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File:Orry george 3044.jpg

North and South is shorthand for a trilogy of books written by John Jakes: North and South, set during the antebellum period of American history, Love and War, which takes place during the Civil War, and Heaven and Hell, which covers Reconstruction and the period of western expansion that followed.

The focal point of the saga is a budding bromance between Orry Main of South Carolina and George Hazard of Pennsylvania. The two become best friends while attending West Point, but later find themselves and their families on opposite sides of the war. The slave-owning Mains are rural gentleman planters while the big-city Hazards are heavy in industry, their differences reflecting the social divisions that eventually led to the Civil War.

The books were adapted into a TV Miniseries starring Patrick Swayze and James Read. Clocking in at 1212 minutes, the series aired on ABC between 1985-94. In addition to being a Star-Making Role for Swayze, a number of then-unknown actors (Forest Whitaker and Jonathan Frakes, to name a few) also saw their careers get a boost.

Not to be confused with the Elizabeth Gaskell novel and miniseries of the same name

Tropes used in North and South US include:


  • The Alcatraz: The infamous Libby Prison.
  • All-Star Cast: The miniseries seems hell-bent on out-sizing every 'All-Star Cast' to come before. (Hence Wayne Newton as an evil prison warden).
  • An Arm and a Leg: In the novels, Orry's arm is amputated following a skirmish. Fangirls don't go for that sort of thing, so Orry instead sees his leg permanently wounded in the minseries.
    • John Jakes fought this for a while, but was ultimately convinced that Orry losing an arm would constantly take viewers out of the story, as they'd spend every scene trying to spot how Patrick Swayze was hiding his arm.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too
  • Arranged Marriage: At the start of the North and South, Madeline is paired off with Justin La Motte, a wealthy plantation owner who is significantly older.
  • Artistic Title: A montage of ink drawings depicting the main characters. The sequence is different for each miniseries.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: George and Orry both attain high-level positions in the Union and Confederate Army, respectively. George conveniently ends up under Ulysses S. Grant's command, while Orry answers to no less than Jefferson Davis himself.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses
  • Badass Beard: George Hazard gains one after enlisting in the Union Army.
  • Bastard Bastard: Bent was fobbed off onto an abusive foster home after his real father, a U.S. Senator, decided to cover up his own marital infidelities.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Charles Main after his lover, Augusta, dies in childbirth.
  • Beard of Evil: Bent grows one in the third miniseries.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Madeline always looks amazing, even when sleep-deprived, beaten, and drugged up her eyeballs.
    • Heaven & Hell elevates Madeline to "Hot Mess" status as she works to rebuild Mont Royal.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Orry Main has bad luck with trains. The first time he arrives at a Yankee train station, he is harassed for his southern accent, leading into a brawl. The second time, Virgilia's mob stops the train and tries to lynch him. The third time, Orry whips out his cutlass and goes to town on some muggers.
    • Madeline in the first book. Following months of being beaten and drugged by Justin, she breaks loose and fights him off with a cutlass.
      • This wasn't the last time David Carradine would get his ass handed to him by a chick with a sword.
  • Big Bad: Elkanah Bent.
  • Black and White Insanity: Virgilia is against slavery. Fine. Believing that everyone from the southern USA is Always Chaotic Evil? Not so fine. And it keeps going downhill from there, with her ruining her own life and arguably becoming more of a liability to her cause rather then an asset.
  • Break the Cutie: Madeline Fabray.
  • The Cameo: With a cast this humongous, there were bound to be a few.
    • Gene Kelly pops up in a blink-and-you'll-miss it role as Elkanah Bent's biological father.
    • Elizabeth Taylor plays a brothel madam in New Orleans.
    • Wayne Newton is the warden of a Confederate prison camp.
    • Johnny Cash as John Brown ("We most certainly are at war!").
  • Cool Old Guy / Nature Hero: Adolphus.
  • Dark Secret: Ashton's discovery (through Bent) that Madeline's late mother was not only black, but a high-class prostitute to boot.
  • Distressed Damsel: Madeline, again.
  • Domestic Abuse: Madeline's unpleasant marriage to Justin.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Elkanah Bent is first introduced as this. As punishment for a perceived slight, he puts Orry though an series of torturous exercises.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Orry is killed off at the beginning of Heaven and Hell. Through creative use of Archive Footage, Swayze walks through a doorway to be replaced by a stand-in, who (silently) bites the dust when Bent stabs him from behind.
  • Duel to the Death: Orry schools Charles in the finer arts of dueling prior to facing off against a aristocrat.
    • Another time, some of the Southern villains maneuver one of the Northern characters into a pistol duel with a sabotaged gun so they can murder him legally. Fortunately, the more sympathetic southerners learn what is going on and charge in to stop it.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In the miniseries, young Ashton is first seen breaking a toy rather than letting her sister have it.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Ye gods, Elkanah Bent.
  • Evil Is One Big Happy Family: Given that Bent and Ashton are the main villains of the trilogy, a union between these people who so perfectly embody the notion of evil was inevitable.
  • Evil Is Petty
  • Fake American: English actress Leslie-Anne Down portrays Madeline.
  • Freudian Excuse: Bent turns out to be an illegitimate son of a U.S. Senator, who shilled him off on an abusive foster family rather than have anything to do with him.
  • Great Escape
  • He Knows Too Much: Madeline unwittingly makes an enemy by helping Ashton during her abortion. One of the Main family's slaves warns that Ashton won't Madelene to continue on in the family while knowing her shameful secret.
  • Heel Face Door Slam: Virgilia in the miniseries.
  • Henpecked Husband: Stanley Hazard and James Huntoon are married to an embezzler and a sociopath, respectively. Stanley gets bullied into betraying George and selling shoddy equipment to the Union forces, while Huntoon is merely a puppet for Ashton and Bent to carry out their plot.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: Orry getting bumped off at the start of Book 3.
  • Historical Fiction
  • Homosocial Heterosexuality: Madelyn is manipulated into an Arranged Marriage based entierly on his friendship with her father. This scenario is gradually rolled up retroactively after the protagonist loses contact with her only to find out that she's suddenly getting married.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: In Heaven and Hell, Ashton has been disowned by Orry and now irks out a living as a Sante Fe prostitute.
  • The Hyena: Ashton Main.
  • I Have Your Kid: In the final phase of his revenge plot, Bent kidnaps Charles Main's son to raise as his own.
  • If You Kill Him You Will Be Just Like Him / Roaring Rampage of Revenge
  • Informed Attribute: Bent repeatedly claims to be an outstanding military tactician, and especially loves to bring up how one of his West Point instructors compared him to Napoleon. He never gets to actually demonstrate these skills, and it's unclear how much he's embellishing.
  • Injun Country: Charles and Adolphus in the third book.
  • Kill the Cutie: In the third book, Bent avenges himself on George by murdering his wife, Constance.
  • Love Across Battlelines: Many, many examples. See the trope page for details.
  • Marital Rape License: Justin.
  • Meet Cute: In their first scene together, Orry rescues Madeline from an overturned carriage.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Elkanah Bent.
  • Never Found the Body: Bent.
  • One-Scene Wonder: It's a twofer: Johnny Cash (!) gets a scene as renegade abolitionist John Brown. Jimmy Stewart appears in the second miniseries as attorney Miles Corbert. ..Alright, technically he gets two scenes, but still.
  • The Other Darrin: The part of Billy Hazard was also recast for the second miniseries. The actor playing Charles Main was recast for Kyle Chandler in the third miniseries.
    • Finally, the part of Isabel is played by a total of three actresses.
  • Politically-Correct History
  • Politically-Incorrect Villain: Virtually all of the southern villains including Bent, Justin, and Ashton.
  • Principles Zealot: Virgilia.
  • Professional Gambler
  • Rich Bitch: Also numerous.
  • Romancing the Widow: In Heaven and Hell, George and Madeline.
  • Save the Villain: George and Orry rescue Elkanah Bent from drowning in an icy lake. He's not exactly grateful.
  • Scars Are Forever: Justin receives one from Madeline's sword slash.
  • Second Act Breakup: In Love and War, Madeline deserts Orry after Ashton threatens to expose her black lineage and disgrace Orry's family. They finally reconcile after the war ends. Only in the miniseries, not in the novels.
  • See You in Hell
  • Sleazy Politician: Congressman Sam Greene.
  • Soaperizing
  • Spoiled Brat / The Vamp: Ashton.
  • Stuff Blowing Up
  • Sword Fight
  • The Epic
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Virgilia directs her Abolitionist mob to lynch Orry, but he escapes in time.
  • Villain Exit Stage Left: Ashton's plans go up in smoke when she evicts Madeline from Mont Royal, only to discover that the house has long been burned down. She is then led away by her now-husband, signaling her (apparent) reformation.
  • Wanted Poster
  • War for Fun and Profit
  • Where Da White Women At?: Virgilia befriends and eventually marries a freed slave named Grady.
  • Woman Scorned: After Billy Hazard leaves Ashton for her sister, Ashton conspires with a criminal to have him murdered.
    • In the miniseries, Virgilia agrees to serve as Congressman Greene's mistress in exchange for a judicial pardon. In his final scene, Greene reveals that Virgilia's name has been cleared for month; he was just stringing her along in exchange for sex. Virgilia goes berserk and shoots him dead.
  • A Worldwide Punomenon: The people who made the DVD chapter titles had a lot of fun with Bent's name.
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