.
    • The Immortal Game: The backstory involves constant warfare between Titan (Order) and Discord (Chaos). And given that Titan is a Knight Templar of the highest order, this is another all evil example.
    • Lines and Webs: The conflict of order and chaos is extremely important for the beginning of the series, with Celestia and the Order she represents being portrayed as evil while Twilight and the Chaos she represents portrayed as good — although the series is heavy on Greyand Grey Morality. Eventually Order and Chaos unite against and even greater threat.
    • The Borderworld: The whole story collection centered around this conflict, with Discord for Chaos and Order being for, well, Order, and the Tree of Harmony for, of course, Harmony. The conflict is called the Eternal War because it spawned ever since all three sides were born, and has spanned across the universe and time itself. However, the Tree of Harmony at some point decided to re-brand herself as a bridge between Order and Chaos; while she opposes both sides' negative attributes, she has come to appreciate their good qualities.
    • The Origins of Sentient Life as Narrated by Discord has Discord and his kind fighting Order based members of their kind before most life forms evolved in the universe. This led to different worlds being dosed in massive amounts of Chaos or Order Energy, such as Earth and Equestria respectively, affecting their evolutionary paths. This war only ended when a neutral race the 13 Primes of Transformers trapping them on worlds where their natural Chaos and Order energies would balance out a world that was leaning the other way.
  • In the Tamers Forever Series, this is represented by the millenia-old conflict between the Archangels and the Archdemons.
  • The Dark Lords of Nerima has this in form of the Sailor Senshi (heroic Magical Girls who fight for love and justice and work to preserve the peace of the world), and Ranma and the Wrecking Crew (crazy Martial Artists with so many different fighting styles that can blow up mountains at their best, plus they're Chew Toys). They only reason why both sides are at war is because Ranma and Ryouga tricked the Senshi into thinking that they are both Multiversal Conquerors to protect a Youma that Ryouga befriended. The said thing is that the Senshi are very insistent on believing that they're evil, which given how twisted their villains were it's not surprising.
  • Many of Occam Razor's works, like the Shadowchasers Series, feature this. For example, devils are creatures of Law and Order who mostly aim to enslave the world, while demons are creatures of Anarchy and Chaos who mostly aim to destroy the world. Both races are evil and hate each other. As it is based after Dungeons & Dragons, this is to be expected.
  • Shattered Skies: The Morning Lights: The war between the Morning Lights, the faction of MagicalGirls from across the multiverse, and Dead End, the Legion of Doom composed of their enemies, is an extension of the eternal conflict between Cosmos and Chaos. Each is a Sentient Cosmic Force, and it's made clear that either claiming final victory over the other would be a disaster for all of reality. Instead, the Morning Lights seek to restore the balance between them both.
  • Sonic X: Dark Chaos: Despite having created the Chaos Emeralds, Maledict Maledict firmly believes in imposing absolute order upon the universe - courtesy of his Demon Empire - and he will do anything to accomplish his goal.
    Maledict: That is why the universe belongs to me. We bring order upon the chaos. Without it, life and civilization would not exist. Brother would fight brother, parents would destroy their children. Darkness would swallow all.
  • Son of the Sannin:
    • Jinin Akebino leans more to the "order" side, which is why he's loyal to Yagura as the Mizukage, even though it's lead to Kirigakure be known as the Bloody Mist, and thinks that Mei Terumi's rebelion will plunge their village into chaos.
    • A more personal example happens to Yakumo Kurama. The chaotic nature of her powers caused her to accidentally kill her parents, leading her to cross the Despair Event Horizon. Then, Danzo showed up offering her the means to control them, leading her to become one of his puppet agents in Root.
  • In But We Are not The Angels of Old, there are two kinds of magical girls; those who took Homura's offer to dissolve the cruel, exploitative contracts that made them magical girls, and Madoka's adherents, who want to live with the consequences of their decision and find meaning in their mistakes. What many girls misunderstand is that it's not a good vs. evil dichotomy (at least, not anymore; there was a thing with Homura a while back) and the "goddesses" have a complementary, civil relationship. The decision is intimate, but it has nothing to do with morality or allegiance.

    Films — Animated 
  • In The LEGO Movie, Lord Business represents order, with his insistence on conformity and following the instructions, and the Master Builders represent chaos, with their unbridled (and sometimes counterproductive) creativity. Emmet succeeds by balancing the two, in a sense. But then the Duplo Aliens of the Systar System show up, being more of the destructive kind of chaos, setting up the sequel...

    Films — Live-Action 
  • One of the underlying conflicts in Demolition Man. Several characters represent different levels on the spectrum, and the two main villains of the movie lie on opposite extremes.
    • Dr. Cocteau is a relatively benevolent dictator who has built a future world where anything that can offend or harm anybody is banned, and maintaining civil, peaceful coexistence has usurped the value of life in importance. To this end, the following things are banned: guns, alcohol, swearing, caffeine, sexual intercourse (apart from a weird neural link thing), contact sports, chocolate, non-educational children's toys, and spicy food.
    • Simon Phoenix is a violent psycho who hates rules because they stop him from behaving like a violent psycho. After they murder Cocteau, he and his unfrozen gang want to turn San Angeles into a lawless hellhole where they can commit crimes all day, everyday.
    • Edgar Friendly is an iconoclast leading a gang in the sewers against the Cocteau regime. He fights so people have the right to eat real food, listen to real music, have real sex and generally make their own choices. Cocteau wants him dead for it, so much so that he unleashes Phoenix (albeit with a mental Restraining Bolt).
  • All the Pirates of the Caribbean want to do is sail around the world, drink rum and get saucy women at Tortuga. But noooo... The Company just has to have its Order.
  • In 2008's The Dark Knight, the Joker claims that he is a representation of chaos, going up against Batman who represents order. As a sort of justification, he says that chaos, for all that it does, is at least fair.note 
  • Beetlejuice, the movie with the afterlife bureaucrat Juno and Mr. "It's Showtime", with the protagonists trying to find a happy medium (no pun intended).
  • In Auntie Mame, Mame Dennis represents chaos, and Dwight Babcock represents order. Babcock wants to give her all the responsibility of raising an orphaned kid while keeping all the power for himself.
  • In the original Mad Max, Max and the police force represent order, whereas the biker gangs represent chaos.
  • Somewhat the point of The World's End. What is better? An advanced, progressive society full of robots, or a crude, harsh society where individual freedom is preserved? Humanity chooses the latter. In fact the advanced society is only full of robots because humans instinctively reject their idea of order; when they did this on other worlds, they only had to replace a few people to achieve it, but on Earth it took damn near everyone.
  • In Cadet Kelly, Kelly represents chaos, while Jennifer represents order. Kelly wants to express her creativity and individuality, while Jennifer just wants to enforce the rules. Ultimately, Kelly finds a way to be creative through the school's rifle team.
  • The dynamic between Owen (Chaos) and Claire (Order) in Jurassic World. Which is why their off-screen date was an Epic Fail — she turned up with an itinerary, and he turned up in board shorts note .
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Loki, The Trickster, is the embodiment of chaos in all his appearances, while Thor brings order to the Nine Realms. Lampshaded in regard to Loki in Thor: Ragnarok:
      Thor: Come on, [Sakaar] is perfect for you. It's savage, chaotic, lawless. Brother, you're going to do great here.
    • Thanos believes that life is chaotic and unbalanced, which will inevitably result in extinction, so in Avengers: Infinity War he puts it upon himself to bring order to the universe by destroying half of life and thus limiting it. One of his first victims is a self-proclaimed God of Mischief. Thanos also believes in destiny, i.e. predetermined and orderly course of events. By killing Gamora he rejects the chaos of emotions and submits himself to this course.

  • In The Cat in the Hat, there is a struggle between the fish (order) and the cat (chaos). The cat isn't strictly bad, since he brightens what would have been an otherwise boring day, but it's portrayed as a good thing when the house returns to order. When the Cat returns in The Cat In The Hat Comes Back, the children greet him with hostility and make it clear that, fun or not, the chaos he brings is NOT welcome.
  • In One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, McMurphy represents Chaos and Nurse Ratched represents Order. Chaos is definitely the good side here.
  • Catch-22— the protagonist, Yossarian, is Chaos; the military bureaucracy he's struggling against is Order.
  • In His Dark Materials chaos is good and order is evil. 'God' is the evil leader of a race that seeks to control and repress joy and passion, so the protagonists must Rage Against the Heavens.
  • The works of Michael Moorcock, especially The Elric Saga and Corum series, where the Lords of Chaos and the Lords of Law pick Champions to fight for them. Neither Order nor Chaos are portrayed as very nice. It's pointed out in the books: Chaos means that every possibility is allowed (symbolized by the eight-arrow symbol), but at the end, you'll just move back and forth and get to nowhere. Order (symbolized by a straight arrow) means that you have direction, but exclude some possibilities — in the worst case, all of them. A world gone too far in Chaos is one where shape cannot be maintained and horrible things will try to eat you. A world gone too far in law will eventually become a featureless white plane. And although Order has a superficial appearance of being Good, and Chaos of being Evil; the true Good is, in fact, the Balance, with Evil being the extremes of either Order or Chaos.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire we have the Wildlings, who love their freedom, would never support the whole monarchistic system that is causing all the crap in Westeros, but have no real infrastructure or laws. On the other hand we have the Night Watch, which is honour bound to protect the country from them.
  • Roger Zelazny's The Chronicles of Amber also had Order and Chaos, respectively embodied by the Unicorn/Pattern and the Serpent/Logrus, as the main cosmological forces of his multiverse. In the second series, they were rather insistent on main character Merlin picking a side, much to his annoyance. Too much imbalance was especially said to endanger the existence of the universe. It's also noteworthy that families ruling Amber and Courts of Chaos both have elements of the opposite in them - Chaos is much more honorable and has complicated form of hierarchy within which all intrigues and schemes happens, while children of Oberon are more or less pragmatic, backstabbing manipulators constantly changing aliances between one another and don't even mantain illusion of hierarchy among them.
  • Part of the world's magic system of Modesitt's Saga of Recluce novels. His system is very complex but normally the Chaos side is evil. This is increasingly subverted in the later novels, but we have not yet seen an Order mage as a major villain. Ironically, the Chaos mages have (or had) a well-organized Empire, while the Order mages were generally either rebels or refugees for much of their history.
  • The Illuminatus! trilogy is largely about the battle between Chaos as good and Order as evil, but also suggests that Chaos is 'good' in this context because there is too much Order - too much Chaos is shown to be just as bad. One of the guiding principles of the Discordians (our Chaotic good guys) is that "imposition of order leads to escalation of chaos".
  • Nonfiction example: Leviathan (Thomas Hobbes) is very pro-Order, characterizing totalitarianism as the only alternative to "the war of all against all".
  • A semi-viral unpublished novel called The Cloven Accord depicts Chaos as evil natural disaster-causing demons and Order as a mind-destroying cult. The happy medium, the Ilyarians, appears to be extremely metaphysical hedonism. Uniquely, all symbolism inherent in these concepts is helpfully listed at the back of the book.
  • Mickey Zucker Reichert's The Last of the Renshai series ties this trope to a modified version of Norse Mythology. Odin has been keeping the world as orderly as possible to delay Ragnarök. One of the main characters in the book decides the world needs a little bit more chaos. The efforts of other characters to stop him end up being counterproductive, tilting the balance the other way.
  • On the Discworld, there's the constant competition between Fate and the Lady, the Lady being Luck — a chaotic factor interfering with Fate's order.
  • The Old Kingdom series has Charter Magic (Order) vs. Free Magic (Chaos), though the Abhorsen makes use of both.
  • The Thursday Next books have the Hades family as Evil Chaos and Goliath Corporation as Evil Order. Thursday tends towards Balance
  • In John C. Wright's Chronicles of Chaos, the central conflict of the setting is that of Cosmos vs. Chaos. The children are caught in the middle; indeed, one consideration when thinking of escaping back to their parents is that they aren't certain the forces of Chaos are right, even though the forces of Cosmos have been holding them hostage.
  • In Gordon R. Dickson's The Dragon Knight series of books the forces of evil are constantly trying to upset the balance between "History" and "Chance."
  • In another nonfiction example, it was subverted by Pierre-Jospeh Proudhon's writings, namely by the statement "Anarchy is Order."
  • Louise Cooper's excellent Time Master trilogy, along with the sequel Chaos Gate and prequel Star Shadow trilogies. Another example of Good = Balance, and Evil = Extreme; although none of the factions are quite that straightforward, and the nature of the universe is portrayed as a pendulum constantly swinging back and forth between the two.
  • In Tamora Pierce's The Immortals novels, the Big Bad turns out to be the goddess of chaos who fights against the other great gods. It's because of her that creatures like the stormwings got into the mortal realm.
  • It also is known in The Icelandic Sagas which sometimes can seem to resemble the Western genre.
  • R.A. Salvatore's The Orc King has an interesting play on this; King Obould is motivated by bringing order to orcish society where as his rival Grguch firmly believes that chaos is the way of the orc and Obould should die for straying from that. This is demonstrated in parallel scenes where Obould subtly helps his generals plan for an assault with considerably more discipline and forsight than one would think an orc capable of(an attack he knew wouldn't happen, at that). Meanwhile, Grguch orders a raid on the orc's enemies without any planning at all, despite, when he's called on it, displaying considerable understanding of battle planning; he knows what to do but doesn't do it as he considers order and discipline contrary to what he believes orcs should be. The twist in all this, however, is how these two are percieved by the heroes. The Companions of the Hall have been fighting orcs for as long as they can remember, and are forced to chose between assisting the creation of Obould's stable kingdom, which completely disrupts their perception of the natural order, or Grguch's chaos, which is normal for them, but in practice will involve a long conflict that will surely cost many more lives before it is resolved.
  • In Elizabeth Bear's The Promethean Age series the Fae are definitely Chaos and the Promethean Society Order and neither is presented as very nice. Subverted in that The Promethean Society was originally founded by Lucifer who is a Magnificent Bastard and the original rebel against Order.
  • Paradise Lost uses the standard notation where God is Order and Lucifer is Chaos. As a quirk of the way Milton wrote it, God is the stern version, while Lucifer decides in the first part to make the best of the bad situation he's been put in. It also points out Lucifer's hypocrisy. While he claims to stand for freedom, he very quickly becomes a despotic tyrant who rules Hell with an iron fist. Like many classics, the resulting work is still quite open to interpretation.
  • In The Bartimaeus Trilogy, there is Grey-and-Gray Morality. As such, the most prevalent conflict is between the magicians' order and the spirits' chaos.
  • The Mistborn trilogy has the gods Ruin (chaos) and Preservation (order). Ruin is the Big Bad, but it's noted that this is only because he's the one who's ascendant; if Preservation had its way, everything would stay exactly the way it was forever. In the end Sazed assumes both the Ruin and the Preservation Shard, becoming the new god Harmony.
  • Depending on the Writer and when it's not pure Blue-and-Orange Morality, the conflict between the Great Old Ones and the Elder Gods in Cthulhu Mythos can be viewed as order vs. chaos. The Outer Gods are also often associated with Chaos, being essentially not-really-anthropomorphic personifications of primal forces, hence Azathoth often being called the Nuclear Chaos and Nyarlatothep's epithet "the Crawling Chaos".
  • In The Lord of the Rings,
    • This is played out in the race of Ents: male Ents loved the wilderness and forests, nature untamed, while the Entwives cultivated gardens and loved orchards and farmlands. The two genders drifted apart over the years, and the Ents have since lost the Entwives completely. Less a war and more like contrasting life-styles and preferences that took them away.
    • According to J.R.R.'s notes and letters relating to The Silmarillion, Sauron followed the chaotic Morgoth, paradoxically, out of a desire for absolute order. Wanting to impose his will upon everyone and everything, Sauron came to see tyranny as the easiest way to do so.
  • Downplayed in The Moomins stories, where the protagonists tend to be Chaotic Good and others such as hemulens are often Lawful Stupid. It's never a major conflict, but at least in one book we find Snufkin and his father waging a sort of guerilla war of annoyance against wardens of a park for children who are enforcing such strict rules that no one's having any fun.
  • In Tad Williams The Dirty Streets of Heaven Heaven is Order and Hell Chaos but while demons are definitely evil Heaven is implied to be a Crapsaccharine World with the higher orders playing Machiavellian games and the "saved" playing forever in the Elysian Fields at the cost of their memories and personalities which has led some on both sides to seek a Third Way.
  • In Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions, the evil forces are Chaos — fairies, dragons, trolls, etc. — and the good ones, Law — humans, some fairies, dwarves. This is a Trope Codifier.
  • Grundy from A Fable of Tonight belives his mission is to ensure balance between Order and Chaos, with healthy dose of Balance Between Good and Evil, through The Multiverse. When he finds a world where either Order or Chaos gained too much of an advantage, he tries to balance it. But because he's a demon, his methods are both utterly evil - he brings terror to wacky, crazy world of magic and lets criminals from it into our, much more orderly, world, to spread disorder - and bound to upset the balance to much towards the other side. This is when the force Grundy calls the Adversary intervenies, creating a champion of good to truly restore the balance between order and chaos.
  • Patrick Tilley's Amtrack Wars series pits the fascistically orderly Amtrack Federation against the chaos of the Mute tribes. it pretty much comes off as Gray-and-Grey Morality with the tribes being the the lighter shade.
  • A Clockwork Orange uses this to prevent Too Bleak, Stopped Caring, though it's subtle; the main conflict is between Villain Protagonist Alex, a young man who generally dedicates himself to rape, ultraviolence, narcotics, and Beethoven, and the government that wants to torture the criminal impulse out of him. Alex is Chaos; the government is Order. They're both pretty damn bad.
  • Once you get past the Totally Radical slang, this is the main conflict in The Demon Headmaster series. The title villain has no backstory besides "Lawful Evil on legs", while the heroes are unruly, fun-loving schoolkids who represent everything he despises. In the first book, Dinah notes that if the Headmaster cared about things like money he wouldn't be going to the effort of world domination - he genuinely believes the world would be better off his way.
  • Atrocitology: Humanity's 100 Deadliest Achievements by Matthew White is a non-fiction example. In the opinion of the author, "Chaos is deadlier than tyranny. More of these multicides result from the breakdown of authority than from the exercise of authority."
  • In Idlewild, Fantasia has this worldview, dubbed Nutritious and Delicious. Her schizophrenia may have played a role in its adoption.
  • In The Quantum Thief the Sobornost mind upload collective claims to represent Order and seeks to wipe out all death and uncertainty from the world, and preaches that every thought is worth preserving, but their inner workings are far less orderly than they claim. Their prime opponent is the Zoku collective, who in turn embrace the quantum uncertainty principles, and declare that change is inevitable and positive; the Zokus' identities are fluid and they only define themselves through their interests, which they are free to change any time.
  • Journey to Chaos: Order and Chaos are in a perpetual Divine Conflict for control over the multiverse contained within Noitearc, the Great Tree That Supports the Worlds. Elves call this "The First War". Chaos desires worlds of infinite possible change and Order desires worlds of permanent and unchangeable stability.
    • A Mage's Power: Eric reads a story that portrays the founding gods Order and Chaos as family in a multiverse origin story while glazing over their animosity.
    • Looming Shadow and Mana Mutation Menace see mana mutation become the latest front in the First War. If there is a magical illness in your world that can turn people into savage monsters, what is the best way to deal with it? Accept the danger and find a cure or reject it entirely and accept Order's domination?
  • The centuries-long war between the Gun and the Line is the whole reason for the plot of The Half-Made World. Neither side is particularly sympathetic — both want the West all to themselves, and everybody else gets caught in the crossfire.
    • Representing Chaos are the Agents of the Gun, a small and disorganized group of superhuman gunslingers patterned after famous outlaws and folk heroes, each empowered by and in service to the demonic firearms they wield.
    • Opposing them is the Line, representing Order, which combines all the worst aspects of Industrialized Evil with N.G.O. Superpower, and which is slowly but inexorably extorting, coercing, or outright conquering all civilization in the West. Notably, the balance is tilted decisively in favor of Order — as one Agent puts it, you don't join the Gun to win, but to lose gloriously.
  • The Traveller in Black by John Brunner is set in a magical land where the struggle between Order and Chaos underlies everything. The Traveller himself is an agent of Order.
  • In The Dinosaur Lords, Falk justifies to himself fighting against a divinely-ordered Crusade as fighting for Order as opposed to discord represented by the horde.
  • The Elder Empire: The central conflict. On the Of Sea and Shadow side, the heroes are mostly fighting for Order, as they know that letting the Empire fracture into countless mini-empires will result in nothing but war and bloodshed. On the Of Shadow and Sea side, the heroes are mostly fighting for Chaos, as they believe that the species has evolved past the need for a single omnipotent authority. The problems with both sides are discussed; if there's a single Empire that means there's a single point of failure that can be exploited, while if there are multiple empires there will be no way to force them to cooperate in the face of a major threat.
  • "The Red Tower" is a force of undirected change and creativity, endlessly producing grotesque and meaningless mockeries of life, in petty rebellion against the surrounding wastes and their entropic return to their natural state of purity and emptiness. Attempting to ascribe moral qualities to such cosmic forces is futile.
  • In The Ten Thousand Doors Of January, there's a secret society dedicated to maintaining what they call order — the status quo that's comfortable to them while treading on others, particularly The British Empire, and progress in the sense of industrial and economic development — by opposing the change and disruption brought about by Doors leading to other worlds.
  • Wraith Knight: The primary conflict in the series is this rather than the Black-and-White Morality of Good versus Evil. The Lawgiver represents order with its tyranny, expansionism, and religious control. The Trickster by contrast represents freedom, chaos, and resistance. It's subverted when it's revealed that it is the Lawgiver and his brother Running Both Sides.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Our Miss Brooks: At Madison High School, there was order represented by Osgood Conklin, the Dean Bitterman who ran the school in a orderly manner (in "Mr. Boynton's Parents", Miss Brooks has a nightmare of Mr. Conklin telling her to "stay on the ball", "hold the line" and "run the school in an orderly manner"). He goes so far as to hang signs such as "Respect through Power" ("Spare That Rod!) and "No Goldbricking" (The Movie Grand Finale) through the school. Opposed to Mr. Conklin was chaos in the form of High-School Hustler Walter Denton, who played pranks like making Conklin look like a drunk ("Cure That Habit"), blasting an ancient cannon ("Marinated Hearing"), and writing a fraudulent letter forcing Mr. Conklin to let the students act as teachers for the day ("Turnabout Day"). In between these two extremes was Miss Brooks, who disapproved of Mr. Conklin's strict and overbearing manner in running the school - once even calling Conklin the most "unprincipled principal in the country" ("The Novelist"). However, she indeed wanted to teach while shielding Teacher's Pet Walter Denton from the consequences of his more outrageous pranks. The conservative and shy Mr. Boynton, Miss Brooks' Love Interest, was between Mr. Conklin and Miss Brooks' in outlook, although a Nice Guy without Conklin's faults.
  • Babylon 5 had the Vorlons and the Shadows. Originally they were portrayed as Black-and-White Morality (Vorlons projecting angelic images of themselves vs. the demonic and fear-inducing Shadows). Later, their millena-old conflict is revealed as rival philosophies run amok: the Vorlons believe the best way to promote growth among the younger races is through order and obedience, while the Shadows believe evolution is best served through chaos and conflict. The Vorlons and Shadows are eventually revealed to be similar, with both groups trying to force the younger races to choose a side or die. The idea was taken from Babylonian mythology, hence the name of the show. Sheridan ultimately has to lead the younger races into collectively telling BOTH sides where they can stick their rival philosophies, and to go away and leave the younger races alone to make their own choices.
  • Firefly: The chaos-loving Independents (who lead The Heroes) vs. the order-loving Alliance (the antagonists, responsible for a number of nasty things in the name of the greater good, but still more noble-minded and sympathetic than, say, the Empire from Star Wars). The Unification War is a more complicated matter. note . Then you have the Always Chaotic Evil Reavers who were created by the Alliance.
  • Quite a few pairs in House. Cuddy's job requires her to be the Order to House's Chaos. The fact that House needs to ask Cuddy for approval of his methods doesn't affect much at all since according to House, Cuddy can never refuse him for one reason or another. If she does refuse, he usually gets around this via a loophole either he, Wilson, or one of his fellows can find around policy.
    • Earlier seasons had Foreman (Order, because he followed policy more in earlier seasons) and Chase (Chaos, because he agreed with House just to kiss-ass).
    • Pair Kutner + Defibrillator and anyone trying to deal with the subsequent mess. Or Kutner with anyone else really.
  • In Get Smart, the government spy agency the heroes belonged to was called CONTROL, while their enemies' organization was KAOS.
  • House of the Dragon: In the mind of the Hightowers, a consistently male line of kings is order, and a ruling queen means chaos to them.
  • Classic Doctor Who had the Black and White Guardians, cheerleaders for chaos and order, respectively. While the Black Guardian generally appeared as a villian, it was suggested (and confirmed in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe) that the White Guardian was just as bad. (The Big Finish Doctor Who arc "Key 2 Time" introduce the Grace, who seem to be Balance and are possibly worse than the Guardians put together.)
    • The new series and The Sarah Jane Adventures has The Trickster and The Pantheon of Discord. Though an opposite Order aligned group has not been shown. As they share some dialogue, some speculate that the two may be related, if not the same being.
    • The Doctor himself is a benevolent force of chaos (just look at the effect he has on his companions' lives), and many of his enemies represent cruel order. The Daleks believe in cleansing the universe of all that does not meet their standards of purity and perfection (i.e. themselves), the Cybermen want to achieve harmony and survival by eliminating things like race, gender, and those untidy emotions (by making everyone a Cyberman), and the Master is a counterpart to the Doctor himself, but instead of merely wanting to experience the universe, he intends to run it.
      • The rest of the Doctor's race, the Time Lords, were "ancient, dusty senators" who were afraid of change and chaos. While they weren't his enemies for most of the original series (though they had their moments), they were nonetheless very law-bound and the Doctor was considered a dangerous renegade, who was tolerated because he occasionally came in handy.
  • In Yes, Minister, Hacker tries to claim that the role of the government is to do good and fight evil. Humphrey dismisses that notion with a dry laugh, and explains that the government is actually there to maintain order amid chaos.
  • Even Sister, Sister had this! Tia and Tamera had very different personalities. Tia (order) was the neat, studious one, and Tamera (chaos) was the party girl.
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine the Dominion's Founders viewed themselves as imposing order upon the chaotic galaxy of the "solids". In Odo, this is tempered somewhat by his upbringing among humanoids, sending him into Lawful Good instead of Lawful Evil.
  • A mostly subliminal but ever-present theme on Game of Thrones, referenced most directly during a conversation between Varys and Littlefinger. Varys works for the good of the realm, and because of his powerless upbringing understands exactly what happens to the weak when there is no order or realm to protect them. Littlefinger, on the other hand, rebels against a system that would relegate him to a life as an irrelevant hedge lord, and sees chaos as a way to ensure his rise to power. Varys describes chaos as "a gaping pit waiting to swallow us all," while Littlefinger describes it as a ladder for the strong to climb. They're both right.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Sauron followed Morgoth out of desire for order and control, but after witnessing what a chaotic, meaningless destruction a nihilistic force like Morgoth can cause, he started to regret the path he chose and felt relived when Morgoth was finally defeated. He than migrated in the Forodwaith with many Orcs and started experimenting on them, in the search of a power that could help him impose the order he so much wants on Middle-earth. And when than doesn't work, he starts projecting into Galadriel, who, in her relentless quest to hunt him down, proved to be just as ambitious and obsessed with control as him, even if their goals are fairly different.
  • A reoccurring theme in Nowhere Boys.
    • In Season 1, the Big Bad is an entity known as the Restoring Demon, who is obsessed with restoring order whenever there's a magical disturbance.
    • In the feature film The Book of Shadows, the Big Bad is a girl named Tegan, who is revealed to be the personification of Chaos, and wishes to take revenge on "Bear", the personfication of Order.
  • In The Magicians (2016) Umber and Ember are respectively gods of order and chaos. They joined forces in creating Fillory because their natures would balance out and allow for something greater than they could make on their own. So long as both remained in Fillory the world was stable. After Umber was driven out by the Beast there was nothing to stop Ember from indulging in his darker urges and bringing the entire world to ruin.
  • The children's educational show Odd Squad pits kid secret agents and the orderly powers of Math against a grab-bag of (silly) chaos-spreading villains and freakish (goofy) phenomena.
  • Once Upon a Time: Regina (the mayor and all around Control Freak) versus Emma (the woman who came to town and shook it from its foundations).

  • Oddly enough, shows up perfectly in the country music song "The Reckless Side Of Me" by The Steeldrivers. "There's two angels sittin on my shoulders / All they ever do is disagree / One sits on the side of rhyme and reason / The other on the reckless side of me"
  • The Rush song "Cygnus X-1: Book II" is about this. It details a war between Apollo (who brings wisdom and order) and Dionysus (of love and chaos) that decimates the human followers. This is ended when the astronaut from Book I (at the end of the previous album) shows up and tells of how he has existed after plunging into the titular black hole. They dub him Cygnus The God of Balance as a result.
  • "Therein" by Dark Tranquility. From the lyrics: "Order stormed the surface where chaos set norm - had there always been balance?...surely not - therein lies the beauty..."

    Myths & Religion 
  • This is a far more common dichotomy in ancient religions than concepts of "good vs. evil". Consider almost any ancient Pantheon (such as the Norse or Greek Gods) with flawed and often immoral dieties. They aren't exactly "good" in the sense of being moral and upright, but they represent elements of Order and human understanding and were almost always opposed to some rival group representing forces of Chaos and primordial nature. The Norse Gods fought the Frost Giants, the Olympian Gods defeated Giants and Typhon. Over time, and especially under the influence of medieval Christianity, Order became more associated with morality and the divine while Chaos became associated with evil, sin, (where applicable) the devil.
  • This is the central tenet of Zoroastrianism. Followers worship Ahura-Mazda, the embodiment of truth, order and justice — and oppose chaos and disorder (the Lie). One of the offshoot sects, called Zurvanism, names the Lie as Ahriman, the brother of Ahura-Mazda, and holds that the two are always in conflict over the spirits of mankind. The two are both the sons of Zurvan (Time).
  • In Egyptian Mythology, the god Set is considered to embody constructive chaos (the forest fire that allows new growth, for example) while the... thing... known as isfet represents chaos taken to its potentially universe-destroying extreme.
    • Order versus Chaos was the primary division in Egyptian culture, with the word ma'at meaning not just order but also justice and rightness. Isfet meant both chaos and injustice. The Pharaoh was the "Lord of Ma'at" who upheld both social and cosmic order through his combined political and religious authority. Without this authority, the Egyptians believed that the primordial chaos which existed before Creation would overtake the world and dissolve everything.
  • Discordianism. What else could be expected when the Goddess is Eris, Goddess of Chaos? (Actually, Eris is Goddess of Strife. The Principia Discordia explains that the Greeks were somewhat "off" in their appraisal of Eris.) On the other hand, the Principia recognizes the difference between creative/destructive order and disorder, advocating the "good" version of each. Although it generally prefers the "disorderly" method, as Discordians believe the world is far too organized already.
  • The Seelie and Unseelie courts of The Fair Folk represent Order and Chaos (or Light and Darkness) respectively rather than Good and Evil, although that is how many modern fictional treatments align them. Both tend to be equally dangerous and unpredictable.
  • Many creation myths start with a primordial sea of chaos, from which gods and creatures are born that eventually bring order to the chaos and create the earth.
  • The Taoist creation story from the Zhuangzi is about a chaotic, bag-shaped god named Hundun ('chaos'), who lived before the universe existed, and two emperors called Shu and Hu (Brief and Sudden). Hundun treated Shu and Hu kindly, so they decided to repay his kindness. "All men have seven openings so they can see, hear, eat, and breathe," they said (nostril, nostril, mouth, ear, ear, anus, the other one). "But Hundun has none. Let's try drilling some into him!" Every day they drilled another hole, and on the seventh day, Hundun died. People like the emperors meddle with the primal world by trying to establish rules and regulations for it, thus killing it.
  • In mythological studies, there is a trope called "Chaoskampf". It is always along the lines of "storm god fights huge serpent/dragon, representing order vs chaos". It appears in the form of Indra vs Vritra, Zeus vs Typhon, Thor vs Jormungandr, Marduk vs Tiamat, YHWH vs Leviathan (followed by Christ vs the Ancient Serpent Satan), and possibly Susano'o vs Orochi as well. Yu the Great killing Xiangliu during his work stopping the Great Flood may also count, although Yu is not a storm god.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • This was what came to define the Attitude Era, as the foul-mouthed, bellicose, and totally unpredictable Garbage Wrestler "Stone Cold" Steve Austin feuded with Corrupt Corporate Executive Vince McMahon's slick, soulless media empire.
  • Another, similar conflict from the Attitude Era was down-on-his-luck Psychopathic Manchild Mankind's running battle with the 'Corporate Champion', The Rock, which involved the clean-cut rising star (and corporate shill) of the WWE getting squashed under forklifts, thrown through tables, and repeatedly gagged with Mankind's Companion Cube, 'Mr. Socko'.
  • The officials of Ohio Valley Wrestling took frequent measures to help tone down the cheating of the heels and were met with stiff opposition and/or creative interpretations of their new rules every single time. The most frequent offenders were Bolin Services and The Jersey Shore Crew (who existed before the television show).
  • Every main member of the WWN family (including Ring of Honor but excluding Dragon Gate USA) took some measure to cut back on the "cliches" of pro wrestling and reign in heel cheats. In every case there was a group that formed in response to more or less do what they wanted without reproach, such as The Prophecy, Special K, Generation Next, The Rottweilers, The Embassy, Hangm3n, SCUM, The Kingdom, The Rebellion and probably a few others in ROH, YRR, and "The MSL Universe" Full Impact Pro, The Scene and Premier Athlete brand of EVOLVE, Valkyrie and C4 in SHINE, Christopher Daniels and SoCal Val being habitual offenders. And that's not even getting into outside groups seeking to bring chaos such as The Blackout, The House Of Truth, most obviously New Japan Power Stable CHAOS and most infamously Bullet Club. Although The Second City Saints, Age Of The Fall and Decade were orderly heels, Bullet Club turned face and Las Sicarias were chaotic baby faces from the start.
  • CM Punk has been on both sides of this in WWE. He's been a force of Chaos operating against the authority in the WWE in the form of John Laurinitis and Triple H from 2011 to 2012. However, in his earlier feud against Jeff Hardy, Punk played the role of Order, contrasting his personal dedication to the Straight Edge lifestyle against Jeff's excessive self-indulgence.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Old World of Darkness had three cosmic principles in its setting, especially shown in the Werewolf and Mage games: Dynamism/Wyld as Chaos, Stasis/Weaver as Order/Technology, and Entropy/Wyrm as corrupted destruction. Werewolf especially tended to picture Chaos as good, but mostly because it was the underdog of that fight. Mage had the technomancers of the Technocracy to act as Order, the insane Marauders as Chaos, and the diabolic Nephandi to serve as Entropy, with the Player Characters supposed to stand somewhere in between.
    • The cosmology in the Mage: The Ascension setting stressed the importance of the Unity of these three forces. When in balance, they feed into one other in a perfect harmony of creation, existence, and destruction leading to new creations. The Crapsack World nature of the WoD is a result of that balance having been broken in favor of stasis and corruption.
    • Incidentally, in the creation myth for Werewolf, the Wyrm was originally supposed to be the blessed end brought to all things that had fulfilled the purpose. Then the Weaver, who'd already been driven batshit crazy by trying to define the limitless Wyld, tried to define the Wyrm, which twisted it and turned its purpose towards unending corruption.
    • The Were-Spider source book details their more minute distinctions of each force in the way they determine their Auspice. Each were-spider has what amounts to a primary alignment with one of the three forces, and a secondary alignment which determines how they expressed it. An entropic-dynamic character, then, would thus be concerned with spreading/serving entropy and destruction in as chaotic a manner as possible, whereas a static-dynamic character might be more interested in creating and preserving new works.
    • It is not as hard-written into the story as in the other gamelines, but Vampire: The Masquerade has this kind of conflict too between the three core factions presented, with the Anarchs representing chaos, the Camarilla representing order, and the Sabbat representing destruction, based on their general demeanours and goals. This in itself gets twisted around a through the individuals of each sect a lot, however, so it's definitely not as prominent as the more solid examples in the setting. The Camarilla is generally presented as the good guys in this gameline, with some Anarchs shining through occasionally, though it leans more towards being the lesser evil than actually being good.
  • In White Wolf's other Tabletop RPG, Exalted, traces of this are also present. The Wyld is a place instead of a force, but one that The Fair Folk inhabit as the representatives of Chaos. Order is represented by the Sidereal Exalted and their Celestial Bureaucracy, as well as by the Realm of the Dragon Blooded.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has a similar system of moral alignment for characters that opposes Evil to Good, and Law to Chaos.
    • In the original game, there were only three alignments: Lawful, Neutral, and Chaotic. Lawful was frequently equated with Good and Chaotic with Evil, so it's not much of a surprise that future editions expanded the system into the nine alignments that we know today — which many people still have arguments about, in large part because of the popularity of Anti Heroes and Anti Villains in fantasy fiction. C'est la vie.
      • Even in the original edition, the Monster Manual had creatures defined as "Chaotic but good" or "Lawful but evil". This most likely led to the two-axis alignments.
      • The other alignments are also useful. A Dark Lord's just-following-orders minion or a heretic-burning priest is Lawful Evil (keep the rules whatever the cost to people.) A Thief character is Chaotic Good (screw the rules, be excellent to each other.)
      • Fourth Edition pared it down to Lawful Good, Good, Unaligned, Evil, and Chaotic Evil. Players have hotly debated whether this means that Lawful Good is somehow "more good" than Chaotic Good, or whether goodness means being naturally chaotic. Wizards' own article on the subject appears here. To summarize for those who don't want the link; Word of God is that Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil are explicitly not The Same, but More of Good and Evil. They simply represent very specific, focused views of good and evil — Lawful Good views law and order as being essential components to goodness, while Chaotic Evil is so psychotic and self-absorbed it goes beyond what even Evil considers appropriate. An "Evil" character has standards and is usually rational about their goals; a "Chaotic Evil" character has no standards and will do whatever they want to achieve their goals, which are often horrific even to Evil beings.
    • In the older editions, the Blood War was a massive mashup between the demons and the devils on which kind of evil (pure rampaging destructive chaos vs brutal and cunning tyranny) should dominate the cosmos, but it's been changed into a war of Evil Versus Oblivion between the demons and the devils. The demons are an infinite source of chaos and destruction, but they cannot access the material plane until the devils are defeated. This makes the devils Necessarily Evil and the only thing keeping the endless hordes of demons from overwhelming the cosmos. This handily explains why the devils who use order have not defeated the demons and why the forces of good have not intervened to destroy evil - it is impossible with the demons and the devils' destruction means the death of everything.
    • In 4e, the equivalent of the Blood War of prior editions is being fought between Bane, god of war and conquest, and Gruumsh, god of destruction and slaughter. Bane is a strategist who plays by the rules of war, while Gruumsh cares only for slaughter. Gruumsh covets Bane's position as god of war, and Bane uses the war with Gruumsh as a cover to make the other deities think he's distracted, occupied, and generally less competant than he actually is, though Gruumsh's unpredictability and bravado keeps the war much more even than Bane would like.
    • In the Basic/Expert/etc variant of D&D, the Sphere of Matter was generally affiliated with Law, and the Sphere of Energy with Chaos, with Time favoring Neutrality and Thought combining some of each. The four all generally team up to oppose the Sphere of Entropy, a nihilistic variant of Chaos that's looking to eliminate life of any alignment, however.
    • Curiously, that's how things are in Normal CD&D reality. In the alternate Nightmare reality, it's Chaos (a.k.a. Freedom) that's generally on the side of the angels, and Law (there called Stasis) that's considered a menace.
    • The Neverwinter campaign setting can get like this with the right Game Master and playing the cynical side of Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism. One interpretation of the campaign is do you let Lord Neverember rule knowing that he might use Neverwinter as a stepping stone to conquer the northern lands, or do you dethrone him and risk the rioting that could cause Neverwinter to never recover from the disasters? Tyranny or anarchy, take your pick.
    • Two products from Lamentations of the Flame Princess, publisher of "Old School Renaissance" supplements for older D&D games, redefine Law and Chaos:
      • Carcosa defines Law as "sworn enemies the Old Ones" and Chaos as "servants and allies of the Old Ones".
      • Their flagship RPG, Lamentations of the Flame Princess: Weird Fantasy Role Playing (whew!) defines Lawful beings as (oversimplifying a bit) conscious pawns in a cosmic plan, and Chaotic beings as those touched by magic, a random and amoral force that could overwhelm our so-called "reality" in the blink of an eye. Notably all Clerics must be Lawful, and all Magic Users and Elves must be Chaotic.
  • Magic: The Gathering: The conflict between White (the color of tradition, society, law and faith) and Red (the color of emotion, liberty, and impulsiveness) is at its heart the conflict between Order and Chaos. Since none of MTG's colors are inherently good or evil, this can take many shapes over different stories, such as a heroic White society fighting back the chaos of Red barbarians and monsters that threatens to destroy it or Red freedom fighters and revolutionaries fighting against an oppressive and hierarchical White regime.
    • Red and White are not however mutually exclusive, and some of the Guilds from the Ravnica sets explore the mixing of the two colors in some interesting ways.
      • The Boros Guild, Red/White, is for instance extremely dedicated to promoting White ideals of justice, law and society, but rather than pursuing these goals stoically and/or emotionlessly like White tends to, they do so with a clearly Red passion, fervency and personal, emotional investment.
      • This is taken a step further in the form of the Rakdos Guild, the Black (the color of selfishness, ambition and amorality) and Red guild; more or less a self-indulgent and frequently psychotically violent chaos incarnate. It is revealed that the entire reason the other nine Guilds allow the Rakdos to exist is to show to the non-guild citizens what a world without the guilds would be like. Furthermore, when a guild wants something done on a large scale that just isn't possible within their respected roles of the guildpact, they often commission the Rakdos to sow a little chaos and do it for them. Or, in the case of the Dimir, they set things up so the Rakdos take the blame.
    • The Kaladesh arc is a clear example of a story focusing on good Chaos versus evil Order, focusing on the chiefly Red-aligned Renegades fighting against the stifling, tyrannical order of the chiefly White Consulate.
    • While all the colleges in the Strixhaven Arc have similar oppositions in the vein of an academic debate, this is more directly shown when looking at the Lorehold college, the school that focuses a lot on the past and fittingly produces a lot of Adventurer Archaeologist students. Their outlook on history is a debate on whether it is a series of orderly events (white), or if it is a chaotic mess (red), and the deans that represent each aspect are Augusta and Plargg respectively.
  • Warhammer had both the Chaos gods and the Gods of Law, the later being obviously so obscure that they not only are barely mentioned, but pretty much absent from the main plot, although their followers are known to be extremistic. There's also several other gods who are either rather neutral, or that side against Chaos, but are not considered Gods of Order.
    • The Chaos Gods themselves do not simply represent Chaos; they represent corrupted Chaos. All Warp gods are affected by the emotions of their worshippers and all four Chaos gods personify, in part, something much more positive than their normal nature- Slaanesh is the God of Love, for instance, and Tzeentch the God of Hope. The reason they are Chaotic Evil rather than Chaotic Neutral or Chaotic Good is largely because the Warhammer universe is just that screwed up. The fact that all the other factions are about as Ax-Crazy as each other is what makes Chaos the worst faction of the lot in the first place. Its not that there is no Good and Evil in this setting- it's that Evil exists, and it has won.
    • Warhammer 40,000 typically defines itself as Order vs. Chaos (or rather, Order vs. Disorder, seeing as how one of the factions in the universe is called Chaos). There is no real Good vs Evil. Although there are some individuals who could be considered good, as a whole the sides are basically Bad vs Worse.
      • Normal racial divisions are the Imperium, Eldar, and Tau for Order, and Chaos, Dark Eldar, and Orks for Disorder. Necrons and Tyranids are both off to the side a bit, but as Necron lore becomes more developed, they seem to be leaning towards Order. Their goal is wiping out sentient organic life in order to truly starve the chaos gods.
      • In the first Necrons codex, the C'tan are essentially the Gods of Order, as they're the complete antithesis of the Chaos Gods. The Chaos Gods exist in the Warp while the C'tan are wholly physical beings (well, energy beings, but they have no connection to Warp whatsoever) The Chaos Gods can substitute reality with their own, while the C'tan have mastery over the laws of physics, allowing both to do seemingly magical things. The followers of the Chaos Gods tend to end up controlled by their emotions and become more and more mutated until they turn into mindless Spawn, while the followers of the C'tan had their minds transferred into unchanging metal bodies and became the soulless and emotionless Necrons. The ultimate goal of the Chaos Gods is to consume the galaxy in chaos by turning it into a giant warp rift, while the ultimate goal of the C'tan is to seal off the warp, turning every sentient being into soulless cattle for them to feed on. note 
    • Similarly to the C'tan mentioned above, in the Fantasy setting perfect order can be seen in the undead armies, the Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings, legions of mindless servants who thoughtlessly serve their masters in "the perfect, unending order of undeath."
    • With the Warhammer: Age of Sigmar sequel setting to Warhammer Fantasy, the Gods of Law have been dropped entirely (it is implied that they were either defeated by the Chaos Gods or were too weak to interfere during the End Times that ended WHF's world and didn't survive) and the stifling evil absolute Order role is take by the successor to the original undead factions, the Grand Alliance of Death. The healthy order is taken by the Grand Alliance of Order, the Chaos Gods and their followers in the Grand Alliance of Chaos and the Greenskins, Trolls (renamed to Troggoths), Ogres (renamed to Ogors) and Giants are placed in Grand Alliance of Destruction, still on the chaos side, just not capital C Chaos side.
  • Winterweir has one of its main setting themes as the conflict between the Celestials (Order) and the Demons (Chaos) with neither side being especially good.
  • F.A.T.A.L.. It stresses that neither is actually related to good or evil. It also calls Order "ethical" and Chaos "unethical" in the Character Alignment section. You may clap sarcastically whenever you like.
  • In Traveller, the Interstellar Wars are very much about the conflict between Order and Chaos. The Vilani Empire is about ten thousand years old and has done almost nothing new in thousands of years. Yet at the same time, it has highly refined all its techniques and technology and has a political system designed to keep order. It is sometimes oppressive, but it holds thousands of worlds together. The Terran Confederation has a more or less democratic structure, as well as a large number of only half-controlled Intrepid Merchants and Space Cossacks, who are a great help against the Vilani Imperium.
    • The Zhodani and the Vargr represent a much more extreme example of the "Order versus Chaos" confrontation. Zhodani nobles use their psionics to maintain a vaguely Orwellian police state, while the Vargr have an extremely fragmented society where authority is based on "Charisma".
  • In the Empire of the Petal Throne, Order and Chaos are called Stability and Change, respectively. They are not exactly at war, but they are often opposed. Interestingly, they tend to mirror each other. There's a Stability Sun Deity and a Change Sun Deity, for example. Neither is necessarily good or evil.
  • A Meta Game version is the Pink Mohawk vs the Black Trenchcoat in Shadowrun, where Pink Mohawks represents chaotic shadowrunners who goes in with plenty of explosions and gunfire while Black Trenchcoat relies on cold calculation to complete the runs.

  • In Cesare - Il Creatore che ha distrutto, 16 year old student Cesare Borgia has a debate with his classmate Angelo over this in relation to The Divine Comedy. It starts with Angelo asking why no one from the common people went to rescue Count Ugolino from the tower where he starved to death. Cesare says it's better that they didn't, because they wouldn't have succeeded. The common people don't have the resources to succeed in an uprising, they're struggling just to get by, so it's better not to let those kinds of ideas catch on. Angelo, a commoner from the (ostensibly) Republic of Florence, asks him if he thinks the common people should just roll over and leave their fates in the hands of leaders. Cesare's answer is more or less in the affirmative. The other Florentines are equally horrified with Cesare's answer, but the actions of all involved show that it's not that simple. Earlier, Giovanni de'Medici, their classmate and the son of, essentially, Florence's dictator, took cruel revenge against Angelo for upstaging him in class, but when Angelo apologizes to Cesare after their Dante debate, Cesare tells him there's no need, that the debate was fun, and he was glad to hear Angelo's views. Beyond that, the more time Angelo spends with the other Florentine students, the more he realizes that they have no focus besides sucking up to Giovanni in hopes of gaining his favor — some republic. Meanwhile, Cesare is the one going into the poor districts of Pisa and figuring out ways to help those people. His choice of the side of order within a city is because he recognizes that the Divided We Fall state that Italy is in leaves their scattered, petty dukedoms as easy pickings for a larger power to take over. He wants them to give that up and unite before it's too late. Historically, his failure to do so is what made Machiavelli write The Prince, urging the nephew of that same Giovanni (who had become Pope Leo X by the time) to pick up where Cesare left off. Italy's unification 350 years later is recognizes as what Machiavelli would have wanted.
  • A theme of Les Misérables - Inspector Javert positively fetishizes Order and Law above all else, while over the course of the story his country alternately suffers under tyranny and collapses into revolution around him, and he... obsesses over hunting down a single parole violator. His (Anti-) Villain Song is a paean to the perfect order of the stars, compared to sloppy and rebellious human beings:
    You know your place in the sky
    You hold your course and your aim,
    And each in your season returns and returns,
    And is always the same...

  • In SuperThings, this is the running theme between Emperorder and Moonarchaos, the original hero and villain of Kaboom City. Being the sun and moon of the land, they domain their respective times of day. Emperorder is the sun, ally to the heroic Kazoom Kids, while Moonarchaos is the moon and ally to the villainous Kazoom Kids. Moonarchaos' powers allow him to throw things into disarray, while Emperorder's allow him to undo his older brother's messes.

    Video Games 
  • The main plot of AdventureQuest Worlds is about Drakath, champion of chaos and the 13 lords of chaos. Order is less obvious, however the constant and stable conflict between good and evil seems to represent order (and considering that it's Lawful Good vs. Lawful Evil, and the predictability of their fight going into something of a tradition, would represent order, an order that Drakath shattered when he came into the story.
  • In the Metal Gear franchise, Solid Snake would do battle against both terrorists (representing chaos) and politicians (representing law), both of whom threatened to destroy the world with their war with each other.
    • On a more thematic note, the war between Big Boss and Zero ultimately boils down to this. Big Boss's goal is to establish an anarchic perpetual battleground where soldiers are free to serve as mercenaries and do battle without allegiance to any government, ideology, or creed, whereas the latter hopes to unite the world under a One World Order government run by Big Brother A.I.s.
  • The The Witcher franchise, including both the books and video games, had three wars waged between the Northern Kingdoms (Neutral), the Nilfgaardian Empire (Order) and the Scoia'tael (Chaos). There is even a card game based after those three wars, titled "Gwent"!
    • Geralt of Rivia, on the other hand, did his best to avoid their three wars with each other, remaining True Neutral to the best of his abilities, just to focus on two things: Killing monsters for profit, and rescuing his adoptive daughter, Ciri.
  • The virtue system in Serpents Isle is quite different from past games. Unlike the Britannia virtues, based on Infinity, Ophidian virtues are based on Order and Chaos. The Virtues of Order are Logic, Discipline, and Ethicality. The Virtues of Chaos are Emotion, Enthusiasm, and Tolerance.
    • However, unlike the virtues of Britannia, Ophidian virtues are not good by themselves and must be practiced with its opposite counterpart to achieve balance, otherwise, wrongs are committed, called Banes. The Banes of Order are Ruthlessness (Logic without Emotion), Apathy (Discipline without Enthusiasm), and Prejudice (Ethicality without Tolerance). The Banes of Chaos are Insanity (Emotion without Logic), Wantonness (Enthusiasm without Discipline), and Anarchy (Tolerance without Ethicality). The Order and Chaos counterparts combined together form the Principles of Rationality (Logic and Emotion), Dedication (Discipline and Enthusiasm), and Harmony (Ethicality and Tolerance).
    • Halfway through the game, the Banes of Chaos possess three major party members, which in turn annihilate the three major cities, which were guilty of practicing the Banes of Order. The three main cities were also notable in that they practiced bastardized forms of the three major Britannia Principles, Truth, Love, and Courage. Monitor practiced a bastardized version of Courage and the Bane of Apathy. With their courage just being merely words and not true actions, they were wiped out by the Bane of Wantonness when he sent goblin hordes to attack Monitor. Fawn, worshipped Beauty, a bastardized version of Love, which caused them to commit the Bane of Prejudice to anything ugly. The Bane of Insanity killed the city with plague and flayed the city's priestess alive (the Avatar restores her however). Moonshade (a bastardized version of Britannia's Moonglow, the city of Honesty) is a city of half-truths where the truth is only good when convienant. This leads them to commit the Bane of Ruthlessness. When the Bane of Anarachy arrived, he had the town's inhabitants kill eachother.
  • Ogre Battle, Ogre Battle 64, and Tactics Ogre's alignment system.
  • Order and Chaos have been divided into separate worlds in The Longest Journey. Although generally both sides try to leave each other alone, sometimes someone gets it into their head that their side is the superior.
  • The Thief games have the Hammerites, a particularly militant group of Knight Templars, as Order, and the Pagans, a demon-worshipping underground Cult of shamans and hippies, as Chaos. Neither are portrayed as particularly nice. The protagonist, interestingly, could be considered a representation of balance: he's a thief, but his livelihood hinges pretty heavily on the institutions of the society he lives in, and he frequently steps in to keep things from going all to hell.
  • Shin Megami Tensei has this as its central conflict. Pick a game out of the series and despite ever-changing setpieces, backdrops and actors, the script remains the same. Unlike most examples neither side is shown to be better than the other, often becoming two types of evil depending on the game (Neutral is generally treated better and is the canon ending in all instances of direct continuations), but just has different trade offs for humanity and demons. Order tends to result in the eradication of all independent thought and the reduction of reality to a vast machine dedicated to the worship of YHVH, whilst Chaos tends to spawn a twisted world of Might Makes Right and endless war.
    • It returned as a major mechanic in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, up to and including several bonuses (extra attack combos, price discounts when recruiting demons) and losses (failed negotiations, harder to contact successfully a demon of opposite alignment) depending upon your stance on Order and Chaos.
    • SMT is an interesting example in that although neutrality is often presented as canon, it is also often presented as not being that great of a choice, which ends up making the choice of endings seem like a 'shades of shit' kind of deal. Strange Journey in particular shows that allowing humanity to go on as it is could be a bad idea...
    • Spinoff series generally portray the alignments in a much more positive manner. One example is Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon, where it's not them being forced to pick a side but rather how Raidou wishes to live his life. The only game with a Social Darwinist outlook in the spinoffs is Devil Survivor 2's Meritocracy, but it's based on star signs instead of the typical alignments.
    • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne has an interesting version of this trope with the Reasons. As one might expect, the Demon ending (leave the Vortex World as it is) and the Freedom Ending (turn the world back to normal) are Neutral, while Shijima (a World of Silence) is Law, but one would assume Yosuga (Might Makes Right) is Chaos. That assumption, however, is incorrect, since following any of the Reasons, including Musubi (everyone lives in isolation) is essentially playing by Kagutsuchi's rules. The real Chaos ending is the True Demon Ending, in which you permanently destroy Kagutsuchi and team up with Lucifer.
    • Shin Megami Tensei IV adds a fourth option: Nothingness. Screw Order. Screw Chaos. All of your options suck and nothing anyone does will bring an end to the neverending Crapsack World that is the MegaTen universe, so just end it all. Not that it'll help, as Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse reveals.
  • The entire premise of Primal was this. Arella was the literal personification of order. Her polar opposite is Abbadon, who has begun to tip the balance of power towards chaos.
  • Grandia II portrays the two Gods of the story (Granas and Valmar) as personifications of Order and Chaos, both supposedly created by humans who leaned too far one way or the other. It spells this out, very briefly, and the characters do not comprehend any of the implications. A little robot makes the remark in question. You see, Granas and Valmar were some ancient civilization's scientific researchers, who jointly discovered how to transmute matter and energy at will, i.e. the key to utopia, and promptly became as gods. Their partnership broke up when they realized their ideologies were split neatly along the line described by this trope — Granas wanted a perfect world full of happy people who never experience anything negative; Valmar insisted that life is made interesting by conflict... so he started one. The details are foggy, but we do find out that the war ended with Granas down for the count and Valmar (or at least his giant bio weapon) still hanging around. Gameplay ensues.
  • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (and Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, the direct prequel) have Ashera, the Goddess of Order and Yune, Goddess of Chaos. In an interesting twist, the Goddess of Chaos is depicted as a young child. The two also used to be one being: the original Goddess Ashunera cast out her own emotions, which became Yune, after accidently flooding the world. The Empty Shell that was left behind became Ashera, and lacking emotions causes her to make some... questionable decisions.
  • If the words of a certain traitorous bishounen priest are any indication, this may well turn out to be the most primal conflict in the Suikoden series. There are many ways one could wax fauxlosophic about this, but so far most of the writing on the wall seems to be margin notes. For instance, the conflict that created the Suiko-verse was between two embodiments of protection and destruction. Refreshingly, the series chastises both extremes, showing the horrors of "true Order" (dharma, in the words of the aforementioned priest) at least as often as the horrors of "true Chaos."
    • Indeed, the Empire of Holy Harmonia, the possible Big Bad of the game series, lives up to its name as the embodiment of strict order. On the other hand, recurring Psycho for Hire Yuber is Chaos's standard bearer (oddly enough, the two actually end up on the same side in at least one war).
      • It's also implied that Pesmerga, whose sole purpose in life seems to be to eliminate Yuber, is Yuber's counterpart on the side of Order. The two look very similar (including their all-black wardrobes), have swords with the same name, and despite their human appearance are apparently immortal demons of some sort.
    • While Suikoden Tierkreis isn't connected to the main series, it pits the hero against The Order Of The One True Way, an empire with clear parallels to Harmonia, just nastier and with plenty of horror.
  • In The Elder Scrolls, this is heavily present (though at times significantly played-with) with the series' divine beings. To note:
    • The primary Creation Myth for most religions of Tamriel generally follows a pattern that, in the pre-creation "void", there were two opposing primordial forces - Stasis (Order) and Change (Chaos). A few of the religions anthropomorphize these forces into beings most commonly known as Anu and Padomay, respectively. The interplay between these two forces led to Creation, sometimes anthropomorphized as the female entity "Nir". Nir favored Anu, which angered Padomay. Padomay killed Nir and shattered the twelve worlds she gave birth to. Anu then wounded Padomay, presuming him dead. Anu salvaged the pieces of the twelve worlds to create one world: Nirn. Padomay returned and wounded Anu, seeking to destroy Nirn. Anu then pulled Padomay and himself outside of time, ending Padomay's threat to creation "forever". From the intermingling of their spilled blood came the "et'Ada", or "original spirits", who would go on to become either the Aedra or the Daedra depending on their actions during creation. (Some myths state that the Aedra come from the mixed blood of Anu and Padomay, while the Daedra come purely from the blood of Padomay).
    • One of these spirits, said to have been "begat" by Sithis (the embodiment of chaos and, for lack of a better term, Padomay's "spirit"), was Lorkhan (aka Shor, Shezarr, Shep, Lorkhaj, etc.). Depending on the version of the myth, he convinced/tricked some of the other et'Ada into helping him create the mortal plane, known as Mundus, to permanently disrupt the "stasis" of pre-creation with "chaos." (The races of Mer, or Elves, generally believe this was a cruel trick that robbed their ancestors of their pre-creation divinity while the races of Men believe it was a good thing.) Those et'Ada who sacrificed large parts of their being to create Mundus became known as the Aedra, while those that did not participate became the Daedra. For his treachery, the Aedra "killed" Lorkhan and tore out his "divine center" (heart), which they cast down into the mortal world he helped to create.
    • The Aedra, meaning "Our Ancestors" in the old Aldmeri language, sacrificed a large portion of their divine power in order to create the mortal world. It is said that the et'Ada who would become the Aedra formed from the intermingled blood of Anu and Padomay, giving them some traits of both Order and Chaos. Meanwhile, the Daedra, meaning "Not Our Ancestors," did not sacrifice any of their power during the creation of Mundus and remain truly immortal. The et'Ada who would become the Daedra are said to have formed exclusively from the blood of Padomay, giving them purely Chaotic traits. (Though even this is heavily played with, as two of the Daedric Princes, Jyggalag and Peryite, both govern over spheres which contain elements of Order.)
    • This is heavily played up in some of the religions of the races of Mer (Elves), especially the Altmer (High Elves). According to Altmer religious beliefs, the creation of Mundus was seen as an act of malevolence as it forced them to experience mortal suffering, loss, and death while removing their spirits from a place of pre-creation divinity. While most are content to toil in this mortal "prison" with "more limitations than not," some extremists, like the Thalmor, actively seek to undo creation to return to that state of pre-creation divinity. According to their beliefs, mankind was made up from the "weakest souls" by Lorkhan to spread Sithis (Chaos) "into every corner," ensuring that there could never be the "stasis" (Order) of pre-creation again. However, they believe that not just the existence of mankind, but the existence of the possibility of mankind keeps them trapped in Mundus. Essentially, the Altmer are oppressed not just by the existence of mankind, but the possibility of mankind's existence.
    • Oblivion's Shivering Isles expansion is based around this trope. Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness will periodically transform into his original form as Jyggalag, the Daedric Prince of Order, and level the Shivering Isles - Sheogorath's realm of madness, creativity, and free will. The main quest of the expansion is to bring an end to this Vicious Cycle once and for all.
  • The main villains of the game Anachronox are revealed to be a species devoted to Chaos, who were sent back to a former universe by a species devoted to Order — though not much is made of this, since the sequel was never made.
  • Mortal Kombat has the Order Realm/Seido, and the Chaos Realm, who are constantly at war with each other.
    • Plus, a Lawful Stupid character from Seido and a Chaotic Stupid character from Chaosrealm. They're arch enemies.
    • Tyrant conquerors Onaga and Shao Khan are associated with order and chaos respectively and are favored by the members of the realm of equivalent alignment.
  • Dungeon Master features a group of heroes sent on a quest by Lord Order to defeat Lord Chaos. Complete the quest as stated and Lord Order thanks you, then murders you. To win, you have to defeat them both by merging them back into the one human they were originally created from.
  • Very much like the example above, Faery Tale Adventure 2: Halls of the Dead evokes the "too much of either is bad" version. The Big Bad is ostensibly the personification of Chaos, but destroying him will only serve to allow Order to achieve a perfectly ordered state by encasing the entire universe in lifeless crystal. Destroying Order likewise makes the world uninhabitable, for the opposite reason. The correct solution is to unify them, bringing harmony to the world again.
  • Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning had two factions: Order and Destruction (since one of the races is Chaos). With Empire, Dwarves and High Elves on one side and Chaos, Greenskins and Dark Elves on the other. However, it has somewhat been criticised for making the Order side a bit too 'Good', although that could just be in comparison to the pure baby-murdering evil that is Destruction.
  • In Disgaea, it becomes clear that this is the true conflict, and the idea that it's Black-and-White Morality is some sort of in-universe ideal decay that has happened over millennia. Evidence of this is found in the fact that OTHER demons will chastize demons they see getting "too evil", e.g. Raspberyl's declaring Mao's intent to blow up the Earth, an act for scum. Also in the first game Etna insists on teaching Laharl kindness in her own warped demon way, and this trait was something she admired in his father.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic series:
    • The fourth has this and Black-and-White Morality (though it's worth noting that Chaos hates "Life" and Order equally, and Life feels the same about Chaos and "Death.") Order is borderline good, but a spell to protect against that alignment references "what the self-righteous are capable of." Chaos . . . is just evil. Sorry.
    • In the fifth and sixth games, Order is represented by Asha the creator goddess and her six children, as well as by the Necropolis faction who worship Asha as the 'Spider Aspect', while Chaos is represented by Asha's brother Urgash and the Inferno faction, which consists of the Demons that Urgash created to wage war on his sister.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl has the very aptly named Duty vs. Freedom, Duty being a highly disciplined paramilitary organization that believes the world needs to be protected from the Zone, and Freedom being a loosely run band of stoners and anarchists who believe the Zone's gifts should be shared with the entire world.
  • The famous Green Rocks of Sonic the Hedgehog, are called the Chaos Emeralds. The scrapped game Sonic X-Treme would have featured a contrast to them called the Rings of Order, which were what Sonic was trying to protect from Dr. Robotnik.
  • This is one of the pairs of faiths in Lords of Magic. Order is represented by the standard High Middle Ages style humans, Chaos is represented by barbarians.
  • This is the most important conflict of the Dept. Heaven series, where order is represented by the gods of Asgard and chaos by the Underworld and its demons. Both sides are far and away on the "extreme" end of what these things represent, and woe betide anyone who gets in the middle. Gray-and-Grey Morality also applies; the Big Bad of the series is a proxy of the gods, and the most messianic character who's appeared thus far is a demon.
    • Riviera: The Promised Land has its hero Ein find a happy medium by telling both sides of the conflict where they can stick it if they're going to keep recklessly endangering the lives of ordinary mortal people in neutral territory for their own selfish warring.
    • Yggdra Union and Blaze Union both deal with mortal affairs more than the huge conflict going on in the background, but they go a long way towards establishing the powers that be on both sides as incredibly callous. The antagonist of these games was born to be one of Asgard's soldiers, and was punished horribly for refusing to go to war and asserting his free will despite being what was considered a subhuman class, then exiled to a mortal world—and then completely ignored, even as he started manipulating events on that world for the sake of revenge. (These games, by the way, are the one with the messianic demon.)
    • Knights in the Nightmare explains that the conflict between the forces of order and chaos has been so bad that a lot of worlds have neutral arbitrators to keep their fighting from damaging mortal worlds.
  • LEGO Universe doesn't exactly have "order," but Imagination is a channeled chaos, pitted against the completely unfettered Maelstrom. The distinction is similar to that between building a tower of Legos out of bricks from a dozen different sets, and smashing the tower to bits.
  • Though it (possibly) started out as an Good vs. Evil affair, the revelation of Soul Calibur's true intent in SoulCalibur IV (to force the world into a state of peace and safety by crystallizing all its inhabitants) causes its conflict with Soul Edge to fall into this (because it slips into a "no matter who wins, we all lose" scenario). Fan theory suggests that this happened over the course of the series, rather than Soul Calibur having such a twisted objective from the start.
    • The closest we have to Word of God on the matter is that Soul Calibur was originally just as evil as Soul Edge, from whence it came, because Algol's Blue-and-Orange Morality gave its spirit no moral compass besides a directive to destroy Soul Edge at all costs. The sword's evil was eventually quieted and purged by its keepers (who are all long dead now), and is speculated to have reawakened after Soul Calibur was temporarily trapped within Soul Edge. Unlike a lot of video game examples of this trope, merging the swords together is a very bad idea, creating a godlike Eldritch Abomination that is pure evil.
  • Portal 2 plays the conflict between Master Computer GLaDOS and whimsical AI sidekick Wheatley as less Evil vs. Good and more as the aspect of game theory that pits a perfectly logical, experienced player against a completely random one who has no idea what he's doing, what the rules are, what the win condition is, etcetera. The random player can win not because he's good at the game, but because he's so unpredictable that the logical player cannot anticipate his moves. In fact, later in the game, Wheatley does a better job of being an actual antagonist than GLaDOS ever did. Interestingly, the randomness doesn't always work in his favour because, well, it's random. Even his "triumph" would have meant that everyone lost by dying, instead of just him losing by being deposed.
  • In The Colour Tuesday, the Others keep everything in a state of mind controlled order so as to prey on humans. This makes the rebellious Alex a perfect candidate for trying to break the Others' control.
  • In World of Warcraft, the Titans aren't so much "good" as "ordered", and do some pretty morally questionable things in order to keep the balance. On the opposite side is the Burning Legion, which holds it as their sacred mission to bring chaos and destruction to all worlds.
    • To demonstrate, the Titans created the Halls of Origination which functionally destroys the world by resetting it back to when the Titans first finished making/modifying it. From Algalon's words, it's to be used whenever things go wrong with the Titans plans and seemingly every world visited by the Titans has one.
    • The Bronze Dragonflight acts much like the Titans, maintaining the "order" of the timelines. This also means ensuring some pretty horrible events happen, as the effects of them not happening might be worse. Their nemesis, the Infinite Dragonflight, wishes to change the timelines greatly to achieve some unknown goal. They do so by disrupting that "order", threatening to destabilize the entirety of time.
  • Kirby and Meta Knight often fall into this, with the former being carefree and chaotic (often causing a lot of trouble) and the latter imposing extreme order (often in an effort to counteract that trouble).
  • This is the entire foundation of the Dissidia Final Fantasy, with the Goddess of Harmony (Cosmos) vs the God of Discord (Chaos).
  • In the first Mass Effect game, Sovereign claims that the Reapers "impose order on the chaos of organic evolution". Two games later, a downed Reaper says something similar, arguing to Shepard that harvesting organics and uploading them into new Reaper shells is the only way to "preserve" them. Otherwise, they will eventually create synthetics that have the power to destroy them. This turns out to be the purpose of the unthinkably old AI overseeing the whole cycle.
  • The trio of gods in Runescape, Saradomin, Zamorak, and Guthix represent Order, Chaos and Balance, respectively. While there are few sympathetic Zamorakian NPCs, and most heroes are Saradominists, the distinction isn't clear cut, as groups like HAM and the White Knights can attest to. Armadyl, the only objectively "good" god, was dethroned for being a Suicidal Pacifist, Guthix simply wants to preserve existence, though his followers often act Stupid Neutral, and Zaros is just power personified.
  • A common theme in the Geneforge series. The Shapers have maintained a fairly peaceful and stable social order for centuries, and kept the worst excesses of their distinctive form of magic to a minimum. Scratch the surface, though, and you'll quickly notice that this relative peace and comfort masks a tyrannical society with next to no social mobility, kept afloat with healthy doses of Fantastic Racism, including the systematic extermination of most sentient nonhuman species. The rebellion against them, in turn, wants to tear down not just the tyranny and racism, but the peace and stability, and all the rules that made it possible in the first place. It doesn't help that the rebels are not exactly in agreement about what should come next, and many of the rebel creations hate humans just as much as humans hate them. Both sides are convinced they're right, and neither side is presented as overwhelmingly better or worse than the other when it comes to morality; both demonstrate plenty of willingness to punt a few canines over the horizon. And you get to choose which side wins. There are a few sides that try to compromise, but these tend to get killed off quickly, or become affiliated with the (chaotic) rebels by default.
  • A theme in BlazBlue. The game is a very complex Morality Kitchen Sink, but this is an underlying theme of the series. The conflict manifests itself primarily represented in series protagonist, Ragna the Bloodedge and his younger brother/rival, Jin Kisaragi being chaos and order respectively.
  • Catherine, being a spinoff of Shin Megami Tensei, has this as a running theme but in a much more downplayed scope compared to the parent series, and the Ms. Exposition Trisha even brings up this trope on one occasion. The game follows Vincent, a bored thirty-something Everyman who finds himself in a Love Triangle with two women, with the two women representing Order and Chaos. The protagonist's choice between the two or not forms the central focus of his Character Development.
  • Assassin's Creed: the long conflict between Assassins and Templars is essentially a question of whether the world needs more freedom or more control. The games are generally in favor of the Assassins, though Shaun (an Assassin) doesn't consider them to be "heroes" since they still kill people to accomplish their goals. Most Templars aren't portrayed in a favorable light, especially in the second game. The third game brings both sides closer together on the morality scale. William tells Desmond that both sides have made attempts throughout history to join together, but ultimately their ideologies are diametrically opposed.
    • Furthermore, the Templars create chaos in their attempts to impose order whereas Assassins contain chaos by minimizing violence, stabilizing threats and building institutions and support systems. So no one side is pure Order or pure Chaos. They even have the same goal, a peaceful world, but disagree on how to get there.
    • Interestingly, the contrasts become much simpler by the 18th and 19th Centuries. The Assassins aligned themselves with the revolutionaries of their perspective period (the Americans, French Peasantry, Pirates, London Gangs) generally taking the sides of rebels. While the Templars supported the law enforcement, that attempted to quell said uprisings (the British, French Royalty, the Navy, London Industrialists) to historically few victories.
  • Very much the name of the game in Chaos Reborn, where wizards with reality-warping powers battle each other for claims of godhood, and affect the balance of the entire universe around them.
  • Blade & Soul has this theme running through its main Player Versus Player factions. The Cerulean Order is a well-intentioned dictatorship which believes society functions best when people are assigned to the role most suited to their natural talents and skill set. The Crimson Legion advocates complete social mobility and believes any form of stable government will naturally lead towards corruption and tyranny.
  • In Civilization V, you can choose one of three mutually exclusive ideologies as your Civ progresses into the modern age. Freedom (Chaos) represents capitalism, is all about empowering the individual, and is great for giving smaller, more peaceful Civs a much needed leg-up by giving bonuses to culture, happiness, tourism and diplomacy, and also gives some defensive bonuses to the military. Order (you'll never guess) represents Marxist-Communism, works by empowering the state, and is good for sprawling (but not necessarily aggressive) empires with lots of industrial buildings as it gives bonuses to food, production and population, and gives them out on a per-city basis. Autocracy (Omnicidal Neutral), representing Fascism, is all about empowering the great leader at the very top and giving huge bonuses to all things military, allowing you to build armies faster, more cheaply, in greater numbers and even improving the individual combat power of units. Civs tend to get along better with other Civs of the same ideology and some even have preferred ideologies: for example, the Americans and French prefer Freedom, the Chinese prefer Order, and the Germans unfortunately prefer Autocracy.
  • The choices in Papers, Please side you with the government or the revolutionaries. It's up to interpretation on how good or evil either group is. You can also decide to flee from both of them.
  • Stellaris:
    • The Ethos system originally featured, amongst others, the Collectivist-Individualist dichotomy. The exact ideology represented by any given ethic is left intentionally vague for roleplaying purposes, but from what could be gathered, Collectivists favoured autocratic governments and didn't take happiness penalties from slavery and Individualists favoured democracies and personal liberty, gaining bonuses to energy production. This proved to be so controversial that the Collectivist-Individualist axis was eventually replaced entirely by a new Egalitarian-Authoritarian axis.
    Fanatic Collectivist description: "The purpose of the individual is simple; strengthen the collective. To enter the blackness of space we move as one, and we shall not be weakened by wanton separatism."
    Fanatic Individualist description: "We must recognise that 'society' is but a convenient fiction, the by-product of individuals working toward parallel, overlapping, and contradictory goals. As it should be."
    • The Nemesis expansion provides the opportunity to reform the Galactic Community into the Galactic Imperium. In case of a significant weakening of the Imperium's authority, it is very likely that a large-scale uprising will begin, which can quickly turn into an all-galactic Civil War between two hostile coalitions. Conceptually, this conflict directly refers to this trope since the loyalists defend the Imperium as a bulwark of stability, unity, and development of the galaxy, as well as the only guarantee of peace in it, while the rebels want to return to a much more democratic format of the Galactic Community, accusing the Imperium of tyranny and oppression. The war between them can end in victory for either side or with the signing of a peace treaty, which will lead to the political independence of the two power blocs from each other and also to a continuation of their conflict in a cold war manner.
  • The trope forms the main backbone of the conflict between Symmetra (Order) and Lucio (Chaos) in Overwatch. Symmetra believed that order has to be upheld to create a better community. Unfortunately, due to her upbringing and working for Vishkar Corporation, widely believed to be an evil, corrupt company, some tends to miss that she's not a big fan of their underhanded tactics, only interested with order and was led to believe that Vishkar is doing things for an eventual greater good, the restoration of order. On the other hand, Lucio was a victim of Vishkar's attempt to impose their order (with a little help from Symmetra), and as a believer of people's freedom, he rose up by stealing Vishkar's technology and using it against them, granting freedom to the oppressed people and allowing him to do a dual-job between an international DJ by day, a freedom fighter by night. Symmetra obviously do not get along with Lucio, her doubts with Vishkar aside, she still saw him as no better than a thief, a street rat that rose to fame with dubious, unorderly manners and he should at least return the technology he stole, while Lucio justifies himself with how Vishkar was asking for it for oppressing his people first and it's for the oppressed people that needs freedom (which was dubbed by Symmetra as 'anarchy') and generally, he is not aware of Symmetra's personal doubts and thinks that she's just the same as the other corrupt Vishkar guys that oppressed his people, therefore, she has no validities in chastising him when she's showing blind obedience to what he thinks to be Obviously Corrupt company.
  • SWAT 3 briefly touches on this with the recurring euphemism (deadly or otherwise, depending on how you play) of "bringing order to chaos" - i.e. removing, whether by arresting or neutralizing, any armed and antagonistic individuals who are currently threatening the safety and well-being of your squad of SWAT officers or any civilians.
  • In WildStar, this is ultimately the conflict between The Dominion and The Exiles; Those that join and become citizens of the Dominion and obeys their laws are granted rights like education. If you don't obey, you get swept aside. The Exiles consist of those who got "Swept aside" and are trying to live their own lives free, but they've become criminals just to survive.
  • From Melee onward, the Master and Crazy Hands of the Super Smash Bros. series imply this (Master with Order, Crazy with Chaos). But then Ultimate takes it a level higher with World of Light's Big Bads, Galeem and Dharkon. The hand they control and copy enforces this theme.
    • The concepts of Master & Crazy Hands compared to that of Galeem & Dharkon shows both sides of both ways Order & Chaos can be taken. Master Hand represents the Order of creation and structure, while Crazy Hand is the Chaos that exists for the sake of change. Whereas Galeem is Order for the sake of control and tyranny, and Dharkon is Chaos as a purely destructive influence that seeks to erase all life. The difference is that the Hands actively work together for the good of the universe, while Galeem & Dharkon don't, managing to separate this trope and Black-and-White Morality into nuances.
  • In Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, the Mason Order want to overthrow the monarchy for their peasant populist, pseudo-Communist, Social Darwinist ideology, while the Agatha Knights fight to uphold peace, legitimacy, honour and the feudal system. It's an Excuse Plot, just go fight people, it's really fun.
  • The major factions of Fallout: New Vegas are on sort of a sliding scale of Order vs. Chaos.
    • Caesar's Legion is a brutal, totalitarian military state dependent on raiding weaker tribes (Evil Order). The New California Republic is an idealistic aspiring democracy ("Good" Order, though not immune to corruption or political exigency). There is no option to make them get along.
    • Choosing to remain independent of either gets both out of the Mojave and leads the region down the path to anarchy (Chaos, for better or worse).
    • The fourth option is Mr. House, who's also Order (he desires control, but based on economic monopoly rather than Caesar's military conquest or the NCR's negotiation), but exploits the Chaos between Caesar and the NCR and is largelyp content to take a fairly hands-off approach.
  • The final Splatfest of Splatoon 2 was themed around this, with Pearl championing Team Chaos while Marina lead Team Order. Rather than influence the next game's story mode, as the final Splatfest of the first game did for Splatoon 2, Splatoon 3 uses Chaos's victory as the basis for its overall setting instead, shifting from Inkopolis to the more blatantly post-apocalyptic wasteland that is the Splatlands and its overcrowded hub city, Splatsville.
  • In Puyo Puyo Tetris 2, this is the conflict between Marle and Squares. The former is a downplayed representation of chaos, since she embraces the spontaneous nature of fun; the latter goes as far as to take control over Marle and threatening to erase the main cast from existence in his efforts to maintain his idea of "order", all a result of him thinking the Puyo and Tetris worlds merging isn't "right".
  • Destiny 2: The expansion in the lore since the the first game indicate that this is the basis of the conflict between the Traveler and the Darkness. Originally existing in an infinite plane of existence before time, the two played a game where they would set the placement of 'flowers'. Each flower represented a civilization, which would then spread across the board. Invariably, one species would dominate all others, pleasing the Winnower (the proto-Darkness), but displeasing/boring the Gardener (the proto-Traveler). The Gardener eventually upended the rules by adding itself and the Winnower into the game as new rules to encourage diversity, creating Light and Darkness. The Darkness still wants one living thing to dominate the universe, which would make them the Final Shape. This is the basis of the conflict of the games. Lightfall and Season of the Deep would reveal this to be a set of lies, as the actual Darkness counterpart of the Traveler, the Veil, has no stake or interest in the conflict between Light and Darkness. It actually applies to the conflict between the Traveler and the Witness, who wields the Darkness but is not its source. The Witness originated from the first race who was blessed with the Traveler's Light, but eventually grew to dislike it over both fear about how the Light could be abused and longing for purpose the Traveler never gave. Upon discovering the existence of the Veil and its abilities relating to abstract and emotional powers, they sought to merge the two to create a more ordered universe, which is the true nature of the Final Shape. The Traveler fled in response, causing the Eldritch Race to merge itself into a singular entity and begin pursuing the Tracelr across the cosmos.
  • In the Kingdom Hearts series, the forces of light and darkness initially correspond to good and evil respectively, with light representing friendship and harmony and darkness representing anger and hatred. While this is still mostly true in the series, starting with Kingdom Hearts II, the primal forces of light and darkness themselves are later portrayed as more of an order vs. chaos conflict instead, with characters like Riku and Terra learning to harness their inner darkness through balance with light using righteous anger, and the light-obsessed Master Eraqus being so devoted to order that he would rather kill Keyblade students with a hint of darkness rather than help them learn to healthily harness it.

  • Indefensible Positions (a finished webcomic) is largely about a group of heroes dealing with a war between Idiotic Order and Idiotic Chaos Knight Templar demigods. The issue with having "Forces of Chaos" is referred to when one of the main characters says to the Chaotic demigod, "I will serve Chaos" — then adds under his breath, "but not you".
  • Last Res0rt
    • The series dances around this with the Chaotic Djinni-si (a collection of vampires, shapeshifters, telepaths, and other Things That Go "Bump" in the Night) and the Orderly Celeste (a hybrid species of angels and demons who are "often" associated with the good side, even though they're collectively the Villain with Good Publicity).
    • Veled, the Big Bad, is a Celeste best defined as a force of Chaos and Evil.
    • Word of God also says that the bullethole-and-skull logo of Last Res0rt is named "Chaos". No clue what an alternate logo for "Order" might look like...

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Codename: Kids Next Door had the Delightful Children From Down the Lane and their Father as Evil Order, and more widely, the adult world in general. Interestingly, the KND could themselves be highly Knight Templar-ish, erasing the memories of their own operatives once they got "too old".
  • To quote The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, "The world has almost completely fallen into order. It's up to us to restore chaos." Eris, the goddess of chaos, is a recurring character. The one time she was ever calm, life was becoming so routine that it might as well not exist. However, her plans are as chaotic as she is, varying from pranks to antagonizing people to massive upheaval of all life, and involving everything from brainwashing dolls to giant flying babies to giant alien zombie lobsters.
  • Æon Flux is all about order vs. chaos to the point of being a gender-flipped version of Moorcock's Cornelius stories, with Aeon as chaos/Jerry and Trevor as order/Miss Brunner.
  • ReBoot has a case of Evil Versus Evil, as Hexadecimal is The Queen of Chaos and Megabyte represents Order in the form of tyranny. The one time that Hexadecimal executed a successful Evil Plan, she snapped her fingers and undid the damage because Victory Is Boring. Megabyte, with the same opportunity, imposed an eternal dystopia.note  Interestingly, Hexadecimal was never portrayed as Capital E evil in the same sense as Megabyte, but more as a force of nature with a dark sense of humor.
  • In The Simpsons, Bart Simpson is Chaos while Lisa Simpson is Order. In one of the Simpsons comics (Issue 111) the kids even represented them.
  • On Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Equinox has the powers of both Order and Chaos Magic. Eventually it's revealed that the Lords of Order and the Lords of Chaos made a deal, tasking him to keep balance between the two forces. Finding this impossible, he decided to restart the universe from scratch.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is weird about this trope.
    • In place of standard Order, it has "Harmony," which emphasizes unity and compromise rather than strict discipline. Opposing it is "Disharmony," which is occasionally referred to as Chaos and emphasizes arbitrariness and strife. Discord, its primary representative, acts according to random whims.
    • The episode "Feeling Pinkie Keen" has Twilight Sparkle as Order and Pinkie Pie as Chaos. Twilight is the Element of Magic, and firmly believes that everything has an explanation, even magic (since works in ways you direct it in, and creates the expected effect). Pinkie is the Element of Laughter, and despite being an earth pony, is seemingly able to bend space and glimpse the future due to the Rule of Funny.
    • The 2-part opening episode of season 5 is based on this, with the villainess, the aforementioned Starlight Glimmer, having determined that even so minor a form of chaos as "ponies having individual talents and specialties" is an evil she cannot tolerate. Leading her to strip all ponies under her rule of their cutie marks and with these, their special talents. Naturally, the Mane Six have to stop her and give them all back.
  • Subverted in Phineas and Ferb. Candace Flynn thinks of herself as representing order but her own behavior is at least as chaotic as the boys'. Played straighter with the regimented OWCA versus the whimsically evil Heinz Doofenshmirtz.
  • As revealed in The Legend of Korra: Beginnings, there were two major spirits: Raava the order spirit, and Vaatu the chaos spirit. Each 10,000 years, they wrestle around, the former keeping the latter in line just in time for the Harmonic Convergence. But it was thanks to Wan accidentally releasing Vaatu that the balance of the world gets out of control. So he spends the rest of his life working with Raava to fix what he accidentally did.
    • Season three has the Red Lotus, a splinter group of the White Lotus who are essentially anarcho-primitivists that revered Vaatu and wish to destroy all governments and establish a new, more spiritual world. In the words of their leader Zaheer, "The natural order is disorder". Season 4's main villain is Kuvira's Earth Empire, a force of absolute order.
    • Depending on the region, the game Pai Sho, which both Lotus groups draw their names from, is considered either a fast-paced and exciting game, like the Red Lotus, or one about strategy and waiting for the proper time to make a move, like the Earth Empire (and as presented with Asami Sato and Bolin, order beats chaos almost every time).
  • In The Owl House, Emperor Belos and The Collector basically represent the extremes of Lawful Evil and Chaotic Evil villains. Belos is a genocidal fascist dictator, while the Collector is a deranged maniac who would rip apart the world for a chuckle.

    Real Life 
  • This is the conflict in physics between the theories of General Relativity, which describes an orderly and predictable universe, but is only applicable to large scales, and Quantum Mechanics, which describes a chaotic, random, near-nonsensical universe, but is only applicable to small scales. Both theories are correct, even though they contradict each other. The purpose of a Unified Field Theory would be to resolve these conflicts and unite both theories.
  • Real life asymmetric/guerilla wars tend to be this trope. Although the chaos is usually less of a choice than in most fiction, and more of a necessity, born from a lack of options.
  • Judging vs. Perceiving preference pair in Myers–Briggs tests. Judgers prefer more order in interactions and frequently lay out plans, Perceivers have more flexible rules and do not keep plans as much. In the Big Five Personality Traits, people high in conscientiousness lean more toward order, and those who are lower tend toward flexibility.
  • The order-chaos dynamic is what the dimensions on the political compass amount to, designed in order to illustrate a slightly more complex graph of political ideologies compared to the traditional left-right spectrum. The X-axis measures the extent to which economic enterprise is controlled (far left is extreme central market planning, far right is extreme unregulated market capitalism), the Y-axis measures the extent to which moral norms are enforced (the far top is extreme authoritarian social control, the far bottom is extreme atomization of social mores). It has been derided as too simplistic, and is more popular for memes than any serious discourse. Attempts to amend it include adding new axes such as one for social conservatism and progressivism with the extremes representing flat out racism and/or anti-LGBT behaviour and potentially self destructive multiculturalism against integration in that order.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Order Vs Chaos, Order, Law Vs Chaos, Law Versus Chaos


Hell Impale

Led by Inarius into hell to slay Lilith, the Knights Penitent form a shield and spear wall to meet a charging horde of demons.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / AThicketOfSpears

Media sources: