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Playing With / Standard Hero Reward

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Basic Trope: As a reward for his deeds, The Hero gets the princess' hand in marriage and becomes heir to the kingdom.

  • Straight: Ace saves the world by defeating Emperor Evulz, and is rewarded by King Goodland with Princess Paula's hand in marriage and the knowledge that he will take the throne after Goodland passes on.
  • Exaggerated:
    • King Goodland drops everything and abdicates on the spot when Ace returns, while Princess Paula also drops... everything... on the spot.
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    • Ace is a wandering hero who has earned the right to marry all the princesses in every kingdom he visits. Hello, Polyamory!
  • Downplayed:
    • Ace saves the princess, and the king rewards him by letting him go out on a date with her. It is not shown whether they stay together.
    • Ace receives Princess Paula's hand, but is not the heir to the throne; Paula's brother is.
    • Ace receives a small castle that the king no longer uses, the rights of a noble in the court and gets Princess Paula's hand in marriage, but Paula is actually the king's second daughter and therefore is not heir to the throne. He thus earns a high-ranking place in the kingdom, but not as an immediate heir.
    • Part of Ace's reward is that he is considered an appropriate suitor. Per traditions Princess Paula may choose anyone from her list of suitors including Amazon Princess Zarya.
  • Justified:
    • The king needs a trustworthy male heir, Princess Paula and Ace have fallen in love. Therefore, with this arrangement, everybody wins!
    • It was an Engagement Challenge.
    • Paula and Ace had been dating, but the king refuses to wed them. Then, Paula gets kidnapped and only Ace knows how to save her, forcing the king to reluctantly recruit him. The king then agrees to wed the couple upon Paula's rescue.
    • The mission was intended as a Uriah Gambit by the King to stop Ace from marrying the Princess (whilst saving face) but, as the King's word is law and cannot be repealed, Goodland must honour his promise.
    • The King chooses to honour loyal and exceptional service by means of granting priveleges as a means of ensuring loyalty amongst his prominent subjects; what greater privelege can be granted for the most exceptional service of defeating the King's greatest enemy?
  • Inverted:
  • Gender-Inverted: The heroine Alice is rewarded with Prince Paul's hand in marriage.
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: King Goodland offers marriage to one of his daughters in reward for saving his kingdom from some problem. Ace solves the problem and comes back for his reward, but some issue has come up that prevents him from marrying the princess in question. King Goodland offers marriage to another daughter if Ace will resolve another problem. This repeats with multiple daughters (of which King Goodland has plenty)- one runs away, one joins a convent, one is engaged to someone else, one dies, one elopes, one is a gonk, one is inexplicably a robot, one refuses to marry Ace, one is secretly evil, and so on. Eventually King Goodland is left with a problem-free kingdom and his youngest daughter, whom an exhausted Ace is finally allowed to marry.
  • Averted:
    • Ace's reward is something else.
    • There are no available princesses to marry.
    • The marriage rules prevent Ace from qualifying for the match.
    • Ace is a woman in disguise.
    • There is no reward.
  • Enforced: "We've got an entire line of Bridal Dreams Paula dolls to launch, so this has to end with her getting married. And, obviously, she and Ace are the Official Couple."
  • Lampshaded:
    • "If you wish to marry me, sir knight, you must earn my father's trust. Slaying a couple of dragons ought to do it."
    • "And the winner gets.." "The princess's hand in marriage?" "How did you know?" "Easy. It's the Standard Hero Reward."
  • Invoked:
    • Ace travels between kingdoms after kingdoms, looking for a chance to save a princess and then marry her.
    • Princess Paula or her father want to make certain the next king is suitably brave, compassionate, and skilled, and they set up trials which only such a person could overcome.
  • Exploited:
    • Ace is actually Emperor Evulz in disguise; he set up a reasonable facsimile of a threatening army, just enough to get the citizens of King Goodland's kingdom seriously worried, and then defeated it himself with ease to win the hand of Princess Paula. Now he's in line to inherit The Good Kingdom...
    • Alternatively, Paula is actually Empress Evulz in disguise, she disguised herself as a damsel just to get into Ace's home, and now she'll exploit everything Ace has.
    • Alternately, both Ace and Paula are from the Evulz clan and as soon as they are married, they take over the kingdom and rule together.
    • Two suitors compete against each other for Princess Paula's hand in marriage. The princess deliberately trips up the one she doesn't particularly like (who also happens to be the evil one), ensuring the victory of the one she does.
    • The sons of nobles that Princess Paula would normally marry one of do not have the kingdom's (or Paula's own) wellbeing in mind. She points out to her father that Ace is not like that (either because of his loyalty to the country or to the princess) and by making him his heir the king can prevent a potential disaster from happening.
    • By relying on the commoner Ace, a man not sworn directly to the service of King Goodland, the king has shown that he is unable to deal with problems like the ones Ace dealt with. This has put the king in a delicate political situation and gave Ace political clout that the King's opponents are more than willing to use against him. By marrying his daughter to Ace the king both strengthens his own position with Ace as his heir and takes away a powerful political tool from his opponents.
  • Defied:
    • Ace is offered the rewards but he turns them down.
    • Ace asks for money instead of princess.
    • The king insists on giving Ace a different reward.
    • The princess refuses to marry Ace.
    • Ace turns out to be an assassin hired by Emperor Evulz to kill both the King and princess Paula, he outright killed both of them and fled from the kingdom.
  • Discussed:
    • "What is this 'I deserve the princess's hand' business? You'll take this sack of gold and be satisfied."
    • "I'm flattered, Your Majesty, but I have a girlfriend back home. Can't I just have some gold or something instead?"
    • "I'm flattered, Your Majesty, but I'm only in for the money, I'm not interested in marriage yet."
    • "I'm flattered, Your Majesty, but I'm just a kid, how am I supposed to marry anyone?!"
    • "I'm flattered, Your Majesty. but... I'm a girl, how am I supposed to marry a princess?"
  • Conversed: "Is this part of the plot supposed to be an adventure or a matchmaking service?"
  • Implied: At first, King Goodland refuses to wed Ace and Princess Paula. However, they are married after Ace defeats Emperor Evulz and his dragons.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Just because Ace is a hero doesn't mean he makes a good ruler.
    • Princess Paula isn't too thrilled at being forced to marry some uncultured commoner, either, hero or not.
    • After King Goodland's death, he struggles to deal with a Deadly Decadent Court, an Evil Chancellor, and his wife's distrust and disapproval.
    • Heroes start to expect this, making it difficult for kingdoms without princesses to get any help at all.
    • It is impossible by law for a commoner to marry a noble, much less the royal heir.
    • King Goodland makes Ace the heir to the throne after Ace defeats Emperor Evulz. But King Goodland already has a son who's supposed to inherit the throne, Prince Bertram. When King Goodland dies, Civil War breaks out between those who want Ace to be king and those who want Prince Bertram to be king.
    • When King Goodland dies, Ace becomes king. But the peasants really don't want Ace to be king, so they take matters into their own hands.
    • Because Ace doesn't know the first thing about ruling, the Evil Chancellor uses him as a puppet and becomes The Man Behind the Man.
    • Ace hails from another world, and taking the offer would likely mean abandoning their old home and life for good.
  • Reconstructed:
    • But Ace ultimately manages to reform the corrupt court, win Paula's love, and earn his happy ending.
    • Paula persuades him to put most of the power in her hands, because she is more familiar with court; then, she finds that his outside point of view often lets him see what others miss, so she relies heavily on his advice.
    • Before succeeding King Goodland, Ace learns politics and trains himself to be a good ruler while bonding with Princess Paula to where they now genuinely love each other.
    • Heroes can be male or female, so kingdoms with only princes can also expect help. Also, some heroes are already in a relationship or don't want a reward.
    • The king elevates Ace to a noble rank high enough to be eligible to marry Princess Paula, making the newly-minted Duke Ace a Suddenly Suitable Suitor.
    • The king says, "Screw the Rules, I Make Them!" and decides that Ace can marry Paula, regardless of his status.
    • Crown Princess Paula is going to inherit the throne no matter what, and is the trained administrator/diplomat/etc. Ace knows he can never hope to be. But she is honestly interested in the fellow and his victories make it clear that he brings more to the table as a consort than any available diplomatic match.
    • However, he eventually decides to work out how to live a double-life, going back and forth between the two worlds from time to time.
  • Played For Laughs: Ace learns that Paula was offered only because she had no chance of marrying otherwise. Then he learns that she was impossible to marry off because she is sharp-tongued and witty. He loves it.
  • Played For Drama:
    • Ace was not aware this was being offered when he started out; he already has someone he's interested in, and isn't sure if he wants to rule... but King Goodland has already ordered that The Hero be brought before him to receive his reward. When he refuses the princess, Ace is executed.
    • Paula was actually in love with Lord Romand. Romand's defeat makes her resent Ace.
    • Although Ace has personally slain Emperor Evulz, there remain remnant's of the Evulz regime (such as Evulz' advisor, Sir Trustmenot), who have gone into hiding since the close of the war. And although most of the population are glad to see Evulz' reign of terror come to an end, there remains a certain proportion of the country's population who were sympathetic to Evulz and wish to see his ideals come to fruition.

      Ace was appointed by King Goodland to take the throne that he personally vacated Evulz of for the purpose of rebuilding the country into a peaceful ally. Although King Ace took measures to screen out members of the Evulz regime from his regime, he could not divine the true intentions of those who served him directly. The following year enjoyed sweeping economic reforms, a bumper crop, and an artistic renaissance. And even those who held to Emperor Evulz' ideals grew silent, as if the kingdom's prosperity had proven Evulz wrong all along.

      11 months since Evulz died, King Ace receives a report of a rogue military faction calling itself the Dark Thorn Revolutionary Movement. DTRM has apparently been filling it's ranks with Evulz sympathizers and may be planning an attack in the future. In response, King Ace orders the DTRM disbanded, and 3 days later, he receives a report that the DTRM has scattered, although there is no longer any way to identify every member of DTRM.

      On the one year anniversary of Evulz' defeat in combat, without warning, a never-ending stream of soldiers in black armor storm the throne room, identifying themselves as DTRM. They quickly overwhelm the royal guards. And King Ace's personal guard whisks Ace and Queen Paula to a distant safe-house.

      While Ace tries to figure out how the Dark Thorn could still be active, the guard grabs Ace's old Infinity +1 Sword, and explains everything that he knows. 1: The report of Dark Thorn's defeat was a forgery. 2: Dark Thorn had already infiltrated the castle. The royal staffer was among Dark Thorn's founding members. And he had little trouble putting double agents in key security positions. 3: And the personal guard finally introduced himself: Sir Trustmenot. The rest is history.

Back to Standard Hero Reward to collect your customary princess and kingdom, then!

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