Cross-culturally, heroic tragicomedies are structured by a quest for domination, one prototype for happiness. However, heroic stories often involve an "epilogue of suffering" focused on the misery of the defeated enemy or the guilt of the hero. This "second ending," following heroic triumph, may be explained if ethical thinking is prototype-based, with different prototypes triggered by different situations. Heroic plots regularly involve conflict between ethical prototypes--of group protection and individual compassion--along with associated forms of empathy. This conflict generates "traumas of heroism" where the hero violates the ethics of compassion. Victory makes that violation salient, thus leading to the epilogue.