History Main / HiddenBackupPrince

14th Jan '17 3:29:22 PM Bissek
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* In the Gilbert and Sullivan opretta ''The Gondoliers'', a prince had been hidden by being placed into the care of a Gondolier who had a son about the same age. Fast forward to the story's present day, and it's time to crown the king, but virtually everyone who knew the infant prince has since died, so nobody's sure ''which'' of the two young men who have taken up their late father's career is the rightful heir.
1st Jan '17 6:54:33 PM wuggles
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* Like the novels it's based on, ''Series/GameOfThrones'' features this, although since the show is a PragmaticAdaptation of the books there aren't nearly as many:
** [[spoiler: Robert Baratheon, like his book counterpart, has many bastards, but his heir Joffrey has most of them killed when he ascends to the throne after Robert's death.]]
** [[spoiler: Bran and Rickon Stark could be considered this, since most people assume that Theon killed both of them when he took over Winterfell, and after the Boltons take over. However, Ramsay Bolton is GenreSavvy enough to know this and kills Rickon after holding him hostage (and as far as anyone knows Bran is dead). Jon Snow could be considered this trope in two ways: Despite being Ned Stark's bastard as far as anyone knows, at the end of season 6 he is his only living son and thus ends up being chosen as King of the North. Additionally, the show confirms the fan theory that he is secretly the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, thus making him a Backup Prince for the Iron Throne as well.]]
14th Dec '16 10:09:54 AM JoeMerl
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* In ''Literature/VampireAcademy'', [[spoiler:Jill Mastrano is an illegitimate heiress to the dying royal Dragomir family who gets acknowledged in the finale of the series, in the process aving the family from near-extinction and losing its political rights. She herself had no idea of her status as she was raised in secrecy]].
* {{Enforced}} in ''Literature/TheMagids'' by Diana Wynne Jones: the Koryfonic Empire, which spans multiple magical worlds, has all of the emperor's children raised by someone else to avoid rebellion and succession problems. The novel actually opens with the Emperor executing one of his sons for finding out the truth. Shortly after, the Emperor himself is assassinated, and the Empire is thrown into chaos as the protagonist, Rupert, tries to track down at least one of the heirs. (Some of whom are in our world and at least one of whom isn't fully human.)

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* In ''Literature/VampireAcademy'', [[spoiler:Jill Mastrano is an illegitimate heiress to the dying royal Dragomir family who gets acknowledged in the finale of the series, in the process aving saving the family from near-extinction and losing its political rights. She herself had no idea of her status as she was raised in secrecy]].
* {{Enforced}} in ''Literature/TheMagids'' by Diana Wynne Jones: the Koryfonic Empire, which spans multiple magical worlds, has all of the emperor's children raised by someone else to avoid rebellion and succession problems. The novel actually opens with the Emperor executing one of his sons for finding out the truth. Shortly after, Of course, this winds up ''creating'' succession problems when the Emperor himself is assassinated, and with the Empire is thrown into chaos as the protagonist, Rupert, tries to track down at least one of the heirs. (Some of whom are in our world and at least one of whom isn't fully human.)



* In the KingArthur mythos Arthur doesn't know he's the heir to the throne, everyone thinks he's a foundling that Sir Ector took pity on; but Merlin trains him in such a way that he ends up a wise and humble king - unlike he presumably would have been if he had grown up as a prince. Arthur doesn't learn of his true parentage until after Uther, his father, dies and he pulls the sword from the stone... and commits BrotherSisterIncest with his older sister, Morgause.

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* In the KingArthur mythos Arthur doesn't know he's the heir to the throne, everyone thinks he's a foundling that Sir Ector took pity on; but Merlin trains him in such a way that he ends up a wise and humble king - unlike king--unlike he presumably would have been if he had grown up as a prince. Arthur doesn't learn of his true parentage until after Uther, his father, dies and he pulls the sword from the stone... and commits BrotherSisterIncest stone. (Though this also leads to some issues, as he accidentally [[BrotherSisterIncest sleeps with his older sister, Morgause.half-sister]].)
13th Dec '16 2:39:29 PM ImpudentInfidel
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* Princess Leia in ''Franchise/StarWars''. It's a bit of a twist from the normal set up, but she and her brother Luke are being hidden from forces meaning them ill (though it's unusual for this trope that it be their own father). Which at least in her instance is especially ironic since she was a commoner and hidden by posing as royalty.

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* Princess Leia in ''Franchise/StarWars''. It's a bit of a twist from the normal set up, but she and her brother Luke are being hidden from forces meaning them ill (though it's unusual for this trope that it be their own father). Which at least in her instance is especially ironic since she was a commoner (sort of; daughter of a former queen of a different planet) and hidden by posing as royalty.
30th Sep '16 3:13:15 AM Gowan
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* In ''Literature/TheGoblinEmperor'', the elven emperor and his three eldest sons die in an airship accident. The fourth prince, Maia, was not so much ''hidden'' as banished to a remote country estate because his father hated him, but most people had forgotten about him prior to the fatal accident.

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* In ''Literature/TheGoblinEmperor'', the elven emperor and his three eldest sons die in an airship accident. The fourth prince, Maia, was not so much ''hidden'' as banished to a remote country estate because his father hated him, but most people had forgotten about him prior to the fatal accident. Despite technically holding the title of Archduke, he was treated horribly by his guardian (a nobleman whom the emperor punished with this task), and has lots of empathy for people who also were treated badly by those in power.
30th Sep '16 3:08:33 AM Gowan
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* In ''Literature/TheGoblinEmperor'', the elven emperor and his three eldest sons die in an airship accident. The fourth prince, Maia, was not so much ''hidden'' as banished to a remote country estate because his father hated him, but most people had forgotten about him prior to the fatal accident.
8th May '16 10:51:27 AM azul120
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The solution is to raise one of the [[LostOrphanedRoyalty King's children as a commoner]] far away, without knowledge of their SecretLegacy. The idea being that they'll be [[KingIncognito safe in anonymity]], and they may even be able to be trained or schooled in a way that spares them from becoming snobby and [[ModestRoyalty brings them closer to commoners.]] The HiddenBackupPrince isn't always created intentionally. The kid may be a bastard child and hidden to cover up their father's indiscretions, a twin who is sent away to avoid complicated succession rivalries, or is somehow kidnapped or separated unintentionally.[[note]]In many cases historically, illegitimate children were specifically excluded from inheriting.[[/note]]

Of course, if the HiddenBackupPrince is resentful and [[ReallyRoyaltyReveal finds out about their heritage]] they may decide to ''be'' the cause that wipes out the royal family. Nothing like going from RichesToRags to motivate spite. Usually though, the HiddenBackupPrince will know nothing of their heritage yet somehow get involved in the plot regardless.

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The solution is to raise one of the [[LostOrphanedRoyalty King's children as a commoner]] far away, without knowledge of their SecretLegacy. The idea being that they'll be [[KingIncognito safe in anonymity]], and they may even be able to be trained or schooled in a way that spares them from becoming snobby and [[ModestRoyalty brings them closer to commoners.]] The HiddenBackupPrince hidden backup prince isn't always created intentionally. The kid may be a bastard child and hidden to cover up their father's indiscretions, a twin who is sent away to avoid complicated succession rivalries, or is somehow kidnapped or separated unintentionally.[[note]]In many cases historically, illegitimate children were specifically excluded from inheriting.[[/note]]

Of course, if the HiddenBackupPrince hidden backup prince is resentful and [[ReallyRoyaltyReveal finds out about their heritage]] they may decide to ''be'' the cause that wipes out the royal family. Nothing like going from RichesToRags to motivate spite. Usually though, the HiddenBackupPrince hidden backup prince will know nothing of their heritage yet somehow get involved in the plot regardless.



For the sake of keeping things simple, this trope will cover both intentionally and unintentionally creating a HiddenBackupPrince. Cases such as involuntary separation (through chance or enemy schemes) count. This trope can also be in play even if the royal family isn't killed off-- the HiddenBackupPrince exists as a fail safe, regardless of if it's called into use by the plot.

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For the sake of keeping things simple, this trope will cover both intentionally and unintentionally creating a HiddenBackupPrince.hidden backup prince. Cases such as involuntary separation (through chance or enemy schemes) count. This trope can also be in play even if the royal family isn't killed off-- off -- the HiddenBackupPrince hidden backup prince exists as a fail safe, regardless of if it's called into use by the plot.



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*** After [[spoiler:the death of King in the North Robb Stark with no known children]], both Bran and Rickon Stark (thought dead) and Jon [[spoiler: Stark (formerly Jon]] Snow, [[spoiler: legitimized by royal decree]] are {{Hidden Backup Prince}}s. [[spoiler:Bran is travelling North of the Wall and looks unlikely to ever return as he is becoming a greenseer. However his youngest sibling Rickon is in hiding in the North and some of the Northern nobility are planning to restore him to rule of Winterfell.]]
*** Meanwhile, Theon Grejoy is a HiddenBackupPrince [[spoiler: after his father King of the Iron Isles Balon Greyjoy dies and, Theon being presumed dead, his uncle Euron takes over.]]

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*** After [[spoiler:the death of King in the North Robb Stark with no known children]], both Bran and Rickon Stark (thought dead) and Jon [[spoiler: Stark (formerly Jon]] Snow, [[spoiler: legitimized by royal decree]] are {{Hidden Backup Prince}}s.hidden backup princes. [[spoiler:Bran is travelling North of the Wall and looks unlikely to ever return as he is becoming a greenseer. However his youngest sibling Rickon is in hiding in the North and some of the Northern nobility are planning to restore him to rule of Winterfell.]]
*** Meanwhile, Theon Grejoy is a HiddenBackupPrince hidden backup prince [[spoiler: after his father King of the Iron Isles Balon Greyjoy dies and, Theon being presumed dead, his uncle Euron takes over.]]
29th Apr '16 3:00:01 AM KizunaTallis
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* A series of [[SuccessionCrisis Succession Crises]] in the realm of Westeros in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' have left more [[HiddenBackupPrince Hidden Backup Princes and Princesses]] than anyone knows what to do with. Matters stem from the collapse of the Targaryen dynasty, which had ruled Westeros for nearly 300 years before it was overthrown and supplanted by a new royal house, the Baratheons. King Robert I Baratheon sired 16 bastard children, but no trueborn heirs. His officially recognized children and heirs were not actually his, but the products of incest between his wife and her twin brother. After their parentage is made public knowledge, their claim to the throne is disputed, but the royal army is the strongest force in the Seven Kingdoms, so they maintain their grip on power [[AuthorityEqualsAssKicking the old fashioned way]]. But waiting in the wings are even more potential successors with blood ties to the Targaryen royal family, including the two surviving children of the last Targaryen king, and their nephew: the eldest surviving son of their older brother (the former Targaryen heir apparent),who had been thought to be dead (and who might be an impostor). It turns out that [[spoiler:after the Targaryen royal family was overthrown and the last scions were cast into exile, some Targaryen loyalists spirited away the late prince's son as a back-up, in case something should happen to the publicly known Targaryens. Things get complicated when the back-up prince makes himself known and launches an invasion ''before'' the last public Targaryen makes her move]]. However, it is a popular fandom theory [[spoiler:that he is actually descended from the Blackfyres, the family of a legitimized King's bastard Daemon Blackfyre, who have made numerous attempts to take the Iron Throne but have died out in the '''male''' line.]]

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* A series of [[SuccessionCrisis Succession Crises]] in the realm of Westeros in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' have left more [[HiddenBackupPrince Hidden Backup Princes hidden backup princes and Princesses]] princesses than anyone knows what to do with. Matters stem from the collapse of the Targaryen dynasty, which had ruled Westeros for nearly 300 years before it was overthrown and supplanted by a new royal house, the Baratheons. King Robert I Baratheon sired 16 bastard children, but no trueborn heirs. His officially recognized children and heirs were are not actually his, but the products of incest an incestuous affair between his wife Cersei and her twin brother.brother Jaime. After their parentage is made public knowledge, their claim to the throne is disputed, but the royal army is the strongest force in the Seven Kingdoms, so they maintain their grip on power [[AuthorityEqualsAssKicking the old fashioned way]]. But waiting in the wings are even more potential successors with blood ties to the Targaryen royal family, including the two surviving children of the last Targaryen king, king (Daenerys and Viserys), and their nephew: the nephew Aegon (the eldest surviving son of their older brother (the and former Targaryen heir apparent),who apparent Rhaegar),who had been thought to be dead (and who might be an impostor). It turns out that [[spoiler:after the Targaryen royal family was overthrown and the last scions were cast into exile, some Targaryen loyalists spirited away the late prince's son Aegon as a back-up, backup, in case something should happen to the publicly known Targaryens. Things get complicated when the back-up prince makes Aegon reveals himself known and launches an invasion ''before'' the last public Targaryen Daenerys makes her move]]. However, it is a popular fandom theory [[spoiler:that he is actually descended from the Blackfyres, the family of a legitimized King's bastard Daemon Blackfyre, who have made numerous attempts to take the Iron Throne but have died out in the '''male''' line.]]
5th Mar '16 2:51:03 PM Anddrix
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* In ''Literature/VampireAcademy'', [[spoiler:Jill Mastrano is an illegitimate heiress to the dying royal Dragomir family, who gets acknowledged in the finale of the series. Saving the family from near-extinction and losing its political rights. She herself had no idea of her status as she was raised in secrecy]]. A backup plan from Eric Dragomir.

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* In ''Literature/VampireAcademy'', [[spoiler:Jill Mastrano is an illegitimate heiress to the dying royal Dragomir family, family who gets acknowledged in the finale of the series. Saving series, in the process aving the family from near-extinction and losing its political rights. She herself had no idea of her status as she was raised in secrecy]]. A backup plan from Eric Dragomir.
26th Jan '16 3:02:07 AM BigKlingy
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* Princess Elincia of ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius'' was brought up in secret this way, ready to assume the throne should everyone else die, because her parents were afraid of a succession conflict caused by her uncle already having been declared the successor when she was born.

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* Princess Elincia of ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius'' was brought up in secret this way, ready to assume the throne should everyone else die, because her parents were afraid of a succession conflict caused by her uncle already having been declared the successor when she was born. Pelleas was similarly raised as one for Daein... [[spoiler: though he really ''was'' just some random commoner: TheEvilGenius Izuka manipulated him and his mother into ''thinking'' he was the long-lost prince so he could control the country through a puppet king. Since Ashnard's son was abandoned as a baby and his mother hadn't seen him in over 15 years, all he had to do was find a suitable orphan. Pelleas [[GoMadFromTheRevelation doesn't take it well when he finds out.]]]]
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