Accuser of the Brethren

So, you've got The Atoner, he has done some bad things and regrets them. He works hard to be redeemed and you think he's going to get support, right?

Wrong. There is a character, a very vindictive person who wants nothing better than to force the Atoner to wallow in his guilt.

Perhaps The Atoner was once The Dragon, and his master wants him to feel that redemption is virtually impossible, perhaps it was someone who was hurt by The Atoner and doesn't want them to be redeemed, because they did something they find unforgivable. The former often overlaps with Evil Cannot Comprehend Good and the latter case usually overlaps with He Who Fights Monsters.

Compare to Never Accepted In His Home Town, Inspector Javert, and He Who Fights Monsters. Contrast with Karma Houdini.


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  • The League of Shadows are basically this in The Dark Knight Rises. Years after their first attempt to destroy Gotham in Batman Begins, they try again, even though their job is to destroy cities where crime rules. So they try to reinstate their plan to destroy the city after eight years of peace in Gotham. Gets worse when you realize that 90% of the new crime wave in Gotham was their fault (not such a surprise given that a large part of the reason Gotham became such a Wretched Hive in the first place was because of their manipulations).
  • Benchwarmers has one of the coaches for the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits be a former bully who regrets his past actions. His team promptly turns on him once the secret gets out.
  • Played around with in "Ringu 0". The journalist Akiko Miyaji was determined to find out about and get revenge on Sadako, knowing that she was responsible for her fiancÚ's death. However, we see that Sadako isn't really evil and malicious as the former believes. But when Akiko reveals Sadako's past traumas to the entire theatre group and audience, it leads to an inevitable yet depressing Downer Ending.

    Live Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer has the gypsies who gave Angel his soul, in retaliation for the murder of one of their own, in an effort to make him suffer eternal guilt. Generations later and the gypsies would try to make sure Angel never finds happiness, Justified as him being happy will be enough to unleash his demonic split personality Angelus.
    • Likewise, the spinoff Angel has Daniel Holtz, season three's Big Bad, whose vendetta towards Angel runs so deep, he actually goes as far as to erase Angel's heroic acts from recorded history and his Evil Plan was to keep Angel from truly redeeming himself.
  • In House Of Payne, CJ becomes this when Blue, a drug dealer and Big Bad of the story arc of Janine's crack addiction, seeks repentance in a church as he was dying of AIDS. When Janine and Ella work to help take care of him and pray for him, CJ doesn't support him and gets mad at Janine for helping him. At one point, he goes to the church and simply says "I don't know what you're trying to prove - that man is beyond your prayers." and walks out. He gets better when Ella gives him a What the Hell, Hero? speech about being a true Christian, and at Blue's last moments, CJ goes to pray for Blue's repentance at Blue's bedside.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Trope Namer Satan is called this. It is said when a sinner seeks repentance, that Satan would fill their hearts with guilty feelings to make them feel separated from God and force them over the Despair Event Horizon.

    Video Games 
  • The Greek Gods of God of War are more or less this given that Athena tells Kratos that while they will forgive him for killing his family, they will never let him forget. However, Athena also notes even the Gods couldn't forget what he did, so it's less intentional than others.
  • Alistair Smythe is this to Curt Connors in The Amazing Spider-Man. Ever since the Lizard's rampage, Smythe was made the head of Oscorp's science experiments, and always blamed Connors for the continuation of the Cross Species experiments. When the virus breaks out and Connors develops a cure, he kidnaps Connors, and later reveals the reason he did so was because he didn't want the city to be saved with the solution Connors created, rather then the nanobot cocktail Smythe created.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Family Guy episode, "And I'm Joyce Kinney", the title character tries to ruin Lois' reputation by revealing that she was in a porno movie, as payback for when Lois humilated her in High School. Should be noted that when Lois is forgiven, Joyce gets angry.