Among the faithless, faithful only he;
Among innumerable false, unmoved,
Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified,
His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal;"
This character is the kind of person who sees the faults in La Résistance, whether it be that the rebels are no better than the oppressors themselves, or that they were wrong in rebelling from the beginning. They break off from the already existing rebellion to act against said rebellion. Often, but not always, this means appealing to their original superiors from the faction the rebels acted against from the beginning, reasoning that the rebellion was unjustified. Others start their own resistance, fighting against both The Empire and the original rebellion, knowing that the empire deserved to be brought to justice, but also that the methods of the original resistance cannot be justified either.
This is usually triggered by some kind of immoral action of the Rebel Leader who defected in the first place. Either by a Face–Heel Turn or always being a real bastard beneath their nice demeanor, they will end up having some sort of Kick the Dog/Moral Event Horizon moment to make the Rebellious Rebel call this out to the leader and leave the rebellion, or depending on the setting, get killed for wronging their superiors.
Usually found in military situations, but not always. Compare Anti-Mutiny, where the leader is disloyal and their subordinates arrest them for it, and The Last DJ, whose conflicts with their superiors are chronic, who has no superior to their superiors they could appeal to, but generally faces nothing worse than Reassigned to Antarctica. Contrast Dangerous Deserter.
- In Code Geass, the Black Knights desert Zero after finding out some of his secrets, although they were manipulated so that they thought he had betrayed them.
- In Chrono's backstory in Chrono Crusade, he was originally fully behind the Sinner's rebellion against demon society. However, he couldn't agree with Aion's tactics and ended up rebelling against the Sinners, and eventually joined The Magdalene Order.
- Soames from DMZ was originally a soldier for one side in a Divided States of America situation, who intended to defect from the rebels back over to US army. On the way to do so, he got an infection, had a vision, and decided to enjoy the freedom of being on neither side instead. By the time the story begins, he has an entire squad of soldiers who have joined him.
- Jack Frost of The Invisibles had shades of this at first, being so anarchist he rejected even the minimal and fluid authority of a cell of the Invisibles.
- Loki in their newer incarnations. Past Loki successfully noticed that he became traitor in his villainy so he made arrangements to change that by dying and other very extreme measures (like not being one of anything). The kicker is? Most people don't want them to! Why? Because Loki's other setting is a chaotic trickster which is really not something the powers that be can use. Their predictable evil was actually good for making the Asgardians look good in comparison and create an "easily" defeatable threat to stabilize their society. So they're currently rebelling against rebelling, because that counter-intuitively causes things to stay the same. Got that?
- Animorphs has David. He starts out as a very-reluctant new addition to the team's anti-Yeerk resistance movement, only to rebel against them and briefly become a side unto himself.
- The Obernewtyn Chronicles has two groups of these.
- A passive version is Gilaine and the other Misfits in the Druid’s camp. The Druid is rebelling against the Council but is if anything more fanatically opposed to Misfits.
- After the Battlegames, the Obernewtyn Misfits become this to the main rebellion, and force them to look closer at what their plans actually involve.
- John Milton's Paradise Lost has one angel, Abdiel, in Satan's legions refuse to join his rebellion.
- In Horus Heresy, Horus's attack on the Marines on Isstvan IV was motivated to prevent this. The survivors were uncommonly enthusiatic about opposing him and the rest of the treacherous forces thereafter; they bogged them down for months.
- Garro and the crew of the Eisenstein, who go to Bring News Back.
- In Winning Colors, treasonous senior officers try to use their ship; their juniors realize the treachery and mutiny. (Leading to a very junior officer being in command.)
- In Gav Thorpe's Warhammer 40,000 story "Renegades", when Gessart decides to take their company renegade, several Marines speak against him and are murdered. Later, another one, Rykhel, takes a saviour pod from their ship in hopes of getting back with news of their treachery; Gessart is enraged that he didn't speak up when challenged, and though they are fleeing the danger that Rykhel is going into, he claims that he fled from fear.
- Robert A. Heinlein:
- In The Roads Must Roll, when the workers are organizing their strike on the grounds that transportion being so necessary, they should use their clout for extortion, one worker objects that the terms of their employment are not actually oppressive; when the strike actually occurs, he goes to the boss to offer his help. The strikers murder him in a parlay.
- In The Long Watch, Interplanetary Patrol Lieutenant John Dahlquist, after a superior attempts to recruit him into a coup attempt, instead makes a Heroic Sacrifice by barricading himself in the nuclear armory and manually disabling all the nuclear weapons, taking a fatal dose of radiation in the process. He dies alone, sitting by the door he barricaded. Radiation levels are so high that robots must be used to recover his body and put it in a lead coffin for a hero's funeral.
- In Ben Counter's Warhammer 40,000 novel Soul Drinker, not all the Soul Drinkers are bewildered by Chaos — particularly not the young ones. Sarpedon and the others hunt them down. (Which gives Sarpedon particularly painful memories when he realizes they were right.)
- In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 Deus Encarmine, Koris and other respected veterans argue against the manifestation and that they should remain loyal to their chapter master, which is why Stele uses sorcery to throw them into the Black Thirst and their deaths. Later, in Deus Sanguinius, Rafen fights against Arkio's claims to authority against even their Chapter Master and Chapter.
- In David Brin's The Uplift War, the chimp forces challenge their planet's invaders to face them with equal forces. The enemy commander orders an all-out attack, contrary to the laws of warfare, and a subordinate kills him. On hearing of it, the invader's leader immediately conveys a pardon to the subordinate.
- In a rare Lawful Evil/Chaotic Evil variant, in Ben Counter's Daemon World, the Word Bearers, traitor Space Marines, have come to the planet to hunt down a renegade Word Bearer; if they allowed anyone to leave them, their Legion would fall apart.
- Garm Bel Iblis from The Thrawn Trilogy is an unusually mild example. He was a major part of the young Rebel Alliance and split with it because, after Bail Organa's death on Alderaan, he saw Mon Mothma as gathering more and more power to herself and her closest allies. His smaller, separate rebellion didn't get in the other one's way, but harassed the Empire on its own. Even after Mon Mothma's Rebellion won and reformed into the New Republic, he stayed away, seeing his former ally seem to consolidate power even further. But when someone from the New Republic needed rescue, he did it, and accepted the formal invitation to join. Not long after, he saw why Mon Mothma did as she did. Not for personal power, but because so few people could be trusted with the responsibility of billions of lives.
- David Weber's Empire from the Ashes series has a variation on this trope, as applied to a mutiny. Some of Anu's mutineers rebel in horror when they realize his true, megalomaniacal motives and spend the rest of their lives trying to make right their mistake, forming a third faction that watches over the descendants over the original loyalists to the Captain (aka the Human race).
- Early on in the Honor Harrington series, the Havenite Legislaturalist Regime is overthrown by the Committee of Public Safety. After cleaning house of all "subversive elements" in the Navy (who they blamed the rebellion on) and instituting a tyrannical rule (still labeling themselves as "rebels") they manage to upset many surviving Navy personnel. The remainder stay quiet for most of the series, but then the truth of the rebellion comes out.
- Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, especially since she never meant to start a rebellion in the first place. On top of that, in Mockingjay, she really doesn't care much for President Coin, and the feeling is mutual.
- Zig Zagged in the Discworld novel Night Watch; Sam Vimes is sent 30 years back in time and takes the place of his old mentor, John Keel. The city is on the brink of a bloody rebellion that will replace the Patrician with one who, in hindsight, is just as bad. With three decades more life experience than his also present younger self, Vimes can see the rebellion clearly as a sham, and has no more patience with the rebels than the authorities. He still has to play the part that the original Keel did, however, in order to preserve the timeline, but concentrates on just protecting a few streets from needless bloodshed. The zig-zagging is in him considering whether this was true of the real Keel as well; they performed nearly the same actions, but young Vimes thought Keel was a genuine revolutionary, and only now realizes that may not have been the case.
Vimes: I was just a young fool, I didn't see it like this. I thought Keel was leading the revolution. I wonder if that's what he thought, too?
- Michio Pa in The Expanse. She starts out a belter and joins the OPA to rebel against the oppression against the inner planets. Then, the leader of the OPA gets her girlfriend killed thanks to sending her on a mission with a bad commanding officer, so Michio jumps ship and joins the Free Belter Navy, an OPA splinter faction. She then realizes the boss of the Free Belter Navy is The Sociopath who doesn't give a hoot about the Belt at all so she starts her own splinter faction inside a splinter faction from a revolutionary organization. She ends up being forced to work with Earth and Mars, the factions she started rebelling against in the first place, and is voted the head of the Spacing Guild.
- Saw Gerrera in Rogue One from Star Wars quit the Rebel Alliance with his Partisans due to conflict over their modus operandi, as Saw's was at odds with their morals, goals, and caused negative public relations, not helped with his growing paranoia on who to trust due to receiving several assassination attempts and being poisoned to the point where he needs mobile life support by the time we see him in Rogue One. Expanded Universe material further elaborates on the tension between the two groups, with the final season of Rebels television show detailing what exactly was the final straw for Saw and the Alliance for the former to split away.
- Or as Monty Python likes to say, Splitter!
- In 2008 Pro Wrestling Revolution was born as part of the National Wrestling Alliance, started with the goal to take pro wrestling back to where it was supposed to be and to acknowledged the lucha libre culture that was being shunned in the USA. But a year in Fabe Ramirez made it increasingly clear that all who were not with Revolution were against Revolution, so Billy Blade started a Vendetta against it. Five years in Vendetta Pro became an official NWA member.
- The Bible includes a minor figure named Mered, whose name means "rebel." Jewish tradition identifies him with Caleb, because when ten of the twelve spies rebelled against Moses, he (along with Joshua) remained faithful and "rebelled" against them.
- Korah also leads a rebellion against Moses, and he and all his followers die from it; however, the Bible specifically notes that Korah's sons survived. Traditionally they abandoned their father's side just before God smote everybody else.
- Jim Raynor from StarCraft I is a borderline case in that he only leaves La Résistance when it has already defeated The Empire through dubious means, and begins its transition into the '''new''' Empire. He becomes the new Resistance, and throughout StarCraft II'' his major worry is that he'll turn out just as corrupt as his former allies.
- In World of Warcraft, the Argent Dawn is an offshoot of the Scarlet Crusade, which initially split from the Church of Light because the latter was unable to deal with the undead threat. The Argent Dawn split off when it turned out that the Crusade had crossed over from Church Militant to Fantastic Racism and Religion of Evil.
- Likewise, the Scryers split off from Prince Kael'Thas' forces after it became apparent that the outcast prince was suffering from a bad case of With Great Power Comes Great Insanity.
- Pretty much the entire point of Red Faction II. You start the game as part of a mercenary group who are trying to oust the corrupt government of Earth. Then it turns out that the head of the mercenary group just wants the secret nanotech weaponry/cybernetics for himself, and wants to take over the whole planet. Cue you and a couple buddies defecting to save Earth from him.
- Supreme Commander 2: Thalia and her brother see themselves as trying to liberate the Illuminate from UEF control, but later after siding with the Cybran terrorist Gauge, he reveals that all that they have been doing are terrorist acts for his gain. The last mission has them trying to stop Gauge and the Royal Guardian terrorists.
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, this is the stance of many Nords in regards to the Skyrim Civil War. Skyrim has long been a major supporter of the Third Tamriellic Empire, which was founded by Talos (more commonly known by his Imperial name of Tiber Septim), one of their great cultural heroes who ascended to godhood as the Ninth Divine after his death. However, when Septim's dynasty ended during the Oblivion Crisis, the Empire entered a swift decline. By the events of Skyrim some 200 years later, the Empire is a shell of its former self, reduced to just three functional provinces. While they managed to fend off the Aldmeri Dominion during the Great War, they were forced to accept a humiliating treaty to end it, known as the White-Gold Concordat. One of the provisions of the Concordat is a ban on Talos worship, enforced by the Altmeri (High Elf) religious extremists, the Thalmor. Most Nords would rather die than stop worshiping Talos, so the Holds of eastern Skyrim broke off and formed the Stormcloak Rebellion, named after its leader, Ulfric Stormcloak. While there are still Nords who genuinely support the Empire, many other Imperial-aligned Nords suggest that this is done out of a sense of tradition, a belief that independence would be disastrous for their homeland, and outright distrust for the nationalistic and Humanity Is Superior attitude held by Ulfric and his Stormcloak army.
- The alternate dimension version of Buford in Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension doesn't have a problem with the rebellion, he just likes rebelling.
- On The Legend of Korra, non-bender Asami Sato defies her father and refuses to join the Equalist rebellion with him against Benders.
- During the Three Kingdoms period of China, the general Dong Zhuo seized control of the Han Empire in 184 and ruled as a tyrant. After he was driven to the western capital of Chang'an, he was assassinated in 192. The remnants of his forces under Li Jue, Guo Si, Fan Chou and Zhang Ji rallied their forces and allied with various bandit and rebel groups in the area to capture the capital and take his place, but after a mere three years began fighting among themselves, beginning with Li Jue murdering Fan Chou. This became so bad that some of the bandits who allied with them previously now helped the Emperor escape the city and fought numerous running battles as they tried to escort the Emperor back to the imperial capital of Luoyang.
- In The American Civil War, shortly after Virginia voted to secede from the Union, the counties in the area now known as West Virginia voted to secede from the state and join the Union. Much Virginian outrage ensued.
- The western half of Virginia had been pushing to form its own state as early as 1820; the secession just gave them the opportunity to make it so. This involved Loophole Abuse: the official position of the Union federal government was that secession was ineffective, the Confederate states never left the Union, so if a government in control of a substantial portion of the state's territory was willing to declare for the Union, it would be recognized as the legitimate government of the state.note As a result, a "provisional" government of Virginia assembled consisting of the state's Union loyalists; as it controlled all of the western part of the state and most of the northern part (as Union troops had occupied it to protect Washington, DC), it was recognized as the legitimate government of Virginia. This "new" government of Virginia then gave permission for West Virginia to break off and become its own state (under the Constitution, if a new state is going to be created from a chunk of a state's territory, both Congress and the legislature of the state need to agree), which it then did.
- One Virginia officer in the US Army at the time war broke out, George H. Thomas, remained loyal to the Union — which causes Virginian opponents to criticize his disloyalty.
- Andrew Johnson was the only Southern senator to remain loyal to the Union. In his own words: "Though I fought against Lincoln I love my country. I love the Constitution and swear that it and the Union will be saved as Old Hickory Jackson did in 1832. Senators, my blood, my existence I would give to save this Union." As you might expect, the South reviled him as a traitor while the North hailed him as a hero (and nominated him to be Lincoln's Vice President in 1864).
- The North stopped hailing him as a hero, though, when he wanted to "go easy on" what they viewed to be the "traitorous" South during Reconstruction. He became one of only two U.S. presidents in history to have the House of Representatives vote to impeach him. Most historians now consider this to be a grave miscarriage of justice. (Not that they think Johnson was a good president—he is generally considered mediocre at best—but he definitely did not deserve impeachment.)
- Near the end of the Civil War, Georgia became disgruntled with the direction the Confederate government was headed, and attempted to secede from the Confederacy and go it alone as an independent country.
- The Quartermaster General of the Union Army was a fellow named Montgomery C. Meigs,note who was from Georgia; he considered his loyalty to the Union higher than the loyalty to his state, which pissed off a large number of Georgians. It also earned him the enmity of Robert E. Lee, whose sole reason for leading the Confederate Army was that he couldn't bear to fight against his home state of Virginia (Lee wasn't the strongest supporter of slavery and was a mild opponent of secession for Virginia until it happened). In retaliation, Meigs, taking advantage of the Union Army's control of Lee's plantation in Arlington (across the Potomac from Washington, DC), decided to use Lee's plantation as a burial ground for the Northern dead, and ordered that Union officers--including Meigs' own son John--be interred in Mrs. Lee's former flower garden. Out of this order born of spite, we have Arlington National Cemetery.
- Really, going into detail about every incidence of this in the American Civil War would fill up pages and pages. To summarize it, there were so many insurgents, guerrillas, and rebels in Confederate territory that, for all practical purposes, the Confederate government was only actually in control of about half of its claimed territory in Spring 1865 (when the capital at Richmond fell, after which point the "Confederate Government" was practically a nonentity). There were literally hundreds of counties all across the Confederacy in open, declared rebellion, some of them as early as 1861, and that's not counting the thousands of small guerrilla bands that sprung up throughout Confederate territory. They were numerous enough that, even if the South had won the war, they likely would have collapsed into a civil war of their own almost immediately afterwards.
- In fact, Unionists from every Confederate state sent regiments north to the Union Army. Many of these were in whole or in part regiments of Black troops (mostly escaped slaves), but every Confederate state except South Carolina also sent units of Whites who disagreed with secession. One of these White regiments, the 1st Alabama Cavalry, served as William Tecumseh Sherman's escort during his famous March to the Sea.
- A good example of that possible scenario in the American Revolution can be seen in the tragic and prolonged cycle of the Mexican Revolution(s), in which it was usually the same band of warlords (most famously, Francisco "Pancho" Villa) rising up against the corrupt government to depose it, and placing one of their own in charge... who would eventually be seen as corrupt by his former friends, starting the cycle anew. This went on for decades.
- During The American Revolution, about 15 to 20% of the American colonists were loyalists/Tories who remained loyal to Great Britain. When the Patriots finally won the Revolution, the loyalist losers were... not treated well by supporters of independence.
- A third of those people left, mostly for Canada; these people were given the title United Empire Loyalist, which to this day is used as an unofficial hereditary honour by their descendants. The atrocities on both sides were overwhelmingly between loyalists/patriots and rebels/republicans, too.
- Benedict Arnold. Of course, his reasons were feeling unappreciated and having mounting bills.
- Most of the reasons given were to discredit Benedict Arnold for his defection. He was almost universally considered to be the best general in the Continental Army. Politically connected officers, over a period of several years, launched all sorts of personal attacks against Arnold, including numerous unjustified court martials and investigations. In addition, he was passed over by numerous incompetent, but politically connected officers for larger commands and was saddled with numerous dead end assignments. Unlike many other officers in the Continental Army, Benedict Arnold was one of the few that joined under idealistic reasons. The Continental Congress, in his instance, acted with all the same vices and flaws they accused the British Parliament of committing. In the end, Benedict Arnold was convinced there was no difference between the two and the British were willing to promote him on merit despite his lack of political influence with Parliament.
- "If Canada is divisible, so is Quebec" was the main argument that was used against Quebec's secession plans in the 1990s. The resource-rich (and First Nations-dominated) north threatened to secede from Quebec and rejoin Canada; various other bits (mostly English-speaking communities near the borders, but noises were made in emphatically-francophone Montreal itself) did the same.
- The conflict in Bosnia evolved this way, with Serbs wanting to go out of it after it went out of Yugoslavia. Kosovo faces the same problem.
- This also happened a lot in post-USSR time.
- And in Ukraine during World War II. Quite a number of West Ukrainians refused to fight for either the Soviets or the Nazis, instead fighting both for Ukrainian independence.
- Ukraine was even more complicated during the Russian Civil War. In addition to the Red (Bolshevik) Army and the White (Monarchist, Reactionary) Army, there was also the Green (anti-Bolshevik socialist) Army, the Black (Anarchist) Army and various Ukranian nationalists as well.
- Though it's slightly less complicated than it sounds; the Red, Black and Green Armies, while not really allied, largely left each other alone until they'd defeated the Whites.
- Che Guevara was disappointed that the USSR backed downed on the Cuban Missile Crisis, and sought to spread communism his way. His actions caused the USSR to distance themselves from him, his exploits in Congo was an utter failure and he finally met his end at Bolivia.
- The American Communist Party ended its longstanding support for the Soviet Union in 1989. Because after decades of blindly supporting Soviet militarism and gulags, it was glasnost and perestroika which was going too far.
- And in Ukraine during World War II. Quite a number of West Ukrainians refused to fight for either the Soviets or the Nazis, instead fighting both for Ukrainian independence.
- Resistance against communist dictatorships was common in the Eastern Bloc after WWII. In some countries, such as Bulgaria, it was joined by some of the rebels who fought the nazis before and during the war, especially when the new governments started weeding out "the enemy with a Party card", i. e. communist party members who didn't agree with the dictatorship, including those who stayed true to the ideology.
- In the Vietnam War hill tribes like the Montagnards and the Hmong declared against the Communists because VC supply routes happened to go across their ancestral lands. In their case they formed what amounted to a La Résistance to La Résistance.
- It is a general rule of rebellions in general that the rebels will be fighting rebels against it. This applies even in normal democratic factionalism dressed up in the language of rebellion; someone who ends up not supporting a given special interest can be called a Category Traitor.
- Pretty much the morning after the votes were tallied on the Brexit, parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland who had overwhelmingly voted to remain within the EU started wondering whether the United Kingdom should really remain so. What comes of this remains to be seen and will likely depend on the conditions Britain can negotiate.
- Lots of them in Syria, mostly due to Free Syrian Army's very own atrocities.
- When a petition was formed asking for Texas to secede from the Union after the reelection of Barack Obama, a similar petition was created asking for the city of Austinnote to secede back to the U.S.
- When a handful of Californians threatened to secede from the Union after the election of Donald Trump, some ofthe Northern Most Counties threatened to secede back as the State of Jefferson (not that this was the first time they made such threats, just the first time they made the threat after full State Secession was discussed.).
- The French Revolution had its fair share of coups, counter-coups, uprisings, political backstabbing and general politicized violence, but the most famous is probably the War in the Vendée, a region in Western France that started rebelling when priests were asked to swear loyalty to the state over the church and finally erupted into full blown civil war when King Louis XVI (who was very popular in the Vendée) was deposed and later beheaded. It is here that the French Revolution gets most of its Obligatory War-Crime Scene s.
- Similar to the Quebec example above, the proposed region of Tabarnia would like to remain with Spain if Catalonia became independent.