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Because Destiny Says So

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"Destiny is unstoppable. Everyone has to give in...Give up—let life win."

An invoked form of You Can't Fight Fate, Because Destiny Says So is when a character accepts a prophecy or similar foreknowledge of future events as inevitable, and does everything in their power to realize said future events because of it.

In such cases, The Hero will often continue the Training from Hell they are currently terrible at because they were named The Chosen One, Big Bads will insist on destroying the world despite the harm it will bring to their loved ones because it is their karmic destiny, and religious orders will refuse to hand over badly needed MacGuffins in times of crisis because prophecy says it is not yet time. Because Destiny Says So is also a common excuse for why The Chosen One is The Only One allowed to save the world, or what have you.


Compare with You Can't Fight Fate, Only the Worthy May Pass and Prophecies Are Always Right. Contrast with Screw Destiny.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Downplayed in The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You. While each of the titular girlfriends is destined to fall in Love at First Sight with him, Rentarou does everything in his power to ensure that the love between them is 100% genuine.
  • In the Grand Finale of Attack on Titan, this is revealed to have been Eren's motivation all along, as everything that had happened in the series was predestined by Ymir with him blindly going along with it because he couldn't see a better option. Even the death of his mother, who he had been trying to avenge from the very beginning, was the result of actions he took in the future to set things in motion which in the eyes of many fans made him do a complete 180 from a sympathetic Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds to a Straw Hypocrite.
  • Berserk: When the Eclipse happens, Void said that the Band of the Hawk and the demons were all gathered to that cozy place called hell, in order to make Griffith a new demon lord and to make his followers sacrifices for the rite, because causality said so. And Guts, being one of the few survivors of this event, continues to deny that notion to this day.
    • The Skull Knight actually stated that since Guts and Casca survived being offered as sacrifices during the Eclipse when they were fated to die, they now stand outside of fate. And this is why they are able to fight the Godhand (Though Casca at present isn't mentally capable of doing so at the moment).
  • Inspector Ninzaburou Shiratori from Case Closed is revealed to be a believer of destiny, specially when it comes to relationships. A good part of his feelings towards Sato are revealed to be born from the fact that he believes her to be a "girl of destiny", whose appearance changed his life as a whole. He makes references to destiny to other two women who he believes to be said girl as well.. and the third woman actually is his one.
  • At the end of Code Geass: Nightmare of Nunnally, this is essentially what C.C., formerly known as Lelouch vi Britannia, gives as his motivation going forward. Nunnally has a slightly different interpretation of things.
  • Himemiya Chikane and Kurusegawa Himeko in Destiny of the Shrine Maiden are the reincarnations of priestesses who fought Orochi and are destined to do so again.
  • In Dragon Ball, Fortuneteller Baba states that Son Goku is fated to someday save the world after the Dragon Ball gang wins her tournament. Then comes the King Piccolo arc, where the last one left to fight the Demon King is none other than Goku. Everyone's a bit skeptical, until Bulma recalls Baba's words...
  • According to the book read by Hap to Stoner in Eureka Seven movie, Eureka is destined to have a male partner and together they will "change" the world. Apparently this comes to pass for both TV and movie version.
    • The book never directly states Eureka's name, just referring to her as "the Maiden with wings", thus it's only valid to the TV series world because in the movie, Eureka never grows any wings. Interestingly, the movie ending does have references to the golden Bough that Holland and Dewey read in the TV series about the wife of the sacred king (Renton), the goddess of Earth (Eureka), went through death and rebirth.
  • Glass Fleet characters seem to rely far too much on Destiny, with a prophecy being one of the central aspects to the series. However, characters don't always interpret the words correctly...
  • In Hero Tales, Main character: Taitou is fated by the Hagun to face Keirou, the Big Bad, and his companions are fated to have to choose between allying themselves between the two by the constellation that watches over the mark (for the most part). Taitou just wants to face Keirou out of revenge instead.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Fate is a measurable force, explained by DIO as gravity pulling objects and organisms along a predestined path. Each part has Fate as a force used in some way.
    • In Phantom Blood, when Will Zeppeli trains with Tonpetty, the latter warns the former that he will tragically die if he were to finish his training.
    • In Battle Tendency, Lisa Lisa explains to Joseph and Caesar that a prophecy states that the Red Stone of Aja is crucial to the defeat of the Pillar Men. This ends up being correct, as without it, Joseph would not have defeated Kars.
    • Boingo's Stand, Thoth, takes the form of a comic book that tells the immediate future, and it will happen, no matter what, as proven by what becomes of Oingo and Hol Horse.
      • The interesting bit is that it only shows the image of the future but not the context. You have a degree of control by manipulating the context but the visual end result is 100% accurate. This is best demonstrated when they get a page of Jotaro dying in an explosion and go off to set up the event, however Oingo panics when he's found out and disguises himself as Jotaro and is caught in the explosion. So visually the prediction came true, however Boingo states that if he'd just dropped his disguise, the real Jotaro would have instead gotten caught since it would be the only plausible outcome remaining.
      • Later on, The chief prophecy 'Jotaro dies when his head is blown open' actually happens twice, firstly in Part 4 when Yoshikage Kira's Bites The Dust kills him when he, along with the rest of the heroes learn of Kira's identity, undone by Hayato's sheer will, and the second and final time when the Big Bad Pucci uses Made in Heaven to kill Jotaro for real.
    • Diavolo’s Stand, King Crimson, has the ability to be exempt from fate for up to ten seconds. Combined with his secondary ability, Epitaph, which allows him to see a ten second projection of the fated future, he can use Time Skip to make him intangible to any object along with Fate itself. This allows him to either make a fated kill more stealthy or turn a disadvantageous situation into an advantageous.
    • The Big Bad of Part 6, Enrico Pucci, decides that heaven is a world where everybody knows their own destiny... and sets out to make it that way. However, he is ultimately defeated by Emporio, who states that Fate will always be on the side of justice, no matter what.
  • Fuu, Umi, and Hikaru of Magic Knight Rayearth must fulfill an ancient prophecy — but what they think they have to do and what they actually must do are two very, very different things.
  • Downplayed in Neon Genesis Evangelion. The Secret Dead Sea Scrolls possessed by the mysterious Seele organization supposedly predict the arrival of attacking Angels, although these predictions seem useless for all practical purposes.
    • Seele is very prone to panicking when things don't seem to go exactly as the scrolls describe, which is just about every single time something a major event in the series occurs.
    • In Rebuild of Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone, Misato tells Shinji that piloting Eva is "simply his destiny". The secret of EVA-01 is actually that it has been constructed so only Shinji can be its pilot.
  • Pokémon 2000: The movie provides a prophecy twist example: "Thus the earth shall turn to ash"... which turns out to refer to Ash Ketchum. In the Japanese version, it's a case of Screw Destiny as the prophecy is pretty bleak.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • Honoka and Nagisa of Futari wa Pretty Cure are fated to become Magical Girls, according to their mascots.
    • Aguri from DokiDoki! Pretty Cure has gained this mentality from finding out the connection between her and Regina as the light and darkness of Princess Marie-Ange. As a result, she attempts to settle the score with Regina without telling her nor Mana about her reason for doing so. She even outright tells Mana that it is destiny for her to kill Regina while she's down.
  • Played with quite a bit in Princess Tutu, although in this case it's more "Because Drosselmeyer Says So". All of the main characters have a particular destiny laid out for them, and most of them gladly accept their roles... until they figure out where the story is headed. Autor actually invokes this trope at one point, but he's perfectly content to submit to destiny, even if it means losing his heart or a horrible death.
  • RahXephon: The prophecy is only revealed in the antepenultimate episode, and its origin is far from supernatural. The protagonist also goes out of his way to state that he's doing what he's doing because he wants to, not because destiny says he must.
  • The Ultimate Big Bad of Rave Master is especially tied down by this one, and in a way that ties into Cosmic Plaything, none the less. Alternate Character Interpretation of this makes him a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds rather than Ax-Crazy.
  • Used extensively in Sailor Moon. Sailor Moon is fated to find the Moon Princess and then be the Moon Princess once she discovers her true identity, the Inner Senshi are fated to protect the Moon Princess, the Outer Senshi (minus Saturn) are fated to protect the Moon Kingdom (and by extension Earth) from outside threats, and Sailor Saturn is destined to bring her Silence Glaive down on worlds whose time has run out.
    • In the DiC Entertainment version of the anime, this can be extended to why Mamoru and Usagi are together since they hate each other early on. In the Japanese version of the anime, they bicker almost every time they meet, but their bickering gets less antagonistic and more banter-like in nature. It arguably approaches Slap-Slap-Kiss prior to the reveal. In the episode where Tuxedo Mask's identity is revealed, Usagi is clearly disturbed when the conversation she starts with Mamoru doesn't follow that pattern. That, along with the shoulder wound, makes her realize something's wrong. They were on even better terms in the manga, because they were friendly in their civilian selves and had already started to like one another in their secret identities.
    • Defied in the live-action series, when Mars decides to actively work against what was decided by their past lives.
  • Karin from UQ Holder! is fated to never be harmed. Causality literally prevents anything (currently seen) from harming her. It's like a reverse Gae Bolg. Even if a knife is jammed into her chest she remains unharmed.
  • Vampire Knight: What is first mentioned by Kaname and later a few times by Yuuki in how purebloods only belong with each other.
  • Fuma Monou in X1999 kills his beloved sister Kotori, turns against his best friend Kamui and tries to eradicate humankind, simply because he and Kamui are destined to be enemies and take spots as either destroyers or protectors of mankind. And had Kamui chosen one side, Fuuma would've been his enemy no matter what. However, Kotori's last words imply that not everything is set on stone, and the future is still not fully decided.
  • ×××HOLiC: "There is no coincidence in the world. What is there is 'hitsuzen'." For those who don't speak Japanese "hitsuzen" refers to "inevitable fate" or "what is determined". However, it is important to note that hitsuzen is not as written in stone as the Western concept of destiny is, and can be altered to some extent. "What is determined" is a better translation than "inevitability", really.
  • The entire Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise revolves around this trope and Screw Destiny. Depending on which series you're watching and even which season, the heroes may be trying to fulfill their destinies, or trying to change them.
    • Three characters particularly notable for this are Yami Yugi and Ishizu in the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga and anime, and Sartorius in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Yami Yugi spends most of Battle City being told he's destined to find his memories if he wins the tournament, which also means defeating Arc Villain Marik, and Ishizu lives by this trope until Kaiba defeats her in a duel she was fated to win. In GX Sartorius' deck is based on Tarot cards with supposedly random effects, but he claims Destiny Says So, and thus their effects are already predetermined and he knows exactly how they'll turn out.
    • Lampshaded at one point by Seto "Screw Destiny" Kaiba:
      Kaiba: [to Yami Yugi] If I had a dime for every time you talked about destiny, I'd be even richer.
  • In Your Name, the theme of Red String of Fate was featured prominently throughout the film via the opening song credits & Mitsuha's red braided cord. According to the legend of the the red string of fate, 2 individuals who are tied together with the same red string are destined lovers, regardless of place, time, or circumstances. At the end of the film, Mitsuha & Taki's "coincidental" reunion fulfills that very destiny of their relationship.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Sandman (1989), even Destiny of the Endless has no free will. He calls a certain fateful meeting of the other Endless because his Book told him he was going to. Delirium, formerly known as Delight, escapes this trope by being the incarnation of insanity.
    Delirium: Do you know why I stopped being Delight, my brother? I do. There are things not in your book. There are paths outside this garden. You would do well to remember that.
  • Is Loki bad because he was born that way or is he bad because Destiny pegged him as the kickstarter of Ragnarok? It depends on the writer! One of his plans was all about getting killed and reincarnated so he'd escape Destiny's clutches... and for some extent it worked. Not entirely as shown in Journey into Mystery (Gillen) he still couldn't resist tricking and killing their best chance for redemption, but enough to make some forces, the All-Mother most prominently, actively try to push them back in that role, which is one of the main conflicts of Loki: Agent of Asgard.
  • Hellboy tends to get this a lot. His surprisingly realistic response tends to be, "Says who?" followed by a punch to the face.
  • Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen is this after gaining his powers from a freak lab accident, to which he becomes apathetic towards humanity and the future in general due to everything being preordained and he could do nothing to stop it.
  • Wonder Woman (Rebirth): The idea that Diana and Steve Trevor are fated to be together in some capacity is batted around. Etta notes that Steve and Diana have an odd habit of getting caught up in the other's business reguardless of how far apart they started out, and wonders (har-har) whether something's drawing them together.

    Fan Works 
  • A lot of what happens in the Contractually Obligated Chaos series is because of this, according to the Fairy Godfather; at the very least, this is the reason he cites for why the leads must marry.
  • In Divided Rainbow, this is brought on Twilight's friends by the Swap, to ruinous effect.
  • In Forum of Thrones, Noelle's actions are motivated by preventing the coming war, by comitting a number of horrible actions she sees as necessary as a result of her visions. After her Heel Realization, she quietly admits that things are more complicated than that.
  • The Battlestar Galactica/Supernatural crossover From Daybreak Into Darkness affirms that the angel that posed as Number Six has spent millennia believing this to justify the destruction of the Twelve Colonies as necessary, but comes to question this after the Winchesters defy their own prophecy and avert the Apocalypse.
  • In Kyoshi Rising, the title character is hesitant at first to accept her duties as the next Avatar, citing that she is an isolationist farm girl with no experience in politics or related topics. She relents and accepts her title when she realizes that a fully trained Avatar would be able to prevent events like what made her realize that she was the Avatar (attacked by bandits and having her mother badly injured).
  • Leave for Mendeleiev: Adrien/Chat Noir believes this applies to his relationship with Ladybug: since the Ladybug and Black Cat Miraculi are a matched set, obviously that makes the two of them soulmates. When Ladybug tells him that love takes time, effort and mutual investment, he declares it's a good thing that they're "already there" — he doesn't want to put in the effort or consider her point of view; he just wants HER, regardless of her feelings on the matter.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog fanfic A Rose And A Thorn 4: Origins, despite all of Project Mirage's attempts to Screw Destiny and save the Ark through Time Travel, eventually Project Midnight succumbs to his own anger issues and, partially down to being told it's what will happen, triggers the escape of the Artificial Chaos as revenge against the humans. In many ways, the Downfall of Ark is portrayed as an inevitable result of how the humans treated their experiments.
  • Written in the Stars has the Prime Kirk try and get her younger counterpart to hook up with Spock, only because she was with him in the original timeline, therefore in her eyes making it destiny. The younger Kirk isn't impressed at first, but decides to go with it when she finds herself falling in love with her Spock.
  • Your Alicorn Is in Another Castle: Bowser's destiny is to kidnap princesses, and therefore he must kidnap princesses. Trying to fight this nearly destroyed his life. He mentions that it's easier to explain this to ponies because their cutie marks give them a healthy respect for this trope.
  • The Dragon and the Butterfly: While the Madrigals are reluctant to let Hiccup or Mirabel leave for the Barbaric Archipelago, it isn't until Bruno shows them his vision — Hiccup and Mirabel survive their hardships, return, get married and have children — do all parties involved agree to let them both go, everyone aware that his visions always come true.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Tangled — Flynn and Rapunzel argue.
    Rapunzel: Something brought you here, Flynn Rider. Call it what you will. Fate, destiny...
    Flynn: A horse.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The members of The Adjustment Bureau will do everything in their power to ensure "things happen according to plan", regardless of reasoning. the Chairman who runs the Bureau states their eventual goal is for humans to grow beyond the need for their plans.
  • Zigzagged in The Chronicles of Riddick; destiny is actually "odds", calculated by the Elementals and even then it's not perfect—just because a path is more likely doesn't mean it's assured. Once Riddick becomes Lord Marshall, the odds go all to hell.
    Aereon: [ever-so-slightly smug] Now what would be the odds of that?
  • Dark Was the Night: Pondered by Donny near the end of the movie, where he wonders if he was transferred from a big city to a small town because he is supposed to protect someone. Paul dismisses it.
  • Excalibur has Arthur: 'I was not born to live a man's life, but to be the stuff of future memory.'
  • In Need for Speed, Pete's vision of "Tobey won the De Leon race in a lighthouse driving a Koenigsegg" actually came true. Realizing this, Tobey shed a tear for his late friend upon his arrest.
  • Amleth from The Northman views his life as being preordained by the Norns, and is told by a seer that he is destined to choose between kindness for his kin and hate for his enemy. This is resolved when he decides to protect Olga, the mother of his children, by leaving her and going back to kill Fjölnir.
  • Serendipity: Sara believed that destiny should determine whether or not she and Jonathan should be together. At first...
  • Seventh Son: The reason Tom agrees to be Master Gregory's apprentice is because he has seen visions of him and knows it is his destiny.
  • Slumdog Millionaire: This is the tagline for the film. It's as if fate itself (or the writers) has conspired so the protagonist would know the answer to every question. ("It is written.")
  • Sphere: One character notes the logging of a certain event in a future spaceship (falling down a black hole) as unexplained. He believes that this means that he and his colleagues will die down there, or else the event would be known in advance. In the event, they don't, but they end up choosing to use the Sphere's power to erase their memories of what happened.
  • Lampshaded mercilessly in Surf Ninjas, to the point that, later on in the movie when the main character is told that he has to meet yet another challenge and someone says "He can't do it!", multiple characters resignedly in unison say "He can if it's his destiny".
  • The Terminator said it best in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines: "Because you're John Connor."

  • There's an example of this in Adam R. Brown's Alterien. The enigmatic Sisters of Orion explain to Oberon his purpose is to expand the new Alterien species and lead them into a golden age of prosperity and progress. Needless to say, he is quite surprised to learn of this, having only recently discovered he was an Alterien, himself.
  • Intentionally played straight in the Astral Dawn series in which Caspian is revealed as one of the Destined Ones. It is explained there are many Destined Ones throughout human history, but that he was different because his great destiny lie on the astral plane rather than the mortal plane. Due to this revelation, he became known as the Destined One of Heaven.
  • Mandos, the Doomsman of the Valar in the works of Tolkien, knows everything that's going to happen ever, though he never volunteers this information except under the command of Manwe (there's one time in The Silmarillion where he does spontaneously offer up a cryptic remark, but it turns out to reference something that's already happened... though it's just happened and no one present besides him knows about it yet).
  • In Awoken, Andi's full name, Andromeda, predestines her to being a Distressed Damsel rescued by Prince Charming and attacked by monsters. Being The Snark Knight, she takes it as well as you might expect. By the end of the first book, she put a twist to it: through her behavior, she caused a Betty and Veronica Switch: the noble Prince Charming who Hates Being Alone turned into an Entitled Bastard retorting to manipulation, then lost hope for his white-knighting efforts to work and turned into a villain, and the monster fell in love with her, sacrificed his World Domination Plans and ended up being her devoted boyfriend.
  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 novels:
    • In Brothers of the Snake, the Space Marine squad Damocles disgraced itself in its leader's eyes, confessing to breaking rules; he refused to let them go on a certain undertaking. Somewhat thereafter, Petrok insists on their going on the rescue mission for that undertaking. He tells the leader that first, he has dreamed of it and second, he thinks the squad's disgrace was Fate's way of ensuring that they would be kept off the mission itself, so as to be available for the rescue.
    • Gaunt's Ghosts has this with the involvement of the Ghosts in general, and Gaunt and Milo in particular, in the reincarnation of Saint Sabbat.
  • In Richard Adams' novel Watership Down, the story of El-ahrairah and the Black Rabbit of Inle involved the rabbit hero trying to bargain with the Black Rabbit, to exchange his life for his people. However, the Black Rabbit refuses saying that there is no bargain; what is is what must be. In the animated film, Hazel makes a similar attempt to bargain with the sun god Frith and receives the same answer. Fortunately, what followed was largely a complete victory over General Woundwort's forces.
  • In the web novel The Reader And Protagonist Definitely Have To Be In True Love, The Creator God tried to help along the Powers That Be until he realized that the Power's end plan was to make Xiu the new Creator God.
  • Twilight: the entire reason why Bella and Edward are in love. They have nothing in common, hardly know each other, and don't even seem to like each other and yet they're madly in love. They don't even have the excuse of "imprinting" like werewolves.
  • David Drake and S.M. Stirling's The General Series: The AI supercomputer Center's power to extrapolate future events from data is indistinguishable from prophecy - even if Center does include numerical odds. Center seems to particularly enjoy (as much as an emotionless AI can) showing the protagonist the Bad Ends that could result if things go wrong. Since the tech level is mid-19th century and politics is very much a Byzantine blood sport, they can go very wrong indeed...
  • David Eddings' Belgariad enjoys this trope throughout the series - Destiny is nothing so much as a chessmaster who is constantly annoyed by his pieces arguing with his orders.
    • And Destiny is snarky. What's not to love?
    • Played with in that there are two conflicting prophecies. They mostly agree on the actual events (though each has its own spin) up to a pivotal point, at which they diverge rather wildly. Belgarath and company are rooting for the one in which Belgarion defeats Torak. Torak and his worshippers, obviously, aren't (well, some of them may be; Torak is more definitely more feared than loved).
  • David Eddings' The Elenium series, however, takes a slightly different stance; Destiny tells every man, woman and child roughly what their role in life is - and Gods and the most powerful of wizards can sense this and even see it. Sparhawk, on the other hand, has no destiny. And you wouldn't believe just how nervous that makes the Gods. It turns out he actually did have a destiny, it was just one that was set by a higher power than the gods and planned over a much longer time than they were used to.
  • The Redemption of Althalus, by David Eddings: Lampshaded. One of the female leads sarcastically comments to one of the male leads upon hearing a prophecy: 'Gives you a nice, warm sense of your own importance, doesn't it? Save the world, boy! Save! Save!'. (You may have noticed David Eddings is fond of this trope.)
  • In Teresa Edgerton's The Queen's Necklace, Rath recounts how the religious group who raised him thought him a miracle: a Maglore appearing centuries after (they believe) the Maglore had been wiped out. Obviously, he had been transported through time for a purpose. Although he later learned that they were wrong about the wiping out, he did survive several things that should have killed him as a child, and he thinks it may have been his destiny that saved him.
  • Redwall books have a lot of these, delivered in dreams and in lyrical form. There's even a Prophecy Twist: the beginning of The Bellmaker has the prophecy "Five will ride the Roaringburn, but only four will e'er return"; five leave Redwall, but Joseph stays behind to help the country they save rebuild itself.
  • Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time novels take this trope and turns it up to eleven. Not only must the Prophecies of the Dragon (which apparently run on long enough to fill a largish book) be fulfilled, but various characters are either having prophetic dreams, seeing prophetic visions, or travelling through magical gates to get prophetic answers, all of which inevitably come true. It's very nearly reached the point where major characters can fulfill a half dozen ancient prophecies without even meaning to just by having breakfast.
    • This is also a literal case of Because Destiny Says So when the Chosen One, not knowing what to do next, consults the prophecies written about himself in a deliberate effort to fulfill them.
    • At the same time it is stated in the books that the prophecies are just a guideline under which events could play out the way one hopes. Characters are warned that intentionally attempting to fulfill the prophecies could really fuck things up while in an interesting twist ignoring them could do just the same. In Book 3 a Portal Stone trip through countless parallel worlds shows the many ways that already could have happened in this age alone...
  • Averted in The Dead Zone, partially when Johnny's vision of a fire killing most of the high school's senior class allows him to save many but not all of them, and completely when his vision of Stillson bringing about an apocalypse allows him to stop it, although not exactly in the way he intended.
  • In The Dark Tower, Ka is the driving force behind all of the main characters' actions. The particularly creepy tarot scene sums up Ka's position. In addition, in the twist ending Ka forces Roland to begin his quest again. It's mentioned that this isn't the first time it's happened.
  • Two of the main characters in Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens possess a book of highly accurate (if not always understandable) prophecies from Agnes Nutter, witch. The Because Destiny Says So reaches such a point that, toward the end of the book, these two characters realize correctly that they can select any prophecy at random and it will be exactly the one they need at that time.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel Dead Sky Black Sun, when Uriel meets Colonel Leonid, who can tell him what is in the Chaos fortress, Uriel tells him that it was not chance that brought him to meet Leonid.
    • Later, Leonid speculates that they recovered a woman from a daemon's control in order that he might not die alone, since she comes from his regiment.
  • In His Dark Materials, various witches claim that most of what Lyra does is destiny, but that doesn't mean it's meant to happen.
  • Because Destiny Says So is a factor in the Sign of Seven trilogy by Nora Roberts. After their friends have gotten involved in relationships with each other. Gage and Cybil are actually pretty annoyed at the idea that they should get romantic because destiny said to. (They do anyway.)
  • From Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix onward, the Harry Potter books were all about the prophecy "...neither can live while the other survives." Technically, all of the books (or at least Voldemort's motivations) were about that, but until OOTP, neither Harry nor the reader knew it.
    • Oddly enough, in the sixth book Dumbledore outright told Harry that he was under no obligation to do anything the prophecy said, and hinted that some of the genuine magical prophecies from the fifth book had NOT come true. And the only reason it matters is because Voldemort firmly believes in this prophecy. Then when Dumbledore asks what would Harry choose if he didn't know of this prophecy, considering all the evils Voldemort has done, Harry admits he wants to fight.
  • In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel The Flight of the Eisenstein, the housecarl Kaleb thinks his master chosen by the God-Emperor and so Kaleb's carrying out his wishes is part of the Emperor's work. He sacrifices his life to preserve his master for that work.
  • In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 Blood Angels novels Deus Encarmine and Deus Sanguinius, both Arkio and Rafen foresee they are destined to a Cain and Abel fight, and one would die. When Inquisitor Stele plays on Rafen's mind to induce Driven to Suicide, Rafen's random flight brings him to a make-shift mediation chamber that he had made earlier. It might have been the Emperor guiding him, it might have been chance, it might have been muscle memory; on the other hand, he breaks free of Stele's influence and receives a vision.
    • At the end of Red Fury, Seth declares that the events of the novel had been sent by the Emperor to test the Blood Angels and to remind the other Chapters from Sanguinius's gene-seed that they were not cousins but brothers.
  • In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 novel Faith & Fire, when Verity is the sole survivor of a transport, she is told that the Emperor has plans for her.
  • In Nick Kyme's novel Salamander, an artifact calls Dak'ir toward it — so powerfully that he doesn't even notice that he ransacks crates, looking for it, or that he had found it. He confides in another brother later, who agrees that it looks as if he were meant to find it.
    • Later, a strange eruption from the planet Nocturne is regarded as a portent of ill fortune.
  • Destiny is very much the driving force in Virgil's Aeneid. The gods repeatedly tell Aeneas, as well as one another, that the Trojan refugee has a destiny to fulfill; and at the point when Aeneas finds himself comfortable & happy, playing house with Dido in Carthage, the gods get impatient and interfere, reminding Aeneas of his duty to keep sailing until he reaches Italy so he can get around to founding what will become the Roman empire. Definitely Older Than Feudalism.
  • The Tralfamadorians, an imaginary alien species from Slaughterhouse-Five take this to extremes. They literally experience the entirety of history at once. They know they're going to destroy the universe doing pilot testing but don't try to stop it. To them, if something is ever alive, they can infinitely look at when it was, so death isn't a big deal to them. It's not so much that they don't "understand" free will as they know for a fact that it doesn't exist.
  • Taken really literally in Left Behind. There doesn't have to be logic behind some of the things people will do. They do it because it's in the prophecy. Indeed, the books were criticised for taking this trope so far that it kills any sense of conflict or urgency:
  • How much of Dune and its sequels are The Chosen One acting out a preordained destiny, and how much is actually the Messianic Archetype choosing his own destiny and then being forced to live it out unto the bitter end? Frank Herbert would like you to think about it.
    "I meddled in all the possible futures I could create until, finally, they created me."
    • It's stated that "absolute prediction = completion = death". The Guild Navigators can get away with it because their glimpses into the future are limited to allowing their FTL ships to avoid disaster, and are done on a journey-by-journey basis, but anything more than that is implied to be a lethal trap for the prognosticator.
    • The Bene Gesserit have muddied the waters somewhat as well by deliberately planting prophecies in various societies so that a member of their order can exploit these in a bind. "We shouldn't kill her, she's the Chosen One of the prophecy!"
  • This trope drives the whole plot of The Prophecy of the Stones. Literally every action taken by the protagonists is to fulfill their role as foretold by the eponymous prophecy.
  • In Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain there is the Book of Three, a book that details the past, present, and possible futures of the land of Prydain. However, it only details the possible future until all enchantment is broken in the land. At the end, The Magic Goes Away and prophecy goes with it, leaving the book as only a historical record.
  • In the Warrior Cats series, Firestar is told that he is the subject of a prophecy, "Fire alone can save our clan". Later, three of his kin find out about their own prophecy "there will be three, kin of your kin, who will hold the power of the stars in their paws".
    • As if this weren't enough, Destiny made it impossible for Jayfeather to be a warrior on top of his blindness
  • In Robert E. Howard's "The Phoenix on the Sword" why Epemitreus insists on aiding Conan the Barbarian, because "Your destiny is one with Aquilonia".
  • More of the "powerful ancient mage says so" than this in Night Watch (Series) with Anton and Svetlana, whom Geser predicted would have an extremely-powerful child. Anton, who has knows Geser for years, trusts him implicitly and simply goes along with this. Svetlana is, understandably, a little more reserved and is upset that Anton is with her mainly due to some prediction. Then again, her previous marriage was a failure, with her ex suing her for custody of their child (something that is only mentioned once and completely forgotten in later novels), so it's understandable why she'd be wary of future relationships. Eventually, this frustration results in her having a threesome with a couple of Anton's coworkers...with Anton sleeping next door. The next morning, she's even more infuriated that he doesn't seem to care that she did that (one of her justifications appears to be that she hasn't had sex since the end of her marriage, which means that Anton hasn't even made a move to be more intimate). Somehow, though, their relationship and, later, marriage, works out.
  • Quite literally in The Saga of Darren Shan - Mr. Des Tiny gave the two races of vampires prophecies about the limited possible outcomes of their war, so that he could enjoy a brutal and entertaining show. It really was only their belief in his prophecies that held them to those paths, particularly the antagonists' side, who follow a psychopath because Tiny identifies his as their chosen leader. The hero, Darren, ends up choosing to Take a Third Option and reject destiny, but only after too many lives had been lost on both sides.
  • Sasha was forced to fight for the salvation of the world in Greek Ninja because of this.
  • As the Heralds of Valdemar series goes on, this trope gets examined more and more thoroughly, and sometimes deconstructed or Reconstruction. Destiny operates because gods and powerful mages have specific agendas and are manipulating events accordingly. Furthermore, some characters (notably Elspeth) refuse to cooperate and try to Screw Destiny but these individuals are usually brought back on the rails eventually.
  • In Mistborn, the ancient prophecies tell of the Hero of Ages, whose destiny is to take the power of the Well of Ascension and release it to defeat the Deepness and save the world. Vin, the central hero of the story, believes that Alendi, who was the original, intended Hero of Ages, failed in his mission, because he was murdered and his killer took his place, stealing the power of the Well and becoming the Lord Ruler. She studies the prophecies and realizes that she is destined to be the next one to become the Hero of Ages, and sets out to right the failures of the previous Hero. Wrong! No one stopped to wonder if their written prophecies were accurate, and no one considered that there was something out there that changed the prophecies to get what it wanted...
  • In Andre Norton's Ice Crown, Niles Ismay had an ancestor who slightly escaped Psychocrat conditioning and passed down stories. As a consequence, he, unlike most people on his planet, can understand Roane's story about the conditioning machinery. He thinks it must be destiny; she's less convinced, it's just chance.
  • An interesting example is Daenerys in A Song of Ice and Fire, who treats prophecy as absolute and immutable even after it's demonstrated that it's not (or at least, it's prone to wild misinterpretation) when her son turns out to be a demonic miscarriage instead of the Stallion That Mounts The World. Doubly strange given that one of these "prophecies" (that she'll be unable to bear further children) is delivered by an Unreliable Expositor.
  • Glory in the Thunder. It quickly becomes clear that the Will of the World is an intelligent and seemingly malicious entity, which Tsovinar actively fights against.
  • Why a bunch of inexperienced kids are the ones sent after Black Hat in Akata Witch when older, powerful, more experienced sorcerers failed.
  • In The Raven Cycle Blue's family seems to have this attitude about her love life. Being born and raised in a family of psychic ladies who are always in each other's business can have this effect.
    • To be more specific, in The Raven Boys the plot starts off when Blue sees the ghost of someone who will die within the year, which she is told means he is either her true love or she kills him. Because of a Kiss of Death prediction she's been hearing all her life, Blue's family is pretty sure it's both. Even though she meets Gansey and dislikes him, much preferring his kind friend Adam, her family insists that she will fall in love with Gansey Because Destiny Says So.
  • In The Underland Chronicles, if it weren't for the prophecies, Gregor would not be involved in any of the Underland's battles. And he isn't always happy about it.
  • This is the reason why any Time Captains cannot interfere with past events in Spectral Shadows. Any past events are considered "Established History" and it is taboo to interfere in said events. It's because of this that Christine must eventually return to the past in Serial 11 and perform her Heroic Sacrifice.
  • A complex and very psychological example occurs at the end of The King Must Die, Mary Renault's literary revision of the Greek myth of Theseus with (almost) all the fantastical elements removed. After conquering the Labyrinth Theseus returns to Crete, remembering his father King Aigeus' demand that he should paint his ship's sails white. In the original myth, the white paint is to let his father know he's alive; here, the reason is more ambiguously worded, in that the white sails will bring a "message from the gods" for Aigeus. On the approach to Crete Theseus, rather than carelessly forgetting the paint business altogether as in the original story, instead over-thinks the meaning of his father's words, finally concluding (for some reason) that if he paints the sails white he "shall never look again on his [father's] living face" and asks the gods for a sign for what to do, which he...sort of gets. Theseus, his conscience assuaged, abstains from painting the sails, Aigeus commits suicide when he sees Theseus' ship approach without even waiting to confirm that his son is dead, and Theseus, while bereaved, doesn't waste much time kicking himself about it either, insisting that it was all a fate that the gods wanted. Did Theseus just make an honest mistake, or did desire for his father's throne get the better of him? Either way, it's obvious he's ducking behind this trope to shirk his own responsibility in what happened.
  • The Silerian Trilogy: The whole plot of the trilogy is built on this trope. Josarian will drive out the Valdani as the Chosen One-because destiny says so. Elelar will give birth to the new Yarhdan (King)-because destiny says so. Mirabar's daughter will be his Guardian - because destiny says so. Etc., etc...
  • The Saga of the People of Vatnsdal: When a "Lapp enchantress" prophecies that Ingimund will settle in Iceland, Ingimund rejects it as ridiculous, because he has absolutely no intention to leave Norway. The soothsayer then tells him that a certain precious amulet, which has mysteriously disappeared from Ingimund's purse, is now lying in the wood in Iceland where he is destined to settle. Ingimund is still forcefully opposed to the idea, but come time he gets curious whether the amulet is really in Iceland and when three Lapp magicians ensure him it is, he decides there is no use fighting fate, and goes to Iceland.
  • In The Reader (2016), The Guard follow everything that happens in the book to the letter, as what is written always comes to pass. It's why they created the Serakeen myth and where stealing boys—they wanted to create the leader of the Red War to ensure that the peace that follows would happen.
  • Deconstructed in Star Darlings. The various prophecies related are fated to be accurate, and while this is positive for the girls, it was negative for Lady Stella, who saw her friendship with Rancora disintegrate and her former best friend turn evil. The headmistress at the time, Lady Astrid, noted that she couldn't accept Cora back at the Academy, not only because of what she'd done, but because doing so would undermine the prophecy.
  • The 1987 novel and subsequent 1988 miniseries Favorite Son has Texas Senator Terry Fallon adopt this as his mantra after surviving an assassination that succeeded in killing Nicarauguan leader Col. Octavio Martinez.
    Terry Fallon: Events chose me, fate chose the place. But I was ambitious, and I was prepared and I survived.
  • Cradle Series: The Abidan are an organization of ascendant beings who protect worlds from outside interference, making sure the Fate of those worlds remains intact. This is because the more a world deviates from its Fate, the more Chaos is created, which twists worlds like a disease. On the plus side, Fate is both flexible and the Abidan are worried exclusively with the grand scale. Suriel changes Lindon's entire life by giving him a vision of his most likely Fate, which is mostly of a good life until he dies in a Dreadgod attack. Suriel warns him that he probably won't be able to stop the catastrophe, but if he does, she's not particularly worried because the Fate of the world will be unaffected by something as minor as saving millions of lives. She is very surprised when one of her colleagues informs her that the Fate of the world has been majorly affected. As it turns out, Suriel accidentally sent Lindon stumbling into a long-running plot by another Abidan; the two plots collided and fed on each other, causing a much larger disruption than previously anticipated. Makiel decides to tweak the world's Fate a little to accelerate Lindon's ascension and get him out of the world as fast as possible. Or kill him horribly, but either way he won't be causing problems any more.
  • Fengshen Yanyi (aka The Investiture of the Gods), the theme of destiny decided by the Will of Heaven is recurring and often quoted, as seen in several examples, such as when Nu Wa refrains herself from offing King Zhou when she forsees that he's doomed to fall in the near future, or when Duke Ji Chang correctly foretells that if he answers to King Zhou's summoning of the four Dukes he's going to suffer for seven years before being able to return home, but nevertheless goes along with what destiny says, or during Nezha's arc when Taiyi Zhenren protects Nezha against Ao Guang and Lady Shiji's accuses both because he was fated to commit those crimes anyway and because he's destined to join Jiang Ziya and King Wu in their battle against the Shang Dynasty. More often than not, antagonists are chided for thinking they can overcome the Will of Heaven.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Guardian: The Lonely and Great God: Destiny insists that Kim Shin and Wang Yeo must meet again, Eun-tak and Kim Shin must get together, and Wang Yeo and Sunny must meet.
  • The Flash (2014):
    • During his first fight with Barry, the Reverse-Flash taunts the poor guy with lines like this, claiming that Barry is destined to lose and that Nora was destined to die by his hand. It's unknown if he actually believes this or if he was just using the idea to Kick the Dog.
    • The reason he becomes the Reverse-Flash in the first place is because he went back in time and learned he was the Reverse-Flash, prompting him to say Then Let Me Be Evil. It never occurred to him that he could've averted that destiny by deciding to reject it.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy learns that she is prophesied to be killed by the Master. This does happen, but she's only clinically dead (after drowning), and after some timely CPR she's as good as new.
    • In Season 8 this is averted. Angel and Buffy are destined to fuck a new universe into existence, which they do. Then they abandon it to save this one, which they weren't supposed to do. Then they destroy all magic to save this universe from the new one.
  • Babylon 5:
    • The (highly accurate) prophecies of Valen are a central pillar of Minbari culture for a thousand years. Unlike many shows, however, there is a reason for the accuracy of Valen's prophecies (He was actually from the future and had participated firsthand in some of the prophesied events.). Other characters (Lady Ladira, Elric the Technomage) were also prophetic, mostly in regard to the future of Londo Mollari. (Londo himself had prophetic dreams on many occasions.) In fact, the use of prophecy in Babylon 5 is so extensive that there's an entire Web page detailing it. As with all good prophecies, however, when the events foretold eventually come to pass, they rarely happen in the expected or obvious context.
    • In The Passing of the Techno-Mages trilogy, it's revealed that Elric's "prophecy" was based on little more than psychology and common sense. The technomages don't have any precognitive powers. They're just trained from young age to be good observers and performers.
  • Game of Thrones: Most of Melisandre's actions are motivated by her understanding of the visions in her flames.
  • In Kings, it's more like "Because God says so." And He's not always nice about it.
  • In the third season of Lost, Desmond regularly sees flashes of the future, always seeing Charlie die. He saves him a couple times, but You Can't Fight Fate and Charlie dies in the season finale.
    • On Lost, you cannot kill yourself before the Island is done with you. And if you try to run away from your destiny, then you end up a wreck. Just ask Jack.
  • In Merlin (2008), Merlin is told by the last dragon that he is fated to protect Arthur until he can grow up, become king and have his own great destiny, so it's kind of recursive. Also a lot of the decisions he makes to secure this destiny were influenced by this prophecy and the great dragon's rather biased directions on how to go about achieving it. One example - poisoning Morgana in the Fires of Idirsholas to save Camelot, even though she had little to no idea of what was actually happening at the time or her role in causing it.
    • The Series Two motto was "You can't escape your destiny."
  • Supernatural: From the beginning, a very evil (albeit vague) destiny was hinted at for Sam Winchester. By the fourth season, it was insinuated that Dean also had some sort of destiny: "The righteous man who begins it is the only one who can finish it". "It" being the Apocalypse, which Dean inadvertently started when he tortured souls while in Hell. By the beginning of the fifth season after Sam unknowingly releases Lucifer from Hell, the brother's shared destiny is revealed: they were born to finish the battle between the Archangel Michael and his brother Lucifer, started in Heaven eons ago, when Michael banished Lucifer to Hell. Sam is Lucifer's vessel, and Dean is Michael's. As the Archangel Gabriel says in one episode: "As it was in Heaven, so shall it be below."
    • Michael (and Gabriel for that matter, who believed You Can't Fight Fate almost to the end) it's a personal matter, because this is a Christian setting, 'destiny' is 'God's plan,' and God is their dad. Those two knew him personally. Michael doesn't say 'destiny says so,' he says "I am a good son."
  • Unsurprisingly in a miniseries based on fairy tales, in The 10th Kingdom it is apparently Virginia's destiny to stop the Evil Queen, save all the monarchs of the Kingdoms, and restore Prince Wendell to his rightful throne. Granted, seeing as the Evil Queen is her long-lost mother, this might be seen as her responsibility, a personal problem she must clean up after. But when the Gypsy Queen vaguely intones that she has "a destiny that stretches way back in time", and Snow White tells her that Wendell "needs you to save his kingdom, we all do," you get the feeling there's something rather arbitrary about all this. The fairy godmother does do a very good (if slightly Anvilicious) job of comparing her life to Virginia's to explain why she "found the right person." But when, after killing her mother in self-defense with the poison comb, Wolf tells her it was not her fault, even Virginia seems to buy into it by saying the fateful words: "It was my destiny..."
  • In the Merlin (1998) series, whether destiny is absolute or not is a point of contention among the main characters. The Lady of the Lake accepts her impending demise because, "It's fate," and Merlin attempts to kill Vortigern to fulfill a prophecy he'd seen about Uther defeating him.(Though he had ample reason to do so besides the prophecy.) However, Mab is determined to Screw Destiny and keep herself alive, and Merlin quite often attempts to escape what is told is his destiny at points as well.
    • He also accuses the Lady of the Lake of lying to him about a knight from across the pond finding the Grail and saving the kingdom, when, in fact, he simply assumed that the knight would be Lancelot and not Galahad, Lancelot's son.
  • The whole point of Lexx is that everything you do will happen again, to the point of Eternal Recurrence. Well, at least as long as the Time Prophet is alive... then everything goes off the scales and off most expectations.
  • Stargate Universe features the Ancient starship Destiny, the most advanced rust bucket you'll find this side of the cosmos. The characters find themselves dependent on Destiny's needs for their own survival (like material to get the air filters working), but Destiny conveniently brings them to planets where they can gather the necessary materials. Some characters early on decide to Screw Destiny and abandon ship, but most of the crew members view the ship's presence at a location as proof enough that it is worth exploring.
    • Also, those who abandon ship are revealed not to have survived the winter. An unknown entity temporarily resurrects them and brings them to the Destiny aboard a brand-new shuttle, only for them to die one-by-one in the same manner they previously died. But hey, the Destiny crew has a new shuttle!
  • Chloe King, from The Nine Lives of Chloe King, who was destined to unite the Mai prides.
  • There are tons of prophecies in Legend of the Seeker. Somehow, they all end up working out in one way or another. How does Richard defeat Darken Rahl at the end of the first season, as he is prophesied to do? He doesn't. Rahl dies trying to break up a ritual set up by Richard and Kahlan to mind-control all of D'Hara. The second season is resolved in an even more improbable manner. Richard ends up unknowingly handing the Keeper the Stone of Tears, which would ensure the end of the world. Then Kahlan kills Richard, snaps out of her "blood rage", and sheds a tear on Richard, which somehow turns into another Stone of Tears. This is how it worked in the source material as well: the prophecy always comes true, but rarely how you'd expect.
  • Only cursorily invoked overtly in Smallville, but viewers knew from season one that Lex Luthor might be trying to be a good guy now, but he was Doomed by Canon, and he and Clark were going to become archenemies, and there was no stopping it. Also, ancient Native American / Kryptonian prophecy said so.
  • In MythQuest, two teen Intrepid Fictioneers are able to journey into a myth from any culture. Unfortunately, if they change the myth, the real world will be destroyed. Needless to say, this trope gets used a lot.
  • A major theme of The Secret Circle, with just about everything happening because of it. As well, Adam's father claims that he and Cassie's mother were destined to be together, and things went wrong because that didn't happen.
  • Stefan and Elena being a couple on The Vampire Diaries. According to Qetsiyah, Stefan and Elena are destined to be together as the Universe has been trying to get doppelgängers together forever.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: In "Future Harper," the future Harper wondered if Alex's bad mood was because of Mason breaking up with her. A second one from 'Future Harper': She mentions that one of the four of them will reveal magic because he or she 'has a big mouth'. They blame Max in the episode, despite the fact that Justin revealed magic to the government and Alex suggested that they need to reveal magic to the world. Luckily, the whole situation wasn't real.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Clara realized after hearing about the Dalek Asylum that it was inevitable for her to jump into the Doctor's Timestream, scattering herself into a million pieces, to save his life. She even states that she was "born to save the Doctor."
      • Her doing this was so important that the majority of things that have happened in the show wouldn't have happened without her input. The Doctor wouldn't have even stolen the current TARDIS he owns without her.
    • Pretty much the whole concept of fixed points in time. Generally they're points so important to the fabric of time that even a time traveler can't change them and even if they try, time will just force events into the closest equivalent it can so that the impact is the same on future events. Though it's also frequently used as a hand wave for why the Doctor can't just go back in time to fix something.
      • In The Fires of Pompei, it's revealed that the reason the eruption of Vesuvius was a fixed point was that the Doctor caused it himself. It's implied that at least some fixed points are only fixed for people who will have caused them - so another time traveler might be able to save Pompeii, but doing so would change the Doctor's personal history.
  • Played for Laughs in an episode of Barney Miller, when Nick finds a horse named "Pick-Me-Nick." When Wojo suggests it's a sign, Nick says, "Sign? It's an order!" (And he wins, too, which settles the fate-versus-chance discussion that happened for unrelated reasons.)
  • Jack in Tru Calling works to prevent Tru from undoing deaths because he sees changing fate as wrong for reasons that would have been explored had the show not been cancelled.
  • Good Omens (2019): Anathema does virtually everything based on what her ancestor Agnes Nutter had prophesied, including have sex with Newton (though she does develop feelings for him). At the end though, she burns the sheaf of new prophecies delivered rather than living her life according to them.

    Multiple Media 
  • Most characters in BIONICLE regard "Destiny" as one of their primary virtues, and seeing as they live in a You Can't Fight Fate world, mostly let what the prophecies say or what they believe to be their destiny control their actions. However, of all the characters, only the Toa Mata heroes' destiny is public knowledge, which the villain does use to his advantage. Also, Destiny does not always cover their entire life — it only tells them that they each have to do at least one very important thing in their life, and if they survive, are more free to act as they like (unless their life happens to be tied to someone else's Destiny).

    Myths & Religion 
  • Classical Mythology:
    • The Fates themselves: three women (sometimes shown as a maiden, a matron, and a crone, but that's probably a later invention) who measure out the thread that corresponds to an individual's life, weave it in with the lives of others, and then cut the thread to determine how long that mortal will live. Even the gods must obey the rulings of the Fates.
    • According to some versions of the myth of Ariadne and Theseus, he was told by the gods to abandon her on a desert island to be found by (and later married) Dionysus. Granted, who tells him and how it happens varied wildly, with the only consisted element being that he abandoned her, implying that he originally did so of his own volition, and Athens tried to rephrame the myth to make their founding hero less of a dick.
  • In The Bible, Jesus knew well in advance what His ultimate fate would be and even told His disciples in advance, but they were in denial and couldn't bring themselves to believe that one of them would betray Him. When the Romans & Pharisees inevitably do come to arrest Him, Saint Peter tries to say Screw Destiny and attacks one with a sword only for Jesus to scold him and heal the man's wounds before going with them quietly.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • While wrestling for TNA in its formative years, Raven became convinced it was his destiny to win the NWA World Heavyweight Title.
  • Alberto Del Rio thought that it was his destiny to become the WWE Champion. In a way, it was, because he was essentially pushed hard in 2011, becoming the Money In The Bank winner and cashing it in at Summerslam that year (he had won the Royal Rumble earlier that year, too, but lost to Edge). He even won the World Heavyweight Title in 2013. They were short reigns, though, as CM Punk won it from Del Rio in October of 2011 to begin his long running reign, and Dolph Ziggler won the WHC from Del Rio the night after Wrestlemania 29 using the same MITB contract Del Rio used to snag his first. His longest came after he won it again at Payback 2013. He kept it until October, when he lost it to a returning John Cena.
  • Invoked by Frankie Kazarian at the fifteenth Ring of Honor Anniversary when he refused to help his "boss" Adam Cole retain the world title against Christopher Daniels, the only remaining founding father and the only one to never win the belt.

    Tabletop Games 
  • It's essentially the job of the Sidereal Exalted to ensure this. Complicating matters are the facts that a) Fate is designed by committee, with all the attendant foibles, b) it can be defied by sufficiently powerful beings or simply through Heroic Willpower, and c) certain beings exist outside of Fate entirely, and tend to function as the Spanner in the Works whenever they come into contact with anyone or anything that doesn't share their immunity.
    • This hard to the Five Maidens. The Maidens possess the ability to observe samsara (the underlying blueprint of reality) in order to be given hard knowledge of the future and their own purpose in it, but they become completely bound to whatever they see. It's suspected that the Maidens (and possibly the world in general) have a lot more freedom if they don't look at samsara, but that is unverifiable.

  • The eponymous king in Agamemnon is fated to be killed. Cassandra tries to warn him about his destiny, but... it's Cassandra.
  • Prometheus's accounts to Io in Prometheus Bound: both her miserable wanderings, and that her descendant will free him.
  • Carmen reads tarot cards in the third act and sees omens of death, for herself and her lover, Don Jose. She sings about how any other foretold outcome can be changed, but not death. She meets Don Jose alone in the end because she believes she can't fight that fate.

    Video Games 
  • Odin Sphere: Like the Norse Ragnarok, the circumstances surrounding The End of the World as We Know It are already pre-ordained. This means that it doesn't matter how badass a given character is or how handily they win a given final boss fight; if they're not the person prophesied to stop that particular disaster, they will at best succeed only to drop dead, and at worst die failing to accomplish anything at all.
  • Tales of Destiny: The title is misleading: One of the legendary Swordians tells the main character he's the Chosen One, but later on it's revealed that the Swordian was just telling him that so he'd play Hero.
    • Tales of the Abyss has the existence of the Score, a telling of fate lasting thousands of years, and whether or not the heroes decide to fight it or go along with it. It deconstructs the trope because it shows what the world would be like if everyone had a constant and regular link to "Destiny". They consult it for everything, from who they marry to what they eat for dinner. This leads to it becoming a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy because the people blindly act according to what the Score has told them to do. A single organization has a monopoly on reading the Score and as a result it is the most powerful organization in the world. (whether it is corrupt or saintly depends on which authority figure you're talking to)
  • Maria from Silent Hill 2, who chooses to follow her fate, although she was told that James is a "bad man".
  • Used in an interesting fashion in the Baldur's Gate series-the prophecies of Alaundo, which you discover towards the end of the first game, seem to lay out a specific path for the protagonist and his/her siblings, which indeed appears to be true throughout the first and second games-and in Throne of Bhaal, even the bad guys are still operating from the prophecies and what they mean. The twist comes late in Throne of Bhaal, when you find out that the prophecies aren't a foretelling of what you will do-they're warning of what will happen if you fail, and that the Big Bad is using the prophecies to manipulate everyone, and has no intention of following them.
    • In a couple of dialogues, among the possible answers, the main character could ironically lampshade this trope by stating how (s)he has to pass through all his/her challenges just because apparently destiny says so.
  • The meaning behind the word "Survivor" in the title of Devil Survivor is a combination of this and Screw Destiny—the main characters are told the major events of every day and the exact date of their (and most other peoples') deaths, and the goal of each day is to find a way to get around it.
  • This is the driving force of any Zelda game. It's destiny that if you are a blond-haired boy who wears a green tunic at any point in his lifetime, you are morally/contractually bound to Save the Princess.
    • It is written: Only Link can defeat Ganon. Two out of three of said games actually have Zelda defeat him.
    • There is, however, no specific prophecy or god stating that Link must save Zelda/Hyrule. Instead, it's almost always a case of Link choosing to save Zelda. There's only one instance where there's a prophecy, which is Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, in which he still technically has a choice. In other words, Link saves the day not because he's The Chosen One, but rather because he chooses to be The Chosen One.
    • In most cases, Link is usually destined to be the one to save the day and is the only one who can use the Triforce of Courage and Master Sword since he is chosen for it. In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, the incarnation of Link in the game is not related to the Link from the legends. This means that this version of Link is not chosen by destiny and he has to prove to the gods that he is worthy of wielding the Master Sword AND the Triforce of Courage.
    • In Ocarina of Time, destiny decides that Young Link is too young to wield the Master Sword - so it seals him away for seven years.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword:
      • At one point Groose is told, in no uncertain terms, that he can't be the hero who saves Zelda because it was already decided, before he was even born, that Link would be the one to save her. That said, the destiny doesn't say Link can't get some help, and so he builds The Groosenator to help Link battle The Imprisoned.
      • As the now first chronological story gives a source for the "destiny". When Big Bad Demise is defeated he curses Link and Zelda to forever be reincarnated and face the eternal reincarnation of his own power, Ganondorf.
  • Quest for Glory I. The Muggles of Spielberg believe there's a prophecy concerning a hero who will restore the missing royal children and drive off the witch Baba Yaga, breaking her curse on the valley. Erasmus explains that the "prophecy" is just a counter-curse - put simply, a list of instructions on how to break the curse.
    • In the sequel, Ad Avis invokes a prophecy to revive the evil djinn Iblis, which implies that he is guaranteed to win. It isn't until after you beat him that you learn that the prophecy Ad Avis was using was horrifically mistranslated. The true prophecy predicts that an attempt to revive Iblis would occur, but did not ensure that it would succeed—which does not, however, mean that it can't.
  • The reason Ness must go on his journey in Earthbound 1994.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Morrowind plays with it heavily in regards to whether or not the Player Character is truly The Chosen One. Your character is generally assumed to be a Chosen One thanks to the prophecies of the "Nerevarine," the reincarnation of the heroic Indoril Nerevar. This trope gets subverted a ways into the storyline, when your self-appointed mentor explains that "having the spirit of Nerevar" isn't literal... you're not the reincarnation, you're just qualified to follow in his footsteps and save his people from his ancient foe. In fact, there are others qualified to become the Nerevarine as well, and you'll even meet up with a few who tried and failed. Ultimately, you get the option to either fulfill the prophecy as destiny declares, or to become The Unchosen One - at the end of the main quest you get asked if you are Nerevar reborn. It is entirely possible to answer that no, you aren't, but you're doing this because it's the right thing to do (and it is given more weight if you didn't fulfill the entire prophetic list of things you are supposed to do before confronting Dagoth Ur yet still are in a position to confront him by your possession of Kagrenac's Tools attuned to you).
    • Skyrim:
      • It's eventually revealed that this is the reason for all of the major events of the first four games. They are part of an ancient prophecy concerning Alduin, the World-Eater, and only when all of the events of the prophecy have come to pass will the last portion - the part about the Last Dragonborn - take place.
      • It is repeatedly stated that Alduin is destined to destroy the world so that it can be reborn, and so there are some (like the Greybeards) who don't automatically accept that stopping Alduin is a good thing. Paarthurnax also argues this, believing that Alduin is doing what he was created to do. The problem is that, while his divine mandate is to cause the destruction of the world, Alduin seems to want to rule it even more. Given that Alduin is an indispensable mechanism integral to the cycle of creation, it's almost guaranteed his death won't stick and he'll just come back at the appointed time. The ending of Skyrim even suggests that this is the reason the Last Dragonborn couldn't absorb his soul after defeating him.
  • Minwu of Final Fantasy II is a firm believer of this, which is why he tells the party not to grieve his Heroic Sacrifice to unseal Ultima. When the same seal in the afterlife doesn't kill him, he attributes this to destiny as well.
  • Parodied in Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, when the old man on the cloud declares that Benjamin is definitely the hero in The Prophecy. After Benjamin manages to win a boss fight, the old man is relieved he found the right one.
    Benjamin: But you said you were sure I was the one!
    Old Man: It was really more of a guess...
    • It ends up being a Double Subversion, as endgame events reveal that the Final Boss, the Dark King, made up The Prophecy as a joke. The old man on the cloud, a.k.a. the Light Crystal, decided to make it come true anyway.
  • This trope turns out to be behind a lot of plot developments in Final Fantasy VIII. In particular, Cid handing command of Garden and SeeD to Squall, a newly-graduated SeeD with limited field experience and no actual successful missions under his belt - Cid doesn't exactly come out and say that it's because Squall is destined to defeat the sorceress, but he treats it as enough of a foregone conclusion that Squall, shocked and confused by the sudden unwanted promotion, protests, "Don't talk about this like it's been decided since my birth!" In fact, Cid is acting on foreknowledge of a Stable Time Loop in which Squall is indeed the one who not only defeats the sorceress but, having accepted his role in the whole thing, provides Cid and Edea with the foreknowledge upon which they founded SeeD to begin with.
  • In Record of Agarest War, the second generation protagonist Ladius is the only one who follows this trope to the letter because he's inheriting something from his father Leo.
  • This trope is the foundation of The Order of the One True Way in Suikoden Tierkreis. Followers believe in it so strongly that they don't even think to move to safety when a cleric announces that lightning will strike and kill in a crowd, because destiny said that it would happen. Disconcertingly for the heroes, all of their predictions do come true. The priests can predict the future because their leader can read their world's Chronicle, a history of all its natural events. It doesn't say anything about what people will do, though, and it can be (and has been) rewritten to suit the Order's desires.
  • This is the reason for all of Kyurem's actions in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity. Having seen the world's destruction in the future, he's decided that it's something that was meant to be (The world's sorry state not helping any in that regard), and works with his followers to eliminate any threats to that fate, even if it means opposing the will of the world itself.
  • In Kult: Heretic Kingdoms, a certain minor character died after following this. As his ghost explains to Alita, he had a vision of himself going somewhere and dying in a futile attempt to stop a theft, and so that's exactly what he set out to do when the time came. Trying to fight it, he believed, wouldn't work and might just make things worse. A conversation at the Oracle, near the end of the game, reveals that he's completely wrong. Prophecies are only binding if you're too weak-willed to fight them.
  • Fallout 3 contains a non-mystical version of this with the original ending. The Player Character has the chance to activate their father's Project Purity machine that will supply the Capital Wasteland with clean water, but since the room is flooded with radiation it's fatal. The problem is that there's no logical reason why you have to die, since you can have three separate companions who are immune to radiation (and the Super Mutant will even insist that it's your destiny). However, the game insists that it's your destiny, those three companions will all refuse to do the job, and if you still choose to send someone else into the room the ending narration calls you a coward and a child. This ending drew tons of fan complaints, so the Broken Steel DLC changes the ending so you can point send a radiation-immune companion instead, but the ending narration still berates you. Fawkes even outright states in this situation that since your actions have altered his destiny, he feels that he should help alter yours this time around.
  • Deconstructed as the central theme of Deltarune. The game portrays the idea of fate and destiny in a scary and pressuring way. You don't get to choose your character and you don't get to choose how you play the game. Nowhere in the game do you actually have free will or make any impactful choices. In the ending, Kris tears out the SOUL from their chest, seemingly so they can have free will and a choice of their own, even if it's sinister or psychopathic, since Kris may not have wanted to be good or be a hero in the first place.
  • Dragon Quest V: Nera speculates this is why she fell in love with the main character. If you marry her, in the party chat, a conversation after the wedding implies that destiny flat out overrode her feelings for Crispin in favor of the main character.

  • Black Belt in 8-Bit Theater follows this path, his fate to escort and assist White Mage having been decided for him. But then he died. And he hadn't gotten to do any of it.
  • A large chunk of Homestuck and Sburb, mainly through use of Stable Time Loops and the fact that if you fail to fulfill a prophecy in the world of Homestuck, you become part of an offshoot timeline and are doomed. This is also a huge basis of Aradia's character, and her adherence to predestination makes her a really depressing conversation partner. But she's 0kay with that. She's 0kay with a lot of things.
    • It even applies to things like online chats and online memos:
  • Goblins: Many Goblins are named by the clan fortune teller based on predictons of what they will do later in life, so there are Goblins with names like Chief (the clan chief), Complains-Of-Names (who dislikes the Goblin naming tradition), Dies-Horribly (Who is incredibly nervous), etc. Saves-A-Fox attempts to avert this, killing the fox she was meant to save and invoking Screw Destiny, but ends up doubly-subverting it when Dies-Horribly theorises that the fox may have had a terminal illness and she 'saved' it from a painful and prolonged death.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: Jadis, the Demiurge of Sloth, is The Omniscient. This means she has always known what her own future actions are going to be. This has, to put it mildly, 'effects' on her psyche.
    Allison: ... Why did you save me?
    Jadis: Oh!- Uh... it's what I do.
    Allison: It's what you do? Save people? Well good fucking job.
    Jadis: No... Not like that, Allison. I'm omniscient.
  • The Water Phoenix King plays with this trope as a core part of the setting. The force Tamantha (a sort of synthetic fate constructed by a Lawful Stupid god) does things such as pushing those who defy it towards insanity, but it is not all-powerful, and the protagonists are out to destroy it.
  • In Erfworld how much the Fate affect the life is an important part of the characterization and a source of drama to the characters. In Erfworld, fighting Fate is pretty much impossible. Except possibly with Carnymancy, the best you can really hope for is a Prophecy Twist. Trying to fight Fate results in (more) suffering for yourself and those around you as Fate pushes you to your destiny anyway. This is for example the reason of the fatalism of Wanda Firebaugh. In her early life, she refused to believe she couldn't decide her own Fate and tried to rebel against the prophecy made on her. It didn't turn out well for her loved ones and the prophecy came true anyway, so she came to believe that the only way to avoid/minimize suffering is trying to fulfill your Fate as quickly and directly as possible.
    • Prophecy Twist is really the best option. If, for example, Fate has decreed that a City will fall to a certain enemy, the best thing to do is evacuate and make a deal with the enemy letting them conquer it (maybe including terms for them to trade it back to you afterwards).

    Web Originals 
  • In the Whateley Universe, Bladedancer seems to be stuck with this in her role as Handmaid of the Tao. The most glaring example to date may be the incident where she was forced to kill an innocent man 'because the Tao required it'. Though the mentor telling her so wasn't necessarily helping her own case by afterwards revealing that she'd been flat-out lying about the actual reason why...
  • In The Dragon Wars Saga, the Stevens quadruplets are so destined to save an alternate universe on the brink of destruction that their bedroom door turns into a portal to that other world.
  • Skippy's List has examples:
    7. Not allowed to add "In accordance with the prophecy" to the end of answers I give to a question an officer asks me.

    Western Animation 
  • Zuko, from Avatar: The Last Airbender, eats, breathes, and sleeps this trope. Only his interpretation of his destiny switches twice every season.
    • The show's attitude to destiny can be summed up nicely by Iroh's line: "Destiny is a funny thing, Prince Zuko. It never happens the way you expect."
    • This was also Iroh's reason for leading the siege of Ba Sing Se: he had a prophetic dream about conquering the city. But after a siege of 600 days, the death of his son, and three years of banishment, he understands he has to take it back from his own nation, rather than conquer Ba Sing Se for the Fire nation.
  • The Danger Mouse episode "Gremlin Alert" combines this with Medium Awareness. DM says that he can't begin his mission without Penfold. When Penfold asks "Why not?," DM says "because it's in the script."
  • The Royals of Ever After High do their best to make sure they follow in their parents' footsteps. After all, they have a Happily Ever After to look forward to, right? This does not sit well with the Rebels, which is where the trouble starts...
  • This is how the Avalon skiffs in Gargoyles work. They don't give their rider a choice of destination; wherever the skiff winds up, that's where you're needed, regardless of any foreknowledge you have of the location. Even when the skiff finally brings Eliza, Goliath, and Bronx back to Manhattan, it's because they are needed there. Incidentally, use of the Phoenix Gate to travel back in time also follows this rule; you can only go back in time to do what you already did.
  • Fangbone!: Skullbanians like Fangbone himself are big believers in this. This is well demonstrated in the episode "The Polluted Light of Destiny", where Fangbone sees a Skullbanian omen of death in the night sky (actually a trick by Venomous Drool) and actually starts preparing for his own death as he believes he will be slain at the hands of the legendary Moonbear of No Tomorrow (including leaving the duty of Toe-Keeper in the hands of Bill).
  • In H₂O: Mermaid Adventures Sue the Manta Ray tells the girls to not to question why they are mermaids as it is the will of the universe.
  • The Iron Man: Armored Adventures incarnation of the Mandarin is motivated primarily by this: as a child, his mother told him reclaiming all of the Makluan Rings was his destiny, and he's going to do just that no matter who he has to go through to do so. It later gets deconstructed however, as Gene has spent so long chasing his supposed destiny, he never stopped to figure out what he was even going to do with the rings.
  • Another Cartoon Network Superhero team series Justice League Unlimited used a similar prophecy twist to the Pokemon example, in an episode where Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and Supergirl are abducted to the 31st century by the Legion of Super-Heroes. The Legion is concerned, because all their records indicate that Supergirl won't return from the future, which we are led to believe means she's going to die. Indeed, she does have a Disney Death, but returns in the very next scene... but then decides to stay in the future, as she had fallen for Legionnaire Brainiac 5.
  • In the Kim Possible episode "Big Brother", Yori told Kim Possible that Ron Stoppable was her destiny. Since there is no sage or written prophecy or anything like that, this could translate as I Want My Beloved to Be Happy.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Ponies get a "cutie mark," a symbol that magically appears on their flank, when they realize their destiny. Many of the show's older fans questioned this apparent case of determinism, asking if any ponies ever get stuck with a cutie mark they don't want.
    • The season 3 finale "Magical Mystery Cure" tackles this issue head on when the main characters' marks are switched around by a spell gone wrong, while "Appleoosa's Most Wanted" features a character whose "special talent" is being clumsy which ends up being a Dream-Crushing Handicap.
    • The Cutie Mark Crusaders, three young ponies trying desperately to get their cutie marks, occasionally have episodes where they express fears over getting a "bad" cutie mark, and they'll be forced into a job they don't want. This is apparently just a childish fear; adults demonstrate multiple times that your cutie mark doesn't define you, just helps show you what you're best at. Ultimately, the Crusaders get their marks when they realize that their talent is in helping other ponies with their cutie marks. In later episodes, they both help fillies who haven't gotten their marks yet and older ponies who have gotten marks but feel unfulfilled because they're not utilizing their talents properly.
    • Speaking of your cutie mark not defining you, half of the Mane Six have jobs not inherently related to their special skill. Rarity (finding jewels) is a seamstress and fashion designer, Pinkie Pie (causing laughter and joy) is a baker, and Twilight Sparkle (magic) is a librarian. The filly Kettle Corn (writing haikus) is also a good artist. This becomes a challenge for Thunderlane's little brother Rumble, who is afraid to earn his cutie mark because this means he's resorted to one talent for the rest of his life.
  • In South Park season 12, episode 11, "Pandemic 2: The Startling", Craig consistently and intentionally ignores signs that he is destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy. Yet, it's tough to fight fate. This is exactly how he ends up fulfiling it. He starts walking away from the Big Bad and ends up stepping on some stone "thing" that results in the Big Bad's defeat.
  • Super Why! does this pretty much every episode, in the form of the storybook characters say they must (insert action here), "because it says so in my story!". Cue Super Why coming to the rescue.
  • In Teen Titans (2003), Raven is doomed to a "because destiny says so" scenario concerning the apocalypse. Her friends attempt to avoid this scenario by taking precautions against it but Raven submits to it upon realizing that resistance would get the other Titans killed.
  • In ThunderCats (2011), the Cleric Jaga's Opening Monologue quotes from the Book of Omens a prophecy concerning young protagonist King Lion-O, explaining his destiny:
    Jaga: For it was written that he would be born of fire, a king to lead his people to victory, against ancient spirits of evil.

    Real Life 
  • Winston Churchill wrote the following about his accession to the office of Prime Minister on May 10, 1940, the same day that the Germans launched their long-awaited attack on the Western Allies:
    ...on the night of the 10th of May, at the outset of this mighty battle, I acquired the chief power in the State. ...I cannot conceal from the reader of this truthful account that as I went to bed at about 3 a.m. I was conscious of a profound sense of relief. At last I had the authority to give directions over the whole scene. I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial. Ten years in the political wilderness had freed me from ordinary party antagonisms. My warnings over the last six years had been so numerous, so detailed, and were now so terribly vindicated, that no one could gainsay me. I could not be reproached either for making the war or with want of preparation for it. I thought I knew a good deal about it all, and I was sure I should not fail.
  • Before the American Civil War, many pro-slavery activists were saying that slavery was colored people's God-given duty.


Video Example(s):


Adventure Time

Finn tries to stop Jake from embracing a "croak dream".

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / BecauseDestinySaysSo

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