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Prophecy Pileup
You are the Chosen One, destined according to prophecy to save the world. But wait. These people are calling you the chosen one as well, and they know nothing of the original prophecy.

Congratulations! Fate has chosen you not once, but twice. You now have two prophecies to fulfil.

A prophecy pileup occurs when two or more prophecies overlap. Frequently they will revolve around the same character, but may be linked in some other way. The prophecies may require multiple quests, be able to be solved together, or even turn out to be variations of the same original prophecy.

A common example is a variation on an Either/Or Prophecy, having one prophecy for the good guys and one for the bad guys, each saying that they will win. Unless this happens, it is unlikely for any prophecies to turn out to be contradictory, despite initial appearances.

Compare Either/Or Prophecy, Regular Caller, Cursed with Awesome. Contrast Gambit Pileup where it is the characters running the show rather than fate.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Literature 
  • In The Wheel of Time. Rand al’Thor is the Dragon Reborn who must follow the (fragmented) Prophecies of the Dragon. He is also the Dragon Reborn to the Seanchan who follow a different version of the prophecy, the Car’a’carn who will lead and destroy and save the Aiel people, and the Coramoor to the Sea Folk. In addition, his actions (and even his birth) tie in to various Aes Sedai Foretellings and he manages to fulfil other prophecies such as the ‘end of the time of illusions’ for people on Tremalking.
  • From The Obernewtyn Chronicles, Elspeth is the Seeker responsible for finding and destroying the weaponmachines. She is also supposed to lead the animals to the freerunningbaraud and is significant in the gipsies’ secret ancient promises. The dolphins also have a prophecy/promise that they must come to her aid when she says a certain word.
  • In Kaaren Sutcliffe's Prophecy of the Sharid trilogy, the protagonist Kered is the Prince of Darkness for both a ‘good’ and a ‘bad’ prophecy. He also manages to get tangled up in the Prophecy of the Sword.
  • Behind the scenes of A Song of Ice and Fire are several prophecies which run the plot (and are subject to a lot of Wild Mass Guessing). The biggest ones are the Azor Ahai prophecy and the Prince That Was Promised prophecy. Fandom has either Dany or Jon be one or both of these.
  • In The Drawing of the Dark, Duffy seems to be fulfilling a prophecy that King Arthur will return to save the West—though he's not yet aware of it—when some anachronistic Vikings sail into Vienna with a prophecy that the ancient Norse hero Sigmund will return to stave off Ragnarok, and Duffy seems to be the man who fits.
  • There are two competing prophecies in The Belgariad, the Light and the Dark. The conflict of the series determines which will be the true prophecy.
  • Warrior Cats, a series with lots of prophecies, does this a couple times.
    • The second series revolves around a prophecy meaning that the forest will be destroyed - one cat from each Clan is chosen to go on a journey to learn how the Clans can survive. (The four do go on the journey, along with two others who chose to come along as well.) This overlaps with two other prophecies:
      • Shortly before the journeying cats leave, when the heat sets a bush on fire, Cinderpelt has a vision of a tiger leaping in the flames. She determines that it refers to Squirrelpaw (daughter of Firestar) and Brambleclaw (son of Tigerstar), and destruction to the forest; they think that it could possibly mean that the two young cats could somehow cause this desctruction. The "destruction to the forest" is the same as the original prophecy, and the fire and tiger mean that Squirrelpaw and Brambleclaw will have something to do with it - they save the Clan from being destroyed when the forest is.
      • The Tribe of Rushing Water has a prophecy that they will be saved by a silver cat. This cat is believed to be Stormfur, especially since he wasn't actually one of the prophecy cats chosen to go on the journey - he just came along to protect his sister Feathertail, the chosen RiverClan cat. The Tribe's prophecy is actually referring to Feathertail, so she's the subject of two prophecies.
    • The main prophecy of the third series is "There will be three, kin of your kin, who hold the power of the stars in their paws." Throughout the third series, Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Hollyleaf are sure that they are the three - after all, Jayfeather has the ability to walk in other cats' dreams, and Lionblaze can fight without getting hurt. At the end of the series, after it appears that Hollyleaf has died, Jayfeather realizes it could refer to one of Whitewing's newborn kits, since they too are Firestar's kin, and Hollyleaf never had a power emerge. Yellowfang speaks a prophecy to Dovepaw to reveal her as the third cat in the "power of three" prophecy: "After the sharp-eyed jay and the roaring lion, peace will come on dove's gentle wing." And then a third prophecy gets piled on towards the end of the Omen of the Stars arc: "The end of the stars draws near. Three must become four to battle the darkness that lasts forever." The "fourth" cat is Firestar, who doesn't really do much in regards to the prophecy, but he does end up making the Big Bad of the entire Warriors series, Tigerstar, Deader Than Dead.

    Live Action TV 
  • Smallville: Involving Clark, the Traveller, Naman, the destruction of Krypton...
  • First Wave: Nostradamus and an Gua sage had both made prophecies about how to stop Big Bad Mabus...they disagreed on whether or not Cade Foster should shoot him, however. According to the Gua prophet doing so would stop the invasion, according to Nostradamus it would jump-start it. Nostadamus was right.

    Theatre 
  • Starmites: Aragala created a lot of prophecies.
    • The two most repeated are:
      • When Milady returns from the world of men, then the Cruelty shall be found again.
      • When Bizarbara's wedding vows are sealed, then shall the Cruelty be revealed.
    • It gets to the point where characters have to ask each other which prophecy they are talking about at the time.
      Diva: Finally the prophecy has been fulfilled!
      Cannibelle: Wait, which proph—
      Diva: Don't go there Cannibelle.

    Video Games 
  • Zigzagged in Super Paper Mario; both the Light and Dark Prognosticus tell the tale of the end of the world and the heroes who would challenge it, but Merlon openly states that the Light Prognosticus was only written to counteract the Dark one, and isn't actually prophetic. Though the game is very confusing on this point; the characters all act as though the Light Prognosticus is just as valid and consult it for advice, and in the end, it is the one that ends up fulfilled.
  • In Legacy of Kain, two separate prophecies make reference to two champions, one representing the vampires and the other representing the hylden, but one claims that the vampire champion will destroy the hylden champion, and the other claims the reverse. It turns out that there is only one champion - Raziel meets the requirements to be the champion of both races, and when he consents to a Heroic Sacrifice by allowing himself to be killed by Kain, both prophecies are fulfilled simultaneously.
  • In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, you are the Nerevarine, a man/woman who has been chosen as the one who might bring the evil Dagoth Ur. Or at least, that's what the prophecy tells you to do. More to the point, you can screw the prophecy and do it in ways the prophecy didn't mean/didn't foresee. Also, there is another prophecy going on when you play the second expansion. And there and loads and loads of mods to add more complexity.
    • Though the second expansion's prophecy doesn't actually have you be The Chosen One — or for that matter have a chosen one. Ultimately, it is all about finding the most badass people on the island which you for entirely non-prophecy related reasons are visiting, and then having a hunt. You just happen to be one of the most badass people around this time (it is stated to be a recurring event), and so get dragged into the end-game.
  • By the end of The Longest Journey, April fulfills the prophecies of at least three magical peoples who all proclaim her their respective Chosen One.

The ProphecyFate and Prophecy TropesProphecy Twist
Properly ParanoidAdded Alliterative AppealProportionately Ponderous Parasites

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