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Divine Intervention

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Jules: This was Divine Intervention! You know what "divine intervention" is?
Vincent: Yeah, I think so. That means God came down from Heaven and stopped the bullets?

Sometimes, one or more of the characters get caught in a tight spot. They might be heavily outnumbered, hanging on to a ledge by one hand, or falling into a volcano. For them to survive, someone will have to help them, and this time, one (or more) of the gods interfere in person. The function is that of a Deus ex Machina, but in this trope, we are left with little to no doubt about the nature of the helping hand.

See also God Is Good. Likely to overlap with Prayer Is a Last Resort, and most often the result of an Answer to Prayers. On the other hand, may overlap with Divine Punishment if the intervention occurs because God Is Displeased with sinful behavior. If whether there was an intervention is debatable, see Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane. Then again, God is well known for working In Mysterious Ways.

Compare with Divine Assistance (a potentially even more direct example of this trope) and Contrast with God's Hands Are Tied. God Was My Copilot is when this trope is not immediately recognizable because the divine character is in disguise.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Berserk: Inverted through the Behelits, which allow someone crossing the Despair Event Horizon to summon the God-hand to give them the chance to become Apostles, or with the Crimson Behelit, to become a member of the God-hand. Seeing as God in the Berserkverse is essentially the human perception of evil and injustice it kinda makes sense that the heroes aren't saved on their bleakest day but instead the less savory characters are given the power to ruin everyone else's day too.
  • In One Piece, Luffy is about to have his head chopped off by Buggy in Logue Town, on the very same platform that Gold Roger was executed on. Just before the blade Buggy's using can connect, the entire platform gets struck by lightning. Sanji wonders aloud if there was anything divine about what happened. It's heavily implied that it was either this trope, considering how afterwards everything was in favor of the crew's escape, or pure coincidence. It is also implied that it wasn't natural lightning that saved Luffy in the first place. What occurred at Logue Town is still very vague, even though it was over 800 chapters ago.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: To divinely intervene is ascended Madoka's job after she makes a wish to save all the magical girls. She must do this for all eternity while being removed from physical existence.
  • Transformers: Cybertron: This happens occasionally, with Primus lending power or providing Mid Season Upgrades. In fact, the Autobots' main goal is to reconnect Primus' spark with his body so that he can intervene in the crisis they face (the all-consuming black hole created by his brother Unicron's death throes).
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Symbolically, this is what led to the death of Führer King Bradley. During the Ishvalan War of Extinction, the Ishvalan High Priest told him that god would strike him down for his sins. In his final fight against Scar, he's blinded by a solar eclipse, giving Scar an opening to wound him fatally. In alchemy, the sun and moon together (aka a solar eclipse) symbolizes God.
  • In Pokémon Journeys: The Series, the Bizarro Universe counterparts of the Team Rocket trio hatch a plot using the gods of spacetime Dialga and Palkia to Take Over the World. In the end, the only way for Ash and his friends to stop the two is praying hard enough to the Top God, Arceus.

    Fan Works 
  • A Bridge Once Broken: In part three, Xelor, the god of time, observes the proceedings from the very start, before ultimately helping the heroes.
  • Chaos Effect: After the SI Edwin verbally mocks and insults The Spirit of the Millennium Ring and causes him to lose the Shadow Game the Spirit attacks Edwin and begins to kill him. Instantly everyone save the Pharaoh and the Spirit are knocked out as a Goddess appears and brutally attacks the Spirit, banishing him before informing Yami that Edwin belongs to her and she will protect him.
    • Whenever someone thinks about doing harm to Edwin the Goddess appears for a brief instant to remind them that she is watching.
  • Child of the Storm: In Ghosts of the Past, during the climax of the Forever Red arc, a variety of factors caused by the Red Room's actions — including damaging the NeverNever in the process of having a base there, and more importantly kidnapping and brainwashing Harry — cause both of the Faerie Courts as well as several of the Endless to retaliate by providing aid to the heroes, as best as they're allowed to.
  • A Future of Friendship, a History of Hate: At the climax of Episode 2, it appears as though Ruinate has won, due to destroying Twilight's soul, rendering her an Empty Shell and thus rendering the Elements of Harmony inert. Fortunately, his sister Amity remotely steps in, using the bonds between the Mane Six to restore Twilight's soul and not only restoring the Elements but unlocking their full power.
  • Hours 'Verse: Deconstructed. While the older Persona users and the Velvet Room attendants lend their assistance where they can, it's often brought up that doing so goes against their purpose of helping their guests grow and mature on their own. This goes even further in As the Bells Toll when Philemon warns the heroes that the Velvet Room attendants being so close to humans is threatening to break the stalemate between himself and the Crawling Chaos.
  • Karma Circle: Judgement: Purgatory, the Avatar of Karma, has his apprentice Daan Yel appear to Gaz in a dream to confront her about her habit of using violence against people she doesn't like or who annoy her. When she shows no remorse for doing so, he throws her into a nightmare where everyone she's victimized — her classmates, teacher, brother and father — gets a chance to either beat her up the same way she did to them or tell her what they really think about her.
  • Little Hands, Big Attitude:
    • Invoked when Obsidian creates an illusionary Chaos Energy barrier around the house, trapping Maddie, Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Commander Walters along with two other GUN officers. Tom immediately goes to Kaia the water goddess to get her help to dissolve the barrier, but Kaia instead encourages Obsidian to talk to his family. Once the whole situation is resolved she remarks that Obsidian's family already had the situation under hand so all she had to do was watch.
    • Sonic attempts to invoke this trope when he and Shadow are being chased by Agent Stone, but Silver arrives in a timely fashion and saves the day instead.
  • Pony POV Series:
    • The Deities do intercede in things but prefer to do so behind the scenes most of the time.
    • The Fires of Friendships were actually the founder trio's friendship calling down the Mother of All Alicorns, Fauna Luster's power to finish off the Windigos.
    • Pandora helps Shining Armor a few times against General-Admiral Makarov because Makarov is her rogue son. This includes causing the Plot Hole ridden story Makarov's Reality Warper powers has created to conflict and weaken him.
    • The Interviewers interventions are generally this as they're actually the children of Amicitia, the Goddess of Happy Endings.
    • During the Rumors Arc, the pantheon has to do this in mass to combat Discord's endgame.
  • Robb Returns: Unlike in the books, the Old Gods and the Seven are making an obvious mark upon Westeros. The Seven transformed their statues in Baelor's Sept to warn the people about the incoming danger (not that they paid much attention, as many of them thought it was a demand to start a religious war against the followers of the Old Gods). The Old Gods have been more forthcoming, in addition to kicking off the plot by sending Robb back in time they have given various people explicit messages via talking in their dreams, visions, and briefly possessing people to speak through them, they even go so far as blinding Blackfoot/the High Sparrow so he will stop trying to burn everything associated with their religion. They also heal Shireen of the greyscale, and restore Maester Aemon's eyesight.
  • Shadowchasers: Ascension: A literal case happens when Odin, Thor, and Loki give Dante a deck with copies of their cards in order for him to defeat Big Bad Jalie Squarefoot. (Jalie's goal in the fic is to become a god himself by slaying the bound God of Evil Tharizdun, something that the other gods cannot allow, as Tharizdun is exists to prevent far greater evils from regaining power.) The lesson to be learned from the ensuing battle (which Jalie clearly refuses to learn) is one that is repeated several times over the course of the fic: Jalie is not even close to being in the same league as the beings he is trying to challenge, and he is a fool for trying to do so.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Blues Brothers, their mission for God to save the orphanage is helped along by this trope. Of particular is the car which survives an impossible amount of damage only to last just long enough to get the brothers to where they need to go, where it promptly falls apart. Once their mission is over, the luck runs out and they're arrested.
  • End of Days: The whole point of the movie is getting the protagonist to realize that, in the end, nothing he can do can beat the bad guy, and asking for divine intervention is the only way to save the world.
  • Freshman Year: CJ's father attributes the fact CJ was born without predicted birth defects to an offer he made God that he'd serve as a minister the rest of his life. Later, CJ's baby with Marcella also gets water detected near her brain, though she is later born perfectly healthy as well, implying it happened again.
  • Mister Lonely: One secondary plot surrounds a convent discovers a genuine miracle: after a nun is accidentally sent falling out of a plane without a parachute, she prays to God to not let her die, and somehow lands completely unharmed. Even more, the rest of the convent end up able to repeat the feat, astonishing religious leaders. As they travel to bring news of their discovery to the Vatican, they unceremoniously die from a mundane plane crash, leaving the nature of their "miracles" up in the air.
  • Pulp Fiction: The hitmen Jules and Vincent are caught off guard by a man with a Hand Cannon, who empties all six shots at them. At point-blank range. Without hitting them once. Jules is convinced that this is Divine Intervention, and it inspires him to give up his life as a hitman and walk the earth. Vincent is less than convinced, though his best counterargument is that of a Flat-Earth Atheist. A careful viewing of the event in question reveals that there are several bullet holes in the wall directly behind Jules after the shots are fired, but none directly behind Vincent, which may indicate that for Jules it really was this trope and for Vincent, it really was just luck. The fact that, shortly thereafter, Vincent is blown away by Butch implies that maybe he should have considered that a final warning.
  • Purgatory: Shockingly, God isn't too pleased with Blackjack & Co. messing around with His town.

  • The Alloy of Law has the god Harmony, who normally maintains a policy of minimal intervention. However, in the climax, when Wax desperately pleads for help, Harmony expected Wax would need a hand. It turns out Wax's missing trunk of equipment just so happens to be right where he needs it.
    Harmony: You're welcome.
  • The Atomic Blood-Stained Bus: Entirely inverted. The gods don't really care all that much for humanity, have no interest in being worshipped, and certainly don't want to be discovered.
  • Coiling Dragon: As gods are characters, there are potentially many instances of this trope. However, Lord Beirut, the seemingly all-powerful god that watches over Yulan continent, is an unexpected instance. After it is revealed that Bebe, Linley's companion, is actually Beruit's descendant, it makes sense that Beruit would intervene to help Linley out or that other gods would step in on their own. Examples include gods saving the life of Linley or one of his friends, or intervening to simply make them happy. After the above reason is revealed to all, Beruit becomes more of a regular cast member in the story.
  • Dark Shores: Even though in theory gods mostly work through their Marked (individuals of their choosing, who they gifted with special powers), sometimes they intervene more or less directly:
    • Madoria and god of elements Gespurn fight over whether to let ships carrying Cel legions cross the ocean.
    • Hegeria marks Lydia to enable her to save Killian's life when he is fatally wounded.
  • Doppelgänger: This happens several times. Given how much the characters talk about and rely on their faith, it's not really a cop-out.
  • The Dresden Files: The Knights of the Cross have this function (or act on His behalf) by always appearing precisely when they are needed. In fact, Harry Dresden relies on this at one key point, successfully, when Molly is in danger. The Knights themselves rely on events falling their way in order to accomplish their missions; when Michael needs to help Dresden but there's no one to watch his kids, his friend in the priesthood just happens to have his car break down outside Michael's house.
  • In Dr. Greta Helsing, the final book has Heaven invaded by warmongering angels from another reality. This ushers in the apocalypse and all the nuclear weapons on Earth go off, leaving the planet a burnt-out husk and survivors numbering in the handful. Varney the Vampire is so desperate and terrified for the survivors that he prays for the first time in centuries. God hears and does a mix of World-Healing Wave, Reality Warper, and Time Rewind Mechanic to save the world, resurrect everyone who died in the event, and even heal old lingering injuries.
  • In The Fires of Affliction, faith healers are able to work miracles, but the gifted ones are rare, and they seem to have more and more trouble convincing God to answer their prayers. After Finding The Cure fails, the heroes are forced to go this route to try and cure the heroine's poisoning. It works, but only because the heroes' non-magical doctor keeps her alive long enough for the priests to convince God to heal her.
  • The Journey to Atlantis: A god and goddess, Sol and Luna, respectively, frequently assist the characters on the island when they are in dangerous situations. They stop a snowstorm from becoming deadly, cause rain to get them to focus, and even use a thunderbolt to kill a pack of wolves that would have otherwise killed some of them.
  • One Rose Trilogy: The plot centers around the naitan Kallista Varyl who gains new powers and abilities after calling on God to save a besieged city. Throughout the trilogy, she gains 8 "Godmarked" mates who are essentially the magical batteries for her powers.
  • Scrapped Princess: At the end, Pacifica is stabbed in the back and bleeds out to death. At that moment, however, she is summoned before Lord Mauser, who asks her whether she, Lord Mauser, was wrong to collaborate with the invading aliens and to corral the remaining humans in fake reality that Pacifica's continued survival would destroy. When Pacifica is successful at Reasoning with God, Lord Mauser heals her wound (something even her sister Raquel, the mightiest magician in the land, couldn't do) and lets her complete her quest.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • The Silmarillion: The Valar only occasionally intervene in goings-on in Arda (most notably sending an army out to defeat Morgoth after being begged by a representative of Elves and Men, and sending the Istari — the Wizards — to aid the Free Peoples in the Third Age). The end of the First Age made them significantly more reluctant to intervene directly, due to the damage they had the potential to cause (as well as their growing belief that they'd never been meant to intervene in the affairs of the Children of Ilúvatar).
    • The Lord of the Rings: Another lesser example is when the Valar send the eagles to help Aragorn's army at the gate of Mordor, though their main contribution is to rescue Sam and Frodo from the exploding Mount Doom.
    • Ilúvatar himself directly intervened in Eä some few times; he called out Aulë for creating the Dwarves (and then giving them true life and independence when he repented), he changed the shape of the world when Númenor attacked Aman; he sent Gandalf Back from the Dead. It's implied that He may have had more subtle interventions (such as Bilbo finding the One Ring, and Gollum slipping and falling to his death).
  • In Craig Shaw Gardner's Slaves of the Volcano God Roger, Louie and Doc are trapped in a cycle of being transported back and forth between several worlds of the Cineverse. After Roger desparately appeals to the "Lords of the Cineverse" (in particular, D. W. Griffith, David O. Selznick and Cecil B. DeMille), they're rescued by the Plotmaster.
  • Special Circumstances: Played completely straight in Queen of Wands. Barbara literally channels the Christian God to warn the leaders of the USA that they explicitly need to ask for His assistance in fighting the monsters. When they do so, God's power is channeled through Barbara and her familiar Lazarus, a Freyan priestess and a Wiccan to simply wipe out the big bad quickly and easily.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Bottom: Parodied in "Hole". Richie and Eddit end up trapped on a condemned Ferris wheel and end up hanging by their fingers as their car slowly disintegrates. They pray for a miracle; God's hand appears miraculously. However, once safely on the divine hand, then they both start commenting how they don't actually want to cause offense or anything, but they don't believe in God. Accordingly, the hand disappears....
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "Amends", Angel's life is saved when a snowstorm comes out of nowhere (in southern California, bear in mind) and blocks out the sun. Although it's left ambiguous whether this was truly divine intervention or the exact opposite; the First Evil had spent most of the episode trying to get Angel to pull a Face–Heel Turn, and it may not have been ready to give up on him just yet. 4 seasons later the possibility that Jasmine saved him is raised. This would basically be divine intervention, though not exactly from a friendly god.
  • The Legend of William Tell: Kalem intervenes several times to save Will and his friends. Generally, she follows this with a lecture about how she can't spend all her time saving him.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: At the climax of "Sacrifice of Angels", the Prophets, Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who are gods to the Bajorans, are talked into intervening directly to block Dominion reinforcements from using the Bajoran Wormhole (the "Celestial Temple" to the Bajorans, and the Prophets' home), thereby saving the Alpha Quadrant's bacon. Because of them, not only did the initial expected reinforcements for the Dominion get removed from existence, but no more ever made it through the Bajoran Wormhole for the rest of the war. They did not do so entirely willingly, though: Captain Sisko (their Emissary) had to verbally browbeat them into doing it "For Bajor" and they did not care for his perceived insolence.
  • Supernatural:
    • In Season 2, Dean rejects the notion of angels or the existence of God because if God exists, he's cruel to allow the many monsters and demons Dean has seen to exist. Sam, on the other hand, truly wants to believe that the thing they are hunting might be an angel. It turns out that the angel is really just the angry spirit of a priest but towards the end of the episode Dean witnesses an event that he suspects, despite all his previous certainty, might have been divine intervention.
    • At the start of Season 4, Dean has mysteriously Escaped from Hell, and he assumes some high-level demon did it. It turns out he was pulled out by Castiel because God commanded it.
    • At the start of season 5, Sam and Dean are teleported away from the area where Lucifer is about to rise, Sam is cleansed of his demonic addiction, and Castiel is resurrected. They conclude that God had acted, though another angel suggests that Castiel, as a fallen angel, was actually raised by Lucifer to provide more opposition. About halfway through the season, the angel Joshua confirms that God did all the above when Dean complains about God not doing anything to help them.
  • The Twilight Zone (2002): In "The Executions of Grady Finch", a man on death row is saved from his executions by increasingly improbable circumstances. Each time, the man hears a woman's voice say "Not yet", and he eventually sees a heavenly woman he believes to be an angel. He is granted a new trial and acquitted. At that point, he reveals to his lawyer that he is, in fact, guilty, but no one can do anything since the Powers That Be don't want him to die. He steps out of the courtroom to greet the press... and the voice says "Now", and a statue falls on him, killing him. The statue? The "angel" he saw: Nemesis, the Goddess of Vengeance.

    Religion and Mythology 
  • The Bible:
    • Book of Jonah: When prophet Jonah tries to shirk his obligation to go to Nineveh and get its citizens to repent, God sends a giant fish to force him to go.
    • The Four Gospels: God is reincarnated as a Man, and spends several years teaching people, performing miracles and denouncing the corrupt civilian and religious authorities.
  • The Iliad: If a god doesn't stick their oar into the battle to help a favorite or harm a favorite's enemy at least once, it's not the Iliad. Especially Aeneas, whose bacon keeps getting saved by even gods who hate Troy, because he's so pious and because he has a destiny to fulfill.
  • Mahabharata:
    • Krishna seemingly comes out of nowhere to save the day at least three times. The first instance is when Krishna saves himself as a newborn infant, from the murderous hands of his uncle Kansa. Up until this point, Krishna’s parents were imprisoned and every baby they conceived was murdered. But when Krishna is born, the chains binding his father Vasudev suddenly fall off, the dungeon’s door opens itself, all the guards fall into a stupor and Vasudev escapes with infant Krishna. A heavy downpour ensures that no guards are around to prevent his escape to a nearby village where Krishna is placed in the care of Nanda and Yashodha till he matures. Vasudev heads back to the prison to ensure that Kansa doesn’t get suspicious.
    • The second instance is when Draupadi is about to be disrobed in public by Dushasana. When no one in the court can or will intervene, including all the Pandavas who’ve lost their freedom \upon losing the dice game, Draupadi pleads to Krishna. Krishna manifests and generates an “endless sari” which Dushasana will never be able to completely remove. When Dushasana collapses in exhaustion, Draupadi still has her sari and what’s left of her dignity, still on.
    • The third instance occurs at the end Day 14 of the Kurukshetra War. Arjuna had vowed to kill Jayadratha by the end of the day to avenge his son Abhimanyu’s brutal slaying. With the stipulation that he would self immolate if he failed. Therefore, all Kaurava allies surround Jayadratha and impede Arjuna as much as possible. When sunset is but a moment away, Arjuna finally reaches Jayadratha but all remaining Kauravas cluster around Jayadratha, forcing Arjuna to have to go through them all. It appears there is no way Arjuna will defeat all of them before the sun sets. So, Krishna who is Arjuna’s charioteer, generates a thick cloud cover to obscure the sun. This fools Jayadratha and the Kauravas into believing the sun has set. They fling their weapons aside and start mocking Arjuna. Then Krishna clears the clouds, revealing that the sun hasn’t set yet. Arjuna immediately fires an arrow that slays Jayadratha.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Dark Eye has the second Demon Battle, in which The Horas Empire fought the outnumbered Rebels. When the battle, through the use of smart tactics and reinforcements from the tulamids (basically Arabs), changed in favor of the rebels, The Emporer, Fran-Horas, conjured a whole army of demons. When this happened, the Gods Praios (Sun, Law, just rulership), Rondra (honorable fighting, Lightning), Efferd (Sea, Weather) and Ingerimm (Fire, Craftsmanship) appeared directly on the battlefield and exorcised the demons, thus causing Fran-Horas to lose the battle, let the Horas Empire be dissolved and the New Empire be announced. This should be noted as remarkable, as usually any direct intervention of the Gods beyond prophecies is already straining the rules of the universe which are limiting them. They do usually work through their priests and other people.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Dragonlance, both in "recent" development and background includes a lot of this, including several all-out wars between gods. The Cataclysm happened when "good" guys won, but became so proud and self-righteous that even their own gods gave up and agreed it's best to drop a huge meteor on their arch-priest's capitol and let mortals blunder on their own for a while, maybe they'll learn to appreciate divine guidance (and divine magic) after that.
    • Forgotten Realms as a divine battleground, got a lot of such events, some more spectacular than others.
      • The Drow, especially as Always Chaotic Evil as in the books by R.A. Salvatore should, by all accounts, have backstabbed themselves into extinction long ago. Their deity Lolth is the only reason they are still alive since she keeps her theocracies in the state of perpetual Enforced Cold War. Drow that have turned away from Lolth can be less vicious, but if there are more than one strong faction, they eventually start a civil war and completely destroy the community, so the only city which escaped being subjugated by one of priesthoods without becoming a smoking ruin is The Magocracy where wizards de-facto took most of the power even before wiping out their matriarchs in one swift coup.
      • The Imaskari empire had a planar seal, which among other things prevented their Mulan slaves from being helped by their gods (Egyptean Pantheon). This still didn't help. When those gods were really fed up with this situation, they simply smuggled a chunk of divine essence in — a bunch of powerful avatars were carried into Realmspace on Ptah's barge (he got spelljamming in his sphere of influence). They disembarked in a range that became known as Godswatch Mountains, spread their power to lesser avatars, who recruited priests and divine minions, then rolled over Imaskari with a rebel army growing as they walked on.
    • In Fifth Edition, Clerics get an ability at level 10 called Divine Intervention that allows them to call on their god for direct aid. The Cleric has to roll a d100, and the Divine Intervention succeeds if the Cleric rolls their Cleric level or lower on this die. Thus, the chance of success starts at ten percent and slowly goes up. If the Cleric manages to reach the Absurdly High Level Cap of 20, Divine Intervention is guaranteed to work. What form the god's aid takes is dependent on the DM and the context, but it's basically a Cleric version of the Wish spell with none of the drawbacks. However, Divine Intervention can only be attempted once per long rest, and if it works, the Cleric can't use it again for a week in-game; calling on the gods for help is enough of a Game-Breaker without the ability to spam it.
      • Both Clerics and Paladins get a far weaker variant called Channel Divinity, which is less direct intervention and more becoming a medium for divine power. Each subclass gets their own variants, but all clerics can use this to Turn Undead.
  • Eon: Should you ever find yourself in a very tight spot and happen to have some qadosh to spare (qadosh basically shows how in-tune you are with your god), you can roll to have your deity take you out of the sticky situation. There are just 3 things you should consider: 1; Unless the roll ends with a perfect, you're going to lose qadosh, 2; Regaining qadosh is unbelievably difficult (except for those believing in Maktha, but the rules state that that deity doesn't HAVE divine intervention), and it will likely take you several in-game years to regain the amount you lost, and 3; Should you fail the roll... let's just say the gods don't like to be disturbed...
  • Magic: The Gathering has a number of cards portraying acts of divine intervention. The most obvious is the early card simply named "Divine Intervention", which ends the game (in a draw, oddly enough) in two turns. The Greek and Egyptian-inspired planes of Theros and Amonkhet see incidents like this much more frequently. The Theros: Beyond Death set even featured a set of five cards depicting acts of Divine Intervention on behalf of each of the plane's five primary deities. There's even a special printing of the classic card "Wrath of God", depicting Theros' sun god, Heliod, as the one whose wrath had been stirred.
  • In Nomine has Divine Interventions as a game mechanic; if three ones are rolled on a 3d6, something happens which is good for the cause of Heaven and/or bad for the cause of Hell. This can be anything from an NPC showing up to help or hinder the PCs (PCs can be on either side of the War) to the servants of Hell exploding into fireballs, depending on the situation and what the GM comes up with. On the other side of the coin, a 666 results in an Infernal Intervention which is essentially the opposite, good for Hell and/or bad for Heaven.
  • Munchkin: "Divine Intervention" is a card that immediately lets you go up a level. Notably, it's the only level-up card that can bypass the "You must kill a monster to reach Level 10" rule.
  • RuneQuest: All members of a cult can pray for divine intervention. The chance of it working is small, though (unless you're a high-ranking member), and always has a high price when it does — you lose part of your permanent Power attribute, and if you lose all your Power you die.
  • War Of Ashes Fate Of Agaptus: A fair few things can draw the gods' attention, including any use of ritual magic (which invokes their power), spectacular success or failure at some task, or even the sheer whim of the dice (an all-"-" or all-"+" result on the four Fate dice rolled to resolve basically any action in the game that needs rolling at all will do it). Most inhabitants of the world actually try to avoid this, however, since the gods can be fickle and tend to cause their share of inadvertent collateral damage even when actually trying to grant a boon.

    Video Games 
  • Baldurs Gate 3: Clerics gain an ability of this name at level 10. It allows them to perform one of four extremely powerful feats - gaining a legendary magical mace, bringing back all fallen allies at half health, dealing a truly colossal amount of radiant damage to vaporize a tough boss or instantly win any fight, or gaining a trove of magical potions and camp supplies. The catch is you can only use Divine Intervention once in your playthrough, so choose wisely.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: Early in Act I, the Player Character(s) and their potential companions are shipwrecked at sea, but are saved from the depths of the ocean by a mysterious voice that delivers them to shore. It turns out to be their Patron God(s), who have chosen them to be Godwoken.
    "I have plans for you, child. Rise!"
  • In The Elder Scrolls, many of the universe's various divine beings have done this at one point or another. While most prefer to do so subtly or to act indirectly through mortal agents, a few have intervened directly in the affairs of mortals. A few prominent examples of intervention include:
    • The various Shezarrines throughout history. They are theorized to be the soul of the dead creator god Shezarr/Lorkhan/Shor/many others manifesting in mortal form as one of the races of Men when they are threatened and then advancing their cause, usually by killing lots and lots of Mer (Elves). Tiber Septim was rumored to be one such manifestation before he himself ascended to godhood as the Ninth Divine, Talos, possibly by "mantling" Shezarr and/or as part of a Merger of Souls situation.
    • Azura, the Daedric Prince of Dusk and Dawn, has acted much more subtly in her instances of intervention, but not without leaving a major impact on the mortal world. She, along with Boethia and Mephala, convinced the prophet Veloth to lead the Chimer people to Morrowind from the Summerset Isles. When their leaders, the Tribunal, later betrayed her by being involved in the death of her faithful servant Nerevar and then using the power of the Heart of Lorkhan to ascend to godhood, she cursed them and left a prophecy foretelling their downfall. Thousands of years later, in Morrowind, she aids the Nerevarine in fulfilling that prophecy and bringing down the Tribunal once and for all.
    • Mehrunes Dagon is a villainous version of the trope whenever he manifests. His doing so led to the destruction of Old Mournhold and the Imperial Battlespire, and very nearly the destruction of Mundus entirely in Oblivion had he not been stopped by Akatosh, the chief deity God of Time of the Nine Divines pantheon, pulling a direct intervention of his own to end the Oblivion Crisis.
    • Akatosh pulled another during the Planemeld. He intervened when one of the Vestige's companions gave their life, allowing the Vestige to gain Akatosh's Blessings and challenge Molag Bal in single combat.
    • Kynareth, the Divine Goddess of the Air and Heavens, pulled a few to help early mankind in their battles against the dragons and elves. When the ancient Nords prayed for aid against the dragons and their Dragon Cults, she sent Paarthurnax to teach them the Thu'um so they could use the dragons' own weapon against them. She was also perhaps the most active Divine in supporting the Alessian Revolt, sending her "son" Morihaus to join the conflict on Alessia's side. She sent rain to cleanse the blood from Ayleid forts and villages after Pelinal Whitestrake came through so that they could be used by Alessia's forces.
    • The Daedric Prince Meridia granted a form of Resurrective Immortality to the Ayleid sorcerer-king, Umaril the Unfeathered. Umaril was initially defeated by Pelinal Whitestrike, himself a form of divine intervention as one of the aforementioned Shezarrines, but his spirit simply "went adrift" in Oblivion until reforming, not unlike an actual Daedric being. (He would be defeated for good by the Champion of Cyrodiil in Oblivion's Knights of the Nine expansion.)
    • St. Jiub the Eradicator, Morrowind's Ascended Extra Ensemble Dark Horse, was attempting to eradicate the much reviled Cliff Racers from Vvardenfell in atonement for his past "sordid" lifestyle. After being led into a trap by the smarter-than-he-thought Cliff Racers, the swarmed him with numbers in the hundreds. Jiub, according to his opus, was certain that this was going to be his Last Stand. After two days of fighting, all of the Cliff Racers lay dead and Jiub collapsed, exhausted and wounded. He was sure that he was going to die, when the Dunmeri Physical God, Vivec, saved him and declared him to be a saint for his actions.
  • Godville: The only way to actually influence your hero is to write commands for him to carry out (which have a sizable chance of being ignored) or intervene more directly by encouraging or punishing (which makes things happen more reliably but wastes more Godpower).
  • Gravity Rush has this occur regularly, courtesy of the resident Creators being fond of Kat. Gade is able to transport Kat throughout the game to the space-time rifts that parts of the city are trapped in; Cyanea sends her to a pocket dimension where Kat gains insight into her past and the means to rescue the children stranded in Boutoume; and in the Final Boss fight, not only is Kat saved from her Human Popsicle status by Cyanea under the reasoning that it is the only way for the story to reach a satisfying conclusion, but Kat is later told to use her abilities on Gade so he can summon the Ark from the pocket of space-time it got stuck in... and subsequently use it as a battering ram to punt the Anemone off of the clock tower and trigger the final stage of the fight.
  • Journey (2012): At the end of the penultimate level, you and your companion are caught in a fierce storm and freeze to death after losing track of the mountaintop that has been your guiding beacon throughout the game. Then, after a Fade to White, you are greeted not with a Game Over, but with six giant white-robed figures, who have appeared to you in visions earlier, and who now raise you Back from the Dead and even max out your scarf, so you can fly all the way to the mountaintop in one go and finally complete your journey.
  • In NetHack the player can pray for divine intervention if he is in trouble. If you don't annoy your god (by praying too often), have a good alignment record (Karma Meter), and are not in Hell your god can heal you, feed you, cure delayed instadeaths like food poisoning or stoning, lift curses, etc.
  • Scribblenauts: There are a few situations in which summoning a deity is a viable solution.
  • Tears to Tiara 2 begins with Ashtarte joining Hispania's rebellion against The Empire. Throughout it Tanit her Super-Powered Alter Ego offers guidance and once saves Hamil's life. In the end, Ishtar, her mother, leads all the Ba'al gods in saving her life.
  • Unlimited Adventures: In the debug mode, the designer can instantly win every battle by pressing a button called "WIN". This destroys all enemies, with the announcement "The gods intervene!"

  • College Roomies from Hell!!!: When David and Chester are about to have their souls spliced back together, which Chester wouldn't survive, a bright light shines out nowhere, knocking out their captor and letting them escape.
  • Dumbing of Age: The Fundamentalist Carol Brown says that Becky doesn't have to take Communion if she's worried she's not right with God (due to being gay). After a beat, Becky points out that when her life was in danger, her girlfriend and a superhero showed up to save her, so she's pretty sure He still likes her. Then she takes Communion. Loudly.
  • Played with in El Goonish Shive. Nanase's guardian form looks angelic, is supremely powerful, and can only be used if someone is about to die. She isn't sure if gaining it was the result of divine intervention or just the will of magic, but she thanked God for it anyway.
  • Return to Player has this all the time, from chosen Avatars to just messing with people for their own pleasure.

    Web Animation 
  • The Something About series has, as a Running Gag, Kirbo being a Religious Bruiser.
    • In the Kirby's Adventure video, Kirby banishes Nightmare by putting his hand on Nightmare's head which cues Jesus reciting John 14:6. In full
    • In the Kirby & the Amazing Mirror video, Kirby defeats Dark Mind by first paraphrasing the first three lines of Psalm 95 In the video then having all four Kirbos summon Jesus again who recites Matthew 19:26 In full smiting Dark Mind. For bonus points, the Matthew verse is just after a This Cannot Be! declaration from Dark Mind.
    • He tries to do it again in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate video, but it doesn't work as he left his cross and The Bible at home.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, this is stated to be the reason why the Avatar needs to be the one to defeat Fire Lord Ozai. The only other people powerful enough to defeat him would be viewed as political usurpers and perpetuate the war. Anything that Aang does would be viewed as divine judgment, and above reproach.
  • The Boondocks: In the season one finale, Huey prays to God to intervene as an innocent man is on the verge of being wrongfully executed and Uncle Ruckus is provoking a race riot by trying to turn the townsfolk against each other, saying that he doesn't know what the world is supposed to be but that it isn't supposed to be this. Less then a minute later, Ruckus is struck by a Bolt of Divine Retribution (right as he was suggesting God strike him down if He didn't approve of Ruckus's racist vitriol), causing a rolling blackout that delays the innocent man's execution just long enough for the governor to call in and have the sentence commuted.
  • King of the Hill: Zig-zagged. Hank decides to watch the Super Bowl instead of helping Luanne with her puppet show, which is being broadcast at the same time. However, the TV starts spontaneously changing from the game to Luanne. The first subversion comes when we see it's just Peggy, hiding around a corner, using a universal remote. Then at the end of the episode, Bobby comes up and says he borrowed its batteries before the Super Bowl, shocking Peggy. And then at the very end, he shrugs and says "Or maybe after, I don't remember."
  • Samurai Jack:
    • In "Jack and the Assassins", Jack uses a power gauntlet to defeat all but the sword wielder of said Elite Mooks, only for it to lose power just then. Jack prays for, and receives, the aid necessary to finish him off.
    • In "Jack in Egypt", Jack is faced with some of the few foes genuinely too powerful for him to defeat — the Minions of Set, whose strength, agility, ferociousness, and Healing Factor prove too much for Jack to overcome. They are only defeated when Jack prays to Ra for help; the god responds by manifesting directly, incinerating two Minions with his Eye Beams when they try to attack him and destroying the third as it tries to flee.
    • In "The Birth of Evil", the gods Odin, Ra, and Rama use part of the Emperor's soul to forge a sword that he can use to defeat Aku, which will later become Jack's own sword. These three gods were the ones who had defeated the evil cosmic entity that Aku was once a part of, which is likely why they intervened.
  • In The Simpsons, creator Matt Groening has jokingly claimed in an interview that Homer's near superhuman ability to survive injuries is because God finds him far too entertaining to kill off and enjoys his pain and suffering.


Video Example(s):



Faced against the sword-wielding leader of the powerful Ultra Robots, Jack calls for the aid of his ancestors to defeat the machine. After his sword's power is enhanced by the heavens, he's able to defeat the robot with a single strike, with the killing machine only able to say one word before it explodes.

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Example of:

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