Follow TV Tropes

Following

Deity Identity Confusion

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rco001_1469483207.jpg
"Hahaha, Zag, I heard you got to Orpheus. He's got this whole entire ballad now about how you're really me— or maybe it's the other way around? I've no idea, haha!"
Dionysus to Zagreus, Hades
Advertisement:

Gods are typically expected to have defined roles, characteristics and relations to one another. However, various circumstances can result in some of them being combined into one, perhaps even with a deity from a different pantheon.

This can happen for various reasons:

  • The religion that the gods were a part of died out and later generations don't know that some of those gods were supposed to be seperate from one another.
  • One sect of a religion gains prominence over the others and elevate their god or gods over the others, often fusing their Top God with the previous one.
  • The religion is descended from an older mythology and several gods have since been divided into multiple ones.
  • A religion practiced by one society influences the one of a nearby society, with that society's gods being (or becoming) Expies of the other.
  • Advertisement:
  • Different religions, and their gods, are syncretised to assert an underlying unity and allow for an inclusive approach to other faiths.

Related to All Myths Are True, Hijacked by Jesus and One Myth to Explain Them All.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Campione!:
    • Heretic Gods are born from human myths and as a result will transition into new forms as their worship and myth is changed by humans. However they can still draw on the powers from older myths which are no longer part of their modern character. Discerning the origin of a god's myth is both important for identifying weaknesses and for empowering Godou's Warrior Authority, which is only effective when he understands the origin of an enemy's Authority.
    • Heretic God Rama is the origin of the King Arthur myth. Centuries after he fell into dormancy, Guinevere attempted to revive Rama by reigniting interest in Arthur's legend. She was killed before Rama could be awakened and the incomplete attempt instead birthed a separate Heretic God, King Arthur.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comics:
    • The Mighty Thor:
      • Frigga/Freyja, Thor's foster mother, is primarily based on the Norse Goddess Frigg, but also contains many elements of the goddess Freya, creating much confusion. The matter was eventually settled when Word of God confirmed that they were the same person.
      • Freyja's relation to Freyr has also received quite an overhaul. In Norse Mythology, they are the children of Njord. However, in the comics, Freyr is instead Freyja's father and his sister is Idunn, who is unrelated to them in the myths and is instead said to be the youngest daughter of the Elf Ivaldi's eldest set of children, and is thus of Elfin kin. Similarly, Freyja instead has a sister, Gullveig, who is also never specified in the myths to be related to her, aside from also being a Vanir. However, this could be seen as a Mythology Gag, as some scholars have proposed that the mythological Freya and Gullveig might be the same person.
      • Thanks to the Ragnarok Cycle, which saw the constant destruction and revival of the gods in a variety of forms and names, Amora the Enchantress has been known as both Freya and Idunn in past lives. In the current universe, both of those goddesses exist as separate entities, but she still poses as them or fulfills their divine functions at times.
      • Gaea, who is the mother of the Greek Titans, is also the Mother Goddess in most other pantheons, resulting in most of the gods being related to one another.
    • The Incredible Hercules:
      • Hercules has this trope applied to his own name: He's associated with the Greek pantheon, but his name is from the Roman mythology. His corresponding name from the Greek mythology is Herakles (or Heracles, depending on the transliteration). He gave an In-Universe explanation that his name was originally the Greek one, which is etymologically related to Hera. After his stepmother became his enemy, he adopted the Roman variant to cut the etymological ties.
      • In the past, a member of The Eternals named Gilgamesh was mistaken for Hercules on a number of occasions, due to both men being roughly equal in strength. When the two came face-to-face at last, Gilgamesh was furious at Hercules for receiving credit for his feats, but the two men later became close friends and even roommates.
      • Hercules has also been confused for Thor, including one storyline where he intentionally donned the traditional costume of the Asgardian to defeat Alfyse, queen of the Dark Elves, who would only cede to Thor himself. However, after mutual flirting between the two, Alfyse and "Thor" went to bed together and she used the encounter to proclaim herself "Thor's" wife and thus rightful queen of Asgard. This led to the real Thor (now dressed as Hercules) fighting Hercules (dressed as Thor) putting on a fake fight to thwart Alfyse's scheme.
    • In The Eternals, the titular beings have been mistaken for gods many times over the centuries and have generally decided to roll with it, because letting the mortals think that they're gods has allowed the Eternals a lot of room to conduct their various works.
  • DC Comics:
    • Wonder Woman: In general the Erotes never number more than two and their portfolios cover the whole range of love, lust, seduction and romance which was split among the various members in the original mythology. Hermaphroditus however does remain intersex and Eros keeps his arrows of love, sometimes modified into other projectiles to fit the time period.
    • In Wonder Woman (Rebirth), Atlantiades/Hermaphroditus keeps both his names despite Aphrodite being made his Truly Single Parent even though both of his names refer to his father. The confusion seems to come from Hermes' mother being a daughter of Atlas (hence his intersex offspring's name "Atlantiades"); while Aphrodite's mother Dione is not a daughter of Atlas, she shares a name with one and was thereby conflated with her.
  • In The Sandman, when Dream visits Emperor Augustus in, well, a dream, Augustus initially believes Dream to be the god Apollo. Dream notes that there is some overlap between him and certain of Apollo's functions, (Apollo being a god of music, art and poetry, and in the Sandman verse creativity comes in large part from Dream's domain) so they've been mistaken for each before. Dream is a whole other level of being, however. It's also quite common for Dream to be called "Morpheus", after a Greco-Roman god associated with dreams. Another story establishes Dream as the father of Orpheus by Calliope. In myth, Orpheus's father is sometimes said to be Apollo .
  • Valhalla:
    • In The Wall, Frey's messenger and servant Skirnir is in fact Tjalfe, operating under an assumed name.
    • Freyja and Sol are combined into a single goddess, as are Frigg and Jord. But this also reflects some actual theories about these goddesses.
    • Røskva is revealed to be the same as the titular völva of Völuspa.
Advertisement:

    Fanfic 
  • A Man of Iron:
    • The Seven Gods worshipped throughout most of the Seven Kingdoms are ultimately revealed to be the Norse gods, who are otherwise identical to their mythological counterparts. The people of Westeros seriously missed their mark when they interpreted the gods.
    • Odin and Frigga are "The Father" and "The Mother" respectively, they're the only ones who were interpreted well enough.
    • They gave Balder Mjolnir and Heimdell's beard, and he's known as "The Smith".
    • Sif is known as "The Maiden", which she strongly dislikes. Since she would be quite conspicuous if she showed herself an Action Girl every time she went to Midgard, she occasionally (and begrudgingly) had to play the Proper Lady.
    • Thor was correctly identified as "The Warrior", but was believed to wield a sword instead of a hammer. Thor also revealed that he is the Storm God the Ironborn fear.
    • The Drowned God is actually a friend of Thor named Aegir, and he got the nickname after Sif dropped him in a puddle for trying to bed her at one of his famous parties.
    • Ser Davos Seaworth is eventually revealed to be Loki Odinson in disguise.

    Literature 
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, the Faceless Men worship the Many-Faced God, the God of Death. They believe that Death is unknowingly worshiped by devotees of all the religions in the world, with every religion's god of death simply being a different aspect, or "face", through which Death had revealed himself to humanity.
  • Deliberately invoked in The Camp Half-Blood Series with the Greek/Roman gods. Due to the fact that the Romans saw them differently than the Greeks, the gods have a case of Split Personality between their Greek and Roman sides. How bad it is tends to vary, some of the major gods are so incapacitated they have to lay low in order to not inconvenience the world. Other gods, such as Aphrodite and Nemesis, are hardly affected because of their "universal" domains.
  • In City Of Stairs, Jukov the trickster god lost his identity and started to believe that he was another god Kolkan when he concealed himself in a pane of glass that was a prison intended only to hold Kolkan.
  • In Discworld, this is the case with Blind Io, the Chief God of the Disc's pantheon. It's explicitly stated that Io literally is the "Thunder God" in any given religion on the Disc, having either supplanted or outright absorbed any other thunder gods so that all belief in such beings serves to empower him. This also applies to some of the other gods; Small Gods states that Tuvelpit, the Ephebian god of wine, is the same entity as Smimto, the Tsortean god of wine (although it's never specifically stated if he's also Bibulous, the god of wine in Hogfather).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor himself has been confused/conflated with numerous gods and wizards throughout his adventures. This was lampshaded by River:
      "I hate good wizards in fairy tales. They all turn out to be him."
      • The First Doctor was once mistaken for Zeus posing as an old man by the Greek warrior Achilles in circa 1200 BCE. He went along with it, until the unconvinced Agamemnon spoiled the Doctor's ruse.
      • The Seventh Doctor and his companian Ace were similarly mistaken for the Mesopotamian deities Ea, god of wisdom, and Aya, goddess of the dawn, by Gilgamesh, they decided to go along with it.
    • In "Pyramids of Mars", the Doctor confronts a being named Sutekh, a member of a race of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens called Osirans and worshipped as gods. During their confrontation, the Doctor gives us this example:
      The Doctor: "Serve you, Sutekh? Your name is abominated in every civilised world, whether that name be Set, Satan, Sodos."
    • "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit" have the Doctor go up against the Beast, aka the Devil. Not something that just looks like the Devil or just calls itself the Devil, the actual Devil. The Doctor takes it in stride when the Beast introduces itself and points out that virtually every religion has such a being in it and, to know what he's up against, asks "Which devil are you?" The Beast's response is "All of them."
  • In Supernatural, the Trickster that Sam and Dean had encountered is eventually revealed to be the Archangel Gabriel. However, among the pagan gods he is known as Loki. It's later clarified that Loki is a seperate person from Gabriel and had allowed the latter to use his identity as a form of "witness protection".

    Myths & Religion 
Mythology and Religion
  • Celtic Mythology:
    • In his Commentaries on the Gallic War, Caesar conflates the Celtic god Lugh as well as the Norse god Odin with Mercury, given their mutual reputations as gods of commerce and skillsets as Jack-of-All-Trades.
    • Lugh has been conflated with the Welsh deity Lleu Llaw Gyffes, who serves a similar role as a heroic god in the Mabinogi.
    • Nodens, god of healing, the sea, hunting and dogs, was equated with the Roman gods Mars, Neptune and Silvanus.
  • Classical Mythology:
    • One explanation for Zeus' legendary Anything That Moves tendencies (including his own sisters, descendants and sometimes mother) is that he's actually an amalgamation of multiple similar gods with completely different origins, so what was once an unrelated thunder god and a fertility goddess' daughter became Zeus siring Persephone on his sister Demeter.
    • Euripides' play "Alkestis" states fairly clearly that Thanatos and Hades were one and the same deity, and gives an interesting description of him as dark-cloaked and winged; moreover, Hades was also referred to as "Hesperos Theos" ("God of Death and Darkness").
    • Dionysus' Multiple-Choice Past and long history resulted in him being conflated with several other deities, with later writers trying to reconcile the different depictions by declaring them to have been different incarnations of him.
      • The Orphic Dionysus, sometimes referred to with the alternate name Zagreus or the "first Dionysus", was the son of Zeus (or Hades) and Persephone, and was dismembered by the Titans. However, Athena managed to save his heart and, with Zeus' help, put it into a drink which he gave to Semele, resulting Dionysus' rebirth into the younger Dionysus.
      • The younger Dionysus was also identified with Iacchus, a minor deity from the tradition of the Eleusinian mysteries. Iacchus was variously identified as the son or husband of Demeter, a son of Persephone (like Zagreus) or a son of Dionysus, rather than being Dionysus himself.
      • The philosopher Heraclitus, unifying opposites, declared that Hades and Dionysus, the very essence of indestructible life (zoe), are the same god. Among other evidence Karl Kerenyi notes that the grieving goddess Demeter refused to drink wine, which is the gift of Dionysus, after Persephone's abduction, because of this association, and suggests that Hades may in fact have been a "cover name" for the underworld Dionysus. He suggests that this dual identity may have been familiar to those who came into contact with the Mysteries. Ironically one of the epithets of Dionysus was "Chthonios", meaning "the subterranean".
    • The Ancient Greeks had a discourse known as Interpretatio Graeca (meaning "Greek translation"), which was used to interpret or attempt to understand the mythology and religion of other cultures.
      • Herodotus was one of the earliest authors to engage in this form of interpretation. In his observations regarding the Egyptians, he establishes Greco-Egyptian equivalents that endured into the Hellenistic era, including equating Amon with Zeus, Osiris with Dionysus and Ptah with Hephaestus. In his observations regarding the Scythians, he equates their queen of the gods, Tabiti, to Hestia, Papaios and Api to Zeus and Gaia respectively, and Argimpasa to Aphrodite Urania, whilst also claiming that the Scythians worshipped equivalents to Herakles and Ares, but which he doesn't name.
      • Baal Hammon, the chief god of Carthage, was identified as the Greek Titan Cronos and by the Romans as Saturn. One of the reasons that the Greeks and Romans equated him with Cronus/Saturn was because they really didn't like the Carthaginians, thus associating their chief god with a god they hated. On the other hand, Libyan Greeks were the most friendly with the Carthaginians, and they associated Baal Hammon with Zeus and Amun instead. Similarly, his consort Tanit was equated with Astarte and Juno.
      • Ares was equated with the Celtic god Nodens and the Norse god Tyr.
      • Athena was equated with the Celtic goddess Sul.
      • Aphrodite was equated with the Norse goddesses Freya and Frigg.
      • The Phrygian goddess Cybele was partially assimilated to aspects of the Earth goddess Gaia, her possibly Minoan equivalent Rhea, and the harvest mother goddess Demeter. Cybele was also often equated with the goddess Agdistis.
    • The Romans had a similar discourse known as Interpretatio Romana.
      • The phrase was first used by the Imperial-era historian Tacitus in his book Germania. Tacitus reported that in a sacred grove of the Germanic Nahanarvali, they commemorated gods who, in Roman terms, are identified as Castor and Pollux. Elsewhere, he identified the principal gods of the Germans as Hercules and Mercury, seemingly referring to Thor and Odin respectively.
      • Apollo was conflated with the Celtic Belenos and the Egyptian Horus.
      • Diana was conflated with the Celtic Arduinna and the Egyptian Bastet.
      • Jupiter was conflated with the Celtic Taranis and the Egyptian Amun.
      • Two later commentators on the text of 1st century CE Roman poet Lucan equated the Gallic gods Toutatis and Esus with Mercury and Mars respectively. Mercury was also equated with the Irish god Lugh and the Egyptian god Thoth.
      • Hercules was equated with the Celtic god Ogmios.
      • Both Minerva and Victoria were equated with the Celtic Brigantia, although Victoria was also identified with the Celtic Nemetona (who was otherwise more commonly conflated with Mars) on at least one inscription.
    • The Germanic peoples also had a discourse called Interpretatio Germanica to identify Roman gods with the names of Germanic deities. According to Rudolf Simek, this occurred around the 1st century CE, when both cultures came into closer contact. Some evidence for interpretatio germanica exists in the Germanic translations of the Roman names for the days of the week:
      • Sunday, the day of Sol/Sunna, the sun (as female), was earlier the day of Sol Invictus, the sun (as male).
      • Monday, the day of Mani, the moon (as male), was earlier the day of Luna, the moon (as female).
      • Tuesday, the day of Tyr/Tiwaz, was earlier the day of Mars, god of war.
      • Wednesday, the day of Odin/Woden, was earlier the day of Mercury, god of travelers and eloquence.
      • Thursday, the day of Thor/Donar, was earlier the day of Jupiter, god of thunder. Thor was also sometimes identified with the club-wielding Hercules.
      • Friday, the day of Frigg, was earlier the day of Venus, goddess of love.
    • Scholars of mythology often come up with plausible theories that deities were split up into different ones over time. For instance, the Earth-goddesses Rhea (mother of Zeus and his siblings) and Demeter (one of Zeus' sisters) are often seen as offshoots of Gaia (Zeus' and Demeter's grandmother, according to Hesiod), and Eleithyia (one of Zeus' and Hera's two daughters) is often interpreted as a personification of one of Hera's functions, being the protector of childbirth.
  • Egyptian Mythology:
    • Due to Ancient Egyptian culture spanning more than half of written history, and had suffered repeated massive breakdowns and invasions/occupations, there was little uniformity in their mythology.
    • The identity of the creator god was heavily subject to revision and location. In Hermopolis, the creation of the world was attributed to a set of eight gods, called the Ogdoad. In Heliopolis, the creation was attributed to Atum, who was said to have initially existed in the waters of Nu as an inert potential being. The Memphite version of creation centred on Ptah, who was the patron god of craftsmen. As such, he represented the craftsman's ability to envision a finished product, and shape raw materials to create that product. Theban theology claimed that Amun was not merely a member of the Ogdoad, but the hidden force behind all things. There was a conflation of all notions of creation into the personality of Amun, a synthesis which emphasized how Amun transcended all other deities in his being "beyond the sky and deeper than the underworld". Khnum was worshipped as a creator god primarily in two principal riverside sites, Elephantine and Esna. By the Fifth Dynasty in the 25th and 24th centuries BCE, Ra had become one of the most important gods in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the noon sun and regarded as the creator of all things.
    • When the cults of Amun and Ra became increasingly popular in Upper and Lower Egypt respectively, they were combined to create Amun-Ra, a solar creator god. The most common belief is that Amun-Ra was invented as a new state deity by the Theban rulers of the New Kingdom to unite worshipers of Amun with the older cult of Ra around the 18th Dynasty.
    • Due to both Ra and Atum being regarded as the father of the deities and pharaohs and being widely worshiped, they were similarly fused into Atum-Ra (or Ra-Atum).
    • Khepri and Khnum, being associated with the morning and evening sun respectively, were sometimes regarded as being different aspects of Ra.
    • The goddess Raet or Raet-Tawy was regarded as a female aspect of Ra. However, in some myths she was considered to be either Ra's wife or his daughter.
    • Montu was a solar hawk god and a god of war who was primarily worshipped in the Theban nomes. However, during the Twelfth Dynasty, his position as state god was taken by Amun. He was later closely associated with Ra as a solar god and often appeared as Montu-Ra. He was also merged with Atum and even associated with Set (possibly because of his martial aspect or because he could counteract the negative side of Set). The Greeks considered Montu to be a form of Ares, the Greek god of war.
    • Anhur was a god of war who was worshipped in the Egyptian area of Abydos. However, due to having the same headdress and because his name could also mean Sky Bearer, he was later identified with the air god Shu, becoming Anhur-Shu.
    • Astarte/Astoreth was sometimes identified with the lioness warrior goddess Sekhmet, but was also seemingly more often conflated, at least in part, with Isis to judge from the many images found of Astarte suckling a small child.
    • As early as the 5th century BCE, Osiris and Dionysus had been identified with each other, seen most notably in the historian Herodotus' Histories. They were syncretised into Dionysus-Osiris, or alternatively, Osiris-Dionysus. Similarly, their respective lovers, Isis and Aphrodite, were syncretised into Isis-Aphrodite.
    • The Graeco-Egyptian deity Serapis was derived from the worship of the Egyptian Osiris and Apis and also gained attributes from other deities, such as chthonic powers linked to the Greek Hades and Demeter, and benevolence linked to Dionysus.
    • Hermes and Anubis' similar responsibilities (they were both conductors of souls) led to them being combined into the god Hermanubis.
  • Hebrew Mythology:
    • The Canaanite religion originally recognized the god El as the creator god and the ruler of the gods, with the goddess Asherah as his consort. The god Baal, who was one of their sons and had his home on Mount Zaphon, became the dominant Canaanite deity over time, so that El became the executive power and Baal the military power in the cosmos. The god Yahweh was intially worshipped by the Israelites as a storm-and-warrior god alongside the other gods. However, when the Israelites became the dominant people of Canaan, El and Yahweh became conflated, El-linked epithets such as El Shaddai came to be applied to Yahweh alone and other gods and goddesses such as Baal and Asherah were absorbed into the Yahwistic religion.
    • From the 9th into the 6th centuries BCE, the Yahwistic religion separated itself from its Canaanite heritage as Yahweh became the main god of the Kingdom of Israel and Judah, and over time the royal court and Temple in Jerusalem promoted Yahweh as the god of the entire cosmos, possessing all the positive qualities previously attributed to the other gods and goddesses. By the end of the Babylonian captivity (6th century BCE), the very existence of foreign gods was denied, and Yahweh was proclaimed as the creator of the cosmos and the one true God of all the world.
    • In the Baal Cycle of Ugarit, Asherah/Athirat, the consort of the god El, plays a role. She is clearly distinguished from Astarte/Ashtart in the Ugaritic documents, although in non-Ugaritic sources from later periods the distinction between the two goddesses can be blurred, either as a result of scribal error or through possible syncretism.
    • Baal/Ba'al (meaning "lord") was used as both a title and a proper name for various gods. As a result, only a definitive article, genitive or epithet, or context could establish which particular god was meant. Most modern scholarship asserts that this Ba'al, usually distinguished as "The Lord", was identical with the storm and fertility god Hadad, as it also appears in the form "Ba'al Haddu". Scholars propose that, as the cult of Hadad increased in importance, his true name came to be seen as too holy for any but the high priest to speak aloud and the alias "Lord" ("Ba'al") was used instead, similar to how "Bel" was used for Marduk among the Babylonians and "Adonai" for Yahweh among the Israelites. A minority propose that Ba'al was a native Canaanite deity whose cult was identified with or absorbed aspects of that of Hadad. Regardless of their original relationship, by the 1st millennium BCE, the two were distinct: Hadad was worshipped by the Aramaeans and Ba'al by the Phoenicians and other Canaanites.
    • Hadad, god of the weather, was equated with the Greek god Zeus, the Roman god Jupiter (as Jupiter Dolichenus), the Indo-European Nasite Hittite storm god Teshub and the Egyptian god Amun.
    • Anat, goddess of war, was conflated with the Greek goddess Athena Soteira Nike in Cyprus, where Phoenician inscriptions described her as the strength of life.
  • Mesopotamian Mythology:
    • Anu/An was worshipped as the Sky Father and King of the Gods. In ancient Hittite religion, Anu is a former ruler of the gods, who was overthrown by his son Kumarbi, who bit off his father's genitals and gave birth to the storm god Teshub. Teshub overthrew Kumarbi, avenged Anu's mutilation, and became the new king of the gods. This story later became the basis for the castration of Ouranos in Hesiod's Theogony. Anu was also conflated with the Canaanite god El, who was also the ruler of the gods.
    • The Sumerian goddesss Nammu/Namma was considered to be the counterpart to the Babylonian goddess Tiamat as they both function as primeval goddesses of the sea in their respective mythologies.
    • By the first millennium BCE, the gods Marduk, Enlil and Dumuzid/Tammuz were syncretized into a single deity named Bel, meaning "lord". Bel held all the cultic titles of Enlil and his status in the Babylonian religion was largely the same.
    • Inanna/Ishtar, goddess of love, was somtimes conflated with the Hindu goddess Durga.
  • Norse Mythology:
    • There is a real-life scholarly debate based on linguistics over if Freya and Frigg could just be the same deity distorted over time and retellings of the stories. The fact that Odin seems to have mutual relationships with both Frigg and Freya (married to one of them and sharing the Einherjar with the other), as well as obvious etymological similarities, lead to some speculations on this possibility - that Freya and Frigga were the same mother goddess, split into two entities. "Freya" is less a proper name than it is Old Norse for "the lady" (cf. modern German "Frau"), and note the similarity between Freya's husband Odr and Frigg's husband Odin. There are also direct analogues to Frigg in other Germanic and Proto-Indo-European-descended pantheons, while Freya only exists in Scandinavia.
    • Aside from Frigg, some scholars have similarly proposed that Gullveig is the same figure as Freya.
    • It is speculated that Njord was originally the mother goddess Nerthus, in time split into a celestial couple: Frey and Freya (literally "master and mistress").
    • Odin and Loki may also have been the same trickster god.
    • Loki and the fire giant Logi are often thought of as the same character, such as in the Ring Cycle, where they are merged into Loge.
  • The Bible:
    • The Apostles Barnabas and Paul were mistaken for the Greek gods Zeus and Hermes after performing miracles, with even the priest of Zeus coming out of the city to sacrifice a bull to them. The Apostles were naturally less than happy at the Unwanted False Faith.
  • Old Man Winter, the personification of Winter, could be seen as a Composite Character of Jack Frost and the North Wind's anthropomorphic depictions in that he's a personification of ice and snow like the former while also usually being portrayed as a sometimes-malicious bearded elder who blows cold gusts of wind out his mouth like the latter.

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • The Isu, a race of Abusive Precursors who have long since died out, had influenced religions across the world, with many of them eventually being upheld by humanity as gods.
    • Minerva was known as Mera, the Etruscan goddess Merva and the Greek goddess Athena. However, she was also additionally known as Saraswati to the Hindus, Sulis to the Celts and Vor to the Norse.
    • Juno was also known as the Greek goddess Hera and Etruscan goddess Uni.
    • Jupiter was also known as the Etruscan god Tinia. However, the Fate of Atlantis DLC seems to suggest that Zeus is a seperate character, as he and Tinia have seperate archives in Atlantis.
    • Subverted with Aita and Hades, who are explicitly depicted as seperate characters.
    • Consus was also known as the Greek Titan Prometheus.
    • An rather unusual case with Hermes Trismegistus, who is depicted as a Composite Character of the Greek god Hermes and Hermes Trismegistus, the purported author of the Hermetic Corpus, a series of sacred texts that are the basis of Hermeticism.
  • Dragon Age: Thanks to the questionable existence of various forms of gods, there is a lot of in-universe confusion about the exact nature of many deities. For example, the Elven gods were the first to be worshipped, but over time, many of their legends or stories became misunderstood or appropriated by various other cultures, which we are given a hint at when we learn that a constellation that is named after one of the Old Gods worshiped by the Tevinter Imperium was originally named after one of said Elven gods. Another possible example is the Black City, a large structure within The Fade which in Andrastian faith was once the seat of The Maker until human sin corrupted it, but was also something else in Elven mythology. Not helping the confusion is the later revelation that the Elven "gods" were not gods at all and that at one point, the Fade and the mortal world were the same thing until forcibly separated by one of those "gods" to rebel against the others.
  • The Elder Scrolls: Because Elder Scrolls lore is extremely nebulous and unclear, its large assembly of gods can appear in multiple pantheons as various different names note , and there can be confusion over whether or not two gods are actually the same or different aspects of each other or related by some other means note , and there can be confusion about how a mortal (or several different mortals) transcended into godhood note . Part of the mystique of the series is trying to piece together which of these stories are true, or even how they could ALL be true at the same time.
    • One of the clearest examples comes from Skyrim, where an in-universe text discusses the dichotomy between dragon gods Akatosh and Alduin. Akatosh is the Top God of the Imperial Divines cult, and there is in-universe confusion over whether or not the Nord god Alduin (a draconic Destroyer Deity) is the same entity. The Nords argue that they are two separate beings, and as the events of Skyrim play out, it becomes apparent that the latter interpretation is true.
  • Fate/Grand Order
    • In Japanese myth, the deity Gozu-Tenno, the father of Minamoto-no-Raikou, is often considered an incarnation of Hindu god Indra. This allows Raikou to get Indra's weapon, the Vajra (aka Kongousho) by praying to her father. This gets lampshaded by Arjuna (Indra's actual son).
    • Due to them being counterparts of each other in their respective myths, Kama of Hindu mythology and Mara of Buddhist myth are one and the same, acting akin to Split Personalities.
  • God Of War 2018:
    • The Witch of the Woods is eventually revealed to be Freya. However, aside from having been Queen of the Valkyries before her exile, she also incorporates several traits of Frigg, such as her marriage to Odin and Baldur being her son. Mimir explains the confusion is on purpose: "Frigg" was Odin's pet name for Freya, and later he began to attribute her heroic deeds to "Frigg" as a way to conceal the fact a Vanir was behind those deeds.
    • Similarly, Kratos and Atreus are eventually revealed to be Farbauti and Loki respectively. Farbauti means "cruel striker", but in traditional Norse legends, it is the name of the father of Loki... which is revealed to have been the name given unto Atreus by Faye.
    • Downplayed with Freyr. His backstory of his torture at the hands of the Aesir, which subsequently sparked the Aesir-Vanir War, is directly based on the mythological Gullveig, albeit without her multiple rebirths. However, Gullveig herself also appears as a Revenant Zombie, although her backstory isn't touched upon.
  • In Valkyrie Profile, Freya is a Composite Character of her mythological counterpart and Frigg, Odin's wife. As such, Freya and Odin are portrayed as caring very deeply for one another, with Freya experiencing a Despair Event Horizon during the first two games when having to deal with Odin's death/disappearance.
  • Hades has a comedic subplot about origin of the Orphic Dionysus and how Zagreus came to be conflated with him. Dionysus and Zagreus (entirely distinct entities in this game) decide to mess with Orpheus a little and tell him that they're actually the same god, fabricating an elaborate backstory about being rent by Titans and reborn to explain their current separate states. Zagreus comes to regret the joke when he learns that the Super Gullible Hero-Worshipper has started composing hymns based around it and prostelytizing in Zagreus-Dionysus's name, praying that It Will Never Catch On. (It catches on.)

    Web Animation 


Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report