"The creature I had killed, the strange beast of the unfathomed cave, was, or had at one time been, a MAN!"
"It worked for me. I used to be a little blond girl named Virginia."
— Octopus Mutant, Futurama
"I was like you, once... clinging to life and blind to the truth... when I uncovered the truth, I, too shuddered and paled with fear. Deep within these catacombs, I was remade..."
"I am wretched... But I AM STRONG! I am Zerg! I am... the future!"
"I may have to call in sick today. I'm feelin a little... touch of something"
— SCII Infested Terran SPM note
Sam: What are they?
Strider: They were once men. Great kings of men. Then Sauron the Deceiver gave to them nine Rings of power. Blinded by their greed, they took them without question, one by one falling into darkness. Now they are slaves to his will. They are the Nazgul, Ringwraiths, neither living nor dead. At all times they feel the presence of the Ring, drawn to the power of the One. They will never stop hunting you.
— The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Man In Black: But before I was trapped, I was a man, James. Just like you.
Sawyer: I'm havin' a hard time believin' that.
The Man In Black: You can believe whatever you want, that's the truth. I know what it's like to feel joy... to feel pain, anger, fear... to experience betrayal. I know what it's like to lose someone you love.
— Lost, Season 6 Episode 4: The Substitute
Dragon: Mannequin. Original name Alan Gramme. Tinker, originally went by the name Sphere. Specialty is in biomes, terraforming and ecosystems… or it was. He became newsworthy when he took on a project to build self sustaining biospheres on the moon. He had ideas on solving world hunger, and building aquatic cities near cities plagued by overcrowding. And he was putting it all into effect. Until-
Dragon: His wife and children were killed in the attack, years of work ruined. Everything fell apart. He went mad. He cut himself off from the rest of the world. Literally sealed himself away.
—Dragon and Armsmaster discuss who Mannequin was, Worm
Were you a dude but wish you were not a dude? Then Wilhelm is the dude for you!
... And in that darkness, he surrendered himself completely to powers so evil and perverse, that as he emerged, no part of the human man that was Xerxes survived...
—Queen Gorgo on the rebirth of Xerxes as God-King, 300: Rise of an Empire
In case you fail to realise... the things you hunt. They're not beasts. They're people.
The Dreamers' dreams dissolve both bone and the fetter of identity. The infected human might eventually become a shade. They hearken to the mutable signal. They can melt into puddles of pure Filth and take on new shapes. They can join into composite monstrosities. They are ready for new stages of blasphemous ascension. They realise that they are the dream.
We see the Shade Stalker. Reality bubbles and drips where they step. Did you know they were human once, sweetling? It is hard to tell, harder to fathom. They have become so like the Dreamers, little fractal effigies. The changes you see are only the tip of the black iceberg...
—The Buzzing, The Secret World