Created By: ChaoticQueen on August 22, 2013 Last Edited By: Arivne on August 5, 2016

Rising From The Ashes

You've lost everything. Time to take it all back and more.

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Trope
What happens when the world is yours... and then you lose it?

Sometimes, a man rises to power. He has everything he could possibly want. A nice house, a loving family, and the most powerful crime organization in the world. But something happens and it's all snatched away from him. So what does he do? Admit defeat and wallow in despair? Sure, it's an option. Or he could buckle down and rebuild, becoming more powerful than he ever was.


Examples

Anime & Manga
  • Happens late in the second season of Code Geass: after uniting half the world under his banner as Zero, Lelouch is outmaneuvered by Schneizel and betrayed by his own Black Knights. After settling the score with his father, he then takes over the Britannian Empire (i.e. the other half of the world) and proceeds to wage war on the Black Knights.

Literature
  • In The Count of Monte Cristo (and its various movie adaptations), the plot focuses on a young and successful sailor who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes from jail, acquires a fortune and sets about getting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment.
  • Vorkosigan Saga. Part of the main theme of Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold. Miles screws up, lies about it, is caught, and stripped off most everything he values. Then he finds a mystery to unravel, and manages to both really find himself and get a new job requiring even more responsibility.

Video Games
  • The premise of Scarface: The World is Yours. In a World where druglord Tony Montana survived the hit that Alejandro Sosa put on him, Tony finds himself taking up refuge in some hidden away shack for three months, before deciding to take back his mansion and slowly work up from the bottom once again, until his new empire rules all of Miami unrivalled.
  • This happens twice in Saints Row. After the Saints are disbanded in the three year gap between the first two games, the Playa decides to re-found the gang as their new leader. Later on, come ''Saints Row: The Third, and the Saints are international celebrities, only to be rendered bankrupt by The Syndicate. Once again, the Boss must re-organize the Saints in Steelport.
  • The whole point of Starcraft II Heart Of The Swarm is about a De-Powered Kerrigan trying to rebuild the Zerg Swarm and restore her power. By the end, both the Swarm and herself have grown stronger than they ever were before.

Web Comics
  • General Tarquin from The Order of the Stick]] was once the ruler of one of the Western Continent's many desert kingdoms, but didn't last a year before his nation was conquered by another warlord and he was forced to flee for his life. Now he's a mercenary general in the employ of one of the continent's largest empires, with all the respect and prestige his position affords him, and is secretly controlling the empire's Puppet Empress, as well as the rulers of two other empires, to set him and his allies up as the de facto rulers of the southern half of the continent.

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons: Mr. Burns loses his fortune in the stock market and is forced to sell the nuclear plant, leaving him destitute. Lisa convinces him to start recycling in order to earn a few cents here and there; he ends up with a plant "recycling" marine animals into Li'l Lisa brand Slurry.

Real Life
  • Napoleon Bonaparte defines this trope. He rose from a very minor Corsican noble family to general and emperor, then all of the old European elites united to depose him, and exiled him on the island of Elbe. He escaped and re-installed himself as emperor in just a few days - basically the time to travel from Elbe to Paris.

Community Feedback Replies: 31
  • August 22, 2013
    DAN004
    Does it have to be criminal empire?
  • August 22, 2013
    Koveras
    • Happens late in the second season of Code Geass: after uniting half the world under his banner as Zero, Lelouch is outmaneuvered by Schneizel and betrayed by his own Black Knights. After settling the score with his father, he then takes over the Britannian Empire (i.e. the other half of the world) and proceeds to wage war on the Black Knights.
  • August 22, 2013
    Chernoskill
    Possibly the plot in The Count Of Monte Cristo ?
  • August 22, 2013
    aurora369
    Real Life: Napoleon, anyone?
  • August 23, 2013
    ChaoticQueen
    @ DAN004, No. It can be any example. It's just that criminal empires are the most common, it seems.

    @ Koveras, added.

    @ Chernoskill and aurora369, can you guys be specific?
  • August 23, 2013
    Chernoskill
    • In The Count Of Monte Cristo (and it's various movie adaptations), the plot focuses on a young and successful sailor who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes from jail, acquires a fortune and sets about getting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment.
  • August 24, 2013
    kjnoren
    Not sure The Count Of Monte Cristo is this trope. It's not like Dnte had an empire to begin with, and he doesn't rebuild anything as much as receive and then take revenge.

    The trope name is also confusing, and led me to interpret it as focusing on literally rebuilding a fallen empire (company, country et c), instead of just the guy in charge.
  • August 24, 2013
    Theokal3
  • August 24, 2013
    aurora369
    Being specific about Napoleon? Well, the guy was defeated, captured and imprisoned on the island of Elba. Then he escaped, returned to France and easily retook Paris and reclaimed his imperial title, only to be finally defeated at Waterloo. This stuff is in history classes. Didn't you guys go to school?
  • August 24, 2013
    ChaoticQueen
    ^ There's no need to insult anybody. If you can give me a proper, detailed example in trope-form, I'll gladly add it.
  • August 24, 2013
    randomsurfer
    • The Simpsons: Mr. Burns loses his fortune in the stock market and is forced to sell the nuclear plant, leaving him destitute. Lisa convinces him to start recycling in order to earn a few cents here and there; he ends up with a plant "recycling" marine animals into Li'l Lisa brand Slurry (which somehow or another makes him rich again - is there really a big market for slurry?).
  • August 24, 2013
    MarqFJA
    Is there room in this trope for cases when the one doing the empire-rebuilding is not the same person as the one who lost the empire in the first place?
  • August 24, 2013
    Astaroth
    • Tarquin from Order Of The Stick was once the ruler of one of the Western Continent's many desert kingdoms, but didn't last a year before his nation was conquered by another warlord and he was forced to flee for his life. Now he's a mercenary general in the employ of one of the continent's largest empires, with all the respect and prestige his position affords him, and is secretly controlling the empire's Puppet Empress, as well as the rulers of two other empires, to set him and his allies up as the de facto rulers of the southern half of the continent.
  • August 24, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    It's happened at least a couple of times each to Dr. Doom and Darkseid.

  • August 24, 2013
    ChaoticQueen
    ^^^ Sure, if you can make it work.

    ^ Please be specific. Thank you.
  • August 26, 2013
    ChaoticQueen
    I think Return To Glory might be a better trope name. The proposed name only gives the ashes-to-glory step, and doesn't imply the fall.

    I also have two questions that need to be answered, both which can use The Count Of Monte Cristo as an example:

    Does the amplitude of the movements matter? Dantes is solidly middle class, tossed in prison, and returns as high society. In other words, should this be limited to (say) king->beggar->king, or does merchant->beggar->king work as well? I think the first fall and the subsequent rise should be of similar value, though not necessarily equivalent.

    The other question is if this should be viewed as a plot or as a pattern. The Count Of Monte Cristo has this as a pattern, but not as the plot. Ie, does the work treat the building back and return as a topic in and of itself.

    Literature:

    • Part of the main theme of Memory by Los Mc Master Bujold. Miles screws up, lies about it, is caught, and stripped off most everything he values. Then he finds a mystery to unravel, and manages to both really find himself and get a new job requiring even more responsibility.

    Real Life:

    • Napoleon Bonaparte defines this trope. He rose from a very minor Corsican noble family to general and emperor, then all of the old European elites united to depose him, and exiled him on the island of Elbe. He escapes and re-installs himself as emperor in just a few days - basically the time to travel from Elbe to Paris.
  • August 26, 2013
    Omeganian
    Related to Back From The Brink.
  • August 26, 2013
    Koveras
    New title is great. Hatted this.
  • August 26, 2013
    DAN004
    Compare A World Half Full when the entire world is rising from its ashes.
  • August 26, 2013
    Generality
    I would say this necessarily starts with Riches To Rags.
  • August 26, 2013
    ChaoticQueen
    ^^^^^ I'd say that as long as the person has something to lose at the beginning, they can count.
  • August 26, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    • It's happened at least a couple of times each to Dr. Doom and Darkseid.
      • ^ Please be specific. Thank you.

    Sorry, I can't quote chapter and verse, but I know that both characters have had to re-establish control of their realms after being comatose/small-d dead, temporarily stranded elsewhere, etc. and then returning.
  • August 26, 2013
    Omeganian
    How is this trope different from Back From The Brink?
  • August 26, 2013
    Koveras
    Back From The Brink is about almost losing everything. This is about losing all you have and starting over from zero.
  • August 27, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation

    As to Doctor Doom: he and Reed Richards fought hand-to-hand in Doom's solartron complex. Reed succeeded in yanking off Doom's mask, which made Doom see thousands of reflections of his ruined face. The sight reduced Doom to a quivering wreck, and he was placed in a Latverian sanitarium. Doom's faithful servant Boris liberated his master, and restored him to sanity. Doom then regained the Latverian throne.

    Also, Doctor Doom infused Tyros the Terrible with an artifical form of the Power Cosmic, and set Tyros upon the Fantastic Four. Tyros turned on Doom, and fused Doom's armor, rendering him immobile. At the climax of the hand-to-hand battle between Tyros and the Silver Surfer, Doom's body was obliterated. Fortunately, Doom transferred his mind into the body of a bystander, and began to reclaim his rulership.

    If I knew the Issue numbers, I'd have listed them. Sorry.
  • August 27, 2013
    Koveras
  • August 1, 2016
    DAN004
    This often happens in video games as justification for A Tase Of Power: you had it all at the start, then you lost it not long after, and the rest of the game is spent on naking yourself strong again.
  • August 1, 2016
    DAN004
    This often happens in video games as justification for A Tase Of Power: you had it all at the start, then you lost it not long after, and the rest of the game is spent on naking yourself strong again.
  • August 2, 2016
    Arivne
    • Examples section
  • August 4, 2016
    Morgenthaler
    Not sure about the title, which makes it seem like a Sister Trope to Out Of The Inferno and Rise From Your Grave. Perhaps Fall And Rise Arc?
  • August 4, 2016
    DAN004
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=yztop4p1guo4iaf56nm87akf