Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Tyrant - Lawful Evil

“Some battles are won with swords and spears, others with quills and ravens.”

And now, for the more... unsavory... part of the alignment chart. 


Lawful Evil. The Alignment that makes us all crawl with unease for the fact that it is so easy to be LED by one of these characters. Sometimes you see what they do, and you can't help but sympathize with their ways. They are cruel, tyrannical, Dictatorial, and yet somehow their way works. Because they follow an order, they follow rules and they keep chaos and Anarchy at bay.

The problem with that, is that they usually end up hurting others to get their way, they tend to have a total disregard for the suffering of others, and will do anything that is necessary, and within their moral code, to achieve success. 

These characters make for some of the best villains in any story. Mainly because they are Evil because they see it as a necessity. It's not unusual to read a book, or watch a tv-series and feel in a way charmed by a character who does HORRIBLE things, but still has a certain charm and well educated demeanor that keeps you wanting to see more of him or her.

Let's take a look at what most Rulebooks say about Lawful Evil, and their particular way of "Following a code".

Some lawful evil villains have particular taboos, such as not killing in cold blood (but having underlings do it) or not letting children come to harm (if it can be helped). They imagine that these compunctions put them above unprincipled villains.

Some lawful evil people and creatures commit themselves to evil with a zeal like that of a crusader committed to good. Beyond being willing to hurt others for their own ends, they take pleasure in spreading evil as an end unto itself. They may also see doing evil as part of a duty to an evil deity or master.

Lawful evil creatures consider their alignment to be the best because it combines honor with a dedicated self-interest. Lawful evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents methodical, intentional, and frequently successful evil.

Frequently successful evil... scared yet? no? 

Let's look at the chart.

And so he spoke... and so he spoke...
“Joffrey, when your enemies defy you, you must serve them steel and fire. When they go to their knees, however, you must help them back to their feet. Elsewise no man will ever bend the knee to you. 
Tywinn Lannister - A Storm of Swords

Lord Tywinn Lannister, Hand of the King, Lord of Casterly Rock, Warden of the West, Lord Paramount of the Westerlands, Savior of the City and Protector of the Realm. Tywinn follows a very strict code where he puts his family's name in fron of everything. Lannisters must rule, no matter what. He sticks to protocol whenever it is needed, and was smart enough to manipulate the Freys into killing Robb Stark. He pretty much had Westeros all for himself until Tyrion put a bolt in his gut.

But he was like-able wasn't he?

I'll leave you with a final thought.

The real danger in a Lawful Evil character is not how evil they are ... but their ability to have others do evil for him. A study in the 1960s by Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram seeked to find exactly how much harm a regular person could inflict upon another one after being ordered to do so by a person in a position of perceived authority. Here's the Crash course psychology video that explains the experiment and the results thereof.

Scared yet?

Thanks for reading...