Glory Seeker

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.

From the crucible of battle are heroes born, in defeating the villainous enemy there is glory to be had, and that makes it all worthwhile. At least, that's what the Glory Seeker believes.

Usually some sort of military officer, but not neccessarily so, he can be a crusading knight charging heedlessly into the fray, a lone desperado out to make a name for himself, a Bounty Hunter going after the toughtest targets. He may or may not enjoy the spoils of war, he may or may not believe in what he's fighting for, he may be a coward who is all talk or a Blood Knight who revels in the slaughter, but the defining trait of the Glory Seeker is that he craves the adoration of the masses and respect of his peers—and hates most of all not being respected. He might grow disillusioned after a while, or he might never learn. If met out of combat, may appear to be the Miles Gloriosus, but actual danger will reveal the truth.

Will sometimes say Think Nothing of It if he really didn't earn it—but don't count on it. Frequently found with In Harm's Way. Loves Famed in Story, and finds What You Are in the Dark and Secret Test of Character particularly hard.

Proud Warrior Race Guy is almost always a Glory Seeker. Contrast "Well Done, Son" Guy, who wants one person's praise. Compare Martyrdom Culture, where being a Glory Seeker is considered a noble calling.

Super-Trope of Glory Hound, who is not only after glory but quite willing to expend everyone else in order to get it. Or lie. Or any other act that will get him it.

Examples of Glory Seeker include:

Anime & Manga

  • The eponymous character from Naruto is like this, at least initially. He's a lonely boy, and he wants to become Hokage so the rest of the townsfolk will respect him.


  • In Astro City, Altar Boy's motive for becoming a hero is that superheroes are respected. He got wiser.

Fairy Tales


at last the king grew restless. He longed to go out into the world, to try his strength in battle against some enemy and to win all kinds of honour and glory.




  • Don Quixote
  • In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 novel Deus Sanguinius, Mephiston Mind Probes Rafen and finds he was once concerned only with his own glory.
  • Taran in the Prydain Chronicles starts out as this, to an embarrassing degree.
  • Kate Daniels - In the first book, Curran thinks that Kate is one of these, as she's not content with the pat explanation wrapping the case up. He thinks she's just trying to come up with another bad guy because she likes playing in the big leagues with everyone listening to her.
  • Harry Potter - Many people who have no idea what kind of life Harry lived before coming to Hogwarts (or even some of the stuff that came after) tend to think he is one of these. Some (like Snape) think he is a bullying troublemaker like his father; some (such as the Ministry, the Daily Prophet and a number of citizens) think that he just wants glory and is an attention seeker. Some of his classmates even thought he was the heir of Slytherin, once. The truth is largely the opposite, as living with the Dursleys and a lot of the stuff he dealt with in the Wizarding World actually made him very humble and quiet (until he continued to grow in self-confidence and ability).
  • Vows and Honor - Tarma and Kethry become this somewhat unwillingly in Mercedes Lackey's books. The justification is that they must restore the reputation of Tarma's all-but-annihilated Hawk Clan if they want to attract quality people to join them (and not just the losers and misfits no other clan wants).
  • Marco in Animorphs, to a point. Mainly, he does want to save his mother, but he also talks repeatedly about being famous by the end of the war.
  • Robert E. Howard's Kull

Atlantis made my name accursed when I went to seek fame and fortune among the cities of the world.

  • Ragnar Lodbrok and His Sons is a medieval saga about a clan of Viking warlords, all of them being excessive Glory Seekers.
  • Victor Henry in Winds of War/War and Remembrance is a downplayed version. Despite having the air of an unostentatious naval bureaucrat he is in fact a glory seeker and hungers for a successful combat command. But first and foremost he is a duty seeker and willing to let others have the glory if his country wins the war.

Tabletop Games


  • In Pippin, Pippin takes after his Miles Gloriosus half-brother and becomes a glory-seeking warrior, but it doesn't take long for him to become disillusioned.
  • The eponymous character of Ajax, and it doesn't end well for him.

Video Games

  • King Cailan Theirin from Dragon Age: Origins. Utterly convinced that the Darkspawn invasion is his opportunity to carve out his place in legend, driving back the tide of evil alongside the Grey Wardens like in the songs of old. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to realize exactly where the world lies on the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism. Though he might have managed it, albeit by the skin of his teeth, if his second-in-command hadn't chosen that exact moment to betray him, leave with his army, and leave his king for dead. Tough break, huh?
  • Zeri from Valkyria Chronicles II seeks glory of heroic proportions, because he believes that if he does attain it, people would lighten up on their prejudice against the Darcsen.
  • The player character in the web game Clash of the Dragons. He's very proud of his Heroic Lineage, and intends for his own story to be every bit as epic as his ancestor's. Despite fumbling a bit on the inside, he always manages to act in the most generically heroic way possible. The first chapter has him gleefully engaging in Ham-to-Ham Combat against a villain with similar motivations, and the finishing blow of another fight involved an unnecessary flip and ended with him walking into the sunset without a word to the crowd who was watching.

Web Original

  • In Journey Quest, Glorion seems to feel that anything that could potentially end in increasing his own glory is worthy of being done. He seems to feel anything he can describe as being done bravely qualifies.

Real Life

  • A lot of famous explorers, mountaineers, and participants in similar recreations might qualify.
  • Some famous military units seek out these kind of people.


  • Every DragonForce song ever. There's even a Drinking Game where you take a shot every time the singer says "glory" or "glorious".