The H.P. Lovecraft Wiki

🔀 This is an article about the character. For the story in which it first appeared, see Dagon (short story).

This subject contains information from the Mythos Adjacent Works, and while share similar themes and features of the Mythos are not based on his work, or generally considered a part of the Mythos proper. This subject contains information from the "Lovecraft Circle" Myth Cycles, and while guided by HPL are not based on his work alone. This subject contains information from the Expanded Cthulhu Mythos, and not based on H.P. Lovecraft's works directly. Dagon is a deity from Mesopotamian mythology who was incorporated into H. P. Lovecraft's fiction in the short story "Dagon", eventually becoming a prominent element of the Cthulhu Mythos, where he is often referred to as Father Dagon. In the stories of Lovecraft and others, he presides over the Deep Ones, a hidden amphibious humanoid race that resides in the Earth's oceans, and is worshipped by the Esoteric Order of Dagon, a secret cult based in Innsmouth. He is the consort of Mother Hydra.

In the real world, Dagon or Dagan was a deity worshipped in Mesopotamia, particularly in what is now Syria. He may have been connected with fertility or grain.[1] He appears in the Hebrew Bible as a leading god of the Philistines, notably in Judges 16, where Samson brings down the temple of Dagon where he is being held captive.[2] The similarity of Dagon to the Hebrew word dag ("fish") led to a depiction of the deity as half man, half fish, like a merman, and to a misconception in Western culture of Dagon as a kind of sea god.[3]

In Lovecraft's Fiction[]

In the Lovecraft story "Dagon," written in 1917, the narrator finds ancient carvings that depict humanoid creatures with webbed hands and bulging eyes, at least one of whom is almost as large as a whale. He then sees a similar creature like that in the flesh--a "vast, of nightmares," with "gigantic scaly arms." The creature is never identified as Dagon in the story, though he does seek out a "celebrated ethnologist" to ask "peculiar questions regarding the ancient Philistine legend of Dagon, the Fish-God."

The people of Innsmouth in The Shadow Over Innsmouth worship at the Esoteric Order of Dagon, and according to Zadok Allen are required to take the three Oaths of Dagon. (Allen at one point rants about "Dagon an’ Ashtoreth—Belial an’ Beëlzebub—Golden Caff an’ the idols o’ Canaan an’ the Philistines.") The faithful in the order, Allen says, will not die but instead "go back to the Mother Hydra an’ Father Dagon what we all come from onct." To which he adds, "Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn!". Additionally, Robert Olmstead comes to believe that someday the Deep Ones will "rise again for the tribute Great Cthulhu craved [...] a city greater than Innsmouth next time". This suggests that Dagon functions as a deity in the Innsmouth community, but whether he is supposed to be a distinct entity or merely Cthulhu referred to with a biblical name is unclear.

In the Expanded Mythos[]

In the works of Lin Carter, Dagon and Hydra are identified as the Lesser Old Ones who serve Cthulhu, and lead all the Deep Ones who serve him. (EXP: "The Horror in the Gallery", "Behind the Mask")

In "Dagon's Bell", by Brian Lumley, the character David Parker claims that Cthulhu is merely another name for Dagon (and so is Neptune).


At a very advanced age, some Deep Ones reach enormous sizes (citation needed). Such individuals engender the Cult of Dagon, who worship these creatures as deities. They are, in fact, entirely corporeal beings whose great age contributes to their massive size. There is fossil evidence that the oldest, largest of these beings reached sizes of over 50 feet in height (citation needed).


Dagon is an enormous specimen of a Deep One (citation needed)that has been mentioned in texts since at least the time of Mesopotamia. He is worshipped as a deity by a devout cult of both humans and Deep Ones. While apparently immortal, his longevity may be attributable to his fraternization with the Star Spawn, who sometimes select formidable specimens from a given species to protect, nurture, and empower for reasons known only to them (citation needed).

It may also be that there has been more than one gigantic specimen of Deep Ones who could have been confused with or mistaken for the original Dagon (citation needed). All Deep Ones continue to grow slowly after they reach maturity, provided that they have access to enough nourishment. In fact, there are ancient Dagon-related carvings that display what appear to be several gigantic Deep Ones wrestling with whales, although these may in fact be the creatures known as Silent Ones, a trio of creatures worshipped by the Deep Ones which are known to eat whales (EXP: "Toadface").

In other works[]

Doctor Who[]

The Doctor identifies Dagon as one of the Great Old Ones and claims that the Sea Devils worship it. (EXP: All-Consuming Fire)

Dungeons & Dragons[]

Dagon 2 (Wizards of the Coast)

Dagon as depicted in Dungeons & Dragons.

In Dungeons & Dragons, the tabletop role-playing game from Wizards on the Coast, Dagon (a.k.a., the Prince of the Depths) is an obyrith, one of the Lovecraftian demons that predated not only mortal life but the gods themselves. Originally, like all the other obyrith, its form could drive a mortal insane. Over time, it evolved and took its more recognizable shape, a 40-foot hybrid combining fish and octopus elements, with black rubbery skin, many unblinking red eyes, and numerous tentacles. His maw is full of rows of long fangs and fish scales shield his skin.

Dagon is a demon lord of the Abyss and rules the 89th layer. In the material plane, he and his minions lurk in the Sea of Fallen Stars and the waters that are west of Maztica in the Forgotten Realms setting. He infests with nightmares the dreams of those who swim in the Sea of Fallen Stars. Over millennia, he created five "wild tides" which swept great numbers of Sharlarin into the Sea of Fallen Stars, to be slaughtered by his minions. Eventually the Sharlarin abandoned their gods and turned to worshiping Dagon.


Dagon, Demon Lord (Paizo)

Dagon, as depicted in Pathfinder.

In the Pathfinder roleplaying game, Dagon (a.k.a. Shadow Lord of the Sea and Demon Lord of the Sea) is a Qlippoth Lord who was originally a mindless sea monster. As it consumed more demons, it gained an intellect. It resides in the sunken city of Ugothanok, with its alien architecture. Its form is a foul hybrid of octopus, eel, and fish, with four tentacles, a monstrous face, and the lower body of an eel. It measures 35 feet and its spawn usually take its form.

Additionally, a creature known as Father Dagon is referenced in Bestiary 5 of the first edition of Pathfinder. Along with Mother Hydra, Father Dagon is said to be an ancient Elder Deep One. As Deep Ones in Pathfinder are not Qlippoths, this suggests that Father Dagon is a separate entity, but one that is also worshipped on a near-divine status.

Behind the Mythos[]

  • George Olshevsky named the nonconvex snub polyhedra after entities from the Mythos, with the Snub icosidodecadodecahedron as "Dagon".
  • The 2001 movie Dagon was, despite its name, based on The Shadow Over Innsmouth.
  • In 2008, the single "Dagon" (russian "Дагон") was released by russian horror-punk band Korol i Shut (russian Король и Шут), and later in the album "Ten' klouna" (russian "Тень клоуна"). In 2008, she took 4th place, and in 2009, she took 12th place in the hit parade "Chartova Duzhyna".
  • The metal band Dagon from Lansing, Michigan is named after the deity. Their songs revolve around the sea, and often contain a supernatural element.

External links[]

See also[]


Main article: Dagon/Gallery


  1. Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses, "Dagan (god)".
  2. Bible Gateway, "Judges 16".
  3. Jewish Bible Quarterly, "Dagon: The Fish God?" by Gil Student, July-September 2016.