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Pieces of God

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"God split himself into a myriad parts that he might have friends. This may not be true, but it sounds good—and is no sillier than any other theology."

Is there a God? What happens after we die? Why does energy fuel everything? Is there such a thing as a soul, and how does it fit into things?

Real Life poses these and other heavy, unanswerable questions, and philosophy sets out to answer them. One trope that attempts to answer all four questions is the idea that everyone and everything has a soul, and each is a piece of God. God Is Dead (but not dead enough), or consciousness/physics is just God attempting to reform Itself into one coherent mass again.

Which raises the question, why is God in pieces? The answer might never be revealed. If it is, it usually has to do with God wanting to imbue a piece of Itself (in these stories, God is unlikely to be described with a gender) in creation. God sacrifices Its Omnipotence to imbue a divine energy that allows for intelligence in all beings. By sacrificing Its individual self, God becomes a Prometheus bringing life to all. Another possibility is that God wants to use a cycle of Reincarnation and afterlives to "level up" by gaining the accumulated wisdom of humanity, and in the process make the soul-fragments wiser and kinder. Finally, it may be that God effectively became so bored of being all-knowing and all-powerful that It committed a Seen-It-All Suicide (in which case, assembling God anew may or may not be a good idea).

Of course, God might not have intended this at all. If there is a God of Evil, it may have "slain" God while weak after making creation, and/or imprisoned It in Plot Coupons and Cosmic Keystones. Reuniting these fragments may unleash the Sealed Good in a Can and fix any flaws Inherent in the System. But if God Is Evil, it may cause very bad things to happen.

This cosmic set up can get very morally gray if God intends Universal Reconciliation with all of Itself, ending all individuality. The protagonists won't know if it will cause everyone to turn into a Hive Mind, or end all individual weaknesses and suffering.

Not to be confused with Divided Deity, where a god is split into a small number of pieces that are each still a god.

In Real Life theology, this system of belief is referred to as Pantheism or Pandeism.

Here be spoilers.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In 3×3 Eyes, Big Bad Shiva, aka Kaiyanwang, the emperor of the Triclops and God of Destruction, reveals to Yakumo and Amara that all Sanzhiyan like himself carry a piece of the "Great Light" (which he directly compare to God) which, at one point in time, decided to split and inhabit Earth and its parallel world, the Sacred Place, forming the Triclops. However, the Triclops who underwent the Humanization Ritual went to Earth and mated with the local humanoid primates, giving birth to humans and passing down the Great Light to them. As a result, he felt that the light has been tainted by the human flaws and corruption and now wants to go back at being one single will and roam the cosmos. To this end, Kaiyanwang intend to harvest the Light from the humans, using the Spell of Destruction (which turns them into grotesque, inanimated but technically still living husks) to take back the light and later merge with it, causing The End of the World as We Know It. Unusually a few of the good guys genuinely ask themselves if this is really a bad thing.
  • The Arm Of Kannon series revolves around the pieces of a godlike being that ended up on Earth and the various people that want to exploit them or seal them away.
  • Bleach:
    • In the Thousand Year Blood War arc we have Yhwach, who is the Big Bad, and the progenitor of all Quincies. The reason all other Quincies exist is because he shared pieces of his soul with them. These soul fragments become their Quincy powers. And this soul fragment is technically now a part of the Quincy, so any offspring inherit the Quincy power as well. Yhwach is associated by many Quincies with the Christian God, partly because of this. However, when a Quincy actually dies, they lose that piece of soul, which goes back to Yhwach. Also, if Yhwach feels the need to, he can forcibly remove his soul fragment, with the side effect of killing the Quincy. He has caused at least two massacres by removing Quincy powers en masse.
    • The same thing happens with the Soul King as it's revealed. Multiple characters - from Ukitake to Matsumoto to even several antagonists - are or contain within themselves pieces of the Soul King. Mimihagi and Pernida are the right and left arms of the Soul King (governing over stagnation and evolution, respectively), while Gerard Valkyrie is the Soul King's heart. The novels, for their part, imply that Gremmy Thoumeaux is the Soul King's brain.
  • In Bloody Cross, God's Inheritences are artifacts that contain pieces/fragments of God's power, and various "God candidates" are trying to gather them so they can use that power to become the next God.
  • In Code Geass, God is the collective unconscious of all humans from the past, present, and future. In season two, Emperor Charles reveals that his ultimate goal is to kill God, essentially merging all of humanity's minds and souls into one eternal being, which would allow him to never have to deal with losing a loved one. However, Lelouch objects to his haughty ideals, believing that if such a thing were to occur, humanity would lose its individuality and sense of self, instead using his Geass to make God resist Charles' attempt to slay it, and it in turn destroys Charles and Marianne for their hubris.
  • In the Fullmetal Alchemist-verse, it's revealed that humans hold a piece of the Gate of Truth as part of their soul, with Alchemists' being particularly potent and allowing them access to Alchemy. Ed uses this to his benefit in the climax when he willingly gives up his piece of the Gate (and thus his ability to perform Alchemy) in return for Alphonse, which Truth accepts as Equivalent Exchange.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Steel Ball Run, the seventh part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, the plot heavily centers around collecting the parts of a corpse that, when merged with someone, grants them a Stand; collecting the whole corpse will grant an ultimate power to the wielder. It's never specified who the corpse belongs to; though they are described as belonging to "a saint," it's heavily implied that they actually belong to Jesus Christ Himself.
  • Naruto: All chakra used by humans originated from the God-Tree and was stolen when Kaguya Otsutsuki ate its Forbidden Fruit. She passed the stolen power to her children, the Sage of Six Paths and his brother, who then shared it with humanity. Kaguya became greedy and merged with the God-Tree to take back the stolen chakra, becoming a mindless beast called the Juubi. The Sage of Six Paths along with his brother subjugated it, sealing its chakra into his own body and creating the moon to act as a tomb for its body. The Sage later split the Juubi's chakra and used it to create the nine Bijuu while the Sage's brother took their clan to guard the moon. Madara's end game relies on collecting the bijuu, restoring the Juubi, and using its power to his own ends.
  • Out of all things, this is how Fragments works in NEEDLESS: each Fragment is a piece of power of a person named "Christ Second". There are twonote  characters whose Fragment, whose goal in life is Power Copying all the Fragments, and each of them has certain degree of A God Am I. Unlike most other examples in this page (which are DEEP or at least trying to pose themselves as so), this is generally Played for Laughs (and not the Black Humor kind).
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion, where all life on Earth started out as the leaked blood of an Eldritch Abomination that Seele calls Lilith, which became a primordial soup that developed multiple personalities and thus split into multiple entities. Also, according to Seele's Secret Dead Sea Scrolls, Lilith and Adam (creator of the Angels) were separate creations of a mysterious "First Ancestral Race" (which they consider to be God), each given one half of their abilities (the Fruit of Life for the Angels, and the Fruit of Knowledge for Humanity) and never intended to come in contact with each other. Most of the factions in the series are attempting Assimilation Plots which involve combining humans, Angels, and/or their progenitors into a godlike being under their control.
  • In The Rising of the Shield Hero web novel continuity it's revealed that gods have the ability to create fragments of their souls which can then incarnate as mortals and live a life before returning to their creator. The main example of this is Medea, the web novel's Big Bag. She has seeded multiple worlds with her fragments, such as Princess Malty, to sow discord and chaos while she prepares the worlds for destruction.
  • R.O.D the TV has The absurdly powerful British Library which is lead by The Gentleman, a Reality Warper of considerable power. Even he ages, though, and in desperation to keep him alive, they transfer his essence into multiple books (which get scattered) until they can find a host body capable of containing his mind.
  • Slayers has the world's equivalent of Satan, Ruby-Eye Shabranigdo, split into seven pieces and sealed away into human souls; one is sealed in a Grim Up North, and another was destroyed during the series by Lina and her allies twice. A third piece was destroyed in the final book of the original light novel series as well. The God equivalent Ceifeed is allegedly gone for good, but fragments of him occasionally are born in others, branding them his knights, including Lina's sister Luna. How this works is unknown. Of one lesser god, Ragradia, two fragments survived: one looks like a little female Yoda, and the other resides in an immortal human being known as the Eternal Queen of Zephilia.
    • Additionally, the very fabric of each universe in their multiverse is a part of the body of the story's ultimate God, the Lord of Nightmares. Why she gave up her body to make this is unknown, but giving her body back by destroying the "axis" holding the universes is the ultimate goal of all demons.

    Comic Books 
  • The DC Universe (well, multiverse) is the same way; originally one universe that got split due to a very ill-advised experiment to observe creation.
  • In one The Defenders story, Eternity, a Cosmic Entity who embodies the universe, decided to send pieces of itself to Earth, in human forms and with no memories, to "experience" humanity. Later he returned their memories and most of them re-merged with him, thus giving him humanity by proxy. However, three of the pieces were missing, and he had the Defenders find out who had stolen them. The heroes find out that nobody had stolen them — they were hiding because they loved being human too much and didn't want to merge with Eternity again. However, the Defender Nighthawk called them on how selfish they were being, since an incomplete Eternity would cause chaos on Earth eventually, meaning they hadn't really learned to care after all. Realizing their error, the fragments then rejoined Eternity.
  • Something vaguely analogous happens in Earth X, where the various alternate universes are fragments of the one original creation. The Elders of the Universe are trying to re-merge them back into a single universe, ignoring the fact that the inhabitants of the existing universes will lose their individuality in the process. However, there were clearly many different beings in the original universe as well.
  • In Justice League: Heaven's Ladder, godlike aliens who have no religious beliefs of their own send "sleeper agents" to various planets -including Earth- so they can learn about Faith; then they collect them and use their collective beliefs to... ''create their own afterlife!''
  • The Infinity Gems in the Marvel Universe are the remnants of a god that committed suicide from loneliness after creating the universe. There is a seventh gem that contains its Ego.
  • In New X-Men, Jean Grey uses Cerebra to take a dying Charles Xavier's consciousness and put a fragment of it into the mind of every mutant on Earth. Then he's able to retake his own body when Cassandra Nova uses Cerebra to reach out to every mutant at once, in an attempt to wipe them out. He's not a god, though.
  • Promethea brings about The End of the World as We Know It and causes every human to merge their divine soul. The result? People are still individuals, but the spiritual reunification brings everyone to change their perspectives and make the world a better place.
  • The character Murphy in PS238 is the largest remaining fragment of some manner of god of dreams and visions (read: a Captain Ersatz of Morpheus) who was shattered by some manner of powerful foe. As a fragment he possesses a human-level intellect and some minor powers of prophecy and clairvoyance. He is currently attending Public School 238 while waiting for other fragments to find him or vice versa.
  • In the last arc of X-Man, it's revealed that several of the characters in the arc encountered by Nate were, in fact, one person from the Brilliant City who'd escaped her enemy - the arc's villain - by splintering herself across the Multiverse. Nate, being possibly the most powerful Telepath in Marvel's multiverse at this point, put her back together.

    Fan Works 
  • Antipodes: One of the story's driving points is that the ancient cataclysm that ended Equestria shattered its two goddesses, Celestia and Luna, into three "pieces" each — or, more properly, into three clusters of magic and soul. These ended up scattered across the world, some carefully hidden away while others were found and used as means to power and protect surviving holdouts of civilization. After Jigsaw finds and accidentally absorbs one of these fragments, the characters set out to track them all down and bring them together so that the ancient goddesses can be whole once more.
  • The Bridge: It turns out that Harmony divided her power up while keeping about 30-40 percent of her full power. The Elements, Rainbow Powers, Celestia, and Luna are all those pieces she split off. According to Word of God, she's capable of recalling them whenever she wants to, but given at least two of those things are sapient beings, that is obviously something she doesn't want to do.
  • Child of the Storm: It transpires that the Phoenix imbues fragments of Herself into chosen hosts — and, furthermore, that there are more fragments lying around, in various forms, than there are hosts. One is hinted to be Laevateinn a.k.a. the phoenix feather Odin gave Harry. Another, however, is later confirmed to be Lily's protection on Harry, while yet another was stolen by the first Dark Phoenix, Surtur. It's the latter two that cause problems.
  • Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls: One of the biggest twists of the story is that every mortal soul is in fact a fragment from the shattered souls of the gods after they died, as their souls are too powerful and ancient to properly reincarnate. This is a sticking point with the members of the Zero Division, who had to deal with the turmoil of watching their loved ones die permanently and disagreed with their mother the Soul Queen that this was simply a natural part of life. Their plan involves gathering those fragments up and reconstructing their fallen brethern's souls...regardless of the fact that doing so will mean full-on genocide for the mortal races save for a "chosen few".
  • There Was Once an Avenger From Krypton: Pollen explains at one point that the Kwamis were all part of a singular being, and that they've always felt a pull, like that entity would like to become one again. Part of why the Miraculous were made, and the Kwamis bound to follow the orders of those who wield them, was so they'd be unable to undergo that reunification without the prompting of their Holders, but it just passed that pull onto them. The official Kryptonverse timeline reveals that this being was a Celestial.
  • The Weaver Option: Slaanesh was created by a ritual that fused six essences into a single deity. They're killed when Cegorach severs the essences from one another; four are stolen by Chaos Gods while Cegorach claims the other two, ensuring that the so-divided deity can never be reborn. Cegorach plans to use the two essences he claimed to birth new Eldar gods.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Avatar, this overlaps with the concept of Gaia: Everyone is connected to the web of life. Thanks to Phlebotinum and ponytail nerve clusters!
    "All life on Pandora is tied together via nerve-like connections, making the entire ecosystem one giant living entity... or god, if you like. "
  • TRON universe: the closest we get to an explanation of the computer world's resemblance to the human one is when Encom founder Walter Gibbs rants at Dillinger. An odd example, as humans are the Gods in question.
    Gibbs: You can remove men like Alan and me from the system, but we helped create it, and our spirit remains in every program we design!

  • In the book Cats Have No Lord, the creator split into the gods of all aspects of the world to create the world, and planned to reunite (destroying the world in doing so) but the God of Cats is missing, and thus the world continues to exist. One of the heroes is sworn to serve and rescue the Cat God, and is being manipulated by a cult that believes they are obligated to allow God's plan to continue, even at the cost of the end of all existence. In the end, the heroes Take a Third Option by replacing the Cat God in his exile with the Wolf God (who was trying to kill them).
  • In the Corum books by Michael Moorcock, it's Lampshaded. Corum uses the Hand of Kwll (which has been grafted to his own mortal wrist) to pick of the Heart of Arioch, and muses, "The world seems full of fragments of Gods."
  • The Cosmere:
    • There are effectively 16 Gods, called Shards, which are pieces of something called Adonalsium. Who or what exactly Adonalsium was is unclear, but it was Shattered millennia ago. The Shards are humans who have taken a piece of this power, each one representing a particular aspect of Adonalsium, referred to as an Intent. Given time, the original human personality is lost and the Shard acts only in accordance with their Intent.
    • These Shards can also be split up, either by the holder putting pieces of their power into things, or by being "Splintered", usually by act of other Shards, meaning that the holder of a shard is killed and the power is broken apart. The power isn't destroyed regardless of what happens, but a Splintered shard is significantly less effective without conscious direction.
    • In Mistborn trilogy, the Shards Ruin and Preservation are combined together into a single deity, indicating that is (at least theoretically) possible to gather and recombined the shards.
    • The Returned of Warbreaker are empowered by Splinters of power from a Shard called Endowment. They are also worshiped as gods in Hallandren, meaning they're gods who are actually pieces of a god that is actually a piece of a god.
    • The Seons and the Skaze from Elantris are also Splinters (or something very close) of two Shards called Devotion and Dominion (once held by Aona and Skai, respectively). The two Shards were splintered, but their power is still present on the planet, known collectively as the Dor. All varieties of magic in Elantris involving tapping into this power source in a variety of ways. They were splintered when Odium, another Shard, came to the planet they were on and defeated them somehow.
    • The spren from The Stormlight Archive are pieces of three other Shards, Honor, Odium and Cultivation. The Stormfather in particular is the largest piece of the dead God Honor.
  • A non-supernatural example in the Eldraeverse; the Eldraeic Transcend is a Deus est Machina which runs a tiny Hive Mind fragment of itself inside each of its members - thus enabling it to know exactly what each of them desires, fears, needs, etc.
  • Though it's never quite stated explicitly, Unity in the Galactic Milieu Trilogy is rather deific- a sort of gestalt conciousness formed of all the metapsychics in existence, which they can commune with.
  • The appropriately named God's Debris
  • His Dark Materials uses this. The Authority is actually not the creator but the first manifestation of Dust which turns out to be the source of all consciousness.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy mentioned a race that believes that the universe is the result of the Great Green Arkleseizure sneezing and lives in fear of the time they call the Coming of the Great White Handkerchief.
  • In Keys to the Kingdom, the Will of the Architect is broken up into seven pieces that take the forms of sentient animals. When they meet up, they recombine, the original animal's personality being subsumed in the process. When all seven animals are reunited, the Will turns out to be the Architect of all creation.
  • Edgar Allan Poe wrote this in a philosophical piece called "Mesmeric Revelation". Unusually, Poe proposed that the reunification of God would be a bad thing—since creation is good, and reunification would render it a wasted effort.
  • Bruce Coville's My Teacher Is an Alien series has a variation on this. Apparently humans aren't pieces of God, exactly, but they are pieces of a Hive Mind planetwide intelligence. Humans were poised to become the smartest, generally greatest race in the known universe until the telepathic din became unbearable and early humans unconsciously lobotomized themselves to shut each other out.
  • Harlan Ellison's The Region Between proposes that we all subconsciously know that we were once part of God, so we all lust after power and control as a means of trying to recreate the feeling of omnipotence. God himself is still present in crippled form, but He's hopelessly insane, and ends it all in a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum.
  • Part of the backstory of The Shattered Sea was an event called the Breaking of God. The One God broke into hundreds of lesser gods, rendering the elves extinct and peppering the world with Black Magic and the occasional Eldritch Location. It's heavily implied that the Breaking of God was actually a nuclear war, the elves were modern humans whose primitive descendants mistook for magical beings because of the wonders of their ruins, and the black magic is actually nuclear fallout.
  • Adherents of the Circle in The Shattered World believe that mortals' souls are fragments of a single Oversoul, which split apart much like the planet itself. Unlike most examples, this isn't actually implied to be true, just a theological notion based on how the world was broken up.
  • In Star Wars Legends, the Mandalorians believe that all who follow the way of their culture are part of the manda or oversoul. To turn one's back on the Mandalorian culture is to lose contact with this greater, shared bond and is considered less than nothing. To an extent, the Force could also be considered this, with every living being being part of the Force (the jury's out on whether the Vong were really an exception).
  • Sufficiently Advanced Magic (2017): Corin's country teaches that the Visages are all shadows of the single divine goddess. Other countries believe that they are a family of lesser gods, or that they are mortals who reached the tops of the towers and gained incredible power.
  • In The Sundering, the universe is the broken body of the primordial deity.
  • In H. P. Lovecraft's story "Through the Gates of the Silver Key", Randolph Carter learns that all conscious beings are actually tiny aspects of Eldritch Abominations outside time and space, granted the illusion of individuality by their limited perception of the universe. Facing the Great Old One Yog-Sothoth, he realizes that he and it are the same being.
  • White Apples by Jonathan Carroll is a perfect example of this trope, the gist being that God Asplode to make the universe, and when we die we become part of "the mosaic" which is God, who then promptly asplode again when the mosaic is complete.
  • Clive Barker's Everville features a small squid-like creature called the Zehrapushu, who are held by residents of the Metacosm to be pieces of the creator. Or not.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Babylon 5, Delenn said something similar, paraphrasing a statement made by Carl Sagan in Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.
    Delenn: Then I will tell you a great secret, Captain. Perhaps the greatest of all time. The molecules of your body are the same molecules that make up this station and the nebula outside, that burn inside the stars themselves. We are starstuff, we are the universe made manifest, trying to figure itself out. As we have both learned, sometimes the universe requires a change of perspective.
  • By virtue of making the franchise tradition of the Combining Mecha into the series' equivalent of God, the Guardian Beasts of Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger are an example of this. Usually, it's just the core five, whose combined form, Daizyujin, is the sort of default form of this deity. Later in the show, two more pieces are revealed and create three more combinations, the last involving all seven to create the god's true form, Ultimate Daizyujin.
  • Lost has the Island, the primordial source of all life energy. Since the show is about the inherent subjectivity of existence, it's kept intentionally vague, but it can be interpreted as many different philosophies like Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, Jungian psychology, and more (just take a peek at the Philosophy & Religion folder).
  • One possible Object Origin in The Lost Room.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Carl Jung's idea of a "collective unconscious". Basically, the collective unconscious is an Akashic Record-like entity which takes the form of a Freudian Unconscious on a cosmic, impersonal, universal scale. It brings forth our conscious psychic experience through trope-like archetypes. Although your mileage may vary, if you consider the collective unconscious as "God", since it's after all a Mind Screw to fully explain here on This Very Wiki. Jung, though, was very interested in explaining it away as quantum physics, entanglement theory, et cetera, and actually discussed the subject with pantheist Albert Einstein.
  • Deism sometimes believes in God as a metaphor for the nature of the universe. Pandeism is a subset of both Deism and Pantheism which explicitly believes this.
  • Stoicism (not necessarily that one) maintained that everyone in the world had a spark of Divine Fire in them, which after death went back to rejoin the almighty World Soul.
  • Quakers believe that God, Jesus, or the Light is in everyone, and so they preach nonviolence (would you kill God?), equality (well, if God's in everyone...), and integrity (would you lie to God?).
  • Some believe that Jesus Christ himself was a piece of God, considering Jesus's quotes stating that he is lesser than God, but simultaneously IS Him.
  • Biblically, God never gave man a soul or spirit like the angels. Upon death they return to dust, and all their hopes and plans with them. Into the New Testament its revealed God placed his spirit inside the hearts of men after Jesus was crucified to circumvent this. This was done to destroy the barrier between creator and creation (presumably The Ark was destroyed also, as it served its purpose and was unsafe anyways). This makes man's body God's temple, but caution is to be exercised - you do not own a part of God, he owns all of you. He will destroy anyone who defiles his own body.
  • Loosely in Norse Mythology and its modern reconstruction; the world tree Yggdrasil and the seven worlds (two worlds are not part of Yggdrasil) originate from the giant Ymir whose body was cut into pieces by Odin and his brothers to make the universe.
  • The Body of Christ, in Christianity, is a possible candidate for this. Each person is viewed as a distinct part of Christ, with a distinct purpose.
  • Like in Hinduism, New Age describes God as becoming everything and everyone to further explore and experience consciousness.
  • Gnosticism: Individual souls are believed to be tiny fragments of the primordial divine spirit, called the Monad or the Absolute. A common variant of this narrative is that one of the Monad's aspects or creations, the Sophia, accidentally became separated from the greater divine godhead and mistakenly created an evil (or at least stupid) being known as the Demiurge (equated in Gnostic belief with the Abrahamic God), who made the universe out of ego but, as he is incapable of creating life on his own, he took the fragments of the Sophia and trapped them into flesh bodies, thus creating humans. The ultimate goal of Gnosticism is to achieve release from the flesh prison and re-join the Monad in the world of spirit.

  • At the end of season 1 of Malevolent, it is revealed that John is actually a piece of the King in Yellow that had been bound to a book as the result of an imperfect ritual. The rest of the King is stuck in the Dreamlands. In the season 3 finale we discover that Larson also has a piece of the King in Yellow attached to him, confirmed to be Yellow by the transcripts.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In the 3.5 sourcebook Frostburn, the rimefire eidolons are the living manifestations of the ancient winter deity Hleid, who landed in the polar seas after she was struck down ages ago by her nemesis Iborighu.
    • The crystalline shardminds of 4th edition are a variant of this. While it's not clear that the Living Gate from whose destruction during the cataclysmic Dawn War they sprung was necessarily a god, it did have the important cosmic function of keeping the eldritch abominations of the Far Realm out of the known multiverse. The shardminds themselves are still dedicated to the Living Gate's original purpose and trying to rebuild it, but don't all agree on how to best go about that, which leads to conflict (especially with the Shard Slayer faction, whose favored method is killing as many shardminds as possible to release their animating life forces in hopes that they'll return to the Gate's original location). They're a player character race.
    • In 5th Edition, the dragon god Sardior was broken into countless fragments during the struggle between the draconic and humanoid gods. His pieces were scattered across the cosmos when the First World shattered into the worlds of the Material Plane, and became the first gem dragons. The gem dragons are thus considered to be the surviving form of Sardior's consciousness, and some of their number believe that they should try to bring Sardior together into a single whole again.
    • Forgotten Realms: At the height of the sarrukh empires, the World Serpent fragmented into a host of reptilian deities in order to better address the myriad, contradictory demands of its worshipers. It is believed that the dragon god Io, the naga goddess Shekinester, and the couatl god Jazirian each represent the theme of the multiplicity of being, of which the World Serpent was the archetype. Other known aspects include the lizardfolk gods Essylliss and Semuanya, M'daess, whose task was to purify the souls of unclean sacrifices and make them equivalent to sarrukh, the yuan-ti gods Merrshaulk and Sss'thasine'ss, and Ssharstrune, the naga god who embodied the principles of curiosity, destruction, and possessiveness that had precipitated the World Serpent's fragmentation. Additionally, the demiplane in which the World Serpent Inn is located is similarly believed to be a somnolent deity and fragment of the World Serpent whose dreams manifest in the form of intermittent portals to worlds to which its consciousness is drifting, but the truth of such conjecture is unknown.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • Mage: The Ascension: This is part of the Backstory. All human beings have a tiny spark of the divine in them (called the Avatar). Those who are Awakened are called Mages and can use it to manipulate reality.
      • Fascinating in that a Soul is not in itself divine. Mages can make souls, but these lack the divine aspect even the lowliest Muggle's soul carries. Of course, all this means is they can never Awaken and become Mages. Except when they do. It is explicitly stated in the Technocracy books that Human Constructs (essentially clones or organic Ridiculously Human Robots) can become Awakened.
      • That same spark of the divine makes humans valuable to demons — humans have Faith, which demons need to fuel their powers. Faith can be shared or taken, the demon's choice. The Karma Meter would prefer they have it shared.
    • Mage: The Awakening has it that many mages believe that souls are fragments of the Supernal World that descended to the Material World and that return to the Supernal upon death, bringing their experiences back with them. Speculated reasons for this include the universe trying to understand itself, a punishment levied by mad or cruel gods, or a kind of self-imposed challenge. In terms of this model, the Awakening is merely the soul recalling its divine origin. The status of this cycle following the Fall is a subject of concern for some mages.
    • Mummy: The Curse used this too. Osiris has been scattered around the world, and there's a bunch of Amenti trying to put him back together.
    • Vampire: The Masquerade: Two of the Antediluvians (the grandchilder of Caine, extremely powerful and ancient vampires with almost godlike powers) are said to be "split" and living in their Clans' members: Haqim, also called Assam, who lives in the blood of Assamites, and Malkav, who lives in the mind of Malkavians. This is mostly a Malkavian theory, and Malkavians are crazy, so this may or may not be actually true.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Eldar war god Khaine is literally in pieces — he was shattered by Khorne during the Fall of the Eldar, and his fragments reside in the modern Craftworlds as the Avatars of Khaine.
    • In some way, this also applies to the Immortal Emperor. There are implications — and in one The Inquisition War novels it was explicitly though unreliably stated — that this is what's happened to his conscious remnant, having split into dozens if not hundreds of personalities and fragments. There's the part that feeds the Astronomican, the fragments which influence the Emperor's Tarot, the parts that speak and give visions to his people, the tiny portions which are imbued within Astropaths during the Soul Binding, not to mention the vast amounts of effort needed to fight the Warp as a whole, and in the broken Webway gate, with the Golden Throne itself serving as a psychic barrier.
    • The C'tan, the oldest known beings in the universe, got their asses handed to them by the Necrons and were shattered into dozens of Shards. The Shards are autonomous, acting as what are basically demigods, and the Necrons are trying to capture and tame them. Transcendant C'tan are what happens if too many Shards merge together — if enough of them unite, they reform into the original C'tan. This is obviously something the Necrons try to prevent at all costs.
    • Following his near-death at the hands of Leman Russ, Magnus the Red shattered into dozens of Shards, each of which embodies a different aspect of his character and believes itself to be the real Magnus. Ahriman spent a good chunk of the Horus Heresy hunting down these Shards in order to put Magnus back together, but several of them could not be found and so Magnus remained incomplete. In Ahriman: Unchanged, it's revealed that one of the Shards has been hiding inside Ahriman’s mind for centuries without him knowing. Another Shard, representing Magnus's wrath, wants to complete the process and make itself the dominant aspect...
  • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar: Grimnir, the dwarven battle-god, picked a fight with a god-dragon named Vulkatrix, that ended with the two literally shattering each other into pieces. Their blood mixed to create the metal ur-gold, and the explosion scattered said gold across all eight Mortal Realms. The Fyreslayers, descendants of Grimnir's followers, have learned to release Grimnir's essence from runes of ur-gold, and channel it into powerful abilities, hoping that if they release all of it, they'll eventually lead to Grimnir's ressurection. To that end, they've organized themselves into mercenary armies across the Realms, willing to fight for anyone who can pay them in ur-gold, or against anyone who tries to hoard it.

  • In BIONICLE, the robot body of the Great Spirit Mata Nui was a universe in itself, with many different races living on the continents inside, unwittingly maintaining him — keeping him alive. In return, he kept the basic forces of nature under check, and made their environment inhabitable, thus they (well, most of them) revered him as a god. Word of God compared it to a human and his internal organs, all part of the same being. However to his creators, the Great Beings, Mata Nui was simply an instrument in their plans, and the beings inside him were only meant to keep him functioning as nanotech, not have conscience and build up a religion around him.
  • Apparently this is the true form of the Transformers' god Primus in some continuities. Each Transformer houses a tiny fragment of his soul known as a "spark" that returns to the collective known as the "All Spark" upon death to share knowledge and experience as part of his incomprehensibly complex plan to deal with his Evil Counterpart Unicron, while his body remains inert as the transformed Cybertron. This is also why Primus can't just duke it out with Unicron like two planet-sized robots since in order to regain his full power to match him, Primus would have to forcibly draw back every spark in existence into himself, which would kill all the Transformers. Plus, Primus tried that once before splitting his soul up, which resulted in Unicron winning and tearing apart reality.

    Then there are the Alternity, Autobots and Maximals who have evolved to a point where not only are they powerful and transcendent, they're actually connected to every other alternate version of themselves or something. Even more, they can actually induct said alternate selves into a semi-Instrumentality, retaining their individuality while becoming an avatar for their Alternity.
    • Nexus Prime, one of the original thirteen Transformers who fought to defeat Unicron in antiquity, is notable for being the combined form of five separate, sentient Cybertronians with no knowledge of their combined form. Sadly, they were forced to retake that form, sacrificing their individual personalities and consciousnesses so Nexus Prime could return (basically, the good Mirror Universe Megatron had been killed and needed to be resurrected for plot reasons. One of the Thirteen can do that; somehow, even the combined might of the guys who used to be one of the Thirteen can't.)
      • In some versions, each of the Thirteen is the first Transformer of its kind, the ancestor of them all. For combiners, it's Nexus Prime.

    Video Games 
  • Arknights:
    • The Sui siblings are fragments of a Feranmut called Sui, an Omnicidial Maniac that helped the country of Yan destroy its kin so it can rule by itself. They are so powerful that Yan has entire departments dedicated to monitoring their threat level and dispose of them if needed.
    • Kjera, head maid to the Kjerag Saintess is an aspect of the goddess Kjeragandr, who is implied to be a Feranmut bound to the region of Kjerag.
  • The lore of BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm is filled to the brim with this. The internet’s “First Presence,” implied to be some kind of cyber-deity, had mixed feelings about humanity using its realm, so it split itself apart to try and settle the issue. The two halves, Virtua and Legion, fought each other and ended up getting shattered themselves. Virtua (the good half) was split into four pieces – three of them became known as the internet’s goddesses, while the last and smallest piece became our Amnesiac Heroine Catie. Meanwhile, Legion’s many fragments became the trickster race of Anonymous. It’s eventually revealed that all of these pieces are subconsciously trying to reunite and become whole again, and the True Ending path deals with the ramifications of that happening.
  • According to the Creation Myth in Brütal Legend, everything in the Age of Metal consists of four elements: Blood, Fire, Noise, and Metal. And those four are the remains of Ormagöden, an Eldritch Abomination-slash-Creator Deity: namely, his blood, spirit, roar, and flesh (all very tangible things in a world of Heavy Metal). In other words, pretty much everything you see in the game (including Eddie) is a piece of Ormagoden.
  • Both played straight and somewhat played with in Dark Souls. Word of God states that Humanity are actually pieces of the Dark Soul, the soul found by the Furtive Pygmy, the very first human. Played with in that humans have a soul in addition to humanity.
    • Dark Souls II takes the concept nightmarishly further with Queen Nashandra. She's the smallest piece of Manus (who is itself implied to be the Pygmy post-Superpower Meltdown). Her goal is to reassemble herself and become whole again... and all the events of the game are the result of her attempts to do so. The question remains, however: Where are the other pieces?
    • It's implied the Darklurker is another such piece, as are Elana, the Squalid Queen from the Crown of the Sunken King DLC and Nadalia, the Bride of Ash from Crown of the Iron King DLC. Alsanna, the Silent Oracle, from the Crown of the Ivory King DLC is said to be the embodiment of Manus' fear, more or less on par with Nashandra, but, remarkably, acting as her Good Counterpart, doing what she can to seal off the ruins of Lost Izalith and Old Chaos.
  • Ghosts in Destiny are this in a more literal sense than most uses of this trope; during the Collapse the Traveler used the last bit of its fading strength to expel thousands upon thousands of Ghosts to carry pieces of its Light and intelligence so that they could create the Guardians that would protect the Last City. Each Ghost is an entity unto itself, but they all are aligned with the Traveler and aid humanity in to struggle against The Darkness.
  • After beating Dragon Quest IX, the almighty god Zenus is nowhere to be found, but ten of the twelve postgame grotto bosses either state or imply that they are fragments of him.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • The Aedra and the Daedra can be viewed as this, with their spirits having emerged from the "spilled blood" of the God of Gods Anu and The Anti-God, his "twin brother", Padomay. Anu and Padomay are 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 then wounded Padomay, presuming him dead. Anu salvaged the pieces of the twelve worlds 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 Aedra or the Daedra depending on their actions during the creation of Mundus, the mortal plane. (Some myths state that the Aedra come from the mixed blood of Anu and Padomay, while the Daedra come purely from the blood of Padomay).
    • A highly plausible fan theory (with supporting evidence in the series' lore) for Skyrim is that the souls of all dragons, Alduin and the Dragonborn included, are fragments of the soul of Akatosh, the Aedric God of time whose typical form in mythology is a dragon. When the Dragonborn (or any other dragon) absorbs the soul of another, it's actually fragments of the Akatosh over-soul recombining.
  • Final Fantasy VII had Sephiroth, named after a concept from the Kabbalah (see above), directing his "clones" ( really just humans injected with Jenova cells) to return to him so he can reform himself as a god.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, the dark god Zodiark was split into fourteen pieces by the light goddess Hydaelyn at the dawn of time. This also split the world into fourteen parallel universes, the Source and its thirteen Reflections, each of which holds a fragment of Zodiark. Zodiark’s worshippers, the Ascians, have been trying to put their god back together by forcing these Reflections to merge with the Source in apocalyptic events called Rejoinings.
  • In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, it is revealed that Ashera, the goddess of Tellius, and Yune, the "dark god," are two halves of one goddess, Ashunera. When she lost control of her emotions from the fighting between the Beorc and the Laguz, she inadvertently started the Great Flood. After that, she discarded her emotions to prevent another disaster like that, creating Yune, with her shell becoming Ashera.
  • In Grandia II, Valmar (the resident God of Evil) was long ago split into multiple parts, who as of the time of the game are taking human hosts in an attempt to reunite and revive him.
  • In Gyossait, Oyeatia tore the eponymous goddess to pieces in a fit of rage when she destroyed humanity. Pieces of Gyossait are powerful enough to turn mortal men into pseudo-gods - as evidenced by Uzaza when he found the Heart of Gyossait.
  • In Lusternia, this is how most of the many mortal races were created. The Elder Gods faced a Hopeless War against The Soulless Ones, and some chose to fragment their consciousness, creating "children" which retained qualities of their parent god. (Some Gods chose to flee into the Void rather than suffer this, however.) Though mortals can ascend to become Demigods themselves, it's made clear that their progenitors are for all intents and purposes dead, and can never be remade by reuniting their fragments. On the other hand, since mortals can reproduce endlessly, and can all (potentially) become Demigods, they're collectively stronger than their "progenitor" God could be.
  • The Last Sovereign: It's theorized in-game that the Shards that give the Incubus Kings their powers are pieces of a larger whole, whether these Shards are in fact fragments of the soul of the Divine Lustlord which the succubi worship is an even bigger question.
  • All the realms in Mortal Kombat are created from the shattered consciousness (and maybe body) of the One Being, and if allowed to merge back into him, will result in The End of the World as We Know It. So, why was he split, and why is he trying to get himself back together? Turns out, he and the Elder Gods were the only creatures to exist before the beginning of the multiverse, and the Elder Gods were getting tired of the One Being feasting on their energies. Splitting him up, transforming his consciousness/body into the multiple realms, and assigning a protector god for each is all to ensure he can't harm them anymore.
  • While Emil isn't a god, he's the oldest and one of the strongest beings in NieR: Automata, and prior to the formation of YoRHa, he ended up creating multiple clones of himself to help fight off the alien invasion, a process that fractured his psyche to the point that the original Emil now thinks he's merely one of his many clones, and his clones have since gone insane from the process as well as living for thousands of years.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 3 used this trope in the form of the twelve Full Moon Shadows. Each of the twelve is a fragment of a thirteenth shadow, Death, which was sealed inside the Protagonist and takes the form of Pharos, and later Ryoji. Defeating the others allows them to reintegrate, which is a very bad thing as a completed Death has no choice but to trigger The Fall and summon Nyx to wipe out all life on earth, whether he wants to or not.
      • Supplemental materials also reveal that all Shadows are actually fragments of Nyx which concious minds on earth have a habit of locking inside themselves. Personas are the result of a strong-willed person controlling their personal Shadow, which makes them fragments of Nyx as well.
    • One of the big reveals in Persona 4 is that the Sagiri enemies, Kunino-Sagiri and Ameno-Sagiri, who appeared to be behind the events of the game are in fact pieces of Izanami, the true mastermind. In Golden, so is Marie.
    • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth: Part of The Reveal is that Zen is a fragment of Chronos, and that the reason the Persona 3 and Persona 4 casts were summoned to the labyrinths was because the main body of Chronos wanted him back.
  • In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, after beating the True Final Boss, Arceus grants you a piece of himself to walk among the world of Hisui as a Bragging Rights Reward, also implying that every time the player has caught/defeated the Pokemon Arceus in past games is just a piece of the true Arceus.
  • RuneScape has Seren, Goddess of the Elves. When the edicts were enacted that demanded all the gods leave Gielinor, Seren elected to commit suicide and shatter herself into pieces rather than leave the elves. The current final quest in the series is putting her back together.
  • Shin Megami Tensei:
    • In Shin Megami Tensei II, it is revealed that Zayin, a member of the Temple Knights, is a fragmented half of Satan, God's judge of all life on Earth. He and, alongside, Seth fused together to become Satan once more.
    • In the two NG+ missions for Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey the Angel Metatron reveals that both him and the Demiurge are pieces of God. Who was broken into pieces by the Mother Goddesses of Old after losing his love for humans and humanity losing faith in him. Depending on your choice you can let him be sealed again or let him go. Just don't let him be free unless you're law aligned.
    • In Shin Megami Tensei IV, Minako's collecting several demon souls - Astaroth's, Mother Harlot's, and Asherah's. The common point? They were all born from the now-dead mother goddess Ishtar, and by consuming their souls and a Red Pill, sacrificing her body, mind and soul, she hopes to revive and summon Ishtar to grant new fertility to Tokyo. She succeeds, and the resurrected Ishtar even implies there's still a piece of Minako within.
    • Like II, Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse reveals that both Lucifer and Merkabah, and to an extent, the Archangels, are two halves of Satan, who instigated the war between Law and Chaos under God's orders. When invading YHVH's Universe, the spirit of Walter and Jonathan, the two former's human vessel, merged to become Satan once more.
  • The True Runes in the Suikoden series. The series' mythology holds that in ancient times, the universe was created by accident from a battle between god-like entities known as the Sword and the Shield. They destroyed each other in the process, and their fragments became the 27 True Runes.
  • View from Below: Pieces of the Crimson God's soul are contained in certain boss enemies. Destroying them supposedly weakens the god.
  • In the Warlords and Warlords Battlecry series, Lord Sartek, god of the minotaurs, was betrayed, murdered, and dismembered into hundreds of little pieces by fellow Horseman Lord Bane. Minotaurs like to collect bits of Sartek with the eventual goal of putting him back together again. In WBC2 and 3, the Skull of Sartek is the minotaur titan. In the WBC3 campaign, collecting the five fingers of the Hand of Sartek earns you the allegiance of the minotaurs and a bonus to your hero's combat power. And finally, in Puzzle Quest, they put him back together, and his first act is to return the favor to Bane and give each chunk to a different civilization.
  • Xenogears technically does this twice; once in a profoundly dark and twisted way. First of all, Deus, the 'God' in this game is really just a huge Biological Weapon that created Humans as parts to repair his body and basically manipulates them to live then die just so they can be pieces of him, all while under the guise in legends and religious texts to literally be God. The second incarnation is far, far lighter as it turns out that the real God, a higher being known only as "the Wave Existence", has been trapped within physical constructs. Unlike Deus, allowing this thing to get back together isn't bad at all - as all it wants to do is go home and leave humanity to its own devices.

    Web Animation 
  • Dingo Doodles has the artifical god Xanu whose soul is contained in a gem that once rested in the center of his physical form's forehead. When the Foreclaimer portal he was trying to enter collapsed with him inside, his body was destroyed and the gem shattered into multiple pieces. Over the following centuries the magic of the shards has seen them used as weapons and tools, leading to them being scattered across the region. Xanu himself drifted in and out of awareness, seeing only glimpses through the shards, until Quinn-Ora fused a large number of them and implanted them in Sips's head.
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device has the Emperor of Mankind (who claims he isn't a god but has all the power and arrogance of one). After the Horus Heresy, his soul was shattered and while the central ego (and what an ego it is) of the "Throne Emperor" exists fragments act independent of it, such as the one held by Tzeentch. Each of the fragments are strong enough to exist and do some things (like futilely warn the Throne Emperor of Mangus plotting again after being let back into the Imperium) but not enough to bully Tzeentch into giving him what he wants, of which Throne Emperor is.

  • Aurora (2019): Soul Energy is formed from the mingled essence of all the Primordials, which makes elementally manipulating a living body difficult. The Collector's endgoal is to unravel every soul in the world to completely free Life from what she believes is constant torture.
  • In Awful Hospital, long before anything else even existed, there was only one living being, the Old Flesh. Without warning, it suddenly became very ill, and its body slowly began to break down into reality as we know it. Outraged and helpless, it died. But the largest and most intact surviving fragments of what was once its body, the Parliament, developed sapience. Feeling broken, they now scheme an Assimilation Plot to destroy the multiverse and reassemble it into the original being. What the Parliament doesn't remember is the fact that the first thing was the Anthropomorphic Personification of Death, existing only to die and become the fertilizer that gives birth to new things. Even if the Parliament to succeed in their plot, it would just die all over again, essentially resetting the multiverse into a new form.
  • DICE: The Cube That Changes Everything: Technically all Dice are pieces of the reality-bending Final Die.
  • In Godslave, Anpu has had his soul splintered into nine pieces - ba - which his fellow gods hid separately. In fact, what Edith finds is just one of the ba, and it tasks her with finding the rest to reassemble him.
  • In Kill Six Billion Demons, YISUN is the everything, the ultimate being that is perfect and embodies all things. Finding an existence where there is nothing new to be boring and deciding ignorance, violence and lies to be virtues, YISUN committed suicide to become the white and black gods YIS and UN and from there the entire interesting, imperfect multiverse. At the current age even the gods (YISUN's grandchildren) are long dead, and all that are left are the voices they used to speak The Multiverse into being. These voices are superpowers in and by themselves, each capable of unlocking and controlling a Universe on its own, and The Seven currently hold all 777,777 of them. Allison, meanwhile, holds the master key, YISUN's singular voice, but she lacks the training or experience to use it for anything.
  • According to a creation myth of Overside, after creating the world, God departed and left behind three pieces of Godself to protect it — the Avatars of Time, Space, and Mind, three pillars holding up the "great disk". Long ago the Avatar of Mind disappeared, throwing off the balance of the world; the story of Rice Boy is set in motion by a prophecy about a hero going on a journey to restore the missing Avatar.
  • Part of the ongoing mystery in Paranatural concerns a "broken god". It's unknown how many pieces it's in, but we know for certain one of them is possessing Max and that that one isn't the sense of humor.

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation: A Group of Interest called "the Church of the Broken God" believes that several mechanical SCPs are fragments of their deity Mekhane. And if the Church ever succeeded in reuniting all the pieces of their "God"... Well, you'd have to be on the Moon to avoid the resulting apocalypse, and even that might not be far enough. As Characterization Marches On, however, it seems that the Foundation might have judged the CotBG too quickly — while still seen as fanatical extremists, later discoveries are raising the possibility that the these particular extremists might not be so crazy after all. The apocalypse the prophecies refer to might not be caused by the reassembly of the god machine... and the flesh they believe must be destroyed may be something far worse than human vice and frailty.
  • Serina: The fisher daydreamers believe that the world was shaped by a single creator deity who then splintered itself into three essences — a flying creature, a terrestrial one and an aquatic one, each of which then split apart into myriad smaller copies of itself — to better experience all the realms of the world. They believe themselves to be the far-scattered fragments of the marine essence, and that one day they will find and reunite with the fragments of the other two and, having learned all that the world has to offer, reform into the creator.

    Western Animation 
  • Late into Samurai Jack is an Origins Episode, which reveals that the Aku that Jack has been fighting, who has terrorized the whole planet for centuries, is actually just a fragment of a large black amorphous cloud or blob. This amorphous mass, the real Aku, has been under attack by the gods of various religions for the entire time, and the Aku on Earth is a chunk they hacked off and didn't notice fell to a planet with intelligent life until it was too late.