A Hero to His Hometown

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Not everyone laments the shots heard round the world
Micaiah: "I'm going to save my people, Sothe. If the rest of the world paints me as a beast to be reviled and hated, so be it."

These guys are loved and celebrated by their people, whether they deserve to be or not, but have a hard time getting admiration from anyone else. It could be that the outside world simply does not know of their good deeds but more likely they did something to make the outside world very upset. Their comrades may not know the details, they may not care about what makes other people angry or they may not believe the accusations of the outsiders. Another case is that people are not impressed with a so called hero, seeing him as a big fish in a small pond. Whatever reasons these heroes be unheard of, hated or disrespected they can rest assured knowing they are heroes to their hometowns.

Related To Realpolitik, compare also: Values Dissonance, Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters, Villain with Good Publicity, Hero with Bad Publicity. Contrast:Never Accepted in His Hometown, No Hero to His Valet, 100% Heroism Rating. Despite the name it has little to do with Hometown Hero, which is a story about someone from the area it is told in.

Examples of A Hero to His Hometown include:


  • One Geico commercial features a squirrel that intentionally causes car accidents and is admired by the other squirrels because of it.

Anime And Manga

  • Vegeta was the head exterminator of the Tuffle species. His people loved him so much they made him King and renamed the planet after him. He and his people had a low reputation among the rest of the Dragon Ball universe for their mass murder, naturally.
  • All the protagonists of One Piece have become this. Their friends and families all regard their Wanted Posters as cause for celebration. None of them have much love for the World Government, as they're generally from places the government either fails to protect or actively oppresses.

Comic Books

  • Doctor Doom is viewed as a deceptive, violent megalomaniac and he does his best to live up to his reputation. Even people who would admire the way he rules his Ruritania don't like him because he will not stop betraying them, breaking their laws or trying to steal their powers. The people of his country really do like him though, because Doom is better than the leaders they had before and better than the guys trying to usurp him.
  • Another Fantastic Four villain, Mole Man, is at least respected by his constituents in Monster Island and Subterranea. They willingly follow him in his attacks against outside world, which they believe he leads for their own benefit, though part of it is to fuel his unfounded revenge.
  • Darkseid, not that he's done much good for his people but they accept his rule anyway. It's everyone else refusing to follow him willingly that makes him search for an anti life equation.
  • There was one Superman story where Lex Luthor took over a planet and became a hero to the population living there. He was still considered a super villain to the rest of the universe.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Darth Vader is revered as a hero by the Noghri people, after he and The Empire saved their planet from an ecological disaster (never mind the fact that the disaster was, of course, also caused by The Empire).
  • The Warbound of Sakaar were no longer this on a technicality. The United States destroyed their hometown but they were heroes there before then and their invasion makes sense.
  • The Gladiator of Marvel is considered an idiot, psychopath or both by the universe at large, but a few characters note that he does everything for his empire and its people do appreciate him for it.



Take Sir Francis Drake; The Spanish all despise him,
but to the British he's a hero and they idolize him.
It's how you look at buccaneers that makes them bad or good,
and I see us as members of a noble brotherhood.

  • All the British Naval officers from Pirates of the Caribbean, the series being set in a time where piracy and all other sorts of things we frown on today were considered okay if you did them in the service of your country. How heroic the films presented them to the audience varied from individual to individual.
  • Padme Amidala from Star Wars is an example that's also presented as unambiguously heroic to the audience as well viewed that way by her people on Naboo. There are plenty of people in the galaxy who hold the opposite view of her though, the Trade Federation are the most notable and assassination attempts come even from the wider republic she works for.


  • In The Three Worlds Cycle, Rulke is a genocidal nutcase hated by everyone on Santhenar, including his old allies the Zain (who he betrayed). The race known as the Whelm, who flocked to him as their leader, still cherish the memory of him as their strongest leader, even after the mantle of their ruler is taken by someone else.
  • Noted as a trope to be weary of in the Discworld books, since the laws of planet follow narrative and The Good Guy Wins(even if he isn't really good) in most narratives.
  • Aral Vorkosigan in the Vorkosigan Saga is considered a war criminal by many offworlders because it is mistakenly believed that he was responsible for an atrocity on Komarr. On Barrayar he is respected enough to be regent without getting assassinated.

Live Action TV

  • The Great Devourer from Angel had to rely on a lot of deceptions to get by everywhere, except for its first home where everyone loved it despite knowing exactly what it was and still did long after it had abandoned them.

Mythology And Religion

  • Goliath to the Philistines. He was simply trying to turn a hopeless battle around through Combat by Champion, but since he and his people were insistent on defying God, failure was inevitable.
  • Hector of Troy, to the Trojans naturally, even though the Greeks are supposed to be the heroes since they were out to get their abducted lady back from his brother. Never mind what she wanted.

Professional Wrestling

  • The premier American example is Kurt Angle, who goes through the Heel Face Revolving Door... outside of his hometown of Pittsburgh, where five minutes of heel heat is about the best he's ever done. They usually don't boo at all, no matter how much Cheap Heat he tries to invoke.
  • Bull Nakano has been booked as a villain and booed in all her appearances outside of Japan. WWE planned to change that when she worked for them before she got herself fired over, uh, mental stimulants.
  • The WWF also booked Hakushi as a heel but made him a hometown hero for the Japanese shows. The only time they weren't completely behind him is when he wrestled the Undertaker.
  • Edge would sometimes claim to still be popular in Toronto when he got especially searing heat from the crowds of other cities. He would then claim this made Toronto better than wherever he currently was which made the booing louder.
  • In general, any Foreign Wrestling Heel will be popular in their own country if their only negative traits are calling their homeland superior to whatever nation they happen to be wrestling in. Even with a full on gimmick in addition to being foreign there is still a decent chance that this trope may apply anyway.

Tabletop Games

  • Kharn The Betrayer from Warhammer 40,000 is viewed as a traitorous betrayer by most Chaos Space Marines after he killed a bunch of world eaters and emperors children because they took a break from killing each other to seek shelter from a storm that would have killed them all anyway. He remains popular among the Khorne Berserkers though, just for being so dedicated to shedding blood.

Video Games

  • The so called Demon Lord of the Tales of series is considered to be a wise and just ruler by his subjects and is willing to do anything to ensure their survival, including destroy your player character's world.
  • Nascour is setup to take all the heat for the criminal organization Cipher's in Pokemon Colosseum. Since you fight him in an arena filled with members of Cipher though, everyone cheers for him.
  • In Metroid it's stated the only way citizens of the Kriken empire can earn respect is by discovering revolutionary technology or by helping to conquer a planet and most choose the latter. It's also stated the Krikens are one of the most hated factions because of this so the successful Krikens aren't getting much respect from anyone but other Krikens.
  • One fan theory is that Mario Bros. enemy Bowser only leads invasions into the Mushroom Kingdom and tries to force a marriage with Peach is because his land is barren and he wants better property for his people. What supports this is than in the Super Mario RPG and The Mario and Luigi games, it is show that his subjects continue to follow him out of genuine respect despite his failures and he does come across as reasonable(if incompetent) authority figure when dealing with them.
  • Hawke in Dragon Age II. After becoming Champion of Kirkwall, their opinion carries much weight to the people in the city.

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • The City of Townsville is repeatedly attacked without provocation by giant monsters. A large number of these come from monster island, where those who manage to survive a fight with the Powerpuff Girls are celebrated as heroes, and just see attacking the city as a way to draw them out.
  • The Sewer Urchin on The Tick is, on the surface, a milquetoast punchline. Underground he's in his element, superbly competent and feared and respected by sewer dwellers.

Real Life

  • Vlad Tepes is a perennial Romanian hero, mostly celebrated for fighting off the Turks and enforcing strict morality at home. Sometimes to make an omelet, you've gotta impale a few thousand people...
  • In Hungary, Attila the Hun is a folk hero and "Attila" is a popular first name.
  • Pablo Escobar is considered a hero in Colombia or at least to his hometown. The further away from his home you get the lower opinions of him drop.
  • In Russia, Lenin.
  • Whilst the rest of the country has warmed up to him relatively recently, John Brown has always been a hero in Kansas.
  • Ghengis Kahn is a national hero in Mongolia.
  • In Canada, Louis Riel. One of the founders of Manitoba and one of the most outspoken defenders of Métis rights and the French language in Canada in his time, he was seen in the remainder of the country as a dangerous rebel and was executed for treason. Over a century later, opinion is still divided down the same lines on whether he was a hero or a villain - his grave in Winnipeg is well-tended, while his history as a federal politician is rarely spoken of in Ottawa.