[[quoteright:314:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bloodofthefold-2_7723.jpg]]
->''"People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People's heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool.''"
-->-- ''The Wizard's First Rule''

A series of HighFantasy novels -- ahem, ''[[SciFiGhetto stories that have important human themes]]''--written by Creator/TerryGoodkind. It started in 1994 with the publishing of ''Wizard's First Rule'' and ended in 2007 with the eleventh in the series and final book of the ''Chainfire'' trilogy, ''Confessor''. There is also a [[{{Prequel}} prequel]] novella, originally published in the ''Legends'' compilation of short stories and now available on its own, called ''Debt of Bones''. In story-internal order, the books are as follows:

* ''Debt of Bones'' (1998)
* ''Wizard's First Rule'' (1994)
* ''Stone of Tears'' (1995)
* ''Blood of the Fold'' (1996)
* ''Temple of the Winds'' (1997)
* ''Soul of the Fire'' (1999)
* ''Faith of the Fallen'' (2000)
* ''The Pillars of Creation'' (2001)
* ''Naked Empire'' (2003)
* ''Chainfire'' (2005)
* ''Phantom'' (2006)
* ''Confessor'' (2007)

In addition to these books, Terry Goodkind has written other novels related to the main ''Sword of Truth'' series. ''The Law of Nines'' serves as a sequel of sorts to the main series and features an entirely new cast of characters. ''The Omen Machine'', billed as "A Richard and Kahlan Novel", takes place immediately after ''Confessor'', but is not connected to the [[MythArc Myth Arcs]] of the previous series. ''The First Confessor'' is a [[ProtectionFromEditors self-published]] e-book which features events in the backstory of the main series.

* ''The Law of Nines'' (2009)
* ''The Omen Machine'' (2011)
* ''The First Confessor'' (2012)
* ''The Third Kingdom'' (2013)

The TV adaptation, called ''Series/LegendOfTheSeeker'', has its own page.

Links:
* [[http://www.terrygoodkind.com/ Official website]]
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Richard Cypher is a woods guide living in a mostly-pastoral nation called Westland, cut off from the rest of the world--known to them as consisting of two other lands, called the Midlands and D'Hara--by a magical boundary that is in fact a window to the underworld; all who enter it die. After coming upon an "odd-looking vine", he spots a mysterious and beautiful woman who appears to be chased by four armed men. Offering to help her, he finds she is being trailed by assassins.

She explains that she has come in search of a great wizard, who supposedly came to Westland years ago, to help defend the Midlands against a man named Darken Rahl, who hopes to bring all the world under his dominion. Richard knows that what she says is impossible; nothing can get through the boundaries, and Westland doesn't have any magic. Yet he has never seen a woman like her, nor men like those hunting her. He decides he should take her to Zedd, a slightly crazy old man who is like a grandfather to him, and who always seems to know everything that goes on...

As you [[TheUntwist might have guessed]], Zedd does, indeed, turn out to be the wizard, and the three characters team up to stop Darken Rahl before all is lost. Richard is given the titular Sword of Truth, which uses the power of its user's personal anger to strike down enemies.

The two first books, ''Wizard's First Rule'' and ''Stone of Tears'', are fairly standard fantasy fare, complete with dragons, an evil wizard out to rule the world, the discovery that he [[TheManBehindTheMan wasn't working for his own sake]], a potentially world-ending plot, a magic sword, a wise old wizard, a mysterious woman with strange powers, and a [[AuthorAppeal gratuitous S&M sequence]]. For a long time some people thought Goodkind was ripping off [[TheWheelOfTime Robert Jordan]], as his stories contained many things that had exact counterparts in Jordan's novels. From the third book on, [[DerivativeDifferentiation things get slightly less derivative]], with the introduction of a new BigBad and increasing focus on Richard's struggles as a leader. By the fourth book the plot is still pretty standard but at least going under its own power.

Around the fifth book, Goodkind began introducing [[UsefulNotes/{{Objectivism}} Objectivist]] themes and {{aesop}}s inspired by Creator/AynRand in the Sword of Truth. Many people who liked his early works found this a [[JumpTheShark turning point]] in the series, but he also gained many new fans and gave the plot a depth it'd lacked before. Things went overboard in the eighth book, ''Naked Empire'', which contains the infamous [[StrawCharacter evil pacifist]] plot. The last three books, collectively called the Chainfire Trilogy, brought back plenty of the early themes and events of the series, and ''Confessor'', the last book, was specifically one huge throw-back to ''Wizard's First Rule''.

Goodkind has stated a distaste for cliffhangers and other ways of forcing people to buy future books, which is why, aside from the Chainfire trilogy, the books have mostly self-contained plots; some new danger is introduced, the characters wonder about its meaning, and it is defeated. However, all of these book-plots are tied by the MythArc of either [[TheEmpire the Imperial Order]] or the [[{{Satan}} Keeper of the Underworld]].

There's also a spin-off book, ''The Law of Nines'', which follows a completely different cast of characters and [[GenreShift shifts genres]] from HighFantasy to [[UrbanFantasy a contemporary thriller with fantasy elements]]. It takes place in the magic-free world created at the end of "Confessor", the inhabitants of which developed technology to replace the magic they had lost. The story follows the exploits of Alex Rahl, a distant descendant of Richard's half-sister Jennsen, whose life is changed forever when he meets a woman named Jax who claims to be from a parallel universe where magic still works.

Now has a [[Characters/SwordOfTruth character sheet]].

----
!This series provides examples of:

* AbsenceOfEvidence: In ''Chainfire'', after the eponymous spell has made everyone forget that Kahlan [[RetGone ever existed]], Richard tries to use this to convince everyone else that she has. He points to where he says he, Kahlan, and Cara had been walking, and notes that there were no footprints between his and Cara's, which were several feet apart. He tells his companions that this means someone erased Kahlan's footprints. Nobody believes him since, as mentioned, everyone is sure that she never existed in the first place.
* AbusiveParents: Three examples: Darken Rahl, Oba's mother, and Nicci's mother.
* AccidentalAthlete: Richard gets conscripted into a Ja'La team after he slaughters his way through a considerable number of soldiers in an almost-successful attempt to free himself.
* ActionGirl: Most of the female characters, when they don't cross over into FauxActionGirl territory.
* AerithAndBob: Names such as Richard, Warren and Nicci are present alongside Kahlan, Zeddicus and Jagang. Both normal and unusual names can be found in almost equal measure anywhere in the world, among heroes, {{muggle}}s and antagonists.
* AgonyBeam: The Agiel, and Wizard's Pain.
* AlternateUniverse: ''The Law Of Nines'' takes place [[spoiler:in the parallel world created by Richard at the end of Confessor]].
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: Heart Hounds, Mriswith, Screelings, male Confessors, etc. [[spoiler: Subverted by the gars.]]
* AMillionIsAStatistic: Zedd detonates a light spell with [[FantasticNuke similar power to a modern nuclear weapon]] in the midst of the [[TheEmpire Imperial Order]]'s [[MillionMookMarch gigantic army]]. The resulting explosion kills an estimated [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill 500,000-1,000,000 soldiers of the enemy army]], though [[WeHaveReserves there's more where that came from]]. Though the Imperial Order has always considered Zedd (and Richard Rahl, who he was acting on behalf of) to be the epitome of evil (and moreso afterward), Zedd is not bothered by what happened because the soldiers killed were all [[{{Mook}} faceless enemy thugs]] of an invading army intent on killing him and enslaving/raping everyone on the continent.
* AnimalStereotypes
* AnimalWrongsGroup: Darken Rahl could get like this, depending on his mood. According to Cara, while he was a vegetarian and considered eating meat to be wrong, he ''usually'' didn't have a problem with merchants in the People's Palace selling meat. But every once in a while, he would snap and brutally murder such a merchant while sobbingly asking how someone could be so cruel to animals. In one case, such a 'punishment' consisted of [[{{Hypocrite}} gutting the merchant's horse]] [[AxCrazy and jamming his head in the open wound, letting him drown in the guts]].
* AntiMagic: The "pristinely ungifted."
* AntiMagicalFaction: The Blood of the Fold, and the Imperial Order--[[{{Hypocrite}}s at least in theory]]. Both factions are more than willing to use magic and mages to further their goals despite this anti-magic view.
* AntiVillain: Nicci.
* ArcWelding
* ArcWords
* ArrowCatch: Richard. Justified in that it is explained he does it with magic, specifically by [[BlowYouAway manipulating the air]].
* ArtAttacker: There's a court wizard who places spells on people by drawing them, using their likeness for SympatheticMagic.
** Later in the series, Princess Violet and Rachel learn and use this kind of magic, in ''Phantom'' and ''Confessor'' respectively.
* ArtisticLicenseEconomics: The StrawCharacter communist bureaucracy that stifles the people of the Imperial Order, as depicted in detail in ''Faith of the Fallen'', is so ridiculous that it should by all rights have caused the Empire to die out before the protagonist even became aware of its existence. However, Nicci visits her home town (which was an early place under control of the Imperial Order) and finds nothing but abandoned ruins. It is also explicitly stated that almost all the Old World was conquered within Richard's lifetime, and entirely thanks to Jagang, who is really the only thing holding it all together.
** Also, the Palace of the Prophets has a seemingly endless supply of gold, which it encourages its young wizards to spend willy-nilly on the women of the nearby town, and which it freely hands out to any woman who bears a child as a result. This seems to have little to no effect on the value of the gold; when Verna interrogates one local resident and gives him a gold piece for his trouble, it's said that this is likely more than he'd see in a year.
* AscendedExtra: Nicci plays a fairly minor role in ''Stone of Tears'', but becomes a major character in ''Faith of the Fallen'' and remains one during the rest of the series.
* TheAtoner: [[spoiler: Nicci.]]
* AttemptedRape: Happens a lot of times to Kahlan, but no one ever succeeds, though in ''Faith of the Fallen'' [[spoiler: Nicci, desiring vengeance on Richard and Kahlan, links herself to Kahlan through a maternity spell, then allows a thug to brutalize her (Nicci), forcing Kahlan to feel every sensation.]]
* AudibleSharpness: Whenever the Sword of Truth is drawn, the air rings with the sound of steel.
* AuthorAppeal: The first book's very long S&M sequence, with perfunctory torture scenes in every following installment. Plus all the political stuff impugning socialism. And the social stuff denouncing religion. Also, lots of almost-rape -- as in, Kahlan almost gets raped in every book. (Apparently, people have a hard time remembering that [[MuggingTheMonster messing with a Confessor]] is a bad idea.) Also, some women will unbutton their shirts at the drop of a hat.
* AuthorFilibuster: Oh, boy...
* AuthorTract: The series is often accused by detractors of being nothing more than Objectivist propaganda, particularly the later books. These themes only begin to crop up later in the series: ''Faith of the Fallen'' is two-fifths desperate battles and {{angst}}, and three-fifths [[{{Anvilicious}} clangingly obvious]] pro-Creator/AynRand [[AuthorFilibuster soapboxing]] on how individuals working for themselves in a free market works far better than your broken, inevitably corrupt socialism. ''Confessor'' also stumps for atheism, [[FlatEarthAtheist in a manner which contradicts earlier books]].
* AutomatonHorses: Almost completely averted. Characters travelling any great distance will have two or three horses along to avoid wearing any one out too much. There are [[ShownTheirWork very loving descriptions]] of various mouth bits and other gear, along with their pros and cons as they relate to handling a horse. Richard, in particular, is shown many times rubbing down a horse and cleaning hooves of debris as part of his setting camp routine. It's even mentioned that a horse wearing an invasive bit shouldn't be allowed to graze freely, as it can't chew properly and could develop colic, which is a fact that most authors would never think to include unless they were just straight up showing off.
* BackForTheFinale: The Chainfire trilogy sees the return of just about every significant character in the series at one point or another, including those who were PutOnABus (Gratch), those who just hadn't shown up in a few books (The Mud People), and those whom the author had apparently simply forgotten about in the meantime (Ulic and Egan).
* {{Badass}}: Chase, Rachel(see below), Nicci, Richard/Kahlan/Zedd when they [[LetsGetDangerous get dangerous]], etc. Jagang terrifying the Sisters of the Dark into wetting themselves by his presence alone while calmly eating dinner definitely also counts.
* BadassBoast:
** This exchange from ''Temple of the Winds'':
-->"You don't even have your weapon."\\
"I ''am'' the weapon."
** The speaker in question then proves he wasn't kidding by [[spoiler:ripping the other man's spine out through his stomach.]]
* BadassBookworm:
** Warren. By all appearances, he is a class A nerd. But then ''Faith of the Fallen'' reminds us he's ''also'' a natural born wizard who can throw [[{{Hellfire}} Wizard's Fire]] around with the best of 'em.
** Nicci also counts.
** Surprisingly, Jagang shows serious genre savvy, though it would be more accurate to call him a bookworm badass.
* BadassNormal: Chase, consistently described as wearing a small armory (he had to actually dress down in order to infiltrate an enemy camp), knowing how to use every weapon he has to great effect, and is probably the deadliest non-magical person in the whole series.
* BaldOfEvil: Emperor Jagang.
* TheBaroness:
** The Mord-Sith.
** Also, Nicci.
* BavarianFireDrill: In ''Phantom'', Rachel manages to bluff her way past many people while escaping from captivity.
* BeAWhoreToGetYourMan: Attempted by Nadine in the backstory, which failed miserably. She and Richard had had something of a relationship, and she wanted him to step it up to the next level... and decided the best way to do that was to let Richard catch her schtupping his brother and ''invite him to join in''. Three guesses how well ''that'' [[SarcasmMode ingenious plot]] turned out.
* BecauseDestinySaysSo: Subverted, in that Richard hates prophecy and goes his own way. About half the time he succeeds, half the time, not so much. But then someone always rationalizes it as prophecy being misinterpreted and Richard actually doing what the prophecy said in the first place.
** It may not be rationalization. A repeated theme is that only a Prophet has ANY chance whatsoever of correctly interpreting a Prophecy, and even then is extremely unlikely to be able to get the real meaning across to anyone other than another Prophet. A Prophet can, however, attempt to manipulate events...
* BedTrick: Kahlan and Richard, near the end of ''Temple of the Winds''. (It's arranged by a third party.)
* BequeathedPower: Each Sister of Light, if she fails to convince a person with the gift to come train with them, she passes her life force to another, so that when the second one (or third one) attempts, she has stronger MindControl powers to add to her arguments.
* BerserkButton: Kahlan and Richard each go berserk if someone tries to harm the other.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Used in a twisted fashion with the Mord-Sith. It's explained that they deliberately seek out the kindest, gentlest, most loving little girls to become Mord-Sith, and [[BreakTheCutie breaking them]] makes for a more cruel, sadistic torturer.
* BigBad: Darken Rahl is [[spoiler:killed]] in the first book, [[spoiler:appears as a ghost]] in the second book, is [[spoiler:permanently replaced as the BigBad by someone completely different]] in the third, and [[spoiler: gets his last, final, and most devastating punishment]] in the fourth. Through the rest of the series, Emperor Jagang takes this role.
* BiggerBad: The ultimate Big Bad of the Sword of Truth universe is [[spoiler: the Keeper of the Underworld, Darken Rahl's master and the cause of many of the events of the series behind closed doors.]]
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: The heroes are good and noble, and always right, while the villains all KickTheDog like they're in an international dog-kicking competition.
* BlackEyesOfEvil: Emperor Jagang's "nightmare" eyes. When any Dreamwalker is experienced enough, their eyes turn, as "the mark of a Dreamwalker."
* BlackMagic: Subtractive Magic, the power of the underworld.
* BlackMagicianGirl: [[spoiler: Nicci]] becomes this for Richard's allies after her HighHeelFaceTurn.
* BlondGuysAreEvil: Darken Rahl.
* BlondesAreEvil:
** The Mord-Sith, and Nicci. [[spoiler: Subverted when the Mord-Sith become Richard's allies and Nicci pulls a HighHeelFaceTurn.]]
** Extended to pretty much all of the D'Haran forces, since [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything blond hair and blue eyes are the mark of a "pure" D'Haran bloodline]] and [[spoiler:under Richard, they become the good guys.]]
* BloodSport: Ja'La dh Jin.
* BlowYouAway: One of the abilities of the [[FunctionalMagic Gifted]]. Richard is able to stop arrows by manipulating the air, and Nicci can form a blade from the air that can cut a man in half.
* BraidsOfAction: The Mord-Sith.
* BreakHisHeartToSaveHim: This is how Kahlan persuades Richard to go away with the Sisters of the Light in ''Stone of Tears''. Later, when Richard has to do the same thing to his pet gar Gratch, he realizes what Kahlan was actually doing.
* BreakTheCutie: How the Mord-Sith become, well, Mord-Sith.
* BrokenAesop: The first few books have Richard being told that most people who end up doing great evil [[WellIntentionedExtremist honestly believed that they were doing the right thing]], and that unquestioning belief in the rightness of one's cause is the most dangerous thing in the world. Later on in the series, the author takes the opposite position: some things really are [[BlackAndWhiteMorality as simple as black and white]], and if you really are Right, taking [[KnightTemplar extreme measures]] when fighting against those who really are Evil is not only justifiable, but ''necessary''. However, the protagonists end up doing some, well, morally questionable things in the process, to the point where the protagonists can end up looking like [[AccidentalAesop textbook examples of what the first few books warned against becoming]].
** ''Naked Empire'', spends a good chunk of time preaching that you have to work for things, and that knowledge doesn't just come to you when you need it. In the last pages of the book, Richard's dying of poison and the knowledge of how to make the antidote basically just shows up in his head. Another particularly obvious one is the repeated exhortation to live your own life and think for yourself - but if you don't think Richard is right you're wrong, probably evil, and are going to die.
* BroughtDownToNormal: [[spoiler:Richard]] in the last few books of the series... not that he ever really did much with [[spoiler:his magic]] in the first place.
* BulletTime: This occurs in the books as well as the series, whenever Kahlan uses her power and in many of Richard's fights, accompanied by the recurring phrases "Time was hers" and "Bringer of death" respectively.
* BuryYourGays: Raina, though, to be fair, a 50% mortality rate of the series' homosexuals is not remarkably high compared to the overall mortality rate. Her lover survives the series, is one of Richard's advisors (as she knows some High D'Haran), and in the last book is shown paired up with another Mord-Sith. However, this "pairing" is [[HideYourLesbians mostly implied]].
* TheCaligula: Princess Violet, originally a RoyalBrat in ''Wizard's First Rule'', returns in ''Phantom'' as one of these, [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen having become Queen]]. Darken Rahl also has some aspects of this, but it's not his defining characteristic. Emperor Jagang, however, is indeed a tyrant and EvilOverlord, but he's ''not'' crazy.
* CallBack:
** Almost the whole of the last three books is a callback to the first book, mostly by putting characters in similar situations to the first book, but showing how they handle things differently now that they've changed.
** The scene where [[spoiler: Richard goes to the underworld]] has the exact same dialogue as the one in the first book with Darken Rahl.
* CardCarryingVillain: Emperor Jagang seems to think Richard is this, giving, "Because he's evil!" as the reason he believes Richard is opposing him.\\
\\
By Jagang's standards, Richard ''is'' evil, because Richard's ideas are not only opposed to Jagang's, but ''inimical'' to them. Richard appears to understand this (but not people who simply don't agree with him). Jagang does not.
* CastFromHitPoints: Wizard's Life Fire.
* CatchPhrase:
** Zedd and Richard: "Nothing is ever easy."
** Richard: "Bringer of death."
** Zedd: "Bags!"
* ChameleonCamouflage: It has mriswith, lizard people capable of changing their color for a fairly good concealment. They also wear capes which do the same, but much better.
* CharacterDevelopment: Nicci gets quite a bit starting in ''Faith of the Fallen'', as her entire character and role needed to be turned around starting there. It starts with her getting an ExpansionPackPast, and eventually leads to [[spoiler:her HeelFaceTurn.]]
* CharacterFilibuster: Especially towards the end of the series, characters' speeches often go on for pages at a time; in one case, such an oration lasts for ''two whole chapters''. Many of these are also {{Author Filibuster}}s.
* ChekhovsBoomerang: The Boxes of Orden, after having been mostly ignored since the second book, become very important again in the series finale.
* ChekhovsGunman: The [[spoiler: night wisps]] mentioned in the first book, and casually in a few others turn out to actually be important.
* ChekhovsSkill: Kahlan being taught about war by her father. [[spoiler: She uses that knowledge of warfare to help obliterate an army [[HeroicResolve more than 10 times the force she had.]]]]
* ChessMotifs: Show up in ''The Omen Machine'', with the titular contraption's prophecies "Queen takes pawn," and "Pawn takes queen." Most of the main characters don't recognize them at first, as in this 'verse, Chess is an obscure game played only in the far reaches of the empire.
* TheChessmaster[=/=]TheManBehindTheMan: Ann is a rather benevolent version of this before her 'retirement' where she arranges events so that Richard is born and can fulfill the prophecies. Afterwards she tries to be this but fails miserably. Becomes even worse at this starting in the Faith Of The Fallen where she becomes quite [[{{Flanderization}} obsessive]] about ordering Richard to lead his armies [[BecauseDestinySaysSo because of the prophecies]] even though its repeatedly mentioned he fulfills the prophecies anyways and he is supposed to lead, not her. She gets [[WhatTheHellHero called out on it several times ]]and its even pointed out that her obsession with prophecies [[NiceJobBreakingItHero allowed the huge conflict to take place]], but she [[TheDeterminator doesn't let that stop her from trying for long]].
* ChildOfRape: [[spoiler:Richard ''Rahl'']], Du Chaillu's fourth child.
* ChosenOne: Richard is the first person in three thousand years to be a true Seeker of Truth ''or'' a War Wizard, in addition to being an integral figure in multiple prophecies. The universe more or less revolves around his actions.
* [[ClockKing Clock Queen]]: Kahlan's study of her guards' schedules allows her to cause no end of frustration to her captors.
* ColdBloodedTorture: What [[spoiler: Kahlan]] does to Demmin Nass in the first book. Zedd comments on how cruel it is, [[GoodIsNotNice Chase calls it true justice]].
* CombatPragmatist: As the series goes on, Richard uses this more and more as his modus operandi. Twice in the last book alone he cut off an Imperial Order commander and [[BigBad Emperor Jagang]] himself in mid-sentence with decapitation and magic heart attack, respectively.
* CombatSadomasochist: The Mord-Sith. Richard acquires a touch of it through their... [[ColdBloodedTorture tutelage]].
* TheComicallySerious: Nicci is always, ''always'' dead serious... except during [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming certain types of scenes]].
* CosmicKeystone
* ConceptsAreCheap: The heroes use the word "Freedom" to justify a whole bunch of brutal actions and atrocities including [[MoralDissonance using confession to take away people's free will and kill people who disagree with them.]]
* ConvulsiveSeizures
* CrapsackWorld: The collectivist dystopia is a somewhat exaggerated version of this, but in the rest of the world heroes and muggles still routinely suffer horrible fates.
* CrazyCulturalComparison: The Mud People greet each other by punching to demonstrate strength. Though there are cultural allowances to accomodate for things like age (the elders, for example, are given a more ceremonial smack rather than the rattle-your-teeth-and-knock-you-to-the-ground punches younger warriors might give each other).
* DangerousForbiddenTechnique
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: Nicci. She intentionally invokes or defies several tropes, such as when she [[spoiler: kidnapped Richard by exploiting his love for Kahlan]], or when [[spoiler: she warned Jagang against NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast and advised him to take the title "Jagang the Just."]] She also intentionally studies Richard's previous captors so she can avoid their mistakes.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ...Than ''WheelOfTime''.
* DarkActionGirl: Nicci [[spoiler: before her HighHeelFaceTurn.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Though completely humorless, Nicci has a tendency to make snarky remarks of black humor. Zedd does not find these very amusing at all. Zedd and Nathan get into the more usual type, and apparently Richard ''used'' to be like this, but we never see it in the series.
* DealWithTheDevil: If you aren't born with Subtractive Magic, (like Richard) you can get it for the low, low price of your soul and eternal damnation!
* DeusExMachina: Played painfully straight: Richard [[ItWasHisSled Rahl's]] Gift (basically magic) qualifies. At the end of a book, expect him to know how to perfectly use it to get out of the dire situation of the week, while at the beginning of the next book he's so clueless about how to use it that the events of the last book [[BagOfSpilling might as well have not happened]].
** Lampshaded somewhat at the end of ''The Pillars of Creation'' when one character asks Richard why he even needs the Sword of Truth after seeing his magic shred an entire platoon. Richard explains that his gift seems to work out of anger and need, whereas the Sword works all the time.
** Most notable in the [[spoiler:eighth book]], where [[spoiler:Richard]] is dying from being poisoned, with the only antidote down the drain and the only person who can make the antidote dead. He then uses [[spoiler:his Gift]] to reverse engineer the ingredients (down to the amount needed of each) of the antidote at the very last minute.
** Also notable at the end of the fifth book, when Richard realizes how to stop the bells, using a leap of logic that is nothing short of mind-boggling.
** Or the second book where Richard, without being aware he's doing anything of the sort, uses magical lightning to strike down all the enemy commanders and then any soldiers who don't surrender.
* DevilButNoGod: The Keeper of the Underworld is present in several books, usually at the climax where it turns out he's inches from crossing over into the world and killing everything. Additionally, he seems to regularly talk with the Sisters of the Dark to make [[DealWithTheDevil deals]] with them. The Creator, however, doesn't seem to do anything at all.
* DisproportionateRetribution: The series sees a man being [[ColdBloodedTorture tortured]] by a [[TheBaroness Mord-Sith]] after he assassinates a mage in the opposing army (after stabbing a little girl; the girl survives, the mage doesn't). Surprisingly, the torturers are the heroes. After the man has spilled all his information, the mage's lover orders him to be tortured to death as slowly as possible, in retaliation for being so cocky when he was captured.
** In the first book, the staff taking care of the tomb of Darken Rahl's father were executed if a single petal fell off the flowers there or a single torch went out in Rahl's presence. And he considered himself merciful for allowing them a quick death in such cases.
** In one book, Kahlan looks through old records of trials, one of which includes an entry about a wizard who had been executed for being an incurable alcoholic. Her initial response is to think it's an example of this trope, but when she thinks about it, she realizes that, given the [[PersonOfMassDestruction raw destructive power of wizards]], it just wouldn't be safe to let the guy live.
* DistractedByTheSexy:
** Nicci intentionally uses this, at one point going as far as to [[spoiler: pull her dress down to her waist during ''Chainfire'', thereby distracting everyone from looking at her face and possibly recognizing her.]] One Mord-sith does this in the seventh or eighth book, leading to some quite amusing scenes when the normally leather-clad torturer marches back into camp in a revealing pink dress.
** Kahlan uses this to her advantage as a ''battle tactic'' against the Imperial Order in ''Stone of Tears'' by fighting ([[BodyPaint almost]]) completely naked.
* {{Doorstopper}}
* DownerEnding: ''Soul of the Fire'' is singularly the most depressing book of the series, and ends with [[spoiler:Kahlan having been beaten to death (and resuscitated by Richard) and losing their child; nearly every other sympathetic character dead; and Richard having been handed the most brutal defeat yet in the series as the Anders vote against him, and are conquered handily by the Order]].
* TheDragon: Demmin Nass for Darken Rahl, Nicholas the Slide and Nicci for [[EvilOverlord Emperor Jagang]], Ulicia and Oba Rahl for the [[GodOfEvil Keeper of the Underworld]].
* DressCode: The length of hair in the Midlands signified a woman's rank: longest hair, highest rank. This is somehow magically enforced -- Confessors physically cannot cut their own hair, for example.
* TheDulcineaEffect: Remember, if you see a mysterious WomanInWhite being followed by five big men, go after her and save her! [[TemptingFate Nothing could possibly happen afterwards!]]
* DystopianEdict: Fire BAD!
* EarnYourHappyEnding: In [[spoiler: ''Wizard's First Rule'']]. After that, it's more of, "earn your right to suffer even worse horrors in the next book."
* EarthAllAlong: An interesting example. [[spoiler: Their world isn't our world, however it was directly responsible for the creation of it.]]
* EasilyConqueredWorld: Bandakar, whose [[StrawCharacter strawman pacifists]] put up as little of a fight as you'd expect them to. Also Anderith, which is guarded by a circle of magic bells that can be defeated by [[spoiler:plugging wax into your ears]]; their army is literally entirely for show.
* EasyEvangelism: Although one character had been gradually leaning toward Richard, just seeing his statue and the inscription is enough to turn her all the way to his side.
* EasyLogistics: The Imperial Order's army is so ridiculously huge, keeping it supplied should be much harder than it is. Then again, they've got the vast majority of the world supplying them, and they're mentioned as raiding everywhere they go for supplies.
* TheEmpire: In the first book, D'Hara is TheEmpire. In the second book, the existence of another, much larger, empire is hinted at, and in the third book, defeating it becomes a MythArc of sorts that holds the rest of the series together.
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: Always threatened, but (almost) never happens. Richard actually uses the phrase "the end of the world as we know it" when discussing [[spoiler: Chainfire]].
* EitherOrProphecy: Mostly played straight, but subverted in the fourth book with a "bound fork" prophecy in which Richard dies in both possible outcomes. [[spoiler: He "dies" by entering the Temple of the Winds, which exists in both the world of the living and the world of the dead.]]
* EmotionlessGirl: Nicci. Confessors also use this idea as a public image, adopting their "Confessor's Face."
* EnemyToAllLivingThings: Anyone touched by the Keeper of the Underworld, most notably [[spoiler: Oba and Jennsen in ''Pillars of Creation'']]
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses:
** Inverted: the only princess to play a prominent role in the series, Violet, is a villain-in-training.
** Kahlan is the daughter of a king, although her other title renders her princesshood somewhat irrelevant.
* EvilOverlord: In the first book, Darken Rahl. Starting with the third book, Emperor Jagang. Pillars of Creation reveals that the [[spoiler:Imperial Order (including Jagang himself) believe this of Richard.]]
* EvilWillFail: Jagang's empire is completely oppressive to individuality and self-interest. As a result, when a high ranking member falls in love and is confronted with the dissonance of what he feels and what he believes, he [[spoiler: commits suicide.]]
* ExpansionPackPast: Nicci gets one in ''Faith of the Fallen''.
* ExpansionPackWorld
* {{Expy}}:
** Samuel bears more than a passing resemblance to [[LordOfTheRings Gollum]].
** There are also the various similarities between Goodkind's world and that of ''TheWheelOfTime''. The most direct parallels appear in ''Stone of Tears'' (the title of which is in itself suspicious) and ''Blood of the Fold''. The Sisters of the Light are similar to the Aes Sedai in Robert Jordan's work (complete with [[TheMole evil members]]). The Keeper of the Underworld and the Dark One are both {{Satan}} figures that are trying to break the magical barriers keeping them out of the normal world. They both have human followers, called "banelings" and "darkfriends", respectively, and there are organizations (the Blood of the Fold, the Children of the light) dedicated to [[WitchHunt hunting them]] that only manage to spread paranoia and kill innocent people.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption
* FairyCompanion: In the first book, Kahlan has a companion by the name of Shar, [[OurFairiesAreDifferent who is a night wisp.]] Shar helped Kahlan keep her sanity when she traveled through the boundary, but as a result of the boundary, as well as Darken Rahl's influence and power, she and her kind are dying.
* FalseFlagOperation: Darken Rahl uses this tactic in the first book.
* FantasticNuke: The colossal light spell. When it goes off, the casualities can end up in the ''hundreds of thousands''.
* FauxActionGirl: The actual deadliness of the women in battle is highly plot-sensitive.
* FeatheredFiend: The evil spirit chicken monster in ''Soul of the Fire''.
* FemmeFatale: Merissa and Nicci. The former leans almost to being TheVamp, while the later is more of an [[TheUnfettered Unfettered]] DarkActionGirl.
* {{Fictionary}}: High D'Haran, a rather Germanic language. Important because a lot of older prophecies are written in it.
* FictionalDocument: Several books of prophecy, The Book of Counted Shadows, ''[[spoiler:Chainfire]]''.
* FlatEarthAtheist: After the events of the first five books, Richard and Kahlan have no excuse for believing what they do about the Afterlife.
* FlawExploitation: Nicci exploits [[spoiler:Richard's love for Kahlan in order to capture him.]]
* FlayingAlive: Many characters suffer this or are threatened with it. The [[WizardingSchool Palace of the Prophets]] graduate Neville Ranson is forced to inflict it on his lifelong friend as part of his forcible initiation into the service of the Keeper.
* ForgotAboutHisPowers: Wizards have the ability to transform a man into a wolf, or presumably another animal, as evidenced by Brophy. This power is never used after the first book, even though it's not that far-fetched to imagine that it would be quite useful in a number of scenarios.
* FreudianExcuse: The Mord-Sith's "training."
* FunctionalMagic: Additive and Subtractive magic.
* GambitRoulette: By book 3, it becomes evident that [[spoiler: Prelate Annalina]] has been manipulating events [[spoiler: from before the protagonist was born.]]
* {{God}}: Mostly just a superstition; the Creator is seen by most of the main characters as, at best, a force of balance.
* GenreShift: From "stories with important human themes" to a series of {{Author Tract}}s in favor of [[Creator/AynRand Objectivism]].
* GodOfEvil: The Keeper.
* GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion: [[spoiler:Kahlan, at the end of ''Soul of the Fire'',]] purchases a foetus-flushing potion from a herbalist, only to pour it away after giving the matter some thought. [[spoiler:The foetus [[ConvenientMiscarriage dies shortly afterwards anyway]], when a gang of messengers-turned-mercenaries give her a near-fatal beating.]]
* GoodIsDumb: Averted with [[spoiler:Nicci.]] After joining the good guys, she retains her Subtractive Magic and uses it to great effect on several occasions.
* GoodIsNotNice: Kahlan in the [[UnstoppableRage Con Dar]]. Richard, pretty much any time from the second book on, [[SarcasmMode thank you Sisters of the Light]]. [[spoiler: Nicci]] after joining the good guys, though she was never very nice to start ([[WorldsMostBeautifulWoman except to look at]]). Neither Zedd nor the Prelate have issues with lying and manipulating innocent people. Cara is... well, a Mord-Sith.
* GoYeHeroesGoAndDie: [[InvokedTrope Intentionally]] used by Zedd to demoralize a mob that wanted to burn him for witchcraft, by getting them to work themselves into believing a "warlock" is a nigh-unstoppable BigBad and complimenting them for being willing to fight such a powerful foe.
* GratuitousRape: Used as a cheap tactic by Goodkind to make his [[DesignatedHero "heroes"]] look better by comparison.
* GreatOffscreenWar: The Great Wizard War that happened 3000 years ago, in which many of the artifacts and {{MacGuffin}}s that exist in the present, including the eponymous Sword of Truth, were created by the war-wizards of the time. Many of the plots of the entire series owe themselves to the direct events of that war.
* GreenEyedMonster: Played straight with Jagang, averted with Nicci.
* HappinessInSlavery
* HaveYouToldAnyoneElse: Jedidiah asks this of Sister Margaret in ''Stone of Tears''. Her death follows shortly thereafter.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Dena, Cara, General Trimack, Kevin Andellmere, Bruce.]]
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: Nicci. It's hard to name a major faction, good or bad, that she ''hasn't'' served at one point. [[spoiler:In the end, she is ultimately good.]]
* {{Hellfire}}: Wizard's fire.
* HereThereWereDragons: Almost literally invoked. The later books in the series heavily imply that the world will soon be without magic entirely, which means the end of magical creatures. Richard first realizes how bad this is when he finds the skeleton of a dragon, and wonders if it was the last of them. [[spoiler:Turns out, it wasn't.]]
* HeroicBSOD: Richard suffers an especially harsh one after ''Soul of the Fire''. His attempts to sway the people of Anderith to his side fail miserably as they vote to remain neutral in the war between D'Hara and the [[TheEmpire Imperial Order]], Kahlan is ruthlessly beaten and loses the baby they had just conceived, and the Imperial Order draws first blood after they move into Anderith and he can't do a thing to stop them, since they had voted for neutrality after he had told them that he wouldn't waste his men's lives fighting to save people who wouldn't contribute to the effort. He destroys Anderith's ForgottenSuperweapon, but the Imperial Order still has a strong foothold in the Midlands and can strike out at will. Personally, militarily, and politically defeated, he takes Kahlan and Cara with him to a remote mountain range in Westland with every intention of sitting out the rest of the war in peace and to hell with everyone else. In part, it's because he wants his people to learn to fight tyranny because they want to rather than because he orders them to, but mostly it's because he's just that sick and tired of the whole mess. If it weren't for Nicci [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive tracking him down and kidnapping him]], he would have been able to hide for years without being found.
* HeroicSacrifice: Wizards Life Fire can be this, if used to protect another person. In this first book, Kahlan's former wizard does this to ensure that Darken Rahl cannot [[spoiler: use magic to learn who has made off with a Box of Orden]]. Zed tastes the ashes left on the wall and notes that they are sweet, the sign that it was a HeroicSacrifice. [[spoiler: This is the first indication they have that he was acting on some greater plan, rather than just abandoning Kahlan for the money and power of his new post.]]
* HighHeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler: Nicci]].
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Richard spends the first couple of books saying he's just a woods guide, before he accepts his role as [[spoiler:Lord Rahl]].
* ImAHumanitarian: The Mud People ritually consume the flesh of their fallen enemies, in an aversion of the "cannibals are always villains" aspect of the trope.
* InstantExpert: Richard shows himself to be a master carver on his first attempt, explained as his magical powers using it as an outlet when he's forcibly deprived of his sword and not fighting anyone for months on end.
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: [[spoiler:Nicci willingly accepts her position as the No. 2 woman in Richard's life and wishes him and Kahlan happiness.]]
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: The heroes have few qualms about the use of this, and at one point cross the line into full-blown ColdBloodedTorture.
* KangarooCourt: [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal Kahlan's conviction]] by Neville Ranson in ''Stone of Tears''.
* KnightTemplar: Richard slowly turns into one, despite [[BrokenAesop being warned against doing so.]] Then there's the series ''canonical'' Knight Templar, Sister Nicci.
%%* LadyInRed: Merissa always wears a red dress, and her personality definitely fits with the trope. This is perhaps a deliberate contrast to Nicci's preferred colors.
* LadyOfBlackMagic: Nicci.
* TheLancer: Kahlan functions as Richard's second-in-command and sometimes equal in addition to his love interest. When she isn't available, her role is filled by [[spoiler:Nicci.]] Lesser lancers include General Reibisch, Benjamin Meiffert, and [[BadassNormal Chase]].
* LetsGetDangerous: Richard Rahl signifies himself getting dangerous with the phrase, "bringer of death." Similarly, when Nicci is going to get dangerous, she slips into the persona of "Death's Mistress."
* LineInTheSand: Kahlan offers her soldiers the opportunity to opt out before their seemingly suicidal attack on the Imperial Order. After they leave, she orders the remaining soldiers to go after them and kill them, on the (eventually proven correct) assumption that they planned to sell the others out to the Imperial Order.
* SugarWiki/TheLittleBlackDress: The only thing that Nicci ever wears, except in the last couple books, when one of the Mord-Sith keeps putting her in a frilly pink nightgown; even the narration thinks this is funny, especially when Nicci proceeds to make pronouncements of doom while still wearing it.
* LittleMissBadass: Rachel in the later books; not surprising, since she was adopted by Chase in the first book, and he's been teaching her everything he knows.
* LivingLieDetector: The Confessors' magic was created for this purpose, although it has other uses, such as self defense.
* LongRunningBookSeries
* LostTechnology: Technically lost ''magic'', but it fits the trope.
* LotusEaterMachine: The boundary separating the New World from the Old World works like this, tempting those attempting to travel through it with their hearts' desire. It also appears to keep people alive when it traps them, since [[spoiler:when Richard brings down the boundary, dozens of people who've been stuck there for years are finally freed]].
* LukeIAmYourFather: [[spoiler:His name's actually Richard Rahl]].
* MagiBabble: See also MagicAIsMagicA.
* MacGuffin: However, it's often quite clear what they do, and some actually get used.
* MagicAIsMagicA:
** Attempted, but it's never all that consistent. By the end of the series, it seems to boil down to [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands "however Richard needs it to work."]]
** One thing that ''is'' kept consistent is that all magic has some kind of balancing factor or opposite. Additive magic has subtractive magic. The Sword of Truth runs on both anger ''and'' love. The Rahl bloodline's enchantment that ensures there's always a Gifted heir results in the AntiMagic pristinely un-gifted. It comes back as a clue in ''The Omen Machine'': [[spoiler:Richard doubts the validity of the machine's prophecies partly because they're all uniformly doom and gloom, with no positive prophecies]].
* MagicKnight:
** Richard qualifies in later books; though he never ''quite'' gets a handle on just how to use his magic, he's still able to use it to devastating effect, and he's an almost unbeatable swordsman, partially thanks to magic.
** D'Hara tries to avert this with the Lord Rahl. He's the magic against magic, they're the steel against steel. Some Lords Rahl don't like ''rules''.
** Mord-Sith. They're anti-magic knights. With a magic torture stick.
** A Confessor in the Con Dar is this. And creepy as all getup.
** Nathan Rahl wears a sword through much of the series. Many of his friends ask him why he needs a sword when he's a hilariously-powerful wizard. Then the Pristinely Ungifted show up. The Pristinely Ungifted aren't even immune to magic, ''they have no connection to it whatsoever''. To them, magic might as well not exist except when it does something like hold someone off the ground (where they see the person in the air even if they don't understand) and some poorly-defined subset of Subtractive Magic, which they have some connection to because they're mortal.
* MerlinAndNimue: Richard's relationship with Sister Verna, and the other Sisters of Light.
* MillionMookMarch: The Imperial Order. They gather over a million troops for an invasion, and later the number swells with reinforcements to 2-3 million. By comparison, before Richard starts trying to consolidate the Midlands' forces, the largest assembled armies were in the 100-200,000 range, and the D'Haran led resistance is hopelessly outnumbered for the duration of the series.
* MindRape:
** Darken Rahl has the ability to project horrific visions into others' minds, which he does to [[spoiler: Kahlan]] in ''Stone of Tears.'' However, the undisputed king of MindRape in the series is the Dreamwalker [[EvilOverlord Emperor Jagang]].
** Shota does this to Richard in ''Phantom'', planting thoroughly lucid visions of Imperial Order atrocities in his mind.
** Actually, Shota makes Richard experience his own subconscious thoughts after he just heard a very graphic first hand account of what happens in a city occupied by the Imperial Order.
* MindYourStep: The stairs of the house Richard moves into with Nicci in ''Faith Of The Fallen'' are in pretty sorry condition, so Richard talks some of the local thugs, who had been threatening him, into helping him fix them, telling them otherwise they wouldn't amount to anything. Two of them oblige, while the third, well, [[KickTheDog isn't swayed so easily]].
* MommyIssues: Nicci's relationship with her mother is a female example. Her [[UnnamedParent unnamed]] mother's dogma being instilled in her at an early age is revealed to be the root of her near-insanity, and is probably responsible for more of her anguish than anyone else in the world.
* MoralDissonance: The tactically sound but morally questionable strategies employed by Richard's armies on his instructions.
* MoreThanMindControl: Jagang's brutal MindRape of the Sisters of the Light eventually makes them so terrified of his wrath that they do everything possible to help the Imperial Order, even when he isn't controlling them.
* MyGirlIsASlut: [[spoiler:Dalton Campbell]] is the last one to realize his wife's infidelity, and he had prided himself on their fidelity, much to his dismay.
* MyGirlIsNotASlut: Despite having been with only Richard once (and only a couple people knew) and was going to marry him, several people assume this about Kahlan in The Temple of The Wind.
* MysticalPlague: In ''Temple of the Winds'', Jagang unleashes a plague, like a worse version of the Black Death, on the Midlands' capital city. [[KickTheDog And he deliberately starts it with a bunch of young children]].
* NamesTheSame: For the last time, it's [[PowerRangers not that Zedd]].
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: First there's Darken Rahl, but most of this the nommes de guerre the good guys end up with. Zedd is the Wind of Death; Richard is the Bringer of Death; Nicci is Death's Mistress. And you better believe [[PersonOfMassDestruction they earned those nicknames]].
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: Richard doesn't actually know anything about magic, but the powers he eventually develops work instinctively; he does impossible feats of magic without knowing the slightest thing about how he's doing it. Frequently used as an AssPull.
* NeuroVault: ''Wizard's First Rule'' revolves around Darken Rahl's attempts to extract the contents of the Book of Counted Shadows from Richard's mind.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero:
** Repeatedly, as a setup for the next book. Due to the way book 7 is written, in book 8 you don't even know ''why'' they broke it, just that it happened at the same time as the last book's events.
** In ''Chainfire'', [[spoiler: Nicci]] becomes very worried that she is to blame for Richard's "delusions", something that causes her a great deal of guilt. She also blames herself for using Subtractive magic to save his life, effectively giving the Blood Beast Richard's "scent".
* NobleSavage: Played straight with the Mud People.
* NumberTwo: [[FaceHeelRevolvingDoor Whichever side Nicci is currently on]], you can bet she'll be number two.
* NonindicativeName: Goodkind loves using this one.
** The Sword of Truth's magic doesn't operate based on truth, but on the wielder's perceptions, whether or not they're accurate.
** A death spell doesn't kill people; it's used to make people ''think'' the target is dead.
** A maternity spell has little to do with motherhood, instead creating {{Synchronization}} between the caster and the target (effectively taking them hostage).
* NoPeriodsPeriod: Exception: Periods (or "moon flow") are mentioned three times:
** While a plague is going through the Midlands, Richard goes to see Kahlan, and is told she isn't feeling well. Naturally, he immediately fears the worst, only to be told by her maid that it's just ''that'' time of the month, and she normally wouldn't have mentioned it, except to assuage Richard's fears.
** Richard is developing a rash on his neck, so Cara goes to a healer to get a salve. She gives it to Richard, and he starts applying it while she lists off the ingredients, only to get squicked out when she gets to "...and some of my moon flow blood."
** [[spoiler: Kahlan's first time, with Richard who she thinks is Drefan, is during her period, and attempting to arouse him for a second round she winds up tasting the blood.]]
* NoPronunciationGuide: Kahlan's name is, rather unintuitively, pronounced by WordOfGod as "KAY-lan".
* NotSoDifferent: There's the fact that the Confessors, a faction of "good" women, have the same infanticidal tendencies as the House of Rahl, the leaders of the evil empire.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Nathan Rahl acts like an idiotic manchild most of the time, but drops the act as soon as things get serious. Zedd likes to play up to people's expections that he's a silly old coot, only to surprise them at the best of moments.
* OffingTheOffspring:
** Darken Rahl has a lot of kids, most of them he doesn't even know about. For their sake, they had better either inherit Rahl's magical powers, or make sure that he never finds them. Old Darken is admittedly obsessed with finding his one true "Gifted" heir, and doesn't appreciate ungifted offspring running around.
** Though Darken Rahl takes this to extremes, it's actually a long-standing tradition in the House of Rahl that goes back thousands of years. "Pristinely Ungifted" offspring of the House of Rahl are historically euthanized at birth, because of the inherent AntiMagic quality they possess, and the fact that any children ''they'' have will also be Pristinely Ungifted, meaning that they could potentially wipe out magic entirely. Of course, Darken has forgotten about the reason for this tradition and just settled for getting rid of any accidental offspring that don't fit his criteria as his true heir.
** Also of note are female Confessors. Male Confessors are much, much stronger than female ones to the point where it becomes impossible to control them; according to the backstory, every one was a Complete Monster, using their powers to get whatever they wanted, and sparking off decades of war before they were wiped out. So, all female Confessors are ''forced'' to have their mate kill any of their male children immediately at birth, while the Confessor herself tends to be overcome with grief for some time afterward. And these women are supposed to be one of the ''good'' factions, despite [[NotSoDifferent doing basically the same thing Rahl does]], for much the same reasons.
* OmniscientMoralityLicense: Cited by certain characters as the reason they should be allowed to guide the main character's life. Subverted most of the time in that they're repeatedly called out on it, and probably caused a lot of the series' conflicts and strife by doing so. Only Nathan gets away with it on occasion, mostly because he's an actual prophet and has the prophecies, rather than interpreting them second hand.
** Canonically, this is ''the'' defining trait of the Seeker of Truth. A true Seeker is literally morally infallible. Which, of course, makes all his [[AuthorTract pronouncements]] and [[AuthorFilibuster speeches]] morally infallible too.
* OnceAnEpisode: Every book, a new Wizard's Rule will be revealed.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: We only ever see red dragons, but the first book mentions several other varieties of differing size, intelligence, and temperament.
* OurWerebeastsAreDifferent: Includes a werecat and [[spoiler: Brophy]], a man turned into a [[WereWolf wolf]] by [[AWizardDidIt a magical spell]].
* PayEvilUntoEvil
* PersonalDictionary: Goodkind is so scared of the SciFiGhetto, he wants to pretend his books aren't fantasy, so he changes the definition from having fantastic elements to having no philosophical discussion, [[InsaneTrollLogic so his books magically won't count.]] They're still kept in the fantasy section, though.
* PersonOfMassDestruction: Zedd, who isn't called "The Wind of Death" for nothing. Also, Richard leans toward it whenever he gets his magic working.
* ThePhilosopher: Supposedly, Richard.
* PityTheKidnapper: [[spoiler:Zedd and Annalia]] in ''Temple of the Winds.''
* PlayingWithFire: Wizard's Fire.
* PlotArmour[=/=]StoryDrivenInvulnerability: Darken Rahl in ''Wizard's First Rule'' because of the magic of orden.
* PowerNullifier: The Rada'han, whatever the hell [[spoiler:Six and Violet were doing in Phantom.]]
* PowerTrio: In ''Wizard's First Rule'', it's Richard, Kahlan, and Zedd, the last Seeker, Confessor, and First Wizard, respectively. In ''Temple of the Winds'', it's Richard, Kahlan, and Cara. In ''Chainfire'', it's Richard, Cara, and [[spoiler:Nicci.]]
* PrettyInMink: A few people wear fur, and surprisingly [[FurAndLoathing this has little effect on a character's morality]].
* PsychicPowers: Dreamwalkers. The D'Haran bond to the Lord Rahl is designed to block this sort of thing.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: Kahlan talks like this when she gets angry. Most notably in ''Wizard's First Rule'' when Michael grabbed her in the wrong place.
* RapeAsDrama: The armies of the Imperial Order rape the women of every city they conquer (but not the cities that join willingly). Many of the female characters and Richard have either had such an experience or have come close.
* ReallyGetsAround: Nicci, having had "relations" with men in circumstances that vary to an insane degree, from rape, to ritual sex with a namble, to being handed to random men as "punishment", to willingly/semi-willingly staying as Jagang's consort, to one case that could almost be called prostitution, to one scenario where she slept with a man she ''actually disliked'' just to [[spoiler: get revenge on Richard and Kahlan]].
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: The Palace of the Prophets has a spell on it that slows down aging for anyone who lives in it. As a result, several members of the supporting cast are hundreds of years older than they look. One, Nathan, turns out to be [[spoiler:one of Richard's distant ancestors.]]
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:Denna]] actually sort of goes through this ''twice''. The first time, [[spoiler:she lets Richard kill her so he can be free, having fallen in love with him.]] The second time, [[spoiler:her spirit takes on Richard's mark of the Keeper, [[HeroicSacrifice sacrificing herself]] to save him. Luckily for her, though, the HeroicSacrifice disgusts the Keeper so much that he tosses her back to be with the Good Spirits.]]
* ReminiscingAboutYourVictims: Darken Rahl makes himself smile by remembering what he did to a girl who laughed at his scars.
* ResignedToTheCall: Richard really, really didn't want to be the only hope of the New World and the leader of D'Hara. He'd much rather have just gone home after defeating Darken Rahl and lived out his life with Kahlan. But he's TheChosenOne, and he eventually accepts that he pretty much has to work all this shit out himself.
* RetCon: The Book of Counted Shadows is the key to unlocking the magic of Orden in the first book (proved by its role in awakening Richard's Gift). By the time the magic of Orden returns at the end of the series, it isn't.
* RetGone: [[spoiler:The Chainfire spell]] does this to a person. Unfortunately, it also has the rather unfortunate side effect of [[spoiler:causing TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt.]]
* RippleEffectProofMemory: A variant; the Sword of Truth protects Richard from the initial effects of [[spoiler:the Chainfire spell]]. Anyone else who touches it afterward can shake off the lingering effects (i.e., they can acknowledge [[spoiler:Kahlan's existence and see her]]), but they don't regain [[spoiler:their memories of her]].
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: At the end of ''Wizard's First Rule'', Kahlan [[spoiler:goes after Darken Rahl, resolving to do everything she can to kill him even if she dies herself.]]
** [[spoiler: The way she does it is, according to Zed, something she shouldn't even know is possible, never mind being able to do it. She enters a state known as the Con Dar or Blood Rage. While in this state she is TheUnfettered, and has unlimited access to her Confessor powers.]]
* RomanticRunnerUp: Nicci is a female example.
* {{Satan}}: The Keeper of the Underworld.
* SavingTheWorldWithArt: The sixth book ''Faith of the Fallen'', puts Richard in the heart of [[TheEmpire the Imperial Order]], powerless to free the people from the enemy government that preaches that people are inherently corrupt and shameful and that only through the Order's "benevolent" guidance can they be redeemed. After being forced to create a hideous sculpture idealizing this, Richard decides to [[spoiler:instead create a sculpture showing the sanctity and beauty in the human potential, which he names ''Life''. This sculpture has such a profound impact on the populace that it inspires a rebellion against the government and its teachings, instigating a civil war within the Capitol of the enemy.]]
* SchrodingersGun: Minor elements in one book will turn out to be crucial to the plot of the next, with practically no foreshadowing; this can sometimes seem much more like an AssPull than anything that was planned in advance.
* SealedEvilInACan: Several, including BigBad Emperor Jagang.
* SelfFulfillingProphecy: Subverted in that a character who has knowledge of prophecy explains how this might occur and how to avoid it.
* SelflessWish: Inverted. Richard, when faced with a SadisticChoice, chooses the selfish wish... knowing the selfless one will be granted in any case.
* SelfMadeOrphan: [[spoiler:Richard]] kills his father, [[spoiler:Darken Rahl]]. Similarly, his half brother Oba Rahl kills his mother with a shovel. In both these cases, however, the injured parties were evil, [[AbusiveParents abusive]] douchebags and clearly deserved it, and in the former case, [[spoiler:neither even knew they were related until the deed was done]].
* ShirtlessScene:
** In ''Stone of Tears'', Richard takes off his shirt ([[FridgeLogic while holding his sword]]) before [[spoiler: laying waste to 30 blade masters]] for "fluidity." Du Chaillu didn't really seem to mind he'd killed all five of her husbands.
** In ''Faith of the Fallen'', however, he chides three local youths for not wearing shirts, since it makes them seem like thugs, and advises them to instead put proper clothes on and learn how to [[MindYourStep fix a staircase]].
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Would you believe that [[WordOfGod Goodkind]] considers this series to be firmly on the idealistic side?
* SoBeautifulItsACurse: Nicci. Her [[AbusiveParents mother]] [[MommyIssues told her at an early age]] that beauty is only useful to whores. Grown-up Nicci is repeatedly described as one of the most beautiful women in the whole series.
* StalkerWithACrush: [[spoiler:Nicci]] is a stalker with a crush on [[spoiler:Richard.]]
* TheStoic: Nicci . . . just ''Nicci.'' Undoubtedly the most stoic character in the entire series. After going through an insane life of hardship and self-loathing, she eventually becomes so hardened that she [[spoiler: is raped and doesn't even bother to acknowledge the person doing it.]]
* SuperStrength: [[TheDragon Nicholas]] has this.
* StrawCharacter: If a person isn't an [[UsefulNotes/{{Objectivism}} Objectivist]] in the later books, they are either too cowardly to take control of their own lives, or are actively trying to enforce Communism and religion on the free people of the world. The latter are invariably killed, while the former are usually given a chance to [[EasyEvangelism see the error of their ways]].
* SuicidalPacifism: The people of Bandakar.
* SuperFunHappyThingOfDoom
* SuperpowerfulGenetics: The "gift" that enables one to use magic is hereditary, but eons of wizards killing each other have led to it becoming rarer and rarer; by this point, most children of lower-powered wizards will not be wizards themselves. The powers of a Confessor and the AntiMagic properties of the "pristinely ungifted", however, are guaranteed to be passed on to their children.
* TakeThat: The evil politicians who are the primary villains in the fifth book are supposedly modeled on Bill and Hillary Clinton, with whom they [[SignificantMonogram share a set of initials]]. [[spoiler:They get an STD and die.]]
* TakingYouWithMe:
** Wizard's life fire, where a wizard who knows he's doomed throws literally [[CastFromHitPoints everything he has]] into Wizard's Fire; one demonstration of it from a Wizard of the Second Order (considerably less powerful than Zedd) is enough to vaporize people instantly.
** Kahlan also threatens to do this to [[spoiler: Nicci]], but [[TheStoic she isn't intimidated at all]].
** When Zedd is captured by the Imperial Order and forced to identify magic items, he tries to use a music box with a Sunset Spell on it in this fashion. Fortunately for him, he gets rescued in between triggering it and the explosion itself, which conveniently helps cover said escape.
* TautologicalTemplar: [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] in the first book, when Zedd describes Darken Rahl's mindset as being like this. Later, however, in ''Naked Empire'', the author argues, [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality completely seriously,]] that it's not only morally permissible, but morally necessary, to kill anyone who stands in the way of protecting your own life, regardless of what other circumstances may apply.
* TermsOfEndangerment: Jagang is very fond of calling women who oppose him, "Darling."
* ThePowerOfLove: DoubleSubversion. The power of a Confessor is the power to turn anyone into a mindless slave by taking the small spark of love within them and enhancing it until their mind is filled with nothing but love. [[spoiler:At the end of the first book, Richard, because he already loves Kahlan with his entire being, is able to withstand her power without losing his mind.]]
* TheScottishTrope:
** Subverted. The Sisters of the Light are constantly warning Richard not to speak the name of the Keeper of the Underworld, but it turns out that the implied dire consequences are merely superstition.
** Also played straight with the summoning of the Chimes, though it's not ''just'' saying their names. There's a specific set of criteria that the one saying it has to fit for it to work.
* TimeSkip: ''The Law Of Nines'', in addition to taking place [[spoiler:in the second world created by Richard at the end of Confessor]], is also set thousands of years after the main series.
* TitleDrop: The title of each book is mentioned conspicuously in the text, except for in ''Soul of the Fire'', the title of which bears tenuous relation at best to anything in the book.
* ToadLicking: In one of the novels, hallucinogenic toads are used as part of a tribal ritual, but they're not actually licked as the hallucinogens in question are transmitted through skin contact.
* TooDumbToLive[=/=]StupidGood:
** The entire belief system of the culture that produced the evil pacifists is so absurd that only a StrawCharacter could accept it. And, indeed, many of them do get killed, because [[LawfulStupidChaoticStupid they won't fight back]] or even ''try to get out of the way'' when people with weapons are nearby and trying to kill each other.
** Several Sisters of the Light show this in ''Stone of Tears'' and ''Blood of the Fold''. Taken to the full extent with [[spoiler:Pasha Maes]].
* TookALevelInBadass: Richard learning the Dance With Death half way through ''Stone of Tears'' turns him from a woods guide who just happens to have a magic sword into a nearly unbeatable swordsman.
* TrainingThePeacefulVillagers: Richard to the Bandakarans that join him in ''Naked Empire''. It's actually surprising just how ''well'' they take to violence, considering they're taught from birth that any and all violence, even in self-defense, is wrong.
* TrojanPrisoner
* TrueSight: The pristinely ungifted, being unable to sense magic at all, are unaffected by illusions.
* UltimateEvil: The Keeper of the Underworld.
* UnblockableAttack: The Sword of Truth can cut through anything, so long as its wielder thinks it needs to be cut. This includes swords and armor.
* TheUnfettered: Nicci.
** [[DesignatedHero And pretty much every protagonist as well.]] [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality Not that anyone notices.]]
* UnstoppableRage: The Con Dar, which Kahlan goes into when [[spoiler:she thinks Richard's been killed]]. Also, Richard goes into one whenever someone threatens Kahlan.
* UnusualEuphemism: "Bags", commonly uttered by Zedd. It's not clear what it's a euphemism for, but he's rebuked for saying it in front of children.
* UnwittingPawn: Pasha Maes, manipulated by Ulicia. Later, in the ''Chainfire'' trilogy, Ulicia is the unwitting pawn of Jagang.
* UpgradeArtifact: In the second book, Richard is attacked by a group of expert swordsmen who are good enough that the "cut through anything" power of the Sword of Truth isn't going to be enough to save him. He then figures out a way to use the Sword of Truth to access the combined swordsmanship skills of all its former wielders, turning him into a master swordsman.
* VillainBall: So, you've used a spell to make [[spoiler:the Mother Confessor]] lose her memory, and be the next best thing to invisible. She has no idea who you are, so you can give her any impression of who and what she's supposed to be you want. Do you A. pretend to be her friend, so as to earn her trust and make things easier for yourself, or B. treat her like shit, beat her, berate her, and threaten her, and thereby inspire her to work actively against you? If you picked A, you're smarter than the Sisters of the Dark.
* VillainessesWantHeroes: Denna, Nicci, most of the Sisters of the Dark... every evil female character at least attempts to throw themselves at Richard.
* ViolenceReallyIsTheAnswer: The theme of ''Naked Empire''.
* WeaponOfMassDestruction: At one point, Zedd detonates what amounts to a ''[[FantasticNuke magical nuclear bomb]]'' in the middle of the Imperial Order's ranks.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Richard's bodyguards Ulic and Egan disappear entirely without mention after ''Temple Of The Winds'', and their sudden and [[BackForTheFinale conspicuous reappearance]] in ''Confessor'' seems to suggest Goodkind realized he'd forgotten all about them. There's also the seer girl from ''Stone of Tears'' who returns to tell the heroes ([[CharacterFilibuster at great length]]) about a city conquered by the Order in the last trilogy, then just wanders off later on, never to be referenced again.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Snakes for Kahlan, rats for Cara, lice for Nicci.
* WithUsOrAgainstUs: While they only actively try to kill the villains, Richard eventually comes to believe that if a person is unwilling to take responsibility for their life into their own hands (read: not an Objectivist), then the life of that person is expendable when it means ensuring the safety of his own people.
* WolfMan: Brophy is literally a man sized wolf.
* WomanInBlack: Nicci.
* WomanScorned: Con Dar (see also UnstoppableRage).
* WorldOfBadass
* WouldntHitAGirl: Deliberately averted, and for good reason. Richard notes he is quite aware that women can be just as dangerous as men.
* WriterOnBoard:
* WrongInsultOffence: In the first book, a mob comes to Zedd's house intending to lynch him because he's a witch. He starts his dialogue with them by asking to clarify whether they want to kill him for sorcery, or simply demean him by calling him a girl.
* {{Xenofiction}}: at one point in ''Soul of the Fire'', the narrative briefly takes the PointOfView of a horse.
* YouCanSeeMe
* YouJustToldMe:
** Used a few times in the first book.
** Also inverted once. A man entreats Richard and Kahlan to follow them, saying it was sent by their friend, the wizard. Richard instinctively asks, "Zedd?" and the man responds in the affirmative. But while they're following him, Richard notices something's off, and demands the man tell them their friend's name. The man repeats that it's Zedd, at which point Richard points out he'd know that because Richard told him, and demands the wizard's ''full'' name. The man is then revealed as a shapeshifting creature.
* YouWillKnowWhatToDo: Richard often knows instinctively what to do to solve problems or use his powers. It's subverted in the second book, however. Prophecy was counting on Richard grabbing a certain item from Adie's house in the first book because he would have a feeling about it. Instead, the feeling just made Richard uneasy about the item, and he left it right where it was.

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