Thor the Greek God
When a god-like being in a work is named after a being from an unrelated mythology.
Better Name

(permanent link) added: 2013-06-02 15:31:01 sponsor: KingZeal (last reply: 2013-09-14 18:14:57)

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Suggested Alternate Titles: Thor In Name Only, Misplaced Mythical Moniker, The Greek God Thor.

Some writers like symbolism so much that they'll name characters in a fantasy work after Real Life mythological or religious entities. For example, Bahamut, Gilgamesh, and Shiva are popular in the Final Fantasy series. That's not so bad, because they are largely In Name Only, and no one in this fictional world would know of those other myths, anyway.

But this gets a bit confusing when a deity is given the same name as a Real Life god, with the source myth nowhere to be seen, and the present cosomology is profaned to be the one we know in Real Life. Let's say Heaven assigns a Guardian Angel to you, named Thor—is this guy the same Thor from Norse Mythology? If so, where are the rest of the Norse pantheon? Are they Angels too? How come this guy looks and acts nothing like the traditional Thor?

Related to All Myths Are True, in that it seems certain aspects of various myths are all present in the setting. Where this trope differs, however, is that Anubis and Susanoo are apparently old roommates, and no one's ever heard of Amaterasu. Also related to Crossover Cosmology, but in this case the only guy named "Apollo" happens to be Tonatiuh's little brother.

Examples:

  • The Persona series often uses various gods and deities from multiple mythologies. Orpheus, Nyx, Izanagi, Amaterasu, Thor, Loki, Lucifer and Samuel, and even Nyarlahotep are all present, although some have more plot importance or have more fleshed-out personalities than others.
    • Taken to a logical extreme in Persona 4, where you have to sit through a plot-mandated lecture on the Japanese legend of Izanami and Izanagi (the latter of which is ''the name of the main character's primary summon!) and after it's revealed that Izanami is the primary villain, the main characters have a brief discussion over whether or not she is actually THE Izanami.
  • In the Marvel Universe, we have a few examples:
    • Eros, named after the Greek god of love, who happens to be one of The Eternals from the moon Titan.
    • Medusa, of The Inhumans, who live in Attilan and are a bioengineered subspecies of humans experimented on by Ancient Astronauts.
  • Both versions of Clash of the Titans misapply the name "Kraken" to a sea monster in a story inspired by Greek Mythology. The Kraken is a Scandinavian creature.
  • In One Piece, in the Level 2 (the Wild Beast Hell) of Impel Down, there's a monstrous chicken-like being called Basilisk. You'd expect it to be named Cockatrice, but either way, the monster doesn't have a Taken for Granite gaze anyways.
  • Devil May Cry 3: Beowulf's description is nearly perfect... for another demon entirely. Four wings? Check. Scorpion tail? Check. Claws and talons? Check. Lion-like face? Check. Beowulf, aside from his light powers, is a nearly perfect depiction of the demon Pazuzu.
  • Dante's Inferno:
    • Geryon, in Greek mythology, was a hideous giant that looked like three men fused into one. In this game, which revolves around a fictional interpretation of The Bible, he is a serpent-like creature with wings and a human face.
    • Also borrowed from Greek Mythology is Cerberus, who's usually a three-headed dog. Here, he's some kind of parasitic worm with human teeth living in the corpse of a giant.
  • Parodied in El Goonish Shive with the Immortals, who tend to name themselves after figures from mythaology, such as "Zeus" or "Pandora". Apparently, fights often break out when two Immortals with the same name happen to meet.
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