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The Prophecy
For the movie, see Film.The Prophecy.

So the bumbling protagonist, the wandering merchant, or the neighbor from down the street walks into a herbal shop, gets met by some strange person, or simply has a dream with a lot of flashy lighting effects. Next thing they know, they've been declared destroyers of worlds, rulers of fates, or simply the best goddamned kitten-saver in the entirety of the universe.

There is a considerable overlap with The Chosen One, but chosen ones are not always told what they were chosen for, and prophecies don't always refer to a particular person.

Subtrope of Call to Adventure. Supertrope to Either-Or Prophecy, Self-Defeating Prophecy, Self-Fulfilling Prophecy; please add the appropriate examples directly to those pages.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • The 5,111th Prophecy of Grendel in Scrapped Princess foretells that the eponymous heroine will destroy the world, setting up the conflict between her select few guardians and the rest of it.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, Carim Gracia's rare prophetic skill allows her to foresee the Big Bad's plans, which would have otherwise caught the Bureau completely unaware. Thanks to her, however, they are able to prepare for the crisis just in time.
  • In Zettai Karen Children, a powerful ESPer dolphin prophecies that there will be a global war between ESPers and Muggles where two of the protagonists, notwithstanding the love that they will feel for each other, will find themselves on opposite sides and one of them will kill the other. Much of the series deals with how to avoid this prophecy from being fulfilled.
  • Words Worth : The inscription on the eponymous monolith forms the crux of the plot. "Only one of Light and Shadow may read the words inscribed here and understand their meaning. Thus, the two worlds will be made complete."
  • Gotoh's prophecy is a key plot point in The Castle of Cagliostro, and is inscribed on Clarisse's ring: "Light will rejoin shadow and live again."

    Film — Animated 
  • Balto 2: Wolf Quest was driven by the prophecy that the wolf pack would be led by "one who is wolf and does not know".
  • The prophecy in The Princess and the Pea states that the kingdom will fall to ruin after the death of the 18th King (which is Heath). To save the kingdom, the prophecy also says "To reveal the heart of true nobility, place the pea twenty mattresses deep. The Princess true is love and sensitivity, upon such she can never sleep."

    Comic Books 
  • In Lumberjanes, the prophecy, delivered by defeated three-eyed foxes, is "Beware the kitten holy." Its meaning remains to be seen.

    Literature 
  • Inheritance Cycle gives the protagonist, Eragon, a couple of these, starting with Angela the Herbalist's.
  • Sybill Trelawney's first prophecy more or less drives the entire Myth Arc of the Harry Potter series, as it foretells the death of the Big Bad at the protagonist's hands or vice versa.
  • The Great Prophecy in Percy Jackson and the Olympians drives the whole plot, predicting Kronos's fall at the hands of a hero. Percy himself is declared The Chosen One.
  • The Warrior Cats series is driven by prophecies.
    • The first series has Fire alone can save our Clan, referring to the main character and his, uh, potential to save his Clan.
    • The second series has two main prophecies. The first is Darkness, air, water and sky will come together and shake the forest to its roots. Nothing will be as it is now, nor as it has been before., foretelling the destruction of the forest by humans. The second is Before there is peace, blood will spill blood, and the lake will run red, about a character killing his half brother, who would have otherwise caused inter-Clan bloodshed.
    • The third and fourth series follow the same prophecy - There will be three, kin of your kin, who hold the power of the stars in their paws - about three relatives of the character the prophecy is made to, and the fact that they are each born with a supernatural power.
    • Even one of the Expanded Universe books has its own prophecy: Like fire, you will blaze through the forest. But beware! Even the most powerful flames can be destroyed by water.
  • The Nine Lives of Chloe King is driven by the prophecy of a chosen one who would unite the Mai prides. Chloe is that chosen one.
  • The Last Dragon is about the last elf trying to find the last dragon so they can fulfill an ancient prophecy and save the world.
  • The Belgariad by David Eddings is about two conflicting prophecies.
  • The prophecy of Saint Erasti (an apocalyptic painting) drove most of the plot in the first duology of the Arcia Chronicles. The more traditional (oral) prophecy of "Saint" Eric, delivered at the end of the second book, drives many plotlines in the following installments.
  • Thamuris delivers this in The Virtu:
    "Love and betrayal, the gorgon and the wheel. The dead tree will not shelter you, and the dead will not stay dead. Though you do not seek revenge, it will find you all the same."
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has the prophecies concerning 3 very special people: The Stallion Who Mounts The World, The Warrior of Light and The Prince Who Was Promised.

    Live Action TV 
  • Both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel are made of this in many seasons.
    • Buffy season one has the prophecy that the Anointed One would rise and the slayer would not know him. He would lead the slayer to the Master and the slayer would die at the hand of the Master. Buffy does, but then gets revived by CPR.
    • Angel has the Shanshu prophecy, that the vampire with a soul will become human after his part in the apocalypse-he will either save the world or destroy it.
    • Sesaon one also has the Prophecies of Aberjan, part of which was the Shanshu prophecy and part of which foretold what happened to Cordelia, when she was cut off from the regular world and her mind opened to all its suffering.
    • Season 3 has the birth of Connor, the child sired by the vampire with a soul, who would grow to manhood and kill Sajan (a demon villain). There's also the false prophecy "The father will kill the son". Angel does sort of kill Connor, but not the way Wesley or anyone else expected. Angel cuts his son's throat to stop him after he goes off the deep end, and then Wolfram and Hart gives him a new life.
    • Season 5 had Illyria's prophecied return.
  • Merlin has the prophecy about Merlin helping Arthur become the great king who will unite all of Albion. Then there's the dragon's prophecy that the Druid boy Mordred will kill Arthur. And the prophecy that Morgana is now spending all her time trying to prevent happening: that Emrys (Merlin, though she doesn't know it) will be "her destiny and her doom."
  • Volume one of Heroes has a painting of the future depicting Peter blowing up and destroying New York unless he's stopped.

    Video Games 
  • In Super Paper Mario, the plot is driven by the prophecies told by the prognosticative books possessed by Merlon and Count Bleck. One tells of a man in green who will bring darkness with the Chaos Heart, and the other of a legendary hero who will stop the end of everything with the Pure Hearts. Some time into the game, Merlee tells an additional prophecy that reveals that there will be four heroes destined to save the day.
  • "It is written, only Link can defeat Ganon!"

    Web Comics 
  • In El Goonish Shive, there is a prophecy about the coming of an individual who would unify the chimeric shapeshifter outcasts of the world.

    Western Animation 
  • A variant in the Planet of the Apes series. In "Escape" and "Conquest", the humans are worried about the knowledge that apes would rise up and rule the world. In "Battle", Caesar is worried he won't be able to stop the foretold destruction of Earth in his parents' time in the future.

Prophecies Rhyme All the TimeFate and Prophecy TropesProphecy Pileup

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