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Young Love Versus Old Hate

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"You are young
Life has been kind to you
You will learn..."

The story has characters of two generations. The younger characters are in love in a benevolent way, while the old characters are full of hate and destructiveness. The younger generation is the hope for the future — but does it stand a chance, or will it be destroyed in the cycles of hate fueled by their seniors?

The younger characters are reasonably innocent and maybe naïve. If they are not a part of the older generation's destructive structure, then they at least risk getting sucked into it. They may be Star-Crossed Lovers, but they do not have to be. The older characters may have positive traits along with their hatred, but if they are in love, then it is likely to be in one of the bad ways.

The Seven Basic Plots identifies this as a foundational trope of both classical and Elizabethan Comedy — young lovers obstructed by bitter older parental figures who must be taught the error of their ways.

This narrative doesn't have to drag all important characters into it. While it can be about Feuding Families or some all-engulfing war, it can also be about a single older character plotting revenge or a few of them having their own little personal feuds.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Basilisk: The Iga and Kouga ninja clans are in hostilities with each other. Iga-no-Oboro and Kouga Gennosuke are engaged to each other, in part to end the conflict and because they are truly in love with each other. Their respective grandparents Iga-no-Ogen and Kouga Danjou have bad blood and when the opportunity comes to annul the engagement and one-up each other in a trial of champions to the death, the grandparents eagerly accept. Ironically the grandparents were once this trope and were originally engaged to each other to resolve the conflict.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. The Bloody Valentine War is started by the old men of two Human Subspecies hell-bent on exterminating each other, but is put an end to (mainly) by young people who have transcended such racism.
  • Naruto: Many of the old generation are bloodthirsty or bitter, having gone through numerous ninja wars, and are the source of pretty much all the driving conflicts of the story. The new generation, who grew up in peace, are always pointed out as being the hope of the ninja world, especially Naruto.

    Fan Works 
  • The 10th Kingdom fic The Last Dragon reveals that Wolf's parents were a victim of this, as his father was the grandson of the Big Bad Wolf while his mother was a princess of the Second Kingdom and Red Riding Hood's granddaughter, each rejecting their parents' vendettas to find out what the other was truly like.

    Film - Live-Action 
  • Nightfall (2000): Professor Gnomen and Brother Koptin represent hate from ages past, but despite their parents, Metron and Illyra fall in love with each other.
  • In the Star Wars films, Emperor Palpatine, who is seen as a father figure by Anakin, personifies the dark side of the force, which is driven by hate. It's the love between Anakin and his son Luke that ultimately brings about Palpatine's downfall.
  • In Sweeney Todd, the titular character and judge Turpin stand for the bulk of hatefulness, while Anthony Hope and Joanna are the only good characters in the story.

  • In The Count of Monte Cristo, the once young and benevolent protagonist has turned to a bitter and vengeful old man threatening to destroy not only the old men who once wronged him but also the next generation of people who are just as untainted as he himself once was.
  • This was essential the hat of planet Melida/Daan in Jedi Apprentice. Because of this, there is a literal war between the young and old — but even though the young win, the peace they forge doesn't last long.
  • In Ronja the Robber's Daughter, the titular protagonist and her not-quite-boyfriend are daughter and son of two feuding bandit lords. Unlike Romeo and Juliet, they manage to turn their parents around, stop the feud, and start working towards no longer being bandits.

    Live-Action TV 
  • This is one of the main themes of Descendants. The older generation's two factions, Heroes and Villains, hate each other to the point of the Villains being banished into what most critics would call a "ghetto" with no decent food or technology because All Crimes Are Equal. The children of that side are abused for being related to them. The prince of the Hero faction, Ben, gives a group of children from the Villains' faction a chance of life in the Heroes faction, and in spite of the Fantastic Racism from most people, the integration plot succeeds. Ben even falls in love with Mal, who is the daughter of Auradon's most hated enemy Maleficent. The sequel shows that Ben will invite more Villains children to Auradon.

  • In Romeo and Juliet, the young lovers come from families that have been at war with each other for generations. The hatefulness of the older generation eventually led to the death of both characters (although the play ends on an otherwise optimistic note, with the two families finally realising their folly).
  • Discussed and Lampshaded but ultimately averted in West Side Story. The old Bigot with a Badge hates the immigrants in the Sharks gang and wants to make an alliance with the non-immigrant gang the Jets. However, the Jets despise him. They are not bigots. However, they still hate the Sharks, although for their own reasons. The driving force in the conflict is thus between the young characters, the bigotry of the older generation being merely a side note.

  • In Drowtales, flashbacks show that Ash'waren and Diva'ratrika, now enemies, were once friends (spoiler alert!) centuries ago due to their species' long lifespan, and their friendship was a brief Hope Spot between their kingdoms after centuries of war before that eventually broke down too. However, it's the next generation younger (Zala, Quain, etc.) that really drives the current interclan wars. The younger adult characters (Yaemenira, Syphile, Kalki, etc.) are less hateful than just plain violent. It's the youngest generation (Ariel, Wafay, Kiel, etc.) that are the most sympathetic and who most of the wiser leaders tend to place their hopes for the long-term survival of the remaining clans.
  • In Gifts of Wandering Ice, there are two rival tribes - hunters and cave dwellers - which leaders dislike each other while some of their children and grandchildren do not even understand the reason for this.
  • Kaiten Mutenmaru: The young love between Sick Solitude and Anne Bran was doomed in the rebellion by the hateful commoners against their aristocratic oppressors, Pain and Yamai Solitude. It's heavily implied that only the bearded man with cat ears was wise enough to realize the atrocities of his peers after the murder of Anne.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Netflix series The Dragon Prince Prince Callum, Prince Ezran, Rayla, and Queen Anya are the new generation that want to put an end to the endless conflict and war between humans and elves. They are opposed by the older generation, who can't let go of their hate and grudges.
  • The page image is from The Smeds And The Smoos, an animation based on a book of the same name. The first half of this twenty-ish minute cartoon is about the Smed Janet and the Smoo Bill as they befriend each other and slowly fall in love as they grow up, all the while Grandpa Smed and Grandma Smoo try ceaselessly to discourage their friendship and budding romance. When the Smed patriarch and Smoo matriarch ruin the engagement announcement party Bill and Janet set up for their respective families, the young couple elope off planet in Grandpa Smed's rocket. The second half of the cartoon shifts focus to the remaining Smoos and Smeds, as they and their respective elders travel from planet to planet in Grandma Smoo's rocket to try and find Janet and Bill.