Kill The Ones You Love


(permanent link) added: 2009-08-03 18:18:44 sponsor: coldacid (last reply: 2009-08-03 18:18:44)

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Do We Have This? It seems obvious enough (to me) but no amount of searching has turned it up.

Sometimes, a character you care for is going to die. Rather than killed off by the bad guys or some cosmic whim, though, the murderer is another character who cares very much for the deceased. Perhaps your little sis has become a Tragic Monster, or maybe you have to Fight Your Friend to the death. Occasionally it's a case of Shoot the Dog or Mercy Kill. In any case, the characters know each other, as well as their relationship to each other. And the killer knows that the other has to die for anything to be resolved.

In video games, this is invariably a Player Punch. This trope usually doesn't villainize the killer, since the now-dead character generally has to be killed to right wrongs, or at least keep the story going. Doesn't stop him or her from feeling like crap afterwards, though.

Needs a Better Description I'll admit.

Obviously, this is a death trope, usual disclaimers apply, yadda yadda yadda.
Examples:

  • Baldr Force EXE: Tohru has to kill Ren to keep her from destroying everything in the Wired.
  • In House, Wilson does this when he turns off Amber's life support. For everybody else, though, it was Alas, Poor Scrappy.
  • Million Dollar Baby.
  • The end of Old Yeller.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Shinji killing his only friend Kaworu, in order to save humanity.
    • And Kaworu actually smiles when he tells Shinji he has to die...
  • Bethany has to kill the old man God is inhabiting to stop the Apocalypse in Dogma.
  • In Torchwood: Children of Earth, Jack has to sacrifice his grandson.
  • Averted by Abraham & Isaac in The Bible.
    • However, aren't there any cases in ancient religion where someone had to sacrifice their firstborn and actually went through with it? This could be Older Than Dirt.
    • Another Biblical example: someone else can fill in the details, but a king promised he would sacrifice the first thing he saw when he got back home if God would grant him victory in a battle. He won and he got home, expecting his dog to run out the door and greet him...it was his daughter instead.
      • Filling in the details here: It was Jephthah who made the vow, and he was a Judge (this was before the establishment of the monarchy) and the text is actually ambiguous (probably intentionally) about whether he went through with it, since the law forbade human sacrifice. The Aesop of the story was supposed to be about not using vows as a bargaining tool.
  • Averted in Serenity: "bullet in the brainpan squish". Just enough to scare the audience into thinking that was the planned ending. It is easy to imagine the writer pulling that one.
  • In John Woo's The Killer, the title character has to put a bullet to Sidney, his best friend, in an I Cannot Self-Terminate moment, after he went through serious hell to get the money the Killer needs to have Jenny's eyes fixed to him and got shot by the bad guys.
  • In Outlander, Jamie has to kill his godfather, Murtagh, after he's grievously wounded at the battle of Culloden.
  • Subverted in the ending of Pan's Labyrinth.
  • Double Subverted in Kill Bill. At first, all we see of The Bride is her Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Bill, her ex-lover, but after she kills him, she breaks down sobbing for several moments.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3 has a huge one in the form of a Player Punch. The player, as Naked Snake, is actually forced to press the button and shoot The Boss while she's down. Let's just say that any player who's human felt as depressed as Snake doing that.
  • Code Geass: Lelouch (as Zero) is forced to shoot Euphie after she got geassed into going on a rampage. Just as he does it, he mentally bids her farewell, and even thinks to himself that she was his first love. He's later shown angsting over it.
    • And then there's the finale, where Suzaku, disguised as Zero, stabs Lelouch. He's shown crying while doing it.
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