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Patriot Games is the second book in the Jack Ryan series, and a prequel to The Hunt For the Red October.

Ex-Marine and historian Jack Ryan is on a working vacation with his wife and daughter when he witnesses Irish terrorists attack the Prince and Princess of Wales. Ryan springs into action and kills one terrorist and captures the other. Ryan is hailed as a hero, but soon finds himself a target of the Ulster Liberation Army. In particular, Sean Miller, the terroris he captured.

Made into a film starring Harrison Ford, Sean Bean, James Earl Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Richard Harris, Patrick Bergin, Ann Archer, and Thora Birch.

Tropes Applying to the Book

  • Ascended Extra: Robby Jackson was a minor view point character in The Hunt for Red October, but here he is revealed to be one of Ryan’s closest friends and allies.
  • Affably Evil: Alex Dobbens and Kevin O’Donnell.
  • Ax Crazy: Miller.
  • Becoming the Mask: Dennis Cooley goes undercover as a rare bookkeeper and Geoffrey Watkins as a regular customer for their meetings. Both, however, genuinely grow to enjoy it.
  • Big Bad: Kevin O’Donnell.
  • Black Best Friend: Robby.
  • Co-Dragons: Alex Dobbens and Sean Miller.
  • The Chessmaster: Kevin O’Donnell.
  • Da Chief: MI5 Commander James Owens gives off this vibe.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Dan Murray and Robby. Jack has some shades, though he only really becomes this when he’s drugged up on morphine and painkillers for his gunshot wound.
  • Death by Racism: Cooley, after calling Sissy racial slurs after taking her captive in the raid on the Ryan house, is shot by friendly fire.
  • Dumb Muscle: Eamon “Ned” Clark.
  • Driven to Suicide: Watkins. Ironically, Owens and Murray didn’t have anything on him anyway.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Dennis Cooley is abruptly shot by friendly fire during the raid on the Ryan house.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Alex Dobbens is uncomfortable with the attack on Ryan’s wife and daughter, but not enough to do it for the money Miller offers. When the ULA once again teams up with the Movement to capture the Prince and Princess of Wales, Dobbens only agrees to go along with it as long as Cathy and Sally are not hurt. This leads to Miller dismissing him as soft.
  • Evil Is Petty: Miller wants to kill Ryan because Ryan broke his perfect record of missions.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Inspector Bob Highland faces being held at gunpoint by Miller and O’Donnell by refusing to give them satisfaction. He survives, but has to relearn how to walk.
  • Hero of Another Story: FBI Agent Ed Donoho seems to be the protagonist of a drama.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: The ULA.
  • The Mentor:
    • Sergeant-Major Breckinridge tries to serve as one to Ryan about guns, and seems to serve as one for Sergeant Cummings.
    • Greer intends to serve as one for Ryan. Marty Cantor also winds up serving as one for Ryan under Greer’s orders, though in more of a Stealth Mentor way.
  • The Mole: Geoffrey Watkins is the man on the inside for the ULA and Dennis Cooley’s contact.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain/Bait the Dog: Cooley looks, as David Ashley puts it, a “harmless little poof”. Just when he seems somewhat likable with his love for his books and harmless in the field, Cooley evades the British police and decides to participate in the raid on the Ryan house as revenge in a self-righteous fury.
  • Only Sane Man: On the villains’ side, Dobbens is the most competent and sane, as Miller is going insane, Cooley is in a self-righteous fury over MI5 forcing him to abandon his books, and O’Donnell is completely blind to Miller’s downward spiral.
  • Sanity Slippage: Miller was never a stable person, but his obsession with Ryan slowly drives him mad and makes him more and more unstable and irrational. He winds up snapping and killing Dobbens before chasing after Ryan.
  • Scary Black Man: Alex.
  • The Sociopath: Miller.
  • The Starscream: O’Donnell was trying to do this to the IRA by replacing their leadership, until he split off with his followers to form the ULA. His plan is to discredit the IRA until the ULA can take it over.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: O’Donnell disappears after Miller kills Dobbens, weird for the Big Bad.
  • You Have Failed Me: After screwing up his assassination attempt on Cathy and Sally, Miller begins to fear Kevin will do this to him.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Miller, after realizing Dobbens is reluctant to kill Cathy and Sally, decides to kill him after the raid on the Ryan house. He winds up shooting him even earlier after Dobbens calls him on his mistakes.
  • Ungrateful Bastard. Miller is saved from Prison Rape by Highland, yet makes sure to shoot him in the gut during his escape because he believes Highland orchestrated it.

Tropes Applying to the Film

  • Adaptational Villainy: Sean Miller is even crazier and more violent than he is in the book. Played with as his motive for revenge on Ryan is much less petty than in the book and he lacks a lot of book Miller’s Kick the Dog moments.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the book, Miller hated Ryan because he ruined his perfect record of missions. Here, it’s because Ryan killed his brother.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Dennis Cooley.
  • Ax Crazy: Miller is even more unhinged than in the book, particularly at the end when he goes after Ryan with an anchor.
  • Composite Character: Annette is a hybrid of the Action-Directe member and Alex Dobbens.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Sean Miller is killed in a boat crash.
    • Dennis Cooley is Killed by Miller and O’Donnell after they realize he is useless.
    • O’Donnell is shot by a deranged Miller at the end, while in the book he simply disappears.
    • Ned Clark was arrested in the book. Here Clark gets shot dead by Marines.
    • Highland doesn’t survive his encounter with Miller and O’Donnell.
    • A type II for Watkins.
  • Demoted to Extra: Action-Directe is reduced from a significant subplot and a turning point in Ryan’s Character Development to an offhand mention.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Paddy O’Neil is disgusted by the attack on Ryan’s family.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Highland, as in the book. Here, however, he doesn’t make it.
  • Unfriendly Fire: Miller shoots Watkins, O’Donell, and Annette.
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