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YMMV / Ayreon

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Forever of the Stars: A harsh but fair alien mind who does what he must to help his people and guides the humans who really earned their freedom out of the Castle? Or a psychopathic inscrutable presence putting the characters through Hell for kicks?
    • In general the Forever get this treatment by parts of the fandom: A race of nigh-immortal beings who try to save humanity and themselves the best way they can, or a group of Starfish Aliens who only created humanity to farm for their emotions?
  • Awesome Ego: The Barbarian. A complete Jerkass who only cares for his own glory? You'd better believe it. Fails to learn anything from the experience and is still as unsympathetic as he started? Pretty much. But he's got an awesome voice, constantly goes on over the top Hammy speeches about the battles he's won and how glorious he is, and basically steals the scene whenever he sings.
    • The Rival from The Theory of Everything.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The Hippie.
    • All the emotions from the Human Equation, Agony and Fear in particular.
  • Fridge Brilliance: The emotions are personified and amplified into actual sentient beings rather than mere aspects of Me's personality because the program simulating Me's situation is designed for the purpose of examining raw emotion.
  • Growing the Beard: Into the Electric Castle is where Ayreon really took off with upped production, ambitious songwriting, fully realized Rock Opera concept and real star power in guest vocalists. It was also Ayreon's first actual commercial and critical success and regarded by many to be the pinnacle of the series.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Me before the resolution of Human Equation most definitely was NOT a nice person, though it is caused by much the same things that made him The Woobie in the first place.
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  • Most Wonderful Sound: Dream Sequencer System Online...
  • Narm Charm: The epic, overblown nature of Ayreon makes it frequently prone to this trope.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The first track of the Human Equation's second disk, aptly called "Trauma". It starts with 2 minutes of instrumental synths that gets you back into the story. Which then has Reason calm as ever, describe how Me's mother died of grief after Father left and never getting over the guilt. Worse still, the track gets soft and droning, until Fear gives a death metal scream, "You're better off DEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAD!" followed by Agony and Passion trying to get him to give up.
      • It's even more impressive when you realise that Fear, who has so far been the most subtle and least hammy of the emotions, devolves into metal screams and grunting in this song. Makes it more understandable when you know Fear is Mikael Åkerfeldt.
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    • "Into the Black Hole". As the Migrator approaches the black hole in the center of the quasar 3C 273, he claims to hear screams of fallen souls and cries of agony, and watch apparitions within it, as if the hole was the gate to Hell.
  • The Woobie: Most protagonists and quite a few other characters qualify, but Me from the Human Equation is the most prominent.


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