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Baphomet

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Goat-headed demon and symbol of evil.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
DracMonster on Sep 10th 2018 at 6:20:16 PM
Last Edited By:
DracMonster on Sep 14th 2018 at 6:07:00 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/a9c900b7_90a3_4e66_b8ab_c43f3d1f285d.png

Baphomet is one of the more infamous Demon Lords And Arch Devils; a goat-headed, triple-horned, black-winged figure with both male and female features. When he appears in fiction, he is usually pure evil, and frequently a direct stand-in for Satan. He generally has cults following him who really go in for magic circles and pentagrams. It's not too uncommon to fight him as the final boss in a video game.

His origins go back to the First Crusade, where the Muslim defenders frequently called out to the Prophet Mohammed. The crusaders, not understanding (and not really caring,) reported this under various mishearings as some sort of idol or demon, and often filled in sinister details of their own invention to make the Muslims look as evil as possible. The "Baphomet" spelling that became standard is first mentioned in a letter by the crusader Anselm of Ribemont.

He rose to further attention in the early 1300s, when King Phillip of France decided that the easiest way to settle his debts to The Knights Templar would be to disband them and seize their wealth. To facilitate this, he cooked up lurid stories of the Templars worshipping Baphomet and engaging in various sinister rituals, then tortured their leaders into confessing. The Masons have also often been accused of worshipping him during bouts of anti-Masonic hysteria.

The standard image of him shown in the picture was created by Elphias Levi in 1856, who reimagined him as the "Sabbatic Goat," a dualistic figure of binary opposites. Aleister Crowley subsequently adopted Baphomet into his cosmology, and various occult and neo-pagan groups today often have some place for him in their belief systems, often giving him a Satan Is Good interpretation.

See also Big Red Devil. Baphomet is often featured in Hollywood Satanism.


Baphomet appears in:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Ragnarok the Animation, Baphomet is a huge, goat-headed monster. In a break from tradition, he's not really evil, and actually helps the protagonists.
  • The Great Goat from Berserk is a Pseudo-Apostle resembling a wingless Baphomet. He's the leader of a heretical cult near Albion. When the Great Goat gets converted into a Pseudo-Apostle by the Egg of a Perfect World's stinger, he turns into a half man, half goat monstrosity with a pair of long horns, goat hooves, and a serpentine phallus that he uses to make an attempt to consummate with Casca. Fortunately, Guts shows up just in time and he slays the Great Goat for good.
  • In a Keyword associated with Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ, the depiction of Baphomet in Eliphas Levi's Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie is claimed to have been inspired by a glimpse he caught of the true form of the immortal alchemist Adam Weishaupt, who it turns out is the setting's closest equivalent to Lucifer.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Wicked + The Divine, Baphomet is one of the twelve reincarnated gods. He doesn't look anything like the demon's classic image, but does have a goat-skull sigil as a nod. It eventually turns out he's actually the Mesopotamian deity Nergal, but took the Baphomet name because he was afraid of getting Nurgle jokes.

    Films — Live Action 
  • A cursed statue of Baphomet causes the supernatural events in Return to House on Haunted Hill (and turns out to have been causing them in the previous film.)

    Live-Action Television 
  • Lucifer: In "Team Lucifer" the team goes to a Satanic temple bedecked in Baphomet sigils to investigate the murder of one of its' members. Lucifer repeatedly asks what's up with the goat stuff, and at one point Amenadiel mentions associating the Devil with goats as a joke.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has featured Baphomet "the Prince of Beasts" as a powerful Demon Lord since 1982, in which capacity he's primarily associated with Minotaurs rather than goats. He likes to play The Corrupter to entire societies, particularly Minotaur settlements.
  • The Devil card in standard Tarot card decks uses Baphomet as the image.

    Video Games 
  • In Silent Hill, Incubus, the final boss in the good endings, is patterned after Baphomet.
  • He is the final boss of the Irem shooter XMultiply. Which is a little odd, since this is a science-fiction game where you've been shrunk and injected into a woman's bloodstream to eradicate a disease.
  • In Eternal Daughter, Baphomet is the true mastermind behind the Dungaga's conquest, and is the final boss.
  • In La-Mulana, Baphomet is the female Guardian of the Twin Labyrinths.
  • In Assassin's Creed: Unity, Arno must infiltrate the Cult of Baphomet to kill their leaders. You first have to steal a couple chalices from the Notre Dame to convince them to let you join.
  • Baphomet is planning to take over the world in Darklands, and is the final boss. Take Your Time, though, the game is more about exploring the Wide Open Sandbox than getting to the credits.
  • In Post Mortem, the Head of Baphomet idol allegedly worshiped by the Templars is the main MacGuffin, setting off the events of the game with the murder of an American couple, who were transporting the Head through Paris.
  • The Capra Demon from Dark Souls I is a half man, half goat demon with a pair of Great Machetes. He's modelled after the Great Goat from Berserk and to an extent, Baphomet in his Sabbatic Goat form. Just like the Great Goat, the Capra Demon is wingless. However, his horns are grown horizontally.
  • Baphomet is a recurring demon in the Shin Megami Tensei franchise, being a member of the Vile race or the Devil Arcana. Baphomet typically are early-to-mid-games demons and learn Fire, Dark, and ailments skills.

    Visual Novels 
  • Due to its tarot influence, The Arcana depicts the Devil as Baphomet, and the character most associated with the devil, Lucio, is strongly associated with goats in general.

    Western Animation 

Feedback: 23 replies

Sep 10th 2018 at 6:21:09 PM

Sounds like a Useful Note

Sep 10th 2018 at 6:30:01 PM

Wasn't sure what category Tarot cards should go in but I stuck it in tabletop games for now.

EDIT: Yes, I was dithering over whether this is a useful note or a trope. We do have Archangel Michael, Archangel Gabriel and Satan classed as tropes, though.

Maybe Demonlord Baphomet or something to follow the pattern of the archangel tropes?

Sep 10th 2018 at 7:18:36 PM

Baphomet is depicted in Tarot as The Devil (15th).

See also Fauns And Satyrs for how Baphomet tends to look like.

Sep 10th 2018 at 8:54:50 PM

Might be worth mentioning that some modern interpretations give Baphomet the Satan Is Good treatment. Also, some more context for the D&D example:

  • Dungeons And Dragons has featured Baphomet "the Prince of Beasts" as a powerful Demon Lord since 1982, in which capacity he's primarily associated with Minotaurs rather than goats. He likes to play The Corrupter to entire societies, particularly Minotaur settlements.

Sep 10th 2018 at 9:35:06 PM

  • Due to its tarot influence, The Arcana depicts the Devil as Baphomet, and the character most associated with the devil, Lucio, is strongly associated with goats in general.

Sep 10th 2018 at 9:44:14 PM

This seems like a really minor figure to make a trope out of, especially when there's so much oberlap with Satan and Demon Lords And Archfiends. Most of these examples just state this guy appears in a thing rather than noting how each depiction conforms to an archetypical form of the character.

Cause of all that, I'm bombing this.

Sep 10th 2018 at 11:52:31 PM

Not sure whether this should be put under real life or mythology (not exactly Bathomet, but maybe broaden this to all demonic goats):

  • There was a satanist band of bandits in the Netherlands and Belgium in the 18th century who called themselves "de bokkenrijders"note . There was a witch hunt trying to round them up, and some of them swore an oath "ik zweer god af en de duivel aan".note  there were rumors abound that they made a pact with the devil and rode on flaming Bucks. They are a staple of Dutch and Belgian folklore (even showing up in some modern works such as Suske En Wiske and the "villa volta" ride in Ride/Efteling), but their real life origins are a source of debate among historians.

Sep 11th 2018 at 1:57:07 AM

  • In Post Mortem, the Head of Baphomet idol allegedly worshiped by the Templars is the main Mac Guffin, setting off the events of the game with the murder of an American couple, who were transporting the Head through Paris.

Sep 11th 2018 at 3:34:26 AM

  • Examples section
    • Put media sections in alphabetical order.

Zero Context Examples have been marked as such. They need more information to show how they fit the trope. Please don't remove the marking unless you add enough context. Warning: providing Zero Context Examples can result in being suspended from editing.

Sep 11th 2018 at 7:35:50 AM

  • The Great Goat from Berserk is a Pseudo-Apostle resembling a wingless Baphomet. He's the leader of a heretical cult near Albion. When the Great Goat gets converted into a Pseudo-Apostle by the Egg of a Perfect World's stinger, he turns into a half man, half goat monstrosity with a pair of long horns, goat hooves, and a serpentine phallus that he uses to make an attempt to consummate with Casca. Fortunately, Guts shows up just in time and he slays the Great Goat for good.
  • The Capra Demon from Dark Souls I is a half man, half goat demon with a pair of Great Machetes. He's modelled after the Great Goat from Berserk and to an extent, Baphomet in his Sabbatic Goat form. Just like the Great Goat, the Capra Demon is wingless. However, his horns are grown horizontally.

Sep 11th 2018 at 7:39:36 AM

Sep 11th 2018 at 8:51:17 AM

Baphomet is frequently depicted as a hermaphrodite, with both a penis and breasts.

Baphomet's image is frequently used by the real-world Church of Satan, mainly as a way of harassing Moral Guardians.

Sep 11th 2018 at 12:51:20 PM

Sep 11th 2018 at 2:51:56 PM

This should be a page in the Myth/ namespace.

Sep 11th 2018 at 3:14:34 PM

On the other hand, Satan still uses the Main/ namespace.

Sep 12th 2018 at 5:10:09 PM

  • Lucifer: In "Team Lucifer" the team goes to a Satanic temple bedecked in Baphomet sigils to investigate the murder of one of its' members. Lucifer repeatedly asks what's up with the goat stuff, and at one point Amenadiel mentions associating the Devil with goats as a joke.

Sep 12th 2018 at 2:37:57 PM

^ I'm not sure that counts. Does Baphomet's imagery make an appearance? Goats being associated with Satan goes all the way back to the Bible, so it's not an automatic reference to Baphomet.

I think I'm going to ask the mods whether this is kosher as a trope or not.

Sep 12th 2018 at 3:55:24 PM

^ Yeah, there's Baphomet sigils in a lot a spots, one of the Satanists even invokes him as a "name of the Devil", which the actual Devil there takes offense to.

Sep 12th 2018 at 4:39:00 PM

^ But you don't mention any of that in your example. You only describe demonic elements associated with Satan or the Big Red Devil, which reinforces how those tropes more than cover any of the recurring elements associated with this figure outside of its name.

Sep 12th 2018 at 5:10:24 PM

^ Edited for clarification

Sep 14th 2018 at 6:07:00 AM

Somehow, the first time I heard of Baphomet, it was on Ragnarok Online, along with Baphomet Jr.

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