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Mid-Series Introduction

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Character is introduced during the middle of the story.

This trope has been Nuked
Proposed By:
nirao01 on Dec 5th 2017 at 9:50:08 PM
Last Edited By:
Arivne on Dec 8th 2017 at 6:16:36 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

Series obviously have cast of characters. Almost always, the protagonist is introduced in the Pilot. Sometimes they are much larger than the norm or/and given significant focus, role and development much like the protagonist. Cases like these often opts for Second Episode Introduction.

At the same time, the middle of the story is where crucial things happen. Major revelations and twists usually happen here, and it is also where the turning point of the story usually kicks in if not leads to, and often times this character is a major part of those.


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     Anime & Manga 

  • The Hunger Games trilogy introduces main characters Johanna Mason, Finnick Odair, Beetee Latier, and Plutarch Heavensbee in the second book, Catching Fire.

     Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones has a total of eight seasons.
    • The fourth introduces several major characters: couple Oberyn Martell and Ellaria Sand (whose appearance have officially introduced Dorne in the story), Mace Tyrell (Lord Paramount of the Reach and the King's Father-in-Law), The Three-Eyed Raven (essentially the series' Big Good), and the Night's King (the series' Big Bad and Ultimate Evil).
    • The fifth introduces several major characters as well: The Waif (Arya Stark's sempai and rival) and Wun-Wun (the last known living giant who will be integral on the Starks battle in retaking Winterfell).
  • In How I Met Your Mother, the titular mother's roommate Cindy is introduced during the middle of the fifth season, which is the middle of a nine-season long series. She will serve as the catalyst for why The Hero will ultimately meet his future wife.
  • Orphan Black:
    • Delphine Cormier and Aldous Leekie are respectively introduced in Episodes 5 and 6 of a ten episode season. The former is one of the main character's Love Interest (and a main character herself) and one of their most powerful allies, while the latter is the Disc-One Final Boss.
    • The supposedly Posthumous Character Ethan Duncan is revealed to be Not Quite Dead in the sixth episode of the similarly ten episode second season. He created the main characters and is the adoptive father to one of them.
    • If one considers the overall five seasons, then main character Charlotte Bowles is the Last Episode, New Character in Season 2, while prominent antagonists Ferdinand Chevalier and Virginia Coady, as well as main character Krystal Goderitch, are all introduced in Season 3.
  • Spartacus:
    • Main character Agron makes his debut in the eight episode of the inaugural season, which is thirteen episodes long.
    • Main character Gannicus is introduced as the protagonist of the prequel season following the first.
    • If one considers the overall four seasons, then there's main character Nassir, who got a Second Episode Introduction in the third season.
  • The Walking Dead:
    • Breakout Characters Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier are both introduced during the series' third episode. The inaugural season only has six episodes.
    • The mid-Season 3 finale introduces main characters Tyreese and his sister Sasha. The season is sixteen episodes long.
    • Man characters Abraham, Eugene and Rosita made their debut in the following episode after the mid-Season 4 premiere. The season is sixteen episodes long.
    • Man characters Aaron made his debut in the following episode after the mid-Season 5 premiere. The season is sixteen episodes long.
    • Man characters Jesus made his debut in the following episode after the mid-Season 6 premiere. The season is sixteen episodes long.

     Video Games 
  • Ultimecia, the Big Bad of the four-disc game Final Fantasy VIII, is officially introduced in the story at the very beginning of Disc 3.
  • The four-disc game The Legend of Dragoon introduces party member Meru in Disc 2, while the very last party member, Miranda, is introduced at the beginning of Disc 3.
  • Metal Gear makes it tricky due to the franchise having three different protagonists.
    • The Solid Snake saga covers five games. His (and the overall series') third game introduces the series' Breakout Villain Ocelot, Solid Snake's best friend Hal "Otacon" Emmerich, Wild Card Naomi Hunter, The Cutie Mei Ling, the first resident Action Girl (though not initially) Meryl Silverburgh, resident Butt-Monkey Johnny Sasaki, and the other iconic villains Psycho Mantis and Liquid Snake (the latter being the protagonist's twin brother).
    • The Naked Snake/Big Boss saga covers four games. His third game introduces Otacon's would be parents Huey Emmerich and Dr. Strangeglove.
  • The Parasite Eve series has three games. The second introduces The Hero's Love Interest Kyle Magdigan as well as her adopted sister Eve. The latter eventually becomes the protagonist of the third due to Body Surf.

     Web Original 

Feedback: 10 replies

Dec 5th 2017 at 10:24:11 PM

Wasn't there a trope or a suggestion like this? But anyways,

Avatar The Last Airbender: Several major characters like Toph Beifong, Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee were introduced in Book 2.

Dec 6th 2017 at 1:18:29 AM

  • Noir has four main characters: Mireille, Kirika, Chloe, and Altena. The last two are first introduced in episode 10 (of 26), "The True Noir".

Would it count if a character is mentioned from the start, but is not seen in person until half-way through the story? For instance:

  • In Dragon Age Origins, the Big Bad archdemon Urthemiel is mentioned repeatedly after the prologue, but is first seen in full in a non-interactive cutscene in the Dead Trenches, during the final third of the game.
  • In Dragon Age II, you don't meet Viscount Dumar, one of the very few Reasonable Authority Figures in Kirkwall until Act 2 (of 3), although this is justified by the fact that you are still a nobody in Act 1.

Dec 6th 2017 at 2:17:08 AM

I'm not sure how tropeable this is. Most works are going to have characters coming and going throughout the story. Maybe you could limit it to major characters, but then there's going to be debate as to what constitutes a major character (Oberyn Martell from Game of Thrones, for example, is someone I'd say was very important during the arc he was on the show for, but ultimately fairly inconsequential to the show's overall Myth Arc).

It's also not clear as to what constitutes "mid-series". In the Walking Dead example you have characters introduced in the third episode of the series counted on the grounds that it's halfway through the first season, even though that's obviously still very early in the show story.

It might be workable if we can establish some hard rules as to which characters apply, but otherwise I think this is quickly going to devolve into listing basically every character from every work who isn't there right at the very beginning.

Dec 6th 2017 at 6:23:05 AM

Light Novels:

  • Iroha Isshiki from My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU is a character that appears in the volume 7.5 of the light novel and the second season of the anime, a character only seen in the background or barely mentioned to get a major protagonism after her first appearance. A First Year student that ask help to Service Club and ends hanging up with Hachiman Hikigaya and even becoming the "fourth member" of the protagonist trio. And going further, Iroha quickly becomes the Third Option Love Interest and a serious option instead Yui and Yukino.

Dec 6th 2017 at 2:33:50 PM

I'd say, this draft needs some inclusion thresholds.

  1. Does this only involves plot based works, rather than premise based works? I personally would limit this to plot based works.
  2. How late is mid-series? In long runners a character may be introduced a long time after the work started but hardly in the middle.

Dec 6th 2017 at 10:21:50 PM

...This honestly sounds like a massive People Sit On Chairs.

Either that, or Omnipresent Trope, in which case examples are redundant, since we could list pretty much everything longer than 1 chapter.

Dec 7th 2017 at 1:25:08 AM

I have to agree that, as written, this appears in most works ever created and doesn't have any narrative significance.

Dec 7th 2017 at 4:42:52 AM

This proposal got some meta significance. Most stories with actual plots have characters linked to the middle of the narrative (where important things and twists happen), so they don't appear before. And stories that take some time to find their formula tend to introduce important characters near the middle. It just isn't significant enough beyond that, and there are honestly way too many examples to list. Some of them could turn entries into a bunch of spoilered text too. I think it could only work as an Omnipresent Trope.

Dec 8th 2017 at 6:16:36 AM

I recommend any examples to this must include why it is plot/premise-significant.