History Literature / TheWarlordChronicles

22nd Apr '17 6:08:57 AM DarkPhoenix94
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* AmicableExes: Derfel and Nimue, until she gets a bad case of JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope.



* AntagonisticOffspring: Derfel to Merlin, his foster father - not all that often, and he really doesn't like doing it, but sometimes and [[spoiler: Derfel to Aelle]], a more text book example.

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* AntagonisticOffspring: Derfel to Merlin, his foster father - not all that often, and he really doesn't like doing it, but sometimes and sometimes.
** And
[[spoiler: Derfel to Aelle]], a more text book example.example, though he still doesn't like doing it.



* AttackAnimal: The Saxons often loose vicious attack dogs to soften up enemy shield walls.

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* AttackAnimal: The Saxons often loose vicious attack dogs to soften up enemy shield walls. Merlin counters this with [[spoiler: a pack of bitches in heat.]]



* BrutalHonesty: A cultural trait of the Saxons. Derfel mentions that, while Britons like to speak in circles around a sensitive topic, Saxons tend to get to the point and say exactly what's on their mind.

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* BrutalHonesty: A cultural trait of the Saxons. Derfel mentions that, while Britons like to speak in circles around a sensitive topic, Saxons tend to get to the point and say exactly what's on their mind. According to Arthur, Derfel has that same straight-forward nature, though not as much as his Saxon kin.



* ChildhoodFriendRomance: Derfel and Nimue, on and off, though eventually it settles into more of a platonic admiration.



* ColdBloodedTorture: Happens to a few notable characters, with the recipients usually being tortured to death.

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* ColdBloodedTorture: Happens to a few notable characters, with the recipients usually being tortured to death. Nimue is especially good at it.



** Bishop Emrys, one of the very few Christians in an authority position who is entirely reasonable.

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** Bishop Emrys, one of the very few Christians in an authority position who is entirely reasonable.reasonable, as well as his predecessor, Bishop Bedwin.



* CorruptChurch: The Christian church overall comes off this way, though individual Christians can fall anywhere on the spectrum.
* CreepyCatholicism: The Christian church, or at least the faction of it that is led by Sansum, has heavy shades of this. Some of the more fanatical Christians are shown going into ecstatic frenzies of self-flatulation during worship services, and when the Christian-backed Lancelot "marries" Norwenna, Sansum has her decayed corpse dug up in order to perform the grotesque ceremony.

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* CorruptChurch: The Christian church overall comes off this way, though individual Christians Christians, even ones in authority, can fall anywhere on the spectrum.
* CourtlyLove: Probably the best description for Derfel and Nimue's relationship for most of their lives, with Derfel's UndyingLoyalty to her means that he has to/is willing to do just about anything for her, going to the Isle of the Dead to retrieve her (imagine the Dark Ages equivalent of Arkham Asylum, then make it worse, and you're not far off), spending the last of his money to have a new gold eye made for her, funding her buying of oddities of cult significance, and generally putting up with a lot.
* CreepyCatholicism: The Christian church, or at least the faction of it that is led by Sansum, has heavy shades of this. Some of the more fanatical Christians are shown going into ecstatic frenzies of self-flatulation self-flagellation during worship services, and when the Christian-backed Lancelot "marries" Norwenna, Sansum has her decayed corpse dug up in order to perform the grotesque ceremony.



* DeadpanSnarker: Derfel has his moments, particularly as an old man.

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* DeadpanSnarker: Derfel has his moments, particularly as an old man.man, by which point he has developed a very dry sense of humour.



* DownerEnding: Not much of a spoiler if you're familiar with the historical context and/or Arthurian lore, but... [[spoiler: Arthur is seriously (perhaps fatally) wounded and departs from Britain permanently, a weakling assumes the throne of Dumnonia, the Saxons will eventually push the Britons back into the western mountains, and Derfel will live out the rest of his days as a miserable monk under the thumb of Sansum]].

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* DownerEnding: Not much of a spoiler if you're familiar with the historical context and/or Arthurian lore, but... [[spoiler: Arthur is seriously (perhaps fatally) wounded and departs from Britain permanently, a weakling assumes the throne of Dumnonia, the Saxons will eventually push the Britons back into the western mountains, and Derfel will live out the rest of his days as a miserable monk under the thumb of Sansum]].Sansum before eventually dying to buy Sansum time to escape - on the other hand, Derfel does seem to consider this a happy ending.]].



* EvilOldFolks: Tanaburs.



* EyePatchOfPower: Nimue, from time to time.



** Derfel first runs across Amhar and Loholt, sons of Arthur, when they're prying out the eye of a puppy. He gives them a very well deserved beating.
** As a child, Mordred demonstrates his incipient evil by trying to poke out the eye of Morwenna (Derfel and [[spoiler: Ceinwyn's]] oldest daughter). Her mother intervenes, after having tried very hard to be kind to him, and smacks him extremely hard.
** [[spoiler: Dinas and Lavaine]] are both on the receiving end of this. It is very well deserved.



** Malldyn appears to be AffablyEvil, right up until when he tries to [[spoiler: kill and eat Derfel.]]



* ForgoneConclusion: England exists, so things ultimately won't end well for our protagonists.

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* ForgoneConclusion: ForegoneConclusion: England exists, so things ultimately won't end well for our protagonists.protagonists.
* FourStarBadass: Arthur, Sagramor, and later on, Derfel.
** Also Aelle.



* TheFundamentalist: Since the religious conflict of the era is one of the major themes of the series, there are several of these on both the Christian and pagan sides.

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* TheFundamentalist: Since the religious conflict of the era is one of the major themes of the series, there are several of these on both the Christian and pagan sides. Primary examples are Sansum, Cadoc, and eventually [[spoiler: Morgan]] for the Christians, and Nimue and, to a lesser extent, Merlin, for the Pagans.



** This initially seems to be Guinevere's motivation for pursuing Arthur. In the early days of their marriage, she and her father siphon money from the royal treasury to fund their lavish lifestyle, and she begins demanding that the usually modest Arthur be referred to as a prince.

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** This initially seems to be Guinevere's motivation for pursuing Arthur. In the early days of their marriage, she and her father siphon siphons money from the royal treasury to fund their lavish lifestyle, his lifestyle (though how much she was involved in it is not stated), and she begins demanding that the usually modest Arthur be referred to as a prince.prince. However, she does genuinely love Arthur, even if it takes a very long time for them to finally meet in the middle about their aspirations (Arthur dreams of the CallToAgriculture, Guinevere wants to be TheHighQueen).



* JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope: Nimue.



* NiceGuy: Somewhat strangely for a Cornwell protagonist, Derfel is this. He generally respects authority, is fiercely devoted to his people, and is an all around friendly guy if you don't go out of your way to antagonize him. Aside from his love of battle ([[ValuesDissonance which was entirely acceptable for the time period]]), he lacks any roguish or renegade qualities.

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* NiceGuy: Somewhat strangely for a Cornwell protagonist, Derfel is this. He generally respects authority, is fiercely devoted to his people, and is an all around friendly guy if you don't go out of your way to antagonize him.antagonise him, even trying to be polite to Lancelot when they first meet and shrugging off his insults. Aside from his love of battle ([[ValuesDissonance which was entirely acceptable for the time period]]), he lacks any roguish or renegade qualities.



* OffingTheOffspring: [[spoiler:King Mark is just as much of a bastard here as in most other Arthurian stories. Poor Tristan]].

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** A closer comparison would be Sansum and Nimue, for the simple fact that Merlin learned to compromise, whereas Nimue only ever cared about communing with the gods.
* OddFriendship: Nimue and Ceinwyn, the oddness of which is noted by Derfel - who knows and loves both women dearly (though in Nimue's case, it's more a platonic admiration). According to Ceinwyn, though, she admires Nimue's fire and drive.
** Derfel and Guinevere, in ''Excalibur''. In the previous books, neither especially liked each other. It didn't help that Derfel had a tendency to be the SpannerInTheWorks for Guinevere's political plans and according to Derfel himself, she saw him as little more than one of her husband's dull, lumpish warriors, while Derfel deeply disliked her friendship (which became more) with Lancelot. However, after Guinevere TookALevelInKindness after undergoing a significant case of BreakTheHaughty, and they get to know each other better, they get on surprisingly well.
* OffingTheOffspring: [[spoiler:King Mark is just as much of a bastard here as in most other Arthurian stories. Poor Tristan]].Tristan. Poor Iseult]].



* PedophilePriest: Probably Sansum.

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* ParentalFavouritism: Of all his sons, [[spoiler: Aelle seems to like Derfel the best.]]
* PedophilePriest: Probably Sansum. It's heavily implied, on several occasions.



* RapeAsDrama: Gundleus does this to Nimue.
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: Largely averted. This being the CrapsackWorld it is, most characters have a rather casual attitude toward wartime rape, regardless of what side they're on. There are a few exceptions, however.

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* RapeAsDrama: Gundleus does this to Nimue.
Nimue, ripping out an eye in the process. Strangely enough, though, she seems more happy that she's received two of her three 'Wounds of Wisdom' than anything else, though she was in shock at the time, and spent the years up to Lugg Vale angling for revenge against Gundleus. [[ColdBloodedTorture She gets it.]]
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: Largely averted. This being the CrapsackWorld it is, most characters have a rather casual attitude toward wartime rape, regardless of what side they're on. Even Derfel, though he deeply disapproves of it, regretfully observes in the narration about his and Arthur having to compensate the families of girls and women that Mordred raped, that 'it was a rare and lucky kingdom' where it was not necessary. There are a few exceptions, however.



* [[RealMenLoveJesus Real Men Love Mithras]]: The cult of Mithras is portrayed as a soldier's religion, with no women being allowed to join. Only warriors who are highly respected are allowed into its ranks.
* RefugeInAudacity: Much of Merlin's humor falls under this category.

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* [[RealMenLoveJesus Real Men Love Mithras]]: The cult of Mithras is portrayed as a soldier's religion, with no women being allowed to join. Only warriors who are highly respected are allowed into its ranks.
ranks. Though it's not quite as secretive as Derfel thought, going by the way Merlin cheerfully recites the opening initiation.
* RefugeInAudacity: Much of Merlin's humor humour - and, in fact, just about everything he does - falls under this category.category. At one point, he strolls into the middle of a battlefield and starts talking about something completely different, the quest for the Cauldron.



** On the Saxon side, Aelle and Cerdic, though how much Cerdic gets involved in combat is uncertain.
** [[spoiler: Derfel, as Aelle's son.]]



* SanitySlippage: Nimue was never completely sane, but she really starts suffering this as she becomes more desperate and single-minded in her quest to bring the Old Gods back.

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* SanitySlippage: Nimue was never completely sane, sane (at least, not after her encounter with Gundleus), but she really starts suffering this as she becomes more desperate and single-minded in her quest to bring the Old Gods back.



* SmarterThanYouLook: Aelle's much, much sharper than he lets on, looking and acting like a womanising BoisterousBruiser, but [[spoiler: figures out that Derfel is his son the first time they meet.]] The only other person to have figured it out that fast is resident [[TheSmartGuy genius]] Merlin, who has the advantage of [[spoiler: having known Derfel since he was a small boy.]]



* SympathyForTheDevil

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* SympathyForTheDevilStrongFamilyResemblance: Amhar and Loholt take very heavily after their father in appearance, if not personality.
** Ceinwyn's daughters all closely resemble her.
** Derfel heavily resembles [[spoiler: Aelle, save for the blond hair, with Merlin having figured out the relation long ago because of this - he remarks at one point, after Derfel had charged into battle, enraged, that all he needed was the trademark bear skin cloak to ''be'' Aelle.]]
* SympathyForTheDevil: Mostly with Aelle, who's generally noted as rather likeable.



* TokenMinority: Sagramor. In the original stories he was a Moor, but this more historically-accurate setting being a few centuries too early for them, Cornwell has him a Nubian who made his way to Gaul serving in the Roman army. The Saxons think he's a demon.

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* TokenMinority: Sagramor. In the original stories he was a Moor, but this more historically-accurate setting being a few centuries too early for them, Cornwell has him a Nubian who made his way to Gaul serving in the Roman army. army and wound up in Arthur's service. The Saxons think he's a demon.demon and [[ScaryBlackMan he does nothing to discourage this impression.]]



** TruthInTelevision: there have been upper-class graves discovered in Britain with people of African descent in them - the Roman Britain was a truly cosmopolitan place.

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** TruthInTelevision: there have been upper-class graves discovered in Britain with people of African descent in them - the Roman Britain was a truly cosmopolitan place.



*** This is a distinct theme in Cornwell's writing. When the main protagonists aren't pagans (Derfel and Uhtred) they tend to be fairly irreligious and run across nasty priests (Jack Starbuck and Sharpe). However most of them have devout Christian best friends, e.g. Galahad, Fathers Willibald, Beocca and Pyrlig and of course Sergeant Harper.

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*** This is a distinct theme in Cornwell's writing. When the main protagonists aren't pagans (Derfel and Uhtred) they tend to be fairly irreligious and run across nasty priests (Jack Starbuck and Sharpe). Considering Cornwell's DarkAndTroubledPast, this is less than surprising. However most of them have devout Christian best friends, e.g. Galahad, Fathers Willibald, Beocca and Pyrlig and of course Sergeant Harper.



* TortureTechnician: Nimue.
* TragicVillain: Nimue.



* {{Ubermensch}}: Merlin does operate on a set of principles, but they aren't principles that most other people would recognize or feel comfortable with.

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* {{Ubermensch}}: Merlin does operate on a set of principles, but they aren't principles that most other people would recognize recognise or feel comfortable with.with. However, [[TheUnfettered he's nowhere near as bad as Nimue.]]
* TheUnfettered: Merlin comes off as this, but doesn't quite cross the line. Nimue, on the other hand, is a very different story.



** Lancelot is, if anything, even more this trope.



* UsedToBeASweetKid: Nimue, even after losing an eye, was capable of being sweet and kind, and part of her dreamed quite sincerely of getting married, having children, etcetera, with Derfel. But what she felt was her duty to the gods ended up twisting her and, ultimately, driving her insane.



** Technically Merlin does cross the [[MoralEventHorizon Event Horizon]], but only against strangers, hesitating when it comes to betraying his friends.

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** Technically Merlin does cross the [[MoralEventHorizon Event Horizon]], but only against strangers, strangers (and it's dubious whether it was a MoralEventHorizon by the standards of his time), hesitating when it comes to betraying his friends. friends.
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: Nimue, right from the start.



* WhatTheHellHero: Arthur gets one from Derfel over the way he deals with the Mark, Iseult, Tristan triangle.

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* WhatTheHellHero: Arthur gets a cold one from Derfel over the way he deals with the Mark, Iseult, Tristan triangle.
27th Oct '16 9:46:37 AM dlchen145
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* BadAss: Most of the characters.
29th Aug '16 10:39:32 AM Morgenthaler
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* TheGloryThatWasRome: Gwent, one of the more Romanized areas of Britain, trains and equips its soldiers in the Roman fashion, and a few characters from that region have Roman names. King Ban of Benoic also preserves a great deal of Roman culture and knowledge at his capital of Ynys Trebes.
1st Aug '16 6:21:23 PM PaulA
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* TakeThat: the portrayal of Morgan as a [[spoiler:disfigured, lonely Druidic priestess who eventually converts to Christianity]] seems (to this Troper at least) a direct jab at the most famous modern portrayal of the character, MarionZimmerBradley's ''Literature/TheMistsOfAvalon''.
2nd Jun '16 12:51:29 AM Morgenthaler
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* BlondeGuysAreEvil: In-universe, some Britons have this attitude, as blonde hair is seen as a characteristically Saxon trait.
26th May '16 9:55:47 PM Doug86
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** In the series, the heir of the British High King is called the Edling. But this is a later Welsh loanword from the Old English ''Æþeling'' (Aetheling) and wouldn't have been used yet.

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** In the series, the heir of the British High King is called the Edling. But this is a later Welsh loanword from the Old English ''Æþeling'' ''[=Æ=]þeling'' (Aetheling) and wouldn't have been used yet.
31st Mar '16 12:53:31 PM Deuce03
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Added DiffLines:

* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler: Bors in the final book. First he intervenes to warn Derfel secretly about Liofa's favourite trick before his duel with him, which possibly saves Derfel's life, then he openly switches sides before the battle of Mount Badon, reckoning that if he's going to die he's at least going to go down fighting for his own side.]]
9th Dec '15 11:07:58 AM FulminataXII
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* ForgoneConclusion: England exists, so things ultimately won't end well for our protagonists.



* LightIsNotGood: After going completely bonkers, Nimue dons the white robes of a Druid and starts riding a white horse into battle. By this point, she has allied herself to Mordred and is entirely willing to torture and murder her former friends in order to achieve her ends.

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* LightIsNotGood: After going completely bonkers, Nimue dons the white robes of a Druid and starts riding a white horse into battle. By this point, she has allied herself to Mordred and is entirely willing to torture and murder her former friends in order to achieve her genocidal ends.



* NayTheist: While Arthur doesn't dispute the existence of higher powers, he believes that men are far better off taking fate into their own hands than relying on the gods. He is deliberately vague about his beliefs in public, so that both Christians and pagans can assume that he might be one of them.

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* NayTheist: While Arthur doesn't dispute the existence of higher powers, he believes that men are far better off taking fate into their own hands than relying on the gods. He is deliberately vague about his beliefs in public, so that both Christians and pagans can assume that he might be one of them. However, he eventually manages to piss off both factions.


Added DiffLines:

* TheBadGuyWins: One of the bad guys, anyway. [[spoiler: See Cerdic's KarmaHoudini entry above]].
13th Aug '15 1:04:50 PM FulminataXII
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Added DiffLines:

* EasyEvangelism: Justified with Lancelot and Mordred. It's made clear that they convert to Christianity for purely pragmatic reasons. Mordred even reverts to paganism after firmly establishing his power in Dumnonia.
4th Aug '15 11:22:23 AM FulminataXII
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Added DiffLines:

* BelievingTheirOwnLies: Sansum is a toxic combination of a corrupt, Machiavellian schemer and a genuine religious fanatic. He does many things that are blatantly against the principles of the Christian faith, but Derfel comes to realize that he is the sort of man who could commit any act and inwardly justify it to himself.

--> '''Derfel''': He went on justifying himself, and it gradually dawned on me that he believed every word he said. Sansum could betray people, he could scheme to have them killed as he had tried to kill Arthur and me when we had gone to arrest Ligessac, and he could bleed the Treasury dry, yet all the time he somehow persuaded himself that his actions were justified.
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