Follow TV Tropes


Take Up My Sword

Go To
"Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields."
John McCrae, "In Flanders Field"

The Hero has been progressing in his quest against the Big Bad. Then he dies. Wait! What?! That's not supposed to happen!

Well, now what? Do we have a Downer Ending? No, no, we need a replacement Hero. Time to present The Lancer Ascendant: someone who will take up The Hero's sword (and other weapons) and go on to defeat the villain. This can be literal, invoking It Was a Gift, or metaphorical. When it's not only literal but the MacGuffin, see the subtrope I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin.

Most often used at the beginning of a show, to explain exactly how some callow youth loser got the job of defeating the Big Bad. In this case, it was a head fake that had you thinking The Mentor was actually The Hero. (Which makes the first guy a Decoy Protagonist.) Occasionally done with the original Hero as a ghost or shade, unable to rest until someone completes his aborted quest.


When it happens later in the season (or in later seasons) it can be a real shocker. May feature in Dying to Be Replaced.

Occasionally used at the ending, to slightly sweeten the tragedy by showing that someone will continue the fight.

When it happens to superheroes or supervillains, it is often the case of Legacy Characters.

In military situations, often combines with a Field Promotion by the dying hero.

This is likely to create a Mirror Character.

Subtrope of Changing of the Guard. (Specifically, if the position is vacant by death.) Good Counterpart to the Dragon Ascendant. Related to Her Heart Will Go On, Determined Widow, Taking Up the Mantle, and Bequeathed Power. In its darker forms, leads to Feuding Families, or may be a genesis to, or simply another stage in, the Cycle of Revenge. See also, The Chooser of the One. Passing the Torch is when The Hero decides their succession... and is still alive for a while afterwards.


Naturally, this trope is prone to SPOILERS. When listing examples, remember that it has to be more than the literal "someone gives someone else a weapon" part to qualify.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Death Note. L has a house of successors that would be alerted immediately in the case of his death. Two of them take up his fight against Kira. They don't get along.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
    • Simon takes up Kamina's place in the Gurren Brigade after his death.
    • The ending has humanity taking the task of preventing the Spiral Nemesis from the Anti-Spiral after killing them.
  • Code Geass ends with an interesting literal and metaphorical variation: Lelouch passes the Zero identity to Suzaku specifically so that he can become a hero by killing Lelouch per his plan to achieve world peace, using Lelouch's own goofy pink sword to do the deed, leading to a Bittersweet Ending.
  • In Chapter 160 of Dr. Stone, Senku's grave injury thanks to a sniper leads him to pass the mantle of head scientist to Chrome. Though given the chance he will recover, this is a Downplayed Trope.
  • In Fairy Tail, Silver Fullbuster grants his Devil Slayer Magic to his son Gray, who vows to finish Silver's goal to kill the demon E.N.D..
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has Lyle Dylandy take up his brother Neil's position as Lockon Stratos in the second season.
  • In Corpse Princess When Keisei dies and Ouri takes his place as a contracted priest.
  • The Lensman anime opens with a Lensman crash landing in front of the hero and passing his Lens along before he dies.
  • Strongly implied to be Meg's eventual destiny in Burst Angel, after her partner Jo's apparent death and the destruction of RAPT.
  • Naruto,
    • When Shikamaru's teacher Asuma dies, Shikamaru inherits his chakra-enhancing blades, which he uses to kill his teacher's killer.
    • A villainous example is Madara passing his identity and plan on to Obito. Although this turns out more to be lending the sword, since Madara planned to eventually be revived from the dead to finish it, potentially sacrificing Obito in the process. Obito wasn't very keen on that.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, Crow's duel disk and duel runner were originally owned by his late hero, Robert Pearson.
  • Heart Catch Pretty Cure plays this oddly - the Call to Adventure dream Tsubomi, Erika, and Itsuki get implies Cure Moonlight died. Tsubomi even gets Moonlight's Kokoro Perfume. That's not the case - Moonlight is still alive, back in her civilian identity as Yuri and suffering from a very bitter 10-Minute Retirement.
  • Kirby anime: where one fight against a particularly powerful demon beast leaves Meta Knight in a coma that can only be cured if the demon dies. Naturally, Kirby grabs his sword and heads off to fight it.
  • This is arguably the character arc of Son Gohan throughout Dragon Ball Z; the entire series builds up his enormous potential as a fighter and learning to control it, which cultivates in becoming the first one to truly ascend past the Super Saiyan level and completely outclass his father, The Hero of the series to that point. After the Big Bad is defeated, Goku chooses to stay dead and leaves the safety of Earth to Gohan.
  • A villainous example from Saint Seiya: after being overwhelmed by Hyoga's Aurora Thunder Attack, Black Swan, knowing that Athena's Saints can easily defeat a move they've already seen, burns his Cosmo to teleport his master Ikki a memory of the attack (contained in the swan emblem of his helmet that he ripped off in the anime, or his own eye that he ripped off himself just for this purpose), also blowing himself up to mask his move with an attempt to take out Hyoga.
  • My Hero Academia: "One For All" is a power that, unique among Quirks, can be passed down to someone else who the current bearer deems worthy. Izuku Midoriya receives it from his predecessor All Might, who received it from his predecessor Nana Shimura; they are not examples of this trope, instead being just Passing the Torch. However, everyone before them were examples. What inevitably happened was that the current bearer was horrifically injured in combat, and they had to pass the power on to whoever happened to be close by at the time. Nana was the first one who was able to pass it on peacefully (though she was still killed later, rather than being able to retire).
  • A villainous example occurs in Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Steel Ball Run with President Funny Valentine. If mortally wounded, he uses his Stand to go to a parallel universe, find his counterpart, and pass along his Stand and his quest, before dying. The counterpart then returns to the root universe and carries on as usual as the original Funny Valentine. There are a few hints along the story to indicate this has happened multiple times before it's actually shown to the reader.

    Comic Books 
  • In Justice Society of America, the murder of Mr. America and his family inspires his old FBI partner to take on the role.
  • In V for Vendetta, when V is killed, Evey takes his place, carrying out the major plan he was killed to prevent and then continuing the role.
  • The Death of Captain America: Bucky Barnes came back from the dead only to see his former hero Steve Rogers get assassinated, in time to pick up his Mighty Shield. Upon Steve's inevitable resurrection, this briefly became Passing the Torch before Steve went back to being Captain America and Bucky went on / back to being Winter Soldier.
    • Between Steve's death and Bucky taking up the shield, Tony Stark tried getting someone to fill in. Clint Barton took the job for about five minutes until an encounter with Kate Bishop (and a What the Hell, Hero?) made him reconsider.
  • The Flash: Wally West inherits the legacy of his uncle, Barry Allen, who is killed in the middle of Crisis on Infinite Earths.
  • Green Lantern: This is a mechanism built-in to the rings and it seems most Lanterns gain their ring immediately in the wake of their predecessor's death (some villains, e.g. in Justice, abused this rule by incapacitating the current GL without killing him, so that his successor isn't "activated"). Sometimes the Lanterns recruit and sometimes a dying Lantern gets to play the Take Up My sword trope straight as Abin Sur did with Hal Jordan.
  • The Blue Beetle legacy has been kinda like this. Dan Garret was friends with Ted Kord when Ted took over the role from Dan when he was killed. Though Jaime Reyes didn't know Ted, being around other heroes (and getting the Scarab stuck in him) lead to him to really take over the role.
  • ElfQuest. Played straight with the sword New Moon, forged for the wolfrider chieftain Bearclaw. When he dies, he begs his son Cutter to finish the job, and literally invokes the trope:
    "Finish it for me... Tam, my chief-son...Take New Moon. Your hand is mine now...When you strike...I will strike too..."
  • Batman does this twice. The first time, Bruce Wayne gives the Mantle of the Bat to Jean-Paul Valley, only to take it away after he goes nuts, and temporarily gives it to Dick Grayson. When Bruce was declared dead at the end of Final Crisis, Tim Drake and Jason Todd become Batman before Dick officially takes up the position (and keeps it long after Wayne returns) as Batman. Dick stayed as Batman even after Bruce's return to the costume. Bruce is out and about taking his operation global with ''Batman Incorporated'' while Dick is the Batman of Gotham. Sadly, Dick gave up the title of Batman with the New 52, returning to his Nightwing persona.
  • Superman:
    • The Death of Superman led to no less than four Supermen standing up to replace or impersonate him. Three were Anti Hero Substitutes; the fourth was as much of a Cape as the original (if not more so), and was regarded as a legitimate successor to Superman even after the original returned. It helps that he was the only one not claiming to be Superman, just following his legacy.
    • In DC Rebirth, the pre-Flashpoint Superman, post-Flashpoint Supergirl, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane and Lana Lang took up the Post-Flashpoint Superman's mantle after he died. He specifically asked his cousin to take up his cape in The Final Days of Superman, and Lois doesn't get through one issue before Lana's forced to take up her sword in Superwoman.
    • In alternate universe story The Death of Superman (1961), Lex Luthor manages to murder Superman. However, Supergirl captures him and takes over for her cousin afterwards.
      Supergirl: You can stop wasting bullets! I have all of Superman's astonishing powers! Gangdom may have succeeded in treacherously killing Superman, but I'm going to carry on his great work!
    • In The Leper From Krypton, Superman is dying from an incurable alien disease, so he builds a rocketship and sets course towards a star where his body will be cremated. Supergirl takes her cousin's place when he leaves Earth, but a world-wide crime wave is overwhelming her, so she comes up with the idea to find a Superman substitute and spread a false survival story. Since the Kandorians cannot decide on a proper substitute, she asks Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and Aquaman to take turns in impersonating Superman until the Kandorians pick one replacement.
  • Astro City has this a few times.
    • After the Confessor dies, his sidekick Altar Boy takes up the outfit. This is freaking the crooks out as the Confessor had been revealed as a vampire before he was destroyed. Thus, when this version shows up, they're convinced that not only has the Confessor returned from the grave but is now immune to crosses, garlic, etc.
    • The second Jack-in-the-Box is the son of the original who took on the role to hunt the crime boss his father died fighting.
    • When Starbright, a young teen hero, is killed fighting drug dealers, his longtime nemesis, Simon Says, is so rocked to realize a "jerk jock" was a true hero that he takes on a heroic bent. After also becoming the woman he always wanted to be, she gets powers and decides to take on the name Starbright to honor her inspiration.
  • The short-lived Teen Titan Bushido inherited the mantle after the death of his mother. His family had been protecting Japan for generations up to that point.
  • Spider-Man
    • Ultimate Spider-Man: The death of ultimate Spider-Man led to Miles Morales becoming the new Friendly Neighborhood Webslinger. The first arc of the new Ultimate Spider-Man series gave a Perspective Flip in which it's revealed that Miles had his power long before Peter ever died. He was adamant not to become a super hero but after witnessing Peter's death, Miles was overcome with guilt due to his own inaction, and decided to carry on his legacy.
    • In the mainstream universe, Peter Parker, his consciousness trapped inside Dr. Octopus' dying body, is able to convince Octavius, who is inhabiting Peter's body, to stop being a villain and not to soil the name of Spider-Man with his villainous acts. Octavius agrees, setting the stage for him to become the Superior Spider-Man. It doesn't last as Doc Ock descends back into his selfish antics, leading him to revive Peter and just die.
    • Spider-Girl has a pretty painful one with Spider-Verse as her father is killed by Daemos and, after dealing with the Inheritors, she's given Peter's old costume by Mary Jane, who proceeds to dump her Spider-Girl name and go by Spider-Woman. Then, it turns out that poor ol' Mayday hasn't gotten over Peter's death, she still wishes she could have killed Daemos when she had the chance, everyone's still calling her Spider-Girl and the villainess Enthrallia has decided to hypnotize New York's heroes into thinking Mayday was an impostor who killed Peter and took his costume.
  • The Knights of the Old Republic comics had Nomi Sunrider, the Force-sensitive wife of a Jedi, take up his lightsaber and become a Jedi herself after he was killed in battle.
  • This is the basis of The Phantom, a title that passes from father to son. No Phantom has ever died of old age or retired, the title is always passed to the next inheritor after the current one has been mortally wounded. The present-day Phantom is the 21st to hold the title.
  • The Twelve shows that The Human Flame was given his fire-powers by the previous holder who was on death's door after being injured in a shootout. However, he feels enormously guilty over it because he held off calling an ambulance in the hopes of the man passing the powers to him rather than risk them being lost with his death. After becoming the Human Flame, he makes up a fake back story about getting the powers by being experimented on by a Mad Scientist. At the end of the story, the Flame is badly injured in the final battle against Dynaman and passes the power to The Phantom Reporter.
  • In Les Légendaires, after the Cycle of Anathos, Jadina replaces Danael as leader of the group. While already pretty badass in the first part of the series, she goes through a huge Xenafication.
  • Attempted in Paperinik New Adventures: after the fall of Xerba under the Evronian invasion, the colony ship Antra, one of two that managed to escape, went straight to Earth to warn humanity of the threat and provide us with their advanced technology (that the Evronians feared, prompting the Evronians to fake peaceful intentions to cover the invasion), knowing that, coupled with humanity's warlike nature, they would be able to fight off the Evronians and counterattack, but were intercepted off Saturn. A member of the crew still managed to escape and reached Earth with a database of all Evronian technology but used a disguise that included an Evronian tracker to find Paperinik, prompting a reaction that destroyed the database.

    Fan Works 
  • All Assorted Animorphs AUs: In "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?", Mertil and Gafinilan gave the Animorphs their powers. Before he died, Gafinilan passed on his title of war-prince to Jake.
  • In But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci, part of the premise is that Batman has been Ret Goned and the Joker (now sane and going by Jack Napier) remembers him, but in Jack's attempts to Set Right What Once Went Wrong he accidentally becomes the new Batman, with the internet giving him that moniker when he beats up Superman (evil in the new timeline) with a baseball bat. Jack is heavily reluctant to take up his former rival's legacy, but eventually embraces the identity.
  • In Last Child of Krypton, a retired Wonder Woman shows Asuka her tiara, her bracelets, and her Lasso and asks her to pick them and carry on in her place. Asuka accepts.
  • Winter War takes the view that Tousen's zanpakutou Suzumushi originally belonged to his dead friend, and that after her murder, he essentially took on her (sentient) weapon and powers as well as her goals. In the present of the fic, with Tousen dead, Suzumushi is actively trying to get someone else to "take her up" and use her powers to pursue Tousen's "justice"... although she'd really prefer to just possess someone, rather than allow a shinigami free rein with her powers. Nanao finally persuades Suzumushi to temporarily lend her her powers, until they have accomplished their common goal of killing Aizen.
  • At the end of Game Theory, Yuuno gives his Device to Momoko, setting things up for the sequel.
  • The Equestrian Wind Mage: At the end of Season 2, as Ganondorf, purified of Demise's curse, lays dying (for the final time), he passes the Triforce of Power on to Vaati.
  • In We Are the Night, this is how original character Ginette Brookes a.k.a. Swift joined the Batfamily. When Alfred Pennyworth passed away, one of his last wishes was for the Waynes to hire Ginette, an old friend and fellow MI6 retiree, as the new housekeeper. She is just as adept as Batcave personnel as a maid and cook, and her British dry wit is certainly worthy of Alfred. What stops her from being a Distaff Counterpart is her lack of familial relationship with the Waynes, being more professional and, at times, antagonistic.
  • A Man of Iron: In A Crack of Thunder, Theon's mentor Jonos Bracken is killed by Asha. Enraged, Theon picks up Bracken's sword, Hate Eternal, and uses it to start killing Asha and Vanko's Ironborn, fighting his way to an escape.
  • Played with in Infinity Crisis;
    • Tony lifts Stormbreaker after Thor is disarmed, only for his enthusiasm to be quashed when Thor clarifies that there is no worthiness enchantment on his new hammer.
    • Faced with the threat of Thanos and the Avengers coming back together, Tony returns Steve’s shield.
    • Mick Rory gives Snart’s cold gun to Rocket.
    • Jane Foster proves worthy to hold Mjolnir and becomes a Goddess of Thunder.
  • Loosely applies in Power Rangers Mythos; the Mythos Morphers themselves haven’t been used before, but the Rangers all end up in a different colour to the one they were familiar with;
    • Tommy finds himself wondering how Jason would feel about him acting as the Red Mythos Ranger.
    • Tommy and Flynn later discuss how strange it is to see Flynn in Green when that was Tommy’s colour just hours ago.
    • While still under Avanth’s control, Shelby claims the Yellow Mythos Morpher, while Z retrieves the Blue Mythos Morpher (Adam acquires the Purple).
  • Avengers of the Ring;
    • In Dagor Arnediad, as the last member of Thorin's company in Erebor in fighting shape, Ori takes up Orcist to join the Guardians of the Galaxy in hunting down Thanos.
    • In Methteilien, Rhodey trains Faramir in the use of the Hulkbuster armor.
  • Features for various characters in the Hunger Games/Marvel Cinematic Universe crossover A Man Like No Other and its sequel;
    • Obviously Katniss Everdeen, who receives Steve Rogers' original shield when she is chosen as the leader of the new Avengers, the shield later being repainted in black and gold with a mockingjay in the centre to reflect how Katniss fights for Panem rather than America.
    • Tony Stark assembles the remnants of his old armors that survived into the future to create a new suit, which he passes on to Peeta before returning to his own time.
    • Katniss briefly picks up Mjolnir, which inspires the long-absent Thor to return for his hammer.
    • With Mjolnir restored, Thor entrusts the axe he was using in its stead, Jarnbjorn, to Johanna Mason, who uses it under her new codename of Bloodaxe.
  • The Pirates of the Caribbean fic "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Redone" concludes with Carina- here Jack’s daughter rather than Barbossa’s- taking her father’s compass and title to become the new Captain of the Black Pearl.
  • In the How to Train Your Dragon/The Lord of the Rings crossover "Ring of Fire", Gandalf leaves Narya, the Ring of Fire, with Hiccup when he departs Middle-Earth for the Undying Lands; Narya lacks its former power with the destruction of the One Ring, but Hiccup recognises the symbolism of the gesture is what truly matters, as Gandalf shows that he has faith in Hiccup to help Men and Night Furies build a better world.
  • In the Angel/The Hunger Games crossover "Demon's Games", when Buffy is preparing for her final fight on the astral plane, she leaves the Scythe to Cressida (while acknowledging that this is because Cressida is the only Slayer available and will understand if she passes the weapon on to Katniss later) and asks Cressida to look after Willow after she's gone, a 'duty' that Cressida is more comfortable with.
  • A non-fatal example of this occurs in Unsustainable when Steve, Tony, Bruce, and Clint have been captured by one of Banner's old friends with the goal of experimenting on Steve's super-soldier-enhanced physiology. With Steve and Bruce trapped and Tony injured, Tony directs JARVIS to allow Clint to use the Iron Man armor to stop their enemies.
  • A relatively minor example in the Descendants series "Package Deal" when Ben, Mal, and Evie are in a relationship; when the time comes for the trio's wedding, Belle gives Evie her distinctive gold dress so that her future daughters-in-law can use it in their wedding dress.
  • Another non-fatal example of this is in the Pokémon fic "More than Meets the Eye"; when competing against her ex-fiancé in the Whirl Cup, Misty has the secret weapon of Ash's Greninja, which he temporarily traded to her for the Cup; with careful training, Misty has even been able to replicate Bond Phenomenon with Greninja, although she can only use it for long enough to mount a single attack.
  • Played with in The Ronless Factor, when the Stoppables give Rufus to Kim after Ron's death.
  • In Fates Collide, Medb does a Heroic Sacrifice. The sequel Lost to Dust reveals that her student Neo started wielding Medb's sword Caladbolg. Similarly, Astolfo sacrificed himself and in the sequel, his friend Charlemagne started wielding his lance the Trap of Argalia.
  • This is how Cinders and Ashes: the Chronicles of Kamen Rider Dante kick off, as Hotaro, a character from an in-universe fanfic, passes his belt onto his author, Hoshi. Hoshi later realizes that the reason Hotaro did this was because he knew Hoshi created him and trusted him to use his powers.

    Film — Animated 
  • In Starship Troopers: Invasion, Trig gets killed while separated from everyone else. Her rifle (and her running kill tally) is taken up by a mortally-wounded Bugspray, who dies within feet of his deceased love interest during his last stand.
  • In the Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series pilot movie, the leader of the new commando squad, named Canard, is shown to be the bravest and the coolest of the whole squad, even having a Cool Mask. However during their mission, Canard needs to pull off a Heroic Sacrifice to save his team, but before doing so, he gives his mask to his lancer, Wildwing.
    "Take it. You're team captain now."

    Film — Live Action 
  • In Braveheart, the honor goes to Robert the Bruce, but Wallace's best friend gets the literal sword, and throws it, in an act of defiant symbolism, to what can be considered the climax of the entire musical store.
  • In Highlander, Ramirez finds and trains Connor MacLeod so that somebody would have a chance of defeating the Kurgan. When the Kurgan takes the aged immortal's head, Connor takes Ramirez's sword and uses it as his own from that point on, later using it to behead the Kurgan and fulfill his mentor's wish.
  • Iron Man 2: In a movie that starts off with a speech about the importance of legacy, this is going to come up a lot.
    • Howard Stark reveals that he discovered a new element that would perfect the arc reactor and revolutionize energy. However, he lacks the technology to create it and leaves it up to Tony to solve the problem.
    • Rhodey is set up by the dying Tony to take over as an armored hero. As Fury points out, the only way Rhodey could have activated the Mk. II was if Tony had already given him clearance to do so.
    • Pepper takes over Stark Enterprises.
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home also deals with the importance of inheritance and legacy as Tony Stark died in Avengers: Endgame but not before leaving E.D.I.T.H. and thus control of Stark Industries' information gathering and weapons technology to be handed over to Peter Parker. Peter is also throughout the movie, pushed towards and ultimately assumes the mantle that Iron Man once held as the hero of the MCU.
  • The Mask of Zorro: It isn't clear if the sword the new Zorro uses is in fact the same one as the one used by the original, but he received the mantle of Zorro in the end.
  • The Princess Bride. After Domingo Montoya's death, his son takes up the masterpiece of a sword that his father made for the Six-Fingered Man. The son later spent the rest of his life training to avenge his father's death. The rest, as they say, is Florinese history...
  • Star Trek (2009)
    • Nero kills Lt. George Samuel Kirk as he tries to stop him, and 25 years later his son finishes the job.
    • Spock (and later Kirk) taking over from Pike.
  • 300: Leonidas and his 300 die (except for one survivor), but their deaths inspire the rest of Greece (led by the aforementioned survivor) to fight back and drive off the Persians.
  • Star Wars: After Qui-Gon is mortally wounded against Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, Obi-Wan is hinted to have continued to use his deceased Master's lightsaber for some time afterwards, having been shown using it to bisect Maul at the waist (his own had already been disposed of by Maul) just before Qui-Gon expires.
  • Purgatory: Wild Bill gives his badge to Sonny when Sonny declines to take the easy way to Heaven.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): Diana's tiara—a throwing weapon—actually belongs to Antiope, her aunt and combat instructor who is killed protecting Diana during the beach battle. As she leaves the island, Hippolyta gives it to Diana to remind her of the greatest Amazon warrior who ever lived.
  • Zack Snyder's Justice League: In a Bad Future, after Aquaman was killed, his lover Mera wields his trident and joined what was left of the Justice League.
  • Kong: Skull Island: Hank Marlow planted Gunpei Ikari's sword as a Weapon Tombstone for him, but when Hank finally decides to escape the island, he pulls the sword out of the ground and wields it as his main weapon while promising to honor Gunpei's memory.
  • Played for Laughs in The Suicide Squad. Javelin dies while passing his javelin to Harley Quinn, who promptly starts arguing with his corpse, demanding to know what she was supposed to do with it.

  • Sharpe: As mentioned in the Film section, Sharpe receives his dying captain's old cavalry troopers sword (bear in mind both are infantrymen and it is 35 inches long) in Sharpe's Rifles.
  • Sam in The Lord of the Rings becomes the Ringbearer after Frodo seemingly dies. However, they later meet again, and Sam, so to say, "gives the sword back" to Frodo. Sam also takes Sting, Frodo´s actual sword, and this he keeps for the rest of the journey, only giving it back to Frodo after the war is over.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • Faile promises this to Perrin- it's a Borderlander thing.
    • Lan was given his father's sword while still in the cradle!
    • Rand has a really weird form of it. The person encouraging him to take up his sword is Rand's past life.
  • Green Rider: A fallen messenger gives a girl his magic brooch and Cool Horse so she can carry his message for him. Turns out that the brooch is magic and carries a Call with it.
  • The Dresden Files: Knights of the Cross, each of whom weilding a Sword with a Nail from the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ in its hilt, know their Swords must go to the right person when they die or retire. If they can, they will select someone to be The Chooser of the One. The position of Knight of the Sword is also one which needs not be to their death. Some Knights will take up the Sword for one crucial mission and then return it.
    • During Changes Karrin Murphy and Susan Rodriguez take up the Fidelacchius the Sword of Faith, and Amoracchius the Sword of Love, respectfully. They are both wary to take on the mantle, but the direness of the situation compels both to become Knights for this one job.
    • In Skin Game, Butters takes up Fidelacchius after Karrin is injured. Word of God is that Butters will be a Knight until he dies.
  • In Dan Abnett's Xenos, Voke, who may be dying, asks Eisenhorn to sponsor a protegee of his, if necessary. Besides providing for the future, this is also a gesture of respect, because of their conflicts earlier in the novel and Voke's then expressed opinions of Eisenhorn's methods. (It turns out not to be necessary.)
  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 novel Brothers of the Snake, several marines in Damocles die on different occasions. On the first, Priad is told that he must take up leadership and receives the claw which the leader of the squad always carries; on the second, the survivors seek new ones to take their place.
  • Throughout the Redwall series, various characters have gotten messages from Martin, either written down or in dreams, telling them to take up his sword and defend Redwall Abbey. Martin has been dead for a long time so he gives his "sword" (both literal and metaphorical) to several people over the generations. One of them was his own reincarnation.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines short story "Chains Of Command", Captain Idaeus hands his sword to Uriel before he makes his Heroic Sacrifice to bring down a bridge.
  • Those Who Walk In Darkness: Bullet O'Rourke is a Noble Bigot with a Badge who unintentionally sets in motion the story's conflict. Halfway through the sequel, What Fire Cannot Burn, she gets killed by a vigilante, and is replaced by her former sidekick Aoki, who wields her BFG.
  • Fear Street Cheerleaders by R. L. Stine does this halfway through the first book, with the seeming protagonist boiled to death, but her sister continuing to fight the being that killed her.
  • In Animorphs, an injured Elfangor gives the kids the power to morph only minutes before Visser 3 eats him. It's made more literal since one of the kids, Tobias, is Elfangor's son, though he doesn't find that out until later. Elfangor realized it, though Tobias has his doubts.
  • Warrior Cats: this is what Tigerstar intends for Brambleclaw, Hawkfrost, Tawnypelt for a short time, Jayfeather for a short time, Lionblaze, and Tigerheart. He succeeds with one of them.
  • In the beginning of Cyteen by C.J Cherryh, Ariane Emory dies. Before she died, she had been working on a project to clone herself, and the project is continued after she dies.
  • In Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Soren takes up the battle claws of Ezylryb after the old owl's death. He wears them during the final battle against Nyra's forces.
  • In The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Joe Kavalier and Sam Clay are the creators of the Golden Age hero The Escapist, whose origin embraces this trope: escape artist Max Mayflower, aka Misterioso, was shot by a sniper while in the midst of performing an elaborate escape onstage. As he was led offstage by his assistants, Max convinced his nephew Tom to finish the act wearing Max's Misterioso costume. Tom, who before had been crippled, was able to perform the rest of the show flawlessly, as becoming Misterioso somehow restored his strength and cured his legs. Later, before dying of the gunshot, Max revealed to Tom that he worked for The League of the Golden Key, an organization that worked to liberate people who have been enslaved or wrongly imprisoned. His killer was a member of an international slave ring called the Iron Chain. With Max's death, Tom took his place in the League, forging the identity of the Escapist.
  • In The Book of the New Sun, in book IV the dying Autarch passes his throne and his memories to Severian. It shouldn't be a surprise since we were told it would happen at the start of book I, and the Autarch has known all along who his successor would be, but given the amount of obfuscation involved...
  • Played With in a literal way in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. When Harry goes off to let Voldemort kill him, he tells Neville Longbottom to make sure that Voldy's pet snake and Soul Jar Nagini is killed. After everyone observes Harry's (not quite) dead body, Neville pulls out the Sword of Gryffindor and decapitates Nagini, paving the way for Harry to come back and finish Voldy off.
  • In Dragon, Napper tags along when Vlad leaves the skirmish line to go after Fornia and is killed Deader Than Dead by the enemy warlord's Morganti weapon. Although Vlad has no intention whatsoever of taking up Napper's profession, he does pick up the fallen soldier's dropped broadsword and attack Fornia with it.
  • Nibelungenlied: After Siegfried was murdered by Hagen, his widow Kriemhild wielded Siegfried's sword Balmung and killed Hagen with it.
  • This is actually what John McCrae's poem In Flanders Fields is about (a dying soldier urges others to take up the fight), though most people only know the first verse, which is the bit about the poppies.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Power Rangers Zeo: A non-fatal version occurs when the original Gold Zeo Ranger (Trey Of Triforia) is attacked and seriously injured by Verox Bounty Hunters and is forced to transfer his powers, at least temporarily to former original Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger Jason Lee Scott.
  • Power Rangers Lost Galaxy:
    • Leo took his brother Mike's sword as he was about to fall to a pit, and became the Red Ranger. His brother had the sword for about 5 minutes, but the fact that Leo isn't the one to pull it from the stone himself causes him angst.
    • Both the Magna Defender and Kendrix had Heroic Sacrifices and their spirits came back to officially bestow their swords and powers on successors (Mike and Karone, respectively). Kendrix later comes Back from the Dead, but the Defender doesn't.
  • Power Rangers Time Force: Another fatal version occurs in this series when the big bad Ransick kills Red Time Force Ranger (Alex Collins) in the year 3000. With his dying breath, he hands his Red Chrono Morpher to his girlfriend and fellow Pink Time Force Ranger Jen Scotts, who in turn gives the Red Chrono Morpher to Alex's ancestor in the year 2001, Wesley Collins.
  • Robin of Sherwood: Robert of Huntingdon (played by Jason Connery) succeeds Michael Praed as 'the Hooded Man' and bearer of the magic sword Albion.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess:
    • Gabrielle was a heroine for the whole series, even if she was a sidekick. Then Xena died and she steps up to full hero with Xena's chakram.
    • When Joxer died, his son Virgil stepped up as a hero and wielded Joxer's sword.
  • The Magnificent Seven: Mary Travis runs her husband's newspaper after his murder. (Not a spoiler, as he's dead before the pilot episode.) She is very much a crusader.
  • ER: when Mark (protagonist of the first eight seasons) has his last day at the hospital, his last words before leaving are "you set the tone, Carter." After he dies, Dr. Carter "inherits" Mark's stethoscope.
  • Deadwood: Wild Bill Hickok is introduced as though he would be a major character, acting as a sort of surrogate sheriff for the town. After his murder, Seth Bullock took on the role of the town's conscience, eventually becoming the town's real sheriff. Similarly, after Brom Garrett's murder, his widow (who had previously shown little interest in anything other than laudanum), rose to the occasion and fought to secure her late husband's gold claim and to try and get some kind of justice against his killers.
  • Kamen Rider Double
    • In the first movie Sokichi Narumi died and passed his Cool Hat on to his assistant, protagonist Shotaro.
    • In the second Double movie, where Sokichi appears to Shotaro "beyond the grave" as Kamen Rider Skull, giving his former apprentice the Lost Driver and enabling him to become Kamen Rider Joker.
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid pulls a non-lethal parody. Gamer Nico wants to sate her childish grudge against Emu. He retired from professional gaming before the story's start and she can't compete with him as a medicinal intern or Kamen Rider, so she tries to get Taiga to defeat him in her place. He is not amused.
  • Lost: Each of the final three episodes features an instance of this. First, a flashback episode reveals that Jacob's adoptive mother transferred her powers (most prominently immortality) and position as the Island's protector down to him shortly before she was killed. Then, Jacob briefly comes back from the grave in order to do the same for Jack Shephard. Finally, as Jack is dying, he decides to transfer the powers and responsibilities to Hurley before performing a Heroic Sacrifice. This can be assumed to be a pattern that started long before the events of the show and will continue long after the final episode.
  • Doctor Who's "Time Crash" combined this with Passing the Torch. Despite the time differential (it aired two years after the revival premiered), can be seen as Classic Who passing the torch to New Who.
  • In the Red Dwarf episode "Stoke Me a Clipper", Arnold Rimmer reluctantly becomes the next "Ace" when the previous one shows up mortally wounded.
  • Highlander episode 'Homeland'. After Duncan was cast out of his clan, it was attacked by a Viking named Kanwulf, and his father was killed. Duncan came back and took up his father's sword to go after the guy. Unfortunately, he didn't know the rules of immortality at the time, so he didn't behead Kanwulf and the guy survived. Duncan, however, became a legend. "He came back from the grave, took up his father's sword, and slew the Viking." When Kanwulf returns in the present day to terrorize the village until his sacred ax is found, Duncan repeats the legend, taking his father's sword from the inn/tavern where it had hung and finally ending Kanwulf for good.
  • Primeval involves the team leader Nick Cutter for two series dying, and telling Connor Temple to finish his work. These are his last words, and Connor investigates anomalies and ends up killing Helen Cutter, Nick's killer, and continuing his research into anomalies.
  • In the Final Battle of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Faith takes up the scythe after Buffy is struck down and...let's use Joss Whedon's words.
    "She goes ape shit on the fuckers."
  • Sharpe: From "Sharpe's Rifles":
    Captain Murray: "I want you to have my sword. Maybe if the men see you carry it—"
    Sharpe: "They'll think I'm a proper officer."
    Captain Murray: "No, they'll think I liked you."
  • Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger: Near the end, Torin gives his Cool Sword the Feather Edge to Souji, the team's swordsman; Souji says it feels like an ill omen. He's absolutely right, since Torin had a Thanatos Gambit in place that would help them defeat the villains once and for all.
  • Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger: Burai passes Geki the Dragon Armor and Zyusouken (and thus, control of Dragon Cesar) moments before he passes on. The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers variant has Tommy giving Jason the Dragon Coin just before the Green Candle goes out, effectively giving Rita a parting "Screw You" before he loses his powers.
  • Person of Interest has The Machine taking up her own sword in the finale. One week after she and Samaritan are destroyed by the ICE-9 virus, a backup copy of her core code comes online but without any of her memories. To fix this, The Machine records a message right as she dies that her memory-free code eventually listens to, explaining her purpose, the nature of her work, and the moral code she lived by. This is enough for the backup code to resume its mission.
  • Star Trek: Picard: In "Nepenthe", Elnor had agreed earlier on to help Hugh enact his Revenge on the Romulans who have callously executed the xBs, so after Hugh is fatally wounded, he urges Elnor with his dying breath to finish what he was unable to start, and he even frames his last wish as a lost cause because Hugh knows that would be irresistible to a justice-seeking Qowat Milat.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • After Rhaegar Targaryen was killed by Robert Baratheon, his brother Viserys wielded his sword and was eager to get revenge. Viserys doesn't get the chance because he gets himself killed by his own stupidity, then the sword is never seen again except in flashbacks.
    • Joffery Baratheon only wields the sword Widow's Wail for a few minutes because he is fatally poisoned soon after he gets it. His father, Jaime Lannister, later wields Widow's Wail in battle.
    • When Jon Snow is assassinated, Davos Seaworth briefly wields his sword Longclaw. When Jon is resurrected, Davos returns Longclaw to him.
  • The Flash (2014): Hunter Zolomon/Zoom imprisoned Jay Garrick/Flash and impersonated him to give the people a false sense of hope just so he could take it away as Zoom. Part of Hunter's Flash costume included a metal, winged helmet. Later, when Hunter is killed and Jay is freed, Jay decides to add Hunter's helmet to his costume and turn it into a real symbol of hope. The helmet serves him well in battle, as it is bulletproof.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Classical Mythology: Hercules passing on his bow and arrows (tipped in the blood of the Hydra) to Philoktetes before he dies of Hydra venom.
  • The Bible: The Book of Joshua opens with God telling Joshua that his mentor, Moses, has died, and he must take over as leader of the Israelites.
  • This is repeatedly Lampshaded in The Qur'an, citing the possibility of Muhammad dying in battle, and what the rest of the Muslims must do in case that should actually happen. History says otherwise.

  • World of Darkness: This is the big reason why the Vampires don't go out of their way to kill Hunters. Kill one, and you'd just get one or more to take their place.
  • Pendragon: Since the game is set on a quick timescale, any player character is expected to die in the course of a campaign. When that happens, it is assumed that his lands and titles will pass to his heir, who will become the player's new character.

  • In Wicked, Elphaba hands the Grimmerie off to Glinda before "melting."
  • West Side Story has an example that's tragic rather than heroic: after Bernardo kills Riff, Tony picks up Riff's switchblade knife and immediately uses it to kill Bernardo. In the 1961 film version, the dying Riff actually hands the knife to Tony just before he collapses, silently requesting this trope.

    Video Games 
  • Some games let you create a 'legacy' or a 'grave' for your next player character, possibly with the same motivation, to inherit their loot.
  • Conviction (SRPG): In Ending A, Leed sacrifices himself to seal the Dark Elf and passes the role of the Light Elf's chosen one to Ire, along with the responsibility to maintain the balance of Elwes.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In the Final Fantasy VII prequel Crisis Core, Zack Fair puts his Buster Sword into Cloud's hand and tells him to live "for the both of us". This later leaves Cloud in a state of endless anxiety when he regains his proper memories and decides that he's failed to live a proper life for himself, much less for Zack, at the beginning of Advent Children.
      "You are the proof that I existed."note 
    • Final Fantasy V has an example that is reflected within the game mechanic. When Krile replaces Galuf in your party following the latter's death, she gets all his old abilities and exp and suchlike.
  • Tales of Monkey Island: has a subversion. At the end of chapter 4, Guybrush died and it looked like Elaine would be the hero of the final episode (she even gets an appearance in chapter 4's end cinematic, as if confirming this idea). A month later, chapter 5 came out and the focus was still on Guybrush.
  • In Super Robot Wars: Original Generation Gaiden it's revealed that Fighter Roar tried to use a kamikaze attack on Dark Brain and is now without a body. He then merges with Kouta so that Kouta can become the new Fighter Roar with the first Roar being his mentor.
  • Ace Attorney:
    • In Investigations, Kay takes up the position of Yatagarasu from her father.
    • In Investigations 2, in a climactic scene, Edgeworth and company take up the mission to expose the smuggling ring leader from the previous Yatagarasu.
    • Mia takes up what is hinted to be Diego Armando's position as the hot-headed, "never say die" defence attorney as well as the case against Dahlia Hawthorne after his poisoning.
    • Phoenix succeeds Mia who then entrusts him with the safety and happiness of her little sister and Phoenix later trains Apollo to be the kind of lawyer he was.
  • Mass Effect 3: The Crucible is an ancient weapon against the Reapers that was never finished before its creators were wiped out. It wasn't developed by the Protheans either. Like the humans, they found the plans in ancient ruins 50,000 years older than their own civilization and only improved and refined what they found. It's the combined effort of countless civilizations which each added new improvements to the design before they were annihilated by the reaper, making the building of the Crucible a task that has been passed down for millions of years, with the current cycle of reaping that Humanity is part of being the first to finish it. In the Refusal ending, Liara in turn sends on the Crucible schematics to the next cycle.
  • Legacy of Kain: Defiance: Raziel willingly lets himself be absorbed into the Reaver, so Kain can continue to fight the good fight.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: When Link finds his uncle dying in the sewers of Hyrule Castle, he is told to take his sword and save Princess Zelda.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Upon freeing each of the Divine Beasts, Link is gifted with their respective champion's signature spells and weapons (though the weapons are given by separate NPCs rather than the champions themselves).
  • Mega Man
    • Mega Man 7: Proto Man giving his shield the blue bomber after a Bonus Boss Battle.
    • Mega Man X: If the player fails to acquire the X Buster upgrade, Zero will relinquish his own for you to use after his Heroic Sacrifice.
    • After Zero's death at the end of X5, X tries to find his friend, only to find Zero's sword. X decides to use the Z-saber onwards "in memory" of Zero.
    • In Mega Man ZX, Zero and X return as equipable "biometals" that can impart their form unto a new user, who then not only takes up their sword but also their body. The player acquires Zero's biometal after its original owner, Giro, dies.
    • In Mega Man X: Command Mission, the Steel Massimo that joins your party is not the heroic Reploid warrior but rather a disciple of his that took on his axe, armor, and name.
  • In Chrono Trigger, Frog eventually takes up the legendary Masamune in memory of his brother-in-arms Cyrus, who was killed just as the sword was recovered.
  • In Jeanne d'Arc, Jeanne takes a nasty spill down a ravine. Only Gilles goes on to look for her —everyone else thinks she's dead, including the French commanders, who all but force Jeanne's friend Liane to impersonate the Maid of Orleans in order to keep morale up. It doesn't end well for the replacement, as she is the one who gets burned at the stake instead of the real Jeanne.
  • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War: The entire 2nd half takes place after Sigurd and most of the player's army from part 1 are defeated and executed.
  • Fire Emblem Awakening has the kids who took up their parents' missions come from the future to fight with them in an attempt to make said Bad Future better.
  • Metal Gear: The big Reveal of the heavily Mind Screwed series turns out to be that the entire situation with Outer Haven, Metal Gear, Les Enfants Terrible, the Patriots, and FOXDIE is just the result of a small group of people fighting about how to best continue the work of The Boss.
    • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has Raiden take Jetstream Sam's sword after their duel to finish the fight with Senator Armstrong, who Sam tried to defeat before the events of the game. After defeating Armstrong, the latter states that Raiden is a worthy successor of his ideals and encourages him to fight for his own ideals regardless of what others may think.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep: Aqua takes up Eraqus' keyblade when returning to Land of Departure after his death, and start wielding it after losing her own to save Terra-Xehanort. The bequeathing ceremonies Aqua and Terra give to Kairi and Riku also qualify by the end have effectively passed on their roles in the story to them.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey has this with Commander Gore begging you to save humanity and not give in to the angels or the demons.
  • Romancing SaGa 2: With its generation system, the game considered this whenever a generation changes or when the team leader is killed, notably the first lord, Leon. He gets killed off by a bad guy during the prologue chapter, passing all his ability and skill to his wimp son Gellard, who's taking a whole new level in badass. He's then off to avenge his father.
  • The Last Story: the sword that Quark wears on his belt is symbolic of his childhood oath with Elza for them to become knights and protect people. Later, Quark pulls a Face–Heel Turn and tries to kill the party. After his defeat, he passes on this sword to Elza, acknowledging that he lost faith in their dream and that Elza never did.
  • In Phantasy Star IV, Alys' death forces Chaz to assume command of the team and continue the mission to stop Zio.
  • Dragon Quest V, Pankraz's trying to find his wife, and passes on the job to his son as he's dying, setting up one of the main objectives of the game.
  • In Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Kisuke received his sword style this way from Jinkuro's master, who was already dead.
  • Modern Warfare: This happens several times. In 1, Sgt. Jackson gets killed by a nuke, although that's a weaker example since you were already playing as Soap, who the story shifts to, anyway. In 2, It happens twice- first, Allen gets shot by Makarov and you become a different US Army Ranger in the same unit for the rest of the American side of the story, and later, Roach dies when Shepard betrays Task Force 141, and you play as Soap for the final few missions 3 is the only game in the series to (mostly) lack this trope- a few characters die while you play as them, but you only play as them for one level anyway, and nobody new replaces them.
  • Alone in the Dark 2: A captain killed by the Big Bad claimed that he would die by the captain's sword. In the final battle, you need to get the sword (Which has been stuck in the planking of the ship's quarterdeck for centuries) to win the fight.
  • Samurai Shodown 2: This happens in Nakoruru's ending since her sister Rimururu receives her dagger and decides to fight on from then on. Nakoruru later becomes a sort of Spirit Protector who comes back when needed and often fights alongside Rimururu.
  • In Warcraft, Anduin Lothar, leader of the Alliance forces, falls in battle. His second-in-command, Turalyon, takes up his position and kicks the living shit out of the orcs.
  • Dynasty Warriors zigzags it by having Zhang Bao taking up his father, Zhang Fei's Blade on a Stick for one of his secondary Musou attacks after Zhang Fei is killed by Shu soldiers who then flee to Wu. The attack itself ends with a Mighty Roar. The one Musou attack is the only time we see it and he's never shown with it otherwise.
  • In Hearthstone when Tirion Fordring dies, his death rattle causes the player's hero (normally Uther) to immediately equips Tyrion's sword Ashbringer. The animation for the ability shows a sword flying from Tirion to the hero, implying him throwing his sword to them.
  • Zettai Hero Project has this as the means by which the main character becomes the Unlosing Ranger, inheriting the Morphing Belt from Pirohiko, who dies shortly after. Pirohiko himself became the Unlosing Ranger in this way, and it's heavily implied this is how new Unlosing Rangers are decided.
  • In Guacamelee! 2, it turns out that "our" Juan was the only Juan across countless alternate timelines to defeat the Big Bad of the first game. In every other timeline, Juan died horribly in the final battle, and another hero stepped up to defeat said Big Bad in his place. Which is why our Juan is called to the Darkest Timeline because their replacement hero became the new Big Bad.
  • In Valkyria Chronicles, Isara is killed at the end of a mission by fleeing Imperial forces. Her being The Heart of not only Squad 7, but also the Gallian military's R&D department, R&D mechanic Kreis volunteers to become the Edelweiss' operator in her stead, even inheriting her old toolkit. He also continues her dream of building an airplane, finishing her half-finished model (which is then named after her) along with the rest of the R&D department, before going on to devote his life to aeronautic engineering.
  • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III, the reason why Gaius becomes a Dominion is because he ends up inheriting the stigma from a traveling priest who taught him a few things, the previous Eighth Dominion, as he dies from defending Nord.
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • During the Solomon Singularity, when Mash Kyrielight sacrifices herself to shield everyone from Goetia's attack, Ritsuka Fujimaru picks up her shield and uses it to beat Goetia to death. Mash is later resurrected and the shield is returned to her.
    • During the Atlantis Lostbelt, when Hektor is killed, Mandricardo picks up his spear Durindana (Mandricardo was the only one worthy to use it due to the connection between their legends) and wields it until he is also killed.
  • God of War (PS4): Faye wielded the Leviathan Axe. When she died, her husband Kratos wielded the weapon.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the Demon Tsukuyomi case of Spirit Hunter: NG, a time-displaced Killer Peach passes her katana onto Akira, signalling her approval at him continuing the investigation into Sumii Group that she could not.
  • In the fifth arc of Umineko: When They Cry, Beatrice is killed by Erika Furudo. As a result, Battler becomes the Endless Sorcerer. It's an unusual example, considering that he's taking up the role of the woman who has acted as an antagonist until now.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • In the Volume Three finale, "End of the Beginning", Professor Ozpin is missing/presumed dead. Qrow Branwen takes over as the Big Good and carries Ozpin's cane. At the end of Volume 4, he later gives it to Oscar, whom Ozpin has selected as his successor. Volume 5 later reveals that Oscar is actually Ozpin's latest reincarnation, so it's more of a case of "Take Up My Own Sword".
    • At the beginning of Volume Four, Jaune's gear is upgraded with metal left from Pyrrha's armor.
    • Neo takes up Roman's hat after he dies while fighting Ruby, and seeks to kill Ruby to avenge him.

  • Spinnerette: Tiger inherits his powers this way. He found the former Tiger dying from a gunshot wound and received the Spirit of the Tiger from him as the man's final act. He was already a cop on the beat, so he didn't inherit the purpose but rather traded "policeman" for "superhero".

    Web Video 
  • In this Real Trailer, Fake Movie for a live-action Cells at Work! film, White Blood Cell U-1146 and Natural Killer Cell are defeated by Cancer Cell, causing Red Blood Cell AE3803 to pick up NK Cell's sword to defend them from Cancer Cell.

    Western Animation 
  • Transformers:
    • In Transformers: The Movie, Optimus Prime gives the Matrix of Leadership to Ultra Magnus but Hot Rod ends up with it by the end.
    • Defied in Transformers: Prime, since Smokescreen made the wisest decision of his young life and used the Forge to revive Optimus, thus eliminating the need for Smokescreen receiving the Matrix of Leadership.
  • ReBoot
    • Bob gives Enzo a copy of his Guardian Code & uniform just in case something happens to him during the Web invasion. Sure enough, Bob is betrayed by Megabyte and exiled to the Web and it's up to Enzo to take Bob's place as guardian of Mainframe. Enzo even gets to use Bob's (broken) Glitch for a while.
    • They tried to do this with Matrix's backup clone, little Enzo. Fortunately for everyone, Little Enzo refused.
  • The Mighty Ducks: When their ship is about to be swallowed by the electromagnetic worm, Canard decides to sacrifice himself so the others can escape. He leaves the mask on Wildwing's hands with the words "Take it, you're team captain now".

    Real Life 
  • One of the strangest examples of this trope involves the Console Wars. When Sony released its PlayStation 2 console, it absolutely creamed the Sega Dreamcast, and Sega knew that combined with the heavily-bungled release of its Saturn console years earlier it meant the writing was all but on the wall for the company's console division. Sega handed the reins to its slot in the competition over to Microsoft, even going as far as to assist in development of the original Xbox hardware and release some exclusive titles for the platform. The rest, as they say, is history.