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A character travelling with a group dies or is wounded, but the leader of the group has to push the others to keep going in order to get out of danger.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
BeccARRR on Feb 9th 2019 at 2:49:33 PM
Last Edited By:
BeccARRR on Feb 11th 2019 at 9:41:31 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

It is usual in fiction that when large groups of characters are travelling together, one or more of them may become hurt or even die during their travels.

This trope comes into play when the leader of the group has to push the others to keep moving onwards so they can continue their mission or get out of danger. They may be afraid that others will die if they linger too long in one spot or that the group will lose morale, so have to hide their own emotions and encourage the group to think practically and continue going.

In other cases, a character may still be alive, but the group are unaware of this and push onwards.

This trope is most likely to appear in fiction of the disaster or horror genre. Contrast No One Gets Left Behind, where the characters decide to go back for a character who has gone missing or is injured. Related to The Needs of the Many.

! Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • After the wolf attack on the peasants near the beginning of Princess Mononoke, Lady Eboshi tells them all to keep moving so as to "get the living home". She sees no point in looking for the men and cattle that were pushed over the cliff, as she assumes they must be dead and staying in the open would only increase the chance of another wolf attack.

    Films—Live-Action 
  • In The Fellowship Of The Ring, after escaping from Moria, Aragorn has to push the travellers hard to get out of danger from pursuing orcs, even though Gandalf has apparently been killed in their escape from the Dwarf-mines. Boromir berates him for lacking emotion at not giving them time to mourn the loss of their friend.
    • This happens again in the second film, The Two Towers, when it appears as if Aragorn has been killed during the orc ambush on the Rohan caravan. Legolas and Gimli are distraught at losing him, but Eomer has to encourage them to continue on to Helm's Deep, as his people will not be safe where they are. He also needs as many men as he can muster to defend the people of Rohan from the coming Uruk-Hai hordes.
  • After Scott's death in The Poseidon Adventure, the surviving passengers need to be pushed into getting to safety by Rogo, as they are all shocked by the sacrifice he made for them.
  • In Outlaw King, after the army of Robert the Bruce is utterly crushed by a surprise attack at Methven, the few survivors who escape attempt to flee to the island of Islay. After the group begins to cross to the island in small, rickety boats, they are attacked by a rival clan. In a frantic attempt to evacuate men who might live to fight another day, the wounded and dying are pushed out of the boats to make room for others, including Robert's younger brother Alexander.

    Films—Animated 
  • In the first Ice Age film, Diego appears to die near the end of the film. The baby Diego, Manny and Sid have been protecting all this time doesn't want to leave him behind, but Manny and Sid gently take the baby away, as they need to hurry and reach the human tribe so they can return him to his father.
  • The Breadwinner: Fattema's cousin arrives earlier than expected to take the family away from their home because the war has started and their home town will soon be bombed. The cousin refuses to let the mother and sister wait for Parvana, the protagonist, who has not yet returned home, and forces them both into his car. Although the cousin is not a heroic character, his reasons are understandable.
    • Later, Fattema stands up to him and gets him to leave them behind, but they are still miles from their home during a bombing raid and do not know where Parvana is.

    Literature 
  • The Stone Sky: After Ykka's community is displaced, she leads them on a forced march through the Death World of the Stillness to a new safe location, leaving behind everyone who dies or falters. They all know that these Cold Equations are a brutal necessity of life during a Season, but are still a bit shocked when one respected member (who's Secretly Dying) just sits down on the road and lets themself be abandoned.

Feedback: 10 replies

Feb 9th 2019 at 2:57:08 PM

The Lord Of The Rings - after escaping from Moria, Aragorn has to push the travellers hard to get out of danger from pursuing orcs, even though Gandalf has apparently been killed in their escape from the Dwarf-mines.

Feb 9th 2019 at 3:23:30 PM

No New Stock Phrases. You need to give a better title that doesn't sound like spoken dialogue.

Feb 9th 2019 at 3:32:11 PM

The concept is sound, but the title will probably need to be changed, to avoid No New Stock Phrases. Perhaps something along the lines of "Abandoning the Casualties" or the like?

Related to The Needs Of The Many, since it usually involves protecting the group's wellbeing at the expense of the individual's.

  • The Stone Sky: After Ykka's community is displaced, she leads them on a forced march through the Death World of the Stillness to a new safe location, leaving behind everyone who dies or falters. They all know that these Cold Equations are a brutal necessity of life during a Season, but are still a bit shocked when one respected member (who's Secretly Dying) just sits down on the road and lets themself be abandoned.

Feb 9th 2019 at 11:10:31 PM

Another contrasting trope would be I Will Only Slow You Down, when a casualty who is still alive enough to speak is the one asking to be left behind.

Feb 10th 2019 at 1:10:32 AM

the examples don't seem like abandonment, perhaps Heroes Press Onwards

Feb 10th 2019 at 4:42:27 AM

I think the Heroes Press Onwards works the most, but I still need some more examples

Feb 10th 2019 at 8:53:54 AM

  • In Outlaw King, after the army of Robert The Bruce is utterly crushed by a surprise attack at Methven, the few survivors who escape attempt to flee to the island of Islay. After the group begins to cross to the island in small, rickety boats, they are attacked by a rival clan. In a frantic attempt to evacuate men who might live to fight another day, the wounded and dying are pushed out of the boats to make room for others, including Robert's younger brother Alexander.

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