"Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever."A person, often an officer in military settings, who is out to win glory in war, regardless of the cost. Sometimes the cost is to himself, but usually it's only to his men. (Sometimes just the foot soldiers, when he regards only officers as important, sometimes all subordinates, when he subordinates them all to his quest for glory.) May lead the troops himself, often long after it's clear the attack is futile, but the more odious examples may also be the Armchair Military. In either case, count on his laying claim to his men's, or other officers', work and ideas and sloughing off all the blame. He will never say Think Nothing of It until he is certain that it will only be taken as modesty — and he requires a great deal of certainty. May actually refuse to provide support to other units, or ask for reinforcements, when it would interfere with his quest for glory. May neglect the less glamorous parts of the military — leading from the front, for instance, when he should be attending to supplies. When stealing credit, he may try to destroy the career of the actually responsible person, because he isn't in sole control of the promotion ladder, and he can't prevent a capable underling from being promoted. Indeed, in peacetime, he may foment war; if he has enough power, he may insist on attack. The Caligula, when a Glory Hound, is particularly dangerous. And when a Glory Hound develops a Blood Knight tendency, he may Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter". Most common among the military because of the authority of his position, but other characters are possible: an Egomaniac Hunter endangering others on the expedition, a Super Hero who even sets up "menaces" so he can receive credit for dealing with them. He is unusually likely to be the Karma Houdini, walking away with medals or promotions after slaughter. (He is often fond of the Bling of War.) At worst, he usually suffers no more than Reassigned to Antarctica. His subordinates may realize that every mission is What You Are in the Dark. May also be The Neidermeyer. Count on his saying We Have Reserves, not only when the battle might be lost, but when the victory will not reflect on him as well without it. The canonical Character Alignment for many Glory Hounds is Chaotic Evil, though Neutral Evil and Chaotic Neutral examples exist. Usually is The Unfettered, depending on how willing they are to sacrifice anything to achieve glory. Sub-Trope of Glory Seeker, who is also after glory but doesn't have to do anything discreditable to get it. However, there is an important distinction between the two: A Glory Seeker would happily get themselves killed in pursuit of glory, while a Glory Hound would happily get others killed in pursuit of glory, often with no remorse, loves bloodshed, bonus points for stealing the glory that others have legitimately earned, disproportionate retribution on those opposing their plans, or engaging in chronic backstabbing disorder. Compare Attention Whore, which often overlaps. Contrast Miles Gloriosus, who will often try to steal credit after the fact, but is far too much of a Dirty Coward to actually seek out any actually glorious situation. Inverse of A Father to His Men. The Fair-Weather Mentor is often this. See also Engineered Heroism, Fake Ultimate Hero.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Fullmetal Alchemist has Hughes' commander in the Ishvalan War. Basque Grand "accidentally" shoots the commander for this, and everyone else instantly agrees to the cover story that it was a stray bullet.
- Frank Archer from the 2003 anime version is most definitely this. Sending his soldiers to their doom and being most unreasonable as Lior is "His opportunity to be a war hero".
- Barnaby Brooks Jr. from Tiger & Bunny appears to be one at first, but it turns out that his Punch Clock Hero tendencies have a more complex reason than that. Specifically, the head of his sponsoring company is the orphaned Barnaby's trusted mentor — and has used the opportunity to raise a hero who won't complain about compromising morality for the sake of appealing to the masses.
- Booster Gold's original characterization. In 52, the writers brought it back leading to his apparent death, followed by the revelation that it had all been a trick to disguise what he actually did.
- Astro City: In the Tarnished Angel arc, Steeljack discovered that the villain was a disgraced superhero who was out to kill small-bit villains to restore his name.
- Pyro in The Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers. He refuses to take a particular Heroic Sacrifice because it's not cool enough for his tastes, and insists that Ironfist make the sacrifice instead. He later reconsiders and says just dying for your friends is good enough. He does.
- In The Punisher MAX storyline "Mother Russia" the 'making of' eight generals was going to be getting a contagious virus from a Russian silo. To help keep Russia's attention from this, they had terrorists hijack a plane to crash into the Kremlin, only for it to be blown up by Russia's air defence. This also killed the innocent passengers aboard. Even worse is that they all cheer in victory when the plane gets blown up. Despite Nick Fury calling them out, not one of them shows a sign of remorse.
Films — Animated
- In The Incredibles, Syndrome's plan is certainly — reckless with people and property.
- Steele in the movie Balto is a literal glory hound. He crosses the Moral Event Horizon midway through the movie by trying to attack Balto when he comes to get the sled team, and then mimics Balto's tracks on the tree line, getting the team hopelessly lost. This not only puts the lives of the sled dogs in danger, it jeopardizes the entire rescue operation for the sick kids who will die without the medicine the sled team is carrying. Jenna even calls him a glory hound as part of a What the Hell, Hero? speech.
- Governor Radcliffe from Pocahontas.
- The Virus character Thrax from Osmosis Jones plans to kill Frank (whom in the setting is like a heavily populated city-state) within 48 hours to "get [his] own chapter in the medical books". More specifically, he is envious of big-name diseases like Ebola and AIDS, believing himself to be deadlier than they are, and wants their levels of global infamy.
Films — Live-Action
- The antagonist in Sam Peckinpah's 1977 film Cross of Iron is a German aristocrat who joined the war specifically to get the Cross of Iron on the Eastern Front.
- The older brother in the South Korean Korean War film Tae Guk Gee is this only so he can request for his younger brother to be sent home. Because he's such a good soldier his superiors keep delaying sending his brother back; when he thinks his beloved brother has died in an attack he does a Face–Heel Turn to North Korea out of despair.
- In the film Patton, the eponymous character admitted that he was this trope. Montgomery is portrayed this way as well: Patton says that one of the main reasons he doesn't like the British Field Marshall is because the latter won't own up to it.
- Lieutenant Colonel Tall in The Thin Red Line berates the Captain of Charlie Company for hesitating in a frontal attack that will cause excessive casualties, because he is more concerned with the promised schedule and his reputation than the cost of victory. He later tells his XO how lucky the younger officer is to have a war upon graduation from West Point, because the Colonel has "worked, slaved, eaten untold buckets of shit to get to where [he] is now!"
- Captain Amazing from Mystery Men intentionally releases an evil mastermind from the Asylum and waits for him to commit an act of mass murder (i.e. blowing up the asylum) before trying to defeat him once again and revive his image.
- In Kagemusha, Katsuyori Takeda is a newly elevated ruler eager to claim exploits of his own and thus disregards the defensive strategy set by his deceased father and the other generals, with catastrophic results.
- In Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, The Sheriff opposes Hansel and Gretel because he wants to get sole credit for defeating the witches. Of course, he and his men are absolutely no match for the witches and their troll and are slaughtered.
- In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel Ghostmaker, the general in overall command claims credit for victories essentially won by Gaunt and his Ghosts.
- In Honour Guard, when Gaunt is ordered to not follow his own battle plans, resulting in a disaster, the general who gave the orders sets out to end Gaunt's career.
- In Sabbat Martyr, the same general used another's battle plans, and Gaunt observes that he would doubtlessly claim credit.
- Lord Rust in Jingo! marches an army to war with little preparation and starting the invasion at the worst possible place because the enemy would never suspect anyone to do so.
- In Dan Abnett's Horus Heresy Horus Rising, Eidolon sent his men to the planet surface, wasting them in small groups when overwhelming force was clearly needed, to claim glory. Later, when Tarvitz's actions in blowing up certain trees has beneficial effects on unnatural storms, Eidolon claimed he had had it done, when he had in fact rebuked Tarvitz for doing it.
- In Graham McNeill's False Gods, Temba, Chaos-tainted, accuses Horus of being no friend, because he left him behind while he went on to win glory.
- In Ben Counter's Galaxy in Flames, Lucius, being envious claims to Eidolon that Tarvitz had once been content to plod along as a common soldier, but has discovered a thirst for glory leading the betrayed loyalist Space Marines on Isstvan. Which is why he wants to become a Turn Coat. With the advantage Lucius gives him, in a quest for glory, Eidolon strikes ahead of with no thought of tactics. Tarvitz gets the loyalist Emperor's Children to disengage, join him, and make a flanking attacking. Eidolon's troops are slaughtered, and Horus is signally displeased with him.
- In Graham McNeill's Fulgrim, Fulgrim's plan to come to the aid of the Iron Hands would also ensure that most of the glory would fall to his Emperor's Children; even one of his own men thinks it vainglorious (though admitting to a thrill at being back in the fight.)
- In Mitchel Scanlon's Imperial Guard novel Fifteen Hours, it's what kills the protagonist: he is part of a recon team on the field of the day's battle, led by an officer looking for an easy medal. Things go horribly wrong, most of the team being killed by scavenging Orks.
- In Gav Thorpe's The Last Chancers novel 13th Legion, Franx's Back Story: after long serving under a Glory Hound, he demanded adequate supplies to carry out an attack, and when they were refused, his men went beserk and he did not stop them.
- In William King's Space Wolf novel Grey Hunters, Ragnor is not sure about Berek, because his glorious victories were often won at a high price in blood. To be sure, he does lead himself, and freely shares credit, and the Space Wolves want to join him to lay claim to the glory.
- In Lee Lightner's Wolf's Honour, Ragnar is stunned when Bulveye says he must be the distraction and so Ragnar and the other younger Space Wolves will have the honor of facing down Madox and retrieving the Spear of Russ; he had assumed that the older Space Wolves would claim the privilege.
- In Graham McNeill's Storm of Iron, Vauban remembers hearing of Yastobaal, a great and selfless hero who sacrificed himself to save his planet, and how his further researches had discovered the man was a reckless Glory Hound. (He is reflecting on how another soldier might be remembered.)
- In Graham McNeill's Ultramarines novel The Killing Grounds, Uriel recognizes Barbaros's personality as a Glory Hound at once, even though he is mustered out and serving as Governor.
- In James Swallow's novel Deus Encarmine, Koris declares that Inquisitor Stele is pursuing his own glory and can not be trusted not to exploit the Chapter.
- In Deus Sanguinius, Sachiel glories in the adulation, despite his vows to seek only the good of the Chapter and not glory.
- In James Swallow's Faith & Fire, Miriya rebukes her squad: they are elite troops and find prisoner escort beneath them, and she tells them that any duty to the Emperor is glorious.
- In Steve Parker's Gunheads General deViers starts out as a competent and respected commanding officer but after his previous campaign turns from a major victory into a massive disaster, he becomes obsessed with preserving his legacy. He sends his Army Group to attack an Ork world in the hopes of retrieving a legendary battle tank. If he can accomplish his goal he will be proclaimed a hero of the Empire and will earn a spot in the history books. The fact that his entire Army Group is getting destroyed in the campaign does not seem to matter to him at all.
- Pell, an F-86 pilot in James Salter's novel The Hunters, consistently puts the rest of his squadron in danger by failing to cover them and going after the kill instead.
- Captain Falco from John Hemry's The Lost Fleet makes himself out to be the hero of the Alliance even though his victories are all but indistinguishable from his defeats. This ends up blowing up in his face spectacularly when he persuades a chunk of the titular Fleet to go haring off on a glorious headlong charge... straight into an enemy ambush. When we next see Falco, his mind has cracked completely.
- In Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga books:
- Prince Serg in Shards of Honor and his supporters. The Emperor intentionally let them go to war against enemies who had weapons they didn't know about to get rid of them.
- The Cetagandian attackers in The Vor Game. During the fighting, Miles thinks that they should have realized that all was lost and retreated, but owing to the dishonor, they attack on and on in hopes of redeeming themselves with victory. Justified in this case, as a defeat would lead to the campaign being disavowed by their government to save face, and the commanders facing (likely fatal) punishment for their "unauthorized" actions.
- Miles himself runs dangerously close to this trope; while he runs his people well and ensures that the Dendarii are incredibly useful as a covert operations force, his own mother speculates that he does so only so that he can keep being the dashing, dazzling Admiral Naismith, and not the crippled, unregarded Lieutenant Vorkosigan. However, that's only one side of his duality: the other side is the man who will jump after a woman he barely knows, as she's falling out of a shuttlecraft, and try to grab her despite her being twice his size and weight and the action almost certainly causing his death, because she has been drafted as One Of His People.
- Two perfect examples in Norman Mailer's acclaimed book, The Naked and the Dead. Sergeant Croft and General Cummings both fit this role, though Croft is the foul-playing war-lover, whereas Cummings is part of the Armchair Military. Cummings believed war can be calculated with a formula, whereas Croft is just bloodthirsty. Either way, they're both out for glory regardless of the cost, and both attempt to send Lieutenant Hearn, one of the protagonists, to his death. They are successful. Cummings assigns Hearn to Croft's squad, and Croft sends Hearn ahead to lead the group, and he gets killed in an ambush due to his lack of battlefield experience.
- In Andy Hoare's White Scars novel Hunt for Voldorius, the Raven Guard accuses the White Scars of headlong charges to glory without consideration for the grand scheme.
- The In Death series: The FBI, especially Agent Jacoby, definitely is this in Betrayal in Death. Eve and her unit were about to arrest an assassin named Sylvester Yost, when the FBI shoved them out and Yost escaped because he saw them coming in. Karma hit the FBI pretty hard on that one.
- In one episode of Mash, Hawkeye persuades a Glory Hound that his stomach problem is appendicitis. This allows him to operate and take him out of the line of battle for a while — though it ends with the grim Aesop that this will not stop the war.
- Arnold Rimmer of Red Dwarf longs to be an army general, yet when he gets his chance in Meltdown, while he ends up winning the battle, he ends up killing not just the enemy, but his own soldiers. Since he and Kryten are the only ones who survive, he declares it a victory.
- Magic: The Gathering has three of its colors prone to this.
- Black is incredibly focused on the individual, even more so than the other colors, and would do what it can to stroke its own ego.
- White is the near antithesis of Black in this respect, but wants the glory because it makes it easier for it to control its population as its image to the group improves.
- Red is all about emotions and freedom, but unfiltered emotions make it so that Red would do anything that would help its self esteem, to suicidal effects.
- General Damon from Valkyria Chronicles... he uses your Militia Squadron as cannon-fodder, sending you on one suicide-mission after the other - and when you actually succeed, against all odds, he claims it as a victory for himself and the conventional army. While you're busy trying to save your tiny nation from being entirely overrun and/or razed by The Empire, he's more concerned with earning his Field Marshall star...
- Gail from Front Mission is also one, a skilled Wanzer pilot who "pay for glory with the blood of his own men" by Hell's Wall leader Greg, he becomes Kevin's rival in the game.
- The Dynasty Warriors series of games portrays Yuan Shu this way, especially when playing under the Wu storyline. Yuan Shu's decision to delay much-needed supplies to Sun Jian, fueled entirely by gall at the idea of the latter stealing the former's glory, threatens to unravel the coalition against Dong Zhuo.
- Most paladins in role playing games tend towards this too, even though it goes against their alignment.
- Ratchet from Ratchet & Clank is a bit like this. His main motivation is the fame and fortune that comes from his adventures. But by game three, he has become jaded when Clank gets his own secret agent series that has Ratchet as his chauffeur, constantly annoyed that Qwark and Clank keep getting credit for his work.
- Yaginuma in Kara no Shoujo is pretty open about being this. On the other hand, it's implied that were he to screw up he would take responsibility for it, meaning he has to actually be pretty competent.
- General Lee Oliver of Fallout: New Vegas, whose strategy against Caesar's Legion is for one big ol' slaughterfest at Hoover Dam, hoping that it'll be big and glorious enough to outshine Chief Hanlon's more tactical defeat of Joshua Graham.
- Cole in Battlefield 3. Campo calls him this(out of earshot), and later it plays a major part in getting Campo and Matkovich killed in A Rock And A Hard Place.
- Cole Phelps, protagonist of L.A. Noire, had shades of this during his time in the war, and retains the attitude once he enters the police force.
- Axton of Borderlands 2 was formerly a commando of the Dahl corporation whose obsession with personal glory eventually led to him botching an escort mission by using the person he was supposed to protect as a targeting beacon and forcing him to go AWOL at the advice of his wife (who was also his CO).
- Dr. James Whitman in Tomb Raider (2013) is an archaeologist who is obsessed with having fame and glory for himself. Whitman's reality TV show based on his discoveries had dwindled greatly and he resorted to more general reality TV elements that don't pertain to what he does for a living. Whitman was so used to glamorous parties, fine dining, and the attention being focused on him that he was willing to do anything to get his glory back. When Whitman and the rest of the crew get shipwrecked on Yamatai, he becomes so fascinated by the crazed cult and the Sun Queen that he focuses on trying to study them so he has a story to sell to the media and barely even bothers helping Lara Croft and the others find a way to escape from the island. At one point, Whitman kidnaps Lara's best friend, Sam, and hands her over to the Big Bad (whom he had planned to use the girl as a vessel to restore the Sun Queen's soul) just so that he could make his story bigger for the media after he witnessed what would happen to Sam during the ritual. Laser-Guided Karma bites Whitman in the ass hard as he gets killed by a pair of undead Japanese samurais.
- The fan game Rakenzarn Tales has a guild of them, with the Morning Glory guild. A group of lying jerkass Glory Hounds.
- Persona 5: Sociopathic killer Goro Akechi commited crimes and then solved them as a self-styled Great Detective just so he could be famous. Unsurprisingly, he regularly appears on TV talk shows, which is how your party first meets him.
- Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse introduces Gaston, a Samurai from Mikado who leads an elite Samurai unit known as Merkabah's Crusaders and is eager to prove his worth to his divine superiors as part of the forces of Law's efforts to put down the Divine Powers. He insists on showing off his combat prowess, getting mad at you for killing mutual target Shesha instead of letting him do it. Additionally, if you choose him as your battle partner, he may occasionally jump into battle at the start of your turn, stealing your Press Turns to attack, even if his attacks get blocked resulting in you suffering turn penalties as a result.
- Homestuck: Vriska tries to keep her metaphorical fingers in all the pies (all of them), so that her ultimate (planned) victory over the demon will be that much greater. This includes being responsible for Jack getting prototyped with Bec, and for Bec being created in the first place.
- Lieutenant Cross from The Pocalypse was perfectly willing to ignore the distress calls send by the main characters because they got the missions he wanted. When this is revealed, he just attempts to kill them.
- In Nip and Tuck, Charlie.
- Aaron Hughes of Survival of the Fittest fits. Almost right away he starts an escape group, only to manipulate and use extreme methods throughout the game to get what he wants. It becomes abundantly clear (even flat-out said at one point) that he doesn't want to escape, but rather he wants to take the glory for being the one to figure out how. It reaches the point that when the escape boats come, he refuses simply because it wasn't him who summoned them and that he would rather play the game conventionally.
- Armsmaster, of Worm, is explicitly noted as caring more for his own career than the wellbeing of his city or his team, but it isn't until he realizes that he is no longer on the command track that he crosses the line, sabotaging the joint hero/villain alliance in order to give himself the chance to kill Leviathan personally.
- In X-Ray and Vav, unlike his idealistic partner Vav, X-Ray only cares about becoming popular from being a superhero instead of actually being a hero. He gets angry when the superhero Mogar starts stealing his spotlight and is more concerned about getting rid of him than helping people.
- Zapp Brannigan from Futurama. He will not hesitate to throw wave after wave of his own men to their deaths to merely force killbots to shut down by reaching their pre-programmed kill limits, or command a battle fleet in a dangerous space battle remotely from the New New York Appleby's.
Zapp: Just say the word and I'll throw wave after wave of my own men to help you out! Isn't that right, men?Zapp's men: *mortified silence*Voice from the back ranks: YOU SUCK BRANNIGAN!
- Sentinel Prime from Transformers Animated. He's willing to make a deal with Lockdown, a sociopathic monster who butchers his victims to steal their upgrades who is probably high on the Elite Guard's most wanted list, for him to, in exchange for parts from the Elite Guard's ship, capture Decepticons for him so he can take the credit and be the hero. This backfires, leaving him to be rescued by Optimus and the others. When they make contact with Cybertron, Optimus covers for him again, leaving Sentinel free of any consequences. At the end of the series, he's now the default leader of Cybertron, who is still taking credit for said captures? Optimus was also one to a lesser extent in the series pilot, made worse since he was a washout cadet assigned to a menial post. He is quickly sobered after his first confrontation with the Decepticons.
- Commander Palmer of Titan Maximum, who despite being The Hero of the Five-Man Band is portrayed solely as a glory-seeking moron while his former Lancer Gibbs did all the actual work of making plans.
- Sasha Caylo comes in a close second, being a sex-obsessed socialite whose life otherwise consists of partying and drinking while achieving maximum media visibility. Turns into a Chekhov's Skill when Willy figures that they can use this celebrity to force President Caylo to unlock the funds needed to repair the busted Titan Maximum.