| | Re: The hero dies in the end.
Two different meanings:
- "at the end" means "at the end of something" - so : "the hero dies at the end of the film" - or book, or whatever.
- "in the end" simply means eventually or finally ie after everything else has happened.
So, for example : We looked at loads of different carpets, but in the end we chose a grey one. (Ok, Ok so we're redecorating the house this summer and I'm a bit obsessed.) Here "at" is not possible because there isn't a fixed "thing" like a book or film with a distinct beginning, middle and end. Just a very long drawn out (I promise you) process.
Another example : At the end of the meeting, they brought in coffee and biscuits. versus There was a lot of discussion in the meeting, but in the end, everyone voted in favour. In the second example, the vote didn't necessarily happen at the end of the meeting - it may well have been half way through. But it was the conclusion of the process under focus.
Hope that helps.