An important piece of MesopotamianMythology, and one of the oldest written stories. The story is about the goddess Inanna (later known as [[IHaveManyNames Ishtar]]) going to visit her sister (or possibly alter-ego) Ereshkigal.
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!! Tropes in ''Inanna's Descent to the Netherworld'' include:

* BackFromTheDead: Inanna, and later Dumuzi.
* BalancingDeathsBooks: Inanna is allowed to come back, but needs to find someone to take her place.
* CrazyPrepared: Inanna anticipates problems, and instructs her priestess exactly what to do.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Ereshkigal seems mostly portrayed this way.
* DeathGlare: Literally ''causes'' death.
* EvilTwin: Though it is not entirely clear which one is the ''evil'' one. See below.
* {{Expy}}: Ereshkigal is a DarkerAndEdgier version of her younger twin, Inanna. Some scholars believe they were at one point two aspects of the same goddess before becoming separate entities.
* FauxActionGirl: Inanna. [[spoiler: She has to be rescued by her priestess and a male deity. However, this may have been a gambit of sorts. She had already sent out word of her demise ahead of time to her most powerful family members, knowing that no one who was in the underworld could break free on their own.]]
* TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry
* ILied: Inanna clearly was ''not'' there for the purpose of Gugalana's funerary rites. [[spoiler: She was there to nab Ereshkigal's underworld powers in the same way she grabbed Enki's ''me''.]]
* JerkassGods: A staple of MesopotamianMythology
* JustSoStory: Explains why we have winter and summer. [[spoiler:Inanna, the fertility goddess, lets everything go dormant when her beloved husband is down in the Underworld, and lets things grow in the summer when he's back and she's happy.]]
* LaserGuidedKarma: Inanna loses her husband for half the year because she tried to steal Ereshkigal's husband Gugalana in ''TheEpicOfGilgamesh'' [[spoiler: only for him to get killed by Gilgamesh and Enkidu]] and tried to steal Ereshkigal's power.
* TheLongList: See "Oral Tradition".
* MacGuffin: Asu-shu-namir, the asexual creatures that help Inanna be brought back to life.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: After Inanna's fury subsides and she realizes the horrible consequences of sicking demons after her husband, she weeps.
* NotSoDifferent: Inanna and Ereshkigal. In fact, Ereshkigal might actually be a DarkerAndEdgier {{Expy}} of Inanna. This is further supported by the interesting thematic relation of the husbands of both women dying in the story as bookends, as well as the link-up between this story and the story where Gilgamesh kills Inanna's bull of heaven (the exact same bull that is the husband of Ereshkigal).
* OralTradition: The story was clearly this before it was recorded, as evidenced by the repetition.
* OurDemonsAreDifferent: The closest approximation is the Hollows of Manga/{{Bleach}} fame.
* OutOfClothesExperience: Inanna is stripped of her clothing and jewelry (symbols of her power) to grovel before Ereshkigal.
* PimpedOutDress
* [[MoneyDearBoy Power, Dear Boy]]: Inanna. Her reason for going to Irkalla in the first place? [[WorldDomination She wants dominion over the heavens, Earth, ''and'' the underworld, and everything there.]] She actually gets it, too, though not in the exact way she wanted it and at some great cost.
* ThePowersThatBe
* {{Rescue}}: Inanna anticipates problems, and instructs her priestess what to do. The priestess and another deity end up going to rescue Inanna.
* ScreamingBirth: After having killed Inanna, Ereshkigal is implied to be in a sort of [[FreakOut crazed,]] [[AntagonistInMourning emptiness-]][[AngstySurvivingTwin induced]] state of mental breakdown that resembles a very violent labor.
* SpinOff: Takes place just after Gilgamesh and his friend kill [[LivingMacGuffin Gugalana (The Bull of Heaven)]] in Literature/TheEpicOfGilgamesh, but is considered its own separate story.
* TakeMeInstead: When Dumuzi is sent to the Underworld in Inanna's place, his sister begs Inanna to let her go instead.
* ToHellAndBack: One of the oldest stories of this type; possibly even ''the'' UrExample
* WhatTheHellHero: Dumuzi gets one of these for ''not'' saliently mourning his wife.
* WorldDomination: Inanna wants this, and not just in this world either.
* {{Yandere}}: Inanna has her husband, Tammuz/Dumuzid, dragged off to the Underworld for failing to mourn for her while she was dead. [[Literature/TheEpicOfGilgamesh Gilgamesh]] even lists this as one of her defining character traits when refusing her affections, even citing what she did to Tammuz as an example. [[note]]To quote him,: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishtar#Ishtar_in_the_Epic_of_Gilgamesh "There was Tammuz, the lover of your youth, for him you decreed wailing, year after year."]][[/note]] - which [[EpilepticTrees doesn't quite make sense if this myth is set after]] Literature/TheEpicOfGilgamesh.
* ZombieApocalypse: Inanna uses this threat against the gatekeeper if he does not let her in.
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