Servant Sibling
Two brothers or similar grow up together, but one is the other's servant.


(permanent link) added: 2011-11-03 13:32:48 sponsor: Xzenu (last reply: 2012-02-05 14:40:52)

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Bob and Bobby grow up together as brothers, by blood or otherwise. However, Bob is recognized as the true heir and gets all the status, while Bobby gets treated as a servant. This dynamic can be based in three different ways:

  • A) Servant Secret Sibling: The patriarch slept with his wife to produce the heir, but secretly he also slept with his maid - thus producing a bastard child who's true father is kept secret.
  • B) The Cinderella Syndrome: The servant is known to be a close relative, but not as close as the heir. For example, a Wicked Stepmother may favor her own child while the father may be too ineffectual to do anything about it.
  • C) Petty Favoritism: It's simply a matter of the parents strongly favoring one of their kids over the other, for one reason or another.

Since Type A is usually a pretty big reveal, expect unmarked spoilers.

Examples, Type A

Literature
  • The Kite Runner is built on this trope: The first part of the story is about the two brothers growing up together as brothers without knowing that they actually are brothers. The turning point is The Reveal, after which the protagonist spend the rest of the story trying to make up for the past and rescue a child that he now know to be his nephew.

Live-Action TV
  • Law & Order: SVU use this as tragedy fuel in a story involving three thirteen years old kids, two of them turning out to be victims of this trope. It turns out that the servant brother has known for a long time, and built up a lot of inner turmoil over it.
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