A Thirty Xanatos Pileup
has ensued, and the dust finally settles. Someone emerges, triumphant. The winner may have been one of the major Chess Masters
(or even one Chess Master
playing the others off each other), but it's just as likely that it's a relatively minor player, the Spanner in the Works
or even Those Two Guys
. If the Gambit Pileup has been particularly bloody, the victor might win by simple virtue of being the last one
standing--perhaps Atop a Mountain of Corpses
In some cases, the winner doesn't even HAVE a plan--they were in the right place at the right time, and in a prime position for victory.
- Arabia was fought over by the Ottoman Empire, Germany, Britain, who were aided by the Rashidis (allied with the Ottomans), the Hashemites (allied with Britain), and the Sauds (led by Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud), along with others such as the Bedouins and the Ikhwan. As the region (plus a good deal more of the area) is now known as known as Saudi Arabia, it's clear who won.
- Fortinbras in Hamlet is established as seeking revenge on Denmark for past grievances. He ends up having the crown fall into his lap because all the legitimate claimants have killed each other.
- By the end of Legacy of Kain: Defiance, Raziel finally stops being manipulated by everyone, and lets himself be absorbed by the Reaver, so that Kain can use the Reaver to defeat the Elder God.
- Henry VII Tudor was this, both in Real Life and in Shakespeare's play Richard III.
- Simon at the end of Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy is at least a partial example.
- As is Taran of Caer Dallben at the end of Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain. Granted, not everyone is dead by any means, but Taran becomes High King mostly because the other claimants are either dead (Math, Arawn, Achren, Pryderi) or leaving for the Summer Country, and people will accept Taran because he killed Arawn.
- It sometimes seems that Daenerys is being set up to be this at the end of A Song of Ice and Fire, but that's speculation.
- In Adam Cadre's Varicella, the Villain Protagonist is tasked with manipulating a complex web of court intrigue so that he becomes the last and only choice for Regent. It backfires spectacularly when the young prince, who has become a Complete Monster as a result of his upbringing, ascends the throne, eliminates the last obstacles in his path - including Varicella himself! - and declares war on pretty much everybody.
- Liquid Snake at the end of Metal Gear Solid 2. His only real involvement with the plan was getting Solid Snake involved so that he was able to be released. However, the enormous circle of backstabbing between Dead Cell, Solidus, Olga and Ocelot cancelled them out to the point he was able to abscond with RAY. Well, at least until the sequel rolled around.
- The United States might have been this after World War One, as all the OTHER major powers were devastated by war and falling apart. Instead, they went back to isolationism.