Single File Threats and Friends
Enemies and allies come one at a time, never doubling up or overlapping.


(permanent link) added: 2011-04-21 15:37:09 sponsor: Westrim (last reply: 2014-09-10 01:29:33)

Add Tag:
Whether friends or foes, nearly any story that goes on long enough is going to have to introduce new characters in addition to the main cast and other initial recurring characters. Some may be friends, some may be enemies, but at least a couple are nearly guaranteed to to have some aspect to them that makes the consumer wonder how they heck they weren't mentioned before. Perhaps they have power or prominence in some relevant area, maybe they have close personal ties with some of the preexisting characters

Due to its status as an Omnipresent Trope, only works where the trope is averted or otherwise played with will be listed. Also listed are the multiple tropes used as justification for the absence of the character.

Can be the result of a Sealed Cast in a Multipack. Compare with Mook Chivalry, but on a much larger scale.

Justifying tropes:

Aversions: Literature
  • Averted with the Battle of Five Armies in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, wherein the dwarves are besieged in Lonely Mountain by the men of Long Lake and the wood elves of Mirkwood. More dwarves from the Iron Hills march to relieve Thorin's band. However, when Gandalf declares that the orcs of the Misty Mountains are approaching with an invasion force, everyone else agrees to fight the orcs instead. Invoked earlier in the same work when Gandalf meets with the lone woodsman Beorn. Knowing that Beorn is distrustful of strangers, Gandalf instructs the dwarf party to approach Beorn's home in twos and threes at intervals, to avoid appearing like a siege party.
  • Averted in the Honorverse where the conflict with Haven comes to an abrupt end shortly after an Ancient Conspiracy attacks the Manticoran home system and tension with the Solarian League becomes a shooting war, so from one to two opponents with a short period of overlap. The conspiracy that triggered all of this is revealed, putting the count at two at once.
  • The Lost Fleet averts this, as even while the titular fleet tries to get back to friendly space and avoid their human pursuers, they are increasingly pressed by an previously unknown alien enemy and mutiny is a recurring issue.
    • Later on, after they reach home and a peace of sorts is established, all threats continue to be active even when the fleet is not spatially present, from machinations at home, continued threat from their former enemies, and incursions into and by alien space. The only significant additions are a new, friendly alien species, and a split off from their former enemies going its own way and looking to them for protection.

  • Series/Nikita lays out all but one of the major antagonist groups and individuals in the first season, drawing tension instead from the constantly shifting alliances.
replies: 24

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy