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File:Soulrend 9034.jpg

"Half for now, half for later."

"Your soul is mine."

Be it the Monster of the Week, Villain Bob, or the Empathic Weapon, it seems people just can't seem to get enough of them souls! "Purchasing one legally" is only one method of obtaining them. Outright theft, and/or eating them works just as well, often with much less hassle.

Although the methods are pretty different, the end results are usually one of two.

Type One- The soul is "merely" eaten or taken, but the person's body is still alive. Often, the monster will gain power from this, while the victim turns into an Empty Shell. Recovery is sometimes possible, sometimes not.

Type Two- The soul is stolen or eaten, and the person is killed in the process. If resurrection is possible, they nearly always Come Back Wrong thanks to this, since the soul is most definitely not where it belongs. Often, this is exactly what the villain wants — "Steal peoples' souls and kill them, then resurrect them as an immortal army." If resurrection is impossible, then the person is probably Deader Than Dead.

  • Type Two B — The soul is stolen or eaten, but the person was already dead. Though it tends to play out similarly to Type Two from here, this is commonly used by Amalgams Of Souls to increase their power.

The Trope Namer is Mortal Kombat, which had Shang Tsung saying this just before he proceeds to steal the souls of defeated fighters. (It's a type Two B mechanic.)

See also Our Souls Are Different. See Anatomy of the Soul for a parts list.

Examples of Your Soul Is Mine include:

Type One

Anime and Manga

  • Yuji in Shakugan no Shana is technically a victim of type one-- the only thing keeping him alive is the Reiji Maigo.
  • During the Three Treasures arc of Yu Yu Hakusho, Yusuke battles a demon who steals and eats children's souls. The souls are unharmed in his stomach until he digests them; when he gets taken out, they escape and return to their owners.
  • In One Piece, the villain Geck Moria pulls off something which closely resembles this when he steals his enemies' shadows, then uses them to give life to dead bodies and create his own zombie immortal army. The person who had his shadow stolen, though, doesn't become an empty shell; it is just condemned not to be able to stand sunlight again, or he'll be rendered into ashes. By gaining back his shadow he can remove the curse.
  • This is used in Yu-Gi-Oh! a few times, usually by those with millennium items. It is this that allows us to learn that Yami Yugi has a different soul from normal Yugi.



  • In Robert Heinlein's The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathon Hoag, the Sons of the Bird drain out the soul of one of the protagonists and place it in a bottle, leaving her in a coma.
  • In Charles de Lint's The Blue Girl, annatheims use type one--the person becoming an Empty Shell is irreversible.
  • In Harry Potter, the dementors use type one, the act of which is called the "dementor's kiss."
  • In the His Dark Materials series, Spectres feed on souls (which in this series are often seen as living animals, or Daemons).
  • Grey Men in the Wheel of Time series have had their souls taken by the Dark One, which makes them effectively invisible. Oddly, they do seem to still have their intelligence and free will, though we've never seen the point of view of such a being. Draghkar and the Black Wind, however, play it straight, leaving an Empty Shell. (They would usually kill the Empty Shell anyway, resulting in a Type 2. Type 1's occur when they get interrupted.)
  • Awakening in Warbreaker runs on a comparatively benign version of this. Breath is a supernatural force that everyone has, and it's not quite a soul but is considered an aspect of the soul. It can be voluntarily given away (which does not kill or cripple the donor, but does dampen their senses and make them more prone to illness), and is neccessary to provide power to Awaken inanimate objects- powerful Awakeners need hundreds of Breaths stockpiled, and having so many at a time provides a number of more subtle magical abilities. In the kingdom of Hallandren, the "Breath trade" is common practice; in the neighboring kingdom of Idris, losing one's Breath is considered A Fate Worse Than Death and Awakening is strictly illegal.

Tabletop Games

  • This is the effect of the Soul Jar spell in GURPS. Destroying the jar will utterly destroy the soul inside, but the soul is still conscious within the jar and a mage with the proper spells can use magic to defend itself or steal a new body.
  • In Mage: The Awakening, powerful magic can rip your soul from your body. Tremere liches use them to maintain their bodies, but other mages may have other reasons. You'll be an Empty Shell in the meantime. Funnily enough, any soul can replace a missing soul... Indeed, this is actually how a mage becomes a Tremere Lich. An existing Lich severs the mage's soul and replaces it with another. If the mage can get it back in time, WITHOUT using Lich magic OR consuming another soul, he goes back to normal. Otherwise, he's stuck as a Lich.

Video Games

  • in Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer, Headmistress Nefris of the Academy of Shapers and Binders has been performing various experiments on souls, sometimes by using this trope. Victims fall comatose, as in the case of Ammon Jerro.
  • in Baldur's Gate 2:Shadows of Amn the plot revolves around Irenicus stealing the soul of the main character and his sister Imoen. The souls in question are of godly heritage and are a means to overthrow a curse placed on Irenicus.
  • Starting with Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance, Shang Tsung's soul stealing has become a normal ability, which falls under this category. He still has the Type B variety as his Fatalities in that game and 9, but when used during the fight, these recover a fraction of his energy at the expense of his opponent's. Oh, and in 9, stealing your opponent's soul is the only way Tsung can morph into them.

Web Comics

  • In Sluggy Freelance there's a demon called "K'Z'K the Soul Collector." Guess what it does?
    • There's also some spirit demons who steal away people's souls to sell to the highest bidder.

Western Animation

  • The Psychocrypt in Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers. Definitely a type one as it's possible to join the Soul Jar crystal to the half worn on the victim's body and revive them. It's just damn near impossible to wrest said Soul Jar away from Her Majesty.
  • Marceline's dad from Adventure Time wears a suit, is completely evil, and is going to swallow all of your souls.
  • Erebus from the My Little Pony episode Bright Lights steals souls (in the form of victims' shadows) to bolster his power. It's only a Type 1 by dint of being reversible, and it's freaking creepy.

Live Action Television

  • Phoebe and Paige in Charmed borrowed Darryl's soul against his will to pass as Valkyries and left his body in an alley. Darryl was revived when his soul walked back into his body.
  • In Angel the Smile Time show had demonic puppets who'd wait until parents were out the room and steal the souls of the children watching, leaving them comatose with big grins.
  • In Power Rangers, soul theft typically leaves the victim an Empty Shell, and is undone with the death of the Monster of the Week (or the breaking of whatever item was used for soul theft or storage.)
  • Charlie's Nightman Cometh musical, the Nightman wants to "enter" the Boy's soul. It's supposed to be taken seriously, but ends up getting Played for Laughs beause, among other things, Frank keeps pronouncing it "Boy's hole" instead of "Boy's soul."

Type Two

Anime and Manga

  • In Soul Eater, humans who kill other humans to consume their souls for power become pre-kishins and have to keep on consuming souls in order to become Kishins (or Demon Gods), a very powerful and evil creature. The weapons in Soul Eater absorb pre-kishin souls and witch souls in order to become much stronger and turn into Death Scythes.
    • According to the anime, killing a kishin will release all of the human souls it has consumed.
    • In the English dub, Maka frequently says the name of this trope word-for-word as a Catch Phrase, usually preceded by the name of whomever she's about to fight.
  • In Bleach, Hollows can be both this or Two B, as they both attack living humans, killing them, as well as dead souls (called "Wholes") or other Hollows.
  • In Hellsing, true vampires are able to do this by sucking someone dry-- it allows them to summon their souls later in battle.
  • In Naruto, there exists a Dangerous Forbidden Technique which steals the souls of both the caster and the victim, killing both and subjecting their souls to eternal torment. It's used by The Third Hokage in an attempt to kill Orochimaru.
    • One of Pain's body can read people's minds and pull their souls out (though apparently not sealing it or anything), which kills them. Nagato could still bring them Back From the Dead, but he could do that even to people killed in normal ways.
  • This is substantially the whole point in Fullmetal Alchemist. With alchemy, you can steal people souls', killing them, and make out of them a gem of pure condensed energy, which is the Philosopher's Stone. That is, an ultimate weapon for who wields it.
  • The contracts in Chrono Crusade. Chrono even flatly states in the first chapter "Her [Rosette's] soul belongs to me." However, unlike most examples, Chrono doesn't take the entire soul in one gulp, he just drains what he needs as he needs it. Also, both of the girls whose soul ended up being slowly devoured to fuel his powers/life offered their soul to him of their own free will. He also fell in love with the contractors, causing much angst as he was slowly killing the ones he loved just by existing.
    • Aion's contractors (which were crystallized by Fiore until he needed them) might be this, or type 2B.
  • The nature of all of the demon's contracts in Black Butler. The demons exchange fulfilling their Master's wish for their soul.


  • In Nine, this is what the Fabrication Machine does. It runs on oil, but it wants human souls.
    • Arguable, this example is also a Type 2 B, since the stitchpunks themselves are Soul Jar s for different aspects of the scientists' soul, and he died after putting the last of his essence into 9.
  • In The Chronicles of Riddick, the Lord Marshal, after visiting the Underverse, gained the ability to partially separate his soul from his body. In addition to inhuman speed, this also gave him the ability to literally rip the soul straight out of a person's body. The victim lives so long as the Lord Marshal is holding their soul, but drop dead as soon as he throws it to the floor.
  • Freddy grows more powerful by absorbing the souls of his victims in the A Nightmare on Elm Street sequels; he's been Hoist by His Own Petard a few times when said souls managed to either break loose or turn against him long enough for him to be defeated.
  • Whenever Pinhead or another Cenobite kills someone in Hellraiser films, their soul ends up in the Labyrinth, in Hell. As is the case with Joseph and Trevor, Pinhead often torments them there. Though they are released after Leviathan's defeat in the second movie, and presumably the same thing happens when Pinhead dies in the fourth movie.


  • The fate of anyone killed with Stormbringer or Mournblade in The Elric Saga. Elric sometimes dedicates the blood and souls of his kills to Lord Arioch of Chaos, but that may be more force of habit; in fact, his own final fate appears to indicate that the stolen souls remain trapped and in torment inside the rune blades forever.
  • In Dragaera, this is the effect of being killed with a Morganti weapon. A Great Weapon can choose whether or not to consume the soul of the victim, and even manipulate the souls in other ways (one once even being used as a Soul Jar for the wielder to fake death.)
  • A possible interpretation of what Tom Riddle tried to do to Ginny Weasley in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Implied to be what Evie has been told the goal of the Faeries is. Also what Vivian is born to do.
  • In The Alchemy of Stone, the extremely sympathetic Soultaker (a profession, though the impression is given that only one exists in a region at a given time) can also preform Type 2B on disquieted hauntings, but it is his job to execute and subsequently interrogate prisoners. A Soultaker who has lasted long enough to take more than a few souls gains an increasingly strong and uncontrollable pull on living souls even when he isn't using the power. Unlike many uses of this trope, once a Soultaker dies the captured souls all pass on with him to the "normal" death.
  • Hemalurgy, one of the three systems of Functional Magic in Mistborn involves stealing someone's soul and trapping it in a metal spike; the soul's energy can be then transferred to someone else by piercing their body with the spike, with the precise effects determined by what metal the spike is made out of and where exactly it's placed in the body. So far as is revealed this is always fatal to the unfortunate "donor".

Live Action Television

  • In Angel Illyria consumes Fred's soul in the process of converting her body into a vessel for herself. This conversion also involves physical changes that are not survivable for anything human. Fragments of Fred's soul and memories remain in Illyria as a result, meaning that she can basically turn into Fred if she wants to.
  • In Kamen Rider Kiva, members of monster races steal Life Energy, but the way the Wolfen race does it looks a lot more like this. When the victim is struck down by the Wolfen's claws, the body falls and a translucent image of the victim is still standing, rightfully scared and confused... until it's devoured. Jiro, you're officially scarier than the Big Bads. They only kill you.

Myth and Legend

  • In a terrifying passage, David Suzuki recounts the fate of two young villagers in a Chewong legend:

 Taloden asal, the all-knowing Original Snake, was fully aware of their flagrant breach of talaiden the very instant it occured. She awakened with a start from her eternal subterranean slumber [...] Twisting her long, multihued body into a silent, simmering coil of rage, she unleashed a terrible storm, like a spear, into the Chewong village above her. Relentless winds, torrential downpours, and a rising tide of groundwater converged on the young couple's hut, sweeping it from the face of the earth as if it was nothing more than a speck of dust. In a final act of horror, the fearsome head of the great serpent reared up from the cavernous underworld, gripped the two offending Chewong viciously in her gaping jaws, and gobbled them up in a single predatory gulp.

But Taloden asal did not simply devour their flesh and bones, as she might some ordinary prey. She obliterated their existence for all time. As she swallowed them, she deliberately extiguished the fragile flame of vitality that flickers in and animates every human being and, equally, all life-forms on Earth Seven, as it has done since the primordial times of creation, when all creation possessed the power of speech. By so righteously snuffing out the precious ruwai, or souls, of the young Chewong, she ensured that they would not glow on in realms beyond Earth Seven after death--as they would have in the absence of so grave an offense against nature.


Tabletop Games

  • In Dungeons and Dragons, a demilich can perform one of these — if it's not killed before it finishes sucking out your soul, you are Deader Than Dead. Perhaps the most dreaded of them all is Acererak from the Tomb of Horrors.
  • Role Master campaign setting Shadow World. The Soulslayers of Murlis can drain and eat their victims' souls by holding onto them.
  • In Warhammer Fantasy, the Vampire Counts have a magic weapopn called the Tomb Blade, which simultaniously steals the soul of whomever it kills, and animates their skeleton. There is also a Necromancy spell that tears their soul free and binds it to the vampire's will, granting him a new unit of Spirit Hosts. The Tomb Kings army has the Casket of Screaming Souls, which is basically a shotgun that shoots ghosts.

Western Animation

  • In Beast Machines, Megatron removes the sparks — Transformer souls — of every inhabitant on Cybertron and stores them in containers. He eventually consumes them all in order to make a bid at godhood.

Video Games

  • In World of Warcraft, Warlocks have the spell "Drain Soul," which, if an enemy dies while under it's effect, grants the warlock a soul shard, to be used for various purposes.
    • Also: "Frostmourne hungers." And not for delicious cake.
    • And speaking of Frostmourne, when fighting the Lich King in Icecrown Citadel, at one point he one-shots the entire party. You get the usual "You have died. Release to the nearest graveyard?" message box, but if you actually try to press the "Release Spirit" button, you get a red popup message: "Your soul belongs to the Lich King". (It's a scripted event, so you get better.)
  • In Mortal Kombat, Shang Tsung's main power is soul theft, used in-game as a Fatality.
    • In a curious twist, Shang Tsung dances merrily on the line between the two versions of Type 2 soul theft; he's cursed to consume the souls of those he defeats in kombat, to keep himself alive and young, and he absorbs their power, fighting style/abilities and memories, in the process (making them Deader Than Dead), but he's also shown to be able to manipulate those souls to be resurrected in other bodies, as he does with the souls he steals from a "soulnado" (a gateway to heaven itself) in Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance.
      • He even says the trope's name twice in The Movie. And, of course, he follows this saying with "FATALITY!"
    • Also, late in Mortal Kombat 9, Quan Chi begins creating a "soulnado", a green vortex of souls that would suck out the souls of every living person in Earthrealm. (This was alrady used in Mortal Kombat 3, and since this specific part of the game was based on MK3...)
    • In Mortal Kombat X, Ermac's ending (not really likely to be |00% canon, but still) has Shang Tsung coming Back From the Dead and pulling this on him.
  • Anyone killed using the Soul Edge has their soul eaten by the sword.
  • In the Elder Scrolls series you can steal the souls of monsters with the "Soul Trap" spell upon their deaths and trap them in Soul Gems, a key element of enchantment. Oblivion introduces the Black Soul Gems, which allow you to steal NPC souls (which have the same value as "Grand" Souls). A dark ritual that takes place at a certain place at a certain time of night when the stars are just right can transform normal Grand Soul Gems into Black ones. Naturally, the people who use these are an evil order of Necromancers led by an Omnicidal Maniac.
    • In The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, the dragons attacking the land are a type of Aedra, and therefore functionally immortal, as killing them normally just returns them to their home realm. But whenever the player character, known as Dovahkiin/Dragonborn, kills a dragon, he or she prevents their souls from escaping by absorbing them in order to gain more power.
    • Also in Skyrim, you find out that souls inside Black Soul Gems are still aware. Congratulations, master Enchanter, you just damned several villages-worth of people to afterlife as a trinket.
  • Yunfei's Fatality Move involves punching his opponent's soul out of their body, then cutting it in half, just to ensure that they stay dead.
  • Devil May Cry 3 has this with the aptly named Soul Eater. It drains you of your vitality/health/soul, and you die. Very simple. In the same game, a malfunctioning power sphere drains your soul slowly, but at the same time it provides immense power; in game terms, Dante loses health while he carries it, but is in permanent Devil Trigger (and every enemy coughs up health orbs).
  • God of War III has Hades saying this to Kratos in the pre-battle cutscene, and tries to do this to him in an early part of the battle with the Claws of Hades. During the battle, Kratos takes the Claws of Hades away from him. And then uses them to take his soul in the fight's finale.
  • In Heroes of Newerth, whenever a hero is finished off by the hero named Soul Reaper, the Soul Reaper will utter "Your soul is mine!" in what could also be classified as a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • This is the basis of the "Devour Spirit" and "Devour Soul" attacks in Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer.
  • Pokémon has quite a few Ghost-type Mons who are implied to do this. For example, Shedinja steals the soul of anyone who looks into the hole on its back (and guess what the player looks at when they send it out?).
  • The heroes can actually invoke this trope in Super Paper Mario. You can use a blank catch card on an enemy (but not a boss or miniboss) and it will capture the enemy's soul inside a card.
  • Legacy of Kain's Soul Reaver. Unexpectedly, the sword only consumes the souls in Soul Reaver 2, where it gains its own will, and ceases to do this by Defiance, for no reason. See also the type 2-B example below.
  • Magical Diary, near the end of Damien's path. The player character is given the option to give him her soul, believing it will keep him from dying (it won't - he isn't dying). At least one set of choices (possibly more) causes this to end in a near-miss because Damien is unable to go through with it. Type Two, because it would have killed you if he had finished the ritual in question - and did badly, badly injure you in ways that will take the rest of the semester to undo, if you manage to undo them at all.

Web Comics

Type Two B

Anime And Manga

  • Performed by hero and villain alike in the (aptly named) Soul Eater series.
  • In Digimon Tamers, this is implied to be the most effective way for Digimon to increase their power. Most of the heroes don't like doing it because it's, well, not very heroic. In addition to increasing their power, it also seems to give the Digimon access to their fallen opponent's attacks, though that might be because Beelzemon was powerful, Leomon was powerful, or just a side effect of shiny new superpowers.
    • Although really only the word "data" is mentioned, which is what they were created from, and it's likely that the data they absorb from their defeated opponents is just what remains of their body and power, and may not even involve the soul.
      • The entire existence of Digimon is based in data. Body, power, personality, memories, all of it. They can be edited like data, deleted like data, backed up like data, and in this case...
  • Dead Master in Black Rock Shooter: Innocent Soul apparently loves to eat the trapped souls inhabiting Hazama. And other things, as she ate her teddy bear and chewed Rock's hair in her sleep, but mostly souls.



  • In The Screwtape Letters and apparently Perelandra, demons in hell consume the souls of humans who go there, as well as each other when times are hard. This seems to manifest as a disintegration of the personality, but victims seem to retain a minimal consciousness.
  • In the Saga of the Noble Dead, the necromancer Ubad is surrounded by a constantly shifting "halo" of souls, implied to be the souls of people he's killed. They allow him to see, despite his physical blindness and their presence assists him in his magic.
  • In The Dresden Files the necromancer Kemmler learned to devour ghosts, which massively increased his power to the point that he held off the White Council for years. They killed him seven times before it stuck. In Dead Beat several of his disciples come to town in search of a book containing this secret. Technically speaking ghosts aren't actual souls but the impressions the person left behind, but the effect is similar.
    • In Ghost Story the ghost of one of these disciples, Capiocorpus, devours a number of other ghosts to give her the power to manifest in the real world and steal a living body.
    • Earlier, in Grave Peril, Dresden himself teams up with his own ghost (it's complicated) to devour the ghost of a sorcerer who'd previously eaten part of Harry's soul, regaining his stolen power and taking the sorcerer-ghost's.

Live Action TV

  • In Supernatural, after a Crocotta kills its victim, or causes the victim's death (ie: By convincing him or her to commit suicide), it sucks out the victim's soul through their mouth. Clark Adams is the only Crocotta we've seen so far.

Tabletop Games

  • Barghests in Dungeons and Dragons can feed on humanoid corpses to gain strength, which damages or destroys the victim's soul in the process.
  • The act of Diablerie in Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem involves devouring the blood and soul of another vampire. It is rightly feared among vampires, which is why one of the Traditions in Requiem expressly forbids it, though unlike Masquerade, there's nothing that says you can't just kill another vampire without diablerizing him.

Video Games

  • In Twisted Metal 2 and Head On, Mr. Grimm is addicted to souls. By the time of Head On, he's eating more souls than he ferries to the afterlife.
  • In Suikoden I, the aptly named 'Soul Eater' rune eats the souls of those close to the bearer to gain power.
  • In Darksiders, War pays Vulgrim in souls that he eats (shown in the first scene you meet him in).
  • Raziel, anyone? Or the Elder God, for that matter.
  • In Dragon Quest VII's Dharma Temple chapter, there was a sword which stole the souls of anyone it killed. The monsters who owned used it as payment in several deals with the devil where a human would harvest souls for them in exchange for a promise, usually of freedom from imprisonment. They never really kept any of the promises, of course.
  • During Castlevania: Chronicles of Sorrow, Soma Cruz gains skills by domination of creature souls. It's also revealed that when he no longer needs their powers the souls get released.
  • Alduin in Skyrim eats the souls of the dead while they are trying to reach the Halls of Valor in Sovngarde, The Elder Scrolls equivalent of Valhalla. Alduin blankets the paths to the Halls of Valor with thick mist that keeps his prey good and lost so he can eat them at his leisure.
    • The player character can do this to dragons, using their souls to unlock shouts and making sure Alduin can't revive them.
  • The boss of Part 1 in Asura's Wrath was said to have consumed millions of such souls to power up his body and increase his size to Cosmic Horror levels... and all this just to crush the protagonist.

Web Comics

  • The Composite Soul, an amalgamation of three evil spirits that escaped from Hell, devours souls to increase its power in Spinnerette.



  • Per Word of God, this was one of Mordeth's abilities in the backstory of The Wheel of Time and was one of the ways he became so powerful. Since he hasn't used this power explicitly in his new incarnation as Padan Fain, it's unclear exactly how the mechanics of it worked (though there are other ways to lose your soul/things that eat souls in the setting, as mentioned earlier on this page, they draw their power from the Dark One while Mordeth/Fain's comes from... somewhere... else, so it's unclear just how much overlap there really is).


  • In Adam Warrock's first album, "The War For Infinity" Demonos makes a Deal with the Devil for the Infinity Gauntlet with the condition that he "brings back as many souls as he can" before returning or dying. It's not made clear exactly how he is to collect said souls.

Web Original


  10. Not allowed to purchase anyone's soul on government time.