Born on the 20th of August 1890, Howard Phillips Lovecraft was a well-known and significant author who is still known for his work in this modern era. His work has influenced numerous other authors, musicians, and even game developers. That is why it is quite unusual to see only a few adaptations of his work in movies and TV series. However, today we will be discussing the 8 Best Lovecraft Gods of Cosmic Horror that are undeniably one of the most unique and remarkable works of H.P. Lovecraft.
According to Lovecraft, Azathoth is the most powerful being and is the creator and king of the Outer Gods. He is also known as the “Blind Idiot God” “Nuclear Chaos” and “Daemon Sultan“, a monster that dreams, and it is in his dream that the cosmos exists. Azathoth, as implied by his name, has no idea what is happening in the dream. In his sleep, Azathoth also makes movements that alter reality. Here’s how HP Lovecraft has described Azathoth
“Outside the ordered universe is that amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity—the boundless daemon sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time and space amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes.” – HPL
The Horror in the Museum by H.P. Lovecraft and Hazel Heald introduced Rhan-Tegoth, also known as “The Terror of the Hominids” who is one of the Great Old Ones. Rhan-Tegoth is said to be an immortal being residing in the arctic and will come out at the end of times to awaken the other Great Old Ones out of all HP Lovecraft Gods.
Yog-Sothoth first made an appearance in the 1943 horror novel The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Since then, he has continued to make appearances, playing roles in stories like The Dunwich Horror and At the Mountains of Madness as the unseen main antagonist. The Yog-Sothoth is said to be all-knowing meaning that he has the knowledge of the past, present, and future. However, he is said to be locked outside of the cosmos we live in. Here’s how HP Lovecraft has described Yog-Sothoth:
“Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They have trod earth’s fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread.” – HPL
Shub-niggurath is known to have given birth to several of the Great Old Ones, she is a perverse fertility deity and the spouse of Yog-Sothoth. In some places, she is also associated with the phrase “The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young”. The Last Test, a modification of Lovecraft’s earlier story, has the first mention of Shub-Niggurath. Though Lovecraft has not described her that much, she is constantly referred to or invoked in incantations.
“Ever their praises, and abundance to the Black Goat of the Woods. Ia! Shub-Niggurath! The Goat with a Thousand Young! Ia! Shub-Niggurath! The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young!” – HPL
Nyarlathotep is a shape-shifter who can take on a thousand different forms, the majority of which are horrifying to humans. He was first referenced in Lovecraft’s 1920 prose poem of the same name and later appeared in other works as well. Nyarlathotep is basically the spawn of Azanoth and is one of the Outer Gods in the Cthulhu Mythos. Here’s how HP Lovecraft has described Nyarlathotep:
“Into the lands of civilization came Nyarlathotep, swarth, slender, and sinister. Men advised one another to see Nyarlathotep and shuddered. And where Nyarlathotep went, rest vanished, for the small hours were rent with the screams of nightmare.” – HPL
Cthulhu is one of the Great Old Ones and it has the power to drive anyone to insanity and takes under his control whoever looks into its eyes long enough. A huge hybrid of a dragon, an octopus, and a human, Cuthulu is also known for his enormous size and grotesque appearance.
“A monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind.” – HPL
Chambers’ tales served as an inspiration for H. P. Lovecraft, who mentioned Hastur in The Whisperer in Darkness (1930). Hastur has also been adapted by later authors into many different stories. Hastur is believed to be the spawn of Yog-Sothoth and his shape can’t really be explained. However, most of the time Hastus is pictured as a shapeless glob with octopi-like appendages, showing similarities with Cuthulu in terms of looks.
The firstborn of Cthulhu, Ghatanothoa is also one of the Great Old Ones and it also has the power to drive anyone to insanity, just like his father. Anyone who falls a gaze on this amorphous creature gets petrified into a living mummy. The victim remains fully conscious despite being forever immobile. Only the use of a magic scroll or the disintegration of the victim’s brain will liberate it from its terrible prison.
That takes us to the end of the 8 Best Lovecraft Gods of Cosmic Horror. Let us know in the comment section below which one was your favorite and why. To know about the Best 10 HP Lovecraft movies that will give you creeps! or for more entertainment, keep following Retrology.