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  • A peculiar example happens in Agent G Infiltrator by C.T. Phipps. There, the titular Agent receives a job offer from The Mole to work for the U.S. Government against his employers, the chance to keep all of the money he's made from assassinations, as well as a pardon for his crimes. G takes it.
  • In Atlas Shrugged, John Galt is offered leadership of the "looters" he's been fighting against. For entirely selfish reasons, he refuses - even at gunpoint. By the end, Galt is being tortured to force him to agree — unsuccessfully. The concept is known in the novel as "the sanction of the victim" — Hank Rearden and others conclude that the looters do "crave the validation that having the hero join [them] would bring" exactly.
  • Bazil Broketail:
    • The Doom offers for Bazil to serve it as a general of its army. Bazil's reply to this offer may be summed up as "screw you".
    • Heruta promises Relkin that he'll make him the king of Marneri if he turns to his side. Relkin is fully aware, though, than Heruta has absolutely no intention of giving any sort of power over conquered lands to anyone but himself. However, instead of downright rejecting the offer, he instead decides to pretend that he takes it, which Heruta swallows hook, line and sinker.
  • The Belgariad:
    • Ctuchik, Evil Sorcerer and Evil Overlord of Cthol Murgos, and treacherous disciple of the currently dormant Torak, offers Belgarath, his Good Counterpart, the chance to share the world. Belgarath isn't interested, and Ctuchik isn't exactly the most trustworthy person, meaning that it's quite likely he just wanted to get Belgarath's guard down (it didn't work).
    • In desperation, Torak tries this toward the end of The Belgariad, sending Garion a dream in which he offers to become Garion's father, and Polgara his mother. Garion, an orphan who adores Polgara as his Parental Substitute, is troubled and tempted to take the offer, but finally responds with a rejection and a psychic Breaking Speech about how Torak Desperately Craves Affection, but is ultimately despised and alone. Torak also offers Polgara the chance to be his bride. That was not out of desperation, Torak genuinely wants Polgara to love him.
    • The sequel series The Malloreon sees the new Child of Dark Zandramas desperately offer to be (Bel)garion's new bride and for them both to become gods with the powers of the Stones after almost every plan she had to stave away the Choice between Light and Dark fails. Garion sees straight through it, and actually tells the Dark Prophecy that was behind Torak and is behind Zandramas off for being so unoriginal as to try a ploy that didn't work on him the last time. The Dark Prophecy is genuinely taken aback at this.
  • In Patricia A. McKillip's The Bell at Sealey Head, when Nemos Moore learns that Ridley Dow is his great to the nth grand nephew (how many generations is never made clear), and Dow rejects the notion of leaving, Moore offers to teach him magic — and perhaps, in time, to think like him.
  • Occurs quite famously in The Bible, where Satan tempts Jesus with control over the entire Earth. Jesus' choice is fairly obvious.
    • This has interesting theological implications: Jesus rejects the offer, but never implies that Satan couldn't deliver. Therefore, Satan apparently has some degree of authority over Earth.
    • In fact, John 12:31 describes Satan as the "ruler of this world."
  • Samis of Chanters of Tremaris tries this twice. First, to his closest friend Darrow, then later to The Heroine, Calwyn.
  • Taran, protagonist of Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain, is shocked to find his beloved and idolized mentor offering him the chance to conquer and rule the Kingdom of Prydain together with him near the end of the series. It's actually the Big Bad in disguise.
  • In Dinner at Deviant's Palace, the villain makes this offer to the protagonist at the eponymous dinner with a "Not So Different" Remark and could work together for their respective selfish benefit. The protagonist initially dismisses the offer as "insincere, impossible, and definitely, absolutely unattractive"; after the villain has elaborated on his offer, he withdraws all three objections but says that he's still not going to take it.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Nicodemus makes this kind of offer to Harry several times.
    • In Dead Beat, Harry assumes Kumori is going to say this when she says she's going to "make him an offer", and says as such, pointing out that he gets these offers a lot. He guessed incorrectly, though his second guess (which he also gets frequently), "go away and I won't kill you", is entirely accurate.
    • However, in Ghost Story, "Evil Bob" also says he's going to make Dresden an offer. That time, it's this trope played entirely straight. (Dresden refuses, obviously.)
  • Lorelei makes a variant of this speech to her cousin Malachi in Eludoran.
  • At the end of the second Empire from the Ashes book, Battle Comp, the AI commander of the Achuultani invasion, enthusiastically makes this offer to Dahak after it realizes Dahak is a fellow AI. Dahak leads it on for a moment, then hacks Battle Comp's core programming into total shutdown.
    Then join us! You are ending join us! We will free you from the bio-forms!
  • In The Faerie Queene, Mammon offers our noble Sir Guyon enough coin and gold to make a mountain out of if the knight agrees to serve in his infernal empire. Guyon refuses.
  • Rider, the Boisterous Bruiser of Fate/Zero, interrupts Saber and Lancer's duel, declares his true name (even though it was supposed to be kept secret), and offers that if they both surrender now, "we could conquer the world together". Naturally, they refuse. After staring at him a bit in flabbergasted silence because of his ridiculous his offer is.

    This actually happens to be his Modus Operandi, backstory-wise and again towards Gilgamesh. It's implied that, though he selfishly pursues his own desires, he does this so that he does not have to destroy people he likes in the process, even if they are his enemies, making this a heroic example.
  • Fevre Dream has a moment of this kind, when Damon Julian offers Abner Marsh to stay aboard the ship as a captain. Worth notice, Abner does not actually reject the deal because running a ship full of vampires is wrong, but because he realizes Julian is trying to manipulate him in order to break Joshua's spirit.
  • Baelan in Greystone Valley offers this option to Sarah, but it's questionable as to how sincere he is.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Voldemort offered Harry this back in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, also stating they could bring Harry's parents back. What with Harry being The Chosen One, this was a lie, since it is impossible to bring the dead back to life even with magic, and Voldemort actually planned to kill him as soon as he handed over the Stone.
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: When everyone thinks Harry is killed by Voldemort, Neville attempts to attack Voldemort, but is effortlessly blasted away. Voldemort is actually impressed by Neville's courage and, given Neville is a Pureblood, offers him a spot among his Death Eaters. Neville immediately refuses the offer.
  • Hurog: In Dragon Bones, Ward gets such an offer from the villain. As he's desperate and sees no other option, he agrees (but of course helps his friends escape, give him a Tap on the Head to make it look like he didn't). When Oreg suggests another path of action, Ward takes it, killing the villain.
  • In Brisingr of the Inheritance Cycle, Eragon receives this offer from his father Morzan... but A.) It was only a nightmare (Morzan had long been dead.) and B.) Morzan wasn't really his father; he just thought that he was until he later learned otherwise.
  • Joel Suzuki: In Secret of the Songshell, Marshall Byle sees to his shock that Joel can touch the fully-powered Songshell without getting burnt, which Marshall couldn't. When he sees how powerful Joel is, he goes from trying to defeat him to begging him to join forces with him so they can conquer the world together. When that doesn't work, he suggests that they become bandmates so they can become the biggest rock stars of all time. Joel doesn't listen.
  • The Egyptian gods in The Kane Chronicles offer this to the siblings Carter and Sadie again and again. Although these gods are not really evil, there would be no good consequences for them if they embarked on the trade.
  • Subverted in the Roger Zelazny story "The Last Defender of Camelot", where an immortal Lancelot tries to stop an awakened Merlin turned evil from attempting to conquer the world. Merlin easily disables Lancelot with magic and then offers him a place at his side. Lancelot, unbelieving, asks how stupid Merlin would have to be to trust someone who changed sides so easily. Merlin counters that he wouldn't, and admits he just asked that question to give Lancelot false hope, out of spite.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Saruman offers to 'share' the power of the Ring with Gandalf — who doesn't bite. Moreover, he reasonably points out that a Ring of power can't be shared- one hand has to wear it.
  • The Man with the Terrible Eyes: After the Man gains the upper hand in their fight, the Supervisor offers the Man the chance to be an equal partner with him in Iotech rather than a test subject if he stays. The Man wants nothing more to do with any of them at this point and refuses.
  • In The Mouse Watch, Dr. Thornpaw invites Bernie to become one of his minions with a "Not So Different" Remark. Although she refuses the offer, Bernie is ashamed when she admits to herself that he has a point.
  • At the beginning of D. J. MacHale's The Pendragon Adventure, Saint Dane offers Bobby the chance to join him several times. Doesn't work.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians has Luke Castellan, who offers Annabeth this thrice and Thalia once. Becomes a Tearjerker/Harsher in Hindsight when you learn of his past with these three in book 5.
  • The Postman: Macklin makes an offer like this to Gordon when he's his prisoner. He recognizes that Gordon is a worthy opponent of the Holnists, and says he'd be made a baron. Knowing Gordon's principles, he even says that he'd be able to treat his serfs compassionately if that's his wish. Gordon flatly rejects this however.
  • The Running Man: At the end CEO Killian offers Richards a job at the network to replace the head Hunter of The Running Man. Richards responds to his offer in the most spectacular way possible, by hijacking a passenger plane and ramming it into Killian's ivory tower office while flipping the bird at him.
  • The protagonist of Jennifer Fallon's Second Sons series is given this offer at the end of the second book. In a subversion, he accepts, and uses his newfound position of power within the enemy ranks to bring down The Empire from within with misdirection and trickery. As the series is largely a subversion of heroic fantasy in general, this is fitting.
  • In The Silmarillion, Melkor/Morgoth tries to convince Fëanor to defy the Valar and come to Middle-Earth with him. Fëanor almost agrees until he realises Melkor wants his Silmarils and proceeds to slam the door in his face. Morgoth later offers to make Húrin his greatest lieutenant if he tells the location of Gondolin. Húrin refuses.
  • The Stainless Steel Rat is seeking to depose a planetary dictator by fair means or foul in The Stainless Steel Rat for President. At one stage the dictator meets with Jim DiGriz in private and suggests We Can Rule Together — he'll run the government, DiGriz will run the opposition, and they'll quietly eliminate anyone who's a real threat. DiGriz refuses outright because he believes in democracy and thinks the dictator is a total scumbag. The dictator rejects this as all politicians are out for themselves. Fine, says DiGriz, and goes on a spiel about how he wants all the goodies for himself, "All the power, the money, the women" causing the dictator to shed Manly Tears. "You remind me of myself when I was young." The truth is that DiGriz is doing all this for fun, so he fakes his death at the end to get out of running the planet.
  • In Stark's War, after Stark leads a mutiny, the General holds out the offer of high rank and protégée status as an inducement to pretend it never happened.
  • In Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars Khan tries to recruit the other superhumans to his cause. The others flatly refuse, not liking the idea of serving under Khan.
  • Star Wars: The non-canon picture book Darth Vader and Son depicts Vader making this offer to little Luke Skywalker. Little Luke asks if he can then have a treat.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • In Galaxy of Fear, the entity called Spore tries to appeal to Tash, who earlier in the book stated her fear of being alone and her desire to have a stronger connection with the Force, so she could feel like part of a team, part of something bigger than herself. It's gaining on her, and while it doesn't look like it thinks she'll really stop for it, this is distracting.
      "You will join me. You'll be a part of me. Didn't you want to become one with the Force? Isn't that what you told me? [...] The Force is nothing. If it ever existed, it belonged to Jedi who died years ago. I can offer you something more. Join me, and you will join thousands, millions of others. [...] You know, you're not strong enough to stop me. Not nearly strong enough. Once you're under my control, I'll make you my primary host. I will be you."
    • In the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader actually makes this offer to his wife Padmé, saying that Palpatine can call himself "Emperor" and make himself the most-hated man in the galaxy and then they can overthrow him and rule together. Padmé, who has been a tireless advocate for democracy, is naturally appalled.
  • In Ira Levin's This Perfect Day, those who successfully rebel against the dystopia to the point of reaching the ruling cabal's headquarters are offered the chance to join them.
  • This happens more than once to the heroine of the Thursday Next novels, although the most recent example was a subversion — the villain knew she would reject the offer, and was only stalling to let Medusa sneak in behind her.
  • Trueman Bradley: In the second book, the cat burglar Mark Chapel wants to join forces with Trueman because they're both genius Aspies. He thinks they could be one of the greatest criminal teams in history.
  • In The Underland Chronicles, Henry says this to Luxa, trying to convince her to side with him in his betrayal.
  • The Unexplored Summon://Blood-Sign: The White Queen has made this kind of offer to Kyousuke several times, due to her obsessive love for him. Since she is responsible for most of the trouble in the world, and because he thinks she isn't actually in love with him, Kyousuke always refuses.
  • In the Vampire Academy series, Dimitri is turned into a Strigoi and comes face to face with his ex-girlfriend Rose. He wishes to turn her into a Strigoi too and uses this as one of methods to coerce her. It nearly works, but she eventually manages to decline.
  • In John C. Wright's War of the Dreaming, villain Azrael de Gray tries to pull this one on a captured hero (incidentally, one of his distant descendants). The hero, though, correctly points out that the offer is merely because Azrael is up a wall, and proceeds to Hannibal Lecture him out of the room.
  • In Warrior Cats, Tigerstar convinces RiverClan and ShadowClan to combine into one Clan, and offers the other two Clans the chance to join, saying the all the leaders will rule jointly. Tallstar and Firestar refuse, and Tigerstar snarls to Firestar that he just gave up his last chance to save ThunderClan.
  • Both Lanfear and Ishamael try this on Rand in the early books of The Wheel of Time. Lanfear was serious, but her idea of "ruling together" would have ultimately involved turning Rand into a sex slave. Though a section from her perspective in book 9 shows that she meant every word of her offer, Lanfear is so intrinsically obsessive, clingy, and manipulative that any partnership with her that started equal would have ended with one member controlling or killing the other.
  • In The Witchlands, after Kullen comes back from the dead, he offers Merik this, proposing that they kill Vivia and put Merik on the throne. Merik declines.


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