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The gods of this particular work may be greater, but who does what among them?
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Gods, in general, tend to be gods of something in particular — in both fictional and real-life pantheons, each god is assumed to have some aspect of reality they rule over or are responsible for. When inventing a Fantasy Pantheon, there are a number of god archetypes that seem unavoidable — gods of the sun, the sea, war, knowledge and so on are almost always present. Maybe because their role is convenient for the story, easily understandable due to familiarity with Real Life mythologies, or simply that there are only so many domains a god can have and still be taken seriously.

These arrangements tend to draw of Classical Mythology — and to a somewhat lesser extent Egyptian Mythology and Norse Mythology as well — due to the prominent place this has in western culture; other cultures' pantheons tend to play a lesser role in inspiring fictional assemblages of gods, unless a creator is deliberately basing their worldbuilding on other cultures... or, of course, the work in question originates outside of western culture to begin with.

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Note that when a work directly adapts a mythology, there is a high risk of Flanderisation. Not only Sadly Mythtaken is at work, but non-fictional gods tend to have multiple domains whose relations may be hard to grasp, though there is generally a good amount of Fridge Brilliance behind it.

The more common ones are:


Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • The Sandman: The main character is a member of "The Endless", a family of ageless, god-like beings who are a Fantasy Pantheon. His name is Dream/Morpheus/Sandman, and he is an example of The Dreamweaver.
    • His sister Death is a death god, Psychopomp, and Egyptian female version of The Grim Reaper. She is beloved and so subverts Everybody Hates Hades. But officially she is a personification of death itself rather than a death god, and she has some arrangement with death gods.
    • Their brother Destruction is a War God among other things.
    • Their brother/sister Desire is both male/female, and inspires desire mortal and immortal alike. Desire has the powers of a Love Goddess, but pranks other like a trickster, particularly his/her brother Dream.
    • The oldest brother, Destiny, and youngest sister, Delireum, might be related to knowledge gods. Destiny knows everyone's path, but his youngest sister knows things he doesn't. Destiny and Delireum also seem like a matched set in terms of Order Versus Chaos. Destiny's realm has many paths, but he lives an orderly life. Delireum seems the most chaotic of the Endless. During the series Season of Mists, Destiny acts as a mediator for the Endless, which is a Balance Between Good and Evil function.

    Fanfic 

    Literature 
  • Tolkien's Legendarium: The Valar, who generally fall somewhere between gods and archangels, fill a lot of the traditional deific roles. Tolkien being Tolkien, however, he has some variation:
    • Top God: In this case, the absolute Top God is Eru Ilúvatar, a God of Gods who is probably supposed to be, well, God. The Christian God, to be exact.
    • Nature Gods: Most of the Valar fall under this category.
      • Manwë: Deputy Top God/"King of the Gods", but mostly King of Air and the Sky and lord of the Eagles.
      • Varda: Manwë's wife, Queen of the Stars and the night sky.
      • Ulmo: King of Water.
      • Yavanna: Queen of Earth in the sense of dirt, plants, and animals.
      • Oromë: King of forests and the hunt.
      • Vána: Queen of blossoming flowers, spring, and youth/growth.
      • Nessa: Not quite. A dancer, deer follow her around.
    • God of Good: A few of these:
      • Estë the healer.
      • Nienna, the Lady of Mercy. She supported releasing Morgoth after his first imprisonment, incapable of seeing his evil.
    • God of the Forge: Aulë, the lord of metalcraft and smith of the Valar who created the dwarves so as to have someone who would share his love of creating beautiful things.
    • God of Knowledge: The closest is Lórien, the giver of visions. A few of the Maiar, minor gods/angels may qualify, particularly Olórin, better known as Gandalf.
    • God of Death
      • Mandos, keeper of fate and lord of the dead.
      • Vairë, his wife, the weaver, who records the history of the world in the halls of the dead.
    • War God: Tulkas, plain and simple.
    • A Lord of the Ocean: Ulmo, the brooding and tempestuous lord of the seas.
    • God of Evil: Melkor/Morgoth.
  • The Gods of Pegāna: Lord Dunsany was even earlier than Tolkien. You might say that Tolkien is the Trope Codifier here but Lord Duncany is the Trope Maker (unless William Blake counts).
    • Top God: MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI. The God of Gods, who made all small gods. Some say that the worlds and the suns (and perhaps even the gods) are but dreams that rise in the mind of MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI.
    • A Lord of the Ocean: Slid (Whose Soul is the Sea).
    • The Dreamweaver: Yoharneth-Lahai, the God of Little Dreams and Fancies.
    • God of Death: Mung, Lord of All Deaths between Pegana and the Rim.
    • God of Knowledge: Hoodrazai, who alone of the gods knows the wherefore of their making, or else Dorozhand, the God of Destiny.
  • The Sundering has the seven Shapers.
    • God: Uru-Alat, who created the Shapers by dying.
    • Top God / God of Knowledge: Haomane, Lord of Thought; Shaper of the sun and thought, creator of the Ellylon. His gift is intelligence.
    • Love Goddess: Arahila the Fair; Shaper of the moon and love, creator of humans. Her gift is love.
    • Love God: Satoris the Sower, the Sunderer, Banewreaker. His gift is lust / sexual desire / reproduction. Did not create a race directly, but is the indirect creator of all the subsequent generations of the races except those of the Ellylon. Also the antagonist of the other Shapers, and considered a God of Evil despite not being all that evil.
    • Nature Gods
      • Neheris-of-the-Leaping-Waters, Shaper of the mountains and rivers, creator of the Fjelltroll.
      • Meronin, Shaper of the seas and oceans, creator of a marine race.
      • Yrinna of the Fruits, shaper of plants, creator of the Dwarves.
  • The Sun Sword and related works have a pantheon whose members fit many of these roles (with some overlap) and are about as active as their separation from the mortal plane allows:
    • God of Good: Most of the pantheon, particularly Cormalis, Reymalis, and the Mother (who between them are also generally considered Top Gods); Bredan, god of oaths and contracts, also fits here somewhat, though he's more of a God of Law.
    • God of Evil: Allasakar, Lord of the Hells
    • God of Knowledge: Teos is god of knowledge; Reymalis is god of the closely related wisdom
    • War God: Cormalis is god of justice, including just war; violence for its own sake appears to fall more strongly under Allasakar's dominion.
    • Love Goddess: The Mother, albeit more of a goddess of familial rather than romantic or sexual love.
    • God of Death: Mandaros, though as this is a setting where reincarnation is in play he merely receives, judges, and sends onward the souls of the dead rather than actually ruling them.
    • Nature God: Bredan wasn't one originally, but became one after his covenant with the Breodani people turned him into the Hunter God in addition to his usual role as god of oaths.
    • Trickster: The nameless god, possibly; we don't know much about him (her? it?) but he's certainly extremely mysterious and plays a very long game; recurring mentor and chessmaster Evayne the Seeress is his emissary and daughter.
  • The Yuuzhan Vong pantheon from the New Jedi Order covers most of these bases, including a Top God/Creator (Yun-Yuuzhan), a War God (Yun-Yammka), a Trickster (Yun-Harla), paired Love Gods (Yun-Txiin and Yun-Q'aah), plus Yun-Shuno and Yun-Ne'Shel, who have portfolios fairly specific to the Vong's caste system as the guardian of the lower castes and the goddess of the Shapers respectively, but fall roughly under God of Good (and by extension Token Good Teammate) and God of Knowledge.
  • Discworld:
    • The Disc has thousands of known gods (and research theologians keep discovering new ones), but a sort of default pantheon of the more significant ones has developed. These include:
      • God of Thunder: Blind Io, who has made a point of muscling in on any belief in a thunder god on the Disc (sometimes wearing a false nose), and has therefore managed to maintain a position as the Top God.
      • Love Goddess: Astoria. Little is known about her, except that Om thinks she's "a complete bubble-head".
      • Trickster God: Hoki the Jokester, who was banished from Dunmanifestin for the exploding misteltoe gag, and generally appears as an oak tree, a satyr, or a bloody nuscience.
      • Nature Gods:
      • The Moon Goddess, worshipped by druids.
      • Topaxci, God of the Red Mushroom, worshipped by shamans.
      • Herne the Hunted, God of Prey Animals, mostly worshipped by them, although it doesn't seem to help much.
      • The Ultimate Blacksmith: Named as Neoldian in Discworld Noir, but possibly named as Dennis in The Last Hero, which says every organisation need, to its regret, one member who knows how things work.
      • God of Order: Fate, Lawful Neutral with Evil tendencies and the opposite number to:
      • God of Chaos: The Lady, Chaotic Neutral with Good tendencies. There's also Pippina, the lady with the Apple of Discord.
      • Cool God: Bibulous, God of Wine and Things on Sticks. The Discworld being what it is, knowing he's the Cool God means that in his brief appearance he actually comes across as a bit obnoxious and smug.
      • Messenger God: Fedecks, complete with winged helmet.
      • Food Gods: Many, including Epidity, God of Potatoes, Grune, God of Unseasonal Fruit, and - inevitably - an unnamed God of Cabbages.
    • The Djelibeybian pantheon in Pyramids has multiple gods for each position, because Djelibeybi never throws away a god that might come in useful later.
    • The troll pantheon is mentioned in Moving Pictures:
      • God of Knowledge: Gigalith, who gives trolls wisdom by hitting them on the head with a rock.
      • Love Goddess: Chrondite, who makes trolls fall in love by hitting them on the head with a rock.
      • God of Luck: Silicarous, who gives trolls good fortune by ... yeah.
    • Dwarfs only seem to have one god, Tak, who is a God of Knowledge. He also isn't exactly worshipped. "Tak does not require that we think of Him, only that we think."

    Mythology & Religon 
  • Classical Mythology:
    • Top God: Zeus, the king of the gods and ruler of Mount Olympus.
    • God of Evil: Kakia, the goddess of vice and moral badness.
    • God of Balance Between Good and Evil: Adrestia, the goddess of just retribution, revolt, and maintaining the equilibrium between good and evil.
    • God of Good: Hestia, the goddess of family and the home, was the kindest and most beloved deity among the Greek pantheon.
    • God of Chaos: Eris, the goddess of discord and strife.
    • God of Order: Zeus was the patron god of law, order, and justice. Rather ironic, considering his own hedonistic ways.
    • Nature Gods: Almost too many to list, but Pan embodied nature as a whole, along with mountains, shepherds, and male sexuality.
    • Sun God: Helios was the personification of the Sun, riding a horse-drawn chariot across the sky each day.
    • Lord of the Ocean: Poseidon, the god of the sea, along with storms, earthquakes, and horses.
    • God of Thunder: Zeus, along with his other titles, was also the god of thunder, lightning, and the sky.
    • Harvest God: Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, agriculture, and fertility of the lands in general.
    • War God: There were plenty of war gods, but Ares embodied war in general, specifically the darker aspects like bloodshed and violence.
    • Love Goddess: Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty, and sexuality.
    • The Ultimate Blacksmith: Hephaestus, the god of the forge, blacksmiths, and technology.
    • The Dreamweaver: Split between Hypnos and Morpheus. Hypnos was the god of sleep, while Morpheus represented dreams.
    • Cool God: Dionysus was the god of wine, fertility and drunken debauchery. He embodied the most hedonistic urges of humanity and was content to hold parties and orgies. But he's not above driving people insane if they invoke his wrath.
    • God of Knowledge: Athena, the goddess of wisdom, handicraft, and tactical warfare.
    • Healer God: Asclepius was the god of medicine, healing, and physicians.
    • God of Death: There were plenty of death gods, but Hades was the lord of the underworld and ruling over the dead.
    • Trickster God: Hermes was the god of thieves and wit, and was known for tricking various members of the Greek Pantheon.
    • Messenger God: Hermes also delivered messages for the gods and was able to travel freely between Olympus and the world of humanity as their herald.
    • Wealth God: Plutus, the god of wealth and earthly goods.

    Video Games 
  • The Elder Scrolls series has a wide variety of divine beings, most prominently with the Nine Aedric "Divines" and the 17 Daedric Princes. Both groups were originally et'Ada, "original spirits" who formed from the spilled blood of Anu and Padomay. The Aedra are the et'Ada who helped Lorkhan to create Mundus, the mortal world, sacrificing large portions of their divine power to do so. The Daedric Princes made no sacrifices, leaving them at full power with their Complete Immortality in tact, but they suffer limitations on their ability to interact with Mundus as a result. Additionally, there are many other deities who don't neatly fit into either group. For more details on them all, see the Elder Scrolls: Divine Beings character page. To note here (going by their most common names and traits for the sake of brevity):
    • Top God:
      • Anu best fits the God of Gods version. He is the Anthropomorphic Personification of the primordial force of stasis/order/light. Along with his "twin brother", The Anti-God Padomay, who represents the force of change/chaos/darkness, their interplay led the creation itself. After fighting over creation, Anu pulled Padomay outside of time. From their spilled blood rose the et'Ada. Anu's spirit "lives" on as Anuiel, the "Soul of All Things", very lightly influencing the events of reality.
      • Akatosh fits as the Top God itself, being the chief deity of the Aedric Nine Divines pantheon. He is the draconic God of Time and is said to have been the first being to emerge out of the raw energy of the early universe.
      • In esoteric lore-speak, the "Godhead theory" posits there's also a greater God of Gods, namely the Sleeping Godhead who hallucinates everything in the Aurbis (which, given the rather bizarre cosmology of TES, could easily fall under Leaning on the Fourth Wall). Breaking through the thick metaphor, the Godhead is implied to be the player and/or the developers of the series.
    • God of Evil:
      • Sithis, the remnant of Padomay, currently an Eldritch Abomination embodying nonexistence and represented by a Great Void. However, Sithis doesn't act directly. Sithis is said to have "begat" Lorkhan to disrupt the "stasis" of Anuiel. All that can be known for sure is that Sithis represents chaos and change, in contrast to Anuiel's order and stasis, and whether Sithis is good or evil depends on one's point of view on Order Versus Chaos.
      • Some of the more malevolent Daedric Princes fit. While all are beings Above Good and Evil who operate on their own Blue-and-Orange Morality beyond mortal understanding, how their actions impact mortals typically gets them classified as either good or evil. The two who most commonly get this title are Molag Bal, Daedric Prince of Domination and Corruption, and Mehrunes Dagon, Daedric Prince of Destruction. While most Daedric Princes have some redeeming qualities, or at least moral grey areas, Molag Bal seemingly has none while Dagon has very few.
    • God of Balance Between Good and Evil: Azura, the Daedric Prince of Dawn and Dusk, is usually considered one of the "good" Daedric Princes and has some traits along these lines. Some lore texts paint her as maintaining a sort of metaphysical "balance", with her being more of a True Neutral whose actions just so happen to benefit mortals more often than not.
    • God of Good:
      • Throughout much of Tamriel, all of the Aedra are considered this. They are seen as an almost uniformly benevolent group who are worshiped by a Saintly Church. Some groups, like the Dunmer, see them instead as "false gods" and prefer their traditional worship of the "good Daedra" and their ancestors.
      • Some of the typically considered "good Daedra" may qualify here, such as Azura and Meridia. Good Is Not Nice is in full effect with both, while Azura can be a Manipulative Bastard and Meridia can be a Knight Templar about it.
    • Nature Gods:
      • Kynareth for the Aedra, being the Goddess of Air with a Friend to All Living Things slant.
      • Namira, the Daedric Prince of the Grotesque, covers some of the darker aspects of nature, such as decay.
      • Y'ffre is the forest god of Valenwood. He (sometimes She) was one of the strongest of the et'Ada and was the first to transform into the Ehlnofey, the "Earth Bones", which allowed for the laws of physics, nature, and life on Nirn. Y'ffre is the most important deity to the Bosmer (Wood Elves).
    • War God:
      • Talos, the Deity of Human Origin who joined the Aedra as the Ninth Divine, covers this as well as being the god of "good governance". In some circles, especially the Nords, he may have even surpassed Akatosh as the top god and even if he hasn't, Talos may be more popular.
      • Zenithar, the Aedric Divine God of Work and Commerce, is also described as a "warrior god", but "one who is reserved and restrained in times of peace".
      • Boethiah, the Daedric Prince of Plots, Consiparacy, and Betrayal, has aspects of this. Malacath, the Daedric Prince of the Spurned and Ostracized was formerly this as the Aldmeri deity Trinimac. However, Boethiah "ate" Trinimac, tortured Trinimac in his/her belly, and then excreted Trinimac's remains. Those remains became Malacath.
    • Love Goddess:
      • There are two among the Aedra - Mara, who represents platonic love, compassion, and family - and Dibella, who represents beauty and erotic love.
      • "Love" is a stretch, but Mephala, a Daedric Price whose true sphere is unknown to mortals, has an association with sex. Primarily, the manipulative aspects of the act, including its use to spin "webs" and spread lies.
    • The Dreamweaver: Vaermina, the Daedric Prince of Nightmares and Terror. She does not represent any of the positive aspects of the trope.
    • The Cool God: Many could qualify but it largely depends on who you speak to in-universe. A major one, at least for the races of Men, is Lorkhan (aka Shor, Shezarr, etc.) Lorkhan is the et'Ada who convinced those who would become the Aedra to create Mundus, and as a punishment, they "killed" him, tore out his divine center ("heart"), and cast it down into the world he made them create where his spirit is forced to wander. Historically, his spirit has been known to take physical manifestations (known as "Shezarrines" after his Imperial name) which most often show up during times of great turmoil for the races of Men. He usually helps them out by killing many, many Elves. Be warned if you want to "hang out" with a Shezarrine though, they're often berserkers with Fantastic Racism toward non-humans and a Berserk Button for being associated with the divine that will lead to them killing you for suggesting it. He may have re-ascended to full godhood as part of a Merger of Souls and/or Becoming the Mask situation with Talos.
    • God of Knowledge:
      • Julianos for the Aedra, being the God of Wisdom and Knowledge with a particualar associate with schools.
      • Hermaeus Mora is the Daedric Prince of Knowledge, specializing in eldritch lore.
    • God of Death:
    • Great Gazoo:
      • Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness is a major one. He's not just insane, he is insanity incarnate. He's also a patron of the arts, though this doesn't come up as often. He's also the same being as Jyggalag, the Daedric Prince of Order, cursed with insanity by the other Daedric Princes to keep him under control. The Shivering Isles expansion to Oblivion involves dealing with this situation.
      • Sanguine is the Daedric Prince Debauchery and Hedonism. His actions are mostly limited to playing with and/or annoying mortals. He's certainly one of the less serious deities of the series.
    • The Trickster: Back to Lorkhan again. Even the religions which paint him in a positive way still maintain his "trickster" elements.
  • Pillars of Eternity hits most of the high points.
    • God of Evil: Rymrgand, god of death, famine, plague, or simple bad luck, and Skaen, god of secret hatred, resentment, and violent rebellion.
    • God of Good: Eothas, god of light and redemption. To hear your Eothasian party member Eder tell it, he also qualifies as a Cool God, being one who seemed to understand mortals better than the others. Too bad he got blown up. One would think Woedica would fall here too as a goddess of law and rightful rulership, but in practice she hews too much towards the vengeance part of her portfolio.
    • Nature Gods: Galawain, god of the hunt, Hylea, goddess of birds and the sky, and Ondra, goddess of water and the moon.
    • War God: Magran, goddess of fire and war, whose priests frequently employ firearms and created the Godhammer Bomb that killed Waidwen and apparently Eothas in the Backstory.
    • God of Knowledge: Abydon is a craftsman god, Wael handles dreams, secrets, mysteries, and revelations, while part of Woedica's portfolio includes memory.
    • God of Death: Both a good death god — Berath, god of cycles, doors, and death — and a bad death god — Rymrgand, god of death, famine, plague, and bad luck.
  • The Dark Parables have a smaller pantheon than some franchises, but as the series continues, more of them start coming out of the woodwork.
    • God of Evil: The Shadow God embodies this trope.
    • God of Good: The Sun, Moon, and Maiden Goddesses are depicted this way, with the Moon Goddess being particularly attached to the Player Character.
    • Nature Spirit: Flora is a sort of generalized nature goddess, while Thalassa is explicitly the Sea Goddess. Both are described as being of neutral disposition; Flora is a True Neutral figure who can occasionally be persuaded to lean toward Neutral Good, while Thalassa is very Lawful Neutral.

    Web Original 
  • Metamor Keep: One of the major religions is a Fantasy Pantheon of nine good-leaning gods called Aedra and nine evil-leaning gods called Daedra. Note that some Aedra and Daedra are neutral, and may even hinder or help the heroes if it furthers their own interests.
    • Top God: Kammaloth. Both for being the king of the gods, and only rarely appearing in-person to his followers.
    • God of Evil: Ba'al. Basically the Evil Counterpart to Kammaloth.
    • God of Good: Akkala. The maternal, loyal, sympathetic goddess of healing and light, who sometimes breaks contracts to do what's right.
    • God of Chaos: Klepnos. Well-known as a trickster, a shapeshifter, and a god of insanity. In fact, he sees past and future alike and as one, and his speech and actions reflect that.
    • Nature Spirit: Artela and Lilith are the good and evil versions of this, respectively. Artela represents nature as a balanced, self-regulating order; Lilith represents nature as a competitive, bloodthirsty world of monsters and savagery.
      • Oblineth also counts, as the Daedra goddess of ice and winter. Rarely interacts with the others, though.
    • Sun God: Yajiit, complete with fire powers and flight.
    • Lord of the Ocean: Wvelkim, who has the typical mood swings and Chaotic Neutral alignment of an ocean god.
    • Harvest God: Dvalin, god of good weather for farming, and good wine for drinking.
    • War God: Dokorath and Revonos, another good/bad pairing. Dokorath represents chivalry and honorable warfare; Revonos represents rage and treachery.
    • Love Goddess: Velena and Suspira, yet another good/bad pairing. Velena is the goddess of truth and true love; Suspira is the goddess of Lust and desire.
    • Dreamweaver: Nocturna. Her realm of dreams is where the virtuous Lothanasi go to die, before they pass into the unknown. The least evil of the Daedra, but still shares the stigma among mortals.
    • God of Knowledge: Samekkh. He is so dedicated to the cause of knowledge, in fact, that he generally avoids sharing his knowledge with mortals, preferring to let them reason it out.
    • God of Death: Tallakath, also the god of sickness and rot. It's nothing personal, he's just fascinated by death, being someone who can never experience it.
    • Wealth Power: Agemnos, a Man of Wealth and Taste and Daedric Con Man. He prefers targeting the clever and conniving, as they make for more satisfying Marks.

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