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YMMV: Ciaphas Cain
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Amberley can be seen as enjoying Cain for his abilities and occasional company, but some lines make her look like a Clingy Jealous Girl, notably when she mentions she'd have found out if Cain was really trying to seduce women he met.
    • Cain is a Dirty Coward, a Lovable Coward, The So-Called Coward, or went through those steps along the way towards his retirement.
  • Badass Decay: Averted:
    • The Cain novels are more or less the only Warhammer 40K media that convincingly continue to portray Necrons as horrific monstrosities to be feared. Cain has only pulled off one win out of three encounters with the Necrons (and only by blowing them up from orbit), as opposed to his constant success against just about everything else. They are also the one threat thus far that he has adamantly refused to stand and confront, reputation be damned.
    • The novels are also some of the few 40K works that manage to juggle presenting all of the main factions as badasses. The one exception is the Eldar, which haven't been featured except for Cain's mentions of his time as a prisoner of the Dark Eldar, which he still has a bit of PTSD over.
    • The Orks are a more... interesting case. While they are more often than not the "Original Antagonists" that Cain finds (only to later stumble upon the real threat (Necrons or Tyranids), they are considered the comic relief army in 40K, and the 597th are considered experts at fighting Orks, so it gets played with a little.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: If you read in continuity order; an Internal Homage in publication order. In Death or Glory, Jurgen is mostly uninjured by a blow to the head, and Cain says, "It would probably take a bolter shell to crack that thick skull of his." In For the Emperor, Jurgen's skull is fractured near-fatally by...a bolter shell that glances off his helmet.
  • Genius Bonus: Overlaps a lot with the Shout Outs on the main page.
  • Iron Woobie: Obviously, issues of self-esteem are the least of humanity's worries in the Warhammer 40K universe, but Cain has more than enough trust issues and paranoia to disturb Harry Dresden, and self esteem so low that on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest) his probably has to be measured using negative numbers. He seemingly goes through his entire life, (Close to 200 years due to Juvenat treatments!) convinced that no one could or should care for him personally, unable to connect with people on any meaningful level, unable to believe he's ever a good person or feel good that he did the right thing, and terrified to trust anyone with himself, lest he be shot for cowardice and deceit. He never actually takes Amberly into his confidence, even after a century of romance. That's just outright sad.
  • Memetic Mutation: One of the few memes originating from TV Tropes: it has become tradition to write HERO OF THE IMPERIUM after Cain's name whenever he appears on another page.

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