I needed that.
~ Hastur after eating ten telephone salespersons.

Hastur is the Duke of Hell and one of the main antagonists in Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's book Good Omens and the 2019 Amazon Prime adaptation of the same name.

In the show, he was portrayed by Ned Dennehy.

Overview

Ranking very high on Hell's hierarchy, Hastur inspires fear to all demonic subordinates. He rules Hell with an iron fist and is master of subordinate demons such as Crowley.

Like Crowley, Hastur is very accustomed to life on Earth, as he explains what cars are to a clueless Ligur. Hastur appears as a generic human male, but his true form is much more disgusting as depicted as being a roughly humanoid swarm of maggots.

Biography

Hastur waits for Crowley to show up in a London cemetery outside the M25, which in the language of the Black Brotherhood of Ancient Mu means odegra which translates to "Hail the Great Beast, Devourer of Worlds." Hastur is unimpressed with Crowley's telephone hack, which made Crowley proud because he made innocents squabble at each other. Hastur tells Crowley the Apocalypse is underway and gives him the newborn Antichrist, telling Crowley to take the infant to the local hospital where his destiny will begin.

Hastur later watches the Satanic Order of Chattering Beryl's convent when it it struck by lightning. He smiles and disappears to Hell.

Later, Hastur appears when Crowley has let slip of his plan to stop the Apocalypse. Hastur and Ligur nondiscreetly visit Crowley's London flat. Crowley had Holy Water installed on a bucket which drenched Ligur, killing him instantly. Also, Hastur got mad, and chased Crowley into the telephone system itself. He fled after Crowley, yelling how Crowley was a traitor to demonkind and how Hell would make him suffer. To his relief, Crowley lost track of Hastur when he popped back out his flat's telephone into the physical world.

Hastur attacked a telephone sales office in vengeance, devouring all the staff in a fit of rage. He spilled out of the phone mouthpiece as a swarm of maggots which ate everybody and formed themselves into a monstrous shape. Feeling better, Hastur could now tolerate returning to Hell to face the Devil's disappointment.

It seems Hastur's vengeance on humanity was for nothing, however, as God resurrected the salespeople Hastur had eaten when the Antichrist thwarted the Apocalypse.

Personality

A cruel, cold, despicable, well, demon, Hastur was malicious, unlike Crowley or Beelzebub. Hastur seemed to take sadistic delight in killing ruthlessly, and despite his own claims of Crowley's treachery, Hastur himself killed and tortured many other demons in Hell that had failed him, thus making Hastur a hypocrite. Hastur was a dictator, and was such a powerful demon he may have been second in command to Satan, or perhaps second under Beelzebub.

Its remarked that by (unsuccessfully) eating the salespeople, Hastur actually made many other lives less stressful by not having obnoxious salespeople pester them all day, so thus, given his penchant of torturing rebellious demons, Hastur could be seen as a Necessary Evil.

Trivia

  • Hastur is based on the Lovecraftian Hastur from the King in Yellow stories.
  • Hastur also appears in the Neil Gaiman's short humorous story I, Cthulhu, though this time he resembles more of the traditional Lovecraftian variant.
  • Hastur's maggot form may be what all the demons in Good Omens appear as, given that Crowley's true form also has maggots.
  • Neil Gaiman claimed responsibility for the maggots.
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