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Defends Against Their Own Kind

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X defends Y against those similar to X.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
LeighSabio on Sep 17th 2012 at 10:40:09 PM
Last Edited By:
AndreaTx on Dec 31st 2017 at 12:01:54 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

A Super Trope. This trope occurs when two or more people who have a given defining quality in common (let's call it X) are polarized on opposite ends of the good vs. evil spectrum, and the good X must defend a person or group that does not have that quality against the evil X.

Sub Tropes:

Comes with the implication that people with X trait are more powerful, as well as the implication that people without it are more "like us" or conversely, Closer to Earth than us.

The smaller and more fantastical of a group X is, the more likely this is to result in divided loyalties. A man who refuses to defend a woman against another man, for instance, is a He-Man Woman Hater, but a vampire who kills other vampires will certainly have at least a moment's pause about killing vampires to save humans.

Related to Takes One to Kill One and My Species Doth Protest Too Much for one reason why X would bother to defend non-X. May also lead to Enemy Mine.


Examples

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     Anime and Manga 
  • Arpeggio of Blue Steel. The Crapsack World status quo is humanity having been confined to landmasses, totally at mercy of the Fleet of Fog, the mysterious alienish extremely-sophisticated armed and non-negotiating naval vessels. The protagonists' team agenda may be not about obliteration of the Fog, but its initial voyages are made possible only due to having Iona, functionally a Fog submarine, on their side.
  • Berserk. The Apostle Nosferatu Zodd does this several times in the series.
    • After fighting Guts and Griffith (impressed by Guts' ability and Griffith having a Behelit) and sparing them, he later shows up to indirectly save a disarmed Guts' life by throwing him a sword from miles away.
    • After barely surviving an attack by an Apostle-form Wyald, the Band of the Hawk continues on their way... only to be stopped by the still-living but badly wounded Wyald. He grabs Griffith, demanding that he use his Behelit to save him... and then Zodd shows up to kill Wyald once and for all, since the time for the Eclipse wasn't right.
    • Guts and Zodd team up to defend against an Apostle-form Emperor Ganishka. The two part without fighting each other, since Guts' first priority is to get Casca healed and Zodd doesn't want to kill the only human whe enjoys fighting so much.
  • Omamori Himari starts with Ordinary High-School Student protagonist running into a weird sultry girl (speaking an old dialect and then optionally sprouting cat tail and ears). The girl explains his most recent heritage issues. He's a descendant of Demon Slayer family, and his power starts to stir now that he's 16. A family keepsake, actually an obfuscation charm, has depleted, and now he's a target for all kinds of spirits who may fear or otherwise oppose Demon Slayers. Finally, his ancestor has subdued a feline demon long ago, sparing it in return for servitude of protection, so the girl is here to make good on that promise, and she is a supernatural being herself. She drives off a first assailant even before actual chance to explain all this.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Coordinator Kira Yamato defends the Naturals on Archangel against other Coordinators.

     Comic Books 
  • Blade is a dhampir who defends the innocents against other vampires.
  • Hawkman and Hawkwoman helped Adam Strange defend Planet Rann from Thanagarians. Because of this, they were branded as traitors and exiled from Thanagar. Which is fine with them since they regard Earth as their home. They also defend humans against their own people during The Shadow War and Invasion!.
  • The X-Men are mutants who defend normal humans (and weaker mutants) from those mutants that want supremacy, although they're also fighting against Absolute Xenophobe humans themselves.

     Films — Animated 
  • The resourceful young Viking Hiccup captures a Night Fury dragon in Dreamworks' How to Train Your Dragon, and learns firsthand that dragons are not mindless hostile antagonists, negating everything he'd been taught about them. However, when Hiccup's father Stoick learns that his son has gotten friendly with a dragon, he disowns Hiccup, and seizes the Night Fury with the the intent of using him to locate the hidden stronghold of all dragons.
  • Battle for Terra has ace pilot Stewart Stanton lead a recon force against the inhabitants of an alien world. When his craft is downed, an inquisitive alien girl rescues him from certain doom, giving Stanton a chance to see how decent and noble the natives are. Later, when the General Ripper unleashes a genocide machine against the aliens, Stanton decides to save the aliens by attacking the deadly device.
  • Blue Sky Studio's Ice Age has Diego the saber-tooth tiger working as a double agent, leading Manfred the woolly mammoth, Sid the sloth and Bonebag the human infant to Glacier Pass. However, after being rescued from fiery doom by his companions, Diego undergoes a Heel–Face Turn, and actively defends Manfred from Soto, the ruthless leader of the tigers.
  • Small kitten Oliver from Disney's Oliver & Company makes an insane leap between speeding vehicles in order to compel The Villain to loosen his grip on young Jenny Foxworth. Sykes seizes Oliver, and flings him into the back seat, where his vicious dobermans bare their teeth at the hopeless kitten. Suddenly, the mutt Dodger makes the leap into the villain's sedan, willing to tussle with two dobermans to save this plucky kitten.
  • * Disney's Pocahontas has European explorer John Smith poised for execution by Chief Powhatan. Smith is believed responsible for the death of the Chief's best warrior, Kocoum. The chief's daughter, Pocahontas, arrives in the nick of time to block the execution. This move is witnessed by Smith's fellow settlers, who note the natives are capable of both mercy and reason.
  • Monsters Jimmy Sullivan and Mike Wazowski from Pixar's Monsters, Inc. go to extraordinary lengths to hide the human toddler Boo from the authorities. It bodes ill when one monster returns from the human world with a mere sock stuck to his fur: a code 23-19 is called which treats the sock like a contaminated bomb. Further, Mike and Sully rescue Boo from the clutches of The Dragon in his Mad Scientist Laboratory.

     Films - Live Action 
  • In Avatar, the protagonist and several others Defector from Decadence allies team up to protect Pandora from the U.S. military. His commander lampshades this by essentially calling him a Category Traitor.
  • In Man of Steel, Clark has to protect Smallville from invading Kryptonians.
  • The Steven Spielberg film Schindler's List chronicles how a German industrialist picked about 200 Jews marked for relocation to work in his factory. This started out as mere slave labor, but when these Jews consistently did good work to avoid being sent to east to the death camps, Oskar Schindler took to protecting them from his Nazi countrymen.

     Literature 
  • In Congo, Amy the domesticated gorilla defends the expedition from hordes of wild KillerGorillas. She doesn't physically fight them. Instead, she deciphers the wild gorillas' language, and helps record an audio message instructing them to leave the humans alone. This message winds up being a more effective deterrent than guns or electric fences.
  • Discworld
    Lance-Constable Detritus: Hah, I been a man only hardly any time, and already I fed up with you stupid trolls!
    • In Snuff, Vimes must solve a goblin girl's murder and save the remnants of her tribe from the bigotry and exploitation of his fellow humans.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, it's mentioned that several wizards have cast protective charms over nearby Muggles' houses to help protect them from Death Eaters.
  • In The Zombie Knight, the Vanguard is composed of reaper servants who defend the world against the murderous Abolish servants, as well as aberrations and whatever other horrors Abolish comes up with.
  • In Sunshine, Con is a good vampire helping the titular character against bad vampires who want to kill them both.

     Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of Andromeda we see a Nietzschean captain on the bridge of a High Guard ship during the Commonwealth-Nietzschean war. He disagrees with the Nietzschean politics and decisions which led to them declaring war on Commonwealth, stating that the Nietzscheans need the Commonwealth in order to survive as a species.
  • Angel:
    • Angel defends civilians against other vampires, among other things.
    • Former vampire hunter Gunn finds himself in the uncomfortable position of standing between his former friends and the demons they've taken to hunting for sport, some of whom are harmless and nonviolent.
  • Rusty, the damaged Dalek from the Doctor Who episode Into the Dalek is this trope mixed with Predator Turned Protector. Being repaired by the Twelfth Doctor, he also shown him the life itself and he finally decided to choose life and goes against his own race and being the protector of life, being more known as a "good" Dalek.
  • The Flash features the eponymous metahuman hero protecting the city against other metahumans.
  • A major motif in the Kamen Rider franchise is that the Hero often draws his powers from the Big Bad or the same source that the Big Bad uses. In a few cases, the Hero might be the villains failed attempt at a Monster of the Week.
  • Monroe and Rosalee help Nick carry out his Grimm duties and protect the city against rogue wessen.
  • SuperGirl and Martian Manhunter routinely have to protect National City from villains from rogue Kryptonians and other species of Martians.
  • ''Supernatural regularly has the brothers allied with rogue members of particular species. Ruby kills demons to protect Sam, Benny kills vampires and other monsters to protect Dean, and Jack and Castiel routinely kill angels to protect both Winchesters.
  • While Super Sentai and Power Rangers has its share of Evil Sixth Ranger arcs that are resolved by a Heel–Face Turn, special mention has to go to Akira Nijino from Ressa Sentai Toqger, who was effectively a monster of the week who became a Defector from Decadence from the Shadow Line prior to the series start and worked as a maintenance worker for the Rainbow Line prior to becoming the Sixth Ranger. This is the first time that someone who willing worked for the bad guys became a Ranger (all other cases were either misinformed or brainwashed).

     Mythology 
  • In the myths about the Trojan War, we often see some of the gods trying to protect the mortals from the actions of other gods.

     Tabletop Games 
  • Tends to happen in Warhammer 40K due to every faction being at war with the other. One Ciaphas Cain novel has the summoning of a Slaaneshi daemon interrupted by Khornate warriors (since both gods hate each other), and Cain is all too happy to let the superhuman butchers take out the cultists since he has his own secret weapon against daemons.

     Video Games 
  • Devil May Cry has half-demon Dante not only defending humans against demons but also against his own brother.
  • Mega Man X. the Maverick Hunters are a Reploid military agency that is tasked with defending humanity against renegade/"Maverick" Reploids.
  • Mass Effect has several members who have to turn against their own species for the good of the galaxy.
    • Jacob, Miranda, and Shepard all turn against Cerberus when it becomes clear they're brainwashed extremist who kill in the name of humanity but are actually carrying out the will of the Reapers.
    • Legion helps Tali and Shepard make headway in their battle against the feared Geth.

     Real Life 
  • Forest officers defend the wildlife against illegal lumberjacks and hunters.
  • The normal justification of soldiers is to defend civilians against other soldiers.

Feedback: 73 replies

Sep 17th 2012 at 10:43:49 PM

  • Angel defends civilians against other vampires, among other things.
  • The XMen (being mutants) defend humans (and well-meaning but weaker mutants) against malevolent mutants (as well as malevolent humans).
There may be too many similar cases to list.

Sep 18th 2012 at 6:52:05 AM

The X opposing the other X may be a case of My Species Doth Protest Too Much.

Sep 18th 2012 at 7:34:04 AM

  • Blade is a dhampir who defends the innocents against other vampires.

Sep 18th 2012 at 10:28:58 AM

Maybe we should only include examples that don't fit under any of the subtropes.

Sep 18th 2012 at 11:19:32 AM

I think trope titles are supposed to be in third person and not first person?

Jun 23rd 2014 at 11:08:50 PM

Humans Need Aliens: Aliens defending human against other aliens.

I wonder what it is called: a forest officer who defends the wildlife against illegal lumberjacks and hunters?

Jun 23rd 2014 at 11:17:39 PM

Not sure if these are Hunter Of His Own Kind

  • X Men are mutants that defends normal humans from those mutants that wants supremacy, although they're also fighting against Absolute Xenophobe humans themselves.

  • Mega Man X: the Maverick Hunters are a Reploid military agency that is tasked with defending humanity against renegade/"Maverick" Reploids.

Jun 26th 2014 at 10:00:22 AM

In the myths about the Trojan War, we often see some of the gods trying to protect the mortals from the actions of other gods.

Jun 26th 2014 at 10:26:04 AM

  • The normal justification of soldiers is to defend civilians against other soldiers.

Jun 28th 2014 at 5:54:18 PM

Not sure which subtrope this gets filed under, but it meets the "hero defends foreigner from his countrymen" template:

Western Animation

  • The resourceful young Viking Hiccup captures a Night Fury dragon in Dreamworks' How To Train Your Dragon, and learns firsthand that dragons are not mindless hostile antagonists, abnegating everything he'd been taught about them. However, when Hiccup's father Stoick learns that his son has gotten friendly with a dragon, he disowns Hiccup, and seizes the Night Fury with the the intent of using him to locate the hidden stronghold of all dragons.

Jun 28th 2014 at 11:38:26 PM

Aug 17th 2014 at 1:16:32 PM

Aug 18th 2014 at 2:01:58 AM

  • Title: Capitalized and changed it so it doesn't violate No New Stock Phrases.
  • Created Examples section.

Aug 18th 2014 at 2:07:57 AM

I think it's safe to assume that this trope's Up For Grabs.

Aug 18th 2014 at 2:38:55 AM

Gonna grab this, if nobody objects

Sep 2nd 2014 at 7:26:28 AM

Film

  • The Steven Spielberg film Schindlers List chronicles how a German industrialist picked about 200 Jews marked for relocation to work in his factory. This started out as mere slave labor, but when these Jews consistently did good work to avoid being sent to east to the death camps, Oskar Schindler took to protecting them from his Nazi countrymen.

Sep 6th 2014 at 8:46:50 PM

Film Animated

  • Battle For Terra has ace pilot Stewart Stanton lead a recon force against the inhabitants of an alien world. When his craft is downed, an inquisitive alien girl rescues him from certain doom, giving Stanton a chance to see how decent and noble the natives are. Later, when the General Ripper unleashes a genocide machine against the aliens, Stanton decides to save the aliens by attacking the deadly device.

Sep 15th 2014 at 9:16:17 AM

(Does this go in the animated or live-action section?)

Sep 15th 2014 at 11:18:37 AM

Comic Books

  • Superman occasionally has to protect Earth from evil Kryptonians.

Sep 15th 2014 at 11:46:42 AM

^ While that counts here, wouldn't it also fall into Humans Need Aliens?

Sep 15th 2014 at 11:54:46 AM

^ That's a subtrope of this trope. I guess ones that qualify for a subtrope maybe should go in them, though.

Sep 15th 2014 at 7:00:51 PM

In an episode of Andromeda we see a Nietzschean captain on the bridge of a High Guard ship during the Commonwealth-Nietzschean war. He disagrees with the Nietzschean politics and decisions which led to them declaring war on Commonwealth, stating that the Nietzscheans need the Commonwealth in order to survive as a species.

Oct 5th 2014 at 5:08:04 AM

Deserves a bump indeed. And a pic. If there's an image of Angel keeping a vampire away from humans, it'll be ideal.

Oct 5th 2014 at 3:55:15 PM

Anime example

Oct 5th 2014 at 5:44:36 PM

Does it count if the person doesn't know they're one "X" until after the battle/whatever?

Oct 5th 2014 at 6:03:24 PM

If so, the Israeli adaptation of Palestinian playwright Ghassan Kanfani's The Return to Haifa fits this trope—it's a play about a baby left behind during the 1948 Palestinian Exodus (a.k.a. the Nakba) to be found by a couple of Holocaust survivors who move into the house they abandoned; the baby grows up to be a combatant soldier for the IDF.

Oct 5th 2014 at 8:13:40 PM

Moving Battle For Terra from "Western Animation" to "Film Animated", because that's what it is: 84 minutes, screened in U.S. theaters 1 May 2009, by Lionsgate.

Oct 5th 2014 at 8:32:41 PM

  • In Snuff, Vimes must solve a goblin girl's murder and save the remnants of her tribe from the bigotry and exploitation of his fellow humans.

Oct 5th 2014 at 10:19:54 PM

Animal Wrongs Group could be another potential subtrope: humans defending animals against other humans.

Oct 5th 2014 at 10:47:57 PM

Film Animated

  • Diego the saber-tooth tiger was a double agent, leading Manfred the woolie mammoth, Sid the sloth and Bonebag the human infant to Glacier Pass in Blue Sky Studio's Ice Age. However, after being rescued from fiery doom by his companions, Diego undergoes a Heel Face Turn, and actively defends Manfred from Soto, the ruthless leader of the tigers.

Oct 6th 2014 at 7:48:34 AM

^^^^Snuff should be a subheading of Discworld.

Oct 20th 2014 at 1:49:12 AM

Doesn't seem to fit in any of the sub-tropes.

  • Arpeggio Of Blue Steel: The Crapsackworld status quo is humanity having been confined to landmasses, totally at mercy of the Fleet of Fog, the mysterious alienish extremely-sophisticated armed and non-negotiating naval vessels. The protagonists' team agenda may be not about obliteration of the Fog, but its initial voyages are made possible only due to having Iona, functionally a Fog submarine, on their side.

Oct 20th 2014 at 9:49:08 AM

  • Berserk: The Apostle Nosferatu Zodd does this several times in the series.
    • After fighting Guts and Griffith (impressed by Guts' ability and Griffith having a Behelit) and sparing them, he later shows up to indirectly save a disarmed Guts' life by throwing him a sword from miles away.
    • After barely surviving an attack by an Apostle-form Wyald, the Band of the Hawk continues on their way... only to be stopped by the still-living but badly wounded Wyald. He grabs Griffith, demanding that he use his Behelit to save him... and then Zodd shows up to kill Wyald once and for all, since the time for the Eclipse wasn't right.
    • Guts and Zodd team up to defend against an Apostle-form Emperor Ganishka. The two part witout fighting each other, since Guts' first priority is to get Casca healed and Zodd doesn't want to kill the only human whe enjoys fighting so much.
  • Tends to happen in Warhammer 40 K due to every faction being at war with the other. One Ciaphas Cain novel has the summoning of a Slaaneshi daemon interrupted by Khornate warriors (since both gods hate each other), and Cain is all too happy to let the superhuman butchers take out the cultists since he has his own secret weapon against daemons.

Nov 30th 2014 at 10:55:36 PM

There's a YKTTW called Predator Turned Protector going on, that will also be a related trope when it gets launched.

Dec 1st 2014 at 1:38:10 AM

^ I'm in charge of that one too

Dec 1st 2014 at 2:15:57 PM

In Sunshine, Con is a good vampire helping the titular character against bad vampires who want to kill them both.

Dec 1st 2014 at 2:31:03 PM

Is the baby in Ice Age really called Bonebag?

Dec 1st 2014 at 7:02:19 PM

^ Well, he's never called by name in the movie proper, and he's not listed in the closing credits either, although somebody had to supply his chirps and gurgles. That scene with Manny wondering what's so special about the kid, Manny calls him "Bonebag" because of his lack of claws / teeth / venom / other natural defenses. Then comes The Hug, which is all the defense Bonebag needs. Otherwise, he's just "the kid."

Dec 16th 2014 at 1:00:01 PM

Dec 16th 2014 at 2:07:29 PM

^ is Gunn a human or a demon? And who is he defending?

Dec 16th 2014 at 2:17:38 PM

Gunn is a human, as are his old friends. It's your standard case of Van Helsing Hate Crimes. I guess that should be potholed in the example.

Dec 22nd 2014 at 11:28:46 PM

  • Omamori Himari starts with Ordinary High School Student protagonist running into a weird sultry girl (speaking an old dialect and then optionally sprouting cat tail and ears). The girl explains his most recent heritage issues. He's a descendant of Demon Slayer family, and his power starts to stir now that he's 16. A family keepsake, actually an obfuscation charm, has depleted, and now he's a target for all kinds of spirits who may fear or otherwise oppose Demon Slayers. Finally, his ancestor has subdued a feline demon long ago, sparing it in return for servitude of protection, so the girl is here to make good on that promise, and she is a supernatural being herself. She drives off a first assailant even before actual chance to explain all this.

Jan 13th 2015 at 6:51:12 PM

Film Animated

  • Monsters Jimmy Sullivan and Mike Wazowski from Pixar's Monsters Inc go to extraordinary lengths to hide the human toddler Boo from the authorities. It bodes ill when one monster returns from the human world with a mere sock stuck to his fur: a code 23-19 is called which treats the sock like a contaminated bomb. Further, Mike and Sully rescue Boo from the clutches of The Dragon in his Mad Scientist Laboratory.

Jan 14th 2015 at 2:12:16 AM

Apr 10th 2015 at 1:33:10 AM

Comic Book

  • Hawkman and Hawkwoman helped Adam Strange defend Planet Rann from Thanagarians. Because of this, they were branded as traitors and exiled from Thanagar. Which is fine with them since they regard Earth as their home. They also defend humans against their own people during The Shadow War and Invasion.

Jun 7th 2017 at 3:50:32 PM

The laconic & title should be changed, as they are confusing.

Jun 7th 2017 at 8:15:20 PM

Live-Action TV:

  • Rusty, the damaged Dalek from the Doctor Who episode Into the Dalek is this trope mixed with Predator Turned Protector. Being repaired by the Twelfth Doctor, he also shown him the life itself and he finally decided to choose life and goes against his own race and being the protector of life, being more known as a "good" Dalek.

Jun 7th 2017 at 11:04:13 PM

The title doesn't communicate the trope well. I'd like to suggest "Like Fights Like" as a possible title.

Jun 8th 2017 at 2:29:05 AM

^ I get Hunter Of His Own Kind and I get this too.

Light Fights Like lacks the "defending" aspect and makes it sounds like Ape Shall Never Kill Ape or Takes One To Kill One.

Jun 8th 2017 at 12:38:18 PM

I must have a "thing" for animated films, because here I go again:

Film Animated

  • Small kitten Oliver from Disney's Oliver And Company makes an insane leap between speeding vehicles in order to compel The Villain to loosen his grip on young Jenny Foxworth. Sykes seizes Oliver, and flings him into the back seat, where his vicious dobermans bare their teeth at the hopeless kitten. Suddenly, the mutt Dodger makes the leap into the villain's sedan, willing to tussle with two dobermans to save this plucky kitten.

Jun 22nd 2017 at 8:39:39 AM

If we're looking for a new title perhaps Defender Of The Different,Scourge Of The Same ?

Also for Laconic maybe "A character protects those that are different from those that are similar to him" too long though? "X defends Y against X"

Jun 9th 2017 at 12:07:26 AM

Evil Twin doesn't preclude a plot of "a half of a twin defending others against the evil twin". So it's not a subtrope.

Jun 9th 2017 at 10:31:18 PM

  • In Congo, Amy the domesticated gorilla defends the expedition from hordes of wild Killer Gorillas. She doesn't physically fight them—instead, she deciphers the wild gorillas' language, and helps record an audio message instructing them to leave the humans alone. This message winds up being a more effective deterrent than guns or electric fences.

Jun 10th 2017 at 4:49:31 AM

Who is managing this?

Jun 10th 2017 at 6:14:36 AM

^ Possibly no one?

Also added folder tags.

Jun 22nd 2017 at 1:22:28 PM

Jun 22nd 2017 at 3:32:19 PM

Related is Takes One To Kill One

I'm planning on taking this over, but not now.

Jul 15th 2017 at 2:47:24 PM

^ Anything you would like to do? I think we still need better laconic.

Jul 15th 2017 at 6:56:34 PM

Okay, here's a case of White Mans Burden inverted:

Film Animated

  • Disney's Pocahontas has European explorer John Smith poised for execution by Chief Powhatan. Smith is believed responsible for the death of the Chief's best warrior, Kocoum. The chief's daughter, Pocahontas, arrives in the nick of time to block the execution. This move is witnessed by Smith's fellow settlers, who note the natives are capable of both mercy and reason.

Jul 16th 2017 at 6:55:24 AM

^^ Agreed that we need a better Laconic. Maybe: "A group member defends a non-member against other group members."

Jul 16th 2017 at 7:01:43 AM

The How To Train Your Dragon example fails to point out that Hiccup qualifies because he attempts to protect his Night Fury dragon from his father.

Sep 15th 2017 at 9:47:08 PM

^^ Changed laconic, hopefully it's better. Anything else or should we launch?

Dec 31st 2017 at 9:40:54 AM

^There's a lot of good examples that aren't included in the draft yet. I think those should be included before this getting launched IMO

Dec 31st 2017 at 11:28:49 AM

Well, if no one is opposed, I'll fix it and launch it. LMK if there are objections.

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