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Patriot in Exile

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A tragic figure who, despite loving their country and being dedicated to her welfare, is barred from ever returning there. They may angst about all the things they lost, but even from foreign lands, they'll do what they can to help their nation's interests.

Often times, they will find themselves Fighting for a Homeland. Related to The Remnant, You Can't Go Home Again and The Stateless if their citizenship is stripped. Government in Exile is when a team of fellow exiles manage to run a government in another place while their homeland is run over by another regime. Contrast Immigrant Patriotism where a character embraces their new country and their culture. See also My Country, Right or Wrong.

Heroic Russian Émigré is a subtrope to this in regards to the character leaving Russia in the wake of the 1917 Russian Revolution and the subsequent Civil War.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Princess Tutu: In one story, a patriotic knight was banished from their kingdom after the war ended. All we know is that they were violent to the point of murdering their girlfriend because she was a spy. Tutu manages to force him to realize he'd let his patriotism destroy himself.
  • Daltanious: Inverted, as Kloppen believes himself to be a true Heliosian Prince, who later defected to join the Zaal. Only to find out he was never a true Heliosian and actually a clone.
  • Isabelle of Paris: Isabelle becomes a wanted criminal in France because she opposed the corrupt government. Despite this, she still risks her life by opposing Thiers and the Prussians. She is forced to leave France in the Grand Finale, but it is still her country, now and forever.

    Comic Books 
  • Captain America: A controversial story in The '90s, Captain America: Operation Rebirth where the Super Serum started to go wrong and attacked his own body, being obligated to use an armor to stay alive for a while. When he was about to die, he was Back from the Dead by none other than Red Skull, who made a complete blood transfusion (since his cloned body also has the Super Serum) to work together to end a hidden menace that would start a possible World War III. In the end, all was recorded and that tape went to U.S. Government and was exiled to Europe. Under the name of Nathan Hale, he went on to clear his name.
  • Captain Marvel (Marvel Comics): One of the defining characteristics of Captain Mar-Vell was that despite being exiled and branded a traitor to the Kree for his defense of Earth, he still considered himself "a man of the Kree". While he opposed the machinations of the Kree Supreme Intelligence on multiple occasions, the Supreme Intelligence was still more than willing to call on him for aid if the Kree homeworld of Hala was in peril as it knew his love of their homeworld was far greater than any wariness he might have. In fact, on one occasion he was resurrected long after his death, realized Hala was in danger, and immediately sacrificed himself to save her.
  • The Transformers: Robots in Disguise: Optimus Prime volunteered to exile himself from Cybertron on the condition that the rest of the Autobots, who are just as blamed for the war as the Decepticons in the eyes of the NAILs, are allowed to stay.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America: Near the start of the movie, it's stated that, after the Confederacy won the Civil War, Abe Lincoln was arrested for war crimes and exiled to Canada as punishment. In his final moments, Lincoln states that he laments his failure to free the slaves, and states that he hopes that it'll happen in America one day.
  • Poppy Adams from Kingsman: The Golden Circle would be one of these, being an American-born CEO of a ruthless international drug cartel, forced to go into exile and hiding in the middle of nowhere and getting no fame or recognition because recreational drugs are illegal. She's a massive fan of the 1950s American lifestyle and culture and longs to use her master plan to legalize drugs so that she'll be a respected and welcomed businesswoman in her home country, despite being hated by millions both at home and abroad for all the death she's caused.
  • March Or Die: After a long march, the French Foreign Legionnaires take a breather, during which Marco asks why Ivan the Russian joined the Legion. Ivan answers that he used to be part of the Palace Guard for Tsar Nicholas II, but when he returned from a pass to visit his family, the February Revolution had removed the Romanovs to Yekaterinburg, where they were shot. "All of them. All of them," Ivan laments. Though he loves his mother Russia, Ivan dares not return, as the Bolsheviks would surely execute him as well.

  • Dante portrays himself in The Divine Comedy as a patriot who loves the language, history, and peoples of Italy and especially his hometown of Florence, but as the souls of the dead keep telling him, he is doomed to be exiled from there by his political enemies.
  • In The Man Without a Country by Edward Everett Hale, a U.S. Army lieutenant is arrested for treason. During his trial, he rashly states that he wishes never to hear of the United States again. The judge grants his wish, sentencing him to a lifetime on ships bound away from the US and never within visual distance of the shore, and no one is ever to tell him anything about the US for the past 50 years. The man eventually regrets his rash outburst and warns others not to make his mistake of rejecting his country.
    Eventually, as he is confined to his quarters with his final illness, a visitor does tell him about the country's development, but censors current news of the Civil War. It only becomes evident upon the officer's death how much he loved the United States when they discover the little shrine he built in his quarters with a flag, an outdated map, and a cherished book that included a prayer for naval officers to recite about blessing the President. And they find his own epitaph, in which he declares:
    "In memory of PHILIP NOLAN, Lieutenant in the Army of the United States. He loved his country as no other man has loved her; but no man deserved less at her hands."
  • Nevermoor: Ezra Squall loves the titular city more than anything, considering it to be the greatest place in the world, and the only place that's worthy of him. He's also exiled for life because of the Courage Square Massacre, and most of his Evil Plans are related to him trying to find a way around the ban so he can take over.
  • Straha in the Worldwar series is an alien version of this; the second most senior commander in an alien invasion fleet, he disagrees with the senior commander Atvar's approach to handling the invasion and makes an attempt to become the new commander. He fails to do so and flees to the United States in an effort to avoid Atvar's wrath; after the war ends, he's one of the ex-alien prisoners who remain in the United States, but unlike the other aliens he considers himself still loyal to the Empire and doesn't "Americanize" himself the way the other aliens do.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Sabaton's songs "Aces in Exile" and "Far from the Fame" both describe fighter pilots from Eastern Europe escaping to the UK after their countries were overrun by Nazi Germany, and fighting with the Royal Air Force against the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain. "Aces in Exile"'s first two choruses name-drop the Polish-crewed 303 Squadron and Czechoslovak-crewed 310 Squadron, while "Far from the Fame" is specifically about Czechoslovak Air Force Marshal Karel Janousek, who led the RAF-supplied Free Czechoslovak Air Force during the war. Janousek was later imprisoned by the postwar Soviet-aligned government.
  • Taylor Swift's folklore has the duet song "exile", comparing two ex-lovers' relationship to this trope:
    (Bon Iver) You're not my homeland anymore
    So what am I defending now?
    You were my town
    Now I'm in exile seein' you out
    (Taylor) You were my crown
    Now I'm in exile, seein' you out

    Video Games 
  • Dante from Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura remains loyal to King Praetor and the nation of Cumbria despite having fallen out with the king and being exiled to the city of Blackroot (which is trying to sever ties from Cumbria and join the Unified Kingdom). He will join your party if you accept a quest to collect taxes that Blackroot owes to King Praetor, which allows him to earn his way back into Praetor's favor and return home.
  • Fallout 3: The Brotherhood Outcasts were ironically banished for sticking to the Paladin code, because they put their creed above the needs of civilians in danger. They get welcomed back some time before the sequel.
  • Fallout 4: partway through the Brotherhood of Steel storyline, Paladin Danse is exiled from the Brotherhood after discovering that he is a synth, an android with artificial memories that the Brotherhood is dedicated to eradicating. In spite of this experience, he remains devoutly loyal to the Brotherhood to the bitter end, willingly allowing you to execute him and even praising you for living by the Brotherhood's code. Alternatively, you can choose to spare him, in which case, he'll continue to help you in your fight against the Institute, and will continue to uphold the Brotherhood's ideals even while in exile, and even when other Brotherhood members will shoot him on sight.
  • StarCraft, a three-way war between Terrans, Zerg and Protoss, has the Nerazim tribes, also known as the Dark Templar. These Protoss refused to subscribe to the Khala, the Psychic Link which Protoss use to curb their Screaming Warrior tendencies and were eventually exiled by the Conclave, for which the Nerazim still hold some resentment. That said, the ones old enough to predate the exile still think fondly of the Protoss home planet of Auir, and work to safeguard it; and when Auir is conquered by the Zerg the events of the first game, the Khalai survivors were welcomed to Shakuras without resentment. By the end of the franchise, both cultures have reconquered and relocated to Aiur and live in harmony.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Zuko was exiled from the Fire Nation by his father for speaking out of line at a war meeting, and told he could not return unless he could capture the Avatar (who at this point had been missing for a century and was presumed dead). He relentlessly chases after Aang in an attempt to return home. He returns home in Book 3, only to go into exile again of his own choice when he renounces his father yet again. However by that point, he can't consider himself a patriot anymore due to his nation bringing bloodshed and tyranny, not peace and compromise that the only way for his nation to be saved from itself is to fight them outright.
  • G.I. Joe: Renegades: The elite team of soldiers are framed for an attack and have to clear their names while being chased by the government and fighting COBRA.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series: In "The Asteroid", Jumba starts missing his home planet "Kweltikwan / Quelte Guan". During the mission to intercept the asteroid, Jumba hijacks the ship and attempts to return to his home planet. Pleakely has to remind him he was banished from his home planet and will be apprehended the instant he sets foot on it.

    Real Life 
  • In 1795, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth ceased to exist as an independent nation. Throughout the 19th century, there were numerous uprisings trying to restore Polish independence. They all ended in failure. As a result, many of Poland's most prominent politicians, soldiers, writers and musicians had to flee abroad or risk persecution, censorship, and/or imprisonment. These include such notables as Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, Adam Mickewicz, Juliusz Slowacki, and Fryderyk Chopin. In exile, they continued to champion the cause of Polish independence and their writings reflect the longing to return home. Most of them died in exile and it would be many years before their bodies were reburied in Poland.
  • Emperors Ham Nghi, Duy Tan, and Thanh Thai of the Nguyen Dynasty, the last feudal regime of Vietnam. Installed as puppet rulers for the French (Indochina) government, they got themselves exiled to French territories by turning around and trying to fight back against the colonizers. In Vietnamese, they are referred to as "the three patriotic Emperors".
  • Many former White Guard emigres who fled the communist revolution in Russia. Especially those who rooted for the Allies (including those same communists) during WWII because of their love for Russia, rather than collaborating with the Nazis to take revenge.
    • Even though, during the Russian Civil War, he was one of the major White leaders, Denikin still called to help Stalin against the Reich during WWII.
  • Some religious conservatives diverging from their mainstream denomination still claim to belong to it and say they are a remnant trying to "restore" their denomination "back to the faith".
    • The Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), officially the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X and founded by Bishop Marcel Lefebvre, while they have their own priests and bishops, still claims to belong to the Catholic Church but that they diverge on the Vatican II council on matters such as liturgy and ecumenism. They still recognize the current Popes as valid and ban sedevacantists (those who claim there's no valid Pope anymore), even though their funders have been excommunicated. In return, the Holy See see some of their sacraments such as matrimony or confession as canonically valid.
    • Most fundamentalist Mormons still hold to a purported 1886 Revelation, which supposedly ordered part of the LDS members to keep practising plural marriage, and still view the LDS Church as a divine tool to extend Joseph Smith's message, however claiming it erred by dropping some doctrines such as polygamy, Adam-God and the exclusion of Blacks from priesthood.
    • Before the Fifties, LeRoy Johnson, leader of the Short Creek community, viewed himself as merely belonging to the "fundamentalist division of the LDS Church" (the FLDS Church not being incorporated until the 1980s) while Apostolic United Brethren founder and prophet Rulon C. Allred encouraged his members to stay in the LDS Church when they could and several times made statements such as "we are not to interfere ... with the function of the [LDS] Church" and "We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, no matter who may decry it or who may deny it", not doing missionary work nor opening temples until 1978 and the opening of the priesthood to Black males, causing him to say, "Do not go into a temple that has been defiled by the Canaanite being invited into it."