Created By: DracMonster on October 7, 2012 Last Edited By: DracMonster on September 30, 2013

Powerless Protector Predicament

Character is captured or disabled and is worried about not being able to protect someone else.

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Do We Have This One?? It would be a Super Trope to several other pages, and a trope in its own right.
Zounds! The Protagonist has been struck down or captured! The Big Bad has commenced his Evil Gloating contest with The Dragon! The Hero's panicked reaction?

"My Protectorate, who will watch over my Protectorate?"

Substitute Girlfriend, Wife, Children, Princess, MacGuffin, or Little Dog as appropriate.

This Super Trope covers any situation where a character with someone or something to protect is rendered unable to do so by injury; oncoming death; or restraint or capture. Acquiring or destroying the Protectorate may be the entire reason the guardian character was targeted, or it may be a side effect which concerns him more than his own fate.

This can also be a psychological problem, where after a few Near Villain Victories and a Hannibal Lecture or two, the character believes he is no longer capable or worthy of watching over his charge, since Evil Only Has to Win Once. Protectorate, give him a hug and tell him He Is Not Alone, please? Thanks, much better.

Note that simply having the Protectorate captured is not by itself this, the guardian must be rendered (or think he is) unable to do anything about it, at least temporarily.

Because defending the weak or innocent is one of the most basic storytelling tools, this is a very widespread Super Trope that intersects with many others. It is the Darkest Hour of Mama Bear, Papa Wolf, the Guardian Entity, and the Knight in Shining Armor (and may transform him into a Failure Knight.) Pages that are either Sub Tropes or very often paired with this include but are not limited to: I Have Your Wife, Forced to Watch, You Said You Would Let Them Go, I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure, Hostage Situation, and... well.. almost every single trope listed on I Have Your Index.
I'll fold in subtrope pages and examples once Im sure we dont have it.
Community Feedback Replies: 5
  • October 7, 2012
    We have a YKTTW covering a similar situation, but limited to being captured or imprisoned, so I'm guessing this kind of supertrope doesn't exist yet.

    Here's that YKTTW, by the way: Protector Behind Bars YKTTW
  • October 7, 2012
    ^Yeah I was inspired by it, because there's a lot of situations that almost qualify but don't involve actually being in jail. I suggested expanding it but the OP isn't interested. (It should work as its own page anyway.)
  • October 7, 2012
    Well, an example that doesn't fit in that YKTTW:

    • When Shirou is losing his mind as a result of unsealing Archer's arm in Heaven's Feel, his thoughts often go to Ilya and Sakura, and how he needs to retain his sanity so he won't forget to protect them.
  • September 30, 2013
    YKTTW Bump, may discard this if there's no momentum.
  • September 30, 2013
    Update with examples plz?