Someone or something that lives for a long time. This often varies from a "mere" 150 years of life to several thousand, although it's not unheard of for them to live longer than that. This is usually achieved either through personal enhancement or naturally being long-lived, in which case they often belong to a species or race that's long lived as well. Humanity is often portrayed as having a low-end version of this in Sci-Fi works, usually because We Will Have Perfect Health in the Future. This actually makes some amount of sense, considering this is Truth in Television if we compare our normal lifespans to humans of the past. Wizards often benefit from this. Most Elves have this as well, along with Dwarves to a lesser extent. In fact, just about every supernatural creature exhibits this if they're not outright immortal. See Really 700 Years Old, for when these characters look younger than their age. On the other hand, if they still keep getting older-looking and more decrepit as they age past "normal old age" and into "Methuselah is jealous", they may have Age Without Youth. Also compare The Ageless, for when the character in question will live forever. When adding examples, please remember that the character is only long lived and not immortal.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- The Methuselah/vampires (300+ years) and Kresnik (haven't aged in over a millennium) on Trinity Blood.
- Shinigami in Death Note can increase their lifespan indefinitely by using their notes to kill humans. The king of the Shinigami has been around so long that he is known simply as The Old Man by other Shinigami.
- The Uzumaki clan in Naruto was well known for this, among other things.
- Youkai, and even Hanyou, often have multi-century lifespans in Japanese stories. Inuyasha, for example, was 150 when he was sealed, and looked like a teenager. Nurarihyon is over 400.
- In Dragon Ball Z, there are several examples, most of which are species-specific.
- First, there's Muten Roshi, who while having claimed to have drunk some sacred water that granted immortality, still seems to age like a normal human, albeit a very powerful one.
- Then there's Kami, who as a child was sent to Earth to escape a cataclysm on his home planet. That was at least 500 years before the events of Dragonball Z, during which he's not exactly spry, but he's still strong compared to normal non-fighters.
- Frieza (and the rest of his species) are suspected to be naturally long-lived, given that Frieza himself shows no signs of having aged between the Bardock Special and his fight with Goku on Namek. Doing the math shows that he is at least 70 years old by the latter.
- In Sailor Moon, it's said that the people from both the Silver Millennium and Crystal Tokyo eras have a natural lifespan of 1000 years, thanks to the energy of the Legendary Silver Crystal.
- Witches in Ojamajo Doremi have much longer lifespans than humans do; a few (like the Big Bad) are over 1000 years old.
- The Pillar Men of Jojos Bizarre Adventure had lifespans far exceeding those of humans. The four seen in the series are thousands of years old, though it's implied this is due to spending long periods of time hibernating and the enhancements the Stone Mask made to their already superhuman physiology.
- Notably, Superman is understood to be, if not immortal, then very, very long lived.
- He does age though, if at a much slower rate. Both in Batman Beyond, and in Final Crisis he was shown to be about middle aged compared to the elderly Batman or Lois Lane, when the 3 are usually depicted to be the same age usually.
- Anna Hark in the series Planetary estimated her lifespan to reach 300 years.
- The X-Men comics have Apocalypse, who has been alive since ancient Egypt. No one knows why he's lived so long exactly, but one theory is that he has a very long life span. (He's a mutant, thought to be the first, but he was eventually upgraded by future/alien technology on top of that. Which of his powers were inborn and which were the enhancements change Depending on the Writer.)
- Also from X-Men, Wolverine, due to his Healing Factor. He's more than 120 years old.
- However he does age (he's been shown in distant futures as elderly, long after most of his usual companions have died), and its been mentioned his Healing Factor WILL eventually give out on him. He seems to physically age about a decade for every half century or so, leaving him at about mid 30s after being alive for 120 or so hears.
- In The Transformers IDW, Cybertronians have such long natural lifespans that most believed that they could not die of old age. Turns out they can: once they get old enough they undergo something called "cybernecrosis", causing them to eventually shut down for good. It takes about a billion years or so for this to happen.
- Lezaford in The Tainted Grimoire is at least 300 years old.
- Celestia and Luna in Diaries of a Madman have very long lifespans due to their ageing being slowed down by the Elements of Harmony, but they're certainly not immortal. Navarone also gains this after his Emergency Transformation, being expected to live at least 1000 years, or longer if he wishes.
- Star Wars: Yoda. When 900 years old you reach, look as good, you will not.
- Crush from Finding Nemo is a surf talkin' turtle dude, but he's 150 years old.
- In Thor: The Dark World, Loki comments that the average lifespan of an Asgardian is about 5,000 years. Interestingly, in the comic, the Asgardians are one of the races of gods that are not immortal (unlike the Olympians) and do age, albeit very slowly.
- In Mikhail Akhmanov's Arrivals from the Dark, several alien races routinely live for centuries, if not millennia. The Bino Faata, the first aliens officially encountered by humans, have their highest caste potentially live for several millennia due to genetic engineering. In contrast, the lower castes are engineered to only live for a few years. The Lo'ona Aeo are also extremely long-lived, which also means they perceive time differently. For example, in a later novel, a Lo'ona Aeo talks about a character's death several decades ago as if it were yesterday. It's unclear how long the Metamorphs can potentially live, but the Exile has been on Earth since the 13th century, and reappears in a book taking place in the fourth millennium, looking no worse for wear. Some descendants of Paul Richard Corcoran, whose biological father is a Faata, are known to have lived for at least 150 years.
- In Isaac Asimov's Robot Trilogy, Spacers (humans who live on one of the 50 colony worlds) regularly live for over 300 Earth years. They measure their lives in decades instead of years.
- In Vladimir Vasilyev's The Big Kiev Technician, pretty much all non-human races routinely live for at least several centuries. Elves can easily live for a few millennia. The novel also reveals that there is a small number of humans called Longers whose lifespan is also measured in centuries. Unfortunately, a large community of them is stated to have been discovered in Big New York and wiped out by the jealous humans.
- In The Big One universe, a number of the characters have extended lifetimes, some reaching several millenia. They are not immortal and can be killed or die of disease (the Great Influenza of 1919 wreaked havoc on their ranks). Some are prominent in history (Parmenio, Nell Gwynne, Shakespeare to name a few) but most are normal people trying to cope with the problems caused by unexpected longevity.
- In Dragon Bones, dwarves live longer than humans. They are apparently not immortal, but do have quite a long lifespan. The same might be true with dragons, but as no one has seen a dragon for a long time, this is not clear.
- In Gor, thanks to Stabilization Serums, people are almost completely disease free and don't age, so hypothetically they can live forever, unless they're killed.
- Members of the "Howard Families" in Robert A. Heinlein's stories are very long-lived, having been established by a foundation in the name of a rich young man who died of old age. Lazarus Long is long-lived even amongst his fellow long-lifers: at least 2,379 years. Non-Howards are also long lived (but not as long as the Howards).
- In the Miles Vorkosigan saga, Betans and Cetagandans live about double the life of the average person today due to the level of technology and removal of harmful genes at birth.
- The Honor Harrington series has Prolong, which is a genetic engineering process that extends human life to several centuries.
- The Numenoreans in The Lord of the Rings are said to commonly live thrice as long as the longest-lived non-Dunedainic humans, while the kings of the house of Elros commonly reached 400. Dwarves also have naturally long lifespans, generally in the 200-275 year range. Hobbits aren't that long lived, but still live about half again as long as regular humans. The lifespan of the orcs is unclear, but hinted in some places to be extremely long- like their Elven cousins, they may in fact be The Ageless.
- Fairies and all sub-species in Artemis Fowl are implied to live for a few hundred years, or at least long enough for 'decade' to roughly equal 'year' when scaled to human life-span.
- In Harry Potter, it is implied that Wizards live longer then Muggles, though how much longer is unclear.
- Ditto the wizards in The Dresden Files. This is explained in one of the books with magic making their bodies capable of perfect recoveries (that is, any wound or broken bone they receive will heal completely over time, with no nasty lasting side effects whatsoever), which extends to a near-complete halt of aging processes, as well.
- In The Kane Chronicles, the head magician of the House of Life is over 2,000 years old, though no one else can can live as long as him because the spell was lost when Egypt fell as Kingdom to the Romans.
- The Dragaerans in Dragaera are considered to be adolescents until they reach about 100.
- The Souls from The Host. Other alien species are implied to be this as the Souls claim that humans have some of the shortest life cycles in the Universe.
- The two witches from The Chronicles of Narnia are very long-lived. The White Witch was over 1,000 years old while the Green Witch was also very old, possibly over 1,000 as well.
- In the Wild Cards series, the alien Takisians are essentially Human Aliens, only much longer-lived. Commoners live for three to four centuries, possibly due to their race's advanced biotechnology and medicine. The eugenically-bred Psi Lords can live for thousands of years. However, among the aristocracy assassination is the number one cause of death, with old age trailing a distant second. Those Psi Lords who do survive to old age command great respect. On Earth, some Ace's appear to be unaging, but not enough time has passed since the release of the Wild Card Virus to really know for sure.
Live Action TV
- Star Trek. Vulcans, being Space Elves, have lifespans that are shown to be longer than that of humans. Spock, for example, has aged a lot less than McCoy during the time between Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- Star Trek: The Original Series
- "Miri". Due to the effect of a life-prolonging virus the children are three hundred years old.
- In "Requiem for Methuselah" Flint has lived for six thousand years.
- In "Plato's Stepchildren", the Platonians had greatly-enhanced lifespans.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Guinan and her species, the El Auriens, live for centuries. Guinan herself first visited Earth during the late 19th Century, and later worked on board the Enterprise in the 24th Century. She looked exactly the same.
- In the Trek Verse, humans are this. Advances in medical science make Admiral McCoy positively ancient about a century after having been Dr. McCoy in the original series, but clearly not too ancient to still be active. Memory Alpha, the Star Trek Wiki, has the stardates and other clues worked out to a date of 2227 for McCoy's birth and 2364 for his cameo in TNG's premiere, making him not too bad-looking for a man of 147. (If we wanna go with strict screen canon, it's about 80 years between the TOS and TNG portions of Generations.) Alien characters are much sprier, with only 20-30 years of visible aging between eras (basically, the actors' real-life aging) it is still impressive for any human to have lived in the era of both the Enterprise-A and Enterprise-D without Time Travel being involved.
- Star Trek: The Original Series
- Zhaan in Farscape is over 800 cycles old (a cycle being equivalent to one Earth year). Some aliens are over 100 cycles old. The Hynerian emperor spent over 100 cycles in prison.
- In Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, the Ancient may be 700 years old, and he certainly looks it.
- The Doctor may look young in his recent regenerations, but he is actually over a thousand years old by Eleven. He was 900 in the earliest days of the revived series; seemed to be rounding off at the time, but was 903 by series four. By now he's well into the four digits, due to Eleven having spent many years offscreen avoiding his apparent Final Death, then some more temporarily retired after losing the Ponds, then some more at Christmas. However, this is disputed by fans - in the past he'd given wildly different ages in the past (also going up about a year per year of screentime and thus feeling a bit more "real" than the one-off wild numbers) and many feel he passed the four-digit mark sometime around the Tom Baker years. Word of God says he's probably a lot older and lost track; his life has taken place out of order and been subject to alterations, to the point that even he cannot know. Nine seemed to like the number 900 and just started counting everything from there. This has recently gotten onscreen acknowledgement: He once mentioned his age and then said "unless I'm lying. I'm so old I don't even know if I'm lying about my age or not!" However, he is definitely not immortal. An individual incarnation of a Time Lord can last well over a thousand years but will eventually decay to the point of needing to regenerate, and each Time Lord only has thirteen lives. One who stays out of danger could probably live ten or twenty thousand years or more, but will eventually die.
- Although there are debates about this. The High Council can, through means unspecified, grant a Time Lord at least one more cycle of regenerations. Their founder Rassilon is supposedly immortal, capable of regenerating an unlimited number of times. However, Rassilon is an Emperor Scientist with a A God Am I complex who is into Abusing the Kardashev Scale for Fun and Profit. Consequently he is not into sharing all of his secrets with his fellow Time Lords.
- The Sisterhood of Karn, who are apparently also Gallifreyans, guard the "Sacred Flame", a natural phenomenon on their planet that can grant immortality. They have also perfected control of the regeneration process, to the extent that they can provide specialized elixirs that will ensure that a Time Lord's next regeneration will produce specific traits.
- At the end of the episode introducing him, the Twelfth Doctor states that he's over two thousand years old, after spending 900 years on Trenzalore as Eleven, constantly fighting off invasions.
- In Stargate SG-1, the Jaffa can live for 150-200 years, having been engineered from Transplanted Humans to carry Goa'uld symbiotes until maturation. In practice, few of them live that long. Either their symbiote matures and a replacement can't be found in time (Jaffa don't have a working immune system with the symbiote acting as replacement), or they are killed in battle. The two oldest Jaffa shown are Teal'c and Master Bra'tac (Teal'c mentor). Both lose their symbiotes in an ambush but survive thanks to a drug called tretonin that must be taken daily to keep their immune system active. Teal'c further ages many decades during the Grand Finale and shows grey hair. However, he is as strong as ever and is able to hold his own in a Stargate Atlantis crossover episode in an hour-long slugfest with Ronon Dex.
Bra'tac: I feel alive Teal'c, like a young man of 80.
- The Goa'uld themselves can, potentially, live for millennia, thanks to their natural regenerative properties (when inside a host body) and their liberal use of sarcophagi. They also tend to keep the same host (so their subjects recognize them), so the host remains alive as well (albeit in an And I Must Scream state). As evidenced by Lord Yu, though, even the sarcophagi have limits.
- The Ohne/Oannes are Fish People whose natural lifespan is around 5000 years. According to the fluff, they have managed to throw off Goa'uld oppression and took back their homeworld, using their "memory retrieval" ability to get Goa'uld secrets from their Jaffa soldiers (which usually killed the subjects). Only one is even seen on the show, though, but anyone traveling to the planet is usually hypnotized to remember it as a lava-filled hellhole and actively resists further attempts to travel there. Only one Ohne has ever been seen outside their home planet, having traveled to Earth long ago to try to help the human slaves there. Ufortunately, she was killed by the Goa'uld who had attempted to enslave her people. Presumably, he didn't bother to tell the other Goa'uld about this race, as his own attempt to subjugate them cost him a Ha'tak and the entire invasion force, and the truth could be seen as weakness by the other Goa'uld.
Mythology and Religion
- Methuselah, according to The Bible, lived 969 years. Adam himself died aged 930. In fact, most of antediluvian humanity lived for many centuries, and only after the Flood did the life spans begin rapidly decreasing.
- Ars Magica: Magi can easily live longer due to magical longevity rituals. Certain other people, as well as supernatural beings, can also achieve this.
- Warhammer 40,000: Although actually living long enough to die a natural death is a rarity in the 40K universe, long lifespans are actually normal:
- The natural lifespan of an Eldar is thousands of years.
- Dark Eldar can potentially live even longer than their non-corrupted cousins as long as they can keep their souls replenished or can be resurrected by a haemonculus. Asdrubael Vect claims to have been a child at the time of the Fall of the Eldar, which would make him more than 10,000 years old.
- Space Marines can live for several hundred years. Dante, the current Chapter Master of the Blood Angels, is 1100 years old, the oldest Space Marine not in a Dreadnought.
- The Space Marines encased within Dreadnoughts are often thousands of Terran years old, although they do spend a lot of time in suspended animation when not needed. A notable, venerable Dreadnought named Bjorn the Fell-Handed is no less than 10,000 standard Terran years old.
- Humans can live for well over a hundred years or more thanks to juvenat treatments.
- The titular Exalted have this as well. The Solar Exalted can live for over 5,000 years, give or take a few decades for their mortal life (it came as quite a shock when one of them died of old age; they'd assumed they were immortal before that) while most Lunars live for 3-5,000. All Sidereals are fated to die at the age of 5,000 (a point of concern for the oldest and most powerful Sidereal, Chejop Kejak, who's 4,995 years old). The weaker Dragon-Blooded can only live for a few hundred years or so - the Scarlet Empress was over 700 when she disappeared and was considered long-lived by Dragon-Blood standards.
- The aging rate is different as well - their aging will freeze when they Exalt and won't resume until they near the end of their lifespan. Meaning that if you're facing an Exalt who looks like an old man, either they Exalted late in life or they are so incredibly ancient that they've started aging again. And since Exalts only get more powerful as they get older... pray it's the former.
- There are a lot of races in Dungeons & Dragons that live a long time, but the stand-out is probably dragons in editions where they aren't just immortal, living for 1,200 years before ceasing to grow, and then enduring without degradation for at the very least several centuries (one book indicated it's a function of Charisma and type, so the shortest life for a dragon that isn't weaker in personality than the norm for their breed is the White's 2,100 year life-span, at a 'mere' 900 years after reaching Great Wyrm status). Elves, as a comparison, tend to have (absent magical enhancing, but dragons can get their claws on that kind of thing as well) life-spans up to around 750 or so.
- Basically all Youkai in Touhou have a lifespan significantly longer than that of a human's. It's unclear exactly how long, though there's been some that are known to be over one thousand. A few, like magicians and vampires, don't age at all.
- Asari and Krogan live up to a thousand years in the Mass Effect universe. In particular, Wrex is a 1000-year-old Krogan warlord.
- Humans and Turians live to 150 years of age on average, while Drell can reach 80. Salarians and Vorcha invert this trope however, as they rarely live past 40 and 20 years old, respectively.
- Genetically engineered humans such as Miranda are said to be able to fifty percent longer than normal, pushing their potential lifespan up to 225. Similarly, while it is never directly confirmed, it's possible that due to the numerous cybernetic implants enhancing and maintaining their vital functions, Shepard's own lifespan might have also been increased as a result.
- There are several races in the Warcraft Expanded Universe whose lifespans are unknown aside from "much longer than humans." Suffice to say that there are draenei still living who still remember getting the hell outta Argus...twenty-five thousand years ago.
- Final Fantasy VII: Bugenhagen mentions his 130th birthday is coming up when Cloud and friends meet him. Red XIII's tribe is stated to live even longer than that—as shown by Nanaki himself being alive and well 500 years later.
- Final Fantasy V: Sage Guido reveals he's hundreds of years old while fighting Exdeath. Then again, he is a tortoise.
- The Lemurians from Golden Sun live much longer than other people thanks to the Lemurian Draught they drink. One child in their village, who appears to be about 12, casually remarks that he will be a child for at least another 20 years.
- The D'ni people in the Myst series typically live well into their second century, with some making it as long as 350 years. Offspring of D'ni with humans get some of that longevity: Atrus himself lived to at least 150.
- Dragons in Fire Emblem can live for thousands of years, and are even described as "almost immortal" in Fire Emblem Elibe. Half-dragons can also live a very long time, though not quite the extremes of pureblooded dragons. In Fire Emblem Tellius, the dragon tribe is the longest lived of all Laguz, with herons coming in second. Other tribes live for at least two or three centuries. Branded only avoid living quite as long as their Laguz ancestors because they age as humans for the first sixteen years.
- Elves in Tales of Phantasia, Tales of Symphonia, and their related spin-offs live for a thousand years. Half-elves live for the same length of time. It's a great source of angst for Genis Sage and Arche Klein that they'll out-live their friends for such a long period of time. Seemingly averted for quarter-elves and even more distant elven descendants.
- The Minions of Overlord do apparently age, since an elderly minion named Gnarl acts as the Overlord's advisor. However, no one knows the actual lifespan of a Minion, since no Minion has ever died of old age. Gnarl for one is old enough to remember the long extinct dragons.
- Elves in Dragon Age may have lost their fabled immortality, but the writers have stated that they still have very long natural lifespans that can reach triple digits. On the other hand, other writers have stated that all of the races of Thedas have roughly equivalent lifespans, so it's not entirely clear.
- The Varl of The Banner Saga live for hundreds of years, and nobody knows exactly what their natural lifespan is, mostly because they're more likely to fall in battle before they die of old age. Ubin is trying to live as long as possible to find out.
- Elves in Ears for Elves live into their 900s, with adulthood being between 200 and 700 (explained here). They don't act or look old when they're officially elders, either.
- In Dominic Deegan Dominic and Luna meet an elf who is long-lived even by his species' standards due to magical Super Soldier augmentations he received from the ancient empire that died out thousands of years ago.
- Quite a few Creatures in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures have projected lifespans that can be measured in centuries. That said, most people in Furrae, Creature and Being alike, end up dying long before their time. Furrae is a dangerous world that offers plenty of ways to kill you besides old age.
- King Kashekhim Nedakh of Atlantis, from Disney's Atlantis The Lost Empire, is actually tens of thousands of years old, but dies somewhere in the year 1914, because that's when his film's events take place.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Avatars live significantly longer than regular humans. Avatar Kyoshi lived over 200 years. It's rumored to have something to do with their chi. Aang however only lives about 66 years or so due to the stress put on his body by a century as a Human Popsicle. Even then, he technically died at the age of 166. Avatar Roku however died at age 70, though it wasn't because of natural causes.
- Invader Zim: Word of God states that Irkens live a long time, and that Zim is older than anyone alive today, making him at least 120.
- Princess Celestia and Princess Luna from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic are well over 1000 years old. We don't even know how old - they were both ruling the kingdom and the skies when Luna became Nightmare Moon and was sealed a thousand years ago. The very first flag of Equestria has them on it. However, there's no word on whether they're truly immortal or just very long-lived. According to The Journal of the Two Sisters, they aren't immortal. Natural alicorns like them just have very long lifespans.
- Granny Smith is also said to have been around at the beginning of Ponyville, making her at least in the triple digits. She knew the great-grandfather of a present-day character when she looked the age of the Mane 6. However, she definitely looks her age. Her toy even comes with a walker with tennis balls on the leg (though she doesn't use it in the show and a pony would have a hard time using one anyway...) Further confusing the issue is not knowing how long a year is in Equestria, or how long MLP characters live. Still... she's as old as the city, and that's impressive. The royal sisters were as they are now, or at least (as proven by the flag) already in charge of the sun and moon and a big enough deal to put on your flag, when the country was founded, and that's enough to get people swearing by your name.
- People in the 31st century as depicted in Futurama are very long lived. The prime example of this is Professor Farnsworth who is 173 in the final season and only appears to be about 90 or so. Not only that, but his parents were shown to be alive (albeit, in stasis) in a recent episode. Interestingly, Mom is often implied to be about the same age as the professor, and was able to successfully bare three children "thirty odd years" before the year 3008, implying female fertility lasts much, much longer than it does today. Nibblonians like Nibbler are also very long-lived. This is why Nibbler was able to trap Fry in a cryogenics tube and still be around 1000 years later. When denying Fry's accusation that he used Time Travel (claiming that the Nibblonians for all their power and knowledge lack that ability) he states that his people have very long lifespans.
- In Aqua Teen Hunger Force "Super Computer", Caveman Oog found the Super Computer Frylock invented when it accidentally went back in time 300 million years. The computer not only boosted Oog's intelligence, it also helped him find a way to extend his lifespan. This is how he is able to show up at Frylock's house to complain about the computer's lack of games.
- Centenarians and supercentenarians, people who live to be (respectively) 100 and 110 years old.
- Jeanne Calment, who currently holds the world record for oldest person of all time, at 122 years and 164 days old.
- Some animals are this, including parrots, which can live up to 100 years, and turtles/tortoises, which have been known to live over 200 years.
- Some bats can live for up to 20 to 30 years, which is exceptionally long compared to a rodent of a similar size, which may only live 2-3.
- Another contender for longest lived animal is the Bowhead Whale. One individual was found with a wooden harpoon dating back 200 years embedded in its body.
- Tube worms of the genus Lamellibrachia: They live stable lives around cold-seeps (strange brine pools) deep in the ocean. They can live for over 250 years!
- The oldest non-colonial animal found was Quahog clam, nicknamed "Ming" since it was first thought to be 405 years old (old as the Ming Dynasty). Another test was done afterward, and it was found out to actually be 507 years old.
- Animals have nothing on plants. Methuselah (a bristlecone pine tree in eastern California) is over 4800 years old. Pando is an entire forest of aspen in Colorado found to be one continuous organism that has been putting up shoots for about 80,000 years.