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The Remnant

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"Although the Clone Wars were over, some people never seemed to get the message."
501st stormtrooper, Star Wars: Battlefront II

The Remnant can be best described as a more militaristic version of Last of His Kind, being members of a faction who are continuing to fight a war that their side has already lost. Basically a (usually villainous) version of La Résistance that formed from the remains of The Empire or some other faction. They may be using irregular military tactics, but they will probably still be dressed in their old uniforms (or the remnants thereof). Unlike a General Ripper, The Remnant no longer hold an official position in the armed forces, often because their government has ceased to exist or has been replaced. In a number of cases, this happens because nobody on either side has yet been informed that the war is over. The losing side then becomes The Remnant by default after the fact.

This happens pretty often in real life, especially for defeated factions where surrender's not an option — or ones that aren't prepared to admit defeat just yet. In particularly nasty cases, two strong-but-not-overpowering factions can alternate between being really weak central governments and really strong Remnants, sometimes for a generation or more (and restoring peace to a population accustomed to war and violence is going to be tricky, too).


A Remnant using guerilla warfare can be much more dangerous than they were as an established government; guerillas are constantly on the move, and have the luxury of always getting to choose which target they'll attack next. The standard advice is that you need ten soldiers for every guerilla to defeat an insurgency, which means a lot of money and sustained effort, which means that an occupying army will sometimes just give up.

For a short-term 'bigger brother' counterpart to this, see Dragon Their Feet; in fact, a Dragon who missed the last battle is likely to end up leading these guys. They may also be a Vestigial Empire, and the government they're trying to overthrow is likely The Federation (or The Good King in fantasy, where this trope's rarer but not unknown).

This trope tends to involve a bit of Moral Dissonance, out-of-universe Moral Myopia, or even Protagonist-Centered Morality. Good guys who do this are Determinators and La Résistance and extra heroic for fighting in the face of near-impossible odds. Bad guys are just, well, bad, and exasperating for refusing to go away. See also Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters and Villainous Legacy. To characterize a faction more or less accurately, look at its history, the level of legitimacy it can claim, what it stands for, and — above all — the methods it uses.


One man's Resistance is another man's Remnant. Government in Exile is the civilian equivalent while The Remnant is military. Still Fighting the Civil War is when both the military and government have ceased to exist but sympathizers still remain. When the remnants are from Those Wacky Nazis, they will likely try to establish the Fourth Reich.

Most heroic examples of this trope tend to be in Zombie Apocalypse fiction, and similar genres.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • After War Gundam X has the New Earth Federation start to make trouble about a third of the way through as they campaign to "unify" (read: conquer) the emerging new nations. They're surprisingly effective and achieve their goal quickly. Meanwhile, around the Moon, the Space Revolutionary Army is doing the same thing. Both sides are enemies and both lost because of the mass Colony Drop that wiped out Earth and Spacenoids alike... and both of them still want to kill each other.
  • In Attack on Titan, the Walled City is pretty much all that's left of human civilization (at least as far as it's known) after the Titans ate everyone else.
    • The big reveal in the basement is that the Walled City is not the last bastion of humanity; every other human civilization is doing just fine and is (at least mostly) free of Titans. However, the city is the last "free" remnant of what was once the Eldian Empire; in the rest of the world, the Eldians are second-class citizens who live in segregated ghettos, due to their connection to the Titans.
    • Half of the survey corps are turned into this following Eren's insurrection, with the Titans destroying the countries of the world and enslaving what's left of Paradis.
  • The last prime minister of Japan in Code Geass is treated somewhat like this trope... But he never got to go through with it because Suzaku killed him. It's heavily implied that Britannia would have eradicated Japan utterly if he had.
    • The Japanese Liberation Front was the remnant of the old Japanese army until the Black Knights absorbed them.
    • What is left of the old Japanese military is killed off by Britannia and the Black Knights, as they crossed the Moral Event Horizon by throwing hostages off a building in the name of the 'glory of Japan'.
  • The character Grenadier in the Leiji Matsumoto series Cosmo Warrior Zero starts off as one of these, despite being a mercenary soldier hired by La Résistance; blame Honor Before Reason, a group of refugee children to protect, and an open-ended contract.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • In Dragon Ball Z, Dr. Gero and his Androids are technically this — the Red Ribbon Army is long defunct as an organization, but Gero, one of its founding members, tries to continue the cause, though with a heavy focus on killing Goku, partly because Gero wants revenge because Goku is responsible for the Army's defeat in the original Dragon Ball, though it's also out of practicality, since Goku would likely interfere anyway. In both Trunks' timeline and in the regular timeline, his plans are a bit too effective in so many ways, but he never lives to see it happen. It's not drawn attention to, but the Red Ribbon Army iconography is notable on all of Gero's androids except Cell. The Red Ribbon Army as an organization also are the main antagonists of Dragon Ball Fighter Z, even if it's basically just Android 21 at that point.
    • In Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, and the corresponding arc of Dragon Ball Super, Frieza's Empire has been reduced to a shell of its former self after King Cold and Frieza were killed along with most of their high ranking minions. The remnant of his empire is losing planets at a rapid rate to the point that what little is left decides to resurrect him as a last resort to restore the fear of them they need to keep the Empire afloat. Unfortunately for them, Frieza is more focused on revenge on the ones who defeated him than doing that. This results in Frieza being killed again and the rest of his army being killed as well.
  • The Kiheitai in Gintama is a revolutionary army that seeks to violently drive the Amanto aliens out of Japan, even if it means that Japan will be destroyed in the process. In fact, the complete and total destruction of Japanese society under Amanto influence seems to be the desired goal of this group's leader, Takasugi, who has shown both a willingness and a creepy enthusiasm to do the destroying himself. Then again, Takasugi is also a Nietzsche Wannabe and seems solely interested in destruction and avenging his teacher's death.
  • The Millennium Group from Hellsing is a single battalion of Nazi soldiers who have voluntarily undergone artificial vampirification in their mission to give World War II another go. They're a variation on the usual type, since they're not fighting for Nazism, but because they really like war. Especially the Major, their mad leader.
  • Diana in Jewelpet (2009) turns out to be this after her big brother Dian's backstory is revealed (he was a Malcolm Xerox-flavored rebel). She managed to escape Dian's fate and many years later saw an opportunity to unseal him using the power of the Jewelpets who got lost on Earth; this is what the heroes try to stop during the first half of the show.
  • Hegemon Heidi Einhard Stratos Ingvalt of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid is a subversion. Nove assumes her reasons for wanting to fight Vivio and Ixpellia is because to her the wars of Ancient Belka never ended, but Einhard denies this saying she only wants to prove the superiority of her Kaiser Arts. Once she actually meets Vivio, she quickly becomes The Rival and doesn't hold any grudges against her (quite the opposite actually).
  • The Principality of Zeon, from Mobile Suit Gundam, has scads of these; there are at least five separate groups that appear in the animation, and it's implied that there are more. The single largest one fled to the asteroid base Axis and became the first Neo Zeon movement in Zeta Gundam; the others include the Delaz Fleet, Cima's marines, and the Kimbareid force (all in Gundam 0083), as well as Rommel's force (in Gundam ZZ).
    • The furthest extension of this appears in Gundam F90, centering on Zeon remnants who've been hiding on Mars for nearly fifty years before making their move.
    • The second Neo-Zeon movement in Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack isn't really composed of remnants from the Principality of Zeon but is rather composed of ex-AEUG and other spacenoids who have took a radical bent. It gets its own remnant in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, in the form of the Sleeves, led by Char Clone Full Frontal.
    • There's also both the Sleeves and the Zeon Remnant in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, who manage to eke out livings in various isolated places on Earth, and who band together to continue the war against the Federation in an ambitious attack on Torrington Base while also living out in space on the asteroid Palau. They're not exclusively military either, as many of their Earth camps include numerous civilians.
  • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: After the defeat of the Titans at the climax of the show, their remnants occasionally pop up in Gundam canon, though not nearly as often as Zeon. In-Universe it's established that many Titans either rejoined the Federation or defected to Zeon. Though Zeta's sequel Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ notes that several Titans still hold political seats in government, the faction itself is too beaten down to be of any real threat to the protagonists and they only return in expanded material. Mobile Suit Moon Gundam featured a remnant fielding the Psycho Gundam Mk. IV while Gundam Sentinel featured a group called The New Desides and their attempts to rebel and fight the Federation.
  • Fate Averruncus of Negima! Magister Negi Magi. Manga only though, the anime renders this impossible for plot altering reasons. Fate was second in command of a group called Cosmo Entelecheia, a group that was trying to bring about the end of the world A.K.A. "The Ritual To Return The World To Nothing". The group was lead by someone who was only known as "The Life Maker" and "The Mage of the Beginning". They fueled a war in order to accomplish this. It was the war and the defeat of The Mage Of The Beginning that made Nagi Springfield (protagonist's father) a legend. After that he was known as "The Invincible Thousand Master" or just The Thousand Master for short. Fate hasn't given up.
    • Or he might be the newest version of the second in command of Cosmo Entelecheia.
  • Many antagonists of Pumpkin Scissors are this type.
  • In SOS! Tokyo Metro Explorers: The Next, taking place roughly in our time, an old man living under Tokyo still believes WWII continues, and is obsessed about the mission given to him. Other underground dwellers consider him dangerously crazy, but he is quite likeable.
  • Viral in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann fits this role early on after the Time Skip, although subverted in that while being classified as a terrorist and gets told several times that his fight is pointless, he still insists that he does it for a noble goal. It is later revealed that he did, in fact, fight for a good cause, as he was aiming to keep the population underground to prevent the activation of the Anti-Spirals' annihilation program. He does grow out of this role when he joins up with the heroes, and eventually ends up as the supreme commander of the galactic federation fleet.
    • He doesn't really know about the Anti-spirals though. What he's doing is fighting so that the people who want to stay underground can do that, at least in this particular instance. Lordgenome wanted them underground, they want to be underground, and Viral is pretty much all that's left to fight for that goal. It's hard to not feel bad for Viral finally getting arrested because Enkidu has seen SO MANY HOPELESS BATTLES that it finally just breaks down. Viral even apologizes to it.

    Comic Books 
  • The Avengers: The Supreme Intelligence of the Kree destroyed his own Empire with a Nega-Bomb, and the Avengers executed him for that. Still, a small group of Krees, called the "Lunar Legion" (because they set their base on the blue area of the moon) blame the Avengers for the destruction of their Empire and their beloved Supreme Intelligence, and try to kill them. Of course, the SI turns out to be less dead than they thought.
  • In "The War That Never Ended!" in Adventure Comics #255, Green Arrow and Speedy are stranded on a Pacific island that is still inhabited by Japanese soldiers who do not know that WWII is over.
  • The "Peekaboo Bandit" from Airboy: Deadeye: a Japanese aviator who kept fighting a one-man war against the Allies in the Pacific after the surrender of Japan until capture by Airboy.
  • Asterix:
    • Gaul has surrendered to the Romans, but one Undefeatable Little Village still lives like it's the Iron Age and holds out against the invaders! ...or not, as they never engage in La Résistance-type action, preferring mostly to get on with their own, usually quite petty lives, and beat up any Romans trying to tell them what to do rather than attempting to liberate Gaul. The story clearly establishes that legally, the village is Roman, and the characters even exploit this when being part of the Roman Empire would be helpful to them. They also adopt Roman technology, such as the use of sestertii as currency, wax tablets, Roman numerals and writing, and so on, and everyone's bilingual Gaulish and Latin, though some are better at Latin than others. Caesar even says that the Roman government pays a peace settlement to their chief, as agreed upon in the terms of surrender, and the chief's wife is angry that the Romans haven't made him a senator. And yet, they proudly refuse all Roman identity, did something to the Roman taxman so he would never come back there again, and any Romans approaching the village get beaten to a paste. They have no interest in being seriously liberated and are well aware the war is over, but continue fighting it because it's fun, they hate the Romans on principle, and they just don't care.
    • Obelix All At Sea and The Secret Weapon suggest Asterix's goal is for the Romans to grant them peace with honours, but if they tried to negotiate surrender as it is all the warriors would end up in prison, so fighting until the Romans get the message is the only option. Obelix is horrified by any suggestion of compromise and considers it trampling on the memory of Vercingetorix, with the implication that most of the other villagers agree with this. Of course, this is all Played for Laughs.
    • In Vercingetorix' Daughter the actual remnant shows up: Vercingetorix' most trusted lieutenants, who, on his orders, had left Alesia with his daughter before the surrender, hoping that one day they would launch a rebellion capable of expelling the Romans. They eventually abandon the plan in the face of the sheer impossibility when Vercingetorix' daughter herself just wants to stop the insanity and live like a normal girl.
  • Atomic Robo: The Flying She-Devils of the Pacific has CHOKAITEN; a rogue Japanese military unit that has been waiting six years since the end of the war to unleash a devastating super weapon that will sink the North American continent.
  • In early 1995, when Bruce Wayne finally returned to Gotham City to officially be Batman again after a two-year absence (it's a long story), the first enemies he found himself and Robin having to combat were the Troika, a faction of three (technically four, but one of them defected to the West) ex-Soviet terrorists unwilling to admit that the Cold War was over.
  • Crossed: Various surviving military units appear from time to time. Most are just holed up behind their forts, or on patrol ships, hiding and vainly hoping to ride things out, but the San Diego Naval Base puts a real effort into evacuating survivors from infected zones and getting them onto ships heading for somewhere safer, although they're gone by the first month of the apocalypse.
  • Subverted in the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip "Lunar Lagoon". The Doctor arrives on a Pacific island in 1963, and is attacked by a Japanese soldier. The Doctor tries to explain that the war is over ... and then learns he's in a parallel universe where it isn't.
  • Elfes et Nains, the kingdom of Eysine has been invaded by an alliance of rival kingdoms and all that remains of it are a handful of citizens and soldiers led by their aging king.
  • In Empire, they're the good guys. What's left of them.
  • In G.I. Joe (2016), splinters of Cobra that survived their collapse at the end of G.I. Joe vol. 4 pose a constant threat.
  • According to Halo: Escalation #5, the Covenant has fractured even more than anyone previously thought.
    Zef 'Trahl: What does it mean to be "Covenant" today? A hundred warlords claim they rule the Covenant, but each of them leads only a small faction
  • In G.I. Combat #235's cover story, The Haunted Tank is ambushed by a German tank crew from World War I who cravenly hid out in a forest and seemingly never came out for 30 years. Their weathered faces and tattered uniforms starkly contrast their spotless tank that never saw combat. When they capture a fancy new-model American tank, the TC is sure the Kaiser will pin their medals on himself.
  • The Fort Charlotte Brigade from Jonah Hex are confederate veterans who refuse to accept the authority of the North (although they're more deeply defined by the personal axe they have to grind with Jonah).
  • Colonel Quantrill in B.A.'s Cattlepunk campaign in Knights of the Dinner Table.
  • Colonel Augustus Barton and his renegade Confederate bushwhackers in The Lone Ranger and Zorro: The Death of Zorro from Dynamite.
  • One of The Order's first battles is against a nuclear-armed team of Russian supervillains who are completely unaware that the Cold War has been over for two decades.
  • Scarlet Traces: The "Martians" are on the verge of extinction after the events of The Great Game have rendered all life on Mars eradicated, and all that is left of them are those living on Venus. By 1968, the aliens are starting to die out and they have become desperate to finish off their human enemies by planning to destroy the entire Solar System.
  • The Serenity comic book introduces the Dust Devils, extremist former Browncoats continuing to wage a terrorist war against the Alliance, and reveals that technically, Zoe was once one of their number — she participated in a battle where neither the Alliance nor the Independents had been informed that the Alliance had won.
    • From the point of view of the Alliance, Mal Reynolds could be seen as The Remnant, though he mostly resorts to brigandry like his 19th Century counterpart Jesse James.
  • Parodied in one of the "Tales of Irony" in Snake & Bacon's Cartoon Cavalcade, a Japanese soldier on a Pacific island is discovered to still be fighting World War 2 — by a Confederate soldier that still thinks the Civil War's on!
  • Star Wars: Purge: Roblio Darte, a Jedi fugitive asserts that they still serve The Republic and should try to restore it, although the others point out the Republic became the Empire by choice.
  • Teen Titans: Most of those recruited by the original Wildebeest leader were former H.I.V.E. agents who believed their main goal was to take vengeance for H.I.V.E.
  • The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye: With the disbanding of the Decepticons by their leader, their forces are thoroughly shattered. Several just shrugged and moved on with their lives, while others tried for a resurgence of their once mighty empire. Tarn and the Justice Division seek out what might be the largest remnant, a band of Mercurial Decepticons 500 strong, and ally with them to bring forth a new order of Decepticons with their first act of business to hunt down the very one who disbanded the original regime, Megatron.
  • The Transformers: Robots in Disguise: Presents a more conventional example with Soundwave gathering up many of the A-lister cons, including the remaining members of the Earth Infiltration team, throwing their lot in with Galvatron, and heading to earth to ally with the humans and get in the Autobot's way. They claim to be the Decepticons, following their principles in the absence of their founder, even if their ranks only have a few dozen members.
  • Ultimate X-Men: Magneto seems to die at the end of the first arc, and in Ultimatum. Still, the Brotherhood remains a threat.
  • In the Alan Moore run of Wild CATS, this happened to both sides. The Khreubim/Daemonite war has been over for a long time, with the Daemonites falling to the Kherubim and effectively being subjugated. Unfortunately, neither side bothered to send an envoy to Earth, so the war continued to rage here for centuries
  • Pointed out in the first X-Wing Rogue Squadron comic.
    Tycho: Wait, slow down. A week ago, Wedge vaporized the Emperor and half the Imperial High Command — I know that Imperials tried to stab us in the back after The Truce at Bakura, but isn't the war basically over? Why won't the Imperials just surrender?
    Luke: Would you stop fighting if Wedge was killed? Or me? Or Senator Organa? The Battle of Endor will always be a turning point in this war, but there are millions of Imperials scattered across the galaxy, and we can only assume that they will fight to the end. And they probably have orders to do just that.

    Fan Works 
  • Ask a Pony: Zathir, an Arc Villain from Ask Genie Twilight, is a descendent of a Renegade Splinter Faction of a previously well-intentioned regime. To say he has well intentions would be a sad mistake to make.
  • The Azula Trilogy's Starter Villain, General Azun, is the leader of a portion of the Fire Nation's military that refuses to accept the end of the war and Zuko's ascension as Fire Lord, and intend to "rescue" Azula so that she can lead them in retaking control of the Nation.
  • The Bridge: A Shimmer in the Dark, a crossover between The Bridge and The Shimmerverse, features as its main antagonist Countess Mircalla, the last remaining one of Nightmare Moon's Generals, leading a reserve force that is all that's left of the latter's shattered army. Notably, she's lost faith in the cause, but keeps going out of debt to her former master (and because she knows that if she doesn't, the Always Chaotic Evil Nightmare forces will tear her apart for disloyalty).
  • Chasing Dragons:
    • After Rhaegar flees Westeros, all the Targaryen loyalists unwilling to yield to the rebellion follow him, establishing a court-in-exile that briefly has enough of a power base to rule Myr in all but name. After being defeated by the Sunset Company, however, they're significantly reduced in power, with a large chunk of their men defecting back to Westeros and Rhaegar being fatally wounded, leaving what's left to flee to Volantis and becoming a sellsword company to earn their stay in the city.
    • The Sunset Company's victory also sees them conquering Myr and purging most of the old aristocracy in the process of freeing all the slaves. Those who survive, either by fleeing or having been coincidentally elsewhere at the time, regroup and establish a Government in Exile in Tyrosh, determined to eventually reclaim their city. When Tyrosh likewise falls to the Abolitionist Alliance, these "True Myrish" flee again to Volantis, where they pledge themselves to the Targaryen forces for protection. Meanwhile, the Tyroshi who manage to escape the destruction of their city establish exile communities in Lys and Oldtown.
  • Code Prime: When the Decepticons begin their takeover of the world, the first thing they do is completely uproot the Britannian Empire, killing or capturing any of the major leaders and royals. After a six-month Time Skip between R1 and R2, all that remains of the Empire are Euro-Britannia, which declares independence and is currently fighting the EU, and the Glinda Knights led by Princess Marrybell, who go into hiding before eventually joining Euro-Britannia.
  • Cycles Upon Cycles:
    • Even months after the defeat of Saren and Sovereign, the Council and the Alliance are shown to still be moping up units of their forces.
    • Cerberus turns out to be all that's left of the UED after the latter was destroyed by Amon.
  • Earth's Alien History:
    • At the end of their failed invasion of the Milky Way, a group of fifty or so Reapers who survived flee to the Andromeda Galaxy in order to start over. And separately from them, the Reaper Odium goes into hiding and starts upgrading itself with TeTO technology in an attempt to start over on its own, until the Enterprise discovers and kills it seven years later.
    • After the Cybertronian Civil War ends with peaceful reconciliation between the factions, a group of Decepticons led by Scorponok refuse to accept the peace and go rogue, making war on Autobots and organic life.
    • A heroic example in Katie's Bad Future, where after the Empire conquers the Milky Way, portions of GaTO (TeTO's successor state) manage to flee to the Pegasus and Ida galaxies.
  • Fabius Maximus has created a Shared Universe of Battlestar Galactica (2003) fics that uses this trope to apply some Surprisingly Realistic Outcome, on the grounds that as the Twelve Colonies were a fully developed FTL-capable spacefaring civilization, there must have been more survivors that the Galactica's fleet or the few scattered resistance fighters shown still living on the planets:
    • The Pirate King: A pirate organization which was secretly building its own fleet (in order to privately colonize territories on the other side of the Armistice Line) uses that fleet to evacuate as many civilians and military personnel as they can rescue during the destruction of the Colonies, then flees into space to find new worlds to rebuild on.
    • The Last Imperial Fleet: Virgon's planetary fleet (which is separate from the overall Colonial fleet) evacuates as many civilians as they can during the Cylon attack, including the sole surviving member of the Virgon Imperial Family, who is automatically crowned Empress. They hook up with some Colonial forces, which agree to submit to their authority, rescue some civilian ships, then flee the system.
    • Exiles on the Wind: A Colonial squadron overseeing an asteroid belt mining colony evacuates the population, hooks up with a Marine regiment in the area and some civilian ships, and flee. While the squadron's Commodore is in de facto supreme control, a provisional civilian government is assembled by means of voting in a group of representatives from each ship; when the squadron eventually meets up with Galactica, this assembly is folded into Roslin's government by becoming a lower house to the Quorum of Twelve.
    • It's also mentioned throughout all the stories that numerous other small groups of survivors (civilian and military) all also fled the Colonies' system to rebuild elsewhere.
  • In the Outlaw Star fanfic A Fistful of Dragonite the Kei Pirates/Bandits are re-imagined as this, having fought on the losing side of an unnamed war, which is a loose Expy of the US Confederacy. Their leader, Colonel Hazanko, still holds their loyalty, and their influence is felt throughout the western frontier.
  • In the Halloween Unspectacular series, the main antagonists of the second Myth Arc are an organization called PURITY, which has its origins in a group of Nazi military officials who fled to a secret base in Alaska after losing the war. Notably, the original leadership of the group wanted to continue fighting the US directly (even planning U-Boat attacks on the West Coast), but General Rausseman realized this was moronic, took over, and reorganized the group to abandon Nazism as an ideology. Instead, they now focus their hatred on nonhumans and people with superpowers.
  • The main antagonists of I, Warrior are a group of renegade Yuuzhan Vong who refuse to accept the end of their war with the Galactic Alliance. To this end, they've allied with the enigmatic Sith Lord known as the Master, who has promised them revenge and power in exchange for aiding him find a cure for his illness. In the end, however, he was just using them, and they surrender to the GA after the Master's defeat.
  • Heroic variant (but not quite meeting the description of La Résistance); in Naruto: the Secret Songs of the Ninja, Konoha is destroyed and most of its population killed in the Sand/Sound attack, forcing the few hundred survivors to fall back to the Senju clan's hidden fortress, led by Jiraiya.
  • In Repairs, Retrofits and Upgrades, Kuvira's supporters continue to uphold the ideals of the Earth Empire and defend its territory despite her being captured and abandoning her ambitions. They're still extremely well trained, armed, organized and equipped, enough to oppose the United Forces on even footing and attempt to "rescue" Kuvira.
  • Summer Crowns: After Lys conquers Tyrosh, the Archon and the surviving magisters manage to escape to several of the city's tributaries with a chunk of its military forces, before dividing over disagreements on the best way forward. The Archon, who wants to reclaim Tyrosh and his power, camps out in the trade port of Bluestones, while the magisters, who want to maintain what power they have left, shore themselves up in the lesser cities of Berosh and Vakar and give up on Tyrosh, focusing on conquering the mainland.
  • The main antagonist of Tomica Hero Rescue Pups is a group of surviving Neo Terror Axto from Tomica Hero Rescue Force. Led by a Sith Lord named Darth Longinus, they now have lightsabers, blasters, AT-ATs, TIE Fighters, buzz droids, and episodic super-droids.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 9.April: the main cast keep trying to Hold the Line against the invading Nazi's for several hours after their government has actually surrendered. Truth in Television.
  • Air Force One: Big Bad Ivan Korushnov and his henchmen are former soldiers of a deposed dictator who refuse to accept the collapse of his regime and try to force his release by hijacking Air Force One.
  • In Apache, Massai refuses to surrender when Geronimo does, and escapes to wage a one-man war against the US Army. He regards himself as the last Apache warrior, and even refers to himself as "the last true Apache" at one point.
  • At Home Among Strangers involves a White Russian bandit gang, some time after the Whites have been decisively defeated by the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War, still roaming the Russian interior, robbing trains. There are still some true believers, but bandit leader Brylov recognizes that the war has been lost, the Bolsheviks are victorious, and there's no point fighting them anymore.
  • In The Burmese Harp, a Japanese POW is tasked by his British captors with getting a Japanese unit holed up in a cave to surrender, since Japan has surrendered and the war is over. The POW fails, the Japanese in the cave refuse to give up, and they are annihilated. The POW eventually stays in Burma as a monk, helping locate and bury all Japanese dead, vowing to only return to Japan once he's finished.
  • The Damned is about a group of Nazis and Nazi collaborators who flee to South America in a U-boat in April 1945, hoping to set up The Remnant as German defeat looms in Europe. When a German cargo ship encounters the sub and tells them that Germany has surrendered and the war is over, the Nazi Party fuctionary in charge of the submarine promptly torpedoes the cargo ship.
  • Bane's army in The Dark Knight Rises represents the remnants of the League of Shadows, a sinister organization decimated by Batman in the first movie of the series.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • In Man of Steel, Zod and his followers position themselves as the sole remnant of the Kryptonian civilization and seek to restore it. They're also the only ones left of Zod's Civil War army, the Sword of Rao.
    • In the Bad Future seen in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Zack Snyder's Justice League, Batman, Cyborg and Flash are the only Justice League members who are still alive (Darkseid and/or evil Superman wiped out the rest). They are joined by Mera, and even by two members of Batman's Rogues Gallery, Deathstroke and the Joker. It is safe to assume everyone else that they knew has perished.
  • The Dead: Several African army units continue operating, trying to gather survivors to take to various citadels, or protect their home villages, well after central authority has collapsed.
  • The villains in Dead Again in Tombstone are Col. Jackson Boomer and his gang of Confederate renegades who are seeking the horn of Lucifer in order to raise an undead Confederate army.
  • Die Hard:
    • Col. Stuart and his team of mercenaries from Die Hard 2 who think their government backed the wrong side.
    • Another example would be Simon Gruber's unit of East German Special Forces from Die Hard with a Vengeance, who were trained to speak fluent English for infiltration operations and were disbanded after the Soviet Union fell.
  • In Gladiator, the Germanic tribes who refused to bow before the might of the Roman empire's legions. Unusually for such a trope, though they are clearly the antagonists to Maximus' protagonist, Maximus shows respect for their capabilities, sympathy for them, and seems to hope that Rome wouldn't give up even against such hopeless odds. Also is Truth in Television.
  • In Hangman's Knot, a Confederate Major and his troops are falsely led to believe the Civil War is not over, and become wanted men after they attack a Union Army wagon train in Nevada.
  • The Horde: There’s mention of a French military base holding out and taking in survivors in the countryside that the character talk about reaching during the Zombie Apocalypse, although they spend all of the plot busy trying to break out of the apartment building their trapped in, so we never actually see it.
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was originally supposed to feature a team of Nazi die-hards as its villains. After directing Schindler's List, Spielberg didn't think he could feature Those Wacky Nazis as villains again, prompting him to change the villains to Soviets.
  • Iron Sky: The antagonists comes from a Nazi moon base that emerges to attack Earth during the 21st century.
  • Quentin Turnbull and his Southern terrorists in Jonah Hex.
  • The Last Flight Of Noahs Ark has two Japanese soldiers on a lost island.
  • The Last Samurai has Nathan and Katsumoto's samurais fighting against the Meiji government.
  • In The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice, the bad guys are ex-KGB, who are pissed at the fall of the USSR and seek to revive the old superpower by raising a vampire army. Little do they know that the old decrepit professor they're dragging along is Dracula himself.
  • The Living Dead Series:
    • Dawn of the Dead (1978). A National Guard unit is briefly seen intact in the countryside, effectively fighting the zombies alongside of the local farmer. There also appears to be some form of central authority (represented by Dr. Rausch) giving emergency broadcasts to anyone still listening for several weeks after the initial outbreak overruns the cities.
    • Dawn of the Dead (2004). Local military base Fort Pastor holds out for a while, providing a Safe Zone Hope Spot.
    • Day of the Dead features a handful of soldiers still guarding the Sole Surviving Scientist team, but by the movies beginning, their are fed up by the lack of progress, and almost all of them turn on their civilian charges by the end.
    • Diary of the Dead. All of the military officials who the main characters encounter in the film have deserted by that point, with one group being holed up inside a warehouse of food. Another group is driving through the countryside and robbing the main characters, possibly due to believing that they've been looting themselves. A more traditional group, containing four men wearing Hazmat suits and plexiglass masks posts a video online of themselves searching houses for survivors, and gunning down some Zombie Advocates they encounter.
  • The Matrix: the second movie reveals that Zion has repeatedly been wiped out, save for a few dozen survivors who are allowed to become this, rebuild and go to war with the machines all over again.
  • In The Scavengers, a gang of Confederate renegades takes over a frontier town two months after the war has ended, intending to rob a Yankee gold shipment. It seems most of the men are not aware the war has ended, but their commander Captain Harris certainly is.
  • The First Order in Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a successor of the original Galactic Empire; note that the Legends continuity already had done something similar, as shown in the Literature folder below. Thanks to some drastic actions on their part, the First Order manages to step out of this shadow by the sequel. It's strongly implied that they were deliberately playing this up so the New Republic wouldn't realize they were a genuine threat until they'd already finished their build up and attacked their now-demilitarized conquerors.
    • Confirmed in the Before the Awakening novel that says the New Republic know that the First Order are villainous but can't legally attack them without proof so they secretly funnel resources to Leia's Resistance group.
  • The aptly titled The Undefeated starring John Wayne and Rock Hudson dealt with a group of Confederate soldiers who chose to move to Mexico and offer their support to Emperor Maximillian.
  • Captain Jim West fights ex-Confederate terrorists at the start of Wild Wild West.

  • In 1983: Doomsday, the Union of Sovereign Socialist Republics is formed from what remained of the Soviet Union that survived Doomsday.
  • Referenced in Animorphs. The Blade Ship's crew may qualify.
  • The Aubrey-Maturin series offers various iterations of this, particularly involving the British-American War of 1812 — sailing ships may have been at sea for months, and not be aware of current events; this can be further complicated by two ships having different sailing dates, and hence different notions of the situation. Averted, in that this is a well-known problem and sometimes results in awkward stand-offs while the situation is resolved.
  • In Andre Norton's The Beast Master, the villains turn out to be a detachment of the same aliens who found out too late that nuking Terra into radioactive sterility wouldn't save them from Terra's colonies. The war's been over for a year or so, but they're trying to make new trouble on a colony planet.
  • In David Eddings' The Belgariad, the country of Arendia has been torn by civil war for millennia, largely due to their race's absurd devotion to Honor Before Reason. The Asturians continue to mount pointless insurrections against the crown, despite the fact that the Mimbrates won the war long ago and the Asturian Duchess is also the Queen.
    • The main problem with the Mimbrates and Asturians, aside from the Mimbrates treating their landed gentry opposite numbers as no better than serfs, is that neither side will talk to the other. When, after some outside prodding, they do, and the point of the queen also being Asturian nobility is mentioned, tensions ease noticeably.
    Queen: "You mean that there have been centuries of strife over a technicality?"
    Noble: "... It is rather Arendish, isn't it?"
  • In Brothers in Arms, the villain is one of these for the Komarran resistance, rather to Miles Vorkosigan's frustration:
    Galen: The revolt must not die.
    Miles: Even if everybody in it dies? 'It didn't work, so let's do it some more'? In my line of work, they call that military stupidity. I don't know what they call it in civilian life.
  • James Blish’s Cities in Flight includes the Vegan Orbital Fort, a hold-out from a long-past war which has become a sort of legend in its own right.
  • In Cthulhu Armageddon, the government of New Arkham styles itself as the official United States Remnant. However, since its control only extends to New Arkham itself (a pre-Rising military base converted into a burgeoning city) and the surrounding territory (some small towns and villages), no one really takes the claim all that seriously.
  • Down To A Sunless Sea: A civilian version is featured When word of the nuclear war is announced to the passengers on the plane the main action takes place on, two diehard Soviet diplomats and their KBG bodyguards take the news of their country’s fate poorly and try to hijack it. For added irony The actual military forces who survive (most notably some SAS soldiers also onboard the plane, two Russian aviators who picked up the population of the home village of one in cargo plane and then tried to fly somewhere safe, and the soldiers at the soldiers at the Antarctic Mc Murdo station who weren’t Driven to Suicide by despair) all avert this by being helpful and sympathetic characters who never entertain any delusions of grandeur or ideas of continuing their old government.
  • Emberverse features The United States of Boise, founded by U.S. Army Martin Thurston, which is the only major faction trying to preserve the old system of government. Thurston considers Boise to the the "provisional Capitol" of the country, but none of his neighbors acknowledge Boise's authority and, to their credit, Thurston and his government don't try to force it on them.
  • Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series:
    • "The Merchant Princes": Trader Mallow is curious when he notices the sun-and-spaceship symbol of the Galactic Empire in a nation called the Republic of Korell. He goes off on his own to establish how close the Foundation is to the collapsing empire. The old empire is using the buffer of nations to attack the Foundation.
    • "The Mule": The first Galactic Empire used to rule every inhabited planet in the galaxy. By the time of this story, 300 years since the founding of Terminus, their rule has been reduced to twenty agricultural planets, and lost even the capital planet of Trantor. When the story's protagonists visit Neotrantor, the new capital, the senile Emperor Dagobert IX is under the impression that his Empire is as strong as ever, treating the Foundation as just another world within the Anacreon Province of a galaxy-spanning Empire. It's implied that this is the final end of the first Galactic Empire, being absorbed offscreen by the Mule between this story and the next.
  • In Gimlet Mops Up by W.E. Johns, Gimlet and his crew take on the Werewolves, Nazi terrorists continuing to fight after the end of World War II.
  • By the end of Guns of the Dawn, the army in which the protagonist is fighting has become this without realising it. Fighting in an inaccessible area, they don't realise that their forces elsewhere have collapsed and that they are now encircled. They're persuaded to surrender, but still gain a lot of praise from the citizenry for being the last survivors — which becomes important when the fugitive king tries to use the protagonist, now as much of a war hero as you can get in a defeated country, as the centre of an uprising. The king's own band, however, is not so much a remnant of his old forces as a new gang of bandits he has recruited through bribes.
  • Honor Harrington: Most of the Government in Exile forces of the People's Republic of Haven are really a cross between this and pirates. Haven itself had to deal with a few remnant forces themselves while it was conquering its neighboring star systems. Henri Dessouix, a prominent member of the Great Escape from the Prison Planet, was a heroic version of this, having served on a ship that refused to surrender after their planet was enslaved and spent the next few months attacking Haven ships before being captured.
  • The Hunger Games: District 13 is a morally grey version of this, having avoided subjugation along with the other 12 rebelling Districts through the threat of their nuclear arsenal, and bidding their time for the next 75 years, waiting for an opportunity to go to war with the Capitol again.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Saruman qualifies in a round-about sense, in that he is a former 'Evil Overlord' , but reduced to a pathetically small scale after his armies are routed and he is cast out from Isengard. He spends the remainder of the series running the Shire into the ground, turning into a sort of bandit leader with a mob of 'ruffians'. He is stabbed in the back (completely literally) by his servant at the end.
    • It's also said that after Sauron's defeat, his human allies such as the Haradrim and the Easterlings continued fighting against Gondor for at least a while, although it's less out of loyalty to their old boss and more out of fear and hatred of Gondor, over the actions of their Numenorean ancestors, who ruthlessly colonized them as described in The Silmarillion.
    • Sauron himself qualifies, as he is the former right hand of the previous Dark Lord, Morgoth.
  • In Red Justice, a book set in the Justice League franchise, the Justice League ends up facing Red Justice, a group of superpowered Soviets who had been in hibernation and believe The Cold War is still going on when they awakened.
  • In "Okuyyuki", Captain Reilly goes to Iraq expecting to fight Saddam's army, but ends up facing these instead: diehards, Islamic volunteers and various disorganized remnants. However, he sort of gets his wish eventually when he runs into an unusually well-equipped and powerful stay-behind unit.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, House Targaryen is this at the beginning of the series, after the Targaryen dynasty was dethroned fifteen years earlier in a civil war.
    • The Brotherhood without Banners, the pro-Robert splinter cell encountered in A Storm of Swords. An interesting case as they start off as La Résistance, but become The Remnant after their principled leader dies and they get a vengeance crazed replacement.
    • The Sons of the Harpy wage a shadow war against Dany's rule because she outlawed slavery in Meereen and they want it back.
    • The Free City of Volantis sees itself as the Remnant of the Valyrian Freehold and once tried to restore it under its leadership but failed.
    • The Golden Company are mercenaries composed largely of descendants of losers of the Blackfyre Rebellion.
  • Once you get past all the Sweet Polly Oliver spoofing, the main protagonists of the Discworld novel Monstrous Regiment discover that they almost qualify as this trope due to their army being on the verge of defeat and arguably in the wrong of the conflict.
    • They then use this discovery in a very effective ruse involving a press release.
  • Out of the Dark: the aliens who eliminate Earth's central authority in a Decapitation Strike have to deal with numerous factions of lingering military forces (sometimes joined by civilian survivalists) around the globe for the rest of the novel, eventually getting so fed up with them that they're preparing to just destroy the planet before being defeated by an Outside-Context Problem vampires.
  • A central trope in the Sandokan series:
    • The title character is the legitimate Rajah of Lake Kini Balu, who lost his throne, his father and entire family due a British-supported rebellion. After barely surviving he assembled a pirate crew and brought it to Mompracem, quickly becoming The British Empire's chief annoyance due his success in raiding their trade and the increasing power of the Tigers of Mompracem.
    • The Tigers of Mompracem become their own remnant twice: first near the end of the first novel The Tigers of Mompracem, when the British and other European states with holdings in the Indian Ocean, having decided the Tigers were becoming an actual threat, launched a joint expedition that decimated the pirates and chased them off their island; after Sandokan returned to Mompracem with a new and stronger crew off-page he eventually abandoned piracy, but halfway during The King of the Sea they're once again attacked by the British (manipulated by Suyodhana's son) and chased off Mompracem, though this time they're in the state to fight back with the title ship (the mightiest warship in the world, that they aquired too late to defend Mompracem) and spend most of the novel attacking British trade. By Sandokan Fights Back they have retaken Sandokan's ancestral homeland, and after the British sell it to the Sultan of Varauni they retake Mompracem in Return to Mompracem.
    • In The Pirates of Malaysia, having entered in conflict with James Brooke the Rajah of Sarawak, join forces with the nephew of his dispossessed predecessor Muda Hashim to depose the White Rajah. Brooke also left behind a remnant, who by the time of The King of the Sea has put his nephew Charles (Brooke's actual successor in real life) back on the throne.
    • After the destruction of the Thuggee cult at Sandokan and Tremal Naik's hands in The Two Tigers, a handful of survivors, armed with their immense treasure and led by the son of their defunct leader Suyodhana, acts to take their revenge on the Tigers. They're the ones who bribe and threaten enough British officials to have them launch the attack on Mompracem in The King of the Sea, and show up in person with a flotilla of warships crewed mostly by mercenaries at the end of the novel, defeating Sandokan... Only for Suyodhana's son to disband the group due falling in love with Tremal Naik's daughter.
    • In Quest for a Throne Sandokan and the Tigers depose Sindhia, the mad rajah of Assam, and put in his place Surama, Sindhia's cousin and the wife of Sandokan's pal Yanez. Some of Sindhia's followers survived, helping the White Rajah of Lake Kini Balu in Sandokan Fights Back (and proving far more effective than the now senile White Rajah) and attacking directly Surama in The Brahman.
  • In Shadows of Dreams, a Psilon battleship from the Vague War days arrives to a small human colony, having spent the intervening century or so at relativistic speeds (its hyperdrive was damaged in the previous battle). Since the crew isn't aware that the war is long over and that the rest of their race have isolated their area of space and refuse to interact with outsiders, they intend to complete their original mission: to capture the military outpost that used to be where the colony is now. The colony has almost no means of defending itself, especially from the most advanced race in the galaxy. Later on, though, the protagonist realizes that the crew must be aware of how much time has passed and that their orders no longer make sense. And yet they fully intend to continue, possibly as a sort-of last hurrah (plus, the fact that there's a human colony there likely means that their side didn't win).
  • Sixth Column: The book follows four soldiers and three army researchers safely hidden in a research bunker during the invasion of the United States. They consider a series of hit-and-run attacks with the weapons in the bunker before realizing this would get thousands of hostages executed. Instead, they scheme to undermine the new regime with a Scam Religion.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch, a small fleet of Jem'Hadar warships, led by Kitana'klan, continue to wage war on the Dominion's rivals for several months after the peace treaty is signed. Ashamed of their species' failure to take the Alpha Quadrant, they're determined to renew the fighting even against the will of the Founders. Three months after the conflict's conclusion, they attack Deep Space Nine, destroying the starship Aldebaran with all hands and damaging the starship Defiant. They are in turn attacked by the loyal Jem'Hadar Taran'atar, who was en route to Deep Space Nine as an envoy on the orders of Odo. He defends the station with his own warship, and eventually foils a secondary plot by Kitana'klan to destroy the reactor core.
    • In the pre-relaunch series of books, Station Rage involves Sisko and Odo stumbling upon a hidden room on Deep Space Nine containing the last surviving members of the Crescent Order, an old Cardassian military unit left over from a war that ended eighty years earlier. After Garack revives them from stasis, the holdovers mistakenly believe that "Terok Nor" has been occupied by a hostile force, and set about trying to force Sisko and his crew out.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe novels set in the Legends continuity, the Empire (referred to as the "Imperial Remnant") continues to be the major antagonist despite the Emperor himself dying in the Battle of Endor. (When people wonder why in various Expanded Universe stories, it's pointed out that if the entire ruling council of the New Republic was killed in an attack...they'd be replaced by people who probably wouldn't be as good at the job; hardly a crushing blow.) Fifteen years later, they are reduced to less than a hundredth of their former strength, and there are still politicians and commanders who refuse to give up — even though the Supreme Commander notes that the average Imperial citizen probably realized it years ago, and decides on his own to arrange for Peace Conferences with the New Republic so that the Empire could survive to rise again, one day.
  • Station Eleven: Done unusually; with many founders of the Traveling Symphony were survivors of an Air Force military orchestra who spent years lingering at the old military base together before eventually joining up with some actors and hitting the road.
  • The Sympathizer: South Vietnamese anti-Communist expatriates living in California after the fall of Saigon decide to raise an army to reconquer their homeland (briefly seeking recourses from another South Vietnamese officer who refused to flee with the Americans and have also been fighting a minor guerrilla war) . It's made clear that they are driven by unhappiness over their newly reduced status as refugees in the United States. Their tiny little band is wiped out as soon as it crosses the Mekong River from Laos into Vietnam.
  • In Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, Tarzan encounters two feuding groups of Knights Templar, neither of whom know that the Crusades are over.
  • The linked novels To Arms! To Arms in Dixie! and The South Will Rise Again by J.T. Edson feature US secret agent Belle Boyd encountering a conspiracy by the Brotherhood for Southern Freedom—a sinister band of renegades—to restore the South to its prewar glory.
  • Captain Nemo, the villain/Anti-Hero of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Mysterious Island is an exiled Indian prince continuing to fight the Sepoy Mutiny.
    • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has him continue this, despite ostensibly working with British intelligence; his descendents continue this, to the point that his grandson Jack is his universe's equivalent of Osama bin Laden.
  • In Victoria, elements of the old regime's military forces hold out slightly longer than the Federal Government itself, but soon cease to offer any meaningful resistance to the victorious rebels. Many of their personnel are then implied to join the New Confederacy and other successor states, once the collapse is complete, where they continue to cause trouble for the heroes.
  • In the novel Warday by Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka, published in 1984 and depicting a future which seemed plausible at the time, the United States and Soviet Union destroy each other in a nuclear war. Britain, which emerged unscathed, proceeds to re-establish itself as a major world power and in effect re-create The British Empire. Five years afterwards, a Captain of the British Royal Navy, patrolling the Pacific , tells the protagonists: "There are still submarines at sea, carrying nuclear missiles and loyal to non-existent governments. They are extremely dangerous and if they don't surrender we have to destroy them".
  • In The Years of Rice and Salt, although Western civilization is all but destroyed, a few fragments remain such as Georgia and New Norway.
  • Young Sherlock Holmes: In Red Leech, Duke Balthasar is the self-appointed head of the 'Government in Exile of the Confederacy', and plans to rise an army to conquer Canada and transform it into a new Confederated States of America.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 100:
    • Mount Weather (which houses the descendants of the members of the U.S. Government who survived the end of the world) provides a Tragic Villain example of this for the first two seasons, referring to their leader as “President”, and generally acting like they’re the legitimate authority.
    • Defied at the start of season 5, when Octavia forcibly merges the survivors of all twelve tribes into Wonkru, preventing any of them from continuing on as separate factions.
    • Another (rather extreme) example occurs at the end of season five, where the last know survivors of the entire human species, numbering less than 500, flee Earth aboard the Eligius IV.
  • One episode of The Adventures of Sir Lancelot had a remnant of the Roman colonial government of Britain hiding behind a section of Hadrian's Wall, pretending to be ghosts.
  • Dylan Hunt is this for a while in Andromeda, trying to restart the Commonwealth despite being the last soldier of the High Guard in existence.
  • The crew of the Minbari warship Trigati in Babylon 5.
  • The crew of the Battlestar Pegasus in Battlestar Galactica continued their war against the Cylons long after (as far as they knew) the government was completely wiped out and their warship was the only human fighting force left in the galaxy.
    • The Galactica herself is also an example, though for the most part, they tended only to fight the Cylons when escaping wasn't immediately possible. They do spend most of the Mini Series trying to figure out who is in charge and getting the ship re-armed so they can get back into the fight, it isn't until the end that Roslin convinces Adama that running away is the better option.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Order of Aurelius has existed for centuries as a cult of vampires who worship the Old Ones and wish to bring them back. Initially the main threat of Season 1, after the Master's death and their failed attempt to resurrect him, only the Anointed One and a few others are left by the time of Season 2's "School Hard," and they decide that whoever kills Buffy will take the Master's place. When their plot is ruined due to Spike's impulsive tendencies, he decides to simply kill the Anointed One and takes control of what's left of the order, dissolving it completely.
    Spike: From now on, we're gonna have a little less ritual and a little more fun around here!
  • Day Of The Triffids 2009: A group of soldiers and government officials who retain their sight are seen in the first half of the series preparing to retreat to the countryside to try and reestablish society away form the dangerous triffids and scores of blinded people.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "Revenge of the Cybermen", the Cybermen encountered are small group of stragglers from the Cyber War reduced to skulking about the galaxy in a worn-out warship.
    • In "Remembrance of the Daleks", the Seventh Doctor destroys the Daleks' home planet and then persuades the lone surviving Imperial Dalek to kill itself as it has "no superiors, no inferiors, no reinforcements, no hope, no rescue!"
    • When the Ninth Doctor attempts a similar tactic on another lone Dalek in "Dalek", however, he only succeeds in making it angrier.
      Then I shall follow the Primary Order! The Dalek instinct to destroy, to conquer!
    • Most Dalek factions in the revival (or at least the RTD era) were this, as the scattered survivors of the apocalyptic Last Great Time War. The revival's first season ended with the Doctor facing a two-hundred-ship Dalek fleet... after establishing the Time War had ended with ten million ships being wiped out.
    • This seems to happen throughout history with the humans and the Cybermen. One destroys the other, but not quite, then the other recovers and comes back, rinse and repeat.
  • In Firefly, Malcolm Reynolds, on the losing side of the Independents' revolt against the Alliance, still believes that he was on the right side, and ekes out an existence on the outskirts of civilization with a few like-minded comrades.
    • Played with throughout the series. While everyone thinks that Mal is The Remnant — ready to take the fight to the Alliance again on behalf of the Independents — he really just wants to forget the Alliance exists and live his own gorram life. The mistaken belief that Mal is still fighting the war is invoked in "Bushwhacked" and several times during the movie.
    Trade Agent: You all are Browncoats, eh? Fought for independence? Petty thieving ain't exactly soldiers' work.
    Mal: War's long done. We're all just folk now.
    • Note that for a while, he was The Remnant — it's mentioned in various sources that he fought on at Serenity Valley with his troops for several weeks after the leaders of the Independents stopped fighting and began negotiating terms of surrender.
  • Jess Evans and his Confederate renegades in the Frontier Circus episode "The Hunter and the Hunted". Refused a pardon after the Civil War, they moved west and have been living as outlaws. Several are Still Wearing the Old Colors.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The Wildlings have become this by late Season 5, when anywhere between 50,000 to 100,000 of them are massacred at Hardhome by the White Walkers. Only a small fraction of that number manages to escape with the Night's Watch fleet and then, even more of them are killed while fighting in the Battle for Winterfell. However, they're now at least somewhat safe south of the Wall, mostly because of their service and sacrifice to Jon Snow, who as King in the North, has placed the surviving Wildlings under his banner and protection.
    • The Stark children become this early in the series when their most prominent members are either dead or missing, their army is scattered, their household is ruined and family members are exiled by the crown, and their family name is also almost extinct in the male line. As Bran tells Rickon, if anything were to happen to him and Robb, he is the heir to Winterfell. With Bran going beyond the Wall, Sansa and Arya trapped in the South, and Jon being an illegitimate son in the Stark family, Rickon is the only one with the Stark name left in the North — one who Bran expects will be fostered with the Umbers, loyal bannermen.
    • Daenerys is the last known Targaryen. House Targaryen themselves are The Remnant of the Valyrian dragonlords.
    Maester Aemon: A Targaryen alone in the world is a terrible thing.
    • Stannis is this as far as the War of the Five Kings is concerned, as of Season 4. He is the only original rival claimant to the Iron Throne who hasn't bent the knee to Joffrey at King's Landing. Balon Greyjoy has presumably not bent his knee yet, but he is not considered a threat like Stannis is.
  • In one episode of Gilligan's Island, a demented Japanese soldier who doesn't realize WWII is long-over arrives on the island and begins ambushing the castaways one by one.
  • Jericho: Hawkins, Chavez and Cheung are unusual intelligence operative versions of this, trying to achieve their original mission as their country becomes the Divided States of America.
  • Kamen Rider Decade: Super Shocker in the Grand Finale movie Final Chapter. It's the remains of Dai-Shocker's massive Monster of the Week army after the really big fight at the end of All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker, rebranded under Narutaki (whose hatred of Decade has evolved from trolling to outright villainy) and a revived Doctor Shinigami.
  • Kung Fu: In "The Last Raid", Kwai Chang Caine must rescue people who have been kidnapped by a Confederate soldier who still thinks the Civil War is going on.
  • The American POWs in the Lexx episode "Apocalexx Now" — the Fighting 78th, a Marine Platoon that was captured during the Vietnam War and released during the episode, circa 2001 AD, under the impression that the war was still raging.
  • The Last Ship features plenty of these, both positive and negative throughout the series given how many nations get ravaged by the Avian flu. The main characters arguably provide an example of this themselves for the first season or two that actually succeeds in their mission. Villainous counterparts include Ruskov, Peng Wu, and Granderson’s mother.
  • In the MacGyver (1985) episode "Humanity", MacGyver tangles with the K-Force, a group of Praetorian Guard still loyal to Romania's dead tyrant Ceauşescu.
  • Col. Emmett Anderson (played by Kurtwood Smith) in the pilot episode of The Magnificent Seven TV series, "Ghosts of the Confederacy," who leads a group of ex-Confederate soldiers who roam the west preying on isolated towns.
  • The main antagonists of The Mandalorian are a faction of former Galactic Empire military units who refuse to acknowledge the Empire's collapse, and are rampaging across the Outer Rim (where the New Republic's ability to enact its authority is fairly limited) as they try to gather the resources needed to retake control of the galaxy.
  • The New Avengers: In "K is for Kill", a cadre of Soviet soldiers are accidentally awoken from their cryogenic sleep and embark on following their original Cold War orders; attacking several former military targets that have been abandoned for decades.
  • Northern Exposure featured one of these guys in one episode, from when Japan controlled the Aleutian Islands.
  • Power Rangers / Super Sentai:
    • Most crossovers involve remnants of the previous villain group teaming up with the current one.
    • The last surviving generals of the Machine Empire attacked Earth in the Power Rangers Wild Force episode "Forever Red", four years after the Empire, and other forces of evil, were destroyed at the end of Power Rangers in Space.
  • Pompeii's army in Rome is reduced to this after he loses a great battle and he is dumped as its leader. Cato and Scipio take over but they are defeated in Africa.
  • The first episode of Rutland Weekend Television has a sketch about a group of British soldiers who remain unaware WWII is over... and who are stationed on the Isle of Wight, a couple of miles off the English coast. It also has a Major who has been told the war is over, but is incapable of understanding the concept.
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World: In "Tribute", Malone, Marguerite, and Summerlee are taken prisoner by a World War I pilot, Hans Dressler, who still thinks WWI is going on.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", the crew encounter an alien fugitive with the right side of his body colored white and the left colored black. Eventually his pursuer, who has the same colors but reversed arrives to capture him for causing "race riots". Eventually, the pursuer hijacks the Enterprise to try to return the fugitive to their home planet to face trial only to find that the planet had destroyed itself in the race war. Despite being offered a place to live by Kirk, both of them blame each other's race for what happened and start fighting, eventually taking their fight to the destroyed planet below.
    Sulu: But the cause they fought about no longer exists. Does it matter now which one was right?
    Spock: All that matters to them is their hate.
    Uhura: Do you suppose that's all they ever had, sir?
    Kirk: No, but that's all they have left. [dejected] Warp factor 4, Mr. Sulu. Starbase...4.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Emissary", the Enterprise is sent to intercept a Klingon warship whose crew has been in suspended animation since the Klingon-Federation war 75 years ago and will awaken in range of Federation outposts. Despite fears that they might have to destroy the ship to save the outposts, Worf saves the day by assuming temporary command of the Enterprise, tricking the Klingons into thinking the Klingon Empire won the war (without ever exactly saying so) and convincing them to stand down.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager, a member of the Maquis used a plan too complicated to describe here (Brainwashing was involved) to cause the Maquis members of the Voyager crew to mutiny. This is really a subversion; the guy in question was in reality never a part of the Maquis because his more questionable methods of freedom fighting disgusted them, and was trying to revive the Maquis through his brainwashing partially to get back at them for rejecting his help.
  • In Season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery, The Federation has been reduced to this, and the eponymous ship is key to rebuilding it Back from the Brink.
  • Supernatural:
    • After Lucifer was thrown back into his Cage during the Apocalypse, thanks in part to the help of the demon Crowley, who subsequently took over Hell, there remained a remnant of demons who were still loyal to Lucifer and seeking to release him again, which the reigning Kings of Hell never quite managed to stamp out.
    • Henry Winchester was briefly this to the American branch of the Men of Letters, being the only member to escape the massacre of the group and coming to the present as a Fish out of Temporal Water, who becomes desperate to restore them (and his relationship with his family) being willing to go back in time to achieve that even though it could retcon his grandsons Sam and Dean out of existence.
  • In Torchwood, the Torchwood Institute was once a massive organisation with access of powerful aliens weapons and talking about rebuilding the British Empire. After 2007 it's half a dozen people in a Elaborate Underground Base under Roald Dahl Plass. It became defunct in 2010, when Jack left Earth, and by 2011, it was four people on the run, basically running under Torchwood as a codeword. With the death of one of its remaining four members, its status as of the end of Torchwood: Miracle Day is unclear.
  • An episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea dealt with a Japanese holdout (see Real Life examples below).
  • Westworld: The Confederados are a group of hosts in the role of ex-Confederate soldiers who roam the outer lands of the park, and are a part of the War storyline. They are known as the "Army of New Virginia", but most people simply call them "Confederados". They are described as not willing to surrender at the end of the Civil War, and now work as mercenaries south of the border.
  • Z Nation: Both regular versions of this and more sympathetic ones appear from time to time, but the most notable is General Arthur McCandles, who commanded the infection response forces in Virginia, and still broadcasts as if he's in command of a major force, but by the time they main cast encounter him, he's a bedridden Zombie Infectee with only a single, neurotic living soldier left under his command.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Before Rikidozan founded the JWA, it was hard to find any pro wrestling in Japan outside of a few, small, dedicated clubs. Since JWA was a men company, The All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling Club was the cornerstone of an association set up to oversee multiple women's pro wrestling companies after the WWWA stopped by on their world tour and proved women wrestlers could draw. The association's board couldn't make anyone do what it wanted however, and every company associated with it died, save one mostly kept alive by continuing to host WWWA and the wrestlers of couple other foreign companies. The remnant "Zenjo", as it would be nicknamed, grew to become Japan's first mainstream women's pro wrestling company as The Beauty Pair got over, then became the one of the most successful pro wrestling companies ever with The Crush Gals. Still, when the WWWA shutdown Zenjo made the WWWA titles its top ranking championship belts as a nod to Zenjo's origins.
  • The National Wrestling Alliance lost the ability to compete with any of the national promotions that arose from the territorial system in 1994. It was, in fact almost completely forgotten in its own home country by 1996. The company had been around since 1948 and by 94 there wasn't a member that had been extant in 1989. But even as a shadow of its formers self, the NWA never stopped operating and finally succeeded in establishing itself in Europe, as well as finding viewers in Africa and Asia to be surprisingly loyal. In 2010, it even made an ever so slight resurgence, reminding people it was still around through internet streaming. Even after a leadership shakeup caused more members to leave in 2012, it undauntedly launched an invasion of one of it's largest and most successful former members, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, the next year.
  • Carolina Wrestling Federation Mid-Atlantic is the last remnant of Wrestling Superstars Live, which itself was the last remnant of the American Wrestling Association. There are other pieces of the AWA floating around in Australia and Japan, most notably in Pro Wrestling ZERO1, but those are cases of foreign companies snatching up material as AWA and then WSL collapsed with noisy thuds while CWF M-A was active when the latter fell and CWF M-A survived said fall.
  • Wrestling Association R was the last surviving remnant of Super World Of Sports, a Japanese promotion so powerful it threatened New Japan Pro-Wrestling and All Japan Pro Wrestling by itself but was propped up by eyeglass company Megane Super and had all the problems that implied. However, when All Japan was nearly killed off by the NOAH exodus, Genichiro Tenryu begrudgingly merged WAR back into the now Mokoto Baba ran All Japan.
  • The Heartland Wrestling Association is the last remaining remnant of what was once the largest pro wrestling promotion in the world, WCW, sending trainees that would have gone straight to WCW out to the wider world.
  • After the CZW conflict was officially settled by Homicide, CZW's Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli and Necro Butcher continued to cause problems at Ring of Honor shows.
  • The Apache Army were the last of several FMW remnants, spending most of their time invading other promotions before FMW's official revival.
  • Kinya Oyanagi of Toryumon's first gimmick was that of a Japanese holdout soldier. You'd be amazed how many ways a salute can be used offensively.

  • Used as the punchline for the version of Douglas Adams 'Kamikaze' sketch that was broadcast on BBC comedy show The Burkiss Way in 1977:
    Pilot: I stand by what I said! We shouldn't be doing this at all, Sir! All this flying out and crashing into British and American ships — It's all wrong, sir!
    Commanding Officer: Wrong, Simpkins? Give me one good reason why it's wrong!
    Pilot: Well — The war ended thirty-two years ago, Sir!
  • The Navy Lark: In one episode the Troutbridge manages to capture a straggler U-Boat from World War II, with hijinks and poor German accents abounding. Please note, the episode was set in and aired in 1960...

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Kraken Fleet from 50 Fathoms. Their only city has been destroyed, their once proud navy is down to one Great Ship, and their leader, Grand Admiral Caspian, was crippled in the last fight against the Big Bad. It hasn't stopped the remaining Kraken from trying to find ways to fight the Big Bad, and win this time.
  • BattleTech: Even after their annihilation there are still small elements of Clan Smoke Jaguar who pop in and out occasionally.
    • The Spirit Cats are the remains of Clan Nova Cat, who were destroyed by the Draconis Combine.
    • Despite Republic of the Sphere propaganda, the Word of Blake was never entirely annihilated. The survivors are assumed to have made a suicidal bid to attack the Clan Homeworlds, are enjoying retirement on the remaining Hidden Five, or masterminding round two for the Jihad. They are something of a bogeyman for the Inner Sphere: still possessing their most elite troops, a self-sufficient industrial infrastructure, and the setting's planet killing weapon.
  • The Deadlands supplement South o' the Border includes the San Patrico Battalion: a group of Americans who fought for Mexico in the Mexican-American War and who now roam the badlands of the Confederacy and northern Mexico.
  • In the Eberron setting of Dungeons & Dragons, some warforged (sentient soldier-golems) act like this after the end of The Last War has left them without a place in the world. All the sides are technically at peace, but one of the main aspects of the setting is that the peace is so fragile that any kind of major incident (which the player characters will no doubt get involved in) could start another war. The biggest Remnant among warforged is led by the charismatic Lord of Blades.
    • Also in Eberron is The Order of The Emerald Claw, Karrnathi zealots that were once the pride of Karrn's military but have now been branded outlaws and terrorist. This is also a Subversion, as the Order is actually the military arm of the Blood of Vol and are used as spies, saboteurs, and agents provocateur throughout Khorvaire. And then Double Subverted, as some supplements point out that much of the Order's rank-and-file don't realize just how strong the ties to the Blood of Vol really are, and genuinely believe they are Karrnathi patriots continuing to fight the war on Karrnath's behalf even if the Karrnathi state refuses to (or in some cases believes that the Karrnathi state's public opposition to the Order is all a case of Plausible Deniability to allow the Order to strengthen Karrnath's position without inviting reprisals against Karrnath).
    • In the Forgotten Realms, the Shade Enclave of Thultanthar is an interesting example. The Netheril Empire pretty much collapsed entirely in the event known as Karsus' Folly, which destroyed all their major cities. Thultanthar survived by being thrown into the Shadowfell, where it remained for millennia, until events preceding the cataclysmic Spellplague shifted it back. Being an Empire, they went to work rebuilding in the most imperialist fashion. The enclave was destroyed permanently by Elminister during the Second Sundering.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Chaos Space Marines, who after losing the Horus Heresy continue to wage war against the forces of the "False Emperor" ten thousand years later. And because many of them took refuge in the Eye of Terror after losing the civil war, some of the veterans of the Siege of Terra literally have been fighting the Long War for millennia on end.
    • Roboute Guilliman, who had been cut off from the rest of the Imperium during the Heresy, set up the "Imperium Secundus" centered on Ultramar in an effort to carry out the Emperor's ideals. When they regained contact and learned the Emperor was still alive and leading the defense from Terra, Guilliman ditched the idea and made all haste towards the other Loyalists.
    • The militaristic Craftworld Biel-Tan still tries to reconquer the galaxy for the Eldar race. The Dark Eldar is building up their own empire and sees itself as the remnant of the original Eldar empire.
    • As of 7th Edition's "Gathering Storm: Fall of Cadia", Abbadon's Thirteen Black Crusade resulted in a victory for the forces of Chaos and the complete destruction of Cadia. The Cadian Regiments still exist as a fighting force due to evacuated civilians and other deployments across the galaxy but Cadian recruits will be a bit hard to come by now...
  • Warhammer: as revealed in the "Storm of Magic" book, the Fimir were once the primary servants of Chaos, only for the Dark Gods to switch their attention to the humans and leave the Fimir hanging. As a result, the most Fimir you are ever likely to see in an army is two, and that's only in Storm of Magic games.

  • A Very Potter Musical: Voldemort is defeated at the end of the first play. The sequels reveal that the Death Eaters are carrying on their evil schemes without him, though the final installment has Voldemort resume leadership... sort of.

    Video Games 
  • The Eruseans from Ace Combat do this twice. The first time, after sacking their capital Farbanti and splashing the V-22s carrying their military leaders in the penultimate mission of Shattered Skies, a group of officers and the last 15 members of their pilot corps takes over the last trump card, Megalith, prompting the final Airstrike Impossible. The second is covered in the Arcade Mode of The Unsung War, where a force calling itself "Free Erusea" attempt an uprising. The Leasath also do this after their commanding officer is defeated in Skies of Deception, though our Intrepid Reporter narrator notes that they shouldn't last long.
  • In Alpha Protocol, this is an almost-inevitable consequence of the Alpha Protocol system, because there are so many layers of deniability built into the program that each agent can become an organization unto himself, and when the program is exposed, it just shuts down and the government denies everything, leaving its remaining agents completely unattached. Conrad Marburg's Deus Vult is one such organization, and though it's not outright stated, it is strongly hinted that G22 is actually the remnant of a previous iteration of Alpha Protocol known as G19.
  • In Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, the necromancer Korlasz leads the remnants of Sarevok's followers after Sarevok's defeat. Taking her out is the first mission of the campaign, before the new threat emerges.
  • Call of Duty
    • The Loyalist faction from the first Modern Warfare is reduced to this by Modern Warfare 3, where they act as a PMC who helps the player (themselves acting as the remnant of the disavowed Task Force 141 from the previous game).
    • The OpFor fought in the US Marine campaign of the first game is also reduced to an insurgency by the start of Modern Warfare 2, lacking all the heavy equipment they once had and forced to fight like guerillas.
    • In "Project Nova", in Call of Duty: Black Ops, the German forces fought in the Artic circle count, as Nazi Germany practically ceased to exist in May, 1945, while the mission itself takes place five months after the end of the War in Europe.
  • From Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, Colonel Barnesby and his Confederate remnants are undaunted by the end of The American Civil War, and start up a gun-running operation in the hopes of putting together enough money to finance a second rebellion.
  • The player could actually become a remnant soldier in the online mode of the game Chromehounds. If your nation was the first to be taken over, you could then elect to either join one of the remaining two nations or strike out on your own, fighting against both in hopes of liberating the conquered third.
  • Chrono Trigger features a few incarnations of forces from the past in later eras. The Reptites of the Giant's Claw cross over into Lost World, while the only way to improve relations between the Humans and Fiends in 1000 AD is to take out Magus' surviving generals in 600 AD. Doing this with Magus in your party leads to some rather rewarding special dialogue.
  • Neo Contra has the titular organization Bill and Jaguar battle throughout the whole game. They are apparently the political rebels who are trying to defy the governments by setting up their powers.
  • In The Darkside Detective, the gravedigger in the cemetery took the job after crashing his plane there during the War. He doesn't get out much, and is apparently unaware that the War is over.
  • In the Tau campaign of Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, when the Imperial Guard are defeated, the narrator mentions that many of the survivors continued to stage guerrilla attacks against the aliens. Also, in the actual game, the forces remaining in any enemy-controlled province after their main headquarters on the "Risk"-Style Map has been captured probably count.
  • In Dirge of Cerberus, the organisation named Deepground appears and wreaks havoc on the world. It soon turns out they are a little known experimental group from within Shin-Ra's group SOLDIER and were kept hidden underground. It's stated that in the handover between President Shin Ra and his son Rufus that Rufus was never informed about the group, so by the time they see the surface in Dirge of Cerberus 3 years have passed since the end of the original game and they have been preparing for their mission without knowledge that the Shin-Ra company that caused their formation is basically no more.
  • Disco Elysium: The Deserter, the true culprit behind the murder of the Hanged Man, is this. He is a Communist comissar that kept fighting the war, hidden in the island from civilization, ocasionally going into Martinaise to get food and supplies, and spying on the city from afar, plotting his revenge on the bourgeoisie, the foreign occupiers, and the working class traitors who've allowed the Revolution's legacy to to die, although the true reason he killed the Colonel was a fit of jealousy, as he was sleeping with Klasjee.
  • Dishonored 2: The Regenters are believers of the former Lord Regent Hiram Burrows from the first game and people that hates the Empress Emily Kaldwin, enough that they were alright at the idea of assassinating her and her friend when the former was just 14.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Grandmaster Nimzo from Dragon Quest IV is heavily implied to have been a follower of Aamon from Dragon Quest IV who managed to complete his master's goal of achieving godhood through the secret of evolution long after Aamon's defeat.
    • Dragon Quest Builders 2 starts when the Builder is found by survivors of the cult of Malroth who fled when their god was defeated by the heroes of Dragon Quest II.
  • In Dungeon Keeper 2 the Sylvan Elves formerly under the command of Lord Ronin continue to fight against Keeper Asmodeous. Interestingly, and very unusually for this trope, if left to their own devices they'll actually win. Granted it won't resurrect their commander, but they'll get their territory back. Of course, the mission objective is to kill Asmodeous yourself in order to prevent this, with the assumption being that the player has destroyed the remaining Elves in the process. Later, the remainder of Lord Bramble's forces don't give up either, but they're more interested in surviving in what remains of his fortress than actually aggressing against the two Keepers in the area.
  • In Dynasty Warriors 8, the Jin Campaign's Alternate History storyline sees them defeating Shu and Wu halfway through... and then spend the other half dealing with an incredibly stubborn Remnant of Shu's old military, Jiang Wei, who rallies various allies (including remnants of Wu's forces) in a bid to retake Shu.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Following the events of Morrowind, the Oblivion Crisis, the Red Year, and finally the subsequent Argonian Invasion, Dunmer-controlled Morrowind has become this. What little habitable land was left was mostly taken over by the Argonians, while only a few northern areas of House Redoran territory remain. Most of the Dunmer people were forced to flee to Solsthem (a frozen over, barren rock of an island) and Skyrim (where they are treated as second class citizens to the native Nords). Great House Indoril is a particular example, following the fall of the Tribunal Temple, with which House Indoril was heavily intertwined. While still better off than House Hlaalu (which was scapegoated and Unpersoned by the other Houses), the Indoril are one of the weakest Council Houses as of the 4th Era.
    • Skyrim:
      • The Blades, an Ancient Order of Protectors who have long served the emperors of Tamriel as bodyguards and spies, were decimated during the Great War and officially disbanded by a term in the White-Gold Concordat, which is enforced by the Thalmor ruthlessly hunting down the surviving Blades. The remaining Blades have been forced underground to await the coming of a new Dragonborn to follow, which is precisely what happens during the main quest. You can further assist them into becoming an Order Reborn by recruiting new members.
      • The Dark Brotherhood has only one Sanctuary remaining in all of Tamriel, in a remote forest in Skyrim, and the Legion already knows its location and could wipe out the Brotherhood at any time. They also don't have a Listener, so they can't even pick up the contracts that reach the Night Mother via Black Sacraments and are forced to rely on the rumour mill to find jobs.
      • The Skyrim Thieves' Guild branch is reduced to a single tavern in a sewer, their connections are all but gone, and they are considered little more than petty hired thugs with a veneer of civility. The Guild's sorry state is due to Mercer Frey's betrayal. He stole Nocturnal's Skeleton Key (draining the Guild's luck since this upset their patron Daedra Nocturnal), embezzled the Guild's fortune using the Key, and murdered the Guild's charismatic leader Gallus when he got too close to the truth (which cost the Guild all of Gallus' connections).
      • Once you've completed the Civil War questline in favor of either the Imperial Legion or Stormcloaks, the other side becomes this. Though despite what your commander says, you can't wipe them out without a Game Mod since their outpost officers are still flagged as "Essential" characters.
      • The Empire itself is a mere shadow of its former glory. Summerset Isle, Valenwood and Elsweyr have seceded and become the Aldmeri Dominion, Black Marsh and Hammerfell have become independent states (and Black Marsh has expanded to include some of southern Morrowind) and only Cyrodiil, Skyrim and High Rock remain under Imperial control. Of these three, only High Rock has been untouched by war and disaster and it is only tangentially aligned with the Empire as of the events of the game. A Stormcloak victory in the Civil War would see Skyrim secede from the Empire and the Empire perhaps fatally fractured for good.
      • At the start of the Dawnguard DLC, the Hall of the Vigilant, the headquarters of the Vigil of Stendarr, gets wiped out by the Volkihar vampire clan. This leaves the wandering Vigilants throughout Skyrim as the remnant of the order.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic IV: most of the nations on the new world of Axeoth are survivors who escaped from the Armageddon on the world of Enroth. One such nation is the kingdom of Palaedra made up of former Erathians and ruled by the just Lord Lysander, who refuses to accept the crown because he's not of Gryphonheart blood. He learns at the end of the campaign that he is, in fact, a Gryphonheart and says ruefully that he won't have an excuse not to accept the crown anymore.
  • The Force Unleashed: Jedi survivor Rahm Kota and his militia, who go from fighting the separatists to fighting the Empire, and are still around over a decade after Order 66.
  • In the Playable Epilogue to four of six plotlines in EV Nova, the Bureau is ousted from their control of the Federation and its lawfully elected government is restored to power. But you periodically run across Bureau remnant forces flying their trademark RAGE Gunboats, battling Federation Navy ships.
  • The Fallout series has plenty, since it takes place After the End.
    • The series' recurring villainous faction is the Enclave, éminence grise members of the pre-war U.S. government who rode out the apocalypse in their bunker before emerging to retake the wasteland. Responsible for unscrupulous projects such as the Forced Evolutionary Virus and Vault Experiment, over the course of Fallout 2 they try to kill everyone that doesn't match their criteria of "pure" human, which considering all the radiation is pretty much everybody except themselves and Vault Dwellers who have never left their vaults (which doesn't stop them from coming in and killing them anyway). They get defeated. So when you encounter them in Fallout 3, you're fighting the remnant of The Remnant, and then in the Broken Steel expansion you fight the remnants of that. As of Fallout: New Vegas the Enclave is all but extinct, but you can convince a handful of survivors to rally for one last hurrah at the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, where they'll become the stuff of legends. That said, the game hints that there are probably more Enclave holdouts in the Midwest, such as the Chicago outpost visited by ED-E.
    • Many members of The Master's super mutant army survived his death, and by the time of Fallout 2 eighty years later, the smarter ones have settled in peace in the city of Broken Hills. While super mutants can be encountered as particularly dangerous raiders, New Vegas reveals that most are happy to readjust to a peaceful life. Unfortunately, the Nightkin have had their sanity shattered due to use of their stealth technology, and still wage war on non-mutants for various crazy reasons, even as their non-nightkin brethren are working to cure them of their afflictions.
    • The Brotherhood of Steel technically qualifies, as they're descended from a group of former United States Army soldiers. In a twist, it's revealed in the first game that the soldiers were mutineers and the Brotherhood was effectively a secessionist movement. Unlike most examples on this page, they're relatively heroic, if rather racist and exclusionist.
      • The Brotherhood of Steel itself seems to be heading this way after the events of New Vegas and Fallout 4, potentially much more so if the players don't like the Brotherhood. First New Vegas canonized the NCR-Brotherhood war, which either eradicated most West Coast chapters or drove them into hiding like the Mojave chapter. The tone of Elder Maxison's terminal entries make it sound as if the East Coast chapter of the Brotherhood is by far the most active chapter and that the Brotherhood as a whole depends on them.
    • Fallout 3 features the Chinese Remnant, ghoulified pre-War Chinese infiltrators lurking in the ruins of Washington D.C.
    • The Point Lookout DLC also has Desmond Lockheart and Professor Calvert, two high-ranking pre-War intelligence officers who have carried on their old rivalry for two hundred years, even though the nations they once represented no longer exist. And it's implied that there are others like them still playing the "Great Game."
  • Many un-updated Random Encounter zones can produce an effect similar to this after external plot changes, such as The Empire's troops in South Figaro's secret tunnel after the Floating Continent in Final Fantasy VI.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, defeating King Zephiel with all legendary weapons available and intact unlocks the chapters leading to the true ending of the game. The very first of these, "The Ghosts of Bern", pits Roy against the remnant of the Bern army, led by the final Wyvern General under orders from her deceased king.
    • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade pits Eliwood and Hector's army against the remnants of the Black Fang. By that point in the game, nearly all of the founding members are dead, with only one of the two Reed brothers left to carry the name of the Fang. All of their other leadership and members have been replaced by Nergal and his morphs. After "Cog of Destiny," the enemy forces cease being human.
    • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones has it again: Even after the Grado Empire is defeated by Prince Ephraim's forces, the Grado Remnant remains a persistent foe. Of note, Grado's prince is still alive, and is the one giving the orders.
    • On most routes of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, there will be at least one commander from the opposing faction remaining for the final battle after their leadership is crushed:
      • On Crimson Flower, Ashe and Annette, if not recruited, are the last two members of the fallen Holy Kingdom of Faehrgus still fighting after the death of King Dimitri.
      • On Azure Moon and Verdant Wind, Myson and Odesse, two sorcerers working for "those who slither in the dark", are on hand to reinforce a transformed Edelgard and a resurrected Nemesis, respectively. Defeating either of them causes their remaining forces to vanish.
  • In Freespace, we get two factions of Remnants.
    • In the first game is a Vasudan group calling themselves "The Hammer of Light" who refuse to accept their government's cease-fire with the Galactic Terran Alliance, and believe that the genocidal Shivans are a prophesized god-race. The Vasudan Empire declares them a terrorist group and they are believed to have been wiped out some time after the formation of the Galactic Terran-Vasudan Alliance.
    • In the second game, the Terran Admiral Bosch forms a Polaris-based militant group called the Neo-Terran Front. Their aims are to overthrow the current Terran government and break ties with the now-friendly Vasudans, motivated mainly by good old-fashioned racism (speciesism in this case). They are declared a rebel group and wiped out over the course of the game. It was actually all a front by Bosch, who really wanted an excuse to plunder some Vasudan ruins and revive an abandoned Terran project to communicate with the Shivans. He is successful in this endeavor, and survives the game... albeit in the custody of the Shivans, and who knows what they intend to do with him.
  • The Godfather: The Game counts an enemy Family as wiped out once you bomb and take over their Compound, but any Legitimate Businessmens Social Clubs that you have yet to take over still shows as under their control, plus in certain spots even in Corleone turf you may still find pockets of enemy mobsters.
  • In Guild Wars: Prophecies after the Charr invade the Ascalonian capital, Prince Rurik realizes his people are fighting a Hopeless War and choose to lead the majority of the remaining population to Kryta. His father, King Adelbern, refuses to surrender his homeland and continues fighting against the Charr as did the Ebon Vanguard to the far north. Between games Adelbern's war ended with a Last Stand in Ascalon City where he invoked the Foefire, killing the remaining Ascalonians and binding them as ghosts to continue fighting.
  • Guild Wars 2:
    • The Flame Legion are the descendants of the Shaman caste which once ruled over Charr society. Long since cast out by the rest of Charr society, they continue to wage war on the other Legions in an attempt to impose their beliefs.
    • The White Mantle ruled over Kryta for a few years before they and their Mursaat masters were defeated and driven out. Centuries later the cult lingers in secret, stirring up political dissent and funding bandits to harass the Krytan rulers they view as usurpers.
    • Ebonhawk was the last bastion of Ascalonians against the Charr conquest of their nation. This ended when the threat of the Elder Dragons forced the races to unite. The people of Ebonhawk are bitter about this betrayal with many forming the Separatists, a band of outlaws intent on sowing discord between Charr and human.
  • Halo: One of the enemy factions in Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians is a Covenant remnant led by religiously fanatical Elites who disregard the Arbiter's peace treaty with humanity. The Covenant fighting on the planet Genesis are the remnants of the remnant, with the Arbiter having rooted them out of their last stronghold on Sanghelios.
    • The Didact, the Big Bad of Halo 4's main campaign, is leading the remnants of his Promethean Warrior-Servants in tandem with the Covenant remnant against the UNSC, despite there being no plausible means of restoring the Forerunner Ecumene to its ancient glory.
    • The Expanded Universe and gaiden games include several other Covenant remnants unrelated to the one we see in 4 and 5, such as the Keepers of the One Freedom (who are unique in their relative tolerance towards humanity).
  • Homeworld: Cataclysm with the Taiidani empire. In the original Homeworld, exiles literally march to the heart of their very empire. There was already rebellion, and the rebels found it very useful that exiles took the capital of The Empire and killed the emperor. In the time of the expansion, the Imperial capital is controlled by the exiles, and the rebellion is establishing a new government. However, this fails to stop several Taiidan warlords and splinter factions from trying to attack the still vulnerable ex-capital and try to establish the empire again. By the time of the full sequel, what’s left of the Taiidani joins the Vaygr in trying to destroy Hiigara.
  • In Just Cause 2, Rico can take a mission to find a missing pilot that ends up leading him to an island populated with hundreds of Imperial Japanese soldiers manning and using a towering machine that generates thunderstorms to shoot down planes and sink boats.
  • Many examples in the alternative history Hearts of Iron mod Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg:
    • The Entente is almost an entire alliance composed of this trope:
      • The British Empire has become an In Name Only institution after radical socialist revolutionaries toppled the government in London. Canada (now the home of the exiled British monarchy), large parts of the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand (now united as the “Australasian Confederation”), and a democratizing rump of British India continue to identify as parts of “the empire”, but in reality they are a coalition of independent states.
      • The remnants of the Third French Republic’s military managed to hold on to much of Northern Africa after socialist revolutionaries seized mainland France, forming the second major arm of the Entente.
      • Lastly, there’s the Kingdom of Sardinia, the last territory ruled by the House of Savoy, the former reigning dynasty of the now-dead Kingdom of Italy.
    • If Germany is overrun during the Second Weltkrieg, but still holds its African colonies, the German monarchy and government can flee to them and attempt to keep fighting. The Netherlands can do the same if they still hold Indonesia.
    • Several examples in China:
      • After Chiang Kai-shek’s defeat in the Northern Expedition, the Kuomintang has been scattered, but remnants of their forces survive in Yunnan and Fujian provinces, waiting for their chance to rise up again.
      • After the German-backed restoration of the Qing dynasty in Beijing, the Fengtian clique in Manchuria is now the last remnant of the Xinhai republic.
      • During the course of the game, if one of China’s major factions is defeated, but has allies in the Sichuan Clique, they can retreat there and form a last redoubt.
  • The Last of Us Part II: Abby, Owen, Manny and a handful of others were former Fireflys who are now part of the Washington Liberation Front (WLF). While they have assimalated into the WLF and are aligned with their goals, they (and especially Abby) still want revenge over what happened at the end of the first game. Them executing their revenge is the catalyst for most of the second game's plot.
  • Ganon's followers on several occasions in The Legend of Zelda:
    • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is the series' Trope Codifier for this. The Legend of Zelda ended on a happy note: Ganon's dead, Link has the Triforce, Zelda's free, and Hyrule is back under its original rulers. But the sequel keeps the camera running. Ganon's warriors have regrouped and summoned up new allies, and now they're harrying the countryside and making reconstruction impossible. They have two objectives: to keep Hyrule weak enough that it can be reconquered easily, and to draw out Link so they can sacrifice him and get their master back. It doesn't work in the actual story (Link was just that good), but Ganon's return is the Game Over screen, so you'll be seeing it happen a time or two.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games. This time it's Koume and Kotake, the Gerudo witches who brought Ganondorf up and made him everything he is today. It doesn't go so well this time.
  • Metal Gear
    • Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake: Despite losing Mother Base, the Metal Gear, half the army's aces, most of the army, and Venom Snake, Big Boss reconsolidates his forces in Zanzibar Land using the very hostages Outer Heaven took in the first game. In essence, they used to think that Big Boss was only a deluded war maniac (which he may or may not be from all the brain damage) and his war against the secret robot leaders of the United States was just the insanity talking... until said leaders ordered a missile strike on the hostages to eliminate any witnesses, killing some of their families. The survivors enlisted under Big Boss' dying army to fight his losing secret war as one final spiteful revenge.
    • In Metal Gear Solid and its sequel Sons of Liberty, the terrorists joins forces with a renegade Russian outfit led by Col. Sergei Gurlukovich. A most sympathetic character, the Colonel took Cold Warriors who had nowhere to turn after the Wall fell and made them into a mercenary force. Sergei's top guy, Ocelot, hints that certain corners of the Russian armed forces are disgusted with the current state of their country. The Colonel himself has a personal motive: After the USSR collapsed, his hometown was bought up by the U.S. and turned into an atomic testing site. Gurlukovich is delusional enough to think that if he can steal Metal Gear and deliver it into the Russians' hands, it will mean a renaissance for his country.
  • In Metal Slug 3's fourth stage, a large hideout teems with scraggly, demented, though dangerous enemy soldiers. These are said to be holdouts from an old war. Humorously, their hardware is so trashed they have to improvise: they "fly" planes by rigging them to pulleys on the ceiling, and use "tanks" that are just hollowed out vehicles carried by two men.
  • The Terran Republic we see (and play as) in PlanetSide is the tiny portion of the Terran military that was stranded alongside everyone else when the wormhole to Auraxis abruptly closed. In Planetside 2, they're the military command that took over the Auraxis colony fleet after much of it was damaged or destroyed passing through the Auraxis wormhole. Despite being separated from their command, the Terran Republic is still a powerful force that equals the New Conglomerate and Vanu Sovereignty in strength.
  • Pokémon:
    • In Pokémon Gold and Silver, the remnants of Team Rocket from Giovanni's sudden disappearance in the last game are the main antagonists, trying to call Giovanni back to them. In the DS remakes, there's also an event involving Time Travel where it turns out Giovanni was going to come back to lead them, but a combination of the signal suddenly stopping and the player soundly thrashing him along the way convince him to go back into exile.
    • Platinum also has Team Galactic turn into this after their leader Cyrus is beaten, though the new guy in charge outright tells you that they're not going to be quite as bad as they had been.
    • A small group of Rockets post-disappearance are fought in the Extended Gameplay of the Red and Blue remakes, FireRed and LeafGreen; it's implied that the last ones you fight are the same people who go on to lead the efforts in Gold and Silver.
    • And again in Pokémon Black and White where after Ghetsis, the true leader and mastermind is defeated he and his son N vanish, leaving behind the seven sages, and a couple of random Team Plasma members. The sequel, Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, sees the organisation fully rebuilt after a two-year Time Skip... into two opposing factions.
    • In one of the post-game downloadable missions in Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, ex-Team Dim Sun members form a new team called Team Debonairs lead by Dragon Ascendant Kincaid.
  • In Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, the Peacekeepers under Pravin Lal are all that remain of the United Nations. In fact the crew and refugees aboard the Unity are all that remain of the human species, as the Earth is destroyed in a nuclear holocaust not long after the Unity leaves.
  • In StarCraft, the Confederacy just won't seem to go away after being defeated by Arcturus Mengsk. One remnant group joined the United Earth Directorate shortly after they invaded the sector.
    • The Confederacy appears in a cool map, Deception, having made strange alliances.
    • Ironically, there are UED remnants left in the K-Sector after their defeat, some of them serving as mercenaries; in fact, a lot of the remnants of old Terran factions appear as mercenaries that can be hired in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.
    • Mengsk himself spent a few months as a remnant force between the sacking of his capital of Augustgrad and being able to reclaim it from Kerrigan's Swarm. There are also several prominent protoss examples (ranging in size from "the majority of the Fleet of the Executor" to "a couple dozen civilian refugees") on Aiur following the zerg invasion of that world; though most of them escape sooner or later and are absorbed into (or found, in the case of Artanis's group) the Daelaam Protoss government on Shakuras.
  • The opening mission of Star Fox: Assault has you destroying the last remnants of the Venom army before you move up in the Sorting Algorithm of Evil.
  • Star Trek Online has the True Way. They're a terrorist group composed of rogue Jem'Hadar and Cardassian soldiers that wants to overthrow the civilian-dominated Cardassian government that came into being post-Deep Space Nine and resume the Dominion War.
    • The 2800 mission arc is a time-travel twist on the 'holdout that haven't heard/refuses to believe the war is over' variant — the eponymous 2800 are 2800 Dominion warships that disappeared in the wormhole in 2374, at the height of the Dominion War... only to emerge in 2409, 34 years after the War ended, quickly capturing Deep Space Nine. It even goes so far as to have the solution be an analogue to bringing in the old commanding officer (the Federation brings out the Female Changeling imprisoned after the war, and gets her to co-operate by offering to return her to the Dominion for her assistance). That is to say, the intended solution. Unfortunately, while the Vorta falls in line, the Jem'Hadar First goes nuts and decides that a suicidal last stand is preferable to surrender even against a Founder's orders.
    • While the Tal Shiar starts out as State Sec crossed with de-facto rule of the Romulan Star Empire note , by the end of the Romulan storyline they have been reduced to this, having splintered from the remnants of the Star Empire in the wake of Sela's disappearance and reeling from Hakeev's death. What remains of Imperial loyalist forces are almost too weak for this trope — when Sela returns the escort force they manage to gather consists of an armed freighter and a Mogai warbird (a mid-size warship).
    • While there have been no story effects of it — Word of God have indicated it was mostly an excuse to keep related PVE queues runningnote  — this happens at the end of the Iconian War. The surviving Iconians decide to withdraw to Iconia with their forces and remain there if they're allowed to do so undisturbed... except for T'Ket, who swears she will continue to fight against the Klingon-Federation-Romulan Alliance (and since the Heralds are all sworn to one specific Iconian or the other she does have an army to continue to fight with).
  • In the Star Wars games set in the Legends continuity, the remaining Imperials after the Battle of Endor are literally known as The (Imperial) Remnant. That's what happens when you cut off the head of the snake...
    • As the page quote suggests, the Empire itself has to deal with a couple of these in Star Wars: Battlefront II, with early missions past the events of Revenge of the Sith involving a Geonosian restarting a Trade Federation droid producing plant on Mustafar and then the cloners on Kamino restarting production of Jango Fett clones to oppose the Empire.
  • The Divine Crusaders in Super Robot Wars Original Generation show up again in the sequel as the Neo DC, and then again in the Gaiden Game. It helps that the Divine Crusaders are a walking Shout-Out to Zeon, and that they had help from another faction.
    • The Divine Crusaders example happened earlier in Super Robot Wars 3, with the Principality of Zeon reforming the group as the Neue DC.
    • Endless Frontier also has a variant with the Einst, who get bonus points for being the remnant of a eldritch abomination faction. Remnants of this faction also appear in Original Generation Gaiden, but not as examples of this trope.
    • Despite their usual splinter group not showing up, the Titans from Zeta Gundam will play this role whenever Bandai Namco decides to go post-series. A straight example comes from the Super Robot Wars Alpha series as the Titans are given a thourough ass-kicking in Alpha Gaiden, then their remains show up in Alpha 2.
  • According to the official bio for Team Fortress 2's Soldier, after being rejected from all branches of the military he flew to Europe on his own and embarked on a 'Nazi killing spree', which ended when he heard news of the war's end. In 1949.
  • The New Order Last Days Of Europe, an alternate history mod for Hearts of Iron IV set in a world where the Axis Powers won WWII, features numerous examples:
    • Genrikh Yagoda has relocated the remnants of the Soviet government to the Siberian city of Irkutsk, but controls only the surrounding area, with the rest of Russia crumbling into warlordism:
      • The West Russian Revolutionary Front was formed by surviving Red Army divisions west of the Urals. It saw some success, briefly re-starting the war with Germany and nearly seizing Moscow. However, their offensive ran out of steam, and the Front became a remnant of itself, holed up near Arkhangelsk and only surviving because the Germans were too exhausted to keep pursuing them.
      • East of the Urals, there’s also the Central Siberian Republic, a democratic state founded by prominent Soviet intellectuals with dissident sympathies. It saw some brief success, but also collapsed when its own generals (being former Red Army officers with no loyalty to democratic institutions) mutinied at the first sign of trouble. It now only controls the minor city of Tomsk.
      • The Pacific Fleet in Kamchatka are the last remnant of the Soviet Navy. They were forced to turn to piracy just to survive in one of the harshest peninsulas in the world with no supplies. They get an Alas, Poor Villain moment if they are wiped out.
    • The Chinese Right-KMT and the Chinese Communist Party were nearly annihilated after the Japanese sacked Chongqing. However, some warlords in the mountains loyal to the Right-KMT were never fully defeated, and there’s still some scattered bands of communist guerrillas in Shanxi.
    • The very last Free French garrison continues to cling to the Ivory Coast.
    • Whenever one of Nazi Germany’s far-flung, poorly managed, guerrilla-laden colonies inevitably collapses, there’s often a faction (or two) representing the stranded German settlers and garrison personnel.
  • Total Annihilation: Kingdoms Iron Plague: After Lokken was defeated in the first game, a small band of cultist called The Cult of Lokken still fight to restore Taros's former glory, and they are successful in reviving Lokken from the dead.
  • Abundant in the Warcraft universe — enemies are never fully killed off, they periodically return after slowly rebuilding. Arthas, of all people, lampshades this at one point by complaining "Doesn't anyone stay dead anymore?"
    • The early missions of Warcraft III feature orcish holdouts from the Second War, clinging to "dying traditions" and using armies evocative of Warcraft II. Later expansions, including World of Warcraft, turn the tables by featuring a xenophobic Alliance admiral campaigning against the (reformed) orcs even after a truce between the Alliance and the Horde.
    • The upper reaches of Blackrock Mountain are ruled by the remnants of the "Dark Horde," the few ogre, troll, and orc clans that fell under the rule of Rend Blackhand decades ago, and who feel that the Second War has never really ended. What makes this self-proclaimed "true Horde" dangerous is that they know their ongoing battle is largely hopeless, but they keep fighting anyway.
    • Meanwhile in Outland is the "Fel Horde," demon-corrupted orcs left behind following the destruction of the Dark Portal. They've since thrown their lot with Illidan after he conquered Outland from the Burning Legion.
    • The trollish tribes such as the Amani or Gurubashi are actually the remnants of ancient, mighty empires. Thousands of years later, their capitals are mostly ruins, and their (cannibalistic) culture and technology are primitive compared to the rest of the world. As of the "Rise of the Zandalari" patch, these remnants have united under the Zandalar tribe, the oldest troll civilization, in a last-ditch effort to reverse their race's decline and build a civilization capable of surviving their island home's destruction.
    • When Arthas rolled into Quel'thalas at the head of the Scourge forces during the events of III, 90% of the High Elf race was slaughtered. The survivors, few in number and cut off from the Sunwell, took to naming themselves Blood Elves in remembrance of their fallen. The Scourge not only devastated their population but their cities and their culture as well; Blood Elves use different magic (fire rather than frost or water, and more Blood Elves are becoming warlocks, something inconceivable to many High Elves), and they dress differently. Taking this further, the Blood Elves have thrown their lot in with The Horde, and the scant handfuls of High Elves who still cling to the old culture and The Alliance view them as race traitors.
    • After Arthas' death at the end of Wrath of the Lich King, Bolvar Fordragon becomes the new Lich King in order to keep the Scourge in check. However in the subsequent Cataclysm expansion it's revealed that Darkmaster Gandling took advantage of the new Lich King's weakness to take control of the Scourge forces in the Plaguelands.
    • The Scarlet Crusade see themselves as righteous successors of the kingdom of Lordaeron, which was destroyed by the Scourge in Warcraft III. This naturally brings them into conflict with the Forsaken, the Horde-aligned faction of free-willed undead that the Crusade sees as indistinguishable from the non-sentient undead Scourge. But with both factions using rather questionable methods, their conflict can be seen as Black-and-Grey Morality at best.
      • The Scarlet Crusade is a particularly enduring Remnant as well. Over Wrath of the Lich King it lost its leadership in Northrend, and by the Cataclysm expansion their forces in the Eastern Plaguelands were turned into undead, their fortress in the Western Plaguelands was taken over by the Argent Crusade, and they're basically down to the Scarlet Monastery and some scattered holdings in Tirisfal Glades. The game attributes their continued survival to High Inquisitor Whitemane — as a Priest, she can revive the fallen.
    • The Twilight Hammer cult served the Big Bad of Cataclysm and by the final raid of the expansion, their numbers were supposedly down to only a few dozen. They nonetheless continue to show up in both Legion and Battle for Azeroth, albeit as minor enemies rather than a significant faction.
  • Any time a faction is defeated in Warlock: Master Of The Arcane, all their cities and units remain in the game as "Neutrals". These cities do no longer play to win and are hostile to everyone, except other neutrals.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: In the Hearts of Stone expansion, Geralt can encounter a remnant of the Order of the Flaming Rose. During the time of the first game, this was one of the most powerful factions in Temeria. By the time of the third game, the faction lost almost all of its power due to the political schemes of King Radovid V. What is left of the Order are nothing but roving bandits wearing ornate looking armour.
    • The Scoiatael (elven rebels) had also become The Remnant of The Remnant. In the first game, they had military presence right outside Temeria's capital, even started a rebellion inside it's walls. By the second game, they became roving bandits that joined Saskia's rebellion out of Enemy Mine. By the third game, there is only one camp left in Velen, that resorted to robbing caravans for supplies and is likely finished off by Geralt in a side quest.
  • XCOM: Chimera Squad has Sacred Coil, one of three criminal groups being investigated by the eponymous squad in connection to the assassination of City 31's mayor. While most Hybrids in the city have acclamated to life alongside humanity, Sacred Coil consists of ADVENT loyalists seeking to help the Elders return and retake control of the planet. They've kept ADVENT's black and red color scheme, and make heavy use of the Mecha-Mooks favored by ADVENT's peacekeepers.

  • The B-Movie Comic's this movie features an old Nazi garrison on the island of Toblerone.

    Web Original 
  • Common, but usually not very important in Ad Astra Per Aspera. The Batavian Soviet Republic is the main remnant of the USSR, and the Platte system is home to various German successor states.
  • Kentucky Fried Politics: After the 1975 Chinese Civil War ends with a victory for Deng Xiaoping, a pair of Generals loyal to the defeated Lin Biao retreat to Manchuria with their forces. A few months after the war's end, they steal a couple of nukes, and threaten to use them on Beijing if Xiaoping doesn't surrender the country to them. Xiaoping's forces manage to disarm the nukes, then storm the rebel Generals' base and kill most of their faction.
  • Magic, Metahumans, Martians and Mushroom Clouds: An Alternate Cold War: After the Spanish Civil War that breaks out in response to Francisco Franco digitizing his mind in order to stay in power forever, Franco and his loyalists are reduced to a single fortified compound in the Pyrenees — too secure for enemy forces to take, but leaving them without the resources to attempt to retake the country.
  • In Reds! the US government tried to declare the election which saw the American Worker's Party win void and arrest all members of the AWP. This resulted in an armed insurrection which turned the United States of America into the United American Socialist Republic. The USA is, in the "now" of the alternate timeline, a Banana Republic controlling Cuba and a few small islands, firmly in the hands of a quasi-fascist military junta.
  • The Ruins of an American Party System: Following the Soviet Union's sweeping victory in the Second Great European War, Germany is reduced to just the Rhineland.

    Western Animation 
  • The Archer Season 6 opener, appropriately enough titled "The Holdout", has Archer encounter Kintaru Sato, a Japanese officer defending an isolated island in the South Pacific decades after the Second World War ended. He only finds out the war has ended by stealing Archer's smartphone and looking up old newsreels which displayed the dropping of the bombs on Japan, although Archer reunites Kintaru with his still-alive family.
  • A variation in Ben 10: Alien Force, in the episode "If All Else Fails": a Highbreed commander had been chosen when the war still raged to stay in a hibernation-like state on Earth, to awake only should his kind lose the war. An earthquake awoke him however, and thinking he was woken up due to the Highbreed losing the fight (which was actually resolved peacefully), the commander unleashed a fail-safe doomsday weapon on all of humankind. It wasn't until the new Highbreed Supreme briefed him on the situation and ordered him to stop the weapon that he ceased acting as an antagonist to the main cast.
  • In the Captain Planet and the Planeteers episode "Mission to Save Earth", the Planeteers come to an island and stumble upon Commander Clash. This soldier had been assigned to guard the island and prepare for a possible invasion of America by the Soviets. After they manage to convince him that the Cold War has been over for a while, he goes into a Heroic BSoD when he realizes his superiors had long forgotten about him and he had been fighting for nothing. Clash eventually finds a new purpose in helping the Planeteers protect the Earth from pollution and such.
  • The DuckTales (1987) episode "Launchpad's Civil War" similar in plot to the The Magnificent Seven example given above. Re-enactments, Launchpad McQuack, and hot air balloons are involved.
  • In Exo Squad, after Terran retake Venus, some of the Neosapien garrisons become guerrillas, hoping that Phaeton would send more reinforcements to rescue them. The reinforcements never reach the Venusian surface.
    • More directly, the Exo Fleet itself, having been deployed to the Outer Planets when the Neosapiens launched their conquest of the Homeworlds, continues to carry the fight for several years after the government they were loyal to had been disbanded, despite suffering several major defeats in their early attempts to liberate Earth.
  • The Godzilla Power Hour: The Calico discovers a perfectly preserved WW1 era U-Boat trapped in Arctic ice. The crew, upon exiting suspended animation sometime after the ship is freed, still think the Great War is still happening and fire upon the marked American vessel. The usually villainous aspect of the trope is averted soon after however, after the U-Boat captain and first-mate board the surrendering Calico and are shown future technology. While shocked, they realize the Calico crew is telling the truth, immediately call off hostilities and apologize for the misunderstanding. The ending of the episode has them looking forward to returning to a new peaceful Germany.
  • Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures: In "The Spectre of the Pine Barrens", it is revealed that during The American Revolution, a Redcoat named Rodney stole the original Declaration of Independence and demanded a ransom of 12,000 pounds from General George Washington. The Founding Fathers didn't tell Washington about this, but sent a Minuteman named Williams to steal the document back (not knowing that he was sent on a suicide mission by his superiors to keep him from revealing the truth while they copied the Declaration). Williams and Rodney began a feud in the Pine Barrens, cut off from civilization and unaware that the war ended. To keep their family lines and feud going, they would dress up as The Jersey Devil and kidnap children once in a while. In the present, Team Quest gets involved and attempts to convince both sides that the war is over and their feud is pointless. In the end, the Minuteman Josiah's wife, Sarah, who was weary of the neverending war, ends up Taking the Bullet for a Redcoat. She survives, and the act causes both groups to reconcile.
  • In the Looney Tunes cartoon "Southern Fried Rabbit", Yosemite Sam was told to guard the Mason-Dixon Line and is still doing so... in 1953. On being told by Bugs Bunny that the War Between the States has been over for nearly 90 years, he responds "I'm no clockwatcher!" and that he will never stop unless he gets new orders from General Robert E. Lee (which is of course impossible as Lee is long dead) before trying to blast the rascally rabbit.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: Queen Solaria's army was enchanted with a spell to make them stronger in order to fulfill her goal to destroy all monsters. However, this enchantment also suppressed any fear, foresight or conscience, which led to these super-soldiers recklessly throwing themselves into deadly situations. Mina Loveberry is the last surviving member of the Solarian army, and she's determined to complete their mission.
  • Star Wars Rebels: The third season episode "The Last Battle" centers on the Rebels of Phoenix Squadron going to the abandoned planet Agamar, which had been a base during the Clone Wars, in search of munitions they could use to help the Rebellion. After arriving, they find an army of still-operational battle droids led by super tactical droid General Kalani, who refused the shut-down order issued to the droid armies at the end of the war and is still fighting for the Separatist Alliance. He forces Ezra, Kanan, and Rex to fight him in a staged battle to finally decide the true victor of the Clone Wars, but they join forces when the Empire shows up.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): The Foot Clan are seemingly reduced to this during the 7th season, as they display none of the massive resources they had in earlier seasons. During Seasons 1-5, the Foot frequently used vehicles, mecha and scientifically created mutants. In Back to the Sewer, all that remains are Khan, a bunch of Foot Ninja and a digital clone of the Shredder. To add insult to injury, even Karai and Chaplin turned their backs to the organization.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): 16 years before the start of the series, the Shredder rebuilt the Foot Clan by convincing most of the Hamato Clan members, sans Splinter and their father, to join the Foot. By present day, the Hamato Clan now consists of Splinter and the Turtles, with April and Casey becoming allies and honorary members. With Splinter's death, Leo heads the clan now.
    • Interestingly enough, it was heavily implied the Hamato Clan was this regarding shinobi in general, especially with their victory over the Foot Clan. Tang Shen even notes the end of the age of ninja clans. This certainly casts a new light on why many likely sided with the Shredder.
  • In an odd twist on the usual show theme, the Decepticons are the outnumbered La Résistance in Transformers Animated, fighting to retake their homeland after losing the war the first time around. However, it is All There in the Manual that they technically left by choice, because doing that gave them amnesty for the war-crimes they committed during said war.
  • The Quirky Mini Boss Squad Knights of Vengeance in W.I.T.C.H., at least until they try to free Phobos and end up in prison.

    Real Life 
  • Japanese holdouts, also known as stragglers, were soldiers (usually stationed on small islands in the Philippines or up and down the Pacific coast) who either did not learn or did not believe that World War II was over, and Japan had surrendered. The latest confirmed holdouts lasted until 1974, a full twenty-nine years after the war's end, with more rumored until the turn of the century. This was a particular problem as these holdouts were often single soldiers, resorting to guerrilla tactics against local law enforcement in fighting a war they still believed was ongoing.
    • Onoda Hiroo would not believe the news until his now-retired former commanding officer was flown in to personally order him to stand down. In 1974. When he surrendered, he still had his army sword and original issue rifle in full-working order. During that entire time, Onada continued to fight as a guerrilla force, raiding and burning the property and crops of local Filipino villagers; it is estimated that he killed about 30 people during his private war.
    • Yokoi Shoichi held out on the island of Guam until 1972, despite knowing that the war was over in 1952. When he returned to Japan, his official statement was "I am embarrassed that I have returned alive."
  • Jesse James and his James Gang never stopped fighting The American Civil War.
    • The last ship to fly the Confederate flag (CSS Shenandoah, a commerce raider) reached port (in England to avoid accusations of piracy) and officially struck its colors in November of 1865 (about 5 months after most of the rest of the Confederate forces). It spent most of the intervening time getting months-old bad news occasionally whenever it would raid "enemy" shipping.
    • Robert E. Lee deliberately refused to go down this path, against the advice of several of his subordinates, and chose surrender rather than continuing increasingly futile bloodshed as bandits for years or even decades to come.
    • Part of the reason for the popularity of the Ku Klux Klan was a romantic desire to continue the fight and ensure the South rose again. The Klan soon chose to direct its violence towards the most visible symbol of the North's victory, emancipated negroes (who also shot back less than US troops).
    • "Confederados" are Brazilian descendants of Southerners who accepted subsidized transport to Brazil, cheap land, and tax breaks from the Brazilian Empire to establish a new life away from the destruction of war and Northern rule, as long as they cultivate cotton.
  • This was a feature of some nations' defense planning during the 20th century; in fact, during the Bush 43 administration, Donald Rumsfeld and Condi Rice used the German stay-behind "force" Werwolf as part of the justification for continuing the Iraq War. NATO, under United States direction, did much the same thing in much of western Europe as a poison pill in case of Communist invasion (the plan is best known by the Italian name, Operation Gladio); sounds sensible, right? Except many Gladio recruits were some of their nations' most outspoken fascists and thugs.
    • Became an Invoked Trope with the Iraqi resistance being dubbed the "dead-enders" to suggest they were only resisting Coalition forces out of loyalty to the deposed Saddam Hussein. This was dropped when the war continued long after the Iraqi dictator was executed.
    • Nevertheless, loyalists of Saddam’s Arab Ba’ath Party formed a major faction of the Iraqi insurgency against the US and the new Iraqi government. Despite holding a secular ideology, they formed and Enemy Mine with al-Qaeda and later ISIS. As of 2020, some Ba’athist militant groups continue to hold out, although they are heavily diminished and no longer a threat to the Iraqi federal government.
  • For that matter, the Nazis' Werwolf project itself. Originally devised as an underground network of soldiers that would conduct sabotage and guerilla warfare in those parts of Germany that would soon be occupied by the Allies forces, it was never seriously intended as a last-ditch effort to retain control over Nazi Germany. Its propaganda value far outweighed its practical use, and it is because of this that the Allies over-estimated its effectiveness and actual threat level.
    • Ironically, despite the popularity of "Nazi holdout faction" idea in fiction, Hitler himself was strongly against any such ideas. In his view, the war was all about survival of the fittest, and therefore if Germany was defeated, then it failed as "master race" and had no right to continue existing. Other Nazi leadership may have had different opinions, but were sensibly reluctant to argue with the increasingly more insane Adolf about the core points of Nazi doctrine.
    • To this day there are neo-Nazi groups and individuals attempting to reinstate fascism and racism. Unlike the originals however they're not a legitimate military power but more akin to terrorists. Often subverted in that they generally don't have a very good understanding of what the Nazis actually wanted. They will often say that Hitler just wanted "strong borders" and that The Holocaust never really happened, but frequently also saying they want to do it again and that they're glad it happened.
  • After ISIS lost its last territorial holdings in Iraq and Syria, many diehards continued fighting as insurgents. Their numbers are significant enough to pose a serious security threat to local authorities. Nonetheless, they are a shadow of the terror ISIS’s “caliphate” represented at its height.
  • During the Russian Civil War, there were several White warlords in the Russian Far East who were still fighting months or even years after the main White armies/governments in Crimea and Siberia were destroyed (1920). The most Determinatoriffic of these was General Pepelyaev, who led a raid on several towns in Yakutia in 1923, when the LAST White remnant in the Maritime province was already fallen. Another notable example is Baron Roman von Ungern-Sternberg, who kept raiding in the Soviet Union and Mongolia until his own men handed him over to the Bolsheviks and left for China and exile.
    • Some anti-Bolshevik holdouts in Russia either returned from exile or emerged from hiding to join the Nazis in the fight against the communists. It did not end well.
    • A very unusual Russian example are the Old Believers, who were persecuted by the mainstream Russian Orthodox church since mid-17th century and a fair number of whom still live apart from society. Why? Old Believers continue using two fingers to make the sign of the cross while the church changed it to three fingersnote .
  • Eastern Europe's non-communist undergrounds left over from WWII certainly count. Many of these organizations had been fighting for nearly half a decade or more when WWII ended, and many continued the fight after the Soviets marched in and set up their clients. In many cases they were conducting guerilla warfare until the eighties. The last Polish group of freedom fighters was captured in 1965. Allegedly some of the groups were blowing up support trains for Germans on the Eastern Front. Many of them included former soldiers of the Waffen-SS Legion (often, locals who had joined the SS believing at the time that the Nazis were better than the Soviets).
  • The various Anti-Soviet groups (Forest Brethren/Forest Brothers depending on translation from Estonian/Latvian/Lithuanian) in the Baltics in general. Though the Soviets moved in for good in 1944, guerrilla fighters in the woodlands remained active until well after Stalin's death, with pardons issued to La Résistance leaders and the mass deportations of rebels to the GULAG ended. Of course, some of them just stayed in the woods even after that and kept up the fight. The last fighters of the Forest Brethren (Metsavõnnud) of Estonia were crushed in 1979, the Latvian meža brāļi (pronounced mezha braal'i ) fought until ~1957, and the Lithuanian miško broliai (mishko broliai) until 1971, just in time for the 80s and Gorbachev to get everyone back in the habit of protesting those commies only to get their independence in 1991. The Determinator anybody?
  • Whenever the leadership of a terrorist movement decides to give up violence despite not having fulfilled its goals, it is likely that a splinter faction will continue fighting.
  • After the Boer Wars, there were still groups of Boer guerrillas roaming the South African countryside; they were known as Bitter-Enders and refused to admit defeat against British forces.
  • When Mao won the Chinese Civil War in 1949, most of his enemies fled to Taiwan. They fortified the island and prepared for the eventual reconquest of the mainland. Chiang Kai-Shek initially didn't even bother to develop the Taiwanese economy or infrastructure; he didn't expect to be staying there long. It wasn't until 1987 that martial law was lifted. The country is still officially called the Republic of China, founded by Sun Yat-Sen in 1911 before anyone had ever heard of Mao; and to this day there are hardcore members of the Nationalist Party who hope to see China reunited under their banners.
    • Not to say that all resistance had ceased on the mainland when Mao claimed victory in 1949: there was a fairly prolonged campaign of clean-ups, including pro-Chiang guerrillas operating from Burma in the '50s that were sponsored by the CIA, who helped them to smuggle Heroin and Opium to fund their war, until 1961 when a joint Sino-Burmese force forced the Nationalists to retreat to Laos, while others escaped to Thailand and returned to Taiwan (some choose to stay and form families). The ones in Laos returned to drug trade until the holdouts entered in a three-way conflict with local drug warlords and a rogue CIA-backed Laoting general for the control of 16 tons of Opium. At that point they were barely under control of the KMT and were no different from common drug dealers.
    • Muslim chinese loyal to the Kuomitang led by the Ma clique warlords led a guerilla campaign in Northwest China and Yunnan until their leaders were captured and executed in 1958.
    • The first wave of soldiers sent to fight in the Korean War were also comprised of some ex-Nationalist/ warlord troops who were more or less sent in as cannon fodder.
    • This trope is actually enforced for Taiwan: officially, the Republic of China not only claims the whole territory of the People's Republic of China, but also Mongolia, parts of Burma and Tajikstan, and anywhere else even nominally part of the Empire when it fell apart (not much different from PRC today). This is because although even the hardliners have no intention of reconquering all of this territory, actually changing their definition of the Republic in any way would be an official acknowledgement of "two Chinas", and thus would be perceived as a provocative move by the People's Republic.
      • As of 2008, the claim on Mongolia has been officially dead, with ROC officials now says Mongolia has ceased to be "lawful territory" of Republic of China under current constitution. Other areas have only minor difference from PRC's claim line, and the full ROC map had fallen into disuse after 2000s — now map of ROC simply shows Taiwan and its associated islands, a number of islands in Fujian and South China Sea that are "free".
    • To clarify (or not): Both the government in Beijing and the one in Taipei agree that there is only one China, they merely disagree on who has the legitimate claim to be in charge and to some degree what the borders of that One China are. In recent years, they have quietly taken on a policy of ignoring the elephant in the living room and hoping nobody brings it up, as neither side really wants the trouble of fighting a war over it.
    • Both Taiwan and Mongolia have been homes of various remnants of Chinese dynasties at different times. After being displaced by the Ming in China itself, the khans of the House of Genghis Khan, who still ruled in Mongolia, claimed to be the legitimate rulers of all China as emperors of the Yuan Dynasty. Only the absorption of both the Ming and the Yuan remnants by the Manchu Qing dynasty extinguished this claim. After the fall of the Ming, Zheng Chenggong, a one time pirate also known to the Europeans as Koxinga, declared himself loyal to the fallen Ming Dynasty and established a de facto independent state called the Kingdom of Tungning on Taiwan after displacing the Dutch who had previously established an outpost there. This remnant lasted a full generation before being conquered by the Qing imperial troops in 1683 and Zheng remains a major folk hero in Taiwan.
  • Happened during the War of 1812 due to the amount of time it took for information to travel in those days; the treaty ending the war was signed in December 1814 but combat continued into the following year. Of particular note is the Battle of New Orleans, fought January 8, 1815, as the Americans' overwhelming victory both compelled the British to abide by the terms of the treaty and propelled Major General Andrew Jackson to a successful run at the presidency.
  • Even after Franco won the Spanish Civil War, the Republicans' various remnants kept trying to fight him for decades, even until the day Franco died.
  • Belarus, with its quasi-communism, state-controlled industries, a strong arm President backed up by State Sec (which is even called KGB) and a very Soviet-looking flag and coat of arms, can be seen as The Remnant of the Soviet Union. Minsk remains quite possibly the only former Soviet capital to have kept virtually all of their Commie Land monuments, even most Belorussians (roughly 70%) list Russian as their primary language and it remains an official language still used heavily in education and politics.
  • Transnistria (an unrecognised but de facto independent breakaway state within the territory of Moldova) may similarly be considered a Remnant of the Soviet Union, continuing to operate a literal Soviet government (although not communist), and using the associated iconography (hammer and sickle, Lenin, etc.) on official monuments and state symbols.
  • The followers of the British King James II, or Jacobites, became this after he is ousted in 1688, to the point of having two attempted rebellions to try and regain the throne; an abortive one in 1715, and an almost successful one in 1745.
  • Enver Pasha, one of the Triumvirate of "Young Turks" that ruled the Ottoman Empire during World War I. In 1922 he turned up in Central Asia organizing Muslim tribes in the hope of recreating the Ottoman Empire from scratch, in the midst of the Soviet Union no less. It didn't work out.
  • The French OAS, consisting of disgruntled military leaders, pied noirs (descendents of European settlers) and far-right extremists, attempted to continue the Algerian War even after Charles De Gaulle began negotiations with the FLN. Unable to seriously disrupt the peace process through paramilitary attacks on Algerians, they soon began targeting French officials and ultimately De Gaulle himself.
  • The Principality of Liechtenstein has been described as the last functioning remnant of the Holy Roman Empire, having survived both Napoléon Bonaparte's dissolution of said Empire and the later collapse of Austria-Hungary in World War I.
  • When the Roman Empire in the West fell in AD 476, it was survived by a number of remnant-states. Julius Nepos continued to address himself as 'Emperor', ruling from the province of Dalmatia in the Balkans until his death in AD 480.
    • The warlord Aegidius and later his son, Syagrius, continued to hold out against barbarian incursions in northern Gaul (France) from the city of Soissons until King Clovis I of the Franks conquered and added their lands to his own petty kingdom in 486. Clovis' consolidation of power and territory would lay the foundations for the medieval French monarchy.
    • The largest, and most successful, remnant was the Byzantine Empire, embracing the eastern provinces of Greece, Anatolia (Turkey), Syria, and Egypt. The Byzantine Empire lasted for a thousand years, its rulers loftly styling themselves 'Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans'.
      • After the sack of Constantinople in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade, the Byzantine Empire itself spun off a number of remnant states, each of which claimed to be its rightful successor. One of these (the Empire of Nicaea) later recaptured Constantinople and put its emperor on the rightful throne, while the longest-lived successor state (the Empire of Trebizond) maintained an independent existence until 1461, eight years after the fall of Constantinople itself to the Turks.
  • Wales was conquered by England in the late 1100s. In the following centuries there were sporadic rebellions against English rule, the most successful being by the prince Owain Glyndwr in the 1400's. An organization called the Meibion Glyndwr — Sons of Glyndwr — still exists today, although dormant, in the way a rump IRA continued between the War of Independence in 1921 (only to leap into active life again in 1969). In the 1960s, traffic signs written in English only were destroyed until the British Government agreed to dual-language signage in all of Wales, with Welsh taking precedence over English in the West. In the 1970's and '80s, second homes in Wales bought by English-speakers were under threat of being firebombed. In a very real way, a Remnant is still fighting English rule nine hundred years on — although very, very, much marginalized and made insignificant after a series of concessions to Welsh nationalism.
  • The Kingdom of Navarre was a medieval kingdom in the northern Iberian Peninsula, at a time in which what is now Spain was divided between several petty kingdoms. Gradually these kingdoms conglomerated until all of modern Spain save Navarre was at least unofficially unified by 1492. In 1512, Spain conquered virtually all of Navarre except for a tiny portion north of the Pyrenees, where the former Kings of Navarre remained as a kind of government in exile. In 1589, King Henry of Navarre succeeded to the French throne. From 1589 right up to 1830, every French monarch (except Napoleon) styled himself 'King of France and Navarre' despite the overwhelming majority of what had been Navarre being part of Spain.
    • Fairly common in European history. Kings of England claimed to be legitimate kings of France, on the basis of the claims that Hundred Years' War were fought over in the Middle Ages, until after the French Revolution was well under way. This included the Stuart predenders who were subsidized by the actual kings of France! Kings of Spain still claim the title "King of Jerusalem," as in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, established (and destroyed) during the Crusades.
  • A man fled to the jungle during the 1969 "Football War" between El Salvador and Honduras. He finally "surrendered" to a group of lumberjacks he mistook for enemy soldiers more than 30 years later, telling them he was tired of running away. The saddest part is that the actual war lasted a total of four days.
  • During the Wars of the Roses, Calais gained an infamous reputation for being The Remnant of whichever faction was out of power at the time. Calais itself became The Remnant of the British monarchy's attempts to rule in France, remaining an English possession for another hundred years after Joan of Arc and her buddies kicked the English out of the rest of France. For that matter, British monarchs continued styling themselves King/Queen of France well into the 18th Century.
  • The Channel Islands are the last remnants of extensive English holdings in medieval France. The Queen of United Kingdom rules them to this day as the Duke (not the duchess) of Normandy, as did William the Conqueror a thousand years before.
  • The Sicarii, Jewish rebels who occupied the fortress of Masada for years after the Jewish Revolts had been put down. They were eventually besieged by the Romans, and committed mass suicide to avoid capture.
  • When The Netherlands fell during The Napoleonic Wars, the trading outpost of Dejima suddenly found itself as the only place left where the Dutch flag flew. The fact that the Dutch outpost also happened to be off the coast of Nagasaki in Tokugawa-era Japan probably helped.
  • Pre-skinhead-era neo-Nazis — the kind who do not cut their hair and who embrace fascism as well as racism — are (or were) an interesting case. They seem to understand that Hitler's war is long over and do not launch military maneuvers, or for that matter even behave all that violently. But they're still wearing the now horribly outdated Sturmabteilungen uniforms, and speak of Hitler as an almost immortal being.
  • The Spanish garrison in Baler, Philippines bunkered in the local church and resisted the siege by Filipino forces until June 2, 1899, missing on the Spanish-American War completely.
  • Hermann Detzner was a German engineer who surrendered to Australian forces in New Guinea on January 5, 1919, two months after Germany signed the Armistice of Compiègne and four years and four months after the Australians conquered the German colony's capital. Detzner claimed to have kept the fight, flying German colors and singing German hymns for the duration of the war, and as a result, to be the last remaining soldier of the German Empire. However, the Australians disregarded him as a harmless civilian and claimed that they had known his whereabouts the entire time.
  • Ottoman Lieutenant General Fakhri Pasha rejected the Armistice of Mudros and disobeyed all orders from the Ottoman government to surrender Medina, where he was besieged by Arab forces. After two months, he was arrested by his own troops and handed over to the Entente on January 9, 1919, who kept him a prisoner for two years. When released, he immediately joined Atatürk's forces and fought against the invading Greek and French armies in the Turkish War of Independence.
  • After decisively losing the First Libyan Civil War in 2011, some forces loyal to ousted dictator Muammar Gaddafi continued fighting. They lacked any significant popular support, were generally disorganized and isolated, and proved to be only a minor faction in the Second Libyan Civil War that began in 2014.
  • Multiple examples from the Vietnam War and subsequent conflicts:
    • Various insurgent groups comprised of remote ethnic minorities, most notably the Montagnards and Hmong, sprung up during the war and came to be supported by the United States. After communist victory in the war, many of these insurgent groups continued to fight, with some forces holding out into the 90s. Tragically, communist authorities in Laos and Vietnam responded with campaigns of collective punishment against the Hmong and Montagnards, which sometimes reached genocidal proportions.
    • Remnants of Pol Pot’s infamous Khmer Rouge held out for twenty years. After being ousted in 1979 by their former Vietnamese communist allies, a large portion of their forces regrouped in Thailand. They then launched an insurgency against the Vietnamese-backed government of Cambodia, fighting as part of a broader rebel coalition that included non-communist and monarchist groups. In the early 1990s, the latter groups signed a peace agreement, but the Khmer Rouge continued fighting until its final collapse in 1999, one year after Pol Pot's death.
    • The South Vietnamese government officially ceded power to the North Vietnamese in 1975, and the country was considered unified in the same year. April 30, 1975 continues to be known as a day of shame for the South Vietnamese loyalists who fled abroad (the majority to America). The loyalists still fly the cờ ba que ("three-sticks flag"), Protests have erupted (from both sides) at the presence of either the flag of South Vietnam or the current Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Many South Vietnamese flags were seen in the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol, making it a double example of this trope, as the flag fliers were protesting Donald Trump's loss of the presidency.


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