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Stronger with Age

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Baby dragons may seem like a cute pet for your kids... but they get bigger. And bigger. And bigger. AND BIGGER...

"I laid low the warriors of old, and their like is not in the world today. Then I was but young and tender. Now I am old and strong, strong, strong, Thief in the Shadows!"
Smaug the dragon, The Hobbit

Everyone knows a child is more durable than a newborn, and that an adult is tougher than a kid.

However, for humans, it has proven to be more of a case of Zigzagged Trope. As while we all might get Older and Wiser, and we all obtain more developed bodies, from the point middle age onwards many will begin to experience physical deterioration, though there are different exceptions out there where that burden can be lessened, either subtly or significantly, by a variety of reasons.

Some creatures however... just don't. They never grow decrepit. Conditions such as Arthritis don't settle in. They keep growing stronger, faster and more resilient with each passing year, and in some cases they keep growing bigger as well. They're not simply more powerful due to having more experience: they are literally tougher than any younger specimen of the same breed.

Vampires, dragons, and wizards are three of the most common beings to exhibit this, with ancient dragons and elder vampires possessing terrible power, and older wizards invariably commanding greater arcane might than their younger fellows — especially when Wizards Live Longer. This can cause a bit of Fridge Logic if the creature is stated not to be immortal: if dragons become more resilient as they age, then just how do they die of old age? The answer could be the Square-Cube Lawexcept when they don't die of old age at all.

A subtrope of Older Is Better. See also Monster Lords, who are often older members of their species, and contrast Evil Makes You Monstrous (for the latter, they get eviler with age and thus get uglier and stronger). For the human equivalent, see the Old Master, Old Soldier, and Sickly Child Grew Up Strong. Often overlaps with the Monster Progenitor and Mother of a Thousand Young, who are the first in a line of monsters and are thus the strongest of their kind. See also Gigantic Adults, Tiny Babies,

May result in a Years Too Early insult by one to a younger one.

Not to be confused with what happens to certain cheeses, wines, and socks.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • This is what ultimately spurs the entire plot of Back Arrow. As Emperor Zetsu had become so powerful with age that The God Beyond The Wall sent Arrow to wipe out all of Lingiland due to him being that much of a threat.
  • In Dragon Ball Saiyans grow exceptionally stronger as they grow older and they live for extremely long time so as they can fight for longer as a Proud Warrior Race. This showcased by Goku who could only just lift a small car when he was 12 and by the time he’s in his 30s can throw around mountains and shatter planets. In Dragon Ball: Fusions there’s Stabba a Cool Old Lady Saiyan who’s A-Rank fighter more than capable of throwing it down with fighters decades younger than her. An exception to this would be Paragus from Dragon Ball Super: Broly who doesn’t get any stronger in his old age, but he’s weak by Saiyan standards anyway.
  • The Lyrical Nanoha franchise has Voltaire, an ancient black dragon so powerful, it's practically revered as a Physical God in Caro's home planet of Alzus, with Caro serving as a priestess that it occassionally lends its power to. In contrast, Friedrich, the young dragon that Caro raised on her own, is mainly used for support fire and transport even in his full form.
  • My Hero Academia
    • The One for All Quirk starts weak, but considering its property of stockpiling power and how it's been passed for generations, it's gotten very powerful in the present day. So powerful, the wielder would require a trained body just to handle it. So powerful, it was able to defeat the single most powerful Quirk of that or any age, with nothing but a Lightning Bruiser powerset and before it gave its user the ability to also wield the Quirks of the previous bearers.
    • Said Quirk, All for One, is also revealed to get stronger with age due to its ability to keep stealing stronger Quirks of later generations of wielders. However, All for One's own body can't strengthen itself to keep up with said development, forcing the villain to devote resources to research necessary to augment his body to handle the strains of so many powerful Quirks.
  • In One Piece:
    • Lao G practices a form of martial arts that allows him to continue to gain physical strength as he ages. Problem is that it does not prevent health problems like bad backs and arthritis, which causes the octogenarian fighter to do things like destroy mountains with a single palm thrust and then collapse in back pain.
    • In general Oda has confirmed Devil Fruits get more powerful over time (eventually awakening) as the user ages and gets better at using it. Both Luffy and Robin as children had shoddy displays of their power especially the former, but they time they’ve grown up they turned their respective Devil Fruits into a Swiss-Army Superpower.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Joey/Jonouchi defeats an opponent by allowing his Baby Dragon to age a millennium into the much-more-powerful Thousand Dragon.
    • It's also true with Yugi's Dark/Black Magician, who becomes the Dark/Black Robed Sage after also having a thousand years to study the arts of magic.
    • The Gagagigo story shows that Gagagigo became stronger when he ages. However, while Gagagigo is much stronger than his child self "Gigobyte", his cyborg version "Giga Gagagigo" was modified by Kozaky, averting this trope. "Gogiga Gagagigo" was the stronger, insane version of "Giga Gagagigo", but he eventually became the good "Gagagigo the Risen" who has the same ATK and DEF as "Gogiga Gagagigo".

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: Dragons only get bigger, stronger, and smarter as they age. The last Elder Dragon, Nicol Bolas, is an incredibly dangerous villain described as "Dominaria's most ancient evil". They apparently can die of old age eventually, since one of Nicol Bolas' goals was to regain the immortality he lost when his Planeswalker spark was weakened by the Mending.
  • Munchkin: "Ancient" is a +10 monster buff.

    Comic Books 
  • Black Moon Chronicles: Dragons only get bigger as they get older. The oldest dragon in the world and the progenitor of his kind is so big that he barely fits through the spacegate.
  • Marvel Comics:
    • The Maestro, the future version of the The Incredible Hulk, who is stronger and smarter than present day Hulk (even when PDH is in smart mode). Part of the rationale is that there had been a nuclear war, and since the Hulk is radiation-powered, this made him stronger at the expense of his sanity (well, at the expense of Smart Hulk's sanity).
    • Spider-Man’s Super Strength explicitly grows as he gets older, as a teenager he could crush metal and lift tons of debris off himself while as a 20-something (which he’s been for years thanks to Comic-Book Time) he can support the weight of an entire building and stagger even Hyperion with his punches. This subject to Depending on the Writer however mainly in alternative universe/elseworld comics like Spider-Man: Life Story where Peter’s strength decreases as he grows old to the point of him needing the Venom Symbiote to keep up.
    • The Mighty Thor is a clear case of this, as a boy-god in Son of Asgard he has trouble slaying a single dragon. Thousands upon thousands of years later in present day Marvel Thor can smash planets into pieces, beat up Galactus and literally reverse fate by pushing the World Engine connected to Yggdrasill.
    • Explicitly stated to be the case with The Inhumans, with regards to their powers. A Kang-made Spider-Man robot once tried to disable Crystal and The Avengers by rapidly aging them, only to be Hoist by His Own Petard when Crystal suddenly had double the Elemental Powers.
    • The Thing once met a future version of himself who easily overpowered him. His future self noted that Ben will never stop getting stronger.
  • Superman:
    • This has been canon of Kryptonians for quite a while, with the explanation that, as Superman, Supergirl... grow older, their bodies become more accustomed to absorbing solar radiation and build up greater stores of it.
    • Many origin stories like Superman: Secret Origin show Superman's powers developing over the course of his youth, and Future Badass Superman tend to be measurably stronger (this doubles as an easy explanation for writers to develop his power further). The pinnacle of this would likely be the Superman of the non-canon story Strange Visitor, who is billions of years old and shown to be stronger than even Mr. Mxyzptlk.
    • In Kingdom Come, Superman is said to be undergoing this. After so many years under Earth's yellow sun, he's stronger than ever, and immune to Kryptonite.
    • All-Star Superman: Superman gets more powerful over the next 80 millennia and eventually bestows powers on his descendants.
  • A problem to overcome in one of the XXXenophile comics. A human girl and a troll girl fall in love, but the troll is very strong, roughly on par with a bear, and liable to hurt the human in throes of passion. They manage by using restraints... but then the troll girl reveals that with age she'll become much stronger.
  • This seems to be the case for the artificial bodies in Miracleman, though it's as much physical improvement as it is growing accustomed to their bodies and pushing the limits of their abilities. Kid Miracleman is dangerous largely because he's had his powers for a lot longer than Miracleman, having gone from his sidekick to his physical superior.
  • Lobo the Main Man as an adult is on par with Superman in terms of strength and durability. As the younger Lil' Lobo, he's far less durable. Lil' Lobo found this out the hard way during Our Worlds at War when he tried to fight an army of Para-demons and was shot to pieces.

    Fan Works 
  • Keitaro in Ancestor makes Tsuruko realize that his immortality is why he has an immeasurable amount of ki. For ordinary people, the amount of ki they have eventually reaches a plateau as their body ages too much for their ki to keep growing. Keitaro is over 1500 years old and physically around 20, meaning his ki has never stopped growing.
  • This is a common assumption in most Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan fiction. Buffy and Faith, as the oldest living Slayers are portrayed as being stronger, faster, and more durable than any of the other activated Slayers, and Buffy — who has two years more experience than Faith as a Slayer — is usually portrayed as having a slight edge over her counterpart.
    • One Buffy the Vampire Slayer story subverts this. Everyone thought the Slayer grew stronger as she aged but Willow discovers that they actually grow stronger from fighting. Buffy, who hasn't fought in over five years, has fallen to second strongest while Faith, who never stopped fighting, is a fair bit stronger than her. Several of the older Slayers are noted as only being a year or so before they outstrip Buffy as well.
  • Due to his unique circumstances, Xander in Butterflied only becomes more dangerous as he ages. This is because he's not only The Ageless but also gains the form, skills, and memories of anyone he has skin contact with. Over a thousand years before the Clone Wars, he accidentally copies the skills of a Jedi believed to be the greatest lightsaber user ever and only gets more skilled from there. A couple decades before the clone wars, he's shown to train facing two droids/simulators that are functionally Sith lords while in use.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • Asgardians broadly tend to get stronger as they get older. Odin, relatively old but vigorous at well over 5,000 years old, is described as having aged like an oak tree, having become harder and stronger as he grew older. However, they do eventually decline somewhat, as they age and die, being more mortal than other pantheons — who definitely fulfil this trope, being biologically immortal.
    • Other immortal species, like the Fae, and Vampires, also go with this (though in the case of vampires, it depends on the bloodline — Dracula, for instance, is only about 600 years old, but has the power of a vampire closer to 17,000 years old, because he was chosen by the ancient vampire Varnae, King of the Grey Court, as his heir). As do Elder Wyrms, the ancient dragons (enormous, talkative, and usually malicious) of which modern dragons are 'but a pale shadow' - one of them even gives a paraphrased version of Smaug's speech.
  • Codex Equus: Deities increase in power the older they become, and given they're immortal they can get very old. Deities predating recorded history, such as Luminiferous, Golden Scepter, and Queen Mzazi, tend to be immensely strong. Amareros, the Eldest of the Wood, and Choice are among the oldest known deities and all of which are incredibly powerful, with Amareros being known as a Grand Primeval and even the Kings of the Summer Changeling Court are afraid of him. His siblings, also Grand Primevals, are every bit as powerful as he is, and likewise no one wants to mess with them. Higher on the divine hierarchy are the three Cosmic Sovereigns, Void, Perpetuity, and Genesis, the latter being revealed as the Grand Primevals' grandmother. And even higher are the Architects - they are so ancient that they are full-blown Eldritch Abominations, but they are completely benevolent and love all of their creations.
    • There are exceptions to the rule, however. Under certain circumstances, deities can accelerate their age through various means, such as absorbing huge amounts of magic (as what happened to Queen Aoide Mousikós and Princess Arcus), having their divine natures completely altered (as what happened to Moon Ray Vaughoof/Prince Canticum Lunae Cahaya; only by reaching an epiphany and coming to terms with himself was his condition stabilized), or becoming the divine avatar of a concept that the entire galaxy believes in (as what happened to Diamond Tiara/Queen Elpis).
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Dragons getting bigger and more magical the older they are.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Izuku is a Kryptonian who keeps getting stronger and gains new powers with every passing year. He's terrified of this, worrying that he'll eventually become so powerful that he won't be able to do anything without causing massive destruction. In the story proper, he hasn't quite reached Story-Breaker Power levels, but given his potential to be biologically immortal, this will certainly change in the future.
  • Sailor Moon: Legends of Lightstorm: This is stated to be the case with all Sailor Scouts, thus explaining why the Silver Millennium Moon Kingdom did not value armor as much as Sailor Jupiter would have liked.
  • According to C.C. in More than just a Man, the reason vampires get stronger with age is twofold. First, they learn new mental abilities as they age. Even at over two thousand years old, she still learns a new one every so often. Second, a vampire's Healing Factor increases as they age. Initially, they heal only slightly faster than an ordinary human but after a few centuries, they can survive their heart being impaled.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan works:
    • The Immortal Game: Applied in alicorns. Luna, the weakest of them all, is a hundred years old — due to her being imprisoned in the moon for the past thousand years — Terra is nine hundred years old, Celestia is more than a thousand years old, and Titan is more than THREE THOUSAND YEARS OLD, which puts him to Discord's level.
    • All The Way Back: Luna explicitly points out to the dragon Fischfootur that he will get stronger as he gets older, and that he should pick his fights carefully so that he lives to get older.
    • Pony POV Series: The dragon Basil mentions that dragons get stronger with age, but after many, many centuries, they will eventually experience the rigors of old age. Basil acquires a fragment of the Rainbow of Light and uses it to return him to his physical prime, while keeping his power boost from his extreme age.
  • Pokémon fan works:
    • Traveler: Any Pokémon that's biologically immortal (mostly Rock and Steel types) only becomes more powerful, and usually larger, as it ages. The King Under the Mountain is an Onix that's over two hundred feet long and is the strongest of Bruno's Pokémon, despite being a relatively new member. Even more so, the First's Rhydon is over a thousand years old, can manipulate rock on a level that would make Toph proud, and is stated by Lance to be the strongest non-legendary Pokémon in the world.
    • Pokédex: Swalot grow ever larger as they grow older and swallow more, and they are not known to die from aging. Torterra are similar, growing larger and larger as the age to the point of seeming to be hills and islands when they sleep.
  • The Vasto of White: Shirou's Noble Phantasms are magical weapons and items that become more powerful as time passes. Baraggan's attempts to reduce them to dust with his Rapid Aging powers backfires as they simply become stronger.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid uses this to justify Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: the titular snakes are stated to keep growing for their entire life, thus ones that consume blood orchids — flowers that can prevent aging — can grow to be much bigger than normal (okay, technically these carnivorous snakes are consuming the animals that themselves eat the orchids).
  • Godzilla's entire species falls under this. First, they start off as cute relatively docile creatures that can barely form nuclear smoke-rings or bubbles. However, as time progresses, they grow larger, more powerful, and are able to unleash powerful blasts of radioactive plasma from their mouths. The MonsterVerse version of Godzilla is hundreds of millions of years old and the strongest living Titan on Earth. Even in the years between Godzilla (2014) and Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), he's gotten substantially larger and more powerful.
  • Mothra Leo in the Mothra Trilogy falls under this big time. In Rebirth of Mothra 3, he travels back in time to the Mesezoic Era where ancient Mothra Larvae encase him in a cocoon for 65 million years before he emerges as Light-Speed Mothra before transforming into Armor Mothra and killing the evil Grand-King Ghidorah. And then he transforms into the immortal Eternal Mothra his most powerful form.
  • Scanners: Vale and Revok are said to be the two strongest scanners because they are the oldest. This is because they were the first two fetuses that Dr. Ruth experimented on with Ephemerol.
  • Implied in Spider-Man: No Way Home with the Raimi-verse and Amazing Spider-Men, both of whom are older than the MCU's Spider-Man. MCU Spidey has demonstrated crazier feats of strength than his counterparts, such holding a ferry together and punching around beings such as Thanos, but when he tries to kill the Green Goblin with his glider, Raimi's Spidey is able to quite effortlessly prevent his younger counterpart from doing so.
  • The vampire Elders in Underworld (2003) are stronger than any other vampire and, in some cases, can even defeat lycans in hand-to-hand combat. In a memorable example, Viktor grabs Raze in his lycan form by the throat, holds him up for a few seconds, and then breaks his neck. In the case of Marcus and William, the Corvinus twins and progenitors of the vampires and lycans, respectively, they are also stronger, although this can be attributed to Monster Progenitor. In Marcus's case, his strength is augmented tenfold after he accidentally ingests lycan blood and becomes a hybrid. William was already stronger than any other lycan. According to Selene in Underworld: Evolution, Alexander Corvinus, the original immortal and the father of the twins, is easily the strongest of them all, although he refuses to fight or otherwise make use of it.

  • Eventually subverted in Mikhail Akhmanov's Arrivals from the Dark series, where the Dromi continue growing as they age, which initially does make them stronger with age. However, as they reach about 120 years old, the Square-Cube Law takes into effect, making it very difficult to move, and they eventually get crushed by their own weight.
  • Books of the Raksura: Queens and Consorts in the titular Humanshifting species grow larger and stronger with age in their winged forms; Moon has to inform his peers when they meet an elderly Islander that most "groundling" races don't do that. Stone is a few hundred years old and has a sixty-pace wingspan.
  • The Cinder Spires: Core crystals conduct energy more and more efficiently as they age. This makes for a minor moment of awesome when Predator is revealed to have what may well be the oldest core crystal in the world: A passing comment (in narration) states "Power crystals become more efficient with age". One of the protagonists, whose family grows crystals, reflects upon seeing the Predator's core that crystals of that type have been faceted, largely as a matter of style, for centuries. But the one she's looking at looks like it was just dug up out of the ground...
  • From The Death Gate Cycle, the Sartan and Patryns are mentioned to get stronger in their magic as they age, implied to be because their powers, which are based on twisting probability to produce the result the wizard desires, require wisdom and experience in order to use well. This is supported by the fact that Lord Xar, the strongest of the Patryns, is also the oldest of the Patryns.
  • Trolls in Discworld are theoretically immortal, but as they get older they get bigger and slower and tend to be more inclined to sit and think. They call this "getting philosophy". Eventually they just stop moving altogether, gradually "decomposing" or eroding into an oddly shaped heap of minerals with a tiny living spark in the center. Many of the Discworld's mountains are actually very old trolls. Shown to be true when a troll warns a character about his grandfather, who is one of the mountains and is very annoyed when some adventurers light a campfire in his mouth.
  • A Dowry of Blood: Vampires become more powerful the longer they age and their blood matures, with ones that reach 1000 becoming powerful enough to sire new vampires.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • It's been stated that the oldest Dragon in existence is also the strongest, though it is unknown if he is merely special, or Dragons become stronger over time.
    • The undead grow stronger the older the remains that went into their reanimation are. This culminates with Harry reanimating a Tyrannosaurus' skeleton. A Curb-Stomp Battle ensued.
    • Black Court Vampires. On the one hand, it is noted that since Mavra is such an old vampire she is likely to be mobile and capable of defending herself during the day where younger vamps would be forced to sleep. But then they toy with it by pointing out that the reason Black Court vamps in general are such major badass types is because of basic survival of the fittest since Dracula was published. To get to be that old, they must have been Badass to begin with, or they'd have been killed (again) years ago. This principle seems to most supernatural creatures, as anything that lives long enough to be ancient has to be a certified badass in order to have lived that long.
    • Wizards also follow this rule — while part of it is that they learn how to more effectively use their power, even an increase of skill can't account for ALL of the tricks that more powerful wizards can pull off. Even WITHOUT the various external power boosts he gets, Harry has gained a noticeably greater degree of power over just the decade that the stories take place over; and significantly older wizards on the Council are capable of tricks Harry didn't even know were possible like dropping satellites from space with pinpoint accuracy and turning into a half-dozen animals in a bout with an Eldritch Abomination. This is aided by a wizard's slow aging and ability to eventually regenerate from even serious maiming without a build-up of scar tissue.
      • Also, wizards' minds are subject to this. The older they get, the more resistant their mind is to any type of mind control or persuasion. This little fact is used to great effect in one of the novels.
  • The basilisk from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is apparently still in top form at the age of one thousand. And if the shed skins are any sign, she's still growing.
  • Dragons in The Heartstrikers grow larger and more magically powerful with age. There's a catch, though: the thin magic of the human plane (especially now, when it's just coming out of a long "magical drought") simply can't support an elder dragon, so the most theoretically powerful dragons are severely weakened by that. Four thousand year old Amelia got around that problem by spending most of her time on other planes with stronger magic; the Three Sisters, all over ten thousand years old, were simply driven into hibernation.
  • The Immortals After Dark series' titular beings. For those with divine blood such as a Valkyrie, there's a possibility of becoming deities if they reach an extremely advanced age, like three millennia or more.
  • Dragons in Inheritance Cycle never stop growing even if it does slow down once they reach a certain size; some were as big as mountains. They do suffer from a loss of agility, but with their increased strength, it's a net plus. This is also why making dragon battle-armor used to be so difficult and impractical for most: because dragons are always growing, they would eventually get too big for it and need multiple sets. Saphira only gets away with it by using an existing set she's still small enough to wear comfortably.
  • In The Jungle Book, it is mentioned that Kaa the Rock Python owes his great size and strength to the fact he's over a hundred years old, and he's still in his prime and growing. In the story "The King's Ankus", Mowgli meets a cobra named White Hood of a similar age, size, and strength to Kaa. However, while White Hood has great size and strength, his body stopped producing venom and he's gone senile.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings:
    • Dragons. Smaug provides the page quote.
    • Elves. The more they age, the wiser and more powerful they are. This however is spiritual power, not physical power. However, it's implied that they become more 'hollowed out' by their own spirits, and that after 1000 millennia (1,000,000 years) they fade away. This is their equivalent of dying of old age (since they are immortal and don't properly die). They also speak of something called "year-sickness". It's not clear if this is a physical decline, or simply depression (caused by seeing everything they care about fade, break or die).
  • Darklings from the Midnighters series grow much, much stronger with age. Of course, they also get crazier with age.
  • Koloss in Mistborn are like this; they never stop growing larger and stronger throughout their lives, and elder koloss (approx. 20 years) are around fifteen feet tall and incredibly dangerous opponents. They don't get much older or bigger than that, though; in a nod to Truth in Television, if battle doesn't kill them, their massive size causes heart failure.
  • The Night Huntress novels have a variation on this: age brings power, but how much depends upon the vampire. Some take centuries to become masters, while others reach that level in a few decades. When Cat first fights Ian and learns that he's around 200, she comments "You're strong, then. I've met 700-year-olds who don't hit as hard as you do." One vampire comments that he'll never be a master, suggesting that some unlucky ones might have a ceiling on their potential power, or it might be that his power just grows so slowly that the day he reaches master status is so far off that it might as well be "never".
  • Dragons in A Song of Ice and Fire never stop growing as long as they have freedom and food. Balerion is the only known dragon that got old enough to die of old age and is by far the biggest dragon known to live. It was said his shadow could cover entire towns when he took flight. Vhagar, smaller and younger than Balerion at the time of his death, is considered twice the size of the next largest dragon and three times the size of most mature dragons.
  • This is the case for vampires in the Straight Outta Fangton books by C.T. Phipps. Vampires have three stages of life with Youngbloods (weakest with many weaknesses), Old Ones (stronger with fewer weaknesses), and Ancient Ones (nosferatu-like immortals). The protagonist states this resulted in a gerontocracy where wealth and power only flows up.
  • In Robin McKinley's Sunshine, this appears to be true of vampires, with some twists. Classically, in-setting, an old vampire is a master vampire, and very, very strong — their mental powers become vastly more potent, allowing them to accrue minion-vampires. However, the longer they survive in that way, the less capable they are of enduring sunlight, until even moonlight is crippling and they can't even speak the word. Hence the minions, who join in the hopes of gaining power themselves. The main character discovers through a relatively Friendly Neighborhood Vampire that it is possible to become equally powerful, maintain independence, and never create or join a gang... but the gang-leaders don't want their minions finding that out, and even if they did, they may not be interested in tightening their moral standards.
  • In Tales of Kolmar, the Kantri grow throughout their lives, molting their armor every fifty years or so. The Eldest in that series, Shikrar, is over eighteen hundred years old and the largest of them, as well as a good fighter and the best flyer — though that last can't be attributed to his age, he became the best flyer and held on to that distinction from a much younger age. On their own Kantri reach about two thousand years before they die, which isn't discussed but it seems to happen fast. It's also noted that some grow "old before their time" and start to mentally slip; Shikrar suspects that another Kantri is one of these and guiltily wonders if he'll die in his sleep well before the two thousand mark, as these often do.
  • The vampires in Barbara Hambly's Those Who Hunt the Night and sequels grow tougher as they age, eventually becoming resistant to their weaknesses — an ancient vampire such as Brother Anthony the Minorite can withstand the touch of silver that would burn and sicken a fledgling with even the slightest contact and even resist the light of the sun and the irresistible sleep that forces all younger vampires into a coma during the daytime hours. Their psychic powers (and presumably physical strength) also increase with age, although there are also possible, though inconsistent, degradations with age (the Bey of Constantinople, for example, can no longer create fledglings on his own).
  • The vampires in Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles books get stronger as they age. Even after doing nothing but sleeping for hundreds of years, they wake up stronger than they were before. Drinking the blood of an older, more powerful vampire can also add to their power. They also obtain new abilities with age, or "gifts" as they call them, the most common one being the Cloud Gift which enables flight. Interestingly, no vampire is ever comfortable with flying, realizing how unnatural it is (even for a vampire), except for Akasha and Lestat (who gained these abilities after drinking her blood).
  • The Nobility in the Vampire Hunter D universe are also like this; and since the series takes place in the far future circa 12000 AD, where most of the time between now and then was dominated by vampiric rule following a nuclear Armageddon 20 Minutes into the Future, some are very old indeed. Downplayed in that a recent human uprising wiped out most vampires, and that those remaining, for all their terrible power, are a dying race. One of the recurring themes of the novel is that while humans are, on the whole, weak, short-lived, and otherwise flawed, vampires have an even greater, fundamental flaw which dooms them to eventual extinction; as the Revered Ancestor once put it when speaking about his kind, "Transient guests are we." It just so happens that D himself is the most successful result of a cross-breeding program by his father (the aforementioned Revered Ancestor) aimed at creating a new breed of vampires without this flaw, thereby ensuring the species' continuance.
  • In the Wiz Biz series by Rick Cook, dragons grow larger and more powerful with age, and have no known natural upper limit to their lifespans.
  • In The Zombie Knight, servants and, indirectly, aberrations. Servants gain Soul Power steadily as they become more synchronized with their reaper, and their ability will grow with practice, meditation or emergence. Aberrations grow by killing humans, so the longer that they have had to do so, the more powerful they become. The oldest and most powerful servant in the world, Sermung, is over 600 years old.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Being Human: This seems to apply to vampires, ghosts and werewolves.
    • Vampires. While Old Ones still can be killed as easily as any other Vampire, they have a lot more "tricks" under their belt, with some such as Wyndham being able to casually enter without an invitation, something that would cause most Vampires to instantly begin to boil alive. Some physiological changes seem to occur with age as well. Mr Snow, the leader of the Old Ones, has developed a sickly pallor, rotting teeth and protruding black veins due to his advanced age, and had Super Strength far beyond that of younger Vampires and Werewolves, being able to tear a man's inner organs out with his bare hands.
    • Ghosts are also stated to get stronger with age. Most however fail to get that far due to losing their connection to the mortal world, leading them to simply fade away into non-existence.
    • Werewolves age normally, but they get stronger every time they turn. A werewolf who has been changing for years will be able (when transformed) to kill vampires with his bare hands.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Older vampires become stronger, tougher, and more demonic in appearance, and may pick up other powers, like Dracula's tricks. When Spike is first introduced, Giles initially dismisses him as a big threat when he discovers Spike is scarcely over 100 years old (shortly after, he discovers Spike's full history and reconsiders). Kakistos was noted as being an extremely old vampire and thus a bigger threat. His age meant he had lost most traces of a human appearance and a standard size stake wouldn't do the job, so Faith had to use a two-by-four to finish him.
    • The Master (referred to as "the oldest vampire on record") was another vampire old enough to have stopped looking human, and had somehow gained the power to open the Hellmouth. The Master also took a larger-than-usual stake, dying when he was impaled on a broken table leg. And unlike other vampires who turn completely to dust when killed, the Master's skeleton remained intact. Until Buffy smashed it with a sledgehammer to prevent his revival in a ritual. Notably, the Master's inhuman appearance closely resembles that of the Turok-Han or "ubervamps" ("pure" vampires rather than former humans) of Season 7, leading some to speculate that he was the very first human to be turned into a vampire.
    • The Prince of Lies from Angel while likely not as old as The Master is still one of the most ancient vampires seen in the Buffyverse and could easily overpower the much younger vampire Angel in a melee.
    • While age is a major favor in vampires' strength, bloodline seems to matter too. Spike, while not at all ancient, is by bloodline just 4 generations removed from the Master.
  • Doctor Who: "Father's Day" says that, temporally speaking, older is stronger. The episode's Clock Roaches are unable to devour a centuries-old church, and when they get in thanks to a paradox they immediately are drawn to the Doctor due to being even older than the church.
  • Forever Knight worked this way. Lacroix was able to survive being impaled with a burning stake, and both Nick and Janette were also more resilient than many younger vampires. Also, Lacroix got his butt handed to him by his "vampire mother", who was a teenage girl when she was turned.
  • Game of Thrones: At the end of Season 5, Drogon is incredibly tough but vulnerable. Come Season 7, he's grown bigger, and his hide thicker and arrows bounce of his belly and a ballista bolt in a non-vital part, harsh as it is, won't stop him from making a controlled descent or hamper his manoeuverability on the ground.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022):
    • Lestat de Lioncourt is significantly more powerful than Louis de Pointe du Lac and Claudia because he's 117 years older than his vampire son and lover, and 143 years older than his vampire daughter.
    • Lampshaded by Armand in "The Thing Lay Still" when he explains to Daniel Molloy why he's immune to sunlight, unlike most vampires.
      Daniel: But I saw you standing in the sun.
      Armand: As we age, the sun loses its power over us. What's a mediocre star to a 514-year-old vampire?
  • In Moonlight, Mick senses (or rather smells) that Lance is very old, who further reinforces this by jumping from a tall building (impressing even Mick) and surviving being burned (any part of a vampire that touches fire is normally instantly turned to ash). Coraline also somehow survived being trapped in a burning building and could move with a stake in her chest, which is normally impossible. By contrast, the 700-year-old Lola was pretty handily defeated by Mick, despite being able to move much faster than him, and one of her past careers was a Pirate Girl.
    • Lance and Coraline are able to survive fire because access to a temporary cure to vampirism, that was used during the French Revolution. Many of the French Royalty and Aristocratic class were vampires. The Revolutionaries would test them with fire and if their fingers turned to ash, they would be beheaded. The cure made from an now extinct plant, allowed the vampires to mimic humans including burning without turning to ash.
  • My Babysitter's a Vampire has older vampires being being more powerful by dint of age. The three teenage vampires in the main cast are incapable of winning a fight against older, more experienced vampires under normal conditions, but they are able to get through difficult fights with teamwork and determination.
  • Smallville: As the years/TV seasons go by, Clark gets stronger and more powerful. Just compare Season 1, when gunfire bruised his skin, to Season 5, when he survived atmospheric reentry without a scratch.
  • On Supernatural, every species that's older than yours is more powerful. One of the oldest species, Leviathans, trump almost everything in their strength and dexterity, and the mother of all monsters, Eve, has the ability to rob an angel of its power. Also, the angels have a very specific ranking in terms of power, with the oldest, Michael, being the strongest. Finally, the handful of Time Abyss entities that are older than the universe itself are virtually omnipotent.
  • Vampires from True Blood. Battles between vampires are always determined by how old each vampire is. Even the difference of about a year makes all the difference. They also seem to develop the ability to fly over time. However, their weaknesses also get more severe. A 2,000 year old vampire will burn up in the sun within seconds, whereas a younger vampire will take minutes.
    • Faeries also become more powerful with age. Their skills and power with photokinesis, telepathy, etc improve over the centuries.
  • Appears to be the case with the Ultras from the Ultra Series. While some younger ones are prodigies, generally speaking the more ancient an Ultra the more powerful they are. The Father of Ultra and Ultraman Belial are both in the 150,000 year range, and so powerful the number of beings capable of fighting either one on one and at full strength can be counted on one hand. The two oldest Ultras (that were actually active their entire life time at least) are over 300,000 years old Physical Gods.
  • In The Vampire Diaries vampires all become stronger as they age, although the difference can be overcome through numbers, surprise, anti-vampire weaponry, or other tactics. The oldest of them, the Originals, get a whole bunch of nifty powers and are next to impossible to kill. When they did manage to take one down, he would only remain dead as long as the magical knife that killed him wasn't removed, and his body remained indestructible.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Japanese Mythology:
    • In Japanese folk thought, foxes (Kitsune) grow a new tail for every hundred years they live, with a proportional growth in power, to a maximum of nine, at which point they're pretty much Physical Gods.
    • In fact, there's a whole subgroup of Youkai / Obake called Tsukumogami (kami of a tool) who were former ordinary objects or animals who acquired supernatural powers and sentience after being used/living long enough (usually about a century).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Betrayal at House on the Hill: One scenario reveals the house to be alive and capable of draining the inhabitants' life, making them age rapidly. (With the exception of the Traitor, who brings victims to the house in return for eternal youth). Character stats start dropping rapidly once a certain age is reached, but the youngest characters actually get a stat boost for a while as they become grownups.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has this happen to many creatures.
    • Dragons traditionally come with twelve age categories, starting as an awkward wyrmling until, thousands of years later, they have grown into a great wyrm. Every time a dragon advances to a new stage of its lifespan, its physical might, mental acuity, and magical power only grow more potent — the page image depicts some of a red dragon's growth stages, the largest being "ancient," meaning it still has two stages to go. According to the 3rd edition Draconomicon sourcebook, dragons finally stop growing at the "great wyrm" stage, but remain in their prime for centuries after that. Eventually, however, the weight of the millennia comes crashing down upon a dragon, leading to a relatively sudden and irreversible decline. Upon the onset of "twilight," most dragons choose to depart the mortal world with dignity, ritualistically consuming their hoards and leaving for one of their kind's secluded graveyards, where they can will themselves to die, or they can choose to merge with the landscape and become a spiritual guardian to watch over dragon nests and commune with wyrmlings. Other dragons instead choose to become Dracoliches, or take up the Dragon Ascendant Prestige Class to become ageless quasi-deities. And some decide to go on kingdom-destroying rampages until a group of heroes rises up to face them in an epic final battle
    • Liches who feel like they've reached the limit of what they can learn on their world of origin may become Demiliches, who use Astral Projection to study other planes of existence to improve their already formidable arcane powers. This causes their physical forms to deteriorate until only a skull or skeletal hand remains, but Demiliches are no less dangerous for that.
    • The Ravenloft setting is especially keen on doing this with The Undead.
  • Exalted: The potential for power is tied directly to age, with caps placed on their highest potential Essence based on how long they've lived (although there are a few magics that can break this). The highest levels of power are only available to Exalted who are more than a thousand years old. Due to the Great Curse, this also means that the ones with access to the high Essence charms are also the most likely to be utterly insane, driven mad by the Curse, and rather prone to even greater acts of madness while in Limit Break.
  • Middle-Earth Role Playing: Dragons do not experience decrepitude as they age. Instead, aging dragons only grow larger, their blood more caustic, their horns longer and their armor more and more impenetrable.
  • Pathfinder uses this trope in the same manner as D&D, portraying creatures such as dragons as growing in power and size as they age. Lizard Folk tend towards this too; like other reptiles, they grow continuously as they age, and magic-users capable of proofing themselves against physical mortality can grow to be the size of giants. Sphinxes who live particularly long will likewise mature into elder sphinxes, colossal beings of immense magical power.
  • Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 contains plenty of examples, and though many are due to the "more experience" version many others fit this trope.
    • Orcs/Orks grow larger, tougher and meaner with age, the oldest being hulking monstrosities even by their standards.
    • Lizardmen are full of this (but see Real Life, below). Slann and Saurus don't die of old age at all, and the latter species (along with some of the non-sapient monster species) also get tougher as they get older. Really the only thing controlling their population is that Slann have an incredibly slow spawning rate and Saurus have an incredibly high death rate. note 
    • Less noticeably, although dwarves do not get larger with age they do get notably tougher until they are near death.
    • Dragon Ogres also grow larger with age. One of the most powerful ones is Kholek Suneater, who can look over city walls, and his father Krakanrok the Black was mistaken for a mountain at first (and even Archaon chose to sneak away rather than risk waking him up). Fortunately, the only thing that rouses them from their slumber are extremely powerful thunderstorms.
    • Dragons do not go into decrepitude like other creatures do, and instead steadily, if very slowly, become stronger, fiercer and larger as they age. The dragons of the High Elves are divided into increasingly rare and powerful categories to show their increasing age — going from relatively young and impetuous sun dragons through the larger and more mature moon dragons and into the immensely powerful star dragons — while Storm of Magic describes how the oldest dragons alive, known as emperor dragons, eclipse all others in size and might and develop the ability to directly channel the winds of magic and cast spells like wizards.
  • Wolsung Steam Pulp Fantasy: Trolls fall under this trope without exceptions. When they are about 50 years old, they start to burn out mentally, fall into fits of rage, and at some point they hulk out. Permanently. From this point, they become larger, more resilient and feral with age... and nobody ever checked just how old they can get. Usually, their family or the authorities will put them down shortly after the onset of this freakish senility. It's less pronounced with troll women, who don't lose so much of their brains — just their morals.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • Vampires in the Old World of Darkness game Vampire: The Masquerade are stronger with age in two ways: experience and Generation. Older vampires are more experienced (obviously), have more and stronger Disciplines than neonates, and have influence over vampiric and human society. A vampire of lower Generation is closer to the blood of Caine than a 13th-Generation neonate (the game's "default" new player characters), increasing their stat caps and allowing them to spend more Vitae faster. And going even further, it starts getting scarier: There are sleeping vampires that were embraced before the Great Flood. They're strong enough that, when one of them woke up, large-scale orbital weaponry was needed to put it back down.
    • In Changeling: The Dreaming, trolls become physically larger and stronger as they age.
    • Masquerade's successor game in the New World of Darkness, Vampire: The Requiem, subverts this with its Blood Potency stat. Like Generation, higher ranks of Blood Potency allow a vampire to spend more Vitae and have higher stats, but can't regain Vitae from animals and eventually humans. Instead of being a simple "I'm stronger than you" score, high Blood Potency invokes a psychological need to enter torpor, during which the vampire's Blood Potency drops and he forgets his experiences (the so-called "Fog of Ages"). Ergo, no Kindred stays stronger with age, since they depower while in torpor and their memories become faded dreams. Methuselahs, however, do not suffer the Fog of Ages. With the right Coils of the Dragon, it's possible to utterly avoid the increased blood thirst that comes with age. Meaning in a few centuries, we might have Blood Potency 10 blood gods running around that can still feed on humans rather then other vampires...
    • Mummy: The Curse, however, is an inversion of this trope — a mummy rises at the peak of their power, but it quickly drops a rank and then starts to level out until it's at its weakest, which is when the mummy needs to go back to rest.

    Video Games 
  • Woses in Battle for Wesnoth. Elder and Ancient Woses are stronger than normal ones and sapling.
  • Dragons in Castle of the Winds, with "Ancient" ones the strongest of all.
  • Some of the monsters in darkSector are stated as getting larger and stronger with age. Just before a boss fight, an ally warns you, "This one is very old!"
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragons only get more powerful with age. The Darkspawn also demonstrate the same is true of them, with a mini-boss Hurlock Vanguard in the Deep Roads called "Ancient Darkspawn."
    • In Dragon Age II Legacy, there's Corypheus, the most ancient Darkspawn (or at least, one out of half a dozen of them).
    • The same could be said of the Grey Wardens, due to the Darkspawn Taint within them getting stronger over time (at least they seem to understand the Darkspawn better). However after 30 years, they gradually start to go insane as the Taint turns them into Ghouls.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • While there are some regional variations in exactly their powers work, vampires tend to play this straight. Throughout the series, vampires tend to be The Ageless (though if they go long periods without feeding, they tend to be come irrevocably insane and feral). Vampire "Ancients" are the oldest and strongest vampires in Tamriel. Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC introduces Vampire Lords, Tamriel's oldest vampires who received their vampirism directly from the Daedric Prince Molag Bal, the patron of vampires.
    • In terms of their religious beliefs, the Altmer (High Elves) invert this trope. They believe that the other "lesser" races of Mer (Elves) are the result of "degeneration" over the ages, with each generation being weaker than the last as they are one more removed from their Aedric/Ehlnofey ancestors. The Altmer actively try to breed themselves back into their ideal, which includes killing undesirable progeny. (In their minds, they are releasing the soul so it has a chance to be reincarnated in a better form.) And don't even get them started on the races of Men...
  • In Evil Islands, this is the key trait of the Old Dragon. He has grown so strong over the ages that there are no longer any worthy opponents for him on the allod.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout 3 Super Mutants grow stronger (but not smarter — the opposite is implied to be the case) with age. Super Mutant Brutes are younger and weaker than Masters, who are weaker than Overlords, who are weaker than Behemoths, who are the oldest. Not that this particular trait is not (explicitly) shared with their west coast counterparts.
    • In fact, in Fallout 2 the Super Mutants of Broken Hills are said to be slowly going weak and senile. This is probably due to being infected with a different strain of FEV (found in the Mariposa Military Base) than the mutants in the Capital Wasteland, though when the Courier encounters some of those same mutants in the Mojave, they seem to be as strong as ever.
    • Even the Capital Wasteland Mutants don't all follow the rule — it is heavily implied that Fawkes, one of your companions, was one of the first East Coast Super Mutants, yet he's still a regular Super Mutant (albeit a supremely overpowered one if you've got Broken Steel installed.) This may be tied to the oddities of his transformation; he's one of the very few to fully hold on to his sanity and morality.
    • Fallout 4 Super Mutants are similar to Vault 87 Super Mutants, with Behemoths being the biggest and the dumbest, its mind buried under primitive rage. Far Harbor has Gulpers mutant salamanders that get bigger and hungrier as it gets older, the largest of which can swallow a person whole.
  • Dragons in Final Fantasy XIV are shown to be not only really freaking old (some living for hundreds of years and a few even reaching a thousand or so), but they get bigger and stronger as they get older. Dragons, especially the older ones, can also recover from nearly any wound and injury by simply just sleeping it off.
    • Far longer than that, especially for the First Brood. The Dragonsong War has been raging for a thousand years by the time of Heavensward, but for Nidhogg, it may as well have started yesterday. And Tiamat has been imprisoned on Azys Lla since the Third Astral Era, more than 5000 years ago.
  • Guilty Gear:
  • The Last of Us has an interesting example. The infected in this game are, well, infected, so most of them don't live for very long before dying and become spore fountains. For the handful that do survive in the long-run, though, they become more dangerous with age. Newly-turned Runners aren't able to do all that much damage, and neither are Stalkers, although they're more stealthy. After a few months to a few years, though, the infected become Clickers, who can easily one-hit the player. The oldest infected, probably from the initial outbreak twenty years ago, grow to be Bloaters.
  • In League of Legends, the Voidlings created by Malzahar grow more powerful every six seconds. Eighteen seconds after they are created, they just die.
  • Legacy of Kain: Vampires "evolve" over time, occasionally entering a cocoon-like state and emerging changed; Typically stronger and with new abilities, as well as less human. But Kain's spiritual and mental corruption caused his descendents to eventually degenerate (or something similar). It's implied that a vampire's evolution conforms to his personality; Vorador's chin horns used to be a similar beard, human Rahab's armor had a seahorse painted on it, and Raziel told Zephon the latter's final form is a true representation of his soul. It's revealed in Soul Reaver 2 that some changes, like the typical three-fingered hands, are the turned vampires becoming more like the originals.
  • The asari in Mass Effect are said to show this, at least with regards to their biotics, which grow in power as they reach the matriarch part of their life cycle. Kaidan Alenko suggests that this is not restricted to asari, noting the increase in his own biotic abilities over the previous three years. Similarly, krogan continue to grow larger and stronger with age. Of the three krogan who join up with Shepard and Ryder, two of them are well over 1000 years old. In fact, it's said no krogan ever dies of old age, thanks to living on a Death World.
  • Monster Hunter: Many major species, not necessarily due to explicit biology, but because the world has such a vicious ecosystem that anything which survives for longer than average has to be pretty badass. This is exemplified in Monster Hunter Generations with its Deviants, monsters that have fought off hunters so many times they've adapted to their methods and become stronger than ever.
  • A few of the legendary Dragon-type Pokémon count, but the very old Rayquaza stands out the most. Although it had lost nearly all of its teeth through the decades, it still flies and battles as if it hasn't aged a bit. Not to mention its high attack stats. The Creation Trio have special mention here, since they literally created the universe itself and still live on to present day. Although, that's probably because two of them are literally gods, while the third one is undead.
  • The titular creature in Project Wight grows larger and more powerful with age, in addition to developing new and deadly abilities.
  • Nym, from the Star Wars Starfighter series, is a Feeorin, who are specifically noted to grow progressively stronger as they age. And since they can live as long as four hundred years, that's quite a lot of room for growth. Because of this, their society is ruled by "the Exalted" who is simply whoever is the oldest living Feeorin.
  • Liir from Sword of the Stars have this; the older they grow, the larger they get and the more powerful their psionic abilities become. The only thing limiting their size, and eventually causing their death, is the Square-Cube Law. Of course, some didn't like that last bit, preferring to enslave the younger ones to make them build spacesuits for them, so they could live in space and remove that last limit on their immortality. Very few remain of those who did this, but just one can wreck whole armies.
  • Touhou Project:
    • The setting plays by the rules of Japanese mythology, so some of the youkai characters were once ordinary animals — or even inanimate objects — who gained mystical power and sapience after centuries of age.
    • While many characters are powerful due to winning the Superpower Lottery, others more obtained it seemingly by virtue of being around for so long. 500-year-old Remilia is almost as powerful as her sister Flandre, despite the latter possessing the second biggest Story-Breaker Power in the setting. Kanako and Suwako are more than 2300 years old and with power worthy of their station, despite the years with barely any faith to sustain them. Yuuka's innate magical ability is making flowers bloom and face the sun, but she's one of the oldest living youkai around, and thus one of the strongest. Eirin is a Time Abyss and quite possibly only surpassed in power by Yukari, with even the Watatsuki sisters respectful towards her. And Fujiwara no Mokou is a human who is now EX-Boss strength, due solely to the immense amount of time she has to practice.

    Visual Novels 
  • The Nasuverse runs on this trope, with the most powerful magical families being the oldest, the ancient vampires being the strongest, and one of the greatest Servants being Gilgamesh, the oldest hero of humanity. This is in addition to Older Is Better; a random weapon from The Age of Gods was already far stronger than a modern weapon when it was first made, and if it has survived to the modern age it will only be stronger.
    • Fate/stay night: In addition to Gilgamesh, there is Pegasus. Rider explains that Pegasus actually survived all the way to the modern age, so he is now as powerful as a dragon.
    • Fate/Grand Order:
      • This is part of the reason why the Lostbelt Kings of the second story arc, Cosmos in the Lostbelt, are so powerful in addition to hitting the Super Power Lottery. Each one of them has survived from the point of divergence of their Lostbelt from Proper Human History to the present day, accumulating power the whole way. Even the "youngest" and weakest of them, Ivan the Terrible, has lived over 450 years and thanks to performing a Fusion Dance with a mammoth Phantasmal Beast, he's so strong his power is on par with a Physical God and the mammoth alone is comparable, by Gilgamesh's own reckoning at that, with Gugalanna, one of the oldest Divine Beasts in the franchise and so powerful even the gods would be wary of trying to fight.
      • As one of the first Japanese heroes, Himiko has incredible strength on par with Oryou, who is a Weredragon.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: The Grimm can be twice the size of an adult human and boast a wide range of abilities that depend on the animalistic form they take, all of which are lethal to humans whom the Grimm seem determined to destroy for mysterious reasons. Although intially reckless, mindless and capable of being fought by trainee Huntsmen, the Grimm are capable of living for hundreds of years; as time goes by, they adapt based upon their experiences, becoming bigger, stronger and smarter. As they learn, they shed the recklessness and become patient, willing to wait years if they have to for the right moment to strike. A Nevermore might look almost indistinguishable from an ordinary raven to begin with, but over the centuries can become truly monstrous in size, strength and threat level. They're controlled by an Ancient Evil known as Salem. Although she has the black and white colour scheme of the Grimm, complete with glowing red eyes, she seems otherwise human. She's spent thousands of years engaged in a Secret War with her Arch-Enemy, attempting to destroy humanity because Ozpin has faith in humanity's potential; as he is cursed to never die while Salem lives, she instead intends to destroy everything he holds dear.

  • Charby the Vampirate: The reason the Elite Vampire Council is trying to recruit Charby is that he is older and stronger than any of them.
  • El Goonish Shive: As immortals get older, they also become smarter, stronger, more bored, and less sane until the point comes where they basically become People Of Mass Destruction. To prevent this, they voluntarily undergo a kind of ritualistic death/rebirth cycle every couple of centuries to lose most of their power and memories so they can start over and keep things interesting. Immortals have also established a strict set of rules for themselves, and if any immortal breaks those rules for any reason, every other immortal in the world will instantly know about it and join forces to neutralize the renegade. Much of the story is driven by Pandora Chaos Raven, an ancient immortal who refuses to let go of her accumulated power, has gotten very good at using Loophole Abuse to do things that really should be against the rules but technically aren't, and seems to be approaching Eldritch Abomination territory.
  • Girl Genius: Jägermonsters are biologically immortal, and become bigger, stronger and less human-looking as they age. We get a better look at these changes when Vole is artificially aged a few hundred years and goes from looking like a big guy with white skin, black eyes and small fangs to being maybe half again the size he was before, with spines protruding from his now green skin, and having sprouted a tail. As a result, a threat that would take a huge platoon of regular Jägermonsters to handle can be trounced with no losses by four of the centuries-old generals.
  • Leif & Thorn's vampires. Making an enemy of Stanczia in her late 700's is considered a really stupid idea.
  • The Order of the Stick: Inverted with the Empress of Blood, a rather stupid red dragon who hit on the idea that dragons grow bigger and more powerful, and therefore getting bigger (read:obese) means she's more powerful instead of growing stronger as she ages. Her advisers just run with it and keep her well-fed, since they're all intending to scram once she's inevitably toppled.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avengers Assemble, an Infinity Gauntlet-powered Thanos uses the Time Stone to instantly age most of the Avengers into dust. When he tries it on Thor, Thor's hair just goes white as he grows a beard and points out that Asgardians only get stronger with age, and smashes the Time Stone with Mjölnir, turning its effects back on Thanos and forcing him to undo all of it.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The Alicorn Princesses seem to function under this rule. Twilight and Cadance are definitely a step above the average pony, but are still fairly young and aren't that much more powerful. Celestia and Luna, on the other hand, are each at least a thousand years old are so powerful that their primary responsibilities involve magically moving the Sun and Moon around.
    • Very likely the case with dragons. Teenage dragons are only a bit bigger than ponies; adult dragons are huge monsters that are better left alone. Dragon Lord Torch, the biggest dragon of the land, is pretty much mountain-sized. A story set a thousand years in the past (episode "Campfire Tales") shows a dragon very similar to Torch, but smaller (the size of an adult dragon). If it is indeed Torch, it demonstrates dragons are not only very long-lived, but never stop growing.
  • Mumm-Ra on ThunderCats is the Big Bad partly because he's a thousand years old.
  • In Zevo-3, this is the reason the Zevo compound works better than it did when Stankfoot first created it. He even lampshaded it.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television: Gustave the Crocodile is over 66 years old, believed to be over twenty feet long and two thousand pounds heavy, and still killing people and even hippos. Of course fact from fiction is hard to tell regarding him.
  • Trees, sequoia in particular.
  • Lobsters are often thought of as a perfect example, but the truth is more complicated. According to research, a lobster does not weaken or slow down with age. In fact, it becomes more fertile as it gets older compared to younger lobsters. Barring injury, disease and capture they can reach impressive sizes. All this is attributed to telomerase, an enzyme that repairs DNA sequences of the form "TTAGGG". However, telomeres are only one aspect of the complicated process we call "aging" and despite their ability to repair DNA, lobsters still grow more vulnerable to disease, death from faulty molts, infections, etc. as they reach old age, and certainly cannot live indefinitely. Inevitably a lobster will either grow large enough that molting will expend so much energy it will die, or it will cease to molt and its exoskeleton will collapse, killing it.
  • Reptiles in general. Most animals reach a certain size and stop growing. So long as a reptile doesn't get killed or die by other means it just keeps getting bigger and bigger as it ages. Of course, they still die of old age at some point, and in many species growth is so slow later in life that it can be almost imperceptible (to the extent that it's arguable if reptiles really grow throughout their lives or not).
  • Sharks. It is believed that some great whites still swimming the seas today are centuries old. A great white shark is believed to keep growing until it's killed, and since any that die of old age are likely to get eaten before humans can look at themnote  it's anyone's guess how long they live.
    • A Greenland shark has been estimated to be at least 270+ years old when it was captured, but scientist predict that it could even be over 5 centuries old.
  • Some species of whale. While most of the big whales live 60-70 years, bowheads are believed to have very long lifespans. Whales captured by native whalers off Alaska in the 1990s were found to have harpoon heads embedded in their blubber which were last used by native Alaskans in the 1800s. A whale killed in 2007 had the tip of explosive harpoon head deep in its blubber that had been manufactured around 1890, indicating it had survived a previous hunt at least a century earlier.
  • Most animals, really. Mammals, with their short stage of rapid growing, limited reproductive life and only two sets of teeth are the exception, not the rule.
  • The longer a black hole exists, the more matter and energy it consumes. The more matter and energy it consumes, the greater its own mass becomes. The more massive it becomes, the more matter and energy its gravity can draw in... well, except for Hawking radiation.