That's the problem with heroes, really. Their only purpose in life is to thwart others.
A protectorate is a specific person, place, or thing, or set thereof, which our hero is responsible for defending.
and other such good guys just do not attack other people without provocation, not even if those other people are Card Carrying Villains
. Good guys simply do not do preemptive strikes; that's left for Well Intentioned Extremists
, Anti Heroes
, and bad guys. See Villains Act, Heroes React
The good guys have to wait until the bad guys do something bad
. And, since the good guys are usually closer to human than deity on the sliding scale of superpower, A Million Is a Statistic
still applies. (It may apply less, but it does still apply.) But if the bad guys attack something that the good guys are responsible for — from mandate, from their morality code, or because they truly love them — then the good guys can move in to smack down the bad guys.
The protectorate might be general innocent people in the vicinity, or family and friends, or the city or country or planet the hero lives in. Only threatening this
justifies violence and interference on the part of the hero. This is what makes a Protectorate.
The villains rarely get the notion of redirecting their energies against less inflammatory targets - or if they do, we never hear about it. Again and again, the villain just has
to attack the one thing the main character has shown they will kick butt over
Specific kinds of protectorates:
Some archetypical heroes
, especially the wandering kind
, will adopt people they've just met
as protectorates, much to the dismay of whatever villain was harassing them. This sort of protectorate can be temporary — the hero will defend the person to the death and then never think of him again once he leaves town. But it isn't always; this method of developing protectorates can lead to a hero getting a new Side Kick
. Especially tenacious heroes might even take their duty
past the grave and become ghostly Guardian Entities
See Declaration of Protection
for the act of declaring your intentions, and Bodyguard Crush
for one of the outcomes thereof.
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- The entire Earth, especially Metropolis, is this to Superman. Cause trouble there and he'll take you out, even if he has to die to do it. And if you touch the Kents, the Leaguers, or the staff of the Daily Planet, kiss all your chances of succeeding in your Evil Plan goodbye.
- "I am The Batman. This is my city. At night it belongs to me."
- Most DC heroes have a home city they pay special attention to protecting. The Flash has Keystone and/or Central City, Green Arrow has Star City, Nightwing has Blüdhaven, etc.
- New York is the protectorate of the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man put together.
- With Hell's Kitchen as a smaller protectorate under the eye of Daredevil. And with The Avengers based out of New York as well, let's just say that it's pretty well covered in the Marvelverse.
- Every superhero who knows the Fantastic Four has also declared a protectorate on the Richards children, Franklin and Valeria. Mess with them, and you'll have the entire FF, plus all their friends, breaking your door in.
- Doom even put Valeria under his protection after helping give birth to her and naming her, so if you mess with her, Doom will come after you.
- In Transformers Meta, Ratchet and Hound are protectorates to Evac and Bumblebee respectively.
- Grimlock is a sort of an unofficial protectorate over Bumblebee as well.
- As revealed in Balto II: Wolf Quest, Balto hates it when his children are threatened.
- In Despicable Me, the three orphans he adopts end up becoming this to Gru, even if he didn't intend it that way.
- Hercules's protectorate is his Love Interest Megara. Touching her is an invitation to get knocked into the next weekend.
- The Lion King: Mess with his family, his friends, or his homeland, and you'll get a lot of attention from Simba that you won't like.
- In Monsters, Inc., Sulley ends up developing this toward Boo.
- Wreck-It Ralph: It doesn't matter if you are a giant man-eating bug, if you make a move toward Vanellope, Ralph will take you out.
- In Back to the Future, we have the following:
- Marty: his family and best friend Doc.
- Doc: Clara Clayton and his best friend Marty.
- George: his Love Interest and future/present wife Lorraine.
- In Lord of the Rings, trying to hurt Frodo in front of Sam is a good way to get reminded why you should Beware the Nice Ones.
- In Superman, Superman's protectorate is, again, the whole world, but more specifically certain people, like Lois Lane.
- In Doctor Who, touching any of the Doctor's companions is a suicidally bad idea. The Doctor also considers himself the protector of Earth.
- In Star Trek: The Original Series, touch Kirk's ship or his crew — especially Spock or McCoy — and you'd better retreat for the Delta Quadrant.
- Piffany is the protectorate of Yeagar, Artax and Nodwick.
- In Ben 10, Ben's protectorates are his family and the earth itself. Hurt either, and you'll get reminded how a human boy has become the single most known enforcer of law and order in the galaxy.
- In Hercules: The Animated Series, Hercules watches over his school and its students, particularly Icarus and Cassandra.