Particularly common in TheWestern, this is often the widow's version of the DamselInDistress. However, due to more life experience, the Determined Widow is usually [[PluckyGirl more assertive and less passive in combating her foes]]. She might even tell TheHero that she doesn't need his help, even though, unlike the Damsel, she often has children dependent on her and therefore also in danger. Usually a young widow if she is in distress, as older widows are more likely to be depicted as competent enough not to need saving.

TheHero (or TheProtagonist) protects the widow from a dastardly villain [[EvilPlan attempting to take advantage of her]] (either romantically, or simply stealing from her because she has no man to protect her). Sometimes the villains were the ones who killed her husband, and so the goal is to avenge her husband. This is particularly common in The Western, especially when the hero is TheDrifter.

Often the Hero ends up getting to marry the widow at the end, and this can be a reason for The Drifter to finally settle down. In fact, widow LoveInterests have a better chance at getting to keep TheDrifter than other LoveInterests, who tend to win his love only for him to drop a "ButNowIMustGo" because [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy He Wants His Beloved To Be Happy]].

Older Determined Widows are more likely to appear as advisers to the Heroes.

Determined Widows also often insist on achieving their dead husband's dream. If their husband was a warrior and he fell in battle they might even [[TakeUpMySword "Take Up His Sword"]] and become an ActionGirl or LadyOfWar and continue his fight.

Compare HouseWife and DeterminedHomesteadersWife, which is what they were likely to be before being widowed. HerHeartWillGoOn for the widow's strength in dealing with the loss. Do NOT confuse with YamatoNadeshiko which is an aspect of Japanese culture; while they ''can'' overlap, all they have in common is the inner core of iron will. Does not necessarily [[BlackWidow have anything to do with another type of widow.]]


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* There was one of these in ''LightNovel/KyoKaraMaoh''!.
* Shun Mitaka seemed intent on viewing Kyoko of ''Manga/MaisonIkkoku'' as one, (and himself as the hero of course).
* Male version: Faust VIII from ''Manga/ShamanKing'', a {{Necromantic}} whose goal in life is to revive his dead wife and Spirit partner Eliza.
* Suzumi Aogiri from ''Manga/AyashiNoCeres'' doubles as this and YamatoNadeshiko. After her husband died and she miscarried their child, she decided to bring herself back to her feet, help her husband's half-brother Yuuhi, and then join Aya's cause as a fellow ''Tennyo''.
* The title character in ''Manga/TheLegendOfMotherSarah'' lost her husband and her kids in a riot. [[spoiler: Subverted in that her husband has actually survived the riot... only to die in the finale, making Sarah a widow for good.]]
* Though she didn't marry him, Hana from ''Anime/WolfChildrenAmeAndYuki'' takes care of the two children she had with the WolfMan without ever regretting it or giving up.


[[folder: Comics ]]

* Jodie from ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}}'' (NOT to be confused with Jody, also from ''Preacher'')
* Khrissalla in ''ComicBook/WhiteSand'' - she travels to a foreign and hostile land and is fixed on fulfilling her fiance's dying wish of finding the "Sand Mages" of Dayside.


[[folder: Films -- Animated ]]

* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretOfNIMH'', Mrs. Brisby is a widowed mouse who's family has to move in order to avoid the farmer's plow but her son Timothy has come down with pneumonia and can't be moved for a few weeks. She will do whatever it takes to move her whole house in order to protect him.


[[folder: Films -- Live-Action ]]

* Jill [=McBane=] from ''Film/OnceUponATimeInTheWest'', although she's somewhat of a deconstruction since [[spoiler:she was a HookerWithAHeartOfGold looking for a new life and arrives on the scene after her new family is massacred]].
* Scarlett O'Hara in ''Film/GoneWithTheWind'', however she ''is'' the (anti)hero. She doesn't take up the role of her husbands (she was widowed twice), but rather the role of her father as leader of the farm.
* Sarah [=McKlennar=] in ''Film/DrumsAlongTheMohawk'': when the Mohawks come to burn her house, she actually gets them to take her bed downstairs instead of setting it on fire. She also takes part in the climactic battle, suffering a [[spoiler: fatal]] [[BreastAttack wound in the breast]] from an arrow.
* Rob's mother, Lady Margaret Campbell [=MacGregor=], in ''Film/RobRoyTheHighlandRogue'', uses her kinship to the Duke of Argyll in terms of political influence. She also takes up a pistol to fight to defend her home against an attack by Montrose's men. She shoots a man dead, [[SecretStabWound concealing her own wound]] in the side (or possibly [[BreastAttack breast]] -- being Disney, the film avoids showing bleeding or bullet hole) so that Rob can get away. She then [[spoiler: dies in her daughter-in-law's arms.]]
* ''Film/HannieCaulder.''
* In Creator/RogerCorman's film ''Film/{{Gunslinger}}'' (as seen on ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000''), Beverly Garland's heroine is the widow of a {{US Marshal}} who takes up her husband's badge to keep hunting down the ones responsible for having her husband murdered.
* In ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'', Sarah Connor was a fighter who would do anything to protect her son, John, from the machines. She was only figuratively a widow (she and John's father never having had the benefit of clergy), but fits the trope in every other way.
* Used in the indie-western/horror film ''Film/{{Shroud}}'', the heroine discovers she's a widow after arriving in the titular town, and later literally [[TakeUpMySword takes up her husband's sword]] to fight evil.
* Rosanna Arquette in ''Film/{{Silverado}}'' who, after her husband is killed, agrees to work her land with her neighbor. She realizes that, although she was pretty when she is young, that will "fade in time," but her farm will last.
* Edna in ''Film/PlacesInTheHeart'', who finds herself in a lot of trouble after her husband is unexpectedly killed and she finds herself without a breadwinner, with two children to support, and with a heavily mortgaged farm. She proceeds to work her ass off to plant and harvest a field of cotton to save her farm.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* [[spoiler: Catelyn Stark]] from ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' series by George RR Martin becomes this when her husband is killed, mostly as a result of HonorBeforeReason, she is determined to get her revenge by [[spoiler: waging war against the Lannister family and supporting her son as King of the North.]]
** Goes further after the [[spoiler: Red Wedding where many of the surviving Starks, including Catelyn, are killed. She CameBackWrong as a KnightTemplar and moves closer to a Determinator LadyOfWar in her revenge.]]
** Daenerys becomes an example after her husband Drogo dies.
* Mary Breydon in ''The Cherokee Trail'' by Creator/LouisLAmour.
* Judith from the book ''Judith'' of the Bible: when her village is under siege, she puts on some make-up, goes to Holofernes, the enemy general, takes him to his tent, makes him drunk, cuts off his head, sneaks out of the enemy camp and goes back into her village, with the head of Holofernes in her bag.
* Technically, the Princess Rennsaeler and the other princesses in ''Literature/ABrothersPrice''. They're part of a world where women are the people who fight and rule, so it's pretty well expected of them. Odelia does end up in distress and needing Jerin to rescue her at the start of the book.
* Mrs. Pemberton in the ''Literature/{{Temeraire}}'' novel ''Crucible of Gold''. She is of the "Older advisor" variety - specifically, on tutoring Emily Roland on being a "proper lady." (Roland, for her part, would rather not bother).
* Victoria Lipan in ''Baltagul'' (The Axe/The Hatchet) chases her disappeared husband, backtracking his long trip obsessively. [[spoiler: She finds his skeleton in a ravine and pursues his killers with equal stubbornness and success.]]
* In ''Literature/StarWarsKenobi'', a SpaceWestern, the {{Deuteragonist}} Annileen Calwell took over her husband's store after he was killed by Sand People, and manages her children, her customers, and her business partner Orrin Gault through sheer force of personality, even as she suppresses her own desires under the daily grind. Ben Kenobi provides a welcome breath of fresh air, but resists their growing feelings out of a combination of Jedi strictures against relationships and the need to protect his secret guardianship of Luke Skywalker.
* ''Literature/SoBig'': Selina, continuing to work her husband's farm after his unexpected death, and eventually making a success out of it. All the ignorant peasants of High Prairie are shocked and horrified when Selina, a woman, takes her produce to Haymarket herself for sale. She turns out to be a far better farmer than her late husband was.


[[folder: Live-Action Television ]]

* Alma Garrett from ''{{Series/Deadwood}}''.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Drogo's death galvanizes Daenerys into action, first by hatching the eggs, and culminating (for now) in the conquest of Slaver's Bay.
* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', they meet the widow of a [[HunterOfMonsters hunter]], Ellen Harvelle, who is running a bar for hunters. She is an adviser to the boys. Later Sheriff Jody Mills takes up the fight against the supernatural, after her husband's horrific death.
* Lily Bell from ''Series/{{Hell On Wheels}}'' embodies this trope to a 'T' in every regard. She wants to see to the completion of the first Transcontinental Railway, a project which her late husband (a surveyor) had been working on.
* Mags Bennett from ''{{Series/Justified}}'' is a villainous version. After her husband died she raised her three sons and built a massive marijuana growing operation. When Raylan returns to Kentucky she is one of the most feared and respected criminals in the area.
* Elizabeth Bryant from the ''Series/MurdochMysteries'' episode "Murdoch of the Klondike" runs one of the two hotels in a formerly booming mining town in the Yukon. Murdoch returns to the town from his claim site to find she's been arrested for killing a rival hotel owner. She asserts her innocence, and when she learns he was once a police detective, she wants his help to clear her name--so much that when he initially refuses, she berates him from her cell, shouting "You're NOTHING!" at him as he leaves. Later, after he's bailed her out of jail and started to investigate, she learns he suspects a friend of the deceased who's buying up mining claims and she goes to physically confront the man in a local hotel barroom. Murdoch finally has her return to jail so he can investigate without her "help". In a quieter conversation, Murdoch asks her why she stays, and she cites the fact that her husband is buried there and insists the hotel provides enough of a living for her. She even flirts openly with Murdoch, hoping he'll stay with her, but he demurs.
* Series/WhenCallsTheHeart begins three months after a coal mine explosion created several dozen determined widows.


[[folder: Religion and Myth ]]

* Khadijah, the first wife of [[UsefulNotes/{{Islam}} Muhammad]], was a wealthy and successful businesswoman (having taken over her late husband's business). When she married Muhammad, she helped him out a lot financially, as well as in other ways, and continued to run her business.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The entire point of the ''Planescape'' module for ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' is for the PC (who must be female) to find a way into the Abyss and get her husband back.
* Ashelia B'Nargin Dalmasca of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' is a widow while still in her teens and determined to ensure [[TheEmpire Archadia]] feels her wrath of justice.


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* Abigail Primrose in ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' is an elderly example who can defend herself quite well (she owns a suit of PoweredArmor), but still needs some help now and again.


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* In ''Roleplay/TheGamersAlliance'', [[TheSpymaster Marya]] becomes a dark version of this after her husband [[WellIntentionedExtremist Kagetsu]] bites the dust. [[BreakTheCutie She doesn't take his death well]], and after a long period of mourning she becomes fixated on making Kagetsu's dream become real, going so far as kidnapping and corrupting a prince to do her bidding while acting as his EvilMentor, setting the stage for a brutal civil war in Maar Sul, and subtly opposing the Grand Alliance which she had once called friends. Once she has done all this and made sure that the prince will carry out her mission, she [[spoiler:is overcome by guilt of all the horrible things she has done to achieve her husband's dream, and she commits suicide to be reunited with Kagetsu in the afterlife]].


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Susan [=McSween=], who after her husband and friends were murdered during the Lincoln County War, went on to become a prominent cattlewoman in New Mexico.
* Lillian Moller Gilbreth continued the time/motion and efficiency studies of her husband, Frank, after his death in the 1930s. While raising ''eleven children'' (all of whom eventually graduated college). The story is recounted in ''Belles On Their Toes'', and was fictionalized in the 1950 novel and film ''Cheaper By the Dozen''.
* [[ Maria Corazon "Cory" Sumulong Cojuangco Aquino]], wife and widow of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., and probably one of, if not THE most DeterminedWidow in recent history. Her husband was the primary political opponent of the dictator (though his official title was "President") of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos. Ninoy had been exiled to the United States, and on the day of his arrival back to the Philippines, he was assassinated via BoomHeadshot. Ninoy's death was the catalyst [[ that drove the people of the Philippines into a non-violent revolution against the oppressive regime of Ferdinand Marcos]], led by Cory herself. Long story short, Marcos was booted out of office, and Cory became the 11th President of the Philippines, and returned the country back to "democracy"[[note]]in quotes because in reality, it was immediately dominated by elite oligarch families, many of whom were already in power before Martial Law sidelined them in 1972, or else by upstart political dynasties founded by appointees whom Cory placed in various jurisdictions[[/note]]. Ninoy later had the Manila International Airport renamed in his honor, and it is now officially known as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The anniversary of his death was made into a national holiday, and his portrait is on the 500 peso bill along with one of his most famous quotes "The Filipino is worth dying for." His wife's portrait later joined his in a reprinting of the bill after she passed away in 2009 (which in turn prompted their ''son''—Benigno III, a.k.a. Noynoy—to run himself for president in 2010, which he won—in a way qualifying him for the title of "Determined ''Orphan''", as both of his parents were now dead by this point).
** This trope is actually common in Philippine politics: the phenomenon of grieving wives or relatives running to supposedly "continue the legacy" of their dead loved ones[[note]]so common a phenomenon, in fact, that it's gotten its own name: ''necropolitics''[[/note]], often regardless of whether they're competent to run or serve in office themselves. Current vice president Leni Robredo, as one example, decided to run for Congress in 2013 (and then the vice-presidency in 2016), after her husband, erstwhile Interior & Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, died in a plane crash in 2012. Critics took to calling her a GenerationXerox of Cory Aquino (even if they weren't directly related) given all the parallels—a yellow motif, a grieving and very devoutly Catholic widow, and an association with the Philippine Liberal Party.