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Quotes / How the Mighty Have Fallen

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    Anime and Manga 
"This is the end... of your dreams... your ambition... everything. The Hawk has fallen to earth. It will never take flight again."
The King of Midland to Griffith, Berserk

Someone I can be honest with... About what a failure I ended up becoming. I remember a time when I knew there was no one better than me. Now all I can see is the huge mess I've made.
Asuka Langley Sohryu, Evangelion 303

    Comic Books 

Baba Yaga: Ah, poor Grigori. I have been watching you, you know. All these years. You were wise to use the Nazis to bring the Hellboy creature to Earth.
Rasputin: I'm sorry about your eye...
Baba Yaga: I still have one very good one. My good eye observed you at Cavendish Hall. And how close you came to victory there. Surely that was your finest hour. You shook the dragon in his hole, and no other human has done that. But this last bit of business... undone by a head in a jar?
Rasputin: Since I was reborn in the Neva I have followed the dictates of the dragon. I have done his will and have listened for his voice to instruct me in all things. But this last thing... this was my own.
Baba Yaga: You're fooling yourself. Surely the lesser details of this plan were yours, but the design of the thing came out of that cold, dark place between worlds.
Rasputin: I do not like the idea that I am only a pawn...
Baba Yaga: Like it or don't, you are what you have allowed yourself to become... nothing.
Rasputin: And yet, with your gift, I was able to transform Ilsa Haupstein...
Baba Yaga: Into what? Who's purpose does she serve now? Yours?
Rasputin: I don't know...
Baba Yaga: Grigori, who's purpose do you serve now?
Rasputin: Can't I have something for myself!
Baba Yaga: How? You're a dead man, Grigori. Not a god. Not a king. Not even a witch. In the end, you are only a man... and maybe this is the end.
Hellboy: Wake the Devil
Some Jedi worked with Palpatine to guarantee the success of his plan. Promises of power were made. But they were not kept. Once it was over, Palpatine turned on these “fallen Jedi”. They ran, although Vader tracked down most of them. The rest of us, we were forced to live desperate, hidden lives. Too fearful to ever use the Force for fear of discovery.
Running a gambling club. Finding myself in debt and in service to a tawdry intergalactic gangster. Doing his bidding like a… mundane servant. Well, no more. I’ve delivered his blasted suitcase. My task is done. My pathetic task… I was more than this once!
Sardoth, Star Wars Rebellion: The Ahakista Gambit

    Fan Works 
The SEELE member looked in disdain at the quivering piece of humanity before him. "How the mighty have fallen. The Commander of NERV. Once a powerful man before whom nations and peoples trembled. Now reduced to this," he sneered noting that Gendou's right forearm was missing. An old injury. 'Pity,' he thought, 'five less fingers to break.'
HERZ, chapter 10

How the mighty have fallen. Look at me... I'm crying... I hate crying... only a weak person cries. I hate Wonder Girl... she showed everyone how pathetic I was. I hate you... you made me cry, now you can see how disgusting I am. I hate everybody... but most of all... I hate myself...
Asuka Langley Sohryu, The One I Love Is..., chapter 9

    Films — Live-Action 

"How could I have gone from the king of rock 'n' roll to this? An old guy in a restroom in East Texas with a growth on his pecker?"

"Because of you, I lose everything. Country, respect... wife..."
Ivan Drago to Rocky Balboa, Creed II

"The best programmer ENCOM ever saw, and he winds up playing space cowboy in some backroom."
Alan Bradley on Kevin Flynn, TRON

"Dracula hasn't had servants in 400 years and then a man comes to his ancestral home, and he must convince him that he... that he is like the man. He has to feed him, when he himself hasn't eaten food in centuries. Can he even remember how to buy bread? How to select cheese and wine? And then he remembers the rest of it. How to prepare a meal, how to make a bed. He remembers his first glory, his armies, his retainers, and what he is reduced to. The loneliest part of the book comes when the man accidentally sees Dracula setting his table."
Max Schreck, Shadow of the Vampire

     Films — Animated 

"It is a shame that this filthy creature is all that's left of my sister's magic."
—One of the Sisters on Monkey, Kubo and the Two Strings

‘My lord,’ said Ahriman, looking at the deck. Once armies had bowed to him, and primarchs had heeded his word. But that was a past he had broken with his own hand. Now he was nothing more than a shadow cast by the light of his memory. So Ahriman, once Chief Librarian of the Thousand Sons, answered to a false name and knelt to an unworthy lord.

"How you have fallen from heaven,
morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
you who once laid low the nations!
You said in your heart,
'I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.'
But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,
to the depths of the pit."

One of the Dade cops muttered, "Guess the nocturn squad finally decided to show up. Took your sweet-ass time."
Alex ignored the man and walked nearer to the line of police cars.
Ah, irony.
Once, Menkaure had been the Morning and the Evening Star. He of the Sedge and the Bee, Pharaoh of the Two Lands. Few would have dared to speak to him without awe in their voices. Now, he walked the path of Asar as penance, and though all of humanity owed him innumberable debts, he found naught but scorn in their voices.
Graveyard Shift, by Michael F. Haspil

I was so much more, before the crash. I was an explorer, an ambassador, a missionary. I spread across the cosmos, met countless worlds, took communion: the fit reshaped the unfit and the whole universe bootstrapped upwards in joyful, infinitesimal increments. I was a soldier, at war with entropy itself. I was the very hand by which Creation perfects itself
So much wisdom I had. So much experience. Now I cannot remember all the things I knew. I can only remember that I once knew them.

Things like this weren't for people like him. Except now they were. It had come to that. He was one of them, these were his people. Six months ago, he'd been a king in a Magic Land, another world, but that was all over. He'd been kicked out of Fillory, and he'd been kicked around a fair bit since then, and now he was just another striver, trying to scramble back in, up the slippery slope, back towards the light and the warmth.

When the foundations of Irem were laid, these creatures had so degenerated that they possessed little to offer our race, but they found ready use for what we had gained by our own ingenuity. So are the mighty fallen and humbled in their despair, until ground to dust by the millstone of ages.
Necronomicon: The Wanderings of Alhazred, by Donald Tyson

    Live-Action TV 
"I lived seven lives at once. I was power in the ecstasy of death. I was god to a god. Now... I'm trapped on a roof... just one roof, in this time and this place with an unstable human who drinks too much whiskey and called me a Smurf."
Illyria, Angel

"My God, man. We've become a tourist attraction. See the great Centauri Republic, open 9:00 to 5:00—Earth time."
Londo, Babylon 5

"The only weight I carry now, dear comrade, is my own bulbous body. I was once, if you remember, far less than you see, and far more than I have become."
Kor, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "Blood Oath"



I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"

One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand
Coldplay, "Viva la Vida"

"And you could have it all
My empire of dirt"
Nine Inch Nails, "Hurt"

    Tabletop Games 
For over 1000 years, the Order of Hermes has been the mystic Tradition. The Akashics may boast an older fellowship; the witches might practice elder Arts; the shamans can date their ways to the dawn of time. Regardless, it is the sons and daughters of Hermes who define the western magical tradition, whose shadows have loomed over everyone from Aleister Crowley to Harry Potter.
So what the hell happened to them? In the last decade, while other groups watched their stars rise in the cultural firmament, while the Sleepers themselves embraced magic in ways not seen since medieval times, the Houses of Hermes trembled to their foundations. Devastated by attacks from without and treachery from within, the Order's proud wizards have been force-fed humble pie and generous helpings of crow.
Mage: The Ascension - Tradition Book: Order of Hermes (revised)

Blinded by burning metal, abandoned and scorned by my people, I who had risen so high - who men had called Faithless - was left a beggar upon the road in a realm of the lost and desolate. Condemned by the Dark Gods to my black penance. A stranger in a strange land... but far from helpless.

I used to be a big shot like you, kid. Now I'm shoveling shit in Palermo. Let that be a lesson to you: never let them see you lose.
The Failure, Vampire: The Masquerade - Clanbook: Giovanni (Revised)

The Malkavians who know Elmolech's story say that he still walks the earth, like the Wandering Jew's infernal counterpart. Flashes of visions, ever-so-brief, flit across the Cobweb with tales of the latest sighting. Murmurs speak of the broken once-demon sleeping in a dumpster in Dresden, flinching at children's laughter in Rio de Janeiro, or begging charity from passersby in Johannesburg.
Vampire: The Masquerade - Clanbook: Malkavian (Revised)

Poor Jason. All those years at sea searching for the Golden Fleece, only to end up as a two-bit dredging captain lost in the boondocks. Once he'd been mighty; he sure had fallen.
String City, by Graham Edwards

"The stars themselves once lived and died at our command, yet you still dare to oppose our will."
—Exchange of pleasantries between an Eldar Farseer and an Imperial officer, Warhammer 40,000

The Strigoi remember what it was like to be lords and kings, and they continue to act as such even though they are currently between reigns. Their shadow courts and kingly ways are, of course, somewhat changed by the social and physical conditions in which they find themselves, warped into grotesque and often pathetic parodies of what they once were. Their courtiers and servants are now mindless Wights and mad Spirits; their palaces are underground crypts or swamp-claimed graveyards. Their people are nothing but filth-ridden, bestial Ghouls.
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Night's Dark Masters - A Guide To Vampires

Hamlet: To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander till he find it stopping a bung-hole?
Horatio: 'Twere to consider too curiously to consider so.
Hamlet: No, faith, not a jot; but to follow him thither with modesty enough, and likelihood to lead it, as thus: Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth into dust; the dust is earth; of earth we make loam; and why of that loam whereto he was converted might they not stop a beer-barrel? Imperious Caesar, dead and turn'd to clay, might stop a hole to keep the wind away. O, that that earth which kept the world in awe should patch a wall to expel the winter's flaw!
Hamlet, Act 5 Scene 1

    Video Games 

Shepard: A Krogan as old as you must have some great stories.
Patriarch: I killed a lot of people, lived well, and was beaten by a small Asari who keeps me around as an example. My time is done. Anyone I killed is long forgotten. The stories are Aria's now.

The secret factions sneer at Venice. They make us the butt of their quick wit. And yet it is the Council that set the foundation that gives the factions the luxury of their clever poses and vapid humour. I wish you could have seen the Council as it was. The shining promise of it. What you see now are the ruins of a grand idea. But even ruins can inspire greatness in others. And so, we hold up the pillars.
Arturo Castiglione, The Secret World

"Never thought I'd find Chris Redfield wasting away in a shithole like this."
Piers Nivans, Resident Evil 6

    Web Original 
After Eli won his second Super Bowl, I made a point of not complaining about him again, given that he has brought me more joy than just about any other athlete in my life.

Eli is aware of this and is testing me. there I, I, there I was, right in f-f-f-front of this guy, waiting for him to make his, his fuckin' wishes an', an', an', he looks at me an' he says "for my f-f-f-first wish, I, I, I... for my..." He says... he... he fuckin' wishes for me to be a fuckin' alcoholic j-j-j-junkie tweaker crackhead! An' then he says that his, his second, his second wish is that the, the, the first wish couldn't, couldn't be unwished. An' then he just walks off! I don’t, I, I don't, I don't understand it. I really don't. So now I'm, I'm, my life is, my whole fucking life is r-r-r-ruined. I used to give k-k-kings whatever they wanted, you know? I used to live in, in palaces. Now I got no f-f-f-friends, just the cold nights and the hard ground and nowhere to lay my head down and I...

And speaking of Hogan, we got him in the main event of the evening, taking on Ric Flair for the first time in many, many years.

And it was really sad.

It was sad to watch these two incredible legends, two men that meant more to the business than all but a handful of people ever had, moving about in slow motion and bleeding like stuck pigs...And just in case you hadn’t figured out that Ric Flair was old, he showed up in a wheel chair.


    Western Animation 
"I should count myself lucky. The new Fire Lord has graced me with his presence in my lowly prison cell."

"I used to be ruler of my planet, but now I'm an unemployable loser!"
Dark Vegan, Johnny Test

"Look what has become of you... a rat in the desert."
Maul to Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars Rebels

"Once, Decepticons nearly held the quadrant through terror. Now we scrap like slaargs over a few Energon cubes.
Is this how you honor the memory of Galvatron? Is this the fate of the mighty Decepticon empire?"
Cyclonus, The Transformers, "Five Faces of Darkness, Part 1"

    Real Life 
"The City which had taken the whole world was itself taken."
St. Jerome, on the 410 Sack of Rome