The character believes in a very desirable life after death. This may or may not motivate them to great deeds, including Heroic Sacrifice
and becoming The Soulsaver
. The motivation can be egocentric, limited to personally getting there. Or it can be altruistic, trying to help others to reach the same ultimate goal.
Even if the desire for heaven is completely selfish at heart, the character is likely to behave well: Depending on what faith they follow they might think either that it increases their chances to get there, or simply that it is what The Powers That Be
want. However, good behavior can have a touch of Blue and Orange Morality
, since the character's good deeds are likely to be focused on helping people follow whatever path they think leads to paradise, rather than helping people in this
Depending on the setting, the afterlife might be real and rightly understood, miscomprehended, symbolic, or a pure windmill
If the character starts using abhorrent methods such as torturing/murdering "heretics", their methods makes them a Soulsaving Crusader
if the behavior is justified within the setting and a Knight Templar
if it is not.
Although some afterlife inspired by the Abrahamic heaven is the most common in western media, this trope can also include a quest for Nirvana or whatever. The core is that the final goal lies after death.
Contrast Hell Seeker
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Anime And Manga
- Constantine. The title character goes around sending half-demons back to Hell in the hope that this will gain him entry into Heaven after he dies. It's not that John Constantine likes the idea of Heaven that much — he just wants to avoid going to Hell, since he knows firsthand (due to trying to commit suicide in his youth) how horrible it is.
- The Bible, with Jesus and most of his followers.
- In The Chronicles of Narnia, most good people simply seek
Jesus Aslan, and in book 7, they get to heaven as a side effect of that. In the third book, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, however, Reepicheep is actively seeking out what turns out to be this afterlife. It's ambiguous as to whether he knows or not that the thing he's seeking is actually heaven.
- Robert A. Heinlein's Job: A Comedy of Justice centers on a man who believes the Rapture is at hand. He spends the book navigating the bizarre experiences that test his own faith while trying desperately to save the soul of his Pagan love interest before Armageddon kicks in.
- The receiver of the vision in Dream of the Rood is this.
Live Action TV
- The titular character of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is this in Season 6.
- Dana Gray from the Fringe episode "Stowaway" is both this and a Death Seeker, attempting to go along with other dying people so she can rejoin her husband and children.
- Kryten the mechanoid in Red Dwarf is programmed to believe in Silicone Heaven as his eternal reward for serving humans.
- In Clawfinger's "Final Stand", the singer firmly believes in an unspecified religion and dreams of dying a noble death so he'll get to Paradise quickly. See the quotes page.
- All recent editions of Dungeons & Dragons (probably almost all the way back to the first edition) are designed so that a Good player character can easily be designed to desire a heroic death and subsequent eternal reward in paradise. Scarred Lands even have a holy spell that makes this inevitable: The spell, called "Hero's Death" makes the hero more powerful, but will inevitably kill him at the end of the duration if he's not already dead by then. The spell can only be cast on a Good person who fully comprehend that it will mean his death as well as making resurrection impossible. The only benefit for the hero is that his last stand will secure his place in Paradise.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade, the Kindred who sought Golconda were kinda this. Since they are already dead and eternally damned, they cannot really go to any paradise after their Final Death (not that anything like that exists in this Crapsack World, anyway), but Golconda was said to be a state of eternal bliss wherein the vampire is freed of most of their curses.
- This is the reason of why Stan from American Dad! ruins the life of his atheist best friend (thinking that if his life becomes miserable enough he will turn to Christianity); they had a lot in common and Stan though that him being an atheist would prevent him to go to heaven, so they wouldn't be able to spend eternity together.
- Mother Teresa. Some consider her a saint whose deeds were great regardless of whether her faith was correct or not, while others have reported that she made no secret that she considered the souls of those she helped the only important thing and encouraged poor people to embrace their poverty. She felt that suffering would bring people closer to Jesus.
- Pretty much all Christians and Muslims want themselves and everyone else to go to heaven. This is quite unproblematic if you believe that only heaven is an actual place while hell is the absence of God, and if you believe that God will let all decent people into heaven whether they are Christian/Muslim or not. It become more problematic if you believe for example that only Christians go to heaven while everyone else will suffer forever in hell. Then of course you think that people ought to know what's at stake and make an informed decision about their eternal destiny, then of course you don't "hide your light under a bushel". Instead you want to make sure that everyone change their beliefs and way of life so that they will think, feel, believe and act in the same ways as you do, so they can go to heaven with you instead of suffering forever for not being like you. Of course, it's best to figure out how to evangelize without offending and alienating half the people you interact with. Though realistically, you can't avoid offending everybody except by keeping your mouth shut... which is like having the cure to cancer and not telling people about it because some people won't believe you.
- Of course, adherents of other religions want to go to heaven as well. Those who believe in the ancient Norse Pantheon (the one with Odin and Thor, and yes, there are several religious organizations for people who follow that faith) have Valhalla, and so on.
- Averted in many forms of Buddhism: They believe that heaven and hell exist, but are dead ends. Going to Heaven is nice, but will use up your good karma and eventually you will reincarnate anyway. Only Nirvana gives lasting salvation.
- In the early days of Christianity, there was a sect that would threaten passersby with murder... unless said passersby would kill them. The idea was that Heaven is the only place worth being, but suicide's a sin.