The Migration

The migration of a homeless group to a new home. There are many motives: they may be refugees running from the light of their burning homes, they may wish to escape a wicked or unjust land and start anew. They may be migrating for profit.

This theme can be the basis of an Epic.

If done in space the heroes can become Space Cossacks in the process.

May join forces with Fighting for a Homeland. May be Invading Refugees. A subtrope of The Quest in fantasy settings. May lead to Settling the Frontier.


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  • Space Battleship Yamato: The original reason for rebuilding the Yamato as a spaceship was something like this, but when they learned that there was technology on Iscandar that could cleanse the earth of radiation poisoning they quickly changed the mission. some of the crew try to colonize Iscandar anyway though. In the 3rd series, they are in fact sent on a mission to find a new planet for people to migrate to, and fail, but end up saving Earth again.
  • Macross Frontier follows several Generation Ships, including the titular Frontier, as they explore the galaxy to find new places for humanity and Zentradi to inhabit after the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross saw much of the Earth devastated. Earth itself isn't abandoned by any means, but nobody wants humankind restricted to just one planet anymore... not after the Zentraedi War very nearly lead to humanity's extinction.


  • Watership Down
  • Warrior Cats had this as the plot of the second series, after the original forest was destroyed to make way for a road.
    • The cats in the prequel series, Dawn of the Clans, also.
  • Happens several times in the Tolkien legendarium, too. First some of the elves migrated to Valinor, then some of them migrated back. Then some men migrated to Númenor, then some of their descendants migrated back. Then Hobbits migrated to the Shire.. there are probably others.
  • The Aeneid
  • Several Norse sagas
  • The Bible: specifically, the book of Exodus
  • The Cold Moons by Aeron Clement (Watership Down with badgers! )
  • The Kushans in the last two books of Belisarius Series
  • In Firesong, the third book in the Wind on Fire trilogy, the Manth tribe, after the destruction of their city, travel across the continent to find a new homeland their prophet has seen.
  • In Katherine Kerr's Deverry series, the humans migrated to the world of Annwn after being chased out of their homeland by the "cursed Rhwmanes". This ulitmately caused the decimation of the Elven people.
  • In It Can't Happen Here, American refugees have been steadily pouring into Canada to escape the Windrip regime. After escaping from the Trianon camp, Doremus himself makes the trek to Canada and lives there as a refugee for a time.
  • Vilhelm Moberg's The Emigrants series follows a group of poor farmers who migrate from the same Swedish village to settle in Minnesota, trying to escape forces varying from religious persecution to sexual exploitation to poverty so severe that one family's child starves to death.note 

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     Tabletop Games  

  • Traveller has a lot of these too. The Sword Worlds were the migration of soldiers from a previous regime on Terra who were stranded by their government's overthrow. The best sample campaign in the Gurps Traveller series, 100 Parsecs, is about a project for preserving the Sword Worlder way of life on a distant world. Aslan are always doing this as well.
    • This is in some ways the second hat of the Aslan(the first is Proud Warrior Race). Aslan have a biological obsession with land and it is one of the main basis' for status. They regularly send out what they call Ihaiti fleets of colonists who settle on planets. Sometimes they do so by force and at other times they make a treaty with locals who have land to share. A classic treaty of this kind involves military service for land.
  • During the fall of the Star League in the backstory of BattleTech; the Star League Defense Forces left (along with their families and anyone else who wanted to go) known space to prevent their weapons and soldiers from being used against the citizens of the Inner Sphere by the warring Great Houses. Their descendants, after a bit of a cultural shift, eventually migrated back with the objective to end the still ongoing wars through force.

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     Web Original  

  • In The Gamer's Alliance, when the demons conquer Vanna, the capital of the Sultanate of Karaganda, the surviving Sarquil who have lived in the desert for generations are driven into exile.

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     Real Life  

  • Migration is a recurring theme in human history.
  • Some times disturbances in the steppelands would cause a billiard-ball like effect where one tribe would migrate to another's territory, that would migrate to someone else' and so on. The most notable example resulted in everyone west of the Huns (I.E. everyone) being pushed into the Roman Empire's territory.