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The Extremist Was Right

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"I was away for a few years and I came back to a world in ruins. Death, destruction, chaos, the endless fighting—it was like the Heterodyne Boys had never existed. Things were worse than ever. So I stopped it. And I did it my way this time. No more negotiating. No more promises. No more second chances. And I did it alone. Because I had to. And it worked."
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, Girl Genius, right here

Here are the people whom everyone, sometimes even the viewers, thought were the Well-Intentioned Extremist or Knight Templar that always turns out to be wrong — but instead they were completely right. Their ideas about how to go about making the world a better place are appropriate, and not only are they genuinely working toward a better world, they've succeeded in doing so, or else succeed during the course of the story. These are genuine examples of that term that so many villains falsely claim to be, necessary evils, within the context of the story.

Compare/contrast Well-Intentioned Extremist, Villain with Good Publicity, Villain Has a Point, Jerkass Has a Point, Repressive, but Efficient, Utopia Justifies the Means, and Necessarily Evil. Also see Psycho Supporter, when an ally of the hero does this so the hero never has to. The Omniscient Morality License is a common result of this trope being mishandled; though if the one doing this is a god or God, then the issue gets even more contentious. The specifically religious version is the Soulsaving Crusader. Often a result of the ending, and thus has a tendency to overlap with The Bad Guy Wins. Contrast Fascist, but Inefficient when a government is both ruthless and incompetent, and Pyrrhic Victory or Meaningless Villain Victory when the (ruthless) means end up ruining the (well-intentioned) ends. For when some fans feel compelled to justify a villain's actions, even when they aren't actually right, see Draco in Leather Pants. When the author feels a character falls under this trope, but the audience disagrees, it's often a result of Values Dissonance. When this isn't intentional, it can fall under Strawman Has a Point.


Warning: due to the nature of the trope, spoilers are unmarked.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Lelouch Lamperouge of Code Geass starts off on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge armed with the Geass of Command; by the end, he's not only saved the world from his father's mad scheme to force a "World Without Lies" upon all humankind, but he's executed an insane gambit to unite the world in peace by becoming the cruelest dictator of all time, and at the moment of his ultimate triumph, being publicly assassinated by his best friend in the guise of the very hero he himself created. With all the world's hatred directed at a dead man, world peace is finally achieved; even when a new conflict flares up after a year in Lelouch of the Resurrection, it's a small scale regional conflict which a resurrected and completely unexpecting Lelouch is able to resolve in only a few days.
  • Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School:
    • During the Despair Arc, Nagito Komaeda threatens to shoot Big Bad Junko Enoshima in cold blood. Chiaki Nanami tries to argue that murder is never right, but given the fact that Enoshima would go on to cause the end of human civilization as we know it simply to cause as much despair as possible, everyone really, really would have been better off if the gun hadn't jammed.
    • Makoto Naegi used Future Foundation resources to make an unauthorized attempt to erase the memories of the Remnants of Despair and have them bond in a virtual world. Many of the other members believe he took an unnecessary risk by allowing the Remnants to live, but despite interference from Alter Ego Junko, all of the Remnants go back to their pre-Despair selves. While the ethics of erasing their memories are questionable, it turns out to be necessary and justified because Junko brainwashed the Remnants with her video's subliminal messages, meaning Naegi's plan is deprogramming of previous brainwashing.
  • Digimon Tamers: During the argument between the Digimon Sovereigns over how to save their world, it turns out that the plan of the Well-Intentioned Extremist leader of Hypnos, who acted very brutal towards the child protagonists, is the only one they can use in the end. Pity half their world was destroyed. Still, his was the only plan that worked even if temporarily.
  • The trope could be well called "Oberstein Was Right" after Paul von Oberstein, from Legend of the Galactic Heroes. He's utterly amoral in his quest to reform the Galactic Empire and obtain peace (as shown when, during the Imperial Civil War, he allowed the High Nobles to murder two million people in a nuclear attack, an act that is considered a Moral Event Horizon in-universe, for propaganda value) whose plans have the disturbing habit of working (that nuclear attack drove public opinion firmly against the High Nobles, and started causing mass defections in the enemy). This is the only reason Reinhard and his other subordinates put up with him: they despise his personality and utter amorality but respect what he's doing and that he's good at it.
  • Gundam:
    • Aeolia Shenberg in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 believes that the human race is inherently corrupt and warlike, and must reform itself to get rid of war... by force, if necessary. It takes him and his shadow organization Celestial Being 200 years to put their plans into motion, but it works. By AD 2500, humanity has evolved into a race of telepaths and are completely free of war... all by Celestial Being's manipulations. This viewpoint is virtually identical to the one held by Char Aznable in Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack, except Char's methods were far more destructive and he was portrayed as being very much in the wrong in that film.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, Big Bad Rustal Elion commits many atrocities on behalf of Gjallarhorn, teams up with some very unsavory individuals like Nobliss Gordon, and ultimately has many of the heroes killed and succeeds in destroying Tekkadan. Thanks to all this, he is able to replace the Seven Stars as ruler, reform Gjallarhorn into a democracy, outlaw slavery, and set up his talented lowborn adoptive daughter as his heir rather than leaving yet another corrupt/incompetent/depraved aristocrat to take his place.
  • One Piece: Queen Otohime, of the Extreme Pacifist variety. She had spent her entire life negotiating a peace between humans and Fishmen, despite her husband's objections due to the widespread Fantastic Racism prevalent on the island. Which were proven to be correct, as her own killer, Hody Jones, was a product of the unchecked Fantastic Racism being encouraged by the Fishmen, which nearly ended up dooming her entire family and the island 10 years later, only to be saved by a crew of humans. Fukaboshi even tearfully admits this when he makes public Hody Jones' real motivations, that the Ryuguu Kingdom and their subjects willingly let such a monster rise into prominence, while ignoring their mother's warnings.
    • Otohime's pleadings to let the World Noble Mjosgard live as well. She not only gains the World Nobles' approval for the Fishmen to move above sea, but the very same World Noble Mjosgard helps the Ryuguu Kingdom in their Darkest Hour. When Charloss is trying to claim Shirahoshi as his own, Mjosgard swiftly acts on the Kingdom's behalf by clobbering the bastard himself, so that the Fishmen won't suffer the retribution of the Admirals. He also calls off CP0 from them and thus protects the other people trying to intervene (such as Vivi). We later also see that Mjosgard has freed all his slaves, and declares that no one will interrupt the Reverie in his presence.
  • Planetes: The Space Defense Front eventually manages to force the richer nations to the negotiating table, and get a better deal for the poorer nations.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion:
    • The ending of the movie has Homura becomes a devil, usurp the Goddess Madoka, and rewrite the universe, all for the sake of Madoka's happiness. The result is a world where Madoka and friends can all live happily, and the cruel magical girl/witch system is unneeded, while Kyubey is punished by being forced to endure all the despair they brought upon the girls. Even Sayaka concedes that Homura may be in the right here.
    • Conversely, the above led many fans to say "Oriko was right!", as she expressed the opinion that Homura would gladly let the world burn if it meant Madoka was happy (and consequently sought to kill Madoka before she could contract, which would have led to Madoka eventually becoming a witch even worse than Walpurgisnacht).
  • Speed Grapher's Chouji Suitengu wants to bankrupt Japan (which would have a pretty negative effect on the world's economy) and murder-suicide the group whom ruined his and his deceased little sister's lives for their dead parents' debt. Given the many Screw the Rules, I Have Money! moments and Sociopaths here, one can't help but cheer when he actually wins.
  • 7 Seeds had the government support several attempts to keep humans alive after meteorites hit the earth, including shelters and isolated areas to continue living in. The most extreme one was the titular 7 Seeds Project which had them put healthy teens and tweens into cry-stasis to be awoken after the catastrophe and earth was inhabitable again. Majority of the government thought this was an insane idea and Hana's father Takashi was one of the main contributors to the project. And the Ryugu Shelter arc proves that the insane idea was most likely the best option as the shelters have dilapidated over the years and the members of the project seem to be the only humans living right now.
  • In Tiger & Bunny, the Big Bad, Albert Maverick, started HERO TV during the early days of NEXT-empowered people, and suffered due to widespread anti-NEXT prejudice. Albert Maverick formed an alliance with the criminal organization Ouroboros, trading technology and resources in exchange for flashier crimes and incidents for the heroes to resolve, aiding psychos like Jake Martinez and Dr. Rotwang, often resulting in innocent people getting killed brutally (some of them by his own hands). The end result was HERO TV becoming massively popular, lasting for over two decades, and the positive exposure of NEXT superheroes led to greater acceptance over time. When he is finally cornered in the last episode, he also mentions that Sternbild city was a run-down dump until the sense of security the Heroes provided made it prosperous. Subverted in that Albert is a Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist who has money and power as his first and foremost concern.
  • In Transformers: Cybertron, Scourge and his followers seized power for themselves and after a lengthy war managed to bring peace and order to Jungle Planet, whose civilian populace had long suffered at the hands of feuding groups of raiders. This peace brought through tyranny was not perfect (Scourge's old mentor Backstop observes that Scourge's method treats the symptoms but not the cause), but it was vastly preferable to how things had been.
  • In the manga version of Death Note, Near acknowledges that Light did in fact reduce the world crime rate by 70% and bring an end to all wars, despite his unorthodox methods of doing so. Subverted as it's also noted that, unsurprisingly, most people were by this point living in terror of Kira's wrath, which arguably outweighs the good result. The epilogue hammers the point home that several years after Kira died, everything was more or less back to normal.
  • If the Freezing Alchemist Isaac MacDougal at the start of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood had succeeded, even if it didn't stop Father's plan, it may have at least neutralized Wrath.
  • Shakugan no Shana: Yuji Sakai, In season 3, merges with the Snake of the Festival so that they can create a world where Crimson Denizens can live without consuming the Power of Existence of humans (thus killing them and erasing them from existence), thus saving numerous humans, and also ending the threat to the balance of the world, removing their point of contention with the Flame Haze, and finally ending the Forever War. Flame Haze, especially Yuji's love interest Shana, will be able to be more than just tools and walking weapons, but actual people with their own desires. Yuji will actually be able to have a future with Shana that is more than just an endless conflict. To this end, Yuji and the Snake of the Festival are incredibly ruthless. They brutally beat up Shana, seal her power, and traumatize her. They push Margery Daw, one of Yuji's friends and former allies, past the Despair Event Horizon. They prosecute a war that brutally kills off many Flame Haze opposing them. Even their underlings are treated as disposable. But they succeed in every last one of their goals, and the world is a much, much better place for it.
  • Played with in Attack on Titan. On multiple occasions, Eren is accused of being a Tyke Bomb sent into the Walls to destroy Humanity from within and this is used to justify putting him before a cannon firing squad, imprisoning him, proposing he be vivisected, and outright executed. Even when he helps hand Humanity their first victory against the Titans ever, people still want him dead. It seems like nothing more than paranoid ramblings, right up until Erwin manages to Feed the Mole and it becomes clear that while his naysayers were wrong about Eren... there are enemy agents hiding among the military. Who they are and how many of them there might be quickly becomes a major concern, since They Look Just Like Everyone Else!.
  • In Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Tokugawa Ienari ends up driving the shogunate into debt and alienating many supporters and councillors in order to finally exterminate the Redface Pox with a nationwide, mandatory vaccination programme. Ienari ends up proclaiming death penalties to the parents of anyone who tries to dodge the vaccinations and suppresses, even violently, anyone who dissents. The end result: One generation later the Redface Pox is completely eradicated. Ienari even orders all records on the matter altered so that foreign nations will never learn just how badly off Japan was even half a century earlier.
  • Shaman King:
    • At the end of the manga, after Hao becomes Shaman King and resurrects the heroes, who live a few years in the world they were fighting to preserve, most of the heroes agree that he was right and there is nothing they can do about it. The worst part of it is that he sent them back just to show them they were wrong. Played with at the end, because while the heroes admit that the world is much harder to change than they suspected at the beginning, they are still alive and determined to find solutions and fix it for the better.
    • This is averted in the TV adaption, which points out in-universe how wrong Hao's views are, and how it definitely would not work out for humanity (i.e all muggles die) or shamans in general, since only "strong" people can exist in his shaman-only kingdom. And even though he still gains the Great Spirit, Yoh cuts him down anyway.
  • Touch (1981) when the replacement coach shows up the school has blown their last 3 chances to go to the koushien. Training from Hell turns it around and Tatsuya even points out to Minami that this is his last chance when she says she plans to protest to the principal.

    Comic Books 
  • Amanda Waller has transformed Belle Reve Penitentiary into a monstrous fortress for the worst of the worst, has zero hesitation in recruiting vile supervillains with the very real threat of nanoscopic bombs in their bloodstream, and demands and gets the same brutal discipline from assassins and assistants. She's also the single person capable of keeping the Suicide Squad in business and in line, and damn the person who dares threaten her control.
  • Doctor Doom often enjoys this thanks to his fans Running the Asylum. Several times it has been shown that the world might actually be a better place if he ran things, with war, famine, poverty and disease all things of the past in various alternate worlds and timeliness where he has successfully taken over. Latveria, his country, is also a well-functioning society and, despite its tiny size, a major global power under his rule. The problem is that Doom finds more satisfaction in conquering than in ruling, or winning without a fight. He'll still rule what he's won, and do it well... but his heart's just not in it. One of Doom's biggest problems has always been that, well, he's always been hung up on his grudge against Reed Richards. Completely defied in one Exiles storyarc, where Doom's taken over and worshipped as the world's savior except it's a sterile world where among other things humor no longer exists as Doom couldn't handle comedians mocking him and removed humor from the human genome. His Reed Richards (who looks like Mole Man including the visor) is forced to erase the world as a mercy kill.
  • Mentioned in Knightfall. Despite Az-Bats being a complete psychopath and the real Batman having to come back and stop him, the mayor points out that crime's dropped nearly 42% since he came onto the scene. Even more, back during those initial issues, when the real Batman saves the mayor, he realizes that he is needed and tries to get Gordon to stop pussyfooting and really get down to business with the criminals.
  • Superman:
    • Lex Luthor has it in him to be one of the greatest men in all human history and the capacity to solve nearly all the world's problems, most notably in Superman: Red Son where he eventually initiates a Golden Age lasting millions of years. The hitch? He is so murderously jealous and obsessed with Superman that he won't do any of that until after he kills "the alien", and has frequently endangered the planet trying to do so. And unlike Doom, he doesn't even pretend to himself that if he did this, it would be for humanity's benefit; no, he just likes to show everyone just how much smarter than them he is.
    • As All-Star Superman puts it, if Lex had truly cared about the world, he would have saved it years ago.
    • Superman: Up, Up and Away!: After spending a year without powers and out of sight, Superman showed up again and called Luthor on all the great things he didn't do without his nemesis around to "stop" him. "Where's the cure for cancer, Lex?"
    • In Action Comics #309: The Untold Story of Argo City, a Kryptonian named Jer-Em, who proclaims Kryptonians aren't meant to have powers, damages Argo City's drive system to prevent the floating city from reaching Earth. Jer-Em is treated as a fanatic fundamentalist, but many years later New Krypton would prove that relocating a whole Kryptonian city in Earth is a real bad idea.
    • Superman, of all people, demonstrates this in Superman: Red Son when he finally gives into the wishes of others and uses his powers to micromanage the entirety of the Soviet Union (which at its zenith is the entire world except for America and Chile) he manages to stop all crime, waste, corruption, poverty and pretty much every other problem mankind has. Until the local version of Luthor points out that this makes him no different from Brainiac.
  • X-Men:
    • Since 2001, Cyclops has slowly, but surely, became a Knight Templar to protect the remaining mutants. He's discarded the Thou Shalt Not Kill rule, built two military compounds to house the populace (one in international waters), assembled kill squads, and allowed minors to fight on front lines. However, the enemy that pushed him to these extremes, Bastion and the Purifiers, would have killed them all had he not done so, and using these methods he's defeated Bastion, built ties with San Francisco's mayor to make the mutant populace look a lot better then they used to look, defeated a vampire army and earned the respect of Dracula. Then, when in Avengers vs. X-Men he gets possessed by the Phoenix, he works to make the world a better place, only for him to eventually lose his sanity and kill Xavier during a fight with the Avengers and the X-Men. However, by the end of it, mutants are restored and, largely, everything he was trying to do is done. He does whatever it takes, and he lost some humanity in doing so, but he did it. He only has one regret, that it couldn't have been him to die, not Xavier.
    • Shortly before Avengers vs. X-Men happened Wolverine's splinter school was visited by the Knight Templar mutant Exodus. His goal was initially to reunite the warring camps of Cyclops and Wolverine, until reading the memories of Rogue and Wolverine convinced him that Cyclops was a threat to mutantkind and his only recourse was to travel to Utopia and kill him. Exodus fails to reach Utopia and is beaten, but the later story goes on to prove him not only right about mutants needing to band together, but about Cyclops as well. Had Exodus succeeded in killing Cyclops, Professor X would still be alive and millions would not have died at the hands of a power-mad Dark Phoenix Cyke.
    • Magneto gets this quite often. Just look at how horribly humanity treats mutants. The opening of Wolverine and the X-Men (2009) actually looks like a second holocaust, which is exactly what he's always trying to warn the X-Men about. Not to mention his own country, Genosha, was a peaceful sanctuary. (Y'know, before the Sentinels)
    • On the other hand, most of the Bad Futures and alternate realities such as the Days of Future Past storyline where humans have subjugated or killed most of the world's mutant population is sparked by Magneto and/or his followers' own extremist actions.
    • Zigzagged with the villainous nation of Genosha, which argues that their policy of enslaving all mutants is essential to preserving the lives of their nation's human population. It's played straight in that not only does their nation genuinely benefit from its mutant conscription program, granting a life of incredible luxury to the human population of what was originally a barren and near-worthless chunk of rock, but ultimately, there is a mutant vs. human war when Genosha is forced to stop enslaving their mutants, and their nation is ultimately rendered into Magneto's personal "mutants only" nation. It's subverted in that this rebellion is a perfect example of a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, since the mutant slaves were treated in ways that literally came out of the Nazi concentration camp textbooks, only turned up a few notches, making their brutality an obvious retaliation for what was done to them first.
    • During his coup d'état of Genosha Magneto had to contend with a Genoshan radical named Zealot, who opposed Magneto because he believed Mags had only his own interests at heart rather than the interests of Genosha's citizens, and that he would ultimately bring ruin to the island nation. Zealot is played as a villain during his appearances (which were brief, as Magneto ruthlessly killed him off), but later storylines would go on to prove him completely right in his assessment of Magneto. Not only did Magneto's regime fail to stabilize the war-torn nation, it ultimately made things worse and paved the way for Cassandra Nova's wholesale slaughter of Genosha's mutant population. Not content with proving Zealot's point hard enough, Magneto returned after the island nation had been reduced to an uninhabited rock and leveled it entirely with a bomb, simply to announce to the world that he no longer had any intention of "laying low". Somewhere in the mutant afterlife, Zealot's palm has permanently affixed itself to his face.
  • V for Vendetta:
    • Averts the trope, implying that the anarchist state V created via his terrorism may turn out to be just as bad a place as the fascist state he overthrew. The film adaptation plays it straight with no fear of a possibly dark future portrayed.
    • There is also the question of the Norsefire regime. The book is quite clear that while the Norsefire regime is a totalitarian and high-handed Police State, and that countless atrocities have been committed by it, that same high-handed leadership is the only reason Britain survived the Third World War as well as it did. The film, again, does away with this angle entirely.
  • In Watchmen, also by Alan Moore, Ozymandias' plan to trick the superpowers into peace works initially, but it's Left Hanging whether it's going to last for long. In this case, the movie doesn't differ much. Subverted in the sequel Doomsday Clock where it's shown the resulting peace didn't even last a decade before Rorschach's journal outed him, and mankind is sent right back where it started. Even his fellow World's Smartest Man Lex Luthor calls him an idiot.
  • Ultimate X-Men: Wraith's motivation to run Weapon X was that the number of super-powered threats raises every day, and the US needs a reliable form of defense against them. Nick Fury, the man in S.H.I.E.L.D. that close Weapon X, created The Ultimates for the very same reasons one year later.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In Russian folktale The Death of Koschei the Deathless, Prince Ivan finds out that his wife Queen Marya Morevna has kept Koschei the Deathless imprisoned in a cell for ten years, without giving him food or water. Feeling horrified and merciful, Ivan gives the immortal sorcerer water until he is feeling better, whereupon Koschei breaks his shackles, abducts Ivan's wife and threatens to kill him should he attempt to rescue her.

    Fan Works 
  • The Fanfiction 'Fandom Wars', a multi-universe crossover revolving mostly on characters from or working for the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic world and its 'Fandom Wars' faction. Originally, they intended to stay out of the war, but communication between the Dimensional Rifts distorted messages and ruined their chain of command, allowing a small group of extremist ponies to manipulate their home world into a corner during the fighting, and forcing them to use a weapon that made their universe swallow the others. The sentient inhabitants of Earth are completely wiped out and reborn sometime later as ponies, and, as Captain Pio had said it would, strife and war were all gone because the ideologies of the world before were almost completely wiped out.
  • Renegade Reinterpretations recasts Cerberus in this light: With human survival genuinely on the line, no line of research can be ignored, no matter the ethical concerns. Thanks to these extreme measures, mankind eventually succeeds in turning the tables and taking the fight to the batarians.
  • The (Questionable) Burdens of Leadership of a Troll Emperor show that despite Oma's objections, Naruto's and Xanna's methods, particularly with punishing criminalsnote , have been massively successful. With a population of 600 million, they have less than eighty rapes a year and half as many murders. It's also noted that punishments aren't based on how much damage was done but how twisted an individual would have to be to do them. So things like torturing animals or attempted rape are punished far more harshly than murder due to negligence.
  • A Brighter Dark: After decades of constantly making one Sadistic Choice after another, Garon has become incredibly unapologetic and never does anything halfway. This puts him at odds with a lot of people but, most of the time, he does have a point.
    • Sending Corrin on a Suicide Mission as an Unwitting Pawn did bring down the barrier and allow him to invade Hoshido.
    • As Xander describes, his policy of being merciless in his war strategies gave Nohr more victories than any previous king in known history.
    • Committing genocide on the first tribe that complained to him made sure no other tribe rebelled for a long time, thus meaning an unstopping flow of resources that could be distributed among the kingdom.
    • While it didn't solve the problem forever, forcing the chief of the Ice Tribe to give his daughters up as political hostages kept the tribe from rebelling, which would have interrupted the flow of food causing thousands to starve and would have forced Garon to have to destroy the tribe entirely, thus making it a case of Don't Make Me Destroy You.
  • Trollouche of Codes And Geass: Embracing Your Inner Megalomania has been explicitly compared by the readers to the former trope namer for this page, Baron Klaus von Wulfenbach.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Night of the Living Dead (1968), there is a conflict between the survivors. Ben wants to leave the house they are holed up in. Meanwhile, Cooper wants to barricade everyone in the basement. In the end, Ben's plan to escape fails (largely through the incompetence of Tom and Judy), everyone else dies, and Ben is forced to take shelter in the basement. He survives the night, but ends up getting shot by a posse organized by the local sheriff to kill the zombies.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Thor, Loki engineers Thor's banishment to Earth because he felt he was unfit to one day take over as ruler of Asgard, something that is shown to most definitely be true at the start of the film. Unfortunately for Loki, being banished to Earth and stripped of his powers was exactly the kick in the backside that Thor needed to temper his hot-headed Boisterous Bruiser attitude with patience and restraint, as well as some much needed humility. As a result, by the end of the film Thor has shifted from a Royal Brat to The Wise Prince, while Loki ended up Jumping Off the Slippery Slope into The Evil Prince, making it clear to everyone who should be the next king.
    • And in Thor: The Dark World the trope becomes played with to where it could almost be inverted: facing Odin for his actions on Earth in the The Avengers, Loki claims he is merely following in the footsteps of Odin's father, Bor, and of Odin himself, and that he would have been more suited to the crown than Thor. Notably, Odin doesn't dispute this so much as point out that Loki is a war criminal for slaughtering civilians on Earth. And Odin's actions for the rest of the film, including his cold-blooded strategy for dealing with the Dark Elves, makes this clear to Thor. Thor realizes that he'd rather be a good and heroic person, protecting the innocent and doing what's right, instead of a king who'd have to be willing to sacrifice others and other pragmatic decisions. So once again Loki gets proven right about Thor bring unfit, but for opposite reasons: Thor wants to be better than a king.
    • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, to counter Ultron and his ability to jump his consciousness into the internet, Tony hatches a mad science plan to create another A.I. to upload in an artificial body. This leads Captain America and the twins to attack him to prevent the upload (since it was a similar scheme that created Ultron in the first place), but in the end it was the Vision that was key to permanently defeating Ultron.
    • In Thanos' backstory in Avengers: Infinity War, he warned his homeworld Titan that they were headed for extinction caused by an Overpopulation Crisis. He proposed a solution where half the population would be randomly selected to be killed, but was called mad and ignored. As he predicted, his people did die out and Titan turned to a lifeless wasteland, which he took as validation of his view. He has since gone from world to world, killing off half the population on each to prevent a repeat of the disaster that happened on Titan, and wants to acquire the Infinity Stones so he has the power to do it all in one fell swoop. On Gamora's homeworld at least it seemingly worked, but it's also expressed in the movie there can be other less extreme solutions for dealing with overpopulation, and even that Titan's own ruin might not lie in the overpopulation, but rather that it is axially off-tilt. 5 years after he manages to do just that in Avengers: Endgame, it turns out not to be the paradise Thanos thought it would become, but it is mentioned that some aspects of the world are improving, showing that he was right to a small degree. Still, most people in universe agree that the small improvements do not come close to making up for the downturn of crumbling societies across the universe, and once the heroes manage to reverse Thanos' plans, the only people hoping to return to the time of "the Blip" are portrayed as extremists themselves.
  • V for Vendetta: V is presented as the heroic protagonist, while Norsefire is viewed as totally corrupt. V was also the one to blow up a statue and spent at least 10 years planning the train explosion.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • Senator Kelly from X-Men might be a complete Jerkass and fear-monger, but at the same time, given what Magneto gets up to during the course of the films and that we later learn his aide was killed and impersonated by Mystique for "quite some time"... he has a point.
    • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Bolívar Trask said "You are not fighting a skirmish on the other side of the world, you are fighting people who could be amongst you, in your offices and homes, and who may have already taken over. And then you will have suffered a worse defeat than in Vietnam." Now jump forward to the climax, with Magneto surrounding the White House with a full stadium levitated from across the state and with the life of the President in his hands, and with another mutant already infiltrated among the President's most trusted people... and say again that Trask was exaggerating, or that his concerns were unjustified. Of course, it was his actions that provoked them to do this, so it's a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
    • Magneto's views that mutantkind and humanity can never co-exist have been vindicated a number of times. Oftentimes, even when mutants help humans, the latter will screw them over one way or another. In X-Men: First Class despite mutants averting the Cuban Missile Crisis, the US and the USSR band together to try and wipe out all the mutants who participated, no matter if they were working for/against the US (the X-Men started out as a branch of the CIA). The Bad Present of X-Men: Days of Future Past has humans rounding up mutants to be killed or experimented on or creating Sentinels to hunt down and exterminate any mutants who are free. Even in a timeline where a mutant publicly saves a president, Logan shows that humans have forced mutants to the brink of extinction again.
  • The military in 28 Weeks Later get it twice:
    • First when they learn Alice is an asymptomatic carrier they immediately opt to euthanize her, despite protests from the scientists that they could produce a vaccine and possibly even a cure by studying her. The soldiers counter that such studies aren't worth the risknote  and that she's simply too dangerous to keep alive. They're proven entirely right when, thanks to a quick game of catch with the Idiot Ball, an outbreak occurs within the day.
    • Once it becomes apparent the outbreak can't be controlled, the military decides to implement their contingency plan to kill anyone, infected or otherwise, to keep said infection contained. Extreme, yes, but thanks to some survivors who do ultimately escape the infection does as well: the movie ends with infected in mainland France, meaning the infection will likely sweep across Europe and Asia killing billions.
  • Sunshine: Mace is willing to murder Trey to give the remaining crewmembers enough oxygen to complete the mission, but considering the stakes (the survival of mankind) he's presented as completely correct.
    Mace: Nothing, literally, NOTHING, is more important than our mission. End of story!

  • In The Armored Saint, a novel by Myke Cole, author of ShadowOps, the local theocracy believes that Magic is Evil and discourages the peasantry from practicing it by telling them that the use of magic on anything physical causes it to become rotted and physically tainted and that anyone who uses magic will develop a visible portal in their left eye which will shortly thereafter open to let a demon into the world (for reference, no one in this world has ever fought a demon and lived, even those who have actually killed them). However, the main character soon meets a wizard whose existence seemingly proves the theocracy wrong, as he uses magic on plants and animals without them being corrupted, has no visible portal in his eye, and has been using magic for years without any demons being summoned into the world through his body. Thus, the wizard helps the main character rebel against the theocracy by pushing his magic to its absolute limit in order to drive off a band of inquisitors. This leaves him feeling unnaturally weakened... and then the animals he's enchanted suddenly transform into corrupted, mutant versions of themselves, and a glowing vertical slit appears in the wizard's eye and starts to widen, almost like a portal gradually opening up...
  • In Daemon, Matthew Sobol's creation causes worldwide panic and chaos. His ultimate goal is a new, better society. Since he is dying from cancer anyway, Matthew is willing to take the fall and become the monster he believes will be necessary to make it happen. He dies before the books start, never knowing if his plans will succeed or if it will have been worth the cost. It does eventually work out.
  • Discworld's Lord Vetinari is an enlightened despot who really is enlightened; he has few moral scruples about his means, but virtually never abuses his position and genuinely does what he thinks is best for Ankh-Morpork. And he's usually right and it usually does work. There's absolutely no delusion or incompetence involved. It helps that he tends to be very light handed most of the time. He only exerts his absolute power in rare cases, at strategic points, and generally gets things done by much more subtle manipulations. (Commander Vimes, however, believes that just because Vetinari's way of doing things may work, doesn't make them right per se. However, Vimes shares a common opinion with the vast majority of people and institutions in Ankh-Morpork: as much as they may disapprove of Vetinari and his methods, they realize it's better than the alternative.)
  • The White Council (specifically, the Wardens) in The Dresden Files universe qualify as this in one of their roles. As enforcers of the Laws of Magic, they hunt down and execute any violators after, usually with only a cursory trial. They openly admit that they use execution in preference to other options, such as training or rehabilitation. Harry frequently rants about how unfair and unjust this practice is, but is ultimately forced to admit that their tactics have prevented the rise of innumerable dangerous warlocks over the centuries.
    • A big part of the reason Harry sucks it up is that he knows that black magic, even when used unintentionally, is addictive, and leads to more and more.
    • The apolitical nature of the White Council also applies. The council takes no part in mortal affairs or conflicts, and has no restrictions on how magic is used beyond the Laws. The Laws do forbid some of the worst things like killing or enslaving people with magic, but still leaves a great deal of room for wizards to abuse their power over mortals. However the Council is an international organization which makes taking sides in mortal conflicts much much more complicated. By staying uninvolved in non-magical affairs, the Council has minimized the formation of internal factions and the chance of splintering due to internal conflict over events in the non-magical world. In relation to the laws, the council cannot hope to stop every single minor abuse of power by magic users. The Laws prevent the worst abuses, and other things (like using magic for personal gain) is simply not considered harmful enough to worry about trying to police.
    • There's also Martin's attempt to take down the Red Court, namely selling out Susan, Maggie, the Fellowship of St. Giles in order to gain Red King's trust, and then taunt Susan about the betrayal in order to goad her into killing him. All of this is just for a chance to completely destroy the Red Court. Which ends up working even if it resulted in massive collateral damage to the participants in the process.
    • Harry himself falls into this category more than once. It's perhaps best illustrated when he provokes the war with the Red Court after they kidnapped Susan. The war rages for years and there are horrific casualties for both the White Council and ordinary humans as a result, but it's made very clear that the Red Court had been preparing for this war for years beforehand. Had they been allowed to complete their preparations before the war started, it's very clear that the Council would have been caught with its pants down and overwhelmed in short order, which would have been much, much worse.
  • A running theme in Dune: sometimes good men have to do truly terrible things in the service of the greater good. That these men have extremely accurate future sight helps, of course. Best exemplified by Leto II's "Golden Path", which involves turning himself into a quasi-immortal God-Emperor, subjugating the entire human race for thousands of years knowing that they will chafe under his rule as a tyrant, and keeping an iron grip on a monopoly of Spice upon which all society depends... all in the name of planting the seeds for the Scattering, in which humanity spreads out across the universe so completely that it's nigh-impossible for them to ever be killed off completely.
  • Ender's Game: Peter Wiggin is cast as a nascent sociopath and abusive brother in the beginning of the series. By the time the third book rolls around he is "Peter the Hegemon," the man who united humanity via Machiavellian politics, the vilification of his own brother Ender ("the Xenocide") and... Sock Puppet bloggers. Yay for sociopathy!
    • Ender was kind of down for the whole vilification thing.
    • The later books do a good job of explaining that. His character in Ender's Game is just what Ender could see - and Peter got some character development. Although The Extremist Was Right is still applicable.
    • Graff and Rackham also have shades of this trope. Graff at least (possibly Rackham as well) is fully aware of how insane and extreme his methods look to outsiders (i.e. everyone but him). Graff doesn't bother sugar coating anything, he doesn't even guarantee his plan will work, and he's keenly aware that even if it does, he's probably going to be tried for war crimes. He just believes it's the only way to assure there's a leader ready for the next war against the Buggers.
  • Honor Harrington:
    • Rob Pierre figured that the only way to reform the People's Republic of Haven was to first murder the corrupt Legislaturalist government, then lead them in a war against a foreign enemy, thus giving the Dolists (who had spent their lives on welfare) a reason to actually work. He caused the death of millions, and he himself was ultimately killed in an attempted military coup, but his work did help strengthen Haven, paving the way for Eloise Pritchart and Thomas Theisman to overthrow his successor and restore the old Republic. In the end, Pierre would probably be happy with how it all turned out.
    • Word of God has confirmed the core of the Legislaturalists were Alpha Lines and a major part of the Mesan plans was to use the Haven fleet to topple the Solarian League, making Rob S. Pierre practically a saint.
    • Which means that all-round sociopathic demagogue Cordelia Ransom was also right or at least correct, the war and the suffering of Haven's Dolists really was the result of a "sinister elitist conspiracy aimed at robbing The People of their birthright", and Enemies of the People really were plotting against them.
  • The Lord Ruler of Mistborn is a dictatorial Evil Overlord ruling as King and God over The Empire, but is also the one force for stability holding humanity together After the End, and the only thing standing between the local Omnicidal Maniac and his goals. The heroes' perspective of him changes throughout the story: During his life, he's viewed as a monster who needs to go down but after his death, this opinion is gradually revised to that of an Anti-Villain without whom the ultimate victory would not have been possible. Vin even offers him quiet thanks once she comes to understand how much he did to keep them all alive.
  • King Joyse in Mordant's Need founded Mordant out of a war-torn borderland between two eternally feuding empires in his youth, using some decidedly blood-soaked methods along the way - for instance, he once gained a useful man's Undying Loyalty by allowing him to brutally torture the enemy officer who had raped his wife. Once Mordant was secure, he proceeded to force every Imager to come to his court and join the Congery, using any means necessary to make them obey, including taking their families hostage if they proved difficult. The result? The people of Mordant are better off, because with Mordant's monopoly on Imagery Alend and Cadwal no longer dare attack it - and even the people of Alend and Cadwal are better off, because with Mordant as a buffer between them, they can't kill each other anymore. Despite how it initially appears, Joyse remains just as extreme and just as right in his old age. His master plan for saving the world from its new threat is absolutely ruthless, brings suffering and death to countless innocents - and works perfectly.
  • In REAMDE, the isolated community of survivalists turns out to be perfectly suited to fight the terrorist assault that really does happen.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has a mixed approach towards this trope. Beside the fact that, no matter what the characters do, Westeros keeps getting worse, characters who take a ruthless approach to their problems tend to have rather better results than those who try moderate ones or simply hit the half-measures. However, the series is quick to point out that well-designed and justified ruthlessness can fall apart if challenged from an unexpected or unanticipated angle. Justifications are only as good as your intel.
    • The early rulers of the Targaryens had this going on — in spades. Aegon the Conqueror came from Dragonstone and toured the kingdoms, saw what a fractured, disorganised mess they were... and conquered most to hammer the lot into some kind of less wasteful shape under a single ruler and a codified body of law. It worked. Maegar the Cruel went over the top with the cruelty against everybody, but especially when taking the Faith Militant on, but the Faith of the Seven as it was at the time was a major destabilising factor for the continent: it worked, at cost to himself. Even maesters in the Citadel acknowledge that the Targaryens Did Plenty For Us, even while not liking a lot of it.
    • Extremism seems to be the defining trait of successful Hands of the King: Tywin Lannister was absolutely ruthless to anyone who dared oppose him, and he successfully kept the peace under King Aerys II for twenty years. In the Tales of Dunk and Egg, Lord Bloodraven was equally ruthless - and managed to stop the Second Blackfyre Rebellion without bloodshed. On the flip-side, more reasonable Ned Stark and Jon Arryn were both murdered, though for reasons and by people mostly unrelated to the way they ruled. We don't know exactly how efficient Jon Arryn was.
    • Though he was definitely one of the best Hands of the King of the kingdom, Tywin's ruthless approach to the Civil War, including unleashing Gregor Clegane or orchestrating the Red Wedding ultimately destabilized the country further, and resulted in many civilian deaths, and leaves the North and Riverlands to the brink of civil war. Especially the Red Wedding, which temporarily halted the war, but ultimately fueled the North's motivation to resume it. Also, his abusive behavior towards his family was partially responsible for the damage caused by Cersei and Joffrey's respective rules, and ultimately lead to his own death.
    • Averted with Prince Baelor Breakspear, who was the Hand of the King to his father, Daeron II. Baelor was pragmatic, but also lenient when it came to enemies of the crown and overall seemed like a reasonable, good guy, while being one of the best Hands ever.
  • The rationale of the Thallonians in Star Trek: New Frontier. The Thallonian Empire brought peace to the warring races of their sector by conquering them all, forcing squabbling factions to settle on different planets, and generally ruling with an iron fist. They were a harsh and often brutal regime...but they did keep the peace. With the empire gone, Si Cwan rightly fears all the old conflicts will start up again, throwing the region into chaos.
  • Emperor Ezar in the Vorkosigan Saga, who first started an unprovoked war and then lost it deliberately, in the process almost driving his most loyal and incorruptible supporter to suicide, killing thousands and bringing about the rape of several women as a by-product. The reason? The Emperor had evidence that his son was completely insane and corrupt, and believed the alternative to his convenient(ly untraceable) death on the front lines would be to ruin the realm with a bloody civil war just to get rid of him. As Ezar himself was put on the throne by a bloody civil war to get rid of an insane emperor, he knew exactly how bad that would get. As a bonus, it also purged and discredited the overly militaristic, expansionist faction as well, and weakened the nasty Ministry of Political Education to the point where Ezar was able to destroy it with a staged riot. In the end, Barrayar did evolve into a period of peace, prosperity and stability, but Ezar died praying there was no afterlife, because he also knew exactly what he deserved.
  • The Redeker Plan in World War Z was a strategy that required the world's governments to use a good chunk of their civilian population as bait to distract the zombie hordes, while the nation's military, industrial and political figures, as well as the rest of the population, regroup in a single safe zone... and it works. Oh, and the plan was originally created by apartheid South Africa to deal with a black revolution.
  • In the Red Room books by C.T. Phipps, Nathaniel Hawthorne proves to be this. The House is utterly corrupt and ruining society so he enacts a plan to create a Broken Masquerade and kill its leadership. It results in millions of deaths. It also destroys the House and creates a society where humans and supernaturals can live (mostly) in peace as shown in the other The United States of Monsters books.
  • In The Queen's Thief, the Queen of Attolia is known outside her borders as a ruthless tyrant who will brutally execute anyone who attempts to subvert her in anyway, probably after having tortured them almost to death first. When we see inside Attolia in the book titled after her, it becomes clear that Attolia Irene had very little choice: she could become a Puppet King to a husband who would bleed the country dry and leave it ripe for invasion by the Mede... or she could be so terrifying that none of her barons would dare defy her. It turns out most Attolians who aren't scheming barons adore her as much as they fear her because she actually cares about the welfare of her citizens. She later gives the new king of Sounis some advice: summarily execute a traitor, or dig in for a long civil war. He picks the former.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Brittas Empire: Brittas writes several letters to the council asking for a larger fire escape ladder from a small supply cupboard. The original ladder is capable of holding eight people, while Brittas asks for one capable of holding fourteen (a situation which should be highly unlikely). When a fire actually does break out minutes later, fourteen people attempt to escape via the ladder and are badly injured.
  • Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer is this, as are most of the Watchers. They will do anything to stop evil, and it beats the alternative—usually.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Name of the Doctor" introduces to the War Doctor, a hidden regeneration of the Doctor who went to unspeakable lengths to end the Time War. The Doctor greets him with barely restrained contempt, while the War Doctor defends himself by saying, "What I did, I did without choice. In the name of peace and sanity." Turns out, he was right. Between the Daleks' plan to destroy the universe and the Time Lord plan to destroy the universe in the process of becoming gods, there was absolutely no other choice.
    • In "The Day of the Doctor", the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors are allowed through the time-lock to confront the War Doctor as he prepares to raze Gallifrey. Yet despite their centuries of regret, it turns out that they still agree that it was the only thing to do, and they came back so that the War Doctor wouldn't have to do it alone. Subverted at the last minute, when the Eleventh Doctor realises that they have another option they didn't have the first time, to use Tricked Out Time to rally all thirteen of his incarnations to fake the destruction of Gallifrey, letting the Daleks wipe themselves out from their own crossfire when the planet disappears.
    • Why did the Doctor take part in the Time War? The Sisterhood of Karn from "The Night of the Doctor" manipulate the Doctor into becoming something anathema to his nature, using the death of Cass to push him past the Despair Event Horizon, but are doing so only out of sheer desperation to end the carnage of the Time War and save the universe from both the Daleks and the Time Lords. Since the audience never finds out why Cass' ship ran into trouble so close to Karn, one interpretation is that the Sisterhood intentionally caused the crash in the first place, as a means to lure the Doctor to them. But knowing about the warring sides in the Time War, they were completely right.
  • The Hawaii Five-O episode "The Box" starts off as a criminal's attempt to escape from prison by taking a bunch of hostages and demanding to be let go. However, after McGarrett exchanges himself for one of the hostages, buys more time, and generally keeps him talking, it turns out that he was pushed to this by the genuinely squalid conditions in the prison, and (with a few close calls — he is a criminal waving a gun) he eventually settles for getting the word out, which is apparently a total success.
  • In Marvel's Jessica Jones, Officer Simpson advocates that they should not take Kilgrave to normal criminal court, given his More than Mind Control powers, and instead should simply kill him when they find him. The rest of the characters reject this philosophy, which ultimately leads Officer Simpson to go Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and become a supervillain they have to fight due to Sanity Slippage. Except that, in the end, Jessica ends up agreeing with this viewpoint, having seen that Kilgrave can take control over everyone in earshot whenever he wants to use his powers, and will murder people as casually as he drinks coffee. So, in the finale, the moment she gets her hands on him, she snaps his neck, ending his terror forever.
  • Loki (2021): The TVA ruthlessly enforces the Sacred Timeline with no room for deviation, even when they are as small as being late for work. Doesn't matter if you're a wannabe dictator or innocent little girl, you will be kidnapped from your timeline and it will be purged. Some of the variants are Reforged into a Minion with their memories wiped and the rest are purged. This is all in the name of preventing another multiverse war. Its founder He Who Remains also warns that killing him will just lead to even worse variants of himself battling for control. Given that Sylvie killing him leads to Kang the Conqueror heading the TVA, it's hard to deny his point.
  • Comes up in Season 4 of Peaky Blinders. Had the gang followed Tommy Shelby's distasteful but necessary order to kill their former schoolteacher, the wife of a mafia don then the Sicilian Mafia would not have started a Vendetta against them and a lot of people would still be alive.
  • Person of Interest: Northern Lights spent years killing anyone who got even a little bit too close to knowing about the Machine. They justified this to themselves with the fear that if the public found out about the Machine, they would be forced to shut it down, and the country would be left vulnerable to terrorism. Thanks to Vigilance, that is exactly what happened.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • A secret organization in Starfleet poisons the entirety of the Great Link, a species of shapeshifters who the races of the Dominions see as gods (or at least rulers). Their reason for this is that the Dominion is the greatest threat the Federation has ever faced, and so genocide would be an acceptable solution to the problem. In a show where every cast member has engaged in highly morally questionable acts in order to do good, every one of them sees this as going too far. And yet, it is only the promise of the cure for the disease that convinces the Founder in charge of the armed forces to surrender peacefully when she is captured. Under any other circumstances, she would have ordered her soldiers to fight to the bitter end, which would have resulted in countless more casualties, in what was already the largest battle in the history of The Federation.
    • In the episode "In the Pale Moonlight", Sisko decides to enlist Garak to help in getting the Romulans to join the Federation in fighting the Dominion. Garak's plan is... morally questionable, to say the least, and causes Sisko to question what's more important to him: his values ("the finer points of morality") or gaining valuable allies and saving more lives? In the end, Garak's plan works, and Sisko, despite reservations, decides to keep the truth a secret.
    • There is also the case of Thomas Riker, Will Riker's double created in a Teleporter Accident. He uses Will's credentials to hijack the Defiant in an attempt to prove that the Cardassian Obsidian Order is secretly building a war fleet in a remote system. Sisko and Dukat end up having to work together to capture him, but Sisko notes that Riker was right. Even the cantankerous Dukat is eager to cut a deal to spare Riker's life in exchange for his surrender once they discover (to Dukat's chagrin) that the Obsidian Order is in possession of warships it has no legal right to be building and operating.note 
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • In the episode "The Wounded", Captain Picard is assigned to stop Captain Benjamin Maxwell, who has been conducting unauthorized attacks against the Cardassians because he suspects that they are re-arming despite their peace treaty with the Federation. Picard succeeds in stopping Maxwell, but ultimately notes to Cardassian Gul Macet that despite his own claims, Maxwell was indeed right about a re-arming Cardassian fleet. This is a bit of a downplayed example, since while Maxwell's paranoid conclusions were correct, the extremist behaviors he took after discovering the information (refuse to inform anyone else and take matters into his own hands through guerilla warfare) are treated as quite wrong.
    • The episode "The Drumhead" is supposed to be a warning against McCarthy-ite style witch hunts, as Rear Admiral Norah Satie is brought on to investigate a mysterious explosion on the Enterprise and quickly suspects a Romulan plot, eventually accusing even Picard himself of being a Romulan asset, until her paranoia makes the rest of the Admiralcy lose faith in her objectivity. However, Star Trek: Picard confirms that while Satie was wrong about the specifics, Romulan spies have in fact infiltrated the highest levels of Star Fleet command.
  • Star Trek: Picard: The "Zhat Vash" are a Romulan secret organisation whose goal is the banning and destruction of synthetic life. They have an alien warning device they believe shows a future where synthetics destroy all organic life in the galaxy. This turns out to be completely correct. The premonition device functions properly if exposed to synthetic life, providing them with the schematics to build a beacon to call for an invasion of synthetic horrors who will proceed to obliterate all organic life in order to protect their fellow synths. In the final episode one android colony actually builds this beacon and activates it until Picard convinces them to shut it down with the synthetic horrors about to enter our universe.
  • In Season 6 of Supernatural, Castiel teams up with the King of Hell to bust open Purgatory and absorb the souls trapped there (torturing and killing many innocents and betraying his friends on the way) so he will be powerful enough to defeat Raphael, who is trying to restart the Apocalypse. In the end he succeeds and kills Raphael, saving humanity... then promptly declares himself God. Although when all is said and done, Castiel's plan still clocks in with a much, much lower body count than Raphael's would have, and results in far more angel deaths than human, so Earth got off easy.
  • Tales of the Walking Dead: Joe and Sandra were survivalists long before the Fall, who put everything they had into doomsday preparations, to the derision of everyone around them. Then the walkers rose, and both of them were able to survive in their bunkers while the rest of the world died around them.
  • Police Major Bunny Colvin from The Wire decides that the best way to curb the rampant violence in the streets due to the drug trade is to set up "Hamsterdam", a zone for drug dealers to ply their trade where the police would not bother them. This essentially legalizes drugs in his district as long as the dealers don't stray from the free zone. While this is a questionable action, it really does lower the rate of crime and felonies, with felonies dropping by 14% only months after implementation, and the quality of life for Colvin's district gets appreciably better as a result. Even other police commanders admit that the idea is brilliant even as they condemn it, and the mayor (normally an utterly corrupt and self-serving politician) is desperate to find a way to keep the benefits of the program without admitting that it amounts to drug legalization and would fall afoul of countless federal laws. In the end Hamsterdam is shut down due to PR controversy and Colvin is forced to resign in disgrace from the police. As soon as Hamsterdam is closed down, things go back to the way they were; crime ridden, citizens and police unable to trust each other, and the brief moment of hope that this might be a way to pull Baltimore out of its downward spiral collapses.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Traveller: Cleon Zhunastu was The Chessmaster who built the Third Imperium by a series of schemes worthy of the greatest of villains. And the Third Imperium became a Benevolent (sort of) Federation that brought about order and stability.
  • Mage: The Awakening sourcebook Grimorie of Grimories has the Ancient Lands Pentology, a series of popular High Fantasy novels meant to serve as a way to induce Awakening. This would normally call down a legion of Guardians of the Veil, were it not for the fact that it shows promising results, making it something of a holy grail for the Silver Ladder and the Free Council. As a result, the Guardians mainly have to make do with Moral Guardian groups, who are ignored.
  • In Mage: The Ascension, the Technocracy is generally considered the villain of the setting for imposing their outlook of science on the world, crushing belief in magic, and doing so utterly brutally. When the Technocracy wins the war against the mages, the result is a reality that is governed by rational principles. There's a threat that the whole thing will become too static and sterile, but the world can be considered reasonably safe for Muggles, with the Technocracy working at making it safer. A world where other paradigms rule can become far more exciting, but this excitement may include you being devoured by a dragon.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade, at the founding of the Camarilla there was concern that the insane Malkavian vampires would become a threat to the Masquerade by virtue of their power to induce madness, "Dementation". Six of the most ancient Malkavian vampires sent out a telepathic summons, forcing almost all Malkavians to travel to one town in Eastern Europe. After they had gathered, the same six subjected almost every Malkavian in the world to a systematic Mind Rape to make them less likely to become threats to the Camarilla and more likely to be accepted as members of the group, even replacing Dementation with direct Mind Control powers. Potentially, this is how Clan Malkavian became as respected as it is.
  • Princess: The Hopeful: The Court of Storms may inflict a horrendous amount of collateral damage in their war against the Darkness, but they are not wrong about how evil the Darkness is, and their Invocation is the most effective weapon the Hopeful have against the Darkness, capable of reliable destroying Tainted Places, killing the otherwise immortal Dethroned, and other things Radiant powers cannot match.
  • Exalted, being based on Grey-and-Gray Morality, has quite a few examples of this.
    • The Bronze Faction of the Sidereal Exalted orchestrated the Usurpation, a massive uprising against the reigning Solar Exalted of the First Age. Although it resulted in the deaths of millions and vast swathes of destruction across Creation, it also averted an even worse fate that they had predicted would come to pass if the status quo was maintained.
      • The Gold Faction, notably, contests this version of history, which has been a point of contention within the ranks of the Sidereal Exalted for thousands of years.
    • The same goes for the Scarlet Empress. Sure, she did some pretty bad things to gain control of the Sword of Creation, used it to make herself the undisputed ruler of what she made the most powerful empire in the world, and created a series of oppressive vassal states and a ruling class fixated on self-aggrandizement and low-level infighting, but she also used the Sword to save Creation from the raksha, made sure they could never come back to finish the job, and spared Creation the constant intense (civil) wars that characterised the regime preceding her reign.
      • The entire POINT behind the Decadent Court was to distract a few thousand Super Soldiers from trying to make trouble in the empire by giving the Terrestrial Exalted Luxury, worshipful admiration from the populace... and to keep them busy. The Empress even designed the infrastructure of the Realm to make it utterly impossible for it to function without her (there had been a few attempts at overthrowing her... which ended in having the Sword of Creation turned on the rebels), leaving the Nobles to squabble over bits and pieces of influence and power within the Realm, which was more or less manageable. This worked for over seven centuries... until she vanished and the entire system starting plunging rapidly towards Civil War.
    • Official Solar Exalted characters such as Havesh the Vanisher, Mirror Flag and especially Lyta show quite blatantly why the Immaculate Faith isn't entirely wrong to refer to Solars as evil.
  • The Brotherhood from Mutant Chronicles takes pretty much everything about the Catholic Church throughout history, good and bad, and cranks it Up to Eleven. But then again, when you live in a world where battles with the Legions of Hell aren't even headline material anymore, the "bad" comes across more like "harsh but necessary".
  • In Eberron, the gnomish country of Zilargo dispenses with any kind of due process in favor of letting its extensive network of secret police, the Trust, constantly spy on citizens and foreigners alike and intimidate anyone even considering a crime out of the idea with whispers from the shadows. And if that doesn't work? The would-be criminal generally "disappears" before they can actually commit a crime. The result? A happy, fearless populace and the lowest crime rate in all of Khorvaire.
    • Also a case of Blue-and-Orange Morality. Spying on everyone else is considered the national pastime, and everyone assumes that they are being watched at all times. So that means any overt criminals are also Too Dumb to Live.
    • The Ashbound druid sect tend towards the Evil Luddite approach, with even the nicest examples mostly being Well Intentioned Extremists, but their core belief that arcane magic is harmful to the world might not be that far wrong given that one of the leading theories about the cause of the Day of Mourning, the apocalyptic magical disaster that destroyed Cyre, is that it was triggered by excessive use of combat magic during the Last War.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Both Old and New Phyrexia are an interesting case. Given their nightmarish methods and distressingly alien worldview, Phyrexians spread their corruption onto every being and plane they can, yet in their completed state they seem to revel in perpetual bliss and unyielding devotion to a common cause, not to mention that Yawgmoth's scientific approach made him find a cure for phthisis. They are extreme even compared to many examples on this page but, at the same time, they are scarily effective.
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • The game has a very grimdark take on this trope with The Imperium of Man, a radically xenophobic, dictatorial, theocratic dystopia where fanatic devotion to the God-Emperor is proven through war and blood. Despite what seems to be over-the-top zealous insanity to most people of today, this style of life is justified with the universe they live in, full of aliens, mutants, heretics, and far worse. In fact, the Imperium of Man is set up as it is in the 41st millennium was intentionally designed to prevent another Civil War on the scale of the Horus Heresy. What truly leaves one terrified is that as they not only had no other choice, but were right to do this. And even then, it is only kept alive through its massive size. That's right, all of mankind lives in an authoritarian hellhole because the alternative is total extinction...according to material written from the perspective of the authoritarians, anyway.
    • Inquisitor Kryptman deliberately set a Hive Fleet on a number of Imperial worlds, then subjected them to Exterminatus just before the Tyranids could take over to deny them the biomass to replenish their losses, all to lead them into an ork-infested system with their numbers sufficiently reduced that the war with the orks would keep them busy. Sure, those Tyranids are now in a Forever War with the orks, so he did save other sectors, but the problem is that both sides are continually growing in power as one feeds on biomass and more orks (who spawn more orks by dying) keep coming into the system: which ever one wins will be nigh unstoppable.

  • Into the Woods: After Jack kills the Giant, his wife comes down the beanstalk for revenge, causing mayhem throughout the kingdom while searching for him. The Witch continually recommends just giving Jack to the female Giant to minimize the damage, but the other main characters, all conventional fairy tale heroes, reject this, even as it leads to the deaths of several others, including members of each of their families. The Witch criticizes them for being more concerned with being "nice" than doing "good" before abandoning them to their own devices. While the party eventually decides on a Zany Scheme to kill the Giant, they note that the Witch may have been right:
    Witches can be right
    Giants can be good
    You decide what's right
    You decide what's good
  • Urinetown tells the story of a future beset by a water shortage, where poor citizens must scrape together their pennies to pay an oppressive corporate dictatorship for the privilege of using the bathroom, or face deportation to the titular penal colony (a euphemism for execution that they barely try to hide). The citizens eventually rise up and overthrow the company, only to find that the bathroom rationing was the only thing preventing overuse of the town's water supply. As a result of the revolution doing away with the restrictions, everyone dies of dehydration.

    Video Games 
  • Team Fortress 2: Demoman's parents deliberately abandon him so that way his bomb-making skills manifest themselves before reuniting, which involves blowing buildings up.
  • Halo:
    • The titular rings were built by the Forerunner Builders to scour the entire galaxy of life in hopes of starving a virulent parasite known as the Flood. Yet the head of the Forerunner military, the Didact, refused to activate them and tried to turn to other solutions such as super-intelligent AIs (which turned against him), experimental cures (which mutated him), or Shield Worlds (which were even more costly to build than the Halos and only promised a way to bunker down and wait out the Flood, not kill them), and support was lost when the Halos were also designed to house living beings. His final plan was to convert all humans in the galaxy into robotic soldiers to fight the Flood, which was doomed to fail right from the start both because it was put in his head by the Gravemind and the logic plague would be able to infect them. His own wife had to imprison him to stop this from happening. In the end, the remaining Forerunners realize that the Halos are indeed the only way to stop the Flood, and proceed to fire them. It works.
    • The Spartan-II super soldiers were kidnapped children who were indoctrinated for years and trained under The Spartan Way to become humanity's most elite warriors. Why? Because The War of Earthly Aggression was increasing to the point that it predicted to end with a new Dark Age. Then came the Covenant, and Spartans were the only consistent game-changers. Finally, the war was won and only because of Spartans, with the rest of humanity picking up the pieces and debating whether the program's sins were justified.
    • The Didact's Worthy Opponent Forthencho, the Lord of Admirals of the Human–San'Shyuum alliance, could also be seen as this trope. He did not want to start a war with the Forerunners but had to do so to keep the Flood contained. He knew attempting to explain the truth to the Forerunners would take too long and allow the contamination to spread to more and more worlds. His only option was to cleanse those worlds completely and hope he could beat the Forerunners. Naturally, he was ultimately proven right, but it was too late for the ancient humans... or the Forerunners, for that matter.
      The Didact: Lord of Admirals. So very many years have we battled. My finest opponent, the Mantle accepts all who live fiercely, who defend their young, who build and struggle and grow, and even those who dominate - as humans have dominated; cruelly, without wisdom. But for all of us, there is a time like this... And for you, that time is now. Know this, relentless enemy, killer of our children. Lord of Admirals. Soon we will face the enemy you have faced... and we are afraid.
  • In the RPG h-game "Monster Girl 1,000", the rebel group "Scarlet Tears" that assaults the City of Magic Weavers, happen upon the MC and his friends, who try to explain to them that Eden and Iris, one of Eris's major subordinates and the latter being one of her multiple selves that her true form creates beyond her sealed, true self, are the true source of discourse throughout the world, which is proven to be completely true once the MC eventually meets the Eris-warrior variation in the Capital and explains her true, horrific plan of "remaking the world" by cleansing it of all life eventually. He has the choice of rejecting it, which allows him to escape her along with his two friends Elizabeth and Ray, and although their pocket dimension "Mistral Village" is saved, Eris' true form gets unsealed and lays waste to the world outside of Mistral Village's boundaries. The External Gazer (you) is then given the choice to revert back to when warrior-Eris gives him the offer with the idea that, while "accepting" her offer, he secretly manipulates events so that he can prevent the outcome that occurs when refusing her offer doesn't come to pass by pretending to "work with her" only to both buy time and any information her various subordinates can give them before either rebelling against her and her fully-loyal subordinates at a more opportune time or simply follow through with her sickening "remake" plan.
  • Jowy Atreides in Suikoden II joined the other side in a complicated plan to kill Luca Blight. This resulted in quite a few massacres and an entire city getting their souls sacrificed. However, Luca Blight is literally a One-Man Army and it's... questionable if his Rasputinian Death would have been possible if he had not done so.
    • Similarly, Suikoden V has Sialeeds betray the rebels just when it seems they're about to win a decisive, possibly war-ending victory. Eventually, it's revealed that she did this so that all of the corrupt nobles, including those who don't back the currently-ruling Godwin faction, can be eliminated. And since a traitor was responsible for it happening, there's no way the brutality can breed resentment against the rightful queen after her restoration to power.
  • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series: Kane. Despite his genuinely horrifying crimes in the previous games, by the time Tiberian Twilight takes place, his plan is the only one that has any chance of saving the planet. Even the GDI Council bitterly recognizes this.
  • Dragon Age: Origins:
    • Big Bad Teyrn Loghain betrayed his son-in-law and king as he feared that he was selling out the kingdom to the same empire that his father and Loghain expelled from the country just one generation ago. Return to Ostagar reveals that the king was indeed planning to divorce Loghain's daughter Anora and marry the Empress of Orlais had he survived the battle, which if Loghain is a party member at the time has him both vindicated and furious that he was right all along. Granted his intent was to secure an alliance, but to Loghain he was a traitor regardless. Wynne insists this deal would have brought peace, but Loghain calls her naive and says peace is "fighting someone else's enemies in someone else's war for someone else's reasons". The Masked Empire confirms that the Empress of Orlais is indeed tryign to conquer Ferelden to use its people to fight her wars.
    • Bhelen is a backstabbing, dishonourable noble who uses all kinds of underhanded tricks to try securing the throne of Orzammar, even going so far as to backstab the player in the Dwarven Noble origin. However, if given the crown he uses his position to grant basic rights to the casteless and destroys the venomous system of Dwarven politics by dissolving the Council, becoming a benevolent dictator that forcibly drags the hidebound stagnant Dwarven society away from their doom and towards progress.
    • Bhelen also happens to be following in his paragonic ancestor's footsteps. Aeducan did something quite similar; while the nobles were all bickering over whose thaig to save from the Darkspawn menace, Aeducan seized control, and sealed off Orzamaar, which effectively saved it at the cost of abandoning the thaigs. Despite his unassuming career in the Warrior caste to that point, his decisive action earned him the title of Paragon and the ruling crown of Orzammar.
    • Avernus sacrificed his fellow Grey Wardens in horrific experiments in order to better understand the properties of the Taint, spending two centuries obsessively working on a way to improve upon and better refine the Joining Ritual. The result of this is a concoction that allows Wardens to directly tap into some of the power within their own Tainted blood.
    • Much like Avernus, the Architect in Awakening killed an untold number of people in brutal experiments, attempting to use Grey Warden blood to create intelligent, self-aware Darkspawn, cut off from the call of the Old Gods. He reveals that his motivation is not to rule them or raise an army, but simply to free his people from being mindless slaves to the Archdemons and help them find a place in the world. The Warden can sympathize with his goals and even broker an alliance with him.
  • Played with for Dragon Age II: Most extremists are shown to be... well, extremist. However, the Player Character Hawke may decide any number of them were correct.
    • Depending on how Hawke handles Merrill's quest, Hawke may believe that Marethari was correct in using extreme methods to try to keep Merrill from restoring a magic mirror that caused the death of a few clanmates, including allowing herself to become possessed by a demon so it wouldn't possess Merrill.
    • Conversely, Hawke may agree that Merrill was correct in her extreme methods (consulting a demon and using Blood Magic) to restore one of her people's lost artifacts, and that Marethari was wrong to not have faith in Merrill's abilities.
    • At the game's climax, Hawke may decide that Meredith was correct in resorting to authoritarian methods to keep the city safe from its abundance of blood mages and abominations.
    • Conversely, Hawke may instead express that Anders was correct in pushing mage/Templar tensions to the breaking point by blowing up a church in order to force all mages to unite against an injust institution run by Meredith that regularly kidnaps, imprisons, rapes, lobotomizes, and executes them, and was going to wipe out the Circle regardless of Anders's actions as soon as she got the Divine's permission. The next game gives this argument a lot more weight by revealing that Templars have used trumped-up charges to cover up their crimes with an Annulment before.
    • Or, Hawke may decide they were all wrong and only made things go From Bad to Worse.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition:
    • Leliana suggests sending her assassins to destroy the House of Repose's contract on Josephine's life during Josephine's personal quest. Fast forward to Josephine's epilogue in Trespasser, and the House of Repose, instead of taking offense, asks her whether or not she needs their services. She hires them as guards for her trading vessels, and her family prospers greatly because pirates don't dare challenge its presence in the sea.
    • Likewise, if the Inquisitor fails to prevent Leliana from falling down a dark path and embracing her more ruthless side (by failing to explicitly prevent her from executing a possible traitor near the start of the game) and Leliana later becomes the Fantasy Pope of the Chantry, then Leliana significantly reforms the Chantry for the better. She allows mages far more freedom and rights than any predecessor, removes gender and race restrictions against joining the Chantry (as only non-magic human women could join before her reign), and restores a controversial holy script that details an elven hero who fought alongside their version of Jesus/Joan of Arc. She accomplishes this by silencing her more vocal detractors through assassinations, blackmail, and intimidation. Her reign is bloody, but the results are for the best.
  • City of Heroes: Emperor Marcus Cole in the universe of Praetoria can be viewed as this - he saved the world, and he took it over to keep it safe from petty wars and chaos. To some, he is a true hero, or at least a Necessary Evil... To others he is known by a different name entirely: Tyrant.
  • Sydney Losstarot of Vagrant Story. He wants to save the world by creating an heir to the power of The Dark, thus keeping it out of the hands of the people who would abuse it.
  • An example shows up in Tales of Phantasia, but it's not that game's villain who gets vindicated. It's the villain of the game's prequel, Tales of Symphonia. Symphonia Big Bad Yggdrasil created the dual-world system, deprived both sides of mana, and stuck the worlds in a state of Medieval Stasis in order to prevent Magitek proliferation, which he believed would lead to another great war of the same type that destroyed civilization when he was a child. In Phantasia, you come cross the ruins of magitek civilizations dating after the events of Symphonia. Logs show that, you guessed it, without Yggdrasil's system, civilization destroyed itself in a Magitek war and underwent a Cataclysm Backstory, sticking the world right back in Medieval Stasis.
  • In Wild ARMs 2, it turns out that the game's entire plot was part of a Genghis Gambit by Irving, all so that he'd have the opportunity to sacrifice himself and his sister to create a physical body for an encroaching parallel universe, which the heroes would then kill. He succeeds in saving the entire universe (and probably countless others), but leaves the heroes wondering whether what just happened counts as a "win".
  • The Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout is a group of Principles Zealots who believe in protecting mankind from themselves by safeguarding advanced technology to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. Despite being rather morally grey at times, the other factions simply can't stop proving them right by threatening The End of the World as We Know It, part II. They tried demilitarizing and becoming a simple research group only only to get blindsided by the Enclave, who wanted to kill everything, everywhere. Even before that, on the opposite side of the country the Enclave singlehandedly depopulated Appalachia with their mad science trying to fight an enemy that didn't exist anymore. And then there's the Institute, who created a new breed of Super Mutant and unleashed them onto what was left of Massachusetts For Science!. The Think Tank alone would have been enough to give John Maxson a stroke.
  • John Bishop of Fallout 2 is one of The Dons of the Wretched Hive of New Reno, and a Machiavellian schemer who plots to help expand the New California Republic purely for his own self-interest. To that end, he arranges for raider attacks on Vault City in order to pressure them into joining the NCR and hires the Player Character to assassinate a Congressman and their Vice President. However, it's revealed that they're all Asshole Victims; Vault City is a community of xenophobic isolationists who practice slavery, Roger Westin is a Reasonable Authority Figure who in spite of his good intentions is facilitating their slavery by standing between them and the NCR, and Vice President Carlson is a corrupt President Evil. Ironically, siding with the mob boss is the most positive outcome for every community involved and is established to be canon by Fallout: New Vegas.
  • Fallout: New Vegas: The very brutal empire known as Caesar's Legion successfully unified eighty-six warring tribes and turned it into a safe regime for its subjects. Note that "safe" does not mean "free". Depending on your gender, you are either an expendable soldier or a Baby Factory that makes more expendable soldiers, and you don't get any say in the matter. And that's if you don't have a slave collar on you.
    • The NCR imposes heavy taxes on citizens, often would rather shoot first and ask questions later, and limits water to the point where far too many barely have any to drink. However, it's still one of the best places to live, as security and trade allow a high standard of living, and there is some semblance of democracy and individual freedom - there is no slavery, and mutants are welcomed (mostly). In fact, siding with the NCR is pretty much the only way to get a happy ending to everybody who deserves one, as even a good-aligned Courier campaigning for an Independent Vegas will have to make certain sacrifices, and they just won't have the resources to look after everybody right. A prime example is the town of Primm, who initially chafe under NCR taxation, but safe under the protection of NCR troops, the town grows to become a prosperous trading centre.
    • Mr. House is a Machiavellian schemer who can't stand sharing power with anyone and ignores those who aren't useful to him, but if he wins, he turns New Vegas into a safe, stable and prosperous state in its own right, with comparative social freedoms. He furthermore goes on to revive advanced pre-War level industry so that humanity may expand into space and no longer be dependent upon what is left of Earth.
    • The Boomers are an intensely isolationist and xenophobic society of ultra-violent gun nuts. However, they also live in the Mojave Wasteland. Their paranoia has led to Boomer territory being arguably the safest and most self-sufficient around, with morale and quality of life abnormally high by Wasteland standards.
  • In his route of Yggdra Unison, Gulcasa conquers the world, becomes the first Emperor (read: dictator) of the Grand Bronquian Empire, and proceeds to rip down class barriers and save the weak and the poor. Thousands of years later, Bronquia is still going strong, and Gulcasa is a beloved historical figure. (It helps that Gulcasa is Gulcasa.)
  • The end result of the first [PROTOTYPE] story was chiefly due to internal forces conspiring within Blackwatch to subtly manipulate Alex into doing what they could not overcome on their own, and hence fulfilling their mandate.
  • The final DLC of Mass Effect 2 has Shepard being forced to detonate a mass relay and sacrifice a solar system of three-hundred-thousand people in order to slow down the arrival of the Reapers. While this works, the rest of the galaxy considers the Reapers to be a myth, with the upper echelons of power discredit Shepard as delusional or worse leading straight to...
    • ...Mass Effect 3, which picks up several months later. Shepard is now discharged from the Alliance and going to trial for his/her actions, which gets interrupted when the Reapers finally descend upon Earth. Unfortunately, by the time we get to see the Council, the invasion is well underway, so we miss their initial shocked/horrified reactions to the fact that Shepard was right all along. Amusingly, it's the resident air-quoting Turian Councillor Sparatus who ends up being the first of the Councilors to offer Shepard aid in the form of vital intel.
    • Interestingly, though, the same upper echelons of power who are busy trying to discredit Shepard never actually revoked Shepard's SPECTRE status in the interim between Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3...
    • It's somewhat telling that even after being proven right, Shepard still remains a Hero with Bad Publicity due to their actions;
      "The enemy are referred to as "Reapers", a term once used by the disgraced Commander Shepard."
    • As a corollary to that, the Illusive Man. Indoctrinated though he may have been, his belief in controlling the Reapers is one of the three ways Shepard can choose to save the galaxy (even though the Illusive Man himself could never have taken control as the Reapers already controlled him). Additionally, the "Control Reapers" Ending is the only one wherein the Citadel isn't severely damaged, possibly saving many lives. In contrast, the "Destroy Reapers" ending as advocated by Shepard's mentor Admiral Anderson results in the death of EDI and the Geth
    • In Mass Effect 2, Maelon, a former student of Mordin's, is revealed to be conducting brutal experiments on live test subjects in an attempt to develop a cure to the Genophage. After dealing with him, Shepard is given the choice of whether to either preserve the data or to destroy it. However, the data becomes vitally important in the third game to ensuring the survival of the last female krogan immune to the genophage.
    • In the Citadel DLC of Mass Effect 3, one of the videos you can see from the Citadel's historical archives show that the first Spectre was a salarian operative who used 30 civilians to flush out a criminal, whose ruthlessness in getting the job done managed to impress the Council of that time.
    • Shepard can also be this with regards to the Geth, Krogan, Quarians, and the Rachni for advocating against mass violence and outright genocide. Each of these races are considered dangerous pariahs, but by working with their leaders and trusting in them to do the right thing, Shepard can save them from annihilation and earn their trust. That trusting in and helping these species is considered radical really says something about the various Citadel races.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Early in their history, the Dunmer people were plagued by ceaseless open warfare between the Great Houses. These "House Wars" were destructive, disruptive, expensive, and, worst of all, weakened the Dunmer people overall who were surrounded on all sides by powerful enemies (Dwemer, Nords, etc.) Thus, the Dunmeri government sanctioned the Morag Tong, a legal assassin's guild of Professional Killers. The Morag Tong maintain a strict policy of impartiality, accepting any job provided it is proposed in the correct manner and with the proper payment. Because of its official sanction, the guild has the authority to print legal bills known as Honorable Writs of Execution, which excuse a Tong agent of all legal misgiving associated with any Tong related business. While legal assassination certainly seems like an extreme solution to any problem, the Morag Tong keeps the Great Houses of Morrowind from starting an all-out war by confining the conflicts in a much smaller scale. The threat of being legally assassinated mostly keeps the Great House leaders in line and prevents significantly greater death and destruction from happening.
    • Isran from Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC. A former Vigilant of Stendarr, founder of an order of vampire hunters, is a racist dick, repeatedly kicks the dog in his dealings with friendly vampire Serana, and admits that hatred of vampires keeps him strong. Knight Templar? Go over to see the vampires of Clan Volkihar and say that his view is unjustified. The vampires of Clan Volkihar are savage, backstabbing, cruel monsters who view humans as a food source, and have no qualms about killing them or even their fellow vampires if they get in their way. As bad as he is, he is not dealing with Friendly Neighborhood Vampires and is protecting people from a dangerous threat. If the player goes through with the Dawnguard story path, he becomes much less extremist in his views, going so far as to keep Serana in the Dawnguard and thanks her for her aid in bringing down Clan Volkihar... however begrudgingly he does it. Isran was thrown out of the Vigilants of Stendarr, believing that they were becoming too soft, while they considered his methods too extreme, even for them! However at the start of Dawnguard, Isran is alive and building up the Dawnguard out of a fortress bearing the order's namesake, while most of the Vigilants were wiped out when the wooden lodge serving as their headquarters was burnt to the ground, by the very vampires Isran warned them about!
  • In Der Langrisser, Elwin fulfills this trope in the Independent storyline. He turns against the Light in an attempt to bring peace for everyone in El Sallia, both humans and the Demon Tribe, and does so by destroying both warring powers (Kalxath, stronghold of the Light, and the Rayguard Empire) and the wicked Bozer, capping it all off by killing the goddess Lushiris. After all of this, he becomes known as "the King of Peace."
  • In BioShock Infinite, Daisy Fitzroy holds a young kid (later confirmed as Jeremiah Fink's son) hostage at gunpoint, believing that the Founders are like weeds and that the only way to get rid of them is to "pull them up from the roots", to kill the children before they follow in their parents' footsteps. Strangely, this is the same logic that Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth use to get rid of Zachary Comstock near the end of the game, when Booker has various alternate reality versions of Elizabeth drown him before he could make any decision that would result in the creation of Comstock. However, the DLC reveals that Fitzroy holding up the boy was simply part of an act orchestrated by The Luteces to help Elizabeth gain the will to kill and that she had no intention of actually killing the child.
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us, while a big deal is made of Superman making himself the dictator of the world, he's evidently managed to severely weaken Ares, God of War from the peace he's created. He's also stopped all crime, all wars and was going to solve environmental problems with Lex Luthor. Even Batman at one one point muses that the world has become much safer than before. It's just his increasingly totalitarian and disproportionally tyrannic measures that don't allow Batman to quit.
  • In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Marluxia tries to overthrow Organization XIII because he believes Xemnas does not truly have their best interests at heart. Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] reveals that he was absolutely right: Organization XIII was created to be vessels in Xehanort's Grand Theft Me plan.
  • Drakengard 3 features yet another villain protagonist, Zero, who has no trouble slaughtering hundreds of mooks and families and no sympathy for the consequences of killing the ruling factions, even before she obtained the power of Intoners. And then you find out her past: her pre-Intoner life was one long Corrupt the Cutie in a Crapsack World (mother abused and sold her, best friend betrayed her, boyfriend ran and backstabbed her when she got an incurable disease), and those Intoner sisters of hers that she plans on killing are actually artificial humans, created when she tried to commit suicide, and that any Intoner will eventually lose control of their powers and sing the song to end the world. She plans on committing suicide the right way after dealing with them. To top it off, Intoner is the definition of GROTESQUERIE QUEEN. As in, the Big Bad of Drakengard and the apocalyptic disease-bringer of Nier.
  • Infamous has Kessler who kills thousands of people and murders Cole's love interest Trish because he wants Cole to be prepared when The Beast comes to destroy all of humanity. As horrible as his methods are, by inFAMOUS 2, Cole is capable of defeating the greater threat Kessler was preparing him for whereas he would otherwise fail, thus saving far more lives than he took. Note however that this can also be subverted and backfire if in the sequel Cole sides with the Beast.
  • In Sands of Destruction, Morte wants to end the world... and the world agrees. That's why the Sand Sea is growing and Kyrie's destructive powers have awakened. Subverted in the end, though, when it turns out remaking the world is better than outright destroying it. But that was her idea, too, so the extremist was still right; she was just right when she stopped being so extreme.
  • A recurring theme in the Shin Megami Tensei series, which generally paints your decisions in a positive light regardless of what they are. No matter how extreme or genocidal your chosen route is, in-game dialogue by your chosen allies will hail you for having brought forth a shining future.
  • Lu Bu gets this in his Hypothetical scenario ending in Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends. His aim was to clear the land of the weak and become Emperor, so that he could rule with sheer strength and ensure that corruption the likes of Dong Zhuo and others would not occur again. Not only does he succeed, the people even cheer him for it.
  • Kiith Gaalsien in Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is determined to prevent the Northern Coalition from salvaging the technology from all the ships that have ended up in the Kharakian desert thanks to the Second Hyperspace Core in the Khar-Toba ruins, as their religious texts prophesy the end of the world. Everyone else views them as religious nuts who impede progress. Unfortunately, they're right, as those twisted religious texts are the only hint at the hyperspace ban imposed by the Taiidan Empire after they defeated the Hiigarans (the ancestors of the Kharakians). We already know that is exactly what happens to Kharak, after the first hyperspace test.
  • In the Zero Escape trilogy, each Zero has a noble cause in mind when kidnapping the characters and putting them through a Deadly Game, and all of them succeed.
  • Vampyr:
    • McCullum is a Guard of Priwen that suspects Pembroke Hospital of being a vampire nest, which to his credit, he is correct since the hospital's director Dr. Swansea provided sanctuary for Jonathan and Lady Ashbury. But then late in the game, McCullum abducts Swansea believing that the Skal plague originated there and subjects him to torture. After Jonathan defeats McCullum, he ends up discovering that Swansea was indeed performing experiments to cure The Spanish Flu that started the Skal epidemic.
    • One minor NPC you encounter in Whitechapel is a crazy old priest who rambles about the plague being The Scourge of God sent to cleanse London. Not only is he right about the plague's nature, he is the first character to hint at the the Big Bad's existence when he refers to "the Red Queen rising" during his apocalyptic sayings.
  • At the end of Far Cry 5, once the Deputy has defeated Joseph Seed's three Heralds, they arrive at the Eden's Gate compound to meet Joseph himself. He offers them a choice: take your compatriots and leave him and his followers in peace, or resist and arrest him. If you choose to resist, a nuclear bomb goes off basically the second you cuff him. All his talk about the Collapse and the coming apocalypse was accurate. The game ends with a cutscene of the Deputy and Joseph in Dutch's bunker (and Dutch dead on the floor, presumably murdered by Joseph), with Joseph smug in his knowledge that he was right and that the Deputy is stuck with him and him alone for the next several years.
  • Illidan Stormrage in World of Warcraft though this is only revealed in the expansion Legion. Although the game still acknowledges he was a jerkass to a lot of people, it definitely portrays his choices as necessary for the common good. Since his plan actually works in the end, despite everyone thinking that it wouldn't, his actions are somewhat forgivable if not entirely justified. Also death kind of changed him for the better. However, because the players spent a good decade thinking that Illidan was an antihero who crossed the Moral Event Horizon, a lot of people really hated this storyline.
  • Enderal: The Father is a sociopathic cult leader who rules the underground with a surgeon's scalpel. He instructs his acolytes to abandon their old ties and name themselves after their greatest vices because he's convinced that festering human emotions are the source of the world's suffering. He's obsessed with the idea of transcendence, and seeks to remove people's souls from their bodies without killing them, mostly from experiments with children. At the end of his questline, he's on a mad mission to use an Eldritch Abomination to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence and survive the Cleansing at the end of the world. At the end of the game, you find he was disturbingly accurate; the Cleansing does happen, and it occurs because humans chose to hide or deny their inner natures and vices in favor of following a strict caste system or dogma. The Player Character can only make a difference because they're an undead construct whose soul is no longer in their original body, and in this particular cycle everything went Off the Rails shortly after the Father successfully (or unsuccessfully?) transcended. And if they did, then he and over a dozen acolytes are now in the same realm as the High Ones, ready to repel them from trolling mankind into destroying itself over and over.
  • Triple subverted in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War. It's subverted when Arvis' plan to unite Jugdral first appears to be completely evil as he kills off your entire party during the Wham Episode. It's then Double Subverted when his unified Jugdral actually turns out to be a pretty good place to live in as several villagers can attest to. Ultimately, though, it's subverted yet again when the Loptous Cult seizes power from Arvis because their plan to breed a vessel for their Dark God has worked and nobody is able to do anything about it.
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Edelgard is correct that Fódlan needs to change, and removing the existing status quo allows for a new and better world. Unfortunately, the new and better world only comes after five years of bloodshed that she knowingly began.
  • Played with in Azure Striker Gunvolt Series: The first game has Copen and Nova both espousing that Adepts are far too dangerous to leave unchecked around the world and should be exterminated or subjugated to protect humanity and the world. The sequel seems to prove them right, with Eden attempting to Kill All Humans and Luminous Avenger iX showing Sumeragi having gone that route sometime in the future and seemingly succeeded more or less. The "played with" comes in the fact Eden is filled with Adepts disgusted with the Fantastic Racism shown to them, with many members having a Dark and Troubled Past from being mistreated by humans and the very ideals Copen and Nova espoused. iX is set in an Alternate Timeline where Asimov (who hates humans due to his experimentation) killed Gunvolt and took over Sumeragi, where Adepts themselves are only marginally better off than humans. Heck, Copen himself by iX has mellowed out on his grudge against Adepts and regrets killing some of the bosses, saving his hatred for Asimov's evil. The underlying message seems to be powers or not, any human is capable of good and evil and groups shouldn't be judged by the actions of individuals.
  • At the end of Deus Ex you are offered three different extremist options by three different factions: returning power to the Illuminati, ruling the world as an AI overlord, or taking down global communications and technology. Choosing any of them is still an improvement over the status quo.
  • Loser Reborn: The Cultist is correct about Nya being a false god and the demon they're trying to revive, Azathoth, is actually the comatose protagonist in the real world. In the second ending, they'll team up with the protagonist to defeat Nya and return the protagonist to the real world, though that means sacrificing all the fictional residents of the false world.
  • Cyberpunk 2077: Discussed. A lot of people in-universe still have strong opinions on Johnny Silverhand and his terrorist campaign against Arasaka. His detractors call him a quixotic loon who murdered innocents in the thousands for no good reason and who got his inevitable and just desserts when Smasher tore him in half. His supporters argue that while the deaths were lamentable, Johnny's actions were ultimately justifiable on the grounds of Arasaka being just that bad, and that he well could have succeeded if Saburo Arasaka had been a little less intelligent and Adam Smasher a little less ruthless. The one thing they agree on is that Silverhand's death ultimately accomplished nothing.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty establishes the Big Bad Solidus Snake as a Well-Intentioned Extremist for his willingness to go to extreme methods to stop The Patriots, who have been controlling everything for a long time and are only getting increasingly more unstoppable with every new advancement in technology. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots has Solid Snake admit that Solidus was right about everything that he predicted would happen if their power continued to go unchecked, and naturally Snake has an even more uphill battle when trying to take them on this game. While Solidus’s plans were doomed to fail from the start anyway, meaning that his success was ultimately impossible, his intentions were considered valid in the end by the same protagonists who once opposed him.
  • The second half of Everhood concerns Red, having gotten his arm back, being tasked by Frog, the Lost Spirits, and The Sage to kill everyone in Everhood, so as to free them from their immortality that is rotting their minds. Should you follow their commands, the characters themselves will do everything in their power to stop you, calling you a monster, and the game will guilt you many times for doing this. Yet, despite all this, succeeding in killing everyone will ultimately allow them to pass on to the next life, and the characters, in spirit form, reconcile with you, thanking you for your efforts or just letting go of whatever hard feelings they had.
  • An early sidequest in Assassin's Creed: Odyssey involves a priest who has burned a village infected with a plague to the ground and is in the process of purging the final survivors, who are a family with two children. The protagonist has the option of stopping the priest and saving the family but doing so will result in Kephallonia being wiped out by the plague.

  • Girl Genius:
    • Baron Klaus Wulfenbach rules over most of Europa with an iron fist (the former Trope Namer: "and it worked"), because the alternative—Sparks running around everywhere and attacking each other—is worse.
    • A big part of the reason it worked is that the only demand he makes of the nations he conquers is "Don't Make Me Come Over There". Which covers only two things: starting wars and possessing the technology left behind by The Other. He also heavily supports and sponsors the infrastructure of his empire with his technology (and solves ingratitude with threats of press-ganging the town leadership to construct the new infrastructure).
    • In later editions of the comic Klaus is incapacitated and the Long War has resumed, perhaps even more violently, as rulers squabble over pieces of Klaus' empire. After a two-and-a-half year timeskip, Klaus' reign is looked on as a "Lost Golden Age", and even elements of the Knights of Jove, a rival house and leaders of a vast anti-Wulfenbach conspiracy in the time prior to the timeskip, are trying to restore Klaus' heir, Gilgamesh Wulfenbach, to power.
    • One of the Baron's more ghastly means of pacifying unruly Sparks is "brain-coring", which amounts to lobotomizing the Sparks. This reduces them to simpletons who are unable to tap into the Spark. It's so awful that when Queen Albia saw the victim of one such coring — a man she has every reason to hate, no less — she was appalled. That said, the Baron had very good reason to do it in this case: Said man is Dimitri Vapnoople, an extremely powerful Spark who is The Beastmaster and specializes in creating monsters. He's also The Social Darwinist who thinks that humans need to be regularly "culled" by his monsters to make them stronger. Seconds after his brain-coring is undone, he nearly unleashes eldritch horrors from another dimension and makes plans to unleash monster hordes on humanity again. Agatha now understands why the Baron brain-cored Vapnoople.
    • Tarvek shows the same tendency, though so far hasn't had an opportunity to apply it on a large scale: "I'm not proud of that, but time was running out. And I did it!". Though he succeeded at first, Laser-Guided Karma eventually hit him hard, and plans similar to his own plans to rule Europa are falling apart around his ears.
  • Schlock Mercenary:
    • Petey the god-AI. He is trying to keep organic lifeforms in the galaxy from exterminating themselves by dealing with the big threats to their existence for them (because they lack the will and power to do so), not caring a whit how many organic toes he has to step on in the process of doing it.
      Schlock: You could save a lot of time by just telling me what you want.
      Petey: If time was all I wanted to save, I would be doing a great many things very differently.
    • For that matter, the Gatekeepers suppressing teraport technology for millions of years and killing off several thousand times the Milky Way's population in gate clones worked in appeasing said Omnicidal Maniacs and keeping them from destroying the whole thing. A discussion between two Precursors reveals the Gatekeeper-dominated galactic civilization lasted three times longer than the average, due to the portal network suppressing the teraport, Long Gun technology and appeasing the Pa'anuri... At the low, low cost of the entire galactic population being killed fifteen times over in the form of gate clones interrogated and killed by the gatekeepers. There was also the part where the Pa'anuri almost tricked the gatekeepers into destroying the Milky Way with a (flawed) Zero Point Generator, which would have very much ended the war on their terms.
      Petey: But we're all here to argue about it, so on some level it worked, right?
      Admiral: Uh, yeah... I want to talk about something else now.
  • Collar 6: In the end, the Kappel family's goals were to fix the world. The reason they were viewed in the wrong was due to the problems needing fixing involved mystical forces that almost nobody even knew existed, let alone had any clue how to deal with. Oh, and the kidnapping. That was bad too.
  • In Strong Female Protagonist, Alison physically coerced Max into turbocharging Feral's Healing Factor to the point that she no longer needed to remain in constant surgery in order to donate her constantly-regenerating organs, tissue, and blood. In fact, this elevated Feral's regenerative power to the point that she only needed to go under the knife for about 40 hours a month to meet the world's medical demand. An unquestionably positive outcome; however, Alison spent some time warring with herself after the fact as to whether she was justified in forcing Max as she did to that end, with her earlier debate with her philosophy professor about the 'axiom of a tyrant' still fresh in her mind. In the end, she came to the conclusion that she wouldn't take it back if given the choice, and that she felt the ends did justify the means in at least that case.

    Web Original 
  • In Atop the Fourth Wall videos, Lord Vyce has been going from universe to universe to stop "the entity" by imposing dictatorial rule when many of them didn't believe him about the danger. He's been rather successful in his attempts, finally trapping it in Linkara's universe.

    Western Animation 
  • Arcane: Silco's ruthless ways are sharply contrasted with main characters' Vi and Powder's adoptive father Vander. Both men were once united in a vision for the oppressed people of Zaun to achieve independence from wealthy Piltover but Vander becoming a father causes him to prioritize peace to keep his kids safe. Silco's actions ultimately see's Vander dead and Vi and Powder separated, cementing him as the Big Bad. Yet Silco's ruthless ways, especially the unethical creation and mass manufacture of Shimmer, successfully convince the Piltover Council that a violent crackdown would be too costly and negotiation is the best solution. Silco's absolute willingness to resort to violence ultimately convinces the Council to accept a deal that would see the people of the underground get their own nation of Zaun. If anything, he ultimately can't take the deal that would free the people of Zaun of Piltover's boot on their backs because he's not extreme enough to throw away his most normal, sympathetic trait: love for his daughter. Of course it's also not so clear cut, since as Vander warned he sacrificed Zaun's soul by flooding the streets with Shimmer as a recreational drug meaning Zaun would be independent but ruled by a ruthless drug king pin whose raising of the Chembarons to power also undermined the ethos of loyalty Silco himself harped on.
  • Drawn Together: In the episode “Foxxy vs. the Board of Education”, when Xander and Spanky decide to get married for health insurance, Princess Clara attempts to put a stop to it, because “If gays get married, the institution of marriage will be destroyed! Societies will crumble! Rivers will run with blood! Nazis will once again ride on dinosaurs!” At the end, Clara lets Xander and Spanky get married...and that’s exactly what happens.
  • While Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Agent Bishop has done a lot to earn the turtles' ire, and is generally an unscrupulous bastard, there's little doubt that he's generally very good at his job of protecting Earth from alien invasion, and has managed to do it for more than two hundred years.
  • In the 10 year anniversary episode of The Powerpuff Girls, Mojo-Jojo finally takes over the world, and he ends world hunger, wars, and disease... with absolutely no consequences. The Powerpuff Girls apologize for stopping him all those years, but he eventually gets bored and decides to cause mayhem so he can fight them again.
  • In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, after becoming disillusioned by the Clone Wars, Barriss Offee orchestrates a terrorist attack on the Jedi Temple. When caught, she justifies the crime by accusing the Jedi of corruption, claiming they have become an army fighting for the Dark Side, and warning that the Republic is failing. Turns out she was right, though not for the reasons she believed.
  • Justice League probably gets as close to this as possible for a kid cartoon with the Justice Lords, a Knight Templar Alternate Universe equivalent to the titular League, who revoked their Thou Shalt Not Kill dogma, removed free speech, united all world governments under their rule and lobotomized all their supervillains (and, reading between the lines, possibly a few rebellious superheroes as well). End result:
    • Their world is bright and clean and has no crime or war, and the Justice Lords keep constant surveillance over the world to the degree that even natural disasters cause minimal casualties, which even has a result of boring the Lords out of their mind for lacking problems to solve (which is pretty much what leads to the creation of the door). Compared to the League's world, with the constant murder and terrorism, superhuman experiments, corruption, and threats such as an evil godlike alien who rules an entire planet, a godlike robot who has the power to destroy an entire planet, hundreds of dangerous villains ranging from evil geniuses to superpowered thugs (all of this continuing for decades up to Batman Beyond), the League's Earth going through three different alien invasions and an unspecified "Near-Apocalypse", the Lords' world would seem safer to many, if not ideal. Lord Batman even temporarily stops his Justice League counterpart by pointing out in his world no kid would lose his parents because of a criminal with a gun.
    • On the other hand, people can be arrested for such things as complaining too loudly about their meal at a restaurant, free elections are suspended as a "temporary measure", and student protesters flee from the sight of Hawkgirl and Green Lantern. Lois Lane describes free speech as "all but dead" as a result of the Lords' actions.
    • The end result is the victory of the "traditional" heroes when the Justice Lords attempt to clean up the League's Earth (out of what appears to be nothing more than the goodness of their hearts) and the message that "sometimes Utopia Doesn't Justify The Means", but the writers professed the occasional trouble at giving the League the obvious moral high ground.
  • Parodied in a fantasy episode of The Simpsons. Bart as David loses to Goliath's son, Goliath II (Nelson) and spends years training for a rematch while Goliath II sets himself up as king. When David finally returns and defeats Goliath II, the locals angrily tell him that Goliath II was the greatest king they had ever had, building hospitals and schools and ending hunger and unemployment. They form a mob to take revenge on David, but the police (also established by Goliath II) take him away for murder/regicide and control the crowd before anything can actually happen.
  • Transformers: Animated:
    • The Autobots do a lot of questionable things to win the war, and though not much of it is onscreen, it's established that war itself is an ugly thing. Ultra Magnus commissions large fighting machines with severely limited intelligence so they can kill enemy soldiers and not question the morality of it, also so they'd be easier to control. Prowl was shown to be arrested for not participating in the war and forced into the Autobots' side. The Autobots' actions are against the Decepticons, who've destroyed a few planets, left one planet a flaming husk, and commissioned far more WMD's. They've shown a willingness to unleash terrible chemicals in biological warfare, regardless of the effects on the environment and their own soldiers. The Autobots' actions lead to present day Cybertron which is peaceful, prosperous, and has technology connecting them to dozens of other planets all over the galaxy.
    • The show also makes it clear when extremism is needed and when it's excessive with Sentinel Prime. Ultra Magnus' actions ended the war, in spite of people like Ratchet thinking he's taking things too far, and he was able to transition to a peacetime ruler. When Sentinel Prime takes over, he makes Cybertron a police state, and strikes against the Decepticons without considering all options. His inability to listen to reason nearly blew a hole in the planet.
  • In Book 4 of Legend of Korra, Big Bad, Kuvira, started her road to world conquest after her mentor and leader Suyin refused to help stop the violent crime and all around chaos that was happening in the Earth Kingdom after the Queen was assassinated, despite having more than enough resources to do so. Given that the Avatar was in no position to help at the moment, and would end up disappearing completely for a few years, she felt the need to step up and restore order. Furthermore, she was right about the future Earth King not being fit for the job of leadership, which he would admit after she was defeated and gave up the throne. Granted, her point is undermined by feeling a need to "restore order" to the areas that weren't plunged into chaos in Korra's absence (including Republic City, which hadn't been part of the Earth Kingdom for decades). Also despite her claims that the Earth Kingdom having a monarch was an outdated notion, she still had no trouble replacing the (admittedly unfit) prince with herself.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Pharynx was universally despised by the rest of the changelings for being a total asshole, preferring things under Queen Chrysalis' rule, preferring their old dark appearances, and believing the changelings were now weak and unable to defend themselves. He's ultimately proven entirely right on the last point as the changelings have no hope in fighting off the massive maulwurf unless they toughen up and relearn how to fight. The episode ends with Pharynx learning to lighten up and the rest of the changelings learning that total passiveness and non-violence can't solve everything.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Hoag may have been unreasonable expecting everyone to obey exactly given the circumstances, but it's hard to argue Lio Oak not following procedure didn't directly cause the almost immediate discovery and destruction of Site B.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: Toffee's stated goal was to destroy magic out of revenge for the Butterfly family using it to oppress the monsters. By the end of the series Star ends up agreeing with him, coming to the conclusion that magic made more problems than it solved, and uses the Whispering Spell to destroy magic. She even noted the irony of her agreeing with Toffee.

Alternative Title(s): And It Worked