Created By: eregNovember 27, 2012 Last Edited By: eregDecember 11, 2012

The Unifier

A character who gathers multiple groups under their name, not always by choice.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
In fiction a Unifier is any character who seeks to unify traditionally feuding factions who share a similar relative identity. They may or may not employ a Genghis Gambit to achieve their goal. A Unifier is not necessarily a good or bad character but is typically ambitious. A Unifier may have to employ Asskicking Equals Authority but ultimately the other factions eventually fall in line. Upon assembling their ragtag team a Unifier will typically lead the troops into battle; results may very.

If enough smaller powers are unified it may result in a NGO Superpower.

Not to be confused with Gondor Calls For Aid as that would be uniting different factions against a greater force, nor a Genghis Gambit which employs the use of an outside force as a rallying point for different groups.

Compare Enemy Mine, when two or more sides are united by a common enemy.

Examples:

Anime And Manga
  • This is Scourge's backstory in Transformers Cybertron. The Jungle Planet spent an unknown timespan consumed with civil strife until Scourge unified it by force of conquest.

Comic Books
  • Sinestro from Green Lantern, successfully assembled an army of criminals under his name to provide a rival force to the Green Lantern Corp.

Literature
  • Dune: Paul Atreides uses his status as the Lisan al Gaib (Voice of the Outer World) to unify the Fremen tribes in opposition to the Harkonnens.
  • In David Gemmell's Legend, Ulric the Uniter has united the various nomad tribes of the Nadir into a massive army that has conquered most of the neighboring states. In The King Beyond the Gate, after Ulric's death, the Nadir have split into tribes once again and Ulric's grandson Tanaka Khan re-unites them into a single nation and becomes the Second Uniter.
  • Firestar in Warrior Cats. During the first series he unites the four forest Clans and leads them into battle against BloodClan, in Firestar's Quest he re-forms SkyClan by assembling local rogues and kittypets and teaching them about Clan life, he's the one that convinces the four Clans to all work together during the drought, and there's a short play by the authors (written to tie into the 2008 US Presidential Election) where the Clans vote on one cat to temporarily lead and make decisions for all four them during a tough winter and they choose Firestar.
  • Aslan in The Chronicles Of Narnia acts as the leader for various animals and mythical creatures and gets them to fight for and maintain his ideal Narnia.
  • Manuel Argos in Poul Anderson's Technic History series, who rises after the fall of the Polesotechnic League. After escaping from slavers in the story "The Star Plunderers", he goes on to unite the human worlds, by force when necessary, into the Terran Empire.
  • In Darksaber, Admiral Natasi Daala grew so disgusted with the internecine warfare of the Imperial Remnant that she assassinated all the warlords at once and took over leadership of the Empire.
  • In To Reign In Hell, Satan basically gets pushed into this role by the various factions that are uncertain about Yahweh's grand plan and fearful of his calls for sacrifice.

Film
  • Pirates Of The Caribbean Elizabeth Swan becomes this to the Pirates.
  • Cyrus in The Warriors succeeds in becoming a Unifier... for about a minute.
  • Dean Keaton in The Usual Suspects assembles a group of generally separate criminals [[Spoiler: Or does he?]]
  • Jake Sully, the protagonist of Avatar, unites all Na'vi tribes on Pandora to fight back humans at the end of the film.
  • Daniel "Danny" Ocean in Oceans Eleven gathers a team of gangsters to help in what is effectively his caper.

Tabletop RPG
  • Dungeons And Dragons, Basic D&D supplement GAZ10 The Golden Khan of Ethengar. The Golden Khan uses diplomacy and alliances to gather the tribes of Ethengar together into a single horde with the intent of conquering the Known World.
  • In the Forgotten Realms setting, the orcs in the Spine of the World have a tendency to periodically form into vast hordes when a strong warchief unites them. Though since orcs are Always Chaotic Evil, they usually only stay unified as long as it takes for an adventuring party or even another orc to assassinate the warchief. The Kingdom of Many-Arrows seems to be an exception to the latter rule, though: it was founded in 3rd Edition and remains well into 4th Edition, 100-plus years later.
  • In the Shadowrun timeline, Daniel Howling Coyote led his tribe of Amerindians out of a concentration camp set up by the U.S. government, then proceeded to reclaim large parts of the nation for the natives of all tribes by performing the "Great Ghost Dance" which was a massive shamanistic ritual that destroyed the armies trying to interfere and brought multiple volcanoes to spit lava as a way of demonstrating the Amerindians' power. In the end, he accomplished his goal of uniting the tribes and founding the NAN (Native American Nation).

Video Games
  • In Warcraft II and its novelization Tides Of Darkness, Zul'jin united the forest troll tribes by challenging their leaders in contests or in duels.
  • In World Of Warcraft, the mogu emperor Lei Shen united all of the warring mogu factions by eliminating his rivals one by one.
  • Mass Effect Commander Shepard spends the better part of Mass Effect 3 gathering practically every military in known space into a unified force to battle the Reapers.
    • Aria T'Loak is this trope to a T. By the end she unites three rival factions into the third largest military body in the galaxy.
    • Urdnot Wrex achieves this in his proud warrior race.
  • The Warden in Dragon Age: Origins spends most of the game trying to unite the inhabitants of Ferelden, human, elf, and dwarf, against the darkspawn.
  • Genghis Khan in his first level of Age Of Empires II
  • Caesar in Fallout New Vegas leads a legion formed from 87 tribes united under his banner
  • Dawn Of War Winter Assault has the first chapter of the Disorder campaign, where Ork warboss Gorgutz kills every other warboss, thus uniting all of the Orks under his own WAAAGH! out of intimidation. He then pulls these forces tighter by sending them against the forces of Chaos.
  • In the Auroran storyline in EV Nova, the Player Character eventually unites the forever-feuding Auroran Houses against the Bureau who have been secretly controlling both the Federation and House Moash.

Real Life
  • Genghis Khan Naturally
  • Muhammad organized the scattered clans of Arabia into both the political and religious rival of Europe.
  • Otto von Bismark successfully unified German states into the German Empire.
  • Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander The Great, united Ancient Greece city-states (with his own Kingdom of Macedonia as the leader) into the League of Corinth to wage war against the Achaemenid Persia. Although Philip was assassinated soon thereafter, his son had mostly his old man to thank for passing down the united Greek armies to him and making his famous conquests possible.


Community Feedback Replies: 38
  • November 27, 2012
    StarSword
    We're not naming tropes after characters anymore.
  • November 27, 2012
    ereg
    Its not, its a character trope named after a real human
  • November 27, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    Not really a difference. Dude's better known for other things.
  • November 27, 2012
    ereg
    Except their is a difference... But more importantly, "Dude's better known for other things" is one of the worst arguments I have heard in a long time. First, that's entirely subjective. For many he's probably known exclusively as that nutter from Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure, for others the sacking of Baghdad and for others his fantastic fertility. Regardless none of his accomplishments could occur had he not unified the Mongolian tribes under his empire. The difference here between a character named trope lies in how Genghis Khan's very notoriety is contingent on his unifying, you could call the character the gatherer but the secondary importance lies on the result of unification: something synonymous with Genghis Khan. Typically when characters are named after its because the character is an archetype whose very existence is defined by behavior. I'm not proposing we name a trope where the bad guy kills a side kick "the Joker," That would indeed be an instance where "Dude's better known for other things." I'm proposing we subdivide standard character types further using the model set by its must notorious historical precedent.

    Now that I've thoroughly vented that frustration, I'll work on another name.
  • November 27, 2012
    StarSword
    I like the new name, though you may want to add a disambiguation so it's not confused with the last book of the New Jedi Order series. :)
  • November 27, 2012
    Astaroth
    Caesar in Fallout New Vegas leads a legion formed from 87 tribes united under his banner, each of which he has either overwhelmed with miltary force and press-ganged, or allied with and betrayed as soon as he deemed it convenient.
  • November 27, 2012
    WaxingName
    My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: In the Backstory of Equestria presented in "Hearth's Warming Eve", the Windigoes acted as a unifying force for the three feuding pony races since their sudden appearance forced the three races to embrace friendship because their Fantastic Racism was giving them food.
  • November 27, 2012
    ereg
    That wouldn't really apply here as a Unifying Force would be a specific character rather then an outside conflict. Had a specific character summoned the Windigoes so as to unify others this would be an example
  • November 27, 2012
    jatay3
    Paul Atreides in Dune.
  • November 27, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^^If that's the case, I think The Unifier would be a better name for this.
  • November 27, 2012
    MrRuano
    Dawn Of War Winter Assault has the first chapter of the Disorder campaign, where Ork warboss Gorgutz kills every other warboss, thus uniting all of the Orks under his own WAAAGH! out of intimidation. He then pulls these forces tighter by sending them against the forces of Chaos.
  • November 28, 2012
    KZN02
    BIONICLE: Mata Nui acts as a unifier for the Fire, Water, Ice, and Jungle tribes together against the Rock tribe. The unification is better represented when the tribes combine their villages together, revealing Humongous Mecha they each have lived in a part of.
  • November 28, 2012
    Koveras
    • Jake, the protagonist of Avatar, unites all Na'vi tribes on Pandora to fight back humans at the end of the film.
  • November 28, 2012
    ereg
    ^^ I'm Not 100% sure if Mata Nui would be this as I am as far from familiar with the BIONICLE cannon as one can get. In this context are the characters uniting under Mata Nui's direct command (the ideal situation) or is he more of a mentor/protector character helping them in their time of need? The primary factor for a Unifier is as that they unite people who, without their direct leadership, would not have assembled. If that's the case awesome, again I know next to nothing about this franchise.
  • November 28, 2012
    KZN02
    Hmm, Mata Nui never exactly led the tribes, simply convinced them to unite after giving the Glatorian Elemental Powers that would give them an edge over the Rock Tribe.
  • November 28, 2012
    WaxingName
    I suggest changing the Laconic to "Character who gathers multiple tribes under one name..." to make it clearer.

    Also, please change all instances of Unifying Force to The Unifier in the description.
  • November 29, 2012
    ereg
    done and done
  • November 29, 2012
    Arivne
    The Dune example was a Zero Context Example so I expanded it.

    Tabletop RPG
    • Dungeons And Dragons, Basic D&D supplement GAZ10 The Golden Khan of Ethengar. The Golden Khan uses diplomacy and alliances to gather the tribes of Ethengar together into a single horde with the intent of conquering the Known World.
  • November 29, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ Ditto the Avatar example. Thanks for removing all context from it, OP!

    • Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander The Great, united Ancient Greece city-states (with his own Kingdom of Macedonia as the leader) into the League of Corinth to wage war against the Achaemenid Persia. Although Philip was assassinated soon thereafter, his son had mostly his old man to thank for passing down the united Greek armies to him and making his famous conquests possible.
  • November 29, 2012
    nielas
    • In David Gemmell's Legend, Ulric the Uniter has united the various nomad tribes of the Nadir into a massive army that has conquered most of the neighboring states. In The King Beyond the Gate, after Ulric's death, the Nadir have split into tribes once again and Ulric's grandson Tanaka Khan re-unites them into a single nation and becomes the Second Uniter.
  • November 29, 2012
    Dawnwing
    • In Warrior Cats, the main character Firestar. During the first series he unites the four forest Clans and leads them into battle against BloodClan, in Firestar's Quest he re-forms SkyClan by assembling local rogues and kittypets and teaching them about Clan life, he's the one that convinces the four Clans to all work together during the drought, and there's a short play by the authors (written to tie into the 2008 US Presidential Election) where the Clans vote on one cat to temporarily lead and make decisions for all four them during a tough winter and they choose Firestar.
  • November 29, 2012
    Koveras
    @OP: And Another Thing, if you click on the pen symbol next to a comment on YKTTW, you can open its original markup, copy it, and paste it into your examples list. Clicking on the pen symbol once more will close the markup editor without saving any changes. If people got to trouble of formatting their examples for you, the least courtesy you can do is just take it.
  • November 29, 2012
    ereg
    Thank you/so noted
  • November 30, 2012
    Nithael
    Video Games
    • In Warcraft II and its novelization Tides Of Darkness, Zul'jin united the forest troll tribes by challenging their leaders in contests or in duels.
    • In World Of Warcraft, the mogu emperor Lei Shen united all of the warring mogu factions by eliminating his rivals one by one.
  • November 30, 2012
    Koveras
    Main.Fallout New Vegas seems to have been cut, so you should correct the wick to VideoGame.Fallout New Vegas (replace the dot with a slash).
  • November 30, 2012
    ereg
    thanks. I'm still fairly new at this whole editing the site thing (in case it wasn't obvious enough)
  • November 30, 2012
    StarSword
    Mass Effect again:
    • Commander Shepard spends the better part of Mass Effect 3 gathering practically every military in known space into a unified force to battle the Reapers.
  • November 30, 2012
    Koveras
    ^^ Yeah, that's why I point out things to correct, so you can spot them yourself from here on. :)
  • December 6, 2012
    Riddler
    Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia
  • December 7, 2012
    Xtifr
    • Manuel Argos in Poul Anderson's Technic History series, who rises after the fall of the Polesotechnic League. After escaping from slavers in the story "The Star Plunderers", he goes on to unite the human worlds, by force when necessary, into the Terran Empire.
  • December 7, 2012
    StarSword
    @Riddler: Zero Context Example, and he isn't. Aslan's the patron deity of Narnia, not a unifier.

    Anime and Manga:
    • This is Scourge's backstory in Transformers Cybertron. The Jungle Planet spent an unknown timespan consumed with civil strife until Scourge unified it by force of conquest.
  • December 9, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    In The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe, he does unify the various "peoples" of Narnia against the White Witch.
  • December 9, 2012
    StarSword
    Fixed a link in the description.

    Compare Enemy Mine, when two or more sides are united by a common enemy.

    Literature:

    Tabletop Games:
    • In the Forgotten Realms setting, the orcs in the Spine of the World have a tendency to periodically form into vast hordes when a strong warchief unites them. Though since orcs are Always Chaotic Evil, they usually only stay unified as long as it takes for an adventuring party or even another orc to assassinate the warchief. The Kingdom of Many-Arrows seems to be an exception to the latter rule, though: it was founded in 3rd Edition and remains well into 4th Edition, 100-plus years later.

    Video Games:
    • The Warden in Dragon Age: Origins spends most of the game trying to unite the inhabitants of Ferelden, human, elf, and dwarf, against the darkspawn.
    • In the Auroran storyline in EV Nova, the Player Character eventually unites the forever-feuding Auroran Houses against the Bureau who have been secretly controlling both the Federation and House Moash.
  • December 9, 2012
    ereg
    In EV Nova, Are the feuding houses merely reconciling their differences in the face of something greater or are they actually rallying behind a specific character? The idea is that whoever does the unifying holds authority over the gathered pieces.

    And thanks for fixing the description
  • December 9, 2012
    StarSword
    ^IIRC it's a little of both, though it's been a while since I played the game. At the time this happens, House Moash rules the Auroran Empire to an extent (it's a Feudal Future scenario, but Moash is the First House). When your House, Heraan, and an unaligned group of warriors called the Dechtakar reveal that Moash has been suborned by the Federation's Bureau of Internal Investigation, Moash is overthrown and the other Houses unite under Heraan, which your character is the effective leader of. They stay united after the war ends.

    And you're welcome.
  • December 9, 2012
    ereg
    perfect
  • December 10, 2012
    Xtifr
    Literature:
    • In To Reign In Hell, Satan basically gets pushed into this role by the various factions that are uncertain about Yahweh's grand plan and fearful of his calls for sacrifice.
  • December 11, 2012
    Chernoskill
    Tabletop Games:
    • In the Shadowrun timeline, Daniel Howling Coyote led his tribe of Amerindians out of a concentration camp set up by the U.S. government, then proceeded to reclaim large parts of the nation for the natives of all tribes by performing the "Great Ghost Dance" which was a massive shamanistic ritual that destroyed the armies trying to interfere and brought multiple volcanoes to spit lava as a way of demonstrating the Amerindians' power. In the end, he accomplished his goal of uniting the tribes and founding the NAN (Native American Nation).

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