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Sibling Murder

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I've come here to kill you
Won't leave until you've died
Murder born of vengeance
I closed my brothers eyes tonight
Avenged Sevenfold, "Chapter Four"

Killing a sibling may not have quite the negative implications of Patricide and Matricide, but it's still traditionally seen as worse than killing someone you're not related to.

This can result from a Cain and Abel situation (good sibling vs. evil sibling), but that's not required. Accidental deaths, mercy kills and the like can also fit under this trope. In those situations, this can overlap with Kill the Ones You Love.

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A subtrope of Murder in the Family. May be the outcome of a Princeling Rivalry or Annoying Younger Sibling.

Adoptive siblings and half-siblings also qualify for this trope. "Brothers" or "Sisters" in a religious or martial order don't, as those terms are being used as a standard honorific (on the same line as "Mister" or "Madame") instead of describing relationship.

Killing a brother is technically known as "fratricide", and killing a sister is "sororicide", but many people use fratricide to refer to both.

As a Death Trope, spoilers are unmarked.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Akame ga Kill!:
    • This is one of the goals of the titular Akame, who has sworn to kill her sister. This is subverted, however, when Kurome makes a Heel–Face Turn.
    • It's played straight in the anime, however, when Kurome chooses to meet her end in her final duel against her sister. She is impaled upon Akame's katana, Murasame in the ensuing fight, despite the intervention of Kurome's Love Interest, Wave.
  • In Bleach, Hinamori Momo attempts to kill her adopted little brother Hitsugaya Toshiro, after her Captain faked his death and left behind a letter which framed Toshiro.
  • In Code Geass, Lelouch does this twice, reacting badly to it each time:
    • The first major blow Lelouch deals to the Britannian Empire actually involves fratricide: he murders his own half-brother Prince Clovis, the current governor of Area 11 in episode 2.
    • After accidentally using his Geass abilities to send his half-sister Euphemia into a murderous rampage, the only way to stop her was to kill her.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Near the end of the first series, Envy kills his half-brother Edward. The reason Ed was impaled was that he was so shocked by the reveal that the villainous Envy was his brother that he froze up and left an opening. He is later revived.
    • In the manga and second series, Pride horrifies even his enemies when he eats his younger brother Gluttony, his own ally, to regain the advantage in the fight they are losing. Note that he does this in front of Edward (the personification of Big Brother Instinct) and Greed (another one of his and Gluttony's brothers).
    • During the days of the Fuhrer training program, the young man who would become King Bradley fatally wounded one of his adopted brothers in a training exercise. While he was taken aback by it at first, his teachers told him not to care and that his brother was just a means to help him achieve his goal. The young Fuhrer took that to heart, and in the present day, he's just as much an unfeeling beast as the ones who raised him.
  • In Juuni Taisen, Boar's backstory shows that she killed her little sister in order to participate in the Zodiac War. The anime adaptation turns up the cruelty, where she bullies her into insanity by making killing others the only thing on her mind, then passes her a knife when her sister's been isolated from the rest of the family.
  • In Kemono Jihen, Kabane does this in Shiki's place after Shiki's uncle sics the grotesque, monstrous children of Shiki's mother with other Kemono on them, fulfilling Shiki's plead for help by killing them all.
  • It is Sasuke's goal for most of Naruto to kill his older brother Itachi for murdering the rest of their clan. He doesn't technically succeed. Itachi dies while fighting Sasuke but not directly due to him.
  • Strider: Hiryu was forced to do this to his sister Mariya after she went insane and started murdering other Striders. He tried to talk her out of fighting, but being unable to, was finally forced to fight back and pierce her through with his Cypher. This would weigh heavily on his mind afterwards, eventually leading to him leaving the Striders.
  • The anime of Shaman King has Yoh killing his brother Hao in the final version. However, Hao was hellbent on capturing the King of Spirits so he and his followers could eradicate the human race to create a kingdom for shaman only, so this is somewhat justified.

    Comic Books 
  • In Afterlife with Archie, Cheryl apparently kills her twin brother Jason and proceeds to rename herself.
  • Batman foe Sterling Silversmith murdered his brother when the brother threatened to go to the police unless Sterling increased his cut of the profit from their smuggling scheme.

    Fan Works 
  • Double subverted in Ash and Petals. Azula successfully killed Zuko when she shot him with lightning. Or so, it's told. Zuko actually survived his injuries.
  • Blood! Rusty AU: Rusty and Scourge force Socks and Ruby, their half-siblings and full-blooded siblings respectively, to jump into sewer waters. It's a moment that signifies that Rusty is becoming more cold-blooded and desensitized to violence.
  • In Frost Killing Hour, Elsa accidentally freezes her younger brother Jack to death when her ice powers get out of control.
  • It's mentioned in A Game Of Castles that Bowser's father killed his brother, Morton's father.
  • Aksel attempts to poison his brother in the Frozen fic In Pain And Blood. He fails when it's noticed that his father died in a suspiciously similar fashion a few years prior.
  • Cinder does this to her sister in My Name Is Cinder as a Mercy Kill. She stabs her sister Clementine in the neck before burning the house down because she'd rather not allow her to share the same fate as her mother.
  • The Big Bad of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fic Princess Trixie Sparkle is Celestia's and Luna's older sister who wants revenge on Celestia. Her goal is to kill Celestia.
  • Subverted in the RWBY oneshot Tiger, Burning (The Iokheaira Remix). Yang tries to kill a newborn Ruby because she thinks killing her would bring back their mother who died in childbirth. Yang doesn't kill her sister and grows to love her instead.
  • In To Belong, Prince Charming ran away from home because he murdered his fiancee Belle and his older brother John. It is thought that he killed them in a drunken stupor, but it's implied that something forced him to kill them.
  • This Multi-Animator Project video set to Evelyn Evelyn is a Warriors Alternate Universe work. Squirrelflight gets jealous because her mate Brambleclaw is attracted to her sister Leafpool, so she kills Leafpool. Squirrelflight's adopted daughter (and Leafpool's biological one) Hollyleaf finds out what Squirrelflight did and kills her.
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    Fairy Tales 
  • In Tấm Cám, Tam's half-sister Cam kills her reincarnated bird self. Later on, Tam reincarnates into a human and orders soldiers to pour boiling water on her sister. Tam later serves her sister's meat to her stepmother.

    Film — Animation 
  • Elsa from Frozen nearly accidentally killed her sister as a child. They were playing with Elsa's ice powers when Elsa slipped and hit Anna on the head. Anna was saved by trolls but afterwards, their parents separated the sisters. Years later this occurs again when Elsa accidentally freezes Anna's heart during a panic attack. Anna turns to ice in the climax but is revived through The Power of Love.
  • Scar is a big-time contender for this, having killed his brother Mufasa to take over the Pridelands in The Lion King (1994). He even made his nephew Simba believe he killed his father and let him run away, though Simba didn't end up dying like expected and came back after a Time Skip.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Alice, Sweet Alice, the Enfant Terrible Alice is accused of murdering her younger sister Karen. Subverted when it turns out that Alice was a Red Herring.
  • The Cable Guy: A Running Gag on the background of the plot is the trial of Former Child Star Stan Sweet, who murdered his twin brother Sam in cold blood (after they went their different ways, Stan into a life of crime and debauchery and Sam entering a cult). The events of the film end up disrupting the live transmission of the trial's verdict, and thus (at least for the audience) it will forever remain unknown.
  • In Chicago, Velma Kelly kills her sister for having an affair with her husband.
  • In Curse of the Undead, Drago killed his brother when he returned from Spain to discover the brother having an affair with his wife. This set in motion the chain of events that ends with Drago becoming a vampire.
  • Leta from Fantastic Beasts was sent on a ship from France to the US as a little girl with her baby brother Corvus in tow. Corvus spent the whole night crying and Leta, being a kid who just wanted some sleep, swapped him with the calm baby down the hall. The ship sank and the lifeboat the actual Corvus was on sank, killing him. She’s hated herself ever since and spends most of the second movie telling people that Creedence can’t be her brother because her brother is dead, despite no one listening to her. Dumbledore (who, as noted below, similarly caused a sibling’s death) tries to tell her that she needs to forgive herself because people shouldn’t beat themselves up for the rest of their lives for mistakes they made as kids but she still can’t do it.
  • In The Good Son, Henry had drowned his baby brother in the bath just because he had Henry's rubber duck. He later attempts to kill his sister by throwing her onto thin ice. She is saved from drowning but ends up in the hospital.
  • In Greenfingers, Colin is in prison for killing his brother in an argument over a girl they both liked.
  • Julia X: When Jessica goes fully Axe-Crazy, she stabs her sister Julia to death, because she has decided that it is her 'turn' now and she needs to take Julia's place.
  • Both "the Big One" raptor in Jurassic Park and the I. rex in Jurassic World ate the siblings they were recluded with first.
  • Nine Dead: One of Leon's past sins is the murder of his own brother. They were both criminals, one was just trying to backstab the other.
  • Subverted at the end of Pan's Labyrinth. Ofelia is asked to kill her baby brother to prove herself as a princess of another world. She refuses to do so. Soon, she's killed... and then she's spirited away to her real home anyway.
  • SHAZAM! (2019): The antagonist Dr. Sivana throws his Big Brother Bully out of a window. In the same scene, he lets his father be eaten by the Seven Deadly Sins.
  • In Sleepy Hollow (1999), two little girls are first seen in identical dresses during the flashback sequence leading to the Hessian's death. They are later revealed to be Lady Van Tassel and her sister, the crone in the Western Woods.
    Lady Van Tassel: Oh, my sister, by the way, sadly passed away. Quite recently.
    Katrina: You killed your own sister?
    Lady Van Tassel: She brought this on herself... (to a creeping young Masbath) by helping you and your master!
  • Stardust mixes this with Deadly Decadent Court. As the king lays dying he notes that three of his sons still live, commenting that he'd killed all his own siblings before his father even fell ill. Moments later, one of his sons, Secundus, is pushed out of the tower by Septimus and joins his other brothers, whose ghosts show signs of the various ways they were murdered.
  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?:
    • The twist is that Blanche crippled herself when she attempted to run over her sister Jane. Throughout the film, both the audience and Jane herself thought that Jane had tried to kill her sister in a jealous, drunken rage. In reality, Blanche was mad at Jane, tried to kill her, but Jane moved out of the way and Blanche broke her spine instead.
    • It's possible this occurred at the end. Blanche is dying due to dehydration and starvation brought on by Jane's Villainous Breakdown. The police find her at the end but it isn't specified if they were too late or not.
  • It's revealed near the end of Wonder Woman (2017) that Diana is Zeus' daughter. This means that the Big Bad of the film, Ares, is her half-brother. Diana ends up killing him in the end.
  • First invoked, then subverted, in Zombieland. Wichita asks Tallahassee and Columbus to perform a Mercy Kill on her infected sister, Little Rock, then stops them and insists that she be the one to do the deed. She then promptly turns the gun on the two men so that she and her NOT-infected sister can steal their weapons and vehicle.

    Literature 
  • In Animorphs, this is attempted three times, only the last of which is successful:
    • Esplin 9466 the Greater (aka Visser Three) attempts to kill his own twin, Esplin 9466 the Lesser, out of jealousy. The latter's fate is left unknown, but at the time the Animorphs meet him, the Visser is wholly unsuccessful, despite cutting his brother off from the Kandrona.
    • Then, we meet Arbat, brother to Alloran (aka Visser Three's host). It's unknown how much he actually meant his assassination mission of killing the Visser - as his real mission was something else - but he was also unsuccessful. Had he been successful, his brother would have died along with Esplin.
    • Finally we have Tom, Jake's brother, an involuntary controller. When the Yeerk in Tom's head becomes too high-ranking and dangerous, Jake sends his cousin Rachel on a suicide mission to murder Tom/the Yeerk in his head. Both Rachel and Tom die.
  • The Belgariad: Inheritance in the Murgo court is oldest surviving son gets everything. Urvon used to have lots of brothers and half-brothers, but when we meet him he's an only child.
  • The Bridge Kingdom Archives: this is what Lara seems to be doing at the beginning of the book and what her sister Marylyn tries to do near the end (but is killed by Lara instead).
  • The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness: The father of Torak is killed by a demon-possessed bear in Wolf Brother. It turns out in Spirit Walker that the bear was created specifically to kill Torak's father by his brother Tenris.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: In The Magician's Nephew, Jadis casts a forbidden spell to kill her unnamed younger sister (along with everything else in her universe) at the end of a civil war and prevent her from becoming Empress.
  • In Harry Potter , Dumbledore’s sister, Ariana, got killed in a Mêlée à Trois between him, their brother Aberforth, and Grindelwald. They don’t know exactly who did the killing but both brothers really don’t a distinction between having maybe killed her and actually having killed her. As far as they’re concerned they killed her and both feel incredibly guilty about it a century later.
  • In the The Lion King: Six New Adventures book A Tale Of Two Brothers, it's revealed that Scar (then known as "Taka") tried to kill Mufasa as an adolescent. Taka himself ended up getting injured by the buffalo, which is why he has a scar.
  • Old Kingdom:
    • Kerrigor, the Big Bad of Sabriel, had his two sisters sacrificed on two of the Great Charter Stones by his minions to break them. He also killed his mother and would have killed his half-brother if not for the arrival of the Abhorsen.
    • In Clariel, it turns out that the title character's mother Jaciel is estranged from her family because she was accused of this. Her older brother was already dead, his body having been stolen by one of the Dead, so she killed it by dousing her brother's body in molten gold, but due to her father the Abhorsen's dereliction of his duties, Jaciel's story was not believed and she was kicked out.
  • In the final book of The Spirit Thief, Benehime kills her brother and steals his power so that there'd be no-one left able to oppose her plans to kill the world.
  • Star Wars Legends: Jaina Solo has to kill her twin brother Jacen when he becomes Sith Lord Darth Caedus. Granted, he does hesitate momentarily during their battle to save someone else's life by warning them of something, but Jaina still has to kill him. The only upside is that she thinks she felt him die as Jacen, rather than Caedus, through their Force twin bond, and it gives hope that he might have been redeemed at the last minute. She takes it really hard, as Han and Leia find her cradling his body and sobbing when they arrive.
  • Subverted in Survivor Dogs. Blade tries to force Storm and her litter-brother Fang into a fight to the death, however, Storm refuses to kill Fang.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • Scourge is Firestar's Ax-Crazy half-brother. He was responsible for taking Firestar's first life and attempted to kill Cloudtail, who is Firestar's nephew and thus is also his own kin. Firestar saves Cloudtail by biting Scourge's neck, killing him.
    • Brambleclaw kills his villainous half-brother Hawkfrost in self-defense.
  • Subverted in Wings of Fire. Peril was told that she killed her twin sibling prior to hatching. In reality, her mother was forced to kill one dragonet to save the other (although the Midquel book “Dragonslayer” reveals that the supposedly dead dragonet is alive and well). Burn then proceeded to double-cross her and try to kill Peril, however, she ultimately let Peril live.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Borgias, Cesare kills his younger brother Juan, after Juan has brought a humiliating defeat onto the family. Lucrezia also tries to kill Juan earlier (for threatening her baby) but her attempt doesn't succeed.
  • Doctor Who: In "Demons of the Punjab", Hindu fanatic Manish, although not pulling the trigger himself, does everything else to arrange his brother's death for daring to marry a Muslim woman.
  • House: One episode featured a teenage patient-of-the-week who had run away from home and was supporting herself. Her Dark Secret is that she accidentally killed her brother. By the end of the episode, she's reunited with her parents, who had already lost one child too many.
  • Law & Order: In one episode, a boy is forced to murder his brother by his possessive, controlling mother when the state was planning on taking him from her.
  • In Lucifer, the titular character is forced to kill his brother Uriel with Azrael's blade (it eradicates a being's soul, without sending it to Hell or Heaven), in order to save Chloe and Mother. For the following episode, he tries to come to terms with killing his own brother and acts out, even putting himself in front of a sniper (while near to Chloe, which would render him mortal) to be punished.
  • Subverted in Riverdale. Everyone believes Jason was murdered by his twin Cheryl, however, Cheryl didn't kill him. Their father did.

    Music 

    Mythology & Religion 

    Theatre 
  • In Hamlet, Claudius killed his brother, married his widow, and became king, setting up the main plot which has said brother's son, the title character, seeking revenge for him.
  • In King Lear, Goneril poisons her sister Regan because she saw her as competition for Edmund.

    Video Games 
  • In Age of Empires II, Attila the Hun must kill his brother, Bleda, to take control of the Huns in the first scenario of his campaign. The goal is for either Attila to directly attack Bleda, or allow the Iron Boar to do the job. If the boar is killed first, Bleda will then turn against Attila and try to kill him.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, this trope is in play to show the dangerous, brutal nature of dwarven political intrigue. In the Dwarf Noble origin, the player's younger brother, Bhelen, tells them that their older brother, Trian, is going to try to kill them to prevent them from taking Trian's place as named heir. The player themselves can kill Trian, or decide to wait and see what he does. However, the whole thing is actually Bhelen's scheme; if the player kills Trian, Bhelen leads the other dwarven lords (including the player character's father, the king) to see the scene and immediately condemn the player character to exile and death. If the PC decides not to kill Trian, Bhelen has him killed anyway and frames the player character for it. He thus eliminates both his rivals to the throne in one stroke. The player character can come back and kill Bhelen in revenge if they support Lord Harrowmont as king during the Orzammar quest.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon: Princess Minerva wants to be the one to kill her brother Michalis, an enemy of the protagonist's group:
    Minerva: I love him enough to spare him death on some stranger's sword, do you see? Let him be punished by my hands.
    • In Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, the final boss is Julius, the hero Seliph's possessed younger half brother and the twin brother of Mysterious Waif Julia. Anyone can kill Julius, and he gives special dialogue if killed by Seliph, but Julia's Last Disc Magic is the most effective weapon.
    • Fire Emblem Fates has a protagonist who's a Child of Two Worlds, with an adoptive family in Nohr and a birth one in Hoshido that turns out to be adoptive too. Choosing one family will pit him/her against the other and will bring a huge chance of this taking place. The only fully unavoidable instance of this is Xander's Accidental Murder of his half-sister Elise in Birthright when she tries to protect the Avatar with an Heroic Sacrifice; while Xander himself and Possessed!Takumi from Conquest can be put down by the Avatar, he/she is not absolutely required to do so, though the gameplay will heavily favor it. As for Ryoma, when he realized the Avatar was hesitant to kill him, and knowing the Avatar him/herself might die if he/she refuses, Ryoma commits Seppuku to spare the Avatar that burden.
  • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, after Cinderella is freed from their tyranny, her evil stepsisters summon an Unversed called the Cursed Coach to murder her out of hatred. The attempt backfires, and they are killed by one of its bombs instead.
  • The Overwatch, "Dragons" short tells the story of Hanzo, who was ordered to straighten out his wayward brother Genji but was forced to kill him, which led to Hanzo abandoning his clan in disillusionment. At the end, the ninja assassin he fights against turns out to be the brother he thought he had killed all those years ago.
  • Resident Evil 6: Helena is forced to kill her younger sister Deborah, who's been infected by the C-virus.
  • In Runescape's Myreque questline, Vanescula Drakan conspires with the Myreque to kill her brothers and take control over Morytania. She directly kills the younger Ramis and injures Lord Draken enough for him to be killed.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc: We learn in the final chapter that The Mastermind was sisters with one of the participants, and executed her on a whim simply For the Evulz.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: Shion is prone to this in different arcs. Her twin sister Mion is the next in line to be the head of their yakuza clan, though, in reality, Shion is the heir. Years ago they switched places but couldn't switch back when Mion (Shion by birth) was given a tattoo. Shion also blames her family for murdering her missing crush. (In reality, Satoshi is actually alive but is in a coma.) In Meakashi and Watagashi Shion goes on a murder spree which includes putting Mion in a cage and forcing her to hear as she killed their grandmother, her crush's little sister, and several other people. She even attempts to kill (and in the anime attempt to rape) Mion's crush Keiichi. At the end of both arcs, she kills Mion and pretends to be her afterwards. Shion stabs Keiichi (though he survives) but later kills herself when the reality of her actions finally washes over her. Despite Shion's behavior in those infamous arcs, Shion and Mion get along very well in most worlds.
  • Liar Liar 2:
    • One of the Bad Ends has Minami stabbing her older sister, to avenge her boyfriend who Yukari killed in the previous game. Minami plans on turning herself in afterwards but wanted revenge. It's one of the few Tear Jerker scenes in the series, as Yukari confesses she killed Minami's boyfriend (and her ex) to protect her from dating a two-timing jerk. Yukari is normally sadistic and Ax-Crazy but loves Minami and is content to die if it makes her happy.
    • The game's ending comes in three forms: In the Normal End, Minami does a Wounded Gazelle Gambit and tries to kill Yukari but Yukari kills her instead. The Bad End variant has Yukari not protecting herself, causing Minami to kill her. The Good End has Yukari's girlfriend kill Minami to protect her, however, Yukari gets upset that Miho killed her sister and kills her.
  • In Long Live the Queen, although Elodie is an only child herself, she is close with her cousin Charlotte. However, in a playthrough where Elodie is played cruelly, unlocks her Lumen powers and uses them to accidentally summon a kraken in the process of destroying an enemy fleet at sea, and learns about Charlotte's latent powers as a Lumen herself, it's possible for her to arrange for Charlotte to be sacrificed to the Kraken to appease it, as the only means of subduing it are either a monthly ritual spell for seven years, or the sacrifice of a young Lumen girl as tribute.
  • Umineko: When They Cry: We have the 4 children of the Ushiromiya householder in such an extreme situation of Sibling Rivalry to reach and overtake the Cain and Abel trope. In particular, Eva (and Eva-Beatrice) and Rudolf are the most inclined to enter this trope.

    Webcomics 

    Web Video 
  • My Dad's Tapes: Uncle Don was responsible for the father's death, not for any malicious reasons, but all a part of their plan to keep balance in the world.
  • The Weather: Alan drowned his little brother for the crime of tattling on him.

    Western Animation 
  • At the end of the Book One in The Legend of Korra, Tarrlok kills himself and his brother Noatak (aka, Amon) by blowing up the boat they're fleeing on.
  • The tie-in animated series The Lion Guard reveals that Scar was bestowed with the Roar of the Elders when he headed-up the Lion Guard during Mufasa's rule. But when his Lion Guard refused to help him in overthrowing Mufasa, Scar used the roar to destroy them. But as the Roar was never meant to be used for evil, the Great Kings of the Past depowered him of it.


 
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Alternative Title(s): Fratricide, Sororicide, Siblicide

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Scar Kills Mufasa

In a bid to become the king of the Pride Lands, Scar usurps his brother Mufasa's position by tossing him down the gorge during a wildebeest stampede, but not before giving an ugly and sadistic grin to his older brother.

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