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All versions

  • The Thunderchild. Versions which don't include the the valiant Thunderchild's last stand are diminished by it's lack. The Thunderchild's stand against the Fighting Machines is always both a high point in demonstrating the greatest things about humanity, and also a terrible lesson in how those great things can't hope to win.

1953 Film

  • The war machines! There totally indestructible, and even an atomic bomb fails to put so much as a scratch on them. The ship design may be a bit dated today, but you can't help being a little impressed.
    • The first battle is especially impressive. The order to fire is given and the war machines are standing imperiously as all the bombs and bullets hit their force fields uselessly. Even the heat rays are swaying back and forth as though the war machines were looking around at the puny forces around with contempt. "Oh, this is all you've got?" they seem to say right before they unleash their own weapons.
  • The last stand of the HMS Thunderchild. To summarize, as a horde of people are shoving and pushing to escape to safety on a steamer, Tripods bearing down and ready to slaughter them all. From nowhere, the Thunderchild roars into life and charges straight at the Tripods, bringing down two down with torpedo tubes and heavy guns. This earns it a barrage of heat rays, and it just keeps going, trying to ram a third and take that one down as well, before circuming and vanishing under the waves, saving everyone on the steamer. If this troper ever owns a boat of his own, he's naming it after the Thunderchild. This from the Jeff Wayne musical really sums up how freaking awesome this whole bit is: K Qmj L Lx Y

2005 Film

  • The military holding off the Martians so the refugees can get to safety. The military are hopelessly outmatched. Heroic Sacrifice indeed.