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The Soulsaver

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A character who saves souls from some kind of literal or symbolic hell/limbo. The character might be a preacher, psychologist, psychic or whatever, depending on the setting. In some cases and settings, the saving requires some time and afterthought. In others, a Epiphany Therapy is available.

May or may not be a Heaven Seeker: The saving means peace, closure, and often some kind of good life — but it can be either in this life or in some afterlife or release.

A religious version of the Soulsaver is different from a Soulsaving Crusader in that a Soulsaver does not use the harsh methods that a Soulsaving Crusader employs to "save" people.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • D.Gray-Man: The exorcists, especially Allen. The akuma they're fighting are powered by the souls of the dead, and unless they're destroyed using Innocence, they disappear instead of being redeemed. Some of the organization is a lot more focused on destroying Akuma than saving their souls, though.
  • Bleach: When the Soul Reapers destroy a Hollow, they allow its soul to pass on to the Soul Society, so that their souls can later be reborn. Quincys, however, are the antitheses of this trope — when they destroy a Hollow they destroy the soul, too (for a given value of destroy.) note  Also, the Soul Reapers can only cleanse the soul of crimes committed as a Hollow, as Ichigo learns when he battles one that was a Serial Killer in life. That one went straight to Hell.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: This is essentially what the title character becomes at the end of the series. She prevents magical girls being consumed by despair and becoming Witches by taking them and the witches they would have become with her.

    Comic Books 
  • Chick Tracts: Any Christian can save lost souls from certain damnation, casting out evil spirits along the way. Of course, given that it's Chick Tracts, some can go the extra mile to Soul-Saving Crusader.
  • The Sandman (1989): The fourth and fifth books revolves around this trope. The fourth being Season of Mist, with Morpheus trying to save his lover from Hell. Not out of love, however, but due to guilt and the realization that he messed up. He had condemned her to hell quite some time ago because she refused his marriage proposal. In terms of moral improvement, he saved (or at least improved) himself. In the fifth book, A Game Of You, most of the main characters try to save the protagonist's mind from remaining artificially stuck in a dream. It doesn't work out very well.

    Fan Works 
  • Pony POV Series: This is a part of how the afterlife works. Souls who have made it to Elysium are allowed to venture into Tartarus to save loved ones who are inmates there. If they can convince their loved one to accept their crimes were evil and repent for them, they're allowed to take them with them back to Elysium.

  • Poltergeist (1982): The psychic Tangina helps a group of ghosts (lost souls) trapped in the astral plane go into the Light.
  • The Sixth Sense: A human and a ghost do this to each other. It is implied that the human goes on to save more lost souls from their limbo.
  • Soul: Moonwind and his associates travel the Zone to help lost souls regain their purpose. They help Joe return to Earth and then help save 22 after they become a lost soul.

  • The Age of the Five: Auraya's justification for establishing the hospital is that, if the priests gain the abilities of the Dreamweavers, fewer people will become Dreamweavers whose souls are not taken in by the gods after death and perish. In the end, it however turns out that the gods never took in any souls.
  • Dracula: In the original novel, the vampire-hunting protagonists are said to be saving the souls of the undead from a presumably rather uncomfortable state of limbo.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • This is the purpose of the Knights of the Cross. They will fight people who succumb to Demonic Possession and kill them if necessary, but if they surrender, throw their demonic powers away, and show a desire to atone and repent the Knights are oath-bound to help them with it (even if they're not genuine about it). Sanya, one of the knights, is one of their success stories.
    • Inverted in the story "The Warrior", in which one of the daughters of Michael Carpenter, a retired Knight, is abducted and held hostage. When he and Harry apprehend the culprit, Michael is so furious that Harry has to play the Soulsaver, talking his friend down and even offering to kill the kidnapper himself if it has to be done, to prevent Michael from befouling his righteous status for the sake of revenge.
  • Elemental Masters: One of Sarah's duties as a medium is to help ghosts move out of their gray, dreary limbo and open a passage to Heaven or the pagan Summer Country, depending on their religion and the circumstances of their death.
  • His Dark Materials: Lyra and her daemon, Pan. She sets free the severed daemons of Bolvangar, and saves the rest of the children from that same fate. It turns out that her eventual destiny is to open the world of the dead, and its numberless billions of souls, to the rest of the multiverse.
  • Inferno (Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle): Benito Mussolini tries to save the souls of people in Hell by helping them escape, in order to earn forgiveness for himself. At the end of the novel, Allan Carpentier takes over his role. While the defenses and guardians of Hell itself are a formidable obstacle, the larger part of the challenge comes from the damned themselves — most of the people in Hell are too caught up in the petty concerns that got them there, hopeless self-pity, arrogant pride, or fear of the torments deeper down to be willing to journey out. Escape from Hell notes that others have been undertaking similar tasks; in particular, Allen meets Charles Francis Adams among the heretics — he was technically considered a virtuous pagan, but insisted on being judged as a Christian — where he has been spending his years debating with the damned and trying to convince them to take the leap of faith necessary to climb out of their flaming tombs and seek escape from Hell.
  • A Net of Dawn and Bones: The hell-raiders are an ancient Gnostic faction of Christians deemed heretics by the major Churches who literally raid Hell itself to steal the souls of innocents that have been Rerouted from Heaven. By the time of the novels Myrrh is the only known hell-raider active, and she was stuck in Hell for twenty-five years while the anchor for her Resurrective Immortality was sealed in a lead box.
  • Old Kingdom: Part of the Abhorsen's job description is to send the souls of the recently departed swiftly down the river of Death, and putting the walking Dead to rest again.
  • The Unquiet Grave: A dark example. Ruthven seems to turn Hardestadt into his god, the Scarlet Saint, so that Hardestadt will save his soul from damnation, allowing him to commit murder and atrocity to his heart's content.

    Religion & Mythology 
  • The Bible: Jesus dying on the cross saved the souls of all who believe in Him, both those who had died before Him like Abraham and people who came after Him. Some interpretations have Him literally going To Hell and Back to retrieve the righteous dead.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: "Into the Dalek": The Doctor plans to do this metaphorically. After saving Rusty's life by repairing the radiation leak, he says that he will "go one better" and save his soul. In practice, this means curing him of his evil destructiveness.
  • Ghost Whisperer goes around helping ghosts resolve their conflicts and send them into the light.

    Video Games 
  • The Blackwell Series: Lauren Blackwell (in the 1970s), her niece Rosangela Blackwell (in the mid-2000s), and Jocelyn Contiss (in the 1930s) are all spirit mediums that can communicate with ghosts, and are bonded with a spiritual mentor that guides them in their tasks of helping souls move on to the Afterlife. Rosangela is even called in-universe a "Bestower of Eternity".
  • Dante's Inferno: The player can absolve damned historical figures, normal souls and demons, thus releasing them from Hell, and earning holy experience points in the process.
  • Fallen London: An optional subplot leads to your character becoming one of these, literally rescuing people's Soul Jars from devils and returning them to their owners.
  • Helheim Hassle: Odin is violently protective of the souls of vikings who qualify for Valhalla, which poses a problem for Bjorn who genuinely prefers Helheim to Valhalla and got sent to the latter on a technicality because he landed on a bear while falling of a cliff by accident which Odin interpreted as a Mutual Kill fighting a bear, so now Bjorn has to stop Odin from starting a war with Helheim because he won't let Bjorn leave.
  • Valkyrie Anatomia: To recruit Einherjar, Lenneth must synchronize with the cadence of their souls and keep Hel's forces from corrupting them any further.
  • World of Warcraft: A'dal appears to save a dying crusader from being transformed into one of the Scourge by sending his soul directly to the Light.

  • Daughter of the Lilies: As a Wizard and likely Emissary from the Divine, Master Wu can save people who've been possessed by Drath. His powers let him reach into the Black Bug Room where the victim's soul is trapped, but the soul has to choose to leave the Drath's influence, and all he can do is talk them through it.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: One part of a Medium's job is helping those who "stuck" after death and before afterlife, and are inaccessible to Psychopomps, so only mortals can deal with them. Unlike "normal" ghosts (aware of both visible and invisible world and having their own niche), "stuck" people indefinitely exist half in reality, half in their own nightmares and as such aren't easy to approach even in the best circumstances.