feels strongly about his Protectorate
. Obviously, imprisonment will prevent him from doing any protecting, and often goes hand-in-hand with situations where the protectorate is in grave danger. This horrifies him — often more than an impending execution, even. Partly because, being in prison, the Protectorate could be facing any number of dangers without his knowledge.
Can also apply to any other character that the prisoner knows in danger and feels strongly about. When the character is not the Protectorate, the prisoner usually is aware of a peril of which the other character is not.
Because Men Are the Expendable Gender
, more likely to be a man anguished over a woman (or child) than vice versa.
This allows even a Lawful Good
character who would normally insist on Self Restraint
to break prison, since it's not for his own sake that he wants out. For any character, it provides a powerful motive to escape, and so it invariably leads into the Great Escape
From the Protectorate's POV, if that's shown, this may be Deus Exit Machina
followed by Deus ex Machina
, although the prisoner can be considerably less powerful than that, or even the character he's trying to aid.
- In Sin City, John Hartigan is behind bars and unable to protect Nancy, a young girl who had previously survived a Serial Killer. His anguish over her possible anguish drives him to get parole and go rescue her.
- In the "Tarnished Angel" arc of Astro City, Steeljack, prisoner and believing that the Honor Guard did not believe him about the danger, breaks free and get back to the city because he realizes that the small-time crooks of the city had no one to protect them against a murderer but him.
- Played straight and then subverted in the end of 1984. Once they find his Room 101 fear, Winston would gladly betray Julia.
- Jean Valjean's reason in Les MisÚrables for pleading with Javert to delay his imprisonment was due to him wanting to avoid being this for Cosette.
- This can happen to Ethan in Heavy Rain if he's arrested twice. Jayden will save him the first time, but if it happens again Ethan will spend the rest of the game locked in a holding cell. And if the real killer isn't brought to justice, Ethan will hang himself after he's found guilty for the Origami murders.
- In Persona 4, Yu is eventually arrested by his own uncle, a detective, when there's clear evidence that Yu is withholding evidence about a high-profile serial murder case. Dojima drags him to the station and begins to interrogate him. The problem is, this leaves Dojima's daughter (and Yu's cousin) Nanako defenseless at home, and then it's revealed that she's the killer's next target...
- In The Order of the Stick, Elan's worries in prison revolve as much about the danger that Nale's infiltration of the team puts Haley in as about his own innocence.
- In a Shout-Out to Face/Off, an episode of The Simpsons had Sideshow Bob switch faces with another cellmate. When Marge and Bart visited "Bob", he tried to warn them of Bart being in danger, but the new mouth made him unintelligible and caused him go get locked in a padded cell.