YMMV / War and Peace

  • Anvilicious: No, Leo, tell us how you really feel about "great man" history...
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: While actually a minor character, Dolokhov seems to fit an unusual number of tropes, and makes enough of an impact on main characters' lives to merit distinction.
  • Hollywood Homely: Princess Marya howers somewhat close to this. From the very beginning she is depicted as butt-ugly, but then, during her romance with Nikolai Rostov she becomes quite attractive. Go figure.
    • She was never depicted as ugly, but rather just plain. A sort of "diamond in the rough"
      • Are we talking about the Russian original or some English translation? As a matter of fact, Tolstoy does mention her "ugly, unhealthy face" and "ugly, weak body" ("некрасивое, болезненное лицо", "некрасивое, слабое тело") very early in the novel. The first impression is so strong that the Russian high school students either tend to overlook her abovementioned metamorphose after the encounter with Nikolai Rostov (her plot line is a secondary one, after all), or it comes to them as a shock.
      • She remains physically ugly the whole time, but Nikolai kind of just gets over it because she's beautiful on the inside due to her spiritual purity and love for others and has really pretty eyes when she cries.
  • Historical Badass Upgrade: Inverted with Napoleon; Tolstoy took pains to discredit him, most likely to the point of making him appear less competent than he really was.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Napoleon Bonaparte, most certainly. While Tolstoy did do a lot of the research, he apparently had no problem skewing things to make Napoleon look as bad as possible. To give one example, the story of the Polish cavalry charging into a river at his command and nearly drowning themselves was based on a true story, though YMMV on how far he went. But while in the book Napoleon takes this moment to relish in his power over life and death, the reality was that he took a while to realize they were actually drowning, and when he did he immediately jumped in to help rescue them.
  • Ho Yay: It gets hilarious (and slightly worrying) whenever Rostov sees the tsar.
  • Hype Backlash: You want some hype? This book is considered one of the greatest novels ever written, a masterpiece of world literature. It's been considered that for over a century now.
  • Inferred Holocaust: While arguing with Pierre, a character who disagrees with him acknowledges that he does have a point, referencing the story of Napoleon's giving aid to the plague-stricken. To those who know what happened in Real Life, however, this line is considerably more ironic and chilling...
  • Mainstream Obscurity: Usually remembered for how long it is.
  • Values Dissonance: It's the early 1800s in czarist Russia: men and women aren't exactly on equal standing. The women are fully-realized characters with understandable motivations, and their parts of the story are equally long and important as those concerning men. However, it's not unfair to say War belongs to the men and Peace belongs to the women.
    • The fate of Natasha, as shown and explained in the epilogue, is especially outrageous in this respect. She's totally invested in first her marriage and then her children, which is fair enough, but she completely lets herself go in appearance and behaviour, abandons all the things she was good at like singing, and withdraws from polite society. Denisov, when he comes to visit, is appalled at the difference between the young and spirited Natasha and the plump, placid housewife she is at the end of the book.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Many viewers found the female costumes in the 2016 BBC production utterly bizarre, from the dress that totally exposes one of Anna Pavlovna Scherer's shoulders, to Helene's often anachronistic and scandalous outfits, frequently looking as if she's dropped in from the 20th century rather than living in the 19th. It says a lot that Helene's most period accurate dress is the one she dies in.