History BittersweetEnding / Literature

28th May '17 3:29:07 PM nombretomado
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* The final volume of the ''Konrad'' WarhammerFantasy novels features Konrad defeating the Skaven plot to take over the Empire, and screwing with his adversary's plans. Unfortunately for Konrad, said enemy escapes, and he is forced to behead his first love; for bonus points, it's implied he may not survive what he's getting into at the end. By this point, most if not all of his friends and allies are dead. Of course, this is from a ''[[CrapsackWorld Games Workshop]]'' universe, so it should come as no surprise that this is actually the ''most'' optimistic part of the novel.

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* The final volume of the ''Konrad'' WarhammerFantasy TabletopGame/WarhammerFantasy novels features Konrad defeating the Skaven plot to take over the Empire, and screwing with his adversary's plans. Unfortunately for Konrad, said enemy escapes, and he is forced to behead his first love; for bonus points, it's implied he may not survive what he's getting into at the end. By this point, most if not all of his friends and allies are dead. Of course, this is from a ''[[CrapsackWorld Games Workshop]]'' universe, so it should come as no surprise that this is actually the ''most'' optimistic part of the novel.
24th May '17 7:31:33 AM TheNerfGuy
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* ''Literature/ADeadlyPresence'': The two main heroes live HappilyEverAfter and the leopard will be transported to a zoo instead of being killed, but humanity still doesn't care about Nature and continues to destroy it. [[DownerEnding A very sad story when you see it in this perspective]].
22nd May '17 9:55:18 PM PaulA
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* Daniel Quinn's ''Literature/{{Ishmael}}'' ends with the titular teacher's death, but he had taught all that the narrator needed to know to save the world.

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* Daniel Quinn's ''Literature/{{Ishmael}}'' ''Literature/{{Ishmael|1992}}'' ends with the titular teacher's death, but he had taught all that the narrator needed to know to save the world.
19th May '17 9:15:42 AM Neromenian
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Added DiffLines:

*''Literature/ADeadlyPresence'': The two main heroes live HappilyEverAfter and the leopard will be transported to a zoo instead of being killed, but humanity still doesn't care about Nature and continues to destroy it. [[DownerEnding A very sad story when you see it in this perspective]].
16th May '17 1:43:45 AM PaulA
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* The book version of ''Literature/ThePrincessBride'' has this ending. WilliamGoldman relates a cliffhanger ending, and then skips it, and then ruminates that maybe life for the heroes wasn't really perfect ever after, and finally he concludes, "Life isn't fair. It's just fairer than death, that's all."

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* The book version of ''Literature/ThePrincessBride'' has this ending. WilliamGoldman Creator/WilliamGoldman relates a cliffhanger ending, and then skips it, and then ruminates that maybe life for the heroes wasn't really perfect ever after, and finally he concludes, "Life isn't fair. It's just fairer than death, that's all."
6th May '17 3:30:32 PM Kakai
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* ForgottenRealms' ''Starlight and Shadows'' trilogy: Most participants who managed to stay alive [[CharacterDevelopment grew wiser]].
Part of damages from the Times of Troubles is repaired. Liriel survives and finds some friends, but Fyodor is dead and not to be resurrected. Products of drow radiation magic works on surface without deterioration - mixed blessing at best (though may be Weave repair).

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* ForgottenRealms' ''Starlight and Shadows'' trilogy: Most participants who managed to stay alive [[CharacterDevelopment grew wiser]]. \n Part of damages from the Times of Troubles is repaired. Liriel survives and finds some friends, but Fyodor is dead and not to be resurrected. Products of drow radiation magic works on surface without deterioration - mixed blessing at best (though may be Weave repair).
6th May '17 3:29:23 PM Kakai
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* ForgottenRealms' ''Starlight and Shadows'' trilogy: Most participants who managed to stay alive [[CharacterDevelopment grew wiser]]. Part of damages from the Times of Troubles is repaired. Liriel survives and finds some friends, but Fyodor is dead and not to be resurrected. Products of drow radiation magic works on surface without deterioration - mixed blessing at best (though may be Weave repair).

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* ''Literature/TheSpiritThief'': Yes, the only demon left inside the sphere is Nico, the new Hunter loves his job, Benehime is defeated, power is returned to the spirits and a new age of cooperation between them and humans begins. On the other hand, all of creation is still stuck in the tiny "lifeboat" surrounded by innumerable, ravenous demons who still try to break through, and its unlikely the Creator will ever return. Unless humans and spirits figure out how to destroy destruction itself, they will forever live under the threat of demons breaking through.
* ForgottenRealms' ''Starlight and Shadows'' trilogy: Most participants who managed to stay alive [[CharacterDevelopment grew wiser]].
Part of damages from the Times of Troubles is repaired. Liriel survives and finds some friends, but Fyodor is dead and not to be resurrected. Products of drow radiation magic works on surface without deterioration - mixed blessing at best (though may be Weave repair).
30th Apr '17 9:54:27 PM Orbiting
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* The conclusion of Creator/GarthNix's ''Abhorsen'': Hedge is dead, Orannis is bound anew, and most of the main characters, plus the innocents they were trying to protect, survive. However, Lirael loses her hand, Nick will have to struggle against the Free Magic still in his blood for the rest of his life, and the Disreputable Dog is dead. Or is it? This ''is'' one of the Seven we're talking about here...

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As said on the main page, '''spoilers are unmarked'''.
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* The conclusion of Creator/GarthNix's ''Abhorsen'': ''[[Literature/OldKingdom Abhorsen]]'': Hedge is dead, Orannis is bound anew, and most of the main characters, plus the innocents they were trying to protect, survive. However, Lirael loses her hand, Nick will have to struggle against the Free Magic still in his blood for the rest of his life, and the Disreputable Dog is dead. Or is it? This ''is'' one of the Seven we're talking about here...



* After the twist reveal in ''Literature/AfternoonOfTheElves'', the plot collapses rapidly into one of these. [[spoiler:Are Sara-Kate and her mother better off now, even separated and reliant on charity? Hopefully. Could Sara-Kate have held things together forever? No, and she shouldn't have to at her age. But her devastation at the upheaval of their life together is still heartbreaking.]]

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* After the twist reveal in ''Literature/AfternoonOfTheElves'', the plot collapses rapidly into one of these. [[spoiler:Are Are Sara-Kate and her mother better off now, even separated and reliant on charity? Hopefully. Could Sara-Kate have held things together forever? No, and she shouldn't have to at her age. But her devastation at the upheaval of their life together is still heartbreaking.]]



* David Mitchell's ''Literature/TheBoneClocks'' ends with [[spoiler: Rafiq and Lorelei]] escaping to relative safety in Iceland. But [[spoiler: Holly]] will never see them again, and Western civilization is rapidly collapsing.

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* David Mitchell's ''Literature/TheBoneClocks'' ends with [[spoiler: Rafiq and Lorelei]] Lorelei escaping to relative safety in Iceland. But [[spoiler: Holly]] Holly will never see them again, and Western civilization is rapidly collapsing.



* After Caleb calls Falkland to court in ''Literature/CalebWilliams'', Falkland confesses all his wrongdoing, commends Caleb – and dies. But Caleb is wracked with grief for being Falkland’s "murderer" and disillusioned with "the corrupt wilderness of human society."

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* After Caleb calls Falkland to court in ''Literature/CalebWilliams'', Falkland confesses all his wrongdoing, commends Caleb and dies. But Caleb is wracked with grief for being Falkland’s Falkland�s "murderer" and disillusioned with "the corrupt wilderness of human society."



* In ''Literature/TheDinosaurLords'', the first book ends like this, with an extra serving of Bitter. [[spoiler:Melodía's free from Falk, but on the run to Providence, which not just the Empire, but also the freaking Grey Angels made their next target. Karyl and Rob manage to save the army, but get imprisoned for their effort, and while Jaume's still free of Falk's machinations, his control over Correction Army is slipping slowly.]]

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* In ''Literature/TheDinosaurLords'', the first book ends like this, with an extra serving of Bitter. [[spoiler:Melodía's Melodía's free from Falk, but on the run to Providence, which not just the Empire, but also the freaking Grey Angels made their next target. Karyl and Rob manage to save the army, but get imprisoned for their effort, and while Jaume's still free of Falk's machinations, his control over Correction Army is slipping slowly.]]



* In ''Literature/GunsOfTheDawn'', the protagonist survives, and at least some of the people she cares about survive too (including the one she had developed feelings for). As a bonus, the person responsible for the war is dead. However, this occurs against the backdrop of [[spoiler:her country having lost the war, and now being under foreign occupation]]. (This isn't as big a downer as might have been assumed at the start of the book, though, since it turns out [[spoiler:the foreigners weren't the ones who started it and aren't the crazy anarchists they were portrayed as]].)

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* In ''Literature/GunsOfTheDawn'', the protagonist survives, and at least some of the people she cares about survive too (including the one she had developed feelings for). As a bonus, the person responsible for the war is dead. However, this occurs against the backdrop of [[spoiler:her her country having lost the war, and now being under foreign occupation]]. occupation. (This isn't as big a downer as might have been assumed at the start of the book, though, since it turns out [[spoiler:the the foreigners weren't the ones who started it and aren't the crazy anarchists they were portrayed as]].as.)



** ''Order of the Phoenix'': The Ministry of Magic has finally accepted Voldemort's return and is preparing for open war, Dumbledore has apologized for his questionable actions, and Umbridge has been sacked. However, there ''is'' open war on the horizon, [[spoiler: Harry has lost his godfather]], and Dumbledore has told Harry that he and Voldemort are fated to kill each other.
** ''Half-Blood Prince'': It only really becomes this on the last page at Harry's admission. [[spoiler: Dumbledore has been killed by Snape, Harry has broken up with Ginny for her own safety, the Horcruxes are still out there, and Harry plans to forgo returning to Hogwarts to find them.]] Harry takes solace in the fact that he'll be able to have one last golden day of peace with his friends and family at Bill and Fleur's wedding.

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** ''Order of the Phoenix'': The Ministry of Magic has finally accepted Voldemort's return and is preparing for open war, Dumbledore has apologized for his questionable actions, and Umbridge has been sacked. However, there ''is'' open war on the horizon, [[spoiler: Harry has lost his godfather]], godfather, and Dumbledore has told Harry that he and Voldemort are fated to kill each other.
** ''Half-Blood Prince'': It only really becomes this on the last page at Harry's admission. [[spoiler: Dumbledore has been killed by Snape, Harry has broken up with Ginny for her own safety, the Horcruxes are still out there, and Harry plans to forgo returning to Hogwarts to find them.]] them. Harry takes solace in the fact that he'll be able to have one last golden day of peace with his friends and family at Bill and Fleur's wedding.



* By the end of ''Literature/LegacyTheTaleOfTheAmericanEagle'', rogue hero American Eagle has caused significant damage to international drug trade to avenge his sidekick, but it’s implied the Snakehead organisation can rebuild faster than the good guys anticipated, and for all his efforts he is being disowned by the United States of America, forcing him to live on the run.

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* By the end of ''Literature/LegacyTheTaleOfTheAmericanEagle'', rogue hero American Eagle has caused significant damage to international drug trade to avenge his sidekick, but it’s it�s implied the Snakehead organisation can rebuild faster than the good guys anticipated, and for all his efforts he is being disowned by the United States of America, forcing him to live on the run.



* ''Literature/MarginPlay'': The main bad guy loses —big time— in the end, and there's reason to believe that the rest of the bad guys will also be caught, but Mrs Kitsmiller may still lose her house, and even if she doesn't, her neighborhood is still destroyed; dozens, perhaps hundreds, of other people have still lost their homes because of the scheme. Amber gets out from under the loans that were crushing her business, but she also has to face the fact that she did some things that put her into seriously grey territory morally and over the line legally; Amber and Drake realize that they care about each other a great deal, but Drake has to leave when Halcourt's PI shows up to serve him with papers for yet another lawsuit

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* ''Literature/MarginPlay'': The main bad guy loses —big time— �big time� in the end, and there's reason to believe that the rest of the bad guys will also be caught, but Mrs Kitsmiller may still lose her house, and even if she doesn't, her neighborhood is still destroyed; dozens, perhaps hundreds, of other people have still lost their homes because of the scheme. Amber gets out from under the loans that were crushing her business, but she also has to face the fact that she did some things that put her into seriously grey territory morally and over the line legally; Amber and Drake realize that they care about each other a great deal, but Drake has to leave when Halcourt's PI shows up to serve him with papers for yet another lawsuit



* As of ''Literature/MaximumRideForever'', the world has gone up in flames and the flock failed to save the world, almost everyone else in the world –- including Maya -- is dead. And even the new beautiful, heaven-like "perfect world" for winged, gilled mutants is bleak full of nuclear fallout and dangerous monsters, and more characters are KilledOffForReal. On the plus side: with Nudge, Gazzy and Iggy revealed to be alive –- most of the Flock has survived and Max and Fang are back together.

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* As of ''Literature/MaximumRideForever'', the world has gone up in flames and the flock failed to save the world, almost everyone else in the world –- �- including Maya -- is dead. And even the new beautiful, heaven-like "perfect world" for winged, gilled mutants is bleak full of nuclear fallout and dangerous monsters, and more characters are KilledOffForReal. On the plus side: with Nudge, Gazzy and Iggy revealed to be alive –- �- most of the Flock has survived and Max and Fang are back together.



* ''Literature/SeedsOfYesterday'' is chronologically this for the ''Dollanganger'' saga. [[spoiler:Chris was killed in a car crash, just like his father and leaving Cathy as the last Dollanganger]], but Bart has finally accepted him as his father. Jory and Toni are married and expecting a child, and Jory finding happiness after losing so much. Bart becomes a televangelist, and reconciles with Cindy after years of abuse, though he will probably never have a good relationship because he wants a [[OedipusComplex woman like his mother]]. Cathy has finally been able to see her family get along, but she can't live without [[spoiler:Chris, and goes up to the attic of the rebuilt Foxworth Hall and decorates it just as she and her deceased siblings did as children]].

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* ''Literature/SeedsOfYesterday'' is chronologically this for the ''Dollanganger'' saga. [[spoiler:Chris Chris was killed in a car crash, just like his father and leaving Cathy as the last Dollanganger]], Dollanganger, but Bart has finally accepted him as his father. Jory and Toni are married and expecting a child, and Jory finding happiness after losing so much. Bart becomes a televangelist, and reconciles with Cindy after years of abuse, though he will probably never have a good relationship because he wants a [[OedipusComplex woman like his mother]]. Cathy has finally been able to see her family get along, but she can't live without [[spoiler:Chris, Chris, and goes up to the attic of the rebuilt Foxworth Hall and decorates it just as she and her deceased siblings did as children]].children.



* ''Literature/StarTrekTheEugenicsWars'' ends with the defeat of Khan and the end of the superhuman threat. [[spoiler: At the end, Isis is killed by Joaquin and Khan is still alive with many of his followers, ready to cause trouble when and where ever he wakes up.]]

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* ''Literature/StarTrekTheEugenicsWars'' ends with the defeat of Khan and the end of the superhuman threat. [[spoiler: At the end, Isis is killed by Joaquin and Khan is still alive with many of his followers, ready to cause trouble when and where ever he wakes up.]]



* ''Literature/ThoseThatWake'' ends with this. The building and Man In Suit have been taken down, his influence is less widespread, and Tommy and Annie have been rescued, but Mike, Brath, and Isabel are dead, Remak's whereabouts are unknown, no one remembers Laura or Mal, and the corporations are constructing a new building where the old one was—though this one is visible at least. Also, the sequel reveals a new villain is around afterwards.\\\

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* ''Literature/ThoseThatWake'' ends with this. The building and Man In Suit have been taken down, his influence is less widespread, and Tommy and Annie have been rescued, but Mike, Brath, and Isabel are dead, Remak's whereabouts are unknown, no one remembers Laura or Mal, and the corporations are constructing a new building where the old one was—though was�though this one is visible at least. Also, the sequel reveals a new villain is around afterwards.\\\



* ''Literature/TheWandering'' by Roger Elwood: Neshi and his two companions from Nede are all killed on the last world they ended up on, but just as Neshi dies, he could hear the voice of his wife Etarina calling "Baba". This is after they discover the truth that they were seeking: [[spoiler:Jesus Saves]].

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* ''Literature/TheWandering'' by Roger Elwood: Neshi and his two companions from Nede are all killed on the last world they ended up on, but just as Neshi dies, he could hear the voice of his wife Etarina calling "Baba". This is after they discover the truth that they were seeking: [[spoiler:Jesus Saves]].Jesus Saves.



** One example from her debut ''Literature/InterpreterOfMaladies'' is "When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine". At the end of the story, [[spoiler: Lilia (the protagonist) feels saddened by the fact that she'll never again see Mr. Pirzada, who is now back in Bangladesh caring for his family after the horrific war. She throws away all the candy he gave her out of love because it reminds her too much of him]].

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** One example from her debut ''Literature/InterpreterOfMaladies'' is "When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine". At the end of the story, [[spoiler: Lilia (the protagonist) feels saddened by the fact that she'll never again see Mr. Pirzada, who is now back in Bangladesh caring for his family after the horrific war. She throws away all the candy he gave her out of love because it reminds her too much of him]].him.



** ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'': The good guys win. Aragorn takes his rightful place as king. Sauron is defeated permanently, and the Ring destroyed... but this also destroys the power of the Three Rings that has sustained Lothlórien and Rivendell, and the Elves leave. Frodo, unable to bear the weight of all he lost to save the world, leaves with them, as does Gandalf, and magic begins to go out of the world. The bittersweetness is distilled through Sam's perspective - he becomes a husband and father, yet loses his much beloved master just as his homeland is beginning to be made right. “I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”
** ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'': Morgoth is defeated and permanently banished from the world until the end of time. The two Silmarils remaining in his crown are stolen and then lost forever. The continent is mostly destroyed and many of the Elves sail to the West. The romance between the mortal Man Beren and Elven beauty Lúthien. The good news is that Lúthien becomes mortal, allowing her to follow Beren when he dies (Men and Elves have ''very'' different fates after death). The bad news is that Lúthien becomes mortal, and thereby passes out of the world and is lost to her people.

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** ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'': The good guys win. Aragorn takes his rightful place as king. Sauron is defeated permanently, and the Ring destroyed... but this also destroys the power of the Three Rings that has sustained Lothlórien and Rivendell, and the Elves leave. Frodo, unable to bear the weight of all he lost to save the world, leaves with them, as does Gandalf, and magic begins to go out of the world. The bittersweetness is distilled through Sam's perspective - he becomes a husband and father, yet loses his much beloved master just as his homeland is beginning to be made right. “I �I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.

** ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'': Morgoth is defeated and permanently banished from the world until the end of time. The two Silmarils remaining in his crown are stolen and then lost forever. The continent is mostly destroyed and many of the Elves sail to the West. The romance between the mortal Man Beren and Elven beauty Lúthien. The good news is that Lúthien becomes mortal, allowing her to follow Beren when he dies (Men and Elves have ''very'' different fates after death). The bad news is that Lúthien becomes mortal, and thereby passes out of the world and is lost to her people.



* [[spoiler:Every member of the Raven dies]] in Ravensoul, the last book in ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheRaven''. [[spoiler:Many, many innocents also die, although some escape to a new world. The continent on which most of the story takes place is almost completely obliterated. The spirits of the Raven members are assigned to defend the portal through which the rest of the population escapes, though, so at least they are all together in death.]]

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* [[spoiler:Every Every member of the Raven dies]] dies in Ravensoul, the last book in ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheRaven''. [[spoiler:Many, Many, many innocents also die, although some escape to a new world. The continent on which most of the story takes place is almost completely obliterated. The spirits of the Raven members are assigned to defend the portal through which the rest of the population escapes, though, so at least they are all together in death.]]
29th Apr '17 11:25:17 AM nombretomado
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* ''Literature/OutboundFlight''. Some things, like the destruction of the Outbound Flight on the cover and the fact that only a few people survived, are known from TimothyZahn's previous novel set years later, ''Survivor's Quest''. We also know that the survivors and their children hate and distrust the Jedi who lead the Flight, none of those Jedi survived, and a lightsaber and one charric, the signature weapon of the Chiss, were found in a certain part of the wreckage. You find that the one most sympathetic Jedi on board, the one who was almost able to avoid all that, did a HeroicSacrifice to save the survivors, which wouldn't have been necessary if they'd just ''stayed put'', and didn't think twice about it. And the Chiss -- who happened to be Thrawn's less-genius brother -- helped, and no one even knew what they did. It's borderline Downer Ending.

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* ''Literature/OutboundFlight''. Some things, like the destruction of the Outbound Flight on the cover and the fact that only a few people survived, are known from TimothyZahn's Creator/TimothyZahn's previous novel set years later, ''Survivor's Quest''. We also know that the survivors and their children hate and distrust the Jedi who lead the Flight, none of those Jedi survived, and a lightsaber and one charric, the signature weapon of the Chiss, were found in a certain part of the wreckage. You find that the one most sympathetic Jedi on board, the one who was almost able to avoid all that, did a HeroicSacrifice to save the survivors, which wouldn't have been necessary if they'd just ''stayed put'', and didn't think twice about it. And the Chiss -- who happened to be Thrawn's less-genius brother -- helped, and no one even knew what they did. It's borderline Downer Ending.
27th Apr '17 7:17:44 AM Chris116
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* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', even the first two parts of the series are kind of bittersweet, as we know that Harry has to return to the Dursleys for the summer. "Prisoner of Azkaban" is even more so, as Harry now knows that he has a godfather, but he can't live with him. "Goblet of Fire" ends on a relatively traumatized downer. "Order of Phoenix" ends with many terrible things (including Sirius's death) having happened during the year. "Goblet of fire" and "Half-blood Prince" both have uneasier, pop-thriller tones, and end in downer "wham episode" endings. "Deathly Hallows" sees Voldemort and his Death Eaters have been destroyed or scattered, and Harry is free of his burden. On the other hand, many wonderful people have died and the trauma is felt, and the 8th installment, "Cursed Child", has Harry attempting to bond with his slightly estranged age severely damaged son while crying over the graves of those that have died and admitting that the trauma or Voldemort and the war is still with him.

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* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', even ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** Downplayed with
the first two parts of the series are kind of bittersweet, installments, as we know that while they end with Harry has being forced to return to his abusive Muggle family, he still managed to end both books saving the Dursleys school in a big win. Then CerebusSyndrome for the summer. "Prisoner series kicks in...
** ''Prisoner
of Azkaban" is even more so, as Azkaban'': Harry now knows that he has a again manages to save the day, including the life and soul of his godfather, but he can't live he's forced to flee since he's still a wanted fugitive.
** ''Goblet of Fire'': Harry has survived his first real brush
with him. "Goblet of Fire" ends on a relatively traumatized downer. "Order of Phoenix" ends with many terrible things (including Sirius's death) having happened during the year. "Goblet of fire" and "Half-blood Prince" both have uneasier, pop-thriller tones, and end in downer "wham episode" endings. "Deathly Hallows" sees Voldemort... but Voldemort is still back and ready to get back to business. Harry also has to cope with the trauma of watching a friend die, and the Minister of Magic not believing his story. Nevertheless, Hagrid assures him that they'll be able to face what's coming together.
** ''Order of the Phoenix'': The Ministry of Magic has finally accepted Voldemort's return and is preparing for open war, Dumbledore has apologized for his questionable actions, and Umbridge has been sacked. However, there ''is'' open war on the horizon, [[spoiler: Harry has lost his godfather]], and Dumbledore has told Harry that he and Voldemort are fated to kill each other.
** ''Half-Blood Prince'': It only really becomes this on the last page at Harry's admission. [[spoiler: Dumbledore has been killed by Snape, Harry has broken up with Ginny for her own safety, the Horcruxes are still out there, and Harry plans to forgo returning to Hogwarts to find them.]] Harry takes solace in the fact that he'll be able to have one last golden day of peace with his friends and family at Bill and Fleur's wedding.
** ''Deathly Hallows'': Harry has finally triumphed over Voldemort for good, and the
Death Eaters crumble overnight, the Wizarding World being saved at last, and eventually settles down and has a family. However, the heroes have been destroyed or scattered, and Harry is free of his burden. On the other hand, many wonderful people have died and the trauma is felt, and the 8th installment, "Cursed Child", has Harry attempting to bond with his slightly estranged age severely damaged son while crying over the graves of those that have died and admitting that the trauma or Voldemort and the war is still with him.sustained countless unbearable losses, and there's still a lot of work to be done fixing the world they live in.
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