Kraken in popular culture

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An illustration from the original 1870 edition of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by author Jules Verne.

Although fictional and the subject of myth, the legend of the Kraken continues to present day,[1] with numerous references existing in popular culture, including film, literature, television, video games and other miscellaneous examples (e.g., postage stamps, a rollercoaster ride and a rum product).


  • The Kraken (comic book character) from The Umbrella Academy was named so after the Kraken (sea monster) as he has the ability to breath under water.
  • In the Disney comic series "Tamers of Nonhuman Threats" the Kraken appears in the fifth story, "Let's Get Kraken". In this story, the Kraken has a natural enemy, the sperm whale.
  • In the hit manga One Piece, a kraken named Surume is a minor character in the Fishman Island Arc.


  • In the 2007 film Juno,[5] the title character relates an anecdote about a high-school student overdosing on behavioural medication, stripping off her clothes, and diving into a shopping mall fountain, declaring, "I am a Kraken from the sea!" It is later revealed that she was that student.
  • In the 2010 version of Clash of the Titans,[6] the Kraken is again featured as a servant of the Olympian Gods. This version of the creatures still has a humanoid head, torso and arms, but also boasts a number of tentacles. It is given a new backstory as Hades' creation that was used to overthrow the Titans.


  • The television series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea featured an episode called The Village of Guilt, in which a failed experiment creates a giant octopus which then terrorizes the population of a Norwegian fjord.[7]
  • In the Fantasy Novel series The Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin and the HBO series Game Of Thrones, the Kraken is the sigil of House Greyjoy of the Iron Islands.


  • In Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby Dick (chapter 59)[9] the crew of the Pequod encounter a "vast pulpy mass, furlongs in length". Starbuck calls it 'The great live squid, which, they say, few whale-ships ever beheld, and returned to their ports to tell of it.' Narrator Ishmael attributes this to Bishop Pontopiddan's "the great Kraken," and concludes: "By some naturalists who have vaguely heard rumors of the mysterious creature, here spoken of, it is included among the class of cuttle-fish, to which, indeed, in certain external respects it would seem to belong, but only as the Anak of the tribe."
  • Jules Verne's 1870 novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea featured a group of giant squids that attack the submarine Nautilus.[10]
  • John Wyndham's 1953 novel The Kraken Wakes features the sonnet written by Alfred Tennyson called The Kraken (1830), which described a massive creature that dwelled at the bottom of the sea; the story itself refers to an invasion by sea-dwelling aliens. The title is a play on Tennyson's line "The Kraken sleepeth".[12]
  • Jack Vance's 1966 science fiction adventure novel The Blue World, based on an earlier 1964 novella The Kragen, depicts a world where natives must beware the kragen, giant, semi-intelligent squid-like predators which roam the ocean.[13]
  • In the children's book Monster Mission (also known as Island of the Aunts) by Eva Ibbotson, the Kraken is a force for good who has the ability to clean and heal the oceans.[16]
  • Kraken appear in Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox as enormous, peaceful creatures that stay in the same spot for centuries feeding on algae, doubling as islands. They are described as being conical in shape, although there is a tubular shaped one on the coast of Ireland. In this book, Kraken shed their shells explosively, igniting a layer of methane under the old one and sending it flying. A comparison is made between the Kraken, and a barnacle (albeit one big enough to be mistaken for an island).[17]

Video games[edit]

Versions of the Kraken appear in the video games Call of Duty: Ghosts (2013) Donkey Kong Country Returns (2010), Final Fantasy (1987),[21] EarthBound (1994), The Ocean Hunter (1998), Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb (2003), Shamu's Deep Sea Adventures (2005), Secrets of the Deep for Pinball FX 2 (2011), Fable: The Lost Chapters (2004), Age of Mythology (2002),[22] Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (2006),[23] God of War II (2007),[24] Tomb Raider: Underworld (2008), Darkfall Online (2009), Heroes of Newerth (2010),[25] World of Warcraft (2004), Darkfall: Unholy Wars (2013), Smite (2013)[26] and Wonder Boy in Monster Land (1987).[27]

A floating-point bug in the space flight simulator Kerbal Space Program which caused vessels at high speed and/or far away places to be disassembled and destroyed was named "Space Kraken" by the community. This name was adopted by the developers who named the fix for this bug "Krakensbane".[28]


In 1990 a set of four postage stamps displaying legendary Canadian animals were released. One stamp in the set featured the Kraken.[29][30]

The Kraken is a steel floorless roller coaster manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard. It opened in 2000 and is located at SeaWorld Orlando, in the United States.[31]

The Kraken Rum is a 94 proof rum manufactured in Trinidad and Tobago and released in the United States in 2009.[32]

The Cassini probe has detected a huge body of liquid on Titan, Saturn's largest moon. It has since been named the Kraken Mare.[33]

Greg Hardy, defensive end for the Carolina Panthers, is called "The Kraken" by himself and his fans. "The Kraken's" School has been listed as Hogwarts.[34]

"Kraken" is a song by filk songwriter Leslie Fish, based partly on the Tennyson sonnet.

The Razer Kraken is a Gaming/Music headphone range created by Razer Inc.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Under the Sea: The Kraken in Culture. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  2. ^ Clash of the Titans (1981).
  3. ^ Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep (TV 2006).
  4. ^ Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006).
  5. ^ Juno (2007).
  6. ^ Clash of the Titans (2010).
  7. ^ The Village of Guilt (1964).
  8. ^ "The Kraken" (1830). (2005-01-11). Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  9. ^ [1] Chapter LIX "The Squid" ..."There seems some ground to imagine that the great Kraken of Bishop Pontoppodan may ultimately resolve itself into Squid."
  10. ^ Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne – Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  11. ^ Robert M. Price, "The Other Name of Azathoth", introduction to The Cthulhu Cycle. Price credits Philip A. Shreffler with connecting the poem and the story.
  12. ^ The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham – Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  13. ^
  14. ^ The Girl in a Swing – Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists. Retrieved on 2014-04-05.
  15. ^ The Wishsong of Shannara (Shannara, #3) by Terry Brooks – Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  16. ^ Island of the Aunts – Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists. Retrieved on 2014-04-05.
  17. ^ Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox – Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists. Retrieved on 2014-04-05.
  18. ^ Pirate Latitudes – Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists. Retrieved on 2014-04-05.
  19. ^ Kraken by China Miéville – Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  20. ^ House of Greyjoy - A Wiki of Ice and Fire. Retrieved on 2014-02-14.
  21. ^ "Final Fantasy Retrospective: Part I". GameTrailers. 2007-07-15. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  22. ^ Age of Mythology Heaven: Norse myth units. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  23. ^ Geoff Duncan (October 26, 2006). "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance Hits Retailers". Digital Trends. Retrieved December 11, 2010. 
  24. ^ God of War 2 Guide & Walkthrough – PlayStation 2 (PS2) – IGN. (2007-04-27). Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  25. ^ Heroes Database Heroes of Newerth. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  26. ^ Smite Gods. Retrieved on 2013-03-01.
  27. ^
  28. ^ [2] KSP Wiki. Modding API
  29. ^
  30. ^ Kraken Stamps. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  31. ^ at. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  32. ^ The Kraken® Rum. Retrieved on 2011-11-21.
  33. ^
  34. ^ Chase, Chris (December 8, 2013). "Panthers defender lists Hogwarts as alma mater during ‘Sunday Night Football’". USA Today. 

External links[edit]