Created By: tryourbreast on September 29, 2012 Last Edited By: tryourbreast on October 14, 2012

Timing for Death

Predicting death from the plot.

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A index. Time Tropes, Death Tropes.


As You Know, Anyone Can Die, and We All Die Someday. But how did those Genre Savvy audience always being able to predict the exact moment of a character's death? It's because, in fiction, characters seldom die because they did something dangerous, like taunting The Hero, but because the Plot says so. Or more specificly, there are certain rules on when do someone die.

For example, every death is important, therefore it's highly unlikely to see a main character dies while nothing special lies in the plot yet, unless that's Status Quo for your Crapsack World. Meanwhile, we all know that there are such thing as death flags, and when the plot comes to a important point, with a Decisive Battle, Space Battle or Final Battle present, Mooks and Red Shirts die in thousands or millions, and some main characters may get killed in between, so if a main character dies, it'll be very likely to be on that time, where the Plot Armor finally breaks for the sake of plot. Predicting death is actually very simple in fiction.

And with the same technique, you can pinpoint the exact moment of a character's death too - no matter how badly hurt you're, before you get all things you need to tell said, that Instant Death Bullet isn't going to take your life. Well, except when you're not supposed to know that yet.

Sub-Trope include:

Compare Plot Armor. Contrast Surprisingly Sudden Death. See also Death Is Dramatic, Dropped a Bridge on Him, Trope Telegraphing.
Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • September 29, 2012
    DracMonster
    Isn't this Plotline Death?
  • September 29, 2012
    tryourbreast
    Obviously not... this is a index about tropes that tells the audience when will someone die, and whether if a character is very probable to die soon.
  • September 29, 2012
    DracMonster
    Hmm, ok, but it's part-and-parcel of this, needs to be in the description somewhere.
  • September 29, 2012
    tryourbreast
    ...Is there any possibility to confuse this with Plotline Death? I don't think so.
  • September 29, 2012
    DracMonster
    I didn't say "confuse with it", it's part of this trope and should be in the description somewhere. You even have "because the Plot says so" in the description. That's Plotline Death in a nutshell.
  • September 29, 2012
    tryourbreast
    But the problem is, it doesn't really match this index. Not at the very virtue - that trope is about character dying in cutscene, which almost doesn't imply that someone should be dying when a cutscene happens.
  • September 30, 2012
    Mimimurlough
    It should have Index in the title in any case, so as not to confuse it with a regular trope.
  • September 30, 2012
    RavenFyre42
    Actually, this is pretty valid in my opinion. Has anyone actually laid out the means to predict when someone will die. I think this needs more work.
  • October 1, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
    edit: removed
  • October 1, 2012
    WolfgangAmadeusPenis
    I'll try to pull some stuff together for this, I think this will be a useful index for looking at fiction through death.
  • October 3, 2012
    Sackett
    Sounds like Death Flag
  • October 3, 2012
    tryourbreast
    ^Oh, if you really read through the whole entry, you wouldn't say that...
  • October 3, 2012
    LOAD
    Why was this discarded?
  • October 3, 2012
    LOAD
    Is there a reason for discarding this? It seems like a valid index to me.
  • October 4, 2012
    Sackett
    I'm saying that this concept is commonly called "a Death Flag" which is currently a redirect to the supertrope "Event Flag"

    I suggest we just remove Death Flag as a redirect and make it the title of this trope.
  • October 4, 2012
    tryourbreast
    Actually this is more than Death Flag. Death Flag are simply signs that's impling someone's going to die. This index, however, also tells how the death number varies at different parts of plot.
  • October 14, 2012
    LOAD
    bump
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