->''"Harry... you must realize that if you choose this man as your teacher and your friend, your first mentor, then one way or another you will lose him, and the manner in which you lose him may or may not allow you to ever get him back."''
-->--'''[[GenreSavvy Dumbledore]]''', ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'', chapter 20

Being the {{Mentor|s}} is never an easy job. Fighting the BigBad yourself and stopping TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt would be easy -- in fact, you've probably [[RetiredBadass been there, done that]]. But, no, now you have to take this NaiveNewcomer under your wing and teach them the ropes of herodom.

If you don't have to convince TheChosenOne who [[IJustWantToBeNormal just wants to be normal]] to grow a spine and accept the CallToAdventure, you have to convince your [[JumpedAtTheCall blindly excited and dangerously eager young pupil]] that YouAreNotReady to learn the DangerousForbiddenTechnique. When you try to protect TheHero from the AwfulTruth, you end up facing their RageAgainstTheMentor. You have to maintain an ongoing conspiracy to keep TheHero LockedOutOfTheLoop. [[DeceasedParentsAreTheBest If they're an orphan,]] you have to find them a set of MuggleFosterParents while keeping [[SocialServicesDoesNotExist social services in the dark]]. You have to endure accusations of insanity when you're trying to teach your charge that YourEyesCanDeceiveYou, give them advice on how to tell a [[LoveInterests love interest]] "ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies," and [[TheWatcher keep a close eye on them 24/7]].

And what is your reward for all this patience and effort?

[[ThePlotReaper You die.]]

Yes, there is a 90-100% chance that the CoolOldGuy who has stood by TheHero's side through thick and thin since the first episode/chapter/installment [[FriendlyTarget gets offed]] before the climax of the story. He might get an ObiWanMoment if he's lucky. He's just that cool: TooCoolToLive. It's necessary for TheHero's development -- can they rise to the occasion and save the day without their teacher holding their hand? Are they ready to accept the torch?

If the student is lucky, their Mentor will stick around as TheObiWan or a SpiritAdvisor. Either way, expect them to retreat into a HeroicBSOD for awhile, possibly mumbling "ItsAllMyFault," before the UnstoppableRage kicks in and the villain responsible pays. They needn't dwell on it too long, though; it was probably [[MyDeathIsJustTheBeginning all part of the plan]].

This is one of the hardest deaths for an audience [[HesJustHiding to accept]] but ironically, one of the types [[KilledOffForReal most likely to stick]] even if coming BackFromTheDead has been done before. An alternate plot involves the Missing Mentor, whose removal from the story (albeit alive and well -- we can assume) still prompts TheHero to take on his greater responsibility.

Compare/contrast DeadSidekick. Maybe the result of OpposedMentors. Not all mentors fall into this, of course; a great number, if not most, of those that don't fall to the hazards of the occupation eventually turn out to have been a BrokenPedestal; then the inevitable death is either a particularly emotionally charged generic hero-kills-villain or RedemptionEqualsDeath instead.

'''Since this is a DeathTrope, expect plenty of spoilers.'''

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime]]
* ''SoulEater'' has [[spoiler:Lord Death]] as of chapter 110.
* Daitokouji-sensei of ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'' stuck around as a SpiritAdvisor. He actually proved to be more trustworthy ''after'' his death, since he was a DoubleAgent while he was still alive.
* One of the best-known examples, Roy Focker in ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'' --Hikaru's "sempai" and leader of the elite Skull Squadron aboard the titular ship.
** And in one of the sequels, ''Macross'' ''[[spoiler:[[MacrossFrontier Frontier]]]]'', Focker's death is directly referenced when the current Skull Squadron leader, [[spoiler: Ozma Lee]], all but telegraphs his death all throughout the episode, going as far as the "pineapple salad" (in this case, [[spoiler: pineapple cake]]) that spelled doomed for his predecessor, as well as similar shots and camera angles. [[spoiler: He was rushed to the hospital and survived, and the other characters [[LampshadeHanging acknowledge how dramatic it would have been if he had died]]]] (almost verging on BreakingTheFourthWall.) [[spoiler: Then this trope hits the [[BigBrotherMentor other mentor]] [[HeroicSacrifice instead...]]]]
* This trope is quite frequent in HumongousMecha Anime. Thus:
** ''Anime/MazingerZ'': Dr. Kabuto. He got murdered by [[BigBad his rival's]] [[TheDragon henchmen]] shortly after completing the titular robot and handing it over to his grandson.
** ''Anime/GreatMazinger'': In the sequel to MazingerZ, Kenzo Kabuto [[spoiler:committed a HeroicSacrifice in the last episode]] to save [[TheHero his adoptive son]].
** ''Manga/GiantRobo The Animation'': Daisuke and his father. [[spoiler:And several members on friendly terms with Daisuke in the IPO starting with Taisou and ending with Ginrei before the end of the series.]]
** ''Anime/KotetsuJeeg'': It happened twice [[spoiler:with the same person.]] Professor Shiba got murdered in the first episode. However [[GenreSavvy he got the foresight]] to make a backup of his personality in a computer in order to help and guide his son [[TheHero Hiroshi]] [[spoiler:and then it commited a HeroicSacrifice]].
** ''Anime/CombattlerV'': Professor Nanbara. He built the HumongousMecha was the last hope for the humankind, [[FiveManBand recruited four young teens and his granddaughter]], taught them to pilot it, selected his sucessor... and shortly after he died.
** ''Anime/PanzerWorldGalient'': Asbeth became [[TheHero Jordy's]] surrogate grandfather and mentor, taking care of him and training him since he was a newborn. He [[spoiler:died trying to kill the BigBad]] to fulfill a prophecy that would ensure Jordy's victory over [[BigBad Marder]].
* With the danger of spoiling just by mentioning the name of the series: ''HikaruNoGo''. [[spoiler: Sai ''does'' find peace. The series climax is Hikaru learning to move on.]]
* ''RurouniKenshin'' has the TheAce mentor Hiko Seijuro, master of the sword school Hiten Mitsurugi, who was first abandoned by his student Kenshin Himura. About over a decade after, Kenshin returns to him to learn the ultimate technique of the sword school they both use, which could only be learned by killing the master. Subverted when Kenshin does learn the technique but did not kill his master thanks to his reverse blade sword.
* [[spoiler: Masaoka]] in ''{{Anime/Psychopass}}''.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''. So. ''Damn.''. '''Much.''' The idea of people working for the best of the next generation is a major theme, so it suffices to say that teachers have a tendency to die protecting their students or their village. To wit: [[spoiler:The Fourth Hokage]], [[spoiler: The Third Hokage]], [[spoiler:Asuma]], [[spoiler:Jiraiya]]. To make matters worse, of those four, three of them died as a consequence of something their pupil did. Even the ones that survive tend to ''almost'' die quite a lot.
** Subverted with [[spoiler:Kakashi]] for [[spoiler: he]] was revived and [[spoiler:Tsunade]] for [[spoiler:she went into a coma and woke up from it]].
* ''TengenToppaGurrenLagann'': [[spoiler:Kamina. Goes hand-in-hand with DecoyProtagonist.]]
* ''GGundam'' has two. [[spoiler:Master Asia and Schwarz Bruder]]
* In ''TheLawOfUeki'', when a god candidate helps their student champion in battle, they are automatically [[NeverSayDie sent to Hell]].
* This happens in ''Manga/TheDaughterOfTwentyFaces'', although this is more of a Missing Mentor case, as Chiko spends the rest of the series trying to find Twenty Faces.
* Subverted in ''OvermanKingGainer''. [[spoiler: Not only does Gain not die. He gets to save the day in the end, while the TheHero is BrainwashedAndCrazy by the BigBad.]]
* TricksterMentor Cross Marian in ''DGrayMan'' disappeared from the Black Order headquarters while he was under house arrest. Given the amount of blood and the fact that his [[EmpathicWeapon gun]] and [[MaskPower mask]] were found on the floor and there were signs of a struggle, he's currently presumed dead, but they NeverFoundTheBody...
* Most of Ala Rubra in ''MahouSenseiNegima'' is in some way incapacitated or made incapable of helping Ala Alba out, but this trope in particular hits [[spoiler: [[CrazyAwesome Jack Rakan]]]] ''hard''. Gets an ObiWanMoment trying to take out TheDragon and everything. Of course, like everything else about him, [[DyingMomentOfAwesome it's awesome]].
** Ends up averted by the fact he can [[spoiler: WILL HIMSELF BACK INTO EXISTENCE, once, twice and apparantly permanently (although he needs an artifical body to walk around the real world)]].
* In ''[[GoLion Beast King Golion]]'', this was averted with [[spoiler: Raible, who was a mentor to the Golion team]].
** Played straight with [[spoiler: Hys, who was a mentor to the princess]].
* Played straight in ''Manga/DeathNote'', where [[spoiler:Soichiro acts as a mentor to Matsuda. On realising that [[BerserkButton Light has essentially betrayed everything his father stood for]], Matsuda flies into an UnstoppableRage and almost kills him.]]
** There's also [[spoiler: L, who acted as a mentor to Mello and Near. The manga in particular suggests that Near's principal motivation in catching Kira is to avenge L's death - oh yeah, and justice too. That.]]
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' has [[spoiler: Mami who gets offed ''three episodes in''. In the most gruesome way possible.]]
* ''Manga/FairyTail'' has [[spoiler:Ur]] who sacrificed her life to stop [[spoiler:Gray]]'s RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
** {{Subverted}} to the point of RunningGag with Master Makarov, who either recovers from the seemingly life-threatening injuries he's been dealt (some closer than others), or is downright rescued from his own HeroicSacrifice{{s}} by his guild, [[spoiler:like when [[YouShallNotPass he went up against]] [[TheDreaded Acnologia]] on Tenrou Island to let them escape.]]
* ''MartianSuccessorNadesico'' has [[spoiler:Gai Daigoji...who's entire role was to introduce anime to the crew and die pointlessly.]]
* Koumyou Sanzo from ''Manga/{{Saiyuki}}'' possibly intentionally allows himself to become a victim of this. He sacrificed himself to save Genjyo Sanzo (then Kouryuu) from youkai bandits intent on stealing the sutras... but as [[spoiler: Ukoku later points out]] he should have been [[spoiler: more than powerful enough to send those bandits packing without making a heroic sacrifice]]. This implies he knew exactly what he was doing when he allowed himself to be killed. This is supported by the fact that in his formative years he hung out with a youkai who [[spoiler: can see the future]] and the fact that he'd only appointed Kouryuu his successor a few minutes before the attack, suggesting that he had detailed knowledge of what would happen and when.
* After Szilard's death in ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'', [[TheOlderImmortal Maiza]] takes Firo aside and [[ICannotSelfTerminate asks the boy to kill him]], since he's already centuries old and the one reason he was sticking around for so long (revenge on Szliard) no longer exists. [[spoiler:[[SubvertedTrope Firo then cheerfully rattles off several excuses for why he can't do that (one of which is basically: "But we're all too dumb to do taxes on our own!") before finally just admitting he'd miss Maiza too much to be able to.]]]]
* In ''DragonballZ'' we see Future Gohan become a mentor to Trunks, it soon becomes a father/son relationship. He is the only one who understands Trunks as a fellow half Saiyan. At the end of the movie, he dies, leading to Trunks having a HeroicBSOD in which he becomes Super Saiyan - the very thing Gohan was trying to teach him.
** Earlier on in the series, Master Roshi acts as this; having taken Goku and Krillin (and later, Yamcha) into his home and training them in his own, err, odd, martial art. When [[SealedEvilInACan Piccolo]] shows up, Goku is presumed to be dead and Krillin actually IS dead, and Tenshinhan is the last hope for the future, Roshi uses the suicidal Evil Containment Wave to reseal Piccolo. It doesn't work, and, this being Dragon Ball... he gets better.
** This happened to King Kai when Goku, performing a HeroicSacrifice to save Earth, teleported the about-to-explode Cell to King Kai's planet/house. King Kai wasn't terribly bothered by the sudden transition, since he lives in the afterlife anyway, but was supremely annoyed Goku blew up his planet.
** The above also extends to Goku himself since he died saving Gohan, who he mentored, from his mistake, not killing Cell before he decided to RageQuit.
** After kidnapping and training Gohan for the arrival of the Saiyans, Piccolo died protecting him from a fatal blast.
* ''GundamAge'' has [[spoiler:General Woolf]], a mentor of the first and second protagonists, as well as his {{Expy}}, [[spoiler: Seric Abis]] in generation 3.
* ''Manga/HunterXHunter'' has [[spoiler:Kaito]], the Hunter who inspired Gon to be a Hunter in the first place.
* ''Manga/{{Toriko}}'' has [[spoiler:IGO president Ichiryuu]], who is defeated by Midora [[spoiler:his adopted little brother]] and [[HopeSpot spared]] [[spoiler:only to be finished off by an opportunistic Blue Nitro.]]
* Will A. Zeppeli, mentor of Jonathan Joestar in ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventure''. In his case, he even knew full well that it would happen long before it did if he chose a certain path. Hoping to put a final end to the threat of the stone mask, he knowingly accepted it and turned his death into a HeroicSacrifice that empowered Jonathan.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Agent 355 in ''Comicbook/YTheLastMan'' is both recruited into the Culper Ring and trained by the previous Agent 355. One of the techniques she passes on is that the jaw is the most powerful muscle, so when the ex-mentor goes insane and tries to assassinate the President of the United States her successor bites her neck open.
* Averted in ''ComicBook/XMen'' by Professor Xavier, who died once but got better (it was never him). And like any mentor, he set a precedent that his students followed ''[[ComicBookDeath time and time again.]]''
** However because he's too smart and helpful, most plots especially adaptations will take him out of the story through coma or kidnapping or something until the problem is resolved. He's just not killed by them.
*** As of Avengers vs. X-Men, [[spoiler:Professor X is dead again]]. We'll see how long that sticks...
* Subverted by ComicBook/EmmaFrost, who outlives most of her ''students.''
* Stick, ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'s'' teacher, who dies protecting him, Elektra and his other pupils (The Chaste) from The Hand. Averted with Master Izo, who outlived all of his pupils. Although, Daredevil: Ninja seems to indicate that Stick got better...
* Comicbook/DoctorStrange's mentor, the Ancient One, dies and becomes [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence one with all reality]]. A subversion, since 1) he deliberately trained Strange as his successor, 2) he asked Strange to kill him, and 3) he's not "gone" in any strong sense.
* Professor Trevor Bruttenholm is killed at the very first Comicbook/HellBoy story.
* ComicBook/TransformersDrift: Wing takes Deadlock in, argues with the council to include an outsider, and teaches him the ways of the Circle of Light. At the stories end, he's killed by the BigBad, Braid, and Drift takes his Great Sword to carry on the fight and lead them all to victory.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* [[ClassicalMythology Persephone]] in FanFic/DivineBlood is killed by her daughter Hecate's ghost while aiding her granddaughter, Eija, in a purification/crossing over. Eija is [[UnstoppableRage not amused.]]
* In ''Fanfic/ThePrayerWarriors'', after PercyJackson converts his mentor Chiron to Christianity, Chiron goes off to convert the rest of Camp Half-Blood. Shortly thereafter, one of his students comes back and says that Chiron was killed and eaten by the people there. DeathIsCheap in this fic, but Chiron never comes back.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Lt. Dan of ''Film/ForrestGump'' tries to be this to a T. He gives Forrest and Bubba advice on how to survive 'Nam concluding the mentor part and then tries to die fighting in the war believing that it was his destiny. However he didn't count on Forrest to subvert that.
* TheObiWan of ''Franchise/StarWars''
** Obi-Wan's own mentor Qui-Gon Jinn suffered a similar fate.
** Obi-Wan was meant to live in the early versions of the StarWars script, but GeorgeLucas was frustrated in that during the big battle against the death star, he would have had nothing to do. He eventually decided to kill him off before the third act.
** Yoda dies too, although of old age.
* Mickey, Rocky's mentor, dies in ''RockyIII'' after Clubber Lang shoves him, setting off his bum ticker and triggering a heart attack.
* Merrick from the ''Film/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' movie.
** Averted with Giles, who makes it through the series alive.
*** Oh, [[SarcasmMode don't worry]], the Season 8 comics took care of that little problem!
*** Besides, he got shipped off to England for a while. That's as good as being killed off.
* Subverted with Splinter in the ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' movie, although we're led to believe he died at first.
* Magi Lune in ''FernGully'' seems to exist ''entirely'' for this purpose. She appears in a handful of scenes only to later die at the end of the film to pass on her powers to Krysta.
* Subverted in ''Film/ReservoirDogs'': [[spoiler:Experienced criminal Mr. White takes a bullet for his young protege, Mr. Orange, survives, then kills said protege after he confesses that he was the rat all along]]. And only then is he shot dead by the police.
* Played straight in ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'' with [[spoiler:Master Oogway, though at least that's a natural old-age death]], and then subverted with [[spoiler:Master Shifu at the end]].
* [[spoiler:Professor X]] from ''Film/XMenTheLastStand.''
* Ramirez falls victim to this in the first ''Film/{{Highlander}}'' movie.
* Mufasa from ''Disney/TheLionKing'' dies protecting Simba, his son, after being thrown off the cliff to his death by Scar, his brother.
* TheObiWan figure in the Sci Fi Channel B-movie ''TheLostFuture'' neither dies nor turns out to be secretly evil, which is quite a feat, especially since he's played by Sean Bean. In the finale he even [[TakingTheBullet dives in front of the hero and takes an arrow to the chest that was meant for him]], but contrary to expectation he manages to survive it.
* In ''Film/IronEagle'', mentor figure and RetiredBadass Chappy Sinclair goes down early on in the assault on the enemy nation that captured TheHero's father, forcing Doug to fight the rest of the battle alone. Subverted in the end when it turns out Chappy bailed out and was rescued.
* Averted in ''Film/TheMatrix'': Morpheus survives all three movies. [[spoiler: In fact, he's the only one of the three main characters to do so.]]
* In ''Film/RoadHouse'', Dalton's mentor Wade Garrett is killed off-screen by the BigBad's men. Dalton finds him with a knife in his chest, despite Wade supposedly being [[InformedAbility better at everything]] than Dalton.
* In ''TheSting'', Hooker's mentor Luther combines this trope with {{Retirony}}.
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/{{Epic}}''. [[spoiler:Ronin only looked done for; it turned out he was much too badass to just go out surrounded by hundreds of Boggans]].
* ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'': [[spoiler:Christopher Pike spent all of the previous film whipping a young Jim Kirk into shape, and the early parts of Into Darkness trying to continue that work, only to get caught in a mass-assassination attack by John Harrison. Jim's subsequent rage and sadness over Pike's death drives much of his actions for the rest for the film.]]
* ''TheSecretOfKells'' [[spoiler:Averted with Brendan's mentor, Brother Aidan. Having escaped the Viking raid on Iona he is also one of the only survivors of the attack on Kells. He is soon after saved from the Viking squad who attacks him and Brendan in the forest. He is then shown to spend his remaining years travelling with Brendan, continuing to mentor him and living to see the completion of his life's work, the Book of Iona/Kells. He however does not live to the conclusion of the film, eventually dying of old age.]]
* In ''Film/KingsmanTheSecretService'', Harry Hart is shot in the head by Valentine after the church massacre, leaving Eggsy without his primary guidance figure just as it's become apparent what the plan of the BigBad is.
* In ''Disney/BigHero6'', Tadashi is the main motivator for getting Hiro out of the bot fights and into college [[note]]and according to ''The Art of Big Hero 6'', Hiro is into robotics because of Tadashi[[/note]]. What happens after Hiro finally gets accepted? [[spoiler:Tadashi dies when the showcase building is set on fire]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Jesus Christ from ''Literature/TheBible'' is possibly the ultimate example of this trope.
** In a manner of speaking, John the Baptist also qualifies, as Jesus' "older" cousin and the guy who baptized him. He also qualifies in that he explicitly states he's not here to overshadow TheHero.
* Mathin in Creator/RobinMcKinley's ''Literature/TheBlueSword'', one of the elite King's Riders, is assigned to tutor Harry Crewe in the ways of riding and combat. [[spoiler:He lives, though, with an awesome scar from Harry's magical [[HealingHands healing powers]].]]
* [[spoiler:Terciel, father,]] in Creator/GarthNix's ''Literature/{{Sabriel}}''.
* [[spoiler:[[EccentricMentor Albus Dumbledore]]]] in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince''. ([[HesJustHiding Search your feelings; you know it to be true!]]). And that's just the biggest name - many, ''many'' people have commented on how nobody who ever gives Harry good advice lives to see the end of the series. (That "good advice" requirement spares big-brother-esque Hagrid.)
** This trope also applies to [[spoiler: Sirius and Lupin.]]
** The penultimate example would have to be [[spoiler: the despised Severus Snape]]. Before you rush to disagree, recall that he gave excellent advice [[spoiler: while foiling Harry's attacks at the end of book 6]].
*** He also gave a very accurate explanation on the process of occlumency, although Harry was not inclined to take it to heart.
*** Indeed, [=McGonagall=] and Arthur and Molly Weasley are Harry's only parental figures that don't fall victim to this trope, and even Arthur comes pretty close in book 5. The author even considered killing Arthur at various points but kept changing her mind.
** [[spoiler:Dumbledore]] in particular clearly had to die, because he was [[spoiler:the one person explicitly more powerful than [[BigBad Voldemort]]; the only person in all his life that Voldemort ever feared. If he weren't killed before Harry and Voldemort's final duel, the prophecy that Harry has to be the one to kill him would make no sense.]]
* Depending on your point of view, this is either played straight or subverted with Gandalf in Creator/JRRTolkien's ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. The wise old wizard, who acts as a mentor to Frodo and later to the whole Fellowship through the first part of the novel, dies in Book II of six. He does come back BackFromTheDead again in ''The Two Towers'', but Frodo has already gone his own way by then and can no longer be mentored by Gandalf; while Gandalf himself, with his increased power, becomes a leader rather than a mentor after his return.
* Methuselah and Abbot Mortimer are both mentor figures to [[TheHero Matthias]] in the first ''{{Redwall}}'' book, and both of them die.
* Applies to Beleg in Tolkien's ''Literature/TheChildrenOfHurin'' as well, though he's more of a big brother figure. He is unintentionally killed by his fosterling Túrin.
* That guy, what's-his-name, [[strike: Obi-Wan]] [[strike: Iroh]] [[strike: Julio Scoundrel]]... Brom! That's it! Brom in ''[[Literature/InheritanceCycle Eragon]]''.
** Afterward, Eragon has Oromis as his new mentor, who decided to join the battlefield right after finished training Eragon...just to justify this trope.
* The Bishop of Digne in the book ''Literature/LesMiserables.''
* Moiraine from ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' [[spoiler:[[SubvertedTrope didn't actually die]]]] when she fell through a [[PortalNetwork doorway]] [[AnotherDimension to another dimension]] that exploded. [[spoiler:It wasn't revealed she survived until 6 books later, and she still didn't return until 8 books later.]]
* Fraa [[spoiler: Orolo]] had the misfortune of being revered by the hero and being smarter than the rest of the cast of ''Literature/{{Anathem}}'' combined. So, of course he gets exiled from the not-so-hidden elf village. After a good quarter of the book spent searching for him, they reunite briefly, then he gets promptly roasted by a volcano.
* TadWilliams' ''MemorySorrowAndThorn'' plays this deadly straight and [[JustifiedTrope justifies]] it. The [[BigBad Storm King]] and [[{{Chessmaster}} Utuk'ku]] deliberately set out to kill the members of the League of the Scroll and anyone else with sufficient knowledge to potentially unravel their EvilPlan before it was complete. Naturally, all of these characters act as {{Mentors}} to various protagonists.
* TadWilliams' ''Literature/{{Otherland}}'' both uses and subverts the trope. Played straight: Renie's mentor Susan van Bleeck is beaten to death by the Grail Brotherhood's thugs; the old hacker Singh, who helps the heroes break through Otherland's security, is killed by the [[YourMindMakesItReal operating system]]. Subverted: MysteriousInformant Sellars continually attempts to aid the team after losing contact with them, but manages to stay alive until the climax, after which he surrenders his physical body for a [[BrainUploading virtual one]].
* [[spoiler: Bluestar]] from ''Literature/WarriorCats''. Of course, like Dumbledore, she returned after her death to offer more guidance, and has continued to do so for the last three series.
** Not to mention [[spoiler: Lionheart, Yellowfang, to an extent Spottedleaf, Cinderpelt, and Whitestorm]]. Mentor figures in the series in general can probably be expected to die (then again, [[AnyoneCanDie given the series in question...]]), but it still usually manages to be quite the TearJerker every time.
* In JamesSwallow's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' novel ''[[Literature/BloodAngels Deus Encarmine]]'', [[spoiler: Koris]] succumbs to the Black Rage, which means certain death. Rafen, grieving over his fate, is ordered [[FieldPromotion to take command of]] [[spoiler: Koris]]'s [[FieldPromotion squad]], and [[spoiler: Koris]], in the Death Guard, dies, [[FightingFromTheInside barely able]] [[DyingAsYourself to warn Rafen with his last breath]] of [[spoiler: Stele]]'s treachery -- and not entirely coherently. Rafen [[TalkingToTheDead speaks to his corpse in his grief, begging for guidance,]] and [[spoiler: Koris]]'s [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane communicator falls to his hand]], [[EpicHail letting him get out a warning]].
* [[spoiler: Brad Elliott]] in the DaleBrown books, who goes down crashing the EB-52 Megafortress into a Chinese ICBM site.
* [[spoiler: Kelsier]] in ''[[Literature/MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy Mistborn]]'', although his death is [[MyDeathIsJustTheBeginning deliberate]]. [[spoiler: Tindwyl]]'s, in the sequel, is not.
** Notably Creator/BrandonSanderson notes in [[WordOfGod the annotations]] that he almost didn't kill off [[spoiler: Kelsier]] simply because of the existence of the trope, but decided that [[TropesAreTools doing what felt right for the story was more important then being original.]]
* In ''Literature/CodexAlera'' [[spoiler: the spirit of Alera itself is suffering this. She was brought into existence by a mosaic taken from all corners of the country, which was broken. Without it she's dying, although in the last pages she implies that she'll survive in some form. Also, she doesn't actually die until maybe the very end of the book. Even then she might just have grown too weak to appear again.]]
** In addition, [[spoiler:First Lord Gaius Sextus]] catches this one full on. The author doesn't even pretend this trope isn't in play - in fact, a savvy reader can guess which book they die in just by looking at the titles - but instead, milks conflict from the fact that the characters themselves know [[spoiler:the First Lord]] is doomed.
* Literature/HonorHarrington's [[spoiler: mentor from her academy days, Admiral Courvosier]], is killed in ''The Honor of the Queen.''
** And another mentor, [[spoiler: Captain Bachfisch from her middie cruise]], nearly gets killed in ''War of Honor'', [[spoiler: but manages to survive with just having his legs blown off.]]
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's "Literature/TheTowerOfTheElephant", Taurus, the OldMaster thief, likes ConanTheBarbarian's spirit when he finds him also trying to rob the tower and takes him along, with some instruction and help. Naturally, a trap kills him.
* Averted or Subverted with [[Literature/GreenSkyTrilogy D'ol Falla]], who is TheAtoner on top of being the mentor. It's a MessianicArchetype who ends up falling into the Bottomless Lake.
* Syrio Forel, Arya's "dancing teacher" in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''. In order to buy her time to run away, he [[YouShallNotPass stops to fight]] five guards and a knight with a training sword. He successfully kills or disables the guards, but has no chance against the fully armored knight.
* Both played straight and averted in ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', with [[spoiler: Cinna killed for one piece of rebellious dressmaking too far]], but [[spoiler: Haymitch]] managing to survive all three books, and even [[spoiler: finding a new family to replace the one he lost, and working on his drinking habit.]]
* Dr. Robert Stadler of ''Literature/AtlasShrugged'' proves that a FaceHeelTurn does not protect you from this trope, especially when the villains you join are incompetent enough to think that threatening to harm or kill you might pressure your former student into giving into their demands. He promptly decides, "ScrewThisImOuttaHere!" only to be [[HoistByHisOwnPetard killed by the very weapon he fled to find]].
* Henry Cameron of ''Literature/TheFountainhead'', whose role in the book is ''much'' more prominent than it is in TheFilmOfTheBook.
* In AndreNorton's ''Literature/TheZeroStone'', Jern was apprenticed to Vondar. He died shortly before the InMediasRes opening, from the danger Jern is fleeing.
* Spare a thought for [[TheWoobie poor Abbe Faria]] in ''Literature/TheCountOfMonteCristo''. He spends years tutoring his fellow prisoner Edmond Dantes. He then spends years with Dantes planning an escape from prison. Then, just as their escape plan is coming to fruition, he dies. But not before telling Dantes how to find some long lost treasure.
* Subverted in The Wild Shore by Kim Stanley Robinson. [[WastelandElder Tom]] gets a [[IncurableCoughOfDeath cough]] but doesn't die.
* In ''Literature/WindAndSparks'' by Aleksey Pehov this is a recurring theme for gray magicians.[[note]][[LightIsNotGood Light]] ones are empowered by heaven, [[DarkIsNotEvil Dark]] ones are empowered by hell, Gray ones can use both and [[ThePowerOfLove more]].[[/note]] Every living gray magician learned this art from somebody who got killed, leaving the task to create the "Gray School" to surviving students. Also of note is an odd inversion with Al'ga, a younger sister of the LoveInterest of TheChosenOne. In her introductory chapter she kills an enemy sorceress. Then the necromancer crone starts haunting her dreams with variations of their duel where Al'ga each time has to invent a new way to defeat the enemy. This TrainingFromHell makes her the most versatile and dangerous Light magician alive. Several months later the necromancer says she has taught her all she knew and finally departs for afterlife.
* In ''Literature/AWolfInTheSoul'', the Hakham Dawid is rendered unable to further help Greg thanks to suffering a stroke. He doesn't die, though.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* [[spoiler:Kosh]] from ''Series/BabylonFive'', who knew it was coming and was trying to delay it.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Missing Mentor version. Wise librarian and all-round BadassBookworm Giles takes himself out of the series to give his protege Buffy more freedom. He returns eventually and survives to the end, alive and well...though in the season 6 finale it was touch and go for a while.
*** Giles is the weekly series version of this trope -- he can't very well die at the end of an episode so Buffy can fight the bad guy alone, then come back next week. So they did the next best thing: knock him out repeatedly.
*** They did kill him off at the end of Season 8 (the B.t.V.S. Comic continuation), however. Even then, though, it was more the emphasise that AnyoneCanDie.
** Faith cites this as a reason she doesn't like authority figures in general.
* Subverted in ''Series/TheCape''. Max is shot by BigBad Chess, gives a tearful dying speech as he lies in Vince's arms... and then realizes it's OnlyAFleshWound.
-->'''Max:''' Dammit, I thought that was it! I wasted that great speech.
* ''Franchise/KamenRider'' has some examples:
** Zanki from ''Series/KamenRiderHibiki''; generally considered to be one of the better things about the show post-ReTool.
** Narumi Soukichi from ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'' - doesn't really count as a spoiler since it occurs in the first episode.
** Subverted in ''Series/KamenRiderOOO'' where, after witnessing his mentor Date die in front of him, Shintaro Goto is spurred on to become Kamen Rider Birth for the first time; but then it turns out Date isn't really dead and was just unconscious. He survives. According to WordOfGod, Date was originally intended to have been killed in the scene, thus the trope would have been played straight.
* Zordon from ''PowerRangers'': Kidnapped almost ''immediately'' after quitting the Mentor job, and his first act after rescue was to give one last mentor-y bit of advice and beg for an ICannotSelfTerminate HeroicSacrifice. A unique case of the mentor's death actually solving all the heroes' problems.
** [[StatusQuoIsGod All of their problems until the next season, that is.]]
** In ''PowerRangersJungleFury'', Master Mao, the Rangers' original teacher, is killed fifteen minutes into the first episode. His spirit does come to assist them several times, however.
* ''Series/RelicHunter'' Sydney's old teacher who first gave her an interest in relics was murdered to obtain one. Twenty years later. Sydney caught up with the killer.
* Professor Maximillian Arturo takes the bullet for Quinn close to the end of Season 3 of ''{{Sliders}}''. His body is left to be burned along with this Earth, which is being scoured by pulsars.
* Notably averted on ''Series/StargateSG1'', where TheObiWan figure Master Bra'tac is noted for having survived through all 10 seasons of the show, despite multiple attacks by ThePlotReaper and even a feeling of depression in one early episode. He's just [[BadassGrandpa that badass]].
-->'' I am not yet ready to give up. I feel alive Teal'c, like a [[CoolOldGuy young man... of eighty]]. We still have false gods to slay''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Manhwa]]
* Interesting version in the ''{{Veritas}}'' {{manhwa}}. The main character's mentor, Lightning Tiger, is killed right at the beginning of the story (and his pupil receives his skeletal arm in a box as a very creepy TragicKeepsake). However, LT wasn't old, and he'd only been training the kid for about 2 months. A character attempts to justify it later by saying the he didn't die because he was a mentor; he took on an apprentice because he knew he was going to die.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology]]
* Merlin of ArthurianLegend.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' fans, say hello (and goodbye) to [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Master Eraqus.]]
** [[spoiler:...Maybe. His heart merged with Terra's after Xehanort struck the final blow, so he might have a chance even if he's not part of the montage of "people Sora has to rescue". As Nomura pointed out, nobody in the series (except [[SacrificialLion Mufasa]], and maybe the Riku Replica) has actually ''died'' in the literal sense of the word.]]
* The player character's mentor Gorion dies in the first chapter in ''BaldursGate'' in a battle against the BigBad. As he's also your foster father, this is also a case of DoomedHomeTown.
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', mentor figure Master Miller turns out [[spoiler: to have been dead all along, having been killed a few days before the game begins, and impersonated from that point on by the BigBad]].
* In ''PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'', Mia Fey is killed right after the (very short) first case. She returns as a SpiritAdvisor and TheObiWan for the rest of the Phoenix games and each game explains her unique state to the player.
** This happens to Klavier in ''Dual Destinies'', case 3: his mentor from his law school is that case's victim.
* [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance]] features Griel, [[TheHero Ike's]] father and leader of his mercenary group getting killed a quarter of a way through the game.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', [[spoiler:Auron is [[DeadAllAlong dead (or "Unsent") from the beginning of the game]]. He allows himself to be Sent by Yuna, alongside the Aeons and Sin itself, when the protagonists defeat Yu Yevon]].
* Done in record time in ''[[RedFaction Red Faction: Guerrilla]]'' - you arrive on Mars and meet up with your brother, who takes you on your first 'mission', recruits you into Red Faction and is shot by the EDF, all in the opening 10 minutes.
* Done with the Professor in ''VideoGame/CaveStory'', to the point that if you see him drop several stories and ''don't'' try to help him, he stays alive.
* This happens to Montblanc's master from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII''.
* In ''VideoGame/TheGodfather: The Game'', Luca Brasi takes you as Aldo Trapani under his wing for the early missions, before he [[CementShoes "sleeps with the fishes."]]
* In ''VideoGame/EtrianOdyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard'', players meet [[spoiler: Flausgul and Kurogane]] early on and learn several important things about the Labyrinth from them. Once the player learns of [[DeathByOriginStory their tragic history]], alarm bells should be going off... [[spoiler: the PlayerPunch comes upon finding an injured Kurogane and learning of Flausgul's fate. Kurogane hangs on just long enough for the player to take revenge.]]
* Duncan in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' dies in the field of battle due to the signal made by the player character and Alistair for reinforcements not being answered by Loghain.
** But it's also subverted for Mage Wardens, for whom [[NeverMessWithGranny Wynne]] fills the role. [[spoiler:She's already technically dead, though.]] The tower also has WizardClassic First Enchanter Irving, whose fate is entirely up to the player.
* Similarly to Duncan, Nihlus Kryik of ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' intended to accompany Shepard on a number of missions, most likely to train him/her as a Spectre, but he is killed at the end of the first mission by the primary antagonist [[spoiler:actually [[TheDragon Dragon]]]], Saren.
** [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure David Anderson]] is forced to stop being your mentor for political reasons and survives the first two games, only to become the intro-level squadmate in ''Mass Effect 3''. Things aren't looking well for ol' Dave's future, especially when one also considers the high mortality rate of intro-level companions in other Bioware games. In fact, [[spoiler: he will die in every ending. However, he at least makes it to the grand finale, impressive for a mentor]].
* In The ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', the Great Deku Tree is cursed from the beginning of the game and dies after he sends Link off on his journey.
* In ''RatchetAndClank: A Crack In Time'', Azimuth was created specifically for the purpose of giving Ratchet a mentor figure. And, naturally, he died [[spoiler: after going a little crazy and committing a FaceHeelTurn, then realizing [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone what he did]] and pulling a HeroicSacrifice.]]
* Paladin Magnus in ''GroundControl'', performing a YouShallNotPass in an Order mission where you have to hold off against an endless wave of enemies. Somehow, self-destructing an Order APC creates a huge crater and destroys the supposed endless waves of enemies.
* ''GuildWars'' did this in ''every single campaign''.
** ''Prophecies'' had Prince Rurik, who took on young Ascalonian heroes as members of his personal cadre of warriors and led them on many adventures. He was killed leading his people to safety and was later raised from the dead by the BigBad.
** ''Factions'' had Master Togo, head of the Monastery where young Canthan heroes trained and their leader in the war against Shiro. He was killed by Shiro in the penultimate mission.
*** Bonus points: Several of the [[BodyHorror Afflicted]] bosses are actually mutated teachers and quest-givers from your past.
** ''Nightfall'' had Kormir, leader of the Sunspears and the war against Abaddon. She sacrificed herself absorbing the god's power, and now exists as a god herself.
** ''Eye of the North'' had Gadd, vitriolic genius and Vekk's mentor/father. Killed while trying to prepare a more powerful golem to assist you in combat.
** In ''GuildWars2'', no matter what order you've joined, your mentor from that order will die in a HeroicSacrifice at the Battle of Claw Island.
* Giro from ''VideoGame/MegaManZX''. Since he gets his hands on Biometal Model Z, it's easily predictable he has to bite it so that you can get to use that model yourself.
** Zero in ''VideoGame/MegaManX1''. He's watched over X from the beginning of the game, forcing Vile to retreat after X couldn't touch him. Obviously, he's the badass of the story, but he's not the title character, so he performs his HeroicSacrifice, leaving X to face Sigma alone, with no chance at a last second rescue. Incidentally, the placement of the Vile fight in the remake justifies the over the top dialogue X uses when he faces Sigma, as it happened at the end of the previous stage, and not at the start of the fortress, making X's fury still fresh. And even though Zero gets better, he's been surpassed by X by the time he returns, and they work as a team from X3 to X8.
* ''VideoGame/{{Lagoon}}'' has this happen to Mathias after he fails to stop [[BigBad Zerah]] from reaching Lagoon Castle. He does get to [[TheReveal reveal]] the nature of Nasir and Thor's past before he goes.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Happens to Lt.Col. Thomas Knowlton in ''Webcomic/TheDreamer''.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', [[spoiler:this has now happened to the Guardians of the Kids. Bro, Mom and Dad were all killed by [[BigBad Jack Noir]], Grandpa was DeadToBeginWith, and Bec has effectively ceased to exist due to his prototyping.]]
** More like a mentor death contract, considering how [[BecauseDestinySaysSo sburb/sgrub]] works. Post-Scratch, [[spoiler:the B1!kids switch roles with their guardians. Jade is assassinated by the Condesce and Rose and Dave die in battle against her. John is killed by the impact of the meteor carrying baby Jane.]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', Julio Scoundrel hangs a lampshade on this trope in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0392.html this comic]], saying that he intends to never see Elan again specifically to avoid it.
** Much later, Elan's WrongGenreSavvy father tries to ''invoke'' the trope against [[TheHero Roy]], believing that the strip's main character is really just Elan's doomed mentor. While that particular gambit seems doomed to failure, [[spoiler: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0930.html Scoundrel may yet get that tragic demise.]]]]
** [[spoiler: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0933.html Ultimately subverted with a little teamwork on both parties. (Specifically Elan and Julio's crew.)]]]]
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', Oasis's sensei Feng [[DroppedABridgeOnHim gets a bridge dropped on him]] within seconds of reuniting with her.
* Sakura from ''Webcomic/CreativeRelease'' [[GenreSavvy starts fearing exactly this]] when she realizes she's Annette's mentor. Whether her fears are justified or not hasn't been determined yet.
* ''Webcomic/LookingForGroup'': Richard plays this for laughs. Multiple times. [[spoiler:Ironically, Cale's mentor was assassinated by his own students a few days after Cale graduated, when said students realized that it WASN'T Richard who killed Cale's wife...]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''ToBoldlyFlee'', the LastAngryGeek, realizing that he's dressed as [[TheObiWan Obi-Wan Kenobi]], realizes that this will probably happen to him. [[spoiler: It does.]]
* In ''WebVideo/PokemonApokelypse'', after Ash walks out on fighting, Team Rocket kills Professor Oak.
* ''Series/WarpZoneProject'' gets a really bad case as [[spoiler:a super-hero someone gets killed within minutes of making himself known as the mentor of a character that just started developing super-powers. He didn't even have the time to explain his student the super-powered individual management system]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Gyatso of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' died because TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive. Iroh's fans also lived in fear of this trope after his first voice actor died.
* [[spoiler:Grandpa Max]] in ''WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce'' [[spoiler: until he [[UnexplainedRecovery got better]]]].
* [[spoiler:Antauri]] from ''SuperRobotMonkeyTeamHyperforceGo''. [[BackFromTheDead He got better of course.]]
* Done via flashback in ''ReBoot''. To flesh out Bob's backstory we see his cadet days interacting with full guardian Dixon, who gets killed by Killabyte. Since she was shown using Glitch in the flashback, this was easy to see coming.
* [[spoiler:Chef]] in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', although mainly because it was a RealLifeWritesThePlot situation.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Wakfu}}'', [[spoiler:the dragon Grougaloragran]] is defeated by Nox in episode 17 of season 1 and is forced to self destruct to prevent Nox from claiming his wakfu. At the end of season 2, [[spoiler:Sadlygrove's mentor Goultard]] launches himself and Rushu into the Shushu's dimension where they [[SealedEvilInADuel continue fighting]].
[[/folder]]
----