Kimiko: Why a thousand?
: It is really 962 years, but a thousand sounds more ominous.
This is when The Empire
, or some other organization, is somehow estimated to last a certain amount of time. 1,000 years is common, but there are likely other time frames. The important thing is that this is about assuming the length beforehand, not how long it actually lasts.
- In Gladiator, that is how long Commodus wants his incestuous line to last, when he thinks he's won completely.
- Referenced several times in the WWII drama Conspiracy, which takes place at a time when the Nazis were absolutely convinced that they were moments away from victory.
Neumann: Neumann, director of the Four-Year-Plan. Whom may I be speaking to?
Klopfer: I speak for Martin Bormann, of the Thousand-Year-Plan.
- The City of Ember was designed to last exactly 200 years and no longer. Too bad the note meant to inform the populace of this got lost.
- In The Foundation books, Hari Seldon determines that the fall of the Empire is inevitable, to be followed by 30,000 years of chaos before a new empire arises. He puts into place a plan that would rebuild the empire in only 1,000 years.
In a curiously tasteless regional allusion, the German first edition was actually released under a title translating to "The thousand-year plan".
- According to the 19th century pre-millennial interpretation of The Bible, after Armageddon, Jesus will reign over the Earth for this amount of time before dad Jehovah steps in.
- The above interpretation of The Bible takes place in Kingdom Come from the Left Behind series, during which only "glorifieds" and "naturals" who have put their faith in Jesus Christ will be allowed to live to the end of the Millenium, while "naturals" who stay unbelievers by the time they reach 100 years of age will die and go to Hell. The Other Light faction sees God Is Evil because of this and has prepared for this contingency by passing down their teaching to the next generation of its converts so that the generation that gets to confront God and Jesus at the end of the Millennium will be "assured victory" when Satan is released. Unfortunately for them, it didn't turn out as they hoped.
- The trope is mentioned in The Elenium, where a reference is made to a historical figure creating an empire of a thousand years that barely outlived its founder.
- The Lord Ruler from Mistborn called his reign "The Final Empire", because he believed that the empire (and he himself) would last forever.
- The Lannisters in Game of Thrones have this goal in mind. In season 1 Lord Tywin discusses the war plans with his son Jaime, explaining that the events of the coming months will either cement a Lannister/Baratheon dynasty on the Iron Throne that could last a thousand years, or they could collapse into nothing like the Targaryens (who made it to 300 years themselves).
- The "Woodland Critter Christmas" episode of South Park, where the The Antichrist is supposed to "bring a thousand years of darkness to the forest".
- Spoofed in Xiaolin Showdown. One episode revolves around them locking up their dragon Dojo for the day, because on that particular day he'll turn evil, grow two heads and devour all of the magical Shen Gong Wu items, leading to 1,000 years of darkness. The spoof comes from the quote above.
- Older Than Feudalism: 1,000 years was the prediction for how long Rome would reign made by Cicero, which is probably the Trope Codifier in the Western Hemisphere. (He wasn't entirely wrong. The Eastern Roman Empire lasted until 1453, and the Ottoman Emperor claimed the title of "Kaysar-i-Rum" "Caesar of Rome" until 1922.)
- Ancient Chinese emperors tend to be greeted with "萬歲!" ("May you reign for 10,000 years") but most dynasties only lasts about 400 years or so.
- There is a careful delination with these acclamations, Empresses are acclaimed "A thousand years!" And sometimes, particularly powerful officials would be sarcastically greeted (not out loud, obviously) with "Nine thousand years!"
- Guess how long Those Wacky Nazis, who had a massive hard-on for Ancient Grome, expected the Third Reich to last?
- "Tenno heika banzai" the Japanese battle cry that gives the phrase "banzai charge" means literally "Ten thousand years! [ to the Emperor]" Since the Emperor was understood to have a normal human lifetime, this wasn't meant literally.