Death in Kingdom Hearts



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Key-Chan567

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As far as I could understand, when someone 'dies' his heart turns into a Heartless and his body and soul turns into a Nobody. So according to this information no one in the KH universe can permanently die because their soul turns into something as well. It has been repeatedly stated in the KH2 secret reports of Ansem the Wise that this is the case and I honestly don't know what to think about it.

Of course, it could also be the case that this unique event only happens when the heart of a person is being coercively separated from the body and that normal death actually exists in this universe.

Or generally speaking; how does death work in Kingdom Hearts ?

I don't even know for sure if I'm getting this right.
 

Divine Past

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Correct me if I am wrong but I believe you only turn into a heartless if your heart falls into darkness or something to that ilk.

So you can still die of old age or w/e
 

WhinyAcademic

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Though I remember the “there is no concept of death” statement many years ago, there is still some form of death in Kingdom Hearts, ask Mufasa and Auron.
 

Sephiroth0812

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Though I remember the “there is no concept of death” statement many years ago, there is still some form of death in Kingdom Hearts, ask Mufasa and Auron.
Death exists insofar in KH that the soul can run out of fuel (aka lifeforce) and thus is no longer capable of sustaining the body.

Since in the KH verse the soul is nothing but a lifeforce battery it is theoretically possible to bring about physical death by separating the soul from the body, that's what Ansem's Report in KH 2 insinuates.

Memories are stated to be truly immortal in Chain of Memories and they're a core part of any heart, but memories can he sealed away or otherwise buried and hearts themselves can be apparently injured so heavily that in worst cases they can cease to function altogether if no other heart is around that helps the afflicted heart.
 

PARACOSMIC-M

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Hi! Yeah, I’ve always wondered the same thing. I always thought that you only split into a heartless and nobody if you a) fell to darkness or b) were “unlocked” with a keyblade like when Sora stabbed himself in kh1. That way for normal kh people death worked just like it does for us. Btw cool to see another girl my age on here, I thought I was the only one who liked kh!
 

alexis.anagram

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Physical death occurs, but I don't think there's any real way to end someone's spiritual existence. In the first place, as long as memories of a person exist, there is something binding their "essence" to the hearts of others, and it's arguably possible to resurrect a person based on that alone. Memories and feelings are more essential to the make-up of a person in KH than are physical bodies, as they constitute the basis of identity and personhood, and the body is really just a form through which these human (and universal) elements pass.

A heart only becomes a Heartless when it is consumed by darkness: this can happen in a number of ways, but it isn't typical of the average person's lifespan, and among those afflicted only a rare few have a strong enough "will" that their bodies and souls continue on as autonomous Nobodies. Most of the time, the body of the person fades, and the heart itself can live on theoretically forever as a Heartless in a kind of suspended state until the darkness consuming it is cleansed (for instance, by a Keyblade), at which point the heart will return to Kingdom Hearts, which is where all hearts are thought to have come from in the first place.

As for what happens to the heart at the point of physical death, or after it has been released from darkness, that has always interested me. Personally, I think the heart is recycled through Kingdom Hearts, has the memories of its previous life integrated into the entire mass of the lifetimes it has lived, and is born into a new form with these traces of its old "self" etched into it like tree-rings-- so more as a matter of karmic intention than active recollection. With each new rebirth, the heart's balance of darkness and light might be tilted one way or the other based on the kind of life it lived, and that causes unconscious inclinations to take root and guide each new form in its progression through each new lifetime.

Although it's just an unlikely theory, it'd be a great way to see MX defeated if accessing KH caused him to inadvertently "unlock" the integrated memories of all the lives his heart had ever lived-- we saw what carrying the hearts and the accompanying emotions of just a few lives did to Sora. Imagine taking on all the pain and joy and wrongdoing and heroism of hundreds, thousands, or millions of lifetimes. The cost of becoming one with KH would then be the sacrifice of one's selfhood: it would have no meaning there, where all of time exists in a singular, endless, concurrent cycle of past, present, and future.
 

Rodin

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Normal deaths do exist in Kingdom Hearts. Its just death by heartless has different effects than what a normal death is.
 

SoulXaldin

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Is Terranort the only character whose actually dead? Because as far as I’m concerned, Xemnas and Ansem were killed and that brought back Xehanort but it was Grandpa Xehanort so, by extension, does that mean that Terra is actually dead?
 

Hakan Xatos

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Is Terranort the only character whose actually dead? Because as far as I’m concerned, Xemnas and Ansem were killed and that brought back Xehanort but it was Grandpa Xehanort so, by extension, does that mean that Terra is actually dead?
I'm not sure about the rest of Terra, but he's not dead. His will is still lingering in the badlands. So I guess your question is really if Xemnas and Ansem SoD still have Terra's body and heart or are they somewhere else?
 

Key-Chan567

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Physical death occurs, but I don't think there's any real way to end someone's spiritual existence. In the first place, as long as memories of a person exist, there is something binding their "essence" to the hearts of others, and it's arguably possible to resurrect a person based on that alone. Memories and feelings are more essential to the make-up of a person in KH than are physical bodies, as they constitute the basis of identity and personhood, and the body is really just a form through which these human (and universal) elements pass.

A heart only becomes a Heartless when it is consumed by darkness: this can happen in a number of ways, but it isn't typical of the average person's lifespan, and among those afflicted only a rare few have a strong enough "will" that their bodies and souls continue on as autonomous Nobodies. Most of the time, the body of the person fades, and the heart itself can live on theoretically forever as a Heartless in a kind of suspended state until the darkness consuming it is cleansed (for instance, by a Keyblade), at which point the heart will return to Kingdom Hearts, which is where all hearts are thought to have come from in the first place.

As for what happens to the heart at the point of physical death, or after it has been released from darkness, that has always interested me. Personally, I think the heart is recycled through Kingdom Hearts, has the memories of its previous life integrated into the entire mass of the lifetimes it has lived, and is born into a new form with these traces of its old "self" etched into it like tree-rings-- so more as a matter of karmic intention than active recollection. With each new rebirth, the heart's balance of darkness and light might be tilted one way or the other based on the kind of life it lived, and that causes unconscious inclinations to take root and guide each new form in its progression through each new lifetime.

Although it's just an unlikely theory, it'd be a great way to see MX defeated if accessing KH caused him to inadvertently "unlock" the integrated memories of all the lives his heart had ever lived-- we saw what carrying the hearts and the accompanying emotions of just a few lives did to Sora. Imagine taking on all the pain and joy and wrongdoing and heroism of hundreds, thousands, or millions of lifetimes. The cost of becoming one with KH would then be the sacrifice of one's selfhood: it would have no meaning there, where all of time exists in a singular, endless, concurrent cycle of past, present, and future.
Thank you very much for your thoroughly written answer. It was very informative and insightful and I got to learn a few things about the lore again.
 

Elfdemon

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Death and becoming a Heartless are two very different things. When someone's heart is released from their body, a Heartless is created. Becoming a Heartless is only a temporary separation. Once your Heartless is destroyed by a Keyblade, your heart will be freed and you will be recompleted. If you have a Nobody as well, then they will have to be destroyed as well for you to be recompleted. Death is death. You don't become a Heartless/Nobody when you die. You become a Heartless when you succumb to the darkness/lose your heart. When you die, you die.
 
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