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Trivia / Cthulhu Mythos

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General Trivia

  • Arkham is loosely based on infamous witch-town Salem, Massachusetts, while Miskatonic University is based on Gordon College (Wenham, Massachusetts) and Arkham Sanitarium (no relation to Arkham Asylum) is based on Danvers State Hospital in Danvers, Massachusetts. Curiously enough, this means Lovecraft Country is also home to Haverhill, Massachusetts — one of the inspirations for Archie Comics' Riverdale!

General Tropes

  • Based on a Dream: The Nightgaunts were from a nightmare Lovecraft once had, so it's rather fitting they be living in the Dreamlands.
  • Defictionalization: The Necronomicon listed in the Ohio University Library card catalog. L. Sprague de Camp, fantasy author and linguist, acted as Abdul Alhazred's "translator".
  • Name's the Same: Not only are there both Great Old Ones and Old Ones and Elder Things and Elder Gods and Old Gods, there are mentions of various "old ones" and "elder ones," "ancient ones," and "old things" unconnected to the "codified" entities of those names. In addition, the influence of the Mythos will lead many sci-fi and fantasy authors to use these names for entities in their own universe, with varying degrees of similarity to the originals.
  • Running the Asylum: An appropriate and positive example - Lovecraft encouraged his fans to use his mythology, and expanded off the concepts within those fics. Indeed, without Lovecraft's fan friends, his work would have drifted into obscurity.
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  • The Wiki Rule: The H.P. Lovecraft Wiki.

For works that reference the Mythos, see the Referenced By page.

Common Crossover

Thanks to its popularity and its domain status, the Cthulhu Mythos has a large number of crossovers:

  • Several stories by Stephen King
  • CthulhuTech = (Cthulhu Mythos + Mecha + Post Cyber Punk)
  • Demonbane (Cthulhu Mythos + Humongous Mecha + Moe. And by humongous, we're talking about one can destroy the universe with sheer size.)
  • The Whateley Universe (Cthulhu Mythos + Superhero School).
  • In Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, the sourcebook Lords of Madness states that the Outer Gods (or reasonable facsimiles thereof) are "worshiped" by the inhuman aboleths, while Dragon #360 implies that Nyarlathotep may be the father of the demon prince Graz'zt.
    • 4th Edition hasn't any direct crossovers yet, but it's made clear that the Far Realm referenced in the standard campaign setting is a realm of Lovecraftian horrors that require the combined power of the gods to repel, and is the source of all psionic powers.
    • And in the Pathfinder (AKA D&D 3.75) campaign setting, a local race of subterranean Abominations explicitly worships the Mythos and use Shoggoths as guards, while the module The Carrion Hill Horror is pretty much Call of Cthulhu without the nasty sanity effects, and the Rise of the Runelords adventures involve the realms of Leng and Kadath. In general, the creators have explicitly said that the non-Earth specific elements of the Mythos are fully compatible with the Pathfinder universe, and they run with it.
      • Taken to its climax in the 4th bestiary, which includes a Great Old One template and stats for three of them; Hastur (as the King in Yellow), Bokrug, and, of course, the infamous Cthulhu himself.
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    • Also in 5th edition, where one of the Warlock’s patrons can be a Great Old One, Cthulhu being one of the given examples.
  • A couple of Doctor Who Expanded Universe Tie In Novels have incorporated the Old Ones into the Doctor's universe, to the extent of doing a Retcon labeling several of the Doctor's past adversaries as Mythos deities under different names. All-Consuming Fire by Andy Lane adds Sherlock Holmes.
    • According to at least one story, The Nestene Consciousness, leader of the Autons, is actually one of Shub-Niggurath's oft-mentioned but seldom seen 1000 young. Clark Ashton Smith would be proud. To be fair, he(?) really does look the part.
  • Sherlock Holmes canon, being in the public domain, has also been bridged more than once, such as in A Study in Emerald, Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened or The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Shadows Over Baker Street is an anthology of short stories in which Sherlock Holmes investigates various Lovecraftian mysteries.
  • Tokusatsu show Ultraman Tiga drops subtle referrences throughout its run, but it becomes obvious in the two last episodes with a sunken city rising from the ocean and Big Bad Ghatanothoa awakening from its deep slumber.
  • The Real Ghostbusters unexpectedly battled Cthulhu in an episode that provides a detailed explanation of H.P. Lovecraft, Miskatonic University, Arkham, and the mythos in general.
  • Merkabah Rider consists of the adventures of a Hascidic Jew who battles demons. However, the overarching story is the invasion of the Outer Gods who are not part of the binary Heaven vs. Hell conflict. The first novel hints that these are Mythos creatures, and this becomes explicit in the second novel. Whether you consider this a crossover depends on whether you see the Rider as his own character, or whether you see it as a Mythos story from the very beginning.
  • There's a Batman Elseworlds story called The Doom that Came to Gotham.
    • More humorously, Hitman had the protagonist battling the "Many-Angled Ones'' alongside parody superteam Section 8 thanks to a Mad Scientist using Alien Geometries in his teleportation experiments.
  • Similiarly, Marvel Comics' The Thanos Imperative has "Many-Angled Ones", thinly-veiled copies of the Mythos' most popular gods, attacking the Marvel Universe and even defeating some of the Abstracts, who are among Marvel's most powerful beings.
    • Even earlier, Doctor Strange and Dracula had each battled Mythos-like monsters like Shuma-Gorath and Y'Garon in the 1970s and 1980s, and the first issue of Strange's revived series in 1988 opened with a brief sequence showing him defeating an (unnamed) Cthulhu by causing R'lyeh to sink back beneath the waves.
    • Chris Claremont also got into the act; in the story where Magneto's Heel–Face Turn begins, Magneto's island base, which he raises from the ocean depths, is very heavily hinted as being R'Lyeh or someplace very similar.
  • South Park had a trilogy of episodes where BP's drilling opened a hole into another dimension that many Eldritch Abominations, including Cthulhu, came through to attack Earth. The Fractured But Whole has a boss fight with Shub-Niggurath.
  • Let's just say that at one point or another, every major franchise that is even slightly Speculative Fiction must include a monster that would be right at home in the Mythos.

Fan Nickname

  • Originally the "Cthulhu Mythos". Lovecraft himself jokingly called it 'Yog-Sothothery'.
  • Nyarlathotep's often called "Nyarly" or "Gnarly" by his fans.
  • "Big C" for Cthulhu.
  • "Shubby" for Shub-Niggurath.

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