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"Passionate hate can give meaning and purpose to an empty life."
Eric Hoffer


"With hate, all things are possible. And my hate is strong!"
Malus Darkblade
Love will get you far. Love is an emotion that moves people. How it moves you depends on what type of person you are. With hate it happens the same way. Hate gives you power and fuel to move you. What you do with hate depends on who you are. Sometimes hate makes us change things because we are angry and see they don't work like this. Sometimes it makes you murder someone and makes you the villain. Sometimes, when the villain gloats at your poor dead dog, well... he just made a lifetime enemy. And then there are the times when you are just furious at how horrible the world is and thus, with The Power of Hate, a hero is born (or a villain)

Not to be confused with Unstoppable Rage and/or Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Those two tropes are more about...rage, not hatred. Rage always burns hot, and comes in pulses, where as hatred can be cold, and last forever. Rage is a state of heightened emotional activation, much like lust, whereas hatred is a persistent emotional state, like love. In both cases, the former lends itself more to berserking, and the latter to thought and planning.

Often, this trope is what causes two people to become Arch Enemies. Differing goals can cause a hero and a villain to fight (after all, when one person wants to Save the World and the other wants to Take Over the World, there's bound to be conflict), but the development of an unrelenting, personal hatred allows a great enmity, just like a great romance, to persist for years, turning fights into intensely personal clashes, inducing obsession over one another even when they aren't actively fighting, and causing the villain (if blessed with Joker Immunity) to try to destroy their enemy again and again and again, no matter how many times their plans end in failure.

Like the power of love but with hate. It's the power that can fuel the Determinator, the villain, or even an Anti-Hero.

Contrast with The Power of Love and The Power of Friendship. See also With Great Power Comes Great Insanity, which this trope more often than not leads to.

Examples of The Power of Hate include:


Anime & Manga

  • Black Butler. Earl Phantomhive is driven by hatred and anger, not to mention the need for revenge. It is this quality that allows him to command his invincible Battle Butler, Sebastian - and, most impressively, shrug off a Lotus Eater Machine later in the series. An angel attempted to 'revise' his past, showing him his now-dead parents welcoming him back with open arms, telling him to let go of his hatred and just join them in love and happiness. He refuses, turning his back on them to continue pursuing vengeance for both their fates and his own, thus allowing him to escape with his memories and sanity intact.
  • In Slayers, all Mazoku feed on negative emotions. The more they hate you, and the more you hate them, the stronger they get.
  • Sasuke of Naruto fame has said his hate makes him stronger, which it does. Naturally, it's taken a toll on his sanity.
  • In the Monster Rancher Anime, Big Bad Moo draws power from others' hatred. After revealing this to the Searchers, he then takes advantage of it by torturing Pixie in front of them. This backfires when the sheer force of their hatred drives him insane.
  • In Kurohime, hate is a literal power source. The resident Angel holds on to her power and sanity by clinging to her hate of Kurohime. The eponymous heroine is literally powered by hate: she crystallizes the anger of the ghosts of all of the people she's killed (in her quest to kill the gods) into a power source known as the Black God Tree. And, yes, it's pretty damn powerful.
  • In Digimon Adventure, it's explained that the only reason Gatomon was able to survive the years of abuse she suffered under Myotismon was by clinging to her hatred of him. What's more, the only logical explanation why Myotismon has been able to return from the dead three times must be his hatred toward the Digidestined.
  • Princess Mononoke is full of this. Hatred is so powerful that it infuses itself onto the Prince Ashitaka's arm and gradually consumes him to death. It is also what turns the merciful boar god Okkoto into a demon both by the hatred manifested by humans in a man-made bullet and ultimately Okkoto's own refusal to come to peace with the conflict.
  • Vegeta attributes this to his reaching the level of Super Saiyan in Dragon Ball Z, since it's noted that one needs a Pure Heart to achieve the level. Vegeta claims that his heart is pure evil.
  • Guts from Berserk is loaded with this. Yes, yes. He's known as the poster child of Unstoppable Rage in some circles, and he justly has that too, but it would be best to describe his feelings toward the Godhand and Apostles in general as rage, since he'll slice and dice Apostles without much thought to it when he is in his berserker rage, and his feelings toward Griffith - the man who betrayed Guts and took everything of value from him - as hatred, since his feelings about Griffith are on a more personal level. His hatred for Griffith and what he did to him the number one reason being that Griffith brutally raped his lover, Casca, and forced Guts to watch after he thwarted every attempt Guts made to save her in time - and all out of pure spite is what drove Guts to go on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, and his Enemy Within, a Hell Hound beast, constantly fueled Guts' hatred. However, this was later deconstructed by Godo when Casca turned up missing and Guts started to blame everyone but himself, and was told that hate was where a man went when he was really sad and afraid. After some self-reflection, Guts finally put his hatred aside, as it was displaced by the love he had for Casca. Guts' love for Casca and his hopes of seeing her cured of her insanity is the driving force of the story now, and is the only thing that is preventing Guts from succumbing to his darker nature.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima: Magia Erebea runs on it. Well, all dark emotions, really.
  • In Unico In The Island Of Magic, the main antagonist Lord Kuruku is made of this trope and manages to play it straight to an almost scary level. He used to be a puppet who was abused and eventually thrown away by the children who owned him. After awhile, he became animate and became an evil sorcerer who would turn humans into puppets. Eventually, once all his hate is removed, he turns back into a lifeless child's toy as it was the only thing keeping him alive.
  • Lucia has a bone to pick with the whole planet in Rave Master. Even though his main goal is to get to the original world, he's willing to take the chance he gets to destroy the world everyone lives in first. For bonus points, the final form of his sword is literally powered by his hatred.


Comicbooks

  • At his worst, Lex Luthor is driven purely by his Irrational Hatred of Superman. The idea of dying before Superman does sickens Lex to the point that he will force himself to cheat death.
  • Batman. In some of his incarnations, the hate for the villain that killed his parents drives him to be the Batman. (Other incarnations are more about justice, or protecting people.)
  • The Red Lantern Corps is fueled by hatred and rage, specifically hatred and rage driven by personal loss of someone emotionally close to them.
  • In the famous Legion of Super-Heroes "Great Darkness Saga", the restored clone of Orion says to Darkseid "I live father... and live to hate!" Subverted in that Darkseid proceeds to destroy him.
  • Doctor Doom. His never-ending, all-consuming, obsessive hatred of Reed Richards is what gave him the drive to become Marvel's most iconic supervillain of all time.
  • Nekra, a regular enemy of Spider Woman, uses hate to enhance her strength and resistance to injury to the point of beind Made of Diamond.
  • Despero, Justice League and Martian Manhunter foe is driven by pure, unadulterated rage, tempered by a certain amount of cold cunning and pure hatred.
  • After surviving being stripped to the bone by magical fires, Juggernaut stomps up to his attacker, saying that nothing could allow him to survive it normally. Nothing but hate.
  • The Savage Hulk almost literally runs on this as he becomes proportionally more powerful as he becomes angrier. YMMV when you consider that despite this rage based increase in power he really only wants to be left alone and loved. On the other hand...HULK SMASH!!
  • The Red Skull became one of the Marvel Universe's most horrible and dreaded supervillains thanks to his burning hatred of everything. Nazism just gave him a focus for the anger and resentment he felt towards life.
  • The Saint of Killers from Preacher (Comic Book) used his hatred to survive the torture of Hell and even freeze it over, eventually letting Satan release him so he could continue acting on his hatred in the name of God.


Commercials

  • Honda's Grrr advert, featuring a cheery song about how hating something makes you change it to something better.


Film

  • Conan the Barbarian (the film version), of Thulsa Doom.
  • The title curse of The Grudge is the result of someone dying in a state of extreme fear or anger. The same fate befalls some of the protagonists of the movies because of the fear of being killed.
  • Star Wars--
    • Emperor Palpatine, of course, although most people remember the other half of the quote.
    • Darth Vader demonstrated a different take on this in a comic story that pitted him against a Darth Maul clone. The idea was that his remaining love for Padme meant he lacked the hatred necessary to call himself a Sith Lord. He won by letting Maul get behind him and stabbing himself through the stomach.

 Maul (incredulous): What could you hate enough to destroy me?

Vader: Myself.

 Inigo: Offer me money. *face-slice*

Rugen: Yes.

Inigo: Power, too, promise me that. *face-slice*

Rugen: All that I have and more! Please...

Inigo: Offer me everything I ask for.

Rugen: Anything you want. *Tries for a last-minute parry-and-chop, but--*

Inigo: I want my father back you son of a bitch. *gut-stab!*


Literature

  • Harry Potter--
    • The power of hate is explicitly said to be why Dumbledore is considered weaker (technically) than Voldemort. Voldemort, being fueled by hate, is willing to use evil magic like horcruxes or curses. Dumbledore doesn't because he's still sane enough to realize the cost of such power.
    • This is also what drove Sirius Black out of Azkaban. Dementors could take out happiness, but hate gave him direction while knowing that he was innocent kept him sane.
  • In The Dresden Files, magic is powered by emotions and thanks to some really horrible villains Harry uses hate to fuel his spells on a few occasions.
  • Subverted in the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Covenant tries to fight Lord Foul with hate, but it doesn't work, because Foul is the Anthropomorphic Personification of hatred; hating him just makes him stronger. What finishes him in the end? Laughter.
  • In Perelandra, from CS Lewis' Space Trilogy, there's a moment when the hero Ransom is physically battling the evil Dr. Weston who just happens to be possessed by the Devil discovers not just a moment of Perfect Hate, but also just what to do with that hate, which allows him to actually overcome a far stronger enemy. Or to put it another way: knowingly, Yes He Did Just Punch Out Cthulhu.
  • In Waylander, by David Gemmell, Waylander originally runs on this before reverting to stoicism.
  • AM from I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream lives this trope. Check out the quotes page.
  • The Demons in Elfstones of Shannara run on pure hatred.
  • This trope is basically the main theme of the Malus Darkblade series. At several points in the series, the only thing motivating Malus to keep going is the thought of destroying his enemies.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has several characters who live more for spite and revenge than for anything better. After everything goes wrong for him in a rather big way, Tyrion Lannister seriously contemplates suicide and has nothing to live for, except to get revenge on ... well, pretty much everyone in Westeros, though his family tops the list.
    • Lord Varys states that when his balls were cut off as a child by a sorceror, he asked the man what he should do. "The man said he supposed I should die. To spite him I resolved to live." However, Varys is an unusual example because his hatred is not directed against any particular person (though he does claim to detest sorcery, for obvious reasons,) and he is one of the coldest and calmest characters in the books.
    • Doran Martell has put an extremely slow-growing plan for vengeance into action for well over a decade. Given that he is ridden with gout and in constant pain, one could easily argue that he might have let himself die before now if he didn't have his revenge to plan.
    • Sandor Clegane, the Hound, makes no secret of the fact that he wants to kill his brother Gregor, and many suspect that if the opportunity to do that was taken from him he'd have nothing left to live for. His aimless wanderings after Oberyn kills Gregor suggests they're right.
    • Catelyn Stark's hatred is so strong that a sort-of-resurrection spell that hasn't work on anyone else brings her back from the dead as Lady Stoneheart.
    • A speech to the effect of "live and get revenge" is what motivates Jaime Lannister to not lie down and die after his sword hand is cut off. It is testament to how bad things have gotten that this rather depressing suggestion comes from a character who is normally the epitome of the Knight in Shining Armour.


Live-Action TV

  • In Babylon 5, the Narn are hugely motivated by their hatred of the Centauri. Londo even claims that if you got together all the Narn and got them to hate simultaneously, they would destroy Centauri Prime. The hatred is quite mutual.
  • Similarly, in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Bajorans and Cardassians are motivated by a mutual hatred.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Enemy Within", when Kirk gets split into Good Kirk and Evil Kirk, Good Kirk is barely able to function because, as Dr. McCoy points out, he needs the power of hate as well as love.
  • In Angel after being trapped in the hell dimension Quar-toth Holtz attributes his ability to survive to this trope, before he started surviving through the Power of Love instead. His final actions make it pretty clear that he never gave up on the hatred.
  • In Kamen Rider Double, Shroud's original plan for Double was to team up Philip and Narumi to make use of Double Cyclone Accel Xtreme, which is powered by hatred rather than Cyclone Joker Xtreme, which is what was used in series. When he died, she tried to use Isaka, but he turned out to be a bit... Crazy, and then turned to Terui Ryu and planned to use his feelings of revenge to power CAX, which by the point it was revealed, the revenge plot was pretty much over. Either way, we never see it used in a fight in-series.
  • In Charmed Darklighters' powers are fueled by hate, as they're basically the Evil Counterpart of Whitelighters.
  • Doctor Who: The Pratt/Beevers version of the Master (the one that looks like a corpse), was once quoted as saying that hate was the only thing keeping him alive.

  You do not understand hatred as I understand it. Only hate keeps me alive. Why else should I endure this pain?

  • Morgana in season three of Merlin is driven entirely by hate, some of it understandable (toward Uther and Merlin) and some of it inexplicable (the writers never give us a reason why she suddenly loathes Arthur and Guinevere).
  • The Monster of the Week of one episode of Xena: Warrior Princess was a sorcerer who could drain all the goodness out of a person to feed himself, turning the victim to stone in the process. One character is immune to this, and he explains to Xena that he concentrated on negative emotions like hate, so the sorcerer couldn't feed on him. Xena does the same thing in order to fight the sorcerer.


Music

Especially if played in the order listed:

  • Hate Everyone by Say Anyting
  • River of Madness by Fireaxe (also a Sanity Slippage Song, cause that's a common side effect)
  • Nemesis by Cradle of Filth
  • Hatred by Manowar
  • I Fucking Hate You by Godsmack
  • I Shall Not Yield by Wuthering Heights
  • Hatred, Revenge and Death by Brian Voth
  • Pure Hate by Chimaira


Tabletop Games

  • Warhammer 40000--
    • In the 4th edition, Chaplains had a rule called Litanies of Hate that allowed an attached squad to reroll failed to hit rolls. In 5th edition, its name was changed to Litanies of Battle. Preferred enemy is also fueled by the power of hate.
    • Khorne is hate made manifest.
    • And of course, the Angry Marines.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Battle
    • The High King of Dwarves invokes this by coming to battle equipped with the "Book of Grudges", a huge tome filled with all the transgressions other races have committed against the dwarves. He picks the entries relevant to the current enemy and reads them like a litany, making sure his retinue goes to battle with the proper attitude.
    • The "hatred" special rule gives units bonuses when fighting their hated enemy. Some units take things a step further and can re-roll attacks against a specific enemy, but only in the first round of combat with any given unit - after that, the hate's expended until you pick a new target. Certain units (like all Dark Elves, towards High Elves) have "Eternal Hatred" - such raw, unbridled loathing that they can re-roll attacks against their enemies every combat round.
  • In Magic the Gathering, Hatred is a card. Also, "hate" refers to any card that destroys another strategy, such as Torpor Orb (which stops comes-into-play abilities) and allies (which are only activated by allies coming into play).
  • Kimbery in Exalted has access to a variety of powers that take her ability to individually hate everyone in existence (unlike most characters, she can, too) and gain benefits from that hate, such as an arbitrarily large increase to Dodge DV (making her briefly almost invulnerable except against attacks that can't be dodged).


Videogames

  • This is stated to be the reason Stringy Haired Ghost Girl Alma is still around (along with her Psychic Powers) and boiling people into bloody skeletons in F.E.A.R.. Being left to drown to death by your own father in a sealed lab after being impregnated at a young age and having the children taken away will upset people like that.
  • The Pokémon attack Frustration deals more damage if the user dislikes its owner.
  • Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep
    • The Unversed feed on negative emotions and are eventually revealed to be extensions of Vanitas's hatred.
    • Pure hatred for Master Xehanort is what reanimated Terra's armor to fight him once MX committed Grand Theft Me on his body.
    • After Scar was killed by his own nephew Simba, it turned that his hatred was so strong that it not only bought him back immediately from the dead but it turned him to a Heartless as well, and yet he kept his original form. So far only Xehanort had been able to do that when he turned into a heartless, and usually only those individuals with a enormous set of darkness in their hearts and an extremely strong will can do that. Lampshaded by Pete of all people.
  • Blaz Blue: Yuuki Terumi, a complete and utter monster, deliberately invokes this. It's the only way he can keep his spirit in the living world.
  • This is ultimately what drives Caim of Drakengard throughout the games. His Foil Nowe in the sequel however is driven by The Power of Love.
  • Live-A-Live: "As long as there is hatred, anyone can become a demon." And how...
  • Clockwerk from Sly Cooper actually made himself immortal through, in his own words, "a steady diet of jealousy and hate." That, and making himself into a giant mechanical owl.
  • In Final Fantasy IV, even after Zemus dies, his hate is so powerful that it was able to materialize and curb stomp the two who had just killed him. Proceeding to become the most powerful boss in the game.
  • After being defeated in Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth was only able to maintain his sense of self in the Lifestream by focusing on his hatred of Cloud at the expense of everything else. As a result he is completely obsessed with taking revenge on Cloud in Advent Children.
  • In Final Fantasy XII, Tragic Villain Gabranth is fueled not just by his loyalty to Arcadia, but also his hatred towards his twin brother Basch, whom he believes fled their original homeland Landis, and their own mother, in an act of cowardice (its a bit more complicated then that). By the end of the game, after being given a brutal "The Reason You Suck" Speech by Cid about how he's only useful as Vayne's lapdog and isn't even worth that, Gabranth loses his loyalty to the Arcadians, leaving only his hated for Basch to motivate him towards anything.

 Gabranth: SILENCE! ALL was stripped from me! Only the hatred for the brother that fled our homeland remains mine!

    • In Dissidia Final Fantasy, the characters have no full memories when summoned to fight, only retaining the barest hint of memory and the emotions linked to them. Gabranth doesn't remember much about his life except for feelings of intense hatred, but he can't remember what it was directed towards. Thus, in his own words, "Hatred is what drives me!"
  • This is what drives near- Complete Monster Kratos in God of War.
    • Until it's revealed near the end of the third game that Hope and the desire for forgiveness drive Kratos too -- possibly even more than hate.
  • Just watch this intro of I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream.
  • Sion in Knights of the Old Republic 2 is a corpse held together by the power of his own hate. If you convince him to let go of his hate, his consciousness falls apart.
  • If hatred was a metal and Mortal Kombat regular Scorpion was a blacksmith, then he most certainly forged a BFS out of it. A BFS that he promptly drove through Sub-Zero's heart.
  • In Tales of Maj Eyal the Afflicted classes use hate as the resource that fuels their abilities. It goes down over time, and is replenished when you hurt or kill things, are badly hurt, and so on...
  • In Mass Effect 2, Zaeed Massani claims this is what allowed him to survive being shot point blank in the head:

 Zaeed: Rage is a hell of an anesthetic.

  • In League of Legends Urgot survived being cut in two by Garen and rebuilt into a powerful Magitek cyborg by Professor Piddly. All attempts to recreate the process ended in the death of the subject, and Piddly suggests that this is because his other subjects lacked Urgot's hatred for Garen.
  • In The Legend of Zelda series, it is explained in Skyward Sword that Ganon is the manifestation of the hatred of Demise. Demise curses the descendants of the first Link and Zelda to forever fight his incarnation of hatred.
  • In Heroes of Might and Magic creatures deal 50% more damages to the creatures they intrinsically hate.
  • Ar tonelico series "villains" all share this motive. Mir hates humanity that treats her and her kind like dirt, Infel hates everyone in the second tower after her sort-of wife was killed due to the evil in humanity's heart, and the planet itself hates humanity after all the exploitations they've done to her. Their boss battle theme is full of words like "hate" and "kill".
  • In Asura's Wrath, Asura's endless, boundless, pure, absolute hatred of the people that betrayed him and who are destroying and exploiting the world around him are what gives him his seemingly impossible ability to keep on fighting and draw upon enough power to destroy entire fleets. In the climax of the DLC episodes, he fights Chakravartin, who is essentially God, and wins, while fighting on pure hatred.


Visual Novels

Webcomics


Web Original


Western Animation

  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, after Zuko completes his Heel Face Turn, he loses most of his firepower, since he no longer has his burning anger to fuel his flames. In fact, firebending in general seems to lean toward this, at least the bastardized version that's been promoted since the start of the hundred-year-war. True firebending doesn't need hate, as Aang and Zuko learn from the Sun Warriors.
  • In The Simpsons it has been revealed that hate is what keeps Monty Burns alive.
  • In The Boondocks, Colonel H. Stinkmeaner lived decades after his projected early death date due to raw hatred. When he finally did die, his hate was so strong the Devil granted him a trip out of hell, to spread it to others.
  • In a Super Secret Secret Squirrel cartoon, Secret counteracts the effects of Queen Bee's Love Potion by focusing on his hatred of crime (or more likely just hate in general).
  • In one time traveling episode of Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Captain Planet comes face to face with Adolf Hitler himself and nearly passes out from the sheer hatred eminating from the man. (Captain Planet's kryptonite is basically anything toxic, and one of his components is Heart, so...)
  • The Monarch of The Venture Brothers is motivated more by his hate for Rusty Venture than he is love for his wife. He once says that hate is what drives him - he hates himself more than most villains hate their archenemies.
  • Invoked in The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, where after Billy retreats to his Happy Place to escape from clowns, his "inner frat boy" tells him that rather than fear those different from him, he should be angry at those different from him, which gives him the rage to beat up the clowns
  • In WITCH, Shagon, leader of the Knights of Destruction and The Dragon to Nerissa is called "The Angel of Malice" and literally draws his strength from other peoples' hatred (the other knights, being The Heartless, draw strength from different negative emotions). The Guardians ultimately learn to weaken him somewhat by letting go of their hate for him.
  • Discord from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic is pretty much the antithesis of the Elements Of Harmony, which run on the Power of Friendship. As such, he's able to get stronger from strife and fighting between ponies. The Cutie Mark Crusaders getting into a fight in front of him is what grants him enough strength to break free from his weakening stone prison. Though some have theorized that the Crusaders' fight was not a cause but a consequence of Discord's impending breakout, and that they were in truth his first victims. Whatever the case, Discord thrives off hate magic, using it to undermine The Power of Friendship.
    • According to Word of God, Nightmare Moon came to be because Princess Luna envied her sister to the point of irrational hatred.
    • The Windigos feed off of hatred and use it to spread deadly blizzards everywhere they go.


Real Life

  • Bismarck, the Prussian Chancellor responsible for the unification of Germany, is a good historical example. The man relied on people hating him as a source of motivation during times of difficulty. Take the following quote from Robert K Massie's Dreadnought:

  Lying in bed, he mulled over grievances. “I have spent the whole night hating”, he said once. When no immediate object of hatred was available, he ransacked his memory to dredge up wrongs done to him years before.

  • The power that made the Schutzstaffel such ferocious enemies to fight on the battlefield. During their training in the boot-camps, they were taught to hate anyone who were classified as an enemy to the Third Reich. However, the Waffen-SS's fanatical fighting style led to high casualties and hence a debatable efficiency. Furthermore, they were a very minor part of the armed forces in Poland and France.
  • The Darth Wiki is empowered by this.

Notes

  1. "Kismet nemeses"
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