History Main / ShootTheMessenger

10th Apr '16 8:33:11 PM 10-13-2
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Is there a worse job to have than being a messenger for a major villain? The hours are long, the pay is low, your boss [[ItsAllAboutMe thinks that the world revolves around him]], and likes to [[TheNeidermeyer abuse his men]] [[BadBoss for fun]], and remember that [[SignedUpForTheDental dental plan that led you to join in the first place?]] Yeah, that got canceled last year.

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Is there a worse job to have than being a messenger for a major villain? The hours are long, the pay is low, your boss [[ItsAllAboutMe thinks that the world revolves around him]], and likes to [[TheNeidermeyer abuse his men]] [[BadBoss for fun]], and remember that [[SignedUpForTheDental dental plan that led you to join in the first place?]] [[TheCakeIsALie Yeah, that got canceled last year.
year.]]
22nd Mar '16 9:00:42 PM TheWanderer
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* Aragorn beheading the Mouth of Sauron in ''Film/LordOfTheRings'' after he mocked them about Frodo's fate. In the book, he recoils from Aragorn's DeathGlare and says, "''I am a herald and ambassador and may not be assailed!''" Gandalf points out that nobody has actually threatened him.

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* Aragorn beheading the Mouth of Sauron in ''Film/LordOfTheRings'' after he mocked them about Frodo's fate. In the book, he recoils from Aragorn's DeathGlare and says, "''I "''[[DirtyCoward I am a herald and ambassador and may not be assailed!''" assailed!]]''" Gandalf points out that 1) nobody has actually threatened him.him, and 2) regardless of DiplomaticImmunity, it's still a good idea to act with more tact than the Mouth of Sauron has been.
22nd Mar '16 3:40:19 AM Shadowgazer
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** But in ''Order of the Phoenix'', before Voldemort started to lose his cool, he responded to the news that his plan to steal a prophecy from the Ministry of Magic could not have worked by thanking the messenger and promising to keep him in confidence. The man who [[YouHaveFailedMe furnished him with flawed information, however]], gets the Torture Curse...PragmaticVillainy and all this prevents him from wantonly murdering his minions with the exception of the above mentioned case and once [[spoiler: when sacrificing a minion (even one of the best ones) would be the key to unlimited power]].

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** But in ''Order of the Phoenix'', before Voldemort started to lose his cool, he responded to the news that his plan to steal a prophecy from the Ministry of Magic could not have worked by thanking the messenger and promising to keep him in confidence. The man who [[YouHaveFailedMe furnished him with flawed information, however]], gets the Torture Curse...PragmaticVillainy and all this prevents him from wantonly murdering his minions with the exception of the above mentioned case and once [[spoiler: when sacrificing a minion (even one of the best ones) would be the key to unlimited power]].
22nd Mar '16 3:33:13 AM Shadowgazer
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By the way, remember when we told the worst was bringing your master a bad news? [[ILied We lied]]. ''The'' worst is bringing ''someone else'' a message from your master. Such as an ultimatum. The recipient is guaranteed to reply, in a non-ambiguous way, that he will have none of it; and by "non-ambiguous", we mean by sending your head back. [[CaptainObvious Without the rest of your body.]] Also note that even the "good guys" might do this, especially {{Anti Hero}}es. Its depressing regularity in the ancient world led to the first rule of international law: Diplomatic Immunity. In the end, everyone (even UsefulNotes/GenghisKhan, who destroyed ''multiple empires'') thought it was just a little unfair to the messengers. In fact, Genghis Khan wiped out one of those empires ''because'' they killed some of his messengers.

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By the way, remember when we told the worst was bringing your master a bad news? [[ILied We lied]]. ''The'' worst is bringing ''someone else'' a message from your master. Such as an ultimatum. The recipient is guaranteed to reply, in a non-ambiguous way, that he will have none of it; and by "non-ambiguous", we mean by sending your head back. [[CaptainObvious Without the rest of your body.]] Also note that even the "good guys" might do this, especially {{Anti Hero}}es.Hero}}es but only in special cases. Its depressing regularity in the ancient world led to the first rule of international law: Diplomatic Immunity. In the end, everyone (even UsefulNotes/GenghisKhan, who destroyed ''multiple empires'') thought it was just a little unfair to the messengers. In fact, Genghis Khan wiped out one of those empires ''because'' they killed some of his messengers.



When heroes do this (to enemy diplomats, never their own servants), it's because [[WhatMeasureIsAMook the messenger was a bad guy anyway]], so why not [[ValuesDissonance murder him when he isn't making any threats?]] Some shows make the messenger look particularly [[AssholeVictim evil]] to avoid the negative aspects of this trope.

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When heroes do this (to enemy diplomats, never NEVER their own servants), it's because [[WhatMeasureIsAMook the messenger was a bad guy anyway]], so why not [[ValuesDissonance murder him when he isn't making any threats?]] him?]] Some shows make the messenger look and act particularly [[AssholeVictim evil]] and threaten the characters with death or worse, to avoid the negative aspects of this trope.
trope. He may even psychologically torment and provoke them by showing them what happened to those who said no.



* Aragorn beheading the Mouth of Sauron in ''Film/LordOfTheRings''. In the book, he recoils from Aragorn's DeathGlare and says, "''I am a herald and ambassador and may not be assailed!''" Gandalf points out that nobody has actually threatened him.

to:

* Aragorn beheading the Mouth of Sauron in ''Film/LordOfTheRings''.''Film/LordOfTheRings'' after he mocked them about Frodo's fate. In the book, he recoils from Aragorn's DeathGlare and says, "''I am a herald and ambassador and may not be assailed!''" Gandalf points out that nobody has actually threatened him.



** In this case not only was there no actual shooting, but also the messenger was more of an informant who got punished for breaking the same rules he snitched about.



** But in ''Order of the Phoenix'', before Voldemort started to lose his cool, he responded to the news that his plan to steal a prophecy from the Ministry of Magic could not have worked by thanking the messenger and promising to keep him in confidence. The man who [[YouHaveFailedMe furnished him with flawed information, however]], gets the Killing Curse...

to:

** But in ''Order of the Phoenix'', before Voldemort started to lose his cool, he responded to the news that his plan to steal a prophecy from the Ministry of Magic could not have worked by thanking the messenger and promising to keep him in confidence. The man who [[YouHaveFailedMe furnished him with flawed information, however]], gets the Killing Torture Curse...PragmaticVillainy and all this prevents him from wantonly murdering his minions with the exception of the above mentioned case and once [[spoiler: when sacrificing a minion (even one of the best ones) would be the key to unlimited power]].
15th Mar '16 1:01:33 PM OlmoJV
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* Following another failed attempt to make [[DeterminedHomesteader Grace Glossy]] resign her lands in ''Fanfic/OldWest'', Tomson reports to his boss [[BigBad Dufayel]] of how the thugs the wealthy fox hired to do that failed. The [[ManOfWealthAndTaste usually suave]] Dufayel can't bottle up his anger at another failure and [[BoomHeadshot shoots Tomson through the rat's head]].
14th Mar '16 9:01:06 PM Anarky17
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* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedSyndicate'' takes this trope literally. After Jacob kills [[IceQueen Pearl Attaway]], BigBad Crawford Sterrick (who had a thing for her) is seen [[ManlyTears mourning her]] by performing a sad song on the piano. When a servant enters the room to give him an update, he barely gets one word out before Sterrick blows his head off.
--> '''Sterrick''': "I TOLD YOU NOT TO INTERRUPT ME!!!"
4th Mar '16 10:53:34 AM thatother1dude
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* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' did it in the episode "Margical History Tour".

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* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' did it in the episode "Margical History Tour".Tour", Homer plays a UsefulNotes/HenryVIII who demands so many decapitations the castle runs out of pikes to put the heads on. After the guard captain (Wiggum) informs him of this, despite knowing what the king usually does to the bearer of bad news, we cut to an empty pike storage room. The king admits he was right, and the captain's ''[[LosingYourHead detached, but still living head]]'' is consoled by such.
1st Mar '16 5:28:58 PM CH4S
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* In ''VideoGame/{{Colonisation}}'', other Europeans present in the New World will honour your scouts and allow them to perform diplomatic actions, even if they are at war with you. Meanwhile, if you are at war with [[SavageIndian any native group]], they will kill any scout sent to their settlements.

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* In ''VideoGame/{{Colonisation}}'', ''VideoGame/{{Colonization}}'', other Europeans present in the New World will honour your scouts and allow them to perform diplomatic actions, even if they are at war with you.you (except for [[TheEmpire the Royal Expeditionary Force]], naturally). Meanwhile, if you are at war with [[SavageIndian any native group]], they will kill any scout sent to their settlements.
1st Mar '16 5:25:47 PM CH4S
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Added DiffLines:

* In ''VideoGame/{{Colonisation}}'', other Europeans present in the New World will honour your scouts and allow them to perform diplomatic actions, even if they are at war with you. Meanwhile, if you are at war with [[SavageIndian any native group]], they will kill any scout sent to their settlements.
28th Feb '16 12:08:17 PM NothingProductive
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* ''[[{{Literature/Windhaven}} Windhaven's]]'' folklore gives us the Mad Landsman, who murdered the messenger who told him of his son's death. Unfortunately (for him), the messengers in this universe are the primary means of communication, and when they boycott his kingdom, it withers away. Don't screw with the union.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.ShootTheMessenger