-> ''"Take up our quarrel with the foe:\\
To you from failing hands we throw\\
The torch; be yours to hold it high.\\
If ye break faith with us who die\\
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow\\
In Flanders fields."''
-->-- '''John [=McCrae=]''', "In Flanders Field"

TheHero has been progressing in his quest against the BigBad. Then [[TheHeroDies he dies]]. Wait! What?! That's [[AnyoneCanDie not supposed to happen!]]

Well, now what? Do we have a DownerEnding? No, no, we need a replacement Hero. Time to present TheLancer Ascendant: someone who will take up TheHero's sword (and other weapons) and go on to defeat the villain. This can be literal, invoking ItWasAGift, or metaphorical. When it's not only literal but the MacGuffin, see the subtrope ImDyingPleaseTakeMyMacGuffin.

Most often used at the beginning of a show, to explain exactly [[CallToAdventure how some callow youth loser got the job of defeating]] the BigBad. In this case it was a head fake that had you thinking TheMentor was actually TheHero. (Which makes the first guy a DecoyProtagonist.) Occasionally done with the original Hero as [[DueToTheDead a ghost or shade, unable to rest until someone completes his aborted quest]].

When it happens later in the season (or in later seasons) it can be a real shocker. May feature in DyingToBeReplaced.

Occasionally used at the [[EndingTropes ending]], to [[BittersweetEnding slightly sweeten the tragedy]] by showing that someone will continue the fight.

When it happens to {{superhero}}es or {{supervillain}}s, it is often the case of {{Legacy Character}}s.

In military situations, often combines with a FieldPromotion by the dying hero.

Subtrope of ChangingOfTheGuard. (Specifically, if the position is vacant by death.) GoodCounterpart to the DragonAscendant. Related to HerHeartWillGoOn, DeterminedWidow, TakingUpTheMantle and BequeathedPower. In its darker forms, leads to FeudingFamilies, or may be a genesis to, or simply another stage in, the CycleOfRevenge. See also, TheChooserOfTheOne. PassingTheTorch is when TheHero decides their succession... and [[RetiredBadass is still alive for a while afterwards]].

Naturally, this trope is prone to '''SPOILERS'''. When listing examples, remember that it has to be more than the literal "someone gives someone else a weapon" part to qualify.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/DeathNote''. L has a house of successors that would be alerted immediately in the case of his death. Two of them take up his fight against Kira. [[DividedWeFall They don't get along.]]
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'':
** Simon [[spoiler:takes up Kamina's place in the Gurren Brigade after his death]].
** The ending has [[spoiler:humanity taking the task of preventing the Spiral Nemesis from the Anti-Spiral after killing them]].
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'' ends with an interesting literal and metaphorical variation: [[spoiler:Lelouch passes the Zero identity to Suzaku specifically so that he can become a hero by killing Lelouch per his plan to achieve world peace, using Lelouch's own goofy pink sword to do the deed]], leading to a BittersweetEnding.
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'' has [[spoiler:Lyle Dylandy take up his brother Neil's position as Lockon Stratos in the second season]].
* In ''Manga/CorpsePrincess'' [[spoiler:When Keisei dies and Ouri takes his place as a contracted priest]].
* The ''Anime/{{Lensman}}'' anime opens with a Lensman crash landing in front of the hero, and passing his Lens along before he dies.
* Strongly implied to be [[spoiler: Meg]]'s eventual destiny in ''Anime/BurstAngel'', after [[spoiler: her partner Jo's apparent death and the destruction of RAPT]].
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'',
** [[spoiler: when Shikamaru's teacher Asuma dies, Shikamaru inherits his chakra-enhancing blades, with which Shikamaru kills his teacher's killer.]]
** A villainous example is [[spoiler:Madara passing his identity and plan on to Obito]].
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'', Crow's duel disk and duel runner were originally owned by [[spoiler:his late hero, Robert Pearson]].
* ''Anime/HeartCatchPrettyCure'' plays this oddly - the CallToAdventure dream Tsubomi, Erika and Itsuki get implies Cure Moonlight died. Tsubomi even gets Moonlight's Kokoro Perfume. That's not the case - Moonlight is still alive, back in her civilian identity as Yuri and suffering from a very bitter TenMinuteRetirement.
* Anime/{{Kirby|Right Back At Ya}} anime: where one fight against a particularly powerful demon beast leaves Meta Knight in a coma that can only be cured if the demon dies. Naturally, Kirby grabs his sword and heads off to fight it.
* This is arguably the character arc of Son Gohan throughout ''Anime/DragonBallZ''; the entire series builds up his enormous potential as a fighter and learning to control it, which cultivates in becoming the first one to truly ascend past the Super Saiyan level and completely outclass his father, TheHero of the series to that point. After the BigBad is defeated, Goku chooses to stay dead and leaves the safety of Earth to Gohan.
* A villainous example from ''Manga/SaintSeiya'': after being overwhelmed by Hyoga's Aurora Thunder Attack, Black Swan, knowing that [[ItOnlyWorksOnce Athena's Saints can easily defeat a move they've already seen]], burns his Cosmo to teleport his master Ikki a memory of the attack (contained in the swan emblem of his helmet that he ripped off in the anime, or [[EyeScream his own eye]] that [[RatedMForManly he ripped off himself just for this purpose]]), also blowing himself up to mask his move with an attempt to take out Hyoga.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica'', the murder of Mr. America and his family inspires his old FBI partner to take on the role.
* In ''ComicBook/VForVendetta'', when [[spoiler: V is killed, Evey]] takes his place, carrying out the major plan he was killed to prevent and then continuing the role.
* ''ComicBook/TheDeathOfCaptainAmerica'': ComicBook/BuckyBarnes came [[DeathIsCheap back from the dead]] only to see his former hero Steve Rogers get assassinated, in time to pick up his Mighty Shield. Upon Steve's inevitable resurrection, this briefly became PassingTheTorch before Steve went back to being Captain America and Bucky went on / back to being Winter Soldier.
* ''ComicBook/TheFlash'': Wally West inherits the legacy his uncle, Barry Allen, who is killed at the end of ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths''.
* ''ComicBook/GreenLantern'': This is a mechanism built-in to the rings and it seems most Lanterns gain their ring immediately in the wake of their predecessor's death (GenreSavvy villains, e.g. in ''Comicbook/{{Justice}}'', abused this rule by incapacitating the current GL without killing him, so that his successor isn't "activated"). Sometimes the Lanterns recruit and sometimes a dying Lantern gets to play the TakeUpMySword trope straight as Abin Sur did with Hal Jordan.
* The ComicBook/BlueBeetle legacy has been kinda like this. Dan Garret was friends with Ted Kord when Ted took over the role from Dan when he was killed. Though Jaime Reyes didn't know Ted, being around other heroes (and getting the Scarab stuck in him) lead to him to really take over the role.
* ''ComicBook/ElfQuest''. Played straight with the sword New Moon, forged for the wolfrider chieftain Bearclaw. When he dies, he begs his son Cutter to finish the job, and ''literally'' invokes the trope:
-->"Finish it for me... Tam, my chief-son...Take New Moon. Your hand is mine now...When you strike...I will strike too..."
* Franchise/{{Batman}} does this twice. The first time, Bruce Wayne gives the Mantle of the Bat to Jean-Paul Valley, only to take it away after he goes nuts, and temporarily gives it to Dick Grayson. When Bruce was declared dead at the end of ComicBook/FinalCrisis, Tim Drake and Jason Todd become Batman before Dick officially takes up the position (and keeps it long after Wayne returns) as Batman. Dick stayed as Batman even after Bruce's return to the costume. Bruce is out and about taking his operation global with [[ComicBook/GrantMorrisonsBatman ''Batman Incorporated'']] while Dick is the Batman of Gotham. Sadly, Dick gave up the title of Batman with the ComicBook/{{New 52}}, returning to his Nightwing persona.
* Franchise/{{Superman}}:
** ''ComicBook/TheDeathOfSuperman'' led to no less than four Supermen standing up to replace or impersonate him. Three were [[AntiHeroSubstitute Anti Hero Substitutes]]; the fourth was as much of a [[TheCape Cape]] as the original (if not [[UpToEleven more so]]), and was regarded as a legitimate successor to Superman even after the original returned.
** The ''ComicBook/DCRebirth'' era has brought this about as well, with the pre-''ComicBook/{{Flashpoint}}'' Superman, post-Flashpoint Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}, Comicbook/LexLuthor, Comicbook/LoisLane and [[spoiler:Comicbook/LanaLang]] taking up the New 52 Superman's mantle after he died. Nex 52 Superman specifically asked his cousin to take up his cape in ''Comicbook/SupermanSuperLeague'', and [[spoiler:Lois doesn't get through one issue before Lana's forced to take up ''her'' sword]] in ''Comicbook/{{Superwoman}}''.
** In ''Superman'' #149 -which happens in alternate universe Earth-149-, Comicbook/LexLuthor manages to murder Superman. However, Supergirl captures him and takes over for her cousin afterwards.
--->'''Supergirl:''' You can stop wasting bullets! I have all of Superman's astonishing powers! Gangdom may have suceeded in treacherously killing Superman, but I'm going to carry on his great work!
* The short-lived Comicbook/{{Teen Titan|s}} Bushido inherited the mantle after the death of his mother. His family had been protecting Japan for generations up to that point.
* ''Franchise/SpiderMan''
** ''ComicBook/UltimateSpiderMan'': The death of ultimate Spiderman led to new character Miles Morales becoming the new Friendly Neighborhood Webslinger. The first arc of the new Ultimate Spider-Man series gave a PerspectiveFlip in which it's revealed that Miles had his power long before Peter ever died. He was adamant not to become a Super hero but after learning of Peter's death however, Miles was overcome with guilt due to his own inaction, and decided to carrying on his legacy.
** In the mainstream universe, [[spoiler:Peter Parker, his consciousness trapped inside Dr. Octopus' dying body, is able to convince Octavius, who is inhabiting Peter's body, to stop being a villain and not to soil the name of Spider-Man with his villainous acts. Octavius agrees, setting the stage for him to become the ''Comicbook/SuperiorSpiderMan''. It doesn't last as Doc Ock descends back into his selfish antics, leading him to revive Peter and just die.]]
** ComicBook/SpiderGirl has a pretty painful one with ''ComicBook/SpiderVerse'' as her father is killed by Daemos and, after dealing with the Inheritors, she's given Peter's old costume by Mary Jane, who proceeds to dump her Spider-Girl name and go by Spider-''Woman''. Then, it turns out that poor ol' Mayday hasn't gotten over Peter's death, she ''still'' wishes she could have killed Daemos when she had the chance, everyone's still calling her Spider-''Girl'' [[spoiler:and the villainess Enthrallia has decided to hypnotize New York's heroes into thinking Mayday was an impostor who killed Peter and took his costume.]]
* The ''ComicBook/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' comics had Nomi Sunrider, the Force-sensitive wife of a Jedi, take up his lightsaber and become a Jedi herself after he was killed in battle.

* ''FanFic/WinterWar'' takes the view that Tousen's [[EmpathicWeapon zanpakutou]] Suzumushi originally belonged to his dead friend, and that after her murder, he essentially took on her (sentient) weapon and powers as well as her goals. In the present of the fic, with Tousen dead, Suzumushi is actively trying to get someone else to "take her up" and use her powers to pursue Tousen's "justice"... although she'd really prefer to just [[DemonicPossession possess someone]], rather than allow a shinigami free rein with her powers. [[spoiler: Nanao finally persuades Suzumushi to temporarily lend her her powers, until they have accomplished their common goal of killing Aizen.]]
* At the end of ''Fanfic/GameTheoryFanFic'', [[spoiler:Yuuno gives his Device to Momoko, setting things up for the sequel.]]
* ''FanFic/TheEquestrianWindMage'': At the end of Season 2, [[spoiler: as Ganondorf, [[DyingAsYourself purified of Demise's curse, lays dying]] ([[FinalDeath for the final time]]), he passes the Triforce of Power on to Vaati]].

[[folder:Film - Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/StarshipTroopersInvasion'', [[spoiler: Trig]] gets killed while separated from everyone else. Her rifle (and her [[BodycountCompetition running kill tally]]) is taken up by [[spoiler: a mortally-wounded Bugspray, who dies within feet of his deceased love interest during his [[YouShallNotPass last stand.]]]]

[[folder:Film - Live Action]]
* In ''Film/{{Braveheart}}'', the honor goes to Robert the Bruce, but Wallace's best friend gets the literal sword, and throws it, in an act of defiant symbolism, to what can be considered the climax of the entire musical store.
* In ''Film/{{Highlander}}'', Ramirez finds and trains Connor [=MacLeod=] so that somebody would have a chance of defeating the Kurgan. When the Kurgan takes the aged immortal's head, Connor takes Ramirez's sword and uses it as his own from that point on, later using it to behead the Kurgan and fulfil his mentor's wish.
* ''Film/IronMan2'': In a movie that starts off with a speech about the importance of legacy, this is going to come up a lot.
** [[spoiler:Howard Stark reveals that he discovered a new element that would perfect the arc reactor and revolutionize energy. However, he lacks the technology to create it and leaves it up to Tony to solve the problem]].
** [[spoiler:Rhodey is set up by the dying Tony to take over as armored hero. As Fury points out, the only way Rhodey could have activated the Mk. II was if Tony had already given him clearance to do so]].
** Pepper takes over Stark Enterprises.
* ''Film/TheMaskOfZorro'': It isn't clear if the sword the new Zorro uses is in fact the same one as the one used by the original, but he received the mantle of Zorro all along.
* ''Film/ThePrincessBride''. After Domingo Montoya's death his son takes up the masterpiece of a sword that his father made for the Six Fingered Man. The son later spent the rest of his life training to avenge his father's death. [[MyNameIsInigoMontoya The rest, as]] [[YouKilledMyFather they say, is]] [[PrepareToDie Florinese history...]]
* From "Sharpe's Rifles" -
-->'''Captain Murray:''' "I want you to have my sword. Maybe if the men see you carry it--"
-->'''{{Sharpe}}''': "They'll think I'm a proper officer."
-->'''Captain Murray:''' "No, they'll think I liked you."
* In the ''Film/StarTrek'' movie,
** [[spoiler:Nero]] kills [[spoiler: Lt. George Samuel Kirk]] as he tries to stop him, and 25 years later his son finishes the job.
** Spock (and later Kirk) taking over from Pike.
* ''[[Film/ThreeHundred 300]]'': [[spoiler:Leonidas and his 300 die (except for one survivor), but their deaths inspire the rest of Greece (led by the aforementioned survivor) to fight back and drive off the Persians]].
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': After Qui-Gon is mortally wounded against Darth Maul in ''The Phantom Menace'', Obi-Wan is hinted to have continued to use his deceased Master's lightsaber for some time afterwards, having been shown using it to bisect Maul at the waist (his own had already been disposed of by Maul) just before Qui-Gon expires.
* ''Film/{{Purgatory}}'': [[spoiler:Wild Bill gives his badge to Sonny when Sonny declines to take the easy way to Heaven.]]

* As mentioned in the Film section, Sharpe receives his dying captains old cavalry troopers sword (bear in mind both are infantrymen and it is 35 inches long) in Sharpe's Rifles.
* Sam in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' becomes the Ringbearer after Frodo seemingly dies. However, they later meet again, and Sam, so to say, "gives the sword back" to Frodo.
* ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'':
** Faile promises this to Perrin- it's a Borderlander thing.
** Lan was given his fathers sword while still in the cradle!
** Rand has a really weird form of it. The person encouraging him to take up his sword is Rand's past life.
* ''Literature/GreenRider'': A fallen messenger gives a girl his magic brooch and CoolHorse so she can carry his message for him.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'':
** Harry is given two Swords of the Cross on separate occasions to find replacements for their original wielders. He's like an intermediary for the dead guy and the new guy.
** In ''Literature/SkinGame'', [[spoiler:Butters takes up Fidelacchius after Karin is injured. WordOfGod is that Butters will be a Knight until he dies.]]
* In Creator/DanAbnett's ''Xenos'', Voke, who may be dying, asks Literature/{{Eisenhorn}} to sponsor a protegee of his, if necessary. Besides providing for the future, this is also a gesture of respect, because of their conflicts earlier in the novel and Voke's then expressed opinions of Eisenhorn's methods. (It turns out not to be necessary.)
* In Creator/DanAbnett's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' novel ''Literature/BrothersOfTheSnake'', several marines in Damocles die on different occasions. On the first, Priad is told that he must take up leadership and receives the claw which the leader of the squad always carries; on the second, the survivors seek new ones to take their place.
* Throughout the ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'' series, various characters have gotten messages from Martin, either written down or in dreams, telling them to take up his sword and defend Redwall Abbey. Martin has been dead for a long time so he gives his "sword" (both literal and metaphorical) to several people over the generations. One of them was his own reincarnation.
* In Creator/GrahamMcNeill's TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Literature/{{Ultramarines}} short story "Chains Of Command", Captain Idaeus hands his sword to Uriel before he makes his HeroicSacrifice to bring down a bridge.
* ''[[Creator/JohnRidley Those Who Walk In Darkness]]'': Bullet O'Rourke is a NobleBigotWithABadge who [[NiceJobBreakingItHero unintentionally sets in motion the story's conflict]]. Halfway through the sequel, ''What Fire Cannot Burn'', [[spoiler:she gets killed by a vigilante, and is replaced by her former sidekick Aoki, who wields her {{BFG}}.]]
* ''Literature/FearStreet Cheerleaders'' by R. L. Stine does this [[spoiler:halfway through the first book, with the seeming protagonist boiled to death, but her sister continuing to fight the being that killed her.]]
* In ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'', an injured Elfangor gives the kids the power to morph only minutes before Visser 3 ''eats'' him. It's made more literal since one of the kids, Tobias, is Elfangor's son, though he doesn't find that out until later. Elfangor realized it, though Tobias has his doubts.
* ''Literature/WarriorCats'': this is what Tigerstar intends for Brambleclaw, Hawkfrost, Tawnypelt for a short time, Jayfeather for a short time, Lionblaze, and Tigerheart. [[spoiler:He succeeds with one of them.]]
* In the beginning of ''Literature/{{Cyteen}}'' by C.J Cherryh, Ariane Emory dies. Before she died, she had been working on a project to clone herself, and the project is continued after she dies.
* In ''Literature/GuardiansOfGaHoole'', Soren takes up the battle claws of Ezylryb after the old owl's death. He wears them during the final battle against Nyra's forces.
* In ''Literature/TheAmazingAdventuresOfKavalierAndClay'', Joe Kavalier and Sam Clay are the creators of the [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] hero The Escapist, whose origin embraces this trope: escape artist Max Mayflower, aka Misterioso, was shot by a sniper while in the midst of performing an elaborate escape onstage. As he was led offstage by his assistants, Max convinced his nephew Tom to finish the act wearing Max's Misterioso costume. Tom, who before had been crippled, was able to perform the rest of the show flawlessly, as becoming Misterioso somehow [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane restored his strength and cured his legs]]. Later, before dying of the gunshot, Max revealed to Tom that he worked for The League of the Golden Key, an organization that worked to liberate people who have been enslaved or wrongly imprisoned. His killer was a member of an international slave ring called the Iron Chain. With Max's death, Tom took his place in the League, forging the identity of the Escapist.
* In ''Literature/TheBookOfTheNewSun'', in book IV the dying Autarch passes his throne [[spoiler: and his memories]] to Severian. It ''shouldn't'' be a surprise since we were told it would happen at the start of book I, and the Autarch has known all along who his successor would be, but given the amount of obfuscation involved..
* PlayedWith in a literal way in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows''. [[spoiler: When Harry goes off to let Voldemort kill him, he tells Neville Longbottom to make sure that Voldy's pet snake and SoulJar Nagini is killed. When everyone beholds Harry's (not quite) dead body, Neville pulls out the Sword of Gryffindor and decapitates Nagini, paving the way for Harry to come back and finish Voldy off.]]
* In ''[[Literature/{{Dragaera}} Dragon]]'', Napper tags along when Vlad leaves the skirmish-line to go after Fornia, and is killed DeaderThanDead by the enemy warlord's Morganti weapon. Although Vlad has no intention whatsoever of taking up Napper's profession, he ''does'' pick up the fallen soldier's dropped broadsword and attack Fornia with it.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/PowerRangersZeo'': A non-fatal version occurs when the original Gold Zeo Ranger (Trey Of Triforia) is attacked and seriously injured by Verox Bounty Hunters and is forced to transfer his powers, at least temporarily to former original Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger Jason Lee Scott.
* ''Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy'': Leo took his brother Mike's sword as he was about to fall to a pit, and became the Red Ranger. His brother had the sword for about 5 minutes, but the fact that Leo isn't the one to pull it from the stone himself causes him angst.
** Both the Magna Defender and Kendrix had {{Heroic Sacrifice}}s, and their spirits came back to officially bestow their swords and powers on successors (Mike and Karone, respectively).
* ''Series/PowerRangersTimeForce'': Another fatal version occurs in this series when the big bad Ransick kills Red Time Force Ranger (Alex Collins) in the year 3000. With his dying breath he hands his Red Chrono Morpher to girlfriend and fellow Pink Time Force Ranger Jen Scotts, who in turn gives the Red Chrono Morpher to Alex's ancestor in the year 2001, Wesley Collins.
* ''Series/RobinOfSherwood'': Robert of Huntingdon (played by Jason Connery) succeeds Michael Praed as 'the Hooded Man' and bearer of the magic sword Albion.
* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'': Gabrielle was a heroine for the whole series, even if she was a sidekick. Then Xena died and she steps up to full hero with Xena's chakram.
* ''Series/TheMagnificentSeven'': Mary Travis runs her husband's newspaper after his murder. (Not a spoiler, as he's dead before the pilot episode.) She is very much a crusader.
* ''Series/{{ER}}'': when Mark (protagonist of the first eight seasons) has his last day at the hospital, his last words before leaving are "you set the tone, Carter." After he dies, Dr. Carter "inherits" Mark's stethoscope.
* ''{{Series/Deadwood}}'': Wild Bill Hickok is introduced as though he would be a major character, acting as a sort of surrogate sheriff for the town. [[spoiler: After his murder]], Seth Bullock took on the role of the town's conscience, [[spoiler: eventually becoming the town's ''real'' sheriff]]. Similarly, after [[spoiler: Brom Garrett's murder]], his widow (who had previously shown little interest in anything other than [[spoiler: laudanum]]), rose to the occasion and fought to secure her late husband's gold claim and to try and get some kind of justice against his killers.
* ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'''
** In [[TheMovie the first movie]] Sokichi Narumi died and passed his CoolHat on to his assistant, protagonist Shotaro.
** In the second ''Double'' movie, where [[spoiler: Sokichi appears to Shotaro "beyond the grave" as Kamen Rider Skull, giving his former apprentice the Lost Driver and enabling him to become Kamen Rider Joker.]]
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': Each of the final three episodes features an instance of this. [[spoiler: First, a flashback episode reveals that Jacob's adoptive mother transfered her powers (most prominently {{immortality}}) and position as the Island's protector down to him shortly before she was killed. Then, Jacob briefly comes back from the grave in order to do the same for Jack Shephard. Finally, as Jack is dying, he decides to transfer the powers and responsibilities to Hurley before performing a HeroicSacrifice.]] This can be assumed to be a pattern that started long before the events of the show and will continue long after the final episode.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'''s "[[Recap/DoctorWho2007CiNSTimeCrash Time Crash]]" combined this with PassingTheTorch. Despite the time differential (it aired two years after the revival premiered), can be seen as Classic Who passing the torch to New Who.
-->'''Creator/PeterDavison:''' [[TearJerker To days to come.]]
-->'''Creator/DavidTennant:''' [[PromotedFanboy All my love to long ago.]]
* In the Series/RedDwarf episode "Stoke Me a Clipper", [[DirtyCoward Arnold Rimmer]] reluctantly becomes the next "[[TheAce Ace]]" when the previous one shows up [[spoiler:mortally wounded]].
* ''Series/{{Highlander}}'' episode 'Homeland'. After Duncan was cast out of his clan, it was attacked by a Viking named Kanwulf, and his father was killed. Duncan came back and took up his father's sword to go after the guy. Unfortunately, he didn't know the rules of immortality at the time, so he didn't behead Kanwulf and the guy survived. Duncan, however, became a legend. "He came back from the grave, took up his father's sword and slew the Viking." When Kanwulf returns in the present day to terrorize the village until his sacred ax is found, Duncan repeats the legend, taking his father's sword from the inn/tavern where it had hung and finally ending Kanwulf for good.
* ''Series/{{Primeval}}'' involves [[spoiler:the team leader Nick Cutter for two series dying, and telling Connor Temple to finish his work. These are his last words, and Connor investigates anomalies and ends up killing Helen Cutter, Nick's killer, and continuing his research into anomalies.]]
* In the FinalBattle of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' Faith takes up the scythe after Buffy is struck down and...let's use Creator/JossWhedon's words.
-->"She goes ape shit on the fuckers."
* ''Series/ZyudenSentaiKyoryuger'': Near the end, Torin gives his CoolSword the Feather Edge to Souji, the team's swordsman; Souji [[LampshadeHanging says it feels like an ill omen]]. [[spoiler:He's absolutely right, since Torin had a ThanatosGambit in place that would help them defeat the villains once and for all.]]
* ''Series/KyoryuSentaiZyuranger'': Burai passes Geki the Dragon Armor and Zyusouken (and thus, control of Dragon Cesar) moments before he passes on. The ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' variant has Tommy giving Jason the Dragon Coin just before the Green Candle goes out, effectively giving Rita a parting "Screw You" before he loses his powers.
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest'' has [[spoiler:The Machine]] taking up ''her own sword'' in the finale. [[spoiler:One week after she and Samaritan are destroyed by the ICE-9 virus, a backup copy of her core code comes online, but without any of her memories. To fix this, The Machine records a message right as she dies that her memory-free code eventually listens to, explaining her purpose, the nature of her work, and the moral code she lived by. This is enough for the backup code to resume its mission.]]

[[folder:Mythology and Religion]]
* Hercules passing on his bow and arrows (tipped in the blood of the Hydra) to Philoktetes before he dies of Hydra venom.
* This is repeatedly {{Lampshaded}} in Literature/TheQuran, citing the possibility of Muhammad dying in battle, and what the rest of the Muslims must do in case that should actually happen. History says otherwise.

* ''TabletopGame/WorldOfDarkness'': This is the big reason why the Vampires don't go out of their way to kill Hunters. Kill one, and you'd just get one or more to take their place.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Pendragon}}'': Since the game is set on a quick timescale, any player character is expected to die in the course of a campaign. When that happens, it is assumed that his lands and titles will pass to his heir, who will become the player's new character.

* In ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}'', Elphaba hands the Grimmerie off to Glinda before "melting."

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** In the ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' prequel ''VideoGame/CrisisCore'', Zack Fair puts Buster Sword into Cloud's hand and and tells him to live "for the both of us".
--->"You are the proof that I existed."
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' has an example that is reflected within the game mechanic. When [[spoiler: Krile]] replaces [[spoiler: Galuf]] in your party following the latter's death, she gets all his old abilities and exp and suchlike.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfMonkeyIsland'': has a subversion. At the end of chapter 4, [[spoiler: Guybrush died and it looked like Elaine would be the hero of the final episode (she even gets a CrowningMomentOfAwesome in chapter 4's end cinematic, as if confirming this idea). A month later, chapter 5 came out and the focus was still on Guybrush.]]
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration Gaiden'' its revealed that Fighter Roar tried to use a kamikaze attack on Dark Brain and is now without a body. He then merges with Kouta so that Kouta can become the new Fighter Roar with the first Roar being his mentor.
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney:''
** In ''Investigations'', Kay takes up the position of Yatagarasu from [[spoiler: her father.]]
** In ''Investigations 2'', in a climactic scene, Edgeworth and company take up the mission to expose the smuggling ring leader from the previous Yatagarasu.
** Mia [[spoiler: takes up what is hinted to be Diego Armando's position as the hot-headed, "never say die" defence attorney as well as the case against Dahlia Hawthorne after his poisoning.]]
** Phoenix succeeds Mia who then entrusts him with the safety and happiness of her little sister and Phoenix later trains Apollo to be the kind of lawyer he was.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'': The Crucible is an ancient weapon against [[EldritchAbomination the Reapers]] that was never finished before its creators where wiped out. [[spoiler:It wasn't developed by the Protheans either. Like the humans, they found the plans in ancient ruins 50,000 years older than their own civilization and only improved and refined what they found. It's the combined effort of countless civilizations which each added new improvements to the design before they were annihilated by the reaper, making the building of the Crucible a task that has been passed down for millions of years, with the current cycle of reaping that Humanity is part of being the first to finish it. In the Refusal ending, Liara in turn sends on the Crucible schematics to the next cycle.]]
* ''VideoGame/LegacyOfKain: Defiance'': [[spoiler:Raziel willingly lets himself be absorbed into the Reaver, so Kain can continue to fight the good fight.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'': When Link takes his uncle's sword in where he finds his uncle dying in the sewers of Hyrule Castle, he is told to take his sword and save Princess Zelda.
* ''Franchise/{{Megaman}}''
** ''VideoGame/MegaMan'': [[BigBrotherMentor Proto Man]] giving [[IconicItem his shield]] the blue bomber after a [[BonusBoss Bonus]] BossBattle.
** ''VideoGame/MegaManX'': If the player fails to acquire the X Buster upgrade, Zero will relinquish his own for you to use after his HeroicSacrifice.
** [[spoiler: after Zero's death at the end of X5, X tries to find his friend, only to find Zero's sword. X decides to use the Z-saber onwards "in memory" of Zero]].
** In ''VideoGame/MegaManZX'', Zero and X return as equipable "biometals" that can impart their form unto a new user, who then not only takes up their sword, but also their body.
** In ''VideoGame/MegaManXCommandMission'', the Steel Massimo that joins your party is not the heroic Reploid warrior but rather a disciple of his that took on his axe, armor, and name.
* In ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'', Frog eventually takes up the legendary Masamune in memory of his brother-in-arms Cyrus, who was killed just as the sword was recovered.
* In ''VideoGame/JeanneDArc'', [[spoiler:Jeanne takes a [[NoOneCouldSurviveThat nasty spill down a ravine]]. Only Gilles goes on to look for her --everyone else thinks she's dead, including the French commanders, who all but force Jeanne's friend Liane to [[LegacyCharacter impersonate the Maid of Orleans]] in order to keep morale up.]] It doesn't end well for the replacement, [[spoiler: who's the one who gets [[BurnTheWitch burned at the stake]] instead of the real Jeanne.]]
* ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War]]'': The entire 2nd half [[spoiler:takes place after Sigurd and most of the players army from part 1 die.]]
* VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening has [[spoiler: the kids who took up their parents's missions ''come from the future'' to fight with them in an attempt to make said Bad Future better.]]
%%* ''VideoGame/CaveStory'': [[spoiler:King's death scene.]]
* ''Franchise/MetalGear'': The big {{Reveal}} of the heavily [[MindScrew Mind Screwed]] series turns out to be that [[spoiler: the entire situation with ''Outer Haven'', ''Metal Gear'', ''Les Enfants Terrible'', ''the Patriots'', and ''FOXDIE'' is just the result of a small group of people fighting about how to best continue the work of ''The Boss''.]]
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'' has [[spoiler:Raiden take Jetstream Sam's sword after their duel to finish the fight with Senator Armstrong, who Sam tried to defeat before the events of the game. After defeating Armstrong, the latter states that Raiden is a worthy successor of his ideals and encourages him to fight for his own ideals regardless what others may think.]]
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'': [[spoiler: Aqua takes up Eraqus' keyblade when returning to Land of Departure aster his death, and start wield it after losing her own to save Terra-Xehanort. The bequething ceremonies Aqua and Terra give to Kairi and Riku also qualify by the end have effectively passed on their roles in the story to them.]]
* ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney'' has this with [[AFatherToHisMen Commander Gore]] begging you to save humanity and not give in to [[TheEvilsOfFreeWill the angels]] or [[TheUnfettered the demons]].
* ''VideoGame/RomancingSaGa2'': With its generation system the game considered this whenever a generation changes or when the team leader is killed, notably the first lord, Leon. He gets killed off by a bad guy during the prologue chapter, passing all his ability and skill to his wimp son Gellard, [[TookALevelInBadass who's taking a whole new level in badass.]] [[RoaringRampageofRevenge He then off to revange his father.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheLastStory'': [[spoiler:the sword that Quark wears on his belt is symbolic of his childhood oath with Elza for them to become knights and protect people. Later, Quark pulls a FaceHeelTurn and tries to kill the party. After his defeat, he passes on this sword to Elza, acknowledging that he lost faith in their dream and that Elza never did]].
* In ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarIV'', [[spoiler: Alys' death forces Chaz to assume command of the team and continue the mission to stop Zio.]]
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestV'', Pankraz's trying to find his wife, and passes on the job to his son [[spoiler: as he's dying]], setting up one of the main objectives of the game.
* In ''VideoGame/MuramasaTheDemonBlade'', Kisuke received his sword style this way from Jinkuro's master, who was already dead.
* ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'': This happens several times. In 1, [[spoiler: Sgt. Jackson gets killed by a [[NukeEm nuke]]]], although that's a weaker example, since you were already playing as Soap, who the story shifts to, anyway. In 2, [[spoiler: It happens twice- first, Allen gets shot by Makarov and you become a different US Army Ranger in the same unit for the rest of the American side of the story, and later, Roach dies when Shepard betrays Task Force 141, and you play as Soap for the final few missions]] 3 is the only game in the series to (mostly) lack this trope- a few characters die while you play as them, but you only play as them for one level anyway, and nobody new replaces them.
* ''Videogame/AloneInTheDark2'': A captain killed by the BigBad claimed that he would die by the captain's sword. In the final battle, you need to get the sword (Which has been stuck in the planking of the ship's quarterdeck for centuries) to win the fight.
* ''VideoGame/SamuraiShodown 2'': This happens in [[spoiler: Nakoruru]]'s ending in , since [[spoiler: her sister Rimururu receives her dagger and decides to fight on from then on. Nakoruru's later becomes a sortof Spirit Protector who comes back when needed and often fights alongside Rimururu.]]
* In ''VideoGame/WarCraft'', Anduin Lothar, leader of the Alliance forces, falls in battle. His second-in-command, Turalyon, takes up his position and kicks the living shit out of the orcs.
* ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'' [[ZigZaggingTrope zigzags it]] by having Zhang Bao taking up his father, Zhang Fei's BladeOnAStick for one of his secondary Musou attacks after [[spoiler: Zhang Fei is killed by Shu soldiers who then flee to Wu.]] The attack itself ends with a MightyRoar. The one Musou attack is the only time we see it and he's never shown with it otherwise.
** Similarly [[ZigZaggingTrope zigzagged]] by Guan Xing who uses his [[spoiler: dead father, Guan Yu's]] [[BladeOnAStick Green Dragon Crescent Blade.]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In the fifth arc of ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'', [[spoiler:Beatrice is killed by Erika Furudo.]] As a result, Battler [[spoiler:becomes the Endless Sorcerer.]] It's an unusual example, considering that he's taking up the role of [[spoiler:the woman who has acted as an antagonist until now.]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'':
** In the Volume Three finale, "End of the Beginning", Professor Ozpin is missing/presumed dead. Qrow Branwen takes over as the BigGood and carries Ozpin's cane.
** In the beginning of Volume Four, Jaune's gear is upgraded with metal left from Pyrrha's armor.

* ''Webcomic/{{Spinnerette}}'': Tiger inherits his powers this way. He found the former Tiger dying from a gunshot wound and received the Spirit of the Tiger from him as the man's final act. He was already a cop on the beat, so he didn't inherit the purpose but rather traded "policeman" for "superhero".


[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersTheMovie'', Optimus Prime gives the Matrix of Leadership to Ultra Magnus but Hot Rod ends up with it by the end. [[MemeticMutation Magnus just couldn't deal with that now.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot''
** Bob gives Enzo a copy of his Guardian Code & uniform [[TemptingFate just in case]] something happens to him during the Web invasion. Sure enough, Bob is betrayed by Megabyte and exiled to the Web and it's up to Enzo to take Bob's place as guardian of Mainframe. Enzo even gets to use Bob's (broken) Glitch for a while.
** They tried to do this with Matrix's backup clone, little Enzo. Fortunately for everyone, Little Enzo refused.
* Defied in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'', since Smokescreen made the wisest decision of his young life and used the Forge to revive Optimus, thus eliminating the need for Smokescreen receiving the Matrix of Leadership.