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.

ELDER BEINGS – 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 Yag-Thaddag.

ELDER THINGS – 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.

GREAT ONES – 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, Ithaqua.

LESSER OLD ONES – servants and/or spawn of the Great Old Ones. Members include Dagon, Hydra and the Deep Ones.

OLD ONES – A term alternately used to describe the GREAT OLD ONES and ELDER THINGS at differing times.

OTHER GODS – 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.

The following is a list of all Appendix profiles directly related to Lovecraft's writings or the Cthulhu Mythos. Characters based on writings only peripherally connected (most Robert E. Howard Conan characters) are not included.


Abdul Alhazred - Human author of the Necronomicon 

Dagon - possibly the Lesser Old One by the same name

Haunter 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)

Nyarlathotep - the only known Other God, often associates with the Outer Gods and Great Old Ones.

Shambler from the Stars - A star-vampire, though I'm uncertain at this time which category those fall in.

"Thing 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.

Tsathoggua - Great Old One

Zvilpogghua - Great Old One


Asteroth - 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.

Azotharoth - mentioned only; possibly another name for Azathoth, the Outer God. Listed as Great Old One in OHOTMU 2006: Demons.

Dagoth - 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.

Ghaszaszh Nyirh - serves Shuma-Gorath and as such would most likely be a Lesser Old One.

"God of the Dead" - Uncertain origin, possibly a Lesser Old One.

Kathulos - serves Shuma-Gorath, likely a Lesser Old One.

Lloigoroth - possibly connected/same as Lloigor, a Great Old One, or the Lloigor, his Lesser Old One servants.

N'Gabthoth - servant of Shuma-Gorath, likely a Lesser Old One.

Nigguraab - mentioned only; listed as a Great Old One in OHOTMU 2006: Demons. Possibly the same as Shub-Niggurath, but not certain.

Sh'mballah - has the characteristics of a Great Old One.

Shuma-Gorath - one of the Great Old Ones; in MU, possibly even more powerful than Cthulhu.

Sligguth - 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.

Yog-Sokkot - 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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