Atropos is a major antagonist of the Stephen King novel Insomnia. An agent of "Higher Powers" assigned to kill people before they should die, he works with Clotho and Lachesis, his more peaceful accomplices.


Like Clotho and Lachesis, Atropos is a being that has lived since humanity has first began. However, as his workmates likely serve a more peaceful god, Atropos is a servant of the nefarious Crimson King, selecting people who will die in sudden things, such as disasters, sickness, crime, or in accidents.

Given a large list of people to kill by the Crimson King, he cuts the thread of life the second they cease living. Being an entity that lives across ages, he has a large effect on King's stories, ending such lives as Gage Creed and being active in extremely dangerous times, such as when Pennywise plauges the town of Derry.

In his novel, the lives on Earth are called "short-timers" or "Shorts", referring to their relatively short lives. Anything that exists in higher dimensions are" long-timers,", and above them, "eternals," Being a personification of demise, he, Clotho, and Lachesis have influenced other gods of death like Thanatos, Baron Samedi, and Kali.

At the start of the novel, Susan Day goes to the town of Derry to deliver a speech about abortion, which she supports. However, the Crimson King selected her and a large mass of her followers to be killed in a massacre. For this he chose Ed Deepneau to commit the deed, as he visits him in a attempt to drive him mad.

The death deity also makes visits to other people, including Dorrance and Ralph Roberts. Ralph, the main protagonist, begins to suffer from insomina and notice Clotho and Lachesis out on the street. He then goes to a higher plane to visit the two beings with Lois, a fellow insomniac. There, they learn their destiny. 

Atropos continues to haunt Ralph, making him see auras around people and death-bags and bugs around people who will die soon. Ralph also notices that Atropos is wearing a friend's hat, a signal of their demise. The god then tries to kill a dog, but is stopped twice by Ralph before succeeding. 

Ralph tracks Atropos down to his hideout after he steals some earrings from Lois. Ralph then cuts a deal with Atropos: if he gets back the earrings, everyone in the city is spared. Although he does agree, Atropos warns that he isn't fully responsible for what happens, noting that he would have to make a deal with a far tougher figure: the Crimson King. Ralph then slices Atropos' scalp, but doesn't kill him. 

Swearing revenge, Atropos decides to end the lives of Ed's wife and daughter if Ralph doesn't save his victims. However, a fully insane Ed rams a plane into the confrence center, killing hundreds of people, including Susan Day. However, his fellow grim reapers, Clotho and Lachesis, also suceed in saving Patrick Danville, who is destined to save the world.

Atropos tries one last time to end Natalie's life by running her over, but Ralph, who made a deal with the other two gods to save her life at the cost of his, dies instead. Although he isn't living, the story ends on a good note, with Ralph being able to sleep in peace, and Atropos is left furious. 


Atropos is a rather small figure, being roughly only three to four feet in height, having a bald head, and wearing a treachcoat, pants, and fairly large shoes.


A clever and barbaric figure, Atropos is rather mentally unwell, with his behavior switching from calm to extremely aggressive at times. He also has the power to transform into his latest hits, which he uses by taking the form of a recently killed girl. 




Lee Harvey Oswald | Frank Dunning

A Good Marriage
Robert Bob Anderson

An Apt Pupil
Kurt Dussander | Todd Bowden

Bag of Bones
Max Devore | Sara Tidwell | Roggete

Big Driver
Lester Norville | Ramona Norville

Black House
Charles Burnside

Blind Willie
Raymond Fiegler

Cain Rose Up
Curt Garrish

Billy Nolan | Carrie White | Chris Hargensen | Donna and Mary Lila Grace Thibodeau | Helen Shyres | Margaret White | Rachel Lang | Ralph White | Ruth Gogan | Tina Blake

Cat's Eye
Cressner | Mr. Donatti | Quitters Inc. | Troll

Phone Crazies | Raggedy Man

Children of the Corn
Children of the Corn (Isaac Chroner | Malachai Boardman) | He Who Walks Behind the Rows

Arnie Cunningham | Christine | Repperton Gang

Creepshow Creep | Crate Beast | Nathan Grantham | Richard Vickers | Upson Pratt | Wilma Northrup

Creepshow 2
Creepshow Creep | Creepshow Bullies | Lake Blob | Sam Whitemoon | The HitchHiker

Crouch End
The Entity


Cycle of the Werewolf
Lester Lowe

Sheriff Collie Entragian | Tak

Doctor Sleep
Rose the Hat | The True Knot | Crow Daddy | Grandpa Flick | Barry the Chink | Snakebite Andi

Dolan's Cadillac
Jimmy Dolan

Dolores Claiborne
Joe St. George

Byrus | Mr. Gray

Duma Key

Captain Hollister | Doctor Herman Pynchot | John Rainbird

From a Buick 8
The Buick

Gerald's Game
Gerald Burlingame | Moonlight Man | Tom

Gramma Bruckner | Hastur

Gwendy's Button Box
Richard Farris

Atropos | Crimson King

In The Tall Grass
Ross Humboldt

Alvin Marsh | Bowers Gang (Belch Huggins | Henry Bowers | Marcia Fadden (novel only) | Patrick Hockstetter | Peter Gordon | Vic Criss) | Butch Bowers | It | Richard Macklin | Tom Rogan

Jerusalem's Lot
Philip Boone | The Worm

Lunch at the Gotham Café

Maximum Overdrive
Bubba Hendershot | Camp Loman | Happy Toyz Truck | Ice Cream Truck | M274 Mule | Vending Machine

Annie Wilkes

Mr. Mercedes
Brady Hartsfield | Morris Bellamy

Needful Things
Danforth Keeton | John "Ace" Merrill | Leland Gaunt

Pet Sematary
Church | Ellie Creed (2019 film only) | Gage Creed | Rachel Creed | Wendigo | Timmy Baterman | Renee Hallow | Gus Gilbert | Clyde Parker | Zowie

Quitter's Inc.
Mr. Donatti | Quitters Inc.

Charlie Decker | Mr. Decker

Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption
Bogs Diamond | Byron Hadley | Elmo Blatch | Samuel Norton | Sisters

Barton George Dawes | Sal Maglorie

Rose Madder
Norman Daniels

Rose Red
Professor Joyce Reardon

Salem's Lot
Kurt Barlow | Richard Straker

Secret Window, Secret Garden
John Shooter

Charles Brady | Mary Brady | Sleepwalkers

Storm of the Century
André Linoge

The Body
John "Ace" Merrill | Milo Pressman

The Boogeyman
The Boogeyman

The Crate
Crate Beast

The Dark Half
George Stark

The Dark Tower
Dark Tower Villains

The Dead Zone
Frank Dodd | Greg Stillson

The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer
Ellen Rimbauer

The Gingerbread Girl
Jim Pickering

The Green Mile
William Wharton | Percy Wetmore

The Langoliers
Craig Toomey | Langoliers | Roger Toomey

The Ledge

The Long Walk
The Major | Gary Barkovitch

The Mangler
Bill Gartley | Lin Sue | The Mangler | The Mangler Virus

The Mist
Mrs. Carmody | The Mist

The Monkey
The Monkey

The Night Flier
Dwight Renfield

The Outsider
The Outsider

The Raft
Lake Blob

The Regulators

The Running Man
Damon Killian | United States of America

The Shining
Jack Torrance | Hotel Caretaker | Lorraine Massey

The Stand
Barry Dorgan | Bobby Terry | Harold Lauder | Julie Lawry | Lloyd Henreid | Nadine Cross | Randall Flagg | The Kid | The Rat Man | Trashcan Man | Whitney Horgan

The Tailsman
Heck Bast | Sonny Singer

The Tommyknockers

Billy Halleck | Richie Ginelli

Westway Refrigerated Truck

Under the Dome
Christine Price | Dawn Sinclair-Barbara | Jim Rennie (TV series version | Junior Rennie | Phil Bushey

Why We're In Vietnam
Ronnie Malenfant

Word Processor of the Gods
Richard Hagstrom | Roger Hagstrom

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.