History Main / RedHerring

9th Dec '16 3:42:41 PM ZimFan89
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* On ''Series/Timeless'' time-travelling crook Flynn is a master of this as the trio who follow him through history constantly mistake what his real plan is.

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* On ''Series/Timeless'' ''Series/{{Timeless}}'', time-travelling crook Flynn is a master of this as the trio who follow him through history constantly mistake what his real plan is. is:



** When Flynn heads to 1944 Germany, the natural assumption is he's going to give a nuke to the Nazis. Flynn is actually [[spoiler: planning to hand a key Germany scientist to the Soviets to allow them to win the race to the moon.]]

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** When Flynn heads to 1944 Germany, the natural assumption is he's going to give a nuke to the Nazis. Flynn is actually [[spoiler: planning to hand a key Germany scientist Werner Van Braun over to the Soviets to allow them to win the race to the moon.]]
9th Dec '16 10:38:41 AM MikeW
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* On ''Series/Timeless'' time-travelling crook Flynn is a master of this as the trio who follow him through history constantly mistake what his real plan is.
** In 1962 Las Vegas, they think Flynn is planning to kill JFK or one of the other power players of the time. Flynn is really [[spoiler: blackmailing JFK's mistress to help him steal a nuclear core.]]
** When Flynn heads to 1944 Germany, the natural assumption is he's going to give a nuke to the Nazis. Flynn is actually [[spoiler: planning to hand a key Germany scientist to the Soviets to allow them to win the race to the moon.]]
** The trio follows Flynn to the French and Indian War, assuming he's going to mess with it somehow. They never expect Flynn [[spoiler: to have simply lured them into a trap to blow up their time ship and strand them in the past.]]
9th Dec '16 5:02:16 AM Daylight
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* ''Series/LawAndOrderSVU'' does this as much as of the other Series. One notable example is a case where an old famous author is married to a young redhead who is actively having sex with him, despite the author seemly having heart problems. The author's two daughters go to the police thinking that the woman is intentionally trying to kill him so she can collect on the will money, and because the woman won't let them see their father during his final moments. The episode goes out of its way the make the woman look suspicious. The author does ends up dying and the woman ends up getting charged with his murder. Only for a last minute bombshell to happen. During the trial, a video message by the author surfaces making it clear that he gave his wife the command to keep his daughters away, because one of the daughters would always come around causing trouble and he was sick of dealing with it. That daughter then reveals she hated him because of his sexist ways and how he never supported her when she tried to go into writing herself. The other sister turns on her, admitting that their father was right and claims to have been deceived. The wife is vindicated, not only in the murder trial, but she also gets pregnant before the author dies, giving her a stake in the will, even though [[SelfFulfillingProphecy she was never after his money to begin with]].
3rd Dec '16 4:27:26 PM ShadowSpectrum
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* ''VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors'' tries to convince the player that multiple innocent characters are Zero, the mastermind of the Nonary Game.
** The initially most suspicious one is Seven. He is an apparent amnesiac, who could easily be lying, and comes off as brash and violent, picking fights with almost every other character. It turns out he is genuinely an amnesiac, and is actually a kind and selfless detective who rescued the children of the first nonary game.
** Midgame, the suspicion is cast on Snake. He disappears abruptly, and the characters bring up the idea that Zero must be one of them. The narration suggests that Snake could be watching over the other players after a staged disappearance. The suspicion subsides after the characters find his 'dead body', and by the time it's found he is still alive, there's a new suspect...
** Santa. He becomes the most suspicious in the Safe and True paths (especially if the player achieves the Coffin end, an unfinished True end). In the last part of the Safe end, Snake, Ace, Clover and Akane are all dead, Lotus and Seven are mourning and Junpei is with Akane and Santa is the only character unaccounted for. So it becomes clear who is speaking when Zero directly responds to Junpei over the loudspeaker. In the true end, Santa abruptly holds a gun to Akane's head and takes her hostage. If you accidentally get the Coffin end, you'll never learn that this is a ruse and Santa is just an assistant to Akane, the true Zero.



* ''VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward'' has this in spades. Such as when the cut on Sigma;'s hand bleeds white blood, leading the player into believing he's a robot. [[spoiler:He's not. But he has cybernetic arms.]]
** Similarly, Phi's superhuman jumping abilities make her seem non-human. Which makes her seem like an incredibly likely candidate to be a robot. [[spoiler:She's not. Her superhuman jumping abilities are a explained eventually and have nothing to do with Phi herself. Also the actual robot among humans is the most human person in the entire cast.]]
** Throughout the game Quark, a little kid, is constantly passed off by Sigma as being a ridiculous candidate for any of the murders or bombings, or the real identity of Zero Sr. Dio also accuses him multiple times of being a manipulative sheep in wolf's clothing who made the choice of betraying various characters, which is always seen by other characters as Dio making excuses. [[spoiler:Turns out Quark really ''is'' just an innocent little kid, and did absolutely nothing wrong throughout the entire game.]]
** As a subvert, Dio, on the other hand, is presented as so blatantly evil that it seems ridiculous to think throughout the game that he's anything more then a red herring. [[spoiler:He's just as evil as he seems.]]
** In Luna's route, you deduce that, contrary to what was first thought, [[spoiler:Luna actually killed the old woman because her AB Room and K's AB room had been swapped, so the room where the body was found in was actually here's. Although, this turns out to not be true. She only hide the dead body in her room]].
** Also in Luna's route you deduce that [[spoiler:Clover was the one who probably killed Luna. She didn't. In fat, Luna didn't even die]].

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* ''VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward'' has this in spades. Such as when the spades.
** When Sigma is
cut on Sigma;'s the hand and bleeds white blood, leading the player is led into believing he's a robot. He was also present in the GOLEM room, when a robot began to talk about how a robot could probably pass for a human... [[spoiler:He's not. But not, he just has cybernetic arms.arms. Luna is, though, and this is foreshadowed by her also being present in the GOLEM room.]]
** Similarly, Phi's superhuman superhuman-seeming jumping abilities make her seem non-human. Which makes her seem like an incredibly likely candidate to be a robot. [[spoiler:She's not. Her superhuman jumping abilities are a explained eventually and have nothing to do with Phi herself. Also the actual robot among humans is the most human person in the entire cast.herself.]]
** Throughout Dio is presented as so blatantly evil that the game Quark, a little kid, is constantly passed off by Sigma as being a player either decides he's the mastermind at first or concludes it's ridiculous candidate for any to think that he's anything more then a red herring. [[spoiler:Both of the murders or bombings, or the real identity of these expectations are wrong- Dio is indeed villainous, but he is not Zero Sr. Dio also accuses him multiple times of being a manipulative sheep in wolf's clothing who made the choice of betraying various characters, which is always seen by other characters as Dio making excuses. [[spoiler:Turns out Quark really ''is'' just an innocent little kid, and did absolutely nothing wrong throughout the entire game.nor does he have any idea how vast Brother's plans are.]]
** As a subvert, Dio, on In Luna's route, you deduce that, contrary to what was first thought, [[spoiler:Luna killed the other hand, is presented as so blatantly evil that it seems ridiculous to think throughout old woman because her AB Room and K's AB room (where the game that he's anything more then a red herring. [[spoiler:He's just as evil as he seems.woman's body was found) had been swapped, so the room where the body was found in was actually hers. However, this turns out to not be true. She only hide the dead body in her room.]]
** In Luna's route, you deduce that, contrary to what was first thought, [[spoiler:Luna actually killed the old woman because her AB Room and K's AB room had been swapped, so the room where the body was found in was actually here's. Although, this turns out to not be true. She only hide the dead body in her room]].
** Also in Luna's route you deduce that [[spoiler:Clover was the one who probably killed Luna. She didn't. In fat, fact, Luna didn't even die]].
1st Dec '16 9:56:11 PM DanaO
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* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' has two major examples: The witch in the prologue has some marked design similarities to Sayaka's MagicalGirl outfit. Turns out that Sayaka's ''actual'' witch form has considerably fewer design similarities. In a more meta example, concept art shows Madoka and Homura both with bows, leading to speculation about Homura being future Madoka. And then Homura is revealed not only to be her own person, but to have a completely different weapon.

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* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' has two major examples: The witch in the prologue has some marked design similarities to Sayaka's MagicalGirl outfit. Turns out that Sayaka's ''actual'' witch form has considerably fewer design similarities. In a more meta example, concept art shows Madoka and Homura both with bows, leading to speculation about Homura being future Madoka. And then Homura is revealed not only to be her own person, but to have a completely different weapon. (As it turns out, the art's still meaningful - Homura can use ''Madoka's'' bow, and in the timeline where the latter ascended ends up inheriting it, wielding it in favor of her own weapon to signify a "lighter" aspect of magical girl-ness.)
28th Nov '16 5:59:27 AM Daedalis
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* The hero of ''Film/{{Headhunters}}'' is an art burglar. At a party he is introduced to the top detective in the country, who has recently switched from murder to art burglary investigation. It appears this is a matchup of worthy opponents who will spend the rest of the movie in dogged competition. [[spoiler: Actually the detective never investigates Roger for art burglary, only getting involved with the film's murders. He also notices the discrepancies in evidence that Roger has left behind, but protects his own reputation as the best cop in the country by ignoring them for a quick, clean solve.]]
17th Nov '16 9:41:03 PM Chabal2
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The wife's lack of an alibi is a red herring. It turns out the wife was ''[[YiddishAsASecondLanguage shtupping]]'' somebody ''else'' at the time and didn't want to provide that [[BigSecret information]]. However, the deceased husband's philandering ''is'' what got him killed, as it turns out, by his girlfriend's jealous husband. Philandering as a motive is introduced for good cause, not just to set up suspicions about the wife's lack of an alibi.

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The wife's lack of an alibi is a red herring. It turns out the wife was ''[[YiddishAsASecondLanguage shtupping]]'' somebody ''else'' at the time and [[ShamefulSourceOfKnowledge didn't want want]] to provide that [[BigSecret information]]. However, the deceased husband's philandering ''is'' what got him killed, as it turns out, by his girlfriend's jealous husband. Philandering as a motive is introduced for good cause, not just to set up suspicions about the wife's lack of an alibi.


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* Several ''Creator/AgathaChristie'' novels use this. The owner of a boarding house has a closet she refuses to open, even when told to by the police? [[TheAlcoholic Holds a remarkable supply of gin bottles.]] A woman refuses to see her husband, who thinks she's been kidnapped? Turns out she gained a lot of weight, and her husband is the opposite of a ChubbyChaser. And so on.
15th Nov '16 6:35:36 PM CurledUpWithDakka
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Compare: MistakenForEvidence, where the same result is caused by a mix-up instead of intentional misdirection. AndYouThoughtItWasReal, when an object that is fictional (such as a prop) is mistaken for being real. TheUntwist is when a plot twist is confused for a Red Herring because it's too obvious, but turns out to have been genuine all along. See also ChewbaccaDefense, when a red herring is used to baffle your opponents, and NonSequitur, when an event does not [[ItMakesSenseInContext make sense in context]]. See also BigSecret. [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Has nothing to do with]] WithThisHerring. If a major star is used to sucker the audience rather than the actual characters, you've just been served DeadStarWalking, or at least an aversion of NarrowedItDownToTheGuyIRecognize. Subject to being SpoiledByTheFormat: if they've just found a plausible suspect, but there's 180 more pages to go, well…

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Compare: MistakenForEvidence, where the same result is caused by a mix-up instead of intentional misdirection. AndYouThoughtItWasReal, when an object that is fictional (such as a prop) is mistaken for being real. TheUntwist is when a plot twist is confused for a Red Herring because it's too obvious, but turns out to have been genuine all along. See also ChewbaccaDefense, when a red herring is used to baffle your opponents, and NonSequitur, when an event does not [[ItMakesSenseInContext make sense in context]]. See also BigSecret. [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Has nothing to do with]] WithThisHerring. If a major star is used to sucker the audience rather than the actual characters, you've just been served DeadStarWalking, or at least an aversion of NarrowedItDownToTheGuyIRecognize. Subject to being SpoiledByTheFormat: if they've just found a plausible suspect, but there's 180 more pages to go, well…
well...



** The "Where Did The Cat Go?" mystery from the novels centers on a red herring: the cat's location seems to rule out certain suspects, until the brigade-eers realize there are ''two'' cats... .

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** The "Where Did The Cat Go?" mystery from the novels centers on a red herring: the cat's location seems to rule out certain suspects, until the brigade-eers realize there are ''two'' cats... .cats....



** During the Grand Magic Games arc, it at first seems that only one person had come back from the future to give warnings about what will soon happen, but that that person had given Princess Hisui and Captain Arcadios conflicting information for some reason. During the two's conversation late in the arc, Arcadios calls this informant a woman, causing Hisui to tell him that ''her'' informant was a ''man''. It turns out that [[BrokenBird Future!Lucy]] wasn't the only one who came back through the Eclipse Gate...[[TokenGoodTeammate Rogue's]] AxCrazy future counterpart had also managed to find his way to the past, but for a much more sinister purpose.

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** During the Grand Magic Games arc, it at first seems that only one person had come back from the future to give warnings about what will soon happen, but that that person had given Princess Hisui and Captain Arcadios conflicting information for some reason. During the two's conversation late in the arc, Arcadios calls this informant a woman, causing Hisui to tell him that ''her'' informant was a ''man''. It turns out that [[BrokenBird Future!Lucy]] wasn't the only one who came back through the Eclipse Gate... [[TokenGoodTeammate Rogue's]] AxCrazy future counterpart had also managed to find his way to the past, but for a much more sinister purpose.



** In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'', the red herring is less pronounced. There are two consecutive plots occurring: the Ministry of Magic's takeover of Hogwarts, and Voldemort's search for a ''weapon'' that can win him the war. There's a possibility though that the two plots aren't so separate when the Ministry-appointed Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor Dolores Umbridge makes Harry's scar burn (which only happens when Voldemort is feeling a particularly strong emotion...or is close by). Voldemort has possessed people before, and out of the last four DADA Professors, half have been directly working for the BigBad. This theoretical connection doesn't pan out, however. It was either a coincidence Harry's scar burned when Umbridge touched him, or Umbridge's own aura of evil is just that strong. There's a reason there was a trope named after [[TyrantTakesTheHelm her]].

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** In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'', the red herring is less pronounced. There are two consecutive plots occurring: the Ministry of Magic's takeover of Hogwarts, and Voldemort's search for a ''weapon'' that can win him the war. There's a possibility though that the two plots aren't so separate when the Ministry-appointed Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor Dolores Umbridge makes Harry's scar burn (which only happens when Voldemort is feeling a particularly strong emotion... or is close by). Voldemort has possessed people before, and out of the last four DADA Professors, half have been directly working for the BigBad. This theoretical connection doesn't pan out, however. It was either a coincidence Harry's scar burned when Umbridge touched him, or Umbridge's own aura of evil is just that strong. There's a reason there was a trope named after [[TyrantTakesTheHelm her]].



* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', there is a series of red herrings involving Chloe that spans seven seasons. In "Scare", she reveals that her mother is in a mental institution for a hereditary illness - but it turns out to be a lie. In "Tomb", she seems to go crazy and sliced her own wrists but it turns out [[GrandTheftMe there is a ghost involved]]. In "Labyrinth", Chloe in Clark's hallucination may or may not be insane, which serves as some ambiguous "foreshadowing". She is infected with Brainiac in season eight for a significant period and a previous victim in "Persona" is reduced to a blubbering vegetable. In "Legion", the Legion mentions they have never heard of Chloe sparking more speculation that she ended up in an asylum. [[TraumaCongaLine Season eight in general]] put such incredible stress to her that it is a miracle that she ''didn't'' snap. When she becomes Watchtower full time, fans may remember Superman's line from [[WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries STAS]] - "I need to be Clark. I'd go crazy if I had to be Superman all the time!" Season nine sees her losing touch with life, locked up in the Watchtower. And finally Kent Nelson is a stuttering wreck without the helmet of Nabu, and the helmet asks her to sacrifice her sanity...While she seems to have a HappilyEverAfter, there was never a resolution.

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* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', there is a series of red herrings involving Chloe that spans seven seasons. In "Scare", she reveals that her mother is in a mental institution for a hereditary illness - but it turns out to be a lie. In "Tomb", she seems to go crazy and sliced her own wrists but it turns out [[GrandTheftMe there is a ghost involved]]. In "Labyrinth", Chloe in Clark's hallucination may or may not be insane, which serves as some ambiguous "foreshadowing". She is infected with Brainiac in season eight for a significant period and a previous victim in "Persona" is reduced to a blubbering vegetable. In "Legion", the Legion mentions they have never heard of Chloe sparking more speculation that she ended up in an asylum. [[TraumaCongaLine Season eight in general]] put such incredible stress to her that it is a miracle that she ''didn't'' snap. When she becomes Watchtower full time, fans may remember Superman's line from [[WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries STAS]] - "I need to be Clark. I'd go crazy if I had to be Superman all the time!" Season nine sees her losing touch with life, locked up in the Watchtower. And finally Kent Nelson is a stuttering wreck without the helmet of Nabu, and the helmet asks her to sacrifice her sanity... While she seems to have a HappilyEverAfter, there was never a resolution.



** Even worse, had ''any'' of the character's applied ''any'' thought to it, Ethan Mars could not be the Origami Killer: he surmises he must be him to test him and punish him for the death of his first son, and attributes it to the blackouts he's been having...only, the Origami Killer's killings have been going on for three years, well before his first son died, and Ethan himself was in a coma for eighteen months after his death.

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** Even worse, had ''any'' of the character's applied ''any'' thought to it, Ethan Mars could not be the Origami Killer: he surmises he must be him to test him and punish him for the death of his first son, and attributes it to the blackouts he's been having... only, the Origami Killer's killings have been going on for three years, well before his first son died, and Ethan himself was in a coma for eighteen months after his death.



** In Episode 4, Sam has to convince Flint Paper she's a red herring so he can tail her by telephone, discovering...absolutely nothing. Even when involved with the dogglegangers, she was under MindControl.

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** In Episode 4, Sam has to convince Flint Paper she's a red herring so he can tail her by telephone, discovering... absolutely nothing. Even when involved with the dogglegangers, she was under MindControl.



*** The beginning of the second case makes it so painfully obvious that the victim, Rex Kyubi, was secretly the masked wrestler the Amazing Nine-Tails that you'll probably get frustrated waiting for someone to put two-and-two together already. Eventually, the connection is made...and turns out to be completely wrong.

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*** The beginning of the second case makes it so painfully obvious that the victim, Rex Kyubi, was secretly the masked wrestler the Amazing Nine-Tails that you'll probably get frustrated waiting for someone to put two-and-two together already. Eventually, the connection is made... and turns out to be completely wrong.



* ''VideoGame/GhostTrick'' gleefully has the characters and the player misinterpret almost everything that happens in the plot. Pretty much nothing is as it seems. For example [[spoiler: the main character is shown to be killed by a major side character. Then it turns out there's someone who can control human bodies...then it turns out the main character wasn't even the guy who the side character killed...and then it turns out the guy who was killed didn't stay dead]]. Sometimes this leads to an odd case of RightForTheWrongReasons; [[spoiler: it turns out the main character was killed by the side character in an accident]].

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* ''VideoGame/GhostTrick'' gleefully has the characters and the player misinterpret almost everything that happens in the plot. Pretty much nothing is as it seems. For example [[spoiler: the main character is shown to be killed by a major side character. Then it turns out there's someone who can control human bodies... then it turns out the main character wasn't even the guy who the side character killed...killed... and then it turns out the guy who was killed didn't stay dead]]. Sometimes this leads to an odd case of RightForTheWrongReasons; [[spoiler: it turns out the main character was killed by the side character in an accident]].



* An episode of ''WebVideo/BoardJames'' has James being stalked by an unknown killer talking to him via the Dream Phone, who at one point says "And I ''know'' you've got the balls", [[OhCrap which causes James to suddenly freeze up, the music to shift from fast-paced to a slower rising violin, and for the camera to focus on the sink where James drowned Mr. Bucket]]. He slowly walks over with the knife brandished to find...Mr. Bucket still lying in the sink, with the voice saying "You'll have to do better than that".

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* An episode of ''WebVideo/BoardJames'' has James being stalked by an unknown killer talking to him via the Dream Phone, who at one point says "And I ''know'' you've got the balls", [[OhCrap which causes James to suddenly freeze up, the music to shift from fast-paced to a slower rising violin, and for the camera to focus on the sink where James drowned Mr. Bucket]]. He slowly walks over with the knife brandished to find... Mr. Bucket still lying in the sink, with the voice saying "You'll have to do better than that".
14th Nov '16 6:47:13 PM Kayube
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* After Romeo kills Tybalt in ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'', Lady Capulet tells Juliet that she plans to send someone to Mantua to give Romeo "an unaccustomed dram" (or in other words, an assassin will poison him). Because the audience knows that Romeo and Juliet are going to die, but not exactly how, this line suggests that Romeo may be murdered at the end (which, of course, is not the case).
14th Nov '16 6:39:22 PM Kayube
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*** Sirius Black has escaped from Azkaban and is out to kill Harry. First reading it, and not knowing Rowling's formula, you wouldn't suspect anything. He betrayed Harry's parents, he's one of Voldemort's loyal Death Eaters and now is out to get the protagonist in order to avenge his fallen master. Despite a few counter-clues, the majority of the book is geared toward making the reader believe this. Turns out Sirius is completely innocent and was falsely accused, and the person that betrayed Harry's parents was Ron's pet ''rat'', who turns out to be an animagus (shape shifter), and is really Peter Pettigrew, an old friend of his parents. Even if you were onto the fact Sirius wasn't the antagonist, you wouldn't have seen that coming.

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*** Sirius Black has escaped from Azkaban and is out to kill Harry. First reading it, and not knowing Rowling's formula, you wouldn't suspect anything. He betrayed Harry's parents, he's one of Voldemort's loyal Death Eaters and now is out to get the protagonist in order to avenge his fallen master. Despite a few counter-clues, the majority of the book is geared toward making the reader believe this. Turns out Sirius is completely innocent and was falsely accused, and the person that betrayed Harry's parents was Ron's pet ''rat'', who turns out to be an animagus (shape shifter), and is really Peter Pettigrew, an old friend of his parents.parents who was believed to be one of Sirius' victims. Even if you were onto the fact Sirius wasn't the antagonist, you wouldn't have seen that coming.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.RedHerring