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Tear Jerker / The Wicked Years

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For the musical see here.

  • We dare anyone not to tear up at the death of the Witch in Gregory Maguire's Wicked. You've known it's coming from the very first page, but when it finally does, the sheer inevitability of it is tragic all on its own.
    • Made worse by the fact that she couldn't possibly have suffered a more painful way to go, than being set on fire and essentially splashed with a bucket of acid.
  • Knowing that Elphaba's Villain status is a Foregone Conclusion is truly tragic since it means that she WILL go through tragic event after tragic event until she hits her breaking point and has a Face–Heel Turn. To see a person so idealistic, outspoken, and so in favor of the rights of the people, getting turned into a literal witch, demonized by the people because of a quality that she had absolutely no control over brings forth the tears since it's easy to see the parallels between Elphaba and, quite frankly, many people can identify with this. Maguire's writing speaks leagues, when you start rooting for the villain of a franchise, despite the Foregone Conclusion.
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  • Realizing that Glinda and Elphaba were very close friends at one point despite their initial misgivings of each other. That such a friendship was spoiled by events beyond their control is truly saddening.
  • Doctor Dillamond is dead. All of his students are crying and holding each other for support. Except Elphaba. She stands away from the crowd, alone, and cold. Because she can't open up, because then she'll start crying. And her tears will burn her skin. She can't even cry.
    • Much later on, Elphaba sees her father and talks to him, for what she feels(and is accurate in such) will be the last time. He cries. She wipes his tears. It burns her skin, but she does it anyway.
    • Combined with a Heartwarming Moment, Elphaba cries during one of Fiyero's visits, and flails around in his arms when he tries to comfort her because she doesn't even know how to express her feelings.
  • After Nessa dies, the last we hear of Glinda in that book is that they never saw each other again.
    • The fact that their friendship fell apart over a pair of shoes. Glinda did not mean to make Elphaba angry and did not understand their importance and Elphaba could not just explain or let go of her anger.
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    • Dorothy tells Elphaba she'd be happy to give up the shoes; the problem is they're stuck with magic and she's been trying to get them off for a week.
  • Elphaba finding out that ALL of Fiyero's family are dead. Not just Sarima, but also her sisters, and her CHILDREN!!
  • Fiyero dying. The fact that he dies after he's followed her all night, making sure she was safe. The fact that she's specifically asked him to keep himself safe because she's so worried about his well-being. Because she loves him. And he loves her. The fact that she runs to a Maunt, mute with grief and blood up to her wrists. The fact that she spends the rest of the novel grieving for him.
  • Additionally, if you know the reveal, Elphaba's hope when she thinks that the scarecrow must be Fiyero, returning to her at last.
  • Dorothy tells Elphaba, when the latter is threatening to burn her alive, that she doesn't want to kill the witch. She came to ask for forgiveness for killing her sister by accident. Elphaba is so stunned that she drops the burning broom and sets herself on fire. Dorothy tries to save her by dousing her with water... and accidentally melts her instead. Elphaba's last thoughts are feeling Dorothy talking to her, begging her not to die. It's such a cruel irony, and hits home that Dorothy is just an innocent kid.
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  • The Wizard's reaction to seeing the empty bottle of elixir. Dorothy brings it as proof that she "killed" the witch because the broom is burned to ashes after being set on fire and the Grimoire was too heavy for a little girl to carry. He goes My God, What Have I Done? on realizing he sent a child to kill his only daughter.
  • The way Glinda wakes up with a vague feeling of dread she can't explain at the time of Elphaba's death.

Alternative Title(s): Son Of A Witch, A Lion Among Men, Out Of Oz