History Main / WrittenByTheWinners

16th Jul '17 12:46:32 PM Morgenthaler
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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/written_by_the_winners.jpg]]

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[[quoteright:350:http://static.[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/written_by_the_winners.jpg]] jpg]]]]
16th Jul '17 10:44:58 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' - In an [[InvertedTrope inversion]], in the episode "Living Witness", the history was written from the perspective of the ''losers'' who were relegated to second class citizenry, and the winning faction was very annoyed at being portrayed as vicious, bloodthirsty tyrants who slaughtered innocents and made martyrs out of people that turned out to be pirates and raiders. As it turns out, both sides weren't exactly saints to begin with.
** It is very likely the history was originally written by the winners and only turned to favor the other side in the centuries of coexistence later. The story still puts almost all the blame on ''Voyager'' rather than the winners themselves. In the propaganda simulation, even the representative of the victorious species who made the deal for Voyager's involvement is horrified at their atrocities, but his objections are ignored.
** Ultimately subverted at the end of the episode [[spoiler:when we flash forward to the future to see that both sides have reconciled their differences (thanks in large part to the Doctor). The old anti-Voyager propaganda simulations are still on display, but only as an example of how past prejudices once pushed them apart.]]

to:

* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' - In an [[InvertedTrope inversion]], in the episode "Living Witness", the history was written from the perspective of the ''losers'' who were relegated to second class citizenry, and the winning faction was very annoyed at being portrayed as vicious, bloodthirsty tyrants who slaughtered innocents and made martyrs out of people that turned out to be pirates and raiders. As it turns out, both sides weren't exactly saints to begin with.
** It is very likely the history was originally written by the winners and only turned to favor the other side in the centuries of coexistence later. The story still puts almost all the blame on ''Voyager'' rather than the winners themselves. In the propaganda simulation, even the representative of the victorious species who made the deal for Voyager's involvement is horrified at their atrocities, but his objections are ignored.
**
with. Ultimately subverted at the end of the episode [[spoiler:when we flash forward to the future to see that both sides have reconciled their differences (thanks in large part to the Doctor). The old anti-Voyager propaganda simulations are still on display, but only as an example of how past prejudices once pushed them apart.]]
16th Jul '17 10:43:49 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''Series/TheManInTheHighCastle'': This trope is in full effect here. Several characters of the Greater Nazi Reich sometimes mention the "American genocide", referring to the mass murder of the Indians in their history. By accentuating these negative events, the victors portray the Americans they conquered as a savage people with a tendency to brutally kill off whoever gets in their way, making the victors look more sympathetic (or, alternatively, as proof that the Americans already had Nazi-like tendencies before the Axis invaded). The Nazis also refer to their genocide against the Jews as their war against Semite terrorists. This chillingly shows that the winners of a war can portray the losers as terrible as they want them to be, distracting the people from their own wrongdoings.

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* ''Series/TheManInTheHighCastle'': This trope is in full effect here. here.
**
Several characters of the Greater Nazi Reich sometimes mention the "American genocide", referring to the mass murder of the Indians in their history. By accentuating these negative events, the victors portray the Americans they conquered as a savage people with a tendency to brutally kill off whoever gets in their way, making the victors look more sympathetic (or, alternatively, as proof that the Americans already had Nazi-like tendencies before the Axis invaded). invaded).
**
The Nazis also refer to their genocide against the Jews as their war against Semite terrorists. This chillingly shows that the winners of a war can portray the losers as terrible as they want them to be, distracting the people from their own wrongdoings.wrongdoings.
** The opening of Season 2 shows some Nazi students ''praising'' the fact that UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington and UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson owned 600 and 300 slaves, respectively. It is fitting since in our timeline, these facts are glossed over or underappreciated.
3rd Jul '17 1:57:14 PM Theriocephalus
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* In [[FanFic/EquestriaAHistoryRevealed Equestria: A History Revealed]], the ConspiracyTheorist LemonyNarrator seems to think that all of Equestria's history was rewritten by Celestia, [[IRejectYourReality despite clear evidence that this is not the case.]] However, Celestia does alter history a few times in [[spoiler: eliminating Discord's name before his return, sealing away the records on the Crystal Empire, and altering some aspects of the Equestrian Civil War]], which hints that the LemonyNarrator was not entirely incorrect.

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* In [[FanFic/EquestriaAHistoryRevealed Equestria: A History Revealed]], ''FanFic/EquestriaAHistoryRevealed'', the ConspiracyTheorist LemonyNarrator seems to think that all of Equestria's history was rewritten by Celestia, [[IRejectYourReality despite clear evidence that this is not the case.]] However, Celestia does alter history a few times in [[spoiler: eliminating Discord's name before his return, sealing away the records on the Crystal Empire, and altering some aspects of the Equestrian Civil War]], which hints that the LemonyNarrator was not entirely incorrect.



* Played with in the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'' when Celestia reveals she erased Discord from the history books because, in her mind, he didn't deserve a legacy after all he'd done. She also explained that she [[spoiler:didn't want the memory of those like Shady who were related to Discord to be tainted by association with him.]]
** We later see [[spoiler:the Sea Ponies in the [[BadFuture Epilogue timeline]] are fed a completely rewritten version of history that's the ''complete opposite'' of what happened, right down to Discord blaming the Alicorns for the genocide ''he'' committed.]]

to:

* Played with in the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'' when ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'':
**
Celestia reveals she erased Discord from the history books because, in her mind, he didn't deserve a legacy after all he'd done. She also explained that she [[spoiler:didn't want the memory of those like Shady who were related to Discord to be tainted by association with him.]]
him]].
** We later see [[spoiler:the Sea Ponies in the [[BadFuture Epilogue timeline]] are fed a completely rewritten version of history that's the ''complete opposite'' of what happened, right down to Discord blaming the Alicorns for the genocide ''he'' committed.]]committed]].



** Cadence defies this after the Changeling battle: [[spoiler:Cadence beats Chrysalis and becomes the Changeling Queen, Chrysalis dying of her injuries and [[{{Reincarnation}} is reincarnated as an innocent filly]]. Cadence then tells the Changelings to remember Chrysalis for the good she did, but also not deny the evil either.]]

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** Cadence defies this after the Changeling battle: [[spoiler:Cadence beats Chrysalis and becomes the Changeling Queen, Chrysalis dying dies of her injuries and [[{{Reincarnation}} is reincarnated as an innocent filly]]. Cadence then tells the Changelings to remember Chrysalis for the good she did, but also not deny the evil either.]]



* FanFic/TheLastRingbearer points out that the Red Book, which is the basis of TheLordOfTheRings, is actually a history written by the winners. It's bursting full of examples. In it, the Orks and Wild Men of the south are simply people of color. The Red Book dehumanizes its enemies, makes light of Aragorn using {{Necromancy}} to defeat the Mordorians and condemns the scientific nation of Mordor as corrupters by blaming the desertification of their homeland on them. The war was started by Gandalf because the enemy technology was becoming stronger, while the magic of the eldritch elves and the wizards became only weaker as knowledge was lost. Saruman saw that the only way to stamp out science was to commit genocide and wanted nothing to do with it.
** Further, Aragorn taunts the Mordorian general after having him shot in the back during a honor duel: "The history books will say you got killed by a midget and a broad."

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* FanFic/TheLastRingbearer ''FanFic/TheLastRingbearer'' points out that the Red Book, which is the basis of TheLordOfTheRings, is actually a history written by the winners. It's bursting full of examples. In it, the Orks and Wild Men of the south are simply people of color. The Red Book dehumanizes its enemies, makes light of Aragorn using {{Necromancy}} to defeat the Mordorians and condemns the scientific nation of Mordor as corrupters by blaming the desertification of their homeland on them. The war was started by Gandalf because the enemy technology was becoming stronger, while the magic of the eldritch elves and the wizards became only weaker as knowledge was lost. Saruman saw that the only way to stamp out science was to commit genocide and wanted nothing to do with it.
**
it. Further, Aragorn taunts the Mordorian general after having him shot in the back during a honor duel: "The history books will say you got killed by a midget and a broad."


Added DiffLines:

* ''Fanfic/TheLifeAndTimesOfAWinningPony'': In ''The Lunar Rebellion'', the Pegasopolan ephors, and Swift Blade and Bright Charger in particular, claim that Celestia rewrote much Equestria's official history to make herself look better, considering the tale of Nightmare Moon to be a smear campaign created by Celestia after unjustly overthrowing her sister to make herself sole ruler of Equestria, and further justify their alliance with warlocks and lunar cultists by the reasoning that assigning such titles is simply a way for Celestia to discredit political opponents. Subverted in the end, as this is all portrayed as being completely incorrect -- Nightmare Moon is still a self-centered MadGod, the warlocks are genuinely horrible people, and this belief in general seems to be more than anything a way for the Ephorate to retroactively justify their rebellion against Celestia -- and not all ephors buy much into this line of reasoning, for that matter.
4th Jun '17 11:04:48 PM AthenaBlue
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* ''Film/{{Braveheart}}'', the opening monologue: "I shall tell you of William Wallace. Historians from England will say I am a liar, but history is written by those who have hanged heroes." Note, however, that both the English and the Scottish were united in calling out the film for its blatant historical inaccuracies (on the Scots' side, it sidelined an even ''greater'' national hero--the future King Robert the Bruce--in favor of Wallace, whom he is falsely portrayed as betraying).
* In the ''Film/{{Underworld}}'' movies, Viktor rewrote vampire history to appear as if he was the original vampire, when, in fact, it was [[spoiler:another Elder, Marcus]]. So this is a literal case of history being [[IncrediblyLamePun written by the Viktor.]] Despite this, he doesn't hide the fact that [[spoiler:Marcus is a son of the first immortal Alexander Corvinus, although he claims it's a children's story]].
* Directly addressed by former Secretary of Defense Robert S. [=McNamara=] in the 2003 documentary Film/TheFogOfWar, who admitted that firebombing 63 Japanese cities and following it up with 2 nuclear bombs would be considered a war crime if not for the fact that he was on the winning side, and then wonders why that should make any difference.



* ''Film/{{Braveheart}}'', the opening monologue: "I shall tell you of William Wallace. Historians from England will say I am a liar, but history is written by those who have hanged heroes." Note, however, that both the English and the Scottish were united in calling out the film for its blatant historical inaccuracies (on the Scots' side, it sidelined an even ''greater'' national hero -- the future King Robert the Bruce -- in favor of Wallace, whom he is falsely portrayed as betraying).



* Directly addressed by former Secretary of Defense Robert S. [=McNamara=] in the 2003 documentary ''Film/TheFogOfWar'', who admitted that firebombing 63 Japanese cities and following it up with 2 nuclear bombs would be considered a war crime if not for the fact that he was on the winning side, and then wonders why that should make any difference.



* In the ''Film/{{Underworld}}'' movies, Viktor rewrote vampire history to appear as if he was the original vampire, when, in fact, it was [[spoiler:another Elder, Marcus]]. So this is a literal case of history being [[IncrediblyLamePun written by the Viktor.]] Despite this, he doesn't hide the fact that [[spoiler:Marcus is a son of the first immortal Alexander Corvinus, although he claims it's a children's story]].



* Referenced in ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' by Cardinal Richelieu, as to why he isn't surprised or bothered all that much by how ''villainous'' he looks in our uptime media.



* The same is done in ''Literature/ReflectionsOfEterna'', particularly in the prequel ''Flame of Eterna'': Rinaldi Rakan was sentenced to death by his royal brother and left in history as a monster, while he was framed by his brother and Beatrix Borrasque. In the ''Taligoian Ballad'', his distant descendant Ramiro Alva was killed by Alan Oakdell for regicide and betraying the Cabitela City to the Maragonian Bastard. 400 years later, the last will of the "murdered" king was found and revealed that the king himself ordered Ramiro to give up the city.
* [[Literature/ArtemisFowl Artemis Fowl]] has a quote invoking this:

to:

* The same is done in ''Literature/ReflectionsOfEterna'', particularly in the prequel ''Flame of Eterna'': Rinaldi Rakan was sentenced to death by his royal brother and left in history as a monster, while he was framed by his brother and Beatrix Borrasque. In the ''Taligoian Ballad'', his distant descendant Ramiro Alva was killed by Alan Oakdell for regicide and betraying the Cabitela City to the Maragonian Bastard. 400 years later, the last will of the "murdered" king was found and revealed that the king himself ordered Ramiro to give up the city.
* [[Literature/ArtemisFowl Artemis Fowl]]
Literature/ArtemisFowl has a quote invoking this:



* Subverted...kind of...in ''Discworld/SmallGods'':
--> Winners don't have glorious victories. That's because they're the ones who get to see what the battlefield looks like afterwards. It's only the losers who have glorious victories.
::Most people will take any excuse they can get to have had a glorious victory, but meh...this is the Discworld, after all. And the quote is from a tortoise.
** Another Discworld example, from ''Discworld/{{Hogfather}}'', as Susan tells a bedtime story:

to:

* Subverted...In ''Literature/TheBartimaeusTrilogy'', history classes are mandatory for commoners' children, where they're taught a version of history that uplifts the magicians on the side of the British government and casts commoners in general as weak and unable to rule. Foreign governments are vilified, and the Czechs have a particularly bad time of it, this being the ruling government prior to Britain. Questions are generally discouraged and regarded with disdain. Ironically, the government has whitewashed things so thoroughly that even the magicians themselves are never taught the full truth and actually wholeheartedly believe the state line in many things. This being ironic because if they did know the real history it would help them identify certain recurring patterns and thus, at least for a time, help them maintain their faltering power.
* In a ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' novel, a character counters to someone stating this that "History is written by the survivors" and that "given my track record, you should hope I remember you fondly".
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** Subverted...
kind of...of... in ''Discworld/SmallGods'':
--> ---> Winners don't have glorious victories. That's because they're the ones who get to see what the battlefield looks like afterwards. It's only the losers who have glorious victories.
::Most
victories.\\
Most
people will take any excuse they can get to have had a glorious victory, but meh...this is the Discworld, after all. And the quote is from a tortoise.
** Another Discworld ''Discworld'' example, from ''Discworld/{{Hogfather}}'', as Susan tells a bedtime story:



* 'Orientalism'' by the Palestinian-American critic Edward W. Said is a non-fiction work that explores in detail how colonialist nations abuse their control of the media and command of universities and textbooks to spread stereotypes and {{Flanderization}} of a complex, subtle and regionally diverse culture and how this comes to define the general perception of the Middle East well into the 20th Century.

to:

* 'Orientalism'' by In the Palestinian-American critic Edward W. Said is ''Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures'' novel ''Just War'', the Doctor deconstructs this mindset in a non-fiction work Russian Roulette confrontation with a captured Nazi, pointing out that explores even if you get to write the history books it doesn't make you and your cause good:
-->'''The Doctor:''' You can't create anything with a gun, Herr Wolfe, let alone Utopia, authority, or truth. You can dress up
in detail how colonialist nations abuse their control a scary black uniform and talk about destiny. You can use the full power of the media state to rewrite biology, mythology, genealogy, history, and command geography. Burn all the books you disagree with, burn all the people who wrote or read them. Hold a parade in every street, attend a thousand Party rallies. Gang up on the weak, persecute the minorities. Win the war. It still won't make you right.
* In ''Literature/TheEgyptian'', Sinuhe muses that due to Horemheb's rewriting
of universities history, no one will ever remember the three Pharaohs that preceded him: Ay, UsefulNotes/{{Tutankhamon}} and textbooks to spread stereotypes Achenaton. Horemheb was, obviously, less than successful.
* Played with in ''Literature/EndersGame''. The eponymous character [[spoiler:wins the war,
and {{Flanderization}} then goes on to write its history from ''his defeated enemy's point of a complex, subtle and regionally diverse culture and how this comes view'', leading him to define be vilified as a war criminal for thousands of years.]] The winners write the general perception history books, but that doesn't mean they have to cast themselves as the heroes.
* This is a major theme in ''Literature/ForWantOfANail'', an AlternateHistory
of the Middle East well into North American continent following a quelled UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution. The InUniverse persona of the 20th Century.author has very little sympathy for them, and is called out on it by an InUniverse peer review at the end of the book, who invokes this trope to some extent.



* This is a major theme in ''Literature/ForWantOfANail'', an AlternateHistory of the North American continent following a quelled UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution. The InUniverse persona of the author has very little sympathy for them, and is called out on it by an InUniverse peer review at the end of the book, who invokes this trope to some extent.

to:

* This ''Orientalism'' by the Palestinian-American critic Edward W. Said is a major theme non-fiction work that explores in ''Literature/ForWantOfANail'', an detail how colonialist nations abuse their control of the media and command of universities and textbooks to spread stereotypes and {{Flanderization}} of a complex, subtle and regionally diverse culture and how this comes to define the general perception of the Middle East well into the 20th Century.
* The same is done in ''Literature/ReflectionsOfEterna'', particularly in the prequel ''Flame of Eterna'': Rinaldi Rakan was sentenced to death by his royal brother and left in history as a monster, while he was framed by his brother and Beatrix Borrasque. In the ''Taligoian Ballad'', his distant descendant Ramiro Alva was killed by Alan Oakdell for regicide and betraying the Cabitela City to the Maragonian Bastard. 400 years later, the last will of the "murdered" king was found and revealed that the king himself ordered Ramiro to give up the city.
* Subverted in the
AlternateHistory of novel ''Resurrection Day'', in which the North American continent following a quelled UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution. Cuban Missile Crisis turned into WW3. The InUniverse persona of Soviet Union [[AtomicHate has been obliterated]] while the author United States has very little sympathy been reduced to a virtual Third World country. President Kennedy, who died in the war, has been blamed for them, and is called out on it by an InUniverse peer review at the end of situation, but the book, actual culprit is the GeneralRipper who invokes now runs the US as a military dictatorship. As one character states, in this trope to some extent. case history has been written by the survivors.



* Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's ''Literature/TheVorGame''. Gregor hasn't heard ''any'' of the stories about his father except stuff he could dismiss as propaganda. Miles is able to assure him that the stories he has heard are not all true.
* In ''Literature/TheEgyptian'', Sinuhe muses that due to Horemheb's rewriting of history, no one will ever remember the three Pharaohs that preceeded him: Ay, UsefulNotes/{{Tutankhamon}} and Achenaton. Horemheb was, obviously, less than successfull.
* Addressed but averted in Creator/TimothyZahn's ''[[HandOfThrawn Vision Of The Future]]'':
-->'''Shada:''' What do you mean by "true" [history]? What does anyone mean by "true"? We all know history is WrittenByTheWinners.\\
'''Jorj Car'das:''' History is also written by the bystanders... peoples who had no park or stake in what happened. Would you accuse them ''all'' of lying?



** Played with over the events of the Dance of The Dragons, particularly in that there ''were'' no winners. Black history books portray Rhaenyra as a woman trying to reclaim her birthright from a murderous usurper and his scheming mother. Green history books portray her as a mentally unstable harlot who tried to steal the throne from her brother, male-preference primogeniture be damned. In all reality, it's become increasingly clear that they were both mentally unstable murderers, and were [[NotSoDifferent not so different]]. Aegon had Rhaenyra eaten by his dragon ''in front of her son'', as well as having one of his supporters murder Rhaenyra's son for seeking support with the Baratheons. in retaliation, Rhaenyra had two men sneak into the Red Keep and force a mother to choose which of her children she wanted dead, and then proceed to murder ''the other one'', so the living child would spend the rest of his life knowing his mother wanted him dead. What would have happened had either of them kept the throne may never be known, but it probably wouldn't have been good.
* ''The Sundering'' reimagines ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' with an aversion of this trope.

to:

** Played with over the events of the Dance of The the Dragons, particularly in that there ''were'' no winners. Black history books portray Rhaenyra as a woman trying to reclaim her birthright from a murderous usurper and his scheming mother. Green history books portray her as a mentally unstable harlot who tried to steal the throne from her brother, male-preference primogeniture be damned. In all reality, it's become increasingly clear that they were both mentally unstable murderers, and were [[NotSoDifferent not so different]]. Aegon had Rhaenyra eaten by his dragon ''in front of her son'', as well as having one of his supporters murder Rhaenyra's son for seeking support with the Baratheons. in retaliation, Rhaenyra had two men sneak into the Red Keep and force a mother to choose which of her children she wanted dead, and then proceed to murder ''the other one'', so the living child would spend the rest of his life knowing his mother wanted him dead. What would have happened had either of them kept the throne may never be known, but it probably wouldn't have been good.
* ''The Sundering'' ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'':
** ''[[Literature/StarWarsLostStars Lost Stars]]'' shows that the Empire wasted no time doing this after its establishment: There's a scene where protagonists Thane and Ciena, who were born the year the Empire was established, are studying for a history class in their Imperial school. They're specifically studying how the Clone Wars started, and the version they learned in school portrays Jedi Master Mace Windu as the leader of a criminal gang that interfered with a legal execution on Geonosis. Anyone who's seen ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'' will know that's ... incorrect.
* ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'':
** Addressed but averted in Creator/TimothyZahn's ''[[HandOfThrawn Vision of the Future]]'':
--->'''Shada:''' What do you mean by "true" [history]? What does anyone mean by "true"? We all know history is WrittenByTheWinners.\\
'''Jorj Car'das:''' History is also written by the bystanders... peoples who had no park or stake in what happened. Would you accuse them ''all'' of lying?
* ''Literature/TheSundering''
reimagines ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' with an aversion of this trope.



* Referenced in ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' by Cardinal Richelieu, as to why he isn't surprised or bothered all that much by how ''villainous'' he looks in our uptime media.
* In a ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' novel, a character counters to someone stating this that "History is written by the survivors" and that "given my track record, you should hope I remember you fondly".
* In the ''Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures'' novel ''Just War'', the Doctor deconstructs this mindset in a Russian Roulette confrontation with a captured Nazi, pointing out that even if you get to write the history books it doesn't make you and your cause good:
-->'''The Doctor:''' You can't create anything with a gun, Herr Wolfe, let alone Utopia, authority, or truth. You can dress up in a scary black uniform and talk about destiny. You can use the full power of the state to rewrite biology, mythology, genealogy, history, and geography. Burn all the books you disagree with, burn all the people who wrote or read them. Hold a parade in every street, attend a thousand Party rallies. Gang up on the weak, persecute the minorities. Win the war. It still won't make you right.
* Played with in ''Literature/EndersGame''. The eponymous character [[spoiler:wins the war, and then goes on to write its history from ''his defeated enemy's point of view'', leading him to be vilified as a war criminal for thousands of years.]] The winners write the history books, but that doesn't mean they have to cast themselves as the heroes.
* Subverted in the AlternateHistory novel ''Resurrection Day'', in which the Cuban Missile Crisis turned into WW3. The Soviet Union [[AtomicHate has been obliterated]] while the United States has been reduced to a virtual Third World country. President Kennedy, who died in the war, has been blamed for the situation, but the actual culprit is the GeneralRipper who now runs the US as a military dictatorship. As one character states, in this case history has been written by the survivors.
* In ''Literature/TheBartimaeusTrilogy'', history classes are mandatory for commoners' children, where they're taught a version of history that uplifts the magicians on the side of the British government and casts commoners in general as weak and unable to rule. Foreign governments are vilified, and the Czechs have a particularly bad time of it, this being the ruling government prior to Britain. Questions are generally discouraged and regarded with disdain. Ironically, the government has whitewashed things so thoroughly that even the magicians themselves are never taught the full truth and actually wholeheartedly believe the state line in many things. This being ironic because if they did know the real history it would help them identify certain recurring patterns and thus, at least for a time, help them maintain their faltering power.



* Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'': ''Literature/TheVorGame''. Gregor hasn't heard ''any'' of the stories about his father except stuff he could dismiss as propaganda. Miles is able to assure him that the stories he has heard are not all true.



* ''Series/BlackAdder'' shows how [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfTudor Henry Tudor]], after winning the UsefulNotes/WarOfTheRoses, completely removed Richard IV and his family from the historical timeline and changed UsefulNotes/{{Richard III}} into a child-killing madman.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' - In an [[InvertedTrope inversion]], in the episode "Living Witness", the history was written from the perspective of the ''losers'' who were relegated to second class citizenry, and the winning faction was very annoyed at being portrayed as vicious, bloodthirsty tyrants who slaughtered innocents and made martyrs out of people that turned out to be pirates and raiders. As it turns out, both sides weren't exactly saints to begin with.
** It is very likely the history was originally written by the winners and only turned to favor the other side in the centuries of coexistence later. The story still puts almost all the blame on ''Voyager'' rather than the winners themselves. In the propaganda simulation, even the representative of the victorious species who made the deal for Voyager's involvement is horrified at their atrocities, but his objections are ignored.
** Ultimately subverted at the end of the episode [[spoiler:when we flash forward to the future to see that both sides have reconciled their differences (thanks in large part to the Doctor). The old anti-Voyager propaganda simulations are still on display, but only as an example of how past prejudices once pushed them apart.]]

to:

* ''Series/BlackAdder'' shows how [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfTudor Henry Tudor]], ''Series/BabylonFive'': After conquering the Narns a second time, the Centauri lay the blame for the conflict squarely on their shoulders, to the point of placing every member of the Narn ruling council on trial for war crimes (this just after winning the UsefulNotes/WarOfTheRoses, completely removed Richard IV and his family from Centauri used orbital bombardment with meteors on the historical timeline and changed UsefulNotes/{{Richard III}} into a child-killing madman.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' - In an [[InvertedTrope inversion]],
Narn homeworld, something which is outlawed by every civilized government in the episode "Living Witness", setting). Then again, the history was written from two powers have been taking stabs at each other ever since the perspective of Centauri overthrew the ''losers'' who were relegated to second class citizenry, and Narns the winning faction was very annoyed at being portrayed as vicious, bloodthirsty tyrants who slaughtered innocents and made martyrs out of people ''first'' time. And the Centauri are still not willing to acknowledge that turned out to be pirates the first time even happened either. They keep claiming that they landed peacefully on Narn and raiders. As it turns out, both sides weren't exactly saints to begin with.
** It is very likely
uplifted the history was originally written by the winners and only turned to favor primitives, who repaid their generosity with violence. The Narn on the other side in hand claim they peacefully greeted the centuries of coexistence later. The story still puts almost all the blame on ''Voyager'' rather than the winners themselves. In the propaganda simulation, even the representative of the victorious species strange alien visitors, who made the deal for Voyager's involvement is horrified at their atrocities, but his objections are ignored.
** Ultimately subverted at the end of the episode [[spoiler:when we flash forward to the future to see
then conquered and enslaved them. Given that both sides have reconciled their differences (thanks in large part to G'Kar's father was hung from a tree by his thumbs until he died ''three days later'' (for the Doctor). The old anti-Voyager propaganda simulations are still crime of ''accidentally spilling a cup of tea on display, but only as an example of how past prejudices once pushed them apart.]]a Centauri woman''), it renders the Centauri account a bit questionable.



* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''
** "Contagion": Picard says this in reference to the Iconians.
** "Unification" has Picard asking for some help from his good buddy Gowron. Gowron himself was letting the press know that he did not have as much help from Picard as there really was; this trope's name was given word for word.
** "The High Ground" has Kyril Finn point out to a captive Dr. Crusher that if UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington had lost his war, he'd be remembered as a terrorist, and not a revolutionary.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' - the two-parter "The Way of the Warrior", Gowron quotes it again just before the Klingon fleet and ''Deep Space Nine'' engage in battle.
* ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise''. The MirrorUniverse episode opens with the conclusion of ''StarTrekFirstContact'', but instead of returning the Vulcan's StrangeSalute, Mirror!Zephram Cochrane pulls out a shotgun and murders him, whereupon the humans storm the spaceship brandishing firearms. Mirror!Archer is later shown proudly showing off this shotgun from his antique WallOfWeapons.
-->'''Archer:''' I wonder how history would have played out if Cochrane hadn't turned the tables on your invasion force.
* In one episode of ''Series/RedDwarf'', [[DirtyCoward Rimmer]] invokes this with regard to Robert Scott, pointing out that his diary is the only record of Laurence Oates' HeroicSacrifice, and that if Rimmer had been Scott he'd have bludgeoned Oates to death with a frozen husky and [[ImAHumanitarian eaten him]], telling everyone that he had sacrificed himself. As is immediately pointed out by Lister, however, Rimmer is an exceptionally self-centred and ignoble person.
* A variation in that they didn't really "win", but the version of the Peacekeeper battle against the Venek Horde that Aeryn relates in the Series/{{Farscape}} episode ''Different Destinations.'' Subofficer Dacon was a cook and only ended up negotiating the ceasefire because everyone else was killed. Alternatively, if this is a case of a [[StableTimeLoop Stable-ish Time Loop]], he was just following Aeryn's instructions in the first place.

to:

* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''
** "Contagion": Picard says this in reference to
''Series/{{Blackadder}}'' shows how [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfTudor Henry Tudor]], after winning the Iconians.
** "Unification" has Picard asking for some help
UsefulNotes/WarOfTheRoses, completely removed Richard IV and his family from his good buddy Gowron. Gowron himself was letting the press know that he did not have as much help from Picard as there really was; this trope's name was given word for word.
** "The High Ground" has Kyril Finn point out to a captive Dr. Crusher that if UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington had lost his war, he'd be remembered as a terrorist,
historical timeline and not changed UsefulNotes/{{Richard III}} into a revolutionary.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' - the two-parter "The Way of the Warrior", Gowron quotes it again just before the Klingon fleet and ''Deep Space Nine'' engage in battle.
* ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise''. The MirrorUniverse episode opens with the conclusion of ''StarTrekFirstContact'', but instead of returning the Vulcan's StrangeSalute, Mirror!Zephram Cochrane pulls out a shotgun and murders him, whereupon the humans storm the spaceship brandishing firearms. Mirror!Archer is later shown proudly showing off this shotgun from his antique WallOfWeapons.
-->'''Archer:''' I wonder how history would have played out if Cochrane hadn't turned the tables on your invasion force.
* In one episode of ''Series/RedDwarf'', [[DirtyCoward Rimmer]] invokes this with regard to Robert Scott, pointing out that his diary is the only record of Laurence Oates' HeroicSacrifice, and that if Rimmer had been Scott he'd have bludgeoned Oates to death with a frozen husky and [[ImAHumanitarian eaten him]], telling everyone that he had sacrificed himself. As is immediately pointed out by Lister, however, Rimmer is an exceptionally self-centred and ignoble person.
* A variation in that they didn't really "win", but the version of the Peacekeeper battle against the Venek Horde that Aeryn relates in the Series/{{Farscape}} episode ''Different Destinations.'' Subofficer Dacon was a cook and only ended up negotiating the ceasefire because everyone else was killed. Alternatively, if this is a case of a [[StableTimeLoop Stable-ish Time Loop]], he was just following Aeryn's instructions in the first place.
child-killing madman.



* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'': A variation in that they didn't really "win", but the version of the Peacekeeper battle against the Venek Horde that Aeryn relates in "Different Destinations". Subofficer Dacon was a cook and only ended up negotiating the ceasefire because everyone else was killed. Alternatively, if this is a case of a [[StableTimeLoop Stable-ish Time Loop]], he was just following Aeryn's instructions in the first place.
* ''Series/LostGirl''. Trick mentions that this is the only reason people have a favorable opinion of the ancient Blood King. Considering that the Blood King has reality warping powers when writing with his blood, he may mean this literally. [[spoiler:Also, since Trick ''is'' the Blood King, this doubles as him recognizing his own past crimes and mistakes.]]
* ''Series/TheManInTheHighCastle'': This trope is in full effect here. Several characters of the Greater Nazi Reich sometimes mention the "American genocide", referring to the mass murder of the Indians in their history. By accentuating these negative events, the victors portray the Americans they conquered as a savage people with a tendency to brutally kill off whoever gets in their way, making the victors look more sympathetic (or, alternatively, as proof that the Americans already had Nazi-like tendencies before the Axis invaded). The Nazis also refer to their genocide against the Jews as their war against Semite terrorists. This chillingly shows that the winners of a war can portray the losers as terrible as they want them to be, distracting the people from their own wrongdoings.



* ''Series/BabylonFive'': After conquering the Narns a second time, the Centauri lay the blame for the conflict squarely on their shoulders, to the point of placing every member of the Narn ruling council on trial for war crimes (this just after the Centauri used orbital bombardment with meteors on the Narn homeworld, something which is outlawed by every civilized government in the setting). Then again, the two powers have been taking stabs at each other ever since the Centauri overthrew the Narns the ''first'' time. And the Centauri are still not willing to acknowledge that the first time even happened either. They keep claiming that they landed peacefully on Narn and uplifted the primitives, who repaid their generosity with violence. The Narn on the other hand claim they peacefully greeted the strange alien visitors, who then conquered and enslaved them. Given that G'Kar's father was hung from a tree by his thumbs until he died ''three days later'' (for the crime of ''accidentally spilling a cup of tea on a Centauri woman''), it renders the Centauri account a bit questionable.

to:

* ''Series/BabylonFive'': After conquering the Narns a second time, the Centauri lay the blame for the conflict squarely on their shoulders, to the point In one episode of placing every member of the Narn ruling council on trial for war crimes (this just after the Centauri used orbital bombardment ''Series/RedDwarf'', [[DirtyCoward Rimmer]] invokes this with meteors on regard to Robert Scott, pointing out that his diary is the Narn homeworld, something which is outlawed by every civilized government in the setting). Then again, the two powers only record of Laurence Oates' HeroicSacrifice, and that if Rimmer had been Scott he'd have been taking stabs at each other ever since the Centauri overthrew the Narns the ''first'' time. And the Centauri are still not willing bludgeoned Oates to acknowledge death with a frozen husky and [[ImAHumanitarian eaten him]], telling everyone that the first time even happened either. They keep claiming that they landed peacefully on Narn he had sacrificed himself. As is immediately pointed out by Lister, however, Rimmer is an exceptionally self-centred and uplifted the primitives, who repaid their generosity with violence. The Narn on the other hand claim they peacefully greeted the strange alien visitors, who then conquered and enslaved them. Given that G'Kar's father was hung from ignoble person.
* Julius Caesar in ''Series/{{Rome}}'' is
a tree by his thumbs until he died ''three days later'' (for the crime walking, talking example of ''accidentally spilling a cup of tea on a Centauri woman''), it renders the Centauri account a bit questionable.this.
-->'''Caesar''': It's only hubris if I fail.



-->'''Woolsey:''' I also hope that one day history recognizes that I tried to do the right thing.
-->'''President Hayes:''' ''Whose version'' of history, Mr. Woolsey?
* ''Series/LostGirl''. Trick mentions that this is the only reason people have a favorable opinion of the ancient Blood King. Considering that the Blood King has reality warping powers when writing with his blood, he may mean this literally. [[spoiler:Also, since Trick ''is'' the Blood King, this doubles as him recognizing his own past crimes and mistakes.]]
* Julius Caesar in ''Series/{{Rome}}'' is a walking, talking example of this.
-->'''Caesar''': "It's only hubris if I fail."
* ''Series/TheManInTheHighCastle'': This trope is in full effect here. Several characters of the Greater Nazi Reich sometimes mention the "American genocide", referring to the mass murder of the Indians in their history. By accentuating these negative events, the victors portray the Americans they conquered as a savage people with a tendency to brutally kill off whoever gets in their way, making the victors look more sympathetic (or, alternatively, as proof that the Americans already had Nazi-like tendencies before the Axis invaded). The Nazis also refer to their genocide against the Jews as their war against Semite terrorists. This chillingly shows that the winners of a war can portray the losers as terrible as they want them to be, distracting the people from their own wrongdoings.

to:

-->'''Woolsey:''' I also hope that one day history recognizes that I tried to do the right thing.
-->'''President
thing.\\
'''President
Hayes:''' ''Whose version'' of history, Mr. Woolsey?
* ''Series/LostGirl''. Trick mentions that this is ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' - In an [[InvertedTrope inversion]], in the only reason episode "Living Witness", the history was written from the perspective of the ''losers'' who were relegated to second class citizenry, and the winning faction was very annoyed at being portrayed as vicious, bloodthirsty tyrants who slaughtered innocents and made martyrs out of people have a favorable opinion that turned out to be pirates and raiders. As it turns out, both sides weren't exactly saints to begin with.
** It is very likely the history was originally written by the winners and only turned to favor the other side in the centuries of coexistence later. The story still puts almost all the blame on ''Voyager'' rather than the winners themselves. In the propaganda simulation, even the representative
of the ancient Blood King. Considering victorious species who made the deal for Voyager's involvement is horrified at their atrocities, but his objections are ignored.
** Ultimately subverted at the end of the episode [[spoiler:when we flash forward to the future to see
that both sides have reconciled their differences (thanks in large part to the Blood King has reality warping powers when writing with his blood, he may mean this literally. [[spoiler:Also, since Trick ''is'' the Blood King, this doubles Doctor). The old anti-Voyager propaganda simulations are still on display, but only as him recognizing his own an example of how past crimes and mistakes.prejudices once pushed them apart.]]
* Julius Caesar ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''
** "Contagion": Picard says this
in ''Series/{{Rome}}'' is reference to the Iconians.
** "Unification" has Picard asking for some help from his good buddy Gowron. Gowron himself was letting the press know that he did not have as much help from Picard as there really was; this trope's name was given word for word.
** "The High Ground" has Kyril Finn point out to
a walking, talking example of this.
-->'''Caesar''': "It's only hubris
captive Dr. Crusher that if I fail."
UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington had lost his war, he'd be remembered as a terrorist, and not a revolutionary.
* ''Series/TheManInTheHighCastle'': This trope is in full effect here. Several characters ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' - the two-parter "The Way of the Greater Nazi Reich sometimes mention the "American genocide", referring to the mass murder of the Indians in their history. By accentuating these negative events, the victors portray the Americans they conquered as a savage people with a tendency to brutally kill off whoever gets in their way, making the victors look more sympathetic (or, alternatively, as proof that the Americans already had Nazi-like tendencies Warrior", Gowron quotes it again just before the Axis invaded). Klingon fleet and ''Deep Space Nine'' engage in battle.
* ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise''.
The Nazis also refer to their genocide against MirrorUniverse episode opens with the Jews as their war against Semite terrorists. This chillingly shows that conclusion of ''StarTrekFirstContact'', but instead of returning the winners of Vulcan's StrangeSalute, Mirror!Zephram Cochrane pulls out a war can portray shotgun and murders him, whereupon the losers as terrible as they want them to be, distracting humans storm the people spaceship brandishing firearms. Mirror!Archer is later shown proudly showing off this shotgun from their own wrongdoings.his antique WallOfWeapons.
-->'''Archer:''' I wonder how history would have played out if Cochrane hadn't turned the tables on your invasion force.
2nd Jun '17 10:07:44 PM ultimomant
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* In ''LightNovel/{{Campione}}'', Athena used to be Queen of the Gods, as well as the Goddess of Death. Then Zeus defeated her in battle and took over as ruler. He rewrote history and the myths so that her true role was forgotten and she was demoted to being one of his daughters.
** This is the underlying principle of all Divine Ancestors. Earth goddesses defeated by warrior gods have their power stolen and memories sealed, rendering them obedient daughters or wives of the victor. This usually appears in mythology as a hero conquering a dragon (earth goddesses often manifest as dragons) and rescuing a maiden.
* In ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' the history of the Eldian people sees this from both sides. During their reign, the Eldians depicted themselves as bringers of civilization and wealth; the Marleyans who replaced them depict the Eldians as bloodthirsty racists who tried to exterminate the Marleyans. Even their link to the [[spoiler:Titans]] is subject to this, with Eldians claiming it as a divine blessing and the Marleyans as a demonic pact.
** [[spoiler:Owl]] admits the truth is likely lost at this point, but probably lies somewhere between the extremes. The Eldians were imperfect humans and so could not have been perfect rulers; at the same time their rule was so long that if they had truly tried to exterminate the Marleyans none would remain.

to:

* In ''LightNovel/{{Campione}}'', Athena used to be Queen of the Gods, as well as the Goddess of Death. Then Zeus defeated her in battle and took over as ruler. He rewrote history and the myths so that her true role was forgotten and she was demoted to being one of his daughters.
**
daughters. This is the underlying principle of all Divine Ancestors. Earth goddesses defeated by warrior gods have their power stolen and memories sealed, rendering them obedient daughters or wives of the victor. This usually appears in mythology as a hero conquering a dragon (earth goddesses often manifest as dragons) and rescuing a maiden.
* In ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' the history of the Eldian people sees this from both sides. During their reign, the Eldians depicted themselves as bringers of civilization and wealth; the Marleyans who replaced them depict the Eldians as bloodthirsty racists who tried to exterminate the Marleyans. Even their link to the [[spoiler:Titans]] is subject to this, with Eldians claiming it as a divine blessing and the Marleyans as a demonic pact.
**
pact. [[spoiler:Owl]] admits the truth is likely lost at this point, but probably lies somewhere between the extremes. The Eldians were imperfect humans and so could not have been perfect rulers; at the same time their rule was so long that if they had truly tried to exterminate the Marleyans none would remain.remain.
* ''Literature/{{Gate}}'': Three years before the main story, the Empire invaded the Kingdom of the [[LittleBitBeastly Warrior Bunnies]]. The Warrior Bunnies fought back, but Queen Tyuule realized that if this continued, they would lose. She bravely offered herself to Prince Zorzal as a SexSlave if he would spare her people. Unfortunately, he took her as a slave and then [[ILied had the Kingdom razed anyway]], with anyone who couldn't escape killed or enslaved. The Empire then recorded in their public records that Tyuule cowardly sold out her people and offered herself to Zorzal to save her own life. As a result, the survivors hate Tyuule's guts and think she is a traitor.



* In the ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' episode "The Headband", Aang (in disguise) attends a Fire Nation school for a day. During the class's history lesson, the teacher quizzes the students on how Fire Lord Sozin defeated the "Air Nation Army". Of course, Aang (and the viewers) know full well that the Air Nomads were a mostly peaceful population of monks, who didn't even have an established ''government'', much less an army, and that Sozin's attack against them wasn't so much a battle as it was ''outright genocide''. When Aang tries to point this out, the teacher snaps that, [[DramaticIrony unless he was actually around 100 years ago]], he shouldn't be questioning the Fire Nation's history books.
** Aang's quest to topple the Fire Lord would ultimately fix this.

to:

* In the ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' episode "The Headband", Aang (in disguise) attends a Fire Nation school for a day. During the class's history lesson, the teacher quizzes the students on how Fire Lord Sozin defeated the "Air Nation Army". Of course, Aang (and the viewers) know full well that the Air Nomads were a mostly peaceful population of monks, who didn't even have an established ''government'', much less an army, and that Sozin's attack against them wasn't so much a battle as it was ''outright genocide''. When Aang tries to point this out, the teacher snaps that, [[DramaticIrony unless he was actually around 100 years ago]], he shouldn't be questioning the Fire Nation's history books.
**
books. Aang's quest to topple the Fire Lord would ultimately fix this.



* In the ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil'' episode "Mewnipendence Day", Star is horrified and saddened to realize that her ancestors were not heroes who cleared the land of evil monsters like she had been taught, but invaders who kicked the land's original inhabitants out because they were stronger and better armed.

to:

* In the ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil'' episode "Mewnipendence Day", Star is horrified and saddened to realize that her ancestors were not heroes who cleared the land of evil monsters like she had been taught, but invaders who kicked the land's original inhabitants out because they were stronger and better armed.armed than the natives.
31st May '17 4:16:44 PM eroock
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->''"If you win, you need not have to explain. If you lose, you should not be there to explain!"''

to:

->''"If you win, you need not have to explain. \\
If you lose, you should not be there to explain!"''
31st May '17 4:16:15 PM eroock
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[[quoteright:320:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s14e18_93.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:320:"On this battleground in 1886, 300 Native Americans lost their lives, and 4 brave Americans lost their hats". Oh, those poor hats!]]

to:

[[quoteright:320:http://static.[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/s14e18_93.org/pmwiki/pub/images/written_by_the_winners.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:320:"On [[caption-width-right:350:"On this battleground in 1886, 300 Native Americans lost their lives, and 4 brave Americans lost their hats". Oh, those poor hats!]]hats!]]
18th May '17 11:31:42 AM BeerBaron
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Added DiffLines:

** In another backstory example, The ancient Falmer (Snow Elves) were nearly exterminated in a war with Ysgramor and his [[BadassArmy 500 Companions]] from Atmora. As part of destroying all traces of the Falmer culture in Skyrim that he could find, Ysgramor also destroyed any evidence of anything that happened other than what ''his'' official histories record. For instance, he claims that the Falmer attack on Saarthal was "unprovoked". However, surviving records of the Elves claim that the attack was in response to repeated "provocations and blasphemies" committed by the early Nords.
16th May '17 12:30:07 PM BeerBaron
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Added DiffLines:

** Speaking of the Dwemer, following their disappearance, the only groups in positions to know much about the Dwemer were the Dunmer (having been turned from the Chimer) and the Nords, both of whom warred with the Dwemer and wouldn't have had any reason to say anything good about them. In the years that followed, the Dwemer would be demonized by the Dunmer and popularized by ahistorical tales like [[UnreliableNarrator Marobar Sul's]] ''[[InGameNovel Ancient Tales of the Dwemer]]'' series. Not helping matters is that their [[ConLang language]] was quickly lost after their disappearance, making it impossible for anyone to read the Dwemer's own records. (A means of translation was discovered around the time of ''Morrowind'', but was apparently lost again by the time of ''Skyrim'' 200 years later.)
This list shows the last 10 events of 509. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.WrittenByTheWinners