Created By: MrInitialMan on August 25, 2013 Last Edited By: Tallens on January 25, 2014
Troped

Holy Ground

Land set aside as sacred, consecrated and holy.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
AKA Hallowed Ground, Sacred Ground
I do not wish to stain this sacred place with your blood. If you are determined to have this confrontation, why don't we settle this outside?
-Prince Maximilian von Regingrave, Valkyria Chronicles

A place that has religious significance. It could be the site of a church or temple, a graveyard, a Holy City, or any other place. There are rules you must follow, taboos you must not break, or the locals will object, if not the one that place was dedicated to. After all, Holy Is Not Safe.

If someone is Seeking Sanctuary, this is the place they'll go. If this place actively repels or harms evil forces, then it is a Place of Protection because Holy Burns Evil.

Sister Trope to Truce Zone. Indian Burial Ground is a subtrope. Contrast Unhallowed Ground.

Examples

Comic Books
  • Hellblazer
    • Played with in one arc. John makes a deal with a bunch of demons to get a little girl's soul back. The summoning takes place in an old church, so they're trapped in the circle. Which is when John brings in the other party to the deal, an Aztec death god who, having been around for longer than Christianity, has no problem with the holy nature of the church, and starts eating the demons.
    • He also once sets up an ambush by waiting for chasing demons to reveal that they're standing on the grounds of an old church that was later turned into an insane asylum.

Film
  • In the film Alice's Restaurant (and the Real Life situation which inspired it) Alice's restaurant is in a former church, and it has to be deconsecrated before Alice can set up shop.
  • Maverick. Invoked by Brett Maverick when a bunch of Indians show up. Maverick communicates to them in their own language but makes it sound like they're angry because his party trespassed on sacred ground. He makes up the Indian Bravery Test as an excuse to go with them, which you pass by not making a sound as both your hands are chopped off.

Literature
  • From The Mallorean, there is a place called Korim, where Torak argued with UL. It is described as one of the holiest places on earth.
  • From The Tamuli, there is a concern that an Elene-style church has been consecrated (it hasn't).
  • The Bible:
    • Moses sees a burning bush, which tells him to remove his shoes, because he is standing on Holy Ground.
    • Prior to the attack on Jericho, Joshua is visited by the Captain of the Lord's Host, and told to remove his shoes because he is standing on holy ground.
  • In Around the World in 80 Days, Passepartout gets in trouble for wearing shoes into a Hindu temple.
  • This comes up from time to time in the Deryni works. A selection:
    • In Deryni Rising, Morgan and Kelson remove their swords in the small chapel adjoining Duncan's study. "The tradition of coming into the House of God unarmed was an old and strong one."
    • When Charissa literally throws down a gauntlet to interrupt Kelson's coronation in St. George's Cathedral, Kelson asks her, "What would you in the House of the Lord?"
    • Morgan and Duncan are excommunicated after the events at St. Torin's shrine near Dhassa. Specifically, they are charged with killing men on sacred ground and profaning the place by using Deryni magic there, as well as getting the blame for starting the fire that burned the wooden structure to the ground. Never mind that the place was used to set a trap for Morgan in the first place...
  • In The Dresden Files, the church of Saint Mary of the Angels is one of the few remaining true holy grounds in the world, meaning that it is mostly impervious to all dark magic and anti-human supernatural forces.
  • In The Hollows, Rachel and her pixie and vampire roommates live in a church that is on holy ground. It has twice been blasphemed by the presence of an extremely powerful demon and needed a priest to come re-consecrate it.
  • Quest for the Fallen Star has the Holy Land, where hatred cannot exist and wounds are minor irritants easily brushed away.
  • In Warrior Cats, the Moonstone, and later, Moonpool, are sacred places for the cats to communicate with their ancestors. New leaders are given nine lives there, each new warrior must make the trip there once, and that's where the medicine cats receive omens twice a moon.

Live-Action Television
  • Played within one Doctor Who episode. The monsters can't get into the church, not directly because it's holy, but because its status as a holy structure has kept it in place for a very long time and therefore it's exceptionally "solid" to them.
  • Game of Thrones. In "A Golden Crown", Daenerys and her brother Viserys travel with the Dothraki to Vaes Dothrak, their holy city in which it is forbidden to draw swords or shed blood. Having no respect for the Dothraki ways, Viserys exploits the fact that they will not violate their own rules, drawing a sword and making demands.
  • One of the few rules of the Game in Highlander is that Immortals can not fight on holy ground. What will happen if they violate this rule is left vague. In any case, it does lead to holy ground being one of the few places that they can go to get away from the Game.

Tabletop Games
  • Played With in Demon: The Fallen. The Fallen (a.k.a. demons) can walk upon holy ground (such as old churches)—but only if their Torment is low. Otherwise, stepping onto a holy ground kills their host bodies quickly and efficiently.
  • Dungeons & Dragons have a number of spells for creating holy or unholy ground, such as Hallow. Generally these give Field Power Bonuses to any creatures that share the ground's alignment.
  • Holy Terra, Shrine Worlds, and some Space Marine recruitment worlds in Warhammer 40K are entire planets devoted to this trope.

Video Games
  • Averted in the Reincarnation games. One takes place in a church, and the demon tells you that there's no problem being in a church, he just doesn't like it. Then again, you are chasing a Pedophile Priest...
  • In the first Mass Effect, Wrex tells Shepherd of how his father, Jarrod, called him to a Crush, a meeting between rival Krogan clans, at the Hollows, as close to sacred ground as Krogans get. Weapons and fighting are not allowed. Of course, it's a trap, and a fight breaks out, ending with Wrex killing Jarrod.
  • Scourge forces in World of Warcraft apparently lost the Battle of Light's Hope Chapel because of they fought on sacred ground.
  • Done in Valkyria Chronicles as Prince Maximilian von Regingrave didn't want to kill off Gallian militiamen present in the ruins of a Valkyrian temple, which is considered to be holy grounds.
  • Falcon's Ache in Arcanum is sacred to the elves, and anyone who sheds blood on the ground will have their life taken by the spirits that live there. This becomes important in a quest when you have to drive away some lumberjacks that want to claim the site as a timber yard; you can't hurt them, but you can goad them into attacking you and let the spirits kill them, so long as you don't fight back.

Visual Novel
  • Ciel, an agent of The Church in Tsukihime, is able to consecrate certain areas, turning them into Hallowed Grounds. She does it, for instance, at her home, allowing Shiki to easily fend off Demonic Possession while he stays there.
  • In the Fate series, the church in Fuyuki City is considered this, being used as a neutral site for Masters to meet.

Western Animation
  • In a Highlander parody on Robot Chicken, Lindsay Lohan and Hillary Duff have to call off their fight when Hillary mentions that The GAP is holy ground. They later attack each other elsewhere.

Real Life
  • Temples, churches, Vatican City, many graveyards, the Ganges River...

Community Feedback Replies: 50
  • August 25, 2013
    Koveras
    Compare Holy City.

    • Ciel, an agent of The Church in Tsukihime, is able to consecrate certain areas, turning them into Hallowed Grounds. She does it, for instance, at her home, allowing Shiki to easily fend off Demonic Possession while he stays there.
  • August 25, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    I'm surprised we don't have this already.

    More Literature:
    • This comes up from time to time in the Deryni works. A selection:
      • In Deryni Rising, Morgan and Kelson remove their swords in the small chapel adjoining Duncan's study. "The tradition of coming into the House of God unarmed was an old and strong one."
      • When Charissa literally throws down a gauntlet to interrupt Kelson's coronation in St. George's Cathedral, Kelson asks her, "What would you in the House of the Lord?"
      • Morgan and Duncan are excommunicated after the events at St. Torin's shrine near Dhassa. Specifically, they are charged with killing men on sacred ground and profaning the place by using Deryni magic there, as well as getting the blame for starting the fire that burned the wooden structure to the ground. Never mind that the place was used to set a trap for Morgan in the first place...
  • August 26, 2013
    Arivne
    Compare Holy Burns Evil, Place Of Protection, Seeking Sanctuary and Truce Zone. All of these are somewhat related to this trope and all have examples that include the phrase "holy ground".
  • September 9, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^ Might this be the Super Trope to those?
  • September 9, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Truce Zone isn't always "holy", but it's almost always peaceful.
  • September 11, 2013
    Arivne
    ^^ I would call them Sister Tropes - they are clearly related and have some overlap, including sharing some examples.

    In order for Trope A to be a Super Trope of Trope B, all examples of Trope B must also be examples of trope A. That isn't the case for any of the tropes I mentioned, because there are some non-Holy Ground examples in all of them.
  • September 17, 2013
    dalek955
  • September 18, 2013
    JonnyB
    The traditional Irish Drinking Song "The Holy Ground" ironically inverts this trope: the song's titular "holy ground" is actually the name of the Red Light District in the town of Cobh, County Cork.
  • September 18, 2013
    arbiter099
  • October 9, 2013
    Lakija
    • In Final Fantasy X, The Temples, and the Cloister of Trials within them, count as Holy Ground. Temple priests occasionally warn Tidus to watch himself around the temples. At one point Tidus causes an uproar in one temple because he doesn't heed the rules.
  • October 9, 2013
    Generality
    • In Hocus Pocus, the witches cannot touch "hallowed ground" (which seems to mainly mean churchyards and cemeteries). Doing so turns them to stone. However, they can fly just above it on their brooms with no problem.
  • October 9, 2013
    Skylite
    • In The Hollows, Rachel and her pixie and vampire roommates live in a church that is on holy ground. It has twice been blasphemed by the presence of an extremely powerful demon and needed a priest to come re-consecrate it.
  • October 10, 2013
    JonnyB
    Often in horror settings, vampires are said to be unable to tread on holy ground.
  • October 10, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In the film Alices Restaurant (and the Real Life situation which inspired it) Alice's restaurant is in a former church, and it has to be deconsecrated before Alice can set up shop.
  • October 10, 2013
    Koveras
    • Played With in Demon The Fallen: the Fallen (a.k.a. demons) can walk upon holy grounds (such as old churches)—but only if their Torment is low. Otherwise, stepping onto a holy ground kills their host bodies quickly and efficiently.
    • In The Dresden Files, the church of Saint Mary of the Angels is one of the few remaining true holy grounds in the world, meaning that it is mostly impervious to all dark magic and anti-human supernatural forces.
  • October 10, 2013
    dalek955
    • Played with in one Doctor Who episode. The monsters can't get into the church, not directly because it's holy, but because its status as a holy structure has kept it in place for a very long time and therefore it's exceptionally "solid" to them.
  • November 29, 2013
    dalek955
  • December 2, 2013
    Prfnoff
  • December 2, 2013
    Chabal2
    • Holy Terra (where the God Emperor of Man has his throne), Shrine Worlds, and some Space Marine recruitment worlds in Warhammer 40 K are entire planets devoted to this trope.
    • Averted in the Reincarnation games: one takes place in a church, and the demon tells you that there's no problem being in a church, he just doesn't like it. Then again, you are chasing a Pedophile Priest...
    • Played with in one Hellblazer arc. John makes a deal with a bunch of demons to get a little girl's soul back. The summoning takes place in an old church, so they're trapped in the circle. Which is when John brings in the other party to the deal, an Aztec death god who, having been around for longer than Christianity, has no problem with the holy nature of the church, and starts eating the demons.
      • He also once sets up an ambush by waiting for chasing demons to reveal that they're standing on the grounds of an old church that was later turned into an Insane Asylum.
    • In Berserk, Schierke is able to place a protective enchantment over a church because it was built over a site dedicated to one of the elemental spirits.

  • December 2, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    Okay I think Sacred Ground is more used compared to Holy Ground. but YMMV.
  • December 3, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Namespaced a bunch of examples. Be careful with these... The Bible one wasn't even linked to the right page.
  • December 13, 2013
    Tallens
    • Invoked by Brett Maverick when a bunch of Indians show up. Maverick communicates to them in their own language but makes it sound like they're angry because his party trespassed on sacred ground. He makes up the Indian Bravery Test as an excuse to go with them, which you pass by not making a sound as both your hands are chopped off.

    • Scourge forces in World Of Warcraft apparently lost the Battle of Light's Hope Chapel because of they fought on sacred ground.
  • December 13, 2013
    sirkka
    In Highlander the immortals can not/will not attack one another on holy ground.
  • December 15, 2013
    Tallens
    • In the first Mass Effect, Wrex tells Shepherd of how his father, Jarrod, called him to a Crush, a meeting between rival Krogan clans, at the Hollows, as close to sacred ground as Krogans get. Weapons and fighting are not allowed. Of course, it's a trap, and a fight breaks out, ending with Wrex killing Jarrod.
  • December 15, 2013
    shimaspawn
    • One of the few rules of the Game in Highlander is that Immortals can not fight on Holy Ground. What will happen if they violate this rule is left vague. In any case, it does lead to Holy Ground being one of the few places that they can go to get away from the Game.
  • December 15, 2013
    JonnyB
    A LOT of examples still need to be added.
  • January 18, 2014
    Tallens
    Is anyone still looking after this?
  • January 18, 2014
    Dawnwing
    Literature:

    • In Warrior Cats, the Moonstone, and later, Moonpool, are sacred places for the cats to communicate with their ancestors. New leaders are given nine lives there, each new warrior must make the trip there once, and that's where the medicine cats receive omens twice a moon.
  • January 19, 2014
    Arivne
    ^^ The OP Mr Initial Man hasn't posted here since he created it in August 2013, so it's Up For Grabs.
  • January 19, 2014
    wingedsnake
    Game Of Thrones: In "A Golden Crown", Daenerys and her brother Viserys travel with the Dothraki to Vaes Dothrak, their holy city in which it is forbidden to draw swords or shed blood. Having no respect for the Dothraki ways, Viserys exploits the fact that they will not violate their own rules, drawing a sword and making demands.
  • January 19, 2014
    DAN004
    Launch plz?
  • January 19, 2014
    Tallens
    More than half the suggested examples need to be added first.
  • January 19, 2014
    DAN004
    Then I'd de-hat this one.

    EDIT: Weird that I managed to shot down 2 hats at once...
  • January 19, 2014
    Tallens
    I'll go ahead and add the ones that are waiting.
  • January 20, 2014
    Arivne
    Namespaced and italicized work titles, corrected an improper Example Indentation (Hellblazer) and de-Pot Holed a work title (Maverick) as per How To Write An Example - State the source.
  • January 20, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    you should have linked to Unhallowed Ground in the description. might as well wait for these two to have five hats and launch together as well. ask for hats here, they should do so if your description got no problems.
  • January 22, 2014
    Tallens
    Addition to the Bible example

    • Prior to the attack on Jericho, Joshua is visited by the Captain of the Lord's Host, and told to remove his shoes because he is standing on holy ground.
  • January 22, 2014
    JonnyB
    Music one not added...
  • January 22, 2014
    DRCEQ
    • In a Highlander parody on Robot Chicken, Lindsay Lohan and Hillary Duff have to call off their fight when Hillary mentions that The GAP is holy ground. They later attack each other elsewhere.
  • January 22, 2014
    Ominae
    Done in Valkyria Chronicles as Prince Maximilian von Regingrave didn't want to kill off Gallian militiamen present in the ruins of a Valkyrian temple, which is considered to be holy grounds.

    Maximilian: Your lives are worthless to me, but I do not wish to stain this sacred place with your blood. If you are determined to have this confrontation, why don't we settle this outside?

    (Possible quote)
  • January 24, 2014
    Ominae
    One more to add

    • In the Fate series, the church in Fuyuki City is considered this, being used as a neutral site for Masters to meet.
  • January 24, 2014
    Tallens
    ^That's Fate Stay Night, right?
  • January 25, 2014
    Ominae
    Also in Zero, but you're right too.
  • January 25, 2014
    Tallens
    Ok, I just wanted a link to put in the example.

    And with that, I think this is just about ready to go.Is there anything else?
  • January 25, 2014
    eroock
    Film:
    • In The Shining, it's mentioned that the hotel possibly derives its malevolent energy from being built on an Indian burial ground.
  • January 25, 2014
    Quag15
    ^^ Do you plan to do something with the red links? If not, they oughta be removed.
  • January 25, 2014
    Tallens
    ^I've removes the one in the literature section. I'll comment Unhallowed Ground out, and put it back when that launches.

    ^^I think that would fit better under Indian Burial Ground.

    With that, I'll launch this tonight.
  • January 25, 2014
    randomsurfer
    Per Red Link it's perfecly acceptable to redlink to a work without a page, so when the work gets a page it'll've already been crosswicked.
  • January 25, 2014
    Astaroth
    • Falcon's Ache in Arcanum is sacred to the elves, and anyone who sheds blood on the ground will have their life taken by the spirits that live there. This becomes important in a quest when you have to drive away some lumberjacks that want to claim the site as a timber yard; you can't hurt them, but you can goad them into attacking you and let the spirits kill them, so long as you don't fight back.
  • January 25, 2014
    Tallens
    3...2...1...LAUNCH!
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=87raiwrs5dn2zge47cqai2ft&trope=HolyGround