Needs Help: Eldritch Abomination

Deadlock Clock: 13th Jul 2012 11:59:00 PM
Total posts: [176]
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And that's Lovecraft Lite.
Rhymes with "Protracted."
102 lebrel1st Apr 2012 06:17:51 PM from Basement, Ivory Tower
Tsundere pet.
[up] I think Lovecraft Lite is the Theme Park version of the Lovecraftian mythos as a whole, not Giant Calimari From Space monsters specifically.
Calling someone a pedant is an automatic Insult Backfire. Real pedants will be flattered.
I don't see any use in making the Theme Park Version it's own trope. It's just a downplayed version of the main trope, and I would argue that it's a result of the limitations of visual media. Tropes are tools, and the Theme Park Version may just be how storytellers use this trope outside literature.

What if The Call of Cthulhu had been made as a film first, rather than a short story? Would Cthulhu still be this trope if we didn't have a narrator to inform us that "The Thing cannot be described - there is no language for such abysms of shrieking and immemorial lunacy, such eldritch contradictions of all matter, force, and cosmic order"? How would a film establish that the thing cannot be described? Can it be done?

edited 1st Apr '12 6:27:06 PM by Fnu

[up] Yes. A line of dialogue which said that very thing would make it work quite well. Or any number of cinematographic tricks which make a monster seem like a truly alien thing which can bend reality and the natural rules do not apply.

The problem with what you're saying is that it's not a matter of prose, and I've argued that already. The Theme Park Version of this trope is not this trope.
What would fall under the proposed trope, but not Lovecraft Lite or Our Monsters Are Weird?
Rhymes with "Protracted."
The Reapers from Mass Effect are a good start. Lovecraft Lite is a story type, not a character type.

In fact, the Reapers are a good example of how a creature gets demoted to this. When the first Reaper ever appears, it's tauted as being "alien, unknowable" and part of a "realm of existence so far beyond your own, you can't even imagine it". Then, you kill it. Okay, that's strike one. Strike two comes in the second game, when their technology starts being co-opted and reverse-engineered by lots of different parties to the point that they're just Sufficiently Advanced Aliens. Then, the third game completely destroys any hope of their qualifying for this when we meet the being that created them, and it flat out tells you why they exist and what their motives are in a few sentences.

edited 1st Apr '12 9:46:11 PM by KingZeal

When the first Reaper ever appears, it's tauted as being "alien, unknowable" and part of a "realm of existence so far beyond your own, you can't even imagine it".
Okay stop right there. That is an Eldritch Abomination.
Rhymes with "Protracted."
No kidding. Now, go ahead and read the rest of the post.
109 DeathCloud2nd Apr 2012 08:02:35 AM from Z'ha'dum , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Wish granter
Any example from Western Animation really count as this trope or they are all wrong?
Because he know I'm going to go out in this plane and I'm going to remove one of His creations from His universe.
Noaqiyeum, you're just plain wrong about the Eldrazi. Everything I stated about them has been stated explicitly not on the cards, but in the books, the long articles on the Wizards of the Coast website, etc. The cards are just the tip of the iceberg in Magic: The Gathering fiction. Magic has novels, comic books, online articles, and other material written by the Creative department going back over a decade. All of it is canon, even when it (repeatedly, stupidly) contradicts itself*. So no, I didn't make any of that up. They're all stated explicitly by the fiction writers who work for Wizards. You might be unfamiliar with anything beyond the cards, but all of that material does actually exist. Everything I mentioned is Magic canon.

Also, Eldrazi aren't robots. They aren't artifacts. They're pretty clearly distinguished from artifacts by having their own special card frame which has never been used before or since. I honestly don't see how the limited, gameplay-first mechanics in a card game could depict their otherworldliness the way long purple prose can — aside from just not giving them cards at all.

Your argument boils down to "No paintings and writings depict a human physically encountering them outside the universe where humans can't exist anyway, so therefore it's just an Informed Ability that they're from outside reality." and "No paintings depict what is obviously an Eldrazi in an obviously invisible, non-physical form, so they must always have had visible bodies." Frankly, I think your argument goes far beyond silly.

Did Lovecraft every describe human beings literally exiting the entire universe to visit the whatevers in their native habitat, and surviving outside of all time and space long enough to observe them "there"? Did he ever paint this invisible non-location outside of time and space? Unless the answer is "yes," your impossible requirement excludes every example, including the Trope Namers and Trope Codifiers.

Despite this, the Magic canon does (attempt to) describe planeswalkers encountering them, in non-physical form, outside of reality. It just doesn't involve paintings of the Blind Eternities, and rarely uses purple prose.

edited 2nd Apr '12 1:08:36 PM by ArcadesSabboth

Oppression anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere.
111 Ekuran3rd Apr 2012 12:59:34 PM from somewhere. , Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
I think you're a bit late to the conversation, buddy. You've got some good points, though.
[Insert seemingly profound or amusing phrase here.]
Doesn't the line in the trope description "Mild examples can be found throughout the horror and fantasy genres" give us a bit of flexibility with what examples we include? Where do we draw the line between "mild examples" of this trope and examples of the proposed new trope?
113 Ekuran5th Apr 2012 04:34:11 PM from somewhere. , Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
I suppose we should define what exactly Eldritch Abomination is commonly being used for, just so we know what it is when we either expand the definition or make a new trope (that would fail) for it.

edited 5th Apr '12 4:34:21 PM by Ekuran

[Insert seemingly profound or amusing phrase here.]
I think we're putting too much emphasis on incomprehensibility, which leads people to confuse this trope with You Cannot Grasp the True Form. I think the main focus of this trope ought to be the life form's inherent wrongness. Whatever Eldritch Abominations are, they simply have no place in our world. They don't necessarily have to be evil and may in fact have no ill intentions towards us. It is their very existence that is a problem. Their nature is simply incompatible with ours, to the point where understanding their nature wouldn't make a difference. Even if we found a way to understand the natural laws they abide by, it wouldn't change the fact that those natural laws are incompatible with ours.

edited 5th Apr '12 8:31:27 PM by Fnu

115 Ekuran5th Apr 2012 08:29:46 PM from somewhere. , Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
They're (inherently) "wrong"/a sin against nature/causing a feeling that says they shouldn't exist (which is actually true under the old definition's meaning, and can be true here as well)/etc.

edited 5th Apr '12 8:40:12 PM by Ekuran

[Insert seemingly profound or amusing phrase here.]
Some problems I am seeing...

  • If you understand a creature's composition but don't know the creature's motives, that doesn't make it an Eldritch Abomination; that just makes it enigmatic. Sovereign from the first Mass Effect is not an Eldritch Abomination even if you discount the sequels, because it is just a highly advanced space ship that even runs on most of the same tech that the other ones do; yeah, it's motives are unknowable, but not its composition. Same with the creature from The Thing, since Blair is able to view its dna and it clearly is just an icky, shape-shifting alien.
  • Tropes Are Not Good. I know this has already been stated, but it bears repeating. The Thing is a better work than most of those with examples on the Eldritch Abomination list will ever be, but it's titular monster is nothing like the trope. Your work is not better if the icky thing is an Eldritch Abomination, just like it's not worse.
  • Being incomprehensible doesn't mean being immortal. Sovereign dying does not stop it from being an Eldritch Abomination; the fact that it's just a big spaceship makes it not an Eldritch Abomination.

I think there should actually be two new tropes: One for icky things, and one for all those seafood themed space creatures inspired by lovecraft (Which are so common they should be a trope). Eldritch Abomination should be restricted to the ones that defy understanding to an extreme degree as a plot point.

edited 6th Apr '12 1:49:42 PM by Scardoll

117 DeathCloud6th Apr 2012 02:22:34 PM from Z'ha'dum , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Wish granter
[up]Icky Things trope and Seafood Lovecraftian trope should not be mutually exclusive.
Because he know I'm going to go out in this plane and I'm going to remove one of His creations from His universe.
[up]They aren't mutually exclusive. They are, however, different tropes. One relies on the bizarre wtf factor of random body parts and crap stuck everywhere, while the other relies on the eerieness of real world cephalopod shapes and the Lovecraft reference.

Yes, you can have both at once quite often (Horror terrors from Homestuck) but you can also have just the icky freakish mish-mash (The Thing) or the cephalopod shapes (Reapers from Mass Effect).

edited 6th Apr '12 2:43:00 PM by Scardoll

119 Ekuran6th Apr 2012 04:15:56 PM from somewhere. , Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Bizarre Body Horror monsters and eerie/creepy monsters.


Messed up monsters in general seems to be what Eldritch Abomination is used for. Monsters that are just "wrong"; physically, mentally, environmentally, spiritually, personally, etc.

That should probably be the new expanded definition.

edited 6th Apr '12 4:17:03 PM by Ekuran

[Insert seemingly profound or amusing phrase here.]
120 Ekuran10th Apr 2012 03:00:12 PM from somewhere. , Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
[Insert seemingly profound or amusing phrase here.]
121 ccoa10th Apr 2012 05:31:26 PM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
Calling crowner, no consensus.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
I've noticed that some things that are never stated, implied, or shown to defy our natural laws are sometimes listed as elderitch abomination. like on the Fairy Tail page, Acnologia, the Black Dragon in the Book of Apocalypse doesn't defy our natural laws. It is just an absurdly powerful malevolent dragon that views people as annoying insects to be destroyed.
123 SeptimusHeap21st Apr 2012 03:03:33 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
[up]These are misuse that can be killed.
I should mention that Acnologia is stated to have an alien mind (that is supposedly impossible to understand, in part because it won't talk to you thereby denying an important source of insight), but i think defying at least some of the standard natural laws is a key feature of this trope.

edited 21st Apr '12 3:56:53 PM by captainsandwich

I think the Humans Are Cthulhu may seem to lower the standards for what constitutes an elderitch abomination. people probably forget that to animals, humans would seem more than just weird bipedal aliens. Human's with technology can do things that while we find common place, can easily be considered NOT natural.

In short Elderitch abominations have to at the very least seem to defy the laws of nature. as the elderitch abomination page says "their defiance of natural law, as humans understand it." they don't have to defy natural laws, they just have to defy what we think are natural laws.

edited 22nd Apr '12 11:38:09 AM by captainsandwich

Page Action: Eldritch Abomination
30th Mar '12 6:40:05 PM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
At issue:
What to do with Eldritch Abomination.

Total posts: 176
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