Lilith in popular culture

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Lilith, a female demon from Jewish mythology, has been developed over time into distinct characters in popular culture.[1][2] One writer on witches wrote, "No spirit exerts more fascination over media and popular culture than Lilith. Her appearances are genuinely too numerous to count."[3][4][5] Lilith is one of several demonic figures with biblical or related origins integrated into popular culture.[6][7]

This article should only include direct references to the Lilith of Jewish legend (as documented in Jewish sources) in popular culture. It does not include references to the many dozens of derivative female characters called "Lilith" in comics, video games, cartoons, supernatural films, TV series, and so on. See Lilith (disambiguation) for a complete listing of characters named Lilith.

Books[edit]

  • The March 1973 issue of the Warren magazine, Eerie, contains a story written by Nick Cuti titled "Lilith", illustrated by Jaime Brocal. The story is based on the medieval stories of Lilith being Adam's first wife, but there are several interesting turns on the tale, such as the archangel Gabriel being substituted for Samael.[8]
  • Lilith is a principal character in Stephen Brust's To Reign in Hell (1984), where she is the love interest of both Satan and Lucifer at varying points.
  • In the Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis, the White Witch (the main antagonist of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) is said to be a descendant of Lilith, Adam's first wife.
  • In Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series of fantasy novels, a demoness named Lilith appears in For Love of Evil (1988) and Under a Velvet Cloak (2007).
  • In Cassandra Clare's young-adult fantasy series The Mortal Instruments (2007–2014), Lilith is the first wife of Adam in the garden of Eden.
  • In Jaye Wells' urban paranormal Sabina Kane novels, Lilith is the Queen of Hell and wife of Asmodeus, and the mother of the vampire and mage races; while Lilith only makes brief cameos in the first four books, the prophecy of her return drives the central plot of the series and she is a major character in the fifth installation.
  • Lilith is named as Adam's first wife in the fantasy series Fallen by Lauren Kate.[relevant? ]
  • Lilith is resurrected in Kevin R. Given's Last Rites: The Return of Sebastian Vasilis which is book one in the Karl Vincent: Vampire Hunter series. She, along with the Egyptian Sekhmet and Hindu Kali, form a female trinity bent on destroying mankind and taking over the earth.
  • Lilith appears in the 40th issue of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series from DC Comics' Vertigo imprint. She is later present in several issues of the Lucifer comic series, where she is found to be the mother of Mazikeen.[9] She was the first wife of Adam, who, when rejected by Adam and God for being a person in her own right, slept with many (if not all) of the angels to give birth to the first demons, who she then organized into building the Silver City.
  • In Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, Humbert Humbert says of himself, "Humbert was perfectly capable of intercourse with Eve, but it was Lilith he longed for."[10][relevant? ]
  • In Simon R. Green's Nightside series, Lilith is the main hero's mother.[relevant? ]
  • One of the two characters named Lilith in the Marvel Universe was an ancient demon goddess and the mother of the Lilin.
  • In Qui Nguyen’s 2011 play She Kills Monsters, Lilith is the name of the demon queen player character representing Tilly’s girlfriend in her Dungeons & Dragons campaign.
  • In Larissa Ione's book series The Lords of Deliverance, Lilith is the mother of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
  • In the Stargate Atlantis spin-off novel Blood Ties, Lilith is an Ancient researcher from Atlantis who became obsessed with defeating the Ori to the point of insanity. To this end, she created the creatures of mythology, most of whom died out in the Great Flood. However, her succubi, incubi and cambion survived and are the main enemies of the novel. One of the factions of these creatures is called the Lilith after her.
  • Lilith is the main protagonist in the 2017 detective noire thriller book called "The Noir Evil" whereby she possesses the Cleveland Torso Murderer
  • Lilith is a main antagonist in the later books of the Vampire Huntress series by L.A. Banks. She identified as Adam’s first wife and is then married to the Devil. She has a vampiric nature.

Television, movies, and music[edit]

  • The character Leeloo in the movie The Fifth Element, a futuristic fantasy, turns the concept of Lilith on its head by saving humanity instead of devouring it. Leeloo is depicted as fair-skinned and with strawberry blonde hair, young and lithe, similarly or identical to the romantic era paintings. Leeloo is represented as the original woman (first wife of Adam), and is born speaking Aramaic.
  • The Lilith myth is the subject of the episode "Lilith: Queen of the Night" from the third season of the Canadian documentary series The Naked Archaeologist.
  • In the TV series Supernatural, a white-eyed and very powerful demon called Lilith appears in seasons 3 and 4. She is said to be the first human ever tempted into Lucifer's service, thus becoming the first demon. In the season 4 finale, it is revealed that she is also the last of the 66 seals, and when she is killed, Lucifer is unleashed from his cage.
  • In the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode "Night on Haunted Mountain" (2012), the main villainess was a flying phantom which is named Dark Lilith and protects a mountain named Mount Diabla.[relevant? ]
  • In season 5 of True Blood, Lilith is the goddess that the Sanguinistas (an underground religious group composed mainly of vampires) worship and pray to. Lilith is acknowledged in The Original Testament, the vampire Bible and predecessor to both the Old and New Testaments, as the second vampire—after God—and is portrayed as the messiah of vampires.
  • Lilith is the subject of the horror film Night Angel (1990). Originally titled "Lilith" in the spec screenplay by Joe Augustyn it was based on, it was the first feature film to incorporate the ancient legend of Lilith. imdb link
  • The horror movie 30 Days of Night: Dark Days features a vampire called Lilith.[relevant? ]
  • In the 2009 film Evil Angel, the Lilith legend is examined while investigating murder sprees that may be related to demonic possession.
  • In the 2009 comedy movie Year One, Lilith is represented as daughter of Adam, sister of Cain.[relevant? ]
  • Lilith features in the occult-themed lyrics of several metal bands. American industrial rock band Machines of Loving Grace's 1993 album Concentration contains the song "Lilith/Eve" that is based on the legend. Swedish black metal band Dissection's 2006 album Reinkaos has a song called "Dark Mother Divine" which refers to Lilith. British extreme metal band Cradle of Filth's 2010 concept album Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa focuses on Lilith. Deathcore band Chelsea Grin released a song called "Lilith" on their 2012 EP, Evolve. Therion's 2012 album Les Fleurs du Mal features the song "Lilith", and Lilith is referred to in "The Perennial Sophia" from their 2007 rock opera, Gothic Kabbalah. Lilith is also mentioned with respect to Eve in In This Moment’s 2017 song “Oh Lord”.
  • Genesis' sixth studio album, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (1974), features the song "Lilywhite Lilith".[relevant? ]
  • The electronic producer Varien released the song "Lilith", which is about this legend.
  • In the webseries Carmilla, based on the vampire novella of the same name, Carmilla's sire and "mother" is named Lilita and has been heavily hinted in transmedia for the series to be based on or connected to Lilith.[citation needed][relevant? ]
  • In the movie The Chosen, the story revolves around Lilith as a demon that possesses children and takes them to hell if six blood relatives are not sacrificed. The movie also references Lilith as being the first wife of Adam.
  • In Zero, a South Indian Tamil fantasy-horror movie, Lilith, the 'first wife of Adam' is mentioned. She is said to have cursed the protagonist.[relevant? ]
  • In the 2001 opera, Lilith, following Adam's funeral, Eve returns to the ruined paradise of Eden and confronts Lilith, the notorious "other woman".
  • In the TV sit-com Cheers and its sequel series Frasier, Lilith Sternin is Frasier Crane's wife and later ex-wife. Given her name by her Jewish parents, she is hinted at being related to the demoness Lilith by Frasier's father and his father's dog Eddie.[relevant? ]
  • In the 1996 horror comedy Bordello of Blood, Lilith is portrayed as "the mother of all vampires", and the film's antagonist.
  • In the 2004 movie Darklight, Lilith (portrayed by Shiri Appleby) has been stripped of her memory and powers and is living as an ordinary young woman. When an ambitious, evil scientist threatens the world, a secret society helps Lilith to regain her memories and to use her powers for good.
  • In the mythology of the TV Series True Blood Lilith is known as the first vampire. According to vampiric history, God first created Lilith and subsequently created Adam and Eve to sustain her. Appearing as the main antagonist of season 5, Lilith meets her demise during the sixth season. A vial of her blood is kept by the Vampire Authority and is consumed by Bill Compton, allowing Lilith to possess him. She is portrayed by Jessica Clark.
  • Lilith, played by Anna Hopkins, acts as the main villain for the third season of Shadowhunters. This version of Lilith is a Greater Demon and the first woman made by God who was cast into Hell for her disobedience. She refers to season two antagonist Jonathan Morgenstern as her son.[11].
  • In The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Lilith is merged with the character of Madam Satan in the series and serves as the main antagonist of the first season. She is referred to as “Satan’s Concubine” and the mother of Demons, her ultimate goal is to groom Sabrina to take her place in Satan’s army so she will sit beside him as the Queen of Hell.

Anime and manga[edit]

  • In the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion—a show that makes innumerable references to Jewish mysticism—Lilith is stated to be the second angel, the progenitor of the human race (who collectively form the 18th and final angel, Lilin). She is confined and impaled with the Lance of Longinus in order to keep her compliant to NERV/SEELE's goals. However, she is wrongly identified as Adam by everyone other than the three characters who secretly put Lilith's soul into a clone, creating the artificial human Rei Ayanami. In the Rebuild of Evangelion movie adaptation, Lilith is the second angel and progenitor of humanity kept under NERV headquarters, but NERV personnel all identify her as Lilith.
  • The Path series about a cult worshipping The Light includes a woman named Lilith. Lilith claims she was the original visionary behind the religion, and the religion’s known founder, Steve (also once her romantic partner) stole her visions to found the cult. Lilith is often seen in darkness on the show. mage, named Lilith Asami, whose power is based on the sin of lust.[relevant? ]
  • Trinity Seven has a mage, named Lilith Asami, whose power is based on the sin of lust.[relevant? ]
  • There is a Digimon known as Lilithmon who is based on the mythical Lilith and is one of the Seven Great Demon Lords. The character's first anime appearance is in Digimon Fusion.[relevant? ]
  • In the manga Chrono Crusade, Lilith is the mother of Chrono and Aion. Lilith was turned into a replacement core for Pandemonium. At the end of the story, Aion beheads her, making clear his contempt for her. He further requests that it never be disclosed that Chrono and he are both humans turned into demons. In the penultimate chapter, Asmaria has a vision of a pregnant woman walking through the countryside when the ancestral demons came to Earth, and this woman happens to be Lilith.[citation needed]
  • In the manga Monster Musume, Lilith is a mischievous lesser devil who hypnotizes the centaur Centorea to believe she must force herself onto Kimihito, the protagonist. An unexpected wild boar attack foils her plan and breaks the hypnosis, and Lilith is apprehended by Rachnera Arachnera.

Games[edit]

  • Lilith is a character in Darksiders and Darksiders II, a female demon-queen that created the Nephilim, angel-demon hybrids.
  • Lilith appears as a succubus (in fact, a sentient fraction of Morrigan Aensland's power) in the Darkstalkers series.[relevant? ]
  • Lilith appears as the Queen of Darkness and mother of Kalma in Jade Cocoon 2, serving as the game's main antagonist. Upon collecting the four elemental orbs, Lilith's power seals the wormhole forests and claims several previously defeated Beasthunters as Disciples of Darkness. Kahu must enter her lair and purify the darkness within the heart of each Beasthunter before facing Lilith as the final boss. She appears as a giant insect-looking demon, Levant refers to her as The Devil.
  • Lilith is a playable character in the roleplaying/shooter game Borderlands. She reappears as a non-playable character in Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: the Pre-sequel.
  • Lilith are a class of snake-woman demons who are a recurring enemy in the Final Fantasy series. In an expansion to Final Fantasy XI, Lady Lilith is a main antagonist.[relevant? ]
  • Lilith is a character in DmC: Devil May Cry. She is the mistress of the main antagonist, Mundus, and is fought as a boss alongside her unborn son.[relevant? ]
  • There is an enemy named Lilith in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. Although she is only encountered in a multiplayer-only special quest, her character is expanded in the tie-in novels, which reveals that she is the niece of Diablo and is in fact the mother of humanity's forerunners, the nephalem.
  • Lilith has several appearances in The Secret World, described as one of the first humans, and claims that she turned against her own species in favor of the Nephilim Samael. She claims to be the Mother of Monsters, but is considered human and her power stems from ancient artifacts.
  • Lilith, the "Mother of Monsters," is one of the primary leaders in Malifaux.[relevant? ]
  • Lilith is recurring enemy in the Castlevania series, and is usually a palette-swap of the series' Succubus enemy.[relevant? ]
  • Lilith, evolved from a succubus, is a 4-star healer in the Japanese mobile game, Puzzle & Dragons.[relevant? ]
  • Lilith is a playable character in the popular indie game The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth expansion "Afterbirth".[12][citation needed][relevant? ]
  • Lilith is a recurring character in the Megami Tensei series. In Shin Megami Tensei IV, she is Chaos-aligned, and if the Chaos storyline is chosen, she is seen laughing at the end of the game, likely because the world has been populated by demons and now she has free rein.[citation needed][relevant? ]
  • Lilith is one of three heroines in the visual novel Tokyo Babel.[13]
  • Lilith is the name of a planet, and the primary questing-destination, in the upcoming indie game Lilith 3218.[14][15]
  • Lilith is a character appearing the Vampire: The Masquerade line of game products originally published by White Wolf Games. In the game's fiction, she claims to be the first wife of Adam and teaches Caine how to use his vampiric powers.[16]

Characters named Lilith[edit]

See the disambiguation page for characters merely named Lilith, such as Lilith Sternin in Cheers and Frasier.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Josef Steiff, Tristan D. Tamplin Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy 2008 But popular culture has given Lilith and, by extension, Eve, the opportunity to recast those aspects of their characters that have been vilified and associated with their gender.
  2. ^ Jim Leach - Claude Jutra: Filmmaker - Page 267 1999 "Although part of a popular and not necessarily Jewish belief, Lilith became a very important component of Lurianic kabalah, being part of the powers of evil that hamper the struggle to purify and redeem the universe. Thus popular culture ..."
  3. ^ Judika Illes The Weiser Field Guide to Witches: From Hexes to Hermione Granger Page 153 2010 "Some legends depict her as a powerful guardian spirit. No spirit exerts more fascination over media and popular culture than Lilith. Her appearances are genuinely too numerous to count. Lilith herself, or characters named in her honor ..."
  4. ^ Alejandra Elenes Transforming Borders: Chicana/O Popular Culture and Pedagogy Page 77 - 2010 "Chicana/O Popular Culture and Pedagogy Alejandra Elenes. European Syncretism Some of the Western figures that are believed to be related to La Llorona include Medea, Lilith, Lamia, and the White Lady. The distinct relationship between ..."
  5. ^ Mary Lynn Kittelson The soul of popular culture: looking at contemporary heroes Page 109 1998 "Indeed, one of the most popular American cinemyths is the demonization of the Other Woman. This is not a new story, for its roots go back to Biblical mythology and the legend of Lilith, first wife of Adam. Lilith was Adam's equal and therefore ..."
  6. ^ Philip Leroy Culbertson, Elaine Mary Wainwright The Bible in Popular Culture Page 52 - 2010 "Trouble ensues when the head vampire, lilith (yes, that lilith), sends her best assassin, Sistine centuria, to new Vatican city (nVc) to deal with Jesus."
  7. ^ Marcel Danesi X-rated!: the power of mythic symbolism in popular culture 2009 "This book delves into the reasons why pop culture, and all of its "X-Rated" features, are so appealing to masses of people, even though they may hate to love it."
  8. ^ Eerie No.47, Warren Publishing, New York, March 1973, "Lilith" story by Nick Cuti, artwork by Jamie Brocal, p. 18-36
  9. ^ "Lilith (comic book character)". Comic Vine. Archived from the original on 15 June 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  10. ^ Excerpt From: Nabokov, Vladimir. "The Annotated Lolita: Revised and Updated." iBooks.
  11. ^ http://ew.com/tv/2017/10/07/shadowhunters-javier-munoz-anna-hopkins-guest-star/
  12. ^ "Lilith". Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Wiki. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  13. ^ "Tokyo Babel". The Visual Novel Database. Retrieved 2017-06-28.
  14. ^ "Lilith 3218". IndieDB.com. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
  15. ^ "Jun & Pate". JunAndPate.com. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
  16. ^ Chupp, Greenberg, Sam, Andrew (1993). Vampire The Masquerade: The Book of Nod. White Wolf Publishing Inc. ISBN 1-56504-078-3.