1. TheMyst7885

    TheMyst7885 Active Member

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    Symbolic lion used for representing evil or corruption?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by TheMyst7885, Sep 12, 2019.

    I'm planning on having some evil organizations with certain animal symbolic meanings and throughout fiction and real history there have been different meanings that have been used before, like snakes or serpent used for death, destruction and poisonous which I already have and wasps I have with the "hive mind" state, but I wanted to know if there is anything that represents lions with evil or corruption because all I can find is that the lion represented mostly courage, goodness, wisdom and pride. Is there any evil interpretations of the lion that I can use and research so I can use it's symbol for one of my bad organizations?
     
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  2. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Active Member

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    Not that I can think of offhand from any European sources but perhaps an African source? Like to us westerners they are powerful, majestic creatures, right? To African people they are the monsters that kill their people and eat their cattle. Check how some African countries view the Lion - as a symbol of power? As a symbol of evil? Etc.

    Does it need to be factual? Why not just make up a "black lion" symbol and say it represents organization X? "Black" having the influence of shading the symbol as "evil"?
     
  3. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Racist?? Also, counterpoint, Stormtroopers in Star Wars, troops in Hunger Games, and Apple Retail Outlets.
     
  4. TheMyst7885

    TheMyst7885 Active Member

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    I was thinking the same thing. I feel that making it a black lion symbol that's evil and relating it to Africa might seem just wrong.

    Maybe I can use some East Asian influence since I think the lion in some of East Asian culture it represents something evil? Or I could say that he just uses the lion symbol for his organization to represent his pride and accomplishments or strength and since he's American he could use that as his symbol of power? Or I could just go with something snake based like a king cobra or viper.
     
  5. NoGoodNobu

    NoGoodNobu Contributor Contributor

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    So google confirmed:

    Christian scripture: first epistle of Peter, verse 8, compares the devil to a lion.

    Νήψατε γρηγορήσατε ὅτι ὁ ἀντίδικος ὑμῶν διάβολος ὡς λέων ὠρυόμενος περιπατεῖζητῶν τινα καταπίῃ

    “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (New King James translation)
     
  6. TheMyst7885

    TheMyst7885 Active Member

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    Hey this may be good then. Thanks!
     
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  7. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Active Member

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    Oh, great.....I actually did not even think of the racial aspect at all!

    I was thinking merely in terms of the image being scary looking and shady....sort of like a "black cat" on Halloween but much, much bigger being a lion and being used as the symbol of an evil organization.

    Does it need to be a lion? panther, puma, cheetah, jaguar, hyena, bobcat, tiger,....I'm sure there's more.
     
  8. TheMyst7885

    TheMyst7885 Active Member

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    That's not a bad idea. Perhaps I can have it that dark and evil symbol like almost gothic or Halloween like or more demonic in nature. I was going to represent lion since this guy is full of pride and arrogance so I figured that would suit a good theme? Unless I make other members of his organization have other cat symbols like panther, puma, jaguar, cheetah, etc. ?
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  9. OrdinaryJoe

    OrdinaryJoe Member Supporter

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    The Nemean lion is from Greek mythology. It terrorized and killed many people because it's golden mane was impervious to human weapons. Hercules eventually was asked to kill the lion which he did with his bare hands. He then wore the mane of the lion as armor. You could base your symbol on that and give it as some sort of explanation. You can also draw from the Ghost and Darkness which were two lions that hunted and killed between 28 to 31 railroad workers in Africa in the mid 1800's. Although, the movie depicts a much higher kill count. You could use two lions in your symbol and tell this back story.
     
  10. TheMyst7885

    TheMyst7885 Active Member

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    You mean like I could base the villain using the lion symbol as his success in becoming some ruler or leader and putting on the mane of the lion like Hercules did? I actually like that backstory with two lions that did this kind of attack, maybe I can have this antagonist use that part of his symbol for their ferociousness and kills they made?
     
  11. OrdinaryJoe

    OrdinaryJoe Member Supporter

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    Sure, you can do what ever you feel like. It's just some things are more difficult to write then others. Many symbols are based on the characteristics of the animal. So if your organization consider themselves as strong and fierce then that's all the back story you really need to provide for using a lion as their symbol.
     
  12. TheMyst7885

    TheMyst7885 Active Member

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    That works then. But how could I say this antagonist leanred from a kung fu master? Which is how he gained such power in the first place and got his organization today to become as powerful as a lions symbol. I was going to say that during the 70's when he was young, before he gained all the fame and glory, he went to China and met a kung fu master that was a member of the Shaolin Temple, which later on in life the antagonist had spread all his power around with lion symbols lol. But I'm not sure if that could work so well.
     
  13. OrdinaryJoe

    OrdinaryJoe Member Supporter

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    Maybe he was trained in the Lion technique of Kung Fu. You could call it the Lion Paw style.
     
  14. TheMyst7885

    TheMyst7885 Active Member

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    I don't think there is such a thing, unless I make it completely made up. Would it add more authenticity if he got his training during the 70's? Because in todays world most such masters have vanished and other arts like MMA have evolved. Actually in the modern setting, he would have over the years in the early days built on his organization from starting as a kung fu dojo to establishing now as an almost militant organization with owned companies, mixed martial arts, top workout gyms to female fitness, to all sorts of corporations of what sells today. Pretty much going against his deceased masters wishes.
     
  15. OrdinaryJoe

    OrdinaryJoe Member Supporter

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    If you write it then it's real in your story. Isn't that all that really matters?
     
  16. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It's hard for me to picture a lion as 'evil.' They are predators, but that's the way they're designed. They're carnivores, not scavengers or vegetarian farmers.

    When they're not hunting or eating, they tend to lie around in groups and just enjoy life. They are typical cats, really. Lovers of comfort. Culinary and otherwise. They are strong and fierce when they are hunting or defending themselves, but lazy when they're not. That doesn't make them evil. I'd struggle to make that connection.

    You see lions depicted on many coats of arms, and they are used to symbolise strength, courage, and 'kingly' qualities. (These are a human construct, but reflective of how human culture usually sees lion-ness.)

    Of course no breed of animal is 'evil,' but we do like to see some of them that way, if they seem inherently cold, repellent, dangerous, and non-cuddly. Sharks, poisonous snakes, crocodiles, etc. But we don't usually see lions that way. Heck, kids have much-loved cuddly lion stuffed toys. My sister had one.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  17. TheMyst7885

    TheMyst7885 Active Member

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    You are right. Lions in general as in a symbol would not represent something inherently evil. They're considered in pop culture as bravery and well respected, like why kids love Lion King lol. I think I was trying to go for more of symbolizing the antagonist trying to express his leadership and success of progress and his strength accomplishments. Doesn't necessarily have to be evil. Hey it could be a way for him to throw everyone off guard by making his company and organization look courageous and inspiring so others will look up to him, even kids and adults could see him as a role model of success but not see what's really happening. Maybe I can do that?

    Unless this is a bad way to symbolize something as with the lion and maybe to show his colder side I should make it something like a shark symbol, king cobra or a giant crocodile?
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
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  18. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well, ask yourself does HE want to communicate his company and business as something evil? If he doesn't, then a lion would probably be an excellent choice. If he's trying to intimidate or scare people, however, it probably wouldn't work all that well ...at least not initially.

    An evil organisation that adopted a golden retriever puppy as its logo would eventually scare people to death. Just not initially.

    You could play around with that idea, actually. Let them pick something that is cute and cuddly or bland as the logo ...and people will eventually learn NOT to trust cute and cuddly or bland at all.

    The most unpleasant and abrasive boss I ever had during my working life was named Lovejoy. I mean, seriously. What? Geez.... We used to call him Snarlpiss behind his back.
     
  19. TheMyst7885

    TheMyst7885 Active Member

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    I could go with that. If he wants to create a pleasant scenery and look to inspire others when his true intentions are to bring fear and corruption can be truly more scarier to others. Especially for those who find out the truth. Something seen so majestic or cute could be a good way to deceive others? Like flipping the cliche?

    Funny you mention this because I had a boss who was mean and cruel to others but had an obsession with lion designs lol.
     
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  20. badgerjelly

    badgerjelly Contributor Contributor

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    Make it black and white then. Both black and white symbolise death.

    Most animals can be used symbolically to represent many different aspects of their nature - or anthropomorphic nature. Even the snake has a strong ‘medical’ symbolism. It is easy enough to see lions as preying on the weak and defenseless - true of any predatory animal.

    Your don’t necessarily have to mention the colour of the lion either. You could focus on it standing atop a baby gazelle, sleeping on a pile of human skulls or its open bloody maw?

    You could also refer to some fable/history of lions killing people. Obviously the Christians come to mind. Maybe your nations hero was killed by a lion? That would be enough to view the lion as a vessel of evil for some. So if you’re trying to stick to historical accounts look for instances of heroic encounters with lions, or of lions being used to kill by humans (like the Christians and Romans).

    There is always The Lion King and Scar ;)
     
  21. TheMyst7885

    TheMyst7885 Active Member

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    Thanks, I really appreciate it ;)

    What animal would represent someone who had been good but then defeated and had everything taken away from them and then rises back?
     
  22. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    What animal would come to mind for you? This is obviously symbolic, and if you are planning to write such an animal as a symbol, you probably should come up with it yourself. Any animal COULD be used that way, when you think about it. Which one symbolises that the most for you?

    Of course the mythological one is the phoenix, but that is not a real animal.

    It actually doesn't matter what the rest of us think or what animals we might choose and why. It's what you think that will matter. So pick your favourite, and write it into your story AS an animal who is defeated and keeps coming back. You don't need our approval. You can do this yourself, I reckon. Go ahead and have fun with it. It sounds like a good idea, actually.

    If you're wondering how that sort of thing was chosen in the past, you could take a look at Heraldry. Many of the landed gentry came up with animals to symbolise what they thought of their family, or their characteristics. Take a look at these, for example. I googled this topic, and you can as well.

    https://www.hallofnames.org.uk/animals-in-heraldry-symbolism-and-meaning-part-two/
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
  23. TheMyst7885

    TheMyst7885 Active Member

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    Thank you! I think I can look more into this and it will definitely help me.
     
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