"It's a been a long roadDawn of an Era is when the story has a moment that will change the story world in a good way. For instance, someone, at great personal risk, not only successfully tests a practical and reliable way to travel to different solar systems as easily as sailing across the Atlantic, but aliens detect that trip and decide to pop by to say, "Welcome to the neighborhood!" Suddenly, all realize that their lives, their world and their very view of the universe has changed forever with marvels, technology, magic, and astounding possibilities and challenges lying before them to persuade even the most despairing soul to have faith of the heart for a glorious future. Thanks to the heroes, a brave new world has begun where the age of wonders is just beginning. (Err, not the bad one, we promise!) For the villainous version, see New Era Speech. For the complete opposite (though the two may overlap), see End of an Age. For related tropes, see The Magic Goes Away and The Magic Comes Back.
getting from there to here
It's been a long time
but my time is finally near!"
getting from there to here
It's been a long time
but my time is finally near!"
— "Faith of the Heart" (Star Trek: Enterprise theme song)
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Anime and Manga
- A classical example is found in the final episodes of Stellvia of the Universe: the End of an Age of humanity living in fear of another (almost-)extinction and the Dawn of an Era of deep space exploration and, quite possibly, the more advanced aliens lending us hand. This new era was supposed to be covered in a Sequel Series but...
- The conclusion of Transformers Cybertron. The Autobot/Decepticon war is over, the universe is saved, Cybertron is healed, the lost colonies have been brought back into the fold, and Transformers and humanity work side-by-side to explore and connect the galaxy.
- In One Piece, the Pirate King, Gold Roger, ignited the Golden Age of Piracy with his death.
- This and the End of an Age occurred at the same time at the tail end of the Marineford Arc. Just when his death and a marine victory was poised to snuff out the Golden Age of Piracy, Whitebeard, with his dying breath, proclaimed, with the entire world watching, "ONE PIECE EXISTS!" This proclamation started an entirely new age of piracy, and the beginning of a new era. However, just minutes later, Blackbeard (the probable Big Bad of the series) makes his own declaration: that the new era that's dawning is his era.
- The opening scenes to Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn shows the very beginning of the Universal Century, which is meant to evoke this trope Until it gets rudely interrupted by the space colony said scenes take place on being blown up.
- The three issue Comic Book Vimanarama has the epic of Ben Rama as real, with super science instead of magic. After the evil Ul-Shatan is defeated, the world is transformed with access to ancient philosophical truths, flying vimanas, vitamin laden air, prayer fueled refrigerators, and other marvels. The series ends with the hero rescuing three young idiots who crash a two man flying vimana into the bright face of the moon.
- The first public appearance of Superman in The DCU. In most continuities, Superman is first introduced the world doing a dramatic save, giving the world something to hope for and kicking off the Age of Superheroes. (Or bringing back superheroes, in the Golden Age heroes are in continuity).
- In Earth 2, five years after the "Age of Wonders" ended, new superheroes began to appear; creating a new "Age of Wonders".
- "The Death of Optimus Prime" sees Cybertron becoming habitable again, a definitive Autobot victory over the Decepticons, the abdication of Optimus Prime after the emptying of the Matrix, the return of rest of Cybertonian race (whom many had long written off for dead), and a schism among the Autobots as Rodimus seeks the Knights of Cybertron among the stars, while Bumblebee attempts to build a stable society on Cybertron.
- Child of the Storm is set a couple of years after the Avengers formed and repeatedly suggests that while the triggered the beginning of the new era, the real explosion in heroes, technology and general wonder is just starting, with a lots of future heroes being name-dropped and a feeling that the magic is starting to come back and with it the start of The Un Masqued World, one in which humanity can hold its own. However, the dark side of this is amply explored, with repeated warnings that A Storm Is Coming, while Professor McGonagall observes that while the heroes are coming back, this isn't always a good thing. After all, heroes need monsters to fight...
- In Heroes For Earth, when the Planeteers finally combine their powers and unleash an Eldritch Abomination, their version of Captain Planet, they create a new continent in the Pacific Ocean. This causes a new wave of environmentalism and worldwide recognition of the Planeteers.
- In A New World, this is the ultimate result of Yukari Yakumo's centuries of manipulating humans, youkai and immortals alike: a very wounded world, but one in which all fantastic creatures have returned to physical reality, no longer fearing the influence of mortal thought, and are working with mortals to restore Earth's glory.
Films — Animated
- The Princess and the Pea: Sebastian, the Talking Animal court historian, says that he believes a new golden age will begin now that Daria passed the Secret Test of Character and assumed her rightful place as the princess.
- Transformers: The Movie ends with the Autobots in charge again and Rodimus Prime predicting an era of peace and prosperity for all Cybertronians.
Rodimus: Let this mark the end of the Cybertronian Wars as we march forward into a new era of peace and happiness! 'Til all are one!
- Titan A.E. ends with the protagonists on a newly-created planet Bob as a new home for humans after Earth had been destroyed.
Films — Live-Action
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind has this with aliens bringing back humans abducted over several decades. It's been a while, but it's implied the aliens choose to stay and establish closer contact.
- 2010: The Year We Make Contact ends as humanity is faced with incontrovertible proof that not only do Sufficiently Advanced Aliens exist, but they are aware of us and are capable of drastic action in the service of protecting life.note In the film version, the closing narration makes it clear that this has motivated the nations of the world to end their conflicts.
- Star Trek: First Contact: The crew of the Enterprise foil the Borg back in time and help Zefram Cochrane make his famous test flight of The Phoenix, the first warp-capable Earth craft. As a result, an alien ship detects the ship and decides to initiate first contact. When they appear from their landing craft and reveal themselves to be Vulcans, you know that Earth's time of planetbound turmoil and despair is over, and the planet's vibrant and hope-filled future as a space power has begun. Jerry Goldsmith's score complements it beautifully, too.
- Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is apparently this, with the New Republic as a small but growing organization and the Jedi as barely a presence in the galaxy.
- At the end of Clive Barker's Imajica comes the Reconciliation, allowing beings to travel freely between the five Dominions. People get used to this surprisingly fast.
- The Lord of the Rings depicts the End of the Third Age and the passing of many things both evil and good, but it is also the beginning of the Fourth Age of Mankind — which need not be a Bad Thing.
- The cycle of Arthurian mythology has this when Arthur draws the sword from the stone to become King, and the opposite trope when his power is broken at Camlann.
- In Echoes of the Fourth Magic, nuclear war leads to an end of modern civilization. Angelic beings rescue some of the humans, however, and the world is born anew with magic and fantasy creatures.
- In Courtship Rite, the discovery and decryption of the ancient document, The Forge of War, gives the Getans new insight into their history, and information about all sorts of useful Lost Technology.
- In Warrior Cats: Bramblestar's Storm, Bramblestar adds a new rule to the warrior code: in times of trouble, Clan cats must forget their rivalries and help each other. When the danger passes, then they can split apart again. This is triumphant concerning that for twenty-four books, the Clans had been learning to work together.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Voldemort's death spells the beginning of a new, more benign and just, era for the Wizarding World. Fittingly, the spoiled event takes place just before dawn breaks.
- The Expanse just as humanity is reaching the limits of the solar system the protomolecule turns up, upsetting everything known about biology, chemistry and physics. And that's before it forms the Ring and opens up a thousand new star systems.
Live Action Television
- The Babylon 5 episode, "Into the Fire" where Capt. Sheridan leads a united force against both the Vorlons and the Shadows. Where at the beginning of the series, G'Kar notes the younger species of Humans, Narns etc. could no more interact with their predecessors than ants could with them, now Sheridan is able to tell two such god-like species to vamoose. Both races decide to leave, and the Third Age has begun where the younger species now live on their own terms, free of such godlike interference. This example mixes in a bit of sadness, as the departing Precursors take a great deal of wonder with them as well.
- As well as a bit of dread, now that the "grown-ups" are not around anymore to bail them out. Cue the Thirdspace movie, where they stumble upon a Sealed Evil in a Can that the Neglectful Precursors left behind.
- The very first words, spoken in voiceover by Londo Mollari at the opening of the pilot episode, were: "I was there at the dawn of the Third Age."
- For an example that isn't an ending, the premise of Earth: Final Conflict is that aliens have come and helped transform the world for the better, offering solutions to famine, disease, and other ills free of charge. Not only were they not here To Serve Man, and more amazingly, we didn't attack these peaceful aliens. However; something fishy was afoot, and you don't want to know what. Trust us, it's better if you ignore seasons 2+.
- Spirit of the Century treats the beginning 20th century this way (and, in its backstory, the dawn of each century, and millennia, for that matter).
- The Rocket Age begins with Einstein, Tesla and Goddard building the world's first functional Rocket Ship and travelling to Mars. This really is the beginning of a new golden age for humanity and it is widely acknowledged by everyone that humanity is the species that will shape the current Age.
- A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: Making Somnians equal with Lydians at the end of the Time Skip. King Albus rejects the long-standing association of Balfur with the Church, and as a result (and, in fact, the primary goal) accepts Somnians into Balfur as humans, just like Lydians. So far, though, the only one who has taken advantage of this is Ivy.
- Final Fantasy X starts with an End of an Age and ends with this.
- As does Final Fantasy XIII. To elaborate, XIII covers the end of Cocoon, where fal'Cie ruled humanity and the birth of a new human civilization on Gran Pulse, free of fal'Cie (and particularly Lindzei's) rule.
- Final Fantasy VI ends with a combination of this and The Magic Goes Away; Kefka is dead, and the ruined world is finally free to rebuild, but the power of magic is lost forever.
- The end of God of War III has this and an End of an Age. The age of Greek Myth, with its gods and monsters all dead, is over and the world is on the brink of ruin. Even the Fates are gone. But in his final moments, Kratos released the power of Hope, a power great enough to kill gods, to humanity. The survivors will be able to rebuild civilization free of the gods' influence and as masters of their own destiny.
- Mass Effect 3 has an opening crawl in which First Contact between humanity and the many other species of the galaxy is said to be one of those - yeah, it did start with a short and brutal war, but it was called off quickly, and thirty years later humans and turians are sort of Vitriolic Best Buds. Then the Reapers came to ruin everything. The endings, particularly in the Extended Cut, can show another dawn on a much larger scale, if Shepard really hauled ass. The krogan may have started their cultural renaissance, moving beyond brutishness. The quarians and geth may share Rannoch peacefully. Depending on the ending, the Reapers might be part of it too.
- The Total War: Attila campaign pack Age of Charlemagne see's the rise of the eponymous King Charlemagne at the very dawn of the medieval age.
- The fourth Heroes of Might and Magic game had this as its Central Theme. In the wake of the world of Enroth's destruction, those who managed to escape in time to the world of Axeoth must rebuild without repeating the mistakes of the past:
- In "The True Blade", Sir Lysander founds a small kingdom mostly made of refugees from Erathia but clings to the past out of honor by refusing to officially become king, insistent that only a true Gryphonheart can rule. This leads to problems when a usurper seeks to claim the throne wielding the supposed Ancestral Weapon of the Gryphonhearts. It ends with Lysander drawing the true blade, which reveals that he is a Gryphonheart. Thus begins the reign of King Lysander Gryphonheart.
- In "A Pirate's Daughter", Tawni Balfour's goal is to surpass her infamous pirate father and become the Pirate Queen of the Seas in the new world. She succeeds and even reunites with her true father in the process.
- In "Elwin and Shaera", Elwin would like nothing better than to spend carefree days with his lover Shaera. However, a scheming and jealous rival who would do anything to have Shaera for himself stands in his way. This eventually leads to Elwin becoming the new Elf King. When given the opportunity to execute his rival for his many crimes, Elwin instead shows mercy believing there's been enough death.
- In "Half-Dead", Gauldoth Half-Dead must find a balance between Life and Death if he is to survive in the new world as a half undead being. After many trials and battles, he succeeds. He builds a kingdom where the dead and the living can exist side by side and whose subjects revere him as "Father Gauldoth". A kingdom which he plans to peacefully rule forever.
- In "Glory of Days Past", the Immortal Hero Tarnum and his adopted son Waerjak must unite the scattered remnants of their people and make them into a kingdom. All without repeating Tarnum's past mistakes as Barbarian King. They succeed, with Waerjak proving himself to be a worthy ruler who is both strong and wise. Tarnum at long last earns his redemption and passage into the afterlife, only to decide that he would rather stay and spend more time among the people he's spent his entire life helping as the Immortal Hero.
- In "The Price of Peace", Emilia Nighthaven struggles to build a better life for those who chose to follow her. Standing in her way is Gavin Magnus, the immortal former ruler of Bracada who was so traumatized by the destruction of Enroth that he has hatched upon an insane scheme to ensure nothing like that ever happens again by erasing free will, and his loyal servant the legendary genie Solymr. Solymr ultimately realizes that he cannot allow Gavin to erase free will and finds a loophole in his oath of loyalty to aid Emilia. They defeat the insane monarch, ensuring the prosperity and freedom of the new kingdom of Great Arcan.
- Dragon Age: Inquisition features two. One happens right at the beginning when most of the old power structures in the south of Thedas are unceremoniously blown up, and you and the Inquisition are left to pick up the pieces and save the world. The second comes at the end of the DLC Trespasser which is set a couple of years after Inquisition ends and The Magic Comes Back is set up as a very ominous future.
- At the end of Book Two of The Legend of Korra, Korra decides that Big Bad Unalaq had a point: Avatar Wan separating the Spirit World and the material world from each other was not neccessarily a good thing. Declaring that the Avatar should no longer be the bridge between the two worlds, she keeps the portals open, allowing spirits and humans to cross freely between worlds.
- Then at the start of Book 3, Zaheer gives a slightly Ironic Echo speech that somewhat mirrors Korra's speech at the end, saying that this era would be the end of the White Lotus and the end of the Avatar.
- In Real Life some members of the Transhumanist movement believes that we currently live just on the brink of the Technological Singularity, which is to put an end to most problems that plague the modern society (but potentially create a ton of new ones), and usher the age of immortal, superhuman cyberminds.
Anime and Manga
- In The Wheel of Time, this is combined with End of an Age; while the current Age is coming to an end, a new one is beginning, new Talents of the Power are being discovered, and vast advances in technology are being made. One character even lampshades it while watching a demonstration of the world's first ever cannon: "The world just changed in a very big way."
- The point of the series, of course, is that the Wheel never stops turning.
- In Morrowind after the Player Character finally kills Dagoth Ur, he/she not only frees the inhabitants of Vvardenfell from nightmares, which were driving them insane and a corruption, which was slowly changing its victims via Body Horror, but also basically brings peace between fighting fractions. Even with two demi-gods dead, which means the End of an Age for the Tribunal, Vivec still decides to disband the religious police and use his divine power to help these in need. Everything should be wonderful from this point on, right? It turns out that stripping Vivec of from his powers causes the Ministery of Truth to fall and Red Mountain to erupt, not even a century after the events of the game.
- The great conflict of Golden Sun: The Lost Age, over whether to restore the power of Alchemy to the world and risk it falling into the hands of evildoers or to let the world rot without Alchemy, is ultimately resolved in favor of restoring Alchemy by the heroes. The Lost Age ends on a relatively hopeful note: the parents come back, Alex's plans to gain the power of the Golden Sun are thwarted, and now the world can return to its former glory, right? Golden Sun: Dark Dawn begins thirty years later and stars the Spin-Offspring... fighting new evils powered by Alchemy and newly-restored ancient Magitek. Oh, and Alex is alive and well as a demi-god.
- The ending of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning sees the end of Fate. Together with the surge of magical potential among the mortal races marks the beginning of the Age of Heroes. It's not all good news though. The Fae and their magic are also slowly fading from the world. The Great Cycle has been broken, rendering them mortal for all intents and purposes. Many of the Fae encountered in-game know all too well that their time has passed.