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AZATHOTH—hideous name.
~ H.P. Lovecraft (about Azathoth and his "Hideous Name").

Azathoth, also known as the Blind Idiot God, the Daemon Sultan, and the Nuclear Chaos, is the ultimate antagonist in the Cthulhu Mythos, created by the late horror fantasy writer H. P. Lovecraft.

He first appeared in the 1922 unfinished short story ​Azathoth, in name only, before being mentioned and appearing in multiple other Lovecraft stories (most notably) The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.

He is a cosmic and boundless deity of colossal proportion, and the great and all-powerful ruler of the Outer Gods. He is omnipotent beyond the power of the Great Old Ones, such as Cthulhu, and even his fellow Outer Gods, including Yog-Sothoth and Yibb-Tstll, and all other beings—and is the sole most powerful being in the entire mythos.

Azathoth is seen as the all-powerful creator of all of existence. All of reality is merely a part of Azathoth's dream, unknowingly created by itself. When, not if, Azathoth awakens, all things will end, once and for all, and all will once again be Azathoth.

Description

Azathoth's precise appearance is only hinted at throughout the Mythos, and indeed may be unknowable by mortal beings. It is described as occupying a position outside of the universe, where it is attended by a cohort of alien servants who continually bathe it with the sounds of pipes and drums. Though it is the ruler and creator of all existence, it is described as "a blind idiot god", oblivious to the universe and the beings within it.

Biography

According to Lovecraftian mythology, Azathoth is the omnipotent "Blind Idiot God" or "Nuclear Chaos". It is said to be stuck in an endless slumber, and is served upon by countless lesser deities that play a maddening tune on innumerable drums and flutes to keep Azathoth from awakening, for if the great "Daemon Sultan" should awaken, even for a few moments, all of existence is said to be doomed as it will signal the ultimate destruction of existence as we know it.

As well as its innumerable drummers, Azathoth is tended upon by horrendous dancers and is said to float in the very center of the universe in the centre of chaos itself (and hence "nuclear" may actually refer to its dwelling at the nucleus of the universe). No mortal has yet entered this realm and survived, and judging by the visions spoken of by H.P. Lovecraft and later writers, it is doubtful that any who did would wish to continue living, as Azathoth held the same insanity-inducing aura as the other Lovecraftian horrors, despite it being deep in slumber.

​Powers

Azathoth is technically "God", and additionally the "Blind Idiot God" who is absolutely mindless and unconscious, but is omnipotent and the most powerful being of all. He created all of existence as part of his dream, and is not even aware of it. Should he awaken, all of existence would be no more, and all would once again be Azathoth. He cannot be destroyed as the concept of destruction is merely his dream, and he exists beyond the concept of speed, strength, mortals, and the Outer Gods, as they are all merely part of his dream. Despite being mindless, Azathoth does have a will of his own and commands his messenger and avatar, Nyarlathotep.

Azathoth's family tree

Quotes

Outside the ordered universe is that amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity — the boundless daemon sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time and space amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes.
~ H. P. Lovecraft, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.
I started with loathing when told of the monstrous nuclear chaos beyond angled space which the Necronomicon had mercifully cloaked under the name of Azathoth.
~ H. P. Lovecraft, The Whisperer in Darkness.
Eventually there had been a hint of vast, leaping shadows, of a monstrous, half-acoustic pulsing, and of the thin, monotonous piping of an unseen flute — but that was all. Gilman decided he had picked up that last conception from what he had read in the Necronomicon about the mindless entity Azathoth, which rules all time and space from a curiously environed black throne at the centre of Chaos.
~ H. P. Lovecraft, The Dreams in the Witch House.
The passage through the vague abysses would be frightful, for the Walpurgis-rhythm would be vibrating, and at last he would have to hear that hitherto veiled cosmic pulsing which he so mortally dreaded. Even now he could detect a low, monstrous shaking whose tempo he suspected all too well. At Sabbat-time it always mounted and reached through to the worlds to summon the initiate to nameless rites. Half the chants of the Sabbat were patterned on this faintly overheard pulsing which no earthly ear could endure in its unveiled spatial fullness. Gilman wondered, too, whether he could trust his instinct to take him back to the right part of space. How could he be sure he would not land on that green-litten hillside of a far planet, on the tessellated terrace above the city of tentacled monsters somewhere beyond the galaxy, or in the spiral black vortices of that ultimate void of Chaos wherein reigns the mindless daemon-sultan Azathoth?
~ H. P. Lovecraft, The Dreams in the Witch House.
Before his eyes a kaleidoscopic range of phantasmal images played, all of them dissolving at intervals into the picture of a vast, unplumbed abyss of night wherein whirled suns and worlds of an even profounder blackness. He thought of the ancient legends of Ultimate Chaos, at whose centre sprawls the blind idiot god Azathoth, Lord of All Things, encircled by his flopping horde of mindless and amorphous dancers, and lulled by the thin monotonous piping of a daemoniac flute held in nameless paws.
~ H. P. Lovecraft, The Haunter of the Dark.
Out in the mindless void the daemon bore me, Past the bright clusters of dimensioned space, Till neither time nor matter stretched before me, But only Chaos, without form or place. Here the vast Lord of All in darkness muttered Things he had dreamed but could not understand, While near him shapeless bat-things flopped and fluttered In idiot vortices that ray-streams fanned. They danced insanely to the high, thin whining Of a cracked flute clutched in a monstrous paw, Whence flow the aimless waves whose chance combining Gives each frail cosmos its eternal law. “I am His Messenger,” the daemon said, As in contempt he struck his Master’s head.
~ XXII. Azathoth , proof that all of existence is merely part of Azathoth's dream.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Because of H.P. Lovecraft's lack of explanation, there are several theories on who or what Azathoth really is.
    • Azathoth is merely a pawn of an even more terrible creature.
    • Azathoth was involved in a Cosmic War, in which he lost his sanity.
    • Azathoth is not even the God's true name.
    • Azathoth is the reader themselves, imagining the various beings and realities within Lovecraft's Universe while being blissfully unaware of the fact that everything supposedly within their imagination is actually real.
    • Azathoth is located at the centre of Earth, instead of the centre of existence or outside of existence.
  • Azathoth is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful villains, if not one of the most powerful beings, in all of fiction.
  • Azathoth was only referred to in the short story Azathoth in the title.
    • The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath is the true first story to mention Azathoth.
  • Azathoth presumably is omniscient while he is awake as omniscience is part of his mind.
  • Azathoth and Yog-Sothoth are often debated as to who is more powerful. However, Azathoth is the logical candidate due to Yog-Sothoth only being part of Azathoth's dream.
  • Azathoth is titled the Nuclear Chaos, not in terms of Nuclear Power, but in terms of a Nucleus as he is the master and centre of existence.
  • Azathoth has cults on Earth, who wish to summon Azathoth into the mortal world.
  • "Thoth", part of Azathoth's name, is the Egyptian God of Wisdom.
  • Considering he created the entire universe, and will eventually void it, it could be considered that Azathoth is the main antagonist of the Cthulhu Mythos​. However; Nyarlathotep is the actual main antagonist as he is more used, serves as the villain of more stories and, ultimately, is far more evil.
    • However, Azathoth is far more powerful than Nyarlathotep, who created the latter (amongst all things) which makes Azathoth the ultimate antagonist of the mythos.
  • Due to the note he wrote to himself on Azathoth's "hideous" name, it is possible that Lovecraft himself imagined Azathoth to be horrific.
  • His title and concept are similar to Giygas from Earthbound. He is very powerful, yet nigh-mindless.

Navigation

           Cthulhu Mythos Logo Villains

Outer Gods
Azathoth | Hydra | Nyarlathotep | Shub-Niggurath | Ubbo-Sathla | Yog-Sothoth

Great Old Ones
Crom Cruach | Cthugha | Cthulhu | Cthylla | Cyaegha | Father Dagon | Ghatanothoa | Hastur | Mother Hydra | Ithaqua | M'nagalah | Rlim Shaikorth | Tsathoggua | Y'golonac | Ysbaddaden | Ythogtha | Zoth-Ommog

Hostile Species
Deep Ones | Flying Polyps | Hounds of Tindalos | Horsemen of Nyarlathotep | Many-Angled Ones | Mi-gos | Shoggoth

Organizations
The Black Brotherhood | Brotherhood of the Beast | Brotherhood of the Black Pharaoh | Brotherhood of the Skin | Brotherhood of the Yellow Sign | Chesuncook Witch Coven | Chorazos Cult | Church of Starry Wisdom | Cult of the Bloody Tongue | Esoteric Order of Dagon | The Slaves of the Flame Undying

Other
Colour Out of Space | Dunwich Horror | Herbert West | Keziah Mason | Master of the Monolith | Terrible Old Man

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