Assassins Are Always Betrayed
A Plot Twist
where the main character is an assassin and is betrayed by his organization, or at least his mentor. A common component is it turns out that the main character has been assassinating members of his own organization, as a ploy for Mission Control
to gain power.
In order to keep the main character sympathetic, this is almost inevitable when the main character doesn't betray his allies first.
Often an example of You Have Outlived Your Usefulness
. This betrayal usually takes the form of a Contract on the Hitman
Related to Murder, Inc.
and Professional Killer
Warning: Due to this trope's nature as a Plot Twist, spoilers may be unmarked!
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- In Darker Than Black season one, it turns out all the various organizations hiring contractors do so with the express purpose of killing said contractors.
- Golgo 13 has often been betrayed by his employers. The one thing more spotless than Duke Togo's assassination record is his record of lethal vengeance against said employers.
- Alluded to in Batman: DOA, a graphic novel-length story where Batman has been poisoned and needs to find an antidote, stat. Two-Face, one of the three instigators of the plot (the other two being the Joker and the Penguin), mentions that he got one of his best men to administer the poison, and an even better hitman to take out the poisoner.
- Doubly subverted in Death of Achilles: Achimas thinks his contractor betrayed him (as he expected from the start) but it turns out that it was just his liaison who tried pocketing Achimas' payment. His contractor lets Achimas kill the liaison and thanks him for a well-done job.
- Mistborn: The Original Trilogy has Zane in "The Well of Ascension", who his employer (his own father) has people attempt to kill in his sleep near the end of his story for what said father assumes to be a betrayal of Zane's own. The attempt fails, but Zane doesn't return the favor.
Live Action TV
- Nikita left Division after they had her civilian fiancÚ killed, ostensibly to protect the secret.
- In Dishonored, you are betrayed by Admiral Havelock, who attempts to poison Corvo and kills most of his Loyalist allies so that he can seize control of the city. And depending on your Chaos level, Samuel the boatman may betray you as well.
- In the original Hitman: Codename 47, Ort-Meyer, the client who ordered the assassinations, is really trying to capture 47, whom he created as a "perfect human". The last assassination he ordered is in fact a trap, and the others were a test of his skills as well as eliminating dead ends.
- Inverted in Hitman Absolution. Agent 47 actually betrays the Agency, leading to them hunting him down. However, he does this for the sake of the game's Morality Pet, Victoria, who is a genetically-altered child just like him, and he doesn't want anyone else to turn out like he did.
- Metal Gear Solid:
- In MGS1, first Master Miller reveals Naomi to have ulterior motives for helping Snake, and implicates that she only assisted in the mission as revenge for Snake killing her adoptive brother. Then Master Miller turns out to be Liquid Snake, the Big Bad.
- In MGS2, Raiden is betrayed by Mission Control, and then learns that the entire mission was an experiment.
- Inverted in MGS3, where initially The Boss betrays Snake, and America with him, until near the end, where it turns out she was acting on orders to infiltrate Volgin's group.
- Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker reveals that The Boss was a straight example of this. Hot Coldman deliberately set her up to be killed to remove any potential threat she could have posed to his plans.
- In Mark Of The Ninja, most of the second half is determining whether you have been betrayed, or have instead gone insane. It's both.
- The Elder Scrolls:
- Oblivion's Dark Brotherhood storyline eventually has Lucien Lachance arrive to tell you that your last several marks were in fact members of the Brotherhood's upper echelon, due to a mole tampering with the dead drops where you got your orders.
- Skyrim does it again with the Brotherhood. When trying to assassinate the Emperor, you are sold out by Astrid, who is trying to spare the Dark Brotherhood by making a deal with the target.
- In Assassins Creed, it turns out that Al Mualim has sent Altair to assassinate the other leaders of the Templars in order to get the piece of Eden himself.
- This later leads another Assassin to make a power grab and turn the other Assassins against Altair.
- Inverted in both Assassin's Creed III and Assassins Creed IV where Haytham Kenway and Duncan Walpole turn out to be former Assassins who have decided to join the Templars. Haytham succeeds in becoming the Grandmaster of the Templars in the New World, while Duncan is killed by Haytham's father in self-defense.
- Then there's Lucy who has also betrayed the Assassins to the Templars.
- In Knights of the Old Republic, the GenoHaradan series of quests ends with Hulas revealing that the targets the Player Character has been sent after are the other three guild overseers. You have the option of walking away or meeting Hulas for a duel on Tatooine.
- In Deus Ex, it somehow happens to the protagonist JC Denton, although the whole scenario can be summarized as many factions repeatedly betraying one another for various good and bad reasons. It is clear, however, that JC's direct boss (Menderley and Simmons) are up to no good, are constantly manipulating him and hiding the true purpose of his missions, and attempt to kill him by remote controlling the nanomachines in his body when he becomes more a problem than an asset.
- According to conspiracy theorists, this is what happened to Lee Harvey Oswald.