History Literature / Mahabharata

14th Jul '17 10:44:41 AM saltin
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* EvilCounterpart: Ashwatthama was an avatar to Shiva like how Krishna was to Vishnu. However, while Krishna was a ManipulativeBastard, Ashwatthama was DumbMuscle at best.


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* TogetherInDeath: Combined with AscendedToAHigherPlainOfExistence, it's the ultimate fate of the feuding Pandavas and Kauravas; stuck together in paradise for eternity.
12th Jul '17 8:08:05 PM saltin
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* LoopholeAbuse: Ghandari was fated to have her first husband die prematurely. To circumvent this, her family had her marry a goat and kill it to have this destiny harmlessly play out. Unfortunately, to maintain her viability as a bride of high-standing, they withheld that information from her horoscope and when Bhishma found out about the deception, he had them imprisoned and slowly starved them to death with Shakuni as the only (and very vengeful) survivor.


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* SchoolyardBullyAllGrownUp: Bhima made a habit of tormenting the Kaurava brothers when they were children because none of them save Duryodhana was a match for him in combat. He grows up to kill most of them during the war.
12th Jul '17 7:57:39 PM saltin
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* DefeatByModesty: Ghandari's last-ditch blessing to Duryodhana would have made him completely invulnerable had Krishna not shamed him into covering his thighs and privates as he claimed appearing before his mother buck-naked would have been a shameful thing to do.


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* FriendlyEnemy: Played straight with Bhishma and Karna. Ultimately deconstructed with Krishna who, while ever-affable, you shouldn't listen to if he's on the opposing side as no matter how good his suggestions are, he is still your enemy and everything he does is in service of his allies.


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* GodAndSatanAreBothJerks: The Pandavas have divine parentage while the Kauravas have more infernal roots. By the end of the story, each side is more-or-less as terrible as the other.


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* RevengeBeforeReason: On the 18th Day, Duryodhana is completely defeated and knows it. He surrenders to the Pandavas when they corner him, saying that he'll peacefully retire to the live in the wilds of the kingdom after he gives dominion of it over to them. The wrathful brothers reject his offer and challenge him to a DuelToTheDeath to make his loss official. Duryodhana is a good sport about it, even picking Bhima as his opponent to settle their old grievances despite how he'd have a huge advantage over any other Pandava brother, but when they cheat to win and leave him to die from his injuries, he uses the last of his strength to instruct Ashwatthamma to murder the Pandavas in their sleep. Because of the night's low visibility, Ashwatthamma kills the Pandavas' ''sons'' by accident, imperiling the lineage of the victors and making it fragile enough that their legacy ends in anticlimactic squalor.


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* ToxicFriendInfluence: Combined, oddly enough, with MoralityPet. While Karna's friendship with Duryodhana makes him crueler, it in turn makes Duryodhana a better man.
12th Jul '17 7:36:36 PM saltin
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** More so than his own, Duryodhana feared the mortality of his parents because of their relative frailty compared to the rest of their family (Bhishma, the Pandavas, the Kauravas, etc). [[spoiler:They both outlive him and many of their "stronger" kinsmen.]]
11th Jul '17 4:39:23 AM saltin
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* MyRulesAreNotYourRules: Krishna is practically a PoisonousFriend as due to how he's a living god, any treachery perpetrated by the Pandavas, no matter how objectively heinous, is made honorable by his divine right. These include, but are not limited to, shooting your enemy in the back, hitting below the belt, and outright flagrant deception.
11th Jul '17 3:44:21 AM saltin
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* NoHeroToHisValet: To his subjects, Duryodhana was a wonderful prince and a promising scion of the throne. Sadly, while they still loved him, his parents and Bhishma were always dogged by the knowledge that the boy's nobility hung on a very thin thread and when it came time to name a successor to the kinghood, they couldn't bring themselves to make it him.
11th Jul '17 3:40:02 AM saltin
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* HeelRealization: Losing his brothers and his friends makes Duryodhana admit to how his wickedness robbed him of all he held dear, but in the same breath he points out that that doesn't make the Pandavas "good" by any stretch of the imagination.
11th Jul '17 3:32:59 AM saltin
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* StrangeMindsThinkAlike: While they loathed one another, both Duryodhana and Arjuna thought to sneak into Krishna's kingdom (and bedroom) to curry his favor for the upcoming war once he woke up. On the same night. They also agreed not to come to blows for fear of waking him prematurely.
11th Jul '17 3:27:50 AM saltin
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* SeriousBusiness: Curses from the truly wronged and just.
11th Jul '17 3:25:31 AM saltin
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* BerserkButton: Duryodhana doesn't take insults against him well, but he can cope with them through very gritted teeth. Insulting his family and friends however (especially his parents) is an absolutely suicidal venture.



* SuccessionCrisis: Upon the return of the Pandavas, Dhritharashtra is pressured by Bhishma into making Yuddhishthira the crown prince due to the fear that Duryodhana's darker nature would one day overtake his attempts to overcome it. This actually causes Duryodhana to try and assassinate his cousins and to try and remedy that issue, Dhritharasthra decides to just give the Pandavas only half of the kingdom instead. It doesn't help.

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* SuccessionCrisis: Upon the return of the Pandavas, Dhritharashtra is pressured by Bhishma into making Yuddhishthira the crown prince due to the fear that Duryodhana's darker nature would one day overtake his attempts to overcome it. This actually causes Duryodhana to try and assassinate his cousins and to try and remedy that issue, Dhritharasthra decides to just give the Pandavas only half of the kingdom instead. It doesn't help.A brief period of peace followed, but it was such a fragile tranquility that all it took was a few pithy insults and petty schemes to bring it all toppling down into outright war.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Literature.Mahabharata