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The Night That Never Ends

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"Since the beginning of time, man has yearned to destroy the sun. I will do the next best thing; block it out!"

"We need its light
We need its heat
We need its energy
Without the sun, without a doubt
There'd be no you and me."
Louis Singer and Hy Zarret (but more famously covered by They Might Be Giants), "Why Does the Sun Shine"

The big brother of Total Eclipse of the Plot, who crashes on the couch for a "few" days.

This trope usually involves a Big Bad's attempt to bring about either an eternal or extremely long night, for whatever reason. He could be trying to put out the sun,note  block it, or just find a metaphorical light switch. This is often the goal of a vampire, for obvious reasons. The only requirement is that the darkness is supposed to last a ridiculous length of time, ranging from a hundred years to an eternity. It rarely does, though, thanks to those pesky heroes, who somehow manage to get past all of the looting, panic, and mooks to Cue the Sun.

In Real Life, the amount of sunlight reaching the surface of the Earth can be dimmed to a surprising degree by dust thrown up by major volcanic eruptions (volcanic winter), the asteroid strike at the end of the Cretaceous Period credited with killing off the dinosaurs (impact winter), and, in theory, the fallout of a nuclear war (nuclear winter).


Often the setting for a literal Darkest Hour, and can result in widespread Darkness = Death. Don't be surprised if a Dark World happens to have a bad case of this.

Compare Always Night (there is daytime, but it's always offscreen), The Stars Are Going Out, Total Eclipse of the Plot, Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Death, Spring Is Late, Endless Winter.

Contrast Cue the Sun, Endless Daytime.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Night Warriors: Darkstalker's Revenge has Demitri inflicting this upon the Earth, driving humanity to desperation — and setting up Light Is Not Good symbolism when Big Bad Pyron drives the night away with his presence.
  • Hades in Saint Seiya wants to bring the Greatest Eclipse which would darken the earth forever.
  • In Digimon Adventure 02, MaloMyotismon tries to drown both the Digital World and Earth in darkness, even saying "You foolish DigiDestined, watch closely now! Your world is being consumed by eternal night!"
  • The Arms Peddler: A group of standard-weaknessed vampires created a forest where night never ends, bringing a village of humans along to keep themselves sustained. One of them turns against the others after they ate his human girlfriend (and turning some of their children into vampires who can survive in daylight).

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering
    • The dual plane of Lorwyn/Shadowmoor switches between the two settings every few decades. Lorwyn never gets darker than dusk, while Shadowmoor never quite sees dawn. It's also very unpleasant, since most of the creatures that were nice in Lorwyn are monstrous in Shadowmoor.
    • The plane of Diraden (inspired in part by Shadowmoor) in The Purifying Fire was put under a curse of eternal night by the evil vampire Prince Velrav.

    Comic Books 
  • This is the whole premise of DC's Final Night crossover event, when the Earth's superheroes are completely and totally unable to keep the Sun from being eaten, even with help from the villains. Only the Heroic Sacrifice of Hal Jordan saves the day.
  • Justice Society of America
    • Obsidian attempts to spread darkness over the entire world in one arc.
    • He does it again with the help of Mordru and Eclipso in the "Princes of Darkness" arc... and succeeds.
  • In Blackest Night, a famous Green Lantern story by Alan Moore features a planet where this is, in fact the natural state of affairs orbiting a star that somehow produces heat but not light.
  • After the Crime Syndicate defeated the Justice League and assembled every supervillain they could enlist in Forever Evil, Ultraman pushes the moon out of position to block the sun, casting the Earth into perpetual eclipse so it won't interfere with his powers (being the reverse-Superman, sunlight weakens him and kryptonite empowers him).
  • Judge Dredd: During the "Necropolis" arc, the Sisters of Death blacked out all light in Mega City One while the Dark Judges began to murder the whole population. The temperature soon dropped to 10 below freezing and the supply system quickly collapsed. Only several months later did Judge Dredd succeed in banishing the Sisters and restoring daylight.

    Fan Works 
  • Antipodes features both this and Endless Daytime, with the sun and moon freezing in place.
  • Night's Favored Child, a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic, shows what would have happened if Nightmare Moon had succeeded in defeating Celestia. Notably, the story manages to avert the Word of God about this trope's consequences (see Western Animation below), as Nightmare Moon created a second moon to take the sun's place during the former daylight hours, one that magically generates enough light and warmth to keep the world from freezing without disrupting the night.
  • Sailor Moon fanfic Thy Kingdom Come has an alternate universe villain Calcite. In the vanilla setting, Calcite and his friends and family are genetically predisposed towards good in a species of demons. But in the universe, he goes above and beyond to capture the dark goddess Metallica within himself to attain god-like powers. He is much smarter than other series villains and quickly dispatches the Sailor Senshi before launching an invasion of Earth from the Dark Kingdom. Actually, "invasion" is a bit of a misnomer. He make a grand announcement to all the world leaders, they defiantly vow to resist him to the last breath, and then he sets a magic dome of darkness over every landmass on the planet. Within a matter of months, there are massive ecological disruptions as plants cannot grow, animals can't eat plants that aren't there, and so forth. Calcite then imports nocturnal-growing plants from the Dark Kingdom and feeds them to the nations that surrender. Dark Kingdom flora and fauna quickly adapt and thrive and fill in the missing ecological niches. Too keep the planet from total extinction, the sun still shines on the oceans after about a hundred miles away from land to promote plankton growth and so on. After he is defeated and the sun is restored, there is another wave of extinctions as the Dark Kingdom-based life dies off, along with another big percentage of humanity who have adapted to it to survive.
  • Anonymoose's Monster Girl Saga has this eventually happen to the kingdom of Yaleria. Unusually, this is presented in a positive manner as it benefits the undead who take over.

    Films — Animation 
  • When The Emperor's New Groove was in its conceptual stages and called The Kingdom of the Sun, Yzma's original plan involved summoning Supai, an Eldritch Abomination God of Evil, to snuff out the sun and plunge the kingdom into eternal darkness. She wanted to remain beautiful forever, was aware that direct sunlight gave her wrinkles, and concluded that plunging the world in neverending night would allow her to stay young and beautiful forever. She even got a great song about it.
  • Happens in Rock-A-Doodle... sort of? Not exactly night, but the sun does go into hiding, and the weather is perpetually gray, rainy and miserable, resulting in dangerous flooding and other nastiness.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Matrix, this is done by the humans to stop the machines, since the machines are solar powered and it was assumed they'd run out of power if denied the sun. Instead, they won the war anyway then turned the humans into a new power source.
  • Dark City: The Strangers die when exposed to sunlight, so they keep the title city in a constant state of night.
  • The Day the Earth Froze (based on The Kalevala, seen on MST3K) has the witch Louhi cause this by stealing the Sun, resulting in a neverending winter night.
  • Legend (1985): The Big Bad Lord of Darkness is attempting to bring this trope about by killing the world's unicorns (the source of the world's light.)
  • In A Knight's Tale, Will flirts with Jocelyn along these lines, saying if he could ask God for one thing, it would be to stop the moon, so the night would last longer and he could spend more time with her.
  • The Thing (1982): The majority of the movie takes place at night. The exact timeline isn't entirely clear but most fans approximate the film to be set roughly over the course of a week. This is actually a justified example, since the story takes place in at the beginning of winter in Antarctica.
  • Grave Encounters: After the main characters find themselves trapped inside the asylum due to the entrance mysteriously looping back into the building, they suddenly realize that it's mid-morning but it's still night outside. The rest of the movie is implied to take place over several days, yet it remains pitch black outside. The same happens in the sequel, and the new film team run into the main character from the first movie who's been surviving for nine months in darkness (which makes it even weirder as years have passed outside in the real world).
  • Vampirella: Vlad's big bad plan is to use a system of satellites to create a nuclear winter on Earth, allowing vampires to hunt humanity to extinction.
  • In Rollo and the Spirit of the Woods, the protagonists must make peace between their feuding peoples and bring their forest back to balance (literally balancing giant scales that measure good and evil). They're warned that if evil conquers the world, the forest will be veiled by an eternal darkness, and all life in the forest (and elsewhere) will die without sunlight. This ends up happening when the hostilities lead to one of the protagonists dying, with the sun being covered by the moon. This is fortunately reversed when good and evil become balanced once again.
  • Blair Witch: The Witch can control time and space within her domain, and traps her victim in one long eternal night once the sun goes down (in contrast to the first movie which actually did feature a normal night/day cycle).

  • Lone Wolf: In the series backstory, Agarash the Damned's reign of terror was called the "Age of Eternal Night". In the series proper, Agarash's lieutenant Deathlord Ixiataaga uses his powers to maintain a permanent cloud cover over the city of Xaagon which prevents any sunlight from reaching it.

  • In Gulliver’s Travels, the first punishment for cities rebelling against Laputa is to stop the island over the city, denying the people sunlight. If that doesn't help, they start dropping rocks down. The final stage is landing the island on the city
  • Black Jewels: Heir to the Shadows sees Jaenelle create an illusion of this in order to force the government to let her stay with her guardian.
  • Simon R. Green:
    • In Blue Moon Rising, the title evil moon also brings with it a side order of eternal night.
    • The Nightside hasn't seen a sunrise since prehistory. It's always three in the morning there. Unlike most examples of this trope, the unending night hasn't done it any harm; in fact, the usual Night-That-Never-Ends plot is inverted when one novel's Big Bad plots to call the Sun back to the sky, which would bring disaster.
  • Silverwing: The ultimate goal of the vampire bats in Sunwing is to free their god from imprisonment and bring about eternal night.
  • The Night Land: Millions of years in the future, the sun has burned out and all of the other stars in the universe are dead as well. The last few million humans still alive stay warm by means of the "Earth Current", or geothermal heat.
  • The Seventh Tower: Unusually, this done by the good guys in backstory to wipe out a race of evil shadows; without light, there are no shadows. The villains want to restore the sun, and the heroes have to stop them.
  • In Have Space Suit – Will Travel, by Robert A. Heinlein, the intergalactic security council decides to punish a race by sending the race's planet to a separate universe... without their sun. Earth avoids this fate only by the hero's Patrick Stewart Speech and actions.
  • In The Courtship of Princess Leia, an ex-Imperial warlord punishes a rebellious planet by employing an "Orbital Nightcloak", a system of satellites that not only keeps all sunlight from reaching the surface, but also blocks all signals they send to other planets asking for help. This will kill every living thing on the planet quite soon. He's a jerk like that.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • Sauron does a minor version of this in The Lord of the Rings, to depress his human enemies' morale, and because a lot of his armies consist of creatures such as orcs and trolls which can't go out in daylight or are seriously impaired by it. He uses toxic fumes from his volcanoes to just blot out the sky for days at a time.
    • Morgoth does this three times in The Silmarillion:
      • The first time he knocks down the Two Lamps originally set to illuminate Middle-earth with Endless Daytime, plunging the world into darkness and doing enough damage to shatter a continent. The Ainur are the only sapients existing at this point (this being before the Awakenings of Elves and Men), and they end up moving to the continent Aman. On Middle-earth, life only survives because the Ainu Yavanna put much of it into hibernation. note  Darkness in Middle-Earth remained absolute until the creation of the stars, which remained the only source of light until the much later creation of the Sun.
      • Later, after the Awakening of the Elves, Morgoth and Ungoliant destroy the Two Trees which the Ainur had created to light Aman, and spread clouds of "Unlight" to hide even the stars. The effects probably wouldn't have been quite so bad if Morgoth hadn't previously sowed dissent among the High Elves, and/or hadn't stolen the Silmarils, the only things that could have resuscitated the Trees. During the period of darkness following that, we have, in short order: the rebellion of the Noldor, Elves slaughtering each other in the first Kinslaying, the declaration of the Doom of the Noldor, Elves betraying each other left and right, and the deaths of countless more of them crossing the Grinding Ice (after which the Moon and Sun rise for the first time).
      • Morgoth responded to the creation of the Moon and Sun by covering his Hell-fortress in volcanic clouds of toxic fumes, and then started spreading the fumes southward to blot out the sunlight over Hithlum and Beleriand.
      • Morgoth is further prophesied to cause this one last time during Dagor Dagorath, the battle that will end the world, when he will destroy the Sun and Moon. This great night will eventually be ended when the Silmarils will be given to Yavanna, who will use them to restore the Two Trees.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, a character tells about the Long Night back in the Age of Heroes about 8000 years ago, which lasted a generation when The Others almost overran all of Westeros. And now, they're rising again... In "The World of Ice and Fire" it's mentioned that other cultures, such as the Rhoynar and the people of Yi Ti, have stories about a similar event.
  • An old folk story, adapted as The Moon in Swampland by M.P. Robertson, reverses the trope to have the Moon vanish, but with a similar effect. The Moon visits a swamp out of curiosity about the world below, where she's quickly captured, chained up and thrown into a sealed well by the bogies. Once her light's gone, they completely rule the night; every sunset ushers in hours of horror for the miserable humans, until a hero returns the world to normal by finding and freeing her.
  • Let's not forget the classic: Darkness by Lord Byron. Long story short, society collapses as all people panic and unsuccessfully try to save themselves. Biblical imagery is repeatedly introduced, but any related tropes are deconstructed, and the overall tone is one of cynicism.
  • A Russian children's poem "Stolen Sun" by Korney Chukovsky narrates how the crocodile consumed the Sun and how the bear gave him a proper pummeling and forced him to release the star back into the sky. No, it doesn't make sense in context either, but it does take on the motifs of Slavic myths about a dragon stealing the Sun and imprisoning it for thirty-three years, cueing global night and cold.
  • Robin Jarvis' The Deptford Mice: Jupiter intends to put out the sun and cause eternal winter.
  • In Fritz Leiber's story "A Pail Of Air", Earth has frozen over after being pulled out of its orbit and cast into deep space.
  • In The Sword of Shannara the Warlock Lord turns the Northland into this.
  • In the Doctor Who Missing Adventures novel Goth Opera, vampires use a 'time freeze' to bring this about so they can go about their plan to vampirise humanity without having to worry about getting caught in the sunlight.
  • In A Deepness in the Sky, the planet central to the plot, Arachna, orbits a star that spends about thirty years around sol brightness and two hundred as a brown dwarf. The planet therefore has a few decades of normal day-night cycles and a couple centuries of endless night. Arachna's native inhabitants have adapted to hibernate during the dark periods and recolonize when the star relights.
  • The Stories of Nypre series features the Night Land, a place of eternal night. People who enter it tend to get mind controlled by the Big Bad. Oh, and it's expanding.
  • In The Strain, by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, the goal of the Master is to do this (or, at least, something very much like it) via nuclear winter. He succeeds.
  • Lois Tilton's "Vampire Winter" revolves around a Nuclear Winter that allows a vampire to stay awake all the time and ravage survivors in several small towns.
  • The Adversary Cycle by F. Paul Wilson. At the start of Nightworld the sun rises five minutes too late. Repairman Jack can't understand why the scientists are so disturbed by this, but when portals to Another Dimension open all over the world, spewing a horde of Eldritch Abominations every night, the fact that every day the sun inexplicably rises later and sets earlier than the last becomes a reason for serious panic.
  • In Steelheart, Newcago (Chicago) is locked in permanent darkness by the power of an Epic named Nightwielder.
  • Victorian poet James Thomson wrote "The City of Dreadful Night" as a metaphor for his depression, which often left him with prolonged insomnia during which he wandered the streets of London:
    The City is of Night; perchance of Death
    But certainly of Night; for never there
    Can come the lucid morning's fragrant breath
    After the dewy dawning's cold grey air:
  • In The Shattered Kingdoms, the sun (and moon, for that matter) haven't been seen in one particular country for time immemorial. The country's inhabitants are generally Weakened by the Light, and look (at least in the opinion of other people) rather like corpses.
  • The Darkening in Companions Codex: a powerful spell taught to Tsabrak Xorlarrin by Lolth herself, it plunges the sky over the entire Silver Marches into artificial darkness. It serves as intimidation tactic aswell as relieves the invading drow of their weakness to bright sunlight.
  • In The Shattered World, the Floating Continent of Xoth is almost entirely shielded from the sun's rays by another, nameless fragment. This makes it an ideal shelter for the light-sensitive Cthons and their equally-averse cacodemon minions. At least until the sequel, The Burning Realm, in which Kan Konar destroys the shielding fragment's Runestone and it drifts sideways, exposing Xoth to the light.
  • In N. K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season, the continent-shattering earthquake at the beginning of the book opens a volcanic rift continually pouring out enough ash to blot out the sun for thousands of years, kicking off an Endless Winter.
  • In the final book of The Kane Chronicles, The Serpent's Shadow, the chaos-snake Apophis basically swallows up the sun-god and if he had won, it would have been this. The official description for the final book even states, "He's b-a-a-ack! Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sadie Kane can't seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Now Apophis is threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness, and the Kanes are faced with the impossible task of having to destroy him once and for all."
  • Villains by Necessity: Inverted. As the forces of light continue to spread unchecked through the world, it moves closer and closer to endless day. By the end of the book, the world is sunny and bright in spite of it being eleven at night.
  • In The Boy and the Darkness, the people of the parallel world have traded away their sunlight piece-by-piece to interdimensional traders for many boons of modern civilization like electricity and plumbing. At the end, the Sunny Kitten becomes this world's new sun.
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay has a justified (and realistic) example of the trope, when Joe and Shannenhouse endure a winter at a military base in Antarctica; it has detrimental effects on their mental health.
  • The Night of the Triffids begins at 9 AM in summer, and when the main character awakens it is as dark as midnight in winter. A combination of very dense clouds and an asteroid cloud passing between the Sun and Earth is the cause. Later in the story, when the clouds leave, there is light, but the sun looks like it is dying.
  • In Haroun and the Sea of Stories, the Earth's second moon, Kahani, is locked into a position where half of it, known as Gup, is always in daylight and the other half, Chup, in darkness. Subverted in the end when Haroun breaks it free in order to destroy the shadow kingdom in the dark half.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the US, most daytime soap operas appear to take place in eternal night. No sets ever have windows visible, and exterior doors always open to darkness. Rare outdoor scenes are shot with a blue filter for an ambiguous day-for-night look. The characters don't acknowledge this, and generally avoid mentioning the passage of time clearly.

  • Simmons spent the time between seasons two and three of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. trapped on a world where the nights last for years and the days only last a few hours.
  • In Angel, The Beast blocked out the sun over Los Angeles, giving vampires and other demons a chance to come out and play without worrying about their curfew. After a few days or weeks of this, L.A. begins to look distinctly After the Endish. If not for Angelus, the block would have spread all over the world.
  • Every planetary surface visited in the original Battlestar Galactica was cloaked in night for at least the first 14 episodes.
  • Doctor Who has used this trope a couple of times:
    • The Doctor, Martha, and Jack travel to the end of the universe in "Utopia". All the stars have burned out by then.
    • The night caused by the Daleks' theft of Earth in "The Stolen Earth". The theme is even called "The Dark and Endless Dalek Night". Everyone not freezing is explained as the Daleks using an "atmospheric shell".
  • Game of Thrones: Winter is coming, and with it the days grow shorter. There is an in-universe Fairy Tale of a Long Night that lasted a generation the last time the White Walkers invaded Westeros. Stannis mentions it by name in "Second Sons" when discussing Melisandre's prophecies with Davos. Bran Stark as the Three-Eyed Raven outright confirms that this is the Night King's plan for all of Westeros.
  • Played with in the Sanctuary episode "Carentan", where a localised time bubble causes time to pass at an accelerated rate for the inhabitants of a french town. Because of this, six years pass for every day outside of the bubble and the nights last for over 3 years. Due to the lack of sunlight during this period, the temperature drops to near-freezing and one of the inhabitants explains that many people do not survive.
  • One episode of Star Trek: Enterprise took place on a rogue planet (see Real Life below). Unlike many examples, it was actually a fairly nice place, with a thriving ecosystem sustained by a very active geology. The hunters that they met on the planet mentioned that there were higher primates, implying the planet might eventually produce a civilization.
  • In Tin Man, the ultimate goal of the Wicked Witch is to lock the position of the Binary Suns behind the moon during a rare double eclipse, using a large Magitek device originally intended to slow the suns down for better crop growth.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):

  • Jonathan Coulton's "Always The Moon".
    Remember when there was a you and me?
    When there was such a thing as gravity?
    And the tides came in and the tides went out again
    But the water got too high
    And the sun began to die
    And I tried to make you stay
    But the world pulled you away
    And now there are darker longer colder nights
    And the sun has gone for good and so here we are
  • The Kovenant's (formerly Covenant) debut album In Times Before the Light had this as a recurring theme in many of its songs, with lyrics referring to the "forevernight". They're from Norway, which might explain a few things.
  • The Cat Empire has a song titled "The Night That Never Ends".
    As long as I am living
    I never forget
    That the sun is never rising
    And it never set.
  • Opeth's song, Blackwater Park, features the closing line of both the song, and of the album: "The sun sets forever over Blackwater Park."
  • Despite the title, Iron Maiden's Total Eclipse appears to actually be about this.
  • Invoked in's cyberpunk-industrial music, which takes place in a future dystopia controlled by a secretive government agency. As the song continuity progresses, daylight is mentioned less and less, and the nights seem to grow longer. From the 3rd album onward, the cover art all depicts the protagonist at night. From "World of Promises":
    What I would do to have it back; a sky above that isn't black

    Mythology and Religion 

    Puppet Shows 
  • Dinosaurs ended with Earl accidentally starting the ice age that will kill the dinosaurs by blanketing the Earth in a cloud cover.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Vampire: The Masquerade
    • The "Crucible of God" Gehenna scenario features the Antediluvian/ancestor of the Clan Lasombra blanketing the Earth in darkness for three weeks while it consumes its childer/descendants. No explanation is given as to how or why the darkness abates.
    • During The Week of Nightmares, Kuei-Jin elders created a supernatural storm to shield them from the sun to battle Ravana, the Antediluvian ancestor of the Clan Ravnos — who was practically a vampire-god at this point. Then the Technocracy bombed them all, killing everyone who joined the battle; werewolves, Kuei-Jin and their own Agents. After storm dissipated, they scorched Ravana with orbital mirrors, a spirit nuke and then some more end-world scenario weapons. The battle damaged the reality so much that it started the events that nearly ended the world. Perhaps letting the night never end was the better idea in the long run?
    • This is also one of the long-term goals of Clan Giovanni — tear down the Shroud that separates the world of the dead from the world of the living, thus creating an endless twilight kingdom where flesh and ephemera are one.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • One of the several planar gateways accessible in the 1st Edition AD&D module Queen of the Demonweb Pits leads to a world without a sun, where undead abound and vegetation must be sustained by magic.
    • One artifact and a trio of adventures feature mind flayers trying to put out the sun. (In the second edition, mind flayers had great darkvision, could only see in darkvision, and regular light rendered them nearly blind.) A third edition book mentions that illithids hate and fear sunlight, and some of the more... unstable elder brains are deliberately working on plans to knock out the sun.
    • While the Hollow World of Mystara usually experiences Endless Daytime, the disruptions brought on by the Wrath of the Immortals causes the planetary interior's central sun to go dark for a week. Most inhabitants thought that the world was coming to an end.
    • This is the sign for the Elder Evil (from the book of the same name) Father Llymic, who becomes slowed (and eventually frozen over) when the sun is shining. In the final battle with the monster, the sun has completely gone out, allowing him to burst free of his icy prison and try to wreak havoc over the entire world.
  • In Palladium's game Nightbane, the Day of Darkness — 24 full hours of unnatural darkness (no stars, just a solid sheet of darkness across the sky) — heralded the weakening of the barrier between our world and the Nightlands, allowing the Nightlords and their minions easy access to our world.
  • Near the end of Exalted's "Return of the Scarlet Empress", the Ebon Dragon causes an eternal night by assassinating the Unconquered Sun. Unusually, this backfires on the villain by distributing the Unconquered Sun's nigh-infinite power directly to the Exalted themselves.
  • Night Lords from Warhammer 40,000 reportedly use this as part of "scare everyone to death before fighting even starts" shtick.
    • It goes much deeper than that: Nostramo, the homeworld of the Night Lords was a world of perpetual darkness as a result of EXTREME amounts of pollution turning the sky black. In fact, one of the reasons for Nostramo's eventual rebellion was that when the Emperor arrived, he showed the Nostramans that there was light in the galaxy they would never get to see.
  • Warhammer:
    • One of the realms of the forest of Athel Loren, Modryn the Night Glens, is shrouded in eternal night, and the forest spirits and elves that live there are known to practice dark magic prohibited in the rest of the forest. It used to have a regular day-night cycle in the distant past, but became shrouded in darkness after the dark elf queen Morathi poisoned the soul of Ariel, the queen of Athel Loren, which among other things cast most of Athel Loren into darkness. Ariel eventually recovered, but night never lifted again from Modryn.
    • Kholek Sun-Eater, one of the oldest Dragon-Ogre Shaggoths, is so named because his approach is heralded by storm clouds that precede and follow him. Whatever it is the dragon-ogres did so the Chaos gods would give them immortality at the beginning of the world, Kholek's deed was so horrible the sun refuses to see him, hence the clouds.
  • Pathfinder: The powerful, costly "Curse of Night" spell permanently blocks out the sun over a one-mile radius and impedes Light 'em Up magic in its area of effect. It's devastating for plant life in the area, but a huge boon for undead and other creatures that are Weakened by the Light.

    Video Games 
  • In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Ganondorf casts a curse onto the Great Sea that prevents dawn from ever coming. Fortunately, this does Link more good than bad, as it ensures that Link will always get Nayru's Pearl first due to the pirates taking time off at Windfall Island until morning; the curse is lifted once the Pearl is obtained. This same curse is also used in a more-localized fashion in the Forsaken Fortress, Ganondorf's base of operations. When Ganondorf abandons the joint to go after Zelda, however, the curse is lifted there, as well.
  • Imperishable Night sees the fugitive Lunarians in Gensokyo using powerful magic to seal the land from their home world, with a false moon placed in the artifical sky created as part of the spell. This causes lots of problems for humans and youkai alike, which in turn requires the heroines to help solve the problem.
    • Subverted big time; The Night That Never Ends is caused by your heroines to buy time. The false moon only appears at night, and if you fail to reach the source of the problem and fix it before the supposed time for dawn, the game ends. Also, Keine Kamishirasawa (who defends the humans) and either one of Reimu Hakurei (who enforces law) or Marisa Kirisame (who is pissed off with your unnatural magic) will fight you to stop your heroines' madman scheme. Let's You and Him Fight, definitely. Supplemental material even indicates that most people in the land were completely unaware of the true threat and just assume the heroines actually solved the problem of the unending night.
    • In fact, during the True Final Battle, once you defeat Kaguya, she uses her power over "eternity" to tear apart your spell causing the imperishable night. Every time you die to a section of her final spell card, the time advances 30 minutes. If it reaches 5:00 during that time, the sun rises and the game ends. That doesn't cause a bad end, but losing all your lives during her stage will speed time all the way to 5:00 in one go and triggers the bad end, presumably due to her power. Cue the Sun is subverted big-time here.
    • Let's not forget the first Windows Touhou game, Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, where Big Bad Remilia Scarlet's scheme was to block out the sun with a thick red mist, just so she, a vampire, could go outside whenever she wanted.
  • In Ouendan 2, the sun is growing cold and it's up to the Ouendan team and the entire population of the earth to cheer up a Combined Energy Attack big enough to restart it.
  • Subverted in Ambridge Mansion. The titular haunted mansion is located inside of its own world in which there is nothing at all outside of the house, only infinite blackness. There is no day or night, but the constant blackness makes it appear to be this trope.
  • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Darkness, the Bad Future was stuck in an eternal night because time had stopped.
  • This has already happened in Advance Wars: Days of Ruin: the meteorite impact kicked up a ton of dust which blotted out the sun.
  • Master of Magic has a spell that does this. Yes, you can cast it. It's not as dramatic as it sounds though...
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy III, Xande sinks most of the world into perpetual darkness and suspended animation because he does not wish to die after being blessed with mortality.
    • In Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, the second half of the game gives the world a red-and-black sky and the "night" music becomes permanent while on foot thanks to the time-breaking flood of darkness you unleashed from Rolan's soul.
    • The Primal Tsukuyomi in Final Fantasy XIV seeks to create an endless night to bring suffering to the people of Doma for the Hell she, as Yotsuyu, suffered growing up.
    • The Starscourge in Final Fantasy XV. And how; Daemons dying causes particles that absorb light to enter the atmosphere. The final chapter is set in a time where the night has lasted for ten years leading to the entire planet to be infested by Daemons leading to the near extinction of all life.
  • Partly used in Ōkami during the 'Day of Darkness', when the monsters get stronger. Amaterasu being the sun, may also have something to do with it.
  • In Quest for Glory IV, the vampire Big Bads want to release Avoozl the Dark One in order to permanently cloak the world in the eponymous Shadows of Darkness.
  • The Crows in Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg have already succeeded in bringing eternal night to Morning Land. Billy's job is to bring the day back.
  • A neverending winter night is the setting of Arx Fatalis. Luckily, sun was slowly dimming for five years, giving the population enough time to move underground. In the end, it's revealed that sun is obscured by a giant space dust cloud and is barely visible even out of the atmosphere.
  • In Ninety-Nine Nights, the King of Ninety-Nine Nights is so named because during his last reign he caused darkness to fall for ninety-nine straight days.
  • It's right there in the title of The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night - the Night of Eternal Darkness does not actually last forever, but it will happily bring along with it evil forces that are all too glad to make it so.
  • In Dark Souls, the First Flame that originally brought forth life is slowly dying, and sunlight is dying with it. There are already regions of the world that are covered in permanent darkness such as Anor Londo, which only looks sunlit thanks to an illusion. While the ostensible goal of the Chosen Undead is to rekindle the First Flame, the Primordial Serpent Darkstalker Kaathe claims that The Night That Never Ends won't necessarily be a bad thing for everyone in the long run.
    • Two different endings of Dark Souls III appear to create these. The "End of Fire" ending is foreshadowed by the Untended Graves area, which is an area of deep darkness and vicious, fast-moving hollows. Meanwhile, the cinematic that plays in the "Usurp the Fire" ending shows that the sun, which has turned into an eclipse resembling the Darksign by the time you fight the Final Boss, has become a black disc surrounded by a white ring, resembling the design for Humanity throughout the series.
  • In Bloodborne, Yharnam is a land without sunlight, lit only by the moon. This is justified however, as the Hunter is trapped inside a dream. And the Moon existed as a presence. Should they free themselves from the dream, the morning sun would be seen again. However, if the Hunter chooses to free Gehrman by killing him and taking on his role or become a Great One by defeating the Moon Presence, the Hunter will never see the sun again.
  • The Dawnguard DLC for Skyrim has a Vampire Lord seeking to blot out the sun through the use an Elder Scroll. You eventually gain the tools to do this yourself, and learn it isn't quite as permanent as advertised, though easy enough to repeat on a daily basis. In addition to the vampire hunters opposing the Big Bad's scheme, he is also opposed by other vampires, although at least one does so not so much due to any moral or ethical concerns as that she judges the end result of the scheme to be less 'eternal vampiric reign' and more 'mortals get ''really'' pissed off and focus on killing off every vampire they can find until day returns'.
  • Happens ever year in City of Heroes, during the annual "Halloween Event", in which for two weeks in late October and early November the game's normal day/night cycle is replaced by endless nighttime.
  • The StarCraft world Shakuras was shrouded in perpetual twilight for a considerable length of time. There were no plants, but plenty of fossils. The world lightened up after a significant plot event, but the Expanded Universe novels tell us the world is still fairly dark.
  • The Puff Puff Machine in Paper Mario 64 produces clouds that blot out the sun over Flower Fields, causing the area to experience The Overcast That Never Ends.
  • In Final Fantasy XV, this is a concern for the people of Eos: with the daytime growing shorter and the nights growing longer, the threat of daemons, who are kept at bay by light, is of grave import. Late in the game, this comes to be: Lunafreya's death causes the days to grow shorter faster until, by the end of the Time Skip, daylight is completely extinguished and Eos exists in perpetual darkness.
  • In Tales of Xillia, Fenmont is a localized and benign version of the trope. The city is situated within a spirit clime that creates an unending night. This is apparently just normal for the city.
  • The Tokyo Xtreme Racer series features a non-villainous example of this due to the attempt to integrate the system's clock into the game. There is an In-Universe Game Clock that matches up to the system clock, and is used for certain events, such as Wanderer opponents that only appear at certain times. However, the game is always set at night to reflect the nature of street racing as a nighttime activity; even if there's broad daylight outside your room and your system clock is set correctly, you will never see a single second of daylight in-game.
    • Somewhat subverted in Import Tuner Challenge where you can select the Daybreak option.
  • Tokyo in Shin Megami Tensei IV has been living in one for twenty-five years, due to the existence of a layer of bedrock that was set up by Masakado to protect Tokyo from a nuclear strike that would've otherwise obliterated the entire metropolis. There are people living down there who have never seen the sun. The lack of sunlight means that growing agriculture, though not impossible, is very, very difficult. To make it worse, the entire damn city is encapsulated in a bubble of slowed time. Outside it's been more than fifteen centuries. The Neutral ending has Masakado returning to lift the bedrock barrier, allowing Tokyo to finally be granted sunlight once again.
  • The plot of Dark Vengeance revolves around a perpetual solar eclipse due to a Black Magic spell, cast by the Dark Elves in revenge for their previous defeat by the High Council.
  • In Faria, the endgame has the Evil Sorcerer magically blocking the sun's light from reaching Faria, whose inhabitants are freezing.
  • The Mandeha Rakshasas of Lanka in Dominions have the sole goal of devouring the sun and plunging the world into darkness and are themselves surrounded by darkness as they frighten away the rays of the Sun.
    • There's also the global Death enchantment Utterdark, which begins a perpetual night and screws over anyone without the ability to see in the dark and most of the provinces.
  • Babylon does this in Pocket Bomberman.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn: Luna Tower is triggered in part by the protagonists (who'd been told not to) and by Ryu Jou (who had no choice in the matter). It ends up creating an artificial eclipse that casts a massive shadow over three or four countries that lasts until it absorbs enough sunlight. Unfortunately for everyone duped into starting it, it also caused things that live in the shadows to come out and start attacking people left and right. The eclipse is finally stopped by using a magitek laser to fill up the tower's capacitors almost instantly.
  • Warcraft III: The Moonstone is a Night Elf item that causes an eclipse, giving thirty seconds of nighttime (they're the only faction with spells that only work at night).
  • In Shadow Man, you're tasked with collecting an artifact which will bring nighttime immediately, as opposed to simply waiting for it to come naturally. While this probably wouldn't be permanent, the practical effect is that eternal day is switched to eternal night, allowing you to use your Shadow Man powers in Liveside so you can kill the bosses in that realm. You can't simply wait for night because their plan needs to be stopped right now; giving them any free time is simply out of the question.
  • Mei Q Labyrinth Of Death kicks off its plot with this, due to the fact that the planet has stopped rotating. While this causes monsters of all sorts to appear, one can't help but wonder what things are like on the other side of the world....
  • Might and Magic VIII features the Nightshade Brazier, which can produce this effect in a region, and was developed by the Necromancer's Guild of Jadame but stolen by their enemies in the Church of the Sun. At one point in the main quest you have to choose between allying with the Guild or the Church, and the Guild's quest is to retrieve the Brazier so they can plunge their home region of Shadowspire into perpetual night, thus allowing their vampiric troops to defend Shadowspire from attack in the day, freeing up other forces to go on the offensive (it also giver their vampiric citizens more freedom to move about without having to acquire a highly expensive sun-protecting amulet).
  • MediEvil opens with the Big Bad, Zarok, casting a spell that plunges Gallowmere into eternal night, and it stays that way the entire game until Dan defeats Zarok, with the sun rising as he returns to his crypt.

  • Aurora Danse Macabre is set in The Night That Never Ends.
  • In Two Moons, the sun hasn't risen in 500 years, and life sucks. Humanity is kept alive, at least in one little city, entirely through genetically engineered food grown in unregulated for-profit labs. Much later the sun does rise, and it apparently won't set for another 500 years, which will probably make life suck almost as much. The cause is never explained, but the planet's orbit and rotation have likely been whacked by asteroids.
  • MYth: A Promise is set in an endless night because Cronus kidnapped Eos to avoid Helios of rising the sun to keep the eternal darkness that he controlled. To avoid it, Selene is being in the sky for who knows how much time. Luckily Eos was rescued and the sun cue before she got exhausted.

    Web Original 
  • Hank J. Wimbleton in Madness Combat causes this by killing the Sun after the Improbability Drive brings it alive to attack him.
  • The dark future in Spes Phthisica: "a carmine ember that could once have been a sun burns coldly in the sky, giving scarcely any light or warmth."
  • Terramirum starts with the sun imploding and the moon getting blown away, and works from there.
  • Everyman Hybrid: In the non-canon video "Welcome to the ARK", Vinnie mentions that the sun has not been out in three days, and the video seems to show a storm raging outside.
  • Speaking of the The Slender Man Mythos, Stan Frederick implies that a "Month of Night" occurred in New York before the series began.

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: The Trope Namer.
    • Using the Rainbow of Darkness to cause eternal night was the goal of Tirek in the very first My Little Pony animated adaption, a television special from 1984. Said bad guy, a demonic-looking centaur, says the trope name word for word.note 
    • This is also the plot of the villain in the pilot episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (a clear shout out to the 1984 special).
    Nightmare Moon: Remember this day, little ponies, for it was your last. From this moment forth, THE NIGHT. WILL LAST. FOREVER!
  • The Powerpuff Girls, "Boogie Frights": the Boogie Man blocks the sun with a giant mirror ball so that monsters can stay outside forever. Even worse, they turn Townsville into a "nightmare nightclub", causing enough racket to keep the whole town awake.
  • The Simpsons two-part season cliffhanger "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" had Mr Burns funding the construction of a sun-blocking device in order to force increased energy consumption by the town — an act of such astonishing evil that even Smithers comes under suspicion when Burns is shot.
  • Thanks to TMNT: Fast Forward Big Bad Sh'Okanabo and his progeny's weaksauce aversion to Earth's sun, part of his ultimate plan for world domination involved preventing the sun from reaching Earth via a series of satellites. It worked, too...for a few minutes.
  • Samhain attempts to bring this about (along with eternal Halloween) in an episode of The Real Ghostbusters.
  • Ben 10, Ghostfreak (to whom sunlight is fatal) tries covering the sunlit side of the earth with a shell of radioactive material in one episode, so he can rule it as his domain. (The fact that this will mutate the entire population of the Earth is an unfortunate side effect.)
  • In Yin Yang Yo!, this was the goal of Carl the Evil Cockroach Wizard. As it turned out, this was also the Night Master's intentions so that he could be all powerful. Carl got upset over him copying his idea.
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures, the combined power of Tarakudo's nine generals could summon enough Shadowkhan to shroud the earth in darkness. Why they didn't do this before they were trapped in masks isn't explained.
  • In Barbie Star Light Adventure, the stars going out prompts Barbie's search to find out why before the entire universe goes dark.
  • In Elena of Avalor, Orizaba, a moth fairy, has attempted to cause one using the Eye of Midnight out of belief that it would be better for everyone. In ancient times, she was sealed away by the Maruvians before she could succeed and Elena has to reseal her when a Total Eclipse of the Plot frees her in one episode.
  • In one episode of Xiaolin Showdown, the Snowlem Raksha used the Lunar Locket to have the moon block out the sun, plunging the world into endless night, cold, and snow.
  • In Xyber 9: New Dawn, this was the Evil Overlord Machestro's ultimate plan. The Eye of Darkness would block the sun, allowing him and his legions to rule the surface world without being Weakened by the Light.

    Real Life 
  • A scientific journal detailed a Death World simulation where they took a standard climate simulation model, shut off all solar input and saw what happened. It took less than a week for the continents to reach 270 K (i.e., freeze over); the equatorial oceans lasted a few weeks longer because of their large heat capacity.
  • Places in the far north or far south such as Longyearbyen, Svalbard or Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station have a polar night that lasts for up to four months, bracketed on either side by one month of polar twilight.
  • One of these probably occurred after the asteroid impact that killed off the dinosaurs. Dust thrown into the upper atmosphere partially obscured the sun for years (volcanoes can do a lesser version of this). While it wouldn't have actually been dark as night all the time, it would have been enough to kill off many plants (the things which support the entire food web) and reduce ocean temperatures (many marine organisms are very sensitive to temperature changes).
  • The Great Smoke of London in December 1952 would probably be the closest example in human history. The light-blocker was smoke from fireplaces and factories, with smog from cars and buses, which was not unusual. However, add cold weather, an anti-cyclone over London, and a lack of winds, and Londoners got a smoke denser than usual, with visibility only being a meter, and that was during the day. Out of all mechanized transport, only the London Underground operated anywhere near properly — buses had to have people in front holding torches. Concerts and movies had to be cancelled, because of the smog seeping indoors. Worse, it turned out to be a worse environmental disaster than originally thought. Estimates vary but between 4,000 to 12,000 people died during the week of smog.
  • A planet that is tidally locked to its sun would have Endless Daytime on the side facing the sun and The Night That Never Ends on the side facing away. It used to be thought that Mercury was like this, but that turned out not to be the case. However, Mercury has polar craters deep enough that they never receive direct sunlight, and spacecraft data show the presence of water there, making them potential targets for a future Mercury base, much like the lunar example below.
  • In the polar regions of our moon there are a series of valleys knows as "The Vales of Eternal Night" where due to the low position of the sun in the sky and the surrounding mountains are believed not to have seen any daylight for over a billion years. They are actually seriously considered as a location for a permanent moon base since there is evidence that there may be water ice from comets still there and the same geography that keeps them in perpetual darkness would also block radiation from solar storms. Power would be provided by putting solar panel farms on the nearby "Peaks of Eternal Light"
    • Those aren't confined to the moon. The Norwegian village of Rjukan used to be entirely in darkness from September to March, until a large mirror was built on a nearby hillside.
  • Some Roman Catholics believe in a prediction of "Three Days of Darkness" in which the only light will come from blessed beeswax candles. St. Hildegarde of Bingen and Padre Pio are among many who have predicted this.
  • The small Italian town of Viganella is situated at the bottom of a very steep Alpine valley, where the mountains completely block out the sun for 83 days between November and February. The residents finally got fed up in 2006 and built a computer-aimed 8-by-5 metre steel mirror array to reflect sunlight down into the village.
  • Rogue planets, thought to have been flung out of their solar systems by gravitational effects from passing planets or stars, drift in the emptiness between stars, with no sun to illuminate them.
  • This will happen to whatever is left of the Earth once the Sun finally burns out as a black dwarf star - assuming of course that it isn't incinerated when the sun turns into a Red Giant star and blows out its outer layers. And given enough time, it will happen right across the universe, as very slowly over aeons, all The Stars Are Going Out...
  • Uranus's axis is 97.77 degrees off perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic and has a year 84 times longer than Earth's. Together these combine to create a light/dark cycle that lasts 42 Earth years.

Narrator: So Once Again, the Day Is Saved... Get it? The day was saved? Because it was going to be eternal night! They saved the day — literally...


Video Example(s):


Nightmare Moon

[Trope Namer] The pilot episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic introduces its first villain, Nightmare Moon, as a malevolent and resentful alicorn princess whose only desire is to bring about eternal night to all of Equestria.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheNightThatNeverEnds

Media sources:

Main / TheNightThatNeverEnds