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Obi-Wan Moment

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"You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."

Not everyone in fiction goes out the same way. While some people may scream, or pray, or curse and rage, or act terrified, for some characters that sort of thing is just... out of character. So instead their death is an unusually calm moment, where they take their last few seconds and use them to reassure the people they're leaving behind or find one last moment of peace before they Go into the Light. Sometimes they just smile at their surviving companion, fire off one last "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner, say that It Has Been an Honor, or admit that This Is Gonna Suck. Usually goes on into Peaceful in Death, if the body does not dissolve or otherwise be destroyed.

This usually pops up with The Mentor, the Zen Survivor, or any other character who has lived like they were Not Afraid to Die. May also happen with villains in a Dissonant Serenity situation. This may also be an indication that the character's death was not only planned, but in fact is a part of the larger picture of the story. Because of this, he will naturally Face Death with Dignity. May happen if the person is about to perform a Heroic Sacrifice or has already done it but death was not instant. This may be a precursor to a Death-Activated Superpower.

Named after a comment made on the X-Men: The Last Stand director's commentary track at the death of a major mentor figure, in reference to Obi-Wan Kenobi of Star Wars.

As this is a Death Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • At the end of Assassination Classroom, Koro-sensei's existence is leaked to the public and he acknowledges that the world will never allow something like him to exist. By this point Koro-sensei has long since accepted that he's doomed to die on March 13 and says he's honored to be assassinated by his students, allowing himself to die at their hands rather than someone else's machinations. There's also the implication that death is the only way he and Aguri could ever be together.
  • In the midst of the slaughter that was the Eclipse, Judeau's death in Berserk was particularly heartbreaking, in that he spends his final moments talking to Casca, whom he was secretly in love with but never got the chance to tell her his feelings. Instead, he spends it reminding her that her true love, Guts, loved her. He dies less horrifically than the rest of his comrades, dying instead from the injuries he sustained while trying to protect Casca.
  • Jean from Claymore goes out this way while she uses the last of her yoki to help Clare revert back from her half-Awakened state, reassuring Clare that she has finally repaid her debt to Clare after she saved her from the same fate and that she was glad to have met her.
  • This is how Lelouch goes at the end of Code Geass, reassuring Suzaku that what they're doing is for the best and giving Nunnally one last smile. It's kind of strained by the fact that he's been stabbed through the chest and is (apparently rather painfully) bleeding out, but it's still generally what he was doing.
  • Spike from Cowboy Bebop, after being fatally wounded in "The Real Folk Blues (Part 2)", goes out with a smile, a simple hand-gesture and a single word to the stunned onlookers: "Bang!" Maybe.
  • Angemon's "death" in Digimon Adventure, where he willingly sacrifices himself to eliminate Devimon, then smiles at Takeru and says, "I'll come back if you want me to," was pretty powerful for a kids show.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, Goku smiles as he bids his friends farewell saying, "Goodbye, everyone" before teleporting a bloated Cell into King Kai's world. Goku then sheepishly apologizes to the panicking King Kai, Bubbles and Gregory before Cell explodes, killing them all.
    • Also, Android 16. Having been blown up by Cell previously, his severed head gives Gohan a final word of encouragement, telling him to fight Cell. He keeps on smiling even as Cell walks up to crush him with his foot.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has General Grumman. His reaction to the Amestris circle activating, ripping out his soul and countless others is to calmly say, "Drat. It's begun." Also, like everyone else who lost their soul, he gets better thanks to Hohenheim's circle reversing the process.
    • There was also Buccaneer, who smiles and salutes his men just before his death, saying that he'll "be leaving early for a place higher than the peaks of Briggs".
    • And Bradley. His last words, paraphrased: "Because of humans...towards the was a life worth living."
    • Seemingly done to finalize the contrast between Father and Van Hohenheim who Father based his appearance upon and whose actions are the opposite of his. While Father screams at his end and desperately tries to fight for survival before he is swallowed by the Truth, Hohenheim simply collapses in front of his wife's grave with a smile on his face.
  • Sousuke's mother from Full Metal Panic!, as revealed from his nightmares and in his backstory. The plane he and she were on crashed in the middle of snowy mountains, and apparently all the rest of the passengers died. They were huddled together, and she protected him from the cold. During Kalinin's rescue mission, although they were able to take Sousuke out of the plane in time, the part of the plane Sousuke's mother was on crumbled, and she ended up falling to her death. She yells out to him, with a sad smile on her face, that he must live, never give up, and to fight. It certainly gives a bit of explanation as to why he's so bent on being Crazy-Prepared and becoming the Crazy Survivalist he is today.
    • Gates from The Second Raid. As Sousuke uses his Lambda driver to disintegrate Gates' Arm Slave, the guy calmly looks at a strand of his hair and says "Look's like I need a haircut", and is subsequently erased from existence.
  • Nuriko in Fushigi Yuugi falls under this trope. He was smiling at the time he died.
    • Emperor Hotohori as well. He spoke to all his friends (who happened to be in another world altogether at the time), reassuring them and also asking his love interest, Miaka, to 'be happy'.
  • Done by Captain Falcon in the F-Zero: GP Legend anime, just before its most famous scene.
  • In a hopeless situation while trying to give her friends time to escape in one arc of Higurashi: When They Cry, Rena stares down the Big Bad as she holds a gun on her, laughing at her plans until the end.
    • In the manga, Keiichi does one as well while time is frozen around everyone. He notes that he's going to die anyway, so his friends have to abandon him to his unavoidable fate in order to live. Becomes a bit of a downer when they do abandon him and he STILL dies.
    • In Umineko: When They Cry, Clair also gets a very serene Obi-Wan Moment. After she's slashed through by Will, she actually curtsies as she dissolves into the stage.
  • In Hunter × Hunter, Kite and Gon's reunion is horrifyingly cut short when Neferpitou senses Kite's strength and decides to use the Hunter to test his own power. Kite loses an arm when he is distracted trying to warn Gon and Killua to run. After Killua knocks Gon out to keep him from attacking Neferpitou, Kite urges them to get away as fast as possible. Kite then calmly conjures a weapon as he prepares for a fight he knows he can't win.
  • In the anime version (but not the manga) of Magic Knight Rayearth, after having defeated Nova and released Lantis from the Rune God Regalia, Anti-Villain Eagle Vision has a few moments to smile serenely, and think of Hikaru and Lantis as Debonair destroys his already damaged FTO. Cue Hikaru's Unstoppable Rage.
  • A rather... special one happens in My-HiME. More exactly, when Haruka tosses her red badge at Yukino before she disappears. Though the one above is the most extreme, the cause of most deaths in My-HiME allow many characters to know when it's coming and take it peacefully. Two characters, Natsuki and Yukariko, even bring about their own deaths as it's the only way to save the world.
  • Jiraiya from Naruto. After a particularly grueling battle against (then) Akatsuki Leader Pain that involved Nagato bringing all six of them together to beat him (considering 1 of them can take on several Jonin Shinobi easily, needing all of them to kill someone speaks greatly for their skill/threat level), Jiraiya is impaled 5 times and dropped into the deep waters below. As he sinks, he grimly smiles and references a Japanese proverbnote  accepting his death. Bonus points for the Stealth Pun of the proverb being about a frog, his animal symbol.
  • Jack Rakan in Negima! Magister Negi Magi spends his last moments apologizing to the Kid Hero for not being able to fix his generation's problems, and then telling his killer that it was fun, and his killer should really learn to enjoy this sort of thing.
    • He then temporarily comes back from non-existence solely to smack Negi for attempting to use his Superpowered Evil Side, and to give some final advice, essentially having two consecutive Obi Wan moments. And then he just can't stay away, since it seems he's back permanently thanks to Negi's bunch using the Master Key who brought everyone affected by the Keys back.
  • If you look very closely in the final episode of Noir, Altena briefly smiles up at Kirika and Mireille, since the latter had just grabbed the former to keep her from falling as well as she's falling to her death into a volcanic vent, leading some to think that the finale of the series was actually deliberate on her part as part of a massive plan.
  • One Piece is a skilled user of this trope, with many characters who die preferring to Go Out with a Smile.
    • The Pirate King Gold Roger kicked off the series by smiling (on the execution platform, no less) and telling the world that whoever wants his treasure can have it if they can find it.
    • The highlight though was the death of Nami and Nojiko's mother, Bellemere. Willingly sacrificing herself for the continued safety of her daughters, a gun pointed at her head, her final words to them before death were "Nojiko! Nami! I love you!"
    • It becomes a defining trait of people who carry "The Will of D". When Luffy is about to be killed by Buggy the Clown he grins and apologizes to his friends that this looks like the end. While it isn't and Luffy is saved by Deus ex Machina he had no way of knowing this. Smoker sees the resemblance between Luffy and Roger's actions. Likewise Ace despite trying desperately to survive for his brother and crew is happy to die as he saved Luffy and dies with a smile on his face. This is one of the reasons that Whitebeard calls Blackbeard out, saying that Blackbeard fears death and isn't one of the people Roger waits for.
    • Mr. 2 Bon Clay, despite having a tearful goodbye to Luffy and the inmates of Impel Down faces his certain death at the hands of Magellan with a grin on his face, telling the Warden that he has no regrets. He didn't actually die, though.
    • Whitebeard himself does this after taking down hundreds of Navy soldiers despite having a giant hole in his chest. He definitely got the last laugh: his last words were to reveal that One Piece exists to the world, thus jumpstarting the new age of pirates. His last thoughts were to smile at the fact that he achieved his greatest treasure and dream in life: a loving family.
      • It's even better than his last word made absolutely certain that though his death (and Portgas D. Ace's) spelled the end of the Golden Age of piracy just like the Marines wanted. His dying declaration made darn sure that the "New Era" would be three times worse than any of the others since Pirates now have the confirmation that One Piece is 100% real. Which makes all of the Marines sacrifices that day null and void.
    • Hyogoro poises himself to be killed by one of his fellow yakuza after he becomes infected by Queen's Ice Oni virus. Luckily for him and the rest of the infected Chopper produces a cure in time.
  • Surprisingly, Kyoko of Puella Magi Madoka Magica does one of these before her Heroic Sacrifice, promising Sayaka that they'll be Together in Death and inadvertently reminding Homura of her own mission. Madoka has a lengthier (and more subtextual) last conversation with Homura, reassuring her that things will work out and they'll probably see each other again. Both of them Go Out with a Smile.
  • In Saint Seiya, Hades chapter, Virgo Shaka elaborates on the ephemeral nature of life, and how death is only another step, as he is assassinated by the three gold saints. Extra points for him staying in lotus position all the way through it, much in a Buddha-like manner. It is later revealed that accepting death was needed for one to freely wander in the realms of Hades.
  • In Sonic X:
    • E-102 Gamma in the Sonic Adventure adaptation, after getting mortally wounded by his defeated brethen E-101 Beta, he exclaims in horror as the fellow bot explodes, only to express relief when his animal battery emerges safe, before shutting down himself. Granted Gamma is a robot with limited sentience, but since his final emotion was "relief" it still counts.
    Gamma: I'm relieved...Gamma: Mission Complete....
    • In the Sonic Adventure 2 adaptation, just before being ejected into space and blown up (not really) Sonic looks at his friends, says "hey, it's okay" before telling Tails to finish what he started. He's still smiling as he's blown out of the Space Station. Tails finishes what he started. Awesomely.
    "For the first time, Sonic has asked me to do something for him... I won't give up! I won't let him down!"
  • In Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Roy Focker is mortally wounded by shrapnel. In supreme badass fashion Focker doesn't even see a medic, he just goes back to his quarters and plays some guitar before falling over dead.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
    • Right before dying, Kamina takes a moment to reassure Simon and reverse his earlier message of "Don't believe in yourself! Believe in me, who believes in you!" to "Believe in yourself. Not in me, who believes in you, not in you, who believes in me. Believe in Simon, who believes in himself!".
    • Kittan stops a Spiral Power-neutralising trap using an attack up till that point exclusively used by Simon, and leaves by laughing quietly to himself about how great Spiral Power is before being consumed by the explosion.
    • Nia decided not only to not force Simon into abusing Spiral Power to keep her alive but also to treasure her last moments with him rather than regretting the time they are not going to be able to spend together. Oh, they treasure them alright.
  • In the Trigun manga, Wolfwood sits and shares one last drink with Vash in the rubble outside the orphanage he grew up in and just saved from destruction. The last thing he sees before he dies is confetti thrown by the children as they fly to safety welcoming him home.

    Comic Books 
  • Yankee Doodle Pigeon invokes then subverts this in the Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines story "Truce or Consequences" (Gold Key, Hanna-Barbera Fun-In #10). After Dick Dastardly frames him as a traitor and facing desertion charges, Yankee Doodle agrees to the easy way out to save face. But as Dastardly has a lit cannon aimed at him, Yankee Doodle utters his last words — "ABOUT FACE!" which causes Muttley to do an about face and aim the cannon at Dastardly.
  • Subverted in a story after the Conduit saga. Restrained in a deathtrap designed to be unbeatable, watching his life tick away on a timer overhead, Jimmy Olsen delivers a rousing plea to his super powered pal not to blame himself for failing to save him. Luckily, he had an epiphany which allowed Superman to save him — just barely.
  • In Sonic Universe Issue #3, E-102 Gamma confronts E-123 Omega and Gamma is shown to easily overpower Omega despite Gamma being such a weaker unit. He realizes Omega would be a better choice to return to GUN with and quickly implants a virus in Omega that grants him emotions just before Omega obliterates him. As he's doing this, though, he's telling Omega that he could destroy his body, but not his soul. Omega's response? "Robots don't have souls." He gets one.
  • Watchmen has at least two examples. When the artist realizes there's a bomb on his ship and there's nothing he can do, he hugs his girlfriend and awaits the end. Likewise, the newspaper seller instinctively moves to shield the comic-reading kid as a massive explosion engulfs them both. In a book that features quite a bit of Humans Are Bastards, the second example above doubles as something of a heartwarming moment.
    • There is also Rorschach's death. He starts out like this, coolly accepting the logic of his own death under the circumstances. But he breaks from the trope at the last moment; with tears streaming down his face, he screams at his hesitant killer to "DO IT!"
  • Inanna gets one in Issue 11 of The Wicked + The Divine
    • Well, not quite. Issue 21 then reveals that Baphomet didn't actually kill Inanna, as he realized that if Inanna knew that Baph's motive was to steal his remaining years of life, Ananke must have told him, meaning that she planned for the Pantheon to start turning each other. Unfortunately, Inanna still dies that night, but he's caught unawares and murdered by Ananke and so doesn't get the Dying Moment of Awesome he seemed to get in Issue 11.

    Films — Animated 
  • Jim Stanton in Battle for Terra, after blowing up the terraformer tries to pull up in his fighter in order to Outrun the Fireball, then relents, closes his eyes, and peacefully lets the flames catch up to him.
  • At the end of Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the ultra-fatalistic Owlman realizes he's about to be blown up, smiles very slightly, and softly utters his catchphrase: "It doesn't matter."
  • Master Oogway in Kung Fu Panda, who much like Obi Wan seems to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence rather than do anything so crude as to actually die. Noting that his time has come, he hands his staff to Shifu, encourages him to have faith, and fades into a cloud of peach blossoms blown up by the wind as gentle music plays.
  • At the end of Kung Fu Panda 2 Shen actually does this, just as he is about to be crushed by his now-destroyed cannon.
  • In Rise of the Guardians, as Pitch fires an arrow at Sandman, the latter is getting consumed by the nightmare, he first glares at Pitch and then calmly closes his eyes. He gets better.
  • Subverted at the end of Toy Story 3, where all of Andy's (remaining) toys all appear to do this as they are all about to be burned alive in the Incinerator, but then they are all rescued by the Aliens and their crane.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • It wasn't used in the final film, but just before his death in 28 Weeks Later, Doyle winks to the kids.
  • 300:
    Stelios: It is an honor to die by your side.
    Leonidas: It is an honor to have lived by yours.
  • Armageddon (1998): After finding out that remote detonation was no longer an option, the astronauts draw straws on who will go out on the surface of the asteroid to detonate the warhead before it crashes into and destroys Earth, A.J. ends up getting the short straw and just before he embarks, Harry (another astronaut who was also previously his boss on a oil rig and see's himself as A.J.'s father figure) pushes him back into their spaceship and gives him his embroidered suit patch. Harry then makes his way to the warhead and after a brief struggle getting a hold of the detonator, thinks of his daughter as a child and her hypothetically getting married to A.J. to motivate himself to blow himself up, which he does with no hesitation.
  • Avengers: Infinity War: Doctor Strange, about to disintegrate into dust, uses his last breaths to calmly reassure Tony Stark that "there was no other way."
  • During Ra's al Ghul's death in Batman Begins, he closes his eyes as the train's about to hit the tower and kill him. Looks like Liam Neeson likes this way of dying in films.
  • Blade II gives the same moment to Jared Nomak. After a long, eventful battle with Blade he actually slides the hero's broken sword deeper into his heart to finish himself off properly.
    Nomak: "It hurts. It hurts no more."
  • Roy Batty in Blade Runner, whose quiet resignation was a sharp contrast to Pris and Zhora's shrieking wrath. Realising his quest for prolonged life was All for Nothing, he saves Deckard's life and gives arguably the greatest final speech in film history, then smiles and silently slips away.
  • Children of Men: "Pull my finger."
  • In Clash of the Titans, Draco is mortally wounded during the fight with Medusa. Aware his time his short, he uses the last of his strength to stall and weaken her. Confident that Perseus could finish what they started, the normally stern Draco gives the hero a peaceful smile, reminding him to tell all that, "men did this." Medusa then turns him to stone and shatters his body.
  • In Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Li Mu Bai faces death in a rather obiwanesque fashion.
  • In Cyborg 2, Jack Palance is the leader of the underground railroad helping to smuggle cyborgs out from under the control of the Pinwheel Corporation. At the end of the film, the Corrupt Corporate Executive captures him, brings him to his office, and gloats that he's just sent the self-destruct signal to blow up the cyborg heroine (Angelina Jolie!). Instead, it's Palance who starts ticking, and with a smirk, he proclaims "looks like you kissed the wrong ass goodbye!" before blowing the Big Bad and his corporate headquarters sky-high.
  • The old wizard Ulrich does it twice in Dragonslayer. First, he invites an enemy to stab him as a test of his magic, and then gives the guy a knowing smile before he falls. Then he stands on a mountaintop and lets the dragon catch him in its claws.
  • At the end of Enemy at the Gates, König does this, when he realizes that Zaitzev tricked him and has the drop on him.
  • A Fistful of Dynamite had a rather interesting variation with John Mallory. After successfully blowing up a train, he gets shot and fatally wounded. We get a brief tear-jerking conversation between him and Juan Miranda... and then he promptly blows himself up.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Yondu gives up his spacesuit generator to Peter after the heroes escape Ego's implosion. Peter is stuck in Rapid-Fire "No!", but Yondu is dissonantly calm about the whole thing, even as he's freezing the death in vacuum, and his last words are in telling Peter that while Ego may have sired him, Yondu was proud to be Peter's adoptive dad.
    "He may have been your father, but he wasn't your daddy."
  • In the movie version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Sirius. He has this funny look on his face, like, "Well, huh. How about that. Oh, well. Guess I'll see you later..."
  • Kill Bill had a similar contrast between Bill's muted acceptance and Elle's desperate outrage.
  • The Last Starfighter so completely cripples the Ko-Dan mothership that it winds up on an unstoppable collision course for one of Rylos' moons. When Lord Kril is asked "What do we do?", he straightens up, closes his monocle-thing, and calmly replies "We die." And then they do.
  • Clyde Shelton in Law Abiding Citizen, after realizing that Nick Rice has placed his own bomb next to him and locked him in the room, takes out a picture of his dead family and looks at it in quiet acceptance, as he's engulfed by the flames.
  • In The Matrix Revolutions, both Neo and The Oracle calmly submit to Smith before they are assimilated.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: Jack Sparrow, left behind on a sinking ship with an angry kraken, simply smiles, draws his sword and lunges at it. "Hello Beastie."
  • Holmes in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows wasn't afraid to exchange his life for his friend's. He genuinely and sadly looks at Watson like he's saying "Goodbye, John." He gets better.
  • Subverted in Silent Hill Cybil pulls out her telescopic baton and fights off the cult members to buy Rose some time in order to escape in the elevator, she then pulls out her gun and tries to shoot the cult's leader Christabella only for the gun to be empty, Cybil then smiles and aims her gun down and peacefully lets herself get beaten to death by the cult members. however later in the film it's revealed that she is still alive and about to be burned to the stake, although she kept herself relatively cool compared to how many other, if not most people would have in her situation, when she actually died toward the end of movie she was nowhere near as calm or at peace like in her previous scene, burning to death while panicking and in anguish.
  • Mr. Spock's Heroic Sacrifice death near the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Given that Spock is a (half-)Vulcan, it's perfectly in character.
  • In Star Trek: Generations, as Captain Kirk lays dying, he is reassured by Picard that they accomplished their mission and says that saving the day one last time was fun, before succumbing to his wounds, with his final words being a wondrous "Oh my" as he faces death.
  • Star Trek (2009): Nero quietly faces his death, even as his ship is ripped apart around him as it sits halfway in a black hole. He was offered the opportunity to escape, but chose to go down with his ship.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness has a few different examples played in different ways:
    • Spock, facing his apparent imminent death in an erupting volcano, faces his fate with stoic calm, just before Enterprise manages to beam him to safety. His evident lack of regret over potentially dying leads to some problems with his girlfriend, Uhura.
    • Thomas Harewood takes the time to send a message explaining his actions to Admiral Marcus before setting off an explosion which kills him and destroys a Section 31 facility. This was the cost for Khan saving Harewood's daughter.
    • James Kirk, meanwhile, faces his impending death a bit less well. After verifying that the ship and crew is safe thanks to his actions, he admits that he's afraid and wishes he knew how not to be.
  • Star Wars:
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day:
    • The T-800 calmly lets Sarah Connor lower him into molten steel and gives a thumbs up before being completely immersed This is in stark contrast to the deaths of the T-1000, who screams and flails in pain the whole time.
    • Miles Dyson sets off a bomb so that with his death everyone had a chance to get out of danger, so he sort of qualifies.
  • Pvt. Witt in The Thin Red Line.
  • TRON: When Sark's forces come to arrest the old program Dumont, he stares them down and greets them as he would programs seeking contact with their Users, a major blasphemy in the totalitarian system.
    • Also, before Flynn performs his attempted Heroic Sacrifice, he instructs the onlooker not to worry.
  • While fighting the Phoenix in X-Men: The Last Stand, Xavier briefly smiles at Wolverine before being disintegrated. And at the very end of the movie it turns out Xavier's Not Quite Dead.

  • Rachel in Animorphs demorphs right before she's killed in order to smile at Tobias and tell him that she loves him.
  • Root in Artemis Fowl does this towards Holly. Not a surprise considering the father/daughter relationship between said person and Holly.
  • Cat's Cradle includes one of these, when Mona calmly touches a bit of Ice-Nine to their lips after discovering that the entire surviving population of San Lorenzo committed a similar form of suicide at Bokonon's direction.
  • Tirandys in P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath spends his last wounded moments telling his protege and surrogate child Jame that she did right, before ending his own life with the Ivory Knife.
  • The Dresden Files plays this off brilliantly with Shiro. It's one thing to take a killing blow, it's another thing to volunteer to be tortured to death, then still smile at the protagonist later on your death bed and offer some helpful words of advice.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Dumbledore is a Double Subversion. At first, it appears he's pleading with his killer to spare him. In the next book, it's revealed that his death had been planned by both of them for almost a year, and he was pleading for Snape to honor his word and actually do it.
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Harry himself repeats the feat shortly before the climax of the book (and the series) when he finds out that the only way Voldemort can be beaten is if Harry is killed by him. After ensuring that there are people who have the necessary information to kill Voldemort, he has a peaceful moment with the ghosts of his loved ones. He then confronts the Dark Lord, accepting his fate and not even using his wand to defend himself. He gets better, though.
  • In Les Misérables, when Grantaire wakes up to find Enjolras at the wrong end of a firing squad, he walks past the soldiers and gently asks for Enjolras' permission to die beside him.
  • The Lord of the Rings, when Gandalf looks at the other members of the Fellowship and tells them to "fly, you fools!" before letting go and falling with the Balrog. Even though he eventually does come back, he may not have been certain at the time.
  • Mr. Vandemar's final shrug before he lets go and is sucked through the door near the conclusion of Neverwhere is a prime villainous example.
  • In Star Trek: Destiny, both T'Lana (of the Star Trek: The Next Generation Relaunch) and Charivretha zh'Thane (from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch) die like this, peacefully accepting their fate when they're caught in the bombardment of Vulcan and Andor, respectively.
  • There are several of these moments in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Thrawn smiled. Lorana and Thrass took each others' hand. Atour Riten stayed behind on the Death Star to give the others clearance and sat surrounded by his books. Diric Wesseri held his wife's hand. Ton Phanan weakened and died very slowly, but he was still quietly Defiant to the End and wrote to his wingmate, telling him not to blame himself. In The New Rebellion, Luke didn't die, but he thought he would and acted in accordance to this trope, allowing himself to be killed rather than resorting to the Dark Side.
  • Terry Brooks does this in The Sword of Shannara Trilogy novel The Wishsong of Shannara between Allanon and Brin, whose last act in this world is to ensure Brin can carry on without him and to pass on a blood inheritance to ensure one of her descendents can resurrect the druid power he's taking out of the world by dying.
  • In War and Peace, both of Pierre's mentors, Osip Bazdeev and Platon Karataev, die in this way. Osip, in his bed with Pierre by his side. Platon, shot by the French, having intentionally fallen behind in a POW forced march. Both scenes are described as them dying with a certain dignity.
  • The Wolf Den Trilogy: Pliny the Elder, Amara's friend and mentor, collapses on the shore and tells the other refugees from Vesuvius to go on without him. When Amara insists on trying to save him, or at least staying with him while he dies, he calmly gestures (being unable to speak) for her to leave him and lies back to wait for death.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The megalomaniacal Hive gets one. When he realizes that there is no way to survive even though he has several minutes left, he becomes contemplative, sad only that he couldn't unite the world as he wanted to.
  • The Amazing Race 18
    • When last-place team Jet & Cord have been forced even further behind on Leg 9, they sit down at the Swiss restaurant where they're about to begin their final task, give a toast to the race, and enjoy themselves.
    • Similarly, fourth-place team Zev & Justin know they're the last team at the last task of Leg 11. As Zev makes the final drink to complete the bartending task, Justin makes one more for them to split. Zev toasts the race and the two take the time to walk barefoot on the Brazilian beach as they head to the Pit Stop
    • On the final leg, second-place team Flight Time & Big Easy slow down and enjoy the scenery during their bike ride over the Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys when they realize that sisters Jen & Kisha are too far ahead for them to catch.
  • Kosh on Babylon 5: while suffering a painful death he's already resigned himself to by the Shadows as penalty for getting the Vorlon fleet to directly engage the Shadows at Sheridan's request, which was against long-standing custom between these races, he contacts Sheridan in a vision as his father and tells him not to blame himself for his death, that he was not wrong to make the request he did of him, and apologizes for having lashed out at him for making it.
    • Londo Mollari and G'Kar as they both performed their mutual Heroic Sacrifice, killing each other to ensure that Londo's awakened Keeper wouldn't force Londo to betray Sheridan and Delenn as they escaped Minbar, in the flash-forward scene in "War Without End". At that point, the two were no longer enemies but friends, so their long-prophesied strangling of each other was not actually out of violent anger (at least not until the Keeper woke up). Londo Lampshaded the Prophecy by saying "we have unfinished business, you and I", and he said "I'm sure you're as tired of your life as I am".
    • Sheridan's farewell and going to his predicted death in the series finale.
    • Centauri Emperor Turhan also faced his death with a graceful dignity. He wanted to make sure he could apologize to the Narn for their past occupation before he died, and make peace with them, which was why he came to Babylon 5 — although that overture sadly failed due to the scheming of Londo and Refa.
      • Subverted with Tuhan, in fact. While this was arguably his intent (before he died, he wanted to stand before a Narn in neutral space and personally, if not officially, apologize), but his failing health robbed him of that chance (as did the aforementioned scheming). He also very much wanted to meet a Vorlon, and Kosh indeed stops by Turhan's sickbed shortly before his death. When Turhan asks the Vorlon "How will it end?" Kosh replies "In fire," which is not what the poor old man wanted to hear. Finally, his last words, after being informed that Refa and Mollari have struck a decisive blow against the Narn, is a whispered "We are all damned." Turhan wanted the Obi Wan Moment, but got a Trauma Conga Line.
  • It would almost be easier to count the number of characters in Battlestar Galactica who don't go out this way. Roslin, Anders, Gaeta, Tom Zerick, D'Anna Biers, the Simon in The Plan, and Admiral Caine all go out in this fashion. Starbuck has two stoic deaths and Cylons who expect to resurrect often go quietly. Even Dee could count, as she rather calmly and deliberately blows her brains out.
  • As the anti-matter wave sweeps over them in Crisis on Infinite Earths (2019), Iris shoots Earth-1 Superman a worried look. He just has time to give her a comforting nod before they both dissolve, the latter without a (visible) flicker of fear.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Most Doctors regenerate this way:
      • The First, Third, Fourth and Fifth Doctors go out without a fuss, after reassuring their companions.
      • The 9th Doctor gives Rose a grateful smile to show he's finally made peace with his pain and personal demons before being engulfed in golden energy and regenerating into the 10th.
    • Captain Jack Harkness in "The Doctor Dances". He sits there rather calmly even though a bomb is about to destroy the ship he's on. Of course he's rescued, but there's no way he could have known that would happen.
    • In "Last of the Time Lords", the Master smiles at the Doctor as he calmly dies having refused to regenerate after being shot. Of course, his death is essentially a big "screw you" to the Doctor, and he apparently had plans in place for his resurrection.
    • In "The Stolen Earth", Harriet Jones doesn't go out with crying and cursing, but with her catchphrase.
      Harriet Jones: Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister.
      Dalek: Yes, we know who you are.
      Harriet Jones: Oh you know nothing of any human. And that will be your downfall.
    • In "Flesh and Stone", Father Octavian winds up with a Weeping Angel about to break his neck as soon as the Doctor looks away, and no way to release him. He takes it well.
      Father Octavian: I will die in the knowledge that my courage did not desert me at the end. For that I thank God, and bless the path that takes you to safety.
      The Doctor: I wish I'd known you better.
      Father Octavian: I think, sir, you knew me at my best.
  • Farscape has a couple of these. Talyn!John when dying of radiation poison smiles at Aeryn and says "I've never felt better" before dying. Zhaan also goes out with a smile after giving her shipmates an encouraging speech.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Ser Rodrik takes a moment to smile at and reassure Bran right before he's executed by Theon, and says that he'll be with Bran's father Ned Stark soon.
    • In his final moments, Maester Luwin calmly instructs Bran and Rickon to head for the Wall to their half-brother Jon, who will protect them and let their mother know they are safe.
  • Lexx's Zev and Lyekka both smile and reassure their friends before dying. The latter is resurrected, only to choke out another comforting goodbye one episode later.
    "If you cry, you lose the memory of our love..."
  • In Lost, Charlie Pace meets his watery death with truly admirable grace, and is even able to convey valuable information at the end.
  • For someone so full of energy and excitement throughout his life, Chris from Skins has an oddly peaceful, serene look on his face when he dies in S2.
  • Parodied in The Strange Calls: Older mentor figure Gregor has been attacked with a serum that will turn him into a tree. Lying on a stretcher in an ambulance, he quietly accepts his fate, and offers some last wishes to a tear-stricken Banks. His last words before fading away: "If any dogs piss on me, shoot them." Further subverted in that these turn out to be Parting-from-Consciousness Words, as the nurses had just sedated him.
  • Supernatural: Crowley, of all characters, has this moments at the end of Season 12, where he kills himself in order to trap Lucifer in an alternate universe, and not once does he show any sign of panic or fear.
  • Tin Man: While he doesn't die immediately after doing it, the Mystic Man smiles serenely and clasps Cain on the back before charging out to make his Heroic Sacrifice, buying the heroes time to escape the Longcoats.
  • In Torchwood, when Owen Harper knows he's about to die, and this time he can't come back, he at first reacts with Do Not Go Gentle, and exaggerating the "rage against the dying of the light" bit. But he ends up this way. And then Tosh who is talking to him over a radio communicator convinces him to go out this way, and that's while she's also dying, and not long after, she also does her own version.
  • In True Blood, Godric the vampire meets his own end by calmly staring into the sunrise. As if that wasn't enough, he then comes back in later seasons as a spirit advisor (sort of) in true Obi-Wan style.

  • In Coheed and Cambria's song, "A Favor House Atlantic", Al the Killer goes out by telling the rest of his party to run while he holds the bad guys off with his sniper rifle. As they leave, he tells his love interest "Bye bye, beautiful, don't bother to write", and presumably dies.
  • This is the point of Megadeth's "A Tout Le Monde".
  • David Bowie's "Space Oddity":
    "Tell my wife I love her very much."
    "She knows!"
    • Slightly subverted in that Major Tom doesn't die (as revealed a decade later in the song "Ashes to Ashes"). However, he believes he's about to, so it still counts.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach composed a cantata entitled "Come, Sweet Death". He also supposedly went out calmly surrounded by people he loved. Considering his influence on later composers, it's understandable that he could die confident that his legacy would live on.

  • At the end of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney essentially allows Toby to cut his throat, even unbuttoning his collar in some productions.
  • Towards the end of There Shall Be No Night, Kaarlo, a middle-aged Finnish doctor serving as a medical officer in the Winter War against the Soviets, is given a gun and sent into combat. Knowing he's certain to die, he takes a moment to write his wife Miranda the letter that closes the play, in which he talks of the brave men dying in the war and how they are a symbol of hope.

    Video Games 
  • In Dark Souls II, King Vendrick gets this at the end of the Lost Crowns Trilogy; after having gathered the crowns of the Sunken King, the Old Iron King, and the Ivory King, you go into the King's Memory one last time with no possibility of returning afterward where Vendrick will give you his blessing. This turns each of the Crowns (including his own) into a functional Immortality device that can stave off the curse and prevent you from Hollowing so long as you wear one of them. After doing so and realizing that his own Hollowing is imminent, Vendrick gives one final word of advice before the Ashen Mist fades;
    Vendrick: Seek strength. The rest will follow.
  • Both played straight and subverted in Fallout 3, First with James, the main character's father, after the purifier in the Jefferson Memorial is seized by Enclave Soldiers lead by Colonel Autumn, who tries to force James to reveal the code so the Enclave can take control over the project, after the Colonel kills Janice Kaplinski a member of James's science team, James calmly without worrying about his own safety puts in a false code which floods the chamber with radiation killing himself and the Enclave Soldiers (and preventing them from using the purifier), just before he dies he tells his son/daughter to run in a manner similar to how Obi Wan told Luke as a ghost moments after he died in A New Hope. This is most likely not a coincidence considering the many other Star Wars references in Fallout and perhaps even more importantly, that James is voiced by Liam Neeson who played Obi Wan's Master, Qui Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace. Later on in the story ether the main character, a follower or Sarah Lyons (a Brotherhood of Steel soldier) can make a similar sacrifice, if Lyons is sent in she permanently dies, if the player or a follower goes in they survive in the DLC Broken Steel,subverting the trope
  • Each of the Espers who sacrifices himself in Final Fantasy VI does this.
  • Rufus's death scene in Final Fantasy VII. In the movie sequel Advent Children it turns out it was only a Disney Death.
    • Aerith's death in the same game when she dies in the Forgotten Capital.
    • At the end of Crisis Core, it's over for Zack and he knows it, but he's got just enough left to pass on his sword and give Cloud a pep talk before getting absorbed by the Lifestream.
  • Final Fantasy X: Just before his ascent to the Farplane, Auron simply faces the party and proclaims, "This is your world now" before he fades away, content that he can finally rest in peace.
    • Tidus himself, about to fade away, just smiles at Yuna and dives off the airship.
    • in Final Fantasy X-2: Lenne (and Yuna as she dreams of the same scenario happen to her and Tidus) smiles reassuringly to Shuyin right before they are both shot to death.
  • In Half-Life 2: Episode 2 Eli Vance calmly reassures his daughter and tells her to look away as he is slowly and inevitably dragged towards the alien lifeform that captured them all and impaled. At least until Half-Life: Alyx applies Set Right What Once Went Wrong via Time Travel at the cost of said daughter, leaving Eli in full Rage Against the Heavens mode instead at the one responsible.
  • Halo: Reach has a few:
    • Noble Six: Calmly accepts their duty to ensure the Pillar of Autumn escapes Reach, and watches silently as the starship lifts off. Then, without a second glance, moves to engage the Covenant assault force in the full knowledge that s/he will die in the process.
    • Jorge: Stays behind to ensure the Long Night of Solace is destroyed, exchanging final words with Six and giving him/her his dog tags. "Tell 'em to make it count."
    • Carter: Mortally wounded, covers Six and Emile as they head towards the Autumn, then takes out a Scarab in their way by slamming his Pelican into it.
      • Bonus points for his last words: simply announcing over the radio "Carter out."
  • At the end of Jak 3: Wastelander Damas lies crushed beneath a car. Jak tells him to hold still and wants to get help, but Damas merely tells him that it was a good fight and a good day to die. He goes on to say that he is very proud to have been by Jak's side at the end, asks him to fulfill his dying wish and then dies peacefully.
    • It's made into a pretty big tearjerker as Damas' dying wish had already been fulfilled, but he didn't know about it.
  • Xion in Kingdom HeartsShe dies in Roxas' arms, after telling him that it was her choice to go away now and that she belongs with Sora.
  • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV, Rean says goodbye to his friends who have known him for two years, and his students who he taught for a few months (Juna, Kurt, Altina, Ash, and Musse) before he, Crow, and Millium sacrifice their lives to take out the curse of Erebonia for good in the normal ending.
  • Colonel Walter Whitworth in Love & War goes out this way, reflecting that "another, greater adventure" is about to begin.
  • Mass Effect has a small one around three quarters of the way through the game at the end of Virmire, where you have a choice of saving either Ashley or Kaiden, and the one you leave behind will die in a nuclear explosion. Both of them argue that the other should be saved, and the only thing the condemned one has to say is "I don't regret a thing."
    • And in Mass Effect 3, Mordin Solus' last words to Shepard and in general fit this. First he tells Shepard that he would have liked to study some seashells that her referenced earliernote , and then later quietly sings to himself right before the explosion that kills him.
      • That the line goes "I am the very model of a scientist salarian" only makes it worse
      • If Shepard asks why Mordin can't have someone else can't do it, his response is a characteristic "Had to be me. Someone else would have gotten it wrong".
  • Metal Gear:
    • Metal Gear Solid: Raven, after being defeated, furthers the plot in a cutscene, and then calmly allows himself to be eaten alive by a flock of birds from which his name is derived.
    • Big Boss in the post-credits sequence of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
      "This is good, isn't it?"
  • Zeratul's death in Starcraft II Legacy Of The Void. Faced with an Amon-possessed Artanis in a battle he can't win, he declares "My life for Aiur" before making a final suicidal charge. He manages to sever Artanis' nerve cords, freeing him from the Khala and Amon's control, but takes a fatal wound in the process and dies after delivering his final instructions.
    Zeratul: The Keystone... will guide you... to the xel'naga...
  • In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the heroes weather an assault by The Wild Hunt, and the enemy has breached the castle and unleashed the White Frost to incapacitate the majority of defenders. Vesemir and Ciri get behind cover just in time. Vesemir gets beaten down and taken hostage to coerce Ciri to surrender herself... which she does. To remove himself as a hostage, Vesemir whips out a dagger and stabs his captor, prompting the captor to kill him in kind. Before his last defiance, he says the following:
    Vesemir: You always were an unruly child. I adored that about you. Now FLY!
  • Minor nod in World of Warcraft — when a priest has taken the talent Spirit of Redemption, the tooltip description states that the Priest has become "more powerful than you can imagine". Enhanced by the fact that Guardian Spirits in Warcraft have a similar blue-white translucence to Jedi Force-spirits.
  • In Xenogears, when Fei destroys Lahan, Alice calmly looks at herself as she is disintegrated. Also, Krelian calmly chooses to "become one with god" at the end which is equivalent to death, even after Fei pleads for him to come back to Earth and atone for his sins.


    Western Animation 
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode, "Day of the Samurai", Kyodai Ken, realizing he's not going to escape the active volcano in time, even with Batman's help, silently bows in respect to his old rival before disappearing in a cloud of smoke and ash.
  • Jaller's death in BIONICLE: Mask of Light as he takes a Rahkshi attack to save Takua, knowing that Takua is The Chosen One and destined to become the Toa of Light.
  • True to the source material, Kanan Jarrus of Star Wars Rebels meets his end this way. He knows he's going to die, so he shaves and cuts his hair so he can appear to Hera as he was the day they first met, gives Ezra and Sabine one last lesson, and resolves his feelings for Hera. When the time comes and he's holding back an explosion to save his family, he connects with them through the Force one last time before throwing them clear as he's consumed by it.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television for many ordinary people; arguably, one of the goals of high-quality hospice care.
  • Socrates is traditionally considered to have died in this way after being poisoned with hemlock, which was a standard method of (relatively) humane execution for political prisoners in ancient Athens. The issue is under contention since no one is exactly certain which "hemlock" it was. Enid Bloch's exhaustive essay ''Hemlock Poisoning and the Death of Socrates: Did Plato Tell the Truth?'' suggests the plant was Conium maculatum, which does cause a creeping paralysis and painless death in the manner described: "Socrates died gently and peacefully, just as Plato said he did. For Plato not only told the truth, he did so with astounding medical accuracy."
  • Reportedly Hannibal Barca, the great Carthaginian general, had a moment like this when the Roman legions who had been chasing him for years finally caught up for him, but rather than let them take him back to Rome and be paraded around as a captive he took poison instead. His last words were reportedly "Let us relieve the Romans from the anxiety they have so long experienced, since they think it tries their patience too much to wait for an old man's death."
  • Sam Kinison (Yes, THAT Sam Kinison). The fact that he was blitzed out of his mind on several types of tranquilizers and cocaine might have had something to do with it.
  • After surviving the wreck of a jet car, Top Gear (UK)'s Richard Hammond said in a mutual interview with racing legend Sir Stirling Moss, who had survived a similar brain-damaging accident in 1962, that the sensation of being about to die was like getting to the end of a to-do list consisting of: 1) get in car, 2) drive car, 3) crash car, 4) die. "Oh, I've got to the 'die' bit." Moss said that in his case, when his steering sheared at 165+ mph and he found that he'd crossed his arms in front of him, something was wrong, and the only thing left on his mind was "Christ, what does it mean?"
  • In true Chuck Yeager fashion, the black boxes of many planes recorded how many pilots would remain calm and collected even as they knew the plane was going down, in a truly dignified fashion.
  • Physicist Richard Feynman's Last Words? "I'd hate to die twice; it's so boring."
  • The (admittedly sparse) flight record data recovered from both the Challenger and Columbia wreckage indicated that the crew was calmly diagnosing and attempting to correct the problem of their ship disintegrating around them, even as they plunged to their deaths.