Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Janitor: Some examples of the main assertion before jumping into exceptions would probably be wise.

Andrew Leprich: Good trope, but the "In Fantasy" portion of the title seems superfluous and makes it longer than it needs to be; the "in fantasy settings" part in the main entry sufficiently establishes that this generally only applies to fantasy games. Things would be more smoother if it was just called All Myths Are True, in my view.

Janitor: Seconded. Except for the "games" part. "...generally only applies to fantasy." lets it be about all the other media.

Andrew Leprich: My bad, this definitely applies to TV and other media as well.

Tulling: I based the title on the adage "At night all cats are grey", but you are probably right that "fantasy" is superfluous.

Andrew Leprich: I see, then it might be okay, but you may want to include that title homage in the main entry just so people realize it.

Janitor I'd still vote for All Myths Are True. It hooks into fantasy, horror, comedies ...

Andrew Leprich: Oh, I still agree that All Myths Are True would be better, but I at least now see where the "In Fantasy" part was coming from.

Tulling: Then by all means change the title, it is not an important point.

Andrew Leprich: The entry name changer under tools isn't letting me for some reason. I don't really care either way, but if someone knows how to do it be my guest.

Andrew Leprich: Thanks for doing it, Janitor.
Tulling: The recently added Infallible Babble brought to mind a related practice which might be worth an entry: Namely, that in fantasy settings every folk tale or prophecy is recounting something that actually happened or is an accurate prediction. This kind of thing might already be covered somewhere, but I wonder if there are any counter-examples: like a fantasy setting where some of the fantastic is real, but other parts are just superstition. Something like someone tells you to do such and such in order to summon a supernatural entity, but it doesn't work because such a thing never existed, even if there are other supernatural phenomena that are real.

Janitor: The fact-into-myth thing is referenced in And Man Grew Proud. Near, but not on the point. You are calling for examples of points in a fantasy where someone goes "Tch! That's a myth." — and are correct — even though a lot of myth-like things are possible in the setting.
Leprechaun: "So you think all unicorns are virgins? Where do the young ones come from?"
Ogre: "Huh?"

There must be plenty of these...

Tulling: Indeed. I was thinking that "all the myths and prophecies are true" deserves to be called a cliché, thus making it ripe for subversion. For example, a scenario like this: A threat looms. Superstitious folk believe it is the "big bad thought to be of supernatural origin who was defeated long ago and is expected to return". Turn out it is in fact an unrelated threat, and the big bad of myth was actually based on a historical warlord that was in fact wholly mortal and is quite dead. It seem so obvious, yet I cannot think of any concrete examples.

Janitor: Mythtaken Myth, if that's not too Robert Asprin for your taste. Surely there is something out of Harry Potter. Hmm. The superstitions of mythopedic characters ... Huh. Might be fresh ground, or at least lightly trodden.

Robert: One literary example, probably not deliberate: a book series, name forgotten, where in the first volume the hero is told that the world he's trapped in is flat, then in the second volume told that's just a myth - it's really round. This may have been a retcon, but the effect is the same.

Lost-colony fantasies, like Pern or the Warlock series, are borderline examples. As well as mythicising their arrival from Earth, the cultures have generally created a new crop of unfounded superstitions, but these aren't full-blown fantasy.

Pratchett's Small Gods has a religion, most of whose tenets are false, but that story was aimed at real religions, not the 'all myths are true' cliche.

Kendra Kirai: "Mythteries Of The World". :)

Tulling: All Myths Are True is more descriptive. I shall start it, but we still concrete examples of exceptions.


  • Any scenario found in games or books in which the hero lives up to the exact words of a prophecy, find that every rumor of mystical happenings are true, every ghost story is real and not the result of some prank and an over-vivid imagination and so on.


  • breathes* Whew. Anyway, yes, don't make examples like this, it doesn't add anything to the entry. ``v

Tulling: Yes, it is a silly thing to do. It is something ones jots down as a kind of placeholder example, but you are right that it should be avoided.
Do we have an entry for the trope where all gods that humanity has ever believed in really exist and are sustained by their believers faith? This is more literary I guess (I can think of three fantasy novels that use this) but no TV shows. — Jerry Kindall

Ununnilium: Belief Powered Gods definitely needs an entry, IMHO.

Andyroid: I think it does, in the form of Clap Your Hands If You Believe.

Ununnilium: ...well-played, TV Tropes Wiki. But I'll have the last laugh! *maniacal cackling, Smoke Out*
Fast Eddie: zapped this:
We won this battle with might and fearless heart!
We came, and we fulfilled our prophecy!
So now we shall march back towards our kingdom;
with heads up high and gleaming eyes we return with our glory!
Battle Song by Ensiferum

Anyone showing a correlation between this opening quote and the material of the entry is hereby awarded a TV Tropes No-Prize.
Lizuka: I'd like to nominate moving the Paper Mario example from exceptions to straight examples, as though it is true that there are many conflicting rumors on the nature of the Thousand-Year Door it ultimately turns out that every one of them is in some way or another true.

Ununnilium: Now consider the paradox if somebody tries to claim all religions are true. Even the ones that have a central theme of the others being wrong, especially those. By changing square pegs to fit in round holes, the theme is transformed into "religions are sorta true, but people got everything about them wrong."
  • Unless, of course, you are an omniquantist or Adherent of Slag-Blah. Then all religions being true at the same time makes perfect sense
    • For sufficiently small values of "perfect" and "sense"

Wow. Natter in the trope entry itself. saves for posterity

  • This leads to the disturbing possibility that this world's author is, in fact, Travis Tea.
    • Alternative explanation: Dune is an Idiot Plot and Frank Herbert knew it.

Conversation in the Main Page.

  • This troper finds that the prophecy came true in the end. But only if you look at the series as a whole. When Wesley asked the the Loa for clarification, he told Wesley that Angel would "devour" his son according to the prophecy, which would pass when the earth shakes, the air burns, and the sky turns to blood. Wesley just misinterpreted when. In season four, An earthquake strikes as the Beast emerges from the ground. The Beast then causes a pillar of fire to emerge from the roof of a building, causing fire to rain down upon the city. The Beast, a few episodes later, then blots out the sun, and, by my view, the sky turned blood red as it happened. By the end of the season, Angel had caused everyone to lose their memory of Conner (including Conner forgetting his own life). Effectively killing him. Granted, it would be based on a wide look at how the prophecy fits, but isn't that what most prophecies do anyway?

This would better go in Wild Mass Guessing.

  • Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels often relate a creation myth for the house of Hastur explaining their powerful psychic abilities. Turns out, the myth is true (surprise, surprise), but Hastur wasn't a god, he was an alien.

This seems more like One Specific Myth Is True, and it's Ancient Astronauts to boot.

Also, in a bit of a subversion, the humans aren't exactly sure if the planet Earth even exists at all, with quite few thinking it's just a myth.
  • It's not. Though it might have been better for them if it was

This doesn't seem like a subversion at all.

  • In the Discworld adventure-game, it is revealed that dragons only exist if you believe in them. Thus, you can make a dragon appear simply by chanting 'Dragons DO exist, Dragons DO exist'...
  • The pen-and-paper roleplaying game Ars Magica makes extensive use of this via what the game calls 'Medieval Paradigm': whatever the peasant believes is true. This justifies the appearance of dragons, faeries, giants and werewolves in a game set in Earth's eleventh century.
  • In Persona 2 (both of 'em), you actually hire people to spread rumors... which makes them true. In Eternal Punishment, to test it out, one of your party members spreads the rumor that the restaurant you're in sells guns (it's called Parabellum, after all). Minutes later, the waiter comes to your table and offers you some, when, moments earlier, the owner was actually supporting Japan's strict gun control laws. In Innocent Sin, it's a bit more bizarre, as they do the same thing with a random ramen shop that has no possible connection to weaponry except that it had been previously rumored that its owner once had an interesting past.
    • The paradox mentioned above is actually done in the baseline Megaten series. All religions are true, all gods exist. It's just that one of them has forcibly supplanted all the others and rules humanity with an iron fist, leaving the gods-become-demons aching for some payback.
    • The Rumors becoming true are all the result of the (nearly god-like)BigBad which justifies some of the rumors coming true(though one hilarious rumor involves Hitler and the rest Third Reich being alive the entire time but in hiding, why they would attack a random city in Japan is beyond this troper).
      • Why they attack that city is satisfactorily explained, IMO. It was rendered a very special city by the rumors after all.
    • Note that in the Persona games, Igor and his gang said that the demons were created from the human psyche and mind, meaning that the myths associated with them may be as well. This means, in the universe of the Persona games, all myths may just be fabrications of the human minds (much like how most people believe them to be in real life). I don't know the deal behind Philemon and Nyarlathotep but they aren't from myths.
      • Philemon is the one from Jungian psychology, I believe, and Nyarlathotep is from H.P Lovecraft. So yea, not myths.
      • The original Shin Megami Tensei games doesn't have this explanation though. The biggest chuck of the plots really do involve Heaven vs. Hell and the battle of the gods for supremacy and, of course, the role and fate of humans in all that.
    • In the Melty Blood fighting games, the Night of Wallachia creates a situation much like Persona 2, above. Rumors and fears start to materialize as solid reality. This makes Nanaya, Shiki's Enemy Within, a royal pain in the ass for our beloved protagonist.
  • In The Sandman this trope is both subverted and played straight, in that all myths are true, but they are true because people believe they are true.
    • Of course, this also applies to the American Gods/Anansi Boys example above, as well as (mostly) to Discworld.

These are all Clap Your Hands If You Believe.

  • One literary example, probably not deliberate: a book series, name forgotten, where in the first volume the hero is told that the world he's trapped in is flat, then in the second volume told that's just a myth - it's really round. This may have been a retcon, but the effect is the same.
    • This sounds like Moon Dreams and its sequels Nul's Quest and Wizard's Mole.

This just... what?

  • Alien species encountered whilst on Earthsong are revealed to be the source for pretty much all of humanity's myths and legends, as well as those of those same alien races.

This is Ancient Astronauts.