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Mother of a Thousand Young

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Iä! Shub-Niggurath! The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young!note 

I can hear them slithering inside the walls!
I can hear them shuffling out in the halls!
Little heathens, blasphemous creatures,
Nasty vermin, every single one -
They want your blood! They need to feed!
And now Mother has brought them a treat...
— "Mommy's Little Monsters", by Creature Feature

Named after H. P. Lovecraft's Shub-Niggurath, the archetype of the Mother of a Thousand Young is one Older Than Dirt, going all the way back to the Sumerian Tiamat.

The trope itself is based on the concept of a terrible monster that is mother to many, many more types of monsters, though she is usually stronger than all of them. Typically, the mother is an Eldritch Abomination spewing biological mashups one after the other, or a diabolical deceiver of would-be mates, sometimes even having the power of shapeshifting, thus allowing for greater variety of half-breed children (and infinite amounts of Shapeshifting Squick). The monsters are usually mortal and less incomprehensible in form than the mother.

The purpose of the Mother is usually to cause mayhem and destruction, or destroy an ancient foe by being the procurer of a living Diabolus ex Machina, which will cause the inevitable destruction of the civilization in question, unless the hero can prevent it.


This generally also makes it One Bad Mother.

The children of the mother are always different from her, and may even be different from their siblings. Some look like smaller, lesser versions of her. For the monster who is the first of a line of identical monsters, see Monster Progenitor. Not to be confused with Hive Queen. An Insect Queen will usually fit the trope. Can easily overlap with Explosive Breeder, Mook Maker, and Weaponized Offspring.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Angel Sanctuary: God, who is the Father of all angels. But not really. Yes, He created the angels, but they're all derived from the flesh of Adam Kadamon, who is a much more straightforward example. Counted as the "mother" of Alexiel and Rosiel, but they only got the lions' share of his/her dismembered body — most other angels were only born from small cellular clusters taken from the leftovers.
  • Digimon Tamers: The D-Reaper. It's already an Eldritch Abomination on its own right, and the Mooks it generates come in a variety of forms. The form of the D-Reaper with the Freaky Mask and Jeri's Head is titled the Mother Reaper. Combined with the most powerful D-Reaper in the Digital World, they'll cause the End of the World.
  • Dragon Ball: Piccolo Daimao, the so-called "demon king". While all Namekians reproduce asexually, their offspring are generally homogenous (if not exact clones with a one-time-use-per-body identical spirit), and King Piccolo instead birthed matured warrior children of vastly different apparent species and biology.
  • The Elder Sister-like One is two different takes on The Sister of the Woods with a Thousand Young. It originally began as a series of hentai doujins by Iida Pochi. In this version, Shub-Niggurath is an inhumanly beautiful female who bargains with a young boy for his wish that she become his older sister. Their relationship was so intriguing that it was then made into an all-ages story in a monthly serial. The serial details the beginning of their relationship while the hentai version explores their later sexual relationship. Despite being as Lovecraft Lite as you can get, Chiyo's moniker is still well deserved; even her drawings can come to life without her intending it.
  • Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters: The anime trilogy's incarnation of Godzilla is this, having terraformed the Earth so that practically all life including the foliage shares genetic material with him and is an extension of him. He shares the planet with draconic plant-based creatures called Servum which share 97% of his DNA, and a smaller offshoot Godzilla called Godzilla Filius.
  • I'm Gonna Be an Angel!: It might be a bit unusual example, but the Big Bad, Mikael, is this for Noelle and Silky. Originally, they were one angel soul, which, due to accident, fell to the ground and split into three imperfect souls. It is lampshaded heavily that Mikael was the original source from which other two were created, particularly in episode 13 when Baba was foretelling him his future and her crystal ball showed one string from which other two sprouted out. Mikael even wanted to kind of absorb Noelle and Silky into himself or fuse with them, so it fits with the devouring mother image.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Lilith the Second Angel is stated to be the source of all terrestrial life.note  She also turns out to be one of the keys to The End of the World as We Know It; the only reason she hadn't done it yet is because her soul was sealed into Rei (and because she needs Adam the First Angel for it).
    • Adam also counts, as it's the progenitor of all the Angels.
  • Overlord invokes the trope namer when Ainz offers up a sacrifice of enemy soldiers to bring about five of her children, who then proceed to terrorize the rest of the enemy army in a display of his power.
  • Seven Mortal Sins: Mammon, the Demon Lord of Greed. A widow, she has to provide for her 500,000 demonic children on her own. She runs numerous business schemes to amass wealth, and is first encountered running a scam where her human followers are hypnotized into babysitting her children.
  • Sailor Moon: Mistress 9 and Pharaoh 90, the latter being the father of all Daimons (the monsters encountered in the third season/story arc), and the former being his partner. They get terminated with extreme prejudice (and a bit of sadistic glee) by Sailor Saturn, who, herself, may have sired Sailors Pluto, Ceres, Juno, Vesta, and Pallas, by way of planet go boom. She gets defeated by Chaos, AKA the Galaxy Cauldron, the font from which all souls spring, including every Big Bad that had shown up in the series until then, who, in turn, gets taken out by Usagi, from whom spawned Chibi-Usa.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, Rize Kamishiro is made into one of these after being captured by a Mad Scientist and the Big Bad. Imprisoned and kept in a weakened state, their organs are farmed and implanted into others to create Half-Human Hybrids. The early experiments saw over a 1000 people killed in the effort to create successful hybrids, while the improved process results in the creation of nearly 100 Tyke Bomb hybrids. The rape metaphors are very intentional, with the Big Bad previously discussing it as a marriage and them having lots of children together.

    Comic Books 
  • American Vampire: The Beast spawned countless demons upon the world during the Sumerian times and is capable of converting anybody into demons with her milk.
  • DC Comics: The Mother of Champions, a member of the Chinese superteam the Great Ten, who experiences greatly accelerated pregnancies (three days) and births short-lived superhumans, twenty-five at a time.
  • Hellboy: The Ogdru Jahad are seven eldritch monsters that spawned the 369 Ogdru Hem before being sealed away. The Ogdru Hem in turn make other smaller monsters, usually out of humans.
  • Lucifer: Lilith appears as Adam's discarded first wife, who takes on all comers and bears an entire race of Half-Human Hybrids, the Lilim.
  • Marvel Comics:
    • The Elder God Chthon is the creator of a race of demons known as the N'Garai, as well as indirectly the creator of vampires which came to be from a spell in the evil magical tome he wrote. The Elder God Set likewise has the Serpent Men, as well as literal offspring in abominations like Sligguth and Damballah; the Legions of Hell were created from the dark energies of the god-killing entity Atum, which was corrupted after it consumed most of Chthon and Set's evil brethren and became the demonic creature called the Demogorge, though in that case the creation of those demons was unintentional.
    • X-Men: The villain Master Mold, which originally churned out the Sentinel robots. Wolverine and the X-Men (2009) even gave it a female voice.
    • Spider-Man once learnt from Loki that Norse Gods really get around and can father hundreds of children. (Surprisingly, he's very protective of them.)
  • The Sandman (1989): Implied with the Merkin, Mother of Spiders, a minor demonic character. She is a lumpen, hideous, vaguely feminine figure whose womb produces spiders.
  • Vampirella: Lilith gave birth to legions of demons and later charging the titular character and daughter to hunt them as part of atonement.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): In this Godzilla MonsterVerse fanfiction, Ghidorah is this. It's deliberately created Monster X, and its DNA has given rise to a Hive Mind Virus called the Many. One of Ghidorah's Red Barons is even Snake Father.
  • The Discworld tale "The Importance of Index Cards'' pits one determined Watchman against the ordeal of the encounter with Tshup Aklathep, Infernal Star Toad with a Million Young. Can A.E. Pessimal survive a trip to the Dungeon Dimensions with an unexploded head? He finesses the ordeal in a not-wholly-improbable way and comes back alive...
  • Queen Chrysalis gets this characterization in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom all the time due to her insectoid nature. This comic has Chrysalis urging Shining Armor not to commit suicide for the sake of his 173 newly hatched changelings, while this image has Shining Armor finding his illegitimate child at the door accompanied by a note from Chrysalis telling him her lawyer says he gets to keep one of them.
    • Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls: All of Chrysalis' Arrancar are her own children, though "how" she conceives them is how she ranks them. First are her "blood drones", which she creates from her own spilled blood as disposable shock troops with barely any personality and only serving as extensions of her will (though she could invest more personality in them if she wants to). Next are her simple "drones" who have more personality and willpower naturally, but are still subservient to her. Then there are her "true born," the most powerful of all and are fully independent of her will, like Thorax, Pharynx, and Ocelus. It's implied that this ability is tied to her possession of a piece of the Soul Queen, which is hinted to be her womb.
  • Pony POV Series:
    • Entropy, the female Draconequi Elder, has shades of this. Not only is she the mother of the Draconequi along with her mate Havoc, she's shown the ability to create monsters (namely the Windigos) from her blood with little effort and, during the Draconequi/Alicorn War, created a creature called Nightmare Legion from the Shadows inhabiting her realm.
    • Shub Neighurath also exists in this universe, being an Outer Concept. She also gave birth to all the Rumors Parasites. However, Lovecraft Lite is in full effect.
  • Queen of Shadows: The Shadowkhan reproduce by a regular (at least monthly) ritual in which the reigning Queen merges her chi with that of the Generals, causing dozens of members of each tribe to instantly be born. On top of this, each Queen naturally gives birth to a daughter, who will grow to take their place and continue the cycle.
  • Under the Northern Lights: The ancient god-thing Karhu-Akka produces a significant portion of the monsters of Tarandroland, mostly unintentionally. Every winter, she spawns hordes of linnorms and calves off living glaciers from her icy body, which then wander off into surrounding lands and often come into conflict with their civilized natives.

    Film — Animated 
  • In 9, the main villain is a robot that makes other robots.
  • Beowulf (2007): Grendel's Mother is also the mother of the dragon that Beowulf dies fighting. It's implied that the other dragon Hrothgar killed in his Back Story was another one of her children.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Alien: The Alien Queen creates many alien eggs on the spot, as seen in Aliens. Notably, their larval forms are all the same once hatched, but after that larva impregnates a host, the subsequent Chest Burster and the adult it grows into will be very different from strains hosted on other species, having laterally adapted its physiology to its specific host species.
  • In The Brood, the protagonist's insane wife develops this as a Lovecraftian Superpower, giving birth to murderous manifestations of her own psychosis.
  • The Great Wall: The Tao Tie queen births a legion of reptilian monsters to attack the capital of China. However, she produces her young rather slowly, and thus takes 60 years to build up an army before attempting another Zerg Rush at the wall.
  • Van Helsing: Dracula's brides each give birth to hundreds of vampire children every time they have sex with him. Combine this with the fact that they are immortals and therefore have plenty of time to do the thing and you get the idea. The catch is that the children are born dead; for them to become alive, they must be jolted by electricity.

    Folklore, Religion and Mythology 
  • Romani Mythology: Ana, the queen of the Keshali, gave birth to all diseases known to man against her will.
  • Classical Mythology has several big mommas:
    • First is Nyx, the protogeneia (primeval goddess) of night, who gave birth to things like Moros (Doom), the Keres (Destruction), Thanatos (Death), Momus (Blame), Oizys (Pain), Nemesis (Retribution), Apate (Deceit), and Eris (Strife). Not all of her children are demonic, though — they include Hypnos (Sleep), the Oneiroi (Dreams), the Moirai (Fates), Philotes (Friendship and/or Sex), Geras (Old Age), Hemera (Daytime), and Aether (Light). Her mate is Erebus, the protogenia of darkness, but she only had Hemera and Aether with him. All others are hers alone.
    • Eris, in turn, gave birth to Ponos (Toil), Lethe (Forgetfulness), Limos (Famine), Algos (Sorrow), Hysminai (Combats), Makhai (Battles), Phonoi (Murders), Androctasiai (Manslaughters), Neikea (Quarrels), Pseudologoi (Lies), Amphilogiai (Disputes), Dysnomia (Lawlessness), Ate (Ruination), and Horkos (Oaths).
    • The half-snake, half-nymph Echidna is the mother of several monsters, including Cerberus, the Chimera, the Sphinx, the Nemean Lion, the Hydra, and Orthrus the two-headed dog.
    • There is Echidna's mother, the literal mother of all sea monsters, Ceto, who is traditionally depicted as either an unpleasantly large shark, or an ultracarnivorous whale. In Classical Mythology, Ceto, together with her husband Phorcys, are the personification and progenitors of everything fear-inducing about the sea (bad weather, tidal waves, sea monsters, toxic fish, sharp barnacles...). Besides Echidna, their children included the dreaded Gorgons, the Graeae sisters (who shared one eye and one tooth between the three of them), the dragon Ladon (sometimes said to be one of Echidna's brood instead), a race of sea monsters called the Cetea (one of which was killed by Perseus) and sometimes the nymph-turned-monster Scylla.
    • Gaia, Mother Earth herself. Though mainly remembered for giving birth to the Titans, most of her children are actually monster-like: the Gigantes (some of which have hundreds of serpent tails in place of legs); the Cyclopes; the hundred-handed, fifty-headed Hecatonchires; the above-mentioned Ceto and Phorcys; the snake Python; and Typhon, himself something of an example (see below).
    • Typhon, Echidna's mate is an Spear Counterpart, being a Father of a Thousand Young — all of them by her.
    • Another Spear Counterpart is the sea god Poseidon, though he bore human-looking children too, including legendary mortal kings and heroes. His inhuman children include the flying horse Pegasus, the talking horse Arion (who also has Super Speed for good measure), the nautical Antlion Monster Charybdis (of Scylla and Charybdis fame), the cyclops Polyphemus, the gigantic hunter Orion, the more antagonistic giants Otos and Ephialtes, and the divine merman Triton.
  • Lilith from Jewish belief— some legends claim she bore hundreds of demonic children every day.
  • In Norse Mythology:
    • The giantess Angrboða is mother — by Loki — to Fenrir (a giant god-killing wolf), Hel (the half-undead goddess of the underworld), and Jörmungandr (the continent-sized World Serpent). She dwells in Ironwood, where she gives birth to monstrous wolves.
    • Loki himself is a shape-shifter, and by becoming female can bear monstrous young — though they might be benevolent ones, such as Slepnir, Odin's eight-legged horse.
  • According to the Enûma Eliš, the primordial goddess Tiamat gave birth to at least 11 entire races of monsters, including "ferocious dragons," "virulent" and "horned serpents," mushussu-dragons, various demons, scorpion-men, and rabid dogs.
  • The biblical Leviathan fits here since God, having originally created two of them, killed the mate so that their offspring, which are implied to be all manner of other sea monsters and such, would become not so numerous that the world could not stand before them. This makes it very much a mirror of Tiamat and Ceto.
  • Hariti, Goddess of Childbirth in Buddhist mythology, is the mother of 500 raksha children. Before her Heel–Face Turn, she fed them on human children that she kidnapped.
  • Pacific Mythology:
    • The Earth goddess Papa. She gives birth to all the other deities, and to the first people.
    • A fertility goddess named Haumea fits this description as well.

  • Clark Ashton Smith created Abhoth, a sentient pool of gray mass that bizarre creatures constantly form from. Abhoth just devours most of its children, though some manage to escape.
  • Animorphs: Downplayedthe Ellimist at one point came across a species called the Jallians, whose leader, the Life-Giver of the Jain Sea, was a giant slug giving birth to multiple other Jallians even as she talked to him. She was unpleasantly demanding, but not particularly terrifying.
  • Cthulhu Mythos:
    • Shub-Niggurath, our Trope Namer. The primordial Anthropomorphic Personification of the event or act of creation, in particular the reproduction of biological life.
    • Nyarlathotep (nicknamed the "Father of the Million Favoured Ones") might also count if that title is to be taken literally.
  • Discworld has its expy, Tshup Aklathep, Infernal Star Toad with A Million Young. To torture its victims, it shows them pictures of all its children ("and this one's eyes are exactly like yours!"), until either their brains implode or they kill themselves to stop this.
  • Domina: Metaphorical example. Lilith was the first human to be modified by the toy maker, and was given a copy of the device as thanks for her part. A woman named Striga came to her and claimed Lilith was the mother to all who wished to use the toy maker, and asked to borrow it. Once Striga got the device, she created the first vampires and slaughtered hundreds of people. Lilith was more careful after that, but the idea stuck. By the time the story starts fifteen years later, she is revered throughout the city as the Mother Monster. When negotiations need to be made with America, she is sent to lead the ambassadors, and they follow her orders without a word of dissent. She does privately admit a few times that the burden is a bit beyond her. "Parenting is hard enough with a handful of kids, or even just one. I have over four hundred million. I can't possibly look after them all."
  • The Elder Empire: Nakothi, the Dead Mother, is known for her "children," twisted undead monstrosities made from random parts of dead humans and animals.
    The Emperor: She had little use for living humans, so we scraped out our lives as best we could. What she did need were human corpses. By the thousands. She reforged them, you see. Stitched them together, brain and body, remade them into monsters. Her Handmaidens called it rebirth.
  • In The Golgotha Series, one of the Black Madonna's titles is "Mother of a Thousand Young". She is the mother of countless worm-like parasites that transform people into Tainted.
  • The Lotus War: The horrid Oni and other monstrosities out of the land of Yomi, they're the offspring of the goddess Izanami who still retains her superhuman beauty.
  • "The Madonna" by Clive Barker features a parthenogenetic mass of flesh and writhing light-ribbons that births Mix-and-Match Critter offspring, and is attended by naked young wet nurses who can convert men into women by having sex with them.
  • Malazan Book of the Fallen:
    • The Elder Goddess T'iam is known as the Mother of All Dragons; as her title implies, she was the progenitor of every dragon in existence, and the creator of the Eleint Soletaken via her blood.
    • Matron Gunth'an Acyl of the K'Chain Che'Malle rebirthed the Che'Malle race all by herself. Where one matron would be expected to birth several hundred of their kind in a lifetime, Acyl birthed an army twenty-thousand strong within a period of months, driving herself insane in the process and saving her kind from extinction.
  • Twice in the Merkabah Rider stories. The first example is Lilith and her whore-demons, who birth swarms of demons literally every time they have intercourse. The second example is the Trope Namer Shub-Niggurath her/his/itself.
  • Nightside: In Paths Not Taken, John and Suzie time-travel to the beginning of the Nightside, and do battle with a vast horde of Lilith's half-demonic children. Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth later reveals that, by John's time, only one of Lilith's original brood is still alive, and it's hopelessly insane. She still has thousands of monstrous grandchildren to fight the Nightside's defenders, though...
  • Palimpsest: Casimira is the "mother" of all the vermin. They see everything and report back to her.
  • The Shadowhunter Chronicles: Aside from the Princes of Hell, all demons were sired by Lilith. This is why the warlocks are called the "Children of Lilith", because most of them are descended from her. Magnus Bane and Tessa Gray are the exceptions to this rule as they were sired by the Princes, though Magnus still considers himself part of the "Children of Lilith".
  • The Silmarillion: Ungoliant, an archetypal Animalistic Abomination who can give even Morgoth problems. Her descendants are the reason for Arda's little spider problem, including the ones in Mirkwood and Shelob (although none of them are nearly as nasty as Ungoliant was).
  • Space Marine Battles: In Malodrax, part of Brood Mother's curse is that she gives birth to thousands upon thousands of mutated offspring. Of course, they are completely loyal to her (even if she eats many of them), so this turns into Cursed with Awesome.
  • Weaveworld: The Magdalene makes a habit of raping men and, mere hours later, subsequently spawning new members of her innumerable brood, the hideous 'by-blows'. Just so we're clear, the Magdalene (along with the Hag) is one of the Big Bad's triplet sisters who she killed in the womb. Ghost rape.
  • What The Hell Did I Just Read: A Novel of Cosmic Horror: The Millibutt, responsible for the Fuckroaches and various larvae.

    Live-Action Television 
  • Angel: One episode had a demon hire men to help him impregnate dozens of human women.
  • Reaper: A Monster of the Week replaces the sperm in sperm banks with his own, resulting in dozens (possibly hundreds) of children.
    Devil: Every kid here has the same father.
    Sam: So what, this guy is a serial rapist or something?
    Devil: Wow, your mind goes to the dark place fast.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: The Horta of "The Devil In The Dark" are an ultimately benign example. Every 50,000 years, the entire race dies off save for thousands of eggs and one single adult Horta, left behind to care for the eggs and then to be the mother of the hatchlings. The Horta is originally thought to be a vicious monster, but Spock is able to establish telepathic communication with it and learns that the mining operation on the planet had damaged some of the Horta eggs, and the mother Horta was only trying to stop them by whatever means were necessary. Once Spock is able to get the human miners and the Horta on the same page, the two sides are able to form a more symbiotic relationship.
  • Supernatural has the Mother of All Monsters (the creator of The Alphas), the Big Bad of the second half of season six. Funnily enough she calls herself "Eve", rather than Echidna, the mythological Mother of All Monsters (perhaps because the audience might confuse her with a spiny anteater from Australia). It's later confirmed that the biblical Eve also exists as a separate character (we are introduced to her son Cain, and husband Adam) within this universe, and the Mother Of All Monsters is implied to maybe be a Leviathan.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Beast: The Primordial: Beasts trace their origin back to a figure known as the Dark Mother, also called Lilith, Hekate, Tiamat, and the Queen Mother of the West, among other names, who is believed to still be alive somewhere in the present day. To the Beasts, the Dark Mother is not just the first Beast, but the first monster, mother to all the monsters of the World of Darkness.
  • Dungeons & Dragons examples:
    • Edition 3.5 had a creature named Ragnorra (from the book Elder Evils) that was a being from the positive energy plane. Her arrival to a world brings about large amounts of life and good health until it grows to the point of cancerous effects, rabid, mutated monsters that she gives birth to, and all sorts of delightful events of chaos.
    • A third-party supplement introduces the Chaos Mage class, whose practitioners risk accidentally mutating their own bodies with their magic. One option is a gradual transformation into a giant sedentary womb that continually gives birth to bizarre and unique monsters.
    • 2nd Edition had the Deepspawn, a monster that exists solely to hang around in dungeons stocking them with its utterly random offspring, which can pretty much be whatever the DM picks from the Monster Manual.
    • Spelljammer has the Witchlight Marauders, magically created living weapons of mass destruction used by space orcs to lay waste to entire planets. The monster itself is huge and insanely tough, but its real power comes from the endless stream of insanely tough offspring it produces. One of the most game-breakingly formidable monsters in the history of D&D.
    • 3.5 has the demon known as Pale Night. While she is certainly old enough to be the mother of lots of creatures, it's never outright stated she is. It is, however, stated that she and several other sources consider her to be a mother to something, although they disagree on what. Pale Night says she is the mother of many demon lords, with another source claiming "she is the mother of several tanar’ri lords, including Graz’zt, Lupercio, and Vucarik of Chains." The Black Scrolls of Ahm claim she is the mother of nothing less than the tanar’ri race (the tanar'ri are by far the most common types of demons). Yet another source says she is not a mother of demons, but the mother of several monstrous races on the material plane. As such Pale Night is possibly this trope, but it is intentionally left inconclusive.
    • The patron deity and progenitor of beholders, the Great Mother, has as her dogma the desire to replace all life with her own offspring. Fortunately for Material Plane folk, she's Chaotic Evil with a twist of Blue-and-Orange Morality even by beholder standards, so it's not like she'll be mobilizing the kids any time soon.
  • Exalted gives us Kimbery, one of the Yozis. She's a creator goddess with serious Yandere tendencies, alternatively either smothering those she loves or utterly destroying those she hates, and you're never really sure which side of that divide you're on (until she dissolves your face off, anyway). She can't give birth (given that her current form is an acidic sea), but she does have Charms that allow her to infect others with parasitic offspring that come in a delightful assortment of configurations.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, the three Eldrazi titans spawn legions of twisted critters in the image of themselves. Each of the three brood lineages has traits that make them similar to the particular titan that spawned them, from writhing masses of tentacles to abnormal numbers of limbs to Eyes Do Not Belong There.
    • Later material, however, indicates that the Eldrazi are a subversion. These legions of critters are not offspring. They're parts of the greater Eldrazi entity that's sitting in the Blind Eternities. They just look like separate entities from a perspective that focuses within a plane, such as most of the viewpoint characters.
  • Numenera: Nibovian Wives are the setting's analogue to succubi; Ultraterrestrial constructs in the shape of beautiful human women, whose sole driving goal is to mate with human men, which allows them to spawn various kinds of Ultraterrestrials, which the Nibovian Wife will defend with her life even as it seeks to kill the man whose seed allowed it to be born in the first place.
  • An example from Pathfinder is Lamashtu, a demon queen and goddess who is supposedly mother of many monstrous races, including gnolls, harpies, goblins and minotaurs.
    • Shub-Niggurath herself is in the setting, and the Carrion Crown adventure path features a few of her spawn.
    • The only Mother of Monsters that has been explicitly statted out is the Drakania, a huge Mythical Aberration from Bestiary 4, who can either spawn horrible mutated Spawn herself, or implant her rapidly gestating spawn into a hapless adventurer with ease, and considering "she" accelerates the effects of all poisons and diseases, can sacrifice her spawn to teleport within a range of a mile, and releases life energy like a 20th level cleric, without suitably experienced adventurers "she" could wipe out a major metropolis in days.
  • Terra, the Titan of the World in Scion, embodies fertility through its female avatars. Kamimusuhi in particular defends herself by giving birth to bodyguards (though one-eighth of them ditch her and go to fight for the Gods instead). Gaia and Jord, meanwhile, have divided the labor - Jord conceives the children and Gaia births them. Coatlicue, on the other hand, is a subversion - Mother of a Thousand Stillborn Young. (She embodies infanticide and the "devouring mother" concept.)
    • Norse Mythology's Angrboda turns up in the game, having expanded her interest in the creation of monsters; she's not content simply birthing them, she also creates them using gene-splicing, cloning, and other techniques. It should be noted that she - and her subjects, the troll-wives - were apparently spawned by Terra's power.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade:
    • The Nosferatu antediluvian Absimiliard is seen as a father of monsters, as he's produced monstrous children known as the Nictuku who have a habit of hunting down and wiping out chunks of the rest of the clan. The mythical Echidna is one of Absimiliard's special children.
    • Tzimisce are known for creating lots of Body Horror monsters with their Vicissitude discipline.
  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the Urge Wyrm G'louogh spontaneously spawns banes and is believed to be the progenitor of Nexus Crawlers.
  • Werewolf: The Forsaken has Aharnuz, from its "Predators" sourcebook. A ghastly creature that spawns an apparently infinite variety of twisted "children", the only mercy is that none of these creatures can breed - something it/she is struggling to overcome. The two sample possible origins given for this thing is that she is an almost complete Host that has become even more twisted than it was originally, and that she used to be one of Luna's Handmaidens that remained overlong in the world and was stranded there by the Gauntlet. Its name even means "The Mother" when translated from First Tongue.
    • Then there's Gagh-Azur from the 2e corebook, a creature of the ocean depths that seeks the creation of perfect life, and produces spawn that are generally some combination of land and sea dwelling creatures.

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate has a sorceress named Centeol who is found looking very swollen and pregnant. She explains to you that she has been cursed by her sorcerer lover shortly before exploding into a mass of spiders.
  • Isaac's mother from The Binding of Isaac. Most — if not all — of the various enemies are implied to be other children of hers. Subverted with the revelation that Isaac is an only child, and that he made the entire story up.
  • Shial the Mother of Spiders from Blood is the local Ungoliant expy. When you fight her, she spawns loads and loads of spiders at you.
  • Implied in Broken Age when Caroll theorises that there might be some sort of big mother mog that spawns a new monster every 14 years. By the time she says it, this had already been proven false.
  • Brütal Legend's Emperor Doviculus is a highly rare male example of this trope. He fathered all of his soldiers. Yes, this includes the cars, the Chicken Walker and the various other weird monsters of the Tainted Coil.
  • The Bed of Chaos from Dark Souls is the "Source of all demons".
  • Darkspore's Arakna fits this trope perfectly.
  • Dragon Age has the Brood Mothers, creatures created from females of different species, which give birth to legions of Darkspawn. You fight one created from a Dwarf. In Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, the Final Boss is The Mother, an insane "freed" Broodmother (and boy is she pissed about that) who might have been human judging by her appearance, but spawns The Children instead of Hurlocks.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, JENOVA is an interesting treatment of this idea. Originally she appeared to be a very resilient alien monster that killed the Cetra using a plague. However, a human who was studying her impressive regenerative powers hit on the idea that if her cells are implanted into other creatures they can take on part of her superhuman aspect. He initially tried introducing her cells to a human foetus, and when that process created a powerful superhuman he next implanted cells into multiple fully developed humans. These altered people have serious identity issues, monstrous powers that can lead to bodily transformations into imitations of JENOVA, and crave the chance to become one with her again. In this way JENOVA became a Mother of a Thousand Young through rape by mad science.
  • The Gold Box game Pools of Darkness has an enemy, Kalistes the Marilith, who has a number of 'children', standard D&D monsters, who she naturally wishes to spread all over the Realms. As it happens, neither her rulership over the drow (in the usual Forgotten Realms setting this is Lolth) nor her production of many of the standard monsters are standard for the D&D setting.
  • Half-Life has Gonarch, monarch of gonads (and tons of headcrabs).
  • Monster Hunter: Rise gives a downplayed version in Narwa the Allmother, an Elder Dragon whose tremors spook smaller monsters into violent panic (the Rampages seen in the games) as a call signal to Ibushi to mate with him; the entire purpose being to propagate and spread their children around to eat everything, crushing the smaller monsters through sheer power or numbers. That being said, part of said mating may or may not include killing Ibushi and draining his power for her own use while pregnant with his young...
  • La-Mulana: The Mother is a goddess that fell to Earth aeons ago. Remaining trapped and immobile underground, she gave birth to several generations of children so they could help her to return to the sky where she belongs. Sadly, all the children either misinterpreted what she wanted, were only interested in her powers or just simply ignored her pleas and went their own way. Every time this happened, the mother unleashed a cataclysm what wiped out her children to make room for the next batch. As it turns out, her 8th children are humankind and since we've remained unaware of The Mother's existence, she is planning to destroy us all and then gave birth to the 9th children.
    • Tiamat from Sumerian Mythology appear as the boss of the Dimensional Corridor. She is described as the strongest Guardian whose ability to create life is only second to Mother. The Children of Tiamat act like a mini boss rush inside her area and must be killed before facing her. La-Mulana 2 indicates she was a failed attempt of the Olympians, the 3rd Children, at created a clone of The Mother.
    • La-Mulana 2: Echidna from Greek Mythology is pretty much an Expy of Tiamat, with her gimmick being the same, i.e her children acting like mini bosses of her area that must be killed before fighting her. Like Tiamat, Echidna was also a failed attempt of the Olympians to replicate The Mother and use her power to conquer Eg-Lana.
  • [PROTOTYPE] has Elizabeth Greene (codenamed, naturally, MOTHER); since her first baby was taken away, she's decided to make up for that with more babies. Mostly in the form of giant man-eating fleshy shaved-bear things. Rather than giving birth directly, she packs water towers with human bodies and deposits some genetic code in among them to give the creature something to feed on before it hatches. She also considers Alex Mercer, or rather, his viral doppelganger one of her children, despite them being quite different in abilities and motivations. Finally, the viral strains ravaging New York were all originally extracted from her body, so in a sense all the shambling zombies are her children as well.
  • The Final Boss of Quake is even called Shub-Niggurath. She's a tentacled abomination, responsible for giving birth to all the other monsters. She is also referred to as the Hell-Mother and the Witch-Goddess.
  • Risk of Rain brings us the Toxic Beast (Mother of Many), who summons her children to help fight.
  • The Secret World features one of these in the form of Lilith. Popularly known as the Mother of Monsters, she's responsible for the creation of some of the world's most nightmarish races, including vampires, werewolves, the Deathless, and many others - some of which were actually born from coupling with a Fallen Angel. It's interesting to note that the game's lore observes the nightmarish blend of magic, science and eldritch biology inherent to the character: she might have created her children through alchemical magic, or through Lost Technology, or through literal birth "via a bloated, termite-queen abdomen" - nobody's quite sure how.
  • Mem Aleph from Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, creator of all earthly life. Her name is derived from the Phoenician and Semitic characters that would become "MA", the root for "mother".
    • Tiamat also counts- she's the mother of the first four Sector bosses and her plan is to give birth to demons faster than mankind can kill them.
  • Smite has Tiamat, who can summon creatures to battle for her using her ultimate ability while in Flying Form. She also holds the distinction in the lore of being the first character to punch out Cthulhu, and do so with laughable ease''. It helps that she is even older than him.
  • South Park: The Fractured but Whole has the kids fighting Shub-Niggurath in the police station where they’re sacrificing black people to it. The boys defeat it by feeding it white cops.
  • Mother from Wild ARMs. The trope description matches her perfectly. She gives birth to demonic children, destroys the worlds she visits and believes her mere existence is simply to cause mayhem and destruction wherever she goes.


    Web Original 
  • Hanazuki: Full of Treasures has a Chicken Plant who has had a number of children, but doesn't care for them at all, and each has ravaged the moon before flying away after growing up.
  • Mortasheen has a few, but its most notable one is Genetisaur, an expy of the Alien Queen with a strong phallic motif, who produces offspring via Chest Burster.
  • A rare Male example is Leviathan, a Fallen Seraphim from New Vindicators'. While he has made normal human Nephilim like his brothers, he has also partaken in a lot of bestiality, and since the Fallen can change their shapes, he is the father of a lot of monsters: Ogopogo, the Jersey Devil, the Tarrasque, and more. His children are as varied as they are monstrous.
  • Similar to her mythological counterpart, the Echidnas in the Monstergirl Encyclopedia (there's an entire race of these things in that setting) are stated to produce any number of other types of monsters and that many races are believed to have originally been children of the Echidnas. A fanfic with the setting has one whose daughters consist of a dark elf, a slime, a harpy, and a minotaur.
  • In the era of dial-up internet of the 1990s, there was the parody of "Shub-Internet". The harsh personification of the Internet, Beast of a Thousand Processes, Eater of Characters, Avatar of Line Noise, Personification of Lag, and Imp of Call Waiting; the hideous multi-tendriled entity formed of all the manifold connections of the net. Its purpose is malign and evil, and is the cause of all network slowdowns.
  • Worm has Echidna, a parahuman who creates Evil Twins of anyone she touches.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Brothers Grunt, the Primus Gruntus Maximus is the progenitor of the Grunt race. The Gruntus Maximus is a colossal humanoid being that once floated in the sky, spawning infant Grunts out of its back.

    Real Life 
  • Aversion: The succulent plant Kalanchoe diagremontiana is commonly referred to as "mother of thousands" in reference to the rows of plantlets that grow along the margins of its leaves. It's quite toxic if eaten, but in the scheme of things it's not particularly eldritch or horrific.
  • Technically almost all male animals are fathers of a thousand young as they produce about 10 quadrillion sperm, and while only one sperm gets to the egg (assuming a successful conception) in theory if all their sperm fertilized eggs they could populate a small galaxy.

Alternative Title(s): Father Of A Thousand Young