Created By: GiantSpaceChinchilla on June 2, 2010 Last Edited By: GiantSpaceChinchilla on June 7, 2010
Troped

snake or naga or lamia oh my

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Do we need this?

A liminal being usually depicted with a human head, arms, and torso with the added twist of a snakes tail similar to a Mermaid, Centaur, and some Genies. Beings like this can also involve more exotic bodily configurations such as Multi-Armed and Dangerous or wings. Also, some reason most examples are female. Why? Who can say?

Most of the time they are depicted as waking like a Cobra (as in Get out of my face, I am about to strke! cobra) instead of slithering with their whole body. Why? Who can say? PS Please don't try this if you have Non-Mammal Mammaries.
Community Feedback Replies: 31
  • May 31, 2010
    MatthewTheRaven
    Please rewrite this. I gather this is about Snake People with the person on top and the snake on the bottom. That's what the Western-style bastardization of Nagas are, and Lamia was associated with snakes. I mean, she was a Lybian queen who ate children, but I think John Keats turned her into a snake woman even though she wasn't originally, probably conflating her with Lilith, who was associated with the serpent in the Garden of Eden.
  • May 31, 2010
    MatthewTheRaven
    In fact, do we have a trope for Liminal Beings (half-and-half people/animals)?
  • June 1, 2010
    Arivne
    A number of the examples below are from Snakes Are Sexy.

    Anime and Manga

    Film

    Tabletop RPG
    • Dungeons And Dragons: Nagas (snake with a human head) and Marilith demons (human head and torso, snake tail, and six arms).

    Video Games

    Webcomics
    • Kwaii from Drowtales.
    • Kia's sister Guinness in the original Krakow (she's based on the D&D marilith).
  • June 1, 2010
    joeyjojo
  • June 1, 2010
    Unknown Troper
  • June 1, 2010
    henke37
    Rule 34: it's a full subgenre.
  • June 1, 2010
    johnnye
  • June 1, 2010
    Hertzyscowicz
    Our Naga Are Different?

    Dungeons And Dragons also has the Yuan-Ti, which can be this.

    Needs a serious rewrite before launching.
  • June 1, 2010
    MatthewTheRaven
    @Johnnye - OK. I always thought Half Human Hybrids were creatures with a human and a non-human parent.
  • June 2, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Unlike most fictional creatures the 'half-snake-half-woman' image applies to more than one species from different mythologies. I don't think there's a common term for all of them.
  • June 2, 2010
    foxley
    Minor Spider-Man villain Yith.
  • June 2, 2010
    Mozgwsloiku
    A naga appears in one of Conan short stories, sent in a large jar to a man who dabbled with secrets he shouldn't have touched.
  • June 2, 2010
    MightyJAK

  • June 2, 2010
    MatthewTheRaven
    Here is a possible page image from Wikimedia: It is one of the few images of Naga that resemble the Western bastardization that this trope is going to be about. Usually they're multiheaded snakes, but this painting shows snake bodied women.

    In Hinduism, Nagas (more properly nagin or nagini if a female) are a very diverse group of snake-related entities, ranging from nature spirits to gods. Their king is either the Vedic god of storms, Varuna, or a being called the Nagaraja, and they live in the seventh underworld, Patala, its capital known as Bogavat. They are nature spirits associated with water - rainfall, lakes, rivers, wells, seas, and springs, and will bring droughts and floods if provoked.

    Naga occur frequently in the Mahabharata. Even though the text proclaims them to be the "persecutors of all creatures" and they are powerful, poisonous creatures that are hellbent on biting other creatures, the naga we see in the story vary between good and evil.

    The Buddhist tradition, on the other hand, tends to associate the naga with whatever dragon-like deity exists in the local culture, such as the Chinese long or Tibetan klu. The Buddhist naga is usually depicted as a cobra, sometimes with several heads, or as a human with a snake behind its head, indicating that it shapeshifted into a human form.

    The most famous naga in Buddhism is Mucalinda, the naga that protected the Buddha. When you see the Buddha meditating under the hood of a coiled cobra, that is Mucalinda.

    • In Thailand, the Naga is a pluto-analogue, an underworld deity associated with wealth. Another related being is a dragon that lives in the Mekong River, where the Naga Fireball phenomenon occurs.
    • The Malay believe nagas are multiple headed dragons.
    • Laosians view the naga as sea serpents with beaks.
    • Cambodians believe they are descended from the daughter of the King of the Nagas, a race of snake creatures with a vast empire under the Pacific Ocean. Seven-headed Nagas decorate Angkor Wat, hinting at this union.

    The snake headed Roman deity Glycon, worshipped by Alan Moore, is closer to the trope, as are certain depictions of the serpent in the garden of Eden, sometimes shown with a woman's head.
  • June 2, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    There was a episode of Aladdin that has the title character and Jasmine turn into these, IIRC it was quite popular does anyone have a picture?

    Dungeons And Dragons had the Marilith

    Winged Serpents both Sapient and non

    Batman Beyond had an Aesop villian become some kind of naga with stuff added before going Clipped Wing Angel
  • June 2, 2010
    Arutema
    I suggest Snake Girl, or possibly Sssnake Girl for the tile.
  • June 2, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Instant Awesome Just Add Ophidia?
  • June 2, 2010
    Warlock
    Nah, keep it gender neutral. Male examples exist frequently.
  • June 3, 2010
    Arivne
    Live Action TV

    Web Comics
    • In The Wotch, both the title character and the writer Anne Onymous have been portrayed as shapechanged into the form of a naga.
  • June 3, 2010
    Starscream
    @Matthew: Half Human Hybrids

    ...except these don't necessarily have one human parent and one non-human parent.
  • June 3, 2010
    randomsurfer
    @Arivne (sort of): Echidna, the Mother of All Monsters (and specifically of the She-Demon) also appears half woman/half snake.
  • June 3, 2010
    Warlock
    @randomsurfer: Sort of, but it's a bit of a stretch. She had serpent tails/tentacles for her arms and legs, but she did have two of them coming out of her hips.
  • June 3, 2010
    foxley
    A sexy lamia features prominently in one issue of Ironwood, a pornographic comic book series by Bill Willingham. (And yes, that's the same Bill Willingham who would later go on to write Fables).
  • June 3, 2010
    Mozgwsloiku
    There are no nagas in Harry Potter. However, the legend is clearly known - Voldemort's snake familiar is called Nagini
  • June 3, 2010
    MatthewTheRaven
    Can we link this to Sadly Mythtaken too, considering how far from the original story of Lamia and the Hindu version of Nagas the general use of the trope has drifted?
  • June 4, 2010
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
    ^^ How about a usefull notes sub-page instead? Since this is more about things that have a snake tale instead of legs. Like the "Dragons" from the Wonder Woman animated movie.
  • June 4, 2010
    DorianMode
    Xanth has Nagas, who generally are snakes with human heads; this was the same as the Nagas in the version of Arabian Nights I read growing up. The Xanth ones, however, I believe, could become more human for purposes of sexy.

    There was an episode of Tale Spin where the villain was a cobra fellow, which was notable only because, as I recall, he was this while clothed, but lost his outfit at the end, and was somehow just a big snake. Furry Universes operate by strange laws.
  • June 5, 2010
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
    If there are no objections I'll go ahead and launch this one soon, any opinions on a sub-page?
  • June 5, 2010
    Tannhaeuser
    Melusine was supposed to have been like this.

  • June 5, 2010
    DRCEQ
    • Ever Quest 2: The Nizari. There's also the Onaya and Ca'Na as aquatic variations.
  • June 7, 2010
    Chabal2
    • Hellboy's Hecate turns into one.
    • Warcraft 3's naga are this.
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