History Main / TheSoulless

27th Mar '17 9:48:01 PM Nightmask
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* In one science-fiction story an entire alien race is revealed to be soulless after making first contact with humanity, but it's not natural but the result of the ubiquitous teleportation technology that they use as a single pass through will permanently separate one from their soul. This doesn't make them evil but as the soul provides among other things the spark of creativity it means their entire race is creatively sterile, incapable of making new discoveries and innovations (something the reporter protagonist of the story laments as he was one of the humans who got to be part of the group of humans to try the technology out, as he can no longer be creative). Basically it leaves a living being as simply an organic robot running through the patterns it had already learned but unable to develop new ones. The sympathetic alien who accepts the truth arranges the destruction of his ship and elimination of all records of humanity before it can be updated to the alien race's datanet to give humanity more time to develop in hopes that they might save his own race someday.
16th Mar '17 9:37:25 PM Fireblood
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* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', the Gray Men are also known as this. They give up their souls to the Dark One, serving as his assassins. It leaves them near invisible for some reason, as their eyes will slide past the Gray Man like they aren't even there.
16th Mar '17 9:29:46 PM Fireblood
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* ''Series/TheMagicians'': The loss of a person's shade appears to leave them like this, with the usual {{lack of empathy}}.
16th Mar '17 8:53:48 PM Fireblood
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When people use the phrase "soulless monster," they usually mean the person they're referring to [[KickTheDog isn't acting]] like a (decent) human being, not that they actually lack a soul and are a monster[[note]](well, a literal as opposed to a figurative one, anyway)[[/note]]. In fiction, some characters really ''are'' soulless, and often act like monsters because of it.

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When people use the phrase "soulless monster," they usually mean the person they're referring to [[KickTheDog isn't acting]] like a (decent) human being, not that they actually lack a soul and are a monster[[note]](well, monster.[[note]]Well, a literal as opposed to a figurative one, anyway)[[/note]]. anyway.[[/note]] In fiction, some characters really ''are'' soulless, and often act like monsters because of it.
5th Mar '17 7:02:06 PM nombretomado
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* [[{{Marvel}} Mephisto's]] son Blackheart was created without a soul, a trait carried over into the movie.

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* [[{{Marvel}} Mephisto's]] ComicBook/{{Mephisto}}'s son Blackheart was created without a soul, a trait carried over into the movie.
17th Feb '17 4:00:05 AM bt8257
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When a character loses their [[OurSoulsAreDifferent soul]], they normally become a listless EmptyShell or transform into TheHeartless; the Soulless, however, are active, rational, and still recognizably human in [[GlamourFailure almost]] [[TheMirrorShowsYourTrueSelf every sense]]. They just lack a soul. The Soulless are often motivated by one thing only: getting a soul. Any old soul will do, but frequently they want their own soul back for sentimental reasons. Much like the "DamagedSoul" case of CameBackWrong, problems arise because the character is no longer bound by ethical (and sometimes ''natural'') laws and demonstrates a disturbing LackOfEmpathy (and sometimes a lack of survival instincts). A NiceGuy will [[BewareTheNiceOnes break fingers]], TheCutie will just ''[[BreakTheCutie break]],'' and even the FriendToAllLivingThings will rampage through a petting zoo if it brings them closer to their goal. While a soulless character doesn't necessarily become a [[SerialKiller soulless killing machine]], [[SanityMeter sanity]] and [[KarmaMeter humanity]] don't fare very well without one. Even if both of these traits are independent of the soul and don't suffer in its absence, most Soulless characters have a [[TheUnfettered change in worldview that does erode their good nature.]]

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When a character loses their [[OurSoulsAreDifferent soul]], they normally become a listless EmptyShell or transform into TheHeartless; the Soulless, however, are active, rational, and still recognizably human in [[GlamourFailure almost]] [[TheMirrorShowsYourTrueSelf every sense]]. They just lack a soul. The Soulless are often motivated by one thing only: getting a soul. Any old soul will do, but frequently they want their own soul back for sentimental reasons. Much like the "DamagedSoul" case of CameBackWrong, problems arise because the character is no longer bound by ethical (and sometimes ''natural'') laws and demonstrates a disturbing LackOfEmpathy (and sometimes a lack of survival instincts). A NiceGuy will [[BewareTheNiceOnes break fingers]], TheCutie will just ''[[BreakTheCutie break]],'' and even the FriendToAllLivingThings will rampage through a petting zoo if it brings them closer to their goal. While a soulless character doesn't necessarily become a [[SerialKiller soulless killing machine]], [[SanityMeter sanity]] {{sanity|Meter}} and [[KarmaMeter humanity]] don't fare very well without one. Even if both of these traits are independent of the soul and don't suffer in its absence, most Soulless characters have a [[TheUnfettered change in worldview that does erode their good nature.]]
9th Feb '17 6:32:16 AM Paireon
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* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', most intelligent beings do not have souls. This includes both the Red and Black Court vampires, as well as the Fae. This doesn't automatically make them evil...but it does make then inhuman and apparently coincides with a lack of true free will. In this setting, faeries can be [[MindControl compelled]] more easily than humans and it's not illegal to do so, and they are more bound by their nature than humans (creatures of habit, in other words) and unable to change it the way humans can reinvent themselves. The White Court 'vampires', on the other hand, appear to be basically a kind of human being, and they most certainly ''do'' have souls, and apparently free will (though this is somewhat limited by the fact that they share said soul with an unintelligent but very hungry demon). Angels ([[FallenAngel Fallen]] or otherwise), invert this trope- they're ''all'' soul, with bodies being temporary and incidental to their being (though Fallen sometimes possess humans).
** Dresden Files, being a series of books about wizards, also ties the concept of souls and names together very tightly. A human, having free will and the ability to craft his own soul, has the magical nature of their name _change_ over time, explaining why Wizards are sometimes willing to give out parts of their name to supernatural creatures... in a few decades, it will have lost the ability to influence them unless they give it away again. Fae and many other supernatural creatures aren't so much soulless as that they have _fixed_ souls, so once one knows their true name you have incredible power over them. Fallen and other angels are creatures whose entire soul is crafted as an instrument of divine authority, so their names can draw their attention and give them power over the speaker. And the big bads of the series... don't have names at all, and are thus soulless in the actual sense of the meme and not just the in-world theology. For reference, the nameless literally want to eat the world, and giving them a name neuters them.

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* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', most intelligent beings do not have souls. This includes both the [[OurVampireAreDifferent Red and Black Court vampires, vampires]], as well as [[TheFairFolk the Fae.Fae]]. This doesn't automatically make them evil...but it does make then inhuman and apparently coincides with a lack of true free will. In this setting, faeries can be [[MindControl compelled]] more easily than humans and it's not illegal to do so, and they are more bound by their nature than humans (creatures of habit, in other words) and unable to change it the way humans can reinvent themselves. The White Court 'vampires', on the other hand, appear to be basically a kind of human being, and they most certainly ''do'' have souls, and apparently free will (though this is somewhat limited by the fact that they share said soul with an unintelligent but very hungry demon). Angels ([[FallenAngel Fallen]] or otherwise), invert this trope- they're ''all'' soul, with bodies being temporary and incidental to their being (though Fallen sometimes possess humans).
** Dresden Files, being a series of books about wizards, also ties the concept of souls and names together very tightly. A human, having free will and the ability to craft his own soul, has the magical nature of their name _change_ over time, explaining why Wizards are sometimes willing to give out parts of their name to supernatural creatures... in a few decades, it will have lost the ability to influence them unless they give it away again. Fae and many other supernatural creatures aren't so much soulless as that they have _fixed_ souls, so once one knows their true name you have incredible power over them. Fallen and other angels are creatures whose entire soul is crafted as an instrument of divine authority, so their names can draw their attention and give them power over the speaker. And [[EldritchAbomination the big bads of the series...series]]... don't have names at all, and are thus soulless in the actual sense of the meme and not just the in-world theology. For reference, the nameless literally want to eat the world, and giving them a name neuters them.
30th Dec '16 9:14:51 PM bt8257
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* ''Series/TheTwilightZone1959'' In the episode "Of Late I think of Ciffordville" an [[CorruptCorporateExecutive elderly and cruel business man]] meets the Devil. The Devil says that she will grant him for one wish in exchange for something. He assumes it's his soul but she informs him that he lost it a long time ago.

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* ''Series/TheTwilightZone1959'' In the episode "Of Late I think Think of Ciffordville" an [[CorruptCorporateExecutive elderly and cruel business man]] meets the Devil. The Devil says that she will grant him for one wish in exchange for something. He assumes it's his soul but she informs him that he lost it a long time ago.



* In ''VideoGame/FallenLondon'', approximately ten percent of the population of London are soulless, generally having either [[DealWithTheDevil sold it]] - not necessarily for a good price or in a fair deal - or had it stolen by a spirifer (a sort of soul-poacher). Your player character can sell their soul as well. The effects of not having a soul seem to be different for different people, but a certain deadening of emotion and empathy and/or lapsing into various levels of depression are common. The possibility of CreativeSterility is brought up, but being soulless never hinders you in the storylines where your character creates a work of art. It also has no effect on your ability to [[DeathIsCheap return from the dead]]. It's not particularly clear in-universe or out of it what purpose the soul serves for its owner; devils value them, though. [[YourSoulIsMine Possibly as a foodstuff.]]

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* In ''VideoGame/FallenLondon'', approximately ten percent 10% of the population of London are soulless, generally having either [[DealWithTheDevil sold it]] - not necessarily for a good price or in a fair deal - or had it stolen by a spirifer (a sort of soul-poacher). Your player character can sell their soul as well. The effects of not having a soul seem to be different for different people, but a certain deadening of emotion and empathy and/or lapsing into various levels of depression are common. The possibility of CreativeSterility is brought up, but being soulless never hinders you in the storylines where your character creates a work of art. It also has no effect on your ability to [[DeathIsCheap return from the dead]]. It's not particularly clear in-universe or out of it what purpose the soul serves for its owner; devils value them, though. [[YourSoulIsMine Possibly as a foodstuff.]]
30th Dec '16 9:06:50 PM bt8257
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* Bart [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Simpson]] sold his soul to Millhouse for $5. His breath didn't fog glass, automatic doors didn't open for him, dogs growled when he passed. It didn't really make him evil, but he ''did'' get desperate enough to try and take Ralph Wiggum's soul. When Chief Wiggum interrupted him, Bart hisses at him and his eyes briefly turn into slits.

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* Bart [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Simpson]] sold his soul to Millhouse Milhouse for $5. His breath didn't fog glass, automatic doors didn't open for him, dogs growled when he passed. It didn't really make him evil, but he ''did'' get desperate enough to try and take Ralph Wiggum's soul. When Chief Wiggum interrupted him, Bart hisses at him and his eyes briefly turn into slits.
25th Dec '16 10:02:35 AM ErebusElysium
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* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Trollhunters}}'', Angor Rot asks Argante for power in exchange for [[spoiler:a piece of his flesh]], Argante then turns the [[spoiler:piece of flesh]] into the Inferna Copula, which is then used to house Angor's soul. For centuries, the ring acts as a leash, whoever wearing it being able to control him. Jim Lake manages to retrieve the cursed ring and after [[spoiler:trying to steal the Killing Stone]], a fight ensues that ends with [[spoiler:Angor accidentally destroying the ring and his soul along with it.]]
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