What does Cthulhu represent

Cthulhu - Cthulhu

Fictional cosmic unity

Cthulhu is a fictional cosmic being, created by the writer HP Lovecraft and first introduced in the short story "The Call of Cthulhu" published in the American trash magazine Weird tales in 1928. As a very elderly in the Pantheon of Lovecraftian Cosmic Units, the creature has since been mentioned in numerous popular cultural references. Lovecraft depicts it as a gigantic entity worshiped by cultists in the form of an octopus, a dragon, and a caricature of human form. His name was given to the Lovecraft-inspired universe in which his fellow humans and it existed, the Cthulhu Myth.

Etymology, spelling and pronunciation

Invented by Lovecraft in 1928, the name Cthulhu was probably chosen to echo the word chthonic (Greek "of the earth"), as evidently by Lovecraft himself at the end of his 1923 story "beat the rats in the walls". The chthonic The spirit has precedents in numerous ancient and medieval mythologies and frequently guards mines and precious underground treasures, particularly in the Germanic dwarfs and the Greek Chalybes, Telchines or Dactyls.

Lovecraft transcribed the pronunciation of Cthulhu as Khlûl'-hloo and said: "The first syllable is pronounced guttural and very thick. The 'u' is about as in 'full', and the first syllable is no different in sound than 'klul' so the 'h' represents the guttural thickness . "(See discussion linked below.) However, ST Joshi points out that Lovecraft has made several different debates on different occasions. According to Lovecraft, this is only the next step the human vocal apparatus can take to reproduce the syllables of a foreign language. Cthulhu was written in many other ways as well, including Tulu, Katulu, and Kutulu. The name is often preceded by the epithet Great, Dead or Dread.

Long after Lovecraft's death, Chaosium influenced the role-playing game editor Call of Cthulhu , the modern pronunciation of "We'll say it cow-THOOL-hu", even though Lovecraft said it differently. Others use the pronunciation Katulu / Kutulu / k ə tU l U /


Drawing of Cthulhu by HP Lovecraft

In "The Call of Cthulhu," HP Lovecraft describes a statue of Cthulhu as "a monster with vaguely anthropoid outlines, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of antennae, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, and amazing claws fore and hind feet and long, narrow wings behind it. "Cthulhu is said to resemble an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature hundreds of meters high with networked, human-looking arms and legs and a pair of rudimentary wings on its back. Its head resembles the entirety of a giant octopus, whose unknown mouth is surrounded by an unknown number of tentacles.

Publication history

The short story in which Cthulhu is first mentioned, "The Call of Cthulhu", was written in 1928 Weird tales released and established the character as a malicious unit hibernating in R'lyeh, an underwater city in the South Pacific. The imprisoned Cthulhu is apparently the source of constant unconscious fear for all humanity and also the object of worship, both from a number of human cults (including in New Zealand, Greenland, Louisiana, and the Chinese mountains) and other Lovecraftian monsters (called Deep Ones and Mi-Go). The short story claims that while Cthulhu is currently trapped, he will return at some point. His worshipers sing " Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn "(" In his house in R'lyeh the dead Cthulhu is waiting to dream. ").

Lovecraft devised a detailed genealogy for Cthulhu (published as "Letter 617" in Selected letters ) and made the figure a central reference in his works. The short story "The Dunwich Horror" (1928) refers to Cthulhu, while "The Whisperer in Darkness" (1930) suggests that one of his characters knows the origin of the creature ("I learned where Cthulhu came from first and why half of it." the great temporary stars of history had flared up. "). The 1931 novella in the mountains of madness refers to the "Star Brood of Cthulhu" who fought before the dawn of humans with another race called the Elder Things.

August Derleth, a Lovecraft correspondent, used the creature's name to identify the narration system employed by Lovecraft and his literary successors, the Cthulhu Myth. In 1937 Derleth wrote the short story "The Return of Hastur" and proposed two groups of opposing cosmic entities:

the old or old who older gods of cosmic good guys and those of the cosmic evil who have many names and belong to themselves to different groups, as if they were connected to the elements and yet transcend them: for there are the aquatic beings hidden in the depths; those of the air who are vacationers beyond time; those of the earth, terrible vivacious survivors of distant eons.

According to Derleth's scheme, "Great Cthulhu was one of the water elementals" and was involved in a centuries-old arch-rivalry with a particular air elemental, Hastur the Unspeakable, who was referred to as Cthulhu's "half-brother". Based on this framework, Derleth wrote a series of short stories that appear in Weird tales (1944–1952) and published as The Trail of Cthulhu were collected and the fight of a Dr. Laban Shrewsbury and his staff pose against Cthulhu and his henchmen. In addition, Cthulhu is mentioned in Derleth's 1945 novel "The Lurker on the Threshold" published by Arkham House. The novel can also be found in The Watchers Out of Time and Others, a collection of stories from Derleth's interpretations of the Lovecraftian Myth published by Arkham House in 1974.

Derleth's interpretations have been criticized by Lovecraft enthusiast Michel Houellebecq, among others. Houellebecqs HP Lovecraft: Against the world, against life (2005) condemns Derleth for attempting to transform Lovecraft's strictly amoral continuity into a stereotypical conflict between the forces of objective good and evil.

In John Glasby's "A Shadow From the Aeons", Cthulhu is seen by the narrator roaming the river bank near Dominic Waldron's castle. The god seems to be completely different from his representation by other authors.

The character's influence extended to game literature as well; The game company TSR put an entire chapter on the Cthulhu myth (including statistics for the character) in the first print of the Dungeons and Dragons- Source book Deities & Demigods (1980) included. TSR was unaware, however, that Arkham House, which asserted the copyright on almost all Lovecraft literature, had already licensed the Cthulhu property to the game company Chaosium. Although Chaosium mandated that TSR could continue to use the material if each future issue contained published credit for Chaosium, TSR declined and the material was removed from all subsequent issues.



In 1981 Chaosium released their role-playing game Call of Cthulhu . This game may have gone a long way in bringing the works of Lovecraft to a wider audience. It has now reached its seventh edition with a large amount of additional material and has won several major gaming awards. In 1987 Chaosium released the cooperative adventure board game Arkham horror which is based on the same background and has since been reprinted by other publishers. In 1996 they released a trading card game, Mythos.

In 2004, Fantasy Flight Games began a long-term relationship with Chaosium, releasing a trading card game that was launched in a new format (living card game) in 2008 as Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game has been released . This was the first in a collection of games from this publisher and the only one in their family that was not cooperative. The company has been following a completely rebuilt Arkham horror (2005, 2018), the dice game Elder Sign (2011), the dungeon (or mansion) crawler Mansions of Madness (2011, 2016), a pulp version of Arkham horror With Eldritch horror (2013), a living card game Arkham Horror: The Card Game (2016) and a trigger game Arkham Horror: Final Hour (2019).

In 2006, Bethesda Softworks, Ubisoft and 2K Games jointly released a game from Headfirst Productions, Call of Cthulhu: Dark corners of the earth, based on the works of Lovecraft. Cthulhu itself does not appear as the main opponent of the game is the depths of The Shadow Over Innsmouth and the sea god Dagon, but his presence is hinted at several times and a statue of him in one of the temples is considered to undermine the player's sanity. Also, one of Cthulhu's Star Spawns with a similarly hideous appearance appears as an enemy in the late game.

On March 19, 2007, Steve Jackson Games released an iteration of their card game Munchkin called Munchkin Cthulhu. The game showcases Cthulhu and its surrounding myth with a cartoon art style and comedic tone that delves deeply into topics such as madness and cultism. Great Cthulhu is an independent monster in the deck, along with various parodies of Lovecraft's creatures. Cthulhu is depicted as an overweight, light green creature with a large, bulbous head and two disproportionately small wings.

The Ukrainian video game series STALKER has a Cthulhu-inspired mutant named Bloodsucker.

Cthulhu is the main inspiration behind the zombies in the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 .

The massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft contains numerous references to Cthulhu and the myth, including an early raid boss named C'Thun and, more recently, one of the game's "old gods" named N'Zoth, who rests in a sunken city.

In Scribblenauts (2009) Cthulhu is conjurable. It is much smaller than described in Lovecraft's works, but much stronger than most other aggressive objects.

Cthulhu saves the world (2010) shows Cthulhu in the unusual role of the protagonist. A prequel, Cthulhu saves Christmas , was released in 2019.

Terraria (2011) refers to Cthulhu in three boss fights: Eye of Cthulhu, Brain of Cthulhu, and the final boss Moon Lord, implied to be Cthulhu's brother or possibly Cthulhu himself.

Treefrog Games released in 2013 A Study in Emerald , a board game based on a Neil Gaiman short story linking Cthulhu Mythos and Sherlock Holmes.

In 2015, Sandy Petersen, author of the 1981 Chaosium RPG, designed an asymmetrical board game: Cthulhu Wars .

In the video game Bloodborne out In 2015, Game Director Hidetaka Miyazaki decided to include ideas and themes from Lovecraft's novels such as creatures based on Lovecraft's Great Old Ones.

In 2016, Z-Man Games released an alternative version of the board game Pandemic . This new adaptation, Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu , set in the Cthulhu myth, and explorers race to save the world before Cthulhu returns.

In the Android video game Flappy Monsters of Lovecraft 2016, a game in Flappy Style, players can take control of Cthulhu.

In 2018 it was called a survival horror role-playing game Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game Developed for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC.

On April 2, 2018, NetEase released an asymmetrical survival horror video game called Identity V started. The game contains hunter characters from Cthulhu Mythos. The game can be played on the mobile phone as well as on the PC.

In 2019, CMON Limited released the board game Cthulhu: Death May Die .

In June 2019, an open world horror detective game was named The Sinking City , based on the Cthulhu myth, has been released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It was also released for Nintendo Switch this September.

On December 10, 2019, the first-person shooter and survival horror released Killing Floor 2 a seasonal update called Yuletide horror , which contained a card called Sanitarium with an Easter egg that revealed the appearance of Cthulhu in the background.

In 2020, Cthulhu was featured as a playable character in MOBA Smite released .


Cthulhu appeared as a parody candidate in several elections, including the 2010 Polish presidential election and the 2012 and 2016 US presidential election. The faux campaigns usually ridicule voters who claim to be voting for the "lesser evil". In 2016, the troll account known as "The Dark Lord Cthulhu" submitted an official application to participate in the Massachusetts presidential election. The account also raised over $ 4,000 from fans to fund the campaign through a gofundme.com page. Gofundme removed the campaign page and made contributions. The Cthulhu Party (UK), another pseudo-political organization, claims to be "changing politics for evil" and parodies the Brexit party's "changing politics for good"; A member of the Cthulhu party is the mayor of Blists Hill. Another organization, Cthulhu for America, ran during the 2016 American presidential election and drew comparisons with other satirical presidential candidates like Vermin Supreme. The organization had a platform that included the legalization of human sacrifice, the madness of all Americans, and the end of peace.


The California spider species Pimoa cthulhu described by Gustavo Hormiga in 1994 and the New Guinea moth species Speiredonia cthulhui , which was described by Alberto Zilli and Jeremy D. Holloway in 2005, are named after Cthulhu.

Two microorganisms that help termites digest wood were named after Cthulhu and Cthulhu's "daughter" Cthylla: Cthulhu macrofasciculumque and Cthylla microfasciculumque .

In 2014, science and technology student Donna Haraway gave a talk titled "Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucen: Staying with the Problem" in which she suggested the term "Chthulucene" as an alternative to the concept of the Anthropocene due to the entanglement of all networking supposedly individual beings. Haraway has denied any indebtedness to Lovecraft's Cthulhu, claiming that her "Chthulu" is from Greek Khthonios "the earth" is derived. The Lovecraft figure, however, is much closer to its coined term than the Greek root, and its description of its meaning coincides with Lovecraft's idea that Cthulhu is facing the apocalyptic, multilayered threat of turning civilization into an endless dark horror: "Chthulucene closes not on itself; it does not round off; its contact zones are omnipresent and continuously turn curvy tendrils.

In 2015 it was created by NASA team responsible for the mission New Horizons responsible, proposed to designate an elongated, dark region along Pluto's equator that was originally called the "whale" as the "Cthulhu Regio". It is now known as the "Cthulhu Macula".

In April 2019, Imran A. Rahman and a team in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. the discovery of Sollasina cthulhu at , an extinct member of the Ophiocistioids group.

Movie and TV

Several films and television programs show the danger that Cthulhu will return to dominate the universe. A notable example is three episodes of the animated series South Park for adults in which Eric Cartman is revealed to be so irrevocably evil that he can tame Cthulhu and instruct him to destroy personal enemies. In these episodes ("Coon 2: Hindsight", "Mysterion Rises" and "Coon vs.Coon & Friends ") Cthulhu is faithfully portrayed as the monstrous, god-like creature with a tentacled mouth Lovecraft describes in the popular animated science fiction sitcom Rick and Morty for Adults can be seen in the opening sequence immediately in front of the title card, a representation of Cthulhu. In the cartoon The Grim Adventures by Billy and Mandy by Cartoon Network has Cthulhu a double-length episode called "Prank Call of Cthulhu". Cthulhu also performed at the beginning of the Simpsons Episode "Treehouse of Horror XXIX" briefly.

In the Warner Bros. Justice League animated series "The Terror Beyond", Cthulhu is shown as an intruder from an interdimensional world, in which members of the Justice League team fight with Cthulhu. In the second Season, episodes 18 and 19 of Gravity Falls , Cthulhu is briefly seen destroying a huge ear with an oral laser and then walking.

On October 27, 1987, Cthulhu appeared in the second season, episode 28 of the cartoon " The Real Ghostbusters "entitled" The Collect Call of Cathulhu, "in which the Ghostbusters competed against the Spawn and Cult of Cthulhu.

Cthulhu is in the animated Howard Lovecraft Trilogy from Arcana Studio to see those with Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom begins and with the coming Kingdom of Madness ends.

The Call of Cthulhu is an independent silent film adaptation of the 2005 short story of the same name, produced by Sean Branney and Andrew Leman.

Cast a Deadly Spell is a 1991 noir film starring private investigator H. Philip Lovecraft in a fictional Los Angeles where magic is real, monsters and mythical beasts haunt the back alleys, zombies are used as cheap labor and everyone - except Lovecraft - uses everyone Day magic. The plot revolves around a plan, a copy of the Necronomicon to use to conjure up an ancient god who could be Cthulhu.

The 2007 film Cthulhu is loosely based on Lovecraft's 1936 novella The Shadow over Innsmouth which is part of the Cthulhu myth.

The creatures in the Netflix movie Bird box off 2018 are closely related to Cthulhu.

Cthulhu appears in season four, episode seven of The Venture Bros. , and fights against the Order of the Triad.

Cthulhu appears in season 2, episode 14 of the Night Gallery , "Professor Peabody's last talk".

Cthulhu appears at the climax of the film Underwater worshiped by an underwater humanoid civilization.

Cthulhu, or at least its star spawn, is expected to be in Lovecraft Country appear .


Heavy metal band Metallica referred to Cthulhu in the song "Dream No More" from their 2016 album Hardwired ... To Self-Destruct as well as on the album released in 1984 Ride the Lightning with the inspired instrumental track "The Call of Ktulu" by HP Lovecraft's novella The Shadow over Innsmouth , which Cliff Burton introduced to the rest of the band, and on the 1986 album Master of Puppets with the song "The Thing That Should Not Be" (whose lyrics by The Shadow are inspired) over Innsmouth and partly contain quotations from "The Call of Cthulhu").

The fifth studio album by the Canadian electronic music producer deadmau5 contains the song "Cthulhu Sleeps".

The American metal band The Acacia Strain has on their album Continent released a song called "Cthulhu".

The second album by the British steampunk band The Men, which is not responsible for anything, contains the song "Margate Fhtagn". The song describes the band's meeting with Cthulhu on vacation in Margate.

The fourth album by the English extreme metal band Cradle of Filth, Midian , contains a song called "Cthulhu Dawn", although the lyrics don't seem to have anything to do with Lovecraft's sea monster.

The songs "The Watchman" and "Last Exit for the Lost", by British gothic rock band Fields of the Nephilim, both reference Cthulhu (or Kthulhu as it is written on the album's inner sleeve).

The British progressive rock band CARAVAN released the song "C'Thlu Thlu" on the album " For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night " (1973).

The penultimate track on the self-titled debut album by the New Zealand sludge metal band Beastwars from 2011 is titled "Cthulhu".

The album Stairway To Valhalla by Nanowar of Steel contains a song entitled "The Call of Cthulhu".

The song "Cthulhu" by German Power Metal and the "SUPERHEROMETAL" band Grailknights mentions the city of Rlyeh.

The song "Angel of Disease" by the American death metal band Morbid Angel refers to the Ancient Ones, Cthulhu and Shub-Niggurath.

The British synthwave band Gunship released the song "Cthulhu" in 2019 with a well-known quote from Lovecrafts " The Call of Cthulhu "and" Other Dark Tales ", as told by horror film director Corin Hardy.


The story was adapted for the stage by Oregon-based theater company Puppeteers for Fears, which "The Call of Cthulhu" as Cthulhu: the Musical! A full-length rock and roll comedy with dolls, the Cthulhu doll being the largest and most complex. The script and songs were written by playwright Josh Gross. After a successful run in Ashland, Oregon, the production toured the West Coast in 2018, including a sold-out run at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Wrote about the show The Portland Mercury : "You only really experienced Lovecraft's madness when you experienced it in its truest form: as a puppet musical."

The main antagonist of StarKid Productions' 2019 horror comedy musical Black Friday is a unit called Wiggly, which is in the shape of a plush toy that closely resembles Cthulhu. The opening number "Wiggly Jingle" contains the lyrics "He is an underwater creature from this world", which is directly related to Cthulhu's origins. In the second act, Wiggly is revealed as a much larger cosmic entity that used the stuffed animals and the hysteria they created to destroy humanity. Wiggly's larger form is a loose-form doll that is made up of the set dressing but still has the recognizable Cthulhu shape. The musical was written by Matt and Nick Lang with lyrics and music by Jeff Blim. Black Friday ran successfully at the Hudson Mainstage Theater in Los Angeles, California from October 31, 2019 to December 8, 2019.


Toy versions of Cthulhu have been released in support of games. A plush cthulhu has become a kawaii cultural meme.


further reading

  • Bloch, Robert (1982). "Legacy of Horror". The best of HP Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre (1st ed.). Ballantine books. ISBN.
  • Burleson, Donald R. (1983). HP Lovecraft, a critical study . Westport, CT / London, England: Greenwood Press. ISBN.
  • Burnett, Cathy (1996). Spectrum # 3: The best in contemporary fantastic art . Nevada City, CA, 95959 USA: Underwood Books. ISBN. CS1 maintenance: location (link)
  • Harms, Daniel (1998). "Cthulhu". The Cthulhiana Encyclopedia (2nd ed.). Oakland, CA: Chaosium. Pp. 64-7. ISBN.
    • "Idh-yaa", p. 148. Ibid.
    • "Star-Spawn of Cthulhu", pp. 283-4. Ibid.
  • Joshi, ST; Schultz, David E. (2001). An HP Lovecraft encyclopedia . Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN.
  • Lovecraft, Howard P. (1999) [1928]. "The Call of Cthulhu". In ST Joshi (ed.). The Call of Cthulhu and Other Strange Stories . London, United Kingdom; New York, NY: Penguin Books. Archived from the original on November 26, 2009.
  • Lovecraft, Howard P. (1968). Selected letters II . Sauk City, WI: Arkham House. ISBN.
  • Lovecraft, Howard P. (1976). Selected letters from V . Sauk City, WI: Arkham House. ISBN.
  • Marsh, Philip. R'lyehian as a toy language - for psycholinguistics . Lehigh Acres, FL 33970-0085 USA: Philip Marsh. CS1 maintenance: location (link)
  • Mosig, Yozan Dirk W. (1997). Finally Mosig: A psychologist looks at HP Lovecraft (1st ed.). West Warwick, RI: Necronomicon Press. ISBN.
  • Pearsall, Anthony B. (2005). The Lovecraft Lexicon (1st ed.). Tempe, AZ: New Falcon Pub. ISBN.
  • "Other Lovecraftian Products" Archived on 07/23/2008 on the Wayback machine, the HP Lovecraft archive

External links