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Tranquil Fury / Literature

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Tranquil Fury in literature.

  • Jake from Animorphs is described this way by several of the others; they always describe his "angry" voice as being low, calm and dangerous.
  • Anita Blake frequently describes "going to that cold place" right before she kills, where everything in her head is silent and she focuses on the job at hand. In one case she's confronting a multiple murderer preternatural monster in a crowded mall food court, and he says "Aren't you going to read me my rights? Police have to do that." She responds "I'm not the police, I'm the Executioner" then calmly puts several bullets in him.
  • Also shows up a few times in The Belgariad.
    • Notably after Bethra is murdered, when Silk calmly and methodically butchers everyone remotely involved, and shows absolutely no remorse when called on it afterward.
    • Another notable, though minor incident involves Garion himself, when he finds that an innocent farmstead has been slaughtered by military deserters, which hits Close to Home. Normally a borderline Martial Pacifist, he sneaks off and ruthlessly kills all responsible, then returns as if nothing had happened. When his relations are concerned by his change in behavior, he just says that it had to be done.
  • Beware of Chicken: When Meiling hears about the Shrouded Mountain Sect hurting Xiulan and Tigu, she is filled with rage, making her mind go blank for a moment — and then it comes back, crystal-clear and contemplating recipes for poisons she knows and several she's inventing.
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  • Invoked ad infinitum in The Black Jewels Trilogy, where hot anger is the lesser danger; Blood can be pushed to something called the 'killing edge' which is a sort of glacially calm-seeming berserker state. You can be sure that when a character is speaking "too gently" or is "too calm" that they are a breath away from tearing someone apart.
    There were winds that came down from the north, screaming over miles of ice, picking up moisture as they tore over the cooling sea until, when they finally touched a man, the cold, knife-sharp damp seeped into his bones and chilled him in places the hottest fire couldn't warm. Saetan, when he was this calm, this still, was like those winds.
  • John Ringo's Black Tide Rising: In Strands of Sorrow, this seems to be a trait of some of the Smith family. Faith is being (in her mind, unfairly) relieved of her beloved Marine commission, and she thinks "She'd always wondered about how Da got calm at certain times. Now she knew what a real killing rage meant". Her Da gets the same calm exterior when he finds out what happened. Other people (the Acting President, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, an Admiral) are not so restrained.
  • The eponymous hero of Andrew Vachss' Burke novels is a master of this:
    You know what it takes to sit across the table from a man, listen to him talk, look into his eyes ... and then blow his brains all over the wallpaper?
    And the more of that you have, the easier it is.
    • The books also deconstruct the trope by showing it as it is: an incredibly dangerous sign of mental illness. This is best demonstrated with the Posthumous Character of Wesley; despite (or perhaps because of) never speaking above a whisper or losing his temper, he was the most vicious killer in a series full of Combat Pragmatists.
  • In one of the Callahan's Crosstime Saloon stories Jake mentions that Callahan doesn't shout or get loud when he's really angry, but he'll do that to people who don't know him if they act like jerks to intimidate them. When he well and truly pissed, he doesn't say a word.
  • Niko, the martial-arts expert, self-educated, "Buddha-loving" swordsman brother of Cal Leandros is almost always tranquil, the epitome of Zen. But threaten the ones he loves, especially his little brother, and that tranquility turns into a cold rage that makes him the perfect weapon, driven by nothing but the desire to bring death. He says himself that the thing he does best is kill.
  • A Certain Magical Index: During the Deep Blood arc in the second novel, Touma Kamijou saves a student from bleeding to death with the help of Aisa Himegami. When Aurelious Dummy appears to try and kill Himegami, the injured student steps in and sacrifices herself, dying in the process. This causes Touma to, in probably the only time he's done this in the series, proceed to calmly and mercilessly hunt down and try to kill Dummy for killing the injured student, and would have succeeded if Dummy didn't start begging for his life, causing Touma to realize he doesn't have what it takes to take a life. Stiyl Magnus had to finish the job for him.
  • This is Miss Annersley's default state when dealing with misbehaving girls in the Chalet School books. She never raises her voice when angry, and when she speaks, it's described as 'pieces of ice dropping from her lips'. Madge Bettany is also icily calm in the earlier books when angry.
  • Cradle Series: Eithan spends the vast majority of his time smiling pleasantly, even when in combat. He apologizes to some of the worst people in the world even as he's killing them. However, in Bloodline, when he's trying to evacuate some innocent civilians, the Heaven's Glory school sets the building on fire and traps them inside. They lose nothing if he takes the civilians; they're murdering several dozen people for no other reason than because they know Eithan wants them to live. Eithan kills the leader in a blink, rescues the civilians, and next we see him he's covered in blood — none of which is his. And he's not smiling.
    Eithan: Anyone who follows me inside is forgiven.
    [no one moves]
    Eithan: I will remember this.
  • In the Iain M. Banks Culture novel The Player of Games, there is an example of Tranquil Fury against a whole civilisation. The protagonist, Jurneau Gurgeh, is sent to the foreign Azadian empire to play in a games tournament (winning the tournament makes you the emperor). After having a fairly enjoyable time playing and drinking in what he sees as a crude but still interesting society, Jurneau's companion shows him just how bad things are in the empire (exploitation of mentally sick people, no support for the elderly or poor, brutal police force etc). He gets a bit upset, but doesn't think much of it. He's then shown a series of TV programs showing, in order, normal pornography, sado-dominative pornography, and finally, the most twisted kinds of sexually motivated anatomically horrific torture possibly conceived (a particularly vile example shows a pregnant woman being thrown into a room with a violently psychopathic prisoner injected with a massive amount of sex hormones and armed with a knife). He is then informed that this kind of thing happens all the time in the Azadian Empire. Cue his next games match. Where previously, he'd been playing out of sport and fun, Jurneau utterly annihilates his opponent in the most absolute way possible.
    • It's a sign of how complex a writer Banks is that the opponent being annihilated is the most sympathetic one Gurgeh has ever faced and the penalty for losing is gelding. And what makes it worse is that the opponent is pregnant for the first time and will lose all hope of ever having children, as well as his/her job (the ruling class in the Empire are hermaphrodites.) There are strong hints that Gurgeh has been driven somewhat Ax-Crazy by seeing the dark side of the Empire up close and personal. Lampshaded in the passage where Gurgeh's opponent (a judge) looks in his eyes and realizes that this is what every convict he has ever sentenced has seen... judgment, without mercy.
  • In Taylor Anderson's Destroyermen series, Captain Matthew Reddy slips into this when sufficiently provoked. Things usually end very, very, VERY badly for whoever was stupid enough to push him over the edge.
  • Discworld:
    • Captain Carrot, in Men at Arms dropped the Big Bad with barely a word. He would be just doing his duty... if it weren't for the Big Bad having shot his girlfriend. Significantly, he does so by putting a sword into (well, through) a stone, which earlier in the book is described as vastly more impressive than drawing a sword out of a stone. Said Big Bad was between Carrot's sword and the aforementioned stone. Carrot's expression does not change.
    • Normally accompanied by Carrot calmly pointing out that "personal isn't the same as important." He really believes this too — in Jingo he manages to have a quiet sleep while sailing after his kidnapped girlfriend, because it won't do him any good if he's tired once he catches up to her.
    • The one time Carrot abandons this trope (when he chases after Angua in The Fifth Elephant), he ends up getting utterly wrecked by Angua's brother. Which was very likely (perhaps subconsciously) The Plan on Carrot's part, to put himself in a position where Angua would have to come to his aid, and therefore force her hand against her brother.
    • He also used this trope on Angua when she thought Vimes (who was engaged to Sybil at the time with the wedding happening later at the book) was spending most of his salary on prostitutes. Without raising his voice or looking at her, Carrot calls Fred into the room and asks him to tell Angua what each of those names means: they're widows and orphans of the Night Watch.
    • Vimes' thoughts on the subject are virtually the definition of Tranquil Fury (with a side of Evil Gloating).
      "If you have to look along the shaft of an arrow from the wrong end, if a man has you at his mercy, then hope like hell that man is an evil man. Because the evil like power, power over people, and they want to see you in fear. They want you to know you are going to die. So they'll talk. They'll gloat. They'll watch you squirm. They'll put off the murder like another man will put off a good cigar. So hope like hell your captor is an evil man. A good man will kill you with hardly a word."
    • Vimes himself gets into one of these — most of his rages are barbaric, but at the end of Night Watch, facing Carcer, he calmly, carefully, and methodically disarms him, pins him against a wall, and arrests him. Vimes may be the master of the unstoppable rampage, but he can also gain the attention and expectant silence of a conference room full of squabbling aristocrats by becoming completely still with suppressed rage.
    • Terry Pratchett quite likes having his heroes remain outwardly calm as they knock seven bells out of the villains. Granny Weatherwax seems to do it once per book, and is described as storing up her anger behind a mental dam in her head, so that when she really needs it she can turn the tap and let it out.
      • Though it may be that Granny Weatherwax exists in a permanent state of Tranquil Fury because she wanted to be a wicked witch, but her sister chose to be the "wicked" one and didn't even have the common courtesy to enjoy it which left Granny with no choice but to be the "good" witch. Again and again, you see how much she despises the people of Lancre, her own closest friends not excepted, yet her entire life is devoted to helping them overcome their various troubles. Of all the characters in the Discworld novels, she seems to be the most effective force for good, and the most glaring example of Good Is Not Nice.
    • In Making Money, Moist Von Lipwig inadvertently implies that Vetinari might have murdered an old woman. This is a Very Big Mistake, and one of the very few things that could cause this reaction:
      Vetinari: I am extremely angry, Mr. Lipwig.
    • In I Shall Wear Midnight, Tiffany trolls Roland's complete bitch of a future mother-in-law into thinking she's a fairy-tale witch, leading to her arrogantly demanding that every spinning wheel in the castle be destroyed... including the one that belonged to Roland's mother. Oops.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • In Turn Coat, Lara, a vampire, gets a bit too forward with Harry. Ebenezar, the narration notes, calmly warns her that if she touches him again, the only thing left for her kin to bury will be her shoes. He's not kidding.
    • In Changes, this defines how Harry spends the majority of the book, with him struggling to keep his ever-intensifying anger at what is happening to his daughter from transforming into an outright Unstoppable Rage. As he points out at the beginning of the book, a wizard who cuts loose can level city blocks in their fury, so he has to keep his anger on a tight leash. It nonetheless leaks out; for example, when fighting the vampires in his office building, Harry keeps his cool but unthinkingly pumps soulfire into his flame blasts, without even considering the consequences, because he's that damned angry.
      • This rage is made even scarier when you get to see what he's willing to do when he finally does get his revenge upon his daughter's kidnappers.
        "God forgive me." — Harry Dresden
    • Speaking of which, there's his reaction in White Night to seeing two trainees he was in charge of being brutalised by ghouls. He doesn't shout, or scream, or raise his voice beyond a venomous whisper at worst while torturing their killers to death in revenge. It even freaks Ramirez out.
  • The Elenium:
    • A trait of Sparhawk. In fact, when his wife is kidnapped, he acts so calm that one of the knights (who's infatuated with her) tells him that he doesn't love her, or he would be angrier. Some very scared friends of Sparhawk have to stop him and describe this trope for him before something unfortunate happens.
    • Also, the final battle of The Tamuli. Being a God kinda helps.
  • Ender's Game: Ender is always like this when he's angry. No matter how much fury is within him, outside he is deathly calm and collected. Ender does this on purpose, as he learned very early the difference between "hot" and "cold" anger.
    "He could see Bonzo's anger growing hot. Hot anger was bad. Ender's anger was cold, and he could use it. Bonzo's was hot, and so it used him.”
  • At least one badass in every single one of David Gemmell's novels — if it's a secondary character, they will die by the end of the novel; if the main character doesn't do this at the beginning, he'll probably figure out how by the end. Waylander in the Drenai novels especially. In the first novel, Dardalion uses his powers to observe Waylander's aura and describes it as a state of "controlled fury".
  • This trope is the subject of a Rudyard Kipling poem Et Dona Ferentes which ends with the lines "But oh, beware my Country, when my Country grows polite!".
  • The Locked Tomb: Gideon the Ninth: Palamadeus appears completely calm as he talks to Cytherea, who murdered and replaced the woman he loved, and at the end of their conversation reveals without changing tone that he's been attacking her with necromancy the whole time they've been talking, and now that he's got all the information he wanted he's going to blow himself up to finish her off.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Dumbledore goes into a variation of this whenever he disciplines his students — however, instead of quiet anger his attitude is quiet disappointment. In the few times Harry has had to be disciplined by Dumbledore, he believes that he would have preferred him shouting in rage. However, Dumbledore is capable of going into a tranquil fury which is truly something to behold. See the Quotes page.
    • Remus Lupin from is perfectly calm when he is confronting his former friend, Peter Pettigrew in Prisoner of Azkaban, about betraying the Potters. His voice grows colder but he never once yells, even though it's clear he is furious. Even when he agrees to kill him, he just says "I think so," to Sirius's suggestion of killing him together.
    • Also, Professor McGonagall's conversation with Umbridge in Order of the Phoenix. Every time McGonagall's angry, you will see this trope.
    • This is Snape's default setting, along with Deadpan Snarker. Him snapping at Harry in a fury towards the end of Half-Blood Prince makes the Wham Line all the more potent.
    • Harry's entire fight with Voldemort at the end of Deathly Hallows was a great example of this. If Harry is shouting and screaming, you're probably okay. If he is in fact calm and collected, be afraid. Because you're about to get had.
  • Honor Harrington:
    • Honor herself:
      • Honor personifies this in her duel with Pavel Young. He tried to rape her in the academy, he's used his family connections to block her advancement, he's left her to die when he was her superior, he arranged the death of her lover, and when she managed to corner him and challenge him to a duel, he broke the laws on dueling by turning early. Her response was to send 3 bullets into his heart without a single twitch of facial muscle despite his cheating in the duel and turning around early to shoot her in the back.
      • From the (first) climax of Flag in Exile, Honor calmly interrupts Protector Benjamin — a shocking violation of Grayson propriety — when he was trying to offer her a way to avoid dueling a person accused of treason, and simply asks if he wants the traitor crippled or dead. Moreover, she maintains that utter calm throughout the (very short) duel. Her opponent was a very good fencer, but Honor has been killing people efficiently in one form or another for decades at this point.
      • This is how her husband sees her.
        It was a merciless something, her "monster" — something that went far beyond military talent, or skills, or even courage. Those things, he knew without conceit, he, too, possessed in plenty. But not that deeply personal something at the core of her, as unstoppable as Juggernaut, merciless and colder than space itself, that no sane human being would ever willingly rouse. In that instant her husband knew, with an icy shiver which somehow, perversely, only made him love her even more deeply, that as he gazed into those agate-hard eyes, he looked into the gates of Hell itself. And whatever anyone else might think, he knew now that there was no fire in Hell. There was only the handmaiden of death, and ice, and purpose, and a determination which would not — could not — relent or rest.
      • Honor's reaction when she finds some of her captured subordinates who have been brutally raped and beaten over and over and over, in The Honor of the Queen. She calmly walks out of the room, finds the CO of the base that allowed it to happen, and is only barely prevented from calmly blowing his brains out when a marine in power armor physically interposes himself, while one of her crew begs her to not do it and throw away her career. She doesn't lower the gun until a man representing the local authorities promises the man will be executed by the courts.
      • In Honor's earliest chronological appearance as a midshipwoman, an older officer speaks approvingly of her ability to read the riot act to someone without ever needing to raise her voice.
      • In the finale of Uncompromising Honor, Honor is leading an attack straight at the heart of the Solarian League, Earth itself. She is there in retaliation for an attack on Beowulf that, while thwarted, provided the Mesan Alignment the chance to blow up several civilian inhabited space stations, killing millions and resulting in the deaths of several of Honor's friends and colleagues there for a conference, and led directly to the death of her husband and indirectly to the death of their wife and let their Unwitting Pawns in the League get the blame. Honor doesn't show any obvious signs of rage, but every single person who interacts with her during the attack, be it her flagship's crew or the Solarian officers she's threatening into surrender, realize instantly that Honor is not only ready and willing to kill every Solarian she can but wants to, badly, and the only thing holding her back is that nobody on the League's side has given her an excuse to. They wisely choose to not do so. The only thing that cools her rage is the discovery that her husband survived the attack and the only reason she finds out is because as soon as he's saved from the wreckage, Earl White Haven bee-lined straight to Earth as fast as humanly possible because he knew exactly what his Juggernaut was likely to do.
    • Really, anybody in the Honorverse who can maintain a level of Tranquil Fury is going to be about twenty times more dangerous than someone who rants, raves, and screams. Perhaps best highlighted with Manticore's Queen Elizabeth. She's an intelligent, crafty, and very effective leader. If she keeps her head. Her biggest blunders, such as failing to get into a better position to head off the High Ridge Government's excesses and resuming hostilities with Haven after peace talks were sabotaged, occurred primarily because the "famed Winton temper" was provoked.
    • When Shannon Foraker is truly angry, she does not rant, rave, or lose control. Instead she creates a few simple lines of computer code that, when sent out over the tac net, wipes out two whole squadrons of State Sec ships by causing their fusion bottles to fail. Her comment on this is "Oops."
    • Arnold Giancola has a huge Oh, Crap! moment when he realises how drastically he has misread President Eloise Pritchart's apparent calm. He had been manipulating diplomatic correspondence between Haven and Manticore to make Pritchart look ineffectual and bolster himself for the Presidency. He never expected her to decide enough was enough and reopen hostilities with Manticore and restart the war.
    • Princess Abigail Hearns does not bluster, rant, or rave when she is angry, preferring to vaporize the targets of her anger with bomb-pumped laser missiles. Lots of bomb-pumped laser missiles. And when she feels God is on her side... watch out.
  • Gordon Dickson wrote a short novel (Hour of the Horde) about this, in which the dominant powers of the galaxy recruit a Token Brigade of humans and other less-advanced species to help fight an oncoming invasion — they're useless, but they have a stake in the outcome and deserve to have a shot. Turns out said dominant powers are Straw Vulcans — when they see how large the invasion fleet is, they prepare to surrender because their calculations indicate there's no way to win (even though surrender means the destruction of all life in the galaxy). The "less-advanced" folks pass through a state of fury and into Tranquil Fury, allowing them to use the ship's psychic weapons more effectively; it then turns out that the super-aliens never considered a berserker one-ship attack as a viable tactic. The enemies are thrown into disarray, and the defenders win the day.
  • Incarnations of Immortality: In On a Pale Horse, when Zane comes fully into his power as the Incarnation of Death, because Satan has kidnapped and is torturing his Love Interest, he radiates Tranquil Fury when he goes to rescue her. Mooks? He calmly lets them shoot at him, to no effect. Hellhounds? He calmly grasps them and disintegrates them. And his encounter with Satan at the climax? Handled calmly, with complete certainty of purpose.
  • John Kelly/Clark, from Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan novels, is another shining example; indeed, the Dryden quote in the quotes page for this trope appears on the opening page of Without Remorse, the book that explains how and why Navy SEAL and Vietnam vet John Kelly became the CIA's deadliest black operative, Mr. Clark.
  • Yo-less, in Johnny and the Bomb.
    [Johnny]'d never seen Yo-less so angry. It was a kind of rigid, brittle anger.
  • When Kate Daniels is angry, she swears and threatens violence. When she's really angry, she sits still and speaks calmly, and only her Empathic Weapon gives her away.
    Red made me very, very angry.
    "Your sword's smoking," the female bouda said.
    "It does that occasionally." My voice sounded flat.
  • Douglas Hill's series Last Legionary. A sci-fi story, a entire planet of warriors trained from birth to the utmost levels of physical and mental perfection, to sell their services as mercenaries. Until all but one gets wiped out by a planet-killer bomb. The best part? This is the state of mind every last one of them gets trained in for combat purposes.
  • The Legend of Drizzt: Drizzt Do'Urden normally does an Unstoppable Rage when he's pressed enough; he calls that mindset The Hunter. But he also has a "level 2" variant, referred to as the Warrior Incarnate, that's much more Tranquil Fury. He's only ever entered that once, and then only when he thought all his friends had been killed at the same time.
  • In Lord of the Rings Return of the King, Faramir's "restraint gives way" at last in a conversation with his fault-finding father Denethor's claim that he would rather Faramir's place had been exchanged with his brother Boromir—that Faramir died, and Boromir lived. Faramir's "restraint gave way" at last, but it was to coldly and calmly remind Denethor that it was his own order that sent Boromir on a quest either of his sons could have undertaken, and if he's looking for someone to blame for Boromir's death, it isn't Faramir.
  • Millennium Series: The titular character in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. After being blackmailed and brutally raped by her new caseworker, Lisbeth Salander mentions that "cooperative" is very much not the same as "submissive". Where another might fly into a homicidal rage or even BSOD, the heroine instead puts the scumbag in his place with a focus and purpose not unlike channeling a nuclear blast through a gun barrel. Having captured the rape on camera, she turns the tables and blackmails him, but not before giving him a taste of his own medicine, tattooing "I Am a Sadistic Pig, a Pervert, and a Rapist" on his chest, and leaving him tied up to think about what he did.
  • Myth Adventures: Guido usually regards violence and threats as work, but shows this in M.Y.T.H. Inc in Action:
    "What are you? Some kind of PACIFIST?"
    "What... did... you... call... me...?" I sez in my softest voice, which I only use on special occasions.
    • This also tends to happen on the rare occasions when Skeeve really loses his temper. He gets very cold and very calm and people start backing away very fast.
  • The Outlaw Chronicles have Robin Hood himself as being almost perpetually like this, being described by Tuck as a 'Cold-hot man.' Fire inside, icy control on the outside. And the results are terrifying. The narrator, Alan Dale, has by Book 3 begun to become something similar, previously mentioning his wife (who has an incredible temper matched only by her courage) having described him as ruthless, without pity, and Friar Tuck as being a cold man.
  • In Phule's Company, it is shown that when Phule gets mad, he becomes coldly calculating, and is truly terrifying to behold.
  • A few instance of this in Ranger's Apprentice. One is when Halt has been shot and is poisoned. Horace's calm, almost cheerful façade (contrasted with Will's emotional breakdown) as he poisons the assassin to force him to reveal which variety of poison was used is terrifying. Usually, Horace is incredibly affable, kind, and silly. When he isn't...
    • On the villainous side, the Temujai general in Book 4, seeing that continuing the battle would result in a Pyrrhic Victory at best, very coolly orders his force to draw back, while absolutely furious inside.
    It was not polite for a Temujai general to allow his emotions to show on the battlefield.
  • Raymond E. Feist's The Riftwar Cycle:
    • Rise of a Merchant Prince: After his father in law is killed, Rupert notes down that the way of getting revenge is keep the fury cold and calculating, so one can properly formulate a plot that can succeed, and then let the anger burn hot and fierce when it completes.
    • In the immediately preceding novel, Shadow of a Dark Queen, two characters are contrasted. One has a Hair-Trigger Temper, which makes him dangerous. The other keeps his emotions completely in check, which makes him even more dangerous.
  • The Saint: Simon Templar, when his Love Interest is kidnapped in an early story, does not respond with screaming or rage. He drives to the location at which she is being held at exactly the speed limit, so as not to lose any time dealing with police, and then bad guys start dying.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, Lyrah speaks and acts with utter calm completely at odds with her expression when she confronts Daylen. It only lasts for a short time, however, before she starts hissing and screaming in rage.
  • Robert E. Howard's Puritan hero Solomon Kane fights virtually all of his duels with human villains in this state, and his unspeaking stoicism offers a stark contrast with the overconfident snarkiness of most of his opponents.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • In the last book of The Thrawn Trilogy, Ax-Crazy Jedi Master clone Joruus C'baoth (half of the trilogy's Big Bad Duumvirate), goes into a quite spectacular Villainous Breakdown during the climax. At first, he's completely flipped and incoherently raging, but then he goes right past that and straight into Tranquil Fury. Everyone thinks it's much more disturbing than the mad screaming.
      C'baoth (in a perfectly calm, level voice): You will die for that, Mara Jade. Slowly, and in great pain.
    • Slightly earlier than the above is when Mara discusses with one of the Noghri how they were exploited by Grand Admiral Thrawn, with the Noghri calmly and simply stating that they will show Thrawn the error of his thinking. Mara reflects to herself that this state of cold determination is about as dangerous as a person could get.
    • Legacy of the Force has this happen to Luke Skywalker, of all people, after his wife is killed. No hammy temper tantrums like his father; simply an unbreakable resolve to avenge her that probably nothing in the galaxy could stop.
    • The seventh form of lightsaber combat is essentially this trope applied to lightsabers. As the form is channeling something inherently close to The Dark Side, it's considered a very dangerous technique or fighting style for Jedi, but for those who favor the Dark Side (like Darth Maul), it suits them perfectly. Jedi can get a lot of mileage out of it too, as Mace Windu proved with his Vapaad variant; Jedi who normally have to put a tight lid on their inner emotion and darkness (especially those who have plenty of it but have been able to keep it under control through extreme willpower) can instead channel it into an overwhelming offense that can sometimes feed off the opponent's own fury.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Shallan Davar is a blushing Shrinking Violet who hates confrontation to the point that she rarely even expresses a contrary opinion. When she gets cornered, however, she turns stone cold and people start dying.
  • Super Powereds: Vince is normally an exceedingly nice guy. But Sasha's death at the hands of a Super terrorist drives him to the edge, and he goes hunting for the guy. The souped-up speedster tries to attack him, but suddenly finds all his kinetic energy sapped by Vince. Not only that, but Vince proceeds to drain the kinetic energy of his blood, stopping it and explaining that his cells will soon start to die of suffocation. It's only Camille convincing him that Sasha wouldn't want him to be a killer that gets him to stop.
  • Richard from the Sword of Truth series, both when turning the blade white and when he dances with the spirits of previous Seekers. Which is probably the reason that it's alluded to that people are flat fucking terrified of the Sword of Truth and its wielder. In fact, learning to control his temper is a key part of Richard being the Seeker in the first place, as anyone less righteously angry than this trope gets mind-raped by the sword for using it.
  • Tortall Universe:
    • In Emperor Mage, the third book of The Immortals, this happens to Daine when she finds out the Emperor Ozorne has already executed her teacher Numair while she was out of it. And scares the living shit out of everyone nearby.
      Coolness trickled into her mind until her skull was filled with it. Her world seemed extra sharp and extra real. Part of her, someplace deep inside, wailed; that seemed unreal, as if she watched a crying baby from a great distance.
      Kaddar was shaking her. "Daine! Can you hear me?"
      She gently pushed his hands away. "Stop that. I'm thinking."
      His eyes and Tano's held the same worried, frightened look. "You weren't answering. You looked frozen-"
      She put a finger to her lips, and he shut up. A thought was coming in the distance. She waited, patiently, skin rippling in brief shivers, until it reached her: Ozorne had to pay.
    • Any time Protector of the Small's protagonist Keladry gets mad, this is how it manifests itself. The first time she aces a jousting run, it's because Joren made her lose her temper — previously, she'd been clumsy and could never hit the dummy right. As The Stoic, she almost always speaks calmly to the person who's pushed her past the breaking point. Then she kicks their ass.
  • From Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga:
    • In Barrayar when Aral apparently catches Cordelia canoodling with Lt Koudelka. When Cordelia goes to have it out with him she wonders if she can keep her voice down and reflects: "Aral's no problem; when he gets mad he whispers."
    • In Memory, Emperor Gregor was confronting the man who tried to take out his head of security to take the position for himself, framed Gregor's foster brother for the crippling attack, then framed the Empress-to-be's friend and tried to bribe the aforementioned foster brother, who at that time was serving as an Imperial Auditornote  when the frame-up didn't stick. The foster brother in question observed that Gregor was "so neutral he was grey."
      Miles: [Thinking] So this is what rage looks like on him.
    • Ivan was probably remembering that interview in this exchange from A Civil Campaign:
      Ivan: . . .You don't want to know what [Emperor Gregor] looks like when he gets mad.
      Byerly: [Interested] Why? What does he look like?
      Ivan: Exactly the same as he does the rest of the time. That's the scary part.
  • The War Gods: Hradani falling victim to The Rage are usually mindless berserkers who keep going until they're dead, exhausted, or there's nothing left to kill and they can calm down. Bahzell discovers how to invoke the Rage deliberately and keep it under control, and teaches it to others. So now instead of a bellowing two and half meter tall walking mountain of mindless carnage and destruction, you can instead face a two and half meter meter tall walking mountain of very deliberate and controlled carnage and destruction. Yay?
  • Warhammer 40,000 novels: This appears to be Khârn's state of mind when he's not an Ax-Crazy maniac, according to Chosen of Khorne.
    • Similarly, we have the Primarch Perturabo, who has this as his standard emotion, in no small part due to the bitterness and frustration he had by being overshadowed by his brother and rival, Rogal Dorn. Both had similar but uncomplimentary skills regarding siege warfare (Rogal knew best on how to defend and hold out, Pert knew best on how to force a surrender or a decisive victory). Pert's subordinates were terrified of him, because he could swing from this and Unstoppable Rage from a moment's notice, and he had a tendency to take it out on said subordinates.
    • Robbie MacNiven has stated that the "Carcharodons aren’t scary because of their savagery and brutality in combat. They’re scary because, unlike other 'savage' Chapters and Legions, they’re never not in control of their own actions." The Carcharodons fight savagely and brutally in complete silence like sharks, only pulling away to find a new place to strike and only leaving blood in their wake and are in complete control of themselves when they do it.
  • In Watership Down, Blackavar plays this not so much with anger, but with resentment. He has been brutally scarred basically everywhere, and cannot do anything about it. He never seems angry though, and is very quiet.
  • The Wheel of Time: In The Gathering Storm, Rand spends most of the book after killing Semirhage in a deliberate state of Tranquil Fury. Everyone, including Cadsuane and Tuon, find it infinitely creepy and terrifying, especially considering the contrast with his highly vocal releases of rage which had increased in both duration and frequency during the course of his six book mental breakdown.
    • For that matter look at the Aes Sedai all throughout the books. An angry Aes Sedai is always described as being "cool" and not showing outward signs of emotion.
  • The Witchlands: Princess Vivia of Nubrevna, in contrast to her Unstoppable Rage-prone brother. When brought to the Rage-Breaking Point by a bunch of idiot councilmen, she calmly lifts the water from a pitcher standing on the table and threatens to drown everyone around her.
  • Whyborne And Griffin: Whyborne is usually awkward, nervous, and easily flustered. Griffin notes that when Whyborne is outwardly calm, that is when he knows Whyborne is absolutely seething with rage.