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Our Gods Are Different

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L — R: Ful (constancy and fire), Jas (sand, air and progression), and Bik (alteration and earth).

"And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians."

Gods. What is meant by that word?

In fiction? It could mean anything. There really aren't many similarities between gods. Lots of tropes go with gods and religion. A god might be the classical God of ethical monotheism: omnipotent, omniscient and infinitely good. That's on one end of the scale. On the other end, she might be an easily embarrassed teenage girl. Or he might be a Superhero that, despite his godhood, gets beaten up by people empowered by radioactive slime.

A general minimum requirement for a character to be considered divine, though, is that regardless of their power level and number and conviction of their followers (if any) the narrative should acknowledge them as an actual god at some point. Without that, "mere" sufficiently advanced aliens, eldritch abominations, angels in many cases, and of course mortal pretenders to the title do not usually qualify.

Another trait almost universally associated with gods is having a divine portfolio or sphere of influence — that is, the thing(s) they are the gods of. (The main exception would be in the case of a monotheist capital-G God, who can go without an explicit job description by virtue of lacking competition and generally already being the "god of everything" anyway.)

In some settings, gods are omnipotent, strange, or scary; in others, they are basically just people, and sometimes not even particularly powerful ones. In some, just thinking about them can drive you mad.

Basically, gods can be distinguished based on several criteria:

How powerful is the god? What can they achieve? This ranges from ...

  • Omnipotence: Can do anything, though many theologians would usually put in the limit "anything that it is possible to do" (e.g. they're incapable of making something contradictory, like a square circle, or a stone that they themselves cannot lift).
  • Omnipotence, but with some kind of rules in place; might even be self-imposed, but the point is that the god won't break them.
  • Scarily powerful but still capable of being outwitted or even defeated using some kind of magical artifact.
  • Above the power-level of "normal" people in whatever universe, but still capable of being defeated in mundane ways (generally the way of Physical Gods).
  • Very powerful on home ground (either a specific region or anywhere they have worshipers) but weak outside it.
  • Just an ordinary guy of the setting, who happens to be a god.
  • Powers are useless or so very restricted that they are functionally useless: Many Odd Job Gods are like this.

Gods are almost always immortal. However, the meaning of "immortal" changes from context to context.

  • Absolute Immortality with Agelessness and instant healing/invulnerability: can never die, is not affected by age, and either recovers instantly from anything, or is invincible. A character would have about as much luck trying to kill the Author as one of these.
  • Advanced Immortality: cannot die of old age. However, can be killed under certain circumstances. Such as beheading them with a sacred sword during a certain cosmic event might kill them, but not fire, bullets, or being stabbed.
    • As below, this is often coupled with the idea that killing a god does not destroy its powers and responsibilities, instead causing them to pass to another.
  • Simple Immortality: don't die of old age, but can be killed by anyone with enough strength to bypass their defenses.
  • Near Immortality: not truly immortal, but capable of living for millions of years or longer. May be combined with Eternal Recurrence, where the birth and death of gods is tied to that of universes.
  • Dependence: immortality requires something to be sustained, perhaps a special food or drink, or prayers from mortal worshipers.

Gods have been known to need or not need certain things.

How "human" is the god? This deals more with emotion and personality rather than power. An omnipotent god can remain scarily human (such as Haruhi Suzumiya). A few possible variations:

  • Overarching Cosmic Principle: Does not have a "mind" or "personality" as such, but is still somehow responsible for operating things. Might need A Form You Are Comfortable With (or some kind of lesser god) to communicate with people.
  • Ineffable: God has a mind or personality but it is simply impossible for human beings to grasp or comprehend.
  • Disembodied Mind or Energy Beings: They have a mind and a personality, but not a body. They are just spirits — powerful spirits.
  • Physical God: Human, but bigger in size, perhaps somewhat smarter, with great powers. Or with a greater knowledge of the universe. Have personality traits, anyway.
  • More than human: God is mostly human but still possesses some traits that are distinctly inhuman. (As far as personality and not power, etc. goes, that is.) Usually this god is an avatar of some kind of principle and has a personality that matches.
  • Just a guy: A god that is essentially a human being doing a job.
  • Subhuman God: The god is more like an animal than a human being. May be a mindless force of nature or an Almighty Idiot.

Gods can be moral or immoral or neither.

How many gods are there?

  • Monotheism: There is one definite discrete God entity. And only one. He/She/They/It may or may not have agents around, who may or may not qualify for godhood in any other setting, but the god is definitely the only god.
  • Dualism: There are two completely equal divine forces, usually one Good and the other Evil, but they can be defined along on one or more other theming axises as well, such as Life Versus Death, Order Versus Chaos, Male Versus Female, Red Oni Versus Blue Oni, etc. Other systems might also exist (tritheism?). Regardless of number, even the relationship these gods have to each other can vary. The might fight, they might operate as a sort of "Cosmic Tag Team," or it might be more complicated than that.
  • Henotheism: There are multiple gods, and any of them can be worshiped. However, we in particular only worship one.
  • Monolatry: There are many gods, but only one should be worshiped. In many cases this is the creator deity, a superior being to the rest. Or perhaps the others are deemed lesser aspects of the one.
  • Polytheism: There are multiple gods, usually arranged in some kind of pantheon. There might be rankings between them, and one is usually considered the head of the pantheon, but they are only different in status and not in nature and might be overthrown.
  • Animism: There are zillions of gods. Indeed, everything probably has a god, including individual blades of grass. The more gods there are the less powerful each individual god seems to be, for some reason.
  • Pantheism: Overlaps with and occasionally reverts back to monotheism. God is singular and totally pervasive. All that exists is God, God is all that exists.
  • Panentheism: Everything is inside of God (e.g. as ideas in his mind).

Place in the Universe
Where do gods come from and what do they do? This is a catch-all category for what gods do. Questions that can be raised are:

Etc, etc, etc.

For related tropes, see God Tropes and Tropes of the Divine.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Bleach, there are certain characters who are referred to as "Transcendent Beings". Transcendent Beings are entities that evolved beyond the limits of their races, and have become Gods. Sosuke Aizen sought to become one, and managed to become an immortal Transcendent Being by implanting the Hogyoku into his chest. Ichigo Kurosaki is revealed to be a hybrid of all four races (Human, Soul Reaper, Hollow, and Quincy) and after fulfilling his true potential, became a Transcendent Being himself. The most powerful being in the setting however, is the Soul King, which sustains all of existence. Without its presence, all the worlds would collapse on each other. Even parts of the Soul King's body could be considered Transcendent Beings: Gerard Valkryie is the heart of the Soul King and possesses nigh-immeasurable power; Pernida Parkgjas is the right arm of the Soul King and governs evolution; Mimihagi is the left arm of the Soul King and governs stagnation. Yhwach, the son of the Soul King, eventually killed his father and absorbed his power, becoming an almost eldritch-like being capable of altering reality, and creating and destroying dimensions at will. Other characters who could be considered Transcendent Beings include: Gremmy Thoumeaux, who can make anything he imagines into reality; and Lille Barro, the first Quincy gifted with power by Yhwach, who at his most powerful, can only be destroyed by a weapon that is said to disperse the power of divine entities.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, there are many examples of characters and creatures with abilities, whether magical, scientific, or divine, that can allow them to be perceived as gods, as the result of All Myths Are True. The most egregious example would be the Perfect Majins/Magic Gods: Human Archmages who had stepped into the boundaries of God after reaching the apex of magic, and achieve reality-bending omnipotence.
  • In Code Geass the being referred to as "God" is left extremely nebulous and complicated, but it is clear that this God is an anthropocentric concept. It is actually known as the "collective human unconsciousness" and represents the collective mind, spirit and soul of humanity. It is not supreme or omnipotent, as Charles zi Britannia wants to destroy it to unite all of humanity into one collective soul, and Lelouch uses his Compelling Voice on it to kill Charles. Its most common physical manifestation is a Jupiter-like planet with a strange tower connected to it.
  • The Digimon multiverse has a number of gods and how powerful they are beyond combat vary; as all Digimon are data in our computer networks and play by the same rules, none of them are completely untouchable. Adventure and Tamers have Digimon versions of The Four Gods. Frontier has Susanoomon, the fusion of all twenty spirits. Savers has the Olympus XII. Multiple unrelated continuities have Yggdrasil/King Drasil, who isn't a Digimon but the computer that runs the digital world. Or rather, it's the persona taken on by the computer that runs the Digital World. So, within one franchise, the power level and nature of the characters treated as gods by others can vary.
  • In Dragon Ball, there are many different types of gods, consisting of a henotheistic system. Almost all of them are Long-Lived, but at one point will have to retire, and are very powerful individuals that don't need any sort of prayer. At least some of them possess a secondary reserve of Ki called "divine ki", which is superior to the normal variety and cannot be detected by mortals without special training. While they are not completely explored, the pantheon works like this:
    • First there are the guardians, referred to simply as kami (gods), who each serve a single planet and are recruited from pure-hearted mortals by the planet's previous guardian. Guardians have an extended lifespan, somewhat enhanced senses (including the ability to sense divine ki), and are capable of travelling between the worlds of the living and the dead, but otherwise do not seem to be any stronger than mortals - rather, the position tends to go to people who already have mystical powers that help in their role.
    • Then there are the Shinjin ("pith people"), a race born from magical "world trees" on planet Kaishin, who are appointed to the more important roles. Most of them are not fighters, but unlike mortals their ki (both regular and godly) usually does not glow, remaining invisible to the naked eye. They are skilled at moving objects telekinetically, and have the abilities to create objects from thin air and sometimes to heal others.
      • The Kaio ("world kings") or Kais. There are four, each ruling over a quadrant of the universe, and they have a boss in the form of the Dai-Kaio/Grand Kai. They have the ability to sense events going on in their sector with greater precision than mortals, and can communicate telepathically at unlimited range.
      • Then, there are the Kaioshin ("world king gods") or Supreme Kai, the gods of creation. Their job is to create new planets and watch over mortals and guide them, but never intervene directly. They are normally a subspecies of Shinjin born from a rare golden fruit, with only one in existence at a time (sometimes with an inactive apprentice), though a normal Shinjin can also be appointed to the position if they show sufficient talent. At one point in Universe 7's past, five active Supreme Kai existed at once, with their leader holding the title of "Grand Supreme Kai". Supreme Kais are capable of teleporting anywhere in the universe instantly, and are the only beings capable of fully utilising the Time Rings (to travel through time) and the Potara Earrings (to fuse with another being permanently). Dragon Ball Xenoverse introduces another special position in the form of the Supreme Kai of Time, who monitors distortions in the timeline.
    • The Supreme Kais' counterparts are the Gods of Destruction, whose job is to destroy planets to make room for new ones. Appointed from mortal stock like the guardians, their power far exceeds that of other gods, usually making them the most powerful being in their universe. They lack most of the Kais' more utilitarian powers, but can generate "the energy of destruction" in order to erase things from existence utterly. Also unlike other gods, they have very few restrictions on their behaviour, to the point where they are free to kill mortals on a whim. The life of a universe's God of Destruction is directly tied to that of its Supreme Kais, meaning that if every Supreme Kai in a universe is killed its God of Destruction will also die.
    • Above the gods of destruction are the angels, whose origins are unclear. Their job is to guide and train the gods of destruction but, like the Supreme Kai, they must remain neutral. If their god of destruction is killed off, they will become inactive until a new god of destruction is appointed to them. While they do not possess the Supreme Kais' teleportation abilities, they can fly at extremely high speeds, have a limited ability to "undo" events, and at least some are actually stronger than the Gods of Destruction they support. Their boss is the Grand Priest, who is the father of most of them.
    • Finally, there is the god above all of them, the Zen-O (Omni-King). He is a child-like entity who rules the entire multiverse and can destroy it in an instant if he pleases. The Grand Priest serves as his guardian.
  • The Truth in Fullmetal Alchemist. It bears the knowledge of everything and imitates the voice and a bit of the appearance of the person it speaks to.
  • In Naruto, the Ten-Tails is a primordial being that, according to Kurama, is the beginning of all Chakra and the progenitor of everything that exists in the Shinobi World, in the ancient past it was once known as the God Tree, until a woman named Kaguya ate the Chakra Fruit from it, as a result it transformed into the Ten-Tails, it’s powerful enough to create natural disasters and destroy entire continents, Kaguya’s son the Sage of Six Paths sealed it inside himself and later split its chakra into nine Tailed Beasts.
  • In Noragami, gods are numerous and born from the wishes of humans. They exist to fulfill these wishes. The more followers they have, the more their godly status is cemented and they will be reincarnated if they die. However, if a god dies while no human recognizes them anymore, they will disappear forever.
  • In Princess Mononoke, gods are natural, seemingly physical beings that do not seem to be in any shape or form concerned with human worship (in fact, by the time the story rolls by most would rather prefer human beings to leave), down to being mortal and easily killed if you have guns. Most are animal-shaped, making them essentially giant talking animals, though a few are more abstract beings. All are liable to turn into demonic dark spirits if sunk into fear or hatred.
  • Re:Zero: Deconstructed with the Witches of Sin. They are never referred to as "gods" in the setting, but they nonetheless hold great power that they might as well be seen as gods. They are the reason why the Mabeasts exist, the reason why non-humans have emotions, and the reason why the world is the way it is. While most of the original seven are dead, they all continue to persist as souls long after their flesh has rotted away.


    Comic Books 
  • Black Moon Chronicles: There are said to be many different gods, although they're almost never seen. God and his angels occasionally help out the holy orders of knights who serve the empire but prefer to keep their distance from mortal affairs. The Oracle is another god, whose true form is a multi-headed Eldritch Abomination but is in fact a female Hot God.
  • Clive Barker's Next Testament has Wick, Christ the Reconciler, and his Holy Spirit who have an Amazing Technicolor Population thing going for them.
  • In The DCU gods tend to range from being incredibly powerful superhuman individuals more akin to physical gods (Most of the New Gods, Onimar Syn, the classical gods, Lobo, etc.) to nigh omnipotent but still human minded individuals (Anansi and several classical gods, etc.) to basically omnipotent cosmic forces (The Endless, Lucifer, The Spectre, Michael, etc.) right up to a single Omnipotent God who may or may not be split into several aspects (The Presence, The Source, etc.). Those who fall in the second category are incredibly difficult to kill by mortal hands as they just return a bit weakened unless they are already so faded their death unavoidable, which is why Wonder Woman has never balked at killing them. Then of course you have entities who are essentially Omnipotent for all purposes but are at best physical gods since they aren't really religious or worshipped individuals (Mr. Mxyzptlk and other denizens of the 5th dimension).

    Jack Kirby's New Gods started as fairly similar to the Marvel gods (no surprise since he helped create most of them), but retcon has suggested that the aspects of them that mere mortals can see and interact with are only the tip of a vast metaphysical iceberg. Darkseid, in particular, is so powerful he is Top God in comparison to all the other New Gods he either rules or seeks to enslave or destroy. He achieved this power through various methods, including slaughtering the pantheons of other worlds and stealing the power of those gods for himself- he basically has the power of a hundred or so gods within himself.
  • Marvel and DC tend to take the Henotheistic route, with one supreme God occasionally referred too (and, more rarely, seen) with a number of gods, demons and entities fulfilling various roles beneath him.
    • Gods in the Marvel Universe tend to be fairly powerful, and may or may not be powered by belief Depending on the Writer.
      • Asgardians, Olympians, Heliopolitans and others are extra-dimensional superhumans who exist as the gods of various Earth pantheons (Norse, Greek, Egyptian etc.). The average god is immortal (with subtle differences in mechanics depending on the pantheon), far stronger, faster and more durable than humans, and possesses greater magical potential. The more notable ones like Thor and Hercules are incredibly strong even by their races standards, while gods like Loki (who is actually a very small Frost Giant) and Set (the Egyptian one, different from the Elder God, see below) gain power through other means like magic and stealing power from other gods. Death Gods are members of each pantheon who have made a pact with the abstract cosmic entity Death that gives them the rights to claim souls according to certain conditions (eg. they worship a god/gods of the given pantheon, or died in the pantheons realm); the Death God rules a portion of the Splinter Realms (a shattered netherworld that used to be Hell) that represents their pantheon; the more souls a Death God rules, the stronger they become. Above all are the Skyfathers, the chieftains like Zeus and Odin, who wield nigh-omnipotent power that goes with their station, Odin being the strongest of them all with his Odinforce.
      • Things are made even more complicated by the Abrahamic God, who tends to appear mainly in Ghost Rider, though it's implied he coordinates with the Skyfathers as well as being more powerful than them, including Odin.
      • Some writers occasionally show a more metaphysical side to Earth's gods. Different stories have implied they were formed by mankind's beliefs, that as long as humans belief in them they can come back from death (though they don't need it to exist), to having some sort of link with Earth or the civilizations that worshiped them. Other writers treat them as just superpowered beings from another dimension (this tends to be the canon, and the former contradicts a few details, like some gods being around before humanity even existed).
      • Current (at least 2010-) Loki stories paint a very meta picture: That gods are trope based lifeforms, literal living myth and metaphor. So they are immortal because ideas don't really die (worst case scenario: they remember themselves, but many have libraries for a reason). Also they are defined by their stories, and are literally rewritable/tellable if someone can find the right texts and tools (the manuscript of their authorized biography, or a legendary prophecy counts more than fanfic on the internet etc.). Take this Fiction Identity Postulate and MST3K Mantra and go in piece!
      • The Elder Gods are magical entities born on Earth who, with two heroic exceptions, degenerated into demons as they began cannibalizing each other. They are extraordinarily powerful creatures and Earth has numerous magical spells and barriers set up to prevent them returning, though they still exert influence where they can. The Elder Gods, along with various other demons like Dormammu and Shuma-Gorath, are all nigh-omnipotent, especially in their own dimensions, and are themselves worshipped as gods in their own right, as are magical entities like Cyttorak. Other demons like Mephisto who rule the other portions of the Splinter Realms are called Hell Lords; they likewise have a pact with Death, and all gain more power the more souls are in their death realm.
      • Most are still lower on the totem-pole than the various entities that govern the universe- Galactus, Eternity, Death, Infinity, Oblivion, etc.- who are abstract beings that represent fundamental aspects of existence, e.g. Eternity personifies Time, Infinity personifies Space etc, and they are all aspects of beings that personify them across the multiverse, with each verse having it's counterpart for them note . The Phoenix Force, which is also worshiped in some places, guards the M'Krann Crystal and hence the Multiverse, and is stronger than Galactus, whose existence is necessary to keep imprisoning Omnicidal Maniac Abraxas, a nigh-omnipotent being that threatens the multiverse. Celestials and the Watchers are Sufficiently Advanced Aliens that wield godlike power, the former so much that even supposed omnipotents feel beneath them. Random all-powerful beings like the Beyonder and the Stranger pop up from time to time. And of course, the Living Tribunal. The One Above All, however, is essentially analogous to God and is above and in charge of everyone and everything else else. Appropriately enough, he looks like Jack Kirby, and hints that he has a writing partner presumed to be Stan Lee.
      • This trope was put to a more literal test during Secret Invasion, when a strike team of Earth gods went to kill the Skrull gods.
      • Also Nick Fury's God has a hammer.
      • Steve Gerber's run on Man-Thing featured a story arc (first appearance of Howard the Duck, incidentally) featuring a big epic struggle to protect the gods (later confirmed to be specifically "the gods of Therea") from a demonic invasion force, with several characters wondering why the gods can't just intervene and protect themselves. After the invasion force is finally defeated, the heroes go to the Realm of Therea and meet the gods, who are revealed to be... German Shepherds living in quiet contentment on a farm tended by kindly old folks.
  • In the world of the The Motherless Oven, household appliances, such as egg timers, are viewed as Gods. All the Gods are alive in some capacity and sing strange, nonsensical songs that some characters believe possess a deeper meaning. However, although the Gods are seen as special possessions, they are not worshipped.
  • In Watchmen, God exists, and he's American. For those who haven't read the book, it's Dr. Manhattan.
    • However, Dr. Manhattan doesn't believe he's a God, and in fact doesn't believe in God at all.
      "I don't think there is a god. And if there is, I'm nothing like him"
    • Then again, at the end he undergoes a shift in philosophy, realizing the "miracle" of every individual life and its value, and decides to go off elsewhere to create some on his own.

    Fan Works 
  • Codex Equus: In the Codexverse, deities are created by, and defined by, a system in which magic holds a heavy influence in their development in various ways.
    • Most deities are born from various elemental/abstract phenomena as simple lifeforms that gradually develop sapience and intelligence until they Ascend to godhood. Other deities, however, are the result of mortals Ascending to godhood, hence the Ascendant category. While generally composed of magic, deities can assume physical forms and are capable of biological reproduction, even spawning racial divine hybrids in some cases, and unlike mortals, they generally do not suffer any consequences from incestual relationships. Also, unlike mortals, deities only become more powerful and eldritch as they get older, with the oldest of them being feared and incomprehensible. However, due to the fluid nature of divinity in general, it is possible for deities to take this further by having their 'age' accelerated or even re-Ascending into a completely different being under the right circumstances.
    • Deities also come in three categories: Elementals, Ethereals, and Ascendants. Elemental deities spawn from elemental phenomena such as storms, volcanic eruptions, and oceanic currents. Ethereal deities spawn when abstract ideas, emotions, and thoughts come to life and gain sapience. Ascendant Deities are sapient mortals which, whether in life or upon death, had acquired enough power or achieved such impressive deeds that they were judged worthy of Ascension by higher powers. Many mortal factions/individuals like the Alicorn Ascendancy have tried creating more Ascendant deities by 'shortcutting' their way to godhood, but because the complex nature of Ascension and divinity in general ensure that many of said attempts fail disastrously.
    • However, because the nature of deities is fluid, it is possible for them to have their ages accelerated far past their natural age or 're-Ascend' into completely different beings under the right circumstances. Princess Arcus, Queen Aoide Mousikós, and Diamond Tiara/Queen Elpis are a few examples of the former, while Moon Ray Vaughoof/Prince Canticum Lunae Cahaya is an example of the latter.
    • As shown with a few entries, divine reincarnations are also possible. Unlike traditional Reincarnations, a divine reincarnation is essentially someone fusing with the essence of a dead deity. While their souls do merge as one, the two individuals are able to co-exist and channel their full being under certain circumstances. Examples of this include Tranquil Harbor/Omega (who becomes Promes' reincarnation), Princess Amicitia/Twilight (who becomes Mana Equus' reincarnation), and Diamond Tiara/Queen Elpis (who becomes Diamond Glow's reincarnation). In Amicitia/Twilight's case, her status as Mana Equus' reincarnation is kept secret by the Church of the Stars so she'll be protected from those who will come to resent her for supposedly being more privileged than others.
  • Enlightenments: The viewpoint character, Dormin, is a god of life and death with a secondary domain over light that makes their land experience eternal day, and their influence causes horns to grow on mortal men which glow or shine to divine sight. A high enough dose of their soul in a mortal causes regenerative, ageless immortality, as well. In the fic's interpretation of canon, the Colossi were created by nearby gods who have the developer nicknames for the Colossi, but we don't hear much about them beyond things like the tenth Colossus being referred to as "Dirge's Colossus".
  • The Mansionverse: Presumed to be similar to, but more powerful than, the setting's demons, Gods (at least, but probably not limited to, those of Ancient Greek and Egyptian mythologies) did once exist, although they all appear to have disappeared at some point... leaving some of their minions like the One-Eyed Black Cat to roam free.
  • The Night Unfurls:
    • The main setting has multiple gods that can be worshiped by anyone, even the unsavoury folknote . However, only two are regarded as the most prominent: gentle Laurendau, who reincarnates in her descendants to hold her power for generations; and haughty Garan, Laurendau's polar opposite (though her "cruelty" is merely an Informed Attribute). Celestine Lucross is the current inheritor of the former's power, while Olga Discordia is the current inheritor of the latter. Both have engaged in warfare for centuries.
    • Examples exclusive in the remastered version:
      • During a conversation between Kyril and Prim, Kyril mentions that he has seen gods far above mortal, indicating that he equates the great ones with gods.
      • The Rat notes that The Old Gods are waking, and they may have need of Kyril during some future war. Though this merely falls under Vagueness Is Coming rather than meaningful lore.
  • There Was Once an Avenger From Krypton:
    • According to Word of God, the Asgardians and the Olympians differ from each other outside of being physical gods. While they both are so powerful and comparable that it would be impossible to tell the difference at a glance, the individual Olympians are the Anthropomorphic Personification of aspects of nature or concepts and have Complete Immortality barring their sphere of influence falling out of favor with mankind. Asgardians, meanwhile, are more akin to Sufficiently Advanced Aliens with power on an identical scale to gods, and while killing them is certainly a feat in of itself, they can be felled in battle and they do age, so they are not immortal like their Olympian counterparts.
    • This also applies to the Kwamis and how they differ from the Asgardians and Olympians. Word of God states that they're more like the Egyptian gods from The Kane Chronicles in that with few exceptions (Plagg and Tikki), the only method they have in terms of interacting with the mortal world is through a Miraculous Holder, which has many limits on the Kwamis' power so as not to cause untold destruction and harm to the world. They were also all originally one being, which supplemental materials reveal to be a Celestial, and another reason for the Miraculouses being made was to try and counter the pull they feel to reunite again.
    • Vilgax notes that whatever Ben thinks a "god" is, it pales in comparison to what a Celestial truly is. Apparently they created everything — matter, energy, magic, even the Multiverse as a whole. They spend their time in the Forge of Creation creating entire dimensions with a thought. And one is powering the Omnitrix.
    • The Diamonds are specifically compared to gods more than once with how much more power they have compared to "regular" Gems. Word of God is that nothing short of a Celestial could shatter their Gemstones in this universe.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Turning Red, Sun Yee is said to have prayed to the gods for help who then granted her prayer by giving her and all her female descendants the ability to transform into a giant red panda.

  • The entire point of American Gods. All gods are fueled and in-part defined-by belief in them and sacrifices made in their name. It's basically the new gods (of Media, the Internet, Cars, etc. all the things modern people put their faith in and "worship") and the old Gods (from Asian, European, Native American, and African pantheons), or rather, American versions of them created by the belief of settlers and immigrants. Odin appears as does, Anansi, Kali, Czernobog, Jesus (mentioned in passing, though not appearing in the book itself), Anubis, Thoth and a whole lot of others. Oh yes and Loki. Who is, along with Odin, the Big Bad planning on getting all the old and new gods killed in their names in order to reap the power of a massive divine sacrifice. There are also indications of someone (relatively benign and unthreatening) who is much much older than any of the gods still remembered today. It seems unconcerned with the conflict(s) of the book, viewing even the old gods as mayflies.
  • The high spirits in Adam R. Brown's fantasy series, Astral Dawn, are powerful beings who served as the gods of the various pantheons throughout human history.
    • The high spirits implanted the idea of themselves in the minds of a few people who later spread it to many others, creating polytheism.
    • Using the psychic energy generated by worship, the high spirits who participated in the God Age became even more powerful.
    • Simon and others developed a means of staying linked to a specific period of space-time. This allowed the gods and legends to retain their psychic connection and the power it brought them no matter where (or when) they were in space or time.
    • The Aash Ra are also considered god-like beings. Even the spirits think of them as the original angels and demons.
  • The gods in The Belgariad are powerful immortal beings, they are however still bound by the Purpose of the Universe and cannot directly go against it. (It is usually handwaved as two gods confronting each other directly would annihilate the planet.)
  • The Book of All Hours - the Unkin. humans that experienced a unique event in their life that allowed them to touch the Vellum underneath reality. In the multiverse inscribed on the surface of the Vellum, these meta-humans have long since taken up different roles, presenting themselves to mortal humans in different ways in pursuit of power.
  • In El Conquistador every civilization in the novel thinks this of their own gods. Note that there are many similarities noted by Quetza between the gods that he despises in his own culture, and the gods in the other continent.
  • Gods of Dora Wilk Series vary greatly. On one end of the scale you have fellows like Anubis who is "simply" immortal being with animal head and some powers, and on the other you've got God and Goddess, who can warp the reality, invade your dreams and don't have a material forms at all. Somewhere in the middle there are Badb and Loki, who look disturbingly inhuman and has some great superpowers, but are nowhere close to God's level of awesome. As a matter of fact, multiple, multiple gods of this series has powers and abilities that are reflection of how humans perceived them through the history.
  • Discworld:
    • Generally, gods run the gamut. However, it's shown as gods need (and are shaped by) belief: The more belief, the stronger the god. If you only have one believer, well you might be able to summon a minor thunderstorm over one person's head. The other end is Death, whom everything believes in. One god seems to get by believing in his own work. There are other cosmic forces at work, like the Auditors, but they are not the subject of worship and have no need for it.
    • There are eight entities that inverts the usual relationship, as the universe exists because they believe in it. One of them appeared, the multiversal Death, of which the Death of the Discworld is merely an aspect. It's clock tells time what time is, and it's so awesome its "YES" fills a whole page.
  • The Dragonlance universe has a fairly large pantheon with eighteen sixteen gods divided evenly between Light, Dark, and Neutral. Formerly, there was a tribunal of chief gods, Paladine, Takhisis, and Gilean, but then Paladine and Takhisis were made mortal and Takhisis died. Now it's a power struggle for who gets to rule the gods, as Gilean just sits with his nose in a book all day. There are also two beings as high above gods as the gods are above mortals, the High God and Chaos. These two are usually at war. However, the High God manipulated events such that Chaos would be taken out of the picture.
  • The Dresden Files : Harry Dresden lives in a Fantasy Kitchen Sink world, and he states at one point that many if not all gods and godlike beings from myth are all out there as well. Faith has a sort of magical power and Harry has met pagan gods like Odin, the Faerie Queens, and the godlike Erlking. It's theoretically possible to ascend to nigh-godlike power, but that might have never actually happened. Because of their strong magic, gods (and beings powerful enough to pose as gods, such as the Red King and the "Lords of Outer Night") are also defined by an "aura" or "willpower" that can force mortals to their knees in pain with a thought. However, the capital-g Judeo-Christian God (also called "the White God" or the "Almighty") also exists and is so powerful that the knights who worship him can ignore the will of other gods and slaughter them. He's so beyond the other gods that Harry believes that one of his archangels, Uriel, could "probably take apart all the planets. Like, all of them. Everywhere." According to Volume 2 of the guidebook to the tabletop game, The Almighty is at the highest tiers of power, with his arch-angels equaling the strongest pagan gods (like Odin) and the Faerie Mothers.
  • The gods of The Elenium have wildly varied personalities, but they all appear to Need Prayer Badly. Aphriel assures herself a steady diet by always appearing as a cute child, so that she always gets love. The Elene God is much more stodgy and refuses to give out even his name, but is respected by other gods for his Popularity Power (which he never uses). Like The Belgariad, the Gods of this universe were created by, and can be bound by, even higher powers.
  • In Fred Saberhagen's Empire of the East and Book of Swords trilogies, there are several different levels of beings who are worshiped at various points:
    • ARDNEH, who is initially worshiped by the West and is later worshiped as a god of justice, healing, mercy, and redemption throughout the world, although he was actually a very advanced and powerful artificial intelligence and denied that he was a god or should be worshiped, and died at the end of Empire.
    • Orcus, King of all Demons, who founded The Empire of the East, and was ARDNEH's archenemy. In reality, he was just the most powerful demon, and like all demons was really a nuclear bomb that had been altered by ARDNEH.
    • Draffut, who was eventually worshiped as a god of healing, even though he denied being a god, and was actually a highly evolved dog, although his healing powers were quite real. He was powerful enough to face Mars, god of war, in single combat, twice, and win once.
    • The gods, who made the Swords and played the Game. They were very powerful, and could defeat demons with ease. They were, however not really gods, but actually the product of the dreams of men, and could be killed by the Swords they had made. They all eventually died when men stopped believing in them.
    • The Emperor, a mysterious man who is believed by many to be a myth, and by others to be a simple clown or wandering jester, or perhaps a con-man or mountebank. A few know him to be a very powerful wizard. In reality he is the real God.
  • Factory of the Gods: Gods are the result of normal mortals finding and touching Godcores. Becomes extra unusual when a phone touches one of those cores and the Godcore bonds with it since it has a processor it interprets as a mind.
  • Geoph Essex's Jackrabbit Messiah appears to run on this trope: the few gods we get to see in action appear just as desperate and fallible as the humans. Several characters discuss the possibility that the gods are actually less powerful, in certain ways, than mortals.
  • The "gods" of the H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos come in several varieties.
    • The Great Old Ones - Cthulhu, Hastur, Tsathoggua, Ghatanothoa, etc, are more or less Sufficiently Advanced Aliens. They are usually immortal, of monstrous size and appearance, capable of producing swarms of spawn, and are powerfully psychic, but their influence is usually limited to a single planet and they are often consigned to hibernate through cosmic cycles for thousands or millions of years.
    • The Outer Gods, of which Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep and Azathoth are chief, are more literal gods, who seem to rarely have any concern for human affairs. They are immensely powerful, though occasionally limited by the barriers between universes (Yog-Sothoth, though a four-dimensional being who lives beyond time, is still usually locked out of the mundane universe). Azathoth, for example, is a mindless demiurge responsible for creation of all of cosmos (which is far greater than our known universe). While Yog-Sothoth is locked out of the universe, it's also coterminous with all points of space and time, being the Living Multiverse.
    • In no way anthropomorphic, often with frightening bizarre alien anatomy; amorphous swarming tentacles, animate slime, and glossy inter-dimensional bubbles of energy. They are often viewed as cosmic organisms, rather than traditional gods in any respect. A few Outer Gods may adopt quasi-human avatars to interact with us, or use mutated followers to the same effect.
    • Both varieties are completely amoral, often animalistic forces of nature, though sometimes with very vaguely defined personalities. Some, like Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath, seem willing to reward followers who help them towards their inscrutable goals, while others, like Nyarlathotep, seem to exhibit deliberate malice for all civilized races. For the most part, however, humanity and earth has no real relevance to them.
    • The Outer Gods seem to have always been, and often even have their own universes that they created and dwell in, while others were the creation of even greater outer gods. The Great Old ones are hinted to have evolved naturally, each on his own or with the help of a precursor species, though some writers have them reproducing like a single unified family. Some Great Old Ones (especially those with a family tree) can have an Outer God or two among their forebears, though whether such claims are factual or the delusions of crazed cultists is ambiguous.
    • The Elder Gods, usually considered August Derleth's discontinuous insertion, have sometimes been Retcon'ed as a second group of Outer Gods who oppose the originals, but a less immediate threat to humanity.
    • The Lovecraft story "The Cats of Ulthar" seems to hint at the existence of entities resembling the gods of ancient Egypt... in the Dreamlands where Ulthar is located according to The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, anyway.
    • A number of stories also feature the "mild gods of Earth," suggested to be old standbys such as Zeus or Isis, but seldom referenced individually. They are also dangerous and unknowable, albeit slightly less so.
  • The Malazan Book of the Fallen is filled with gods of varying levels of power and influence. There are two main categories of them:
    • The Elder Gods embody primal forces of nature and vastly predate most everything else in the setting. Some are said to be responsible for the creation of various races. As of the time of the main series, most of the Elder Gods are no longer active owing to their worship having been forgotten, but a few are still around.
    • The second group is composed of deities who were once mortal; mortals can become Ascendants (superhuman immortals) through a process that is poorly-understood in-universe but typically involves proving oneself truly exceptional in some way, and Ascendants can in turn become gods by being worshipped and/or taking over a divine position that was vacant at the time. And there are at least a couple of Ascendants, like Anomander Rake, who are worshipped but voluntarily choose not to claim full godhood. The majority of the modern pantheon are Ascendants.
    • Then there's the Crippled God, an interloper from another world who doesn't follow the usual rules and makes quite a lot of trouble as a result.
  • In the Nightside, an entire street is devoted to beings that can be worshiped, and worship is a path to power. That said, worship isn't the only way to gain power — Razor Eddie tolerates no worshipers of John Taylor, but the latter could end the world. God in an Abrahamic sense (and specifically Christian) also exists akin to the Dresden Files — sympathetically portrayed, but relatively indirect in acting (His angels are a different story).

  • No Gods for Drowning: Deities come in various forms in this book:
    • The Dawn Gods are a group of extraterrestrial higher beings who journyed to this world and uplifted humanity to help them fight the monsters that were preying on them called Glories. These Gods have an etherial and otherworldly appearance.
    • The major gods that are worshipped by humanity are actually either former human lovers or descendants of Dawn Gods. These gods can vary in looks and descriptions and feature the nine headed Logoi. They can also reproduce with humanity and give them children regardless of the gender of the god in question. It's possible to become a god by taking a god or goddess as a lover and producing a divine child.
  • In Ravelling Wrath, the gods perceive the world much more slowly than humans, they have titles like "The Blood God" instead of names, and they are referred to as "it".
  • The Reunion With Twelve Fascinating Goddesses has Deities, the highest rank of Spirits. There are 21 in all, and they include the eponymous twelve goddesses and the Demon King Hadar. Deities possess extreme power, enough to fight an army of thousands, and some form of Resurrective Immortality. Humans can form contracts with them just as with lesser Spirits, becoming the rare and renowned Deity Knights, but this is obviously extremely difficult.
  • Brandon Sanderson has admitted up front that the idea of godhood fascinates him. As such, all of his major works feature some sort of gods.
    • The Elantrians from Elantris are mortal wizards who are so powerful they are revered as divine in their home nation.
    • The Lord Ruler from Mistborn: The Original Trilogy is an immortal, seemingly invincible Evil Overlord worshipped in The Empire.
    • The Returned from Warbreaker are humans who died in some significant manner and are returned to life with superhuman magical abilities. It's worth noting that Returned only have a few powers not available to mere mortal magic-users with enough power, they can heal a person at the cost of their lives, they can shapeshift, though the majority of them aren't aware of it, and as hinted in the story, and confirmed by Word of God, they get glimpses of the future.
    • And then there's the Stormfather, in The Stormlight Archive: has the unforgiving mood of the Old Testament God, his physical form is a vast face in the clouds, he's responsible for the weather, spirits who help people do his bidding, and he sends visions of the future to a Chosen One. Sounds exactly like God, right? He denies being God when asked, and he is the biggest and oldest of those spirits and maybe their father but not actually a creator-figure for anyone else. As for the visions, the actual God required him to send them to the Chosen One when the circumstances were right.
    • But none of these are the real gods. Long ago, a single god-like entity/force/power known as Adonalsium was "shattered." Its fragments, called Shards, are universal principles that form the bedrock of the books' magic systems. The Shards were taken up by the people responsible for the Shattering, becoming the first Vessels; the Vessel functions as the personification of their Shard. Confirmed Shards are Ruin and Preservation from Mistborn, the being who creates Warbreaker's Returned (named in Word of God as Endowment), and Cultivation, Honor, and Odium from The Stormlight Archive. Word of God identifies a few more: Devotion and Dominion, held by Aona and Skai, were once the gods of the world of Elantris; Autonomy, held by Bavadin, primarily rules over the world of White Sand, though she has avatars on many other worlds as well; and Ambition, held by Uli Da, who has some connection to the world of Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell. Needless to say, all of these works are part of the same universe. Other Shards have been named but not yet elaborated on: Invention, Mercy, Valor, and Whimsy, and there are two more that have not yet been named.
  • The Gods in the Suggsverse are all absolutely omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and everything else related to absolute omnipotence.
  • The Sky-Dogs from Survivor Dogs are gods in all-but-name. They're a group of sibling dogs that live in the sky. They sleep, play, and act much like ordinary dogs. Dogs worship them but dogs also worship Anthropomorphic Personifications of nature, such as the Earth-Dog (who is both Mother Nature and The Grim Reaper). The Sky-Dogs don't tend to interact with mortals but they can cause earthly trouble, including thunderstorms when they "play fight" with Lightning and the Earth-Dog, and they're known to get mad at normal dogs.
  • Till We Have Faces presents the theologies of Greece and Glome before hinting at the truth about the gods:
    • In the Greeklands, the people recognize a single, abstract Divine Nature who controls providence and exists outside of physical reality. This makes the Divine Nature impersonal, so the Greek known as Fox scoffs at intercessory prayer and idol worship as baseless superstitions. Some of Glome's priests come around to Fox's views, but non-intellectuals have no need for such a safe and uninvolved god.
    • In Glome, the people worship and fear an obsidian rock that they call Ungit, a Love Goddess and mother of the divine Shadowbrute. The gods are associated darkness, the rotting smell of their sacrificial lambs, and the plagues they send to punish blasphemous mortals they known as the Accursed. This person is devoured and/or married to the Brute in a ritual like a Human Sacrifice. Bardia and most of the characters find these gods real as air, far more than any type of "Divine Nature."
    • If she isn't an Unreliable Narrator, Orual has a personal encounter with the god of the Grey Mountain. As a pagan of Glome would know, the god is violent enough to flatten a forest and so radically present as to make everything else in reality seem like a dream. Yet, he (or maybe He) may be the God known to Greek philosophy, as the god is benevolent enough to love Psyche more than her foster mother, metaphysical enough that Orual cannot see if he has a shape, and omnipotent enough to change the past at will.
  • There are several levels of divine powers in Tolkien's Legendarium, implied in Lord of the Rings and elaborated on in The Silmarillion. There is one single, all-powerful creator god: Eru Ilúvatar. He created other divine incorporeal spirits, the Ainur, which could be classified as angels or minor gods. The Ainur who entered the world are split into two categories: 1) the 14 Valar (a term that literally means "Powers" but can also be translated as little-g gods or archangels) and the (not-included in the counting) Vala Melkor Morgoth; and 2) the Maiar (approx. lesser angels or gods), whose ranks include such notables as Sauron, the five wizards, the Balrogs, and those who steer the ships of the Sun and Moon. The scope of a Ainu's power reflects their part in the great song that created the world. Manwe (whose aspect is air) and Ulmo (whose aspect is water) are particularly powerful because of how pervasive their domains are throughout the whole of creation. Lesser Ainur might represent clouds, or surf... powerful beings, but vastly less so than the greatest Valar. Melkor has his hand in just about everything, which is why he is so powerful and capable on his own.
  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: Generally, there's a pantheon. Otherwise, just three, or one. All of them are dependent on getting prayer and worship to exist. Because of this, they'll make a point to appear regularly so that people don't stop believing in them. Despite this, no Tourist will ever worship Gods.
  • In Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series there are two godlike creatures. The Creator and The Dark One respectively. They both seem to exist outside of known reality and it is implied that they might be incarnations of Order and Chaos. However it is shown that in this universe human beings are capable of reaching this level of power as well through the proper tools.
  • In the Young Wizards series the One made the Powers That Be and tasked them with creating reality. While most of them got busy with their task, one stood aloof, wishing to come up with a contribution that none of the others could have thought of. After all of the others had finished, It made Its unique contribution: Entropy and Death. It was cast out of Heaven for this, and came to be known as The Lone Power.
    • The One is assumed to be all-powerful, but rarely does anything directly, possibly because acting directly would destroy reality (His name alone is so powerful that, if it were whole rather than kept in pieces, it would destroy universes). The Powers aren't all-powerful since, when acting inside of a physical universe, they are constrained by that universe's laws, which includes entropy, which means that the amount of energy they have available to expend is finite. However, the amount of power that they do have is still unimaginable by mere humans.
    • Not much is known about the mind of the One, other than that He has a tacky sense of humor. The most powerful of the Powers exist mainly outside of time, inserting multiple fragments of themselves into the timestream, so the totality of their minds can't be comprehended by mere mortals; however, the inside-of-time fragments that the mortal characters interact with give the appearance of having human-like minds. The Powers which are small enough to fit inside of a single universe appear to have human like minds.
    • The One is entirely good. Among the Powers all but the Lone Power are good (as the "Lone" in Its name suggests), though not all of the Bright Powers are still "active status" do-gooders: some of them became so attached to the things that they created that they retired so they could dwell amongst their work. There are morally ambiguous Powers as well; the Morrigan is mentioned as one in A Wizard Abroad.

    Live Action Television 
  • Angel featured the nebulous "Powers That Be", who were never seen, but who used various means to pass information to Team Angel, most notably painful visions. They were apparently on the side of good, but were often referred to as the "Powers That Screw You".
    • One exception to the "unseen" rule was the rogue Power Jasmine. Jasmine herself is never referred to as a god, but her former role suggests that status, and she mind-controls anyone she encounters into worshipping her. She's also super-strong, but has to eat people to survive.
    • In the last half of season 5 we were introduced to Illyria, an Old One in human form, who frequently refers to her/itself as a god (and once, "God to a god"). Initially she could manipulate the flow of time and was Nigh Invulnerable as well as super-strong, and could talk to plants, but her powers nearly killed her and had to be greatly reduced. It was never made clear precisely what relationship the various "gods", "Powers", and "Old Ones" had to each other, although Glorificus was explicitly said not to be a demon.
      • Then there's Wolfram & Hart's "Senior Partners", otherwise known as "the Wolf, the Ram, and the Hart", who were bit players on the cosmic scene in Illyria's day, until humanity came around and they learned to feed off of our darker emotions, which fuel them.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Glorificus ("Glory" for short), was one of three gods who ruled a hell dimension, but was cast out by the other two when it appeared she'd become more powerful than them both. On Earth, she was trapped in the body of a human male, and had to exist in human form even when she was manifested; she also had to periodically drain people's sanity to keep from going more nuts. Her main superhuman attributes were immense strength and Nigh-Invulnerability, though she once demonstrated advanced spellcasting ability. We also heard vaguely about "Higher Powers" and "Spirit Guides", who may be the same as Angel's Powers That Be.
  • Supernatural seems to be based on Henotheism — there are multiple pagan gods (who are scarily powerful but can still be defeated and killed), with the Judeo-Christian Creator God as the one that is actually omnipotent but inaccessible. Appropriately enough "Word of God" confirms American Gods, mentioned above, was a major influence on Supernatural, so it likely works on similar rules. Therefore, Kali and Ganesh were simply versions of the gods brought over by settlers. In America, a largely Christian country, an Judeo-Christian angel is more powerful. Had the fight taken place in India, it would have been a different result.
    • And then Season 11 comes along and introduces the Darkness, an Anti-God who has existed as long as God has and is His sister.
    • Season 15 provides a significant retcon regarding the various gods: God/Chuck is the original deity, who created all the others for humanity to worship... and to blame when things went wrong, so that He could then eventually swoop in and get people to worship Him instead.

  • Transformers has two canonically existing deities. Primus is the god of the Transformers, and embodies goodness and order; his body is the planet Cybertron. Unicron is his Evil Counterpart, a Planet Eater who embodies evil, chaos, and destruction. The two previously existed as The One, who made up the "sentient core of the universe". Other gods are present, but rarely mentioned; one of the known ones is the Chronarchitect, who exists outside of time and occasionally intervenes in order to steer events toward a Grand Plan.
    • Also, each retelling of the Primus and Unicron story downplays the idea of others like them a bit more; Primus goes from one of a pantheon to the last of his pantheon, to him and Unicron being all there is. What "The One" is and how it relates to Primus and Unicron varies with the retelling (it did create at least one of them, though.) The Chronarchitect is one of Primus and Unicron's kin... if they have kin. Confused yet?

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The various entities of Aboriginal Australian Myths (variously translated as spirits or gods) have a multifaceted and at times extremely complex nature. For instance the Wandjina of the cultures of Western Australia are simultaneously Genius Loci, lightning flashes, ancestor spirits and unborn souls. Broadly speaking most gods exist outside of time and space and can die but not really, though further specifics vary widely from culture to culture. Conversely, despiste their complicated nature they can be surprisingly down to earth; for example the Gunwinggu God of Thunder Mamaragan dwells in puddles, not exactly Olympus or Asgard here (though most do dwell in the sky.
  • Aztec Mythology didn't consider the "gods" the same way as the Europeans did. Their word for it was "teotl", which indicated a powerful force of nature that did not necessarily have an Anthropomorphic Personification. However, due to the similar nature and the fact that "teotl" sounds like "teolog" (close enough to "teologia", the Spanish word for "theology"), the word became "god".
  • Classical Mythology has three levels of gods. The Protogenoi are the consciousnesses of substances and abstract concepts, such as sky (Oranos), light (Aether), earth (Gaia), and destiny (Aithir). From the Protogenoi were born the Titans, who in turn were overthrown by their own offspring, the Olympians. It should be noted that there are other different families of gods too, Daimones embody concepts like justice or happiness, while a whole host of rustic spirits, Satyrs and Nymphs of all types, Harpies, Gorgons, Erinyes, and the Old Sea Deities (Thaumas, Nereus, Cetus) count as particular families of deities. On the other hand, many of these families have no more than three gods.
  • Native American Mythology had most tribes believing in the monotheistic "Great Spirit/Great Mystery/Wakan Tanka/Manitou/Gitche Manitou". However, it's not in the same manner as the European's view of the Christan God of The Bible, instead, the "Great Spirit" is often conceptualized to be many things that vary amongst different indigenous tribes; being more than one entity, a force of nature, a life force, the power or the sacredness that resides in everything, etc.
  • Norse Mythology is rather vague on what the difference between a god and a giant is. The main rule of thumb appears to have been that gods were associated with the Aesir or Vanir familial groups, while non-god giantsnote  weren't. It gets better: some sources list the elves and even the dwarves as families of the same sort of beings as the Aesir, Vanir, and Jötnar (giants). One triptych goes: the Aesir have power, the Álfar (elves) have skills, and the Vanir have knowledge.
  • Japanese Mythology is animism. Since everything houses a spirit, anything can be a god. The gods are collectively known as the Yaoyorozu, the eight million gods, a poetic way of saying that there is an undefined but large number of gods rather than putting a specific number on them. Broadly, there are three categories of gods: Amatsukami, the celestial gods, the big-wigs of the Shinto pantheon who created and are the world. Notable names among them are Amenominakanushi, the supreme god that is all of creation including all other gods, Izanagi, god of creation and life, Amaterasu, goddess of the sun, Tsukuyomi, god of the moon, and Susanoo, god of storms. The second category is the Kunitsukami or terrestrial gods, who are the most numerous group. These include native and local deities as well as distinguished humans and ancestors. Youkai and vengeful spirits, which is what happens when the spirit within someone or something gets pissed off, can also be sorted into this category. The third category is the Yomotsukami, the gods of the dead. Aside from Izanami, the goddess of death, they're not discussed.
  • YHWH/Yahweh/Jehovah of The Bible, who spends a large chunk of the Door Stopper trying to convince everyone and their mother that not only is he greater than all other gods, but that almost all of the "gods" he competes for worship with are false idols.
    "You are my witnesses," is the utterance of Jehovah, "even my servant whom I have chosen, in order that you may know and have faith in me, and that you may understand that I am the same One. Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none. I—I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no savior." — Isaiah 43:10-11
    • Technically speaking Judaism and Christianity have traditionally believed that other gods exist, just that they aren't gods. For example in Psalm 82, God sits in the divine council among the other gods and begins to enact judgements on them. "You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince" (Psalm 82:6-7). The reason why Judaism and Christianity are said to only believe in one god is that the definition of "God" has changed over the centuries, once it meant simply any spiritual being that was worshiped, but later on it meant specifically an ontologically distinct being. Definitions like "monotheism" and "polytheism" are actually fairly recent concepts, in fact the early Christians had argued that the gods of the pagans were lesser spirits ("daimones") rather than that they weren't real.
    • There has been much confusion created by the concept of The Holy Trinity in the Bible, the idea of one Godhead in three persons. It is an infamously confusing concept that has kept biblical scholars from getting sleep for literal millennia. The Trinity holds that God appears in three persons, The Father (Jehovah/Yahweh/I Am), The Son (Jesus Christ), and The Holy Spirit. Scholars disagree if these figures are different manifestations of one deity or are three individual deities themselves connected by a similar substance. These ideas have challenged Christianity’s place as a “monotheistic” religion, and other Abrahamic faiths have come to label Christian beliefs as polytheistic. Catholic priests often teach Jesus is the direct manifestation of the God who created the Earth in seven days and the are not actually separate, independent, beings. However the concept of direct incarnation have had some doubt thrown on them and have been challenged with scripture from the Bible itself. Quotes such as Matthew 27:46, when Jesus cries “Oh Father, why have you forsaken me” while being crucified shows signs of Jesus and God having separate intentions and independent minds. However, most church goers surprisingly never put much thought into the concept of the Trinity and dismiss it as something humans are unable to understand.
  • In Zoroastrianism gods (yazatas) are "sparks" from Ahura Mazda. There are good gods (ahuras) and evil ones (daevas). Ahura Mazda is himself God of Good, as opposed to God of Evil Ahriman. If that sounds familiar, that's because there’s evidence of some cross-pollination with Judeo-Christian theology, with these being similar to angels or demons. The major difference is that Zoroastrians believe that Ahura Mazda is not omnipotent yet, though after his final showdown with Ahriman he will be victorious and will become omnipotent through absorbing his dead rival. Modern practitioners will sometimes confusingly refer to Ahura Mazda as "God", and this has also been done by some translators and writers. Strictly speaking though, Ahura Mazda is not the God described in the Bible. Zoroastrians have their own holy texts.
  • Hinduism has a last collection of gods and other divine entities to deal with. The Devas map most closely onto the gods of pre-Christian Europe: not omnipotent, not morally perfect, still subject to various forces of fate and destiny (and karma), but they have great power and live in a heavenly realm and you can sing praises to them if you like. Besides them, there's the Trimurti, who personify creation, preservation, and destruction, respectively. In a twist, enlightened human beings are usually treated as wiser and freer than any gods and far more worthy of emulation, particularly in the spin-off religion of Buddhism. There are apparently 330 million of them. Buddhism on the other hand traditionally says there is no creator deity, only the devas, whom they view as having to be enlightened too (some stories have Buddhas teaching them). Some enlightened devas and human beings however have been worshiped (Buddhist practices vary).
  • Mormonism, in contrast to most other branches of Christianity and other Abrahamic religions, falls somewhere between henotheism and monolateralism. It teaches that this world and its God are both just one of many in the universe, but that people can and should focus their attention on just the God of this world.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Anima: Beyond Fantasy has on the top C'iel and Gaira, the goddess of light and the god of darkness respectively and below them fourteen entities, seven of them spirits of light (Beryls), who serve C'iel, and the other seven spirits of darkness (Shajads), who serve Gaira. Word of God, however, states that all of them are above what is a god there, existing minor, god-like, powers in the settingnote  and being unclear what's a god in Anima.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In general, the status of gods varies depending on world: most of them Need Prayer Badly in some fashion or another, although not all do. Gods are powerful but killable, either by MacGuffin or by the sufficiently powerful (still no easy task though). In some campaign settings like the Forgotten Realms, there is also an Overgod who oversees the pantheon, and appoints people to the various divine positions when necessary.
    • The Classic D&D game, conversely, avoided the terms "god" or "deity" to placate Moral Guardians and set it apart from AD&D. Its "Immortals" were nearly all former mortals who'd managed to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, and senior Immortals who didn't admit to such a past were so mind-bogglingly ancient that it was implied they just couldn't remember their mortal days. Once Immortal, they didn't technically need to be worshipped, but having devoted followers increased their influence over the world and status among their own kind, and some needed believers to become Immortal in the first place. Notably, the CD&D rules allowed for player character Immortals, so their powers and limitations were laid out explicitly by experience level.
      • An even higher rank of beings was implied to exist, and to be as far beyond Immortals as the Immortals are beyond mortals. Their existence was never confirmed in-universe, only speculated about by Immortals who wondered why some of the greatest among their own number had gone away.
      • The final scenario of the Wrath of the Immortals campaign featured one of those beings actually showing up very briefly. But there were never any game rules for them; there was theoretically a process for becoming one and thereby effectively "winning the game" after all (by going all the way from first-level mortal to highest-possible Immortal level twice with the same character), but the playing time requirements for actually doing so would have been prohibitive and the chance of success fairly low due to the obvious risk involved. Not to forget that as far as the Immortals know in-universe the only two of them who ever managed that feat anyway were promptly annihilated by blackballs...
  • In Exalted, the gods were a slave race created by the even more powerful and ancient Primordials to keep Creation running while they played games. The gods were extremely unhappy with this arrangement, but were unable to attack the Primordials, so they granted power to mortals (the titular "Exalted") to fight them instead. The most powerful of gods, the Incarnae, represent celestial bodies — the Unconquered Sun, Luna, and the Five Maidens (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn). But there are gods for everything, including individual grains of rice, and a lot of them are low-level bureaucrats trying to gather enough worship to live.
  • Fate System: In Gods and Monsters, the gods are the remnants of the primordial mind that arose from chaos, thought everything into existence, then stopped for a moment to consider itself and promptly shattered into a million pieces. (The setting correspondingly aims for a world that is still very young and in which all the myths people will one day tell each other are still in the making.) They don't need prayer badly as such, but they do need anchors to the world in the form of holy places and communities of worshippers in order to safely manage their power without their every whim potentially warping either themselves (gods grow actively more powerful by playing to their strengths and going to extremes, but this also exaggerates their corresponding weaknesses and if they cross a certain threshold they irrevocably lose their identity and become the monsters the title also alludes to) or else the world around them without their necessarily meaning to. Oh, and the player characters are among them, of course.
  • Humblewood: The Amaranthine each represents one of the ten races, with the exception of Tyton and Ardea, the gods of life and death, and of night and day. While the five Birdfolk Amaranthine have concrete creation myths involving a contest to give the best gift to Ardea, the five Humblefolk Amaranthine are more varied and mysterious.
  • Magic: The Gathering: For most of the game's history, deities were primarily part of the background lore and had no presence in the actual cards; in many cases, it was left ambiguous as to whether any gods existed at all. This changed with the Theros block, which introduced god creature cards, as it was felt that you cannot do Greek mythology without its gods. Deities have remained a part of the game since, and are always typed as "god" regardless of gender ("deity" was originally preferred, but it didn't fit in the Theros gods' creature descriptions due to their lengthy list of other creature types).
    • Before the introduction of true deities, there were a handful of beings mentioned as being "gods", such as Karona and the Eldrazi, as well as avatars from Lorwyn/Shadowmoor and occasionally angels, chiefly due to their immense power.
    • Yawgmoth, known as the Ineffable by his followers, was also known as the God of Phyrexia.
    • Old planeswalkers were nothing short of Physical Gods themselves. Some, such as Serra, were worshiped by their followers as such.
    • The Greek Mythology-inspired Theros expansion features a pantheon of fifteen gods; one major god for each color overseeing a broad field of power — such Erebos, God of the Dead and Thassa, God of the Sea — and one minor god for each color pair, overseeing something more specialized — such as Keranos, God of Storms and Karametra, God of Harvests. They are noted for featuring Gods Need Prayer Badly as a game mechanic: they are enchantment creatures, meaning they are effectively living, sapient spells. If your devotion to their color (the number of mana symbols on your permanent cards) drops below a certain level, they stop being creatures and become enchantments only.
    • The Amonkhet expansion, inspired by Egyptian Mythology, has gods that are somewhat different from the Theros gods: besides each having an animal head, they are simply creatures instead of enchantment creatures, and live among and mingle freely with mortals in the city of Naktamun, unlike the distant gods of Theros. There is also the planes walker Nicol Bolas, worshipped in Amonkhet as the God-Pharaoh, who is believed to have created the plane.
    • Kaldheim has deities based on Norse myth, which are fundamentally superpowered humans who derive their immortality from drinking a special mead and can still be laid low by sufficient damage.
    • The Gruul Clans of Ravnica believe in a deity called Illharg, the Raze-Boar, who they believe will come one day to lead them in a plane-wide rampage against civilization. As it turns out, he's very much real as well.
    • The merfolk of the ancient Dominarian nation of Vodalia worshipped Svyelun, the goddess of the Pearl Moon, as a distant and stern goddess who held herself apart from her followers like the moon lies unreachably far above the sea. She remained a part of the background lore for decades, but received a card in the 2021 Modern Horizons set.
    • Maro-Sorcerers, each the embodiment of a forest in Dominaria, are frequently worshipped as deities (Titania of Argoth being an early example), although they are subservient to Gaea, the world soul of Dominaria, who would be more fitting were she present.
  • Nobilis: You play as a god. There are also several classes and categories of things that might be considered gods.
    • Imperators (which come in a variety of classes, be it Angels, The Fallen, Aaron's Serpents or some other extremely powerful being), are powerful entities which carry different aspects of Creation with them. Their nature makes them the embodiment of parts of the universe that they have "domains" or control over.
    • Nobles, who are ordinary mortals who have had a shard of an Imperator's soul imbued into their own. They have more limited control over certain domains, but that's still enough to let them reshape the world. The PCs will generally play as these.
  • In Nomine:
    • The pagan gods are beings of the Marches, the world of dreams; they were created when early humanity first attempted to anthropomorphize the cosmos around them, and as human culture began to form consistent myths and archetypes that coalesced within the dream world. As they're entities of manifested thought and belief, they depend on human worship to regenerate Essence. They used to be very powerful and influential, but Uriel's Purity Crusade destroyed many of them and forced the survivors to either flee into the Far Marches or seek the protection of Hell.
    • The Abrahamic God is an entirely different type of being. He generated the cosmos and humanity rather than the other way around, and does not seem to depend on anything for sustenance. The pagan gods believe that He began as one of their own, the tribal deity of the Hebrews who in time gained enough power to rewrite reality in His favor; the angels consider this to be insulting heresy.
  • Pathfinder has three tiers of deity (defined as "a being capable of granting spells to their worshippers").
    • The lowest level is "quasi-deity". This includes nascent demon lords, qlippoth lords, various powerful monsters and potentially even characters who have the appropriate mythic ability. They have stats and their Challenge Rating (basically level) is usually 21-25, making them tough but winnable encounters for powerful characters without mythic ranks.
    • The next level up is "demigod". This is a large category, including true demon lords, archdevils, Great Old Ones like Cthulhu and many beings of similar power. They have stats, and their Challenge Rating is at the top of the scale, ranging around 26-30. This makes them boss-level encounters for high-level characters with many mythic ranks.
    • The top tier is full deities. They are explicitly beyond the concept of rules or stat blocks, and cannot be fought or slain by even the highest-level characters; in background lore, however, they have sometimes been harmed by demigods. Their powers are essentially unlimited. Luckily for the players, true deities are extremely reluctant to intervene directly in mortal affairs, because doing so would invite other opposed deities to do the same, with catastrophic consequences for the mortals caught in the middle. They rely on their worshippers to work their will in the world.
  • RuneQuest: In the setting of Glorantha, the gods are/were powerful beings who arose before Time. After a massive war which created Death, killed many gods, let Chaos loose, and nearly destroyed the world, the Great Compromise created Time, which sealed away the gods and allowed mortal races to flourish. Mortals can gain magic from the gods, and even ritually "hero quest" through the acts of the gods prior to the Dawn of Time. Unless you're a monotheist from the west, in which case the Kingdom of Logic fell apart under the onslaught of Chaos, and the Prophet Malkion unified with the Creator to create Time and restore the universe. Unfortunately, Malkion's followers ended up in the same world as the pagans and their false gods. Or unless you're a dwarf, in which case Mostal the World Machine was destroyed... you get the idea. Glorantha's that sort of place.
  • In the White Wolf game line of Scion the parents of the PCs (and eventually the PCs themselves) are literally gods of various pantheons. They have removed themselves from the world of mortals and placed heavy rules regarding their involvement with it, for the sole reason that the more they spent time doing crazy shit that broke the rules of reality, the more they were bound into specific roles and personalities; the more power they used, the more people thought of them a certain way, the more they became that certain way. Also, those gods are now under siege by the Titans, vast incomprehensible realms of sheer conceptual power (such as Light, or Water, or Chaos) that are so immensely powerful and alien, they must manifest themselves in significantly less powerful (but still capable of laying siege to multiple pantheons of gods) avatars, just to have some kind of mind that could understand things like "winning" or "goals" or "death." (As a side note, killing an avatar of a titan is a BAD idea. When Odin killed Ymir, the titan of winter, the Ice Age ended instantly and most of the earth got flooded.).
  • In the Brazilian setting Tormenta, there are essentially 3 kinds of "gods": the first ones, Nothingness and Hollowness, which aren't considered gods, but created the world and possess great power. Below them is The Pantheon, composed by 20 deities considered the "true" gods. Each of them has a private plane in which they are invincible, but they can also create an avatar in other planes. Bellow them are "minor deities", who can be anyone with enough power (level 20+) and enough worshippers (there is actually a minor NPC who aims to become one by creating his own church). Both True and Minor gods need prayer to maintain they powers, and after a genocidal war the Elven Goddess ended up falling to minor deity status.
  • Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000
    • Khorne, Slaanesh, Nurgle and Tzeentch, the Great Gods of Chaos are nearly omnipotent in their own plane of existence (the Winds of Magic in Warhammer and the Warp in 40k), their power kept in check only by each other; but their influence on the mortal realm is somewhat more limited. Partly because the rules say they can't get involved directly, and partly because they are in fact so powerful that they cannot manifest themselves in the mortal realms. Despite this, they are still capable of leaving their mark on the world of men and are perhaps the most powerful beings in both settings to be given the divine moniker. In 40K, their description varies from enormous sentient vortices of Warp energy to actual (meta)physical beings who live in their realms in the Warp, sit on their thrones and generally act either like up-scaled humans or beings whose schemes and actions are inscrutable to mortals. It's mentioned that since it's impossible for mortals to truly perceive the Warp or the Winds of Magic (what they see is an analogy created by their mind and different from person to person), both and neither of these descriptions are true.
    • While those are the big four, the existence of other, lesser Chaos Gods have been hinted at, especially in 40k. There was Malal/Malice, a lesser, renegade Chaos god of Anarchy, born from Chaos's tendency to fight against itself, who was Exiled from Continuity due to confusion about who owned the IP. To round out to eight (Chaos is generally represented by a star of 8 arrows pointing in different directions) in Fantasy, there was Belakor (who had originally been a god demoted to Demon Prince, but has been updated to always have been one), as well as: Hashut, god of Chaos Dwarves; Necoho, god of atheism; and Zuvassin, the Great Undoer. In 40k, there was the in-name-only Ans'l, Mo'rcck, and Phraz-Etar, who had been mentioned once in 1999, and never brought up again.
    • In both settings, the Greenskins' twin gods of Gork and Mork are present, though don't really contribute much beyond flavor. One is the God of brutal cunning, the other god of cunning brutality (one hits you when you aren't looking, the other hits you really hard when you are). Arguably, the cunning one is apparently the patron of any Orc/Ork who might take up a trade or show a degree of shrewdness, the other is patron of any who simply prioritizes brute strength. Though the consensus is in the order of description, they're essentially identical, and confusing them is just another reason for the greenskins to fight amongst themselves.
    • In Fantasy, the two Elven pantheons exist, one for the Overworld gods and one for the Underworld. In 40k, there's one Eldar almost identical to Fantasy's Overworld pantheon with a few gods from the Elven Underworld inserted in and one unique analogue of another Elven god inserted in. The 40k Pantheon is essentially dead, most gods killed or eaten by Slaanesh when the Eldar brought It into existence. The three still alive are Khaine, who escaped into the realspace by breaking into pieces; Isha, the Matron, who was taken as a trophy and then "liberated" by Nurgle; and Cegorach, who literally fled into the Webway.
    • It may be possible for mortals to become lesser gods: large groups of people with similar mindsets may commit mass suicide and have their souls fuse together in the Warp to create a small-scale version of whatever the Chaos Gods are. It's hinted that the Emperor of Mankind was born this way, by many powerful psykers committing mass suicide and having their souls transferred into a human body. Likewise, the souls of dead Eldar stored in the Infinity Circuits of the Craftworlds are thought by their race (well, hoped, anyway) to be slowly coalescing into Ynnead, the prophesied Eldar God of Death who will destroy Slaanesh and avenge the Eldar race.
    • Similarly, there are gods who seem to represent the psychic projections in the Warp of races as a whole, rather than emotions in general, and who are on the whole rather weaker than the big four. An example would be the rest of the Eldar pantheon, each god supposedly representing a different aspect of their people. Another would be the Ork gods Gork and Mork. Each seems to represnt the race as a whole fairly well by himself, but an Ork's hardly an Ork without someone to have a good fight with.
    • Warhammer also has the Chaos God of Atheism, who gets weaker the more believers he has.
    • There's also the gods of law/order; their victory is about as undesirable as that of the forces of chaos. Perhaps luckily, their obsession with order and stasis means they rarely do much of anything. Other deities also exist, generally siding against chaos.
    • In 40k, acting originally as rough analogues for the Gods of Order but having developed down their own path since, there are the C'tan Star-Gods, beings literally as old as the universe itself and far older than the Chaos Gods, not having required the appearance of emotive beings to come into existence. Originally diffuse Energy Beings the size of solar systems who were given bodies of living metal by a mortal race they later enslaved and turned into the Necrons, they used to eat stars but later switched to mortal souls, and whole worlds were fed to their hunger. They aren't gods in the same sense as the Chaos Gods — their existence is completely divorced from mortal emotions and belief, to begin with — but they're obscenely powerful beings, were actively worshiped by at least one species, are effectively unkillable (the best the Necrons could do when they rebelled was shatter them into pieces), and used to serve as a sort of foil to the Chaos Gods — where the Chaos Gods were beings entirely of the Immaterium who could not project directly in the physical world, the C'tan were entirely of the Materium and had no power over the Warp.
      • At least one C'tan, the Nightbringer, is implied to figure into the religious systems of nearly every species around as Death, after it Mind Raped life to fear death so as to feed on their despair. Another, the Void Dragon, is heavily implied to actually be the Machine-God the Mechanicus worships.
  • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar: Two types of gods are described: Ascended Gods and Elemental Gods:
    • An Ascended God is a Deity of Human Origin, and includes most members of the former Pantheon Of Order, made up as it was of the former champions of the World-That-Was, as well as the Ancestor Gods of the Dwarves, the drogukh warrior Kragnos, and Morathi. How one becomes an Ascended god varies, but it generally involves absorbing a lot of powerful, raw magic, or consuming many, many souls of very powerful beings. They're generally what you expect from a Physical God, and are even known to take the battlefield alongside their followers.
    • Elemental Gods are more complicated, and best described as an Anthropomorphic Personification of some phenomena or emotion; the Chaos gods fall under this category, and so does Gorkamorka, the god of the Orruks, Ogors, Grots, and giants. Elemental deities aren't necessarily more powerful that Ascended deities, but they aren't constrained to one physical form, or even the rules of space and time; Gorkamorka is described by his champion Gordrakk as being omnipresent, existing everywhere wild and untamed, and the Chaos Gods likewise can influence massive areas of the Mortal Realms without physically present. The Ascended deities, by contrast, have to physically be somewhere to get most of their work done, but can match an Elemental deity in a straight fight, as shown when Sigmar and Gorkamorka fought each other to a stalemate.
  • World Tree (RPG): The gods, referred to collectively as the seven-plus-twelve, are divided into two categories:
    • The seven verb gods, known as the creator gods, which each had a hand in the creation of the world itself and a prime species (or two), and each manage a magical Art related to how a things are affected; a Verb. Among them are creation, destruction, knowing, changing, sustaining, healing, and controlling. They generally sit in the sky and watch, rarely intervening in mortal affairs; two of them are known to visit on a frequent basis, but say and do nothing of consequence.
    • The twelve noun gods, who live on the tree itself and manage an element, a magical Noun. These gods are much more active in the affairs of mortals. The twelve nouns are fire, water, air, stone/metal, plant matter, animal matter, time, space, mind, spirit, sensation, and magic itself.
  • The science-fiction rpg FAITH, every sentient species encountered so far has the same five Gods. While the details vary by species, all the gods are essentially psychic embodiments of basic philosophies on how sentient life should be organized. Ranging from communalism to chaotic individualism. They can't effect the physical world directly but those people who align themselves with a specific god's ideals can be granted reality warping powers, known as Soulbound.

    Video Games 

Games with their own pages

  • The Age of Decadence: There exists creatures behind an unknowable void that, centuries after their war caused After the End for everyone on Earth, are considered to be gods. What, if anything, created Earth is never brought up.
  • In the Civilization IV mod Fall from Heaven II, there is only one God responsible for the creation of Erebus (the world). However, he is absent for the most part, letting his angels run around, call themselves gods, and generally screw up he lives of mortals in their endless wars with one another. There are, however, other religions which worship, for example, octopi. Oh, and The Devil is a former angel.
  • Dark Souls:
    • According to the game’s backstory, the gods came about when the First Flame came into being and introduced disparity into world such as dark and light, heat and cold, life and death, and presumably, gods and mortals. The Top Gods of the setting were beings that retrieved the powerful Lord Souls when the First Flame appeared. Notably, these gods aren’t as powerful or immortal as they’d like you to believe, as their power is linked to the First Flame, which by the time the first game starts has long since started to fade, and with it the gods’ power.
    • A distinction is also made between gods and the divine race: all of the Lords, such as Gwyn and his family, the Witch of Izalith and Nito, are all very explicitly gods, while there are other, often massive humanoids who either explicitly or implicitly aren't human, and are implied to have some sort of divine heritage, but aren't worshipped as gods: Gwyn's Four Knights and some of the enemies in Anor Londo being prominent examples.
  • In the Diablo universe (though not becoming relevant until Diablo III), different cultures worship different gods, and their existence is confirmed in-game what with Covetous Shen being a Trickster God. But in the grand scheme of things, it seems the gods are actually lower ranked than either Angels or Demons.details 
  • In the Disciples series, each major race has their own deity. For humans, it's a little more complex, as they were created by Bethrezen, the favored angel of Highfather. However, after the fall of Bethrezen (he was set up by other angels), Highfather took over as the deity of humans. He is more often referred to as the Celestial Lord in Disciples III. The dwarves were created by and worship Wotan, who gets pissed off at the drop of a horned helmet and teaches his "children" Steampunk-level technology and runic magic. The elves were created by Gallean, and they used to worship him and his girlfriend Solonielle, who also created the merfolk. That is, until Wotan killed Gallean, and Solonielle's attempts to save her lover resulted in her becoming the goddess of the undead. Bethrezen, driven mad by the hate and imprisonment, created demons and sent them to destroy the world. Other lesser gods are mentioned, such as the creator of the greenskins.
  • Dragon Age: Origins has The Maker, the supreme deity that married the mortal Andraste, and allegedly "cast down the false gods". Other deities are also present, mainly the Old Gods, dragon gods that were worshiped by the Tevinter Imperium, trapped in the Deep Roads, but are currently zombified and leading the Darkspawn Horde.
    • Notably, the game's theology is quite ambiguous. The Church of Andraste doesn't have any more genuine evidence for the existence of their deity than the religions of Real Life, leaving room for religious faith rather than any sort of certainty. The Old Gods are definitely real, but their true nature is unknown, and it's unclear whether they really deserve the title of gods or not. The same goes for the Dalish pantheon that may or may not somehow relate to the Old Gods, which seem to parallel the Dalish Forgotten Ones. Dragon Age: Inquisition reveals that the Dalish gods were "merely" incredibly powerful elven mages. Solas explains that they went from being respected as powerful leaders to being revered as gods, and the truth was forgotten after elven civilization collapsed and elves lost their immortality.
    • The DLC for Dragon Age II reveals that the Golden City was real - and the powerful Tevinter Magisters were probably tricked into entering it by their Dragon god pals. Whether or not the Maker is real is up for debate, but SOMETHING imprisoned those intelligent blood magic using dragons. However the same DLC says that the "Golden City" was the Black City before the Magisters got there, which contradicts the standard mythology as much as it confirms and casts serious doubt on the normal interpretation of the Maker. In short, religion in the Dragon Age world is scary as hell. The few concrete facts about the remaining deific forces in the world are wildly contradictory, even if they're independently confirm-able, and the only Creator forces in the world any protagonist has ever seen is the Titan in the undercroft of the Deep Roads that may have created the Dwarves. Absolutely nobody left in the world knows the exact relation between the Titans, Lyrium, Dwarves, Darkspawn, and the Old Gods, and more disturbingly, why the entire Dwarven empire seems to have, slowly but inexorably, migrated surfacewards over the course of the last few thousand years.
  • The concept of divinity in Elden Ring can be...confusing, to say the least:
    • The only God recognized by the Golden Order, the primary civilization/religion/philosophy/structure of the laws of nature itself, is Marika the Eternal, vessel of the Elden Ring, a Cosmic Keystone that gives her power over the order of the world and even command the firmament (though it's not omnipotent, as she still needed armies to expand her territory). The Elden Lord and the children of Marika are considered demigods and gain great physical and magical prowess as of result, along with full immortality (at least, untill the Rune of Death was stolen and Godwyn was murdered.) but aren't worshipped as gods and are moreso royalty.
    • Other divine entities are recognized or revered by the Golden Order, but are never referred to as gods. The Greater Will is an abstract, seemingly formless entity that chose Marika and granted the world the Elden Ring in the first place, and has connections with the very concept of life, laws and gold, but is never referred to as a god or worshipped as such. The Two Fingers, giant finger-like creatures are considered 'vassals' of the Greater Will and act as their messangers, and they are worshipped, but more like prophets or angels than proper minor gods. The powerful Ancient Dragons, being associated with lightning and thus "imbued with gold", are allied with the Golden Order and have their own official sub-religion dedicated to worshipping them (the capital's Dragon Cult), but are not considered gods.
    • Then come the Outer Gods, mysterious unseen entities of massive power that seek to spread their influence in the world through proxies and servants. The three entities explicitly stated to be Outer Gods are different flavours of malicious: The Scarlet Rot is an Alien Kudzu that spreads across the land like a living plague, infecting every living being in it (even creatures of great power like ancient dragons or demigods) and either drives them into mindless creatures or turns them into blood-filled funguses that fuse with the land itself, the Frenzied Flame is an ancient god of chaos that seeks to burn all life and fuse it as one and burrows its way into the eyes and minds of the desperate and nihilistic, and the Formless Mother is a goddess of blood and 'love' who seeks to be wounded, and for her worshippers to wound others in turn. Each have a Religion of Evil that are particularly prevalent as enemies across the game.
    • The Dark Moon is in a similiar state as the Greater Will in that, while considered very powerful and 'divine', is not explicily called a god, outer or otherwise, anywhere in the text. It's an entity associated with the stars, the night, chaos (but a much more benevolent one than the Frenzied Flame, the chaos of freedom rather than nihilism and insanity) and magic, and is implied to be an actual living moon. It was once worshipped by the Carians, but the only worshipper that seemingly yet remains is Lunar Princess Ranni. Unlike other divine entities, it does not attempt to expand its influence or show any particular interest in the Lands Between. This turns out to be important in one of the endings, as its neutral nature allows Ranni to ascend to divinity like Marika with the Dark Moon as her patron...and then promptly leave the world so that there will be no divine order binding the land and its people.
    • There are also various mystical creatures (usually resembling giant animals) that possess roughly demigod-level power and are never called gods, but are still worshipped complete with their own temples, and have magic sourced from them. The most prominent would be the God-Devouring Serpent that Rykard fused with,note  the unnamed patron of Stormveil and its winds,note  and the Ancestor Spirits worshipped by the Ancestral Followers.
    • Empyreans are particularly confusing: Empyreans are demigods, children of Marika, who were for reasons unknown chosen by the Two Fingers as potential Gods that could replace Marika as vessels of the Elden Ring - the thing is, they don't need to have the Greater Will as their Patron, they can be chosen by Outer Gods or other similiarly powerful divine beings. Malenia is a particularly stark example: she was afflicted with the Scarlet Rot since birth that rotted her limbs and eyes, and the fact she's an Empyrean makes her an (unwilling) champion/avatar of the Scarlet Rot. She's shown to be able to ascend to divinity even without the Elden Ring, as the 2nd phase of her boss fight has her 'bloom' into the Goddess of Rot herself.
    • The One-Eyed God, also referred to as the 'fell god' is the god of the Fire Giants whom Marika and her still nascent empire warred with for dominance of the Lands Between. It's said to be an evil god that resides within the Fire Giants, and seems to be as formless as the Outer Gods despite never being referred to as such. After defeating and nearly exterminating its servants, its essence was sealed away by Marika inside a giant forge so that its flames couldn't threaten the Erdtree. It's implied that its moniker as the 'One-Eyed God' comes from the one-eyed face on the torso of all Fire Giants, which awakens and begins aiding the last Fire Giant in the 2nd half of the fight.
    • Destined Death, also referred to as the Rune of Death, is perhaps the most confusing: its introduction as the Rune of Death and it was 'plucked' from the Golden Order implies that it was the very concept of death that was removed from the Elden Ring, but later reveals imply that it's an entirely separate, possibly sentient entity that represents death and Un-Death. Destined Death takes several forms in the game itself. Most prominently, it is the power source of all Death-related magic: the Black Flame used by the Godskin, the empowered daggers of the Black Knife Assassins and the Necromantic Death Sorceries are all distinct applications of its power, meaning that Destined Death has both the power to act as an Immortal Breaker and give death to the deathless, and create 'life' from death through generation of Those Who Live in Death.
      • There's also an unnamed but mentioned Outer God who sent the 'Twinbirds' as envoys, and is both connected with Deathbirds as well as Ghostflame, another magic type associated with death; but if said Outer God is Destined Death, the being who created it, or a completely separate god who also represents death in some form is never specified or clear.
  • The Elder Scrolls: The series has several varieties of "divine" entities. While every race and religion has their own Creation Myths and names/personalities/powers for these entities, there are enough similarities to paint a general picture. For the sake of quick summaries (using their most commonly recognized names):
    • In the beginning, there were Anu and Padomay, the anthropomorphized primordial forces of "stasis/order/light" and "change/chaos/darkness", respectively. Their interplay in the great "void" of pre-creation led to creation itself. Creation, sometimes anthropomorphized as the female entity "Nir", favored Anu, which angered Padomay. Padomay killed Nir and shattered the twelve worlds she gave birth to. Anu wounded Padomay, presuming him dead. Anu salvaged the pieces of the twelve world to create one world: Nirn. Padomay returned and wounded Anu, seeking to destroy Nirn. Anu then pulled Padomay and himself outside of time, ending Padomay's threat to creation "forever". From the intermingling of their spilled blood came the "et'Ada", or "original spirits", who would go on to become either the Magna-Ge, the Aedra, or the Daedra depending on their actions during the creation of Mundus, the mortal plane. (Some myths state that the Magna-Ge come from the blood of Anu, the Daedra the blood of Padomay, and the Aedra from the mixed blood of both).
    • One of these spirits, said to have been "begat" by Padomay, was Lorkhan. Depending on the version of the myth, he convinced/tricked some of the other et'Ada into helping him create the mortal plane, known as Mundus. (The races of Mer, or Elves, generally believe this was a cruel trick that robbed their ancestors of their pre-creation divinity while the races of Men believe it was a good thing.) Those et'Ada who sacrificed large parts of their being to create Mundus became known as the Aedra, while those that did not participate became the Daedra. For his treachery, the Aedra "killed" Lorkhan and tore out his "divine center" (heart), which they cast down into the mortal world he helped to create. His spirit then wandered Mundus, occasionally taking physical mortal forms, known as "Shezarrines" after Lorkhan's Imperial name, Shezarr. Nirn's two moons are said to be his sundered "flesh divinity" and he also may have re-ascended to godhood as part of the deity Talos (see below).
    • The Aedra, meaning "Our Ancestors" in the old Aldmeri language, sacrificed a large portion of their divine power in order to create the mortal world. They were originally many in number, but only 8 survived the creation of Mundus. (And depending on the story, even they did not truly "survive," but they are dead and "dreaming the are alive.") These 8 are known as the "Divines" and would become the primary deities worshiped by the Church of the Divines. Their sacrifice has left them weak, and thus they prefer a lighter touch in dealing with the mortal world, at most typically acting through mortal agents. Any instances of direct Divine Intervention are typically reserved for dire circumstances, such as averting The End of the World as We Know It. As such, the primary view of the Divines to most mortals is as impersonal, generally benevolent spirits, worthy of worship and reverence but without any strong direct relationship.
      • Some of the lesser et'Ada who aided in the creation of Mundus would become the Ehlnofey. They chose to remain on Mundus and populate it, becoming the progenitors of the modern mortal races. Others would sacrifice themselves further to become the "Earth Bones," the laws of nature and physics required to make the world function.
      • Other lesser Aedric beings have been known throughout history. The most famous is perhaps Morihaus, a "winged man-bull", said to be the demi-god son of Kynareth, one of the Divines. The dragons, servants/fragments of Akatosh, the draconic god of time and chief deity of the Divines pantheon, are another. These beings are typically considered by many in-universe to be the equivalent of angelic beings.
    • The Daedra, meaning "Not Our Ancestors," did not sacrifice any of their power during the creation of Mundus and remain truly immortal. The 16 (17 following the events of The Shivering Isles) of the most powerful Daedra are known as the Daedric Princes. Each governs a particular "sphere" of influence, and rules from their own plane of Oblivion, the infinite void between worlds. Unlike the Aedra, they are much more active in directly influencing the mortal world, with several have made attempts to take it over at different points in history. Most of the Daedric Princes are seen as evil or demonic, but in-universe scholars are quick to point out that they are really beings Above Good and Evil who operate on their own scale of Blue-and-Orange Morality, where how "good" or "evil" they seem is dictated by how benevolent or malevolent their actions toward mortals are. Additional details on the Daedra can be found on the series' Daedra sub-page.
      • There are many other Daedric spirits below the Princes, collectively referred to as "Lesser Daedra". Like the Princes, they are technically immortal and cannot be truly "killed". If their mortal form is slain on Mundus, their spirit returns to Oblivion to reform. The lesser Daedra are often found in service to one of the Princes and are also favored summons of mortal conjurers. They are typically considered by many in-universe to be the equivalent of demonic beings.
    • Talos, the ascended divine form of Emperor Tiber Septim, became the Ninth Divine after his death in the early 3rd era. There are many theories explaining how he accomplished this feat, but it is most commonly accepted that he in some way "mantled" Lorkhan, and the fused being ascended (or reascended in Lorkhan's case) to his station amongst the Aedra.
    • Magnus was one of the et'Ada who originally aided Lorkhan in creating Mundus, serving as the chief architect. However, as the architect of Mundus, he eventually realized that in order to create it, the Aedra would become forever bound to the world he was designing and abandoned the project. He and his followers, the Magna-Ge, fled Mundus for Aetherius, the realm of magic. In the process, they punched holes in between the realms that would become the sun and stars, and through which light and magic flows into Mundus from Aetherius.
    • For thousands of years, the Dunmer (Dark Elves) worshiped the Tribunal, a trio of Physical God Deities of Mortal Origin. The three of them (Vivec, Almalexia, and Sotha Sil), along with their former ally turned rival, Voryn Dagoth, tapped into the power of the aformentioned Heart of Lorkhan to obtain their divine power. As a result of the events of Morrowind, they are cut off from their source of power and all but Vivec are killed. The Dunmer people later revert to their traditional ancestor veneration and worship of the "good" Daedra.
    • While some more-Imperialized Argonians may recognize the Aedra and Daedra, their race primarily worships the Hist — a race of sentient, ancientnote , and possibly Omniscient spore-reproducing trees. They can communicate with each other via deep, interconnected root systems and can communicate with the Argonians via visions transmitted in their sap, which the Argonians drink to learn and grow.
    • While the Khajiit worship some of the Aedra and Daedra, no deity is more revered than Masser and Secunda, the two moons of Nirn who are elevated to god status by the Khajiit since the many different forms a Khajiit can take depends on the phases of the moons.
  • Genshin Impact:
    • The Seven Archons are gods who each have a connection to one of the seven elements and one of the seven nations of Teyvat. Their power is determined by how much control they have in their nation, so the God-Emperor Tsarista is much more powerful than Barbatos, who refuses to rule since that would violate his principles as the God of Freedom. The mysterious entity who attacks the Traveller in the opening cutscene is known as "The Unknown God" but what connection, if any, she has to the Archons is unclear.
    • Seemingly even higher on the divine ladder than the Seven Archons are the Celestial Gods, divine entities that remain unseen but present in Teyvat and literally look down on the world from the Floating Continent of Celestia. Their motivations and what they actually are is kept tight-lipped, but most of the Archons are implied to not want to mess with them.
  • God of War
    • The Greek Gods are not quite immortal, as Kratos is quite willing to prove. In a way this is consistent with Classical Mythology, in which the god's immortality was dependent on who was telling the story. Regardless, they're phenomenally powerful and intrinsically tied to whatever their sphere of influence is, and should any of them perish the element or concept they rule over would go catastrophically out of control.
    • The Norse Gods are shown to be somewhat different in their own right: while strong, they don't reach quite the point of majesty that the Olympians did, coming across more like your standard comic book superhuman, and killing them isn't quite as world-shaking as the deaths of Magni, Modi and Baldur showed. Though Mimir does mention that every god is unique, so maybe that also applies to pantheons.
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia has its residents from the four worlds worship their goddesses fervently. The catch? Three of the goddesses are caricatures of the three consoles and the fourth one is a Sega console that never got released (Sega Neptune).
  • Legacy of Kain: The Elder God is a traditional Eldritch Abomination with near-omnipotence and power over the afterlife ( It consumes the souls of all those who have passed). But as later games in the series reveal, he is much less of an actual God and more of a cosmic parasite.
  • In The Legend of Zelda series, many gods have been introduced of varying levels of importance. At the very top are the Golden Goddesses, Din, Nayru, and Farore, the creators of the world and the Triforce. Just below them, introduced in Skyward Sword, is Hyrule's patron deity Hylia, who was entrusted with the protection of the Triforce and the land of Hyrule. Below her, many powerful beings take up minor divine roles, such as the Deku Tree, the gods of wind Zephos and Cyclos, and the spirits of light.
  • In the Mardekverse, there are several classes of god (their names are always written in all caps, by the way). They are nonphysical entities who keep the balance and make sure the universe works out. They tend to take A Form You Are Comfortable With.
    • Higher Creator Deities, such as YALORT, who create planets and invent lifeforms. YALORTnote  is the creator of Belfan and Anshar, among others.
    • Midlevel Elemental Deities, who each control one of the eight elements: KROGHMMnote  for earth, CRYSOOSUNAnote  for water, HWOUKnote  for air, VOLKOSnote  for fire, ONEIROSnote  for aether, an unknown one for fignote , AREINDEEN for light and SHUMBRAnote  for dark. They forge the Elemental Crystals that a Higher Creator requires to form a planet.
    • The Lesser Archetype Deities represent the acme of a profession, skill, or facet of personality. They include AACIUPHInote , goddess of love, friendship and joy, LUTINUETnote , the deity of music, and PLOMHARGnote , the farmers' god.
    • Overseer Deities such as GALARISnote , who is the god of death and who runs the Antilifenote , or SOLAK, the god of suns and stars.
    • To create a world, a Higher Creation Deity must get the cooperation of SOLAK (for the star) and all of the Elemental Deities (for the Great Crystals; however, the Moral and Spiritual Element Crystals are unnecessary for non-life-bearing planets).
    • There are no penalties for not worshipping any god, but the gods do appreciate prayer, and reward sincere followers with good fortune, natural skill and even magical abilities.
      • Extra magical abilities.
      • One amusing reference: ABOMONOTOROSnote , goddess of hatred and dislike, is used as an interjection of extreme dislike, as in "May ABOMONOTOROS glare at you!"
  • The nine Elder Powers from Nexus War games got their divinity by getting control of the Source of Creation and shaping worlds in the image of the ideas or beliefs they represent. Whenever the cracks in the latest winner's ideology cause their world to fall apart (and it inevitably will) the player characters pick sides and fight it out to to determine who controls the Source next.
  • Ōkami's gods are a pantheon, with protagonist Amaterasu as the chief goddess of the sun. They don't age, and if they are killed, they can be still reincarnated a hundred years after if a wood sprite offers their power or a divine weapon (judging from the introduction, it could be either). They take the form of the twelve animals from the Chinese Zodiac plus a cat, all of them white with red markings. Their power is tied directly to prayer, and Amaterasu can use some of the abilities of any of the other gods. As of the DS Sequel Ōkamiden, the replacement/reincarnation is changed into all of the gods having children. Chibiterasu, the protagonist who is stated to be the kid of Amaterasu is much weaker and smaller (even lacking freedom like swimming and wall jumping) than his mother despite Amaterasu not being any smaller than Shiranui "at birth".
  • OneShot is a version of pantheism where the world is a simulation created when it was discovered help would arrive too late for the original and everything is managed by a sort of sentient operating system known as "the world machine". Oddly enough, the player is actually referred to as a monotheistic god despite having little of the actual power associated with that title.
  • The pantheon of Perihelion are hyperintelligent beings who exist as immense pools of living energies set amongst the abyss of time and space and their thought processes being described in terms of emotions. Their existence is known to and felt by all in Perihelion, making faith in them both unnecessary and inapplicable. The exception to this is the Unborn God, a Primordial Force, whose presence was only warned of by a psionic-in-training's prophetic vision 100 years before the events of the game. Its current form is physical, though it seeks to become living energy like the other gods.
  • In Pillars of Eternity the same gods are worshipped by everybody in the setting and are definably real. Each of them represents a set of related ideals and natural aspects (for example, Magran is the goddess of Fire, War, Consumption, Purification and Trials) and can appear in many forms with different names. They can grant their followers priestly powers and can cause children to be born as godlikes with strange appearances and powers. The fact that they're demonstrably real and worshipped by everyone is discussed, instead of being just a fantasy thing. They're artificial, being extremely powerful self aware magical constructs created by the ancient Engwithians to provide kith with answers to the questions of existence.
  • Sinnoh's pantheon in Pokémon fits the description for henotheism to a T; Arceus is said to have created the universe and shaped everything in it, by creating the aspects and embodiments of Time (Dialga), Space (Palkia), Antimatter (Giratina), Willpower (Azelf), Emotion (Mesprit), and Knowledge/Memory (Uxie).
    • Not just Sinnoh, but every region's legendary Pokemon. You have the creators of the land, oceans, and sky (Groudon, Kyogre and Rayquaza), the guardians of the sea and sky (Lugia and Ho-Oh), the gods of the seasons (Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres), the new moon/dreams and the full moon/nightmare (Darkrai and Cresselia), volcanos (Heatran), victory (Victini), wind, storms, and fertility (Tornadus, Thundurus, and Landorus), balance (Reshiram representing Yang, Zekrom representing Yin, and Kyurem representing Wuji) Life, Death, and Order (Xerneas, Yveltal, and Zygarde), the Sun & Moon (Solgaleo and Lunala), Light (Necrozma), and guardian spirits of Alola’s islands (Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu, and Tapu Fini).
  • Puzzle & Dragons: Some of the mons are literally gods, which you may defeat and capture. Because of how the game works, though, you don't get much backstory on them besides 'they are gods'. Mons in the God category tend to be powerful but hard to level and maintain, and it's advised that when you get a God monster that you treat it with a 'grind now, profit later' mindset. Many of the god monsters in this game are named and modeled after actual classical gods, from the Roman, Egyptian, and Hindu pantheons, among others.
  • In the Taiwanese video game franchiseRichman, which is similar to Monopoly,there are gods that stay on the road until someone stop at their spots. After that they’ll possess the players and give them buffs such as paying less to no rents or debuffs such as unable to purchase any properties.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Like Discworld and American Gods, all supernatural beings seem to exist on and draw power from the principals of Clap Your Hands If You Believe and Gods Need Prayer Badly. That said, most if not all can be taken down with a good old-fashioned ass-beating, though the belief of their followers can still bring them back. Certain evidence likewise implies that YHVH and Lucifer are the paragons of Law and Chaos insofar as they don't need worship explicitly to exist - neither can truly die as long as there are people who yearn for salvation or freedom.
  • Master Hand and Crazy Hand from the Super Smash Bros. series are said to be the personifications of humanity's creativity (Master Hand) and destructiveness (Crazy Hand). Though any fighter in the roster can beat them in combat if the player is good enough. There's also Master Core, apparently the true form of one or both of the Hands, and Tabuu, who is some kind of god of another dimension who defeated and imprisoned Master Hand. The fourth game escalates this by including Palutena and Rosalina, though they are not stronger than any other character.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate introduces Galeem, a personification (though less anthropomorphic than the Hands) of order and light, who commands an army of Master Hands and turns the fighters into soulless soldiers to fight for him. Later, we're introduced to Dharkon, Galeem's chaotic and dark counterpart commanding an army of Crazy Hands. Sephiroth can be considered one, since during his reveal trailer he was able to slice down Galeem in half and curb stomp the other fighters with little effort.
  • Tears to Tiara 2: Expanded on from the first game. Powerful lineages of the precursor races are worshiped as gods by humans. The people of Hispania mainly, tho not exclusively, worship the gods of Ba'al, of which Ashtarte is one. They appear on earth to teach and guide the people. They need prayer to be powerful. Watos is still missing.
  • In Touhou the word "God" (well, OK, "Goddess") doesn't carry too much weight. Thanks to the fact that monsters and even humans are practically Physical Gods, anyway, the Odd Job Gods are little more than Butt Monkeys of the game universe. Even the truly powerful goddesses can merely go toe-to-toe with some of the more powerful youkai, and Reimu canonically kicks in the door of The Rival Moriya Shrine, defeats its Shrine Maiden, and its Live-in Goddesses. You'd think that would hurt the ol' donation drive, to have your deity publicly beaten in her own temple by a rival deity's priestess? That said, this seems to mostly apply to the "lower gods"; the ones that inhabit the Earth and are part of the Myriad Gods. Yorihime is such an overpowered character because she's capable of summoning gods of far greater power than previously shown, which allowed her to effortlessly defeat every single character that went against her (including Reimu). Also, one must bear in mind that the Spell Card rules that everyone follows specifically limits how much power the characters can use in a fight, and it's always non-lethal.
  • The gods in World of Warcraft are hugely variable, and there plenty of contenders for the role of actual gods.
    • The Wild Gods, which are colossal animals of immense power. Almost all of the Beast Man races in the game are decended from their respective wild god, and it's been proven that tampering with a wild god's power can create new races even in relatively modern times (this is how the Worgen and their infectious curse came to be). You can kill a wild god, but there are ways to bring them back. Though it is actually possible to kill them off for real as well, by killing their manifestation in either the Emerald Dream or the Ardenweald realm in the Shadowlands. Under normal circumstances though, neither of those is possible.
    • Loa, the troll gods, tend to be primal forces of nature made manifest. Some loa are just wild gods worshipped by the trolls under a different name, although other loa are both more numerous and more varied. Their power can be channeled by a mortal, and they can be permanently killed. Some, like Bwonsamdi, take the form of a troll rather than an animal.
    • The Titans fit the bill most classically, as cosmic humanoid beings that are the creators of much of the life across the universe. In fact, most planets are actually their eggs (or World-Souls) where they incubate for millennia. Their former champion Sargeras is an obvious Satanic Archetype, giving them a solid good vs. evil motif. They have a heavy Norse or Egyptian theme. They however are not almighty beings - at the end of Legion you kill a Titan. Granted, it was a newborn Titan and you had the help of the entire Pantheon, but they're still just as mortal as the other races.
    • The Old Gods are, funnily enough, the worst contender for being actual gods. They're Eldritch Abominations which are literally parasites. They infect planets to corrupt the Titans within. While you can kill them, it's a very bad idea. They essentially wrap themselves into a planet's lifestream, and ripping them out has disastrous effects. At best, you can beat them back and lock them away. Worshipping Old Gods is reserved only for the insane, since they really do not care about mortal life at all.
    • Night Elves believe in a moon goddess named Elune. She, or something to her effect, does exist. The most obvious impact she's had on the world was mothering the demi-god Cenarius (with the wild god Malorne no less), who is an important lore character that you can interact with. The High/Blood Elves instead worship a sun god, likely named Belore although it's rarely brought up. The tauren believe that Elune and the sun are simply the eyes of their goddess, the Earthmother. Either way, that collective pantheon is by far the least defined out of Warcraft's roster, with no solid origin or exploration.
      • The non-canon RPG has Elune as by far the most powerful character in the setting, with a challenge rating set over 80. Since specifics about Elune are unknown, it's a mystery whether she has influence in any other part of the universe.
    • More recently, the Light and the Void were presented as the ultimate cosmic forces. The universe was created when the two opposite energies collided. The Light is the source of all Holy abilities, while the Void is the source of all Shadow abilities. It's ultimately downplayed however - neither force is a sentient being (at least not in a way we understand), more being laws of nature.

    Web Animation 
  • In volume 4 of RWBY, Qrow recounts the supposedly true Creation Myth of Remnant, involving two brother gods, Light and Dark. Light embodied creation and created life, while Dark embodied destruction, creating the creatures of grimm. Sick of their endless conflict, Light proposed that they should create something together, resulting in humanity, and giving four gifts; Knowledge, Choice, Creation and Destruction. Volume 6 reveals that this story is more or less true, but also leaves out a great deal; Light and Dark once dwelled on Remnant, and their mere presence was apparently enough to empower humanity with great magic (originally given to them by Dark). They appear either as dragons or as humanoid figures with horns. When humanity, manipulated by the girl Salem whom they had cursed with immortality, defied them, the gods wiped out humanity entirely, and left the world behind. While humanity eventually reappeared, the absence of the gods means that there is very little actual magic remaining in Remnant. Volume 9 further expands this, by revealing the gods themselves are creations of the World Tree in the dimension known as the Ever After; the brothers were created by the Tree to fill the Ever After with life, first by destroying the chaotic tangle that filled it, and then by creating sapient beings — the Afterans — to populate the now cleared world. The Brothers got restless, however, when that job was done, and quarrled over what to do now, so the Tree gave them a new world — Remnant — to create whatever they please.

  • Aurora (2019): There are two very distinct classes of divine beings in the setting.
    • True gods are described in an official lore page as "nothing more than vast, self-sustaining lattices of soul energy", and tend to form as embodiments of a specific concept or of a place such as a city, a mountain or a forest. The bodies they use to interact with the world are temporary constructs that hold a small part of the god's essence, and no matter what happens to them the actual entity will survive. A god's actual consciousness is spread throughout their domain; it's speculated that in this state they have a much more diffuse mental state, as some gods imply that taking corporeal form helps them to think and perceive things in a clearer manner.
    • The six Primordials are immense entities that existed long before the gods or anything else, and each represents one of the six in-setting elements. They died in the distant past, their bodies forming the physical world, but their souls still linger and can be induced to inhabit small portions of their bodies again, forming the basis of elemental magic.
  • Beaches and Basilisks: Several gods have been mentioned, ranging from Drooch, god of alcohol to Krysavi the dragon-god who created the islands in which the story takes place and who is revealed to be a giant robot.
  • Cthulhu Slippers: The Old Gods are vastly powerful and have taken over the world despite being terrible morons. They are actively worshipped as gods by their employees at Cthulhu Corp.
  • DHS Comix: The LaRaGa is ruled first by the "creation triad" of Luna, Sola, and Gaea, whose interactions with mortals are mostly limited to the forms their names suggest, but the former two have lines of empowered mortals fighting an eternal war, and the third's own magic persists in a number of forms separate from the magic gods. After them come the nine/eight magic gods, creations of Gaea: the three elemental gods, Phoenix (fire), Ceraph (wind), and Leviathan (water); the three movement gods, Emelia (time), Clyde (change), and Altair (travel and death); and the three perception gods, Marie (truth), Jude (knowledge), and Jake (lies). The lattermost is anathema to all the others, and his worship is a capital offense in most of the mortal world. Beneath them are a number of lesser gods, most prominently the twin Fels (luck), and the deities, a distinct category of being from gods, who serve the gods.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Arthur refers to the "Will of Magic" as a god, Heka refers to himself as holding the mantle of the god of magic and Voltaire refers to the former role of Immortals as demigods.
  • Homestuck:
    • Successful players of Sburb eventually reach the "God Tiers," the highest character levels available. These fully realize a player's strength and Elemental Powers while also granting them Resurrective Immortality so long as they don't die heroically or justly. The condition for ascension is steep though: the player must first die on their Quest Bed.
    • The Gods of the Furthest Rings are stereotypical monsters of the H. P. Lovecraft variety, residing in the dark abyss between universes where time, space, and all other aspects of existence fail to act consistently. Its impossible to place their morality, but their mortality is made explicit once the Greater-Scope Villain gets to them.
  • The Order of the Stick: The world was created by four pantheons of equal power but wildly different viewpoints, the Aesir in the North, the Babylonian Pantheon in the West, the Olympians in the East and the Twelve Earthly Branches in the South. When they couldn't agree on the various ways that their monsters would be different, their divine powers accidentally created the Snarl, a being of pure divine anger (which wiped out the Eastern gods). Afterwards, the three remaining groups set up strict rules on what parts of the world they could each directly affect. Additional gods have ascended or been created since then, generally by joining a preexisting pantheon.
    • All gods have a quality referred to as "quiddity", represented as the color of their aura, which all members of a pantheon share. As the Snarl was created from four combined quiddities, but the Eastern one is now entirely gone, it's beyond the combined power of the gods to overwhelm — it's essentially more real than anything they can make. However, the Dark One, the god of the goblins, ascended entirely on his own and consequently developed an entirely new quiddity.
    • Gods gain power proportionate to their believers, and can fade away entirely if starved of mortal worship for long periods. Elan's puppet god Banjo gains enough power from his one believer to create a small thundercloud and harmless lightning bolt.
  • In Sluggy Freelance, the most prominent are the gods of the Mokhadunese, ancestors of the Egyptians, who after a Götterdämmerung that Gwynn witness in a time travel arc, reinvent themselves into various figures previously seen in the present day, not least of them Bun-bun, the name under which the audience had known the now freelance Sluggy. There's also a reference in the backstory of an Artifact of Doom to Zeus reigning in Greek times. Finally, the Dimension of Pain has a Goddess of Goodness, a Physical God powered by the amount of goodness in the world she's in. Too bad she lives in a world populated entirely by incredibly sadistic demons.
  • Vanadys: Tales Of A Fallen Goddess has a fallen goddess as its titular caracter. While she is immortal, older than the world itself, and has great power, her status as a "fallen" means she's not as great or powerful as the other gods, some of whom she has a rather antagonistic relationship with. Apart from the outcast Vanadys, the gods have a distinct hierachy: The humanoid gods, who each have their area of responsibility (God of the Sun, Goddess of the Sea, Goddess of Wisdom and Knowledge, and so on) are all subject to the two highest gods, the Dragon and the Serpent. They themselves are subject to the being called "the Light", who is the creator of the gods and whom nobody knows much about.
  • Wildlife: The gods are determined to destroy or seal away the Eldritch Abomination A'zi, who just happens to be the protagonist of the story.

    Web Original 
  • How to Hero's version of Zeus steadfastly refuses to learn any language other than Ancient Greek. Because of this the guide advises against getting into a car with Zeus, since he can't read any of the signs.

    Western Animation 
  • In Amphibia, the Calamity Guardian/Three Stones Deity is a god of the omnipotent-but-unseen variety. It created the Calamity Stones that caused most of the plot, for better or worse, but only appears in the final episode, saving Anne after her Heroic Sacrifice and offering her to take over its job, which it has grown bored of. It somehow strikes a balance between benevolent and childish, throwing a tantrum when Anne turns it down but still respecting her decision. It also returns her to life in the hopes that she will reconsider its offer once she reaches the end of her natural life. It can also be debated if Anne herself qualifies as a god when wielding the power of the three calamity gems, though the strain swiftly kills her.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender the concept of a god is deliberately left unclear and complicated. Spirits and their own realm do exist in this universe, but they are also essentially just another mortal species that only have a little bit more power than humans. They can also be killed by humans and tend to stay out of human affairs. The Avatar, and by proxy, the spirit Raava, could be considered godly to an extent, as they are consistently reincarnated as forces of balance and good and are seen being worshipped in some temples and shrines. However, they are both susceptbile to being destroyed as evidenced at several points in the story. Ultimately, the closest thing to a god is likely the universe itself, which would also connect with the heavy Buddhist and Taoist influence on the show.
  • In Gargoyles it seems All Myths Are True. The most powerful of The Fair Folk are absolute rulers of the others with Reality Warper abilities but aren't quite worshipped, and a lot of mythological creatures who are unrelated in Real Life mythology are "Oberon's Children" in this show. However, once, a man figured out how to summon Anubis in hopes of getting his dead son back. We avert Everybody Hates Hades here; Anubis is a neutral Psychopomp figure. He's also everyone's lord of the dead; apparently, the Egyptians just happened to be the only people to get his name and look right. Word of God reveals that the Aesir of Norse Mythology are actually a group composed partially of Children of Oberon, partially of powerful mortal magicians and other such beings.
  • Koala Man: The Gods of Dapto look like ordinary people but they're taller than regular people, and the God of Fire is the only one you would believe is a god because she has Flaming Hair. The Gods of Dapto includes the God of Fire, the God of Good Health, the God of Popping Down the Shops, the God of Always Has a Guitar at a Party, the God of Fancy Seeing You Here, the God of Just Fuckin' Do It, and the God of Realizing Your Potential. In the past, they created the Sick Sunnies (sunglasses) of Dapto to give the town Dapto good luck for hundreds of years, but someone accidentally sat on it and Dapto was cursed ever since. It's later revealed they made a ton of Sick Sunnies for a New Year's party and never gave any of it to Dapto and put the leftover sunglasses in a box that's left on a pile of trash.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the two seemingly-immortal Winged Unicorn princesses who raise the sun by day and the moon by night, respectively, and have ruled Equestria since time out of mind, are treated as gods and as royalty at various times by the other ponies; they have chariots and royal guards and a castle... and we get phrases like "Thank Celestia!" or "For Celestia's sake!" It gets better: Tartarus exists, and when Cerberus went missing once, Princess Celestia sent lost dog flyers. However, there was definitely a time before their rule, they're not all-knowing or all-powerful, and season premiere/finale villains are always more than they can dispose of with a wave of their horn, even if they're who put them in the can thousands of years ago.

Alternative Title(s): Our Gods Are Greater



Goddess of Light, protector of humanity and older sister-figure to Pit.

How well does it match the trope?

3.67 (3 votes)

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Main / OurGodsAreDifferent

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