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This trope is being used way too often as a sort of counterpart to Men Are the Expendable Gender. From the description, its meant to be about someone valuing a loved one over everyone and everything else, and being willing to sacrifice who knows how many other people to protect them, not just a male hero going above and beyond in saving a girl because she has the appropriate genitalia.
Perhaps the trope name is misleading?
What's the alignment of characters doing this usually fall into? True Neutral or Neutral Good or Chaotic Good?
Could be anything. It works great for lawful characters who swear on their honor to defend their love at all costs and end up having to prove that they really meant "at ALL costs." Any evil character could place their feelings above the good of others, and any chaotic character could simply race to the rescue without stopping to calculate the odds. And, of course, neutral characters may just feel no greater obligation to others that supercedes the wellbeing of someone they care about.
The Star Wars episode V, Star Trek and Star Trek Voyager examples were removed as they didn't fit with the Hero+love interest dynamic of this trope.
Last night a friend and I played this painfully straight almost to the point of deconstructing it in a RP. I, the GM, gave him a sadistic choice. Three people were in danger, and the girl he cared most about ran off to save one of them, her brother. Rather than going to save one of the other two, my friend went with the girl to protect her. When it was revealed the other two died the girl he cared for then proceeded to kick his ass.
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How well does it match the trope?