Divine Judgment
When a divine being casts judgment on the Big Bad

(permanent link) added: 2012-02-20 09:21:19 sponsor: ThePope (last reply: 2013-05-07 01:40:39)

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Maybe a character refuses to kill his enemy. Or maybe the Big Bad is so evil that death isn't good enough for them, and they need something far worse. What's the solution?

Have God himself strike the villain down, that's what.

Whether it's the big guy himself, Crystal Dragon Jesus, or anyone (or ones, in the case of a Pantheon) in between, some divine being has seen fit to come down and deal with the villain themselves. While this can be often played to see fit that the villain is punished while allowing the hero to keep a clean conscience of not having to kill him, this can also come into play after a villain's death, to add an extra twist of deliciousness to his demise. It will often involve the villain being dragged off to an Ironic Hell, to fit the crimes they committed in life. And if it turns out that this is the only means with which a villain can be truly destroyed, then it is a complete and literal Deus ex Machina.

Compare Disney Villain Death, when a villain dies in a convenient and not-too violent manner.

This is a death trope, so spoilers ahoy.


Anime & Manga

  • In Bleach, one hollow early on isn't purified of his sins (since he was an evil person in life as well), and is instead Dragged Off to Hell. Oddly enough, it is the first and only mention of hell in a series based on the afterlife.
  • Death Note plays with this a lot. Ryuk is a god of death, and decides that, instead of watching Light rot in prison, he'd rather just kill him himself. However, while in the context of the story Light is indeed being smitten by a god due to his heinous actions, Ryuk himself isn't doing it to judge him, but just because Light no longer amuses him.
  • The climax of Fullmetal Alchemist has the Big Bad, Father judged by Truth, a being that is ostensibly God, and is then dragged back into the Gate from whence he came.
  • In Slayers, the main villain interupts Lina while she's casting a powerful, potentially world ending spell and this gets her possessed by what's essentially god. He gets his arse handed to him.



Live-Action Television
  • God reaches down with his divine hand and sets off a nuke in the miniseries version of The Stand.

Tabletop Games

  • The Magic: The Gathering cards Wrath of God and Day of Judgment summarize this trope in three words well-known to players: Destroy all creatures. Often these represent a major turning point when used by a player who would otherwise be overwhelmed.
  • Lots of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards involve this, such as Solemn Judgment, Solemn Warning, and Divine Punishment.

Video Games

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