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Spirit Advisor:

  • Mia Fey from Ace Attorney is a rare female example. She dies in the second case of the first game, only to return as a spirit, channeled by either Maya or Pearl, who gives advice in later chapters and installments.


Mentor Occupational Hazard

  • Shion, Aya's primary mentor in the Weiß Kreuz Radio Drama Endless Rain, dies protecting Aya during a mission gone wrong... but in the subsequent Radio Drama Dramatic Precious, it turns out he'd faked his death and has become a Nietzsche Wannabe Big Bad.
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  • Will Zepelli in the first part of Jojos Bizarre Adventure not only dies, but admits he knew it would happen, because You Can't Fight Fate.
  • Played straight in Flyboys with Cassidy, whose only real purpose is to mentor the main character, and later give him something to avenge.
  • In Dead Lands Hongi's grandmother provided him with daily guidance before her murder, and later returned as a ghost to help her grandson seek revenge.
  • In the first Iron Eagle, Chappy is this to Doug Masters. He gets shot down halfway in the movie, but it is revealed that he survived, because he was picked up by American forces after he ejected from his plane.
  • Dr. Gillespie is this initially in the Dr. Kildare series of films, as Kildare's crusty bit wise mentor who is dying of a then-uncurable disease. But that subplot was dropped over time, and the last few films in the series were renamed after him because Dr. Kildare's actor left.
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  • In Django Unchained, Dr. King Schultz plays with this trope. He serves as a mentor to Django and indeed dies so that Django can finish his quest on his own; but Schultz's death is ultimately senseless, caused by his own ego, and ends up putting Django and Broomhilda in mortal danger.
  • Dr. Abraham Erskine in Captain America: The First Avenger, who advises and encourages the young weakling Steve Rogers in his efforts to be heroic because he hopes to turn him into a super-soldier. Moments after Steve gets his powers, Dr. Erskine is shot by assassins. As he dies, he points to Steve's heart as a final reminder that he must act the way he always did, despite his new abilities.
  • Yinsen in Iron Man is an interesting example as he acts more as Tony Stark's conscience during Tony's captivity in Afghanistan and inspires him to become a better person. Naturally he dies protecting Tony during their escape and tells him to not waste his life as he did before, setting Tony on his path to becoming a hero.
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  • The Turaga elders from BIONICLE mostly stayed in their villages, but they occasionally guided the Toa on short quests, like Turaga Whenua helping Onua search for his Nuva masks. Turaga Lhikan is the "straightest" example, having spent the entirety of his short time as a Turaga mentoring and traveling with new Toa, and finally Taking the Bullet for Vakama, delivering a last mentor speech with his last words. Then again, he might still be alive at the Respawn Point. During the Toa's mutation into half-beasts, the six Rahaga also take up this role.
  • Sword Saint Shiba of Rave Master passes the titular role to Haru Glory and sends Haru to the man best suited to repairing the Rave Master's blade after it's broken. True to trope, he experiences an Obi-Wan Moment upon his reunion with Haru. It's a variation in that Shiba dies by challenging Haru to a duel to the death. Haru didn't directly kill him. The potion he took to restore his youth for the fight did.
  • Subverted with Hiko Seijuro, Kenshin's master in Rurouni Kenshin: he fully expects to die at Kenshin's hand after passing on the succession technique, but Kenshin's reverse blade sword saves his life. Hiko then goes on to pull a Big Damn Heroes moment later in the arc, arriving in the nick of time to save Kenshin's protege Yahiko from being killed.
  • Parodied in Excel Saga when Nabeshin appears to give Excel the technique needed to defeat a bowling-themed terrorist, complete with Training Montage. Afterwards, Excel gives the typical speech that one gives over the body of a fallen mentor, despite Nabeshin's protests that he isn't dead.
  • Rakan in Mahou Sensei Negima! becomes this to Negi. He later questions whether Negi should be the type of "hero" who he'd be doing this for.
    "You're not actin' much like a main character, are you? You're one of those characters who dies holding off the enemies three chapters before the end of the series!"
  • In Outlaw Star, "Hot Ice" Hilda served as lead character Gene's mentor until her Heroic Sacrifice against Tao Pirates, which she did by using a bomb to blow up the safety line keeping the pirates (and herself) from falling into a star.
  • Mentor? Check. The most best hitman in the world but does nothing except shoot the protagonist in the head? Checked. Mr. Exposition? Check. Dies? Yes, in the future. Reborn, the home tutor of the protagonist in Katekyō Hitman Reborn! looks awfully like one (though his size is much closer to Yoda).
  • Shouyou-sensei in Gintama taught Gintoki, Katsura and Takasugi as children. They had extremely different reactions to his death, though.
  • Genkai from YuYu Hakusho plays this to the letter. Yusuke even remarks that she is the only person who ever taught him something worthwhile. Except she never seems to stay very dead, or stop working even.
  • Polk the teamster, in the novels White Plume Mountain, Descent Into The Depths Of The Earth, and Queen Of The Demonweb Pits is both a literary example and a rare subversion of the trope — a drunken porter who follows the grim, hardened Justicar around under the delusion that he can pass on the wisdom of the ages. He dies in the second book — not making a heroic last stand, but reloading the crossbow for the character who is — and is promptly reincarnated as a badger, his ego even further inflated by the experience.
  • Harry Potter: Dumbledore, the wise wizard who usually dispenses a few pieces of advice just before the hero needs it, then shows up in the epilogue to tie up any loose ends. This has started to be called the "Dumbledore Explains It All" scene. Dumbledore dies at the end of book six in a seven-book series, leaving one final story for the hero to avenge his death. In Deathly Hallows, Dumbledore gets to explain it all one last time, as he and Harry have a chat in an afterlife train station. Talk about sticking to the trope.
  • Gandalf gets a bit of this, apparently dying in Fellowship of the Ring, and staying dead just long enough for the heroes to get scattered and divided. In a pre-trope subversion, he is FAR FAR more active AFTER he dies than before!
  • The Pendragon Adventure by DJ MacHale has Uncle Press, who is the mentor to the main character, Bobby Pendragon, and teaches almost all the other Travelers of the generation. He appears to be one of the few travelers who regularly traveled before Bobby's time, and dies at the hands of the Big Bad.
  • Tirandys in P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath is the mentor for Jame, and dies tragically at the end of Book 2, Dark of the Moon. A variation in that he's The Dragon's man and was supposed to raise Jame up to be a good evil minion.
  • Bluestar of Warrior Cats is a female version for the first two books, before going into a Heroic BSoD and finally dying. Then she continues giving advice from the afterlife.
  • Henry Sturges, the ethical vampire who teaches Abe his vocation, fills this role in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Unusually, not only does Henry not die, he eventually turns Abe into a fellow-vampire, and the two are fighting evil blood-suckers to this day.
  • Light And Dark The Awakening Of The Mageknight: Syndil is set up to be this as he is an old and mysterious veteran who takes Danny under his wing. It's actually Calador who fills the role and almost fufills the death aspect.


The Mentor


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