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Save Your Deity

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"Hang on Lord!
We're gonna fight for you!
Hang on Lord!
We're gonna fight for you!"
Peter and others trying to rescue Jesus, Jesus Christ Superstar

Has the Love Goddess turned into a Damsel in Distress? Has the Messianic Archetype fallen victim to a mob that hates unbigoted goodness? Is the pantheon dying because people have forgotten that Gods Need Prayer Badly? Or has it even come to pass that God Is Dead, and now needs resurrection badly? In either case, dear hero, it's time for you to Jump At The Call and save your deity!

And yes, failed rescue attempts do count as examples. However, fighting alongside the deity to save the world does not. The deity has to personally be in need of rescue, or at least be perceived as such.


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    Films — Animated 
  • In Hercules, Herc has to save Zeus and the other gods from Hades and the Titans.
  • Moana is on a quest to restore the heart of the creator goddess Te Fiti.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Dogma, Yahweh is in a coma for most of the movie. One of the protagonists rescues her by slaying her mortal form.
  • Jesus Christ Superstar: Fails miserably in the 1973 version: Peter and the others try to save Jesus, but are overwhelmed by the Romans — Jesus' surrender clearly saves them from getting slaughtered. Various theater versions of the play may handle this scene in different ways, since it's mostly a matter of choreography.

  • In Fiona Patton's Tales of the Branion Realm novel The Granite Shield, a historical fantasy set in an alternate Britain, the monarchs are the hereditary avatars of a fire god, the Living Flame, and the head of its religion, the Triarchy. For the past hundred years, however, the royal family has converted to a competing religion, denied their own divinity, and literally imprisoned the Flame within their own bodies. Until a Triarch woman gets the bright idea to seduce the monarch, have his firstborn child, and raise it to overthrow its father and return the Flame to prominence.
    • In another book, it's totally inverted: the new Vessel of the Living Flame is a small child on the run from her own priests, and being protected by a follower of the opposing God.
  • In David Weber and John Ringo's Prince Roger series, a supporting character is an Armaghan Satanist. This faith holds that Paradise Lost is propaganda; Satan was on God's side in the War in Heaven, and he lost. The angels have imprisoned God, and it is the duty of all good Satanists to receive military training so that, come Armageddon, they can rescue Him from the "Chains of the Angels."
  • A trilogy of novels set in Scarred Lands are about a priest who tries and finally succeeds to resurrect the dead god he used to worship until the Divine War This is actually played interestingly. In the Scarred Lands, priests gain their magic powers from their deities. Because their god died, his priests can only access the most basic of spells. After he's resurrected, the main character still can't cast spells, despite being his former high priest. The consequence of bringing his god back to life means he can no longer truly have faith in him, because he's now aware of his own mortality, and can't see him as an infallible being.
  • Discussed in The Bible: Peter grabs a sword to save Jesus from the roman soldiers, but Jesus stops him and recommend pacifism. At some point, Jesus also states that he could easily save himself, or summon a legion of angels to his aid, if he wanted to. This would would go against the entire point though.
  • In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the quest of Grover and the other satyrs is to find their god Pan, who was said to be dead. Heck, book three of the first series is about saving Artemis, and book one of the second series is about saving Hera. Rick Riordan loves this trope.
  • In The Mists of Avalon, the Lady of the Lake is trying to rescue her pagan pantheon, which is dying from the advances of Christianity.
  • This is what drives the plot for most of Small Gods.
  • In Peter Pays Tribute, the main character expy ends up saving not one, but two gods.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Aphrodite needs to be saved sometimes.
  • The "Blink Of An Eye" episode of Star Trek: Voyager takes place on a planet where the people are living in the stone age when Lightbringer, Groundshaker arrive. This deity inspire them to much greatness, but also cause them much harm. Over the ages that follow, they develop their culture and technology in their quest for their deity - Eventually realizing that she is stuck in the sky. Eventually they work together with the crew of USS Voyager to save her. And yes - "Lightbringer, Groundshaker" is Voyager: Time itself passes differently on the planet. This episode is a rare case of a pre-warp civilization being portrayed as justified in their religious belief in humans/Starfleet.
  • The second half of Season 7 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has this as a subplot, with the Vorta trying to cure a disease that's killing the Founders.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • In the adventure For Duty and Deity, the high priestess of Waukeen gathers a group of adventurers who worship the goddess and sends them to the Abyss to rescue her from the demon lord Graz'zt.
    • Dungeon Magazine #21, adventure The Chest of the Aloeids. Hermes has been captured and trapped in the title container. A group of PC's who worship the Greek deities must rescue him so he can take his place among the other gods on Mount Olympus.
  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the goddess Ananasa is trapped in an opal prison in Malfeas. The Ananasi werespiders tried on at least one occasion to free her, and now do her bidding as part of a long-term plan to free her.

  • For most of the run of BIONICLE, the plot revolved around finding a way to awaken (and later save, and even later return to his body) Mata Nui, the Great Spirit. Although, to avoid controversy, Mata Nui was never truly "worshiped" in the way a god of a real religion might be.

    Video Games 
  • In Lunar: The Silver Star, the main Damsel in Distress turns out to be the goddess Althena.
  • God of War: Chains of Olympus tasks Kratos with rescuing Helios.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky features a plot to rescue Dialga from falling into insanity due to Darkrai's corrupting influence.
  • Jade Empire: This drives a large part of the plot. The Water Dragon is not only in charge of rain, but she's also the deity in charge of escorting the deceased to the afterlife for reincarnation. Without her, the world's getting overrun with angry and tormented ghosts. Of course, you don't have to rescue or restore her if you're playing Closed Fist.
  • Kid Icarus: The first and second games, as well as a story arc in Uprising, involve saving Palutena.
  • In Darkstone, this is part of the backstory. Draak, a monk who served the goddess Kaliba, turned against her and tried to destroy her; his brother monks managed to defeat him using a mystical artifact called the Time Orb, but he wasn't destroyed and they've long suspected he would come back to try again.
  • Half the plot of Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 is saving the CPUs from the bad guys.
  • The Harvest Moon series uses this plot a couple of times. In both games, you are marked as The Chosen One by your ability to see the Harvest Goddess' servants, the Harvest Sprites.:
    • Harvest Moon: Magical Melody: The Harvest Goddess has turned herself to stone out of despair that the people of her land have "become unkind" and forgotten how to love the land and each other. It's up to you, the player, to collect 50 magical notes and restore the Goddess. You'll have a rival, Jaimie, who wants to be the one to save the Goddess, and do it alone.
    • Harvest Moon: Animal Parade: It's your job to ring the five Sprite bells to summon the Harvest King, who can restore life to the Goddess Tree and with it, the Harvest Goddess. Its predecessor, Tree Of Tranquility has a similar plot, only the tree's weakening/imminent death only renders the Goddess powerless.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Invoked and downplayed in Skyward Sword; Hylia's plan to stop the Demon King revolves around Link believing that her own mortal reincarnation is in danger to motivate him to undertake the necessary trials. Toward the end, the trope is played far straighter when Demise succeeds in consuming Zelda/Hylia's soul. It's explicitly stated that defeating him, and quickly, is the only way for Link to keep her from being utterly destroyed.
    • While not explicitly revered as a deity, the dragon Naydra, a powerful, immortal being, is corrupted by Ganon's Malice in Breath of the Wild and needs Link's help to purge it.
  • Total War: Warhammer III; the objective of the Kislev campaign is to launch a crusade into the Realm of Chaos and free their patron deity Ursun, who is badly injured and being held prisoner by the daemon Be'lakor.
  • The plot of the fourth Story Arc of Genshin Impact has the Traveler meeting Nahida, the God of Wisdom and Archon of Dendro. Nahida is an extraordinarily kind and caring god who looks out for Sumeru's people, but has been kept imprisoned for five hundred years by the corrupt human sages of Sumeru Akademiya, as they view her unworthy of succeeding her predecessor Greater Lord Rukkhadevata. The Traveler allies themselves with several higher-ups of the Akademiya that disagree with what their bosses are doing, and with them they carry out a complicated plan to free Nahida from her imprisonment.


    Web Original 
  • In Kickassia, the cast tries to revive Santa Christ after The Nostalgia Critic accidentally shoots him. Their chosen method of resurrection is a parody of Peter Pan — they get everyone they know to repeatedly chant, "We believe in Santa Christ!"

    Western Animation 
  • In South Park, the kids work very hard to save Muhammad — a divine Super Hero fueled by holy power equal to his teammate Jesus.