History Main / Aztec

18th Dec '13 4:30:25 AM Korodzik
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->Mixtli: ...And I concluded with the words I had heard in various languages everywhere: ->"The Azteca were here, but they brought nothing with them, and they left nothing where they went." ''Aztec'' is a 1980 historical fiction novel written by Gary Jennings. It is the highly lengthy life story of a noble Aztec (more properly Mexica) man named Mixtli, or "Dark Cloud." After the Spanish Conquest, Mixtli is asked by the Bishop of New Spain to tell his life story to a group of friars who are recording his story for the King of Spain. The novel is notable for being one of the first ever depictions in media of the Aztecs as heroes, rather than villains, though certainly there are plenty of both among the Mexica pre-Conquest. It is also notable for not shying away from graphic depictions of both sex and violence (and sometimes both at once), as might be expected from a society like that of the Mexica. It was followed by two sequels by the original author, Aztec Autumn (widely considered to be as good as the original up until its abrupt and lackluster ending) and Aztec Blood. The series was then continued after the author's death, though the later works are not as well-known or as good. Aztec Autumn follows the adventures of [[spoiler: Mixtli's son]] Tenamaxtli as he attempts to get his revenge on the Spaniards. ---- '''The original novel provides examples of:''' * AbusiveParents: More on the maternal side, but both are extremely demanding on their children, even by Mexica standards. * AchillesInHisTent: An interesting inversion: whenever Mixtli suffers a Heroic BSOD, he tends to ''leave'' and go wandering, rather than stay at home. * AerithAndBob: An in-universe example: Almost everyone in the various Mexican nations is named for some concrete object or action, such as Dark Cloud, Blood Glutton, etc. So when Mixtli first learns that one character from another nation has a name that means simply "Always," he is understandably taken by surprise. * AnonymousBenefactor: The person who gives Mixtli the trade goods needed to start his dream of becoming a traveling merchant. He at first assumes it's Nezahualpili. * AnyoneCanDie: If you like a character at all, be sure that they will die in an unusually cruel way. * ArcherArchetype: Arrow Knights are noted to be given the rank of Knight in the Mexica army not for the number of kills and captures they have made, but by how well they can use the bow and arrow. * ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: The Mexica hate the Spaniards because the latter have slaughtered countless civilians, forced an alien religion upon the Mexica people, disrespected the Mexica traditions and culture, and don't bathe. * UsefulNotes/AztecMythology: Duh. * BadassGrandpa: For someone who considers himself "a bag of wind and bones," Blood Glutton certainly qualifies. -->Blood Glutton: I said EAT! ** For those wondering, he's just ordering the last survivors of a band of brigands who hoped to fool Mixtli's party by pretending to be fellow travellers to eat the heads of their fellows, who Blood Glutton ambushed whilst they were waiting in ambush and decapitated them all without alerting the "bait" bandits. * BeenThereShapedHistory: Mixtli himself, although subverted in that most of the pre-Conquest events he ends up being part of are ''not'' common knowledge to the majority of readers, but were very significant to the Mexica and other nations of the area. ** [[spoiler: Also Chimali, to Mixtli's personal life. That guy shows up EVERYWHERE.]] * BigBad: Lord Joy for the "childhood arc," [[spoiler: Chimali]] during the "traveler arc," and Cortez (duh) for the "conquest arc." * BigDamnHeroes: Intentionally invoked by Blood Glutton during a bandit attack. Also, averted by Narvarez and his troops, who at first seemed like this to the Mexica but, thanks to the ForegoneConclusion, couldn't be. Also averted during Mixtli's "war" experience. He catches the Mixteca's biggest war hero by hiding behind a bush and cutting off the Mixteca's feet--a rather ignoble ending to a military career. * BilingualBonus: Plenty of random Nahuatl and Spanish is thrown around, although the Nahuatl is at least fairly easy to infer through context. * BlackandGrayMorality: On the one hand, we have the Mexica people, who have levied massive tributes from the surrounding villages, performed human sacrifices almost daily, and have made Mixtli's life a living hell on more than one occasion. On the other, we have Cortez and his troops, who have committed multiple acts of unprovoked slaughter, abused the ''hell'' out of Montecuzoma's hospitality, and show zero tolerance for any of the Mexica religious rites. * BreakTheHaughty: If ever things seem to be going a little too well for Mixtli, you can bet all the gold in Tenochtitlan that some horrible catastrophe will befall him within the next few pages. * BrotherSisterIncest: A large part of Mixtli's "childhood arc." * BuryYourGays: Averted. While the Mexica themselves hold homosexuals in contempt (considering them "unmanly," the fact that [[spoiler: Chimali and Tlatli]] are gay ends up having significant impacts on the plot. ** Also important in the sequel. * ButtMonkey: Mixtli's slave Cozcatl, as well as (pre-Conquest at least) Malintzin. * CannotSpitItOut: [[spoiler: Beu Ribe]]'s refusal to admit her feelings for Mixtli leads to a series of horrible misunderstandings between them for most of the second half of the book. * ChekhovsGun: Mixtli's burning crystal/monocle thing. It becomes one of [[spoiler: his son Tenamaxtli's]] most prized possessions in the sequel. * ChekhovsSkill: Mixtli's ability to read and write the Mexica word pictures, his ease with mastering unfamiliar languages, and his artistic ability will all impact his life, for better or worse, once the Spaniards show up. This also applies to Malintzin (Chekov's Gunman), who learns Spanish early on. * ChickMagnet: Mixtli, to almost ridiculous levels. Seems to run in the family as well, if the sequels are any indication... * CoolSword: The Mexica maquahuitl, a blade studded with sharp obsidian chunks ForMassiveDamage. * ComingOfAgeStory: The first three arcs are this. * CruelandUnusualDeath: It's the Aztecs, what do you expect? But a special mention goes to Mixtli himself, for his unique method of [[spoiler: taking revenge on the priests who used his daughter as a human sacrifice.]] * CurbStompBattle: Both sides get one: La Noche Triste for the Aztecs, and the Siege of Tenochtitlan for the Conquistadors. * CynicismCatalyst: Tzitzi's [[spoiler: apparent]] death. * DarkerAndEdgier: Unusual for a book that starts out Dark And Edgy to begin with, but by the time Cortez shows up, the book has become positively Pitch-Black And Razor-Sharp. * DarkSecret: The cacao-bean man and his revelation of [[spoiler: what really happened to Tzitzi.]] * DeadpanSnarker: Mixtli, often, especially to the Spanish priests transcribing his story. Also, the old soldier Blood Glutton gets his share of snarkiness as well: -->Blood Glutton: (when Mixtli embraces him) Unhand me! Are they enlisting cuilontin now? To ''kiss'' the enemy to death!? * DisproportionateRetribution: Everything [[spoiler: Chimali]] does, especially after he had already "evened the score" with Mixtli. * TheDogBitesBack : Malintzin. She begins as a slave and [[spoiler: ends up selling out the whole population.]] * DoorStopper: The hardcover copy weighs in at 754 pages. One can only imagine what a paperback copy would look like.(It's just shy of 1000 pages. My well-loved copy fell apart under the strain.) * DownerEnding: The Mexica civilisation is utterly destroyed by the Conquistadors, and Mixtli, after sharing his history with the friars and finally learning that [[spoiler: Beu Ribe secretly loved him all along and was jealous, not angry, that he married her twin and not her]] is condemned as a heretic and sentenced to death by being burnt at the stake. [[KickTheDog Despite the fact that the King of Spain himself wanted to let Mixtli live out the rest of his life unharmed.]] * DramaticThunder: Invoked by the priests during a ceremony to the Rain God Tlaloc, using gigantic drums. * DrillSergeantNasty: Blood Glutton, at least during the first arc. * DuelToTheDeath: Mixtli vs. [[spoiler: Chimali.]] Also, Armed Scorpion, who was given the option of fighting on the Battle Stone instead of being sacrificed. It's almost an embarrassment when he calmly defeats four warriors--despite Mixtli earlier cutting off his feet. * DullSurprise: Mixtli sees most of the sacrifice rituals this way. Then again, he was raised in the culture, so it's probably [[JustifiedTrope Justified.]] * DyingMomentofAwesome: Blood Glutton. * EldritchAbomination: The smelly, dirty, hairy, hideous Spaniards, to the Mexica at least. * EverythingsBetterWithRainbows: During one of his trading ventures, Mixtli meets a crystalsmith who shows him a prism. Mixtli is mesmerized. * FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler: Chimali]], Malintzin, and Montecuzoma (sorta). * FateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler: Tzitzi becoming the Tapir Woman.]] Also the Cozcatl-Chimali attack and reverse-attack, and the punishment and execution of Lord Joy and Jadestone Doll. ** Though the latter two [[spoiler: and Chimali]] definitely deserved it. * FiveBadBand: They don't ever all work together, but they strangely fit: ** Big Bad: Cortez. ** The Dragon: [[spoiler: Chimali]] ** The Evil Genius: Lord Joy ** The Dark Chick: Jadestone Doll ** The Brute: Pedro de Alvarado ** Sixth Ranger Traitor: Malintzin * FiveManBand: ** The Hero/The Smart Guy: Mixtli ** The Lancer: Cozcatl ** The Big Guy: Blood Glutton ** The Chick: Tzitzi (first arc)/Zyanya ** Sixth Ranger: Beu Ribe * Foil: To Mixtli, arguably Chimali and the other Mixtli. * ForegoneConclusion: And done quite powerfully, too. From the moment Mixtli first hears about the great "winged houses" on the eastern sea, you just ''know'' all of the places and characters and cultures you've come to know and love are doomed within a few years. ** Not to mention, Mixtli is being interviewed by Conquistador-era Spanish Christian Priests. Mixtli being sentenced as a heretic is subtly on the horizon from the start of the book, despite that the King of Spain appears to think otherwise. * ForTheEvulz: Everything Jadestone Doll does, pretty much. Also Pedro de Alvarado. Both of these examples were TruthInTelevision. * GladiatorGames: The elderly Nezahualpili challenges young and athletic Montecuzoma to a ball game between the two of them, with the stakes being leadership of the Triple Alliance shortly before the arrival of the Spaniards. * GodsNeedPrayerBadly: The Mexica priests believe this, and panic when Cortez destroys Tlaloc's shrine. Unfortunately for the Mexica, Cortez isn't speared by lightning for doing so. * GoLookAtTheDistraction: As a child, Mixtli's friends often did this to him to tease him for being nearsighted. * HeroicBSOD: On at least two occasions. * HeterosexualLifePartners: Mixtli and Cozcatl. [[spoiler: They actually avert the "heterosexual" part one time, but it was only once, and then only because there were no women available.]] * HufflepuffHouse: Tlacopan, the third member of the Triple Alliance. Tenochtitlan and Texcoco both play important roles in the plot and are home to Mixtli at various times, but Tlacopan is just kinda there. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] near the end of the book, when Tlacopan's role as the third member of The Triple Alliance is explicitly spelled out for the readers...even though 700+ pages have already passed. It's just THAT unimportant. ** TruthInTelevision: Historians of Aztec history have noted that Tlacopan was indeed somewhat of a puppet state, keeping balance between the two more powerful cities. * [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters Europeans Are The Real Monsters]]: The Spainards, both during the conquest arc and during the pre-chapter excerpts, are portrayed as far nastier than the Mexica are, for all their supposed superiority. * IFoundYouLikeThis: After Mixtli is attacked by bandits during one of his HeroicBSOD wanderings, he wakes up in the care of Zyanya and Beu Ribe. He is, understandably, completely confused. * IGaveMyWord: And we all know how much Cortez's word is worth... * InsistentTerminology: ''Mexica'', not Aztec. Mixtli is also constantly stopping to remind the friars recording his story how ridiculous and utterly nonsensical the Spaniards' new names for places really are. (Example: Texcala is turned into Tlaxcala, which means tortilla. And another pretty name gets changed to Cow Horn.) * IronicEcho -->Mixtli: It would be a weakness, a sullying of what we felt for each other. * IronicName: From the very first arc, we have [[BigBad Lord Joy]], among others. * KickTheDog: Happens repeatedly to Mixtli, especially regarding his ultimate fate. See Break The Haughty above. Also, arguably done to the Mexica as a whole by the Spaniards. * LivingLabyrinth: How the Revered Speaker of Texcoco executes his enemies during the second arc. * LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: For starters, we have: Mixtli, Tzitzitlini, Chimali, Tlatli, Head Nodder, Blood Glutton, Cacao-bean man, Cozcatl, Jadestone Doll, Nezahualpili, Ahuitzotl, Red Heron, Lord Joy, Huexotl, Black Flower, Xococ, Something Delicate, Armed Scorpion...and that's only the first two arcs. * LuckySeven: The book can be divided up into seven clear "arcs:" Mixtli's childhood, his work for Jadestone Doll, the trading journeys south, his married life with [[spoiler: Zyanya]], his post-marriage life in Tenochtitlan, the arrival of the Spaniards, and his old age post-Conquest. * MadOracle: The cacao-bean man. * MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Did Mixtli really meet the gods Night Wind and Oldest of Old Gods? Who knows? * {{Mayincatec}}: Averted. The Incas (correctly) don't appear at all and are mentioned by the Spaniards only once, the Mexica are a distinct culture that is the focus of the novel, and Mixtli visits the clearly different Maya people on at least two occasions. * MeaningfulName: Names are very important to the Mexica, so often Mixtli will pause his story to reflect on how well a newly introduced character's name ended up fitting their actions. * MonumentalBattle: La Noche Triste and The Siege Of Mexico Tenochtitlan, both taking place in the biggest city in the world at that time. * MonumentalDamage: The Spaniards smashing the great Templo Mayor during the final siege of the city, which was TruthInTelevision. Visitors to Mexico City today can see the foundations. * MoralMyopia: Displayed by both the Christian monks who are recording Mixtli's story and Mixtli himself. In the former, there are plentiful examples, such as the priests being disgusted by many acts that Mixtli references but not even batting an eye at the atrocities committed against the Mexica by the Spainards, or their dismissal of the plagues that they have brought to the vulnerable Americas as simply "God's work". Mixtli's most prominent act is the fact that, while he waives off anything "wrong" with a HumanSacrifice he mentions early in the books, he goes berserk and [[spoiler: kills the priests responsible when his own daughter is taken as a sacrifice]], though this may be justified since the priests never asked permission before performing the sacrifice in question. * NarrativeProfanityFilter: About 99% of the time Nahuatl words are used in the book, you can bet they're describing some sort of obscene sexual term. Averted later on, when Mixtli mentions that the first words he hears of Spanish was an extremely vulgar sentence...given to us in plain English! * NeverFoundTheBody: [[spoiler: Tzitzi and Zyanya, the latter of whom disappears during the flood of Tenochtitlan. However, despite the usual usage of this trope, Zyanya is KilledOffForReal.]] * NotMeThisTime: A humorous example: Mixtli has by this point become so well-known for his sexual exploits that when the Bishop returns to hear the next part of his tale, Mixtli remarks: ->Mixtli: Dare I suppose that Your Excellency joins us today expecting to hear how I ravished the entire female population of Zaachila? No? If, as you say, it would not surprise you to hear it, then let me really surprise Your Excellency. I did not once touch a woman there. * {{Omniglot}}: Mixtli's many travels made him one. * PapaWolf: Mixtli, although sadly [[spoiler: he's too late to do any good.]] * PetTheDog: Mixtli giving Cozcatl his freedom. Also, when Blood Glutton, previously a DrillSergeantNasty, comes to their aid during the journey south. * PowerTrio: During the "travel arc," we have the three travelers: Blood Glutton (Id), Mixtli (Ego), and Cozcatl (Superego). * PropheciesAreAlwaysRight: Everything the cacao-bean man tells Mixtli on his first visit to Tenochtitlan. * ReinventingTheTelephone: Mixtli, with the help of a crystalsmith in one of the southern lands, invents the magnifying glass and, later, the monocle. In the sequel, Mixtli's son Tenamaxtzin reinvents grenades, among other things. * RoaringRampageofRevenge: Mixtli himself on at least two occasions, as well as [[spoiler: Chimali for about two-thirds of the book.]] ** Basically the entire point of the sequel. * RomanticFalseLead: [[BrotherSisterIncest Tzitzi.]] * RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Every single Mexicatl from the nobility must be this, even commoners who provide outstanding services to the empire can earn a noble rank, typically through prowess in war. [[spoiler: Mixtli]] eventually becomes one. * ShownTheirWork: And how! Practically everything except Mixtli himself has some basis in Mexica history. (Yes, even Jadestone Doll's..."dalliances.") Not to mention every bit of Nahuatl, Mexica culture, warfare, government...heck, it would probably be easier to list everything that ''isn't.'' * StealthPun: Plenty of them, in both Nahuatl and Spanish. * TakeThat: At medieval Catholicism, European imperialism, the supposed superiority of Western culture, and sterotypes of Native Americans, among others. * TheHeroDies: Goes hand-in-hand with the ForegoneConclusion. * [[TheHerosJourney The Hero's Journey]] The third "arc" focuses on this. * TooDumbtoLive: Montecuzoma, although this was TruthInTelevision. Also, any of the nations that chose to ally with Cortez. * {{Tsundere}}: Beu Ribe. * WeCanRuleTogether: Cortez makes this offer to the Tlaxcala. [[YouShouldKnowThisAlready He's lying.]] * WhyWeCantHaveNiceThings: Blood Glutton continually remarks during their journey in the third arc that Mixtli is giving away so much of their trade goods for free that they won't have anything left to sell. ---- '''Aztec Autumn provides examples of:''' * DistractedByTheSexy: Tenamaxtli spends quite a long time at the Islands of the Women, and only returns to the One World to continue his fight against the Mexica when a woman's death reminds him of his original quest. * DoesNotLikeMen: Tiptoe, after she is [[spoiler: raped by two Spanish soldiers.]] * DressingAsTheEnemy: Happens on more than one occasion. * EnemyMine: Tenamaxtli uses this to his advantage in order to get all of the previously warring Yaki tribes to fight together against the Spaniards. * Expy: Tenamaxtli might as well be a carbon copy of Mixtli from the original, though there's a good reason for that. His cousin Ameyatl plays a similar role to Tzitzi, Cricket might as well be an expy of Zyanya, and Yeyac is one of Chimali, among many others. * MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Even moreso than the original. Tenamaxtli getting the monocle and burning crystal: arranged by the gods or mere coincidence? Tiptoe's "pregnancy:" was it really some kind of monster or just a normal child? Was Gn'da Ke really an ancient, nigh-immortal woman or just a Yaki who shared the name and intentions? (Her bizarre death doesn't help this one at all). And [[spoiler: Yeyac's]] sudden recovery, even with the ordinary explanation, still seems too convenient... * RedHerring: For all the setup and characterization Uno and Dos are given, they appear in the book for all of about five seconds despite all of the potential they showed. Which is too bad, because they are very interesting and entertaining characters. * RoaringRampageofRevenge: Pretty much the entire point of the novel. * ThoseTwoGuys: The British sailors Tenamaxtli nicknames Uno and Dos are this, for the (sadly) brief time they appear. * WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Tiptoe's "pregnancy" is never explained in full, and we never learn what it was she carried inside her. * YouKilledMyFather: [[spoiler: Tenamaxtli learns that the Mixtli of the first novel was his father early on, which spurs him into a hatred of Spaniards for the rest of the book.]] ---- Here end the roads and the days.
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->Mixtli: ...And I concluded with the words I had heard in various languages everywhere: ->"The Azteca were here, but they brought nothing with them, and they left nothing where they went." ''Aztec'' is a 1980 historical fiction novel written by Gary Jennings. It is the highly lengthy life story of a noble Aztec (more properly Mexica) man named Mixtli, or "Dark Cloud." After the Spanish Conquest, Mixtli is asked by the Bishop of New Spain to tell his life story to a group of friars who are recording his story for the King of Spain. The novel is notable for being one of the first ever depictions in media of the Aztecs as heroes, rather than villains, though certainly there are plenty of both among the Mexica pre-Conquest. It is also notable for not shying away from graphic depictions of both sex and violence (and sometimes both at once), as might be expected from a society like that of the Mexica. It was followed by two sequels by the original author, Aztec Autumn (widely considered to be as good as the original up until its abrupt and lackluster ending) and Aztec Blood. The series was then continued after the author's death, though the later works are not as well-known or as good. Aztec Autumn follows the adventures of [[spoiler: Mixtli's son]] Tenamaxtli as he attempts to get his revenge on the Spaniards. ---- '''The original novel provides examples of:''' * AbusiveParents: More on the maternal side, but both are extremely demanding on their children, even by Mexica standards. * AchillesInHisTent: An interesting inversion: whenever Mixtli suffers a Heroic BSOD, he tends to ''leave'' and go wandering, rather than stay at home. * AerithAndBob: An in-universe example: Almost everyone in the various Mexican nations is named for some concrete object or action, such as Dark Cloud, Blood Glutton, etc. So when Mixtli first learns that one character from another nation has a name that means simply "Always," he is understandably taken by surprise. * AnonymousBenefactor: The person who gives Mixtli the trade goods needed to start his dream of becoming a traveling merchant. He at first assumes it's Nezahualpili. * AnyoneCanDie: If you like a character at all, be sure that they will die in an unusually cruel way. * ArcherArchetype: Arrow Knights are noted to be given the rank of Knight in the Mexica army not for the number of kills and captures they have made, but by how well they can use the bow and arrow. * ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: The Mexica hate the Spaniards because the latter have slaughtered countless civilians, forced an alien religion upon the Mexica people, disrespected the Mexica traditions and culture, and don't bathe. * UsefulNotes/AztecMythology: Duh. * BadassGrandpa: For someone who considers himself "a bag of wind and bones," Blood Glutton certainly qualifies. -->Blood Glutton: I said EAT! ** For those wondering, he's just ordering the last survivors of a band of brigands who hoped to fool Mixtli's party by pretending to be fellow travellers to eat the heads of their fellows, who Blood Glutton ambushed whilst they were waiting in ambush and decapitated them all without alerting the "bait" bandits. * BeenThereShapedHistory: Mixtli himself, although subverted in that most of the pre-Conquest events he ends up being part of are ''not'' common knowledge to the majority of readers, but were very significant to the Mexica and other nations of the area. ** [[spoiler: Also Chimali, to Mixtli's personal life. That guy shows up EVERYWHERE.]] * BigBad: Lord Joy for the "childhood arc," [[spoiler: Chimali]] during the "traveler arc," and Cortez (duh) for the "conquest arc." * BigDamnHeroes: Intentionally invoked by Blood Glutton during a bandit attack. Also, averted by Narvarez and his troops, who at first seemed like this to the Mexica but, thanks to the ForegoneConclusion, couldn't be. Also averted during Mixtli's "war" experience. He catches the Mixteca's biggest war hero by hiding behind a bush and cutting off the Mixteca's feet--a rather ignoble ending to a military career. * BilingualBonus: Plenty of random Nahuatl and Spanish is thrown around, although the Nahuatl is at least fairly easy to infer through context. * BlackandGrayMorality: On the one hand, we have the Mexica people, who have levied massive tributes from the surrounding villages, performed human sacrifices almost daily, and have made Mixtli's life a living hell on more than one occasion. On the other, we have Cortez and his troops, who have committed multiple acts of unprovoked slaughter, abused the ''hell'' out of Montecuzoma's hospitality, and show zero tolerance for any of the Mexica religious rites. * BreakTheHaughty: If ever things seem to be going a little too well for Mixtli, you can bet all the gold in Tenochtitlan that some horrible catastrophe will befall him within the next few pages. * BrotherSisterIncest: A large part of Mixtli's "childhood arc." * BuryYourGays: Averted. While the Mexica themselves hold homosexuals in contempt (considering them "unmanly," the fact that [[spoiler: Chimali and Tlatli]] are gay ends up having significant impacts on the plot. ** Also important in the sequel. * ButtMonkey: Mixtli's slave Cozcatl, as well as (pre-Conquest at least) Malintzin. * CannotSpitItOut: [[spoiler: Beu Ribe]]'s refusal to admit her feelings for Mixtli leads to a series of horrible misunderstandings between them for most of the second half of the book. * ChekhovsGun: Mixtli's burning crystal/monocle thing. It becomes one of [[spoiler: his son Tenamaxtli's]] most prized possessions in the sequel. * ChekhovsSkill: Mixtli's ability to read and write the Mexica word pictures, his ease with mastering unfamiliar languages, and his artistic ability will all impact his life, for better or worse, once the Spaniards show up. This also applies to Malintzin (Chekov's Gunman), who learns Spanish early on. * ChickMagnet: Mixtli, to almost ridiculous levels. Seems to run in the family as well, if the sequels are any indication... * CoolSword: The Mexica maquahuitl, a blade studded with sharp obsidian chunks ForMassiveDamage. * ComingOfAgeStory: The first three arcs are this. * CruelandUnusualDeath: It's the Aztecs, what do you expect? But a special mention goes to Mixtli himself, for his unique method of [[spoiler: taking revenge on the priests who used his daughter as a human sacrifice.]] * CurbStompBattle: Both sides get one: La Noche Triste for the Aztecs, and the Siege of Tenochtitlan for the Conquistadors. * CynicismCatalyst: Tzitzi's [[spoiler: apparent]] death. * DarkerAndEdgier: Unusual for a book that starts out Dark And Edgy to begin with, but by the time Cortez shows up, the book has become positively Pitch-Black And Razor-Sharp. * DarkSecret: The cacao-bean man and his revelation of [[spoiler: what really happened to Tzitzi.]] * DeadpanSnarker: Mixtli, often, especially to the Spanish priests transcribing his story. Also, the old soldier Blood Glutton gets his share of snarkiness as well: -->Blood Glutton: (when Mixtli embraces him) Unhand me! Are they enlisting cuilontin now? To ''kiss'' the enemy to death!? * DisproportionateRetribution: Everything [[spoiler: Chimali]] does, especially after he had already "evened the score" with Mixtli. * TheDogBitesBack : Malintzin. She begins as a slave and [[spoiler: ends up selling out the whole population.]] * DoorStopper: The hardcover copy weighs in at 754 pages. One can only imagine what a paperback copy would look like.(It's just shy of 1000 pages. My well-loved copy fell apart under the strain.) * DownerEnding: The Mexica civilisation is utterly destroyed by the Conquistadors, and Mixtli, after sharing his history with the friars and finally learning that [[spoiler: Beu Ribe secretly loved him all along and was jealous, not angry, that he married her twin and not her]] is condemned as a heretic and sentenced to death by being burnt at the stake. [[KickTheDog Despite the fact that the King of Spain himself wanted to let Mixtli live out the rest of his life unharmed.]] * DramaticThunder: Invoked by the priests during a ceremony to the Rain God Tlaloc, using gigantic drums. * DrillSergeantNasty: Blood Glutton, at least during the first arc. * DuelToTheDeath: Mixtli vs. [[spoiler: Chimali.]] Also, Armed Scorpion, who was given the option of fighting on the Battle Stone instead of being sacrificed. It's almost an embarrassment when he calmly defeats four warriors--despite Mixtli earlier cutting off his feet. * DullSurprise: Mixtli sees most of the sacrifice rituals this way. Then again, he was raised in the culture, so it's probably [[JustifiedTrope Justified.]] * DyingMomentofAwesome: Blood Glutton. * EldritchAbomination: The smelly, dirty, hairy, hideous Spaniards, to the Mexica at least. * EverythingsBetterWithRainbows: During one of his trading ventures, Mixtli meets a crystalsmith who shows him a prism. Mixtli is mesmerized. * FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler: Chimali]], Malintzin, and Montecuzoma (sorta). * FateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler: Tzitzi becoming the Tapir Woman.]] Also the Cozcatl-Chimali attack and reverse-attack, and the punishment and execution of Lord Joy and Jadestone Doll. ** Though the latter two [[spoiler: and Chimali]] definitely deserved it. * FiveBadBand: They don't ever all work together, but they strangely fit: ** Big Bad: Cortez. ** The Dragon: [[spoiler: Chimali]] ** The Evil Genius: Lord Joy ** The Dark Chick: Jadestone Doll ** The Brute: Pedro de Alvarado ** Sixth Ranger Traitor: Malintzin * FiveManBand: ** The Hero/The Smart Guy: Mixtli ** The Lancer: Cozcatl ** The Big Guy: Blood Glutton ** The Chick: Tzitzi (first arc)/Zyanya ** Sixth Ranger: Beu Ribe * Foil: To Mixtli, arguably Chimali and the other Mixtli. * ForegoneConclusion: And done quite powerfully, too. From the moment Mixtli first hears about the great "winged houses" on the eastern sea, you just ''know'' all of the places and characters and cultures you've come to know and love are doomed within a few years. ** Not to mention, Mixtli is being interviewed by Conquistador-era Spanish Christian Priests. Mixtli being sentenced as a heretic is subtly on the horizon from the start of the book, despite that the King of Spain appears to think otherwise. * ForTheEvulz: Everything Jadestone Doll does, pretty much. Also Pedro de Alvarado. Both of these examples were TruthInTelevision. * GladiatorGames: The elderly Nezahualpili challenges young and athletic Montecuzoma to a ball game between the two of them, with the stakes being leadership of the Triple Alliance shortly before the arrival of the Spaniards. * GodsNeedPrayerBadly: The Mexica priests believe this, and panic when Cortez destroys Tlaloc's shrine. Unfortunately for the Mexica, Cortez isn't speared by lightning for doing so. * GoLookAtTheDistraction: As a child, Mixtli's friends often did this to him to tease him for being nearsighted. * HeroicBSOD: On at least two occasions. * HeterosexualLifePartners: Mixtli and Cozcatl. [[spoiler: They actually avert the "heterosexual" part one time, but it was only once, and then only because there were no women available.]] * HufflepuffHouse: Tlacopan, the third member of the Triple Alliance. Tenochtitlan and Texcoco both play important roles in the plot and are home to Mixtli at various times, but Tlacopan is just kinda there. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] near the end of the book, when Tlacopan's role as the third member of The Triple Alliance is explicitly spelled out for the readers...even though 700+ pages have already passed. It's just THAT unimportant. ** TruthInTelevision: Historians of Aztec history have noted that Tlacopan was indeed somewhat of a puppet state, keeping balance between the two more powerful cities. * [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters Europeans Are The Real Monsters]]: The Spainards, both during the conquest arc and during the pre-chapter excerpts, are portrayed as far nastier than the Mexica are, for all their supposed superiority. * IFoundYouLikeThis: After Mixtli is attacked by bandits during one of his HeroicBSOD wanderings, he wakes up in the care of Zyanya and Beu Ribe. He is, understandably, completely confused. * IGaveMyWord: And we all know how much Cortez's word is worth... * InsistentTerminology: ''Mexica'', not Aztec. Mixtli is also constantly stopping to remind the friars recording his story how ridiculous and utterly nonsensical the Spaniards' new names for places really are. (Example: Texcala is turned into Tlaxcala, which means tortilla. And another pretty name gets changed to Cow Horn.) * IronicEcho -->Mixtli: It would be a weakness, a sullying of what we felt for each other. * IronicName: From the very first arc, we have [[BigBad Lord Joy]], among others. * KickTheDog: Happens repeatedly to Mixtli, especially regarding his ultimate fate. See Break The Haughty above. Also, arguably done to the Mexica as a whole by the Spaniards. * LivingLabyrinth: How the Revered Speaker of Texcoco executes his enemies during the second arc. * LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: For starters, we have: Mixtli, Tzitzitlini, Chimali, Tlatli, Head Nodder, Blood Glutton, Cacao-bean man, Cozcatl, Jadestone Doll, Nezahualpili, Ahuitzotl, Red Heron, Lord Joy, Huexotl, Black Flower, Xococ, Something Delicate, Armed Scorpion...and that's only the first two arcs. * LuckySeven: The book can be divided up into seven clear "arcs:" Mixtli's childhood, his work for Jadestone Doll, the trading journeys south, his married life with [[spoiler: Zyanya]], his post-marriage life in Tenochtitlan, the arrival of the Spaniards, and his old age post-Conquest. * MadOracle: The cacao-bean man. * MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Did Mixtli really meet the gods Night Wind and Oldest of Old Gods? Who knows? * {{Mayincatec}}: Averted. The Incas (correctly) don't appear at all and are mentioned by the Spaniards only once, the Mexica are a distinct culture that is the focus of the novel, and Mixtli visits the clearly different Maya people on at least two occasions. * MeaningfulName: Names are very important to the Mexica, so often Mixtli will pause his story to reflect on how well a newly introduced character's name ended up fitting their actions. * MonumentalBattle: La Noche Triste and The Siege Of Mexico Tenochtitlan, both taking place in the biggest city in the world at that time. * MonumentalDamage: The Spaniards smashing the great Templo Mayor during the final siege of the city, which was TruthInTelevision. Visitors to Mexico City today can see the foundations. * MoralMyopia: Displayed by both the Christian monks who are recording Mixtli's story and Mixtli himself. In the former, there are plentiful examples, such as the priests being disgusted by many acts that Mixtli references but not even batting an eye at the atrocities committed against the Mexica by the Spainards, or their dismissal of the plagues that they have brought to the vulnerable Americas as simply "God's work". Mixtli's most prominent act is the fact that, while he waives off anything "wrong" with a HumanSacrifice he mentions early in the books, he goes berserk and [[spoiler: kills the priests responsible when his own daughter is taken as a sacrifice]], though this may be justified since the priests never asked permission before performing the sacrifice in question. * NarrativeProfanityFilter: About 99% of the time Nahuatl words are used in the book, you can bet they're describing some sort of obscene sexual term. Averted later on, when Mixtli mentions that the first words he hears of Spanish was an extremely vulgar sentence...given to us in plain English! * NeverFoundTheBody: [[spoiler: Tzitzi and Zyanya, the latter of whom disappears during the flood of Tenochtitlan. However, despite the usual usage of this trope, Zyanya is KilledOffForReal.]] * NotMeThisTime: A humorous example: Mixtli has by this point become so well-known for his sexual exploits that when the Bishop returns to hear the next part of his tale, Mixtli remarks: ->Mixtli: Dare I suppose that Your Excellency joins us today expecting to hear how I ravished the entire female population of Zaachila? No? If, as you say, it would not surprise you to hear it, then let me really surprise Your Excellency. I did not once touch a woman there. * {{Omniglot}}: Mixtli's many travels made him one. * PapaWolf: Mixtli, although sadly [[spoiler: he's too late to do any good.]] * PetTheDog: Mixtli giving Cozcatl his freedom. Also, when Blood Glutton, previously a DrillSergeantNasty, comes to their aid during the journey south. * PowerTrio: During the "travel arc," we have the three travelers: Blood Glutton (Id), Mixtli (Ego), and Cozcatl (Superego). * PropheciesAreAlwaysRight: Everything the cacao-bean man tells Mixtli on his first visit to Tenochtitlan. * ReinventingTheTelephone: Mixtli, with the help of a crystalsmith in one of the southern lands, invents the magnifying glass and, later, the monocle. In the sequel, Mixtli's son Tenamaxtzin reinvents grenades, among other things. * RoaringRampageofRevenge: Mixtli himself on at least two occasions, as well as [[spoiler: Chimali for about two-thirds of the book.]] ** Basically the entire point of the sequel. * RomanticFalseLead: [[BrotherSisterIncest Tzitzi.]] * RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Every single Mexicatl from the nobility must be this, even commoners who provide outstanding services to the empire can earn a noble rank, typically through prowess in war. [[spoiler: Mixtli]] eventually becomes one. * ShownTheirWork: And how! Practically everything except Mixtli himself has some basis in Mexica history. (Yes, even Jadestone Doll's..."dalliances.") Not to mention every bit of Nahuatl, Mexica culture, warfare, government...heck, it would probably be easier to list everything that ''isn't.'' * StealthPun: Plenty of them, in both Nahuatl and Spanish. * TakeThat: At medieval Catholicism, European imperialism, the supposed superiority of Western culture, and sterotypes of Native Americans, among others. * TheHeroDies: Goes hand-in-hand with the ForegoneConclusion. * [[TheHerosJourney The Hero's Journey]] The third "arc" focuses on this. * TooDumbtoLive: Montecuzoma, although this was TruthInTelevision. Also, any of the nations that chose to ally with Cortez. * {{Tsundere}}: Beu Ribe. * WeCanRuleTogether: Cortez makes this offer to the Tlaxcala. [[YouShouldKnowThisAlready He's lying.]] * WhyWeCantHaveNiceThings: Blood Glutton continually remarks during their journey in the third arc that Mixtli is giving away so much of their trade goods for free that they won't have anything left to sell. ---- '''Aztec Autumn provides examples of:''' * DistractedByTheSexy: Tenamaxtli spends quite a long time at the Islands of the Women, and only returns to the One World to continue his fight against the Mexica when a woman's death reminds him of his original quest. * DoesNotLikeMen: Tiptoe, after she is [[spoiler: raped by two Spanish soldiers.]] * DressingAsTheEnemy: Happens on more than one occasion. * EnemyMine: Tenamaxtli uses this to his advantage in order to get all of the previously warring Yaki tribes to fight together against the Spaniards. * Expy: Tenamaxtli might as well be a carbon copy of Mixtli from the original, though there's a good reason for that. His cousin Ameyatl plays a similar role to Tzitzi, Cricket might as well be an expy of Zyanya, and Yeyac is one of Chimali, among many others. * MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Even moreso than the original. Tenamaxtli getting the monocle and burning crystal: arranged by the gods or mere coincidence? Tiptoe's "pregnancy:" was it really some kind of monster or just a normal child? Was Gn'da Ke really an ancient, nigh-immortal woman or just a Yaki who shared the name and intentions? (Her bizarre death doesn't help this one at all). And [[spoiler: Yeyac's]] sudden recovery, even with the ordinary explanation, still seems too convenient... * RedHerring: For all the setup and characterization Uno and Dos are given, they appear in the book for all of about five seconds despite all of the potential they showed. Which is too bad, because they are very interesting and entertaining characters. * RoaringRampageofRevenge: Pretty much the entire point of the novel. * ThoseTwoGuys: The British sailors Tenamaxtli nicknames Uno and Dos are this, for the (sadly) brief time they appear. * WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Tiptoe's "pregnancy" is never explained in full, and we never learn what it was she carried inside her. * YouKilledMyFather: [[spoiler: Tenamaxtli learns that the Mixtli of the first novel was his father early on, which spurs him into a hatred of Spaniards for the rest of the book.]] ---- Here end the roads and the days.[[redirect:Literature/{{Aztec}}]]
28th Nov '13 11:11:27 PM MacronNotes
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As per this TRS, Everythings Better With Chocolate will be cut and its examples moved to other tropes if they fit.
* EverythingsBetterWithChocolate: The Mexica discovered it, after all. They even invented the first attempt at "hot chocolate," though it was mixed with chili pepper seeds and was probably very spicy.
30th Jun '13 9:54:02 PM Lewa0111
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* FateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler: Tzitzi becoming the Tapir Woman.]] Also the Cozcatl-Chimali attack and reverse-attack, and the punishment and execution of Lord Joy and Jadestone Doll.
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* FateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler: Tzitzi becoming the Tapir Woman.]] Also the Cozcatl-Chimali attack and reverse-attack, and the punishment and execution of Lord Joy and Jadestone Doll. Doll. ** Though the latter two [[spoiler: and Chimali]] definitely deserved it.
14th May '13 2:04:09 AM shamblingdead
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* FateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler: Tzitzi becoming the Tapir Woman.]]
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* FateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler: Tzitzi becoming the Tapir Woman.]]]] Also the Cozcatl-Chimali attack and reverse-attack, and the punishment and execution of Lord Joy and Jadestone Doll.
30th Apr '13 11:32:00 PM shamblingdead
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* DuelToTheDeath: Mixtli vs. [[spoiler: Chimali.]]
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* DuelToTheDeath: Mixtli vs. [[spoiler: Chimali.]]]] Also, Armed Scorpion, who was given the option of fighting on the Battle Stone instead of being sacrificed. It's almost an embarrassment when he calmly defeats four warriors--despite Mixtli earlier cutting off his feet.
1st Mar '13 10:53:42 PM Lewa0111
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* CurbStompBattle: La Noche Triste.
to:
* CurbStompBattle: Both sides get one: La Noche Triste.Triste for the Aztecs, and the Siege of Tenochtitlan for the Conquistadors. * CynicismCatalyst: Tzitzi's [[spoiler: apparent]] death.
24th Feb '13 1:33:16 PM SpitefulFox
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Wick Namespace Migration
* AztecMythology: Duh.
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* AztecMythology: UsefulNotes/AztecMythology: Duh.
22nd Feb '13 7:11:51 AM Arha
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Dead Little Sister was renamed. Check to see if the example actually fits before readding.
* DeadLittleSister [[spoiler: (well, not ''quite'' dead...)]]
2nd Jan '13 9:02:07 AM Lewa0111
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Added DiffLines:
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Did Mixtli really meet the gods Night Wind and Oldest of Old Gods? Who knows?

Added DiffLines:
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Even moreso than the original. Tenamaxtli getting the monocle and burning crystal: arranged by the gods or mere coincidence? Tiptoe's "pregnancy:" was it really some kind of monster or just a normal child? Was Gn'da Ke really an ancient, nigh-immortal woman or just a Yaki who shared the name and intentions? (Her bizarre death doesn't help this one at all). And [[spoiler: Yeyac's]] sudden recovery, even with the ordinary explanation, still seems too convenient...
4th Dec '12 10:38:11 AM SeptimusHeap
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Rename
* ArcherArchetype: Arrow Knights are noted to be given the rank of Knight in the Mexica army not for the number of kills and captures they have made, but by how well they can use the bow and arrow.

* BeenThereShapedHistory: Mixtli himself, although subverted in that most of the pre-Conquest events he ends up being part of are ''not'' common knowledge to the majority of readers, but were very significant to the Mexica and other nations of the area. ** [[spoiler: Also Chimali, to Mixtli's personal life. That guy shows up EVERYWHERE.]]

* ArcherArchetype: Arrow Knights are noted to be given the rank of Knight in the Mexica army not for the number of kills and captures they have made, but by how well they can use the bow and arrow. * TheGump: Mixtli himself, although subverted in that most of the pre-Conquest events he ends up being part of are ''not'' common knowledge to the majority of readers, but were very significant to the Mexica and other nations of the area. ** [[spoiler: Also Chimali, to Mixtli's personal life. That guy shows up EVERYWHERE.]]

Here end the roads and the days.
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Here end the roads and the days.
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