Analysis / Right Under Their Noses

Corollary #1: security is always more and more lax the closer you get to the seat of power, until one can finally sneak into the ruler's lavishly appointed ballroom and mooch food off the table. Cue an Improbably Polite conversation with whoever lives in said innermost retreat.

Corollary #2: If the hero does sensibly attempt to avoid detection by enemy forces by marching in the opposite direction, plot mechanics will dictate that the hero's attempt to avoid detection will be thwarted, or else be ambushed when one of the villains, despite orders to send all the Mooks elsewhere, will Just Know where to find the hero.

In any event, the hero will almost inevitably be captured or somehow come face to face with the villain while attempting to pull this "foolproof gambit" of sneaking right past enemy forces. They will usually encounter the Dragon, who will uncharacteristically Decide To Let Them Live.

This trope is useful alternative to the Real Life strategy of avoiding the enemy for as long as possible:

  • Enables random encounter between the hero and the Damsel in Distress or Woobie who is imprisoned in the enemy's fortress which the hero was supposedly trying to avoid.
  • Enable hero to encounter and/or be captured by The Dragon early in the plot.
  • Enable hero (instead of faceless Bothans) to be the first one to overhear the antagonists' Secret Plan.
  • Give readers/viewers a chance to see inside the Evil Fortress which any sane hero would attempt to avoid.

Note: If the hero is a Spy, this may be a Justified Trope.