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  • Stephen King's Dark Tower has a few per book, usually towards the end (number two being the only exception).
    • The Dark Tower: Roland betrays Jake and lets him fall to his death. He meets with The Man In Black and learns the true nature of the Tower, as well as the world the book takes place in.
    • The Dark Tower: The meaning behind the ominous prophecies of Charlie The Choo-Choo become known through Blaine the Mono's Face Heel Turn, and the book ends on a cliffhanger.
    • Wizard and Glass: Hey, remember Marten Broadcloak from Roland's childhood? Yeah, well he's still alive, and his real name is Randall Flagg.
    • Wolves of the Calla: Fourth wall? Gone.
    • Song of Susannah: Susannah is pregnant with Roland's child. Fate condemns Stephen King himself to death.
    • The Twist Ending of the final book has stirred enough controversy among the fanbase for it to qualify as It Was His Sled.
  • Even if you know the ending to Of Mice and Men, you will shit yourself reading the penultimate chapter.
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell: "Arabella", the final chapter of part two.
  • The Wheel of Time manages to pull this off in several installments, most notably the endings of books 2: Rand revealing himself as the Dragon Reborn by fighting in the sky with Ba'alzamon, 3: the claiming of Callandor and Rand actually declaring himself the Dragon Reborn, 6: the battle at Dumai's Wells and the aftermath where the Aes Sedai swear fealty to Rand, and especially 9: the cleansing of the taint from saidin. Cranked Up to Eleven in 12 with The Prophet getting executed by Faile in the prologue; Verin's true allegiance; Egwene fending off a huge Seanchan attack on the White Tower, executing nearly the entire Black Ajah in a single day and FINALLY becoming Amyrlin of a united Aes Sedai; Rand killing both Semirhage and Graendal, starting to use the True Power and destroying the Choedan Kal. Robert Jordan was quite good at these.
    • Note that the events of book 12 were technically written (mostly) by Brandon Sanderson, though planned by the original author. Also, WHAM moments like these have become increasingly common since book 10 or so, as part of an earnest effort to prune the Kudzu Plot that's been building throughout the series.
    • And the Whams continue in book 13: Mat killing the gholam; Rand's incredible destruction of the hundreds of thousands of Shadowspawn attacking Maradon; Perrin stopping balefire with his wolfdream skills, and forging his new hammer; Egwene breaking Mesaana's mind; the future of the Aiel; the 13 x 13 trick being used at the Black Tower; the rescue of Moiraine, particularly with Mat's ashandarei being the key out of the realm of the Finn; and especially the epilogue which reveals in rapid succession a new horrific form of Darkfriend, a huge army of Shadowspawn attacking Caemlyn, and Lanfear once more toying with Rand's mind.
  • A Storm of Swords, the third book of A Song of Ice and Fire, ends with many devastating events, including deaths of many major characters. This was originally meant to set up for a five-year timeskip. When the author couldn't get it to work, the rewriting of the plot ironically caused a five-year delay for the next book.
    • The first book's ending arguably contained even more WHAM, what with the grand execution and all...
      • Let's not forget Dany's dragons! This series should really just be renamed A Song of Wham there are so many wham moments!
  • Philip Pullman's Northern Lights ends with Lyra's realization that she had traveled so far, and gone through everything, just to ultimately give her father Roger as a human sacrifice. Lord Asriel kills him to rip open the boundaries of their world, revealing that the carefully crafted fantasy world that the book has been entirely set in up to that point is actually one of many -- and that our world is also one of them. Then he declares war on God.
    • The even bigger Wham in this event was when Asriel and Coulter, supposedly deadly enemies, run to each other and have a lovers' embrace, less than a minute after Roger's death. Their previous behavior throughout the entire book was suddenly cast in a very different light.
    • Don't forget the ending to the first sequel, Lyra suddenly captured and Will's long absent father killed MOMENTS after they recognize one another.
  • J. K. Rowling has at least one Wham Chapter per Harry Potter book.
    • Sorcerer's/Philospher's Stone starts a series of wham endings right off the bat with the final chapter revealing that Snape was a red herring; he wasn't trying to kill Harry, he was trying to save his life. Instead, Professor Quirrell, the supposed cowardly sad sack, was in fact the person setting the chain of events off. Oh, and the chapter title, The Man with Two Faces? That's not metaphorical, Quirrell has Voldemort's face coming out of the back of his head!
    • The Chamber of Secrets has a couple: Hermione is petrified, Dumbledore is kicked out, Hagrid is sent to Azkaban, Ron's little sister Ginny has been taken into the chamber, and not only is Tom Riddle, who we thought was the hero of the last incident, behind everything, but he's also Lord Voldemort.
    • Prisoner of Azkaban reveals that Sirius was innocent while Peter Pettigrew, alias Wormtail/Scabbers, was guilty. Oh, and Professor Lupin is a werewolf.
    • Goblet of Fire has the scene in the graveyard, with Harry tied to a gravestone, Voldemort taking his blood, all sorts of other hideous stuff, him seeing his parents, priori incantatem, the list goes on, but what takes the cake was the first death: Cedric Diggory. It started the whole Anyone Can Die chain reaction. Almost all fans agree that one chapter set up the Darker and Edgier vibe for the rest of the series.
    • Order of the Phoenix reveals that it could have been Neville that the prophecy meant instead of Harry. Yes, that Neville.
    • The Half-Blood Prince clearly tops them all, though most everyone knows this by now, even if they hadn't read the book.
    • Deathly Hallows has a good number of them, but special mention goes to the revelation that Harry himself was a horcrux.
  • Ashes of Victory in David Weber's Honor Harrington series upsets everybody's applecart at the end! First, a "chess fork" assassination attempt forces Honor to choose among the important figures she could possibly save, ultimately handing a government over to corrupt incompetents. Meanwhile, the Soviet/France-during-the-Terror Haven undergoes upheavals even more drastic, from an unexpected quarter.
    • As the Metaplot of the series is a retelling of the great Anglo-French war In Space, this is based on the "Peace of Amiens" and the transition of power in France from the Committee of Public Safety to Napoleon I, and was planned out pretty much from the start. (With a few minor surprises here and there, anyway.)
    • Similarly, the scene in Mission of Honor where Oyster Bay happens, and of course the very final chapter of the book which re-aligns the political and military framework of the entire series over the course of a conversation.
  • While the other novels work well with plot twists, the last quarter of the fourth Temeraire novel, Empire Of Ivory, is probably the most staggering example. It sees the destruction of every English port in southern Africa by an army of dragon-riding tribesmen; a plan to effectively commit genocide upon the other dragons of Europe by sneaking an ill dragon into Napoleon's air corps, which would spread the plague that nearly wiped out England's dragons throughout the entire Eastern Hemisphere, but also would surely provoke a bloody invasion attempt by Napoleon; and Laurence and Temeraire committing treason to deliver the antidotal mushrooms to the French forces before it's too late. The end has Laurence and Temeraire returning to England, to what will surely be Laurence's court martial and hanging.
  • The end of Amber and Iron (the second book in the Dragonlance trilogy about Mina) contains a huge wham. In a tabletop-game world carefully balanced between good and evil, the idea that there's another goddess that nobody knew about, including her, is not just unexpected, it seems downright impossible.
  • The last few chapters of The Fall of Hyperion are all wham. First the Ouster invasion fleet turns out to have been flying at the Hagemony for centuries at sublight velocity to avoid detection, then we actually meet the Ousters and the "invasion fleet" turns out to be a fleet-full of cybrids sent by the Core, who turn out to be located inside the Portal Network, leaving the only solution as the destruction of said network, and as such human civilisation. Somewhere in the middle of all this, Kassad goes toe-to-toe with the Shrike. And then the Time Tombs open, and we find out who Moneta really is.
  • Star Trek: Destiny, in which the Borg launch an invasion of the Alpha Quadrant, destroying several dozen worlds and annihilating forty percent of Starfleet, before every single drone is liberated all at once, wiping out the collective once and for all.
  • The Pillars of the Earth takes a hard left turn when William raids Kingsbridge, nearly burns it to the ground and kills dozens, including the book's main character.
  • The Book of Amber. That series has one every few pages... "Wow! Everything I knew was wrong! Again!" indeed.
  • This coffee-table book about Googie motel architecture. Beautiful pictures of stylish but fading architecture; and then you get to the chapter on the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.
  • Animorphs, Book 23, The Pretender: Tobias learns that Prince Elfangor, the Andalite which gives the five humans their ability to morph, was his father. Sort of. All the more gut-wrenching because the entire plot of the book was, up that point, about him possibly finding a home and discovering it was a just a ploy by Visser Three to see if he knew anything. Guess which character is The Woobie in the series?
    • Also, book #49, in which the Yeerks (finally) figure out that the Animorphs are human. Cue the eponymous heroes going "Oh Crap."
  • The last two chapters of Mistborn book two. Everything that happened in the story up to this point was a Xanatos Gambit by the real, godlike Big Bad. The world is ending, everything you know is a lie, the prophecies are wrong and reality has been edited. Good luck. There are more than enough clues up to this point for the reader to figure out that things aren't quite as they seem, but nothing will prepare you for this.
  • Right smack dab in the middle of The Accidental Mage, when Gerald nearly gets his soul ripped out of him by Lional. I mean honestly, we knew Lionel was up to something, but this!?
  • In the Vorkosigan Saga, the beginning of Memory, when Miles gets kicked out of ImpSec for falsifying a report.
  • The end of The Fire Dragon, the 11th book in the Deverry series. Rhodry being transformed into a dragon is a complete surprise, given how difficult Shapeshifting has been shown to be.
  • The end of Dead Beat in The Dresden Files. So far the series had been about a Occult Detective. There were always acknowledgements of a Balance Between Good and Evil, and wizarding politics were often a problem for Harry, but for the first six and a half books of the series Harry was a detective who happened to investigate vampires in addition to mobsters and to carry a staff in addition to a revolver. Then, at the end of book seven, Harry is recruited into the Wardens because over half the organization had been slaughtered by a blitzkrieg in their ongoing war with vampires. Shortly after that, Harry deduces that his Monster Of The Weeks weren't just sorcerers feuding with each other but were fighting over enough power to become Physical Gods. At the end, he points out that his enemies had probably been allied to the vampires all along. Since then, the series has more been about wizarding world problems than his investigation business, even if that's how the story gets started sometimes.
    • Changes. There's a very good reason that this is the first book in the series to not have a two-word Punny Title: the entire book, in a very big way, is basically a wham episode. We find out that Harry has a daughter and that his mentor Ebenezar McCoy is his maternal grandfather. Harry's office, his car, and his apartment are all completely destroyed, along with almost all of his possessions. The White Council is on the verge of disintegrating; Ramirez and many of the younger Wardens have been imprisoned by the Council, and Luccio and a number of other older Wardens are missing. Harry accepts the position of Winter Knight, Susan dies at Harry's hand, doing so in a way that takes THE ENTIRE FREAKING RED COURT with her, he finally makes a date with Murphy, and the book ends with Harry being shot in the chest and falling into a lake, his exact fate unknown. Then the next book got announced: Ghost Story - Harry's DEAD. Oh, and Harry's duster gets destroyed. The whole book qualifies as a Cluster Wham Bomb.
    • The next book, Ghost Story, goes even further. Supernatural powers are running around snatching up whatever bits are left of the Red Court's former power base, leading to covert wars in the streets with the White Council locked up just trying to keep order. The Corpsetaker is back and is pissed. Bob's evil side is going completely Red Skull. Molly has gone almost completely off the deep end thanks to the trauma she took in the final battle in Changes. And Harry discovers who had him killed: He did it to himself. And at the end of the book, he takes up the mantle of Winter Knight willingly, but not without telling Queen Mab where she can stick it.
  • The Saga of Darren Shan has three contenders.
    • "Killers of the Dawn" has Steve Leonard revealed to be a half-vapaneze, before he initiates a manhunt of Darren and his companions (while slaughtering his way out of a hospital), and it ends with Mr Crepsley having a Heroic Sacrifice where he kills the Lord of the Vampaneze...only for his sacrifice to be rendered pointless when Steve reveals that he is the Vampaneze Lord.
    • "Lake of Souls" reveals that the other world, which is the future, is apparently a twisted wasteland, filled with monsters, crazed tribespeople, and dragons, with the implication that it is caused by the war between the vampires and vampaneze.
    • Also, we find out that Darren's faithful Little Person companion, Harkat Mulds, was, in his previous life Kurda Smahlt - a vampire traitor.
    • "The Lord of Shadows" has the revelation that no matter who wins the war, either Darren or Steve is destined to become a raging and powerful tyrant, who will destroy their own clan, conquer the world, and turn it into the Bad Future at the same time as Steve invades his and Darren's home town, begins massacring people (including one of their childhood friends), murders the infant son of one of Darren's friends, and reveals that his own son is Darren's nephew.
    • And Mr Tiny reveals that Darren and Steve are not only brothers, that they are also his own two sons.
  • Dragonlance is nothing but a Wham series. In reciprocation. Over millennia and-one-hundred-or-so books: Sturm is Huma's carbon-copy, The draconians are hatched from the supposedly-protected eggs of the good metallic dragons, Raistlin literally is Fistandantilus, Fizban is Paladine, Berem is responsible for the entire Second Dragon War, Par-Salian's version of 'The Test' breaks Raistlin, Steel Brightblade is the son of Sturm and Kitiara, Tasselhoff is blessed by Paladine himself... and that's about 5% of the MAIN storyline, too.
  • The ending of Tom Clancy's Debt of Honor: After being sworn in as Vice-President due to his predecessor being forced to resign, Jack Ryan narrowly escapes a terrorist attack that kills that kills almost every major politician in the U.S. Capitol building (including the President, most of Congress, most of the Cabinet, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and every Supreme Court Justice). Ryan is then immediately sworn in as President moments later. Let's just say no one saw that coming.
  • The eighth book in the Pretty Little Liars series, Wanted.
  • The ending of the ninth book of the Betsy the Vampire Queen series, Undead and Unfinished, contains a wham that dramatically changes the tone of the series to Darker and Edgier.
  • Princeps' Fury: Canea is overrun by the Vord, and so is half of Alera. Gaius Sextus obliterates Alera Imperia when the Vord overrun it, and dies in the process.
  • Warrior Cats has many each book. Listing them all would take a whole page, so we'll just mention the major ones.
    • Rising Storm: Tigerclaw becomes leader of ShadowClan.
    • Midnight: The forest is going to be destroyed.
    • Long Shadows: Lionblaze, Jayfeather and Hollyleaf are not Squirrelflight's kits!
    • Sunrise: Hollyleaf killed Ashfur. And she's not the third!
    • The Fourth Apprentice: A war between StarClan and the Dark Forest!
    • And The Last Hope is one of the greatest Wham Episodes in the history of Warrior Cats, because it's the final book in the main storyline, and Firestar, the character who introduced us to the Clans, dies.
  • Wizards At War (from the Young Wizards series) was basically one long Wham! Episode, tying up several ongoing plot threads and starting nearly double as many, as well as building up Dairine and Roshaun's relationship only to have Roshaun disappear mysteriously; causing Ponch to ascend to a higher plane of existence; creating a whole new version of the Lone Power called the Hesper, a version of the LP that never fell; and then completely *not* resolving the UST between Nita and Kit.
  • Skulduggery Pleasant: Death Bringer contains The Reveal that Skulduggery was Lord Vile.
  • "Invisible Monsters" has a few of these, such as the true identity of Brandy Alexander being the main character's brother and who shot the main character - she shot herself.
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