Power Loss Angst YKTTW Discussion

Power Loss Angst
A character is laments their inability to do something they once could.
(permanent link) added: 2011-12-31 00:24:22 sponsor: elemt (last reply: 2012-06-30 07:50:32)

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(Do We Have This One?? I really can't find any trope that fits this, which surprises me. I'm sure there are a bunch more examples. In sports movies, for one. Needs a Better Title)

A character is frustrated by the fact that they can't accomplish something important they could once have done. Maybe they've been injured or depowered. Maybe it's just too late, and age has weakened them, or they know the job will take longer than they have left to live. How they react varies. Maybe they'll try anyway. Maybe they'll look for someone else to Mentor for the job. Maybe they'll decide no one else can do it, and give up (expect them to end up mentoring someone anyway if they do this). Many Old Superheroes have an aspect of this.

Comic Books

  • In Astro City the retired superhero Supersonic, is pulled out of retirement to deal with a giant robot. He destroys it, causing massive destruction in the process. Afterward he breaks down and explains that he never wanted to come back, because while in his younger days he would have found some clever way to beat it safely, his mind has deteriorated and he couldn't think of anything better than smashing it a lot until he could reach important wires.

  • In A Song of Ice and Fire Maester Aemon laments that his age has left him too weak to survive the journey to Danaerys. As he predicts he dies partway through the journey, leaving Samwell to find someone else to advise her.

Live-Action Television
  • The last sketch in That Mitchell and Webb Look has a senile Sherlock Holmes with Watson pretending that he's lost none of his brilliance, and Sherlock seemingly unaware. Until the end.
    Sherlock: ...I know, John...I do know. I can't get the fog to clear...
  • Angel encounters this when he's accidentally transformed into a human, and eventually goes to the Powers That Be to turn him back into a vampire because as a human he can't defend people from demons.
    • Illyria suffers this after losing her kingdom, army, and much of her power. She looks to Wesley for guidance on what to do next, while lecturing Angel on how he should be behaving as the local "ruler".
  • In Red Dwarf the old Cat priest mourns that he was too old to travel with the other Cats when they left the ship for The Promised Land. He's probably better off - their religion is complete nonsense and the land they're looking for doesn't exist (and half of them fly directly into a black hole), while the priest gets to meet his "god" Lister before he dies happy.

Western Animation
  • Batman Beyond has Bruce Wayne retiring from being Batman due to his failing health, leaving Gotham without pointy-eared protection until Terry Mc Ginnis steals the suit. Eventually he accepts that Gotham still needs a Batman and that Terry is right for the job, though he still resents not being able to do it himself.
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