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* FriendlyEnemy: Blackthorne and Rodrigues in ''Shogun''.

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* FriendlyEnemy: Blackthorne and Rodrigues in ''Shogun''. Both have enormous respect and genuine liking for the other based on personal honour and the code of the sea - both save the other's life more than once. When Rodrigues is caught hiding weapons with which to kill Blackthorne (on orders of the Church, however little he actually wants to) there's great regret on both sides, knowing it marks a turning point from this into enemies proper.


* FaceDeathWithDignity: [[spoiler:Yabu]] in '''Shogun'', to the surprise of everyone.

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* FaceDeathWithDignity: [[spoiler:Yabu]] in '''Shogun'', ''Shogun'', to the surprise of everyone.everyone - he manages to not only perform the three cuts to the gut himself without the need for a second (something noted as extremely rare even for samurai due to the horrendous pain) but leave a death haiku Toranaga can't help but admire. Even [[spoiler:Hiro-matsu]], who's despised [[spoiler:Yabu]] for the entire novel, comments it was the best seppuku he'd ever seen.


** Quillian Gornt, his descendant from ''Noble House'', is a primary antagonist, and yet somewhat charming in his own way - he's a son of a bitch, but he also has quite a way with women. In fact, [[spoiler: after he drowns (between ''Noble House'' and ''Whirlwind''), Ian Dunross retires from being Tai-Pan of the Noble House because life is just too boring without his archrival there to compete with]]. In the miniseries, when [[spoiler: Dunross asks why he shouldn't just let Gornt be financially ruined, an exasperated Gornt replies that life would be dull for Dunross without him. It works.]]

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** Quillian Gornt, his descendant from ''Noble House'', is a primary antagonist, and yet somewhat charming in his own way - he's a son of a bitch, but he also has quite a way with women. In fact, [[spoiler: after he drowns (between ''Noble House'' and ''Whirlwind''), Ian Dunross retires from being Tai-Pan of the Noble House because life is just too boring without his archrival there to compete with]]. In the miniseries, when [[spoiler: Dunross asks why he shouldn't just let Gornt be financially ruined, ruined by Struan's new share prices, an exasperated Gornt replies that life would be dull for Dunross without him. It Tellingly, it works.]]

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* BlueAndOrangeMorality: Given the massive culture clashes prevalent in the novels, this is a theme. While the actions of the Chinese, Japanese and later Iranians are totally within the framework of their own cultures and religions, they appear this way to bewildered Western onlookers like Blackthorne or Casey and Bartlett, so alien are they to the Western values of the time (for example, witness Blackthorne's trouble understanding the samurai's right to kill peasants on as little a whim as testing their swords). While some, like Struan and Dunross, manage to gain an impressive understanding of Asian culture, it's never enough to get it fully.
** The Struan/Brock, and later [[GenerationXerox Dunross/Gornt]] rivalries are special in this regard, as the blood feud between them means they often take actions utterly incomprehensible to outsiders, even other Westerners. Failing to understand the depths of this is one of the things that dooms Casey and Bartlett's expansion attempt from the start.


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** Later used to show the more malicious side of Toranaga: it is mentioned early in the book that a prophecy states Ishido will "die an old man with his feet firmly planted in the earth, the most famous man in the land". When he's captured alive after Toranaga's final victory, Toranaga has him executed by having him buried up to the neck in an upright position, with passers-by invited to saw at the most famous neck in Japan.


** Tyler Brock, the nominal antagonist of ''Tai-Pan'', insists that he and his sons live by a code - he genuinely loves his family, insists that his nemesis Dirk Struan be broken "regular" (i.e not assassinated or knifed in the back), rebukes his mad son Gorth for taunting Struan when he's down and refuses to take advantage of his daughter Tess' love for Culum Struan. In this he actually shows more standards than Struan, [[spoiler: who takes full advantage of it to manipulate Culum and Tess into eloping, knowing it would enrage Gorth into attacking him so he could challenge him to a duel and kill him legally]] - and even after that, Brock stops himself from killing Struan when he realises that [[spoiler: as Gorth had tried to knowingly infect Culum with syphilis, Struan had cause to try to kill him]], and later attempts to arrange [[spoiler: Dirk being buried without May-May, to avoid his being tarnished by scandal in death.]]

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** Tyler Brock, the nominal antagonist of ''Tai-Pan'', insists that he and his sons live by a code - he genuinely loves his family, insists that his nemesis Dirk Struan be broken "regular" (i.e not assassinated or knifed in the back), rebukes his mad son Gorth for taunting Struan when he's down and refuses to take advantage of his daughter Tess' love for Culum Struan. In this he actually shows [[InvertedTrope more standards than Struan, Struan]], [[spoiler: who takes full advantage of it to manipulate Culum and Tess into eloping, knowing it would enrage Gorth into attacking him so he could challenge him to a duel and kill him legally]] - and even after that, Brock stops himself from killing Struan when he realises that [[spoiler: as Gorth had tried to knowingly infect Culum with syphilis, Struan had cause to try to kill him]], and later attempts to arrange [[spoiler: Dirk being buried without May-May, to avoid his being tarnished by scandal in death.]]

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* AsYouKnow: In ''Noble House'', Casey says this before giving a long and conspicuously encyclopedic description of Armenia and it's location, history and geopolitics to characters who do not, in fact, have any reason to know anything about Armenia.

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*GoshdangItToHeck: ZigZagged. Characters will often use "fornicating" or "God-cursed" as adjectives or simply be described with a NarrativeProfanityFilter, but still use actual swears from time to time.


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* PrecisionFStrike: Actual swearing is rare across the saga (see GoshdangItToHeck above), but F-bombs are sometimes dropped for effect at dramatic moments, such as Jamie McFay telling Greyforth to go fuck himself just before delivering the news about [[spoiler:Malcolm Struan's death.]]


* AdaptationalVillainy: The 1988 ''Noble House'' miniseries had a few examples.
** Linc Bartlett. In the book he's popular with everyone due to his immense charm and charisma, business savvy and personal bravery. In the miniseries he's a lot less scrupulous, and his deal with Gornt seems to be partially motivated by jealousy over Casey's attraction to Dunross.
** Also Gornt: while played with great charisma by John-Rhys Davies, he's a lot more FauxAffablyEvil here. Most notably, his [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil "prank"]] towards Casey on the boat is NOT laughed off by either of them.

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* AdaptationalVillainy: AdaptationalVillainy:
**
The 1988 ''Noble House'' miniseries had a few examples.
** *** Linc Bartlett. In the book he's popular with everyone due to his immense charm and charisma, business savvy and personal bravery. In the miniseries he's a lot less scrupulous, and his deal with Gornt seems to be partially motivated by jealousy over Casey's attraction to Dunross.
** *** Also Gornt: while played with great charisma by John-Rhys Davies, he's a lot more FauxAffablyEvil here. Most notably, his [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil "prank"]] towards Casey on the boat is NOT laughed off by either of them.


* TheFundamentalist: ''Whirlwind'' is full of them (unsurprisingly, since it's set during the Iranian Revolution). ''Shogun'' also has quite a lot of fanatical Christians (both Roman Catholic and Protestant) which again is to be expected due to the setting. ''Tai-Pan'' and ''Gai-jin'' have a few, but they're not really a plot point.

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* TheFundamentalist: ''Whirlwind'' is full of them (unsurprisingly, since it's set during the Iranian Revolution). ''Shogun'' also has quite a lot of fanatical Christians (both Roman Catholic and Protestant) Protestant), which again is to be expected due to the setting. ''Tai-Pan'' and ''Gai-jin'' have a few, but they're not really a plot point. ''Whirlwind'' is full of them (unsurprisingly, since it's set during the Iranian Revolution).

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* NothingIsScarier: The reputation of Outram Road Prison is so fearsome that even The King flinches when Lt. Grey threatens to send him there, but what exactly goes on there and why it is so terrible is never outright stated.


** The landslide at the conclusion of ''Noble House'' leaves everyone thinking Suslev is dead, including his erstwhile ally [[spoiler:Cross]]. He's still alive, but uses this to flee back to his ship and escape the Hong Kong police's threat to sell him out to the KGB if he doesn't give them information.

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** The landslide at the conclusion of ''Noble House'' leaves everyone thinking Suslev is dead, including his erstwhile ally [[spoiler:Cross]].[[spoiler:Crosse]]. He's still alive, but uses this to flee back to his ship and escape the Hong Kong police's threat to sell him out to the KGB if he doesn't give them information.



* GreaterScopeVillain: Sevrin and the KGB in ''Noble House''. Their shadowy presence drives many of the subplots, most notably [[spoiler:Jacques}} being a communist spy and everyone's hunt for the [=AMG=] files.

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* GreaterScopeVillain: Sevrin and the KGB in ''Noble House''. Their shadowy presence drives many of the subplots, most notably [[spoiler:Jacques}} [[spoiler:Jacques]] being a communist spy and everyone's hunt for the [=AMG=] files.


* Yabu from ''Shogun'' believes he is smarter and more cunning than Toranaga and is constantly looking to manuever the latter's poor positionto his advantage. Needless to say, he's not and [[spoiler:Toranaga decrees YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness near the book's end and orders him to commit seppuku]].

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* ** Yabu from ''Shogun'' believes he is smarter and more cunning than Toranaga and is constantly looking to manuever the latter's poor positionto his advantage. Needless to say, he's not and [[spoiler:Toranaga decrees YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness near the book's end and orders him to commit seppuku]].



** Suslev, the KGB operative in ''Noble House'' should be the BigBad given how fear of Communism and the Sevrin plot permeates the book. Yet he keeps managing to make things worse for himself - his open admiration of Stalin causes the previously loyal [[spoiler:Jacques]] to have severe second thoughts. Later, he betrays his Executive Officer to the Hong Kong police, but doesn't anticipate them taking him alive, which puts him in the impossible position of either having to give up Sevrin to escape their grasp or say nothing and have them let the Soviets know what he'd done (with the [[YouHaveFailedMe inevitable KGB retribution]] that implies). He escapes, but not through any planning on his part, just dumb luck that the earthquake leaves the Western characters thinking he's dead.

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** Suslev, the KGB operative in ''Noble House'' should be the BigBad given how fear of Communism and the Sevrin plot permeates the book. Yet he keeps managing to make things worse for himself - his open admiration of Stalin causes the previously loyal [[spoiler:Jacques]] to have severe second thoughts. Later, he betrays his Executive Officer to the Hong Kong police, but doesn't anticipate them taking him alive, which puts him in the impossible position of either having to give up Sevrin to escape their grasp or say nothing and have them let the Soviets know what he'd done (with the [[YouHaveFailedMe inevitable KGB retribution]] that implies). He escapes, but not through any planning on his part, just dumb luck that the earthquake landslide leaves the Western characters thinking he's dead.



* FakingTheDead: [[spoiler:''Whirlwind'' reveals that Alan-Medford Grant, the intelligence expert whose intelligence files were the major MacGuffin of the spy subplots of ''Noble House'', had the death reported in that novel faked by MI6.]]

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* FakingTheDead: [[spoiler:''Whirlwind'' FakingTheDead:
** The landslide at the conclusion of ''Noble House'' leaves everyone thinking Suslev is dead, including his erstwhile ally [[spoiler:Cross]]. He's still alive, but uses this to flee back to his ship and escape the Hong Kong police's threat to sell him out to the KGB if he doesn't give them information.
**[[spoiler:''Whirlwind''
reveals that Alan-Medford Grant, the intelligence expert whose intelligence files were the major MacGuffin of the spy subplots of ''Noble House'', had the death reported in that novel faked by MI6.]]


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* GreaterScopeVillain: Sevrin and the KGB in ''Noble House''. Their shadowy presence drives many of the subplots, most notably [[spoiler:Jacques}} being a communist spy and everyone's hunt for the [=AMG=] files.

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* WhatBeautifulEyes: Dirk is mentioned to have very striking, bright green eyes, to the point that the Chinese refer to him as the "green-eyed devil". It's even referenced on his PersonalSeal.


* {{Sexophone}}: In the adaptation of ''Noble House'', this is Venus Poon's leitmotif.

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* {{Sexophone}}: In the adaptation of ''Noble House'', this is Venus Poon's (Creator/TiaCarrere's character) leitmotif.


* SpannerInTheWorks: In ''Shogun'', Blackthorne unwittingly disrupts years of carefully laid scheming by various characters, especially the Catholic Christian ones.

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* SpannerInTheWorks: In ''Shogun'', Blackthorne unwittingly disrupts years of carefully laid scheming by various characters, especially the Catholic Christian ones. There's also Friar Domingo, a Spanish priest who insists on coming to Japan and stirring up trouble with the Daimyo, despite knowing next to nothing about the local situation, as well as Japan being in Portugal's official sphere of influence.

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