The proliferation of beings based on
the works of Howard Philip Lovecraft and his so-called Cthulhu Mythos
in the Marvel Universe necessitates a definitive list explaining the
various races in the Mythos and how they differ from one another.
Many writers and researchers aren't aware of the various things that
separate the races, and often lump them together. This does not hold
just for writers using the characters and concepts in the MU, but in
the Cthulhu Mythos itself. Given the free-reign nature of
the original group of writers who were not terribly concerned with
total continuity, and given the amount of writers hence who have
added to the Mythos, many concepts have become convoluted over time.
Even Lovecraft himself was not immune to this, as he often used
certain terms as alternate names for one race before using it as its
own later on.
It should be noted that this listing is
as per the Cthulhu Mythos itself, and may not be completely accurate
within the Marvel Universe. Within the MU, many of those listed as
Great Old Ones, but by Mythos standards are Outer Gods, Lesser Old Ones
or what have you are considered Great Old Ones, as there has not been
enough distinction between them within the confines of Marvel's
stories. This list is not complete, but when researching a profile for
the Appendix regarding these characters, it's a good place to start.
– Another term for one
particular alien race, the Polypous race (aka the Flying Polyps)
ELDER GODS – not to be confused with the more traditional Elder Gods of Marvel, these Elder Gods are not easily classified as there are numerous theories on what they are. These include
Members include Nodens, Kthanid and
– alien race that are
near-cylindrical in shape with starfish-like heads on one end. At
some point before the rise of humanity, they warred with Cthulhu
before eventually secluding themselves from all others.
GODS OF THE
EARTH – race of gods who
began on Earth, similar in ways to the various pantheons later on.
Members include Ariel, Lilith, Hagarg Ryonis, Karakal, Lobon,
Nath-Horthat, Robigus, Tamash, Zo-Kalar.
– see Gods of the Earth
GREAT OLD ONES
– immensely powerful
alien beings who arrived on Earth “thousands of millions of years
ago.” Stories differ on why (one popular theory is that the Great
Old Ones once served the Elder Gods but revolted), but the Elder Gods
imprisoned the Great Old Ones in various places on Earth, the stars
on other dimensions. Members include Cthulhu, Hastur, Tsathoggua,
LESSER OLD ONES
– servants and/or
spawn of the Great Old Ones. Members include Dagon, Hydra and the
– A term alternately used to
describe the GREAT OLD ONES and ELDER THINGS at differing times.
– Little-researched race,
the only known member is Nyarlathotep, who is the messenger for the
Outer Gods and may be the link between the two races. Due to his
uniqueness, he is often considered an Outer God, and he also performs
tasks for the Great Old Ones as well.
OUTER GODS – similar to the Great Old Ones, but ultimately more powerful; the Outer Gods are seen as personified cosmic forces, and are near-limitless in their abilities. Often considered Great Old Ones by scholars due to their similarities, they are not. Members include Azathoth, Shub-Niggurath, Yog-Sothoth.
BEINGS DIRECTLY ADAPTED FROM CTHULHU MYTHOS:
Abdul Alhazred - Human author of the Necronomicon
possibly the Lesser Old One by the same name
in the Dark - an avatar/aspect of Nyarlathotep.
Nightgaunts - race of beings found both on Earth and in the Dreamlands (similar to the MU's various dream realities)
- the only known Other God, often associates with the Outer Gods
and Great Old Ones.
from the Stars - A star-vampire, though I'm uncertain at this time
which category those fall in.
from R'Leyh" - A monstrosity from R'Leyh, the great city built by
Cthulhu and his minions that sank to the ocean floor after the battle
with the Elder Things. Possibly Cthulhu himself, but more likely just
one of his Lesser Old One minions.
Toad God - Uncertain; given it not being imprisoned, may be a Lesser Old One.
Great Old One
- Great Old One
MARVEL-CREATED or LATER BEINGS WHO FIT
- Has many similarities in origins to the Great Old Ones, and is
counted among them in OHOTMU 2006: Demons.
Azoth - if
he is actually Azathoth, he would be one of the Outer Gods.
- mentioned only; possibly another name for Azathoth, the Outer God.
Listed as Great Old One in OHOTMU 2006: Demons.
follower of Shuma-Gorath and likely Lesser Old One.
Erlik Khan -
listed as a Great Old One in OHOTMU 2006: Demons, may actually be a
Lesser Old One.
- serves Shuma-Gorath and as such would most likely be a Lesser Old
of the Dead" - Uncertain origin, possibly a Lesser Old One.
serves Shuma-Gorath, likely a Lesser Old One.
- possibly connected/same as Lloigor, a Great Old One, or the
Lloigor, his Lesser Old One servants.
servant of Shuma-Gorath, likely a Lesser Old One.
- mentioned only; listed as a Great Old One in OHOTMU 2006: Demons.
Possibly the same as Shub-Niggurath, but not certain.
- has the characteristics of a Great Old One.
- one of the Great Old Ones; in MU, possibly even more powerful
As the spawn of Set and a servant of Shuma-Gorath, Sligguth would
possibly not only be an Elderspawn but also a Lesser Old One.
Sodatha - being mistaken for the true Sodatha, who may be a Great Old One, Outer God or Lesser Old One.
Water elemental - servant of Shuma-Gorath, so likely a Lesser Old One.
- possibly alternate name for Yog-Sothoth, mentioned only; both are
listed as Great Old Ones in OHOTMU 2006: Demons.
Beings listed as Great Old Ones in
OHOTMU 2006: Demons who have yet to receive their own profile on the
Appendix include: Cthulhu, Black Gods of R'Lyeh, Gol-Goroth, Slorioth,
Shub-Niggurath, Thog the Ancient, and Yog-Sothoth (the latter whom is
actually an Outer God).
Last updated: 04/15/08.
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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