Created By: TheHandle on June 25, 2014 Last Edited By: Arivne on March 21, 2017

Dynastic Drama

Matters of inheritance, marriage, alliances, rivalries, within a family/house.

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Trope
The kind of plot where inheritance, legacy, estate, and so on and so forth, are a major source of Drama and Conflict. While this is typical of the Royally Screwed Up in a Deadly Decadent Court, it can happen to even the most well-adjusted families with the most modest of cakes to share, as long as there is one. The conflict need not even be between family members; outside forces might have a vested interest.

This trope includes all the stuff that goes into dynastic politics like arranged marriages and other less well known but pertinent means of exchanging kinship such as arranged adoptions, arranged fosterhood, arranged sponsorship(hence the term Godfather). Also about dealing with spare siblings or dowagers, negotiating a place for bastards, or whatever inconveniences come about. Not to mention the possibility of feuds or any of the normal ways families compete for prestige.

Super Trope to Princeling Rivalry and Succession Crisis, which deal specifically with monarchy. This here trope is not restricted by wealth, although usually the drama comes from a notion of "estate" and "heirloom", something precious that is passed down. The Bible contains Older Than Dirt examples in families that had practically no wealth at all.

Lots of Jidai Geki stories are about this.

Overlaps with Generational Saga.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Downplayed in Jojos Bizarre Adventure, Part 4: Diamond Is Not Crash. Joseph Joestar found out he had a bastard son he didn't know about, and Josuke's charged with letting him know he's entitled to a third of the (very sizeable) inheritance. Josuke is very unenthusiastic about it; his mother loves Joseph very much, and doesn't want to be any trouble to him, and, as for himself, he feels awkward about admitting as a father someone he's never met before. This little bit of drama is eventually resolved, but not before (a very old and emaciated) Joseph performs some slightly dramatic deeds in order to earn his son's esteem. Risking your life by bleeding yourself into a pool in order to detect an invisible baby and save her from drowning counts as only slightly dramatic by Jojo standards.
  • A motivation for Lin and May Chang in Fullmetal Alchemist. Both are the offspring of Xing's Emperor, but different concubines—Lin's clan is close to the throne, while May Chang's is far out of favor and barely hanging on. The Emperor is constantly playing the clans off each other as they attempt to gain his favor. Lin and May travel (separately) to Amestris because they're searching for the secret of immortality—Lin because he wants to become The Good King, and May because she wants her family to survive.

Film
  • The Godfather: who gets to rule the Corleone family? Michael can't lead a normal, peaceful life because he is expected, as son of Vito Corleone, to take care of the family business. And that's only the beginning of his problems.

Literature
  • Children of Dune: Emperor Paul Atreides, who seized the throne by blackmailing the previous Emperor into giving him his eldest daughter in marriage, is missing and presumed dead. His insane sister is regent to his young son and daughter. And the deposed Emperor's second daughter plots to assassinate the royal twins so her son would inherit the throne.
  • The plot of The Fangs Of Kaath is driven in large part by the assorted factions working to put either Prince Raschid (the male protagonist, second son via the Shah's first wife) or Prince Abbas (first son by second wife) on the throne.
  • In Monstrous Regiment, everyone in the region is fighting Borogravia to get back at all the things Boragravia's done to them over the centuries, but the charge is led by Prince Heinrich of Moldavia. It turns out that in the convoluted mess of marriages and Boragravia's duchess being childless (and probably dead), Prince Heinrich is actually the heir to the throne.
  • The Vorkosigan Saga is a lot about this as it is a Feudal Future. Much is about the conflict between succession laws and the realities of technology which has been recently rediscovered: how does Salic Law deal with the possibility of sex change, can you clone an heir(which hasn't come up fortunately as the only clone in the system was there by accident and is a spare not an heir), and so on. A minor note is the common worry that The Emperor will die without issue, making trouble for everyone. Which means that his bachelorhood is a running sore in a planet that is otherwise starting to learn to be peaceful and competently run. It is not just about competition for the throne, but competition at the lower levels, and simple family life and how it effects politics and vice versa.
  • The Bible. Very common in the Talmud and the Old Testament. See for instance David VS Saul, Esau VS Jacob, Ismahel VS Isaac (hebraic tradition still insists on calling Ismahel "illegitimate"), the thing with Loth and his daughters...

Live-Action TV
  • Game of Thrones: who gets to rule over the Seven Kingdoms? A dynastic war is at the core of all conflicts.
  • Mad About You: Paul, a documentary filmmaker, is worried because his father is close to retirement age and Paul expects him [father] to want him [Paul] to take over his [father's] sporting goods store. Then Paul's father gives it to Paul's cousin Ira without consulting Paul, which upsets him tremendously. Dad explains that he knows that Paul wouldn't be happy in the store, while Ira is more interested in that sort of thing.
  • Tyrant is a political/family drama where the protagonists are dictators of a Gulf country. The pressures and freedoms and luxuries of tyrant-ship don't do anything good for their sanity, their morality, or their relationships.
  • On Gang Related Javier Acosta is the head of the Los Angelicos, a powerful Los Angeles street gang. After decades of building the gang into a local powerhouse, Javier wants to take his family legit and retire from the life of crime. His oldest son Carlos is his designated heir but a failed hit leaves Carlos paraplegic and extremely bitter. His second son Daniel is the designated white sheep of the family, a banker who has been kept away from his family's criminal dealings. However, Daniel is the target of harassment from the LAPD's Gang Taskforce who want to use him to get to his father. As a bad business deal threatens Daniel's legitimate life, he is slowly drawn back into his family's life of crime. In the middle of this is Ryan Lopez, a LAPD detective who is secretly Javier's mole in the Gang Taskforce. Ryan is an orphan who was taken in by Javier at an early age and was treated like a member of the family. Ryan's loyalty is sorely tested as Javier makes a dangerous deal that will either fulfill his dreams of legitimacy or destroy the Los Angelicos. On top of everything, the Metas drug cartel, sensing weakness, decides to double cross Javier and take his territory for themselves.
  • Star Trek

Theatre
  • The Zeroth Law of Trope Examples strikes again: Shakespeare has this trope appear in several of his works.
    • King Lear, where the king has to decide which of his children inherit what parts of the kingdom. He makes the wrong choice, and pays for it dearly, but gains much wisdom.
    • Hamlet also has this as an aspect: besides the moral problem of the murder, there's the dynastic problem of the usurpation, and, were Claudius and Gertrude to have a male child, where would Hamlet be?
    • Shakespeare's history plays, which chronicle all the English succession crises from Richard II to Richard III and the end of the Plantagenets.
  • In Lillian Hellman's 1939 play The Little Foxes, Regina Giddens is in a 20th Century Southern Family that only acknowledges Male heirs. Her brothers are wealthy, but she must rely on her sickly wheelchair-bound husband for support. She connives in various ways to get free and wealthy. Also made into a Bette Davis film in 1941, and an opera called Regina in 1949. In 1946, Hellman wrote a Prequel, Another Part of the Forest, about the Family's ancestors, which is similarly dynastic.

Video Games
  • A major source of drama in Crusader Kings, as you need to make sure your heir isn't a jerk, incompetent or crazy, but also try to prevent him from being offed by pretenders or sickness.
  • The civil war side story in Dragon Age: Origins concerns replacing the slain King of Ferelden. You can choose his illegitimate half-brother or the widowed queen he left behind.
  • Omnipresent in Dynasty Warriors, appropriately enough.
    • Shu's original Emperor was Liu Bei, later succeeded by his Sheltered Aristocrat Sucksessor Puppet King Liu Shan. What brings their empire's demise, though, is his surrender to Wei during the Battle of Chengdu. Though Jiang Wei, the brains of Shu at that time, didn't surrender and attempted a last ditch effort to reinstate Shu by getting General Zhong Hui to rebel against Wei, they were discovered and both got killed.
    • Wei has the most complicated dynasty depicted in the games. Firstly, the first Wei Emperors were Cao Pi, then his son Cao Rui, then, Rui's adopted son Cao Fang (who was deposed offscreen). Wei's dynasty underwent several cases of infighting (The Regent Cao Shuang's Coup where he attempted to use the 8-year-old Fang as Puppet King. Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin's Rebellion) until Cao Fang's son, Cao Mao, was put on the throne, since he wanted the Cao family back in power. At that time, the Sima clan were pretty much the ones ruling Wei, so he had General Zhuge Dan start a coup under his name. This act got him killed, and he was replaced by Cao Huan, whose role in the game is to be mentioned to have abdicated his throne to Sima Yan, son of Sima Zhao. This is also pretty much Jin's story as well, since their story ends at the foundation of Jin.
    • Wu comes second in complexity. First Emperor Sun Quan's eldest died, Sun He, and the second was disinherited, leaving Sun Liang (still a kid) as the only successor. So Wu appointed Zhuge Ke as a guardian, pretty much making him de facto ruler of Wu. However, he was usurped and killed by Sun Jun. Jun then got sick and was replaced bu Sun Chen, but Liang got tired of Chen's selfishness and had him deposed; however, this was discovered and he was forced to abdicate to Sun Xiu. Chen grew more powerful because of this, but since he was a dick, he was charged of treason and executed. Next came Sun Hao, a grandchild of Quan. The guy was thought to have been a good person but he ruled with tyranny as soon as he got the position. Once news of this reached Jin's Sima Yan, he decided to put an end to Wu's suffering and finally united China.
  • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War involves this (as the name would imply). The Hero Sigurd's house, Chalphy, is in a longstanding dispute with Dozel and Freege over Chalphy's close ties to the throne of Grannvale (the house of Belhalla). Belhalla, meanwhile, is in a Succession Crisis because the prince has been assassinated without a known heir. That's not even getting into the ancient dynasties of the Twelve Crusaders—from which Grannvale's duchies and several royal houses are derived—and the mess surrounding the potentially-demonic offspring of Loptyr. The villains exploit the inter-house rivalries to have them gang up on Sigurd and his father, framing Sigurd for the aforementioned assassination, murdering his father, and ultimately Sigurd as well. Meanwhile, the prince's bastard heir is found and married to her half-brother, who is being blackmailed by the bad guys for his Loptyr heritage. Good thing there's a second generation to clean up the mess.

Real Life
  • The War of the Roses - Zero-Context Example
  • War of the Spanish Succession - Zero-Context Example
  • In countries where the next king isn't necessarily the current king's firstborn, but anyone capable enough from his family, the new prospective King had to conquer the country from his rivals after their predecessor's death, every. single. time.
  • The violent power struggles deciding who should inherit the heirless Muhammad's leadership were the cause of a religious schism that remains to this day.
  • In Real Life Europe Germany had so many extra royals that it was used as sort of a hiring hall for princes to dump on any throne that came empty at an inconvenient time. For instance the modern Windsor's were descended from the Hanover's simply because a monarch was brought over from Hanover when it was decided that Britain had had enough of Stuarts. Oh, and Queen Victoria Hanover's husband, Prince Albert, was a second son of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, another German dynasty. Thus England was ruled by the Saxe-Coburg and Gothas until their grandson George V changed the name of his branch to Windsor during WWI. And the only reason the royal family isn't currently House Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (Danish-Greek) is that Prince Phillip renounced his claims when he got engaged to Elizabeth II, granted they were worthless at that point thanks to the Greek Revolution.
  • In polygamous societies in Real Life, it is common for the ruler to make as many marriages as possible to make every major clan a cousin.
  • In China in Real Life, several clans count as their founder the closest male relation of an Imperial concubine.
  • In Real Life the term "godfather" comes from a Sicilian custom of a local big shot (such as a crime chief as indicated in the movie) being the godfather at the Christianizing of locals. This is a way of extending kinship and constructing ties.

Community Feedback Replies: 50
  • June 25, 2014
    Koveras
    Isn't this already covered by Succession Crisis?
  • June 25, 2014
    TheHandle
    This would be a Super Trope; that trope seems to only cover actual monarchies, at the actual point of death of a ruler. This is more about the ongoing power-jockeying. When you know that your cousin has an eye on your inheritance and is getting close with your father, because he's of your father's trade and you're not, while you yourself have an affair with jeopardizes your children's inheritance, and your brother's secret gay liaisons could dishonour your entire family, meanwhile your childless, irascible aunt is not-quite-dying and everyone plays nice with her so that she give them the best part of her considerable inheritance...

    Do you see where I'm going with this?
  • June 25, 2014
    jatay3
    Vorkosigan Saga is a lot about this as it is a Feudal Future. Much is about the conflict between succession laws and the realities of technology which has been recently rediscovered: how does Salic Law deal with the possibility of sex change, can you clone an heir(which hasn't come up fortunately as the only clone in the system was there by accident and is a spare not an heir), and so on. A minor note is the common worry that The Emperor will die without issue, making trouble for everyone. Which means that his batchlorhood is a running sore in a planet that is otherwise starting to learn to be peaceful and competently run.

    It is not just about competition for the throne, but competion at the lower levels, and simple family life and how it effects politics and vice versa.

  • June 25, 2014
    Snicka
    Princeling Rivalry is also a subtrope of this.
  • June 25, 2014
    DAN004
    So would this cover similar disputes in mafia organizations, corporate empires or even simple noble families?
  • June 25, 2014
    TheHandle
    Yes, precisely. Or, you know, well-off families. Arrested Development seems like a good candidate, though I can't say because I only watched one episode.
  • June 25, 2014
    zarpaulus
    • Children of Dune: Emperor Paul Atreides, who seized the throne by blackmailing the previous Emperor into giving him his eldest daughter in marriage, is missing and presumed dead. His insane sister is regent to his young son and daughter. And the deposed Emperor's second daughter plots to assassinate the royal twins so her son would inherit the throne.

    Would Feuding Families be included in this trope? If so the first Dune might qualify.
  • June 25, 2014
    TheHandle
    That example definitely counts. Also, it sounds like a freaking mess. Poor kids.
  • June 25, 2014
    zarpaulus
    ^ Not really, those kids inherited their father's Genetic Memory and most of his other powers. The son, Leto II, ended up the Trope Namer for God Emperor.
  • June 25, 2014
    DAN004
  • June 25, 2014
    randomsurfer
    Does This Count as a Downplayed version?
    • Mad About You: Paul, a documentary filmmaker, is worried because his father is close to retirement age and Paul expects him [father] to want him [Paul] to take over his [father's] sporting goods store. Then Paul's father gives it to Paul's cousin Ira without consulting Paul, which upsets him tremendously. Dad explains that he knows that Paul wouldn't be happy in the store, while Ira is more interested in that sort of thing.
  • June 26, 2014
    jatay3
    • In Real Life Europe Germany had so many extra royals that it was used as sort of a hiring hall for princes to dump on any throne that came empty at an inconvenient time. For instance the modern Windsor's were descended from the Hanover's simply because a monarch was brought over from Hanover when it was decided that Britain had had enough of Stuarts.
  • June 26, 2014
    zarpaulus
    ^ Oh, and Queen Victoria Hanover's husband, Prince Albert, was a second son of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, another German dynasty. Thus England was ruled by the Saxe-Coburg and Gothas until their grandson George V changed the name of his branch to Windsor during WWI.

    And the only reason the royal family isn't currently House Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (Danish-Greek) is that Prince Phillip renounced his claims when he got engaged to Elizabeth II, granted they were worthless at that point thanks to the Greek Revolution.
  • June 26, 2014
    TheHandle
    Yes, the Mad About You example definitely counts, it has all the spirit of the trope.
  • June 27, 2014
    Indalecio
    • A major source of drama in CrusaderKings, as you need to make sure your heir isn't a jerk, incompetent or crazy, but also try to prevent him from being offed by pretenders or sickness.
  • June 27, 2014
    jatay3
    For it to be bigger then Succession Crises it should be about all the stuff that goes into dynastic politics like arranged marriages and other less well known but pertinent means of exchanging kinship such as arranged adoptions, arranged fosterhood, arranged sponsorship(hence the term Godfather). Also about dealing with spare siblings or dowagers, negotiating a place for bastards, or whatever inconveniences come about. Not to mention the possibility of feuds or any of the normal ways families compete for prestige.
  • June 28, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    Thank heavens for the "encyclopedia" feature in dynasty warriors

    • Omnipresent in Dynasty Warriors appropriately enough:
      • Shu's original Emperor was Liu Bei, he was later succeeded by his Sheltered Aristocrat Suck Sessor Puppet King Liu Shan. What brings their empire's demise through is his surrender to Wei during the Battle of Chengdu. Though Jiang Wei, the brains of Shu at that time, didn't surrender and attempted a last ditch effort to reinstante Shu by getting General Zhong Hui to rebel against Wei, but they were discovered and both got killed.
      • Wei has the most complicated dynasty depicted in the games. First off, the first Wei Emperors were Cao Pi, then his son Cao Rui, then, Rui's adopted son Cao Fang(who was deposed offscreen). Wei's dynasty underwent several infightings (The Regent Cao Shuang's Coup where he attempted to use the 8 year old Fang as Puppet King. Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin's Rebellion) until Cao Fang's son, Cao Mao, was put on the throne, since he wanted the Cao family back in power, at that time, the Sima clan are pretty much the ones ruling wei, so he had General Zhuge Dan start a coup under his name. This act got him killed, and he was replaced by Cao Huan, who's role in the game is to be mentioned to have abdicated his throne to Sima Yan, son of Sima Zhao. This is also pretty much Jin's story as well, since their story ends at the foundation of Jin.
      • Wu comes second in complexity. First Emperor Sun Quan's eldest died, Sun He, the second was disinherited, leaving Sun Liang(still a kid) as the only successor. So Wu appointed Zhuge Ke as a guardian, and pretty making him de facto ruler of Wu. However, he was usurped and killed by Sun Jun. Jun then got sick and was replaced bu Sun Chen, but Liang got tired of his selfishness and had him deposed but this was discovered and he was forced to abdicate to Sun Xiu. Chen grew more powerful because of this, but since he was a dick, he was charged of treason and got executed. next comes Sun Hao, a grandchild of Quan. The guy was thought to have been a good person but he ruled with tyrrany as soon as he got the position. Once news of this got into Jin's Sima Yan, he decided to put an end to Wu's suffering and finally united China.
  • July 1, 2014
    jatay3
    Actually I rather like this idea. It should be worked on rather then allowed to go to pot.
  • July 1, 2014
    jatay3
    Generational Saga is another subtrope.
  • July 1, 2014
    zarpaulus
    ^ No, that's when a series follows multiple generations of one family, infighting is not necessary.
  • July 1, 2014
    jatay3
    Neither is it necessary in this. You can define it as a drama about dynasties, rather then the overspecific laconic definition(which is already accounted for in Succession Crises. Dynastic politics is one of the oldest forms of politics known to humanity and has it's own set of strategems to deal with them.
  • July 1, 2014
    jatay3
    • In polygamous societies in Real Life it is common for the ruler to make as many marriages as possible to make every major clan a cousin.

    • In China in Real Life, several clans count as their founder the closest male relation of an Imperial concubine.
  • August 15, 2014
    nielas
    • On Gang Related Javier Acosta is the head of the Los Angelicos, a powerful Los Angeles street gang. After decades of building the gang into a local powerhouse, Javier wants to take his family legit and retire from the life of crime. His oldest son Carlos is his designated heir but a failed hit leaves Carlos paraplegic and extremely bitter. His second son Daniel is the designated white sheep of the family, a banker who has been kept away from his family's criminal dealings. However, Daniel is the target of harassment from the LAPD's Gang Taskforce who want to use him to get to his father. As a bad business deal threatens Daniel's legitimate life, he is slowly drawn back into his family's life of crime. In the middle of this is Ryan Lopez, a LAPD detective who is secretly Javier's mole in the Gang Taskforce. Ryan is an orphan who was taken in by Javier at an early age and was treated like a member of the family. Ryan's loyalty is sorely tested as Javier makes a dangerous deal that will either fulfill his dreams of legitimacy or destroy the Los Angelicos. On top of everything, the Metas drug cartel, sensing weakness, decides to double cross Javier and take his territory for themselves.
  • August 15, 2014
    gallium
    Removed the spoiler tag for King Lear, since not only is the play 400 years old, the works of Shakespeare are specifically cited in Spoilers Off.

    Also, the example might do well to mention Shakespeare's history plays, which chronicle all the English succession crises from Richard II to Richard III and the end of the Plantagenets.
  • August 15, 2014
    CrimsonZephyr
    The civil war side story in Dragon Age Origins concerns replacing the slain King of Ferelden. You can choose his illegitimate half-brother or the widowed queen he left behind.
  • August 18, 2014
    jatay3
    In Real Life the term "godfather" comes from a Sicilian custom of a local big shot(such as a crime chief as indicated in the movie)being the godfather at the christianing of locals. This is a way of extending kinship and constructing ties.
  • August 18, 2014
    HeavyTony
  • August 19, 2014
    DAN004
  • August 20, 2014
    TheHandle
    Actually the OT is Older Than Dirt.
  • August 20, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ OT?
  • August 20, 2014
    nielas
    ^ Old Testament
  • August 20, 2014
    gallium
    The Bible is a disambiguation page. The Good Book is listed under The Bible. Either way, it probably shouldn't have a category all to itself.
  • August 20, 2014
    gallium
    And War Of The Roses is also a disambiguation page. The 15th century struggles between Lancaster and York (if those names sound vaguely familiar to A Song Of Ice And Fire or Game Of Thrones fans, they should) are listed under Wars Of The Roses.
  • August 20, 2014
    hbi2k
    Live-Action TV
  • November 10, 2014
    jastay3
    And lest we forget, it will always have a lot about Family Honor.
  • November 12, 2014
    zarpaulus
    ^^ Also the Wars Of The Roses should and are listed under Succession Crisis. As well as a number of other examples in the Real Life section.
  • November 12, 2014
    hbi2k
    Your alphabetization is a little off in the examples. Li Terature goes before Li Ve-Action TV.
  • November 12, 2014
    eowynjedi
    Video Games:
    • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War involves this (as the name would imply). The Hero Sigurd's house, Chalphy, is in a longstanding dispute with Dozel and Freege over Chalphy's close ties to the throne of Grannvale (the house of Belhalla). Belhalla, meanwhile, is in a Succession Crisis because the prince has been assassinated without a known heir. That's not even getting into the ancient dynasties of the Twelve Crusadors—from which Grannvale's duchies and several royal houses are derived—and the mess surrounding the potentially-demonic offspring of Loptyr. The villains exploit the inter-house rivalries to have them gang up on Sigurd and his father, framing Sigurd for the aforementioned assassination, murdering his father, and ultimately Sigurd as well. Meanwhile, the prince's bastard heir is found and married to her half-brother, who is being blackmailed by the bad guys for his Loptyr heritage. Good thing there's a second generation to clean up the mess.

    Anime:
    • A motivation for Lin and May Chang in Fullmetal Alchemist. Both are the offspring of Xing's Emperor, but different concubines—Lin's clan is close to the throne, while May Chang's is far out of favor and barely hanging on. The Emperor is constantly playing the clans off each other as they attempt to gain his favor. Lin and May travel (separately) to Amestris because they're searching for the secret of immortality—Lin because he wants to become The Good King, and May because she wants her family to survive.

    Lit:
    • In Monstrous Regiment, everyone in the region is fighting Borogravia to get back at all the things Boragravia's done to them over the centuries, but the charge is led by Prince Heinrich of Moldavia. It turns out that in the convoluted mess of marriages and Boragravia's duchess being childless (and probably dead), Prince Heinrich is actually the heir to the throne.
  • November 12, 2014
    Duncan
    • In Lillian Hellman's 1939 play The Little Foxes, Regina Giddens is in a 20th Century Southern Family that only acknowledges Male heirs. Her brothers are wealthy, but she must rely on her sickly wheelchair-bound husband for support. She connives in various ways to get free and wealthy. Also made into a Bette Davis film in 1941, and an opera called Regina in 1949. In 1946, Hellman wrote a Prequel, Another Part of the Forest, about the Family's ancestors, which is similarly dynastic.
  • November 15, 2014
    zarpaulus
    • The plot of The Fangs Of Kaath is driven in large part by the assorted factions working to put either Prince Raschid (the male protagonist, second son via the Shah's first wife) or Prince Abbas (first son by second wife) on the throne.
  • February 11, 2015
    DAN004
    Lots of Jidai Geki stories are about this.
  • April 8, 2016
    zarpaulus
    Has this been abandoned?
  • April 9, 2016
    DAN004
    Some modern Japanese stories have a variant on this, about passing the ownership of a zaibatsu to a new one.
  • April 9, 2016
    Arivne
    ^^ Since the OP The Handle hasn't posted here since 2014 (which makes this Up For Grabs, BTW) I'm going to say "Yes". :)
  • December 1, 2016
    zarpaulus
    • In the 10th century Japanese novel The Tale Of Genji the main character is the son of the Emperor and his favorite concubine, who was resented by the other concubines so badly that his father removed him from the line of succession shortly after his gempukku out of fear for his life.
  • March 20, 2017
    perfectpieces
    aren't real life examples supposed to go near the bottom?
  • March 20, 2017
    Lullabee
  • March 20, 2017
    ginsengaddict
    I wonder if Downton Abbey qualifies?
  • March 21, 2017
    Arivne

    Zero Context Examples have been marked as such. They need more information to show how they fit the trope. Please don't remove the marking unless you add enough context.
  • March 21, 2017
    Getta
    Follow In My Footsteps seems related
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=0p0jkhh8i6tukw5qodnx1nif