* Named for Gandalf's big scene against the Balrog (no, not [[StreetFighter THAT]] Balrog, or [[VideoGame/CaveStory THAT]] Balrog) of Moria in Creator/JRRTolkien's ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''.
** In the book, however, [[BeamMeUpScotty Gandalf's line was "You cannot pass"]]. It is said in the movie, just before the above quote - just not as loud. However, in the book he does "cry aloud" while smiting the bridge.
*** Also, in the book he does it twice. The second time, he prevents the Witch-king from riding into Minas Tirith when the main gate is breached, with a completely still "You cannot enter here." This doesn't culminate in a duel however since just at this moment, the Rohan reinforcements arrive. A similar scene is included in the extended version of the ''Return of the King'' film. Pity he looses this one.
*** Thrice. Just prior to the bridge scene he had stayed behind briefly to magically seal a door. The Balrog broke the spell but collapsed the roof, forcing it to go the long way to catch up.
** Dernhelm's ([[spoiler: a.k.a. Éowyn]]'s) defense of Théoden against the Lord of the Nazgûl: "Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may." [[spoiler:[[NoManOfWomanBorn She]] even '''laughs''' at him.]]
*** "For living or dark undead I will smite you if you touch him!"
** Boromir telling the hobbits to flee and then building himself a funeral mound of orcish corpses probably qualifies as well.
** Beregond leaves his post in order to pull one of these to stop Denethor from succeeding in lighting Faramir's pyre.
** Gondor as a whole does this. For thousands of years they were what was keeping Sauron's forces at bay.
** There are so many instances of this in ''TheSilmarillion'' that one can safely conclude Tolkien loved this trope.
*** Húrin, the father of [[{{Badass}} Túrin Turambar]], pulls this off against ''the entire army of Morgoth'' alone so his allies can escape. He fights to the point where his axe melts on his hands and even then does not give up. All the while shouting: [[CrowningMomentofAwesome "Day shall come again."]]
**** With his brother Huor, father of Tuor, although Huor gets to actually die, where Húrin gets taken prisoner before Morgoth and is [[FateWorseThanDeath made to watch everything bad that happens to his family by magic]] as revenge.
*** Finrod Felagund breaks out of his chains and kills a Werewolf barehanded to save Beren.
*** Huan, the hound of Valinor, stands up against Carcaroth, the mightiest werewolf who has [[spoiler:a Silmaril]] in its body, in order to protect Beren. Huan manages to slay the crazed werewolf before succumbing to wounds [[spoiler:but Beren dies nonetheless.]] This only occurs because Beren was trying to protect Lúthien against Carcharoth in ''yet another'' invocation of this trope. [[spoiler:Waving a Silmaril in a badass werewolf's face will cost you your hand, however.]]
*** During the sack of Gondolin, Ecthelion, a high-elf lord, defends a wounded Tuor against Morgoth's chief captain Gothmog. Ecthelion manages to take down the Balrog before he dies, ''after losing both his arms''[[note]]In case you're wondering, he kills it with [[UseYourHead the spike on his helmet]][[/note]]. Glorfindel also killed a Balrog (and was killed) while the survivors were fleeing in the mountains.
*** Subverted during the Flight of the Noldor when Fëanor is leading his people from Tirion. A messenger from Manwë appears and tries to oppose their departure (into [[StupidSacrifice certain death]] no less), but Fëanor is the more powerful of the two and convinces them to depart all the same: "In that hour the voice of Fëanor grew so great and potent that even the herald of the Valar bowed before him as one full-answered, and departed; and the Noldor were over-ruled."
** Parodied in ''BoredOfTheRings'' when the Fellowship actively chop down the rope bridge with Goodgulf and the Ballhog on it.
* The event referenced in one of the [[{{Dragaera}} Vlad Taltos]] books where Sethra Lavode compares the tactics of defense to being a real estate agent (i.e. get as high a price as possible for any ground lost) to her apprentice, Sethra the Younger. In a battle a few days later, Sethra the Younger offers to retreat from her strategically-important pass if the enemy commander will send a third of his force, unarmed, through to the prison camps behind her lines. He refuses, and gets his behind handed to him in the ensuing assault.
* In RobertJordan's ''[[WheelOfTime The Great Hunt]]'', [[spoiler:Ingtar, having been revealed as a Darkfriend, redeems himself by holding off the advancing Seanchan at the cost of his life, allowing Rand and his compatriots to escape]].
** An awesome example in the Breaking: When Jaric Mondoran, a maddened sorceror with the power to devastate whole districts, approaches Tzora the Da'shain went to meet him, ten thousand of them, and began to sing to remind him what he once was, and give the (at least) hundreds of thousands of people living in Tzora time to escape. He looked at them puzzled while burning them alive one by one. They closed their ranks and kept singing. He listened to the last one for over an hour. After that the second largest city in the world burned, leaving only a sheet of glass.
* In the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse novel ''[[ComicBook/XWingSeries Rogue Squadron]]'', Rogue Squadron and Defender Wing are ambushed by a type of capital ship designed to slaughter large numbers of starfighters. With a little cleverness, Corran Horn works out a scenario to distract, damage, or destroy it it so that the others can get away -- "Worst case, you lose one ship." Not only did it work, Horn and his ship survived.
** It happens again later in the series. When Rogue Squadron is lead into a deathtrap at Distna, One and Two flight (eight X-wings) are forced to fight three squadrons of enemy fighters, while Three flight is forced to take on the same number (with half as many ships) so that the others can attempt to escape. "Alright three flight, we're holding the door open." {{Delaying Action}}s are standard for the Rogues; they pull one in Literature/TheThrawnTrilogy and are only saved when [[AbandonedByTheCavalry the cavalry returns]].
** In the ''StarWars: Literature/NewJediOrder'' novel ''[[Creator/MattStover Traitor]]'', the Jedi Ganner Rhysode declares, "I am Ganner. This threshold[[note]]the entrance to the Well of the World Brain[[/note]] is mine. I claim it as my own. Bring on your thousands, one at a time or all in a rush. I don't give a damn. None shall pass." and proceeds to slaughter hundreds of enemy warriors before being overcome, buying time for Jacen Solo. When he's finally overwhelmed, he pulls a Samson by collapsing the (large) building he's in on both himself and his foes (which included a ''tank''). In fact he was so damn impressive that, according to an UnreliableNarrator, in the future he would be made into a deity in the enemies' pantheon called "The Ganner", an invincible giant armed with a sword of light, guarding the gate to the world of the dead, upon which is inscribed -- in ''Basic'', not Yuuzhan Vong -- NONE SHALL PASS.
*** In ''Literature/LegacyOfTheForce'', Wedge Antilles has to scramble for impromptu designations for himself and Corran. Since they're flying a delaying action, he chooses Ganner One and Ganner Two. What could be more appropriate?
** ''Literature/DeathStar'' has the Force-Sensitive stormtrooper Nova Stihl repeatedly DreamingOfThingsToCome, and one dream is of he and one other fighting off his fellow stormtroopers, and dying, while trying to buy time for others. He manages to avoid something from another dream, but for this one, he goes along with it and delays the other stormtroopers long enough that his little cell of Imperials going through a HeelRealization can escape. He is assisted in this by another alien, who was a bar bouncer.
* ''Literature/HonorHarrington'':
** In the novels, having Harrington go into battle in a seriously outmatched ship with practically no possibility of victory and massive casualties happened frequently enough in the early books that an "Honor Death-Ride" has become cliche (and to be fair, is noted by various characters in the books themselves such as in ''Honor Among Enemies'' when several crewmen, upon finding out who's commanding their new ship, immediately begin figuring out how to desert before the inevitable catastrophic battle).
** Of course, the ones doing that are dirtbags that their former commanders couldn't wait to be rid of. Their eventual fate was a rather more literal variety of LaserGuidedKarma. Or, in this particular case, ''graser'' guided karma.
** Edward Saganami's YouShallNotPass moment got Manticore's version of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis named after him. They also show his final battle to the graduating class every year.
** Honor's armsmen ''live'' (or rather, die) for this trope. Given the number of people that try to kill her, Honor gets through rather a lot of them, much to her regret.
** The Home Fleet in the Battle of Manticore, buying time so the Eighth Fleet can close the distance to engage the invading Havenite fleet.
* Also by Creator/DavidWeber in the HellsGate series you have "Chunika s'hari, Halian. Sho warak", or "I am your son, Halian. I remember." Archaic words said by the Imperial family when invoking their precognition. It takes only 20 years to make an emperor, but 20 centuries to make an empire the world can trust. For many members of the family, their precognition is weak except in the circumstances of their immediate death. For them to make this proclamation means they will die in their actions, but their death will hold the line.
* In MercedesLackey's and James Mallory's ''Literature/TheObsidianTrilogy'', and specifically the first book, ''The Outstretched Shadow'', Jermayan tells Kellen the story of five scouts from the last war with the Endarkened, who held an entire demon army in a narrow pass for three days, buying time for the allied armies to gather. "History" lost their names (even though there are elves living who are so old they are no more than two generations from the time of the last war, thousands of years ago), and it's not known how they did it, but their sacrifice is remembered.
* Creator/MercedesLackey's ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'' series
** Vanyel does it at least once on-camera.
** So did Lavan, though his particular explosion was more out of rage, grief, and a sudden lack of desire to live. Maybe more TakingYouWithMe?
** There is a specific spell called ''Final Strike'' which any magic-user, even an apprentice can use which sucks in all the ambient magical energy of the area and channels it through the spell-wielder's body; it [i]will[/i] fry you, but the resultant explosion will take your opponent with you--and, depending on how big the explosion, anything within a certain radius. The higher-level magic user you are, the bigger the explosion.
* In the old pre-revision ''MagicTheGathering'' novels, a Viking-ish female captain (a lesbian with two wives, no less) named Ordando faces down cavalry in an alleyway to buy time for the general of her army and the rest of their small infiltration party to escape.
* In Creator/HGWells' ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'', the ironclad torpedo ram ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Thunder_Child HMS Thunder Child]]'' attacks several Martian tripods to buy time for British refugee ships to escape. The ''Thunder Child'' is utterly destroyed, but the refugees get away and it manages to off one of the tripods in the process ''[[RammingAlwaysWorks by ramming it]]''.\\
\\
As the ''Thunder Child'' sinks, the Martians' [[EnergyWeapons "Heat Ray"]] fire causes the boilers to explode, [[TakingYouWithMe destroying a second tripod in the blast]].
* In the original ''{{Dune}}'' book, Duncan Idaho sacrifices himself to hold off a flood of Imperial Sardaukar elite troopers, while Paul Atreides makes good his escape. In the sequel, it's revealed that while he did, indeed, die, the surviving Sardaukar were so impressed with his ImplausibleFencingPowers that they preserved his body, later having it resurrected as a "[[CloningBlues Ghola]]"... and that, as it turns out, has some [[ForWantOfANail extremely far-reaching effects]] on the ''Dune'' universe.
* In Jim Butcher's ''Literature/CodexAlera'' novel ''Cursor's Fury'', the hero, Tavi, has to hold a bridge against a massive invading army with an inexperienced, under-equipped, and badly-outnumbered Legion (6 thousand Legionnaires against ''sixty thousand'' invaders). He very nearly has to sacrifice himself and a cohort of his ''legionares'' to hold off the invaders, and although he survives, the fact that he actually declares, "You will not pass," to the leader of the invading army makes it worth mentioning as an example.
** A massive invading army of eight-foot-tall berserker ''wolf-men'', which simply adds a whole 'nother level of [[BadAss badassery]] to the act.
*** And the fact that he pulls it off and manages to send them into retreat makes it all the more impressive.
* In ''HisDarkMaterials'', book two, when [[spoiler:Lee Scoresby]] stays behind in a ravine and holds off 25 elite soldiers with a battered old Winchester rifle.
** Also a RasputinianDeath because of how many times he was shot and how long it took him to finally die.
* In John Barnes's ''Literature/OneForTheMorningGlory'', how the Twisted Man died.
* Creator/DanAbnett's ''Literature/GauntsGhosts'' series
** In ''First & Only'', Sergeant Blane and fifty Ghosts hold off the vastly superior numbers of Jantine Patricians for a long time, even in face of their ZergRush, until they are overwhelmed.
** In ''His Last Command'', Gaunt and Wilder [[MoreHeroThanThou dispute over who has the honor of taking a company and holding off the Blood Pact to let the rest of the regiment escape]]. Since Gaunt does not have a command rank, Wilder wins.
* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', there's a charm that works just like this. If you protect someone with strong will, and die for them, then your sacrifice will fuel a charm -- making your protected ones completely immune from direct harm from the one that killed you. That's how Harry survived the Death Spell from Voldemort (by having his mother inadvertently cast this charm), and later, in the last book, how [[spoiler:Voldemort's curse became ineffective against Hogwarts' students (by Harry's HeroicSacrifice).]]
* ''Literature/TheGunsOfNavarone'' by Alistair [=MacLean=] (variant with wounded guy).
* The ''{{Redwall}}'' series
** Rockjaw Grang in "The Long Patrol", after [[TakingTheBullet being fatally wounded]]. He manages to kill over twenty {{Mooks}} before he finally dies.
** Also Bragoon the otter and Sarobando the squirrel from ''Loamhedge'', similar to Gandalf's example, threw a log that was bridging a canyon down said canyon while foes were scrambling across it, to save the three young ones that were with them. Being pretty old, they died of exhaustion shortly afterward.
** Also also, Felldoh the squirrel in ''Martin the Warrior'' was probably the first example of this in the writing of the books. He takes down at least twenty enemies and scares the rest enough that after he's dead, the rats are talking about later basically saying "thank GOD we didn't get to him in time!"
* In the ''Literature/WingCommander'' novel "Fleet Action", a vastly outnumbered and outgunned Confederation manages to hold off the [[CatFolk Kilrathi]] fleet, at one point having civilian craft play "human shield" for the [[SpaceMarine Marine]] landing craft to board the ''Hakaga'' supercarriers, to detonate antimatter mines from the inside, where the heavy armor not only didn't help the ''Hakagas'', but helped focus the blast to gut the ships from the inside.
* "Gunny" Pappas, in ''[[Literature/LegacyOfTheAldenata When the Devil Dances]]'', holding off the [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Posleen]], and the [[PoweredArmor ACS]] troopers who were too damaged to move did this, while the rest of the force retreated for resupply.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''
** In William King's novel ''Literature/SpaceWolf'', Sergeant Hengist rallies a group of young Marines about him to hold off attacks from Chaos Space Marines, [[MoreHeroThanThou sending off a handful]], led by Ragnar, to BringNewsBack. When a Chaos Space Marine tell Ragnar that the group had broken and the Chaos Space Marines were hunting them down, Ragnor refuses to believe him.
** In Lee Lightner's ''Wolf's Honour'', two veteran units hold off the rebel attack long enough for the rest of the Imperial Guard to reach the fortified perimeter; they die to the last man.
** In Creator/JamesSwallow's novel ''[[Literature/BloodAngels Red Fury]]'', all the sons of Sanguinius throw themselves into [[spoiler:defending the tomb of Sanguinius, knowing that if they fail, the survivors' only choice will be to be destroy the fortress]].
** In Henry Zhou's novel ''The Emperor's Mercy'', Imperial Guardsmen are surrounded by Chaos forces and [[LastStand are fighting on, despite dying of hunger and disease]]. Roth tells Celemine that they had no choice but to stay with them. The commander hears and instantly wants to fight a last charge: they can get them to their ship and hold off the enemy -- and that way, they can [[FamedInStory be remembered]]. (They are. In fact, their eighteen minutes defense of the ship is immortalized in a mural ''on Terra''.)
* In Raymond Feist's ''[[TheRiftwarCycle Darkness at Sethanon]]'', [[spoiler: Laurie's friend Roald]] holds off approaching [[OurElvesAreDifferent Dark Elves]] after he breaks his leg in a fall. He tells his friend to "[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Make a song about me, Make it a good one]]", before he gives a decent accounting of himself, allowing his friends to escape.
* ''RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms''
** When Zhang Xiu ambushed Cao Cao, Dian Wei remained behind to hold the main gate against Zhang's forces. Because his [[{{BFS}} usual weapon]] was stolen, Dian Wei instead used a normal infantryman's sword until it broke, at which point he used a pair of [[GrievousHarmWithABody normal infantrymen.]] Not surprisingly, even after he died the enemy were still terrified of passing the main gate.
** A warrior named Zhang Fei managed to pull this off single handedly against an entire army. It was a bit different, though, as there was no actual fighting, just a very tense stand-off where the opposing commander Cao Cao was so taken aback by the audacity of a single person trying to hold off an army, that he figured that it was an attempt to lure him into a trap. Once Zhang Fei yelled, however, all bets were off, and the entire army... ran away. Ironically, Zhang Fei had a bunch of followers raising clouds of dust to make it look like an ambush would be waiting if Cao Cao's army advanced, although it's shown that while the advance elements was stalled by that 'poorly disguised ambush' it was Zhang Fei himself that scared Cao Cao.
** Not to forget Zhuge Liang, who single-handedly held off Sima Yi's army with an empty city and his own reputation.
* Bigwig in ''WatershipDown'' has [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome one of the best Shall Not Pass moments]] in literature.
--->'''Bigwig:''' "My Chief Rabbit has told me to defend this run, and until he says otherwise, ''I shall stay here."''
** This doubles as a BadassBoast by proxy; the attacking rabbits, accustomed to a [[LargeAndInCharge hierarchy of physical force]], conclude that Bigwig's Chief Rabbit must be even bigger and badder than he is. They are appropriately shaken, although Bigwig is quite unaware of it.
** A ThanatosGambit as well: Bigwig figures that even after they kill him, they'll have to dig around his corpse.
* In ''WorldWarZ'', a man relates the story of how the zombie war went down in Paris, including how his brother's unit attempted to contain the inmates of an insane asylum that had been zombified:
--> One squad against [[IronicEcho three hundred]] zombies. One squad led by my baby brother. The last thing we heard before the radio went silent was his voice on the radio: "They shall not pass!"
* In Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs's ''[[JohnCarterOfMars A Princess of Mars]]'', John Carter insists that Dejah Thoris and Sola flee while he holds off the Green Martians.
* Kurt's death in ''[[{{Halo}} Ghosts of Onyx]]'' counts as this. He holds off Covenant forces long enough for the Slipspace portal on Onyx to close thus saving the other Spartans and Dr. Halsey. This also leads to his CrowningMomentOfAwesome:
-->'''Voro 'Mantakree:''' One last fight Demon. You shall die, and we will reopen the silver path.\\
'''Kurt Ambrose:''' ''(laughs)'' Die? Didn't you know? Spartans never die. ''(detonates FENRIS nuclear warhead)''
* In Toby Frosts third SpaceCaptainSmith book, ''Wrath of the Lemming men'', Agshad nine-swords single-handedly wins the battle of Tam Valley, defending the bridge from an army of bloodthirsy Yullian soldiers using only his broom before he is finally felled by a sneak attack from Colonel Vok.
* Done twice in the web original ''TheSalvationWar''. The first, in Armaggeddon??? has a group of retired Chinese soldiers using bolt action rifles and then bayonets, to hold off a demon from slaughtering the women and children of their town. The second is in Pantheocide when a Palestinian suicide bomber [[spoiler: takes his jeep full of explosives to attack The Scarlet Beast and the Whore of Babylon as they ravage Jerusalem. Limited in its success, it's still the first thing that actually hurts them... When he arrives in Hell (everyone goes there), several women offer themselves to him.]]
* The Swedish-language Finnish poem ''Literature/TheTalesOfEnsignStal'' contains a classic and rather interesting example of this. The poem at one point tells the story of the brave but incredibly stupid soldier Sven Dufva who, in the middle of a battle against the Russians during the Finnish War (1808-1809) misunderstands an order to retreat and instead attacks the enemies in front of him. He singlehandedly manages to hold a bridge until reinforcements can arrive, sacrificing his life in the process.
** The quote "Släpp ingen djävul över bron" (in modern English roughly "Don't let a single fucker cross that bridge") has been a [[MemeticMutation go-to phrase]] in Swedish for holding out against overwhelming odds ever since. Though the bit about simply being too stupid to retreat usually gets left out.
* The BackStory of JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/TheGoldenOecumene The Golden Age]]'': Helion sacrificed himself on the Solar Array to contain a solar storm. [[spoiler: As he thought. It was actually an attack.]]
* A fairly common way for Literature/{{Bolo}}s to go. ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Legacy of Leonidas]]'' is Thermopylae {{IN SPACE}}.
* Umslopogaas dies defending a staircase against a small army at the climax of ''[[Literature/KingSolomonsMines Allan Quatermain]]''.
* A bit of BackStory in one of AndreNorton's AlternateHistory books, ''The Crossroads of Time'', mentions that after WorldWarII went really, really bad for the Allies, and "Japs exploded all over the Pacific," the last word the U.S. got from Australia was that "they were still fighting a desperate rear guard action along the salt deserts there...." That was in late 1940 or early '41; the hero gets this information something like ten or fifteen years later.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's ConanTheBarbarian story "Beyond the Black River," Balthus sends off the settlers and realizes the Picts will catch them. He invokes this trope [[spoiler:and dies]].
* ''Literature/TheSwordOfShannaraTrilogy''
** This is how Elven Hunter Crispin goes out in ''The Elfstones Of Shannara''. With all his companions dead, Crispin holds the bridge at the Pykon against [[TheJuggernaut The Reaper]], a Demonic SerialKiller in order to give Wil and Amberle time to destroy the bridge. Easily his DyingMomentOfAwesome.
** Almost all of Jair's companions in ''TheWishsongOfShannara'' die this way, staying behind one or two at a time to delay the Gnomes and other enemies that are chasing them.
* Alexandre Dumas' ''Literature/TheThreeMusketeers'' series novel ''The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later''. Porthos destroys the tunnel network that he and Aramis are using to plot a rebellion against the King of France, buying Aramis and the rebels enough time to escape and destroying most of their pursuers.
* Done against an object, but otherwise the same in ''[[Literature/FarRainbow Distant Rainbow]]'' by Strugatski brothers. When the Wave suddenly overpowers most of "Charibdas" (wave-stopping machines), [[MadeOfExplodium causing them to explode]] and starts advancing rapidly at the scienific outpost, Robert takes one of the two remaining Charibdas and steers it against the Wave so the other scientists can evacuate. [[spoiler: He escapes the machine seconds before it blows up, along with Patrick, who steered the other one]].
* In BrandonSanderson's ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'' TheHero Kaladin Stormblessed does this against an army of Parshendi at the end of the book to save [[spoiler: Dalinar Kholin, TheFettered, and the last honorable High Prince left in the entire Alethi army.]] It is easily the best battle scene in the entire book. [[spoiler: The Best Part? Kaladin Lives and gets his freedom.]]
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''
** ''Literature/AGameOfThrones''. Syrio Forel holds off five Lannister guardsmen and a knight of the Kingsguard with only a wooden sword to buy time for Arya to flee. He actually kills the lightly armored Lannister guards, and is only defeated by the knight in heavy armor and full helmet.
** In ''Literature/ADanceWithDragons'', Theon is fleeing Winterfell with some wildling women and Jeyne Poole. Once their stealth is broken, one of his companions, Frenya, a spearwife, stays behind to stop the guards while the others flee. We never see what happens to her at the end, but it is strongly implied that she is killed. However the trope is subverted when the others realise that Frenya still has the rope they were going to use to climb down the castle wall.
* In MichaelFlynn's ''[[Literature/SpiralArm The January Dancer]]'', many rear guards sacrifice themselves to ensure that Hugh escapes.
* John Geary's claim to fame in JackCampbell's ''TheLostFleet''. Taking on enemy ships, outnumbered ten to one, so the ships he was escorting could escape immortalized him in TheAlliance.
* This is how [[spoiler:Rastar Komas Ta'Norton, last Prince of fallen Therdan]], meets his end in the final book of the ''Literature/PrinceRoger'' series.
* The poem "Horatius" by Thomas Babington Macaulay sets the Roman legend (see the Real Life section) into English verse, in words that readily define the trope. In the poem, Horatius proposes to hold a bridge against an army while the village he's defending cuts it down behind him:
--> ‘Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul,\\
With all the speed ye may;\\
I, with two more to help me,\\
Will hold the foe in play.\\
In yon strait path a thousand\\
May well be stopped by three.\\
Now who will stand on either hand,\\
And keep the bridge with me?’
* This is [[spoiler: Jago's]] DyingMomentOfAwesome in ''Literature/LegacyOfTheDragokin'': He stands in [[BigBad Jihadain's]] way during the climax to prevent her from obtaining the BiggerBad's SoulJar. He's little more than a road bump to her but he buys Daniar time to catch up.
* In Creator/JulieKagawa's ''Literature/TheIronKing'', Ash holds off the gremlins for Meghan to escape, and is caught in the collapse.
* ''WarcraftExpandedUniverse''. ''The War Of The Ancients'' novels give us one of the greatest examples in the entire Warcraft universe. Broxigar, an orc transported back in time, leapt through a portal that lead to the Burning Legion homeworld. Once there, he proceeded to slaughter demons until he stood upon a mountain of their corpses, to the point that ''[[BigBad Sargeras himself]]'' had to kill him, but not before Brox did the impossible and wounded him. All of this with an axe made of enchanted ''wood.''
* The first chapter of ''StarTrek: Ship of the Line'', has the USS ''Bozeman'', a ''Soyuz''-class border cutter, being left alone in a sector bordering the Klingon Empire, while the ''Enterprise'' and most of the fleet is sent to face off the Klingon fleet threatening to invade. While on patrol, the ''Bozeman'' detects a Klingon heavy cruiser sneaking across the border in order to destroy the Federation outpost there. While no match for the Klingon warship, the small border cutter decides to do everything possible to hold off the Klingons and let the rest of the fleet know what's going on. They launch a probe with a time-delayed message set to transmit after exiting the Klingon ship's jamming field, while the ''Bozeman'' maneuvers trying to avoid the heavy disruptor shots. It helps that the commanders of the ships are old rivals, so Captain Bateson is able to goad Kozara into attacking him instead of making a beeline for the outpost. Desperate, the ''Bozeman'' attempts to hide in a small nebula, only to emerge 100 years later nearly colliding with the USS ''Enterprise''-D (TNG episode "Cause and Effect"). They later find out that they are remembered as heroes for thwarting Kozara's attempt. Their message reached the fleet, and the original ''Enterprise'' was able to drive the Klingon ship away. Kozara, still alive, has been living in shame for his failure since then, and the shame is only increased when it's discovered that the ''Bozeman'' survived. Naturally, he plots revenge.
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