Created By: Aquamantor on September 11, 2011

The Beast

The mysterious (usually faceless) monster that makes infrequent appearances throughout the story

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The Beast is a sort of mysterious frightful thing added to a story. What separates this from a horror movie monster, however, is that The Beast is not usually the only focus of the plot. It will almost always have an important place (and by the end it may reveal itself to be one of the most important things in the story) but most of the time, until then, it occupies strictly subplot territory. What The Beast is, exactly, is never known until the end. It might actually be a monster. Alternatively, it could be a person in a costume, or maybe not even real at all (such as the Trope-namer, from Lord of the Flies). Note that The Beast does not even have to be something malevolent, but it must appear to be, in the beginning, because fear is a very important part of this trope.
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • September 11, 2011
    MorganWick
    Is this just a one-example trope? Title's too vague, makes me think of Beauty And The Beast / Beast And Beauty.
  • September 12, 2011
    Bisected8
    In Video Games this is usually a Roaming Enemy.

  • September 12, 2011
    Ronka87
    • The mysterious beast that scares the boys in Lord Of The Flies. It turns out to be a pig, which they kill and stick on a pike.
    • The Simpsons parody of Lord of the Flies also has this.

    I never watched Lost, but wasn't there one of these in the form of a fog monster or something?
  • September 12, 2011
    Irrisia
    Neverwhere has the Beast of London, something that lives in the labyrinthine streets below London. After hearing about it, the main character has nightmares about it throughout the story, but it's not really the main plot, just an obstacle on the way to the main plot.
  • September 12, 2011
    Prfnoff
    The thing behind Winkie's in Mulholland Drive.
  • September 13, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
  • September 14, 2011
    Lavalyte
    The hound of the baskervilles, Jaws
  • September 14, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    I don't remember Lady In The Water that well, but I believe this was invoked.
  • September 16, 2011
    TonyG
    ^^In those two examples the beast is the main threat. This is when the beast is only a secondary menace. I suggest B Plot Beast as a title to make that clear.
  • September 17, 2011
    MorganWick
    That sounds like something like The Dragon or just "secondary villain". The problem with The Beast is the same as the problem with any Trope Namer.
  • September 18, 2011
    Koveras
  • September 18, 2011
    CJDaMocha
    The "Beast of Flotsam Island" in Tales Of Monkey Island is said to be a monstrous creature, and no one has actually seen it in person. However, the various sacrifices left on the altar in the jungle were taken away by something which left an awful smell. Guybrush eventually finds out that it appears to be a giant carnivorous plant.. Curse Of Monkey Island had the dreaded Pollo Diablo, obviously played for laughs.
  • September 21, 2011
    CJDaMocha
    The bear in Condemned 2: Bloodshot.
  • September 21, 2011
    Dracontes
    In Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal could be a candidate. Perhaps the single female dragon in the Belgariad/Malloreon universe would be more apt.

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