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132

What is the oldest work to have this trope? This trope is prehistoric. Greek mythology held that Eos, the goddess of the dawn, once asked Zeus to make her mortal lover Tithonus immortal, but Eos neglected to specify that he should remain eternally young as well. To Eos's regret, Tithonus grew older and older, shriveling away in his age; in some tellings, ...


124

TV Tropes calls it "Famous, Famous, Fictional." The trope description does not cite any other name, which means there almost certainly is not another commonly used term for it. (The trope descriptions are generally quite good about citing more traditional terminology for such things.)


90

It is hard to say for certain, as the search terms to apply for "smurfing" aren't very clear. However: Although there's likely to be many stories for children where a character replaces a word with some nonsensical term, it appears that The Smurfs themselves are indeed the first to do it on a large scale, and as part of a species' main language. I started ...


80

The naming convention has been in common usage forever in science fiction. E.E. Smith from the first Galactic Patrol serial in 1937 referred to planets such as Velantia III, Rigel IV, and Palain VII, and Earth was specifically referred to as Sol Three from time to time in the series. The following examples are from Galactic Patrol: "For instance, ...


57

On the One Hand: Often self-destruct is not a feature of the ship, but is more of an option inherent in the power / propulsion system. If you turn off all the safeties and let the warp core / nuclear reactor / unobtainium go out of control, it will overload and blow up the ship. You could, in theory, allow a reactor meltdown to happen on a nuclear powered ...


53

A lot of cleric spells in early D&D were explicit Bible references; the one that comes immediately to mind is Sticks to Snakes, which is based on Exodus 7:12 (thanks to @RossThompson for this catch). It's possible that it originates in the Old Testament (which comes from Torah). In the Book of Numbers, Moses, who was the people's spiritual leader, got ...


46

You might be looking for what TvTropes calls People Jars. Examples they give include the Bacta tanks from Star Wars, the device Leloo was reconstructed in from 'The Fifth Element', and quite a few others. They capitalize on the creepy factor of humans in jars, that (for a long time) people associated with biological experiments and medical oddities. (...


44

Like the Smurfs I am Belgian, French-speaking native and also a comic fan since my childhood. I grew reading the smurfs, in their original version. I emphasis on this because it has an importance in this debate. The answer from Nox is very interesting, but not accurate enough when it comes to the Smurf language etymology and origin, probably because he is ...


41

Historically, scuttling ships has been fairly common. Warships are expensive and valuable assets, if you have one of your ships destroyed then you have just lost one, if it is captured not only do you lose it but your enemy has gained use of it so you are now effectively two ships down. In 1942 the French Navy scuttled most of their fleet at Toulon to ...


38

According to Wikipedia: "The Fisherman and the Jinni" is the second top-level story told by Sheherazade in the One Thousand and One Nights. According to the synopsis, in the third century that the Jinn (genie) was imprisoned he swore to give whoever freed him three wishes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fisherman_and_the_Jinni Therefore, the ...


36

Your examples are different. The North - in our Northern hemisphere setting - is colder, and cold symbolizes death in a lot of our cultures, simply because winter means death : People becomes sick or die form the cold Food becomes scarcer. Plants die, including crops A lot of animals die, hide, hibernate or just leave until it's warmer The Sun doesn't ...


34

(OK, let's not work ourselves into a place where everything is like everything else.) Although TVTropes provides some examples of sucky immortality from ancient mythology, these are really just examples for a few unfortunate individuals, as a special punishment of the gods. Other mortals were made immortal and it was awesome for them. But the idea of of ...


27

Ryloth seems a pretty good fit. It has a wide range of 'biomes' seen in the canon Clone Wars series including some rugged mountain areas seemingly devoid of life as well as jungles. TERRAIN: Jungles, Mesas, Valleys, Volcanoes Star Wars Databank You might also consider Jaresh. It appears in the (canon) book Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure. ...


26

This is a naming scheme that has been used for moons since they were discovered. For example, since their discovery all the way to the 20th century, Jupiter's moons were known simply as Jupiter I, Jupiter II, Jupiter III and Jupiter IV. As new moons were discovered, this practice was followed. Even for the four most easily observable moons of Jupiter, the ...


25

The The Quatermass Experiment was a multi-part live-action broadcast by the BBC in 1953. By "live-action" I mean it wasn't pre-recorded, but broadcast live. Its first episode aired on 18 July 1953, and its last on 22 August 1953, which is when the full alien is revealed. The plot of the show was that a spacecraft returns to earth. Of the three crew, only ...


25

Hercules, a.k.a. Heracles, hit his master Chiron the centaur with a poisoned arrow as friendly fire during a battle. Chiron was immortal in the sense that he would never age and would live forever, and also immortal in the sense that he wouldn't die from the poison. Dude was the best healer ever, but he wasn't able to heal himself and the pain was unbearable....


22

Why don't real navies use dedicated mechanisms to allow for quick self destruction when the need arises? Every naval force still trains its men to scuttle ships, and has in-depth protocols for such a situation, but they don't have a "self destruct" system ready to go at the push of the button for a number of reasons: Because scuttling a ship is a last ...


21

Credit to @CBredlow (I had no idea): "They do implement a self-destruct on real spacecraft. If a launch is off of intended trajectory and is a potential danger they will order the rocket to self destruct." (source) Navies can scuttle any seafaring vessel with the help of Poseidon alone. Astronauts need something with a little more kick. It is therefore ...


18

Pygmalion (so, at the latest, the trope is dated 8AD, in Ovid's Metamorphoses). The story itself predates Ovid and comes from Ancient Greeks. Statue's name was Galatea (not named by Ovid but given in Apollodorus's Bibliotheca, which predates Ovid). If you go into religions, you of course also have Hebrew god giving life to Adam, and assorted Greek gods ...


18

Actually (of course this is just coming from personal experience) it's an Asian cultural idea that food is a very important part of life. If you really do some research about say, Chinese culture you will notice how much more important and precious food/eating is to them compared to Western people. This is why in Japanese anime, Korean manga, or whatever it ...


18

1942: "The Cunning of the Beast" by Nelson S.Bond, first published as "Another World Begins" in The Blue Book Magazine, November, 1942. I don't know if it's the earliest, but I think it's a perfect specimen. The scientist who created the race of dangerous beasts has a suspiciously familiar name: There has been much disagreeable comment on the case of our ...


18

Naboo I know that you disqualified Naboo already, but I think that you failed to consider that we know that Naboo has large marshy forests (where the jedi first met JarJar), and it also has large rolling plains (where the Gungans fought the droid army).


17

I don't know if the Smurf language was the first to use a lot of Smurfing, but it seems that that author Pierre "Peyo" Culliford didn't knew about any similar language. Here is a link to the story of the creation of the Smurf langage by Peyo. The page comes from the official site of André Franquin (an other comic book writter) and is in french so here is a ...


15

This isn't specific to comics. It's an age old literary archetype, and can be found in pretty much every kind of story telling medium that you can think of. TV Tropes has two entries for it (click through at your own risk) Evil Former Friend and Face Heel Turn. And as huge as these lists are, they have large gaping holes in them!


15

Most Shōnen shows, at least, are probably following Dragon Ball Z Dragon Ball Z was the starting point for a great deal of the anime that followed it. Many of the best-known anime draw heavily from Dragon Ball Z, by direct admission of the creators. One Piece was so inspired, according to Wikipedia. Naruto was also probably influenced by Dragon Ball Z: ...


15

Charles Howard Hinton (1853-1907), a mathematician and writer, was a big influence on dimension based speculative science fiction work. He wrote several short stories and essays that laid out a lot of the scientific framework for dimensionality in literature. Some of these were based on the concepts of Flatland (1884), which was 2 dimensional, and expanded ...


15

@duskwuff gives one small example of the ancient Greeks discovering problems with immortality. However this is a relatively minor point in one fable. More significantly, the ancient Greeks invented the concept of an afterlife for sinners as a place of eternal suffering, a concept most notably picked up by Christianity and called Hell. The Greeks called it ...


14

The world-view that "newer is better" is a modern one, dating back to the post-Medieval, Early Modern period. Before that, the major epistemological approaches (that is, approaches to what is "knowledge" and how it's acquired) were reversed: medieval learning was based on the system of Scholasticism, a system of learning where the basic, original texts (...


14

I can only find one other proper Dornishman joke, of the genre you refer to, although the punchline is not revealed. From A Storm of Swords, "Tyrion V" (the same chapter your joke was from): "You want to die with a breast in hand, you said." Tyrion cantered on ahead to where the ferry barges waited on the south bank of the Blackwater. He had suffered all ...


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