It's been three hundred years;
Right down to the day;
Now the witch is back;
And there's Hell to pay!
Death is but a door. Time is but a window. I'll be back.
The day is won, the villain's evil blight is thwarted, and the heroes rest easy knowing they have the knave vanquished and defeated.
But it is not over, the villain has one last curse to bestow, one last spell to cast. Though he may be vanquished today, this isn't the end of it. Destroyed as he will, someday, long after his enemies are dead and buriend, when the conditions are just right, he shall return to threaten the world once more.
Thus, years, decades, even centuries pass, with the world safe from the villain's threat until, one horrible day, the time has come for the stars to align just right, or for the evil to be released from his can by a fool, or for simply the deadline, and the conqueror returns, resurrected into a new era, for a new gang of heroes to hopefully face.
Often this kind of spell comes with a proviso or objective the villain must accomplish to return to life permanently.
Compare As Long as There Is Evil
, where the villain cannot
die in the first place due to being a living embodiment of badness. See also Sealed Evil in a Can
, which is one of the many ways the villain can be ensured to return someday.
- The titular witch in Scooby-Doo And The Witch's Ghost included such a spell to bring her back in her lost spellbook, and a mystery hatches about whether or not she's really been resurrected. It turns out she's not, but the love interest is planning to do so for real.
- In Hocus Pocus, the Sanderson Sisters cast such a spell right before being hanged in the Salem Witch Trials, and return several hundred years later on Halloween for one night to suck the souls out of the children of Salem and live forever.
- This is the ghost of Vigo the Carpathian's plan in Ghostbusters II, at first attempting to restore his body by possessing a baby, and then attempting to possess Ray.
- The is the general plot of The Mummy movies - an ancient curse allows a conqueror to return and attempt to reclaim their kingdom.