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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Amberley can be seen as enjoying Cain for his abilities and occasional company, but some lines make her look like a Clingy Jealous Girl, notably when she mentions she'd have found out if Cain was really trying to seduce women he met.
  • Badass Decay: Averted:
    • The Cain novels are more or less the only Warhammer 40K media that convincingly continue to portray Necrons as horrific monstrosities to be feared. Cain has only pulled off one win out of three encounters with the Necrons (and only by blowing them up from orbit), as opposed to his constant success against just about everything else. They are also the one threat thus far that he has adamantly refused to stand and confront, reputation be damned.
      • Sadly, as of the most recent Codex update, this portrayal of the Necrons is no longer canon.
    • The novels are also some of the few 40K works that manage to juggle presenting all of the main factions as badasses. The one exception is the Eldar, which haven't been featured except for Cain's mentions of his time as a prisoner of the Dark Eldar, which he still has a bit of PTSD over.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment: If you read in continuity order; an Internal Homage in publication order. In Death or Glory, Jurgen is mostly uninjured by a blow to the head, and Cain says, "It would probably take a bolter shell to crack that thick skull of his." In For the Emperor, Jurgen's skull is fractured near-fatally by...a bolter shell that glances off his helmet.
  • Genius Bonus: Overlaps a lot with the Shout Outs on the main page.
  • Iron Woobie: Obviously, issues of self-esteem are the least of humanity's worries in the Warhammer 40K universe, but Cain still seemingly goes through his entire life, convinced that no one could or should care for him personally, unable to connect with people on any meaningful level, and terrified to trust anyone with himself, lest he be shot for cowardice and deceit. He never actually takes Amberley into his confidence, even after a century of romance. That's sad.
  • Memetic Mutation: One of the few memes originating from TV Tropes: it has become tradition to write HERO OF THE IMPERIUM after Cain's name whenever he appears on another page.
  • Tear Jerker: Cain giving his sash to the mortally wounded Donal in Cain's Last Stand.
    • The novella Old Soldiers Never Die has an intelligent and likable character contract a Chaos-heightened plague that's destroying his mind in the course of killing him. Amberley quotes one of the last things he wrote, a Stream of Consciousness about how he never wanted his job but "Can't be sick. For them." and is now haunted by visions full of blood. Perhaps feeling some pity, she introduces this with only the words, "Appended without comment." A Magos Biologis finds a cure, but it's too late to save the fellow's mind.
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