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Lindsey: Good, Neutral or Evil?

Nikkolas

Glory/Dawn Shipper.......
Joined
Jul 5, 2008
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206
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30
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Fort Worth, TX
In case you've never heard of Character Alignments
* Lawful Good: Basically, they believe Law is Good, and that you do good by upholding the law. The alignment of The Cape, Paladins and suspiciously ideal states. Believes in Truth, Justice, and the (insert country here) Way, but may potentially believe in them a little too much. May also be Lawful Stupid, largely depending on your interpretation of "good". In D&D canon up to the most recent edition, archons, celestials who inhabit the Seven Heavens, are Lawful Good. From a non-D&D more realistic perspective however, LGs are likely altruists who believe in an orderly lifestyle for the benefit of their species. The alignment is also relative (and not in the sense that the PCs are always the good guys).

* Neutral Good: Sweetness and light. Doing good is more important than upholding the law, but law is not a bad thing. Not too caught up in Order Versus Chaos; concerned with moral goodness, but often not willing to enforce it in others. If The Messiah isn't Lawful Good, they're probably Neutral Good. Just think "basically nice person" and you've probably got it. Neutral Good states may be really nice places to live, but depending on how idealistic the setting is, they may be deluding themselves. The guardinal celestials of D&D, beastlike creatures who inhabit Elysium, are Neutral Good.

* Chaotic Good: Rebels and free spirits, but all around nice people. When they're doing good, they would rather do it without getting pushed around by authority. Or they may be outright Well Intentioned Extremists who believe too much order is bad for everyone. Whatever their stance is, they act on their ideals before they let laws get in the way, and sometimes they dare the laws to get in the way. Whether they're portrayed as Big Damn Heroes, too damn idealistic, a Manic Pixie Dream Girl or just a damn problem depends on the views of the author, and ultimately the readers. It should also be noted that CGs value individual merit over the 'greater good' but aren't willing themselves to amoral action to see that through.

* Lawful Neutral: The rule-abiding sort. Law and order is more important than whether you're good or evil. Believes in keeping order, though not necessarily in Justice as a universal constant (though they may - this can get complicated). Probably a better alignment for the Knight Templar than Lawful Good (or Lawful Evil, depending on how degrading), and one of the natural alignments of Police States. They'll arrest a robber or rapist, but may also kick a family out of their home for failing to pay rent, even if they were poor. May also believe in a Cosmic Order that transcends laws - many monks are Lawful Neutral. Just as often the bad guys as the good guys in an Order Versus Chaos situation. Modrons, D&D beings of geometrically perfect precision and order who inhabit the plane of Mechanus, are Lawful Neutral. Mercenaries who obey their contracts without question, and take either side of the moral spectrum, are Lawful Neutral. The Stoic can make a good lawful neutral.

* True Neutral: Sometimes known as just Neutral, or even Neutral Neutral. Comes in two flavors: Keeping the Balance and Just Doesn't Care. Druids are canonically the former sort, on the same side as the animals. The balance-happy sort may sometimes be characters just too dumb to know the difference, but may also be a Wild Card. It's not uncommon to see True Neutral monks, for instance; not to mention ordinary folks who just want to be left alone. Most Punch Clock Villains fit under this alignment. Your average citizen of Libria (in Equilibrium) is an example of the "Just Doesn't Care" version of neutrality, without necessarily being stupid - the government would probably be Lawful Evil. Druids in D&D were required to be True Neutral until the 3rd Edition of the game, and even then had to maintain "some of nature's neutrality". Mordenkainen, from the Dungeons and Dragons Greyhawk setting, a very powerful wizard who actively tries to keep any major power from getting the upper hand, is an example of the "Balance Keeping" version. Animals, meanwhile, are considered to lack any sort of moral capacity; since moral judgments can't be placed on them, they are canonically true neutral in Dungeons and Dragons. Rilmani, metallic-skinned humanoids from the Outlands, are the True Neutral archetype, maintaining the balance between all the other planes. If True Neutrals include the kind with a head for things, then they most likely typically do not care for idealist virtues and/or politics. Intelligent true neutrals are quite logical in how they go about things, including morals. Employers fire and hire employees in equal measure, etc.

* Chaotic Neutral: The ultimate free spirits, or just lunatics? It can go either way. Chaotic Neutral characters are all about freedom, and don't care so much about morality. Sometimes they're just amoral nutjobs, and sometimes they're generally good people with a wild streak that sometimes leads them into bad things. Often used by players in Tabletop Games to excuse doing anything they feel like (in the case of a Game Master who disables evil alignments - see Neutral Evil, below), and often prohibited by the sort of Game Master who also prohibits outright evil characters. Like Lawful Neutral, however, how "good" they ultimately end up seeming depends on which side of Order Versus Chaos the plot tends toward. The toadlike slaad, inhabitants of Limbo, are Chaotic Neutral.

* Lawful Evil: The most competent evil. The kind of Evil that winds up in charge. Can be a lot like Lawful Neutral, but nastier. Well-structured, large-scale and often scarily successful evil. May believe in keeping order at all costs, or may simply believe that a well-ordered system is so much easier to exploit. Whether an Obstructive Bureaucrat is Lawful Evil or Lawful Neutral is basically a function of whether he enjoys what he's doing (see above example of kicking the family out of the house.) If God Is Evil, he's almost always Lawful Evil. On the "bright" side, the Worthy Opponent and Noble Demon are often Lawful Evil (if they're evil at all), as they tend to develop a "Code of Honor" to guide their actions, and can in fact be dependable allies in an Enemy Mine situation where other alignments might fizzle out. In circumstances where you are not a threat to their intentions, Lawful Evil might well be the "lesser of the three evils". BBEGs in general tend towards Lawful Evil - mostly since they plan to construct their very own empire that you'd better fall in line with - as do many Magnificent Bastards. A mercenary who always keeps his contract (good or evil), but enjoys a job where he gets to hurt people, is Lawful Evil and more likely to end up working for the bad guys. The baatezu (devils) of D&D rule the plane of Baator with a Lawful Evil fist, and some of of these were originally Knight Templar angels. As a good reference point, Big Brother (or O'Brien) from 1984 would be Lawful Evil.

* Neutral Evil: Sometimes known as the Asshole Alignment. The Neutral Evil Alignment can be even more dangerous than the Chaotic Evil Alignment - simply because you can't be sure of which way they'll swing in the end. Neutral Evil characters are primarily in it for themselves, because while they are usually villains, they can also swing to the good guy's side, like the Magnificent Bastard they really are. They may also just happen to be on the Good Guy's Team because it's better for them at the moment. Why are they so bad? It could be that Evil Tastes Good or maybe Evil Feels Good. Could be that they've given in to The Dark Side. They could be part of the Religion Of Evil. They could just be, you know, sociopaths. They could take looking out for number one way too far. Or it could be for no readily apparent reason whatsoever. They can be the very embodiment of malice, or just petty thugs. In Dungeons and Dragons, characters who are selfish above all else are Neutral Evil by default. Expect any Neutral Evil state to be Mordor, and a Neutral Evil city the Wretched Hive. The double-dealing, backstabbing, gleefully evil and mercenary fiends called yugoloths, living in the Bleak Eternity of Gehenna, are D&D's archetypal Neutral Evil beings.

* Chaotic Evil: If Chaotic Neutral indicates the truly free spirit, Chaotic Evil is the truly evil free spirit. Whereas the Chaotic Neutral is concerned only with his freedom but isn't a really horrible person, the same can't be said for the Chaotic Evil character. They will do whatever they want to (even if, and sometimes, especially, it hurts other people) and (to them) rules don't matter. Whereas a Neutral Evil character will sometimes follow the law if it is convenient, the same can't really be said for the Chaotic Evil character. So why are they evil? Perhaps it is because of profit. maybe they are narcisstic or egotistical. Or maybe they're simply insane; most but not all psychopaths and sociopaths fall under this designation. But contrary to what some believe, Chaotic Evil does not always mean the kind of wanton, meaningless slaughter and destruction associated with Stupid Evil. Indeed, it is often the more calculating and intelligent villains of this kind that are the most dangerous. Being Chaotic Evil doesn't mean a character HAS to slaughter an entire village just because he's passing through. But being Chaotic, he does whatever he feels like regardless of the rules, and being Evil, he doesn't mind if it hurts other people or is otherwise wrong, either. Serial Killers are good examples of Chaotic Evil. It's the canonical alignment of tanar'ri (demons), beings who were created in and by an endless semisentient Abyss that itself is dedicated to entropy, in Dungeons and Dragons. A great example of how Chaotic Evil can be done well and not be Chaotic Stupid, see the Joker.
Basically, which of those do you think best describes Lindsey's character?
 

Tome

Berktwad
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Black Thorn
I remember a thread kinda similar to this in here, back then! You had to give an alignment to each of the main characters. Was cool!

Anyway... Lindsay was either 'lawful evil' or 'chaotic neutral'. He had traits from both, and through the show he moved in between those two alignments!
 

TheVoid68

Favourite Worst Nightmare
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Jun 26, 2009
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709
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England
Definitely either Lawful Neutral or True Neutral. Lindsey was in it for himself, and played by the rules to get where he was in S1/2 - and he may have been working for evil but I don't believe he was ever evil himself, just egocentric. Later he did move towards the Chaotic end of the spectrum with the whole evil hand/messing with the Senior Partners business.
 
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Wishing Oceans
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Whirlwind

Faith's Boy Toy
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Based on that list, I think I'd classify him as chaotic neutral. At least that's my take on him.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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Wolfram & Hart as a whole is very anti-chaos. I mean, if the Devil has a Lawfirm, then Lawful Evil. Remember, Mesektet, the highest ranking member of Wolfram & Hart, hated chaos and wanted to preserve the Sun. That's the organization's ethics. That's the whole Home Office philosophy. However, I don't think D&D is useful for this, Evil in Angel is all about corruption, having good motives and wishes, and watching as the organization pulls them towards the service of the Senior Partners, until at the end, they don't need a contract to damn you to hell. I thought that was Lorne's conclusion, that in the end, Lindsay belonged to that system, and that no redemption was possible.

Oh, but Evil Hand is definitely Chaotic Evil. EVIL HAND!
 

Anyanka Bunny Slayer

Hail Hydra 💀
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Black Thorn
I don't think Lindsay was evil at all. He was a good old boy who worked his way up the corporate ladder. He had a moral code, but he also knew that sometimes, you just have to do questionable things to get ahead. Of course, he was definitely pushed over the edge by Angel, who just kept messing with his professional life. Angel kept popping up all the time, thwarting Lindsay's career progress. (Not to mention, cutting off his hand!) So it became very personal, career be damned. Lindsay was a driven, intelligent, somewhat ruthless young man who pulled himself up out of poverty to become an asset to Wolfram and Hart...but until S5, he managed to hold on to who he was. So, no...he was never "evil." Not in the least.
 

Spanky

I'm came here to chew bubblegum and go off topic.
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Black Thorn
Yeah, I never really saw Lindsay as being evil. One could argue that he wouldn't have gotten up to nearly as much mischief if Angel was not around. Oh. I just read that's pretty much what was said above.

but until S5, he managed to hold on to who he was.
How did he not in S5?
 

thetopher

Member of the Church Of Faith
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Sineya
Neutral Evil. Definitely. I think 'weak' should also be an option since he seemed to basically go where his whims took him.
Nobody who works for W&H and is a rising star in their special projects department/regularly aiding and abetting murderers could be anything else.
 

thrasherpix

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I used to be into D&D and have thought a lot about the alignment system. I'd say Lindsey was Neutral Evil. Evil as defined in hurting others for one own's personal gain, even if they do it by lawful and socially accepted means.

Alignment is also more than just behavior, but also worldview that guides behavior, and that's how Lindsey saw the world.

Lawful Evil was more about creating a system that rewarded your special group by oppressing those outside your group, though the law was generally as important as self-advancement within the system (treachery was still possible, but woe onto those who failed, and one's word was still important). If one betrayed superiors for Lawful Evil reasons then their reasoning would not be merely self-serving as Lindsey's was, but how it made their group stronger as a result.

Neutral Evil was about exploiting whatever system was in place (as Lindsey did), and could be Lawful or Chaotic (for one's self without regard to society) as they saw being best for their own interest at the times. (And like Lilah says, she's a lawyer, she doesn't care about the law. A true Lawful Evil would care about the law as much as self-advancement assuming they're in the right group, equating them as one and the same.)

Someone Neutral but not Evil does not deliberately seek to oppress or harm others without being provoked, they just don't feel a need to defend the innocent either, and will resist the encroachment of Good if it tries to make them be "good" (to self-sacrifice on behalf of the "less fortunate" when the Neutral typically feels the "less fortunate" should take care of themselves as the Neutral does rather than seeking handouts) as much as the oppression of Evil. Just because they don't promote a Good ethos doesn't mean they therefore slide into an Evil ethos. They do want to be "left alone" on this, and will not look kindly on either Good or Evil that makes their own lives more difficult.

Alternately, they just don't care about moral philosophy, but simply seek to get by as best they can without harming or helping strangers. In either case, Neutrals tend to live by the rule of reciprocity, actively doing harm only to those who harm the Neutral (and his loved ones) only, but not really seeking to help strangers either who are expected to take care of themselves just as the Neutral does.

That is, Neutral is roughly "do onto others as they do onto you." Evil is "do onto others BEFORE they do onto you." (Good is more or less "do onto others as you'd have them do onto you.")

I therefore don't see Lindsey as being Neutral between Good and Evil despite how he flip flops with Wolfram & Hart. He will act to harm and oppress others even when they have not done him any harm (though in his view, he is simply pragmatic), and doesn't need a vendetta to harm them as a Neutral would. His philosophy is that of Neutral Evil, and in the D&D cosmos his soul would be going to Hades (the yugoloths), or maybe Baator (the Lawful Evil devils) which the Senior Partners are from (many in Baator also promote a very similar philosophy among mortals as the Senior Partners do, in addition to loving contracts that bound a mortal's soul to them).



It should be kept in mind that alignments weren't meant to be straightjackets (save for paragons of that alignment, like fiends from Hell or angels from one of the many Heavens), and those of Evil alignment could have their limits or otherwise have reason to seem to be Good just as those of Good alignment could perform an Evil act from time to time, sometimes even with the best of intentions. Paladins could do things that came off as oppressive and evil to others (without their losing their paladinhood) and even fight other paladins serving rival gods of Law, and as long as the combat was "honorable" then they could even kill each other without losing their paladin abilities.

And sometimes in D&D, an evil god was accepted as "giving us the strength to resist greater evils." That is, perhaps like Lindsey, they felt it was a harsh world and that the question for them was who would be strong (or clever) enough to rule it? Will they be the hammer or the nail? And asked like that, they knew which side of power they wanted to be on, and so embraced evil, not so much out of malice as just trying to survive as a people and society (that is, being pragmatic).

Be that as it may, it did make them Evil in their understanding of the world, and thus their actions in it, but it wasn't evil for evil's sake. While Evil individuals can be vicious rogues that plunder, rape, and kill with wild abandon, a lot of Evil are just about being on top and can actually be far more harsh on its rogues (whatever their flavor of Evil) than a Lawful Good government or temple would be. I know if I were going to be punished for heinous crimes and evil deeds, then I'd rather be punished by the Lawful Good temple of Heironeous than the Lawful Evil temple of Hextor, even if I were going to be executed either way.
 
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thrasherpix

Scooby
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Hey, while thinking on quotes to share (and debating which ones to choose) I remembered these 2 lines from the novel Thornhold by Elaine Cunningham. I'm adding it as I figure it would be of interest to those intrigued by the D&D alignment system (for those who don't know, in the edition this was made all paladins were required to be sterling examples of Lawful Good):

Danilo Thann (Chaotic Good): A paladin may well be the finest, purest example of what a man can be — the epitome of all that is noble. And a paladin mounted for battle on his war charger, filled with holy zeal and absolute courage, might well be the most inspiring sight that many mortals could hope to see. He can, and does, accomplish much good. But a hundred paladins, a thousand? United in purpose, single-minded and driven by their sense of duty? I tell you truly, Uncle, I can think of no better definition of terror.

Khelben Arunsun (Lawful Neutral): These are not words you should repeat to most men, and only to you will I say that, once again, we are in complete agreement. For this reason, I have long been wary of the paladin orders. These good men have a disturbing tendency to ride their war horses over whatever perceived obstacle they find in their path.




(Heh, I just had an image of the Knights of Byzantium being given a "cease and desist" letter along with restraining order prohibiting them from being anywhere near Dawn, delivered by Wolfram & Hart. :D )
 
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