Created By: SilverDoe on January 14, 2012 Last Edited By: SilverDoe on April 27, 2016

Death by Flower Motifs

Female characters with Flower Motifs are doomed to a meaningful and/or important death.

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If you are a parent in a story and your baby is a girl, you DO NOT want to name her after a flower. If you are a female character you DO NOT want to aquire Flower Motifs. Why?

Because female characters with flower motifs - or worse, named after a flower - are doomed to die. And not just any death. It will be an extremely meaningful or important death, particullarly if this character is very close to The Hero (which they almost always are). Expect their death to be a Tear Jerker of epic proportions and result in a Herioc Blue Screen Of Death or Roaring Rampage of Revenge on the hero's part.

For some reason lilies are common. Can overlap with Sakura Girl if the Flower Motifs are cherry blossoms. If the Flower Motifs are roses overlaps with The Tragic Rose.

Examples

Literature
  • Prim and Rue of the Hunger Games. Prim is short for Primrose and her death is what made Katniss kill President Coin. Katniss covered Rue in flowers as an act of rebellion after Rue died.
  • Lily Evans from Harry Potter. Without her Heroic Sacrifice Harry would have died before the book even began.
  • Lyanna Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire was strongly associated with blue winter roses.

Live-Action TV
  • Lily from Veronica Mars. Also - the truck that hits Aaron Echolls at the end of season one is a flower truck delivering... you guessed it: lillies.
  • Lily Munster is an undead female vampire and sleeps holding a lily as if she were dead and on display at a funeral.
Community Feedback Replies: 29
  • January 14, 2012
    SilverDoe
  • January 15, 2012
    Synchronicity

    Would surnames count?
  • January 15, 2012
    CharacterInWhite
  • January 15, 2012
    peccantis
    See also The Ophelia.
  • January 15, 2012
    SilverDoe
    "Would surnames count?"

    Anything that gives a character flower motifs counts.

    "See also The Ophelia."

    I don't get what The Ophelia has to do with this.
  • January 15, 2012
    Oreochan
    Can you give more explanation to the Hunger Games and Harry Potter to prevent them from becoming Zero Context Examples?
  • January 15, 2012
    SilverDoe
    @Oreochan: sorry, fixed.
  • January 15, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Lily Munster is an undead female vampire and sleeps holding a lily as if she were dead and on display at a funeral.
  • January 15, 2012
    KTera
    Also see The Tragic Rose.
  • January 15, 2012
    Koveras
    • Flora from Claymore was the first warrior to die in the Northern Campaign.
  • January 15, 2012
    ryanasaurus0077
    Fan Fic
  • January 15, 2012
    Amaryllis
  • January 16, 2012
    Synchronicity
    Also note that being named after a flower is not Flower Motifs automatically. That's Floral Theme Naming. An example of the difference would be - what does Lily Evans actually have to do with any lilies besides being named after them? They don't really do anything for her character.

    You should expound on why "Floral Theme Naming = Death," too, not just list examples of it.
  • January 16, 2012
    Irrisia
    I would suspect peccantis linked to The Ophelia because it mentions flowers several times, including:

    She is often tied to nature (including walking around barefoot, wearing flowers, etc.), particularly water, probably as a nod to the original Ophelia (in Shakespeare's Hamlet) who winds flowers in her hair before drowning herself.
  • January 20, 2012
    aurora369
    Aerith. AERITH!
  • January 20, 2012
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    an Aerith is a flower?
  • January 21, 2012
    aurora369
    She's a flower girl, you know.
  • January 22, 2012
    senefen
    Momoka of Mawaru Penguindrum. Momo is 'peach', the ka character is 'fruit' rather than the 'ka' for flower/blossom though. So I'm not sure if it's close enough.
  • January 22, 2012
    MiinU

    Anime

    • Key: The Metal Idol has one of the most heartbreaking examples. After being captured and subjected to Ajo's cruel experiments, Sakura is left barely clinging to life. Wakagi and the others succeed in rescuing her and take her back to her apartment to recover, while Wakagi prepares a cure. However, Sakura had lost the will to live by that time and, after a few parting words to Key, she chooses to die. Her final words are: "Just like my name... cherry blossoms... will bloom again... next spring..."
  • January 23, 2012
    Blaxidus
    This is my first time adding a comment like this, so I truly apologize for any mistakes to the syntax. I'll make sure to constantly correct accordingly.

    Anime

    • played straight in the OVA Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf. Lily, Queen of South Town, whom at several points in the feature wears a lily in her hair, was the "bird in a gilded cage" that would become Terry Bogard's tragic love interest.
      • As if to drive this point home even further, as a child, Lily was coerced by Geese Howard into selling flowers to Terry and Andy Bogard's father so that he would be in the right place/right time to be assassinated. Lily and Terry would meet again as adults, and Lily would realize that Terry is the son of the man she helped send to his death, filling her with deep remorse. But Terry had already realized that Lily was the same girl from back then. Moreover, since Terry was plainly aware that it was all staged by Geese in the first place, he bears Lily no ill-will, showing her nothing but tenderness. She redeems herself not only by stopping Terry from drinking poisoned wine, but also by helping him and his brother, Andy, escape after Geese attempts to assassinate both men during a tournament. Geese rewards Lily's treachery by blasting her through a window several stories above ground. Moments after slamming into the pavement, she dies in Terry's arms. Watching a grief stricken Terry, Geese quickly dispenses salt in the wound by shouting "if you want the BITCH, you can have her!" This death makes Terry believe that any woman he loves is doomed to die, and he keeps this "lone wolf" mentality until the Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture.
  • February 16, 2012
    Oreochan
    Bump.
  • April 24, 2016
    eroock
    Bump.
  • April 24, 2016
    DAN004
    Right now I'm seeing this more as a tendency without any meaning.

    Is there any connection behind a girl named after a flower and them dying? The question of why, basically.

    If you can't explain then I'll send 5 bombs straight.
  • April 25, 2016
    Waddle
    ^ My interpretation is that flowers are Too Good For This Sinful Earth: they are beautiful and yet so fragile and ephemeral, and a character with a flower name is often a Meaningful Name.
  • April 25, 2016
    DAN004
    ^ not sure how a girl with flower name would have Meaningful Name (outside of having a Flower Motif themselves, which they may not always do), but that's besides the point.

    Dunno if someone who's named after locusts or any other insects would die like a real insect.

    That is, that's quite some logic behind the "flower = fragile" sense, but... I still find it lacking a bit of something. At least I'll throw just one bomb.
  • April 25, 2016
    DAN004
    Another question: the title says "flower motifs". Does it count characters that are not named after flowers but still has flowery themes? (Like Aerith above)
  • April 27, 2016
    Koveras
    I agree with Dan that this YKTTW is problematic, as most name tropes are, because flower-based names and motifs are very common in culture, and death motifs are even more pervasive. Since the trope does not specify the exact connection between flower and death motifs that a work should have to qualify for it, almost any female character with a flowery name can be shoehorned in, which is a telltale sign of a weak trope definition.

    For the record, the idea of flowers being fragile is already referenced by the trope name Fragile Flower, even though it is not directly related to floral symbolism.
  • April 27, 2016
    wort_boggart_auntie
    Why should this be Always Female? If you go back to Classical Mythology, it's common for a male character who dies a tragic death to be associated with flowers. Narcissus, Hyacinth, etc.
  • April 27, 2016
    DAN004
    ^^ at least Waddle has given an explanation, although I dunno if it explains this trope enough to justify troping this.
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