Everyone Lives (The Hobbit)

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: No One Dies, Durins Live, BotFA Denial, BotFA Fix-It
Related: Everybody Lives, Fix-It, Canon Divergence AU (The Hobbit)
See Also: Alternate Universe, Canon Divergence AU
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Everyone Lives is a general trope that denies major character deaths (and sometimes minor ones) that happened in canon. It's such a common trope in The Hobbit fandom that it's explicitly tagged on 6.8% of all Hobbit fanworks on AO3,[1] with the actual number of works being much higher.[2] The general attitude of Hobbit fandom is that the Battle of Five Armies is easily fixed,[3] leading to several sub-tropes, each offering different ways that everyone survives either the final battle or sometimes even earlier battles, such as Azanulbizar or Smaug's attack.

Characters who live are usually (but not always) dwarves of Durin's line: Thorin Oakenshield, Fíli, and Kíli. Sometimes other members of the family, such as Frerin, also survive. In many works, a secondary goal is to save Balin, Óin, and Ori from their fates at Moria.

This trope began almost immediately after the first movie was released, since many fans already knew how the book ends. One of the first fix-it prompts on hobbit_kink was posted on December 17, 2012.[4]

Sub-Tropes

This trope can be divided into sub-tropes by deus ex machina. These include:

There are also works that use tropes not listed above as their deus ex machina, or works that don't bother explaining how the dwarves survived.

Example Fanworks

These works don't fit into one of the sub-tropes listed above:

Miscommunication

In some works, a cultural or general misunderstanding occurs, and Bilbo leaves Erebor thinking that three dwarves are dead, while in fact they are not. This usually leads to the dwarves thinking Bilbo hasn't forgiven them for the Arkenstone debacle, and therefore taking a long time to seek him out. Sometimes they send him letters which, in the tradition of romantic comedies, are not delivered or opened for some reason. Bilbo sometimes records these deaths in his story of the quest, leading to history thinking they died.

Example Miscommunication Fanworks

References

  1. 1,178 Hobbit works out of 17,468 were tagged "Everyone Lives" on March 17, 2015. This doesn't encompass all works, since some are instead tagged Fix-It (469 works, 2.7%) or the specific name of the character who lives.
  2. Other common tags include Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Thorin Lives, Battle of Five Armies Fix-It, and Fix-It. Many works are not tagged and simply mention the assumption in the work notes.
  3. "Fix-it fic for BOTFA, because anything short of decapitation can be fixed by a determined author." -Meskeet, in notes for twenty years (and one full circle) later.
  4. Thorin/Bilbo "Thorin had expected to die in battle. (AU in which Thorin doesn't die, and yeah. Fluff, smut, as long as there's Thorin/Bilbo, and Thorin lives, I'm happy)"