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The Land of What Might-Have-Been by Straightjacketed is an alternate version of Wicked, starting during Glinda and Elphaba's final conversation in Kiamo Ko and progressing from there as a dimensional rift caused by Elphaba's unstable magic sends the two witches, Dorothy, Toto, Chistrey and Dorothy's companions into an alternate universe, fifty years in their future. With Dorothy's companions lost in the wilderness, Elphaba is stuck with Dorothy in the "Deviant Nations" ruled by Glinda's counterpart, while Glinda finds herself taken to the kingdom of Unbridled Radiance, a kingdom focused on the idea that beauty equals goodness to the point of forcing that view on everyone... ruled by the now-insane Elphaba Thropp, the "Radiant Empress", given a normal complexion and virtual immortality at the cost of being driven utterly insane. As Glinda is captured by the Empress, Elphaba and Dorothy find themselves in the "custody" of the Great Mentor — Glinda's own counterpart, leading to Elphaba being dragged into the war against her other self.

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The Land of What Might-Have-Been provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Basically applies to the Empress; while she never actually hurt her daughters, the Empress is revealed to have kept her daughters locked up ever since a weapon from the Deviant Nations triggered some of Elphaba's old genes to turn them partially green, just because she couldn't accept this continued proof that there was some part of her that was still 'corrupted' by her past 'deviant' status.
  • Adaptational Badass: Glinda and Dorothy go from a ditz and a screaming damsel in distress to actually taking a stand for their friends, ranging from Glinda beating a would-be captor to death to Dorothy hitting an invading soldier with the burning arm of a dummy and sacrificing herself to the Hellion to save Elphaba and the Lion.
  • Adipose Rex: Rostov Branderstove, the richest and most powerful of all the industrialists visiting the Wizard's palace during the backstory, is morbidly obese and absolutely gargantuan. In the present, he's the commander of a mercenary company known as the Strangling Coils, and thanks to mutations induced by the Plague of Transformations, he's even bigger - to the point that his men call him "The Leviathan."
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  • Adult Fear: When Elphaba arrives in an alternate reality where Melena gave her Elphaba to a circus when the infant was just four months old, Melena expresses concern that the circus will just put her in the freak show.
  • All or Nothing: By Chapter 72, the Deviant Nations' only hope for victory is to gather their remaining resources in an all-or-nothing attack on Unbridled Radiance, albeit aided by Elphaba and Dorothy taking down the city's defences from the inside.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The process that gave the alternate Elphaba normal skin (and, indirectly, immortality) involved merging a spell to drain pigmentation, a spell for chameleonic mimicry, a spell to remove skin (likely originally used as a means of torture) and a spell to create an antibiotic protection until her skin is restored. Later Elphaba is shown contemplating the list of spells required for her to create a new human body and safely transfer Fiyero's consciousness from his Scarecrow body into the new one.
  • Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome:
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    • Played darkly in the case of alternate Elphaba, the Radiant Empress: an immensely powerful witch with powers almost akin to that of a demigod, she's carved out her own empire from the ruins of Oz and now serves as the single biggest threat in the entire story.
    • The alternate Glinda is now the Great Mentor, the leader of a resistance movement that's essentially become a global superpower in its own right, and has learned enough magic to take on an entire enemy fleet and come out on top - despite her numerous illnesses.
    • The alternate Boq is Dr Kiln, the Mentor's personal physician; on top of being an an incredibly skilled mage-surgeon and scientist, he's also quite the powerhouse in battle.
    • The alternate Nessa is the Mistress of Mirrors, an information broker with the power to see the world through mirrors and shadows.
    • In Chapter 74, Elphaba manages to be superior to Alphaba when she discovers Alphaba's children, who have been locked away since a Deviant 'weapon' activated some of the green genes they inherited from Alphaba, for the simple reason that Elphaba is willing to spend time with them where Alphaba always said that she had other things to do.
  • Amnesia Loop:
    • Roquat the Red mentions that one of his alternate selves kept getting his memory erased and then attempting to renew his plans of conquest only to get his memory erased and start the cycle all over again.
    • Chapter 74 reveals that the Empress has trapped her daughters in one; every time the latest attempt to 'cure' them fails, she uses a spell and the age-regression of the Childlike Researchers to make her daughters younger and forget the failure, so that they have been locked away for years and still think it's only been a week since they were sent into isolation.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: As Morrible suffers the final Death of Personality, she expresses regret for her vague memories of how she manipulated and abused Elphaba and Glinda.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • When the Empress attacks the Deviant Nations, she crushes Boq into a cube shape but he is still conscious even if he can't move or speak.
    • The epilogue looks directly at the Empress’s mental degradation as her senses decay due to a lack of external stimuli after she’s subjected to the overdose of shapeshifting potion.
  • And Then What?: Dorothy confronts the Nome King with the pointlessness of his plans to torture the Wizard, considering his enemy’s age means he won't have that 'pleasure' for long.
  • Appliance Defenestration: In one of the flashback sequences, the Radiant Empress throws a record player out the window after receiving a mocking message from the Mentor claiming credit for triggering the dormant genes for green skin in the Empress's children.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The Radiant Empress spent much of the backstory refusing to believe in Dr Lintel's theory of the multiverse, even after all the weird and wonderful magical phenomena she's witnessed. As such, she believes that Elphaba is an impostor created by the Great Mentor for some reason and continues to fixate on that even when fighting (by proxy) with Elphaba; ultimately, she drops the skepticism after Elphaba starts revealing a few too many personal details during the battle.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • When Elphaba and the Empress first 'meet' (albeit with the Empress communicating through the Champion's implants), the Empress initially believes that Elphaba is just some kind of copy created by the Mentor, either a kind of clone or someone who's been surgically altered to resemble her past self, but when Elphaba directly asks if the Empress has spotted any signs that she's lied so far, the Empress is forced to start acknowledging that Elphaba may be exactly what she seems.
    • After Elphaba discovers the vault where Alphaba's daughters have been hidden for years, the Empress is unable to come up with a proper explanation for why Elphaba is dangerous when she's been with the girls for almost an hour and done nothing to harm them while assuring them of their importance where the Empress never spent more than a few minutes with them at a time because she allegedly had more important things to do.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Dr. Corone's bomb, described as, "Useful for clearing bunkers, levelling enemy fortifications, and discouraging door-to-door salesmen."
  • Assimilation Backfire: When Morrible tries to absorb Elphaba's power to restore herself, she grows back to adulthood but ends up absorbing Elphaba's green skin as well, distracting her long enough for Dorothy to get the drop on her.
  • Assimilation Plot: This is essentially the feared final goal of Unbridled Radiance; to make everyone 'perfect' while essentially eliminating individuality and freedom of choice.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: All the major players in the war are led by spectacular powerhouses on the battlefield - the Radiant Empress for Unbridled Radiance, the Great Mentor for the Deviant Nations, the Leviathan for the Strangling Coils; even the Mayor of Loamlark and the head of the militia aren't afraid to take the fight to the enemy. During the final battle, the Mentor even uses an armoured suit, equipped with weapons and her usual life-support systems, allowing her to engage the Empress in direct combat.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Considering that the flashbacks depict the events that will end with Elphaba becoming the Empress and taking control of Oz, it's hard not to concede that the villain will win in that scenario.
  • Badass and Child Duo: In a sense, Elphaba and Dorothy end up in this position, as the circumstances of their arrival in the Deviant Nations result in the two of them being the only company the other has from their original reality for a time.
  • The Beautiful Elite: The Purified occupy the uppermost strata of Unbridled Radiance's society, and are uniformly depicted as eerily beautiful; members of this caste enjoy immortality, superhuman strength, peerless grace, enhanced mental faculties - at the cost of being slowly and torturously brainwashed into a loyal servant of the Empress. Membership is only granted to those who have striven to achieve perfection in their chosen field... though it's feared that the Empress might one day extend this blessing to literally everyone.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: The primary philosophy of Unbridled Radiance, but taken to a very twisted degree, to the point that the Empress will make people "beautiful" to the point of twisting their minds, and even believes that her own past efforts to be a hero were a failure because she was ugly and wicked.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Flashbacks reveal how the Empress basically became worse than the Wizard's most extreme authority, ordering the surgical "correction" on the disfigured and enforcing Purification on everyone judged 'deserving' in the name of making Oz what she thinks it 'should' be, arguing that the Wizard's actions were only crimes because they defied beauty where she is bringing it out in her people.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Elphaba still dislikes being used, but she controls being basically forced into alliance with the Deviant Nations because she has to concede that the Mentor is right that there's nothing else they can do but help her against the Empress.
    • After spending time with Dorothy, the knowledge that Dorothy has handed herself over to the Hellion prompts Elphaba to immediately fly into a rage and resolve to find the Hellion to rescue Dorothy, with the rest of the displaced Ozians joining her (with the exception of the still-injured Lion).
    • Flashbacks reveal that the Mentor first demonstrated the full scale of her magical potential when she destroyed a range of mage-surgeons after they killed her son.
    • During the final battle, Elphaba makes the Empress lose concentration by basically forcing her to regress back to her pre-Purified state, the horror of her 'regression' causing the Empress's body to collapse at last.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: By the time of the final battle, Dorothy is willing and able to give herself fangs capable of biting a man's ear off, as well as her command of the Dolls.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Flashbacks reveal that Glinda's son, Allaran, was very close to his little sister Alyssina, often giving her piggy-back rides to show her around the Deviant Nations.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Elphaba serves as this at various points, whether saving Glinda from Unbridled Radiance or leading the attempt to rescue Dorothy from the Hellion.
    • In flashbacks to the war between Unbridled Radiance and the Deviant Nations, the Mentor was saved from forced Purification by Mr Heart after Unbridled Radiance's surgeons killed her son.
    • When Elphaba returns to Unbridled Radiance from other dimensions, Dorothy is able to use the Ruby Slippers to teleport herself to Elphaba in time to save her from being absorbed by Morrible.
    • During the final battle, Fiyero's spirit is transferred into the Champion's body, but Elphaba's tampering with the transfer equipment ensures that he retains his own mind and delivers a Curb-Stomp Battle to the Purified.
  • Birds of a Feather: For the first few days in the Deviant Nations, Elphaba forms this kind of bond with Dorothy of all people, as the only two people from Oz to stick together and arrive somewhere comparatively safe.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The Empress might consider herself a benevolent ruler bringing beauty to all, but in the end she's a psychopath willing to destroy everything who disagrees with her philosophy.
  • Blood from the Mouth: After getting impaled by the Empress, the Mentor pukes up a lot of blood before losing consciousness; though she's still alive by the end of the chapter, she's clearly not in good shape.
  • Bloody Handprint: Given that she doesn't have skin, the Hellion tends to leave gory handprints on everything she touches, at one point driving Dorothy to a panic attack by magically smearing bloody handprints all over her without even being in the same room.
  • Body Horror:
    • Both sides subject themselves to various gruesome experiments to make their bodies match their philosophies, but at least everything done to the subjects of the Deviant Nations is done with the full consent of the relevant parties; Unbridled Radiance forces their surgery onto people even if they don't actually want it, to the point of surgically changing their brains while the procedure is taking place, and one constant element of the process involves literally tearing off the subject's skin.
    • Also applies to the Hellion; her precise origin was not revealed until Chapter 52, but she was always shown to be dangerous and twisted, to the point of being completely skinless and sporting tusks for teeth, a voice that seems to change as she speaks, and with arms in place of legs while she hovers through the air.
    • The Plague of Transformations, a case of a Baleful Polymorph turned viral by the Radiant Empress, results in several unfortunate cases of this. In one case, Shenshen and Pfanee end up getting merged together into a writhing ball of flesh, and in another, Rostov Branderstove is permanently transformed into a giant octopus/human hybrid.
    • It's revealed that one of the many reasons why the Tin Man is so irrational is that his brains are starting to corrode.
  • Boom, Headshot!: During her personal attack on Loamlark, the Empress is shot in the head at least twice, although her immortality means this doesn’t do much damage.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: To various degrees for the residents of Unbridled Radiance, but particularly in the case of the Empress's champion, revealed after his death to be this world's version of Fiyero, who was subjected to a complex spell to ensure his love for Glinda by mixing it with his feelings for Elphaba that seriously damaged his mind.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In Chapter 68, Roquat the Red explains that he has attempted to call for help by sending messages along 'the Fourth Great Boundary', but notes that few people would have taken them seriously.
  • Broken Pedestal: After the Purified are deprogrammed, many of them are able to help the anti-Empress campaign as they reveal how many rules they broke under her orders in the name of sustaining the empire.
  • Brutal Honesty: The First of the Shapeless is very blunt about the possible risks of becoming one of the Amorphous League when talking with Elphaba prior to Glinda's initiation ritual.
  • But Now I Must Go: Although tempted to remain in the new world, Elphaba concludes that she must return to Oz to finish what she started and help her fellow travellers achieve their goals.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Glinda basically fills this role during her initial time in Unbridled Radiance, witnessing such horror and taking such a beating (particularly from a spell cast on her by the Radiant Empress) that she actually wonders at one point if she's legitimately died and gone to Hell.
    • Dorothy spends a huge chunk of the story being put through the wringer as a result of the Hellion's obsession with her, starting off by essentially being paralyzed and ending by having to sacrifice herself to save Elphaba. She gradually recovers once she starts learning how to defend herself.
    • Dr Kiln is this throughout: if something ghastly has to happen, he'll usually be on the receiving end of it. Among other things, he gets shot through the glider wings, falls several hundred feet, is forced to lead Elphaba on a merry chase across Loamlark, gets accidentally drugged and sent on a massive trip, is reduced to paddling around an underground lake on a raft made of corpses, is raked over the coals by Elphaba on numerous occasions, and usually ends up saddled with patients who don't feel like listening to him. In Chapter 66, the Empress burns him alive, and the only way he manages to extinguish himself is by flinging himself out the window and tumbling down the roof for several hundred feet before landing in a heap of broken limbs. And then Dr Coil comes along and asks if he can eat him. He survives, but he's left both exasperated and in considerable pain.
  • Cain and Abel: Essentially applies to 'Alphaba' and the alternate version of Nessarose, who was generally against Unbridled Radiance's policies but never took explicit action herself because she didn't want to have to kill her sister.
  • Canon Character All Along: The mysterious Eyes in the Void are revealed to be the amalgamation of a mass of alternate essences of Roquat the Red, which escaped into the Void when they couldn't inhabit a new body in their own worlds, with the 'prime' intelligence of these Roquats being the Nome King from The Shattering of Oz.
  • Captured on Purpose: Elphaba basically tries this when she deliberately exposes herself in Unbridled Radiance to try and draw attention away from Dorothy, but it initially fails because Paragon is monitoring the system and the identities inside it don't want Elphaba to get hurt.
  • Can't Get in Trouble for Nuthin': In chapter 73, after ending up Trapped Behind Enemy Lines Elphaba desperately needs to get the attention of the enemy to prevent them from finding Dorothy. So, she immediately flings herself in front of the nearest guard without disguise... only for the guard to pretend that he didn't see her and run away, as it turns out that she actually rescued the guy in a previous chapter. Annoyed, Elphaba runs for the nearest security camera and makes as big a spectacle of herself as possible; unfortunately, the security systems are being controlled by Paragon which is a repository of uploaded brains led by the Wizard and Dillamond, neither of whom will harm Elphaba. As a result, Elphaba is left enraged that, for once in her life, she cannot get in trouble.
  • Cassandra Truth: Sergeant Harnley repeatedly accuses Alphaba of being behind the Plague of Transformations, but no one believes him. The facts that he'd hated her since before her "redemption" and had previously led his fellow guardsman in giving her a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown upon capturing her didn't help his credibility. Turns out he's right.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Several elements are set up in Chapters 70-71 that suddenly become useful in Chapter 74:
    • Elphaba learns how to project memories and share them with others courtesy of Roquat the Nome King. Later, she is able to use this power to turn Alphaba's children against her by revealing all the horrible things that their mother did to them in the dream-memories.
    • Throughout Elphaba's journey through the void, Roquat is continuously reciting inexplicable series of numbers for every dimension they visit. Later, when given access to Dr Lintel's dimensional gateway, she realizes that these were actually co-ordinates for the worlds - allowing her to use the portal to her advantage in the battle that follows - heavily implying that Roquat was deliberately giving Elphaba hints that would give her an advantage over the Empress.
    • Chapter 71 ends with Roquat deciding to remain a passenger inside Elphaba's mind for the foreseeable future, then erasing her memory of their encounter so she won't try to remove him. In chapter 74, the Empress is able to paralyze Elphaba and eventually render her unconscious unwittingly allowing Roquat to temporarily seize control of Elphaba's body and deliver some Extreme Mêlée Revenge.
  • The Chessmaster: Flashbacks show how Elphaba/the Empress maneuvered herself into a position of greater power while eliminating those who might threaten her authority or ensuring that she could recruit the appropriate allies to her cause.
  • Children Are Innocent: After the final battle, Elphaba talks with some children from Unbridled Radiance while resting in a park, most of whom are just fascinated by her rather than scared.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Dr. Kiln spews one of these in Chapter 19 during his unexpected crash landing.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: The Strangling Coils and an angry mob of Loamlark's citizens team up to publicly torture some captured soldiers from Unbridled Radiance, the method of choice being pitch-capping.
  • Combat Breakdown: Discussed in chapter 66; the Wizard Duel between the Mentor and the Empress starts off as a creative, spectacular exchange of magic, with each spell being countered by another; as time goes on, the combatants start to lose patience and become progressively less elaborate until they're reduced to smacking each other back and forth with kinetic blasts. In the end, the Empress is so frustrated that she ends up dropping no less than three buildings on the Mentor, before finishing off by impaling her through the chest with the spire of one of the buildings.
  • Cooldown Hug: Elphaba gets one of these from Glinda after the discovery of Alternate Fiyero's true identity and a Breaking Speech from the Empress makes her lose control of her powers.
  • Corrupt Politician: The original government of Oz wasn't great, but even Morrible doesn't deserve what Elphaba did to her as she gained power, and they certainly never explicitly mutilated people to achieve their goals like Elphaba resorts to here (even if she argues it's "for their own good").
  • The Corrupter: Back when she was still Elphaba, the Radiant Empress managed to recruit Boq by successfully convincing him that Glinda would never love him, then exploiting his grief and loss of purpose to seduce him with the possibility of a new life; as a result, Boq becomes Mr Heart, one of her magical researchers - and a key conspirator in the Wizard's downfall.
  • Court Physician: Professional mage-surgeon Dr Kiln serves as the personal physician to the Great Mentor of the Deviant Nations. Given that his employer is old, infirm and not above straying onto the battlefield, he's got his work cut out for him. However, the Mentor also enjoys sending him to care for vital personnel like Elphaba - who usually doesn't want his help or appreciate being dosed with performance-enhancing drugs without her knowledge. Consequently, Kiln is left a bit exasperated by the fact that both of his patients seem to have a death wish, forcing him to work overtime on the battlefield to save their lives. He's actually the alternate universe equivalent of Boq.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Suggested; alternate Morrible mentions at one point that she's concerned that her attempts to influence Elphaba's moods are causing mental instability, and while Glinda dismisses it at the time as Morrible just trying to cover up her own plans, it becomes chillingly more plausible when looking at scenes from Elphaba's perspective set around this time...
  • Crying Wolf: alternate Morrible of all people; she may have actually been telling Glinda the truth when she tried to warn Glinda that Elphaba was becoming unstable due to spells Morrible had performed to try and control Elphaba, but thanks to both Elphaba's deceptions (which Morrible couldn't have known about) and Morrible's own past actions, Glinda is thoroughly disinclined to believe a word of it.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Anyone who makes the mistake of challenging the Empress usually ends up getting their ass handed to them. The only reason why Elphaba and Glinda are able to keep up with her in Chapter 40 is because she's just toying with them; once the Empress gets bored, the battle swiftly tips in her favour and Elphaba only manages to win the day thanks to one of the Mentor's gambits. In Chapter 66, the Empress is no longer playing around: upon arriving in Greenspectre, she proceeds to mop the floor with Dr Kiln, Boq, Branderstove, Fiyero, Dr Coil, The First of the Shapeless, Glinda, the Mentor, Elphaba and Dorothy; the Mentor is the only one of them who gives her even the slightest bit of trouble, and she still ends up barely clinging to life by the end of the chapter.
    • Once the war is over and the displaced travellers return to Oz, their new skills and abilities from the war make them a devastating team, attacking the heart of the Emerald City and knocking down all of the Wizard’s guards without actually killing any of them with relative ease.
  • The Darkness Gazes Back: Dorothy and a few survivors from the alternate Kansas report strange nightmares about being watched by "ice-cold eyes in the darkness." What this means was not explained... until Chapter 68.
  • Dark Reprise: A few key lyrics from "Dancing Through Life" are repeated in Chapter 36, except this time, the happy-go-lucky song is being repeated by the Alternate Fiyero as he slowly dies from his injuries.
  • Darkest Hour: Chapter 66 ends with the Empress having defeated basically all of the main cast, banished Elphaba to a void dimension, and taking Fiyero and the body of the Champion with the goal of using Fiyero's soul to bring the Champion back to life while brainwashing him to be her servant all over again.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • It could be argued that the Elphaba who became the Empress did this when she agreed to the surgery that would make her beautiful to earn "forgiveness" from the citizens of Oz.
    • Later, Elphaba has to basically make one with the 'Agglomeration' of the essences of the alternate versions of Roquat the Red, allowing this combined essence to reside in the back of her mind as it guides her back to the Deviant Nations through a complex network of portals.
  • Deathly Unmasking: At the end of Elphaba's battle with the Empress's Champion, the Champion sustains fatal injuries and expires - but not before murmuring a few lyrics from Dancing Through Life. Horror-stricken, Elphaba removes the Champion's mask, revealing that she's just killed the Alternate Fiyero.
  • Death by De-aging: While feeding on Elphaba to restore her own age, Morrible gloats that by the time she's finished, Elphaba will be regressed to nothing more than embryonic goo. Fortunately, Dorothy is able to stop her before she gets that far.
  • Death of Personality: This is the ultimate fate of most of the Childlike Researchers, as they lose basically all true memory of their adult lives and accept the 'assurances' of the Empress that their adult memories are just an illness. Chapter 78 shows Morrible finally succumb to this fate, the attempt to upload her personality into Paragon failing as her age shifted during the initial download process and there wasn't enough of her left.
  • Decapitated Army: The army of Unbridled Radiance swiftly falls apart after the 'death' of the Empress.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Elphaba hits this at various points;
    • In the alternate history, Elphaba hit a particularly low point after she was captured by the Wizard's forces, feeling as though everything she's ever done has been for nothing as she accomplished so little in her campaign against the Wizard.
    • Elphaba has a particularly depressing breakdown when she kills the Empress's champion and only learns after he's dead that she just killed Fiyero's brainwashed counterpart, but her mood picks up when she learns the Scarecrow's true identity.
    • Dorothy appears to hit this after it's discovered that the Hellion has captured the Cowardly Lion, and will kill him if Elphaba doesn't hand over Dorothy; among other things, she pretty much gives up all hope of ever escaping the Hellion, and asks to be handed over.
  • The Determinator: When the Mayor of Loamlark attacks the Empress directly, she turns his arms into glass (so that they shatter from trying to attack her) and then cuts off his legs, and he continues to yell his defiance at her until he’s explicitly killed.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: After the Empress captures Fiyero, she denies that she's going to 'brainwash' him and talks of it as 'therapy' to adjust his thought processes to make them more efficient.
  • Doppelgänger Gets Same Sentiment:
    • Elphaba coming to this reality is the reason the Mistress of Mirrors- the alternate version of Nessa- chooses to end her neutrality, as she would rather the monster that her sister has become be defeated by the woman she once was if anyone has to do it.
    • Later, when Elphaba visits another reality, she meets a version of Melena Thropp, her long-deceased mother, Elphaba taking time to assure Melena that she did the right thing giving her version of Elphaba away, and also takes steps to prevent this Melena dying under the same circumstances that led to her dying while giving birth to Nessa.
    • Basically deconstructed in Elphaba's final talk with Frexspar, the Wizard and Dillamond's personalities in Paragon when they ask her to delete them; as they point out, they aren't the versions of them that Elphaba actually has issues with, and she already achieved as much closure with their counterparts as she could.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come:
    • When Elphaba is visiting a reality where Melena gave her to a circus as an infant, she has a vision of a future where the circus will return to Oz after the Wizard has been deposed and Queen Ozma is once again on the throne, with Elphaba the star performer and Melena and Nessa alive and healthy after divorcing Frexspar.
    • The epilogue ends with Elphaba not only dreaming of events back in the other world as the Mentor is reunited with her daughter before dying of old age, but also experiencing glimpses of the future, such as the Lion speaking for Animal rights, Morrible retreating in disgrace, Dorothy and Boq at Nessa’s official funeral, the Wizard making peace with the Nome King of this world, Dorothy a permanent resident of Oz and accepted despite her remaining traits from the Hellion, and what appears to be Elphaba and Fiyero’s wedding and their future child.
  • Due to the Dead: As the final battle concludes, Elphaba gives her counterpart a moment of sympathy as she offers the observation that people don't always get what they truly want.
  • Dying as Yourself: While the Mentor insists that nothing of the original person survives purification, the Champion’s dying actions at least suggest that enough of Fiyero remained despite his own Purification, as he was able to disable a gas bomb implanted in his body that would have taken his killers with him if it had gone off.
  • Ear Ache: Colonel Gloss of the Strangling Coils sports a mangled ear, acquired when one of his past victims managed to take a bite out of him just before getting stabbed to death. After he betrays Branderstove and joins the Empress, Dorothy bites his other ear off.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Depends on whether the Hellion should be considered 'evil' or just warped, but Dorothy realises that the Hellion never made her into one of the Hellion's dolls because that would have destroyed the last part of her original identity, based on the Hellion's buried memories of her own past as Dorothy's counterpart.
  • Everyone Knew Already: The epilogue reveals that the Mentor has known Doctor Kiln’s original identity for years based on how he interacted with Nessa, even if it took her a while to remember his original name.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Noted when Elphaba travels to an alternate world where her mother faked the infant Elphaba's death; as much as Elphaba resents her father causing her mother's death by forcing her to consume the milkflowers during her pregnancy, she recognises that Frexspar wouldn't do anything to endanger Melena if he knew her life would have been at risk.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • When Fiyero is captured by the Empress, she continually insists that Elphaba is the reason for everything bad that happened to Fiyero, even when Fiyero observes that everything bad that happened to him, such as abandoning his post, was done by his own free will.
    • Invoked when the Nome King can’t understand why Dorothy would be willing to trap herself and her friends in this world rather than return to Oz, even after Dorothy explains that she knows Elphaba and Glinda would never agree to his plans for the Wizard.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Radiant Empress and the Great Mentor to Elphaba and Glinda respectively; even if the Mentor is technically on their side, she's still far more manipulative and ruthless than Glinda would ever want to be.
    • Arguably applies to the Champion, although he was just Fiyero's counterpart heavily brainwashed rather than choosing his current path on his own.
    • Chapter 52 identifies the Hellion as the twisted counterpart of Dorothy.
  • Face Death with Dignity: During the final battle, Doctor Coil sacrifices himself to help distract the Empress, but before he makes his move he reflects that he's satisfied with his life, having achieved a great deal for a simple Snake.
  • Fan Disservice: Chapter 23 features a sex-scene between alternate Fiyero and alternate Glinda; however, alternate Elphaba is using this as an opportunity to rid Fiyero of his infatuation with her, and casts a spell that causes him to perceive Glinda as Elphaba - to the point that Glinda appears to shapeshift into Elphaba and back again numerous times during their tryst. Already the effect is more bizarre rather than titillating, but add to the fact that Elphaba is clearly mind-raping Fiyero, and the scene appears more disturbing than anything else.
  • Fantastic Nuke: The Slamming Door, a weapon of mass destruction used by Alphaba in her attempts to eliminate Glinda's forces in the last days of Oz; essentially made by creating a portal to another world and collapsing it, the resulting shockwave not only ruined the Emerald City, but presumably helped create the No-Man's Land that separates Unbridled Radiation from the Deviant Nations to this day. Worse still, said portal actually lead to Kansas, resulting in Alternate Dorothy's agonizing transformation into the Hellion when she was caught in backlash.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • Even with the Empress's propaganda campaign, certain individuals in Unbridled Radiance still recognise that being 'Purified' essentially destroys who the person was originally, with a father noting that the authorities might as well kill his son instead of taking him away for Purification.
    • The Deviant Nations eventually decide to defeat the Empress by inflicting such a fate on her, planning to inject her with an overdose of the shapeshifting serum used by the Amorphous League so that she acquires excess shapeshifting powers far quicker than she can control them, which would result in her eventually collapsing into mulch and regressing to a basically brain-dead state.
  • Finger in the Mail: Hellion cuts off the Cowardly Lion's tail and sends it to Elphaba in order to persuade her to hand over Dorothy.
  • Fingore: At one point, the alternate Elphaba punished Morrible's attempts at rebellion by crushing her fingers with a hammer.
  • Flat "What": In a Chapter 33 flashback, Dr Dillamond delivers a series of these followed by a Big "WHAT?!" as Alphaba readily admits she's behind the Plague of Transformations and wants him and his Animal connections to help deploy the final batch.
  • Flaying Alive:
    • One of the earliest parts of Purification involves the victim's skin being peeled off so that the bare muscles can be coated in flesh-porcelain.
    • As part of her transformation into the Hellion, Alternate Dorothy ends up getting the skin torn off her body in a magical cataclysm, and then actually saw the flayed skin tumbling away like "an oversized stocking".
  • For Want of a Nail: As well as the obvious alternate realities depicted here, it's noted in-narrative that the reason the characters are sent to the reality of Unbridled Radiance is because Elphaba's disintegrating sanity and raw magic created rifts in reality, which would have been calmed if Chistrey had taken the right route in his flight to see the Scarecrow and take Elphaba a letter revealing his true identity.
  • Fountain of Youth: Morrible and a group of like-minded researchers have been stuck in a permanent state of age oscillation, in which they regress - sometimes all the way back to infancy - before aging back to normal. It's a particularly humiliating condition, especially given that it's resulted in Unbridled Radiance keeping them under lock and key until they can be cured. Worse still, after decades of being intermittently stuck as children, many of them have started mentally regressing as well, forgetting all details of their past lives except for their magical knowledge.
  • Freak Lab Accident: While it was during a deliberate procedure involving magic rather than a scientific fluke, alternate-Elphaba was subjected to a procedure that was only intended to give her normal skin and ended up making her apparently immortal, in a manner that Morrible was unable to replicate on her own.
  • Fright-Induced Bunkmate: Badly traumatized following her ordeal in Unbridled Radiance and unable to stop thinking about her first two kills, Glinda asks to be allowed to sleep in Elphaba's bed. Elphaba obliges.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The Hellion. Turns out she used to be Dorothy's alternate universe counterpart, and was every bit as unassuming... up until she ended up on the receiving end of Alphaba's Fantastic Nuke and being transformed into a monster.
  • Fusion Dance: Nearly happens to Dorothy when the Hellion's death causes Dorothy to start transforming into a variation of her counterpart; Dorothy is saved from this fate by rapid medical treatment from Doctor Klin.
  • Future Me Scares Me:
    • Technically not completely accurate, as it's soon established that the Empress and the Mentor are alternate versions of Elphaba and Glinda whose histories diverged a few months before their present, but it's close enough as they're both versions of the witches with fifty years' more experience.
    • With the revelation that the Hellion was Dorothy's counterpart in chapter 52, it's hard to argue that this applies in their case as well.
  • Gambit Pileup: Flashbacks show Elphaba playing a complex political game to ascend to power in Oz as the Radiant Empress, resulting in her colliding head-on with several dozen different agendas, including the Wizard's attempts to redeem himself in her eyes, Morrible's efforts to seize immortality, and Glinda's investigation into the ongoing crisis.
  • Genre Savvy: During the final battle, Wolton keeps his mind focused on the fight because he's read too many melodramatic novels where people lose their focus and get killed when they start thinking about lost loves or the lives they'd like to experience after they've won.
  • Gilded Cage: For their own safety, Morrible and the other Childlike Researchers are kept in a luxurious underground complex known as the Creche. Here, they can live in comfort regardless of what age they've stabilized at, and - more importantly - continue their work on behalf of Unbridled Radiance. However, they are still very much prisoners: none of them are allowed to leave unsupervised, and anyone misbehaving can be packed off to a holding cell at short notice. Plus, there's a whole block of sealed chambers at the back of the complex where Researchers who have committed offences too heinous for the Empress to tolerate have been imprisoned - indefinitely.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Demonstrated by the Mentor of all people; she might have been Glinda once upon a time, but now she's resorting to increasingly desperate measures to win a war she's aware she's going to lose without some major coup.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Dorothy stops the Nome King’s plan to use Elphaba to attack the Wizard and nobody else will ever know he was even a threat.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: From outside perspectives, there is a great deal of concern that the Deviant Nations and Unbridled Radiance are this, as neutral cities such as Loamlark worry that the Irredeemables will forcibly convert others to their ranks just as Unbridled Radiance subject their subjects to Purification against their will, and lack any means to reliably confirm that one way or the other.
  • Groin Attack: It’s mentioned that Paragron has taken to using the Vigilant Eyes to deliver shocks to the groins of any potential rebels against the Deviant Nations.
  • Handicapped Badass: The Great Mentor. Old, infirm, missing one arm and only able to stand upright with the aid of a mechanical frame... and yet when she finally goes into battle, she ends up bringing down a huge chunk of the oncoming enemy fleet through sheer magical firepower.
  • A Head at Each End: Briefly utilised by Glinda, using her shapeshifting abilities to manifest a basic head to talk with Elphaba while her original head is tearing through the latest war machine.
  • Headache of Doom: The alternate Elphaba begins suffering from sudden headaches after being surgically "rehabilitated" and reintroduced to the people of Oz as a loyal servant of the Wizard. It turns out that Madame Morrible is using magic to alter her personality, making Elphaba calmer and less violent - at the cost of inflicting headaches, intrusive thoughts and a gradual breakdown of empathy. The end result of this is "Alphaba's" transformation into the Radiant Empress.
  • The Heartless: The Hate-Creature, a physical manifestation of Frexspar Thropp's hatred, given form by the Empress and sent into the field to eliminate Elphaba.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • When Elphaba is left mortally wounded and stranded on the battlefield at the Hate-Creature's mercy, Dorothy offers herself to the Hellion in exchange for saving Elphaba's life - a deal the Hellion gleefully accepts.
    • In the final battle, Dr Coil launches himself at the Empress in order to stop her from killing Elphaba and Glinda, knowing full well that he doesn't have the speed, the agility or the adaptability to survive the inevitable counterattack. Sure enough, the Empress fatally skewers him several times across his body, but this gives Elphaba enough time to escape her grasp and land the killing blow.
  • Heroic Willpower: Villainous inversion; in the final battle, the Empress is given a deliberate overdose of the Amorphous League's potion in the hope that it will eventually cause her to melt into inanimate goo. However, the Empress is able to use her own intrinsic magical power to stop herself from liquefying through sheer force of will. As such, Elphaba does her best to keep piling on more surprises in an effort to force the Empress to lose her concentration...
  • Hidden Depths: As well as Glinda showing greater strength, Dorothy has a few moments where she demonstrates surprising courage and insight, even making a particularly relevant observation about the problem of her house being in No Man's Land in this new world that even Elphaba hadn't realized was an anomaly.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • In the alternate timeline, Morrible's attempt to replicate Elphaba's new immortality results in her basically poisoning herself through exposure to the chemicals she was using.
    • In the final battle, Glinda's personal vendetta with Unbridled Radiance's ambassador Hayfelt is ended when Glinda exposes him to the undiluted Clarity Hayfelt brought to the battlefield, causing him to tear himself apart.
    • After the final battle, most attempts to rebel against the new rule of the Deviant Nations are defeated by Paragon’s use of the Vigilant Eyes, to say nothing of the empire’s reliance on the Purified bringing the whole society to a halt while the Purified are being deprogrammed.
  • Hypocrite: Chapter 74 confirms that Alphaba is this in regards to her children; while condemning the Childlike Researchers as a mistake, she uses their age-regression techniques to keep her daughters young until they can be 'cured'.
  • Hypocritical Humour: Glinda expresses discreet incredulity when the Mentor tells Dorothy she doesn't have to do everything herself when the Mentor is already on the battlefield with her own soldiers just as Dorothy's fighting with the Dolls.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Elphaba is asked to delete the personalities of Frexspar, the Wizard and Dillamond from Paragon as they can't do it themselves and want to be free of the burden of their current state.
  • I Shall Taunt You:
    • At one point, Elphaba ends up doing this to the Empress, albeit when communicating with her foe through a proxy.
    • Following alternate Fiyero's death, the Empress returns the favour with a massive "The Reason You Suck" Speech; plus, just to make sure Elphaba loses all composure, she also spams her with audio footage of Fiyero's Purification.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: After returning to Oz, most of the Ozians don’t seriously believe that Elphaba has brainwashed Dorothy and her friends on the grounds that the Witch’s enchanted servants would have just killed the guards upon their arrival rather than knocking the guards out.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: Alternate Nessa does not hold back when having sex with Dr Kiln, to the point that Elphaba initially assumes that she's being assaulted - resulting in mutual embarrassment when she bursts in on the two of them.
  • Immortality Seeker: Morrible attempts this in flashbacks, after she realises that something about the procedures performed on Elphaba have halted the aging process. It ends up with her being trapped in a continuous state of regression and progression.
  • Impersonating the Evil Twin: It is suggested that Elphaba could do this after the Empress is dead to 'deprogram' most of the Purified; there is a secret system designed to allow the Empress to subtly order her subjects to report for 'upgrades' which only she can control, but all evidence suggests that the system would respond to Elphaba as well as she shares the same face and blood type as the Empress.
  • Inhuman Eye Concealers: Following the death of the Hellion, Dorothy's eyes begin to glow in the dark. This isn't a problem in the open-minded Deviant Nations, but when Dorothy and Elphaba find themselves behind enemy lines, she's forced to cover them up with a pair of tinted spectacles.
  • Insane Troll Logic: By the time the alternate Oz was on the verge of splitting into civil war, the Empress had convinced herself that her attempts at being a hero were always flawed purely because she was ugly, and even considers 'Purifying' Glinda's newborn son just because he's going to be unusually tall.
  • Internal Reveal: Dorothy is often the one most surprised to learn the finer details about Oz's history and the Witches' old friendship, but Elphaba and Glinda are also shocked when the Scarecrow reveals his true identity.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • In a chilling sense; Glinda's idea that she has actually gone to Hell is reinforced when she learns that the psychological elements of Purification are referred to as 'Personality Dialysis', reminding her of that long-ago conversation with Elphaba...
    • After the final battle, Elphaba laughs when hearing some of the propaganda against the Deviant Nations after their final victory, as it reminds her of the propaganda against her back in Oz.
  • It's All About Me: The Empress erased all memory of Oz from most of the world mainly because she wanted to protect her image from her children being affected by a biological weapon that triggered some of the dormant genes for Elphaba's green skin; the Empress has locked up her own daughters for years because they may compromise her image. Later, a conversation with the Empress sees her basically expressing her belief that she can accomplish anything up to altering reality itself just to make it fit her view, to the extent that she basically expresses the view that she is right if reality is wrong.
  • Killing Your Alternate Self: Elphaba is being set up to oppose and kill her own counterpart in the form of the Empress, and chapter 53 sees Dorothy forced to kill the Hellion even after realising that the Hellion is her other self.
  • Knight Templar: Several members of Unbridled Radiance try to continue their campaign against the Deviant Nations even after the war’s over.
  • Knotty Tentacles: The Empress defeats the giant python Dr Coil by tying him in a knot and lobbing him over the skyline.
  • Knowledge Broker: The Mistress of Mirrors; a powerful witch with the ability to spy on her enemies via mirrors, shadows and echoes, she uses these powers to trade tactical information to the highest bidder. For some reason, she appears to have taken Elphaba's arrival as a cue to side with the Deviant Nations.
  • Kryptonite Factor:
    • Elphaba is vulnerable to the anti-Irredeemable gas weapon, Purity, but is nevertheless essentially immune to a tracking system that reads her as the Empress despite her green skin.
    • The Amorphous League are noted to be particularly vulnerable to fire, as burns are one of the few things their shapeshifting abilities won't just heal.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: As Elphaba is about to return home, Roquat erases her memory of his presence so that she will return him to her dimension without being able to 'warn' anyone about him.
  • Let Them Die Happy: In chapter 53, Dorothy shows the Hellion comfort in acknowledgment of their 'shared' history.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: In Chapter 74, Elphaba 'distracts' Alphaba by drawing in another alternate version of Alphaba as a temporary diversion, as this more 'successful' Alphaba, who converted Glinda to Purification as well, just sees Alphaba as another failure and immediately attacks her.
  • Like a Daughter to Me: By chapter 53, although she won't say it explicitly, Elphaba finds herself acting almost maternally to Dorothy.
  • Lip Losses: The Empress of Unbridled Radiance stars gnawing obsessively on her lower lip as she realizes that Elphaba is loose in her capital city, marking the beginning of a massive Villainous Breakdown. By the end of Chapter 73, she gets so enraged that she ends up biting off her own lip, and doesn't realize it until she notices that everyone in the room is staring at her in horror. Fortunately for her, the Empress has the advantage of incredible regenerative powers, but that just results in her continuously biting open her own lip as her mood worsens, regenerating it every time.
  • Liquid Assets: Morrible and a small number of other Childlike Researchers are able to restore their age and enhance their powers by feeding off others via proboscis, resulting in the victim being regressed to infancy in their place. While being fed on in Chapter 71, Elphaba loses her age, her powers and even her green skin tone... but as soon as Dorothy is able to knock Morrible out, the power she was drinking is immediately regurgitated, allowing Elphaba to reabsorb it and return to normal.
  • Living Doll Collector: The Hellion's sole joy in life seems to be kidnapping people at random and making them into her brainwashed dolls... and now she wants Dorothy for the next spot in her collection.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Toto is this for Dorothy in particular; even the Hellion- Dorothy's twisted counterpart- shows a reaction to seeing Toto 'again', despite it likely being years since her version of him must have died.
  • Logical Weakness: In a sense; the semi-robotic Eyes used by Unbridled Radiance to track deviants and Irredeemables read Elphaba as the Empress when they scan her, so they actually leave her alone when they detect her presence
  • Losing Your Head: When Elphaba and the Empress engage in a duel through a magic portal, at one point Elphaba sees the Empress reattach her own severed head with no sign that she even lost consciousness during the fight.
  • Loss of Identity: Chapter 53 establishes that the Hellion lost all memory of her original identity when Unbridled Radiance attempted to convert her to Purification and her transformed state rejected all of their efforts.
  • Love Triangle: Elphaba, Glinda and Fiyero, albeit mainly in flashbacks and understated due to the Empress's focus on her own ideas of perfection leaving her disinclined to pursue such a relationship.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Used in the flashbacks when the Wizard tells alternate-Elphaba about her real parentage; for her part, the future Radiant Empress is so numb that she barely even cares - whereas Elphaba is completely shellshocked after seeing this within her other self's memories.
  • Mama Bear:
    • Flashbacks show that the alternate Elphaba and Glinda's last purely civil conversation ended when Elphaba offered Purification to Glinda's son, referring to him as 'Distorted' just because he was unusually tall, and Glinda ordered Elphaba to stay away from her son.
    • While Alpha considers herself as this to her children, Elphaba immediately confirms that this is a lie when she visits the Empress's daughters who have been locked away since a Deviant weapon 'reactivated' the green genes they inherited from their mother, as Alphaba will only accept her daughters if they meet her definition of 'perfection' where Elphaba accepts them from the moment they meet.
  • Man on Fire: In the final assault on the Deviant Nations, the Empress burns Doctor Kiln alive; originally, she was planning on holding him in place until he roasted to death, but Boq manages to save his life by tossing his axe at her - causing her to drop Kiln in order to telekinetically catch it. The still-burning Kiln flings himself out the window, accidentally managing to extinguish himself during the long plunge down the side of the palace, but he manages to survive and expresses hope that he will be able to heal himself with sufficient resources.
  • Master Race: The Purified are treated as the pinnacle of all existence, and the Empress is revered as the first of them; thanks to all the modifications made to their bodies, they have the strength to back up their beliefs.
  • Mental Fusion: The dimension-travellers all experience this to a minor degree, as they experience a link to their other selves that allows them to see their counterparts' lives as dreams. Following the death of the Hellion, Dorothy 'inherits' all of the Hellion's power and knowledge as she essentially occupies the Hellion's place in this new reality; it is speculated that Fiyero didn't experience any such side-effects when the Champion was killed due to his inorganic brain, and Kiln theorises that Elphaba will cope better if she kills the Empress as they are essentially physically identical in contrast to the drastic differences between Dorothy and the Hellion.
  • Metaphorically True: When the alternate Fiyero first explicitly tells the future Empress of his feelings for her, Elphaba talks him into staying with Glinda by telling him about how Glinda has spoken of how she only coped with the stresses of the Plague of Transformations with the knowledge that Elphaba and Fiyero are her two best friends that she knows would never betray her. However, Elphaba privately reflects that she's twisting the situation to suit her purposes, as Glinda never said all that at once but made the various relevant statements at different times, as the truth would have lessened the emotional impact.
  • Miles Gloriosus: During the final battle, Glinda observes that this basically applies to Ambassador Hayfelt; while he has the standard physical enhancement of the Purified and a compelling voice that can convince others to go along with his suggestions, he doesn't have any actual experience at combat, allowing Glinda to take him by surprise.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: In the second-final clash between the Empress and the Mentor, the Empress flies into a rage when the Mentor hits her with a flame attack the equivalent of an erupting volcano when all it did was inflict a rapidly-healing fourth-degree burn on her cheek.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Dorothy basically calls the Nome King out on this attitude, as he’s planning revenge against versions of the Wizard who didn’t do anything to his primary identity.
  • Mistaken for Disease: The alternate Oz experiences a bizarre epidemic of people suddenly transforming into a animals at random - sometimes causing them to permanently retain animal traits afterwards. With no spells detected in action at the scenes of the transformations, people assume it's a disease and call it "The Plague Of Transformations," even believing it to be a Mystical Plague unleashed by an enemy of Oz. However, it's actually a chemical weapon created by Elphaba's Alternate Self, both to engineer her rise to power and to get Madame Morrible out of the picture by framing her for the crime.
  • Modest Royalty: In a sense, as the Empress's attire is just a simple thin crown and a pure white dress, demonstrating her authority without being ostentatious.
  • Mundane Utility: Glinda at one point uses her new shapeshifting powers to become a quilt for Elphaba to sleep under.
  • Mundane Solution: When Morrible has been rendered unconscious after trying to absorb Elphaba's power before Dorothy saved her, Elphaba and Dorothy wake her up by just having Toto stick his nose against Morrible's neck.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Elphaba's rant in chapter 52 includes variations of this, as she bemoans how she spent so long back in Oz blaming Dorothy for Nessa's death and never really apologised for it when the girl was just the unwitting pawn of Morrible and the Wizard.
  • Mythology Gag: Lines from the musical show up on a few occasions;
    • When Glinda witnesses a Purification operation in Unbridled Radiance, she is horrified when the surgeons refer to it as "personality dialysis", a term she used when talking with Elphaba ("Popular").
    • When the Scarecrow reveals his identity as Fiyero, he recalls hearing the words of the spell she was chanting at the start of "No Good Deed".
  • Never My Fault:
    • The Empress argues that her ‘alterations’ to Fiyero’s counterpart to turn him into the Champion were necessary because of Glinda’s own ‘betrayal’, ignoring the fact that Fiyero was only so obsessed with Glinda because the Empress cast a series of spells to ensure his devotion to Glinda in the first place.
    • When the Mentor witnessed the death of her son, Allaran, after they were captured by Unbridled Radiance, the surgeon who had been operating on Allaran just declared that her son's death was Glinda's own fault for not correcting Allaran's 'distortion' (he was going to be unusually tall) when he was born.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In a sense; in the other reality, Glinda convinced Elphaba to go along with the process that made her normal, which turned her into the Empress and caused all the subsequent chaos.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • Just prior to the final battle, the Empress tries to recreate the Champion by transferring Fiyero/the Scarecrow's soul into his body, but since she was unaware that Elphaba had tampered with the transfer system, Fiyero comes through the process with his personality fully intact and with a body augmented beyond even the standard Purified.
    • Indirectly features in the epilogue; after Elphaba and the others return to Oz, she only has to deal with a few poisoning attempts because Morrible attempted to play up the ‘deaths’ of Dorothy and the others by claiming that the Witch couldn’t be killed by mortal weapons, stopping people from attempting more blatant attempts to kill Elphaba because they think it won’t work.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: The Empress casts a few spells, such as when hunting Glinda or fighting Elphaba via proxy, but generally leaves the actual fighting to her forces.
  • Noodle Implements: In Chapter 71, after apparently coming up with an idea to sneak out of the Creche and sabotage Unbridled Radiance from within, Elphaba requires a jar and a change of clothes - without specifying what they're actually going to be used for.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: After returning to Oz, even Glinda’s relatively amateur experience as a shapeshifter makes her a devastating threat to the soldiers.
  • Not So Different: It is noted that, at their core, Elphaba and the Empress are still basically the same despite the Empress's god complex and fixation with making the world 'perfect'; they are both fiercely intelligent, often believing themselves to be wiser and better-informed than others, care very deeply for those dependent on them (not always for valid reasons or in valid ways), both crusaded extensively for their beliefs without compromising, constantly sacrificing for what they believed to be right at their own expense, and even put themselves on a pedestal from time to time, although Elphaba has a hero/messiah complex whereas the Empress has a god complex. For good measure, flashbacks confirm that the Empress still has a bit of Elphaba's bad temper, though she keeps it suppressed.
  • Not So Similar: During the final battle, as the dying Empress proclaims that Elphaba would have done the same as her, Elphaba concedes that she crossed various lines such as killing her enemies, but is satisfied that she never resorted to brainwashing or indiscriminate destruction on the same scale as her counterpart.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The Mentor has no knowledge of what happened to her daughter after Alyssiana was taken by Unbridled Radiance, as the Empress deliberately arranged for the subsequent 'adoption' to be basically anonymous so that even she wouldn't know where the girl was to prevent Glinda finding her daughter while knowing she's being raised by Glinda's enemies.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: For the people of Unbridled Radiance, the Empress not showing up for a scheduled announcement is a sign that something serious is taking place.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Chapter 65 reveals that Madame Morrible has been working on a plan that would allow her to basically take the Empress's power if all goes well, but she's reluctant to put it into action until she's certain she can pull it off or she's desperate enough to try it, as she know she won't get a second chance if she fails. She later attempts this plan by trying to drain Elphaba's magic to initiate a coup against the Empress, but is interrupted when she finds herself developing Elphaba's green skin, giving Dorothy time to save Elphaba.
  • Objectshifting: Members of the Amorphous League have the power to transform into almost anything, including inanimate objects. One of them saves Elphaba and Glinda from drowning in an underground lake by transforming into an island (resulting in a good deal of shock when the two realize that the ground beneath their feet is alive and taking great delight in their confusion), and another member is shown turning into a quilt.
  • Obliviously Evil: The Radiant Empress genuinely has no idea that her actions might be perceived as 'evil' by anyone; as far as she's concerned, she's doing everyone a favour by making them beautiful to reflect their enforced 'goodness'.
  • Oh, Crap!: Chapter 62 ends with the revelation that, if they manage to kill the Empress, Elphaba will basically absorb her personality and become a new version of their enemy within a few days.
  • One Steve Limit: Despite dealing with various alternate versions of the same person, to date there have been no issues with both versions demanding to be addressed by the same name, as the residents of Unbridled Radiance and the Deviant Nations have each moved on from their original identities for assorted reasons and so are fine with the displaced Oz residents using their 'original' names.
  • Only One Me Allowed Right Now: All the displaced Oz residents experience dreams of their other selves' lives as the universe tries to incorporate the two versions into the same universe; Dorothy ends up absorbing most of the memories and magical experience of her other self after her counterpart's death and needs immediate medical treatment to prevent the process killing or mutating her, and the only reason Fiyero didn't have a similarly bad experience when the Champion was killed is due to his current lack of an organic brain. When circumstances send Elphaba travelling through other dimensions, she experiences similar brief mental links to her own counterparts, to the extent that she briefly sees through the eyes of her infant self in a world where her mother faked her death and gave her to a travelling circus.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Both the Mentor and the Radiant Empress stay off the field of battle - the former because she's in poor health, the latter because she's trying not to waste her magical energy on something an army could accomplish. As such, it's considered a very, very big deal when the Mentor decides to head off the air attack on the Deviant Nations... and when the Empress shows up leading an army, she's all but unstoppable.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Discussed to various degrees; obviously Elphaba and the Empress are at war from the moment they learn that the other exists, and Glinda and Dorothy are disturbed to realise what happened to them in this new world, but only Boq's relationship with his counterpart can be easily defined as 'annoyance', as Doctor Kiln observes the various ways in which the Tin Woodman has missed so many chances to be better in his past, even as he encourages his other self to try and be better.
  • Out, Damned Spot!: Dorothy has a meltdown in the aftermath of the Cowardly Lion's maiming, when a spell allows the Hellion to smear bloody handprints all over her.
    Itwontcomeoffitwontcomeoffitwontcomeoffitwontcomeoffitwontcomeoff...
  • Outliving One's Offspring: In the other reality, Glinda had to witness her son's dead body when they were captured by Unbridled Radiance.
  • Perpetually Protean: This is a state of being to which all members of the Amorphous League aspire to; known simply as "shapelessness," it is a level of existence in which no further potion is needed to maintain their powers and transformation is as easy as breathing - and just as frequent. The leader and founder of the society, the First of the Shapeless, has attained this state and spends most of his scenes changing from shape to shape, only taking on specific forms for practical purposes or simply for amusement. It also hides the fact that he used to be the Cowardly Lion.
  • Portal Cut: Dr Lintel is a master of portal magic, and in his regressed state, uses small handheld portals to clip stray bits of fabric off his clothing - presumably for nothing more than amusement. When the Empress finally manages to piss him off, he uses the same spell to slice her arms, legs and head off in a fit of rage.
  • Power Parasite: Not a regular part of her 'arsenal', but Morrible has been able to teach herself how to absorb magic over the years, attempting to use this on Elphaba to restore her own strength at the potential cost of Elphaba's life.
  • Private Military Contractor: The Strangling Coils, an elite mercenary company initially hired by the people of Loamloark and then by the Deviant Nations; they're ruthless and not all that trustworthy, and only considered allies of convenience. They gleefully take part in the torture and execution of captured troops, and their second-in-command is apparently in the business of collecting trophies from corpses; their commander-in-chief is an Ozian industrialist-turned-mutant outcast, currently hoping for a chance at revenge against the Empress for ruining his life.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: The Hellion, with her love of "dolls" and her psychotic temper-tantrums, is a pretty clear case of this. At one point, she goes so far as to play "she loves me, she loves me not"... with a struggling captive's limbs, finishing up by ripping his heart out.
  • Put On The Bus: Boq/the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion in particular spend part of the fic separated from their allies after being captured by the Hellion; even after they're rescued by the Deviant Nations, the Lion in particular is sidelined for some time so that his injuries can be treated.
  • A Rare Sentence; Acknowledged in Chapter 52;
    Elphaba: [Dorothy] ended up having to save me from the personification of my father's rampaging anger issues!
    Mentor: And here I was, thinking I'd already found the weirdest sentence ever spoken in recent memory.
  • Rasputinian Death: In the final battle with the Empress, Branderstove is skewered multiple times with stanchions from his own badly-damaged armour, causing him to collapse. Unfortunately for the Empress, she makes the mistake of turning her back on him - only for him to shoot her in the back with a cannon loaded with poison darts; she retaliates by magically incinerating him, which is enough to finally put him down for good.
  • Reality Ensues: When contemplating how to defeat the Empress when there is a risk that the Empress's death would result in her mind taking over Elphaba's body, Elphaba rules out the idea they can kill the Empress and then return home because it would take too long and be too complicated for them to try and acquire the portal research from Unbridled Radiance and create a portal home before Elphaba's overwhelmed by her other self's mind.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Elphaba gives one to Dorothy regarding the way she easily accepted everything she was told about the 'Wicked Witches' and the Wizard.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Seems to define the final act of Harnley, AKA Harker; guilty over his own memories of shooting down 'Alphaba' and starting her transformation into the Empress, along with his counterpart's memories of 'killing' Fiyero, he allows himself to be killed by the Champion rather than try to fight him.
  • Right Man in the Wrong Place: Basically applies as far as Elphaba's concerned; she meets an honorable guard in Unbridled Radiance who's willing to let her go when she actually wants someone to raise the alarm about her presence.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Technically a roaring rampage of rescue, as Elphaba dives into Unbridled Radiance and tears through several soldiers to rescue Glinda before anyone in that kingdom has done anything to her directly.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • The dream flashbacks explore how the future "Radiant Empress" goes from being Elphaba to taking such a twisted view of the world and her own past.
    • Chapter 19 includes diary entries written by one of the Hellion's dolls that actually records the mental degeneration he suffered as the Hellion corrupted his mind.
    • Dorothy starts quietly cracking up as the stress of being in an unfamiliar country, the fear of being captured by the Hellion and repeated nightmares slowly wear away at her composure. In the end, she becomes so paranoid that she's reduced to sleeping in a vent in a pointless attempt to avoid being kidnapped, refusing to leave despite being half-starved and badly bitten by spiders.
  • Secret Test of Character: The Mentor gives Elphaba the materials needed to either rescue Glinda or try and kill the Mentor, while taking precautions to prevent the second working if Elphaba tried to take that route.
  • Selective Obliviousness:
    • When Fiyero is captured by Loamlark and accused of being a spy, he spends his first few hours forced to basically pull his own stuffing out as he tries to convince them that he's not just wearing a bizarre disguise but is a genuine scarecrow. Even after they accept that he isn't just a man in a strange suit, he experiences further trouble when they refuse to accept his protests that he and Toto can't be spies as scarecrows and dogs are far from ideal choices for such a role.
    • Invoked when the Mentor discusses the revelation that the Champion was Fiyero's counterpart; she argues to Elphaba and Glinda that she never knew the Champion’s identity for a fact because there was sufficient time between Fiyero’s disappearance and the Champion’s debut to make it at least uncertain if the two were the same man, although it’s clear to Elphaba in particular that she just never explored that idea in depth.
  • Shapeshifter Showdown: After the Radiant Empress is given an overdose of the Amorphous League's potion, she is able to engage the First of the Shapeless in one of these; while the Empress can keep up with his ability to shapeshift, Leoverus has the advantage of possessing total control over his powers.
  • Shapeshifter Weapon: After Glinda becomes one of the Amorphous League, her skills at shapeshifting soon reacha point where she can give herself amour and various weapons.
  • Shifting Voice of Madness: The Hellion speaks in a wildly-distorted voice that warps and twists with almost every word she speaks - conveyed in the text by the varied use of italic, bold and underlined text.
  • Ship Tease: When Elphaba starts experiencing flashes of parallel worlds, she experiences a few where she's kissing Glinda.
  • Shout-Out: In the epilogue, Nyarlathotep, the Black Pharaoh, visits the now-human Nome King and claims responsibility for the massacre caused by Carietta White as part of his attempt to ‘test’ her abilities before recruiting her for his multiversal plans.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: During the final battle, Elphaba confronts the Hate-Creature that the alternate Frexspar has become by forcing him to experience her own memories of Nessa and glimpse the world where Melena faked her death, forcing Frexspar to acknowledge that he was the reason his family was miserable when he could have made everything better by simply accepting Elphaba as she was.
  • Situational Damage Attack: In a roundabout sense; at one point the Deviant Nations are bombed with "Purity", a gas weapon that causes any Irredeemables to be temporarily driven insane and turn against their unnatural appearance but does absolutely nothing to anyone normal. When Elphaba is exposed to it, she starts using her own nails to try and tear her skin off before she is found by Dorothy, who deliberately dived back into the gas-filled room to find the Witch once assured that it couldn't do anything to her, and is knocked out in time to get over her exposure.
  • Slashed Throat: Flashbacks reveal that the Empress killed Doctor Dillamond by using a spell to slit his throat when he was trying to talk her down (she assumes that he was planning to try and capture her, but he might have just been intending to use the charm to teleport himself away).
  • Something Only They Would Say:
    • Elphaba realizes who the Champion is when he sings a little bit of "Dancing Through Life" before dying.
    • The Scarecrow tries to prove his true identity to Glinda and Elphaba by recounting their school days together, but they tell him anyone there could have told him that. But then he mentions the argument when the lion cub was freed and other incidents only Fiyero would know about...
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Played with in the case of Dr Coil, a friend and tutor of Dr Kiln; while creepy, amoral and a former supporter of the Empress - not to mention mutated to Kaiju-proportions - he also rescues Boq from No-Man's Land and offers his full support to the Deviant Nations. Plus, he's nice enough to ask if he can eat live prey first.
  • Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: On realizing that the Hellion will do anything to capture her, Dorothy manages to save the day by putting a knife to her own throat and threatening to kill herself unless the Hellion saves Elphaba from the Hate-Creature.
  • Suicide Attack: As time goes on, Elphaba comes to the conclusion that the best way to defeat the Empress is for her to basically overdose herself on magic-amplifying crystals and blow herself up during a confrontation with the Empress, killing herself and potentially incinerating the Empress. Thankfully, she comes up with a better solution...
  • Take That!: While trying to return to Alphaba's alternate universe, Elphaba comes across an alternate universe where her and Glinda's alternate selves seek help from Erik. That alternate Elphaba tells him his "latest half-finished opera" is "the saddest thing I've seen committed to paper since Boq's attempts at romantic poetry", asks if he honestly thinks its story is the best he can come up with, and finishes with "and that ending, good god..."
  • Team Pet: Fiyero takes it upon himself to keep an eye on Toto until the dog can be returned to Dorothy, with Toto even joining the mission to rescue Dorothy from the Hellion after Elphaba looked in on him.
  • That Man Is Dead: Comes up for the various counterparts the displaced Ozians meet;
    • The Radiant Empress still essentially considers herself Elphaba, but the Great Mentor has spent years convincing herself that the Elphaba she knew is basically dead and subsumed by something else.
    • The Mentor explicitly states at one point that she considers Glinda dead even though she is Glinda.
    • Boq's counterpart was given a new identity as 'Mr Heart' when he started working with Elphaba, and went so far as to create a fake corpse of himself to fake Boq's death and outright states "Good riddance" once the experience is over, although by the present he has defected to the Deviant Nations and shows some sympathy for the Tin Man.
    • Dorothy and Fiyero's counterparts have literally lost all memory of their original lives, as the Hellion was traumatised and subjected to various enchantments while the Champion was heavily brainwashed.
    • The First of the Amorphous League reveals that he is the counterpart of the Cowardly Lion, but explicitly states that he has changed too much to still be identified by his original name of Brr, requesting that he be referred to as 'First of the Amorphous League', 'First', or Leoverus (the last being his most constant alias), although he still has a friendly talk with the Lion about their lives.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: In the penultimate battle, the Empress and the Mentor unleash a mass of magical attacks at each other that only ends when the Empress impales the Mentor with the spire of a building she recently destroyed, and even then the Mentor is still alive even if she clearly needed urgent medical attention if she's going to stay that way.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After enduring weeks of varying kinds of horror while stuck in a city at war in a parallel universe, Dorothy is joyfully reunited with Toto.
  • Too Good to Be True: When she first talks directly to one of the Purified, Glinda finds his perfect skin too smooth to be real, which unnerves her even before she learns what is truly involved in Purification.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Invoked by Fiyero in a sense; when he's been captured by Loamlark and they attempt to interrogate him as a spy, he points out that they can't actually do anything to him that would actually cause him pain, since as a scarecrow he doesn't eat, drink, breathe or sleep, and he has as little regard for his own life as is possible to have without being actually suicidal so there's no point trying to outright kill him.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Glinda and Dorothy both get a chance at this, starting with moments such as Glinda's efforts to escape from Unbridled Radiance or Dorothy deliberately diving into a potentially toxic gas cloud (albeit after confirming she probably won't be affected by it) to save Elphaba. By the time of the final battle with Unbridled Radiance, Glinda has become a skilled shapeshifter in the Amorphous League while Dorothy has absorbed the decades of magical power and experience gained by her counterpart.
  • Trapped Behind Enemy Lines: As of Chapter 71, Elphaba and Dorothy have found themselves in the heart of Unbridled Radiance after Elphaba appeared there after returning to that dimension and Dorothy used the Ruby Slippers to teleport to Elphaba's aid, with the city's magical defences preventing them using the Ruby Slippers to escape.
  • Trauma Conga Line:
    • Glinda ends up getting captured by Unbridled Radiance early in the story, and over the course of the next few chapters, is stabbed in the chest by Alphaba, almost vivisected, rescued for a terrifying journey through the Deep Sepulchre, forced to kill two people, and nearly killed by the Champion before finally being rescued by Elphaba. And afterwards, she's left grappling with a great deal of trauma and self-doubt.
    • Dorothy doesn't do too well either: she gets chased down by the Hellion and temporarily paralyzed before being saved by the Irredeemables, then she narrowly avoids getting blown up when the palace is bombed, and begins suffering frequent nightmares as a result of the Hellion's attack on her. Then, after the Hellion starts attacking towns in an attempt to force the Mentor to hand Dorothy over, she develops paranoid streak, gets addicted to dream pills as a means of escaping her nightmares, and resorts to hiding in air ducts, getting bitten by spiders several times in the process. And then she hands herself over to the Hellion to save Elphaba's life.
    • Dorothy's counterpart has it even worse. In the space of a single day, Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are killed, Kansas is scorched off the map, and Dorothy herself is flayed alive and mutated by portal radiation, before finally being yanked off Earth and into Oz - before being left alone, horribly wounded and in agonizing pain. And this is how the Hellion was born.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Dr Kiln finds it a little concerning that Dorothy's started abusing medication at the age of ten - stolen medication at that.
  • Tyke Bomb: By the final chapter, Dorothy has integrated her new abilities and insight from the Hellion to allow her to take the Nome King in Elphaba’s body by surprise and talk him down from his original plan of revenge against the Wizard, to say nothing of her continued command of the dolls.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Basically applies to the Hellion in the flashbacks of her origin, as the mage-scientists' efforts to Purify her wiped all conscious memory of her identity while leaving her with some recollection of the magic she learned from watching her interrogators.
  • Undying Loyalty: Many of the members of Unbridled Radiance, albeit because they've been brainwashed through indoctrination or surgery.
  • Unishment: Invoked regarding the Mentor's half-scarred, half-beautiful face; where the Empress intended it as a punishment due to her own warped belief in the importance of beauty, the Mentor instead sees it as a badge of honour, reflecting the lost innocence of the war.
  • Unpredictable Results: When trying to save Fiyero from being 'converted' into the new Champion, Elphaba has to resort to amateur sabotage of the equipment being used to move his soul into the Champion's rebuilt body in the hope that she will disable the features that would reprogram Fiyero's mind.
  • Vetinari Job Security: The Empress has established the most negative version of this, so determined to make herself indispensable to her empire that it's basically impossible for anyone else to do the tasks asked of her, even when she could theoretically delegate some of her responsibility to her more skilled followers.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: In the second-last chapter, Elphaba and her allies return to Oz and end up staging a surprise attack on the Emerald City; it's noted that she never would have dared to try such a thing in her first "reign of terror," as it had the advantage of numbers and guns. During her adventures in the other world, however, Elphaba has levelled up considerably... but the Wizard's troops haven't changed at all. A Curb-Stomp Battle ensues.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: For the most part in the case of the Empress; some people outside Unbridled Radiance know what she does to select subjects, but the citizens of Unbridled Radiance itself just act like nothing is wrong and her mutilations are justified in the name of purity.
  • Volatile Second Tier Position: Dr Kiln's role as physician to the Mentor has a great deal of trust and authority attached to it, but given the fact that the Mentor is determined to put herself at risk despite her age and poor health, it's a job that leaves him constantly patching her up. Plus, the Mentor wants him to keep Elphaba safe, meaning he has to follow her to the front lines, get shot at, and end up on the receiving end of Elphaba's temper. As such, Kiln is left frequently exasperated that neither of his patients actually want him around.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Briefly referenced; while Elphaba has no interest in the approval of the Wizard or Frexspar, when she briefly meets an alternate version of her mother who gave the infant Elphaba to a circus to keep her safe, when Melena asks to see moments of Elphaba's life growing up, a memory of Elphaba's mother watching her little girl reading the dictionary lets Melena assure Elphaba that her mother was proud of her, and Elphaba has to adjust her hat so Melena won't see her tears.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In a warped sense, considering that the Empress now genuinely believes that beauty equals goodness.
  • Wham Line:
    • At the end of chapter 36, Elphaba hears the Champion’s dying words, revealing he is the alternate Fiyero.
      Champion: [dying] Nothing... matters... But knowing nothing matters... it's just life... so keep dancing thr...
    • Chapter 55 ends with a scene that confirms that the leader of the Amorphous League of shapeshifters was originally the counterpart of the Cowardly Lion.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 65 ends with the Empress penetrating Greenspectre's defences.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: By Chapter 60, Elphaba's experiences reliving the Empress's memories have basically become lucid dreams that she experiences while her body fights on autopilot, to the extent that Elphaba consciously experiences only a few moments in a month-long campaign.
  • What Might Have Been: As Elphaba deletes the alternate Wizard from Paragon, he speculates on what might have been if he'd convinced Melena to leave Frexspar and started a show with him as a family, musing that he might have been a better travelling entertainer than a ruler.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Elphaba reflects that Glinda choosing to dance alongside her at the Ozdust basically proved to Elphaba that Glinda was basically a good person.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?:
    • Essentially the Hellion's attitude just after her transformation from the alt-Dorothy, as she expected to die in her new state but even the best efforts of Unbridled Radiance's mages failed to do anything permanent to her twisted state.
    • Later discoveries confirm the fundamental flaw in the idea of an immortal civilisation, as Unbridled Radiance would be 'obliged' to keep expanding and growing through military conquest or become stagnant and decadent like the original Oz.
  • Why Can't I Hate You?: Once she starts spending time with Dorothy after the Ruby Slippers are taken by the Hellion, Elphaba grudgingly acknowledges that it's hard to actually hate the girl whose only crime was relative naiveté rather than genuine malice.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Obviously for the Radiant Empress, as her immortality and new appearance have gradually driven her completely insane.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Chapter 74 confirms that Elphaba suffered from a minor variant of this, as in her previous fights with the Empress, either her other self completely took her by surprise or was basically coming into the battle fresh after Elphaba had been led on a merry chase around Greenspectre by the Hate-Creature. While the Empress is still more powerful than Elphaba, both of them starting the fight at their peak and prepared for such a bout allows Elphaba to withstand the Empress's initial assault and provoke her into a rage where the more powerful witch will make mistakes and let Elphaba get past her defences.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: In the epilogue, fear of poisoning Dorothy by accident is another reason most Ozians stop trying to kill Elphaba after the Wizard declares that she is forgiven for her past.
  • Yandere: The Hellion is insanely fixated on Dorothy, and will do just about anything to claim her as her own. This is explained in chapter 53 as the amnesic Hellion 'recognised' Dorothy as herself, and sought to claim Dorothy so that she could in some way recapture what she had lost.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
    • In Chapter 58, Glinda is initially content to remain trapped in Elphaba's form even knowing that this incomplete shapeshifting test will soon kill her because she feels that she's never accomplished anything as herself, but Elphaba counters that Glinda's a better person than Glinda believes she is and just needs to use her ability to sell things to people for the right reasons for once in her life.
    • Chapter 65 sees Brr and Leoverus basically give such a speech to each other, Leoverus encouraging Brr to realise that he's not as much of a coward as he thinks he is and Brr suggesting that Leoverus's public explanation for his fears of starting a family aren't that valid.
    • After the final battle, when Dorothy expresses concern about what she might become after merging with the Hellion as they're about to return to Oz, Elphaba assures her that the fact that Dorothy's worried about such a fate is proof that she has nothing to worry about.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Basically applies in Chapter 75 when the Mentor calls the Empress 'Elphaba', as she has finally accepted that the Empress isn't some mental parasite but just her old friend twisted out of all recognition.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: After their final victory, prior to their return to Oz, Dorothy expresses uncertainty about if she even can go back to Kansas now after all the ways she's changed due to merging with the Hellion.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Fiyero basically resorts to this when he's trying to convince Loamlark that he and Toto aren't spies for anyone.
  • You Remind Me of X: After Elphaba and Dorothy are rescued by the Irredeemables, Dorothy is initially left paralysed from the waist down because of the Hellion's touch, Elphaba automatically taking care of her based on her memories of helping Nessa when they were younger.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Invoked when Glinda's attempt to become one of the Amorphous League initially leaves her stuck as a double of Elphaba, as the ritual to become one of the League would kill Glinda unless she completes it by turning back into herself.
  • Your Worst Memory: In Chapter 52, Dorothy finds herself being subjected to the very worst memory of her Alternate Self - getting caught in the destruction of Kansas, seeing her family die, and being transformed into the Hellion.
  • Zerg Rush: The final battle comes down to the heroes throwing their strongest fighters against the Empress so that she'll lose control of her new state and collapse.

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