Who Wants to Live Forever?
, right? Everyone you know and love will age and die without you, leaving you sad and alone.
Unless, of course, everyone
This is when immortality
is granted on a large scale: to an entire civilization, or at the very least a village. Species that are naturally immortal (such as elves, usually
) fall under this as well. As such, this can sidestep some of the problems inherent to immortality
, as mentioned above. Expect outsiders to try and discover their secret. If the civilization still considers itself Blessed with Suck
, they will probably try to deter this. They are likely to be a Hidden Elf Village
Their source of immortality may be a large or mass-produced Immortality Inducer
. If their immortality involves Immortality Immorality
, may overlap with Town with a Dark Secret
. There's also the question of what type of immortality
the civilization has. Regardless, Immortal Procreation Clause
is likely to be in effect and little attention will be payed to the traditional gender roles
Compare and contrast a Long Lived Race
Anime and Manga
- Digimon never really die naturally, or at all for that matter (depending on the season of course).
- In Kamisama No Inai Nichiyoubi, no one in the entire world can truly die, which was caused by God's disappearance. When a person is killed, they turn into an undead and have to be given peace by a gravekeeper.
- Mnemosyne features a few glimpses into the immortals' secret society. However, by the time it becomes important, it is already considerably dwindled by the Big Bad's efforts. One of its characteristic traits is widespread lesbianism and bisexuality, presumably because only women can become immortals in the setting.
- The Eternals and most of Earth's mythological gods in Marvel Comics. Eternals have historically maintained their own secret cities but sometimes hang around with mortal humans for kicks. The various gods live in pocket dimensions that are homes to their respective pantheons.
- Elves in J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings stories.
- The people of The Culture can become genetically immortal if they so choose to, it is just not commonly done since becoming immortal is considered gauche. They can also be resurrected at will via brain uploading.
- In Altered Carbon everyone is implanted with a cortical stack at birth that records their brain activity so they can be "re-sleeved" in a new body when they die. Though most people only choose to be re-sleeved a couple times, except for some rich eccentrics.
- Before the Saudar enticed the Marra into the physical world and made them forget how to return home via The Fog of Ages in The Madness Season, the Marra had an eternal civilization somewhere in hyperspace.
- In Mikhail Akhmanov and Christopher Nicholas Gilmore's Captain French, or the Quest for Paradise, humanity has long ago figure out how to stop the ageing process using a one-time gene therapy called Cell Regeneration (or just CR), which most people do in their mid-20s. While this doesn't grant true immortality (i.e. you can still die a violent death or get sick), enormous advances in medicine also mean that most diseases are treatable (in fact, the titular protagonist had himself sterilized, so that he can have as much sex as he wants without the risk of having children, knowing perfectly well that it can be reversed). Of course, this would be a major problem on a single world. Luckily, humanity has also discovered a interstellar travel (but not FTL travel) and has settled dozens of worlds. Due to the incredible population growth, planets reaching a certain population density institute child licenses.
- It's mentioned that many planets punish capital offenders not with death but with something even worse - ageing, as CR is reversible. On the planet Murphy, however, which is currently controlled by a cult of religious fanatics following a comet strike, everybody gets CR without exception and no one is ever deprived, as CR is seen as God's gift to humanity.
- At the time of the events of the novel, the protagonist is well over 2000 years old. Subjective years, that is, as his constant near-light interstellar travels mean that he was born over 10,000 years ago (he was the first NASA astronaut to reach another star). When he meets his latest wife, she is in her 40s (but looks 24) and is still a virgin due to being raised in a convent.
- In Robert Reed's Great Ship universe, most of humanity is effectively immortal because of their genetic modifications and emergency genes. One character remarks at how young a hull repairman is - the repairman is a mere 50,000 years old.
- Robert A. Heinlein's "Future History" 'verse, starting with the novel Methuselahs Children and continuing with Time Enough For Love, postulates a society of extremely long-lived humans who achieved this goal via applied eugenics. Specifically, beginning in the 19th century, they paid people with long-lived ancestors to mate with one another, thus producing a breed of humans with unusually long lifespans. Jump forward a few dozen centuries and it is not abnormal for a "Howard" (named after the society's founder) to live for several hundred years naturally. Combine this with medical rejuvenation technology and you have an entire society of human beings who only die through mischance or when they wish to.
- In the Halo novel series The Forerunner Saga, the Forerunners are all shown to wear armor which give them lifespans that are millennia in length.
- The Q Continuum from Star Trek has a bunch of immortal people, all (but one) pretty satisfied with it. Most of them can't have kids, but one of them did.
- The Land of Immortals in the second Spellbinder series.
- The immorality was an inintended side effect of a drug meant to cure a devastating plague. Unfortunately, it also kicked in the Immortality Procreation Clause. Among the survivors, no one can ever have children. Instead, they build clockwork robots to "play" and entertain them. When the protagonists (a man and a teenage girl) end up in that world, the scientist who created the drug kidnaps them and plans to mate them to create real-life children to sell as pets.
- The Time Lords have near-immortality; if not killed, their natural lifespan, including regenerations, lasts thousands of years.
- In Torchwood: Miracle Day everyone on earth suddenly becomes incapable of dying (except Jack). Unfortunately they don't heal. The ramifications include many countries instituting concentration camps for people who become disabled beyond medicine's ability to repair them.
- They also continue aging normally.
- What happens in the after-life, according to some religions.
- Gnosticism: Aeons have the Pleroma.
- Hinduism & Buddhism style reincarnation could be seen as a zig-zag of this trope, with even "immortal" gods being just extremely long-lived; yet everyone is technically immortal, making just about any society one of [immortals].
- Spiritualism holds that human incarnation is like a temporary subversion of this trope.
- The Dungeons & Dragons campaign world of Mystara had the Immortals, who filled the role in that world that the gods filled in other campaign worlds. They were numerous enough, however, to qualify for this trope.
- The Rolemaster setting Shadow World had immortal elves, fauns, Lennai, titans and K'ta'viiri.
- In Eclipse Phase nearly all biomorphs are largely immune to aging, and anyone who can afford decent backup insurance is pretty much safe against accidents or murder too.
- As a species of hardy Humongous Mecha, Transformers never die of old age, are affected by only a couple very rare diseases, and usually require a lot of physical damage to die from injuries. Many of them are millions of years old, and some are outright Time Abysses.
- Every single character you meet in I Miss The Sunrise, including the Player Character, has type II immortality, thanks to a mass-produced Immortality Inducer.
- Until the end of Warcraft III, the Night Elves were this.
- The Dalish elves of Dragon Age think their people were like this at one time, centuries ago. It's debatable if they ever were, however.
- Supposedly, being among humans resulted in them having short lifespans (by their standards).
- For reasons that aren't entirely clear but have something to do with the place being 'downstream of Hell', inhabitants of Fallen London all have Resurrective Immortality. Disease and old age can still kill them, though, and apparently they can't come back if someone desecrates them really thoroughly, either. And dying a lot of times can result in coming back wrong and being shipped off to the Tomb-Colonies.
- Errant Story has a society of immortal elves. Also an extinct race of immortal (ageless) dwarves, never seen.
- Certain species of jellyfish potentially have Biological Immortality.
- As do all amoebae, who do not die from age but essentially stop existing as the same individual when they divide to reproduce.