Follow TV Tropes


Tranquil Fury

Go To

"Astfgl had passed through the earlier stage of fury and was now in that calm lagoon of rage where the voice is steady, the manner is measured and polite, and only a faint trace of spittle at the corner of the mouth betrays the inner inferno."

There may come a time when going berserk simply doesn't work. Maybe the burning rage is being outweighed and tempered by ice-cold hate. In any case, many people choose to turn to Tranquil Fury. This state of mind allows much whoop to be uncanned without undue stress. When the time comes for the showdown between The Hero and the Big Bad, do not expect to see an Unstoppable Rage. Instead, expect The Hero (or Anti-Hero)'s face to be serenely, eerily calm. They will not appear to be even slightly put off with the villain, but that won't stop them from trying to hack the villain to hundreds of tiny pieces. A defeat by someone in the grip of Tranquil Fury is likely to be more comprehensive than others, as the job will be done in a properly thorough fashion.

This is different from The Quiet One and The Stoic. The character in the grip of Tranquil Fury isn't necessarily an emotional cripple, and in day to day life they may be perfectly normal and happy. What defines Tranquil Fury is the tendency to become deadly serious when it gets deadly serious.

Tranquil Fury is often preceded by the phrase "I didn't want to have to do this" or something similar. A loose real-life equivalent would be the concept of mushin. Typically, a Meditation Powerup invokes or results in such a state.

Compare: Don't Make Me Destroy You, Bored with Insanity, Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, Rage-Breaking Point, and Heroic Safe Mode.

Contrast: Berserker Tears, Unstoppable Rage.

Compare and contrast: Suppressed Rage, Dissonant Serenity, Villainous Breakdown, and Beware the Quiet Ones. These characters often use Creepy Monotone, Death Glare, and Slasher Smile. When Good Is Not Soft, the most brutal examples of its wrath will often take this form.


    open/close all folders 

  • Never Say No to Panda: The panda is oddly calm and very chilled out even when it's smashing up the stuff of the current person of the week who said no to the cheese.

    Comic Strips 
  • Scary Gary: Itís Played for Laughs that Leopold may sometimes look calm and composed, but is actually simmering with/consumed by rage and isnít letting it show at the moment, in contrast to how he may show his anger by going berserk at other times.

  • Scottish traditional song Jock O'Braidosly, which describes a Scottish poacher who is ambushed and fatally wounded by a party of English foresters while sleeping in the forest. Leaping to his feet, he props himself against a tree, calmly strings his bow, and proceeds to kill six, driving away a single grievously wounded survivor.
  • The song "Four Five Seconds" by Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul Mccartney is a laid-back song driven by an acoustic guitar with an upbeat, folksy melody, and its lyrics are all about seething with rage.
  • Phil Collins's song "In The Air Tonight", by Word of God, is about the singer confronting a cheating spouse. The slow, ominous music and steely delivery of a musical "The Reason You Suck" Speech slowly build as the singer calmly and coldly explains that even a stoic feels the pain of having their heart broken. The thing coming in the air? The singer's Rage-Breaking Point, arriving with that famous drum riff.
  • The Megas: Proto Man. Despite his hatred for Mega Man, he's able to greet him cordially, and his songs are relatively stable - he's not monotone, but he doesn't yell and even sounds more sad than angry, even though he's talking about how he intends to smash past Mega Man and kill Dr. Light as payback for taking him apart.
    Proto Man: (levelly) I wish to turn this man to cinders.
  • Oran "Juice" Jones' 1986 hit, "The Rain" about a man who has been cheated on by his girlfriend, ends with a spoken word speech where his first impulse is to go postal before calming down and canceling the credit cards he gave her, packing her stuff and telling her to leave, but not without a little bit of Tough Love, advising her to do better next time she finds a man.
  • Taylor Swift's "mad woman" is a completely calm, even-toned "The Reason You Suck" Speech aimed at men who mistreat women, then discredit them by framing them as crazy when they react appropriately. The lyrics make it clear that the narrator is furious and very done with this, but they're sung softly, over a gentle piano and guitar intrumental.
    Does she smile?
    Or does she mouth, "'curse you'' forever"?

  • The Adventure Zone: Balance: After regaining the memories of their past, Taako remembers he had a sister who went missing, and who he completely forgot about after Lucretia fed her information to the Voidfish. He then calmly draws his Umbrastaff and points it at Lucretia.
    Taako: Ten.
    Taako: Nine.
    Lucretia: Taako I kn- I know you're upset-
    Taako: Eight.
    (Magnus points his sword at Lucretia)
    Lucretia: Listen-
    Taako: Seven.
    Lucretia: Please listen to me! Please.
    Taako: Six.
    Merle: (horrified) What the hell are you doing?!
    Taako: Five.
    Magnus: The chance to explain yourself was, hmm, about a dozen memories ago.
    Taako: And honestly seven seconds ago, I'm doing this cool countdown — You took everything from me!

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Akebono is almost a Perpetual Smiler. Almost. He does get angry sometimes, but it's almost never above this level.
  • Bryan Danielson's first feud with Homicide. Cide had a million gruesome threats for Danielson, Danielson had a very long death glare.
  • After Bullet Club's attack on Ring of Honor itself on the 2016 Global Wars Tour, Jay Lethal's pursuit of the group was marked by this, in contrast to his usual scenery chewing ways. He did frequently lose his temper after the group forcibly shaved him bald, but returned to tranquility when he finally got Adam Cole in the ring, until Cole's taunting cause him to lose his temper again, anyway.
  • WWE's NXT has Johnny Gargano, after his former tag team partner Tommaso Ciampa cost him his NXT career. Words cannot describe how furious Gargano was with his one-time best friend, and he made sure to show it to Ciampa, stalking him and attacking him until Ciampa requested a match (that would be stipulated as unsanctioned) to finally deal with him. However, when the match came around, in deep contrast to how he had been acting the previous few weeks, Gargano was oddly calm, laser-focused on finally defeating Ciampa, with only a very harsh Death Glare to show how angry he really was.

  • In The Men from the Ministry, after Mr. Lamb accidentally buys thousand pounds worth of light Stilton cheese, Sir Gregory is pretty much this.
    Sir Gregory: (completely calm) Lamb, in all my years in the public service I have never encountered such asinine incompetence...
    Lamb: Don't try to hide it Sir Gregory, you're cross.
    Sir Gregory: Cross? Cross? I'll murder you! I'll shake you 'til the sawdust runs out of your ears!

    Stand-Up Comedy 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Dungeons & Dragons D&D 4th Edition, a Paragon Path for the rage-focused Barbarian class called "Calm Fury" is available in the supplement "Primal Power," allowing them to use some of their most powerful abilities while not explicitly raging. According to the flavour text, "You now attain the furious clarity on the far side of rage".
  • In Exalted the Lunar charm Relentless Lunar Fury, a key warrior-type technique that enables a keyword on other Lunar charms, specifically suggests tranquil fury as one of the ways to portray the effect.
  • In LegendOfTheFiveRings, the Crab Clan has samurai who train as berserkers. While the Unstoppable Rage type of berserker is far more common, the "dead-eyes" berserkers focus their rage and go into combat with a zen-like detachment and unnerving apparent calm.
  • Pathfinder has the urban barbarian, an archetype for the barbarian class with a vastly different rage ability called controlled rage : it imparts no penalty to AC and doesn't restrict the use of Dexterity-, Intelligence- or Charisma-based skills, doesn't grant any bonus to Will saves and instead of giving a static bonus to Strength and Constitution, it lets the character distribute a bonus between Strength, Dexterity and Constitution at the start of a controlled rage. In short, instead of going full berserk, the urban barbarian remains in control but gets lower benefits overall.
  • In Vampire: The Requiem, vampiric frenzy is normally an animalistic Unstoppable Rage, but some members of the decorum-obsessed Sotoha bloodline practice a technique that allows them to retain their composure. One member, engaged in a prolonged vendetta, is rumoured to have been in constant, carefully controlled frenzy for decades.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Space Marines and Eldar deliberately try to enter this state rather than "hot" fury. Given what they know about Chaos, justified trope. Tau are also normally calm during battle unless their Berserk Button gets pushed.
    • Dark Eldar Incubi (which are the 40k version of the Executioners mentioned below) also have this. In the Rogue Trader RPG, Dark Eldar players with the "Incubus Initiate" alternative career rank can buy a talent that lets them attain a state of Tranquil Fury, allowing them to enter frenzy without suffering the normal drawback of being unable to do anything but Attack! Attack! Attack!.
    • Even the Orks get in on this trope: Your average boyz are a pack of gleefully raging Blood Knights in battle, but the truly dangerous orks are a different breed of angry. The battle demeanor of the legendary Ghazghkull Thraka, for instance, tends towards "grim impatience".
  • Warhammer:
    • This is the whole point of the Executioners in the Dark Elf army. While all dark elves love their blood lust, with most enjoying inflicting as much pain as possible, Executioners prefer to hone their skills in being able to kill whoever and whatever is in their way with a single precise swipe with their beloved draiches (which can either be a BFS or a big battle ax).

  • In Peter Shaffer's "Black Comedy", Shaffer even writes this into the stage directions. The main character has surreptitiously borrowed his neighbor's very expensive furniture to impress a guest, but then there is a power outage and the neighbor comes home unexpectedly, prompting the lead to scramble about replacing the furniture while his girlfriend stalls the neighbor. At some point, the lead accidentally drops a priceless sculpture at his neighbor's feet — and the neighbor, who finally figures out what's going on, simply says to the lead, "I think I'm going to have to smash you." On top of this, the stage directions say that he is speaking "in the quiet voice of the very, very dangerous."
  • Older Than Steam. Shakespeare's Henry V has the eponymous character's reaction to the tennis balls.
  • Anthony Hopkins's portrayal of Othello in the BBC TV show, during the climax, was mostly like this.

    Web Animation 

  • The Bully's Bully: The unnamed young heroine seems to go into this mode while deciding what action to take against the first bully she faces. The action she takes after all else fails? A beatdown.
  • Cobweb and Stripes: Betelgeuse gets this way when a mook who's after him starts chasing Lydia instead. Instead of his usual Large Ham tendencies, the poltergeist goes stone-cold calm. The mook quickly learns the hard way why you should not mess with Betelgeuse's Protectorate.
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse: Son Gohan. Especially when his daughter is killed and he can't do a thing about it.
  • El Goonish Shive: Luke defeats his opponent (who he was initially planning to lose to) with only a slightly furrowed brow and Scary Shiny Glasses to indicate his anger at his opponent's insult at the beginning of the match.
  • The Gamer: Thanks to Gamer's Mind, on the few occasions we've seen Han Jee-Han really angry, he's been creepily calm. It's always been in response to people from the Abyss thinking they could hurt either the helpless or someone he personally cares about (or, on one occasion, both at once) with impunity. Still, seeing as he was actively considering cold-blooded murder on two separate occasions when faced with Abyss-based human traffickers, the fact that this comes so easily for him is starting to become a serious worry for both him and his friends.
  • Girl Genius:
  • Homestuck: Doc Scratch is cool, calm, collected and an excellent host...until you break his clocks. Then he's cool, calm, collected, an excellent host, and perfectly capable of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Mob Psycho 100: The first time someone deliberately tries to get Mob to display any kind of emotion, he coldly tells the people laughing at him that it wasn't funny (and briefly stuns the cult to normal). Even when Mob reaches his limit, his tone of voice barely changes in 100% Rage.
  • My Deepest Secret: Even when really pissed to the point of seriously hurting someone, Elios never raises his voice or betrays much emotion aside from giving a serious death glare...even while beating them up.
  • In The Order of the Stick prequel book Start of Darkness, the lich Xykon discovers that he no longer has a sense of taste after attempting to chug a cup of truly horrendous coffee. What follows next is a terrifying example of this trope that demonstrates the gulf between the mortal Xykon and the undead version, as he coldly murders a waitress he had earlier described as very attractive. When Right-Eye gets angry, Xykon throws him against the wall and begins strangling him to death. Redcloak is only able to prevent Xykon from killing them both with a desperate bluff, though he still throws both goblins through a nearby window before announcing that he is now in charge. During the entire encounter, Xykon never once raises his voice.
    Pathetic little green worm. I ought to pop your sickeningly warm head off of your disgusting fluid-filled sack of organs.
  • Sarilho: Nikita seems to hold his temper in battle, even more so after Mikhail's death.
  • Sleepless Domain: Undine is the soul of politeness and courtesy, even when she's clearly very angry. She'll politely decline an interview with a pushy reporter while throwing water on her, or clamp a bully's mouth shut while asking she "please not talk about things she does not know" when she tries to use Undine as an example of a Magical Girl doing her duty despite hardship. It's not until chapter 14 that Undine expresses serious anger, after Cassidy proclaims she won't let Heartful Punch end up dead like Team Alchemical, angrily asking if the other person really thinks she doesn't think about that possibility nightly. On that note, Bud intervening during that confrontation as well: she doesn't raise her voice or look visibly angry at all, but her anger and disgust at Cassidy, for accusing Undine of murdering Team Alchemical, is palpable.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Sigrun is all around a quite loud person, which usually results in her yelling when she's mad. However, if she's really mad, she'll greatly tone down overall instead.
  • Tower of God: in the Name Hunt Station, when The Hero Bam faces Yukan — who's both in league with the people who run the station and have taken Bam's friends hostage, and currently stomping on someone smaller — Bam approaches him politely, explains calmly why he's angry, and blows him back with overwhelming power.
  • Weak Hero:
    • Gray is a ruthless Bully Hunter who forces down any fear or anger when it comes time to fight, meaning he tackles his opponents with a calm and terrifying thoroughness.
    • After middle-school bully Jeongmu vandalized his sheet music, Gerard decided the bullying had gone unpunished for too long and beat up Jeongmu and his minions, all with a stone-cold look on his face.
    • Juwon's calmness extends into battle, where he effortlessly pummels his foes without a hint of expression on his face. It's been known to terrify witnesses, and earned him the title "Jungle Sickle" for the smooth and efficient way that he disposes of enemies.

Alternative Title(s): Cold Anger


"I'm not fat; I'm big-boned."

Cartman ruins his therapist's life after a barrage of fat-related insults.

How well does it match the trope?

4.97 (29 votes)

Example of:

Main / TranquilFury

Media sources: