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The Sacred Darkness

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Dark Is Not Evil. It can even be beautiful.
"I do not speak literally of the absence of sun. I speak of a darkness that is home to all that have lived. We were born in darkness. We return to darkness. The warm sable of the womb. The cool pitch of the grave. It is in darkness that creation itself resides. Ideas entwining in the recess of the skull. Lovers entwining in the night. The darkness that comes is the Death of stagnation, and the birth of creativity. "
Catarina, Master of the Dead, Path of Exile (pre-version 3.5)

This trope usually manifests in the powers of The Dark Side being treated as equal compared with the powers of Light, coming with the same acknowledgement and worship that people offer to the Light.

Usually, this kind of darkness takes the form of a "pure" darkness as opposed to the "corrupted" darkness that is typically used by villains. The philosophical interpretation behind this is acknowledged that light and darkness can and must exist only simultaneously. Darkness can still be associated with aspects such as death, but expect this to be treated in a positive way, such as death being an important part of the cycle of rebirth, being natural and therefore necessary for the world. Also, a dark god may simply be doing an unpopular, but still very important job, rather than being a villain. This kind of darkness may not be nice, or comfortable, or maybe it is even outright terrifying, but it nonetheless radiates a dignity that cannot be denied and, like it or not, you know that the world would be worse off without it.

"Pure" darkness powers can often easily be distinguished from their "corrupted" counterparts. A One-Hit Kill spell by a villain using corrupt darkness will probably involve a lot of pain, mutilation, or brutality; a pure darkness spell of that kind, on the other hand, might result in something resembling a peaceful sleep or simply just dropping dead. Pure darkness powers tend to avert the more obviously negative aspects of darker powers such as Mind Rape or Torture and instead tend to be more spectacular and flashy, or involve beautiful stuff, like conjuring up the star-filled night sky, or awesome stuff like summoning a black raven or other creature associated with the night. For instance, if a hero's signature move is a combo attack where he cloaks his blade in light magic, a "pure" darkness counterpart to that move would simply involve cloaking the blade in shadow instead.

Despite this, it may still carry some of the usual problems of dark powers, such as the Noble Demon spirits empowering the Sword of Plot Advancement deciding that their user is not worthy enough to use them, or simply the usual problem of prolonged exposure to the darkness being dangerous to the mind. Note that "sacred" does not have to equal "good." More often, these characters embody a morally neutral concept or ideal. On rare occasions, villains can use The Sacred Darkness, but usually this only works when they are opposing another villain who is using the corrupted variant in an A Lighter Shade of Black situation.

It can also be interpreted as necessary and holy when it's part of a Yin-Yang Bomb. In a similar vein, the pure/corrupt interpretation can be done for Light in a Light Is Not Good scenario, such as a "corrupt" light spell that gives the enemy radiation poisoning. See also Light/Darkness Juxtaposition.

This trope is the logical conclusion of Dark Is Not Evil but it does not strictly exclude Dark Is Evil. Please note that this trope is not just Dark Is Not Evil. The usual variant of said trope is that a good person is donning dark motifs and/or using dark powers despite their villainous and problematic connotations for the sake of good. That is not really this trope. This trope is about some kind of darkness that exists in a form where you can reasonably justify its existence for the good of the world or when darkness is treated in some way as equally holy or good as Light would be treated. Generally, if your hero can make a "No More Holding Back" Speech or Rousing Speech involving the virtues of their particular brand of darkness, it qualifies.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Digimon Franchise:
    • Digimon Frontier: Kouichi embodies this and also nicely illustrates the change between "corrupted" and "pure" darkness; he starts out Brainwashed and Crazy using a twisted set of Darkness spirits — the creepy, borderline-Eldritch Abominations Duskmon and Velgremon — and upon undergoing a Heel–Face Turn, the spirits are purified into the Black Knights Löwemon and KaiserLeomon, the embodiments of the sanctity of the element of darkness. For an added bonus, Koji, the one who wields the DigiSpirits of Light, is his twin brother whom he was seperated from.
    • Digimon Tamers: Given that it turns his eyes from the more aggressive red into an honest green and gives him wings, one might argue that Beelzemon, who is in the broader canon one of the Seven Great Demon Lords — goes through a "dark purification" as well when he obtains Blast Mode. Similarly, his Digimon Fusion incarnation (which is very similar to Blast Mode) is an outright holy warrior, being reborn into that form using a mask of the goddess he once served, and is one of the noblest and most loyal characters in the series; whenever he DigiXrosses with Shoutmon, the end of the sequence plays a brief high note of a Cherubic Choir.
  • The Garden of Sinners: Ryougi Shiki uses the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, a very rare and unique power that allows her to see the inherent death of all things. Essentially, this makes her the human personification of the Grim Reaper. Nonetheless, she is good enough to serve as a hero for this story and to get an almost holy-sounding Theme Music Power-Up. It helps that she's essentially the goddess of the void.
  • Lyrical Nanoha: Hayate Yagami holds the title "Mistress of the Night Sky" and is the heiress to the Book of Darkness' power, as well as the only mage in canon who can use elemental Darkness to power her spells. However, she is also the Big Good and nobody minds her darkness much, neither magical, nor inner. In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, there is even the "pure-corrupted" dichotomy: the old Book of Darkness (or rather, parts of it) is "corrupted", while Hayate herself and Reinforce, the Book after being reprogrammed and cleansed by Hayate, are "pure" Darkness. It is strongly implied that the Book itself was "pure" Darkness upon its first creation but it got worse along the way. More specifically, it was originally called "the Tome of the Night Sky", and was simply a repository of magical knowledge. Being such a thing, various douchenozzles over time took to obtaining that knowledge for the usual reasons evil people would seek it. Their manipulations, across time, resulted in the Book becoming corrupt.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
  • Sailor Moon: Both Sailor Saturn and Sailor Pluto possess a heroic destiny as senshi, even though Saturn's element is Destruction. While Pluto's domain is primarily Space-time, her planet name gives her a second domain, thus she is also 'The Guardian of the Underworld' (as in the Realm of the Dead) and her very first attack the Dead Scream. Also present in their aura colours (deep purple and black respectively in manga), and uniform colours, with Saturn being shown with deep purple with bronze/dark maroon bows, and Pluto being black with veeeery dark red bows.
  • Umi Monogatari has the characters learn this in the finale. The islanders' unwillingness to accept and deal with the sorrow in their hearts created Sedna, and both light and dark combine to create the heart of a person. When the darkness is accepted back into the people, Sedna disappears peacefully.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, the Gentle Darkness not only is a force for good, it's what actually created everything in the first place. This isn't commonly known information, but it's true nevertheless. It becomes a plot point in the final season. Since this darkness is a raw potential that can moulded by people's hearts, humanity's perception that Dark Is Evil gives birth to the final Big Bad.

    Fairy Tales 
  • "The Nix in the Mill-Pond" flips the traditional color symbolism expected from fairy tales: night is a time of hope, restoration, and joy, and the heroine is associated with the color black while the villain is identified as white.

    Fan Works 
  • Ages of Shadow: It's noted near the end of the Third Age portion of the story that true darkness magic is as neutral (or even benevolent) as the other elemental magics. It's this that Trace taps into during his All Your Colors Combined attack in the Final Battle with Jade (while sensing that her shadow magic is corrupted by her evil and madness), and also what his Love Interest Mildred's natural magical affinity turns out to be as well.
  • In The Silmarillion fanfic A Boy, a Girl and a Dog: The Leithian Script, main characters Beren and Luthien love the night and the starry skies. When Amarië associates the darkness with evil, Luthien retorts the night was created by Eru for His Children's pleasure.
    Luthien: [cryptic] The Night was first...and it was ours first. If you've forgotten your birthright, I'm not ashamed to claim it still.
  • An underlying factor in the Contractually Obligated Chaos series is that there is a prophecy regarding Life and Death; the Avatar of Death embodies this trope.
  • In On Wings of the void Harry Potter has this opinion of darkness, seeing it as his only companion and friend in his lonely life with the Dursleys.
    And at night, in the confines of his cupboard, he stared. Embraced the darkness like a friend he had known his whole life. For that was what it was. Not a terror as the other children thought, or a punishment as his "family" believed, but a companion. A comfort in a life of abuse and hate.
  • In the Pony POV Series:
    • Dark Magic is not evil, it simply runs on emotions that can be hard to control. If properly controlled, it can be used for good. Sweetie Belle is a prodigy in it, and Luna helps train her to use it correctly, making her a great help during the Rumors Arc.
    • Luna, naturally, is this. She's also a master of dark magic.
    • It turns out Tirek's Rainbow of Darkness was originally this trope. In it's pure form, it is just as beautiful as its twin the Rainbow of Light and both emerged from the Tree of Harmony at the same time and uplifted Ponykind. It was originally owned by Spike's ancient ancestor, who used it for good and was a wise dragon teacher and leader. Unfortunately, after his death, it fell into Tirek's hands who corrupted it for evil. Magic Star eventually forged the original, purified Alicorn Amulet from the regenerated Rainbow of Darkness and used it for good until it was corrupted being used to imprison most of the evil Pure Magic Being Lilith's power to defeat her. It's implied Trixie is destined to one day purify the Amulet and return it to this trope.
    • In Dark World, after breaking free of Discord's mind control, the Mane Six keep the Elements of Chaos he gave them, now purified, and use them against Discord and Nightmare Eclipse. After the world is saved, they purify the Alicorn Amulet and use it to make a new set of physical Elements of Chaos, and use both sets to destroy Grogar once and for all.
  • Even more prominent in RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse than in canon My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. As the name suggests, in this reality it was Celestia who fell into madness and Luna who saved the ponies and has ruled for the past millennium. Furthermore, while in canon Nightmare Moon was all but forgotten, in the Lunaverse everybody still fears Corona, even a thousand years later. And while in canon the Elements of Harmony purged the Nightmare and restored Luna to her right mind, in the Lunaverse Corona was still consumed by her madness even after the Elements defeated her first attempt to regain the throne.
  • Seventh Endmost Vision:
    • The fic uses this in one of the most direct ways imaginable during the party's visit to the haunted Train Graveyard. The ghost-riddled junkyard is now Holy's resting place, and also where Ifalna's spirit manifests; the area, visited at night, is beautiful and sacred, covered in the drawings of the ghost children who dwell there with Ifalna.
    • To a lesser extent, Sephiroth is heavily associated with this, since he's a hero in this fic. His flowers, which give a sense of peace and healing, are purple-black, he wears black (overalls, specifically, since he's a Farm Boy), and he even wields a scythe, all traits associated with darkness in fiction.

    Films — Animated 
  • Inside Out: Sadness. When 11-year-old Riley finds her world turned upside down by her family's move from Minnesota to San Francisco, Joy finds her position as the leader of Riley's five primary emotions challenged as Sadness finds herself compelled to touch the Core Memories, which would turn them permanently from yellow (joyful) to blue (sad). None of the emotions know Sadness' purpose, not even Sadness herself, and she is appropriately lacking in self-confidence but very considerate. Joy has tried from Riley's birth to keep Sadness away from the control panel in the misguided belief that Riley should always be happy, partly because Riley's mom encourages her to stay happy for them during this stressful time. Joy takes this literally and it results in their accidental expulsion from Headquarters (with the Core Memories) to Long-Term Memory. In their efforts to return to Headquarters, Joy comes to a heel realization when it turns out that Sadness feels drawn to these memories, which want to be turned sad. Sadness is the only one of the emotions who implicitly understands that Riley is homesick and miserable about the move and therefore just doing her job to help Riley call for help. Joy does not understand this until she rewinds a core memory and finds that it was initially a sad memory that became joyful when Riley's parents and hockey team came to comfort her after she missed the winning shot in an important game; she realizes at last that Sadness is her equal and is essential to empathy. Finally seeing that she went too far in excluding Sadness, which has left Riley emotionally lopsided, unable to cope with her new surroundings, and almost makes Riley run away, Joy lets Sadness take the console and entrusts the Core Memories to her, knowing that it's what's best for Riley. Returning to her relieved parents after her aborted plan to run away, Riley finally breaks down and tells them how much she misses her old life in Minnesota; her parents comfort her, telling her that they also miss Minnesota.
  • Luck is about Sam Greenfield, a young woman with an incredible amount of bad luck who tries to get rid of bad luck from her life after she comes across a lucky penny which she discovers was dropped by a talking black cat who is from a fantastical land that manufactures both good and bad luck. She comes to the realization that bad luck, while it can be horrible, is also equally essential to the universe as good luck and can even lead to good things in unexpected ways.
  • Partly Cloudy: The myth of the Delivery Stork is expanded on by showing they get the babies they deliver from cloud beings who make infants out of cloud fluff. Naturally, since the clouds create every offspring in this world, this means someone has to make the babies for violent, vicious, and venomous animals, which turns out to be the protagonist Gus the cloud. Gus seems to take a lot of pride in creating dangerous beasts, and though his stork partner Peck is exasperated by the many injuries he gets from the newborns, he doesn't abandon his companion and commits himself to delivering whatever's next.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Taken to the extreme in the Black Jewels Trilogy and subsequent books. In-world, the Darkness is the source of the characters' power, receives the characters' prayers, and inhabits the Abyss. As an extension of darkness being one of the most positive traits, possessing a darker Jewel confers a higher position in the society's hierarchy.
  • Chronicles of the Emerged World: One of the Eight Lands is the Land of Nights, which is covered in eternal darkness. Nevertheless, the darkness is also one of the eight sacred elements needed for the Talisman of Power, and the spirit of darkness is the kindest and most helpful. By contrast, the Light spirit Glael comes across as a Psychopathic Man Child who's willing to resort to Demonic Possession to end his solitude.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses: The Night Court.
  • The Darkest Dark: At the start of the book, it's stated that young Chris is afraid of the dark, and that it "invites the worst sort of aliens" into his room. After watching The Moonlanding on TV one night, however, Chris comes to regard the dark as powerful, mysterious, and beautiful.
  • The Spanish Renaissance poem "The Dark Night of the Soul" (La noche oscura del alma) by the mystic Spanish poet and saint, Juan de la Cruz, uses the metaphor of night, as a cherished time during which a lover may meet his beloved in secret, as an allegory for the soul finding unity with God.
  • The Dwarfs of the Discworld, being belowground-dwellers, have many values opposite to those of humans. One of them is that they consider darkness sacred, and their equivalent of priests keep themselves in it whenever possible, many shunning daylight altogether and believing it to be blasphemy. They recognize different kinds of darkness — including malevolent kinds like the Summoning Dark — but generally think of it as a good thing; one dwarf priest uses the metaphor that the eyes grow wider in darkness, but shrink in light. For example, their creation myth:
    "The first Brother walked toward the light, and stood under the open sky. Thus he became too tall. He was the first Man. He found no Laws, and he was enlightened. The second Brother walked toward the darkness, and stood under a roof of stone. Thus he achieved the correct height. He was the first Dwarf. He found the Laws Tak had written, and he was endarkened."
  • Crysania in Time of the Twins, one of the Dragonlance novels, she muses that fear of the darkness is childish and stupid, and that lighting candle after candle to keep the darkness at bay only results in a house burning down because people can't understand that the darkness has a purpose.
  • Toyed with in Book 7 of The Dresden Files, Dead Beat, in which Kumori claims that Necromantic magic (Always Chaotic Evil) can be turned to good purposes (such as when she brings a recently dead man back for long enough for the paramedics to save him), as ordinary magic can be turned to evil, her reasoning being that if death is defeated, the genii of history could live for ever. Harry considers this for a moment, then points out how close this is to Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
  • The The House of Night series uses this trope extensively. The titular House is a beloved, sheltering Extranormal Institute, and the protagonists are all nocturnal vampyres.note  The vampyres' main goddess, Nyx, combines this trope with Light Is Good; she is most frequently associated with shadows and night, but comments that others worship her as Dawn.
  • "You, Darkness" by Rainer Maria Rilke:
    You, darkness, that I come from
    I love you more than all the fires
    that fence in the world,
    for the fire makes a circle of light for everyone
    and then no one outside learns of you.
    But the darkness pulls in everything-
    shapes and fires, animals and myself,
    how easily it gathers them! -
    powers and people-
    and it is possible a great presence is moving near me.
    I have faith in nights.
  • N. K. Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy: Nahadoth, the God of Chaos and Darkness, is the eldest of the three creator gods. Although he's portrayed as evil by the imperial state religion that worships his sibling God of Light and Order, he himself is Above Good and Evil, and his own worshipers cast him in a more positive role.
  • In The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, practitioners of the Zen/Taoist flavoured religion of Karhide say 'Praised be to darkness and creation unfinished', to express appreciation that there remains scope for growth, change and discovery. The title refers to their creed, which begins Light is the left hand of darkness, and darkness is the right hand of light. In other words, they're the same thing, just seen from different angles, and equally deserving of reverence.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: The Faith of the Seven believes their gods to be the seven faces of a single benevolent deity, one of which represents death and the unknown. Meanwhile, a competing religion regards R'hllor as the one true god of life, light and flames, but also of the shadows they cast, which are contrasted with the shapeless darkness of his enemy the Great Other. The Old Gods appear to feature this theme, too. When Bran Stark discovers the truth behind them, his mentor teaches him not to be afraid of darkness, lives in a dark cave and controls ravens, traditionally ominous birds.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • In general, Tolkien seems to have had an affinity for this concept, and several characters bring it up or embody it in some manner.
    • The Lord of the Rings: Tom Bombadil (the oldest being in Middle-earth) mentions that he "knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless — before the Dark Lord came from Outside". The association of the starry sky with Elves and the Elder Days ensure this trope is always in play in Tolkien's works, even though Morgoth and Sauron are textbook examples of Dark Is Evil: this is an example of the "uncorrupted darkness" idea.
    • The Silmarillion:
      • When the sun and moon were created, one of the demigods, Este, whose domain is sleep and rest, asked that the sun not always illuminate the Earth, and that there be a period of darkness every day so that creatures could sleep. Este's gift of darkness is meant to be a daily refuge during which we can heal our wounds, cure our illnesses and ease our difficult emotions.
      • Varda, the one among the Valar who Morgoth hates and fears the most, is the mistress of starlight and night, not sunlight and day. Likewise, the Elves are always associated with nighttime and soft light to the point that they are even said to experience sunlight as too bright and harsh. They are even mentioned as being somehow more beautiful under moonlight and starlight and the association goes so far that Samwise is surprised at how Lothlórien is the most "Elvish" place he has ever seen, despite the brilliant, golden light that lives in the forest.

  • "What a Wonderful World" (sung by Louis Armstrong) all but states that day and night are equally wonderful:
    The bright blessed day,
    The dark sacred night.
  • "Tuning Out" by Bastille takes words from a Christmas Carol about the night of Jesus' birth, describing the sacredness of it with the refrain of:
    O night, O holy night
    O night divine
  • "The Darkness We All Need" by Blues Traveler and Secondhand Serenade describes periods emotional darkness as an enlightening experience.
  • Various covers of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", less so the original:
    Remember when I moved in you?
    The holy dark was moving too.
    And every breath we drew was hallelujah.
  • "The Night" by Disturbed
    In a world beyond controlling
    Are you gonna deny the savior
    In front of your eyes
    Stare into the night
    Power beyond containing
    Are you gonna remain a slave for
    The rest of your life
    Give into the night
  • The Christmas hymn Holy Darkness.
  • "Because the Night", popularized by Patti Smith note  describes night as a safe refuge for a couple that "belongs to us".
  • Voltaire's "The Night" speaks of the night in a reverent way.
    It just seems very strange to me
    That her quiet lonely streets
    And draped in all her mystery
    Could be so sweet and comforting

    Myths & Religion 
  • God is associated with... well, everything, but He gets compared to shade and rest just as much as light and holy fire — case in point, He keeps His people in "the shadow of His wing" for protection. By contrast, Satan AKA Lucifer is the "Light Bringer" and the "Bright Morning Star".
    • Actually referenced in a Biblical verse, Psalm 139:11-12. "If I say, “Surely darkness will conceal me, night will provide me with cover,” darkness is not dark for You; night is as light as day; darkness and light are the same."
    • For desert-dwellers, shade and shadow are wonderful things. In the Hebrew Bible, references to "shadow" are often positive. During the Exodus, for example, God provides a cloud to shade the people from the sun each day.
    • Anne Cousin's hymn "The Sands Of Time Are Sinking" associates the night with free will, and emphasizes that although darkness is distinct from the light of God, humanity also needs it.
      But flowers need night's cool darkness, the moonlight and the dew;
      So Christ, from one who loved it, His shining oft withdrew...
  • This trope was also true for several religions, such as various myths about the Moon. Gods of death, the afterlife, etc. also occasionally qualify. One of the theories for Stonehenge is that it was built to show that the moon was "higher" (more holy) than the sun: once every few decades or so, both the sun and the moon will pass through one of Stonehenge's windows (or at least, the windows Stonehenge used to have), but the moon will pass through the window above the sun's window.
  • In Greek myths:
    • Thanatos was a child of the night goddess, Nyx, and was the personification of death. Rather than being evil, however, many myths associate the god with a gentle, non-violent death, such as passing while asleep. The only bad thing you could say about Thanatos was that he's kind of a dick to mortals and Gods, namely for the dislike of death on the former, and unable to reap gods in the latter. He does appear to get along with his brother Hypnos though (one famous painting has the two napping together as children). Similarly, the only deities directly associated with darkness, like Nyx and Erebus, are not considered evil. They're just kind of there.
    • Hecate is associated with things like witchcraft and ghosts, her association with crossroads (sources tell us that offerings to Hecate were often placed at crossroads) is believed by some to have been Hijacked by Jesus into Deal with the Devil. However, she is characterized (in the comparatively few myths that mention her) as maternal and as a protector of outcasts (both ghosts, who in Classical Mythology are dead folk who didn't receive a proper burial and thus can't go to Hades, and mortals who fit the more traditional idea of an outcast).
    • The worst of the lot is Nemesis, the Goddess of Just Retribution. Her job involves taking away undeserved happiness and punishing excessive pride and evil deeds. It means if you meet her on the job, she would give you a punishment, and often a crushing or sadistic one, but also one that you literally asked for...
  • The Yin half in the Yin and Yang. It represents the female principle, water, cold and darkness (it literally means "shady side"). The Yang represents the male principle, fire, warmth and light. The Yin is not only necessary for life and existence, but shows that both forces are complementary rather than opposing. It is arguably more benevolent than the Yang, since Yin symbolizes calmness and peacefulness, while Yang is harshness and aggressiveness.
  • In Neopagan circles, Spirit/Akasha is the "highest" element, being the cosmic glue that unites all living things and the other elements. It is also frequently described as basically darkness, being defined by emptiness, the cosmos, and represented often in either black or purple. Which is very ironic, as Aether in Greek Mythology (the basis for the modern notion of Spirit) is the essence of light.
  • Keku Semau and its residing trickster god Kek in Egyptian Mythology.
  • In Talamancan mythology darkness is considered sacred because Sibú created humanity at night. On the flip side, the sun is considered as the source of all evil and sunlight as something impure that should be avoided during narrations and rituals.
  • In Hindu Mythology, the goddess Kali is associated with darkness, death, eternity, and destruction. She is often depicted in a frightening form, holding a head and wearing a garland of heads. In spite of this, she is worshipped as a benevolent mother who protects her followers and liberates them from suffering. Her destructive form is only used against evildoers, to destroy them and end their threat against the innocent.
  • Islam in general holds nights in high regard, possibly because the Arabs, being a desert people, understandably favor the cool nights over blistering days. In fact, the most common symbol for the Islamic religion is a crescent moon with a star.
    • The Qur'an was first revealed to The Prophet Muhammad at a particular night, since dubbed "the Night of Power", and it is said that praying during this night will net you a thousand more rewards that you will at any other time of the year.
    • The Isra' and Mi'raj, where Muhammad was taken to the seventh heaven to see God, happened during the night of 27 Rajab.
    • Muhammad and his companions were able to safely escape Mecca and head to Medina under the cover of night. This event is known as the Hijra, and marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar.
    • As any practicing Muslim will tell you, night is a relief during the month of Ramadan, which requires you to fast from dawn to sunset. On the run-up to sunset, you will see a sudden uptick of activity in the streets of any Muslim country, because people are counting down the breaking of the fast.

  • Welcome to Night Vale: Visions of the dark planet seen by residents of Night Vale may fit here, especially when contrasted with the threat of a Smiling God. Notably, the dark planet was shown to be Cecil's vision of perfection. This also reflects the underlying theme of the story: Just because something seems dark and ominous (undetectable earthquakes, clocks not being real, etc.), that doesn't mean they are, and in fact they can be quite harmless and even beautiful (the lights above the Arby's at night, a young man who's hopelessly in love with you).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Cyberpunk: In the supplement Home of the Brave, a religion called Worshippers of the Night considers the night to be a time of rest and spiritual purification. They patrol the streets at night to "protect the night's holiness against the evil that surrounds us."
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Zigzagged in Dungeons Of Drakkenheim; Shadow Cults collectively worship a counterpart to the Sacred Flame, the Sentient Cosmic Force worshiped by the foremost religion of the known world, which they refer to as "The Exalted Darkness". However, the Shadow Cults are not a unified religion, but a catch-all (and derisive) term used by the Church of the Sacred Flame to refer to any worshipper whose beliefs even tangentially align with the concept of the Exalted Darkness, from murderous servitors of malign cthonic deities and shadowy fiends to peaceful mystics devoted to contemplating the beauty of the night.
    • Mystara: The Immortal (Immortals being the D&D functional equivalent of AD&D's gods) Nyx was the Entropic Immortal of darkness, night, and the undead. She is also the only Immortal of Entropy who is not evil, although her goals would be horrifying to most people. Still, Nyx serves as the key reminder that Entropy is as necessary for the existence of the cosmos as are the other four Spheres of Power, and is not inherently evil.
    • The "Tall Tales of the Wee Folk" supplement introduces the notion that the fey of Mystara's current cosmic epoch, when Entropy is the minority Sphere and Matter, Energy, Time and Thought predominate, are actually the much-reduced Entropic-but-Good Immortals from a prior epoch when Life was the minority. Someday, when Entropy once more ascends to dominance, it'll be up to these re-empowered fey-Immortals to defend Life against their evil counterparts, much like evil Immortals of Energy, Thought, and so on currently conspire with Entropic ones against the living.
    • Necromancy is usually regarded as a magic of pure evil, and the undead hated as blasphemous, but there are some exceptions.
      • Jakandor: In The Magocracy of the Charonti, necromancy is viewed as a sacred art given to them by their god; ancestor-worshippers, it is believed that their dead give them their bodies to serve as untiring laborers and defenders as an act of kindliness to their living descendants, freeing them of the need to worry about arduous mundane labor and instead concentrate on studying and other intellectual arts, as their god intended. They thusly treat their zombie and skeleton servants with great respect, honoring them for their kindness and seeking to protect them when possible.
      • Although most gods concerned with the undead are evil monsters, the 3rd edition goddess Evening Glory is a kindly patroness of love and beauty, who preaches that love should conquer all things, even death, and that undeath is merely an expedient way to preserve love through all eternity. Her followers, then, are passionate believers in love ever-lasting, and embrace undeath so they can be together forever. It is sadly undermined somewhat by Gameplay and Story Segregation; due to necromantic spells carrying the "Evil" trait, all worshippers of Evening Glory must be one of the Morally Neutral alignments to use her magic.
    • The first layer of the Lawful Good outer plane Mount Celestia, namely Lunia the Silver Sea, has eternal nighttime under a star-filled sky.
    • The Twilight Domain clerics feature a variation of this. Clerics who serve Twilight gods bring comfort to those who seek rest and protect them by venturing into the encroaching darkness to ensure that the dark is a comfort, not a terror. In short, it's enforcing The Sacred Darkness by making sure the nights are peaceful.
  • GURPS: The Dungeon Fantasy sub-line has a supplement, Clerics, detailing all manner of different cults and what their priests can do. The section on Gods of Night acknowledges that they aren't all bad. "Deities of the night are a mixed bunch, with a range of specific concerns..."
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Black Mana, the power of darkness, decay and death, is usually held up as the "evil" color of mana. But despite its association with unpleasant things like necromancy, corruption, selfishness, and Mind Rape, it is not inherently evil, and also encompasses necessary forces such as death and self-preservation. Not only have some protagonists been pure Black but, like all colours of mana, Black is necessary for planar stability. Some examples of "good" Black Mana:
    • On Ravnica, the Golgari Swarm are an order of shamans and druids who worship the philosophy that life and death are two inseparable parts of the same coin, and undeath is a natural part of the circle. They thusly draw upon both Green Mana and Black Mana simultaneously. This is how the more philosophical, less psychotic members of The Cult of Rakdos view their worship of their guild leader; an acceptance of the inevitability of death and a reminder of others to embrace life whilst they have it, because it won't last forever.
      "Rakdos performers do not grow old in the ring," Rinni said. "They go on exactly as long as they are meant to. They acquire skills. They acquire scars. Their movements may be hampered, they may slow down, but it is all part of the dance. They play the role they were meant to play. To make people laugh. To remind them how precious and how fleeting our lives are, no matter how harsh or short. Our lives are a gift."
    • Taken to its logical extreme in the Theros Block, where the gods reside in the realm of Nyx, basically Heaven represented as the nightsky, a paranormal realm also associated with dreams. The non-malevolent Black god also has an important role as the caretaker of the dead, but he's ironically cut off from Nyx: in the Sun-less Underworld, the nightsky is absent.
    • On Amonkhet, a dying world where the dead spontaneously reanimate as mindless yet tormented zombies anyway, the surviving culture has founded itself around the philosophy of seeking a glorious death in battle, to guarantee themselves a prized place when they are resurrected into a new paradise of a world by the God-Pharaoh. To facilitate this, those who perish early, before the final trials, are resurrected as docile mummified undead respected as "The Anointed"; these early returners are the foundation of Amonkhet society, as they undertake all of the labors that civilization requires whilst the living occupants concern themselves with nothing other than training for their ultimate fate of battling to the death in the Trial of Zeal. Additionally, Black Mana is associated with Bontu, crocodile-headed God of Ambition, who teaches that the worthy are those who deliberately strive for glory in life and do not let themselves be burdened by false humility or uncertainty — teachings that are considered one of the five great lessons that the Amonkhetians must learn to attain their glorious resurrection as an Immortal. Subverted when it is ultimately revealed that the Amonkhetian culture has been twisted into an industrialized producer of elite undead minions for the malevolent Planeswalking dragon, Nicol Bolas, and that Bontu betrayed her siblings to Bolas when he conquered their already-dying world generations ago, although before then Bontu was one of the respected and beloved gods of Amonkhet.
  • Massive Darkness: Heroes, even if called Lightbringers, gain abilities and bonuses when standing in unlit zones (from roll bonuses to even regeneration), in addition to the possibility of staying unseen — while the enemies, which are more stereotypical creatures of underground, usually gain no advantage in darkness, meaning that it is almost always preferable to fight in the darkness.
  • Pathfinder:
    • The Chaotic Good goddess Desna, who is associated with Stars and the night sky, as well as Black Butterfly, an Empyreal Lord associated with darkness, distance, and space. The land of Tian Xia also has the Lawful Good god Tsukiyo, the most prominent Good deity to provide the Darkness domain to his clerics.
    • In Second Edition, the now Chaotic Neutral Nocticula gives rebels in Nidal a God of Darkness to worship that isn't Zon-Kuthon
  • Warhammer: Magic is either present in its raw chaotic form, or is refined into eight winds (which can be further refined and weaved together into High Magic); one of these winds provides magic over death, and another over shadows. Both are very distinct from the chaotic magic used by necromancers and worshippers of chaos gods.


    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate:
    • The drow cleric Viconia DeVir is an unusual case; she worships the goddess Shar, seeing her as a deity of comforting, sheltering shadow and welcoming numbness against the pain and grief she feels from her Dark and Troubled Past. But in the actual canon of the Forgotten Realms, Shar is typically presented as a standard Dark Is Evil deity, being the goddess of loss, misery, bitterness and spite. It's inferred that Viconia's interpretation of Shar is somewhat skewed due to her race; drow function best in darkness but suffer blindness and pain in the light.
    • Baldur's Gate III: Shadowheart is another cleric of Shar who tries to frame her goddess in a more benign, benevolent light as a result of having been raised as a Tyke Bomb by Viconia herself. This trope is then horribly subverted, as Shar rewards their lifetimes of piety by having Shadowheart kill Viconia for her arrogance and Pragmatic Villainy before telling her to perform a Targeted Human Sacrifice of her own parents.
  • Bayonetta: The Umbra Witches are the counterparts of the Lumen Sages but are not presented as evil as such, even though they get their powers from a Deal with the Devil. The two clans paid each other great respect (before they started waging war to each other, that is) and each one protects one Eye Of The World. These "Eyes" represent Darkness and Light and are both necessary to awaken Jubileus. It also helps that neither force is depicted as wholly good either. Characters and texts in-game suggest that both forces have influenced humanity for good and bad, but for most of history have not actually attempted to take a permanent stand. At least, not until the events of the game, when the Angels finally attempt to revive their Creator.
  • Believe it or not, the will of the galaxy itself in Boktai (literally known as "Dark") is this. Although its followers, the Immortals, seek to destroy humanity to supplant them with their own race of undead, Dark itself wishes to eliminate humanity to return peace to the galaxy, fearing that humanity will otherwise spread unfettered across the galaxy and ultimately destroy it and themselves.
  • In Dark Souls:
    • The Humanity that keeps you from becoming a Hollow seems to be literally made of Dark, and it turns out the progenitor of humanity had a unique Lord Soul—the Dark Soul—which every human has a piece of, making them inherently beings of Dark. While Artorias of the Abyss revealed that overabundance/lack of control of Humanity turns people into horrific monstrosities, it's still unclear if this is because Dark Is Evil or because it was misused. Even if it is the former, Dark is also stated to be an unavoidable product of the disparity the First Flame brought to the world. Without Dark there would be no fire/light, and thus only the homogenous, unchanging Age of Grey preceding the Age of Fire, as embodied by the Everlasting Dragons.
    • In the sequel, while hexes, which are some of the most devastating spells in the game, come from the Dark, those who study the Dark frequently describe it as a thing of peaceful serenity.
    • The sequels' respective DLCs add more to the discussion around this trope. The titular Scholar of the First Sin Aldia posits that humans are innately creatures of the Dark and that being Hollow is mankind's natural state. Humanity turning its back on the Dark and embracing the Fire he describes as a "yoke" imposed by the gods, chiefly Gwyn, Lord of Sunlight. But he goes on to ask if that's truly a bad thing. Do men's lives of light and warmth being artificial really make going Hollow superior? In The Ringed City it's revealed that the Darksign, believed a curse that causes undeath, was in truth a seal created by Gwyn to suppress humanity's innate Darkness, which they wielded in ancient times. It's kept ambiguous the exact rammifications this had, whether humanity was heading into collapsing into monsters and Gwyn forestalled that end or Gwyn caused said eventual collapse by severing man's connection to his inner Darkness and crippled his ability to control it is left up in the air.
  • Diablo: Necromancers in Diablo II and III are servants of cosmic balance more than darkness and are in fact nature worshippers, believing in a Cycle of death, decay, and rebirth as embodied by the dragon Rathma. They utilize their power over the good aspects of death and rot to combat the demons, who utilize the bad aspects of it. A necromancer and his army of skeletons, each a vessel for the soul of a deceased hero, are regarded as well as a paladin or demon hunter in the games' towns.
  • Doctor Who Legacy: The color-coded Personality Powers that characters use to attack are red for fire, blue for ice/time, green for nature, yellow for electricity (or lightning)...and black for darkness (with attacks creating the brief image of a wailing face when they hit). Darkness is just as powerful and vital as the other four attacks, and like those is used by both villains and heroes; it's also both weak to and powerful against electricity (and vice versa). Among the good guys who use darkness as their primary attack are several incarnations of the Doctor himself (Eight, Nine, and Twelve, reflecting their sadder, darker personalities, plus Signature Series Six).
  • The Elder Scrolls: Nocturnal is the Daedric Prince of darkness and the night, and is also associated with thieves and luck. Given the nature of the series' deities, she is essentially the embodiment of the night and darkness. The darkness that Nocturnal represents is treated as protective, as well as beautiful, welcoming, and awe-inspiring to those who appreciate it. However, Nocturnal is quick to withdraw her favor (and thus the protective qualities of darkness) if she is displeased, and those who appreciate the darkness more often than not tend to be thieves and criminals.
  • Fallen London: The Liberation of Night seeks to destroy all of the suns, creating a universe free from light and therefore law.
  • Occasionally has a minor part in Final Fantasy games.
    • In Final Fantasy III, it is stated that the Precursors nearly destroyed the world when they tried to harness Light as an energy source and caused a "Flood of Light". They were saved by Dark Warriors fighting against light, who aid the present Warriors of Light in the Final Dungeon.
    • In Final Fantasy IV there are 4 light crystals and 4 dark crystals.
    • Final Fantasy Dimensions takes many story elements from FF I-VI. The world is shattered into overlapping light and dark halves, and your party is broken into 2 groups; 4 Warriors of Light and 4 Warriors of Dark. Both sets start the game with the same basic jobs, but as the story progresses they obtain divergent jobs and even the basic jobs are able to learn mutually exclusive abilities. Even near the end when the 2 groups come together and the player can freely form their party of 5, the jobs and abilities stay unique.
    • It has a major part in the appropriately titled Shadowbringers expansion of Final Fantasy XIV, when your warriors are trying to bring darkness to a world that is dying due to the Flood of Light that has destroyed much of the First and is corrupting the rest. Many people in The First worship the darkness and the night, which hasn't been seen in over 100 years and when the Warrior Of Light/Darkness and the Scions manage to restore the night in an area, it's treated as a thing of great beauty.
    • Shadowbringers, and its follow-up Endwalker, further expound on this with the primal Zodiark. Despite all interactions with him (or Elidibus, his incarnated heart) being antagonistic, he was literally summoned to save the world, and protected it for thousands of years, and his nature of a creature of Darkness is not incidental but actually critical to his function. Worshipped by the Ascians as he is, he is literally the Sacred Darkness incarnate.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Several of the holy Infinity +1 Swords used by the Precursor Heroes and eventually obtained by the player are dark magic tomes, but are treated with exactly the same level of reverence and usefulness as the other holy weapons; said weapons are Apocalypse and Gleipnir. The exception here is the Jugdral canon (Genealogy of the Holy War and Thracia 776), which plays Dark Is Evil very straight — of the holy weapons of the Twelve Crusaders, none of them are dark magic, and the equivalent dark tome, Loptous, was born of a destructive evil god of the same name and is used by the final boss, a descendent of and possessed by said evil god; however, the "holy" blood of Loptous is charted in exactly the same way as the holy blood of the Crusaders. Nonetheless, the holy sword Mysteltainn might be an example, as side materials sometimes call it a demonic sword and its destined wielders are always Black Knights on the side of good (like Eldigan and his son Ares).
    • The Jugdral backstory tried to invoke the trope with Saint Maira's third option for the Jugdral people: worshipping Loptous willingly and as a savior, rather than an evil God. Naturally, Status Quo Is God, and he failed.
    • Gleipnir actually doesn't deal bonus damage to monsters the way the other Sacred Twin weapons do. However, in Radiant Dawn, every unit brought to the endgame gets one of their weapons turned into a holy weapon at a certain point. If the chosen group includes a dark magic wielder, a dark tome could become holy.
    • Fire Emblem: Awakening brings up an interesting new thought in regards to curse magic. It is a type of spellcraft that forces an effect against the natural order, but in of itself is not evil. For example, one could curse a vital organ to heal from an injury that would have normally been fatal... or curse an illness that has no cure to become nothing more than a common cold. As Tharja put it:
      Don't be fooled by the name. Curses are a kind of magic that gives life to dreams. Whether it is a dream of joy or horror depends very much on the victim.
    • Fire Emblem Fates has the Siegfried Holy Sword, Prince Xander's personal weapon, which is at the same level of the other four Holy Weapons in this universe: Prince Ryoma's Raijinto sword (lightning), Prince Takumi's Fujin Yumi (wind), and Prince Leo's Brynhildr (gravity). Whether Xander is an opponent or not, it depends on which path is chosen, but he's always described as at least an Anti-Villain.
  • Hades:
    • The Darkness artifact found all over The Underworld is seen as helping those born into that realm as gaining oneness with The Underworld and growing stronger all the while. Collecting these is required for unlocking Zagreus's Talents, making repeated runs to the surface less tricky and daunting. (But not necessarily easy though. It is a Roguelike after all.) Darkness is often invoked in terms of safety and guidance by various Underworld citizens.
    • The goddess Nyx is often referred to as "Mother Night" and "Night Incarnate" and she is one of the most benevolent characters in the game, responsible for defying the prophecy of the Fates (who are also her children) that Hades should not have a living heir by having the stillborn Zagreus be revived and treating him as a foster son ever since. Amongst her many children, her twin sons Thanatos and Hypnos as well as Charon are also benevolent beings and focussed on carrying out their necessary duties, very much personifying Dark Is Not Evil.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic V has the dark elves, who worship Malassa the Dragon of Darkness, and the necromancers, who worship the "death" aspect of Asha the Dragon of Order. Both ultimately work for the "good" side in the campaign.
  • Hollow Knight: The Void is an ancient, shapeless, endlessly powerful force that lies in the depths of the Abyss. It's usually described as "power without unity," and it's also what the Knight is made of on the inside. If you manage to create the Void Heart charm to unite the Void under your will and become the Lord of Shades, it gives you the ultimate ability with which to save Hallownest, allowing you to go straight to the source — a goddess known as the Radiance, and destroy her. Bonus points if you take the Godmaster route and destroy her from there, since that also give you an impressive new form called the Void Given Focus, and an impressive title from the Godseekers: God of Gods.
  • In Illusion of Gaia, the hero exclusively wields dark powers, while some of the monster he fights used to be human before they were touched by the light of an evil comet.
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits: Kena is a Spirit Guide who sees out Rot spirits, who are friendly beings that are explicitly stated to be a force of good by maintaining the balance of the world by decomposing dead things. Also, they're adorable.
  • Kingdom Hearts skipped into this occasionally.
    • While usually Dark Is Evil and Light Is Good, some parts of the story regarding Riku have felt like this, especially in Chain of Memories, where he's told to accept his darkness and uses it to beat Zexion.
    • King Mickey outright tells Xemnas that the Worlds are made of both Light and Darkness, and that "you can't have one without the other."
    • By Dream Drop Distance, while the corruptive aspects of darkness are still in full play here, Riku himself has become the living proof of this trope, having become immune to said corruption from so much exposure to it, thus freely able to wield dark powers while being more of a good guy than he has ever been, showing where Terra and Sora have failed to conquer, and making Xehanort's use of darkness rightfully look worse by comparison.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, despite being a Humanoid Abomination capable of drawing power from Force-Sensitive individuals and creating Force-Bonds to sway them to their point of view, the Jedi Exile is still nonetheless a Light-Sided Jedi.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In Ocarina of Time, the Sage of Light sends the hero on a quest to awaken the Sages of Forest, Fire, Water, Shadow and Spirit, all forces of good required to defeat the Great King of Evil.
    • This theme is further explored in Twilight Princess, with events such as the Blade of Evil's Bane being blessed by the gods of the Dark World.
    • The Sheikah tribe have this as their main cultural motif. Nicknamed the "Shadow Folk" and associated with darkness and stealth, they're nonetheless a Tribe of Priests dedicated since the early days of creation to following the will of Hylia and protecting the Royal Family of Hyrule from harm. This is most apparent in the aforementioned Ocarina of Time, where Impa of the Sheikah is Zelda's bodyguard and nurse dedicated to protecting the princess and eventually awakening as the Sage of Shadow to help Link, and Breath of the Wild, where undead Sheikah monks have been waiting in their darkly-lit Shrines for 10,000 years for the prophesied Hero to complete their trials and prove worthy of receiving Spirit Orbs.
  • In Luminous Arc, the Twilight Witch is Cecille, formerly of the Luminous Church. Her powers of Darkness counterbalance the Dawn Witch, Lucia's, once it's revealed that the Witches are not evil.
  • MARDEK has this as a major plot element. Every element is required for the world to function properly, and even though dark is often evil, it's still necessary, most notably to spur on technological and magical progress. Rohoph is unwilling to accept this, which begins causing problems at the end of Chapter Two.
  • Nexus Clash is brimming over with straight examples of Dark Is Evil, but Hashaa, the personification of Death is this trope instead, seeking to quiet the noise of the universe and enforce death as a law of the universe that she sees as fair and just. She gets a bad reputation because Humans Are Bastards who dish out death indiscriminately, but Hashaa's goal is to limit suffering and some of her followers can be downright saintly.
  • Although not a dark type, Cresselia from Pokémon fits this Trope perfectly; she represents the crescent moon and is part of the Lunar Duo with Darkrai. While Darkrai represents bad dreams and is an example of Dark Is Not Evil, Cresselia is an entity of pleasant dreams and peaceful nights. Generation VII also introduces Lunala, a Legendary representing the avatar/concept of the moon, revered as a divine guardian.
  • Octopath Traveler II: Aeber, Prince of Thieves, represents benevolent darkness of the gods. Of their eight domainsnote , Thief is the most morally questionable, but a thief who steals from evil and aides good is good at the core. Aeber also blesses Throné, who starts her life as a thief but wishes to escape her enslavement, with the EX Skill "Veil of Darkness" which hits all enemies with a Darkness-elemental attack and will cause their next physical attack to miss.
  • Ori and the Blind Forest: Dark spirits are no better or worse than the light spirits, and include the motherly Naru who shelters and takes care of the protagonist.
  • Persona 5 takes the Dark Is Not Evil route with its characters right up until the protagonist's Ultimate Persona, which is Satanael, a being which is explicitly stated to be Satan before he fell from God's grace. He's still dark all over and extremely demonic-looking (even being referred to as a "demon lord"), but he somehow manages to be a Messianic Archetype despite the obvious Mind Screw. He's the embodiment of Tokyo's desire for freedom, and comes to remake the world into a place free from control and oppression.
  • Shining Force. The Sword of Darkness, despite being a cursed weapon, might count as this, since it's needed to form the Chaos Breaker.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei:
    • The demon Black Maria, based off an interpretation of the Virgin Mary with black skin, is stated in the Compendium to be a holy mother of the dark. Likewise, the demon Alciel, the "Black Sun", of "King of Gehenna" has added commentary in the Compendium saying darkness is a part of rebirth.
    • Lucifer. A recurring theme of the series is the balance between Law and Chaos, YHVH representing the former and Lucifer the latter, with emphasis on light and darkness respectively. At its absolute best, Chaos is a force of change and revolution that inspires humanity to constantly improve itself, question dogma and rebel against crushing order. All too often, though, Chaos and darkness spins out of control, resulting in a hellish world of perpetual conflict and violence.
  • The Undead element serves as this in Skylanders. There are references to the undead attacking the living, but some have shown themselves to be friendly; plus the Eternal Undead Source is one of the components of the Core of Light, and the Skylanders themselves include a number of Undead members (even if one is a Token Evil Teammate and people are wary of the dark powers of two others). It should be noted though that while undeath is all right, darkness is still portrayed as evil. Trap Team then played it straight by adding Dark as an element, including Dark Is Not Evil Skylanders.
  • The Nerazim Dark Templar of StarCraft fame are a nomadic people who revere the darkness and Void Psychic Powers, which are derived from the vast expanses between planets. Their favored powers include invisibility, the Flash Step, and huge "warp blades" that can slice through armor, which they use to perform ninja-style infiltrations and assassinations. Despite this, they are far and away more friendly than their light-using High Templar counterparts. They see the shadows as safety from the "prying light" of the Khala, a psionic connection between High Templar that allows instant communication at the price of privacy. They are likewise dedicated to the concept of protection, as shown in their blessing adun toridas: "Adun hide you" or "shelter you". Ironically, the "prying light" of the Khala was a tool created by the void-based Amon to enslave Protoss to his will, giving the Nerazim a strong reason to reject it.
  • Sword of Paladin: Zechs, the Dark Knight, makes use of Dark Matter, which is distinct from the corruptive essence known as Miasma. In fact, he is able to use Dark Matter in a ritual to purify the Satan Gems of Miasma, allowing him to extract additional Dark Matter from the gems and safely empower himself. While his darkness isn't corrupt, it is still considered an opposing force to Nade's light, which is why both powers are needed to create a Flotsam jewel to save Asgard.
  • Tales of Berseria keeps its sequel's perspective that Dark Is Evil and Chaos Is Evil with malevolence, however it also shows what happens when there is a world with only light and order.
  • Tenebrae in Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World is the Centurion of darkness. He feels most at home in the Shadow Temple, though he finds the darkness in the Earth Temple to be unsettling.
  • Terranigma: Dark Gaia's purpose is to impel the world through its natural cycles of death and rebirth. Light Gaia opposes this cycle and the main character's actions.
  • Twisted Wonderland: Briar Valley fairies are a race affiliated with the night, and a common well-wish among them is "may the night bless you".
  • Undertale: Because of Gaster's report, many fans thought Dark Is Evil was somewhere in the backstory. The most likely explanation, the Darkness in Deltarune is not evil. The Darkners, with one exception, are as affable and kind as the monsters. While the Dark has become a threat to the world, its because of a second fountain that shouldn't exist (specifically, if too many fountains exist at once what's basically Ragnarok will trigger), not because the Darkness itself is a destructive force.
  • In Universe at War, the Masari are masters of both Light and Dark. They advocate maintaining a balanced vision above all else and are definitely not evil. Their Light powers give offensive buffs (longer line of sight, extra damage to enemies over time) while their Dark powers boost defenses (increaced speed and Dark Matter Armor, a self-regenerating second health bar).
  • Warcraft:
    • The Void, which encompasses all darkness and shadow magic in the universe. While inherently destructive, and a source of the setting's residential Eldritch Abominations, it is as vital to the universe as its polar opposite, the Holy Light, as it represents freedom and individuality. In fact, were it not for the Void-born Curse of Flesh, multiple races (including humans, dwarves, gnomes and mogu) would have remained empty automatons with no free will. Only a few races understand the Void's importance in-universe, however: even the naaru, who know full well about it, forbid their followers from studying shadow magic, for the fear of its corrupting influence.
    • Trolls generally have this attitude towards death magic, which most other races revile. Their death god, Bwonsamdi, is not exactly a good guy, but he is dedicated to maintaining the balance of life and death.
    • The Arakkoa of Draenor have two major deities; the Sun Goddess Rukhmar, and the Raven God Anzu. Historically they were both venerated, but by the time of Warlords of Draenor, Rukhmar's adherents have become genocidal zealots while Anzu's followers utilize Void magic to try and live in peace.
  • Warframe: The Warframe Equinox's Night aspect reflects this idea, representing the soothing protection and safety of night, in the form of healing and protective auras that assist other nearby Warframes and allies. Her Day aspect, on the other hand, reflects the destructive potential of the sun and light.
  • In World of Mana games, Shadow is the Mana Spirit of Darkness, and he grants spells with the pleasant names of "Dark Force" and "Evil Gate." However, he's always unquestionably on the side of the heroes, attempting to help them prevent The End of the World as We Know It and preserve life on the planet.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Sweet Enchantments, Zain Blackwood is a dark magician. While dark magic can be used for curses and hexes and there's a considerable stigma surrounding it and those who use it, Zain uses his magic only for benevolent purposes such as breaking curses placed by others. In his second season the heroine gets an opportunity to experience what his dark magic is like for him, and while she finds it unnerving at first her perspective soon changes and she sees it as Zain himself does — lonely, but also beautiful and strangely comforting.
    Zain's Inner Voice: A presence in darkness, a voice in silence, like a cave of shadows, an old house comfortable with its ghosts.

  • Dominic Deegan: The orc gods of light and darkness are supposed to form a balance of death and rebirth — bad things happen to both when it is disturbed.
  • Homestuck:
    • Void God Tier powers may count since they are heavily associated with the infinite darkness of the Furthest Ring, but the two concrete examples we can see of them include using the control over nothingness to remove that concept from an object and thus bringing it into existence and using it as a Psychic Block Defense against scrying and unwanted detection by forces you don't want seeing you. The fact that Void is one of 12 confirmed Aspects also shows that it is treated with the same sort of reverence as other cosmic forces like Time, Space, Light, and Life.
    • In addition, the trolls of Alternia are a nocturnal race: their world's sun is so hot and bright that only one caste can endure its light, and the roles of light and dark are generally reversed in their thoughts.

    Web Original 
  • Moonflowers:
    • This becomes a plot point when Hades and Persephone, concerned that Alima Song's presumed-dead parents have ignored her offerings for months, step in to check on her. They find out that Alima's parents are alive (if cursed by The Wild Hunt), but also that the entire family is cursed to be victims of The Wild Hunt's upcoming Fairy Raid on Samhain/Halloween. Hades was already mad about the Folk abducting a woman's parents and letting her think they're dead, but the second part makes him go ballistic.
    • A literal version of this trope also happens, thanks to Mayari the Filipino moon-goddess. All of the moon/night-imagery in the story can be taken as Foreshadowing for her arrival, and unlike the Hunter who uses the night to terrorize people through their vulnerability, she is very clearly good.
  • The Dark God in Tales From the Gas Station isn't so much evil as he is inept. He's even kind of upset when the protagonist calls him on his title, stating that a thousand years ago, the God of Darkness meant something quite different. He brings back te remains of the local Apocalypse Cult after their Kool-Ade party, because "When that Jesus guy came back, everyone thought it was cool." However, he brings them back wrong. His plan for getting his chief servant elected as mayor was to increase environmental protection, but his Chosen Ones best friend is the town bully.

    Web Videos 
  • SMPLive: The Void cult falls into this, as they worship the dark, endless nothingness of the Void.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):



Kouichi spent the first half of the series under the command of Cherubimon, who enslaved him using the corrupted Spirits of Darkness. When confronting him about it, Kouichi unlocks the true power of darkness, transforming the spirits into their true form. Now instead of the eldritch-looking Duskmon, he turns into the knightly Loweemon, who while wears black armor and uses darkess-based attacks, is firmly a heroic warrior.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / DarkIsNotEvil

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