History Main / IWillProtectHer

12th Feb '13 5:18:44 AM SeptimusHeap
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->''Even if you become the world's enemy, I'll... I'll be your [[LadyAndKnight Knight]]!''
--> -- '''Squall Leonhart''', ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII''

->''I don't have to save her. I ''will'' save her!''
--> -- '''Ichigo''', ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''

A person (usually TheHero) has her or his entire motivation built around [[{{Protectorate}} protecting]] another person. Most of the time, it's his or her LoveInterest, but it could also be her or his [[BigBrotherInstinct little sibling]], or [[MamaBear child]]. In Anime, the sentence "ZettaiNiMamoru!" is likely to get used - if not spoken aloud, then thought.

Almost every time, some sort of complication will arise from this situation.

* The protected person is a Badass and quite capable of looking after her- or himself, most of the time. The protector has a hard enough time just keeping up with them, much less being of any use, and will often chastise themself for failing to live up to his perceived duty as protector. Inevitably, however, the protected ''will'' get into trouble, at which point the hero's HotBlooded-ness will manifest and s/he'll become [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass suddenly competent]] as s/he leaps to save her.

* The protector fails to protect the protectee, and s/he winds up the DeadLittleSister, his or her [[MyGreatestFailure Greatest Failure]]. In this case, the relationship is more likely to be part of the backstory. It might have been the former protector's StartOfDarkness, as s/he went over to TheDarkSide while seeking revenge, or went mad while seeking to bring the protected back. Or maybe the protector just cracked and turned into a DeathSeeker. If the protected person survived despite his failure, the effects will be less severe, but all of the above can still occur -- there's just a better chance of [[LoveRedeems redemption]] later on.

* The protected person is normal, and the protector is not... and the main reason the protected is even in danger is that someone is hunting the ''protector''. Thus, the protector feels compelled to [[ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies part with the protected]], or run away from any other responsibilities to keep her safe. It almost never works. Note that most of the examples in ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies do ''not'' apply here -- for it to qualify, protecting that person has to be the character's main driving motivation -- so, for example, SpiderMan wouldn't qualify, since he knows he has a greater responsibility to protect the entire city, and the world. (And let's not even ''mention'' OneMoreDay...)

* The protector protects their person, but at [[TakingTheBullet the cost of his/her life]], or nearly so. If the protector dies, it could be a StartOfDarkness for the ''protected'', particularly if the protected person has any kind of power. If the protector survives, it's more likely to work as a BerserkButton, but it might also compel the protected to try and [[ShooTheDog push him/her away]] so s/he won't get hurt again.

* The protected person turns out to be TheMole, or just plain bad news. The protector likely won't see this, even if other try to tell her/him - and it's fairly likely that s/he won't realize it 'till the protected person finally stabs him in the back. It can turn out in a lot of different ways, but it's usually quite tragic. If the protector kills their (former) protected in response, it'll probably turn out that the traitor was acting under duress, and the protector will be swallowed by grief and regret. If the protector dies by the traitor's hand, s/he'll probably realize that s/he really did love her/him, and be swallowed by grief and regret. But if the protector continued to insist on protecting the protected, even after s/he's shown her TrueColors, s/he might realize that s/he really does love him ''before'' s/he kills her/him, and be [[LoveRedeems redeemed by love]]...

* 'Protecting' turns out to be more complicated and morally ambiguous than it sounds. Maybe the protected person has some sort of weird power that makes a lot of people fear them, or maybe the very layout of the world makes it impossible for them to live in peace. The hero may be forced to fight and kill more-or-less innocent people who attack the protected person out of fear, or orchestrate [[LaResistance rebellions]] and war in order to change the world for their love's benefit -- either way, there's bound to be a lot of victims, and the 'hero' will start to look less and less heroic...

* In the past, the protected person did something for the protector. Either saved her/his life, pulled her/him out of trouble, gave her/him something s/he needed, etc. So the protector [[BecauseYouWereNiceToMe cherishes said moment]] in which the protected was there for her/him, feels indebted to them, and swears to protect them as a way to pay them back for their help. Debts must be paid, after all... even if it involves pretty much going to Hell and back to not owe that person anything.

Naturally, not all cases will fit neatly into one of these categories, and of course, there ''are'' cases where there isn't really any major complications - just someone protecting another person from the MonsterOfTheWeek, for as long as it takes.

Related tropes are numerous. Effectively, it is a subtrope of The {{Protectorate}} and TheChampion. BodyguardCrush is when the protection comes before the emotions. TheDulcineaEffect is when this absolute dedication pops up all of 10 seconds after he first sees her. MamaBear and PapaWolf are when it's a parent protecting their child. This trope is part of the job description for LadyAndKnight.

Warning! Some of these examples will be spoilers solely by virtue of which 'type' they get placed under!
PlayingWith/IWillProtectHer

----
!Examples:
[[foldercontrol]]

!!The protected person is a Badass themself

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''{{Kekkaishi}}''. Yoshimuri has sworn to protect Tokine, but while he has a great deal of raw power in the art of Kekkaishi, Tokine is vastly superior in terms of skill and refinement - so he can barely keep up with her, and usually ends up needing her help in a fight, rather than the other way around. (In truth, they're pretty evenly matched, but she's too proud to admit it, and constantly belittles his lack of skill - which he takes completely to heart, causing him to often convince himself that he was no help at all, even though his raw power was as important in defeating the MonsterOfTheWeek as her technique.)
* ''{{Claymore}}'' could be interpreted as having at least two of these.
* In ''DigimonAdventure'', [[TagAlongKid Takeru]] [[ThePromise promised]] to Sora that he'd protect [[IllGirl Hikari]]. [[TimeSkip Fast forward]] to ''DigimonAdventure02'' and Takeru still takes that promise very seriously even if Hikari by now can already take care of herself (provided an EldritchAbomination isn't [[MindScrew messing with her head]]). To wit, he is seen putting himself protectively in front of Hikari (episode 3), seemed angry at himself for accidentally leaving her stranded in the Digital World (episode 7), and doggedly searched for her when she was taken by the Dark Ocean (episode 13).
* In ''LightNovel/DragonCrisis'', Ryuuji does this for Ai. She is able to read his thoughts due to magical [[MacGuffin earrings]] she was wearing at the time. Although she learns that he's scared, he still tries to protect her, long enough for the BigDamnHeroes to show up to help him.
* [[spoiler: Gin]]'s relationship with [[spoiler: Rangiku]] in Manga/{{Bleach}} mixes this and "Protecting her gets complicated". [[spoiler:They met when they were {{Street Urchin}}s, she was once severely beaten up by Aizen's cronies, then he promised to become a Shinigami so she wouldn't cry again... but not only she became an ActionGirl in her own right, to protect her...he became the biggest JerkAss in Soul Society. Then, having failed to defeat Aizen, he dies, regretting how he couldn't avenge her and thinking he should have truly apologized to her. And '''then''', we see her cry her heart out over his lifeless body...]]
** Also, Tia Harribel towards her Fraccion. In the wild, she lived as close as she could to a life of non-violence and starvation to defy the SocialDarwinist laws of Hueco Mundo. Since then, she has been motivated to fight by a desire to keep her few friends from dying... and these friends are her AmazonBrigade.
* In ''OokamiSan'', HopelessSuitor [[ShrinkingViolet Ryoshi]] [[NiceGuy Morino]] says almost the exact same words to LoveInterest [[{{Tsundere}} Ryoko]] [[BrokenBird Ookami]], which consequently leads to the latter developing feelings for the former.
* Shuuyu has this problem in ''IkkiTousen''. He's a skilled fighter, even amongst his fellow 'reincarnated ''RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'' warriors', but he doesn't have quite the same level of world-shaking power as his BodyguardCrush, Sonsaku. The fact that Sonsaku is ObliviousToLove and a fight-loving BloodKnight does little to improve his situation - her first reaction to him declaring his intent to protect her even at the cost of his own life, is to ask if he's eaten something strange...
* The eponymous character of ''KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'' has sworn to just about everyone in earshot that he'll become strong enough to protect the LoveInterest, Miu. Naturally, since she's the granddaughter of the man who owns the dojo that Kenichi attends, she's a ''far'' better fighter than him.
* Guts from ''{{Berserk}}'' falls into both the first and second categories listed above. [[spoiler:He did everything he could to save Casca during the Eclipse, up to and including ''chiseling off his own left wrist'', and she was still [[ForcedToWatch raped in front of him by Femto]]]]. She survived, but her mind was completely gone. Her fate is most of what fuels his post-Eclipse UnstoppableRage during battle and continuous RoaringRampageOfRevenge. Later, when Guts puts said roaring rampage on hold, his top priority is to protect Casca above all else - [[SuperPoweredEvilSide even from himself]].
* While rather understated (as in it's clear to the reader, but he hardly shouts about it) it's plainly one of [[Manga/SoulEater Soul's]] motivations for protecting Maka. He insists its because it's his job as a Weapon. Fits whether or not you view them as a canon couple. Jackie shows a similar angle towards Kim with aforementioned connotations. Though the basic sentiment extends to pretty much every Weapon/meister team and works both ways.
* While [[DanceInTheVampireBund Akira and Mina]] generally fit in this category, it's complicated by the fact that they're [[BattleCouple pretty much a match for each other]]. Though to be frank if Mina had to watch her own back all the time she'd have absolutely no time left to, y'know, ''[[TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask rule]]'', and Akira has "protecting her" [[BodyguardCrush in his job description]].
** Another interesting point is that if we reverse the roles, then Mina herself clearly fits the ''last'' category. Akira is her anchor in [[TheWoobie the merciless world around her]], and their childhood promise is the main thing that holds [[AntiHero her]] still on the [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope Slippery Slope]].
* In ''PokemonSpecial'', admittedly, it takes only a little while for Lady Berlitz to become an ActionGirl, but nevertheless, Dia and Pearl swear to protect her with their lives after they learn the truth about the whole situation surrounding her [[spoiler: though Dia ''did'' have a good idea of what was really going on the whole time]] and when her real bodyguards [[spoiler: get banished into the Distortion World]].
* In ''Anime/CodeGeass'', Lelouch does this for Kallen [[spoiler:first by lying to her about using her in order to have her spared from going down with him when the Black Knights turn on him, and later by keeping her locked out of the Zero Requiem]].
* Deconstructed in ''AyashiNoCeres''. [[spoiler: Shiso and Ceres have an InterSpeciesRomance-type marriage, with him as a human and her as a MagicalGirl of sorts. After they're attacked and he cannot help her fight off their attackers, Shiso decides that he doesn't want to be TheLoad and asks Ceres to give him a part of her powers, so he can fulfill this trope. But said powers drive him literally ''crazy'' for Ceres, with dire consequences.]]
* [[TheLancer Zenkichi]] towards the protagonist [[MedakaBox Medaka]]. To become strong enough to stay by her side, he's become a capable fighter, though Medaka is still the strongest character. It's partially as an emotional anchor, since she was traumatized by a past failure. [[spoiler:Averted as of chapter 117, when Zenkichi realizes that Medaka doesn't need a protector.]]
* ''Anime/AngelBeats'' subverts this with Hinata and Yurripe [[http://www.mangareader.net/angel-beats-heavens-door/2/6 here]] seeing as [[spoiler: they're both immotal]].
* In ''{{Sekirei}}'', Minato often ends up doing this for the Sekirei he eventually becomes their Ashikbabi for. This helps win over many of them, such as Musubi, his first Sekirei, Kusano, and later Tsukiumi.
* Though it doesn't start out this way, protecting Hatchin becomes one of [[ActionGirl Michiko's]] main motives in ''MichikoToHatchin''. Later this trope is [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming touchingly inverted]] when Hatchin proves to be [[LittleMissBadass pretty badass herself]] and says, almost line-for-line, that she will protect Michiko.
* Kurando's primary motivation in ''Manga/PopcornAvatar'' is to protect his twin sister from the Asura and maintain a world where she can safely live in.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In Suzanne Collins' ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', Peeta ''devotes'' himself to this cause for Katniss, who spends most of her time in the series kicking asses and taking names. He generally devolves into TheLoad in any situation which would traditionally require him to fight, meaning that she has to do the protecting and thus doing a great job inverting the trope.
** Though to be fair, the reason why he becomes TheLoad in the first book is because he saves Katniss' life by fighting off Cato and gets a sword to the leg for his troubles. In the second book it's less heroic, but getting electrocuted would slow most people down.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Live-Action TV}}]]
* River Tam in ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' is a subtle distinction she really did need and want Simon's protection, but that was because she was so erratic that she needed a stabilizing influence even with her powers.
** She wanted his love even more then his protection. Despite her powers and chaotic nature she seems to have always wanted to have someone to look up to. And Simon, despite his unimpressive appearance had an assertive personality and must have given other incompetent surgeons besides the one in Ariel cause to regard their lives as a burden.
** Of course, there's the [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome scene]] in the movie where [[TookALevelInBadass she]] [[WaifFu flips]] [[PintsizedPowerhouse the]] [[BerserkButton script]] [[ReluctantWarrior on]] [[YouShallNotPass him]].
-->'''River''': You take care of me. You've always taken care of me! [[spoiler:*{{Beat}}* My turn.]]
* Another Joss Whedon show: nearly everything Paul Ballard does on ''{{Dollhouse}}'' is to protect Echo.
* In ''ChinesePaladin'', Xiaoyao marries and swears to protect Ling'er. He takes this vow very seriously although ''initially'' she is far a more powerful combatant than him and all she needs is his emotional support. However, as the series progresses he TakesALevelInBadass and it becomes Just That Simple between them.
* On ''TheVampireDiaries'', Stefan, who is the hero, devotes his immortal, undead life and makes constant sacrifices (including sacrificing himself or risking his life) in order to protect and save Elena, the heroine (or more like damsel in distress) from possible harm and dangers of the supernatural in the town of Mystic Falls.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Arado Balanga from ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars Original Generation 2'' is a pretty good Mecha-Pilot, objectively speaking - but as a graduate of '[[TykeBomb The School]]', he's at the bottom of the heap - especially compared to his partner, Seolla, who's one of the best, period. But he's sworn to protect her, and protect her he does - whenever she ends up in a pinch, he goes CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass, whether that means fighting off an otherwise-supreme opponent, or taking a bullet for her. Sometimes both.
* An odd twist on this for both ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' if you're playing female. In the first, Carth knows damn well you could skewer him on a lightsaber and not muss your hair. Still does not stop him from admitting that trying to protect you is his reason to live [[spoiler: after Saul Karath dies painfully]]. In the second game, Atton's overt about it. Bao-Dur is more subtle, but still frighteningly loyal to his "general." In both Carth's case and Bao-Dur's, the "protection" they offer is more or less trying to act as the MoralityPet for a female PlayerCharacter in order to help prevent her from falling to the Dark Side.
* {{Persona3}}: [[spoiler: It's a gender reversal, and it's after everything is over ([[UpdatedRerelease until FES]]), but Aigis sort of qualifies with her wanting to protect the main character...who can certainly fend for himself.]]
** More literal in the end of [[UpdatedRerelease the portable version]], where the gender roles are the norm for this trope. Also note that many of the Female Protagonist love interests also fall under this.
* Al, towards his childhood friend Erel in ''VideoGame/EvilZone''. Yes, he's a very powerful [[MagicalGirlWarrior Magical Boy Warrior]] ''and'' the BigBad they're facing is a GameBreaker SealedEvilInACan, but she's a pretty skilled CuteBruiser too.
* VideoGame/TalesOfGraces: Main characters Asbel and Sophie actually ''argue'' over who gets to protect who, until Asbel challenges Sophie to a footrace to settle the matter...and loses.
** Probably for the best, though. Sophie ends up saving the group from certain death more than once throughout the game, and is canonically one of the most powerful fighters in the party ([[spoiler: Arguably THE most powerful member until about halfway through the main arc, when Asbel is given an opportunity to defeat her in single combat]]).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''FateStayNight.'' [[IdiotHero Emiya Shirou.]] He does this ''twice.'' In Fate, he does this to Saber, despite Saber being '''[[spoiler: motherfucking KingArthur]]'''. (To be fair, he HAD no idea who she really was AND had watched her get totally curbstomped by Hercules.) Fortunately, he's [[LampshadeHanging called out on this]] and eventually it gets [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructed]] in the Unlimited Blade Works route (the second example), where it turns out that Shirou has a massive case of SurvivorGuilt that causes him to totally disregard his own safety. Heaven's Feel also plays with this trope by having Sakura be, from Shirou's point of view, [[IllGirl totally helpless...]] then you get closer to the end and she turns out to [[spoiler:have an absurdly powerful SuperpoweredEvilSide. Shirou promptly modifies his definition of "protect Sakura" to mean "get rid of Sakura's SuperpoweredEvilSide."]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Avatar;TheLastAirbender- when Sokka was still feeling guilty after losing his last girlfriend, he decided to make sure ''nothing'' happened to his other love-interest Suki. Of course, being an ActionGirl, Suki is mostly bemused and slightly insulted by this- and eventually reveals the only reason she went with them was to protect ''Sokka''.
[[/folder]]

!!Failed To Protect Them

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''CodeGeass'' gives us Suzaku and Euphemia. Initially a fairly straight and uncomplicated 'knight and princess' relationship, [[spoiler: Euphemia's death at the hands of [[MyHeroZero Zero]] pushes Suzaku off of his white horse, driving him into much more questionable actions, such as selling out his oldest friend to his worst enemy or releasing a powerful nuke in battle... and, in the end, he winds up supporting one of the bloodiest tyranies in history. Led by, you know, his oldest friend.]]
* [[MahouSenseiNegima Konoka and Setsuna's]] dynamic falls most closely under this, at least initially, but actually covers several variants. While Setsuna is heavily motivated by a backstory incident where she [[MyGreatestFailure failed to protect Konoka]], she also spends a lot of time trying to protect her by hiding the [[TheMasquerade truth about magic]] from her, thus making it a case of ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies. Later on, she also very nearly dies while trying to rescue Konoka. Ultimately, however, her absolute dedication to protecting Konoka comes back to the old childhood 'close shave' where they were both lucky to survive. (Oh, and whether Setsuna's dedication edges into the territory of SchoolgirlLesbians... is left as an exercise for the class.)
* [[FutureBadAss Karasu]] of ''{{Noein}}'' is basically built around protecting [[MacGuffinGirl Haruka]], typically telling his opponent something along the lines of, "I will protect her with my life." [[spoiler: This is because, in his opinion, he failed to protect her future self, though it is implied she willingly did a HeroicSacrifice.]]
* [[spoiler: Shinn Asuka and Stellar Louissier]] from GundamSEEDDestiny.
* Ikumi from ''InfiniteRyvius'' lost his sister years ago, and was severely traumatized by it... [[spoiler: which makes sense, seeing as she committed suicide because of their illicit BrotherSisterIncest relationship]]. So he's sworn never to fail to protect a woman, particularly one he cares about. When his new girlfriend, Kozue, is attacked and scarred while he was out fighting, it becomes his StartOfDarkness as he decided that UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans - he'll do [[KnightTemplar whatever it takes]] to protect her from now on. It... doesn't end well. Either way, that means he fits this subtrope TWICE OVER. Poor guy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Live-Action TV}}]]
* ''{{The X-Files}}''. Mulder and Scully could arguably fall under almost all of these, but this one is closest. While Mulder was always very protective of Scully, after her abduction in season 2, he snaps and after her return becomes obsessed with keeping her safe. He ditches her several times, much to her annoyance, and even asks her to sit out on cases for fear of her life. Of course, it doesn't help that he makes it obvious that the one way to hurt him is to hurt her, and so this protective streak becomes even more pronounced after she is kidnapped many times. Eventually, this also turns into "I Owe Her My Life", since Scully is no slouch in the protecting and rescuing department.
* Spike showed hints of this after [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffy]] died in the episode "The Gift".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Zig-zagged in ''DissidiaFinalFantasy'' at first Cosmos's warriors (especially the Warrior of Light) make it their mission to protect her from Chaos and his henchmen. [[spoiler:In the end she willingly let's herself die in an effort to save ''them'' from the cycle of death and rebirth they've been caught in]].
* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia2008'' has the prince play out this trope. He doesn't really care about the lost kigndom, or the BigBad, or any of that - he's only fighting because Elika DOES care, and she's gonna put herself in harms way with or without him. In the end, she gives up her life to stick the Seal back on the [[SealedEvilInACan Can of Evil]], and he immediately snaps and tears the lid back off to ressurect her again. She is not happy about that.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'', Link arrives a few minutes late to save Zelda a few times, causing Impa to berate him.
[[/folder]]


!!I'm Only Protecting You From Me

[[folder:Video Games]]
* A twist on this can occur in ''SuikodenII''. TheHero has somehow wound up leading LaResistance against TheEmpire, and his adopted sister has, naturally, wound up getting dragged along for the ride, despite being just about the only playable character NOT listed in the stars as one of his OneHundredAndEight destined companions. When she finally admits that she'd prefer to live quietly together, you have the option of agreeing with her, running away from your army and responsibilities along with her, thus demonstrating an alternate solution to the problem. The result is somewhere between a NonStandardGameOver and a... well, [[BittersweetEnding Not All That Bad Ending]]. You actually DO get away, and live quietly together in a cabin in the woods somewhere far from all the war and strife... but of course, LaResistance fell apart, TheEmpire triumphed, and all your other friends probably died.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', of all places, has an example of this. Torg may have a lot of diversions, but there's only ONE thing he's actually SERIOUS about - and that's protecting Zoe. In an alternate universe overrun by demons, he soon gave up on trying to run LaResistance (since everyone there are PerfectPacifistPeople), and instead just concentrates on keeping Alt-Zoe fed and away from trouble. Back in the real world, he forces her away so she won't become a target for StalkerWithACrush Oasis. With... mixed success.
[[/folder]]


!!Taking a Bullet for Them
[[folder:Live-Action TV]]

* Steve Jinks, {{Warehouse 13}} has an interesting combo of three, He has [[DeadLittleSister a dead]] [[CoolBigSis big sister]] that he sees in ActionGirl Claudia, his partner, after she saves his life in the most hilarious way possible. This lead him to decide to go undercover to protect her because he couldn't save his own sister, which in turn, gets him killed. [[spoiler: He gets better.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars Gaiden''. Ricardo takes a bullet for Tytti, saving her life... but leaving her AllergicToLove due to losing him.
* This is one possible outcome at the end of ''DragonAge'': if a female Grey Warden has a romance with Alistair, he will refuse to allow her to [[HeroicSacrifice sacrifice herself]] to kill the Archdemon, taking the choice out of her hands and doing it himself unless she takes the precaution of leaving him behind at the gates before heading to the last battle.
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'', and quite literally, in the case of Leon and Ada. Crossed with The Mole scenario.
* The Big Daddies of ''VideoGame/{{Bioshock}}'' are willing to die to protect the little sisters.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Happened in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' when Lars -- a traveling performer previously renowned for his cowardice -- threw himself in front of a sword to protect the eponymous protagonist, Agatha. He died, and she went nuts, temporarily going into full BloodKnight mode, and attempting to basically take on the entire army of Wulfenbach singlehandedly. (Well, with a little help from her MechaMooks...) She got over it, with a bit of chemical assistance, but now seem hell bent on making sure nobody else dies for her. (Cue Gil and Tarvek winding up in one of the above-mentioned 'She's an ActionGirl' situations, as she works harder to protect them than the other way around.)
[[/folder]]


!!The Protected Was The Mole

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''Manga/RurouniKenshin''. Specifically, the 'backstory'. Back when he was still an assassin, Kenshin fell in love with a woman named Tomoe - who was actually a spy planted by the Shogunate to find his weakness and eliminate him. The details are awfully complicated, but after TheReveal, she ends up dead along with her employers, and Kenshin swears [[TechnicalPacifist never to kill again]]...
* ''RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' probably fits best under this, and is a very genderqueer example, what with Utena deliberately taking on the persona of a Fairytale Prince. She fights solely to protect the Rose Bride, Anthy... but at the end, it turns out [[spoiler:Anthy was in on the whole thing, and was in fact following Akio's will, from being involved in his manipulations behind the scenes to doing everything he told her to . . . EVERYTHING. After this, Utena is severely disillusioned, becoming a KnightInSourArmor, but comes to forgive Anthy after realizing just how much [[FateWorseThanDeath torment she's been in]] for hundreds and thousands of years, and resolves to ''truly'' save her from more suffering.]]
* ''ThisUglyYetBeautifulWorld'' sees Takemoto swear to protect Hikari no matter what, [[TheDulcineaEffect within minutes of first meeting her]], though in his defense she's the spitting image of the [[MagicalGirlfriend ideal girl]] he was fantasizing about earlier that day, and their meeting was [[MeetCute quite]] [[NakedFirstImpression interesting]] in itself, too. However, even SHE isn't aware that she's actually a WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds... and he is someone who was [[TheChosenOne born to stop her]]. Hence, this could just as easily go under the 'It Got Complicated' header.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Videogames]]
* Resident Evil 2, and quite literally, in the case of Leon and Ada. Crossed with Take a Bullet scenario.
[[/folder]]


!!Protecting Gets Complicated

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* Obviously, ''CodeGeass'', where Lelouch's desire to give his younger sister, Nunnally, a 'world of peace' leads him further and further down the path of darkness. When she finally finds out what he's been doing in the name of helping her, she's horrified [[spoiler: and becomes an easy prey for Schneizel's manipulations]].
* Toshiro Hitsugaya and Momo Hinamori in Manga/{{Bleach}}. As a kid, Momo was the only child in the neighborhood who wasn't afraid of Hitsugaya due to his burgeoning ice powers. As they became Shinigami, he swore that he'd protect her and pretty much ''kill'' anyone who ever made her bleed a little... [[spoiler: But when Momo was horribly broken and then almost killed by the man she loved, Sousuke Aizen, Hitsugaya tried to avenge her, and was almost killed himself. When Momo got better and reclaimed her ActionGirl credentials, she and others were horribly defeated by Allon. And then... Aizen used his powers to trick Hitsugaya and other captains ''into stabbig Momo to almost death'', thinking they were stabbing ''him''.]] '''OUCH''', it definitely got complicated.
** Also, after Karakura is attacked and Orihime is seriously injured, Rukia brings Ichigo to her to apologize for not having been able to shield her, and then Ichigo makes the promise that he will protect her from then on. Considering that later [[spoiler: she was forced into a cruel SadisticChoice that involved her going to the villains's HQ and Ichigo then goes to rescue her]], it got complicated and then some more [[spoiler: (though later it gets better.)]]. The trope is reinforced when [[spoiler: Ichigo ''brings himself BackFromTheDead'' when he hears Orihime scream in horror for his death at the hands of Ulquiorra.]]
-->'''Ichigo''': (As Rukia brings him to Orihime's presence) "[[http://www.mangatoyou.org/Bleach/196/18/ Inoue... I will get stronger]], [[http://www.mangatoyou.org/Bleach/196/19/ and next time..]] [[IWillDefinitelyProtectYou I'll definitely protect you..."]]
* When [[spoiler:Homura Akemi]] in ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' was caught in a witch barrier, MagicalGirlWarrior Madoka Kaname saved her. She then vowed to help her and protect her in return. [[spoiler:She failed, however, and Madoka died. Then Homura made her contract with Kyubey, and specifically hoped to protect Madoka and avert her death. She failed each time, but kept on trying...]]
* At the End of the second RebuildOfEvangelion movie, [[spoiler: Shinji, who on this point had pretty much given up on all his hopes, witnesses his LoveInterest Rei being eaten by an EldritchAbomination. He then proceeds to return from his TenMinuteRetirement to rip her directly out of the bastard, claiming that he doesn't care what happens to him or the world, he will DEFINITELY save her. Too bad that his rescue attempt ends up triggering the apocalypse... Thank God for [[BigDamnVillains Kaworu's Intervention.]]]]
** In the third movie this becomes [[spoiler: I Failed To Protect Her, as the apocalypse happened and Rei died anyway]].
* Things start off simple for Melan in ''BrigadoonMarinAndMelan''. His job is to protect the Creis, who happens to become his friend [[spoiler: and eventually his LoveInterest. Then it turns out that she's not the Creis after all, and protecting her means taking time out from his REAL mission.]]
* A very interesting case happens in ''[[LightNovel/BakaToTestToShoukanjuu Baka and Test]]''. Resident {{Yandere}} Shouko is absolutely obsessed with BrilliantButLazy student Yuuji, and at first it seems like she's just crazy. But then in episode 11 of Season 2, it goes into their backstory, and her reasons are explained: Shouko was (and still is) a LonelyRichKid, with Yuuji as her OnlyFriend. At some point, Yuuji pulled a BigDamnHeroes moment to save Shouko from three boys who tried to bully her after she tried to stop them from writing some vicious lies on his PE clothing; he tried to come up with an excuse not to help, but in the end saves her anyway. Although he tries to pass it off as nothing, Shouko is really touched by that action, and she vows to his mother to marry him someday. His mom happily agrees to support her efforts as well... which then sort of helps explain why [[AbuseIsOkayWhenItsFemaleOnMale she tasers him, ties him up, pokes his eyes out when he's looking at other women, and drags him to the movies in chains.]]
* The SwordAndSorcerer team Shannon and Raquel from ''ScrappedPrincess'' are solely motivated by their oath to protect the eponymous princess, Pacifica. Shannon is the one that most closely match the trope, being a guy and all - since they were raised as siblings, his affection for her is more big-brotherly than romantic, but they are NotBloodSiblings, so it gets... ambiguous at times. As for complications, well, according to a supposedly-infallible [[TheProphecy Divine Prophecy]], Pacifica is 'the poison that will kill the world' - specifically, she will destroy the world [[DangerousSixteenthBirthday when she turns 16]]. As a result, virtually everyone wants to kill her, either out of fear, religious fervor, or greed for the huge bounty the kingdom has placed on her head. And Shannon is stuck trying to protect her from all that, preferably [[TechnicalPacifist without killing anyone]] because he knows that Pacifica would blame herself for any lives lost...
* Ian is determined to protect, love, and save Jeremy, but it gets complicated considering Jeremy {{Vehicular Sabotage}} {{Make It Look Like An Accident}} his father, even if Jeremy did have valid reasons...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''{{Nier}}'', the eponymous (assuming you use the default name) character's overriding desire to protect his daughter, Yonah, initially seems perfectly simple... and HE probably never realizes it was anything but. The player, on the other hand, will soon realize - by the second playthrough if not sooner - that he's been doing a LOT of really questionable stuff in order to protect and save her.
* In ''SandsOfDestruction'' has a gender flipped version of who to protect. [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter Toppi]] grows an attachment to [[TheMessiah Kyrie]] because of his positive ideals and swears to protect him. It's complicated in the since that Kyrie is a PersonOfMassDestruction and has the power to destroy the world and Toppi really doesn't want that.
* Every protagonist in ArTonelico series on their heroine reyvateils. However, this involved them [[MentalWorld getting into their minds and solve their inner conflicts.]] It isn't so bad untill some of the heroines [[{{yandere}} secretly want to kill or rape their interests in their mind worlds.]] And those heroes are dealing with [[PersonOfMassDestruction ultra powerful]] [[SquishyWizard magician]] [[MusicalAssassin singers]] here.
* [[GentleGiant Thunder]] [[MagicalNativeAmerican Hawk]] in StreetFighter, ''specially'' VideoGame/StreetFighterIV. He has three driving purposes in his life: recovering his people's sacred lands, punishing Bison for killing his father and former chieftain Arroyo Hawk, and protecting his childhood friend and fellow tribeperson Julia. [[spoiler: Then we see how '''horribly''' screwed up she and several other girls were thanks to Bison's Doll Project, in which he made them his BrainwashedAndCrazy BodyguardBabes. By ''IV'', the poor girl has become [[EmptyShell an empty and emotionless shadow of the girl she used to be]].]]
* All main routes of ''VideoGame/{{Hakuouki}}'' lead inevitably to this trope thanks to Chizuru spending a good four years in the constant company of the captains of the {{Shinsengumi}}, all of whom, aside from Sanan, develop protective feelings toward her and go out of their way to keep her with them and protect her, even though she's TheLoad and the Shinsengumi's situation becomes increasingly dire as events unfold. In Okita Souji's route, [[spoiler:Kaoru]] purposefully exploits the trope with malice aforethought to make Chizuru suffer by repeatedly creating situations that inspire Souji to protect her at his own expense.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''KatawaShoujo'', Hisao feels this way in regards to [[ShrinkingViolet Han]][[TheWoobie ako]] in her route. [[spoiler:If you want to get her good ending you'd better [[SubvertedTrope drop that attitude when Lilly brings it up]], because Hanako does ''[[DontYouDarePityMe not]]'' like it. [[BewareTheQuietOnes At]] [[DeconstructedTrope all]].]]
** Other routes also touch the trope, either criticizing it or reaching a compromise between protecting/helping a girl and letting her be when needed. In example, [[spoiler: Emi]]'s path shows that [[spoiler: Emi ''does'' need emotional protection due to refusing to make any deep relationships after her father's death in the accident that claimed her legs, and as long asa Hisao doesn't overdo it, he ''can'' protect her broken emotions]]; and in [[spoiler: Rin]]'s it turns out that [[spoiler: Rin needs ''both'' protection (since she's under very heavy pressure from her well-intentioned but VERY pushy art teacher) and to be understood (because she has big problems on expressing what she feels if it's not through art)]]
* In ''FateStayNight'', Shirou really, really wants to protect Sakura. Unfortunately, [[spoiler:it turns out she has a SuperpoweredEvilSide that is planning to give birth to an EldritchAbomination that will [[EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt destroy the world when it is born.]] Shirou's response is to seek out the Holy Grail so that he can get rid of her SuperpoweredEvilSide. And it works.]]
* In ''VisualNovel/LittleBusters'', Kyousuke's reason for most everything he does in the game is to protect Riki and Rin. [[spoiler:Specifically, to make them stronger so they can survive without him after a bus crash claims everyone else's lives. Since he won't be around much longer, protecting them also means making sure Riki is able to protect Rin and doing everything he can to encourage him to give himself over to this view completely.]] In the end, Riki also vows to always protect Rin.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Silver in ''AboveGround'' wants to protect Lilith and help her return home safely. But he's in complete denial about it all because [[spoiler: he knows the desire to protect is an unnatural bewitchment rather than a real feeling.]] It doesn't help that his pack is in a dire situation and they need money that Lilith could provide [[spoiler: if they ransom her off to the Guild.]]
[[/folder]]

!!I Owe Them My Life/Reputation/Health/etc.

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'': Hayate (the [[BattleButler butler]]) to his mistress, Nagi. She saves him from his miserable life by paying off his debt to the {{Yakuza}} and giving him a home in her mansion and a job as her butler, with a promise to pay her back over years of work. But it never was about the money - the amount means nothing to her absurd wealth. She simply likes him from the start, while his gratitude quickly compounds with a deep affection and interest in her well-being.
** There's also the residual guilt from initially wanting to ''kidnap and ransom her''. He was in a desperate enough situation -- thanks entirely to his AbusiveParents -- that this isn't a MoralEventHorizon, but he still felt terrible about it after he came to his senses.
* While Kenshin's devotion to Tomoe in ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'' fits in ''She Was the Mole'', his relationship with Kaoru Kamiya fits here. She gives him a place to stay, emotional support, and the chance to stop WanderingTheEarth; as such, he decides to protect her and their friends.
** Also by Watsuki, Kazuki from ''BusouRenkin'' gave this speech to an opponent (who also gave the same speech), when asked why he was protecting Tokiko. He said that it was because of Tokiko that he was still alive, so he would protect her and fight in her place. Kazuki's situation is actually a combination of type 1 and type 7, since Tokiko is a very capable ActionGirl.
* In {{Magico}} Shion is decided to [[spoiler:save Emma from the curse of Echidna]] and faces ''really'' dangerous tasks with his extremely powerful magic that he obtain just to do so because...[[spoiler: she gave him some bread]]
* In ''CodeGeass'' ([[TropeOverdosed yes]], ''[[TropeOverdosed again]]''), a teenaged [[MaryTzu Xing-ke]] vows to protect [[AChildShallLeadThem Empress Tianzi]] after she saves him from execution. Years later, he keeps his promise. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Spectacularly]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Rafael toward Skylar in ''Literature/GivesLight'', but in this case, it's "I will protect ''him''." Rafael's father, a serial killer, killed Skylar's mother many years ago, and Rafael feels responsible by proxy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Live-Action TV}}]]
* ''Series/TinMan'' A cross of "I owe her," "It gets complicated," and LivingMacguffin get involved with the gentlemen who decide to travel with DG. Raw is pretty straightforward. She's a good person, and she was responsible for rescuing him from a nasty death. Glitch comes with because it's preferable to be confused and with someone than confused and alone. But it turns out that he was [[spoiler: her mother's [[TheGoodChancellor trusted and devoted]] adviser]]. Remembering who he was and learning who she is just makes him more determined to help. Cain's a mess. He agrees to escort DG and Glitch to Central (Emerald) City because he does owe them that much for freeing him, but the Mystic Man, [[spoiler: his former boss]], ''orders'' Cain to protect DG at any cost - and Cain's too damn honorable to disobey a direct order, especially as [[spoiler: it turns out to also be the Mystic Man's LastRequest]]. By the time it's discovered that [[spoiler: DG is inadvertently responsible for the Witch's reign of terror]], they've become too much TrueCompanions to care.
[[/folder]]

!!It's Just That Simple

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''MurderPrincess'' is a straightforward example. It takes Fallis a while to realize that she wants to protect the sweet, gentle (and very, very helpless) Princess Alita, but actually doing so never gets any more complicated than cutting down anything that threatens her or her kingdom.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn'': Simon has a very difficult time spitting out his affection for RebelliousPrincess Miriamele, despite the fact that he has had a crush on her. Part of it is that he feels that she's so far above him socially that his desires will remain unrequited, although he fantasizes about rising to her station or her falling to his. Of course, they keep getting thrown together in perilous situations, and after he's knighted, he resolves to become her champion and protector as a way of dealing with the situation. In the end he discovers that it wasn't their stations keeping them apart at all, but Miriamele's self-doubts and fears of being forced to assume the throne and make a political marriage. And of course he [[MosesInTheBullrushes turns out to be the rightful king anyway]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* Rory Williams from ''Series/DoctorWho''. He loves his girlfriend, later fiancée, later wife, and will do anything to protect her. A lot of the time they protect each other- for example, Rory fails at sword-fighting a fish vampire, so Amy destroys it with a mirror. However he then [[spoiler: goes to guard her comatose body for 2,000 years, becoming the legendary Last Centurion]]. He seems to develop something of a complex.
--> '''Rory''': And she knows that where-ever she is, I ''am'' coming for her. ''Always.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Despite providing the quote at the top, which suggests a 'It Gets Complicated' situation, Squall of ''FinalFantasyVIII'' really DOES get it easy. In order to protect Rinoa, the girl who finally brought him out of his sarcastic, just-dont-care shell, and taught him what love was - all he has to do is beat up all the villains. Then everything is all right.
* ''DevilMayCry 4'' provides another fairly straightforward (and heartwarming) example with Nero's half of the story with his LoveInterest Kyrie. [[spoiler:Though for a while it ''looks'' like he failed]].
* ''{{Gungrave}}''. The protagonist's major goals is to get revenge on the main villain, and to protect the daughter of his former love interest ''from'' the main villain. By using a lot of [[MoreDakka dakka]].
* FireEmblem 7: Dorcas's wife Natalie is an IllGirl. He wants her to get better, and so he joins a bandit group. Once Lyn knocks sense into him (and Natalie does too, if you make them talk), Dorcas decides to keep fighting for her until he gathers enough gold to buy the medicine. It's just as simple as that, for him.
* This is not the case in most versions, but in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'', it's why Link is TheChosenOne to begin with.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' has [[spoiler:Simon Petrikov, AKA The Ice King, protecting a very young Marceline either during or immediately after the Mushroom War. The fact that it's just been revealed means that the situation surrounding this could change, but so far it seems to be that he simply chose to look after her because she was scared and alone.]]
[[/folder]]
----

to:

->''Even if you become the world's enemy, I'll... I'll be your [[LadyAndKnight Knight]]!''
--> -- '''Squall Leonhart''', ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII''

->''I don't have to save her. I ''will'' save her!''
--> -- '''Ichigo''', ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''

A person (usually TheHero) has her or his entire motivation built around [[{{Protectorate}} protecting]] another person. Most of the time, it's his or her LoveInterest, but it could also be her or his [[BigBrotherInstinct little sibling]], or [[MamaBear child]]. In Anime, the sentence "ZettaiNiMamoru!" is likely to get used - if not spoken aloud, then thought.

Almost every time, some sort of complication will arise from this situation.

* The protected person is a Badass and quite capable of looking after her- or himself, most of the time. The protector has a hard enough time just keeping up with them, much less being of any use, and will often chastise themself for failing to live up to his perceived duty as protector. Inevitably, however, the protected ''will'' get into trouble, at which point the hero's HotBlooded-ness will manifest and s/he'll become [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass suddenly competent]] as s/he leaps to save her.

* The protector fails to protect the protectee, and s/he winds up the DeadLittleSister, his or her [[MyGreatestFailure Greatest Failure]]. In this case, the relationship is more likely to be part of the backstory. It might have been the former protector's StartOfDarkness, as s/he went over to TheDarkSide while seeking revenge, or went mad while seeking to bring the protected back. Or maybe the protector just cracked and turned into a DeathSeeker. If the protected person survived despite his failure, the effects will be less severe, but all of the above can still occur -- there's just a better chance of [[LoveRedeems redemption]] later on.

* The protected person is normal, and the protector is not... and the main reason the protected is even in danger is that someone is hunting the ''protector''. Thus, the protector feels compelled to [[ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies part with the protected]], or run away from any other responsibilities to keep her safe. It almost never works. Note that most of the examples in ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies do ''not'' apply here -- for it to qualify, protecting that person has to be the character's main driving motivation -- so, for example, SpiderMan wouldn't qualify, since he knows he has a greater responsibility to protect the entire city, and the world. (And let's not even ''mention'' OneMoreDay...)

* The protector protects their person, but at [[TakingTheBullet the cost of his/her life]], or nearly so. If the protector dies, it could be a StartOfDarkness for the ''protected'', particularly if the protected person has any kind of power. If the protector survives, it's more likely to work as a BerserkButton, but it might also compel the protected to try and [[ShooTheDog push him/her away]] so s/he won't get hurt again.

* The protected person turns out to be TheMole, or just plain bad news. The protector likely won't see this, even if other try to tell her/him - and it's fairly likely that s/he won't realize it 'till the protected person finally stabs him in the back. It can turn out in a lot of different ways, but it's usually quite tragic. If the protector kills their (former) protected in response, it'll probably turn out that the traitor was acting under duress, and the protector will be swallowed by grief and regret. If the protector dies by the traitor's hand, s/he'll probably realize that s/he really did love her/him, and be swallowed by grief and regret. But if the protector continued to insist on protecting the protected, even after s/he's shown her TrueColors, s/he might realize that s/he really does love him ''before'' s/he kills her/him, and be [[LoveRedeems redeemed by love]]...

* 'Protecting' turns out to be more complicated and morally ambiguous than it sounds. Maybe the protected person has some sort of weird power that makes a lot of people fear them, or maybe the very layout of the world makes it impossible for them to live in peace. The hero may be forced to fight and kill more-or-less innocent people who attack the protected person out of fear, or orchestrate [[LaResistance rebellions]] and war in order to change the world for their love's benefit -- either way, there's bound to be a lot of victims, and the 'hero' will start to look less and less heroic...

* In the past, the protected person did something for the protector. Either saved her/his life, pulled her/him out of trouble, gave her/him something s/he needed, etc. So the protector [[BecauseYouWereNiceToMe cherishes said moment]] in which the protected was there for her/him, feels indebted to them, and swears to protect them as a way to pay them back for their help. Debts must be paid, after all... even if it involves pretty much going to Hell and back to not owe that person anything.

Naturally, not all cases will fit neatly into one of these categories, and of course, there ''are'' cases where there isn't really any major complications - just someone protecting another person from the MonsterOfTheWeek, for as long as it takes.

Related tropes are numerous. Effectively, it is a subtrope of The {{Protectorate}} and TheChampion. BodyguardCrush is when the protection comes before the emotions. TheDulcineaEffect is when this absolute dedication pops up all of 10 seconds after he first sees her. MamaBear and PapaWolf are when it's a parent protecting their child. This trope is part of the job description for LadyAndKnight.

Warning! Some of these examples will be spoilers solely by virtue of which 'type' they get placed under!
PlayingWith/IWillProtectHer

----
!Examples:
[[foldercontrol]]

!!The protected person is a Badass themself

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''{{Kekkaishi}}''. Yoshimuri has sworn to protect Tokine, but while he has a great deal of raw power in the art of Kekkaishi, Tokine is vastly superior in terms of skill and refinement - so he can barely keep up with her, and usually ends up needing her help in a fight, rather than the other way around. (In truth, they're pretty evenly matched, but she's too proud to admit it, and constantly belittles his lack of skill - which he takes completely to heart, causing him to often convince himself that he was no help at all, even though his raw power was as important in defeating the MonsterOfTheWeek as her technique.)
* ''{{Claymore}}'' could be interpreted as having at least two of these.
* In ''DigimonAdventure'', [[TagAlongKid Takeru]] [[ThePromise promised]] to Sora that he'd protect [[IllGirl Hikari]]. [[TimeSkip Fast forward]] to ''DigimonAdventure02'' and Takeru still takes that promise very seriously even if Hikari by now can already take care of herself (provided an EldritchAbomination isn't [[MindScrew messing with her head]]). To wit, he is seen putting himself protectively in front of Hikari (episode 3), seemed angry at himself for accidentally leaving her stranded in the Digital World (episode 7), and doggedly searched for her when she was taken by the Dark Ocean (episode 13).
* In ''LightNovel/DragonCrisis'', Ryuuji does this for Ai. She is able to read his thoughts due to magical [[MacGuffin earrings]] she was wearing at the time. Although she learns that he's scared, he still tries to protect her, long enough for the BigDamnHeroes to show up to help him.
* [[spoiler: Gin]]'s relationship with [[spoiler: Rangiku]] in Manga/{{Bleach}} mixes this and "Protecting her gets complicated". [[spoiler:They met when they were {{Street Urchin}}s, she was once severely beaten up by Aizen's cronies, then he promised to become a Shinigami so she wouldn't cry again... but not only she became an ActionGirl in her own right, to protect her...he became the biggest JerkAss in Soul Society. Then, having failed to defeat Aizen, he dies, regretting how he couldn't avenge her and thinking he should have truly apologized to her. And '''then''', we see her cry her heart out over his lifeless body...]]
** Also, Tia Harribel towards her Fraccion. In the wild, she lived as close as she could to a life of non-violence and starvation to defy the SocialDarwinist laws of Hueco Mundo. Since then, she has been motivated to fight by a desire to keep her few friends from dying... and these friends are her AmazonBrigade.
* In ''OokamiSan'', HopelessSuitor [[ShrinkingViolet Ryoshi]] [[NiceGuy Morino]] says almost the exact same words to LoveInterest [[{{Tsundere}} Ryoko]] [[BrokenBird Ookami]], which consequently leads to the latter developing feelings for the former.
* Shuuyu has this problem in ''IkkiTousen''. He's a skilled fighter, even amongst his fellow 'reincarnated ''RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'' warriors', but he doesn't have quite the same level of world-shaking power as his BodyguardCrush, Sonsaku. The fact that Sonsaku is ObliviousToLove and a fight-loving BloodKnight does little to improve his situation - her first reaction to him declaring his intent to protect her even at the cost of his own life, is to ask if he's eaten something strange...
* The eponymous character of ''KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'' has sworn to just about everyone in earshot that he'll become strong enough to protect the LoveInterest, Miu. Naturally, since she's the granddaughter of the man who owns the dojo that Kenichi attends, she's a ''far'' better fighter than him.
* Guts from ''{{Berserk}}'' falls into both the first and second categories listed above. [[spoiler:He did everything he could to save Casca during the Eclipse, up to and including ''chiseling off his own left wrist'', and she was still [[ForcedToWatch raped in front of him by Femto]]]]. She survived, but her mind was completely gone. Her fate is most of what fuels his post-Eclipse UnstoppableRage during battle and continuous RoaringRampageOfRevenge. Later, when Guts puts said roaring rampage on hold, his top priority is to protect Casca above all else - [[SuperPoweredEvilSide even from himself]].
* While rather understated (as in it's clear to the reader, but he hardly shouts about it) it's plainly one of [[Manga/SoulEater Soul's]] motivations for protecting Maka. He insists its because it's his job as a Weapon. Fits whether or not you view them as a canon couple. Jackie shows a similar angle towards Kim with aforementioned connotations. Though the basic sentiment extends to pretty much every Weapon/meister team and works both ways.
* While [[DanceInTheVampireBund Akira and Mina]] generally fit in this category, it's complicated by the fact that they're [[BattleCouple pretty much a match for each other]]. Though to be frank if Mina had to watch her own back all the time she'd have absolutely no time left to, y'know, ''[[TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask rule]]'', and Akira has "protecting her" [[BodyguardCrush in his job description]].
** Another interesting point is that if we reverse the roles, then Mina herself clearly fits the ''last'' category. Akira is her anchor in [[TheWoobie the merciless world around her]], and their childhood promise is the main thing that holds [[AntiHero her]] still on the [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope Slippery Slope]].
* In ''PokemonSpecial'', admittedly, it takes only a little while for Lady Berlitz to become an ActionGirl, but nevertheless, Dia and Pearl swear to protect her with their lives after they learn the truth about the whole situation surrounding her [[spoiler: though Dia ''did'' have a good idea of what was really going on the whole time]] and when her real bodyguards [[spoiler: get banished into the Distortion World]].
* In ''Anime/CodeGeass'', Lelouch does this for Kallen [[spoiler:first by lying to her about using her in order to have her spared from going down with him when the Black Knights turn on him, and later by keeping her locked out of the Zero Requiem]].
* Deconstructed in ''AyashiNoCeres''. [[spoiler: Shiso and Ceres have an InterSpeciesRomance-type marriage, with him as a human and her as a MagicalGirl of sorts. After they're attacked and he cannot help her fight off their attackers, Shiso decides that he doesn't want to be TheLoad and asks Ceres to give him a part of her powers, so he can fulfill this trope. But said powers drive him literally ''crazy'' for Ceres, with dire consequences.]]
* [[TheLancer Zenkichi]] towards the protagonist [[MedakaBox Medaka]]. To become strong enough to stay by her side, he's become a capable fighter, though Medaka is still the strongest character. It's partially as an emotional anchor, since she was traumatized by a past failure. [[spoiler:Averted as of chapter 117, when Zenkichi realizes that Medaka doesn't need a protector.]]
* ''Anime/AngelBeats'' subverts this with Hinata and Yurripe [[http://www.mangareader.net/angel-beats-heavens-door/2/6 here]] seeing as [[spoiler: they're both immotal]].
* In ''{{Sekirei}}'', Minato often ends up doing this for the Sekirei he eventually becomes their Ashikbabi for. This helps win over many of them, such as Musubi, his first Sekirei, Kusano, and later Tsukiumi.
* Though it doesn't start out this way, protecting Hatchin becomes one of [[ActionGirl Michiko's]] main motives in ''MichikoToHatchin''. Later this trope is [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming touchingly inverted]] when Hatchin proves to be [[LittleMissBadass pretty badass herself]] and says, almost line-for-line, that she will protect Michiko.
* Kurando's primary motivation in ''Manga/PopcornAvatar'' is to protect his twin sister from the Asura and maintain a world where she can safely live in.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In Suzanne Collins' ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', Peeta ''devotes'' himself to this cause for Katniss, who spends most of her time in the series kicking asses and taking names. He generally devolves into TheLoad in any situation which would traditionally require him to fight, meaning that she has to do the protecting and thus doing a great job inverting the trope.
** Though to be fair, the reason why he becomes TheLoad in the first book is because he saves Katniss' life by fighting off Cato and gets a sword to the leg for his troubles. In the second book it's less heroic, but getting electrocuted would slow most people down.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Live-Action TV}}]]
* River Tam in ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' is a subtle distinction she really did need and want Simon's protection, but that was because she was so erratic that she needed a stabilizing influence even with her powers.
** She wanted his love even more then his protection. Despite her powers and chaotic nature she seems to have always wanted to have someone to look up to. And Simon, despite his unimpressive appearance had an assertive personality and must have given other incompetent surgeons besides the one in Ariel cause to regard their lives as a burden.
** Of course, there's the [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome scene]] in the movie where [[TookALevelInBadass she]] [[WaifFu flips]] [[PintsizedPowerhouse the]] [[BerserkButton script]] [[ReluctantWarrior on]] [[YouShallNotPass him]].
-->'''River''': You take care of me. You've always taken care of me! [[spoiler:*{{Beat}}* My turn.]]
* Another Joss Whedon show: nearly everything Paul Ballard does on ''{{Dollhouse}}'' is to protect Echo.
* In ''ChinesePaladin'', Xiaoyao marries and swears to protect Ling'er. He takes this vow very seriously although ''initially'' she is far a more powerful combatant than him and all she needs is his emotional support. However, as the series progresses he TakesALevelInBadass and it becomes Just That Simple between them.
* On ''TheVampireDiaries'', Stefan, who is the hero, devotes his immortal, undead life and makes constant sacrifices (including sacrificing himself or risking his life) in order to protect and save Elena, the heroine (or more like damsel in distress) from possible harm and dangers of the supernatural in the town of Mystic Falls.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Arado Balanga from ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars Original Generation 2'' is a pretty good Mecha-Pilot, objectively speaking - but as a graduate of '[[TykeBomb The School]]', he's at the bottom of the heap - especially compared to his partner, Seolla, who's one of the best, period. But he's sworn to protect her, and protect her he does - whenever she ends up in a pinch, he goes CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass, whether that means fighting off an otherwise-supreme opponent, or taking a bullet for her. Sometimes both.
* An odd twist on this for both ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' if you're playing female. In the first, Carth knows damn well you could skewer him on a lightsaber and not muss your hair. Still does not stop him from admitting that trying to protect you is his reason to live [[spoiler: after Saul Karath dies painfully]]. In the second game, Atton's overt about it. Bao-Dur is more subtle, but still frighteningly loyal to his "general." In both Carth's case and Bao-Dur's, the "protection" they offer is more or less trying to act as the MoralityPet for a female PlayerCharacter in order to help prevent her from falling to the Dark Side.
* {{Persona3}}: [[spoiler: It's a gender reversal, and it's after everything is over ([[UpdatedRerelease until FES]]), but Aigis sort of qualifies with her wanting to protect the main character...who can certainly fend for himself.]]
** More literal in the end of [[UpdatedRerelease the portable version]], where the gender roles are the norm for this trope. Also note that many of the Female Protagonist love interests also fall under this.
* Al, towards his childhood friend Erel in ''VideoGame/EvilZone''. Yes, he's a very powerful [[MagicalGirlWarrior Magical Boy Warrior]] ''and'' the BigBad they're facing is a GameBreaker SealedEvilInACan, but she's a pretty skilled CuteBruiser too.
* VideoGame/TalesOfGraces: Main characters Asbel and Sophie actually ''argue'' over who gets to protect who, until Asbel challenges Sophie to a footrace to settle the matter...and loses.
** Probably for the best, though. Sophie ends up saving the group from certain death more than once throughout the game, and is canonically one of the most powerful fighters in the party ([[spoiler: Arguably THE most powerful member until about halfway through the main arc, when Asbel is given an opportunity to defeat her in single combat]]).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''FateStayNight.'' [[IdiotHero Emiya Shirou.]] He does this ''twice.'' In Fate, he does this to Saber, despite Saber being '''[[spoiler: motherfucking KingArthur]]'''. (To be fair, he HAD no idea who she really was AND had watched her get totally curbstomped by Hercules.) Fortunately, he's [[LampshadeHanging called out on this]] and eventually it gets [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructed]] in the Unlimited Blade Works route (the second example), where it turns out that Shirou has a massive case of SurvivorGuilt that causes him to totally disregard his own safety. Heaven's Feel also plays with this trope by having Sakura be, from Shirou's point of view, [[IllGirl totally helpless...]] then you get closer to the end and she turns out to [[spoiler:have an absurdly powerful SuperpoweredEvilSide. Shirou promptly modifies his definition of "protect Sakura" to mean "get rid of Sakura's SuperpoweredEvilSide."]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Avatar;TheLastAirbender- when Sokka was still feeling guilty after losing his last girlfriend, he decided to make sure ''nothing'' happened to his other love-interest Suki. Of course, being an ActionGirl, Suki is mostly bemused and slightly insulted by this- and eventually reveals the only reason she went with them was to protect ''Sokka''.
[[/folder]]

!!Failed To Protect Them

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''CodeGeass'' gives us Suzaku and Euphemia. Initially a fairly straight and uncomplicated 'knight and princess' relationship, [[spoiler: Euphemia's death at the hands of [[MyHeroZero Zero]] pushes Suzaku off of his white horse, driving him into much more questionable actions, such as selling out his oldest friend to his worst enemy or releasing a powerful nuke in battle... and, in the end, he winds up supporting one of the bloodiest tyranies in history. Led by, you know, his oldest friend.]]
* [[MahouSenseiNegima Konoka and Setsuna's]] dynamic falls most closely under this, at least initially, but actually covers several variants. While Setsuna is heavily motivated by a backstory incident where she [[MyGreatestFailure failed to protect Konoka]], she also spends a lot of time trying to protect her by hiding the [[TheMasquerade truth about magic]] from her, thus making it a case of ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies. Later on, she also very nearly dies while trying to rescue Konoka. Ultimately, however, her absolute dedication to protecting Konoka comes back to the old childhood 'close shave' where they were both lucky to survive. (Oh, and whether Setsuna's dedication edges into the territory of SchoolgirlLesbians... is left as an exercise for the class.)
* [[FutureBadAss Karasu]] of ''{{Noein}}'' is basically built around protecting [[MacGuffinGirl Haruka]], typically telling his opponent something along the lines of, "I will protect her with my life." [[spoiler: This is because, in his opinion, he failed to protect her future self, though it is implied she willingly did a HeroicSacrifice.]]
* [[spoiler: Shinn Asuka and Stellar Louissier]] from GundamSEEDDestiny.
* Ikumi from ''InfiniteRyvius'' lost his sister years ago, and was severely traumatized by it... [[spoiler: which makes sense, seeing as she committed suicide because of their illicit BrotherSisterIncest relationship]]. So he's sworn never to fail to protect a woman, particularly one he cares about. When his new girlfriend, Kozue, is attacked and scarred while he was out fighting, it becomes his StartOfDarkness as he decided that UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans - he'll do [[KnightTemplar whatever it takes]] to protect her from now on. It... doesn't end well. Either way, that means he fits this subtrope TWICE OVER. Poor guy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Live-Action TV}}]]
* ''{{The X-Files}}''. Mulder and Scully could arguably fall under almost all of these, but this one is closest. While Mulder was always very protective of Scully, after her abduction in season 2, he snaps and after her return becomes obsessed with keeping her safe. He ditches her several times, much to her annoyance, and even asks her to sit out on cases for fear of her life. Of course, it doesn't help that he makes it obvious that the one way to hurt him is to hurt her, and so this protective streak becomes even more pronounced after she is kidnapped many times. Eventually, this also turns into "I Owe Her My Life", since Scully is no slouch in the protecting and rescuing department.
* Spike showed hints of this after [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffy]] died in the episode "The Gift".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Zig-zagged in ''DissidiaFinalFantasy'' at first Cosmos's warriors (especially the Warrior of Light) make it their mission to protect her from Chaos and his henchmen. [[spoiler:In the end she willingly let's herself die in an effort to save ''them'' from the cycle of death and rebirth they've been caught in]].
* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia2008'' has the prince play out this trope. He doesn't really care about the lost kigndom, or the BigBad, or any of that - he's only fighting because Elika DOES care, and she's gonna put herself in harms way with or without him. In the end, she gives up her life to stick the Seal back on the [[SealedEvilInACan Can of Evil]], and he immediately snaps and tears the lid back off to ressurect her again. She is not happy about that.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'', Link arrives a few minutes late to save Zelda a few times, causing Impa to berate him.
[[/folder]]


!!I'm Only Protecting You From Me

[[folder:Video Games]]
* A twist on this can occur in ''SuikodenII''. TheHero has somehow wound up leading LaResistance against TheEmpire, and his adopted sister has, naturally, wound up getting dragged along for the ride, despite being just about the only playable character NOT listed in the stars as one of his OneHundredAndEight destined companions. When she finally admits that she'd prefer to live quietly together, you have the option of agreeing with her, running away from your army and responsibilities along with her, thus demonstrating an alternate solution to the problem. The result is somewhere between a NonStandardGameOver and a... well, [[BittersweetEnding Not All That Bad Ending]]. You actually DO get away, and live quietly together in a cabin in the woods somewhere far from all the war and strife... but of course, LaResistance fell apart, TheEmpire triumphed, and all your other friends probably died.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', of all places, has an example of this. Torg may have a lot of diversions, but there's only ONE thing he's actually SERIOUS about - and that's protecting Zoe. In an alternate universe overrun by demons, he soon gave up on trying to run LaResistance (since everyone there are PerfectPacifistPeople), and instead just concentrates on keeping Alt-Zoe fed and away from trouble. Back in the real world, he forces her away so she won't become a target for StalkerWithACrush Oasis. With... mixed success.
[[/folder]]


!!Taking a Bullet for Them
[[folder:Live-Action TV]]

* Steve Jinks, {{Warehouse 13}} has an interesting combo of three, He has [[DeadLittleSister a dead]] [[CoolBigSis big sister]] that he sees in ActionGirl Claudia, his partner, after she saves his life in the most hilarious way possible. This lead him to decide to go undercover to protect her because he couldn't save his own sister, which in turn, gets him killed. [[spoiler: He gets better.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars Gaiden''. Ricardo takes a bullet for Tytti, saving her life... but leaving her AllergicToLove due to losing him.
* This is one possible outcome at the end of ''DragonAge'': if a female Grey Warden has a romance with Alistair, he will refuse to allow her to [[HeroicSacrifice sacrifice herself]] to kill the Archdemon, taking the choice out of her hands and doing it himself unless she takes the precaution of leaving him behind at the gates before heading to the last battle.
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'', and quite literally, in the case of Leon and Ada. Crossed with The Mole scenario.
* The Big Daddies of ''VideoGame/{{Bioshock}}'' are willing to die to protect the little sisters.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Happened in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' when Lars -- a traveling performer previously renowned for his cowardice -- threw himself in front of a sword to protect the eponymous protagonist, Agatha. He died, and she went nuts, temporarily going into full BloodKnight mode, and attempting to basically take on the entire army of Wulfenbach singlehandedly. (Well, with a little help from her MechaMooks...) She got over it, with a bit of chemical assistance, but now seem hell bent on making sure nobody else dies for her. (Cue Gil and Tarvek winding up in one of the above-mentioned 'She's an ActionGirl' situations, as she works harder to protect them than the other way around.)
[[/folder]]


!!The Protected Was The Mole

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''Manga/RurouniKenshin''. Specifically, the 'backstory'. Back when he was still an assassin, Kenshin fell in love with a woman named Tomoe - who was actually a spy planted by the Shogunate to find his weakness and eliminate him. The details are awfully complicated, but after TheReveal, she ends up dead along with her employers, and Kenshin swears [[TechnicalPacifist never to kill again]]...
* ''RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' probably fits best under this, and is a very genderqueer example, what with Utena deliberately taking on the persona of a Fairytale Prince. She fights solely to protect the Rose Bride, Anthy... but at the end, it turns out [[spoiler:Anthy was in on the whole thing, and was in fact following Akio's will, from being involved in his manipulations behind the scenes to doing everything he told her to . . . EVERYTHING. After this, Utena is severely disillusioned, becoming a KnightInSourArmor, but comes to forgive Anthy after realizing just how much [[FateWorseThanDeath torment she's been in]] for hundreds and thousands of years, and resolves to ''truly'' save her from more suffering.]]
* ''ThisUglyYetBeautifulWorld'' sees Takemoto swear to protect Hikari no matter what, [[TheDulcineaEffect within minutes of first meeting her]], though in his defense she's the spitting image of the [[MagicalGirlfriend ideal girl]] he was fantasizing about earlier that day, and their meeting was [[MeetCute quite]] [[NakedFirstImpression interesting]] in itself, too. However, even SHE isn't aware that she's actually a WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds... and he is someone who was [[TheChosenOne born to stop her]]. Hence, this could just as easily go under the 'It Got Complicated' header.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Videogames]]
* Resident Evil 2, and quite literally, in the case of Leon and Ada. Crossed with Take a Bullet scenario.
[[/folder]]


!!Protecting Gets Complicated

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* Obviously, ''CodeGeass'', where Lelouch's desire to give his younger sister, Nunnally, a 'world of peace' leads him further and further down the path of darkness. When she finally finds out what he's been doing in the name of helping her, she's horrified [[spoiler: and becomes an easy prey for Schneizel's manipulations]].
* Toshiro Hitsugaya and Momo Hinamori in Manga/{{Bleach}}. As a kid, Momo was the only child in the neighborhood who wasn't afraid of Hitsugaya due to his burgeoning ice powers. As they became Shinigami, he swore that he'd protect her and pretty much ''kill'' anyone who ever made her bleed a little... [[spoiler: But when Momo was horribly broken and then almost killed by the man she loved, Sousuke Aizen, Hitsugaya tried to avenge her, and was almost killed himself. When Momo got better and reclaimed her ActionGirl credentials, she and others were horribly defeated by Allon. And then... Aizen used his powers to trick Hitsugaya and other captains ''into stabbig Momo to almost death'', thinking they were stabbing ''him''.]] '''OUCH''', it definitely got complicated.
** Also, after Karakura is attacked and Orihime is seriously injured, Rukia brings Ichigo to her to apologize for not having been able to shield her, and then Ichigo makes the promise that he will protect her from then on. Considering that later [[spoiler: she was forced into a cruel SadisticChoice that involved her going to the villains's HQ and Ichigo then goes to rescue her]], it got complicated and then some more [[spoiler: (though later it gets better.)]]. The trope is reinforced when [[spoiler: Ichigo ''brings himself BackFromTheDead'' when he hears Orihime scream in horror for his death at the hands of Ulquiorra.]]
-->'''Ichigo''': (As Rukia brings him to Orihime's presence) "[[http://www.mangatoyou.org/Bleach/196/18/ Inoue... I will get stronger]], [[http://www.mangatoyou.org/Bleach/196/19/ and next time..]] [[IWillDefinitelyProtectYou I'll definitely protect you..."]]
* When [[spoiler:Homura Akemi]] in ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' was caught in a witch barrier, MagicalGirlWarrior Madoka Kaname saved her. She then vowed to help her and protect her in return. [[spoiler:She failed, however, and Madoka died. Then Homura made her contract with Kyubey, and specifically hoped to protect Madoka and avert her death. She failed each time, but kept on trying...]]
* At the End of the second RebuildOfEvangelion movie, [[spoiler: Shinji, who on this point had pretty much given up on all his hopes, witnesses his LoveInterest Rei being eaten by an EldritchAbomination. He then proceeds to return from his TenMinuteRetirement to rip her directly out of the bastard, claiming that he doesn't care what happens to him or the world, he will DEFINITELY save her. Too bad that his rescue attempt ends up triggering the apocalypse... Thank God for [[BigDamnVillains Kaworu's Intervention.]]]]
** In the third movie this becomes [[spoiler: I Failed To Protect Her, as the apocalypse happened and Rei died anyway]].
* Things start off simple for Melan in ''BrigadoonMarinAndMelan''. His job is to protect the Creis, who happens to become his friend [[spoiler: and eventually his LoveInterest. Then it turns out that she's not the Creis after all, and protecting her means taking time out from his REAL mission.]]
* A very interesting case happens in ''[[LightNovel/BakaToTestToShoukanjuu Baka and Test]]''. Resident {{Yandere}} Shouko is absolutely obsessed with BrilliantButLazy student Yuuji, and at first it seems like she's just crazy. But then in episode 11 of Season 2, it goes into their backstory, and her reasons are explained: Shouko was (and still is) a LonelyRichKid, with Yuuji as her OnlyFriend. At some point, Yuuji pulled a BigDamnHeroes moment to save Shouko from three boys who tried to bully her after she tried to stop them from writing some vicious lies on his PE clothing; he tried to come up with an excuse not to help, but in the end saves her anyway. Although he tries to pass it off as nothing, Shouko is really touched by that action, and she vows to his mother to marry him someday. His mom happily agrees to support her efforts as well... which then sort of helps explain why [[AbuseIsOkayWhenItsFemaleOnMale she tasers him, ties him up, pokes his eyes out when he's looking at other women, and drags him to the movies in chains.]]
* The SwordAndSorcerer team Shannon and Raquel from ''ScrappedPrincess'' are solely motivated by their oath to protect the eponymous princess, Pacifica. Shannon is the one that most closely match the trope, being a guy and all - since they were raised as siblings, his affection for her is more big-brotherly than romantic, but they are NotBloodSiblings, so it gets... ambiguous at times. As for complications, well, according to a supposedly-infallible [[TheProphecy Divine Prophecy]], Pacifica is 'the poison that will kill the world' - specifically, she will destroy the world [[DangerousSixteenthBirthday when she turns 16]]. As a result, virtually everyone wants to kill her, either out of fear, religious fervor, or greed for the huge bounty the kingdom has placed on her head. And Shannon is stuck trying to protect her from all that, preferably [[TechnicalPacifist without killing anyone]] because he knows that Pacifica would blame herself for any lives lost...
* Ian is determined to protect, love, and save Jeremy, but it gets complicated considering Jeremy {{Vehicular Sabotage}} {{Make It Look Like An Accident}} his father, even if Jeremy did have valid reasons...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''{{Nier}}'', the eponymous (assuming you use the default name) character's overriding desire to protect his daughter, Yonah, initially seems perfectly simple... and HE probably never realizes it was anything but. The player, on the other hand, will soon realize - by the second playthrough if not sooner - that he's been doing a LOT of really questionable stuff in order to protect and save her.
* In ''SandsOfDestruction'' has a gender flipped version of who to protect. [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter Toppi]] grows an attachment to [[TheMessiah Kyrie]] because of his positive ideals and swears to protect him. It's complicated in the since that Kyrie is a PersonOfMassDestruction and has the power to destroy the world and Toppi really doesn't want that.
* Every protagonist in ArTonelico series on their heroine reyvateils. However, this involved them [[MentalWorld getting into their minds and solve their inner conflicts.]] It isn't so bad untill some of the heroines [[{{yandere}} secretly want to kill or rape their interests in their mind worlds.]] And those heroes are dealing with [[PersonOfMassDestruction ultra powerful]] [[SquishyWizard magician]] [[MusicalAssassin singers]] here.
* [[GentleGiant Thunder]] [[MagicalNativeAmerican Hawk]] in StreetFighter, ''specially'' VideoGame/StreetFighterIV. He has three driving purposes in his life: recovering his people's sacred lands, punishing Bison for killing his father and former chieftain Arroyo Hawk, and protecting his childhood friend and fellow tribeperson Julia. [[spoiler: Then we see how '''horribly''' screwed up she and several other girls were thanks to Bison's Doll Project, in which he made them his BrainwashedAndCrazy BodyguardBabes. By ''IV'', the poor girl has become [[EmptyShell an empty and emotionless shadow of the girl she used to be]].]]
* All main routes of ''VideoGame/{{Hakuouki}}'' lead inevitably to this trope thanks to Chizuru spending a good four years in the constant company of the captains of the {{Shinsengumi}}, all of whom, aside from Sanan, develop protective feelings toward her and go out of their way to keep her with them and protect her, even though she's TheLoad and the Shinsengumi's situation becomes increasingly dire as events unfold. In Okita Souji's route, [[spoiler:Kaoru]] purposefully exploits the trope with malice aforethought to make Chizuru suffer by repeatedly creating situations that inspire Souji to protect her at his own expense.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''KatawaShoujo'', Hisao feels this way in regards to [[ShrinkingViolet Han]][[TheWoobie ako]] in her route. [[spoiler:If you want to get her good ending you'd better [[SubvertedTrope drop that attitude when Lilly brings it up]], because Hanako does ''[[DontYouDarePityMe not]]'' like it. [[BewareTheQuietOnes At]] [[DeconstructedTrope all]].]]
** Other routes also touch the trope, either criticizing it or reaching a compromise between protecting/helping a girl and letting her be when needed. In example, [[spoiler: Emi]]'s path shows that [[spoiler: Emi ''does'' need emotional protection due to refusing to make any deep relationships after her father's death in the accident that claimed her legs, and as long asa Hisao doesn't overdo it, he ''can'' protect her broken emotions]]; and in [[spoiler: Rin]]'s it turns out that [[spoiler: Rin needs ''both'' protection (since she's under very heavy pressure from her well-intentioned but VERY pushy art teacher) and to be understood (because she has big problems on expressing what she feels if it's not through art)]]
* In ''FateStayNight'', Shirou really, really wants to protect Sakura. Unfortunately, [[spoiler:it turns out she has a SuperpoweredEvilSide that is planning to give birth to an EldritchAbomination that will [[EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt destroy the world when it is born.]] Shirou's response is to seek out the Holy Grail so that he can get rid of her SuperpoweredEvilSide. And it works.]]
* In ''VisualNovel/LittleBusters'', Kyousuke's reason for most everything he does in the game is to protect Riki and Rin. [[spoiler:Specifically, to make them stronger so they can survive without him after a bus crash claims everyone else's lives. Since he won't be around much longer, protecting them also means making sure Riki is able to protect Rin and doing everything he can to encourage him to give himself over to this view completely.]] In the end, Riki also vows to always protect Rin.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Silver in ''AboveGround'' wants to protect Lilith and help her return home safely. But he's in complete denial about it all because [[spoiler: he knows the desire to protect is an unnatural bewitchment rather than a real feeling.]] It doesn't help that his pack is in a dire situation and they need money that Lilith could provide [[spoiler: if they ransom her off to the Guild.]]
[[/folder]]

!!I Owe Them My Life/Reputation/Health/etc.

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'': Hayate (the [[BattleButler butler]]) to his mistress, Nagi. She saves him from his miserable life by paying off his debt to the {{Yakuza}} and giving him a home in her mansion and a job as her butler, with a promise to pay her back over years of work. But it never was about the money - the amount means nothing to her absurd wealth. She simply likes him from the start, while his gratitude quickly compounds with a deep affection and interest in her well-being.
** There's also the residual guilt from initially wanting to ''kidnap and ransom her''. He was in a desperate enough situation -- thanks entirely to his AbusiveParents -- that this isn't a MoralEventHorizon, but he still felt terrible about it after he came to his senses.
* While Kenshin's devotion to Tomoe in ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'' fits in ''She Was the Mole'', his relationship with Kaoru Kamiya fits here. She gives him a place to stay, emotional support, and the chance to stop WanderingTheEarth; as such, he decides to protect her and their friends.
** Also by Watsuki, Kazuki from ''BusouRenkin'' gave this speech to an opponent (who also gave the same speech), when asked why he was protecting Tokiko. He said that it was because of Tokiko that he was still alive, so he would protect her and fight in her place. Kazuki's situation is actually a combination of type 1 and type 7, since Tokiko is a very capable ActionGirl.
* In {{Magico}} Shion is decided to [[spoiler:save Emma from the curse of Echidna]] and faces ''really'' dangerous tasks with his extremely powerful magic that he obtain just to do so because...[[spoiler: she gave him some bread]]
* In ''CodeGeass'' ([[TropeOverdosed yes]], ''[[TropeOverdosed again]]''), a teenaged [[MaryTzu Xing-ke]] vows to protect [[AChildShallLeadThem Empress Tianzi]] after she saves him from execution. Years later, he keeps his promise. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Spectacularly]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Rafael toward Skylar in ''Literature/GivesLight'', but in this case, it's "I will protect ''him''." Rafael's father, a serial killer, killed Skylar's mother many years ago, and Rafael feels responsible by proxy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Live-Action TV}}]]
* ''Series/TinMan'' A cross of "I owe her," "It gets complicated," and LivingMacguffin get involved with the gentlemen who decide to travel with DG. Raw is pretty straightforward. She's a good person, and she was responsible for rescuing him from a nasty death. Glitch comes with because it's preferable to be confused and with someone than confused and alone. But it turns out that he was [[spoiler: her mother's [[TheGoodChancellor trusted and devoted]] adviser]]. Remembering who he was and learning who she is just makes him more determined to help. Cain's a mess. He agrees to escort DG and Glitch to Central (Emerald) City because he does owe them that much for freeing him, but the Mystic Man, [[spoiler: his former boss]], ''orders'' Cain to protect DG at any cost - and Cain's too damn honorable to disobey a direct order, especially as [[spoiler: it turns out to also be the Mystic Man's LastRequest]]. By the time it's discovered that [[spoiler: DG is inadvertently responsible for the Witch's reign of terror]], they've become too much TrueCompanions to care.
[[/folder]]

!!It's Just That Simple

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''MurderPrincess'' is a straightforward example. It takes Fallis a while to realize that she wants to protect the sweet, gentle (and very, very helpless) Princess Alita, but actually doing so never gets any more complicated than cutting down anything that threatens her or her kingdom.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn'': Simon has a very difficult time spitting out his affection for RebelliousPrincess Miriamele, despite the fact that he has had a crush on her. Part of it is that he feels that she's so far above him socially that his desires will remain unrequited, although he fantasizes about rising to her station or her falling to his. Of course, they keep getting thrown together in perilous situations, and after he's knighted, he resolves to become her champion and protector as a way of dealing with the situation. In the end he discovers that it wasn't their stations keeping them apart at all, but Miriamele's self-doubts and fears of being forced to assume the throne and make a political marriage. And of course he [[MosesInTheBullrushes turns out to be the rightful king anyway]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* Rory Williams from ''Series/DoctorWho''. He loves his girlfriend, later fiancée, later wife, and will do anything to protect her. A lot of the time they protect each other- for example, Rory fails at sword-fighting a fish vampire, so Amy destroys it with a mirror. However he then [[spoiler: goes to guard her comatose body for 2,000 years, becoming the legendary Last Centurion]]. He seems to develop something of a complex.
--> '''Rory''': And she knows that where-ever she is, I ''am'' coming for her. ''Always.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Despite providing the quote at the top, which suggests a 'It Gets Complicated' situation, Squall of ''FinalFantasyVIII'' really DOES get it easy. In order to protect Rinoa, the girl who finally brought him out of his sarcastic, just-dont-care shell, and taught him what love was - all he has to do is beat up all the villains. Then everything is all right.
* ''DevilMayCry 4'' provides another fairly straightforward (and heartwarming) example with Nero's half of the story with his LoveInterest Kyrie. [[spoiler:Though for a while it ''looks'' like he failed]].
* ''{{Gungrave}}''. The protagonist's major goals is to get revenge on the main villain, and to protect the daughter of his former love interest ''from'' the main villain. By using a lot of [[MoreDakka dakka]].
* FireEmblem 7: Dorcas's wife Natalie is an IllGirl. He wants her to get better, and so he joins a bandit group. Once Lyn knocks sense into him (and Natalie does too, if you make them talk), Dorcas decides to keep fighting for her until he gathers enough gold to buy the medicine. It's just as simple as that, for him.
* This is not the case in most versions, but in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'', it's why Link is TheChosenOne to begin with.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' has [[spoiler:Simon Petrikov, AKA The Ice King, protecting a very young Marceline either during or immediately after the Mushroom War. The fact that it's just been revealed means that the situation surrounding this could change, but so far it seems to be that he simply chose to look after her because she was scared and alone.]]
[[/folder]]
----
[[redirect:DeclarationOfProtection]]
11th Feb '13 12:43:15 PM fawkesfeather
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* Steve Jinks, {{Warehouse 13}} has an interesting combo of three, He has [[DeadLittleSister a dead]] [[CoolBigSis big sister]] that he sees in ActionGirl Claudia, his partner, after she saves his life in the most hilarious way possible. This lead him to decide to go undercover to protect her because he couldn't save his own sister, which in turn, gets him killed. [[spoiler: He gets better.]]]]

to:

* Steve Jinks, {{Warehouse 13}} has an interesting combo of three, He has [[DeadLittleSister a dead]] [[CoolBigSis big sister]] that he sees in ActionGirl Claudia, his partner, after she saves his life in the most hilarious way possible. This lead him to decide to go undercover to protect her because he couldn't save his own sister, which in turn, gets him killed. [[spoiler: He gets better.]]]] ]]
11th Feb '13 12:42:55 PM fawkesfeather
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* Zig-zagged in ''DissidiaFinalFantasy'' at first Cosmos's warriors (especially the Warrior of Light) make it their mission to protect her from Chaos and his henchmen. [[spoiler:In the end she willingly let's herself die in an effort to save ''them'' from the cycle of death and rebirth they've been caught in]].
30th Jan '13 1:19:37 AM badboll
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** Though to be fair, the reason why he becomes TheLoad in the first book is because he saves Katniss' life by fighting off Cato and gets a sword to the leg for his troubles. In the second book it's less heroic, but getting electrocuted would slow most people down.
26th Jan '13 9:57:52 AM VeronicaWakefield
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* ''RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' lives, breathes, and eats this trope, and for once in the show's history, it plays it totally straight.
21st Jan '13 12:11:43 PM ClockStopping
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* In ''VisualNovel/LittleBusters'', Kyousuke's reason for most everything he does in the game is to protect Riki and Rin. [[spoiler:Specifically, to make them stronger so they can survive without him after a bus crash claims everyone else's lives. Since he won't be around much longer, protecting them also means making sure Riki is able to protect Rin and doing everything he can to encourage him to give himself over to this view completely.]] In the end, Riki also vows to always protect Rin.
9th Jan '13 12:10:12 PM Fighteer
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[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn'': Simon has a very difficult time spitting out his affection for RebelliousPrincess Miriamele, despite the fact that he has had a crush on her. Part of it is that he feels that she's so far above him socially that his desires will remain unrequited, although he fantasizes about rising to her station or her falling to his. Of course, they keep getting thrown together in perilous situations, and after he's knighted, he resolves to become her champion and protector as a way of dealing with the situation. In the end he discovers that it wasn't their stations keeping them apart at all, but Miriamele's self-doubts and fears of being forced to assume the throne and make a political marriage. And of course he [[MosesInTheBullrushes turns out to be the rightful king anyway]].
[[/folder]]
2nd Jan '13 8:37:12 AM sorako
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* [[TheLancer Zenkichi]] towards the protagoinst [[MedakaBox Medaka]]. To become strong enough to stay by her side, he's become a capable fighter, though Medaka is still the strongest character. It's partially as an emotional anchor, since she was traumatized by a past failure. [[spoiler:Averted as of chapter 117, when Zenkichi realizes that Medaka doesn't need a protector.]]

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* [[TheLancer Zenkichi]] towards the protagoinst protagonist [[MedakaBox Medaka]]. To become strong enough to stay by her side, he's become a capable fighter, though Medaka is still the strongest character. It's partially as an emotional anchor, since she was traumatized by a past failure. [[spoiler:Averted as of chapter 117, when Zenkichi realizes that Medaka doesn't need a protector.]]
14th Dec '12 6:44:10 AM Oreochan
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* In Suzanne Collins' TheHungerGames, Peeta ''devotes'' himself to this cause for Katniss, who spends most of her time in the series kicking asses and taking names. He generally devolves into TheLoad in any situation which would traditionally require him to fight, meaning that she has to do the protecting and thus doing a great job inverting the trope.

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* In Suzanne Collins' TheHungerGames, ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', Peeta ''devotes'' himself to this cause for Katniss, who spends most of her time in the series kicking asses and taking names. He generally devolves into TheLoad in any situation which would traditionally require him to fight, meaning that she has to do the protecting and thus doing a great job inverting the trope.
10th Dec '12 10:49:15 PM nombretomado
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* The Big Daddies of {{Bioshock}} Are willing to die to protect the little sisters.

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* The Big Daddies of {{Bioshock}} Are ''VideoGame/{{Bioshock}}'' are willing to die to protect the little sisters.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.IWillProtectHer