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Last Of His Kind / Literature

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People who are the last of their kind in literature.


  • Poul Anderson:
    • In the Dominic Flandry series, Recurring villain Aycharaych is the last survivor of his long-lived, telepathic species. But he keeps it a secret for a long time.
    • The protagonists of Tau Zero probably qualify after the first few chapters. They certainly do by the end of the book, what with the Universe having ended and all.
  • Animorphs:
    • According to The Ellimist Chronicles, the Ellimist himself was the last of his species, the Ketrans, before he managed to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence through complicated means. Though he has a Mind Hive that includes a few others.
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    • The Hork-Bajir Chronicles introduce the Arn, a species of bio-engineers who created the Hork-Bajir. They altered their biology so that the Yeerks couldn't infest them, assuming that this would keep them safe from the war; instead, the Yeerks used them for slave labor and target practice. In The Prophecy, Earth gets a visit from Quafijinivon, their last living member, and he's already calculated the day of his death.
  • The female dragon in David Eddings' The Belgariad is the first and last of her kind, since only three dragons were created and the two males killed each other in the very first mating season. As a race, known for being stupid.
    • Taiba is also the last of the Marags after the Tolnedrans nearly wiped out the entire race. She only existed because the Tolnedrans sold some of the few captured Marags into slavery in another (human sacrificing) country. She only survived that because destiny said so.
  • The epic of Beowulf has the "Lay of the Last Survivor" (lines 2247–66), a flashback to how the last remaining descendant of a forgotten people walls up the riches of his extinct race in a barrow.
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  • In The Book of Mormon, there are two: one being Moroni, son of the eponymous Mormon of the Nephites. The other is Coriantumr of the Jaredites. Whereas Coriantumr was able to find a peaceful people to live out the rest of his days, Moroni wasn't so lucky.
  • Characters created by C. J. Cherryh, including:
    • Morgaine in the Morgaine Cycle, last survivor of a group sent to close the Gates, and (at least until Exile's Gate) last of a pre-qhal race.
    • The hero/heroine protagonists in The Faded Sun, last (apparently) of the Mri.
    • Arafel, in The Tree of Swords and Jewels.
    • Possibly Tristran, from the Fortress Series.
  • In Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End, a human stows away on a ship to the world of the Overlords, an advanced alien race. By the time he returns, the children of Earth are evolving into a higher form of life, and all adults have died. The author hangs a lampshade on this when mentioning the last human's love of music: "He had always been a good piano player, and now he was the best in the world."
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  • The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness has two of the main antagonists — Thiazzi the Oak Mage and Eostra the Eagle Owl Mage — as the last living members of their respective clans, sickness having killed off all the others. It's also stated in the last book that all humans used to be spirit walkers, but Torak is the last one to ever exist and all the future generations will have to remember spirit walkers from is their companionship with dogs.
  • John C. Wright's Chronicles of Chaos: In The Orphans of Chaos, Miss Daw explains that she is the last surviving Donatist.
  • C. S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia: In The Magician's Nephew, Queen Jadis (who "later" becomes the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) is the last survivor of Charn - by her own doing. And she brags about it.
  • Eilonwy, in Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain series, is the last descendant of the royal House of Llyr. As the last Princess of Llyr, she alone is heir to a sizeable number of enchantments and magic powers, which reside in her by birth; however, because her father was a commoner, she tends to refer to herself as being only "half an enchantress". This only really becomes relevant starting from the third book in the series, when she is returned to her ancient family castle, Caer Colur; having been kidnapped as an infant, she never realized the scope of her magical heritage. Because of the events of the final book in the series, the magic inheritance is effectively wiped out of her, leaving her an ordinary girl — albeit a queen.
  • Jame in P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath is the only female survivor of the house of Knorth, ruling house of the Kencyr people. The only male survivors of the Knorth bloodline are Jame's brother Torisen and a cousin. The women of the Knorth were slaughtered by assassins and the men died in the war of ill-thought revenge that followed, or in the self-imposed exile afterward.
  • Roland Deschain of The Dark Tower series is the last gunslinger, representing a past that most people remember only from stories. The fact that he's somewhere between several hundred and several thousand years (time is a face upon the water) old helps. He later trains his companions to become gunslingers, after seeing that they have the talent, But they weren't raised into it from childhood like he was, and they never really consider themselves to be true gunslingers.
    • Roland is also the last of the line of Eld, s bloodline that traces its way back to a man heavily implied to be King Arthur.
  • In Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's The Death Gate Cycle, Alfred Montbank is the last and only living member of the Sartan race. Of course, Samah and his fellow Sartan on Chelestra popped up in the fourth book. Not to mention the countless animated Sartan corpses on Abarrach in the third book.
  • In Robin Jarvis' Deptford Mice trilogy, the Starwife is the last black squirrel. They were known for being the wisest and most regal race of squirrels, but were long ago separated by war and envy.
    She raised her head proudly and in a grand, sorrowful tone said, "I am a black squirrel: the noblest race ever to have breathed the sweet acorn-scented air."
    "I've never heard of those," admitted Audrey.
    "No, and you never will again I should imagine."
  • Discworld:
  • Zerika in the Dragaera series is the only member of House Phoenix in the Dragaeran Empire. However she technically can't be the last, because when the Phoenix rolls around again of the cycle, the universe will see to it another one exists to take the throne. Zerika herself was born after her parents' deaths, which was made possible to provide a Phoenix empress.
  • Dragonriders of Pern:
    • Lessa is the last full-blooded Ruathan of the Noble Ruling family's bloodline (and as far as anyone is really concerned, the last on Pern) by the time Dragonflight takes place.
    • Ramoth's mother was the last queen dragon on the planet, and Ramoth's egg was the last queen egg she laid before she died. (Queens are the only dragons that can lay eggs)
  • Frank Herbert's Dune: In God-Emperor of Dune, Leto Atreides II becomes the last living sandworm, after first merging with several hundred larval worms and then allowing the rest of the species to die off due to climate change. His death at the end of the novel causes a new breed of intelligent worms to arise.
  • In Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, the Hive Queen is the last of the Buggers, after Ender unwittingly destroys their homeworld. She is kept by the repenting Ender in a cocoon for nearly 3000 years before he finds an appropriate planet for her to settle. Unlike Ender, who experiences the 3000 years as a considerably shorter time due to relativistic travel, the Queen's mind works differently, and her thoughts are unaffected by Time Dilation, meaning she has been conscious for 3000 years as a cocoon. This changes at the end of Speaker for the Dead, when Ender finally allows the Queen to hatch on Lusitania. Technically, even after that, The Queen remains the last of her kind, as all others are merely drones with no will of their own (in essense, due to their Hive Mind, they are her extentions), until she bears other queens to send to other planets.
    • Interestingly, for the longest time in Bugger history, it was every Queen's goal to become this: the only Queen. Queen's would kill their daughters until she herself grew too old and one would usurp her for control of the hive mind. It wasn't until one Hive Queen stopped killing her own daughters and started cooperating with them instead that they began to put an end to wars of domination between the rival hives and actually started developing their civilization.
  • In Endling The Last by Katherine Applegate, the main character is a "dairne" named Byx, a walking talking dog whose species is declared extinct after everyone else in her pack is killed. She is apparently actually the "endling," the last of her species, though the book ends with her and her companions possibly about to find more living dairnes.
  • In Raymond Z. Gallun's short story "The Eternal Wall" (1942), Ned Vince (a young man from the 20th century) drowns in an alkaline lake and his corpse petrified and buried in sediment. Ned's corpse is then resurrected by Prairie Dog scientist Loy Chuk a million years in the future. Ned Vince is probably the last homo sapiens on Earth and possibly in the Universe (since the human-descended Star Gods are probably post-human). Ned does not handle this well.
  • Quirian, the Big Bad of First Sword Chronicles, is the last survivor of the city of Aureliana, which was destroyed by the Empire when he was a boy. He has been keeping himself alive for five hundred years in the hope of revenge.
  • In Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Earth, R. Daneel Olivaw is the last surviving sentient robot in an age where robotics are Lost Technology. There are some other robots on Solaria, and Daneel created other robots to help him; but he's the last one from the era he was created.
  • In the Great Ship universe, Mere is the only survivor of the Tilan stellar collapse; when the Tila's Binary Suns orbits decayed to the point where they collided, Mere fled the system with the combined knowledge of the race.
  • In William Joyce's The Guardians of Childhood, E. Aster Bunnymund (a.k.a. "The Easter Bunny"), a Pooka, is the last of his species. The rest of the Pookas were wiped out in a war against Pitch Black, the Nightmare King. After his entire clan was destroyed by Pitch, he settled down on Earth and away from any human civilization.
  • Halo:
    • The Forerunner Saga: The Primordial, an ancient being sealed away in the ancient human capital Charum Hakkor, reveals itself to the Didact as the Last Precursor, whose kind was driven to near extinction by the Forerunners 10 million years before. Though remnants of the race technically survive in a severely deformed, degraded state as the Flood, the Primordial seems to be the only pure one left. Whatever passes for such, anyway.
    • Halo: Shadow of Intent:
      • Tem'Bhetek is the last known Prelate, a group of San'Shyuum that were augmented to physically match Elites and Spartans, and served as the Prophets' secret guard. The rest were thought to have been killed when High Charity was conquered by the Flood.
      • The Shadow of Intent is the last CAS-class assault carrier in the Arbiter's navy, and it's battle-scarred and straining at the seams. Additionally, most of its crew are either reassigned or dead, leaving it with unusually empty hangars, which creeps out Rtas. Because of its great firepower and rarity, the Arbiter has ordered it away from the main battles and instead to investigate outer skirmishes, so it won't be destroyed or captured.
  • The wizarding families of Harry Potter are strict on Lineage Comes from the Father; a family's surname (and thus inheritance) is passed down from father to son almost exclusively, which means that if a given family loses the last male who inherited the surname, it becomes "extinct in the male line". Their bloodline is still carried by the female line if there is any, but it becomes harder to track and generally won't be recognized anymore.
    • Harry is the last Potter. That is, until the Distant Finale of the seventh book, where he ends up having a wife and three kids.
    • Sirius is (was) the last Black, although the bloodline itself remains in his cousins Andromeda Tonks' grandson, Narcissa Malfoy's son and grandson, as well as the many other wizarding families whom the Blacks married (and re-married) into.
    • Voldemort, the main reason why so many families are at the last of their names, is for most of his life the last descendant of Salazar Slytherin in the absolute sense; the surname had been extinct since generations before and the bloodline only survived thanks to them marrying into the Gaunt family, so Slytherin's bloodline would die with him. Then Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reveals that, just before Voldemort dies, he manages to father a daughter, Delphini, who still lives 22 years after her father's demise. Considering that she is eventually imprisoned in Azkaban, though, Slytherin's bloodline might die with her for good.
    • The Peverell family, who is important in book seven, is described as the first wizarding family recorded to become extinct in the male line, but we later learn that both Harry and Voldemort are descended from them. Voldemort dies, so Harry becomes the last Peverell by blood, until he fathers James. But then we also learn the existence of Delphini (see above), so he is never the last all this time.
  • The Last Herald-Mage trilogy of the Heralds of Valdemar series has Vanyel, the last of said mages after the others are killed off one by one.
    • In the Vows and Honor books set elsewhere in the same universe, all of Clan Tale'sedrin is wiped out during a magic-assisted bandit ambush save for a teenaged girl named Tarma, who made a pledge to her goddess that made her asexual and sterile before going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge she had no plans of survivingnote .
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    • A comedic example would be Arthur Dent and Trillian, who are the last humans (though in the movie, Earth is brought back by the Magratheans at the end; and in the books, although the Magratheans drop the project of recreating it after the mice withdraw their funding, the Earth reappears in So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish). Arthur Dent also manages to partially subvert the usual version of this trope, being neither the best nor worst of humanity, but in all ways completely average and somewhat dull.
    • The sixth book written by Eoin Colfer, And Another Thing..., subverts the trope even further when it turns out an entire colony of humans was established on the planet Nanos
    • Ford Prefect's father was the last native of Betelgeuse Seven, all the others being wiped out in the Great Collapsing Hrung Disaster of Gal./Sid./Year 03758. The rest of Ford's parents were from Betelgeuse Five.
  • In the fourth volume of the H.I.V.E. Series, we are introduced to Lucy Dexter, who, like every other HIVE initiate, insists she has no idea why she was brought to the school. Turns out she's the last surviving member of the Sinistre family, and thus the last person alive who can wield their signature Compelling Voice. However, she doesn't like to use her abilities, and only ends up taking advantage of them in emergencies. Due to her unique situation, she serves as a love interest for Otto, who related to her by being uncomfortable with his abilities as well, but unfortunately is killed just two days after their first kiss, ending the family line. However, after the events of Deadlock where we find out about clones of Otto being produced with his same abilities, but upgraded, the terrifying possibility is left open that clones were also made of Lucy, with upgraded abilities as well.
  • The Hunger Games:
    • Panem is possibly the last country on Earth. No other government is ever mentioned, even if only in passing. Due to the homogenous description of the districts (District 3 is populated by Asians, District 12 is vaguely Mediterranean-ish, District 11 is populated by blacks etc.), it seems that Panem represents the entirety of humanity.
    • Venia, Octavia, and Flavius are the only remaining prep team to survive the Second Rebellion.
    • Likewise, with the exception of District 12, each district, if they have at all, only have one Victor by the end of the Second Rebellion, thanks to the Capitol rounding up and executing them for their (alleged) conspiracy. District 12 gets lucky to keep three since they're all the main characters. In total, only 7 out of 59 or so Victors survive living in 5 districts, when previously everyone had one.
  • I Am Legend and some of its adaptations, including the graphic novel adaptation and the movie The Last Man on Earth. The movies The Omega Man and I Am Legend have normal human survivors in government enclaves.
  • In the Iron Druid Chronicles Atticus is the last of the ancient Celtic Druids who were wiped up by the invading Romans. Atticus only survived because he found new ways to use Druid magic and thus was not trapped when the Romans destroyed the Druids' sacred groves. He can train new apprentices but the training takes years and every previous attempt failed when the student was killed before completing the training.
  • The short story The Island of the Endangered is about an entire island of these.
  • Jane Yellowrock is the last of the known Skinwalkers who used their talent for purposes other then self-centered ones.
  • In Jericho Moon, a merchant who was out of town when the Hebrews annihilated his city and people seeks vengeance against the biblical Joshua.
  • In Karl Edward Wagner's Kane story "Two Suns Setting" Kane meets Dwasslir, the last king of the old race of giants, who is conscious of their decline and wants to give them new pride.
  • Possibly Older Than Print: In at least some of the King Arthur legends, Merlin is the last of the Shape Changers (In Mallory, for instance, he never appears in the same shape twice running).
  • In The King's Avatar, following Ye Xiu's forced retirement, Han Wenqing is the only one left of the first generation Glory players.
  • In Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, Biff and Josh end up going to Shangri-La to see the second Wise Man and Josh ends up discovering a Yeti... the last one. Josh forms a strong kinship with the Yeti, due to the two being the only ones of their kind (the yeti being... a yeti and Josh being the son of God.) Tragically, the Yeti dies when his cave collapses and Josh is utterly heartbroken that he could not be there at his last hour. It's later implied that the Second Wise Man did this out of some sort of fear toward the Yeti, being much like a man despite not being one yet being more innocent, if what Josh says is correct.
  • Archeth from A Land Fit for Heroes is half-human, half-Kiriath and the only descendant of the Kiriath people in the whole world (after her father's people decided to leave). Which means she is the only person who can command powerful AIs known as "Helmsmen".
  • The Last Dragon is about the last elf's quest to find the last dragon, because a prophecy states that they will save the world.
  • In The Last Dragonlord, Linden Rathan is exactly what the title says, and is relatively widely known for it. Despite the name, he isn't alone at all: he's the last of his to be born and there has not been another for six centuries, but there are still many living and no one is terribly worried about the long gap (yet — it's implied that the Dragonlords are starting to get fairly worried about it, but that they're still in the stage of 'discuss it amongst themselves, and send someone to talk to the dragons to see if they know anything').
  • Keill Randor of Last Legionary, the last survivor of a mercenary race which is wiped out by an intergalactic warlord who fears that they might intervene in his plans for conquest.
  • Last Mage. It's in the title. We also learn how Elijah became the last mage.
  • Mary Shelley's The Last Man tackles the disappearance of the human race; the protagonist, as it says on the tin, ends his life as the last man on Earth.
  • Another example that's in the title: Last of the Breed, one of Louis L'Amour's final novels. The title character, US Air Force pilot Joseph Makatozi aka Joe Mack, was raised as a traditional Sioux warrior.
  • The title character of The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles is the last of a race of legendary creatures, who withdrew from Earth into a magical otherworld.
  • This occurs in the poem The Last Snow, where a shapeshifting being is the last of her kind and, so, as she dies, her subspecies dies with her.
  • In Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn, the title unicorn sets out on her quest after hearing hunters speak of how there are no more unicorns.
  • The Leatherstocking Tales: Subverted in The Last of the Mohicans; there're other Mohicans, but they're either drunks or have been absorbed by other tribes, so they don't count.note 
  • Thomas Burnett Swann's Minotaur Trilogy (which was written backwards), Eunostos is the last of the Minotaur race following the untimely death of his uncle Silver Bells. At the (chronological) end of the story he has a human girlfriend, so the possibility of half-Minotaur offspring is not ruled out. (Certainly not for want of trying, if his girlfriend's wry innuendoes are anything to go by.)
  • One might also mention several Moorcock characters, usually incarnations of the Eternal Champion, e.g., Elric, Corum, Erekose, Von Bek, all "lasts" in various ways. In the case of Elric, multiple ways.
  • Mau of Terry Pratchett's Nation is the Sole Survivor of a tidal wave that destroys his entire village (the eponymous Nation). Other people are still around, obviously, and eventually start to show up, but since the Nation is an island it takes a while.
  • Invoked by O'Brien in Nineteen Eighty-Four: "If you are a man, Winston, you are the last man. Your kind is extinct; we are the inheritors. Do you understand that you are alone? You are outside history, you are non-existent."
  • Jimmy/Snowman believes himself to be the Last Of His Kind in Oryx and Crake, the only human left on earth among a new species of genetically engineered humanoids. This belief is blown all to hell at the end of the book and also in its companion novel, The Year of the Flood.
  • In J. Eifie Nichols' The Radiant Dawn, Nadia is the last survivor of the Battle of Pittsburgh. She and her brother Ivan escaped the city on a stolen boat and used the locks along the Ohio and Kanawha to make it to Light's Bulwark. Ivan died after opening the London Locks. She tells Dawn about the Battle of Pittsburgh while flying the helicopter over the city.
  • In The Railway Series by the Reverend Wilbert Awdry, there are some examples. Engines whose real-life brothers and sisters were all scrapped.
    • Thomas. All the other London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway E2 class engines were scrapped by the end of the 1960s.
    • Edward. No other Furness Railway K2 "Larger Seagull" class engines remain either.
    • Toby. The LNER J70 class steam trams are gone too.
    • Gordon is almost this, with just one real-world brother remaining: No. 4472, Flying Scotsman.
    • The North Western Railway itself. The only Class 3 rail system to still use primarily steam traction.
      • It is worth noting that Gordon is the only one who has ever really been seen to angst about this.
  • The title character of the Ralph S. Mouse series is the only survivor of his mouse generation, being the only one smart enough not to eat the poisoned bait that killed the rest.note 
  • In Robin Hobb's Realm of the Elderlings, Tintaglia is the last living dragon, who attempts to revive her kind by shepherding the aging serpents to their ancestral cocooning grounds. Later on, in The Tawny Man trilogy, it's revealed that the serpents were too weak to become dragons, but another, male dragon is discovered preserved in a glacier. In a weird inversion, two of the protagonists of The Liveship Traders become the first of a new generation of Elderlings: Malta and Rayn.
  • In the original Shannara trilogy by Terry Brooks, Allanon was the last of the Druids. He eventually got a successor in Walker Boh, who was also the last Druid for a while, until he died and was succeeded by Grianne Ohmsford, who refounded the order of Druids, recruiting many others.
    • The plot of The Sword of Shannara, the first book in the series, was touched off by the fact that Shea Ohmsford was the last living descendant of King Jerle Shannara, and, as such, the only person in the world who could use the eponymous sword.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire
    • King Aerys Targaryen was the last Targaryen Monarch, his son Rhaegar was called "The Last Dragon" (i.e. the last great genius of the dynasty). Daenerys and Viserys Targaryen were believed to be the last surviving members of House Targaryen. Keep reading to find out if it was true.
    • At the end of A Clash of Kings, Stannis is the Last Baratheon. His elder brother Robert had several illegitimate children, and Stannis has a daughter Princess Shireen but he is the last male claimant of that dynasty with legitimate blood, since Cersei Lannister's children were bastards of incest.
    • Lord Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers is called "The Last Greenseer".
  • In Spaceforce, Minty Mazata is the last surviving member of the Greater Noble Houses of Mixitor - almost all of the rest of her vampire-like species were wiped out in a genocidal uprising by their 'bloodservants'. Technically, this makes her by default leader of the exiled remnant of her people. It's a pity she's a murdering drug baron.
  • Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente features Olabil the Friendless, last of the Inaki, who survived the cataclysm that destroyed his home planet and race because he was skipping school that day.
  • For a good chunk of Star Wars Legends's timeline, Luke Skywalker is the last and only Jedi. Also, by tradition and design, Palpatine is the only Master Sith Lord. There are more characters from various other Force-using traditions, but it gets messy quick on what counts as a Jedi or Sith.
    • In The Thrawn Trilogy, Luke has a moment of despair when Obi-Wan's spirit contacts him to say goodbye, thinking that that's it, now he's the last one, before being corrected. Specifically, while Yoda was the last of the old guard Jedi, Luke is the first of the new. Obi-Wan and Yoda believed their Order's failure to stop the Sith from taking over the galaxy proved that the old Jedi ways needed to go; when Yoda died, the Jedi's flawed teachings went with him.
      Obi-Wan: Not the last of the old Jedi. The first of the new.
    • This happens at other points in the timeline as well; Jedi vs. Sith and the first Darth Bane novel has Bane deliberately engineering this by way of getting the entire rest of the current Sith Order to kill themselves with a thought bomb, leaving only him and his apprentice.
  • In Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, Kahlan Amnell is the last Confessor, Darken Rahl having killed all the others.
  • In the Swords Trilogy by Michael Moorcock, Corum Jhaelen Irsei is the last Vadhagh until he meets and proceeds to accidentally kill some. And then until some come over from another plane of existence.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien absolutely loved this trope:
    • Mîm was the last of the Petty-dwarves in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion and The Children of Húrin.
    • Likewise, Maglor is the last surviving of the Sons of Fëanor. His fate is unknown, but if he was still alive at the time of Galadriel's departure, then he was likely the last Noldor Elf in Middle-Earth.
    • Galadriel was the last living descendant of the royal house of Finwë in Middle-Earth. It is assumable she also was the last full-blooded Noldor Elf to leave the Middle-Earth.
    • Aragorn was the last legitimate descendant of the Númenorean line of Elros.
    • Dúrin's Bane appears to have been the last balrog still left.
    • Smaug was the last of the truly great, intelligent dragons of Middle Earth.
    • Shelob was the last child of Ungoliant and apparently the only one to escape Beleriand before it sank. However, as with Smaug, she wasn't truly last of her kind - her spawn has spread all over Middle-Earth. The Mirkwood spiders were apparently her descendants.
    • In the movies, Beorn was the last of the skin-changers. Not so clear in the books, and it is stated his descendants maintained the ability for many generations. The book version is fully human instead of being a distinct race; his abilities are from an enchantment that he created himself.
  • Lissa from Vampire Academy, is the only Dragomir left. At least until Spirit Bound, where it's revealed that she has an illegitimate half-sibling.
  • Poem Viimeinen dinosauri (The Last Dinosaur) by Finnish poet Aaro Hellaakoski, where he contemplates the demise of the dinosaurs and their eclipse by mammals.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel First & Only, Caffren, having been thrown away from his company by a bomb, ending up with a Vitrian soldier to whom he recounted the death of Tanith and how the regiment held the only survivors, and seeing a barrage, invokes this: if no one else got away, he is the last of Tanith.
    • In Gav Thorpe's novel 13th Legion, Kage is the only member of the four thousand strong penal legion to survive to the end and the pardon. He ends up throwing away his pardon by starting a brawl; the pardon was conditionally on staying out of trouble.
  • In Warrior Cats, before SkyClan's rebuilding, Skywatcher is the only cat descended from the old Clan that still tried to live a life following the warrior code - in fact, he was the only cat in the area that even knew about the Clan. Which means the spirits of his ancestors are fading to nothing, because they cannot continue to exist if no one remembers them.
  • Nathan Brazil, the guardian of the Well of Souls in Jack Chalker's Well World books is rumored to be the last Markovian. This is eventually confirmed in the final series, ironically through the There Is Another plot device. Much of the confusion is due to Brazil deliberately obfuscating his origin by claiming to be everything from a mere human custodian to the last Markovian Guardian to God himself at various points within the series. In the end it's shown that his role of Guardian is entirely self-appointed; originally he was just the only Markovian smart enough to beat the system, making him sort of the 'white hat hacker" for the entire universe.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • Several books after he dies, it is revealed that the Green Man was Somestha, only Nym to have survived the War of Power and the Breaking of the World.
    • When Rand integrated with the personality of his past self, he started thinking of himself as the last male Aes Sedai.
    • Al'Lan Mandragoran isn't the last Malkieri in the series, but he's the last king of that nation, born just months before it was overrun by the Trollocs. It's a nation of refugees now, the survivors scattered to half a dozen nearby countries. The Aiel call him Aan'allein, which means "One Man" or "Man Who Is an Entire People" in the Old Tongue—genetically, he's not the last Malkieri, but culturally, he is, since so many who had been born in Malkier (or whose parents had been Malkieri and fled) have adopted the customs and cultures of their new homes.
  • Averted in World War Z. During the campaign to clear the zombies from the U.S. mainland, the Army encounters hundreds, if not thousands, of survivors who all believed themselves to be the last human being alive.
  • In James White's Second Ending, a man awakes from cryo sleep post-World War III to discover that he's not just the last human being but the last biological life form apart from a few seeds of grass left on a completely dead Earth, with just a bunch of moderately intelligent robots to keep him company. He then spends millions of years dipping in and out of cryo sleep while his robots work to restore the planet.
  • The Bible: In the Book of Esther, Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite was believed to be the last of the Amalekites, whom God told His people Israel to destroy completely. His fate was sealed when Esther revealed him before the king as the man that plotted to destroy the Jews. His sons were also destroyed to make sure there would be no survivors.

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