Immortal / long lived characters - how might they live undetected in the real world?

Discussion in 'books, films, TV, radio & writing' started by Helen Back, Dec 2, 2019 at 6:22 PM.

  1. In thinking about Wolverine, Conor MacLeod (the Highlander), Aragorn (LOTR), etc, I was wondering how they would might live undetected in today's society. I mean, if you reached a certain age and you weren't aging, somebody's going to notice. You'd have to fake your death and drop off the radar. But what then? Live on the streets as an unnoticed homeless person? Change your identity every now and again?
  2. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank Self-cleaning oven, the whole bit.

    Just periodically reinvent yourself as Helen Back Jr, Helen Back III etc.
  3. S☼I

    S☼I campestral seneschal

    It would have been fairly easy up until now where images are easily distributable. I think if you're immortal you've presumably got a fair bit of wedge by now so you could easily be a rich recluse
    8ball and Celyn like this.
  4. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank Self-cleaning oven, the whole bit.

    Another good way to completely avoid public attention would be to get yourself elected leader of UKIP.
    Chz, Kaka Tim, Virtual Blue and 10 others like this.
  5. Lupa

    Lupa Well-Known Member

    What? You mean their ilk are not already living amongst us?
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019 at 10:28 PM
  6. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    If someone questions them, they could say they’ve had Botox. Some movie stars really don’t appear to age these days. I watched the true crime movie Hustlers last night. It stars Jennifer Lopes as a stripper. She is 50 but she looks no older than 35. Paul Rudd has looked the same age for the last 30 years.
    SpookyFrank likes this.
  7. No, I'm talking about characters that are hundreds of years old, not just looking for their age.
  8. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    I know, it was meant tongue in cheek.
    In a lot of vampire fiction, the vampires keep moving around and they keep reinventing themselves. Seems the obvious thing to do (apart from also killing the witnesses)

    Or you could just not do anything. It’s not a crime to not age.
    Celyn likes this.
  9. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Action Man gets new clothes and looks every few years to keep him relevant.
    A380, Throbbing Angel and Reno like this.
  10. Throbbing Angel

    Throbbing Angel Gabba Gabba-pentin

    You sure?

    A380, Pickman's model, JimW and 5 others like this.
  11. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist slowtime

    I saw The Man From Earth the other day which has this John Oldman who claims to have lived since the stone age, just moving on every five years before his face and life become too embedded in memories. The modern surveillance thing would be an issue but you could 'die' in countries where these things can be arranged and re appear as a new person in the same places. And if you are having a fairly low key chilled eternity why would anyone track you so long as you're not trying to secretly rule a business/crim empire from the shadows or having swordfights in carparks, then you should be fine i recon
  12. JuanTwoThree

    JuanTwoThree Back to the mug-shot

    Two explorations of this idea are one legend, that of the Wandering Jew, and one science-fiction theme, of the Howard families and Lazarus Long (Heinlein).
    A380 and harpo like this.
  13. Yuwipi Woman

    Yuwipi Woman Whack-A-Mole Queen

    There's no point to having immortality if you can't have swordfights in carparks.
    Rebelda, A380, Idaho and 10 others like this.
  14. prunus

    prunus Mostly gone

    12,603 years so far.
    S☼I and 5t3IIa like this.
  15. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    Supposedly theres a lot of CGI de-aging going on ... i read about it in regards a recent hollywood film with an older cast ( Cant remember what film that was now )

  16. miss direct

    miss direct misfungled

    You can buy passports here in Istanbul. Just keep buying new ones.
    A380, Manter and SpookyFrank like this.
  17. Yossarian

    Yossarian free shrugs

    You could probably spend many lifetimes drifting from backwater to backwater somewhere like the US, as long as you didn't get in any serious trouble.

    I think after the first century or two, they'd probably find it harder and harder to interact with normal people, but I guess the drifter lifestyle would allow them to pass as wise old hippie types who took too many drugs in the '60s or angry hard-drinking hermits, depending on what kind of decade they were having.
    Manter likes this.
  18. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    I think the standard trope of changing identities every now and then would be practical, and also it highlights all the "woe is me I'm so alone amongst all these mortals" angst which frankly I'd be dead happy to deal with - sounds like normal life but over a longer period. Oh yeah but standard mortality is just a paradise of fulfilling lifelong interpersonal relationships and then you die a satisfying death alongside your loving family, right? OK boomer.
  19. Sue

    Sue Well-Known Member

    The Irishman. It wasn't v successful imo for various reasons.
    ska invita likes this.
  20. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    It gets done when actors play far younger versions of themselves, most recently in Captain Marvel and The Irishman. It’s been steadily improved since David Fincher used it in Benjamin Button. That’s not the case with the actors I’ve mentioned, they look the same off camera as on.
  21. Orang Utan

    Orang Utan knows how to use the three shells

    I'm sure I remember a variation of The Wandering Jew called The Count Of Saint Germain. From Bulgakov or Eco. My memory is hazy.
  22. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    yeah that was it
  23. Orang Utan

    Orang Utan knows how to use the three shells

    Gemini Man too.
  24. Cloo

    Cloo Surfeit of lampreys

    Matt Haig's novel 'How to stop time' looks at the logistics in some detail. It involves an awful lot of avoiding people and living in some remote places.
    Scaggs and Manter like this.
  25. Yuwipi Woman

    Yuwipi Woman Whack-A-Mole Queen

    So, very little change for me then.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019 at 10:25 PM
    D'wards, SpookyFrank, marty21 and 3 others like this.
  26. belboid

    belboid TUC Off Your Knees

    Aglie in Foucault's Pendulum claims he is the Comte. He )Eco) kinda makes the link with the wandering Jew thru conspiracy theorising but the comte himself only claimed to be about five hundred years old.
    Orang Utan likes this.
  27. Lupa

    Lupa Well-Known Member

    If you had an amazingly strong immune system, would it prevent you from ageing?
  28. Orang Utan

    Orang Utan knows how to use the three shells

    I'm sure I also remember a character in something I read, casually talking about the crucifixion as if he was a witness - that could be The Master & Margarita, but possibly something else.
  29. Orang Utan

    Orang Utan knows how to use the three shells

    no, cos ageing isn't just getting diseases more easily
    SpookyFrank likes this.
  30. xenon

    xenon A move in any direction

    Plenty of mortals live basically undeceted, so you know. Brian, lives at the flats over the road, by the Spar. Yeah. How old is he? Dunno. lived round here for years. Anyway we're moving next summer. Etc. repeat.
    kabbes and 8ball like this.

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