When an author says a character will die way before they do, thus revealing an important part of the plot. This is used mainly for emotional buildup and to change the audience's focus. Rather than "Will this person die?" the audience will wonder "How and why does this person die?"
Subtrope of Foregone Conclusion
. Compare Spoiler Title
, where for some reason you're still meant to be surprised, or to In Medias Res
where they establish some event (might be dying or might not) by showing it and jump back to show how they got there. For the more vague version see: Tonight Someone Dies
. Might overlap with Posthumous Narration
Be warned that as a Death Trope
, there will be unmarked
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Anime And Manga
- Shiki appears to combine this with Spoiler Opening once the characters who'd been shown Stripped to the Bone in the opening theme start dying. However, two of them actually survive.
- The trailer for Neon Genesis Evangelion episode 23 stated that Rei will have to choose sacrificing herself, or allowing Shinji to be attacked. Well, it turns out that it is actually not the most important event in that episode.
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: the beginning of Onikakushi-hen and Watanagashi-hen showcase the double murder of Mion and Rena and Rika's suicide respectively, leaving the audience to wonder exactly how things get that bad. Also partially subverted by the fact that Rika's suicide doesn't happen in the arc that shows that clip (at least on screen), but instead an alternate version of that arc told from Shion's perspective.
- Black Butler: the arc starting from chapter 38 does this with the last panel of said chapter showing Sebastian brutally murdered with the words "The tragedy that occurred that stormy night..."
- Late in the Grand Magic Games arc of Fairy Tail, Levy writes in her letter to Lucy that on July 7, X791, at least five characters will die, including "her beloved". She doesn't mention their names, though.
- "September 21, 1945. That's was the night I died." First line. Seita's not the only one who'll die before ninety minutes are up.
Live Action Television
- The first lines of The Darkness go like this.
Jackie: I remember the night of my twenty-first birthday. That was the first time I died...
- In the intro to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Emperor Uriel Septim remarks that his death is only a few hours away.
- Final Fantasy XIII: The first line of narration acknowledges that the world will never be the same, and subtly forshadows the narrator's death;
Vanille (in narration): The thirteen days after we awoke were the beginning... of the end.
- Of course, the narrator is not as blunt as to say she will die by the end of the story, but several of her lines heavily lean towards this:
You said it made you happy when I smiled, didn't you?
Although we didn't know it... our final journey had just begun.
- Also, the very nature of being a l'Cie means you will inevitably die (or end up in a horrible situation) in one way or another; ignore your focus - you're a Cie'th - or complete it - you're an elaborate crystal paperweight. Since the party are made l'Cie very early on in the story, it becomes this trope, and the contemplation of this fate is what creates most of the dramatic tension between characters.
- Project Zomboid: The opening sequence makes it quite clear this is not a game about you survive, it is about how you died.
- God of War begins with Kratos' suicide. Averted when Athena makes him the new god of War.
- Concerned: The Half-Life and Death of Gordon Frohman.
- Homestuck: During the Alterniabound update on 10/25/10, it was revealed that Aradiabot would eventually explode. This didn't actually happen until 12/28/10. However, it's ultimately averted, as the reason Aradia exploded was because her dreamself died on Derse, which, due to the conditions of said death, wound up bringing her back as a GOD.
- Dominic Deegan has Jayden repeatedly saying she's going to die it's metaphorical; then again that story has barely begun.