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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: living forever, eternal life
Related: invulnerability, reincarnation, religion, death, afterlife, magic, time travel
See Also: fantasy, science fiction
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Immortality, living forever, is a trope found in many fannish sources. Immortality may be an inherited racial characteristic; alternatively, it may be acquired by accident or mutation, or by deliberate intervention using magical, alchemical or technological means. Some immortal figures are invulnerable to injury, possess rapid healing or regenerative abilities, or return from death indefinitely. Others can be killed (sometimes particular methods are required) but do not naturally die of old age. Immortality is often accompanied by lack of aging, or extremely slow aging.

Becoming immortal has been a goal of characters since the Epic of Gilgamesh. The downsides of immortality, such as boredom leading to apathy, everyone dying on you & inability to adapt to change, are often explored. It's not surprising that a quest for death is one common theme. Another theme is the difficulty of forming relationships where only one character is immortal. Many fanworks use immortal characters to illuminate scenes in human history, with the crucifixion[1], WW1 trenches & the moon landing often being chosen. Immortality can also help characters to function as a panfandom Little Black Dress. A version of this trope seen in many fandoms is the idea of an immortal child, permanently staying the same age (usually prior to puberty). Some remain child-like, others are "old souls" in young bodies, often twisted and resentful of being treated as children.

Cross-fandom Concepts

Fandoms with Immortal Characters or Races

Example Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.


  1. ^ Spike: "If every vampire who said he was at the crucifixion was actually there, it would've been like Woodstock." School Hard episode quotes at IMDB