The answer by Imprfectluck at this question made me wonder what would happen to people whose name was written down in the details of another persons death. For example: John Doe dies after his date with Jane Doe. The foremost basic rule of the Death Note states that The human whose name is written in this note shall die. So will Jane Doe die?

We additionally have rule LIV that states that if you write the cause and details of death on a different page, you need to be thinking of the original victim and would not be able to think both of John and Jane at the same time. This would indicate that you have to choose what will happen. Either you think of John and the details happen, either you think of Jane and she dies. Does a similar rule exist when writing on the same page? Or is writing someone's name in the details of another's death just an exception to that first rule?

In order to make the Death Note take effect, the victim's name must be written on the same page, but the cause of death and situation around the death can be described in other pages of Death Note. This will work as long as the person that writes in the Death Note keeps the specific victims name in mind when writing the cause and situation of death.

4 Answers 4


It seems this was actually confirmed by L in chapter 45. The Yotsuba company had made tests of their own, and deduced rules from this. One of the things they deduced was that

If other names are specified, the action becomes void and they all have heart attacks.

Therefore a person written in the situation of death would completely void the action and kill all written names with a heart attack. Obviously the most fundamental rules need to be fulfilled (eg: Think of that person's face, nicknames would not work, ...), but it seems that the complete action would actually be voided if more names were written down in the situation of death.

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That is correct. Jane Doe will die of a heart attack 40 seconds later (unless the cause/time of death is also described for the second victim).

The death note will not cause the deaths of other humans whose names are not written. But once written, all bets are off.

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    I seem to be missing something here … say you write the above sentence while concentrating entirely and only on John Doe, you're never explicitly thinking about Jane. But according to one of the first rules, you need to think of the person you want to kill to prevent accidentally killing people with similar names. How does that actually fit in?
    – Jan
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 9:53
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    @Jan You don't need to concentrate on her. Just writing her name while knowing her face is enough (Writing a name of someone you know will instinctively bring that someone's mental image up). If you don't know how Jane looks like, it's possible she'd be saved though. Commented May 20, 2015 at 10:47
  • If you write Jane's name without knowing her, The command to date her won't work as it could be any jane in the world and john doe will die of a heart attack or just ignore the command. So I attest to Uchiha's answer. I am sure I read or analysed the above example somewhere. (I will provide you with some proof when I remember them ) Commented May 20, 2015 at 13:07
  • Can we update the answer with if Jane's face is not known by the DN user at the time of the writing, she won't die? Also, I think John will die when his date ends if the date happens within the time limit, else he dies of a heart attack. But I am not as sure as Jane not dying if her face is not known. Commented May 21, 2015 at 20:26

OK here is the discussion that gave me that idea.

Can you have someone you are controlling with a Death Note order a murder? For instance, could Light have written down the name of a mob boss, then write, "orders the demolition of the hotel where L is currently staying, then dies three hours later."

No, for two reasons. The first is that the Death Note can only kill one person per name. If it brings harm to anyone else, the person will just die of a heart attack. Also, aliases don't work, period. The Death Note doesn't know who L or Kira or Wedy or Aiber or Near or Mello or anyone else with an alias are. Real names only. However, you could write something like "Report Siht. Demolishes a hotel, then subsequently dies." and then write "L Lawliet. Crushed by falling debris as his hotel is demolished." As long as two names are written, they are able to interact. Isn't it only that the person cannot directly harm people? Of course, regardless of that, "orders the demolition of the hotel where L is currently staying" is impossible because the mob boss could impossibly know that L is staying in a hotel or which hotel that is.

Although the above discussion tries to prove that you would need the name of person to be killed to actually kill them. So as long as Jane Doe's name is in the notebook , it will kill them. Either in one sentence or two sentence. If you do not think of the person , the death note's command would not work either as it protects from killing someone by mistake.So either the command will work or Jane doe will die are the only possible outcomes.

  • You cannot let person X kill person Y, person X would die of a heart attack. That still does not change the fact that you actually wrote down Y's name and according to the rules, EVERY name written in the DN will die.Therefore when you write "John Doe dies after his date with Jane Doe.", the DN will interpret it as two commands. First "John Doe dies after his date with", which doesn't make sense, so JD dies of a heart attack and then the second command "Jane Doe", without any specifics of death. If you would write down a lot of more details they would become Jane's details and not John's Commented May 20, 2015 at 18:06

In Death Note: How to Use It I, the second rule is this:

This note will not take effect unless the writer has the person's face in their mind when writing his/her name. Therefore, people sharing the same name will not be affected.

The important part of the rule to look at is the first part. This means that since you were meaning to kill John Doe, and this death won't cause the death of Jane Doe, then you were probably only thinking of John Doe's face, and thus, Jane Doe won't die.

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