An unnatural winter that is artificial and intended to last forever, or at least a very long time.
Winter is usually considered the least desirable season: the short days and cold weather can be deadly to humans and animals alike, and no food can be grown. It's also used as a symbol for death
, followed by the rebirth of Spring. Perhaps it is for this reason, or perhaps because Evil Is Deathly Cold
, causing a winter that never ends is a common goal for a villain.
Of course, not only villains have this in their bag of tricks. Sometimes a character or object causes this just by existing. Such a character is not necessarily a villain, but will often be an antagonist nonetheless. Expect to see a member of The Fair Folk
or another creature with Blue and Orange Morality
in this role.
In more realistic works, this might be caused by enough material in the atmosphere blocking off the light of the Sun, such as that from nuclear or volcanic fallout or the result of a large enough meteor striking the Earth. In Speculative Fiction
, it's more likely to be the work of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens
or a wizard
to and frequently overlaps with The Night That Never Ends
- In The Mighty Thor, the "Cask of Winters"/"Cask of Ancient Winters" is used to create this effect by several enemies of Asgard, especially Malekith "the Accursed". Probably inspired by the Fimbulvetr.
[[folder:Film - Animated]]
- The plot of the Disney film Frozen revolves around the Snow Queen putting a curse on the land which causes endless winter.
[[folder:Film - Live-Action]]
- Mirror, Mirror has winter fall over the land when the evil queen starts to rule. It ends when she is defeated.
- The White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia brought a hundred year winter to the titular land, which only ended when Aslan returned. Not only is it an endless winter, but it's specifically a winter without Christmas.
- In the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, winters can last for decades. There are oral traditions of a winter that lasted for generations, and a myth that, should the Others return and invade Westeros, they will cause a winter that never ends. Word of God is that the unnatural seasons are caused by magic, but it's unclear if it's the Others' magic or something else.
- In The Dresden Files, whenever Mab the Queen of Winter Fae stays on the material plane for too long, the winter just seems to drag on forever.
- Inverted in The Wheel of Time. The Dark One uses his influence to make it eternal summer in order to burn out the world and kill the plants with heat. To counter this, the main characters seek and eventually find an object that controls the weather and use it to start winter. In order to balance things, they have to make the winter much harsher and longer than usual. Famine becomes a major problem in the series.
- In Wintersmith the titular Wintersmith creates an unnaturally long winter (although his opposite number the Summer Lady) would have created an endless summer). Tiffany tries to balance nature again.
- The music video for Erasure's "Always" features a Kabuki style demon who was intent on creating an eternal winter. Andy Bell portrays the nature god who defeats him.
[[folder:Myth, Legend, and Oral Tradition]]
- In Norse Mythology, the Fimbulvetr or Fimbulwinter is an especially harsh winter that lasts twice as long as usual and signifies the beginning of Ragnarok.
- The Hans Christian Anderson fairytale The Snow Queen's titular character is the "queen of snowflakes." She curses the protaganist's hometown to an endless winter.
[[folder: Table Top
- In Dragon Quest V, the Winter Queen tricks Dwight into taking the Herald of Spring to the Winter Palace, causing an endless winter.
- The plot of Fahrenheit takes place against the backdrop of an unnaturally long and harsh winter, which is eventually revealed to be supernatural. Even though the villains didn't cause it, one of them chooses not to stop it in the ending where he wins, destroying humanity.
- In The Fairly Oddparents TV special "Christmas Everyday!" one of the consequences of Timmy's everyday is Christmas wish is that everyday is a snow day. This made it extremely difficult for him to travel to the north pole to get Santa Claus' help in cancelling the wish.