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Mortality Ensues

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Malfurion: We are its protectors, and through it we were granted immortality and power over nature. Now, at last, it is time we gave that power back.
Tyrande Whisperwind: You realize that we will age as these mortals do. Our powers over nature will wane in time.
Malfurion: If pride gives us pause, my love, then perhaps we have lived long enough already.
Warcraft III

(Mortality, not morality)

An immortal character becomes mortal, usually via external means.

Overlaps with Nigh-Invulnerability when the immortality is due to invulnerability and no longer having the latter means no longer having the former. Commonly done to Big Bads so that they can be killed. Sometimes such a way is sought by the immortals themselves. At other times the way is avoided at all costs.

Sometimes results in (a usually rather gruesome scene of) No Immortal Inertia.

Related to: Brought Down to Normal or I Just Want to Be Normal, Being Human Sucks, Humanity Ensues. Contrast Immortality Inducer for ways for a mortal to become immortal. Closely-related to Immortal Breaker, a weapon or spell that can supersede immortality to kill immortal beings. The chief difference is that this trope kills indirectly, while Immortal Breaker kills directly.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Lyrical Nanoha: After being separated from the Book of Darkness, the Wolkenritter lose their Resurrective Immortality and slowly become normal (well, normal in the context of a World of Badass where Everyone Is a Super) over the course of the next several years. Notably, they're all perfectly content with this, since it allows them to live out their first and final lives with their beloved master Hayate.
  • This is the goal of both Rain and Yuca in Immortal Rain: both are immortal, albeit in different ways, and neither wants to be. In the epilogue, Yuca has lost his memory, which eliminates the painful part of his immortality for now, and Rain has actually become a mortal 24-year-old man, so they both succeed to varying degrees.

    Comic Books 
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Traditionally the Amazons were only immortal while on Paradise Island and while upholding their oaths. If they left and revoked their oaths they were just as human as anyone else and aged at the same rate.
    • Wonder Woman (2006): For an unclear reason Athena revoked her own immortality and godhood, which lead to her death.
    • Wonder Woman (2011): In the New 52 continuity Apollo strips Hera of her immortality and divinity, turning her human, after he becomes the new king of Olympus.
  • In Lucifer, Lucifer orders all immortals from his Creation on pain of death. When Mona, who is sent to enforce his will, encounters a broken-down immortal who has just been through a major case of Love Hurts, she allows him to choose between exile, death, or his immortality. This allows him to live out the rest of his life with his home and his best friend.

    Fan Works 
  • The Torchwood fanfic series "It changes you" involves Gwen going to confront Syriath for stealing her voice, which leads to her taking on Syriath's powers. As too long spent with those powers would have killed her, Jack sucks the energy representing Syriath out from her. His immortality, when put into contact with the powers over death and entropy given by Syriath, leads to them both canceling each other out, saving Gwen and, as Jack helpfully demonstrates by stabbing his thumb with a knife, making him mortal again. To confirm that this isn't a case where his Healing Factor was just stripped (as in Torchwood: Miracle Day), a later fic in the series shows him aging and dying.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Disney's Hercules, Hades has his minions Pain and Panic kidnap an infant Hercules to feed him a potion that will turn him mortal so he can be killed, but because they miss the last drop Herc loses only part of his powers. Hercules becomes a full god again at the end of the movie, but chooses to go back to being "just" a demigod (and thus mortal) to live with his Love Interest.
    • A harsher example is before the climax, when Hades tricks Hercules into making a deal with him (his strength for Meg's safety). As Hades so points out, Hercules is pretty unused to having mortal-level strength, much less being pinned down by a heavy barbell. It doesn't help when Hades makes our protagonist feel helpless.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The premise of Hook is Peter Pan giving up the eternal youthfulness that Neverland gave him so he can grow old together with his eventual wife, Moira. This is because Peter realized any girl he fancies will outlive him should he never left Neverland, having seen Wendy Darling growing up into a grandmother and refusing to go on adventures with him again because she's too old for them.
  • In The Mummy, it turns out that the companion book to the Book of the Dead doesn't kill the Big Bad when read from. What it does is remove his immortality, allowing him to be killed like a mortal. Imhotep, however, didn't know this and simply walks into a sword, assuming he'll be fine.
  • In The Old Guard, the immortals will eventually lose their immortality. This happened to Lykon many years before the film, and happens to Andy during the course of the story. Of course, given the violent lives the immortals live, they are most likely to discover this when they take a wound and find that it isn't miraculously healing.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl has this happen to Barbossa at the worst possible time. He's among the pirates cursed with immortality for stealing Aztec gold, and the curse can only be lifted by returning all of the stolen gold. Will drops the final gold piece into the cursed treasure chest just after Jack Sparrow blows a fatal hole in Barbossa's chest with a pistol, removing the curse and causing Barbossa to bleed out.
    Barbossa: Ten years you carry that pistol, and now ya waste your shot?
    Will: He didn't waste it. (drops coins)
    Barbossa: (pulls open his jacket to see blood on his shirt)...I feel...cold.
  • Part of The Prize in Highlander is the option to live as a normal human, which Connor states is his intention at the end of the original film.
  • In Wrath of the Titans, the level of prayers to the gods has dwindled so much that the gods have lost their immortality and many have died before the movie even started. The gods who are left still have their powers, but they are fading and they are vulnerable to being killed.

  • And Another Thing...: Wowbagger the Infinitly Prolonged wants to die, but can't because he's been made immortal against his will. At the end he become de-immortalized, so he will eventually die. Close Enough.
  • The plot of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was Harry and company searching for and destroying the Horcruxes in order to remove Voldemort's immortality.
  • In Mortal Heart gods can stop being gods and become mortal by dying and coming back to life. Mortain does this while protecting Annith, and Father Effram reveals he was once the god Salonius until he, too, died and resurrected into a mortal life.
  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, the members of the Half-elven family descended from Lúthien get the cosmic choice to which kind they want to belong, leading to (im)mortality and a different fate after death. Arwen from The Lord of the Rings, and before her her uncle Elros, choose humanity and mortality. Their ancestor Lúthien was Elven, but got a once-only cosmic exception to have a mortal fate to be with her human lover Beren, before and after death.
  • In Skin Game, Uriel lends his Grace to Michael to use for a day, resulting in him becoming temporarily mortal. It is revealed when Harry punches him in the face and sees him actually bleed, which a being who can unmake galaxies should not do.
    • In the same book, Nicodemus temporarily takes off Judas' Noose which makes him invincible to anything but being strangled with itself, for a ploy.
  • In The Tale of the Body Thief, Lestat swaps bodies with a human for a day in order to feel what's it like being mortal again. Unfortunately, the other guy turns out to be a con man and a thief, who absconds with Lestat's body, while Lestat is trying to figure out what to do with being squishy and vulnerable again and needing things like food and shelter. He gets his body back at the end.
  • In The Zodiac Series, the backstory of the series is that the Guardian Stars—or rather, the Western Zodiac—were turned mortal so they could watch over the galaxy. Most of them, anyway—Ophiuchus was supposed to stay immortal thanks to his Talisman, but the other guardians killed him.
  • Warrior Cats: While not completely immortal, Clan leaders have nine lives and therefore stick around for a long time. In River of Fire, while Rowanstar is dying, he becomes the first Clan leader to choose to willingly give up his nine lives, and it works, because he dies and stays dead.

    Live Action TV 
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In an episode Q had his omnipotence taken away as a punishment by the Q continuum, thus becoming mortal. The Enterprise crew are saddled with him until he regains his immortality—in fact, he specifically chose them because he knew that they are idealistic enough that in spite of their own dislike of Q, they would still protect him from other creatures who might desire revenge on Q for his past torments.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • Voyager's first encounter with the Q involves one of them who has gotten bored and basically sues them to have his immortality revoked. He wins, but despite Janeway urging him to live out his new mortal life, he decides he's lived quite long enough already.
    • 7 of 9 hurt her hand while working and was upset with the fact that supressing the Borg nanotechnology removed her Healing Factor.
    • Q once made his son q (yes, lower-case) mortal and dumps him on Voyager. It's less of a punishment and more of a disguised lesson.
  • On Angel according to the Shanshu Prophesy, the Vampire with a Soul will eventually be rewarded by dying - which is to say, he'll be rewarded by becoming human, and thus being allowed to die as a human.
  • Nathan from Misfits sells his immortality on the black market.
  • Doctor Who: The clone of David Tennant's Doctor, grown from his severed hand and Donna Noble's human DNA. He has all the Doctor's memories, but only one heart and a normal human lifespan, which he chooses to spend with Rose on a parallel Earth.
  • The final episode of Lost implies that Richard Alpert has lost his immortality, which he considers a very good thing.
  • Torchwood: Miracle Day:
    • Captain Jack Harkness loses his immortality just when everyone else loses the ability to die.
    • At the end of the series, this happens to everyone, except Jack and Rex.
    • Word of God is that Jack merely loses his Healing Factor. He still has his Resurrective Immortality.
  • Ash vs. Evil Dead: In the second season, Ruby loses her immortality that has kept her alive for centuries by that point, forcing her to ask Ash and co. for help when her demon offspring turn against her. She's eventually killed for good by a younger-and still evil-version of herself.
  • In Season 4 of The Librarians, Jenkins willingly gives up his immortality to save Nicole, Flynn's first Guardian, to whom this trope happens minutes earlier, courtesy of Rasputin wielding Koschei's Needle. Several subsequent episodes deal with Jenkins trying to deal with suddenly being mortal after so long.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • In his best ending in Soulcalibur 3, Zasalamel succeeds in becoming mortal and spends the rest of his life as a scholar, chronicling everything he experienced.
  • In Final Fantasy III, the great sage Noah awards each of his three students with a gift. Doga is bestowed with great magical power while Unei was given control over the world of dreams while she slept, and both go on to become renowned sages in their own right. Xande? He receives the "gift" of mortality. He doesn't take well to this perceived snubbing. In fact, he's so bent on avoiding death that he's willing to "live" forever by freezing time for himself and everyone around him.
  • The Big Bad of Final Fantasy V, as well as the previous wielder or the Void, both lost their immortality when they acquired this power.
  • In the finale of World of Warcraft Cataclysm the Dragon Aspects lose their immortality (and possibly more of their powers) after focusing their power through the Dragon Soul to slay Deathwing for good.
    • And before that, in Warcraft III, the destruction of the World Tree saw this happen to the Night Elves.
  • This is the goal of the Nameless One in Planescape: Torment, in part due to the Immortality Immorality he's unwittingly using — whenever he dies, somebody else in The Multiverse gets the life sucked from them to restore him, causing them to linger as vengeful undead shadows.
  • The Elder Scrolls provides several examples:
    • This was the goal of the Underking in The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, as a necessary component of being able to finally die — which puts him as one of the endings of the game, as to die he needs the Mantella (which will be destroyed by this), the thing everyone else is searching for to either power Numidium or become a god. Whether he pulled it off is uncertain, but trending 'yes' — indications are that the end of Daggerfall broke time and all endings happened as much as was possible without directly contradicting another in anything but cause, and the Underking's death would have been easy to slot in for Akatosh' servants.
    • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind has the Tribunal, a trio of flesh and blood gods who ascended to that status by tapping into the heart ("divine center") of the dead creator god Lorkhan. The main quest of the game features the Nerevarine severing their ties to the heart in order to defeat the Big Bad Dagoth Ur, who also draws his power from the heart. Once those ties are severed, the Tribunal revert to mortal forms, which only happens, per Vivec (one of those deities), due to the faith of their followers.
  • Daemons in The Alliance Alive are normally immortal, but near the end of the game Vivian is made mortal after being cursed by Kuwalsa. She presumably regains her immortality after you beat him.
  • Fate/Grand Order: This becomes a problem for the heroes in the Babylonia chapter, as they are up against Tiamat, primordial mother of all life. Putting aside Tiamat's enormous raw power, she is the "alpha and omega" of all life, meaning she cannot die until she is literally the only living thing left in the world. The heroes despair at this, as it seems like there's no way to kill her that doesn't involve killing themselves beforehand. They end up dropping Tiamat into Kur, the Underworld. Since there are no living things in the Underworld, by definition, Tiamat is therefore the only living thing in that "world". Unfortunately, this still isn't enough: all the spirits of the dead and Ereshkigal herself are unable to kill Tiamat, and she begins to climb back out. So instead, King Hassan, the original Assassin, sacrifices the majority of his power to turn his sword into a one-time Conceptual Weapon that inflicts "mortality" on its target. This robs Tiamat of her immortality, regardless of whether any other life exists, which finally allows the heroes to destroy her.
  • In God of War (PS4), the first boss Kratos encounters is an odd man who is able to regenerate the wounds he takes, and thus, is unable to die. Kratos finishes the fight with a Neck Snap, but predictably, the man comes back later. It turns out that he's Baldr, son of goddess Freya, who ended up granting him immortality out of sheer overprotectiveness. But it turns out that her "blessing" can be broken with mistletoe. Convenient, then, that Sindri gives Atreus a quiver full of arrows made of the stuff. Also convenient is that Atreus' quiver strap breaks later, causing Kratos to use one of the arrowheads to fix it. Even more convenient is that Atreus takes a nasty punch from Baldr in the late game... directly to the arrowhead in his quiver strap, which impales Baldr's hand and breaks the immortality spell. This time, Baldr doesn't survive getting his neck broken.
  • In Paper Mario, Mario has to defeat Tubba Blubba, who was granted immortality and invulnerability by the Star Rod. Though Tubba is an idiot, he is smart enough to not let Mario learn that the immortality can be circumvented, let alone the means on how to do it. As Mario discovers, the Star Rod gave Tubba Blubba complete immunity to all attacks by distilling all of his mortality into his heart, giving it sentience, and separating it from his body. Mario finds the heart hiding in a cave at the bottom of an old windmill and engages in battle with it. When the heart becomes critically low on health, it rejoins with Tubba Blubba as a last resort, ending Tubba Blubba's invulnerability and his immortality with it and thus providing the means Mario needs to defeat him.
  • In NieR: Automata, YoRHa androids can recover from death by uploading a backup of their memories into a new body. After a certain point in the game, however, the Bunker is destroyed, and with it, the ability to backup and upload memories into new vessels. This is also reflected in gameplay: if you run out of HP in the Route C/D part of the game, you'll be forced to reload a previous save.

    Web Comics 
  • Housepets!: This was the stake of the cosmic game played between 'Pete' the griffin and the Spirit Dragon: The loser has to spend an objective time period (as opposed to subjective time, which is over the moment it starts) as a mortal being. They both lose. A few story arcs later, we see them as what appear to be two foxes - still arguing, naturally.

  • This is basically what usually happens to liches once their phylactery is destroyed: they don't immediately die from that, they just become killable.
    • Technically they're always killable; but as long as their phylactery survives, they won't stay dead.
  • In No Evil, Xipetotec sacrificing her life to deal with a serious problem is revealed to involve this: she doesn't die on the spot, but forfeits her spiritual status and immortality, living as an ordinary human for the rest of her days. This takes place in episode 2, but we don't learn about this particular interpretation until episode 35; the characters knew it all along, even if they kept talking about it like she died, meaning that Calamity saying "Hey, Murder" is possibly the most casual Wham Line ever.