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Hijacked Destiny

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Sora: But that's impossible. How did this happen? I'm the one who fought my way here with the Keyblade!
Riku: You were just the delivery boy. Sorry, your part's over now.

Being The Chosen One often comes with a lot of perks. Combo Platter Powers, Light 'em Up, maybe even the power to control fate itself. Not only that, but there's also the status that comes with being The Chosen One; connections in high places, maybe even attaining royalty. With all this going for them, who wouldn't want to be The Chosen One?

That's exactly what this character thinks, and they're damned determined to find out first hand... Even if it means stealing the status and all that comes with it for their own.

How they go about it can happen in many ways. Maybe they used some dark magic ritual to unbind whatever gives the chosen one their status and bind it to their own. Maybe they pulled a Grand Theft Me or a "Freaky Friday" Flip with the chosen one. Maybe they did something to themselves to convince The Chooser of the One that they're more worthy than the current chosen one. Or maybe they managed to beat the chosen one in combat and took the title that way.

And on the non-power stealing end, sometimes, they may have managed to convince most of the world they're the true chosen one and discredited the real chosen one in some way. In a few cases, someone may think this character "stole" the chosen one's position from someone else they deem more fitting for the job; they may be right or wrong.

In any case, expect the previously chosen one to go through a lot in order to regain their status or, in some cases, prove being chosen wasn't what made them a hero.

Depending on the circumstances, this can be used to humble a chosen one whose status has gone to their head a bit too much, forcing them to go on a personal journey of development in order to regain their status. In rarer cases, it's an outright heroic figure who takes away chosen status from a less than worthy chosen one.

See, obviously, The Chosen One. When the chosen one keeps trying after losing their status, they can end up pulling a Screw Destiny and become The Unchosen One. The Chooser of the One is often common to this trope, but not always. Compare The Chosen Wannabe, who simply covets the role without taking themselves.

For someone who can literally hijack destiny and fate, see Winds of Destiny, Change!.

Naturally, given the nature of this trope, expect spoilers below.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Misfit of Demon King Academy: After willingly dying at the hands of the Hero to seal off the demon world from the human world, Anos Voldigoad reincarnates 2000 years later to find that somebody named Avos Dilhevia has replaced him in everyone's memory as the Demon King of Tyranny, including some of his surviving henchmen.
  • My Hero Academia: Sir Nighteye accuses Midoriya of stealing his intended future, as All Might picked him instead of Mirio, a more experienced and powerful candidate who Nighteye had been grooming to succeed All Might as the Symbol of Peace. Following Overhaul's defeat and Mirio sacrificing his Quirk to protect Eri, Midoriya is inclined to agree and tries to give One For All to Mirio as Nighteye wanted, but Mirio flatly refuses.
  • Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs: After being reincarnated into her favorite Otome Game, Marie wastes no time in doing this to Olivia to become the protaganist, stealing her birthright as the destined Saint as well as all of her love interests in order to live a worry-free life. This ends up being a deconstruction as it backfires spectacularly, as she doesn't have Olivia's other abilities, nor did she finish the game and is as such unaware of critical plotlines and lore. She almost gets burned at the stake for her deception, but Leon, Olivia, and Angelica bail her out. A What If? story later reveals that this trope actually benefited Olivia in the long run as she was able to study and become stronger without the crutch of the Saint title instead of suffering a Demonic Possession.

    Comic Books 
  • In Fables, the backstory of Bigby Wolf had him nearly devouring the Green Lady. The Green Lady offered to tell him his fate if he would spare her life. After he agreed, she told him he would be defeated and devoured by a monster as vicious as him in three days. A despondent Bigby accepted his doom, until he learned from a passing turtle that the Green Lady doesn't just tell fates, she assigns them. Bigby Wolf went after the Green Lady again and threatened to devour her if she didn't remove his doom. The Green Lady did so by switching Bigby's fate with that of a nearby sorcerer to whom she had given a favorable fate. The sorcerer then suffers the doom that was supposed to be Bigby's: to be devoured by a monster as vicious as Bigby Wolf (namely, Bigby himself). Bigby then goes on to live out the sorcerer's fate: that is to say, the events of the comic.
  • In Legion of Super-Heroes story The Death of Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl learns from a prophecy stating that one Legionnaire will die fighting the troops of alien conqueror Zaryan. Saturn Girl attempts to fulfill the prophecy by grounding hear teammates and then engaging Zaryan so she is the one who will die, but Lightning Lad interferes to save her life, engaging Zaryan and getting killed.
  • Robyn Hood: I Love New York: Robyn has her status as the prophesied "Child of Darkness" stolen by another archer, thanks to a ritual and a drop of her blood. Normally, this would be a relief for Robyn, since then she would avoid getting constantly harassed by members of the Dark Horde that want her to turn to evil, and bring their organization to a complete dominion of the Five Realms. The problem is, the woman that has done this is definitely evil, is totally on board with making said prophecy true, has a personal vendetta against Robyn, and is planning to harm many of her loved ones along the way. She manages to beat the pretender by the end of the story, but it's left unclear if the ritual has been undone.

    Fan Works 
  • Alya and the Harem Reality: In the new timeline, Master Fu before his death hid the Miraculouses in locations of emotional significance to their previous welders in the previous timeline. While Marinette, Alya, Chloe, and Kagami were able to reunite with their canon Miraculouses, two were found by others. The Bull Miraculous was taken by an Original Character calling himself Oxtoppable before Ivan could find it, though it gets reclaimed by Ladybug, Rena Rouge, and Queen Bee. The Monkey Miraculous was hidden in a pool that Kim visits, but by bad luck it's found by Lila instead when she visits the same pool.
  • In Amazing Fantasy, the nature of One For All's successor is inverted from canon. Izuku doesn't meet All Might in that underpass as he's hospitalized from the spider bite. This gives Sir Nighteye enough time to pressure All Might into making Mirio his successor. However, Izuku and All Might end up meeting anyways during the Prowler incident. The Hero laments that he would have loved to make Izuku the next torchbearer had he not already given away One For All. By the time Izuku arrives at school, All Might shows some clear favoritism towards him even though he's not his protégé.
  • Becoming the Mask: Vendel suspects that the Amulet was meant to go to James Lake Junior, but since the Changeling Jim "stole" his name, he got his destiny as well. However, the Amulet specifically called for "Jim Lake", not James Lake Junior, implying that the Changeling was its intended recipient all along.
  • The Desert Storm: In Tarot, Sian unknowingly steals Obi-Wan's destiny as Maul's Arch-Enemy by being the one to cut off his limbs and get him excommunicated from the Sith in retaliation for nearly killing Qui-Gon. Unlike most examples of this trope, Ben (secretly a future version of Obi-Wan from the canon timeline) is relieved to learn that his younger self will never have to deal with becoming the target of Maul's undying vengeance.
  • In Imaginary Seas, Percy's Noble Phantasm, Perseus Khresmos, would work like this if he were to be summoned as a Saber. Instead of drawing upon his fate, he'd be able to become the focus of any fate or conclusion he would be eligible for because of his decision to become the focus of the Great Prophecy when he turned sixteen. So if one of twenty people were to be taken in for questioning, he could make it so that person would be him. This also means he can choose to take oh the fate of "Winner of the Holy Grail", meaning that in a Holy Grail War, he's guaranteed to win unless his opponent's luck stat allows them to outright defy fate.
  • The Infinite Loops:
    • A minor case is a standard part of "Fused Loops." Someone from another universe will Replace one of the natives, with all their powers and place in the story. This is considered normal by looping standards, and native loopers will help the Replacement either integrate or take the story off the rails if they want.
    • The MLP Loops: In addition to Replacements, there are two non-Replacements that still involved stealing the role from someone else.
      • Princess Luna wakes up in the Sailor Moon world Replacing the Familiar cat Luna. Her loop memories are vague, so all she knows is that she has to find the moon princess and defeat the enemy. She assumes she herself is the moon princess, marshals the Sailor Scouts, and fights Queen Beryl, all while everyone is wondering how a magical talking pony is involved. Sailor Moon, on the other hand, is the Anchor and thus in full possession of her memories, and spends the entire loop laughing her ass off.
      • In an early Warhammer 40,000 loop, Pinkie ascends as the fourth Chaos God by throwing the entire Eldar Empire a massive party. Everyone assumed she Replaced Slaanesh, but much later it turns out that Slaanesh did exist separately from Pinkie. Pinkie just had more power and stole Slaanesh's spot.
        Big Mac: How did you even wrest the power from Slaanesh?
        Pinkie: It tried to read my thoughts, so I shredded its mind until it believed that it was a fantastic idea to turn itself into a cupcake. Then I ate a chocolate frosted chaos god.
        Big Mac: Eeyep, because that ain't terrifying at all.

  • She Who Became The Sun: In their childhood, a fortune teller tells the protagonist's brother Zhu Chongba that he is destined for true greatness. Zhu dies the next day. The protagonist decides not to waste a perfectly good destiny, so she steals his identity and sets off to achieve it. However, after years afraid that Heaven will notice her deception, she realizes that she has survived because of who she is, not who Zhu was, and comes to decide that her destiny was hers all along.
  • Ishar of The Stormlight Archive holds more claim to this title than most, being a Herald who used to be one of the ten sent by Honor to fight the Voidbringers. However, he is neither the sole Herald, the chief Herald, or the Almighty himself as he claims, and he is not destined to battle Odium. Near the end of Rhythm of War, he tries to make this happen by force by using his Connection magic to steal Dalinar's bond to Odium and the Stormfather so he could be the one to fight Odium's champion in their destined contest, and is only narrowly stopped by Szeth using Nightblood to sever the link.

    Live-Action TV 
  • House of Anubis: In the third season, there's a plot to awaken the sleeping Robert Frobisher-Smythe, involving roles passed down through the generations, awaiting the fated eclipse. Robert's "Keeper", Harriet Denby, had her role (and identity) forcibly stolen by her adopted sister, Caroline, who wanted the glory of being involved in the ceremony. Because of this, and Caroline's general impure nature, Frobisher-Smythe woke up evil.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Captain Sisko has become the Emissary of the Prophets, somewhat reluctantly. In the episode "Accession", a Bajoran poet from 200 years ago named Akorem Laan comes through the wormhole and claims to be Emissary, not entirely against Sisko's wishes. Sisko begins to regret giving up the title when Akorem institutes policies that go against Federation standards.

  • Book of Genesis: Jacob manages, with the help of his mother Rebecca, to take his father Isaac's blessing instead of Esau, who had to receive it as the older brother. He later had to flee his wrath.

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate II: The entire plot revolves around an ancient wizard named Jon Irenicus trying to hijack your Player Character's destiny as one of mortal children of Bhaal to succeed your father as the next God of Murder. Notably, Irenicus cares very little about the Bhaalspawn free-for-all, but needs Bhaal's power to exact his personal agenda, and actually succeeds in stealing the divine part of your soul (and, with it, your birthright) half-way through the game (though you take it back from him in the finale).
  • Dragon Quest XI: The Hero ends up having their Luminary powers stolen by Mordegon. In a case of Gameplay and Story Integration, the luminary branch of their skill tree ends up locked off until they can end up getting it back.
  • Fate/Grand Order: Percival was a failed attempt to do this. The plan was to create a counterfeit Child of Prophecy wielding the Spear of Selection used by the previous Child, but the plan hits a snag due to the fact that the weapon is degraded and will kill any fairy who wields it. Percival gets around this by being a human raised to surpass the limits of ordinary humanity.
  • The Legend of Dragoon: A rare case where the villain succeeding in it is actually a good thing for the heroes. Melbu Frahma usurps Shana's role as the Moon Child — ie the soul of the Virage Embryo — and becomes the God of Destruction in her place. This spares the party from having to kill Shana to save the world and they have no problem with slaying Melbu Frahma instead.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Riku briefly manages to steal the Keyblade away from Sora once he lands in Hollow Bastion. This is actually a subversion because Riku really was the Keyblade'snote  original wielder, but his heart ended up falling to darkness and Sora became the next worthy one by virtue of being the one closest to him. In essence, it's Sora who ultimately pulled this trope.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1: Dunban presents a subversion. Although he is the first one to wield the Monado, he wasn't The Chosen One and was managing to force its use through sheer Heroic Willpower. Once the true chosen one (Shulk) shows he can use it much more fluently, Dunban is fine with him wielding it from then on. After being killed, Shulk ends up having the Monado stolen from him by one of the deity figures of the game, Zanza, who plans on resetting the universe upon obtaining both Monados. In this case, The Chooser of the One was merely using The Chosen One to his own end. Upon being revived, Shulk manages to pull a Screw Destiny by finding his own Monado and taking out Zanza once and for all.

    Western Animation 
  • Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness: Subverted. In "Challenge Day" Master Shifu tells everyone in town that it is titled day and anybody who can beat the Dragon Warrior before sundown can assume the title. Po spends most of the day fending off challengers until he finally loses to Hundun from sheer exhaustion, losing his title in the process. It's subverted in that there is no such thing as a 'challenger day'; it was something Shifu made up in order to try and humble Po and make him not take his title for granted. Unfortunately, losing his title ends up putting Po into a 10-Minute Retirement and Hundun, upon realizing it wasn't real, proceeds to lock Shifu up and start to abuse his fake title around town. Po eventually realizes that protecting the town is far more important than a title, and proceeds to deal payback to Hundun.
  • Legend of Korra: Unalaq manages to do this indirectly by virtue of merging with the Evil Counterpart spirit of the spirit that empowers the Avatar and killing said spirit in question, thus Depowering the Avatar.