|“||It is the sum total of all seven Evils housed within one body. There is an ancient legend, known only to a few, of the great Dragon, Tathamet, who was the original embodiment of evil. The legend says that he was ripped apart during an epic battle with Anu, and that the Burning Hells are composed of his remains.||„|
Tathamet was the second being to exist in Creation, and the ultimate evil/Antagonist within the Diablo video game series. The counterpart of Anu, the first being and a personification of light at the time, Tathamet's creation and death led to the birth of the Burning Hells.
According to various myths, Anu was the first, and for a time, only, being in Creation. Seeking a state of total purity, Anu cast all evil from itself. However, these elements could not exist in a state of separation, and coalesced to form a new being: Tathamet, a seven-headed dragon that was the sum total of all evil. Though separate entities, Anu and Tathamet were bound within the Pearl that contained them. There they warred against each other in an unending battle for ages uncounted. Neither could gain the upper hand and finally, after millennia of combat, they delivered their final blows, their energies depleted. The resulting clash of light and darkness was so vast and terrible that it gave birth to the universe itself, killing them both.
Tathamet's blackened, smoldering husk spiraled into the lower darkness of reality. From his putrid flesh arose the realms of the Burning Hells, and the race of Demons that arose from them like maggots from a corpse. Additionally his seven heads spawned the Great Evils. The strongest of his maws gave birth to the three Prime Evils, while the four lesser heads gave birth to the Lesser Evils.
The Dragon Reborn
|“|| Then Diablo seeks to become the Dragon once again?|
In a manner of speaking, yes.
|~ The Nephalem and Tyrael.|
Uncounted ages later, Tathamet, in some sense, returned to the face of Creation. Diablo, the Lord of Terror, was able to combine the essences of the other six Evils into his own body, becoming a singular Prime Evil. While he was defeated by the Nephalem in Heaven and his spirit returned to the Zoltun's Black Soulstone, Diablo remained a singular Prime Evil. And through the destruction of the stone at the hands of Malthael, released into Creation once more.
- Tathamet is possibly named after Tiamat, a chaos monster and the primordial, draconic goddess of the oceans from Babylonian mythology. Tiamat mated with Abzu, the god of fresh water, giving birth to the gods; this parallels the clash of Anu and Tathamet creating the universe. Tiamat is later killed by Marduk, and her divided body form the heavens and the earth, like how Tathamet's body became the foundation of the Burning Hells.
- Tathamet's depiction and namesakes are possibly influenced by The Beast and The Serpent, two beasts who bring about Armageddon in the New Testament. There are other myths in mythology throughout the Middle East depicting a seven-headed dragon or serpent as an evil being of destruction.
- The relationship between Anu and Tathamet may be based on Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu of Zorastrianism. Ahura Mazda, the counterpart of Anu, was the original "uncreated" god who created Angra Mainyu, the counterpart to Tathamet, by purging himself of all his evil. Just as Tathamet is a being of destruction and the "father/grandfather" of all demons, Angra Mainyu is a being of chaos and destruction who created demons to battle Ahura Mazda.