This trope occurs when a particular characters allegiance is so unclear as to be a prominent subject of debate among fans. No one is ever really sure who this character is loyal to or if they even have loyalty to anyone. Many things may cause this: Perhaps there's reason to think that the character may not be in control of their own actions, or perhaps they simply change sides as often as you change clothes. Either way, you'll be left wondering whose side they're on for a while. The question may eventually be resolved or it may simply left up to the fans to debate.
ExamplesAnime and Manga
- In Bleach, Gin's allegiance was in question a lot (at first he seemed to be the Obviously Evil Big Bad, then he was revealed as Aizen's minion in a Double Subversion, but in the scenes where he appeared in Las Noches he still seemed rather untrustworthy). It's eventually revealed that Gin had been waiting for the perfect moment to kill Aizen for over 100 years for mysterious reasons that appear to have involved his Childhood Friend Rangiku. Unfortunately, Aizen had known all along what Gin had been planning. Gin did pull it off better than Aizen expected, but Aizen prevailed in the end.
- Severus Snape from the Harry Potter books. He was a good man, albeit flawed, having kicked the dog a lot. He really was working against Voldemort and was motivated by love for Harry's mother (hence the reason he hated Harry so much; Harry looks a lot like his father, who himself bullied Snape mercilessly). Harry names one of his sons after him and describes him as "the bravest man I ever knew".
- Up until The Reveal, no one knew the allegiance of Verin Mathwin from The Wheel of Time. The fact that several key conversations of hers were offscreen, and that she was a Space Cadet of the highest order did not help in the slightest.
- Jason Winkler from House of Anubis was a good guy at first, and then he started to unravel the mystery of Joy Mercer's disappearance. Ultimately, this led him to Victor and the next thing the viewers knew, he had joined Victor's society. This spawned some debate among fans of the series as to whether Jason was being forced to cooperate with the society or whether he had joined of his own free will. (A third theory is that he is the Reverse Mole, pretending to be loyal to the society in order to gather information on them.) Turned out, he was slowly dying and needed The Cup of Ankh to save himself.
- Axel from the Kingdom Hearts series has no doubt been the subject of such a discussion at least once. Not even his fellow Organization members are entirely sure of where his loyalties lie.