Follow TV Tropes

Following

Context Main / HopeIsScary

Go To

1->''"But then I met a boy who made me feel not so worthless... like maybe there's hope for me... and it '''terrifies''' me."''²-->-- '''Fuchsia''', ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}''²²The DespairEventHorizon has its advantages. Your expectations are gone, so no one can disappoint you. Your feelings are dead, so you can't feel any pain. And you have nothing to lose, so you don't need to worry about your future. Your numbness is peaceful, and [[SafetyInIndifference you have passed safely out of reach of anything that could disturb you.]]²²But if, in that state, someone inspires you with [[WorthLivingFor even a fragment of hope,]] all of your peace is gone. Now that you've started to feel, you can feel pain again. Now that you have someone or something that you care about, you dread the day when it will be gone. And now that you've [[HopeSpot let yourself hope again, you risk being disappointed again]]. Before, you had the bitter comfort of knowing that the worst was over, but now you are afraid that you ''haven't'' hit rock bottom yet, and the worst is yet to come... ²²Characters who feel this mood (usually) haven't actually crossed the DespairEventHorizon: they have perhaps just hit a HeroicBSOD or worn stronger-than-usual JadeColoredGlasses. This moment, when they start to feel hope again and try to reject it, is usually just a blip on the road to recovery from the despairing state. Common for the BrokenBird to feel it.²²Compare SafetyInIndifference, the emotional state of most characters who feel that Hope is Scary, and LoveHurts.²²----²!Examples²²[[foldercontrol]]²²[[folder:Anime & Manga]]²* In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE'', [[spoiler:[[BigBad Lord Ezelcant]] claims that this is the way the entire nation of Vagan feels; it's too painful to love others and have relationships when there's a very good chance that either you or those you care about will die young due to an incurable disease.]]²* ''Anime/MazingerZ'': In the ''Manga/ShinMazingerZero'' spin-off, HumongousMecha FemBot turned RobotGirl Minerva-X is locked into a GroundhogPeggySue loop where she sends to Kouji Kabuto back in time to save the world, he fails and she ends him back again. Until now she has failed 2,798 times into averting the EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. She does as much as stating all of those times she hoped, and her hope was in vain. However, in the current timeline, she is stuck in, she is seeing signs of maybe -maybe- things will finally be different this time around. So she feels a glimmer of hope... and she is afraid of being hopeful only for getting disappointed and heart-broken again.²* A common interpretation of [[spoiler:Anthy]] in ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' says that this trope is part of the reason she has such love-hate feelings towards [[spoiler:Utena]] and the attempts to save her.²* Jeremy struggles with this for much of the latter half of ''Manga/ACruelGodReigns''. After being systematically abused for months, he falls into the life of a HookerWithAHeartOfGold and FunctionalAddict but is afraid to go back to living a "normal" life when Ian offers to help him get back on his feet.²* In the beginning, Haruka of ''Manga/KotouraSan'' was [[BrokenBird broken]] under the belief that her {{telepath|y}}ic powers would [[DoomMagnet doom any living being that she cares about]]. So Manabe got a lot of resistance to convincing her for the last quarter of episode 1 that she should try and make friends with him. This trope also underlies why she [[spoiler:vanished temporarily]] at the end of episode 3, as Manabe, by the time already her boyfriend, was [[spoiler:attacked and seriously injured by a plan of Hiyori's, his ChildhoodFriend-turned-HopelessSuitor]]. She regressed to her previous thinking and decided to leave.²* This is presumably the reason why most of the characters in ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' are content to just sit back behind the walls, or after Wall Maria is breached, to wait for humanity's doom, despite Eren yelling at them. Repeatedly.²* In ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'', the Skull Knight tells Guts that Casca may be cured of her insanity once and for all if Guts can get her to the land of Elfhelm. Guts is so happy over the possibility that he actually gives a real smile over the revelation. However, Guts is thrown into anxiety once again, not because he is afraid that Casca's condition won't be curable, but because the Skull Knights went on to cryptically tell Guts that being cured might not be what Casca truly wants, something that Guts is still trying to decipher as he awaits for Casca to be healed after his party finally arrived on Elfhelm.²* While he's not quite as bad as other examples, Gray seems to fall victim to this in ''Manga/FairyTail'' as it's implied that his constantly losing people he loves in the past is why he's always so willing to enact a suicide move in his major fights [[spoiler: such as with Lyon, Silver, the dragon-spawn, Invel and Zeref]]. It also seems to be in part why he keeps brushing off his StalkerWithACrush Juvia, as either definitively accepting or rejecting her feelings is going to have emotional consequences for one or both of them that he'd rather avoid; he's fine with being platonic but anything deeper seems to worry him for risk of losing them like he did his teacher and family before her. ²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Comic Books]]²* In one issue of ''Detective Comics'', ComicBook/TheJoker deliberately invokes this trope when he helps Franchise/{{Batman}} save a child whose abduction the Joker himself orchestrated. If even the Joker doesn't always kill his victims, Batman will be forced to hold out hope in every case and will therefore suffer more for each future victim he fails to save.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Fan Works]]²* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'':²** At the beginning of the fic Asuka had given up on the idea of becoming ever happy, having a loving relationship with someone or being loved. She was so wrecked and disillusioned and felt so unworthy and undeserving that she did not want to try anymore and refused to consider that things might be different. And then she met her future self who was HappilyMarried to Shinji and pregnant with his child, and she met a bunch of people assuring she was not a bad person and she deserved to be happy… and she was incredibly frightened because she did not dare to hope.²** On the other hand, Shinji had come to believe that an empty shell of a loveless relationship was everything that he and Asuka would have. Then he began to see signs that maybe they could have a happy end after all… and he freaked out because he was afraid of hoping in vain or ruining his chance.²-->''Asuka refused to meet his eyes. The naked hope in them was too much to look at. After sixteen years of keeping that pain under lock and key, the things she’d talked about with Daniel had left her feelings too raw to withstand seeing that. After sixteen years of keeping it suppressed, and four years of living in nightmarish barbarity past the end of the world, hope hurt.''²* ''Fanfic/TheChildOfLove'': Shinji had loved Asuka as soon as he met her and alter a while they got together, but [[spoiler:he thought he could not protect her and he broke up.]] Misato asked him if he was afraid of his dreams and hopes becoming real, and replied maybe he was.²-->'''Misato''': I know you, Shinji-kun. I know that you wanted Asuka's love from the very beginning of all this. Maybe even before. I'll bet that, from the first time you saw her, you knew that you had to live with her forever. My question is, why are you leaving your hopes and dreams behind when they've come true now? Are you afraid of them?²* In the ''Fanfic/{{Dangerverse}}'', after Luna tells Draco of a vision where he dies at the age of 18, Draco realizes that he is trying to convince himself that it's true. He then lampshades this trope and resolves to keep having hope for the future.²--> '''Draco''': I am a Marauder, and a Warrior. Maybe I have to die on 5 June 1997 - ''maybe'' - but I'm sure as hell not going down without a fight!²* ''Fanfic/GhostsOfEvangelion'': After Misato admits to Asuka that she failed her and swears that she'll atone for her mistakes, Asuka is frightened of trusting Misato again.²* ''Fanfic/OnceMoreWithFeeling'': Thanks to Shinji, Asuka is considering that, for the first time in one decade, maybe she has met someone she can trust, open up to, and rely on. She thinks maybe she does not need to push Shinji away, and she can lower her walls around him... and the thought scares her more than any Angel.²* ''Fanfic/ScarTissue'': Due to her severe emotional and psychological trauma caused by the Angel War and the end of the world, Asuka had become tremendously unstable, paranoid and unable to control her temper, and she abused Shinji for several months until she went too far [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone and was so horrified at the result of her actions]] [[HeelRealization that she snapped out of it]] and promised herself that she would change and earn Shinji's forgiveness. However Shinji is so convinced that she loathes him and he deserves her hatred and violence (because he defiled her and abandoned her when she was getting murdered) that when she tries to treat him kindly and gently or looks at him with caring and guilt he is frightened because he does not dare to hope that she does not hate him.²* ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'': After she and Shinji got together, Asuka was happy because she had found someone who [[LivingEmotionalCrutch loved her unconditionally, understood her and took her pain away]]... but she was frightened because she feared losing him.²* In ''Fanfic/OldLightStillSlantsThrough'', Izuku is torn between excitement, shock, and fear after being told that he apparently froze the Sludge Villain attacking him solid with an ice Quirk despite being Quirkless all his life. He's left with countless questions about how this could have happened as well as the burning fear of disappointment if this was somehow a one-time fluke.²-->It hurts ''so much'' to hope. He doesn’t want to.\²He doesn’t want to hope, in case it turns out that he’s wrong, that they’re all wrong.\²It ''hurts''.²* In ''Fanfic/KarmaInRetrograde'', Touya is reluctant to latch onto any feelings of hope because he's just so used to getting it dashed, especially after learning that he ended becoming a horrible villain for reasons he can't remember.²-->He couldn’t afford to have any hope. He couldn’t handle the disappointment that would sink in when that hope was proven false. He’d been hopeful a handful of times before. It had always been a mistake.²* In ''Fanfic/OfQuirksAndMagic'', Inko is initially skeptical of Dr. Strange's offer to teach her son magic, wondering how much more false hope Izuku can take before he snaps.²-->'''Inko:''' Just how much more hope can you stand to endure, Izuku...?²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]²* In ''Film/TheShawshankRedemption'', Red is characterized this way (the result of being an aging, cynical con who seems likely to spend the rest of his life in prison), and at one point when his best friend Andy is talking about the importance of hope, Red responds by essentially saying that hope is usually just a case of YankTheDogsChain, especially in a CrapsackWorld like prison. [[spoiler:The last lines of the movie are about Red starting to hope again.]]²-->'''Red''': Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. It's got no use on the inside, you better get used to that idea.\²'''Andy''': [[ArmorPiercingQuestion Like]] [[DrivenToSuicide Brooks did]]?²* Part of the sadistic design of the Pit, the prison from ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'' -- it gives its prisoners a small chance of (very dangerous) escape. "There is no despair without hope." This is also what inspires Bane's plans for Gotham: he plans to trap everyone in the city under the threat of nuclear annihilation, then convince the released criminals and poor majority to hold mass executions of the rich, powerful and corrupt to give them and everyone on the outside the impression that he is helping to straighten the crookedness of the city. Then, at the end of this all, he plans to detonate the nuke anyway as a message to the world that ''everyone'' in Gotham is too corrupt to be salvaged.²* The wonderful [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZfGTL2PY3E "the past can hurt"]] scene in ''Disney/TheLionKing'', where Simba is convinced to go back to face his destiny.²* Creator/JohnCleese's endlessly beleaguered character in ''Clockwise'' expresses this sentiment at one point: "It's not the despair, Laura. I can stand the despair, it's the hope!"²* President Snow muses about this in the film adaptation of ''Film/TheHungerGames'', saying the Games are an effective way to control the Districts because each game tortures them with hope:²-->'''Snow''': Hope -- it is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is useful -- too much is dangerous. A spark is fine... [[TemptingFate as long as it's contained]].²* In the famous scene in ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' where Quint talks of the sinking of the ''USS Indianapolis'', he says that the worst time was not being attacked by sharks, but when the survivors had been located and were waiting to be picked up, terrified that they might be picked off at the last moment. ²* Sarah Packard from ''Film/TheHustler'', who has been scorned and rejected so many times that she holds herself back when she starts falling for Eddie.²* In ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad'', Max haltingly advises Furiosa to abandon hope.²-->'''Max''': You know, hope is a mistake. If you can't fix what's broken, you'll go insane.²* From ''Film/FindingNeverland:''²-->'''Peter''': ''I'm sick of grown-ups lying to me!'' [...] "Father might take us fishing" -- that's what she said -- "in just a few weeks," and he died the next morning!\²'''Barrie''': That wasn't a lie, Peter. That was your mother's hope.\²'''Peter''': He barely moved for a week, but I started planning our fishing trip.²* This is a major theme in ''Film/AvengersEndgame''. After the traumatic events of [[Film/AvengersInfinityWar the previous film]], many of the Avengers are ''terrified'' by the possibility that [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong they might be able to reverse them]] since they know that they won't be able to live with themselves if they fail. This is highlighted when Natasha tries to recruit Clint, who lost all hope after [[spoiler:his entire family died in the Decimation]].²-->'''Clint''': ''[choked up]'' Don't give me hope.\²'''Natasha''': I'm sorry I couldn't give it to you sooner.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Literature]]²* In Creator/JRRTolkien's ''[[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings The Return of the King]]'', when Éomer asks why Éowyn is not lying in state like Théoden, he's told she's alive -- and he feels both hope and fear.²-->"Then hope unlooked-for came so suddenly to Éomer's heart, and with it the bite of care and fear renewed."²* At one point in ''Literature/LabyrinthsOfEcho'', Sir Max remarks that the worst situation of all is not a complete hopelessness (because you have nothing to lose then, anyway) but one where there is only a tiny glimmer of hope, because you are paralyzed with fear of losing it, as well.²* When Marianne's dangerous fever abates in ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility'', Elinor tries not to be optimistic in case it gets worse again, but she can't stop herself.²--> ''"Hope had already entered; and feeling all its anxious flutter, she bent over her sister to watch--she hardly knew for what."''²* In Creator/JaneAusten's ''Literature/{{Persuasion}}'', after realizing that Anne might still love him, Wentworth writes to her of his being in hope and pain.²-->''"I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope."''²* In Angie Sage's ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'' book ''Magyk'', Boy 412 tallies up Good things about his situation and Bad ones--and is surprised by the Good things outnumbering the Bad for the first time in his life. But the Bad thing feels much worse because now he has something to lose.²* In Creator/PoulAnderson's ''Literature/AfterDoomsday'', the alien Ramri tries to calm Donnan as the plan to escape comes to fruition; he admits that he never understood why humans find hope more terrifying than despair.²* The characters in ''Literature/ChaosWalking'' can't help but be wary of hope.²-->''"Hope may be the thing that pulls you forward, may be the thing that keeps you going, but that it's dangerous, that it's painful and risky, that it's making a dare in the world and when has the world ever let us win a dare?"''²* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' novel ''Literature/WhiteNight'', Marcone tells Harry that [[spoiler:he cannot tell Demeter that her daughter is still alive but comatose]] because giving her hope again would essentially destroy her after what happened to her in the first place.²* ''Literature/LesMiserables'': Javert has lived all his life obeying the law, and he feels very strange when he let Jean Valjean go instead of arresting him:²--> ''"All sorts of interrogation points flashed before his eyes. He put questions to himself and made replies to himself, and his replies frightened him. He asked himself: "What has that convict done, that desperate fellow, whom I have pursued even to persecution, and who has had me under his foot, and who could have avenged himself, and who owed it both to his rancor and to his safety, in leaving me my life, in showing mercy upon me? His duty? No. Something more. And I in showing mercy upon him in my turn -- WhatHaveIDone? My duty? No. Something more. So there is something beyond duty?"'' Here he took fright; his balance became disjointed; one of the scales fell into the abyss, the other rose heavenward, and Javert was no less terrified by the one which was on high than by the one which was below.²** Importantly, this means that Javert has a somewhat different problem than a lot of the other examples. Rather than being crushed in despair before, Javert is now forced to look at his actions without the leverage of duty and law, recognizing his good for what it is, and his crimes for what they are.²* Exploited in ''Literature/{{The Art of War|SunTzu}}'', where Sun Tzu encourages generals to always give their enemies a path to retreat. The reasoning behind this is that soldiers with no hope of escape will [[LastStand fight much harder]]. In essence, he says, No Hope Is Scarier--at least, from the attacker's point of view.²* Bree Pym's initial reaction to the news of her great-grand aunts' actual existence at the end of ''[[Literature/AuntDimity Aunt Dimity Down Under]]'' is best summed up this way. She is a BrokenBird after years living with her abusive alcoholic father and recently losing her beloved grandfather, as well as feeling rejected by her mother (who had remarried and started another family after her own sufferings at Ed Pym's hands). She learns from the aunts' attorney that they have revised their will and she will inherit everything they own, including [[spoiler:the trust fund set up by their black sheep brother nearly a century before]]. She is reluctant at first to go along with the idea, but Lori and Cameron convince her to go to England and meet Ruth and Louise.²* During ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'', Tash Arranda meets a Jedi ghost who was killed by Darth Vader, who then burned the library he was guarding. In the time since, someone else has put up a new library, booby trapped to suck away LifeEnergy, and he can't warn anyone because he is InvisibleToNormals. After years of this, the ghost is willing to help Tash a little when he thinks he can [[ScarecrowSolution scare her away from the danger]] but backs down when she wants his help to put a stop to the whole scheme and is cornered. She does manage to talk him around.²* In Creator/JohnMilton's ''Literature/ParadiseLost'', Satan alludes to this, reversing it: "So farwel Hope, and with Hope farwel Fear,"²* In Creator/SeananMcGuire's ''Literature/OctoberDaye'' novel ''Rosemary and Rue'', Toby thinks that hope is not easy in Faerie, but still wishes it for Manuel.²* ''Literature/TheWayOfKings'' (first book of ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive''): Kaladin feels this way, as he [[ChronicHeroSyndrome keeps trying to save people]] and they [[DoomMagnet all wind up dead]]. He becomes increasingly reluctant to involve himself with others, but his heroic nature drags him back into it.²* Several characters note that the fear of hope can lead people to cling to despair in Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's Literature/VorkosiganSaga, especially if they have already embarked on a self-destructive course for vengeance.²* Used extensively in Creator/AnneBishop's Ephemera series. A large portion of the second book is devoted to the main character puzzling over why places of darkness always have a sliver of light in them. Then it's brutally exploited when [[spoiler:Belladonna decides to use this trope to torture the [[NamesToRunAwayFrom World Eater]] relentlessly]].²* In Creator/CameronDokey's ''Literature/TheWorldAbove'', when they meet the outlaws, Steel sees something of Gen and demands more light. Robin demands to know what he's afraid of; Steel says he has abandoned fear but is now troubled by hope. (Gen closely resembles her mother, the long vanished Duchess.)²* In Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs' ''Literature/APrincessOfMars'', Sola tells John Carter that because of this, and LoveHurts, she has wished to be like the other women of her race, without hope or love.²** In ''The Master Mind of Mars'', Ulysses tries to urge hope of regaining her body on Valla Dia. She rejects it; she can be happy in an old woman's body without hope but hoping, she would always be unhappy.²* The residents of the Fortress of the Damned in ''Literature/OfFearAndFaith'' believe in this and they at first refuse to try and escape from the fortress when the party offers to help them. This being the [[{{Determinator}} Stray Dogs]] though, they don't give up that easily.²* In ''Literature/SearchTheSevenHills'' Marcus feels it would be a relief to give way to despair over his kidnapped love interest as 'hope is exhausting'.²* Literature/AmberBrown feels this way for a while in ''Amber Brown Wants Extra Credit''. She's hopeful about the possibility of her mother's boyfriend Max becoming part of their family, but worried that he's just going to leave them in a few months like her father did.²* ''Literature/TheRiddleMasterTrilogy'': Morgon thinks this way for awhile.²-->[[spoiler:'''Aloil''':]] You do not promise hope.\²'''Morgon''': No. Truth, if I can find it.²* In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'', when Harry first wakes on the morning of his birthday after being told by Hagrid that he's a wizard, he mentally insists to himself that it was just a dream and that when he opens his eyes he'll be in his cupboard. He's so used to his awful life that he's too scared to hope that this new reality could actually be true, so it's easier to pretend that it's not. At least, until he actually does open his eyes.²* Master Adam, a counterfeiter from ''Literature/TheDivineComedy'' infected with dropsy in Hell, is tortured less by his extreme thirst than by his memory of the river Arno and luscious, well-hydrated fields that he knew in life. His ability to remember these great goods and his longing to return to them makes his actual torture all the more unbearable.²* ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'': [[spoiler:Asmodean]] is framed for betraying the [[TheAntiGod Dark One]], who's known for inflicting a FateWorseThanDeath on traitors, so he joins forces with TheChosenOne Rand in the faint hope that Rand will actually find a way to defeat the Dark One. He describes it as a man slipping off the edge of a cliff, grasping desperately at a tuft of grass, knowing it won't be enough.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Live-Action TV]]²* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' had Ted admit that he wasn't into that "Fall in love" feeling again. He had lost a certain amount of faith and was losing more every day and he resorted to scientifically figuring out what the right woman was instead of following his heart. This was after he witnessed most of his friends getting into marriages, having babies and progressing in their lives.²* One episode of ''Series/CriminalMinds'' has a bit where the brother of a disappeared girl is angry with the agents for telling his mother that her daughter might still be alive because even though grief is terrible, you can get past it and move on, but hope keeps you paralyzed.²* Season 1 of ''Series/PrisonBreak'' has shades of this, as death row inmate Lincoln Burrows (initially) repeatedly tells his would-be saviours that he's accepted his fate. Giving him false hope of release/escape is, to him, more cruel than letting him die.²* This is one of the reasons Mitsuzane [[FaceHeelTurn goes evil]] in ''Series/KamenRiderGaim''. After being told an AwfulTruth and seeing how it [[HeroicBSOD effects others]], he gets upset that [[TheHero Kouta]] is telling people these awful truths and trying the more idealistic approaches instead of conforming to his brother's more cynical options that he is convinced that all he's doing is ruining everything. It isn't until he talks with Mai after he's full-on convinced that there's no hope for humanity that he finds out that the reason he hates Kouta is this trope and it becomes the theme to his MotiveRant when it finally comes time to reveal his TrueColors to him.²* ''Series/HouseMD'' simply believes there is no way he can be an effective doctor ''without'' being a miserable JerkAss; he will deliberately sabotage any good thing in his life because he cannot stand the possibility of being happy. ²* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'': This is the lesson that Serenity Valley taught Mal Reynolds. He claims to have no desires beyond "keep flying", and that hope is for fools. However, [[spoiler:Miranda]] is more than enough to bring back the idealist he once was.²* In a flashback scene in the final episode of ''Series/TheCasualVacancy'', while at Krystal Weedon's place, Barry asks her to come and stay at his and wife's house for the night. She rejects the offer, noting "I'd just have to come back here."²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Music]]²* "The bravest thing of all is hope" - ArcWords throughout Reese Roper's Music/{{Brave Saint Saturn}} album trilogy.²* Music/{{Showbread}}'s "Precursor" ends with the stanza:²-->''Believing in love, believing in hope\²surrendering all of my will.\²Believing in nothing is scary.\²Believing in something is scarier still.''²* The idea is touched upon in Music/WithinTemptation's song 'Lost':²-->''Hope plays a wicked\²Game with the mind''.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Myths & Religion]]²* Myth/GreekMythology: Some versions of the myth of PandorasBox have Hope as the last and worst of all the evils in the box since it causes people to live in suffering where they would otherwise [[DrivenToSuicide give up and end their pain]].²* This was how Creator/CSLewis read Jesus' suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane before being crucified--with the idea that the hope of his being spared was in fact a part of his passion. ²-->It is clear from many of His sayings that Our Lord had long foreseen His death. ... But it is clear that this knowledge must somehow have been withdrawn from Him before He prayed in Gethsemane. He could not, with whatever reservation about the Father’s will, have prayed that the cup might pass and simultaneously known that it would not. That is both a logical and a psychological impossibility. You see what this involves? Lest any trial incident to humanity should be lacking, the torments of hope - of suspense, anxiety - were at the last moment loosed upon Him - the supposed possibility that, after all, He might, He just conceivably might, be spared the supreme horror. There was precedent. Isaac had been spared: he too at the last moment, he also against all apparent probability. It was not quite impossible … But for this last (and erroneous) hope against hope, and the consequent tumult of the soul, the sweat of blood, perhaps He would not have been very Man. To live in a fully predictable world is not to be a man. ''(Letters to Malcolm)''²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Tabletop Games]]²* From both TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} and TabletopGame/Warhammer40000 you have [[ManipulativeBastard Tzeentch]], Chaos God of, amongst other things, [[OddJobGods Change]] and Hope. It's more accurate to say he's the god of {{ambition|IsEvil}}, and he's one of the [[BigBad Chief antagonists]] of both series, and he is certainly the [[MindScrew strangest]] god in both settings.²** In the latter setting, the Imperium ''discourages'' people from becoming too hopeful because of the aforementioned Chaos God. However, [[FaceDeathWithDignity bravery]] [[YouShallNotPass in]] [[LastStand the]] [[DefiantToTheEnd face]] [[DefiantStoneThrow of]] [[ZergRush extreme]] [[FromBadToWorse adversity]] is encouraged, even if the situation is {{hopeless|War}}.²* This is a major part of the Prodigy's psychology in ''TabletopGame/ChuubosMarvelousWishGrantingEngine''. There's a reason she starts with a default -1 Connection to the hope-embodying Child of the Sun.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Video Games]]²* In ''VideoGame/LegacyOfKain: Defiance'', Kain ends the game by expressing this very sentiment:²-->Most ironic of all, was the last gift that Raziel had given me. More powerful than the sword that now held his soul, more acute even than the vision that his sacrifice had accorded me. The first, bitter taste of that terrible illusion: hope.²* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', if Shepard romances Thane, the scene before the Omega-4 Relay begins with him coming to see her and talking about how ashamed he is that he is no longer resigned to his inevitable death because now he has someone to live for.²* This is how Squall Leonhart feels throughout a good portion of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII''.²-->'''Squall:''' Everything doesn't work out the way you want it to. That's why... As long as you don’t get your hopes up, you can take anything... You feel less pain.²* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'', the incredibly ironically-named Hope Estheim was glad to throw himself into a nigh-pointless revenge vendetta he called "Operation Nora" so that he wouldn't have to process the horrors he'd seen, including his mother's death. He didn't take Lightning's urges to abandon this slow suicide for something more hopeful well.²-->'''Hope:''' When I was fighting, there... there was no time to think about it. It felt good just to give in. But now... you start talking about hope!²* Judging from her narration, this is Lightning's state in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2''.²-->'''Lightning:''' Each reunion is a twist of the knife. The joy is ephemeral; it leaves fear in its wake. A fear that all too soon the time will come when you must bid farewell again. Yet you cannot help but long for the next encounter.²* In ''VideoGame/Persona5'', certain palaces revolve around the idea of hope being a much worse punishment than where the owners were before. They believe it's easier to give up and live imprisoned than to risk hoping they can amount to something or make a difference in the world.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Visual Novels]]²* In ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', this trope effectively kicks the "Heaven's Feel" scenario into gear. [[spoiler:Having Shirou pay attention to Sakura means she begins wondering if it's possible they might end up together, even after she's consigned herself to her one-sided unrequited love. The ensuing HopeIsScary moment allows Zouken to open her up to possession, something he had been unable to do earlier (or in the other two scenarios).]]²* ''VisualNovel/HatofulBoyfriend: Holiday Star'''s final chapter has this showing with Ryouta. He's afraid that his best friend since childhood is growing apart from him, to the point where the stasis offered in the titular Holiday Star is very tempting. Yuuya comes to him, realizes that he's in love with that best friend, and outlines how change is inevitable. The future may mean growing apart from her, or living with and having a family with her. The future is always uncertain and painful but it must be lived, and this is very hard for Ryouta to accept.²* ''{{Franchise/Danganronpa}}'' has the struggle between hope and despair as its main theme:²** ''VisualNovel/DanganronpaTriggerHappyHavoc'' does this from the perspective of the [[BigBad villain]]. Monokuma's [[NightmareFetishist absolute devotion to despair]] causes him to [[BadIsGoodAndGoodIsBad despise]] and [[EvilCannotComprehendGood misinterpret]] hope on a fundamental level, believing it's delusional and unnatural, to the point of fearing it enough [[HopeCrusher to try and destroy it absolutely]] in anyone and everyone he comes across.²** ''VisualNovel/SuperDanganRonpa2'' features this as well. In a literal sense, [[spoiler:Nagito Komeada is the poster boy for Hope among the class, and wants to spread hope. He is also an AxCrazy PsychoSupporter willing to resort to murder for the sake of hope]]. In the last trial, the students must choose to [[spoiler:either keep living in the simulation and have their friends revived to live with them, or wake up and go into the now apocalyptic world with only themselves and the Future Foundation to rely on]].²** ''VideoGame/DanganronpaAnotherEpisodeUltraDespairGirls'' also does this in a literal sense in that the antagonists are a team of [[EnfantTerrible murderous kids]] called the Warriors of Hope. From a more abstract perspective, the Adult Resistance hears that [[spoiler:the Future Foundation]] is coming to help rescue them- but because they have lived in despair for so long, [[RebelLeader Haiji]] and many of the adults refuse to believe that they are coming to help, instead convincing themselves that [[spoiler:the Foundation]] is in league with the Warriors and plotting against them. [[spoiler:When Haiji discovers that [[{{Deuteragonist}} Toko]] is from the Foundation shortly after a brutal attack on the Resistance, he accuses her and [[TheHeroine Komaru]] of being spies and has them jailed.]]²** In ''Anime/Danganronpa3'', [[spoiler:Chairman Kazuo Tengan is revealed to have the goal of brainwashing the whole world into feeling nothing but hope, and this is portrayed as scary as it can be]].²** ''VisualNovel/NewDanganRonpaV3'' takes it to even higher extremes. [[spoiler:This whole Killing Game is a TrumanShowPlot, and discovering this leads the cast into a DespairEventHorizon. Keebo tries to rally the students with hope, but Shuichi refutes him. After all, [[CatharsisFactor the audience watches because they want to see hope triumph over despair]]. So voting for Hope over Despair would be giving the audience what they want, leading to more killing games. Instead, he convinces his friends to [[TakeAThirdOption reject both Hope and Despair]], even if they have to [[HeroicSacrifice sacrifice their lives]] in the process.]] ²* ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'' has Emi Ibarazaki, who is scared to let Hisao get closer to her due to the fact that [[spoiler:she lost her father in the same accident that cost her her legs, and she can't bear the thought of developing feelings for someone, only to lose that person.]]²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Web Comics]]²* ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'': [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2012-01-12 Fuchsia, on how Criminy makes her feel.]]²* In ''Webcomic/{{Shortpacked}}'', Mike is eventually faced with his feelings for Amber in this way. He responds by trying to chase her away.²* In ''Webcomic/DocRat'', [[http://docrat.com.au.temp.realssl.com/default.asp?id=strip&thisItem=1673 Lyall tells Doc that it doesn't hurt to live in hope.]] Doc grabs him by the neck and shouts that it ''does'' hurt, but they live in it anyway.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Web Original]]²* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', Weaver invokes this trope when talking to Phir Sē, a cynical old Indian supervillain who admits that he has lost his faith in humanity long ago, in order to convince him to give her a chance to salvage the defense against [[OmnicidalManiac Behemoth]] long enough for Phir Sē to hit him with his GodzillaThreshold attack.²-->'''Phir Sē''': You are asking me to have faith.\²'''Weaver''': ''Let me go'', Phir Sē. You said you have to stake something that matters on a gamble. Stake your doubt.\²'''Phir Sē''': I do not understand this. My English—\²'''Weaver''': It's not your English; what I'm saying doesn't make a lot of sense. But your doubt, your lack of faith, it's something safe. No disappointments, no fear things won't work out. Risk that. Risk losing that. I did, when [[spoiler:I became a hero.]]²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Web Videos]]²* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick finds having emotions uncomfortable and tries her best to push away anyone that would care and try to help her.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Real Life]]²* This happens to trauma survivors, and it is one of the reasons why PTSD exists: someone has been living with very little hope in a dangerous environment, like on a battlefield, as a captive, or with an abuser. They've learned to live in a world where constant danger is a given and one doesn't dare hope because disappointment is so painful. When they are finally safe, and the danger is gone, many people still can't deal with the frightening reality of hope realized.²** Noted repeatedly in ''Literature/BandOfBrothers'', where references are made to a battlefield mindset. Before combat, a soldier is nervous but resolute. During combat, it's minute-to-minute existence, no thought of the past or future. ''After'' combat, the realization of what they've lived through (sometimes barely) turns their feelings of invincibility ("it ''can't'' happen to me") to feelings of inevitability ("it ''will'' happen to me") about getting injured or killed, and the only thing they can hope for is that it won't hurt too bad.²* Discussed explicitly in the works of French philosopher Gabriel Marcel, suggesting that the very act of hoping (and the power it carries) is precisely dangerous if only because it runs the risk of being disappointed. Nevertheless, Marcel suggests [[TheAntiNihilist that to carry on hoping anyway, despite the true (and possibly fatal) costs of hoping, is the only good way to live]].²* Chronic depression can work this way, which makes it difficult for someone suffering from it to seek treatment.²[[/folder]]²----

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report