[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_the_event_6575.jpg]]
[-[[caption-width-right:350:[[BreakingTheFourthWall This guy staring at you]] [[MemeticMutation is definitely not The Event.]]]]-]

A commercial airliner hijacking. The discovery of a secret CIA prison deep within the mountains of Alaska, whose prisoners apparently [[HumanAliens aren't human]]. A presidential press conference that could put the national security of the United States at risk. The mysterious disappearance of a young woman aboard a crowded cruise ship.

None of these incidents are "The Event".[[note]]Nor are they [[LuckyCharmsTitle The EV3NT]].[[/note]]

''The Event'' is a drama/science fiction TV series by executive producer Evan Katz (''Series/TwentyFour''). Told in anachronic order, the series tells the stories of several seemingly unrelated people whose lives intertwine as circumstances propel them toward some mysterious future happening known only as "the Event". The show premiered in the United States in 2010 on Creator/{{NBC}}, and stars Jason Ritter, Blair Underwood and Laura Innes.

The series premiered very strongly, but ratings dropped steadily throughout its run, and it was announced as cancelled on May 13, 2011.

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!! ''The Event'' provides examples of the following:

* ActionMom: Vicky
* ActionSurvivor: Leila becomes this by episode four. Sean is this from the start.
* [[AlienSky Aliens In My Sky]]: [[spoiler: Sophia's people bring their entire planet into orbit with Earth.]]
* AmericaSavesTheDay: Thoroughly averted. America is actually making the situation ''worse'' as their unilateral approach is definitely endangering the entire human race. Made worse by the fact that every other nation is completely unaware that Sophia's people ''even exist''.
* AnachronicOrder: Not only does the series continually switch among the main characters to tell the story from their perspectives, but it often shows events in reverse order before making its way back to the present.
** Particularly funny as the time shifts are often seemingly done at complete random. Probably the worst is a flashback to Sean and Leila's first meeting being plopped into the middle of an exciting chase through a hospital.
** Averted completely since the mid-season break. The storytelling is now completely linear.
* AncientTradition: Dempsey claims to be part of a tribe of "Sentinels" who have protected the world from the aliens for thousands of years.
* AntiVillain: [[spoiler: Sophia ([[SlidingScaleOfAntiVillains Type III]]) after her FaceHeelTurn]].
* ApocalypseHow: The aliens' home sun is apparently starting to go supernova. Depending on how strong it is, this could place it somewhere between a Class 5 and a Class X-2.
** And Sophia's plan is now to [[spoiler: perform a Class 3a on humanity, in order to make room for her people-who came from Earth originally anyway]].
* AwfulTruth: Apparently the whole basis of the series, and the reason why the mysterious future incident is only referred to as "The Event".
* BatmanGambit: Vicky and Carter pull one off in Episode 4 to fake Vicky's death and get Leila to call Sean.
** In Episode 13, Sophia informs Martinez that Thomas is planning to teleport fuel rods out of a nuclear power plant, which would cause a meltdown. Martinez orders the rods removed from the plant, [[spoiler: which is what Thomas wanted, so that his people could steal the rods from the less heavily-guarded convoy]].
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Sophia finds out that Isabel tried to have Thomas assassinate her. [[spoiler:She then forces Isabel to maim herself in response.]]
** Sean Walker. An unassuming computer programmer at the start, over the course of the series he manages to constantly foil many plots, take down many people far more powerful than he is, through sheer luck, {{Indy Ploy}}s, and from being GenreSavvy. Dempsey even lampshades this fact, that whenever he puts an obstacle in front of him, Walker will find some way to ''destroy'' it. This leads him to believe Sean is TheChosenOne who will save Earth from the aliens.
* BigBad: Dempsey.
** Also Thomas and now [[spoiler: Sophia following Thomas's HeroicSacrifice (yeah, villains can have heroic sacrifices as well) ]]
* [[BigBadWannabe Big Bad Wannabes]]: [[spoiler: Thomas and Isabel]] find out that neither of them has quite what it takes to usurp Sophia.
* BilingualBonus: Inostranka, the place in Alaska where HumanAliens are detained, means "alien" or "foreigner" in Russian.
** Even better, it means a "female foreigner", clearly hinting at Sophia.
* BloodFromTheMouth: When the flight 514 passengers displayed signs of some unknown illness, it manifested by bleeding from the eyes, nose, and mouth. Thomas offered the President an antidote to the unknown agent causing the illness in exchange for the prisoners being released, but Martinez threatened to gas them all. They finally agreed on the antidote for Sophia's release.
* BreakTheCutie: Sean had a difficult time after [[spoiler: he left Leila by his own will]].
* TheChosenOne: Dempsey apparently believes that Sean is predicted to save the world from Sophia's people. Dempsey also claims to come from a tribe of "Sentinels" that have watched over the world to protect it from the aliens for ''over 3,000 years.''
* CIAEvilFBIGood: Subverted in agent Simon Lee (played by Ian Anthony Dale), who seems genuinely interested in saving lives and is implied to be the person who leaked the files about the secret prison to President Martinez, although he is an alien and TheMole. Possibly played straight with Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Blake Sterling who kept the information from the President, though it's hard to gauge his motives without knowing who the prisoners are and why they're being held.
** Thus far [[spoiler: Blake seems to be in the dark as everyone else regarding why the aliens are here, thus his stated motive to keep them until they talk]].
** Played with by the two FBI agents that capture Sean Walker. Though they don't believe a word he says, they appear to be sympathetic and not a part of any conspiracy. By the third episode, the female agent has been converted to Sean's side, by virtue of her field office and coworkers being shot up by baddies.
** Played straight with [[spoiler: Vicky, who was a CIA agent once, until her boss framed her to cover his mistakes, which cost her a job and almost ended her life. She then went freelance as a hired killer.]]
* {{Cliffhanger}}: Assuming the series isn't renewed for a second season, then it ends on one hell of a cliffhanger - [[spoiler: Simon reveals that his people [[AncientAstronauts used to live on Earth before humanity]], a terminally-ill Leila is revealed to be pregnant, Martinez's wife is revealed to be an alien, and, oh yeah, Sophia has the alien's homeworld ''teleported into Earth's orbit'']]. At least they knew how to end the season/series with a bang.
* ColdBloodedTorture: [[spoiler: Thomas]] attempts to do this to [[spoiler: Sterling]]
** Also [[spoiler:Sean to a traitorous contact]].
* CradlingYourKill: This happens to one of the Inostranka prisoners when he offers to detail the plans of the aliens living outside the compound in exchange for the release of himself and his girlfriend. His girlfriend, still loyal to Sophia, holds him close and tells him to keep imagining their future together while she stabs him to death.
* CutShort
* DamselInDistress: Leila tends to be this although [[ActionGirl she can also kick ass when she has to.]] After her rescue she graduates to ActionSurvivor.
* DarkActionGirl: Vicky.
* DeathEqualsRedemption: [[spoiler: Thomas, who sacrifices himself to save Sophia so that she can save their people]].
* DeepCoverAgent: Many of the aliens have become this. For example, Simon has managed to become a prominent government agent. Also, a flashback reveals that Sterling's wife turned out to be a Russian spy. Despite his superior's orders, he wanted to run away with her. She tried to escape but was shot by the superior. Since then, Sterling has deep trust issues.
* DefectorFromDecadence: Simon attempts to desert Sophia because of her new KnightTemplar attitude. Unfortunately, [[spoiler: Michael sells him out, and he's dragged off and tied to a bed]].
* DestinationDefenestration: One of Sophia's people kills himself this way to avoid being captured by the government.
* [[DieHardOnAnX Die Hard On Inostranka]]: [[spoiler: Sterling]] in episode 12.
* DisneyDeath: Agent Lee, initially.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The secret prison conversation below is disturbingly similar to [[TheWarOnTerror a certain compound for holding dangerous individuals that would frighten the public]].
** Eerily played up further by references to Cuba in the conversation.
* TheDragon: Sterling was this at first for Martinez, but now, it seems as if he's become a failing MoralityChain for the President. As of episode 16, Senator Catherine Lewis has become this for Martinez (and seems poised to become a DragonInChief - as it looks as if she might end up becoming Martinez' new Vice-President).
** How? The Vice-President's not dead yet.
*** Oh, maybe because [[spoiler: the Vice-President tried poisoning Martinez?]]
* DullSurprise: A common complaint about Sarah Roemer's (Leila's) acting.
* EnemyMine: [[spoiler: Sean and Vicky working together to defeat Dempsey]]
** [[spoiler: Sophia and Thomas put aside their differences to protect their people from the government]].
* EngineeredPublicConfession: In the season finale, [[spoiler: Martinez tricks Jarvis into confessing to him that he was working with Sophia and poisoned Martinez. Martinez then plays the recording of that conversation to the whole cabinet, exposing Jarvis as a traitor.]]
* EstablishingSeriesMoment: The disappearance of a plane in the first episode: the first indication that this is a sci-fi series.
* ETGaveUsWiFi: [[spoiler:Thomas' involvement]] allegedly helped to push ahead the development of the atomic bomb by several decades.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: According to Vicky, she decided to stop working for Dempsey, after she learned about [[spoiler: his experiments on children]]
* EvilDetectingDog: A dog on the street can tell something's not quite right about [[HumanAliens Sophia]].
* ExpositionOfImmortality: The extraterrestrials look just like humans, but live much longer and age slowly. Photos of these characters taken decades ago, but still looking just the way they do now, are often the only clue the human characters get that reveal the true nature of friends and family members they thought they knew very well.
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler: Before the revelation that her planet was going to die and the death of her son Sophia was pretty benevolent. Now she's concluded that HumansAreTheRealMonsters and will do whatever is needed to save her people including wiping us out.]]
* FreudianExcuse: Subverted. Vicky gives Sean a sob story about having to kill her abusive stepfather, then five seconds later she tells him it was all a lie and that she was pretty much born the way she is.
* GambitPileup: There are some serious plans going on in this show.
* GenreBlind: Jarvis' one weakness. He is an excellent manipulator, constantly makes everyone swallow his BlatantLies and keeps up his flawless act ''even when he is called out on it'' - but in the finale he falls for one of TheOldestTricksInTheBook.
* GenreSavvy: '''''James Dempsey'''''. Let's see, he understands that Martinez will be a good President, but further predicts both his and Sophia's shifts to WellIntentionedExtremist. Even better, he ''successfully identifies Sean as'' ''TheHero'', lures Sean in by putting his partner in [[UnresolvedSexualTension UST]] in a {{deathtrap}}, and then offers him anything he needs to save the world. [[spoiler:When Sean [[{{Determinator}} refuses to forget about chasing Dempsey]], Dempsey kills himself so Sean will move on to [[BiggerBad the true threat]]]].
-->'''Vicky:''' Why are you so interested in Walker?
-->'''Dempsey:''' Because every time I put an obstacle in his path, he destroys it.
** Dempsey appears to predict the future based on some ancient scrolls, giving him an inside track on what's about to unfold.
* GenreShift: The show appears to be a conspiracy thriller (albeit one in AnachronicOrder) until the very end when it shifts to science fiction when the kamikaze plane disappears into a big ol' ball of spacetime. On the other hand, the title itself is a pretty big hint. After all, you don't refer to things you understand (like terrorist threats or natural disasters) as "the Event."
** The initial promos for the show even stated this explicitly.
* GovernmentConspiracy: Hiding the nature of the prison, the prisoners, and the assassination attempts on the President.
* GrayAndGrayMorality: The US Government built a secret prison to detain the aliens until they gave the whole story, but the aliens themselves are no paragons of morality either, especially Thomas' faction which has apparently decided to go the AlienInvasion route. Meanwhile there are powerful people behind the government that apparently want to augment their lifespans by studying the very long-lived aliens and keep it all in the shadows, killing anyone that opposes them. The only really "good" characters are Simon, Leila, and Sean, while the only truly evil character is Dempsey, and he is pretty [[AffablyEvil affable]]... [[spoiler: and as it turns out, even Dempsey only did all the evil things he did to stop the alien threat, or so he says. (Along with extending his lifespan using DNA from kidnapped HalfHumanHybrids)]].
** Later, [[spoiler: The formerly peaceful Sophia destroys the Washington Monument, killing scores of people and injuring hundreds more, to protect her people from a government raid. Then, President Martinez has an absolutely stone-cold look on his face as he orders Apache helicopters in to kill dozens of the aliens in retaliation for the attacks.]]
*** [[spoiler: They both get [[WhatTheHellHero called out on their actions by their own people]], further muddying the issue of who the "good guys" are in this]].
* GuileHero: Sean Walker in spades.
* HalfHumanHybrid: It turns out some of the aliens that went to ground had kids. [[spoiler:These are the girls being kidnapped, including Leilah and Samantha.]]
* HazyFeelTurn: [[spoiler: Sophia]]
* HeelFaceTurn: Vicki
* HeroicBSOD: Sophia has one after [[spoiler: she had to commit an act of terrorism]]
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:Simon Lee]] does this in episode six.
** [[spoiler:Maya]] in episode 12.
** [[spoiler:Thomas]] in episode 15, in order to save Sophia and their people.
** [[spoiler: Dempsey]]... sort of. After seeing that Sean and Vicky were so determined to kill him that they didn't care about stopping Sophia, he killed himself so that they wouldn't be preoccupied with stopping him anymore.
* HotScoop: Madeline Jackson.
* HumanAliens: The 97 prisoners and the hundreds of others who established lives on Earth.
* IChooseToStay: Most of the sleepers want to remain on Earth, mainly because [[spoiler: their home world isn't viable anyway]].
* IdiotBall: When you consider that HIV (from SIV in apes), [=H5N1=] (bird flu), [=H1N1=] (swine flu) all managed to cross species into humans and have proven lethal... why on earth would Sophia test a "kill all humans" virus, on a ''hybrid''?! The chances that it'd mutate to be lethal to ''her'' species is now 1 in 2?!
** [[spoiler: Really, Sophia? You honestly think that teleporting another planet into orbit near Earth is a ''good'' idea? So the precipitating earthquakes that have been felt worldwide wasn't a clue that such a thing would cause massive tectonic instability? Nor the fact that this will cause large tidal waves that will devastate coastal regions? Remember, this is the very planet you apparently want to ''colonise'', why are you ''breaking'' it?!]]
* IndyPloy: "I'll find a way!" is nearly everybody's excuse for not having formulated a specific plan yet. See ItsTheOnlyWay for when someone actually ''does'' have a plan.
* InMediasRes: The pilot episode begins with shaky news camera footage of the President's address as the jetliner hurtles towards it.
* InterspeciesRomance: Revealed in a flashback between the HumanAlien Simon Lee and his human lover decades in the past. Later we learn that quite a few got to the ultimate conclusion; [[spoiler: their offspring are the kidnapped girls.]]
* IronicEcho: In 1x12, President Martinez finds himself having almost the exact same argument as he did in the pilot regarding the Inostranka prisoners, only this time with him on the opposite side.
* ItsGoingDown: [[spoiler: The Washington Monument in episode 15]], as a last-ditch attempt by [[spoiler: Sophia to save her people]].
* ItsTheOnlyWay: Practically Sean's CatchPhrase, though President Martinez and others have used it as well. One episode had two characters utter the phrase, in completely separate situation, before the opening credits rolled. See IndyPloy for what happens when they haven't come up with an "only way" just yet.
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: Used by Sean on Henri to find out where James Dempsey is. Also threatened against Dr. Lu from Simon to get the password for a computer with information they need.
* JigsawPuzzlePlot: Absolutely shamelessly; see AnachronicOrder, above.
** Somewhat less of an issue since the {{Retool}}.
* KnightTemplar: At first it looks like Director Sterling is this. However as the series progresses his paranoia is looking increasingly reasonable and [[spoiler: Thomas, who ruled in Sophia's stead]] looks like the unreasoning extremist.
* LadyMacbeth: Isabel
* LetsGetDangerous: Both Sean and Leila are proving quite adept at this. President Martinez fits this as well (as of episode 15, when he started [[CharacterDevelopment to grow a pair]] and became more [[GrowingTheBeard of an interesting character]].)
* MayflyDecemberRomance: Simon bumps into this hard when he has to leave the woman he plans to marry, then encounters her by chance about 50 years later. She's old and suffering from Alzheimers; he looks exactly the same.
* TheMole: Simon served as one for Sophia, keeping her aware of Martinez's plans. And when he's discovered, he's able to escape the White House with aid from a scrambled voice on a phone, which would suggest that there's another mole in the White House (the President and Sterling certainly seem to think so).
* MonumentalDamage: [[spoiler: The Washington Monument]] is destroyed by Sophia in order to get Martinez to back down during a standoff.
* MyMasterRightOrWrong: Michael Buchanan.
* NecessarilyEvil: [[spoiler: Sophia after Thomas' death.]]
* NoNameGiven: Not for a character, but for the ''entire alien race'', as well as their planet. Instead it's ''always'' referred to as "our people", "Sophia's people", and "our planet".
* NotQuiteDead: The passengers from flight 514.
* NoughtiesDramaSeries
* ObliviousToLove: It's implied that Vicky has an increasing attraction to Sean, who on the other hand, repeatedly has no idea why she is still helping him.
* OhCrap: Jarvis has a moment bordering on VillainousBreakdown in the season finale during his [[spoiler: EngineeredPublicConfession]].
** The Finale has an epic one. [[spoiler: You think that Sophia's people are coming in ships through the portal... wrong. They instead bring their entire PLANET into orbit to be a second moon around Earth.]]
* OmniscientDatabase: Sean is able to access any information on Earth in record time, no matter who holds it, no matter how secret, no matter how protected, with his Macbook Pro and a flawless, extremely fast wireless Internet connection that apparently works from anywhere, including PlanesTrainsAndAutomobiles.
* TheOner: A good portion of the escape sequence inside the collapsing warehouse is an impressively long one continuous shot.
* OnlyPointTwoPercentDifferent: Inverted. The people from the Inostranka crash have 2% different DNA from humans, and the president interprets this fact to mean that they're just like humans. His advisor informs him that they have less in common with humans than apes do. This is used as an argument that they don't deserve human rights, an idea which the president doesn't approve of.
* OutGambitted: [[spoiler:Jarvis' clever plan to turn Elias' wife against Sterling and use her as a pawn to ensure her husband dies. It really looks like he successfully manipulated her- then we find out Sterling has already talked with her and gained her trust, and her going along with Jarvis was a ploy to buy time]].
* PetTheDog: Vicky spared and adopted a child she was told to kill.
* PlayfulHacker: Sean used to be this, a skill set that has since come in handy.
* PlotHole: Viewers were led to believe that the flashbacks which had been part of the regular narrative would explain, eventually, how Sean got from the cruise ship Leyla was abducted from to the plane in the pilot, which implied there had been nine days between those two scenes. Since the later episodes dropped that technique, it was left hanging.
* PoliceAreUseless: In the first few episodes, ''no-one'' seems willing to listen to Sean Walker, dismissing him as paranoid or delusional for his claims. This is despite the fact that any sane person should recognise that even if Sean is delusional, exactly ''what'' is the explanation for everything? Such as why a normal person engaged to be married, would commit a brutal murder on a Cruise ship, despite their being no record of him boarding the vessel? So why was he there? Or later, when he ended up in a hospital in Arizona after being seen boarding a plane in Miami, which ''disappeared'' completely on live news? There is literally no other explanation for how he could have arrived there in the time allotted?! There are far too many holes in this story, even if he ''was'' crazy!
* PresidentEvil: Raymond Jarvis [[spoiler: after poisoning Martinez and ascending to the Presidency]].
* [[OurPresidentsAreDifferent President Minority]]: President Elias Martinez (played by Blair Underwood) is Afro-Cuban, referenced by Sterling the DNI while he tries to dissuade the President from his decision to release the prisoners from their secret prison. Also seems to be a President Personable.
* TheQuisling: The Vice-President (though he comes across as HeadInTheSandManagement).
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: Sophia and all the rest of the aliens.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Both Martinez and Sophia [[WellIntentionedExtremist at first]], but Blake Sterling stays this way.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:Maya]] has killed a fellow prisoner to keep Sophia's secrets and gave her own life to save [[spoiler: Sterling]]
** Also, [[spoiler: Thomas.]]
* RedHerring: Subverted. There were suspicious gaps in her past that could prove [[spoiler: the President's wife]] is an alien. However, it turned out that her family just had problems with immigration. Then, in the end of the final episode, [[OhCrap she called the alien planet home]].
* {{Retool}}: The series was taken off the air between late November 2010 and early March 2011, notably missing February sweeps. When it returned, the flashbacks (which advertising for the show presumably assumed would be a draw due to comparisons with ''Series/{{Lost}}'') were gone, and the storytelling was now completely linear.
** Quite possibly done because they knew the show's plummeting ratings would guarantee the show's cancellation after season one, and so things were streamlined to WrapItUp and give the show's remaining fans a suitable GrandFinale.
* ReverseMole: Simon Lee is really an alien. At first he's a straight example of this trope with Sophia's group having good intentions, [[spoiler:but after things go bad they become [[KnightTemplar Knight Templars]] and he ends up deserting them]].
* StagedShooting: When Leila gets the drop on Vicky, Leila manages to take her gun and fires, seeing Vicky tumble down the stairs from the impact. Later in the episode it is revealed that Vicky had previously loaded the gun with blanks, as part of a gambit to make her think she escaped so that she would call Sean.
* SwitchingPOV: The flashbacks do this.
* TakingTheBullet:[[spoiler:Maya]] for [[spoiler: Sterling]]
** And [[spoiler:Thomas]] for [[spoiler:Sophia]]. Although this time it was [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill the rocket]]
* TheSingularity: Near the end of the season/series finale, Simon reveals to Sean that "the event" is an evolution into a higher form for his people, but something that humanity won't survive.
* TomatoSurprise: [[spoiler: Leila discovers that she and her sister]] are [[HalfHumanHybrid half-alien.]]
* TitleDrop: In an exchange between CIA agent Simon Lee and Sophia Maguire during the pilot episode.
--> '''Lee''': "''We may have a problem. He thinks he can buy his freedom back. Trade it for information...''"\\
'''Maguire''': "''What kind of information?''"\\
'''Lee''': "''He's going to tell them[[DramaticPause ... about The Event]].''"
** At least some episodes titles are lines from that episode.
* TooDumbToLive: How did Sophia's civilisation survive this long without wiping themselves out, they're ''clearly'' all insane! Given some of the plans they come up with, you have to seriously wonder if the supernova threatening their planet wasn't ''their'' fault?!
* TookALevelInBadass: Sean has been doing this throughout the series. Leila isn't quite there but she's catching up.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: The question of whether Simon survived a building collapse is abruptly answered by the next episode preview immediately following the scene.
** The first episode back after the hiatus between February and March had a trailer for rest of the season rather than the usual next episode preview.
** If you saw any of the pre-series trailers, you knew the Washington Monument was going down.
* TranquilFury: Becoming more and more Martinez' default setting.
* VaguenessIsComing
* WellIntentionedExtremist: This show really loves this trope.
** Thomas, the free leader of Sophia's people.
** And now Sophia herself has become one.
** Arguably Dempsey as well, he wants to stop the aliens, but is very ruthless about doing it.
** And the Vice President both as first Dempsey's then Sophia's pawn thinks he is acting for the best interests of his country.
* WeWillMeetAgain: Dempsey regarding Sean:
-->'''Dempsey''': "''It's just that I have a feeling that this Mr. Walker and I will cross paths again... soon.''"
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Where's Leila's sister?
* WhatTheHellHero:
** Simon Lee is angry at Sophia after [[spoiler: she destroyed the Washington Monument]]
** Sterling tells off President Martinez after [[spoiler: blowing up two buses full of Sophia's people]].
* XanatosGambit / KansasCityShuffle: In Episode 20, Shawn and Vicki stop one of Sophia's people from releasing a deadly virus into a shopping mall, [[spoiler: but another one of Sophia's people infects a bus evacuating the area, killing everyone and giving Sophia the information she needs to properly weaponize the virus]]. It's the former for the hidden bouns and the latter for the distraction.
* YouHaveFailedMe: Averted with [[spoiler: Sophia]], who, even after numerous occasions where the heroes get the best of her subordinates, forgives them and immediately trusts them to complete equally important missions. Even those subordinates who betray her get every chance to prove their loyalty and come back to her group. Likely justified by the fact that she deeply loves all of her people and wants the best for them, despite her ruthless goals.

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