Lawful Evil

"With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict, and bring order to the galaxy!"

-Darth Vader

The first of the three evil alignments, Lawful Evil characters are villains who prefer to operate within the system, and from their position of power and authority in said system do evil. Lawful Evil characters can either be self-righteous anti-villains who genuinely desire to bring a kind of peace, but via fascism and brutality, or alternatively just sadistic control freaks who enjoy having power over others. If a villain makes it clear that they desire some kind of order, then they are most certainly this alignment. Villains who again, do evil from a position of power and authority and/or crave more power and influence over others are also almost invariably this. While there are some villains in positions of authority who are not Lawful Evil, they are the exception, not the rule, and for the most part being evil and in a position of authority denotes Lawful Evil. Finally, though this by no means a universal truth, Lawful Evil is the most likely of the three evil alignments to have villains who actually honor their word. While I do not believe that having a code of honor automatically makes you Lawful (plenty of the characters described below have no such codes of scruples), Lawful Evil characters are nevertheless still the Evil characters most likely to have some kind of honor and again, keep their word.

List items

  • Source of the page quote and far and away one of the best examples of this alignment. Of course in fairness a great many Star Wars villains are Lawful Evil, but even so Darth Vader, a man deeply ingrained in the Imperial and Sith hierarchies and an enforcer of fascist order, remains the trend-setter.

  • Let's see...monarch? Check. Rules over his people with an iron fist? Check. Desires order as dictated by him? Check. Megalomaniacal? Check. Has a code of honor and keeps his word in spite of villainy? Check. Yeah, Doctor Doom is text-book Lawful Evil. Not to mention that Darth Vader was supposedly based off of him, so...yeah.

  • Seeks to create a "better" world for Mutants where they are dominant over humanity and lord over them with an iron fist. And of course in this ideal world Magneto's the man in charge. Then there's his being leader of the Brotherhood and also having some honor despite being and a villain. Yeah, Magneto fits this to a T.

  • A lot of people consider him Neutral Evil, but let's consider a few things: he attained success largely by working within an organized system, be it the Sith or the Republic. He does nearly all of his evil from a position of power and authority that he clearly enjoys having, and as the Emperor created a totalitarian dictatorship that imposed "order" on the rest of the galaxy. Honestly looking at all of that I feel his being Lawful Evil is rather obvious. On that note...

  • Yep, the Sith as a collective are Lawful Evil, in contrast to their arch-enemies being Lawful Good. The Sith constantly seek power and influence over others, and almost always aspire to rule the galaxy and impose their own desires on others. In fact part of Sith philosophy is the idea that the Sith aren't just able to rule, they're ENTITLED to rule. That and Sith are generally encouraged to seek success by working within the Sith system, which generally translates to scheming against and ultimately overthrowing their masters.

  • More of the same.

  • Also more of the same.

  • As with most other Dark Lords of the Sith, especially considering that when Dark Side his initial goal was to bring "order" to the Galaxy in the wake of the Mandalorian Wars.

  • When Dark Side

  • Ah yes, this character. My least favorite Star Wars character (yes, even worse than Jar-Jar) and the very definition of a hypocrite. So puritanical she makes even the most conservative RoE era Jedi look good and also being a Dark Side devotee who collects Sith holocrons the way I do LEGO sets, she's a pretty insufferable character in addition to being a villain.

  • Especially as Darth Thanaton, where he's a member of the Dark Council.

  • One of the more high-ranked and prominent Dark Lords of the Sith in Vitiate's Sith Empire.

  • Just one of many Dark Lords of the Sith to fit this alignment, and in his case especially fitting given that he ultimately becomes the new Sith Emperor.

  • One of the last of the Banite Sith, who along with his master and apprentice both aspired to rule the Galaxy. Of course the difference between him and Palpatine was that Plagueis was actually willing to share. Still a bad dude though.

  • Second apprentice to Darth Sidious and like many of the other Sith here a text-book Lawful Evil character who desires to bring "order and structure" to the Galaxy, also leading the CIS/Separatists.

  • Though not a true Sith, Asajj Ventress nevertheless fit this during her tenure to Dooku due to respecting his authority, performing evil from her position as a Separatist military leader, and honestly kind of fancying herself Dooku's apprentice. Sith she might not have been, but she did adhere pretty strongly to their ideals. A little TOO strongly for Palpatine's liking.

  • When serving as Darth Vader's apprentice, as he seeks to rule the Galaxy along Vader and hunts down and kills surviving Jedi. He shifts to a more neutral alignment in good time though.

  • As Darth Caedus where despite being a Sith Lord he maintains a self-righteous agenda and desire to bring order to the galaxy. I know of several other Sith who think like that...

  • Well he IS the Sith Emperor of his era after all. And like Palpatine before him he also controls the Empire (or at least part of it)

  • More or less Darth Krayt's second-in-command, and one who later overthrows Krayt to assume power and become a new Sith Emperor. It doesn't last, but it does prove he's this alignment I'd say. Being high up on the food chain and attaining success by working within the system after all.

  • Another high-ranking member of Darth Krayt's Sith Empire, and one who was a warlord or somesuch prior to becoming a Sith Lord.

  • Loyal and dedicated servant of Darth Krayt, who has outright said that at his command she'd cut out her own heart...or someone else's.

  • Yet another high-ranked figure in Darth Krayt's Sith Empire.

  • And here's another member of that Empire.

  • And another one.

  • And another.

  • And another...

  • ...and another...

  • ...and another.

  • As a fascist totalitarian government that imposes brutal order on the rest of the galaxy by permeating a constant state of fear and also having a rigid and complex military hierarchy, this shouldn't come as any kind of surprise. Again, most Star Wars villains are Lawful Evil.

  • The elite bodyguards of the Emperor who are fanatically, utterly loyal and devoted to Emperor Palpatine and the fascist "order" he and the Empire represents.

  • The merciless footsoldiers of the Empire and enforcers of it's will, they're fitting this shouldn't come as any kind of surprise.

  • From Order 66 onwards, same as all other Clone Troopers who chose to follow it.

  • As a (very) evil dude and also a high-ranking Imperial, this is a given.

  • Dedicated member of the Empire. So dedicated in fact that the indignity of the post-Palpatine Empire drove him straight to his grave.

  • Not as bad as Tarkin, but still definitely an example of this. Especially since he had his own unique kind of "order" that he desired to impose on the Galaxy.

  • Tarkin's female clone more or less, being like him an ambitious high-ranking Imperial and also a completely remorseless and unsympathetic sociopath who makes Darth Vader look good.

  • A high-ranking member of the Emperor's Royal Guards who aspired to become the new Emperor, clearly relishing being in a position of authority and always out to elevate that position. That's clear megalomania for you, not to mention doing all of his evil from a comfortable position of authority. Too bad for him it didn't save him when Kir Kanos went after him.

  • Kind of in-between this and Neutral Evil. He's greedy, treacherous, conniving, and self-interested, but also attains most of his success by working within the system and goes out of his way to be a total kiss-up to Palpatine. He was also at his peak the most powerful man in the Galaxy other than Palpatine and Vader. So ultimately I do feel he's in-between this and Neutral Evil.

  • Official D&D books list him as Lawful Evil, and in fairness there is some evidence to support this: besides having a code of honor to some extent (he is usually depicted as keeping his word and not breaking deals no matter what), Boba is also, at least in earlier EU stories, depicted as being chummy with the Empire and taking a lot of jobs for them because he believes in their ideas of "order" and seems to be in favor of a twisted kind of fascist order himself. So while I would argue later writers have made Boba more Neutral Evil, in the earlier days of Star Wars I'd say that he is indeed Lawful Evil just like the D&D books say he is.

  • Initially, with both his stated goal to rule Mandalore and "improve" it and also seeming to have some measure of honor. This didn't stick, and Vizsla quickly made the shift to Chaotic Evil.

  • The same deal as most other Imperial Officers, only a part of Malak's Sith Empire instead of Palpatine's Empire.

  • A deeply corrupt SPECTRE who abused his power to further his blatantly xenophobic and anti-human agenda. When he learned of the Reapers he shamelessly threw his lot in with them to save his own skin, at which point he became Sovereign's dedicated servant, finding said servitude to be preferable to what he perceived as inevitable death otherwise. Funny thing is that he died anyway.

  • This by the way extends to all of the Reapers, as they claim to be imposing "order" on the "chaos" that is organic life. They are also ruthless genocidal lovecraftian horrors who have wiped out all sentient life in the galaxy several times over.

  • The leader of Cerberus who believes that humanity needs to fight for it's place in the Galaxy, but also having long since allowed his views to be marred by xenophobia and an "ends justify the means" philosophy. For him the only good order, is a human dominant one.

  • As the tyrannical, war-mongering, and shockingly xenophobic leaders of the ruthless and genocidal Covenant, all of the Prophets fit this alignment to at least some degree.

  • And these guys here form the backbone of the Covenant army, and as such are responsible for the majority of the atrocities committed against humanity by the Covenant. They are also a hierarchal society that of all of the Covenant races respect the Prophet's authority the most, have the most intricate and complex ranking system within their military, and also are also the most orderly. Finally, the Elites maintain efficient (but also brutal) order over the subordinate races like Grunts and Jackals. They also have a twisted sort of honor, but it's not to anyone's benefit but their own. After all, what honor is there in slaughtering non-combatant civilians, shooting one SPARTAN in the head from afar with a Needle Rifle, and running another one through from behind when he was distracted?

  • In the Dante's Inferno video game while off fighting in the Crusades, considering that he not only commits adultery while there, but his religious fanaticism and xenophobia mixed with a nasty temper and bloodlust (along with assurance that he was absolved of all sin) caused him to mercilessly slaughter a large number of Saracen prisoners of war, many of whom were noncombatant civilians in the animated movie. Fortunately, he eventually moves past this and becomes Neutral Good after coming to terms with his sins and achieving true, genuine redemption.

  • In the Assassins Creed series, where they're re-imagined as cynical machiavellian power-mongers who believe that humanity as a collective are too dim-witted and prone to aberrant behavior to be allowed to think for themselves, and thus advocate a fascist world order where peace will be secured at the cost of liberty.

  • The modern-day front for the Templar Order.

  • Prominent member of the Templar Order's aforementioned modern-day front Abstergo. And as bad a guy as he is, he does seem to have the same good (if not misguided) intentions as the other Templars.

  • The Assassin's Creed version obviously. And this Templar in particular is very big on the "I like power" bit and also very big on the "evil" bit. In fact, modern day Templars are disgusted with the state of the order during the time of the Renaissance, which tells you just how bad it was then.

  • Just like daddy.

  • Dedicated servant to his father who respects his authority and carries out his commands...until deciding that he wants that power and authority for himself.

  • A serious egomaniac who betrayed the Edenian Resistance that took him in with open arms just because he was not made leader (showing his clear desire to be in charge). From there he becomes a loyal lackey to Shao Kahn...until deciding that he wants Shao Kahn's power and authority for himself too. Simply put Rain wants desperately to be in charge. And once he gets there, it's a very bad turn of events, as his MK 9 ending clearly shows.

  • A dedicated and (mindlessly) loyal servant to Soul Edge's power, believing it to be his dead master's spirit.

  • While it is Soul Edge's natural enemy, because it is based off of a fragment of Soul Edge it ultimately has much of it's same malevolence, which many character in the series have taken notice of. Indeed, it seems ultimately that Soul Calibur is just as evil as Soul Edge, only seeking brutal "order" to it's chaos, also like Ivy believing in killing and destroying anyone who has been touched by Soul Edge, no matter how innocent they are.

  • First takes over the kingdom of Hyrule after integrating himself into it's royal court and from there working his way up the ladder until finally he's deposed the king and princess and comes to rule Hyrule and the lands beyond it with an iron fist. Classic megalomaniac and evil ruler and also a fitting contrast to Link and Zelda's Lawful Good.

  • Leader of Organization XIII who from this position of leadership and authority over the other Nobodies does all of his evil deeds, also cruelly manipulating the other members of the Organization into doing his dirty work at the cost of their own salvation. And he's the LEAST evil of Xehanort's different forms.

  • Organization XIII's second in command who makes sure the rules are obeyed to the letter and also dutifully follows Xemnas' every order.

  • High-ranking member of Organization XIII who like Saix and Xemnas does his evil deeds from a position of power and authority. He also clearly enjoys having control over others, such as Beast and Belle.

  • Another high-ranking member of Organization XIII and one of it's founders. Pretty dedicated to their goal, and while not openly sadistic like say, Xigbar or Larxene, is nevertheless still ruthless when needed, as shown by his run-in with Riku. Basically just totally cold-blooded, much like fellow Organization lieutenants Saix and...

  • Another high-ranking member of Organization XIII and also one who aspires to become the new leader. He is also the Lord of Castle Oblivion. So between all of that it's clear that he likes to be in charge.

  • Craved power and more specifically the title of king, and to get it murdered the rightful ruler and then tried to murder the rightful heir, at which point he replaced the old monarchy with his own tyrannical one. So given his clear hunger for power and desire to rule, and his also being a position of leadership over the Hyenas, I feel like he at least starts out Lawful Evil.

  • The villainous version of him seen in Future Tense, who is a megalomaniacal and sadistic fascist dictator.

  • The Disney version, who's a sadistic and corrupt hanging judge that's more concerned with killing Gypsies then actually dealing with REAL law-breakers. He may have some clear self-righteous delusions about what he's doing but as Esmeralda herself puts it: "You speak of justice yet you are cruel to those most in need of your help". I'd say that sums it up rather nicely.

  • A sadistic control freak who's clearly obsessed with keeping an iron grip over both his fellow grasshoppers and also the ants who under his leadership the grasshoppers bully and extort Mafia style. Much like many of the other people on this list, Hopper clearly likes being in charge.

  • Sought to "create the perfect system", which caused him to become a psychotic control freak and basically a techno-nazi.

  • Essentially the wizarding world's equivalent to Hitler and Stalin who aspires to create a new world order where he and his fellow purebloods are at the top and the muggles and "mudbloods" are relegated to their..."rightful place".

  • A particularly twisted kind of sycophant who owes his success and prosperity to his devotion to Trigon, obeying his every command and working tirelessly to free him. Success by working within the system (or a system in this case)+nasty supervillain=Lawful Evil.

  • A man who aspires to lead, no matter the moral cost. Over the centuries of his immortal life he's been an emperor, a king, a brief replacement for Hitler, and so on. Through it all, he's so bad most other supervillains in the DCU are freaked out by him.

  • Leader of the League of Assassins who seeks to bring about a new world order that will be akin to a Green Utopia, but also one he's willing to go pretty darn far to make a reality. This is why Batman, who Ras has long tried to recruit, has never accepted him and his fanaticism.

  • A supervillain who's convinced he's the hero, seeking to bring order to the world by crushing any who would dare stand in his way.

  • A text-book megalomaniac who aspired to conquer first Krypton and then Earth. He enjoys ruling and leading with an iron fist, likes it when people kneel before him and generally just seeks to be treated like a monarch/god in general.

  • The Man of Steel and New 52 versions, who are both loyal followers of Zod and enforce his orders and desires with brutal efficiency and just a bit of sadism.

  • Naturally given that his whole MO has always been a belief in maintaining order through fear.

  • As the writers more and more feel compelled to play up the Guardian's "ruthless, cold-blooded jerk" side, they've steadily become this, even going as far as to forcefully strip Ganthet of his emotions and create a "Third Army" to destroy all of the Lantern Corps, even the loyal Green Lantern Corps, all in the name of a perverse kind of "order".

  • One of Darkseid's top minions and also his personal torturer. The little scumbag tried to betray Darkseid once too, which in turn shows that he really does like having power and desired the throne of Apokolips for himself.

  • In the DCAU where he sets himself up as this "Dark Messiah" esque ruler over the people of his homeworld, also aspiring to conquer the galaxy at large. Not to mention the blatant nazi allegories in those episodes with his goons.

  • A Thanagarian exclusive to the DCAU who's a little TOO patriotic and in his desperation to serve his people and keep them safe is willing got to some pretty nasty lengths to achieve that end. In essence a military extremist, who are usually Lawful Evil. His motives are certainly sympathetic, but in the end not quite justified.

  • The DCAU version, who's a clear megalomaniac that also very much prefers being in control and working within some kind of system, be it Lexcorp, Cadmus, or just plain old politics. And hey, this is a guy who said he'd have to GIVE UP a lot of power to be president. The mainstream version of Lex on the other hand, is more Neutral Evil to me.

  • Considering that he lords over both his fellow Crime Syndicate members and his planet's population in general with an iron fist, I'd say this is a fair choice for his alignment.

  • With Apocalypse, imagine Magneto's idea for a "better" world, and then make it a hundred times worse, and that's essentially what Apocalypse would give you.

  • The terrifying Mutant hunters who are programmed to maintain order...by hunting, capturing, and killing all mutants. Days of Future Past shows the worst possible end result of this goal, where the Sentinels rule the future with an iron fist and keep what few mutants they haven't yet killed in concentration camps.

  • A rather blatant fascist allegory considering they go around arresting, harassing, and bullying Mutants...for being Mutants. So basically evil cops who do racial profiling against Mutants instead of African Americans and Hispanics.

  • A paramilitary group who believes that humanity's continued evolution can only be ensured by eliminating the Mutant race.

  • The movie version, who's re-imagined as a sadistic military scientist who has been spending years trying to get rid of the mutants, whom he views as a disease.

  • Evil may be a bit harsh for this particular character, but to be fair, he's not only a complete jerk, but also a raging xenophobe who tries to oppress Mutants and make life difficult for them in a variety of ways. In Wolverine and the X-Men, he uses the MRD to brutally crack down on Mutants and lock them up in special prisons. That said, most versions of the not-so-good Senator usually redeem themselves in the end, including the 616 version.

  • Another slimeball politician, or in this case government agent. But really, his being an awful person in a government position just gives credence to the idea that he's this alignment.

  • A crime boss who does actually work within the system to a degree, and also as the top dog in New York's criminal underworld maintains a certain kind of order. So much so in fact that on the times he's left New York for whatever reason the criminal underworld in New York has exploded into chaos, to the point that on one occasion the police aided and abetted his return to prominence. So he does maintain order despite being a criminal, and is also sometimes depicted as having some measure of honor. So between it all, I'd say he's actually Lawful Evil.

  • In the Spectacular Spider-Man show, where he's pretty much turned into a stand-in for the Kingpin, and thus fits this alignment for the same reasons he does.

  • One of the founders and leaders of Hydra and someone who definitely enjoys maintaining his position of authority. Not to mention that he was also a high-ranking nazi back in the day.

  • And here's another one of the founders and leaders of Hydra. Maybe not quite as bad as Strucker, but still plenty evil.

  • While they do operate outside of authority as a terrorist organization, I still ultimately feel that Hydra is this due to 1. Having an organized hierarchy and 2. Aspiring to take over the world and remold it in their (rather grisly) image.

  • Like Hydra, they're also this in spite of being terrorists who respect no existing authority and in fact fit this alignment for the very same reasons.

  • AIM's leader (usually) who runs it with an iron (and tiny) fist.

  • Sees himself as a ruler born and is willing to crush any number of people to either get himself onto a throne or maintain one.

  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe version, who is ever conspiring to become king of Asgard, a position he also clearly enjoyed being in and in the first Thor movie did evil from. In the Avengers, he tries to subjugate humanity, forces a large crowd to kneel before him, enjoys making people subservient to him via mind control, and outright says that he believes humans were "made to be ruled". So ultimately a text-book megalomaniac who's always trying to lord his power and influence over others. His desire to be a king hasn't gone away in Thor: The Dark World, and in fact (spoiler!) the movie ends with him becoming king of Asgard disguised as Odin.

  • At least in "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" anyway where he aspired to rule the Earth and remake it according to his own gamma-saturated vision.

  • Also in "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" where he outright states that his function is to instill peace and order but also comes to believe that the only way to do that is to eliminate all life everywhere, which he views as inherently chaotic.