->''"My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the ''true'' emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."''
-->-- '''Maximus''', ''Film/{{Gladiator}}''

What a glorious day! Officer Bob has just [[{{Retirony}} retired]], and can spend time with his [[TooHappyToLive happy and completely innocent family!]] Just in time too, [[MarriedToTheJob his job was driving a wedge]] between him and his family. Yep, [[TemptingFate nothing could possibly go wrong!]]

In what is possibly the mother of {{Dark And Troubled Past}}s, this guy[[note]](and yes, while not AlwaysMale, this trope happens much more often to guys)[[/note]] will have his spouse and children die. This may be because the author wants to go for broke in creating a hero with "nothing and no one to live for". After all, the lack of emotional attachments [[TheUnfettered holding him back]] and the burning drive for {{revenge}} makes for a singularly terrifying protagonist. Sometimes the kids ''do'' survive, and need [[{{Protectorate}} to be protected]] while not necessarily [[MoralityChain stopping their parent]] from making a whole mess of people into a holey mess. Or better yet, the child is someone the parent can [[SideKick mold]] into a [[TykeBomb weapon of vengeance.]] Of course, he might abandon the child to be raised by someone else, or do the revenging in secret. In a variation of this trope, the character might have no kids at all and not even be married, but the death of their girlfriend/boyfriend or fiance(e) will nevertheless motivate them to seek justice.

The causes behind the death vary: the character's loved ones may be [[StuffedIntoTheFridge murdered by an enemy]] while he was ForcedToWatch, die because of a mistake he made, or through some random act of human violence. In rare cases, they die in a horrible but (mostly) blameless accident. The "mostly" comes from the fact that he will somehow find a way to blame himself for their death in a form of SurvivorsGuilt, or better yet, blame {{God}}.

On the upside, this senseless and painful tragedy is a great [[TheLostLenore personal motivator.]] The Crusading Widower will earn the "crusading" part of his name by [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge hunting down and killing (at best apprehending) those responsible]], however tangentially. ''Or'' [[RefusalOfTheCall he will try to drown his sorrows]], only to be "rescued" by a friend who will motivate him with an offer to somehow [[TheAtoner atone]] or catch the culprits. If it's a fantasy or sci-fi setting, a third goal may present itself: [[{{Necromantic}} bringing them back to life.]] This is [[CameBackWrong rarely a good thing]]. His loved ones will probably beg him not to, or he will choose not to resurrect them as part of a FriendOrIdolDecision.

For obvious reasons, this character is usually on the low end of the [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism Idealism/Cynicism scale]], tending towards AntiHero, AntiVillain, or outright {{Villain}}. Very, ''very'' rarely will the Crusading Widower be a straight up [[TheHero Hero]].

'''No Zero-Context Examples, please.'''

Can sometimes take the form of TakeUpMySword. Compare TheyWereHoldingYouBack. See also DisposableWoman.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''{{Manga/Berserk}}:'' Guts, whose TrueCompanions were slaughtered by demons and his LoveInterest sent insane during the Eclipse.
* Heito in ''Anime/DaimonsHate''. Poor guy had all of his former "friends" turn on him and kill his wife and daughter because he wouldn't join the plot to use the nanotechnology they developped for warring purposes. After barely surviving the ColdBloodedTorture that cost him his two arms, he suggested himself to TrainingFromHell under a MadScientist, developped PsychicPowers with the PowerOfHate, and learned to control mechanical arms through it. Before going on a crusade to murder all of his former "friends".
* Heroic example in ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'', in that widower Kotetsu is inspired by his late wife to continue his work as a superhero, because he promised her that he would. This choice causes serious conflict with his daughter Kaede - who doesn't know what her father does - and later in the series [[spoiler: when Kotetsu's promise makes it even harder for him to face the prospect of giving up his heroics as 'Wild Tiger' due to the gradual loss of his powers.]]
* ''Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'': [[spoiler: Tsutomu Tanaka is hell-bent on revenge against Isshinsai Ogata for murdering both his father-in-law martial arts master and his pregnant wife.]]
* Van from ''Anime/GunXSword''. His wife-to-be was killed by a man with a claw for a right hand, and the entire show is basically [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge him searching for this man so he can kill him in return]].
** Ray had his wife killed by the same man, though he serves as a darker example than Van, as his hunt for revenge causes him to commit more morally dubious acts and push everyone away, including his own brother [[spoiler: before it finally costs him his life.]]
* [[spoiler: Yuuichirou Minamoto]] was about to become this in ''Manga/PrivateActress'', as [[spoiler: his girlfriend Misaki was cruelly DrivenToSuicide]]. [[spoiler: But Misaki's killer, Satoka, turned out to be ''very'' savvy... and Yuuichirou ends dying instead.]]
* Kureo Mado from ''Manga/TokyoGhoul''. His wife was one of the ''many'' victims of the [[HeroKiller One-Eyed]] [[BigBad Owl]], and he has devoted the last decade of his life to massing an armory of Quinque weapons. Though a devoted single-father, he does encourage Akira to follow in his footsteps and become a Ghoul Investigator. After his death, she considers continuing both his Quinque Research and quest for revenge against the Owl important.
* [[spoiler: Stefan Levin]] from ''Manga/CaptainTsubasa'' is as close to this trope as sports manga allow. [[spoiler: He promised his girlfriend Karin that he'd be the best soccer player in the world... ''as she lay dying'' in an hospital bed. And after she died, he decided to fulfill the promise '''[[LoveMakesYouCrazy at all costs]]'''.]] [[spoiler: But unlike many examples, Levin manages to work through his issues and get better.]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Big Daddy from ''ComicBook/KickAss'':
** The ''[[Film/KickAss film version]]'' trains his daughter to get revenge on the drug lord who sent him to prison and left his depressed wife to OD on drugs.
** The comic version trains his daughter to get revenge on the drug lord who murdered his wife. [[spoiler:It's a lie: she's really alive and he made the whole thing up to brainwash his daughter into becoming a vengeful superhero out of boredom with his pathetic life]].
* ComicBook/ThePunisher, where the protagonist seeks vengeance then effects genocide on the American criminal element for the murder of his family during a botched mob hit.
** Creator/GarthEnnis took this concept in an interesting direction during the miniseries: "Widowmaker" for the [[ComicBook/ThePunisherMAX Marvel MAX imprint]] of the character. In that arc several wives of high-level mafioso Frank Castle had brutally murdered come together to take vengeance on Frank. Unfortunately before Frank can come up against the potentially morally interesting decision of how to deal with them, they are interrupted by another Mafia widow. This widow is thankful to Frank for killing her husband, who she regarded as a diabolically vile monster, and has nothing but contempt for the other widows who cruelly abused her. Thus this apparently exonerates Frank of any blame or responsibility.
* ''[[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]]'' foe ComicBook/BlackAdam. He's an interesting variation, because he was originally (in ancient Egypt) a hero, but then the power went to his head and he had a FaceHeelTurn. After several thousand years of being a villain, he had a HeelFaceTurn... sorta, several thousand years of being a villain apparently twists your understanding of "heroism" a bit. Still, he was at least ''trying'', a lot of which was for the sake of his new wife, whom he'd shared his powers with and who was genuinely a good person. And then she got killed. Adam didn't take it well.
* ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}}'' has The Saint of Killers while he was alive. [[spoiler:He finally gets his vengeance in the final book, two hundred-odd years after the fact.]]
* Kal-El in ''ComicBook/SupermanAndBatmanGenerations'', after his first wife Lois Lane was killed by the Ultra-Humanite posing as Lex Luthor. He also loses his daughter Kara to his son Joel, who dies shortly afterward on the same day.
* In the second ''ComicBook/AtariForce'' series, Martin Champion becomes a widower when his wife Lydia died giving birth to their son Christopher, and spends much of that series going after her real killer, the Dark Destroyer.
* In ''ComicBook/JonSableFreelance'', Jon's transformation to soldier-of-fortune happens when his wife and children are murdered by {{Evil Poacher}}s. His first act is go on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against the poachers, although he does not catch up to their real boss until years later.
* ''ComicBook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesAdventures'': The last regular story arc introduced a wolf-man called Mokoshan, and one of the major characters, Ninjara, left the cast to join him and his tribe. Eventually the latter received her own, short-lived spin-off (unfinished due to the real life issues of the artist at time). It started with Mokoshan getting murdered, prompting Ninjara to seek revenge against the killers while also trying to take care of her and Mokoshan's daughter.
* ''ComicBook/WeStandOnGuard'': Dunn, a member of the Two-Fours freedom fighter group, lost his husband in the Battle of Brunswick.
* Elscol of the ''ComicBook/XWingSeries'' saw her mother, sister, and husband all killed by the Empire, and she sets up LaResistance to fight back. She insists that the man responsible goes to the courts instead of letting her companion kill him, but this doesn't put her at peace. When she leaves her world and joins Rogue Squadron, taking a suboordinate role chafes at her, and she tends to be reckless and disregard orders. Her commander soon sees this isn't working and lets her leave the squadron to form and lead resistance cells again.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Femforce}}'', Colt became a superheroine after her husband (a spy) was murdered and she felt the organisation she and he worked for did not do enough to catch the killer. She quit and used her skills to become a vigilante.
* ''ComicBook/{{Saga}}'' gives us a pair of examples: [[WellIntentionedExtremist Dengo]], a man who wants to avenge the death of his young son against the royal family whose [[TheEmpire brutal reign]] indirectly caused it - and, later, [[RoyallyScrewedUp Prince]] [[RidiculouslyHumanRobot Robot IV]], who chases after Dengo with a vengeance after [[{{Irony}} Dengo kills his wife and kidnaps his son]].

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/DeadOfNight'', this is how [[Webcomic/HannaIsNotABoysName Finas]] met Casimiro. His wife and daughter were killed in the night by vampires, leading to him joining Casimiro as a full-time vampire hunter.
* In the lost ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' webcomic ''Future of Despair'', [[spoiler: Henry]] becomes this after [[spoiler: his wife Panne is accidentally [[WhatanIdiot and stupidly]] killed.]] [[DarknessInducedAudienceApathy not everyone liked that]].
* Sean Cassidy in ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'' is a surprisingly cheerful, happy go lucky variant, a CoolTeacher and a ReasonableAuthorityFigure. However, it is stated that he's had over a decade to grieve, whatever he did with his CompellingVoice during his RoaringRampageOfRevenge still occasionally gives Nick Fury nightmares and he's got a taste for {{Revenge}}, one that he does his bet to keep a lid on. Also [[BewareTheNiceOnes you ''really'' don't want to cross him]].
* FanFic/TheMansionverse's version of Melanie Ravenswood rose up against the Phantom when she learnt he was the murderer of her fiancé, though in practice there is not much she can ''do'' against him.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Mr. Incredible in ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'' develops this, despite it not actually being the case. Regardless, he still believes that his family is dead and for a little while, he definitely becomes the angry, vengeful, miserable Crusading Widower.
* Manfred ("Manny") the mammoth from WesternAnimation/IceAge. The death of his mate and child at the hands of human hunters leaves him grumpy and miserable at the beginning of the film, and it's possible that he was heading north to commit suicide since life wasn't worth living without them. The tragic nature of his [[DarkAndTroubledPast backstory]] is finally revealed when the ragtag misfit "herd" that he's found stumble across a series of cave paintings that bring it to light. Notably, the VillainProtagonist, Diego, is highly moved by seeing this, especially since this moment causes him to forgive his murders because of the baby he is protecting - from Diego himself.
* ''Disney/WreckItRalph'': Sgt. Calhoun being WidowedAtTheWedding is part of her DarkAndTroubledPast to drive her to kill all Cy-bugs.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Damon / Big Daddy in ''Film/KickAss''. He actually trains his daughter to help him seek revenge.
* ''Film/StarTrekGenerations''. Dr. Tolian Soran's family was killed during the Borg assimilation of El-Auria. He spends the movie trying to get into the Nexus so he can be with them again, even though doing so requires destroying a star and killing hundreds of millions of sentient aliens.
* The 2009 ''Film/StarTrek'' had Nero, who lost his family and planet in the old timeline, and is out for revenge in the [[TimeTravelTenseTrouble new/different/whatever]] one.
* ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'': Khan blamed Kirk for the death of his wife while his people were marooned. He expressed his bitterness enough to make it an overshadowing motivation. Despite his loathing for Kirk and all of Starfleet, he wears a Starfleet badge around his neck - because Marla [=McGivers=] was a former Starfleet officer.
* This is the basis of ''Film/KillBill'', demonstrating that women get a shot at nihilistic murderous despair at least once in a while.
* In the film ''Film/PatriotGames'', while they're not killed, the near-fatal attack on his wife and daughter spurs Jack Ryan to rejoin the CIA in order to find the people responsible.
* Clyde from ''Film/LawAbidingCitizen'' lost his wife and daughter to an assault [[PlotTriggeringDeath early on]] and spends the rest of the movie going after the killers.
* Creator/JodieFoster's character from ''Film/TheBraveOne'' becomes a vigilante after her fiance is killed.
* In ''Film/HarryBrown'', the title character is specifically avenging the death of his friend, but the death of his sick wife early in the film frees him up to act, as he has nothing left to lose.
* Subverted in ''Film/RollingThunder''. While Major Ranes' wife and son are both murdered by the gang, he says to his friend Johnny he found the men who killed his son. While he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, Rane's wife started a relationship with another man, and he seems to feel she's already dead to him prior to her actual death.
* The Mariachi becomes this in ''Film/OnceUponATimeInMexico'' following the murder of Carolina and their daughter by Marquez.
* Riggs in ''Film/LethalWeapon'' is reasonably heroic, but he's also suicidal and is considered crazy by everyone who knows him. He slowly becomes less unhinged as he opens up to his partner Murtagh.
* Drax the Destroyer from ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'' plots revenge against Ronan for killing his wife and daughter. [[spoiler:After Drax helps the other Guardians defeat Ronan, he declares Thanos his next target, since Thanos assigned Ronan with killing Drax's family.]]
* In ''Film/BatmanBegins'', Henri Ducard claims the death of his wife is part of what led him to want to punish criminals with death and vengeance.
* In ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', Rachel Dawes's death serves as the catalyst for Harvey Dent to snap and get revenge on the Gotham police who didn't manage to save her, turning him into the villain Two-Face.
* ''Film/XMenApocalypse'': [[spoiler:After Erik loses his wife and daughter, he takes up Apocalypse's offer to get the ultimate revenge against a world which has been cruel to him, a world which he feels deserves to be destroyed.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Magneto''']]: They took everything away from me. Now, we'll take everything from them.
* In ''Film/FinalGirl'' the untimely death of his wife at the hands of a serial killer is what drives William to turn a young girl into a weapon against all of them.
* The titular ''John Doe: Vigilante'' is revealed to be this at the end of his killing spree when his final victim turns out to be the man who raped and murdered his wife and daughter. The viewer then recalls that most of his previous victims have been abusers of women and children.
* Richard Kimble of ''Film/TheFugitive''. His efforts to find his wife's killer are just as much--if not moreso--about avenging her as they are about clearing his name.
* ''Film/{{Deewaar}}'': [[spoiler:Although technically not a widower as they didn't have time to get married, Vijay sets out for revenge after Anita is killed.]]

* Michael Edwards in ''Literature/RedStormRising'' intervenes [[spoiler:to stop the rape of Vigdis Augustdotir]] in part because of the brutal murder of his fiancee when he was attending the US Air Force Academy.
* Lucas Trask in Creator/HBeamPiper's ''Space Viking''. He pays for his crusade by a) nuking and looting cities, and b) offering cities the chance to pay him not to nuke them, and sometimes to nuke and loot someone else. [[spoiler:As he begins to recover from the trauma, he begins working on c) trade and d) lighting the blue touch paper on what might become [[TheFederation a new Federation]].]]
* Canoc Caspro barely averts this in ''[[Literature/AnnalsOfTheWesternShore Gifts]]'' by Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin. It's only his responsibilities as brantor that keep him from riding up to [[spoiler:Drummant]] alone to avenge his wife's murder.
* Neshi, the Tech Detective and lead character of ''Literature/TheWandering'', becomes this after the death of his wife Etarina, made all the more heartbreaking when he found out that she was pregnant.
* In the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'', [[BadassGrandpa Piotr Pierre Vorkosigan]] becomes this following the assassination of his wife, eldest son and youngest daughter by [[TheCaligula Mad Emperor Yuri]], with only his second son surviving. Piotr then kicks off a two-year civil war to depose Yuri, and replace him with his old friend and protege; he succeeds, and the war ends with Piotr helping to [[DeathOfAThousandCuts dismember Yuri]].
* OlderThanPrint: Kriemhild in the ''Literature/{{Nibelungenlied}}'' becomes a Crusading Widow after Hagen murders her husband Siegfried. To get her revenge, she marries Etzel and lurse the Burgundians to his court. The situation is not improved when Hagen also murders Kriemhild's and Etzel's son.
* Luke Skywalker in the later part of ''Literature/LegacyOfTheForce''. As a Jedi, he's above simple revenge killing, but he is definitely determined to find out who killed Mara and bring him to justice. Ben, Luke's son, gets in on trying to take out Jacen after the Embrace of Pain incident, but ultimately, it's Jacen's own sister who strikes him down.
* In the Last of the Jedi young adult series, Ferus Olin comes dangerously close to falling to the dark side after old rival Darth Vader kills his husband, Roan Lands.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Catelyn Stark vows revenge after her husband's death at the Lannisters' hands: "We will kill them all." Unfortunately, that didn't happened due to [[WhamEpisode the Red Wedding]] [[spoiler:and since [[CameBackWrong her resurrected version]] from the books as the vengeful Lady Stoneheart is AdaptedOut, we will never get to see it fulfilled]].
* ''Series/HellOnWheels'' has
** Bohannon, for the first season at least, who opens up the show with tracking down the Union soldiers who killed his wife and son
** Lily Bell as a Crusading Widow who following her husbands murder (right in front of her - she avoided the same fate by killing his murderer minutes after) makes it her mission to see that the railroad he died making plans for is completed.
* Series/{{Spartacus}} in the Starz series of the same name. So much so that he is offered the life of the wife responsible for his wife's slavery in order to stop his crusade and "balance the scales".
* Sam Winchester's fiancee-to-be's murder in the pilot episode of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' makes him obsess over hunting her killer. Twenty-two years earlier, the boys' father, John Winchester became a widower when his wife died in the same way. And he spent the rest of his life hunting down her killer, including training his sons into the [[TykeBomb human weapons]] that make such fascinating television. He died first, but his spirit helped his eldest son off the bastard a season later.
* Wyatt Cain in ''Series/TinMan.'' All he wants once he's been freed is to kill Zero, avenge his family, and die in a blaze of glory. Fortunately for him, his former boss forces him into a promise to [[{{Protectorate}} guard DG]] "[[LastRequest at all costs]]."
* The ''Series/CriminalMinds'' episode "Roadkill" features an unsub who targets people who drive red coupes, out of revenge for his wife's death. [[spoiler:The red coupe driver who caused the accident was ''him''. He was so twisted with guilt that it warped his memory.]]
* ''Series/TwentyFour'':
** Jack Bauer, who found his wife dead at the end of the first season, murdered by his mistress.
** For much darker examples, there's [[spoiler: Tony Almeida when he looks to avenge the murder of his wife and unborn son in season seven and Jack when he becomes one ''again'' in the final season after his current love interest is killed.]]
* Leo Dalton in ''Series/SilentWitness'', after a car crashed into a restaurant and killed his wife and daughter.
* Horatio Caine, from ''Series/CSIMiami'', who had his wife shot and dying in his arms.
* Two examples from ''Series/{{CSI NY}}'': Mac Taylor (who lost his wife on 9/11) and Don Flack (girlfriend killed in a robbery).
* Jack Halford in ''Series/NewTricks'' whose wife was killed in a hit and run prompting his retirement. When he comes out of his HeroicBSOD he uses his new job at UCOS to help him track down her killer.
* Adrian Series/{{Monk}}. His wife's murder is both the reason for the [[DefectiveDetective way he is]], and his motivation for his work. He finally solves her murder in the SeriesFinale.
* Homeland Security agent Mark Fallon, who appeared on two episodes of ''Series/{{Castle}}''. His wife was killed on 9/11.
* ''Series/{{Merlin 2008}}'':
** Queen Annis, who seeks revenge for the death of her husband [[spoiler:at King Arthur's hands]].
** Also Uther and his anti-magic crusade brought on by Ygraine's death.
* Noah Bennet's backstory on ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' reveals that his first wife was killed in a botched home invasion by a special who had telekinetically flung her into a glass table. This sets him off on a quest to kill that special and others like him, which brought him on the radar of the Company. In the years since, he's cooled down a bit, but still harbors suspicious feelings about specials.
* William Boone in the first season of ''Series/EarthFinalConflict''. He figures out pretty quickly that the Taelons had his wife killed in order to "free" him to work for them (he previously refused because he wanted to spend more time with his wife). He seems to have settled down after Sandoval admits that he was the one who ordered her death to "spare" her. The second season opener reveals that Da'an was the one who ordered Sandoval to do that.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
** [[BaldBlackLeaderGuy Commander Benjamin Sisko's]] wife was killed by the Borg at Wolf 359, and he channeled his anger into designing a new breed of warship, the ''[[PintSizedPowerhouse Defiant]]''. Unfortunately, with no further contact with the Borg for the next few years, Starfleet shelved the ''Defiant''-class project, which sent Sisko into a bit of a tailspin until he was reassigned to command Deep Space 9 at the start of the series.
** {{Justified}} in "[[Recap/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineS07E01ImageInTheSand Image in the Sand]]". With Jadzia having been murdered in the previous season finale, Worf fears that she won't be allowed into Klingon Heaven unless he wins a great victory in her name.
* In the first episode of ''Series/{{Alias}}'', the death of Sydney Bristow's fiance initially just causes her to take a lot of time off work. Unfortunately, her shady employers eventually decide she's becoming a liability and attempt to have her killed. This prompts her father to save her from a ProfessionalKiller and explain that her employers [[spoiler:are actually the bad guys. She spends the next few seasons nursing a virulent loathing for Arvin Sloane, her boss, and entire seasons later, she makes it clear that she will never forgive him for having her fiance killed.]]
* Gibbs from ''Series/{{NCIS}}''. His first wife and daughter were murdered by a drug dealer, and he [[SympatheticMurderBackstory got his revenge]].
* Sam Hanna from ''Series/NCISLosAngeles'' after his wife is kidnapped and suffocated. He also gets his revenge.
* Cole in the first episode of ''{{Series/Tracker}}''. The alien he's initially sent to find is the killer of his wife and daughter.
* {{Series/DoctorWho}} often treats the Doctor's companions as his significant other (the occasional hint of romance does no harm either). Following the death of [[spoiler: Clara Oswald]], the Doctor enters into this mode to seek revenge of those ultimately responsible, threatening to become the ImplacableMan.
* Michael Knight in what was originally supposed to be the series finale of ''Series/KnightRider''. Having just burned out at his job after the last case, he plans to quit the Foundation and is reunited with Stevie Mason, his fiance from his previous "life" as Michael Long. Just after Michael announces his retirement, they get married... only to have the bad guy chasing Michael kill her (while aiming for him) just minutes after they were wed. After that, the rest of the episode has Michael on a warpath to get his revenge.


[[folder:Video Games]]
* Senua of ''Videogame/HellbladeSenuasSacrifice'' is a rare female example. The game follows her journey ToHellAndBack to save the soul of her slain lover [[TheLostLenore Dillion]], as she cuts through anything between them. [[spoiler: As the game progresses, it explores the psychological and emotional problems that stem from refusing to let a loved one go.]]
* [[BadassPreacher Gabriel]] [[KnightInShiningArmor Belmont]] from ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow'' fits this trope to a cut and dried tee, and a latent prospect of reviving his childhood sweetheart, Marie, by reassembling a DismantledMacGuffin is his original and afterwards, only motivation throughout the entirety of the story. [[spoiler: He {{jumps off the slippery slope}} [[LoveMakesYouEvil as a result]].]]
* [[ColdSniper Kivan]] from the first ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' is an impassive and ruthless archer who had launched a campaign against the local brigands after their leader, [[OurOgresAreHungrier Tazok]], murdered his wife, Deherianna. According to the man himself, his need for revenge is what is giving him the strength to go on.
* Kratos from ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'' kills his own family and spends the rest of the series haunted by the memory and seeking revenge on the Gods for making him do so and for otherwise being colossal jerkasses.
* ''VideoGame/MaxPayne'' spends the first game on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against the big conspiracy that killed his wife and newborn girl. It takes a while for him to get started (primarily due to spending most of the game trying to find out who murdered his partner and set him up to take the fall for it), but when he does...
* Carth Onasi in ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic.'' His primary motive is killing his treasonous commanding officer who announced his defection to the Sith by bombing Carth's homeworld, and among the casualties...
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'': Thane's work as an assassin led to his wife being killed. He was pretty changed by it.
** Notable that even if she ''wasn't'' romanced in the first game, Liara ''still'' has a subtle vibe of this during the second. After Shepard's death, she handed his/her remains over to Cerberus in order to bring them back, then went and waged war for two years against The Shadow Broker for trying to sell Shepard's corpse to [[BigBad the Collectors.]] Keep in mind, [[TookALevelInBadass before this]], she was a shy and mild-mannered ''[[BadassBookworm archaeologist]]''.
* Boone from ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas.'' Interesting in that while he is motivated by his wife's death, it's not the strongest guiding force in his life or even the reason he feels that fate's only keeping him alive to toy with him.
* VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}} has several. Among the more notable:
** The main character, the Sole Survivor, witnesses his/her spouse killed right in front of them and their son kidnapped, but are trapped in a cryogenic pod and unable to stop it. Upon finally emerging, they vow to get their son back and avenge their spouse's death.
** Deacon, one of game's companions, works with the Railroad [[spoiler:because his late wife, Barbara, was a synth. She was killed by an anti-synth gang, the same gang that Deacon ran with in his youth.]] He seeks to atone for her death and the deaths of other innocents he may have caused.
** Another companion, [=MacCready=], is a mercenary in the Commonweath. [[spoiler:His wife, Lucy, died when the family took refuge in a metro station full of feral ghouls; Lucy was caught and torn apart, while [=MacCready=] barely managed to escape with their son, Duncan. Duncan later took ill with a rare disease and was left at the family homestead, too sick to travel with his dad.]] He is riddled with Survivor's Guilt for not being able to save her, and for being forced to leave his son behind as well.
* Varian Wrynn in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', though he's fortunate enough to keep his son as a {{Protectorate}} (if often enough a reluctant one). He still blames himself for not being able to save her, though a bit less so as of the novel ''Wolfheart'', and holds a very long and violent grudge against the Defias for their part in his wife's death. While, granted, he does tend to have [[DoomMagnet pretty terrible luck]] with loved ones in general, Tiffin's death much more than others really threw him into gritty AntiHero territory... at least once he finally snapped out of his depression from it.
* Cyan Garamonde in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' goes berserk when his wife and son are killed, followed by a long period of soul-agonizing CornerOfWoe. But he eventually gets better, regaining his sense of purpose and becoming a [[InformedAbility formidable]] warrior. [[note]][[DontExplainTheJoke Yes, there was shades of snark in that last part.]][[/note]] The game's story plays this straight, but in game battles he can seldom outperform most of his comrades in special skills, [[spoiler: except maybe as [[GoodBadBugs Psycho Cyan]].]]
* [[LoveMakesYouCrazy James]] [[UnreliableNarrator Sunderland]] of ''VideoGame/SilentHill2'' is a particularly dark example; after his wife [[IllGirl Mary]] dies ([[spoiler: [[UnreliableNarrator supposedly]]]]) of terminal illness, James is driven deeply enough into desperation to [[HesJustHiding believe she's still alive]], and seeks her in the monster-infested hellhole that is Silent Hill. Of course, the intensity of his SurvivorGuilt makes more sense when the player realizes [[spoiler: he killed Mary himself]].
** It gets even darker. Though it varies depending on the player's actions, most {{Fanon}} agrees that this crusade ends in [[spoiler: James's suicide]].
* Fiora's death in ''{{Videogame/Xenoblade}}'' is what inspires Shulk to want to hunt down Metal Face, and by extension, the Mechon. [[spoiler: She turns out to have been NotQuiteDead, though.]]
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Gothic}} Arcania]]'' starts off with the player character's love interest being killed at the end of the tutorial, when the troops of Rhobar III invade his home island. Her death becomes his motivation to travel to the main island of Southern Islands and seek revenge on Rhobar III.
* {{Justified}} with Ch'gren, the Klingon Defense Force player character's free engineering bridge officer, in ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline''. His wife Doran was the first officer on your ship during the tutorial, and being {{backstab}}bed by Captain Jurlek when she tried to do a KlingonPromotion meant her soul went to Gre'thor (i.e. FireAndBrimstoneHell). He wants to win a great victory in her name so that she can enter Sto'vo'kor (Klingon Valhalla).
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'':
** Possible deconstruction: [[spoiler: the Tharja from the Bad Future]] in ''VIdeoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'', who never was the most stable person but went completely over the edge upon being widowed.
** It's revealed in the ''Revelation'' route of ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'' that [[spoiler: CoolOldGuy Gunter]]'s wife and child were murdered by Garon and his army, [[spoiler:[[UpToEleven along with his entire]] [[DoomedHometown hometown]].]]
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemGaiden'' and its remake "VideoGame/FireEmblemEchoesShadowsOfValentia'', Valbar's entire family (parents, wife, child, younger siblings) were murdered by pirates. He, his best friend Leon and the hired sellsword Kamui can be recruited if they survive the battle they first appear in, and from then on he fights for Celica's cause.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* Peepenstock from ''WebAnimation/OfWeaselsAndChickens''. It is revealed in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-Fj753m-J0&index=5&list=PL4xqUjsrBMxWvBhJgnda3pA67h76Oi1uO Episode Three]] that [[spoiler:a weasel (Prima) killed his love interest, Willa.]] This fuels his previously inexplicable hatred towards Marcus the weasel throughout the musical.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In the ''Webcomic/CiemWebcomicSeries'', Candi Levens in the Crusading Widow after Denny dies. (And [[ViolentlyProtectiveGirlfriend whenever Donte is threatened]].)
* ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure'': Pauline becomes a barbarian after her husband and son were killed, partly to deal with her rage and pain of it all, and partly to seek out an [[DeathSeeker opponent greater than her]]. Joining Julie's group was the perfect way for her to do this.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SkyDancers'' gives us Queen Skyla, who takes up her husband's mantle after he is killed [[spoiler:but not really]] by his elder brother.
* While not exactly a widower (because his wife Eliza [[HumanPopsicle is in a stasis chamber]] until her [[SoulJar psychocrystal]] can be retrieved), Zachary Foxx in ''[[WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers Galaxy Rangers]]'' has some warning flags of this trope. Rare in that he is a straight-up heroic example, but the topic of Eliza is still his BerserkButton.
* J'onn J'onzz in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' is a downplayed version. His planet is dead, he's frequently tormented with his dead wife and children, and he is a member of the Justice League. Now he may have been this on Mars (as he was a member of the Resistance) but when the series starts he's calmed down a bit to warn Earth/protect people in general.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariya_Oktyabrskaya Mariya Oktyabrskaya]], a Soviet tank driver who lost her husband when the latter was killed in action near Kiev in 1941. She enlisted and sold all her possessions to raise the 50,000 roubles needed to donate a tank to the army on one condition, they let her drive, the State Defence Committee agreed thinking it'd be good publicity. When she arrived at the battle of Smolensk in 1943 the other soldiers considered her a publicity stunt... until she started fighting, maneuvering her T-34, emblazoned with the words "Fighting Girlfriend", like a veteran. She destroyed many German machine gun and artillery positions and was the first of her brigade to breach the enemy positions. And [[http://www.badassoftheweek.com/index.cgi?id=64071327108 that was only the beginning of her two-year campaign against the Nazis]], which would ultimately gain her the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union, the highest award for military bravery offered by the USSR.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitaly_Kaloyev Vitaly Kaloyev]], a Russian architect who lost his wife and children in a flight accident in 2002. The accident was caused by a flight controller error, and the flight controller (a Danish man named Peter Nielsen) had been working for 16 hours continuously due to being an outsourced employee. Kaloyev tracked Nielsen to his house and stabbed him to death in front of his wife and children in 2004.
* [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pier_Gerlofs_Donia Piers Gerlof Donia]] was a Frisian rebel, pirate and a [[TheBigGuy massive giant of a man]] whose [[DoomedHometown village was plundered]] by Habsburg-working mercenaries that also killed his kids and raped and murdered his wife. Not content with killing those responsible, he vowed to be a thorn on the Habsburgs' side, sinking 138 ships, burning two castles and destroying an army of 300 men. Despite these victories, he was unable to defeat a nation and retired disillusioned.