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Related Differently in the Adaptation

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Two or more characters belong to the same family in a given story. This story is then adapted into a new work and while these characters are still presented as being related, exactly how they're related differs from the original.

This could be done for a few different reasons. The creators may want to explore a different relationship dynamic between the characters or add a certain plotline that works better if their relation to each other is tweaked, such as by adding Half-Sibling Angst, an Archnemesis Dad, and so forth. Or maybe they want to simplify things by merging multiple characters into one, or trim certain details out of pragmatism if it doesn't affect the plot or characters significantly (for example, it's easier to establish that "Bob is Alice's brother" rather than having to explain he's actually "her second cousin-once-removed who was raised by her parents and so they're Like Brother and Sister anyway"). In the case of some stories, such as myths and legends, it may not even be entirely clear which version of a family tree is correct or regarded as 'canon', so the creators of the adaptation have to choose whichever one they feel fits best.


A subtrope of Adaptation Relationship Overhaul. If the change results in a character moving forwards or backwards a few generations, it could result in an Age Lift too. It may also result in an Adaptation Name Change, especially in regards to surnames. See also Related in the Adaptation, Unrelated in the Adaptation and Promoted to Love Interest.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the original Cardfight!! Vanguard series, Shin was Misaki's uncle. In the reboot Cardfight!! Vanguard (V Series), an early episode has a flashback where Shin calls Misaki's father "uncle", implying that he and Misaki are cousins now...until the Shinemon arc began and retconned Misaki back as Shin's niece.
  • In The Demon Girl Next Door, Sakura is legally Momo's adopted mother, but socially treated as if they were sisters. In the English dub of its Animated Adaptation, Sakura becomes Momo's sister-in-law.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: In the manga, all non-human-based homunculi can be compared to being Ed and Al's cousins, as they were created from Father, who is effectively a clone of Hohenheim. However, in the anime Fullmetal Alchemist, they were the product of failed human transmutation, so Sloth, who was made from Trisha, and Envy, who was Hohenheim's son with Dante are the boys' mother and half brother, respectively.
  • Karakuri Circus: The anime skips all references to Masaru being actually unrelated to Sadayoshi by blood just like all of his legitimate siblings.
  • Lyrical Nanoha: In Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever, Nanoha and Kyouya are paternal half-siblings, while Miyuki is their first cousin who was adopted into the family. Lyrical Nanoha never makes any reference to this, so they're presumably all full siblings.
  • The dub of Shaman King changes Yuan/En from Ren's father to Len's uncle.

    Comic Books 
  • Aquaman and Ocean Master have always been half-brothers. But in the Silver Age and Post-Crisis, they share the same father, whether Tom Curry or Atlan. Starting Post-Infinite Crisis, every interpretation since has them share the same mother (Atlanna) instead.
  • Heroes Reborn: The Avengers has The Vision as Ultron's older "brother" rather than "son", having been created by Ant-Man before Hank made Ultron.
  • The Mighty Thor: In Norse Mythology, Odin and Loki are blood-brothers. The Marvel version makes Loki Odin's adoptive son instead, with his rivalry with his adoptive brother Thor being a major part of his character.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW): Karai is The Shredder's granddaughter, unlike previous versions where she was his adopted daughter if she was related to him to begin with.
  • In many adaptations of X-Men, Juggernaut and Professor Xavier are changed from step-brothers to half-brothers, including X-Men: Evolution and Deadpool 2.
  • In the post-Crisis DCU Barbara Gordon was established to be Comisisoner Gordon's neice, who was raised by him after Roger and Thelma Gordon died in a car accident, presumably to explain her absence from Batman: Year One, where Jim's family consists of him, his wife Barbara, and the infant James Jr. A later story in Gotham Knights suggested that maybe she was really the daughter of Jim and Thelma, but this never gets resolved. The New 52 returns her to being the daughter of Jim and the elder Barbara. And in Superman & Batman: Generations, she's Jim Gordon's granddaughter, due to the "characters age in real time" gimmick and the fact she was introduced in the sixties.
  • IDW’s take on M.A.S.K. changes the dead relative of Matt Trakker who invented the Masks from his brother to his father.

    Fairy Tales 
  • The reason the Wicked Stepmother trope is so omnipresent in fairy tales is that The Brothers Grimm, who collected and published folk tales, wanted to make these accessible and acceptable to a wider audience (including children of their era) and emphasize German family values and so Bowdlerized all Abusive Parents in the stories they collected.
    • "Hansel and Gretel" got this treatment; rather than their biological mother it's their stepmother who plots to abandon them in the forest.
    • Similarly, in some early versions of "Snow White", the evil queen is actually Snow White's biological mother, though later versions had her as Snow White's stepmother, which is by far the most popular iteration.

    Fan Works 
  • Aftermath of the Games: It's revealed in the sequel Integration that in this continuity, the pony versions of Celestia and Luna effectively adopted one another rather than being biological siblings.
    "Wait," Twilight said suddenly, "Luna isn't your sister? I mean, not your blood sister?"
    Celestia shook her head. "We were the only family we had for years. We love each other deeply, but there is no blood."
  • As Fate Would Have It: In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, Yancy makes mention of having two younger siblings throughout your conversations with her. In this fic, they're outright stated to be her adopted siblings rather than being her blood siblings, as implied in the original games.
  • DC Alterverse Project: In the Pre-Crisis comics, Betty Kane a.k.a. Bat-Girl was the niece of Kathy Kane, the original Batwoman. Here, Betty is Kathy's daughter.
  • Date A Live: Altered Timeline: Unlike canon, where Tohka could be considered a daughter to Mio due to being created from a Sephira Crystal, here she's Mio's younger sister.
  • Several examples in The Loud House fanfiction The Edgy House (covered in Peeking Through the Fourth Wall's fourth "After Dark" episode). Subverted though, as it turns out that the whole thing was just Lincoln's version of The Aristocrats joke:
    • Luan in canon is the daughter of Rita and Lynn Sr. In the story though, she's only Rita's stepdaughter because Lynn Sr. cheated and somehow convinced Rita that baby Luan was hers.
    • Lincoln is changed from being the son of Rita and Lynn Sr. to being Rita's son but Lynn Sr.'s stepson, again because Rita cheated. This in turn makes Lincoln and Luan stepsiblings.
    • The twins have gone from being Lori's little sisters to being her daughters from one of the times Lynn Sr. raped her.
    • Lily is canonically Lincoln's sister, but in the story, she's his daughter because he slept with Rita.
  • In the A Hobbit's Hole (er I mean SMIAL!) series, Frodo is Bilbo's son instead of his cousin/nephew.
  • In Master of the Universe, a Twilight fanfic which later became Fifty Shades of Grey, Rosalie (Kate in Fifty Shades) and Jasper (Ethan in Fifty Shades) are presented as blood siblings, while in Twilight they're adopted siblings who sometimes pretend to be blood related. Seeing as Master of the Universe is a mundane fic where Jasper and Rosalie aren't vampires or part of the Cullen family, there's not much point emphasizing they're adopted siblings because it has no relevance to the plot or characters.
  • Moving In: In The Loud House, all the Loud siblings are biologically related to each other, and Lynn Sr. and Rita have been married for a long time. In this fanfic, the Loud sisters and Lincoln (who has Alvarrson as his last name) are stepsiblings-to-be who have only recently met each other because Lincoln and Rita moved into the Loud House after the latter and Lynn Sr. got engaged to each other. This also means that Pop-Pop goes from being the Loud siblings' maternal grandfather to only being Lincoln's biological grandfather since Lincoln is Rita's only biological child in this story.
  • New Tamaran: Donna Troy is the biological daughter of Wonder Woman instead of her adopted younger sister. (Donna's dad is Steve Trevor, thus merging her with Fury of Earth-Two).
  • The Redemption of Harley Quinn: Delia and Deirdre Dennis are Harley's twin daughters, instead of her twin granddaughters like in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Greek mythology, Hercules/Heracles is Hera's stepson and nephew. In Disney's Hercules movie, he's her biological son. As a result, they have a far more positive relationship, and the movie doesn't include the part of the myth where Hera tries to kill Hercules and manipulates him into killing his own children.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Addams Family: In the TV series, Fester is Morticia's uncle, hence why even she and Gomez address him as "Uncle Fester". But in the films, he's Gomez's brother and only an uncle to Pugsley and Wednesday. This was due to Gomez and Fester's dynamic chemistry in the TV series making it hard to believe they were only in-laws. This change remained in future adaptations, even though Fester doesn't seem to share Gomez's Spanish heritage with no indication that he's adopted. There's also Grandmama, who was originally Morticia's mother in the old comic strips, but the adaptations have constantly gone back and forth between making her Morticia's or Gomez's mother, changing her name if necessary (Grandmama Frump if she's Morticia's). This means that in some of the versions where Gomez and Fester are brothers, she becomes Fester's mother too. The musical lampshades this when Morticia complains about Gomez's mother overstaying her welcome, and he replies, "My mother? I thought she was your mother!"
  • Clueless has an unusual case in which the characters are technically no longer related. In Emma (upon which Clueless is loosely based), George Knightley is Emma's brother-in-law (her sister is married to his brother). In this film, Cher is an only child and the Knightley analog Josh is her ex-stepbrother (her father had since divorced his mother) who hangs around because he still has a good relationship with her dad.
  • Excalibur: Like many Arthurian adaptations, it turns Morgana into a Composite Character with Morgause, making her Mordred's mother. Excalibur helped popularize the version of the legend where Mordred is conceived by Brother–Sister Incest between Morgana and Arthur (unwitting in Arthur's case).
  • Fantastic Four (2015): In the comics, Sue Storm is the biological daughter of Franklin Storm and biological sister of Johnny Storm. In this film, she was adopted into the Storm family; this is mostly because Michael B. Jordan and Reg E. Cathey, both of whom are black, were cast as Johnny and Franklin, respectively, while Kate Mara, who is white, was cast as Sue (Josh Trank stated he wanted to cast a black actress as Sue, presumably averting this trope, but the higher-ups vetoed it).
  • In the interests of making Beryl a viable love interest for Sir Henry in The Hound of the Baskervilles, she's changed from Stapleton's wife who pretends to be his sister to his actual step-sister.
  • Kim Possible: In the show, "Nana" is Kim's paternal grandmother, making her the mother of James Possible. In the movie, she's changed into Kim's maternal grandmother, making her the mother of Ann Possible instead.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a few examples:
    • Iron Man: With Arno Stark Adapted Out, Tony Stark becomes Howard's biological son instead of his adopted son like the comics. It bears noting that this fact about Tony (and Arno himself) were introduced retroactively, after the MCU had already been established, so it was likely not followed for the sake of brevity.
    • Thor establishes that the title character is now the son of Frigga; in the comics, he is her stepson.
    • Black Panther: T'Challa gets this twice-over, as he and Shuri go from paternal half-siblings to having the same mother as well as the same father (in the comics Ramonda is T'Challa's stepmother).
    • In the Thor comics, Hela is usually Loki's daughter or at least his creation. In Thor: Ragnarok she's his long lost sister. As Loki was adopted by his parents there's no longer a biological connection between him and Hela, though it adds a biological connection between Hela and Thor, as they share a father.
    • In the comics, Nebula is Thanos' granddaughter, and the daughter of Starfox. (No, not that one.) In the MCU, Starfox is Adapted Out, and Nebula is Thanos' adoptive daughter.
  • SHAZAM! (2019): In the comics, Mary Marvel was originally Billy Batson's long-lost twin sister. Here, she's his older foster sister, although within the comics Mary and Billy were changed to adoptive siblings in the New 52 line-up. Mary being Billy's foster sister fits with the movie's Family of Choice theme.
  • Striptease: In the book, Mordecai is a cousin of Paul Gruber's fiancee Joyce, while in the film, he's Paul's uncle.
  • Stuart Little: In the original book, Stuart is the Littles' biological son...even though his parents are human and he's a mouse (or at least looks like a mouse, which is never explained). The film makes him their adopted son instead, as it's less odd (though everyone is still nonplussed about anthropomorphic mice). It adds a plot in which his adoptive human brother George, who is initially disappointed by Stuart, comes to accept him; family cat Snowbell also temporarily tricks Stuart into leaving the family by pretending to have found Stuart's birth parents (who actually died when he was a baby).

  • The Mists of Avalon:
    • Morgause is often depicted in the Arthurian Legend as Arthur and Morgan's sister. Here, she's their maternal aunt, also making her Igraine's sister rather than her daughter. This results in Morgause and Morgaine (as Morgan is called here) becoming Decomposite Characters to an extent (usually Morgan and Morgause get conflated); Morgaine is still the mother of Mordred and slept with her own brother to conceive him, but she's depicted far more sympathetically (she and Arthur suffered a case of Surprise Incest) while Morgause is the scheming sorceress and wife of King Lot, who helps raise Mordred and manipulates him into hating Arthur.
    • Morgause was originally Mordred's mother while here she's his great aunt, though she takes him as her ward and is still a mother figure to him.
  • The Rise of Skywalker reveals that Rey is the paternal granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine. However, the novelization The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition states that Palpatine's "son" is actually a clone, so while there's still shared DNA between them, Rey technically isn't his real granddaughter (genetically she could be considered his daughter). The movie doesn't mention this and there she is specifically referred to as Palpatine's "granddaughter" including by Palpatine himself, so it's unclear which version is canon. note 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrowverse:
    • Arrow:
      • Mia Dearden is reworked from Oliver Queen's adopted daughter into two different characters: Thea Queen, his maternal half-sister, and Mia Queen, his biological daughter.
      • John Diggle, the Arrowverse version of John Stewart, is Roy Stewart's adopted son instead of grandson.
      • Kazumi Adachi is Emiko Queen's mother instead of great-grandmother.
    • The Flash (2014): Wally West is Iris' long-lost brother rather than her nephew like he is in the comics.
      • XS and Impulse are Barry and Iris's children instead of grandchildren.
  • Camelot depicts Morgan and Arthur as paternal half-siblings fathered by Uther, with Igraine being Morgan's hated stepmother. In the original legends, Igraine is the mother of both of them and Morgan was fathered by Gorlois. This drives much of the conflict in the series, as Morgan never knew Arthur existed until after Uther's death and believes she should be the rightful heir as Uther's firstborn.
  • Cursed: Traditionally Arthur and Morgana are maternal half-siblings. Here they appear to be full siblings or at least share the same father. Igraine is also mentioned as being their grandmother, rather than their mother, and Ector is their uncle-by-marriage rather than Arthur's adoptive father.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Lady Alys Karstark was the daughter of Lord Rickard Karstark in A Song of Ice and Fire, but in the show she's his granddaughter instead, being the daughter and heir of Rickard's Canon Foreigner son Harrald Karstark.
    • Maester Aemon was the great-uncle of Mad King Aerys and by extension, the great-great-uncle of Rhaegar, Viserys and Daenerys in the book. The show removes a generation and makes him into the Mad King's uncle, and by extension, Daenerys and her brothers' great-uncle.
    • As previously mentioned, an entire generation of the Targaryen family is omitted from the show, making King Aegon V the father of King Aerys II, instead of his grandfather. This also means Princess Rhaelle Targaryen, the grandmother of Robert, Stannis, and Renly, has been Adapted Out. As a result, the Baratheon brothers are no longer the second cousins of Daenerys, Rhaegar, and Viserys.
    • Partly because of the Age Lift and narrative convenience, King Jaehaerys II is not the father of Aerys II; rather, it is King Aegon V, the star of Tales of Dunk and Egg, who is the father of the Mad King and grandfather to Daenerys, rather than her great-grandfather.
  • The Great: In real-life history, Peter the Great was Aunt Elizabeth's father and Peter III's grandfather. The show compresses things by about a generation; Peter the Great is now brother-in-law to Aunt Elizabeth and father to Peter III.
  • The Haunting of Bly Manor: In The Turn of the Screw, siblings Flora and Miles are under the guardianship of their uncle after their parents died. In this adaptation it's revealed that Flora is in fact her 'uncle's' biological daughter, as he had an affair with his sister-in-law. He never tells her this out guilt and respect for his brother, who figured out the truth but still regarded Flora as his daughter.
  • Iron Fist (2017): Ward Meachum is the son of Harold Meachum in the series, whereas in the comics he was his brother.
  • Legend of the Seeker:
    • In the Sword of Truth books, Darken Rahl turns out to be Richard's father. In the TV series, they're revealed to be half-brothers, giving them a Cain and Abel dynamic.
    • This in turn results in Panis Rahl being Richard's father, rather than his grandfather. Panis is also the father of Jennsen Rahl, making her Darken's sister, whereas in the books Darken is her father.
  • In Luke Cage (2016), Season 2's Arc Villain, John McIver/Bushmaster is reimagined as the son of Quincy McIver; in the comics Quincy was John's younger brother and the second Bushmaster.
  • Merlin (2008):
    • Morgana and Arthur are revealed as paternal half-siblings. In the Arthurian legends, they're usually maternal half-siblings. Interestingly, the series does still feature Gorlois, Morgana's legendary father - Morgana believed he was her father for much of her life, not knowing Uther secretly had an affair with her mother. This partly explains why Uther took on Morgana as his ward after her parents died, though it also results in Morgana resenting Uther more than ever for never acknowledging her as his child. It also drives her ambition to become Queen of Camelot eventually, because the way she sees it she has just as much right to rule as Arthur.
    • Morgause is still Morgana's sister, but they're maternal half-sisters rather than full sisters and Morgause has no biological connection to Arthur here. Upon learning her sister has a claim to the throne, Morgause plots to make Morgana queen to get rid of Uther and undo his Ban on Magic.
  • Moribito: In the live-action drama, Tugum is the third son of the Mikado by the Second Queen rather than by the Third Queen, making him full brothers with Chagum.
  • In the original Orphan Black, the protagonist's adoptive mother turns out to be her biological daughter due to her being the clone of the latter's mother. In the Japanese remake Orphan Black: 7 Genes, she's her maternal aunt instead due to the protagonist's surrogate mother in the original now being her biological one (itself an example of this trope) and the adoptive one's sister.
  • Poirot:
    • In The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Mrs. Inglethorp is John and Lawrence's birth mother rather than stepmother (for the sake of Pragmatic Adaptation, since she is a full-fledged Parental Substitute to them in the book).
    • In The Murder on the Links, Jack Renauld is Paul Renauld's adopted stepson rather than son. Their relationship is way, way colder than in the book.
  • Power Rangers
  • Sechs Auf Einen Streich:
  • The Umbrella Academy (2019): Both show and comics focus on seven adopted siblings; the show removes the detail that Luther and Number Five are specifically biological twins.
  • The Witcher (2019): Combined with slight Adaptational Backstory Change in the case of Yennefer and her father. In the books, Yennefer was raised by both her biological parents and gained her quarter-elf heritage through her mother. In the series, Yennefer reveals the man who raised her was her stepfather; her biological father was a half-elf who was killed during the Great Cleansing and it's from him rather than her mother that she gets her elf heritage. In both cases Yenn's father figures treated her poorly and she disowns them (book Yen's father beat her and abandoned her; show Yen's stepfather also abuses her and sells her off for less than a pig, declaring she's no daughter of his).

    Myths & Religion 
  • Depending on which version of the Arthurian Legend you're reading, Morgan le Fay is either Mordred's aunt or his mother. This is due to Morgan often becoming a composite character with her sister Morgause. Furthermore, in some versions, Arthur is only Mordred's uncle and King Lot is his biological father rather than his stepfather, while in others Arthur is both Mordred's uncle and his father.
  • One theory to explain why Classical Mythology is so full of incest is that the gods concerned weren't originally related, but as the Greek civilization grew, its religion syncretized foreign gods and attributed their myths to the Olympians (e.g. if one religion had their unrelated thunder god and fertility goddess have children, the Greek version took that relationship and applied it to Zeus and his sister Demeter). Similarly, the original Zeus might not have been quite the memetic horndog he is today had it not been for every local thunder god's sexual escapade or hero's paternity being attributed to him alone.
    • Sometimes, the myths themselves don't agree on how a character is related—for instance, Hephaestus is always Hera's son, but his conception varies; was he born to her and Zeus? Did she birth him on her own to spite Zeus for birthing Athena on his own? Did she produce him with the help of a woman instead?

  • Some adaptations of Hamlet suggest that Claudius is Hamlet's true biological father rather than being his uncle, which is certainly a possibility depending upon whether Claudius and Gertrude were having an affair and if so, how long it was going on. In the original play, Claudius does refer to Hamlet as his "son"; he's likely referring to the fact Hamlet is his stepson via his marriage to Gertrude, though some adaptations take this literally to add yet more angst and drama to the story.

    Video Games 
  • Hades: In Classical Mythology, Persephone is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, who are brother and sister, and is married to their brother Hades. In the game's version of this family tree, Zeus and Demeter are foster-siblings and Persephone is the daughter of Demeter and a mortal, significantly toning down the incest in her relationship with Hades.
  • Nier: In the Replicant version, the original Japanese version, the titular protagonist is Yonah's brother, while in the Gestalt version, which till the remake was the only version in the West, he's Yonah's father. The designs, of course, was changed accordingly to each version, with Brother Nier having a much more feminine, lithe design, while Father Nier is much more typically masculine and is a muscular Walking Shirtless Scene. This was mostly done because it was believed that the Western audience would have appreciated an older and more mature protagonist.
  • In Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Rick Mason is the older brother of Phin Mason/Tinkerer — who is the male Phineas Mason in the comics, and Rick's father.

    Web Animation 
  • In Sam & Mickey's stop-motion Barbie parody series, it's revealed that Barbie's four "sisters"—Skipper, Stacie, Chelsea (originally Kelly), and Krissy—are actually her children by Ken. Mattel makes her pretend they're her sisters to better her image.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • DuckTales: In the original series, Webby Vanderquack is the granddaughter of Scrooge McDuck's housekeeper, Bentina Beakley. In the series finale of the 2017 reboot, it's revealed that Beakley isn't Webby's biological grandmother — she rescued an infant Webby from the F.O.W.L. laboratory where she was created and effectively adopted her, causing Webby much angst when she finds out she'd been lied to her whole life. On that note, it also turns out that she was created from Scrooge's DNA, meaning that he's her biological father rather than an Honorary Uncle.
  • Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Karai is once again Oroku Saki's daughter but this time she's his biological offspring, as opposed to being adopted like previous incarnations of the character.
  • Silver Surfer: Mentor is stated to be Thanos' brother rather than his father like in the comics. This was apparently due to a typographical error that nobody caught until it was too late.
  • Strawberry Shortcake: In the 2003 series, Apple Dumplin' is Strawberry's younger sister, but in Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures, she's Strawberry's cousin instead.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: In GoLion, Old Witch Honerva is the mother of Emperor Daibazaal and the paternal grandmother of Crown Prince Sincline. The reboot depicts her as the wife of Emperor Zarkon (counterpart of Daibazaal) and the mother of Prince Lotor (counterpart of Sincline).
  • Young Justice:
    • Tara Markov's comics counterpart is an illegitimate child of the king of Markovia and half-brother to princes Brion and Gregor. Here she is their full-blooded sister and a member of the royal family. This changes the circumstances and implications of her disappearance: her comics counterpart disappeared to avoid scandal and became a mercenary; in the show, she's a princess whose kidnapping is a major incident.
    • Ma'alefa'ak is Martian Manhunter's nephew instead of J'onn's Evil Twin.


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