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Playing With: Death by Adaptation
Basic Trope: A character who survives in the original work dies in the adaptation.
  • Straight: Bob survived in the original work, but gets killed by Emperor Evulz in the adaptation.
  • Exaggerated: In the beginning, Evulz kills Bob in a rather gruesome fashion.
  • Downplayed: Bob dies in the original work, but is killed sooner in the adaptation.
  • Justified: The adaptation includes a relatively small change that triggers a For Want of a Nail situation, where something that should have saved Bob in the original story is not present in this alternative reality.
  • Inverted: Spared by the Adaptation.
  • Subverted: Bob's death turns out to be fake.
  • Double Subverted: As Bob explains this to Alice, Evulz pops up out of nowhere and kills him for real.
  • Parodied: The author walks onto the scene and apologizes to Bob, then walks off as Bob is killed by Evulz.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob keeps dying and coming back, which definitely doesn't happen in the original.
  • Averted: Bob survives the adaptation as expected.
  • Enforced:
  • Lampshaded: Bob's last words to Emperor Evulz are: "How did you get there?"
  • Invoked: Evulz acts differently in earlier scenes, such as avoiding a mistake he made in the original. This results in him being more likely to kill Bob.
  • Exploited: The writer has Alice turns her friend's death into a call to arms for her fellow fighters.
  • Defied: Alice saves Bob just before Emperor Evulz attacks. This didn't happen in the original, if only because Evulz never got the chance to strike in the first place.
  • Discussed: Alice and her friends mourn Bob's death in a scene unique to the film, and talk about how unexpected his death was.
  • Conversed: A Genre Savvy character talks about how the film adaptations in his world "always kill off the best characters in the books".
  • Deconstructed: The plot change causes other changes in the storyline of a For Want of a Nail style. For instance, Bob's death traumatizes Alice and Evulz delivers a Breaking Speech on why he means serious business.
  • Reconstructed:
    • The For Want of a Nail effects are replaced by carefully arranged In Spite of a Nail influences to realign the plot back to the original. For instance, Alice continues her quest but with a new motivation to avenge her fallen friend.
    • Alternatively, Alice comes to terms with the death and becomes a better character for it.

Back to Death by Adaptation

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