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Fighting for a Homeland

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The Exiles vs The Dominion, the battle rages on to make Nexus their new home, who will win?

Poland is not yet lost
So long as we still live.
What foreign powers have stolen from us,
We shall retake with a sabre.
—First verse of "Poland is Not Yet Lost", national anthem of Poland

Usually, when someone fights, it's for a reason. Sometimes it's for patriotism or to fulfill an ideal. Sometimes it's to protect something or someone. And sometimes it's for some sort of compensation.

The motivation of fighting solely for monetary gain is generally not treated as sympathetic. However, when the compensation is more than simply money, that can change.

This group of people lost their homeland and has been seeking it ever since. Perhaps it was destroyed, or they were exiled, or they were on the losing end of a war. When their home is still habitable, they often want their original home back and prepare to solve the problem that prevent them to live in it. However in cynical stories, some bad things usually happened, making it uninhabitable. They decided to abandon it, choosing to wander around until they find someplace to call home.

They often have no one but each other. As a consequence, their commander is often A Father to His Men, and they are True Companions. (But not in more cynical stories.)

Compare with The Promised Land, which is what the characters in the work will view this future homeland as.

Not to be confused with fighting for your homeland. Nor your homeland getting attacked in a war though this trope can certainly be the result if the heroes lost said homeland the first time, making them extra determined to prevent that from happening again. Contrast Eagle Squadron, where you have people fighting for someone else's homeland.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • This is the main motivation for the vampires in Shiki, which aids in making them sympathetic to some degree (and creating a Grey-and-Grey Morality in the series).

    Comic Books 
  • The war for the Palace in the last quarter of the original ElfQuest series is an odd mix of fighting for a new and old home. The Palace is the original "home" of the first elves that came to the world, yet the elves who now fight for it were born long after their ancestors were driven from it. Until recently they did not even know that it existed, and even while they fight for it they don't know what it is.
  • In the Elektra trade, The Scorpio Key, HYDRA apparently hopes to find a permanent home in Iraq under the auspices of sympathetic dictator Saddam Abed Dasam (a Captain Ersatz of Saddam Hussein).
  • The Fire Nation colony Yu Dao in Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise is made up of people with both Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation ancestry. When the Earth Kingdom and Team Avatar tried to decolonize the former colonies and expelled many of the residents, the inhabitants put up a resistance as the city of Yu Dao is one of the targeted cities. In contrast to the Fire Nation antagonists, many of them see themselves as being loyal to their homes rather than the Fire Nation in general. Due to this crisis, both the Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom eventually decide to let Yu Dao and other older colonies become their own autonomous entity (becoming the foundation for the later United Republic).
  • X-O Manowar: Aric is a Visigothic warrior who gets displaced in time after being abducted by aliens and bonded to an superpowered armor. Just when he initially thinks he is the Last of His Kind, he discovers an community descended from the Visigoths enslaved by the same aliens that took him, and he is determined to make an home for his people. Aric initially settles them in Romania, the modern-day location of their homeland Dacia, but they are unable to adapt since the people that lives there isn't the same from ancient times, something which Aric is resentful, since his rivals - the Huns - managed to establish a country of their own in Hungary. An American secret agency then relocates them inside the US territory in exchange for Aric's allegiance.
  • In the DC universe, Starfire's people, the Tamaraneans, have lost three homeworlds in the space of maybe two decades. Currently, they've been roaming the galaxy for a new homeworld.

    Fan Works 
  • A Crown of Stars: After Third Impact, Shinji and Asuka's world got overrun with dictators and thugs warring over the ruined wastelands and the starving masses. With the help of the Avalon Army, both pilots and the rest of characters of the Evaverse are fighting to reconquer their world from dictators and warlords.
  • Seventh Endmost Vision stars a post-successful version with the Wutai. Many years before the story starts, their home was destroyed in the meltdown of the very first mako reactor, creating the Wutai Wasteland, but Shinra evacuated most of the populace. They not only helped build the Plate, but during the later War with the Western Alliance, fought on Shinra's side. With the help of 1st Class SOLDIER Aerith, the Wutai were able to successfully conquer Costa del Sol during the War. They have since renamed it New Wutai, and the people of Costa del Sol are now nomadic wanderers without a home.

  • In Apocalypse Now, it's why the Vietnamese are disciplined and committed while the American forces are falling apart. It's really hammered home in the Redux when Willard arrives at a vestigial French plantation who view their situation as this, because they arrived in Vietnam and set up a rubber plantation with the Vietnamese as labor, which they held for generations. As a result, they consider Indochina as their true home, as opposed to France.
  • Blazing Saddles. Although they aren't mercenaries per se, the railroad workers are willing to help the people of Rock Ridge against Hedley Lamarr's troops.
    Sheriff Bart: And all they ask in return is a little plot of land they can call their own to homestead.
  • In Captain Marvel (2019), the Skrulls' motivation for standing against the Kree and searching for Lawson's energy core stems from want of a place where the Kree can't track and hunt them down.
  • Touched on in Die Hard with a Vengeance when Simon is giving a victory speech to his troops, almost all of whom are soldiers turned mercenaries:
    "Yesterday we were an army with no country. Tomorrow, we have to decide which country we want to buy!"
  • A rare evil version in Man of Steel. Zod & Co. want to recreate their lost homeworld on Earth, even if it involves genocide on a massive scale.
  • Titan A.E. is about some of the few humans to survive Earth's destruction, on a quest for a vessel capable of generating a new Earth for refugee humanity to repopulate.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Drakh in Babylon 5 claim to be this, a race whose homeworld was destroyed in the Shadow War, willing to fight for the Minbari in exchange for a new home. They're only lying about the "willing to fight for the Minbari" part.
  • This trope is what Battlestar Galactica is all about when it comes down to it.
  • In the backstory of Defiance, the Votan races lost their homeworlds when their star system was destroyed in a cataclysm 5000 years ago. After arriving to Earth in the 21st century, they discover that Earth is populated by a sentient race who isn't too thrilled about making room for millions of new arrivals. Initial attempts at a peaceful resolution (including giving the Votan races a plot of land in Brazil) failed due to extremism on both sides, quickly escalating into the global Pale Wars. The Votan races were indeed fighting for this trope. Specifically, they (mostly the traditionalist Castithans) fought to retain their cultural identity, while humans expected them to assimilate. After the Arkfall and the end of the Pale Wars, the Votanis Collective personifies this dream, while remaining the enemy of the Earth Republic.
  • Game of Thrones: Since her birth during a storm on Dragonstone island (hence her name Stormborn), Dany has never really known a real home, the only time she finds a community to fit in is with the Dothraki who are nomadic by nature and choice. She has never visited Westeros and aside from a vision in the House of the Undying has never seen the Iron Throne her father sat on. On arriving at Dragonstone she laments that somehow the castle doesn't feel like home either for her.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: The Orcs' whole plan was to create Mordor by causing a volcanic eruption. The resulting ash would protect them from the sun's rays, allowing them to prosper and have a home where nobody would abuse and enslave them anymore.
  • One episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has a species searching for a new planet, with a prophecy that they believe points to Bajor as their destined home. The Bajorans, still recovering from its fifty-year occupation by the Cardassians, are reluctant to let in so many unknown immigrants and convince them to settle somewhere else. The ending implies that this was a poor choice for all involved, however, with the leader of the other species noting how much good their agricultural technology could have done for Bajor had they been allowed to stay.
  • Barbarians Rising: Goth leaders Fritigern and Alaric lost their homelands in what is now Eastern Europe to the invading Huns and crossed into the Roman Empire under an agreement with Emperor Valens promising them resettlement within the Empire. When the local Roman commanders betray their end of the agreement, Fritigern rebels against the Empire and kills Valens at the Battle of Adrianople. In Alaric's adulthood, the Romans initially co-opt the Goths as mercenaries to help battle the Huns, but Alaric gets tired of waiting, sacks Rome, and is finally granted an independent kingdom in modern-day Aquitaine as part of a peace settlement.

    Myth & Legend 
  • Virgil's The Aeneid is about Trojans looking for a new home—and doing a good bit of fighting along the way.

  • The Clockwork Cabaret is a Steampunk Radio Drama in which the Davenport sisters and the crew of the airship Calpurnia search for a place to call home, while avoiding the clutches of the evil organization CLANNG.

  • The Bible has an example in The Book of Numbers, concerning the Promised Land. When the Hebrews doubted God for the tenth and final time by refusing to fight the Canaanites, they were sent back into the wasteland for forty years. The next generation conquered the Midians and Canannites and claimed the land around the Jordan and divided the land among the tribes.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Bleak World has the Jotun who were cast out of their homeworld by Elves and now spend most of their time on Earth crafting Rocket Ships and Magical Bridges to get back.
  • Eberron sees this trope a lot. The people of Cyre in particular, as the Day of Mourning which ended the Last War created the Mournland out of their former home. The main settlement of Cyran survivors has internal tension about how they should go about it — some want to claim independence where they were, while others want to seek something else (mostly out of a desire to not betray the trust of the only nation to go so far as to offer the Cyran survivors a decent area to settle down and govern themselves autonomously in — a pretty big move considering said nation were at war with Cyre right up until the Day of Mourning).
  • In the history of the GURPS fantasy setting book Banestorm, probably the majority of off-world groups who were brought to the world of Yrth by the titular Banestorm (including human beings and several other races) ended up fighting for somewhere to live. They couldn’t get home, after all, and the place was in chaos. One notable instance was the group of reptile men who were told by a new human emperor that if they could conquer a certain island, they could keep it. They did, and subsequently provided his dynasty with a ferociously loyal Cadre of Foreign Bodyguards.
  • GURPS: Traveller The sample campaign “100 parsecs“ in the Sword Worlds supplement is about an attempt to preserve Sword Worlds culture by founding a colony far away in empty space.

  • Redcloak in The Order of the Stick sees claiming a goblinoid homeland as a secondary goal to his service of Xykon. Or so he says. In fact, he's merely using Xykon to take control of the Snarl, at which point he intends to use said Eldritch Abomination to blackmail the gods themselves into recognizing Goblins as a sapient race. Once Azure City is taken, he founds the nation of Gobbotopia and appoints one of his lieutenants as its leader.
  • Elf & Warrior: Played with. The elves are fighting to retake their ancestral homeland from the monsters who have claimed it. Except the elves abandoned their homeland after they caused a magical cataclysm that rendered it uninhabitable; the "monsters" are the descendants of various people and animals who couldn't leave, and were mutated as a result. Now that the magical side effects have dissipated enough for the elves to move back in, they showed up and told the monsters to get out. When the monsters refused, the elves started killing them.

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    Western Animation