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Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil

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Captain Love: Ignore him, he's a common thief.
Three-Fingered Jack: Ha! As common as they come, but I ain't nothin' compared to you "gentlemen". I steal gold, I steal money, but you? You steal people's lives. So damn ya! And damn the horse that brung ya!

Wikipedia defines slavery as a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. It's not just bad: it's literally treating them as less than a person — and barely better than cattle — for the sake of having a servant you don't have to put on a payroll. And, naturally, this practice opens the door for many other horrible things to be done to the souls unfortunate enough to be enslaved.

In many works, owning or otherwise dealing in slaves is treated by either the protagonists and/or the narrative as a qualitatively different level of evil than "lesser" crimes. In these works, a Well-Intentioned Extremist or Punch-Clock Villain may be offered the opportunity for a Heel–Face Turn even if their crimes include murder or puppy-kicking, but a slaver will NEVER be redeemed because their crimes are just too horrible, and Laser-Guided Karma will always find them. Even other villains will recoil from the monstrousness of their crimes.

In short, these works or characters treat slavery as a Special Kind of Evil.

Some works and characters will draw a distinction between chattel slavery (applying principles of property law to humans and other sapient beings, allowing them to be formally owned, bought, and sold) and other systems of forced servitude such as debt bondage, Indentured Servitude, Prisoner's Work, serfdom, etc., while others will consider all of them equally heinous and dismiss such distinctions as hair-splitting. For the purposes of this trope, either attitude counts as a valid example.

In classical international (admiralty) law, a category exists called hostis humani generis, that is, enemies of all mankind, whose behavior places them totally outside all forms of legal protection, and leaves them liable to attack, capture, and destruction by anyone at all with the ability and desire to carry it out. The category was originally defined to include solely pirates but was later extended to include slavers as well as these were far from mutually exclusive professions, quite the opposite in fact, and the transition from classical to modern international law has thus far preserved the designation. Legally speaking, then, slavery is indeed, quite literally, a special kind of evil. Of course this goes first and foremost for those who make a profit in life out of taking away other people's freedom and less so for slave-owners who are raised in a slavery-based society and who may or may not be cruel to the slaves themselves.

Compare Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil, which depicts rape rather than slavery as a more heinous form of evil. Note that it's unimportant whether a particular example of this trope depicts slavery as more or less evil than rape in particular, or even deals with rape at all; what's important is that slavery is depicted as qualitatively worse than other, "lesser" forms of evil. Both tropes can (and sometimes do!) exist within the same work, particularly when dealing with sexual slavery, which is the effective combination of both of these tropes.

Contrast Happiness in Slavery and Sympathetic Slave Owner, where (at least in-universe) the slave-owner in question isn't such a bad guy after all.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Gate, the Japanese protagonists become very angry and appalled when they learn that the Empire practices slavery, especially when they learn that the Empire captured Japanese citizens, working the men to death in the mines and turning the women into Sex Slaves. The JSDF makes it a personal mission to free all the slaves.
  • In Gun-Ota ga Mahou Sekai ni Tensei Shitara..., the threat of being kidnapped and sold off as a slave is an ever-present threat. Lute, at the start of his adventuring career, is invited into a party of senior adventurers who promise to show him the ropes. This party is full of fakes, who drug him, steal his weapons that he himself designed, throw his engagement ring into a fire, and then sell him off to slavery. Lute was luckier than he had any right to be and was bought by good and kind masters who wanted to give their sweet, adorable, and shy young daughter a sweet-sixteen birthday present. Lute and this girl wind up Happily Married.
  • Heavy Object: One of Prizewell City Slicker's schemes involves reinstating the Legitimacy Kingdom's abolished slave class as a way of forcing people who don't speak the country's official language into it.
  • A persistent theme in Magi: Labyrinth of Magic. Naïve Newcomer Aladdin is appalled at the idea of one person owning another and immediately tries to free the first slave he meets. Each time the topic of slavery comes up, it's treated as a horrible thing to do. Even minor villains who've dabbled in slave trading themselves are so shocked by a country's leader selling his own people into slavery as collateral for the massive debt they owe to another country that they perform a Heel–Face Turn of sorts.
  • In Now I'm a Demon Lord! Happily Ever After with Monster Girls in My Dungeon, the practice of slavery is technically quite illegal, and slaves are shown being badly traumatized and abused especially the young girl Illuna. The only reason it's practiced at all is that the nobles force the law enforcement to look the other way as they profit from the labor, conscripts, and personal toys.
  • In One Piece, a manga centered around pirates who make a living robbing and killing (although the protagonists never seem to get around to much of that), slavery is treated as an especially terrible crime, and rightfully so. Examples include:
    • Nami was tricked into indefinite indentured servitude by Arlong.
    • The World Nobles treat practically everyone as animals. The cruel noble Saint Charloss was willing to buy Keimi with a Whammy Bid of 500 million Berries simply because he wanted to place her in his fish tank full of piranhas and watch her be chased.
    • The World Government has technically outlawed the slave trade, but they turn a blind eye to their own members and their allies who do it, usually to peoples whose governments they don't recognize. They and the Marines refer to the Human Auctioning House in the Sabaody Archipelago as the Public Employment Security Office.
    • Boa Hancock and her sisters' experiences as slaves belonging to the - no surprise here - World Nobles deeply traumatized them; their cruel masters forced them to eat Devil Fruit simply For the Evulz.
    • It becomes very prominent during the Fish-Man Island arc, as no one has suffered more from slavery than Fish-Men. Fisher Tiger, a legendary liberator of slaves (who was also the one to free Hancock and her sisters from their bonds), was captured and Made a Slave to the World Nobles before starting the Sun Pirates, and it a played a big part in his racism against humans. In fact, slavery has such a negative connotation in Fish-Man culture that many express open disgust at Hody Jones enslaving humans for his personal army, using it as proof that his quest for Fish-Man supremacy has gone too far.
    • The country of Dressrosa had half its populace enslaved by Doflamingo ( again, one of the World Nobles) via the Devil Fruit powers of one of his crew to turn people into toys. This came back to bite him - badly - when said crewmember's curse was broken.
    • Doflamingo's boss, Kaido, makes extensive use of slave labour to build weapons by enslaving one-half of the Wano country and starving the other half.
    • Blackbeard is also shown to be engaging in enslavement practices, with his crew acting like traditional pirates who steal, plunder and enslave their victims to sell them to the highest bidder.
  • In Reborn to Master the Blade, one of the series' most prominent illustrations of how vile and horrific the Highlander society is, is through their liberal use of slavery. Any Midlanders to them are prime fodder to be used for forced labor or as sexual playthings, and they are not above outright kidnapping people and murdering anyone that tries to stop them. Worse still, due to how dependent the world is on them for magical Artifact weapons, few governments have the strength or the will to resist.
  • In Reincarnated as a Sword, with the exception of those who are sentenced to slavery in a court of law, after being convicted of a crime so heinous that the criminal effectively gives up his or her rights to be treated as a person, the mere threat of enslaving people carries the death penalty in all countries of the new world, aside from the Wretched Hive known as the kingdom of Reidios.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man: Norman Osborn has human trafficking connections. In one issue of Dark Avengers, he threatens Mystique by telling her he knows of an upper-class brothel in Dubai where the men would pay top dollar for sex with a shapeshifter. (For those who doubt that Norman qualifies as a Special Evil, check out his own page.)
  • Fantastic Four: The Puppet Master is into human trafficking, and it really went beyond the typical type. He brainwashed female heroes (including Dusk, Tigra, Silverclaw, Stature, and Araña) and shipped them to Chile in wooden crates. He also forced random male slaves to fight to the death simply for amusement.
  • New Gods: Darkseid has legions of slaves at his beck and call, and wishes to have the entire universe under his heel as well. This is among the main reasons why he is portrayed as the biggest, baddest villain in The DCU.
  • The Punisher: In The Punisher MAX, "The Slavers" is the most notorious arc of the entire run. It doesn't gloss over how horrific human trafficking is, and the slavers' treatment of their victims hits every one of Frank Castle's buttons concerning the mistreatment of women and children. The brutality Frank visits upon them puts just about every one of his other killing sprees to shame.
  • The Sandman (1989): The immortal Hob Gadling experiences (justified) White Guilt for centuries for being an influential early slave trader who help establish the system that made the slave trade an economic powerhouse in the 17th through 19th centuries. He did it at the time because it was just kind of what you did, and quit the trade relatively early after Dream (who normally refrains from these sorts of moral judgments) advises him that "it is a poor thing, to enslave another", but he gets to witness first-hand the consequences of his actions throughout history.
  • Secret Six: The group ends up working for a group of people who plan to reintroduce legal slavery into the world. Even the hardened mercenaries are disturbed by it. Absolutely skewered by Ragdoll, who's apparently not as sentimental.
    Ragdoll: Oh dear, not slavery! Why, that's almost nearly sort of kind of barely a little bit about half as bad as the murderers and despots we normally work for! And here I thought I'd had my scruples removed already.
  • Sin City: In the short story "Silent Night", the brutal killer and street thug Marv visits a secret warehouse where he pays a lot of money for what turns out to be a little girl in a cell. He then turns around and murders the female pimp and takes the girl home in what turns out to be a rescue mission.
  • Teen Titans: In Who Is Donna Troy?, uncovering the identities of the deceased adults who were in the burning apartment Wonder Woman saved Donna Troy from as a toddler makes everyone feel much better about their deaths; they were heartless jerks involved in kidnapping and selling kids on the black market rather than her parents as had been assumed for over a decade.
  • Tintin: In The Red Sea Sharks, Haddock's reaction to encountering a slave trader who mistakes him for his supplier is this trope in a nutshell, ejecting him with one of his trademark string of insults for at least five minutes after he's started rowing back to his own ship.
    Tintin: No good, Captain. He's too far away now.
    Haddock: That's what you think! He hasn't heard the last of me! [runs to the bridge, grabs a megaphone, runs back and resumes the insulting]
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1987): While the Sangtee Emperor uses the opportunity to do away with a few of the kreel's objectionable practices Diana and her Space Pirate Revolutionaries were fighting the Empire to end slavery, and their mission statement and discussions never address any of the Empire's other cruelties.
    • Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed: Diana can feel and smell the evil of Chip Drygion, but initially just thinks it's because he's an exploitative greedy slimeball who is displacing people out of their homes and bribing public officials to build his luxury apartment complexes. It then turns out he's got a side business of kidnapping and selling girls from the marginalized communities he's targeting with his more legal predatory business.
  • X-Men:
    • Mojo is a Fat Bastard who's Obviously Evil and rules a race of incredibly lazy beings called the Spineless Ones who use slaves (captured and genetically created) to wait on them hand and foot.
    • The original government of the island nation of Genosha treated mutants as a Slave Race. This slavery was crueler than most in Earth’s history, with mutants being subjected through birth to genetic modification by the Sugar Man and the Genegineer. The Genoshan mutants were likewise forbidden from having children, with one mutant sacrificing his life to smuggle his child onboard a Qantas Airways flight to Australia. Their government did not recognize emigration, employing a Press Gang to hunt down citizens who attempted to leave and later started kidnapping non-citizen mutants, including members of the X-Men. This results in them being soundly hated by the X-Men, and ultimately comes to bite them back in a big way when the rest of the world, having learned of Genosha's Superhuman Trafficking, is more than willing to give Magneto control over the island in exchange for him not using his control over Earth's magnetic field to destroy humanity. Magneto promptly sets the mutant slaves free, which sees the Genoshan humans forced to flee or die, which is treated as Pay Evil unto Evil by just about every non-Genoshan.
    • Manuel Enduque of Homines Verendi takes this trope to Refuge in Audacity levels; he's an African slave-trader. No, not a slave trader who deals in Africans, he's an African who manages a human trafficking business, selling humans both to each other and to alien races. It's a family business, as he's the latest scion of an entire dynasty of West Africans who have been involved in the slave trade even before the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade routes were opened. Originally the eighth child of whom little was expected, Manuel sold his seven older brothers to carnivorous aliens and then strangled his sleeping father to take control of the family business. Then he joined Homines Verendi, a cabal of uber-wealthy human psychos who want to enact a mutant genocide for profit and amusement. And did we mention he's still only a teenager?

    Comic Strips 
  • Modesty Blaise despises slavery. In "The Special Orders", a teenage friend of hers is kidnapped by a sex slavery ring that specialises in kidnapping teenaged girls to order for wealthy clients in the Indochina region. Modesty had hoped she would be able to goad the leader of the ring into a one-on-one fight as that way she would be able to kill her with a clear conscience. And Modesty is someone who usually goes out of her way to avoid using lethal force.

    Fan Works 
  • In Black Out The Sky introducing slavery is portrayed as crossing a Moral Event Horizon for the White Fang. Lionheart, who contributed to numerous deaths doesn't want to deal in slavery and even Adam Taurus himself appears to be somewhat uncomfortable with the idea, even if he does find it necessary.
  • Blessed with a Hero's Heart: Izuku is introduced to the dark side of the world he's been reincarnated into by learning about the rampant slavery the harpies and lizardmen suffer (due to their ancestors genociding a race favored by Eris), and that it is supported by Eris and Aqua, to the point that only a goddess can erase a slave seal. Izuku decides to buy two slave girls with the oath to free them as soon as he can get away with it, and consistently treats them like friends and/or family.
    • Kyouya Mitsurugi thinks the same. Unfortunately, he finds out that Izuku has two slaves right after learning Aqua is heavily in debt to Izuku - but ignoring the fact that Izuku wants to use that debt to force Aqua to undo the slave seals - and considers him a villain, challenging him to a duel.
  • In The Butcher Bird, both the Nightmare Pirates and the Wild Hunt organization they lead consider slavery an abomination and attacking slavers free game.
  • Charles Manson Vs The Teletubbies: Charles Manson wishes to enslave the Teletubbies and steals their tubby custard to compel them to serve him. It doesn't work and instead the Teletubbies get very angry, declare their Red Baron titles and turn violent.
  • Downplayed in Gift of A Diamond. While Rhodonite gets along with virtually everyone and has softened the more toxic consequences of Homeworld's Fantastic Caste System, he gets slightly uncomfortable when the idea of getting his own pearl is brought up.
  • Hope of the Shield Hero: One of the reasons Motoyasu forces Naofumi into a lopsided duel is because he keeps Raphtalia as a slave. However, it is made obvious in the narration that he's only doing it for the sake of putting Naofumi down (as Raphtalia is the only one that is allowing Naofumi to achieve something of importance) and to attempt to bring her into his "harem" of adventurers. Raphtalia wastes no time in calling him out for his hypocrisy.
    • Much later on, when the Four Heroes and Melty attempt to develop a set of laws to apply to the town of Lurolona, they have a problem when considering the future status of slavery: everyone agrees that it should be made illegal, but Naofumi is still technically a slave owner (even though he never activates the slave seal on Raphtalia and has taken out every restriction he was able to) and he also has a set of shields that passively boost the abilities and growth of anyone that is his slave, so making it illegal to have slaves would take out that. In the end, they Take a Third Option: slavery is made illegal, but "Hero Service Seals" (seals like Raphtalia's) are allowed, as long as the hero using them doesn't try to use it like a normal seal.
  • I Woke Up As a Dungeon, Now What?: The social structure of the Khannite Empire is built on a foundation of slavery, and this is regarded by the narrative and every remotely sympathetic character as an unmitigated evil, of comparable order to the Velthian Empire's program of organized genocide.
  • In the fanfic Maybe Sprout Wings Castiel rescues Dean not from literal Hell but the hell that is slavery and nurses him back to health with the intention of freeing Dean when he's strong enough. Meanwhile, anti-slavery rights lawyer Sam is desperately searching for his brother.
  • In My Master Ed, Edward's intense distaste for slavery is very out of step with the rest of Xerses where it's both generally accepted and commonplace. When he insists slaves should be treated like people, Hohenheim wonders where he picked up such a radical notion.
  • New Stars: The Union as a whole (especially the crew of the Orville) has this attitude. Isaac admits that the Kaylon, due to past, possessed a hatred for the practice of enslavement. And that was before their Heel–Race Turn. As such, the Republic's treatment of its clones is considered nothing short of barbaric by the Orville crew, especially the senior officers.
  • In The Night Unfurls, this is a sentiment held by many named characters in the story, including those who have experienced slavery first-hand (e.g. Chloe, Grace, etc.). Narrative-wise, the enslavement of dark elves in Eostia was the root cause that set in motion the centuries-old feud between Celestine and Olga, with Olga making the declaration of war to show her discontent towards this issue. Fast forward to the present and the situation barely changed for the better — slavery remains a crime that was often went unpunished in Eostia, and dark elf trafficking still runs rampant. From Chapter 17 of the original and onwards, hunting down the slavers, dismantling the slave trade, and subsequently freeing the slaves become the focus of the story.
  • In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, Admiral Allison Nimitz offers a downplayed example. While slavery hasn't been specifically called out as bad previously, when she finds out that a MegaCorp was keeping its Clone Army on Explosive Leashes she lashes out verbally, saying that the Trans-Galactic Republic does not tolerate such things. Therefore, she will support the clones should the wish to be free of their master.
  • In The Rainsverse, Starlight Glimmer's chief political goal is the abolition of indentured servitude. This immediately puts her at odds with Baroness Dazzle, who has indentured servants herself.
  • This is one of the very few moral rules Ted recognizes in The Rise of Darth Vulcan: He will kill, steal, and destroy without a qualm, but he will not take slaves, or tolerate others doing so. The ponies find this baffling since they can't understand why he objects to this one specific sin while apparently having no scruples elsewhere. He is a massive hypocrite, as he has employees who can't leave and mind-controlled changelings, not to mention giving Dodger an underage "gift" (ie sex slave):. Just don't say the word "slave" and he's fine with it.
  • The Orions' hat in Star Trek is slavery, so it's somewhat ironic that in Strange Times Are Upon Us it's Meromi Riyal, the Orion member of the IKS HoSbatlh's Command Roster, who believes this. She unapologetically kills two slave hunters to keep them from recapturing black slaves escaping via the Underground Railroad, and screw the Temporal Prime Directive. Justified later when she reveals was Made a Sex Slave at the age of fifteen. The later story A Matter of Honor has her take a sadistic pleasure in the summary execution of the Orion matron who originally sold her into slavery; she subsequently is the first Orion to swear loyalty to the newly enthroned Chancellor Worf, after he orders the abolition of slavery in the Klingon Empire.
  • There Was Once an Avenger From Krypton: The Nova Empire is usually fairly hands-off with the local politics of its member worlds, but according to Carol slavery is one of the things that gets them to intervene.
  • A Thing of Vikings reveals that the Hooligans, having outlawed thralldom over a century earlier, and with everyone in the tribe being either a freed slave or descended from freed slaves, have a particular dislike of the institution of chattel slavery. Implied to be a major part of why they were willing to take in the dragons at the end of HTTYD 1, as they consider the dragons to be freed slaves of the Green Death; one early chapter sees Stoick looking back on his past victories over dragons and hating himself for having taken so much pleasure in killing slaves who only attacked his village because they would have otherwise been killed themselves.
  • This Bites!: The World Government's willingness to allow open slavery in their "Holy City" and support of the slave markets on Sabaody is one of the major reasons Cross intends to see them burned to ashes. In particular, he ropes the other Supernovas into a concerted assault on the slave houses with the intention of crushing their forces, stealing their wealth, and freeing the slaves, so they'll never be able to recover; his plan is in fact to ingrain the idea that "pirates oppose slavery always" to a memetic level.
  • Turning Point: Dracula finds the fact that Cho keeps humans as slaves to be "barbaric", even humoring the idea of her giving him one of the children at her keep for himself. Isaac remarks that if he did, he would have only spoiled the child.
  • Victoria Falls: On top of all the other atrocities Victoria has committed, said nation happens to be the slaving capital of the world, with human cargo being bought and sold in bulk around the Cape Cod Bay Luxury Resort area, with the majority of said resorts' staff also being slaves. In fact, the majority of Victoria is under some form of unfree labor - be it debt bondage, corvee labor, serfdom for Black citizens, or just outright slavery. Given all of the other atrocities Victoria has committed, this served as the nation's Moral Event Horizon and was the point where some posters started advocating a Guilt-Free Extermination War.
  • Voyages of the Wild Sea Horse: Despite being an extremely rough and tumble bunch whose founding constituents have tried to murder each other on several occasions, the Kamikaze Pirates hate slavers and anyone involved in the slave trade. Learning that the World Nobles secretly maintain their city with slaves despite having supposedly outlawed slavery centuries ago pretty much kills any hope of the Kamikaze Pirates deciding to stop being pirates, as they instead decide that the World Government and its Navy need their teeth kicked in wherever the opportunity presents itself.
  • The War of the Masters: Almost nobody likes the Orions, for whom ownership and being owned is a central tenet of the culture. Current Orion Syndicate overlord Melani D'ian compromised and banned trading in non-Orions as part of her treaty with the Klingon Empire, but that doesn't stop it from happening. Due to being targeted by Orion slave raiders repeatedly, the Moab Confederacy takes a Pay Evil unto Evil approach under Elizabeth Tran's administration, launching counterattacks and rarely taking prisoners unless they can be traded or tortured for information. Discussed in Don't Say Goodbye, Farewell: Starfleet Captain Kanril Eleya voices approval (partly because she lived through an Orion attack as a young enlisted woman, and partly due to her cultural background: the Cardassians used a lot of Bajoran slave labor during the Occupation), but her chief of security points out that such treatment really just encourages slavers to space their cargo in case of capture.note 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Army of Frankensteins: Slavery so bad that the Frankensteins, who are all only about a day old, understand on a fundamental level that it's wrong and immediately fight against it the second they learn about it.
  • Conanthe Barbarian 2011: Conan attacks slavers early in the film because he loathes slavery, saying "No man should live in chains" before doing so, freeing those they enslaved.
  • Deadpool (2016) features Ajax, who creates "Super Slaves". In addition to wanting revenge on Ajax for disfiguring him, Deadpool is appalled by Ajax's role as a torturer and slaver.
  • Django Unchained is set in the Antebellum South, where slavery was commonplace, and Tarantino makes no bones about how ugly and evil the practice can be. Pretty much everyone on the "good" side of this movie abhors it, Dr. King Schultz especially; and Django mentions that a black slaver, who he has to pose as in order to infiltrate Candyland to rescue his wife, is the lowest of the low among the slave trade — even lower than the head house slave, who had the most privileges among all of the slaves of a household or a plantation and was frequently just as cruel to the slaves below them as the white masters. Django later executes Calvin Candie's smarmy house slave without remorse.
  • The pirate miners in Enemy Mine use captured members of the alien species Earth's at war with as slave labor, while Earth's government turns a blind eye. It becomes abundantly clear that humans as a whole are not the good guys here.
  • Averted for Five Weeks in a Balloon, where Ahmed the (now former) slaver becomes part of the heroes. That doesn't mean that they approve of it though; their journey is to stop a bunch of other slavers claiming territory and originally Ahmed was only taken with them to stand trial.
  • Free State of Jones: Newt comes to believe this after seeing how the slaves are treated (he doesn't own any himself, like many other poor Southern farmers during that period) and his Aunt Sally helps slaves escape into the swamps. The former slaves naturally agree, with Moses proclaiming that "You cannot own a child of God", to Newt's approval.
  • The Gingerweed Man: One of the things happening at F.U. Tech is that women are being auctioned off to mobsters as Sex Slaves.
  • Hummingbird: Due to Cristina acting as his conscience, Joey is already having qualms about working as Mr.Choy's enforcer, but it is learning about Choy's human trafficking operation that drives the final wedge between them. In the letter he sends Cristina detailing everything he is doing to make amends, he specifically mentions that he has reported details of the human trafficking operation to the police. This is the only one of Choy's criminal enterprises he mentions.
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: Indiana Jones is no stranger to moral outrage, against Nazis, Communists, or mercenaries who sell artifacts on the black market rather than send them to a museum. However, the angriest we've ever seen him is when he discovers a mine behind the titular temple worked entirely by enslaved children. What's really notable is that at this point, he's already grabbed the artifacts he was looking for, the villains haven't spotted him yet, and nothing's stopping him from booking it for the exit. The entire second half of the movie only happened because Indy witnessed the horror of a child being whipped for falling over from exhaustion, and decided then and there that the slave-mine couldn't be left standing for one day longer.
  • Kull the Conqueror: When Kull becomes king, he gets into a dispute with the traditional nobles of Valusia over the ancient laws that permit slavery, which supersede any king. Kull has personal experience with being forced to work on a Slave Galley, so he allows the slaves in his royal court to either go back to their homeland or receive a fair wage if they've lived in Valusia all their lives. At the end of the film he smashes the ancient tablet and outlaws slavery completely over the royal eunuch's protests.
  • In The Mask of Zorro, Three-Fingered Jack, enslaved in a gold mine run by Don Rafael Montero, expounds to the gathered Dons about how his crimes of theft pale in comparison to theirs of enslavement.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: Captain Jack Sparrow might be a fast-talking, double-crossing, morally ambiguous pirate, but as revealed in a deleted scene, he will never stoop to slavery, and it was, in fact, what got him branded as a pirate in the first place. This puts him ahead of Cutler Beckett, who has no such qualms and in fact significantly boosted his career and his company's earnings through this. Also many other privateers and Pirates Lords according to the extended lore.note 
    Beckett: I contracted you to deliver cargo on my behalf. You chose to liberate it.
    Sparrow: People ain't cargo, mate.
  • Sodom and Gomorrah: Lot and the Hebrews, plus the one good Sodomite Alabias, condemn slavery utterly. This is implied to be Sodom and Gomorrah's worst sin, for which the cities are condemned by God.
  • Spectre: Despite all the crimes Mr. White may have committed over the years, the one thing he will object to is slavery, specifically those of women and children. When Ernst Stavro Blofeld chose to expand in human sex trafficking, he tells 007 that this, alongside his fallout with Blofeld, were the big reasons why he became disillusioned with the way SPECTRE was going and called it quits sometime after the events of Quantum of Solace.
  • Star Wars:
    • One of the ways that Tatooine is marked as an outlaw planet in The Phantom Menace is the fact that slavery is legal there. And its de facto rulers are the Hutts, a race of notorious criminal overlords.
    • The Lovable Rogue Han Solo deals in a wide variety of shady activity, but one of the lines he won't cross is taking part in a slavery operation.
    • Even as Darth Vader, Anakin was opposed to slavery and even called out The Emperor for using slave labour. This is justified, as he grew up as a slave on Tatooine.
  • In The Transporter, protagonist Frank will transport anything, and never asks questions, even doing so when one job involves transporting a kidnap victim. However, after finding out this is human trafficking (and his client double-crosses him because He Knows Too Much) he takes a Sudden Principled Stand to bring the ringleaders in.

  • In 1632, which deals with a West Virginia town being transported from the year 2000 to the year 1631 in Thuringia, no protagonist (and certainly no "up-timer") has any favorable opinion of slavery. The book 1636: The Kremlin Games is explicitly about ending the Russian version of slavery (serfdom) which in Real Life was just about to get another breath of fresh air. Even when the heroes discuss a possible alliance with the Dutch (both sharing values on free trade, republicanism, and religious toleration) it is made quite explicit that they won't stand for the Dutch involvement in the slave trade. And while even the Big Bad, Cardinal Richelieu, is presented as an honestly decent guy who just happens to be on the other side, no supporter of slavery gets that much sympathy from any of the authors - remarkable given their political ideologies ranking from Marxism to US-style conservatism and laissez-faire economics and notable disagreements about politics being visible Depending on the Writer otherwise.
  • In The Alexandrian Inheritance a 21st-century luxury cruise ship is transported to 4th century BC, shortly after the death of Alexander the Great. They are disgusted by the fact that all the Mediterranean Sea nations practice slavery but have to concede that they lack the manpower or resources to force them to stop the practice. However, they make it clear that slavery will not be allowed on the ship or in any territory controlled by them. Any slave that sets foot on the ship will be immediately considered a free person and any slave owner who protests this will be kicked off the ship or worse.
  • In Alien in a Small Town, treating sentient robots as property is called "cyberslavery." It's illegal most places, but not everywhere. Indira holds the practice in contempt. Notably, a big distinction is made between conscious and non-conscious machines — owning the latter is universally considered just fine. There is some manner of definitive test for telling the difference, but it's often not immediately obvious just from talking to them.
  • Mostly averted in The Arts of Dark and Light: True to actual ancient and medieval culture, slavery is simply a common and accepted fact of life to most people in the world of Selenoth. Though like in the ancient world, the status and treatment of slaves can vary a lot, from horribly oppressive for prisoners and such to fairly comfortable for educated professionals. Everyone Has Standards also applies, so even if the heroic characters generally accept the system as such, they will be upset with people who mistreat their slaves.
  • In The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson, Eliza and Jack have a long partnership cheerfully engaging in many kinds of crime and roguery, but when she finds him about to set sail to transport a cargo of slaves, she harpoons him. Considering that she was forced into a harem in her backstory, her indignation was understandable.
  • Bazil Broketail:
    • One of the things which makes it clear that the Enemy is evil stems from their widespread enslavement, especially for particularly nasty uses like birthing monsters.
    • It's also the worst aspect of the Ourdh Empire (a frequent slave seller to the Enemy), with it featuring widespread mutilation (castration of male slaves, plus tongue removal) and sex slavery.
  • Beka Cooper, which takes place before the rest of the Tortall Universe, explores the brutality of slave work and just how cruel slavedrivers can be. It's also almost assured that any slaver will have kidnapped people to sell (particularly children), which is illegal. Mastiff in particular focuses on it and the host of secondary evils that happen in slavery's shadow.
  • Beloved: The protagonist, Sethe, is an escaped slave who was willing to kill her four children and herself rather than allow them to be re-enslaved. Through a series of flashbacks, the reader learns of the horror she endured before her escape, and by the end, it's not hard to see why she sees slavery as a Fate Worse than Death.
  • In Brothers in Arms, when one character points out that a clone is property of its commissioner on some planets, Miles points out that, "Even on Barrayar [a planet just coming out of a period of isolation from technology and known for oligarchy, political instability, and quarrelsome nature] no human being may own another."
  • In Caliphate, slavery is very prominent in this world with the titular Islamic empire forcing Christian girls into harems and boys to be Child Soldiers. Outside of it, South Africa has brought apartheid back with actual slavery and China created a mind-controlling device that turns people into obedient vegetables. As such, the main protagonist is very opposed to it when he has to pretend being a slave trader to infiltrate the Caliphate, but is forced to go along with it by his handler (who is black himself and admits being just as disgusted as he is) to carry out his mission.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The first thing we learn about the Evil Empire of Calormen when we meet them in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is that they are slave traders.note  The Horse and His Boy are spurred (no pun intended) into their adventure when Shasta's (the Boy of the title) adoptive father sells him into slavery to a Tarkaan; Bree — the (Narnian Talking) Horse tells him, "You'd better be lying dead to-night than go to be a human slave in his house to-morrow." Finally, as The Last Battle, the Calormenes show that given the chance they will enslave Talking Animals as readily as humans, if not more so.
  • In Citizen of the Galaxy, one of the main characters, Colonel Richard Baslim, hated the slave trade and lost an arm and a leg rescuing a shipload of people from a slaver compound.
  • In Codex Alera, this is played with. On one hand, Aleran society practices slavery, and there are laws in place to protect slaves. On the other hand, it's really easy to get away with breaking those laws, and Alera also came up with 'Discipline collars' that Mind Rape the wearer into obedience. Odiana is extremely messed up from her time as a slave, and Lord Kalarus, who makes heavy use of slaves in his province (and mind rapes child slaves to make his Immortal super-soldiers), is possibly the series' most evil villain, and not for lack of competition. The Marat most definitely believe in this trope, and it's one of their most common criticisms of Aleran society; the Canim are also disgusted by it and it's one of the reasons they regard Alerans as monsters and demons. Efforts to eliminate slavery form a recurring background element. It's presumably done away with by the end, if only because of how much of Aleran society was destroyed by the Vord.
  • The Crimson Shadow: Luthien has heard about many cruelties allowed by Greensparrow. He finds slavery especially wrong though, and can hardly fathom the idea.
  • Crosstime Traffic: In In High Places, Annette and her parents refuse to trade in slaves, though it's normalized in the world they visit. Then Annette herself is captured and sold as a slave, and taken to another timeline where rogue crosstimers play at being conquistadors and slave owners. And some crosstimers even pay to be temporarily "enslaved", presumably as a BDSM thing. When she escapes, the revelation rocks the entire world and leads to a highly-publicized trial in the home timeline.
  • In Washington Irving's "The Devil And Tom Walker", Tom Walker makes a Deal with the Devil in which he sells his soul in exchange for great wealth. Upon gaining his ill-gotten wealth, Walker considers what enterprises he should invest in, but when Old Scratch (who in this story is said to be the patron of slavers) proposes that he should become a slave dealer, he decides he wouldn't have any part in that because "he was bad enough in all conscience".
  • The Divine Cities: For many centuries Saypur was considered the property of the Continent and its people were Born into Slavery. Although Saypur was freed and turned the tables on the Continent decades ago, Saypuri memory is long and there is still much lingering resentment against the Continent as a whole.
  • In Elantris Arelone peasants are basically slaves, with no right to leave their master's land. At one point princess Sarene is horrified when she watches one of the cases presented to the king - namely, two aristocrats argue over the ownership of a runaway slave and a child he has fathered.
  • The Good Lord Bird: Brown, his followers, the abolitionists generally, and former slaves who join them all believe this naturally. As a result, he and his army go to extreme lengths fighting against it.
  • Guardians of the Flame features a group of gamers who get transported into the bodies of their characters in a fantasy world. Once they deal with the initial problems that brought them there, the protagonists devote themselves to eradicating slavery from the world.
  • The Han Solo Trilogy: A view shared by the protagonists throughout the series. Han runs away from his first job as a pilot for the Besadii Hutts when he discovers that their main business is slavery (freeing a slave he'd fallen in love with in the process); later he's cashiered from the Imperial Navy after freeing another slave from his brutal Imperial taskmaster (Chewbacca, who escapes to pledge Han a life debt for it); and specifically only accepts a job smuggling for Jabba after he's made it clear that he will never transport slaves for him. Bria and Chewbacca, being former slaves themselves, naturally share this outlook which is a big part of the reason Bria joins the Rebellion, but contempt for slavery is widespread even beyond that—Lando's way of expressing contempt for bounty hunters, for instance, is that they're "on a level with slavers." Given that the protagonists and their friends are all drug smugglers, con artists, and other "scoundrels," this is arguably a case of Even Evil Has Standards. Even Boba Fett feels this way, though it didn't stop him working for slavers, or taking a bounty on Bria for freeing them.
  • Averted in Harry Potter with the house-elves, a Slave Race with Happiness in Slavery as its hat. Mistreating them is considered a Kick the Dog moment, but owning one is not, as nothing makes them happier than serving a kind master, and they consider freedom a Fate Worse than Death (even Dobby, who's considered a weirdo among their race can't deal with being unemployed and can't see it any different from having masters). Contrast the bitterness between Kreacher and Sirius Black (which leads to his death and inspires Harry, who inherited him, to be extremely specific about his instructions for spying on Malfoy, so as to leave him no room whatever for any similar form of treason) with Dumbledore's treatment of the Hogwarts house-elves. It's unclear whether they belong to him directly or "to the school", but they certainly report to him. He treats them with unfailing kindness and respect, and when an outlier among them asks for pay and time off, he happily obliges, initially offering more than the house-elf is willing to accept. In additional material, it is implied that Helga Hufflepuff brought the house elves to Hogwarts so they wouldn't be mistreated... on the assumption that the Hogwarts headmaster would always be a sensible, kind person. That said, Hermione's crusade with SPEW does bring up that most wizards don't even bother to offer house elves the choice or educate them on their options, so their happy slavery may simply be a product of systemic ignorance.
  • Household Gods: Nicole is horrified by slavery, and even moreso to find she's living in the body of her female slave owner ancestor, whereas for Romans it's completely innocuous. No one else gets why she's suddenly dead-set on manumitting Umma's slave (not even the slave, Julia, herself).
  • In Hurog, protagonist Ward believes this, as did some of his ancestors. His father and grandfather would have happily helped in the hunt for an escaped slave, but not Ward. It helps that Ward actually owns a slave, Oreg, who is more or less immortal, bound by magic to whoever owns the castle which is Powered by a Forsaken Child, and can tell a story or two about what tends to happen when a human being has absolute power over another.
  • In Isekaid Shoggoth, the only country that practices slavery, The Sultanate, is universally hated, but too strong to take on, unless all the countries band together and then the losses would be staggering until the crown prince picks a fight with one Alyssa Gilespie, a shoggoth, and then his father, the sultan, makes it worse by demanding she apologize for defending herself in a duel to the death with the prince's bodyguard, and winning, despite the prince demanding the duel, and making it to the death. Naturally, all the nations of the world openly cheer when someone places a curse on this country where anyone who so much as touches a blade gets swarmed by killer bees that turn the poor sod into a shambling husk. But the first instance is when the Kraut spymaster Klaus, a literal fossil, broke into Alyssa's home, beat and enslaved her maid Bridgit, used the maid as a hostage to keep Alyssa from resisting as he tried to put her into a slave collar to compel her to sign over her rights to the rediscovery of the dwarven legendary wave-steel recipe. Naturally, Alyssa takes extreme exception to the attempt, butchers Klaus's right hand lackey and disembowels Klaus himself, then takes his head, along with the shattered remains of the collar, to the visiting Kraut prince with the warning that if she had turned this over to her own king instead, the two nations would be at war, and the prince agrees.
  • In the Island in the Sea of Time (Series), the Republic of Nantucket takes a very dim view of slavery, as shown by the fact that almost all of its major warships are named after Civil War heroes or abolitionists. Given that one of its most prominent citizens is a former slave, this probably shouldn't be surprising. Naturally, the Big Bad, of the series, William Walker, heavily employs slavery in his empire.
  • Derek Robinson deals with the American Deep South in his novel Kentucky Blues. This can be seen as Gone with the Wind given the same sort of merciless deconstruction he applies to his books of air combat. The parallel tales concern two white families, one of which can justly be viewed as ignorant white trash rednecks, and the slaves they own and are later forced to free. The story viewed from the eyes of the black slaves is not a nice one and contains lots of Nightmare Fuel.
  • The Killer Angels: Chamberlain recounts a visit to his house by a pair of Southerners shortly before the war, both of whom argue in favor of slavery. One of them explains that black people are not men, comparing them to horses, causing Chamberlain to walk out of the room. The other visitor is far more civil, but what he's arguing still disgusts Chamberlain enough to make him think of murdering him. The reaction disturbs him greatly, not least because, as the Southerner points out to him during the argument, he can't be absolutely sure that his morality is the right one.
  • Averted in The Last Day of Creation by Wolfgang Jeschke. The American expedition Trapped in the Past has formed an alliance with a couple of Neanderthal tribes, whom they use to fight against the other time-traveling factions. The Neanderthals are cannibals which they can't talk them out of, but they do convince them it's more profitable to sell captured prisoners as slaves. When newly arrived time travelers protest, it's pointed out that exchanging slaves is the only way they have of getting their own men back who've been taken prisoner, as both sides refuse to engage in direct negotiations.
  • Udinaas in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series discusses his opinions about slavery at length. As a baseline, he abhors slavery in all its guises but also argues that being a slave was the best thing to have happened to him. He starts out as reasonably content with his lot, but then, his 'freedom' prior to being enslaved consisted of indentured servitude on a galley to repay a family debt while being a slave of the Tiste Edur meant enough food and shelter. Nonetheless, he goes as far as to argue that he hates all forms of inequality and slavery so much that by virtue of his very nature he would've felt compelled to rebel if he had not been kept busy scraping fish all day and that this would have affected way more people negatively than just him. When he finally ends up free and without debt, he reacts very testily to anything reminding him of his former situation and goes as far as comparing Seren Pedac's spying on his dreams to rape, assuming she was only willing to disreg* Max & the Midknights: The Tower of Time: King Rotgut is keeping Max and Mary's father in The Brimstone Quarry, which is a slave labour camp where prisoners are made to "work to death" as Perrin describes. Max notes that the prisoners looks half-dead when they see them.ard his privacy because he used to be a slave and remains so in her subconsciousness.

  • Myst: The Book of D'ni introduces us to a beautiful land called Terahnee, where even the ordinary citizens live in unbelievable opulence. However, this is quickly found to be because they enslave the natives of the Ages they Write links to, and these slaves are treated with unbelievable barbarity. To salve their consciences, the Terahnee train themselves not to see them and rarely mention them. Atrus et al. find this out almost too late — and it would have been too late had the D'ni, Rivenese, and Averonese not been carriers for a bacterium the Terahnee had no defense against.
  • Discussed in Orson Scott Card's Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus. A meteorologist named Kemal argues that the rise of slavery in the Western civilization was actually beneficial, as it was a better alternative than human sacrifice. He explains that slavery is the reason why human sacrifice has largely disappeared from the Old World long ago, while it remained commonplace in the New World, which did not practice slavery.note  His arguments fail to impress Tagiri, who is descended from African slaves and has used a Chronoscope to watch her ancestors struggle with this life.
  • In The Red Vixen Adventures the heroes' home nation uses Indentured Servitude for some criminals and debtors. However, when it's revealed that Alinadar was kept as a slave by Melanie in her guise as the Red Vixen, the act is immediately condemned and Mel spends the next several stories trying to live it down.
  • The Reynard Cycle: In addition to being the home of a fanatical doomsday cult that worships dragons, brainwashes soldiers into becoming near automatons, and being world-renowned for the skill of its assassins and torturers, Glycon tolerates and practices slavery. After zealotry, this practice is usually the second thing that someone will decry about the place. Before the whole dragon thing even.
  • Zig-Zagged in A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • "Slavery is wrong" is just about the only thing that absolutely every faction in Westeros can agree on. However, they do have a feudal society, which is shown to make this belief almost universally hypocritical and/or functionally meaningless. "Smallfolk" (peasants) are considered to "belong" to whatever lord claims dominion over the land they call home, and that land can and does change hands due to conquest, marriage, or royal decree. No one seems to have a problem with this, not even most of the smallfolk. Indeed, Tyrion Lannister who becomes a slave after his ship to Yunkai is captured notes that some slaves in Essos are to some extent treated better than smallfolk in Westeros, and as far as he's concerned, being a peasant in Westeros amounts to slavery in all but name.
    • The other (arguable) Westerosi exception is the Ironborn, who capture thralls (indentured servants) in battle. However, they are not, strictly speaking, property as they cannot be bought or sold, and their children can be freed if they pledge themselves to the Drowned God. Victarion Greyjoy showcases the Ironborn take on slavery in A Dance with Dragons when he captures a slaver ship: he slaughters the slavers and then "frees" the slaves- he gives the female pleasure slaves to the crew as concubines and makes thralls of the male slaves. He also slaughters the male pleasure slaves.
    • Essos, on the other hand, has a thriving slave trade. Some are mistreated, others are much better off than their Westerosi smallfolk counterparts. The one exception is Braavos, a city founded by runaway slaves to escape the dragonlords of Valyria. It uses its wealth and influence to curtail the slave trade in other cities; even a corrupt magister like Illyrio Mopatis has to at least hide his involvement in it for this reason.
    • Jorah Mormont is exiled from Westeros for attempting to sell poachers as slaves so he could pay the debts he incurred trying to keep his wife, who was used to a lavish lifestyle, happy. In a bit of an aversion, he expresses no remorse for his crime but is treated relatively sympathetically by the narrative. In A Dance with Dragons, Jorah ends up being sold into slavery himself. If this causes him to reconsider the severity of his crime in any way, he's shown no sign so far.
    • Last but not least, Daenerys most definitely believes this, and dedicates herself to wiping out the slave trade in Essos. She also explicitly considers arranged marriage, including her own Perfectly Arranged Marriage, a form of slavery. This is her main bone of contention with the Dothraki culture of her late husband, as the Dothraki are particularly notorious for conducting Rape, Pillage, and Burn against their enemies and enslaving the survivors, a practice she forbids as soon as she has the authority to do so. However, she does not hold Mormont's one-time crime of slave trading against him, even as she deals with other slavers more harshly than any other enemies. She also later relents on her total opposition and allows people to sell themselves into slavery in exchange for food, board, and protection, but not for people to be forcibly made slaves by a parent, husband, or by capture.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager novel The Black Shore, the crew of the Voyager discover the seemingly-idyllic world of Ryolanov. At first, they think it's a wonderful planet... but then they discover that its society depends heavily upon slavery. They are suitably horrified.
  • In Star Wars, The Empire makes a practice of enslaving non-human species. This is not touched on much in the films, but in the Expanded Universe, it is treated as on par with, if not worse than, their habit of blowing planets up. And the one redeeming trait that allows Han Solo and Chewbacca to make the transition from drug-dealing pirates to heroes of the Rebel Alliance is that they will never, ever transport slaves, or have anything to do with a slaving plot (and if they find themselves involved with one inadvertently, they'll either wash their hands of it immediately or try to find some way to free the slaves). Chewbacca is also a former slave whom Han freed when he was about to be shot for resisting. That's why he owes Han a life debt.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Sadeas, one of the Alethi Highprinces, has an army of unarmed slaves that he uses as bait for enemy archers. It should be noted that slavery is legal in Alethkar, but there are strict rules on how slaves are treated, and they can eventually earn their freedom after years of labor. Sadeas, unfortunately, is powerful enough to largely ignore these rules, and worse his way works, leading the other highprinces to imitate him. In addition, while slavery is legal, slavers themselves are looked down upon as the lowest of merchants. There's no question in the story as to the evil of slavery, as the entire first book centers around the mistreatment and suffering that Kaladin experiences as a slave. Later on, when the Parshmen regain the ability to think independently and rise up in rebellion, Kaladin and other major characters generally express sympathy for them and their refusal to be enslaved ever again (even if they still have to fight them to protect their people and lands) and the Parshmen are called out by Moash for the practice of enslaving others of their own kind as punishments for crimes.
  • In Time Enough for Love, Lazarus Long said that in his long life he's sold almost everything except slaves and calls slave owners "subhuman". He also "spaces" (shoves out an airlock without a spacesuit) a planet's chief slave trader.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin. The central theme of the book as Tom is forced to endure various trials and tribulations after being forced to leave his family due to his initial master suffering financial hardship. This is especially portrayed by the slave owner Simon Legree who treats his slaves in the cruelest manner possible to break them in both body and spirit.
  • Darkly subverted in Victoria. The hardline traditionalists of the Northern Confederation consider it an irredeemable act of villainy when Arab slavers prey on their own population... But at the same time, they are fine with enslaving Amazons from Azania who will not submit to their captors' social norms by becoming good Christian wives. Sometimes they are even sold to the very same Islamic slave traders.
  • A huge part of The Vipers Scheme is looking at the psychological effects of slavery in a fantasy setting. The main point of view character experiences terrible violence, manipulation, and depersonalization, but even when he finds himself in the power of an apparent Sympathetic Slave Owner, the narrative spares no expense in exploring how torturous the institution itself is.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • This is the Seanchan's hat. Protagonists who will make all sorts of other compromises in the fight against the local God of Evil will still balk at allying with them because of their practice of enslaving magic-users in the most dehumanizing way possible. Not that they don't have more mundane slaves as well, but they consider keeping magic-users bound with magic leashes a moral imperative. This is all especially appalling to the cultures of most of the protagonists because they didn't even have a concept of slavery before the Seanchan showed up. Even intelligent characters have trouble wrapping their heads around the idea of owning a person.
    • The Aiel have a custom in which those who are ritualistically captured in battle (a process much more difficult, and therefore considered more honorable, than simply killing them) voluntarily submit to a year and a day of servitude. They are not property and their service cannot be bought or sold (although it can apparently be "donated" in some way to Wise Ones, female clan elders), and non-Aiel cannot be captured in this way as they do not follow the Aiel's strict Code of Honor. When a renegade Aiel faction begins capturing non-Aiel and refusing to let them go after their year and a day is up—treating them as slaves, in other words— it is considered a major Moral Event Horizon by the rest of the Aiel.
  • Worlds of Shadow: Racist and imperialist though it may be, the Galactic Empire is still wholly opposed to slavery, punishing those who bought slaves with imprisonment after they take over a planet. Those who murdered them are hanged.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On The Blacklist Raymond Reddington detests human traffickers and takes great pleasure in helping the FBI take down a major slaving organization and personally kills the organization's leader. Reddington's strong feelings on the matter came about because Dembe, his right-hand man and best friend, was kidnapped and sold into slavery as a child. When it comes out that Reddington once ran a human smuggling operation, he is adamant that he merely smuggled refugees over the border and afterwards they were free to go. When he finds out that a group of criminals now use his old smuggling network to enslave people, he promptly destroys the group.
  • In Breaking Bad, a show full of all kinds of terrible people, the Neo-Nazi gang led by "Uncle" Jack is established as a Darker Shade of Black when they capture Jesse and treat him as a slave, forcing him to cook meth in terrible conditions.
  • Firefly:
    • In "Serenity", during The Reveal of River, Mal's first thought as to why Simon has a naked girl in a cryo chamber is that Simon is engaged in human trafficking, and calls him out for it.
    • In The Teaser of "Shindig", Mal finds out that the guy he and Jayne are playing pool with just made a boatload of money selling slaves to a terraforming operation. He picks the guy's pocket, stealing his ill-gotten gains, then beats the crap out of him in the ensuing Bar Brawl.
  • Forever: Henry is horrified when he learns his father has been engaging in the slave trade. On board the Empress of Africa, the captain wants to throw an African man overboard on suspicion of cholera, even after his ship's doctor has told him he has nothing contagious, and when Henry refers to him as "this man" the captain angrily corrects him, "He's not a man, he's property!"
  • Game of Thrones:
    • This is the biggest difference between Essos and Westeros cultures in a nutshell. In Essos, slavery is widespread and virtually every major culture uses it. In Westeros, slavery is considered one of the most evil practices of all, and being involved in it ranks alongside kin-slaying and king-slaying as an unforgivable sin. Case in point, when it came out that Jorah Mormont had punished some poachers by selling them into slavery, it earned him an instant death sentence and he was forced to flee to Essos to avoid the hangman's noose.
    • Daenerys definitely believes this and has dedicated herself to wiping out the slave trade in Slaver's Bay. She believes it so fervently that her Pay Evil unto Evil can stray toward He Who Fights Monsters. Jorah actually brings up his own involvement in the slave trade in an attempt to convince Daenerys not to massacre the Wise Masters of Yunkai in "Mockingbird".
  • On Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Herc will express outright revulsion to slavery whenever it comes up, even if it's actually legal in parts of Greece. "The March To Freedom" and "Gladiator" highlight this, as Herc works to save an innocent couple from slavers in the former and prisoners forced to fight in gladiator matches in the latter. (In the latter episode, Hercules notes he explicitly fought to end slavery in that particular region, and he is not pleased to see it crop up in a different form.) He also busted up a slave ring in "Prodigal Sister" and just as a blind slave was being brutalized, no less. The slavers technically attacked Hercules first, but he made it clear he wouldn't tolerate slavery anywhere.
  • In House of Cards (US), Frank Underwood dislikes neo-Confederates and Lost Causers, and considers fighting for slavery "asinine."
  • In Lost Girl, Bo is disgusted to learn that Lauren is not an employee of the Light Fae but a slave. From that point on, she is determined to set Lauren free and draws a weapon when the new Ash refers to Lauren as his property.
  • The Magicians (2016): The only thing that can bring humans and fairies to the same side, the fact that the Mcallister family has been enslaving fairies for generations. Of course, now they're also cutting them up and using them for their natural mana, so there's that as well.
  • Pandora: Zigzagged. Adaran society is clearly condemned over their enslavement of clones. However, Hypatia (although a slave society too), is not portrayed as quite so evil (while they're still bad guys), possibly since the slaves are all male and owned by women (with the protagonists even cracking jokes about this while having disguised themselves there as slaves/slave owners).
  • The reason why Roots was so memorable is that it was the first time that mainstream America was made aware of the horrors that abducted Africans and their children had to endure in a time when they were considered sentient farm equipment at the least, or talented pets at the most. Although the remake incorporates some historical revisions, it still does a good job of depicting just how horrible the institution of slavery was on those held in bondage, and how many of those in power did everything they could to keep that system in place, and brutally enforced it.
  • The Sandman (2022), "The Sound of Her Wings": Hob Gadling has been given immortality on condition he meet with Dream once a century to tell of his experiences. When Hob talks of how he's investing in the profitable slave trade to the Americas, Dream expresses his distaste for slavery and suggests Hob find a different line of work. Hob gets defensive, as Dream said he could live his life however he chose. Dream's response is thus:
    Dream: The choice is yours. But would you take that choice away from others?
  • A recurring theme in Spartacus: Blood and Sand:
    • The first season shows the title character being Made a Slave, and slowly conditioned into fighting as a gladiator in a Gilded Cage with the promise of reuniting with his wife one day and earning his freedom. The gladiators are also loaned to Roman women to be used as male prostitutes, or even to have sex with other slaves at parties for the nobles' entertainment.
    • The house slaves have it even worse than the gladiators, who are at least able to earn special privileges and one day get their freedom. Mira is sent to be used as a whore to make sure Spartacus is able to perform sexually for a Roman woman who's requested him, and it's implied that she'll be punished if Spartacus doesn't sleep with her.
    • No character exemplifies this more than Naevia. Raised as Lucretia's handmaiden, her virginity is preserved to be useful later in life, sparing her the reality of being raped by multiple people (as happens to her best friend Diona). Naevia falls in love with Crixus but, because of her position, cannot even accept simple gifts of jewellery out of fear of being discovered. When she is discovered, Lucretia tortures her horrifically and sends her to various villas to be raped and mistreated by the nobles. And when she's found, she has become a true Broken Bird.
  • Stargate SG-1: The Goa'uld domination of the Milky Way crosses this with Scam Religion: they've enslaved a galaxy's worth of humans (and several other species as well) by posing as gods, a situation the heroes and their allies spend eight seasons working to eradicate. In this case, the slavery can extend to possessing the bodies of select humans. There's also the Jaffa, an entire race of human offshoots that serve them as warriors.
    • In Beast of Burden, SG-1 stumbles onto a slave society in which the Unas (another formerly enslaved race) are enslaved by humans to do the manual labor. It repels them enough to help several of the Unas free themselves and start a guerrilla group.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • In "The Measure Of A Man", there is a hearing to determine whether the android Data should legally be considered a person or the property of Starfleet. The admiral adjudicating the hearing is on the fence until Picard suggests that declaring him property would be tantamount to slavery. The mere suggestion of this is enough to have her err on the side of caution and judge that even if she is unprepared to declare definitively that he is a person, she is unwilling to declare him property either.
    • In "The Most Toys", Data is captured by a Collector of the Strange and treated as just another piece of property. This is the only villain whom the Technical Pacifist Data ever attempts to kill in cold blood, as opposed to self-defense, in order to stop his cruel predations on others.
    • The Borg—for a certain definition of slavery, anyway.
  • Discussed in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: during an argument, Quark explained to Commander Sisko that the Federation could not claim to have any moral high ground over the Ferengi because of the fact that some Federation races, like humans, used to practice slavery, which the Ferengi claim they never did (unless you count the way Ferengi culture treats women, but Sisko doesn't bring it up).
  • Young Hercules featured this in part of its Amazon arc. When Herc and his friends first meet the Telaquir Amazons, the group is chained up and being sent to Athens to be made slaves. The cadets feel no one should be property and help them escape. The follow-up episode has the king of Athens try to get what he already paid for. Hercules goes to a lot of effort to both save the Telaquir Amazons and get slavery outlawed in Athens.

  • The Twilight Histories has featured a few worlds that invoke this trope:
    • “Cato’s War” combines the unpleasantries of Confederate-era slavery with industrialization. Factory slaves must keep working even if injured, and the death of a slave is treated as only a minor inconvenience. Worse, slaves aren’t even allowed to have families of their own free will, and female slaves are often assigned to birthing crates, where they are forcibly impregnated. Children as young as five are sent to work in the fields. Oh, and slaves account for over seventy percent of the Confederate population.
    • The Chinese mines in the episode “Aztec Steel” also strongly invoke this trope. Slaves have to walk in a giant wheel to keep the water level down. Stopping too long causes the water level to rise, and many slaves die of exhaustion. It really says something that the Aztecs and their rituals almost look merciful by comparison.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Slavery is the hat of neogi, a race of evil bug-like creatures in Dungeons & Dragons (who first appeared in the Spelljammer setting), and are such scum that even the mercane (a race of merchants who will normally deal with anyone) have no dealings with them. Only illithids (who most other races fear and abhor), who treat other sapient species not just as property but as food, could be called their allies. Most of the time.
  • Earthdawn: The island nation of Thera practices slavery. Of course, it would be wrong to enslave Therans, so the rest of Barsaive has learned to utterly despise Thera. What makes it worse is that slavery is encouraged by the god Therans worship most, the Mad Passion Dis. (That Dis is labeled a Mad Passion should tell you all you need to know about how anyone not from Thera sees him.)
  • Exalted: A number of the less powerful villainous factions like the Lintha pirates, the Guild of crooked merchant and some of the less savory Dragon-Blooded Houses are big on slavery. This provides a handy source of antagonists for groups that want to play a more gritty sort of campaign without any huge world-ending threats, but where the players still have plenty of people they can beat up and feel good about it.
  • The Way of the Wicked adventure path in Pathfinder allows the evil-aligned player characters to overthrow a Good kingdom and replace it with their own governmental structure, with numerous options to legalize and promote various vices as state policy. While gambling, prostitution and even devil worship can be introduced and normalized, with unrest steadily fading over time, slavery — one of the core tenants of Asmodeus' cult — will never gain public support. Instituting slavery will generate some revenue, but the antagonistic forces of the Church will gain considerable strength as the masses rally around the priests railing against the roving bands of slavers and the Evil Overlord who enables them.

  • The Trojan Women is emphatic about slavery—in this particular case women as war trophies—being abominable. Each of the protagonists dreads being forced into slavery and the play paints each of them as sympathetic figures facing a real horror even when compared to the other atrocities of war, driving home just how terrible slavery is.

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed: Odyssey: Played with. Since the game takes place in Ancient Greece, slavery is considered a normal part of life. Many slaves prefer being enslaved and taken care of to being free and homeless. The protagonist has several choices where they can give their opinion on slavery; while they never have anything good to say about the system itself, they can choose between lambasting the slaves for choosing an easy life over a difficult one, or praise them for doing what they had to in order to survive.
  • In Baldur's Gate III, Token Evil Teammate Astarion is a Chaotic Evil Lovable Rogue who'll happily be an accomplice to virtually any crime in the book. However, slavery is the one thing he won't stand for due to the abuse he suffered at the hands of his vampire master. However, it's subverted in that he's a firm believer in Pragmatic Villainy and won't approve of the party sticking their necks out for random slaves unless it benefits themselves, in part due to conditioning from his master that punished any sort of altruism.
  • In Bioshock Infinite, one thing that cements Columbia as a dystopia is the fact that anyone who is Irish or non-white must serve their "social betters" without question, live in squalid tenements, and willingly put up with any type of punishment that is doled out to them.
    • In one Voxophone that Booker finds, Fink recalls a conversation where he tells Comstock that the people who want to live in Columbia did not want to do any physical work themselves. The solution is to talk to a prison overseer in Georgia that would allow him to "lease as many negro convicts" as he wanted. If anyone in Columbia asks why people are forced to work like this, to just go ahead and say that the convicts are trying to achieve penance for wanting to rise above their social standing.
  • Averted in the Civilization series, where the installments that even have slavery treat it as simply another mechanic effect. Notably, in Civilization IV, the 'Emancipation' state on labour provides an unhappiness malus to all non-Emancipated civilizations but does so equally to slave states as it does to feudal serfdom systems, caste systems, and primitive tribalism. You can also switch back from emancipation to slavery with little effort, and doing so may be preferable if you need to rush something important.
  • The Tevinter Imperium in Dragon Age practices slavery. This is just one of the reasons the other human nations are wary of the Imperium, treating it as a sort of bogeyman. In Dragon Age: Origins, pointing out in the Landsmeet that Teryn Loghain allowed a Tevinter slaver to kidnap Denerim's Elven population in exchange for coin helps turn the nobility against him. One of the seven Old Gods once worshipped by Tevinter was Andoral, who was specifically considered the God of Slaves and was the last one to be killed before the game's events.
    • The elves are a slave race in the franchise. And even in Kingdoms where slavery is "Illegal", Elves are still considered little more than property. They live in poverty, segregated neighborhoods, and are regular victims of theft, rape, and murder from their human lords. Only the Dalish Elves truly know freedom, but their lives aren't much better as they have no real home, and have to forage in order to survive.
    • In Dragon Age II, after freeing an elven slave girl, Hawke has the opportunity to take her into their own service; an action which will infuriate party member Fenris, himself a former Tevinter slave. Hawke can quell his anger, however, by explaining that they plan to give her a job as a paid servant.
    • Dorian, a noble-born Tevinter mage, does not like slavery personally but he does not have a deep moral objection to it that other party members do, and makes the argument at one point that being enslaved is preferable to abject poverty (or at least that the distinction between the two is often academic). At one point he can also make snide comments to a former slave who joined the Qunari, claiming that now they've given up "free will and independent thought." Party member banter reveals that he never really questioned slavery in his homeland until he left it, but that spending time with the party has caused him to question his previous views.
  • Zig-zagged in Dwarf Fortress: Slavery is one of the ethics that different civilizations can have different opinions on. On the one hand, the human civilizations see it as acceptable, unlike most other civilizations (the dwarves included). On the other hand, there isn't any coding in place for Indentured Servitude or other such practices. The only civilization to actually act on these ethics are the goblins, who send out babysnatchers to steal children from other civilizations. And then raise them as their own, with only rudimentary (as of DF2014) coding in place to make them act differently from goblin children.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • In the series' backstory, the humans of Cyrodiil were enslaved by the Ayleids, who were needlessly vile and cruel to them. After escaping slavery herself, St. Alessia prayed to the Aedra for aid in an uprising against the (primarily) Daedra-worshiping Ayleids in order to free her people. The Aedra offered a Bargain with Heaven and sent aid (both subtle and direct) to Alessia's war efforts. It is strongly implied that the bans on slavery by the various Cyrodiilic Empires in the thousands of years since is directly tied to their own origins as slaves to the Ayleids.
    • The Daedric Prince Molag Bal claims Domination and Enslavement within his spheres of influence and is notable for being the only prince who has been consistently portrayed as unquestionably evil in contrast to the Blue-and-Orange Morality most Daedra are associated with.
    • Played with in Morrowind, where slavery is part of everyday life. There is an underground organization, the Twin Lamps, that believes in this trope, though. The trick is, the Dunmer were granted a legal exception to the Empire's slavery ban as one of the terms of becoming a Voluntary Vassal, but Imperial influence is gradually reducing the popularity of slavery. Background conversations in Oblivion indicate that King Helseth of Morrowind has ended the practice, and by the time of Skyrim, the Argonians (a long-time Slave Race to the Dunmer) wound up biting back by forming a coherent army and invading southern Morrowind during the Red Year.
  • Fallout:
    • In Fallout 2, being involved in slave-catching raids not only lowers your karma but gives you a special perk of infamy, with which many NPCs will refuse to deal with you. The other crimes that give you this measure of infamy are child killing and destroying entire settlements.
    • Fallout 3: The slavers of Paradise Falls are so evil that waltzing into their home and slaughtering the lot of them counts towards good karma. In fact, wastelanders consider slavery such an evil act that even selling Raiders into slavery gives you negative karma — even though killing them gives you positive. Additionally, it's mentioned that like their East Coast predecessors the Enclave participated in the slave trade to fund their attempted conquest of the Capital Wasteland, which was a major factor in the East Coast Brotherhood of Steel's decision to declare war on them.
    • Fallout: New Vegas presents Caesar's Legion. Led by a genius megalomaniac manchild that fancies himself "Caesar", they practice particularly brutal slavery. Women get it particularly harsh, being used as pieces of meat and broodmares until their uteruses figuratively fall out from overuse.
    • Fallout 4's conflict regarding the nature of Synths has shades of this blended into What Measure Is a Non-Human? The Institute treats Synths as solely machine labor, while there is quite a bit to suggest they are fully sentient beings, and has a habit of reformatting disobedient Synths. An organization called The Railroad fights for Synth Liberation. Additionally, the follower Cait was sold into slavery by her parents, and has a very dim worldview as a result. Additionally, Bullet, a member of the Gunners, attempts to get the player to sell a ghoul child to him for use as forced labor in radioactive areas, and later attempts to capture the boy's entire family.
  • In Fate/Grand Order, one of the Servants you can summon is Christopher Columbus and he's a man who aims for efficiency and profit. His favorite method to do so? Slavery. Other heroes did use slavery but they moved on with time and were widely better regarded for that. Not Columbus, though, he can't comprehend why people would move away for slavery and stuck to his guns, making him one of the most despicable Servants you can summon. This ends up downplayed later on. When he's summoned into Chaldea, Columbus is savvy enough to realize that promoting slavery in Chaldea would be counterproductive, but there are other ways to reach his aforementioned goals without slaves, so he settles with conning and other trickery. Even if slavery is his favorite method, he values efficiency.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, the pirate nation of Limsa Lominsa has a simple, three-step code of honor: no stealing from other Lominsans, no stealing from other pirates, and no treating people as goods. The Rogues' Guild, the vigilante enforcers of the code, are more than willing to enforce the first two by simply stealing the loot back and stringing the thieves up for the authorities, but being involved in the slave trade marks the entire crew to be slain with extreme prejudice.
  • In Final Fantasy XVI, those born with the ability to perform magic are designated as "Bearers" and made slaves of their homeland. While the Duchy of Rosaria makes attempts to make life bearable for its Bearers, The Empire considers Bearers little more than magical tools to be used and discarded as necessity dictates, with Bearers suffering from abuse and even being murdered on a whim. The Iron Kingdom is even worse: their religion dictates that magic, in and of itself, is sinful, and any born with the ability to perform magic is a monster to be killed outright unless you're a Dominant, in which case, the Iron Kingdom will see fit to let you live, but treat you as a beast to sic on their enemies. As the game progresses, Clive makes it his personal mission to change the world so that all people — Bearers, Dominants, and those who can't use magic alike — are free to live and die as they see fit, free from the yolk of slavery.
  • Gamedec: your second case Harvest Time'' is the VR equivalent, game addicts in a Farm Life Sim Idle Game are forced to farm lootboxes in the game so their bosses can sell them for real world money.
  • God of War: Ascension introduces the Gemini twins Castor & Pollux in this way, just to make sure you/Kratos enjoys slaughtering them in the ensuing bossfight.
  • Haven City in Jak II has slavery for Lurkers legalized, to the disgust of Jak and Daxter, who free some of them from Praxis. Krew prefers to call it "freedom challenged".
  • Averted hard in Kenshi. In this post-apocalyptic world, not only do main and minor factions actively and enthusiastically engage in slavery (as much as the Holy Nation insists those sent to Rebirth are not "technically" slaves), but the player is perfectly free to do so as well... potentially without any major repercussions. There is no karma meter, and the game doesn't keep track of the player's involvement in the slave trade. It's actually possible to end up allying oneself with the Anti-Slavers after earning a large fortune by selling people into slavery. In fact, the average citizen of the United Cities will denounce Anti-Slavers as "weird plucky outlaws" at best to "insane anarchist terrorists" at worst and express sympathy for slavers struggling against them as proper fellows trying to make an honest living.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, Lady Tremaine, her daughters, and Clu engage in slavery, and are viewed as monsters by the protagonists. The Tremaines hate Cinderella for her charm and beauty, and imprison her as a slave after her father dies; when she's set free, they try to murder her. She also has a heart of pure light, and they have hearts of pure darkness. Clu keeps Rinzler, a reprogrammed Tron, as his right-hand man to spite Flynn, and when Sora comes along and sets Rinzler free, Clu snaps and murders Rinzler in cold blood.
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land: Near the end of the Dream Discoveries Tour on the elevator ride to Lab Discovera, Kirby is treated to a lovely Wham Shot of the Waddle Dees running on hamster wheels to power the lab. That's right. The Beast Pack kidnapped these cute Waddling Heads for slave labor.
  • Mad Max: Somewhat averted, where the game outright states that most people will happily work in slave-like conditions if it means food, shelter, and protection from the unforgiving wasteland and the predators that prowl it. Though a subfaction of the Roadkill, the Thrall Rustlers, have made a business of trafficking in any individuals with unique skills such as the knowledge to make gunpowder.
  • In Mass Effect, slavery is one of the few practices that the Citadel Council, no stranger to other shady dealings, treats as absolutely unacceptable in any race which seeks membership or formal diplomatic relations with the rest of the galactic community. It is one of the main reasons the batarians, who make a regular practice of it, are so despised among the rest of the galaxy. (It's indicated that the wider galaxy seems to think humanity's hatred of slavery in particular is a response to batarians enslaving humans, rather than to humans' past slavery of each other.) Ilium, however, subverts it by having a system of "indentured servitude", which is basically a "consensual" form of slaverynote 
  • In Middle-earth: Shadow of War, while mentally enslaving Orcs is a major mechanic in the main game, Eltariel (the protagonist of "The Blade of Galadriel" DLC) doesn't Dominate Orcs despite having the ability to do so because she considers it abhorrent. Fortunately for her, she comes across some of the friendliest Orcs in Mordor who are all too willing to join her for their own reasons.
  • In Palworld, the setting's Poké Ball equivalent works on humans as well as mons (albeit with a very low success rate), and allows the Player Character to control them all the same for their own nefarious purposes. Doing so is noted to be very illegal, and is a fast way to get the City Guards after you if you're caught in the act.
  • Paper Mario 64: Once entering their fortress, they Koopa Bros. are established to be unrepentant slave drivers, forcing the Bob-ombs into grueling work conditions for constructing their fortress. One Bob-omb states that the Koopa Bros. force them to work 25 hours a day with absolutely no breaks.
  • Persona 5: One thing that marks Suguru Kamoshida as a complete villain is that his Palace (a representation of how he sees Shujin Academy) is a palace with himself as a king and his male students as his slaves, while female students are concubines.
  • This comes up for multiple factions in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, but most prominently with the pirates of the Principi sen Patrena. There is a leadership crisis among the Principi between the old guard composed of fallen Vailian nobility and the new blood who are mostly of lower caste. The old guard see slavery as a business no better or worse than the theft and murder all pirates commit. The new blood believe that freedom is a paramount virtue and non-negotiable, and nothing violates that slavery. It's also the Berserk Button of party member Serafin and one of the few things that will crack his usually unflappable demeanor which makes sense once you eventually learn that he was enslaved for several years.
    • Part of the game's construction of Grey-and-Gray Morality is the native Huana civilization's policy on slavery. The slave trade is legal, but enslaving natives of the Deadfire Archipelago is not. Spend any time sniffing around the primary slaving port of Crookspur Island and you'll see how difficult it is to prove that someone is a Deadfire native and that it's even more difficult to make someone face consequences for illegally enslaving a Deadfire native.
  • In Planescape: Torment, upon entering the Lower Ward of Sigil you learn of the city's "indentured servitude" system for punishing criminals. One sidequest revolves around helping a widow named Trist, who was falsely accused of not paying back the local Loan Shark and sent to the auction block. You then discover that the thief hired by the loan shark to steal the evidence of her paid loan for the fraud scheme couldn't bring himself to destroy it as he was disgusted by the plan.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: In the side-mission "The Inequities of History", Arthur/John is perfectly happy to help Jeremiah Compson retrieve his mementos, but as soon as he finds out he's a former slave catcher he tells him his legacy is for pissing on and burns his mementos in front of him. If you then kill Compson you actually gain honour.
  • Rise of the Third Power: The Arkadyan Empire sends dissenters and otherwise "undesirable" citizens to work camps, and that's if they decide not to exile or execute them. In this case, "undesirable" also includes people that the empire deems to be weak. This disgusts the Cirinthian and Tariqqi party members, since their countries recognize that slavery is a violation of human rights.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    • The Sith Inquisitor Player Character was a former slave who ended up Trading Bars for Stripes after it was discovered they were Force-sensitive, and has a few opportunities to decry The Empire's practice of it (even if Dark Side, as their main problem could be how woefully inefficient it is rather than any sort of moral high ground).
    • The Bounty Hunter's "wrap-up quest" in the Shadow Of Revan expansion. Bounty hunters can specify to a prospective business partner who wants to use their connections to do business on Dromund Kaas, the Imperial capital, that they will not deal in slaves or hard drugs. The business partner is annoyed, as those are the only two reasons one would want to do business on Dromund Kaas anyway, slavery being illegal in the Republic, but accepts.
  • General Tsao in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves admits to preferring slaves over friends, and even intents to marry Jing King against her will as a Trophy Wife and Sex Slave. Sly straight-up calls Tsao the worst villain he's ever faced as a result.
  • Carver's settlement in the third episode of season 2 of Telltale's The Walking Dead seems to get this treatment. The Big Bad of the first season was very sympathetic and tragic in comparison to Carver who treats most of the survivors under his command as tools to be used and disposed of. Naturally, the episode ends with his brutal, bloody death at the hands of Kenny. Episode 5 of the same season also reveals that the entire settlement was completely wiped out and abandoned from the incoming herd of zombies in the Jane ending.
  • Warframe:
    • Nef Anyo is one of the most loathsome Corpus around for many reasons, but his Fortuna colony is treated as the worst thing he's done. Colonists are trapped in debt bondage, leading to a life of Indentured Servitude where unreasonably high interest rates ensure that no one will ever be able to pay off what they owe (not helped by the fact that debt is inherited, so you have not only your own debts to take care off but also your family's).
    • During the events of "The New War", Ballas uses Narmer Veils to enslave the entire Origin System, making him the biggest and vilest antagonist in the game up to that point.
  • XCOM: Chimera Squad: The Progeny brainwash their victims into becoming suicidal battle thralls, while some opportunistic corporations try to sucker others into involuntary indentured servitude. Verge is disgusted by these acts and insists they be called slavery. In-game, this is represented by a legally constrained time limit of Verge's mind-control powers, even in matters of life and death, while enemy units will enjoy multiple-turn mind control of your units.
    • It's also revealed that the Advent administration administered 24-hour shock torture on the Archons in addition to the mind control, a wholly unnecessary and 'just plain wrong' crime that seems more like unjustifiable sadism than necessary for control.

    Web Original 
  • Critical Role: Slavery is banned in most nations of Exandria, and seen as a disgusting and immoral practice by just about everyone. The Iron Shepherds from Campaign 2 are a slaver guild that are only able to operate out of the Outlaw Town of Shadycreek Run, and make their living by abducting and systematically torturing people until they're broken enough to be sold off. Their leader Lorenzo is one of the most terrifying and sadistic villains of the early campaign; a massive Oni who Eats Babies, brutally murders Mollymauk just to set an example, and threatens to keep the party as his personal pets when they show up to rescue their loved ones.
  • The Fenspace Convention extends this to AIs, which are really easy to create by accident and legally recognised as people, which is not true on Earth. This was a major plot point in a recent story crossing over with Five Nights at Freddy's.
  • Averted for laughs in Freeman's Mind. Gordon thinks that slavery is actually a good idea, it's just that it got too intertwined with racism. He proposes that the lottery should be used to pick out who gets to be a slave. Of course, since it is Gordon who's making these claims, he's not really a good voice of reason.
  • Star Trek Continues: This (and thus the resulting cultural clash between the Federation and the Orions) is the underlying social issue of the week on the episode "Lolani".
  • Slavery is "banned, reviled, and in practice non-existent" in all civilized countries of Tales From My D&D Campaign, but the Kua-Toa are enthusiastic slavers and rely heavily on slave armies and slave labor to sustain their Enemy Civil War. The fact that the Illud faction of the Kua are still slavers is considered one of the strongest proofs that they aren't so different from their Deluvian cousins. Unfortunately, since the Illud/Deluvian conflict is the only thing keeping humanity alive, there's not much that can be done about it.
  • TV Tropes: The troper-made image for SoYouWantTo.Write A Complete Monster features the villain whipping (or threatening to whip) someone to write many pages in stress.
  • The Equestrians from Void of the Stars have this as central to their beliefs.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Animated Series: In "The Underdwellers", Batman discovers a group of children enslaved by the cruel Sewer King. He is enraged to the point of being sorely tempted to make an exception to his Thou Shalt Not Kill code.
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero; COBRA engages in slavery both for labor and entertainment, doing it both to kidnapped civilians and captures heroes — at least in the Five-Episode Pilot — and treat them like garbage. This comes back to bite them no less than four times in said pilot, once when Cobra Commander foolishly lets a gutsy slave girl too near the MASS Device - she douses it with water causing it to short circuit and break, foiling their attack on New York City - by torturing a muscular male slave named Ragnar - he's really angry when he gets free, as the Mooks discover to their chagrin - and most importantly, when Duke becomes a victim and escapes. The other Joes are able to use sensory deprivation equipment to help him recover minute memories of the place he was held and find it, leading to the fourth, a full-scale slave revolt that ends with the fortress destroyed and the Device impounded.
  • Downplayed in Roman City. While David Macaulay describes slavery in Rome as just as deplorable as in the rest of history, he doesn't gloss over the fact that even the most decent Romans may have held slaves if they could afford them. Marcus Fabricius himself has a Servile Snarker for a slave and said servant considers their relationship to be more comparable to that of a married couple, which he resents as he considers himself Marcus's slave, not his wife, the last time he checked.
  • In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, slavery gets Anakin Skywalker riled up at least as much as Ahsoka, Obi-Wan, or Padme being in danger (due largely to him and his mother being slaves on Tatooine during Anakin's earliest years), and at one point Ahsoka has to stop him from just flat-out murdering a slaver.