Particularly common in TheWestern, this is often the widow's version of the DamselInDistress. However, due to more life experience, the Determined Widow is usually [[PluckyGirl more assertive and less passive in combating her foes]]. She might even tell TheHero that she doesn't need his help, even though, unlike the Damsel, she often has children dependent on her and therefore also in danger. Usually a young widow if she is in distress, as older widows are more likely to be depicted as competent enough not to need saving.

TheHero (or TheProtagonist) protects the widow from a dastardly villain [[EvilPlan attempting to take advantage of her]] (either romantically, or simply stealing from her because she has no man to protect her). Sometimes the villains were the ones who killed her husband, and so the goal is to avenge her husband. This is particularly common in The Western, especially when the hero is TheDrifter.

Often the Hero ends up getting to marry the widow at the end, and this can be a reason for The Drifter to finally settle down. In fact, widow Love Interests have a better chance at getting to keep The Drifter than other Love Interests, who tend to win his love, "ButNowIMustGo" because he [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy wants his beloved to be happy]].

Older Determined Widows are more likely to appear as advisers to the Heroes.

Determined Widows also often insist on achieving their dead husband's dream. If their husband was a warrior and he fell in battle they might even [[TakeUpMySword "take up his sword"]] and become an ActionGirl or LadyOfWar and continue his fight.

Compare HouseWife and DeterminedHomesteadersWife, which is what they were likely to be before being widowed. HerHeartWillGoOn for the widow's strength in dealing with the loss. Do NOT confuse with YamatoNadeshiko which is an aspect of Japanese culture; while they ''can'' overlap, all they have in common is the inner core of iron will. Does not necessarily [[BlackWidow have anything to do with another type of widow.]]
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!!Examples

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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* There was one of these in ''LightNovel/KyoKaraMaoh''!.
* Shun Mitaka seemed intent on viewing Kyoko of ''MaisonIkkoku'' as one, (and himself as the hero of course).
* Male version: Faust VIII from ''ShamanKing'', a {{Necromantic}} whose goal in life is to revive his dead wife and Spirit partner Eliza.
* Suzumi Aogiri from AyashiNoCeres doubles as this and YamatoNadeshiko.
* The title character in ''Manga/TheLegendOfMotherSarah'' lost her husband and her kids in a riot and, while it's not clear until late in the story, her husband indeed got killed in said riot.
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[[folder: Comics ]]

* Jodie from ''{{Preacher}}'' (NOT to be confused with Jody, also from ''Preacher'')
* Abigail Primrose in ''TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' is an elderly example who can defend herself quite well (she owns a suit of PoweredArmor), but still needs some help now and again.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* Jill [=McBane=] from ''Film/OnceUponATimeInTheWest'', although she's somewhat of a deconstruction since [[spoiler:she was a HookerWithAHeartOfGold looking for a new life and arrives on the scene after her new family is massacred]].
* Scarlett O'Hara in ''GoneWithTheWind'', however she ''is'' the (anti)hero. She doesn't take up the role of her husbands (she was widowed twice), but rather the role of her father as leader of the farm.
* ''Hannie Caulder.''
* In Creator/RogerCorman's film ''Film/{{Gunslinger}}'' (as seen on ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000''), Beverly Garland's heroine is the widow of a {{US Marshal}} who takes up her husband's badge to keep hunting down the ones responsible for having her husband murdered.
* In ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'', Sarah Connor was a fighter who would do anything to protect her son, John, from the machines. She was only figuratively a widow (she and John's father never having had the benefit of clergy), but fits the trope in every other way.
* In TheSecretOfNIMH Mrs. Brisby is a widowed mouse who's family has to move in order to avoid the farmer's plow but her son Timothy has come down with pneumonia and can't be moved for a few weeks. She will do whatever it takes to move her whole house in order to protect him.
* Used in the indie-western/horror film ''Shroud'', the heroine discovers she's a widow after arriving in the titular town, and later literally [[TakeUpMySword takes up her husband's sword]] to fight evil.
* Rosanna Arquette in ''{{Silverado}}'' who, after her husband is killed during the movie, agrees to work her land with her neighbor. She is GenreSavvy enough to realize that, although she was pretty when she is young, that will "fade in time," but her farm will last.

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* [[spoiler: Catelyn Stark]] from ASongOfIceAndFire series by George RR Martin becomes this when her husband is killed, mostly as a result of HonorBeforeReason, she is determined to get her revenge by [[spoiler: waging war against the Lannister family and supporting her son as King of the North.]]
** Goes further after the [[spoiler: Red Wedding where many of the surviving Starks, including Catelyn, are killed. She CameBackWrong as a KnightTemplar and moves closer to a Determinator LadyOfWar in her revenge.]]
** Daenerys becomes an example after her husband Drogo dies.
* Mary Breydon in ''The Cherokee Trail'' by [[LouisLAmour Louis L'Amour]].
* Emily Pollifax from the Literature/MrsPollifax novels by Creator/DorothyGilman becomes a spy for the CIA when she's a widow.
* Judith from the book ''Judith'' of the Bible: when her village is under siege, she puts on some make-up, goes to Holofernes, the enemy general, takes him to his tent, makes him drunk, cuts off his head, sneaks out of the enemy camp and goes back into her village, with the head of Holofernes in her bag.
* Technically, the Princess Rennsaeler and the other princesses in ''Literature/ABrothersPrice''. They're part of a world where women are the people who fight and rule, so it's pretty well expected of them. Odelia does end up in distress and needing Jerin to rescue her at the start of the book.
* Mrs. Pemberton in the ''Literature/{{Temeraire}}'' novel ''Crucible of Gold''. She is of the "Older advisor" variety - specifically, on tutoring Emily Roland on being a "proper lady." (Roland, for her part, would rather not bother).
* Victoria Lipan in ''Baltagul'' (The Axe/The Hatchet) chases her disappeared husband, backtracking his long trip obsessively. [[spoiler: She finds his skeleton in a ravine and pursues his killers with equal stubbornness and success.]]

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[[folder: Live-Action Television ]]

* Alma Garrett from ''{{Series/Deadwood}}''.
* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', they meet the widow of a [[TheHunter hunter]] who is running a bar for hunters. She is an adviser to the boys.
* Lily Bell from ''Series/{{Hell On Wheels}}'' embodies this trope to a 'T' in every regard. She wants to see to the completion of the first Transcontinental Railway, a project which her late husband (a surveyor) had been working on.
* Mags Bennett from ''{{Series/Justified}}'' is a villainous version. After her husband died she raised her three sons and built a massive marijuana growing operation. When Raylan returns to Kentucky she is one of the most feared and respected criminals in the area.

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[[folder: Religion and Myth ]]

* Khadijah, the first wife of Muhammad, was a wealthy and successful businesswoman (having taken over her late husband's business). When she married Muhammad, she helped him out a lot financially, as well as in other ways, and continued to run her business.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The entire point of the ''Planescape'' module for ''NeverwinterNights2'' is for the PC (who must be female) to find a way into the Abyss and get her husband back.
* Ashelia B'Nargin Dalmasca of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' is a widow while still in her teens and determined to ensure [[TheEmpire Archadia]] feels her wrath of justice.

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[[folder: Web Original ]]

* In ''Roleplay/TheGamersAlliance'', [[TheSpymaster Marya]] becomes a dark version of this after her husband [[WellIntentionedExtremist Kagetsu]] bites the dust. [[BreakTheCutie She doesn't take his death well]], and after a long period of mourning she becomes fixated on making Kagetsu's dream become real, going so far as kidnapping and corrupting a prince to do her bidding while acting as his EvilMentor, setting the stage for a brutal civil war in Maar Sul, and subtly opposing the Grand Alliance which she had once called friends. Once she has done all this and made sure that the prince will carry out her mission, she [[spoiler:is overcome by guilt of all the horrible things she has done to achieve her husband's dream, and she commits suicide to be reunited with Kagetsu in the afterlife]].

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[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Susan [=McSween=], who after her husband and friends were murdered during the Lincoln County War, went on to become a prominent cattlewoman in New Mexico.
* LifeImitatesArt: Lillian Moller Gilbreth continued the time/motion and efficiency studies of her husband, Frank, after his death in the 1930s. While raising ''eleven children'' (all of whom eventually graduated college). The story is recounted in ''Belles On Their Toes'', and was fictionalized in the 1950 novel and film ''Cheaper By the Dozen''.
* Corazon "Cory" Aquino, wife of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., and probably one of, if not THE most DeterminedWidow in recent history. Her husband was the primary political opponent of the dictator (though his official title was "President") of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos. Ninoy had been exiled to the United States, and on the day of his arrival back to the Philippines, he was assassinated via BoomHeadshot. Ninoy's death was the catalyst that drove the people of the Philippines into a non-violent revolution against the oppressive regime of Ferdinand Marcos, led by Cory herself. Long story short, Marcos was booted out of office, and Cory became the 11th President of the Philippines, and returned the country back to democracy. Ninoy later had the Manila International Airport renamed in his honor, and it is now officially known as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The anniversary of his death was made into a national holiday, and his portrait is on the 500 peso bill along with one of his most famous quotes "The Filipino is worth dying for." His wife's portrait later joined his in a reprinting of the bill after she passed away in 2009.

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