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All at once I've had enough;

As if I'm made of sterner stuff

I take a breath and open up the door

Dawn breaks hard and falls on me

For just one moment I can see

The pale blue sky, I close my eyes because

The world's so bright and beautiful I have to look away

Braced against the beauty of another perfect day

As I go to pieces and the breeze blows me away

One more blue sunny day.

Vampires who want to commit suicide tend to do it by waiting for the dawn or walking into sunlight.

There are a lot of reasons for a vampire to get fed up with their undead condition: Who Wants to Live Forever?, What Have I Become?, Horror Hunger and Warm Bloodbags Are Everywhere just to name a few. However should they choose to commit suicide and end their undeath they won't have it easy; being a vampire means they're immune to most methods of suicide except for those that involve extreme force. Sure, Our Vampires Are Different means they vary in toughness and weaknesses, but they're immune to things like poisons, exsanguination just sends them into a feeding frenzy and hanging or drowning do nothing (no breathing). Even stepping into traffic may not do the job, leaving them a painful heap of broken but still unliving bones. This leaves only things like decapitation, which is impractical since not everyone has a personal guillotine, and self-immolation, which is easy to chicken out of.

For these reasons Suicide By Sunlight is the preferred method for a lot of vampires. They'll avoid the hassle by simply going out during twilight and waiting for the dawn, or even just stepping out into direct sunlight mid-day. From a story telling perspective and for an added and romantic bonus, it's hard to top this method for sheer pathos. There will be a quiet scene as the vampire waits nervously yet resolutely for the dawn, only to break out into screams and flames as the dawn's rays hit. In very rare cases the vampire achieves a level of inner peace beforehand that allows them to ignore the pain and die in peace. For extra extra pathos, a loved one of theirs will try and fail to get them to find shelter, only to have them soon mourning over a small pile of ashes that scatters in the wind.

Naturally, this trope only applies in settings where Our Vampires Are Different and has sunlight as a deadly weakness.

Contrast Kryptonite-Proof Suit. See also Undeath Always Ends and Weakened by the Light. Not to be confused with Disappears Into Light, which is about characters who dissolves into light after dying.


Examples of Suicide by Sunlight include:


Anime and Manga

  • On Blood Plus the Schiff are a group of people who were used in lab experiments to create artificial Chiropterans(although ironically they resemble more traditional vampires than the chevaliers or the chiropterans themselves, the Schiff are susceptible to sunlight, the chiropterans and chevaliers are not), however, they were a failed attempt and suffered from a disease called "The Thorn" that basically meant that their bodies would end up crystalizing. They were all chased by both cinq-fleche and the chevaliers, in the end there were just three left, and one of them was suffering an Anti-Heroic BSOD and was showing signs of also having the Thorn. In the end, after Moses (the leader of the group) was able to help Karman (the Thorn afflicted) to come to terms with himself and with the death of his friends, both of them decided to face the sunlight for the first (in years since they were turned into Schiff) and last time. As for Lulu (the youngest of them, and only remaining Schiff) she was put to the care of the main characters after being cured of the Thorn.

Comic Books

  • Preacher (Comic Book): Cassidy chooses to go out this way in atonement. Subverted in that he had made a deal with God to come Back From the Dead as a regular human.
  • At the end of Thirty Days of Night, Josh Hartnett's character purposefully lets himself be bitten so that he'll become a vampire; he uses his newly acquired super strength to kill the big bad. Afterwards, knowing that he'll eventually feel the urge to kill/drain his loved ones and probably turn evil, he commits suicide via sunlight.
  • In X-Men Annual #6, Rachel Van Helsing has been turned into a vampire by Dracula. She asks Wolverine to kill her. He hugs her and stabs her with a stake. Before she dies, she sees one last sunrise which turns her to ash.
  • A Hellblazer two-parter had the King of the Vampires palling around London with some of his undead, murderous buddies, and breaking away from the group to harrow a drunk and desperate John. When John gets a second wind and drags the King out into the sunlight, one of his buddies feels the King's death, leading another to say he's going for a walk. "And I may be some time."

Film

  • Blade 2. After she's infected by the Reaper virus, Nyssa Damaskinos asks Blade to carry her out in the open just before dawn so she can see the sunlight and die while she's still a vampire. When the sun comes up she disintegrates in his arms.
  • The very opening of Daybreakers has a preteen vampire girl commit suicide this way because she was not able to grow up.
  • In Let the Right One In, one of Eli's victims does this to herself.
  • In Thirst, the main character decides upon this fate for him and his wife. His wife naturally refuses at first but eventually accepts.
  • In The Chronicles of Riddick there's the Furyan Necromonger "The Purifier". Not really a vampire (but possibly could be considered "undead" due to his religion): he commits suicide by walking out into the sunlight of Crematoria. Of course, Crematoria is basically Mercury, so anyone caught in the open would burn like a vampire. Much in line with the rest of this trope, he walked into the sun after explaining to Riddick that he was tired of the brainwashing the Necromongers used to force him to serve them, and trusted Riddick (a fellow Furyan) to avenge their people.

Literature

  • A vampire does this in book two of the The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries.
  • In "Passionato" by Sharon Lee, an artist accepts an invitation to become a vampire because being immortal will give her more time to master her art, and then learns too late that this form of immortality includes Creative Sterility.

 "I'm going for a walk," she said. "It's going to be a beautiful morning."

    • Relatedly, there's a pair of White Wolf vampire short stories having to do with artists. One kills himself before he can be made into a vampire, in order to avoid Creative Sterility and/or having to give up the sun. One who is already a vampire then becomes obsessed with sunlight and starts staying up late every dawn to try and watch it rise, only barely managing to drag herself away with growing burns each time. The implication is that eventually it will become this trope.
  • In The Vampire Chronicles, Lestat tries at one point, but at that point he's actually too powerful to die and just develops a permanent tan. Louis tries it too, but again is so powerful that his friends get the chance to save him before it can outright kill him.
    • In The Vampire Lestat, the "Mother" and "Father" of all vampires went out in the sun; it's not clear in-text whether this was a suicide attempt, a murder attempt, or if they knew they'd be fine. Anyway, it did not harm them because they were so powerful, but all the other vampires suffered serious burns (at best), even halfway around the globe in the middle of the night.
  • In The Twilight Saga book 2 New Moon, Edward plans this, bit of a subversion as that wouldn't have been what killed him but instead it would have been the other vampires to keep him from revealing the secret of vampires to the general populace
  • Played with in the Discworld novel The Truth, where Otto the vampire loves flash photography but the light involved gives him a lot of pain or disintegrates him. He ends up having to carry a vial of blood around his neck that smashes in his remains when he dies, causing him to come alive again.
  • Possible twist at the end of Soulless. Lord Akeldama (a very old vampire) and Alexia watch the sunset the day before Alexia's wedding. However, since Alexia is a walking supernatural suppression field, Lord Akeldama was effectively a human again and was unharmed by the sun.
  • In Fevre Dream, Joshua York tries this after his Horror Hunger gets the better of him. He chains himself up outside, throws the key out of reach, and waits for the sun to come up. It's an excruciating process that takes several hours. He changes his mind halfway through, severing one of his hands to get away in time. Despite being very badly burned, he recovers over the course of a week, and even regrows his hand, much to his surprise.

Live Action TV

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Angel tries to do this, but a miraculous snow shower clouds the sky so the sun doesn't show.
  • On Forever Knight, the female vampire that turned Vachon and his enemy the Inca into vampires committed suicide by sunlight soon afterward.
    • Nick Knight attempted suicide this way once, only to pull back as he started to burn.
    • A Vietnamese vampire who La Croix brought over so he could get revenge on the army troop who slaughtered his village does this after the last one is dead (also by suicide over regret of the massacre).
  • True Blood has Godric facing the sun on a rooftop. This suicide by sunlight comes complete with weeping friends, inner peace and dissolving into the light.
    • In the fourth season, a witch tries to make every vampire in Bon Temps do this. She succeeds with a few nameless extras, but most strapped themselves down and rendered themselves immobile to avoid this fate.
  • The Vampire Diaries: Stefan attempts this in the first season, but is persuaded not to do it by Elena.
    • Towards the end of the second season, Elena's biological mother Isobel is mind controlled into killing herself this way in front of Elena.

Music

  • "Blue Sunny Day" by Jonathan Coulton is all about this. Every night, the narrator stands outside as long as he can, and at the end of the song he finally manages to stay outside until dawn.
  • The music video of Hammerfall's "Always will be" end's like this.

Tabletop RPG

  • In Warhammer, Isabela von Carnstein did this, after Grand Theogonist managed to destroy her husband in a mutual kill.

Video Games

  • Black Luther from Vampire: The Masquerade Redemption ties himself to a cross and asks the Player Character to open the church's windows so the sun's rays can burn him to dust.
  • Nie R has a non-vampiric, but still sunlight-vulnerable character. Shade Yonah does this by purposefully emerging from her human host into a beam of sunlight.
  • In Castlevania (Nintendo 64), Rosa tries this in her second appearance before Reinhardt stops her. This causes Fridge Horror when you consider that you only see her once as Carrie.
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