Predestination paradoxes in fiction

Predestination paradoxes in fiction

Many fictional and mythological works have dealt with various circumstances that can logically arise from time travel, usually dealing with paradoxes. The predestination paradox is a common literary device.

Mythology/Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

While technically not a predestination paradox, self-fulfilling prophecy is a related variant which predates the use of time travel as a plot device.

Two of the earliest and most famous examples are the ancient Greek legend of Oedipus, and the ancient Indian story of Krishna in the epic "Mahabharata".


In the legend of Oedipus, it is prophesied that the baby Oedipus will one day kill his father and marry his mother. His father, Laius, attempts to circumvent the prophecy by abandoning the baby in the wilderness. Years later, Oedipus — unaware that he was adopted — learns of the prophecy and leaves home to avoid it. He kills a man and marries the widow, but does not learn until later that they are, in fact, his biological parents. The attempts to avoid fate result in the fulfillment of the prophecy.


In the story of Krishna in the epic "Mahabharata", king Kamsa, afraid of a prophecy that predicted his death at the hands of his sister Devaki's son, had her cast into prison where he planned to kill all of her children at birth. After killing her first six children, Krishna took birth. As his life was in danger, he was smuggled out to be raised by his foster parents Yasoda and Nanda in the Gokul village. As a young man, Krishna returned to his kingdom to overthrow his uncle, and Kamsa was eventually killed by his nephew Krishna. It was due to Kamsa's attempts to prevent the prophecy that led to it coming true. A similar but less complex story is found in the Greek myth of Zeus overthrowing Cronos.


Numerous pieces of science fiction and fantasy literature involving time travel make use of the predestination paradox. The earliest known example of a predestination paradox in literature is Robert A. Heinlein's "By His Bootstraps" (1941). Ontological paradoxes, which commonly occur in fiction in conjunction with predestination paradoxes, are commonly referred to as 'bootstrap paradoxes' in honor of this literary precedent. [ [ Andy's Anachronisms - By His Bootstraps by Robert A. Heinlein (1941) ] ]

Other notable examples include: The "Dark Tower" series by Stephen King, in which Roland, the main character is trapped in a continuous time loop.

Heinrich Böll

* Outside the field of Science Fiction, in Heinrich Böll's first novel "Der Zug war pünktlich" ("The Train Was on Time", published in 1949) a World War II German soldier gets a premonition of the time of his death; a Polish prostitute who falls in love with him (and vice versa) tries to save him by using her connections with senior German officers to get him to safety - but precisely this attempt gets him (and herself) killed in an ambush set by anti-Nazi partisans (Leśni).

Isaac Asimov

* Isaac Asimov's "The End of Eternity".
* In Asimov’s "Robots in Time" series, a scientist travels two centuries into the future and is shown an utopian civilization free from illness, war and aging. When he returns and reports this, one of the persons who hears his account is a prototype human-looking robot who realizes that the future "humans" are actually robots and that mankind will succumb to its own decadence. The robot then buries a note for the robots of the future to discover so that they can convince the time traveller that humanity will triumph.

Robert A. Heinlein

* Robert A. Heinlein's short story "All You Zombies—" tells of a young man who is taken back in time and tricked into impregnating his younger, female self (before he underwent a sex change), and who turns out to be the offspring of that very union, with the paradoxical result that he is both his own mother and father. In fact, as it turns out, all the major characters in the story (including the man who tricked him) are the same person, at different stages of her/his life. This also creates an ontological paradox.
* A similar theme is used in "By His Bootstraps", another short story by Robert A. Heinlein, in which a man is visited by himself (although he doesn't recognise him at first), stepping out of a time portal. After a few timetravels, and after meeting and talking (and even arguing) to himself repeatedly (in earlier or later loops), he discovers himself to be "Diktor", the older man from the future who started it all. Noteworthy is also a notebook, containing a vocabulary for Diktor's future, which was never written but rather copied from itself from another time loop.

tephen Baxter, "The Time Ships"

* In Stephen Baxter's "The Time Ships", a sequel to H. G. Wells's "The Time Machine", the Time Traveller explains that his researches into time travel began when a mysterious yet vaguely familiar stranger passed him a mineral, the Plattnerite, which he used to construct the machine. Over the course of his subsequent travels which involve the alteration of history, he discovers that the stranger was in fact his future self. Eventually, with the help of humanity's descendants, he restores the timeline and travels into the past to pass the Plattnerite to his younger self.

Michael Moorcock, "Behold the Man"

* In Michael Moorcock's "Behold the Man", time traveller Karl Glogauer travels back to 28 AD in search of Jesus. The Jesus he finds is a mentally retarded hunchback, but Glogauer himself becomes known by that name, attracts a mass following, and is captured and crucified.

K.A. Applegate, "In the Time of Dinosaurs"

* In K.A. Applegate's Animorphs series. The book In the Time of Dinosaurs details the Animorphs on a trip back to the Cretaceous Period caused by a nuclear explosion. They meet an alien race, the Mercora, who want to help them get back to their own time. So they steal a nuclear device from another alien race, the Nesk. The Nesk then leave Earth, but divert a comet to strike the Mercora settlement. The Mercora ask for the nuclear device to help stop the comet. The team agrees and gives them the nuke. However, Ax has rendered it useless because Tobias realizes that this comet is the one that killed the dinosaurs, therefore it must hit or it will alter the timeline.

J. K. Rowling, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"

* In "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", Harry and Hermione travel back in time three hours to save Harry's godfather, Sirius Black, and Hagrid's hippogriff, Buckbeak, from being executed. Earlier Harry had seen someone he believed to be his father casting a powerful Patronus spell, saving him from the Dementors. Although hoping to see his father during this time journey, he finds no one there. He is therefore forced to cast the Patronus and save his past self, realizing in the process that it had been himself all along. When later asked how he was able to conjure such a powerful Patronus, Harry explains that he knew he could do it because he had already seen himself doing it. The film version of the book adds more examples, revealing that some shells that were mysteriously thrown into Hagrid's hut earlier were actually hurled by Hermione's future-self to warn them that Cornelius Fudge and company were arriving. The film also shows someone howling to distract the werewolf form of Lupin. Later, it is shown to be future Hermione.

Michael Crichton, "Timeline"

* In Michael Crichton's novel "Timeline", several graduate students who are excavating several medieval castles and towns from 14th century France are given the opportunity to travel back in time to the very place and time period they are studying. On a mission to rescue their Professor, who had left his time machine and gotten lost, the students end up causing some of the historical events they had studied.

Christopher Pike, "The Starlight Crystal"

* In Christopher Pike's "The Starlight Crystal", the main female character, Paige, is actually most of the characters who appear in the novel due to a causal loop, including living through the end and recreation of the universe, creating a race of aliens from her own genetic material who later invade Earth and stumbling across a corpse who turns out to be her older self.

"Doctor Who", “The Stone Rose”

* In the "Doctor Who" New Series Adventures novel "The Stone Rose", an ancient Roman statue that looks exactly like Rose Tyler leads to the Doctor and Rose travelling back to Ancient Rome. When their adventure concludes without the statue that inspired it being made, the Doctor sculpts it himself. The book also includes a vial of curative liquid which the Doctor acquires in mysterious circumstances. After it is used up, it is recreated based on the remains, and subsequently taken to the place and time the Doctor first found it.

Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman, "Dragonlance"

* In Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's Legends Trilogy of the Dragonlance novels, the wizard Raistlin Majere travels back in time to gain the knowledge needed to cross the threshold between god and man. He encounters the evil wizard Fistandantilus (with whose spirit Raistlin had made a pact in his original timeline) and kills him, but Raistlin merely takes Fistandantilus' place in the timeline. A prominent example of the predestination paradox in the story comes when, in the past timeline, Raistlin enters the Tower of High Sorcery which he inhabited in the future timeline. When entering his private study, he notes that, though the room should have been untouched during the centuries between the timelines, it is more orderly in the past timeline than when he first entered it in the future timeline. When he cannot locate what he sought within the room, he grows extremely angry, and in his fury, he disturbs the items in the room to the degree that he found them in the future timeline.

Terry Pratchett, "The Last Continent"

* In Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel "The Last Continent", the Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully explains the paradox neatly to Ponder Stibbons, who fears that any small change (such as stepping on an ant) in the past could destroy the future. Ridcully claims that clearly any changes he makes in the past were ones he is meant to make, demonstrating that 'the inherent paradoxes in time travel can be resolved by a sufficiently large ego'.

Rob Grant, "Colony"

* In the Rob Grant novel "Colony", Eddie O'Hare finds himself, through an improbable series of events, ten generations in the future, reanimated as a cyborg. He is on a spaceship searching for a new home for humanity, which has since become extinct on Earth. Though at first he detests his existence, he realizes that he is the only hope of saving those onboard and preserving the future of humanity. Cooperating with the partially biological ship which has evolved sentience, he travels into the past to initiate the series of events that lead him to be reanimated in the future.

Eric Norden, "The Primal Solution"

*An especially vicious example is Eric Norden's novella "The Primal Solution". An elderly Jewish scientist - Holocaust survivor, who had lost his entire family - discovers a way of "mental time travel", which enables him to project his mind into the past and take over the body of the young Adolf Hitler in the Vienna of the early 1910s. Resolved to force Hitler into suicide, the vengeful professor can't resist humiliating him first before making him jump into the Danube - but in the moment before drowning, Hitler regains control of his body and returns home shaken. The scientist - trapped inside Hitler's mind - subsequently learns that until this moment the young Hitler had not at all been an Antisemite and was in fact on good terms with some Jews, but by his actions had driven Hitler to conclude that only by killing all Jews would he be free of the scientist's haunting presence.

Nagaru Tanigawa, "Haruhi Suzumiya" series

* In Nagaru Tanigawa's Haruhi Suzumiya light novels, there are many other examples of time paradoxes and peculiarities, including predestination paradoxes, grandfather paradoxes, and a time loop. The character Asahina is in the center of these cases, since she's a time traveler sent back in time to investigate Haruhi Suzumiya. The author tries takes into account how time paradoxes might arise, and in some cases, tries to prevent them from arising.

* There is an extremely convoluted example that is described in both the Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody chapter of the 3rd volume (The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya) and the whole 4th volume (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya), that involves several predestination paradoxes (amongst others) at once:
** Kyon travels 3 years back in time give the young Haruhi the idea of meeting him in the present (although she doesn't realize that the 2 Kyon's were the same person), which would eventually lead to Kyon to do the aforementioned time travel.
** Asahina (so-called "small Asahina") was commanded by a future Asahina (so-called "big Asahina") to send Kyon back in time (although small Asahina doesn't know that her superior is her future self). It's implied that in the future, Asahina is predestined to give that command to her younger self.
** Nagato hands a message to Kyon. Although Kyon initially doesn't know what to do with it, he is predestined to realize that he needs to give this message to the younger Nagato when Asahina loses her time travel device. This younger Nagato then sends both Asahina and Kyon back to the future (without causing any more paradoxes).
** Once Kyon and small Asahina arrive in the past, big Asahina also arrives in the past. She steals her younger version's time travel device without small Asahina realizing it (big Asahina makes sure small Asahina never knows about her presence). This leads to Kyon needing to realize what to do with Nagato's message.
** Later on, another Kyon (from volume 4), several months older than the above Kyon (from volume 3), also arrives in this past (through a complicated series of steps involving a non-supernatural Haruhi). The aforementioned non-supernatural Haruhi told him that after Kyon had helped her and left, another Kyon told her something. Thus, this Kyon was predetermined to do just that.
** During the time when both the Kyon from volume 4 and the Kyon from volume 3 were in the same place and time, the latter Kyon never saw the former Kyon, and so the latter Kyon is predestined to never be seen by the former Kyon. Likewise for small Asahina vs. big Asahina.
** There are several more paradoxes, including some grandfather paradoxes, in this set of scenes, but there are too many to enumerate here.

Chuck Palahniuk, "Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey"

* In "Rant", various characters participate in an activity called "Party Crashing", which involves decorating one's car with symbols to show they are in the game and then crashing their vehicles into one another for sport. The main character, Buster Casey (nicknamed Rant), eventually appears to die while Party Crashing. However, when the car is pried open, his body is inexplicably missing. From this point, characters speculate that Buster has achieved a special state of mind while Party Crashing, which has allowed him to go back in time to stop a previous time-travelling incarnation of himself from raping his mother. They speculate that he obviously failed, and further speculation occurs as to whether Buster's step-father, Chester Casey, is in fact Buster himself.

Richard A. Knaak, "Warcraft: War of the Ancients Trilogy"

*The War of the Ancients trilogy contains several examples of simple predestination paradoxes, or causality loops. In the story, characters Rhonin (a human), Krasus (a Dragon), and Broxigar (an orc) are thrown 10,000 years in the past from their time.
**While in the past Krasus and Rhonin encounter a dragon they know as "Deathwing" and refer to him as such, when he still wears his original name "Neltharion." Thus, when Neltharion betrays his fellow dragons, it's quite possible that it was Krasus and Rhonin who gave him the name Deathwing, which they then learn about thousands of years later.
**Similarly, Krasus and Rhonin encounter an artifact they know as the Demon Soul. However, at this point in time, it is still referred to by its original name, the Dragon Soul. So, again, it could be Krasus and Rhonin themselves who suggest a name change they learn later in time.
**A more complex example involves the orc, Broxigar. The orcs were first corrupted by a demon called Kil'Jaeden, and then later freed from this corruption. Years later, Broxigar is sent back to a time before the orcs were unleashed upon the world, where he encounters the demon. It can therefore be postulated that it was Broxigar who gave the demon the idea to corrupt the orcs and unleash them on the world, which subsequently leads to Broxigar being sent back in time.


"Twelve Monkeys"

* In "Twelve Monkeys", Bruce Willis' character is sent back in time in order to discover clues about the apocalyptic disease which wiped out most of the Earth's population. Throughout the film, he has a flashback-like dream to a vision of his childhood - he sees a man sprinting through an airport, only to fall and be embraced by a beautiful blonde. We eventually find out that this man is none other than the adult Willis, only disguised. The child is to grow up into the adult, destined to repeat the cycle. (The plot twist is taken from Chris Marker's "La Jetee", the short film that inspired "Twelve Monkeys".)

"The Terminator"

* Movies in the "Terminator" series deal with predestination paradoxes. In the first movie, Kyle Reese, the soldier sent back in time to protect Sarah Connor, the future mother of his commander John Connor, ends up fathering John Connor with her. Paralleling this, the Terminator cyborg sent back to kill Sarah is destroyed, but its components are salvaged to form the basis of the artificially intelligent computer network Skynet that will, in the future, send it back in time on its murderous mission. Although this second predestination paradox was established in the movie, the characters managed to destroy the components and prevent it. However, in the third movie, the Terminator reveals that the rise of Skynet is inevitable, and that the events of the second movie only postponed it. He turns out to be correct, as the movie ends with Skynet coming online.

"Donnie Darko"

* In the film "Donnie Darko", the title character is lured out of bed during the night by a vision of a man in a bunny suit named Frank, right before a jet engine falls through the ceiling of Donnie's room. Frank then informs Donnie that in 28 days, the world will end. Over the next four weeks, Donnie is instructed through a series of visions to perform various acts, starting a chain reaction which ultimately causes the deaths of his girlfriend, sister, mother, and Frank himself. Through a book entitled "Philosophy of Time Travel", Donnie realizes that the jet engine is an artifact from the future ripped off by a wormhole and sent back through time to kill him and complete a causal loop that will prevent the world from collapsing into a black hole. On the night of the 28th day, history repeats itself, but instead of leaving his house, Donnie remains in bed and accepts his fate, closing the loop and killing himself.

"The Time Machine"

* In "The Time Machine", the protagonist Alexander Hartdegen invents a time machine to go back in time to stop the death of the woman he loves, Emma. However, whenever he saves her, she dies in another way. He travels to the future to find out why and eventually meet the Übermorlock, a powerful psychic. He tells Alexander that the reason he can't save Emma is because her death is what caused him to make the time machine in the first place. Because without her death, there can be no time machine, he therefore can't go back in time to save her.

"Kate and Leopold"

* In the film "Kate and Leopold", Kate McKay (Meg Ryan) lives in the present day and falls in love with a time traveller from 1876, Leopold (Hugh Jackman). Leopold was brought into the year 2001 by Stuart (Liev Schreiber), Kate's ex-boyfriend. After Leopold returns to his time, Kate also travels to 1876 to marry Leopold and consequently becomes Stuart's great-great-great-grandmother.

"Back to the Future"

* "Back to the Future" uses several different forms of time travel, and primarily deals with the concept of history being altered, or alternate realities being created. However, several minor details deal with the predestination paradox. For example, in 1955, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) discovers that he is the one who inspired Goldie Wilson, his town's African American mayor in 1985, to run for office by accidentally informing Wilson of his future in 1955. Also, by playing "Johnny B. Goode" at the 1955 high school dance, Marty becomes responsible for Chuck Berry's rock and roll composing the very song that Marty would learn to play. His friendship with his future parents led his mother-to-be into thinking that Marty is a nice name, implying that Marty inspired his own naming. The two sequels to the movie deal with similar variation, as well as other paradoxes.

"Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure"

* In "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure", the scene in which Bill and Ted break the "dudes from the past" out of jail relies on a series of actions that they have to remember to perform in the future. Notably, Bill and Ted are able to open the jail cells by deciding that they'll afterwards go steal the keys from the past and plant them outside the police station before they get there. Ted's father's missing keys are mentioned at the beginning of the movie, before any of the time travel events occur, and Ted later remarks "So it "was" me that stole my dad's keys!" Additionally, after the dudes from the past have been freed, Ted encounters his father, who attempts to stop him. Ted closes his eyes and tells himself, "Remember the trash can," at which point a booby trap constructed by Ted's future self activates, causing a large trash can to fall on his father.
* When Bill and Ted are at the Circle K just after they meet Rufus and his time-travelling phone booth, another booth appears and future Bill and Ted step out. Later in the film Bill and Ted type a wrong number into the booth and travel back a day earlier than they intended. They arrive at the Circle K, see their past selves and end up doing and saying exactly the same things they saw there future selves doing when they were at the Circle K. This includes introducing their younger selves to Rufus, who never actually tells the duo his name.
* The sequel, "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey", features a parody of this in its climax when the antagonist corners Bill and Ted at the Battle of the Bands. They mention that they'll set up a cage trap to hold the villain; the villain counters by reminding himself to get a key and another gun. The gun turns out to be fake; Bill and Ted point out that only the winner of their battle could go back in time and set up the traps, and they had provided the fake gun and key for the villain as well.

"The Butterfly Effect"

* In "The Butterfly Effect", when his teacher asks him to draw what he wants to be when he grows up, seven-year-old Evan Treborn (Logan Lerman) draws a murderer standing over two corpses with a bloody knife. He quickly "blacks out" the memory of having drawn the picture and never sees the drawing afterwards. In response to the picture, Evan's mother takes him to a doctor, who suggests he write about the incident in a journal. As an adult, Evan (Ashton Kutcher) uses the journal to return to the past and draw the picture. Also, seven-year-old Evan visits his father Jason in a psychiatric hospital and "blacks out" the few minutes that lead Jason to attack Evan until a guard accidentally deals a lethal blow to Jason's head. Later, in order to speak to his dead father, Evan uses his journals to relive the visit, during which he provokes the attack.


* In "Timerider", Lyle Swann (Fred Ward) accidentally gets sent back in time to the old west without him knowing it. There, he meets a beautiful woman in a small town and has sex with her. By the end of the movie, it is evident that the beautiful woman is Lyle's great-great-grandmother and he is his own great-great-grandfather, as he was leaving by helicopter, the woman grabbed and stole from him a medallion that he learned his grandmother had stolen from his grandfather. This sets up the circumstances for his own birth and, therefore, sets up the circumstances for him to travel through time.

"Happy Accidents"

* In "Happy Accidents", Sam Deed (Vincent D'Onofrio) in 2470 falls in love with a woman, Ruby, in a photograph he finds. He travels back to 1999 to prevent her death. They fall in love and he eventually convinces her that he comes from the future, but she does not believe his warnings about her death. On the appointed day, Ruby is distracted as she looks at a photograph of herself and Sam at the beach; she is nearly run down by a car, but Sam manages to save her. It transpires that the out-of-focus picture is the one Sam finds in the future that inspired him to return to the past. However, in saving Ruby and breaking the loop, he creates an ontological paradox, as his knowledge of Ruby's accident in the original timeline no longer has an origin.

"Planet of the Apes" series

#"Planet of the Apes (1968 film)"-Three astronauts travel forward in time and find an Earth where the Apes govern and mankind are beasts.
#"Beneath the Planet of the Apes"-astronaut going forward in time finds the only survivor of the #1 movie-the Earth is destroyed by a doomsday bomb worshiped by an underground-dwelling humans
#"Escape from the Planet of the Apes"-two survivors from Ape Earth go back in time-helped by the shock wave of Earth’s destruction- and give birth to child Milo
#"Conquest of the Planet of the Apes"-the Apes overthrow the humans.
#"Battle for the Planet of the Apes"-battle between the Apes and humans who are split into two societies-one aboveground and the other belowground. {the epilogue indicates that the supposed pre-destined future as seen in the first film "never occurs" as the humans and apes learned to live in cooperation and peace}.

"The Jacket"

# "The Jacket" reverses the paradox by having a character travel to the future to affect his past.

"Meet the Robinsons"

*At one point in the film, while pursuing Lewis, Bowler Hat Guy encounters the child version of himself who had lost a baseball game and was beaten up by the other teammates. As Goob (the child) says how he should let it go, BHG tells him to keep the rage and hatred inside, which would then lead to Goob becoming the Bowler Hat Guy in the future. When Lewis woke Goob during the game near the end, it can be assumed that BHG had vanished from the timeline.Another example would be how Wilbur takes Lewis back to see his mother drop him off at the orphanage - at the start of the film, you see that the mother hears a noise and puts the baby down on the step of the orphanage, then there is a sequence of knocking where the orphanage owner Mildred opens the door to find baby Lewis. Towards the end of the film where Wilbur takes Lewis back to see his mother, Lewis goes to touch his mother's arm, but decides against it. As he walks away, he slips, causing a noise. When he sees his mother run off, he chooses to knock the door - thus waking Mildred up to find baby Lewis on the step.



* A significant story arc in the second season has Hiro Nakamura travel to 1671 Japan, where he meets and befriends Takezo Kensei, but finds he is not the hero he grew up admiring, and so sets out to bring the tales of Takezo to fruition himself. By effectively becoming the man on whom much of his own ideology is based, he creates a causal loop.

"Star Trek"

“City on the Edge of Forever”

* In the "" episode “The City on the Edge of Forever,” Dr. McCoy accidentally travels back in time to 1930 and in the process saves a woman named Edith Keeler from being hit by a car, allowing her to meet FDR and convince him not to enter World War II, thus allowing the Axis to win, and making the Federation cease to exist. Captain Kirk and Spock must travel back in time to prevent the change in the time line, and Kirk unknowingly falls in love with Keeler. He takes her out on a date at a movie, but as they cross the street, Kirk sees McCoy and runs back to him, and then Keeler is hit by a truck while waiting. Kirk must restrain himself and McCoy from helping her, knowing that it had to be done. In addition, the Guardian of Forever introduces itself with a Grandfather Paradox, stating “I am both; and neither. I am my own beginning, my own ending.”


* In the ' episode “Relativity,” Captain Braxton of the future timeship USS "Relativity" recruits Seven of Nine to prevent the USS "Voyager" from being blown up by a temporal intruder. Her first two attempts are unsuccessful, and she ends up recruiting Captain Kathryn Janeway to find the intruder who planted the bomb. The intruder turns out to be a future version of Braxton, seeking revenge against Janeway, whom he blames for interfering with the timeline on numerous occasions and causing him to endure a 30-year exile on 20th century Earth (as seen in the episode “Future’s End”). "Relativity"’s First Officer, Lieutenant Ducane, arrests the present-day Braxton for “crimes he will commit,” and promises Janeway that he will clean up the timeline. How this is to be done, however, or whether the events of the episode will continue to exist if he does so, is never explained. Here, the paradox was called the Pogo paradox"' (after the phrase “We have met the enemy and he is us” from the "Pogo" comic strip).

“Captain’s Holiday”

* In the "" episode “Captain’s Holiday,” Jean-Luc Picard is contacted by two Vorgons from 300 years in the future. They claim that he is destined to find a powerful weapon that was stolen and hidden in the past, the Tox Uthat. Compelled by this prophecy, Picard finds it, but on discovering that the Vorgons were the ones who stole it in the first place, chooses to destroy it instead. The Vorgons then admit that this was what history had actually recorded and their attempts to change it for their own gain failed.

“Time’s Arrow”

* In the "" episode “Time’s Arrow,” the USS "Enterprise"-D is recalled to Earth because Data’s severed head has been discovered in an abandoned mine shaft underneath San Francisco from 500 years in the past. While investigating possible causes, Data is sent back to 19th century San Francisco, and after a battle with aliens who are sucking brain energy from humans, his head is severed and the mine shaft collapses. Data's body, which had returned to the future, was reconnected to the 500 year-old head, which, after some maintenance, was able to function normally.

“Trials and Tribble-ations”

* In the "" episode “Trials and Tribble-ations,” the USS "Defiant" is sent back through time to the 23rd century, where they become embroiled in a plot to kill Captain James Tiberius Kirk. In so doing, they end up effectively participating in the episode “The Trouble with Tribbles.” A humorous reference is made to the predestination paradox when Julian Bashir suggests that he is meant to have sex with a Lieutenant Watley (who he thinks is one of his ancestors) so that he can become his own great-grandfather, lest he cease to exist.

"Star Trek: First Contact"

* In the movie ', a Borg ship travels to April 4, 2063 from the 24th century to prevent humans from making contact with aliens. The USS "Enterprise"-E follows the Borg into the past and destroys the ship. However, debris and some Borg survivors land in the Arctic, where they go into suspended animation. Accidentally revived several decades later in the ' episode “Regeneration,” these Borg escape Earth and send a message to the Collective of that period, then still deep within the Delta Quadrant. It is implied that this signal—which would not be received until the 24th century—may be why the Borg decided to invade the Alpha Quadrant 200 years later.

"Red Dwarf"

“Future Echoes”

*In the "Red Dwarf" episode “Future Echoes,” there are several predestination paradoxes caused by images of the future appearing in the present. The first echo occurs when Lister is shaving, and his reflection shows him cutting himself. This distracts him, causing him to cut himself. Later, Lister has a nonsensical conversation with Rimmer, unaware he is talking to a future echo. When the real Rimmer enters the room, Lister's attempts to work out what's happening lead to Rimmer making the same responses heard in the echo. Lister later sees a future echo of the Cat with a broken tooth, and decides that if he can prevent this happening, he can prevent other events seen in the echoes. Realizing the Cat is trying to eat a robot goldfish, Lister tackles him to the floor before he can bite, breaking the Cat's tooth in the process.

“Stasis Leak”

*In the "Red Dwarf" episode “Stasis Leak,” Lister reads in an entry in Rimmer's diary where it is written that Rimmer has seen his future self, who told him about a stasis leak and advised him to go into stasis to survive. At the time, Rimmer dismissed it as a hallucination. Later in the episode, Rimmer, Lister and Cat find the stasis leak and go back in time, where Rimmer tells his past self to go into stasis to avoid being killed. The past Rimmer dismisses it as a hallucination (brought on by eating fungus), although he writes in his diary, completing an unbreakable loop.


* In the "Red Dwarf" episode “Ouroboros,” Lister encounters an alternate reality where Kochanski survived instead of him. After adding his contribution to an in-vitro tube, he finds a supplies case labeled “ouroboros” (which was also written on the cardboard box he was abandoned in). He then realizes that he is his own father, and when the child is 9 months old, he goes back in time and places the child where he was left.


*The eponymous clairvoyant computer in the "Red Dwarf" episode “Cassandra” lies about what she has seen in an attempt to get revenge on Lister, since he will kill her. Her subterfuge leads directly to Lister inadvertently killing her, after declaring his intention not to. Cassandra’s genuine predictions include the concise predestination paradox “You die in about four seconds’ time of a heart attack, after hearing the news that you’re going to die of a heart attack.”

"The Twilight Zone"

“No Time Like the Past”

* In "The Twilight Zone" episode “No Time Like the Past,” the main character uses a time machine to go back in time to alter past events. After failing to warn a Hiroshima police captain about the impending nuclear attack, assassinate Adolf Hitler, and change the course of the "Lusitania" to avoid being torpedoed, he accepts that the past cannot be changed. He then uses the time machine to return to the town of Homeville in the year 1881. After reading in a history book that Homeville’s schoolhouse will burn down because of a kerosene lantern thrown from a runaway wagon, he spots the wagon and attempts to prevent the fire, but instead causes the fire he intended to prevent.

“Cradle of Darkness”

* In an episode of "The Twilight Zone" entitled “Cradle of Darkness” (2002), a woman named Andrea Collins (Katherine Heigl) travels back in time in order to kill Adolf Hitler as a baby. In order to do that, she commits suicide, jumping from a bridge holding the baby. However, a maid from the Hitler household sees the whole thing and replaces the child with a Gypsy baby who grows up to be the evil Adolf Hitler. But for Andrea’s actions, this would not have happened, and she created the future she was trying to destroy.

"Doctor Who"

“Day of the Daleks”

* In the 1973 "Doctor Who" serial “Day of the Daleks,” guerillas from the 22nd century travel back in time to prevent their own future from coming to pass. However, they discover that it is their actions that actually cause that future to happen. In that case, the loop is broken, not by them, but by the Doctor. As his existence is not dependent on the loop, he is not caught in the paradox and can act freely, his actions presumably causing that future to cease to exist.

"The Curse of Fenric"

* In the 1989 "Doctor Who" serial "The Curse of Fenric", Fenric brings a Haemovores from a future where years of pollution has caused humans to mutate into Haemovores, and orders him to dump toxins into the sea, which would create a Predestination paradox, but he kills Fenric, and himself, averting it. In the same serial, Fenric causes Ace to save the life of her grandmother and her mother as an infant, creating her own future.

"The Parting of the Ways"

* In the 2005 "Doctor Who" episode "The Parting of the Ways", the Doctor's companion, Rose Tyler, absorbs the energy of the time vortex to save the Earth from the Daleks. She also uses the power to scatter the phrase "Bad Wolf" throughout history as clues, to lead her past self to the position where she will absorb the energy of the vortex to save the world.


* In the 2007 "Doctor Who" episode "Blink", the Doctor becomes stranded in 1969 and uses information gleaned from the future in order to communicate with a woman in 2007, Sally Sparrow. Though the Doctor's intervention from the past, knowledge and items come into Sally's possession that are used to defeat his enemies and return the time machine to him (sometimes without Sally realising). At the end of the episode Sally meets the Doctor by chance and, realising that she has encountered him at a point in his personal timeline before the events of the episode have taken place, gives him the information that he will later use to make contact with her past self.
*Also, when Sally and her friend Kathy are in the old house, a man comes to the door. This causes Sally to greet the man at the door and Kathy to be left alone, which sends Kathy back in time to 1920. Kathy lives out her life in the past and, just before her death, she forces her grandson to promise to hand-deliver a letter to Sally at the old house, which he does. This causes Sally to greet the man at the door and Kathy to be left alone, to be sent back to 1920.

"The Doctor's Daughter"

* In the 2008 "Doctor Who" episode "The Doctor's Daughter", the TARDIS forcibly brings the Doctor and his companions Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) and Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) to the planet Messaline as it locks onto the DNA of his daughter, Jenny. However, it brings them there before she is created, and almost immediately after he lands the Doctor's hand is forced in a progenation machine, which uses his DNA to create an adult soldier within moments — the Doctor's daughter, Jenny.

"Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead"

*In the 2008 two parter Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead, The Doctor meets Professor River Song, a companion who had travelled with a future version of the Doctor and summoned him to help solve the mystery of the disappearance of 4,022 library visitors. However she later realises that she has summoned the wrong version, one which doesn't know her yet. She had been given the future Doctor's sonic screwdriver, which baffled the present day Doctor as to why he would do that. At the end of the second episode, Song & the Doctor realise that the only way to save the library's inhabitants is to create more memory in the Library's computer and the Doctor prepares to wire himself up as the memory, despite the fact that it would kill him. Song knocks him out and takes his place, as she realises that if The Doctor dies they would never have met, therefore sacrificing their time together. She dies but saves the 4,022 trapped people as well as Donna Noble and the Doctor (who will now meet up with Song later in his personal timeline). Just as he is about to leave, he realises that there was a reason he gave Song his Sonic Screwdriver. Opening it he finds a data ghost, which has saved Song's consciousness, and then manages to upload it onto the Library Computer, allowing her to live on inside the computer. His future self had known that River Song was going to die, therefore adding the data ghost to the screwdriver and allowing for her to be 'saved'.


“The Ghost Machine”

*In the episode “Ghost Machine,” Gwen uses the "Ghost Machine", which gives her a vision of herself in the future holding a bloody knife and saying “Owen wanted to kill him.” When the scenario arrived in real life, Owen was threatening a man with a knife. Having seen and heard what her 'future' self said, Gwen takes the knife from Owen, resulting in the old man taking advantage of the way she is holding the knife to commit suicide. The predestination in this case was a misinterpretation of the actual vision.

"Babylon 5"

Babylon 4 and Babylon 5

* In "Babylon 5", it is established that the titular station's predecessor, Babylon 4, vanished several years before. When it mysteriously reappears in the series' first season (taking place in 2258), it appears to have been dragged through time. The crew of Babylon 5 manage to evacuate those on Babylon 4 before it vanishes again (“Babylon Squared”). Two years later, led by letters left in the distant past by a Minbari prophet named Valen, the crew of Babylon 5 realized that it was they who “stole” Babylon 4 in the first place to serve as a base of operations for a war a thousand years in the past (“War Without End”). They then travel back in time to accomplish this before Babylon 4 can be destroyed by their enemies, trying to avoid their earlier selves when the station gets shunted to 2258. The former Babylon 5 commander, Jeffrey Sinclair, stays behind and takes Babylon 4 back to 1260, where it fulfils its place in Minbari history. Sinclair is also transformed during the journey into a Minbari, and introduces himself to those he meets in the past as Valen, eventually leaving the prophecies that will guide his future friends and self full circle. This is an example of a dual Predestination and Ontological paradox as the letters, combined with Jeffrey Sinclair's knowledge of Minbari history, culture and government, form a causal link (ontological) and one of the key characters in the plot, Delenn, is directly descended from Valen (predestination).

Londo Mollari and G’Kar

* Also in "Babylon 5", Londo Mollari has a recurrent prophetic dream in which he kills, and is killed by G’Kar. He sparks a genocidal war by his own Centauri people against G’Kar’s Narn, but in the long run, this leads to his own and his race's enslavement by the Drakh. After years, he captures John Sheridan and Delenn, and explains the situation to them. He sets them free, in return for their promise to liberate his people. But the only way this plan can succeed is to keep it from the Drakh, who have implanted him with a Keeper that can read his mind. He realizes that the only way to save his people is for G’Kar to strangle him; the violence awakens the Keeper, forcing him to fight back, and so the prophecy is fulfilled.

"Stargate SG-1"


* In the "Stargate SG-1" episode “1969,” a wormhole transports the SG-1 team to 1969, where they are arrested as Communist spies. One of their guards, Lieutenant George Hammond, who will be their commanding officer in the future, finds a note in Samantha Carter’s equipment. The note, in Hammond’s own handwriting, states, “George, help them.” Because of this, the younger Hammond helps SG-1 escape. In his relative future, General Hammond will remember the incident and write the note, giving it to Carter just prior to SG-1 leaving through the wormhole, thus closing the loop.


* In the "Stargate SG-1" episode “Prophecy,” Jonas Quinn begins seeing visions of the future. One of these visions consists of an injured Major Carter being rushed to the infirmary. Jonas convinces General Hammond to pull Carter from the upcoming mission. Later, while working on the Stargate, and while the rest of SG-1 is still offworld, a power spike injures Carter in the same manner as in Jonas’s vision.

"American Dragon: Jake Long"

“Hero of the Hourglass”

* In the episode of "", “Hero of the Hourglass,” Jake travels back to 1986 and encounters the past version of the Huntsman. Back then, the Huntsman had a goofy sounding voice. Later, Jake causes the past Huntsman to fall into the pit of a monster, which is apparently how the Huntsman got the voice of his present day counterpart.


* "Futurama" explores the predestination paradox in its main story arc. The main character, Philip J. Fry was cryogenically frozen for a millennium in the year 2000, reawakening on December 31, 2999. In the episode “Roswell That Ends Well,” Fry travels back in time. He is instructed by Professor Farnsworth not to do anything to change history, “like killing your own grandfather.” Fry is so determined to protect a reckless Enos (who he believes is his grandfather) from harm that he hides him in an abandoned building. The building turns out to be part of a nuclear weapon test, which kills Enos. Fry then has sex with Enos’ fiancée Mildred, believing that she cannot be his grandmother since he still exists. However, Farnsworth points out that in doing so, Fry has become his own grandfather. This causes him to have a unique brainwave pattern that makes him immune to the greatest threat of the universe, the evil Brainspawn. In a later episode, he is able to trap them in a singularity, but accidentally traps himself with them. The Brainspawn and Fry work together to travel back in time and prevent Fry from ever being frozen, meaning that he could not trap the Brainspawn. However, when he reaches the past, he realizes that to save humanity, and the love of his life, he has no choice but to make sure he does stop the Brainspawn. He pushes himself into the cryogenic freezer, but leaves a message ensuring that he has safe transportation so that he escapes when the Brainspawn are trapped.

* The Futurama DVD "Bender's Big Score" explores Predestination Paradox even further with a time-travel plot involving a secret time travel code that is sent back from the future though it originated in the past.

See also #Futurama (video game).

Bionic Six

* In a "Bionic Six" episode, when Professor Sharp creates a time portal to send a team to pre-history to learn which power killed the dinosaurs, his brother, Scarab, sends henchmen to steal this power. In the end, nobody learns what killed the dinosaurs, but its hinted that they were killed by the radiation that came out from a gun the villains left in the past.

A Step into the Past

* In the Hong Kong TV series "A Step into the Past" and the book it was based on, the main character Hong Siu Lung travels back in time to the Warring States Period of China and accidentally changes a few events. He thinks he has altered history, but in the end, he "creates" history by helping the tyrannical Qin Shihuang rise to power.

“The Flipside of Dominick Hide”

* In "The Flipside of Dominick Hide", Dominick Hide is a time traveller assigned to learn about 20th century transport systems. Learning that his great-great-grandfather lived in the time and place he is studying (London in 1980), he breaks the rules of his job in order to track down his relative. Though he does not find him, he does have an affair with a woman which leads to her giving birth to a son, Dominick's great-grandfather. Thus the great-great-grandfather Dominick was searching for was in fact himself. It is eventually revealed that Hide's superior knew about the loop and deliberately allowed Hide to break the rules in order to fulfill it.

Beast Wars/Transformers

* The show "Beast Wars" took place several generations down from the characters of the original Transformers show. Megatron, the leader of the story's villains (the Predacons) desired to travel back in time to prehistoric Earth and destroy the ancient Autobots as they hibernated, thus preventing them from winning the war that took place in the original show. However, as he and his minions crash-landed on Earth, they realized that the planet could not be the Earth they were familiar with because it had two moons. However, the second moon was revealed to be an alien destructo-device which the characters destroyed - thus, they made Earth a single-moon planet by travelling back in time.
* Also, much later in the series, the Maximals discovered a small shuttle inside the ancient Autobot starship (The Ark) that there was no record of in the history files - because history was still being made at the moment, and they used the shuttle to travel back to their home planet and time.

The Powerpuff Girls

* In an episode of "The Powerpuff Girls", Professor Utonium reveals to the girls that he originally devoted his life to science because he had seen a vision of some kind when he was a child. This drove him towards finding just what the vision was, by committing to science. The girls' nemesis, Mojo Jojo, learns of this and decides to travel back in time to prevent the creation of his enemies. However, the girls follow him into the past. Eventually, the child Utonium is knocked out and comes to as the girls are hovering over him - the aforementioned vision.

Darkwing Duck

* In "Darkwing Duck", the characters are called one day to a science lab where they have recently unearthed a large chunk of amber that appears to have Darkwing Duck preserved in it. The present-Darkwing and the other characters travel back in time to investigate. However, events lead to Darkwing falling in a pit of sap, and is thus preserved for eons. The episode ends with the other characters returning to the lab in the present to break Darkwing out of the amber.
* In another episode, "Paraducks", Darkwing and his daughter Gosalyn accidentally travel back in time to find Darkwing as a youth. Darkwing is disappointed by seeing how geeky he was at Gosalyn's age, and also finds how close he came to joining a criminal gang when it breaks into a record store. Before he can stop the gang, Gosalyn warns him to avoid altering history; Darkwing retreats, and the two return to the present..except that their home has been taken over by the very gang they encountered, with a snivelling no-longer Darkwing as a member of the same gang (an example of accidentally preventing the predestination paradox). Gosalyn and Darkwing find they have to go back in time and inspire the young duck to become the hero of the present.
*In a third episode, "Quack of Ages", Quackerjack travels 700 years back in time to stop the invention of the yoyo by one of Herb (and possibly Binky) Muddlefoot's ancestors, and Darkwing and Launchpad follow him, arriving around 1 month after he did. Quackerjack used this time to work his way into King Herbeth's court as a new adviser(in what capacity is never revealed) and Darkwing's initial attempts to expose him end with DW being run over by the King's carriage. Later, upon Darkwing's arrival at Castle Canardia, Herbeth shows them his new invention, a yoyo consisting of an anvil with a rope wrapped around it, which falls on Quackerjack's left foot. Darkwing states that he likes it, though it needs a little work. Next, Herbeth produces an exploding version of unknown construction which predictably blows up in Quackerjack's face, leaving him with minor injuries, and prompting him to tell Herbeth to continue working on it. The third version is a normal yoyo with a gag boxing glove that comes out and punches Quackerjack's beak. Finally, Darkwing returns with Binketh, a peasant ancestor of the Muddlefoots who Quackerjack had kidnapped so he could have DW tried and executed as a warlock, and she reveals this fact, which results in Herbeth ordering Quackerjack's arrest. During the ensuing fight, he gets tangled in DW's grappling line and DW demonstrates how it should work. Therefore, by going back in time to prevent the invention of the yoyo, he helped cause it.


* The time travel device of the TV series "Gargoyles", the Phoenix Gate, comes with a provision that it cannot be used to alter history. Multibillionaire antagonist David Xanatos manipulates events to bring the Phoenix Gate into his possession, which he uses to travel back in time. There, he instigates a sequence of events that leads to the delivery of a valuable gold coin to his possession as a younger man, which he had used to build his fortune. He also arranged to have the instructions to do what he had just done sent to himself a few weeks before.
* In another episode, Goliath finds himself accused of causing the disappearance of another Gargoyle during The Blitz. He uses the Phoenix Gate to travel back in time in order to stop the event from occurring, but eventually causes the disappearance when events force him to bring the Gargoyle back to the present with him.


*In the anime series "El-Hazard", the main character Makoto Mizuhara and three other people from Earth are sent by Ifurita to the world of El-Hazard. The actions of these characters while on El-Hazard lead to both the awakening of Ifurita (who had been in suspended animation for a millennium) and to her being sent into Earth's past, allowing her to be present to send the Earthlings to El-Hazard in the first place.

Danny Phantom

* The episode The Ultimate Enemy shows Dark Danny, an evil version of Danny Phantom ensuring his younger self turns into him by going back in time in disguise of his past self and making sure that everything its where it should be. Danny eventually returns and defeats Dark Dan but is too late to save his family. Luckily, Clockwork (Danny Phantom) saves them.

Kim Possible

* In "", Duff Killigen, Monkey Fist and Dr. Drakken go back in time to try and stop Kim and Ron from forming “Team Possible.” At preschool, using a “Re-Juvenator,” the three villains infiltrate the school as children to crush Kim's spirit. A young Ron tries to intervene, only for the villains to turn on him - but this drives Kim to save the day for the first time. Which means that by travelling back in time they created the “Team Possible” they were trying to destroy.


* In an episode of the ITV series "Primeval", the Team, along with some soldiers, go back to the Permian Era. While there they find the skeletal remains of a human being. In the last episode of the series they go back to the Permian Era, where one of the soldiers is killed; the dying soldier realises and asks Cutter whether the skeleton was him, and he replies yes.


* In Various Episodes the trio of girls go back in time only to insure that there destiny is insured to happen as well as they go into the future ie they protect there really great grandmother to give birth to there ancestor who prophocies that three witches will inherit her powers.

The Red Green Show

* In one of Ranger Gord's self-made nature cartoons on "The Red Green Show", Gord used a predestination paradox to attempt to prevent a forest fire. He explained that in the future he would be working on a time machine, and would bring it to the present to pick himself up and travel to the past. Inexplicably, this happens, and Future-Gord and Present-Gord travel to the past to meet Past-Gord. The three manage to stop the supposed cause of the forest fire, but when they all travel to the future to celebrate, the time-warp creates a spark that sets the forest on fire.

Mystery Science Theater 3000

* In "Hobgoblins", Tom Servo goes back in time to try stop Rick Sloane from making the movie, but only succeeds in inspiring it.

Pinky and the Brain

* In the episode "Brain of the Future", Pinky and the Brain are told by their future selves that in the year two billion A.D., a world domination kit would be available. Leaving the future Pinky and the Brain behind, the past duo flies off in the time machine, the sight of which causes nuclear war in the future, causing cockroaches to become the dominant species. The two are captured after they crash, and later steal the kit. They find another time machine and fly off again, telling the past selves about the kit, which Pinky has left on the ship. Their tampering with time comes clear when all of Acme Labs is revealed to be filled with hundreds of Pinkys and Brains.

* Dexter is attacked by robots sent to destroy the "one who would save the future." After defeating the robots, he travels to the future to see how he will save it. In doing so he recruits copies of himself from other times to fight his nemesis. At the cruicial moment, his sister Dee Dee comes through the time machine and pushes the button to destroy the Evil Villain's fortress, thus saving the future. Angry, the various versions of Dexter build the very robots he meets at the beginning of the movie and send them back to destroy the one who will save the future.

Quantum Leap (TV series)

* In the episode "Future Boy", time traveler Sam Beckett tells Captain Galaxy his theory of time travel. Captain Galaxy later reports the theory to a young Sam Beckett.

Duck Dodgers (TV series)

* In the episode "Quarterback Quack", Martian Commander X-2 (Marvin the Martian) goes back in time to prevent Duck Dodgers from winning a NCAA football championship game back in college because the win was apparently crucial to Dodgers being chosen for the space program, and, by extension, his being frozen in a space shuttle for around 300 years. Finding out upon his arrival that Dodgers was just a waterboy instead of the team's star quarterback, he poses as a history professor to get rid of the current quarterback by giving him a "project" (really sending him to observe Custer's Last Stand), and ensures that Dodgers would be chosen as his replacement. When Dodgers lost his confidence right before the final play of the game, X-2 slaps a "brainwave overide receptor" on Dodgers' helmet, and helps him score a winning touchdown. Therefore, by going back in time to prevent Dodgers from winning the game, he actually causes it to occur, which the Martian Queen points out to him upon his return to the future.


In the season 4 episode In the Beginning, Dean Winchester travels back in time to change the future but sets up the events leading to his parent's deaths and Sam's corruption by Azazel.

Video games

Chrono Trigger

*The console RPG "Chrono Trigger" is famous for exploring several varieties of time travel ethics, including predestination, mostly when it comes to the creation of the Masamune. After acquiring the two broken halves of the sword from Frog and taking them to Melchior in 1000 AD, he informs you that it needs Dreamstone to be repaired, which no longer exists. Later, before going into the Undersea Palace in 12,000 BC, Melchior's past self gives you a ruby knife with which to destroy the Mammon Machine, both being made from the same material. When the knife stabs into the machine, Lavos' power transforms the knife into the great sword which would become known as the Masamune in the centuries to come.

* The game's main plot is started when the characters go to the future and witness an apocalypse caused by an alien called Lavos. As they travel through time, they cause various events which bring Lavos down to the earth in the first place, as well as empower Lavos to destroy the world, thus bringing about the villain in the first place, which is then the final boss of the game.

TimeSplitters: Future Perfect

*In the first-person shooter "", the player character Sgt. Cortez often meets a near-future version of himself who helps him progress with the game. Later on, the player must perform that exact role to help his past self. One such example is at one point on the level 'Scotland the Brave', there is a locked door which Cortez cannot get through. This is sorted however when he looks up through a grate to see a future version of himself. After a brief conversation, the future version hands him the key to the door. Later in the level, he travels through a time portal and looks down a grate to see the past version of himself by the locked door. This is when he hands the past version the key to the door.

Legacy of Kain

*In the "Legacy of Kain" series, the character Raziel is born a human and lives the life of a religious zealot that, along with his Sarafan brethren, eventually meets his end at the hands of a demonic abomination. Raziel is resurrected as a vampire by Kain, who later sentences him to burn in the Abyss. Rising again, and following a quest for vengeance against Kain that covers the five games and time travel, Raziel discovers that it was he, in his wraith form, who killed himself and the other Sarafan, and that Kain had sentenced him to the Abyss to fuel the chase through time that would bring Raziel full circle for a larger purpose, making Raziel escape the clutches of the otherwise all-dominating wheel of fate that dictates the lives of all living creatures in Nosgoth. Raziel eventually succumbs to his fate of becoming the soul-harvesting spirit within the Soul Reaver blade that was previously merged metaphysically with him.

Clive Barker's Undying

*In "Clive Barker's Undying", the character Patrick Galloway discovers a journal that mentions a powerful mystical weapon, the Scythe of the Celt, which was stolen from a now-ruined monastery hundreds of years in the past, and describes a means of travelling in time via a magical portal. The journal writer intended to use the portal to take the Scythe before it was stolen but was mortally injured before he could do so. Using clues in the journal, Galloway travels back to a time when the monastery was intact and populated and steals the Scythe, becoming the very thief mentioned in the journal. The theft of the Scythe also releases energy that causes the destruction of the monastery whose ruins Galloway finds in the present day.

hadow of Destiny

*In "Shadow of Destiny", the predestination paradox and many other time travel concepts are explored as the protagonist, Eike Kusch, is murdered by a mystery assailant, and he is empowered to prevent his own demise via time travel. In fact, one of the endings results in an alchemist from the past making a wish to be, forever more, just like someone of Eike's character, having met him previously. The wish comes true, with the alchemist being metamorphosed into an exact duplicate of Eike; speculation is that the Eike the player controls, is the future self of the alchemist, having lived immortally for centuries as Eike, hence why his survival is so important to Homunculus.

Prince of Persia

*In "Prince of Persia" (Ubisoft), ' and ', the Prince is able to manipulate time, and the effects or causes of time travel are explored (with a light air in Sands of Time, and with a more far-reaching philosophical logic in Warrior Within) and the very nature of causality is questioned. However, all manipulations seamlessly integrate themselves into the timeline, such that when one is sure that one has just cheated fate (the main theme in Warrior Within), one finds oneself merely fulfilling one's own destiny. Also seen is a self-fulfilling prophecy by the "Empress of Time" that predicts that the Empress will die at the Prince's hand, prompting the Empress to decide to engage the Prince in battle to try and prevent her own death by killing the Prince first. She underestimates the Prince and is killed, and the same event releases the "Sands of Time" that start the Prince's ordeal in the first place.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

*In "", the main character Link, who is the destined "Hero of Time," goes back and forth between a seven-year time period to save Hyrule from the evil Ganondorf. At one point in the game, as an adult, Link enters a windmill in Kakariko Village where a man teaches him the Song of Storms, which he says "messed up the windmill seven years ago when some kid played it". Then in the past, Link plays the song inside the windmill, causing it to speed up, thus "teaching" the man the same song Link had learned from him in the future.

Final Fantasy VIII

*In "Final Fantasy VIII", it is because of the direct actions of Ultimecia, knowing of her destiny to fall at the hand of Squall, that the events of the game take place. The main character, Squall, ends up briefly in the past in front of the orphanage he grew up in. By telling the matron of his origins, he ensures the creation of Garden and his appointment as commander of the SeeD forces -- the very events that Ultimecia wanted to prevent.

Escape From Monkey Island

*In the PC game "Escape from Monkey Island", the player character Guybrush Threepwood travels through a special time-travel-inducing swamp. There, he meets his future self, who hands him three items and speaks certain phrases to him. The object of this part of the game is to ensure the proper conversation and item-exchanging occur in the same order both when the player controls past-Guybrush, and later when the player controls future-Guybrush. Otherwise, a time-storm erupts. The three items, of course, are trapped in an endless loop of changing-hands. An interesting side-note is that often one of the items will be a gun. If it is, when the player controls past-Guybrush, he may choose to shoot the future-Guybrush with the gun. However, later when the player controls future-Guybrush, the past-Guybrush inevitably shoots him.

Breath of Fire

*In "Breath of Fire", Ryu and his party encounter an exact duplicate of fellow party member Nina, but dressed in blue rather than pink. The duplicate reacts with confusion to any attempt to speak with her. Later in the game, Nina is pulled into a time stream and separated from the group, and the duplicate is then revealed to be the future version of Nina after she had been pulled through time and become significantly more powerful.

Ecco the Dolphin

*In "Ecco the Dolphin", the eponymous protagonist Ecco meets an ancient creature named the Asterite, who seems to recognize him. The Asterite is willing to help Ecco on his quest, but is unable to, as one of the globes that comprises its body is missing, so it sends Ecco back into a prehistoric era to find it. In the past, Ecco finds a younger version of the Asterite, who attacks him. Ecco fights against the younger Asterite, and in the process takes one of its globes. At this point he is sent back to the present, where he gives the Asterite back the globe that he had stolen millions of years before.

Futurama (video game)

*In the "Futurama" video game, the crew is sent back in time, after being chased through the universe by Mom and her sons. They are fleeing Mom because the Professor sold Planet Express to Mom, giving her 50% majority ownership of Earth. Thus, under Earthican law, she owns the world and its population. Back in time, they attempt to stop Mom from completing her plan, resulting in their deaths. Having no crew or ship, Prof. Farnsworth reluctantly sells, at which point gameplay restarts at the first scene. Also, at the beginning of the game, when the crew tries to escape, they discover that their ship has been badly damaged. They fix it, but later in the game, they fly their ship into the sun, which results in it getting damaged. After they travel back in time, Fry remarks that they now know who damaged their ship. They then take the other ship that has not yet been damaged, leaving the destroyed ship to their past selves.

hadow Hearts: Covenant

*In "", Karin is given a photograph that depicts her as Yuri's mother. Because of this photo, instead of returning home like the other characters, Karin stays in the past and eventually gives birth to Yuri. Karin also assumes the alias of "Anne" as Yuri told her that was his mother's name. Yuri also added that he was named after his mother's first love — Yuri himself. Yuri also gives Karin his mother's cross which is taken back in time and eventually given back to Yuri so that he can close the loop, creating an ontological paradox in relation to the cross.

Valkyrie Profile

*In "", the valkyrie Lenneth visits Dipan, a city that had thrived in centuries past, but in the present is in ruins. Upon arriving, she is attacked by the ghost of the deceased king, who accuses Lenneth of killing him and destroying his kingdom. Lenneth has no recollection of this, as she had never been to Dipan before. After fighting the king's ghost, she explores the ruined palace and is sent back in time to the day of the king's execution. While there, Lenneth discovers that her sister Hrist (who looks very similar to Lenneth, save for the color of her hair and armor) had come to the city under Odin's orders to execute the king for attempting to discover immortality. Lenneth then locates the queen, who gives her the king's crown and explains how the king's three mages had tricked him. Before Lenneth can return the crown to the king, he is executed by Hrist, but it is at that point that Lenneth returns to the present. She returns the crown to the king's ghost, putting him to rest, and then hunts down the three (now immortal) mages that had tricked the king.

Tekken 5

* In Xiaoyu's ending in Tekken 5, she uses the prize money she wins to build a time machine, so that she could stop Heihachi Mishima from throwing a young Kazuya down a cliff (which caused Kazuya to vow that he would kill his father, and ultimately starts the story of the Tekken series). Unfortunately, Xiaoyu's time machine malfunctions upon returning to the past, and knocked past Heihachi over, causing him to accidentally drop his son down the cliff, ironically causing the very event that Xiaoyu was trying to prevent. She realises that it is impossible to change the past, and all she could do are only minor improvements.

onic the Hedgehog

* In Sonic the Hedgehog, Shadow rescues Rouge the Bat, who was sent to retrieve the "Scepter of Darkness" from Eggman's base, and had not been heard from since. Shadow invades the base and finds Rouge in the midst of accomplishing her mission. They escape to the site that was formerly the castle of Soleanna's kings where they are confronted by Dr. Eggman, who attempts to retrieve his stolen property. Eggman's robots swoop down to attack, and in the heat of the battle, the Scepter of Darkness is completely shattered. With the seal crashed, Mephiles is freed. Resurrected in the likeness of Shadow through his shade, Mephiles the Dark introduces himself and hints at past history that the two shared. Later, Shadow goes back in time by 10 years to learn about the Solaris project. He and Silver witness the Solaris Project's failure at hand, and watch as Iblis and the original Mephiles, a dark puddle, emerge, opening Silver's eyes to Mephiles' deception. Duke Soleanna tells them that the demons must be sealed, so he gives Shadow the Scepter of Darkness. Shadow goes to capture Mephiles, and Silver goes to capture Iblis. It is here that Shadow finds out why Mephiles knows him; it was Shadow who sealed him in the Scepter of Darkness in the first place. With the demons sealed, Shadow leaves the Scepter in the past since he knew where it would end up in the present day.

*Elise gives the blue Chaos Emerald to Sonic, who later loses it in a fight against the Egg Cerberus. Silver finds it and keeps it as a good luck charm. Later, Silver uses it to travel back in time ten years with Shadow. Right before he returns, he leaves the Chaos Emerald with Elise, telling her that it will bring good luck. Elise then gives it to Sonic ten years later.

*In the future the world is constantly destroyed by the monster Iblis. After Silver asks how Iblis can be stopped, Mephiles tells him to only way to stop Iblis is to go back in time and kill the person who originally released Iblis. Convinced by Mephiles that Sonic is the "Iblis Trigger" Silver tries to kill Sonic several times before realizing that killing Sonic isn't the answer and returns to the future. However Silver's presence in the past creates a situation that allows Mephiles to kill Sonic. This causes Elise to cry which is what caused Iblis to be released in the first place.

Comic books

The Flash

*In "Secret Origins Annual" #2, it is revealed that the lightning bolt that gave the Flash (Barry Allen) his superpowers is the Flash himself, travelling backward through time as pure energy.

"John Byrne's Next Men"

*In "John Byrne's Next Men", the character Sathanus travels from the year 2112 to the 1950s and uses his knowledge to create Project Mext Men, intended to create superhumans. Eventually, this leads to Senator Aldus Hilltop gaining superhuman powers. Once this happens, Hilltop realizes that he has become Sathanus.

"Our Worlds At War"

*In the DC Comics crossover storyline "Our Worlds At War", an energy being called Imperiex believes there is an imperfection in the universe, and plans to break it down and create a new one. The storyline concludes when the forces allied against him manage to send both Imperiex and Brainiac-13 to moments after the Big Bang, where they merge with the energies already there. Imperiex then realizes that this was the imperfection he detected.

"Superman: Red Son"

*In "", Superman, as a baby, lands in the Soviet Union and his presence causes the USSR to become the dominant superpower. After Superman's alleged death, Lex Luthor uses Superman's ideas to bring in a new age for mankind. Billions of years later, Luthor's descendants send their infant son back into the past when Earth is about to be destroyed. This baby turns out to be the future Superman.


Music: Black Sabbath song "Iron Man"

* Black Sabbath's song Iron Man tells the story of a man who travels to the future and witnesses the end of the world. He then travels back to his own time to attempt to warn the people, but in his travels, he enters a magnetic field, the likes of which turn his body to iron. His appearance causes those he warns to fear him rather than heed his warning, and so he ends up causing the very apocalypse which he tried to prevent by going on a frustrated rampage and causing mass destruction.

Music: Kids' Praise

* In Kids' Praise! Seven, the last stop on the trip through time is to the home of a young Psalty, who goes into children's ministry (and invents the time machine) because of it.

Comic Strip: Calvin and Hobbes

* Calvin and Hobbes travel two hours into the future to steal homework from Calvin's future self, only to discover that Calvin still has not done the homework two hours into the future. The two Calvins then travel back one hour to force the Calvin from one hour before to do the homework, while the two Hobbeses stay behind. After the three Calvins are unable to resolve their argument, as they will all experience, are experiencing or have experienced anything they will do, the Calvins from one hours before and one hour after travel back, only to find that the Hobbeses have done the homework.

Webcomic: Kevin and Kell

* In Bill Holbrook's webcomic Kevin and Kell the Dewclaw family get sent back to the stone age by a malfunctioning computer. After causing various alterations to history (Such as the nonexistence of Ray Bradbury caused by Coney eating a butterfly), they realize that they can only return home by turning off the computer in the future. Recognizing a rock as the one lying at the bottom of his garden, Kevin carves a message on it telling a future reader to turn off the computer.

Machinima: Red vs. Blue

* In the machinima comedy series "Red vs. Blue", the character Church is sent into the past by a massive explosion on the ice planet of Sidewinder. He attempts to prevent the events of the previous seasons, primarily the deaths of himself and his on-again-off-again girlfriend Tex. Most of his efforts backfire, and it turns out that he not only is unable to prevent Tex's death (and becomes responsible for his own), but also becomes responsible for nearly every main event that occurred during the series including the explosion that sent him through time.


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