"It is done." Elspeth kills
the God of Revels.
"Will you then say, 'I am a god', in the presence of those who kill you? You will be but a mortal, not a god, in the hands of those who slay you."
, aka killing a god
To kill the gods
/ Crystal Dragon Jesus
is a daunting task. You're often dealing with an Immortal
, Nigh Invulnerable
, Physical God
that can probably snuff the life out of you in an instant.
However, in fiction, Anyone Can Die
. As a result, you may have a setting where you can Kill The Gods
. This makes sense if the character who kills the god is its equal or greater
in power, although it's not unheard of to see someone who's weaker than the god kill them anyway
If the Gods Need Prayer Badly
, this could be accomplished by everybody ceasing worship at once and letting the god just shrivel up.
Once you do this, God Is Dead
. See also Rage Against the Heavens
. Compare Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?
, which might be their cause of death.
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Anime & Manga
- Almost happens to Haruhi at the hands of Kuyo and Fujiwara at the climax of The Astonishment of Haruhi Suzumiya Vol. 2.
- Bleach: The Arrancar Arc's climax is the Deicide mini-arc, focusing on Aizen's obsession with reaching and surpassing the realm of divinity. However, his target (the Spirit King) is officially regarded as a king by most characters. The arc ends with Aizen's defeat and the death of Gin, who used his own God-Killing Spear to try and slay Aizen. Like the Spirit King, Aizen is not a god; he simply reached a power level too great for most characters to comprehend.
- The main premise of Campione! is that when somebody kills a god, they get Cursed with Awesome to receive that god's Combo Platter Powers. This, deicide pretty much happens once an Arc.
- In Princess Mononoke, Lady Eboshi kills the forest spirit, which is a sort of Physical God. The results, however, aren't quite what she intended.
- An extremely difficult proposition in Saint Seiya, as the gods (with the exception of Eris in the first OVA) are really powerful, but possible with the right means. The real problem is getting them to STAY dead: Poseidon apparently died millennia before the series, but still managed to operate as a spirit and by Grand Theft Me.
- A variation occurs in Code Geass. Emperor Charles and his brother, V.V., having lost their parents to the machinations of their Deadly Decadent Court, promised each other as children that if there was a god that made people fight and scheme against each other for power, they would kill him. By the time they are older and in a position to put their plan into action, their understanding of the situation has sufficiently evolved that they're no longer trying to kill the "god" they have discovered, but they are planning to use it to enact an Assimilation Plot where all human consciousness, past and present, will unite so the fighting will stop and the dead will return.
- New Getter Robo the final fight has the Getter team fighting four beings who describe themselves as gods and accomplish feats no less then bringing themselves back from death come to destroy the Getter Robo before it evolves into the terrifying Getter Emperor.
- This can happen in Death Note when a Shinigami kills someone with their notebooks to selflessly save another person's life. This happens to Gelus and Rem when they save Misa's life.
- In the Fullmetal Alchemist manga and Brotherhood, this is Father's plan all along. He creates a large transmutation circle which opens the gates to Heaven and allows him access to absorb God into his being. It succeeds at first, then backfires.
- Majin Buu kills plenty of Kais, which are basically the Gods of the DBZ universe. In fact, he became Fat Buu after absorbing the Supreme Grand Kai, who was the ruler of not only the Kais, but the DBZ universe as a whole.
- It happens in Preacher. The Saint of Killers REALLY lived up to his name.
- In Thorgal, Ogotai gets shot in the back with his own plasma gun. He wasn't a real god, just a dangerously delusional and terribly powerful alien psychic, but from the characters' power level, he certainly counts. And he did have a Mayincatec civilization doing mass human sacrifices for him.
- One of the enemies of the Marvel Comics version of The Mighty Thor, Desak, wants to kill every god in the universe because of the actions of his home planet's Jerkass Gods. Gorr the God Butcher acts much like Desak, except he indulges in Cold-Blooded Torture because his home planet's Jerkass Gods didn't do anything to alleviate the Trauma Conga Line of himself and his people. Then he got hold of the weapon of an Elder God, which is essentially like a Green Lantern Ring of dark energy. Only worse. Nightmare Fuel ensues.
- Darkseid sees other gods besides his New God underlings as threats to his conquest of everything, so he kills them and takes their powers.
- The title character of Harry Kipling (Deceased) does this on a regular basis. He can do it because he's technically a god himself.
- The Authority manage to kill the Maker of Earth, a planet-sized alien being, at the stroke of midnight on January 1st 2000.
- In The DCU it happens often enough to Godlike space beings that the Guardians of the Universe call it a 1011.
- The Superior Spider-Man does this to the Master Weaver in Spider-Verse, then proceeds to try to destroy the Web of Life and Destiny in an attempt to Screw Destiny.
- Dungeon Keeper Ami is leaning towards this. Ami has discussed some plans (some even viable, apparently) for killing Metallia. It appears she may have to resort to this sooner, however, as both Crowned Death and Azzaratha, the Mighty Tyrant, are baying for her blood due to her many offenses against them and her general attitude to being a keeper in general.
- The Unraveler of Mysteries has moved in opposition to her at least once, but it seems that she is less inclined to seek vengeance against Ami, and intends to study or recruit her instead.
- The Prayer Warriors do this to every god they meet, in rather quick ways.
- In The Immortal Game, Alicorns are considered as the equivalent of deities. And King Titan ends up kicking the bucket.
- In Crucible, this (or an attempt thereof) is stated to be the only crime on the Equestrian books which carries the death penalty. Unfortunately for Twilight Sparkle, she accidentally caused Princess Celestia to fry herself nearly to death.
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- Star Trek V has earned the Fan Nick Name Star Trek: Shoot God in the Face since its climax involves going to the heart of the galaxy and meeting an omnipotent, godlike being in need of a starship, and then shooting it in the face.
- In the 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans, various rulers are trying to do this to the Olympians by destroying their temples and denying them worship. While it does weaken them, the gods are still powerful enough to inflict misery on the commonfolk, whose suffering their arrogant rulers ignore. It also doesn't do anything to weaken Hades, since he draws power from their fear of death.
- The climax of Dogma involves the protagonist finding and killing Godnote , in order to allow Her to return to Heaven and appear at the place She needs to be to stop the villain from destroying the universe.
- In Craft Sequence, the human craftsmen started a war with the gods. They managed to kill most of them.
- In His Dark Materials, this is Asriel's mission. There's also a knife which is properly called the god-destroyer.
- In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Pan is killed because of a lack of people who believe in him, which also doubled as a Green Aesop.
- From The Belgariad Belgarion of Riva has "Godslayer" as one of his official titles, and it isn't honorary.
- Also by Eddings, Sparhawk killed a god at the end of both The Elenium and The Tamuli. The gods were even aware this was a danger because Sparhawk was born Immune to Fate.
- The Big Bad of The Tamuli went for a variant on the Gods Need Prayer Badly method — he ordered his minions to kill off Aphrael's worshipers, because without them Aphrael would herself die.
- In Everworld gods can't be killed by mortal means, but they can be killed by other gods or godly weapons. Or modern weapons from our world. There's also the Eldritch Abomination Ka Anor, an alien god who eats other gods and is basically trying to genocide the whole holy race.
- In Hogfather, a Discworld novel, the plot is driven by an attempt to assassinate the Santa Claus Expy, the Hogfather, by using magic to keep children from believing in him. At one point the protagonist stops to consider that the Hogfather really is a god when you get down to it, and indeed, the story explains that he's basically the modern incarnation of an old solstice deity.
- Several gods are slain using the eponymous items in the Book of Swords series by Fred Saberhagen. In fact, once humans realize gods are not immortal, they start not believing in them, and the rest die from disbelief.
- The goal of Nicolae Carpathia's Global Community One World Unity Army at the battle of Armageddon in the Left Behind book Glorious Appearing, and also that of The Other Light at the end of the Millennium Kingdom in Kingdom Come — neither of which was achieved as God and Jesus wiped out both armies.
- The Dresden Files
- Immortal gods and Fae are a pain to kill. Even chopping off their head or grinding them into nothing won't keep them dead forever. Only two conditions are known where gods can surely be killed. First, when a plane of existence is created to permit it. Second on Halloween until the first birdsong is heard the next morning.
- In Summer Knight Harry killed the Summer Lady Aurora.
- In the novel Cold Days, Harry is given an assignment to kill an Immortal, namely Maeve, the Winter Lady. He is less than pleased with this daunting task. But Murphy is the one who ends up killing Maeve. And before that, Maeve kills Lily, the Summer Lady, with a bullet to her head. According to Bob, even THIS does not technically stick. Maeve may be dead, but this just means someone ELSE becomes the Winter Lady, and is eventually becomes, if not Maeve, something very close.
- At the climax of the first Mistborn novel, Vin kills the Lord Ruler, an immortal tyrant most of humanity regards as God though he's really just a very powerful, very intelligent human. Then at the end of the last book she offs a real god, Ruin. In this case, Vin had just ascended to godhood herself as Ruin's equal and opposite, and she was able to destroy him by sacrificing herself to do it.
- In the second book of the Inheritance Trilogy, an order of people fanatically loyal to the god Itempas attempt to kill his brother/lover/rival (it's complicated) Nahadoth.
- In Dark Heart, the gods of Caliel were once mortals who rose to power after rebelling against and overthrowing the selfish, power-hungry elder gods.
- In the Nightside series, Belle acquired her Super Speed by killing and skinning a minor Greek godling, then making boots out of his skin. Bad Penny killed Herne the Hunter for telling John Taylor information that Walker wants kept quiet. And in the short story "Razor Eddie's Big Night Out", it's revealed that the Punk God of the Straight Razor attained his divinity by killing the war-god Mithras in defense of a priest who'd been kind to him.
- In Xena: Warrior Princess, the title character gains the Power to Kill Gods in the season 5 finale, and uses it so often that she is billed as "Xena of Amphipolis, the Warrior Princess, Slayer of Gods and Defender of the Elijans."
- The entire fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer revolves around killing Glory, a seemingly unstoppable hellgod trapped in a mortal body.
- Star Trek
- Worf claims that Klingons have no gods, because they killed them centuries ago. Apparently they were "more trouble than they were worth." We later learn that this was actually a joke. The gods were really all killed almost immediately after the first two Klingons were created; this partnership is the core of the Klingon ideal of marriage.
- In the TOS episode, "Who Mourns for Adonais", an alien claiming to be the Greek god Apollo captures the Enterprise. They destroy the source of his powers and he "spreads himself upon the winds" to join his fellow gods that had passed on.
- In Stargate SG-1, a device is created that is capable of killing ascended beings. In the Ori galaxy, the Ori themselves are ascended beings who have convinced their followers that they are gods. The device is sent through a stargate to the Ori galaxy, where it goes off, destroying all of the Ori. It is SG-1's impressive tally of dead Goa'uld that starts enslaved humans and Jaffa thinking that maybe the Goa'uld aren't truly gods after all.
- In season five, Lucifer wipes out a hotelful of gods in about five minutes.
- Death claims he will reap God at the end of time.
- In "Meet the New Boss", the Winchesters try to kill Castiel, who has become an outright god.
- Done quite a few times in Doctor Who with Sufficiently Advanced Aliens.
- In "Pyramids of Mars" the 4th Doctor kills Sutekh the Destroyer, last of the Godlike Osirians who inspired the Egyptian Gods.
- The 7th Doctor could be quite good at this. "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" has him defeat the Gods of Ragnarok. In the Death Comes to Time, generally thought of as non-canon, he kills the rogue Time Lord General Tannis and seemingly dies in the process (here the Time Lords all have Reality Warper capabilities and are referred to as Gods of the Fourth).
- "Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways" has Rose do this to the God Emperor of the Daleks.
- "The Rings of Akhaten" has Clara do this to Akhaten, an Eldritch Abomination Genius Loci which feeds on stories.
- This seems partially based on the audio drama "Phobos", where the 8th Doctor kills a Godlike being living inside a wormhole that feeds on fear by showing it his fears.
- The Time Lords are basically Physical Gods so any time they die could count.
- The third act of Fireaxe's epic four hour metal album Food For The Gods centers around Satan leading an army of demons and damned in a full-on assault of Heaven with this goal. And it works! Sort of.
Mythology and Religion
- Older Than Dirt: In Egyptian Mythology, Set chopped up his brother Osiris and threw all the pieces into the Nile. His sister put him back together.
- Norse Mythology.
- Balder is killed by an arrow (or spear) through the heart shot by Hodr, but he was set up by Loki. He knew Balder's only weakness: mistletoe. In Gesta Danorum's version, Baldr dies via a sword called mistletoe.
- At Ragnarok, Odin, Thor, Loki, Heimdall, Frey, and most of the Aesir bite it at the hands of giants, trolls, Fenrir, Jormungandr, and Surtr.
- In Odinani religion, every god except for the Superior one who is the origin of all things, only exists to serve a specific purpose. One that purpose has been fulfilled they die. In this case "killing" them would be a good thing, as it means you are becoming more self sufficient.
- According to The Bible, the Pharisees, the Jews, and Pontius Pilate all committed this when they crucified Jesus Christ in 33 A.D.. From the same source, this act was subverted three days after its commission.
- In Japanese Mythology, the goddess Izanami was killed by giving birth to a god of fire. Her husband, Izanagi, killed the child Kagutsuchi out of grief. After her death, Izanami fell into the underworld and became a zombie goddess. The Kojiki also has cases where mythical Japanese emperors fought and killed the 'gods of the earth', probably allusion to the pacification of rival tribes. However, the emperors themselves were descended from Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess of the Heaven, so these are probably cases of takes one to kill one.
- In Greek Mythology, the Ophiotaurus was said to grant the power to defeat the gods to anyone who burned its entrails. The Titans managed to kill it but Zeus sent an eagle to snatch its entrails before they could be burned.
- In Hawaiian Mythology, the prophet Lanikaula defeated and killed the Pahulu gods of sorcery that used to dwell on the island of Moloka'i.
- Exalted is full of exaggeration, and this trope is no exception. You can trivially kill the vast majority of gods right out of chargen. And not only you can kill typical day-to-day house-spirit gods, you can also kill the Incarnae, who are the big bosses of the gods. And ultimately you can kill the Primordials, who are the gods of the gods. In fact, that last one was the very reason why the Exalted were created.
- For an RPG based on Gnosticism, this trope is averted in KULT. But only because God Is Dead.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- 1st Edition
- Under the rules (Deities and Demigods Cyclopedia) it was possible to kill deities, which led to bizarre results. One example was a letter to Dragon magazine in which a PC killed the Norse Mythology god Thor by pushing him off the top of a wall and getting Thor's magical hammer Mjolnir as booty.
- Module Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits. A high level PC group could kill Lolth, the Demon Queen of Spiders, who was a lesser deity under the rules. If they did so her spider ship would cease to exist, but they would be saved and returned to the Prime Material Plane by their deities.
- 2nd Edition
- Legends and Lore supplement. Deities could only be killed by a more powerful deity or any deity using an artifact. Mortals could never kill a deity. Deities sometimes created avatars (lesser versions of themselves) to act on the Prime Material Plane. Avatars could be destroyed by mortals.
- In the Planescape setting, the Lady of Pain slew Aoskar, Greater God of Portals. She then killed everyone who worshipped him, razed his temple and destroyed all written lore about him and mazed anyone who thereafter joined his faith, leaving only one priest alive (perhaps as a reminder). The priest? Was one of her own servants who turned from her to worship Aoskar, which is what kicked off her deicidal fit. She bars all gods from Sigil now, though Aoskar was really the only exception in the past anyway.
- Killing gods were a fairly trivial task (although it's rarely easy) in 3.5e. 4E has a few deities statted up (Bahamut, Tiamat, Torog, Lolth at least), and usually require you meet some special condition to permanently beat them down (either affecting them in some way that violates their portfolio, using something against their iconic material, or getting a bunch of Primordials/Demon Lords and having them gang up on them).
- In Magic: The Gathering, It is possible to deal with the indestructable gods of Theros by exiling them in one way or another.
- In a more flavorful example, Deicide is a card in Journey into Nyx that exiles an enchantment, where if you choose to exile an opponent's god, all other copies of that god in your opponent's hand, deck, and graveyard also get exiled.
- Storywise, this is exactly what Elspeth does to the recently ascended Xenagos.
- In Warhammer 40,000, when Slaanesh was born, he made straight for the Eldar pantheon and easily slaughtered all of them save for three. Isha, the goddess of healing, was saved by Nurgle (although given he's a Chaos god of disease who is physically repulsive in the worst possible way, madly in love with her and shows his affection by infecting her with disease, her current situation is arguably worse than death), Cegorach got away, and Khaine tried to fight him, got his ass kicked and literally shattered into pieces, and now survives as a fragment in the heart of every one of the Eldar's craftworlds. Just a quick aside on the Isha/Nurgle thing. Yes, Nurgle does the whole 'infection' thing with Isha...but Isha in return does the whole 'curing' thing (which Nurgle does allow, of sorts).
- It's actually possible to do this in Call of Cthulhu, but it's very difficult to do so. One method involves summoning the God without his consent, which pisses it off but temporarily weakens it enough to be killed by extreme means. Case in point: Old Man Henderson summoning Hastur (which was possible because Henderson was his greatest enemy at the time) and then detonating "enough explosives wired to make Michael Bay blush".
- Attempted twice in Bob and George with the Author, who is essentially the God of the comic's universe. At the end of the first game storyline Dr Wily captures and seemingly kills the Author, erasing the comic from existence. It was quickly established the Author was only injured and recovered (at the time this was done because the Mega Man strips were meant to be filler and the Author did intend to stop them, but then wound up going back to them and they became the main story). In the final storyline, Bob attempts the same plan but takes it Up to Eleven by arranging for the Author to get killed in three time periods, ensuring his destruction. When George points out that Wily already tried killing the Author and failed, the Shadowy Author reminds him that since it's already known the comic is coming to an end there's no guarantee Bob's plan will fail this time (it does, but the point is still valid).
- In Penny Arcade Tycho recommends killing the gods of Gabe's ludicrously powerful Dungeons & Dragons group in an attempt to find something to frighten them. Unfortunately...
Gabe: They killed their gods.
Tycho: Why would they do that?
Gabe: To ingest their godseeds.
- A major plot point in Digger, though it doesn't come up until late into the comic's run. Interestingly, it's actually a Mercy Kill; the god in question is not the Big Bad, but its victim and host.
- Sluggy Freelance: The talking sword Chaz can kill just about anything when powered by innocent blood. It claims it could easily kill the Demon King, a God of Evil. We don't get to see this happen, but less direct contact with Chaz does scar the Demon King.
- In Sinfest, Lil' E tries this.
- Tower of God: Enryu killed the Guardian of the 43rd Floor, forever banishing the idea that the Guardians were immortal.
- Twilight Sparkle's goal for Princess Celestia in Friendship is Betrayal. Already done with Luna.
- In "Useless Dumb F***s redo" William pulls depth in words of the possibility of being a god who has killed a beast or that he his a beast who killed god only to have actually killed one.
- In Unsounded the Ssaelit religion agrees that the world was created by the Gefendur gods, but claims that when Ssael was killed he resisted the normal reincarnation mechanisms, traveled through the khert to find the Gefendur gods, and slew them. Ssael is considered the one god, having ascended to their former position.
- This article from The Onion: Nasa Completes 52-Year Mission to Find, Kill God.
- Tales of MU gives us Gillian "Gottmorder" Callahan.
Imperial Agent: The charges against you include three counts of attempted deicide...
Callahan: One of those succeeded.
Imperial Agent: We don't have a law that covers successful deicide.
- Perhaps the ultimate example would be The Salvation War series. The first story has humanity go to war with Hell and win so hard that it is later referred to as the Curbstomp War. Then we kill Satan with cruise missiles. The next story, we go to war with Heaven. The only reason that we don't personally kill God there... well... someone beat us to it.
- In the SCP Foundation universe, the Global Occult Coalition (an organization devoted to destroying the supernatural) traces its origin, in part, from a group of German occultists that supposedly killed the biblical God. (The article's more of a Feghoot actually.)
- From Atop the Fourth Wall, Linkara is against the entity which is Missingno, whom is described as an elder God. Linkara acknowledges that conventional combat does not work and only by using a Hannibal Lecture is he able to defeat the entity.
- In the God of War skit of How It Should Have Ended, Kratos decides to move onto other gods after destroying the Greek Pantheon. He starts with Thor and Anubis and has a list that includes L. Ron Hubbard, Raiden and even Cthulhu. He draws the line at Morgan Freeman though.
- The Wanderer's Library has the entry Ascendor: Storming the Gates Tour 2014, which describes a band so metal that they kill a god at each concert they perform.
- The ultimate goal of Twitch Plays Pokémon Crystal was to fight and defeat Lord Helix and his followers. On the way there AJ and his team has casually downed Suicune, the Dome, and a fake Helix.
- Admiral Zhao in Avatar: The Last Airbender declares his ultimate goal to be the death of the Moon Spirit. He does succeed in this, but the Moon Spirit is quickly replaced/resurrected.
- The Legend of Korra:
- Raava and Vaatu fight to the death every ten thousand years, though obviously it isn't permanent. Unalaq brutally slaughters Raava, while Korra later kills Vaatu via purification.
- Attempted at the end of Book 3. Zaheer and the Red Lotus restrain and poison Korra in order to force her into the Avatar State and kill her, ending the Avatar Cycle. Korra manages to resist going into the Avatar State for some time, but once she does, breaks her chains and lays a feral beatdown on Zaheer until the poison finally does its work, only being saved at the last minute by Suyin metal-bending the metallic poison out.
- In some Transformers continuities, planet Cybertron is either destroyed or rendered uninhabitable because of a war between the Autobots and Decepticons. Keep in mind that Cybertron is, in some adaptations, their god Primus in disguise...
- This happens completely by accident and is Played for Laughs in Tripping the Rift. Chode travels to the beginning of time to find out the true origin of the universe and unwittingly runs over God with his spaceship. He fixes it at the end of the episode, though.