Created By: WiseMan23753 on September 29, 2013 Last Edited By: Agares on February 14, 2014

Messiah Killer

The one who kills the Messiah and is most affected by it.

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Trope
A Messianic Archetype is expected to die and that would be in the hands of someone.

These characters would often be an antagonist and get karma treatment from their actions. Whether it's a death by their own fault, a conversion of sides, or something else that affects them greatly. Sometimes, they can even become a follower of the said Messiah.

May involve a long weapon or The Lance of Longinus, which features heavily in the legend.

Named after the Roman soldier, who was the one to have impaled Christ on the Crucifix, later converting to Christianity and becoming a saint.

Expect unmarked spoilers below.

Examples

Anime and Manga

Comic Books
  • Finch in V for Vendetta is this for shooting V. At first, he is overjoyed, but this is after experiencing everything Norsefire has done and what drove V to a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. He leaves the regime's wing afterward as he decides it's no longer his place.

Film
  • In Stranger Than Fiction the Messiah is Harold Krick, an otherwise ordinary tax man who hears a constant omniscient narrator who spoilers him on his upcoming death. Long story short, it's his author who will be his Longinus, and once she finds out he's real and she means to kill him... well, lets just say the though of killing someone she knew intimately hit her hard. She's been building him up as an example of a man who redeems himself from an unhappy life (and his death would involve a heroic sacrifice). In this case her spear is her typewritter. Ultimately suberted in that she decides that because her original story didn't have Harold know of his death, and since the "real" Harold did know and was still willing to die... He was precisely the sort of person you should try to keep alive.

Literature

Video Games
  • In the Dragon Age lore, the Tevinter Archon Hessarian was the one who convicted Andraste, the resident Messianic Archetype-slash-Jeanne d'Archétype, and ordered her burned at the stake (making him also a Pilate Archetype) but he was also the one who mercy killed her with a sword at the pyre and became the first ever convert to the Chant of Light, formed around her teachings.

Community Feedback Replies: 32
  • September 29, 2013
    Astaroth
    Heavily spoilered examples like the three here violate Spoiler Policy. They need to be rewritten, or unspoilered and put an 'expect unmarked spoilers below' warning in the description.
  • September 29, 2013
    Earnest
    Film

    • In Stranger Than Fiction the Messiah is Harold Krick, an otherwise ordinary tax man who hears a constant omniscient narrator who spoilers him on his upcomming death. Long story short, it's his author who will be his Longinus, and once she findsout he's real and she means to kill him... well, lets just say the though of killing someone she knew intimately hit her hard. She's been building him up as an example of a man who redeems himself from an unhappy life (and his death would involve a heroic sacrifice). In this case her spear is her typewritter. Ultimately suberted in that she decides that because her original story didn't have Harold know of his death, and since the "real" Harold did know and was still willing to die... He was precisely the sort of person you should try to keep alive.
  • September 29, 2013
    JonnyB
    Literature
  • September 29, 2013
    Chabal2
    The Lance of Longinus should be mentioned as a Public Domain Artifact that features heavily in the legend.

  • September 29, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    Lot Of Longinus? (http://thesaurus.com/browse/lot) Fall Of Longinus? Fate Of Longinus?

    btw, did this happen to the trope namer or are you just naming it after him?
  • September 29, 2013
    Koveras
    • In the Dragon Age lore, the Tevinter Archon Hessarian was the one who convicted Andraste, the resident Messianic Archetype-slash-Jeanne D Archetype, and ordered her burned at the stake (making him also a Pilate Archetype) but her was also the one who mercy killed her with a sword at the pyre and became the first ever convert to the Chant of Light, formed around her teachings.
  • September 29, 2013
    lexicon
    I've never heard of this person. I don't think he's nearly well known enough to name a trope for.
  • September 29, 2013
    xanderiskander
    ^I've heard of Longinus from a few different places. His Lance is even mentioned on the Public Domain Artifact page.

    But if we do end up renaming this I'd like to suggest Mortified Messiah Murderer just for the alliteration.
  • September 29, 2013
    JonnyB
    ^ If you go for that, you can add Longinus in a Mythology section.
  • September 29, 2013
    OmarKarindu
    Messiah Murderer Converts seems to get the whole idea across succinctly. The question I'd ask is whether or not this is Too Rare To Trope; I can think of a lot more examples of Judas, starting with the Bible, as the guy who gets the Messiah killed and then suffers for it. That loses the conversion idea, though, and conversion or sympathy-after-the-fact seems to be what you really are going for, not simple mortification or regret.

  • September 29, 2013
    WiseMan23753
    Adding the recent example.

    I don't think that trope rare. There are many examples on the trope page of Messianic Archetype, so there would be many who would be the ones to kill them. And for the ones, I've seen, those do kill the messiahs affects them later (conversion or Heel Face Turn, Karmic Death, Fate Worse Than Death, and so on.)
  • September 29, 2013
    JonnyB
  • September 30, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ would third if it didn't read to me as "remorseful killer of the messiah". "<verb> messiah murderer" is a good start though.
  • September 30, 2013
    DAN004
  • September 30, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Did some formatting.
  • September 30, 2013
    Koveras
    Fixed a typo in my DA example.
  • September 30, 2013
    RoseBride
    One could say that this is what the plot of Casshern Sins revolves around, from the title protagonist who killed Luna and thus unleashed the Ruin on the world, but doesn't remember any of it, most of the series deals with his realtionship with multiple characters that now suffer the consequences of his actions.
  • September 30, 2013
    MetaFour
    A bit of clarification on Longinus.

    • The Four Gospels: In Matthew's and Mark's accounts of Jesus' crucifixion, a Roman centurion became convinced of Jesus divinity immediately after his death: "Truly this man was the Son of God!" In Luke's account, the centurion just says "Certainly this man was innocent!"
    • John's Gospel mentions that, seeing Jesus had died, a Roman soldier speared him in the side to confirm his death. No more information is given by John about that soldier, but a body of legends and other fanon sprung up, giving him the name Longinus. Longinus is frequently conflated with the centurion from Matthew's, Mark's, and Luke's Gospels. He's numbered among the Saints and the martyrs. The spear he pierced Christ's side with, variously named the Lance of Longinus or the Spear of Destiny, is a Public Domain Artifact reputed to have any number of superpowers.
  • October 1, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Namespaced an example.
  • October 1, 2013
    Earnest
    ^^^ Seconding that. It wasn't until after Casshern killed Luna that he got amnesia and then came to regret his actions. Before, he was a cold blooded killer.
  • October 2, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    still calling Trope Namer Syndrome on Longinus Archetype.

    what happened to Longinus is pretty inconsistent.

    plus, it's apparently a common name.
  • October 2, 2013
    aurora369
    Code Geass example: it is spelled Princess Euphemia!
  • October 2, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^^ The commonness of the name is irrelevant. There's a whole bunch of people called Jesus other than the religious figure out there, you know? I think we all know which Longinus we're talking about here.
  • October 3, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ maybe, but it would be like calling While Rome Burns Nero Archetype or Face Heel Turn The Judas.

    we'll all know what it is about, but it would still be a terrible name by virtue of Trope Namer Syndrome.
  • October 11, 2013
    Stratadrake
    I don't think Longinus is worth being a trope namer here. He's also a case of Beam Me Up Scotty, because by the time he poked the guy up on the cross, that was to check if he was dead yet and he was.
  • October 12, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Judas Iscariot hung himself after betraying Jesus to the religious authorities. This at least seems to imply deep remorse.

    That Roman soldier didn't kill Jesus—he was already on the cross being executed, and supposedly dead when the soldier speared him to make sure (something about the blood being separated). I guess you could say he participated in the act as part of the execution crew though.
  • October 12, 2013
    xanderiskander
    On the title change. The title is unclear. It needs to say something about how it affects the person afterward. Messiah Killer is just going to make people think of people who kill Messiahs, or Judas Archetypes. It says nothing about how they regret it afterward. That's why I had "Mortified" in the title I suggested before. But, I agree you could find a better word than Mortified.
  • October 14, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    Messiah Killers Karma? awkward but seems to represent the trope well.
  • October 15, 2013
    DAN004
    Can anyone tell me what happened to the killer afterward? The description says that the murder will affect the killer greatly in some way, so I guess it can cover many things...

    Does this count? It's done in a twisty way...
    • In One Piece, it's revealed that Hody Jones was the one who killed Queen Otohime, not the suspected human (Hody and Otohime are members of the prejudiced Fishmen/Merfolk race). Hody has a very contrasting view on human-fishman relationship when compared to Otohime, and being an extremist that he is, not only did he kill her - years later, when he attempts a coup on Fishman Island, he ordered its inhabitants to commit Fumi-e (stepping on an image) on their late queen. The "karma" part comes when Jinbe orchestrated Luffy and co (who are a crew of humans, and a reindeer-man) to defeat Hody and his crew to symbolize that Hody's views are wrong.
  • October 15, 2013
    sabbat
    Possible Title: Judas Guilt
  • October 15, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^^ sounds too convoluted (years later? o_O). also, everything sounds like a spoiler.

    ^ not limited to guilt.
  • February 14, 2014
    DAN004
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=plcw08udxvwtzrtdw0i5zdo7