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Literature / The Fallen

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A series of young adult fantasy novels written by Thomas E. Sniegoski, The Fallen tells the story of Aaron Corbet, an Ordinary High-School Student who, on his eighteenth birthday, begins developing strange abilities. He soon learns that he is a Nephilim, the offspring of an angel and a human woman. As it turns out, Aaron isn't just any ordinary Nephilim; according to an ancient prophecy, he is the Redeemer, the only Nephilim with the power to absolve the sins of Fallen Angels and send them back to Heaven.


When Verchiel, the leader of a band of warrior angels known as the Powers, kills his foster parents and kidnaps his autistic younger foster brother Stevie, Aaron is forced to leave his hometown with Camael, former leader of the Powers who believes in the prophecy of the Redeemer and becomes Aaron's Mentor, and his pet dog Gabriel who, after Aaron uses his powers to heal him, can talk.

The series consists of seven books:

  • The Fallen (released 2003)
  • Leviathan (released 2003)
  • Aerie (released 2003)
  • Reckoning (released 2004)
  • End of Days (released 2011)
  • Forsaken (released 2012)
  • Armageddon (released 2013)

In 2006, The Fallen was adapted into a miniseries that aired on ABC Family.


General tropes:

  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope:
    • Verchiel. He realizes this in End of Days and seeks to help the Nephilim, but he's not happy about it.
    • Geburah, who takes command over the Powers after Verchiel joins the good guys, is even worse, deliberately helping demons during the End of Days.
  • Knight Templar: The Powers as a whole.
  • Light Is Not Good:
    • The Powers, as led by Verchiel in the first four books, and later Geburah in End of Days.
    • The Architects in the last two books.

The book series contains examples of:

  • Action Dad: Lucifer, once he's rescued from Verchiel's clutches by Aaron.
  • Action Mom: Taylor Corbet, Aaron's long-lost birth mother, in Armageddon.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Belphegor, a known demon in Christian demonology, is a fallen angel who helps Aaron.
    • Also Lucifer.
  • Adventures In Coma Land: In Armageddon, after suffering a crippling injury at the hands of Satan at the end of Forsaken, Aaron is left in a comatose state while his biological mother Taylor and the Unforgiven work to save his life. He finds himself in a dream world where he and Vilma are married with a son, and he has a regular job. Visions of his dead foster parents lead him away from the illusion and he's then forced to fight his way back to consciousness.
  • Apocalypse How: From End of Days to Armageddon, this becomes increasingly evident, all stemming from Verchiel's release of {{Hell}} from Lucifer's body.
  • Archangel Gabriel: He shows up in Leviathan after having been held captive by the titular Lotus-Eater Machine monster. He also gives a clue as to who Aaron's biological father is.
  • The Atoner: Camael, Lehash (for aiding Lucifer in his past rebellion against God), and Lucifer himself (see Satan and Satan is Good further down the list for details).
  • An Axe to Grind: Jeremy's Weapon of Choice in End of Days.
  • Babies Ever After: The series ends with a married Aaron and Vilma expecting twins.
  • Back for the Finale: The Stanleys (in Aaron's dreamscape), Lehash, and Camael in Armageddon.
  • Back from the Dead: The five Nephilim who were killed between the end of Reckoning and End of Days, thanks to Satan.
  • Badass Army:
    • Aaron leads one of these in End of Days.
    • Also the Unforgiven.
  • Badass Normal: Taylor Corbet in the final book. During the titular battle, she takes one of the Unforgiven's metal wings and throws it at the Overseer, impaling him.
  • Big Bad: Verchiel serves as the main antagonist for books 1-4 (or, for those who take the re-releases, until Reckoning). He gets replaced by Satan for the final few books.
  • Big Red Devil: Invoked. In End of Days, Satan reveals that his first preferred form to take in order to conquer Earth once more is one he fashioned after humanity's interpretations of the Devil. He takes it up briefly to duel against Lucifer before possessing him instead.
  • Jerkass: Yeah, Verchiel is quite a prick to the other characters, especially the Nephilim. He gets marginally better after being sent back down to Earth by God in End of Days, but not by much.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: The latter of this trope shows up in Leviathan.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The titular monster in Leviathan.
  • Love Redeems: Lucifer and Taylor.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Lorelei, a Nephilim who wields angelic magic.
  • Missing Mom: Taylor Corbet, Aaron's mother who appears in Lucifer's memories before showing up for real at the end of Forsaken.
  • Mystical White Hair: Lorelei is described as having white hair.
  • Name's the Same: In-Universe, Aaron's pet dog Gabriel has the same name as the Archangel Gabriel who makes an appearance in Leviathan.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Herod!: Verchiel, twice. First, accidentally provoking Aaron to accept his destiny. Second, his goals against the Nephilim eventually bringing about The End of the World as We Know It due to Satan's manipulations.
  • Off with His Head!: Combined with Shut Up, Hannibal!. In End of Days, Verchiel decapitates Geburah while he's proclaiming him a traitor to the Powers for abandoning his former goals.
  • One-Gender Race: Angels appear to all be male.
  • Orifice Invasion:
    • Leviathan has this happen to many people at the hands of hideous creatures.
    • End of Days features the Corpse Riders, slug-like creatures who can enter the bodies of either the dead or the living and take control of them. One of these things takes control of Jeremy, one of the surviving Nephilim, by entering his body through his mouth.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Lorelei in Armageddon, following her death in the previous book.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Verchiel starts as this once he is sent back to Earth by God, but by the end of his time, he is willing to protect even "lesser" beings.
  • Power Tattoo: Aaron displays these whenever he taps into his angelic powers.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Belphegor in Aerie.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Verchiel in End of Days and after is The Atoner and wants to be forgiven by God, but he's still a Politically Incorrect Hero and his methods of obtaining victory have not stopped their brutality.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Camael, Belphegor, Stevie/Malak, Lorelei.
  • Satan: In this series, Satan and Lucifer are separate entities. Satan is one of many Eldritch Abominations that existed before God commanded "Let there be light"; once the Creator called forth light, Satan and his fellow monsters (whom he refers to as his siblings) were forced into hiding in the shadows until after the events of Reckoning. Starting with End of Days, Satan takes Verchiel's place as the new Big Bad. He assumes the form of a creepy little boy to speak with Lucifer (whom he encountered before in the past) about his plans for the oncoming end of the world. Later on, Satan takes possession of Lucifer's body.
  • Satan is Good: Played With, and split into two separate entries below.
    • While Lucifer has committed many horrible deeds in the past, this is explained as because of his jealousy towards humans. He believed he was no longer loved by God when God created humanity, which is why he rebelled against Him. During the time frame in which The Fallen takes place, though, it is shown that he deeply regrets his past actions and now seeks redemption; he is also shown in his first appearance to have been serving as a priest in a church and has befriended a small mouse he names "Milton." He is also Aaron's father. Though in the end, God still has not forgiven him; it is heavily suggested that it is merely a matter of time at this point. Also, Hell is not a place where Lucifer tortures the souls of evildoers, but rather his own tormented metaphysical state of being caused by all of the grief of the heavenly war being sealed into his body.
    • Satan himself, on the other hand, is not good, and is actually the Big Bad for the final books of the series.
  • Shoot the Dog: In Reckoning, Aaron is forced to kill Stevie/Malak.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Verchiel kidnaps Stevie, Aaron's autistic foster brother, and uses ancient magic to transform the poor boy into a lethal killing machine by the name of Malak.

The ABC Family miniseries contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Villainy: Lucifer is much more stereotypically evil than in the books, as is his version of Hell, which is actually a lot more of a Fire and Brimstone Hell.
  • Anti Anti Christ: Aaron. His father Lucifer tries to persuade him to redeem him so he can return to Heaven and challenge God, but Aaron fortunately experiences a vision that alerts him to Lucifer's true intentions and refuses.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Upon his first meeting with Aaron, Lucifer presents himself as a kindly and fatherly type who wants to be forgiven, but once Aaron determines his true motives and refuses to redeem him, he quickly drops the act.
  • Gender Flip: Verchiel, who's male in the books, is made into a female in the ABC Family miniseries.


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