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I Will Fight No More Forever

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"Hear me, my Chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the Sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."
Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, surrendering.

Bob, possibly a Fallen Hero or Atoner, refuses to fight any longer. He decides he would rather become an Actual Pacifist or Technical Pacifist, or retreat from the world altogether.

The reasons for this vary. Perhaps Bob now has (or gave someone) a dead relative, or maybe they just think The Quest has come to an end (though their opponents probably would beg to differ.) They may have simply met the one person who could convince him that murder is not always the answer. It could be a simple case of being beaten so badly and so often that they just give up completely.

Frequently, this becomes a 10-Minute Retirement, and Bob's once again forced to draw his sword and kill again. Related to Know When to Fold 'Em. Compare Cincinnatus.

When they don't give up long past where it's insane to continue, that's I Will Fight Some More Forever. For the opposite, where a pacifist gets to an event in their life where they are forced or decide to finally rely on violence, see Pacifism Breaking Point.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Afro Samurai in "Resurrection". After finishing his quest in the first movie, he is no longer the killer he once was, turning to carving statues of all those he killed. Unfortunately for him, the new Big Bad still has a bone to pick.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: Kenshin Himura after he accidentally killed his wife Tomoe. Though in his case, he swore off killing, not fighting or even swordsmanship. He got himself a custom-made reverse-blade katana so that he could use his sword to rescue people from their oppressors and attackers, but never again kill.
  • Train from Black Cat, after he met Saya and got tired of being Chronos' cat (i.e., servant).
  • Mewtwo from Pokémon: The Series, after the events of Pokémon: The First Movie, swears to not fight anymore and instead seek a safe haven away from humans that try to exploit his power. This proves to be problematic when Giovanni manages to locate him in Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns.
  • Shinji in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Three times.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Dragon Ball Z: At the end of the Cell arc, Vegeta has the Antagonist in Mourning version. With Goku dead and no chance of ever settling their score, Vegeta is so crushed he flies away vowing to never fight again. Until the story skips seven years later to reveal that he kept training the whole time and becomes extremely fixated on having one last fight with Goku (who has been allowed to return to Earth for one day).
    • Played straighter in the movie Bojack Unbound (set within said timeskip) which explicitly shows Vegeta lazing about in bed while everyone else is fighting. At least, until he realizes that Trunks is in legitimate danger...
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing's Grand Finale Endless Waltz, Heero Yuy is prepared to kill Mariemaia, having previously been tasked with assassinating her, but in the moment as a Mercy Kill since Dekim Barton shot her critically. Afterward, his final line:
    Heero Yuy: I've killed Mariemaia. I will never kill anyone ever again. I...I don't have to anymore.
  • Vinland Saga: Thorfinn goes from a Roaring Rampage of Revenge in the Prolonged Prologue to this in the "Farmland Saga" arc, before finally maturing into a Martial Pacifist willing to fight (but not kill) as a last resort.
  • Fate/Zero: In the ending, Kiritsugu realizes that he'll never be able to save the world by continuing to kill people, and has in fact caused more harm than good. He retires from his life as an ideal-obsessed assassin, and focuses on raising Shirou.

    Comic Books 
  • The New Gods story "The Pact" has a pretty awesome example. Izaya, the leader of the New Gods of New Genesis, renounces the ways of war after figuring out that the entire war was Darkseid's gambit to remove the obstacles in his rise to power.
    Izaya: I tear off my armor!! I reject this war-staff as a weapon!! I reject the way of war!! Darkseid's game is not mine! Where is Izaya!!!? Where is Izaya!!? IZAAYAA!
  • In The Transformers (IDW) #125, Optimus Prime gives up the Matrix and the responsibilities of being the leader of an army so he can be Orion Pax again.
    Fortress Maximus: Whether I am a hero or a coward is not the issue! I am weary! My joints creak from the corrosion of war without end! I... cannot break this ring of hate that surrounds us all — but I can remove myself from it. No matter what you decide... I am leaving.
  • In Marvel's Age of Apocalypse, the Juggernaut has become a pacifist monk and stands watch at the hidden sanctuary Avalon. When the sanctuary is attacked, Nightcrawler loses his shit at Brother Cain for refusing to fight back as people die around him. The desire to kill surfaces in Brother Cain and clashes with his desire for peace, and he winds up having an aneurysm.

    Fan Works 
  • In the backstory of Darwin, Marianne Vi Britannia fought against Britannia declaring war with the E.U., citing that after all the fighting to put Charles on the throne, she'd seen enough bloodshed for a lifetime.

  • Jules from Pulp Fiction- The end of the movie (and if you listen closely, the beginning) has him wanting to retire from killing and walk the earth, and in fact, refusing to kill "Honey-Bunny" and "Pumpkin" who just held up the diner he's in, though that would have been the easier option.
  • Death himself from Death Takes a Holiday. He falls in love and gets preoccupied so he no longer wants to perform his duties.
  • The knife-wielding "Butcher" Brown in The Guns of Navarone. It ends badly for him.
  • Rambo in the self-titled film qualifies for this... at the beginning anyway!
  • Hot Shots! Part Deux
    • Before the movie starts Topper Harley has resigned from the military and joined a monastery. Where he engages in martial arts contests. Okaaaay...
    • Harbinger gives up killing, but Topper Harley teaches him the joy of slaughter once again. 10-Minute Retirement again.
  • Roy Batty the killer robot in Blade Runner elects to give a Tannhäuser Gate speech instead.
  • In Danny the Dog, Danny chooses not to kill his opponent, and yells "No more killing!" to the man holding the forced gladatorial combat, who replies "I'm the only one that calls "'no more killing.'"
  • Quirt Evans (John Wayne) tells the marshal (Harry Carey) that he is no longer a gunslinger, but a farmer, in Angel and the Badman.
  • Notorious gunslinger/town marshal Clay Blaisedell (Henry Fonda) tosses his two gold-handled revolvers in the dirt before riding out of town in Warlock (1959).
  • At the end of The Outlaw Josey Wales, Wales and his nemesis look one another in the eye, and agree to accept that the war is finally over.
  • BA has a 10-Minute Retirement of this sort in The A Team movie.
  • I Will Fight No More Forever, of course, which is the story of Chief Joseph.
  • In the Star Wars films, this is the standard Jedi retirement package. Obi-Wan, Yoda, and even Luke all respond to tragedy by retreating to some remote planet and hanging up their lightsabers for good (until it's time to train one last student).
  • Parodied in Hercules Returns
    Delilah: You gave me your word that you would never to fight again after that man was killed.
    Samson: Bit unfair bringing that up. You stabbed him.
  • The King's Man: Orlando swore to never fight again after his Heel Realization in Afghanistan, instead joining the Red Cross and bringing humanitarian aid to those in need.
    "When I was young, like you, I wanted to serve my country. But soon I began to question what right we had to take the land, riches, and the lives of people who were only defending their homeland. Every man I killed, I killed a piece of myself. Maybe having a feather would have been better. So, the next day, I put down my rifle and I picked up a stretcher. I should’ve been given the Cross for saving lives, not taking them."

  • Subverted by Rudyard Kipling in The Second Jungle Book. In "The King's Ankus" Mowgli refuses to kill a treacherous cobra, claiming that he will never kill again save for food. Soon afterward in "Red Dog" the dogs of the title threaten Mowgli's wolfpack and he has no choice but to fight to defend it.
  • In The Night Angel Trilogy, Kylar the assassin tries to retire at the start of the second book - motivated in good part by his love interest not liking what he does. Both the goodies and the baddies are fairly insistent that he can't just walk away, though, and he does indeed return (although not by any means happily). His love interest eventually decides that it is indeed something that he has to do.
  • In Moses, Man of the Mountain, Moses, a military genius in his youth, vows to never fight again after murdering an Egyptian overseer and fleeing Egypt.
  • In The Children of Húrin, Túrin promises his wife Níniel he will never fight again unless it is in defense of their home, after spending his entire life looking for a fight. Unfortunately, You Can't Fight Fate.
  • In Warrior Cats, Mudfur loses his taste for battle and decides to become a medicine cat after his mate and all but one of his kits die the day they are born. He announces it after representing RiverClan in a Combat by Champion fight (and winning).

    Live-Action TV 

  • Referenced by name in the song "Pioneer Square" by Reilly and Maloney, as a quote from a man named Joseph (either the Biblical figure, the Indian chief, or possibly a homeless man).
  • Phil Ochs' song "I Ain't Marching Anymore", written during the The Vietnam War is told from a perspective of a soldier who was present at every American war since the War of 1812, but refuses to fight anymore.
    Oh I must have killed a million men
    And now they want me back again
    But I ain't marchin' anymore.
  • The titular character in the Electric Light Orchestra song "Boy Blue." He returns home after fighting in an unspecified war and is welcomed as a returning hero, but in the last verse, after recounting all of the horrors that he saw and experienced, he flatly tells the crowd, "Hear this clear, for I'll not further say/That no man, shall cause me to take up arms again."
  • Eminem swore off beefing in the Encore! song "Like Toy Soldiers", in which he apologises for his Hair-Trigger Temper leading him into being irresponsible and mourns the pointless deaths that feuds have caused in the Hip-Hop community. While he's since stayed out of potentially fatal beefs with gangsters, the resulting mockery of his career led to an eventual realisation that this was A Lesson Learned Too Well, and Eminem returned to stirring up beef again in his 2018 album Kamikaze.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: the 3rd Edition supplement Tome of Magic recounts the story of Andras, an elven paladin who achieved great victories, only to suffer enough misfortunes and make enough mistakes to fall from grace and become a blackguard, crusading for evil just as zealously as he used to fight for good. But after 300 years of fighting for both good and evil, and in the middle of a climactic battle, Andras abruptly dropped his weapon and quit the field, never to be seen again. Unfortunately for him, Andras' betrayals of both his causes meant that he wasn't welcome in any afterlife, so he became a vestige, a being beyond the normal conceptions of life and death. Binders who make a pact with Andras can call upon his martial skill and ability to smite evil and good, but those who fall under his influence will grow weary of combat after a minute of fighting, dropping their weapon and withdrawing from melee.

    Video Games 
  • At the end of Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Ezio decides that he has seen enough action as an Assassin and leaves his weapons behind to start a peaceful life with Sofia. He is forced into action one last time in Embers when a young Assassin seeks his advice on rebuilding the Order in her country and he dies not long after.
  • In Call of Duty: Black Ops II, specifically the endings in which Alex Mason stays dead, David Mason vows over his father's grave that he'll never fight again, too wearied by the war with Menendez to go on living the life of a soldier.
  • Melus Petilius in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, a local hero, swore to never pick up a weapon after his wife's death of fever and blamed himself for it. In order to change his mind, you must give him a cursed mace from Molag Bal and provoke him to attack you. Once you're almost dead, Molag Bal will reward you his mace, and Petilius will be stricken with grief, believing that he killed you.
  • The Vell-os from Escape Velocity: Nova surrendered to the Colonial Council and became slaves, because the alternative was to fight the Colonial Council and win, causing immeasurable death and destruction.
  • Karel in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade. Blazing Blade, the prequel, shows us what he retired from.
  • Guild Wars 2: In the Bad Future the Pale Tree shows the player and Traherne, four of the Destiny's Edge companions are still bitterly fighting among themselves. As a result, Caithe declares she's sick of trying to stop the others from bickering, and accepts Faolain's offer to join The Dark Side instead. (Thanks to your player character, this doesn't come to pass.)
  • A variation in Overwatch: Hanzo is noted to be a Master Swordsman, even more skilful in its use than his brother Genji. But because the last time he wielded his sword was seemingly killing Genji with it (the clan elders forced him into it to prevent the family's dissolution after the death of their father), he refused to have it repaired or wield it again, keeping to a bow and arrows instead. The damaged sword can be seen in Hanamura Dojo.note 
  • In Stellaris, the colonists of a Tomb World might start to adopt the Pacifist ethos after taking in the horrific devastation that the previous population's war brought to their home. This is especially poignant if they come from a Militarist empire.
  • Lt. Velasquez near the end of Traffic Department 2192... after having spent most of her life on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge over her father's death, she's looking at an absolute victory, having defeated a galaxy-spanning army practically singlehandedly - but losing countless friends along the way. When the opportunity comes to actually kill the Emperor, she demurs - all she wants at that point is for the war to end, and killing him would merely create a vacuum for some other power-mad leader to step into.
  • Invoked by Mad Dummy and Sans in Undertale for pragmatic reasons, both chose not to end their turns so the player cannot enter the next turn and retaliate.

  • Towards the end of Joe vs. Elan School, while globetrotting after his divorce, Joe mentions that he keeps up with many of the people in his "core group" who had been involved with closing the abusive Elan School. However, he makes the decision not to join them in further pursuing former Elan leadership or fighting against other troubled teen facilities. Justified; closing Elan had come at a great personal cost to Joe, and he says he wants to focus on his own healing and peace moving forward.

    Web Original 
  • In a Link Between Genders, Link casts away his sword and takes on a different role in life.
  • In Critical Role, after their adventures are done, Percy (the man who introduced firearms into their society) declares that he will never build another weapon again and instead will design things like clocks.

    Western Animation 
  • Leegolas from Bender's Game vows not to kill anymore after slaughtering the obnoxious but innocent Zoidberg monster.
  • Parodied in Rugrats in which Chuckie, scared out of his wits after a slide accident, dramatically declares that he will slide no more forever.
  • Adventure Time has Billy who becomes this after reaching the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Recess has this happen to Gus. Formerly known as "El Diablo" for his skilled, yet ruthless dodgeball playing, he vows to never play again after accidentally injuring an innocent bystander.
  • One Tom and Jerry "Mouseketeer" cartoon "Tom and Chérie" features Jerry's pupil (Tuffy) shuttling letters back and forth between Jerry and his current romantic interest. However, each time he sets out, he gets challenged by Tom and has to fight his way back and forth. It keeps going throughout the cartoon until Jerry supposedly gets a "Dear John" Letter. But... Jerry just changes romances and it keeps going. This time, however, when Tom challenges him, Tuffy ignores it. When challenged again, Tuffy basically tells Tom "Foo!" and leaves, ending the cartoon.
  • In Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, this is the eventual decision by Peng in his second appearance, as he's afraid kung fu will fuel his inner darkness and he must forever give it up to protect the people he cares about, despite Po's objections. With the whole premise of the show being kung fu, this is shocking for how it was played straight.
  • In the beginning of Batman Beyond, Batman, long past his prime, grabs a gun to ward off a thug when he starts to suffer a heart problem. When he gets back to the Batcave, he immediately throws the gun away in disgust, hangs up his suit, and closes the entrance to the cave, saying "Never again".
  • Samurai Jack
    • Zigzagged in "Jack and the Smackback", where Jack is conscripted into a sadistic gladiatorial fight. He defeats the first two champions, but is sickened by it, and refuses to fight further for the crowd's entertainment. Unfortunately, the announcer won't let him quit; he sends out a third champion, the gigantic Sumoto. After nearly being crushed by the huge Sumo, Jack discovers he's ticklish and is able to "defeat" him that way. But the announcer decided to Tempt Fate and bring out six more champions. Jack becomes enraged, forgets what he says a minute earlier, recovers his sword, and makes short work of all six of them.
    • Zigzagged differently in "Jack and the Lava Monster". At first, Jack refuses to fight the eponymous monster, believing it wants to fight simply for fun. Then the guy explains his actual motives. Jack changes his mind, and honors its request.
  • Transformers: Prime: Of all people, Megatron, the warmongering tyrant who plunged the Transformers' home planet of Cybertron into an eons-long civil war, who tortured and oppressed his own people for his own goals, gets this moment. Following his death at the hands of Bumblebee, he gets revived by the dark god Unicron in the series finale movie. However, the latter takes control of his body to fulfill his own agenda, all while torturing and subjecting his host to constant Mind Rape. After being freed, Megatron was left broken as he finally got a taste of his own medicine, before disbanding the Decepticons and leaving for parts unknown.
    Megatron: Because I now know the true meaning of oppression, and have thus lost my taste for inflicting it.

Alternative Title(s): Vow Of Pacifism, I Shall Fight No More Forever