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Glory Seeker
Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.

From the crucible of battle are heroes born, in defeating the villainous enemy there is glory to be had, and that makes it all worthwhile. At least, that's what the Glory Seeker believes.

Usually some sort of military officer, but not neccessarily so, he can be a crusading knight charging heedlessly into the fray, a lone desperado out to make a name for himself, a Bounty Hunter going after the toughtest targets. He may or may not enjoy the spoils of war, he may or may not believe in what he's fighting for, he may be a coward who is all talk or a Blood Knight who revels in the slaughter, but the defining trait of the Glory Seeker is that he craves the adoration of the masses and respect of his peers — and hates most of all not being respected. He might grow disillusioned after a while, or he might never learn. If met out of combat, may appear to be the Miles Gloriosus, but actual danger will reveal the truth.

Will sometimes say Think Nothing of It if he really didn't earn it — but don't count on it. Frequently found with In Harm's Way. Loves Famed in Story, and finds What You Are in the Dark and Secret Test of Character particularly hard.

Proud Warrior Race Guy is almost always a Glory Seeker.

Super Trope of Glory Hound (who is not only after glory but quite willing to expend everyone else in order to get it, or lie, or any other act that will get him it).

Compare Martyrdom Culture (where this considered a noble calling), Team Prima Donna.

Contrast "Well Done, Son" Guy, who wants one person's praise.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • The eponymous character from Naruto is like this, at least initially. He's a lonely boy, and he wants to become Hokage so the rest of the townsfolk will respect him.
  • Asuka in most Neon Genesis Evangelion continuities, often to the detriment of her own safety.
  • Zeta Gundam's Jerid Messa, who joined the Titans in order to become famous Ace Pilot.
  • America of Axis Powers Hetalia is this, in all of his Jerk Ass, Love Freak glory.
    Chalkboard: France- back me up. England- back me up. Russia- back me up.
    America: ...Any questions?
    Russia: Uh, I have one. What will you be doing?
    America: That's actually a very good question, Russia! I'll be the hero, of course!
    • Prussia, too. He does refer to himself with "The Awesome" as a title.
    Prussia: He will be the tasty snack before my world-domination meal. This so-called 'army' Austria has put together would make my grandmother laugh like this: ha ha ha! You've grown soft, and now is the time for Prussia to RISE LIKE A MAGIC JACK IN THE BOX!

    Comics 
  • In Astro City, Altar Boy's motive for becoming a hero is that superheroes are respected. He got wiser.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In The Lute Player, how the king came to be captured.
    at last the king grew restless. He longed to go out into the world, to try his strength in battle against some enemy and to win all kinds of honour and glory.

    Film 

    Literature 
  • Every one in The Iliad. The only exceptions being non-combatants.
  • Don Quixote
  • In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 novel Deus Sanguinius, Mephiston Mind Probes Rafen and finds he was once concerned only with his own glory.
  • Taran in the Prydain Chronicles starts out as this, to an embarrassing degree.
  • Kate Daniels - In the first book, Curran thinks that Kate is one of these, as she's not content with the pat explanation wrapping the case up. He thinks she's just trying to come up with another bad guy because she likes playing in the big leagues with everyone listening to her.
  • Boromir in The Lord of the Rings is this, and it is one of the reason he succumb to the Ring's temptation.
  • Harry Potter - Many people who have no idea what kind of life Harry lived before coming to Hogwarts (or even some of the stuff that came after) tend to think he is one of these. Some (like Snape) think he is a bullying troublemaker like his father; some (such as the Ministry, the Daily Prophet and a number of citizens) think that he just wants glory and is an attention seeker. Some of his classmates even thought he was the heir of Slytherin, once. The truth is largely the opposite, as living with the Dursleys and a lot of the stuff he dealt with in the Wizarding World actually made him very humble and quiet (until he continued to grow in self-confidence and ability).
  • Vows and Honor - Tarma and Kethry become this somewhat unwillingly in Mercedes Lackey's books. The justification is that they must restore the reputation of Tarma's all-but-annihilated Hawk Clan if they want to attract quality people to join them (and not just the losers and misfits no other clan wants).
  • Marco in Animorphs, to a point. Mainly, he does want to save his mother, but he also talks repeatedly about being famous by the end of the war.
  • Robert E. Howard's Kull
    Atlantis made my name accursed when I went to seek fame and fortune among the cities of the world.
  • Ragnar Lodbrok and His Sons is a medieval saga about a clan of Viking warlords, all of them being excessive Glory Seekers.
  • Sir Randolph Mays in Venus Prime.

    Live Action TV 
  • An episode of Space: Above and Beyond involves a brother of one of the main characters enlist to fight the Chigs. He gets assigned to the unit headed by a known Glory Seeker. Needless to say, the episode doesn't end well.

    Tabletop Games 
  • There's the Glory Seeker Magic: The Gathering card, he's apparently eager to be in the fray of battle.
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • Space Marines love this trope: they both tell the stories of their predecessors, and seek to be Famed in Story themselves.
    • Imperial Guard Commissars, as propaganda officers, have this as part of their job: Being led by a hero, real or not, improves the troops' morale. Of course, that doesn't stop some Commissars from being Glory Hounds themselves...
    • Chaos Space Marines are a villainous example of this trope; every Chaos Marine strives for recognition and glory in the eyes of the Chaos Gods, because when you serve Chaos, you either earn daemonhood, die trying, or succumb to the mutating influence of the Warp.

    Theatre 
  • In Pippin, Pippin takes after his Miles Gloriosus half-brother and becomes a glory-seeking warrior, but it doesn't take long for him to become disillusioned.
  • The eponymous character of Ajax, and it doesn't end well for him.

    Video Games 
  • King Cailan Theirin from Dragon Age: Origins. Utterly convinced that the Darkspawn invasion is his opportunity to carve out his place in legend, driving back the tide of evil alongside the Grey Wardens like in the songs of old. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to realize exactly where the world lies on the Sliding Scaleof Idealism Vs Cynicism. Though he might have managed it, albeit by the skin of his teeth, if his second-in-command hadn't chosen that exact moment to betray him, leave with his army, and leave his king for dead. Tough break, huh?
    • To be fair, the second-in-command begged Cailan not to take part in the battle or, at least, not on the front lines. Cailan wouldn't hear of it, though. It's possible the second-in-command only wanted to get rid of the Wardens.
  • Zeri from Valkyria Chronicles II seeks glory of heroic proportions, because he believes that if he does attain it, people would lighten up on their prejudice against the Darcsen.
  • The player character in the web game Clash of the Dragons. He's very proud of his Heroic Lineage, and intends for his own story to be every bit as epic as his ancestor's. Despite fumbling a bit on the inside, he always manages to act in the most generically heroic way possible. The first chapter has him gleefully engaging in Ham-to-Ham Combat against a villain with similar motivations, and the finishing blow of another fight involved an unnecessary flip and ended with him walking into the sunset without a word to the crowd who was watching.
  • Axton the Commando of Borderlands 2, whose glory-seeking ways eventually forced him to go AWOL and get divorced from his CO. It's also the reason why he became a Vault Hunter.
  • In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, after returning to Renais and seeing what has become of it under Orson's rule, Prince Ephraim realizes his rash decisions at the start of the war with Grado were less about protecting Renais and more about his own thirst for glory. When he's crowned King, he resolves to overcome this.
  • It is one of the motivations of The Night Of The Rabbit's Big Bad Great Zaroff, he just wants the attention of an audience.

    Web Comic 
  • The Aristocrat from Hero Oh Hero is perfectly willing to take on some bandits troubling a town. However, after defeating one he's very quick to demand that they build a statue of him in the middle of town and even quicker to anger when it's pointed out that Burk is still fighting the bandit's (much more dangerous, acid spitting pig) mount.

    Web Original 
  • In JourneyQuest, Glorion seems to feel that anything that could potentially end in increasing his own glory is worthy of being done. He seems to feel anything he can describe as being done bravely qualifies.
  • Armsmaster of Worm is this, being primarily interested in advancing his own career as a superhero instead of looking after his assigned Super Team. Later, he crosses the line into full-on Glory Hound when he sabotages the hero/villain truce against Leviathan for a shot at personal glory.

    Real Life 
  • A lot of famous explorers, mountaineers, and participants in similar recreations might qualify.
  • Some famous military units seek out these kind of people.

    Music 
  • Every DragonForce song ever. There's even a Drinking Game where you take a shot every time the singer says "glory" or "glorious".
  • Manowar style themselves to be Horny Vikings, so naturally their songs usually feature bloody battles and tons of glory.
  • HammerFall's song "Glory to the Brave", as well as a number of others, given that their gimmick is that they pretend to be Templars.


Freudian ExcuseMotivation IndexGoal in Life
Glory HoundFame and Reputation TropesHero with Bad Publicity
Glory HoundCharacter Flaw IndexGlurge Addict
Glory HoundStock CharactersGold Digger
Glory HoundMilitary and Warfare TropesGood-Looking Privates
Egomaniac HunterIn Harm's WayKnight Errant

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