Created By: Goldfritha on April 14, 2012 Last Edited By: Goldfritha on October 31, 2012

Lost One Hand

A character loses one hand.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
One common and permanant injury is for a character to lose one hand. This is serious, though not seriously disfiguring, and allows a character to demonstrate his competency with only one hand.

A Sub-Trope of An Arm and a Leg, but often treated as not an actual handicap. The difficulties of managing one handed are often seriously underplayed.


Examples

Film

Literature
  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's Silmarillion,
    • Maedhros's hand is cut off as the only way to free him from captivity.
    • Beren's hand is bitten off when he faces down the Big Bad Wolf.
  • In Gene Stratton-Porter's Freckles, the Camp Cook thinks immediately that Freckles can't do a job because of his lost hand; the Boss shows his good nature by firmly insisting on interviewing him, and latter hiring him.
  • In The Queen of Attolia, Gen's hand is cut off when he's captured. His problems are given more than usual play.

  • Late in The Wheel of Time series, Rand loses one hand in an ambush. This is generally regarded as a reference to the Norse myth.

Mythology
  • In Norse Mythology, Tyr puts his hand in Fenris's mouth as a pledge that the gods will free him from the chain they put on him. Because the entire point was to chain Fenris, he doesn't have a hand thereafter.

Video Games
  • In The Dig, the increasingly deranged Brink eventually gets so desperate for the addictive life crystals that he reaches into a hole in a rock to get one. Predictably, it becomes trapped and has to be amputated.

Community Feedback Replies: 27
  • April 14, 2012
    Stratadrake
    I thought this was about poker. Am I the only one?

    Note that we already have An Arm And A Leg.
  • April 14, 2012
    Generality
    I dunno for sure if we really need this, but for the time being...

    • Late in The Wheel Of Time series, Rand loses one hand in an ambush. This is generally regarded as a reference to the Norse myth.
    • In The Dig, the increasingly deranged Brink eventually gets so desperate for the addictive life crystals that he reaches into a hole in a rock to get one. Predictably, it becomes trapped and has to be amputated.
  • April 14, 2012
    nman
    This is in The Bible, but I don't know if it applies or not
    And if your right hand causes you to offend, cut it off, and cast it from you: for it is better for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be cast into hell.
  • April 14, 2012
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    • There's a Wuxia movie from the 1970s called The Iron Fist Treatment. A martial artist loses one arm in a fight with another artist and undertakes the titular treatment for his remaining arm.
  • April 14, 2012
    randomsurfer
    • Zig Zagged in an episode of MASH. A soldier is injured in the right hand. Winchester saves the hand but there is some loss of dexterity. The soldier reacts as if he's lost it entirely, because in civilian life he's a concert pianist.
    • Angel: Angel chops off evil lawyer Lindsay's right hand as he's doing a spell to bring Darla Back From The Dead. Wolfram & Hart replace the hand but it's evil...er.
  • April 15, 2012
    Arivne
    Film
    • Star Wars
      • And in Return of the Jedi Luke returns the favor, cutting off Darth Vader's hand during their final battle. Which makes it all the more poignant when Vader throws the Emperor to his doom (using only one hand) to save Luke's life.
  • April 15, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    Rochester at the end of Jane Eyre.
  • April 15, 2012
    WackyMeetsPractical
    See also Hook Hand.
  • April 15, 2012
    SKJAM
    Near the end of the Two Thousand AD serial Death Planet, one of the characters cuts off his own hand above the wrist to remove a shock bracelet--how this would handicap him doesn't become an issue as he performs a Heroic Sacrifice / Taking You With Me immediately after.
  • April 15, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    The phrase "to chance your arm" http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/chance-your-arm

    Generality: Maybe the blurb needs more mention of the connotations of losing a hand? e.g. relates to skill and dexterity.
  • April 15, 2012
    Stratadrake
    The Bible is not an example.
  • April 15, 2012
    ShinRyuuI
    • Starcraft 2: General Warfield loses a hand in a Zerg attack, it gets replaced by an Arm Cannon.
    • Berserk: Guts hacks off his own arm that's being held back to get to Casca. He latergets it replaced with a mechanical one that contains an Arm Cannon.

  • April 15, 2012
    ShinRyuuI
    In the Anime and Manga tab:
    • Pretty much in the first scene in Full Metal Alchemist, Edward Elric loses his arm in an attempt to resurrect his mother and it is replaced with an auto-mail: a mechanic arm.
    • In a certain chance fight In Mahou Sensei Negima during the Magical World Arc, Negi sacrifices his right hand in order to get close to his masked enemy, and by so discovered his Dark attribute. Don't worry, Magic fixed it.
    • Losing a hand, leg, and anything that that doesn't kill you(and sometimes even what DOES kill you) means nothing more than common sight in Chaosic Rune, as they can heal themselves through several ways.
    • In Guilty Crown, Ouma Shu got his arm cut off by Tatsumia Gai in order to get the Void thingy to himself in a Wham Episode. He grows it back on, though, one way or another.
  • April 15, 2012
    chicagomel
    Vachon in Forever Knight 'Black Buddha' though as he's a vampire,it gets reattached. It happens in the plane crash I think.

    Xavier St.Cloud gets his chopped off by Duncan in 'Series/Highlander . And no,immortals can't regrow body parts.

    Captain Hook in Peter Pan
  • April 15, 2012
    Synchronicity
    • Done very cruelly in A Song Of Ice And Fire to Master Swordsman Jaime Lannister, which kicks off the character's Heel Face Turn as he had previously defined himself as being a knight of the Kingsguard and almost nothing else, and the loss of his sword hand led to a lot of self-reflection. Unlike most examples, the difficulties of managing one-handed are very much present.
  • April 15, 2012
    pawsplay
    Video Games
    • In Summoner, the titular character loses his hand due to a particularly nasty act of treachery.
  • April 15, 2012
    randomsurfer
    One Hundred And Twenty Seven Hours, based on a Real Life incident where a climber got stuck and sawed his own hand off in order to escape.
  • October 30, 2012
    Synchronicity
    bump
  • October 30, 2012
    Koveras
    • The Mentor Kreia in Knights Of The Old Republic II loses a hand during the opening act while defending you from one of the villains, and is unable to use two-handed weapons (and Dual Wielding) for the rest of the game. Also, the mechanic Bao Dur has lost his entire arm in his Back Story but has replaced it with a fully functional prosthetic since.
  • October 30, 2012
    MrRuano
    • Mirroring Luke, Attack Of The Clones has Anikin lose his hand when he fights Count Dooku.
    • This is a major trait of Blaz Blue's protagonist, Ragna the Bloodedge. Since Terumi cut off his left arm as a child, Ragna had it replaced with the arm of the Black Beast, giving him the power of destruction. Then he loses his other hand in Blaz Blue Continuum Shift, with his new hand being a cybernetic replacement using parts of Lambda-11.
  • October 30, 2012
    JohnDiFool
    Ash in the 2nd Evil Dead film, after it went bad.
  • October 30, 2012
    lexicon
    This doesn't need examples added to it if it's not a real trope. An Arm And A Leg is limb loss as dramatic device. This is just something happening to a person. It needs meaning like the drama of An Arm And A Leg.
  • October 30, 2012
    collex
    This is People Sit On Chairs. It's not a trope, it's an action that happen. A trope would be why or how it happens. An Arm And A Leg is a trope. This one is not.
  • October 31, 2012
    AgProv
    Literature:
    • Corum Of The Silver Hand, in Michael Moorcock's series about this manifestation of the Eternal Champion: he loses a hand and an eye to torture, and they are eventually replaced with parts formerly belonging to a God (which have a life of their own and a seperate agenda).
  • October 31, 2012
    ScoutsGirlfriend
    In Metal Gear Solid, Revolver Ocelot's arm is sliced off by Gray Fox. It is then replaced with Liquid's arm in the sequel.
  • October 31, 2012
    DRCEQ
    Nevermind. Didn't see that my example was already listed above.
  • October 31, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
    I don't think it requires splitting. The hands form the core of the main trope examples.
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