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Tyger, Tyger burning bright,/In the forests of the night,/What immortal hand or eye/Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
— "The Tyger" by William Blake

Fearful Symmetry is the fifth chapter in the twelfe chapter series Watchmen, written by Alan Moore and drawn by Dave Gibbons. It was released in January 1987.


Featured characters


A man walks through the rain past discarded newspapers reporting Russia's invasion of Afghanistan. He walks into a house, which is soon to be revealed to be the home of the former criminal mastermind known as Moloch.

Moloch hears a noise in the middle of the night, so he climbs out of his bed and takes a gun for safety. Remembering Rorschach's break in last time he checks the fridge wherein he finds a note saying "Behind You". It has been left by Rorschach who then questions him about the Comedian's visit to Moloch's a week before his murder. Rorschach makes suggestions that the list was related to the press allegations that Doctor Manhattan has given cancer to many of his close friends. Realizing Moloch has no intentional part in this plan, Rorschach leaves.

Meanwhile a man, fearing nuclear holocaust, has murdered his two children before taking his own life - we join them during the police questioning his wife. The scene cuts again to the newspaper vendor, who discusses the end of the world with a delivery man who puts forward the idea that in World War III, as opposed to the Second World War, there will be no place to run to. The boy reading the pirate comic learns of the character's plan to make a raft of wood, using the bodies of the dead men who had gas in their stomachs for buoyancy. During this time, Dan Dreiberg and Laurie Juspeczyk are having dinner at Gunga Diner, Dan invites Laurie to live with him after she has been asked to leave her home in the military and had her expense account shut down now that Jon has disappeared. Rorschach, who has ventured outside without his mask to wait for news from Moloch, via a secret message, sees Dan and Laurie leaving the diner.

The pirate story continues, with the protagonist seeing the reflection of himself as a maniac, while the news vendor rants to anyone who will listen about the apathy of the world. Adrian Veidt walks to a meeting, discussing ideas of morbidity, death and an afterlife with his secretary who is merely concerned with physical appearance and money. She is shot at and hit, while Veidt fights the man who eventually bites into a suicide capsule to prevent Veidt discovering who sent him. At Moloch's, Rorschach discovers that he was murdered, and a bullhorn from outside commands Rorschach to come out and surrender - clearly, it is a trap. Rorschach attempts to escape by jumping out of a window but twists his ankle upon landing and is overwhelmed by the SWAT troops. He is then taken into custody.


Watchmen Chapters
Chapter I: At Midnight, All the Agents...Chapter II: Absent FriendsChapter III: The Judge of All the EarthChapter IV: WatchmakerChapter V: Fearful SymmetryChapter VI: The Abyss Gazes AlsoChapter VII: A Brother to DragonsChapter VIII: Old GhostsChapter IX: The Darkness of Mere BeingChapter X: Two Riders Were Approaching...Chapter XI: Look On My Works, Ye MightyChapter XII: A Stronger Loving World