A common misconception about Islamic State propaganda is that it starts and finishes with brutality. However, whether it is a video depicting the execution of a group of men by firing squad in the desert, a mass beheading, or both, ultraviolence is merely part of the bigger picture. Brutality is just one of six broad themes that Islamic Sate uses to bolster its presence and further its strategic goals; the other five are mercy, victimhood, war, belonging and utopianism. Similar to the mechanisms by which they are conveyed, these themes are not discrete. Indeed, they are regularly employed together.