Needs a better title.
Scarlett O'Hara: "Where shall I go? What shall I do?"
Rhett Butler: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."
Betrayal comes in all kinds of forms, being it feeding information to an enemy or doing the dirty work yourself and shooting supposed allies in the back. Sometimes, to add insult to injury, the most devastating betrayals don't require anything like that. Instead, they will just turn their backs on their former allies and walk away, without having to lift a finger.
Sometimes is part of an Uriah Gambit
, when the traitor specifically created the situation in which their former ally would need their help. Other time it is the result of a Fair Weather Friend
. Contrast with Screw This, I'm Outta Here!
, when the deserters are merely trying to save their own hides but gain nothing from their allies defeat.
- In Braveheart, at the Battle of Falkirk, Lochlan and Mornay show up with their soldiers on the Scottish side, but once the battle has started and it's their time to charge, they simply turn around and leave the battlefield, hoping the Scottish army will be destroyed by the English.
- Justified in the famous ending of Gone with the Wind. Scarlett had always been a manipulative bitch, but at some point Rhett has enough and simply walks away from her, her problems no longer being his concern.
- The Oathbreakers in The Lord of the Rings were cursed by Isildur when they ignored his call to join his army to fight against Sauron, even though they had pledged allegiance to him.
- In Babylon 5, Lennier finds Sheridan trapped behind a containment door in a corridor filling with toxic smoke, but as he reaches for the switch to open it, he instead turns around and leaves, as with Sheridan dead, he would be once again the closest person to Deelen.
- In Dragon Age, the Battle at Ostagar is planned to have the king and the bulk of the army lure the darkspawn horde into a narrow chasm, when his general Loghain would attack with a second army from the back, trapping the darkspawn between them. But when signal comes, he simply orders a retreat and returns with his men to the capital, leaving the king and his army to be killed. He was against the whole plan from the beginning, but since he considered the king unfit to rule the country, he didn't object to it too much.
- Part of Mengsk's Uriah Gambit in StarCraft, when he sends Kerrigan to keep a Protoss force from destroying a hive of Zerg, which he wishes to use for his own purpose. Once the Protoss are destroyed, he immediately orders all ships to retreat, leaving Kerrigan on the ground with the Zerg and not responding to her requests for evac. It didn't turn out too well for him in the long run.
- In season 2 of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Magnificent Bastards Long Feng and Azula form an alliance to capture Aang and gain control of the Earth Kingdom, with neither of them having any intention to share the prize. But when Long Feng orders the Dai Li to take Azula into custody, they don't move a muscle, waiting to see which one of them is more worthy to have their loyalty.
- Alexander Selkirk, the man who inspired the story of Robinson Crusoe had a heated argument with the captain of the ship he was traveling on and said he would rather stay on an island and wait for another ship to pick him up then to continue the journey with the captain. But none of the other sailors wanted to come with him and when he was brought to the beach of an island, he got second thoughts and shouted to the boat to come back and pick him up again. Which they didn't.