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Demiurge Archetype

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"He's an asshole God in a bubble universe."
James Walton on Captain Daly, Black Mirror: USS Callister

Sometimes, a writer wants to take the God Is Evil route and depict the Top God of the setting as a villain. But doing this runs the risk of offending Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and other religious audiences. So how to mitigate this while still getting to explore the idea?

Simple: take a page from Gnosticism and make it so that the evil God is akin to the Demiurge — not the true God, but a villainous pretender. In Gnostic thought, the God of the Bible (or at least the Old Testament) is not the true God, but an imposter known as Yaldabaoth who falsely believes himself to be the true God and keeps humanity, his creation, in the dark of the truth to torment them and lord his power over them. As such, the Demiurge Archetype will be worshipped as the god of the setting, and may very well have created humanity and/or the physical plane, but is only posing as the true god. They will use their power to torment and oppress humanity, keeping them from achieving true ascension/spirituality/enlightenment, and will likely be the god of a Corrupt Church and/or The Theocracy that they use to enforce their will.

The Demiurge Archetype is Not Quite the Almighty as a key element, but another important element is that they actively deceive their creations and/or themself into believing that they are the true God in order to control their creations. They are also frequently an example of Light Is Not Good, appearing as a benevolent god of light to fool their followers. This character usually comes with a need to control everything, and deviations in their plans can cause meltdowns. Occasionally the Archetype in question is imitating a different entity of similar extreme power or authority; think Fake Ultimate Hero taken to the logical extreme. In reference to the Demiurge's inability to perceive or influence anything beyond the material plane, the Demiurge Archetype will often be portrayed as a glorified Domain Holder; they are unable to hold any power over their creations once the latter manages to escape their little bubble, so they do everything in their power to keep them imprisoned within. Other times this can be the logical endpoint of a Godhood Seeker or particularly dangerous complex. The Archetype might be able to back a lot of their claims up, but in the end they're still a fake.

As for the role of Satan or the local Satanic Archetype, they could be a case of Satan Is Good, or it could be the case that The Demiurge And Satan Are Both Jerks, and it is not uncommon for them to be the same character. The Messianic Archetype or Crystal Dragon Jesus, on the other hand, is usually still benevolent and a representative of the true God, as Gnostic thought holds.

See also God of Order and Our Archons Are Different.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As the Demiurge Archetype often involves deceit, impersonation, and taking credit for the good deeds of others, a character being this is often a twist. Expect unmarked spoilers. Also, as with Satanic Archetype, this only applies to characters who are an Expy of the Demiurge, not characters who are the literal Demiurge itself.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach: Emperor Yhwach was worshipped as a god in his youth, even sharing a name with the Abrahamic God. He performed miracles for his worshippers, great acts of healing, and even today is surrounded by followers in a kingdom of his making. He's unstoppable in a fight, nearly immortal, and heavily associated with light. His followers resemble angels, with many of their higher forms being Angelic Abominations in appearance. Yhwach's plan to destroy the current world and remake it also mirrors the ideas of the Demiurge being the God of a new world, something he somewhat becomes in the end.
  • Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood: In keeping with the narrative's gnostic overtones, Father, a.k.a. the The Dwarf In The Flask, is a relatively localized version with aspirations to legitimize his divine status. In the literal text, he's the secret founder of Amestris and the Shadow Dictator of the corrupt Amestrian government with direct control of both the nation's propaganda and all alchemy performed within its borders. (Which, since Alchemy is everywhere, basically gives him absolute control of the citizens' lives.) Symbolically, he's also both the father of the Seven Deadly Sins (the Homunculi) and the source of all the problems that the characters face in one way or another, many of which he obfuscates with various lies and illusions. In practice, though, he only momentarily succeeds in usurping Truth, making his tenure as the literal version of this trope quite brief.
  • The Black Zetsu of Naruto would rather call himself the "Architect of the ninja world" rather than call himself a god, and he's a Living Shadow, rather than Light Is Not Good. That right goes to his mother, who he considers god, Kaguya Ōtsutsuki. He manipulated the world for centuries to resurrect her, causing countless deaths and wars. Hearing this infuriates Naruto, who derides him as a brat who can't even be without his mother.
  • The Lifemaker from Negima! Magister Negi Magi and its sequel UQ Holder! functions as a malevolent Demiurge figure. Her real name is Ialda Baoth, which is in reference to Ialdabaoth/Yaldabaoth, one of the many names for the Demiurge. She is a God Of Human Origin whose One-Winged Angel form is that of an Angelic Abomination, much like how the Demiurge itself originates as a being of light created by Sophia. She created the Mundus Magicus, or Inverse Mars, which is a flawed artificial Magic Land, much like how the Demiurge created the flawed physical world in contrast to the perfect spiritual world. Lastly, her ultimate goal is to stop all suffering by entrapping everyone in a Lotus-Eater Machine where they get to live their heart's desire, even if she has to kill everyone to get them there, much like how the Demiurge entraps people in physical forms of matter against their will.
  • While Devil Homura of Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion is primarily a Satanic Archetype, she also possesses similarities to the Demiurge, in that she overthrows and replaces Ultimate Madoka, the God archetype, and recreates the universe, becoming a false god.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena: Akio Ohtori/End Of The World/Prince Dios. A former deity now fallen into despair and obscurity, Akio deceives and manipulates the students of Ohtori Academy with both his position as "Acting" Chairman of the Board and with various displays of magic. The final episodes reveal that much of this magic is actually an elaborate special effects setup to compensate for the true power of Dios being sealed behind the Rose Gate. Likewise, his domain of Ohtori Academy is itself implied to magically separated from the "real" world, possibly even being a Pocket Dimension. Meanwhile the closest thing to an actual deity is his sister Anthy, whom he's abused into subservience; her leaving him during the Grand Finale renders him helpless.
  • The Seven Deadly Sins has both this and an equally evil Devil. The Supreme Deity, the leader of the Goddess Clan and supposedly the God equivalent, was actually a creation of the true God, Chaos. She teamed up with the Satanic Archetype, the Demon King, to usurp and seal away Chaos out of jealousy, desiring to be worshipped as Chaos was. The two then started the Holy War, a Forever War between the two of them, for their own amusement, and keep the races in perpetual agony and servitude to secure their worship.
  • Sword Art Online:
    • Nobuyuki Sugou/Fairy King Oberon rules the online MMORPG Alfheim Online (AFO), which he and his company created from leftover data in the titular Sword Art Online (which they acquired when the original creators went bankrupt). As such, he is positioned as a pale imitation of the SAO creator Akihiko Kayaba (who serves as the formerly malevolent god figure), and in his false god position, he manipulates the players to climb a rigged tree, tortures hundreds of imprisoned players, and sexually abuses one of them (Asuna) as a Lust Object. When Kirito gets the upper hand on him with help from Kayaba, he even whines that he's the god of this world, earning a Shut Up, Hannibal! from Kirito.
      Kirito: You stole everything in this world. Everything! Including its people! You're nothing but a king of thieves, sitting alone on your stolen throne!
    • Quinella usurped the Underworld's equivalent of god, setting herself up as one gifted by the gods before constructing a false faith in her own name and ruled by her specially-prepared laws and her Integrity Knights.
  • TSUKIMICHI -Moonlit Fantasy-: The goddess Makoto is sent to serve is a Narcissist who decides he's not handsome enough to be a hero and sends him to the edge of the world with the monsters she deem unworthy of the good life she provides to her Hyumens, who just so happen to be an attractive people.

    Comic Books 
  • Clive Barker's Next Testament: Wick, who employs a color motif instead of a light motif, actually is the Abrahamic God but only as part of a triune, two of whom turned on him around the time of the New Testament. All the atrocities committed in the Old Testament, the slaughter of the firstborn, the torture of Job,note  death for those who criticized him and his prophets, the real turning point was Abraham being ordered to kill his son. That's when his brothers/peers turned on him and, as they are collectively greater than him, imprisoned Wick away from people. Notably, Gnosticism is in part a reaction to the evil actions of the Old Testament God, interpreting them so that a "real" benevolent god could exist, which Wick and his brothers embody well.
  • God from Pre-Resurrection Spawn is actually a spawn of the Mother of Creation, the true god, and wages petty war against the equally evil Satan, causing all the strife and misery in the series for the sake of power and so that all of creation would worship him. However, Post-Resurrection God is more benevolent.
  • Venom: Knull is a primordial god of darkness who came into being in the primordial Void before the universe was created, and was enraged when the Celestials intruded into what he saw as his domain to create the universe. He created the symbiotes and their ilk to wage war against the Celestials and their creations, first seeking to destroy and later to corrupt all of existence; seeing himself as the one true God and the other deities and cosmic entities as "lights" for him to snuff out or blacken. To drive the point home, Carlton Drake calls him the "Klyntar Demiurge" in Venom (Vol. 5) #3.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Matrix films:
    • The Architect is the creator of the titular Matrix, a false universe much like the material plane in Gnosticism, and an old, bearded man who has a lot of Christian imagery surrounding him who wants his creation to be perfect and will punish the humans living inside if they disobey.
    • The Analyst in The Matrix Resurrections has far greater direct control over the New Matrix than The Architect did over the old one, to the point that even those who have been awakened are unable to stand up to him. Only "The One" at full strength can. He has also populated the New Matrix with Bots, programs that don't even know they're programs until they're activated, and do whatever The Analyst wants. He uses them to make sure none of the humans inside the New Matrix go "off-script", as it were, effectively gaslighting all of them into obedience. It's implied that far fewer humans are freed from the New Matrix, because the Bots keep them from recognizing the signs of simulated reality.
  • The Truman Show: Christof is a metaphorical example of the archetype. He is the creator and director of a Reality Show that broadcasts the daily life of Truman Burbank, an actual live person who is unaware that he is the star of the program in question. To this end, Christof crafted an entirely false reality which he has complete control over, which is a giant television studio disguised as a seemingly normal seaside town, complete with actors and extras who play Truman's friends, neighbors, and family. He is obsessed with ruling every aspect of Truman's life, and when the latter becomes suspicious of his environment, Christof orchestrates events to gaslight him into staying in the set and keeping him from discovering the truth. He even goes as far as to summon an artificial storm to prevent Truman from escaping by boat, even if it could end up drowning the sole star of the show.
  • Free Guy: Much like Christof above, Antwan created the video game Free City off of the stolen data of the game Life Itself. So while the game is every multiplayer stereotype rolled into one, due to the advanced AI generating data of Life Itself, all the NPC's are self-aware, and live repeating lives of mundane terror. When Guy learns he's an NPC after meeting the original creator Millie, the two struggle to stop Antwan from destroying everything when he replaces the game with Free City 2, which would also kill all the NPC's. To add to the Demiurge motif, he is a bafoon of a businessman who would rather destroy the entire game than lose the profits of Free City.

  • In His Dark Materials, the Authority is only one of the first angels created from the matter, who managed to convince other angels he was the creator. Near the end, the angel Metatron got more and more power and planned to enslave all sentient creatures from the entire Multiverse.
  • In the mythos of William Blake, Urizen serves as both a fallen satanic figure and the representative of law and reason. Urizen, believing himself to be holy, was exiled from the divine and created a universe in which his law ruled above all else. He represents uniformity, stifles creativity, and is the origin of both religious dogmatism and enlightenment rationalism.

    Live Action TV 
  • In Black Mirror: USS Callister Robert Daly is the deeply introverted CTO of Callister who helped create the VRMMO Infinity game, where he eventually made an offline mod based on his favorite TV show (a pastiche of Star Trek), where he plays as an Expy of Captain Kirk. However, the AI characters inside the game are based on his real life coworkers he felt slighted against (most of which he was overdramatic about), even having their personalities and memories. Giving them a Barbie Doll Anatomy, he leaves them alone with nothing to do but drink and bang their heads against the wall, when he comes in he forces them to play out an episode plot, or just straight up abuses them when in a foul mood, and if they get out of line, he invokes Body Horror, or worse. He knows they are sentient, because he admits their suffering makes him happy. His most personal punching bag, CEO and fellow company founder Walton, outright describes him as "An Asshole God ruling over a bubble universe." In the end, the crew break out of his system during an update, which had deleted the mod with Daly still inside, now unable to log out, while the crew more than earned the happy ending.
  • Isaac in Kamen Rider Saber is the leader of Sword of Logos, an ancient guild of swordsmen dedicated to protecting the pages of the Almighty Book. His exposure to the Almighty Book led to him developing a form of quasi-immortality and living for centuries longer than most humans, leading him to eventually grow bored with his duty and see himself as a God. Isaac then would begin seeking to remake the world into one full of chaos and human suffering purely for his own entertainment, even going so far as to goad the nations of the world into warring with each other and declaring he'll spare only the nation that survives.
  • In Loki (2021), "He Who Remains" is the omniscient and supreme leader of the Time Variance Authority, which he leads in conducting all manner of brainwashing, executions, and slavery to make sure only his timeline can exist. The kicker, though, is that he does this to keep even more evil versions of himself from taking power.
  • It's revealed later in Supernatural that Chuck is the Abrahamic God and the creator of the physical universe, although he's only one of the group of primordial deities that includes himself, Amara, Death, and the Shadow of the Empty. He goes out of his way to make sure the faiths of the world neglect the other three gods, and is generally an obtuse, fickle sort of being who views all of existence as his entertainment.

    Video Games 
  • Afterlife: The player is a demiurge charged with managing both afterlives of a planet.
  • Bioshock 2: Audio logs removed from the game depict Father Wales' interpretation of ADAM as a gift from a false god, a gigantic worm with some of God's power, one who created life in all its horror and was buried beneath the waves by the true God. Word of God confirms that something gigantic is lying beneath Rapture and is the mutagenic source that gave the sea slugs their genetic manipulation aspects.
  • Breath of Fire:
    • Breath of Fire II: Deathevan, an embodiment of human evil and the child of Tyr/Myria from the first game, is worshipped as Father Evans, the god of the Corrupt Church Evrai. In his human form, he resembles a Grandpa God much like common depictions of God in Christianity, and he uses his church to pose as the sole god of the world rather than one of many gods and brainwashes his followers into doing nothing but mindlessly serving and worshiping him 24/7 while masterminding the demon attacks on other parts of the world.
    • In Breath of Fire III, the new incarnation of Myria takes on this role. Unlike Deathevan, however, she's a far more morally-ambiguous figure, but she's still posing as the One True God and worshipped by the Urkan Church. It's later revealed that she's protecting humanity from the Desert of Death and the dangers of uncontrolled technological development, but Yggdrasil argues back that what she's doing is keeping humanity in a Gilded Cage. In the end, she's found praying to God, "if there is a God," and asking what she should have done instead, but she doesn't receive an answer - except from her sister.
  • Doom Eternal: The Father, VEGA, serves as a rare benevolent variant. In The Ancient Gods expansion, it is revealed that Dark Lord of Hell Davoth, the then-unnamed and unseen Greater-Scope Villain of previous installments of the Doom series and the Big Bad of this DLC, was originally the "First Being" who shaped the universe from the realm of Jekkad, the first dimension. Davoth was distressed that his created subjects were doomed to die while he was immortal, and he took increasingly vicious steps to try to change this. The Maykrs he created, led by the Father, sealed Davoth away and rewrote history to claim that the Father created Davoth. Yet the demons of Jekkad, now called Hell, still continued to spread their dominion, while Davoth used his voice to influence the creation of the Doom Slayer and guide the latter on a path that would eventually lead to the destruction of the Maykys. Becomes a more classic version mixed with Satanic Archetype in the final battle with Davoth, where VEGA reveals that Davoth is the Father.
  • Dragalia Lost: Jaldabaoth is named after the one and only, and acts true to source material as a demon who makes people blindly worship him like sheep as a god of absolute law and truth, and to let them run wild with vice.
  • In Dragon Quest VII, Demon King Orgodemir combines this with Satanic Archetype- after his initial defeat, he is resurrected and poses as the Almighty, taking control of the world while promising a golden age for humanity, only to then seal away the islands that pose a threat to him and flooding the world with monsters.
  • Drakengard: The God commanding the Watchers/Grotesqueries, is not the actual god of creation despite being mistaken as such by mankind, is the Greater-Scope Villain of the Yoko Taro mythos due to being an Omnicidal Maniac out to destroy all life. It is also able to possess humans, causing a Red Eyes, Take Warning situation. As for the being that created the multiverse, nobody knows where it is.
  • The Elder Scrolls: Shor/Sep/Lorkhan might be one, depending on who is doing the telling. The Altmer believe him top be a cruel trickster who tricked their ancestor spirits out of their pre-creation divinity and trapped them in mortal bodies. Redguards also see him as a malevolent creator who made it harder for their spirits to reach The Far Shores. Conversely, Nords believe him to be a benevolent god who freed them from the prison of pre-creation stasis and welcomes them to Sovngarde when they die. Finally, the other Aedra, who lost much of their power in creation, tried and executed Lorkhan for his role in creation, forming the moons from his decaying corpse, and casting his heart to Nirn, where Red Mountain grew around it.
  • Final Fantasy X: Yu Yevon, the god of the Church of Yevon, was once a human summoner who ruled the city-state of Zanarkland and destroyed himself in a war with Bevelle. Becoming a strange bug-like creature, he creates a false world, Dream Zanarkland, trapping the survivors inside, and becomes the god of the Church of Yevon, a religion which he uses to keep the rest of Spira in a Medieval Stasis, keeping his followers in line by regularly attacking them with his literal Dragon, Sin, and demanding pilgrimages that are essentially Human Sacrifices. Like the Demiurge, Yevon rules over a false world and will do everything in his power to keep his subjects trapped within.
  • Hollow Knight: The Pale King is a divine Wyrm who wrested control of bugkind from the Radiance long ago, creating the civilization of Hallownest and becoming its ruler while unpersoning any mention of the Radiance in order to rob her of any influence. However, in a twist, he is a rare benevolent example of this trope — the Radiance was a purely evil and controlling goddess who kept her followers locked in a Hive Mind, and the Pale King had sought to grant them free will instead. When an idol of her is rediscovered deep in Crystal Peak, the jealous Radiance returns to spitefully destroy Hallownest with "the Infection", forcing the Pale King to take extreme measures to seal her away and protect his people.
  • Iconoclasts: The Starworm, the Greater-Scope Villain and Eldritch Abomination, is worshipped by the oppressive One Concern, a cross between a Mega-Corp and The Theocracy, as their god, with them killing anyone they consider heretics. In the endgame, it turns out that the Starworm is not a god at all, but a humanoid bird alien named Lucas Birbasaurus Rex piloting a freaky spaceship who is mining the planet of its Ivory to fuel the ship.
  • Legacy of Kain: The Elder God believes himself to be the Top God, despite being nothing more than a powerful, parasitic Eldritch Abomination who sees over Nosgoth and endlessly feeds off of war and death and the reincarnation of souls. Some of his servants in the spectral realm are even called Archons.
  • Mega Man Zero: Copy X is designed to resemble a seraphic multi-winged angel, with a halo in his final form. Neo Arcadia, intended to be a paradise under the real X, has regressed into a mere dystopia under his control. He rules with an iron fist and cannot stand the idea of anyone escaping his grasp. He is, however, a fake dressed up to look like the true ruler, and under his holy trappings he just wants to control everything he can. Copy X even deceives his own four Guardians into thinking he's the real X, but he's not quite as powerful or clever as he thinks he is.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, YHVH is an arrogant, vain dictator who perpetuates a Forever War to keep the universe under his control forever, and contemplates replacing humanity with "more obedient servants" when the party confronts him. However, The Axiom, a Sentient Cosmic Force, is actively working against him by creating Messiahs (the protagonists) capable of doing so. It should be noted that The Axiom is not the Great Will from earlier games, and whether or not YHVH has this kind of relationship with the Great Will there is ambiguous.
  • Silent Hill has the God and Holy Mother, Samael, who is worshipped by the Order as their deity and is the very essence of Silent Hill itself, a false world where everyone within is tormented by illusions. Despite being supposedly a god, it is killable and more of a powerful but mindless monster than anything.
  • In Soma Spirits and Soma Union, the Great Spirits Form and Dissonance are said in the intro to be gods who created the titular planet of Soma and its inhabitants, ruling benevolently. However, they were actually human aristocrats who were transformed into Spirits by the Eldritch Abomination Absolution and attempted to seize control of it, overthrowing the benevolent Sun King and rewriting history to make him a tyrant who tried to resist the gods and was punished for it. They keep their subjects in an empty existence, with the inhabitants of the World of Joy only allowed to feel happiness and the World of Sorrow denizens kept in perpetual misery, and the two gods desire to destroy the other's world so only they will be worshipped.
  • StarCraft has Amon, a fallen Xel'naga who abused the great power he was granted and artificially uplifted both the Protoss and the Zerg for his own ends. He hoped to use both to create artificial Hybrids to do his bidding and wanted to wipe out all of creation and remake it to his liking. He also created the hive mind for the Zerg and the Khala for the Protoss to seize control of their minds. An additional pointer is that two Protoss Templar may merge into a being called an Archon which are not necessarily subservient to Amon, but Dark Archons notably have Mind Control that can capture individual beings permanently.
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time: Luther Lansfeld is the creator of the in-universe MMORPG that the game takes place in, and fancies himself a god, keeping his NPC characters trapped in ignorance. But when they realize the truth and start fighting back, he freaks out and tries to destroy his false world, without which he has no power.
  • Tales of Symphonia has a variation where the world's puppetmaster makes someone else an involuntarily false god. Mithos Yggdrassil turned his dead sister Martel into a goddess figure that the worlds of Sylvarant and Teth'eala worship, sending The Chosen One on a world-saving quest to sacrifice themselves when they're harvested as components meant to resurrect her. They've abandoned their original goal of ending conflict, allowing the racism-fueled Forever War between humans and half-elves to ensure their total control, and hoard technology Powered by a Forsaken Child to ensure he and Martel will eventually reach greater heights of godhood. When Martel is finally resurrected, the first thing she does is chew out her brother for how he spent millennia turning two worlds into fascist hellholes, then she sacrifices herself to resurrect the last sacrifice.
  • Tamashii: The Patriarch, supposedly the God of the setting, was once a mortal named Augustus Michael Yahweh who chased the mysteries of the divine with some allies before getting the power and turning on them. He intentionally keeps his subjects in eternal agony, hoarding his divine power for himself, because he believes only he is allowed to wield it, much like how the Demiurge keeps humanity trapped in the mortal, physical plane it created so that they may worship him.
  • Warframe: Ballas becomes a Demiurge-like figure in "The New War", styling himself into a God-Emperor of the Narmer cult and brainwashing the population of the Origin System by using Narmer Veils to show them visions of what they most desire. This is reinforced by how in this role, his highest-ranked servants are known as Archons.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles uses this a recurring element:
    • Xenoblade Chronicles 1: Zanza is a malevolent deity who is the true source of all life on the titanic Bionis, and serves as its soul. Once a human scientist named Klaus accidentally destroyed the previous universe in an experiment to create a new one, he became the new world's god along with his partner Meyneth, who instead became the soul of the Bionis's mechanical counterpart and rival. Zanza views his creations as nothing more than vessels and a food source to extend his own life with, and because he is unable to survive without them, he makes sure to wipe out all life on the Bionis and create it anew the moment it evolves enough to be capable of abandoning their world. The true god is Alvis, supposedly one of his disciples, whom he and Meyneth have been borrowing power from. Ironically, its Zanza's nemesis Egil who uses a Mechon called Yaldabaoth to fight, rather than Zanza himself.
    • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has the Architect, who is Klaus's good half. Unlike Zanza, the Architect is The Atoner and is relatively benevolent. Also, it turns out that the divine power Alvis wields comes from the Conduit, a mystic artifact that just showed up in Africa one day, which Klaus used in a last-ditch effort to save humanity that went horribly wrong.
    • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: The ruler of Moebius, Z, is an amalgam made from the collective unconscious. He consists of humanity's inherent desire for things to stay the same. He claims to have solely created the current world, but in truth he simply usurped the god-machine built to restore the previous one.
  • Xenogears:
    • Deus is the Greater-Scope Villain and a powerful machine who killed everyone on the ship that was transporting it and promptly crashed on another planet. It then proceeded to create a race of humans on said planet. The state religion of the Sacred Empire of Solaris, known as Ethos, worships it as the god of the world, and it even has a false Messiah and false Eve in its human interface Miang Hawwa. However, the true God is the Wave of Existence, with who Deus came into contact, and in contrast to Deus, it is a benevolent deity who wants to save the humans from Deus. With all the Gnostic influence and themes that permeate the story, Deus serves as the perfect insert for the Demiurge, the god that created the material universe and seeks to solely use humanity to further its selfish goals. The abovementioned Zanza was inspired by Deus.
    • Though Deus is the more traditional Demiurge in the story, Miang Hawwa represents it as well through her status as the mother of humanity. Miang maintains control over mankind and manipulates events to ensure that humanity evolves in the way that will lead to Deus being able to be revived, much like how the Demiurge keeps mankind tied to the physical world to maintain rule over it. She also comes about in a manner not to different from the Demiurge, having been born from what is a Sophia like being in the form of the original mother. Heck, her final form even resembles a combination of the two most common depictions of the Demiurge, that being a winged human with a serpent around them, and the other being a serpent with a lion like head, both of which her final form, Ouroburous, have elements of.

    Visual Novels 
  • Tears to Tiara: The Council of Angels, with the exceptions of Lucifer and Myrddin, function as a collective version. The angels such as Lector govern the mortal world in the name of Watos, through a combination of being Manipulative Bastards and leading a Corrupt Church. The angels seek to create a perfect world in his name; unfortunately, they are a group of Control Freaks who suck at understanding what Watos actually wants, leading them to act more like oppressive Evil Overlords to people than benevolent angels. They create this perfect world by repeatedly bringing about an End of an Age and culling the dominant mortal race when civilization gets too advanced for their liking (ie, equal to the angels), then repeat it with the next mortal race in a cycle of creation and destruction, much like how the Demiurge keeps humanity in a cycle of suffering outside of true enlightenment.

  • Homestuck: The Big Bad, Lord English and his child self, Caliborn are heavily associated with Yaldabaoth, the creator of the material world in the Gnostic tradition.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: In the setting, the true gods are long dead, and a 'Demiurge' is a catch-all term for a non-God who has a Magus Key; a Cosmic Keystone that contains within it the power of one of God's names and voices. Holding a Key grants a Demiurge power over the universe that voice is keyed to. True to form, Demiurges are not gods but pretenders to the gods' power: They were born mortal, they can be slain and their Keys taken by others (indeed, most of the Seven obtained their Demiurge-hood by Regicide) and use their Keys to lord over creation as a pantheon of Mad Gods obsessed with conflict and victory. Much of the world's dysfunction can be traced back to Zoss, the first Demiurge. Having once ruled over the universe after conquering Heaven and forging the first Magus Key (the Master Key, which contains all of God's false names and voices), and creating the other Demiurges by handing them dominion over the other universes, Zoss' actions spread a harmful, toxic philosophy (Might Makes Right) that harms one's chances of enlightenment. In an interesting twist, Zoss himself has come to regret his tyrannical rule, and now aids The Hero from the shadows in her quest to dethrone his former servants. Yaldabaoth is even referenced within the comic, as 'Yabalchoath' is the true name of a powerful Ebon Devil who stole a Magus Key from Mammon of the Seven and (briefly) became a demigod.

    Web Original 
  • Mandela Catalogue has its version of Satan, who somehow killed and replaced the Archangel Gabriel, then overthrew Jesus himself. Posing as the both of them and as God, he tricks humanity into worshipping him instead of the true god, describing himself as the "one true savior". He also unleashes Alternates, demon doppelgängers of human beings, onto the world to destroy humanity via a mass Kill and Replace, furthering the themes of illusion, deceit, and impersonation.
  • The Salvation War begins with Yahweh announcing to the world that Judgement Day has arrived and everyone on Earth, regardless of virtue, is going to Hell to be tortured for eternity. During the ensuing war against the heavens, the Vatican decides that Yahweh is not the God of the New Testament but rather an imposter using His trappings to manipulate humanity and declares their intent to excommunicate him from the church. The fact that angels and demons in this setting are essentially extradimensional aliens rather than anything divine supports this view.
  • Left Beyond: "God", while nigh-omnipotent, is revealed to be a supernatural parasite which feeds on sapient belief. They crippled and/or killed the other gods to achieve dominance, and their OP reality-warping power only works as long as they follow their prophecies to the letter. The Protagonist figures out how to manipulate, utilize, and generally subvert this 'Narrative Casuality', proving that even if the top God always gets his way, a sufficiently prepared rebel can reinterpret the contracts.

    Western Animation 
  • Rick and Morty: Rick Prime claims to have made both himself and Rick C-137 into gods and while they can back a lot of those claims up, they explicitly are not. Within Central Finite Curve, they're the "smartest man in the universe" but outside of that bubble, they have competition. Rick himself is nearly invincible within the CFC, can create life with a touch, and it's not much of a stretch to say he's remade the multiverse in his image along with Prime. However, what they actually did was isolate the rest of the multiverse from any other world that lacks a Rick—so rather than being the smartest man in the universe, they're the smartest man in the bubble they both create and control.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Horde Prime. Conquering the universe, making what he can in his image, destroying what he couldn't conquer and erasing all knowledge of his failures. He uses a huge military of spacecraft, robots and clones connected to a hive mind who espouse a dogma about him, and even brainwashed people of the planets he is invading. Immortal and narcissistic, everything exists to where he is the god, the church, and the churchgoer with no room for individualism. Light Is Not Good incarnate, as he's always espousing how he'll bring light to the universe.note  Series creator ND Stevenson admitted that when creating him he was thinking of what it was like to grow up in a deeply fundamentalist environment while transmasculine and bigender.
  • Steven Universe: White Diamond. While the Diamond Authority is billed as four matriarchs working together to lead the Gem Homeworld, White is the defacto God Empress of all gemkind. Her power easily surpasses that of Blue and Yellow Diamond, let alone lesser gems. She claims to be the perfect being, with all other gems, even the other Diamonds, merely being flawed reflections of herself. She refuses to listen to others or admit that she is wrong, and the end result of her plans would be the annihilation of all other life in the universe in order to fuel the creation of more gems- more subjects for her to rule. She demands that her subjects be perfect in their actions, thoughts, and desires at all times, and destroys everything that is "off-color". The only one shown to be able to stand up to her is Steven.


Video Example(s):


White Diamond

While the Diamond Authority is billed as four matriarchs working together to lead the Gem Homeworld, White Diamond is the defacto God Empress of all gemkind. Her power easily surpasses that of Blue and Yellow Diamond, let alone lesser gems. She claims to be the perfect being, with all other gems, even the other Diamonds, merely being flawed reflections of herself. She refuses to listen to others or admit that she is wrong, and the end result of her plans would be the annihilation of all other life in the universe in order to fuel the creation of more gems- more subjects for her to rule. She demands that her subjects be perfect in their actions, thoughts, and desires at all times, and destroys everything that is "off-color". The only one shown to be able to stand up to her is Steven.

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Main / DemiurgeArchetype

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