->''"{{Pride}} goeth before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."''
-->-- ''Literature/TheBible'', '''Proverbs 16:18'''

A character is introduced as an insufferable jerk; [[{{Pride}} arrogant]] because of some [[Main/InsufferableGenius amazing talent]] or high station in life. Everyone hopes, as soon as he's introduced, that he's going to eventually get what's coming to him...

...and then he does. Immediately. Right at the start of the story. The character is overthrown and [[HowTheMightyHaveFallen knocked out of that high station]]; or has his marvelous talents somehow taken from him, and spends the rest of the story learning to cope, with varying levels of success.

That's right, this trope ''begins'' with his fall from a position of power or influence to learn Main/AnAesop, rather than giving him his due late in the story. Alternatively, we may meet the character just after his fall from power, and learn about his stuck-up, careless past and subsequent karmic punishment via Main/FlashBack. The story spends just enough time showing the audience (or, if the writers are in a hurry, [[Main/InformedAbility telling us]]) that he's an arrogant bastard to convince us, before knocking him off his high horse.

The major conflict of the story usually involves the character learning to be humble. Or at the very least, learning not to indignantly ask everyone he runs into "Do you KNOW who I AM?!" as he is often, despite being hit over the head with the humility stick, still very interested in continuing his thoughtless ways.

The story arc completes with character accepting the Aesop. [[AnAesop The Aesop]] can vary, but a typical lesson would be how dependent on other people he is, and how other people need to depend on him. With this change of character, the arc may continue to his return to a power as a juster, kinder soul.

Compare: TheAtoner (who is necessarily repentant by definition), ATasteOfPower (for when this happens in video games), or BreakTheHaughty for a slower descent. It also may overlap with FallenPrincess and TragicHero.

If you're looking for pride before a ''literal'' fall, see DisneyVillainDeath. On a cultural or setting level see LookOnMyWorksYeMightyAndDespair, SoiledCityOnAHill, and AndManGrewProud.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Aisha Clan Clan from ''OutlawStar'' gets demoted in her introductory episode for letting the heroes get away, and is promptly dropped into the position of ButtMonkey for the next ten episodes as she has to hitchhike her way across the galaxy to track them down. She does, however, manage to upgrade herself to TheBigGuy of the show's FiveManBand when she sneaks on their ship and proves herself in battle.
* In ''ThePrinceOfTennis'', Hyoutei's Shishido is introduced as a cocky, conceited, over-confident jerk who makes snide comments about a player underestimating his opponent... only to get his ass handed to him in his next match against Fudoumine's captain, Tachibana Kippei. Since at the time Hyoutei regulars were not allowed to lose, he is immediately off the team. However, Shishido [[CharacterDevelopment learns from the experience]] and after TrainingFromHell ''and'' an ImportantHaircut he earns back his spot on the team.
** Also, Ryoma in the anime goes through another of these. [[spoiler: He behaves uninterested and apathetic towards [[{{Tykebomb}} Kevin Smith]] until he sees him play, then pretty much ''demands'' to be included in the line-up of the Senbatsu team. Tezuka [[WhatTheHellHero does]] ''[[WhatTheHellHero NOT]]'' [[WhatTheHellHero take this kindly]] and promptly [[ArmorPiercingSlap b*tchslaps]] Ryoma in front of others, since his selfishness sounded extremely out of place for someone supposed to become a future leader in Seigaku. Ryoma has to go into a PoseOfSupplication to regain Tezuka's favor and be even ''considered'' as a reserve player.]] Due to ValuesDissonance (teamwork v/s stardom, Japanese mentality v/s Western views), the episode is often derided by fans.
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', the homunculus [[SmugSnake Pride]] [[spoiler:is reduced to a lilliputian-size infant, right after a CurbStompBattle and a panicked attempt at GrandTheftMe of the main character. [[MadBomber Kimblee]] even lampshades that Pride has essentially cast aside his own pride as a homunculus]].
** In the first anime adaptation, Pride fights his final battle all by himself because he doesn't want to let anyone else in on it and still completely curb-stomps his opposition, but he inadvertently [[spoiler:makes his foster son believe he wanted his 'secret treasure' to fight at his fullest. The 'secret treasure' turns out to be the skull of the man he used to be, and when his foster son brings it to him just as he's winning it paralyses him and lets his opponent kill him.]]
* In ''{{Naruto}}'', [[spoiler: Pain has Naruto pinned down and impaled with six chakra draining rods to prevent movement. Instead of simply capturing him right then and there, he stabs Hinata in a way that would make her bleed out quickly without immediate medical attention. Turns out those chakra draining rods are no match for six tails of the Kyuubi's power, and his trump card is no match for eight tails. Pain snatches defeat, [[RedemptionEqualsDeath but also some redemption]], from the jaws of victory because of nothing but his ego.]]
** [[spoiler: The same can be said of his annihilation of the Hidden Leaf Village shortly beforehand. Despite having already won the battle and gotten what he wanted (the location of the Kyuubi jinchuriki), Pain insists on physically destroying the entire village before leaving, expending significant chakra to do so and severely straining himself. It's entirely possible that, had he not been weakened by this effort, he might have been strong enough to succeed in his capture of the Kyuubi. And it's particularly notable considering that, up until this point, despite his repeated {{A God Am I}} declarations, Pain had demonstrated a very realistic evaluation of his own abilities, putting careful thought into his strategies and averting {{Explaining Your Powers To the Enemy}} to great effect. In both the above instances, he did what he did to make others [[CatchPhrase know pain]], showing how [[MeaningfulName important]] that motivation is to him.]]
* Reoccuring theme used in ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}''. If a main character is being excessively prideful or vain, 9 times out of 10 they're going to suffer a [[TheWorfEffect Worf Effect]] to the trainer of the day. Now, if only Paul would actuallly [[IgnoredEpiphany heed this lesson]], he might stall or reverse the growth of his [[TheScrappy hatedom]]. Especially given he got [[CurbStompBattle wasted by the Frontier Brain Ash actually defeated]]...
* In MaiOtome, newly crowned Queen Mashiro is more concerned about her birthday celebration and rebuilding her castle than about the lives of the commoners. This changes when Nagi's plan results in him controlling Windbloom and forcing her into exile with the poor people of her country, where she hears of their suffering and watches as [[spoiler:they corner her maid Aoi and cause her to fall off a cliff when she refuses to tell them where Mashiro is, mainly because of her having served the Queen]].
* Frieza's entire [[HoistByHisOwnPetard downfall]] in DragonBall is a result of this. Frieza spent the entire fight screwing around with his opponents, and by the time he finally decides to go to his final form when overpowered, it turns out it was ineffective anyway because he drew the fight out too long.
** Vegeta in general. He's very big on pride, and always gets stomped on for his trouble.
* In ''{{Manga/Saki}}'', this happens to a few mahjong players.
** Kazue, an anime-only character, enters the indiviudal tournament and not her school one because she doesn't want weak players to drag her down. She ranks relatively high, but doesn't advance onward.
** Although Izumi of Senriyama doesn't go around flaunting her skill, she thinks she's the strongest player among all first years (not entirely unreasonable, since she managed the unprecedented feat of getting onto the team as a first year). However, in the semifinals, she goes up against three third-year students, and ends up getting last place and losing over 30,000 points. Her teammate [[InSeriesNickname FunaQ]] doesn't mince words when saying Izumi not only is at a disadvantage against the third-years, but also isn't in the same league as the main character.
** Awai of Shiraitodai is incredibly arrogant, considering her teammates' losing enough points to drop her school from an overwhelming first place lead to second as a mere handicap for her. However, she doesn't do quite as well as she expects, and ends up having to desperately seize second place to ensure her school remains in the competition.
** From ''Manga/SakiShinohayuDawnOfAge'', Kanna Ishitobi is undefeated at every game she's played until she branches off into mahjong; while she manages to reach the final round of the tournament, she loses to a young Hayari Mizuhara (who, in the present story, is a professional player), and while practicing for her rematch, loses to her friend Kyouka, despite Kyouka being just as inexperienced.
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[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Marvel's ''{{Thor}}'', at least a few times.
* Comicbook/DoctorStrange was an [[DrJerk insufferable]] but talented young neurosurgeon with everything he could ever want, until he suffered nerve damage in his hands in a car accident. Cue the [[BreakTheHaughty plummet to rock bottom]], which ended only when he started to care about people other than himself.
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[[folder:Films]]
* At the beginning of the movie ''Bella'', we see the main character as a famous up-and-coming soccer player driving with his manager a few years ago. He is then shown in the present day working as a chef at his brother's restaurant. Through flashbacks throughout the movie, we find out that [[spoiler: when he was driving, he accidentally hit and killed a small girl, causing him to stop playing soccer.]]
* Stephen Chow's character in ''GodOfCookery''. When he starts to regain his former glory halfway through the film, he begins to revert to his haughty attitude, until tragedy forces him to reevaluate his priorities.
* Vizzini, in ''Film/ThePrincessBride''. When he meets Westley, he says, "Have you ever heard of Plato? Aristotle? Socrates? Morons." Within five minutes, he has been outwitted to the point of death.
* You know, despite the fact Count Dooku was a Sith, Anakin really should have heeded his warning about "Twice the pride, double the fall" in "Film/RevengeOfTheSith".
* ''Film/PacificRim'' shows [[HumongousMecha Jaeger]] pilot Raleigh Beckett's pride before the fall in the beginning. At first, he's brash, eager to fight, and sees the sighting of the {{Kaiju}} codenamed "Knifehead" as another potential notch in his and his co-pilot brother Yancy's belt instead of rightly giving it the regard as a threat it deserves. What results is him getting to witness his brother's DespairEventHorizon in his own head as he dies, the mental strain of piloting a Jaeger by himself, and the shattering of the invincible mystique of the Jaegers against the Kaiju menace. He becomes a ShellShockedVeteran and later has to be [[DareToBeBadass dared]] to come back into the service.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* Kennedy in ''Film/BubbaHoTep''.
* The appropriately nicknamed Prince Brat in the children's book ''Literature/TheWhippingBoy''.
* The classic children's historical novel ''JohnnyTremain''. The main character is more skilled and harder-working than his fellow apprentices Dove and Dusty, and doesn't hesitate to remind them of that, and their master, Mr. Lapham, has Johnny read the part about [[ForeShadowing pride coming before a fall]]. While rushing to finish an order, Johnny gets a cracked crucible from Dove, resulting in molten silver spilling onto his hand, which fuses his thumb to his hand and ends his career as a smith.
* A subtler version--or at least, one that would have been, had it not been for the [[ContemplateOurNavels journal entry]] that hammered the reader over the head with AnAesop--was when [[TheLegendOfDrizzt Drizzt]] left his friends to go dissuade the drow from invading Mithral Hall. Why? Because he didn't want to put them in danger, and only trusted in his own abilities to... scare off an entire city of his kinsmen, many of whom were more powerful than him? He is promptly captured (and not even by drow!).
* Literature/PrinceRoger in ''March Upcountry'' doesn't get knocked down quite in the first few pages, but pretty quickly nonetheless.
* The first chapter of ''Melusine'', the first book in ''Literature/DoctrineOfLabyrinths'', sees arrogant Lord Felix revealed as a commoner and former prostitute.
* With his team needing a run in the bottom of the 9th inning and two runners on base, the namesake batter of ''Literature/CaseyAtTheBat'' deliberately took the first two pitches for called strikes because he didn't like them. He strikes out on the next pitch.
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''MyNameIsEarl''. A petty criminal with no respect for authority has a $100,000 lottery ticket. He loses his ticket and undertakes to reform himself. When he starts, the ticket returns to him and he sees it as a sign that he's meant to use the money to keep trying.
* Dominar Rygel XVI of ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' definitely qualifies as a slow learner - despite having been deposed and imprisoned some 130 "cycles" before the events of the series, he's still an [[JerkAss arrogant bastard]] when Crichton arrives. It takes most of the show's run for him to work his way to [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold something more tolerable]].
* In ''[[Series/DoctorWho The Daleks' Master Plan]]'', a council of galactic leaders delude themselves into thinking the Daleks will give them power. This is most pronounced with [[PresidentEvil Guardian]] Mavic Chen of the Solar System, who actually orders the Daleks around. [[spoiler:Those others on the council who survive are able to warn their galaxies when the Daleks turn on them, but Chen is exterminated, his LastWords being "You cannot kill me!".]]
** In ''The Invasion'', CorruptCorporateExecutive Tobias Vaughn thinks he can play the Cybermen for patsies. [[spoiler:He soon realizes he is OutGambitted, and [[RedemptionEqualsDeath is deleted trying to stop them]].]]
* UK soap {{Eastenders}} does this '''all the time'''. Every single time anybody is the least bit proud of anything, the fall is just around the corner. Sure as eggs is eggs.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** This is part of the BackStory for the humans, who after winning a war with the Dilgar refuse to listen to cautionary advice given to them by the Centauri, and proceed to boldly stumble into a war with the Minbari because they were too proud to just leave the Minbari alone. This is complicated by the Minbari warrior caste's blind assumption that a race they had never met would be familiar with a Warrior Caste greeting tradition[[note]]That is, approaching the unknown ship with their gunports open[[/note]], that even their own religious leader had to have explained to him. This is ''further'' complicated by said Minbari religious leader making the unilateral decision to take his ship, with the Minbari's governing body, on an ill-advised expedition to Z'Ha'Dum, the homeworld of the long-dormant [[BigBad Shadows]], on a whim, just to see if they were back yet. If any of these parties had swallowed their pride enough to actually listen to anyone else before acting, the disastrous Earth-Minbari War would have been avoided. Of course, then the Babylon Project would have never happened either...
** The fate of the Centauri Republic later in the show (actually an empire) all happens due to Ambassador Londo's pride... and given how most of the other emperors had behaved (save for the sweet dying Emperor Turhan Bey [[spoiler:and future Emperor Vir]] ), it's a given that most of the Centauri upper class have the same failing. Similarly, their arch-nemeses, the Narn Regime, is too proud to back down from trying to pick a fight with the Centauri in retaliation for their past occupation and slavery at the Centauris' hands, and this leads ''them'' into a similarly disastrous and one-sided war with the Centauri [[spoiler: and the Shadows.]]
* The short-lived drama ''Citizen Baines'' qualifies as this, as Baines is a senator-soon-turned-former senator suddenly having to raise his kids.
* On an episode of ''Series/TheWestWing'', Josh attempts to run a press conference while CJ is out. Danny Kincannon warns him not to go up, and in response Josh rubs his [[IvyLeagueForEveryone Harvard and Yale background]] in his face. Josh then proceeds to get blindsided on two different fronts and become the White House's goat for the day.
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[[folder:Religion]]
* Of course, the archetypal example is {{Satan}}, dating back [[OlderThanSteam at least]] to ''Paradise Lost''. He has respectively been portrayed as too proud to take second place to man, or too proud to take second place to ''God'', both of which result in him leading a rebellion against God, leading to him and his fellow rebel angels getting booted out of heaven.
** It may go back to ''Literature/TheBible'' with Isaiah 14, but interpretations differ.[[note]]Details: The "Lucifer" of Isaiah may refer instead to the king of Babylon, the oppressor of Israel. Before this, all references in the Hebrew ''Bible'' to "Satan" are used either to describe obstacles or opponents, or to refer to an "Accuser," an un-fallen member of the heavenly host whose duty it is to bring humanity's sins before God (the ''Book of Job'').[[/note]]
** The titular character of DC Comics' ''Lucifer'' was a portrayal of the second type. He actually ends up [[spoiler: making his ''own'' Creation outside of the first one, just to show the old man up. It gets complicated from there.]]
** Horus, son of the [[CrystalDragonJesus Emperor of Mankind]] in the Warhammer 40K universe, parallels Lucifer's Fall so closely [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic that it cannot possibly have been an accident]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* DungeonsAndDragons 4th edition core setting, Asmodeus is a Satan analogue who served a god known only as He Who Was, who was implied to be the creator of humanity and the strongest of the gods, and their leader during the war with the [[EldritchAbomination primordials]]. Asmodeus used increasingly violent tactics in the war, often slaughtering innocent mortals in the crossfire. He Who Was ordered Asmodeus to stop, and in his pride, Asmodeus refused, and He Who Was cast Asmodeus and his army down as punishment. Pretty standard so far. Until Asmodeus rose up and slew He Who Was at the most oppertune moment. While the other gods publicly cursed Asmodeus, privately they thanked him; he had slain a weak willed general who in his pride had cast down their strongest warrior and greatest army, hoping to teach them a lesson in humility, even at the cost of the war.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* The first quarter of the ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss''. The main character finds out the hard way that being rich does not make you right all the time -- it's only when he stops relying on his family's reputation that he becomes useful.
** [[spoiler:Of course, it doesn't help that he's mentally a [[strike:five]]seven year old and the story is really weird for expecting him to not be childish just because he's physically older.]]
* This is (partially) how Phoenix Wright is tricked into presenting false evidence and losing his badge in ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney.'' When we see his flashback case against Klavier, he's quite full of himself, mocking Klavier's inexperience and his [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking accent,]] and he presents his evidence without reflecting on it. After he's caught, he's pretty much instantly humbled, and he never reaches those heights of arrogance again.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/GodOfWar 2''. In the first level, Kratos is in his full God of War glory, but it ends with him drained of his godly power and killed by Zeus, almost immediately after screaming at the gods, ''daring'' them to fight him. This turn of events does absolutely ''nothing'' to change Kratos' mindset, and only gives him the motivation to go about the deicidal rebellion Zeus killed him to prevent in the first place.
* King Trode in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII''. He's an annoying, overproud king who's awfully fond of the line, "Do you know who I AM?" Just before the beginning of the game, he is transformed into a toad-like creature, and his kingdom is laid in ruins, leaving him to wander a world where most humans fear or despise him as a monster. Depressingly, he never seems to learn humility.
** Then again, he was transformed and his kingdom was devastated because of an OmnicidalManiac, not because of him. So why would he need to?
*** Considering said maniac was really [[spoiler:using]] [[MonsterClown Trode's court jester]] [[spoiler:as a temporary vessel]] [[WhosLaughingNow on a mission of revenge against those who had belittled him]], there probably should have been a lesson in there somewhere.
*** He ''does'' eventually come to understand that simply being a king doesn't entitle him to order everyone around. Sure, he does it ''anyway'', but later in the game, there's a distinct shift from "Do it because I tell you" to "Please help me do this".
* Marietta in ''KnightsInTheNightmare'', at least in Maria's route; happily enough, Maria is ''mortified'' at what Marietta's pride led to, and [[spoiler:the other half of Marietta's soul]], Melissa, is more worried about finding Ancardia than her dignity. We're introduced to Marietta's usual [[GoodIsNotNice nasty attitude]] in ''YggdraUnion'' [[spoiler:and ''RivieraThePromisedLand'']], along with [[BreakTheHaughty Meria's route]]. (And for [[AxCrazy all]] [[SociopathicHero her]] [[ChaoticNeutral flaws]], Meria's own pride doesn't stop her from being a loyal and caring individual. Marietta's still does.)
* Clearly "inspired" by ''The Emperor's New Groove'', Dragon Prince Ao-Jun of ''VideoGame/{{Tradewinds}} Caravans'' is turned into a lowly talking camel as punishment for a life of debauchery and caravan-eating, and must do one truly selfless deed to regain his true form. It goes about as well as you might think, and he briefly becomes an invisible lowly talking camel after denouncing his faith (of which he is a deity) to tithe a ridiculous sum of someone else's money to heathens because it was just the easiest thing he could think of.
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6'': BigBad Carla Radames, Ada Wong's [[CloneByConversion reluctant]] {{Doppelganger}}, suffers from this. Her EvilPlan is going off without a hitch, but then she calls up the real Ada to gloat about what she's doing and how Ada will [[{{Frameup}} take the fall]] for it. Ada's subsequent intervention is the very thing that ruins Carla's [[NearVillainVictory otherwise flawless plan]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Trevor James Goodkind of the WhateleyUniverse, brilliant son of the richest man on Earth, second in line to take over his father's company, and heir to the Goodkind tradition of 'recognizing the mutant threat', i.e. hating those evil mutants. In the first chapter of his first story, he manifests as a mutant freak. He is immediately disinherited, experimented on and tortured by a MadScientist, humiliated, abandoned by his family, not to mention becoming intersexed due to his mutation ... Within a week he's living in a basement with nowhere else to go.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Emperor Kuzco of ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove''. We're made aware that he's a careless, self-absorbed emperor, and then the story begins as he's overthrown by Yzma and [[BalefulPolymorph turned into a llama]].
* The [[{{Disneyfication}} Disney version]] of ''Film/BeautyAndTheBeast''. A prince refuses to provide shelter for an old woman. She turns out to be a powerful enchantress who curses him ([[MoralDissonance and everybody in his castle, including a kid]]) for his judging her by her appearance. To be restored, the beast must learn to [[ThePowerOfLove love another and receive love in return]].
* Stitch in ''LiloAndStitch''. He goes from being a BadAss mutant escapee to a little girl's "dog". He learns an Aesop about the value of family and his gleeful feral edge is ... softened.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', Azula is very prideful and arrogant, though it does take awhile as any failures she does suffer she just brushes off, and to be fair [[MagnificentBastard she does win some pretty impressive victories along the way.]] However it isn't until she realizes that her technique of ruling through fear isn't as foolproof as she expected, and that her father considers her as expendable as Zuko, that she begins her fall.
** [[SmugSnake Admiral Zhao]] is also an example of this, as his determination to make a name for himself by [[spoiler: killing the moon spirit]] not only incites the wrath of [[BadassGrandpa Iroh]], who tries to explain that such an action would cause inconceivable damage to the entire world, Fire Nation included, but also enrages the spirits of the ocean and the avatar enough to [[spoiler: obliterate his entire war fleet]]. In an earlier episode, he accidentally burned his own ships after Aang's insults provoked him into being sloppy with his [[KillItWithFire firebending]], and [[spoiler: his eventual death comes from his refusal to accept help from Zuko (the scene is a bit ambiguous, but preferring death to humiliation is one interpretation of his actions)]].
* One episode of ''SushiPack'' featured four [[SmugSuper superhero]] RealityTV contestants who spent all their scenes bragging about their deeds of derring-do, and even their [[WeaksauceWeakness weaknesses]]. Unfortunately for them, this information is used by the show's host, an alien [[FullBodyDisguise in disguise]], to incapacitate them while he sends for the rest of his invading fleet. The Sushi Pack, snubbed by the Supers, save the day by using the alien's own bragging against him.
* In ''TransformersAnimated'', Sentinel Prime is introduced as an arrogant {{Jerkass}} who constantly belittles Optimus and his team and makes aside insults about the [[FantasticRacism "Organics"]] during a public appearance. Then came [[GrandTheftMe The Headmaster]]... It isn't until season 3 though that he starts to get along with Optimus again, but sadly he's become an even bigger ass than ever. [[spoiler: Especially after being promoted to Magnus.]]
* Captain Atom in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold''. As he's essentially Superman class in this version, he has let his power go to his head, actively deriding people who don't have superpowers as useless. While he does invoke JerkassHasAPoint a couple of times, he is generally an insufferable ass who thinks he can't be harmed by anything. It takes a mishap with his arch-enemy, and some training from Batman, to make him anything close to humble. He even subverts this: rather than being arrogant and condescending towards people weaker than him, he is now pitying and overprotective of them.
[[/folder]]
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