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Fan Fic: Brutal Series
The Brutal series (or the inaccurately named Brutal trilogy) is a series of fan fictions by Number One Fan of Journey on Fanfiction.net. It is named for its first installment, Brutal, and continues with Horrible, Miserable, and Unsurvivable. It also has a few tie-ins, so far including Coming Home, Of Happiness and Sanity, Hit The Bottle, Two More, Difference, and What If.

This series is a crossover between The Hunger Games and Axis Powers Hetalia. The countries are taken from Hetalia, turned into humans (some with slightly different or very different traits from the original characters) and thrown into the Hunger Games as average District kids.

See also The Rules, another Hetalia story by the same author with a slightly similar premise.


Provides Examples Of:

  • Abusive Parents: It's hinted that the father of Toris, Esto, and Raivis may be one of these.
  • Accidental Murder:
    • Thinking the tribute is already dead, Switz throws Thew to the wolves. Literally. And, as it turns out, said tribute wasn't actually dead yet. Whoops.
    • China. Enough said.
    • Amer must have some sort of mental imbalance: he just snaps and murders and hates it.
    • Vahn's murder of Celladora isn't quite on purpose, either.
    • Spain sure wasn't intending to strangle that girl.
    • No one's completely sure whether Vash's shooting of Dardana is an accident or not.
    • In Unsurvivable, Italo sneaks poison into Ermine’s food to see what it does, not thinking that it will kill her.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: These occur more than you'd expect, usually coinciding with Crowning Moments Of Heartwarming, Tearjerkers, or both.
  • Action Girl:
    • All of the female Careers involved. As for the non-Careers, Veta in Brutal, Gries in Horrible; Sui (near the end of the Games) and Tina (in one instance) in Miserable and Romania, Holland and Ermine in Unsurvivable qualify.
  • Action Girlfriend: Veta to Austria.
  • Aerith and Bob: Names ranging from Maria to Celladora to Spain.
  • After-Action Healing Drama: Happens in Miserable, when Ise patches Norge's near-fatal wounds after a battle with Careers despite knowing that they will likely have to kill each other afterwards.
  • After-Action Patchup: Occurs between Igris and Amer during Horrible as a sign of the boys' growing trust for one another.
  • A Good Way to Die:
    • Amer and Igris settle all of their debts with the world and leave things to chance so neither has to die by the hand of the other.
    • Amer at the end of the third What If scenario concludes that he'll die allowing Raivis to win and preventing Eston from becoming like him.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • Taberah spending her last moments worrying about the reason she signed up for the Games in the first place.
    • Vahn saying he "just wanted to go home".
    • Rome being betrayed by his ally.
    • Osso and Magya, the former dying beside his only friend in the arena, the latter realizing that she can't end everyone's suffering and acknowledging the beauty of life before leaving it.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: Rather than countries, the Hetalia characters are human. And a LOT of them have different personalities.
  • The Alcoholic: None mentioned in the core series, but in What If, third ending, Raivis ends up one, at least for a while. This is the topic of "Hit The Bottle".
  • All Love Is Unrequited: The many ships in the series fall into four categories: those that are wholly one-sided or cut short before they can be reciprocated (Rome/Ania, Natalya/Vahn, Sve/Finni, Feli/Sheen), the Ship Tease or those seen with Shipping Goggles (Lovi/Spain, Osso/Magya, Thew/Maria, Wy/Seborga, Ax/Ilber, Ermine/Italo, Turk/Romania, Cuba/Nada, Anissa/Zavann, Shiran/Plutonia, Franse/anyone...), those that are mere lust (Amantius/Cisca, arguably Natalya/Vahn) and the sole reciprocated ship, Austria/Veta.
  • Always Save the Girl:
    • Sve and Finni.
    • Sadik holds a knife up to Lovi's throat and forces Spain to make a Sadistic Choice: hand over the rest of the alliance's food or watch her die. Spain, of course, forks over the food. Lovi is not pleased by this, saying she'd have preferred a quick death to one by starvation.
  • America Saves the Day: Not America itself, but two of characters representing the country; both want to be heroes in their own sense of the word - Amer by protecting his allies, Alf by winning the Games and bringing glory to his district. Only Amer actually manages to 'save the day', though, and more often than not he just ends up making things worse.
  • And Then What?: Thew realizes that Alf (who thinks he killed Thew) is terrified of ghosts and dresses up as one to scare him. However, when his plan succeeds and he has Alf trembling at his mercy, he realizes that he has no idea what to do next, and merely leaves with an ominous but vague warning.
    • In a more comedic example, this is Romania’s response to Turk when he suggests recruiting every other tribute into their alliance. He hadn’t thought of that.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Sheen's dying thoughts.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Shiran in Igris's introductory chapter. Also Natalya to Vahn and Heracles to Sadik.
  • Anti Climax Cut: Played for Drama in Unsurvivable. Egypt is pinned to the ground by Turk, who takes out his sword and brings it down before Egypt can say goodbye to his family – then the scene cuts, and it’s revealed Egypt merely got a scratch.
  • Anti-Villain: Those appearing in the series can be sorted into four categories:
    • Type I (all are definite villains, but have certain standards, moral codes, or Pet the Dog moments): Lude (particularly in the fourth What If), Japan, Osso, Yao (merges with Type II), and arguably Anglynn (due to her rather inactive role in the hunts and her preoccupation with her imaginary friends).
    • Type II (characters who kill only out of necessity, not having wanted to join the Games; or due to some sort of trauma in their past or present): Russia, Chia, arguably Vash, Taberah, Vahn in his death scene, arguably Den, Yao (merges with Type I), Cisca, and arguably Ivan.
    • Type III (Well-Intentioned Extremist): Magya; Norge towards the end of Miserable.
    • Type IV (mostly evil only by association; rarely actively malevolent and usually good-natured): Rome, Ax, Antonio, Sheen, Cisca to an extent.
  • Apologetic Attacker: While he doesn't actually apologize, Lude hesitates to kill Ciano and calls him "friend" before finishing him off.
  • Nada also apologizes to Turk when they’re fighting – to the death.
  • Anyone Can Die: Hunger Games fiction, regardless of the characters being based off countries.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Spain, Vahn, Raivis, Sadik and Gries all have brief mentions in Brutal and become important characters in Horrible.
    • Also, Amer's brother, Matt, is briefly mentioned in Horrible but is serves a much greater purpose in Coming Home.
    • The third Lithu brother, Esto, receives brief mentions in Brutal and Horrible but has a more significant role in "Hit the Bottle".
    • Now Shiran and Feli are looking like this, what with them being reaped in Miserable.
    • Riben, China's barely-mentioned little brother, debuts in Unsurvivable.
  • The Atoner:
    • Amer throughout the latter half of Horrible, after he kills Sadik and Vahn.
    • It's even worse in the climax of What If, in which he actually lets Gries run him through because he feels he does not deserve to live.
    • Spain also has shades of this, when we learn his main motivation for protecting Lovi is guilt over killing a young woman and a desire not to let another die.
  • Attempted Rape: Wiremu has every intention to do this. To the relief of all the female tributes (and readers), he gets killed trying to start something with Finni.
  • Author Appeal: The author is quite fond of both gore and driving her readers to tears.
  • Avenging the Villain:
    • Dardana aims to do this to the tributes from 10 (Meghna and Amer) in order to avenge her friend Corianne, a career killed by Gil two years earlier.
    • Defied by Natalya, who was mature enough not to do this in Horrible, as she realized killing Amer would not bring her adopted brother/love interest Vahn back to life.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Exclusively platonic versions:
    • One occurs between the quarrelling duo Fronce and Igris, when Fronce is mortally wounded. Doubles as a How Dare You Die on Me moment.
    • Lovi and Spain also get these a lot, particularly when Lovi thinks they are about to be killed by cat muttations.
    • When Ise bandages Norge's wounds after their fight with Careers.
    • The entire ending of Horrible is basically this for Amer and Igris.
    • Anyone who thought Ermine really saw Italo as The Load was proven wrong by her Heroic BSOD after his death.
    • A subtle example, but Turk (who had previously decided Egypt was his ‘property’ rather than his ally) calls him a friend after his death.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Vivi from Brutal is a criminally insane girl who delights in the bloodshed of the Hunger Games, going so far as to shove a sickle into her own throat because she thought her impending death by poison wasn't violent enough.
    • Russia also qualifies after he loses his mind in Brutal and becomes a psychopath who murders anyone he comes across.
    • This also happens to Norge when the stress of protecting his sibling gets the better of him.
    • Amer and Ermine when protecting or avenging their allies.
    • A good many of the Careers, such as Journs from Miserable and Ivan from Unsurvivable,
  • An Axe to Grind:
    • Corianne uses a halberd, or medieval axe.
    • Vahn's signature weapon is a pickaxe.
    • Antonio, Ax, and Norge in Miserable.
  • Bad Boss: Nothing wrong with obtaining allies by threatening their lives and chopping off fingers when they try to escape, right?
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The second and fourth What If endings (although it's debatable whether Russia is a 'bad guy' or not).
  • Band of Brothers:
    • Amer, Eston, and Raivis.
    • Also Igris and Fronce. Eventually includes Amer as well.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Subverted a few times, but upheld others. Not much detail is really put into the slow decay of the characters' physical conditions, other than a short paragraph with Natalya.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't kill any of Amer's friends. Or injure them. Or look like you might injure them. And you probably shouldn't look at them funny, either. For that matter, you should probably keep a good 30 metres of distance between yourself and any of his friends.
    • Don’t threaten or hurt Liet in front of Switz. It’s not a great idea to just leave the alliance without telling him, either.
    • Don’t threaten or hurt Finni in front of Sve. Wiremu found this out the hard way.
    • Don't threaten or hurt any of Ermine's allies - particularly Italo - in front of her.
    • Don’t mock Maria's death or last words in front of Spain.
    • Don’t hit on Veta if you're not Austria (see Franse's introductory chapter).
  • Beta Couple: Sve/Finni, Natalya/Vahn, and Rome/Ania. Notable in that all of them are largely one-sided.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed:
    • Part of Japan's reasoning for stabbing himself rather than letting Alf strangle him.
    • Rather than let the Gamemakers eventually kill them with the raging fire beneath them, Sve and Natalya jump into it and thus decide when they're going to die.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Most of the nice people in the series snap if they're not killed off quickly enough.
    • Especially Russia. Cheerful the whole time... Even while killing people
    • Veta is pleasant enough (other than hitting Franse over the head for hitting on her) until she beats Gil’s brains out with a frying pan.
    • Amer is an almost impossibly nice person, but he'll kill anyone who threatens his friends.
    • Tina, who totally killed Den with his own cleaver.
    • Spain. A typically nice, friendly guy who strangled someone for mocking his sister and bashes in Ania's brains in the sixth What If.
  • Big Bad Ass Bird Of Prey: One of these chases Gil and Thew during Brutal. It also features prominently in one of the What If endings and receives the name "Gil-bird."
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Switz to Liet, literally.
    • Spain to Lovi.
    • Amer to everyone he's allied with, particularly Raivis. Ironic, in that Amer is the youngest member of both his alliances.
    • Norge and his trusty companion, his big friendly axe.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Amer taking on Vahn and liberating Eston and Raivis after the latter had had his finger chopped off.
  • Big Eater: Both incarnations of America — Alf in Brutal and Amer in Horrible.
  • Big Little Brother: Ukraine states that her little brother, Russia, is the tallest of all the tributes, presumably including herself.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Igris has these; often lampshaded or mocked by Fronce.
  • Bishōnen:
    • Both Frances — Franse from Brutal and Fronce from Horrible.
    • Ciano is also described as looking rather feminine.
    • This was what Rome's stylist intended him to look like in the parade. Rome disagreed.
  • Bittersweet Ending: And the 'sweet' part only comes in if you like the victors. Both survive, but are tormented by memories of the Games and those they lost.
  • Black Magic: Aurth certainly thinks he has it. Whether or not he does is debatable.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: This isn’t hard to achieve when Hetalia is involved in the crossover. But under those qualifications, this series is absolute overkill of this trope.
    • With Ciano's fate in the fourth What If ending, it may qualify under Hunger Games grounds, too.
  • Blood Knight:
    • Many of the Careers, most notably Vivi.
    • Russia spends the entirety of the Games after he snaps looking for tributes to kill.
    • Gil as well; he was so eager for a fight that he deliberately showed himself to Careers.
    • Journs from Miserable.
  • Blood Sport: Hunger Games.
  • Body-Count Competition / Kill Steal: seems to be a major source of conflict amongst the Unsurvivable career pack, with Ivan not wanting Anglynn to 'steal kills' with her long-range weaponry and arguing with Amantius over who gets to kill Nada.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Norge ends up killing his little brother/protectee Ise in a fit of rage.
  • Book Ends: Both the first and last chapters of Horrible (not counting the epilogue) involve Igris' broken Beatles CD. The first time it's just a throwaway occurrence, but the second time is a touching moment that shows how much Igris' brother cared for him and allows him to Go Out with a Smile.
  • Break the Cutie: Most of the cuties are involved in this one. Especially dear little Raivis.
  • Breather Episode: Tends to happen a lot. If an alliance goes through an undisturbed period of lighthearted bonding, rest assured that it will end very badly for them, very soon.
    • Special mention goes to Veta's and Austria's wedding before the latter is murdered, as well as the apple-tossing chapter of What If.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Igris' broken Beatles CD is mentioned in the first chapter of Horrible and comes back at the very end.
    • Veta notes the little loop on the end of her frying pan, and it returns to the spotlight at a later time.
  • Broken Bird:
    • Veta in the epilogue of Brutal is definitely one.
    • Lovi was well on her way to becoming one when she was killed by Ania, and definitely ends up as one in the first What If ending.
    • Amer during the latter half of Horrible. Probably a lot more.
    • Magya, after she realizes that she couldn't stop people's suffering.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Natalya's undying love for her brother. Yergh.
  • The Brute: Alf serves as The Brute in the Five-Bad Band for the Brutal Careers, Wiremu for the Horrible Careers, Journs and/or Ilber for Miserable, and Ivan and/or Amantius for Unsurvivable.
    • Vahn could count as one not in any group.
  • Cannon Shots and Revelations: A variation is used twice, once in Brutal and once in Unsurvivable. In both situations, two characters ( Toris and Thew in Brutal, with Toris being the victim; Ermine and Egypt in Unsurvivable, with Egypt being the victim) are put in life-threatening situations when a cannon goes off, and the reader is left until the next chapter to discover which was killed.
  • Characterization Marches On: For Romania in Unsurvivable. In her introductory chapter, she exhibits some hints of psychosis as she gleefully anticipates the bloody nature of the Games. This never recurs after the bloodbath, with her becoming a quirky but loyal ally to Turk, never fighting with intent to kill until the very end, and even showing reluctance to leave an unconscious Riben behind to die.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The poison that Igris recieves from a sponsor in Horrible is quickly forgotten, but becomes vital in the climax.
    • Less obvious is the loop on the end of Veta's frying pan in Brutal. While grieving Austria's death, she absentmindedly muses over its purpose. Later, in the final battle, it saves her life when Russia's knife tip gets caught in it, allowing her to wrench it out of his hands.
    • The victor of Miserable, Shiran, also wins with one - a poisonous frog he had been warned about earlier.
  • The Chessmaster: Osso, big time.
  • Children Forced To Kill: Hunger Games.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Amer has it really bad. He volunteers for the Games in the place of his brother, asks nearly everyone to be allies so he'll have someone to protect, attacks a pickaxe-wielding tribute with only a hypodermic needle to save someone he barely knows, is constantly willing to die protecting his friends, blames himself for everything that goes wrong, nearly kills himself at the end of the story so that Igris can live, and then can't go through with it because he doesn't want to let down his brother. And that's not even counting What If.
  • Cliff Hanger: Many chapters end this way.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • Ciano all the way.
    • Laine, who sings "Hole in my Bucket," at top speed and whose dying thought is how much the spear that killed her looks like a carrot.
    • Russia could count as an extremely dark version after he snaps.
    • Tina definitely counts, after she snaps and all. And maybe Aurth.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Thew for a couple chapters of Brutal, in which he's allied with Ciano.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Between Toris and Poal; lampshaded by Toris:
    Toris: "How about we look around, and when we find a muttation, I'll take it down so you don't have to dirty your dress."/
    Poal: "That's even stupider! And I'm not even wearing a dress, in case you didn't notice!"/
    Toris: "...That's not the argument at hand, Poal."/
    • Another example occurs in Miserable, when Tina misinterprets Den's decision to go 'hunting' as hunting for food, rather than for other tributes. It could also double as Dramatically Missing the Point, as it shows that she and Sui aren't as ready to kill as Den is.
  • Continuity Nod: The Victors of the past games in the series occasionally make appearances ( Veta is mentioned indirectly in Horrible and by name in Miserable; the epilogue of Miserable is in Amer’s POV; Shiran appears, albeit unnamed, in Unsurvivable) and the previous games and tributes are often referenced.
    • The series also references specific characters or games from the Hunger Games canon occasionally, mostly in Unsurvivable – Haymitch and Wiress are mentioned, Egypt and Yana are the District 12 tributes said to have worn nothing but coal dust on the chariots, bloodbath victim Chanelle is hinted to be a girl Katniss briefly recalls in the book series, and the entire Games is implied to be the snowy arena remembered in the same scenario.
    • Finally, Miserable contains a Continuity Nod to Lucky Lady, another Fan Fiction in Number One Fan of Journey’s canon, in the character of Shaw Telfair, the victor of the 13th Hunger Games.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Averted with the lava crater China, Fronce and Igris arrive at in What If.
    • Radiation Schmadiation: On the other hand, scenes following this scenario are the only ones mentioning sunburn. Otherwise, ultraviolet radiation does not exist—no sunburn, no snow blindness.
  • Corner of Woe: The Review Page. Reviewers such as Axxi and Pceluvmusicart are especially well known for this.
  • Corrupt the Cutie:
    • Both Russia and Amer fall victim to this.
    • Happens to Raivis in "Hit The Bottle".
  • Crossover: Between The Hunger Games and Hetalia.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: About every other death. Even worse in What If. Notable examples include
    • Peyton being stabbed multiple times by Vivi, who intentionally leaves enough time between attacks so that her victim will suffer for as long as possible, in Brutal.
    • Veta smashing Gil's skull to pieces with a frying pan in Brutal.
    • Vash being blown up by explosive pinecones in Horrible.
    • Raivis being slowly frozen to death by a poison injected into him by thorny vines, in Horrible.
      • Lovi gets this fate in What If.
    • Vahn having his abdomen "shredded to the point of unidentifiability," by Amer's clawed glove, in Horrible.
    • Finni having a hole drilled in her chest by a pointy-tailed mutt, in Horrible.
    • Switz being eaten alive by wolves in What If.
      • Thew's death in Brutal is a subversion of this, as he suffered the same fate but was unconscious during it.
    • Thew and Liet having their heads (and possibly more in the latter case) decimated by a morningstar in What If.
    • Ciano being burned alive by a swarm of fire crickets in What If.
    • China slowly rotting away from the cat muttation's venom in the sixth What If scenario.
    • Spain having his abdomen sliced open and slowly losing his innards in the sixth What If scenario.
    • Paliss has her skull completely smashed by being repeatedly slammed onto a metal plate at the Miserable bloodbath.
    • Sheen being hacked apart with an axe and left to bleed to death over several hours.
    • Osso and Magya also die slow, lingering deaths after sustaining multiple axe and cleaver wounds.
    • This happens to bloodbath victims a lot, as they're often killed by being beaten with fists or blunt objects rather than actual weapons.
    • Amantius and Ivan were planning to take turns stabbing/beating Nada until she died, as a contest to see which of them would claim her as their kill. Fortunately, she escaped before they could carry this out.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: At first, Unsurvivable seems like it’s building up to the series’ typical bittersweet ending – most of the tributes have died, but Turk survives, injured but with a family to return to and far fewer psychological scars than the rest of the Victors. Then, in the epilogue, it’s revealed that he died of his wounds on the hovercraft and the actual winner is Riben, who went into shock after being buried by an avalanche and was going to be left to die so that Turk could be the fan-preferred Victor. Riben not only has to deal with painful memories and the loss of his allies, but his parents are tortured to death in front of him as his punishment for not killing anyone in the Games, and the same fate befalls anyone he becomes close to. He is now a drug addict hinted to be the morphling who died in the Quarter Quell.
  • Cry Cute: After complaining about Spain for most of the Fan Fic, Lovi breaks down crying and thanks him for all his help when she thinks they're going to be killed by cat muttations. In true Tsundere fashion, she vehemently denies her emotional outburst afterwards.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Veta vs. Gil. He barely even got a chance to attack before she had him down.
    • Russia vs. Lude. Both are serious contendors, but it ends rather quickly when Lude is overwhelmed by the cold which Russia is accustomed to.
    • Gries vs. Taberah. Another one where the victim went out ridiculously easily.
    • Amer vs. Vahn also swung in Amer's favor rather quickly.
    • Sve vs. Wiremu was so one-sided it can hardly be called a "battle".
  • Cynicism Catalyst: This trope is all over the place in the series.
    • Russia crosses the Despair Event Horizon into full-blown madness after the death of his sister Ukraine.
    • Spain is also scarred by his sister Maria's death in an earlier Games, and is partially inspired to protect Lovi due to remorse over not saving Perdita at the bloodbath.
    • The guilt of accidentally killing China haunts Fronce for the rest of the Games.
    • But probably the Most Triumphant Example is the effect that Raivis' and Eston's deaths (and probably Fronce's and Igris's, following the Games) had on Amer, forever destroying his view of himself as a hero and leaving him with extreme Survivors Guilt.
  • Damsel in Distress:
    • Wynd Blune.
    • Also Lovi, who probably would have died in the bloodbath without Spain's help.
  • Dark Action Girl: All of the female careers, most notably Vivi in Brutal and Ania in Horrible.
  • Darker and Edgier: than Axis Powers Hetalia, at least. Probably on par with Hunger Games.
  • Dark Fic: Obviously.
  • Deadly Game: Hunger Games.
  • Deconstruction: the whole series serves as one. Scenes and quirks which are largely played for laughs in Hetalia are put into a realistic situation and played for drama here. (Although there definitely are some elements still played for laughs.)
  • Duel to the Death: Happens often.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Nearly everyone, at one point or another. Snarky characters are a given in practically any of Number One Fan of Journey's works. Special mention must go to Igris, Lovi, and Gries.
  • Death Faked for You: Thew, sort of. A bit of a subversion in that nobody intentionally sets him up for it; it's more of a series of extremely convenient coincidences that leads everyone to believe he has died.
  • Dead Sidekick:
    • Raivis and Eston to Amer.
    • Fronce to Igris.
  • Death as Comedy: Who didn't chuckle a little when Dardana was offed?
  • Death by Adaptation: Applies to everyone apart from the victors, as obviously character death is not much of a problem in Axis Powers Hetalia. Veta and Amer both get in this in What If, as well as many characters who die earlier than usual, such as Spain, Igris, and Thew in the first, third and fourth endings respectively.
  • Death by Irony:
    • Poal, being killed by the muttation she'd tried to convince Toris was harmless.
    • Zigzagged with Thew, whose cause of death (mauled by wolves) was not particularly ironic, but the fact that he was finished so offhandedly when he'd been trying to bring himself to the spotlight for once was.
      • Not to mention his life was saved by a cannon firing at just the right time… And then a different cannon firing at just the wrong time indirectly leads to his death.
    • In an extremely dark example, Eston could qualify in the third What If ending, as he is killed by the person sworn to protect him.
    • Chanelle's district token is a wooden ball meant to bring her luck. It ends up killing her when she drops it and sets off the mines too early.
  • Death Equals Emotion:
    • Vahn actually crying and saying he "just wanted to go home" as Amer kills him.
    • Russia, being relieved that he'll get to see his sister Ukraine again once he dies.
    • Averted with Vash, whose final thought before being blown to pieces is a mild "Crap, I really liked this place."
  • Declaration of Protection:
    • Switz volunteers for the Games to protect his little sister, Liet.
    • Sve does the same for his girlfriend, Finni.
    • Spain always looks out for his female ally, Lovi.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen:
    • Definitely Lovi, who's always acting like she doesn't need Spain, but lets her true feelings show when they're in danger.
    • Igris as well; he starts out cold towards everyone, but genuinely comes to care for his allies Fronce and Amer (although it’s hinted he really cared about Fronce the whole time).
  • Designated Girl Fight: Seen in Gries vs. Taberah and Gries vs. Ania.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Russia crosses over this into full-blown insanity in a matter of sentences after he finds his sister's severed head in Brutal.
    • Veta dances on it after her fiancee, Austria, is murdered, but manages to stay stable enough to survive the Hunger Games and mentor for at least another two years, though she's still definitely a Broken Bird.
    • The same scenario occurs in Horrible with Amer, due to the deaths of all his allies, his violent murder of Vahn, and his victory at the cost of Igris' life.
    • Sve and Natalya cross it over the deaths of their respective love interests.
    • Lovi looks like she may cross it when Spain won't wake up, but Ania gets there first.
  • Die Laughing: Igris; possibly Laine as well.
  • Died Standing Up: Despite having an arrow in his leg, Shiran struggles to his feet so he can go out this way. Fortunately for him, he ends up winning this fight.
  • Dies Wide Open: Finni dies with her eyes open; Sve shuts them.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: After accidentally revealing that he's killed someone before the Games, Spain tries to placate Lovi by joking around about it, but this only ends up frightening her more.
  • Disney Death: Thew appears to die at one point during Brutal, but was actually only knocked unconscious while another tribute's cannon sounded. Subverted in that he does die later.
    • Zavannin Unsurvivable - twice! First off he appears to be killed by Ivan at the bloodbath, but was in reality only Playing Possum; later, he seems to have been struck by the same lightning that kills Anissa, but lingers on long enough to be killed by Ermine.
    • Riben wins this way in Unsurvivable.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Yes, it was terrible that Vahn killed your allies, but did you really have to rip out his internal organs, Amer?
    • Also applies to Ania, who literally stabs her ally Rome in the back for hitting on her.
  • Distracted from Death:
    • Amer is busy searching for Vahn. He hears a cannon and thinks little of it, only to turn around and realize that it belonged to his ally, Eston.
    • Fronce dies when one of his allies is sleeping and the other musing over his own thoughts. Igris doesn't even realize it until the hovercraft comes to take away his body.
  • Distressed Dude: Many of the non-action male characters, such as Austria, Ciano, Eston, and especially Raivis.
  • Divorced Installment: Asylum and Comrade were originally supposed to be epilogues of some of the What If endings.
  • The Dog Bites Back:
    • After Alf tries to kill Thew (and ends up giving him an excruciating headache), Thew exploits Alf's fear of ghosts to get one over on the Career.
    • And in Miserable, Ilber discovers why it isn't a good idea to Kick the Puffin.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Sve to Finni.
    • Sheen to Feli.
  • Doom Magnet: Amer, so much. He even lampshades this at one point. Every last one of his allies dies despite his best efforts. Though, given the nature of the Hunger Games, this is justified.
  • Doomed by Canon: Toris, Poal, Raivis and Celladora all have to die because, according to The Hunger Games, District 12 has had only two victors - one a canon character, the other established in another of Number One Fan of Journey's fan fictions.
    • This is averted, however, in one of the alternate endings, where Raivis wins.
    • Although it doesn't happen within the actual story, one can assume that Veta, Amer, and Shiran did not live to see the fall of the Capitol, as all but seven victors are killed by the end of Mockingjay.
    • Chanelle's district token is a little wooden ball. Anyone who remembers such a tribute from The Hunger Games knows where this is headed.
  • Downer Ending: It's either this or Bittersweet Ending with heavy emphasis on the 'bitter.'
    • Unsurvivable leans most heavily towards this trope, ending with everybody dead except for Riben, who has his parents and loved ones executed for his failure to kill and becomes addicted to morphine. Lovely.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him:
    • Quite a few: Thew, who is knocked unconscious and thrown to the wolves several chapters later.
    • Eston, killed by Vahn within several sentences at the beginning of a chapter.
    • Spain and Lovi, whose deaths come out of nowhere.
    • Far too many to mention in What If.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Sve and Natalya, after the deaths of their love interests, discuss surviving to the final two, then killing themselves so there will be no victor. The Capitol is not pleased and sends a ring of fire around them. Their response is to jump into the flames together.
    • Amer tries to do this at the end of Horrible but cannot go through with it, although he does in the third What If ending. He also kills himself in the the sixth What If ending.
    • Amer and Lovi also allow Gries to kill them in the first What If because Amer feels he does not deserve to live, and Lovi can’t stand the thought of surviving at the cost of causing another person’s death.
    • After a serious head injury takes away the little remaining control of her life, Ania drives a blade through her wrists in What If.
  • Drop the Hammer: Spain and Lovi share a hammer as their only weapon.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Raivis in "Hit the Bottle".
  • The Dulcinea Effect: A very rare gender-flipped example can be seen with Amer, who regularly risks his life for friends he's known for less than a few days.
  • Dwindling Party: Obviously, given the nature of the Games.
  • Dying Alone: Many characters die alone or with no one but their killer nearby, but the unpleasantness of such a fate is only mentioned with China, who is abandoned to die from poison by her allies Fronce and Igris. Fronce wishes to go back to avoid this trope, but Igris refuses.
  • Dying as Yourself: Possibly Russia, if you squint really, really hard. He doesn't 'get better' or feel remorse by any means, but it's worth something that his final thought was of his sister, for whom he had barely spared a thought after going insane.
  • Eagleland: Alf is a type 2, whereas Amer, who wants to be type 1, is more of a mix between the two.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Raivis and Spain, who become important characters in Horrible, are briefly mentioned by their siblings Toris and Maria in Brutal.
    • Vahn is mentioned as having broken Russia's hand.
    • Sadik and Gries appear as Veta's tributes in the Brutal epilogue.
    • Matt and Esto, brothers to Amer and Raivis/Toris, also get brief mentions before becoming central in the spin-offs "Coming Home" and "Hit the Bottle".
    • The list goes on with Shiran and Feli, now characters in Miserable.
  • Eat the Dog: In Brutal, a deranged Russia encounters one of the cute pony muttations, greets it with a friendly "Hello!"... and then kills it and cooks its meat. Justified, as this is the Hunger Games.
  • Elsewhere Fic: Takes place during the 43rd, 45th, 48th, and the 53rd Hunger Games.
  • Emotional Bruiser: Amer.
  • Emotional Torque: The entire series and tie-ins.
  • Et Tu, Brute?:
    • Rome gets stabbed in the back by his district partner, Ania.
    • Lovi almost enacts this trope by trying to kill Spain in his sleep, but is unable to bring herself to do it. Though she does end up giving him an injury, which allowed some sort of small muttation into his brain. This may have ended up killing him if Ania had not done so first.
    • Switz reacts in this way when Austria leaves his alliance.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Vahn has his adopted sister Natalya. Dardana has her best friend Corianne. Taberah has her ailing father.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: After slaughtering Vahn, Amer notes with disgust that he's never seen even a Career do anything as violent to a victim as he did.
  • Everybody Lives: In "If NOFOJ Wasn't NOFOJ".
  • Evil Counterpart: Alf can be seen as this to Thew.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor:
    • The Gamemakers moving the arena of Horrible to the Brutal one to mess with the tributes who lost loved ones in that game.
    • Vivi counts as well, laughing insanely as she delivers violent death blows to her victims, as does Russia when he goes mad.
    • And possibly the author, who seems to like chapter titles with puns about dismemberment and other things.
  • Evil Me Scares Me: Amer is terrified of his violent side and tries his best to restrain it, often without success.
  • Executive Meddling: In-universe example. Several of the tributes of Horrible had ties to the Brutal tributes, so the Gamemakers ditched the arena they'd set up and changed the location of the 45th Games to the arena used in the 43rd for 'extra drama.'
  • Extreme Melee Revenge: Dished out mercilessly by Veta to Gil and Amer to Vahn.
  • Eye Scream:
    • After killing Spain in the first What If ending, Lovi gouges out her own eye. With a hammer. Fun stuff.
    • In Brutal, Switz pokes his scissors into an alligator's eyes to save his sister.
    • In Unsurvivable, Holland kills a bear by driving her sword through its eye and into its brain.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Quite a few characters: Japan, Switz, Sve, Natalya, and Igris in the core series, not to mention Eston and Amer in the third What If ending.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Although there aren't really good and bad 'sides' in the Hunger Games, Russia's transformation from a cheerful boy to a remorseless killing machine might be considered this.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Amer struggles to surpress his insanity and bloodlust throughout the latter half of Horrible, particularly at the start of the fight with Rome and Ania.
  • Final Girl: Veta in Brutal.
  • Fingore:
    • What happens to Raivis as punishment for trying to escape an alliance.
    • Also to China in What If. She has fingers bitten off by a cat muttation.
  • Fire-Forged Friends:
    • Igris and Fronce (with Amer as well).
    • Lovi and Spain.
  • First Kiss: The third What If epilogue.
  • Five-Bad Band:
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Flashback Nightmare: Ania is tormented by these towards the end of Horrible.
  • Fond Memories That Could Have Been:
    • Before their final fight, Ise imagines how life could have been if he and Norge had been raised as brothers. Naturally, it is a Tearjerker.
    • Thew also has a bit of this after the bloodbath as he imagines how he and Maria could have been allies.
  • Food End: Horrible, of all things, ends with Amer and one of his new tributes going to get a midnight snack.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend:
    • Nicely averted throughout the series, with characters such as Spain, Raivis, Fronce, Dardana, Igris, Veta, Sve, Natalya and Amer dwelling frequently on their lost siblings, friends, and love interests.
    • Seemingly played straight but actually averted with Amer after he wins the Hunger Games; he pretends to have forgotten his allies, but is actually tormented with grief and guilt over their deaths.
    • Definitely averted with Raivis in "Hit the Bottle".
    • Played straight with Toris, who is never shown to express any emotion over Poal's death (though this may be due to the fact that he died in his next appearance.)
  • Fragile Speedster: Ciano is scrawny but quite quick on his feet.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • Chia all the way.
    • Just hinted at with Vahn.
    • Vash doesn't have a charming childhood, either.
  • From Bad to Worse: All over the place; this is the Hunger Games. This is pretty much the sole purpose of What If.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Russia in Brutal starts off as an unassuming, optimistic underdog. One crossing of the Despair Event Horizon later, he's the Big Bad of the Fanfic.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Veta uses one of these.
  • Gender Flip: Poland in Brutal, Germania, South Italy, China, Greece and Finland in Horrible, North Italy, Finland (again) and Sweden in Miserable, and France, England, America, Romania, Netherlands, Germany and Canada in Unsurvivable.
  • Genki Girl:
    • Has there been a time when Poal WASN'T babbling hyperactively?
    • Tina, and maybe Bell.
    • Feli could've been, had she not been reaped.
  • Go Out with a Smile:
    • Maria is so relieved she got her last words that she manages to smile before she dies.
    • Japan at least thinks he smiles when Lude tells him what an honour it was to fight alongside him.
    • Laine is so cheerful she even finds reason to laugh at the weapon that murdered her.
    • Igris in the ending of Horrible.
    • After taking a knife for Liet, Switz smiles at her one final time before dying.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Briefly played for laughs in Horrible, when Amer chides himself for talking to a rabbit in lieu of an ally.
  • Go Through Me: Not the exact wording, but towards the end of Brutal Liet gets in front of an injured Switz and says she won't let Russia hurt him. It doesn't end well.
  • Gorn: Gore is like sweet nectar to the author.
  • Great Way to Go: After her ally, Yana, is blown up by the starting mines, Romania thinks to herself that it was a pretty awesome way to go. Yana would most likely disagree.
  • Gutted Like a Fish: Vahn dies this way. Amer even uses the trope name when thinking about it.
  • Harmless Villain: Not exactly, as all of the Careers and more violent tributes either kill or seriously intend to kill someone, but a few—Rome, Ax, Antonio—are noticeably less successful than others.
  • Heartbroken Badass: both Veta (romantic version) and Amer (platonic version) fulfill this trope.
  • Heel Realization:
    • Russia almost has one, when he compares himself to the career who murdered his sister, but by now he's so far gone that he dismisses the thought that he could be doing anything wrong as completely ridiculous.
    • Amer, after killing Vahn, realizes how close he's coming to Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
    • Lude starts to have one in the fourth What If, but dies before he can carry it out.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: Seen with Veta and Austria in Brutal.
  • Heroic BSOD: Pretty common in the series.
    • Veta goes into one after Austria's murder.
    • Amer gets his after failing to save Eston and Raivis and killing Vahn, and stays in it for pretty much the rest of Horrible.
    • Sve and Natalya fell into this after their love interests' deaths.
    • Lovi was well on her way to heading into one, but Ania got there first.
  • Heroic Resolve:
    • Switz is almost too injured to move, but when Russia is about to kill Liet, he finds the energy to push her out of the way and Take the Bullet himself.
    • Amer does this when fighting Vahn in the third What If.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Switz is the living embodiment of this trope. He volunteers for the Hunger Games so he can help his twelve-year old sister, Liet, survive, knowing full well that doing so means his death. During the games he constantly gives her his rations and carries her on his back, even when he's injured and starving. Finally, he pushes her out of the way when Russia attacks them, taking a knife in his chest and dying.
      • Before this happened, Liet also took several blows from Russia's blade, shielding her brother.
    • In the Brutal bloodbath, Franse attacks Alf to buy his district partner, Wynd, some time to escape. Unfortunately, Alf finishes him off almost immediately before dispatching Wynd.
    • In Horrible, two different people volunteer to protect their loved ones -– Sve to protect his crush, Finni, in the games, and Amer in place of his twin brother Matt. Sve's sacrifice is wasted as Finni dies before him, but Amer wins and returns home to his brother.
    • Also in Horrible, allies Amer and Igris were both willing to do this so the other would live. They eventually settled on a game of chance to decide the Victor. Igris was the loser.
    • Eston and Amer in the third What If ending.
    • What Norge has been attempting to do for Ise. Ise ends up dead before this can happen, though.
    • When their alliance is threatened by a tidal wave, Plutonia stays behind to wake up Shiran, even though it means she won't make it.
    • Cuba would probably have been able to protect himself from Rica if he hadn’t been preoccupied with helping Nada escape the other Careers.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Amer, big time.
  • Heroic Wannabe: Good gosh, freaking Amer. And Alf as well, but in a very different light.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Amer's devotion to being a hero and protecting the weak leads to several Roaring Rampages of Revenge and a gradual Sanity Slippage. To be fair, he sees where he's heading, and doesn't like it, but isn't fully able to stop it.
  • Hidden Depths: Nearly every character who survives the bloodbath and isn't a Career (and even here there are some exceptions) will have this trope.
  • History Repeats: Invoked by the Capitol with the design of the arena in Horrible, which resembles that of the previous Games in which several current tributes lost friends and family.
    • This trope is written all over Riben. Not only is he the young Dark Horse Victor brother of a previous dead tribute (just like Shiran), but he also loses his ally to accidental poisoning just like he lost his sister years earlier. The Capitol invokes this when they poison his loved ones as punishment for surviving the Games without a kill.
  • Holding Hands: Peyton notes with dismay that many of the district partners in Brutal are doing this during the chariot rides, meaning that lots of them already know each other.
  • Hollywood Healing: Largely averted, as most of the characters attain and many die from serious wounds, and those who survive do so thanks to Capitol first aid.
    • Zigzagged with Fronce though, as he manages to survive getting a sword through the stomach but later dies from infection, though not from the stomach wounds but from a thin cut his allies didn't notice.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • Sadik vowed to go as far as he could through the Games without killing, even if it meant starving to death from a lack of donations. His resolve caved in rather quickly and he forced Spain to make a sadistic choice between Lovi's life and the rest of their alliance's food. Subverted in that, despite the fact that he ended up choosing reason before honour, he couldn't go through with killing Lovi, and merely left with the food.
    • Japan. He is a Proud Warrior Race Guy, after all.
  • Hope Spot: Near the end of Horrible, Gries and Ania go head-to-head. Ania is quickly dispatched by Gries, but not before sticking a sword through her chest. However, Gries isn't done for yet, reasoning that if she just keeps the sword firmly stuck in her body, she won't bleed to death. Then she sneezes, and loses her grip...
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: Lovi to Spain, Igris to Fronce, Sve to Finni, Feli to Sheen. Numerous other characters also echo "you can't die," sentiments to their fallen allies.
  • Hurting Hero:
    • Spain, burdened with guilt from a past murder, uncertainty over his own morality, and an ungrateful ally, never stops trying to help Lovi through the Games.
    • Amer, who tries hard to be a good person despite some spectacular failures and the loss of his friends.
    • Switz, accepting the burdens of injury and starvation to keep his sister alive and putting on a smile so she won't see the toll she's taking on him.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In Brutal, the Ax-Crazy Russia thinks to himself that Veta must be crazy (for talking to herself) right before she kills him.
    • From Miserable, Journs thinking that Magya is a ‘psycho’ for wanting to Mercy Kill Feli.
  • Hysterical Woman:
    • Feli, Feli, Feli.
    • And, of course, Paliss. Has there ever been a time since she wasn't crying?
  • Identical Stranger: Twice; both with a Red Oni, Blue Oni theme - Alf and Thew in Brutal and Rica and Nada in Unsurvivable. Justified, as they're based off America and Canada.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The core series - Brutal, Horrible, Miserable, and Unsurvivable.
  • Idiot Hero: Amer has elements of this, particularly towards the beginning of the story.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: The Career pack tests Lude this way by making him kill a defenceless Ciano, whom he had briefly befriended in training. He does (except in What If).
  • Ignored Epiphany: At one point towards the end of the story, Russia compares himself to the Career who murdered his sister, wondering if he isn't just as bad. Unfortunately, by now he's so far gone that he dismisses the thought as completely ridiculous.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Amer with everyone in his alliances, but most strongly Eston and Raivis. Sve, after Finni is killed. Spain also has a brief moment of this with Perdita.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: Stammered a bit less dramatically by Raivis before the poison from the cyan vine takes over, and he dies.
  • Improvised Weapon: So much – and it actually works! Veta uses a frying pan against Gil (and Russia); Amer uses his broken glasses against Sadik.
  • Informal Eulogy: Romania thinking about her fallen ally, Yana. "May we all be reminded of her last volatile dance whenever we see blood on snow."
  • Interrupted Suicide: Zigzagged with Amer at the end of Horrible. He is about to commit suicide, but stops himself — not because he was physically interrupted by anyone, but because he knows his brother is watching this on TV and would interrupt him if he could.
  • Insane Equals Violent: Russia, to the extreme. Justified in-universe, as a sponsor sends him a knife as he is crossing the Despair Event Horizon to convey the message that, with the death of his sister, no one stood in his way of winning the games and he was now free to eliminate the rest of the field.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Completely averted with Eudocia, who tries to hide her asthma from the audience in order to make herself appear stronger, and is easily killed when Corianne steals her inhaler.
  • Involuntary Battle to the Death: Between Igris and Amer at the end of Horrible and Amer, Eston and Raivis at the end of the third What If. Notable in that, while the characters Took a Third Option to prevent an actual battle in both scenarios, said Third Options still resulted in one or more deaths.
  • The Insomniac:
    • Amer early on in Horrible when he doesn't have any allies.
    • Ania towards the end after she's killed Rome, Lovi and Spain.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Lude's words to the dying Japan are along these lines.
  • It's Personal:
    • Veta after Gil kills Austria.
    • Amer after Vahn indirectly causes Raivis' death and kills Eston.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: While not stated word-for-word, Fronce tries to persuade Igris to leave him behind instead of carrying him around as he slowly dies of infection.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Igris pretty much acts like he hates everyone, but when Fronce is close to death (and later dies), he reveals how much he really cared. He constantly insults and complains about Amer as well, but likes him to the point of dying for him.
    • Lovi has a gruff exterior and spends much of her time angry at Spain, but similar to Igris, lets her true feelings show when their lives are threatened.
  • Karma Houdini: Russia gets off scot-free in both the Brutal What Ifs.
  • Keet: Ciano.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Vahn's chopping off the pinky finger of poor little Raivis.
    • Vivi torturing poor Peyton and continuing to mutilate her body.
    • Wiremu attempting to rape Finni.
    • Ania kicking Rome in the stomach as he lay dying.
    • While advancing to kill Ise, Ilber casually hits Mr. Puffin with his sword For the Evulz. He quickly discovers this was a very bad idea.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Quite a few times: Amer to Vahn, Veta to Gil, Ania to Rome, and that's just in the core series. In What If we have Gil to Austria and Veta as well as Lude to Liet. The reasons for these vary from Unstoppable Rage to Sanity Slippage to simple jerkishness.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Amer's Start of Darkness comes when he brutally murders Vahn ... who had used his friends Raivis and Eston for slave labour, kept them in line with death threats, sliced off one of Raivis' fingers when he tried to run away, indirectly led to Raivis' death, and finally murdered Eston with a pickaxe.
  • Kidanova: Franse, Fronce, and Rome. Apparently Rome even dates dozens of girls at once.
  • Kill 'em All: Even if they don't die in the original, they die in the alternate endings.
  • Kill the Cutie: Pretty much any sweet, lovable character is involved in this - Liet, Ciano, Perdita, Laine, Raivis...
  • Kill the Ones You Love:
    • The third ending of What If to a T.
    • Also seen when Lude kills Ciano.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Dardana. "Quit trying to distract-" *shot*
  • Killed Off for Real: A whopping ninety-two tributes, plus Igris' and Shiran’s mother, Natalya's and Vahn's mother, both of China's and Riben’s parents and the girl who Riben grew close to in the epilogue. Taberah’s father most likely died without the cure she would have won him, as well. In fact, it's much easier to list those characters who don't die - Veta, Amer, Shiran and Riben, plus some minor characters back home and in the Capitol.
  • Kill It with Fire: Most of the cat muttations in the sixth What If ending get burnt to death pursuing Igris, Fronce and China through the lava crater. ( China only barely avoids this fate as well.)
  • Kill It with Water: Lude employs this technique on the fire crickets in Brutal.
  • Last Episode New Character: The epilogues of Brutal and Horrible both introduce the Victor's new tributes. In the case of Brutal, they become Ascended Extras.
  • Last Minute Hookup: Raivis and Raisa in the third What If and Hit the Bottle.
  • Last Survivor Suicide: Defied by Riben in the epilogue of Unsurvivable – he states that although he has considered it, he can’t bear to bring more violence upon anyone when his sister detested it so much.
  • Last Request: Igris' is that, should Amer win the Games, he not blame himself for Fronce's death. This being Amer, of course, he breaks the promise. Igris also asks him to hit his little brother on the head for breaking his Beatles CD should he meet him on the Victory Tour.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • The fifth What If ending. Not that that's a bad thing.
    • The portrayal of Belarus, as opposed to many other fanworks, including the author's other Hetalia fic, The Rules. Her canon Yandere and Knife Nut tendencies are often taken Up to Eleven in fanworks until she's nothing short of a murderous psychopath. Here, the worst thing she does is stalk Vahn and try to break down his door, never killing or even harming another tribute.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Lovi exemplifies this.
  • The Load:
    • Liet to Switz.
    • Austria to Veta.
    • Raivis to Eston and Amer.
    • Fronce to Igris and Amer after his injury.
    • Ciano to Lude in the 4th What If.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Norge and Ise discover they are half-brothers.
  • Lovable Coward: Ciano, and Raivis, to an extent. Not that one can blame them for being scared.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Natalya all the way, in her insane obsession with her foster brother/love interest Vahn.
  • Lunatic Loophole: averted in Brutal and Miserable, where the lunatics – namely, Russia and Norge – die second-to-last and the Victors are sane. Arguably played straight in Horrible, although YMMV on how insane Amer is. Played straight in the second and fourth What Ifs.
  • Mama Bear: Nada encounters a literal one in Unsurvivable. It doesn't kill her, but it chases her into Holland's way, who kills it.
  • Manly Tears: Igris tries hard not to cry after Fronce's death but gives in. Amer tells him this is nothing to be ashamed of.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Did Aurth actually summon a fish to swallow Antonio, were the Gamemakers just playing along with his ‘magic’ angle, or was it all a massive coincidence? It’s left up to the viewers to decide.
  • Meaningful Echo: After Igris abandons China to die alone, Fronce indignantly asks him if he would leave him behind in a similar situation. Igris responds that he would instead stick around to taunt him. Much later, after Fronce has been gravely injured and knocked out, he wakes up to discover Igris is carrying him on his back. The first words out of his mouth? "So you didn't leave me behind after all."
  • Meaningful Name: Word of God explains the psychology behind each name chosen for the tributes. Most of them are references to their countries or Hetalia human names.
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: The second and fourth What Ifs. Russia survives, but is hinted in a Spiritual Successor oneshot to be locked away in an asylum, no danger to the world.
  • Mercy Kill: Magya specializes in this.
  • Miles to Go Before I Sleep: Amer would certainly like to kill himself at the end of the third What If scenario, but that would mean leaving his two allies to kill each other. So he has to Shoot the Dog before offing himself.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • From Poal's facepalm-inducing insistence on pony-riding to her death pony-riding.
    • Also seen in the third What If ending: one chapter, Amer, Raivis and Eston are happily playing a game of catch with apple cores. The next chapter, they're deciding which of them will be murdered by their ally. Yikes.
    • Magya going from comforting Feli to killing her.
      "With shaking hands, I rub the back of her neck a little. I then withdraw a knife and sever her spinal cord."
  • Morality Pet: Ciano to Lude.
  • More Expendable Than You: Raivis plays this card when Eston is going to die for him at the end of the third What If scenario, claiming that he is worthless compared to the heroic Amer and the intelligent Eston. It doesn't work.
  • More Hero Than Thou:
    • In Brutal, Switz is determined to die so his sister, Liet can win. Once she figures out what he's going to do, she decides to do the same thing for him. They both end up Taking the Bullet for each other, dying together.
    • In the end of Horrible, Amer and Igris come to a stalemate because neither one of them wants to kill the other, and neither will let the other commit suicide. They end up settling things with a game of chance that leaves Amer the victor.
  • Mortal Wound Reveal: Fronce's wounds are seemingly patched up after a battle with Careers, but later it's revealed he's dying of infection from a tiny cut, which his allies overlooked because it was hidden behind his long hair.
  • Murder by Mistake: Thew puts poisonous berries into Alf's water bottle, intending to kill him, but Vivi drinks it instead.
  • Mutual Kill:
    • Gries and Ania, in the last battle of Horrible. The same scenario occurs between then in the third What If.
    • In the first What If, Igris and Ania get this – he holds her underwater until she drowns, then dies of the wounds he received during their swordfight.
    • Chia and Philan take each other out this way in the bloodbath of Brutal.
    • Igris and Rome in the sixth What If.
  • My Greatest Failure: A large part of Spain's desire to protect Lovi stems from his guilt over murdering a young woman who insulted his sister, as well as for not trying to save Perdita at the bloodbath.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Amer gets this a lot, particularly after killing Vahn.
    • Lovi, both after attempting to kill Spain (in canon) and actually killing him (in What If.)
  • My Own Private "I Do":
    • Played with in Brutal — realizing that, having both been reaped, they won't have a wedding, the engaged couple Austria and Veta tie the knot in the middle of the Games by reciting the wedding vows they've memorized.
    • Natalya also plans to do this with Vahn in Horrible. Unluckily for her, he’s kind of dead and gutted by the time she finds him.
  • Nations as People: Obviously, considering what this is partially based off of.
  • Neck Snap:
    • Alf to Franse.
    • Wiremu to Perdita.
    • Ermine to Zavann.
  • Never Bring A Knife To A Fistfight: Sadik commences his and Amer's fist fight by pulling a knife, and promptly loses it. Guess who wins. Sort of zigzagged, though, since he wasn't trying to play dirty by taking out the knife, just warning Amer not to mess with him.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Russia, Russia, and a thousand times Russia. He snaps so much that he views the killing as one fun game, even carving a happy face into the flesh of one of his victims, and is completely unaware of how horrific he has become.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Spain vows to protect Lovi throughout the Games, but unintentionally reveals to her that he once killed a woman in a fit of anger. This makes his young district partner so terrified of him that she attempts to murder him in his sleep, getting cold feet at the last second but giving him a blow that leads to amnesia.
    • Also, after Raivis dies as an indirect result of Vahn's actions, Amer rushes off to kill him. Unfortunately, in doing so, he leaves his other ally Eston alone and unguarded, providing the perfect opportunity for Vahn to stick a pickaxe through his head.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • Veta and Amer both deliver absolutely brutal no-holds-barred-beatdowns to Gil and Vahn.
    • Also, Maria, Tiee and Wynd die this way in the Brutal bloodbath, at the hands of Corianne, Lude and Alf.
    • Journs to Paliss in the Miserable bloodbath.
  • No Kill Like Overkill:
    • Vahn gets all of his internal organs ripped out.
    • In the first What If ending, Rome has his neck torn to absolute shreds.
  • Nobody Poops: Subverted. Bathroom breaks are pretty much used at leisure to separate allies.
  • Non-Action Guy: Quite a few of the boys apply: Toris, Ciano, Austria and Thew in Brutal and Raivis, Eston, Spain and Fronce in Horrible never use any weapons outside of the Training Centre and mostly choose to evade rather than confront. This changes a bit in What If, when Spain takes on the careers twice.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Many of Igris' cooking attempts mentioned by Fronce, along with other references to the two's past bickering. Though this also hints at why Igris’ mentor wouldn’t think Fronce would notice a packet of bitter cyanide mixed in his food.
    • At the beginning of his introductory chapter, Eston states he'd "rather not elaborate on" any of his past wood-related endeavors.
  • No One Gets Left Behind:
    • Igris refuses to abandon Fronce, even when he's mortally wounded and Careers are closing in. Although he was perfectly fine with leaving China to die alone earlier.
    • Plutonia sacrifices herself making sure Shiran wakes up in time to escape the tidal wave.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Vahn is only Natalya's adopted brother. This doesn't make her Stalker with a Crush obsession with him less squicky, though.
  • Not So Different:
    • In Brutal, Russia has an almost-Heel Realization when he considers that what he's been doing to the other tributes, is essentially the same as what Japan did to his sister. However, by this point he's so far over the edge that he concludes this thought is ridiculous.
    • In Horrible, Amer realizes that anything bad he says about Vahn would also apply to himself, as they have both been responsible for deaths in the Games.
    • To an extent, Thew and Alf. Thew holds the other in contempt for killing without mercy or remorse, but that is essentially what he does to the Careers.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Quite often, a Career starts out as less competent than the others and only shows real villainy towards the end of the story. Examples include
    • Alf, who, despite having two kills at the bloodbath, became nearly a full-blown Too Dumb to Live Harmless Villain who couldn't even kill Thew, before forcing Japan into a Better to Die than Be Killed situation.
    • Ilber, who spent most of his time post-bloodbath making snide comments about Osso and being curb-stomped before murdering his two allies and nearly defeating Osso in combat.
    • Arguably Rome, who had no kills for a very long time and was nearly a Miles Gloriosus before killing Fronce, although he was still rather easily defeated.
    • Arguably Ania, who, despite her coldly efficient attitude, had no kills before raking up the second-highest kill-count in the series in a matter of ten or so chapters.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • Igris has broken out of his usual icy exterior on several occasions, both in the core series and What If. In Horrible, he expresses genuine emotion over Fronce's injury and death, as well as when putting his life on the line to give Amer a chance at getting home. In the sixth What If, he cries upon realizing he's going to die alone.
    • Lude tries to remain a stiff-upper-lipped soldier throughout the fourth What If, but can't help crying when Ciano dies. And it all goes downhill from here.
  • Obliviously Evil: Russia lives and breathes this trope.
  • Odd Friendship: Ciano and Lude. Kind of ruined when Lude kills Ciano, though.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Amer's initial Heroic Sacrifice for his brother, Matt, is seen only in a one-shot tie in, and even then quite briefly.
    • In Unsurvivable, Ermine kills two large fox mutations which were attacking Riben; again, this is unseen by the readers.
  • Off with Her Head!:
    • Japan kills Ukraine this way in Brutal, leading to a scene in which Russia finds his sister's head lying in the grass.
    • Japan also cuts off Alf's head after killing him.
  • Older than They Look: Raivis is 16, but apparently looks about 13.
  • Ominous Walk: Ise thinks Ilber is doing this during their confrontation. In reality, Ilber has been recently injured, hence the slow approach.
  • One-Word Title: All of the core series.
  • Only Sane Man: Definitely Sui. Maybe Shiran. And yes, Ise. After all, they're the only combatants who aren't going through mental withdrawal or anything.
  • Overly-Long Gag: "There's a hole in my bucket, dear Meghna!"
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Thew seems to have no qualms with slipping poison into the Careers' drinks because they've killed innocent people.
  • Perfect Poison:
    • Horribly, horribly averted with China, who was implied to have been vomiting in agony for quite some time before she finally died.
    • Averted less dramatically with Igris.
    • Defied by Vivi, who decided her impending death by poison was too tame and spiced it up by ripping open her own throat with a sickle.
  • Picky Eater: Ciano, to the extent that he won't eat the food Thew finds for him and relies on his mentors to send him pasta.
  • The Pollyanna:
    • Laine all the way.
    • Doubly subverted with Russia – he starts out at this, loses his marbles and his morality over his sister's death, and still manages to remain optimistic in a completely terrifying way.
    • Shiran (even when he thinks that he's going to die, he still does his best to hide it and cheers Plutonia up) and Tina (well, before she went through a Break the Cutie process!).
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Gil in Brutal after killing Corianne.
    • Norge following the battle at the feast in Miserable.
  • Power Trio: Found all over the place: Switz, Liet and Austria; Igris, Fronce and China; Amer, Raivis and Eston; Igris, Amer and Fronce; Den, Sui and Tina; Ermine, Italo and Riben; Turk, Romania and Egypt ...
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner:
    • Amer to Vahn in the third What If: "You're not going to hurt [my friends.]" Vahn's "We shall see" could count if it wasn't for the fact that he's the one getting his butt kicked.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
    • Taberah to Gries: "It's not a good idea to fall asleep out in the open." Followed by Gries' "I'm a pretty light sleeper, actually."
    • Ania to Lovi: "You might not want to be so loud."
  • Properly Paranoid: Poor Toris and Plutonia. Their allies Poal and Shiran are constantly telling them to stop worrying about things, but seeing as they're in the middle of the Hunger Games, it's not as if they don't have good reason.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Technically all the careers count, but Lude and Japan fit the best.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Russia after he snaps.
  • Pummeling the Corpse: Veta doesn't stop smashing Gil's skull until the hovercraft comes to take his body away.
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Osso, so says Word of God.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: for both Veta and Amer.
  • Rasputinian Death:
    • Gil is beaten over the head with a frying pan repeatedly, managing to hang on until it has chipped away some of his skull.
    • It takes having all his internal organs ripped out and his body hacked through all the way to his spine to kill Vahn.
    • Liet, of all people, gets this in the fourth What If, as Lude discovers it takes more than one morningstar blow to the head to kill her.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Subverted. It's hard to believe anyone can actually stutter as much as Raivis does in the story. The level of grammatical errors in both speech and narration varies with the character as well.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Amer delivers a truly merciless one to Vahn — while shredding his internal organs, no less.
    • Vivi gives one to Alf, describing why he isn't worthy to be in the Career pack.
    • Ilber's and Osso's dialogue to each other seems to consist solely of these.
    • Everyone except Magya gives one to Osso in chapter 25 of Miserable.
  • Red Herring: Turk serves as this in the end of Unsurvivable; he appears to have won the Games, but it turns out that he died from his wounds and Riben’s Disney Death makes him the Victor.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Quite a few (listed in red-blue order):
    • Amer and Igris
    • Amer and Eston
    • Poal and Toris
    • Ciano and Thew
    • Ciano and Lude in the fourth What If
    • Ilber and Osso
    • Alf and Thew
    • Shiran and Plutonia
  • Red Shirt: Most of the bloodbath victims fill this role.
  • Replacement Goldfish:
    • Eston starts out as this to Raivis, who lost his sibling Toris to a previous Games and wants a 'brother' in the arena.
    • Arguably, Fronce and Igris could be seen as this for Amer after the death of his first alliance, because he can't stand being alone and his Chronic Hero Syndrome drives him to protect people.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Dardana's revenge on the tributes from 10 is partway between this and Sins of Our Fathers. Since her friend Corianne's killer, Gil, is dead, she decides to avenge him by killing the current tributes from 10. Fortunately, she doesn't get too far.
  • Russian Guy Suffers Most: Inverted and played straight — Russia and Vahn spend most of their time making life miserable for their fellow tributes, but Russia's insanity stems from a horrific Despair Event Horizon moment, and Vahn gets what might be the most painful death in the series.
  • Russian Roulette: Amer and Igris do this with poison at the end of Horrible.
  • Sacrificial Lamb:
    • All of the bloodbath victims fulfill this trope to a T.
    • Some of the earlier deaths could qualify, to a lesser extent. Characters such as Vash, Poal and Bell have defined personalities and some development, but still don't last very long and their deaths have little impact on the plot other than that another tribute is down.
  • Sacrificial Lion:
    • Many characters fulfill this role, their absence having serious effect upon either the surviving tributes or the reader. Notable examples include Austria, Switz and Liet from Brutal, and Eston, Raivis, Lovi, Spain, Finni and Fronce from Horrible.
    • Ukraine and Toris, to a lesser extent. Neither lasted as long or had as much prominence as any of those already mentioned, but both's deaths were crucial to the plot: hers was necessary to bump Russia over the Despair Event Horizon; his to show just how insane the aforementioned had become.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • Amer having to choose between killing one of his friends or leaving them to kill each other in the third What If scenario.
    • In Horrible, Sadik takes Lovi hostage and forces Spain to choose between her life and supplies vital to the alliance's survival. Spain chooses Lovi.
  • Savage Wolves: Seen in Brutal, with a pack of wolf mutations chasing Switz and Liet and killing Thew.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Raivis tries to escape from an alliance. And his lovely punishment is getting a finger chopped off.
    • China plans to do this in her alliance at the beginning. If she went through with it, she could have lived a little longer.
  • Self-Sacrifice Scheme:
    • This was the plan for Switz and Sve - survive to the final two, then kill themselves to ensure the Victory of little sister Liet and love interest Finni. Neither of them got to go through with it.
    • Looks like Sheen might be plotting this for Feli in Miserable.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Both Victors end up as this.
  • Shoot Him, He Has a Wallet!: Zigzagged with Sadik's death. He was pulling a knife, averting this trope, but was doing so to deter, not harm, his attacker.
  • Shoot the Dog: Amer killing Eston in the third What If scenario so that he and Raivis won't be the final two.
  • Shout-Out: Clever little jokes and references to Axis Powers Hetalia are scattered throughout the text.
  • Shrinking Violet: Plutonia, and maybe Paliss.
  • Signature Style: Lots of ellipses and dashes.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Sve to Finni; Natalya to Vahn; Sheen to Feli.
  • Slashed Throat: THE leading cause of death for characters in the series.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Leans closer to the Hunger Games half of the crossover in that it's firmly on the cynicism hand. The Fifth ''What If'' on the other hand...
  • Sole Survivor: Each story has only one: Veta in Brutal, Amer in Horrible, Gries, Russia, Raivis, Russia again, and Fronce in the What Ifs (respectively, and not counting the fifth), Shiran in Miserable, and Riben in Unsurvivable.
  • Someone Has to Die: The third scenario in What If Amer volunteers to kill Eston or Raivis then himself. Eston loses the coin toss and dies in place of Raivis
  • Sorry That I'm Dying: Finni's response to Sve's How Dare You Die on Me! moment.
  • Spared By Adaptation: What If is built around this. Gries, Raivis, Fronce and Russia all get to keep their lives at least once (with Russia surviving twice). Taken Up to Eleven in the fifth What If, in which everybody survives.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • Although Number One Fan of Journey's oneshot "Asylum" is listed as being solely a Hunger Games Fan Fiction, the author has confirmed that it is basically an epilogue to the second or fourth What If endings.
    • Likewise, the oneshot "Ephemeral" is listed under the same category but comes from Igris's POV.
    • The Rules.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Veta and Austria, the Official Couple of Brutal whose engagement is tragically cut short by the Games. Other relationships, such as Sve/Finni, Vahn/Natalya, Ania/Rome, Lovi/Spain and Sheen/Feli, are present but too one-sided to qualify as 'star-crossed.'
  • Stepford Smiler: Russia is always smiling, even while slicing up and killing other tributes.
  • The Stoic: Vash, Gries, Osso, Lude, Ania, Japan, Igris ... Some of them end up as Not So Stoic, though.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Played almost straight with Ukraine and Russia. Japan didn't intentionally leave her headless body where Russia could find it, but other than that, her death and the circumstances it has fit the trope summary to a T.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome:
    • Sort of. Veta is the sole survivor of Brutal but her death kicks off the first What If ending based off that fic.
    • Also, Switzerland is a very important character in Brutal but his alternate version dies rather swiftly and unceremoniously in Horrible.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality:
    • Norge. Cold at first, but then warms up considerably when he finds that Ise is his brother. That also leads to The Reveal.
    • You could count Osso as one too. His dying moments with Magya sure confirmed his warm side.
  • Suicide Pact: After the deaths of their love interests, Sve and Natalya decided to do this together as a way of insulting the Capitol. Turns out the Gamemakers didn't like their plans much...
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: The third What If, and by extension Hit the Bottle, are both terribly depressing but end with Raivis finding love and new purpose in life.
    • This is the entire purpose of the fifth What If.
  • Survivors Guilt: Amer suffers the guilt of surviving while his friends did not. Veta feels the same about her fiancee/husband Austria.
  • Swallowed Whole: This was possibly Antonio's fate, seeing as there was no noticeable blood in the water (though maybe the Careers just didn't notice it.)
  • The Swarm: The crickets. Oh, the crickets.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Every tribute gets a voice. Most of them just don't get to keep it very long.
  • Tears of Remorse:
    • Lovi cries her eyes out after both almost killing Spain in Horrible and actually killing Spain in What If.
    • It's noted offhandedly that Sve was crying after he failed to save Finni.
    • This seems to happen to Amer a LOT.
  • Title Drop: The final line of Miserable, as Amer thinks about Shiran:
    "Being a victor and mentor is miserable, but at least he won't have to go it alone."
  • Tomboy: Saki has the characteristics of one.
  • True Companions: Amer, Raivis, and Eston most strongly; also Igris, Fronce and Amer.
  • Tsundere: Lovi struggles to stay whiny and furious when she's worried to death about Spain.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: The short-lived alliance of Sui, Den and Tina.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Switz, Liet and Austria; Igris, Fronce, and China; briefly Norge, Ise and Sui; Italo, Riben and Ermine; Turk, Romania and Egypt.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: Inverted in Brutal. The two longest-lasting female characters are the sweet, innocent, blonde-haired Liet and the tough, determined, dark-haired Veta. Liet is killed violently, but Veta ends up winning.
    • Also avoided in the first What If: the harsh, manipulative and never-mentioned-to-be-attractive Gries wins.
  • Villain Opening Scene: Both Brutal and Unsurvivable open in a Career's POV, in contrast to Horrible and Miserable, which open in a Kirkland brother's POV.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Shiran. Definitely not the physically strongest, but he manages to avoid certain death with his expertise in swimming, as well as kill Norge with some frog poison.
  • Would Hit a Girl or kill her. All of the trained guys, plus Gil, Russia, Vahn, Spain (in a backstory at least), and Igris.
  • Women Are Wiser:
    • Ania and Rome.
    • Inverted with Toris and Poal.
  • Yandere:
    • Russia, after he snaps, keeps a cheerful face, murderous all the while.
    • The author is known to blabber about how much she loves her readers before causing their worst nightmares to happen and giggling at their cries of anguish.


Blue BlanketFanWorks/Axis Powers HetaliaCall Me Connie
The BridgeFanFic/CrossoverBurst Limit

alternative title(s): Brutal Series
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