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YMMV / Egyptian Mythology

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  • Acceptable Religious Targets: Due to the various Biblical stories (which are further enhanced by the various film adaptions) and probably exacerbated by viewpoints that are fairly irreconcilable with many modern religions, this religion gets hit harder in pop culture than some of the other pre-Abrahamic faiths.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Happened a lot in Egypt; each city and area seemed to have their own take on the religion, so as a result there are several sun gods and many other gods whose jobs and areas of expertise overlap.
    • Also, over time as different cults would become influential in the capitol, various gods would be honored or vilified.
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    • Set in particular is a rather contentious god, thanks to the complicated history in regards to how Egyptians perceived him. Was he a callous tyrant, or a defender of Ra? Did he kill Osiris out of jealousy, because he slept with Nepthys, or because he usurped Ra?
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The Egyptians themselves largely had this reaction to Akhenaten's experiment with Atenist monotheism and its associated artistic innovations. Research suggests Akhenaten had good reason for his decisions (beyond personal piety) rooted in the social and political conditions of his empire, that the Eighteenth Dynasty had started to raise Aten's profile before Akhenaten took the throne (his father, Amenhotep III, had made a few dedications to the previously-minor god) and that his reforms had some lasting impact (mostly to do with art, but the experiment also left some nasty political/dynastic consequences that led to the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty). However, at the time Egyptians appear to have felt that this new religion came from nowhere, was weird, and then left without leaving a significant trace.
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  • Complete Monster: Apep, more widely known in the West by his Greek name, Apophis, was the Egyptian god of darkness, chaos, and destruction. Residing in the Underworld, Apophis took the form of a colossal snake, and every night, would attempt to devour the sun god Ra, as he made his way through the land of the dead, hoping to leave the world without light or life. During the day, while Ra was in the sky, Apophis would feed on those dead souls who were not properly protected against him, leading to their complete obliteration. His motives for doing so were that, as a primordial being associated with the dark, he hated the fact that there was a sun, or life on Earth, and aimed to go back to the way things used to be. He was also the leader of armies of demons, and sought to subvert mortal confederates into aiding his nihilistic agenda. Reviled by all the other deities, even Set, and universally loathed in Egypt, Apophis was the only god to have the distinction of never being prayed to. Instead, temples and ceremonies were set up to pray against him.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Anubis, in more modern times. For the common layman he may be the only Egyptian god they can name. Even though, while he was always among the major gods in ancient Egypt, he was by no means the most widely worshiped. Additionally, Anubis is the Greek name - his Egyptian name is Anapa or Anpu.
    • Bastet was a relatively minor goddess back in the day, but she's very popular today thanks to the Furry Fandom and the internet's love for cats.
    • For a lot of nerds/geeks with a passing interest in Egyptian mythology, Thoth is popular mostly because he's a Badass Bookworm.
    • Obscure deity Medjed, mentioned in passing in the Book of the Dead, has achieved massive popularity in Japan, entirely because of his odd appearance (he's a Bedsheet Ghost with legs) and the fact that it's implied he had laser eyes.
    • Kek was one of the more obscure deities... then in 2016 he became a 4chan meme.
    • Isis is this for the Westerners. Being the only Egyptian deity to escape Hellenization mostly unharmed, rarely being identified or combined with a Hellenic Goddess, she had her own Greco-Roman temples both in and outside of Egypt, Greek names in her honor (Isidoros and Isidora), AND inspiring the veneration of the Virgin Marynote  are a testament of that. While not by any means a minor character, she appears and her role in the overall mythology is significantly less than that of Osiris, Anubis, and Set.
  • Evil Is Cool: This is probably the reason why Set is one of the most popular gods in pop-culture today. Having successfully tricked Osiris to his death, removing his body parts, and ultimately usurping him until his battle with Horus, as well as being based on an unknown animal have certainly made him stand out.
  • Foe Yay: In the original version of the myth, Set asserts his dominance over Horus by seducing him, getting him drunk, and then raping him. Egyptian attitudes to this story varied wildly, some using it as a justification for homophobia (since clearly only a Depraved Homosexual would do such a thing), and others telling a different version where Horus is totally not gay from the experience because he actually received Set's semen in his hands and not in his... you know.
    • And then there's the addition that Horus put some of his own semen on some of Set's lettuce and invited him over for a snack. When Set tried to tell the other gods about last night's events, Horus told him to prove it by "calling" their respective ejaculate. Set's answered from wherever Horus wiped his hand off, and Horus's answered from Set's stomach.
    • Another interpretation of the myth is simply that Set and Horus were simply trying to outsmart each other, as this myth predates the demonization of Set, and that Horus let Set have sex with him for other purposes. The series of myths this story comes from includes several different contests that Set and Horus had with each other, the point of them being to see who was superior in order to decide who had claim to rule over both Lower and Upper Egypt. Set lost most of the contests due to his Chaotic Stupid nature, whereas Horus won most of them by outsmarting Set and making him look like an idiot.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: As mentioned above, Westerners love Isis. Probably because she is one of the few major fertility goddess that is significantly likable than Hera/Juno and Aphrodite/Venus.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Isis, the goddess of fertility, would later share a name with the Islamic terrorist group, ISIS. It got to the point where an Oakland spa had to remove Isis from the name out of safety concerns.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The word Thoth resembles a modern slang term with a completely different meaning. Additionally, the Greek spelling of Thoth (Θώθ) resembles the emoticon OwO, used to represent a Cat Smile (with the two O's depicting eyes and the W depicting the mouth).
  • Magnificent Bitch: The goddess Isis, in one story, desires the true name of Ra to gain power over him and enhance her authority. Knowing only Ra's essence can harm him, she slowly collects his sweat and mixes it with a snake she creates, arranging for it to bite Ra and nearly kill him. Isis then tries to heal Ra, tricking him into giving his true name so she may heal him entirely, allowing her to hold ultimate authority over the other gods.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Some Egyptian demons are rather hard to take seriously nowadays. Among these there is a woman with a turtle for a head (not the head of a turtle, the entire body), a sun with a knife and a Bedsheet Ghost (Medjed)
  • Popular with Furries: Because most of the gods are depicted with animal heads, Egyptian Mythology became very popular with the Furry Fandom.
    Anubis: I was once a great God of Death... now, I'm a bloody symbol of sodomy and lust. WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS?!
  • Ugly Cute: Bes who appears like a grotesque dwarf and yet looks endearing. He was also a protector and family deity, and Medjed who looks like a Bedsheet Ghost.


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