Created By: Aminatep on July 8, 2011 Last Edited By: Aminatep on July 16, 2011
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Flesh Golem

Help me choose a caption for the picture, if there's any.

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Now with 65% more body per body!

A living being made of living beings.

A trope pretty heavily influenced by Frankenstein's Monster is nonetheless quite distinct from the former in that, while Frankenstein's Monster usually has a human-like appearance, sans Uncanny Valley and various body parts belonging to different people, a Flesh Golem[[Trope Namer: Dungeons & Dragons]] does not look normal in the slightest.

If this creature is even vaguely human-like, it may look like a nightmare version of conjoined twins, or it is a hulking abomination made of various parts of human flesh, sometimes skinless, often possessing extra limbs, organs and heads where they really shouldn't belong. And that's if it's even capable of moving on its own. It may be a mass of human bodies fused together without any specific shape or form - and every single member of it tends to be alive and concious. This version, possibly inspired by Bosch's paintings, is a recurring theme in religious horror: the lustful are fused together, resembling a some kind of a twisted orgy.

Can also be a Mix-and-Match Critter if its parts belong to living beings of different species. See also The Worm That Walks for creatures made of live insects.

Examples:

Anime and Manga

Comics
  • Harvest, a monstrous amalgamation of the bodies of past experiments of Poison Ivy, that came after Ivy in the Batman comics: sending begging to the Dark Knight for protection.

Film

Live Action TV The absorbaloft from Doctor Who is made up of the people it absorbs.

Tabletop Games
  • Various flesh golems of Dungeons & Dragons. Some of them, like a walking cemetery that goes around collecting corpses to add to itself, as well as illithid-made brain golems, were featured at the top list of stupidest D&D monsters ever for failing to convey horror. Others... don't fail to do so.
  • Tyranids of Warhammer 40,000 fame do act out of hunger, but they don't "eat" as much as process everything organic they encounter into biomass and then make new spawn out of it, thus making it so pretty much every single tyranid is a flesh golem.
  • Magic: The Gathering's version of Frankenstein's Monster is virtually this, since the concept behind the card is that the creature is being stiched together from any number of various creatures from your graveyard, not necessarily humans.

Videogames
  • Neverwinter Nights: ''Hordes of the Underdark'', being D&D-bssed, featured a Frankenstein-like flesh golem. Further into the Underdark, the Golem Master subquest featured an island-scale war between loyal flesh golems and rebelling metal golems. The leader of flesh golem faction is made of daemonic flesh.
  • Baldur's Gate I & II has Flesh Golems, particularly II.
  • Abominations in Warcraft are behemoths created by the Scourge from the body parts of their enemies. The Forsaken (the playable race in World of Warcraft) had taken to making them as well.
  • The Harvesters in the Dragon Age series. Bonus points for them having been originally created in an attempt to rediscover the lost secret of making regular stone/metal golems.
  • Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver has Melchiah, a vampire who was resurrected using the very smallest part of his master's soul, leaving him with many of his human vulnerabilities such as bodily decay. To combat this, he would have to absorb his own underlings into him, until you eventually find him in the game as a giant undulating mass of humanoid corpses, using the hands of lesser vampires as fingers.
  • Not explained particularly well in The Thing, but some of the creatures, partiularly the 150-foot tall monstrosity, greatly exceed a human in mass, thus implying they are made of several humans processed into pure biomass and fused together.
  • Diablo 2 has blood golems, vaguely human-like flesh creatures created by necromancers.
  • Fall from Heaven has flesh golems as a body magic spell. Units may be sacrificed using the "graft flesh" spell to add their abilities to the flesh golem.
Nethack has these as a standard enemy. Stoning them turns them into the much more dangerous stone golems. Conversely, casting Stone to Flesh on a stone golem will turn them into one of these.

Webcomics

Western Animation
  • In South Park there is a creature who haunts the mountain called Scuzzlebutt, which has Patrick Duffy for a leg.

Real Life
  • Though conjoined twins are an obvious inspiration for variations of this trope, they are completely natural and therefore hardly a "golem" per se.
    • At least one Nazi experiment (that inspired The Human Centipede) involved sewing Gypsy children together to creare conjoined twins and therefore is an example.
Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • July 8, 2011
    droginator
    • In Full Metal Alchemist, Envy's true form is a massive beast with the faces of the people that were used to make Envy's Philosopher's Stone hanging off of its back.
  • July 8, 2011
    Doxiedame
    Abominations in World Of Warcraft are behemoths created by the Scourge from the body parts of their enemies. The playable race, the Forsaken, had taken to making them as well.
  • July 8, 2011
    Koveras
    The Harvesters in the Dragon Age series. Bonus points for them having been originally created in an attempt to rediscover the lost secret of making regular stone/metal golems.
  • July 8, 2011
    foxley
    Harvest, a monstrous amalgamation of the bodies of past experiments of Poison Ivy, that came after Ivy in the Batman comics: sending begging to the Dark Knight for protection.
  • July 9, 2011
    goodtimesfreegrog
    Legacy Of Kain: Soul Reaver has Melchiah, a vampire who was resurrected using the very smallest part of his master's soul, leaving him with many of his human vulnerabilities such as bodily decay. To combat this, he would have to absorb his own underlings into him, until you eventually find him in the game as a giant undulating mass of humanoid corpses, using the hands of lesser vampires as fingers.
  • July 10, 2011
    randomsurfer
    In South Park there is a creature who haunts the mountain called Scuzzlebutt, which has Patrick Duffy for a leg.
  • July 10, 2011
    Pickly
    • Diablo 2 has blood golems, vaguely human like flesh creatures created by necromancers.
    • Fall From Heaven has flesh golems as a body magic spell. Units may be sacrificed using the "graft flesh" spell to add their abilities to the flesh golem.
  • July 11, 2011
    billybobfred
    Nethack has these as a standard enemy. Stoning them turns them into the much more dangerous stone golems. Conversely, casting Stone to Flesh on a stone golem will turn them into one of these.
  • July 11, 2011
    NetMonster
    The absorbaloft from Doctor Who is made up of the people it absorbs.
  • July 14, 2011
    arromdee
    I'm not sure that it can really be said to be distinct from Frankenstein's Monster. The whole thing was pretty much invented by Dungeons and Dragons as a term for a monster resembling the Frankenstein's Monster.
  • July 14, 2011
    Xtifr
    I don't think the new laconic works! :) Seriously, if you're stumped for a caption, how about something simple, like "Fleshy!". It can always be modified later.
  • July 14, 2011
    WarlordofFryingPans
  • July 15, 2011
    Aminatep
    arromdee, trope namer is another story, this trope does have a significant difference: Frankie's monster can pass for a human or humanoid, this thing cannot. Connotations are different too.
  • July 15, 2011
    Mozgwsloiku
    Does it require splitting from Frankenstein Monster? Seems redundant to me.
  • July 15, 2011
    Hadashi
    I'm with Aminatep, Flesh Golems aren't so much Frankenstein's Monsters as they are, very minor, Eldritch Abominations.

    • Baulders Gate I & II has Flesh Golems, particularly II.
  • July 16, 2011
    Koveras
    Frankensteins Monster is more or less human by the virtue of being created from dead but functional human parts, Flesh Golem is a mindless robot shaped with magic out of random flesh.
  • July 16, 2011
    BraveHoratio
    If I'm understanding this correctly, then I think the thing Grant turns into in Slither might be an example, because it sort of absorbs the other infected.
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