->''"The gods are four, whose works grow cold, as one betrays their laws of old.\\
Then dark grow deeds and darker hearts, for lost to all are holy arts.\\
A vagrant comes amidst the gloom, to seal the gaping maw of doom"''
-->-- '''Mithras''', ''{{VideoGame/Sacrifice}}''

So the bumbling protagonist, the wandering merchant, or the neighbor from down the street walks into a herbal shop, gets met by some strange person, or simply has a dream with a lot of flashy lighting effects. Next thing they know, they've been declared destroyers of worlds, rulers of fates, or simply the best goddamned kitten-saver in the entirety of the universe.

There is a considerable overlap with TheChosenOne, but chosen ones are not always told what they were chosen ''for'', and prophecies don't always refer to a particular person.

Subtrope of CallToAdventure. Supertrope to EitherOrProphecy, SelfDefeatingProphecy, SelfFulfillingProphecy; please add the appropriate examples directly to those pages.

''For the movie, see Film.TheProphecy.''


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The 5,111th Prophecy of Grendel in ''LightNovel/ScrappedPrincess'' foretells that the eponymous heroine will destroy the world, setting up the conflict between her select few guardians and the rest of it.
* In ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS'', Carim Gracia's rare prophetic skill allows her to foresee the BigBad's plans, which would have otherwise caught the Bureau completely unaware. Thanks to her, however, they are able to prepare for the crisis just in time.
* In ''Manga/ZettaiKarenChildren'', a powerful ESPer dolphin prophecies that there will be a global war between {{ESPer}}s and {{Muggles}} where two of the protagonists, notwithstanding the love that they will feel for each other, will find themselves on opposite sides and one of them will kill the other. Much of the series deals with how to avoid this prophecy from being fulfilled. To make things more ominous, said dolphin's predictions have never been wrong, though he hopes Minamoto will be able to prove this one wrong.
* ''Words Worth'' : The inscription on the eponymous monolith forms the crux of the plot. "Only one of Light and Shadow may read the words inscribed here and understand their meaning. Thus, the two worlds will be made complete."
* Gotoh's prophecy is a key plot point in ''Anime/TheCastleOfCagliostro'', and is inscribed on Clarisse's [[MacGuffin ring]]: "Light will rejoin shadow and live again."
* In ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'', Nosferatu Zodd was about to kill Griffith when he saw the Crimson Behelit. Realizing what it meant, he spared Griffith. As he left, he warned the Hawks with a prophecy: that the moment Griffith's dream came crashing down, an inescapable death would find them. [[spoiler:The prophecy comes true for all but two of the Hawks trapped in the Eclipse: Guts and Casca. The dark forces governing fate work hard to correct this "error".]] When Zodd and Guts meet again, Zodd congratulates Guts on subverting his prediction.
* It is referred to as a "legend" in ''Manga/NurseAngelRirikaSOS'', however it is treated much the same. On Queen Earth there is a legend that states a ten year old girl named "Nurse Angel" will protect the universe in times of crisis. Ririka is a ten year old human girl who becomes Nurse Angel to protect the universe. [[spoiler:She is the reincarnation of the original Nurse Angel]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''{{ComicBook/Lumberjanes}}'', the prophecy, delivered by defeated three-eyed foxes, is "Beware the kitten holy." Its meaning remains to be seen.
* ''ComicBook/TheTransformersDarkCybertron'': In the second chapter, [[TheFundamentalist Scoop]] relates to Starscream a prophecy about a supposed "false prophet", with the implication that it's talking about [[MadScientist Shockwave]]. Much later on, in ''[[ComicBook/TheTransformersRobotsInDisguise The Transformers]]'', Optimus has a vision with a longer, even more ominous version of the prophecy.
-->''A sunrise dark shall cast pall upon the empire.''
-->''And time will rust.''
-->''And he shall stand alone while not alone.''
-->''And adorned the titan will be in black metal.''
-->''And the stars shall scream.''
-->''And the symbol of the uncreator shall be clear.''
-->''And his gaze shall unravel the legacy of Primus.''
-->''Thus shall the adversary rise.''
-->''A black star. Unstopped and unstoppable.''

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'', being primarily a ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' and ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse'' crossover, naturally features the former series' canon prophecy regarding Harry and Voldemort's fated conflict with each other. And in the first book's penultimate scene, Trelawney has another prophecy that seems to plot out what's to come for the rest of the series -- Harry gathering and uniting various heroes and facing off against various villains, all leading up to the FinalBattle with ComicBook/{{Thanos}}.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures''/''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}'' crossover fic ''Fanfic/{{Kage}}'', it's eventually revealed that long ago, the first Oracle, N'ghala, foretold the coming of a being matching the description of Jade (or, possibly, [[SuperPoweredEvilSide the Queen of the Shadowkhan]]), who will [[DarkMessiah cover all the Known Worlds in darkness]]. Later on, Yua shares with Ari another prophecy, possibly related to the first, foretelling the coming of a being who will bring about [[TheAntichrist the downfall of Kandrakar]]:
-->"[[PropheciesRhymeAllTheTime From another realm, another place; comes a dark child of a long forgotten race; from thrive to trial she will reach her throne; the light of the sky will be darkened by her will alone.]]"
* ''Fanfic/TheLastSon'' has this as it's major overarching plot. The [[ComicBook/XMen mutant]] BlindSeer Irene Adler experiences a vision when Franchise/{{Superman}} arrives on Earth. The prophecy refers to Superman as the "Child of the Star" that is destined to "unite mutankind" and "drive back the Dark".

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Balto}} 2: Wolf Quest'' was driven by the prophecy that the wolf pack would be led by "one who is wolf and does not know".
* The prophecy in ''WesternAnimation/ThePrincessAndThePea'' states that the kingdom will fall to ruin after the death of the 18th King (which is Heath). To save the kingdom, the prophecy also says "To reveal the heart of true nobility, place the pea twenty mattresses deep. The Princess true is love and sensitivity, upon such she can never sleep."

[[folder:Film -- Live Action]]
* A variant in the ''Franchise/PlanetOfTheApes'' series. In ''Escape'' and ''Conquest'', the humans are worried about the knowledge that apes would rise up and rule the world. In ''Battle'', Caesar is worried he won't be able to stop the foretold destruction of Earth in his parents' time in the future.

* ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'' gives the protagonist, Eragon, a couple of these, starting with Angela the Herbalist's.
* Sybill Trelawney's first prophecy more or less drives the entire MythArc of the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series, as it foretells the death of the BigBad at the protagonist's hands [[EitherOrProphecy or vice versa]].
* The Great Prophecy in ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' drives the whole plot, predicting Kronos's fall at the hands of a hero. Percy himself is declared TheChosenOne.
* The ''Literature/WarriorCats'' series is driven by prophecies:
** The first series has ''Fire alone can save our Clan'', referring to the orange-furred main character and his, uh, potential to save his Clan.
** The second series has two main prophecies. The first is ''Darkness, air, water and sky will come together and shake the forest to its roots. Nothing will be as it is now, nor as it has been before.'', foretelling the destruction of the forest by humans. The second is ''Before there is peace, blood will spill blood, and the lake will run red'', about a character killing his half-brother, who would have otherwise caused inter-Clan bloodshed.
** The third ''and'' fourth series follow the same prophecy - ''There will be three, kin of your kin, who hold the power of the stars in their paws'' - about three relatives of the character the prophecy is made to, and the fact that they are each born with a supernatural power.
** Even one of the ExpandedUniverse books has its own prophecy: ''Like fire, you will blaze through the forest. But beware! Even the most powerful flames can be destroyed by water.''
** Even ignoring the major prophecies, small prophecies appear all the time in the series.
* ''Literature/{{The Nine Lives of Chloe King}}'' is driven by the prophecy of a chosen one who would unite the Mai prides. Chloe is that chosen one.
* ''Literature/TheLastDragon'' is about the last elf trying to find the last dragon so they can fulfill an ancient prophecy and save the world.
* The ''Literature/{{Belgariad}}'' by David Eddings is about two conflicting prophecies.
* The prophecy of Saint Erasti (an apocalyptic painting) drove most of the plot in the first duology of the ''Literature/ArciaChronicles''. The more traditional (oral) prophecy of "Saint" Eric, delivered at the end of the second book, drives many plotlines in the following installments.
* Thamuris delivers this in ''[[Literature/DoctrineOfLabyrinths The Virtu]]'':
--> "Love and betrayal, the gorgon and the wheel. The dead tree will not shelter you, and the dead will not stay dead. Though you do not seek revenge, it will find you all the same."
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' has the prophecies concerning 3 very special people: The Stallion Who Mounts The World, The Warrior of Light and The Prince Who Was Promised.
* ''Literature/TheWitchlands'' has Eridysi's Lament, which (apart from being a popular drinking song) contains a section devoted to the circumstances of the next coming of [[LegacyOfTheChosen the Cahr Awen]].
* Ezzarians in Creator/CarolBerg's ''Literature/RaiKirah'' series have two of these about their war with demons.
* ''Literature/WingsOfFire'' unsurprisingly has a prophecy considering it's written by an Creator/ErinHunter (who works on the above-mentioned ''Warrior Cats''). "The Dragonet Prophecy" says that when the current war goes on twenty years, five baby dragons (or "dragonets" as they're called) from the different kingdoms will be hatched who will stop the war. Two of the three dueling queens will die and the third will become queen after realizing her faults.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Both ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' and ''Series/{{Angel}}'' are made of this in many seasons.
** Buffy season one has the prophecy that the Anointed One would rise and the slayer would not know him. He would lead the slayer to the Master and the slayer would die at the hand of the Master. Buffy does, but then gets revived by CPR.
** Angel has the Shanshu prophecy, that the vampire with a soul will become human after his part in the apocalypse-he will either save the world or destroy it. And then a [[ProphecyTwist twist]] comes up, as (completely unanticipated by everyone) there's now ''two'' vampires with souls and it's called into question whether Angel is actually TheChosenOne after all.
** Sesaon one also has the Prophecies of Aberjan, part of which was the Shanshu prophecy and part of which foretold what happened to Cordelia, when she was cut off from the regular world and her mind opened to all its suffering.
** Season 3 has the birth of Connor, the child sired by the vampire with a soul, who would grow to manhood and kill Sahjhan (a demon villain). There's also the false prophecy "The father will kill the son", a result of Sahjhan using TimeTravel to edit all written copies of the prophecy. Angel does sort of kill Connor, but not the way Wesley or anyone else expected. Angel cuts his son's throat to stop him after he goes off the deep end, and then Wolfram and Hart gives him a new life.
** Season 5 had Illyria's prophecied return.
* ''{{Series/Merlin}}'' has the prophecy about Merlin helping Arthur become the great king who will unite all of Albion. Then there's the dragon's prophecy that the Druid boy Mordred will kill Arthur. And the prophecy that Morgana is now spending all her time trying to prevent happening: that [[IKnowYourTrueName Emrys]] (Merlin, though she doesn't know it) will be [[ChosenOne "her destiny]] [[OnlyICanKillHim and her doom."]]
* Volume one of ''{{Series/Heroes}}'' has [[spoiler: a painting of the future depicting Peter blowing up and destroying New York unless he's stopped.]]

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* In [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/UsefulNotes/Christianity Christianity]], the Old Testament holds a prophecy that God will send a Messiah to save the world. Christians believe that [[MessianicArchetype Jesus]] [[DivineParentage Christ]] was the fulfillment of this and that his HeroicSacrifice allowed God to forgive humanity. The New Testament has another prophecy as well, stating that Jesus will return.


[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'', the plot is driven by the prophecies told by the prognosticative books possessed by [[BigGood Merlon]] and [[BigBad Count Bleck]]. One tells of a man in green who will bring darkness with the Chaos Heart, and the other of a legendary hero who will stop the end of everything with the Pure Hearts. Some time into the game, Merlee tells an additional prophecy that reveals that there will be four heroes destined to save the day.
* [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaCDiGames "It is written, only Link can defeat Ganon!"]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', there is [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2004-03-03 a prophecy]] about the coming of an individual who would unify the chimeric shapeshifter outcasts of the world.