Created By: Odon on July 30, 2011 Last Edited By: Odon on August 4, 2011

War Weary Warrior

When the combatant has had enough of combat

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"I don't like that sadness," he thought. "That sadness is bad. That's the sadness they bet before they quit or betray. That is the sadness that comes before the sell-out."
-- Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls

Gonna lay down my sword and shield
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
Gonna lay down my sword and shield
Down by the riverside
Ain't gonna study war no more.
-- 'Down by the Riverside

Once he enjoyed war for its own sake, or was a dedicated supporter of the cause. But now the Forever War has taken its toll. Was It Really Worth It??

See also Old Soldier, Shell Shocked Senior, Retired Badass, Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!, Zen Survivor and Knight in Sour Armor.

  • For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. Pablo, the leader of the guerrillas the protagonist is attached to, was once a fierce killer but is now an overly cautious drunkard.
  • Gunslinger Girl. Nino, once a bomb-happy fanatic, is now derisively nicknamed "The Tibetan Terrier" by other terrorists for his apparent over-caution. Likewise Padania terrorist Franco is only inspired to continue making bombs by the fervor of his Like Brother and Sister partner Flanca.

Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • July 30, 2011
    How is this different from Retired Badass?
  • July 30, 2011
    A Retired Badass would be out of action, while a War Weary Warrior is still fighting, albeit reluctantly. But that might already be covered?
  • July 30, 2011
    Oh, I see. Then Guen McNichol from Madlax would count. He is a general so tired of the civil war he's been fighting that he hires the eponymous Action Girl to assassinate him.
  • July 30, 2011
    • At the end of the Metal Gear series Solid Snake's become a Retired Badass (living in isolation in Alaska as a musher), however by the end of Metal Gear Solid (the first of the 3D games) he's realised that as a Super Soldier he has no choice but to become this trope (although he has gained a friend and something of a cause), especially by the fourth MGS where he's physically an old man and practically a Death Seeker.
      • Another example from the series is Grey Fox ("Fighting is all I was good at, but at least I always fought for what I believed in...").
      • Raiden (the protagonist of the second game) also fits this trope in the fourth game.
  • July 30, 2011
  • July 31, 2011
    Compare I Will Fight No More Forever, where the person refuses to fight at all.

    • In The Guns Of Navarone Brown, AKA "The Butcher of Barcelona", has this attitude. After he botches killing a German sailor Mallory asks him about it.
    Brown: I'm tired and I'm fed up. I've been fighting this war a long time. I've been killing Germans since 1937. There's no end to them. Shoot a man at 200 yards, he's just a target. You kill him with a knife, you're close enough to smell him. I smell them in my sleep. After the last time, I made a pact with myself: I'd do my job. But I wouldn't do the other anymore. Not if I could help it.
  • July 31, 2011
    Colonel Dolerhyde in Cowboys & Aliens despises battle, and hates when people call him Colonel. Of course, he still won't shy away from a fight and doesn't hesitate to pick up his guns and start busting alien skulls.
  • July 31, 2011
    Towards the end of Traffic Department 2192, main character Lt. Velasques turns into this. She's been fighting through most of 3 games (and an unspecified number of years before that) on one long Roaring Rampage Of Revenge over the death of her father at the hands of the evil Vulture Cult Army, and in the process, she's lost friends, colleagues and lovers in the dozens - and a couple of surrogate father-figures to boot. At the end, she's just... tired. Not so much because she no longer cares about revenge, as because she's realized that pursuing revenge just leads to more dead people she needs to avenge. Ultimately, she accepts a compromise with the new leader of the Vulture Cult, who intends to try and redeem the organization from within - a compromise she would never even have considered for a second back at the start of the games.
  • July 31, 2011
    I think this could be a subtrope of Reluctant Warrior. In fact, it would be a Blood Knight becoming a Reluctant Warrior.
  • August 1, 2011
    • Spike Spiegel of Cowboy Bebop is tired of fighting and only keeps doing so because he has nothing else left. Then he finds out Julia is alive and fights just to see her again ans is very glad when he dies after seeing her once more.
  • August 2, 2011
    I don't see how this is different enough from Shell Shocked Veteran to become a trope.
  • August 4, 2011
    Reluctant Warrior and Shell Shocked Veteran should cover all the possibilities for the this trope.