They find the closest enemy and try to cut them up with swords. Madness. Just madness. Just so there can be something to carve on the cathedrals and put in children's stories.
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
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
Proud Warrior Race Guy
is almost always a Glory Seeker
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
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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.
- Before Jerid, there was, like, 90% of the Principality of Zeon in Mobile Suit Gundam. Most of these pilots, soldiers and commanders were nothing more than Glory Seekers who sought to one-up their actual Ace Pilots so they could be the heroes. However, this ended up ruining their chances for victory. The earliest you see this is in the very first episode.
- 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?
: 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
- In Astro City, Altar Boy's motive for becoming a hero is that superheroes are respected. He got wiser.
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.
- In Orange Is The New Black, Sister Ingalls is in jail for indulging these tendencies, and was excommunicated for it.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Soul Calibur II: Yun Seong greatly admires Hwang and wants to be seen as his equal. So much so, that he challenged Hwang to a duel. However, Hwang realized Yun Seong's true motivation and refused to accept, believing it was childish of him. Despite this, Yun Seong remained undaunted to make Hwang acknowledge his talents somehow and eventually learned he had once gone in search of Soul Edge, but had returned empty handed. Thus, he believed that if he could succeed where Hwang had seemingly failed, he'd have no choice but to accept him as an equal... not knowing the truth of the matternote
- 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.
- 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.
- A lot of famous explorers, mountaineers, and participants in similar recreations might qualify.
- Some famous military units seek out these kind of people.
- Many others, howeever, actively discourage this sort of thing; the line between this trope and Glory Hound can be awfully fine, and Glory Hounds tend not to make good soldiers.
- 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.