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Tear Jerker / The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck

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  • Scrooge has been captured and chained by his nemesis, Soapy Slick, who proceeds to humiliate him by opening some letters from Scrooge's family and reading them aloud to his gang. Take note that Scrooge has not read those letters yet, so he's learning about their contents in this exact moment. The first letter Soapy reads is from Scrooge's mother, who mentions her own deteriorating health. The second one is from his father, who tells him that his mother has passed away.
  • The scene where Scrooge visits the grave of his mother (chapter 9).
  • Don Rosa has ended quite a few episodes this way. Notably:
    • Hearts of the Yukon
    • The Billionaire of Dismal Downs, when the reader realizes that Fergus McDuck has passed on.
    • The Empire-Builder From Calisota
    • The Dream of a Lifetime.
  • Scrooge and Goldie all the way. Because of just a well placed ice block from a fire hose, Scrooge misses his opportunity to make up with her, and later on throws away a letter she sends him, thinking it'll just be more harsh words, while Goldie strongly implies it involved a romantic request for him to return to her. Later, when Scrooge makes a last trip to Dawson (which is hinted there but much more confirmed in later stories) with the intention to propose to Goldie, he loses his sleigh in a blizzard and nearly dies, ultimately causing him to change his mind and from that point on give his heart to nothing but money. From then on it would take 50 years before they met again, Goldie at her old age being more open with her still existing feelings, down right telling Scrooge at one point she's still waiting for him (in "A Little Something Special"). Scrooge on the other hand, while clearly still having feelings for her as well, remains firmly in his "money is my only love" mindset.
    • It is implied however, in the story The Quest For Kalevala (which is not part of this comic book) that he might return to her. Related: In Don Rosa's commentary on "A Little Something Special", he hinted that he thought Scrooge's final fate would be to eventually return to Goldie.
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    • On a bittersweet note, Goldie does receive Scrooge's letter with his supposed proposal in "The Last Sled to Dawson", and, while keeping it to herself, informs Huey, Dewey and Louie how "Even if your uncle hadn't become rich, he would still have been a great man." (It might need a mention that Rosa wrote this story before he wrote Life and Times.)
    • Meta: Don Rosa also drew two pictures for fans of Scrooge giving the letter to Goldie in their young days, with Goldie crying from joy when she reads it.
    • It's really sad seeing the whole thing from Goldie's POV. After she finds the lock Scrooge kept of her hair, she returns and it's implied that she was all for starting a relationship with him. Scrooge however, despite a night of... that, sends her away, acting like nothing that happened between them matters to him, causing Goldie to cry heavily when he can't see her (while Scrooge in turn thinks she doesn't care either). One year later, Scrooge returns to Dawson where Goldie (despite her facade) is desperate to reunite with him somehow. Despite both their attempts at seeing each other again, Scrooge accidentally gets knocked out and Goldie is taken away right in front of him. In one final attempt, Goldie sends him a letter that of course, he throws away. Goldie gives a sad look out the window to the silhouette in the distance, before having to return to her showbiz duties. And that's the last time she sees him for 50 years. Just... ouch.
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  • While revealed in a Carl Barks story, it ties in with Prisoner Of White Agony Creek in a mixture of this and Heartwarming when Donald and his nephews go looking for their uncle's old claim, only to discover Goldie living there, having watched over it ever since Scrooge left.
  • The complete Downer Ending to the series, at least until the Time Skip. Sure, Scrooge reaches his life-long goal of becoming the richest man in the world, but at the same time he disowns his family and has a reaction leaning more towards Laughing Mad than genuine happiness. His family leaves with a broken view on him, and we're then treated to the said time skip of 17 years in which five of them Scrooge lives in complete solitude within his mansion. When an adult Donald and his nephews are introduced to him, the previous badass everyone's come to know has been reduced to a depressed and tired old man, needing a cane to walk, barely being able to stand up straight no more, all his previous spirit and passion completely vanished. Thankfully however, a new generation of Beagle Boys appear, and, after a hazardous chase to retrieve stolen money from them along with his nephews, Scrooge has an Adrenaline Makeover, realizing that "my greatest adventures are yet to come!" reviving his spirit completely and turning him into the Scrooge McDuck of today.
  • ''A Lifetime of Adventure'' from the soundtrack album.
    Story of your life
    Time of solitude and strife
    Freedom of the northern road
    Hoping many miles to go
    Promises to keep
    Countless gold fields to reap
    To be rich is to seek
    To relive the memory
  • "The Last Sled" deserves a mention too:
    Haunting him as of old
    Yet, it ain't the gold itself
    So much as finding the gold
    Farewell, White Agony Creek
    Farewell, the three long years
    Can't leave behind what's in this sled
    The stillness that fills him with peace
    The beauty of the wild
    Rainbow's end with golden dreams
    Starlit sky and coffee & beans
    Farewell, White Agony Creek
    Farewell, the three spring thaws
    One day I will return to you
    • It also nods directly to "The Last Sled to Dawson" with "hold on to all that's dear to you, as the last sled to Dawson finally arrives."
  • The very first song of the album, "Glasgow 1877" opens with Scrooge himself narrating the melancholy beginning of his journey, as one of the last members of the once-great Clan McDuck, now reduced to one impoverished family trying to keep their history alive.
    Scrooge: I remember it as if it was yesterday. My papa took me to see the ancestral home of our clan, the desolate castle on Dismal Downs, abandoned since the 17th century. Now inhabited by no one but golden eagles in its turrets. Ptarmigan and grouse in the heather o' clan cemetary. In this site of former glory, of ochre grass and bracken, of sadness and hope... this is where I begin my story. Rannoch Moor, 1877. The eve of my tenth birthday...
  • The very last song, Go Slowly Now, Sands of Time is pretty poignant too, as it emphasizes that, by the time readers first met him, Scrooge was already in the twilight of his life. But then there's the context. The "poet of Scotland" it mentions was Robert Louis Stevenson, and the refrain is taken from the second half of his poem Requiem:
    Under the wide and starry sky
    Dig the grave and let me lie:
    Glad did I live and gladly die,
    And I laid me down with a will.

    This be the verse you 'grave for me:
    Here he lies where he long'd to be;
    Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
    And the hunter home from the hill.
    • This poem is Stevenson's epitaph. The song may well be Scrooge's. No matter how old he got, he never wanted to give up his adventures, and we're used to Comic-Book Time keeping them going forever. But no-one is immortal...
  • Those fans who know about Don Rosa's unofficial timeline over Scrooge's life, there is Scrooge's death in 1967 at the age of 100. After a lifetime of adventure, the last of the Clan McDuck finally passes at an honorable age.
    • Made even more tragic with the death of Scrooge's voice actor in DuckTales (1987), Alan Young, who died in 2016 just four years shy of the age that Scrooge died at.

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