The 11th and 12th books of The Bible.1 Kings tells of Israel's Golden Age under Solomon but he also sows the seeds of rebellion which leads the nation to divide into Northern Israel and Southern Judah.2 Kings continues the history of the divided nations. Both go into a downward spiral until they are destroyed by foreign nations and their peoples sent into exile.In Christian Bibles it is followed by 1 & 2 Chronicles, a Lighter and Softer rehashing of Kings to inspire the Jews exiled to Babylon. Most of the Prophets preached during this period so they will be discussed here also. In the Jewish Tanakh it is followed by the Book of Isaiah.
Bears Are Bad News: Elisha summons two bears to maul 42 young bandits for mocking his bald head (and possibly implying that they would send him to heaven, i.e., kill him, although the phrase could also mean "why didn't you go up to heaven [like Elijah did]"?).
Drives Like Crazy: Jehu, the charioteer. So much so that lookouts who see his chariot approaching can tell him apart from anyone else before he's even close enough to identify by sight.
...and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously. —2 Kings 9:20
Dying Curse: In 2nd Chronicles chapter 24, after King Joash's Face-Heel Turn, Zechariah the son of Jehoidada tells the king, "Thus says God: 'Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, He also has forsaken you.' " When the king commanded Zechariah to be stoned, his last words were, "The LORD look on it, and repay!" Sometime after, the LORD brought judgment upon Joash by bringing the armies of Syria against Judah and Jerusalem, and he was killed.
Hope Spot: Chronicles ends with the proclamation of Cyrus the Great allowing the Jews to return to their homeland.
Horrible Judge of Character: Jehosaphat's alliance with Israel had terrible consequences. Pagan practices spread to Judah, he was almost killed in battle because of Ahab, his venture into maritime commerce ended in disaster and his daughter-in-law Athaliah almost destroyed David's royal line.
I Am A Humanitarian: There was a famine during the time of Elijah & Elisha, so there are instances of cannibalism.
Love Ruins the Realm: Solomon allows his wives to worship their own gods, rather than forcing them to convert. They eventually persuaded him that their gods were better, leading him to idol worship (as well as many of his subjects.) This leads to religiously-motivated civil war.
Makeup Is Evil: Queen Jezebel notoriously put on makeup before confronting God's prophet. Unfortunately, it didn't stop her from becoming dog food.
Serial Escalation: In 1 Kings 14, Jeroboam did more evil when whomever preceded him. Later, in 1 Kings 16, Zimri was described as evil, and the two following kings (Omri and Ahab) did more evil than any before.
She's Not My Girlfriend: David had a ward in his old age, who he explicitly is said to have not have had sex with, but who nearly everyone thought was a concubine. One of his sons even asked to marry her, perhaps to lay a claim to the throne.
Suck Sessor: Terrible kings often followed good ones, but every so often good kings followed terrible ones. (At least in Judah, anyway. The book of Kings grades all of Israel's rulers as evil.)
Too Dumb to Live: The King of Israel sends some soldiers to bring Elijah to him. Their leader isn't very respectful, so Elijah makes a snarky comment and burns them with divine fire. The King sends a second group of soldiers, and their leader, apparently not noticing the charred corpses and burned rocks and whatnot, makes the exact same disrespectful demand as the first. The results are predictable. Thankfully, the third batch learned from their mistakes and humbles himself before the prophet.
Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Jeroboam had a young son, Ahijah, who died of illness. He was the only one in the family to be buried and mourned because he was the only one in whom God found any good.
Tragic Mistake: Hezekiah showed off Judah's treasures to Babylonian envoys and ended up putting his country on Babylon's hit list.
Troll: Elijah does this to Baal's prophets, even remarks on Baal sitting on his "throne"
Vice City: North Israel. Especially pronounced in Amos.
You Can't Fight Fate: King Ahab is warned by Micaiah the prophet that he would die in the battle of Ramoth Gilead. Ahab tries to avert the disaster by dressing up in different clothes before going into battle while King Jehoshaphat wore his royal clothes. However, an arrow shot at random pierces King Ahab, and he ends up fulfilling the very prophecy that was spoken about him.