Top Ten Deities in Fantasy Literature
*Disclaimer: this list is in no particular order.
- Eru Ilúvatar – Eru is the supreme deity in the Middle Earth mythos. Featured most prominently in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, Eru is the deity of Creation, the father of the Children (Elves and Men), and king over all lesser “deities” (Ainur).
- Most interesting fact: Eru is an analogue for the Judeo-Christian God Yahweh.
- Attributes: Omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, and immutability.
- The Seven– The Seven is the most important deity in the A Song of Ice and Fire (A Game of Thrones) series. The Seven is worshipped most prominently throughout the mythos and its religion can be roughly seen to mirror a paganized Catholicism.
- Most interesting fact: The Seven is comprised of seven distinct beings/personalities in one central deity.
- Attributes: Septune (seven-in-one), extremely powerful, extremely wise, possibly all-knowing, combat expert, etc.
- Wednesday– Mr. Wednesday is the leader of the “Old Gods” in the book American Gods. Mr. Wednesday is a modern adaptation of the Germanic/Scandinavian deity Woden/Odin.
- Most interesting fact: For those amateur philologists out there, the name Mr. Wednesday is an Easter egg. Wednesday originally meant Woden’s Day.
- Attributes: Extremely wise, (presumably) an expert in combat, and natural leadership skills.
- Aslan/The Emperor Beyond the Sea– Aslan is the primary deity in C.S. Lewis’s Narnia. However, being an analogue for the Christian God he also has a father that it is presumed he shares a Godhead with. The father’s name is the Emperor Beyond the Sea.
- Most interesting fact: Aslan in lore is not just an analogue to Jesus, he is Jesus. He claims, “…[on Earth] I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there,” (C.S. Lewis, Voyage of the Dawn Treader).
- Attributes: (Besides being a lion…) Omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, omnibenevolence, immutability, and (at least) biune (two-in-one).
- Crom– Crom is the main deity of the Cimmerian people in the tales of Conan the Barbarian (The Complete Chronicles of Conan). Crom is considered a proto-Celtic god that is often seen as being similar to Odin. Crom, unlike the other deities in Howard’s fiction, is not an errand boy for his worshippers. Instead, he gives strength to the strong while hindering (and despising) the weak.
- Most interesting fact: Crom is seemingly feared so much that he is only invoked in curses and oaths.
- Attributes: Presumably expert combatant, and likely the most powerful of all the Conan-lore deities.
- Cthulhu– Cthulhu is less of a deity and more of an ancient, higher dimensional being. However, in lore he and the rest of the Great Old Ones are classified as gods. Cthulhu is worshipped by dark and mysterious cults the likes of which participate in human sacrifice, assassination, etc. First appearing in The Call of Cthulhu, he has gone on to become something of a pop culture icon.
- Most interesting fact: One of Cthulhu’s cults, the Black Brotherhood, uses political subterfuge and assassination to try and hasten Cthulhu’s awakening.
- Attributes: Aside from his appearance, his attributes are largely shrouded in mystery.
Bast– Bast is the Egyptian goddess of cats. She appears as a main supporting character in The Kane Chronicles and first appears in The Red Pyramid.
- Most interesting fact: She is first seen possessing her host, a cat named Muffin.
- Attributes: Expert in combat and magic, can communicate with cats, and can possess cats.
- Bibulous– The god of wine and “things on sticks”, Bibulous is perhaps the cheeriest god in Discworld. He is a fat, overly-happy man in a toga that brings the good stuff to the Discworld.
- Most interesting fact: Whenever his other half, Bilious (the god of hangovers), takes a hangover cure Bibulous suffers.
- Attributes: Can create wine and never has hangovers.
- Gan– Gan is the deity in the Stephen King series The Dark Tower. In it, he is the creator deity that formed all universes and alternate-universes. He speaks to men through angelic beings and many consider Gan to be an analogue to the Judeo-Christian God.
- Most interesting fact: Gan allows The Dark Tower to be a microcosm that binds together all of his alternate realities.
- Attributes: Presumably omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent.
- Gûntera– Gûntera is the king deity in the Inheritance Cycle. He is worshipped by humans, dwarves, and undals. He was originally opposed to creating sentient beings to inhabit the world of Alagaësia. However, after another deity created dwarves, Gûntera retaliated by forming the elves to claim the continent for himself.
- Most interesting fact: He was born fully-formed by a female wolf and charged immediately into battle to fight giants.
- Attributes: Presumably supremely powerful, supreme in combat, and has creative powers.
What do you think of our list? Have we missed your favourite deity? Let us know in the comments!
Article by Tripp Bond