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InklingDragon
topic
09:03:27 PM May 11th 2014
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

The Nephilim are referred to exactly twice in The Bible, the quote above just after an incident with a fruit tree, and once in the book of Numbers, where Israel's terrified scouts compare the Canaanites to them. In addition, there are a few other places that may be indirect references to them. What exactly they were has been a matter of some discussion through the ages, since Biblical canon has so little detail. However, various non-canonical texts such as the Epistle of Jude and Book of Enoch flesh them out more. The specifics vary depending on which scroll you're reading, but the general outline runs thusly:

After chasing Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, God set the Grigori (Watchers) to keep tabs on mankind. These angels quickly grew bored, and decided it was more fun watching womankind. Finally, a faction said "Screw This, I'm Outta Here!", headed down to earth, and made with the baby-making, producing powerful half-angels (they also began teaching humans the arts and sciences, in violation of God's decrees.)

Although the above is the more common version of their origins, some texts refer to them as the descendants of Seth, Adam and Eve's third child.

At any rate, these offspring were huge and powerful, and quickly began dominating the earth, becoming rulers and unstoppable warriors. Unfortunately, they generally tended toward evil. According to the Book of Jubilees, one of the purposes of The Great Flood was to wipe them out.

Like many things in The Bible and other Judeo-Christian literature, the Nephilim are handy when you're plundering for symbolism. The lack of concrete detail lends them a certain mystique, and allows the name to be attached to almost anything, although they're commonly some sort of powerful supernatural hybrid — often a mixture of angel and demon (or a human.) Sometimes they are also giants, sometimes not.

Compare Golem and Our Genies Are Different for other creatures in Abrahamic religions. See also Our Angels Are Different and Our Demons Are Different for their possible "parents".


Examples:

Films

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • Supernatural: One of these beings shows up in "Clip Show". Jane, the last known Nephilim to exist on Earth, looks no different that any other human, but does have great strength and endurance that she demonstrates by being able to easily hold her own against two angels. She can also make her eyes glow similarly to angels, although her glow is a more dim and grayish color as opposed to the bright white or bluish-white glow of regular angels.

Tabletop Games
  • In... Nephilim, a player character is one of the eponymous spirits that keeps reincarnating through countless lives. They aren't hybrids of human and angel, but the inspiration for supernatural creatures and the gods of mythology. They named themselves Nephilim because one of its meanings is "fallen ones" and this refers to their fall from a higher state of spiritual being in the distant past.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, Nephilim are a creature type in the Guildpact set, huge Eldritch Abominations created by the gods basically just to make mortals crap their pants. Due to the extreme resource requirements to play them, they don't see much use.
  • In Demon The Fallen, the Nephilim were offspring of humans and fallen angels who combined traits of both races and were seen as abominations for this. More importantly, they were born near the close of the "Time of Babel", when the Ten Watchers (wisest among the fallen) forcefully advanced humanity's scientific progress at Lucifer's command. While some Nephilim were good-natured, most desired power and thus killed the Watchers and usurped their place. Lucifer had the Nephilim slaughtered but humanity's chance at divinity was already ruined and the fallen were ultimately defeated by Archangel Michael's Host. Thus the Nephilim were directly responsible for both the fall of the proverbial "Tower of Babel" and for the imprisonment of the fallen in hell.
  • In In Nomine the Grigori were the angels closest to humanity, so close that they could interbreed with mortals. All of their children have greater capacity for magic than normal humans, but some, called Nephilim, are monstrously deformed in body and/or mind. For the creation of the Nephilim, the Grigori were banished from Heaven.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • In the 3rd-party sourcebook Anger of Angels, Nephilim are presented as a monster. They are the evil offspring of the Grigori (a type of angel) and mortals.
    • In the 3rd-party sourcebook Aasimar & Tiefing: A Guidebook to the Planetouched, half-celestials and half-fiends are given the names Nephilim and Cambion, respectively.

Video Games
  • In Diablo III, humans are offspring of demons and angels. "Nephalem" are the powerful first-generation descendants, but occasionally a modern one is born. Your character is one such.
  • In Exile and its Updated Re-release Avernum, the Nephilim are Cat Folk.
  • The Assassin's Creed games use the term to refer to the Precursors a few times.
  • In Elsword, the Dark Nephilim is a monstrous figure worshiped by the Dark Elves. Their leader, Chloe, summons it on your party to ambush you. Advancing Boss of Doom ensues.
  • In Darksiders and its sequel, the race Four Horsemen come from is called the Nephilim. They are beings that are half-angel and half-demon.
  • In DmC: Devil May Cry, Nephilim refers to demon-angel hybrids. they're not giants though. But they are able to harness the power of both. Basically the opposite of Hybrid Overkill Avoidance.

reply: In Elsword, the Dark Nephilim is a monstrous figure worshiped by the Dark Elves. Their leader, Chloe, summons it on your party to ambush you. Advancing Boss of Doom ensues.

reply: Films

Video Games

  • In Darksiders and its sequel, the race Four Horsemen come from is called the Nephilim. They are beings that are half-angel and half-demon.

reply:
  • In Demon The Fallen, the Nephilim were offspring of humans and fallen angels who combined traits of both races and were seen as abominations for this. More importantly, they were born near the close of the "Time of Babel", when the Ten Watchers (wisest among the fallen) forcefully advanced humanity's scientific progress at Lucifer's command. While some Nephilim were good-natured, most desired power and thus killed the Watchers and usurped their place. Lucifer had the Nephilim slaughtered but humanity's chance at divinity was already ruined and the fallen were ultimately defeated by Archangel Michael's Host. Thus the Nephilim were directly responsible for both the fall of the proverbial "Tower of Babel" and for the imprisonment of the fallen in hell.

reply:

The description should not limit these to the biblical definition. not that the examples people are giving even fit them. so there's even less reason to put it there.

reply: Okay, what definition merits mention besides the Biblical one? Should we remove the references to Jewish legend on the Golem page while we are at it?

reply: ^ Don't make it as if it's the definition. The golem page at least acknowledges the Pop Culture Golem at the last part of the description. this one is just "giant half angels" as opposed to "also, this is how nephilim is in popular culture".

yeah, i admit that was an oversight on my part. the biblical one is good for "where this trope originated", but it shouldn't be the heart of the description.

reply: ^In the last paragraph I said the name can be stuck to anything. I'm not trying to limit it. If you think it needs expansion, I'd be happy for the help. Feel free to edit the OP yourself, if you wish. Note that only the first paragraph is about canonical Biblical scripture.

If you think the laconic is deceptive, feel free to alter that, too.

reply: One of these is imprisoned within a giant mound in Simon R. Green's Drinking Midnight Wine, something that proves pretty crucial to The Dragon of the Big Bad.

reply:

reply:
  • In In Nomine the Grigori were the angels closest to humanity, so close that they could interbreed with mortals. All of their children have greater capacity for magic than normal humans, but some, called Nephilim, are monstrously deformed in body and/or mind. For the creation of the Nephilim, the Grigori were banished from Heaven.

reply:

reply: added stuff as per permission of OP. left out everything mostly intact though.

reply: Uh.. check if your stuff is in there correctly, I think we may have had dueling edits going on there. :)

reply: Everything i added is there.

reply: I think we should discuss titles or perhaps strip the "the" from it - this isn't about a character or role, it's about a thing in general.

reply: The only reason I added "The" is because Nephilim is a Tabletop Game. I figured it would help prevent accidental mis-linking, but it could be removed.

reply: ^ wouldn't it go to a disambig page instead?

reply: ^Meh, I guess I was overthinking that. Removed.

reply: @Drac: ...and that's why I disagree with the TV Tropes namespacing system. (But that's not important right now.)

reply: Live Action TV
  • Supernatural: One of these beings shows up in Season 8. Jane, the last known Nephilim to exist on Earth, looks no different that any other human, but does have great strength and endurance that she demonstrates by being able to easily hold her own against two angels.

reply: Namespaced italicized an example.

reply: In Many Waters, a time-travel novel which mostly takes place in the times leading up to Noah's flood, the Nephilim appear as Fallen Angels who each have a counterpart in the Seraphim who also walk the earth at the time.

reply: Would the Gibborim from Runaways count?

reply:
  • The Prophecy film series features human/angel hybrids called Nephilim in the third movie.

reply: This one is good for launch, I think.

reply: Fixed a typo in the description (The Bible was namespaced to "Literture", resulting in a broken link).

Also italicized all instances of The Bible, because, you know... it's a work name like any other (something people often seem to forget).

reply: The Noah example ought to mention that they are depicted as rock monsters who are killing humans (hardly biblical).

reply: ^^I can't find a specific citation but I believe that Sacred Texts such as The Bible aren't supposed to be italicised.

reply: ^ Hmm, weird. I've been taught that The Bible should be italicized, but now that I looked into it, the same conventions don't seem to aply everywhere.

reply: It's got five hats. should we launch?

reply: Yes, as soon the OP shows up. Hasn't been spotted here in a week...

reply: Namespaced and italicized work names.

reply: DracMonster is still around, I believe.

reply:
  • Georgina Kincaid has Nephilim as major characters. This version follows mostly the origin from the Bible, though they are portrayed as human-looking and not particularly tall. They are powerful, but weaker than both demons and angels, and while some of them are evil, the large majority just wants to be left alone.

reply: Tabletop Games
  • There are two kinds of Nephilim in Halt Evil Doer, because there are two kinds of Grigori. One set of Grigori are the classic Earth-based angels, and the Nephilim are their halfbreed children who have superpowers of different kinds, plus the ability to detect angels. The twist is that the Grigori were banished from Heaven, and the Nephilim are bred as footsoldiers in their war against their former comrades. (To avoid confusion, these Grigori were later renamed the Watchers.)
The other Grigori are the Captain Ersatz Guardians of the Universe, and their Nephilim are a "failed genetic experiment"; basically a non-robotic Captain Ersatz of the Manhunters.

reply: Launch plz.

reply: Does someone who has seen Noah expand the entry.

reply: End of markup
Larkmarn
05:42:53 AM May 12th 2014
... do you need help making the trope or something?
SeptimusHeap
moderator
07:54:23 AM May 12th 2014
Nah, they copied the whole YKTTW here.
Larkmarn
08:17:11 AM May 12th 2014
But... why?

My only guess is he doesn't know how to edit Main.Nephilim to make the page.
DriHaHa
topic
08:23:01 PM Apr 28th 2014
What for a "French RPG industry crash"?
yamiblade
topic
09:35:44 PM Jan 29th 2011
Hey! Where did the information about the Wiki project come from?
ykttw archive back to TableTopGame/Nephilim

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