Yugi: But, doesn't that mean that all other religions are wrong? And the hokey Ancient Egypt religion is the only real one?
A fantasy setting with a premise that one particular mythology is an approximation of the truth, usually with some plot-relevant differences. This is often a mythology associated with a mainstream religion.
If this is done to more than one mythology in one setting, then it is a Crossover Cosmology
. If all
of the stories are right, you have a Fantasy Kitchen Sink
and All Myths Are True
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Films — Live-Action
- Expecting Someone Taller, by Tom Holt, to the Germanic pantheon.
- Neil Gaiman's works:
- Good Omens to Christianity (mostly of a heavily Milton-influenced variety). Its Switching P.O.V. protagonists include an angel, a demon, and the Antichrist.
- Anansi Boys, focuses on the concept that West African mythology (and all named spiders and panthers that go along with it) do exist in the modern day. (Unless they're dead.) The protagonist is the son of the trickster spider god Anansi.
- J. R. R. Tolkien's early drafts of The Silmarillion, published in Lost Tales I&II, are a clever inversion of this: Through a series of events and battles that are echoed mainly in Norse and Finnish mythology Middle-Earth becomes our world. Tol EressŽa becomes England, Kortirion especially is identified as Warwick, and Elves still exist. The tales that ∆lfwine/Eriol is told are the true pre-history of the world and later fictionalized among humans. This was toned down significantly to the point of near-abandonment in later drafts, though the fading of the Elves and the gradual dominion of humans remains a prevalent theme. Also impossible to get rid of completely: Some cunning linguists pointed out that a huge number of Tolkien's Eldarin word roots are built to act as predecessors of reconstructed Indo-European, theoretically transporting the idea of early humans using language they were taught by the Elves into the real world. See Faramir's quote on all speech of the world being Elvish in origin.
- The Space Trilogy by C. S. Lewis explicitly has Greco-Roman mythology be a reflection of the celestial politics of the Solar System.
- Rick Riordan's works pretty much all feature this trope:
- Roger Zelazny did this several times:
- Welsh mythology in The Dark Is Rising. More or less.
- Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell at the very least presents as true English legends concerning The Fair Folk, and Merlin is referenced as being a real person. At least, because in the story collection The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories, there is a Crossover with Stardust, and Neil Gaiman at least has placed Stardust within his All Myths Are True 'verse.
- In Douglas Adams' The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, all the Norse gods and legends are true. Also involves a subversion of Gods Need Prayer Badly, as Thor comments at one point that humanity created the gods, but just because we no longer need them doesn't mean they go away.
- In Terry Pratchett's Djelibeybi, the Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Egypt, all myths are true concerning their gods, which have been evolving and developing for seven thousand years. The priests are said to "never throw away a god in case they turn out to be useful" and to be able to "give headroom to a collection of ideas that would have made a theoretical physicist give in and hand in his badge" (paraphrased).
Live Action TV
- Supernatural is an interesting case which can't decide whether it's this trope or All Myths Are True. Earlier seasons seem to imply the latter, with the characters explicitly stating that "almost all cultures" have lore of some kind about the Monster of the Week, with only slight variations. However, later seasons seem to run on the basis of Christianity (with God, angels, and Lucifer).
- A season 5 episode even addresses this issue with a gathering of gods from other/more ancient religions being mad that the Judeo-Christian apocalypse is going to end the world instead of their own religion's version of the apocalypse.
- However, the fact that Lucifer promptly slaughters them seems to suggest that Christianity still comes out on top.
- It seems that neither the angels nor demons nor pagan gods are truly "gods" but rather creatures that have been worshiped as such over time. Some angels mentioned that they came from elsewhere and took over from the old gods; Death claims to be as old as God.
- New World of Darkness actually discuss this in their splatbook about demons. It's up to the Storyteller which religion is true in regard to the myth of demons, as long as the players are cool with it. This is a considerable improvement compared to Demon: The Fallen, which says that "demons are based on Christian lore, but the Christian lore of OWOD is not the Christian lore of Real Life".
- In South Park, the Mormons are right.
- In the episode "Best Friends Forever", that changed when they needed more soldiers to join in the battle against Satan's legion of Hell, and Mormons aren't fighters. Considering that it's South Park, things went back to the way they were, not that soldiers aren't needed.