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Place Beyond Time

Unlike tropes where travel between two world has a fixed time relationship like passing faster on one side or even when the relationship is loose, vague but still exists, the Place Beyond Time is, as the name would suggest, a place that is defined by the fact that it has no internal sense of time nor a sense of when it should be accessible to the regular world. When a character enters such a place, they may meet another from their world's past or future who also, from their own point of view has just stepped inside. They can also often leave to any point in time.

The trope is often described quite literally as beyond time as though one has made a fifth dimensional movement to step outside normal time. Thus the Place Beyond Time may also be a Pocket Dimension. Sometimes the Place Beyond Time is actually a particular time- it is 10:42pm on the last day of the universe's existance but it will remain so as Time Stands Still so the reason why people can go there and exit at any time is because getting there is time travel anyway.

In a Time Travel story, people in the Place Beyond Time can expect to have Ripple Effect Proof Memories, and to be immune to timeline changes making them Ret Gone. Also expect Time Travel Tense Trouble if trying to discuss what's happening in the normal world. There can also be more than one.

See also Arcadian Interlude, Just One Second Out of Sync, Void Between the Worlds.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime 
  • Ayato and Haruka end up in a place like this in RahXephon: Pluralitas Concentio. In fact, Ayato himself is this trope, having become the Observer of Time.
  • In Getter Robo Armageddon, this is where the protagonists eventually end up in order to eternally fight the Invaders.
  • This shows up in the seventh episode of Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita... as part of a scheme from the fairies to get more sweets. They have priority issues.

    Comic Books 
  • The Castle Beyond Space and Time in PS238, which can apparently only be reached by powerful time travelers. And Zodon and Tyler by accident.
  • The Rock of Eternity in the Shazam/Captain Marvel cosmology.
  • Also in The DCU is Vanishing Point, a base that exists during the last possible moment in the universe, right before entropy ends everything. While not technically outside of time, it is suspended in a null-time bubble (so that the last microsecond doesn't tick over and implode everyone inside, naturally) and is the favored base of operations for time travellers.
    • The Linear Men had it first and acted as the Time Police for the DCU. They eventually became Knight Templars and got disbanded.
    • Vanishing Point was then taken over by the Time Stealers, a group of time traveling criminals. They got kicked out.
    • Currently occupying the station are Booster Gold, Rip Hunter, Skeets, and Goldstar, who have taken over Time Police duties. Vanishing Point got blown up in The Return of Bruce Wayne, which didn't faze them much — they just took up residence in the station from right before when that happened. Don't think about it too hard.
  • Doctor Fate's headquarters, the Tower of Fate, is a nexus of parallel realities and exists outside of conventional space and time.
  • The Marvel Universe has "Limbo", the home of Immortus (and possibly some other folks like the Time Variance Authority). One of the depictions of the Axis of Time (see below under Western Animation) matches it exactly. Note: not (usually) to be confused with either of two other Limbos in the Marvel Universe, which have different spacetime-related properties. One of those other Limbos (associated with the demon Belasco and the sorceress Illyana Rasputin) has non-linear time. Doctor Doom once pointed out that can't be the real Limbo because time still exists in it, even if it behaves oddly.
    • The Crystal Palace, home base of the Exiles, is situated outside the multiverse.

    Film 

    Literature 
  • In Diana Wynne Jones's A Tale of Time City, the titular Time City exists outside of time, from where it can observe the history of the normal world and visit any point in it.
    • However, time does pass inside of it, and it is subjected to echoes from its own future on a daily basis. At the end of the story the city catches up to the events causing them.
  • Similarly, Isaac Asimov's The End of Eternity, where Eternity exists outside of time, and the people living there perform Reality Changes to direct the course of history in the normal world.
  • Timeheart in Diane Duane's Young Wizards series, although you can't get there until you die. (At least, not permanently. Wizards are allowed to visit every once in a while.)
    • This is also the reason why the Lone Power continues to be the main antagonist of the series even after its redemption in book three: as an eternal Power that exists outside of time, dipping into physical reality wherever and whenever It pleases, causality doesn't have quite the same effect on It as on mortals, and Its evil self is/was/will be causing trouble at various points in history regardless of what happens in the present.
      • The effect of its redemption was to fix the influence of its evil self to a finite amount. As the other powers are infinite, or - well, at least a much larger finity, the net effect seems to be that it's slowly decreasing, and the universe gets gradually better. Sure it'll take a bajillion years, but eventually there's a happy ending.
  • After winning the final battle against evil in Silver On The Tree, the last book of The Dark Is Rising series, most of the Old Ones go outside of time.
  • Discworld
    • The house of Death acts like this, such that a man due to die in seconds can "live" there indefinitely. The home of Time herself also uses this, unsurprisingly. And many Anthropomorphic Personifications can move between the seconds on the Discworld proper.
    • Eric states that gods and demons both exist outside of time, and can travel through it fairly freely (the current king of demons visits the end of the universe). In theory, this should make them omniscient, but there's so much going on in reality that keeping track of it all is nigh-impossible.
    • From I Shall Wear Midnight, Eskarina Smith seems to be able to create and/or use... area outside of time, but time still passes in the real world. Possibly. Needless to say it wasn't exactly explained with any detail.
    • As explained in Thief of Time, the History Monks live on a mountain seperate from the normal flow of time, where it is or rather was always the same perfect spring day.
  • In H.P. Lovecraft's Dreams in the Witch-House the protagonist theorizes that the teleportation through the angles of space could be used to travel outside the Einsteinian time-space continuum into somewhere where time doesn't flow as normal, allowing the traveller to remain there unchanged, and return after decades or centuries without ageing. Judging from the fact that the 18th century witch Keziah Mason is still alive, and visiting Earth briefly every year, he got it right.
  • The Reverend Mothers in the Dune novels are able to enter a spice-enduced trance in which time effectively stops, allowing them to transfer memories, consult with their maternal ancestors, alter their body chemistry, and see through time. When Paul Atreides takes the Water of Life, he gains this ability to such an extent that he experiences the NOW — "The future and the past! All at once. All the same".
  • In the Hyperion Cantos novels, billions of people regularly travel through the farcaster network, which permits instantaneous travel across light-years of distance. Those who pass through a farcaster appear physically the same as when they entered, with no memory of any passage of time. However, subjectively they spend an arbitrarily long interval within the network, during which time the AIs are able to harness their minds for raw computing power. To enhance the efficiency of the minds so used, they also torture those in the network in a virtual reality simulation: the Tree of Pain.
  • In The Dark Tower series all interdimensional travel seems to work like this, with the caveat that the two most primary worlds (Roland's world and the real world) don't allow for Time Travel; you can enter those worlds at any point in history you want, but once you have, even if you leave and come back, it's absolutely impossible to get to an earlier point in time.
  • James Mallory's novelization of the 1998 Merlin series claims that the Land of Magic exists partially outside time. Humans do not grow or age within it, and to the the fairies, twenty years ago in the mortal world can seem like only yesterday, though they are aware that time is passing differently there.
  • In Gene Wolfe's "The Wizard\Knight" books, time exists at different speeds throughout the different realms.
  • The House of Foryx in Queste, the fifth Septimus Heap book. It is even called "The Place Where All Times Do Meet" because of this.
  • The Metal Island in the Magic: The Gathering novel Test Of Metal, where it is somehow always Now.
  • John C. Wright's "City Beyond Time" naturally. Of the "particular time" variety.

    Live Action TV 
  • The white void (and possibly the Land of Fiction) from the Doctor Who serial "The Mind Robber". The Void Between the Worlds is a "dead space" where time and space don't exist as we understand them.
  • In LOST, the flash-sideways are actually the afterlife, or the prelude to one, which doesn't exist in any time or place.
    Jack: But why are they all here now?
    Christian: Well, there is no "now" here.
  • Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger: The Lapseless Room, whose occupants are shielded from the flow of time, though it is in sync with the normal world. Burai must stay here when not in battle due to having a drastically reduced lifespan. This is because his suspended-animation cave collapsed on him millennia ago, and Daizyujin couldn't be arsed to have Clotho fully restore Burai's life force, instead just having Clotho restore a few days worth so that Burai would have time to help restore Daizyujin's ability to combine with Dragon Caesar and King Brachion.
  • In Twin Peaks, time in the White/Black Lodge can move forward, slow down, or even move in a non-linear manner.
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the Bajoran Prophets reside in a more abstract, time-exempt area of the Celestial Temple (which is also known as the Bajoran Wormhole).

    Mythology And Religion 
  • Some philosophy states that God exists in one of these, except that it also isn't a "place" in any conventional sense. Because He created everything, including time, He must exist outside of it. Also used to answer the "What did God do before he created the universe?" question. (Specifically, it would mean the question is poorly formed; the word "before" would not accurately describe any relationship between God and the act of creation.)

    Pinball 

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Warp of Warhammer 40,000, where time works... differently.
    • To put it less vaguely, the Warp is a maelstrom dimension of psychic energy, in which time inside doesn't always correlate to what's happening in the material universe. Ships traveling through it in the setting's version of FTL travel can arrive centuries later than planned (or in some rare cases before they leave), while the traitorous space marines that took refuge in the Warp after losing in the Horus Heresy plot their revenge against the Imperium...some ten thousand years after their defeat.
    • In the newest (5th) edition of the rules, there was a mention of a ship arriving in the 33rd millenium from the 13th millenium! It does not specify whether the inhabitants were alive or not, but, if they were, arriving during the time of the Imperium after living in the prosperous Dark Age of Technology, they probably killed themselves soon after. Y'know, GRIMDARK and all that...
      • That's assuming they weren't executed as heretics.
  • Feng Shui's Netherworld is a lot like this, with Innerwalkers heading there for the first time getting Ripple Effect Proof Memories, as well as a bit of Time Travel Tense Trouble. Time (such as it is) in the Netherworld tends to pass normally though.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons offers Far Realm, a place heavily influenced by H.P. Lovecraft. It is often placed outside of standard cosmology, resulting in no portals to/from it, and is inherently insanity-inducing to all non-natives (natives being immune to the effect because they are insane by mortal standards from the very beginning). It is stated that there is no time in the Realm, at least not in common sense.
  • Changeling: The Lost has Faerie, you get taken there, you escape and come back sometime after you escaped based on how strong memories and ties you have to the real world. There are some vague limits of some hundred years though, and what you remember must actually be there, you won't return to the old family house after the old oak with the swing that you remember sitting at the day you were taken was chopped down.

    Video Games 
  • A strange version of this occurs in Achron. There's a section of the timeline that's hard to reach if you don't already know of its existence: "The Beach". It's a completely empty version of the map you're playing; a region in the future where causality from the present never reached. This is probably the only mechanical version of the Place Beyond Time (other video games simply create an extra, perfectly normal level and give it some backstory).
    • It's also completely emergent from the timeline mechanics in such a way that the creators probably didn't foresee its existence. The community is still on the fence as to whether this should be removed from the final game or kept in, as it has a few strategic consequences (it's possible to smuggle units across hostile borders by shunting them through the Beach).
  • The Throne of Heroes in Fate/stay night exists beyond time, which allows Heroic Spirits to be summoned to and from any era. This becomes an important plot point regarding a certain knight in red...
  • The End Of Time in Chrono Trigger. Its sequel Chrono Cross, which mostly isn't about Time Travel at all, nonetheless features the Dead Sea, a chunk of an alternate future stuck in temporal stasis, allowing you to walk around on a tsunami. The (B)end of Time itself returns as a secret area to house the Bonus Boss.
    • The Darkness Beyond Time, meanwhile, is where paradoxical timelines are discarded, also, the Dream/Time Devourer, a merger of Lavos and Schala, waits here to consume all time and space.
  • The final dungeon of Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army is described by the Big Bad as "a place existing outside of space and time".
  • The body of the titular Eldritch Abomination, Chzo, from Chzo Mythos. Chzo is formed like a literal mountain of flesh, and his specialty is the ability the see into past, present and future at the same time. Trying to exit Chzo's body after entering it may cause you to end up in any period of time, all time periods at once, or no time period at all.
  • The Velvet Room in the Persona games.
  • The Dark Place in Alan Wake. It seems to be the only reason that Thomas Zane has spent 40 years there without losing his marbles.
  • The scientists in The Breach think that the Yellow dimension is one of these, although they die too quickly to find out for sure.
  • In Touhou Eientei was once a limited version of this, where entropy/aging did not exist and there was "no history", due to Kaguya shielding it with her power over eternity. The Lunar Capital has similar traits.
  • In Sonic Generations, places and people stolen by the Time Eater are trapped in a White Void Room that serves as the game's hub. At the end, the past and present versions of Eggman are stuck there with no way out and nothing to do but bicker for a good long... er, "time."
    Classic Eggman: What time is it?
    Modern Eggman: It's the exact same time as when you asked earlier, and it'll be the exact same time when you ask later. THERE IS NO "TIME" HERE!

    Webcomics 
  • Timeless Space, aka the "Oceans Unmoving", in Sluggy Freelance. There's no telling what point in time you'll arrive, either on the trip there or on the trip back (it's implied that a somewhat crazy god is deciding that). People from all across the timeline coexist there simultaneously, those who manage to escape can potentially wind up centuries before they were born, and if you go there twice you can meet your previous self.
    • It's believed, in-story, that a person who ends up in Timeless Space, leaves, and comes back, will enter at the same "time" as they did the first time, thus they are able to coexist with themselves. The "Twin-fit" stems from the danger of having such a twin; if you're seen walking around with yourself, people will assume you managed to leave somehow, and will do anything to get you to spill the guts. And sometimes end up, er, spilling your guts in the attempt.
  • What little we've seen of it, the headquarters of The Time Line Authority, the Time Cops from TRU Life Adventures would appear to be a Place Beyond Time.
  • Homestuck has The Furthest Ring, which is a space filled with Eldritch Abominations that links all universes and their timelines together. To further complicate matters, most of those who are there, who are any combination of either really being there, asleep and dreaming under special conditions, or dead, have dream bubbles where they can navigate through their memories, which causes time to either go forward or backwards. It's to the point where one would have to have mastery of time and/or space or near-perfect omniscience just to be able to navigate it without getting lost. Fortunately, our heroes have all three.
    • Although the chronologies of each universe - including the game sessions - are linear, each is basically a Place Beyond Time from the perspective of each other.

    Web Original 
  • Retarded Animal Babies justified its Negative Continuity in one episode by revealing that in the real timeline the babies grew up and become successful adults (somehow). Cat became a genius scientist, but he also grew bitter and cynical about the Crapsack World and wanted to go back to being young and stupid forever. He created a Physical Law Usurper that created the continuity proof pocket reality outside of normal space and time which acts as the setting for the rest of the series. He explains all of this to Donkey's grandchildren to reassure them that they won't be erased from reality by a time paradox when their grandpa leaves the timeline.

    Western Animation 
  • The Axis of Time in the X-Men animated series, through which all time travelers pass, and in which time itself doesn't exist.
  • The Multiverse of Adventure Time has the Time Room. A central, hypercube-like, structure all other dimensions orbit whose Time wave emissions allow for the flow of time. It is hosted by an all-powerful being named Prismo who grants guests wishes that transport them into a Timeline where it comes true.
  • One episode of the Aladdin had the villain of the week use a magic hourglass to Time Travel. Breaking it created a portal to a place outside time. Its effects on the characters that got pulled in were even more anachronistic than Genie's shapeshifting.

    Real Life 
  • Due to general relativity, time slows down (relative to the outside world) as the gravitational field increases. If a person were to approach a black hole and leave the area - however impossible that is - then he would see that much more time has passed in the "outside world" than (s)he experienced. See this article on The Other Wiki for more information.
    • Similarly, in extremely close proximity to some kinds of singularities, like the fore mentioned black holes, the concept of time fails entirely. The modern definition of the event horizon of such singularities is the point in spacetime (not that "space" would be well defined in these conditions either) where time ceases to have any coherent definition at all.


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alternative title(s): Places Beyond Time
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