FANDOM


WikEd fancyquotesQuotesBug-silkHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extensionPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifierAnalysisPhoto linkImage LinksHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic

Unlike Servant Race, these people were once independent, but have been conquered and made into servants. Scattered resistance movements usually exist.

Note that a race is a "slave race" from the point of view of the "owners" only, and it might have worked perfectly well on their own, their free population even outnumbering by far the ones that are held captive. Some slave-holder races will limit themselves to only one of these (and even uphold a friendly disposition towards everyone else), but habitual slave-holders might view everyone who is different from them as this.

This of course has some uncomfortable Real Life examples. (Note, however, that for the majority of history, slavery was not directly linked to race; beware of Eagleland Osmosis. Historically, most people got to be slaves by running into debt or getting kidnapped in war, then they'd be sold to raise cash or brought home with their captors as loot. Slaves could therefore be any ethnicity, including that of their master, and prior to capture, they might be any social class ranging from peasant to king.)

A species-wide Made a Slave. If the slave race has Stock Super Powers of some sort, this crosses over with Super Human Trafficking. If they're given high tech weapons to fight with, it's Low Culture, High Tech (or if a low tech race enslaves a Proud Scholar Race for their tech).

Examples of Slave Race include:


Comic Books

  • In The Incredible Hulk Annual 12 Hulk (with Banner's brain) visits a world where the Red people have enslaved the Green people. Hulk helps the greens to liberation, and before he leaves advises them to show mercy to the reds, otherwise they (greens) will be as bad as them (reds). After returning to Earth Hulk looks in his telescope and discovers that the greens have indeed enslaved the reds.
  • This is what The Evrons trasform the inhabitants of every planet they conquer into.


Films -- Live-Action

  • Humans have become this to apes in Planet of the Apes (after taking apes as this first in the movie sequels).
  • Humans in The Matrix, though most don't realize it.
  • The Underworld prequel Rise of the Lycans reveals that Werewolves descended from Lucius were bred to be a slave race for the vampires, until Lucius leads them into rebellion. The original ones bitten by William (the original source for the virus) end up as plain, permanent beasts.
  • In The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Reveal makes it clear that Klaatu and his people deliberately did this to themselves by establishing a robot-controlled police state.
  • The Newcomers of Alien Nation (both the film and later the series) were originally a slave race. One of the great unanswered questions that arises among the fans is "What happens to Earth if the Newcomers' former masters ever show up?"
  • In The Dark Crystal, the Skeksis are able to drain a being's lifeforce by using the dark crystal's light. These beings are brainwashed in the process. The Podlings are a picture perfect example for this trope, working as slaves for the Skeksis.
  • In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the Decepticons plan on turning the human race into this, in order to have workers to rebuild Cybertron. Needless to say, the Autobots stop them.


Literature

  • Larry Niven's Known Space setting has several slave species. Far back in galactic history the Thrintun used their psychic powers to enslave many species. They are simply known as Slavers. One of the slave races, the Tnuctipun, fought back with biological weapons: the war killed off any species with a notochord, galaxy wide. Later the warlike Kzin are thought to have been raised from a primitive state by the Jotoki only to enslave their employers once they had the means. The Kzin went on to enslave the demonform Kdatlyno.
  • In Deborah Chester's Alien Chronicles trilogy, the reptilian Viis have done this to numerous races, going so far in some cases as to alter the captive races' known history so they didn't know they wasn't a time they weren't slaves.
  • Summers At Castle Auburn has the aliora, who are rather like elves. Human hunters capture them from their homes and sell them as slaves--valuable and generally well-treated slaves, but still slaves.
  • Animorphs: Many species are slave races of the Yeerks, including the Hork-Bajir, the Garatrons,the Gedds, and others.
  • In Farewell to the Master, Gnut is the master.
  • One of the greatest examples is Homo Servus from S.M. Stirling's Draka tetralogy. The Servus have been genetically engineered to derive orgasmic pleasure from subservience to their masters Homo Drakensis, and are incapable of functioning independently . Both species were once normal humans, but, unluckily for the rest of humanity, the Draka were Nietzsche Wannabe badasses who practiced the Spartan Way and had a penchant for Evilutionary Biology. An interesting aspect is that the servus are actually smarter than the Draka; the latter genetically engineered themselves into their ideal of the Master Race and it is strongly implied that in the process, they destroyed their own creativity and flexibility.
  • The House-Elves from Harry Potter are another example of a slave race that's only too happy to be enslaved. They're probably based on the fairy tale "The Elves and the Shoemaker," which in turn is based on European folk tales of kobolds and similar household spirits; being bound to a house that benefits from their service gives their lives meaning, and being set free is a sign of disapproval with the services they've rendered, a very depressing concept for a creature that defines themselves by their capacity to provide excellent service.

    Hermione is a strong believer in freedom for house-elves, but she bases her philosophy about this on Dobby, who was a unique case in that the family he served was so abusive (frequent death threats, ironing his fingers as punishment) that it was worse than freedom by elf standards; her position has actually made her extremely unpopular with the school's resident horde of elves, and when she was attempting to duplicitously free them, they went on strike, forcing the already-free Dobby to clean Gryffindor Tower all by his lonesome.
    • The official in-universe line seems to be that they spontaneously became a Slave Race on their own, voluntary Servant Race, as it were, and/or that they have always been like that. Note that in stories of house-elves they are fiercely independent and extremely proud beings who do not follow orders and strongly resent being treated as mere servants, prone to spoiling the milk or tying your hair in knots if annoyed, and that presumably at some point around the passing of the Statute of Secrecy they were somehow forbidden from living in Muggle houses.
      • Also note that 'attempt to pay them for their services and they will go away' was a general formula invoked sometimes to clear out a house-elf who'd gone lazy and troublesome and started spending all their time playing pranks instead of helping 'round the house. Mythologically, one could not actually command a house-elf any more than any other kind of elf.
      • They also left if you kept the place so tidy they felt marginalized.
    • Everything we know about wizarding society indicates they'd have felt themselves perfectly justified in casting spells to make sure that no House Elf ever overstepped its bounds again. And this was in the seventeenth century, before the idea of 'rights' had made much headway even for humans.
  • In Robert E. Howard's "The Hyborian Age", the Backstory to Conan, Lemurians.

 In the distant east, cut off from the rest of the world by the heaving up of gigantic mountains and the forming of a chain of vast lakes, the Lemurians are toiling as slaves of their ancient masters.

  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero's Daughter trilogy, the air spirits were enslaved by Prospero for a millenium, not yet up. Miranda realizes at one point that participating in this is blocking her desire to be a Sibyl -- but also realizes that if she frees them they will cause havoc. Indeed, when they ask for their freedom, and she asks if they can prevent such havoc, they concede that it would be difficult and start to consider ways it could be done.
  • In John C. Wright's Count to a Trillion, the aliens' plan. Not forever -- just until humanity pays off the price of conquering them, plus a reasonable profit.


Live-Action TV

  • In Lexx it turned out that the humans of the Light Universe were slaves of the insect race (via His Shadow) whom they thought they had defeated millenia before.
  • The Ood from Doctor Who were enslaved by humanity, most of whom believed they were a naturally servile race who enjoyed laboring for them. They were wrong.
    • Another Doctor Who example, the Zeronites from Eighth Doctor comic strip "Sins Of The Fathers" who were created by the Kulkan Empire to maintain their long range missiles when they were fired. And there was no way out for them.
    • Also from Doctor Who, the Slab might be this, but are more likely machines, it's left vague. ("Solid leather, all the way through. Someone has got one hell of a fetish.")
    • In "Warriors' Gate", the Tharils, exploited for their navigational ability. To be quite just, they had exploited those abilities to act as slavers. One Tharil pleads with the Doctor that they have suffered long enough for what they did.
    • Series 6 brings us the Gangers/Flesh.
    • In The Ark, the two parts -- seven hundred years apart -- bring us two slave races: Monoids in the first, humanity in the second.
    • Planet of the Daleks features the Spiridons.
  • The Kalish in Farscape have been enslaved by the Scarrans for some time, acting as technicians, bureaucrats, and occasionally spies: they have it better than most Slave Races, but they're still oppressed and abused by both their Scarran masters and the Charrid mercenaries they work with.
  • The humans (called cows) of Pylea were a slave race to the demons there in Angel.
  • The Goa'uld of Stargate SG-1 consider every race a slave race, but particularly humans and Jaffa.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine featured the Jem'Hadar, a genetically engineered race of super soldiers designed to be fanatically loyal to the Founders of the Dominion. They could be considered a Servant Race of Proud Warrior Race Guys in regards to the Founders (whom they revere like Gods), but they see their overseers, the Vorta, as keeping them enslaved via the chemical substance Ketracel-white (which their cellular biology is designed to require in regular doses). One Jem'Hadar was shown to lack this addiction and biological necessity; he tried to find a way to share his condition with others in order to start a liberation movement that might allow them to cast off the Vorta (he even began to question whether the Founders truly deserved the loyalty of the Jem'Hadar).


Tabletop Games

  • Star Fleet Battles. The Klingons have a number of "subject races" who serve aboard their starships, including the Dunkars, Slidarians, Hilladarians, Zoolies and Cromargs.
  • Eldar used to be this.
  • In Exalted, the oddly coloured Djala pygmies are mostly this, and most assuredly do not like the situation. One canon character is a Djala, and working to change things.
  • The human ancestors of the githyanki and githzerai were enslaved by mindflayers for millenia and subjected to horrific experiments, but they Turned Against Their Masters.
    • In the Greyhawk setting, the derro are the descendants of human/dwarf hybrids who were bred as a slave race of miners by a Magocracy. After the empire fell, they fled underground and descended into barbarism.
  • In the Magic: The Gathering storyline, during the Tempest expansion/StoryArc, the evincar Volrath employs moggs -- goblins who are larger, more brutish, and less intelligent -- as a slave race.
    • One of the cards in Planar Chaos discusses an alternate timeline, in which Mirri befalls Selenia's curse, eventually ascends to the position of evincar, and exterminates the moggs in favor of the the Kor.
    • The Neurok were slaves (or at least a subordinate race) to the Vedalken, at least until they took over Lumengrid.


Video Games

  • In Achron it is revealed that the Vecgir were enslaved by the Grekim, or rather by the AI that controlled both the Grekim and Vecgir. The difference is that the Grekim liked being controlled.
  • The Ur-Quan from Star Control 2 were once slaves of the Dnyarri. They Turned Against Their Masters and now have enslaved not only the Dnyarri (whom they've lobotomized) but several other races everyone else they can find (including humans) as well.
    • The slavers are the good Ur-Quan. Bad ones just decided to kill everyone else.
  • Half-Life.
    • The Vortigaunts.
    • The various synth units used by the Combine are implied to be created from races formerly enslaved by the Combine. The Combine seems to have something similar in mind for humanity.
  • The Githzerai (conquered by the Ithillids) in Planescape: Torment.
  • The Collectors of Mass Effect. In this case, there's no rebellion, since they're Protheans who were all thoroughly brainwashed and genetically re-engineered thousands of years ago. The Keepers may also qualify, since their origins are never made clear; in the first game, Vigil speculates that the Keepers were the first race to be harvested, and in the second game, you can hear crew-members wondering aloud if the Keepers were put through the same process.
    • Some people (in universe and out) feel that the drell qualify, due to their subservient position to the hanar. Both the hanar and the drell will get extremely angry if you call the drell slaves, though. Because the hanar pretty much saved the drell from going extinct, the drell see their servitude under The Compact to be a way to repay the hanar for this immeasurable debt, and by all accounts drell servants are treated very well by the hanar.
  • You find out late game in Final Fantasy XIII that the Godlike Fal'cie are essentially this being created by the Maker for a single Focus they must obey for eternity and that the only measure of freedom they have is creating l'cie out of the humans they where born to serve.
    • Guardian Forces are technically this. Well, the equippable ones, anyway. Delves into Happiness in Slavery as well. Unfortunately, there isn't much explanation into this point.
  • Everything that isn't a Pfhor in Marathon. The mind controlled cyborg S'pht are given the most attention out of these, due to their rebellion being a major turning point in the conflict. The Pfhor plan on turning humans into this too, but according to the second game's epilogue, humanity eventually wins.
  • Dragon Age elves are a Slave Race to the Tevinter Empire. They may enslave other races, but elves are a traditional preference, with none of the political or social complications to their abductions. Technically, they've been freed by governments that once belonged to the Tevinter Empire (Ferelden, Orlais, etc.). Technically. They still live in "alienages" (ghettos), and are treated almost universally poorly by the humans, in some cases as little better than slaves.
  • Many of the races of the Covenant in Halo qualify. The Grunts are the more obvious examples, while the Jackals take out their frustrations on serving the Prophets and Elites on the Grunts. Engineers as well, though they're happy as long as they're fixing machines. Brutes were this under the Elites until the Prophets promoted the Brutes over the Elites.
  • In the lore of The Elder Scrolls, the Imperials were once a slave race to the Ayleids before rebelling and forming the Empire. The Khajiit and Argonians were primarily used as slaves by the Dunmer (Dark Elves) in Morrowind, with slavery allowed in Morrowind despite being banned in the rest of the Empire, due to an agreement the Empire made when they annexed Morrowind. After Oblivion Crisis the Summerset Isle, the land of the Altmer (High Elves) seceded from the Empire and annexed Elsweyr and Valenwood treating the Khajiit and Bosmer (Wood Elves) as slave races.
    • The Falmer (Snow Elves) spent generations as slaves to the Dwemer, until, for unrelated reasons, the Dwemer all disappeared.


Webcomics

  • Gnomes and Rift Halmes in Drowtales.
  • Part of the implied backstory of the Talmi in Last Res0rt.
  • The boetheri from Twisted Mirrors.
  • Alien Dice has an interesting case of this, as the Rishan are abducted humans who were genetically modified to be slaves. Whether they were happy or not is never discussed.
  • In Overside's distant past (shown in "The Tusks of Wusterim"), the Frogs were slaves to the Wusterim Empire. It was their revolt that brought the empire crashing down.
  • The Eebs in Spacetrawler. The movement to liberate them motivates the entire plot.
  • Part of the background of Terinu. The Vulpine, Creo, Galen, Maud and Manzi were all conquered by the Varn Dominion and made to serve. Then the Dominion made the mistake of trying the same with Humanity.


Web Originals

  • The Global Guardians PBEM Universe. Most of the aliens who now live on Earth were originally brought as conquered slave races by the Xorn invaders in 1985. When the Xorn were defeated, tens of thousands of alien slaves were left behind, and most chose to stay on Earth and build new homes and lives rather than be returned to slavery under their former Xorn masters.


Western Animation

  • Referenced in a montage in Futurama. In the year one million and a half, humanity as a whole is a slave race to giraffes.
  • In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the Zygerrians actually plan to make Togrutas these.


Mythology and Religion

  • The Bible: The Jews were a slave-race in Egypt for generations, until some dude named Moses told 'em to let his people go. The Pharoah eventually did so, after a series of plagues brought the country (formerly the greatest power in the region) to its knees.
  • While the angels of The Quran are never outright called a slave race, they are functionally the same because they lack free will and hence have no ability to rebel against Allah. Some Works act like this is also in The Bible, which ignores that the bible mentions rebel angels.


Real Life

  • Blacks were used as slaves by several European nations, and by white Americans all the way until the Civil War. Native Americans were also used as slaves (and not only the US, but even more frequently in South America). Problem was, the Native American slave populations kept dying because of European diseases. So their owners solved this by importing African slaves to America instead.
    • YMMV. The African version of slavery varied over time and space, but in many areas, it was relatively benign--obvious stress on the word "relatively". Native American slavery, on the other hand, could be extremely vicious--basically, the slave was a war captive and wasn't being allowed to live as much as they were having their deaths deferred(It is now generally believed that both European and Middle Eastern slavery got started with this mentality as well). Unlike in Africa, however, Native American slavery north of Mexico was fairly rare and only practiced in a few select regions--do note that this was not due to any abnormal advances in moral standards, but because most pre-Colombian aboriginal economies couldn't really support slavery.
  • The Helots, slaves/serfs of the Spartans, who outnumbered the Spartan citizenry by so much that the Spartans had a tradition of hunting them down and killing them. This wasn't considered murder; one of the duties of the ephors (Spartan magistrates) was to declare war on the helots every year so that Spartan citizens could legally kill them (the fact that they were surrounded and vastly outnumbered by slaves who had every reason to hate them is believed by some to account for the Spartans' extreme militaristic badassery). The people from Sparta certainly considered themselves to be a breed apart. To the point that, in order to be a Spartan soldier, you had to be able to trace your origins back several generations of pure-blooded Spartans. This... did not work out so well for them, as being so incredibly exclusive in who can be a "soldier" tends to result in running out of trained soldiers. Not all wars are fought in very narrow mountain passes where numbers don't matter.
    • It is pretty much universally accepted that Spartan badassery and the helot system were heavily intertwined... besides the perpetual siege mentality, the helot population gave the Spartans the luxury of being able to do things like live in a barracks like a monk until age 30 by, you know, running the local economy. Funny thing about perpetual training to be a badass; you usually can't do it unless it's what you actually do for a living. The helots were the answer to the paradox of the Spartans being citizen militiamen and being able to train like modern day professionals like the SEALs. Thebes would prove canny enough to note this, and after defeating Sparta in the Theban War, they demanded as part of the peace settlement that the former citizens of Messenia--i.e, the helots--be given their freedom. There is some speculation that Pericles planned to do the same had he won.
  • This is what Nazi Germany had in mind for practically all of Eastern Europe during World War II, including the Poles, Ukrainians, and Russians. Their lands would be settled by Germans, and the remainder of the local "subhumans" would be their slaves. The remainder, mind you. After about two thirds of the natives would already have been exterminated through organized starvation and ethnic cleansing.
    • The Nazis even invoked the above example; Heinrich Himmler once said that the Russian people would be the Helots to Germany's Spartans.
  • This genus of ants enslaves other species of ants by invading their nests and killing their queens.
  • Subverted with most modern forms of slavery. Nowadays, slavers don't give a crap about the ethnicity of their victims as long as they can make money with them. Hell, most of them outright share their nationality, which is nothing new at all. Having slaves of a different race is the more unusual thing historically, because historically most slaves were war captives and generally you went to war with your neighbor who looked like you.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.