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Apocalypse Maiden

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Most players agree that they went too far buffing Phoenix in Marvel vs. Capcom.

"Did you know there's an entire chapter devoted to you in the Darkhold? That's the book of the damned. 'The Scarlet Witch is not born, she is forged.' [...] It's your destiny to destroy the world."
Agatha Harkness, WandaVision

When The Hero is in charge of preventing The End of the World as We Know It, imagine their surprise when they find out the threat comes not from some Evil Overlord, but from one of their friends or family destined to bring about the end of the world. The reasons for this can vary.

Maybe they have inherited a form of Enemy Within or Superpowered Evil Side capable of destroying worlds, or have been possessed by an Eldritch Abomination. Most heart wrenchingly, they are completely innocent yet their mere existence acts as a Butterfly of Doom that can destroy the Cosmic Keystone. Either way, they're going to somehow bring about the apocalypse in some form Because Destiny Says So.

Needless to say, the villains (and certain heroes) who realize this want to nip this in the bud by killing them. Of course, seeing as that person is one of their True Companions (usually a Love Interest), the heroes say Screw Destiny and try to protect the chosen one from others and potentially, even themselves. Then again, some villains (and certain heroes) may well want them to destroy the world, and kidnap them in order to brainwash or sacrifice them in a manner that kick starts the apocalypse. In which case the heroes have to find a way to stop the world ending and save their friend... and both may be mutually exclusive.

Sadly, because You Can't Fight Fate these attempts to prevent the cataclysm may become self-fulfilling because Prophecies Are Always Right (in such a case, it's a Downer Ending). Optimistically, their friend's efforts and the Power of Trust may embolden them to become an Anti-Anti-Christ and successfully rebel against their destiny...even if it requires the ultimate sacrifice.

Prophetic Fallacy may also be a cause for the villain's alarm, or maybe the Powers That Be were merciful.

This is more of a plot than a character (it could be either). Much like Barrier Maiden, this trope is open to all genders. See also/contrast Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can, Big Bad Friend, Save This Person, Save the World, Unstable Powered Woman, and Barrier Maiden.note  May well become an Anti-Anti-Christ.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ah! My Goddess: In the movie, we have none other than Belldandy herself. With a good chunk of her memories gone, her heart in great turmoil due to believing that Dark Magical Girl Morgan has won Keiichi over and The Virus invading her body, the Anti-Villain Celestine uses her to hack into Yggrasil's system and try resetting both Yggrasil and the Earth to wipe away all suffering...
  • Blue Seed: Momiji Fujimiya. If she dies, she'll emit an energy wave that will seal away the all the Aragami in Japan for centuries. Thanks to the experiments performed on her sister, Kaede, however, the Aragami have found a way around this. Besides this, no one in the modern age is particularly jazzed about killing a sixteen-year-old girl.
  • Darker than Black: In the second season, Yin/"Izanami" ends up as one of these. Although the Gainax Ending and Mind Screw make it hard to say for sure exactly what happened, it appears that she was possessed by an Eldritch Abomination but managed to suppress it for a while; when it woke up, she causes Contractors to commit suicide and attempts to reach Hell's Gate. When she meets her counterpart "Izanagi" (Shion), she can cause the Gate to open, which, whatever it does, can't possibly be good given what we've seen of the place and some very apocalyptic-sounding prophecies from Amber. Hei spends most of the season trying to find her and kill her to prevent this. He ends up basically exorcising her instead.
  • Digimon:
    • Digimon Adventure tri.: Libra is an entity that has the power to destroy both worlds and she carries fragments of Apocalymon's data in her. Libra is the codename Homoestasis gave to Meicoomon, and it is shown throughout the movie that she is the cause of the infections and distortions. Meicoomon doesn't evolve like other Digimon, but mutates into stronger and more dangerous forms to increase her power. The highest point of her mutation happens when she fuses with Ofanimon: Falldown Mode, Raguelmon (Meicoomon's Ultimate/Mega level) takes a completely new form, the true Apocalypse Maiden: Ordinemon.
    • In Digimon Tamers, Juri Katou unwillingly becomes this for the Big Bad after suffering from a massive Break the Cutie moment.
    • Digimon Universe: App Monsters has a male example played at its straightest, Yuujin Oozora, or YJ-14, for being both The Hero's most treasured friend, and the Big Bad's creation who is made to serve his goal, resetting and controlling the world by turning all humanity into data. Not that he's willing to do this, of course. As a programmed android, he just can't resist his creator's wish. While he does complete his job as Apocalypse Maiden, The Hero still wants to bring him back and restore the world. The Hero's determination interests the Big Bad, giving him a chance by going through a Sadistic Choice.
  • Elfen Lied: Lucy definitely fits this, inner demon style. Eventually, her Lucy/Kaede and Nyu personalities beg Kouta to kill her now that her homicidal Diclonius instincts personality has finally taken over and started killing humans everywhere on the world at rates rivaling WMDs in an attempt to wipe out humanity to conquer the world for her species.
  • Fairy Tail gives us Mavis Vermillion, seemingly the series' Big Good, in a huge plot twist revealed in the final arc of the series. At first it seems she's a Cute Ghost Girl, being the deceased founder of Fairy Tail who was so powerful that she somehow transcended death itself. It later turns out that as a result of an extremely dangerous spell she learned from the series' Big Bad, Zeref, Mavis got slapped with the Curse of Contradictions, which damns the condemned to an immortal life of loneliness via an "Instant Death" Radius that kills anyone they ever come to care about. It wasn't until after she fell in love with Zeref, wanting to give Eternal Love a shot to give them both a chance at happiness in their incredibly lonely and miserable existences that Mavis seemingly dies (except not really), and Fairy Tail's Second Master, Precht, discovers that deep inside of Mavis lies Fairy Heart, a.k.a. Lumen Histoire, a potential source of infinite magic (and loses his mind as a result). Which Zeref now wishes to use to power a universal Reset Button to Ret-Gone the current universe and stop himself (and by extension, Mavis as well) from ever getting cursed in the first place. Oops.
  • Fena: Pirate Princess: The Maidens of Choosing must choose whether the world will end or continue each generation. The titular character is revealed to be the current Maiden and ultimately chooses to let the world continue.
  • Fushigi Yuugi: Mayo Sakaki from the 3rd OVA. She very nearly destroys the entire Universe of the Four Gods just to get a fairy-tale ending with Tamahome. Little does she know it's a sort of Batman Gambit deployed by Miaka to save the Universe of the Four Gods!
  • Gasaraki: Both Yushiro and Miharu. Whenever they are reincarnated to the same time period, they will be destined to activate their Kugais, fight each other, and while at it, summon The Gasaraki. Since both of their souls knew fully well each outcome will cause calamity to the world they live in, whoever awakens their memories of their past incarnations first will do whatever it takes to prevent the other from performing the summoning, even if it'll cost them their lives.
  • Gate Keepers: Ruriko Ikusawa is briefly turned into this by the enemy when she becomes Brainwashed and Crazy by the Big Bad. Shun Ukiya manages to talk her out of it, though.
  • Guilty Crown: Mana/Inori's role as "Eve" is to spread the Apocalypse Virus throughout the world. Her Apocalypse Virus infection and Shu's rejection of her affections is what causes her to initiate Lost Christmas and doom Japan.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: In a rather weird example, Haruhi herself can bring about the end of the world on a whim, and she does not know it. Everyone tries to keep her happy and/or occupied, so her subconscious doesn't act on such things. Although Kyon tends to push this when he gets annoyed at her.
  • Kamigami no Asobi: Like his basis in Norse Mythology, Balder will bring on the end of the world unless Loki kills him with mistletoe. The heroine, Yui, gets a preview of what his unleashed power would look like when he goes Yandere for her halfway through the series. When it comes time to do the deed, Loki cannot, because he loves Balder, so Balder's power is unleashed and the other gods must work together to save the world from him — and hopefully save their friend as well.
  • The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer: Played with. The Apocalypse Maiden wants to cause The End of the World as We Know It, and the protagonist is helping her to accomplish that goal. At least, that was his cover for almost the entire series. He had been plotting to stop her since Day 1.
  • Macross:
    • In Macross Zero, Sara Nome is the priestess of Mayan Island; this means that she has the power to control the Bird-Human, an ancient Protoculture biomecha designed to destroy humanity if their warlike tendencies are deemed to be uncontrollable.
    • Macross Frontier has Sheryl and then Ranka engineered to affect the Vajra with their singing and keep them off the Big Bad until she can use Ranka to pull off an Assimilation Plot for the entire galaxy. Also, Ranka's pet Ai-kun counts to some extent since the cute little critter is eventually revealed to be a larval Vajra which takes Ranka back to the Vajra homeworld for use by the Big Bad.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's: Hayate Yagami, the latest master of the Book of Darkness, a rather hazardous title considering how all previous masters died blowing up their worlds after the book possessed them and went omnicidal. Much discussions about the cruelty of fate were had.
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam: Rain Mikamura, the Love Interest of Domon Kasshu, is used as the Core Life Unit for the Devil Gundam, where it uses it cells to turn her into silver and feeds off of her guilt and sorrow of her father's cruel actions being creating the Devil Gundam and slaughtering Domon's family in the process to empower itself to further it's plans of slaughtering all of humanity so that the Earth could return to the way it was.
  • Naruto: there are the two male versions of this; The Chosen Many Naruto and Nagato who were destined to bring a new golden age to the world... or bring it into complete and utter ruin; the latter took the second road at least until before he died while the former still remains the saviour... for now.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Big Bad Fate Averruncus wants to erase Mundus Magicus and put its inhabitants into a Lotus-Eater Machine to keep them from disappearing when Mundus Magicus collapses on its own. And it turns out that he needs Asuna's Anti-Magic abilities to do it. But in the end, Fate and his group are defeated, and Asuna channels her powers through a World-Healing Wave instead.
  • A major theme in Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok, the reason most of the gods are trying to kill Loki is simply Because Destiny Says So that he will destroy the world.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Rei Ayanami is the key trigger for an Assimilation Plot and the Third Impact. She is unusual in that she actually succeeds in obliterating all life on Earth. Sort of. Maybe. We think.
    • NGE also gives us a rare male example: Kaworu Nagisa. Unlike Rei, he chooses the Heroic Sacrifice variant.
    • In Rebuild of Evangelion, Shinji Ikari is revealed to have become one of the potential Impact Trigger after he unwittingly caused the near-Third Impact in his attempt to save Rei. In 3.33, Shinji is put under quarantine containment with an Explosive Leash around his neck, forbidden to pilot any Eva out of fear that he could start another Impact. The tragic irony is that miscommunication and hostility ends up leading to another incident where Shinji almost causes a Fourth Impact in an attempt to fix his mistake.
  • One Piece:
    • In the Fishman Island arc, Luffy actually became this (or at least was believed to be one) when the fortune teller, Madame Shirley, predicts a boy with a Straw Hat who will spell doom for Fishman Island.
    • And near the end of that arc, we have Shirahoshi, who is said to have a power able to destroy the whole world and is mostly unaware of it. Past uses of this power back up this claim pretty well.
    • Robin is also a potential Apocalypse Maiden, as she could allow the recreation of an ancient Weapon of Mass Destruction because she's the only one who can read Poneglyphs it may be written on. It's part of the reason the World Government considers her very existence a crime. Even though they're trying to make that same weapon themselves.
  • Pacific Rim: The Black: As revealed in Season 2, the Boy was created to be a Kaiju Messiah who would lead the Kaiju in finishing the destruction of Earth, but somehow slipped away from the Sisters' possession and ended up in a PPDC lab, where Taylor and Hayley found him. Ultimately, his love for them causes him to reject the Sisters' control, personally killing the High Priestess.
  • PandoraHearts: The Children of Misfortune all turn out to be tragic subversions. The Jury, beings who have done their best to pre-plan every event in every world to create the best 'stories,' created the Baskervilles to act as their enforcers against any possible Spanner in the Works. Since the Children of Misfortune were abnormal and unpredictable beings born at the whim of the Core and naturally Immune to Fate, they were the main targets. Due to situations suspicious in hindsight, these Children were often born as close family members of the Baskervilles, but this did not save them from being ritualistically executed in celebration every time a Baskerville heir came of age. To be fair, the Baskervilles had been raised on the belief that the Children of Misfortune were too dangerous to be allowed to live for centuries, and the Jury fed into the Baskervilles' own self-importance by glorifying their job as critical to the survival of the world. To be unfair, killing one of these Children caused a series of events that nearly ended the world for real.
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt: Briefers Rock. While a rather timid dweeb, it turns out, his penis is the key to Hell, which Mayor Corset wants to use so he can unleash the Other Gods.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The titular character herself is one, though in ways that run both good and bad: In the bad way, she's a massive Witch that can eat the world in the span of a week; in the good way, she becomes a goddess and rewrites reality to make a Magical Girl's existence better.
  • In Rave Master, the female lead, Elie, possesses Etherion inside her body, a power capable of destroying the entire world if unleashed, but it's also the only thing that can stop the Endless and save it.
  • Record of Lodoss War: It is revealed that Little Neese, the girl that spends most of the first part of the show sleeping in the arms of several of the older characters, or as an extremely shy teenage priestess in the second, is one of the three key objects for a ritual that will destroy the entire continent. As there's no place where she would be safe from being kidnapped by the evil sorcerer and she has known her condition as an Apocalypse Maiden ever since she was young, she rather takes her chance and tries to take him down before he finds her.
  • Remina: Remina is believed to be one of these because of her father's unfortunate decision to name a world-devouring planet after her. Following nationwide mass hysteria caused by the approach of Planet Remina, a cult-like group forms that believes Remina (the woman) is tied to the planet's arrival, and that ritualistically sacrificing her will prevent the end of the world. As the planet grows closer and closer, massive mobs of people start to hunt for Remina, demanding her capture and execution.
  • Saikano: Played straight with Chise. She gradually grows in power to the point that she can easily annihilate anyone and anything she chooses. By the end of the series, she does exactly that to humanity.
  • Sailor Moon: Hotaru Tomoe, aka Sailor Saturn. The Outer Senshi misunderstand her job thinking it is a bad thing (and confuse her with Mistress 9 who's possessing her and is The Antichrist), and try to prevent her from awakening. They fail and she explains her job is to serve as a reset button in the event that the bad guys win, allowing Sailor Moon to restore the world into its proper form. She doesn't get to destroy the world in the anime (she defeats the Big Bad with Sailor Moon's help, then is reborn as a baby), but does so in the manga; Sailor Moon restores it moments later.
  • The Scrapped Princess, Pacifica Cassul. 99% of the world wants to kill her because she's destined to bring about The End of the World as We Know It, while some feel oddly compelled to protect her. Resultantly, we've got both 'villains' who are really just scared people who are afraid to see their world collapse around their ears, or obeying orders from up on high...and REAL villains who are manipulating events for their own advantage, with complete disregard for the number of lives involved. It turns out that the apocalypse she's set to bring isn't so bad after all...
  • Slayers: Lina Inverse may have fallen into this by the second season (NEXT). When the team is facing the Big Bad, Lina wonders if she should fight it because a) she doesn't think she can possibly win and b) the only way she can win is with a Dangerous Forbidden Technique called Giga Slave that has a high chance of wiping out all existence. At this point, some of the members have to warn her that under certain circumstances, they may have to fight her. Turns out that the true Big Bad wants her to use the technique and tries to force her into it, because the ultimate goal of demons is to return the universe to empty blackness.
  • Sonic X: Cosmo turns out to have been implanted with an audio and visual tracking device allowing the Big Bad to see every single move she makes, thus leading them right to the good guys the whole time, basically dooming their every effort. Understandably, Cosmo angsts about this considerably. Shadow just outright wants to kill her and even just removing the transmitter would blind and deafen her permanently, and everyone else rallies to her side deciding to defeat the Big Bad even with the transmitter. She still dies, but in a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Nia turns out to be a virtual lifeform that acts as an agent for the Anti-Spirals. Played at its straightest when she puts herself between the heroes' Humongous Mecha and the keyhole that will allow them to take control of the moon and keep it from crashing into the Earth (said keyhole having a key that also happens to be a giant drill).
  • This Ugly Yet Beautiful World: Hikari is the Anthropomorphic Personification of Extinction turned into an amnesiac human girl.
  • X/1999: Kamui and his best friend Fuuma are "twin stars" - one destined to save the earth, the other destined to destroy it. Kamui chose to save the world, so Fuuma got stuck with the role of destroying it, along with gaining a evil personality change to go with his Face–Heel Turn.
    • To clarify, Fuuma is destined to fill the empty seat left when Kamui picks his side. If Kamui were to join the Dragons of the Earth, Fuuma would go to the Dragons of the Heaven. But Kamui chooses to join the Heavens, so Fuuma goes to the Earth. Either way, destiny is skewed toward the Dragons of the Earth winning, meaning that there will be a catastrophe that wipes out mankind, but other life goes on. The only version where this really means that Fuuma is a Slasher Smile maniac is the animated movie, though. Otherwise, he's still as Black-and-Gray Morality as everyone else in the series.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V: Yuya, Yugo and Yuto cross this trope with Anti-Anti-Christ. These characters were supposed to become violent, dangerous duelists who wanted only destruction, but all turned out to be decent people. Thus, the person who set them up as Antichrist in the first place has begun forcing them to carry out his apocalypse plan via possession. The fourth counterpart, Yuri, is a straight Antichrist, and if he manages to absorb the other three he'll become a god and destroy the multiverse. As long as these characters exist, it's only a matter of time before the apocalypse gets kicked off.
  • YuYu Hakusho: Kazuma Kuwabara's Spirit Sword evolves into the Dimension Sword, which, as its name implies, can destroy dimensional barriers. During the Chapter Black saga, the bad guys thus kidnap him in order to use his power to destroy the barrier between the Human and Demon Worlds. Obviously, Kuwabara would never cooperate with them; they will just have Gourmet eat him whole to get his power.

    Audio Plays 
  • Case 63: Marie seems pretty sweet. She makes jewelry for a living. She's willing to fly across the world to donate her blood to help her ex who has leukemia. Through no fault of Marie's, within her body a definitive COVID mutation will first occur, and she will be Patient Zero for a devastating new variant that will destroy the world.

    Comic Books 
  • The eponymous character of Hellboy is prophesied to bring about the end of the universe. But being the Anti-Anti-Christ, he's not on board with all of that malarkey.
  • Raven from Teen Titans is the daughter of the demon Trigon. She was conceived specifically to destroy the world.
  • Uncanny X-Men #137, "The Fate of the Phoenix". The Phoenix Force, pretending to be Jean Grey, was so powerful she could no longer control it, and became the Dark Phoenix, risking the destruction of the universe. She eventually made a Heroic Sacrifice to end the threat. It gets retconned back and forth all the time whether it was actually Jean or the Phoenix Force pretending to be Jean who did this, but it fits the trope either way. In at least one What If? issue, the Heroic Sacrifice doesn't happen and Dark Phoenix does destroy the universe.
  • Also done with Colossus in Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men: the Augurs of a Planet Of Blood Knights called Breakworld predict he will destroy the planet, so they try to kill him in various ways, starting at developing a mutant "cure" and ending in blowing Earth to vapor. Fortunately, though an organization of Well-Intentioned Extremist Space Police are not exactly on Colossus' side, the whole "kill Earth to kill mutants" thing has them pretty pissed off - they're not interested in killing Colossus, because if they can't make the bad guys quit trying to kill Earth, they can have Colossus kill them all. Pragmatism at its best/worst.
  • Gambit of Earth-616 was also fated to destroy the world by losing control of his Omega-level mutant powers and cannibalizing the energy of the whole planet, and in many universes he already had. In fact, everything that happened in his life before X-Men was the result of an alternate universe version of him manipulating him into going back in time and arranging things so that the events surrounding his prophecy would come about sooner. Everything from the Thieves Guild's allegiance to the immortal Candra, to Mr. Sinister's shapeshifting powers, to his own father adopting him were because another version of himself (powerful enough to single-handedly destroy the Phoenix) had already become a Planet Eater and was trying to stop it from happening in other universes.
  • Alan Moore's Promethea is all over this.
  • Captain Atom in Captain Atom: Armageddon discovers that he is going to destroy the Wildstorm universe if he stays there, and that he also can't leave, and that if he dies, the destruction will happen instantly. In the end, Nikola cures him and sends him home. Then she destroys the universe, then remakes it.
  • Played with in Les Légendaires during the Anathos Cycle; the story starts with the protagonists learning that one of them is gonna serves as a host for the reincarnation of a Omnicidal Maniac God of Evil known as Anathos. When they finally find out which one of them it is, it turns out to be Shimy, the group's elf. Team Leader Danael then pull out a Batman Gambit to prevent Anathos from reincarnating into her...only to end up Out-Gambitted by the God, who turns out to have planned this and reincarnate into him instead.
  • In The Sandman (1989), Rose Walker is a variation; she is a "vortex", whose existence causes the barriers between different people's dreams to break down, which drives them mad in the short term, and since dreams have the power to literally shape reality, she would ultimately destroy the world. The damage she could do is so serious that stopping a vortex is the only situation where Morpheus is allowed to actually kill a mortal. He states that the last time he didn't stop such a vortex (eventually covered in the prequel series Overture), it brought about the end of an entire planet.
  • The Incredible Hulk can turn into this as of World War Hulk, where it's revealed that if gets angry enough, his strength becomes too much for him to control and will devastate entire countries simply through his footsteps and his voice destroys entire cities. Immortal Hulk expands the mythos by revealing that gamma radiation is backed by the omnicidal antithesis to the all-loving One Above All. Its ultimate goal is to possess gamma mutates like the Hulk, hijack the multiversal reincarnation cycle, and extinguish all light and life forever.
  • This is essentially what happened to Illyana Rasputin in Magik.
  • The Umbrella Academy has Vanya, the White Violin. It comes very close.

    Fan Works 
  • BlazBlue Alternative: Remnant: The Murakumo Units are this. As Penny brings up to Noel in Chapter 40, the intended purpose of their creation is to usher in the end of all of Remnant.
  • The Bridge: it turns out the Alicorns are this in a sense: Grogar was imprisoned by Harmony and while she naturally is not going to willingly release him, Alicorn Magic will work just as well to break his seal and other than Harmony seems to be the only thing that can. Given Grogar one of the three most powerful beings in the entire story (matched only by Harmony and Bagan), this would be very bad. Especially if, as shown in Empress Flurry Heart's Bad Future, he and Bagan go to war with one another as Chrysalis predicts they will.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • Wanda, as the Scarlet Witch, is one as in MCU canon, thanks to her connection to Chthon... and Doctor Strange has gone to great lengths to hide this from everyone he can and terrify into silence everyone he can't, only telling her when she's well into her forties. Given that even when operating with a fair degree of restraint a.k.a. not just cutting loose with the Reality Warper powers, she's batting in the same league as Thor, Loki, and Merlin, it's easy to see why people are wary.
      • As an adjunct to Wanda, the Scarlet Witch prophecy also warns to not just kill the Scarlet Witch, but to prevent her from having any children - which also puts Hermione as an example, as she's described as being at least as powerful as her mother.
    • Harry from Book II onwards, thanks to being a Phoenix host with an understandable history of mental instability following a brutal Trauma Conga Line. He gets better and learns to harness the power, but the potential for him to be something utterly nightmarish.
  • An Extended Performance: Princess Celestia fears that her younger sister, Princess Luna, may be this: if she isn't stopped, she will freeze the entire world with the The Night That Never Ends. The problems are that Nightmare Moon is hideously powerful, and Luna is the pony whom Celestia loves most of all in existence.
  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality: It's eventually revealed that Dumbledore has been monitoring the Hall of Prophecy and routinely eliminating people who are prophesied to destroy the world. However, that merely delayed what seemed to be a persistent problem, and in Harry's case, the prophecy only specified that he would end the world, not the people in it, so Dumbledore decided to let him live and bring about sweeping changes that would be the figurative end of the world.
  • Perfect Diamond World: Both Elsa and her alternate universe counterpart, Iris, are unknowingly half-god through their parents. They were destined from birth to bring the end of the world through an ice age, however their parents loved them too much to allow them to fulfil their destinies.
  • Pony POV Series: There's Twilight herself in Dark World. The true Big Bad is Twilight's potential future self Nightmare Paradox, who's trapped Discord in a "Groundhog Day" Loop for several hundred million years, with her goal being for Twilight to become her and then continue the loop, destroying Dark World in the process. Twilight, quite naturally, rebels upon realizing this.
  • RE-TAKE: Shinji becomes this when he's revealed to be an Angel. Much like Kaworu in the canon series, his existence leaves the possibility for the Third Impact to occur in the alternate timeline he's in so he makes a Heroic Sacrifice to prevent it.
  • The Road to be a Pokemon Master: Serena of all people is this. Lugia warns Ash about her, telling him that she can become his greatest enemy, and Ho-Oh reveals that she's destined to destroy the world, and Ash is the only one who can stop her.
  • Shadows Over Hell: Octavia becomes one for Mother, due to the unique circumstances of her birth; being the daughter of a pair of great demons, apowerful, magical Prince and a cunning, fearless princess, born under just the right convergence of stars and a flash of dying galaxies. All of these impressive, almost impossible criteria, was what drew Mother's attention to her, and caused the Eldritch Horror to abduct her, wanting to turn the poor princess into her a Key to the Empty Night, which would open her dimension, allowing her and all of the inhabitants of the Void to finally escape and consume the whole universe.
  • Stars Above: Kagami Hiiragi's body contains a Demon that can potentially destroy the Multiverse. She's also a Barrier's complicated.
  • Sustenance of Hatred: ALL humans have the potential to become this in the fic's Equestria as a result of a force of darkness known as The Siphon, which induces a Superpowered Evil Side can turn them into Beasts Of The Apocalypse if they lose control of it. The protagonist, Jonas, becomes an Apocalypse Maiden as a result.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • This is the entire plot of End of Days.
  • Ghostbusters (1984): Dana Barrett, because she lives in an apartment building designed by a cultist intending to bring back the ancient god Gozer, known as the Destructor, is chosen to become possessed by the entity Zuul, the Gatekeeper. Her neighbor Louis Tully is possessed by Vinz Clortho, the Keymaster. Together, the possessed duo open a doorway between worlds and allow Gozer to come to Earth, to begin...destroying.
  • In Nightwatch, the center of a coming apocalypse causing storm is a seemingly normal Innocent Bystander. As the story goes on, we discover she is an Other (basically a witch) who is riddled with guilt over manipulating her mother into rejecting a life saving kidney transplant by revealing she was the donor. The spiraling guilt would have destroyed the world had Anton not talked her down (er, up?) from her depression. In the process, he gained a love interest for the next movie who was also one of the two most powerful Others in existence. This is (somewhat) subverted in the novels. The apocalypse was actually a feint by The Dark Side to convert her, rather than being caused by her own actions.
  • In The Seventh Sign Abby discovers that her child is destined to be born without a soul as the Guf (Hall of Souls) is empty. When she gives birth it will trigger the End Days, but she ultimately averts this by sacrificing her own life to refill the Chamber.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Ego the Living Planet doesn't have enough power of his own to complete his Assimilation Plot, so he needs a fellow Celestial like himself. To this end he sired countless children from various women in different planets, hoping that one of them would bear the Celestial gene like him, and killing those that don't. He doesn't find what he's looking for until he finally meets the Guardians' leader Peter Quill, his one child who does have the Celestial gene.
    • Avengers: Infinity War: By virtue of Gamora being the only being that Thanos loves, he needs to kill her in order to obtain the Soul Stone. As is common with the trope, she tries to thwart his plan by quickly whipping out her little double-edged dagger and attempting to stab herself to death with it, but Thanos prevents it.
    • During Spider-Man: No Way Home, MCU Spider-Man himself. This is thanks to a magic spell that was originally cast to make people forget his Secret Identity, only for Peter to botch it and lure people in from all over the Multiverse who knows Spider-Man's identity. At the climax, reality is starting to break apart as more and more people keep getting lured in, so Spider-Man asks Doctor Strange to cast the spell again, this time without him interrupting.

  • The Chronicles of Nick is all about making sure Nick doesn't become the pure evil he was destined to be.
  • The Inciting Incident of Constance Verity Destroys the Universe shows that various parties with access to precognition believe that the titular Constance Verity will destroy the universe in the near future, though no one knows how, when or why she accomplishes this. In the third act, it's revealed that the Caretaker Mantle is a manifestation of The Key's pure entropic energy, and that by thwarting disaster and saving lives, the Caretaker has been absorbing and accumulating all of that entropy. After countless generations of heroics absorbing all of that unused destructive potential, Connie absorbing it from Hiro has caused it to reach critical mass, all that destructive potential ready to go off and take the universe down with it.
  • Coin, from Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel Sourcery. Prophecy states that the existence of a sorcerer will mean the end of the world, and it's stated that the prevention of such a birth was the original reason for the celibacy of wizards. Of course, someone always has to go and do something stupid.
  • The Empirium Trilogy: The Blood Queen was able to break the Gate, bringing the angels back and effectively restarting the Angelic Wars. She was also responsible for ending the age of elementals as her last powerful act of magic stifled any connection to the empirium elementals once had.
  • His Dark Materials: In The Amber Spyglass, the priests send an assassin to whack smartass kid Lyra because it is prophesied that she will be the new Eve and bring about a new fall of Man. Just one of the many reasons why there'll never be any sequels of The Golden Compass...
  • Garth of The Lords of Dûs trilogy was destined to bring about the Age of Destruction by taking up the sword of Bheleu. By doing so, he also started the clock on the Age of Death, said to be the end of Time itself. Turns out it was only the God of Time dying; the world went on without him.
  • Cyradis in The Malloreon — arguably, she wasn't going to destroy the world as such, but had she chosen Geran over Eriond then the world would have been thrown into evil, via Geran, Garion's son.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: At the end of The Lightning Thief, the Olympians discuss killing Percy — to his face! — because he might be a dangerous prophecied-of character.
  • A variant in Ravenor, where Carl is the prophesied host of the demon Slyte, who is set to bring about unimaginable destruction, but nobody realizes it until it's too late to save him.
  • In Nick Kyme's Warhammer 40,000 novel Firedrake, it is established beyond a doubt that Dak'ir is the person prophesied to destroy the planet. They imprison him while deciding whether to kill him, at the end.
    • To clarify, Dak'ir is prophesied to either destroy or save the Salamanders' homeworld, Nocturne. This gets resolved in the third novel of the Tome of Fire trilogy. He saves the planet, though he also comes damn close to destroying it.
  • In the Chaos Gods series, it is believed that the deal Ki made with the Fallen Chaos god Tavk will bring about the end of the world, and that only by killing her can it be prevented.
  • Darquesse in Skulduggery Pleasant is the superpowered, psychotically murderous alter-ego of Valkyrie Cain and is prophecised to bring about the end of the world.
  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer: The eponymous War Bringer. Bonus points for Alia, who is also the procatalysia - she who comes before the world dissolves.
  • The Antichrist (who later becomes an Anti-Anti-Christ) Adam Young in Good Omens.
  • InCryptid: The Johrlac, especially Ingrid, want to use Sarah to tear a hole in this dimension, sending the Johrlac to a new one and destroying Earth in the process.
  • The Scholomance series is told from the point of view of an Apocalypse Maiden who really, really doesn't want to be one: El Higgins is a wizard who has incredible powers of destruction; she struggles with summoning simple lights but has no trouble causing super-volcanoes with a snap of her fingers, she discovers new destructive spells every day, and there's a prophecy that she'll destroy all the enclaves, sanctuaries of wizard-kind. She doesn't want to do this, so she carefully rations her magic usage and avoids using any destructive spells like the plague. The third book in the series, however, reveals the Prophecy Twist—she's actually a Big Good, who was born powerfully destructive in order fight maw-mouths, the most horrific monsters known to wizard-kind. This process does destroy enclaves, yes, because each enclave has a maw-mouth at its core—but El is also gifted with the power to build it back better than it was before. The real Apocalypse Maiden is her boyfriend, Orion Lake, a Living Weapon and Humanoid Abomination.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Parodied in Babylon 5, Ambassador Mollari calls his three wives Pestilence, Famine, and Death. Fridge Brilliance when you consider that Mollari is himself going to act as the fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse by starting a War.
  • Buffyverse:
    • Dawn in Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 5. True to form, Buffy promises to protect her at all costs, even if it means the end of the world.
    • In Angel, although no one realizes it until after it's already done, Connor and Cordelia are a matching pair of these; both are needed to bring forth Jasmine.
    • Also in Angel, the Old One Illyria in the body of Fred is a would-be example. Teased throughout the final season as an eminent threat to humanity, were it not for her unholy army having decayed away over the millennia.
  • This appeared to be Sofie's role in Carnivàle, but the show ended before they could really explore it.
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: It ultimately turns out that the reason Satan is so interested in Sabrina, and the reason she's so powerful, is because she's meant to fulfill a prophecy that will see the forces of Hell unleashed on Earth and kickstarting the Apocalypse. This is because Satan is her real father, who sired her specifically to serve as The Antichrist, perverting Jesus' miracles as part of the prophecy.
  • Irisa on Defiance. As a child, her parents were part of a religious cult that surgically implanted her with one of two keys to a sentient genocidal alien spaceship. By the end of season one, she has acquired the other key, and the ship pretends to be Irzu, an alien god, in order to make a deal with her and trick her into becoming the angel of death. Season 2 ends with her gaining access to orbital superweapons and destroying major cities.
  • Doctor Who: After looking into the heart of the TARDIS, Rose Tyler inexplicably becomes a god-like being with power over all of time and space. She uses her power to erase the Daleks from existence, resurrect Captain Jack Harknes and is on the verge of destroying the universe to protect her friends until the Doctor absorbs the energy from her into his own body, forcing him to regenerate in the process.
  • Peter Bishop in Fringe: the machine which could save or destroy both worlds is tied directly to him, not to mention that the hostilities between the two parallel Earths were started over him.
  • Good Omens (2019) is about the Antichrist, Adam Young, who later becomes an Anti-Anti-Christ. Aziraphale (an angel) is willing to kill him to prevent the apocalypse, which not even the demon Crowley is willing to do. Fortunately, he doesn't have to in the end.
  • Kamen Rider:
  • In Misfits, Nadine is this. She has the ability to bring The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and the only way that they are stopped is by killing her.
  • On Penny Dreadful, Vanessa Ives' supernatural abilities make her the target of various evil entities that believe her to be the reincarnation of the goddess Amunet, the "Mother of Evil", whom they can use to start the apocalypse. Season 2 expands on this, revealing that when Lucifer was cast down to Hell, another Fallen Angel was cast down to Earth, becoming the first vampire; these two have been in competition with each other ever since to find Amunet, as her power will allow the one who possesses her to break free of their imprisonment and seize control of Heaven from God, plunging the world into darkness.
  • Power Rangers Samurai: This was the purpose for which Serrator turned Deker into a half-Nighlok, so that he could split the Earth open and completely drown it in the Sanzu river. The Samurai Sentai Shinkenger version was a bit different, unusual for that season.
  • In Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Usagi of all people, because of her Superpowered Love Makes You Evil Side, Princess Serenity.
  • In Smallville, Chloe Sullivan becomes this when she is possessed by Brainiac. She hacks every computer and hypnotizes half the world, intending to download all information before making Doomsday destroy what is left. The Legion arrives and prepares to kill her as they think it is the only way to get rid of Brainiac for good, but Clark convinces them to figure out a way without killing her.
  • Stargate SG-1 had this as well. When Hanka is wiped out by Nirrti, the team finds a sole survivor: a little girl by the name of Cassandra. Later it turns out that her body contains a globule of naquadah that has attracted all the potassium in her body and can cause cardiac arrest if someone attempts to remove it. Why is that a problem? Stargates contain over 29 tons of Naquadah. Naquadah reacts to potassium violently.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: Edith Keeler from the episode "The City on the Edge of Forever" is a particularly heartbreaking example. A peace activist during the Great Depression, her peace movement eventually gains enough clout to delay the US's entry into World War II, knocking history off course and preventing The Federation from existing. So Kirk (who's completely fallen for her) has to has to make sure she dies in the traffic accident the way she was supposed to.
  • Star Trek: Picard: Soji Asha is prophesied to summon Mechanical Abominations to cleanse the galaxy of organic life in an apocalyptic Robot War. Thanks to a Trauma Conga Line she very nearly does, before Picard talks her out of it using the Power of Trust.
  • Supernatural, with Gordon (and associates) trying to kill Sam before he can go bad and lead demon armies to conquer the world.
  • In Titans (2018) we have Raven once again, who is prophesied to bring about the end of the world as we know it.
  • The cause of the apocalypse in The Umbrella Academy (2019) is Vanya's considerable and uncontrolled powers. Nobody realizes this until it's almost too late. And that has happened twice. So far.
  • WandaVision: If Agatha Harkness is to be believed, Wanda Maximoff, as the Scarlet Witch, is destined to end the world. Agatha supports her claim by stating that there's an entire whole chapter in the Darkhold dedicated to the Scarlet Witch and predicting her role in the apocalypse.
  • The X-Files has this at least three times: the people in the snake church rape and impregnate their leader's daughter with some sort of anti-Christ, both main wives and all past ones in "Terms of Endearment" against the demons will - he was just trying to have a normal family, and Scully herself in a season 9 episode. The worst part of that last example is that Scully is pregnant with William at the time, searching for a lost Mulder, and just getting used to a newly-added Doggett.

  • A major theme in Luca Turilli's album Prophet of the Last Eclipse, particularly the song Demonheart.
  • Miriam Natias in the King Diamond concept album Abigail. Her soul is possessed by the titular demon fetus, and The Hero is told to kill her to prevent its resurrection.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Shiva is said to dance the dance that creates, sustains, and destroys the universe all the time. However, it is specifically noted that he does this when his wife, Sati, sets herself on fire after being insulted (by her father) for marrying Shiva in the first place. It took Vishnu's discus cutting up Sati's body to stop Shiva from completely destroying the world. Similarly, Shiva acts as a Barrier Maiden when his wife in another form, Kali, goes on rampages.
  • Oddly enough, Jesus according to Christian belief. His Second Coming in the Book of Revelation foretells The End of the World as We Know It. However, it's ultimately The Antichrist (who isn't in Revelation but is assumed by many to be a figure seen in that text, the Beast from the Sea) who brings about the End of Days.

    Tabletop Games 

  • Tsukiuta's Shun is something of a divine embodiment of death and ending, just as Hajime is life and beginning. However, he often doesn't want to play his part and bring about the end of the world. In some settings, such as Tsukino Empire, he finds a way around it — in that case, summoning another world's Hajime to that world in order to restore balance so that the world could live.

    Video Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: Ann, the protagonist, doesn't harbor any power that endangers the world, she instead possesses a connection with an eldritch being called Amok, who according to the Masked Woman, is capable of destroying the world if released. In the Good Ending, Ann manages to sever the connection, ensuring that Amok can never emerge again. In the Bad Ending, Amok uses Ann's Moment of Weakness to fully take over her body, and proceeds to turn the entire world into a desolate Hell on Earth.
  • In the Baldur's Gate series, it first appears that the Player Character him-/herself, along with all the other Bhaalspawn, is prophesied and destined to bring about not quite The End of the World as We Know It but hell of a lot of slaughter and chaos simply by existing. Eventually, it turns out that the prophecy in question actually tells about what will happen if the protagonist should fail, making them The Chosen One instead.
    • It's a little more complicated than that. The Bhaalspawn exist to bring back Bhaal (he sired them in response to a prophecy of his own death, which has since come true), and the current prophecy deals with the doom involved in any of the Spawn resurrecting or replacing their father. The protagonist is trying to avert this end...which is also discussed in the prophecy, making them both the possible agent of the apocalypse and the potential means to avert it.
      • A moot point in DnDNext. It takes a hundred years, but Baal is FINALLY back, albeit weakened.
  • Elizabeth in Bioshock Infinite was to be made into this in one of many timelines by Comstock through brutal emotional and physical torture. Comstock planned to make Elizabeth his heir so that she may reenact his version of the Final Judgment and rain (literal) fire upon the "Sodom below", which we see is New York City, at the very least. However, the Elizabeth who does accomplish this recognizes that she's brought about mass destruction to an uncountable number of people by doing this brings Booker to her timeline to give him the notes to control Songbird, so he may go back and prevent from happening in his main timeline.
    • Booker DeWitt is also one of these, since it's revealed at the end of the game that he is both Booker and Comstock, the only difference being that in the timelines where he didn't accept the baptism he stayed Booker, and in the ones he did he became Comstock through religious fanaticism. Before realizing this, Booker says that the only way to stop Comstock from creating Columbia in the first place is to smother him in his crib. Elizabeth and many other timelines' versions of her bring Booker to the baptismal lake, at the moment when he may or may not decide to go through with it, and drowns him to eliminate at least some timelines' Comstocks from being created.
  • Nu-13 in BlazBlue acts as a literal Apocalypse Maiden, with Hakumen's "the ends justify the means" attempts to hunt her down and kill her acting as the "bud nipping" part of the description. The other half of the equation is the protagonist-as-hapless-pawn in the header: Ragna is unwittingly playing into Terumi's hands, with Jin hunting him down in an instinctive attempt to stop the worst. Tragically, 99% of the time, Terumi wins.
    • Ragna himself is apparently destined to be the "Destroyer of the World" who wields a power that even Terumi couldn't control if it was unleashed.
  • In Chapter 7 of BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm, Catie visits a dark alternate reality where the air itself is toxic to outsiders. Visitors must wear special masks to breathe, but the natives live just fine without them. Sadly, due to Catie being part of the goddess Virtua, her mere presence is enough to kick-start the environment, turning everything lush and green, but altering the atmosphere to the point where the natives can no longer breathe, and most of them end up suffering a Fate Worse than Death. The "apocalypse" she causes is more like a World-Healing Wave, but it sure isn’t seen that way by the one survivor, who swears revenge and becomes Catie’s arch-nemesis.
  • Critical to the story of Bravely Second is the fate of Star-Crossed Lovers Altair and Vega. Two Happily Married scientists hailing from the Celestial Realm, an unfortunate accident suddenly strands Altair in Luxendarc, and believing she was abandoned, Vega fell into the Despair Event Horizon, which attracted the "false god" Providence. Luxendarc is then besieged by Ba'als, created by Providence from the memories Vega had of her life with Altair. The heroes decide that, to put an end to the Ba'al invasion, they need to defeat Providence, save Vega and reunite her with Altair (currently Sharing a Body with Tiz Arrior).
  • In Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, the main villain Celia Fortner seeks to revive Dracula. Oddly, this is a twisted example. Celia's cult, unlike Graham's from Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, worships God, and they fear for the Light if there is no Darkness. Hence, they wish for a new Dark Lord only to cover their own asses.
  • Danganronpa: It's revealed in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, that Hajime's decision to become Izuru had consequences that spired out in ways nobody foresaw. All things considered, Hajime is inadvertently responsible for causing the apocalypse, for his part in the murders of the student council that was broadcast to the reserve course students, causing them all to commit suicide, which kickstarted "The Biggest, Most Awful, Most Tragic Event in Human History".
  • In Dawn of Mana, Unlucky Childhood Friend Ritzia accidentally becomes this because she gets possessed by Sealed Evil in a Can.
  • Another example might be Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening. It turns out that everyone involved (except Arkham, who's orchestrating it all) is required to open the gates of hell, meaning that if any of them had died before then, hell can stay closed forever. Of course, it was prophesied that the Sons of Sparda would save the day, so it may be a subversion. (odd in that the demons seem have it out for them)
  • In Diablo III Leah is unknowingly the final piece in Diablo's Xanatos Gambit to become the Prime Evil. Possessing her body by means of the Black Soulstone used by Adria, Diablo was successfully resurrected and nearly destroyed the High Heavens.
  • Furiae in Drakengard. Her body is one of the few seals that prevent the end of the world- Thus it's her brother Caim's job to protect her. So when she inevitably dies..
    • Pops up again in the game's sequel and prequel. Drakengard 2 has Manah, repentant Big Bad of the first game by way of Demonic Possession...which unfortunately was never fully dealt with, meaning the Watchers are able to subconsciously manipulate her into becoming their vessel again. Drakengard 3 has Zero and all of her Intoner 'sisters', though of the latter, only One knows about this. The flower growing in Zero's eye is part of an Eldritch Abomination, which granted the Intoners reality-breaking magic that will eventually drive them insane and turn them into monsters. Unsurprisingly, given the general tone of these games, there's no real way to avoid it — Zero killing them only channels their powers back into her body. After that, it falls to her dragon buddy Mikahil to kill her and the Flower for good.
  • In Exmortis, the Amnesiac Hero of the first game turns out to be the Hand of Repose, empowered by Human Sacrifice to link the Spirit World to the Earth and unleash the Army of Exmortis. After the End, the protagonist of the sequel game journeys into the Spirit World to kill him, which severs the link — though it's a bit late for humanity by that point.
  • In Fairy Fencer F, anyone who is a descendant of the Vile God (in other words, either Tiara or Bernard) could be used as a sacrifice to revive him. Bernard insists that a woman's blood must be used to awaken him, but in the Goddess timeline he tries to usurp the Vile God's power; in response, it kills him and uses him as its sacrifice.
  • In Final Fantasy XIII, generally anyone who has been branded a "Pulse l'Cie" will be given a Focus to become an Apocalypse Maiden (Ragnarok). Once branded they either have the choice of carrying out their Focus (destroy the world) or becoming a mindless monster if they refuse.
  • A few examples from Fire Emblem:
    • Tiki from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light is an immensely powerful Manakete put into an enchanted sleep, for fear that she'll destroy the world by mistake. For a time, she's Brainwashed and Crazy to work for the Dark Dragon.
    • In Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War we have Deirdre in the first generation, Julia and Julius in the second. They're Deirdre's children by Arvis. Deirdre had been forbidden to meet any men for fear it would cause a catastrophe. This is because she carries the blood of the dark god Loptyr, and if any child with major Loptyr blood is born they could serve as a vessel for his return—which is exactly what happens to Julius. Good thing that Julia was born with the Holy Blood needed to counteract that too.
      • Happens again in Fire Emblem: Awakening. But not to Tiki, actually! Turns out your player-created Avatar, whether a boy or a girl, is in fact of pure enough Grima blood to serve as a vessel for his return. Worked in the Bad Future timeline, but averting it in the present one is one of the drives of the story. Not to mention you can recruit a teenager/adult Tiki as one of the True Companions willing to help you fight against Grima (and if your avatar's a dude, he can romance and marry her too).
    • In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, Prince Lyon of Grado gets possessed by the Demon King after he breaks a Sacred Stone to get at its immense magical power. The Demon King is about as nice as his title would suggest and starts trying to fully escape so he can wipe out the continent, using the unfortunate victim as a vessel.
  • In FEAR, Armacham's researchers, particularly Harlan Wade, came to the conclusion that Alma Wade was perfectly capable of destroying the world with her Psychic Powers. This was one of the reasons why they sealed her away in the Vault at the age of eight. However, this only delayed the inevitable, and the efforts of Project Origin to make supersoldiers by raising them in Alma's womb only made things worse.
  • Fostering Apocalypse: Barrett is a demon child known as the World Eater summoned by an Apocalypse Cult to cause The End of the World as We Know It but has the heart of a nice and innocent Cheerful Child. The hippies you find midway are the "nip it in the bud" antagonists and the villains want her to fulfill her destiny. Del is the main character who protects her.
  • In Honkai Impact 3rd, the "Herrschers" (a.k.a. "Lawmakers" or "Rulers") are humans who are "chosen" by the Honkai to become their "agent" of spreading Honkai's influence. They naturally use vast amounts of Honkai energy and each has a unique ability, such as the 3rd Herrscher that wields lightning or the 4th Herrscher who commands the winds. They can also command Honkai Beasts, and people who don't have Honkai resistance will turn into mindless zombies just by being near a Herrscher's presence. Kiana is revealed to possess the core of the 2nd Herrscher, which ends up taking her over during the course of Chapters 6 through 8.
  • Shana from The Legend of Dragoon, along with all the moon children that Rose continued to kill every time one was born. The prophecy didn't come to pass because Melbu Frahma made himself the next moon child, effectively saving Shana from her role in destroying the world and giving the rest of the party a target they could beat down without feeling bad about it.
  • In Loom, the Elders try to stop the player character from destroying the world. They fail. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero.
  • Lufia has Erim, the Sinistral of Death. Her very existence enables her fellow Sinistrals to keep coming back no matter how often they're defeated; unfortunately, this isn't exactly a power she has any control over. Oh, and she usually shows up in each game as a mysterious girl...including Lufia herself in the original game.
  • In Lunar: The Silver Star, Luna, a.k.a. The Goddess Althena nearly destroys the world after being brainwashed by the Magic Emperor.
    • In Lunar: Eternal Blue, this same role falls to Lucia, a counterpart of Althena in some intentionally vague way, whose job it is to destroy Lunar to prevent Zophar's rise to power. She chooses not to. However, this allows Zophar to capture her and take her power, becoming more dangerous than ever.
  • Mega Man:
  • Paper Mario:
  • Persona:
    • Persona 2: Eternal Punishment has four of them: Tatsuya Suou, Lisa Silverman, Eikichi Mishina and Jun Kashihara. If any of these four remember the previous reality, then Nyarlathotep will be able to start making rumors come true again, which makes the definition of "reality" rather tenuous at best. Should all of them remember, reality will entirely reset to its previous state, in which planet Earth no longer exists. The game starts when the first of these four remembers, and he spends the rest of the game trying to stop the others from doing so. Eventually, Tatsuya manages to let go of his memories, and reality is set back to normal.
    • Persona 3 plays with this. Ryoji is a humanoid Shadow who acts as a beacon to summon Nyx, the Queen of the Shadows, to bring about The End of the World as We Know It. Subverted in that killing Ryoji will not stop Nyx, just slow her down for about a month and ensure that the protagonists can't fight back against her when she comes.
    • Persona 4's Greater-Scope Villain created three of these as part of her plan. Her three "champions" were each given a powerful Shadow that would release the fog from the TV world to bring despair (Taro Namatame and Kunino-Sagiri), emptiness (Tohru Adachi and Ameno-Sagiri), or hope (Yu Narukami and Marie) in the event of their respective victory.
  • In Sands of Destruction, Kyrie can't control his powers; when that pesky voice starts talking, his body acts of its own accord and obliterates everything around him. It's later revealed this is because he was born specifically to bring about the end of the world, as the Creator feels it's too broken to allow to continue. He's not happy about this, and desperately searches for a way to Screw Destiny. When he decides he's too much of a danger to continue living, he asks Naja to kill him. Unfortunately, that doesn't work, either, as the Destruct has backup methods of resurrection.
  • Most of the Shin Megami Tensei games have at least one Apocalypse Maiden, usually referred to explicitly as "The Maiden". Yuko Takao of Nocturne is the most obvious; without her, Hikawa would not have been able to create the Conception that kick-starts the plot.
  • Silent Hill:
    • Alessa Gillespie. She was born with psychic powers in an Eldritch Location, with Dahlia, the leader of the local cult, for a mother. Dahlia's plan was to release/summon the cult's God, which would probably be The End of the World as We Know It, and doing so would involve impregnating a girl with the God's fetus. After several attempts on random kidnapped girls failed, Dahlia decided to use her own daughter, and the ritual actually succeeded. However, Alessa somehow split off a piece of her soul, which went on to manifest as a baby in the local graveyard, where it was found by a young married couple who were subject to the Law of Inverse Fertility and believed that Babies Make Everything Better. Dahlia had her severely burned daughter imprisoned in a secret room in the basement of the town hospital and got started on a spell that would draw the other piece of Alessa's soul back to the town so they could make her whole again and complete the birthing ritual. Meanwhile, the fetus in Alessa is feeding on her hatred and anger. Eventually, it's up to the adoptive father of the soul's missing piece to navigate the Gambit Pile Up and save the day.
    • Heather, the protagonist of Silent Hill 3 turns out to be the reincarnation of Alessa, who somehow still has the God's fetus inside of her. One of the villains, Claudia, is Alessa's grown up Evil Former Friend who never lost faith in the Order's teachings, and is now a full-fledged fanatic. Claudia wants Heather to give birth to God, because she genuinely believes that that God will usher in a paradise where everyone will always be happy. Of course, God feeds on hatred, so the best way to approach it would be to kill Heather's loving father and set her down a path of revenge. Another villain, Vincent, is worried that the "paradise" wouldn't be as enjoyable as the world he's always known, so he manipulates Heather into fighting Claudia's Ambiguously Human father for an artifact that could prevent the birth of God.
  • Kachi is treated as one of these by the villains in Sin and Punishment: Star Successor.
  • Princess Elise in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), because Iblis, the immortal fire monster, is sealed inside her and will be released to destroy the world if she cries.
  • In StarCraft II, this is the initial interpretation of the Xel'Naga prophecy about Kerrigan, and she indeed believes that the future (including hers) is doomed, to the point that "the galaxy will burn with their passage". And is straightly the intended scope planned by Amon and his right-hand Narud: to make the former resurrect into this universe from the Void and lead the Hybrids to galactic domination, the energy of a powerful psionic entity such as Kerrigan must be harvested, which eventually happens at the end of Wings of Liberty. However, Zeratul states that the prophecy is still unclear and there is always hope, so he manages to convince Raynor to save Kerrigan after being de-infested. This will prove to be averting the trope in the final chapters, when Kerrigan, after mutating again thanks to the Primal Zerg mutagens (which are free of the evil influence of Amon), in the end ascends to Xel'Naga and destroys Amon.
  • Tales of...:
  • There's hints throughout Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM that you are this. You have amnesia, every villain wants to capture and recruit you, and your BAM skills quickly become the stuff of legends.

    Visual Novels 
  • Destiny Ninja 2's main character is cursed so that her homeland will be destroyed unless she is killed by her love interest before her coming-of-age. In the good endings, the curse is broken.
  • In Hanakisou, Kuroto, who is quite sweet and innocent, must be killed or the world will end. In the true ending, the world is saved without his sacrifice.
  • Sakura Matou in the Heaven's Feel path of Fate/stay night becomes a host for the power of Angra Mainyu, and if left unchecked, he will eventually use her to incarnate as a Beast of Retribution that will engulf half the world in his power before he can be stopped.
    • Ilya too, for related yet mutually distinct reasons. The holocaust at the end of the previous Heaven's Feel demonstrates just how much. It would've been worse if Kiritsugu hadn't destroyed Ilya's mother and his much loved wife, Irisviel.
  • In one of the endings in Saya no Uta, Saya blooms and gives Fuminori her final gift: the world. She does so in the expense of transforming everyone on Earth into an Eldritch Abomination much like herself.
  • In Slay the Princess, the Narrator certainly insists that the Princess is this, and implies that she'll end the world regardless of whether or not she intends to or even knows how. But the Narrator refuses to elaborate as to how this will happen, how he knows this, or provide any proof that she even can end the world. The truth is that she is a fragment of the Shifting Mound, a personification of change in all forms. The Narrator fears the death that she will inevetiably bring, even as she brings new life.

  • In Homestuck:
    • Aradia brings about the end of her world through the game. Her username for a messaging service is even apocalypseArisen.
      • Her last name is also Megido, a name derived from the mountain connected to the end of the world (Armegeddon is a shortened form of Har Megidon), and her title is Maid of Time.
      • Her ancestor's name is The Handmaid, and is The Dragon to world-destroying Big Bad Lord English.
    • Snowman, former Black Queen and the 8-Ball of the Pool Billiard themed Felt.
      Everyone always ceases gunplay when Snowman's around.
      If you kill her you destroy the universe.
  • In Knights of Buena Vista, it turns out Adriana's Player Character is capable of this, due to excessive Min-Maxing. Fortunately it would only happen when certain conditions are met, and the Game Master avoids this by banning gummi worms from the campaign.
  • Gwynn from Sluggy Freelance during the period(s) when she was possessed by the demon K'Z'K.
  • The Sword Interval: It turns out that protagonist Fall is the latest Harbinger, a long line of people who reincarnate into the next one upon their deaths. Harbingers have Supernatural Gold Eyes, a Healing Factor, Super-Strength and reflexes. They also transform into incredibly destructive natural disasters such as floods, fires, plagues and earthquakes upon their deaths, and have an unknown connection to Big Bad the Hierophant. Over the centuries, secret groups have worked to kill the Harbingers as children. Fall is the oldest Harbinger in a very long time, since the current chairman of Well-Intentioned Extremist Creature-Hunter Organization the Atlas Foundation kept her alive in an attempt to break the Vicious Cycle.

    Web Original 
  • Panty and Madotsuki in The Frollo Show are targeted by Wilford Brimley for his evil plan to become a world-scale menace. Hitler sums this up the best:
    Hitler: He told me his plan back at the base. I thought it was a mere old man talk... "Feed from the sorrow of the girl...breed with one of the angels...and spawn thousands of legions born with perfection."
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, Leon Alcibiates becomes this when he almost manages to regain his Andain powers during the First Battle of Remonton. He realizes at that moment that as long as he exists as a revenant, his existence will eventually make magic disappear and cause the end of the world.
  • Without even knowing, Jon becomes this in The Magnus Archives, as he is gradually marked by each Fear Entity in order to transform the world into a feeding ground for them.
  • SCP Foundation: SCP 231-7 is a pregnant young woman recovered along with six others and a document entitled "Seven Brides, Seven Seals" from a "satanic sex cult". The first gave birth shortly afterward; the resulting abomination killed an undisclosed number (the Censor Box is at least three digits) of people before being put down by Foundation personnel. Attempts to remove the fetus, or the death of the mother, had similar results in the next five but with the scale of the event and number of casualties increasing exponentially. SCP 231-7 giving birth is expected to cause a class XK End-of-the-World scenario. The containment procedures which have prevented this so far left unmentioned. Other than to say that they're worse than you think they are, and have caused numerous suicides among staff despite regular psychological examinations, short tours of duty, and class A amnestics available on request. An Easter Egg message on the page reveals that the Foundation — or people manipulating it — doesn't want to find a better solution. They want the unborn Apocalypse right where it already is.
  • Conor, prophesized, in the Podcast Novel Shadowmagic. The prophecy ends up being true, it just refers to someone else.
  • A lot of people in the Whateley Universe believe Carmilla is going to be this. Right now, the protagonists are treating her as their best friend, to the point that Bladedancer is trying to find out who is trying to kill Carmilla. This could turn out really badly somewhere down the line.
    • Tennyo is in some ways a better candidate for this, as it was the Star Stalker's original purpose, though only Sara and Gothmog knows this.
      • To clarify: Carmilla is supposed to be destined to create an army of Eldritch Abominations from her womb, who will take over the world. Tennyo, meanwhile, just has DBZ level powers (though these are just a tiny fraction of the power of the being she's tapping into, which was meant to destroy the multiverse if the Elder Gods could not be stopped). In a nice example, Tennyo is perfectly okay with her friends having about 26 plans to kill her if necessary. As she trusts them to only use it if necessary.
  • The Quintessential Mary-Sue fully shifts to being a Cosmic Horror Story with the reveal that the Seer of the Planet of the Gem had misinterpreted the prophecy of Mary-Sue's birth. Instead of it being the only way to save the Universe from destruction, it was a hypothetical possibility never intended to be actualized, in which Mary-Sue destroys everything worthwhile in the Universe and makes the remainder serve her exclusively. Forever. By ensuring Mary-Sue's birth, he causes the prophecy to indeed come to pass. There was no chance of any other outcome.

    Western Animation 
  • Flame Princess from Adventure Time. Her heat increases gradually in any kind of romantic situation, and even a little thing like a kiss could do damage to the earth's crust, unleash molten lava, and instigate a second apocalypse.
  • Gravity Falls: In "Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future", during a moment of emotional instability, Mabel Pines makes a sympathetic but incredibly destructive and selfish wish and ends up turning the world into Hell on Earth.
  • Raven in Teen Titans (2003). A prophecy made at her birth pretty much guarantees that she will act as a portal to bring her demon father Trigon to Earth so he can take over the dimension, starting by bringing about the end of the world on Earth. Raven, believing there is no hope, complies, but saves her friends, who work on defeating Trigon after the world ends, shockingly enough with the help of Slade. In the end, Raven decides her father has no power over her after all, and proceeds to beat the tar out of him.
    • Of course, it was a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. Raven acted as the portal to bring Trigon to Earth because she was so completely convinced she had no choice in the matter.
    • That, and that her friends would die in their attempt to fight off Trigon's minions...
    • However, it might be a Prophecy Twist: the prophecy states that Raven will be his portal, and that "He comes to claim, he comes to sire the end of all things mortal." It doesn't say anything about him succeeding at the second part.


Video Example(s):


"The Earth is MINE!"

In spite of the other Titans attempts to stop it, Raven fulfills the prophecy that she would be the portal that would bring Trigon to Earth. As the demonic being crosses over, he makes a terrifying declaration of victory.

How well does it match the trope?

4.89 (18 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt

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