Sword of Damocles Rocky Horror

March 27, 2017
Rocky horror show by Jojo & Em
"Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station." A weapon used as a deterrent, to sway people into acting in a certain manner. This comes from the second moral of the original story of the Sword of Damocles, where "The value of the sword is not that it falls, but rather, that it hangs." More often than not, the weapon is intended to have some type of height advantage, to more explicitly invoke this image. This can include launchable weapons that once off the ground serve that purpose. The Kill Sat may easily be an example of this. The Weapon for Intimidation is a somewhat related, smaller scale version. See also Gunboat Diplomacy.


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  • Nationwide Insurance has a commercial where a woman's insurance deductible hangs over her head as a giant rock in a net, threatening her much like the titular Sword. ("The World's Greatest Spokesperson in the World" is able to make it shrink with Nationwide's "vanishing deductible".)
  • Anime & Manga

  • In, Schneizel's ultimate plan is to scare the world into peace by hanging a Kill Sat fortress armed with the Geassverse's equivalent of nukes over their heads. Appropriately enough, the fortress is actually named Damocles.
  • The power of Kira in, to instantly kill evil or unethical people (or anyone you want really), has limiting the world to good, obedient people as its intended consequence.
  • This was Pain's plan for the tailed-beasts powered weapon in ; to create (and even use) a weapon so terrible that it would put an end to war, at least until people stopped fearing it and it would have to be used again.
  • In, the protection or threat of one of the Three Great Powers is used to control specific locations. Whitebeard's protection kept people from attacking even the weakest of his territories, Boa Hancock's membership in the Seven Warlords of the Sea protected her home of Amazon Lily, and the threat of a Marine Admiral, Buster Call, etc., kept certain laws and policies in place for the marines.
  • The Three Great Powers are more of a delicately balanced Cold War. The deterrent is their respective strengths. The Buster Call would fit with this trope more, though there is no one weapon in the series yet that keeps any sort of peace. On a smaller scale, things are protected using the threat of powerful individuals.
  • The World Government and at least one other independent villain have tried and so far failed to acquire a truer version of this trope in the form of one of the three Ancient Weapons. The World Government are convinced that with an ancient weapon at their disposal, they'll be able to end the age of piracy (and any other opposition to their rule). Said independent villain was also confident that the World Government would let him get away with anything once he had attained the weapon Pluton.
  • In, Muska takes control of Laputa for just this reason.
  • In, Arachnophobia get their hands on an Artifact of Doom named Brew, but it doesn't work (because Medusa's team stole the real one and gave them a fake). However, Arachne still realizes it to be useful because everyone thinks they have it, and thus can still threaten enemies into retreating.
  • had Raoh effectively act as this: Indeed, during his first battle with Kenshiro, news of him not winning (the fight was a draw, but this was as good as outright losing to the lands Raoh conquered, and to his minions) and him hiding away to recuperate had his territories descend into chaos. It's only when he returns does he restore order to those regions.
  • Literal example — the first episode of has two massive swords hanging in mid-air, one of which is referred to as the "Sword of Damocles". The swords are a manifestation of a King's power. If a King loses complete control, it falls, and everything in the immediate area is destroyed. This has happened at least once with the Red King.
  • In, this is why Freeza's minions have him revived - the empire has fallen apart in his absence, and they see him as the only way they'll be top dog again. It's a bit of an own goal, since he's back to killing people who disagree with him almost immediately.
    Rocky Horror Show - Sword of Damocles - Ohlook
    Rocky Horror Show - Sword of Damocles - Ohlook
    Sword of Damocles
    Sword of Damocles
    The Sword of Damocles - Rocky Horror
    The Sword of Damocles - Rocky Horror
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