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Evil Welcomes Defectors

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Zurg: You're a spineless turncoat who would sell out his own planet for a chance to be on the winning side!
Defector: Well, yeah. (nervously laughs)
Zurg: Promising. Any other bad traits?
Defector: I'm vengeful, cruel, and vain. Oh, I like to make people cry.
Zurg: Sold! We'll start you in the Yes-man pool.

Bringing your enemies over to your side can be a powerful tool — it allows you to weaken your opponent and strengthen your forces at the same time. However, there are some problems associated with such a strategy. For one, it makes infiltrating your forces rather easy, since sneaking in a spy shouldn't be too hard, but even genuine defectors might hold views incompatible with your goals and methods. Done on a large scale, assimilating former enemies into your forces may render said forces uncoordinated and prone to inner conflicts due to the differences between its members and groups.


Villains don't care. They will hire anyone they can.

In many stories the factions presented as evil will be far happier to accept traitors and defectors into their ranks than other groups, sometimes to an unreasonable extent. They will gladly allow former enemies into their ranks regardless of how much trouble said enemies caused them or how dangerous it might be. Some factions will consists mostly, or even entirely out of people who fought for the opposing side at one point in time.

This can be justified in a number of ways. Some organizations might simply lack a way to recruit or train new combatants and need to rely on defectors to keep their ranks full. Some villains might also have some unusually good method of bringing people to their side and keeping them there, be it mundane or supernatural. Besides, if the villains are consciously evil, they might just be happy to corrupt good-aligned individuals for the sake of it.


Of course, after the defectors have served their purpose, Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves may still happen.

Contrast Welcome Back, Traitor where a group accepts someone who betrayed them back into their ranks. Compare Equal-Opportunity Evil.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Demon Clan, the main antagonists of The Seven Deadly Sins, welcomes any member of any fellow Clan who defects to their side due to being outcasts themselves and doing so out of sympathy. They also value combat prowess, so the stronger the defector, the more welcoming the Demon Clan will be of their new member.
  • Wizard Vilgefortz, the Big Bad of The Witcher novels, is perfectly happy to accept new members into his faction, even if those members have goals largely incompatible with his own agenda. In Tower of Swallow, he recruits Stefan Skellen and Leo Bonhart into his ranks and treats them as full-fledged members from thereon. He also attempts to bring Geralt over to his side several times, though his honesty is rather questionable.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Kronos' forces consist in large part of demigods who betrayed the Olympus in favor of serving the Titans. Luke Castellan himself was a hero before throwing his lot with the Lord of Time. Aside from that, Kronos is perfectly willing to ally with deities who decided to switch their allegiance to him, at one point even offering to spare Hades provided he swears an oath of fealty to him.

    Comic Books 
  • Ultimate X-Men: In the first arc, Cyclops got tired with the slow pace of Xavier's methods, so he left the X-Men and joined the Brotherhood. He had some concerns about the unneeded slaughter of civilians, but stayed on board. But, when Magneto takes control of an army of Sentinels, and head to Washington DC to raze the city, that was too much and he returned to the X-Men... convincing Quicksilver to betray his father in the meantime.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Forces of Chaos in Warhammer 40,000 consist in huge part of former imperials who fell to Chaos for one reason or another. Chaos Space Marines, in particular, are almost exclusively made up of former champions of the Imperium who switched their allegiance during the Horus Heresy, or during the ten thousand years that followed. In this case, the Forces of Chaos specifically value treachery and other negative emotions, plus Chaos explicitly has The Dark Side Will Make You Forget as an effect.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In older editions where Paladins were required to be Lawful Good, if they turned evil they could become a Blackguard and gain powers by making a pact with a Demon or Devil.
    • Some evil gods include betrayal as part of their domain, so pulling an epic double-cross on your friends is a fast way to gain their favor.
  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the Black Spiral Dancers invite Gaia Garou captives to enter the Black Spiral Labyrinth and join their tribe if they survive. The Black Spiral Dancers also actively woo Gaia Garou who have the potential to fall to the Wyrm, and accept Gaia Garou who have been ostracized by their tribes or are fleeing from the Hunt.

    Video Games 
    Web Original 
  • The Linear Guild, a group of minor villains in The Order of the Stick is constantly looking for new members to resupply their ranks and aren't above recruiting people from the opposing sides of the conflict. In their first appearance, the leader of the group attempts to recruit his good-aligned brother, an offer which gets swiftly refused. Later they make a similar offer to a fallen paladin Miko, which is then met with a rather violent refusal. Finally they attempt to recruit vampirised Durkon after killing his master, to which he responds by turning on them immediately.
    Western Animation