Tweet of the Day: “How Could We Know Joy?”
This is a sister trope to among others Victorious Childhood Friend. It need not be a friend from childhood (although it is not uncommon), but the girl (as stand in for romantic other) must come have come first in some way, usually chronologically. And to quote from the TV Tropes page:
From a Doylist point of view, actually introducing the First Girl early is a solid writing tactic. The girl who is going to “win” needs an early introduction for a lot of reasons— to get the audience interested in her and rooting for her, to gain characterization, to give her relationship with the hero time to develop. And with all that said, it’s such a common device that in all likelihood, it sometimes gets played for its own sake. It telegraphs, “lookie here, a serious Love Interest contender”. From this perspective, it’s not so much that the First Girl wins because she comes first as much as she comes first because she wins.
Which avoids a common problem with many failed romance plots, the love interest just appears out of no where. In other words, love interest by author’s fiat. Few things are more frustrating to a reader than when an author hands them a situation like this and says (in essence) “take it or leave it.”
It also hints of “true love” just like its sister tropes. The character has remained loyal to their first love (with varying definitions of loyal) throughout. Of course how this love survived for so long (however long that may be) or was rekindled (if it didn’t) is also important less it also becomes a question of author’s fiat.
This is a Mass Effect 3 I put together. A collage of multiple trailers. I hope you like it: