main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Insurrectionist Inheritor
"Servant", I donít like that word. I suggest that you consider where you stand and choose a different term. My Queen. And you will be gentle with that girl, or so help me I will make you regret it.

Finally, a Knight worth the trouble.

The Bad Ass has achieved high rank: king, CEO, crimelord, whatever. He's done so by sticking up for himself and what he believes in, and never taking abuse from anyone. He's pretty settled in when he notices a problem: he's surrounded by gutless yes men. They're weak. They crawl before him. They can't possibly take over his role if he were to step down.

Except that one guy. Who hates his guts. And quite possibly has tried to kill him.

That's his new sole heir.

It doesn't have to go as far as hate and murder. Just being willing to defy, correct and generally stand up to the power figure can qualify.

Since standing up to someone when you're supposed to is easy, this may involve a Secret Test of Character. But the strongest evidence is when the rebellion happens entirely unprompted.


  • In Muslim folktales (not quite canon), humans are God's children and heirs precisely because we can defy Him, unlike angels, who are perfect and therefore mere servants.

  • Merchant Prince Etienne Avare in The Philosophical Strangler leaves his entire fortune to the first great-grandchild to assassinate him.
  • Uncle Enzo in Snow Crash regrets that none of his lieutenants "would ever volunteer to go get his legs shot off in the jungle, just to piss off his old man. They lack a certain fiber. They are lifeless and beaten down."
  • Cornelius Stuyvesant, the richest man in the world, in The Grimnoir Chronicles makes Francis his sole heir, saying "Youíre the only one worth . . . a bucket of warm piss . . . in . . . in the whole lot". Their previous conversation was when Cornelius disowned him for taking a moral stand against the Imperium.
  • The Diamond Age centers around an "attempt to add an element of subversion to our institutions" so that the next generation will contain people like this.
  • One of the reasons Tomanak selects Bahzell as a champion is that Bahzell is willing to argue with him about anything. This tends to upset those who worship Tomanak in a more conventional fashion.
  • Harry Dresden wins the respect of his queens this way.

Live-Action Television
  • Wolfram and Hart are in the habit of promoting people who try to overthrow the firm, culminating in handing CEOship to archrival Angel ("You've earned it").
  • When Londo Mollari gets permission to divorce two of his three wives, two of them compete to be the most sickeningly sweetly loyal and subservient wives you could ever see. He divorces them both and keeps the one who found that beneath her dignity, saying "with you, I always know where I stand".

Web Comic
  • Klaus Wulfenbach deliberately makes mistakes in unimportant things to make sure his son, Gilgamesh, is willing to call him on them. It's said that if Gil fails, Klaus will "break him down for parts and try again". Gil finds the testing "tiresome".
    • But he picks up similar habits himself, later promising to promote the one guard who tries to maintain proper security procedures against him.

Western Animation
  • In 101 Dalmatians, (the animated series) Malevola DeVil (Cruella's mother) named Cruella her sole heir when Cruella finally had the guts to tell how much she despises Malevola.

Inadequate InheritorWill And Inheritance TropesLegacy Character

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy