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Tear Jerker / Hope for the Heartless

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  • The only 14-year-old Avalina is suddenly forced to live apart from her mother and brother in an ominous castle with no life around it, under the constant gaze of a monstrous and undead warlord who may or may not kill her anytime. She can't leave under the threat of her family and friends being killed, and Mitternacht is her only tie from her old life.
    • Avalina's mother and brother are helpless to do anything without potentially endangering her life. The family's father died only four years earlier, and now they're faced with the possibility of never seeing the youngest child again. Arran feels he has failed his father's wish to protect their family. As for the family's mother, in addition to her husband and potentially her only daughter, she has also lost her brother (Mitternacht's previous owner).
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  • Creeper is first shown living in Prydain's wilderness, happier than ever for being free of the Horned King for the first time in his life. Then he's suddenly dragged back to his resurrected master, with the castle restored almost to the way it was before its destruction. It's almost like nothing has changed and his six weeks of freedom was just a dream. The poor little thing has had it rough.
  • The Horned King is slowly shown to be under his cruel and cold-blooded shell tired, lonely and desperate. He also starts feeling something similar to remorse. His downcast mood is understandable, because he himself doesn't believe that he can ever fulfill the Impossible Task the Fates have given him or that he can ever make up for his countless sins.
  • Taran is revealed to have relived the Horned King's death nearly every night since the incident. No matter how many times he reflects on his actions back then, he never finds a satisfying answer to his questions. He has come to regret that he ever wished to be a warrior or even that he didn't throw himself into the Black Cauldron instead of Gurgi. He hasn't even told of his internal struggles to anyone.
    • Taran, Eilonwy and Dallben find themselves in the same situation as Avalina's family: if they try to save the girl or warn Prydain of the Horned King's return, they might endanger Avalina's life either way.
  • Following Avalina's interference in the Horned King's revenge on Taran, the lich is angry with her and they avoid each other for weeks. Avalina spends most of her days either in her room or with Mitternacht and cries constantly. She can barely eat or sleep and weakens physically. The worst part is that she misses the Horned King and fears that his heart will become dormant again.
    • The Horned King also misses her, but he's too angry and proud to rectify the situation.
    • When Avalina goes to look for the Horned King after her "Eureka!" Moment concerning his heart, she's led by Arawn to the room containing the Black Cauldron, where the Horned King is having a mental quarrel with his former master. Arawn manages to provoke his former apprentice to say out loud in anger that Avalina means to him only entertainment and that he should have killed her the moment she first arrived in the castle. The lich realizes her presence only after saying that. Avalina runs to cry in Mitternacht's stable and is almost ready to die, leaving the lich feel guilty.


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