This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.
: "J.K. Rowling is quite possibly the only writer to subvert this since the beginning of time." First of all, no. Second of all, when?
: Voldemort's first "death," maybe?
: Or maybe Sirius Black (never found the body but is repeatedly said to be really, really dead) or perhaps Dumbledore (did find the body and all the characters think he's dead but, like, doesn't everyone know he's not really dead?) Neither of these can count until the last book comes out to establish what's really the case, though.
Also, Voldemort is not a subversion. He was believed dead, they Never Found the Body
, and lo and behold he returned. Admittedly, some characters didn't think he was dead, but that's hardly a subversion.
j: Wuxia fiction (and by extension television and movies based on it) has a variant of this about Heroes Falling Off Cliffs. Whereas never finding the body is usually used as an out for an antagonist in western fiction, in wuxia it is the protagonists who fall of cliffs, which generally leads to their accidental discovery of a source of new martial arts knowledge which makes them invincible. The archetypical example of this is Zhang Wuji from Heaven Sword, Dragon Saber (and in the Jet Li movie based on it, ZWJ gains his superpower kung fu from a cliff falling off incident too, one that's totally different from the one in the book.)
Bob La Rice
- I'm surprised the Joker hasn't been mentioned yet. He's probably survived more explosions or falls from great heights than any other example cited on this page. He's done this so many times that Batman often points out this very trope: if they didn't find the body, then the Joker is still alive.