Follow TV Tropes


Living Forever is No Big Deal

Go To

Some immortal characters are disappointed by eternal life, find it boring at best, unbearable at worst, and wish, more than anything, to die. They are covered by Who Wants to Live Forever?. Then on the contrary, we have those who take advantage of their immortality, and enjoy it: Living Forever Is Awesome. And then… there are those characters.

They are immortal. They don't age. They're Older Than Dirt, maybe even Time Abyss. And… they never address the issue. Their life goes on and they don't question it, and if asked about what they think of their immortality, their answer would probably be just as vague as a random Mr. Smith asked "What do you think of life in general?"


The reasons for that vary: sometimes, they're just born that way, and living forever is for them the "normal" kind of life (they may even have an issue grasping the very idea of Death); sometimes, the writer's idea (since most writers are mortals) is that living forever would be, well, living, and continuing to live just like you live your normal life.

Tends to be the general mindset of a Society of Immortals.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • The Sandman (1989):
    • Immortals like Hob Gadling, who can be anywhere from centuries to millions of years old, tend to lead perfectly ordinary lives in the everyday society without making a big deal out of themselves. One recently-deceased immortal who tries to brag to Death about how long he lasted is told that he got as much as everybody else: one lifetime.
    • Hob is the first to admit that his centuries-long lifespan hasn't given him any special wisdom. He's learned from his mistakes, but he's also had more time to commit more mistakes.

    Fan Works 
  • The Twilight of the 24th chapter of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic The Twilight Enigma has seen thousands of years, but shows no signs of ceasing her eternal duties as a facilitator of maintaining what she believes to be the optimal social structure for Equestria. The following quote about the original Twilight's objections to five statues through which the alternate Twilight can channel her five friends who have long since passed sums up her acceptance of her world: "I have no interest in debating it. I settled the matter to my satisfaction thousands of years ago, and whatever thoughts you have about it will not change my mind."
  • The Alicorns of the Lunaverse are like this, and one scene mentions an offscreen moment when Luna gave Shining Armor The Talk about his fiancée Cadenza living on with her youth while he withers and will eventually die, and how she will indeed mourn and never forget him, before moving on and finding new love further down the road.

  • Disney's Hercules: The Gods are, by nature, immortal, and this movie is no exception to the rule. It is clearly stated that they're immortal, and can't be killed, and don't age, and… they don't seem particularly happy about it. It's just part of their lives. When Baby Hercules becomes mortal thanks to one of Hades's schemes, they are more concerned by the fact that he can't live on Mount Olympus because of that, than "Oh my! Now our baby will die! While we have the incredible luck of NOT dying!". In this case, this is because we deal with characters born immortal, while most Living Forever Is Awesome and Who Wants to Live Forever? apply to characters who gain immortality through some magical way.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit: A Toon doesn't age, although mentally their spirit can evolve. Death is literally unknown among toons, may it be by old age or injury. They're crazy enough not to care about it.

  • The Belgariad has this largely apply to the various immortals in the setting. While they're met with a certain degree of awe and respect, this is mostly because of what they've done rather than how old they are. Some take a certain satisfaction out of it, but Belgarath, the oldest living human at 7000 plus years old, is mostly just pretty comfortable and not overly angsty about his losses, a trait most of them share.
    • It's worth noting that he makes an exception if someone, mortal or immortal, died before their time. For instance, his daughter, Beldaran (who didn't inherit the lifespan and died of natural, if somewhat expedited, causes), his wife, Poledra (who died in childbirth or so it seemed), and his brother disciples Belmakor and Belsambar (committed suicide after going over the Despair Event Horizon - though Belmakor he might have been pushed by Zedar). However, he more or less adjusted to Beldaran's death, and is just a little sad about his brothers. Poledra's death is the one that really devastates him, because it's the one he feels he could have done something about if he was there.
    • Polgara, meanwhile, largely dismisses her three thousand plus year lifespan, which is all the more startling because her father at least looks old - albeit like a very vigorous seventy-year old - while she looks about 30, if that. When it finally sinks in for Durnik, her husband, she casually says words to the effect of, "and? You knew I was older."
    • In general, the immortals tend to be comfortable whiling away entire centuries studying.
  • In The Iron Druid, Atticus cultivates this attitude, being apparently completely comfortable with the fact that he's 2100 years old and has outlived pretty much everyone he ever knew who's not a god of some sort, indulging in Immortal Immaturity (some of it to keep up the facade that he's lived only a little more than 20 years, not centuries and avoid attention). However, it's Subverted. He's gone through a lot of heartache, including losing his wife of 200 years and finding that their vastly extended family had come to see him as an immortality dispenser, which unsurprisingly soured him on humanity for a while. He also has some serious advice to both his apprentice and his old archdruid about dealing with immortality, pointing out its pitfalls with examples from his own experience, such as: your personality changing for the worse as you risk getting detached, the inescapable fact that you will almost certainly outlive the vast majority of your loved ones (if, as he can, you can share the source of your immortality), and that you need to find a purpose and a reason to keep going or you risk falling into a depressive spiral and eventually committing suicide.
  • There are plenty of immortals in Gods Play, and some, like Cassie, have used the opportunity to cultivate wealth and a life of luxury. Others, like Meryl, have used their long lives to live simply and seek enlightenment.
  • In This Immortal, this seems to be Conrad's approach to life as he's never known any other, and he even seems to have no issue with his relatives and descendants dying before him.
  • Onrack the Broken from the Malazan Book of the Fallen doesn't mind being a clanless undead who walks the earth, contrary to some of his fellow T'lan Imass. As he puts it, there's always something new to see.
  • This seems to be a pretty common attitude among immortals of all kinds in Perry Rhodan including the eponymous protagonist and his circle of long-term friends. Justified on closer examination because this is a setting where "immortality" has been repeatedly shown to be less than absolute (open-ended lifespan, sure, but even Sufficiently Advanced Aliens and Powers That Be aren't completely immune to violence or even sheer bad luck) and so opting out by dying would always be an option if they really wanted to; it's just that they're generally not in any hurry and so simply keep going on with their lives in the meantime.
  • In Pyramids, Dios is eventually revealed to be as old as the Old Kingdom itself. And he might actually be infinity years old thanks to a temporal paradox. When he's incredulously asked how any man can stand to live for so long, he just shrugs and says that "seven thousand years is just one day at the time."

    Video Games 
  • In World of Warcraft, the draenei appear to be functionally immortal (they do not seem to die of old age) and their leader Velen is at least 100,000 years old. Immortality does not bother them at all; they don't even talk about it.

  • Kuro Shouri features a whole society (and some main cast) of demons that appear to live forever and age slowly. That being said, they live in a world with few resources, so many die regardless from starvation, violence, and illness anyway.
  • Noblesse: Cadis Etrama Di Raizel, a.k.a. Rai, seems more like Who Wants to Live Forever? when seen by the rest of the cast, being an incredibly powerful being known as the Noblesse who has lived for millennia and feared for his incredible power and only sparsely received visitors, and only looks happier in recent time when living in a masquerade as a schoolboy. However, Rai himself doesn't think much of his predicament; He is happier now in the company of the schoolchildren as well his his newfound friends, but otherwise he's content with his life, sipping tea, reading books or just staring out of the window for reasons unknown.
  • Nebula: The characters are Anthropomorphic Personifications of planets and stars, and so take the fact they live for billions of years and are The Needless as a matter of course.

    Web Original 
  • In 17776, everyone alive is at least 15,000 years old, since birth and death ended in the 21st Century for unknown reasons. For the most part, they go about their business as usual, having engineered a post-scarcity society precisely advanced enough to let them pursue their hobbies without making life trivially easy for them.

    Western Animation 
  • Steven Universe: Gems, being sentient gemstones, don't age, though it is possible to kill one by smashing their gem, and even then it's implied that the remaining shards are still somewhat conscious. The Crystal Gems, the ones who reside on Earth, have already lived for thousands of years, with their youngest full-Gem member being five to six thousand years old. It doesn't bother them in the slightest, and to them, their lifespans are as natural as humans having skin (although part of it is that they do perceive time differently — to them, several decades have about the same emotional weight as a day or two to a human). None of the humans that know of them make a big deal of their immortality either.