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The Phoenix

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Who wants hot wings?
"I was reborn before all life could die
The Phoenix bird will leave this world to fly
If the Phoenix bird can fly then so can I"
Elton John, Grey Seal

The Phoenix is an ancient and well known symbol of death and rebirth and is an idea that is found all over Asia and Europe. It's portrayed as a magnificent bird with a plumage of fiery colors and also with fiery powers or in some stories, a bird actually made of living flames.

The Phoenix of the Phoenician myth was an immortal bird that could regenerate from any injury. At a certain time, the Phoenix would make a nest of cinnamon sticks, and then self-immolate, burning to ashes, from which a new Phoenix was born.

Traditionally this is not a species; there is usually only one Phoenix (video games and other modern fantasy works may beg to differ, but that's another story). More modern depictions will take this and run with it, depicting the phoenix as an Endangered Species, with the single specimen often being the Last of Its Kind. Unlike most other mythical beings, it's not immortal, instead it lives, ages, lays one single egg and burns itself up, after which the heat of its self-cremation causes the egg to hatch. Alternatively, the new Phoenix may born directly from the ashes of its predecessor. As a result of this cycle of resurrection, the Phoenix is often used a symbol of rebirth and renewal, and especially of new growth returning after destruction. In the Middle Ages, it also became a symbol of the soul rising from the demise of the physical body.

Stories don't agree whether the bird from the egg is a new phoenix or the same individual. As goes with the death/rebirth theme, it's often intentionally left unclear.

Other ideas include that its tears or song have healing powers. Phoenixes in modern fantasy may sometimes be given pyrokinetic powers of varying sorts, unlike the original Phoenix whose connection to fire began and ended with its centennial self-immolation. A rare variant is the ice phoenix, who uses ice or Cold Flames in the same manner in which regular phoenixes use fire; these are usually a variant of phoenixes associated with cold environments instead of deserts.

The Phoenix is sometimes equated or associated with a number of other myths about fiery or divine birds. The Egyptian Bennu, a heron-like bird associated with the sun and the creation of the world, is believed to be at least partly ancestral to the Greek phoenix. The Chinese Fenghuang (or Houou to the Japanese) is often referred to as the Chinese Phoenix, but similarities between the two myths are fairly superficial — the Fenghuang lacks any particular association with fire or renewal, and is instead typically linked to celestial bodies, the Chinese empress, and the Chinese dragon, which serves as its male counterpart. Other sometimes-associated myths include the Vermilion Bird Suzaku and the Firebird of Russian folklore, whose feathers glow like flame. When treated as an actively pyrokinetic creature, it may also be contrasted with or compared to the Thunderbird. Lightning/Fire Juxtaposition is likely a factor in this.

A common plot device is to have the protagonist first meet the phoenix as a sickly, dying pet of someone important. When the bird unexpectedly catches fire, circumstances lead the protagonist to expect said important person to blame them. However, just as they're cringing and apologizing, The Reveal comes that this is a phoenix, going through its rebirth cycle.

See Birth-Death Juxtaposition for a plot that reflects this motif. See Born-Again Immortality for other characters with the ability to be reborn after death. See also Ouroboros, another ancient symbol of immortality/eternity. See Hot Wings for other wings of fire. The flames of a phoenix or similar being can be considered a type of Sacred Flame due to its special properties.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Bakemonogatari has Tsukihi Araragi and more specifically the Dying Bird which she is possessed by (or simply is, it's hard to tell). The Dying Bird is a spiritual phoenix; when the host dies of age it reincarnates as another newborn and essentially lives again. Despite looking human Tsukihi is very much a supernatural creature and has all the powers one might expect including a massive Healing Factor.
  • Beyblade: The two true phoenixes are Burn Phoenix 135MS,note  which is wielded by the appropriately name Char Clone Phoenix in Metal Fight Beyblade, and Thief Phoenix E230GCF, which is wielded by Ren Kurenai in Metal Fight Beyblade Zero-G. Additionally, Kai's bit-beast Suzaku aka Dranzer from Bakuten Shoot Beyblade is modeled after the Suzaku of The Four Gods. Dranzer got a Shout-Out in Metal Fight Beyblade Zero-G, in which Kai's expy Karura wields Guardian Garudas with the titular Garudas being a phoenix-like reimagining of Garuda. This concept would be used again in Beyblade Burst with Maximum Garuda 8Flow Flugel owned by Ghasem Madal.
  • Bleach: Execution in Soul Society is done in Sokyoku Hill, where the titular Sokyoku, a phoenix-like creature, normally rests as a spear tethered by several ropes. During the execution, the ropes are cut, causing the Sokyoku to transform into its true form and incinerate the prisoner, eliminating their soul from the cycle of reincarnation forever. However, it is not invulnerable; when Rukia is about to be executed for transforming Ichigo into a Soul Reaper, Kyoraku and Ukitake fight and seemingly destroy the creature for good.
  • B't X: Je T'aime, Fou Lafine's B't. Notably, its powers had little to do with fire and instead focus on using sonic weaponry to disable enemies.
  • The titular protagonist of Captain Tsubasa is often likened to a phoenix, due to his ability to perform miracles and turn the tide of seemingly impossible matches in the direst of moments. The 2018 anime and some videogame adaptations even give the strongest version of his Drive Shoot a phoenix Animal Battle Aura.
  • Delicious in Dungeon: A phoenix is the Mad Sorcerer's personal guard dog outside his home at the lowest level of the dungeon. Instead of being reborn, it has unlimited Resurrective Immortality by exploding into flame, making it nearly unbeatable. However, Laios and his party find a way to permanently kill it through very unconventional means (but standard for them).
  • Digimon:
    • Zhuqiaomon, one of the Four Sovereigns, who are based on The Four Gods. Thus, he is the Vermilion Bird. He's something of a Knight Templar, it turns out. (Azulongmon, aka the Azure Dragon, has to cool him down. Via an epic battle between gods.) There's also a Phoenixmon (also known as Hououmon) who is seen briefly in one episode.
    • Biyomon and her evolutionary line from Digimon Adventure has very clear phoenix influence, with all of them being brightly colored birds associated with fire. In fact, the aforementioned Phoenixmon is her mega form.
  • Dragon Ball: As an early gag, the Muten Roshi calls the Immortal Phoenix to grant Son Goku immortality as a reward for saving Umigame/Sea Turtle. However, the Immortal Phoenix does not appear since it died from food poisoning a year ago. Bulma lampshades it.
  • Fushigi Yuugi: Suzaku, one of the four gods of heaven and earth, is represented by a Phoenix.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: This is the motif of the team's ship (God Phoenix & New God Phoenix) in the first and second series. Averted with the Gatchaspartan in Gatchaman Fighter but brought back in the last episode finale, where it's implied that Dr. Nambu had the Gatchaspartan modified to enable a Firebird mode on it just like its predecessor ships, and conveniently unlocked by the pendant Ken was carrying at the time. While the team's individual Bird styles are fashioned after different birds, the combined team's true motif is that of the Phoenix itself; this is implied by the team's main ship motif in the first and second series, and driven home (literally so, as well!) in the third series' finale.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth: Rune God Windam is a green, wind controlling Phoenix that eventually dons with Fuu Hououji (name translates to "Wind of Phoenix Temple"). Augmenting with the Phoenix theme, Fuu herself is the only character that learns a healing spell (and Windam boosts that further).
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: A very short-lived Jewel Seed Monster takes this form during the period after Nanoha meets up with the Time-Space Administration Bureau.
  • Monster Rancher: In the anime adaptation, the protagonists travel around trying to find the Phoenix, the only monster capable of defeating Moo, and restore the deceased monsters to life.
  • One Piece: While there hasn't been an actual phoenix shown, there's a Zoan Devil Fruit which allows the user to become a phoenix. Marco, Whitebeard's 1st Division Commander, has eaten this fruit. One Piece's version creates and is made of blue flames and has incredible recovery powers, as demonstrated when Marco shields Whitebeard from Kizaru's beams.
  • Phoenix combines the mythos with themes of Reincarnation.
  • Princess Resurrection: The royal family of monsters is actually made out of these. They can only become an adult phoenix by receiving blessing from THE only adult phoenix, and then merging into one creature, just like the myth above. And they gain complete immortality by becoming adults. This is the driving force of the plot: Since becoming adult phoenix means complete immortality, the siblings must kill each other because there only can be one winner per generation. A physical body of a immature royal family usually is as weak as a human, unless they train themselves so hard like Gilliam does. Their blood is also magical, it temporarily revives a dead being, gives it temporary immortality for a few days. After a few days, whoever drank the blood of the royal family must drink it again, but a single drop is more than enough for the next few days. Those who drink a royal's blood are called Blood Warriors, and only few personally chosen by said royals can be one, and becoming a Blood Warrior is considered one of the greatest honor in the universe, as personal bodyguard of the royal. Much later in the story, as phoenix is a being closely tied with fire, the royal family do can unlock their fire powers without have to be adult phoenix, and capable of upgrading their Blood Warrior into Flame Warrior by putting an eternal flame into their warriors body, and unlike Blood Warriors, a Flame Warrior is not completely dependent on the royal he/she serves, as the flame will never run out of effect, unlike the blood. A Flame Warrior is also capable giving their flame toother Blood Warrior, as Keziah did to Madeline. A talented member of the royal family also capable of turning into half-phoenix-harpy-like being, just like Emil, even though he is NOT immortal because he never become an adult and already die, killed by his own vassal Sledge. Hime too is capable of turning into a semi-phoenix being by absorbing her past and future selves , in order to defeat Sylvia who already absorbed Fuhito and both are very powerful to begin with, and cancelled both of her own and Sylvia's powers. After that, Lilianne, Sylvia, and Fuhito, who already lost their royal powers, is seen with some kind of horns on their heads.
  • Ranma ˝:
    • A parody of the bird shows up in one story (here called 鳳凰, Hōō, same as the Chinese Fenghuang), where a fat, round, ugly chick hatches from an egg purchased by Kuno and imprints on the first thing it sees — namely Ranma — and determines it to be its mortal enemy. Hilarity Ensues.
    • The subject is treated somewhat more seriously with the final enemy in the series, the Phoenix Emperor Saffron, ruler of Mt. Phoenix to the south of Jusenkyo. Not only is he, like all his people, a Winged Humanoid with talons for hands and feet, but he can generate raw flame from his Battle Aura and regenerate from any injury through his phoenix flame... up to and including having his head frozen solid or his entire body shattered into a million pieces (which merely causes him to be reborn as an egg.)
    • The myth is first referenced in the Cat's Tongue/Phoenix Pill storyline, wherein Cologne makes Ranma incapable of withstanding any amount of heat—thereby locking him in female form, since he needs hot water to become male again. She blackmails him by offering the "Phoenix Pill" (不死鳥, Fushichō, "immortal/undying bird", a literal synonym of phoenix), which would make him impervious to heat, or at least restore him to normal, in exchange for marrying her great-granddaughter Shampoo.
      'Akane: "Phoenix Pill? As in, the bird that's reborn in flames?"
      Shampoo: "Champion of heat resistance!"
  • Saint Seiya: Ikki has the Phoenix Cloth, and like the bird could come Back from the Dead only to get stronger each time. The Phoenix Cloth itself is explicitly said to be immortal, and could regenerate (as well as its wearer) within the incredible heat of volcanoes.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: One of The Winged Dragon of Ra's powers is turning into a Phoenix and destroying any monster on the opponent's field. If it's during a Shadow Game, this usually destroys the opponent's mind as well.
  • YuYu Hakusho: Yusuke's Battle Aura during the final battle in the Dark Tournament manifests as a flaming blue phoenix. In addition, after Yusuke's death at the hands of Sensui and his rebirth as the Mazoku, Puu's true form turns out to be a tremendous blue phoenix.

    Board Games 
  • Res Arcana: The Phoenix card in the Perlae Imperii Expansion Pack can destroy itself to generate four Elan and let you ignore an attack (symbolizing its Taking the Bullet for you and fiery death) and place it on top of your deck (so it can easily be "reborn").

    Card Games 
  • Duel Masters has two kinds of phoenixes; your standard fiery birds that can resurrect, and... planet-sized Eldritch Abominations with Celestial Bodies. (To say nothing of Meteorshower Auroratheater, a giant, feathered, snake-haired, long-tongued floating face that runs a theater troupe.) The latter two would count as phoenixes In Name Only, except it's stated all of these disparate phoenixes are said to all originate from the same source, an entity called the Idea Phoenix.
  • Legend of the Five Rings: The Phoenix is the symbol of the Phoenix Clan.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Phoenixes are a Red creature type depicted both as red-gold eagle-like birds with a fire motif and as birds made of living flame. As expected of the phoenix, they all have some way of coming back from the Graveyard if they're killed, doing so either automatically or for a cost in mana.
    • The phoenixes of Ixalan resemble owls and are believed to messengers of the sun god in its destructive form, symboling both the terrible power of fire and heat and the new growth that comes afterwards.
    • Lightning Phoenix and Ravnica's Arclight Phoenix are unusual examples of phoenixes connected to lightning rather than to flame.
    • The phoenixes of Theros lay just one egg over the course of their centuries-long lives. As its life comes to a close, the phoenix hurls itself into a volcano; on that same day, the egg hatches into a new phoenix.
    • The phoenixes of the Plane of Mountains and Seas are more closely based on the Fenghuang, meaning they do not resurrect. They are however still prone to burning others alive.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: One mini-comic has the Penguin theming a series of thefts after the phoenix, eventually creating a fire-breathing robot called the "penguin phoenix".
  • The Phantom: One story has a man using ashes of the Phoenix egg as a medicine to keep himself immortal. When his date overdoses herself by sniffing it all in, he tries to find a new egg for himself. While he does find the resting place of the Phoenix and gets more ashes, he is too impatient to wait for them to cool down and burns to death.
  • The Sandman (1989): A one-shot story mentioned that the new phoenix hatches from a white egg, but the burned phoenix actually produces two; the other is black and no one knows what there is inside.
  • The Sentry: The titular character has vaguely Phoenix-like attributes (leading to further Epileptic Trees on what he actually is), in that he consistently dies and comes back, as strong as before, and has a deep connection to fire/the sun.
  • Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman: In "Generations" Diana follows a phoenix to take its egg as a present for her mother when it completes its rebirth. Cheetah follows her and tries desperately to steal the egg thinking Wondy's interest means the tales of the things granting immortality is true. It turns out it's little more than a pretty decoration and Diana wants it for her mother since she broke the phoenix egg that inspired her mother to make her when she was young.
  • Swordquest: In Swordquest: Fireworld, Tarra fights and briefly rides a giant fire hawk.
  • X-Men:
    • Jean Grey, depending on the continuity or even the writer at the moment in the main continuity, is either the Phoenix itself (later the Dark Phoenix), possessed by it, or replaced and impersonated by it at some point. She keeps an equally variable connection to it from her return onwards. The Phoenix wasn't even originally intended to give her an ability to come Back from the Dead. Becoming the Phoenix in the first place was considered her "death and rebirth." None of this helped her overall reputation much, and by now she has become the poster child for Death Is Cheap even by comic book standards, to the point that whenever she's in mortal danger, both readers and other characters don't really care all that much, though they might be concerned about her occasionally coming back wrong with her Superpowered Evil Side active. Even her epitaph lampshaded it: "she will rise again." As of 2018, following Phoenix Resurrection, she's back and sane, with the Phoenix having departed after Jean flatly told it to leave her alone.
      • The same goes for Jean's Kid from the Future, Rachel Grey, who keeps the motif even after ditching the actual cosmic critter itself. Rachel's connection with the Phoenix isn't in a constant state of retcon like her mother's, though: she and the Phoenix were merged for years, then separated via a fairly complicated (though simple by Summers/Grey family standards) Time Travel storyline. She also never went Dark Phoenix like Jean, despite generally being more the hot-tempered of the two, but she came close to it a couple of times.
      • One of Jean's other children, Nate Grey — not quite from the future, instead Cable's counterpart from the Age of Apocalypse — has never been explicitly a Phoenix host. It was hinted a few times, with the Phoenix raptor forming around him more than once, and it being bluntly stated from the start that he was as powerful as the Dark Phoenix, but more as a comparison. However, death and rebirth motifs, usually related to the fact that he was slowly dying from Power De Generation, followed him wherever he went, and he ultimately pulled an actual death and rebirth worthy of his mother in Dark X-Men. Twice.
    • Hope Summers, the Mutant Messiah, was foreshadowed as a Phoenix host quite literally from birth, with the Phoenix raptor frequently being seen glowing in her eyes. And when her powers finally manifested, a Phoenix raptor formed around her as she obliterated Bastion and a dome of energy that had been shrugging off the best the Avengers could throw at it for most of a day, in a split-second. This led to a lot of speculation as to who and what she really was, it being clear that she wasn't just an average mutant — the Phoenix in human form, the reincarnation of Jean Grey herself (speculation restarted after an encounter with Teen Jean revealed that they looked identical)... no one was really sure. The ultimate answer seems to have been that her birth was arranged by the Phoenix to restart mutantkind and undo M-Day, which she ultimately did at the end of Avengers vs. X-Men — and the resemblance may just have been because the Phoenix likes Jean. Since then, however, there's been no real sign of anything Phoenix related going on with her, with the closest she's come being her involvement in Teen Jean's struggles with the entity.
    • Various other characters have also been hosts for the Phoenix, but it's always been either an extremely temporary situation or happened in ancient history. Even Spider-Man! But not really. He was using the gadgetry that allowed the robot Rachel of some Excalibur impostors to make it look good. Thus the costume change.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm:
    • The Phoenix Force is merged with Destruction of the Endless. After seventy chapters of hints, Chapter 71 spectacularly and violently confirms that Harry's protection comes from the Phoenix Force, which can act through him when required, while Chapter 78 confirms that Lily merged with the Phoenix as part of the deal, becoming the White Phoenix of the Crown. After that, Harry increasingly uses the phoenix motif in both magical and psychic battles, and is revealed to be able to tap into the power of that protection - though for various reasons, that is widely and correctly considered to be a very bad idea.
    • The Tragic Villain of one of the major arcs of Ghosts of the Past is the Dark Phoenix, a.k.a. Harry, who is, thankfully, talked down in time. It's also revealed that the original Dark Phoenix a.k.a. Surtur wasn't talked down, ate a galaxy, and is the Greater-Scope Villain for Ghosts.
  • The Legend of Spyro: A New Dawn: Phoenixes were the previous inhabitants of Empress Tyrania's kingdom, whom she drove into extinction; they had Resurrective Immortality provided that their body was cremated in a volcano and exposed to sunlight, so Tyrania blocked out the sun over the volcano to prevent them from coming back to life. Siria, their queen, appears as a spirit and acts as Ember's Spirit Advisor and tells her how to revive the Phoenix race by defeating Tyrania.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfics:
    • Chronicles of Harmony's End: Harmony is the Top God of the setting, and possibly the phoenix. Array and Discord "kill" him in a specific way — by sealing his essence — to ensure that he cannot be reborn.
    • Equestria Divided: House Moon and Star uses firebirds, living magical constructs modeled after phoenixes and altered to be larger, more powerful and more aggressive; however, unlike true phoenixes, firebirds can only resurrect once.
    • Fallout: Equestria, and consequently its Recursive Fanfictions, feature balefire phoenixes, green-feathered descendants of regular phoenixes corrupted by the balefire bombs and healed by radiation.
      Steelhooves: The Manehattan Gardens was the largest wildlife sanctuary of its kind, home to the most exotic and admired creatures. All of which were instantly cremated when the zebras' balefire bomb detonated. Of course, a phoenix doesn't exactly have the same relationship with being turned to ash that most creatures do.
    • Heart of the Forest: After Fluttershy kills the Shadow by expending all her magic, it bursts into flames and comes back to life, which rocs aren't normally supposed to do. Hawthorn later reveals that the Shadow, or Anqa, became the guardian spirit of the White-Tail Woods, and its magic brought him back to life.
    • The Palaververse: Phoenixes are native to the sun, in whose depths they're born again and again and again, eternally sustained by its fires. Immense flocks of phoenixes erupt from the sun during solar flares, typically either settling among the stars or heading out into the unknown cosmos beyond the bounds the setting's geocentric system, but a few land on the world below instead. The question of how undying creatures can reproduce without developing immense overpopulation issues is addressed — the periodic solar eruptions keep the sun's population at a sustainable level, while ones without access to the sun's fires do not live forever. A single phoenix can only carry so much of the sun's fire in itself, and must pass it on to its offspring as they age. Philomena is a special case, as her bond with Princess Celestia gives her a direct link to the sun's magic.
    • The Pirate Pegasus: Korsan owns an ice phoenix named Juliana that acts as a very exotic alternative to a Pirate Parrot.
  • The Return to Gravity Falls: The phoenix — the last one in existence — shows up after crash-landing during a storm.
  • Sentinels Of Chaos: One of the gifts the Keyblade Masters receive is a magical phoenix that "reads the intentions of their hearts," so that the one who gave the phoenix to them can know if the Keyblade Masters are worthy for something more. Axel (reluctantly) takes ownership of the phoenix, originally calling her Dopey, though after bonding with her later on, renames her to Pyranas. Interestingly, Dopey/Pyranas is treated as an actual character, rather than as a pet, and communicates through squawks and other bird noises (which are conveniently translated by the narrator) that the Keyblade Masters interpret and translate perfectly. And she also laughs at almost every pun, regardless of quality.
  • With Strength of Steel Wings: Besides Fawkes as a carryover from canon, Harry gains the ability to shapeshift into a Phoenix after he carves up a runic set dedicated to the Sun.
  • In Hearts of Ice, the Phoenix is portrayed as a giant scarlet bird whose burning nest is located on the top of a mountain in the realm of the souls of beasts.
    Masakazu: "No other animal is crazy enough to want to return to the life they just departed. They are perfectly content to wait for reincarnation, and perhaps a better lot in the next life, but not the phoenix. Constantly burning herself up, being reborn, and burning herself up again. Just for fun. Absolutely bonkers, that bird."

  • The Flight of the Phoenix (1965) is about a crashed plane being rebuilt by its desert-stranded passengers to fly again.
  • Godzilla: This is implied to be the case with Mothra, who has a habit of laying an egg and then dying in the same film, then coming back in a later film after the egg hatches.
    • Interestingly, the franchise also has a resident monster with a "firebird" design motif in Rodan (In fact, the earliest drafts of his debut film had him as an archaeopteryx rather than a Pteranodon, and scrapped concept art for his appearance in the MonsterVerse included feathers to homage this), though he lacks any of Mothra's resurrective powers.
  • A Knight's Tale: In a deleted scene, William suggests a phoenix as his heraldry as Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein, on grounds of A) the private symbolism of his incipient jousting career rising from the ashes of Sir Ector's, and B) Ector's white stag could be recognized and Roland and Wat's suggestion of a lion is overdone. Wat suggests three phoenixes as a compromise, to symbolize the whole group rather than just Will.
  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil: Maleficent is revealed to be descended from the Phoenix, an ancient Dark Fey. She awakens her heritage when she sacrifices herself to save Aurora from being shot at by a crossbow. After Aurora cries over her ashes, they are revived back into Maleficent, this time as a phoenix.
  • NIMONA (2023): At first mentioned by Nimona in a metaphorical manner, before becoming literal in the finale. An Epileptic Tree claims that Nimona deliberately chose the form of a phoenix for her Heroic Sacrifice, in order to take advantage of Born-Again Immortality.
  • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish: Jack Horner keeps the Phoenix as part of his collection, depicted as a fire-breathing hawk-like bird with red and orange plumage. When Jack produces it while in the Black Forest, Ethical Bug marvels at its magnificent appearance... and is shocked when Jack uses it as a flamethrower against the giant flowers blocking his path. The Phoenix later joins the bug in a The Dog Bites Back moment, as it sets fire to the last piece of the map to the Wishing Star, sealing Jack's demise.
  • Revenge (2017): The heroine has been Left for Dead by the villains, and Impaled with Extreme Prejudice on a tree, but escapes but setting fire to the tree so that it eventually breaks under her weight. Later she heals her injuries by cutting open and flattening an aluminum beer can, holding it over the fire and then pressing it against her wound. In doing so she inadvertently brands the beer can's logo on her flesh, which happens to be a phoenix.
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: The first creatures Shang-Chi sees upon arrival at Ta-Lo are identifiably fenghuang (Chinese phoenixes).
  • Star Trek: First Contact: The name of Zefram Cochrane's warp ship is "The Phoenix", implied to have been chosen to herald in a new era after the devestation of World War III. Little does Cochrane know that it does indeed lead the rebirth of human race, when his warp-jump leads to peaceful first contact with the Vulcans.

  • The Beginning After the End: In the climax of Volume 10, Mordain aka the lost prince and the Asclepuis clan are introduced as the phoneix Asura race who were exiled from Epheotus because they rebelled against Kezess and the Indrath clan who exterminated the Djinn out of jealousy regarding Aether Knowledge after their exile they settled deep in the beast glades in a place called the hearth which is Hidden Elf Village with Djinn survivors and Asuras who oppose Kezess Indrath and Agrona Vritra. Later, Mordain shelters Aldir and Wren Kain after Aldir's departure from Kezess's service through them he learns of Arthur Leywin and summons him to the Hearth through Avier the late Cythina's Goodsky bond. Arthur gets to meet the the phoneix race, surviving Dijnn, Half breed of both races and other Asuras who oppose Agrona Vritra and Kezess Indrath making an alliance with Mordain and his followers as Arthur holds a grudge against Agrona for the invasion of Dicathen and Kezess for the extermination of the Dijnn. Both Mordain and Aldir help Arthur in reviving Sylvie Indrath Arthur's bond. Despite Mordain's emnity with her Father Agrona and Grand Father Kezess Indrath he bears no illwill against her but treats Sylvie with a kind and a Curious way.
  • Black Dogs: A swamp contains the world's last phoenix, imprisoned by magic. The protagonists release it and it flies off into space, but not before burning up all the magical apparitions that had been harassing them and granting them safe passage through the treacherous swamp.
  • Book of Brownies has a seemingly-villainous example called the Dragon-bird, who abducts people for the evil Golden Dwarf. But after the heroic brownies banished the dwarf, the Dragon-bird reveals himself to be enslaved and willingly helps the brownies once he's freed.
  • Book of Imaginary Beings:
    • The Chinese phoenix is a brilliantly colored bird divided between the male of its species, called the Feng, and the female, called the Huang. Its appearance is a sign of celestial favor.
    • The Western kind is equated to the Egyptian benu bird, which Borges considers fitting in light of the ancient Egyptians' own preoccupation with eternity. Early versions of the myth had the phoenix generating an offspring before death, but later variants had the bird itself be reborn in flame. In any case, the phoenix was generally linked with the Platonic concept of a cyclic and eternal universe.
  • The Book of the New Sun: The bird itself does not appear, but the throne of the Autarchs is shaped like a phoenix, to symbolize their hope that the dying sun will be rekindled by the second coming of their savior figure.
  • Bruce Coville's Book of... Magic:
    • One features in Byrd Song, and Phoebe and the Squonk attend its annual death-and-rebirthing. It also passes some of its power on to a set of newly-created baby Squonks, born from the Squonk crying into the phoenix's ashes. The babies can melt into a puddle of tears, but will revive immediately due to their origin.
    • Phoenix Farm has the narrator discover an egg that hatches into one, and then flies away... but moments later, when her father returns home for the first time since before the fire that destroyed their old home, she realizes that like a phoenix, her family can rise from the ashes, singing.
  • Carpe Jugulum includes a phoenix, and gleefully subverts this trope in classic Discworld tradition:
    • Rather than a one-bird species, it's a member of a breed of firebirds that has found a way to incubate their eggs really quickly. As Granny Weatherwax said, one of anything is stupid, since everything has enemies, so it won't survive long. However, since historians were more interested about writing about wars than writing about birds, they didn't know this simple fact.
    • On dropping from the blazing nest of their self-immolating parent, phoenix chicks shapeshift into the form of the first bird they encounter, the better to blend into their surroundings. Hence, when falconer Hodgesaarrgh goes looking for one, he has no idea which of the several different phoenix-drawings in his bird guide will be correct. After it does that, as Granny puts it, it will be whatever it has become until it needs to be a phoenix. Its actual resemblance to a lappet-faced worrier or "Lancre wowhawk" (a singularly pathetic bird of prey which faints at the sight of blood) was not one of the possibilities he'd been led to expect; the ostrich-like puppet he constructed was mainly related to the shape of his arm.
    • It also shares a few traits from Marvel's Phoenix Force: first, the tendency to manifest a giant raptor-shaped burning aura in battle, second, the fact that Phoenixes apparently 'share their memories', and third, that they have absolutely no tolerance for evil (and not the world's most forgiving nature, either).
  • Conan the Barbarian: In "The Phoenix on the Sword", the image of a phoenix put on Conan's sword both lets him kill the Eldritch Abomination and proves he wasn't dreaming.
  • Cradle Series:
    • Suriel, Phoenix of the Abidan, is one of the Judges of the celestial Abidan. She leads the organization's healers, and while they do have incredible healing abilities, they are best known for being Time Masters. Lindon meets her when an ascendant being destroys his home and kills his family, and Suriel rewinds time so that none of it ever happened at all.
    • The Bleeding Phoenix is one of the four Dreadgods, a colossal red bird with ultimate mastery over blood and an insatiable hunger for more. It is the only Dreadgod that can technically be killed, but it has Resurrective Immortality; following its "death," pieces of itself latch onto any living thing within a thousand miles, draining them dry and eventually recombining into a new Bleeding Phoenix. Destroying the eggs is practically impossible, and anyone who actually manages to get close just causes the other three Dreadgods to converge on their location and destroy them.
    • Relatively ordinary phoenixes are mentioned a few times, but they never become all that important. They are sacred beasts with powerful fire madra, and their flames are known to cause almost no destruction aura.
  • David And The Phoenix is a children's fantasy novel about a boy who befriends the titular bird. The Phoenix is huge, multicolored, and quite vain, but aside from being able to speak doesn't exhibit any particular magical qualities. Even when the Phoenix self-immolates and resurrects at the end of the book, he needs matches to do so.
  • Dracopedia: Phoenixes are a species of coatyl, and consequently resemble winged, feathered serpents with avian heads and scarlet plumage. They don't rise from the dead as in myth; rather, phoenix shells are very thick to ward off predators, and the chick breaks free by burning them open from inside and thus appears to rise from a pyre. The parent phoenix often refuses to leave the nest during this and burns alive, giving rise to the myth that phoenixes immolate themselves and rise again as newborn chicks.
  • Dragaera: The phoenix is one of the Great Houses. It's unknown if there are more than one of the animal phoenix, but in order for a Dragaeran to be of the House of the Phoenix, both of their parents must be of the House AND a phoenix must fly over when they are born. Needless to say, the House is all but extinct except Zerika, the Empress.
  • The Executioner. When Mack Bolan goes from wanted Vigilante Man to covert US government operative, he has to fake his death in the explosion of his War Wagon. His new cover name is Colonel John Phoenix.
  • Fancy Apartments: Carr meets a phoenix that sings to him and gives him a tear. Unsurprisingly, the tear proves to be rather a Chekhov's Gun.
  • A Fantasy Attraction has a phoenix passing overhead at the very end.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Fawkes, Dumbledore's pet, saved Harry in the second book. He's introduced in the way mentioned in the trope description — bursting into flame while Harry is alone in Dumbledore's office. It's left obvious it's the same animal that is reborn, and it "dies" at least twice during Harry's stay at Hogwarts. While rare, phoenixes are a species rather than Fawkes being one-of-a-kind. Fawkes is extremely loyal to Dumbledore, helping him escape when he is about to be arrested by the Ministry, and leaving Hogwarts for good after Dumbledore's death, to live as a free bird. In turn, Dumbledore named The Resistance group he founded during the First Wizarding War "Order of the Phoenix", and his Patronus is also a phoenix.
    • These Phoenixes can carry very heavy loads, including several people, and have tears with healing powers. They can teleport in a flash of flame, and even carry at least one person with them when doing so; this ability can circumvent Hogwarts' teleportation defenses, something even the most powerful human wizard can never do. They can survive a Killing Curse — another thing impossible for wizards except under very specific circumstances — through their 'rebirth' ability. Their tail feathers are one of the magical items used to create wands (others being unicorn hair, dragon heartstring, and veela hair). The feather in Harry's wand actually came from Fawkes as did the feather in Big Bad Voldemort's wand — a connection which saves Harry in the fourth book. Wands that have cores from the same source don't work properly against each other.
  • Letter To A Phoenix casts humanity in the role of the immortal bird: only humanity, of all sapient species, kills itself off periodically via warfare and thus never becomes moribund.
  • The Machineries of Empire uses the phoenix as a motif for the Kel faction. Their signifier, the ashhawk, is a fiery hawk, and the signature formation of the Kel is the one that causes self-immolation.
  • Ology Series: Phoenixes are birds that, rather than being reborn in flames when they die, simply bathe in fire to get rid of parasites. Dragonology depicts them as vaguely reptilian, toothed pseudo-dragons, but Monsterology has them as fairly normal eagle-like raptors (apart from the fire thing, obviously). Drake opines that they evolved from Archaeopteryx, but this is contradicted in Dinosaurology.
  • Pareidolia and the Gilded Scar: "Residual Warmth" has a phoenix as the narrator, and deals with the aftermath of the bird's fiery rebirth.
  • The Phoenix And The Carpet by E. Nesbit contains a phoenix (well duh) and a carpet. The Phoenix came with the carpet, as an egg which then burst into flame and released a small bird which then rapidly grew into an adult, English-speaking Phoenix. The carpet also grants three wishes a day and can fly and take the children on adventures.
  • Prospero's Daughter: Phoenix lamps use phoenix feathers, which regenerate, for light; phoenix ash is useful for bribing salamanders to behave themselves.
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles: The tie-in field guide details phoenixes. They are genderless creatures that, towards the end of their centuries-long lifespan, set up a nest they then incinerate themselves upon, leaving an egg that hatches into a new phoenix after nine days.
  • Star Trek: The Price of the Phoenix has Captain Kirk being killed and resurrected, only there are complications as a result.
  • Sun Bird: written by Neil Gaiman for his daughter's birthday, is about a group of gourmets who, having eaten one of everything else on the planet, are inspired to hunt and devour a phoenix by the oldest member of the group. The member who keeps their records looks back through it and finds that the club has tried this in the past, but the pages after each attempt are strangely burnt. They find the phoenix, kill it, and cook it — but as they eat it, their bodies are consumed in flames. The old man who suggested the hunt is unharmed due to his habit of eating increasingly hot objects; in fact, he's done this dozens of times before, becoming immortal by regularly eating the phoenix.
  • Wicked: Pfenix (as they're spelled) appear in the books. They're known to be rare, and omens of change.
  • The Witchlands has an underplayed example in the fire hawks, which are basically Exactly What It Says on the Tin — hawk-like birds that are always on fire.
  • Xanth: The Simurgh is notably NOT a phoenix. There's more than one great immortal bird in mythology, after all.
  • There is a short story (name currently unknown) about a group of modern-day people who capture a Phoenix and put it on display. They figure they can make a lot of money by televising the phoenix's death and fiery rebirth so they do everything they can to convince the bird that it's dying. When it starts building a pyre, the people train their cameras on it and start their vigil. The phoenix regenerates all right — unfortunately the resulting fireball winds up taking out most of the observers and a huge chunk of the city with it.
  • The House In The Cerulean Sea: One of the characters is revealed to be a phoenix, likely the last one on Earth— if there were ever any others to begin with (something that even the phoenix in question isn't sure of).

    Live-Action TV 

    Manhwa and Manhua 
  • In Weapons of the Gods, Nangong Wentian was known as this after getting resurrected by transplanting his heart with Phoenix, an axe made from nine feathers of the phoenix and gaining its power.

  • Igor Stravinsky's The Firebird is all about the trope, through Russian fairytale. Have a listen. This piece was set to animation in Fantasia 2000.
  • Thirty Seconds to Mars has Mithra, a phoenix featured as one of the band's earliest logos and still used today.
  • In Kanye West's Runaway, a lady phoenix with strategically placed feathers crashes on Earth, and Kanye keeps her as a pet, or girlfriend, or something.
  • "Феникс" ("Feniks") by Ariya tells the story of the bird in question.
  • Firebird by Dreamtale.
  • Fall Out Boy's single "The Phoenix," which is also the opening track of the album Save Rock and Roll. Since this is the first album they made after a three-year hiatus, it works as meta symbolism of the band's rebirth.
  • "Phoenix" by Polish industrial band Gorthaur:
    Out of my ashes / Will raise a new phoenix / I'll live forever / Because the spirit never dies
  • "Phoenix" by Progressive Classic Rock Twin Lead Guitar band Wishbone Ash:
    Bird, rise high from the cinders / Leave it all far behind / All the ruins and the fire / Bird, raise your head from the ashes / Many men lay dead / You can see them like I / Phoenix rise, raise your head to the sky
  • Tenacious D's third album and title track 'Rize of the Fenix' uses this imagery to signify their rise back to stardom after the critical failure of their movie.
    When The Pick of Destiny was released, it was a bomb,
    And all the critics said that the D was done.
    The sun had set, and the chapter had closed,
    But one thing no one thought about, was the D would rise again.
    Just like the phoenix,
    We'll fucking rise again!

    Myths and Religion 
  • Aboriginal Australian Myths (more specifically the Tapwuring oral traditions) have the Mihirung paringmal (literally "giant birds"). Best known as the vernacular for Dromornithids (extinct flightless birds), the actual mythological birds are nothing to balk at. The cause volcanic eruptions in their rampages, effectively making them firebirds considerably older than the western phoenix.
  • The phoenix of western legend is first recorded by Herodotus in his description of Egypt (possibly based on the below-mentioned Bennu), who said it was an eagle-like creature worshipped at Heliopolis but from Arabia, where it would live for five hundred years and then build a nest out of spices to cremate itself in and return to life. This description was adopted by the rest of the classical world and eventually survived into the Middle Ages, where it became a staple of bestiaries and became symbolic of Jesus Christ's resurrection.
  • The Bennu is a stork-like bird from Egyptian Mythology associated with the sun, creation, and rebirth. In fact, some legends claimed it was the first being in existence and helped with the creation of the world. Many believe it to be the inspiration for the phoenix in the west.
  • The Chinese Fenghuang (or Houou in Japanese) is often translated as "phoenix", despite the fact it has extremely little association with fire or rebirth. Instead, it is considered a symbol of good fortune, harmony, and virtue, and is often placed as the Distaff Counterpart of the Chinese Dragon, being associated with feminine roles (like the empress of China or the bride at a wedding) in situations where the dragon would be placed in a masculine one.
  • The Vermilion Bird (aka the Zhuque or Suzaku) of Chinese-Japanese mythology is often mistaken as the "Asian Phoenix" due to the color of its plumage, however in its home countries its not considered a fire bird so much as a bird that uses fire. Not helping is that it's associated with the South, Summer, and Fire in general, and it is frequently confused with the aforementioned Fenghuang.
  • The Firebird of Slavic folklore is often compared to the Phoenix, but has little to do with fire or rebirth beyond having feathers that shine in the dark like fire. It usually appears in stories as the object of a quest or as a Deus ex Machina that rescues the heroes. However, the stories all agree it is a good omen, but to capture or harm it is to bring ill fortune.
  • The Anqa in Arabian Mythology. The oldest myths don't give many details beyond it being a giant female bird (probably a heron or eagle) who attacks her victims during the sunset, but later myths about it adopted many attributes of the phoenix and other mythical birds (such as the ability to resurrect itself).
  • The Huma bird of Iranian legend is often compared to the phoenix and sometimes given its attributes, but also has a number of its own traits, like never coming to the ground to rest (and having no legs as a result). Like the Fenghuang, it is associated with good fortune and harmony; seeing it is said to grant eternal happiness, while killing it will cause the culprit to die in exactly forty days.
  • Philippine Mythology features the Sarimanok, a rainbow-colored rooster that is said to soar through the sky like an eagle and bring good luck to those who capture it. It accompanies the deities of the Philippines at times and played a major role in the creation myth by pecking the first man and woman out of a tree.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has had several versions of a phoenix monster over the years. Depending on the edition, they're either Neutral Good inhabitants of the Upper Planes or destructive Elemental Embodiments of fire. Either way, they're always extremely powerful and usually have to be killed twice in combat.
    • In the 1st Edition Fiend Folio, it's stated that phoenixes are based on garbled accounts of reptilian ostrich-like monsters called giant striders bathing in fire. This is immediately contradicted by the subsequent Monster Manual II introducing actual phoenixes to the game.
    • In 3.5th Edition, phoenixes are immense, noble birds of prey with red, orange and golden feathers and a number of magical powers, mostly centering around fire. A phoenix immolates itself when it is about to die, and a new fully-grown phoenix rises from its ashes. This has led to them being associated with themes of eternity and rebirth, and a phoenix sighting is seen as an omen — although whether it's an omen of renewed life and prosperity or of impending ordeals and trials by fire depends of the situation and individual.
    • In 4th Edition, phoenixes are a species of Roc Birds that happen to be native to the Elemental Chaos, where they became infused with the essence of elemental fire. They are wholly made of living flame, hate the undead, and explode in balls of fire when brought to low health only to be reborn moments later. Despite their appearance, they sometimes leave behind scarlet feathers when they're reborn; these can be used to make resurrection magic more effective, allowing it to raise people who have been dead for longer than normally feasible as well as those dead of old age(yes, the Down of a Phoenix). They're related to thunderhawks, another species of roc attuned to a different element.
    • 5th Edition:
      • Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes takes the Elemental Embodiment seen above and takes it to the extreme with an Elder Elemental called the Phoenix. It's powerful enough to rival an ancient red dragon, and desires to see everything burn. If slain, they violently explode and leave behind an egg-shaped cinder that eventually hatches into a new phoenix.
      • An earlier Unearthed Arcana portrays phoenixes as more benevolent, with the Phoenix Soul origin for Sorcerers — mages with a natural affinity for pyromancy because they or their ancestors were blessed by a phoenix. How this subclass, if ever officially published, will be reconciled with the more destructive phoenix seen in Mordenkainen's remains to be seen.
    • Phoelarches are a race of fiery humanoids whose lives are linked with phoeras, phoenix-like creatures from the Elemental Plane of Fire. When a phoelarch dies, a phoera spontaneously appears in its place to avenge its death. Dead phoeras themselves burn down to an egg-shaped cinder, which eventually hatches into a new phoera.
  • Exalted:
    • Garda birds are fire elementals resembling large, beautiful birds with gold, purple or silver feathers (the exact coloration depends on the specific form they are in, as they can take several). They are ageless and immortal — when one dies, it is reborn in flame nine days later without fail. One of the forms they use for combat, a humanoid with six arms and the head, tail, wings and claws of an eagle, is also referred to as the Phoenix form.
    • The 2nd Edition sourcebook Dreams of the First Age describes the white iron phoenix, a great white bird from the Wyld which patrolled the Eastern edges of Creation during the First Age. It was notable for, besides its seething hatred of the Fair Folk that drove it to attack any it found with no regard for its own safety, the mode of its death — when slain, the phoenix exploded in a burst of flame that solidified the Wyld into static reality and turned Fair Folk into iron statues, after which a new phoenix rose from a pile of iron ashes left at the center of the conflagration.
  • Kings of War: Basileans can take a Phoenix as a monster unit. It has fire breath and the ability to heal your troops.
  • Pathfinder: Phoenixes are powerful and benevolent creatures of great wisdom that resemble enormous birds of prey made of fire. They are able to self-resurrect when slain only once a year, dying permanently if killed again before a full year has passed since their previous death. They have an important role in the worship of the sun goddess Sarenae, whose followers believe them to be sacred to the goddess and that Sarenae created the first phoenixes from rocs blessed with her power.
    • Phoenixes are distant kin to thunderbirds and tidehawks, powerful avian beings associated with lightning and water instead. Tidehawks possess a similar resurrection ability to phoenixes; once a year, if slain, they turn into a torrent of rain and are swiftly resurrected if their remains fall back into a body of water. If they fall on dry land, however, they need to wait for however long it will take for their liquified bodies to flow back into a river, lake or sea before they can return to life. Phoenixes have rocky relationships with both species — phoenixes see thunderbirds as too harsh and unyielding and tidehawks as flighty, selfish and unreliable, while thunderbirds see phoenixes as excessively soft and forgiving and tidehawks see them as meddlesome do-gooders.
    • The cult of the Peacock Spirit has ties to creatures referred to as peacock phoenixes, peacock-like firebirds native to a remote corner of the Plane of Fire. One such creature features in the Return of the Runelords adventure path, although in game terms it resolves as a fiery Thunderbird.
    • Mortals who witness the resurrection of a phoenix or are healed by one of the firebirds can retain a touch of the creature's spirit in their souls, and beget descendants with the phoenix bloodline. Such characters can channel a limited version of the creature's powers, including immunity to fire and the ability to passively heal allies while raging, sprout wings made out of fire and, at high levels, bring themselves back to fighting health when near death.
  • Shadowrun: Phoenixes are large, red-gold predatory birds capable of generating fire, which they use to cook their prey before feeding. They do not resurrect or immolate themselves, but in a nod to the original legend they do incinerate their nests once their young are old enough to leave.
  • Warhammer: The phoenix is the symbol of Asuryan, the chief Elven deity and the god of eternal life and rebirth, hence the king's bodyguard being the Phoenix Guard.
    • Actual Phoenixes are available to the High Elf army as monstrous units, and come in two flavours — the classic Flamespyre Phoenix, which is young and fiery and able to come back from the dead in a shower of flames, and the ancient, much tougher Frostheart Phoenix, which trails ice and chill rather than flames, and has lived so long it is no longer able to rebirth itself. There are also Arcane Phoenixes, described in Forge World's Monstrous Arcanum, a much rarer variant with rainbow-colored feathers, swallow-like tails and the Flamespyre's ability to rebirth itself, which are believed to be companions of Asuryan himself and only appear in the material world as omens of imminent catastrophes and a hope of rebirth afterwards.
    • Phoenix feathers can also be used to create a talisman that can resurrect its bearer if they're killed, although the talisman itself is consumed in the process.
  • Warhammer 40,000: The Phoenix Lords are the greatest of all Eldar warriors. The title seems to be related to the phoenix's connection to death and rebirth: the Phoenix Lords are actually spirits residing within soulstones attached to the armor they wore in life. When a volunteer dons the armor, the Lord's personality and will merges with them. As long as the soulstone and the armor remain intact, the Phoenix Lord will never truly die.

    Video Games 
  • Age of Mythology: The Egyptians can summon phoenixes (scientific name Aquila inferna, literally "eagle from hell") that are actually made of living flames, which they can throw from the air in a bombing-raid-style attack. When they are killed over solid ground, an egg appears in the ashes of their body and a new Phoenix can be summoned from it.
  • Age of Wonders:
    • The original game has the phoenix as a rare, summonable creature. It's extremely powerful and, when slain, will resurrect after three turns, which it can do without limit. They can also breathe fire and cause fire damage to any being that touches them.
    • Age of Wonders 3 sees the phoenix unit return. This time, however, its resurrection abilities came from its ability "resurgence" which returns it to life after a battle with 30% of its Hit Points as long as its controller won the battle, which makes them fantastic suicide units. They're strongly good-aligned — non-good factions can summon them, but at a significant morale cost.
  • Archon had a phoenix as a piece. It could immolate itself as an attack, and was invulnerable while doing so.
  • BlazBlue: Nox Nyctores Phoenix Rettenjou has the power to sever the connection from the Boundary, and in here, Boundary can mean 'land of the dead' so it has the probability to save someone from death. Its user, Bang Shishigami, inexplicably has some untold fire powers. And that one time he was thought to be dead (when he saved Litchi in the beginning of his story in Continuum Shift)... he suddenly got back up as if nothing happened. Hmmmm....
  • The first boss of Cloud Master, a game set in ancient China, is a hostile fenghuang who can spam Feather Flechettes on you.
  • In Copy Kitty, the Yoggval you fight midway through Normal Mode World 11, thanks to being tampered with by an ancient artifact, is given fire attacks and drops the Phoenix Flare power. At the end of the world, it comes back and uses the artifact's full power to become Phoenix Yoggval, with the ability to resurrect itself several times.
  • Coryoon has a hostile phoenix serving as the boss of the volcano stage.
  • Dota 2 has the hero Phoenix, a Strength-based ranged hero that is basically... a phoenix. It is actually a manifestation first sun that soared in the void of universe. All of its skills are using HP as well as mana for activation. Its ultimate skill, Supernova, sacrificed its life to transform into a burning sun. If the sun isn't destroyed, it will be reborn at full health / MP / cooldown and deal big damage to the area surrounding. Phoenix was created way back in Dota Warcraft v 6.70, somewhere in 2010. Its Dota 1 name was Icarus from the Greek legend, now it is simply Phoenix.
  • Older versions of Dungeon Crawl had phoenixes as occasional late-game monsters — if their corpse wasn't destroyed, they would eventually revive themselves in a burst of fire. Newer versions instead have bennu, phoenix-like birds with an unholy slant that can revive themselves a single time in a burst of ghostly flames.
  • In Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark, Ercinees are fire-elemental bird monsters that explode when they die, have an innate Rebirth status, and possess both a Suicide Attack and a Sacrificial Revival Spell. The strongest version of this monster is explicitly named the Phoenix.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The Phoenix is a summon monster in quite a few Final Fantasy games, usually in some combination of fire-based attack on the enemies and healing and/or resurrection on your allies.
    • Plays a particularly important role in Final Fantasy XIV. After Louisoix failed to re-seal the rampaging Bahamut, he was able to absorb the aether of the failed spell before Bahamut could; with the enourmous mass of energy and the prayers for salvation from everyone present, and Louisoix's own wish to see the realm reborn, he was able to summon Phoenix into his own body and weild its power against Bahamut. He won the ensuing battle and then released the aether back to the dying land, allowing it to return to life. As a result, Eorzea was able to recover from the calamity in record time.
    • The series' go-to item for resurrecting fallen allies is named "Phoenix Down". Some games have the rarer "Phoenix Pinion" which either revives everyone/revives someone at full HP/revives them with an auto-resurrect.
    • The Phoenix is an Esper and essential plot point for Locke in Final Fantasy VI.
    • Final Fantasy XVI stars the Phoenix as a core character, the Guardian Eikon of the Rosenfeld Archduchy. They are depicted as a screeching god of raging fire - and the plot begins when they are inexplicably sent to the hospital by an even angrier god of raging hellfire.
  • Flight Rising has a phoenix familiar; unlike most familiars, the phoenix's image actually changes each time you open the page it's on, cycling between four stages of life (egg, chick, adult, ash).
  • Golden Sun's Phoenix line (the stronger ones are called fire birds and wonder birds) is notable for being the Mook Medic and giving massive amounts of experience (especially if killed with Mercury Djinn), with an unfortunate tendency to run away. It is possible to run into two wonder birds at a time, who keep resurrecting each other for risky (if they both run, you get no experience at all) Level Grinding.
  • Gradius: After an onslaught of miniature serpentine fire dragons, the first boss of Gradius II is a large Phoenix that sprays blue flames while teleporting across the screen. Other installments in the series feature smaller phoenixes as Mooks.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic had it from the start. In Heroes of Might and Magic 1 and 2 it was the top-tier creature of the Sorceress Castle. In Heroes of Might and Magic III it was absent but returned in the expansion, Armageddon's Blade, as the Conflux top-tier creature and gained the ability to resurrect after a stack died for the first time. In Heroes of Might and Magic IV it showed up as one of two top-tier creatures for the Preserve/Nature faction as well as a summoning spell in the Nature school. Heroes of Might and Magic V actually has two versions, a summoned Phoenix whose stats depend on the hero's, and a neutral creature that can come in numbers and ressurects once per battle when slain. In the campaign, their light is one of two ways for the Elves to defeat the Vampire Lord Nicolai for good.
  • Jewel Master has a phoenix-like avian monster whose body is made entirely of flames as the second stage's boss. Later on you can fight an Ice Phoenix, which is a Palette Swap of it's fiery cousin.
  • Kaiju Wars has Pterus Ignis. On top of being a gigantic birdlike kaiju made of fire, it has a special ability, Phoenix Burst, which lets it resurrect itself in a fiery explosion after being killed.
  • Kirby:
  • League of Legends:
    • Anivia, the cryophoenix, turns into a egg when killed and revives from if it isn't destroyed, although she can revive as such only once per few minutes.
    • Udyr has a Phoenix Stance, but subverts the death and rebirth part of the trope. He uses the fiery aspect of the creature for a Fire-Breathing Weapon.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has furnixes, red-and-gold birds with long tails and the ability to spit out fireballs, that live in the Lanayru Desert.
  • In Magical Doropie, Doropie can transform into a Firebird to defeat all enemies on screen at the cost of one-third of her life meter.
  • Mega Man: Mega Man X6 and Mega Man Zero 2 have the fire-themed bosses Blaze Heatnix and Phoenix Magnion. While they don't have the ability to resurrect on their own, you do have to fight them again in the Boss Rush of their respective games, Heatnix was technically brought Back from the Dead by Big Bad Gate in the first place, and one of Magnion's attacks involves summoning ghostly apparitions of past (and probably long dead) Mega Man X villains to attack Zero with. Mega Man 10 has a Dual Miniboss, Fenix and Suzak, with that theme.
  • Monster Rancher: Ironically, the Phoenix monster has one of the shortest lifespans of any monster in the game. That said, unlike other monsters, it doesn't die when its time is up. It just flies away, never to return. It's the same thing in terms of game mechanics, though.
  • Monster Sanctuary: According to his history, the Spectral Eagle and his keeper sacrificed themselves to end a conflict between the Monster Keepers and the kings of the Old World. While the Eagle revived himself by rising from his ashes, his Keeper didn’t survive the battle, which the Eagle mourned for. The Spectral Eagle can revive an ally monster with Revive and he has the ability Reborn from Ashes, which heals an additional amount of HP and grant Chargesnote  to the revived monster (including himself).
  • Ninja Gaiden II: One of the ninpo spells Ryu can use is "Art of the Flame Phoenix", which summons phoenix spirits which hover around him. The phoenixes can protect against melee and projective attacks.
  • Paper Mario: The Origami King: The Fire Vellumental is a giant scarlet bird covered in burning feathers, and if Mario's main attack doesn't kill it in one go it will instantly recover all of its health.
  • Phoenix is a coin-op game which has the player battle wave upon wave of phoenixes.
  • P.N.03: The second version of Loewenzahn transforms into a robotic phoenix.
  • Pokémon:
    • Moltres, one of Kanto's legendary birds, draws inspiration from the western phoenix myth. Besides being an elemental bird with feathers made of fire, its Pokédex entries state that if it is injured, it will bathe in the lava of a volcano to burn and heal itself.
    • Ho-Oh, which resurrected the legendary Pokémon Raikou, Entei, and Suicune after the Brass Tower they were in burned down, and which seems to be based on the Chinese fenghuang.
    • The legendary bird Pokémon Yveltal is an interesting variant; while it lacks an obvious association with fire and life and instead embodies death and destruction, it is said that when it is dying, it will sap away life energy from every living thing and revert to a cocoon state in order to be reborn later.
    • Pokémon Uranium: Pajay is classified as the "Phoenix Pokémon", although it doesn't have any ability associated with phoenixes other than being a fire bird.
  • RefleX has the player's ship, which is called the Phoenix. In Area 7, the Phoenix is totaled by ZODIAC Virgo, resulting in the death of the pilot... but then the Phoenix lives up to its name and reawakens as ZODIAC Ophiuchus.
  • Rise of Legends: The Alin use an Arabian-style phoenix as a scout.
  • Rune Factory 3: Raven turns out to be one, with pretty incredible fireball attacks.
  • RuneScape has various forms of the Phoenix, mainly stemming from a quest called In Pyre Need, which rewards the player with a repeatable boss (a phoenix), the ability to summon a phoenix familiar and a baby phoenix pet. There is also a desert phoenix, and a "firebird", an actual bird of fire resembling a phoenix.
  • In Soul Sacrifice Delta, one of the Archfiends is literally called Phoenix, although she appears as a Moth-like creature instead of a bird. Basically, she used to be a human girl who, alongside with her mother, ran a moth potion shop to support her ailing parents until she fell in love with a lone traveler, but the would-be couple were caught, so the girl was locked away in her faraway home, almost forgotten by the traveler. Her parents pass away and now the girl is left with the shop before setting it on fire, including the poor moths. Eventually, The Sacred Chalice visits the girl to make a sacrifice, but the girl has nothing to give... until the old traveler returns... Now the girl is reborn from the ashes anew and start her second life until age takes a toll on her life. Unfortunately, every time when the girl dies and reborns, her cycle keeps getting shorter until she is stuck in a painful cycle of youth and frailty, becoming the very moth-like creature that is fought in the game.
  • Scribblenauts: You can create these. They're treated as a standard flying creature and aren't flaming themselves, but they are attracted to fires — with the humorous result that you can tie a rope to them, tie the other end to something you want to move, and repeatedly move a fire that they'll chase after like it's a carrot on a fishing line.
  • Shining Force II: Peter the phoenix, an important plot character who revives himself if he dies in battle.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Phoenixes are featured like many other mythological creatures. What's interesting is that, in Persona 4, Phoenix's (of the Sun Arcana) artwork is that of Suzaku's and Suzaku (of the Temperance Arcana) has another variation of its artwork. Yukiko also uses Fire, Healing, and Resurrection Magic, and her personas are winged humanoids.
  • Space Firebird is a coin-op game which has the player battle wave upon wave of phoenixes.
  • StarCraft has the Protoss Fenix. A Zealot met early in the Protoss campaign, he's defeated in battle when the Zerg invade and is presumed dead. Later, however, it turns out his body was recovered and he was resurrected as a Dragoon cyborg.
  • Tenchu: In Tenchu 2, Suzaku is a frightening parody of the phoenix's life after death theme.
  • Terra Cresta: The shmups all have a phoenix form as a Super Mode.
  • NEO: The World Ends with You: The Final Boss of the game is Phoenix Cantus, a massive bird Noise that is based off of the Fenghuang. It has some ties to the western Phoenix as well, mostly the renewal aspect, as it was born from the Dissonance created by the main character rewinding time, and it revives itself the first time you defeat it.
  • Total War: Warhammer II: Phoenixes are powerful flying monsters, resembling colossal eagles, in the High Elf army. They are attuned to magic and their strength is proportional to your magic reserves — expending these to cast spells will gradually weaken them — come in two types:
    • Flamespyre Phoenixes are fiery creatures with orange feathers and a an aura of heated, shimmering air constantly around them. They have a chance to resurrect with a random amount of health — including a completely refilled health bar. They can also drop fiery "bombs" when in flight, allowing them to strafe enemy troops from the air before diving into melee.
    • Frostheart Phoenixes are older phoenixes whose flames have chilled with age and which have lost the ability to resurrect. Their feathers are a bright icy blue and studded with ice crystals, and they trail frost behind them as they fly.
  • Touhou Project: Fujiwara no Mokou has phoenix-themed powers in the form of resurrection-type immortality and control over fire. One of her Spellcards is even called "Possessed by Phoenix".
  • Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos: The Blood Mage can summon one as his ultimate spell, a magic-immune flyer that deals heavy damage and can stream fire at enemies while moving, subverting the otherwise omnipresent Do Not Run with a Gun trope. Like the above example, it turns into an egg on death, rebirthing from it when the egg is not destroyed quickly. It actually burns itself, needing a rebirth every few minutes even without fighting. As first and strongest of the Blood Mages, the phoenix is the personal symbol of Kael'thas Sunstrider, and a very prominent symbol of the Blood Elves in World of Warcraft in general, representing their rebirth from the ashes of genocide in the Third War. Kael's pet phoenix Al'ar serves as a boss in his raid, Tempest Keep, and Kael summons phoenixes during both boss fights against him in Burning Crusade.
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse — Earthblood: After Cahal cleanses the Red Talon caern of its Wyrm corruption, Onawa compares Pachu'a, the tribe's avian patron spirit, to this. Cahal had to kill him to destroy his Wyrm taint, but Onawa states that he will recover his strength in time and be reborn from his ashes.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright is a rising new star lawyer with the uncanny ability to turn cases around when all hope seems lost. Case 1-5 is even called "Rise From the Ashes". This applies much more to the English version though. In the Japanese version, however, his name (Ryuichi Naruhodo) suggests the Dragon, and at one point he has a rivalry with a tiger-themed character.
  • Umineko: When They Cry: Ushiromiya Battler has been likened to a phoenix a couple of times in Arcs 2 — 4. After being turned into a soulless servant, tricked mercilessly by his rival and enemy, and fading out of existence after learning his parentage, he continues fighting Beatrice. May double as a reference to Ace Attorney.

    Web Animation 
  • The hololive (EN) VTuber Takanashi Kiara is a phoenix (and not, emphasis hers, a chicken or turkey) who aspires to own a fast food restaurant. As an immortal, her romantic interest in Calliope Mori is, at least nominally, not reciprocated.


    Web Original 
  • Codex Inversus: True phoenixes once lived in the Plane of Fire, before the Collapse. Afterwards, Iblis, the last of the Lords of Fire, reshaped them into their modern descendants, the flamingo-like phoenixopteroi, to which he gave dexterous hands for feet and the ability to cast spells. Phoenixopteroi wade through lakes of molten rock like regular flamingos do in tepid lakes, using spells to call up small elementals to eat, and, when they die, they burst into flames. This often leaves behind an egg, but this isn't the bird being reborn, as true immortality has been impossible ever since the Collapse. Instead, they use the heat of their deaths to incubate their eggs.
  • The Dragon Wars Saga: Bennu is a phoenix (it's implied that phoenixes are a species among Speakers).
  • Shadowhunter Peril:
    • The Phoenix as a species becomes prominent in the second half of Shadowhunter Peril. Instead of one of a kind, red-and-gold birds roughly the size of a hawk, Phoenixes are tall, anywhere from 7-9 feet in height (although their King stands at 11 feet) and they speak with telepathy. Phoenixes in this universe come in any color feather, usually a solid color, and they all sport unique, intricate, glowing linies of another color along their bodies. They have the ability to light themselves on fire at will, they breathe fire, and they can carry a human or two, depending on their size and strength. These Phoenixes used to live in mountains all over the planet, until their homes were destroyed by an unnamed entity, and they were forced to retreat to Ushuum'a, a city built inside the volcano Kilimanjaro, and Ka'a, their capital city built inside a hollowed out Mount Everest. They have a single King and Queen, Ra and Nasaero, who rule over the entire race and reside in Ka'a. The entire city is lit by artificial sunlight coming from a large jewel hanging above the area on the rocky ceiling, and wildlife grows and lives in the city as well. Phoenixes in general are very untrustworthy and proud, so much that they were ready to kill Kyle, Etzel, and Kitty upon sight. Only one with phoenix blood in their veins can open the entranceway to their cities. They have a massive army sporting golden armor, due to their warlike nature. Phoenixes are easily as intelligent as a human, clearly sentient, and because of their incredibly long lifespans it is very hard to trick them. A select few also practice the ability of forcefully digging into the minds of others for information, if the need arises. Phoenixes will live forever, bursting into flames and rising from the ashes ever five hundred years, unless they are killed in battle.
    • In the same universe, there is a phoenix-human hybrid named Kyle Vivoka, who has inherited some of their abilities, as well as a version of their immortality, mortalized in the form of high-speed regeneration.
  • Slush Invaders: St-hang has the abilities of a phoenix, reviving after every time they die in a burst of flame, and can throw fireballs or huge walls of fire.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers: The pilot episode is called "Phoenix," ostensibly named for Zachary's ill-fated ship. It also could be read as a reference to Zach himself, as his life is pretty much shot by the end of the ep (severely injured, the ship's destroyed, wife's headed to the Fate Worse than Death), and he's "reborn" as a Hollywood Cyborg and put in command of the Series 5 team. One of the theme songs also references the Phoenix.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: While no phoenixes are seen, the Fire Lord Ozai invokes the symbolism of the bird when he grants himself the title of "Phoenix King" on the basis of how he will rise from the ashes of the incinerated Earth Kingdom as the supreme ruler of the world.
  • Conan the Adventurer, an In Name Only Animated Adaptation, has a small, young, talking phoenix named Needle with the power to enter metal objects and become a decoration upon them as a Sidekick Creature Nuisance. In one episode it temporarily gets its adult form and becomes massive and powerful, easily carrying Conan on its back. In the sequel series where the firebird is missing, Conan makes an offhand comment saying that he eventually ate it.
  • Fangbone! featured a feather-phoenix in one episode. It starts off as a standard phoenix with fire powers and all, but every time it is killed, a single feather remains. This feather is still alive and self-aware, so it takes over objects or other beings to resurrect the monster, giving it a new form and new powers depending on what it has taken over.
  • Gargoyles: One of the Three Keys of Power (artifacts that grant their owner tremendous magical power when used together), the Phoenix Gate, allows people to travel through time. However, due to the nature of time travel in that series, no one can actually change the past, merely fulfill their role in it. In the canon comics, the Phoenix Gate is broken and an actual Phoenix is freed as a result.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy showed the phoenix as a gluttonous beast.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Each time Dave molts, he goes from cocoon, to baby, to child, to teenager, to young adult, to prime adult, to elderly and then back to cocoon. The cycle continues no matter what, and any damage he takes will be reversed once he enters the cocoon stage again.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Phoenixes make scattered appearances throughout the series: as a whole, they're large, eagle-like birds with brilliant scarlet, orange and yellow plumage, sometimes with magenta highlights (the exact colors and pattern vary highly between all individuals seen), and long tails. Typically for birds, they have marked sexual dimorphism: male phoenixes have a tufted crest of long backwards-pointing feathers on their heads, while females have three thin feathers with round tips, reminiscent of a tiara. They periodically age into a wasted, ugly state before burning to ash and rising back to full health, and contact with their feathers can induce deafness.
    • Princess Celestia, Equestria's Immortal Ruler, has a pet phoenix named Philomena. When first introduced, Philomena is a sickly bird, and Fluttershy kidnaps her to nurse her back to health. Everything she tries fails, and meanwhile Fluttershy and her friend Twilight Sparkle are panicking about how much trouble Fluttershy will get into for kidnapping the bird. Just when the princess arrives, Philomena catches fire. Fluttershy is very dismayed and confesses what she did, and the princess reassures her that she knows Fluttershy's intentions were good. Then she reveals that Philomena isn't dead, and a beautiful phoenix rises from the ashes. Philomena also turns out to have a mischievous side not unlike her owner which is why she went along with the kidnapping. Interestingly, this plot is very much like how Fawkes from Harry Potter was introduced, causing many fans to see it as a Shout-Out.
    • In "Dragon Quest", the teenage dragons attempt to raid the nest of a phoenix family. The family escapes, but Spike finds a lone unhatched egg. The other dragons urge him to smash it, but Spike refuses out of sympathy (he was a lone egg too not too long ago) and takes the egg with him back to Ponyville. The egg later hatches and Spike adopts the newly hatched chick as his pet naming it Peewee. Peewee was Put on a Bus in the next season, but returns as an adult in "Molt Down". This borders on Fridge Logic since in most lore phoenixes cannot be killed. Although, the fact that there is a phoenix species in Equestria implies that there must be something that prevents the population from growing out of control.

    Real Life 
  • "phoenix" was the online handle of the Playful Hacker leader of the original Hacker Unionist Movement. While he retired at the end of the first movement, it's had a Continuity Reboot of sorts twice.
  • The Bennu, the mythological bird that inspired the concept of the phoenix in the west, was based on a species of extinct heron (Ardea bennuides). In turn, the Feng Huang, or "Chinese phoenix", was inspired by the Asian ostriches that lived during the ice ages in China.
  • There is a breed of long-tailed chicken known as a phoenix.
  • Phoenix was the name of the coins the Greek state used after its liberation. It symbolized the rebirth of Greece.
    • A phoenix rising behind a soldier was also a symbol of the "Colonels' Regime" in Greece (a military junta that ruled the country 1967-1974), symbolizing the "rebirth" of the Greek nation under their quasi-neofascist rule. They put this symbol everywhere, including coinage.
  • A phoenix above the main entrance of Hamburg's city hall symbolizes the rebirth of the city after the great fire of 1842, as does the representative Phönixsaal (Phoenix Hall) on the upper floor.
  • A phoenix was added to the coat of arms of Coventry, to symbolize the city's restoration after the World War II bombing.
  • The capital of Arizona is Phoenix, named in reference to it being founded on the long-abandoned ruins of former Hohokam settlements in the Salt River Valley. Most Americans assume that the city is instead a reference to the triple-digit temperatures the state experiences every summer. But it's a dry heat.
  • The Provisional IRA had a phoenix as their symbol representing the rebirth of the IRA and the Irish republican cause.
  • The city of San Francisco has the phoenix as its flag symbol, symbolizing rebirth in the wake of the 1906 earthquake and fire.
  • The city seal of Atlanta, Georgia is a phoenix, reflecting the city's rebuilding after being wiped out during the Civil War.
  • There is an Azhdarchid pterosaur, called Alanqa, is named after a type of phoenix. This being an Azhdarchid pterosaur, it looks more like a dragon than a phoenix.
  • It is thought by some that the source of the phoenix myths were sightings of flamingos feeding in boiling crater lakes.
  • The Imperial Japanese Navy had four carriers named after the phoenix: the Hōshō ("Flying phoenix"), the Shōhō ("Auspicious phoenix"), the Zuihō ("Fortunate Phoenix"), and the Taihō ("Great phoenix").
  • There's also a Phoenix in the sky, the southern constellation of the same name. As with so many other examples, good luck attempting to figure that mythological bird on it.
  • Last but not least, NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, whose insignia featured a very stilized phoenix. Unfortunately she did not come back from the Martian winter.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Burning Bird


Mulan's Phoenix

Mulan's family's phoenix spreads its wings behind her as she steels herself to fight Bori Khan.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / SpreadWingsFrameShot

Media sources: