History Main / BastardBastard

30th Jun '16 9:55:59 AM Morgenthaler
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Born with the shame of unmarried parents, he is marginalized at best, reviled and banished at worst (not to mention unable to inherit)--but unlike his more sympathetic counterpart, the HeroicBastard, the BastardBastard is [[ThenLetMeBeEvil not trying to rise above society's expectations]]. Instead, his ParentalAbandonment has created the ultimate FreudianExcuse. He's the JerkassWoobie who's got it in for his father, his siblings, or maybe even [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds the world.]] His issues have driven him to seek revenge, or made him vulnerable to manipulation by the forces of Evil. Generally male, although female examples are becoming more common.

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Born with the shame of unmarried parents, [[BastardAngst he is marginalized at best, reviled and banished at worst worst]] (not to mention unable to inherit)--but unlike his more sympathetic counterpart, the HeroicBastard, the BastardBastard is [[ThenLetMeBeEvil not trying to rise above society's expectations]]. Instead, his ParentalAbandonment has created the ultimate FreudianExcuse. He's the JerkassWoobie who's got it in for his father, his siblings, or maybe even [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds the world.]] His issues have driven him to seek revenge, or made him vulnerable to manipulation by the forces of Evil. Generally male, although female examples are becoming more common.
22nd Jun '16 4:01:27 AM Saveelich
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* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Bastards in Westeros are often mistrusted for being born of lust and deceit and having a vested interest in their trueborn siblings' demise. Although Jon Snow averts it, Ramsay Snow plays it straight.

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* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Bastards in Westeros are often mistrusted for being born of lust and deceit and having a vested interest in their trueborn siblings' demise. Although Jon Snow averts it, Joffrey Baratheon and Ramsay Snow plays play it straight.
14th Jun '16 2:36:34 AM Doug86
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* Mordred was the illegitimate son of KingArthur and [[BrotherSisterIncest his half-sister]], and plotted against his father. Virtually every modern adaptation of the legend has this, though usually in different ways. Special mention goes to the ''Series/{{Merlin 1998}}'' series, wherein Mordred's bastardry was taken UpToEleven. However, in the earliest references to "Medraut" very little is known about him, including his relationship with Arthur and whether he was friend or foe. The earliest myths to assign him a relationship to Arthur place him as a nephew but still don't assign him a BastardBastard role. That came much later.

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* Mordred was the illegitimate son of KingArthur Myth/KingArthur and [[BrotherSisterIncest his half-sister]], and plotted against his father. Virtually every modern adaptation of the legend has this, though usually in different ways. Special mention goes to the ''Series/{{Merlin 1998}}'' series, wherein Mordred's bastardry was taken UpToEleven. However, in the earliest references to "Medraut" very little is known about him, including his relationship with Arthur and whether he was friend or foe. The earliest myths to assign him a relationship to Arthur place him as a nephew but still don't assign him a BastardBastard role. That came much later.
29th May '16 2:41:55 PM Vox
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** The {{Sadist}}ic Ramsay Snow is, [[spoiler: next to Joffrey]], probably the best example ASOIAF offers. Especially notable because his father openly blames this on his 'tainted blood.' It's clear that, though Roose Bolton is cruel and vicious, he's pragmatic about it and doesn't let it affect his plans. Ramsay, however, is just a SerialKiller with a noble title and is threatening his father's own power with his wanton cruelty, and is suspected of poisoning Roose' legitimate son Domeric so he could become heir. Ramsay hates being referred to as a bastard, and murders people who say he is. He is considered by many people the most evil character in the series.

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** The {{Sadist}}ic Ramsay Snow is, [[spoiler: next to Joffrey]], probably the best example ASOIAF offers. Especially notable because his father openly blames this on his 'tainted blood.' It's clear that, though Roose Bolton is cruel and vicious, he's pragmatic about it and doesn't let it affect his plans. Ramsay, however, is just a SerialKiller with a noble title and is threatening his father's own power with his wanton cruelty, and is suspected of poisoning Roose' legitimate son Domeric so he could become heir. Ramsay hates being referred to as a bastard, and murders people who say he is. He is considered by many people the most evil character in the series.series, which is [[Monster/ASongOfIceAndFire a legitimately impressive feat considering the level of competition.]]
16th May '16 1:40:48 AM TheOneWhoTropes
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* Rhys ap Llewellynne ap Owain in Fiona Patton's ''[[TalesOfTheBranionRealm The Granite Shield]]''. Zigzagged by the tug of war between two opposing religions; one considers him a royal bastard, unable to take the throne, while the other sees his birth as immaterial and considers him the legitimate heir.

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* Rhys ap Llewellynne ap Owain in Fiona Patton's ''[[TalesOfTheBranionRealm ''[[Literature/TalesOfTheBranionRealm The Granite Shield]]''. Zigzagged by the tug of war between two opposing religions; one considers him a royal bastard, unable to take the throne, while the other sees his birth as immaterial and considers him the legitimate heir.
7th May '16 7:51:19 PM erraticegomania
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Added DiffLines:

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The bastard twin sisters of the Baron Richmond, in ''Literature/{{Twig}}'', are kept from even the Baron's tiny scrap of power by virtue of their illegitimacy. They channel it into creative sadism and madness instead.
[[/folder]]
29th Apr '16 8:23:52 PM ShiroAkuma
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* Played with by Lord Henry Blackwood in ''Film/SherlockHolmes'', who was conceived out of wedlock during a magical ritual. His mother dies during childbirth, he goes on to murder several people (including his father), and tries to sieze control of the British Empire by making the world fear him. However, Holmes mentions that he's a former member of the House of Lords, so he may not have suffered some of the prejudices normally associated with bastards.
** His parentage was kept secret. Holmes only figured it out by comparing his facial features to that of the Lord Chief Justice and noticed a family resemblance.

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* Played with by Lord Henry Blackwood in ''Film/SherlockHolmes'', who was conceived out of wedlock during a magical ritual. His mother dies during childbirth, he goes on to murder several people (including his father), and tries to sieze seize control of the British Empire by making the world fear him. However, While Holmes mentions that he's a former member of the House of Lords, so he may not have suffered some of the prejudices normally associated with bastards.
** His
it's because his parentage was kept secret. Holmes only figured it out by comparing his facial features to that of the Lord Chief Justice and noticed a family resemblance.
12th Mar '16 7:28:14 PM Eievie
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Born with the shame of unmarried parents, he is marginalized at best, reviled and banished at worst (not to mention unable to inherit), but unlike his more sympathetic counterpart, the HeroicBastard, the BastardBastard is [[ThenLetMeBeEvil not trying to rise above society's expectations]]. Instead, his ParentalAbandonment has created the ultimate FreudianExcuse. He's the JerkassWoobie who's got it in for his father, his siblings, or maybe even [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds the world.]] His issues have driven him to seek revenge, or made him vulnerable to manipulation by the forces of Evil. Generally male, although female examples are becoming more common.

This trope can be found in any society where rank or wealth can be inherited, if it also has a distinction between legitimate and illegitimate offspring—making it OlderThanDirt.

While not exactly a DiscreditedTrope, [[HeroicBastard the subversion]] is more common today. Modern audiences have [[ValuesDissonance a less stringent view toward children and wedlock]] and tend to be more accepting of a literal bastard character. While modern settings don't really make use of this trope as plenty of modern fiction deals with settings that draw inspiration from the middle ages (particularly high fantasy but plenty of other genres too) it'll continue to be relevant for as long as people want to write about aristocracies and so forth.

to:

Born with the shame of unmarried parents, he is marginalized at best, reviled and banished at worst (not to mention unable to inherit), but inherit)--but unlike his more sympathetic counterpart, the HeroicBastard, the BastardBastard is [[ThenLetMeBeEvil not trying to rise above society's expectations]]. Instead, his ParentalAbandonment has created the ultimate FreudianExcuse. He's the JerkassWoobie who's got it in for his father, his siblings, or maybe even [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds the world.]] His issues have driven him to seek revenge, or made him vulnerable to manipulation by the forces of Evil. Generally male, although female examples are becoming more common.

This trope can be found in any society where rank or wealth can be inherited, if it also has a distinction between legitimate and illegitimate offspring—making offspring--making it OlderThanDirt.

While not exactly a DiscreditedTrope, [[HeroicBastard the subversion]] is more common today. Modern audiences have [[ValuesDissonance a less stringent view toward children and wedlock]] and tend to be more accepting of a literal bastard character. While modern settings don't really make use of this trope as plenty of modern fiction deals with settings that draw inspiration from the middle ages (particularly ages--particularly high fantasy fantasy, but plenty of other genres too) it'll too--it'll continue to be relevant for as long as people want to write about aristocracies and so forth.



* ''ASongOfIceAndFire'''s LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters has many bastards, and nine last names reserved solely for the use of natural children, depending on the area of Westeros. Jon Snow, a main protagonist, is of the [[HeroicBastard heroic]] variety, but there are {{Bastard Bastard}}s out and about as well, such as Ramsay [[strike:Snow]] Bolton. [[spoiler:And also [[TheCaligula Joffrey Baratheon]], although it wasn't known for a long time, and his siblings, also bastards, seem pretty decent]]. Walder Rivers, known as "Bastard Walder", the eldest bastard of Walder [[BigScrewedUpFamily Frey]], is a tough soldier and a bit of a bastard (the two are pretty entwined in that world), but compared to some of his relatives, particularly Black Walder, he is positively noble. It is mentioned he hates being a bastard and hates anyone who isn't.
** Craster, a wildling North of the wall and [[TokenEvilTeammate uncertain ally]] of the Night's Watch, is the bastard of a Night's Watch ranger and Wildling woman from Whitetree. He is called a "kinslayer, liar, raper and craven". Craster is notorious for [[ParentalIncest marrying his daughters]] and [[spoiler:sacrifices his sons to the [[HumanoidAbomination Others]].]] However, calling him a bastard is a BerserkButton for him.

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* ''ASongOfIceAndFire'''s ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'''s LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters has many bastards, and nine last names reserved solely for the use of natural children, depending on the area of Westeros. Jon Snow, a main protagonist, is of the [[HeroicBastard heroic]] variety, but there are {{Bastard Bastard}}s out and about as well, such as Ramsay [[strike:Snow]] Bolton. [[spoiler:And also [[TheCaligula Joffrey Baratheon]], although it wasn't known for a long time, his bastardy isn't common knowledge, and his siblings, also bastards, siblings (also bastards) seem pretty decent]]. Walder Rivers, known Rivers--known as "Bastard Walder", the Walder"--the eldest bastard of Walder [[BigScrewedUpFamily Frey]], is a tough soldier and a bit of a bastard (the two are pretty entwined in that world), but bastard. But compared to some of his relatives, particularly relatives--particularly Black Walder, he is Walder--he's positively noble. It is mentioned It's mentioning that he hates being a bastard and hates anyone who isn't.
** Craster, a wildling North of the wall and [[TokenEvilTeammate uncertain ally]] of the Night's Watch, is the bastard of a Night's Watch ranger and Wildling woman from Whitetree. He is called a "kinslayer, liar, raper and craven". Craster is notorious for [[ParentalIncest marrying his daughters]] and [[spoiler:sacrifices daughters]]--and don't get started on his sons to the [[HumanoidAbomination Others]].]] sons. However, calling him a bastard is a BerserkButton for him.



** Quite generally, while a few Bastards in ASOIAF are clearly {{Bastard Bastard}}s and a few are clearly {{Heroic Bastard}}s, many are just in the background trying to make the best of their ambiguous social position - or seriously a mix of both. Ramsay Bolton engages in evil deeds, but since his father also is evil, they may arguably be what his father approved and wanted.
** Also while Bastard Bastard is listed as an "AlwaysMale" Trope, female bastards are common in ASOIAF. One, at Shield Islands, is employed by her father as a servant to her legitimate half-sisters - and when the Ironmen conquer her home and take them captive, sides with the conquerors and enjoys exchanging clothes with her sisters and forcing them to serve her. Though considering how cruelly they were described as treating her, it may be a case of just desserts. However, it can still look harsh considering some of her sisters are just children and some of them get raped while their father is ForcedToWatch.

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** Quite generally, while a few Bastards bastards in ASOIAF are clearly {{Bastard Bastard}}s and a few are clearly {{Heroic Bastard}}s, many are just in the background trying to make the best of their ambiguous social position - or position--or seriously a mix of both. Ramsay Bolton engages in evil deeds, but since his father also ASOIAF mortality is evil, they may arguably be what his father approved and wanted.
always ambiguous.
** Also while Bastard Bastard is listed as an "AlwaysMale" Trope, female bastards are common in ASOIAF. One, at Shield Islands, is employed by her father as a servant to her legitimate half-sisters - and half-sisters--and when the Ironmen conquer her home and take them captive, sides with the conquerors and enjoys exchanging clothes with her sisters and forcing them to serve her. Though considering how cruelly they were described as treating her, it may be a case of just desserts. However, it can still look harsh considering some of her sisters are just children and some of them get raped while their father is ForcedToWatch.



*** Benedict is the oldest living child of Oberon and was born fully legitimate. Then Oberon had that marriage nullified in such a way that legally it never existed. Is he now retroactively a bastard? If so, then the heir becomes ...
*** Eric, who was born to Oberon and Faiella (wife #2, but before she ''became'' wife #2) and was never officially recognized by Oberon as his child (Oberon did officially recognize a later bastard as his child), making him a questionable heir, in which case it devolves to ...

to:

*** Benedict is the oldest living child of Oberon and was born fully legitimate. Then Oberon had that marriage nullified in such a way that legally it never existed. Is he now retroactively a bastard? If so, then the heir becomes ...
becomes…
*** Eric, who was born to Oberon and Faiella (wife #2, but before she ''became'' wife #2) and was never officially recognized by Oberon as his child (Oberon did officially recognize a later bastard as his child), making him a questionable heir, in which case it devolves to ...to…



--> (Judges 8:30 ESV) Now Gideon had seventy sons, his own offspring, for he had many wives. 31And his concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he called his name Abimelech. 32And Gideon the son of Joash died...
--> (9:5) And he went to his father’s house at Ophrah and killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, on one stone.

to:

--> (Judges -->(Judges 8:30 ESV) Now Gideon had seventy sons, his own offspring, for he had many wives. 31And his concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he called his name Abimelech. 32And Gideon the son of Joash died...
--> (9:5)
died…
-->(9:5)
And he went to his father’s house at Ophrah and killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, on one stone.



* Cesare Borgia, the illegitimate son of [[UsefulNotes/ThePope Pope Alexander VI]], who crops up a lot in Machiavelli's ''ThePrince'', although a lot of what Machiavelli attributes to him was actually the work of his father...

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* Cesare Borgia, the illegitimate son of [[UsefulNotes/ThePope Pope Alexander VI]], who crops up a lot in Machiavelli's ''ThePrince'', although a lot of what Machiavelli attributes to him was actually the work of his father...father…



* [[DrJerk Dr. Gregory]] Series/{{House}}'s parents were married. . . just not to one another.

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* [[DrJerk Dr. Gregory]] Series/{{House}}'s parents were married. . . married… just not to one another.



* The series ''Series/{{Merlin 2008}}'' has [[spoiler: Morgana]] as a female partial subversion. The King has treated her as his daughter her entire life but has not told her that she actually is. When she discovers the truth it leads to a rather jarring bit of artistic license when [[spoiler: she attempts to assassinate her father and half-brother so she can claim the throne.]]

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* The series ''Series/{{Merlin 2008}}'' has [[spoiler: Morgana]] as a female partial subversion. The King has treated her as his daughter her entire life but has not told her that she actually is. ''is''. When she discovers the truth truth, it leads to a rather jarring bit of artistic license when [[spoiler: she attempts to assassinate her father and half-brother so she can claim the throne.]]



* Elias on ''Series/PersonOfInterest'' is this. As an adult, he's a cunning and slippery mob boss. As a child, he saw his mother shot to death, and ended up in foster care. He got his StartOfDarkness when he tracked down his Mafia don father, hoping to become part of the family or at least part of the organisation, only to learn that his father was the one who ordered his mother's death - and he learns it from the assassins sent to kill him too. Decades later, he gets his revenge.

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* Elias on ''Series/PersonOfInterest'' is this. As an adult, he's a cunning and slippery mob boss. As a child, he saw his mother shot to death, and ended up in foster care. He got his StartOfDarkness when he tracked down his Mafia don father, hoping to become part of the family or at least part of the organisation, only to learn that his father was the one who ordered his mother's death - and death--and he learns it from the assassins sent to kill him too. Decades later, he gets his revenge.



* Don John from ''MuchAdoAboutNothing'' is also a bastard and a villain, but since he's in a comedy instead of a tragedy, he's less effective -- albeit narrowly. If Hero had actually killed herself, he could have been as vile and [[MagnificentBastard magnificently bastardish]] as Iago from ''Othello.''
* Hagen in Creator/RichardWagner's ''[[Theatre/DerRingDesNibelungen Götterdämmerung]]'' - the son of Alberich and queen Grimhild, the mother of king Gunther. The mastermind behind everything in the last day of the tetralogy, who also does not mind murdering Siegfried and Gunther himself to lay his hands on the Ring his father made.

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* Don John from ''MuchAdoAboutNothing'' is also a bastard and a villain, but since he's in a comedy instead of a tragedy, he's less effective -- albeit effective--albeit narrowly. If Hero had actually killed herself, he could have been as vile and [[MagnificentBastard magnificently bastardish]] as Iago from ''Othello.''
* Hagen in Creator/RichardWagner's ''[[Theatre/DerRingDesNibelungen Götterdämmerung]]'' - the Götterdämmerung]]''--the son of Alberich and queen Grimhild, the mother of king Gunther. The mastermind behind everything in the last day of the tetralogy, who also does not mind murdering Siegfried and Gunther himself to lay his hands on the Ring his father made.



* [[TallDarkAndSnarky Marcello]] of ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'' straddles the line between this and HeroicBastard. Born to a philandering rich guy who ''almost'' made him his heir, only to ditch him and his mother after his '''wife''' gave him a son, Marcello ''does'' work tirelessly to claw his way above the stigmata of his social station, and ''does'' manage to make a name for himself. ...Unfortunately, he does so by playing into the [[CorruptChurch corrupt factions of the]] [[SaintlyChurch Church of the Goddess]]. Eventually, he goes sailing over the MoralEventHorizon with eyes wide open by [[spoiler: assassinating the Pope and stealing his station]], robbing him of any sympathy... [[DracoInLeatherPants for most people]].

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* [[TallDarkAndSnarky Marcello]] of ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'' straddles the line between this and HeroicBastard. Born to a philandering rich guy who ''almost'' made him his heir, only to ditch him and his mother after his '''wife''' gave him a son, Marcello ''does'' work tirelessly to claw his way above the stigmata of his social station, and ''does'' manage to make a name for himself. ...Unfortunately, himself… unfortunately, he does so by playing into the [[CorruptChurch corrupt factions of the]] [[SaintlyChurch Church of the Goddess]]. Eventually, he goes sailing over the MoralEventHorizon with eyes wide open by [[spoiler: assassinating the Pope and stealing his station]], robbing him of any sympathy... [[DracoInLeatherPants for most people]].



--> '''Zola''': ...and I'm allied with the ''Storm King''. A ''direct'' descendant of Andronicus [[EveryoneLooksSexierIfFrench Valois]]!

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--> '''Zola''': ...and '''Zola''': …and I'm allied with the ''Storm King''. A ''direct'' descendant of Andronicus [[EveryoneLooksSexierIfFrench Valois]]!
24th Feb '16 7:52:43 PM Prfnoff
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Theatre/MarginForError'' invokes this trope with regard to UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler, or "Mr. Schicklegruber," as Denny likes to call him:
-->"Schicklegruber, that's Adolf's ''real'' name. His mother's name. His father never gave him one, as everyone realizes intuitively."
24th Feb '16 7:49:29 PM Prfnoff
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--> ''My mother was the Queen, my father never seen, I was never meant to be''
--> ''Now I spend my time looking all around for a man who's nowhere to be found''

to:

--> ''My -->My mother was the Queen, my father never seen, I was never meant to be''
--> ''Now
be\\
Now
I spend my time looking all around for a man who's nowhere to be found''found



--> ''Mama gripped on to the milkman's hand''
--> ''And then she finally gave birth''

to:

--> ''Mama -->Mama gripped on to the milkman's hand''
--> ''And
hand\\
And
then she finally gave birth''birth
* The UsefulNotes/WorldWarII propaganda song "Schickelgruber" portrays UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler as this:
-->Schickelgruber! Schickelgruber!\\
You were born a child of shame.\\
You have always been a bastard,\\
Even though you changed your name.
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