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The Magic Goes Away

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For the trope-naming book series, see The Magic Goes Away.

"Perhaps magic was once a mighty force in the world, but no longer."
Maester Luwin, A Song of Ice and Fire

So the Big Bad is defeated, right? All things are going back to where they ought to be. Order is taking over again. But there is no room in this new world order for magic. Perhaps magic has finished its work in the world, maybe the Big Bad was tied to the source of all magic, or maybe it was sealed away. Maybe a Masquerade Enforcer emerged to drive magic into hiding, and the magicians decided that it was easier to leave for some more magic-friendly Magical Land. But all traces of magic are now gone, or at least disappearing fast. The Time of Myths is no more.

Of course, with all magic gone, all beings whose very existence were tied to magic must go away, too. Either they vanish into nothingness, or travel to a better realm. Those that use the former may be more of a Downer Ending, as everything magical that the player worked hard for is now gone, while those that use the latter are more of a Bittersweet Ending, as even though they're gone, they're in a better place.

Sometimes they even become human, but either way, they're gone with the magic as well.

Often this trope is to imply that this work of fiction may have really happened, as it makes way for the more magically incompetent humans and their technology.

This trope may be applied to other types of Phlebotinum, not just magic itself.

This trope is distinguished from Here There Were Dragons in that the work is about the events which result in (or at least happen around the time of) the magic going away. In Here There Were Dragons, the magic already went away long ago, and the story isn't about that disappearance. May overlap with End of an Age in that both involve the loss of wonder, but differs in that it is specifically about magic and magic settings. Can also overlap with Death of the Old Gods, although that does not necessarily mean magic goes away entirely so much as it becomes less obvious to and involved with the lives of humans; or Götterdämmerung, although that usually implies a more sudden, cataclysmic loss of the gods and magic than this trope. Often an example of Growing Up Sucks, but on a more universe-wide level. See The Magic Comes Back and Power Nullifier if this is a temporary status and it actually returns. Compare to Twilight of the Supers, a modern equivalent in which Superheros disappear from a setting.

Also note that many examples will be spoilers in one way or another, as the titles of works that end this way probably won't be put in spoiler tags. Be warned.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Technically it's not magic, but this is a recurring way for Digimon seasons to end.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The Magic Goes Out of competitive fighting: By the Cell/Android Arc, the general populace has forgotten entirely about ki and all the amazing feats that were proven possible back in Goku's youth. Now the Budokai tournament is attended by a mostly-ignorant audience and dominated by self-aggrandizing fighters like Mr. Satan (granted, he's a capable conventional martial artist), who all write Supernatural Martial Arts off as stage effects (pro wrestling jokes from fans of the series were inevitable). Piccolo even notes that Budokai seems to have lost its soul as it became more popular.
    • Another, more low-key case would be the disappearance of several Earth-based fantastical elements, such as the Beast Men, intelligent monsters, Ambiguously Human beings, and dinosaurs, as well as non-ki-related supernatural powers, which were commonplace early on, but are almost entirely absent after the early Saiyan Saga, making characters like Oolong or Pilaf stick out when they appear (which isn't often nowadays); a newcomer who only read/saw the latter parts of the series could be forgiven for thinking they're actually space aliens, especially as alien fantastical elements are still plentiful.
    • This has also happened to the titular McGuffins of the series:
      • In the original series, when Goku and Popo are repairing Shenron's statue after Piccolo killed him, Kami admits he briefly considered leaving the Dragon Balls destroyed, as he felt that humanity was simply too greedy and corrupt to use them wisely, but Goku's purity of character convinced him to change his mind.
      • At the end of GT, Shenron decides that humanity has become too dependent on the Dragon Balls, and decides to take them and leave Earth for a hundred years so that humanity can learn to solve its own problems.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • A variation occurs in Edolas because, unlike in Earth-land (the series's main universe), magic is a scarce (and nearly depleted) resource, and can only be used through items. How it got to this point isn't explained, though some Exposition implies the truly dire straights the world found itself in can be traced back to past use of the now-sealed Dorma Armin, which functions by forcibly draining the magic of the world into itself. By the end of the arc, the kingdom's prince dispels all magic left in Edolas to Earth-land (in order to ensure that it could never be used as an excuse for cross-dimensional conflict again) and sends the other protagonists (as well as the Exceed race) back through the subsequently-closed Anima, while staying behind to assume his rightful place as the ruler of the now-magicless Edolas. 100 Years Quest reveals they've actually been doing pretty well for themselves, especially in developing new sources of power.
    • This is the goal of Tartaros through the use of the magic superweapon Face. By erasing all magic in Earth-land, they would be left in a position to both a) destroy humanity, as they are a bunch of genocidal demons from the Books of Zeref who use curses instead of magic, and b) revive their guild leader, E.N.D., the strongest of all of Zeref's demons, whose seal is so powerful that nothing save Zeref himself or Natsu (since unbeknownst to almost everyone he is E.N.D.) opening the book short of erasing the continent's magic would break it. It almost happens too since they're able to activate Face despite the heroes' efforts and everyone's magic starts to go away, but then the Dragon Slayers' dragon parents return to destroy the Face structures before things cross the point-of-no-return.
  • In Gundam Build Fighters, Sei and Reiji are forced to destroy the massive Arista crystal that creates the Plavsky Particles that allow for Gunpla Battles before its out-of-control power causes a lot of havoc. This lasts for about two years before artificial Plavsky Particles are created, allowing for Gunpla Battles to return.
  • Izetta: The Last Witch ends with the titular character draining the entirety of Europe's (and possibly the entire world's) magical Ley Line network of magical energy to prevent the Germanian Empire from making use of their magic-powered wonder weapons designs that are capable of leveling entire cities, and to prevent them from forcibly using Sophie, the original White Witch, in the same manner.
  • Kamisama Minarai: Himitsu no Cocotama: If anyone breaks the Cocotama contract, which states that the Cocotamas must not have their existence revealed to anyone, they lose the magic assistance of the Cocotamas, and also get some serious Laser-Guided Amnesia.
  • Downplayed with the ending of Kill la Kill. Senketsu burns up on re-entry after absorbing all of the Life Fibers on Earth, but Ryuko is still infused with them at the end.
  • In the end of K: Return of Kings, Shiro destroys the Dresden Slates from which the Kings drew their power. Everyone loses their powers as Kings, Clansmen, and Strains, and Shiro returns to his original body, because it was only his power as a King that was holding him in that body. However, the novels have said things about Daikaku Kokujouji's ability to control the Slates being related to his family's Onmyouji abilities, which is why he was sent to Dresden in the first place, which indicates that there is more magic in that world than just the Dresden Slates.
  • Medaka Box offers an unusual example. In the epilogue, which is set 10 years later, it's revealed that the vast majority of the unusual students from Hakoniwa Academy lost their powers as they grew up. It might look like a case of mass delusion, except that everything in the series is confirmed to have happened; Medaka still destroyed the moon, since in the epilogue she's working to restore it, and both she and Zenkichi believe that Anshin'in-san, who was killed near the end of the series, will come back to life sometime soon.
  • In the Murder Princess OVA setting, all magic is rooted in Teoria, a massive energy-processing machine created After the End of the previous civilization. When Alita/Falis destroys it, all magic disappears from the world, including all the magical characters.
  • This occurs in My-HiME, where all HiME powers, birthmarks and associated CHILDs disappear at the end of the series after the Obsidian Lord's defeat.
  • Nectar of Dharani: The gods-given magic has been slowly disappearing from the world, with the Ambrosia being some of the last of it. The world has been industrializing to compensate for the loss of magic.
  • Pet Shop of Horrors:
    • Count D reveals that someday, little Chris will grow up and no longer be able to talk to the animals in his shop, nor will he be able to see them as their humanesque forms, but the way normal people see them. It actually does happen when Chris reunites with/forgives his adoptive family and starts speaking again. It's kinda a Tear Jerker too, when he runs back to the shop, wanting to tell his friends he can talk again, only to not see them as he used to nor talk to them.
    • There's a scene in one story in Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo where D's grandfather and a vampire stand on a statue and watch the Holocaust unfold. While discussing the death and destruction, it's brought up that with all of the humans dead, gods, demons, and beings like the vampire and D's grandfather will fade away.
  • In Pretty Cure All Stars DX 3, the united teams lose their powers and their fairy companions when they use the last of a mystical flower's power for one last super attack to destroy the movie's monster. However, since there's still a show going, they gotta get it back. In the show after the last featured show in said movie, the ending is very similar, as does with the return of their powers. Since every Pretty Cures inevitably will be featured in this kind of crossover, they gotta get it back.
  • The Hayao Miyazaki film Princess Mononoke: While the Deer God's death marks the end of an era for the mystical beings, the real end of magic is that humans are expanding and imposing themselves on the natural world, heedless of the consequences (which has dire results for many), and the spirits cannot keep up with the technological pace of humanity. The movie makes it clear that the forest and its many animal gods are either gone or diminished, but that the Deer God will continue as he is both "life and death". Towards the end, we see a Kodama rattle its head, so the spirits aren't quite gone. Yet.
  • The spirit world in Spirited Away, mostly being associated with nature, is slowly hemmed in by human redevelopment, with tragic consequences for river spirits. Also, the Afterlife Express used to go both ways but now only goes one.
  • At the end of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, at the end of the Ceremonial Battle, a chasm opens up, and all seven Millennium Items and the three Egyptian God cards all fall in. In the manga, this effectively erases all forms of magic from the world, although the anime continued with various spinoffs that include magic from a variety of non-Egyptian sources and the manga-based Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions movie brought back the Items, God Cards, and introduced new magic as well as technology equivalent to it.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • The power of the planeswalkers has been drastically weakened after various multiverse-threatening disasters. The older planeswalkers are the only ones who realize how much power they lost. Nicol Bolas is particularly bitter and schemes to regain what he lost, and several of the game's storylines — such as the Alara, Amonkhet, and Ixalan arcs — are driven by bids on his part to claw his way back to his old levels of power.
      We were gods, once.
    • Happens again in the aftermath of New Phyrexia's invasion of the multiverse. The damage inflicted on the multiverse has somehow led to many planeswalkers outright losing their Planeswalker Sparks. To add insult to injury, quite a few of them were older planeswalkers, meaning they've had to endure this trope twice.

    Comic Books 
  • The Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld saga had it that a star going nova also disrupted mystical energy.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Comics-verse:
    • This occurs in the backstory of the world of Fray (a possible future of the Buffyverse), although the process was somehow reversed centuries later.
    • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 comic linked up with the future-set Fray-verse by having all the magic go away. Season 9 reveals that it's far worse than that. The Seed of Wonder wasn't just the source of magic. It was the source of creativity. The "magic" of stories, music, and art is also gone.
    • A season later, however, magic returns to Earth. This changes some magic rules. This creates a new breed of vampires that is much stronger than the previous breed and immune to sunlight.
  • A Green Lantern story established that the Guardians of the Universe corralled much of the universe's mystical energy into the Starheart.
  • This seems to be underway in the Hellboy universe (The Fair Folk haven't had any children in a century), but it's not going to go without a fight (some of the Fair Folk are waking up really, really nasty people in an attempt to keep from going extinct)... Unfortunately for the world, while its magic goes away, it seems to leave it more open to otherworldly supernatural forces, like The Legions of Hell and the Ogdru Jahad. Which could very well be in cahoots with one another...
  • Alan Moore's Promethea has a rather lengthy chapter explaining the cycle of history thus: Magic Goes Away (beaten out by forces like Science, Christianity, and Materialism), Culture Decays, The Magic Comes Back, and Culture Rebuilds Itself. Rinse and repeat. The series ends on the newest recurrence. People throw away their tacky comic book gimmick junk and start practicing various forms of mysticism, but life mostly goes on as normal.
  • In The Sandman (1989) issue "Ramadan", Harun al-Rashid, Caliph of Baghdad, rules over a city of mystery, magic, and wonder that is the marvel of the world, but he knows it won't last. In order to have his city live forever, he sells it to Dream. As a result, all the magic and wonder is removed from the "real" city, but the mystic Baghdad will live on in legend and myth for all of time.
  • A series of Wizards of Mickey seemed to end like this: the Eldritch Abomination who had laid the crystals that the heroes got their powers from has taken them back and left the series' setting to go back to its dimension from which it had been marooned millennia ago. However, the series was revived thanks to readers asking for more of it, and it was retconned that only one type of magic was tied to the crystals, and the heroes are now trying to master other kinds of more ancient magic.

  • In The Bridge, this happened to the version of Terra (Earth) that Godzilla and the other kaiju hail from thousands of years ago. 77,000 years ago you had The Fair Folk, floating cities (Atlantis), and Magitek everywhere. Post one narrowly averted apocalypse from the prehistoric Big Bad? First Civilization was utterly destroyed and the modern magic users could be counted on one hand. Which leads to the Fridge Horror that the Big Bad has the same plans for Equestria.
  • A variation occurs in Eternal Fantasy, where earth magic is disappearing and being replaced by gaian magic. According to Draco Malfoy, most potion ingredients no longer work, wands only have a given amount of magic before they run out, and gaian magic by default slowly erodes earth magic. Earth wizards have taken to disenchanting any still functioning magical items that can be found so they can use the remaining magic to power their wards to keep out gaian magic.
  • In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, this is the theory Harry and Draco came up with as the primary alternate hypothesis to the pureblood credo that muggle blood is weakening magical ability: ambient magic is slowly fading. As it turns out, magic isn't weakening, and neither are wizards - it's just that magical knowledge is slowly being lost to the Interdict of Merlin.
  • In The Magic Goes Away, it's implied that something interfered with the leylines under the Hinata Inn which had previously allowed for the various comedy tropes to work there. Naru's and Motoko's superhuman strength (and swordsmanship in Motoko's case) vanish along with Keitaro's immortality and Su's ability to create fantastical machines. On the less obvious side, Kitsune's no longer immune to hangovers or weight gain from excessive drinking while Mutsumi's fainting spells become less frequent.
  • Jail Scaglietti's ultimate goal in MGLN Crisis is to set off Relic Bombs that permanently render entire planets incapable of using magic. He succeeds posthumously on Mid-childa, but it turns out that the effect is only temporary.
  • Queen of All Oni: Karasu, the Shadowkhan from the future, explains to Jackie at one point that magic used to be much more prevalent in the world than it is now, being generated by the eternal conflict between Light and Darkness. However, after the Eight Immortals set the Grand Design in place in order to keep defeated evils sealed, the conflict mostly died down, and as a result, magic started dwindling, until it was pushed to the sidelines, all but forgotten by humanity.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Equestria's magic has been slowly fading since the events of a thousand years ago. Effects of this include some ponies being born without magic ("hollow ponies", those suffering from Thaumatic Vidatus), those who burn out (the Brevis Soluti, or "short burst" ponies), and Cloudsdale's magic decaying, forcing them to move the city to a more secure location. Word of God is that more ponies are being born with these disorders than those who are not. It's also noted that the Starbeasts have begun to lose their signature starcoats, with the lights dimming, and a lot of them are simply dying off due to this. By the end of the first story, The Magic Comes Back comes into effect.
  • In keeping with the decline in relative importance of magic on the canonical Discworld, A.A. Pessimal has moved to exploring how a pseudo-Victorian Steampunk mentality might emerge on the Disc. The Price of Flight has the Witches of the Air Watch realising they have to come to terms with non-magical flight beginning on the Disc, and therefore breaking the monopoly on flight that magic users have hitherto enjoyed. As on our world, the first flight was by Frenchmen in hot-air balloons. The first powered flight was by Germans in zeppelins. The Air Watch is therefore first challenged by Quirmians flying "Bongolfier Devices" and then by Überwaldeans who have worked out how to power and steer their Luftschiffs. Both hot-air balloons and - just about - Zepellins would have been achievable on the Disc at the time of Raising Steam, given enough ingenuity.

    Films — Animated 
  • In The Flight of Dragons, the hero denies magic in order to defeat the evil wizard. Although he saves what remains of the world of magic in the process, he permanently seals it away from the world of logic.
  • Magic stopped being used in the backstory of Onward as easier to use technology gets invented and magic has begun to wane since 40 or so years before the present as a result. The protagonists' late father really was the last of the Red-Hot Swamis, and magic is only strong enough to bring him back from the dead for 24 hours. However, the spell goes awry, resurrecting only his lower half, necessitating a Road Trip Plot in the family minivan to find one of the few pockets of magic left in the world. While the cast is blue-skinned elves living in a mushroom house, the Magic Forest got clearcut for suburbs (consisting of identical mushroom houses) and the City of Adventure looks an awful lot like Los Angeles. Luckily, The Magic Comes Back by the end of the movie.
  • In The Secret of Kells, Brendan is no longer ablenote  to see Aisling's human form after she nearly dies from helping Brendan get into Crom Cruiach's cave. She does appear in later parts of the film though as a white wolf. Brendan sees her in her human form when he returns to the abbey at the end.
  • Song of the Sea, from the same creators as Secret of Kells, also uses the trope, as the Sídhe are dying out. At the end, Saoirse singing the eponymous song is what allows their spirits to leave the human world and return home to Tír na nÓg; her mother, a selkie, must leave with them, but Saoirse herself is allowed to shed her selkie half and remain with her human family.

    Films — Live Action 
  • Bagdad Cafe may be the Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane Trope Codifier. When Jasmin is forced to return to Bavaria, the town and cafe become drab and lonely again. One trucker is even told, "The magic is gone." The Magic Comes Back.
  • At the end of The Craft, the powers are taken away from the girls as punishment for their misuse. Sarah however keeps hers though, as she is a natural witch.
  • In the film Dragonheart, Draco (voiced by Sean Connery) notes "I am the last one". And he doesn't survive the film. Later subverted in the Narmtastic Dragonheart II, where a long-forgotten dragon egg hatches and an evil dragon who was in hiding reveals himself. The young dragon, Drake, beats the evil one, but it's suggested that there may be more dragons still out there.
  • Dragonslayer plays out along very similar lines; Ulrich of Craggenmoor, a wizard, and Vermithrax Pejorative, a dragon, are (more or less) the last of their kinds.
  • John Boorman's Excalibur has this scene where Merlin mourns the passage of magic from England:
    Merlin: The days of our kind are numbered. The one God comes to drive out the many gods. The spirits of wood and stream grow silent. It's the way of things. Yes... it's a time for men, and their ways.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • The franchise plays with this, suggesting that the supernatural isn't going away though some kind of event to make room for normal humans and technology, but because normal humans and technology are overtaking it and making it simply irrelevant. The point is hammered home by Cutler Beckett, who never once flinches at anything clearly magical, and views it as nothing more than a disposable tool.
      Cutler Beckett: This is no longer your world, Jones. The immaterial has become... immaterial.
    • Revisited in the fourth movie when the Fountain of Youth is destroyed, but this is more the result of followers of one supernatural belief (depending on how you view any faith) destroying any trace of a supernatural thing that doesn't fit into their worldview. Less technology and more war of faiths.
    • The destruction of Poseidon's Trident at the end of the fifth movie has supposedly lifted all sea curses. What this means for the future of magic and the franchise remains to be seen.
  • Star Wars:

  • In The Annals of the Chosen it's revealed late in the trilogy that the land's magic is growing progressively weaker as the anti-magic feathers purchased from traders are gradually suppressing the ler. Considering the callousness of the ler and the idiocy of the wizards, Sword concludes this is probably for the best.
  • At some point in the past of The Anubis Gates, a massive event shattered the power of magic. Over the years, it has steadily weakened, so that by the 1800s even the simplest spells are nearly impossible and unreliable. By the modern day, magic no longer exists, save for a handful of time portals that quickly vanish. The titular gates are the villains' attempts to bring the magic back.
  • Bruce Coville's Book of... Magic II: The World Where Wishes Worked features a world where everyone has everything because they can just wish for it. It also has a fool who can't help but make foolish wishes with bad consequences. In the end, he decides there's no way for him to fit the system... so he destroys it by wishing that wishes no longer automatically came true, resulting in this trope.
  • In Lord Dunsany's The Charwoman's Shadow, the magician leads all the magic out of Spain at the end.
  • The Chrestomanci novel, Witch Week ends with the world becoming a Merged Reality with ours, removing magic in the process.
  • The Chronicles of Prydain ends with the Sons of Don and everyone with magic having to leave Prydain, now that Arawn is dead. The other companions are offered a place on the ships to the Summer Country where they can live together forever, but Taran decides to stay behind in Prydain to rebuild it, and Eilonwy gives up her magic heritage to marry and stay with him.
  • Coldfire Trilogy: At the end, the magic has been altered to be less responsive to human minds, creating a sense of psychic distance that will gradually render it unusable. On the other hand, it also means that thinking about the monster under your bed doesn't cause it to come to life.
  • In The Cyberstrike Baptism, one of the protagonists ends up on a colony during the local Festival of Love. The key part involves a man performing a ritual that will summon the goddess of love, who helps soulmates find each other. The man is looking for his wife and sees this as his best chance. Unfortunately, he is told that this festival is likely the last one, as there are rules as to who can perform the ritual. It has to be done for six generations and passed down from father to son before the goddess will appear, and the current guy is very old and childless. While it is possible to resume the ritual after six generations, no one plans to wait that long.
  • The Darksword Trilogy ends this way, as the magic held concentrated in Thimhallan is once again spread evenly throughout the universe. A partial aversion since this restores magic to the rest of the universe as the cost of destroying the magic-filled land of Thimhallan. To the survivors, it is played straight, with an example being cited in Book 4 of a 20-year-old woman who cannot walk and the doctors who cannot understand the reason. Having been surrounded by concentrated magic her whole life, she simply never learned to move herself using her feet. Now that magic is weak but everywhere she is pretty much bed-bound.
  • In The Death of Chaos, the chronologically last book in The Saga of Recluce, this happens when Lerris bonds all the free chaos and order in the world together. Everything infused with extra order or chaos is destroyed.
  • The plot of Dirge for Prester John is figuring out why this happened after the fact.
  • In Discworld magic is weaker than it used to be since the Sourcerors were around, which is a very good thing as they nearly destroyed the world. However, in The Last Hero, it's noted that if the Disc's magic went away altogether, the world would also end because a flat planet on four giant elephants on a giant turtle simply cannot exist without magic.
    • As the focus of the books moved from a "straight" fantasy world to be more and more of a satire of our world, the Discworld is charted as moving from one where magic is dominant to one where a sort of Victorian Steampunk ethos is emerging. As the world develops a strictly non-magical form of mass communication (the Clacks) and coal- fired steam railways emerge for mass transportation, it is possible that if Terry Pratchett had not died, the role of Wizards and Witches would have more explicitly become one of managing the dwindling and the decline of magic on the Disc.
  • Dragaera: Played straight and then undone, insofar as sorcery goes away during the Interregnum and then comes back when the Imperial Orb is retrieved.
  • The Dragonlance series has this happen in Dragons of Summer Flame, originally intended by the creators to be the endpoint of the saga. However, they and other writers decided to keep the story going, magic and all, though the magic isn't quite the same afterward.
  • Elantris: For as long as anyone can remember, Elantris was the city of the gods. Random people across the country would suddenly gain incredible magical powers and perfect bodies, and then they would travel to Elantris, where they would rule for all eternity. But ten years before the start of the series, the Elantrians lost their powers, heralded by a massive earthquake. The perfect city died, and the Elantrians themselves were trapped in a zombie-like state between life and death. However, none of the other (weaker) magic systems across the world stopped working at this time, which most religions used as proof that the Elantrians were false gods who had been cast down. As it turns out, the cause was the earthquake itself. It was so huge that it opened up a massive chasm in the country — and since the Elantrians' Geometric Magic was based on the shape of their country, their magic no longer worked. Worse, Elantris itself was a massive magical amplifier using that same Geometric Magic; with the shape changed, it produced the half-dead wretches instead of gods.
  • In S.M Stirling's Emberverse, the "magic" is our modern high-energy technology. Following an unexplained event known as the Change, electricity, gunpowder, explosives, internal combustion, and steam power either cease to function or become so inefficient that no work can be performed. This leads to a swift and disastrous collapse of civilization, as most social structures become no longer able to keep themselves running or six billion people fed, and forces the survivors to rebuild in a world eternally stuck at a medieval level of technology.
  • Inverted and averted in Fred Saberhagen's Empire of the East trilogy: in the backstory, Technology Went Away, but then, at the end, when Technology Comes Back, Magic stays too.
  • The Empirium Trilogy: Unable to withstand the constant pain of keeping her body together, Queen Rielle's last act of magic ends up suppressing everyone's contact with the empirium, turning elementals back to powerless humans.
  • Nicholson Baker's The Fermata is about a guy who has the ability to stop time. As one would expect, he mostly uses it to undress women and then re-clothe them before starting time again, with no one the wiser. Eventually he falls in love with one of his victims and somehow passes his magic on to her. He does mention elsewhere in the book that he has gone through periods where his powers were absent, and he seems to expect them to return at some point; but for now, he's at his girlfriend's mercy.
  • This is the case in the world of The First Law. Each generation of wizard, tracing their line from the originator of magic, Euz, is less than the one before it. Magic has also been gradually decreasing in power for some time. Bayaz, First of the Magi (the third generation of wizards), complains at one point that over the centuries he has learned more and more about magic but been able to do less and less with that knowledge. Ever the pragmatist, however, he's been looking increasingly to technology to do what magic no longer can.
  • At the end of The Graveyard Book, this serves as a Tearjerker and Bittersweet Ending as Bod must leave the graveyard and join the living, can no longer see the dead that he grew up with, and loses his ghostly abilities. It's especially heart-wrenching when he tries to embrace his adoptive ghost mother for the last time, but discovers he can't see or touch her, as she's no longer there for him.
  • Simon R. Green: Most of Green's Verse/multiverse averts it, as magic and science are treated as co-existing rather than the former being extinguished by the latter. The Forest Kingdom series plays it straight though — in Book 1 (Blue Moon Rising), the High Warlock claimed this was happening, as the rise of science and logic gradually displaced the fantastic from reality. In the climax of Book 4 (Beyond the Blue Moon), by combining the powers of the Rainbow and the Source, the world of Reverie is destroyed, and with it the Wild Magic and the Transient Beings, though the magic will take some generations to fully disappear.
  • Green-Sky Trilogy: This has been happening at earlier ages to successive generations at the beginning of the series. In the third book, there are signs that The Magic Comes Back.
  • Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series:
    • In Valdemar, magic is believed to have disappeared centuries ago with the last Herald-Mage. Later, it turns out that it isn't really gone; there is just a massive Mind Control spell in effect that makes everyone forget about it, and watcher spirits in place to stare at any mages that show up until they go away. Getting the magic back becomes a major plot point of the Mage Winds trilogy.
    • By the end of the Mage Storms trilogy, the Background Magic Field is spread evenly over the world, and mages cannot tap into powerful Ley Lines like they used to. The situation is temporary; by the time of Owlknight about fifteen years later, some of the ley lines have been restored.
    • The above being temporary is a case of History Repeats: in the Mage Wars trilogy, the end of the first book had the same thing happen thousands of years before the Mage Storms ends up dealing with the remnants of that very incident.
  • The His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman ends with all the portals needing to be closed, separating Lyra and Will forever. Lyra can no longer effortlessly read the Alethiometer and will have to spend years relearning how to do it. Will had to break his knife to ensure he's never tempted to use it to see Lyra.
  • The Long Price Quartet ends with the Khaiem renouncing their use of the andat, with the history and knowledge of how to bind them being destroyed and the last andat being released from service. Even before that, since an andat that had been bound and then released could never again be bound in the same way, the power of the andat had been gradually weakening as more and more andat became impossible to bind.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, magic has been pretty much receding for centuries before the story began. The ending of the One Ring resulted in the end of Sauron's artificial sorcery in Middle Earth, the decay long held off by the Elven Rings powered by him could no longer be stopped, and the Elves, who are tied to the natural magic, had to leave the world, lest they themselves decay. Tolkien actually originally intended Middle-earth to be an alternate mythology for Earth at large; with the conclusion of World War II being the end of what would be the Sixth Age and the start of the Seventh. With this taken into account, the magic going away for good during the Fourth Age, and Middle-earth itself eventually fading into legends and shared stories, was inevitable.
  • In the German book series Maerchenmond the plot takes place in a magical world. In the second volume, magic leaves this world. As a result, the magicians and witches become weaker and weaker, and the magical animals, which were intelligent and could speak, degenerate into ordinary animals. The speaking grizzly bear Kelhim ends particularly tragically. He becomes a raging beast that even hunts humans. Shortly thereafter, he is killed by a machine and has a few clear moments in the hero's arms before his death.
  • Magebane: Two of the three major conspiracies revolve around variants of this trope. Tagaza's is the simplest — he's figured out that the Barriers are slowly sapping the magic from the land, and he wants to destroy the Barriers so that magic can regenerate. Mother Northwind instead wants to destroy the Barriers as part of a ritual that will permanently destroy all magic. Mother Northwind wins.
  • Subverted in Secret of the Sixth Magic, in which it seems that the five known forms of magic are ceasing to operate. It turns out that they aren't vanishing; rather, a "metamagician" from another world is shifting the rules under which they operate, forcing magic-users to rediscover how to invoke their powers.
  • The Trope Namer, Larry Niven's The Magic Goes Away stories, tell of an ancient civilization based on Functional Magic powered by "Mana", but there's only a finite amount present on Earth. That nobody seems to be aware of or acknowledge this fact causes the magi, magical creatures, and gods that use mana to eventually "go mythical" (a very obvious allegory aimed at modern civilization's reliance on oil and other non-renewable resources).
  • The main conflict of Magic University comes from the main characters' efforts to avoid this. In the end, it's revealed that this has happened many times during the history of magic, being responsible for the extinction of many magical species, like the Sphinx, and that its occurrence is tied with the Geas, the spells utilized by magic users to maintain the secrecy of their world.
  • This is how Roald Dahl's Matilda ends; the titular Child Prodigy cannot do magic anymore as she's been allowed in upper-level classes at last, causing her brain to have applied itself traditionally again.
  • The Merman's Children is set sometime in the late thirteenth century, when faerie creatures are slowly dying out thanks to the rise of Christianity and Islam and the encroach of civilization into wild areas. When the merfolk are driven out of their home near Denmark by an exorcism, they try to find a new one, but one of the biggest problems they face is that many areas of the ocean have been made uninhabitable by other exorcisms. One exception is in one region of the Dalmatian coast, where people follow a form of Catholicism that's more tolerant of Faerie than the version practiced in most of Europe, but even there, Pavle Subitj believes that Faerie will be extinct in a few centuries at most. By the end of the book, all the merfolk except Tauno have become Christians and traded their agelessness for mortal souls. Most of them marry humans, and in a few generations their blood will be so diluted that their descendants will be indistinguishable from other mortals.
  • In the book Missing Magic, a young boy has to deal with being the only one without magic powers. When his uncle turns out to have been the Big Bad (after taking his powers and killing his father), his uncle uses the same spell and removes everyone's magic by accident. The boy comes to realize that eventually magic will return and someone will pioneer its discovery, long after everyone forgets it existed and moves on.
  • Monster of the Month Club: By the end of each book, the stars have passed out of alignment for a time, causing Rilla's latest monster companions to revert to being stuffed animals, though it's hinted they may not be entirely inanimate. They also all awaken for the duration of the eclipse in Book 4, but revert to stuffed toys when it ends.
  • In "A Night at the Tarn House" by George R. R. Martin (part of the Songs of the Dying Earth anthology), magic is failing as the Earth dies; spells are becoming weaker or can't be learned anymore, and grimoires are crumbling as their protective magic fades.
  • The Obsidian Trilogy: Partially reversed in Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory's series. The magic hasn't completely gone away, but some of it has, and it's implied it will be coming back.
  • In On Stranger Tides, magic becomes more difficult if the caster has contact with too much Cold Iron (iron occurring naturally, as in blood and falling stars, aids magic, but working iron destroys its magical potential and causes it to impede magic), and magic-use has been dying out as iron technology spreads. Near the beginning of the novel, Jack Shandy sees two children levitating his marionettes to make them dance; at the end, they're using the strings to move them.
  • The Queen Of Ieflaria: Minor case. Part of the reason Rhodia is having so much trouble with dragons is that their battlemage population has been sharply declining. While they have plenty of other types of magic, battlemages are those blessed by Talcia, and best equipped to fight dragons. Esofi brings a cadre of trained battlemages and plans to build a university. This apparently pleased Talcia, as she blessed a number of adults with magic — something that normally doesn't happen.
  • Queen of Zazzau ties the encroachment of Islam and the decline of traditional African paganism to the death of magic in West Africa. The lesser deities of the Hausa pantheon are de-powered for breaking the rules to help Amina at the same time neighboring states are converting to Islam. (The novel has a Crossover Cosmology in which Allah and the Hausa Top God Ubangiji are the same being.)
  • In The Real Boy, the island Aletheia used to be home to powerful wizards. After the wizards turned themselves into trees in order to infuse the soil with magic and stop The Plague, the wizards died out and were replaced by sorcerers, who were weaker. Then the sorcerers were replaced by magicians, who are weaker still. Now the magicians are on the decline. Although nearly everyone in West Aletheia has some magic abilities, Caleb is the first person born in a generation who is powerful enough to be called a magician.
  • Rigante: A pervasive theme throughout the series — mystical beings weaken and die as human evils wash away magic from the Earth.
  • The trigger for the entire plot of The Seventh Decimate is sorcery suddenly ceasing to function in the entire kingdom of Belleger, leaving it not only incapable of defending itself against its eternal enemy Amika but also robbing it of the many forms of sorcerous Mundane Utility that it has come to rely on.
  • In Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt, the magically-oriented Inapt kinden have been fading for several centuries, giving way to the technologically-oriented Apt kinden.
  • Terry Brooks in his Shannara series uses this trope. In The Wishsong of Shannara the Cycle of Magic comes to a close. Magic leaving the Four Lands means the Druid's Keep of Paranor is sealed away and Allanon himself must die. Later subverted in the sequel series, where the transition to a new Cycle of Science turns out to have been disrupted by various factors, leading to a world where magic still exists, but mainly in twisted, evil forms. The heroes are tasked with restoring the older, healthier forms of magic.
  • The last book of The Dark is Rising series, Silver on the Tree, ends with all the magical people and things on both sides, good and evil, leaving so that humans can decide their own fate.
  • The final book in Sixty Eight Rooms centers on the remaining loose ends surrounding the Key of Christina of Milan. The previous books established how the key worked in relation to the Thorne Miniature Rooms, including access to the time periods represented by each room via a specific artifact, and all the rules of time travel that went with it. Jack and Ruthie finish it off by meeting Narcissa Thorne herself, who gives them a box that contains a spell to deactivate the key's magic. They use that spell for the sake of keeping time safe, and Ruthie wears the dormant key around her neck after that.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • The page quote comes from a conversation between Maester Luwin and Bran Stark in A Clash of Kings when the latter asks about the possibility of greensight still existing. Maesters of the Citadel have, over the years, been chronicling the fading of magic, myth, and legend, often debating among themselves via their volumes of text whether magic ever truly existed as a strong force at all. Most come to the conclusion that, yes: powerful things existed, once. However, that time and myth have enlarged or mislabelled their actual effects. It is then revealed in A Feast for Crows that the Maester Order may have helped kill the Targaryen dragons, which are intimately tied to the presence of magic, in a bid to found (or hasten the birth of) a new and secular age of science and scholarship. However, since three new dragons have been born recently, magic is coming back in a big way. Nobody in the Seven Kingdoms is prepared for the ramifications.
    • The Dance of the Dragons is the seminal event for the disappearance of magic, as all of the dragons are killed during the event, leaving only eggs. One hatches during the reign of Aegon III, but it is small, weak, and definitely not combat-worthy. It dies shortly after, taking the last remnant of magic in the Seven Kingdoms away with it, as dragons won't be reborn until over a hundred years later.
    • It should be noted that while magic is gone in the Seven Kingdoms, it never went away in Essos. Qarth has a whole order of warlocks, Asshai is a city of witchcraft, and the Doom that rules Valyria seems to be magical in nature. And of course, Daenerys hatches her dragons while in the middle of Essos.
  • The Stormlight Archive: The Knights Radiant were ten orders of Magic Knights who protected humanity against the Voidbringers, with the help of the Heralds of the Almighty. They gained their powers from their bonds with their spren, a symbiotic relationship where the spren gained life and intelligence while the Knights gained incredible powers called Surgebinding. Four and a half thousand years ago, the Voidbringers were finally defeated for good (that's what the Heralds told everyone, anyway), but the Radiants remained behind to continue protecting humanity. Centuries after that, all the Knights spontaneously turned on humanity, abandoning their wondrous arms and armor like trash. This action killed entire species of spren, and the survivors refused to bond with humanity any longer. By the time the story starts, everyone believes that the "Lost Radiants" were tyrants and traitors. This means that very few people understand what is happening when Surges are granted to men once more.
    Sadeas: They used elaborate tricks to imitate great powers and pretend a holy calling. When their deceptions were discovered, they fled.
    Dalinar: Their powers were not lies. They were real.
    Sadeas: Oh? You know this? Didn't you just say the event was so old, it might as well have been in the shadowdays? If the Radiants had such marvelous powers, why can nobody reproduce them? Where did those incredible skills go?
    Dalinar: I don't know. Perhaps we're just not worthy of them any longer.
  • Sword of Truth: This seems to be where the world is going in the series for the last three thousand years, due to a group of wizards locking away part of the human gift. During the events of the books, the process is accelerated, partly because of the efforts of the Imperial Order, which seeks to stamp out all magic, and partly because of the Chimes, demonic entities that destroy magic. At the end of the final book, Richard uses the Power of Orden to both fix the damage caused by the Chimes, and to create a parallel world to send the Order's army to, along with the "pristinely ungifted", and the chimes, resolving all remaining subplots simultaneously. This world is destined to lose all magic and all memory of magic, while the old world's magic is on the recovery. A spinoff taking place a thousand years later has the world as a full-fledged Magitek society.
  • In Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, the lands are suffused with an ambient magic called "the Tradition". It will fade from a land that has lost its sense of magic and wonder, and the lives of the people who live there will be diminished as a result.
  • In John Brunner's The Traveller in Black series, the titular character, who suppresses Chaos by granting wishes and poetic justice, is on an eons-long mission to make this happen.
  • In A Twisted Tale: A Whole New World, Jafar's final act before dying is to wish that all magic will die with him. This has the side effect of turning the Genie into a human.
  • The The Wheel of Time stands out in this regard, as it's only a perceived Magic Goes Away scenario: While characters comment repeatedly throughout the series that magical numbers are dwindling compared to their ancient advanced "age of legends", near the end of the series it is shown to the reader that this is entirely untrue. It turns out the perception of this is simple incompetence and the use of a very unreliable and outdated system of discovery.
  • Implied in The Witchlands, as all but two Origin Wells are now dead, and Vivia's mother mentions that witches used to be far more powerful than they are these days.
  • This is a major plot point in Worth the Candle, where individual branches of magic are locked away to specific areas called exclusion zones or removed from the world entirely by the DM, usually due to someone finding a way to use magic he doesn't think is balanced.
  • In the book Source of Magic, from Piers Anthony's Xanth series, magic went away for a while. But it returned through the heroes' efforts by the end of the book by getting the aforementioned source (the Demon Xanth) to come back. While the magic was gone, though, most of Xanth suffered weird aftereffects and many people were distraught to find their talents unusable. This is referred to as "The Time of No Magic". One of those things you shouldn't think about too much, since a lot of magical effects that really should have been destroyed in this time appear in later books. Things like castles that fly using magic and several magical prisons of various types.

    Live Action TV 
  • Babylon 5: Season 4 includes the Vorlons and the Shadows leaving the galaxy. However, as Delenn puts it, "Now we make our own magic". Confirmed by the Distant Finale, where a million years later, humans have become Sufficiently Advanced, and now take their place watching over and guiding the new younger races.
  • Being Human ends this way after Hal, Tom, and Alex defeat the Devil, as their powers originate from Satanic sources. They all seem rather content this way.
  • Carnivàle was supposed to eventually cover the end of magic in the world, but it was canceled four seasons prematurely.
  • Charmed: Magic temporarily disappears when Wyatt is born. The demon of the week has to take a cab to leave the Halliwell manor.
  • A Discovery of Witches: Magic is fading from the world, with witches' spells no longer nearly as powerful, demons going mad increasingly and vampires unable to create others. Matthew states that if this happens, humans will eventually notice it and find the world entirely dull.
  • This is actually done in the beginning for Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, with the previous 199 Sentai warriors giving up their powers. By the end of the series, the Gokaigers return it to the owners.
  • The Magicians (2016): At the end of Season 2, the Old Gods turn off the Wellspring due to Quentin and Julia killing two gods. This cuts off the power to all human magic on Earth, Fillory, and the Library. However, most monsters still have all their supernatural powers because they were never dependent on the Wellspring in the first place. The faeries use this opportunity to conquer Fillory, and some monsters, like vampires, are becoming bold on Earth. The next season has them in search of MacGuffin magic keys which have the potential to get magic working again.
  • Merlin (1998), like many Arthurian stories, ends with all the classic tropes marking the End of an Age. Merlin (Sam Neill) tells his audience that magic ceased to exist with the defeat and dissolution of the last of the pagan gods, Queen Mab, decades ago from the perspective of his Framing Device story. However, he did save just enough for "one last trick" after all that time, using all his remaining magic to restore the youth of himself and Nimue (Isabella Rossellini).
    Merlin: There's no more. That's the end of magic. *smiles*
But also, his horse can still talk.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Power Rangers in Space was supposed to close the book on the entire series, so in the final battle, the release of Zordon's energy (at the cost of his life) causes the Rangers' powers to be taken away in the same wave of light that causes the villains to disappear for good. Then the series was Un-Cancelled, so Space only closed the book on just one continuity of the series, and then that started promptly leaking. The Space Rangers' powers got better in time for the Crossover episode next year.
    • Similarly, Power Rangers Wild Force was also thought to be the last Power Rangers series ever, and it ends with the Animarium, Princess Shayla, the morphers, and the Wildzords all going away and disappearing back into the sky to sleep forever.
    • The Grand Finale of a PR series sometimes has a So What Do We Do Now? element, with Wild Force devoting the most attention to it.
  • Warehouse 13: The Season 4 premiere shows what happens when one particular magical artifact is destroyed. With the loss of Pandora's Box, the world loses all hope. The results aren't pleasant.
    Pete: Oh, why is it so cold in the middle of summer?
    Artie: It's not actually cold.
    Pete: Are you kidding me? It's freezing.
    Artie: It's a physical manifestation of the loss of hope. Our minds are starting to interpret weather and music, sounds, colors in a duller, darker context. Our brains are producing far fewer endorphins.
  • By the end of Xena: Warrior Princess, most of the Greek gods in that Verse have faded or been killed off. So have a lot of gods from other cultures; it happened pretty often in both Xena and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.

  • According to traditional Judaism, when the First Temple was destroyed, prophecy began to diminish, and eventually disappeared entirely.
  • According to some Christian scholars, the reason God doesn't do miracles anymore is that Christ's resurrection was The Big One, making all the others pale so much in comparison they're no longer necessary. This is known as "cessationism".
  • In Islam, with Muhammad as the Seal of the Prophets, there won't be any more prophets, nor prophecies, nor books nor scrolls after him. Miracles may happen, but it won't be the spectacular kind like the doom that came to Sodom or the parting of the Red Sea.
  • In a large number of mythologies or folk stories, the events and stories took place in some older age, a heroic age where the gods walked among humanity, where there were horrific beasts and monsters, giants ruled the lands, and nearly godlike heroes went on great quests. However, these overtly magical events don't happen anymore for varied reasons, and what magic happens is usually the gods sending natural disasters upon mortal, happen subtly, or in a largely unseen world to mortal eyes.
  • In various retellings of the story of Noah, this is often used to explain the absence of unicorns, dragons, and other mythological creatures: they were unable/unwilling to get to the ark in time, and thus were lost in the Great Flood.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Alternity (and later d20 Modern) setting Dark•Matter. When large amounts of dark matter sweep through the solar system (AKA the Dark Tide), magic and psionics start to work, miracles begin to occur and fantastic animals and monsters appear. When the amount of dark matter decreases, these effects stop working. The Dark Tide has come and gone many times in Earth's past.
  • Champions: In the official setting, Earth's level of magic is cyclical. When magic levels run high, you've got dragons and monsters and legendary heroes, and when magic runs low you've got science and technology. The "Age of the Superhero" is actually a disruption of that cycle, in that a cabal of black magicians actually managed to overload Earth with magic during a "low magic" point in history, thus allowing both magic (which turns out to be the true origin of all superpowers) and high technology to exist at the same time, if only for about a hundred years or so.
  • In the d20 Modern setting Shadow Chasers, magic comes and goes in waves as the Shadow realm merges and separates with our world. The game world of Shadow Chasers is an inversion, since the magic has been gone, but now it's coming back.
  • Another d20 Modern setting, Urban Arcana, could be considered the "second stage" of this cycle, as enough stuff has come through the Shadow to make it into outright Dungeons & Dragons-flavored Urban Fantasy.
  • On the last day of every year, all magic fails to work in the Dungeons & Dragons game-setting of Mystara. At one point during the Wrath of the Immortals, this effect lasted for a full week, causing massive disruptions in places like the Hollow World, where the internal sun went dark. That could happen again, and this trope might become a permanent reality if the Nucleus of the Spheres isn't stopped from draining magic out of the world. Indeed, that's what many of the Immortals feared, that stirred up the Wrath of the Immortals in the first place. Gazetteer The Principalities of Glantri explains some of the details. The Nucleus acts as an Amplifier Artifact for magic, at the price of slowly and irreversibly lessening it overall. The loss of magic may be stopped by going back in time and destroying the artifact, but that causes the nation to cease existing.
  • In the Forgotten Realms setting, magic went away for a few seconds at some point in the history of Faerun as the goddess of magic was severely disrupted. Needless to say, this had very bad results for the empire of magically-floating cities... It happened again when the transition was made to 4th edition magic, with the added 'bonus' of a world-spanning storm of random magic that completely reshaped the geography and reduced many of the setting's civilizations to ruin as well as merging the world with a parallel universe.
  • This is heavily implied in the first box set for Greyhawk. In the glossography by Pluffet Smedger the Elder, supposedly found and translated by Gary Gygax and written shortly before CY 1000, magic is already greatly diminished from what it was in the time the book describes (CY 576), and seems to be on track to vanishing altogether.
  • Grim Hollow: Played with; arcane (the kind used by wizards, warlocks, sorcerers, and bards) and nature magic (druids and rangers) is as strong as it is in any other setting. However, divine magic is steadily becoming rarer, due the death of the entire pantheon of gods, resulting in clerics and paladins becoming fewer and further between.
  • In Mage: The Ascension, magic used to be commonplace until The Technocracy stamped it out, bringing an age of science... However, subverted in that science and magic really work by the same principles, and using magic in the modern world is possible, albeit limited by Paradox.
  • This happens at the culmination of the Grail quest in Pendragon. The Enchantment of Britain fades, The Fair Folk start returning to their own realm, and things get increasingly mundane. It's not entirely a bad thing, since the reason for the Grail quest in the first place was that Britain was slowly dying from a magical blight, but it also means that Camelot is past its peak and heading for a fall.
  • Shadowrun and Earthdawn have a complex relationship with this trope. Shadowrun is set in postmodern days (2040 — 2070), where magic has just returned, is rising in strength and turned the world upside down, whereas Earthdawn is set in the decline of the last magic age, fitting this trope to an extent. However, since the player characters will never live long enough to actually see the inevitable end of magic, it's only partially played straight. In this case, it's actually a good thing that the magic is fading, because the Horrors require high levels of ambient magic to survive.
  • In Warhammer Fantasy the culmination of the first Great War Against Chaos (c.7000 years before the present) saw the High Elf Mage Caledor Dragontamer create a magical vortex to drain the majority of the magic away from the mundane world and back into the Realm of Chaos — to deprive the daemonic hordes of their sustenance and end the war for good. The plan worked, and now there is far less magic in the world than there used to be — and Elf mages no longer bestride the world like colossi as once they did. Several times the Dark Elves have plotted to undo the vortex and return the world to its prior state, but it remained in place thanks to Caledor's eternal sacrifice right up until the End Times when Chaos attacked in force. High Mage Teclis had to break the Vortex and infused the Winds of Magic into certain prominent heroes, with the plan of using them to create a large seal that would permanently drive back the powers of chaos. He failed, and Chaos destroyed the old world.
  • Of Fire and Stars: In the region the story's set at least, progressively fewer mages have been born over time, with suspicion of magic increasing as muggles have less experience of this to dispel false negative perceptions. By the present, some countries like Mynaria have banned it entirely due to prejudice, forcing the remaining mages underground.

    Video Games 
  • In the end of Ancient Magic, you destroy the source of magic and cause all magical things to fade from the world.
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura has magic and technology existing in cycles; an era of magic, a period of technology and magic coexisting, an era of technology, another period of coexistence, and so on. The game takes place in a period of coexistence when humans are developing new ways to harness steam engines, causing magic to go into decline. It turns out to be a bit more complex than what it first seems (what was thought to have been the last era of High Magic turns out to have been an era of co-existence), but even so, it fits - the verse's rules for magic/technology interaction means that technology weakens magic in the local area, and that magic is frowned upon by technology-focused civilizations. The game manual mentions an unexplained event some 900000 years ago that caused the magickal energies of the world to suddenly skyrocket. Scholars call this time period in Arcanum's history the Epoch of High Enchantment. It is in this highly magickal time that the Elves and Giants evolved from humans, and many of the more fantastic creatures, that have since become extinct, came into existence by either transforming or merging together creatures that existed at the time. It is implied that ever since then magick has been slowly draining from the world.
  • Taken to an even higher level than God of War is Asura's Wrath. In the true final battle, Asura kills and destroys the being that created all mantra and basically created the universe to watch over, though he watched over Gaea the most. With him dead, mantra no longer exists, and with Asura tied to his wrath mantra, he Disappears into Light, and every remaining civilian demi-god, including Asura's daughter Mithra, are now mortal and age and die like regular people. The Stinger at the end, however, shows that at some point in the very far future, Mantra might be returning.....
  • At the close of Baten Kaitos, when the Ocean is released and the floating islands return to the earth, the 'Wings of the Heart' that all the characters possess reveal themselves, and then disappear forever. Because this happens during the ending cutscene, you don't get to find out what the other characters think about this.
  • In Biomotor Unitron, the final boss is revealed to be the origin of the material used to construct the cores of all of the eponymous Unitron mecha. Defeating it causes all of the Unitron mecha's power cores to be reduced to dust, rendering them useless. Zig-Zagged in that a cutscene afterward explains that, during a Time Skip, people were able to build their own artificial cores to continue powering their mecha. (This also explains why you can keep playing the game after defeating the final boss.)
  • In Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, the more fantastic races and old gods are slowly but surely vanishing from the world. In modern times, one of the only supernatural beings left in the world is Gabriel, aka Dracula, himself.
  • In Da Capo, Sakura eventually decides the island no longer needs the magic Sakura tree and stops powering it, so it dies. Everyone's special little ability goes away and they return to normal. No big deal for Junichi — all he did was make Japanese sweets appear and occasionally see others' dreams. The girls who relied on their powers, on the other hand, suffer breakdowns and only get better if Junichi is in their route. In particular, Moe (could speak to her dead friend in dreams) starts overdosing on sleeping pills trying to see him again, Kotori (read minds) reverts to her former Stepford Smiler self, and Yoriko turns back into a cat (though this is quickly subverted).
  • In Defender's Quest, either Eztli-Tenoch is the source of all the magic seen in the game, or just most of it and the other source (Tletl-Meztli) dies before he does. Either way, when he dies, so does the magic. (There are hints of other magic in the world, such as where dragons come from, but those are far from where the game takes place.)
  • In Demon's Souls, lulling the Old One back to slumber at the end of the game (the "good ending") causes the disappearance of the soul arts, this game's version of magic, from the land. On the other hand, if you kill the Maiden in Black (the "bad ending"), you can prevent the loss and become the most powerful wielder of the soul arts.
  • Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth ends with a case of The Story That Never Was, as the Player Character is forced to Set Right What Once Went Wrong with a Cosmic Retcon that made it so that humans and Digimon never met.
  • In Dominions, the later ages are less magical than before, with fewer magic sites and magic troops.
  • In Dwarf Fortress, the world starts in the Age of Myths, where great powers such as dragons, titans or hydras are numerous. Over the course of history generation, however, these progressively start dying off. After 1/3 of them die, the world enters the Age of Legends, then the Age of Heroes at 2/3. Then comes the ages of Three, two, then One power. Once they are all dead, the Golden Age starts. Then, if non-mundane creatures start dying off, the world enters the Twilight Age when less than 50% of all creatures are magical, then the Age of Fairy Tales at less than 10%. The final state of this end of magic is the Age of Civilization, where magical creatures have disappeared entirely.
  • Spellbreaker, the finale of Infocom's Enchanter trilogy, ends with the protagonist sabotaging his Enemy Without's attempt to remake the universe with himself as its god by replacing the core of his universe-to-be with a non-magical object. This results in the universe being remade without magic, and consequently without the villainous doppelganger, since he was made from the protagonist's own cast-off magical energies.

    Beyond Zork, which is set in the same world and takes place concurrently, has the protagonist trap the last remnants of magic inside the Coconut of Quendor. The quest is masterminded by one of the wizards the Shadow CLEESHed at the beginning of Spellbreaker.
  • For a franchise that revolves around magic, a few Final Fantasy games have this example:
    • In Final Fantasy V, all matter is destroyed... and rebooted.
    • In Final Fantasy VI, the destruction of the Warring Triad and Kefka led to magic vanishing from the whole world, including all espers and other magical beings. Terra manages to survive because she's half human,note  but her esper side does vanish, leaving her fully human.
    • In Final Fantasy VII, it's inverted. Midgar is destroyed. But it was all about Green Aesops anyway.
    • Although magic is not destroyed at the end of Final Fantasy X, as the price for defeating Yu Yevon, all the aeons have to be sent along with Yu Yevon.
      • This also involves the Fayth passing to their rest and thus no longer maintaining aeons or the dream version of Zanarkand. It's a Bittersweet Ending as well, since Tidus's existence is provided by the Fayth. When they disappear, he does as well.
      • Final Fantasy X-2 gives a more in-depth look at the bittersweet consequences of changing the world. Life is undeniably better and people no longer live in fear. However, now that Spira is no longer stuck in stasis the beautiful Macalania Woods are dying. The Thunder Plains have been tamed, which makes them much nicer to travel but also takes the awe out of them. (Who would have thought you could miss getting hit by lightning?) The ruins of Zanarkand, the former destination of the sacred pilgrimage, are overrun with tourists, understandably upsetting for Yuna. There are still dark aeons, however.
      • What's really weird is that no one performs any Sendings in Final Fantasy X-2 anymore. Yuna certainly fails to even mention the task at any point in the game in spite of it being her sacred duty in the prequel. So it's possible that the loss of Aeons indirectly means it's now impossible to use the convenient magic trick that forces the restless dead to stay dead instead of coming back with superpowers and tentacles. Then again, it may take a lot more for these restless dead to come back compared to before when it would always happen, often in mere minutes.
    • Happens slowly over the course of the Ivalice timeline. In Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics A2, magical beings abound, magitek is everywhere and some areas are thick with Mist, magic in the air so thick that it looks foggy. By the time of Final Fantasy Tactics, most of the magical beings are either dead or simply gonenote , magitek has become Lost Technology, Mist is nowhere to be seen, and a great deal of faith is required to make magic work when it once worked automatically. Fast forward even more to Vagrant Story, and magic's almost entirely gone and relegated to myth, and for most people, the little bit left is so hard to get at that you lose your soul in the process. By Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, magic is completely gone and is only talked about in myths and stories.
    • Final Fantasy XV ends with the destruction of the last remaining magical crystal on the planet, the end of the Caelum bloodline, and the cure of the Starscourge plague. Without all of the above (and after ten years of survival), humans no longer have access to casual magic or communion with the gods, and since all nations were destroyed by the apocalypse, the survivors have banded together and have no further reason to continue the magical arms race.
  • In God of War if there is anything magical left alive it is because Kratos has not met and murdered it yet. God of War III explicitly shows why there are no more Greek Myths (Kratos killed all the Greek Gods).
  • In God of War Ragnarök, one of the optional conversations reveals that this happened to Kratos on a personal level. While he still has the strength of a god, he can no longer use the magic he wielded in the Greek-era games. Atreus guesses that it's because Kratos' magic was tied to Greece. The destruction wrought upon Greece by the end of III took Kratos' magic with it.
  • Inverted in the Golden Sun games. Alchemy was thought to be too dangerous, so it was sealed away. Only when you learn that the world is dying without Alchemy does it become your objective to bring it back to the world. However, a recurring theme of the series is that there was a damn good reason the power of Alchemy was sealed away. The disasters unleashed by Alchemy's power in Dark Dawn certainly support that theory.
  • The penultimate episode of Killer7 ends with whatever cursed magic woven by 'real Harman Smith' and Kun Lan on Emir Parkreiner that binds all of the dead Smiths unto Garcian being undone by unkillable Black Heaven Smiles. When only Garcian remains (you can't switch to him until all the other Smiths are gone), Garcian can use a weapon lying on the floor to defend himself against the Smiles and defeat the warped politicians and escape. From that point onward in the plot, the other Smiths that you've been relying on throughout the entire game are completely and finally dead, leaving you with only Garcian, the most vulnerable of all the Smiths.
  • Alluded to in The Kings Quest Companion for the King's Quest games. Magical creatures and persons sensed this was happening, so they cast one last, big spell and opened a parallel universe where they withdrew in order to survive. The world they left was ours. The world they created is the one where the games are set.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, there is a villain whose primary goal is to bring about the death of the Force.
    • The first game has this in its backstory. The technology of the ancient Rakatan empire was Force-sensitive and was operated through the Force. When the Rakata species suddenly became deafened to the Force, their empire promptly collapsed.
  • At the end of Legend of Legaia, the Seru-kai dies, and with it, the Serunote  are dying off as well, with most of them projected to die within a year; the age of the Seru is over, and mankind must now prosper on its own.
  • Lie of Caelum: In the in-universe retro game, Star Warrior, choosing to seal the Cosmic Darkness removes all magic from the world. Unfortunately, the titular Star Warrior is a magical lifeform and dies as a result.
  • This happens in The Longest Journey universe at least twice (both times in the Back Story). First time was when the original Earth was split into two parallel worlds about 10,000 BC: Stark and Arcadia. From the perspective of Stark, all magic went away, so it had to rely on technology and science completely. From Arcadian perspective, all but the most rudimentary technology stopped working and soon became myth, remembered as "reliable magic". Also, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey reveals that right after the original's ending, a catastrophic event dubbed "Collapse" shook up Stark, after which most advanced technologies simply stopped working. It has been theorized by the fans that said "technologies" were actually magic that seeped into Stark from Arcadia and was passed off for science for lack of a better term. And the new Guardian of the Balance simply fixed that by removing all traces of magic from Stark again; at that point, anything in Stark that was based on magic (Anti-Gravity, Faster-Than-Light Travel, etc.) stopped working, as the laws of physics took over.
  • Magic starts going away during the Time Skip between Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis and Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy. By the time of the second game, the Floating Continent the school was on has landed, mana are increasingly rare, and the Wizarding School is in the process of making the transition to mundane academy.
  • This is implied at the end of Mass Effect 3. The power of mass effect fields that prematurely advanced human technology thousands of years is destroyed, along with the mass effect relays. When the Extended Cut was released this was changed, and instead it became much more downplayed, with the mass relays expected to be resurrected and galactic status quo restored. The original endings can still happen however if the player doesn't prepare enough for the final battle.
  • This is implicitly a big part of the Metal Gear saga, which is known for using Magical Realism rather liberally. Almost all of the games involve some vaguely-explained hint of the supernatural that's accepted as "normal" by the characters, whether it's telepathy, shamanism, supernatural luck, or control over animals. Interestingly, though, the prequel Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, which takes place in the 1960s, comes the closest to being an outright fantasy game, with characters exhibiting supernatural abilities far more blatant than any seen in previous games; the most noticeable example is also the oldest character in the series, who was likely born around 1860. But by Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, which takes place in the (then-)near-future year of 2014, the series has only two characters left with supernatural abilities, one of whose are now augmented with technology, next to a whole bunch characters who exclusively rely on technological augmentation. One of them has an extremely minor role, and both are dead and gone by the end of the game. Though it never addresses the issue explicitly, the implication is that magic-users are the old guard and that they're gradually displaced by the onset of the digital age; by the time of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, another four years later, there are no characters with magical abilities whatsoever.
  • Happening in the Type Moon verse (Fate/stay night, Tsukihime etc). As modern science develops more and more, magi gradually lose their powers. Given what happens towards the latter part of at least one timeline in which magic dies out completely, this could be construed as not the best of courses for humanity (although whether it was avoidable is another matter). In another timeline, magic went away but was replaced by Sufficiently Advanced Technology from an alien civilization.
  • The ending in Nethergate has all of the magical beasts, creatures, and races, along with the whole realm of magic, being pulled into another world, free to leave Humanity forever.
  • By the end of Odin Sphere, Armageddon is triggered, and during it all, the major locations of the game are destroyed, all of the fantasy races are driven to extinction, the valkyries are completely massacred, and all of the Psypher weapons save for Mercedes' crossbow are sacrificed in the Cauldron to release their phozons to restore the world. In the Golden Ending, the only non-human race left are two Pookahs, who do away with even more magic by finally gathering all of the Valentine Kingdom's magic coins and using the wish granted by doing so to lift the Pooka curse, restoring them to human form and freeing the souls of all the dead Pooka, leaving Mercedes' crossbow buried underneath the newly grown World Tree and the now-leaderless Netherworld as the only fantastical remnants left.
  • The Orcs Must Die! games invoke this as the end of the first game. The Apprentice seals all the portals to the world of magic, cutting this world off from it entirely. But humans had so come to rely on magic that it kicked off rampant famine and poverty, and the Apprentice himself had to become a lowly miner. In the plot of the second game, however, The Magic Comes Back as the Apprentice (now War Mage) teams up with his former enemy, the Sorceress, to reopen and stabilize the rifts (and the defenses that stop the orcs from flooding through from the other world).
  • While the main story has no overt magic in it, this is implied to have happened between the events of Red Dead Redemption II (a prequel) and Red Dead Redemption, seemingly related to the Twilight of the Old West. The first game, set in the early 20th century, features primarily some Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane events. The prequel is a full-blown Weird West tale once one leaves the main story: there are explicitly ghosts, giants, time travelers, UFOs, an actual vampire, and more - the point is made when one can find what is implied to be the skeleton of Paul Bunyan killed in an ambush. (Of course, Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare pushes it into The Magic Comes Back, if it's taken as canon.)
  • According to the backstory of Return to Zork, one of these (called "The Great Diffusion") occurred about four hundred years before the events of the game: started by a cabal of magicians attempting to destroy evil magic and its effects on the land, it involved the complete dispersal of anything magical, right down to the Frobozz Magic Company and its inventory; as a result, wizards and witches throughout Zork lost their powers. However, it was known that magic would return one day, so to ensure that the next generation of magicians would be able to learn to use their powers responsibly, the mage Canuck and the wizard Tremblye made themselves immortal prior to the Diffusion and waited for the next few centuries until they could use magic again. Unfortunately, the plan ultimately failed: though evil magic was dispersed, it eventually seeped into the earth and was absorbed by a deposit of the mineral Illuminyte. Some years after The Magic Came Back, dwarves mining in the area dug up the deposit in the form of a large nugget they called "The Cluster"; unknown to them, the now-sentient Cluster called itself Morphius.
  • Secret of Mana features the Big Bad vaporizing the Mana Tree, taking out the strongest source of magical power on the planet, and at the end of the game the main characters are forced to kill the Mana Beast (a fusion of the world's monsters) rather than let its fight with the Mana Fortress destroy the world... again. This, and the destruction of the Mana Fortress, strips most of the magical power from the world, and forcibly separates the inherently magical Sprite from the other party members. By the time of Legend of Mana, the low levels of magic and long time-span with no Mana Tree have led to long periods of pointless war, needless sorrow, and fractured even the powerful elementals into minor splinters of their former abilities. The world itself falls apart during the opening cutscene. There, the concept is inverted, and the protagonist's goal is to bring the magic and the Mana Tree back. This occurs in Trials of Mana as the Mana Tree is chopped by the Big Bad, depriving the world of mana until the faerie, who's the Mana Tree's seed, matures into a new tree 1000 years from the events. (Making things really lame for Angela, whose story revolves around her learning to use magic.)
  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon's backstory for The Forgotten Worlds has it that the Dragons used to live there until the Sorceress drove them away. This resulted in magic gradually disappearing and the Portals turning off, which is why the player has to unlock them by freeing the baby dragons the Sorceress stole.
  • At the climax of Super Robot Wars OG Saga: Masou Kishin F - Coffin of the End, the efforts needed to destroy the invading giants once and for all involved amassing all the positive spiritual energy in La Gias to cancel the giants' negative energy, nullifying both to levels even the Heralds can't detect. Almost all of the setting's magitek is left non-functional, with no spirits left to bless them.
  • For the final DLC reveal trailer of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the giant flaming Smash logo — the same one reflected in the Inkling's eye for the initial reveal trailer — is extinguished, leaving everyone as lifeless trophies. However, one small flame still burned and Mario used it to summon the game's last Guest Fighter, Sora, and the light from his Keyblade allows the fighters to live again.
  • The Tales Series has a few examples that are played with.
    • By the end of Tales of Vesperia, the heroes are forced to destroy all the blastia (magical stones used for everything) in the world in order to save it. However, it's subverted in the fact that the blastia is sacrificed to create a different kind of magic. However, the humans are forced to resort to technology to fulfill their needs in the absence of blastia. On the other hand completing certain sidequests reveals that spirit magic is pretty easy to figure out and Rita has ideas that could allow her to alter the blastia into using mana instead of aer which ultimately fully subverts the trope.
    • In Tales of the Abyss, on the other hand, due to the Big Bad's actions, the heroes are left with no choice but to eliminate the source of all magic in the world (called fonons), including the recently discovered seventh fonon. Magic is taken for granted in this world and is used in a variety of ways, from maintaining and running all the mechanical aircars and elevators of the Kingdom of Kimlasca's capital, Baticul, to maintaining the city-wide fountains of the Malkuth Empire's capital, Grand Chokmah- the entire city floats on the water. The very first realization that dawns on the emperor of the Malkuth empire regarding the elimination of magic is for him to deal with the scarcity of resources for the first time.

      It doesn't go away completely, just back to the levels they were at before the people of the old world screwed with things. It's still talked about in multiple skits that the world will have to start relying on something else, and that fonists will have a difficult time. However, that is still a very comparatively low amount to what they're used to now. This world that currently runs so much on it is going to be crippled if they don't find an alternative source of energy before the gradual decrease of the fonons stops, and levels hit rock bottom.
  • At the end of Thief 3, Garret activates the final glyph, which causes all of them to stop working forever. This has a rather bad effect on Gamall, since she had been using them to extend her life for the past few centuries. It's possible to interpret the information about the glyphs, especially that they slowly grow more powerful (and may eventually mutate and evolve) through continual repetition and use, to mean that this simply resets the system back to zero. Still wouldn't matter for the next few years or decades.
  • Gensoukyou, the setting of Touhou was created because this started happening. Gensoukyou manages to retain magic and other fantastic things by being in a barrier that absorbs things that have become "illusions", essentially reversing what's happening to the rest of the world. Maribel's and Renko's abilities subvert this. More so now that Merry appears to be turning into Yukari.
  • Zig-Zagged in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Last of His Kind Geralt monologues about how there's not much of a place in the world for Witchers anymore due to a dwindling monster population brought on by society advancing, as well as increased Fantastic Racism towards them once the public began to feel less threatened by monsters culminating in the destruction of every Witcher school by Ungrateful Townsfolk & renegade mages. However, despite what the public wants to believe there's still plenty of monsters out there, and plenty of work for Geralt. According to the novel Tales from the world of The Witcher, The Magic Comes Back in a big way during the Second Conjunction of the Spheres decades after the events of the game, leading to the establishment of new Witcher schools such as the School of the Crane.
  • Warcraft:
    • Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos: When World Tree was destroyed to prevent Archimond from corrupting it, the Night Elves lose their immortality and connection to nature. Major characters in WoW later begin showing signs of aging for the first time in 10,000 years.
    • World of Warcraft: Cataclysm ended with the dragonflights losing the vast majority of their power and the Dragon Aspects losing their immortality along with it. While magic still exists in the rest of the setting, the dragons are significantly less powerful than they were before Cataclysm, to the point that Legion reveals that the entire species has become sterile along with their magic.
  • Happens at the end of Xenogears, where the destruction of the Zohar engine not only prevents magic from functioning but removes the power source of all of the planet's Gears as well! Except for the Xenogears itself. It runs on a different power source (that being the Wave Existence, which is basically God) and thus continues to function.
  • In Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished – The Final Chapter, with the Black Pearl shattered, magic it spawned was gone with it.
  • This is a goal of the Big Bad's in Zork: Grand Inquisitor.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 
  • DICE: The Cube That Changes Everything: Dongtae can't make everyone happy as Final Die has a limited charge, but it can get power back eventually. Then X comes and completely breaks it because his life is still miserable (it's implied an adult in the epilogue is X overcoming his issues). Thus, Dice stop existing.
  • In El Goonish Shive, magic threatens to undergo a major change if it gets too public and the Masquerade breaks. From the perspective of most magic users this manifests as magic suddenly ceasing to work. Pandora has memories of the last time this happened. Technically, The Magic Comes Back immediately afterward but completely different, and only special individuals who make up 1 in 7 million humans are informed of how it works. Those individuals then have to teach everyone else. This cycle of change has existed as long as humans have. However, the Will of Magic can be convinced to stop the cycle of magic going away and coming back and instead just deal with The Unmasqued World.
  • In Inverloch, more and more elves are being born Severed, mortal, and unable to use magic due to a lack of connection with the spirits. The whole race becoming Severed would eventually result in the loss of magic because human magic originates with elven ancestry. Elves who were exiled for being severed, like Lei'ella, speculate that the elves are being punished by the spirits. Raul and Silvah are trying to actively bring this about by inflicting a mass-severing on all the elves, using Kayn'dar's immense magical power. Ultimately this is prevented when Neirenn induces Silvah to kill Acheron, which undoes the "Freaky Friday" Flip and puts Kayn'dar back into his real body. Not only can he heal the Severed condition, he was also raised outside elven society and is in a better position to reform it.
  • Landwalker's Yellow Nuzlocke Comics has Pokemon going extinct as a major plot point, and concludes with the revelation that sometime in the future, no Pokemon will exist at all.
  • In Supernormal Step, as the world became better and better at using magic, the increasing saturation of magic started to go out of control and threaten The End of the World as We Know It. In order to fix this, a witch named Myrrine Whalen used a spell to warp the world, moving everything touched by magic off to a Pocket Dimension where artificial rules could be used to keep it under control. In the end, the Big Bad manages to overload the spell keeping magic under control, causing The Magic Comes Back. The main protagonist, Fiona, comes to realize that Magic is Evil and that Myrrine was wrong to merely control it instead of destroying it completely. Fiona then uses a final spell to get rid of magic forever and for good.
  • In Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic, the Big Bad, Ranna, Goddess Of Evil, siphons away much of the world's magical energy for her own purposes, greatly weakening it. In the end, an army of the world's strongest magic users gather most of what's left to seal Ranna into a Prison Dimension, leaving little left for magic users and magic items to power their spells. When one mage tries to use a spell, it results only in sparks, and the world's magic users are forced to move on to other fields, with only the absolute strongest still capable of so much as igniting a candle. It is stated that the world's magical energy will replenish over time, but it will take decades, and it will likely not reach the same heights that it did before.

    Web Original 
  • Used as part of the Backstory in The Lay of Paul Twister: "at some point over a thousand years ago," magic on Earth went away because it was part of a distinct world that somehow used to be connected to Earth before they drifted apart. Through some unexplained means, the protagonist ends up being instantly transported from modern-day Earth to the magical world, where the story takes place.
  • Nomad of Nowhere: Magic used to be commonplace in Nowhere, but the Nomad is the only known magic user left. Over the course of the first season, it's revealed this is because El Rey, Nowhere's king, used a magic crown to consume all the magic users to fuel his own power and immortality. This is also the reason Nowhere is such a desolate wasteland; it was a lush forest before El Rey took power.
  • RWBY: Long ago, in ancient times, Remnant was a world where everyone had powerful magic and the gods walked among humans. Then Salem, who had previously been cursed with Complete Immortality for her hubris, convinced humanity to try to overthrow the gods. The gods responded by wiping out the entire human race, leaving only Salem alive. Humanity eventually returned, but they only had a tiny semblance of their magical power and were completely at the mercy of the Creatures of Grimm until they discovered Dust. Salem and Ozma, the last two original humans, retain their full magical powers, but Ozma gave up most of it by empowering the Maidens of the Seasons, and a few other allies like Qrow and Raven.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • "Quiet Days" depicts the organization disbanding after all the weird phenomena they'd been keeping under control suddenly vanish, leaving them with no further purpose.
    • "SCP-4002" revealed that the things they've been containing were once considered normal; monsters and gods were once commonplace and humans used to have magical powers and live for around a thousand years until a Sumerian king named Etana made a Deal with the Devil and sacrificed all of it in order to have a son. Everything the Foundation and the groups in conflict with them have been dealing with for the past few centuries was simply the magic starting to come back.
  • The Wanderer's Library has the story of The Last Magician of Moscow, in which the world of Russian magic has been destroyed by pointless rivalries and feuds. The titular magician is one of the few Russian magicians left alive, and he is retired. By the end, there's hope that it might return.
  • Whateley Universe: When the Five Fold Court of Atlantis had the Eldritch Abomination known as The Bastard on the ropes, it responded with an anti-magic spell that destroyed the Court and killed most of the Fae and other magical beings, and event known later as The Sundering. However, there was some residual magic left which sustained a handful of survivors, and over time the Earth healed, leading to a renewal of magic and the Fae races at the time of the main stories.
  • Welcome Back, Potter: Somehow, Voldemort manages to steal and monopolize all of Wizarding-Britain's magic. Part of the reason why they need Jarry to save them is that he still has his magic.

    Western Animation 
  • An episode of Challenge of the GoBots called "The Last Magic Man" involves Scooter meeting Tinotchka, the last real magician on Earth. Scooter spends most of the episode refusing to believe it, and shortly after he's finally convinced, Tinotchka ends up making a Heroic Sacrifice and dies, taking the last of Earth's age of magic with him.
  • The Grand Finale of Jackie Chan Adventures results in virtually all of the magical macguffins from across the series being sent to the Demon World for good as both Shendu, having temporarily joined forces with the heroes, and his son Drago fight each other to a standstill after absorbing all the magical items to do so.
  • In the Love, Death & Robots short "Good Hunting", the Good Old Ways of mythical China give way to the rapid mechanization of the invading British Empire. Yan is a shapeshifting huli jing who gradually loses her ability to transform and is left trapped as a beautiful woman with no skills to find employment in the modern world, leaving her no choice but to turn to prostitution to survive. Likewise, Liang and his father, monster hunters by trade, end up jobless as the old ways fade — a detail left out from the original short story has Liang's father hang himself when he loses his respect and source of income.
  • Masters of the Universe: Revelation: In the story trailer, the Sorceress explains that the consequence of the battle between He-Man and Skeletor is that magic is leaving Eternia. Worse, without magic, Eternia as a planet will die, and because Eternia was the first planet to come into existence, the universe hinges on its survival and will also be destroyed if the planet is destroyed as well.
  • Something happened between My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and My Little Pony: A New Generation. The Pegasi have lost the ability to fly, no Unicorn has been able to cast a spell in ages, and no mention is made of any of the known immortal characters such as Discord or the Alicorns.
  • Part of the backstory for the world of Salomoty in Siegfried And Roy Masters Of The Impossible. At some point in the (fairly recent) past, all the magic of the world simply vanished, leaving once magical creatures to eke out meager existences beside mundane humans while once potent places of enchantment simply stopped working. As it turns out, the magic didn't so much "go away" as it was brutally stripped away by Loki in an attempt to bribe Zeus into letting him undo the seals on four powerful spirits Loki wanted to use in a bid to take over the pantheon. When that failed, Loki attempted to use a kidnapped human queen in something of a Xanatos Gambit, which is where the titular duo came in. After Siegfried and Roy manage to defeat Loki, Zeus (grudgingly) offers them the reward of restoring the world's magic as it was, only for them to request the return of the Queen. Bound by his word, Zeus accepts but states that without his help, it will take generations for the magic to return naturally and none of the old places of power will ever regain their full strength again. Siegfried and Roy seem okay with this.
  • A Halloween episode of The Simpsons parodies this trope. In this episode, the Simpsons live in a medieval fantasy world, which is basically a mixture of the very well-known franchises (Dragon Age, Game of Thrones, Dungeons & Dragons). When the last dragon dies at the end of the episode, all magic disappears, and this world is almost no different from the ordinary Middle Ages. While Lisa triumphantly announces that the age of science is dawning, Homer revives the dragon so that the magic returns.
  • In the Grand Finale of Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Star and her predecessors destroy the Realm of Magic since it's the only way to stop the Big Bad and she had concluded magic did more harm than good anyway. Something of a downplayed example, as The Multiverse of the setting has many fantastical creatures that were completely unaffected, barring the amount that were Pure Magic Beings. The same event also merged Earth and Mewni, making them much more prominent to Earthlings.
  • Inverted in the cartoon Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light, which starts with the end of the Age of Science and the start of the Age of Magic. How this happened or why this happened when the planet's three suns aligned went on unexplained due to the cancellation of the series at only one season, although it's implied that this is a cyclical event, with magic & science having sequential ages of dominance.
  • Wishfart: When a frustrated Dez carelessly wishes that he wasn't a leprechaun in the episode "Happy Green Weirdo Day!", it causes all magic to vanish. The problem is the setting and everyone in it are magical, so everyone in the city is left powerless (Tsuni can't breathe air anymore, Fireball Cat is just a normal cat, etc.) and angry at Dez, who is now unable to grant wishes. Visually, it's represented by the show's colors becoming increasingly Deliberately Monochrome.


Video Example(s):


Izetta Drains Europe's Magic

In order to prevent the Germanian Empire from further abusing magical energy to create more weapons of mass destruction, Izetta decides to simply drain the entirety of Europe's leylines of magical energy, thus depriving them of their biggest chance of victory against the Allies.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheMagicGoesAway

Media sources: