|“||Oozing and surging up out of that yawning trap-door in the Cyclopean crypt I had glimpsed such an unbelievable behemothic monstrosity that I could not doubt the power of its original to kill with its mere sight. Even now I cannot begin to suggest it with any words at my command. I might call it gigantic—tentacled—proboscidian—octopus-eyed—semi-amorphous—plastic—partly squamous and partly rugose—ugh! But nothing I could say could even adumbrate the loathsome, unholy, non-human, extra-galactic horror and hatefulness and unutterable evil of that forbidden spawn of black chaos and illimitable night. As I write these words the associated mental image causes me to lean back faint and nauseated.||„|
|~ H.P. Lovecraft & Hazel Heald , "Out Of the Aeons"|
Ghatanothoa (The Dark God) is a Great Old One and the firstborn of Cthulhu spawned by Idh-yaa on the planet Xoth (EXP: "The Thing in the Pit" [Lin Carter]). It is a huge, amorphous monstrosity, whose appearance is so hideous that anyone who gazes upon it (or even a perfect replica) is petrified into a living mummy. The victim is permanently immobilized, the body taking on the consistency of leather and the internal organs and brain preserved indefinitely, yet remains fully aware. Only the destruction of the subject's brain or the application of a magic scroll can free it from its hellish prison, though the unfortunate is likely to be incurably insane long before the welcomed release.(HPL: "Out of the Aeons")
It was brought to Earth from the planet Yuggoth by an ancient, alien race, possibly the Mi-go, who built a colossal fortress atop Yaddith-Gho and sealed Ghatanothoa inside the mountain beneath a large trapdoor where it remains to this day (HPL: "Out of the Aeons"). There it was worshipped by the lloigor (EXP: "The Return of the Lloigor" Colin Wilson). It was later worshipped by Mankind (the Kthatans), who both feared and respected it because of its aforementioned ability to turn any humans that beheld him into living, thinking mummies. Nevertheless brave individuals like the heretic T'yog have tried and failed to destroy it.
Beyond the Mythos
- Ghatanothoa appeared in the Japanese TV series Ultraman Tiga under the name Gatanothor, the master of Lloiger-based kaiju known as the Zoiger.
- Ghatanothoa appears as a young girl in the Japanese anime Nyaruko: Crawling with Love which bizzarely parodies the Cthulhu Mythos.
- A faithful representaion appears in the American urban fiction novel "Dying Bites," by Don DeBrandt, as an elder god summoned to reshape the world.