ConflictingLoyalty Conflicting Loyalty YKTTW Discussion

Conflicting Loyalty
(permanent link) added: 2009-11-01 17:28:51 sponsor: jason taylor (last reply: 2009-11-01 17:28:51)

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Many people have more then one thing they consider worthy of Undying Loyalty . Religion, Country, family and friends, and the like. If a character is lucky these differing claims can actually reinforce one another. But what happens if they conflict? Then we have the problem of Conflicting Loyalty.


  • Chariots of Fire : "God knows I love my country. But I can't make that sacrifice"(Eric refusing to run on Sunday)

  • Lawrence of Arabia : Arab: "You are loyal to England...
Lawrence: "And other things...


Live Action TV

  • NCIS : Ziva is torn between her father and Gibbs in the last few episodes

  • Star Trek: The Original Series
    • Episode "Amok Time". Captain Kirk must choose between obeying Star Fleet orders and going to Altair 6 or taking Spock to Vulcan to save his life, which could result in Kirk being court-martialed.
    • Several times Kirk has to decide whether to violate the Prime Directive in order to save the Enterprise. Each time he goes ahead and breaks it, always coming up with a plausible rationale for doing so. The only time he ever enforces it is when another starship captain violates it.
      • And in the episode "The Menagerie" Spock shows his loyalty to his former captain Christopher Pike by risking the Starfleet death penalty for taking him to Talos IV.

  • A major part of the second-season arc of Saiunkoku Monogatari centers around Ran Shuei being caught in a conflict of loyalty - between his loyalty to his Emperor (who have shown him absolute trust) and his Big Screwed Up Family, the Rans, who dislike the emperor and only care about their own people and lands. Getting it resolved takes a lot of work... (And annoyingly, we never learn all the details of how Shuei pulls it off in the end.)

  • Kings episode Insurrection. David is sent to his home town by King Silas to convince the locals to accept the decision to give their land away in a peace deal. His family turn out to be the leaders of the protestors.

  • The Chosen: Danny must choose between his father and friendship with Reuven.


  • The Baghavad Gita makes this at least Older Than Feudalism. Arjuna's family has usurped his crown with the only hope of getting it back being to fight them for it, and he is stuck between two conflicting dharmas (duties): his duty to his family and his duty as a soldier and a king. Eventually, Krishna sorts him out and tells him that he should suck it up and fight the battle.

Related to Sadistic Choice
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