Frozen Hero Cliffhanger YKTTW Discussion

Frozen Hero Cliffhanger
A hero is rendered comatose in the cliffhanger of the second movie.
Better Name
(permanent link) added: 2013-06-23 01:44:57 sponsor: SomeSortOfTroper (last reply: 2013-06-26 15:25:51)

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There is a particular type of cliffhanger used in Second Chapter Cliffhangers where the hero or one of the heroes is rendered effectively comatose (whether in a literal coma, frozen in carbonite, under a magical sleeping spell or the like). Allies of the hero or the rest of his band will then have to deal with the absence and rescue of the hero.


  • At the end of The Empire Strikes Back, Han Solo is frozen in carbonite to be escorted to mob boss Jabba the Hutt, while all the others in the band are to be taken off elsewhere, they get rescued but after all's said and done Han still needs to be rescued and the ending note is the promise to save him. Then in the next movie, the opening sequence is the attempt to rescue him. Interestingly, Han was kept frozen in carbonite (as opposed to being killed or tortured or forced to act as Jabba's personal orifice wiper) so they rescue him from his incapacitated state.
  • At the end of the The Matrix Reloaded, Neo, the One, saviour of mankind, ends up in a random coma after a never explained occurrence right after finding out that being The One is in fact not that useful for saving mankind. He is then not just in a coma but quite neutered as The One while simultaneously his evil counterpart is in the coma bed right next to him promising that when one wakes up the other will.

  • At the end of The Two Towers Frodo is paralysed by a Giant Spider bite, Samwise spends some time thinking he is dead before discovering that he is alive but now captured by the enemy. The ending note of the volume is that it is now up to Sam to save his master.

The name is a difficult trick- if you just go for something like The Hero In A Coma then it just says...that the hero is in a coma, nothing about the structure and timing which is actually about half the trope.
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