- Growing the Beard: When Bizenghast began, the first volume focused on the fact that Dinah was able to see and interact with the numerous ghosts that haunt her home. As the books progressed this aspect was near dropped entirely save for Dinah's interaction with the ghost of Addie Clark. On a wider scale, the series gradually moved away from the "save tortured souls" as the main plot and began to focus on Dinah's growth as a person and the overall dark history behind Bizenghast. The change is lampshaded by Edaniel in the sixth book:
Edaniel: It used to be so simple, huh? Solve riddle A, clear out vault B, learn valuable lesson C.
- Harsher in Hindsight: In volume three Vincent is seeing wearing a shirt belonging to his father and saying it's too big. Dinah says he'll grow into it. Cue volume 4 and Vincent dying at the end.
- Jerkass Woobie: The "princess" a.k.a. Brenda from volume 4.
- Mary Sue: Subverted with Maphohetka. She has a Dark and Troubled Past from being burned to death by the intolerant townsfolk, she generates her own Bishie Sparkle, she's extremely magical, the Mausoleum guardians fawn over her, and everyone is more than happy to do as she wants. Turns out, the townsfolk chose correctly to Burn the Witch!, and she came back as a psychotic Charm Person who inflicts her will on others and who has additional arms and hands in place of her legs.
- Nightmare Fuel: More than you can shake a stick at. Case in point, volume 8. Maphohetka's true form. It's not pretty.
- Shaggy Dog Story: Dinah spends most of the series maturing into a braver, less morbid and better connected person who goes back to school and can thrive without Victor here to help her and get over his death with maturity. The series ends with her willingly accepting death, dying young and reuniting with Victor.