"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying."
One of the oldest of human desires is to counteract the fleeting nature of our short human existence
. Eternal life is ingrained in the collective human consciousness, having been present in literature and myths for as long as they've been around
. Literally. The Epic of Gilgamesh
(the oldest heroic epic known to the modern world) is, in large part, about the titular character's search for a way to live forever.
Of course, having been around for so long, Our Immortality Is Different, and comes in several flavours. These tropes are not mutually exclusive; there's plenty of room for overlap.
- Complete Immortality - A character simply can't die, ever.
- Retroactive Immortality - A character can die, but won't stay dead.
- Spare Bodies
- Biological Immortality - A character is immune to the ravages of time.
- Force of Will
- How to become immortal? - Methods by which a mortal character can actively cheat death. Key word being actively, once the method is stopped or reversed, they become mortal again.
- Incomplete Immortality
For general tropes relating to immortality, see This Index Will Live Forever
These were formerly labeled as various Types, which many pages still refer to:
- Type I: Complete Immortality, like certain gods, Nigh-Invulnerability + The Ageless.
- Type II: The Ageless
- Type III: Regenerative; From a Single Cell.
- Type IV: Resurrective Immortality, or like Body Backup Drive
- Type V: The Undead
- Type VI: Age Without Youth
- Type VII: External, like Soul Jar or Immortality Talisman
- Type VIII: Legacy Immortality
- Type IX: Parasitic, like Body Surf
- Type X: Vampiric, like Life Drinker, Blood Bath
- Type XI: Projected avatar, like Fighting a Shadow or Body Backup Drive
- Type 0: Plot immortality, because the writers will never kill them off for good, like the Joker.