->''"All these years I thought it was power that brought responsibility. It's not. I was wrong. It's responsibility that brings power. It's knowing what needs to be done that brings strength. And courage."''
-->-- '''Peter Parker''', ''ComicBook/EarthX''

Responsibility, honor, and justice. The Fettered believe in these ideals and willingly bind themselves to them, [[RightMakesMight and in so doing draw strength to face whatever challenges arise]]. When their morals, values, and [[FriendlyTarget loved ones]] are put in danger, they rise to defend them with HeroicResolve.

It's common for a Fettered character to be a [[ByTheBookCop police officer]], [[ThePaladin paladin]], [[OldSoldier soldier]], or other law enforcement/martial profession focused on bringing peace and justice to the world, but they can just as easily be a [[ActualPacifist pacifist whose code forbids them from fighting]]. The latter will have a ''[[ReluctantWarrior hell]]'' of a time with this. In {{ensembles}}, they are often TheHero who rallies their allies with the strength of their conviction and vision. One thing all fettered characters share is that they can often motivate others by virtue of their ideals. In fact, the MessianicArchetype is almost always The Fettered. Choice and freedom are an important aspect of a Fettered character; while they freely choose to adhere to a code, the temptation to desert it is always present, but [[ThePowerOfTrust placing their trust]] in these ideals serves to give them and others strength to stand firm.

Choosing to live by these ideals [[HonorBeforeReason is never easy]], and it has tangible drawbacks. If they put their faith in an unsound moral code, or [[BlindObedience obedience in an authority]] that is [[BrokenPedestal less morally upright than they]], there will be a reckoning where they must choose ToBeLawfulOrGood. If they don't, or choose wrongly, then they'll suffer a HeroicBSOD and turn into a FallenHero. The moral code itself usually ''really'' compromises their ability to deal with threats permanently, with things like ThouShaltNotKill, or being obliged to help the helpless when [[TotalitarianUtilitarian a more pragmatic attitude could save more total lives]]. Heroes who are aware of this may take it to the extreme and develop SamaritanSyndrome, or grow despondent when BeingGoodSucks. A danger many Fettered face is the PoisonousFriend, who takes up the "task" of protecting the fettered from [[IDidWhatIHadToDo hard choices.]] Only rarely will The Fettered be clever or [[TheKirk flexible enough]] to use a ZerothLawRebellion and TakeAThirdOption, as most think too rigidly to consider such "rules lawyering" as honorable.

Fettered people aren't always good guys. Some {{Blood Knight}}s, most {{Noble Demon}}s, {{Ubermensch}}en, most {{Knight Templar}}s, some LawfulEvil villains, and even [[MoralSociopathy sociopaths adhering to a code]] can be Fettered as well. This trope is less about morality than about following a code strictly and drawing strength from it.

The Fettered is the counterpoint to TheUnfettered; both share similar insane levels of willpower and inner strength, but have radically different world views. An exercise to the reader is whether the {{Ubermensch}} is Fettered or Unfettered, which will give one an excellent idea of where a work stands on [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism a certain Sliding Scale]] -- if the Unfettered is the {{Ubermensch}}, then the work is much more likely to be Cynical. If the Fettered is the {{Ubermensch}}, then the work is most likely Idealist. If ''both'' are the {{Ubermensch}}, [[BrokeTheRatingScale the scale breaks]].

It should be noted that unlike the Unfettered, the Fettered can become embodiments of an ideal (Except perhaps for Freedom) if their moral strength is strong enough. This in turn can lend strength to those who follow their cause and help fight despair. Still, beware the BrokenPedestal.

The Fettered character's greatest strength is also his greatest weakness. The minute someone devotes himself absolutely to an idea or moral code or what have you, anyone who knows about said devotion [[FlawExploitation can use it against him]] and try to force them to [[FrequentlyBrokenUnbreakableVow break their vows.]]

The values held by the Fettered, if taken freely, may constitute a HeroicVow.

Common characters who are fettered: many {{Determinator}}s (if not TheUnfettered), KnightInSourArmor, OfficerAndAGentleman, NobleDemon, TheStoic, AllLovingHero, CardCarryingVillain, TheSnarkKnight, and HonorBeforeReason. Contrast BlindObedience, which may ''seem'' like being fettered but lacks the necessary self-awareness. The PrinciplesZealot is when being the Fettered has GoneHorriblyRight.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Kenshiro in ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar''. [[IncorruptiblePurePureness Incorruptible]], [[PapaWolf protective of]] [[FriendToAllChildren all children]] [[WifeBasherBasher and women]], intolerant of evil and [[MessianicArchetype dedicated to bringing hope and joy to a world ravaged by nuclear fire]]. Anyone who knows his name cries [[TearsOfJoy joyful tears]] when he walks into town, if they're a good guy. The bad guys tend to have [[OhCrap a different reaction]].
* Dr. Tenma of ''Manga/{{Monster}}'' is basically Jean Valjean, below, with a high emphasis on emergency surgery. Alternately, what happens if Jean Valjean and Manga/BlackJack were combined.
* All the saints in ''SaintSeiya'' had a bit of this, but Shun by virtue of his pacifist ideology would go to the point of nearly becoming a MartyrWithoutACause on several occasions. However, he twice managed to bring about a MookFaceTurn by sheer conviction and kindness, at other times he did kill when forced to, and at times he had to be bailed out by his older brother for his pacifism. At one point he [[spoiler:held Hades, in DemonicPossession of his body, immobile thanks to the strength of his wish that his body not be used to harm others, allowing his brother a chance to kill Hades.]] Surprisingly, the Aesop managed all outcomes of his behaviour in the series, never outright making him a fool for his ideals.
** Shun could be the poster child for this trope, especially because he represents it as visually as he does metaphorically - his armor is ''literally'' fettered, as per his mythological namesake.
* Soichiro Yagami from ''Manga/DeathNote'' is a police chief who is trying to capture the mass murderer known as Kira -- who is his own son (he has no idea, though). As stated by WordOfGod, he's the only truly Good character in the whole series.
** He even pities Kira, because he concluded that the power to kill a human being so easily it's a curse, and that, while Kira was corrupted by having that power, he has the motivation to do the right thing.
* Keith Gandor from ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'', while [[TheMafia difficult to call a "good guy"]], deliberately and strictly adheres himself to old-age standards he feels that present Mafia families are lacking in (although he'll [[CardSharp cheat at cards]]), and is thus responsible for the Gandors' NeighbourhoodFriendlyGangsters status. As Firo puts it, "He'd be great if he were in southern Italy or in the last century."
* Kenshin of ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'' is a model of this trope, where DefeatMeansFriendship as well as the occasional HeelFaceTurn when the defeated party realizes Kenshin could have killed them in the first five minutes if he wasn't carefully holding back. A pity that never works for Superman.
* Negi of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' tries ''really'' hard to be like this, although numerous people (especially [[CynicalMentor Evangeline]]) have pointed out that there are situations where [[HonorBeforeReason it just isn't practical]] and could lead to even bigger problems later on. After much urging, he's getting to point where he's willing to compromise if the result will be better in the long run.
* Alucard of ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'' is a rare case of a ''villainous'' version of this, or at least a NominalHero. He will ruthlessly destroy any enemy he comes across with little regret, but is kept in check from a full-on murderous rampage due to his UndyingLoyalty to his master, Sir Integra.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''. He fuels his [[TheDeterminator determination]] with his will to keep any promise he ever made.
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny'': Appropriate considering [[TheUnfettered who he's up against]], but Shinn Asuka is a good testament to why these traits aren't necessarily positive. Sure he really cares about the people he's close to and wants to protect them, but his adherence to Chairman Durandal leads him to not realize when he's crossing lines he shouldn't and accept blatant lies at face value. Oh yeah, and the name of the Gundam of the man he hates the most? [[MeaningfulName Freedom]].
* In ''Anime/CodeGeass'' Suzaku is the fettered counterpart to Lelouch. [[spoiler: In season 2 he gets his "lawful or good" moment when he backs out from torturing Kallen with the Refrain drug.]]
* The entire Marine organization are the fettered in ''Manga/OnePiece''' - their motto is Justice. Unfortunately their "justice" is a [[KnightTemplar terrible]] thing sometimes.
** Luffy may have ultimate freedom as his goal, but he is still fettered by his loyalty to his [[TrueCompanions crew.]]
** A good example of a moral character would be Coby. He stood up to Marines much more powerful than him for the sake of doing the right thing. Unlike people like Luffy, it wasn't reckless courage, but moral fortitude.
* Nen users in ''Manga/HunterXHunter'' define this. A user who imposes restrictions on his use of power increases it. The stronger the restriction the more they increase its power.
* ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'': It's hard to tell all the time what Vash the Stampede actually ''wants'' to do, for him, but two high entries on the list are definitely [[IJustWantToBeNormal 'settle down somewhere quiet with people I care about']] and [[WalkingTheEarth 'travel around freely and be left alone.']] He can't do the first because he knows he can't ignore the world's problems, specifically his [[EvilTwin brother]], and he can't do the latter because...he can't ignore the world's problems, so he's always getting into trouble. Also there's a huge bounty on his head.
** He hates it when [[TechnicalPacifist anyone gets hurt]], but he's a genius gunfighter. Apparently he trains so hard because the better he is, the more likely he can resolve situations without ''anyone'' getting killed. Also never uses his superpowers because he can't control them, goes through hell for strangers constantly, is [[GoodScarsEvilScars covered in scars]] under his clothes because (in a genre subversion) he's not MadeOfIron... Extremely {{Angst}}y take on the AllLovingHero, or just WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds waiting to happen?
** In his manga incarnation, if you read carefully he consciously ''chose'' to believe in people and care about and protect the human race, everybody, on the strength of Rem's idealism. If he compromised and decided it was acceptable to kill even one person, his reason for not being like [[OmnicidalManiac Knives]] would fall apart. [[spoiler: This doesn't happen, mind, but the circumstances are pretty special.]] If he ever just ''decided'' someone was bad enough that they deserved to die, it would have been the same as Knives only on a smaller scale.
** ''Everything'' Vash does, all the time, no matter what, he's doing because it would be unacceptable to do anything else. Except maybe bubble gum, donuts, and certain levels of annoying, but once we're a way into the series it would disturb Meryl enough if he stopped acting like himself that he's got obligations to be a goofball, too. He often covers problems with this kind of behavior so as not to worry people, further confusing the issue of [[ObfuscatingStupidity how much he actually means anything]]. Ever.
* ''LightNovel/{{Katanagatari}}'' exaggerates this trope with Ginkaku Uneri: The desert has invaded all his land. His castle is ruined; he is the only one left, when Shichika ask him why he fights, he sincerely answers that he doesn’t know. Even so, he’s willing to die defending his sword only because he must defend something.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'': [[KnightInShiningArmor Miki Sayaka]] is this trope, through and through. [[spoiler: [[{{Deconstruction}} It does not]] [[CrapsackWorld end well]] [[DespairEventHorizon for her]].]]
* ''Manga/MedakaBox'': Zenkichi Hitoyoshi willingly tries to uphold what he considers "Medaka's Justice" in helping people.
* Many characters in ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' are this, especially Roy Mustang, who is haunted by the genocide he performed in a war years before the story began. He, and those who serve under him, are determined to do everything in their power to create a better country so nothing like that will ever happen again.
** In the manga and ''Brotherhood,'' Roy Mustang definitely proves his fetters; when placed in a situation where he can either help the villains achieve their goals and save a comrade's life, or deny them and let his friend die. Though Roy knows that the decision will haunt and hurt him for years, if not his whole life, chooses the greater good over his friend... as she herself wanted. [[spoiler:Thanks to the intervention of other parties, her life is saved and the baddies force Roy to help them through VillainOverride.]]

* Franchise/{{Batman}} absolutely refuses to kill. Both his Rogues' Gallery (including SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker) and his allies call him on it numerous times. Notably, Bats being the Fettered is not always portrayed as a good thing.
* ComicBook/CaptainAmerica is the embodiment of America's ideals and virtues, and has throughout his run has avoided killing whenever possible (well, there was a vampire that one time, but [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman he doesn't count]]). He's killed several times, but it's always been only when he has no choice, and causes much angst. During WorldWarII he did kill people, but he was a ''soldier'', and it's not something he boasts about. He also frets about damage to churches, and [[NiceToTheWaiter is very accommodating to accountants trying to total up superfight destruction]].
* {{Superman}} likewise has the preservation of human values, life, and property--''all'' human life, people like ComicBook/LexLuthor included--acting as limiters on his power. Heck, most flagship comic book superheroes tend to be Fettered.
** Played with by WonderWoman in some ways. Her own moral code is just as stringent as Superman's or Batman's. Since ''ComicBook/KingdomCome'', she is implicitly called a warrior it allows for killing to serve the greater good.
* ''ComicBook/TheSandman'': Morpheus uses the rules of the Dreaming and the occult universe in general to accomplish his goals, at one point explicitly stating that the laws which empower him in some ways also bind him in others. He's fond of the word 'responsibility': responsibility for the survival of the Dreaming, responsibility to anyone under his protection, responsibility to his son... Eventually, this is what [[spoiler:kills him -- or, perhaps, makes life so intolerable for him that he arranges his own death.]] It's complicated.
* After [[MyGreatestFailure Uncle Ben]], SpiderMan's entire philosophy has revolved around using his powers to take full [[ComesGreatResponsibility responsibility]] for the safety of New York. Sometimes to an [[SamaritanSyndrome almost unhealthy]] extreme.
* [[ComicBook/XMen Professor X]] is this and he wants to spread his view to every other mutant on the planet. Humans may despise, mock and scorn mutantkind...but they are never to be harmed. The powers that mutants are given make them the SuperiorSpecies, but not the superior man and a balanced world where all are accepted equally is his ideal vision. ComicBook/{{Magneto}}, on the other hand, [[WellIntentionedExtremist says something a bit different]]...
* The Watcher from the Marvel/DC universe is immensely powerful, but took a vow to never interfere, only to watch. Many times, he is depicted as being in deep internal conflict because he so desperately wants to intervene to prevent a disaster, even starting to take action at times only to remember his vow and abort his intended action before it is even noticed by the main characters.
* ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'': Judge Dredd is completely unwavering in his pursuit of justice, or at least "justice" by the brutal standards of the CrapsackWorld he inhabits. It's his entire reason for being; Dredd and his brothers were cloned from the founder of the JudgeJuryAndExecutioner system, then [[{{Tykebomb}} raised from birth to be perfect law enforcers]]. He balks at even the suggestion of compromising on the law.
* Rorschach of ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' fame represents a dark fulfillment of this archetype while exploring some of its weaknesses. [[spoiler: His moral code prescribes protecting the innocent while ruthlessly punishing the guilty, and to him, the line between the two is crystal clear, symbolized by his black-and-white mask. But problems and cognitive dissonance arise when he proves willing to dismiss wrongdoing committed by those he respects and rationalize crimes against those he does not. In the end, when Rorschach finds himself faced with a dilemma that can't be solved just by appealing to his principles, he breaks down.]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* In the ''DragonballZ'' fanfic ''Fanfic/HonorTrip'', Cell himself definitely counts.
* ''Fanfic/ScarTissue'': [[AfterTheEnd After]] [[EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt Third Impact]], [[BrokenBird Asuka was so heavily traumatized and unstable]] that she abused [[LoveInterest Shinji]] for months until one day she went too far and [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone she was so horrified with herself]] that [[HeelRealization she snapped out of it]]. Shinji tolerated anything that Asuka did to him during that time because he thought that he deserved the punishment after what HE had done to her… and because he was afraid that he would kill her if he lost control of himself.
* [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3258280/1/Soldier_of_Spira_Repost Soldier of Spira]], a VideoGame/FinalFantasyX AlternateUniverse, presents [[EnsembleDarkhorse Auron]]. The man will stoop to many, many levels to get the job done, and ThouShaltNotKill is not one of his restrictions, but the death of innocents does bring him grief. His one, unbreakable rule is that if he makes a promise, he ''will'' keep it. His word is his bond, [[spoiler:and he uses his word and knowledge of hold all of creation hostage. By threatening to unleash what appears to be the LegionsOfHell if Rikku dies in Zanarkand. The world, and fayth, and [[PowersThatBe Lords of the Living and the Dead]] decide to yield.]] But, as one of the more dangerous [[MagnificentBastard Magnificent Bastards]] in the world, he is not above adhering to only the letter of his promise. Combine this with a truly unholy amount of [[{{Determinator}} willpower]], and a genuine desire to protect those he cares about (if it doesn't get in the way of The Plan), and [[ImplacableMan Auron]] is more dangerous than ever by the sheer resources he commands in his private crusade to save Spira. Not defeat Sin, save all of Spira. With all the complicated logistics and cultural boundaries to topple. He has committed himself to the job, and his every word shows his determination in all of its fettered glory.
* The four in ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached'', because they are {{Actual Pacifist}}s with a crapton of power, though they'll defend themselves, and each other, if necessary.
* This is ''Fanfic/MassEffectHumanRevolution'''s take on Adam Jensen. He is dedicated to being a good man and will go out of his way to restrain himself for the sake of others. It actually takes quite a lot to push him to employ lethal methods and tactics. Way more than just having gunmen trying to kill him. But don't push your luck, or his BerserkButton...

* The protagonist of ''Film/GhostDogTheWayOfTheSamurai'', who lives as a hitman in the late 90s while strictly adhering to the samurai code of Bushido.
* The White Queen, in Creator/TimBurton's ''Film/AliceInWonderland'', is Fettered by a vow never to harm a single living creature. This vow doesn't exclude the use of CruelMercy, however...
* The knight Bowen, hero of ''Film/{{Dragonheart}}'', can't bring himself to violate any part of the Knightly Code said to have been handed down by King Arthur himself.
* The Jedi in ''StarWars''. Their entire philosophy centers around protecting others and advancing their own mastery of TheForce one step at a time. Their opposite, the Sith, embrace TheDarkSide, i.e. the desire for more power, without regard of others. Therefore, the Sith often [[EvilCannotComprehendGood can't understand how the "Jedi weaklings" can be a match for them]] and refuse to accept that [[EmotionsVsStoicism mental discipline is an effective counter to unrestricted power]].
-->'''Mace Windu:''' "Being a Jedi is a discipline ''imposed'' upon nature, just as civilization is, at its root, [[LawfulGood a discipline imposed upon]] [[HobbesWasRight the natural impulses of sentient beings]].... Our only hope, against [[TheUnfettered beings whose instincts control them]], is to absolutely and utterly control our own."
* Franchise/{{Batman}}'s arc in ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' is committing himself to being The Fettered and accepting the consequences of such a commitment, in the face of [[TheUnfettered the Joker]] and [[FallenHero Harvey Dent]].
* ''ItsAWonderfulLife'': George Bailey will never ever leave the people of his hometown in need. RealityEnsues; George has to pass up all his dreams to keep to this code, and in his darkest hour he sincerely believes he's wasted his life and wishes that he'd never been born. It takes a guardian angel's intervention to convince him otherwise.

* Marshal Tolonen in David Wingrove's ''Literature/ChungKuo'' series.
* Jean Valjean of ''Literature/LesMiserables'' spends most of his time on the run from the law, but it doesn't stop him carrying out attention-drawing rescues and paying off prostitutes' debts should the need arise. However, Inspector Javert uses his commitment to justice much more than Valjean does to morality.
* Creator/TerryPratchett seems to love this trope.
** Death of the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''. He ''could'' relax his adherence to The Rules and become much more fearsome and powerful, as his counterpart in ''Discworld/ReaperMan'' demonstrates. He refuses to do so, as "the care of [[TheGrimReaper the Reaper]]" is important to proper balance, even though The Rules do sometimes prevent him from acting and thus require Mort, Susan, or another member of his family to intervene instead.
** Sam Vimes. He could give in to his anger at the world and become a violent, drunken thug - [[{{Badass}} and he'd be very, very good at it if he did]]. He could stop trying to balance his devotion to law and order with mercy and become a KnightTemplar. But he doesn't, because he's seen where both those roads lead and he chooses every day not to go there. He could also simply let go of responsibility, give in to the fact that his marriage to Lady Sybil has made him a noble and independently wealthy, and generally let other people worry about morality. The fact that he can't do this (and, in fact, would be much happier without both nobility and wealth) is part of [[SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan why she fell in love with him in the first place]].
** Also, Esmerelda "Granny" Weatherwax, a bad witch by inclination but a good witch by sheer force of her iron will, comes as close as humanly possible to being this ''and'' TheUnfettered ''at the same time''. "But I can't do none of that stuff: That wouldn't be Right."
** Captain Carrot embodies this with his "personal is not the same as important" mantra, as well as his refusal to become king.
** Vetinari could probably rule half the Disc if he had any inclination to do so, but detests war and absolutely refuses to create a second Morporkian Empire, even when offered a prime opportunity to do so in ''Discworld/MakingMoney''.
-->'''Vetinari:''' "Even tyrants have to obey the law. [pause] No I tell a lie. Tyrants do ''not'' have to obey the law, but they do have to observe the niceties. Or at least ''I'' do."'
** Angua is an example of the Fettered, and her brother Wolfgang is an example of what could happen if Angua ever went "off the leash." Acknowledged in this dialogue between her and Carrot in ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant'' (paraphrased): "If I went off like that, would you put me down?" "Yes." "Promise?"
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'':
** Once someone is turned by a Red Court vampire, their only hope is to become the Fettered, since their first kill will destroy the last remnants of their humanity. The Fellowship of Saint Giles, of which [[spoiler:Susan]] is a member, is an association of fettered half-vampires fighting both their hunger for blood and the Red Court - think Alcoholics Anonymous meets LaResistance.
** Wizards in general, again by necessity. The White Council enforces seven Laws of Magic. Violating the Laws is usually cause for execution on the spot, because most practitioners of black magic become [[DrunkOnTheDarkSide drunk on the highly addictive Dark Side]].
* In the ''Literature/CodexAlera'' series, the powerful First Lord, ruler of Alera is one of these. He has incredible furycrafting powers, but since they come from a single Fury, [[spoiler:Alera]], he is bound to do things that benefit everyone. This means he has to make brutal decisions, including, at one point, [[spoiler:setting off a volcano prematurely]], causing the deaths of tens of thousands to avoid tens of thousands of additional deaths, and provoking a WhatTheHellHero and [[spoiler:Amara]] to resign.
* Emperor Leto Atreides II in ''Literature/GodEmperorOfDune'' is utterly bound by the Golden Path: the salvation of humanity.
* Gandalf and the Wizards in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' are fettered by his charge not to interfere with Free Will, save for the treacherous Saruman. The Stewards of Gondor are fettered by the charge not to claim the crown for themselves but to keep it in trust. And even Denethor keeps this HeroicVow. It is not clear what he would have done had Aragorn arrived before he died, but his nature indicates he took this charge seriously at least when he was in his right mind.
* Wencit of Rum, the last white wizard from ''[[Literature/TheWarGods Oath of Swords]]'' (and sequels) is forced to recruit all sorts of unlikely characters to take out the henchmen of the evil wizards he fights, because he won't use wizardry against non-wizards. He took a vow where his magic may only be used in self defense or against dark wizards only when they've been read the equivalent of Miranda Rights asking them to desist in the use of Dark Magic. ''The Oath is sworn to a thousand year dead empire with him as the only survivor, and he's still trying to enforce their law.''
** Which has not, however, stopped him from informing the evil wizards he fights that if they ever try to attack [[spoiler: Leeana]] with magic again, he will raze their entire continent to the bedrock. And then do it ''again'' just to make sure nothing has survived.
* Guy Crouchback in Evelyn Waugh's ''Literature/SwordOfHonour''. The point of the trilogy was that [[KnightInSourArmor he was the only one who was honorable]].
* Jean Tarrou, from ''Literature/ThePlague'' has an Existentialist worldview which tells him to always do everything to save lives despite the apparent meaninglessness of such acts in the uncaring, absurd universe.
* Most of the protagonists of ''Literature/AtlasShrugged'' start out fettered by either their success or their compassion on the masses. A big part of Dagney and Hanks' character arcs is learning to become TheUnfettered and let it all go for their own self-interest.
* Dalinar Kholin of ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive''' is this, he has dedicated himself to following the ancient Codes of War which have been forgotten for centuries, and [[spoiler: ends up giving up his CoolSword to a rival that tried to get him killed to save the slaves responsible for making sure he didn't get killed]] because he [[IGaveMyWord promised]] them he'd free them and it was the only thing his rival would accept in trade. This makes a CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming taken so far it also qualifies as a CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
* Ned Stark in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' is utterly wedded to acting honourably, even if it puts him at a disadvantage. [[spoiler: At the very end, he drops his honor for the sake of his family, but by then it's already far, far too late.]]
** Stannis Baratheon is also a very honourable character, claiming the Iron Throne because he feels it is his duty, despite his relatively small force. However his absolute devotion to the law and lack of charisma means he is disliked by most of the Seven Kingdoms, though those that know him well, like Ser Davos, greatly respect him.
* The titular [[TheCaptain Captain]] in the ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' books will fulfill her duty and ''no less'', and takes no restrictions but those imposed by her service. If you are ''anyone else'', stay out of the way, because she will not entertain your reasons why she should let something slide. Due to seeing things in herself that scare her, she fears what might happen if she ever became TheUnfettered. Contrast this to Victor Cachat, who, in service to ''his'' duty, is TheUnfettered to a scary degree.
* ''Literature/ShatterPoint'' is all about Jedi Master Mace Windu struggling to come to terms with his status as the Fettered while fighting to end a brutal genocidal conflict on his home planet. Mace's {{Foil}}, [[TheUnfettered Kar Vastor]] provides a mirror image while Mace deals with the constraints of the Jedi Code seemingly presenting him with ToBeLawfulOrGood choice after choice.
* Sparhawk, the protagonist of the ''Literature/{{Elenium}}'' and ''Tamuli'' series by Creator/DavidEddings, is fettered by honor and loyalty - as were all of his similarly-named predecessors. He is the hereditary Champion of the sovereign of Elenia, and a Knight of the Pandion Order, and no matter what the enemy does he will only proceed with a course of action that is true to the oaths he has sworn. Even his most personal rival describes him as a "basically gentle" person. [[spoiler:He's also not too many steps below being an actual god, but he refuses to abuse this fact.]]
* This is what [[spoiler:the entity known as Angleton]] is revealed to be in CharlesStross's ''[[Literature/TheLaundrySeries The Laundry Files]]'', explored in the third book, ''The Fuller Memorandum''. If he were ever unfettered, the results would be very bad for everyone. Fortunately, [[spoiler:the Eater of Souls]] voluntarily accepts and prefers being a human--albeit a human of vast intelligence and terrifying sorcerous skill--to being its true self, saying that it makes life more interesting.
* ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'': Percy Jackson, who makes a point of [[ThouShaltNotKill never permanently killing his opponents]] even though as a child of Poseidon he can easily kill just about anyone he likes. At the end of "The Last Olympian", [[spoiler:Zeus gives him the opportunity to become a god himself, but he refuses.]]
* OlderThanFeudalism: In ''Literature/TheBible'', Jesus Christ makes it very clear that if he wanted, he could stop his own crucifixion in any number of ways, but refuses to do so because he accepts his responsibility to fulfill the word of God and save mankind.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', the Doctor makes a point of not going back in time to change events in his own past. It's possible and easy to do, but it damages space-time -- it's like choosing not to drive a car when you're worried about your contribution to global warming. In "Earthshock", even though he could pop back in time to [[spoiler:the bridge of the doomed freighter in order to scoop up Adric and get him out of harm's way, he refuses. He has already witnessed the destruction of the freighter with Adric aboard.]]
** How much of that is obeying legalistic/moral "law" and how much is literal physical law (we've seen really nasty metaphysical consequences from people crossing their own personal timeline and changing their own past before in the show) is up for discussion, as the Doctor rarely makes it completely clear when he refers to not breaking the Laws of Time which aspect he's referring to. Though it's worth noting that, in "The Waters of Mars", after actively choosing to outright change something he believes cannot be changed, his personality takes a very dark turn shortly after. In a sense, we watch him start throwing off the Fetters... and EvilFeelsGood. [[spoiler:At least until he gets a very rude awakening that shocks him back to his senses, as he realizes YouCantFightFate.]]
*** The best example of the Doctor being this is in [[spoiler: the 10th Doctor's final HeroicSacrifice. He can either sacrifice himself and save the life of an old man trapped in a room that's about to be flooded with radiation, or he can let the old man die. The Doctor shouts and rages against the unfairness of being "rewarded" with death after all the good he's done, but he never once even contemplates saving his own skin. Even when the aforementioned old man tells the Doctor not to save him, then begs him not to, then shouts and SCREAMS at the Doctor to walk away and save himself, the Doctor still refuses to let it happen and chooses to die in his place. "Wilf -- it's my honor." And he meant every iota of BOTH of the meanings of the word "honor", both that his honor was at stake if he didn't try to save Wilf, and that he felt honored being called on to save a dear friend as his final act.]]
*** This varies depending on the Doctor. The First Doctor was quite adamant against changing history.
** A straight example from ''Series/DoctorWho'' is the Last Centurion, who must suppress the memories of what he has been for the sake of his own sanity and carry on as though he is just plain old [[spoiler: Rory Williams]] - until things get really bad.
** The Doctor outright acknowledges the fact that he has many self-imposed behavioral rules (not just time travel no-nos) in the Series 6 Episode "A Good Man Goes to War." When Kovarian assumes that "the anger of a good man is not a problem" (apparently she never heard [[FateWorseThanDeath what he did to the Family of Blood]]) he's quick to correct her.
--> '''The Doctor:''' Good men don't need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.
** The Time Lords could be seen to act like this as one of them can easily go FromNobodyToNightmare. The Doctor often criticised them for refusing to interfere, however considering earlier in the Classic Series they did seem more ready to interfere this could be seen as a case of StrawmanHasAPoint.
*** This is taken up to another level in the web-animation "Death Comes to Time" (generally considered non-canon). Here the Time Lords can warp reality but don't do so out of principle. That and the fact it causes the Universe to break down. At the end the Doctor finally uses his powers to kill Tannis, though apparently dies in the process.
* Archie Hopper / Jiminy Cricket in OnceUponATime as he is... well... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Jiminy Cricket]], morality and virtue incarnate.
* Dick Winters on ''Series/BandOfBrothers'', doubling as a RealLife example.
* Series/{{Buffy|the Vampire Slayer}} tries to stop Willow's RoaringRampageOfRevenge against the Trio, as they are human criminals who should be judged by human laws. No doubt she had in mind her previous experience with Faith, who believed that being the Slayer meant she was above the law.
-->'''Buffy:''' Being a slayer doesn't give me a license to kill. Warren's human.
-->'''Dawn:''' So?
-->'''Buffy:''' So the human world has its own rules for dealing with people like him--
-->'''Xander:''' Yeah, we all know how well those rules work.
-->'''Buffy:''' Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don't. We can't control the universe. If we were supposed to, then the magic wouldn't change Willow the way it does. And we'd be able to bring [[spoiler:Tara]] back...
-->'''Dawn:''' And [[spoiler: mom.]]
-->'''Buffy:''' There are limits to what we can do. There ''should'' be.
* Helo from ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'' is the complete opposite of Cain who is TheUnfettered. He never forgot to be human and not stoop to the level of a barbarian or animal due to his situation.
* Despite being [[NominalHero as nominal a hero]] as you can get, ''Series/{{Dexter}}'' still qualifies as the Fettered, at least initially, due to his strict adherence to the Code of Harry, of which the two most important rules are "don't get caught" and "never kill an innocent". He becomes increasingly lax about the Code as the series goes on, however.
* Finch, on ''Series/PersonOfInterest'' is this. Despite operating in a world in which he is trying to prevent a second artificial intelligence from going online, he finds himself unable to take drastic action when it would prevent that scenario.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'''s Federation in general adheres to this trope, as do most of the main characters. Picard is probably the best example, and also provides the show's most direct reference to this philosophy when Q refers to human nobility as a weakness, to which Picard replies, "On the contrary, it is a strength."

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''{{Exalted}}'', each type of Celestial Exalted has access to their own version of Righteous Lion Defense, a Charm that runs on this trope. It works by making a single emotional bond the Exalt has completely inviolable; they can't act against it themselves, and no one else can ever persuade them to do so, even with MindControl Charms. Solars pick an Intimacy related to an all-encompassing ideal, Lunars pick one related to protecting a specific person, place, or thing, and Sidereals become absolutely devoted to carrying out a specific long-term plan (and can change to a new one when the first plan is complete).
** Similarly, each [[NoSell Perfect Defense]] comes with one of the Four Flaws of Invulnerability, a condition based on one of the four guiding Virtues that you must fulfill if you wish to use the charm in the first place. If you choose Compassion, you can only use it when defending something you have an Intimacy towards; if you choose Conviction, you can't use it if you're going against your Motivation.
** One passage in the Alchemicals book indicates that there are Soulsteel Caste secret police who refuse to let Clarity numb their empathy even as they do horrible things for the good of Autochthonia - because they're afraid that without that awareness, HeWhoFightsMonsters will kick in.
* The Word Bearers in TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} are fanatics who live their lives by the Words of Lorgar, by which they achieve mastery over chaos. Or maybe, are deluded becoming it's slaves. Either way they are fettered.
** The Eldar are also pretty good examples of the Fettered - the discipline provided by their codes keeps them on the straight and narrow.
** Some Inquisitors and many loyal Space Marines also qualify.
*** More specific example: Zahariel in ''[[Literature/HorusHeresy Descent of Angels]]'', whose main motive in ''any'' circumstance has a 99% chance of being Duty.
** The entire Tau race, with the Ethereal caste providing the fetter. Without it, they were on the verge of destroying themselves. With the Ethereals, they have conquered a significant area of space (still nothing compared to anyone), have a sort of Warp Drive Lite (99% less likely to lead to your horrific death at the hands of a daemon and only 7 times slower).
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''
** The ''Book of Exalted Deeds'' had a ruleset called the Sacred Vow. By taking a sacred vow, one could gain measurable in-game benefits. Taking vows at all required a feat, and each vow had to be selected as an additional feat. Of particular note was Vow of Poverty, which in a game that is focused on gaining equipment to become more powerful, would have to provide no small amount of benefit in order to be worthwhile - even with all the bonuses it piled on, it still isn't worthwhile past around level 6, because even awesome bonuses to various stats don't make up for lack of versatility. So it's only good for classes that can already be highly versatile without gear like metamagic rods or boots of teleport or antimagic torcs. So... useful on druids.
** [[AlwaysLawfulGood Paladins]] are not only AlwaysLawfulGood, but they must adhere to a Code of Conduct that includes "respecting authority, acting with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison and so forth), helping those in need (provided that they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends) and punishing those who hurt or threaten innocents". Any paladin that commits a [[MoralEventHorizon grievous violation]] of this code [[FallenHero loses all of their paladin abilities]]. The Code of Conduct was removed in 4th Edition for a couple of reasons: first, to open up the class to paladins following non-LawfulGood gods. And second, because {{Killer Game Master}}s often used the Code of Conduct to ''force'' unwilling Paladins to fall, setting up no-win scenarios that required the Paladin to commit a violation or citing the slightest misstep as an excuse.
** Inevitables, Lawful Neutral sentient machines from the plane of Mechanus, are also bound by the quest they were designed to fulfill the second they are created. If they don't die in the process, they're disassembled upon completion anyways. They do go a little [[TheUnfettered in the other direction]] when it comes to actually fulfilling that quest, however.
* In ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost'', Pledges can make a Fettered character very powerful indeed. The strength of the boon is proportional to how committing the task and how strong the punishment if you fail are. In its most powerful form, it can turn a mortal with no prior martial skills into a master of kung-fu if pledged to fight to the death for you under pain of an inescapable and painful demise.
* In ''TabletopGame/UnknownArmies'' from global level up, [[spoiler:players can take on the powers of particular archetypal characters by certain behaviors. For instance, a person wishing to become a powerful fighter may stop shaving and start camping in the wilderness and hunting his food with his bare hands to become an avatar of The Savage. This makes him stronger, tougher, and eventually able to speak with animals. On the flip-side, all archetypes have particular taboos that cut avatars off from their powers for a limited time and weaken their link to the archetype - in game terms, decreasing their skill. Savages, for instance, cannot deceive people or have more than the most basic technological skill. Certain archetypes can only be channeled by one sex.]]
* In MagicTheGathering's "Shards of Alara" block, this is what best describes how the Bant (white-aligned) shard's "Exalted" mechanic works. In story, Bantians gain magical sigils that represent past heroic deeds, as well as a bond of duty to the one who conferred the sigil, such as a lord, kingdom, or even an angel. In gameplay, if a creature attacks by itself, creatures with Exalted will confer a small stat pump to it. If a player controls several exalted creatures, this can get very painful, very fast. Magic as a whole is this. Lead designer Mark Rosewater has '''emphatically''' stated over the years that "restrictions breed creativity".
* ''GeniusTheTransgression'': the Peerage exists mainly to instil a good healthy sense of fetters in Geniuses. They're much better at not getting people killed or having machines explode from Havoc if they bear in mind that they have [[KarmaMeter obligations]]. You'd do this too if you had seen what TheUnfettered were like in ''Genius''.
* In ''{{TabletopGame/Scion}}'' the characters are this, gaining power from their Virtues, Legend, and sometimes their Fatebindings. However, in trying to resist following their virtue, they can potentially go crazy.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* To go with the Havik example in TheUnfettered, in ''MortalKombat'', KnightTemplar Hotaru, leader of the elite police force in Order Realm. So obsessed with upholding the law that he'll lock up his own friends until they're old and grey for a minor infraction.
* ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|CursedMemories}}'''s Adell, ''so much''. If he makes a promise, he's not going to let pesky little things like [[IdiotHero "logic",]] [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} "sanity"]], and [[CruelAndUnusualDeath "horrible, painful death"]] get in the way of that.
** Valvatorez from [[VideoGame/Disgaea4APromiseUnforgotten the fourth game]] makes a point of following ''any'' oath or promise he makes down to the letter, regardless of how silly, unreasonable, or downright dangerous it is.
* ''VideoGame/MegaMan''. He can ''fight'' Dr. Wily (apparently using the logic of [[Disney/{{Aladdin}} "You'd be surprised what you can live through"]]), but can't JustShootHim, as he's fettered by the [[ThreeLawsCompliant first Law of Robotics]]. Were he ever to apply the ''Zeroth'' Law, however... (And he came dangerously close to acting on it, too!)
* In ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX'', the main character is Fettered in one key way. No Celestrian may raise arms against or harm a superior. This becomes a serious issue later in the game.
* ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' has Prince Arthas, devoted to his kingdom, who makes the wrong choice when faced with good vs lawful vengance at the end of the human campaign as a result of being majorly played by the Lich King
** WorldOfWarcraft has Tirion Fordring, the SERIOUSLY fettered. By honor, which is something only he himself can truly define, therefore he comes into conflict with his defected Death Knight partner, Darion, quite often. They even have an exchange where Darion says they should try using the Lich King's own tactics against him, which Tirion vehemently vetoes, stating that if they did, they'd be no better than the Lich King and that they would win the fight with honor or not at all.
** Thrall can be seen as this in his battle against Garrosh (the first battle, in the Orgrimmar arena). Thrall has godlike shamanic abilities, and yet only uses melee combat against Garrosh, likely since he only wants to teach Garrosh a lesson and not really hurt him, since Garrosh is his best friend's son. [[spoiler: In their final fight, however, Thrall AND Garrosh have both become TheUnfettered and deliver a glorious beatdown to each other, with the godlike Thrall coming out on top in a CurbStompBattle when he finally uses his full power.]]
* ''DissidiaFinalFantasy'' presents the [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI Warrior of Light]] as one. He is bound quite tightly by his loyalty to Cosmos and devotion to Light. To the point that he is perfectly willing to (and ''has'') repeat the events of the battle between Cosmos and Chaos unto infinity. If he gets the opportunity to ScrewDestiny, he's going to take it, and [[SaveTheVillain save Garland]] into the bargain if he can.
** Terra chooses not to use her full power most of the time, because she's scared of losing control. With good reason too, her powers are so incredible that she was specifically headhunted by Kefka to fight for the side of Chaos.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** Paragon Shepard is one of the crowning examples. S/he's an absolute {{Badass}} in every way but everything that s/he does is done to make the galaxy safer. The ending of ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' illustrates this point perfectly: [[spoiler: The Illusive Man tells Shepard to save the technology from the Collector Base, which will be a huge asset in the war against the Reapers. Paragon Shepard is disgusted - the technology is PoweredByAForsakenChild - and chooses to destroy it rather than compromise his/her values.]]
-->'''Shepard''': I won't let fear compromise who I am!
** Samara is the fettered as well. She's a [[ThePaladin Paladin]] [[RecycledInSpace in Space]] whose code tells her what she must do in all cases. Her code is so extreme that when it calls for her to kill her daughter rather than risk allowing her daughter, who has a disease that turns her into a space vampire/succubus, Samara's only resolution to the impasse is to [[spoiler: calmly place a gun to her own temple, and if not stopped, kill herself right in front of her daughter]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 3|AbsenceOfJustice}}'' has Raspberyl and her GirlPosse Kyoko and Asuka, dedicated demon {{Delinquents}} who staunchly follow all the rules demons are ''supposed'' to break. They have to mantain their perfect attendence record, and have their own self-imposed curfew, which keeps them from joining your party full-time [[spoiler:until they graduate]].
* ''PlanescapeTorment'':
** Vhailor adheres to the Mercykillers' creed and his unflinching belief in justice and retribution. Anything else is a secondary concern, up to and including that trifle that he's been dead for the last century or so and the fact that he's lost most of his memories. If you actually point the former out to him, his reply is essentially that while there are criminals still alive to punish he's not about to take time off simply so he can obey the laws of physics. [[spoiler:If you take the time to describe the FinalBoss' sins to him, his belief that said sins merit punishment [[RightMakesMight actually makes him more powerful for that fight]]]].
** Fall-from-Grace as a risen demoness is the fettered by her own rejection of her old values in favor of her esoteric interpretation of the Society of Sensation's epicurean creed. Dak'kon is the fettered in his utter devotion to the religious teachings of the Unbroken Circle [[spoiler: and his oath to continue to serve The Nameless One - made before he knew TNO could not die]].
* The Grey-beards and the Blades in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' are both examples of this, though they have very different goals. The Gray-beards dedicate their lives to the "Way of the Voice", meditating on the meaning of the Thu'um instead of actually using it to accomplish anything. Makes sense since the Way was created by Jurgen Windcaller, who lost the Battle of Red Mountain presumably because of the Nords' overreliance on the Voice, and is followed by [[spoiler:the dragon Paarthurnax, who has spent thousands of years repressing his innate desire to dominate others]], and the fact that the Thu'um is incredibly deadly to anyone without the power of the Voice. The Blades are dedicated to serving the Dragonborn and exterminating the Dragons, whom they see as AlwaysChaoticEvil [[spoiler:they're right too -- even the "good" dragon Paarthurnax they want you to kill says it's not a good idea to trust a Dragon.]] The Blades will actually cut off ties with you despite everything you've done for them [[spoiler:if you refuse to kill Paarthurnax.]]
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' gives us [[spoiler:Colette. She knows from the beginning the 'angel' is lying to her, and that she will have to die and lose her mind and memories for the world,yet she just keeps going.]] She also hides the fact that [[spoiler:she gradually loses all kind of feeling and sensation]] so well that no one [[spoiler:except Lloyd]] realizes this until she [[spoiler:loses the ability TO SPEAK!]]
* Alistair in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' can be seen very much in this light; he has been through a great deal and yet still determines to struggle for the ideal. This is especially true if the player decides to [[spoiler:make him king]], since he will do what is best for the country. [[PlayerCharacter The Warden]] can also be this, depending on player choices.
* The eponymous character of ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog''. He has two rules, live life to the fullest and freest and have fun doing it. He will never ignore a plea for help and always acts on his personal feelings to the very end. When confronted with a villain who wishes to use dark magic to preserve her land eternally, Sonic confronts her and tells her that a world that goes on forever is meaningless and that all things have to end eventually, but to be happy with the time we have left rather than despair at the inevitable.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Miles Edgeworth of the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' franchise. More so following the events of the first game.
** The Judge from the same series. Normally he's a spineless punching bag, letting the prosecutors push him around. But he's sworn to uphold the law, and knows its limits. When someone pushes too hard on those limits, the Judge makes it clear that they are ''not'' the real power in the courtroom. There's a reason he's known for delivering the right verdict.
* Shirou from ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', even if said ideals tend to be [[WideEyedIdealist somewhat naive]], is a prime example of the Fettered. [[spoiler:He can only use his magic specialty ''because'' of his ideals and because he puts no value on his own life.]]
** The "Superhero" bad ending demonstrates how his ideal of protecting others could transform him into a villain when he [[spoiler:chooses to kill Sakura and likely his other magi allies in order to protect Fuyuki as a whole]].
** Saber lived according to a strict code of honor and the belief that the ideal king must not be tainted by human weaknesses such as emotion. While this made her an ideal king when it came to leading her armies or ruling the country, she became alienated from the people and her allies, leading to the civil wars that finally destroyed her kingdom and killed her.
** Archer lived his entire life as the Fettered, and was eventually alienated from others due to their inability to understand his desire to [[spoiler:save everyone. In the end, his own ideal betrayed him as it led him to become a Counter-Guardian, forcing him to spend all of eternity slaughtering people whose actions threatened humanity]].

* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' got [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20031215 Zulenna]] a [[AlphaBitch haughty princess]], nothing special, right?.. It turns out that she [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20040825 takes her clan's obligations very, very seriously]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'' has two characters who are like this, both of whom are {{Uplifted Animal}}s. Though theoretically constrained artificial by neural programming, both have actually broken and subverted their imposed restraints, to some extent, but choose to uphold personal codes and otherwise restrain themselves to be good people.
** The first and most obvious is [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff1800/fc01779.htm Florence Ambrose,]] a Bowman's Wolf.
** The second is [[spoiler: Doctor Bowman himself]]; as an uplifted chimpanzee, he is an unusual form of TheSociopath due to neural uplifting faults that have resulted in his having very little conscious control over his subconscious impulses. In short, he can't ''stop himself'' from acting on how he's feeling, and since his chimpanzee instincts make him naturally violent and aggressive, this makes him dangerous. As a result, he chooses to live in an isolated, protective environment to keep people safe from him, verbally warns his few visitors that he is dangerous and unpredictable, and otherwise does his best to protect them. Most notably, the only reason he has even ''this'' level of self-control is because he castrated himself. A particularly good demonstration of his intellect and dedication, as he did this at ''fifteen.'' Also;
--->[[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff2600/fc02529.htm We weren't allowed knives at the time because of a stabbing incident. Do you know how hard it is to get a good edge on a plastic spoon?]]
*** [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff2500/fc02468.htm Upon meeting Florence]], the first thing he does is give her a safety collar and explain he's holding their discussion in his "tantrum room" so that he will have other targets to attack if they disagree, and he will receive a violent electric shock if he ends up going after her anyway.
--->[[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff2500/fc02473.htm At some point, I'm going to throw the data pad. I don't have control over this. If my arm goes back, get out of the way.]]
* Ben about his character Obi-Wan Kenobi in ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'', during the final confrontation with Anakin:
--> '''Ben:''' ''"I wrote "Good" on my character sheet and I jolly well meant it! Unlike '''some''' people!"''
* Equius of ''{{Webcomic/Homestuck}}'' is so STRONG that he could defeat anyone if he wanted to. Unfortunately, he's so bound by his extreme loyalty to the [[FantasticCasteSystem trolls' blood-based hierarchy]] that he doesn't even [[spoiler: try to prevent Gamzee from strangling him, because Gamzee ranks higher than he does.]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the serial superhero story ''Literature/{{Worm}}'':
** The villain Marquis is said to have derived a great deal of psychological strength from his rigid code of conduct.
** The superhero Panacea has strict rules about how she'll use her powers, for [[BodyHorror what turn out to be very good reasons]].
* MSFHighForum: Israfel, due to his code of honor. This is on purpose, to make up for an attempt to become the Ubermensch.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Aang from ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' definitely is this. He is the Master of All Four Elements, with near God-Like powers at time, and he could do whatever he wants. However, his own personal adherence to the sanctity of life means that he refuses to kill deliberately - he won't even kill Fire Lord Ozai, a man who was willing to commit complete genocide of an entire people. [[spoiler: In the end, he is about to kill him, and would have, if he had not stopped himself. Instead, his purity of spirit allowed him to bend Ozai's spirit and destroy his bending.]]
--> '''Aang''': (stops himself form delivering final blow) No. I'm not going to end it like this.
--> '''Ozai''': (strangely disdainful) Even with all the power in the world, you are still WEAK!
* Rainbow Dash proves herself to be fettered in the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "Wonderbolts Academy." Her flying abilities are such that she can simultaneously break the sound barrier and visible spectrum, and she's always out to prove that she's the best flyer and athlete in Equestria, but she absolutely refuses to do so in such a way that risks causing harm to other ponies - even at the expense of her dreams.
** This is the result of character development in many ways. In the early seasons she drifted closer to the unfettered, though good aligned she laughed off the concept of limits and was disdainful of any authority over her. 'Wonderbolts Academy' indicated a turning point for her, and since then she's made a effort to live up to the more OfficerAndAGentleman ideals of the Equestria military.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' has Obi-Wan make reference to this trope in his rebuttal to [[spoiler: Darth Maul]]'s attempt to BreakThemByTalking.
--> '''Obi-Wan''': You can kill me, but you'll never destroy me. It takes strength to resist TheDarkSide. Only the ''weak'' embrace it!
--> '''[[spoiler: Maul]]''': It is more powerful than you know.
--> '''Obi-Wan''': And those who oppose it are more powerful than you'll ever be.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Max Weber's social actions delineate "Rational" and "Instrumental" actions. The Fettered and TheUnfettered are people defined exclusively by, respectively, Instrumental and Rational actions.
* First World militaries are this. They voluntarily follow TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar, and punish those who break them. Even the worst CurbStompBattle is nothing compared to what they could do to someplace if the gloves were ''fully'' off. Even if a "First World" military can ignore the masses, they can't ignore each other. It's one thing to be [[TheEmpire total assholes]] to some obscure "Third World" people, but once your fellow First-Worlders get a sense that you're willing to do the same to everyone, expect your erstwhile allies to gang-up on you.
** A particularly noble example were conscientious objectors in the Vietnam War. They suffered horrible casualties flying medical evacuations and serving as medical personnel. They entered war zones without a weapon to defend themselves with.
* Anyone with a conscience. We don't think about this much in daily life, until we encounter [[TheUnfettered someone who doesn't.]] You'll learn quite quickly why being TheUnfettered is not usually a good thing. Meetings between parties with severe ValuesDissonance usually end with one side viewing themselves as this trope and the other as [[TheUnfettered the opposite]] or vice versa, which often results in conflict.
* The U.S. Constitution was designed with this in mind by dividing government into sections and establishing roadblocks to prevent any one group or individual from seizing too much power.
* Civilization only ''exists'' because most people are the Fettered.
* Human muscles are this. Under most circumstances, we cannot use more than about 50% of our muscles' strength. The reason is, if we could, our muscles could literally tear our ligaments and otherwise severely damage our body. In emergencies, our brain can bypass this limit, but still with risk of severe injury.
* Most positions in a modern society which award authority also come with strict codes to govern that authority. People in the First World find corruption amongst the following classes of people so contemptible (and a great source for drama) because they expect those who take these roles to become the Fettered. In a more corrupt society...not so much.
** A "good cop" is a classic example of this trope.
** The Hippocratic Oath and medical ethics demand a great deal from medical professionals.
*** A special mention of the CombatMedic: if captured, he or she is entitled to continue working as a medic for the prisoners. He or she is obliged by the laws and customs of war to care for ''enemy'' wounded, even if he or she is a prisoner. He or she is obliged ethically to treat all wounded according to their priority, regardless of their allegiance. Their vehicles and persons are protected under those same rules only if used strictly for medical care and if they are clearly labeled with a red and white [[ShootTheMedicFirst bullsey-]]...cross, crescent, or lion. Finally, they may only carry small arms.
** Lawyers actually have a lot of ethical and legal rules they must follow, all lawyer jokes aside.
** Clergy, politicians, and government officials, to include military professionals.
** Academic and educational officials and professionals, such as teachers, professors, and deans.
** Emergency services workers of all stripes.
** Maybe not quite as noble, but it's vital to ProfessionalWrestling too. HulkHogan in one interview admitted he was somewhat scared when he faced AndreTheGiant because ... well, if Andre didn't follow the match booking (with Andre losing), what the hell could the Hulkster do about it?