Captain Morris Tolliver, MD: In the event of a military coup, sir, what makes you think the Secret Service is gonna be on your side?
Bartlet: ...Now that's a thought that's gonna fester.
A character is betrayed by the very ones who are supposed to be protecting them. In both Real Life and fiction, pretty much the most effective method for killing a head of state or other highly protected target, since they're the only ones allowed in their presence with weapons. Hence, this usually ends up with the victim dead, but in rare cases (especially if the attempt is on The Hero) they survive to seek their revenge on the guards, or whoever was manipulating them. Many cases of The Dog Bites Back will involve this, particularly in the case of Dragons who betray their Big Bad masters. Often done via Betrayal by Inaction or Unfriendly Fire.
May be a manifestation of Even Evil Has Standards. A Cadre of Foreign Bodyguards was a common way to subvert this trope in real life, since a unit of foreign warriors with no attachments or ties to local political rivalries or ruling families has fewer reasons to indulge in this trope.
In Real Life, rulers have tried setting up a Praetorian Guard—an elite bodyguard unit directly reporting to the leader—to reduce this risk. Unfortunately, as nine Roman emperors found out, the Praetorian Guard may get a "better offer" from the rival to the throne. Leaders who create a Cult of Personality and then recruit only rabidly loyal followers who worship them as bodyguards may be more likely to avoid this trope, as these guards will be zealous followers.
As this is a Betrayal Trope and sometimes a Death Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.
- Kiyomi Takada from Death Note is directed by her bodyguard Hal Lidner into being kidnapped by Mello. She kills Mello but gets stuck with evidence on her, getting her killed by Light.
- Monster has fun with this. After the death of the Baby, Petr Capek is paranoid that his bodyguards are trying to kill him at Johan's request. This leads to him killing a bodyguard while the man is reaching for his lighter, thinking that the bodyguard was trying to grab a gun. This in turn causes his other bodyguards to shoot him, in retaliation for him killing one of their innocent comrades.
- Martin is told to do this when Eva outlives her usefulness to the mob, but the Bodyguard Crush gets in the way, even when Johan's Bastard Understudy tries to talk him into it.
- Roberto is introduced as Muller's bodyguard, leading to this.
- Wei in Darker than Black does this to Alice Wong after assisting her in killing her father's entire crime family.
- In Dragon Ball, Commander Red's right-hand man Black betrays him in this fashion, after finding out that Red doesn't care about the success or glory of the Red Ribbon Army; he actually just intends to use the Dragon Balls to make himself taller, and doesn't care how many of his subordinates die along the way.
- Requiem for the Phantom has Godoh Daisuke being shot at point-blank range by his best friend and right-hand man, Shiga, at the instigation of Scythe Master. Unlike most other examples of this trope, Shiga truly respected and admired Godoh and, even after taking over the Godoh Group and turning it into an affiliate of Inferno, loathed Scythe for setting into the motion the events that led to the murder.
- In one filler episode of Naruto, Kunihisa, a spoiled rich kid who accompanies Naruto to see what it's like to be a ninja, uses money to get his helpers to do what he wants, calling it his own kind of ninjutsu. When some kidnappers target him, his bodyguards desert him, as he's out of money and they don't like how they've been treated, teaming up with the kidnappers instead.
- A rare heroic version of this trope appears in PandoraHearts: In Retrace LXXIX, Gilbert betrays his former master Glen in order to protect his current master and best friend, Oz.
- In the second season of the Black Butler anime, Creepy Child Alois Trancy's servant Claude Faustus — who is supposed to be bound to him by an incontrovertible Deal with the Devil contract — responds to an impassioned speech about how badly Alois needs him by crushing his skull between his hands. Alas, Poor Villain.
- The Rose of Versailles provides a rather unusual and heroic example: Oscar is a member of the Military Household of the King of France and a personal friend of the queen, and seeing how France is going down the drain due to the government's ineptitude she spends many years trying to get her to be the queen France needs and use her influence on the king to clean the government's act before it's too late... But as the queen is Marie Antoinette she doesn't listen, and once her direct superior in the French Guards sends orders to fire on the rioting Parisians Oscar instead leads her troops in a mutiny and joins the assault on the Bastille (in which Oscar dies), effectively starting The French Revolution. The unusual part is that while Marie Antoinette and the court react with the appropriate horror once they find out the French Guards do not march on Versailles to kill the royals, the queen never stops considering Oscar the best friend she ever had, to the point that, between the sessions of her trial, she even expresses regret for how their last encounter went and for not listening to her advice when it could have made a difference.
- In The Ravages of Time, when the Sima clan mutinies against the Prime Minister Cao Cao, the Sima clan troops' leader at the family residence Xu Ding reveals himself as The Mole, then "the loyal one" Guo Ang loses his arm to one of his own men at Xu Ding's behest, after which Xu Ding and company proceed to mostly annihilate the Sima clan present there — kicking off Sima Yi's own planned revenge of worming his way up the ranks of the Cao faction before overthrowing Cao Cao.
- Bojji's bodyguard and swordfighting teacher Domas betrays him early in Ranking of Kings on command from Daida by pushing him down a chasm to the Underworld. It doesn't work, but Bojji realized the intent and is terrified to look at him when they meet again.
- Happens to Darcy Parker in Strangers in Paradise, after she was publicly outed as a mafia boss with political ties.
- Marvel's The Kingpin was hired as a bodyguard for Don Rigoletto. He used this position to secretly unite the mobs behind his boss' back. His final step in usurping Rigoletto's power was to snap his neck.
- In the last issue of Transmetropolitan the Secret Service has enough of the Smiler's shit and refuse to kill Spider for him, neither do they lift a finger when he's arrested.
- Twice in The Tainted Grimoire:
- Raven is actually a member of Khamja. While he and Crow are protecting Maria, their true objective is separate and more sinister but the moment Maria got involved, Raven could have killed her without remorse if it wasn't for Adelle.
- Fasullo is actually Ewen in disguise and the whole time he spent working as the leader of Baron Beltorey's guards was just so can take something the Baron had.
- A Brief History of Equestria: During the last Unicorn civil war (following Hearth's Warming but prior to a full Equestrian unification), many of the Unicorn nobles were killed by their own bodyguards, saving Princess Platinum the trouble of a long and drawn-out war.
- The Assassination of Twilight Sparkle: Five royal guards were in on the plot to kill Twilight.
- Twice in My Mirror, Sword and Shield:
- The Knights of Round were honor-bound to protect Emperor Lelouch. Resentment stewed over by Lelouch's refusal to sack his Japanese knight, liberal policies, suspicion that he killed his sister with Lelouch's decision to end the overinflated nobility being the straw that broke the camel's back. Only three of the Knight remained loyal while the rest of them attempted a failed coup.
- Beknowst to Emperor Lelouch, his most loyal knight, Suzaku worked his way to the top in order to kill him. But he ended up losing his nerve and fakes Lelouch's assassination to protect him.
- Queen of All Oni: Just prior to the climax, a now utterly delusional and paranoid Queen Jade decides to eliminate her chief minions, including Battle Butlers Left and Right, and replace them all with people who have been brainwashed to have no free will, and therefore can't ever betray her. Right happens to overhear this, and thus during Jade's duel with Tarakudo during the Final Battle, he quite literally stabs her In the Back, allowing Tarakudo to win.
- In the Oxcross Loop of Purple Days, Joff and Sansa escape King's Landing, allowing Daenerys to swoop in and crown herself queen. However, the massive strain of trying to rule the ruined continent slowly drives the young Targaryen insane, and the last Sansa sees through a glass candle is Daenerys, screaming "BURN THEM ALL!" as a broken Barristan Selmy impales her with his sword.
- The Mountain and the Wolf: Tyrion recounts the story of the betrayal of Aerys Targaryen by his bodyguard (without specifying said bodyguard's name, aka Jaime) to the Wolf. The Wolf later uses the story as an example of how the worst crimes in Westeros are Easily Forgiven (from his perspective, at least) to Jaime himself.
- This Bites!: Amidst all the other chaos immediately following the Straw Hats' attack on Enies Lobby (and more importantly, Cross exposing many of the World Government's dirty deeds in the process), a World Noble's bodyguards take advantage of all the WG's forces being busy elsewhere to turn on and kill him for threatening a group of innocent civilians.
- In Toy Story 3, Lotso-Huggin' Bear is literally disposed (put in a dumpster) by the Big Baby.
- Air Force One. One of the Secret Service agents is actually a Mole and starts the whole plot in motion.
- Done very well in Quantum of Solace. When interrogating Mr. White, one of the leaders of Quantum, he mocks them by saying "The first thing you should know about us is that we have people everywhere.", at which point he turns to the aide following M everywhere and adds "Am I right?" - he pulls a gun and shoots the other MI6 agents.
M: When someone says "We've got people everywhere", you expect it to be hyperbole! Lots of people say that. Florists use that expression. It doesn't mean that they've got somebody working for them inside the bloody room!
- Star Wars:
- In Revenge of the Sith, all the clones "betray" their Jedi charges when they're told to execute Order 66 by Palpatine.
- In Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader turns against Palpatine himself upon seeing Luke gets tortured by him.
- In Big Game, Morris - chief of Secret Service's presidential security detail - betrays president Moore because he's disgruntled with his leadership and the man himself, kicking the plot into motion and turning into one half of Big Bad Duumvirate.
- Bullets over Broadway: Cheech is hired as a bodyguard for talentless aspiring actress Olive, but kills her out of frustration about how she is ruining the play.
- The Running Man. Earlier in the movie, Big Bad Killian insulted his bodyguard Sven by asking "Steroids made you deaf?" At the end, Ben Richards confronts Killian.
Killian: Sven, do you wanna talk to Mr. Richards? [pause] Well?
Sven: I've got to score some steroids. [turns and leaves Killian to Richards]
Richards: [kills Killian in a Hoist by His Own Petard way]
- In G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the villains use a mind-controlled Secret Service agent to gain access to the President so that Zartan can replace him.
- In The Sentinel (2006), the Secret Service finds out that one of them is involved in a plot to assassinate the President, but they focus all their efforts on the main character because his story doesn't check out. This is due to him sleeping with the First Lady, though. The real traitor is doing this to protect his family. He does get a Redemption Equals Death ending, however.
- Barely averted in The Bodyguard. A casual line at the beginning of the movie mentions that the (to-be-revealed) hitman (a former Secret Service agent like Kevin Costner's character) was interviewed and was "eager" for the job of guarding his future target.
- The Godfather:
- During Michael's stay in Sicily, he notices his bodyguard Fabrizzio hurriedly walking away from his villa. As his wife Apollonia gets into the car, Michael suddenly realizes what's going on, but it's too late to stop her from turning the ignition, triggering the Car Bomb that Fabrizzio rigged and killing her.
- Vito's bodyguard Paulie called in sick the day that an attempt was carried out on Vito's life. Naturally, it's not a coincidence.
- In Zorro, the Gay Blade, the Big Bad's soldiers are loyal to him up until the last minute of the Zorro-led revolution. In the end, the Big Bad (and wife) are surrounded by his soldiers (guns pointing out), who are in turn surrounded by an angry mob. The troop leader sees which side his bread is buttered on, and commands, "ABOUT FACE!"
- In a deleted scene from Conan the Barbarian (1982), Max von Sydow's King Osric ends up on the receiving end of a pretty brutal stabbing by his own royal bodyguards.
- A minor example from The Good Shepherd. Matt Damon's character, essentially the head of the nascent CIA, occasionally meets his Soviet counterpart, codenamed Ulysses. Late in the film, it's revealed that Ulysses' aide is funneling information to the Americans, direct from the source. The aide doesn't kill Ulysses or even cause him any direct harm, but his actions are definitely a betrayal in the general sense.
- Tower of Death has Lewis' one-armed, unnamed valet and personal bodyguard, who eventually kills Lewis halfway into the film. Turns out said valet was working for the Hidden Villain of the picture.
- Star Wars Legends:
- The Thrawn Trilogy: How Admiral Thrawn finally goes down. Thrawn betrayed the warrior race he was using for bodyguards, lying to them and poisoning their world to keep them in indentured servitude. When his personal guard found out about this, he stabbed Thrawn.
- It's also the reason Palpatine's cloned-bodies plot couldn't continue indefinitely; one of his supposedly fanatically-loyal Royal Guardsmen tampered with the source DNA being used to create the clone bodies, so eventually every single Palpatine clone would start degenerating/aging way too fast to be of any use.
- A Song of Ice and Fire:
- Jaime Lannister, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, known as "The Kingslayer". It says something about how bad things had gotten because, by the time Jaime is made Lord Commander, it's not just an unpopular political appointment: he probably was the best one left for the job. Yes, the despised Kingslayer was the best one they had. He had a good reason, for that betrayal of his, however... not that people fully admit it. That no one else knows the full story (which would exonerate him even more), yet he still was made Lord Commander, just further reinforces both the dominance of his House and the general crapsackiness of the situation given that, bar Barristan Selmy, he was better than any others.
- A member of the Kingsguard tries to murder Tyrion Lannister during the Battle of the Blackwater. He immediately suspects his sister Queen Cersei is behind the attack, though we have no confirmation in her point-of-view chapters.
- Although King Maegor "The Cruel" Targaryen had his entire remaining Kingsguard famously abandon him in the only such mass betrayal in what is technically this trope, it's not widely considered a true example by those writing the histories of the Seven Kingdoms. Because this "disgraceful" Kingsguard went on to support his nephew, Jaehaerys "The Wise" and, incidentally, the next king — and, by doing so, stuck to others of their oaths as knights sworn to the Faith of the Seven, not just the Throne. The very Faith that Maegor partially got his sobriquet for messily persecuting in the first place.
- As noted above, the culture of Westeros generally takes a very dim view of this kind of thing, regardless of which side is left writing or singing the histories. There is, however, one other notable exception living solidly in Conflicting Loyalty territory. When the last two members of House Durrandon both decided to defy the Targaryens, their remaining guards (both city and personal) came to the reasonable conclusion that they'd rather not repeat the lesson learned from Harrenhal, thanks. After they learned of the defeat of the last Storm King (and his whole army) on the field, and upon hearing his daughter swearing Defiant to the End vengeance in response, they promptly gave the walled city and keep of Stormsend up to the Targaryen army... after capturing, stripping and then wrapping their stubbornly defiant "Storm Queen", Argella, in chains. They then unceremoniously dumped her at the feet of her future husband, Orys Baratheon, as part of the surrender. Although they're not lauded for these actions, they're conspicuously not condemned for them, either. Because... what the hell else are you supposed to do against a real, live fully-grown, castle-killing dragon known to be capable of melting stone (Meraxes, ridden by Rhaenys Targaryen), when all you have is, basically, a pike line on top of some suddenly very flimsy-feeling walls, since most of your army buddies have already become mince or charcoal and you've got a city of civilians to defend? Yeah.
- Anita Blake:
- This happens to Anita in one of the earlier books. A werewolf who is supposed to protect Anita from her enemies turns her over for human sacrifice to her vampire master.
- Quite a while later, about the same thing happens again (although it doesn't end up the same way). Interestingly, both planted bodyguards are female.
- Vivenna, in Warbreaker, hires a set of bodyguards to protect her. Shame they'd been using her to advance their own agenda (and that of their real employer) all along. Denth in particular was quite irritated when she got away because he lost his best weapon.
- In the Jack Ryan novel Executive Orders, an Iranian sleeper agent inserted into the US Secret Service, years ago, is activated to assassinate Jack Ryan. Another Iranian sleeper agent at the start of the book succeeds in killing "The Moustache" (presumably Saddam Hussein, from context elsewhere in the book, but never mentioned by name), years after working his way into the Iraqi security service and working up through the ranks.
- The Discworld novels speak of Lorenzo the Kind, last king of Ankh-Morpork. He "loved" children. He loved children so much that he was hauled into the street by an angry mob and the then-Commander of the City Watch, Suffer-Not-Injustice Vimes, chopped off his head.
- Towards the end of Kingsbane, it's revealed that, instead of helping Eliana and the rest of Red Crown escape, Simon is actually bringing her to an Undying Empire ship. Most of Red Crown is slaughtered in the ambush and Eliana and Remy are taken as prisoners.
- Averted in The Religion War by Scott Adams. The antagonist abandons his base when the war starts because he knows his bodyguards will inevitably betray him for money/favors.
- In Wen Spencer's The Wolf Who Rules, the climactic confrontation is ended when Wolf persuades not his opponent but his opponent's bodyguard, who kill him on the grounds he's advocating wrong-doing. This is their job, and it is fully accepted that they have the authority to do so.
- Mindstar Rising by Peter F. Hamilton. The Mole working for the Big Bad turns out to be one of Julia Evans' own bodyguards. They belatedly realise he's been off sick on the days that the psychic hired by Julia to check her security is on duty.
- In Mercedes Lackey's Oathbreakers Tarma pulls this in order to avenge Captain Idra, who was raped and killed by her brother, the king of Rethwellan.
- The series also provides a widespread invoked example of this with the Haighlei. Each of the kings of the various Haighlei kingdoms has the sons of the other kings as their personal bodyguards to make it very difficult to declare war on each other, as doing so would be asking for at least one bodyguard to betray them.
- In a non-fatal example, Kimo of Spy Hunt betrays his 11-year-old charges, leading to their kidnapping.
- In Jacqueline Carey's The Sundering, Tanaris was the king's bodyguard, but when he discovered that the king had fathered a child with his new wife Tanaris killed both his wife and the king in a fit of rage. It comes up a lot.
- In the Backstory of Andy Hoare's White Scars novel Hunt for Voldorius, how the governor died.
- Norman Spinrad's Agent of Chaos starts with an assassination attempt on the Coordinator. The initial phase of the attempt involves ten guys blasting with lasers to draw the attention of the bodyguards — so they won't notice in time to stop one of their own turning and shooting the Coordinator.
- Timothy Zahn's The Backlash Mission has bodyguards subjected to "loyalty conditioning". One guard in particular knows very well how much reason he has to want a certain official dead, but loyalty conditioning means he'd give his life to defend the man. And then he gets dosed with a drug that neutralizes the conditioning...
- In Oleg Divov's Brothers in Reason, a wealthy European businessman is kidnapped by an unknown organization in order to investigate his ties to a powerful Russian psychic agency. His loyal bodyguard lets it happen, as the kidnappers have taken his daughter.
- In the first arc of The Saga of the Noble Dead, The Dragon Chane Andraso turns on Big Bad Welstiel Massing at the climax of Child of a Dead God when Welstiel lies one time too many. Chane goes on to become the Token Evil Teammate in the second arc of the saga.
- Referenced in Anansi Boys: the former leader of the Caribbean island several of the characters end up visiting is noted to have died "of falling out of bed repeatedly", despite his bodyguards being in the room and "assisting" him.
- Isaac Asimov's "The General (Foundation)": A subplot that occurs during the gap between the previous story, "The Merchant Princes", and this story. Ducem Barr had managed to rise high enough in military rank to be part of the guard for the Governor-General who had unfairly punished his home planet of Siwenna. He killed the General in retribution for the atrocities committed on his family and planet.
- Numerous opportunities for this in Tales of the Branion Realm, since there are three different types of royal guard plus informal security. Does not necessarily have to do with assassination; at one point fifty Palace Guards desert to join their Rebel Prince.
- Pulled off in Orson Scott Card's Shadow Puppets by Suriyawong to Achilles, with Bean serving the latter with a Moe Greene Special.
- Inverted in the Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM) novel Death or Glory: Cain and Jurgen accidentally stumble upon Korbul, the warboss leading the invasion of Perlia, along with his nob bodyguards. However, the nobs don't attack, as to do so would imply the warboss is too weak to do the job himself, and therefore a challenge to his authority (which to orks would count as Bodyguard Betrayal). For the same reason, Jurgen stays out of the fight, as this would give the nobs a reason to attack him. Once Korbul goes down, the nobs start arguing over who's in charge.
- Vatta's War has a case of this when an agent of a security firm tries to kill the main character, due to the agent working for the Space Pirates hunting her. Vattas' security chief is able to kill the traitor before he succeeds.
- Happens to the Lady Door in Neil Gaiman's book Neverwhere. She hires Hunter, the very best fighter in the Underside, to be her bodyguard. Unfortunately, the two villains she's in most danger from hired Hunter first, with instructions to protect Door from all threats except them.
- Averted in Sergey Lukyanenko's Emperors of Illusions. As Emperor Grey is sneaking out of his palace in order to leave this universe for one tailored for him, he asks a young bodyguard who earlier saved his sanity where he's from. The guard tells him, and the Emperor realizes that the guy is from a rebellious world that was sacked on his secret order. In fact, the guy only survived because Kay refused to shoot him. The Emperor outright asks why the guard didn't kill him. After all, why else would he strive to become his bodyguard? The guard replies that that was his original plan, even though he knows that the death wouldn't stick. However, after getting close to Grey and finding out that he isn't happy at all, he lost his hate and decided that maybe leaving the Emperor alive wasn't a mercy after all.
- In The Lost Regiment novels, the Merki Horde has a unique post that doesn't have an equivalent in the Tugar Horde. Shield Bearers are trained from among the White Clan to protect the Qar Qarth (chief of the entire horde) and the Zan Qarth (the heir apparent). However, they are not merely bodyguards. A Shield Bearer is also supposed to be the Qar/Zan Qarth's closest friend and advisor, as they train themselves not to think "what would a warrior do?" but "what is good for the Horde?" As such, one of the Shield Bearer's duties is to kill his charge, if this proves to be beneficial to the Horde as a whole. However, there are specific rules on when and how this must be done. The decision to kill the Qar Qarth can only come from the White Clan council, while the death of a Zan Qarth must be ordered by the Qar Qarth. Even then, it is usually preferred for the death to be honorable (i.e. face to face), although extreme cases allow for a dishonorable one (i.e. In the Back). Additionally, the Shield Bearer is expected to die at the burial ceremony of his charge.
- In Altered Carbon, Trepp is a fairly decent Punch-Clock Villain who works for the Big Bad. By the end of the novel, she comes to realize what a depraved monster her boss really is; ordered to finish off the wounded protagonist, she turns on her employer instead.
- Oenone Zero in the Mortal Engines series resurrects the Stalker Shrike to serve as a bodyguard for the Stalker Fang, but she's secretly plotting against Fang and gives Shrike some Manchurian Agent programming so that she can use him as an assassin when the time is right. When activated, Shrike is unwilling but unable to stop himself from attacking Fang and tearing her apart, but Fang is Not Quite Dead and slowly rebuilt in the next book.
- In the first book of The Gentleman Bastard series, the Berengias twins, who work as bodyguards for Capa Barsavi and his family, turn out to be the sisters of the Big Bad and proceed to help him kill the Capa and his sons. They also reveal to have killed her wife by slowly poisoning her, and making it seem like a disease had done it.
- In the Spiral Arm series, Paul Feeley, the Radiant Name, refuses to allow his Protectors to retreat when his residence comes under fire because he is defended by his sparkle armor, disregarding the fact that the Protectors are not similarly equipped. Disgusted by the Radiant Name's disregard for the lives of those who serve him, his captain-Protector orders the retreat and then kills his master himself.
- In Winner Takes All, hitmen John Rain and Dox decide to kill their target during an arms deal and make it look like one of his bodyguards decided to steal the money. They're bemused to have this very scenario happen before they start shooting (though the bodyguard is a terrorist who wants to steal the weapons, not the money).
- In the Warrior Cats book Shattered Sky, Rain offers to watch over the wounded Darktail for a while. Violetpaw decides to bring a piece of prey for Darktail to eat when he wakes up, and she returns to find Rain suffocating their leader. It looks for a moment as if he's successful, but it turns out that Darktail was just Playing Possum: when Rain turns away, Darktail jumps up and kills him in revenge.
- Ascendance of a Bookworm: Myne is placed under the protection of a pair of knights while High Priest Ferdinand helps the Knight's Order deal with a rampaging Trombe. As Knights are nobles, one of them resents having to watch over the commoner Myne. He begins bullying Myne and ends up cutting her with a knife. Myne's mana-rich blood falls to the ground, where it ends up awakening another Trombe seed that happened to be lying dormant beneath their feet.
- In Alpha and Omega, Haji Jamal Ashrawi, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, suspects his head bodyguard of aiding several ISIS members in ambushing and beating him as a warning not to obstruct them.
- The Elder Empire: When Nathaniel Boreas betrays his allies the Consultants, Shera turns to his bodyguard and says "it's time to come home." Said bodyguard immediately stabs his boss with great relish. Normally the Consultants don't have their Shepherds (the deep-cover spies) perform assassinations, because they tend to be emotionally attached to their targets. Nathaniel Boreas is such an asshole that the closest thing he has to a best friend attacks him with zero hesitation.
- Caligula is done in by his Praetorian Guard in I, Claudius and The Caesars. Truth in Television.
- Arrow. In "Legacy", Tobias Church assembles the various mob bosses of Star City and tells them to work for him. And then he demonstrates how he's already infiltrated their organizations by having one of them shot in the back by his own bodyguard.
- In Babylon 5, Londo's girlfriend is killed by the Shadows, who plant evidence to suggest that Lord Refa is the culprit, as revenge for Londo keeping Refa on a half-poison leash. Londo spends a long time planning his revenge. It culminates in Refa traveling to Narn (occupied by the Centauri) with his personal guards. They go into a bunker, which turns out to be full of angry Narns. Londo appears as a hologram to let Refa know that it was Londo's plan and the bodyguards came from Londo's House. The bodyguards then do an about-face and calmly march away, as Refa is swarmed by the Narns.
- Doctor Who: In "Dalek", Henry van Statten's assistant orders his goons to haul him off for mind-wiping (Ironic Echo-ing his earlier treatment of another goon who had failed him). They obey her without missing a beat, van Statten having lost their respect by insisting they attack and capture the Dalek regardless of their losses.
- Game of Thrones:
- Jaime "The Kingslayer" Lannister killed the Mad King seventeen years before the series started. He's been regarded with suspicion ever since for breaking his oath to protect the king, even though everyone was delighted the crazy old git was dead. This has no small part in his resentment towards Ned Stark. Somewhat justified by the high premium that is (at least publicly) placed on honor. In the books, Ned Stark was the first to find Jaime sitting on the Iron Throne and Aerys II at the feet thereof, so he believed that Jaime had at least considered usurping the throne.
- When the Gold Cloaks turn on Ned at the end of "You Win Or You Die."
- Ser Mandon Moore of the Kingsguard tries to kill Tyrion during the Battle of the Blackwater, though this isn't a perfect example in that the betrayal is somewhat tangential, (i.e. the king's bodyguard attacks the king's right-hand man.) Meanwhile, Tyrion's own bodyguard (squire, technically) Podrick Payne shoves a lance through the attacker's face. The spymaster Varys tells Tyrion his sister Queen Cersei is behind the attempt, but Cersei later implies that King Joffrey is the culprit.
- Through a bit of duplication magic, this is how Pyat Pree kills the Thirteen.
- The parting between Tyrion and Bronn can be seen as a very understated version since it concerns a bodyguard refusing aid in a time of need because he's received a better offer.
- And in the series finale, Jon Snow assassinates Daenerys for going off the deep end after she proposed marriage so he could be her consort/bodyguard/legitimacy loophole to the throne. For some reason, Drogon ignores him and blames the Iron Throne itself for her death. With lots of fire.
- Ralf Kenning is rewarded with an axe to the head when he refuses to surrender to Ramsay. Of course, those that do surrender don't fare much better.
- On General Hospital, Sonny's wife Lily was killed by a car bomb meant for him and planted by her father, after Sonny's right-hand man Harry informed him that Sonny was cheating on her. Unbeknownst to either man, Sonny and Lily had reconciled and she was driving the car because he had drunk too much at their celebratory dinner.
- The 1989 TV movie Red King, White Knight has Renegade Russian KGB hiring a foreign terrorist to kill Premier Gorbachev. Turns out they're not relying on the assassin to do the job. As Gorbachev is bundled into his limousine to escape the attack, one of his bodyguards goes to shoot the Premier, only to be shot by the protagonist Just in Time.
- An inadvertent version in Rome. In a public move to increase the number of commoners in the Senate, Julius Caesar promotes former centurion Lucius Vorenus to the rank of senator and orders Vorenus to stick close to his side to learn the ropes. He later reveals his actual motive is to use Vorenus' reputation to deter assassination. Unfortunately one of the conspirators has discovered that Vorenus' wife had a child with another man, and reveals this secret to Vorenus on the day of Caesar's assassination so he will rush home instead of following Caesar into the Senate house.
- In Scandal, after Olivia is kidnapped by mercenaries working for the Vice President, the President (who is in love with her) is informed that she will be fine as long as he does what the VP wants and sends troops to West Angola. As the President is about to get in touch with people to try to find Olivia, several Secret Service agents walk in and inform him that most of the White House staff, including them, is working for the VP. That means that everything the President does is being monitored, so he better stick to the plan and send in the troops. A few episodes later, the President signs an executive order, disbanding his security detail and bringing in the Marines to protect him. It's never specified how the VP managed to get the Secret Service to betray their commander-in-chief.
- Sense8: It turns out Capheus's bodyguard has been hired to kill him, and he barely escapes with his life.
- An Invoked Trope in the mini-series Shaka Zulu. The king has been assassinated via witchcraft, so Shaka has the king's bodyguards tortured until they confess to doing the deed, to avoid a panic in his army.
- In the Mirror Universe episode of Star Trek: Enterprise ("In a Mirror, Darkly"), Jonathan Archer plans to become Emperor by forcing the current one to step down with his advanced USS Defiant from the normal Trek verse. In his moment of triumph, his lover Hoshi Sato and his bodyguard (and her lover) Travis Mayweather poison him, and Hoshi declares herself Empress.
- In the Walker, Texas Ranger episode "6 Hours", a traitorous bodyguard kidnaps the wealthy girl he was protecting because he wanted to have her father pay a ransom or else he will kill her within that timeframe, even sinking so low as to broadcast the murder over the internet. Luckily, Walker finds them Just in Time and creams the traitor with his own murder weapon.
- Discussed in The West Wing (as seen in the page quote); President Bartlet, not wanting to receive a flu shot from his personal physician, jokes that this could be the start of a coup and wants the Secret Service in the office. The physician retorts that there's no guarantee that in the event of a coup, the Secret Service will be on Bartlet's side. Bartlet remarks that this is a thought that's "gonna fester". Otherwise averted, however, as whenever we saw them the Secret Service were depicted as professional and utterly loyal to the office of the President.
- Bruno from WHO dunnit (1995), who is actually Victoria's ex-husband, Tex. After surviving an attempt on his life, he gets plastic surgery, then works as a bodyguard at Tony's Palace while awaiting an opportunity for revenge on Tony and Victoria.
- In The Adventure Zone: Balance, this is what happened to Lup via Sirus Rockseeker. who was helping hide the Phoenix Fire Gauntlet.
- Expect anyone with a bodyguard in the WWE and other federations to have said bodyguard turn on them eventually. The one that comes to mind immediately is Shawn Michaels being betrayed by Sycho Sid.
- This trope is also often inverted. When the bodyguard becomes too successful, expect them to be betrayed by their protegee, like when HBK attacked Diesel because he was overshadowing him.
- In The Gamer's Alliance, Caliban, Hannibal Losstarot's new bodyguard after the death of the previous bodyguard Tybalt, ends up being in league with the Totenkopfs and kidnaps Hannibal after leading him to a location where the Totenkopfs can more easily extract Hannibal before the rest of the Coalition is alerted to their shenanigans.
- Warhammer 40,000: The fate of Mad Lord Vandire in the fluff, assassinated by his own Amazon Brigade bodyguard once they finally saw Vandire had snapped.
- Probably the leading cause of death for Dark Eldar Archons.
- For precisely this reason, Archons generally employ Incubi for their protection, as they are outside the chain of command and loyal only to the one who pays them.
- Orks also function on Klingon Promotion. However, seeing as orks naturally get bigger the more orks they command, an ork nob had better make damn sure he's certain to win the fight against the boss. Amusingly, it also causes them to be bad at actually at Bodyguarding a Badass- if the boss decides to take on an enemy and the nob shoots/hits it first, it's essentially the nob saying "You suck at killing things", one of the worst insults in orkdom, and followed by swift disciplinary action.
- Probably the leading cause of death for Dark Eldar Archons.
- In Warhammer this is suspected of one the kings of the high elves, Tethlis the Slayer. After enacting a campaign of genocide on the dark elves that led many to worry that they were becoming no better, Tethlis made a pilgrimage to the Sword of Kaine, an Artifact of Doom wielded by the first Phoenix King. The official story is that a dark elf assassin was waiting for him on the isle, but it's strongly suspected that the truth is he tried to draw the sword and his bodyguards cut him down in fear that he might succeed.
- Attempted on Coordinator Theodore Kurita in the course of the BattleTech history. The Black Dragon Society, an Ancient Conspiracy of extremely traditionalist, xenophobic ultranationalists, managed to subvert the Otomo, the Coordinator's bodyguard company. They very nearly killed him while marching by in their Battlemechs during a military parade, but a Big Damn Heroes movement by an irregular army regiment comprised of military dregs and the Yakuza, reinforcements from loyalist members of the Secret Police, along with a Ragtag Bunch of Mercenary Msifits, managed to save the Coordinator. Based on the Real Life assassination of Anwar Sadat.
- Paranoia: "[Violets] are [the Ultraviolet's] spymasters, gophers, assassins and eventually his patsies, but never his bodyguards. No High Programmer is that crazy."
- In Mafia, Don Salieri is sold out to Morello by his personal bodyguard but luckily, Tommy is with him at the moment of their attack. Also, it is Tommy who gets to kill the traitor.
- In Mirror's Edge, Robert Pope is murdered after being sold out by his bodyguard Ropeburn.
- In the expansion to Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, Firestorm, the Inner Circle are murdered by their cybernetic bodyguards via minigun to the face when their super-advanced tactical bio-computer, CABAL, betrays them and takes command of the Brotherhood of Nod's Cyborgs. The player character's commanding officer, Anton Slavik, is able to escape because he doesn't have Cyborg bodyguards and his headquarters are mobile. Justified by information provided in C&C3: Slavik's chapter of the Brotherhood, the Black Hand, is generally distrustful of advanced machines. CABAL was an exception, and only due to the fact that it possessed knowledge of Kane's plans in the long run... or so it seemed.
- Dead or Alive: Christie, Helena's bodyguard, reveals that not only is she an assassin hired to kill her but that she was also responsible for killing Helena's mother years ago.
- Which was an accident. She meant to kill Helena, but the mother jumped to shield her daughter at the last second.
- In Suikoden V, Georg Prime is accused of killing the queen and kidnapping you. He really did kill the Queen, but it was a Shoot the Dog moment that she and her husband had him agree to so she doesn't blow everything up with the Sun Rune. You also run away with him by choice. Straighter examples of this would be Zahhak and Alenia, filthy Godwin devils.
- In the first Suikoden, Pahn betrays the young master after Ted comes back from his fateful meeting and reveals the secret of his Rune to them. In this case, Pahn is trying to keep them from betraying The Empire, which would be bad, given that the hero's father is one of their best officers and all... Pahn also eventually regrets his actions and switches back to your side; however, this can lead to a delayed case of Redemption Equals Death if you don't pump enough time and money into leveling him up before he pulls a You Shall Not Pass!.
- Raven in One Must Fall 2097. (If his ending is canon, anyway)
- Even in the backstory Raven was grooming freelance assassins for the job, only waiting until his future career and retirement were assured before finally choosing to let one of them get by him. (And his employer knew it.) The peculiar circumstances of the tournament just provided Raven with a perfect opportunity to legally and openly kill his employer and set himself up for life just by doing so.
- Final Fantasy:
- In Final Fantasy XII Vossler sells out the main party — which includes Ashe, the princess — to Judge Ghis to obtain some degree of autonomy for Dalmasca.
- Subverted earlier in the game with Basch, who was framed as having done this to Ashe's father King Raminas. The alleged motive here was misguided patriotism after Raminas's surrender to the Empire.
- In Final Fantasy XV, almost all of the Kingsglaive betray their country and join forces with the Niflheim Empire, and King Regis is slain by one of the Glaive.
- In Final Fantasy XII Vossler sells out the main party — which includes Ashe, the princess — to Judge Ghis to obtain some degree of autonomy for Dalmasca.
- Implied in Kingdom Hearts. A key part of the original game's backstory involves the revelation that Ansem the Wise was betrayed and overthrown by his rogue apprentice Xehanort, who stole Ansem's identity and became the leader of the sinister Organization XIII after losing his heart and becoming a Nobody. In the prequel Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, a few future members of Organization XIII, like Braig (Xigbar), Dilan (Xaldin), and Aeleus (Lexaeus) are shown as guardsmen in Ansem's castle at Radiant Garden, implying that Xehanort convinced them to turn against Ansem during his coup.
- Dishonored — The beginning of the game sees Corvo, the Royal Protector, thrown into prison for the murder of the Empress. It's false of course; she was actually offed by corrupt officials who had launched a coup, and they used Corvo as their scapegoat. Unfortunately for them, Corvo breaks out of prison and spends the rest of the game setting the record straight in the most brutal and painful way possible.
- In Dawn of War, while not actually used in-game, the background for certain Imperial Guard honor guard units implies this to be the case should the general's zeal or competence fail.
- Mass Effect: Andromeda: The original asari pathfinder Matriarch Ishaara was betrayed by her bodyguard, the legendary commando Sarissa, who went off to steal some vital data instead, leaving her charge to be killed. The role of pathfinder automatically passed onto her instead. However, Sarissa wants to cover up this fact, presenting the Pathfinder as an inspiring figure for others to look up to. If you choose to reveal her actions, the asari ark ship’s captain can fire her as Pathfinder.
- The final level of Max Payne 2 has Max having to fight Senator Woden's bodyguards, who were bought out by Vladimir Lem.
- In Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, you can take advantage of this trope once your character gains the ability to brainwash Orcs. If they happen to be working under a Warchief they can be sent to backstab him in hopes of becoming the new Warchief.
- Middle-earth: Shadow of War: The good news is, all it takes to assign a dominated captain as a Warchief's bodyguard is to pit-fight against other applicants.note They'll even get in a sneak attack if you target the Warchief yourself. The bad news is, the Uruks found out they CAN rebel against your brainwashing, and now they can turn this trope on you. note
- Oddworld: Soulstorm has a scene near the end where three Glukkon bosses, Morguer, Aslik, and the Brewmaster, plan to accuse and pursue fellow Glukkon boss Mulluck of all the Mudoken slave riots and destruction to their businesses (unaware that Abe, the real culprit and Player Character, even exists). However, not only has Mulluck been paying attention to their own schemes, but it turns out Aslik and Morguer have left their Slig bodyguards right outside their office, bodyguards that have been cheated out of promised bonuses. Mulluck's Slig Chauffer recruits their help with a bit of bribery, a vacation, and promised bonuses, and that's all the Sligs who need to turn on their masters.
Other Sligs: Yaymans! proceeds to aim their guns at the Glukkon bosses
- In Shuyan Saga, the king of Nan Feng is betrayed by his own guards. Having an Evil Chancellor probably has something to do with it. The guards themselves seem to be motivated by fear of the invaders — one tells Shuyan that she doesn't understand "the power of the Guer, what they can do to you".
- In Yakuza 5, Daigo Dojima’s bodyguard Masato Aizawa plans to take over the Yakuza with the help of the Big Bad.
- In King of the Castle, the Intimidation scheme, which multiple regions can pursue, involves bribing the members of the Palace Watch to help the region's claimant overthrow the King. If the scheme reaches its final stage, the nobles can vote to have the Watch either stand down while they storm the Palace and assassinate the King, or escort the King to them and force them to become a puppet under threat of assassination. If the Honour Guard are from the scheming region, they will also be complicit in the plan (otherwise, they may be killed trying to defend the King).
- Higurashi: When They Cry: Turns out Rika thought all the way up until the second to last world that the group that kept killing her was there for her protection, mostly due to memory loss.
- In Umineko: When They Cry it turns out the mission of Ange's bodyguard Amakusa isn't quite what he told her. Well, it is; he just failed to mention the second part of the mission: get rid of Kasumi's faction, and dispose of Ange if she becomes a burden. He effectively kills her in two arcs. In the Trick Ending, she manages to see through the plot though.
- In Fate/stay night Servants are meant to protect and fight for their Master, but on four occasions the Servant willingly betrays their Master. In the backstory Caster gets fed up with her original Master (a mage Too Dumb to Live by virtue of summoning the Witch of Betrayal and failing to earn her respect), tricks him into wasting all his Command Seals (the orders she would have to obey), and then murders him. In one bad ending Saber kills Shirou in order to obtain her wish. In Unlimited Blade Works Archer betrays Rin and joins forces with Caster so he can kill Shirou. Later in the same route Gilgamesh, who had agreed to act as Shinji's Servant, forcibly converts Shinji's body into a vessel for the Grail.
- This happens near the end of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice. Queen Ga'ran's royal guard has Phoenix, Apollo, and Nahyuta at gunpoint, but once she is exposed as a fraud who is ineligible for the crown because she can't channel spirits, they all immediately turn their guns on her instead. Ultimately, though, nobody gets hurt, as Ga'ran passes out from the strain she put herself through and the royal guard leaves it at that.
- Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth 2: The president of Zheng Fa that we meet in the game is actually his Body Double. Sick and tired of putting his life on the line without having any actual power over anything, the body double killed and replaced the real president, posing as the Head of Estate for more than a decade. Problems arise once it became obvious that the body double was a spineless coward that could only pretend to be the strong leader that the real president was. With his popularity numbers on the gutter, the fake president devised a plan to stage an assassination attempt during his visit to Gourd Lake in order to drum up some sympathy support, kickstarting the events of the game.
- This is what Karamazov and the Inquisition think happened in If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device. The Emperor cannot leave the Golden Throne, and the Adeptus Custodes rarely allow visitors, so the Custodes must repeat the Emperor's orders to the masses. So when the Emperor gives out an order disbanding the Inquisition after ten millennia of silence, the Inquisitors decide it's more plausible that the messengers were lying, and suspect a conspiracy.
- In Drowtales, Yaeminira was the protector-twin of Vy'chriel. When she feels her "twin" has dishonored the clan, she murders Vy'chriel and assumes her name and rank. (She gets what she deserves in the end.)
- In the Overworld Arc, Rikshakar is hired to be Ariel's bodyguard when she travels to the surface. He turns on the group, kidnaps Ariel, and tries to rape her. She beats the crap out of him when she merges with Squishy the Purple Dragon and leaves him to be finished off by a certain orange-haired demon-girl.
- In Marilith, the bodyguard Stark betrays his old boss, the drug cartel leader Krystiyan, to the Big Bad, Valentino. Bonus points for the "Nothing Personal, it's just business" line.
- In Ebin and May, Ebin was the only member of his family that survived this betrayal.
- A dramatic, awesome, and oddly enough heroic variant in The Order of the Stick. During the Godsmoot, Roy finally realizes how the undead Durkon — really the High Priest of Hel — has tricked him, and how enormous the stakes are. However, by the rules of the Godsmoot, none of the other bodyguards may intervene; a bodyguard that dares raise his weapon against another cleric is put to death. However, there are no rules for a cleric being attacked by their own bodyguard...
- I'm the Grim Reaper: Brook has a deal with the Red Spade’s leader, ensuring each sinner he kills is a bad person while keeping her from harm. However, he finds her to be the absolute worst. So when Chase offers to have him work for him and the leader orders him to kill him, Brook simply tells her that he’s found a better gig, and quits.
- In Receiver of Many Demeter asks Athena and Artemis to protect Persephone from Hades. However, Zeus orders his daughters to back off and let Hades take Persephone.
- In The Venture Bros., The Venture Family bodyguards are assigned to not only protect the Venture Professors but to kill them if they ever want to activate the mysterious Orb. Rusty's father, Professor Venture, may have been killed by his bodyguard—Kano has steadfastly refused to talk about it, even after his vow of silence was lifted. What we do know is that the bodyguard of Rusty's grandfather opted to break the Orb rather than kill his boss.
- Jonny Quest TOS episode "The Dragons of Ashida". After being punished once too often, Ashida's servant Sumi turns on him and throws him to his own dragons to be eaten.
- Justice League Unlimited; Huntress has her backstory slightly modified to this, with her father betrayed and murdered by his top lieutenant and bodyguard Mandragora rather than falling victim to Mafia politics at large.
- Older Than Dirt: King Amenemhat I, founder of the Twelfth Dynasty of ancient Egypt, is generally accepted to have been assassinated in his bed by members of his royal guard. "Generally accepted", because Amenemhat ruled during the 20th century BCE—4,000 years ago. Understandably, sources are somewhat unreliable. However, even if the king was not in fact assassinated by his bodyguard, the Instructions of Amenemhat, a literary work seemingly composed shortly after his death and written in his voice as a warning to his son and heir Senusret I (and to his further successors) to trust no one, is pretty unequivocal:
I was asleep upon my bed, having become weary, and my heart had begun to follow sleep. When weapons of my counsel were wielded, I had become like a snake of the necropolis. As I came to, I awoke to fighting, and found that it was an attack of the bodyguard. If I had quickly taken weapons in my hand, I would have made the wretches retreat with a charge! But there is none mighty in the night, none who can fight alone; no success will come without a helper. Look, my injury happened while I was without you, when the entourage had not yet heard that I would hand over to you when I had not yet sat with you, that I might make counsels for you; for I did not plan it, I did not foresee it, and my heart had not taken thought of the negligence of servants.
- Philip II of Macedon's dream of conquering Persia died when he was killed by one of his bodyguards. The reason for the assassination is unknown. The task of conquering Persia would eventually be carried out by Philip's son, Alexander. Interestingly, an ancient Conspiracy Theory puts it that this assassination was on behalf of Alexander—either on his orders or (perhaps more likely, given his youth and personality) those of his mother Olympias.
- Happened to more than a few Roman emperors, including Caligula.
- For a very long time, you did not become emperor without the support of the Praetorian Guard, and you certainly didn't stay one when they no longer liked you. In fact, until the late empire the Praetorian Guard was traditionally supposed to murder the emperor when he became too incompetent, corrupted, depraved or stupid enough to seduce/rape their wives (reportedly what made the Guard snap and kill Caligula was that he raped their wives on top of constant insults).
- Emperor Carinus had his head given to Diocletian, chosen by his troops to succeed Carinus' brother and predecessor Numerian, when the commander of the Guard decided it was the right moment to make him pay for his affair with his wife.
- The importance of the Guard's support was best shown in the Year of Four Emperors. First the Guard opened the succession crisis by going against emperor Nero and support Galba instead, which drove Nero to committing suicide. Then they disposed of his Senate-elected successor Galba when he refused to pay them the accession donative promised on his behalf by his associates. The Guard fought ferociously for Galba's successor Otho (one of Galba's associates who made the promise and got the job for keeping it), but Otho killed himself when part of his army deserted to the usurper Vitellius' side and were fired. Finally, the fired Guards were instrumental in Vitellius' downfall when they joined the troops of Vespasian, filling his ranks (depleted by leaving part of the army to quell a Jewish rebellion) with the best troops in the empire.
- By the time of the Severan Dynasty, the Praetorians had long diverged from their original purpose as being a check on the Emperor's power and began abusing their own, often assassinating emperors that refused to pay them bribes or attempted to reform them and then forcibly installing puppet emperors in their place. One of their biggest offenses was assassinating Pertinax (who was one of the emperors who tried to reform the Praetorians and in their eyes wasn't paying a large enough bribe to them) and found his replacement by literally holding the position of Emperor up for auction to the highest bidder. The Praetorians were also infamous for being responsible for the death of Aurelian, one of Rome's most competent emperors since Trajan whose reforms the Praetorians feared would cut back their own power.
- This happened so often that the Eastern Roman/Byzantine Emperors were smart and defied this trope by creating the Varangian Guard to replace the Praetorian Guard, the logic being that mercenary guards would be very loyal to the paycheck and nothing else. As an addition to the security, the Varangians were outsiders, and couldn't hold power or office in the Empire, which further meant that they had no reason to betray their employers for personal gain.
- The Hashshashin assassins supposedly often had sleeper agents installed in various courts of the Middle East, aiming to get as close as possible to their ruling members, ideally into their bodyguard, so that if it became necessary to kill them, it could be easily arranged.
- During the eighteenth century, Russian Palace Guards often did it to the emperors (Ivan VI was put into Petropavlovskaya fortress, Peter III was murdered) so often the period is referred to as the Age of Palace Revolutions.
- Had he not been caught passing counterfeit money, Life Guard member Thomas Hickey could have done this to George Washington. Hickey claimed to be part of a conspiracy of many soldiers who planned to defect to the British side of the War of Independence.
- A frequent occurrence within The Mafia. Victims include Carmine Galante, Joe Columbo (who survived but was left in a vegetative state), Sam Giancana, and Albert Anastasia.
- Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own Sikh bodyguards after ordering the invasion of the Golden Temple (the holiest Sikh Shrine) in Operation Blue Star.
- The modern Egyptian military has demonstrated a couple of times that whoever is President doesn't stay so if he displeases them enough. Ask Anwar Sadat in 1981 (or rather his grave, as he was assassinated by an Islamic cell within the military during a parade) for making a peace treaty and recognizing Israel after the Yom Kippur War, or Mohamed Morsi who was kidnapped by his own guards and taken to a naval base for holding.
- Likewise, the Governor of Pakistan's Punjab region, Salmaan Taseer, was shot and killed by one of his own bodyguards over statements calling for religious moderation which were interpreted as secularist.
- Agathe Uwilingiyimana, Prime Minister of Rwanda when the genocide started, was killed by the presidential guard, along with her husband and the UN forces assigned to protect her.
- 2011 saw the president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai's brother, Ahmad Karzai, shot dead by his own head of security. The Taliban claimed responsibility, with others expressing skepticism over their actual involvement.
- South Korean President Park Chung-hee was assassinated by his right-hand man and head of intelligence, Kim Jae-gyu, in 1979. Depending on who talks about it, Kim was either a hero who put an end to Park's military dictatorship or an aggrieved crony who retaliated against his superior over a personal grudge.
- The Storming of the Bastille at the start of The French Revolution was made possible by a massive instance of this: when the French Guards regiment, part of the Military Household and thus bodyguards of the king, was ordered to march on Paris and suppress the riots almost all of them deserted and joined the Parisians during the storming, manning their guns and bringing the fortress to surrender. They later petitioned to resume their guard duty at Versailles, but Louis XVI quite understandably refused.