"I'm willing to follow you to Hell!"The Hero's Love Interest is doomed to some terrible fate. Neither escape nor rescue is possible. The only way the couple can stay together is if The Hero joins this fate. The specifics aren't 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 an Orphean Rescue. See also A Hell of a Time, where Hell is worth itself. Compare and contrast with I'm Going to Hell for This. Also contrast See You in Hell, which is usually about people you don't like. The Hell Seeker just plain wants to go to Hell, never mind about love. Do not confuse this trope with Refusing Paradise. That trope is where someone rejects a good end instead of embraces a bad one.
— Stocking, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- A literal case occurs in Dragon Ball Z. Vegeta willingly kills himself trying to take Majin Buu down with him, all for the purpose of saving his son's life, knowing he would go to Hell afterwards for all of the terrible things he had done in his life. He delivers an epic You Shall Not Pass to Majin Buu, which gives Piccolo just enough time to remove Trunks and Goten from the danger zone. In Vegeta's mind, Trunks was worth it.
- 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 Kyoto arc, the Big Bad arrives in hell — along with his mistress and his majordomo (the latter two being loyal enough to take their own lives). And decide that, hey, since they're all there, they might as well take over the joint!
- In YuYu Hakusho, the ending for Sensui and his lover. Also the younger Toguro by personal choice (he considered himself worth Hell).
- 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.
- Uzumaki ends with Kirie grasping Shuichi's hand and ending up entangled with him, presumably until something happens to the spiral ruins or the sun expands to melt the Earth (whichever comes first). Given that the story is told as a flashback, the people frozen in the ruins are apparently alive and conscious.
- 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! 5D's 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.
- Kallen of Code Geass is so devoted to Lelouch, that when the rest of the Black Knights turn on him, she refuses to leave his side, even with dozens of soldiers ready to unceremoniously open fire on him. He has to fool her into thinking he used her all along in order to get her to switch sides and survive. Exactly What It Says on the Tin in regard to Kallen's Character Poem in which she admitted if Lelouch had ever told her that he loved her in return, she would have sided with him during Zero Requiem and "followed him to Hell" afterward.
- 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.
- 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 "Let's just become monsters together... that would be an ok ending, too."
- Kyouko is quite willing to do so for Sayaka once she becomes Oktavia.
- Deconstructed in Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion. Homura becomes a witch for Madoka's sake. That's not the deconstruction. No, that's when Homura tops that and becomes the devil itself to create a world where Madoka can be happy...even if it means she has to imprison Madoka in it. As it's a Whole Plot Reference to Paradise Lost, it's suggested that Homura has willingly put herself into a Self-Inflicted Hell...but for Madoka's sake she would rather reign in hell than serve in heaven.
- 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.
- In the Enies Lobby arc, 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 Impel Down arc, Luffy finds out that Ace has been captured by the Marines, 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 Marineford arc, a full scale war breaks out with the Whitebeard pirates, and Luffy and their allies on one side; and the full strength of the Marines on the other. When Ace questions why everyone has gone to these lengths, risking their lives simply for his, he gets the similar answers from both Whitebeard and Luffy: "Because you are our son/brother and we love you." Ultimately, Ace sacrifices himself to save Luffy.
- 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.
- In Naruto, when Sasuke is leaving Konoha to defect to Orochimaru, Sakura begs him to take her with after failing to convince him not to leave, even though that would make her a wanted traitor as well. He refuses and knocks her out to prevent her from following him.
- When Tsunade gives Rock Lee a life-threatening operation, Guy promises to join Lee in death should the operation fail. Fortunately, Lee pulls through, so Guy doesn't have to carry out on his promise.
- This is close to Arc Words in Count Cain, though it doesn't actually happen within the course of the series. Unless you count their Together in Death panel. Cain repeatedly tells Riff that he's damned and to get out while he can (though he goes back and forth on this, at other times threatening to kill himself if Riff ever leaves him), and each time Riff replies that he'll willingly follow him into Hell.
- In Yuki Yuna Is a Hero, after Togo claims that the Heroes' existence is a living hell, Yuna responds by saying that even if they're doomed to keep destroying their bodies, it's not a hell because they have each other.
- 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.
- One The Simpsons comic, which gave us "Springfield In Hell" (in which everyone in Springfield ends up in hell) plays this for laughs.
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 whom 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:
"Worth killing for." Blam! "Worth dying for." Blam! "Worth going to Hell for." Blam! "Amen."
- 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.
- Played straight in Hellblazer. The First of the Fallen tells a virtuous soul she can 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. Although he's not actually worth it, being a complete shit. She's just too self-sacrificing a person to refuse the offer to take half his punishment.
- 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.
- Played quite literally in The Sandman, where Remiel, who initially attempted to defy God's command to take control of Hell after Lucifer quits, accepts because his companion Duma did.
Morpheus: Remiel. What will you do?
Remiel: What can I do? I cannot allow my fellow to drink from the cup that I have refused. I will go with Duma. I will go to Hell.
- A Boy, a Girl and a Dog: The Leithian Script: Luthien made very clear many times that any Paradise with no Beren was Hell as far as she was concerned.
- In this Death Note fanfic, Misa basically tells Beyond this.
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.
- Thousand Shinji: During a conversation in chapter 10, Asuka tells Shinji that she is afraid of becoming attached to him and losing him. He promises her that she'll never lose him and he'll always return to her, even if he has to find his way back from Hell. When she asks him "What if you end up in Heaven?" he replies:
Shinji: "No matter the surface trappings, any heaven would be a hell without you."
- In this Naruto 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.
- In the Card Captor Sakura fic Shadow of the Dragon, Sakura and Syaoran both explicitly state on more than one occasion that without the other, life is meaningless.
- In Gensokyo 20XXI, after Yukari's attempts to Shoo the Dog, Ran (with babies in her arms) refuses to flee without her, electing to stay. As to be expected, she was imprisoned right along with her. In that vein, it is subtly implied to be the case as to why Yukari simply wanted to allow herself to be captured, seeing as Reimu was mentioned to have been the first one they managed to grab.
- In Kill la Kill AU, comic 41, after finding out Ryuuko wished to be sick one instead of her, Satsuki makes a wish to be sick one right along with her so the former won't be alone.
Films - Animation
- Disney's Hercules ends with Hercules being accepted into 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. Of course, isn't surprising, considering the reason he became a god was because he decided to sacrifice himself for Meg in the first place.
- In Disney's Pocahontas, "I would rather die tomorrow, than live a hundred years without knowing you."
- In Sausage Party, when Brenda is asked by Frank why she jumped out of the cart after him instead of continuing into "The Great Beyond", she answers that she didn't want spend eternity without him.
Films - Live Action
- Bram Stoker's Dracula: After some Didn't Think This Through words from a Suicide Is Shameful-believing priest, Dracula decides that he'd rather follow his suicidal wife into Hell than spent eternity without her in Heaven. And if she and him are going to be damned like that — even after all of their years of service toward God — then he might as well get his money's worth by becoming a vampire! Subverted in the end, though: His wife ends up in Heaven after all, and he ends up getting to join her anyway via Redemption Equals Death.
- Hellboy series.
- 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.)
- HellBoy II: The Golden Army does something similar, when the fallen angel insists that Hellboy will bring about The End of the World as We Know It, and Liz, his girlfriend, decides to resurrect him anyway. Not sure if it qualifies, though. The angel did warn that she will the suffer the most for her decision.
- Hellboy himself inverts this in the first film, warning the afterlife that if they don't release his girl from death, he'll cross over with her ... and then kick ass on everyone there until they regret ''not'' letting her return to him.
Hellboy: Hey, you on the other side... let her go. Because for her, I'll cross over... and then, you'll be sorry.
- 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. Unable to coax her out of it, 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.
- A familial example in Maleficent, where Aurora's Parental Substitutes, the titular Maleficent and her Dragon Diaval—not the three fairies—are quite willing to walk into King Stefan's death trap of a castle if it means the slightest chance of saving her.
- The Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen, regarding Prim and later Peeta.
- 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.
- Tolkien's Legendarium: In the Middle-Earth universe, Elves are destined to remain in the world forever, whereas Men are fated to leave it forever after dying. Nobody knows where their souls go, although Morgoth tried to spread the belief that there's nothing beyond death. Several elves thought that facing the unknown was preferable to be parted from their mortal lovers.
- The Silmarillion: Beren and Luthien. Luthien chose becoming mortal to remain with Beren forever, even though it meant that she would get sick, she would get old and pass away, and remain apart from her kin forever.
- The Lord of the Rings: Nearly seventy centuries later Arwen also chose becoming mortal out of love for Aragorn.
- In Dracula, vampirism is considered inevitably a Fate Worse Than Death (becoming undead, change of personality to evil, feeding on living blood, etc). Which makes it a rather disquieting Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when Jonathan Harker, faced with the possibility that his Vampire Refugee wife might not be saved, resolves that, no matter what, she will not meet that fate alone.
- Incarnations of Immortality
- In For 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 a step by making it "You are worth oblivion."
- In Wielding a Red Sword, Satan has a Batman Gambit that 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.
- Robert A. Heinlein
- 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 quite make 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?
Edward: I'll take it.
- What Dreams May Come, the book that The Movie (see its entry for the details) was based on.
- 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.
- In Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck believes that if he helps his friend Jim escape from slavery, he will be committing an act of theft, something he knows is a sin. He debates between being damned to hell for theft, or doing what feels right and freeing his friend and declares, "All right, I'll go to Hell, then!"
- 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.
- In Dean Koontz's The Bad Place, Clint shoots himself on the bed where he laid his now-deceased wife, right in front of Candy, who killed her. Candy, naturally, doesn't get why he did that.
- 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.
- From Rosemary Sutcliff's Arthurian Demythtification novel Sword at Sunset, a platonic (maybe) example:
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.
- Ultimately, Evelyn would rather have Tobias around as her son than to exact revenge on her husband and controlling the city. Even if that means swallowing her pride and having to face her abusive husband and possibly be put at risk herself in Allegiant.
- Paradise Lost takes this approach with Adam's original sin; he knew that to eat the fruit would defy the will of God, but to not eat it would condemn Eve alone. He chose to eat it.
- Discussed in Dinner at Deviant's Palace. The protagonist goes to rescue the woman he loved and lost and never got over from the grasp of a predatory cult. A singer-songwriter by profession, at one point he starts thinking about how he'd tell the story if he were writing a song about it, and observes that it would be suitably dramatic to end it with the would-be rescuer failing to rescue his lost love and submitting to the cult himself just to be with her. He never seriously considers actually taking that path himself, if only because it would require giving up and deciding there's nothing more he can do, which he refuses. He does successfully rescue her in the end.
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 (though this is debatable, since he doesn't even move back to Sunnydale afterwards and she ends up dying, anyway).
- 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.
- As her home is the actual place/plane/dimension, Maze considers Earth a hell she is willing to brave for Lucifer, even if she is looking for a way to get him to willingly go back.
- 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
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.
- This is the basic premise of the song "Angels and Dæmons" by Aviators.
- Implied with The Cab's "Angel with a Shotgun"
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?
- Tom Waits in "Never Let Go" from Orphans, Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards
I've only got one leg to stand
you can send me to hell
but I'll never let go of your hand.
- Lea Michele in "Burn With You" from her album Louder
I don't wanna go to heaven
If you're going to hell
I will burn with you
I will burn with you.
- Rachel Platten's "Stand By You".
Even if we can't find heaven, I'll walk through Hell with you
Love, you're not alone, 'cause I'm gonna stand by you
Even if we can't find heaven, I'm gonna stand by you
- "Follow You" by Bring Me The Horizon.
So you can drag me through Hell
If it meant I could hold your hand
I will follow you
'Cause I'm under your spell
And you could throw me to the flames
I will follow you
I will follow you
- "Bat Out of Hell" by Jim Steinman and performed by Meat Loaf
And I know that I'm damned if I never get out,
And maybe I'm damned if I do,
But with every other beat I've got left in my heart,
You know I'd rather be damned with you.
Well, if I gotta be damned you know I wanna be damned
Dancing through the night with you.
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 of Hamlet's actions during the last act of the play. Up until then he had been obsessed with whether The Ghost he had seen was actually his father's spirit or a demon trying to lead him to damnation. So he goes to absurd lengths 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 avenge his father without having any pesky "right or wrong" considerations 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. Horatio's attempted suicide is actually him trying to follow Hamlet to hell, as it was believed that suicide would damn someone to hell.
- 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.
The second game's Wii remake adds a new ending, "Shadow Festival". To cut a long story short: Mio arrives at the Hellish Abyss only to find that the Repentance has begun. Instead of fleeing, she chooses to stay with her beloved twin sister Mayu in their final moments. Cue a simultaneous Tear Jerker and Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
- Mass Effect 2:
- 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.
- Used partly in the finale of Planescape: Torment:
- 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. As a succubus, going to Hell is a trivial task, though being a reformed succubus it wouldn't be pleasant for her.
- 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, fights its legions and defeats its queen in single combat 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.
- Radiata Stories inverted it. The Ancient Elf King fell in love with a human woman and had a child with her. As a result, he died a Fate Worse Than Death because of the Algandars. This fate was spending eternity trapped in a cocoon and despite knowing this, he never regretted loving his queen.
- 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.
- In the normal ending of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, Laharl willingly sacrifices his own life (an act which he knows will condemn him to Prinnydom) in order to bring back Flonne.
- In the Saints Row series, the Player/Boss is a borderline-villainous Heroic Comedic Sociopath who commits felonies for shits and giggles, yet they are willing to go to any lengths to protect their friends. The trope, itself, is mentioned in Saints Row IV before the Boss goes to save their oldest and closest surviving friend, Johnny Gat.
- Taken literally in Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell, when Johnny Gat and Kinzie go to hell to rescue the Boss from Satan.
- 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.
- Discussed, though not actually done in Fire Emblem Fates. If you choose the Conquest path, then in the Avatar's supports with Azura, she swears to always stay with them and support them-even if that means going to Hell.
Azura: When you're too tired to dirty your hands with blood, I'll dirty mine. ...If your sins damn you to Hell, I'll damn myself right alongside you.
- Final Fantasy X-2. has this in the backstory of Lenne and Shuyin. they die together in front of Vegnagun. However it's not until the end of the game that the two spirits are reunited. This parallels Yuna and Tidus' own separation.
- Most notable in the DLC package, Genroku Legends, for Muramasa Rebirth. Considering all six stories, main and add on, involve both an unusual pairing (sometimes romantic) and a protagonist approaching their day of death, this was bound to happen. At least two interspecies romances occur, with either a Goddess or Demoness, and one case of a farmer's wife coming back from the dead to relieve him of his suffering, but who only agrees to die once he convinces the Shogunate to stop their oppression. That particular arc ends with the farmer, his wife, and their friends being so demanding of Hell's torture that Enma sends them back into the real world. Not a bad way to end the arc best planted in tense realism.
- The last episode of Life Is Strange reveals that the storm is actually a result of Max using her powers to prevent Chloe's death at the beginning of the game, and the only way to save Arcadia Bay is to use Chloe's butterfly photo to undo her first rewind, and let Chloe die. Max has the choice to tears up the photo, dooming the town but allowing her to stay with Chloe forever.
- A major sidequest in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team has Latias getting stranded in a dangerous and inescapable forest, causing her older brother Latios to steal Technical Machines to power himself up before he tries to meet up with her. When asked about the possibility that he won't be able to escape once he goes in there, Latios shrugs it off saying that at least he'll be with Latias. Alakazam chews him out on this, saying that Latias wouldn't want him to give up his freedom and well being while changing nothing about her fate. Fortunately with the help of the protagonists, Latias gets rescued and is reunited with her brother.
- At the end of the The Order of the Stick prequel Start of Darkness, the wizard Dorukan attacks Xykon for imprisoning the soul of his lover Lirian within a magic stone. Of course, Xykon ends up kicking his ass and imprisoning him within the very same stone, where Dorukan's soul meets up with Lirian's.
- Lirian: Dory? Dory, is that you?
Dorukan: Yes, my love. I've failed. It looks as if I am to share your prison forever now...
Lirian: No, no... not a prison anymore. (They Embrace).
- Interestingly, this is probably the nicest thing Xykon has ever done. And it involves imprisoning souls. Granted, it's pretty certain he didn't mean it to be nice.
- Sinfest does this as literally as is possible. And lampshaded. And confided to Fucshia in an After-Action Patch-Up.
- Darkly twisted in the Puppy Wish strip of The Perry Bible Fellowship.
- Played for Laughs on The Frollo Show. Gaston and Frollo are Heterosexual Life-Partners, but Gaston ends up dying in an incident where he's strangled by Lefou. When Frollo finds out that they're replacing his best friend with Ashton Kutcher, Frollo simply responds "Fuck this shit!" and cheerfully throws himself off the ramparts of Notre Dame and plummets to his death. He's reunited with Gaston (and Lefou, who committed suicide in prison) and they celebrate living together in Hell. That is, until they run afoul of Hades and Scanty and Kneesocks.
- 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.
- Galaxy Rangers: The plotline of "Psychocrypt". Zach knows it's a suicide mission. He knows the result will likely be joining Eliza in the Fate Worse Than Death. The alternative is letting himself and his wife endure Mind Rape on a nightly basis until she's dead. The fact his True Companions are willing to destroy their careers (and, in Shane's case, throw away his life) to help him on this makes it all the more poignant.
- 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.
- Teen Titans: Robin goes to pretty much the show's version of hell to save Raven.
- In an episode of Aladdin: The Series, Mirage used a potion to turn Jasmine into a venomous naga and the party goes on a quest to cure her. They make it through all of the traps and hazards and Mirage, being a sore loser, causes the tree with the cure to wither. Just when Jasmine is lamenting her fate and telling her friends to leave her, Aladdin drinks the potion as well, more than willing to be a monster if it means he can be with Jasmine. Fasir sees this as more than enough reason to foil Mirage's petty victory and restores the cure for them.
- The Transformers franchise has a few of these.
- 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.