Created By: KZN02April 17, 2013 Last Edited By: KZN02May 3, 2013
Troped

Invading Refugees

They only invaded because they were fleeing from a Doomed Hometown

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Page Type:
Trope
Our heroes' hometown is invaded or simply attacked suddenly by enemies, so they fight them off. Later, they find out the invaders weren't actually invading, but actually fleeing from something much worse than them. Can result in an Enemy Mine in order to deal with the bigger threat.

Alternatively, the invader's home may have been or about to be lost to a disaster and the heroes may help them in restoring their home, finding them a new one, or prepare for the disaster when it reaches their home.

May result in the third variation of Planet Looters.

Examples:

Film

Literature
  • The Honored Matres in the Dune universe (who appear in the last two Frank Herbert novels of the series, Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse: Dune) are aggressors who attack many worlds and wreak havok in the old Empire--but it is stated they are fleeing an even more powerful and terrible mysterious enemy.
  • Crayak, the Bigger Bad of Animorphs, is said to be fleeing something even worse than him.
  • The Abominor, a villainous robot species that turns up in a couple Star Wars Expanded Universe novels (along with their enemies, the much nicer Silentium), is known to be from another galaxy and fled from an organic species, heavily implied to have been the Yuuzhan Vong.
  • The Canim of the Codex Alera are eventually shown to be this, and the protagonists actually go to Canea and see what chased them away.
  • The Insects From Shaggai (AKA Shan) in Ramsey Campbell's Cthulhu Mythos stories. When their home planet was destroyed by a Mythos abomination, some of them fled to a succession of other planets, finally ending up on Earth. They're still pretty evil by human standards.

Live Action TV
  • Several races in the revived Doctor Who tried to colonise Earth because their home worlds were destroyed by some greater threat. To wit:
    • In series 1, the Nestene consciousness in "Rose" and the Gelth in "The Unquiet Dead" were fleeing the great Time War.
    • In series 4, the Pyroviles in "The Fires of Pompeii" had their planet taken by the Daleks as revealed in the series finale.
    • In series 5, the fish-aliens in "The Vampires of Venice" fled from the Silence through the cracks in the universe.
  • In Defiance, the Votans arrive in space arks after fleeing the destruction of their solar system when its sun went nova.
  • In Babylon Five, the Dilgar began conquering other solar systems and doing unspeakable things to the inhabitants when they discovered their sun was about to go nova. The Earth Alliance drove them back and the nova wiped them out.

Tabletop Games
  • It is implied by some Warhammer 40000 fluff that something even worse than the tyranids is chasing them into the Milky Way.
  • Dungeons And Dragons 1st Edition supplement Oriental Adventures: in the section on randomly rolling up yearly events, one example of a Major Incursion was a barbarian horde that had been driven from its homeland.

Toys
  • BIONICLE
    • As the Toa Metru journeyed through the Maze of Shadows, they were frequently attacked by Rahi running in their direction. After some battle they realize these Rahi were fleeing something away from where they were heading.
    • The Rock Tribe from the north initially partake in the Glatorian system before straight up invading other tribes for resources. It turns out they were only doing this because the Baterra drove them out of their old home and killed a significant portion of the tribe.

Video Games
  • The orcs in Sacred aren't launching an invasion of the human kingdoms, they've been displaced from their homeland by the arrival of a horde of undead.
  • Warcraft III: The night elves of Northern Kalimdor initially take a dim view of the orcs and humans who have arrived on their continent and despoiled their forests, even when it becomes clear that they are refugees fleeing from The Scourge and The Burning Legion. But they eventually join an Enemy Mine alliance once it becomes clear that The Legion poses a much bigger threat to them and their beloved forests than the refugees.
  • The Tasen from Iji bombarded Earth to make place for them running away from Komato that want to annihilate them completely.
  • In Ultima VI, the Gargoyles, who are presented as demonic invaders at first, are eventually revealed to be fleeing to Britannia from the collapse of their homeworld, inadvertently caused by the Avatar's own actions in the two previous games.
  • The Vortigaunts and other Nihilanth's soldiers in the first Half Life. Turns out, they were fleeing the Combine.
  • In the backstory for Halo 4, we find out that the forerunners have had a history of conflict with humans, leading to the Didact's current hatred of them. In reality, humanity was just trying to wipe out the flood, and fled from infected planets into inhabited ones
  • In Gears Of War, the Locust Horde only emerged from their underground lairs and fought humanity because their homes were overrun by another, even more dangerous entity.

Western Animation
  • An episode of The Legend Of Tarzan had the gorillas' home invaded by the rhinos. It turns out that they've been displaced by a trading post. The owner of the trading post gives Tarzan a line of credit for some dynamite, which he uses to blast out a new home for the rhinos to live in.

Real Life
  • The Goths and Vandals who invaded Roman territory were fleeing from Attila the Hun.

Community Feedback Replies: 43
  • April 17, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Literature

    The Honored Matres in the Dune universe (who appear in the last three Frank Herbert novels of the series) are aggressors who attack many worlds and wreak havok in the old Empire--but it is stated they are fleeing an even more powerful and terrible mysterious enemy.
  • April 17, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    ^ Correction: that was the last two novels of the series by original author Frank Herbert (there were also sequels by his son, which probably had the Honored Matres in them also but I haven't read them). Changed that on the page.
  • April 18, 2013
    Astaroth
    The orcs in Sacred aren't launching an invasion of the human kingdoms, they've been displaced from their homeland by the arrival of a horde of undead.
  • April 18, 2013
    Diask
    • The Tasen from Iji bombarded Earth to make place for them running away from Komato that want to annihilate them completely.
  • April 18, 2013
    Generality
    Several races in the revived Doctor Who tried to colonise Earth because their homeworlds were destroyed by some greater threat. To wit:
    • In series 1, the Nestene consciousness in "Rose" And the Gelth in "The Unquiet Dead" were fleeing the great Time War.
    • In series 4, the Pyroviles in "The Fires of Pompeii" had their planet taken by the Daleks as revealed in the series finale.
    • In series 5, the fish-aliens in "The Vampires of Venice" fled from the Silence through the cracks in the universe.
  • April 18, 2013
    Stratadrake
    We should discuss a few titles. My first impression from the title was that the invader is repelled and then fleeing, when it's actually the invader was already fleeing from something else (but nobody in the target area knew that).

    Oh, and you forgot the laconic. How does my attempt look?
  • April 18, 2013
    DracMonster
  • April 18, 2013
    StarSword
    Tabletop Games:
    • It is implied by some Warhammer 40000 fluff that something even worse than the tyranids is chasing them into the Milky Way.
  • April 18, 2013
    Bisected8
    • An episode of The Legend Of Tarzan had the gorillas' home invaded by the rhinos. It turns out that they've been displaced by a trading post. The owner of the trading post gives Tarzan a line of credit for some dynamite, which he uses to blast out a new home for the rhinos to live in.
  • April 18, 2013
    SharleeD
    • In Defiance, the Votans arrive in space arks after fleeing the destruction of their solar system when its sun went nova.
  • April 18, 2013
    Chabal2
    Crayak, the Bigger Bad of Animorphs, is said to be fleeing something even worse than him.
  • April 19, 2013
    MaxWest
    The 1983 experimental music album "Mark of the Moles" by The Residents tells the story of the Moles, a race of underground creatures who value hard work and sing religious hymns set to industrial music. They're forced to flee their home after it's destroyed by massive rains and end up in the country of the Chubbs. The Chubbs welcome the Moles with open arms since the Moles can be used for manual labor (which the hedonistic chubs despise). Relations change however when Chubb scientists construct machines that can do all the work.
  • April 19, 2013
    Stratadrake
    That doesn't seem to quite fit.
  • April 19, 2013
    Astaroth
    Warcraft III: The night elves of Northern Kalimdor initially take a dim view of the orcs and humans who have arrived on their continent and despoiled their forests, even when it becomes clear that they are refugees fleeing from The Scourge and The Burning Legion. But they eventually join an Enemy Mine alliance once it becomes clear that The Legion poses a much bigger threat to them and their beloved forests than the refugees.
  • April 19, 2013
    Koveras
    Would this count?

    • In Ultima VI, the Gargoyles, who are presented as demonic invaders at first, are eventually revealed to be fleeing to Britannia from the collapse of their homeworld, inadvertently caused by the Avatar's own actions in the two previous games.
  • April 19, 2013
    MaxWest
    Stratadrake, you have a point.

    Would this count as a subversion, zig zag, or Played With? I ask because the Mark of the Moles example I gave has the title characters actually going to war with the Chubs around the end of the album.
  • April 19, 2013
    IsaacSapphire
    Are we going to include Real Life examples? Because this is a common thing in real life, but specific examples might be contentious.
  • April 19, 2013
    StarSword
    ^I think we can try it but we should watch to make sure it doesn't get flamey.

    Literature:
    • The Abominor, a villainous robot species that turns up in a couple Star Wars Expanded Universe novels (along with their much nicer enemies the Silentium), is known to be from another galaxy and fled from an organic species, heavily implied to have been the Yuuzhan Vong.
  • April 19, 2013
    zarpaulus
    Real Life
    • The Goths and Vandals who invaded Roman territory were fleeing from Attila the Hun
  • April 19, 2013
    Stratadrake
    @Max: I'm not sure it counts at all because they were at first welcomed. It's only viewed as an invasion if it's unwanted.
  • April 20, 2013
    StarSword
    Did a draft cleanup (namespaces).

    Also, may result in the third variation of Planet Looters.
  • April 21, 2013
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons 1st Edition supplement Oriental Adventures. In the section on randomly rolling up yearly events, one example of a Major Incursion was a barbarian horde that had been driven from its homeland.
  • April 21, 2013
    aurora369
    The Vortigaunts and other Nihilanth's soldiers in the first Half-Life. Turns out, they were fleeing the Combine.
  • April 23, 2013
    StarSword
    Hat.
  • April 24, 2013
    Koveras
    That was an Unsound Effect, if I ever saw one. :D
  • April 25, 2013
    GilvaLepista
    [[AC:Film]]:
  • April 25, 2013
    Astaroth
    ^ Please have a read of Spoiler Policy; examples with the name of the work spoilered are considered bad practise.
  • April 25, 2013
    sgamer82
    • The Canim of the Codex Alera are eventually shown to be this, and the protagonists actually go to Canea and see what chased them away.
  • April 25, 2013
    Idlem
    Would the film Final Fantasy : The Spirits Within counts as type 2?
  • April 25, 2013
    zarpaulus
    • In Babylon Five the Dilgar began conquering other solar systems and doing unspeakable things to the inhabitants when they discovered their sun was about to go nova. The Earth Alliance drove them back and the nova wiped them out.
  • April 26, 2013
    ohnoesazombie
    Came to point out the Codex Alera reference. Many thanks for stealing thoughts straight from my head, sgamer.

    Looks great. Have a hat.
  • April 27, 2013
    Chernoskill
    In Gears Of War, the Locust Horde only emerged from their underground lairs and fought humanity because their homes were overrun by another, even more dangerous entity.
  • April 27, 2013
    sgamer82
    ^^

    Welcome. I gotta try and find my copy of Captain's Fury, there's a quote by Tavi that pretty much sums up this trope. To paraphrase "I'm no longer afraid of the Canim. I'm afraid of what they fled from."
  • April 27, 2013
    Arivne
    Literature
    • The Insects From Shaggai (AKA Shan) in Ramsey Campbell's Cthulhu Mythos stories. When their home planet was destroyed by a Mythos abomination, some of them fled to a succession of other planets, finally ending up on Earth. They're still pretty evil by human standards.
  • April 27, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    ^^^^^ That is, if the "nova" that wiped out the Dilgar homeworld wasn't artificially-induced, by forming jump-points within their sun. J. Michael Straczynski hinted that this is what happened to Sol a million years in the future on the "Lurker's Guide" site (under the episode "Deconstruction of Falling Stars"), and it's quite possible something similar happened to the Dilgar sun, as an act of retaliation for what they did during their war of expansion. It's not stated in the "Deathwalker" episode whether or not the Dilgar nova was natural (or predicted)--but given what we know about stellar evolution, only very massive stars explode at the ends of their lives, the types of stars that would be much too short-lived for sentient life to evolve on one of their planets (tens of millions of years at most, rather than several billion like the Sun).

    (There is also a type of "nova" that occurs when a white dwarf gravitationally siphons off enough mass from a main-sequence or giant star in a very close-orbiting binary system to suddenly re-ignite fusion (in a sort of explosive manner), but the existence of that white dwarf itself means that it was once a star in giant phase, which would have seared (if not engulfed or vaporized) any planet in its original habitable zone during that phase.)

    At any rate, I don't think it was ever stated that the Dilgar launched their war to flee their world, or knew that their sun would go nova.
  • April 30, 2013
    StarSword
    Hell, for all we know the Dilgar were working for the Shadows and the Vorlons blew up their sun. But that takes us into Wild Mass Guessing.
  • May 1, 2013
    lexicon
    Shouldn't the laconic be "They only invaded because they were fleeing from a Doomed Hometown?" Currently the laconic seems to contradict the title.
  • May 1, 2013
    KZN02
    Fixed
  • May 1, 2013
    1810072342
    Does the Skrull Empire from Marvel Comics count as this?
  • May 2, 2013
    KZN02
    Can you provide more info on that?
  • May 2, 2013
    StarSword
    This launch-ready.
  • May 2, 2013
    KZN02
    I'll do it once I get the 5th hat.
  • May 3, 2013
    ohnoesazombie
    Woo! 5 Hats! Let's get this baby launched!

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable