Dreaming of Times Gone By

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A sleeping character dreams a vision of events past—sometimes long past—and certainly ones he never saw.

While they can be hard to fathom, like Dreaming of Things to Come, they are unable to be warded or fought off, since they are long gone. And unlike Dream Spying, the characters are seldom detected by the people they watch. Dream Weavers can send them. When a character is Talking in Your Dreams, the other can show them.

Usually used to reveal information. They are always, of course, true.

Beware, though, that sometimes the past is not an era friendly to human sanity.

Might be explained by the dreaming characters having lived in the past, or having an ancestor living in that past, in which case there are definite limitations to what he will dream of.

See Bad Dreams for dreams of the character's past and Exposition of Immortality for when the character actually lived through the past they're dreaming about.

Examples of Dreaming of Times Gone By include:

Anime and Manga

  • In AIR, Misuzu dreams of the time of Kannabi-no-Mikoto which was her "full-self". As the dream becomes more vivid, her body deteriorates because no human body can contain the entirety of Kanna's soul, eventually leading to her tragic death.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Madoka dreams of things that have happened in the previous iteration of the Groundhog Day Loop.
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura, the eponymous character dreams of the time of death not of Clow Reed.
  • Happens several time to different characters in Shaman King.
  • A different take happens between Koyuki and Snow in MAR, they are essentially the counterparts of the same person, and so they share dreams of what's happening between their worlds. Given that both girls love him, this level of interaction helps to solidify them as his 'One True Love', yes, both of them.
    • Snow dreams of Koyuki's memories of her and Ginta's past.
    • Koyuki dreams of Snow's interactions with Ginta, and relates them to his worried mother to confirm to her that her son is alright, though in another world.
  • An old man's astral form entered Ranma's, from Ranma ½, dream showing him a date that had happened when the man was young.


Video Games

  • In the Girls Love Visual Novel Akai Ito, Kei dreams of the time of the Mizuki Tribe and their coalition with the human exorcists from the Capitol in their quest to vanquish Nushi. She also dreams of the fall of the Mizuki at the hands of their human ex-allies, and the subsequent suffering of Sakuya.
    • Its sort-of sequel, Aoi Shiro, Syouko dreams of the time of Yasuhime and her exile to the southern islands to seal the <<Sword>>. This is Justified by having the blood of Yasuhime literally flowing in her veins -- she was brought back to life by Yasuhime, once.
  • This is the majority of the gameplay in Assassin's Creed games.
  • Happens to Aya Brea in Parasite Eve 2. It's not so much sleeping as it's fainting from exhaustion.
  • A major plot point in Final Fantasy VIII, and several gameplay sequences, are devoted to the main characters dreaming of past events involving Laguna Loire and his friends. This later turns out to be because of another character's magical power.
  • In Xenogears, Fei and Elly experience visions of themselves in the distant past. It's not until near the end of the game that the reason for these visions is revealed.
  • In Forevers End, Epoch regularly dreams of the past of the Crusades.
  • Zig-Zagged in the first Knights of the Old Republic. The Player Character and Bastila are having dreams that retrace the steps of Darth Revan and Darth Malak as they sought out the Star Maps. It's played off as Force visions until The Reveal at the game's three-quarter mark.

Web Comics

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Parodied in the South Park episode "I'm a Little Bit Country", in which Cartman tries to invoke this trope to get out of studying for an American history report.