01:36:10 PM Jan 28th 2012
Does the "Plague Episode" warrant its own trope? You know, where the Monster of the Week is a sudden plague, and the hero has to find the antidote. The story is somewhat constrained because the hero has to find the cure by the end of the book so that the series can continue normally, and in fact unless a plot relevant character dies, life goes on as usual once the plague is cured, instead of lingering for years until future generations build up an immunity like real life. Usually occurs in the middle of a series as it is too dark for a pilot and not epic enough for a finale. In a twist, may turn out to be a mass poisoning and not a plague after all. Or too closely related to Find the Cure? It's essentially the same thing but on a larger scale. E.g. Temple of the Winds (Sword of Truth, book 4), Briar's Book (Circle of Magic, book 4), Empire of Ivory (Temeraire, book 4), Curse of the Warmbloods (Gregor the Overlander, book 3), The City of Faar (Pendragon book 2), Lady Friday (Keys to the Kingdom, book 6), The Keep of Fire (The Last Rune, book 2), Salamandastron (Redwall). Also a recurring subplot in the Warriors books, where it is actually handled realistically - sometimes cats die, and there are herbs to help but mostly you just have to wait it out.