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WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

The Endless, going clockwise starting left: Death, Destiny, Dream, Destruction, Desire, Delirium, and Despair.


In the beginning, there was only
a churning turmoil of chaos.
At the heart of chaos, where all
things became one, appeared an Egg.
Having tumbled from the vortex, the
Egg gave rise to the Original One.
From itself, two beings the Original
One did make.
Time started to spin.
Space began to expand.
From itself again, three living things
the Original One did make.
The two beings wished, and from them,
matter came to be.
The three living things wished, and
from them, spirit came to be.
The world created, the Original One
took to unyielding sleep...

The Original Story, Pokémon

In Speculative Fiction, especially Fantasy, one way of distinguishing your fantasy world from another is to populate it with made-up gods.

Real-world theology aside, unless the story involves an Aesop about religion being the opiate of the masses or the tool of corrupt priests, it is popular (but not necessary) for the gods in a fictional world to really exist In-Universe. This can serve many uses for the author:

Roughly 9 times out of 10,[1] the Fantasy Pantheon will be polytheistic and each god and goddess will have an Anthropomorphic Personification. Being a Flat Earth Atheist is a potentially dangerous prospect. Non-godly spirits, demons and ordinary magical beings don't count, but various lesser gods, demigods and Odd Job Gods do. Note that while the title says "pantheon", single Gods count too, but they are rarer.

Interestingly, and possibly because of the non-polytheistic background of most sci-fi and fantasy writers, fantasy religions tend to be far more inclined to Henotheism than most real-world polytheisms. Expect fantasy characters to pick one deity and stick to them rather than worship whichever holds the portfolio most appropriate to the business of the moment.

Compare Crossover Cosmology, All Myths Are True, Crystal Dragon Jesus. May overlap with Original Generation, if they co-exist with pantheon from actual mythology.

Expect some incidence of Physical Religion.

Examples of Fantasy Pantheon include:

Anime And Manga

  • Fushigi Yuugi has its pantheon of The Four Gods as the reason behind the whole story.
    • To clarify: The Four Gods were actual deities. But they were very minor deities: guardians of a portion of the sky, and associated with seasons (and maybe a few concepts like love, war, fertility, etc.). They did not have an entire religion devoted to just them like they do in Fushigi Yuugi.
  • The Slayers has Gods vs Mazoku (demons).
    • And the Lord of Nightmares though she usually likes sitting around not interfering in anything.
  • Berserk has the Godhand and the Idea of Evil, as well as the Four Elemental Kings.
  • This is the driving force in the short-lived Unico series of movies - Unico is forced to move from place to place because the Gods want him banished from existance. Why? Because he can make people happy, and they feel they should be the only ones with that power.

Comic Books

  • In the Marvel Comics universe both the Greek/Roman and Norse gods are real. There is also the Celestials, who are original creations. Technically Sufficiently Advanced Aliens, but so advanced that the difference is pretty much semantic.
  • The DC Universe and Vertigo sub-universe (don't ask, its complicated) have pretty much everything. Christian God? Check, and at least three superheros are actual angels. Egyptian Pantheon? Meet their champion, Black Adam. Greek Gods? Meet the Amazons, who exist by the grace of said deities. There are also original divinities such as the New Gods and their nemesis, Darkseid, as well as the Endless who are above mere gods in terms of universal relevance.
    • The Green Lantern books have established an "emotional spectrum", where the white light of creation split into seven colors/emotions, each with its own Anthropomorphic Personification Energy Being: the Butcher for red rage, Ophidian for orange avarice, Parallax for yellow fear, Ion for green willpower, Adara for blue hope, Proselyte for indigo compassion, and the Predator for violet love; plus Black Hand for black death and "The Entity" for white life.

Fan Works

  • Touched on, and peculiar, in the world of C'hou in With Strings Attached. The fake religion of Ketafa is loaded with gods, but the pantheon has no name, and very few of the gods' details are given in the story. The real religion, if that's the right word for it, of Baravada consists of the Dalns pantheon, a few of whom are named but only one seen in the flesh (or ectoplasm or whatever). These gods are more like employers, and nobody actually worships them (they don't even know what “worship” means). George speculates that they're just a bunch of people who set themselves up as gods. They were apparently once Jerkass Gods, as noted by Shag and Varx, though they show none of that now. Also, the Dalns gods competed with a pantheon called the Pyar gods for rule of the world some 500 years ago; bits and pieces of this struggle are mentioned throughout the book.


  • On the Discworld, while Gods Need Prayer Badly produces swarms of small gods and Odd Job Gods, the most prominent deities like Blind Io and Ofler the Crocodile God form a recognizable pantheon. Small Gods provides a rare monotheistic example in the Great God Om, but believing Om is the only god doesn't actually make is so, and Om has to deal with the pantheon somehow.
  • Many Urban Fantasy works combine a Fantasy Pantheon with All Myths Are True, drawing on mythological gods of all stripes. American Gods is probably the most obvious example; Anansi Boys, also by Gaiman and in the same continuity, does this too.
  • Young Wizards does this too with The Powers that Be: "The One" is the nearest equivalent of the Biblical God, the Lone Power is more or less Satan. Other gods through history are either aspects of The One or his servants (Michael (as in the archangel) being one of the forms of The One's Champion, Brigit (of Irish myth) turning up as a forge goddess...)
  • The Tortall Universe's pantheon is ruled by Father Universe and Mother Flame from whence came both gods and Uusoae, Queen of Chaos, the two being in frequent conflict. Of the gods theres Mithros the Sun God, the Great Goddess who embodies law and order with her servant, Faithful the cat. Then there's Kyprioth the Trickster, The Black God (death), the Graveyard Hag, Gainel the Dream King, a lesser healer-goddess called the Green Lady, the Horse Lords... the list goes on. (And on, and on, and on...) Furthermore, every plant and animal has its own god.
  • In Circle of Magic, the Traders and the Living Circle worship different pantheons, and there is no evidence as to whether either pantheon does or doesn't exist.
  • The Belgariad is a good example of a fantasy series with a pantheon of gods.
    • Seven gods, all brothers, above them their father UL, and over all else the disembodied Purpose of the universe.
    • In The Elenium, David Eddings almost goes overboard with gods- there are literally thousands of deities in the setting, though most aren't particularly powerful, devided into a number of pantheons (Styric Younger gods, Tamul gods, troll-gods) as well as a handful of deities who head up monotheistic religions and aren't affiliated with a pantheon (the Elene God, the Atan god, Delphaeus, and Cyrgon) and the imprisoned Elder Gods.
      • Umn, Atan god and Delphaeus, are Tamul gods, as the gods are indigenous to the races, and Atans and Delphae are firmly stated to be Tamul tribes that went their own way. They are simply more active as gods than the other Tamul gods. As for elder gods, they are called elder to separate them from the younger gods - they are all styric.
      • If you don't count the Powerless Ones There are far less then thousands of Gods, more a thousand and change, since there are an even thousand younger gods of Styrictum, while the rest of the races either only have a single deity or a small group of deities. And while Delphaeus and the Atan god may have started as Tamul gods, by that point in the story they are clearly separate from that pantheon, since when ever anyone mentions the Tamul gods it's about how irresponsible and child-like they are, which those two clearly are not.
  • The Deed of Paksenarrion has gods on both the good and evil side of the spectrum. Leading the good side is the High Lord who is known most places; the domains of other gods vary by location and probably a persons career. You also have saints such as Gird, Falk and Tir whose deeds in life ended up with them having almost godlike status. On the evil side you have such gods as Liart the god of torment and Archaya the Webspinner.
  • Eru Iluvatar, and created from him, the Valar and Maiar of JRR Tolkien's Middle-earth, as described in The Silmarillion.
  • The Lords of Law and Chaos in Michael Moorcock's writings, particularly the Elric of Melnibone stories.
  • The Cthulhu Mythos in some of its characterizations. Lovecraft himself was less than consistent on this point, treating his Eldritch Abominations sometimes as powerful aliens, sometimes as true divinities or at least something equivalent.
  • The Rankan and Ilsig pantheons of the Thieves' World stories. They're later joined by the Beysib, because Sanctuary obviously needed more divine squabbling and turf-wars...
  • The gods of the Hyborian mythos in Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian stories. Interesting in that some gods have very different domains and followers depending on where you are, such as Bel the Zamoran god of thieves was respectable and honest in another country.
  • Lois McMaster Bujold's Chalion novels feature a pantheon of gods: The Father, the Mother, the Son, the Daughter, and the Bastard.
  • Dragaera has a pantheon which sits in the Halls of Judgment and manipulates things from behind the scenes. One of them at least, Verra, has something of a Crystal Dragon Jesus religion which is mainly popular with the humans of this setting.
  • The rabbits of Watership Down have their pantheon: Frith the creator and sun god, the Black Rabit of Inle as the god of death, and El-ahrairah, the heroic "prince of rabbits."
  • Similarly, the deer in David Clement-Davies's Fire Bringer have their god Herne and folk-hero Starbuck.
  • Kushiel's Legacy has, in addition to All Myths Are True, Elua the god of love, and his Companions, former angels of the One God, each of which is in charge of their own domain, exactly like a traditional pantheon.
  • The Tamir Triad by Lynn Flewelling has the Four Gods, as well as the Mother, the goddess of the hill witches, and the dark god of the necromancers.
  • Played with in Tales of MU. Rather than form a unified pantheon, most of the gods deny each others divinity, and all teach contradictory theology/mythology. One character (a demon, so technically an enemy of the gods... or something) even asserts that the gods are just anyone who is powerful enough to smite anyone who claims otherwise.
  • In Kevin J. Anderson's Terra Incognita series, the supreme god, Ondun has three sons, Jorun, who stayed to rule the literal Heaven on Earth, Terravitae, and his other two sons Aiden and Urec who he sent out to explore the world and whose later quarrel formed the basis for the two religions in conflict in the story.
  • In Brandon Sanderson's Warbreaker, the Returned have a pantheon in T'Telir, including their ruler, The God King. Played with, because the Returned were human once.
  • The The War Gods series by David Weber has both good and evil pantheons.
  • The Silmarillion and other works by JRR Tolkien are, like the Narnia series, a reconciliation of Christianity and paganism. Essentially the Valar, powerful beings who do the work of Eru Ilúvatar (God) in the world are viewed as pagan gods by some and as Christian-like angels by others. In The History of Middle Earth a pagan Anglo-Saxon understands their relationship as "Ilúvatar is not of the Gods; he made them."
  • In the A Song of Ice and Fire, there is several faiths coexisting more or less peacefully. It is not known if these gods really exists, but many of the magical feats performed in the series are attributed to them. The main ones are:
    • The Seven. The main fate of Westeros, it is one God with seven aspects, but often prayed to as seven different gods by the mass, and referred to as "The Gods" in idioms and curses. Those aspects are The Mother, the Father,The Smith, The Maid, The Crone and The Stranger. Also referred to as the "New Gods".
    • The Old Gods. While their original worshippers, the "Children of the Forest" have been extinct for centuries, the Faith is still very strong in the North of Westeros, but forgotten everywhere else.
    • R'hllor, the Lord of Light, the Red God. Locked continuously in a battle for the fate of the World with the Great Other (god of ice and death). His followers are zealots waiting from the return of the messianic figure known as Azor Ahai.
    • The Drowned God, a Chtullu-like figure worshiped by the Viking-like Iron Men of Westeros.

Live Action TV

Tabletop Games

  • The pantheons of the Dungeons & Dragons universe, including the various campaign settings.
    • Notable exception to the standard: Eberron, the gods are a mystery. There are angels and others who claim to serve the gods directly, but Word of God claims they aren't sure either. Divine magic is powered by faith rather than the gods themselves. (A running joke is the Church of My Left Sock.) There are divine entities at the heart of several religions, (such as the evangelical religion of the Silver Flame), as well as other entities who claim to be divine, but there are also several self-motivated religions (such as the dark-themed Blood of Vol) as well as the Path of Inspiration.
    • Dark Sun was another exception. It's implied that in the distant past, the people of Athas worshipped various gods, but at present, they've all been forgotten. In their place, the powerful—but mortal—Sorcerer-Kings are worshipped as gods in the city-states, while most non-city dwellers worship nature as the Elements. In the 4E reboot, the gods are stated to have been killed or driven off in the conflict with the primordials.
  • In Warhammer Fantasy Battle High Elves and the Empire both have a pantheon composed of various gods. These gods tend to be anthropomorphic personifications of various concepts (Isha is the Elven goddess of life, Ulric is the Empire's god of winter, battle and wolves, Khaine is the Elven war god etc), although the Empire also has Sigmar who isn't really a personification of anything but a human who ascended to godhood (or a Physical God, depending on who you ask). Then there's the four great Gods of Chaos (and several lesser ones) created from the psyche of mortals and embodying rage, lust, despair and hope (yes, the god of hope is evil. Warhammer world is not a very nice place). The Orcs also have two gods (Gork, the god of cunning brutality and Mork, the god of brutal cunning. Or possibly the other way around. Wars have been started by Orcs arguing which is which), but that hardly counts as a pantheon.
    • The ancestor gods of the dwarfs are another pantheon and so is the old pantheon of ancient Nehekhara. The woodelfs have a pantheon as well. Ind is mentioned and referred to as the land of a thousand gods so one would expect them to have quite the pantheon. Brettonia is said to have the commoners worship some empire gods along with the lady but that might not count.
    • The ogres are one of the few truly monotheistic races.
    • The Skaven only have a single god as well: the Horned Rat. Although the jury's still out on whether he's simply a minor Chaos god or not...
      • As someone described him - "If Nurgle and Tzeentch both had a pet rat, and these two rats had a baby - that would be the Horned Rat"
  • The pantheons of the world of Glorantha in Chaosium's RuneQuest.
  • The deities of Tekumel in Professor M.A.R. Barker's Empire of the Petal Throne
  • The Passions in FASA's Earthdawn
  • The Invisible Clergy in Atlas Games' Unknown Armies
  • The "Gawds" of Garweeze World in Hackmaster, as described in Gawds and Demi-Gawds
  • Exalted possibly built the biggest pantheon in fictional history. Granted, some of them are just described, but even so, there are gods for individual rice grains.
    • Even if one ignores the Terrestrial Gods (who represent and protect individual things) and sticks to the Celetial Gods (who represent and protect universal conceptions), there are still enough of them to inhabit a city the size of a continent.
  • Troper Looney Toons' long-standing multi-system campaign world Narth has a pantheon of nearly 60 active gods, as well as good number of quasigods and metagods.
  • The GURPS Banestorm fantasy setting actually averts this, believe it or not. The elven/dwarven religions don't have gods at all, and since the humans of the setting were initially yanked from Crusades-era Earth, the major human religions are Christianity and Islam.
  • Although Scion is largely based on actual myth, they also offer Atlantian deities as lost pantheon.
  • The Palladium Fantasy RPG has a number of Gods and Pantheons, such as Algor, the Pantheon of Rurga, the Northern Gods, and such. Strangely enough however, the most prominent pantheon in the world is the Church of Light And Dark: the Gods that once ruled Ancient Egypt back on Earth.


  • In Transformers, Primus and Unicron are generally considered the supreme Cybertronian gods. Below them are the thirteen original Transformers that Primus created. Being a relatively recent addition, there's not much known about the thirteen, with two exceptions: Vector Prime, guardian of time (seen in Transformers Cybertron); and the guardian of entropy known only as "The Fallen" (the Big Bad from Revenge of the Fallen).
  • This was a huge aspect of LEGO's Bionicle line, originally. The "Legend of the Great Spirit" has been beaten into our heads over and over again, and many characters and prophecies referenced "The Heavens", "Spirit Brothers", and all kinds of borderline-religious mumbo-jumbo. Turns out not only was most of it a lie that the elders made up so that they wouldn't have to tell the islanders their terrible forgotten history, the whole Legend was based on a total misunderstanding. Everyone (save for some fans) seems to have gotten over it with ease, and they still continue to respect their former "god". But this time, for the things he has done, rather than because of what the legends said.

Video Games

  • Lunar has the Goddess Althena with the four dragons and the Dragonmaster as her protectors. Lucia from Eternal Blue arguably counts as a demigod.
  • Treasure of the Rudra has the Majestic Four. Mitra, Meifa, Hausen, and Saizou
  • The Legend of Zelda has the three creator goddesses (Din, Goddess of Power; Nayru, Goddess of Wisdom; and Farore, Goddess of Courage), plus a rather large supporting pantheon, which changes from game to game. Of particular note is the Goddess Hylia, because the various Princesses Zelda are her mortal incarnations.
  • The Elder Scrolls have the Nine Divines, plus the various Daedric princes (who aren't all male).
    • The lore mentions a wide variety of other deities. Some are the Nine or daedra by different names, others are entirely different entities.
  • Romancing SaGa has 10 Deities.
  • The Touhou universe has several of these, such as Shinki from Mystic Square and Kanako and Suwako from Mountain of Faith. Also a case of Gods Need Prayer Badly.
  • Incursion's pantheon subverts many of the traditional aspects of the tabletop game pantheon. The Eldritch Abomination (Kysul) is Lawful Good, the god of Justice (Semirath) is a zany Karmic Trickster rather than a stern judge, the gods of Art (Maeve), Animals (Zurvash), Chivalry (Erich), and Fertility (Xel) are all evil while the god of Purity (Immotian) isn't far from it, the Good gods include a whip-wielding seductress (Essiah), the goddess of The Undead (Mara), and the guy with the Illuminati trappings (Xavias), and so on.
  • The most prominent gods in RuneScape are Saradomin (good/order), Zamorak (evil/chaos), and Guthix (balance/nature). Various other gods and demi-gods also appear.
  • Played with in Warcraft. While the Titans fulfill the role of a fantasy pantheon in the series, even having their own Satan analog with Sargerous, Blizzard stresses over and over that they are not gods, and despite their name neither are the Old Gods. So far there has only been one entity in lore that is officially a deity, the Night Elf goddess Elune.
  • Guild Wars has a group of 5 (later 6) gods. Shrines to the gods are found throughout explorable areas, and can grant different sorts of bonuses if a particular region of the world has "favor". In the setting, some people focus mostly on particular gods, though all gods are generally acknowledged.
    • In the sequel, only human worship these gods with any conviction. The other playable races either worship their own dieties, or have a different conception of the world.
  • The Fall From Heaven mod for Civilization 4 has 21 different gods, each associated with a particular type of magic, as well as a way of behaving and a facet of the world.
  • Legendary Pokémon have always been powerful, but thanks to Sequel Escalation newer ones can be positively godlike. Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire had Groudon and Kyogre, who formed the land and the seas; and Rayquaza, a sky Pokemon that kept them in balance. The games after that, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, included Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina, Pokemon that controlled time, space, and antimatter, and Arceus who created the world. Pokémon Black and White continues with Zekrom and Reshiram, the embodiments of Yin and Yang.
  • The Ogre Battle series has their own Gods like six for their elements (Zoshonel the Fire Goddess, Berthe the Earth Goddess, Grueza the Water Goddess, Harnella the Wind Goddess, Filarhh the Light God, and Asmodee the Dark God), with a few other originals like Fellena, Goddess of Justice, Dagda, God of Life and Death & Holp, God of Wisdom, among others mentioned in the Zeteginean Myth. However, there is some Crossover Cosmology as there are mentions of Thor and Loki (Surtr, too, but not in the heavenly pantheon) and the Four Gods of the Winds (Boreas, Zephyros, Notos and Euros) from Classical Mythology among them.
    • There are also those ones who reside in the Underworld, as well. Diablo, both the God of Destruction & King of the Ogres and Danika, the Persephone-like daughter of Berthe are some of them.
  • Kid Icarus has at least one god made up for the game (Parthena). The monster Medusa is a goddess in this game, and references to Zeus were made. This makes it a mix between a Fantasy Pantheon and Greek/Roman gods.
  • The Disciples series has several deities, who are usually patron gods of certain races. They are often borrowed from real-life religions or other fantasy worlds. The human Empire worships Highfather in an Christian manner, making the origin obvious. The Mountain Clans worship Wotan, which is another name for Odin. The Elves worship Gallean and, formerly, Soloniele, who are responsible for the creation of the Elves and the Merfolk. Interestingly, Highfather is not the creator of humanity. That would be his favorite angel Bethrezen, who is also the creator of the fantasy world of Nevendaar. Thanks to the jealousy of the other angels, when Bethrezen showed it to Highfather, it was engulfed in war. Angered, Highfather locked Bethrezen at the molten core of his creation, leading him to go mad and become The Devil, who later created a race of demons meant to free him and destroy the mortal races. A misunderstanding lead to Wotan killing Gallean and causing Soloniele to become Mortis, the goddess of death. She slaughtered a magical people and raised them as her undead servants.
  • The Dragon Age 'verse has three. A decent majority of humans worship the Maker, who is pretty close to the Judeo-Christian God. The elves have their own pantheon (some information is available in the Origins codex). However the only gods that actually physically appear are the dragon-gods of the old Tevinter Imperium, which now sleep beneath the earth and become the archdemons when they come into contact with darkspawn.
  • Fable is pretty straightforward. Avo is the god of good, Skorm is the god of evil.


  • In the same vein as the D&D example, Order of the Stick's pantheon is the Greek gods, the Chinese Zodiac animals, the Norse gods, and the Mesopotamian gods (but the Greek gods got killed by the Snarl before the world began).
    • There are also completely fictional deities in the setting, such as the Elven gods and the Dark One, evil god of the goblins.
      • And Banjo the Clown, God of Puppets, created by Elan early on in the strip.
        • Banjo was rejected by the followers of the Northern Gods when he tried to join their pantheon (Odin and Thor were on-board though; they like puppets) but has already started spawning his own pantheon which includes the heretical cult of Banj-thulu and Banjo's rival and brother Giggles, the god of slapstick.
          • With conflicts between different sects settled by the traditional pie-eating contest.
  • The main characters of The Gods of Arr-Kelaan are this in their new world
  • In The Challenges of Zona the Erogenians follow the Goddesses of the Moon and Earth. The Sun is also a deity but not much followed except for the Sun tribe. The Urrts follow Shuach, God of Evil and Fire who used to be followed by the Erogenians and the Kivallians follow a Crystal Dragon Jesus who may or may not actually exist.
  • The world of Erfworld was apparently created by the Titans of Arc, who are worshiped its inhabitants and who look like giant Elvis impersonators.

Web Original

  • Monster Girl Encyclopedia mention few deities in some of Cute Monster Girl entries. So far, we have God who seem to based on Judeo-Christian-Islamic one. Poseidon who govern the ocean. And the Fallen God who reside in Pandemonium. The profile of Cyclope suggest that there are more, with Cyclopes themselves were ones until other deities cursed them to become monsters.
  • In The Movolreilen Saga, each of the nations has one of its own, though so far only Nilenira's has been fleshed out.
  • In The Gamers Alliance, various gods live in the High Plane and are basically divided into factions supporting Chaos, Order or Neutrality. Each god and goddess is a jerkass to a degree. The gods shown so far are Artemicia (Goddess of Healing), Cardia (God of Order), Gaea (Goddess of Earth), Hephaestus (God of Smithing), Hivena (Goddess of Love and Fertility), Mardük (God of Chaos), Nergal (God of War), Shakkan (God of Beasts), Paedün (God of Knowledge), and Phil (God of Arseholes).

Western Animation

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has the Avatar Spirit, and its various incarnations, including the main character. In addition, there are various other spirits, such as Tui and La, the Moon and Ocean spirits worshiped by the Water Tribes; as well as local guardian deities, such as Hei-Bai, a forest guardian, and the Painted Lady, a river spirit.