Created By: ArcadesSabboth on December 10, 2011 Last Edited By: ArcadesSabboth on February 27, 2013


Somebody has to hold the sky up, or it ll fall down.

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This wiki has Load-Bearing Boss, Barrier Maiden, Turtles All the Way Down, and Atlas Pose, but Do We Have This One??

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Somebody has to hold up the sky, or it will fall down and Bad Things will happen. For some reason, inanimate objects like pillars just won't do. So, the job falls to this guy, or guys. He (or she, or they) is preferrably very strong, and is likely a god or other supernatural being. There he stands, for all time, Holding Up The Sky, and woe betide the world if anybody kills him or knocks him out.

Holding Up The Sky originates with Egyptian Mythology. Obviously, this is a Discredited Trope in Real Life, but it can still show up in fiction.

If the character is unwilling and unhappy with their lot, and/or the bad guys want to take him out to cause an apocalypse, he/she may be a Barrier Maiden as well. If killing or defeating him is the object of some quest, he may double as a Load-Bearing Boss. Atlas Pose not required.



  • In Egyptian Mythology the sky is the goddess Nut, who is held up by her father Shu, god of air, while the eight Hehu gods steady her feet. Shu seems to have no difficulty with this task, and somehow manages to attend councils of the gods simultaneously. Nut isn't so pleased, though, since he keeps her away from her husband Geb, the earth god.
  • In Greek Mythology, the Titan-god Atlas is forced to hold up the sky forever because of some crime against Zeus. In most accounts, he fought against Zeus in the Titanomachy war. There's no mention of what held up the sky before this war, though. Heracles once gave him a brief respite so he could fetch the Apples of the Hesperides, but tricked him into taking the sky back on his shoulders. Atlas ain't too bright, so all it took was "Please hold this a moment while I put a pad on my shoulder."
  • In Norse Mythology, the sky is held up by four dwarfs, one at each corner.
  • In Maya mythology, the four dwarf-like Baccabs hold up the four corners of the sky.
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