History Main / DiscOneFinalBoss

22nd Mar '17 11:21:30 AM Vir
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* ''WesternAnimation/SupermanDoomsday'': Superman destroys Doomsday during the first half, then the villain becomes Lex Luthor's Superman clone when he goes rogue.

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* ''WesternAnimation/SupermanDoomsday'': Superman destroys Doomsday during the first half, then the villain becomes Lex Luthor's rogue Superman clone when he goes rogue.clone.
22nd Mar '17 11:20:35 AM Vir
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* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11772125/1/Metroid-Kamen-Rider-Generations-Full-Series Metroid: Kamen Rider Generations]]'' has [[Series/KamenRiderDecade Tsukasa Kadoya]] as the UnknownRival to [[{{Metroid}} Samus]], and then there's [[spoiler:Ridley, who is encountered at least five times throughout the story.]]

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* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11772125/1/Metroid-Kamen-Rider-Generations-Full-Series Metroid: Kamen Rider Generations]]'' has [[Series/KamenRiderDecade Tsukasa Kadoya]] as the UnknownRival to [[{{Metroid}} [[Franchise/{{Metroid}} Samus]], and then there's [[spoiler:Ridley, who is encountered at least five times throughout the story.]]



* ''WesternAnimation/SupermanDoomsday'': Superman destroys Doomsday during the first half, then the villain becomes Lex Luthor's Superman clone when he goes rogue.



* In ''WesternAnimation/LegionOfSuperheroes'', Imperiex is the BigBad for most of the second season. In a possible nod to the ''Our Worlds At War'' storyline, in the comics [[spoiler:he is usurped by Brainiac.]]

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* In ''WesternAnimation/LegionOfSuperheroes'', ''WesternAnimation/LegionOfSuperHeroes'', Imperiex is the BigBad for most of the second season. In a possible nod to the ''Our Worlds At War'' storyline, in the comics [[spoiler:he is usurped by Brainiac.]]
22nd Feb '17 10:56:32 AM babyhenchy1
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** Before Zhao, Zuko was the main enemy to the group. Zhao just turned out to be even worse. After Zhao's defeat, the ''far'' more dangerous [[HeroKiller Azula]] took his place, but the TrueFinalBoss was always [[GreaterScopeVillain Ozai]], no matter who he sent after the group.

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** Before Zhao, Zuko [[AntiVillain Prince Zuko]] was the main enemy to the group. Zhao just turned out to be even worse. After Zhao's defeat, the ''far'' more dangerous [[HeroKiller Princess Azula]] took his place, but the TrueFinalBoss was always [[GreaterScopeVillain Fire Lord Ozai]], no matter who he sent after the group.
20th Feb '17 2:11:13 PM AthenaBlue
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** The spinoff ''[[Series/Class2016 Class]]'' has this as well. The BigBad of the first season is Corakinus, king of the Shadow Kin. [[spoiler:He's killed off in the first season finale when Charlie uses the Cabinet of Souls to eradicate his species, making way for the ''real'' antagonists: [[OmnisicentCouncilOfVagueness the Governors]] and their employers -- the '''[[EldritchAbomination Weeping Angels]]'''.]]

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** The spinoff ''[[Series/Class2016 Class]]'' has this as well. The BigBad of the first season is Corakinus, king of the Shadow Kin. [[spoiler:He's killed off in the first season finale when Charlie uses the Cabinet of Souls to eradicate his species, making way for the ''real'' antagonists: [[OmnisicentCouncilOfVagueness [[OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness the Governors]] and their employers -- the '''[[EldritchAbomination Weeping Angels]]'''.]]
20th Feb '17 2:10:33 PM AthenaBlue
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** The spinoff ''[[Series/Class2016 Class]]'' has this as well. The BigBad of the first season is Corakinus, king of the Shadow Kin. [[spoiler:He's killed off in the first season finale when Charlie uses the Cabinet of Souls to eradicate his species, making way for the ''real'' antagonists: [[OmnisicentCouncilOfVagueness the Governors]] and their employers -- the '''[[EldritchAbomination Weeping Angels'''.]]

to:

** The spinoff ''[[Series/Class2016 Class]]'' has this as well. The BigBad of the first season is Corakinus, king of the Shadow Kin. [[spoiler:He's killed off in the first season finale when Charlie uses the Cabinet of Souls to eradicate his species, making way for the ''real'' antagonists: [[OmnisicentCouncilOfVagueness the Governors]] and their employers -- the '''[[EldritchAbomination Weeping Angels'''.Angels]]'''.]]
20th Feb '17 2:09:41 PM AthenaBlue
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* ''Franchise/StarWars:''
** ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' ends with Yoda and Mace Windu wondering whether the Sith that Obi-Wan slew was the BigBad or just a Disc One Final Boss. (The audience, having seen him taking orders from a man he calls "master" earlier in the film, [[ForegoneConclusion knows the answer]]...and those that hadn't probably could've puzzled it out from the "Episode I" aspect.) However, the in-universe possibility they consider is that they had killed the Big Bad, meaning that the former Disc One Final Boss [[DragonAscendant was now the]] ''new'' Big Bad.
** Count Dooku and General Grievous are this for the first half of ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith''.
** Jabba the Hutt in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''.

to:

* ''Franchise/StarWars:''
** ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' ends with Yoda and Mace Windu wondering whether the Sith that Obi-Wan slew was the BigBad or just a Disc One Final Boss. (The audience,
In ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan2'', Electro definitely qualifies as this, having seen him taking orders from a man he calls "master" earlier in been defeated before the film, [[ForegoneConclusion knows final Goblin fight.
* ''Film/TheCrow'': T-Bird looks like
the answer]]...BigBad, since he's the gang leader who kills Eric and those that hadn't probably could've puzzled it out from Shelley, but he's revealed to be working for a crime boss named Top Dollar halfway through the "Episode I" aspect.) However, the in-universe possibility they consider is that they had killed the Big Bad, meaning that the former Disc One Final Boss [[DragonAscendant was now the]] ''new'' Big Bad.
** Count Dooku and General Grievous are this for the first half of ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith''.
** Jabba the Hutt in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''.
film.



* Subverted in ''Film/{{Elysium}}''. [[spoiler:At first, Kruger seems like this, but then is revived and kills Delacourt, making her the true Disc One Final Boss.]]
* ''Film/FistOfLegend'': Chen is originally seeking revenge on Akutegawa for killing his master, but it's revealed that Akutegawa is working for General Fujita, who kills him soon after.
* In ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra'', James [=McCullen=] (played by Christopher Eccleston) is most definitely this. Because of the heavily publicized fact that Joseph Gordon-Levitt (a more recognizable Hollywood name than Eccleston) was playing the villain, even those who were unfamiliar with Joe mythology couldn't help but understand that [=McCullen=] was just a placeholder until the BigBad revealed himself.
* ''Film/TheGodfather'' has two. There's Solozzo, who engineers the attempt on Vito Corleone's life and seems to be driving the plot. Then [[spoiler:Michael kills him halfway through the film.]] Tattaglia seems to be the BigBad in the second half, until it's later revealed that both of them were CoDragons for the real BigBad, [[spoiler: [[BitchInSheepsClothing Emilio Barzini]]]], who was behind the conspiracy to chip away at Vito Corleone's power in any way possible, whether by turning Vito's allies against him, or secretly trying to shake him down at the peace summit to end the Five Families War.
* In ''Film/Gremlins2TheNewBatch'', the gremlin Mohawk, who's been pretty non-interested in leading the other gremlins throughout much of the film, gets killed while the greater part of his brethren are still creating mayhem. The Brain Gremlin effectively assumed his place beforehand. The most dangerous gremlin in the film was likely [[spoiler:the Spider Gremlin, but even then, the movie was far from over after it was killed.]]
* ''Film/{{Hercules 2014}}'': Hercules is initially contracted to put down a rebellion started by Rhesus. Rhesus is captured an hour in, after which it's revealed that [[spoiler:he's GoodAllAlong and Cotys is the true threat.]]
* The first half of ''[[Film/HomeAlone Home Alone 2: Lost in New York]]'' is mainly about Kevin trying to make sure the hotel staff doesn't wise up to the fact that he's staying in the hotel alone, but after they discover what he's up to and he escapes from the hotel, the rest of the movie involves his conflict with Harry and Marv.
* In ''Film/JurassicPark'', the T. Rex causes the first human death and sends Grant and the kids running. However, while she pops up several times after her breakout, the Raptors become the bigger threat to the cast once they break free when the plan to reboot the park's computers ends up cutting power to their paddock's fences; after their escape the focus of the film is the casts' attempts to avoid them.
* ''Film/KillBill'' has O-Ren Ishii as the last boss of "disc 1" (volume 1). In true ironic Tarantino scene order, she's actually the first of the main victims of the Bride in the storyline.
* Betty in ''Film/KungPowEnterTheFist'', with [[OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness The Evil Council]] as the real BigBad. Or at least they would, if [[DevelopmentHell the second film was ever made]].



* Especially tricky because the movie is almost over when he's finally taken down: [[spoiler:Veck]] is not the BigBad of ''Film/PaulBlartMallCop''. [[spoiler:Commander Kent, the SWAT guy that took over the hostage negotiations and was chasing after Veck with Paul, was actually working with Veck all along.]] The new villain then gets taken down almost instantly.
* In the classic Rankin/Bass Christmas special ''SantaClausIsCominToTown'', the Winter Warlock is hyped up as a terribly powerful, evil being and set up as the villain. However, he is convinced into a HeelFaceTurn by Santa in mid-film, and the dictator who had appeared toward the start of the film, Burgermeister Meisterburger, becomes the movie's BigBad.
* Betty in ''Film/KungPowEnterTheFist'', with [[OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness The Evil Council]] as the real BigBad. Or at least they would, if [[DevelopmentHell the second film was ever made]].
* The first half of ''[[Film/HomeAlone Home Alone 2: Lost in New York]]'' is mainly about Kevin trying to make sure the hotel staff doesn't wise up to the fact that he's staying in the hotel alone, but after they discover what he's up to and he escapes from the hotel, the rest of the movie involves his conflict with Harry and Marv.



* In ''Film/Gremlins2TheNewBatch'', the gremlin Mohawk, who's been pretty non-interested in leading the other gremlins throughout much of the film, gets killed while the greater part of his brethren are still creating mayhem. The Brain Gremlin effectively assumed his place beforehand. The most dangerous gremlin in the film was likely [[spoiler:the Spider Gremlin, but even then, the movie was far from over after it was killed.]]
* ''Film/KillBill'' has O-Ren Ishii as the last boss of "disc 1" (volume 1). In true ironic Tarantino scene order, she's actually the first of the main victims of the bride in the storyline.
* In ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra'', James [=McCullen=] (played by Christopher Eccleston) is most definitely this. Because of the heavily publicized fact that Joseph Gordon-Levitt (a more recognizable Hollywood name than Eccleston) was playing the villain, even those who were unfamiliar with Joe mythology couldn't help but understand that [=McCullen=] was just a placeholder until the BigBad revealed himself.
* Subverted in ''Film/{{Elysium}}''. [[spoiler:At first, Kruger seems like this, but then is revived and kills Delacourt, making her the true Disc One Final Boss.]]
* In ''Film/TheWolverine'', [[spoiler:Shingen]] is responsible for the yakuza thugs and Logan fights him to end this plot thread and [[spoiler:become "the wolverine" again]], but there's a bigger villain in play.



* In ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan2'', Electro definitely qualifies as this, having been defeated before the final Goblin fight.
* ''Film/TokyoGorePolice'': [[MadScientist The Key Man]] looks like he should be the BigBad, as the creator of the Engineers, but he's killed about an hour and twenty minutes in just after he reveals [[spoiler:the Chief of Police]] as the true threat.
* ''Film/ZombieWars'': A zombie in a red flannel appears to run the people farm, but it is revealed halfway through that he is working for [[spoiler:George]].
* ''Film/TheGodfather'' has two. There's Solozzo, who engineers the attempt on Vito Corleone's life and seems to be driving the plot. Then [[spoiler:Michael kills him halfway through the film.]] Tattaglia seems to be the BigBad in the second half, until it's later revealed that both of them were CoDragons for the real BigBad, [[spoiler: [[BitchInSheepsClothing Emilio Barzini]]]], who was behind the conspiracy to chip away at Vito Corleone's power in any way possible, whether by turning Vito's allies against him, or secretly trying to shake him down at the peace summit to end the Five Families War.
* In ''Film/JurassicPark'', the T. Rex causes the first human death and sends Grant and the kids running. However, while she pops up several times after her breakout, the Raptors become the bigger threat to the cast once they break free when the plan to reboot the park's computers ends up cutting power to their paddock's fences; after their escape the focus of the film is the casts' attempts to avoid them.

to:

* In ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan2'', Electro definitely qualifies as this, having been defeated before Especially tricky because the final Goblin fight.
* ''Film/TokyoGorePolice'': [[MadScientist The Key Man]] looks like he should be the BigBad, as the creator of the Engineers, but
movie is almost over when he's killed about an hour and twenty minutes in just after he reveals [[spoiler:the Chief of Police]] as the true threat.
* ''Film/ZombieWars'': A zombie in a red flannel appears to run the people farm, but it
finally taken down: [[spoiler:Veck]] is revealed halfway through that he is working for [[spoiler:George]].
* ''Film/TheGodfather'' has two. There's Solozzo, who engineers the attempt on Vito Corleone's life and seems to be driving the plot. Then [[spoiler:Michael kills him halfway through the film.]] Tattaglia seems to be
not the BigBad in of ''Film/PaulBlartMallCop''. [[spoiler:Commander Kent, the second half, until it's later revealed SWAT guy that both of them were CoDragons for took over the real BigBad, [[spoiler: [[BitchInSheepsClothing Emilio Barzini]]]], who hostage negotiations and was behind the conspiracy to chip away at Vito Corleone's power in any way possible, whether by turning Vito's allies against him, or secretly trying to shake him down at the peace summit to end the Five Families War.
* In ''Film/JurassicPark'', the T. Rex causes the first human death and sends Grant and the kids running. However, while she pops up several times
chasing after her breakout, the Raptors become the bigger threat to the cast once they break free when the plan to reboot the park's computers ends up cutting power to their paddock's fences; after their escape the focus of the film is the casts' attempts to avoid them.Veck with Paul, was actually working with Veck all along.]] The new villain then gets taken down almost instantly.



* ''Film/TheCrow'': T-Bird looks like the BigBad, since he's the gang leader who kills Eric and Shelley, but he's revealed to be working for a crime boss named Top Dollar halfway through the film.
* ''Film/{{Hercules 2014}}'': Hercules is initially contracted to put down a rebellion started by Rhesus. Rhesus is captured an hour in, after which it's revealed that [[spoiler:he's GoodAllAlong and Cotys is the true threat.]]
* ''Film/FistOfLegend'': Chen is originally seeking revenge on Akutegawa for killing his master, but it's revealed that Akutegawa is working for General Fujita, who kills him soon after.

to:

* ''Film/TheCrow'': T-Bird In the classic Rankin/Bass Christmas special ''SantaClausIsCominToTown'', the Winter Warlock is hyped up as a terribly powerful, evil being and set up as the villain. However, he is convinced into a HeelFaceTurn by Santa in mid-film, and the dictator who had appeared toward the start of the film, Burgermeister Meisterburger, becomes the movie's BigBad.
* ''Franchise/StarWars:''
** ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' ends with Yoda and Mace Windu wondering whether the Sith that Obi-Wan slew was the BigBad or just a Disc One Final Boss. (The audience, having seen him taking orders from a man he calls "master" earlier in the film, [[ForegoneConclusion knows the answer]]...and those that hadn't probably could've puzzled it out from the "Episode I" aspect.) However, the in-universe possibility they consider is that they had killed the Big Bad, meaning that the former Disc One Final Boss [[DragonAscendant was now the]] ''new'' Big Bad.
** Count Dooku and General Grievous are this for the first half of ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith''.
** Jabba the Hutt in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''.
* ''Film/TokyoGorePolice'': [[MadScientist The Key Man]]
looks like he should be the BigBad, since he's as the gang leader who kills Eric and Shelley, creator of the Engineers, but he's killed about an hour and twenty minutes in just after he reveals [[spoiler:the Chief of Police]] as the true threat.
* In ''Film/TheWolverine'', [[spoiler:Shingen]] is responsible for the yakuza thugs and Logan fights him to end this plot thread and [[spoiler:become "the wolverine" again]], but there's a bigger villain in play.
* ''Film/ZombieWars'': A zombie in a red flannel appears to run the people farm, but it is
revealed to be working for a crime boss named Top Dollar halfway through the film.
* ''Film/{{Hercules 2014}}'': Hercules is initially contracted to put down a rebellion started by Rhesus. Rhesus is captured an hour in, after which it's revealed
that [[spoiler:he's GoodAllAlong and Cotys is the true threat.]]
* ''Film/FistOfLegend'': Chen is originally seeking revenge on Akutegawa for killing his master, but it's revealed that Akutegawa
he is working for General Fujita, who kills him soon after.[[spoiler:George]].



* ''Literature/{{Phenomena}}'' features an odd one. [[spoiler:According to the prophecy Phenomena does, the chosen children have to kill Tarkan on the Gredom Fields. But in the 2nd book, it turns out that Tarkan is merely TheDragon, and King Sherpa, the king from the country in the north, is the BigBad they have to defeat there, since he's the one behind Tarkan. Gets even more complicated when [[BigGood King Veha]] defeats Tarkan on the Gredom Fields, and [[TheChosenOne Alk]] kills Sherpa with his bare hands. If this wasn't confusing enough, the story does not end there, as it's still ongoing into "Phenomena: The Dark Chronicle]].

to:

* ''Literature/{{Phenomena}}'' features an odd one. [[spoiler:According to Toby Homolka of the prophecy Phenomena does, ''Literature/AhrimanTrilogy'' appears to be the chosen children have to kill Tarkan on one behind everything, as he was commanding the Gredom Fields. But in massacre of the 2nd book, Bell family. As it turns out, he has a master with bigger plans, plans that he managed to screw up by being overzealous and lucky.
* {{Literature/Beowulf}}: Beowulf goes to Hrothgar's kingdom to slay Grendel, the monster terrorizing everybody. He dies early on. Then his [[MamaBear mother]] shows up, but she's the disc two final boss to [[OurDragonsAreDifferent the dragon]].
* ''Literature/CodexAlera'':
** Atsurak, the main antagonist of ''Furies of Calderon'', was taking his orders from Fidelias' boss [[spoiler: High Lord Aquitaine]].
** Ultimately,
it turns out that Tarkan [[UpToEleven most]] of the villains of the series could be considered this, as the ''true'' BigBad is merely TheDragon, [[spoiler:the Vord Queen]].
* ''Literature/{{Divergent}}'': Jeanine is murdered by Tori at the end of ''Literature/{{Insurgent}}'', before [[GreaterScopeVillain The Bureau]] makes its entrance in ''Allegiant''.
* The first book of the Literature/{{Dragonlance}} ''Ergoth Trilogy'' introduces the reader almost immediately to Spannuth Grane, a MagicKnight, DarthVaderClone
and King Sherpa, DragonInChief to [[TheUsurper the king from Pakin Pretender]], with every indication that he'll be the country main villain of the series. [[TheHero Tol]] proceeds to defeat and kill him halfway through the book. This act, however, brings Tol to the attention of the Emperor's court, where he meets his ''real'' enemies -- the BigBadEnsemble of [[TheEvilPrince Prince Nazramin]] and [[EvilSorcerer Mandes]].
* The first twelve books of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' revolve around the war between the White Council wizards and the Red Court vampires, with the amorphous Black Council serving as the ostensible GreaterScopeVillain. As of the end of ''Literature/{{Changes}}'', [[spoiler: the Red Court has been wiped off the face of the earth,]] leaving the series in need of a new major threat that is ultimately provided by [[spoiler: [[EldritchAbomination The Outsiders]] and [[TheCorruption Nemesis]], the latter of which is either a tool of the Black Council or the weapon that created it to begin with.]]
* In Sukhinov's ''Emerald City Decalogy'', Corina is this. She gets a lot of development early on (even being VillainProtagonist for a while), and then is deposed in book 2. For a while, it looks like she may return to a threat status, but she is quickly StuffedIntoTheFridge, and the actual BigBad takes over.
* The ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' novels don't usually use Story Arcs, but this trope has happened at least twice:
** The very first novel is self-contained, and could easily be considered a standalone work, so Haruhi herself could be considered this when she almost recreates the world at the climax.
** The Anti-SOS Brigade in general, and Fujiwara in particular. Their plot is the focus of three novels and is foreshadowed even earlier. [[spoiler:Fujiwara and Kuyou's attempted deicide]] makes them the first real threat
in the north, is series. They're this trope because the climactic battle fooled so many readers into thinking this was the end of the series that WordOfGod had to step in and state otherwise.
* Enobaria in ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', the leader of the Careers. And given Katniss destroys the arena just as they're attacking, doesn't offer much of a fight before all focus shifts to the war.
* In ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'',
the BigBad they have Galbatorix doesn't show up until the final few chapters of the final book. Before then, Eragon concerns himself with hunting down the Ra'zac, the henchmen who [[spoiler:killed his uncle]].
* All the plotlines of ''[[Literature/KittyNorville Kitty Takes a Holiday]]'' seemed
to defeat there, since be wrapped up after the apparent BigBad is killed. But [[spoiler:RealityEnsues when Cormac -- who pulled the trigger on the BigBad -- is arrested for murder, sending Kitty and Ben off on a ClearMyName plot]] that takes up the last third of the book.
* [[EvilOverlord The Pannion Seer]] in the ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen''. The Seer is a distant character in the first two books, but his existence and the threat of his rapidly expanding empire provides the impetus for most of the plot of the first and parts of the second, and then he takes center stage as the main villain in the third, ''Memories of Ice''. Then at the end of the book
he's defeated and turns out to have been a pawn all along for the one behind Tarkan. Gets ''real'' BigBad, [[MadGod the Crippled God]], something even more complicated when [[BigGood King Veha]] defeats Tarkan on the Gredom Fields, and [[TheChosenOne Alk]] kills Sherpa with his bare hands. If Seer himself was unaware of. [[spoiler: Of course, even the Crippled God himself has elements of this wasn't confusing enough, trope too, as the story does not end there, AbusivePrecursors called the Forkrul Assail edge him out as it's still ongoing into "Phenomena: The Dark Chronicle]].the main threat in the last two books]].



* ''Literature/{{Phenomena}}'' features an odd one. [[spoiler:According to the prophecy Phenomena does, the chosen children have to kill Tarkan on the Gredom Fields. But in the 2nd book, it turns out that Tarkan is merely TheDragon, and King Sherpa, the king from the country in the north, is the BigBad they have to defeat there, since he's the one behind Tarkan. Gets even more complicated when [[BigGood King Veha]] defeats Tarkan on the Gredom Fields, and [[TheChosenOne Alk]] kills Sherpa with his bare hands. If this wasn't confusing enough, the story does not end there, as it's still ongoing into "Phenomena: The Dark Chronicle"]].
* ''{{Literature/Paranoia}}'': Adam Cassidy, forced by blackmail by Nick Wyatt to infiltrate Trion Industries, has his first boss be Nora Sommers. Nora looks for reasons to humiliate him in front of his coworkers, tries to get him to say something discouraging or worth firing over, and when he shows her up as a meeting in front of her boss, she tries to [[ReassignedToAntarctica reassigned to North Carolina]] where his career would be over. By luck of making such a good impression with the boss, he is made personal assistant, and Nora spends the rest of the book being as sweet as possible to him.
* ''Literature/{{Salamander}}'' initially sets up [[EvilSorceror Maridon]] and his pawn [[WideEyedIdealist Coelus]] as the villains. By a third of the way through, Maridon is dead and Coelus has gone from ReluctantMadScientist to TheLancer.
* ''Literature/{{Shannara}}'':
** ''TheVoyageOfTheJerleShannara'' has [[RoboticPsychopath Antrax]], who essentially takes over as the BigBad of the middle book in the series, and is then killed off.
** Uhl Belk and The Wisteron from ''Literature/TheHeritageOfShannara'' might also count.



* In ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'', the BigBad Galbatorix doesn't show up until the final few chapters of the final book. Before then, Eragon concerns himself with hunting down the Ra'zac, the henchmen who [[spoiler:killed his uncle]].
* Atsurak, the main opponent of the first book of ''Literature/CodexAlera'', was taking his orders from Fidelias's boss [[spoiler: High Lord Aquitaine]].
* All the plotlines of ''[[Literature/KittyNorville Kitty Takes a Holiday]]'' seemed to be wrapped up after the apparent BigBad is killed. But [[spoiler:RealityEnsues when Cormac -- who pulled the trigger on the BigBad -- is arrested for murder, sending Kitty and Ben off on a ClearMyName plot]] that takes up the last third of the book.
* ''Literature/NewJediOrder'' gives us every character who ''looks'' like a BigBad. TheManBehindTheMan? [[spoiler:The kriffing ''court jester'' (who edges out ''Darth kriffing Sidious'' for the title of Most Evil Being In Recorded History).]]
** In order, the major bosses go: [[StarterVillain Prefect Da'Gara]], [[TheFundamentalist Commander Shedao Shai]], [[TheStrategist Supreme Commander Nas Choka]] [[note]]though he's an odd example, since he gets PutOnABus when the next guy in the chain shows up, but then comes back to replace him after he dies[[/note]], [[TheDragon Warmaster Tsavong Lah]], [[GodEmperor Supreme Overlord Shimrra]], and finally [[spoiler:Onimi, the real BigBad]]. [[MagnificentBastard Nom Anor]] breaks the pattern -- while never ''technically'' in charge, he [[RecurringBoss bedevils the heroes across the series]] and is [[TheHeavy the most visible and developed villain]].
* ''Literature/{{Salamander}}'' initially sets up [[EvilSorceror Maridon]] and his pawn [[WideEyedIdealist Coelus]] as the villains. By a third of the way through, Maridon is dead and Coelus has gone from ReluctantMadScientist to TheLancer.

to:

* In ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'', the BigBad Galbatorix doesn't show up until the final few chapters of the final book. Before then, Eragon concerns himself with hunting down the Ra'zac, the henchmen who [[spoiler:killed his uncle]].
* Atsurak, the main opponent of the first book of ''Literature/CodexAlera'', was taking his orders from Fidelias's boss [[spoiler: High Lord Aquitaine]].
* All the plotlines of ''[[Literature/KittyNorville Kitty Takes a Holiday]]'' seemed to be wrapped up after the apparent BigBad is killed. But [[spoiler:RealityEnsues when Cormac -- who pulled the trigger on the BigBad -- is arrested for murder, sending Kitty and Ben off on a ClearMyName plot]] that takes up the last third of the book.
*
''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'':
**
''Literature/NewJediOrder'' gives us every character who ''looks'' like a BigBad. TheManBehindTheMan? [[spoiler:The kriffing ''court jester'' (who edges out ''Darth kriffing Sidious'' for the title of Most Evil Being In Recorded History).]]
** *** In order, the major bosses go: [[StarterVillain Prefect Da'Gara]], [[TheFundamentalist Commander Shedao Shai]], [[TheStrategist Supreme Commander Nas Choka]] [[note]]though he's an odd example, since he gets PutOnABus when the next guy in the chain shows up, but then comes back to replace him after he dies[[/note]], [[TheDragon Warmaster Tsavong Lah]], [[GodEmperor Supreme Overlord Shimrra]], and finally [[spoiler:Onimi, the real BigBad]]. [[MagnificentBastard Nom Anor]] breaks the pattern -- while never ''technically'' in charge, he [[RecurringBoss bedevils the heroes across the series]] and is [[TheHeavy the most visible and developed villain]].
* ''Literature/{{Salamander}}'' initially sets up [[EvilSorceror Maridon]] and his pawn [[WideEyedIdealist Coelus]] as ''WizardsFirstRule'', the villains. By a third first book of the way through, Maridon is dead ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' series, ends with the the defeat of Darken Rahl, the [[BigBad worst guy anybody knows]]. Then come 10 more books that gradually reveal and Coelus has gone from ReluctantMadScientist to TheLancer.portray [[ChosenOne Richard's]] struggle against a much worse enemy: [[spoiler:socialism!]]



* ''WizardsFirstRule'', the first book of the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' series, ends with the the defeat of Darken Rahl, the [[BigBad worst guy anybody knows]]. Then come 10 more books that gradually reveal and portray [[ChosenOne Richard's]] struggle against a much worse enemy: [[spoiler:socialism!]]
* ''TheVoyageOfTheJerleShannara'' has [[RoboticPsychopath Antrax]], who essentially takes over as the BigBad of the middle book in the series, and is then killed off. Uhl Belk and The Wisteron from ''Literature/TheHeritageOfShannara'' might also count.
* The ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' novels don't usually use Story Arcs, but this trope has happened at least twice:
** The very first novel is self-contained, and could easily be considered a standalone work, so Haruhi herself could be considered this when she almost recreates the world at the climax.
** The Anti-SOS Brigade in general, and Fujiwara in particular. Their plot is the focus of three novels and is foreshadowed even earlier. [[spoiler:Fujiwara and Kuyou's attempted deicide]] makes them the first real threat in the series. They're this trope because the climactic battle fooled so many readers into thinking this was the end of the series that WordOfGod had to step in and state otherwise.
* In Sukhinov's ''Emerald City Decalogy'', Corina is this. She gets a lot of development early on (even being VillainProtagonist for a while), and then is deposed in book 2. For a while, it looks like she may return to a threat status, but she is quickly StuffedIntoTheFridge, and the actual BigBad takes over.
* The first twelve books of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' revolve around the war between the White Council wizards and the Red Court vampires, with the amorphous Black Council serving as the ostensible GreaterScopeVillain. As of the end of ''Literature/{{Changes}}'', [[spoiler: the Red Court has been wiped off the face of the earth,]] leaving the series in need of a new major threat that is ultimately provided by [[spoiler: [[EldritchAbomination The Outsiders]] and [[TheCorruption Nemesis]], the latter of which is either a tool of the Black Council or the weapon that created it to begin with.]]
* The first book of the Literature/{{Dragonlance}} ''Ergoth Trilogy'' introduces the reader almost immediately to Spannuth Grane, a MagicKnight, DarthVaderClone and DragonInChief to [[TheUsurper the Pakin Pretender]], with every indication that he'll be the main villain of the series. [[TheHero Tol]] proceeds to defeat and kill him halfway through the book. This act, however, brings Tol to the attention of the Emperor's court, where he meets his ''real'' enemies--the BigBadEnsemble of [[TheEvilPrince Prince Nazramin]] and [[EvilSorcerer Mandes]].
* ''{{Literature/Paranoia}}'': Adam Cassidy, forced by blackmail by Nick Wyatt to infiltrate Trion Industries, has his first boss be Nora Sommers. Nora looks for reasons to humiliate him in front of his coworkers, tries to get him to say something discouraging or worth firing over, and when he shows her up as a meeting in front of her boss, she tries to [[ReassignedToAntarctica reassigned to North Carolina]] where his career would be over. By luck of making such a good impression with the boss, he is made personal assistant, and Nora spends the rest of the book being as sweet as possible to him.
* Toby Homolka of the ''Literature/AhrimanTrilogy'' appears to be the one behind everything, as he was commanding the massacre of the Bell family. As it turns out, he has a master with bigger plans, plans that he managed to screw up by being overzealous and lucky.
* Jeanine is murdered by Tori at the end of ''Literature/{{Insurgent}}'', before [[GreaterScopeVillain The Bureau]] makes its entrance in ''Allegiant''.
* {{Literature/Beowulf}}: Beowulf goes to Hrothgar's kingdom to slay Grendel, the monster terrorizing everybody. He dies early on. Then his [[MamaBear mother]] shows up, but she's the disc two final boss to [[OurDragonsAreDifferent the dragon]].
* Enobaria in ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', the leader of the Careers. And given Katniss destroys the arena just as they're attacking, doesn't offer much of a fight before all focus shifts to the war.
* [[EvilOverlord The Pannion Seer]] in the ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen''. The Seer is a distant character in the first two books, but his existence and the threat of his rapidly expanding empire provides the impetus for most of the plot of the first and parts of the second, and then he takes center stage as the main villain in the third, ''Memories of Ice''. Then at the end of the book he's defeated and turns out to have been a pawn all along for the ''real'' BigBad, [[MadGod the Crippled God]], something even the Seer himself was unaware of. [[spoiler: Of course, even the Crippled God himself has elements of this trope too, as the AbusivePrecursors called the Forkrul Assail edge him out as the main threat in the last two books]].



** The serial "The War Games" has a series of villains of increasing threat, but once the War Chief shows up, you're sure it's him... and then the Time Lords execute and exile the Doctor. (Indeed, the War Chief turns out to merely be the [[{{TheDragon}} Dragon]]/[[{{TheStarscream}} Starscream]] to the War Lord, resulting in the last two episodes consisting of the War Lord killing the War Chief and the Time Lords killing the War Lord before they turn their attention to the Doctor.)
** "The Invasion of Time" is a particularly effective example. The serial deals with the Doctor's fight against the Vardans, which plays out over four episodes (the most common length of a serial) and reaches a clear conclusion at the end of episode four with a typical final scene full of goodbyes, when suddenly [[spoiler:the Sontarans show up, revealing the entire Vardan invasion to be a set-up to disable the defense system]], and the serial continues for an additional two episodes.
** In the episode "The Long Game", the evil owners of Satellite Five are destroyed, with the implication that mankind's development will speed up after the Editor and the Mighty Jagrafess stunted it. Instead, it's learnt that the Daleks have been manipulating the Earth, with the antagonists of the episode being just a small step, causing the planet to fall into depression, transporting humans to deadly game shows. The Daleks make themselves known when the Doctor is taken back to Satellite Five 100 years and five episodes later in "Bad Wolf".

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** The serial [[Recap/DoctorWhoS6E7TheWarGames "The War Games" Games"]] has a series of villains of increasing threat, but once the War Chief shows up, you're sure it's him... and then the Time Lords execute and exile the Doctor. (Indeed, the War Chief turns out to merely be the [[{{TheDragon}} Dragon]]/[[{{TheStarscream}} Starscream]] to the War Lord, resulting in the last two episodes consisting of the War Lord killing the War Chief and the Time Lords killing the War Lord before they turn their attention to the Doctor.)
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS15E6TheInvasionOfTime "The Invasion of Time" Time"]] is a particularly effective example. The serial deals with the Doctor's fight against the Vardans, which plays out over four episodes (the most common length of a serial) and reaches a clear conclusion at the end of episode four with a typical final scene full of goodbyes, when suddenly [[spoiler:the Sontarans show up, revealing the entire Vardan invasion to be a set-up to disable the defense system]], and the serial continues for an additional two episodes.
** In the episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E7TheLongGame "The Long Game", Game"]], the evil owners of Satellite Five are destroyed, with the implication that mankind's development will speed up after the Editor and the Mighty Jagrafess stunted it. Instead, it's learnt revealed in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E12BadWolf "Bad Wolf"]] that the Daleks [[spoiler:the Daleks]] [[TheManBehindTheMan have been manipulating the Earth, with the antagonists behind]] everything, and were deliberately keeping humanity's development stunted so they could [[HumanResources harvest humans]] to grow their numbers.
** The spinoff ''[[Series/Class2016 Class]]'' has this as well. The BigBad
of the episode being just a small step, causing first season is Corakinus, king of the planet to fall into depression, transporting humans to deadly game shows. The Daleks make themselves known Shadow Kin. [[spoiler:He's killed off in the first season finale when Charlie uses the Doctor is taken back Cabinet of Souls to Satellite Five 100 years eradicate his species, making way for the ''real'' antagonists: [[OmnisicentCouncilOfVagueness the Governors]] and five episodes later in "Bad Wolf".their employers -- the '''[[EldritchAbomination Weeping Angels'''.]]


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* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsRebels'': The Season 3 Mandalore arc has Viceroy [[OpportunisticBastard Gar Saxon]]. After buildup, [[spoiler: he's killed off in his [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS3E14LegacyOfMandalore second appearance]].]]
13th Feb '17 10:08:04 AM Gosicrystal
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* ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigations: Miles Edgeworth'' sets up Case 5 [[spoiler:as though you are going after The Yatagarasu, which in and of itself features several game-ending-worthy reveals, but count your evidence: there's more to go and there will be a very long, standing-room-only conversation in a hallway before this game is over.]]

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* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'':
**
''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigations: Miles Edgeworth'' sets up Case 5 [[spoiler:as though you are going after The Yatagarasu, which in and of itself features several game-ending-worthy reveals, but count your evidence: there's more to go and there will be a very long, standing-room-only conversation in a hallway before this game is over.]]over]].
1st Feb '17 9:41:07 PM BobRiddle
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* ''Series/TomicaHeroRescueForce'' has Daaen, who [[spoiler: dies halfway through. The true main villain is Batsu, assuming the guise of Maaen]].
12th Jan '17 11:22:15 AM gb00393
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** [[spoiler: Viserys Targaryen is set up as a major threat, only to die at the end of the sixth episode of Season 1.

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** [[spoiler: Viserys Targaryen is set up as a major threat, only to die at the end of the sixth episode of Season 1.]]



** King Joffrey Baratheon is killed off in the second episode of Season 4, after being set up for the least three seasons as one of the main villains.]]

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** [[spoiler: King Joffrey Baratheon is killed off in the second episode of Season 4, after being set up for the least three seasons as one of the main villains.]]
12th Jan '17 11:21:14 AM gb00393
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* ''Series/{{Game of Thrones}}'': [[spoiler: Viserys Targaryen is set up as a major threat, only to die at the end of the sixth episode of Season 1; similarly, King Joffrey Baratheon is killed off in the second episode of Season 4, after being set up for the least three seasons as one of the main villains.]] Technically every villain is this, as the real threat (White Walkers) still haven't arrived.

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* ''Series/{{Game of Thrones}}'': Thrones}}'':
**
[[spoiler: Viserys Targaryen is set up as a major threat, only to die at the end of the sixth episode of Season 1; similarly, 1.
** Soon after Khal Drogo declares his intention to RapePillageAndBurn all of Westeros, but quickly dies due to an infected wound.
**
King Joffrey Baratheon is killed off in the second episode of Season 4, after being set up for the least three seasons as one of the main villains.]] ]]
**
Technically every villain is this, as the real threat (White Walkers) still haven't arrived. arrived.
** After Joffrey, Lord Tywin spends several seasons building power only to fall to an assassin's crossbow.
** After Tywin, Ramsay Bolton ends up dying by his own hounds.
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