Reality Ensues / Literature

  • Some of the Star Wars Expanded Universe deals with what should be realistic consequences of the Stupid Evil behaviors of the Empire and the Sith. For instance, after destroying Alderaan with the Death Star in Episode IV, many Imperial-aligned planets immediately switched over to the Rebel Alliance's side, as the act demonstrates how Ax-Crazy the Empire's leaders are.
    • Even with this advantage and the loss of the Empire's leaders, the war still stretches into decades. The chaos gives the New Republic time to gain ground, but by the time the sides have roughly even forces and territory the Empire has mostly settled down into being a real organized threat again. The Empire is never truly defeated, the civil war ultimately ends in a peace treaty. Then things start getting complicated...
    • The Darth Plagueis novel also goes into this. What happens when you conduct sinister genetic experiments to twist the sentient force of energy that permeates the entire galaxy? It works to correct itself, creating something that could bring back balance to fix what you've done. In this case, Anakin Skywalker's immaculate conception.
  • In Madame Bovary (1856) the eponymous madame reads way too many romance novels, and is convinced the world works that way. Naturally, it doesn't. The love affairs she has ultimately go nowhere, because the men she's seeing aren't the type to drop everything and whisk her away. Her extravagant lifestyle is merely an attempt to distract herself from her unhappiness.. And when she finally can't take it anymore, she takes poison, expecting it will kill her quickly and romantically... and that doesn't go so well either. The whole novel was a Deconstruction of tropes associated with Romanticism that the bourgeois classes loved to read, and ended up paving the way for Realism.
  • Older Than Steam: Don Quixote has filled his head with the "damnable books of Romance" (what would be called knightly adventure stories in the modern sense) and is convinced that the world works that way. He promptly sets out and attempts to fight monsters, rescue damsels in distress, and so on, and everyone concludes he's dangerous and insane.
  • There is a version having Portugal as the setting of Madame Bovary called Primo Basílio note , written by Eça de Queirós, that has almost the same plot. But the ending is very different: the Madame Bovary's expy, Luísa, is blackmailed by her own servant who threatened to reveal to her husband and is driven to get a stress-induced disease. She deeply regrets having betrayed her husband, has to shave her head, which in an Brazilian TV-adaptation was considered one of the most tearjerking moments of the history of Brazilian TV, and ultimately dies. There is no Power of Love to save her, there is no Black Comedy like the original, only pure Tear Jerker. In the last scene, Basílio, the eponymous adulterer is shown saying that he didn't care about Luísa and he should have brought Alphonsine, making him THE biggest Jerkass Karma Houdini of the entire Portuguese-language literature.
  • Redwall:
    • In the climax of Martin The Warrior, where the Big Bad slams the Lancer Chick Rose into a wall when she attempts to jump him. She is immediately dead as it broke her neck. Likewise, when Martin disarms said Big Bad, he wastes no further time on him and kills him while he is still on the ground.
    • In the original novel, the Anti-Villain Sela The Vixen comes to sell intelligence to the Redwall Abbot outside the castle walls. She is instead met by his aide-de-camp, Constance The Badger. The transaction is over right and there, with Constance nonchalantly knocking Sela out and taking the papers with her.
    • In Mattimeo a gang of slave traders disguise themselves as entertainers to sneak into Redwall Abbey and abduct the children (for underground mining labour). At an ensuing festival inside the abbey grounds, they manage to spike all of the partygoers' drinks, and get them to drink them at the same time by calling out a toast. All seems to be working according to plan. It turns out that the cooks and kitchen aides naturally didn't drink anything, and try to stop the slavers by themselves. The slavers, on the other hand... simply beat them up/slaughter them and calmly proceed loading the unconscious on their cart.
    • In Marlfox, one of the titular foxes escapes an otter whose brother she killed by dramatically jumping off of a wall. She failed to note that the wall is too high to safely jump off of, something the Skipper of Otters mentally notes as he listens to the otter complain that she "got away".
  • In Loyal Enemies it's played for laughs. When the heroes recover the Staff of Fertility, the elven king proves it's the true one by using it and creating a giant spruce in the middle of the throne room. It works, everybody cheers... And then they stop when they realize that, well, there's a giant spruce taking up most of the throne room, they'll have to hack it in non-magical way, then fix both the floor and the ceiling.
  • In Retribution Falls the heroes find the legendary pirate port Retribution Falls to be exactly what a city built by pirates would be like: a badly built Wretched Hive.
  • In War of the Dreaming, there is a scene where a Beatrix-Potteresque Mouse shows up to rescue one of the heroes. Then the setting changes back and Mouse promptly gets stepped on.
  • James Patterson has this as a side effect of the Author Tract in Cross Country, Alex Cross's ex girlfriend gets brutally murdered by an African mercenary. He heads to Africa. The second he gets out of the airport, he's kidnapped. By the police. Then it gets worse. You could cut out several hundred pages from the middle of the book, and all you'd miss would be the Author Tract and Reality Ensuing, over and over again.
  • In Brothers of the Snake, Apothecary Menon wanders around a village with suspected Chaos cultists with his helmet's faceplate up. For a good reason, mind, as the daemon his squad is hunting is invisible to helmet sensors and can only be seen with the naked eye. Unfortunately, when he gets into a fight with said cultists, he takes a bullet in the face and dies.
  • A Harvest Of War has a few Spoileriffic examples:
    • Wild Rhona, the huge, Lightning Bruiser-type heroine cuts her way through enemies like tissue paper, but when she's too far outnumbered she has to avoid confrontation or run all the same.
      • Doing so while carrying an ally even heavier than her doesn't work, at least not on her old ankles.
    • The other Rhona is the Big Bad and has no shortage of skill and Villainous Valor, but is also Hollywood Thin and not at all stronger than that would suggest: she thinks nothing of engaging big warriors upwards of three times her weight, only to be forced to rely on her mobility and poison. When these fail she's done for.
    • Guinevere, her cousin, has more muscle and more skill. Enough to prevail against much larger opponents who are combat experts in their own right, but not to avoid getting badly dented and definitely not enough to avoid capture when several foes sneak up on her at the same time.
  • Ciaphas Cain:
    • Cain notes that many Sisters of Battle do something similar to the Brothers of the Snake example, fighting with their faces exposed claiming that faith will be their armor. Many of them die horrible deaths thanks to the Tyranids as a result.
    • One of the best Running Gags is Cain repeatedly explaining that he tries to be somewhat friendly with the troopers he's assigned to because of what happens to the more stereotypical Commissars. Any Commissar that throws their weight around, handing out discipline like candy and executing troopers for minor infractions, will inevitably be hated by the people they're fighting alongside, and these Commissars have a tendency to be killed by enemy fire despite the enemy being a suspiciously long way away.
    • The series is filled with instances of the physics-defying, nightmare-inducing, sanity-blasting horrors of Warhammer 40,000 going up against disciplined, well-trained, well-equipped soldiers, and the soldiers winning 9 times out of 10 through the simply reality that anything will die if you shoot it enough times. The times they lose they tend to be up against powerful warp-craft or hyper-advanced technology they can't do anything against (and the former case is when Jurgen comes in handy), or being overwhelmed by sheer weight of enemy numbers.
    • Cain notes that mixed-sex regiments are rare, not because the Imperium is sexist or even because they're against fraternisation (or at least Cain isn't against it, regardless of the genders of the participants), but because the inevitable result of large amounts of men and women in close proximity to each other tends to cause a lot of problems.
    • In the grim darkness of the far future, there is still paperwork. If Cain can't come up with any other justification for not indulging in a field execution, avoiding all those forms is perfectly believable to whoever he's talking to.
  • Mansfield Park: Prince Charming Wannabe Henry Crawford ultimately doesn't love the heroine enough to give up his lady-killing ways and crushes everyone's hopes of their marriage when he runs off with her (married) cousin. What, you were expecting the Handsome Lech to completely change his ways because of the influence of a girl he couldn't control and to deserve the heroine because the more she tried to get rid of him, the more he harassed her? Not in Jane Austen!
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Used numerous times in Changes, nearly always as yet another way to horribly torture Harry. Example: the Red Court sends in assassins to take him out. Rather than attacking him directly the way that, say, the gruffs did, they pay lesser thugs to try to kill him over and over, then set his house on fire. He barely manages to get his elderly neighbors out... then falls off a ladder and breaks his back, leaving him paralyzed. He has to make a Deal With The Fair Folk to fix it.
    • In the short story Day Off, Harry goes home to find a group of weak-talented wizard wannabes waiting outside his home. Apparently, Harry dispelled a bad luck curse they'd placed on some lady (which was so weak that Harry was mostly convinced wasn't real, and dispelled it to give her peace of mind). They sneer and threaten him, with the leader demanding that Harry prepare to defend himself, before he and his posse begin gathering their power to attack him. Harry responds by shrugging, drawing his .44 revolver, and pointing it at them. At their shocked disbelief, his response is "I'm a'fixin' to defend myself."
    • It also turns out that having a Dark and Troubled Past where an Evil Mentor tries to turn you into a Tykebomb will leave a person pretty screwed up and with major trust issues.
    • The Archive is incredibly powerful, able to hold her own against any number of opponents. However, in Small Favor, she is subdued because she is also a little girl and can be knocked out by gas even more effectively than an adult.
    • Let's talk about Harry's shield.
      • In one book, someone cottons on to the fact that his shield only blocks physical force, and shows up with a flamethrower. His hand is severely burned, and the damage doesn't heal for several books.
      • In a later book, he runs into a gunman with a Medium Machine Gun, and notes in his narration that unlike the movies, they're actually precision instruments, and he's fifty feet away down a hallway. Despite his high magical strength, his battery starts to run low in a few seconds.
    • In Aftermath, an angry werewolf storms into the resident mob boss's office, threatening to kill him if he doesn't provide information. The mob boss calmly hits him with a throwing knife.
  • Fate of the Forty Sixth has characters both main and minor getting killed off, shows that wrestling and swordfighting can tire out someone after a while, and shows that you can't strike a sword against something hard without the sword cracking or flat-out breaking.
  • Gaunt's Ghosts:
    • In Ghostmaker a small group of Ghosts and Bluebloods wipe out a much larger Chaos force... and the incident is written off as an illusory battle by tacticians unable to account for it. Granted, the tacticians didn't know they had help.
    • This is why Necropolis is a Bittersweet Ending. The heroes technically win and successfully defend Vervunhive, but the city is so horribly damaged by the fighting that it's no longer livable, forcing the survivors to either become refugees to the planet's other cities or join up with the Imperial Guard.
    • Traitor General demonstrates why Helmets Are Hardly Heroic is a bad idea. You may be a Super Soldier with systems able to resist even the horribly deadly poison that coats the arrows being fired against you, but that doesn't work when dozens of those arrows are fired into your unarmoured face.
    • In His Last Command, this is how a scout takes down a stalker, an Implacable Man that can soak up ridiculous amounts of damage and keep coming. Chaos enhanced beastie or no, it's still an animal that can be paralysed by hamstringing and slain by getting shanked in the brain through the base of the neck.
    • Only In Death: what happens when you take an army specializing in stealth and hit-and-run tactics and send them to guard a decrepit old fortress against a vastly larger force, and with faulty intel to boot? They die in droves, that's what.
  • In The Witcher Saga Geralt tells a story about when he was young, he wanted to pose as a knight when dealing with thugs mugging a merchant and his daughter. The downright brutal method he used to dispatch the thug's leader ended in daughter fainting from horror, and merchant running away from him along with the bandits.
  • In Wearing the Cape, Hope/Astra is given a lesson in momentum and force and why it's a good idea to know how tough something is before you fly yourself into it like a missile. The book is actually full of little reality-checks, like superheroes getting warrants before going after supervillains, villains whose lawyers get the charges dropped, and strangers committing random acts of badness.
  • At the end of Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn, the protagonists kill the Big Bad who betrayed the hero of ages past, stole the power of the Well of Eternity for himself, dislodged the Earth from its proper orbit, brought up volcanoes that constantly choke the air with ash, created a permanent underclass of slaves, and turned HIS OWN FRIENDS into monsters. Good riddance, right? Well, no. The second book then details the political consequences of such a sudden power vacuum, and trying to go from a totalitarian dictatorship directly to a constitutional monarchy (hint: a lot of people die.). And then they learn that the Big Bad had a very good reason for betraying the Hero in the first place.
  • Honor Harrington:
    • In On Basilisk Station, the Bronze Age-tech Medusans manage to brutally kill some Manticorans by surprise and swarming them. Then, the Manties bring out the heavy weapons and air support. The aliens die. And die. And die some more.
    • The Grav Lance is a powerful experimental weapon. That also means it is unreliable. Gutting the ship's regular weaponry to accommodate the experimental weapon leaves it undergunned when it is forced to confront an enemy vessel and although our heroes win the encounter, it's not without very serious casualties and the ship is so badly damaged it must be scrapped.
    • A major B-plot in Honor Among Enemies has a New Meat technician bullied by a crooked crewmember, beaten up and intimidated. Scared to testify, he instead accepts an offer to train with the shipboard marine company, ultimately standing up to the bully, bringing him down in a fair fight and exposing all his evil schemes. The seriousness of these schemes earn him some leniency three pages later when he's being busted for fighting on duty.
    • The Solarian League, having been at peace for centuries, butts in on the Manticore-Haven conflict, whose participants have been in a sustained Lensman Arms Race. The asskicking that follows is surprising to no one but the interlopers.
      • There's some debate about this point; the Solarian League is much, much larger than either of the participants combined, which should result in lots more money devoted to weapons research. Moreover, most of the League seems utterly uninformed about the war, despite it involving a nation responsible for a significant proportion of their shipping, and one which is, thanks to wormholes, functionally in the astrographic "center" of the league.
    • Losing large numbers of crewmen in a battle will result in a board of inquiry and will make the rest of the navy reluctant to serve with you, no matter how charismatic you are or how often you get results. Political connections become meaningless once you become a liability to your patrons.
  • In the Hurog duology, reality ensues several times. The protagonist protects himself from his abusive father by Obfuscating Stupidity. When his father is dead it turns out the only reason he wasn't sent to an asylum for insane nobles was because his father didn't want to pay the fees ... and someone else is willing to pay the fees. And then there is the woman who could really use the clothes of the man she just killed ... but they're soiled with more than just blood.
  • The Discworld books play this for equal parts comedy and drama. Among other things, characters frequently react realistically to outlandish situations (in Going Postal, after tricking a banshee into getting killed by a malfunctioning sorting machine, the protagonist is too busy being ill to shoot off a Bond One-Liner), and the narrative often points out that happy endings in "real life" are never as simple as they are in stories (at the end of Monstrous Regiment, the protagonist and her companions end up stopping the war between Borogravia and Zlobenia, but some months later in story-time the ruthless ruler of Zlobenia just tries to start another war). Complicating things is the influence that narrative causality has on the Discworld, making the line between "reality" and "fiction" as blurry as it gets. This line is in fact used as a plot point in Guards! Guards!, where Vimes eventually works out that magic is the only explanation for a massive dragon being capable of flitting around the sky like a bird and breathing fire hot enough to melt stone, which helps him find the person who summoned it to begin with.
    • In Eric, Rincewind encounters an explorer, Ponce of Quirm, who is searching a jungle for the Fountain of Youth. Later on, Rincewind finds Ponce in Hell; While the explorer did at one point find the Fountain, he apparently died from drinking from a spring in an untamed wild without boiling the water first.
  • Harry Potter:
    • There are a number of points where the protagonists forget basic things as a result of their panic at a situation. A prominent example is in the first book, when Hermione is so freaked out at the sight of Harry and Ron being strangled by the Devil's Snare that she forgets that she can use magic to save them. This is given a callback in the last book, when they are trying to get into the Shrieking Shack via the tunnel by the Whomping Willow. Ron panics because there's apparently no way to freeze the tree, prompting Hermione to remind him that they can use magic.
    • During his third year, Harry receives a Firebolt - an international standard racing broom - as a christmas present from an anonymous donor. Since Harry is supposedly being pursued by Sirius Black during this time, Hermione and McGonagall are immediately suspicious about the broom, fearing that it was sent by Sirius in attempt to get Harry killed, and McGonagall insists on having the broom checked for curses before Harry can use it.
    • After seeing Cedric Diggory get murdered right in front of him near the end of the fourth book, Harry ends up having to deal with PTSD over the next few months.
    • The fourth book has Harry appear in front of the rest of the school, claiming that Lord Voldemort has returned. Aside from his closest friends and confidents, no-one believes him. Turns out that people won't automatically believe The Hero when they make bold or outlandish claims that they can't prove, even if someone like Albus Dumbledore vouches for them. Particularly when they'd rather not deal with the consequences of such claims being true.
    • Between the fifth and six books, the now very unpopular Cornelius Fudge tries to get in contact with Harry so that he can get his support, in order to hang on to his position as Minister for Magic. This is despite running a smear campaign against Harry, trying to get him expelled from Hogwarts, and working with Dolores Umbridge to undermine him and Dumbledore for nearly a whole year. Unsurprisingly, Harry is incredulous that Fudge thought he could get Harry's support after all that.
      • And as expected, a disgraced Fudge loses his position two weeks after it was discovered that Voldemort really did return, since nobody wanted to listen to the coward who tried to cover up such a major problem for over a year. Fudge had also put the entire world in danger because of his denial; it's one of the key factors in the Dark Lord's Near Villain Victory and the large body count in the last two books. Had Fudge been honest or attempted to correct the problem earlier, a lot of innocent people could have been saved.
      • In addition, Rufus Scrimgeour learns that Harry's resentment extends to the Ministry in general. After a year of the Ministry either actively persecuting Harry and Dumbledore, or refusing to help them, it's no surprise Harry doesn't trust anyone from the Ministry of Magic anymore.
    • We learn early on in the fifth book that Percy had had a major fallout with the rest of the Weasley family, due to their support of Dumbledore and Harry, to the point that he decided to move out, unable to bear living with them any longer. When Voldemort is shown to have returned, thus proving that his family were right in their choices, does Percy attempt to reconcile with them? Nope. He continues to isolate himself from the rest of the Weasleys, now out of guilt for going against them when they turned out to be right. It's not until near the seventh book that he finds the strength to even apologize to his family.
    • In the Big Bad's backstory, his mother fell madly in love with a non-wizard, so she subdued his mind with magic and had him run away from home and have a baby with her. Sometime later, she decided that she could stop using magic, for he would certainly remain at her side on his own volition, if not out of love, then for the sake of their child. Turned out that raping, abducting and subjugating people through occult means tends to build up quite a bit of resentment in them. The moment she stops, he tries to kill her, and then runs away.
    • After Voldemort was finally defeated for good, the Ministry of Magic goes though massive reform, not only to rebuild it after being taken over by the Death Eaters, but because it's been failing since the end of the First Wizarding War. Also, many of its corrupt policies were stripped, because everybody realized that they were some of the causes of Voldemort's rise in power.
  • At the end of the book Across the Universe, Amy and Elder stop the dumping of drugs into the water, which means that the population of Godspeed is no longer doped up into being compliant. In A Million Suns, we see that this does not lead to an automatic happy ending. Instead, there are riots, strikes, suicides, and panic attacks, as a large number of people suddenly find themselves having to deal with emotions and thoughts that they never experienced before.
  • In the Black Prism, the main character's friends and love interest run from an attack very early in the book. Arrows fly after them, and the main character's power manifests just in time to redirect the arrow from his love interest... only to have two more arrows pepper her back and kill her.
  • In the second Artemis Fowl book, a gangster attempts to kill Holly by firing a laser gun from the hip... and ends up missing with every shot.
  • The Heather Wells Mysteries
    • Not all information is freely available on the internet, including things like marriage records. Sometimes, Cooper admits to having to bribe a district attorney or... help himself a little through hacking.
    • In Size 12 And Ready To Rock, Cooper explains that facial recognition programs do not work the way they do on TV.
    • And no matter what TV keeps telling Nicole Cartwright, inviting an estranged parent to their child's wedding will not automatically result in a happy reunion; especially when said parent abandoned their child by taking their life savings and running off to Argentina. Janet Wells realizes that she cannot mend her broken relationship with her daughter so easily, probably not at all.
  • Mr. Mercedes
    • Despite being pretty badass for majority of the book, retired Detective Hodges is not as fit as he was, when he was still an active policeman, so the stress from all the events, along with his weight issues and overstraining result in him having (but also surviving) a heart attack and is ultimately prevented from being able to nab Hartfield.
    • And his little off-the-books, and illegal, little campaign leads to Hodges being legally banned from ever acquiring a Private Investigator License.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: The series could be renamed "Realpolitik Meets Fantasy... and Kicks It".
    • What happens when a boy king who is steadfast, forthright and honorable in all things makes war against a seasoned commander decades his senior, who has armies that outnumber his own and sees honor as a polite suggestion? He wins battle after battle after battle...and he loses the war. Of course he does. Honor and military skill does not win nearly as many allies as carrot-and-stick realpolitik.
    • Like Father, Like Son. What happens when a man with a reputation for honor and incorruptability takes a position of leadership in a corrupt royal court? He fails spectacularly. It turns out that being the paragon of simple straightforward virtue does not equip you with the skills necessary to survive in a Deadly Decadent Court. Nor, for that matter, does it help you determine who you can really trust and who won't just sell you down the river to save their own necks.
      • He also assumes that a decree issued by King Robert minutes before his death will grant him temporary power and protect him. Queen Cersei simply tears up the piece of paper and orders Stark seized by troops loyal to her house.
    • Also very Like Father, Like Son; when Jon Snow signs up for the Night's Watch, expecting a jovial brotherhood of honest men ready to defend the realm, he's more than a little disappointed by the dwindling patrol of old men, green boys and apprehended criminals he finds there. The same thing happens when the Night's Watch ride out in force beyond the Wall, most of them getting killed or deserting, and when they elect Jon Snow as Lord Commander, which forces a teenaged boy to make several very tough choices. And when most of the hidebound senior officers decide they don't like those choices (particularly allowing wildlings south of the Wall and taking the side of a claimant to the Iron Throne when the Watch is supposed to be neutral), they lynch him.
    • In the War of the Five Kings, the Stark/Tully alliance who are easily the most just and honorable houses in the Seven Kingdoms, must command universal respect, right? Wrong. Their levies don't have any stake in their lord's quarrels and like to rape and plunder as much as the next army; the smallfolk hate them just as much as the Lannisters.
    • Oberyn Martell stands as Tyrion's champion at his (second) Trial by Combat and spends the first half of the fight demanding his opponent to admit that he killed (and raped) Oberyn's sister, as well as brutally murdering her infant children. It seems like he's going to succeed, having stabbed Gregor Clegane with his spear, until the much larger and stronger Clegane manages to get hold of him, beats the ever-living crap out of him and kills him as he gloats about his crimes and Oberyn's lover screams on at the sidelines. Reality also ensues for Gregor when it turns out that Oberyn had covered his spearhead in an excruciating poison that takes weeks to kill.
      • Gregor's actions also have bad political consequences. With Gregor having confessed to killing Elia Martell and her baby, as well as killing Oberyn, the Lannisters' relations with the Martells are ruined. In order to get them back on their side, the Lannisters have to send them his skull as compensation.
    • Arianne Martell and a group of confidants attempt to crown Princess Myrcella as Queen of Westeros and run away with her to stage a rebellion, but they are run down and captured. Arianne's lover, Arys Oakheart, is killed and Myrcella is scarred horribly. The group is then broken up and imprisoned.
    • Quentyn Martell devises a daring plan to seize control of Daenerys's two remaining dragons. Fiery dragon breath ensues, and Quentyn dies after days of horrible agony, with fourth degree burns over 100% of his body. Poor brave fool.
    • For that matter, Daenerys herself is hit hard with it, when it turns out that the three dragons she magically hatched will not just as magically grow up tame and obedient - they're fearsome and willful beasts, and the art of dragon-taming her slain family possessed is now lost with them. No, her being the last Targaryen doesn't mean she will automatically possess it either.
    • In Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish's backstory, he challenged Brandon Stark to a duel for the hand of Catelyn Tully. Despite being small and having little training, Baelish thought he was like the plucky little heroes of the stories who triumph over the evil knight and win the maiden fair (paraphrased). Instead, Brandon, a master swordsman and seasoned soldier kicks his ass, nearly killing him and leaving him with a scar from his navel to his collar bone.
    • Dany goes and liberates the slaves in Astapor. A solid move for a compassionate queen, right? Nah- it screws up the economy of the Free Cities. Yunkai mounts an attack on Dany, half the slaves she liberated starve to death living in the ghost town, and the combination of the two helps a plague spread.
    • Also, after Dany takes Meereen and stays there as ruler, an underground rebel force known as the Sons of the Harpy starts killing Dany's personal soldiers and the former slaves.
    • The author also shows things which often not raised in other medieval fantasy novels, such as disease at siege. Forces attacking Meereen are hit hard by dysentry, or "the pale mare", as they camped downstream.
    • Attacking the provincial capital of the North and capturing it not only reinforces your already dire reputation with the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, but also the Northerner's anger. The problem is not entirely due to the capture and sacking of said capital, but because the Ironborn hadn't properly declared war on House Stark and the Northerners, first. Acting like marauding freebooters doesn't gain points in wider state politics.
    • The Brotherhood Without Banners, a troop of would-be Robin Hoods, led by Thoros of Myr and Beric Dondarrion, quickly degenerates into several fractured segments, mostly composed of bitter soldiers and cutthroats (or misguided war orphans), as the much-revived Dondarrion (and the decomposed living corpse of Catelyn Tully) loses all semblance of humanity and begin executing people left, right and center, as Thoros of Myr looks on in despair.
    • Going up in the world, making friends in the right places, getting a title, getting lands with a steady rent income? Better hope to hell it's not Harrenhal you've been given, then. Technically, the lands are rich (and extensive), the castle impressive and found in a defensible, yet connected, area. And, the title is a very good one with a lot of clout and very tempting rights and social perks attached to it. It... kind of has to be this way: It's a bribe and a brush-off. In actuality, you may as well have been handed a wreath and been served official notice of your family's impending demise, thanks to the logistical, political and financial sinkhole you've just been given. Littlefinger is Genre Savvy enough not to even try running the place even from a distance... just to accept the title and most of the social opportunities that come with it, but leaving the actual stone pile with the supposed income attached to it in the hands of whichever fool wants to sink themselves — and the list of fools is growing. Too many think that holding the castle is the key to all the goodies, when the goodies are there because of its The Millstone status. Many are broken finding this out the hard way.
    • For their treachery in the Red Wedding, the Boltons and Freys are loathed by everyone in the North and the Riverlands, and despised everywhere in Westeros. People will not bend the knee to them, and everyone loyal to the Starks wants them dead. Which is everyone in the North. Betrayal might get you what you want in the short term, but no one's gonna work with you if you have a reputation for back-stabbing. Also, it is quite obvious the Riverlords and Riverlanders aren't likely to do anything to help the Freys against a vigilante force that is hanging anybody connected to them.
    • When a siege is successful, attacking grunts will plunder, whether they work for in good guys or bad guys (a classification that's more subjective than you'd think). Even a notoriously strict commander like Stannis will allow it. Some grunts of House Stark also do Rape, Pillage, and Burn as much as House Lannister's grunts, according to witnesses.
    • One myth is that all Medieval European people were prudes. In this series men casually go to brothels when they have money and women are just more discreet about their nighttime activities.
    • Many knights do not exemplify the Knight in Shining Armor ideal, as the series makes it clear that nobles keep knights for killing. Most knights are highborn lords with highly variable standards of honor and were knighted for their martial prowess. And even then, the political status of knighthood means that the wealthy or well-connected can just buy their title, regardless of how useful they actually are at combat.
    • Jon Connington's attempt to defeat Robert and end the rebellion against House Targaryen ran headlong into this trope. Connington was eager for chivalrous glory and to prove himself to his best friend, (and possible crush) Rhaegar Targaryen, and knew that killing Robert was key to ending the Rebellion. Connington managed to defeat Robert's army in battle, only for Robert and the survivors to flee to the mid-sized city of Stoney Sept, which was sympathetic to Robert's cause and hid him. Connington didn't wish to wantonly kill the townspeople due to moral qualms and a desire to avoid going down in history as The Butcher, so he ordered his men to search house to house for Robert, even as the townsfolk kept hiding Robert and moving him to evade Connington's search. The townspeople managed to delay Connington just long enough for Ned Stark's army to arrive, save Robert, and defeat Connington. For years afterward Connington insisted that he had done everything possible, until someone pointed out that a more ruthless commander who didn't care what might be written about them in a history book (say, Tywin Lannister) would have simply slaughtered all the people in the town and killed Robert before Ned Stark ever arrived. Connington's desire to run a war in such a way that he'd be remembered as a chivalrous hero resulted in him being remembered as a failure instead because his desire to be remembered in a good light was more important than actually succeeding.
    • From before the books was Tywin Lannister's father Tytos. Tytos tried to be a generous and kind ruler. He saw good in everyone, gave out huge loans to people and often forgave debts. Instead of being beloved, he was looked upon as a weak fool by his vassals, the Westerlands were left in a chaotic state due to his weak rule, and finally his vassals rebelled. It took Tywin ruthlessly wiping out the Reynes and Tarbecks to restore order.
    • Speaking of Tywin, insulting your son after making his entire life miserable, (including putting him through a farce of a trial) whilst he is confronting you and has a crossbow in hand when you are alone, unarmed, on the privy, and dismissing the woman that your son loved as a whore results in you getting killed by him. Even the most powerful man in The Seven Kingdoms should know better than to piss off an angry armed man when you are unarmed.
  • Animorphs: The Animorphs are a bunch of teenagers who fight alien invaders, and have to make increasingly morally ambiguous choices to win. War Is Hell is in full effect throughout the story. Ultimately, the war ends, but Rachel, Tom, Jara Hamee, James and presumably all of the auxiliary Animorphs are dead. The Blade ship escapes. There is no final all out battle with Visser Three, he merely surrenders when he realizes he's lost. He is then captured but not executed. Jake is left a broken man due to his actions in the war, he and Cassie break up, and Tobias leaves society. Marco does become famous, but it's hollow. There's even the possibility of a new war (with a different enemy) on the horizon. It is in short, exactly what would really happen after a war ends. When a number of fans complained about these things, author K.A. Applegate wrote a letter saying "This is the way it works in real life."
  • The Nero Wolfe stories can be seen as applying this to many of the classic tropes of detective fiction. Wolfe, like many of the Great Detectives, is a cultured intellectual who, when he isn't solving mysteries, lives a comfortable, even lavish lifestyle despite apparently having no source of income... except in Wolfe's case, it's established that he can afford to do so primarily because when he does solve mysteries he makes a point of charging what are at times almost extortionate fees for doing so, and both often has to keep ahead of draining his savings accounts through his luxurious lifestyle and has earned a reputation as being something of a mercenary Ambulance Chaser (or at least the Private Detective equivalent thereof). He's also a brilliant Amateur Sleuth who frequently exposes the police as blundering incompetents... and naturally, the police resent both his interference in criminal matters and his showing them up.
  • By the end of On the Jellicoe Road, Taylor's pieced the stories together and figured out what happened to everyone. Her mother, finally clean and sober, returns home for the first time in years, and manages to build an actual relationship with her daughter. And then she dies from her cancer, because love and relationships are not medicine.
  • This comes to bite Griffin in The Invisible Man. For example, he finds out the hard way that being invisible doesn't protect him from the cold, factors such as the bloodied soles of his feet from walking everywhere unprotected and food digesting in his stomach can compromise his invisibility, rain will make an outline against his body, he still leaves footprints, etc.
  • Towards the climax of Audrey, Wait!, Audrey overhears something she wasn't supposed to in a bathroom. However, instead of confronting the wrongdoers, she freezes in place and just sits there, unable to do anything. Audrey immediately comments that she found it easier to sympathize with fictional characters who were in a similar situation and didn't do anything about it after that.
  • In the fourth Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, Greg finds a bike some neighbors left out with the trash and decides to use it as his new way of getting around. However, his plans come to ruin when it falls apart in four days. Turns out a bike left out with the garbage where anybody can take it probably isn't a very good one.
  • This is the point of Lord of the Flies, where the author reminds us that trapping a bunch of kids alone on a deserted island is more likely to lead to bloodshed and madness than quirky misadventures. In particular, much of their negative behavior from civilization carries over here, such as forming cliques, ostracizing certain individuals they don't like, bickering amongst themselves and shortsightedly losing track of their long-term goals, with the only difference being that the consequences are worse. Even their belief that the adults would make everything better is subtly shattered at the end when their rescuer is a naval ship fighting in World War II.
  • Out of the Dark: Though mankind fights tenaciously and wins small victories, it ultimately has no way of defending itself from an enemy that controls the orbitals. It's a Hopeless War for man. Until the Twist Ending at any rate.
  • Harry Turtledove's Vilcabamba: When aliens far tougher and more powerful than anything humanity can field attack, no amount of skill or will can usefully close the gap, and mankind's governments continue to exist only at their pleasure, which can be and is withdrawn for reasons we can't fathom. Something of a Spiritual Antithesis to his own Worldwar books, where mankind does successfully resist Insufficiently Advanced Aliens.
  • In Petty Pewter Gods, two minor Shayir with the power to transform into owls set out to track Garrett's movements through the city from above. They soon discover that, while they can make themselves invisible to humans, it's the city's crows they should've been hiding from: spotting the "owls" flying around in daylight, TunFaire's urban crow population gathers in huge flocks to mob and harass them, driving them back to the ground.
  • The Wild Cards series attempted to portray superpowers as though they were dependent on real-world physics, and often without the Required Secondary Powers that keep comic-book superheroes from just being a danger to themselves and others. Many Aces have stock superpowers with completely logical downsides:
    • Golden Boy has Super Strength and Nigh-Invulnerability, but he's still an adult human man of average size and weight. When he tries to stop a moving car, a much-heavier object in motion, inertia knocks him flat on his ass.
    • Envoy has a Compelling Voice that can make anyone who hears him do what he wants them to do. But the effect wears off when he leaves the general area. Nobody trusts him, not even his own government, because nobody can tell whether they're agreeing with him of their own volition or not. When he's Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee due to some political missteps, he's able to talk his way out of it...and is promptly dragged back in front of them, this time with anti-superpower countermeasures in place, and this time with every Senator in the room suspicious and hostile toward him. It goes very badly for him this time.
    • Brain Trust can telepathically absorb the knowledge of any nearby mind. The government decides to use her as a "backup copy" for their finest scientific thinkers. This breaks her mind: she doesn't just absorb people's knowledge, but their whole personalities. She's basically got an entire university's worth of scientists rattling around in her skull...and it takes every ounce of her willpower to keep them from fighting amongst themselves. She eventually loses her family, the trust of her superiors, and her sanity.
    • Kid Dinosaur can shapeshift into any dinosaur he wants to be, but he can't change his overall body mass. So he can be a T-Rex, but the T-Rex can only be about four feet tall.
    • Water Lily develops a secondary power where she can cure Jokers through sex. She promptly has to go into hiding, out of fear of being gang-raped by desperate mutants.
    • The Sleeper has an abnormal mutation which causes him to hibernate for weeks or months at a time, then awaken with a brand new form and new superpowers. After waking up he binge-eats to replace stored calories. And by the end of his waking cycle, fear of going to sleep and waking up a hideous monster (which does happen) turns him into a paranoid amphetamine addict.
    • Peregrine is a Winged Humanoid who can fly. The wings are a non-functional placebo for her telekinetic self-levitation powers; an adult human woman simply isn't built for actual flight.
    • A minor Ace with electricity-based powers has terrible personal hygiene, because he's not immune to his own powers, and can't bathe himself properly without risking electrocution.
    • Several Aces are giants. They're also crippled; their huge bodies can't support their own weight
    • Tachyon comes from a long-lived species; over a period of forty earth years he barely ages. By Takisian standards he's still a young adult. This also means that emotionally he's still a young adult. He's in a situation way over his head and he lacks the emotional maturity to deal with it in a healthy way: he drinks too much, he sleeps around, and he abandons his responsibilities frequently. He can also barely disguise his disgust with the victims he's treating; he's been brought up in a society obsessed with selective breeding and genetic engineering, and seeing these people as anything more than mistakes that should be euthanized is a challenge for him. His allies on Earth regard him as flighty and unreliable at best, dangerously out of control at worst.
  • In The Land of Stories, after spending 100 years asleep, the Sleeping Kingdom is mostly dead and the inhabitants still prefer to sleep all day. Sleeping Beauty is still trying to make things right.
  • This Book Is Full of Spiders (the sequel to John Dies at the End) features a hybrid small scale Zombie Outbreak/Invasion of the Body Snatchers style Puppeteer Parasites. Towards the end of the book deconstructions of both of those tropes/genres increasingly come into play. For example:
    • A bunch of college students who think they're in a typical Romero style zombie movie consider it inevitable that the Army & government forces will fail go into town to take matters into their own hands. After showing startling incompetence with their guns, the only thing they manage to do is kill a bunch of innocent people trying to escape being wrongfully quarantined before the actual monsters easily wipe them out.
    • Local people (who are filled with the full range of normal human stupidity and prejudices) form militias and kill anyone that they can't verify as being free from infection except the end of the book reveals that at most somewhere around 70 total people were infected, so the hundreds of people slaughtered by these militias are mostly innocent. As the book repeatedly points out, the paranoia that anybody could be infected and you couldn't tell that from looking at them was a much greater danger than the actual parasites.
    • Lastly, when David sees an Army barricade around town he realizes that the idea of the US Army getting overrun by zombies, whether slow or fast, is really pretty silly. The Army has plenty of Dakka and Tanks, not a single soldier is exposed to be bitten, the ground in front of them is covered with razor wire that will result in anything walking in being helplessly entangled and becoming an easy target, etc. Strategy is, after all, what the Army does and it would require them to grab an Idiot Ball bigger than the actual planet for them to be overrun from a small outbreak when they've had time to prepare themselves.
  • In Swamplandia!, when 13-year old Ava's Bigtree's sister runs off to the underworld, and with the rest of her family away, Ava sets off to retrieve her, taking a mysterious stranger called the Bird Man to be her guide. It turns out that just because a strange adult confirms your claims about a supposed 'underworld' (and claims to have been there before), does not mean that you should go off unaccompanied and alone with them. The whole underworld story was a lie, and Ava ends up getting molested by the so-called 'Bird Man'. Thankfully she manages to escape, but still.
  • The fairy tale ''Diamonds and Toads'' has a fairy bless and curse a younger daughter and older daughter, respectively. The kind younger sister has diamonds fall out of her mouth when she speaks, while the rude older sister has snakes, toads, and insects fall out instead. In the original story, the younger sister later marries a prince and the older gets kicked out of the house for being disgusting. But a rewritten version has a different outcome: the prince just wants his bride's free diamonds and the older sister uses her instant vermin creation powers to bully and threaten people.
  • In the backstory of The Elenium it is revealed that the previous war with Zemoch had resulted in a battle that saw tens of thousands killed on each side. When told that the Western kingdoms won, Talen eagerly assumes that they pushed the war on and succeeded in destroying their enemy. He is then informed that conscripting every able-bodied man to fight a war during the planting season has its consequences, and the famine that resulted nealy destroyed the Western kingdoms; leading to an upheaval in society by having the Knights forced to work alongside the peasantry in order to produce enough food to avoid extinction.
    • In The Belgariad, Garion manages to use sorcery to knock over a heavy rock, but since he didn't properly guard himself, the force involved drove him into the ground (as in, he was sticking out like a sapling) and he couldn't get out without help.
  • In the Friar's Tale from The Canterbury Tales, a corrupt summoner attempts to form a partnership with Satan—who takes the first excuse he can get to double-cross the summoner.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has a neat Happily Ever After ending, with Mr. Wonka and the entire Bucket family traveling back to the titular factory via the Great Glass Elevator. The plot of the Immediate Sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator uses this trope for a Sequel Reset: Since the still-bedridden grandparents were pushed (bed and all) into the elevator despite their anxious protestations, the action starts when their continued, understandable anxiety — and distrust of wacky Mr. Wonka, whom they've only just met — culminates in Grandma Josephine panicking as he prepares to land the elevator by flying it really high. The result of this is that it ends up in orbit. The rest of the book is fanciful business as usual.
  • In Warrior Cats, the mighty leader Leopardstar does not die during a great battle or heroic deed, as you might expect. Instead, she loses her life to...disease. A slow, painful disease that no one knows how to cure. What? They're feral cats- sickness is going to hit them like a ton of bricks.
    • Brokenstar's kit-warriors are completely ineffective in battle, and such a blatant violation of the Code makes every Clan in the forest (including his own) hate him. Brokenstar is quickly overthrown (partly because of these idiotic tactics) to make way for a more pragmatic villain.
    • In Long Shadows, Ashfur proudly describes his Evil Plan in front of its intended victims, apparently believing that they're too honorable to try and stop him. Guess who turns up mysteriously dead afterwards?
  • Talia, of the Arrows Trilogy, takes years to fully recover from her abusive childhood, and her Collegium teachers have to carefully work around her fear of men. It isn't solved in an instant by magic, or The Power of Love, or the fact that her life is different nownote - it's an emotional, gradual process.
  • In 11/22/63 Jake Epping uses information from the future to place sports bets to fund his trip to the past. The mob doesn't take kindly to people winning lopsided bets, resulting in Jake's house getting firebombed and Jake being beaten nearly to death by enforcers.
  • The Hour of the Dragon has the Big Bad Ensemble resurrect a sorcerer who lived and died thousands of years ago. The result is the same as it would be if said sorcerer had gone there via Time Travel: he's unable to read modern texts unless he has them translated into languages used in his time, and the lay of the land has changed so much since his death that he no longer recognises it.
  • Kill Decision:
    • Linda refuses to take Odin's explanation about his team and their work at face value. Would you believe it if you were abducted by a mysterious bunch who claim they're out to save the world?
    • Odin's team have to evade the authorities several times because as a top secret unit, not only would the police not know about them, but their operating on American soil is illegal.
  • Think Smart, Hazel Green!: Hazel is vehemently upset when she finds out that Mr Volio is being evicted from his shop, and argues against said eviction on the grounds that it isn't fair. She's then informed by the lawyer in charge of the case that yes, it may well be unfair, but fairness doesn't actually matter because the eviction is completely legal. In the end, stopping the eviction requires her to use methods based on another law, as opposed to just protesting the eviction's unfairness, because said protests don't really accomplish anything and don't change anything either.
    • Hazel also realises that had Mr Volio been evicted, people would have been sad, sure... but life would go on, and after a while everyone would forget, because that's just what happens.
    • In the first book, the kids of the Moodey Building decide to build a model of the building for the parade, with the model having the same number of floors (over thirty). The Yak, upon finding this out, informs them that a structure that high will fall, and when they ignore him and build it anyway, it only stands for about a minute before the wind knocks it over.
    • In the third book, Hazel's accusations of racism against Mr Davis go down predictably: nobody believes the upstart troublemaker over the well-respected businessman.
  • In The Tygrine Cat, a young cat named Mati sees an apparition of his dead mother across the road. He runs towards her and ends up in a coma after being hit by a car. The car's occupants take him to an animal shelter, where the veterinarian makes plans to euthanize him as she is doubtful he will ever wake up.
  • The Diablo III novel Storm of Light takes place right after the game and undoes the happy note it ended on. The Nephalem saving Heaven from the Prime Evil hasn't magically made Angels accept Humans, and the two sides are still no closer to uniting against the demons. The role Humans played in the Prime Evil's creation actually has some Angels blaming them, and given Imperius grounds to reopen the topic of whether or not to destroy them. Theres also the issue of Tyrael being mortal. Not only is it difficult for him to function in Heaven, his actions have caused him to become rather estranged from his own kind.
  • In a Sweet Valley High book, a girl has vicious rumors spread about her by her rival. Sure enough, she's ostracized and her crush dumps her. While the rumors are eventually proven to be false and the Alpha Bitch punished for her actions, the girl and her crush never reconcile. Aside from being hurt and angry over how he treated her, she realizes how spineless he is and that she can't trust him.
  • Protector of the Small is this to the Tortall Universe. After Alanna became the country's greatest knight by hiding her gender, a decree was passed that allowed women to become knights. Ten years later, Keladry of Mindelan becomes the first girl to openly try for her shield, and is immediately subjected to bullying, hazing, double standards, and people who will stop at nothing to ensure that she fails to prove women can't be knights. Alanna's heroism and a progressive government don't change the misogyny deeply entrenched into Tortall's culture. Kel ultimately succeeds, yes, but only because she's willing to go through hell.
    • Near the end of the last book, Kel finally confronts the mage behind the killing machines that have been one of the most terrifying enemies she's ever faced... and finds that he's not some grand, powerful figure who inspires awe just by being in his presence, he's simply an ordinary man who happened to have a skill that he could capitalise on. And once she foils his attempt to enthrall her, he's basically powerless to defend himself against her and even though she's injured and barely standing, she kills him easily.
  • The Salvation War: The forces of Hell go to Earth to defeat the unruly humans who have defied Satan's orders to surrender... and are promptly wiped out, because human technology and warfare have advanced so much that the demons simply can't measure up, especially once the humans find the demons' weaknesses.
    • Michael soon realises that while humans disliked the demons for how they tortured and killed the dead, the demons at least never pretended to be anything other than what they were. The angels, on the other hand, pretended to be paragons of morality, and the humans soon loathe them for lying to humanity. Michael comes to the conclusion that the humans could and would destroy every angel if given sufficient reason, and so he has to conduct an elaborate plan that involves throwing innocent angels in concentration camps to be tortured in order to get humanity to believe that the whole thing was Yahweh's fault and that angels were just pawns.
  • In Casey at the Bat, it's Down to the Last Play, and Casey stacks the deck against himself to show off. It Was His Sled that he strikes out.
  • The Hunger Games: What Mockingjay runs on. Katniss' improvised plan to go behind enemy lines to assassinate President Snow fails spectacularly and destroys her entire squad. And there were some fans who found Finnick's death to be unnecessary and lacking in heroism. But that makes sense in a war.
  • In the Drenai saga by David Gemmell, Druss makes friends with a Gothir wrestler he is due to fight at the pseudo-Olympics. Some Gothir locals don't want their champion to lose and attempt to assassinate Druss, only for the Gothir champion to be paralysed. Druss promises to find a mystical gem to cure his friend. At the end of the book Druss returns with the gem only to discover his friend died soon after he left. The doctor gives a lecture about how a spinal injury and sickness will not wait on heroic sentiments.
  • In Gemmell's Stones of Power series, this happens to Jon Shannow—a strong hit to the side of the head with a club can't be overcome by sheer willpower, but puts him out of commission for months and requires a lot of physical therapy to get over.
  • Dragons in Our Midst:
    • Much like Wild Cards, having powers of dragons without the Required Secondary Powers comes with its drawbacks. In the beginning, Billy is not immune to his own fire-breathing power, which he literally has to squelch with large amounts of water and soda, which helps kick-start the plot in action when he has to use the bathroom after consuming too much fluid.
    • Bonnie has large dragon wings. They are very hard to hide and require a large backpack to do so. The book also hints that she is a clumsy flier, often unable to get away by getting off the ground, because wings were simply not designed for humans. Even when she was able to carry Billy up in the air, it was quite a struggle to do so.
    • Even though it is a YA series, it goes out of its way to defy Adults Are Useless and Police Are Useless. For example, in Raising Dragons, on a drive to the airport, it was a cop that helped save Bonnie's life when Devin attacked her. There were first responders, rescuers, and other policemen after the plane crash shortly after. A lot of help through several sticky situations comes from Billy and Walter's parents, as well as Professor Hamilton.
    • In The Candlestone, Billy ends up killing his kidnapper Palin, who was about to kill him. Even though it was in self-defense, and against a monster that tried to kill his family and friends, did he feel great about it? No. After the fight he felt very ill, weeping heavily. After all, he still killed a man, and in a rather grotesque way as well.
      • Billy's battle with Palin himself. Billy used a breath of fire to ignite some gasoline. Palin used a shield to protect himself from the flames, but his exposed legs and arm still got roasted, and soon he collapsed and died from the burns. Turns out a medieval-era shield will NOT protect you from a roaring wall of fire.
  • A central theme of the Stephen King novel From a Buick 8 is the impenetrable ambiguity surrounding the titular Buick. The Police at troop D have been watching over the thing and studying it for well over twenty years, and by the end of it, besides some basic ground rules regarding safety around it (which they know is far from perfect) and some theories surrounding where it's from and the creatures it 'births', they know about as much about it as they did when it first arrived. After all, they're just police officers studying the thing as a glorified hobby in their spare time, and the Buick is something completely alien to them and to this world in nearly every way. Because of this, all the remaining police can offer the boy they're relating their story of the Buick to is scattered anecdotes centering around the Buick, and his unwillingness to accept that there simply isn't a concrete explanation and resolution to its story is a constant source of frustration to them.
  • Happens with regularity in Emilio Salgari's novels. One iconic example is the first battle between Sandokan and the British cruiser in The Tigers of Mompracem: outgunned so much it wasn't even funny, Sandokan realized the only way to win was to board the enemy ship and had his pirates start paddling, but just as they were about to succeed the steam cruiser moved away and resumed fire from a safe distance.
  • In The Dinosaur Lords, the idea of Elite Army composed solely of The Beautiful Elite has a glaring problem: logistics.
    Sadly, he Empire's most elite band of warrior-artist-philosophers of beauty tended to attract precious few candidates with any gift for organizing things.
  • In Dora Wilk Series, there's one werewolf who organizes underground Gladiator Games, moving from city to city every few weeks like an wandering circus. While this may sound evil or glamorous, Grizzly is perpetually skirting the edge of bankrupcy, as constant clandestine movement and armies of guards to look after his prisoners aren't exactly paying for themselves.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/RealityEnsues/Literature