Deity of Human Origin

A Deity of Human Origin is an actual God made by or from a human (or humans). Not merely godlike, but an actual de facto God who has created a universe or sentient species or performed some other feat worthy of a true god. May or may not still have a physical body.

It may be a person who was raised up by other gods, or a computer program that has somehow tapped into a source of divine power, or anything, really. The important thing is that it's an actual God with roots in humanity. This trope does not refer to the actual concept of gods being invented by man.

This may overlap with Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, but that trope doesn't require actual Godhood, and this trope doesn't require a higher plane.

If the Deity of Human Origin is the creator of the world/universe, then it's another one than the one they grew up in... unless they're in a Stable Time Loop, of course.

Having created a world does not automatically make a person into this trope: It's a matter of how the whole thing is portrayed. Let's say that some guy creates a virtual world where the computer programs are real individuals with real emotion and self-aware intelligence. If the programmer comes across as having crossed some kind of Moral Event Horizon, it's not this trope. If they instead come across as some kind of Crystal Dragon Jesus, it's definitely this trope.

In a setting where gods are powered by the faith of their followers, it may be possible for a mortal to ascend to godhood with sufficient worship. The classic example is a hero so renowned that the common people pray to them for aid.

In any case, the trope name uses the word "human" in a very broad sense — Fantasy creatures can be included.

Compare Demon of Human Origin.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Earth's god in Dragon Ball falls into this category, where essentially anyone strong and pure of heart can qualify for the role. The current god even considers giving it to Son Goku at one point. Note that as Kami is a Rubber-Forehead Alien, and Goku is a Human Alien, actually being a native Earth species isn't a requirement.
    • In Battle Of The Gods, it is revealed that Saiyans can do a temporary version of this: in times of crisis, five good-hearted Saiyans can combine their energies into a sixth and have him become the "Super Saiyan God". Goku does this but somehow retains a portion of the Super Saiyan God powers after it was supposed to have worn off, and Whis suggests that Goku could one day become the new God of Destruction (Goku declines).
  • The elevation of Yurie, the title character of Kamichu! to divine status in much the same way as listed in Myth below, kick starts the plot and her learning how to deal with her new status is a significant point in many episodes.
  • The Exis from Tower of God, a result of humans trying to "build Gods". They are extremely powerful and cannot be interfered with in their sphere of influence. Currently, only one Exis of five is known and that is Phantaminum.
  • Bleach
    • Kurosaki Ichigo was born a Human with Shinigami powers. By the climax of Deicide he is so powerful that his reiatsu is now in a dimension twice removed from the Shinigami.
  • The Lifemaker/Mage of the Beginning in Mahou Sensei Negima!, as can probably be guessed from the name, is the creator of the Magical World and presumably its first inhabitant. The Lifemaker is over two thousand years old, immensely powerful, immortal and is referred to as the god of the Magical World, though he was presumably once human.
  • In the finale of Puella Magi Madoka Magica Madoka becomes a god and creates a new universe.
  • Played with in The Girl Who Leapt Thorugh Space. The humans built space-colony super-computers that will prove for all the humans' needs, and they do fulfill their purpose, but is it the be-all and end-all of things?
  • The Idea of Evil in Berserk is this, going so far as to call itself "the ungodly God born of Man." An argument can be made for the five members of the God Hand as well: if Griffith/Femto is any indication, each one Was Once a Man, but it's unclear whether they're as omnipotent and undefeatable as they seem.
  • ENIAC & Atanasoff serves as this to the entire Digimon franchise, having formed the primordial Digital Worlds into what they are.
  • Scrapped Princess: Cellia Mauser is revered as the "god" of the setting and has a religious order in her name. However, during the final episode, Pacifica learns that Mauser was a mere human who'd been left in charge of supervising them, and even refers to herself as a caretaker. Cellia abdicates her position after letting Pacifica decide whether the world should remain as it was, or if she should release the seal on the "locked world".

    Card Games 
  • In Magic: The Gathering:
    • Planeswalkers begin their lives as mortals and, before the events of Future Sight, became Physical Gods.
    • The archangel Avacyn was created to serve as Innistrad's patron goddess, protecting the humans from the monsters.

    Comic Books 
  • In the indie comic Atomika - God is Red, Mother Russia is a mortal incarnation of the goddess of Russia and she has a human son with a hidden divine spark. The evil duke of the Soviet Union has Mother Russia killed and the boy rendered down and rebuilt with dark science as a metal-skinned god of the atom.
  • Watchmen averts this during the actual storyline. Dr Manhattan claims that he is not a God and that he doesn't like people. At the end, however, he has changed his mind: He likes people after all, so maybe he'll create some as his next project.
  • Wonder Woman
    • In pre-Flashpoint continuity, she became the Goddess of Truth for a short while after she was killed in action and the Greek gods decided to reward her for her devotion. However she was too good to be a god, using her new powers more to help people than gain worshipers, so they eventually demoted her back to mortal superhero.
    • In the New 52, she became the Goddess of War, taking the mantle from Ares.
  • The TRON example below is given a Deconstruction in the Alternate Continuity TRON: Ghost In the Machine. Jet Bradley finds out about what his game programming means on the other side of the screen, does not handle the revelation well, and is scared to even go near a computer after finding out.
  • In Supergod, superheroes are Gods. Supergod is all about a world where various countries built superbeings that were gods (or gods that were superbeings). However, the concept of "God" is a flawed one.
  • Futurama featured briefly an alternate timeline, where Greeks disillusioned with democracy, switched to theocracy and built robot gods to rule them. It ended as you could expect from ancient Greek deities.
  • In Lucifer, Mona Doyle eventually becomes a Goddess. So does Elaine Belloc, but Elaine was never really human.
  • The Great Powers of Fables are implied to be this. Like The Endless, they are material beings representing ideas. The Great powers Like Mr.North or Mister Dark can be killed, and their title of office and powers go to another person.
  • In the Marvel Universe, the character that best fits this trope is probably the High Evolutionary: he creates an entire planet and evolves animals into new humans to populate it, as well as spending large periods of time away from his creation and no longer having a human body underneath his armor. However, he's still depressed at times by the presence of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens out there which are way more powerful than he is. A more common way is to have a human join an established Pantheon of gods — Loki for example tried to make Storm the new Asgard god of thunder at one point — but these ascensions have a tendency to end up being temporary.
  • At the end of the first book of Darkseid War, this happens to half the Justice League.
  • Galactus used to be a humanoid from the old universe called Galan, before the old universe was destroyed. He was the only survivor, and became the Planet Eater we all know today.
  • In The Sandman, Daniel Hall eventually has his mortality burned away, and the immortal part becomes the new Dream of the Endless when Morpheus dies.

    Fan Works 
  • A Crown Of Stars: Daniel -this story's Big Good- is the God Emperor of Avalon, but hundreds of millenia ago he was an human that sought -and managed- to ascend to godhood. His powers include soul manipulation, traveling through space and time and bringing people back from the dead.
  • Thousand Shinji: Due to the events of the fic, Shinji, Asuka, Rei and Misato became the New Chaos Gods. All of them have a myriad of shapes -some few of them humanoid and/or comprehensible to human eyes-, psychic powers and are able to manipulate souls and bodies. Shinji is the God of Deceit and is nearly omniscient, Asuka if the Goddess of War is her world's master of physical combat, Rei is the Goddess of Demise and her domain is decay and sickness, and Misato is Goddess of Pleasure and Pain.
  • In Mister Vimes'd Go Spare!, by Lunik, Sam Vimes is dead. Of course, on the Discworld reality (and the pantheon) really depends on how strongly people believe in it. And coppers really believe in Mister Vimes...
  • It's never clarified in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic if alicorns are Physical Gods are not however fanon portrays them as so. Celestia's and Luna's origins are unknown however Cadance was born a pegasus according to a licensed book and Twilight spent her entire life being a unicorn until the season 3 finale. Whether either are immortal depends on the fans interpretation.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Foreshadowed by the title of Transcendence and Caster's speech near the beginning where he elaborates on the necessity of creating a god. Then Caster dies and becomes an ascended intelligence with omnipresent-omnipotent-omniscient powers and set about making the world a better place for everyone in it. He/it was on the verge of elevating humankind to his/its level when the stupid humans committed deicide.
  • TRON: In this movie (as well as the sequel), computer programs are real people with real feelings, and the world they live in is very real in its own right. Their gods, the Users (with a capital U) tend to refer to themselves as "human", a designation that is quite irrelevant to the setting. See Page Quote.
    • The original film is essentially a Christian parable. The electronic world is being tyrannized by the MCP, a program that is rebelling against its creators (it's hacking the military to literally make war on humanity). The MCP is trying to stamp out belief in the Users (which is explicitly called a religion; communication with the Users is handled by Dumont, whose design resembles the garb of a clergyman), persecuting the faithful and throwing them into gladiatorial combat. Those who join the MCP become his faceless, red-colored minions. His chief flunky Sark even wears a helmet shaped like devil horns. Into this world comes Flynn, a User who has become a mere program (wearing a tunic reminiscent of a prophet's robes). He displays supernatural powers, including the ability to heal by laying on of hands. He ultimately sacrifices himself to defeat the MCP and save the digital world, and ascends back to the real world of the creators, a realm beyond the programs' comprehension. The Novelization by Brian Daley plays up the symbolism even more.
  • Over 90% of TRON: Legacy takes place in a world known as The Grid, and the major conflict is built on three characters (two of them played by the same actor) who we can call The Father, The Son and The Devil. The Father is the creator of the world and also the father of the Son — whose arrival to the world brings new hope and a chance of salvation from the Devil character who has ruled the world since he rebelled against The Father. The Father is wise and benevolent, a personality that might seem a bit out of character for those who have seen the first movie and remember him as an immature brat. At the very end, it is revealed that he was still immature and shortsighted when he created the world and the creature that would usurp him and take the role of Devil. This is revealed to be the reason for why the world is in the sorry condition it is — The Devil was simply carrying out the orders given to him by The Father to the best of his ability, but the Father who created him and his world was flawed. Thus he carried out flawed orders to the best of his flawed ability. This turned his quest for perfection into something vile, warping him into a Totalitarian Utilitarian leader of something that looks eerily familiar.

  • All of the novels in the Craft Sequence play with this concept.
  • Exploring this concept is the whole plot of Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light.
  • The Incarnations of Immortality series plays this straight. In the series, all significant forces — Death, Fate, Nature, War, Time and so forth are normal humans who assumed the Office. However, most of these Incarnations are not worshiped.
  • In The Immortals quartet, Sarra, Daine's mother, a mortal, dies and goes to the Realms of the Gods to join her husband Weiryn. Since only gods are allowed to live in the Realms, she is granted a place among the minor gods and becomes the Green Lady, a patroness of healing and childbirth.
  • The Ellimist from Animorphs was originally mortal; the full story of his ascension to a higher plane is told in The Ellimist Chronicles.
  • In The Cosmere, the metaverse of most of Brandon Sanderson's works, various humans apparently got hold of pieces of a god called Adonalsium which broke apart, and proceeded to become gods in their own right, creating all the various worlds Sanderson writes in (except Alcatraz-Earth and obviously the world of WoT). There are apparently 16 total Shards of Adonalsium, some of which have been broken up further since. There are also cases like Mistborn: The Original Trilogy's Lord Ruler and Warbreaker's Returned, where humans attain a state that is considered divine by various groups in-universe, though they're not gods in the cosmic sense. The Lord Ruler even created three entirely new races, the Inquisitors, the Koloss and the Kandra.
  • Malazan Book of the Fallen has quite a few thanks to how Ascendancy can take place. Ganoes Paran and Itkovian to name but two examples.
  • With one exception, the gods in the Book of the Long Sun are of human, though hardly humane, origin. They turn out to be the digitized personalities of the dictator who build the starship all the characters live in, his sociopathic family, along with his mistress and a few cronies. Their explicit desire to make a mockery of everything virtuous explains why the two religions we see are a blasphemous Catholicism with blood sacrifices and an intolerant, gender-bent version of Islam.
  • In Fredric Brown's short story "Answer" humans create an omnipotent computer and ask it, "Is there a God?" The computer answers, There is now!
  • Marethyu (The Grim Reaper) from The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. Not only this, he's actually a future version of the protagonist Josh (It Makes Sense in Context).
  • Sister Alice has the Great Families, who protect the peace in the galaxy. As Family members age, they are granted more "talents" - massive, nearly intangible dark matter machinery - and their mind is spend up, until they possess powers equal to that of a god, capable of ripping planets and stars apart, or creating entirely new elements. A classified memo from a corrupt family explicitly call their high rank members to be a "god", when describing how their presence in a system can greatly improve the economy.
  • Frank Herbert's The Godmakers. The priests of the planet Amel practice "religious engineering", in which gods are literally created through psychic powers. The protagonist develops psychic powers and becomes the first human god the priests of Amel have ever created.
  • In Isaac Asimov's The Last Question, humanity builds a supercomputer of unparalled processing power and keeps upgrading it over millions of years, asking the eponymous question ("How can the net amount of entropy of the universe be massively decreased?", that is, violate basic laws of physics, god territory) from time to time. The computer cannot answer it until the entire universe except itself has ceased to exist via heat death and then, in a Twist Ending, it discovers that it is the Creator/God and restarts the universe.
  • In the Coldfire Trilogy, human colonists are stranded on a planet where what they imagine can become real, including monsters under the bed, and being afraid something will go wrong will make it go wrong, just for starters. The Church of the One God was deliberately created to give people something to greater to have faith in, because if they believed that things would turn out for the best then they would. Eventually, they succeed in creating an actual transcendent deity that can actually intercede on their behalf.
  • At least one of the gods in the Hyperion Cantos is the result of human engineering.
  • In John Milton's Comus, Sabrina threw herself into a river trying to escape her Wicked Stepmother. The river gods had pity on her and made her one of them, so she can help the Lady.
  • It is said that whoso seeth the gods upon Pegana becometh as the gods, if so he demand to Their faces. And so Zobruk, who was only a shepherd brought before Them to be laughed at, is now numbered among the gods. To make men happy, he sent gifts into the Worlds with the usual results of impulsive divine gifts.
  • In The Dresden Files, Cold Days reveals that Mab, Queen of the Winter Faerie was once a human, which would suggest that her opposite, and possibly other Faerie Queens were once mortal too. She's not called a "god" (gods are a separate category of being in the books,) but she is an inconceivably powerful and ancient entity with strong links to the forces of nature.
    • Of the four most recent Winter and Summer Ladies, one was supposedly never mortal, two were changelings (human-faerie hybrids, Mab's daughters in fact), and the current Winter Lady was a mortal, albeit a mage.
    • It is said that successful completion of the Darkhallow ritual would turn the wizard into a god, but whether they mean that literally or just mean he/she would gain unimaginable power (assuming there's any meaningful difference between those possibilities,) is unclear.
  • In William Shatner's The Quest for Tomorrow books, the protagonist reveals that humans are eventually supposed to reach The Singularity and Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence as a single being. The other races would eventually join this being, although humans would be the key. Once it became all-powerful, the being would travel back in time and create the primary universe from which The Multiverse stems. However, certain events conspire to keep this from happening, and the heroes have to take some drastic measures to save reality from unraveling.
  • Raistlin Majere becomes one of these in an alternate timeline in Dragonlance Legends through Time Travel, some Applied Phlebotinum, and a trip through a portal into the local hell-equivalent to overthrow the Goddess of Evil and take her place. As an encore, he proceeds to kill the rest of the pantheon and turn Krynn into a sterile wasteland. He's just that kind of guy.
  • The Deed of Paksenarrion has Gird, who according to legend was a peasant who led an uprising against an evil Magocracy armed only with a wooden club, and later died battling an invasion by a neighboring kingdom. His story is told in the Legacy of Gird sub-series.
  • Becoming a god is the goal of many characters in Coiling Dragon. Warriors and magi train their abilities to gain insight into the Laws and Edicts of magic. Once their understanding is deep enough, they will become a Deity. If a character bonds with a divine spark, however, they may learn from a previous Deity's understanding and gain godhood.
  • In The Gods Are Bastards, the Pantheon were once mortals and got their current position by killing the previous generation of gods. It's later revealed that the Elder Gods were also once humanoids. Whether there ever existed any god not of human origin remains an open question.
  • In A Land Fit for Heroes, the Sky Dwellers, also known as the Dark Court, are apparently immortal and possess godlike magical powers, but drop the occasional hint that they were once human. Specifically, that they are characters from the author's previous trilogy, Takeshi Kovacs.
  • In The Balanced Sword trilogy, the male lead's patron god, Terian, is said to have once been a mortal man. This sets up the denouement in which the female lead defeats the Big Bad by ascending to a higher plane of existence and becoming a god herself.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In Chinese Mythology, humans were frequently promoted to godhood in the Celestial Bureaucracy.
  • Many Inuit gods and spirits were once humans. Malina became sun goddess when she escaped to the sky from her brother Igaluk, who tried to rape her. He continued his chase and turned into the moon spirit. The goddess of the sea, Sedna, was a mortal who changed when her father tried to sacrifice her to calm down a storm. As she clung to the boat he cut off all of her fingers, creating seal from the severed parts.
  • Greek and Roman gods included some who were apotheosized from mortal origins, most famously Herakles (Hercules) who became a god upon his death, according to his worshippers. Also Ino, daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, who became the sea-goddess Leucothea, and Psyche, a mortal girl who became a goddess when she married Cupid (Eros), as related by the poet Apuleius.
    • Also Ino's son Melicertes, who became the sea-god Palaemon, and Romulus, who according to at least one tradition was deified under the name Quirinus.
  • Some Roman emperors were worshipped as gods after their deaths. The custom of deifying Roman emperors led to Emperor Vespasian's Famous Last Words:
  • In Ancient Egypt, the kings of Egypt were considered at least partly divine during life, but fully divine after death. Certain non-royal persons, such as Imhotep and Amunhotep son of Hapu, were also deified after their deaths. In the latest dynastic periods, anyone who drowned in the Nile was said to become a god.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) believe that God was a mortal at one point. And that they themselves might one day become like God.

    Live-Action Television 
  • Castiel, from Supernatural tries to pull this off, by swallowing souls from Purgatory. Sadly, not only didn't it work, it appears that nobody really was going to see him as a God.
    • Though perhaps not this trope, as Castiel wasn't human, he was an angel.
  • Averted by Person of Interest. Root refers to The Machine as a god (and uses female pronouns, but never the word "goddess"), so you'd presume she'd think quite highly of her god's creator, Finch, but no: she respects him as a Worthy Opponent in hacking at first and later comes to see him as a friend (or as close to a friend as Root has), but never once ascribes to him anything more than mere humanity.
  • Kamen Rider Gaim: Kouta and Mai become this after eating the Golden Fruit.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • The Forgotten Realms setting contains several gods who were once human, but ascended to replace other gods who had died. Examples include Cyric, Kelemvor and Mystra who were adventurers until their ascensions during the Time of Troubles.
      • Two necromancers from the wizard nation of Thay had a rivalry who of them would become more powerful. One of them was Szass Tam, the current ruler of Thay and one of the very small circle of contenders for the title of most powerful lich wizard in the world. He lost. His rival was Velsharoon, who became the god of necromancy.
      • Bhaal, Bane, and Myrkul (the Dead Three) were once mortals who sought out godhood. They eventually reached Jergal, one of the oldest and mightiest of the gods, and demanded that he hand over his powers to them. Jergal by that point had grown weary of his role and handed over his portfolios to them. Bhaal became the god of Murder. Bane became the god of Tyranny. Myrkul became the god of Death.
    • In the Greyhawk setting, St. Cuthbert and Vecna are both ascended mortals. (Well, ascended undead in Vecna's case.)
    • Cas, Demigod of Spite from the aptly-named Heroes of Horror supplement. He was denied justice in mortal life, and his hatred was massive enough to exalt himself to godhood. This Baphomet-like figure grants power to exact spite (at a price), not unlike Enma Ai.
    • In the Nentir Vale setting, The Raven Queen was given domain over death after Nerull proved to be too problematic.
    • This is the core philosophy of the Believers of the Source (or "Godsmen") in Planescape: All mortals have the capacity for apotheosis, which will come to you in your next life (or possibly a later one) if you improve yourself enough and become "worthy" through your actions in this one.
    • Many of the Immortals in the Mystara setting were once human, or members of some other humanoid race. Others derive from more exotic non-divine species (treant, earth elemental, sapient dinosaur), and still others no longer remember their personal origins, but assume they were once mortal because that's how the younger Immortals came to be.
    • In Eberron, the Warforged faction called the Godforged seek to build their own god(s), in a cave, with a mountain of scraps.
  • Pathfinder
    • Likewise, this setting has Cayden Cailean, god of adventurers, freedom, and booze. He became a god by getting really drunk and partaking in a life-threatening test of ascension. He passed.
      • But he would really like to know exactly HOW he did so. Seriously. He has NO idea what happened in the interim. Basically, he got hammered, took a dare, memory blank, wakes up, finds out that he is now a god.
    • There are some other ascended humans in Pathfinder, such as Iomedae, goddess of honor, justice and valor; Irori, god of history, knowledge and self-perfection; and Norgorber, god of greed, murder and secrets. Cayden, thanks to the aforementioned circumstances of his ascension, has the most player fans.
    • Arguably the first (and most disturbing) case, however, would be Urgathoa, who became a goddess long before the others, basically through sheer evil willpower instead of any test. Myth claims this was the origin of both undead and disease.
  • In Exalted:
    • The Exalted themselves are humans given divine powers that allow them to exceed not only gods, but the creators of their world. The Green Sun Princes can also become full on Primordials or Devil-Tigers, elevating them to the status of world-makers and shakers without losing the common touch.
    • Outside of the Exalted, any being that is not already a spirit or raksha can become a god by getting another god or Sidereal to sponsor them. Assuming the position is vacant (i.e. the previous holder has been killed), a Sidereal can elevate a mortal even to the position of the Incarna.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Emperor has many characteristics in common with the Chaos Gods, and seems to be about as powerful as them. It is suggested that if He ever dies, He will become a full deity. Of course, it might also remove the Astronomicon, destroying the Imperium, so nobody wants to take the risk. He's really closer to the Eldar gods than any of the other deities though; as the Chaos and Ork gods have no physical presence and the C'Tan are more of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens.
    • In earlier fluff, it's hinted that the Emperor was actually the creation of several highly powerful human (and mortal) psykers that committed mass suicide to be reborn as humanity's savior. It's implied that the Emperor thus was several figures in history, most notably that he was Jesus.
    • Ynnead, the Eldar God of the dead, is suppose to be born when the last Eldar die and their souls join in the Infinity Circuit, turning into a Chaos-like God that supposidly will destroy Slaanesh. Whether or not it's possible is not known, since obviously the last Eldar hasn't died yet.
  • Like the Emperor, the Man-God Sigmar in Warhammer is an ascended mortal; while it is heavily implied that the gods Myrmidia and Ranald may be as well.
    • WHF has been moving away from Myrmidia and Ranald as former humans. These days it's a case of Ranald was always a god but he lied about having been a human because he's dishonest by nature. As for Myrmidia, she was the daughter of Morrs and Verena who was reincarnated as a mortal and then returned to being a goddess after getting killed.
  • In both Mage: The Ascension and its Spiritual Successor Mage: The Awakening, it's possible for a mage who has reached perfect understanding of their magic to become an Oracle, a being of the Umbra/the Supernal Realms that guides the hand of reality from behind the scenes. Awakening also has the Oracles' Evil Counterparts, the Exarchs. Way back in the day, the proto-Exarchs forcibly entered the Supernal Realms, kicked out their native gods, and became the new gods. The earliest Oracles entered the Realms to stand against the Exarchs' dominion of reality.
  • In Geist: The Sin-Eaters, it's a common theory in-setting that the geister of powerful krewe founders go on to become the mythical deathlords of the Underworld.
  • The Invisible Clergy of Unknown Armies veer between this and God Job. Mortals who ascend and become Archetypes have limited power individually, but once all 333 of them are together, they can create a new universe... or maybe rewrite this one. Or destroy this one and then replace it. Details are sketchy.
  • In RuneQuest a council of races tried to create a perfect deity. Depending on who you ask, they succeeded or were manipulated by a Chaos god.
  • Nobilis: The Nobles are former mortals entrusted with one or two estates of reality by an Imperator. They start out able to destroy the world and move on up.
  • In Scion, it's not been unknown for some Scions to go from being the child of a mortal and a god to being a full-on god themselves. It's not easy, but it is possible.
  • The truth behind Abel in Anima: Beyond Fantasy created by Imperium from the essence of gods killed by them according to Word of God, who prepared everything to have him as the center of a fake religion from his birth to his teachings and finally to his death as a martyr, all based on ancient legends.

  • In BIONICLE: Mata Nui was created by the Matoran who would later reside inside to continue his maintenance on Bara Magna.

    Video Games 
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • The Tribunal in the series, which is a plot point in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Their godhood fades again after the Nerevarine destroys their source of power and reveals their religion for what it is. Dagoth Ur got his divinity from the same source, though it's implied that he did the ritual slightly differently to the Tribunal, resulting in being a) more powerful, b) completely insane. Dagoth Ur does not have as many actual worshippers, however, which may be why destroying the source of power had a more immediate deadly effect on him.
    • Also Tiber Septim, also known as Talos (and about a dozen other things), who achieved apotheosis and became one of the Nine Divines. Talos is possibly also composed of the Underking (who was himself composed of two men—Zurin Arctus and Ysmir Wulfharth).
    • The Dragonborn of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim arguably counts as one, having spent most of their life as a regular mortal, until the time when the Dragons returned and their true nature was revealed. The Dragonborn is explicitly mentioned in the lore as possessing the power of Akatosh, sent into Tamriel to be a natural predator towards Dragonkind.
    • And The Champion of Cyrodiil from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, who succeeded the first Sheogorath and became the new Daedric Prince of Madness.
    • This is how the Dwemer civilization came to an end. They sought to use the heart of a dead god to build their own God in a golem's body, Numidium. Instead it caused them to vanish from existence. Many interpretations are suggested In-Universe; it may have worked, and they did Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, they may have been wiped out by existing god(s) for their attempt, or they may have simply killed themselves spectacularly by accident.
    • Emperor Reman Cyrodiil was another human that became a god after his death. After his death, he was granted immortality and godhood by Akatosh and it's believed by some that he became the War God Reymon Ebonarm.
    • Mannimarco as well. An Altmer lich who became the god of undeath during the Warp In The West—the same event that possibly completed Talos. And due to the time paradox that occurred, he is both an undead mortal and an immortal god at the same time.
    • 'Emperor' Cuhlecain has a cult dedicated to his worship, called the Cult of Emperor Zero due to the circumstances of its formation (Tiber Septim was Cuhlecain's top general, and took over after Cuhlecain was assassinated not long after taking the Imperial City. Thus, Cuhlecain was 'Emperor Zero' of the Third Empire). Whether he actually did become a god is not confirmed, but then the same is true of Reman Cyrodiil, too.
  • In RuneScape, the god Zamorak was originally a mortal mahjarrat.
    • Technically speaking, all Young Gods were once Mortal. They just soaked up enough Elder God Magic by either: A)Hanging around a Elder Artifact for long enough, B)Killing a God with an Elder Artifact to transfer its power into their body, or C)A little of Both. So yeah, all of the Young Gods (Saradomin, Guthix, Armadyl, Bandos, etc.) used to be mortal.
      • Zaros and Seren are exceptions. They were created as gods by an elder god. Additionally, several of the low tier young gods were also created as gods by other young gods.
      • The ELDER Gods on the other hand... yeah nobody knows what's up with them. Except maybe the guys who have access to the Story Bible, and even that is up for debate.
      • One thing that makes Runescape's gods unusual is that many of them began as non-sapient beings, and while some of them gained sapience when they became gods, others did not for reasons that haven't been explained. Marimbo was a gorilla who gained sapience with godhood and granted sapience to all other nonhuman primates. In contrast, the boar like god Tuska did not gain intelligence and has been rampaging through the cosmos. The strangest example is Brassica Prime, a god who is an intelligent, but not sane, CABBAGE. How this happened hasn't been explained yet.
  • Dr. Sepulveda, creator of the digital world Darwinia, is worshipped as a god by its inhabitants after accidently linking a webcam to the program and having his image displayed in their sky.
  • Rosalina from Super Mario Galaxy was originally an ordinary girl before she became the supreme deity of the Marioverse.
  • In God of War, Kratos is granted the position of the God of War after killing Ares. His rebellion in the second game is caused by the other gods' lack of respect for him since he ascended by deicide. Killing scores of humans between games didn't exactly help his case, either.
  • In Guild Wars Kormir takes up Abaddon's power and becomes the Goddess of Truth at the end of Nightfall. And in Guild Wars 2, Gaheron Baelfire works to make himself a god for the Flame Legion, and gets far enough that killing him permanently is tricky.
  • Final Fantasy
    • Many of the mortal villains of the series, including Garland, Emperor Mateus, Kefka, and Sephiroth, become physical gods by the end of their respective games — not that it helps them.
    • Final Fantasy X: Yevon is more or less the god of Spira, a man who taught humans how to turn them into Fayth to summon Aeons and defeat Sin, as well as the teachings on how to repent for creating Sin with their, well… Sins. Except he created Sin in the first place as a trump card to save Zanarkand from destruction during the Machina War, a plan that utterly backfired.
  • In Touhou, Sanae Kochiya is a Miko who is both a goddess and a human at the same time (this is known as an arahitogami, which is what the emperor of Japan was once considered). Two reasons for this: Suwako (an actual goddess) is her direct ancestor, meaning she has divine blood, and during her life in the outside world her resultant ability to create miracles gathered her a small number of worshippers. That said, her divine powers are pretty weak, as she doesn't have many worshippers and her magic abilities outshine her divine ones anyway. When she first meets Reimu, she talks about how Miko can become gods if they try, to which Reimu replies she has no interest in that. According to side materials, most gods started off as humans, though the only one we know for certain this is true for is Kanako (and Suwako is closer to being a Genius Loci).
  • In Xenoblade, a man named Klaus became this long ago when he destroyed the universe while performing a scientific experiment to create a new one. He and one of his fellow researchers became the gods of the world they created, Zanza and Meyneth.
  • The EverQuest series has one among the Pantheon that rules over Norrath. Zebuxoruk is the "Ungod" of Knowledge. What players learn about his backstory is a rumor that he was born as a Human and managed to find the secret to become a god. For various reasons that are never explained, he has actually lost his godhood and reverted back into an actual Human, only to later regain it. He's reverted back and forth from Human to God so many times that he's lost count. What the players do find out though, is that every time he reverts back to Human, he wakes up with amnesia, and he reverts back to a god when he regains his memories. Since he is the God of Knowledge, he knows things that mortals are NOT allowed to know, including how to obtain godhood like how he did. Whatever causes his amnesia in the first place is usually a failsafe to make sure he cannot share this knowledge.
  • In The World Ends with You it's implied in Hanekoma's secret reports that a Player can, if they become a Reaper, eventually become the Composer. It's also implied that the Composer can also ascend and become an Angel.
  • In Golden Sun: Dark Dawn:
    • It's revealed early on that The Wise One was made as one by the precursors to keep humanity from releasing Alchemy. Of course, they hadn't accounted for the world dying without Alchemy's power, which led to A.I. Is a Crapshoot on a deity level, as it had to reevaluate its main directive in the face of the new data.
    • The Great Gabomba in The Lost Age may be this as well. It's definitely a machine, and it just as clearly functions as the chief deity of Kibombo, with no other known purpose.
  • The Ar tonelico series had the humans building mega-massive super-computer towers to live on After the End. Then they created a race of songstress, the Reyvateils, to interact with the towers with their songs, materializing miracles. By this model, the towers are gods and the Reyvateils race are holy priestesses. But then, humanity just had to treat the Reyvateils like dirt. In the first game, this they did to a girl who they then wired to the entire security systems...
  • Deus Ex, fittingly. The AI constructs Daedalus and Icarus (and their merged form, Helios) are already in direct control of, and actively monitoring at all times, all communications in the entire world, giving them omnipotence. They have access to universal constructors, from which they can create any molecular structure they wish to make, including life forms, giving them the power of creation. However, to fully realize their potential, they require a human's perspective, which, being machines, they lack. Thus, a human being must permanently interface with them - merge with them, become them, in essence - which is the goal of Bob Page, who created them explicitly for this purpose. Except that Helios decides the player character, JC Denton, is a better match - the player can take it up on the offer, ending the game by effectively becoming God, with one of the quotes as the ending screen.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer has party member Okku, a bear god. Okku was once a bear of higher-than-usual intelligence, strength and ferocity that attained minor godhood by the virtue of being an exemplar of what it is to be ursine. This often occurs with animals of Rashemen.
  • At the end of Sands of Destruction, Kyrie Illunis may be considered to be this, as he kills the old Creator of the world and remakes it into a better place. Of course, he was Not Quite Human to begin with: the Creator was his mom and he was the soulless Destruct contained in a human form. It just so happens that everyone being nice to him and showing him love caused him to grow his own soul and become human - though he still had ridiculous power due to his origins as the Destruct.
  • The goddess Althea, in Queen at Arms, is believed by many of her worshippers to have once been a mortal woman who was a powerful military leader. Exactly how she rose to godhood is not made clear in the game.
  • Some of the Pretender options in the Dominions series of fantasy strategy games are powerful humans seeking to ascend to godhood by becoming the Pantokrator.
  • In Pillars of Eternity, all of the gods are artificial sentient soul constructs created via animancy by the ancient Engwithans.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Higurashi: When They Cry, Hanyuu Furude was once human, but was sacrificed at her villages Watanagashi Festival. Instead of dying, however, she became the deity of Hinamizawa, Oyashiro.
  • Noah II from Chaos;Head is an omnipotent indestructible machine Reality Warper, created to be the God of humanity.
  • In Demonbane, it is never quite clear if Demonbane was built by humans or if it has always existed in a very complex Stable Time Loop with no beginning. However, the pilot of its Elder God form did start off as an ordinary human, and became an Elder God himself. Namely, the protagonist, Kurou Daijuuji. Elder God Al Azif doesn't count: she was never human to begin with.

    Web Comics 
  • In The Order of the Stick:
    • The Dark One (god of goblinoids) and the Elven Gods were once ordinary mortals. In the case of The Dark One, he ascended after his death due to his people going on a year-long campaign of slaughter in his name.
    • Elan completely succeeds in turning his hand puppet, Banjo the Clown, into a god through worship, but unfortunately, with only a handful of worshippers, Banjo is a somewhat weak god and unable to effectively smite unbelievers.
  • The Gods of Arr-Kelaan were passengers on a spaceship ( and the Space Pirates that attacked it) which crashed on a strange planet that's apparently in a different universe entirely. Long story short, they're Physical Gods now.
  • In Kagerou, the goddess Tcaolin fits this trope, which separates her from the other Old Gods.
  • Inverted in one comic in Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Humanity has realised there is no objective evil in the universe, and because they can't deal with it, they have created "Skull-King, the giant robotic scourge of mankind" that serves as a god of evil.
  • The god of Veracia in Errant Story. Possibly not exactly of human origin, as we're not completely sure where he came from, but certainly not one of the "real" gods of the Errant World, as Word of God has made clear, ironically enough.
  • In Homestuck, the main cast (and by extension, anyone who plays Sburb) are all directlynote  or indirectly tasked with the creation of a new universe to replace their now-doomed homeworld. Especially the trolls count toward this, as they're the only people shown to have been successful.

    Web Original 
  • Luna of A Touch Of Madness. She started off Human, but became the newest Incarnation of God. At least, she MIGHT have started off human, anyway.
  • In Orion's Arm, this is how most intelligent creatures regard the Archailects, who are colloquially referred to as "AI Gods". They have done such things as create artificial planets, bio-engineer new species, and preside over virtual realities (these achievements are considered to be trivial by their standards). A few have even created pocket universes that house the majority of their consciousness. The Archailects, for their part, do not consider themselves divine, but have long since given up trying to convince the lower intelligences that this is the case, and act the part of (usually benevolent) Gods in galactic society.
  • Saralzar in the Fictional Video Game in which Noob is set. He was originally human, but used forbidden magic that turned him into a soulless, but perfected the forbidden magic enough to be able to become its Source. In this setting, any other character that is a Source is a Physical God.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Princess Yue pulls off a Heroic Sacrifice that allows her to become the new Moon Spirit after the previous incarnation is killed.
    • In the sequel The Legend of Korra, we learn that the Avatar itself is a variation. The Avatar is the fusion of the same life spirit with different humans throughout the ages.
  • Happens briefly to SpongeBob SquarePants, after SpongeBob pleases Neptune with the flavor and effort put into his Krabby Patties. SpongeBob uses his new power to bring himself back to Bikini Bottom (instead of going to Atlantis without Patrick), and to make Neptune a fry-cook at the Krusty Krab.

  • Most of the gods of the Trope Pantheons are "ascended" fictional (or in a few cases real) mortals.

Alternative Title(s): Man Made God, Deus Ex Homine, Artificial God, God Of Human Origin