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Whatever. I just hate empty pages.

This troper provides examples of:

Not sure if this is a good idea, but here's a list of tropes for my fanfics (to be updated together with the fics themselves, mainly as a list for myself):

Tropes in TRON: Uprising fan fiction TRON: Revolution:

Tropes in Harry Potter fan fiction Sever not the Lily flower, lest you bleed in the mud:

Troping my country

Tropes about my country, Bulgaria, mostly historical trivia.

I've found out that history is a lot more fun in trope form. However, apparently troping real life too much is against the wiki's rules, and I'm a terrible procrastinator who never finishes things, so I'll just make a list here on my user page and update it whenever I come up with something.


  • A House Divided: After the death of Tzar Ioan Asen II whose diplomatic, military and political skills had had elevated Bulgaria to a Balkan hegemon, his wives and descendants plunged into a Succession Crisis which destabilized the empire for the next two centuries until its eventual fall.
  • Balkanize Me: The Second Empire. The Northwestern province, centered around the city of Vidin, had several seceding rulers, some of them foreign princes. Even after its ruler Michael III Shishman took the throne of the main kingdom centered at Tarnovo, his brother Belaur still tried to secede. When Michael's nephew, Ioan Alexander, inherited the throne, he had to out Belaur, only to split the Vidin province again and give it to his son Ioan Sratsimir while his other heir, Ioan Shishman, got the main part. Around that time, a despot named Dobrotitsa also seceded the eastern part of the country.
  • The Blind Leading the Blind: Literally. In 1014, Basil II, Emperor of Byzantium, captured 15,000 troops of Tzar Samuil's army, blinded them, chained them and sent them back to Samuil, leaving 1 in every 100 men with one eye to lead the way.
  • Blood Oath: The 1876 April Uprising, Bulgaria's most significant rebellion against the Ottoman Empire, was declared through the so-called "Blood Letter", which the Rebel Leader Todor Kableshkov signed with the blood of his hometown's assassinated governor and sent to the town where the revolutionary organisation's HQ resided.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Parodied in folk wisdom. Quoth a saying, "One Bulgarian is a rebel, two are a rebel army, three are a rebel army with a traitor".
  • Civil War:
    • During the First Empire, the House of Vokil usurped the House of Dulo and was itself briefly displaced by a member of the House of Ugain, possibly via a civil war.
    • After the deaths of Ioan Asen II and his sons, two of his sons-in-law - Mitzo and Constantine Tikh, waged one. Mitzo was a nobleman from the Black Sea coastal town of Mesembria (today's Nesebar) and had Byzantine support, while Constantine was from Skopje, Macedonia, and used help from Tatars as well as Vidin's seceding ruler. Constantine won and Mitzo was forced into exile in Byzantium.
    • Ivaylo, a peasant or low-ranking nobleman, started a peasant revolt against Constantine in 1277 due to his inability to stop Tatar incursions. Ivaylo cut the crippled Tzar down in his chariot, married his wife and then went to war with the Tatars, defeating their armies several times before getting betrayed and assassinated.
    • A three-way one between Mitzo's son Ioan Asen III, Ivaylo who had dethroned Constantine Tikh, and Georgi I Terter who was elected by the boyars. Terter won, establishing a new dynasty, while Ivaylo was killed by his Tatar enemies and Ioan Asen III got to the capital, stole the treasury and fled.
    • Georgi's son Theodore Svetoslav Terter took part in a four-way one: The wife Smiletz, his father's usurper, was refusing to give up the throne and was in league with Georgi's brother Aldimir; Smiletz's brothers Voysil and Radoslav were trying to wrest control from her; Theodore got to the city with Chaka, the son of the Tatar chieftain Nogai who was hoping to install his son on the Bulgarian throne; once in the capital, Theodore beheaded Chaka and sent his head to Nogai's enemy to secure peace with the Tatars.
    • When Ioan Alexander disinherited his last son from his first marriage, Ioan Sratzimir, and gave the throne to his half-brother Ioan Shishman, the two brothers supposedly had a civil war after their father's death over Sofia (today's capital of Bulgaria, then a major fortress);
  • Divided We Fall: This was the general political situation on the Balkans in the context of the rise of the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria was no exception.
    • Tzar Ioan Alexander is a prime example. First, when the Byzantine Emperor John V Palaiologos had to pass through Hungary to form an alliance with the House of Savoy for a crusade against the Ottomans to prevent them from gaining foothold in Europe, Ioan Alexander captured him on the way back out of fear that the alliance would attack Bulgaria. This ended up a self-fulfilling prophecy when Amadeo of Savoy attacked Bulgaria to free John, diverting the crusade. Amadeo also bribed the boyar ruling the Bulgarian sea coast, Dobrotitza, with titles, and the latter seceded. Meanwhile, Ioan Alexander also remarried and gave the right of succession to the son from his second marriage (Ioan Shishman), disinheriting the remaining son (Ioan Sratzimir) from his old one and giving him the Western part of the country as a consolation prize. Bulgaria was torn in three between Shishman, Sratzimir and Dobrotitza and fell quickly to the Ottomans, especially when the two half-brothers waged a civil war.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: An infamous example. When escaping Byzantine captivity, Tzar Boris II and his brother Roman had disguised themselves as Byzantine guards. The Border Crossing ended badly when Bulgarian guards took the bait and really mistook them for Byzantines, killing Boris before Roman could clarify anything. Roman himself survived, but he had been castrated, so the entire male line of the dynasty died with him. Some historians claim this was a Xanathos Gambit on Tzimiskes' part: either the brothers die, or are too weak to lead. He didn't count on the energetic and capable general Samuil taking the reins and becoming a major thorn in Byzantium's side for the next 40 years.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Khan Omurtag had his firstborn son Enravota blinded for converting to Christianity and thus allowing for the spread of Byzantine influence.
    • Ironically, Knyaz Boris I, Omurtag's great-grandson, blinded his firstborn son Vladimir Rasate for opposing Christianity and attempting to restore paganism, in an age when Boris had taken great pains to convert the country to Christianity to secure political allies and international prestige.
    • Samuil's army was defeated in 1014, causing some 15,000 men to be blinded by Basil II of Byzantium. He left one in every hundred with one eye to lead the way back to Samuil's capital.
    • Samuil's grandson, Peter Delyan, tried to restore the empire with a rebellion after it was conquered. The Byzantines bribed his cousin, Alusian, who challenged an inebriated Delyan to a knife game and stabbed him in the eyes.
  • Foreign Ruling Class:
    • The First Empire started out as a confederation of Bulgars, Slavs and Vlachs, with Bulgar nobility ruling supreme.
    • Most, if not all, ruling houses of the Second Empire are speculated to be of Cuman descent, nativized and ruling over an already homogenous population of Bulgarians.
    • Nogai, a Mongol chieftain distantly related to Genghis Khan, tried to install his son Chaka as Tzar of Bulgaria. Chaka's Bulgarian ally, Theodor Svetoslav, used the opportunity to seize the capital, then betrayed Chaka and sent his head to Nogai's enemy to secure peace with the Golden Horde.
    • The Third State, while it was a monarchy, was ruled by Princes and Tzars hailing from the Western European houses of Battenberg and then Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, appointed by the Great Powers.
  • The Good King: Peter I (927-971) is remembered as this, having secured a 40-year peace with all neighbors. His excessive donations to the church, however, resulted in the spreading of a new heresy, Bogomilism, and he failed to fix the economy that was exhausted by the wars his father Simeon waged. It's worth noting that three rebel leaders and would-be kings renamed themselves after him and not the more famous warlike kings such as Krum, Simeon or Samuil.
  • Heroic BSoD/Heroic RRoD: Records of Tzars dying from heart attacks upon receiving ill news aren't uncommon:
    • Simeon I after he was informed of his defeat by the Croatians. According to legend, Byzantine emperor Romanos I Lekapenos beheaded a statue of Simeon at the exact time of the latter's death.
    • Peter I when the Kievan Rus army took several tens of his fortresses in a swift invasion.
    • Samuil when he saw his blinded army arrive in the capital.
  • King Bob the Nth: In Bulgaria, the only ordinals universally agreed upon are those of Boris III, Simeon II, Coloman II and Georgi/George II. The rest are inconsistent:
    • With Tzars named Ioan/Ivan, historians argue whether every instance of the name counts (resulting in Ioan XII), or Tzars also bearing the Asen dynastic name should be numbered separately (Ioan Asen V). Ioans from the last ruling dynasty are better known by their second names, possibly similar to how the related house of Basarab of Wallachia used the name Ιoan/Ion as a title before every ruler's actual name, relying on its original Hebrew meaning of "[by] God's will".
    • Those named Peter number up to II or IV, depending whether royal descendants who unsuccessfully rebelled against Byzantine occupation count.
    • Theodore was the name borne by Peter II/IV before he renamed himself for the sake of continuity, so some consider the later Theodore Svetoslav as Theodore II.
    • The numeral of Tzars named Mikhail/Michael is also disputed because it's not clear if Boris I also counts as Mikhail I after his baptism and renaming.
    • Constantine II was the son of the last independent Tzar before the country fell to the Ottomans, but it's still disputed whether he claimed the title when he rebelled against his sovereigns.
    • Shishman I was an independent ruler of the Vidin area; after one of his grandsons ascended to the Bulgarian throne, another by the name of Shishman II claimed the title; centuries later, a rebellion against Ottoman occupation had a "Shishman III" claiming descent from the same line.
  • The Magnificent: Some rulers had such epithets given to them.
    • Krum was remembered as "The Fearsome" for routing Nikephoros I's invading army and turning his skull into a goblet. He also didn't leave the Byzantines in peace during the rule of Nikephoros' successor, Michael Rangabe, and mounted several campaigns into Thrace, one time managing to besiege Constantinople.
    • Simeon I is remembered as "The Great" for causing the country to reach its cultural and political golden age and become a major power in Europe.
    • Kaloyan attached the name "Roman Slayer" to himself after he raided Thrace in retaliation for Byzantine incursions. It was also an ideological response to the name "The Bulgar Slayer" that Basil II gave himself after conquering the First Bulgarian Empire.
    • Large Ham Title: Simeon and all Tzars after him of the First and Second empires titled themselves "Tzar of (all) Bulgarians and Greeks". Tzars of the Greeks they were not.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: The Second Empire was infamous for this. Once all male lines of the ruling dynasty of Asen died out, various other rulers started seeking marriage to Asen women (daughters and granddaughters of the last Asen Tzar to have any progeny) so they could attach the Asen name to themselves and legitimize their claim on the throne.
  • Occupiers Out of Our Country: Rebellious activity against the Ottoman Empire over some 500 years is a prominent part of Bulgarian history, starting with nobles mounting local resistance, bands of haiduti, mostly peasants-turned-rebels, numerous uprisings on various scales and, since the mid-19th century, an organized, nation-wide revolutionary movement which planned its operations in exile, regularly scheduled rebel offensives into Bulgaria and assisted anyone else's war effort against the Ottoman Empire.
  • Red Baron: Khan Krum is known in historiography as "The Terrible" for making a a goblet out of the Byzantine Emperor Nikephoros I's head.
    • The Magnificent: Tzar Simeon I is known as "The Great" for ushering in Bulgaria's Golden Age, even if historians recognize the damage that later resulted from his excessive imperial ambitions and bellicose policies.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Rebel Leader Georgi Benkovski is said to have said something similar before he died of his wounds in the aftermath of the 1876 April Uprising against the Ottoman Empire. "... In the heart of the tyrant I opened such a grievous wound that will never heal". In a way, he was right, since the uprising and its violent suppression was part of the Great Eastern Crisis which became the reason for the 1877-1878 Russo-Turkish war, which saw Bulgaria restored as a nation-state and heralded the weakening and eventual collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
  • Please Select New City Name: A number of ancient towns and cities changed names over the centuries. Most of these are various transcriptions of the same original name depending on who held the city at the time. Some were renamed after ambitious rulers or geographical features and others (most later reverted) for ideological purposes when the country became Commie Land:
    • Sofia was named Serdica after the Thracian (or Celtic - there's some evidence of that, plus "Serdi" does sound like "Celt") tribe which found it, which evolved into the Slavic Sredetz (also "center"). Later it came to be called Sofia after its patron saint. At times, it was called Triaditza by travellers, from the Greek triade - that is, St. Sophia's three daughters Faith, Hope and Love.
    • Plovdiv was founded by Thracians as Kendrisos, renamed by Greek colonists to Eumolpias (after a mythical king and alleged son of Poseidon), Poneropolis (city of villains) Dulonpolis (city of slaves) and Moichopolis (city of adulterers), then by Philip II of Macedon as Philipopolis, then by Romans to Trimontium (Three Hills), and had variations of those names (Pulpudeva, Puldin, Pluvdiv, Philipi, Filibe) during the centuries.
    • Varna was originally named Odessos, also briefly Tiberopolis during the reign of Roman emperor Tiberius, then to Varna in the middle ages, presumably under Slavic influence. When the country was Commie Land, the authorities wanted to rename it to Stalingrad, but didn't want it to rival the Stalingrad, so they went with "Grad Stalin" ("the city of Stalin" instead of "Stalin city").
    • Blagoevgrad was renamed so after Dimitar Blagoev, an early socialist activist, from its old name of Gorna Djumaya, which was partly Turkish and thus politically unsuitable.
    • Shumen was renamed to Kolarovgrad after the death of communist head of state Vasil Kolarov, who was born there.
    • Montana started out as Montanesium, got renamed Kutlovitsa ("Gorge town", from "kotel", meaning cauldron and hence "kotlovina", a cauldron-shaped valley) by Slavs, then Ferdinand after the new prince in 1888, then Mihailovgrad in memory of communist revolutionary Hristo Mihailov.
    • Revival age (read: flourished during the Bulgarian national revival in the 18-19th century) towns were briefly renamed in the 50s-60s after famous persons who were born there (Karlovo became Levskigrad after the revolutionary Vasil Levski, and Sopot became Vazovgrad after the writer Ivan Vazov), but it didn't take.
    • Numerous towns and villages were renamed after the country's liberation to negate Turkish influence, and after the communist coup to remove any association with the royalist regime, orthodox christianity or islam.
    • Old seaside towns that were founded by Greek colonists have acquired new Bulgarian names in modern times.
  • Rightful King Returns: Tsar Simeon II was only six when he took the throne in 1943, and was exiled three years later after the Soviet-backed transitional government held a plebiscite to end the monarchy. He spent his childhood hopping around the Mediterranean, became a successful businessman in Spain, and generally just lived his life...until the communist government of Bulgaria collapsed with all the others. Simeon—now styling himself Simeon Sakskoburggotski ("Saxe-Coburg-Gotha", using the name of his royal housenote  as his surname)—founded a political party and led it to victory in the 2001 elections, with Sakskoburggotski himself becoming Prime Minister. Incidentally, this is the only time a hereditary monarch has ever gone on to become a democratically elected head of government in any nation. It even fits the "situation in the country improves" bit of the trope—he appointed a cabinet of technical experts (though their actual competence is disputed) and Bulgaria grew and ran smoothly during his tenure. However the Bulgarian voters grew tired of the massive corruption which his government was widely accused of and also how most of the growth seemed to flow to the rich, and left his party in second place in the 2005 elections (although the party ended up participating in a grand coalition led by the Socialists), and then wiped them out entirely in 2009 and Simeon retired from politics.
    • Simeon II always advocated the restoration of the monarchy when living in exile, but after his return has remained silent on the issue. No matter how many times people ask him if he still wants to return to being Tsar (either as a figurehead constitutional monarch or with some degree of actual power), he gives no answer.
    • Another example from the country's medieval history. In 1207, Tzar Kaloyan was usurped by his cousin Boril who banished the rightful heir, Ivan Assen II (along with his brother), sons of Kaloyan's older brother (Kaloyan himself has no sons). In 1217, an 18-year-old Ivan Assen II returned with his allies, besieged the capital and seized the throne. This is portrayed in historiography as a rare example of this trope where an Evil Uncle had usurped a Good Uncle instead of the rightful heir's father.
  • Sibling Team: Asen, Peter IV and Ioannitza (Kaloyan) who acted together to re-establish the Bulgarian empire and keep its independence in the face of both pressure from Byzantium and the Crusades. Their cousins and nephews, however, were the exact opposite: three of them (Ivanko, Alexius Slav and Strez) seceded and one of them (Boril) usurped Kaloyan.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • The late Second Bulgarian Empire was torn by infighting instead of banding together to resist the very expansionistic Ottomans.
    • The First Balkan War. Bulgaria's long-term political aim after its restoration was national unity, which would happen by liberating the Bulgarian-populated major part of Macedonia from Ottoman control. In 1912, when Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro all declared war on the Ottoman Empire, Ferdinand desired to see himself as Emperor of Constantinople and directed most of his forces there. This left Macedonia free to occupy by Serbia, which was the cause for the Second Balkan War and Bulgaria's problems with Serbia and Greece until well after WWII.
  • Skull Cups: Khan Krum made one out of the skull of the Byzantine emperor, Nikephoros I, after ambushing his army on its return from sacking the Bulgarian capital.
  • Standard European Political Landscape:
    • Right-Wing Populist: Various nationalist and ultra-conservatives. Now united in a coalition called Патриотичен Фронт ("Patriotic Front"):
      • Атакаnote  - ethno-nationalists, drawing on old Bulgar symbolic by appropriating the symbol of the sky god Tangra (IYI) venerated by ancient Bulgars. Friendly to Putin's Russia, ostensibly due to Russia's role in Bulgaria's liberation and shared Slavic Orthodox values, in reality mostly because of funding. Eurosceptics.
      • НФСБnote  - Mostly focusing on social policies. Leader Valeri Simeonov is infamous for ableism, ironic Nazi veneration and enforcing strict regulations on things like late-night noise levels and dog muzzles.
      • ВМРО-БНДnote  - In Name Only self-proclaimed descendant of the eponymous organization. Nationalists, economic libertarians.
    • Conservatives:
      • ГЕРБnote  - Moderate conservatives. Not very concerned with social policies, they focus on economic patronage of large-scale business enterprises, often causing the ire of small business owners. Externally pro-European but also tries to appease other powerful neighbors such as Russia or Turkey. Americans should think of the traditional Republicans with a leader employing Trump-style "tough-guy man of the people" populism. Infamous for corruption, police brutality and embezzling. Have a very publicised rivalry with the Socialist party (their only real contender for votes, so it's sort of like US Republicans vs. Democrats), although neither enjoys wide support from the people. note 
      • ББЦnote  - social conservative party founded by an ex-journalist.
    • Classical Liberals/Moderate right:
      • СДСnote  Widely known as "democrats", they were the major driving force behind the liberalisation after the fall of communism and pro-European/pro-American policy. History 
      • ДСБ note - the splinter of СДС which held onto the party's ideology. They oppose ГЕРБ and claim to be the "true" conservatives (although no one really cares), seeing them as authoritarians and derivatives of the communist party note . History  They're now in an alliance with the progressive liberals (see below) with an anti-corruption agenda.
    • Progressive Liberals:
      • ДПС note  - according to the public opinion, In Name Only. History  note 
      • НДСВ note  - Garnered power when headed by Bulgaria's former Tzar, but since its very conception has been lured in by БСП and ДПС. History 
      • ДА, България note  - the closest to an American-like liberal formation. Receives similar criticism to Western liberal leftist parties. Together with the Democrats declare elimination of state corruption as their goal.
    • Left-Wing Populists:
    • Far Left: БКП note  Since its fall in 1989-1991 rebranded as БСП. Various new communist parties have been formed with little affiliation to the old one.
    • Agrarians: БЗНС note  with multiple wings spread all across the moderate political spectrum. History 
    • Greens: Three parties with limited influence. While there's plenty reasons for joining their cause (Bulgaria has a problem with semi-legal overconstruction in tourist industry and destruction of ecological habitats), their reputation is tarnished by controversies.
    • Regionalists:
      • ДОСТ note  A splinter of ДПС, cooperates with Turkey allegedly on behalf of the Turkish minority. note 
      • ОМО-Илинден Пирин note  - separatist party insisting that the South-West Pirin region is ethnically Macedonian.
  • Succession Crisis:
    • The First Empire had one lasting almost half a century, with a new Khan every other year.
    • The Second Empire had many of those after the main Asen dynasty died out.
  • Symbolically Broken Object: When Theodore Komnenos violated the peace treaty he had with Ioan Assen II in 1230, the latter reportedly marched into battle with the treaty impaled on a spear.
  • This Is My Name on Foreign:
    • A peculiar case in which names in one language (Old or Middle Bulgarian, i. e. versions of Church Slavonic) get translated into a newer form of Bulgarian after a significant period during which old history records were forgotten. Names of kings in Old Bulgarian tended to sound more Greek (the equivalent of "John" was "Iѡанъ" which read something like a nasal "Ioan"), but after the fall of the Bulgarian Empire in the 14th century, knowledge only resurged in the wake of a national revival ca. 18th century, and since Russia was seen as a shining example for all Slavic nations, the Russian "Ivan" entered usage. Of course, foreign historians also translate names, resulting in Bulgarian kings named "John" in English historiography and "Jean" in French.
    • Non-Slavic names of old Bulgar rulers are used in their modern form (for example Krum, whose original name is noted as "Korym" or "Kroum").
  • Won the War, Lost the Peace: This is a popular stereotype of how Bulgaria's wars end.
    • The rule of Simeon the Great of the First Bulgarian empire (the one who actually made it into an empire) is hailed in historiography as Bulgaria's golden age. Simeon waged many wars of expansion and beat enemies such as Croatia and the Byzantine Empire into submission, turning Bulgaria into the sole major power in the region. This, however, only lasted until his death. Between a populace exhausted by wars, huge expenditures on culture and prestige, a greedy clergy causing heresy and dissent among the peasants, vengeful neighbors and Hordes from the East taking lands too far away to guard, his son Peter I, even if he had 40 years of nominal peace (absence of open war but not rebellions and incursions), ushered in the empire's downfall.
    • From modern history: the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 (when Russia assembled a vast alliance of Balkan states to fight against Turkish control of the Balkans and independence for Bulgaria and managed to do the nearly unthinkable by pushing into the very suburbs of Constantinople... right before the Congress of Berlin forced the allies to yield most of their gains back to Turkey) and the First Balkan war, in which Bulgaria shouldered some of the heaviest burdens, but its allies got most of the territory, causing them to fall out over the spoils. Then things went From Bad to Worse.
    • Between the two wars, Bulgarians staged the bloodless reunion of the country with its southern half, which had been left as an autonomous region within the Ottoman empire. This went without the approval of the Great Powers and Russia prompted Serbia to attack Bulgaria as punishment. Bulgaria won the war but lost Russia's geopolitical support, which resulted in three of its surrounding countries (Greece, Serbia and Romania) forming a long-term alliance against it with Russian blessing. The larger plan for the Unification to include Macedonia (which was at that point mostly populated by Bulgarians) also fell through, resulting in irredentist foreign policies for the next 60 years, which got Bulgaria to wage 4 wars in an attempt to achieve a national unity with Macedonia, lose 3 of those wars and get hit by a major crisis after each loss.
    • The other half of the stereotype, of course, is the inversion. Bulgaria was the only Axis power to come out with territorial gainsnote  from the Second World War, regaining the ethnically Bulgarian Quadrilater/South Dobrujanote  and winning the peace despite losing the war. Bulgaria still declared token war on the US and UK and got bombed for it, and also got invaded by the USSR and underwent a coup assisted by the Soviet army, turning into a dictatorship. It also didn't keep Macedonia, which was why it joined the Nazis in the first place.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: The Second Battle of Shipka Pass. The pass was defended by poorly armed Bulgarian volunteers and Russians troops, who managed to hold the pass against well-armed Ottoman forces (who outnumbered them seven times) for five days until reinforcements arrived. When the defenders ran out of ammunition, they switched to throwing rocks. When they ran out of rocks, they used the bodies of their fallen comrades as projectiles. In literature, the battle was explicitly compared to the Thermopylae.

Translated tropes

While translating TV Tropes to Bulgarian would be too ambitious and largely unnecessary (I think I've only seen 2 other Bulgarians on here), I might as well make a list of translations I come up with. Preferably something witty.
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