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Valhalla in flames, in an 1894 depiction by Max Brückner

Fly home, ye ravens! tell your lord the tidings
that here on the Rhine ye have learned!
To Brünnhilde's rock first wing your flight!
there burneth Loge:
straight way bid him to Walhall!
For the end of godhood draweth now near.
So cast I the brand
on Walhall's glittering walls.
— Brünnhilde in Act III, Scene 3 of Götterdämmerung (translation)

Götterdämmerung — German for "Twilight of the Gods"

The term was popularized by Richard Wagner in his Der Ring des Nibelungen opera cycle. This is a German translation of the Old Norse "Ragnarökkr" ("twilight of the gods"), which was itself a poetic alternate name for the Norse term Ragnarök.etymology 

Ragnarök was the story of how most of the Aesirnote  and the greatest Jotuns died in a battle against each other. Similarly, this trope refers to when the gods or sufficiently advanced Precursors of a story (and possibly their enemies) either die (if they are mortal) or are Sealed In A Can (if they are immortal), usually in a large battle or some other sudden event. Frequently, this is the end result of a war between gods.

Contrast Death of the Old Gods, where the gods are either slowly disappearing or losing popularity/being replaced over a period of time, essentially going out with a whimper instead of a bang. Also, compare The Magic Goes Away. See also End of an Age/Dawn of an Era, which this trope may end up leading to.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In the backstory of the Macross franchise, the entire galaxy was part of a Golden Age under the Protoculture Stellar Republic before a civil war destroyed them, leaving only their giant humanoid armies to roam the galaxy and continue fighting.
  • In Dragon Ball Super, it is eventually revealed that Zamasu and Goku Black intend to kill off every other Supreme Kai in the multiverse, and their corresponding Gods of Destruction (as if either dies, the other does too), so Zamasu will be the only remaining universe level deity with no one to oppose their plans to wipe out all mortals. And it seems Future Zamasu has succeeded killing his Supreme Kai and God of Destruction in Future Trunks' timeline.
  • At the end of the “Hero Chapter” of Yuki Yuna is a Hero, the Shinju-sama is gone and the Heavenly Gods are either dead or otherwise won't be coming back for a long time, and humanity will have to face the future on their own.

    Comic Books 
  • Wanted shows the superhero version of this; once, superheroes walked the Earth, but a great battle between them and the supervillains destroyed them, allowing the villains to rewrite the world into their image and turn it into a bleaker, more cynical place closer to our world.
  • This is basically the premise of Jack Kirby's New Gods metaseries, which opens rather bluntly with the words: "There came a time when the Old Gods DIED!"
  • Alan Moore's proposed title, The Twilight of the Superheroes, would've dealt with this, but in reference to heroes, instead of actual gods. It was designed to give a sort of definitive end to all the heroes, as The Dark Knight Returns did for Batman. Though according to Moore, the intent was to finally raise comic book stories to the status of legends, since without an ending it did not become a true legend:
    "An essential quality of a legend is that the events in it are clearly defined in time; Robin Hood is driven to become an outlaw by the injustices of King John and his minions. That is his origin. He meets Little John, Friar Tuck and all the rest and forms the merry men. He wins the tournament in disguise, he falls in love with Maid Marian and thwarts the Sheriff of Nottingham. That is his career, including love interest, Major Villains and the formation of a superhero group that he is part of. He lives to see the return of Good King Richard and is finally killed by a woman, firing a last arrow to mark the place where he shall be buried. That is his resolution—you can apply the same paradigm to King Arthur, Davy Crockett or Sherlock Holmes with equal success. You cannot apply it to most comic book characters because, in order to meet the commercial demands of a continuing series, they can never have a resolution. Indeed, they find it difficult to embrace any of the changes in life that the passage of time brings about for these very same reasons, making them finally less than fully human as well as falling far short of true myth."
  • Last Days of the Justice Society, a one-shot released right after Crisis on Infinite Earths, showed the Justice Society of America ready to retire when they are called for one last mission: to prevent Adolf Hitler from linking the fate of the actual Norse gods' Ragnarok to that of the universe circa 1945. By merging with the Norse gods themselves, the Justice Society succeeded in changing the outcome, only to find themselves repeating the same battle over and over until Waverider around the time of Armageddon: Inferno swapped out the Justice Society for Abraxis' "daemen", allowing the heroes to return to Earth.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Pseudo-Canonical Fic Codex Equus, there are several instances where even entire divine pantheons have been wiped out, though it's usually because they acted like Jerkass Gods towards their worshipers and thus had karma bite them in the collective ass, sometimes fatally.
    • The "Twilight of the Alicorns" event was a very brutal, enduring, and bloody civil war that lasted for ten Ages. It has been stated in Golden Scepter's entry that the Alicorns gradually became so arrogant, complacent, and high-hoofed from their successes that they in turn became blind to their own corruption, giving birth to the treacherously evil Alicorn, Morning Star. The result was the Alicorn Civilization being irreparably damaged, and a massive chunk of the Alicorn population being killed off, with the survivors going into complete seclusion from the outside world to replenish their numbers. Golden Scepter was one of those few who refused to go with them, which set him on the path of breaking free from his people's mistakes and going through Character Development to become a genuinely benevolent ruler as the Alicorns saw themselves as. He would even admit to Temnobog years later that both Morning Star's betrayal and the fall of the Alicorn Civilization were perhaps the best things that happened to him and his people.
      Temnobog: A divine utopia of complete benevolence and fairness, with nothing but success to truly motivate them? No wonder your people fell. They've been sitting on their laurels for so long that they eventually became blind to their own corruption... until one of them snapped, that is.
      Golden Scepter: ..I suppose you are right, Dark One. Even I was blind to it, as hard as I tried... Perhaps... perhaps Morning Star's betrayal and the destruction of my home were the best things that ever happened to the Alicorns, and me as well.
    • The Old Orosian pantheon that watched over the Tauren Peninsula was nothing more than a group of arrogant, hypocritical, petty, and spoiled children who often bickered among themselves, had extreme responses towards even perceived insults and disobedience, and callously used their powers to do whatever they wanted, often making their own mortal worshipers their pawns in their petty squabbles. The result was the "Twilight of the Orosians", where it was implied that they were eventually killed by mortals who got fed up with the cruel treatment and actively opposed them. Bellamos, who was created from the violence of their senseless wars, let it happen as he correctly believed that the pantheon brought it upon themselves, while those who managed to survive were the few benevolent Orosian deities who would go on and make a new pantheon to replace their predecessors. It's not surprising, considering how the old Orosian deities were based off of the Greek Olympians.
  • The Dear Sweetie Belle Continuity specifically mentions "the Twilight of the Gods" as the end of Celestia and Luna's reign in Clover the Clever's dying prophecy. Needless to say, Twilight Sparkle is implied to have something to do with it. Word of God is that it's the name of Twilight's own Superpowered Evil Side.
  • Harmony Theory: Celestia and Luna are now sealed in their respective celestial bodies.
  • Another My Little Pony work with this motif is the Twilight Then, Twilight Now Universe series, which takes place in a Darker and Edgier rendition of the G1 Ponyverse that is revealed to be the Bad Future of the G4 Ponyverse after suffering this multiple times. When Princess Celestia makes a Heroic Sacrifice to kill Discord, and this results in a religious backlash against the Alicorns and all the values they espoused, and this is only the first thing to go wrong, you know you're on a downward spiral.
  • Likewise, there is I Am Going To Save And/Or Destroy Equestria, where Luna and Celestia ended up destroying one another in the final battle one thousand years ago, rather than Nightmare Moon being sealed away. In short, the two good "gods" died, and their passing has disastrous consequences... since there are still plenty of evil "gods" left. Due to how vital the princesses' existence was to Equestrian society (making the fiends go away and powering the seals that kept them in Tartarus, making the sun move up and down, etc.), their death causes the collapse of Equestrian civilization as well, since without the princesses, there's no one left to stop the fiends of Tartarus, or to stop an invasion by a foreign army... at least, not until the start of the story.
  • The Last Great Time War has been building up to this and will end with it and indeed ended with it.
  • The Taste of Peaches hints that this is a fairly regular thing, with the divinities all being killed after a certain period of time, so new gods can be born into the world.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • In Wonder Woman, Queen Hippolyta tells Diana about the story of how the god Ares killed the other gods of Olympus before being banished to the surface of Earth by a dying Zeus.
    • When confronting Diana/Wonder Woman for the first time in Justice League, the New God Steppenwolf reprises the aforementioned Jack Kirby line word for word.
      Steppenwolf: You have the blood of the Old Gods in you. The Old Gods died!

  • The galaxy of Niven's Known Space was once ruled by a foolish, simpleminded race of creatures whose only notable attribute was the ability to utterly dominate the minds of others. When the inevitable rebellion happened after thousands of years, their final, technologically amplified command was for everything advanced enough to receive their commands to commit suicide.
  • In the Deep Space Nine novel Fallen Heroes, Dax, the member of a species comprising a small symbiote inside a standard humanoid, thinks of the Trill version of Ragnarok where a race of dumb giants and a race of smaller intelligent beings fought a war that ended with a single member of each surviving and mating to create the Trill race. There is endless speculation as to which was which gender.
  • Whilst it hasn't actually happened yet, the Discworld name for this is "The Teatime of the Gods".
  • This is in some sense the plot of The Lord of the Rings, which is not surprising since, while Tolkien was not inspired by Wagner's Ring Cycle, he was drawing on much the same source material. In any case, the story of the War of the Ring is that of the destruction or self-imposed exile of the supernatural beings who had dominated Middle-Earth for millennia, leaving mortal men in control. The legendarium also prophesies of a more literal end/renewal of the world, when Morgoth will finally escape the Great Void into which he was cast at the end of the First Age and destroy the Sun and the Moon, but Eärendil will cast him down to Earth, where the armies of Ar-Pharazôn the Golden will reawaken to do battle against one faction or another. Finally Túrin Turambar will slay him once and for all and the Children of Húrin will finally be avenged. In the tumult of battle the lost Silmarils will be cast out of the Earth and Water and Fëanor will return them to the Valar, who will use them to rekindle the Two Trees and the World will be recreated anew. Interestingly, the fate of Ar-Pharazôn and his forces is entirely uncertain; the published text says only that he will return at the end of time, with no real description of his loyalties or what state he will be in.
  • The theme of John Hodgman's book That is All is centered on the end days, the return of the elder gods, and ultimately the total destruction of the earth. It gets rather meta. The end of the book is a page-a-day calendar outlining the events of Ragnarok ("it will happen today in Ragnarok!").
  • A variant appears in the first trilogy for Dragonlance; the gods of old are gone, and with them all their magic, but not because of any war. They devastated the world with a terrible Cataclysm, stole away all of their healing magic, and then turned their back on mortals because mortals would not accept that they were to blame for all this. A lot of readers sympathize with the viewpoint that the gods can go screw themselves. The first trilogy ends with the gods coming back. Though actual Gotterdammerungs are the focus of later trilogies, as well.
  • The Gods Are Bastards has one of these in the backstory: the current gods overthrew the old ones by force several thousand years before the story is set.
  • One of the Supernatural novels revolves around the "Apotheosis". Apparently in response to many older gods dying, newer ones pop into existence from out of mankind's imagination, then begin to compete with each other by accruing worshippers and fighting to the death, either forming a new generation or ensuring they don't go out quietly. It's happened multiple times in history, with the Titanomachy and Ragnarok being name-dropped.
  • Deeplight: If the gods of the Myriad come too close to one another, they are compelled to fight to the death. They kept to their own territories until an event known as the Cataclysm, in which they ripped each other apart (taking hundreds of islanders with them). It's revealed that a group of priests deliberately baited the gods towards each other in order to wipe them out.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Between the old and new series of Doctor Who, an offscreen conflict called the Last Great Time War occurred between the Time Lords and the Daleks, with a horde of various Eldritch Abominations emerging from the crossfire. It ended with the Doctor somehow erasing both sides from the universe. It later turned out that several million Daleks survived in a prison ship called the Genesis Ark, but that's still a fraction of the ten million ship fleet that fought the Time Lords. Later, Rassilon and the Time Lords attempt to escape - in a way that would unleash the aforementioned abominations and eventually destroy the universe, forcing the Doctor to stop them all over again. The few surviving Daleks built mini-empires that were defeated one by one, until one small group actually won an encounter with The Doctor and rebuilt into a galactic power.
    • "The Day of the Doctor" reveals Gallifrey wasn't destroyed but placed in a pocket dimension by the Doctor, though he forgets this due to Timey-Wimey Ball. They later wandered back on their own, and are currently hiding at the end of time.
    • The Time Lords being wiped out had already been used multiple times. The Ancestor Cell has Gallifrey being destroyed by the Doctor. Death Comes to Time, a probably non-canon web-animation shows both a Death of the Old Gods and Gotterdammerung. Various Time Lords, who are here Reality Warper Gods of the Fourth die through the story, the Doctor pulling a Heroic Sacrifice to kill rogue Time Lord General Tannis. Though the Time Lords haven't been wiped out, apparently their era has passed as the Doctor is the last of the friendly Time Lords.
  • In Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Old Ones were overthrown long ago and supplanted by humanity. It's really driven home when an Old One returns in Angel only to find her armies long dead and crumbling to dust while her own replacement body can't withstand her own power. The sight of a Lovecraftian horror beaten down by time, trapped in a human shell with only a fraction of her former power, and utterly alone without a purpose in life is rather sad.
  • Babylon 5's Myth Arc involved a cyclic conflict between the two oldest and greatest powers in the galaxy, the Vorlons and the Shadows, along with their younger proxies. Partway into the fourth season, this conflict is resolved, with the Vorlons and Shadows traveling Beyond the Rim to live with the First Ones, most of whom had previously done the same millions of years earlier. The remaining two seasons of the show center on the younger races' efforts to grow on their own and deal with their own issues. The producer, J. Michael Straczynski, likened it to a family having Parental Issues on a galactic level.
  • The Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang is about to do a sketch on this in one episode, but they get movie sign just then.

  • Amon Amarth live on this trope. See their songs Twilight of the Thunder God, "Destroyer of the Universe," "The Last Stand of Frej," "Death in Fire," "...And Soon the World Will Cease to Be." Basically telling this tale from everybody's perspective throughout their discography. And there are still people left in the myth...
  • The Blind Guardian album Beyond the Red Mirror has a song "Twilight of the gods," which is about the gods, if not dying, then at least going to a long sleep.
  • Nile's album Ithyphallic has a song called "Even the Gods Must Die," which discusses the idea of this trope on a historical level; namely that all legends and myths fade with time, and with the decline of the worship of the Gods, so too go the Gods...
  • The Trope Namer is of course Götterdämmerung, the final installment of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle of operas. With Wotan's spear, upon which was inscribed all the bargains he had made for power, broken by his grandson Siegfried, and with Wotan's plot to get hold of the titular ring without invoking its curse having failed, Wotan orders the branches cut from the World-Tree Yggdrasil and piled around Valhalla. Then the gods retire to Valhalla and are consumed in flames at the end.
  • Pepe Deluxé's album Queen of the Wave is an ode to the passing of Atlantis. There's a whirlwind tour of the spiritual enlightenment and Sufficiently Advanced Bamboo Technology the Atlanteans possessed—then they fall to moral decay, and the great city sinks into the ocean in the final song.
  • The Flaming Lips have the song Pompeii am Götterdämmerung, which actually refers to the destruction of Pompeii by the volcano Vesuvius, but nevertheless uses the term.
  • The song Prime Mover by the Swedish punk band The Leather Nun is about this, the second verse referring directly to events of Ragnarök.
  • A composer by the name of Andrew Boysen composed a piece for wind ensemble called "Twilight of the Gods," which portrays this event. When premiered by the Cuesta College Wind Ensemble in May 12, 2010, and when performed by some other bands, it was done in sync to visuals designed by Erik Evensen that depicted the story on a screen.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • In Norse Mythology, two people, Líf and Lífþrasir, will survive Ragnarök (the Norse version of the apocalypse, the final climactic battle of the gods with the giants and monsters which will end the world as we know it) and will presumably live on to create the next generation of humans after the fall of the gods. A number of gods of the new generation survive as well.
  • Irish mythology has something of a variation in the Battle of Tailtiu. In it a battle between the gods and the Milesians (the ancestors of the modern Irish) ends with the Milesians victorious and many gods and goddesses slain. However this isn't a complete end to the gods, as most of the major ones survive, and ultimately reach a compromise with the humans. But it does end the time of the gods walking the earth among mortals, as they depart for the Otherworld and leave the mortal world to the mortals.
  • In Classical Mythology, the Titans are deposed by the Olympians, with most of them becoming Sealed Evil in a Can.
    • This is after the Titans themselves depose the primordial deities before them.
    • And the Trojan War can be seen as this, as it was considered the end of the Heroic Age and the start of history from the Greeks' point of view.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Changeling: The Dreaming: The fact that the game is basically this under a coating of glitter is what led to its Audience-Alienating Premise. The plot of the game is that Imagination is fading from reality under the assault of "Banality", and with it all of the mystical and magical beings of fae are dying out. The present era is the time of Autumn... and Winter, the total destruction of the fae, is inevitable.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The godlike Old Ones, who once ruled the galaxy, were destroyed in the a cataclysmic, star-sundering conflict with the Necrons and their C'tan masters, remembered in the lore of a few particularly ancient cultures as the War in Heaven.
    • The Rhana Dandra, meaning "End of All Days" in the Aeldari lexicon, represents a prophesied end of the universe when the entire Aeldari race will come together for one last desperate battle against Chaos, and then will die alongside their remaining gods, but as a last jest made by Cegorach (the Aeldari Trickster God) it will save the Aeldari as their souls will give birth of Ynnead, the Aeldari God of the Dead, who will vanquish Slaanesh and end the foul Chaos god's reign over their souls forever.

    Video Games 
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda is this for the Zelda timeline. The Hero of Time was slain, Ganon's hordes destroyed the world, the Triforce has long since been shattered. All that remains of Hyrule are a few old men and women cowering in caves. And then a wanderer appears, garbed in a familiar green tunic.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: Ganon, Hyrule, and the Master Sword are washed away, and the Triforce is no longer in the hands of anyone, and is forgotten by all but Link, Tetra, and Tingle anyway.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Despite the game's ending being quite the opposite, the Lanayru region certainly elicits the feel. Derelict Magitek artifacts lay rusted everywhere, though they can be temporarily brought back to life with some time-flux hijinks.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild takes place after Ganon is driven completely insane by magical power, and 'conquers' Hyrule by hurling cataclysm after cataclysm until 95% of the continent is ruins and bandit-infested wilds.
  • Legacy of Kain: The era in which Blood Omen is set in. The Circle of Nine, a collective of Fisher King sorcerers who maintain the land and the Pillars of Nosgoth, have been stricken with a curse of insanity, causing the decay of their mental state and of the rest of the land. The protagonist is a slain nobleman recruited by one member of the Circle to kill the rest, in order to purify the Pillars and make way for a new Circle.
  • The MMORPG Ragnarok Online had this as part of its backstory—in that the cataclysmic battle of Ragnarok divided gods, demons, and mortals from each other—owing to its origins as part of the overall story of the manwha Ragnarok (1997). The published sequel, Ragnarok II: Legend of the Second, takes place long after the manhwa's story concluded with a second Ragnarok-like event called the Day of Despair.
  • Similarly to RO (and not surprising given its status as a Spiritual Successor), Tree of Savior heavily involves this trope in its story and setting. At the start of the game (year 1095), all of the goddesses who used to interact with the mortal world have vanished. Several prior to Medis Diena, the rest shortly afterward. The player characters are on a quest to find out what happened to them, and how to fix the world.
  • Referenced in .hack: the "Twilight of the New Gods" was a two-year period when internet access became unavailable to the general public due to the Pluto's Kiss virus attack on December 25, 2005. The "New Gods" refers to technology in general. It is also during this period that the prototype of the MMORPG known as "The World" was in development.
  • Elden Ring takes place in the aftermath of a cataclysm known as the Shattering. It began with the theft of the Rune of Death from the titular Elden Ring, the metaphysical codification of the world's natural laws, and its use to murder several of the immortal demigods, starting with the beloved Godwyn the Golden. Then the Elden Ring itself was somehow shattered, simultaneous with the disappearance of the "one true god" Queen Marika the Eternal. This led to a power vacuum in which the surviving demigods fought a vicious civil war, mostly over the shards of the Elden Ring, which devastated the land and left nobody victorious. By the time the player character steps in, civilization is almost nonexistent, and the last demigods have diminished in power and sanity to the point that you alone can slay them and claim the shards of the Elden Ring they hold yourself. Depending on your choices, you may repair the Elden Ring and become the land's new ruler (with the option of adding an additional rune to codify new laws into the natural order), you can join the rogue demigod Ranni and usher in a brand new order under her rule, or you can inherit the power of the Frenzied Flame and burn everything to the ground.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, this is a cornerstone of the most fundamentalist religions of the races of Mer (Elves), particularly for the Altmer (High Elves). They hold that reality is a prison that souls are trapped in by the trickster Lorkhan when he bound some of his fellow et'Ada ("original spirits") to form the Mundus, the mortal plane, and was "killed" by them as a result. The religions of Men, on the other hand, hold that the pre-creation divinity state was the prison, and the Mundus is a proving ground in which to transcend beyond the original spirits, with Lorkhan deliberately failing to do so himself in order for all else to "know how not to fail."
  • Final Fantasy XII sees the dominance (or at least the attempt to return to dominance) of the world's gods broken. Though in this case the gods are cast in something of a dictatorial mold, so this is regarded more as a cause for celebration than melancholy.
  • While there are plenty of Fal'cie still around after Final Fantasy XIII, the events of that game put a definitive end to the all-controlling Cocoon Fal'cie. Final Fantasy XIII-2 has the death of Etro, which causes a Time Crash that leads to the world seen in the third game.
  • Metroid plays with this trope. The Chozo are a race of advanced bird-like beings who wield Lost Technology and left behind ruins that incorporated Organic Technology all over the galaxy. In fact, as stated in the Lore of the second two Prime games, each endangered/extinct civilization Samus visits (Tallon IV, Aether, Bryyo, Elysia) had some connections to the Chozo race, and they often left behind relics in the form of Power Suit Upgrades. Also mentioned in the Lore of the Prime series is the decline and/or extinction of the Chozo (hence the Gotterdammerung) at the hands of a mysterious "star-borne terror" revealed to be a Leviathan Seed, the source of all Phazon. All of the Malevolent/Foreboding Architecture and Lost Technology the Chozo left behind tend to be very important whenever Samus has a case of the Bag of Spilling.
  • Genshin Impact had the Archon War, set over 2600 years before the start of the story, in which the various gods and their forces fought for dominance over the land of Teyvat. In the end, out of an unknown but presumably large amount of gods, only seven remained victorious, becoming the Seven Archons who each ruled one of the seven nations of Teyvat.
  • Grandia II had a great war thought between Good and Evil. Evil eventually won but needed a couple thousand years of rest. The remains of humanity thought good had won and built a whole religion around its technology and brain-washing control.
  • In God of War, the main protagonist Kratos starts a war against the Greek gods to fulfill his desire of vengeance. During his quest, aided by the titans, he kills almost every god or goddess in the Greek pantheon. In the series there are several clues suggesting that the destruction of the Greek pantheon will lead humanity towards Christianity.
    • God of War (PS4) opens with Kratos and his son living in Midgard. As usual, the major players in Norse mythology are all aware of Ragnarök and how they'll die in it: Odin, in particular, will cross any line to prevent it coming to pass. However, Kratos killing Baldur at the end of the game (to prevent him killing his own mother; the guy had it coming) triggers Ragnarök a few hundred years early and catches everyone off guard. Cue God of War Ragnarök, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: but not really. It turns out the prophecy of Ragnarök was a lie told to trick Odin; the real prophecy doesn't foretell the destruction of all the Nine Realms, but the destruction of Asgard alone against an alliance of the other realms. As such, there are plenty of survivors after the smoke clears, even among the Aesir, who end up making peace and moving in with the Vanir.
  • The Halo universe, of course, had the highly advanced Forerunners, who were forced to activate their Halos and destroy themselves and all sentient life in the galaxy to starve out the Flood. Interestingly, the Forerunners themselves deliberately enacted one of these themselves, against the Starfish Aliens that preceded them, out of a combination of paranoia, racism, resentment, and envy. There's a great quote in Halo 2 from one of the Halo A.I.s that demonstrates the amount of time that passed between the extinction of the Forerunners and the Human-Covenant War:
    2401 Penitent Tangent: This installation has a successful utilization record of 1.2 trillion simulated and 1 actual.
  • Assassin's Creed has Those Who Came Before, a shadowy group mentioned in the first game that the Knights Templar claim all human technology is reverse-engineered from. The second game reveals that they are a powerful race that once existed on Earth and created humans in their own image. They were defeated however, when humans revolted against them and won because of their sheer advantage in numbers. Both factions were devastated, however in an apocalyptic event. Gods and goddesses in world religions are distorted memories of these people.
  • Odin Sphere: By the end just about all magic, dragons, and fairies disappear from the world. The Aesir fall against the armies of the Netherworld and the Vanir are scorched by the Inferno King's march. Humanity, however, still endures to repopulate the world thanks to the efforts of the five main the True Ending. In the Bad Ending, the entire world dies without any hope of being restored.
  • All highly advanced technology in the Panzer Dragoon universe was created long ago in the Ancient Age, and the war-wracked world left in its wake is only alive thanks to climate control systems which are finally disabled in Saga in "The Great Fall". In a variation, the Ancients, themselves, realized that what they were doing was wrong, and so they created a fail-safe that was programmed to undo what they had wrought.
  • Dark Souls has a unique spin on this: The age of the Lords (gods) is ending. The remaining gods are either dead, insane, or have been drained of their power (or a combination of the three). The closest thing to a true god still remaining is a humanoid abomination that has everyone worship a false god instead of letting them see the real him. Your job is hastening the twilight of the gods, so that a new age of the gods can begin or ending the age of the gods forever so that an age of man can begin.
  • Immortal Defense has this and Death of the Old Gods as a main theme of the game, although it's debatable if pathspace defenders can be actually considered gods. Fittingly enough, Götterdämmerung is actually a title of a level in one of the final campaigns, showcased at the peak of your insanity.
  • World of Warcraft has this, to a degree, in Cataclysm. After defeating Deathwing, the final boss of Cataclysm, a cutscene plays revealing that the remaining Dragon Aspects have lost nearly all of their power as a result of the battle, and are now mortal.
    • Granted, the Dragon Aspects are FAR from the only god-like beings in Azeroth...
  • The Banner Saga has this, as should come to no surprise considering how much the game borrows from Norse mythology. The gods are dead, the sun frozen in place in the sky, and a seemingly invincible army known as the Dredge is tearing a path through the North... in fear, as they're hysterically fleeing from an encroaching wall of radioactive darkness that mutates anyone it touches into violent, eldritch monsters. The player's goal is not safety, but survival.
  • Nasuverse:
    • In 12000 BC, the alien superweapon Sefar was deployed by the Velber to destroy and harvest all life on Earth, which at the time was teeming with gods. Sefar slaughtered most of the pantheons before being stopped by a human wielding Excalibur, but this resulted in most of the literal Physical Gods losing their bodies and becoming Divine Spirits now reliant on faith and worship, which was the first step in the end of the Age of Gods. The actual Ragnarok of Norse mythology meanwhile happened in 1000 BC, burned out the last of the remnants of the Norse Age of Gods, and resulted in the coming of the Age of Man in that part of the world.
    • Fate/Grand Order: Cosmos in the Lostbelt
      • The protagonists run into an Alternate Timeline where this should've happened as per Norse mythology but it went horribly wrong halfway through and permanently stalled, resulting in its removal from history by the world. The key factor in the Point of Divergence was Surtr, incredibly angry that his sole purpose was to end the Norse Age of Gods and then simply die, deciding to embark on a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum and destroy everything instead. His consuming Fenrir before it could kill Odin allowed him to assimilate its ice power, making Surtr far too powerful for the Norse Pantheon to stop, with the end result being his killing all of the gods except for Skadi, who became the sole remaining goddess after Odin fused her with the Lostbelt version of Scathach, before sacrificing himself to seal Surtr away. The protagonists end up having to finish the job and wipe out the Norse pantheon for good so they can eliminate the timeline from its parasitic fixture on Earth, while the remaining Norse deities try their damnedest to stop them. The protagonists end up inadvertently unsealing Surtr, who intends to finish the job on this timeline and burn all the other ones to ash out of love for the Crypter Ophelia, forcing both sides to work together to put a stop to him because that would be even worse than the current situation before they go at it for the final clash between themselves.
      • The Fifth Lostbelt is a subversion of this; In it, the Olympic Pantheon managed to defeat Sefar before she wiped them out, which led to them expanding their dominion over humanity and upgrading themselves to become even more powerful than they were in Proper Human History.
      • The twist of the Sixth Lostbelt is that this is the point of divergence, as the fairies who were supposed to forge Excalibur got lazy and procrastinated on their duty. Sefar arrived and without Excalibur she succeeded in her goal of destroying everything on Earth, including the gods. The only god left on the endless ocean Earth became was the Celtic god Cernunnos.
  • Given that the premise of Dominions is that several godly Pretenders are fighting for the right to become the Pantokrator, this is to be expected for those not strong enough to survive. It's even possible to present a formidable, physical defense against enemy gods, only for yours to vanish into nothingness because no one believes in them anymore.

    Visual Novels 
  • This happened as part of the backstory for Kajiri Kamui Kagura. Around 8000 years before the start of the story, Hajun rose to power as the next hegemonic God and proceeded to kill not only the ruling Top God Tasogare, but also her entire pantheon of Gods set to guard her. Only Tenma Yato and his immediate followers survived, becoming The Remnant and through his powers managed to seal Hajun, preventing him from finishing the job.

    Web Comics 
  • Referenced, though not actually depicted, in Girl Genius, where Klaus Wulfenbach uses "Göterdämmerung" as an expletive.
    • Something pretty similar happened to a group of prehistoric God-Queens who ruled long ago. The majority of them were slaughtered save for a handful, at the hands of someone with incomprehensibly advanced technology (that somebody being Lucrezia, the Other).
  • The sixty-fifth chapter of Sluggy Freelance recounts the fall of the gods of Mohkadun. Due to the Kudzu Plot, it's difficult to go into detail, but suffice to say it's not pretty.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • The Transformers: The Movie can be seen as a variant, in that it represented the end of the original status quo of the series. It begins with a surprise invasion of Autobot City by the Decepticons and the mortal wounding of the Autobot leader, Optimus Prime. He passes the responsibilities of leadership, represented by the Matrix of Leadership, to Ultra Magnus, but he proves unworthy of it. Meanwhile, Megatron is abandoned by his power-hungry minions, then is resurrected into Galvatron by Eldritch Abomination Planet Eater Unicron. The price of Galvatron's new power is to seek out and destroy the Matrix, which is the only thing that can kill Unicron. The remaining heroes are scattered across worlds until finally converging in Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny between Hot Rod and Galvatron over the Matrix in the center of Unicron's head. This is when Hot Rod realizes his potential as Prime's true successor and defeats both of them, and leads the Autobots into a brighter future.

Alternative Title(s): Twilight Of The Gods