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

From YKTTW


Paul A: There were a couple of examples suggested in the YKTTW that I haven't included:

  1. The Endless, in The Sandman, because I don't know enough about that aspect of the series to explain it properly.
  2. The Discworld examples, because I don't think they're a real example. Susan fills in for Death, and Death for the Hogfather, because they think it would be a good idea not to let the post fall vacant, not because there is a supernatural force making sure that post remains filled.

Mith: I wouldn't say Death for the Hogfather, but Susan does get a bit sucked in with her powers manifesting more strongly if Death isn't doing his job properly. She isn't necessarily forced to go around reaping, but Death hardly reaps everything anyway; his job is just as much to oversee things and just be Death. That's IIRC, anyway - I don't have a book handy to check.
Paul A: I removed

  • In the John Carter of Mars series, the weather station that maintains the oxygen levels in Mars' atmosphere must be continuously staffed by one of two people, who switch places every half-year. When one of them suffers an untimely death, all life on Mars almost asphyxiates.

because it's another non-example like the Discworld one. I'll add a clarifying sentence to the article, I think.


adam850: Atlas and Hercules fits, right? Atlas has to hold up the heavens. Hercules gets Atlas to steal some apples for him, but has to hold up the heaves in the meantime. Atlas says: "Now that I have found someone to replace me, do you think I am stupid to get back there? Anyway thank you Hercules for redeeming me of this martyrdom."

Atlas must have brain damage from holding up the heavens, because Hercules asked if Atlas could hold the heavens for a little bit while he gets a pillow, and Atlas agrees to. No points for guessing what happens next.

Paul A: I think that's really another "merely a very bad idea" one — there doesn't have to be somebody holding the sky up, it's just that they'd fall down if somebody didn't.

Kilyle: Couldn't we stick in a separate note on this trope about examples that are just very bad ideas? 'Cuz it seems like Atlas really should be up here (can't retire without replacement), and I'd vote for the John Carter on Mars example to be included. But they should be separate from the regular examples, so maybe a section at the end?

Fire Walk: Yeah, for "just a bad idea" I'd say they should count if it's a bad enough, although I'd teeter on the John Carter issue. Atlas holding up the world feels right, though. It should be "bad idea" on the scale that the entirety of known existence goes horibly horribly wrong in some way, and fast.


Fnord: There should be a reference like "And whenever that supernatural force is the all-too-natural audience demand for a character that is killed it's called He's Dead But Not Really". This trope refers to characters who continue the legacy of a typically recently dead character. Comic book examples are the Flash, with Wally West taking up Barry Allen's legacy, and the whole Superman's Death story arc.