[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ColdMountainPoster-300_1907.jpg]]

A 1997 novel by Charles Frazier (made into a [[TheFilmOfTheBook film]] in 2003 starring NicoleKidman, Renee Zellweger, and Jude Law) which tells the story of Ada Monroe, who moves from Charleston to rural Cold Mountain with her aging (and ailing) father for his health, and W.P. Inman, a terse but goodhearted young man. Just as Ada and Inman seem to be developing a relationship, Inman leaves to fight for the Confederate Army and, after being wounded in battle, decides to desert and walk through often hostile territory to get back home to Ada. Meanwhile, Ada's father has died and she must learn how to survive on her own.

So, as Inman is WalkingTheEarth [[IWillFindYou to return to Ada]], frequently encountering the worst and the downright bizarre of human nature, Ada learns slowly how to manage a farm with the blunt assistance of Ruby, a no-nonsense country girl, whose own drunk layabout father drops in from time to time

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!! Contains examples of:
* AbusiveParents: Stobrod, along with (and probably because of) being an AlcoholicParent. In the film, Ruby asserts that he regularly beat her, and he doesn't deny it. In the book, however, Stobrod asserts that he never hurt Ruby once -- but he neglected her to an abusive extent, anyway.
* AdaptationDyeJob: Ada and Ruby are both brunettes in the book and blonde in the movie.
* AmbiguouslyBrown: Ruby is described as being dark-skinned, with a broad nose and hair the texture of a horse's mane. Whether this is due to mixed racial heritage, or simply her rough outdoors life, is up to interpretation.
* AmericanAccents: Dixie, specifically.
* UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar
* BabiesEverAfter: [[spoiler:at the end of the film.]]
* BloodFromTheMouth: [[spoiler:When Inman is shot at the end.]]
* BulletHolesAndRevelations: When Boisie and Inman face off at the end. [[spoiler:Twice, first Boisie is shown dead, then Inman mortally wounded.]]
* CaliforniaDoubling: The film was mostly shot in Romania, as the real South has too many paved roads and telephone wires.
* CallingTheOldManOut: Ruby, in a CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
* TheCameo: Jack White as Georgia.
* ChocolateBaby: In the book, Junior complains that his wife delivered a chocolate baby to him after they'd been married a year.
* ColdBloodedTorture: Torture on short notice is Teague and the Home Guard's specialty.
* DaddysGirl: Ada
* ADateWithRosiePalms: Ada indulges in "the easement of maiden, spinster, and widow," and, being the daughter of a minister, feels suitably guilty over it.
* DeterminedWidow: Sarah [[spoiler:and Ada.]]
* DeathBySex: If the clothes come off, something bad is about to happen to somebody.
* DidDoTheResearch: principally in regard to dramatizing[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Crater The Battle of the Crater]].
* DiedInYourArmsTonight: [[spoiler:Inman]]
* DisappearedDad: Ruby, Inman, and Ada. [[spoiler: Ada's dies, but Ruby's comes back.]]
* EvilAlbino: Boisie
* FourthDateMarriage: Ada and Inman both admit they haven't interacted much.
* GreekMythology: While not directly referencing the epic, the story closely follows that of ''Literature/TheOdyssey'', with the setting, context and names changed. In the book, Ada reads to Ruby from ''The Odyssey,'' and Ruby likes it, but thinks that Odysseus might be a bit less honest and more wily than the epic lets on.
* [[spoiler:TheHeroDies: Inman himself at the end.]]
* HerHeartWillGoOn: [[spoiler:Ada at the end.]]
* HeterosexualLifePartners: [[spoiler: Ruby and Ada]] eventually turn into this. [[spoiler: In the final, they're still working together with their children and Ruby's husband]].
* {{Hypocrite}}: Veasey. He's a priest and repeatedly lectures people about doing things the godly way, yet, while engaged, impregnated a woman out of wedlock, attempted to drown her, and repeatedly messes around with other women throughout the rest of his time in the book, not including all of the other underhanded stuff he does.
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation: Ada, more so in the novel than the film. This is gradually subverted over the course of her friendship with Ruby, who is BookDumb, but very observant, and knowledgeable about aspects of the world that mystify Ada.
** Sometimes, this even extends to her relationship with Inman, who is confused and upset when Ada shields herself with upper class manners out of pure habit.
* IWillFightNoMoreForever: Inman uses this as an explanation for why he's willing to let Boisie go instead of just shooting him [[spoiler: which ultimately results in both of their deaths when Boisie refuses to back down.]]
* IWillWaitForYou: Ada.
* MarshmallowHell: Done to Inman by a black woman.
* MissingMom: Ada's, Inman's, and presumably Ruby's mothers are all dead.
* NotGoodWithPeople: Sally Swanger remarks that Inman normally "wouldn't say boo to a goose."
* NowOrNeverKiss: Inman's about to head to war, so he plants one on Ada despite having only spoken with her a few times.
* OffWithHisHead: Ruby decapitates an annoying rooster ''with her bare hands''.
* OrphansOrdeal: Ada, having been taken care of all her life, has no idea what to do when her father dies.
* OscarBait: An epic historical drama, based on a bestselling book which was in turn based on the letters passed between the author's ancestors, featuring death, racism, and philosophical musings... nominated for seven Oscars and won for Best Supporting Actress (ReneeZellweger as Ruby.)
* PluckyGirl: Ruby is this UpToEleven, having had to fend for herself virtually all her life. [[spoiler: [[CharacterDevelopment Ada becomes one of these]]]].
* PsychoForHire: Teague and all his men.
* SecretStabWound: After Boisie falls from his saddle dead [[spoiler:Inman reveals that he also has been mortally wounded.]]
* ShellShockedVeteran: Inman.
* ShownTheirWork: Particularly in the book.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Inman deserts after being shot in the neck and receiving Ada's letter asking him to come back to her.
* SinisterMinister: Reverend Veasey is not only an adulterer, but he almost drowns a slave woman who is pregnant with his illegitimate child.
* SmallGirlBigGun: Ruby, Ada, and Sarah all carry shotguns or rifles for hunting and/or self-defense, compared to Inman and his standard-issue military pistol.
* SomeoneToRememberHimBy
* SnowMeansDeath
* SpoiledSweet: Ada comes from an entirely different social echelon than her rural neighbors in Cold Mountain but is actually quite humble.
* SouthernBelle: Ada
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Ruby and Ada, respectively.
* {{Tsundere}}: Ruby. She's brash, if not quite a {{Jerkass}}, and pretends not to care about Georgia or her father but is really quite a softie.
* VoiceoverLetter: opens the film.
* YoungGun: Bosie

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