So a character's decided to die in the process of saving others' lives. It'd be a Heroic Sacrifice
, except the audience has to wonder: Does the character really value the life he's giving up that much? He's been acting all angsty and emo, at the very least, and may be an overt Death Seeker
at the most.
When a character such as this sacrifices themselves, the line between Heroic Sacrifice
and a (usually non-literal) Suicide by Cop
. This is a Death Trope
, and as such contains spoilers for just about every work mentioned in it.
Do We Have This Already
- Highlander: Endgame has Connor Macleod being put through a Trauma Conga Line courtesy of the Big Bad so that he retreats to a Sanctuary for fifteen years, and is generally morose. He forces his clansman Duncan Macleod into a kill or be killed fight, because one of them needs the other's Quickening to defeat the Big Bad. He basically tells Duncan "Kill me or I'll kill you." In the end, Duncan reluctanctly complies.
- Colossus is all better now, but the 90's was not a good decade for him. His younger sister died from the mutant-killing Legacy Virus, his brother went insane, and he genuinely became an angsty basket case. Eventually, a cure for the Legacy Virus was discovered, but it was a case where Someone Has to Die for the cure to be released into the atmosphere. Colossus chose to be the one to do this, while everyone else was distracted.
- The movie Seven Pounds. Yes, Tim kills himself so that his heart can be transplanted to save the life of a woman with a heart condition, but he's also doing it out of Survivor Guilt. He blames himself for a car accident that killed seven people, and has been donating organs he can spare to six other people before this point. As a clincher, he chooses the most painful method available to him as his means of suicide .. death by box jellyfish sting. (Yes, the jellyfish venom would make the heart not suitable for transplant, but tell that to the makers of the film.
- Mr. Hyde, in League of Extraordinary Gentleman Volume II, before going out to face the Martians in the climax, admits that his actions will make him seem rather noble when all he really wanted to do was slaughter something. Word of God confirms that Hyde has a death wish, caused by his feelings for Mina, and his knowledge about how he knows he cannot act on those feelings.
? It might also need a better title.