->''"You sing of the young gods easily\\
In the days when you are young;\\
But I go smelling yew and sods,\\
And I know there are gods behind the gods,\\
Gods that are best unsung."''
-->-- '''[[EvilOldFolks Ogier]]''', ''Literature/TheBalladOfTheWhiteHorse''

It seems in almost every {{mythology}} or FantasyPantheon known to man, there are mentions of entities that came before and are often above the [[OurGodsAreDifferent gods]] themselves. They're often seen as being older and greater than the gods because OlderIsBetter, although there can be beings that are older yet about even or weaker than the gods. They usually don't [[GodsNeedPrayerBadly need prayer badly]], so do not require humans to like them in any way.

These Old Gods are often some type of AnthropomorphicPersonification or EldritchAbomination. In fact, they usually are in most mythologies. They also have a large overlap with {{Precursors}}, for gods at least. They occasionally appear as the demons of a replacement religion, but compare AngelsDevilsAndSquid for the cases when their [[EldritchAbomination Eldritch-ness]] is played up instead.

See DeathOfTheOldGods, for an explanation on why the older types may not be around any more.

If there's only one of them, see TopGod. See also DivineRanks.

When GodsNeedPrayerBadly, expect these Gods to be the exception. After all, they usually existed before humanity, so why would their existence be dependent on them?

Please note: These characters don't [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant literally have to be]] [[GrandpaGod old looking gods]], it's merely a common term for them that's used both on and off of this site.



[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* In ''AudioPlay/SaintBeast'', there was another set of gods led by Kronos before Zeus became the high god by destroying them (the implication being because they were AbusivePrecursors).

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* [[ComicBook/NewGods "There came a time when the old gods died!"]]
* There are many gods throughout the ''Franchise/MarvelUniverse'', and they [[PhysicalGod tend to live up to their names]]. Unfortunately for them, even they can't compare to the upper levels of the countless [[CosmicEntity Cosmic Entities]] throughout the setting.
** Marvel Cosmology is really loaded with this. Those Who Sit In The Shadows are this to Norse Gods. Elder Gods are this to all Earth Gods, Celestials Are This to Elder Gods and all gods worshiped by any race in the Universe and so-called Cube Beings (godlike beings that evolved from Cosmic Cubes) and their equals, Abstracts are this to everybody and Living Tribunal is this to Abstracts. Then we have beings like Primordial Gods, who are apparently older than Abstracts, Galactus who is older than them, coming from previous Universe and equal to Abstracts, several beings of various powers older than Galactus and Chaos King who is older than them all, being the previous Universe. Then we have bunch of beings like Shuma-Gorath, Dormammu, Stranger, Beyonder, and Nemesis who are hard to fit into cosmology, so in the end the only thing clear is that the One-Above-All [[TopGod is this to everybody]].
* [[ComicBook/TheSandman The Endless]] - older than any god, respected by all of them, personifications of the most fundamental concepts, but not gods per se, as gods require faith and the Endless don't. They also seem to be above nearly all godlike beings of the Franchise/DCUniverse, although in the right situations, other personified entities like the Kindly Ones, Lucifer, and some others have the power to contend their influence.

* ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'': The ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' side of this crossover gives us the C'Tan, gods that feed on the lifeforce of stars and are older than the more ancient lifeforms in the Galaxy, and the Chaos Gods, born from the emotions of sentient beings. The story happens because [[spoiler:the followers of the C'Tan found a way to wipe out the followers of the Chaos Gods.]]
* In ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfAnElderGod'', [[EldritchAbomination the Great Old Ones]] from the Franchise/CthulhuMythos inhabited the Earth long before mankind… and the story begins because they're returning and want to reclaim their home.
* In ''Fanfic/{{Ripples}}'', the [[EldritchAbomination entity]] that Will/Van makes a [[DealWithTheDevil deal with]], A'lek'hol'an, is stated to be the last of Meridian's old gods.
* ''Fanfic/TheGodSquad'' has the The First Gods, the four gods first created by Fausticorn. While all the gods, including Celestia and Luna, are stated to be so powerful that they could be considered Elder Gods The First Gods are the oldest and strongest and dwarf most of the ones that came after them (save the likes of Celestia, Luna, and Cadence, the last being the one closest to the First in fear-inducing power). They include:
** Discord, God of Chaos (who already in the show is one of the most powerful beings but here it is CrankedUpToEleven)
** Zeena, Goddess of Earth, who casually threatens to seal ponies within the earth, trapped forever.
** Fuzzy Thinker, God of the Winds, who in his youth was the original God of War and known as the bane of ponykind
** Lord Tydal, God of the Sea and later God of Storms and God of War (having beaten his brother and taken the titles from him). He has more than once released a fraction of his power and turned into a titan that looks like the famous Old Ones.
* In ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'' there are the Elders, the {{Top God}}s who are the parents of the rest of the Pantheon. They're implied to be so ancient that they've seen the universe be born and die multiple times, and plan out the next one to come when it dies. They are also TheOmnipotent and so powerful even Discord fears them and they're so immense they can't manifest inside the mortal universe fully without destroying it by their sheer presence. Thankfully, all five are either benevolent or neutral in nature. They are:
** Fauna Luster, the Goddess of Life, Beginnings, and Empathy. She's known as the Mother of All Things as every single soul is born from her. She ''is'' the Alicorn's domain, but could also be called Pre-Life. She's also Celestia and Luna's mother.
** The Father of All Alicorns, the God of Existence, Wisdom, and Truth. He literally ''is'' Elysium, the resting place of all good souls. He's also Celestia and Luna's father and Fauna Luster's husband.
** Havoc, the God of Mass Hysteria, Fear, and Survival Instinct. He literally ''is'' Tartarus, the resting place of all wicked souls. He's also Discord's father.
** Entropy, the Goddess of Heat Death, Nothingness, and the End. She literally ''is'' Oblivion, the resting place of all those who have been erased from existence. She's also capable [[RetGone erasing anything from existence]] with but a word, and appears to be the most feared of the four due to her power and temperament. She's also Discord's mother.
** Azerhorse, the God of the Unknown (or at least fear of it). He's unique as he's the TrulySingleParent of the [[EldritchAbomination Outer Concepts]], a separate pantheon from the Alicorns and Draconequi's who's main purpose is to make sure mortals don't tamper in things beyond their capability to safely explore. He's also the sibling of one of the Draconequi Elders, as his offspring are their cousins.
** [[TopGod Something]] ''even higher'' than the Elders that ''created'' the four main ones at least is alluded to, not referred to by name. However, she has no bearing on the story and never appears as a result, merely mentioned in passing by Havoc in a discussion by the Elders.

[[folder:Film - Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheCabinInTheWoods'': [[spoiler:All that the events of the movie turn out to be a ritual to appease ancient gods that would destroy mankind were they to not receive some sort of sacrifice every year. The last scene of the movie includes a hand of one of those gods coming out of earth and smashing the titular cabin.]]

* In Literature/TheBalladOfTheWhiteHorse, [[TheBerserker Ogier]] sings a song of ancient, unknowable gods that have existed long before the Norse gods, and seek to burn and rend all that exists, god and man alike.
* The "Old Gods" from ''Literature/AmericanGods''. There's mention of lost pantheons whose names (and followers) have been entirely forgotten. There's also [[spoiler: the Land itself, something like the very first divine being humanity ever knew/created, who patiently regards the gods themselves as mayflies in much the same way they look at mortal humans]]
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', the Old Gods are nameless animistic beings that are still worshipped in the North, but have no church or religious tenets; it's implied that they may be [[spoiler:the spirits of wargs whose mortal bodies died, living on within trees and animals]]. The Seven, a CrystalDragonJesus septinity, are a younger religion which came to Westeros thousands of years ago along with the Andal invasion and was codified as the official state faith by Aegon the Conqueror. There is some degree of syncretism between the two in Westeros, and people will often swear oaths "by the old gods and the new". Other religions exist as well in different parts of the world; the Lord Of Light, the Drowned God, the Many-Faced God, Mother Rhoyne...
* Creator/DavidEddings really likes this trope:
** In ''Literature/TheBelgariad'', UL and the two opposing Destinies are much more powerful than the gods (the Destinies are exactly equal in power; how they stack up to UL isn't elaborated on).
** ''Literature/TheDreamers'' has the original male and female creative powers embodied as [[spoiler:the peasant couple Ara and Omago.]]
** In ''Literature/TheElenium'', The Elder Gods of Styricum are of the EldritchAbomination variety, before they were overthrown and [[SealedEvilInACan imprisoned]] by the Younger Gods in a [[Myth/GreekMythology Titanomachy-esque]] series of events. [[GodOfEvil Azash]] was even [[spoiler:castrated, Ouranos style.]]
* In ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', [[{{God}} Ilúvatar]], who created the world, is a GodOfGods who effectively delegates running the world after creation to the Valar, analogous to polytheistic gods/goddesses ([[AuthorAppeal technically]] the highest choir of angels). Thereafter, he steps in only when the Númenóreans attack Valinor, at which point the world needs to be re-shaped to take the Blessed Realm outside the physical realm.
* The Franchise/CthulhuMythos' own [[EldritchAbomination unspeakable horrors]] fit the trope, being ancient nightmares that once roamed the world before they were imprisoned, but are destined to rise again when the stars are right. There is a brief mention of some "weak gods of earth" who live in the Dreamlands under the protection of Nyarlathothep.
* The [[TheFairFolk Faerie Queens]] in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' are [[PhysicalGod as good as gods]], but the Faerie ''Mothers'' (formally, the Queens Who Were) are an order of magnitude stronger and far more ancient, though they seem to be pretty restricted in how they can use their power, and don't do much during their one appearance other than offer some cryptic advice. Case in point, in ''Cold Days'' Harry tries to summon Mother Winter [[spoiler: and instead she drags him to her home.]]
* In the ''Literature/{{Mithgar}}'' books, the Fates are said to be above the gods, and the Great Creator is above ''them''. Whether or not any of these exist as discreet entities or just abstractions is left ambiguous.
* The Dead Gods of Creator/MichaelMoorcock's [[Literature/TheElricSaga Elric of Melniboné]] stories "While the Gods Laugh" and "Dead Gods' Homecoming". The swords Stormbringer and Mournblade were originally created to destroy them. They chose to discorporate themselves long ago because they were afraid of being completely destroyed by the swords.
* The Old Gods in the ''Literature/ArciaChronicles'', whose death at the hands of the invading [[LightIsNotGood Lightbringers]] ironically became their world's StartOfDarkness.
* Literature/{{Discworld}}:
** The world has the ice giants who were sealed away by the gods and are supposed to return at the end of the world. Which they did, during the Apocralypse (essentially a mish-mash of multiple apocalypse scenarios).
** The universe at large has the Old High Ones, so far above the gods that they view gods as being roughly the same thing as humans are. There are said to be [[ArcNumber eight]], but the only one mentioned individually is Azrael, the Great Attractor and Death of Universes, whose manifestations individual [[GrimReaper Deaths]] of different worlds are. He is something like galactic in size and has a clock that tells time what it is.
** "Creators" are separate from gods, and obviously came before them because they were responsible for creating the world. They only barely qualify for the plural; the Discworld had a singular main creator, but the continent of Xxxx was created later by a different Creator. The Creators might certainly be more powerful than gods too since they could build the whole world, but they're clearly more "demiurge" (or "craftsman") than "supreme being". The dwarfs also have beliefs about a creator known as Tak, who seems more important in their view but has not actually been seen.
** The Things from the Dungeon Dimensions, the basic Lovecraftian {{Eldritch Abomination}}s in the setting, are according to ''The Foklore of Discworld'' likely old dark gods who were cast out by the Old High Ones. Now they are miserable disordered things that want to get back into the real universe. Some of these, like Bel-Shamharoth, are still there; though having no worshippers, he is said to be [[GodsNeedPrayerBadly sustained as a god]] by the brief, horrified intensity of the belief of his victims.
** As Discworld is a place where GodsNeedPrayerBadly, it is often the case that "old gods do new jobs." In ''{{Hogfather}}'', [[spoiler: the first boogieman]] becomes the Tooth Fairy, and [[spoiler: the Hogfather]] has evolved into his current form over many millennia.
* In ''Literature/TheRedTent'', the women in Jacob's family worship his {{God}} in public (or, more accurately, go through the motions of worshipping Jacob's God), but they worship the gods (and more specifically, ''goddesses'') of their homeland in the privacy of the women's tents. They view Jacob's {{God}} as unnecessarily harsh, and think his customs of burning the choicest parts of a sacrificed animal and circumcision are strange. The Canaanite women (who more readily accept the customs of Jacob's family), particularly Simeon and Levi's wives Ialutu and Inbu, take a dim view of the rituals of the Red Tent, such as offering cakes and wine to Inanna and the [[SexAsRiteOfPassage Ritual of Opening]], as they are not the done thing in Canaan.
* In the Glory of the Defeated series by Lionel Suggs, the entire plot revolves around getting rid of the Old Gods, in order to replace them with New Gods.
* The Unexplored-Class Materials of ''LightNovel/TheUnexploredSummonBloodSign'', who represent the fundamental laws of the universe that even gods must follow. For example, they are the reason that Cronus is fated to be killed by Zeus. They are all female, and each of them is associated with a particular color. The Red-Eyed Lady, Wicked Green Woman and Spirit of the Fluttering Yellow Gills are above most of the remaining Unexplored-Class, while [[TopGod the White Queen]] stands above even them. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, the White Queen is also evil. Prior to the start of the series, she forced the other Unexplored-Class to submit to her, giving her complete authority over the entire universe]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
** [[TheGrimReaper Death]] [[TheFogOfAges can't remember]] if he's this or not. According to Death, neither can God.
** The season 10 finale reveals that [[spoiler:the Darkness predates both God and possibly Death and could not be defeated even by God on his own.]]
* ''Series/StarTrek'' gives us the Klingon creation story. The gods created the first Klingon man, who complained that he was lonely, so they created a wife for him, [[WomenAreWiser who was superior to him in every way]], including as a warrior (which he was jealous of)...but also more compassionate and humble. When they decided to put their differences aside and join forces, they were unstoppable. And they destroyed the gods that created them.

[[folder:Religion, mythology and folklore]]
* There's the [[OurTitansAreDifferent Titans]] in Myth/GreekMythology, parents of the classic gods, who were overthrown by them.
** Before even them, there were the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protogenoi Protogenoi]].
*** While sometimes treated as one of the Protogenoi, in some Greek cosmogonies, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_(mythology) Chaos]] is treated as the first god. It's also one of the closest things to an EldritchAbomination found in classical mythology, representing formless matter and a sort of timeless, shapeless emptiness. While it's not atypical for natural things to have a divine personification in Greek mythology, the idea of the primordial nothingness being alive just seems ''unwholesome''.
* [[Myth/JapaneseMythology Izanami and Izanagi]] in Shintoist beliefs. They were the first humans, created by one god, who had them make more gods.
* Myth/NorseMythology had at least two or two-and-a-half categories of Old Gods, namely the Jotnar and the Vanir, and possibly the Alfar (Elves):
** The Jotnar were descendants of Ymir, the ur-being, who co-existed with (and was kept fed by) a primeval cow named Auðumbla. Auðumbla licked on the salty ice of Niflheim and as the ice melted, a third being was freed: Búri, the first "true" god. Odin, Vili, and Ve (Búri's grandsons) later killed Ymir and [[CreationMyth created the world]] from his corpse (the Jotnar were almost exterminated by the flood of blood from the murder -- only [[AdamAndEvePlot one couple remained to repopulate the race]], making them technically younger than the race of gods). Following this event, Odin became the father and king of the New Gods, the Aesir. The Jotnar were expelled by the Aesir from the central regions of creation but remained puissant and reknowned for their ancient wisdom, the main remaining category of Old Gods.
** The Vanir and the Alfar: If any myths of the origin of the Vanir and Alfar ever existed they have since been lost. They ''ought to'' be descendants of either Borr, Búri's son and Odin's father, or of Vili and Ve, his brothers, to keep the origin myth consistent. The Vanir and the Aesir fought a war that ended in a truce. Following this truce the Vanir were relegated to Old Gods (except for a few, notably Freyr and Freyja, who were incorporated into the Aesir). Since most of the sources we have don't mention anything about them other than the war, their practice of seidr, and their home Vanaheim we hardly know anything about them. The Alfar faded into obscurity, only barely more divine than the mortal kindreds of dvergar and humans.
** Odin himself is called "''the old God''".
* Myth/CelticMythology has the Fomorians, a semi-divine race who lived in Ireland long before the Tuatha Dé Danann showed up. Several of the Tuatha Dé Danann were themselves descended from the Fomorians, most notable of which was [[TheAce Lugh the Long Handed]].
** The Fir Bolg were also this, although they were (eventually) not quite as hostile to the Tuatha Dé Danann as the Fomorians.
* Tiamat and Apsu were the primal couple of Myth/MesopotamianMythology, ancestors of all the gods. They then turned on the gods and tried to wipe them out. The gods fought back and, under the leadership of Marduk, won. Marduk split Tiamat in two, made heaven and earth out of her body, and became king of the gods.
* In Myth/ChineseMythology, the giant Pangu (or P'an-ku) is born in the primal chaos and sorts it out into heaven and earth. After a long life (18,000 years), he dies and, like the more violent Ymir and Tiamat, his body becomes the inventory of the world.
* The Abrahamic God is this to all other religions according to the Bible, going so far as identifying idols worshipped by man as actually lower devils.
** 1 Corinthians 10:20 “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.”
** It is also a misconception that the Abrahamic God needs any sort of prayer or belief to exist or work, being the I AM THAT I AM, the self-existent one.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** The ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' setting has a large number of pantheons containing various deities of different power levels. Above all of these pantheons, there is Ao, also known as the Overgod. On one occasion when a god stole the Tablet of Fate from him he responded by stripping ALL gods of most of their divine powers, forcing them into their avatar forms on the material plane until the Tablet was returned. And then of course, there's a [[{{God}} being of light]] who even Ao answers to.
** The Highgod and Chaos from ''TabletopGame/{{Dragonlance}}''.
** ''TabletopGame/{{Eberron}}'' has the three dragons - [[GoodIsNotNice Siberys the Dragon Above]], [[OmnicidalManiac Khyber the Dragon Below]] and Eberron the Dragon Between - who became the three layers of the world at the beginning of time. While there are a few cults devoted to Khyber, the other two aren't directly worshiped much.
** The Primordials in the 4th edition aren't necessarily stronger than the gods, but they certainly came before them.
** Basic D&D Immortals rules. The Immortals are the BD&D equivalent of deities. The Old Ones are a group of extremely powerful beings who are as to the Immortals as the Immortals are to mortals. If someone becomes an Immortal and reaches the highest level of Immortality ''twice'', they can join the Old Ones.
** And then there are the Elder Evils, {{Eldritch Abomination}}s that the Aboleths remember. How is this special? The Aboleths were already ancient when the gods came to be, and Elder Evils are/were older than anything the Aboleths can remember. They are not gods, but they are powerful enough to challenge them and pose a treat of world ending proportions. "Abomination" doesn't even begin to describe those horrid beings.
** Similarly vestiges also fit this mold;
---> ''"Beings that cannot exist inhabit a place that cannot be. Cursed by gods and feared by mortals, these entities fall outside the boundaries of life, death, and undeath. They are untouchable by even the most powerful deities, though they can be summoned and used by even the weakest mortal."'' - '''Tome of Magic'''
** Those most powerful gods? They'd be the "Uber Deities" even stronger than the mightiest [[DivineRanks Greater Deity]] and so far beyond the gods that while the GodsNeedPrayerBadly, they can afford not to care about such things anymore.
*** Two such beings explicitly mentioned in D&D lore include the patron of the demigod Vecna from the ''TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}}'' setting, a being referred to only as The Serpent, and the enigmatic Lady of Pain from ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'', who's mentioned as a "contemporary" of The Serpent, and [[RewritingReality responsible for the 3rd edition rules]].
** Then you have the dead gods floating about the astral plane, which are implied to be able to be restored to life somehow. Such as if people start worshiping them again, but there may be more to it than that.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'': The Primordials, who are basically Greek Titans, but more awesome/terrible. The younger gods they created don't like them, and created the eponymous superhumans [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu to do them in]].
** The Titans from the ''TabletopGame/ScarredLands'' D&D setting are basically the same thing, as are the Titans from ''TabletopGame/{{Scion}}''. Creator/WhiteWolf loves this trope, apparently.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** The C'tan, ancient gods that feed on the lifeforce of stars and predate all sentient life in the universe, and thus the other main gods in the setting [[GodsNeedPrayerBadly who are born from the dreams and emotions of sentient beings]]. Rather than being defeated by the younger gods as is typical of this trope, most of them were instead wiped out [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters by the army of undead robot soldiers they created to help them get rid of the new gods by killing the lifeforms that sustained them]]. Oops.
** The eldest of the gods born from the Warp, the Eldar Pantheon, were doomed by the hubris and hedonism of their own followers. The murderous depravity and debauchery of the Eldar birthed the Chaos god Slaanesh. Slaanesh then slaughtered most of the Pantheon (Cegorach fled into the Webway, Issa was "rescued" by the Chaos god Nurgle, and Khaine was shattered by Khorne).
* One of the possible Imperator types in ''TabletopGame/{{Nobilis}}'' are the primordial "True Gods".
* The Celestial Court in ''TabletopGame/RuneQuest'' fits the bill. They were original gods of cosmic principles that created the younger gods and the races that would become mortal once the Time began. They were for the most part rather passive, focusing on obscure spiritual matters and paying little heed to the conflicts among the young gods that ultimately led to the destruction of them and their home when the Spike that bound the cosmic order together exploded under onslaught of Chaos. It is believed, however, that the mysterious goddess above all other deities, ''Arachne Solara'', may be the ghost of the world goddess Glorantha, one of the original Court.


* The villainous Ortrud, in ''Theatre/{{Lohengrin}}'', is a worshipper of the "profaned gods" Wotan and Freya, and wishes to visit their vengeance on the Christian Germans who have forsaken them.


[[folder:Video Games]]
* The ''Franchise/DragonAge'' lore has this in spades, along with DeathOfTheOldGods and varying levels of TheMagicComesBack:
** The entities specifically referred to as the Old Gods were seven dragons (or beings in the form of dragons) worshipped by the Tevinter Imperium, a human {{Magocracy}} that ruled most of Thedas for centuries. They were said to be cast down by the creator deity known as the Maker, and now reside in the Deep Roads below Thedas. When found by the [[AlwaysChaoticEvil darkspawn]], the Old Gods rise in a corrupted form known as an Archdemon and lead the darkspawn to destroy Thedas in an event known as [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt the Blight]].
** The Dalish elves revere a set of elven deities known as the Creators, who were once the gods of their ancestors. They were opposed by evil gods known as the Forgotten Ones. The Creators were said to be sealed in the Fade by a [[GodOfEvil deity named the Dread Wolf]], along with the Forgotten Ones. [[spoiler: The events of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' reveal that the Creators did exist and were known as the Evanuris, but were simply powerful sorceror-kings. The Dread Wolf did seal them away in the Fade, but only after they had killed one of their own and threatened to destroy the world.]]
* It's been referenced in the ''Franchise/SilentHill'' series.
-->[-"The old gods have not left this place..."-]
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' introduced more layers to the series pantheon: the Three Goddesses introduced in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'' are here called the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Gods of Old]] while other less powerful divinities, like [[spoiler:[[BigGood Hylia/Zelda]] and [[BigBad Demise]]]], who seem to stand somewhere between the Golden Goddesses and the embodiments of natural powers (spirits, dragons, deku trees, great fairies, etc...), are introduced.
** The Goddesses themselves seem to be pushed into this role in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass'' and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks'', where other deities take center stage.
* In ''VideoGame/ArcanumOfSteamworksAndMagickObscura'' you can find altars to the old pagan gods, who were worshiped before the rise of [[CrystalDragonJesus Panarii religion]]. Though almost forgotten in most places, it appears they are still powerful, as you can receive blessings from them.
* Played with in ''VideoGame/CookieClicker'': The elder gods are ''literal'' elders, as in old ladies... at first, at least. They start getting Lovecraftian when you piss them off.
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', there are immensely powerful EldritchAbomination entities that are referred to as the Old Gods because they were worshiped as such by some of the mortal factions. They did once rule the world but have now been [[SealedEvilInACan imprisoned]] within it. Those who imprisoned them were the titans, and they or at least the "Pantheon" that leads them are another example of this trope: ancient beings of even greater power who shaped the world among many others before leaving it to its own devices. They saw the Old Gods as a kind of parasite infesting whole worlds rather than single organisms, but couldn't destroy them without destroying the world at the same time.
** It's been recently revealed the Old Gods ''also'' have Old God equivalents, the [[UltimateEvil Void]] [[DarkIsEvil Lords]]. They created the Old Gods as living weapons meant expressly for corrupting and killing the ''unborn children'' of Titans, since they find it difficult to manifest in the mortal realm; since the Titans use special planets as incubators and the Void Lords couldn't tell them from normal balls of rock, they sent out Old Gods to infest everywhere. It's also explained that [[SatanicArchetype Sargeras]] is also an indirect creation of the Void Lords as well-after being forced to kill a corrupted Titan fetus and coming to believe that the Void Lords' ultimate victory was inevitable, he [[GoMadFromTheRevelation lost his mind]] and decided that in EvilVersusOblivion, Oblivion was preferable to life under the Void Lords.
* The name of the ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings II'' DLC that introduces pagans and Zoroastrians as playable cultures.
* In ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'''s first two games, you're told that once, the gods and demons lived in a somewhat turbulent balance with humanity. It changed when a certain somebody [[FromNobodyToNightmare got a few more followers]] and started to crush and [[{{Demonization}} demonize]] his opponents to add their power to his own, one by one. At the end, [[TheMagicGoesAway magic had been sealed]], most gods had been destroyed or imprisoned in the Abyss, and the lone guy was in command of a vast religion, so he retreated to rule in the dark. [[spoiler: If you didn't get it, the guy was [[GodIsEvil The Big Man Upstairs]], the Great Will, ''YHVH''.]]
** In ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIVApocalypse'', those same gods are back as the Divine Powers. And they are ''pissed''.
* In ''VideoGame/RuneScape'':
** For much of the game's history, Guthix appeared as this trope: a nature-oriented god of {{balance|BetweenGoodAndEvil}}, who was unique among its peers in being sustained by the planet itself rather than by [[GodsNeedPrayerBadly prayer]], and who single-handedly banished the other gods from the world when they made a mess of things. It was later revealed that he was [[spoiler:a [[DeityOfHumanOrigin former mortal]] who got a higher {{divine rank|s}} than the others for unknown reasons.]]
** Zaros and Seren were of comparable power to Guthix and had the additional distinction of being the only gods [[spoiler:created directly by an Elder God]], though Zaros was [[KillTheGod assassinated]] and Seren [[spoiler:[[PiecesOfGod shattered herself]]]] millennia before the game's timeline. [[spoiler:[[OnlyMostlyDead They're both working to change that.]]]]
** The trope is played straight by [[spoiler:the Elder Gods, who created the planets, enjoy CompleteImmortality unmatched by the lesser gods, and are coming back to [[PlanetEater consume Gielinor]]]].
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series has [[GodOfGods Anu]] and [[TheAntiGod Padomay]], the {{Anthropomorphic Personification}}s of [[OrderVersusChaos "stasis/order/light" and "change/chaos/darkness"]], respectively. In the primary CreationMyth, their interplay in the great "void" of pre-creation [[TheMaker led to "creation" itself]]. Creation, sometimes anthropomorphized as the female entity "Nir", favored Anu, [[DrivenByEnvy which angered Padomay]]. Padomay killed Nir and [[EarthShatteringKaboom the twelve worlds]] she gave birth to. Anu then wounded Padomay, presuming him dead. Anu salvaged the pieces of the twelve worlds to create one world: Nirn. Padomay returned and wounded Anu, seeking to destroy Nirn. Anu then [[TakingYouWithMe pulled Padomay and himself outside of time]], ending Padomay's threat to creation "forever". From the [[PiecesOfGod intermingling of their spilled blood]] came the "et'Ada", or "original spirits", who would go on to become either [[OurGodsAreDifferent the Aedra or the Daedra]] depending on their actions during the creation of Mundus, the mortal plane. (Some myths state that the Aedra come from the mixed blood of Anu and Padomay, while the Daedra come purely from the blood of Padomay).
* ''VideoGame/NightInTheWoods'' gives us [[spoiler:the Black Goat, a creature "as black as the space between stars" that lives in a hole in a long-abandoned mine. Unless sated with human sacrifices, he will bring destruction upon the town.]]

* In ''Webcomic/RustyAndCo'', [[http://rustyandco.com/comic/level-6-56/ the amplified Python summons one over the fight and the castle]]. (Writer's comment: "It's a really obscure elder god… you probably never heard of it."
* In ''Webcomic/StandStillStaySilent'', the Nordic and Finnish paganic pantheons are treated this way, having apparently returned after centuries of dwelling in obscurity. They've apparently gifted mankind with magic and ability to train cats, but it's still AmbiguousSituation.
* ''Webcomic/{{Kubera}}'' has the Primeval Gods, which are actually a different order of being than the normal gods ("Astika") entirely. While the Astika can exist only as long as their jurisdiction does and die along with the universe, the Primeval Gods exist regardless of universe. Visnu, the Primeval God of preservation, can even retain his memories from previous universes.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''{{WesternAnimation/Gargoyles}},'' WordOfGod says that before [[PhysicalGod Oberon]] took over the [[TheFairFolk Third Race]], they were ruled by his mother, [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Queen Mab]]. He overthrew her in part because she [[ParentalMarriageVeto opposed his marriage]] to [[TheChessmaster Titania]] and in part because [[AxCrazy she was insane]]. He [[SealedEvilInACan sealed her away]], but apparently [[WhatCouldHaveBeen she would have broken out]] eventually if the series continued.