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Howl of Sorrow

(permanent link) added: 2010-08-31 22:10:36 sponsor: fawn (last reply: 2010-08-31 22:10:36)

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When a canine character howls to express sadness.

Can overlap with Clifftop Caterwauling, when this is done at the edge of a cliff. Similar to Big "NO!". See also Wolves Always Howl at the Moon and Howling to the Night, for other howling tropes.

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Frequently done because of a death, so spoilers ahead.


Anime: The wolves in Wolf's Rain, after finding Tobe's dead body.

  • Jock in Lady and the Tramp after Trusty's apparent death.
    • Also, the dogs in the pound have a song made up entirely of sorrowful howls.
  • In the Van Helsing movie, the eponymous character does this in the werewolf form after having a cure injected into his body at the cost of the Action Girl Love Interest's life. It morphs into a Big "NO!" as he transforms back into a human.
  • In the "Pecos Bill" sequence of Disney's Melody Time, the coyotes howl at the moon out of sympathy with Pecos, who howls for sorrow at losing Slew Foot Sue.

  • Gaspode starts a mourning howl, which is passed on into the night by unseen wolf packs, near the end of The Fifth Elephant.
  • In The Mammoth Hunters Wolf (a domesticated wolf) howls during the funeral of Rydag.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's Farmer Giles of Ham. When Giles rides off to slay a dragon, his dog Garm howled all night because he thought Giles would be killed.

Real Life:
  • The legendary wolf Lobo is said to have done this after his mate was killed.
  • Many dog owners can attest to this trope after a human/other pet has died, though only the dogs know whether this is truly sorrow or simply the dogs looking for their missing packmate.

Video Games:

Web Comics:
  • One use of werewolf howls in Dominic Deegan is to announce the break-up of a pack. Given what breaks up a pack...this is generally a combination of rage and painfully deep sorrow.
  • In ElfQuest the Wolfrider elves and their wolves share communal howls when one of their number dies, or when the elves are commemorating the dead.
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