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Taking Over Heaven

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The Pearly Gates Have Fallen!

"There was a war in Heaven... and I won."

This trope involves the circumstance where one or many figures attempt and overtake and/or destroy the heavens and subjugate whoever happens to live there under their overwhelming heel. Gods? Beaten or kicked out. Angels? Annihilated or demolished. The heavens themselves have been attacked and conquered in a way that would make the Devil (or any other demonic figures) envious.

In many stories, powerful and malevolent supernatural figures are shown to plot and scheme of taking over or destroying the place where the supernatural forces of good or goody two-shoe souls would call a paradise or heaven. Many try and fail, usually ending in their imminent and painful downfall. However, in this case, they succeed!

In contrast with Hell Has New Management, as the subject in question has conquered or destroyed either the Heaven equivalent or one of many divine afterlives. This trope can result in an Infernal Paradise. However, if the trope is used in a setting in which the residents of the "Heaven" are malevolent, this situation can actually have beneficial effects if the conquerors are benevolent in nature.

A commonly seen form of this trope (if successful in its execution by the ones responsible) is Hell Invades Heaven.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the Backstory of Kurohime, the title character attempted this. Kurohime completed a Tower of Babel-like stairway to heaven and attempted to overthrow the Jerkass Gods for humanity's sake, but was defeated and split into Shirohime, Goddess of Mercy, and the capricious little girl Himeko.

    Comic Books 
  • Napoleon accomplishes this briefly in Bill & Ted Go To Hell.
  • Ghost Rider: The traitorous angel, Zadkiel, managed to take over the throne of Heaven and usurp Yahweh's place as the ruler of creation after taking the powers of various Ghost Rider incarnations. Things went south for Zadkiel when God actually returned and sent Zadkiel to Hell where he was fated to be tortured by Lucifer (who he had betrayed at an earlier point) for eternity.
  • In Lucifer, Christopher Rudd manages to go from damned soul to sextoy for the nobility of Hell into one of the nobility himself and eventually ruler of Hell. Then he reforged the damned souls and the demons into an army to storm Heaven. And won.
  • Preacher: The Saint of Killers (as seen in the main trope picture) effectively became the new ruler of Heaven after killing all of the Heavenly Host and eventually God himself. He cemented his victory by placing himself on the throne of God to finally rest.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • In the God War arc, Cronus and his new Titan forces invade multiple realms of various mythological pantheons to absorb the essence of dead gods and eventually become God or The Presence Itself.
    • Wonder Woman (2011): In the New 52 reboot of the Wonder Woman series, the Firstborn, the first begotten son of Hera and Zeus, managed to conquer Olympus after single-handedly killing Apollo and transforming Olympus into a hellish flesh-like dominion.

    Film — Animated 
  • Hercules: Hades managed to conquer Olympus (albeit temporarily) by using the formerly imprisoned Titans to contain Zeus and utterly trounce the Olympians under his command. Then Hercules showed up.

  • In Journey to the West, the Monkey King felt snubbed after being put in charge of cleaning the heavenly stables. In an act of defiance, the Monkey King declared himself "The Great Sage Equal to the Heavens" and proceeded to defeat every god, immortal, and miscellaneous divine spirit that happened to get in his way to prove himself superior as the master of the Heavens. When the entire combined forces of the heavens were shown to be unable to match him, the Buddha himself was forced to personally intervene to stop his rampage.
  • The ultimate motive of the Big Bad Islington in Neverwhere, as revenge for being cast down and imprisoned after its destruction of Atlantis. Eventually foiled by Door.
  • In The Salvation War, humanity managed to invade Heaven and defeated the malevolent angelic forces as payback for having Hell invade Earth.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Supernatural:
    • The former scribe angel, Metatron, managed to take over Heaven by tricking Castiel into helping him banish all angels in Heaven to Earth and cultivating the power of the Angel Tablet to make himself virtually unstoppable.
    • An earlier short-lived example was when Castiel absorbed the souls of Purgatory and slaughtered Raphael and his angel followers before claiming total dominance over Heaven.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • According to Hindu scriptures, an asura demon named Mahishasura obtained a boon from the creator deity, Brahma, that rendered him invincible to men of any species whether they were human, beast, or god. With his demon army, Mahishasura invaded the heavens and defeated the heavenly armies along with the God of the Heavens, Indra, himself. Mahishasura was eventually defeated in battle by Durga, the result of the "divine feminine force" created by the Great Trinity (Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu) being sent to Shiva's wife, Parvati.
  • According to one famous story in Greek Mythology, Typhon, The Father of All Monsters, attempted this. Typhon, according to Hesiod's Theogony, was the last child of Gaia (the Earth) and Tartarus (a violent and bottomless storm pit) born out of Gaia's revenge against the Gods for killing her Giant offspring. He attempted take over Mount Olympus, home of the gods, and with the exception of Athena and Zeus, all of the other Greek gods and goddesses fled the scene, opting to change forms and hide from the monster rather than try to fight him. After a long and arduous battle, Zeus managed to fling Typhon back into Tartarus and throws Mount Etna on top of him, forever trapping him under its weight.

    Video Games 
  • In the finale of Act III of Diablo III, Diablo, upon his rebirth as the Prime Evil following Adria's betrayal, launches a full-scale assault with all his demonic forces on the High Heavens, seeking to destroy the Crystal Arch and plunge both the Heavens and Sanctuary into darkness forever. Because Diablo has become the embodiment of all seven of the Great Evils in one being, the angels did not have a chance in Heaven or Hell of stopping him.
  • In Final Fantasy II, Emperor Mateus managed to conquer Heaven AND Hell after splitting his soul into its purest and darkest halves and defeating the respective rulers of both realms. This achievement had effectively made him to ruler of the afterlife itself.
  • In God of War, the lead character, Kratos, managed to destroy the Gods protecting Olympus, decimate their strongest forces and creations, and reduce Olympus to a pile of rubble. However, these actions had the side of effect of effectively creating chaos and untold suffering throughout the world.