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The Mole: Literature

  • John le Carre's novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and the TV series adapted from it, focus around the hunt for a very high-up mole in the British Secret Service. It didn't invent the term "mole", but is largely responsible for popularising it in modern fiction.
    • Many of Le Carre's novels involve moles in one way or another, and the main character of A Perfect Spy is a mole.
      • In fact most Stale Beer flavour Spy Fiction features moles and mole hunts as central plot points. The Cambridge Five and Aldrich Ames left pretty deep impressions on the genre.
  • In Dan Abnett's Brothers of the Snake, the Space Marine Khiron killed another and claimed that he was warp-tainted, but there was no evidence. Another Marine, Priad, talked to him to learn what he could and discovered the daemon had possessed another Marine, who was trying to get Khiton killed.
  • In William King's Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf novel Ragnor's Claw, Gul.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel Nightbringer, de Valtos, who appears to be Divided We Fall, and Chanda, who appears to be faithful. Then, when Chanda hands over the governor and the inquisitor, he is Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves.
    • In Dead Sky Black Sun, Obax Zagayo. Honsou scorns him not for the treachery but for thinking he could conceal it.
  • Matthew Reilly has used this a couple of times:
    • Ice Station: Snake, Montanna and Sarah Hensliegh are members of the Intelligence Convergence Group, dedicated to covering up scientific breakthroughs by making sure only they know about it by killing anyone else who does.
    • Temple: Nash, Lauren and Troy are only pretending to be DARPA, so they can steal the idol for the army's use.
      • Uli "Craterface" Becker is a German agent pretending to be a Nazi.
      • Martin Race is a DARPA employee secretly helping the army.
      • Troy is also working for a terrorist group.
    • Area 7: Botha and Echo Unit are both trying to steal the perfect vaccine.
  • In Ben Counter's Warhammer 40,000 novel Hammer of Daemons, Alaric feeds some information to an eldar gladiator. After he leads a Gladiator Revolt, Alaric prevents the eldar from getting on the ship: his captor had learned the information, and it being false, he could only have learned it from the eldar. Whereupon Alaric accuses him of having betrayed the previous Gladiator Revolt — which had been crushed, and games had been held to celebrate that victory, and those games had killed Alaric's friend and fellow Grey Knight. He kills the eldar.
  • The Harry Potter books continually go back and forth with Snape. The main characters have thought that he was every single one of the Mole examples listed above at one point or another, regardless of what he actually is. He is a triple agent, appearing as a double-agent to both sides, but actually on the side of the Order all along, motivated by his love for the late Lily Potter.
    • Also, Peter was the Mole in the Marauders. He was spying for Voldemort and was the one who gave up James and Lily Potter's location and then he framed Sirius for it, to boot.
  • Despite his Heel-Face Turn halfway through the first book of The Chronicles of Narnia, this is still what Edmund Pevensie is most remembered for. Well, that, and Evil Tastes Good.
  • TONS in Fablehaven. Starts out with Vanessa, and then the Sphinx, and then Gavin. So much for the Official Couple.
  • In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel Blood Pact, Gaunt deduces very early that they can trust no one because of the way the raid was carried out. In the end, the Mole is identified as Inquisitor Rime. Also, Xomat turns out to be the inside man for Csoni's planned assault on Urbano's parlour.
  • In The Silmarillion, Maeglin is the lord of the house of the Mole. Because he's "great among quarrymen and a chief of the delvers after ore." And, possibly, because he betrays the location of the hidden city of Gondolin to Morgoth.
  • Wellington Yueh in Dune, betrayer of House Atreides.
  • Dain in the first Deltora Quest series was a pretty darn good Mole. He's a Grade 3 Ol, who's known for perfect transformation, and disguised himself as the (fake) heir with a good cover story and infiltrated the La Résistance's organisation as a spy. He managed to fool everyone else even when the Seven Tribes renewed the vow and the Belt seemly pointed him as the heir, when it actually points to Lief.
  • Silena Beauregard in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. And Redemption Equals Death. Badly.
  • In Peter F. Hamilton's Pandora's Star/Judas Unchained novels, the human protagonists come to realize that their society's government is riddled with Brainwashed Moles controlled by the alien Starflyer.
  • Recurring trope in Dale Brown books. In Flight of the Old Dog one of these allows for the critical damaging of a space station, gives away two stealth bombers en route to the plot-critical Soviet Superscience Wave Motion Gun and forces the eponymous Airstrike Impossible to get going while You Can Barely Stand... and the whack-a-mole subplot is effectively nonexistent. Day of the Cheetah is centred on one of these getting his hands on a Super Prototype Cool Plane. Act of War has National Security Adviser Chamberlain turn out to be the one giving information away to the terrorists. It's Michael Fitzgerald in A Time for Patriots, though he does a Heel-Face Turn.
  • In Shanna Swendson's Once Upon Stilettos, they discover someone was at Owen's desk and hunt for the spy. It may even be an operation to get them all Divided We Fall.
  • Police inspector Javert of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables attempts to pass himself off as a revolutionary so he can slip information back to the authorities.
  • In Robert E. Howard's The Hour of the Dragon, Conan the Barbarian tells Zenobia to walk with him so he can kill her if she proves to be this.
    • In "Rogues in the House," Murilo was selling secrets to foreign powers. How evil that makes him would rather depend on how evil those countries were.
  • In Orson Scott Card's Empire series, Dee Nee proves to be the party responsible for leaking information to the terrorists.
  • In Blood of the Mantis, Lyrus.
  • Gertrud Becker in The Chalet School in Exile, aka Gertrude Beck, a Nazi spy sent to infiltrate the Chalet School and gather information. However, she finds out very little after the older girls realize there's something odd about the questions she asks and warn other girls to keep quiet, and she ends up having a Heel-Face Turn after running away and being rescued by some French sailors.
  • In the Time Scout series The Syndicate is very good at insinuating their agents.
  • The Black Ajah consists of a number of moles operating in the other seven Ajah in the White Tower in the Wheel of Time series.
  • In Bad Monkeys, Jane Charlotte is revealed in the last 5 pages of the book to be a mole in an unnamed organization devoted to fighting evil. This revelation makes her account of how she got in the organization that she tells to her psychiatrist (and thus the entire book) only half true.
  • Linda Lane in Septimus Heap. Without her spying on the Heaps and gaining their trust, Jenna would have never been discovered.
  • Medea Lindenshield from The Icemark Chronicles is a good example of this trope. She is the youngest daughter of the main protagonist Queen Thirrin and her husband, the powerful warlock Oskan, whose Magical abilities she has inherited. So when it's discovered that she has hated her youngest brother for years and has tried to have him killed throughout the entire course of the book, it's painful.
  • In the historical novel Wings of Dawn: In order of being revealed: Sir William. Waleran. Isabelle. Geoffrey. Katherine. Waleran. Gervaise. Lord Baldwin. Waleran. Reason being, quite a lot of them were spying on each other before Thomas got involved. (Yes, one of those is duplicated for a reason.)
  • In Wen Spencer's Tinker, Sparrow. In Wolf Who Rules, Tinker is able to assure the elves that Tommy is not this because he had information, which he obviously did not pass on.
  • In Lois McMaster Bujold's The Warrior's Apprentice, Tung explains that one of his men did not defect to Miles's forces because he was a Barrayan spy. Tung actually likes spies, as long as the information is unlikely to harm him, because they're reliable, but this one had to spy on the other fleet, so they parted ways.
  • In Tom Kratman's Caliphate, Ling is a Chinese agent sent into a brothel where Petra was working. She also becomes a big sister figure for Petra and aids her in coping with living.
  • In Song at Dawn they're everywhere:
    • Sanchez is Dragonetz's eyes and ears amoung Alienor's ladies
    • Alis is the same for the Archbishop and Raymond de Toulose
    • Everyone working for Emerganda, Alienor or some other authority figure is implied to be the same for someone somewhere.
    • Dragonetz initially thinks Estela is one of these but determines otherwise.
  • Wu Chu-toy, alias Brian Kwok from Noble House.
  • Trapped on Draconica: Taurok placed Lydia inside Daniar's group to mine intel, but Lydia herself was unaware of this because she's five years old. As far as she knows, she's helping her grandfather with his work.
  • In A Deeper Blue, several Islamics in ordinary positions are used to assist the VX attack on Florida, although one of them only does so at gunpoint once he discovers what he's being told to actually do.
  • Conrad Vance in the Sword of the Stars novella The Deacon's Tale for the Zuul.
  • The Exile's Violin: Gunslinger was hired by Max to keep an eye on Jacquie and betrays her when Max tells him too.
  • This happens twice during The Leonard Regime.]] First it's Tino, and then later it's Seth.
  • There are a few in The Doctrine of Labyrinths. First, Felix finds out that he's been an unwitting mole (there was magic involved) for Malkar; later, Vulpes not only infiltrates the Mirador but also coerces Mehitabel into assisting him.


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