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Playing With / Hope Is Scary

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Basic Trope: A character, roused from despair to hope, finds it frightening.

  • Straight:
    • Bob has trusted no one since he fell in love with a Decoy Damsel, whose treachery killed his brother. When Alice hires him to escort her, he thinks it just a job, but when he finds himself falling in love again, he is unnerved and tries to draw back from her, and find someone else to take on the job.
    • After the king treacherously blamed Charles for a dragon's rampage, when someone else roused the beast and Charles killed it, Charles has worked at various jobs, demanding money in advance, and mistrusting all who praised him. When a queen hires him and the job starts getting out of hand, her brave confidence inspires him to follow her without his money in hand. He almost flees when he realizes this.
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    • Enslaved, Diane refuses to join an escape plan because being dragged back would be too crushing.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bob realizes he is falling in love and gibbers in terror.
    • Bob is physically hurt from falling in love again.
  • Downplayed: Bob is startled to realize he is falling in love again.
  • Justified: Bob's experiences have caused anxiety, and despair-inducing fatalism is the primary thing he gets to see direction in life.
  • Inverted:
    • Emily loses hope after she is betrayed by the man she loves, and finds that the numbness can indeed be comfortable.
    • Alice is a Hope Bringer and Bob immediately volunteers to be her personal knight because he desperately wants to believe in her and hope again.
  • Subverted: Bob has his heart broken, but his aunt introduces him to the lovely Alice to help him get over it, and he acts afraid to hope — to trick Alice into believing he was recovering, so he could get the knowledge of his aunt's plot out of her.
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  • Double Subverted: He was that desperate to learn it because he really was starting to love again.
  • Parodied: ???
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: ???
  • Enforced: ???
  • Lampshaded: "Do these idiots have any idea how hope can prolong a man's torment?"
  • Invoked: ???
  • Exploited: The villainous Theodote realizes that Bob is falling in love and Oblivious to Love, so points it out to unnerve him.
  • Defied: The Determinator
  • Discussed: "Nice, earnest people like you... I can't help it. When I'm around you, you make me start to think that people aren't all that bad. That's why, more than anyone else, I DETEST people like you the most. You're dangerous: a threat to the armor I've forged, as it were. So die screaming."
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed:
    • Bob's fear of hope makes him a very unproductive person.
    • So much so that Heaven is dead to him, and Bob is far too masochistic to turn down Hell itself.
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    • Bob's fear of hope means he has to sabotage his chances of potential happiness or has formed a mask of snarky cynicism to protect himself.
  • Played For Laughs: Gerard, The Killjoy, pours cold water on every cheerful sign — down to the observation that the clouds are clearing and so the rain might break — with grim predictions of how things could still go wrong and crush their hopes.
  • Played For Drama: Bob goes on a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum to destroy any conceivable chance that something good could tempt him. If nothing exists, nothing can disappoint him, right?

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