You find yourself facing the pearly gates after having fought valiantly against the forces of evil. St. Peter says you have earned eternal happiness, and lets the gates swing free to allow you to collect. You begin to walk forward, but something stops you. You look around. Something is missing, or rather, someone. "Someone was fighting beside me," you say to the saint. "Someone who means everything to me. Where are they?" St. Peter hesitates momentarily then says "They were not worthy as you are, and have gone to... the other place. Forget them and receive eternal bliss." Your response is "Go to hell! No, wait... Send me there."
The specifics aren't actually important; it's the sentiment that counts. True love and loyalty in its purest form, where the only actual "Fate Worse than Death" is being separated from the ones you care about, and everything else is worth it as long as they are there with you.
It could be Hell, Purgatory, The Nothing After Death, And I Must Scream, or just a Siberian prison—if it's a choice between enduring such a fate with them or being alone and free, you will choose the terrible fate every time. To sum up, somehow or another two or more people will also join facing what is quite likely the end of everything, thus expressing the message that You Are Not Alone.
Although sometimes it isn't actually a choice—it's a Downer Ending where everyone is doomed anyway, and they are simply affirming their acceptance and love for each other by agreeing that even oblivion is not such a terrible thing, so long as they're together.
Done well, this can be a Tear Jerker of epic proportions. The biggest difference between this trope and Together in Death is that the characters in question don't necessarily have to be dead for this. At least not yet, and perhaps they won't ever die at all - just spend eternity trapped someplace together. If their fortunes change, expect a double serving of Like A Bad Ass Out Of Hell, or at the very least, an Orphean Rescue.
See also Hell Of A Time, where Hell is worth itself. Compare and contrast with I'm Going to Hell for This.
open/close all folders
Axe body spray released an ad proclaiming that their product will cause sexy angel girls to shatter their halos to the ground and renounce heaven in order to have sex with you. In Real Life, this effect has yet to be reproducednote Largely because real angels are sexless monstrosities.
Anime & Manga
InuYasha: Sango refuses to leave a poisoned Miroku and save herself from Youkai chasing them inside Mount Hakurei. Near the end of the manga, when it seems that Miroku's curse will finally kill him, Sango asks him to take her with him.
At the end of the Rurouni Kenshin anime, the Big Bad arrives in hell - along with his mistress, and his main organizer. And decide that, hey, since they're all there, they might as well take over the joint!
Sara and Gaito's fate in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch is totally an example of this trope, not to mention a complete Tear Jerker. In the anime, they're shown embracing as Gaito's castle collapses around them.
The manga version of Kannazuki no Miko has Himeko joining Chikane in the shrine on the moon where the latter was supposed to be imprisoned in alone.
Sailor Moon: Sailors Neptune and Uranus risk damnation in the last season, as long as they're together. Then there's Neptune's line about the world not being worth saving if Uranus isn't in it...
This is pretty much the plot of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds Episode 58. Carly (transformed into a Dark Signer) tries to convince Jack this would be a great future for them if it's the one they're destined for. Jack disagrees. Then he tries to use a card that would reduce both their life points to zero so he would also lose the duel and go to hell alongside her. It doesn't work; Carly manages to break the Immortal's control long enough to counter his card, so that only she loses.
In Fullmetal Alchemist, when Mustang asks Hawkeye to be his bodyguard/conscience, meaning to both watch his back and to shoot him in it if he deviates from what they've agreed is the righteous path, he asks if she's willing to follow him. She tells him that she'll follow him into Hell itself if that's what he asked of her. Throughout the course of the story, they proceed to prove it repeatedly. In both directions.
As seen in the quote at the top of the page, in Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Stocking tells the ghost she fell in love with that she will give up heaven for him. Which makes it even more of a Tear Jerker when he passes on to Heaven and has to leave her behind.
In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, for Homura, Madoka is worth going through an endless recursion of time in order to save her from her fate. At the end of one of the loops, she declares... lets just become monsters together... that would be an ok ending, too. Kyouko is also quite willing to do so for Sayaka once she becomes Oktavia.
During the Magic World arc of Mahou Sensei Negima!, Asuna enthusiastically tells Negi "I'd go to the depths of hell to drag you out."
In Sword Art Online, before heading off to fight what would be the most dangerous and costly boss battle in the game to that point, Kirito proposes to Asuna that they just stay in SAO and live out their lives in their virtual prison that would kill them in the event of a Game Over. Asuna declines, though, since every day trapped in SAO was another day their physical bodies wasted away, as well as her desire to meet Kirito and be with him in the real world.
Esther Blanchett in Trinity Blood is more than willing to go wherever her friend Shahrazad does. Even if it includes rebelling to the bitter end against her former Vatican allies, willingly trying to escape with Shahrazad, leaving the Vatican if she must and be uncaring if she's judged as a witch and be burnt in the sake by the Inquisition. Any option is preferable rather than hurt even a strand of her hair.. Of course Shahrazad spares her
Special A: almost said word for word from Kei to Hikari in the helicopter as he remembers a film in which the character say the same thing.
A reoccurring theme in One Piece. The Straw Hats refuse to move on unless all their friends are well and happy. Big examples would be Enies Lobby, Impel Down and Marineford arcs.
In the first, Robin trades her life to let the rest of the crew continue on their adventure, keeping a promise she had made. This strains the crew, but they all pull together and finally call out to her, right to the point of declaring war on the World Government (basically the entire world) for her sake.
In the second, Luffy finds out Ace has been captured, and is about to be executed. He goes through every level of the hell-like prison, fighting opponents that put him to the brink of death, and barely slips past dying at the cost of many years of his life - just to barely miss Ace as he's sent to Marineford. After causing a huge break out in the prison and losing valuable allies who sacrificed themselves, Luffy winds up in the middle of the war between Whitebeard and the marines.
In the third, a full scale war breaks out with the Whitebeard pirates, their allies, and Luffy on one side and the full strength of the marines and world government on the other. When Ace questions why everyone has gone to these lengths and is fighting and sacrificing themselves simply for his sake he gets the similar answers from both the Whitebeard and crew and Luffy. "Because you are our son/brother and we love you." Ultimately, Ace sacrifices himself to save Luffy.
Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0: Shinji was perfectly willing to discard his humanity and initiate Third Impact to save Rei after she had been devoured by an Angel.
In episode 1 of A Certain Magical Index, Index asks Touma if he would follow her all the way to Hell, but he refuses. In episode 2, as Index is dying, Touma declares that he's not going to follow her to Hell, he's going to pull her out, and saves her.
Marge: Oh, Homey, even though we're stuck forever in the worst of all possible places, being with you makes it all worthwhile. Homer:Everything but the groin beetles.
The original Sin City story The Hard Goodbye, the Catholic priest Marv just interrogated asks him whether or not revenge for Goldie is worth dying for (put in less than respectful terms towards Goldie). Marv comes back with:
In Spider-Man: One More Day, Mephisto laments on how he will often have someone sell their soul to him for a righteous cause, only for them to spend eternity in Hell, suffering nobly because the result of their bargain gives them strength enough to persevere. Which is the half-assed justification for why Mephisto wants Peter Parker's marriage, not his immortal soul.
Played straight in Hellblazer. The First of the Fallen offers a virtuous soul a chance to escape Hell for free, but points out that her husband's just committed suicide after killing her in the first place. The First freely admits that she, too, will be tortured for eternity if she stays. She does.
In ElfQuest, when Rayek makes himself into a living prison for Winnowill' soul, Savah immediately follows him so that they can Walk the Earth together for all eternity. Rayek is moved, but tells her she has no place in his new life. His mentor Ekuar follows him instead. It's also somewhat implied that Rayek trapping Winnowill inside him is not just to save the world, but also because he doesn't want to live without her — even as her living prison, he loves her, and would rather suffer a living hell for all eternity than be without her.
Played with by Kid Devil in Teen Titans. He made a Deal with the Devil Neron in order to get superpowers, and at the time thought that he would keep his soul, as long as he trusted Blue Devil. When he lost that trust, he was devastated since now he would lose his soul when he turned twenty. However, after losing his powers, Eddie almost made the same deal again with the demoness Blaze, this time with no strings attached. Kid Devil was willing to damn his soul to Hell to be a superhero. The soul of his dead Aunt Marla managed to convince him otherwise.
Inverted in Huntress: Year One: when Huntress kills Stephen Mandragora (her first murder), she declares that killing him is worth going to hell.
In Infinite Crisis, Wally West aka The Flash is about to be pulled into the Speed Force. He is able to hold on just long enough to pay one last visit to his wife Linda and their twin babies to say good-bye. Linda refuses to let this be the end, saying that wherever Wally's going, his family is coming with him. The entire West family enters the Speed Force.
Misa: Listen. You being a killer doesn't bother me. I know that sounds horrible of me, but I honestly don't care about that. I want to get to know you, Beyond, and I can't do that if you won't let me.
In this fanfic, which is quite similar to the above writer's work, Misa proves this literally to Beyond by having the Shinigami King resurrect him at the cost of his memories of her, letting him attempt to kill her with no negative feelings later on, letting him hide out at her apartment to get away from the police, and even handcuffing the two cops chasing them to a pole for him. And why? She's in love with him.
This should not be believable, but kind of is, because canon Misa is some kind of histrionic psychopath who has no capacity for empathy and whose delusional romantic attachments have the capacity to completely overwhelm her sense of self-preservation.
In thisNaruto story, Deidara dies and is headed into hell, but Naruto refuses to let his big brother go, at first trying to drag him free but eventually deciding to go with him so he won't be alone.
MANY fixfics have been written about One More Day and feature the plot of either Peter or MJ fighting Mesphito to save the other. You'd think Marvel would take the hint...
In this rather depressing Buffy the Vampire Slayer fic, after he loses all the girls he loved, Xander actively tries to damn himself so that Anya, who killed without remorse for a thousand years, will not be alone in Hell.
Several Supernatural fanfics have Sam taking on the role of Boy King of Hell because he cannot bear to be parted from his brother and because he wants to make Dean's experience less horrific.
In this crossover, Kenshin doesn't quite go to hell, but he forgoes heaven in order to follow Kaoru's spirit. He describes it almost word-for-word: the only hell is being separated from the one you love, and knowing she's fighting and dying without you there to protect her.
Disney's Hercules ends with Hercules being accepted into mount Olympus with all the gods, then- realizing that he couldn't be with Meg that way- opting to remain mortal instead of ascending to godhood.
In Disney's Pocahontas, "I would rather die tomorrow, than live a hundred years without knowing you."
In Lupin III: The Secret of Twilight Gemini, Lara gets stuck in quicksand whilst searching for water in the desert. After Lupin's attempts to save her fail, she pleads with him to keep searching for the Gelts without her. He refuses, and instead chooses to join her. Before they are completely dragged under, Lupin reveals to her that he's also looking for the Geltic treasure, but says he's perfectly happy with sinking into the quicksand because at least he'll be with her.
Occurred creepily with the villains at the end of the first movie. Ilsa tells her lover Rasputin that even hell itself will hold no surprises for them moments before they're crushed into oblivion. (The scariest thing is, you believe her).
Given he has not managed to effectively abdicate his destiny as Anung Un Rama, the leader of Hell's armies and bringer of the Apocalypse, they're right to worry.
This effect happens towards the end of What Dreams May Come, when Chris finds the spirit of his dead wife locked in her own personal hell. He is unable to coax her out of it, so he decides to stay with her for eternity because he loves her that much.
And the sight of him sacrificing himself rouses his wife out of her fugue state sufficiently to free him in return.
At the end of the 1988 movie Miracle Mile, as Harry and Julie sink into the tar pits amid a nuclear holocaust he might have escaped if he hadn't gone back to save her, she suggests that maybe they'll be "metamorphosized" (sic) into diamonds by the heat and pressure. "Diamonds...You and me, Harry." To which he responds (the last line of the film), "You and me. Diamonds."
Dark Angel: The Ascent: If a demoness and her love are separated he promises that he would do something so terrible that judgment will have no choice but to let them be together in hell.
At the end of Rodan, the military manages to kill the first Rodan by triggering a volcanic eruption. Unable to live without its mate, the second flies into the volcano and dies along with it.
Of course in Muppet Treasure Island, Kermit and Miss Piggy sing "Love Led Us Here" as they are hanging off a cliff and about to fall to their death.
So take my hand, and have no fear.
We'll be alright.
Love led us here.
The 1993 film Daybreak has Moira Kelly's character follow her lover into quarantine, even though she isn't infected herself.
A variation in Apocalypto. One of the captured villagers loves his wife so much, that he'll embrace Hell with a smile as long as she's not there to share such a fate.
The 1934 film We Live Again is based on Leo Tolstoy's Resurrection. A young nobleman seduces a maid, who becomes a prostitute and is sentenced to four years in Siberia after being wrongfully convicted of murder. In the book, a young political prisoner marries her and plans to follow her into Siberia. In the film, the nobleman himself casts off everything, gives his wealth to the poor, and joins the woman in exile.
In the 1985 comedy The Heavenly Kid, greaser-turned-guardian-angel Bobby learns that his still-living charge Lenny is about to die in the same way he did. And he offers to forfeit his trip to "uptown" (heaven) in order to save Lenny's life.
Played straight and inverted in William Blake's The Clod and the Pebble.
"Love seeketh not itself to please, "Nor for itself hath any care, "But for another gives its ease, "And builds a heaven in hell's despair. So sung a little Clod of Clay, Trodden with the cattle's feet, But a Pebble of the brook Warbled out these metres meet: "Love seeketh only Self to please, "To bind another to its delight, "Joys in another's loss of ease, "And builds a hell in heaven's despite."
Subverted in Dante's Inferno, in which souls punished for sins of lust are bound forever to their Star-Crossed Lovers, yet this only adds to their torment by serving as a perpetual reminder of their sins.
Possibly the oldest rendition of this is found in the tale of Tristan And Isolde, particularly Isolde, who willingly commits adultery, a mortal sin at the time, accepting eternal damnation for in exchange for even temporary enjoyment of her love for Tristan. This story and the idea of love being able to overcome even eternal torment is credited by many as being possibly the origin of the concept of romantic love in the Western world.
In His Dark Materials, Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter. Falling for all eternity into the Abyss, without even a chance for their ghosts to reach the afterlife, because they're already in the Land of the Dead. There is hope, though - Xaphania implies that the angels will seal up the Abyss, and presumably free Asriel and Coulter to die properly.
Subverted in the case of Lyra and Will, when they decide they cannot remain together only to die in ten years.
In the Incarnations of Immortality novel "For the Love of Evil", when Parry is summoned to appear before Lucifer, and finds Lilith is bound to remain in Hell, he offers to stay there with her. She sadly replies he won't be able to. Parry thinks this is because Lucifer obviously will not allow Parry to remain with her. But, then, Lucifer says, in effect:
A mortal can love and be in other ways unchanged, but a demon loves totally. When the object of that love dies, the individual is destroyed. So, she has thrown away her entire existence for a song.
She then replies "I have thrown my existence away for a man."
So, in effect, she takes this trope Up to Eleven by making it "You are worth oblivion."
And in the novel "Wielding a Red Sword," Satan has a Batman Gambit which relies on the Incarnation of War feeling this way about a Princess trapped in Hell to keep him in Hell while Satan takes actions on Earth. Otherwise, the Incarnation of War could simply leave Hell immediately.
In the Dresden Files novel Cold Days, Karrin Murphy says this to Harry, after they shared a Big Damn Kiss earlier in the book. She is, however, extremely reluctant to have a relationship with Harry because of Harry's new job and what it has done to him. But, she says:
We passed just friends a long time ago. Never forget I will be here for you. If you are going on a highway to hell, I will be there with you, right beside you, all the way.
In Job: A Comedy of Justice the hero is a devout Christian in love with a pagan. He vows to join her in Hell should they be separated after death. Heinlein wonderfully deconstructs this, as hell turns out not to be such a bad place at all. It just has bad PR. Not to mention the fact that it turns out she's not even there. Her own devotion to her gods pegged her for the paradise of Valhalla.
In I Will Fear No Evil the spirits of two main characters desperately cling to the mind of a third, still living, person. At the end, with the death of the final person, all three spirits willfully cross over together.
The fifth Aubrey-Maturin novel, Desolation Island featured among other convicts being shipped to Australia, one Salubrity Boswell, whose husband had been sent there already, so she decided to follow him, first by getting his brother to get her pregnant so she wouldn't be hung, then by assaulting the judge who sentenced him. Stephen Maturin calls her "a female worthier of a nobler age."
Referenced twice in the Twilight series, once in a chapter that didn't quitemake it in: Emmet says that he believed he was in Hell while transforming into a vampire, but Rosalie—his angel—meant it wasn't so bad. The second did; Edward thinks he's dead and either in heaven, since Bella's there, or hell, since she smells the same. Upon thinking it's hell, but she's still there?
In The Princess Bride, there's a scene in the novel that didn't go into the movie because it deals in Buttercup's internal monologue. She's essentially praying, mentally begging Westley to come and claim her rather than having her marry the Prince (she's unaware that Westley is dead at the moment. Well, mostly dead...)
Buttercup: My preference would be to spend eternity at his side on a cloud, but Hell would also be a lark if Westley were there.
At the end of Count and Countess, when Elizabeth Bathory has been arrested on murder charges and sentenced to death, Vlad Dracula surrenders himself to the Holy Roman Emperor of his time period in a Suicide by Cop move. He states outright that he is following her into Hell. And he spent the entirety of the preceding novel being a fierce, God-fearing Christian.
The Heroes of Olympus: Near the end of the third book, Annabeth is being pulled into Tartarus, the Greek equivalent of hell. How does Percy respond? By pulling her into a hug and falling in with her.
At the end of Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov is sentenced to eight years in Siberia, and Sonya goes with him.
In Catching Fire Peeta volunteers to go back into the arena with Katniss, even though he's still traumatized from the horrors of their first arena, and convinced that there's no way they can both make it out alive this time. He wants to die doing everything he can to keep her safe, rather than sit on the sidelines (like she wants him to).
Outlander's time-travelling heroine narrowly escapes being burnt as a witch. When she tells her eighteenth-century Catholic husband that by his standards, she probably is one, he replies that in that case he'd go to hell with her.
Bedwyr (Lancelot): You fool, Artos! Don't you know that if you were deservedly frying in your Christian's Hell for every sin from broken faith to sodomy, you could count on my buckler to shield your face from the flames?
Artos: I believe I could. You are almost as great a fool as I.
In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frollo feels this way about Esmeralda, willing to forsake his reputation, salvation, immortality and eternity, "this life and the other" for the sake of his obsession with her.
Frollo: If thou comest from hell, I go thither with thee. I have done everything to that end. The hell where thou art will be my paradise; the sight of thee is more entrancing than that of God.
Martha's motivation for becoming a Thrall (essentially an immortal slave) in Clocks that Don't Tick. Whereas most of her peers had an overwhelming fear of death, Martha wished to become reunited with her former lover, who had previously become a Thrall himself. Her plan might have worked, had the Bosses not intentionally kept them apart.
Live Action TV
Angel: Literally with Cordelia, and on multiple occasions.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike certainly thought Buffy was, and was nearly killed in the process of earning his soul back. Conversely, Angel turned down a chance to become human again rather than risk her dying on his watch.
Brimstone. The female half of an Outlaw Couple kills herself when she finds the protagonist sent her partner back to Hell, as it's the only way she can be with him.
The Twilight Zone: A hunter approaches the gate of heaven, only to be told his dog can't come in with him. He walks away from the gate and up the road rather than abandon his dog. Further up the road, he finds an angel sent to guide him to heaven; the gate he had passed before and refused out of love for his dog was actually the gate to hell. Apparently, dogs aren't allowed inside the gates of hell because they can see past the illusions.
In Supernatural Dean sells his soul to a crossroads demon, condemning himself to an eternity in hell to bring his brother back to life, because he couldn't live with him dead. A few seasons later, Sam makes the ultimate sacrifice and throws himself into the Cage with Lucifer to save Dean (and the world). And finally, two years later, Sam chooses to remember his time in the Cage (almost two centuries of being tortured by Lucifer) and risks serious psychic damage so as not to leave his brother alone. He nearly dies from the psychological fallout.
The chorus to "A Walk Through Hell" by Say Anything invokes this trope quite literally:
I'd walk through hell for you, let it burn right through my shoes; these soles are useless without you. Through hell for you, let the torturing ensue; my soul is useless without you.
The song, "I Will Follow You Into The Dark," by Death Cab for Cutie can be interpreted as dealing with something like this:
The time for sleep is now It's nothing to cry about 'cause we'll hold each other soon In the blackest of rooms
"Inside the Fire" by Disturbed is about the subject being convinced by his recently suicided girlfriend (might have been The Devil — it's left ambiguous) to take his life as well so they can spend eternity together "inside the fire."
Give your soul to me For eternity Release your life To begin another time with her End your grief with me There's another way Release your life Take your place inside the fire with her
"Deathaura" by Sonata Arctica is about a girl who is accused of witchcraft and is burnt at the stake. The boy finally names himself (you know why) as being the one who is really responsible for the misfortunes that she had supposedly brought upon the village.
"I remember how you told me, Your kin's different, on that sunny day?" "You made me smile, 'cause I was just about to say the same thing..." So deeply entwined, love of a lifetime... But they paid someone to say their torment has a name And after all these years we get to be together for all eternity...
"Two Women" by Angels Of Light from their album How I Loved You (2001) is a particularly harrowing reading of this trope. Thankfully, it ends on a an "up" note.
"Gay Pirates" by Cosmo Jarvis, a cute sad little song about two pirates in love.
The Captain found out 'bout us and ordered them to throw us both over board tonight together we will go but I'm yours you know, and I'll love you still in hell.
I'm an angel with a shotgun, fighting til' the wars won, I don't care if heaven won't take me back. I'll throw away my faith, babe, just to keep you safe. Don't you know you're everything I have?
Mythology & Religion
In the Mahabharata, after a long series of tests, Yudishthira is admitted to heaven to find that his enemies are there, while his brothers and friends are suffering in hell. He declines heaven, deciding that it is better to remain with his companions, even in hell. This turns out to be a Secret Test of Character, and everyone receives heaven. The possibility that his "friends" could have been evil spirits trying to tempt him away from goodness is apparently not addressed.
Hindu demons have nothing to gain by trying to trick a virtuous soul into going to Hell. They don't run it. The just and righteous god Yama does. While Yama might be willing to admit someone who, for whatever reason, comes to Hell willingly, he would surely refuse to accept someone there on false pretenses.
In Greek Mythology, twin brothers Castor and Pollux believe themselves to be half-god, half-human...until they die, and one goes to Mount Olympus, and the other to Hades. Turns out only Pollux was the child of Zeus, while Castor was completely mortal, thanks to complications involving shape-shifting and infidelity. (And Ancient Greek beliefs about twins, though theoretically it's perfectly possible for this to happen to fraternal twins.) With Zeus's help, Pollux donates half of his godhood to Castor so that the two can be together, even though they'll have to spend half their time in Hades. Hades isn't so bad, though, if you're virtuous. The Elysian Fields are there, as well as a possibility of reincarnation.
In Norse mythology, we have the bright god Baldur, son of Odin and Frigg, husband of Nanna, father of Forseti. Most everyone knows the story of Baldur's death (Loki tricks blind god Hod into launching mistletoe at Baldur, killing him instantly, giving him a one-way ticket to Helheim). Not many people realize, however, that in certain versions of the story, Nanna joins her husband, after dying from a broken heart. It's okay, though; after Ragnarok, they get better.
Loki's wife Sigyn also spends the entire time from Loki's imprisonment to his escape at Ragnarok in his prison with him where he's bound with his sons' entrails, catching the venom meant to fall in his eyes in a bowl, except when she has to go dump it out. He is not at all gracious about it. She stays by him the whole while.
There's a tale of a Celtic chieftain who had his people converted to Christianity. He however remained unbaptised; if all his ancestors had gone to Hell, he felt it was only right that he should join them.
In stage productions of Little Shop of Horrors this trope is slightly used along with the traditional Together in Death. In the musical number at the finale, the four main characters' faces appear in pods on the side of the plant; still alive. They don't seem to mind it all that much, singing a one-line reprise of the Cut Song We'll Have Tomorrow.
Inverted in Sartre's No Exit: "Hell" consists simply of eternity in a room with three incompatible people. Anytime two of them start to get along, the odd one out will sabotage it. "Hell is other people."
Mark Twain's quip about choosing "Heaven for the climate, and Hell for the society" could perhaps fit as a page quote.
In Shakespeare's King Lear, when Lear and Cordelia are imprisoned, Lear (who admittedly was losing his mind by this point) is happy enough about the idea of prison because it means he and his daughter will be together: "let's away to prison ; We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage"
In Richard Wagner's opera Die Walkure, Siegmund rejects eternal glory in Valhalla rather than be separated from wife/sister Sieglinde.
Although technically Together in Death, Verdi's opera, Aida invokes elements of this trope. Instead of escaping slavery and returning to her homeland, Aida chooses to be entombed alive with her lover Radames (without his knowledge until it's too late). The staging is very suggestive of heaven and hell, with the lower portion of the stage representing the vault, and the upper portion representing an above-ground temple.
Hamlet: This is actually one interpretation off Hamlets actions during the last act of the play. Up until then he had been obsessed with wheter The Ghost he had seen was actually his fathers spirit or a demon trying to lead him to damnation. So he goes to an absurd lengt to prove Claudius guilt and stops himself from killing Claudius after he had gone to confession since killing him then would send his soul to heaven and damn him to hell. Then Ophelia drowns herself, something that under Catholic dogma was a one-way ticket to hell, and Hamlet throws caution to the wind in an almost Suicide by Cop-level, the theory being that he is now able to awenge his father without having any pesky "right or wrong" conciderations standing in the way, and once he dies he can reunite with Ophelia in hell.
Hamlet almost ends up with no survivors at all, when Horatio attempts to poison himself and die with Hamlet. It's only Hamlet's intervention that stops it.
In Fiddler on the Roof, when Hodel hears that her fiancee Perchik has been arrested and sent to Siberia, she goes there to be with him.
In Thrill Me, Nathan is offered "a few years easy time" instead of risking the death penalty or life in prison. All he has to do is rat on Richard. The point of "Keep Your Deal with Me" is Richard invoking this trope so he doesn't. Nathan finds it perfectly likely they'll be hanged, but agrees to refuse the deal anyway.
Legend of Mana takes a turn this direction with the culmination of Irwin and Matilda's story. However, when she greets him in the underworld, he simply leaves her alone without a word, averting it at the last moment.
This is, basically, the "Normal" ending of Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer. If you failed to collect the Mask of the Betrayer, you can choose to bind the Soul Eater to yourself... And in return be forced to remain within the Fugue Plane forever. If you completed the Romance Sidequest your beloved will stay with you.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask - In the very long and optional Kafei and Anju side-quest, actually completing the quest will lead to reuniting the lovers during the last two hours of the third day. They choose to stay together, in the middle of an abandoned town with the moon less than two hours from impact, fully aware they will probably not live to see the morning. However, after the game ends, they do manage to live to see the morning, and their wedding begins.
Something of this is there in Fatal Frame II, specifically in the best ending. The protagonists, twin sisters Mio and Mayu, do get better, but only to a point, because Mayu was definitely worth hell for Mio, who faced the undead all alone and went down to even the very entrance to hell, and stared down to it to rescue her sister from falling into it, which left her blind forever. From there on, it would be Mayu who would look after Mio, instead of the other way around, like it had been for years.
This is also present in the first game, where Mafuyu is willing to stay with Kirie at the Hell Gate for all eternity, just so that she won't have to be lonely anymore.
This trope is played to its full potential with Thane's romance, since his dossier in Shadow Broker database includes a letter that is meant to be delivered to Shepard after his death. In it he proclaims that he'll rather die a slow and painful death from his disease, even if that dooms him to spend his last years connected to machines, than continue his Death Seeker ways if that means he can be longer together with the woman he loves.
After Kasumi's mission, she is asked to destroy her lover's memories, by her lover's memories. She can choose to keep them although she will be relentlessly hunted for it, since the memories include data that could get the Alliance in major trouble if the Council finds out about it.
At the end of the Witch Hunt DLC for Dragon Age: Origins, the Warden can respond to Morrigan's insistence that he shouldn't follow her without knowing anything about where she's going that he doesn't care where they end up, so long as they're together.
Having regained his mortality the main hero must face the consequences of his actions he'd been avoiding for so long and join the never-ending Blood War raging in Hell. His Love Interest Fall-from-Grace promises to find him there.
Subverted with Deionarra, who was seduced by the Practical Incarnation because her second sight was useful to him - and more, he let her die thinking she was dying to save him or be with him, only to be bound as a ghost by her love for him so he had an undying oracle he could exploit for eternity. Even in her rage Deionarra still loves the hero and is willing to go through her personal hell for him, and her last words to him are always, "I shall wait for you in death's halls, my love."
Odin Sphere has Gwendolyn, who storms into the land of the dead and defeats its queen to get her husband back.
Final Fantasy XIII has this happen to Fang and Vanille, becoming crystals holding up Cocoon.
A better example, Snow was willing to do anything for Serah including begging the fal'Cie who branded her to Take Me Instead.
Given something of a dark twist in Soul Nomad & the World Eaters: In one of the endings, the main villain manages to conquer most of the world, and nearly destroys it. Danette and the main character are both killed and their souls are imprisoned together in the Onyx Blade for all eternity, with the implication that this means that things won't be that bad for them. As for the twist... The ending in question is the good ending of the Demon Path, and said villain, who killed Danette, was you. After your defeat, the victorious heroes who opposed you seal your soul inside of the Onyx Blade as punishment for your misdeeds. Danette, who still cares for you in spite of all you've done, volunteers to have her disembodied soul imprisoned inside the blade with you, so you won't have to be all alone in there and possibly get better. Awwwww...
Kingdom Hearts 2 - After kicking the final boss's ass, Sora and a wounded Riku are left alone on a beach in the World of Darkness. Cue the Crowning Moment of Heartwarming as they accept their fate, willing to be the dark side of the world's coin to protect the light from any further threats. They come back, though.
In Knights of the Old Republic, if the player character is Dark Side female, Carth meets her at the final dungeon (a space factory under heavy Republic bombardment) in a last-chance effort to redeem her. She slaughters him. But there was another option that was Dummied Out where she can renounce the Dark Side and remain with him in the doomed station.
This is a huge part of the plot in Dante's Inferno. To save Beatrice, whom he loves, Dante descends into Hell, fights his way through its nine circles, and even offers his own life and soul for her safety, on numerous occasions.
Jackie Estacado kills himself with the Siphon to rescue his dead girlfriend.
Jackie: She's worth it!
Catherine. Played for Laughs in :Catherine's True Ending, where Vincent happily joins his love in the Netherworld... only to find it's not so bad. Probably due to taking over the place soon after arriving.
Transistor: Red kills herself with the Transistor in the ending to be with her love. She knew it was a one way trip into the Transistor since her love couldn't leave it. Though from what we've seen the inside of the Transistor isn't all that bad.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series had Dr. Ohnn's lover, the scientist who had worked with him (a plant by the Kingpin but made a Heel-Face Turn), choose to join him when he was forced to close the portal that was threatening New York from within, being trapped forever.
Animaniacs had a seriocomic take on this in "Meatballs or Consequences." Wakko dies after eating too many meatballs, so Death comes to whisk him away to some non-sectarian Underworld. Yakko and Dot demand to come with him, so Death gives them the opportunity to win their brother back in a game of checkers. The Warners win, but Death takes their stated wish to "stay together" a different way than they had imagined, and declares all three of them dead. Realizing that they're going to be trapped in the Underworld forever, Yakko, Wakko, and Dot accept Death as their new father and annoy him so relentlessly with their demands that he play with them that Death agrees to let the Warners return to life for the time being. Once they're back on earth, Yakko informs his brother that even if Death hadn't let them go, it would still be preferable for the siblings to remain together than for two of them to be alive and one of them dead.
In ThunderCats (2011), Lion-O, after dying and (supposedly) failing the trial to gain his life back, offers up his soul so he can have one more day of life to save his friends. Instead of passing on, his soul would be stuck in limbo for eternity. It turns out to be a Secret Test of Character, and he earns his life back through his willingness to sacrifice his soul for his friends.
In Teen Titans: Robin goes to pretty much the shows version of hell to save Raven.
The trope appears in The Aquariums of Pyongyang, the autobiography of a North Korean defector who spent his childhood in a gulag. His paternal grandfather was denounced and the entire father's side of the family got taken down with them. The author's mother was the daughter of a national hero and was pardoned to spare her father embarrassment. The author would much later learn that his mother had repeatedly asked the authorities to sentence her to hard labor so she could join her husband and children. They never did.
Decembrists' Wives. The Decembrists were an early XIX century rebellious movement in Russia, they tried to fight tsarism, abolish serfdom and (some of them) even to make Russia a democracy. They were all arrested and sent to ''katorga''. Many of their wives followed them voluntarily, some even abandoning nobility. This is particularly notable as any women who followed their men to Siberia were thus just as banished as the men they went for. They weren't allowed back to civilisation.
The Russians themselves did this to the Polish nobility. The Tsar sent one of his cousins to "count trees" because she refused to let her husband go without her.
One of Joan of Arc's lieutenants, La Hire, once stated that he would have been prepared to follow her to the gates of Hell if she asked it of him.
Reportedly the Frisian king Redbad was about to get baptised, with one foot in his baptismal font, when he asked whether his family would be in heaven too. The priest denied that, so Redbad quit and remained pagan for the rest of his life.