1 Days Left to Support a Troper-Created Project : Personal Space (discuss)

The Ageless

This character is Immortal, but not because they are Nigh Invulnerabile or can regenerate any injury. They are immortal because they don't age, nor do they usually sicken. This character will never die from natural causes. However, they are just as vulnerable to injury as a normal person, and any normally fatal injury will prove fatal to them as well. This is frequently a racial trait of elves and almost always a feature of robots and vampires.

Of course, this trope can be combined with many other Immortality Tropes, particularly Nigh-Invulnerability. Characters that are extremely difficult to kill while also unable to age provides convenience for long-running series, and can also give villains credibility in terms of threat (an Evil Overlord that can rule the Earth forever is clearly more threatening than one with average human lifespan).

Frequently overlaps with Immortality Begins at 20. Also frequently overlaps with immortality by From a Single Cell, to the point it's more unusual to find someone with a Healing Factor without slowed or stopped aging than one with it. If this trope is combined with Nigh-Invulnerability and taken to its logical extreme, it may become Complete Immortality.

Compare Long Lived, Really 700 Years Old. Contrast Life Drinker, which involves stealing lifeforce from victims to maintain immortality, rather than the non-aging being an innate trait to begin with.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Sasori from Naruto, because he turned himself into a puppet.
  • Edermask from Magician. Not even he knows exactly why.
  • The Innovators, artificial humans from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 whose aging is controlled by gene manipulation and nanomachines.
  • Master Roshi and Fortuneteller Baba from Dragon Ball, both having drank from the Fountain of Youth.
    • King Piccolo first mentioned wanting to wish for eternal youth from Shen Long so he could rule the world forever, but for some reason when he got the balls he changed his wish to just having his youth restored (he was even stated to be holding back against Goku at first because fighting as full strength makes him age faster).
    • Androids #17 , #18, and #20 are this due to their cyborg status. #17 and #18 were captured as runaway teenage humans and turned into this by Dr. Gero's experiments, whereas Gero had his own brain transferred into the robotic #20 body.
  • The case for gods in the Saiyuki series.
  • In Robotech, the Zentraedi apparently have biological immortality due to a protoculture-based genetic engineering, despite having a life expectancy lower than humans due to being a Proud Warrior Race and Martyrdom Culture.
  • The demons of Chrono Crusade appear to be this. There's some indication that they do age, but if so it's very slowly—they look the same age even over a span of 60 years.
  • Seine from Hekikai No Ai ON. Sadly, she's stuck forever in a 15-years-old body.
  • Lyrical Nanoha
    • A common trait of the Ridiculously Human Magitek programs in the series, such as the Wolkenritter, Reinforce, Agito, and the Materials. Whether or not they overlap with other forms of immortality varies, but all of them have lived since the days of Ancient Belka, with their apparent age changing only if they want it to.
    • StrikerS Sound Stage X introduces King Ixpellia. She has the same child-looking appearance she has now as she did when she ruled as Garea's figurehead king hundreds of years ago, although it is unknown if she has any other form of immortality since she's kept away from the front lines.
  • The enigmatic magician Clow Reed from Cardcaptor Sakura, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, and Xxx Holic maintained his fairly youthful appearance for the duration of his several-centuries-long life with his vast powers. His apparent counterpart, the Dimension witch Yuuko Ichihara, is similarly unaging, although the reason for it in her case is because Clow Reed accidentally trapped her in a state where she's neither truly dead nor alive.
  • In Princess Tutu, Mytho never ages after he escapes from the Story Within The Story into the real world.
  • In Rebuild of Evangelion 3.0, this is apparently a side effect of piloting an Eva: the pilot's physical age is fixed at that point. This results in a 28-year-old Asuka and Mari still having the 14-year-old bodies they had in the last film. Asuka refers to it as "the Curse of Eva".
  • In One Piece, the Hobi Hobi no Mi (Hobby-Hobby Fruit)'s main power is to turn people into toys, but it also has the side-effect of halting the aging process, effectively granting eternal youth. The current user, Sugar of the Donquxote Pirates, ate it as a child, and thus still is one physically.
  • In Samurai Deeper Kyo, all Mibu clan members share this trait to certain degree. Tokito, a member of Taishirou is this due to a technique that reverse her age and stop her growth to halt deadly disease in her body.
  • All Crimson Denizens and Flame Hazes are this in Shakugan no Shana and their protagonist is a special case who get this status due to treasure tool called Midnight Lost Child.
  • In Tweeny Witches, Eva and Sheila were punished by being made ageless. Arusu didn't see what was so bad about that, until they pointed out that since they can't grow up, they can't reach their full magical potential, not to mention they won't be able to do adult stuff like get married.
  • Nanahoshi of Mushoku Tensei has not aged since she was teleported from Japan. She highlights just how unusual her state is by the fact that her hair and finger nails haven't grown at all since that day. However she is still able to become sick and so limits her contact with people who might carry diseases for which she lacks an immunity.
  • Jinbei Shishido from UQ Holder! ate the flesh of a mermaid 1400 years ago. He doesn't age but he can be injured, so he's covered in scars.

    Comic Books 
  • The Elves in ElfQuest (except for the Wolfriders, who for most of their history were more likely to die in battle with humans anyway) do not die of old age, however, sickness occasionally happens, e.g. Krim's first child died as an infant.
  • Many immortals of the DC Universe, including the New Gods and the Amazons.
  • In the world of Felarya, everyone has this due to the magical properties of the world. Unfortunately for those who come to Felarya seeking immortality, it it very easy to die there.
  • The Martian Manhunter, like all Martians, ages much slower than humans do, as he is several hundred years old and is still in his prime.
  • Doctor Strange got into a fight with Death itself, accepted its inevitability, surrendered to it, and Came Back Strong. He is told that, as a result, "death may only come from without, in battle — and not from within."
  • From the Marvel Universe, Nick Fury. His brand of immortality stems from the Infinity Formula, for which he was the lab rat during World War 2 (without his consent, he was half-dead at the time, having just stepped on a landmine). The formula took about a quarter of a century to work on his biology, and now, although being nominally 90 years old (born 1917-1918) he is physically in his 40s, 50s tops and will not age another day. He can however be wounded, and presumably killed; nobody really achieved that, since he's Colonel Badass, with an Eyepatch of Power. Then, it's revealed that the formula's effects have faded. Then, again, he becomes even more this.
  • Nick Fury's Arch-Enemy Baron Strucker, the leader of the terrorist organization HYDRA, also has repressed aging thanks to a serum.
  • Captain America ages far more slowly due to the super soldier serum in his veins, but can die like anyone else. His ex-sidekick, Bucky Barnes, was injected with the same Infinity Formula (in fact, it was the last of it) as Nick Fury, but is as vulnerable as your average soldier.
  • Black Widow has slowed ageing thanks to an experimental formula used on her.
  • A number of entities in The Sandman, starting with the Endless (who are Anthropomorphic Personifications of primal concepts and can be killed through extraordinary means, but will be reborn as another "aspect" of themselves with a slightly different appearance and personality) on down through gods, angels, and devils, who can die because God Needs Prayer Badly but not because of aging, and down to folks like Hob Gadling, who is otherwise totally human but does not age and cannot die due to a bet between Dream and Death. Some immortals don't even know why they don't age; they just don't.
  • In some continuities Superman doesn't really age at all (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns), while in others he does, but at a somewhat slower rate than everyone else and usually with white hair around his temples and just a few wrinkles to show for it (Earth 2, Kingdom Come, and Batman Beyond).

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm has Natasha who, as per canon, is biologically immortal.
    • Other recipients of the Infinity Formula, such as Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel, tempted by Fury with its regenerative properties also qualify.
    • Lily as the White Phoenix of the Crown.
  • The Genesis Samurais from Clash of the Elements, who haven't aged for over two-thousand years.
  • The Flutter Ponies in The Elements of Harmony and the Savior of Worlds, meaning that after the 1500 years that have passed for Equestria compared to 20 for Earth, those friends of Megan's are still around. The same is true of the Princess Ponies, but in their case it's because of the Heart of Ponyland sustaining them. Apparently so do the Bushwoolies that serve as their honor guards, and Katrina and Rep.
  • Twilight Sparkle and Shining Armor in Harmony's Warriors, who both appear the same age in Captain Equestria (which is set in the 1940s), X-Questrians: First Class (set in the 1970s) and all the present day stories. Apparently, this is due to a serum Twilight had created.
  • Explicitly stated to be the case for almost everyone in Sailor Moon: Legends of Lightstorm. All Sailor Scouts and Justice Champions are clearly stated to be biologically immortal (including the two title characters), and absolutely everyone was this way during the Silver Millennium.
  • Massively Multiplayer Crossover fic Blood And Revolution has various people along a scale of immortality; it seems the daiyoukai, vampires, dragons, tsukumogami, and other super-mortals fall into this category, as there are some who are millennia old and vulnerable to injury but haven't aged. This means that Sesshoumaru, Kenshin, Aoshi, Hiko, Kenji, Yukito, Shun, Hana, and Abel at least are The Ageless.
  • In the Pony POV Series, anyone exposed to the Rainbow of Light, or its shards, for an extended period of time do not age, or at least do so at a very decreased pace.
  • Children of an Elder God: Shinji, Asuka, Touji and Hikari are permanently stuck in fourteen-years-old bodies due to their powers stolen from eldritch abominations. Misato noticed this when she got old, but neither Touji nor Hikari aged.
  • Thousand Shinji: Shinji, Asuka, Rei and Misato never age after their ascension to godhood. Their human bodies are permanently fourteen-years-old.

    Film - Live Action 
  • The Fountain: Tom Creo has lived for 500 years without aging by eating the bark of a special tree.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, drinking from the Holy Grail grants you this form of immortality. There's a downside, however: The elderly crusader explains that yes, you live forever - but only so long as you remain in the grail's sacred area. You must drink from the Grail periodically to rejuvenate yourself (hence why Indy and his dad aren't immortal despite drinking from it). Since it can't be taken from its sacred area, obviously you need to stay relatively close to that area to keep drinking from it.
  • In Time features a humanity that has stopped the aging process, freezing everyone's age and physical abilities at 25. Time itself has replaced money as currency, meaning that the poor live day to day, while the rich can effectively become immortal.
  • John Oldman from The Man from Earth says he is this, as he claims to be a 14,000 year old caveman who has survived until the current day while looking about 35 for no particular reason except he just hasn't died. He has no idea if he has a Healing Factor or not (having avoided situations where he could test that) although he does know that he doesn't scar. After initially claiming that he was lying all along, the last few minutes of the movie reveal that he is at least old enough to literally be the father of a colleague who looks to be in his 60s or 70s.
  • The puppets in Puppet Master are brought to life by an ancient Egyptian spell found by Andre Toulon. The spell apparently works on humans as well, but they are only invulnerable to aging. This also applies to the puppets as they can be damaged to the point of death.
  • In the 2010 Clash of the Titans, Io was cursed by the gods with agelessness. She mentions the burden of living on while her loved ones grew old and died.
  • X-Men:
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Sebastian Shaw, whose energy-absorbing powers keep him young... somehow.
      • Also Raven Darkholme to a point, who ages at a very slow rate due to the ability of her cells to alter their function, which makes more sense than Shaw's immortality in the framework of the established rules of the universe.
    • Logan already being roughly 130 years old in 1962, and only appearing around thirty-five, when a young Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr attempt to recruit him in a bar. Forty years before he ends up actually joining the X-Men.
    • The Wolverine: Ichirō Yashida became obsessed with becoming this after meeting Logan back during World War II.

  • The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion:
    • The elves have an unending lifespan until the world ends, have the vigor and strength of a human in his prime even when thousands of years old (though they may outwardly age under years of torture, as Gwindor in Silm), and do not get sick. They only die if slain or by wasting away from grief. Even death isn't always permanent; after an elf's spirit has spent some years in the Halls of Waiting, if they have thoroughly repented and learned from any sins they comitted, they get re-embodied — this, however, is not an inherent power but a grace provided by the Valar (the godlike archangels of Arda).note 
    • Ainur (Valar and Maiar) are ageless within the world, and will continue in perfect youth until the end of the world.
    • Ents are just as long-lived as elves, as Treebeard explains to the hobbits. They have a tendency to get sleepy and tree-like, but they never age.
    • In the Blessed Realm of Aman, all animal and plant life remains in a state of youthful adulthood after reaching maturity. The Hounds of Oromë, which may or may not just be dogs, are as ageless as elves.
    • Dragons can be killed but they never die from natural causes. They aren't exactly ageless, but they only get Stronger with Age.
  • Morc, in the De Dannan Isles books.
  • The sorcerers of the Belgariad.
  • The Immortals of Tamora Pierce's Tortall Universe books, which include creatures from centaurs to dragons. First seen in (wait for it) The Immortals quartet.
  • The Amber Royalty from The Chronicles of Amber are mostly this. They are quite tough and regenerate better than humans, but it's a very slow process (it takes four years to grow back burnt out eyes, for example). Serious wounds definitely can kill them, which happens on several occasions.
  • The Remillard Clan from Julian May's Galactic Milieu series. Each one appears to stop getting older at a different age. They have minor regenerative powers, but they can still be seriously injured or killed.
  • The majority of the Wilds from Trudi Canavan's The Age of the Five trilogy fall into this category. The most extreme example is The Gull - the oldest of the Wilds, who has the physical body of a prepubescent child.
  • In the Indigo series, may be true of Indigo and Grimya—they do not age, but even they don't know whether they can be killed by injury or disease. At one point, Indigo is seriously ill and comatose, and Grimya worries that she will remain delirious forever if the disease "kills" her. (Indigo recovers, and the question is never resolved.)
  • Warbreaker:
    • The Returned can continue to live indefinitely if they are supplied with Breath once per week but are otherwise as vulnerable to injury as anybody else, as poor Blushweaver discovered.
    • Anyone can live indefinitely if they have the Fifth Heightening or above, and in fact it's explained that the Returned immortality works like it does because a Returned has a single, immensely powerful breath that puts them automatically at this stage (People with less than that age more slowly, but the Fifth Heightening is when it stops completely). It's actually better than being a Returned since such people don't need a constant supply of Breath to live (though they do need to gather a lot of Breath in the first place to reach the heightening, their bodies don't consume it once they have it and they can use it indefinitely).
  • The Immortal Vermin of Bruce Coville's Magic Shop series are this type. Bufo, the first of the Immortal Vermin to appear, says he can be killed, but barring such an incident, he will live forever. Jerome and Roxanne, the youngest of the Immortal Vermin, inform the protagonists of "The Skull of Truth" and "Juliet Dove, Queen of Love" of their status as "killable, but otherwise undying". (It may also be mentioned in the updated version of "The Monster's Ring".)
  • In The Last Unicorn the title character is immortal but can be killed by anything from a dragon to a stray arrow.
  • Norna-Gest from the Old Norse Tale of Norna-Gest gains this kind of immortality by exploiting the Exact Words of a norn's curse.
  • Dragons in The Obsidian Trilogy are this. They do not age or get ill, but they can be injured and killed. If they chose to bond with a human or elven mage, they will also die when their bondmate does.
  • In The Third Millenium: A History Of The World 2000 - 3000 A.D., The Emortals and Starpeople achieve temporary biological immortality through genetic engineering and the rejuvenation procedure; most who don't die by accident will eventually die from a failed rejuvenation, but they typically remain youthful to about age 400 - 500.
  • In Lois Duncan's Locked in Time, Lisette and her children have eternal youth but not eternal life.
  • The Lord Ruler from Mistborn. He can store up youth and health by using Feruchemy for later consumption, making him both ageless and virtually impervious to injury. In the end, Vin kills him by tearing away his storages - so she almost literally rips the vitality out of him.
    • Also the kandra, at least as far as we know, they are also rather tricky to kill by injury due to their ability to close wounds using their shapeshifting powers, the best way to kill them seems to be acid.
  • The Alex Benedict novel Polaris has the scientist Dunnager, who was seeking a way to halt the aging process and was reportedly very close to succeeding when he mysteriously vanished without a trace and his lab burned down. It turns out he did succeed, and a number of people rendered ageless by his work conspired to keep it secret.
  • In Dirge for Prester John, no one who drinks from the Fountain three times will age beyond their third visit.
  • In Max Frei's Labyrinths of Echo:
    • Khrebels, the pure spirits. Effectively immortal, possibly vulnerable only to the destruction of their world.
    • As the mysterious World's Heart pierces the planet like a rod, two entities inhabit the ends - the Spirit of Kholomi in Echo and an unnamed entity on the opposite end. Both are probably immortal unless the world is destroyed.
    • Pure-blooded elves. This doesn't extend to their offspring with other sentients, leading to dramatic scenarios and the creation of Kharumba.
    • True Magic users of sufficient power, e.g. Maba Kalokh.
    • Ancient Magisters, e.g. Khabba Khän.
  • The controlling entities in Iar Elterrus' 9 Swords Multiverse are each split into Will, Power and Knowledge. While Knowledge incarnates as one of the eponymous Swords and is indestructible and immortal, Power incarnates as an ageless dragon. In contrast, Will incarnates as a mortal human, which means that every coming of the entity has the same Power and Knowledge driven by a new Will.
  • In Vadim Panov's Secret City:
    • Nav', although mortal and with some WeaksauceWeaknesses.
    • Divine Lords of Tat'. While vulnerable to both regular and magical harm, their power levels and personal brands of Taking You with Me which inflict damage on geological scale serve as a strong deterrent.
    • Possibly the Asura, although their surviving contemporaries, Nav' and Tat', are unreliable sources of information at best.
    • The last couple of Osara, king and queen of the common Os'. This is at least partially caused by Nav' meddling.
    • "Flying Dutchman's" crew - they are ageless and maybe truly immortal until they either voluntarily leave the ship or fulfill the Curse Escape Clause.
  • Various elves in contemporary russian fiction, too many to count.
  • The huntresses of Artemis in Percy Jackson and the Olympians have this when the young girls swear their lives to the goddess, age can't kill them. Only if they fall in battle can they die.
  • Dorian Gray from The Picture of Dorian Gray had this because his painting aged and took the physical effect of his sins instead of him, though No Immortal Inertia kicked in when his Soul Jar was destroyed.
  • In Andre Norton's Dread Companion, Kosgro observes that the people in this world do not die unless killed. Kilda contrasts this with very long-lived but still mortal aliens that she knows of.
  • In the The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, warlocks are this. They do not age after reaching adulthood, but are not significantly more resistant to physical injury than humans. This is also implied to be the case with the Fair Folk. Vampires are a little closer to Immortality, as they possess Healing Factor, although they can still be killed, most obviously by sunlight.
  • In Mikhail Akhmanov and Christopher Nicholas Gilmore's Captain French, or the Quest for Paradise, all of humanity has achieved this through a one-time medical treatment called Cellular Regeneration (or CR). Usually overlaps with Immortality Begins at 20, since most opt to have the procedure done in their early 20s in order to forever retain their youthful beauty (another procedure, Biosculpture, ensures that everyone is beautiful). A few choose to do it in their early 30s in order to look more professional. Only recently-colonized worlds without CR equipment still suffer from aging (all except the original colonists, of course), and criminals on many worlds can be sentenced to aging (i.e. the procedure is reversible). The titular protagonist is, likely, the only person in the galaxy who looks older, as he was born 20,000 years ago on Earth before CR was invented (his biological age is closer to 2000, thanks to Time Dilation). French was the test pilot of the first relativistic starship and became the first space trader when extrasolar colonies were established. The authors delve deep into the galaxy of ageless people, pointing out that most worlds have Population Control measures in place to avoid overpopulation from people not dying of natural causes (plenty of people still die for other reasons).
  • In the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Bloodguard do not age so long as they hold true to the Vow that they made to serve and guard the Lords of the Land. For reference, the Bloodguard was founded some 2000 years before the beginning of the story proper, and many of its charter members are still in service. The artificial beings created by the Demondim (such as the waynhim and the ur-viles) also do not die of natural causes. However, both Bloodguard and Demondim-spawn can be killed violently.
  • In the semi-canonical sequels to Harry Harrison's Deathworld by Ant Akalandis, Jason discovers that his real parents (he was actually adopted) are this and, thus, he is as well. Additionally, Kerk becomes one after being injected with an Immortality Inducer serum developed by a secret society. When being initiated into the organization, Kerk to finds out that his "grubber" counterpart Rhys has been a member (and immortal) for years.
  • In Sergey Lukyanenko's Night Watch, the Others are pretty much this (or rather, they age extremely slowly), as long as they have access to Power. If their access is taken away, they become, effectively, human. Child Others continue to age normally until they are adults, at which point the process slows down to a crawl. It's a little different for witches, due to their Closer to Earth status. Outwardly, they use magic to maintain a youthful, beautiful appearance. Underneath, though, they eventually start looking like dried-up husks who would crumble to dust if their magic access is cut off.
  • In Guild Hunter angels don't have a definite lifespan as they can't die naturally, and therefore tend to live a very long time (the oldest character so far, Caliane, is rumored to be at least 200 000-years-old).
  • Everything on the planet Iego in the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
  • The eldrae and galari are this naturally in the Eldraeverse. It was quite a shock when they discovered other sophonts weren't, so naturally they set out to fix that small problem.
  • Lythande: Pilgrim Adepts are immortal so long as they keep their Dark Secret that's the key to their powers, but can still be physically killed.
  • In Watersong, the sirens do not age, remaining eternally young and beautiful.
  • In The Silent War The Redcloaks, the setting's empowered demon slayers, don't age nor suffer sickness or infections. Protagonist Katja is still only a teenager, but her mentor is her 130's (and apparently considered something of a teenager herself, by the true elders).
  • In A Land Fit for Heroes, the Kiriath do not die of old age, though they can die of other means. Even Archeth, who is only half-Kiriath, has lived for centuries with no sign of ageing further.
  • Damon Knight had a 1957 novella variously called Dio or The Dying Man. In the far-off Future humans have genetically engineered themselves into immortality and separated into the classes of "players" (consumers), "students" who remember and preserve the past, and "planners" who create environments and technology to make Earth a paradise. Everyone can levitate, injuries regenerate. One of the most brilliant planners suddenly loses these abilities, subsequently discovering he's going to age normally and die. His creative work reflects his experiences, and his player girlfriend has to get serious in order to understand what's happening.
  • In Dmitry Glukhovsky's (of the Metro 2033 fame) The Future, humanity has discovered the "aging vaccine" at some point during the 22nd century. By the 25th century, aging is a thing of the past, but population size is strictly controlled. Special soldiers are grown and trained for the purpose of maintaining the size of the population and combating terrorists and ideologists of the so-called Life Party.
  • Conrad Nomikos from This Immortal has stopped aging somewhere in his mid-20s, most likely due to mustation caused by radioactivity, and keeps reinventing new identities for himself at somewhat regular intervals to hide that fact. His inner monologue implies that he can die from unnatural causes, but will live forever otherwise. This comes in handily in the end when Tatram Yshtigo judges Conrad to be morally upright and long-lived enough to take control over all affairs concerning planet Earth.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Lost's Richard Alpert made a deal with Jacob about 150 years ago, gaining immortality in exchange for becoming a leader to the people of the island. His reasons for asking this? Being afraid of going to hell for accidental murder.
  • Walter Jameson, from The Twilight Zone episode "Long Live Walter Jameson", was granted this form of immortality in Ancient Greece by an alchemist. He says that he came close to death many times over the centuries due to injuries and disease, "but never close enough". At the end of the episode when he is shot, he begins to age rapidly as he dies until he is nothing but a pile of dust.
  • Former Doctor Who companions Ian and Barbara Chesterton were stated in the show's spinoff The Sarah Jane Adventures to have not aged between the 1960s and the 2010s.
    • The Doctor zig-zags this as most of his incarnations never appear to age despite spending centuries in that particular body, with the Tenth Doctor claiming to Rose that part of the reason he lets go of his companions is because it pains him to see them age when he doesn't. The First and the Eleventh Doctor are the only numbered incarnations to have become elderly, the First being introduced as an old man and the Eleventh spending over 1200 years in that form before nearly dying of extreme old age.
      • It's not clear how long the War Doctor incarnation lasted. In Time of the Doctor he's an old man, but the partial reflection seen at the end of Night of the Doctor seems to be that of a much younger John Hurt.
    • In Series 9, two characters are transformed into ageless immortals: Ashildr, a 9th century Viking girl, and Clara Oswald, with the latter observing on screen that she no longer ages.
  • Downplayed in both Doctor Who and Torchwood with Captain Jack Harkness. He initially thought he wouldn't age, but after a long time started to notice he was getting wrinkles and his hair was graying, so he was just ageing very slowly. As in "looks the same age after spending 2000 years buried alive" slowly. The Doctor Who episode "Last of the Time Lords" reveals that Jack is destined to evolve over millions of years into a creature known as the Face of Boe, which is little more than a giant head.
  • In the Speculative Documentary Can You Live Forever?, an experimental procedure allows Adam Savage— yes, the one from MythBusters — to retain a youthful constitution into old age.
    I was 132 years old. I didn't feel it though. In, fact, I felt awesome.
  • Once Upon a Time: Rumplestiltskin seems to have this, as he hasn't aged a day while Gepetto has aged from a young boy to an old man. It's generally a very bad idea to try and kill him by normal means.
  • 666 Park Avenue: Drake resident Danielle hasn't aged for at least sixty years as part of her deal with Gavin. However, she's unaware of it; it seems he regularly wipes her memory.
  • John Amsterdam from New Amsterdam has physically been 35 years old since the 1600s. In the pilot he suddenly dies when it seems like he might have had an encounter with his true love, but he resurrects and walks out of the morgue.
  • The Immortals on Highlander stop aging at the time they suffer their first death and become immortal.
  • The Partially-Deceased Syndrome sufferers in In The Flesh are mentioned in Series 2 to have not aged a single day since the Rising. One teenager derides his friends hopes for an undead-living relationship with his classmate as being impossible, since he'll still be 16 when she's 60.
  • In Haven, mysterious human-like beings from another dimension like Mara, William, and Agent Howard have not visibly aged in centuries. However, it is pointed out that they can be wounded and die.
  • Kenneth Parcell on 30 Rock is strongly hinted to be immortal and unchanging in appearance.
  • Both Henry and "Adam" from Forever...sort of. They do not age, however they can be killed, but only with the weapon that caused their original "real" death. Henry's agelessness even becomes a subplot point when it's shown in flashback that his normally-aging second wife Abigail is uncomfortable being seen in public with Henry because she is afraid people will think he is either her son or a hired escort. Also, Adam tries to kill Henry with the same musket pistol that originally killed him, but Henry still comes back to life, possibly negating that hypothesis. One downside is that an immortal can become paralyzed and stay this way for years until someone kills him (Henry does this to Adam in the final episode.
  • Lorien from Babylon 5 introduces himself as the First One — the very first sentient being ever born in the galaxy. His entire species was originally ageless, though they could be killed by injury or disease. But somewhere along the line, "the universe decided" that living things would need to grow old and die if there was to be any true progress, and future generations aged as normal.

    Mythology, Legends, and Oral Tradition 
  • Norse Mythology: The Aesir and Vanir are immortal in this way, so long as they continue to eat the Apples of Idun.
  • As above the huntresses of Artemis have this when the young girls swear their lives to the goddess, age can't kill them but they can be slain.

  • Golden Logres has the Fisher King, the King of Castle Carbonek who has been guarding the Holy Grail for centuries.


    Tabletop Games 
  • GURPS uses Unaging for immortality. This means only that the character will never grow older or die of old age, it confers no resistance to disease or harm. Other forms of immortality require additional powers.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, surprisingly, plays this trope pretty extensively. The common humans and the Tau are the only ones that don't have a means to keep young.
    • The Imperium has juvenat treatments which can keep the user young indefinitely, and can even treat people to keep them juvenated at a particular age within the span of adulthood, and some senior authority figures prefer to keep an outward appearance to give an impression of wisdom and experience. Thing is, juvenats are quite expensive, so only members of wealthy noble houses, highly valued or highly placed civil servants, and Inquisitorial personnel have easy access to them.
    • Techpriests of the Adeptus Mechanicus replace all of their fleshy bits with machine parts over time, not to mention that they have access to the Imperium's limited cloning technologies. Provided they don't get killed, they're on record for living for millennia.
    • The Space Marines' Astartes physiology will keep them somewhere between young and middle age, in theory, forever. In practice, their bodies take strains and wounds that even their bodies can't keep up with indefinitely, and they do age, albeit very slowly. Except for some of the most senior members of a chapter, their age is more told not by wrinkles and lines, but by scars and bionics they accrue over the years.
    • Eldar will live a natural lifespan of roughly 1000 years. However, they will live longer as they get stronger psychic potential. As each of them is a natural latent psyker, they simply need training to expand and refine their psychic powers, and extend their life cycle. The most famous/notorious Eldar Farseer, Eldrad Ulthran, has been alive (and apparently young) since the Horus Heresy, nearly 11,000 years ago, and there's no telling how long he was alive before then.
    • Dark Eldar are notorious for their means of keeping them alive. They have to go on slave raids to abduct prisoners, torture them to death, and drink in their suffering and their souls to rejuvenate themselves to youth. There are also a number of other, more creative ways of keeping a prisoner alive to extend their suffering.
    • Orks are like lobsters, in that they never grow old, they just keep growing and keep getting meaner. Theoretically, they could live like that forever. However, since they're constantly fighting, even when they come in the hundreds of thousands, Orks rarely ever get past thirty, if that. There was once one Ork Boss known only as "The Beast" which was apparently the size of a building, and it had tusks as thick as tree trunks and kicked Nobs around in the same way they kicked around Gretchin. Emperor knows how old that thing was.
  • In both Earthdawn and Shadowrun, dragons and Immortal Elves have this quality. Dunkelzahn was apparently tens of thousands of years old, and some immortal elves were thousands of years old in Shadowrun.
  • "Longevity: Immortal" is an option for the Life Support power in Champions
  • Likewise, in Mutants & Masterminds, Immunity (aging) is just a 1 point power. If you want true immortality, you need to buy into ranks of Regeneration to account for things like rising from the dead.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has two variants on this trope: Monks and Druids gain the Timeless Body ability, which causes them to no longer age physically (or at least do not get any penalties for aging) until they drop dead when they reach their species' maximum age (thus invoking the Old Master trope). Two races, Elan and the Killoren, have no maximum age and will visibly age to a certain point (venerable age for Elan, old age for Killoren) but never die of old age. Combining either race with either class leads to this trope. There's also an epic feat that adds half your maximum possible age to each age category (a stadium where your character gets visibly older), which has the same effect on them.
  • In Rocket Age the Europans, along with any other species with the Immortal trait, do not age, but they are still vulnerable to physical injuries and disease.

    Video Games 
  • Command And Conquer Tiberian: KANE LIVES IN DEATH!
  • The angels from Tales of Symphonia. The Cruxis Crystals halts the aging process, which is why Mithos Yggdrasil still looks more or less exactly the way he did 4000 years ago. Even Expheres slow the aging process considerably, in addition to the basic skill upgrades they give. Presea even brings up the possibility of a world of exosphere-preserved Immortals to Lloyd, who gently reminds her that they're Powered by a Forsaken Child.
  • In On the Way to a Smile, the short story "Case of Nanaki" reveals that Vincent Valentine was made biologically immortal by Hojo's experiments. As a result, he'll live at least as long as Nanaki. However, given the events and nature of Dirge of Cerberus, it's safe to assume he can still be killed.
  • Warcraft:
    • Night elves used to have this form of immortality, before sacrificing it to save the world from the Burning Legion. Draenei may also have this form of immortality (Velen is explicitly stated to), or they may just be extremely long lived. Demons also have this type of Immortality (at least one quest states that at least some of them have Type IV as well).
    • Dragons, or at least the Aspects, seem to be undying as well. Or were until they recently had to relinquish it, anyway.
  • The 27 True Runes of Suikoden grant this type of immortality, in addition to various abilities based on the aspect of existence that the True Rune governs. However, the runes also have another shared trait of bringing themselves into conflict, often cutting short the lives of their bearers.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The Nerevarine of Morrowind becomes this, as a consequence of having Corprus but getting negative effects cured. If brought to sufficient heights of power, they can also gain enough regenerative power to leave this trope and enter another.
    • Dragons in Skyrim are this, being quasi-angelic entities who can never truly die unless their soul is absorbed by another dragon or a Dragonborn. Paarthurnax in particular has been waiting on top of the Throat of the World for Alduin's return since the Dragon War many thousands of years ago. The most powerful weapon that can be used against them is a Thu'um that forces dragons to briefly know what it's like to be Mortal, Finite, and Temporary. In gameplay it robs them of the powers unique to dragonkind: flight and the Thu'um.
  • Being a Mortal Kombat champion grants this type of immortality until the next Mortal Kombat tournament, which is usually a generation away from the previous one.
  • As the Ultimate Life Form, Shadow the Hedgehog is ageless, most likely due to the genetic material contributed to Project Shadow by his biological "father," Black Doom. The reason behind this was that Shadow's creator, Professor Gerald Robotnik, wanted to study immortality and use the fruits of his research to find a cure for his granddaughter (and Shadow's surrogate sister) Maria, as she was terminally ill and suffering from a fatal disease known as NIDS (Neuro-Immuno Deficiency Syndrome).
  • The Dragons in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword are implied to be this way. You find the Thunder Dragon's remains in the present, and travel back in time to find out he's sick and dying. After healing him in the past, he's simply absent in the present, but does show up for the song, so he likely just changed residence instead of dying.
  • Dark Souls has multiple types of beings that are The Ageless. The Everlasting Dragons, the Lords and the Gods, and undead that can maintain their humanity.
  • About 95% of the returning characters are this in Soulcalibur V, despite the fact that SCV makes a Time Skip of seventeen years. The only characters who have aged physically are Siegfried, Mitsurugi and Hilde (40, 46 and 35 respectively). The rest got some convoluted excuse for why they look exactly the same as they did seventeen years ago.
  • Touhou is filled with beings like this. Lunarians separated themselves from the impurity of the Earth, taking them beyond age and death; they're still vulnerable to death however, which is why they still quarantine themselves from Earth, and when Kaguya obtained Complete Immortality they exiled her. Magicians, both the Witch Species and human mages who become Magicians, don't age and don't need food once they learn the relevant magics, but are still Squishy Wizards. Youkai in general staying the same for centuries is extremely common, though despite being exceptionally durable they aren't indestructible.
  • Ghouls and Super Mutants in the Fallout series. The former can still suffer from mental degeneration, which results in them becoming zombie-like "feral" ghouls. Some of the latter are mentally unstable. The Nightkin of the first generation are because of their prolonged Stealth Boy use. And the second generation is because of their post-War mutation(s) to the radiation, and the Forced Evolutionary Virus' reaction to this.
    • Comes up as a huge plot point in Fallout 4. Kellogg, the man who kidnapped your son is able to maintain his youth due to extensive cybernetic augmentation. Perceptive players may be able to notice when trawling through his memories that he was a ten year old boy when the NCR was formed in 2189, meaning by the events of 4 he would have been a century old. The whole point is to show just how the Sole Survivor's perception of the flow of time has been altered by being a Human Popsicle - by the time they finally meet their son Shaun, their baby boy is a sixty-year-old man with terminal cancer.
  • As revealed in Hyperdimension Neptunia V, any CPU can get killed through any means, however they won't ever age at all.
  • In Sword of the Stars, the Liir cannot die of old age. Instead, they become bigger and more powerful. Their population is kept in check by the Square/Cube Law; eventually, their mass becomes too great for them to survive even in an aquatic environment and they are crushed to death by gravity. The Suul'ka are Liir elders who went "screw gravity" and teleported themselves into space.
  • The krogan in Mass Effect are implied to be this. Wrex and Okeer are both over a thousand years old (Wrex was born sometime after the start of the Krogan Rebellions, while Okeer was apparently alive and fighting during the Rachni Wars), and neither show even the slightest sign of keeling over from old age any time soon. The only reason that most krogan rarely do reach advanced age is because their homeworld Tuchanka is a Death World, populated by Thresher Maws and fierce infighting between the various clans. The life expectancy for krogan who go off-world is just as low, due to many hiring themselves out as mercenaries or joining criminal gangs.
  • The Forerunners in Halo. The highly advanced armor systems every Forerunner wears provides continuous medical service, both physically and mentally, allowing the wearer to live pretty much forever. It's unknown exactly how old the oldest Forerunner was before their species' destruction, but some are mentioned to be over 12,000 years old. The Didact is technically 100,000 years old, but that may be due to the Cryptum he was trapped in, and not necessarily just his armor systems.
  • Boss Monsters in Undertale are a powerful subspecies of monster with a more powerful soul than most other monsters. These monsters age to maturity and then stop until they have a child, at which point they begin aging again as their child reaches maturity. Boss Monsters who never have children will never grow old, and even those who have gotten older will still live forever if their child has died.
  • Rosalina from the Super Mario Bros. series is the powerful guardian of the cosmos, and has physically remained a young woman for centuries or more. Despite this, she can still be harmed by common enemies when she's a playable character.
  • In Starcraft II Wings Of Liberty, Stetmann's research on the Zerg sample reveals that the Zerg do not suffer cell degradation, meaning they can't die of old age. Stetmann refuses to even consider figuring out a way to grant this ability to humans, since the results would likely be Body Horror. Instead, he figures out how to apply it to metals to make self healing buildings.
  • In Battleborn, those who have become immortal via the Jennerit's Sustainment process do not age as well as gain an immunity from natural illnesses.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Umineko: When They Cry, Ikuko Hachijō is implied to be this and is a bit of an enigma in the series in that regard. In the epilogue, which takes place in the 2030s, she must be easily 70 years old but is every bit as youthful as when she had found Battler/Tooya, which was in 1986. Ange even points it out, saying that "rather than being good with make-up, she had a mystique around her, as if she was an immortal who didn't age".

  • The fae races of Drowtales, (drow, light elves, faeries) provided they live with enough other fae to generate a surplus of mana. Otherwise they will suffer from mana deprivation and will start to age much like humans do. One audiobook explains that fae do in fact have a finite natural lifespan (implied to be somewhere around 1000 or upwards), but most don't live long enough to ever get close to it, making them effectively this trope to any humans they might run across. It's explained by Quain'tana that the older you get, the more mana you need to sustain your body - thus the very old become increasingly stuck living in cities. Diva'Ratrika, the Imperial Queen was most likely aged in the 4 digits and was essentially stuck in her fortress.
  • In A Magical Roommate, Oracles live for as long as they want. They can be killed by outside forces, but otherwise, they will live until they decide to die - unlike their counterparts, Sages, who do die of old age.
  • Elves in El Goonish Shive are the offspring of one human parent, and one Immortal parent. While they can be killed, they don't physically age past early adulthood. However, the one elf we have seen so far hides this by using magic to appear elderly.

    Web Original 

In Dis Acedia every denizen in Dis does not age after having their souls Claimed by Lazarus no matter their species. The main protagonist is shocked to learn that his human ally, the knight Sol, has been alive since the Crusades and hasn't aged a day. This immortality is also mitigated by everyone being capable of dying to some good old violence, which Dis has in spades.

    Western Animation 
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures anyone with the Dog Talisman is immortal. But as Ratso points out it can still hurt.
  • Most incarnations of the Transformers, and good luck with the fatal damage. Technically Transformers DO age, just extremely slowly - millions of years is considered a common age. We've never actually had someone confirmed as dying of old age, but it's suggested by the characters of ancient backstories mostly being no longer around (In G1, Alpha Trion's the only character known to have been in the Quintesson wars, and in Beast Wars, too much of G1 is forgotten/sketchy for most of its players to still be around, though Ravage still is.)
  • Adventure Time:
    • Princess Bubblegum has been around for centuries and still looks the same. While she usually appears about 18, this "age" (and the maturity that comes with it) depends on her physical size.
    • Marceline is immortal, and seems to have been a teenager for about a thousand years.
    • The crown made Ice King look like an old man when he was quite young, and when the power of the crown was taken away, a thousand years later, he reverted to his previous age as Simon Petrikov then rapidly started dying of old age. He took care of Marceline when she was a child, and according to Death himself, may well live to see the Sun blow up.
  • In Steven Universe, the Crystal Gems don't age, though they can still die in other ways. Steven has grown like a regular human so far, but it's not clear if Immortality Begins at 20 for him or the other gems or if he'll continue aging past adulthood. It is shown that his state of mind affects his physical age, to the point where he can accidentally cause himself to die of old age. One episode reveals that he hasn't physically aged for over four years.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Equestria's Alicorn God-Princesses appear to be this, if not completely immortal, being well over a thousand years old. According to Luna in The Journal of the Two Sisters, the sisters are just very Long Lived. Starswirl the Bearded on the other hand was this thanks to an age reversal spell he created and used on himself.
  • It's unknown if imaginary friends in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends can suffer health problems or die from old age, but time never changes their appearance. A photo album showed the main imaginary cast looked identical at least twenty years ago, which made Herriman question the point of taking pictures in the first place.

    Real Life 
  • This occurs in Real Life among several different species. Biologists know this phenomenon as biological immortality and negligible senescence. Jellyfish are the most well known example. Cracked's 6 Unassuming Animals That Are Secretly Immortal lists others, such as lobsters and turtles. Their populations are kept in check anyway since nature offers plenty of ways to die outside of old age.
  • Scientists in Real Life have been attempting this type for a very, long, time, the most recent and well-known being Aubrey de Grey. Many believe that humans will eventually attain it. There are a substantial number of people who believe that the first bicentenarian-to-be has already been born, and is possibly already an adult. Whether this is actually a realistic prognostication or just an expression of the current generation's desire to evade death is of course impossible to tell until after the fact.
  • Actuarial tables indicate that if all natural causes of death were prevented, the current rate of unnatural causes (violence, suicide, accidents, etc.) would end up pinning the average lifespan of a real life Ageless at around 2,000 years. Of course, that's not taking into account behavioral and technological changes that would go along with such a long lifespan.

Alternative Title(s): Biological Immortality, The Unaging, Ageless Immortality