Created By: SumGai on March 26, 2011 Last Edited By: IAmATropist on July 9, 2016

Becoming Inanimate

a person is permanently transformed into a tree or other inanimate objects.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Needs a Better Description, working on it.

You get to the end of your great big adventure, and for some reason you turn into a tree or other inanimate object. And that was the goal of your adventure the whole time. And no, you can never change back.

Beware: this is an Ending Trope, so spoilers ahoy.

Examples:

  • World of Mana examples:
    • In Final Fantasy Adventure, the Mana Tree dies after the battle. The heroine, as the sole surviving member of the Mana Tribe, must stay and become the new tree.
    • In Secret of Mana, you discover that your mother is part of the mana tree, and that that is the fate of all the women in the mana clan.
    • In Seiken Densetsu 3, your fairy friend who accompanied you the entire adventure is actually a seed of the mana tree.
    • Legend of Mana ends with you killing the mana goddess inside the mana tree and then disappearing from the world. No explanation is given, but we can expect you've become a mana tree because it keeps happening in the Mana series.
    • Dawn of Mana: [need context here]
  • In Summoner 2, Maia transforms into the tree of Eleh after defeating the Tempest.
  • In Elfstones of Shannara, the second book of The Sword of Shannara Trilogy, Amberle is transformed into the Ellcrys.
  • In Final Fantasy IV, Palom and Porom is Taken for Granite in order to save the rest of the party.
Community Feedback Replies: 53
  • March 26, 2011
    randomsurfer
    • Dinosaurs: a bedtime story told to Baby concerned a tree-pusher and a tree switching bodies. After living the life of a dino for a while the tree wanted to be a tree again, so he went on a quest to return to treehood.
  • March 26, 2011
    Rolf
    One of Dragon Doctor used to be tree for long time. Later one of assassins become a tree and are being taken care of.

    Not sure if that examples matches well..
  • March 26, 2011
    TwinBird
    No, since they both get to turn back, and the point is a painful learning experience.
  • June 2, 2013
    nemui10pm
    Adopted this one, but if anyone else wants it, just say so and it's yours.
  • June 2, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    That Avatar The Last Airbender example is a case of Ascend To A Higher Plane Of Existence. There might be some amount of overlap, but still the Moon Spirit hardly qualifies as an "inanimate object".
  • June 2, 2013
    nemui10pm
    ^ Thanks. I thought so too, but I wasn't sure since I'm not familiar with the show.
  • June 2, 2013
    ginsengaddict
  • June 2, 2013
    ginsengaddict
    The whole change being permanent thing eliminates a lot of potential examples without really adding to the trope. I think what makes this significant is the process of it happening - it's a slow, lingering demise, and the victim may even remain conscious even after the process is complete. I would suggest amending the description to include reversible examples, and specify what exactly about the process of petrification is a "trope" in the definition of this wiki (storytelling device which conveys info to audience).

    • Farscape: Crichton is given a choice between 80 years as a statue or being handed over to Scorpius. Naturally, he chooses the option that doesn't result in his brain being scooped out. Not that it lasts very long.
  • June 2, 2013
    ginsengaddict
    ^^^, ^^^^ - The Moon Spirit bit may not be an example, but the Creeping Crystal bit certainly is.

    • Avatar The Last Airbender: While visiting Omashu, King Bumi holds Aang's travelling companions hostage to get him to take a series of tests. In order to force Aang to comply, Bumi places rings of a crystal which slowly encase their bodies, promising to stop it only after Aang completes the tests.
  • June 2, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Wrong again. The creeping crystal only grows to cover their bodies. They don't actually turn to crystal.
  • June 2, 2013
    TheTitan99
    In the episode of Justice League "Hearts and Minds", to stop Despero's army of soldiers powered by the Py'tar, the Py'tar itself transforms them into trees, to prevent them from attacking other worlds.
  • June 2, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    Taken For Granite and Body To Jewel would be subtropes.
  • June 2, 2013
    tardigrade
    The conquistador in The Fountain explodes in a burst of grass, tendrils and flowers at the end of his story, mirroring the Mayan creation myth mentioned earlier in the film.
  • June 2, 2013
    MrRuano
    • Warhammer 40K: Eldar farseers that live for long enough eventually start crystallizing. At this point, they move to a specialized room within their Craftworld, where their minds begin melding to the wraithbone of their Craftworld, eventually transforming completely into crystal, while their souls are now free to traverse their home.

    • Kannazuki No Miko: Souma is revealed early on to actually be a member of the Yamata no Orochi, yet he actively rebels against the rest of the group because of Himeko. The resulting curse from this rebellion curses him to eventually become petrified in stone. In fact, he completely turns to stone at the last moment, only to be awakened for a brief instance through the help of his dead brother, returning to immobility once he helps the main heroines vanquish Orochi.
  • June 2, 2013
    Prfnoff
    Many of the stories in The Metamorphoses end with this.
  • June 2, 2013
    Arivne
    Transformation Ending, to make it clear it happens at the end of a story?

    Laconic: A story concludes with a person being transformed into a tree or other inanimate object.
  • June 3, 2013
    Stratadrake
    ^ I agree. If this is strictly an ending trope, then the laconic and description both need to be up-front about it.

    I'm not entirely convinced this needs to be an ending trope, though, just a plot point.
  • June 11, 2013
    RandomSurfer
    In one Legion Of Substitute Heroes story Stone Boy transfroms himself into stone, but having done so is now unable to transform back.
  • June 11, 2013
    Chernoskill
    Web Original:

    In Funny Or Die's Captain Planet spoof, the Captain (played by Don Cheadle) turns bad guys polluting the environment into trees... but then starts acting like a jerkass and continues to turn innocent citizens into plants, too, much to the horror of the Planeteers who summoned him.
  • July 9, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    I found a My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Fan Fic called Plushy. It involves the Mane six becoming well... Granted this how the story starts and it was an accidental transformation and not a goal or result of a quest, so it may not count.

    EDIT: Nevermind the example definitely doesn't count
  • July 9, 2013
    Ekuran
    Hm. How about having Inanimated or Unanimated as the title?
  • July 9, 2013
    eowynjedi
    • In Wolf-Speaker, Numair defeats his rival and enemy, Tristan, by turning him into a tree. Thanks to the rules of magic, this means that somewhere in the world a tree has become a man.
  • July 9, 2013
    KTera
  • July 9, 2013
    GKaiser
    In Paperinik New Adventures, Xadhoom decides to save a whole civilization by turning into a sun that can sustain life on their new planet.
  • July 9, 2013
    tachyonTrail
    To echo Stratadrake, I don't really get why this is an ending trope. Permanent transformations like these don't always happen at the end of a story, nor do they always happen to the primary characters.

    An excellent example of this is in Legend Of Mana, in the Junkyard, which serves as a graveyard for previously magically-animated toys, former soldiers in a war. Their "consciousnesses" as such remain, as ghosts of a sort, but they never get reanimated proper. It's kind of a sad Pinocchio story.

    Also, the existing conjecture listed in OP's example of Legend Of Mana doesn't hold, as the player character can be male or female, and that transformation only happens to the women, specifically those of the Mana tribe, which is never mentioned in that game. Also, the ending's the same no matter who you clear it with, so Occam's Razor would suggest that's not how it goes (they'd have programmed the game with specific endings for each if it was the case).
  • July 9, 2013
    SonicTheGirl
    Dehumanized would be a nice title.
  • July 9, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ That seems more appropriate as a redirect to Demonisation IMO.
  • July 9, 2013
    GKaiser
  • July 9, 2013
    tachyonTrail
    Lifeless Farewell might be good if this stays an ending-only trope.
  • July 10, 2013
    DAN004
    @ tachyonTrail: Endings where someone becoming inanimate does have its examples, as seen here.

    BTW, it doesn't seem like the YKTTW author is gonna reply to this anytime soon...
  • July 30, 2013
    nemui10pm
    ^ Sorry, I didn't realise this was still getting responses. I'll read over the discussion and make any necessary changes when I get home.
  • July 30, 2013
    DAN004
    Improve description plz.
  • July 30, 2013
    thewriter
    Can we just make a trope about people becoming trees or other plants? May I suggest Becoming Botanical as a name?

    A whole mess of myths feature a character turning into trees or plants.

    Daphne in greek myth being chased by Lust-hungry Apollo begs of virgin-goddess Artemis (or perhaps it was Aphrodite) to be free of the pursuit, so she is transformed into a tree. A similar incident between the god Pan and a nymph named Pitys resulted in the nymph being turned into a Pine tree.

    Narcissus gazed at his reflection so long by the side of a pond that he died and from his remains sprang the flower that bares his name today. (In some variants of the myth he is transformed by a goddess into the flowers.)

    Charmed had an episode in which an immortal and invincible demon is turned into a tree by the witches because they were unable to vanquish him.

    "Changing Seasons Changes All
    Life Renews as Creation Calls
    Nothing is Immune, Everything Transmutes
    So take this demon and give him roots!"
  • July 30, 2013
    Chabal2
    • Philemon and Baucis, a couple that gave Zeus and Hermes (in disguise) shelter for the night. As their reward, they were allowed to die together, turning into intertwined trees within moments of their deaths.
    • Golden Sun: The entire population of Kolima is turned into trees by the maddened forest spirit Tret, and you can use Mind Read to see how they feel about it (some find it relaxing). One NPC is balanced precariously over a stream, if you don't move her to safety before removing the curse, she drowns.
    • Warcraft III: Most Night Elf buildings are actually sentient trees, that absorb the builder unit once finished.
  • July 31, 2013
    AP
    • In the second Evil Dead film, Bobby Joe is captured by the possessed trees in the woods. Next time we see her, she is a tree or herself or at least was merged with one.
  • July 31, 2013
    Arivne
    I'm assuming this will be changed so it isn't just an Ending Trope.

    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons module UK1 Beyond the Crystal Cave. If the PCs encounter the barkburr monster, it will try to attack them and inject them with a poison that will permanently change them into trees.
  • July 31, 2013
    thewriter
    Trees aren't inanimate.

  • July 31, 2013
    nemui10pm
    ^ True enough. I was using "inanimate" to mean "incapable of motion", but I just looked it up and realised it means "lifeless". It's a working title, we can take care of it after the problems with definition is sorted.
  • July 31, 2013
    Marz1200
    • In the Tortall Universe, Numair once turned another mage into a tree. As a result, somewhere else a tree became a man. This became such a What Happened To The Mouse moment that Pierce wrote a short story describing the inverse if this trope: what happened to the tree that became a man.
  • August 1, 2013
    nemui10pm
    So I looked through the responses, and made a summary of aspects that make up this trope. (Not all will necessarily end up being a part of the final trope, and some may be contradictory to each other).
    • Characters are turned into an object or a plant (Super Trope to Taken For Granite and Body To Jewel).
    • Characters are turned into trees (Sister Trope or Taken For Granite and Body To Jewel).
    • The transformation happens at the end of the story.
    • The transformation is permanent.
    • It is a form of Heroic Sacrifice, where the character gives up his/her humanity in order to become something that is needed for some reason.
    • The transformed character may or may not retain his/her sentience.

    Main points of contention:
    • Whether the trope covers only cases where characters turn into trees, or just objects in general.
    • Whether this is strictly an Ending Trope.

    Personally, I think the confusion arises from this draft covering up to three different tropes:
    1. Person transformed into trees.
    2. Person permanently transformed into objects.
    3. Person transformed into objects (Super Trope to the above two).
  • August 1, 2013
    Marz1200
    ^ I think the super trope could be covered by Baleful Polymorph, with being turned into trees and objects as subtropes.
  • August 1, 2013
    CrypticMirror
    In the Classic Doctor Who serial "Mark of the Rani", the Rani has landmines that turn people into trees. The Power Of Love (or something...) allows one of the victims to move his branches as if they were still arms though.
  • August 2, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    This is a supertrope to Taken For Granite, right?
  • August 2, 2013
    arbiter099
    Fallout 3 has Harold, a recurring character from the older games, who has been steadily consumed by a mutant plant growing out of him. By the third game, the plant, Bob (but Harold likes to call him Herbert),has turned into a tree, rooting Harold in place and unable to move anything but his face.
  • August 3, 2013
    Prfnoff
    @nemui10pm: Please reread the description of Body To Jewel; it's not what it says on the tin.
  • August 3, 2013
    IAmATropist
    Not a permanent example, but at the end of the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Hocus Pocus", Spongebob turns Patrick into a jar of mayonnaise.
  • August 3, 2013
    Someoneman
    I remember suggesting getting transformed into an inanimate object as a trope once and it was deemed not tropeworthy since it was too close to Baleful Polymorph. If this is for when a character voluntarily becomes inanimate for one reason or another, it might be different enough, but I'm not completely sure. The title and laconic are also definitely bad.
  • August 3, 2013
    Snicka
    This is also related to And I Must Scream.
  • August 3, 2013
    DAN004
    So... can someone point out what's the point of this trope? From all the talk here I'm still confused.
  • July 8, 2016
    Morgenthaler
  • July 8, 2016
    DAN004
    ^ depends if you think "cursed into being inanimate" is worth a subtrope or not.
  • July 9, 2016
    eroock
    Would agree with ^^.
  • July 9, 2016
    Generality
    Supertrope of Transflormation and Taken For Granite. Both happen a lot in mythology, especially Classical Mythology.
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