This character is regarded as a deity of love (which, more often than not, includes sexual lust as well). Most likely a member of the setting's ruling pantheon, but could be any character (including a mortal) who is regarded by other characters as a goddess of love. Male love gods are included in this trope. It is called "Love Goddess" rather than "Love Deity" because the females are much more common.
is her God Job
; her role in any given plot is most likely to put characters into a relationship. Thus, she is a walking defiance of tropes
such as Will They or Won't They?
and Twice Shy
. Naturally, this does not preclude a Match Maker Crush
As a character, she/he is likely to be an Ethical Slut
, Good Bad Girl
, Hot God
, Sex God
, or all of the above. If she is like Cupid, then she will have archery skills.
Historical Domain Characters
like Aphrodite and Freyja count as separate examples when they appear as characters
in separate works of fiction. For example, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
and Xena: Warrior Princess
count, since Aphrodite is a character in some episodes, while Order of the Stick
so far does not
count: Freyja is a part of the northern pantheon, but unlike Thor, she has so far never really been part of the plot. note
Contrast War God
, this trope's polar opposite. Mythology and media in general tend to pair these two up regardless
Strictly speaking in terms of historical cultural significance, gods of love were often considered one of the most powerful members of the pantheon
. God of love does not just cover romantic love; it covers all types of love
, including love for violence, war and alcohol (hence why Aphrodite wandered about the battlefield at Troy), and the obsessive kinds that make you stupid
. This makes them gods you never, ever want to cross.
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Anime and Manga
- Urd from Ah! My Goddess likes to consider herself a Goddess of Love, but Peorth is a love goddess in a more sexual sense.
- Dragon Ball Z: The Namekian Dragon is also the Namekian God of Love. It is worth noting that Namekians are mono-gendered and reproduce asexually, which probably explains why it's the side-portfolio of a low-ranking high end wish-granter, rather than the central role of a major deity like for most human religions.
- Suzaku from Fushigi Yuugi is the God of Love. His rival, Seiryuu is the God of War.
- Venus, mother of main character Samatarou from Kamisama Kazoku, is the goddess of love.
- A slight variation in The World God Only Knows includes Katsuragi Keima, who is the God of Conquest. He is able to make any girl fall in love with him in games and, apparently, in reality too.
- The proposed divinity of Yuri in Anatolia Story is linked to Ishtar (see mythology below).
- We get a strange example from the Sailor Moon manga and its prequel Codename: Sailor V: Minako may be of human birth, but is openly described by Artemis and others as the goddess of beauty, love and war, unable to ever find her true love (in fact the one person she had ever truly loved died by her hand at the end of Sailor V because he was a Dark Kingdom underling, and it's made clear she would always choose duty over love) but capable of bringing lovers together with her mere presence. Note that she is the only character in the series ever called a goddess or anything divine.
- Mikage was a god of matchmaking in Kamisama Kiss, which is assumed to continue on with his successor Nanami.
- Mistress Love is one of the cosmic forces in the Marvel Universe.
- Aphrodite appeared in The Incredible Hercules, but resigned because she no longer felt she could serve in that role. She was succeeded by the siren Venus.
- It should be noted that Venus, who starred in her own comicbook series in the 50s, was supposed to be THE goddess of love; that she was a siren with identity issues all along is a later Retcon.
- Freya is one of the main characters in Valhalla, and is presented as an Ethical Slut and one of the saner members of the cast. One album ("Freya's Necklace") focuses on Heimdall, Odin and Freya and how she as Goddess of Love embodies both the physical and emotional acts of love (Odin is only interested in her sexually, while Heimdall is only interested her platonically).
- The Predator Entity of the Emotional Spectrum in the DC Universe seems to be one, as it is the embodiment of the violet light of love.
- In a Dungeons and Dragons Fan Fic, even orcs have love goddesses.
- Kislova: goddess of "light, kindness, mercy, growth, life, love, family"
- Baalibastus: goddess of "love, beauty, fire, passion, animals, children"
- The Pony POV Series takes the approach that Cadence isn't the Alicorn that represents love as canon implies (see Western Animation below), with that role falling to her older sister Venus instead (it's just that Cadence's powers are similar enough that she can remind ponies that they're in love).
- In Around the World in 80 Days, Sir Francis Cromarty points out a statue of Kali, and says that she is the Hindu goddess of love and death. "Of death, perhaps," replies Passepartout, "but of love — that ugly old hag? Never!"
- There are number of love goddesses in Adam R. Brown's Astral Dawn series.The most notable goddess of love is Ixchel of the Mayan pantheon. She's also ironically Caspian's love interest.
- Discworld has at least three.
- Astoria the Ephebian Goddess of Love. According to the Great God Om, "a complete bubblehead".
- Petulia, Ephebian Goddess of, er, Negotiable Affection might count, too.
- And the troll pantheon has Chondrodite, who makes trolls fall in love by hitting them with a rock.
- Everworld gave a cameo to Aphrodite when the group went to Olympus. She basically strutted out, sexfully supported her lover Ares in an argument, and then strutted away, having made the male protagonists temporarily forget their own names. Meanwhile Eros hovers nearby and makes lewd comments at April.
- There's also Hel, who could be called a sex goddess. In the most horrible way possible. Half of her body is the most magically irresistible woman possible, while the other half is a corpse.
- One of the Sabrina the Teenage Witch novelizations "All You Need Is A Love Spell" has a family from Greece move to Westbridge. They turn out to be Mars and Venus and their son Cupid. Venus is portrayed as stunningly beautiful but a complete airhead and quite manipulative. Cupid meanwhile is actually being manipulated by his parents into thinking that Sabrina is his Psyche from mythology. He also misuses his powers to make the wrong couples fall in love at school.
- The Redemption of Althalus has Dweia, who loves all things but especially Althalus. She's an interesting variation in that it's primarily maternal rather than romantic love.
- Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis, as a retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche, includes the primordial Ungit as a love goddess, and the God of the Mountain, as a love god.
- The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant introduces the Lover, a third Anthopomorphic Personification on par with the Creator and the Despiser, who is characterized as female. Except that the Despiser didn't much care for that, so he seduced the Lover and betrayed her, to taint all love forever, and both of them got trapped in the Land for their troubles. The Despiser became Lord Foul; the Lover became She Who Must Not Be Named.
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians:
- In The Titan's Curse, Aphrodite shows up to tell Percy to rescue Annabeth. She tells him that she will mess with his love live just for fun, though she wants him and Annabeth to get together... she just thinks it should happen in the most dramatic way possible, with lots of indecision and confusion. Her appearance also changes to become closer to Percy's ideal of beauty.
- In The Mark of Athena, Annabeth, Piper and Hazel meet Venus, who isn't very different from Aphrodite. Her appearance changes to make Annabeth jealous.
- In The House of Hades, Jason and Nico meet Cupid. He isn't quite as nice as his mother.
- Xochiquetzal, the Aztec goddess of lust and childbirth, features prominently in Servant of the Underworld, the first book of the Obsidian And Blood trilogy.
- R'hllor, The Lord Of Light of A Song of Ice and Fire, represents fire, life and sex.
Live Action TV
- Ars Goetia has multiple demons that cause love.
- Several indo-european dawn goddesses, such as the hindu Ushas and baltic Aushrine, a function that was probably inherited by the common proto-indo-european goddess from which they descend, Hausos. Eos from Greek Mythology may have also been a love goddess (see below).
- Norse Mythology has Freyja. Like Ishtar and Inanna (see below), she is a goddess of sex and war.
- Egyptian Mythology has several, including:
- Classical Mythology has two or four depending on whether or not you consider the Roman pantheon to be separate or the same pantheon with different names:
- Aphrodite in Greek Mythology. As much a goddess of lust as of love—or as we put it in describing the war she started, the goddess of mad hot sexx0rs— encouraging people to get it on as much as possible whenever and wherever they can, which is how she started the Trojan War.
- Some theorists divided Aphrodite into two aspects or personas, Aphrodite Urania, the "heavenly Aphrodite" of sublime love, and what in the Roman version was called Venus Vulgivaga, the "Venus of the people" who was in charge of purely sexual love. In some versions Aphrodite had a dark aspect, for instance in Sparta she was portrayed wearing armour and one of her epithets was Androphonos "the man-killer".
- Venus (in the Roman version)
- Eros (or Pothos) in Greek Mythology. Aphrodite's son, sent (sometimes reluctantly) to put his mother's nefarious plots in action. Portrayed much more sympathetically than his mother.
- Depends on who tells the story. In Hesiod's Theogony, Eros is one of the primal gods (brother to Gaia and Tartaros) and thus older than Aphrodite. Also in most myths Eros engages in all kinds of mischief without needing Aphrodite's orders to do so. The story of Eros and Psyche, where he is portrayed as her reluctant servant, is so late that it can be considered literature more than actual mythology.
- Amor (or Cupid(o)) (in the Roman version)
- There were also a few less well-known love deities, for instance Anteros, the god of requited love who was particularly associated with homosexual love, and Himeros, god of sexual desire. There were also some minor deities belonging to Aphrodite's train or sometimes assisted her, most notably the three Graces and Peitho, goddess of persuasion (who helped Aphrodite to get Helena in bed with Paris).
- Dionysos or Bacchus, while not a god of love per se, was god of ecstasy, which included sexual ecstasy, as became evident in the Bacchanalia.
- According to some Bible students, Artemis of the city Ephesus was worshiped as the goddess of love.
- Eos, the goddess of dawn, may originally have had this role, based on similar other indo-european dawn goddesses, and her own promiscuity, though ultimately her functions passed to the deities above. Almost as if lampshading this, she is cursed with lust by Aprhodite in surviving myths.
- The East Semiticnote Ishtar - and her Sumerian predecessor Inanna - was a goddess of love and war. Cynics might argue that those aren't all that inappropriate together, though; and as would Shakespeare and a number of others say, "All's fair in love and war."
- In Voudun/Voodoo, Erzulie Dantor is the lwa of love. (There is one God in the Voudun pantheon, and the lwa are intermediaries between him and the mortal world: they have distinct, multifaceted personalities, like the Greek Gods, but are considered more like the equivalent of angels).
- The related religion Santeria, a blend of Catholicism and the religion of the African Yoruban people, has Oshun (also spelled Oxun). She's the orisha (a divine intermediary similar to lwa) of romantic and sexual love: people concealing Santeria under the guise of Catholicism represent her with a figure of the Virgin Mary.
- Armenian pagan mythology had the goddess Astghik.
- Hindu Mythology has at least two. First is Kamadeva, who's equivalent to Eros. Other is Lakshmi, who's also associate with fortune, wealth and wisdom.
- Buddhism has an interesting version: the demon king is named Mara, which means "death," but can also be called Kama or Mara-Kama, with kama meaning "love." He basically symbolizes everything that can keep someone from enlightenment, and tried to tempt the Buddha from meditation with his three daughters, Taṇhā (Craving), Arati (Boredom), and Raga (Passion). However, the Buddha only saw them as decrepit old hags, and his resilience was enough to earn their praise.
- Idra in the Dungeons & Dragons setting Scarred Lands.
- The Dungeons and Dragons Forgotten Realms setting has several Goddesses of Love, including:
- Sune (humans)
- Hanali Celanil (elves)
- Sharindlar (dwarves)
- Sharess - the goddess of lust, love, sensual fulfillment and cats (she apparently used to be Bast, but got hit by wanderlust in the distant past and fell out of the Mulhorandi pantheon and semi-warrior goddess status and into the Faerūnian pantheon). Almost fell under Shar's influence, but was busted out around the Time of Troubles, and ended up as an exarch (semi-divine assistant, more or less) of Sune by 4E.
- Generic Dungeons and Dragons (works not specific to any certain setting) have a lot of them:
- Ai Ch'hing: Kara-Turan goddess of love, marriage
- Evening Glory (Libris Mortis), lesser goddess of love, beauty and immortality through undeath.
- Iallanis, lesser goddess of good giants, love, forgiveness, mercy and beauty.
- Isis (also known as Ishtar): Mulhorandi goddess of weather, rivers, agriculture, love, marriage, good magic.
- Kiltzi: Maztican god of health, love, happiness, children
- Lastai (Book of Exalted Deeds), demigoddess of pleasure, love, and passion.
- Sehanine: Unaligned goddess of Illusion, Love and the Moon. Seasonal god of autumn and patron of elves.
- Sheela Peryroyl: Halfling goddess of nature, agriculture, weather, song, dance, beauty, romantic love.
- Sheyanna Flaxenstrand, intermediate gnome goddess of love, beauty and passion.
- Wee Jas, Sune goddess of love, beauty, death, magic and law. The combination of law and love makes her the goddess of Perfectly Arranged Marriage.
- Warhammer 40,000 has two gods of love: One god of sexual love, and one god of parental love. These gods are named Slaanesh and Nurgle, and with Warhammer 40K being the Crapsack World that it is, both gods are genocidal soul-devouring demon-lords with maximized Squick factor.
- The Dark Eye has at least two: Travia for familiar love (and home and hearth), and Rahja for romantic love and lust (passion, wine and horses, too)
- In The Elder Scrolls universe, Mara is the goddess of religious and platonic love, and Dibella is the goddess of sexual and romantic love.
- Aphrodite appears in the third God of War game. Naturally, it includes a sex-scene between her and the player character, Kratos.
- The Wild ARMs series has Raftina, the Guardian of Love and one of the Guardian Lords that rule over the other Guardians.
- As you might expect, a number of these appear in Shin Megami Tensei. In Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, you actually look one up to get a friend of yours some romantic advice.
- The good-aligned Erollisi Marr is the Goddess of Love and Hunting in EverQuest and EverQuest II. There's also Tholuxe Paells, the evil Demi-God of Lust. Not just sexual lust, but bloodlust and any other forms.
- Both Aphrodite and Cupid (Roman version, not just Eros in his more popular name) are playable deities in Smite, Aphrodite being a Support Mage whose gameplays revolve around forming soulmate bonds as her 'lover', which she can break up more on a whim's notice, whichever is more beneficial at the time, while Cupid is a marksman/ADC with love-based themes and can toss out life-restoring hearts to help his allies.
- The game also features Freya, but she's less about a Love Goddess, but more about the fact that she's the Queen of Valkyries.
- Aphrodite, Freya, and Hathor are all minor deities in Age of Mythology.
- In The Gamers Alliance, Hivena is the Goddess of Love and Fertility. She is quite amoral, willing to use mortals as pawns for her own sinister ends.
- Aphrodite and her eternally adolescent son Eros in Thalia's Musings. Aphrodite's preferred lover and one of Eros' possible fathers is, of course, Ares.
- Aphrodite shows up in Chrono Hustle.
- In Disney's Hercules animated series, Aphrodite appears as a secondary character once in a while. Her main trait is her Ear Worm Theme Tune.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Princess Cadence has an unique power to spread love to those around her. Her introductory episode shows a flashback where she patched a bickering couple's relationship.
- In The Smurfs, Cupid appears more as a cherub who spreads love than a true god of love.