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As said on the main page, '''spoilers are unmarked'''.
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* ''Literature/TheBible'' is packed with [[BittersweetEnding Bittersweet Endings]] from start to finish. Humanity gains knowledge, but [[Literature/ParadiseLost loses paradise.]] The Israelites are freed from slavery, but at the cost of thousands of Egyptian lives. Moses serves long and well as a prophet, but dies before reaching the Promised Land ([[DisproportionateRetribution indeed, he's not even allowed in, for striking a rock to bring forth water, rather than speaking to it]] as {{God}} commanded). The Jews build a magnificent temple, which is subsequently wrecked when the country is conquered... [[KickTheDog twice.]] UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}} preaches and wins many followers, but then he gets [[CriticalExistenceFailure painfully executed.]] He comes back, but a month later [[AscendedToAHigherPlaneOfExistence goes back home]] (subverted with him promising to return someday). People start off happy, they sin, they get punished, they reconcile, they get redeemed, rinse and repeat, with the eventual death of nearly every character. (Well, it all happened thousands of years ago, what did you expect?)
* Ragnarök, the GrandFinale of Myth/NorseMythology. The Norse gods die in battle, the warriors of Ásgarðr die to a man this time for good, and the conflict kills nearly every living thing in the world. The "nearly" is what keeps the ending bittersweet. [[AdamAndEvePlot Two people manage to survive]], and another power arises to restore the world. And the Norse gods destroyed their opponents, the frost giants, fire giants, Loki, etc., they're all gone, thus ensuring that they won't be around to cause any problems ''this'' time. But the younger gods do survive, and we also have Baldur returning from the dead along with his wife and his brother.
* OlderThanFeudalism: UsefulNotes/TheTrojanWar eventually ends, and beautiful princess Helen survives. So does Odysseus (though his trip home is [[Literature/TheOdyssey an interesting story]]). But just about everybody else is dead, a lot of women and children were sacrificed or enslaved, and a great city is in ruins. And it's not clear the gods involved even managed to settle their dispute.\\\
Versions of Odysseus's story also have a BittersweetEnding that verges on a full-on DownerEnding - Odysseus and Penelope get back together, he gets to see Telemachus - and then has to take an oar to a people who have never heard of the sea in order to appease Poseidon. Cue another ten year round trip to Russia and back.
** Other versions have Odysseus' son by Circe, Telegonus, arrived on Ithaca, because his mother sent him to find Odysseus, but didn't know it was Ithaca. He and his men began raiding the island, and Odysseus and his son Telemachus went to stop them. In a struggle between the groups, Telegonus killed Odysseus with a stingray tipped spear. Eventually they figured out their mistake, and Telegonus brings Odysseus' body, Telemachus, and Penelope to Aeaea. On the island, after burying Odysseus' body, Circe made all four of them immortal, she married Telemachus, and Telegonus married Penelope.
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