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|~ 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 overarching antagonist of 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. According to Lovecraft, 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. However, August Derleth portrayed Azathoth as being similar to Lucifer from Christian theology, warring against the Elder Gods and being rendered blind and witless by them before being banished from creation by their magic. At some point in the future after the second coming of Nyarlathotep, Azathoth and his armies will return and all of the entire creation will be destroyed.
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.
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 center 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 and Abilities
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
- Nyarlathotep (son)
- The Nameless Mist (offspring)
- Darkness (offspring)
- Cxaxukluth (offspring)
- Yog-Sothoth (grandson)
- Shub-Niggurath (granddaughter)
- Nug and Yeb (great-grandchildren)
- Wilbur Whateley (great-grandson)
- Cthulhu (great-great-grandson)
- Tsathoggua (great-great-grandson)
- Azathoth is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful villains, if not one of the most powerful beings, in all of fiction.
- 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.
- This was confirmed in Ramsey Campbell's short story "The Mine on Yuggoth", in which the protagonist Edward Taylor discovers Azathoth's true name which, if spoken, will drive away any being. The name is not revealed, although it is known to start with the letter N.
- 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 center of Earth, instead of the center of existence or outside of existence.
- 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 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 center 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 used more often and serves as the villain of more stories.
- However, Azathoth is far more powerful than Nyarlathotep, who created the latter (amongst all things) which makes Azathoth the overarching 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.
- Azathoth appears to have been inspired by Mana-Yood-Sushai, from Lord Dunsany's The Gods of Pegana, as both are gods greater than all the rest, who are kept asleep by the music of lesser beings, and will destroy the universe when they awake.