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  • In A Brother's Price, this is the expected societal norm. (Which didn't stop the royal family from executing their own cousins after a civil war, but royals are always a special case) Corelle Whistler constantly tells her brother Jerin that his clothes are not nice enough, his accent is too posh, and his hands are too rough, but if he's under attack from outsiders, she'll come to his rescue instantly. His eldest sister tells him at one point that he's a Whistler, and need not be worried about anything, because his family will always be there for him.
  • In Johannes Cabal the Necromancer Horst Cabal is a far nicer and better man than his brother, the amoral Johannes. The book's plot concerns Cabal tricking people into signing their souls over to him (to then be given to the Devil) which Horst goes along with, since most everyone who signs would go to hell anyway. But eventually Johannes goes too far and Horst objects strongly-but can't bring himself to physically stop Johannes-probably because he'd have to kill him as nothing else would stop the Determinator. This is ultimately subverted as Horst reveals he'd tricked Johannes.
    • This is discussed as Barrowman, investigating Cabal asks Horst why he doesn't stop him himself and he names this trope. Cabal brings it up, but the narration makes a joke that Cabal has the actual liquid density of blood and water written down somewhere.
  • In Cold Comfort Farm Flora explains this trope thusly when explaining her plan to live off her relatives: 'I am only nineteen, but I have already observed that whereas there still lingers some absurd prejudice against living on one's friends, no limits are set, either by society or by one's own conscience, to the amount one may impose upon one's relatives'.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs's Gods Of Mars, when Carthoris learns that the man he had met only days before is his father, and John Carter convinces him of it by asking after his mother, Carthoris jumps to embrace him and weep Manly Tears. Then, by his own account, he had long wanted to be worthy of his father.
    • In The Chessman Of Mars, on learning that A-Tor is the son of Haja of Gathol and so his cousin, Gahan of Gathol is immediately interested in him, and assures him that if he had made it to Gathol, being her son would have assured him a welcome.
  • In L. M. Montgomery's A Tangled Web, we are told, in the Back Story, a mere family feud that keeps relatives from speaking to each other does not keep one of them from punching a man for insulting the other side of the family.
    • In The Blue Castle, Valancy is appealed to on these grounds and refuses.
  • Horus Heresy, being as it is about civil war between brothers, has a few examples:
    • Horus and Sanguinus spend quite some time trying to convince each other to switch sides, unwilling to kill one another. Additionally, when Horus learns that Erebus tried to possess Sanguinus with a daemon, he rips his face off.
    • When Angron is buried under tonnes of rubble, Lorgar teleports in the thick of the battle and starts digging him out, ignoring the enemies and fight he's in center of.
    • This is the reason Magnus gives when Numeon asks why a traitor Primarch would intervene to save a loyalist one — he claims that with galaxy driven to madness, some values should still be honoured and he wants to be able to do something for Vulkan one last time.
    • Defied by Leman Russ, who's perfectly willing to kill his brothers if the Emperor orders him so. It's implied that he executed two before the series begins, and by the start of the story, he's off to kill Magnus.
  • In The Dresden Files, Thomas Raith takes this seriously, partly because Daddy Raith raised his children that way to control them, but partly because he truly believes it. After he reveals their connection to Harry, to explain why he looks out for him, Harry returns it. Which is interesting because the rest of the Raiths do not act on it.
    • Harry himself goes to great lengths to protect and help people he considers family as well as the few people who are truly his blood relations. He also often goes out on a limb to protect other families, especially the Carpenters. Having grown up as an orphan has something to do with it.
    • Lara Raith is shown to be very protective of her family, especially her youngest siblings Inari and Thomas. The one exception is Papa Raith, after Harry Dresden tricks him into revealing his true feelings for his children while she was listening...
    • In Skin Game, Harry sits down with Hades for a glass of wine and a chat, and during that conversation points out that, unlike his brothers, there are no myths about Hades cheating on his wife or dicking over mortals for the hell of it. Hades stops Harry and gently reminds him that while he is a guest, Sacred Hospitality only goes so far. While Hades agrees that Zeus and Poseidon are dicks and and he doesn't like them very much, they are still his brothers and he is not going to let Harry sit and badmouth them.
  • In the Discworld books the Oggs are constantly feuding with one another but woe to any hapless interloper who insults an Ogg in front of another Ogg, in which event every single Ogg will turn on them.
  • In Dragon Bones, there's Garranon, himself a rather nice guy, who would, as he freely admits, torture puppies if he needed to in order to keep his brother Landislaw safe. Landislaw is a jerk who constantly gets himself into trouble. And the high king Jakoven is a chronic backstabber, who sent his younger brother to prison, and when confronted with the fact that Ward's cousins actually like Ward, and want him to have castle Hurog, immediately suspects a conspiracy against himself, as, clearly, it is impossible that someone wouldn't be happy to have their cousin locked up in an asylum for insanes. It highly depends on whom you ask whether blood is thicker than water — the heroic characters are much more firm believers in this trope.
  • In Rick Riordan's The Last Olympian, Nico's argument to Hades: whatever the Olympians had done to each other, they were family. (Though, technically, that's Ichor Is Thicker. But candy is dandy.)
    • Earlier, Percy and Tyson deepen their bond by finding out they are half-brothers. (Not that they get along with all of Poseidon's other sons.)
      • It's played with, though. Tyson and Percy were already friends, it's just that finding out that one of your best friends is your brother and a cyclops makes things a bit... awkward between them. It doesn't help that Percy is teased relentlessly about it. Subverted when the Big Bad of that very book is Polyphemus, a fellow son of Poseidon, who Tyson and Percy open a can of whup-ass upon.
  • In Lois McMaster Bujold's Brothers In Arms, from the Vorkosigan Saga, Miles Vorkosigan's immediate interest in his brother/clone Mark is tempered by the events of the novel. But later in the series, both Miles and his parents evince interest in Mark based solely on the blood connection, and he does end up on Barrayar among the Vorkosigans.
  • In Dante's The Divine Comedy, the next to last circle of Hell holds those who betrayed their own kin.
  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 Gaunt's Ghosts novels, Dorden was the only Tanith with a living relative, his son, also in the regiment. Making the son's death in Necropolis all the more tragic.
    • Even his noble motive — not disrupting their lives with their new parents — does not protect Kolea from criticism for not letting his two children know that he is their father.
    • In Blood Pact, Eyl tells the witch that she is his sister and he does not want to have to force her to do something.
  • In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 Deus Encarmine'' and ''Deus Sanguinius, Rafen looks for Arkio among the other Blood Angels who have arrived, because they are siblings, despite Sachiel's rebuke that all Blood Angels are brothers. When Arkio appears to be Sagninius reborn, Rafen feels bitter Conflicting Loyalty, others seek out Rafen because he is his brother, and he is allowed more leyway for his doubts. It also makes the threat, and reality, of their Cain and Abel clash all the more bitter.
  • Patricia A. McKillip:
    • In The Book of Atrix Wolfe, Burne can not bear the thought of losing Tanis, his only living relative.
    • In The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, the sorceress Sybel, who has no interest in the company of other humans, agrees to keep the baby Tam safe from those hunting him only because he's related to her mother.
    • In The Riddle Master Trilogy, when Morgon disappears on his quest to solve the riddle of stars, his timid younger sister Tristan decides she has no choice but to set off to find him, to the dismay of everyone. Also, one of the shapeshifters from beneath the sea declines to attack Raederle when he recognizes shifter blood in her.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero Lost, Miranda is anxious about her brothers and sister, becuase they are immortal; Mab points out they are immortal because of the Water of Life she gives them; Miranda justifies it because they are her family. To put it another way: if Miranda didn't believe this, the books would be a lot shorter.
  • Rob Thurman quite likes this trope.
    • In the Cal Leandros series, Cal and his older brother Niko would do anything to protect each other. Threatening either one of them in the presence of his brother is likely to be met with a swift, painful, and possibly lethal response.
    • In her novel Chimera, Stefan Korsak would move Heaven and Earth to find his kidnapped little brother, Lukas.
  • The Stainless Steel Rat: Jim's sons override his scruples on leading them into a life of crime on the grounds that saving their mother from the income tax people is a good cause.
  • In Tanith Lee's The Dragon Hoard, Onga points out that Jasleth lied to them not on his own behalf but because of his family, and everyone agrees it's a good reason.
  • In Adrian Tchaikovsky's Empire in Black And Gold, Stenwold is outraged when his niece is betrayed to the empire by another relative of hers. He still doesn't want to be a kinslayer, though. Fortunately, Tisamon's willing to kill the man for him.
  • In John Hemry's The Lost Fleet, Geary looks up another man in the fleet named Geary to find whether they are related. Other characters also base acts on blood relations.
  • A Murder Is Announced features twin sisters who have been Separated at Birth, don't know they're sisters, and one of them actually dislikes the other. However, once they realize the relationship, they develop a sense of family solidarity and one of them (the one who disliked the other) goes so far as to lie to the police for her sister's sake. Emma, one twin, dislikes the other because she sees her as competition for the favor — and money — of Miss Blacklock. The realization that Philippa is in fact her twin sister changes her from rival to ally in Emma's mind, making her sudden protectiveness perfectly reasonable.
  • In Teresa Frohock's Miserere: An Autumn Tale, Catarina criticizes Lucian for protecting a stranger from her, his own sister.
  • In Devon Monk's Magic to the Bone, Mama tells one of her Boys he's bringing trouble on his family, he argues that he could get them money and power, and Mama counters he should not be ashamed of his real family.
  • In Poul Anderson's Time Patrol story "Delenda Est", both Scipios die in an early battle in the Punic Wars, because the son came to the rescue of his father.
  • In Poul Anderson's "Say It With Flowers", Ulstead, asking for news of a battle, tells Flowers that his nephew was on one of the ships.
  • In P. G. Wodehouse's Jill The Reckless, Wally tells Jill that her father had gotten him a job — he couldn't have taken better care of him had he been a blood relation.
  • Trapped on Draconica: Zarracka invokes this whenever she's at Daniar's mercy but inverts when their positions are reversed. Interestingly when Daniar has had enough with Zarracka and the third sister stops her, it's not out of blood loyalty to Zarracka but because she doesn't want Daniar to kill someone in anger.
  • Seen in Harry Potter, and evident primarily with the Blacks, although occurs in several other families as well. Overlaps with Family Honor in many cases, but not always. The term "blood traitor" is often applied to wizards (primarily purebloods, but not necessarily) who "betray the family" by going against their ideals. It is considered a highly derogatory term, and is comparable to being disowned. It's also worth noting that this "obedience to family" is a driving force for many of the Death Eaters (e.g. Regulus, the Malfoys), and seems to be a major factor in pureblood culture. "Blood traitor" is also used in a more general sense, to denote those who have gone against the perceived "societal principles of wizardkind" as well, presumably, as a derivative of the above.
    • Dumbledore and his brother, Aberforth, had their differences in their younger years. When their mother died, Albus had to put his gap year plan to travel the world on hold to become the head of the house because their father was in prison for getting revenge on some muggle boys who were implied to have gang-raped their sister, Ariana. Albus didn’t take his Promotion to Parent well but put his foot down about Aberforth wanting to quit school to take care of Ariana and so he stayed. Once he met Grindlewald and dabbled in some supremacy, they were going to renew the gap year plans and take Ariana with them. Aberforth put his foot down and a duel ensued in which Ariana was tragically killed (they don’t know who did it). Aberforth continued to resent him but by the time of the books, they’re close enough again. Aberforth tells Harry they were brothers after all and the only family they’ve got.
  • In Seanan McGuire's InCryptid novel Discount Armageddon, Verity recounts how cryptids are either loners or passionate adherents of this trope.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, it's notable that being a blood-relative is just about the only way you can rely on loyalty from anyone, as "kinslaying" is seen as the worst crime there is (even above regicide and betrayals of Sacred Hospitality). Even the Lannisters and Freys, the two most untrustworthy Big Screwed Up Families in the setting, tend to baulk at killing their own (and so far at least, the Freys have avoided doing so).
    • Rickard Karstark evokes his family's centuries-old common ancestry with the Starks to warn Robb of the evil of kinslaying when he threatens to execute him for treason. It doesn't work.
    • Tyrion has to flee the realm after being falsely accused of murdering his nephew Joffrey, and later actually murdering his father Tywin (partly in revenge for the false accusation).
    • Roose Bolton strongly suspects that his legitimate son was killed by his bastard son Ramsay Snow, and that any future legitimate children will meet the same fate, but refuses to do anything about it since the only possible punishment for such a crime would be death, and then he'd be guilty of the same crime (not to mention childless).
    • Kinslaying is even more taboo among the Ironborn, which Euron Greyjoy exploits to protect himself from the wrath of his extremely traditionalist brother Victarion after Euron rapes or seduces his wife. Euron himself, however, has no such compunctions, and has killed three of his brothers while planning to sacrifice another as part of a magical ritual, and has sent Victarion on a suicide mission.
  • In Seanan McGuire's October Daye novel Ashes of Honor, Chelsea is, by the end of the book, calling for her father for help, even though he had only learned of her existence days before, and she had never met him until after. (True, he does help her with her out-of-control magic in those days.)
  • In Poul Anderson's "Time Lag", Elva's rescuers, realizing she's a Fish out of Temporal Water, quickly assure her that her son is alive, though old; that one of her rescuers is her grandson; and that he has a son of his own, before going on to say that her people are eager to welcome her home. Her grandson takes her hands as soon as she is told.
  • In Andre Norton's Ice Crown, there is a blood connection between the princess and Nilas Imfray, which the princess thinks important.
  • In Andre Norton's The Zero Stone, Jern's mother reveals after his father's death that he was a duty child, an embryo sent to be adopted and raised in their family, and therefore everything must go to his brother because he's not this. Jern himself is infuriated by it because it means he's not his father's blood; later, he consoles himself with the thought that in mind, he inherited more than his father's blood son and daughter.
  • In Ruth Frances Long's The Treachery of Beautiful Things, Jenny goes to rescue her brother. Even after seven years, after finding him very changed, she is shocked when he hits her — because of this trope and not so much Would Hit a Girl
  • In Julie Kagawa's The Iron Daughter, Meghan finds a photo of herself with her putative father. She recognizes what happened to him. Despite having lost her memories of him, and knowing there was actually no blood connection, she thinks she should rescue him.
  • In Stephanie Burgis's A Most Improper Magick, Elissa's motive in submitting to an Arranged Marriage. Angeline is less willing to marry out of pure family loyalty.
  • In Pact, Blake and Rose Thorburn struggle with this trope as children of a Big, Screwed-Up Family, coping with the dysfunctionality in different ways. Blake runs away, while Rose joins in with efforts by her parents to discredit or otherwise harm her cousins, finding herself friendless and without allies as the family rips itself apart. Blake, meanwhile, finds himself unable to disconnect himself from the family and returns when his grandmother is dying to hear her verdict on the inheritance and tell her what he thinks of her.
  • Gabriel Lightwood from The Infernal Devices, puts strong emphasis on staying loyal to family. At the end of The Clockwork Prince, Gabriel chooses to stay with his father while his older brother Gideon deserts him for the Institute. In The Clockwork Princess, he finally understands that he was wrong to trust his father so much.
  • In The Other Boleyn Girl, Mary's love for her sister always overcomes their rivalry. The only people Anne can trust are her siblings Mary and George.
  • In The Initiate Brother, certain (perceived) betrayals cause characters particular grief because they violate this principle. Notably, Emperor Akantsu takes it pretty badly when his son, Prince Wakaro, joins forces with Lord Shonto rather than arresting him. As is silently noted by the other character present, however, it's a bit rich for Akantsu to gripe about familial betrayal when his main reason for sending Wakaro in the first place was the hope that he'd get killed shortly after accomplishing his task.
  • In Jeramey Kraatz's The Cloak Society novel Fall of Heroes, Lone Star contacts someone in the city for help after the Cloak Society has persuaded the public that he's an imposter and they are the true Rangers. It's his sister. (That he could prove his identify to her no doubt helped.)
  • Journey to Chaos: When a sapient becomes a monster, they will forget everything about their life as a sapient because their mind has been scrambled by the mutation. However, they will still recognize at least one person and be docile around that person. This person is typically a family member with whom they were extremely close. The Mana Mutation Summit features the bond between siblings, parent-child and uncle-nephew as well.
  • In A Tale Of..., Attina (Triton's oldest child) is the only one in her family to go to Ursula's funeral. She only recently learned that Ursula was her father Triton's estranged sister. She felt a need to go to the funeral in her father's place. Attina is split between her feelings towards her previously-unknown aunt and between her sister Ariel, who Ursula tormented.
  • In The City Without Memory, it seems to be a trait with every family on Krina. In particular, Squirrel has been abused and belittled by her father and brothers since childhood, but don't you dare say a word against them in her presence.
  • Broken Gate seems to be play with this trope, as, though she had no qualms cursing him, Nezumi seemed to care about Ryuuji enough to want to mend fences, mistreatment be damned. Likewise, she has little emotion when he's killed by the Ills sealed behind the gate, then again, Ryuuji didn't seem to care about killing her either, like he tried to do.
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm: Veronica has an extreme case of this attitude. She dotes on her blood realtives, including protecting her brother who was sent to the temple as a very young child and has been making liberal use of Screw the Rules, I Have Connections! for a decent portion of his adult life. Meanwhile, she has been acting as a Wicked Stepmother to a bastard son her her husband took into the main household to be raised as their true-born son's right-hand man and an extreme case of Obnoxious In-Laws to said true-born son's wife. Veronica's son gets along perfectly fine with both his wife and his half-brother, who are in turn loyal to him, so she is literally being hostile to them for no reason other than the lack of blood ties to herself.
  • In Rob Roy:
    • Family ties are incredibly important to the Scottish characters. Nicol Jarvie is a law-abiding bailie (magistrate), but he reluctantly lets an outlaw go because said outlaw is a distant cousin.
    • Averted with Francis Osbaldistone and his cousin Rashleigh. They hate each other, and Frank gets quite annoyed when Rob Roy's wife Helen Campbell assumes that Frank and Rashleigh must be friends only because they bear the same surname.


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