Plot Avalanche YKTTW Discussion
In the final Act, resolutions occur at breakneck speed, successfully concluding all threads.Needs Examples Already have? Up For Grabs
A Script Speak trope: You've got Four Lines, All Waiting, a Gambit Pileup and a Jigsaw Puzzle Plot. Too much is happening for a single Reveal to solve. You might dread being Left Hanging or for a Kudzu Plot to descend into Sequelitis, but for once, the writer has actually thought of everything and manages to conclude all Plot Threads in rapid succession. That's a Plot Avalanche: It resolves the majority of plot points. Any Sequel Hooks are clearly distinct from the main plot. Once the dust settles, there's nothing left for the audience to wonder. It's a Wham Episode or third act at breakneck speed, or The Climax on steroids. Expect multiple Reveals and UnReveals. Chekhov's Armoury alone doesn't constitute a Plot Avalanche unless revelations occur in rapid succession. Doesn't apply to a Grand Finale unless ALL Myth Arcs are resolved. Only applies to a Final Season if it clearly was planned from the very beginning. Can apply to the climax of a single episode with a complex plot structure. The polar opposite of Arc Fatigue and Gainax Endings. Also contrast: The Chris Carter Effect, Kudzu Plot. Sister trope to Cosmic Deadline. Named for Brandon Sanderson, whose ability to bring myriad gambits to generally satisfying conclusions in a very small space became known as the "Sanderson Avalanche." WARNING: Because this is an Ending Trope, expect many spoilers. Examples: [[foldercontrol]] [[folder:Comic Books]]
- In the penultimate chapter of Watchmen, many minor characters return, and whatever storylines they had come to a head, only to get massacred by the beginning of the final chapter.
- Memento, which shows the main plot chronologically backwards and a subplot/backstory chronologically moving forwards. As the pace of revelation increases, both lines meet at the film's conclusion.
- Fight Club deals for a long time with mundane (but increasing) problems of the protagonist: Insomnia, depression, isolation. Just before The Reveal, tension and pace reach new heights.
- Brandon Sanderson, the trope namer, has several. Most notably:
- Speaker For The Dead by Orson Scott Card. Multiple mysteries and gambits are introduced throughout; all are solved in the span of a few chapters.
- In the Michael Slade novel Ghoul, it seems like there couldn't possibly be time to resolve the simultaneous manhunts for the three killers -- a psycho, a bomber, and a hitman -- who've been plaguing Vancouver and London, not to mention the interwoven thread of the mysterious Saxon Hyde. Then a Plot Avalanche is unleashed that brings all these subplots to a head with The Reveal that they're all different personalities of the same very sick man.
- The Stargate SG-1 episode "Threads" saw the Free Jaffa lay down their arms and start building their nation, the past three-and-a-half seasons' Big Bad Anubis get Sealed In a Duel with Oma Desala, Daniel Jackson return to human form after ascending a second time, and Sam Carter and her fiance breaking up. The only plot thread left is that the SGC is still out of contact with their people in the Pegasus Galaxy, and that situation is resolved by the premiere of the Post Script Season.
- Final Fantasy IV. Plotwise, everything after the Babel Giant, starting with the Climactic Battle Resurrection, multiple reveals (that Cecil and Golbez are brothers, the existence of a Bigger Bad) and multiple Denouements right through the Epilogue. Feels slower due to Gameplay and Story Segregation.