Talk:Cthulhu Mythos

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The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was no consensus; however, I've moved it anyway, per the large number of sources cited. —Nightstallion (?) Seen this already? 08:35, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

Cthulhu mythos → Cthulhu Mythos – Move to version most commonly used by authors, critics, and scholars.
-,-~R'lyehRising~-,- 20:38, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Support: It does seem to be pretty standard among Lovecraftian scholars to use "Cthulhu Mythos". Nareek 23:30, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose Leave as is; not proper name. And, yes, I;ve read almost all of Eich-Pee-Ell, Septentrionalis 22:00, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
    • Comment. It's good that you've read HPL, but I should point out that Lovecraft never used the term Cthulhu Mythos — it was coined by August Derleth (depending upon who you believe) about six months after Lovecraft's death. As for whether or not the term is a proper noun, who can say? Nonetheless, most writers certainly treat the term as if it were a proper noun. So, bearing that in mind, allow me to attach some names and faces to the authors, critics, and scholars cited above, and perhaps you will understand why I (now) believe that the uppercase form is more appropriate:
      • August Derleth, the originator of the term, seems to have always used "Cthulhu Mythos" as in his essay "The Cthulhu Mythos" from Arkham House's 1969 anthology Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos. He also used Cthulhu Mythos in numerous cover blurbs for Arkham House titles.
      • Daniel Harms (1998), The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, ISBN 1-56882-119-0, "A Brief History of the Cthulhu Mythos", pp. vii–xiv. Example: "For those of you who are just starting your Mythos readings, an explanation is in order. The Cthulhu Mythos is a series of allusions spanning three quarters of a century and the works of hundreds of authors." (pp. vii)
      • S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz (2001), An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia, ISBN 0-3133-1578-7, "The Cthulhu Mythos", pp. 50–4. Example: "[August Derleth took] plot germs from HPL's commonplace book [and made] 'Cthulhu Mythos' tales of them... He also wrote 'Cthulhu Mythos' tales of his own..." (p. 54)
      • Donald R. Burleson (1979), Magill's Survey of Science Fiction Literature III, ISBN 0-8935-6197-5, "The Lovecraft Mythos", pp. 1284–88. Example: "It was probably because of ["The Call of Cthulhu"] that August Derleth coined the term "Cthulhu Mythos"..." (p. 1284).
      • Steven J. Mariconda (1995), On the Emergence of "Cthulhu" & Other Observations, ISBN 0-9408-8481-X, "Toward a Reader-Response Approach to the Lovecraft Mythos", pp. 29–39. Example: "After Lovecraft's death, Derleth used 'Cthulhu Mythology' and, more widely, 'Cthulhu Mythos.' ...Lovecraft himself refused to give it a name. [Scholars] have not interpreted this fact to mean that whatever the Mythos is, it is not something of a nature which can or should be named." (p. 31)
      • Dirk Mosig refers to the "Cthulhu Mythos" in his essay "H. P. Lovecraft: Myth-Maker" (pp. 21–29, Mosig at Last, ISBN 0-940-88490-9)—though in truth he would prefer the term be abandoned in favor of the "Yog-Sothoth Cycle of Myth".
      • Richard L. Tierney, "The Derleth Mythos", Discovering H. P. Lovecraft, ISBN 1-58715-470-6, pp. 52–3. Example: "Most writers continuing the 'Cthulhu Mythos' in fiction or documenting in scholarly articles are merely perpetuating the misconceptions begun by Derleth... To sum up, The Cthulhu Mythos as it now stands is at least as much Derleth's invention as it is HPL's." (p. 53)
      • Others who use "Cthulhu Mythos": Robert M. Price (numerous essays); Will Murray (various essays).
This is primarily why I've weakened my position on using "Cthulhu mythos". The more I read, the more convinced I am that "Cthulhu Mythos" is the proper form to use. It is also worth pointing out that the lone example I cited below, in which a writer uses "Cthulhu mythos", is one the few exceptions (and this was only borne out after considerable digging). The upshot of this is: if "Cthulhu Mythos" is the commonly used term, why shouldn't Wikipedia reflect the predominant view?
-,-~R'lyehRising~-,- 01:49, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Archived discussions[edit]


Too much focus on Lovecraft[edit]

I think there's too much material on Lovecraft in this article, and way too little about other writers who contributed to the Mythos. First of all, the most significant thing about the Cthulhu Mythos from a literary point of view is that it's perhaps the prime example of a shared world. If it was only about Lovecraft, there wouldn't be any such thing as a Cthulhu Muthos story--there would only be H.P. Lovecraft stories.

Secondly, H.P. Lovecraft has his own article. At least some discussion of his theories and the content of his fiction should take place there. And other important writers of the Mythos have pages as well. Here's the only place where we can really talk about how they worked together to build this group project.

Obviously, Lovecraft is the most important Cthulhu Mythos writer; he's going to be a major part of this article. But I think this overdoes it. The only other writer who really gets talked about is Derleth, and he gets slagged in a pretty POV way. It's really not the case that Derleth is objectively a failure because his ideas were not exactly the same as Lovecraft's. Most people, really, would see it as a good thing for a writer not to slavishly adopt another writer's thinking. We certainly shouldn't suggest it's a bad thing.

The argument that Derleth was wrong because Cthulhu doesn't act the way a Great Old One who was really a water elemental would is pretty hilariously geeky, when you stop to think about it. Nareek 06:33, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

"Cthulhu mythos" or "Cthulhu Mythos"[edit]

I suppose this is one issue that will be difficult to resolve; that is, should the mythos be referred to as "Cthulhu mythos" — lowercase to match Wikipedia naming preferences; i.e., Greek mythology (a form I prefer to use) — or should it be "Cthulhu Mythos" — uppercase as most authors write it; August Derleth seems to have always uppercased Mythos. I personally think that upper- or lowercasing "mythos" is an individual preference on the part of the writer; that is, there seems to be no good reason why "mythos" should be in uppercase. HOWEVER, there is a precedent for the lowercase version. In Twentieth Century Literary Criticism Vol. 22 (Dennis Poupard (ed.), Detroit, MI: Gale Research Company, 1987, ISBN 0-8103-2404-0.), Anton Szandor LaVey consistently used "Cthulhu mythos" throughout his essay "The Metaphysics of Lovecraft—'The Ceremony of the Nine Angels' and 'The Call of Cthulhu'" (1972; pp. 209–10).
-,-~R'lyehRising~-,- 16:30, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

The underlying question is whether "mythos" is a common noun or a proper noun in this context. I believe that if it were a common noun, we wouldn't be able to understand such phrases as "a mythos-related story"--we would ask, "Which of the many mythoses are they talking about?" Writing "a Mythos-related story" would acknowledge the fact that when we refer to the Mythos, we all know which mythos we're talking about. Nareek 02:52, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
  • I believe it would be clear by context. As long as it is established that the "Cthulhu mythos" (or "Cthulhu Mythos") is being discussed, I doubt that the reader would suddenly forget what "mythos" means! The important thing is consistency. So, if "Cthulhu mythos" is used in an article, it will be implicit that further references to "mythos" will refer to that.

    The real problem here is that Wikipedia, by convention, prefers that lowercase words be used, except in instances in which the word is always uppercase (such as proper nouns). For this reason, editors who are unfamiliar with the subtleties of the term "Cthulhu Mythos" may regard it much like "Greek mythology" (Wiki says use "mythology" not "Mythology") and then proceed to lowercase every instance of "Mythos". Ultimately, IMHO it is better to simply follow Wiki conventions to save bother.
    -,-~R'lyehRising~-,- 03:15, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
  • I've been thinking about this, and I have some recommendations for addressing this issue. You might think of these as proposed guidelines.

    First, for sake of consistency, it might be appropriate to establish that "Cthulhu mythos" (note lowercased mythos) be the preferred style to use in articles that are mythos-related (you'll notice that categories already use the lowercase form). The uppercase version can be used provided it is enclosed in quotes, as in "Cthulhu Mythos", or italicized, as in Cthulhu Mythos. This form thus would be suggestive of how the mythos is referred to outside Wikipedia (since this is the form most often used by Lovecraft scholars) and would typically be used in articles that are non-mythos related.

    What I'm aiming for here is a compromise—a way to meet Wikipedia's lowercase preference, while at the same time appeasing Lovecraftian purists. So what do you think of my proposal?
    -,-~R'lyehRising~-,- 13:45, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting that people would actually be confused by usages like "mythos-related stories"; I'm arguing that the fact that people recognize what that phrase means suggests that "mythos" in this context is a proper noun, not a common noun, and should therefore be capitalized.
WP style for such things seem to be unsettled. You can compare "Cthulhu mythos" to a phrase like "Chicago school"--if you check the link, you'll find at least four different pages by that name, all of which are headed "Chicago school", but three out of four of which use "Chicago School" throughout (including references to "the School"). Likewise "Method acting" goes to a page with "Method acting" as the head, but "Method Acting" in the text. As with many style issues, WP does things various ways, so we would seem to have leeway to do it the way that seems right to Mythos-interested editors.
Since the heart of style is consistency, I feel that we ought to strive to use one style--either "Cthulhu mythos" or "Cthulhu Mythos".
See Talk:Severn valley for some discussion of a similar issue, the upshot of which is that WP is not as anti-capital letter as I initially thought. Nareek 03:48, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Development of the Mythos[edit]

It's good that we're adding more of the literary history--fictional universe articles on WP often seem to come unmoored from the actual writers and publications that produced said universes. I think, though, that it could be done in a less POV way. The way that we break up the Mythos, and the implicit critique of Derleth's work, is not the only way to view the history.

In fact, it's not the way Price himself viewed the history a few years after he wrote that essay--his introduction to Tales of the Lovecraft Mythos includes an extended defense of Derleth, arguing that his use of the concept of evil, his theme of battles between different races of space aliens, even his elemental theory were not far removed from Lovecraft's own motifs. "Derleth was closer to Lovecraft, and Lovecraft veered closer to what they deem Derleth's abuses, than Mosigian critics can admit." He adds: "(F)or the Lovecraft Mythos to continue to evolve and developby the addition not only of new gods and new grimoires, but also by the stretching and adapting of Lovecraft's original concepts is by no means alien to Lovecraft's intentions."

There are clearly a number of different ways to view the Mythos and its development; I think we ought to cite several. But I think first we ought to be a little more descriptive--we ought to say when and in which stories Lovecraft started inventing his elements and combining them, and when other writers began participating in the game and how Lovecraft in turn used their work. The fact that other writers took the Mythos in different directions--Smith setting his sardonic stories largely in the past, Bloch exploring Ancient Egypt, Derleth focusing on a supposed cosmic conflict between Good and Evil, whatever--can be noted nonjudgmentally (though the fact that these writers have their own articles should be kept in mind).

Whether or not a story is in the Mythos or not can be pretty subjective; my inclination is to say that if a story is considered part of the Mythos by a some significant critics, then it's within our scope. We sort of suggest that "Ubbo-Sathla" is not really a Mythos story, which is a little odd because it's the second non-Lovecraft story in Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, which would seem to be the most canonical collection of Mythos fiction aside from Lovecraft's own books.

I continue to think that this article would benefit from having substantial parts migrated to associateed articles--some of the discussion of Lovecraft's entities moved to Outer God, perhaps, or some of the material on Lovecraft's philosophy moved to H. P. Lovecraft, and so on.

Sorry for the long-winded analysis--obviously it's been on my mind! Nareek 07:24, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Correction Re: Kant[edit]

Warning - Wiki Newbie alert...don't quite know how all this works yet, so bear with me...

The reference in the article to Lovecraft regarding Kant's ethics as a 'joke' is apparently incorrect; according to L. Sprague de Camp's 'Lovecraft: A Biography' (Page 136, New English Library, USA, 1975), this is actually refering to Nietzsche:

"Lovecraft read Schopenhauer (whose pessimism matched his own), Nietzsche, and Freud. He admired Nietzsche's reduction of human morals to an anthropological, materialistic basis but did not take the great German windbag very seriously: '...let me state clearly that I do not swallow him whole. His ethical system is a joke...'[21]"

The Footnote that de Champ provides indicates that this was sourced from a letter, 'HPL to A. T. Renshaw, 1 Jun. 1921'. I'm uncertain if this is in any of the Select Letters Volumes, as I don't have access to those.

--Terminus Est 18:53, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Good/Featured Article[edit]

I nearly nominated this article for GA today. I'm still tempted to do so, but... it needs some images. Anyone out there able to add some and tag them appropriately so I can nominate this? Kyaa the Catlord 20:01, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Hyperborean Age[edit]

"For example, although Smith might mention "Kthulhut" (Cthulhu) in one of his Hyperborean tales, this does not mean that Cthulhu is part of the Hyperborean cycle."

I though it was Robert E. Howard who wrote about the Hyperborean Age.
Howard wrote about the Hyborian Age; the Hyperborean cycle are stories Smith set in a pre-Ice Age Greenland. Nareek 11:25, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Theme of Lovecraft's Fiction[edit]

I think Derleth's changes wouldn't be emphasized so much if he didn't go in the completely opposite direction of Lovecraft. Lovecraft wrote what was (and is) one of the few fantasy/horror story collections that doesn't rely on a good vs. evil dichotomy, and that Derleth made it just that is what annoys many Lovecraft fans. The fact that the very theme has been reversed is why this is so important.

This article clears up many misconceptions. The Cthulhu Mythos was not a unified body of literature with a concurrent universe from the moment that Lovecraft put pen to paper, and never approached that during his lifetime. He did not devise the so-called "elemental system" and had nothing to do with the "Great Old Ones vs. Elder Gods" concept, among other things. This may of course be obvious to some, but one would be surprised how many assume this was all canon he himself set down. Also, when the term "Cthulhu Mythos" is brought up, he is of course the first author brought to mind. To associate with him concepts that he did not devise nor include in his fiction is simply erroneous. Which is not to say that his stories did not have some very concurrent themes, which have been discussed in this and the Lovecrafian horror article. Call me geeky, but it (the CM article)is excellent the way it is.

It's correct that no one can really say how an entity like Cthulhu should or should not act, since the idea was that his actions could not be comprehended by human minds anyway. To say that his intentions are "good" or "evil" would be from a purely human perspective, and that didn't carry much weight in anything Lovecraft wrote. Basically, Lovecraft and Derleth are about as thematically similar as Batman Begins and the Adam West TV show. --Carcosan 02:56, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

The "nihilistic" concept that most people associate with Lovecraft only really came into play in his later stories. While he never had the clear good-evil dichotomy of Derleth, his earlier stories (especially the 'Dream cycle') did not show mankind as irrelevant or unimportant. The story "Beyond the Wall of Sleep" includes a powerful being friendly to mankind, the "brother of light" of the protagonist (or perhaps of humanity - it's not clear) which goes to "meet and conquer the oppressor", an evil being dwelling near Algol. "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath" includes several beings or races friendly to man- the intelligent cats of the Dreamlands, Nodens (later listed as an Elder God - it is true Lovecraft never uses the term, but the classifications of Outer God, Great Old One, etc. all post-date Lovecraft too), and some of the "Great Ones", the "mild gods of earth" (who probably include Nodens). Even the ghouls (which Lovecraft had used as a more traditional horror-monster earlier in "Pickman's Model") and the night-gaunts are allied to Randolph Carter. Finally, Carter, as a great hero, also argues against the conception of Lovecraft's fiction as nihilistic. However, Lovecraft's most famous stories are his middle-to-later ones, which are truly nihilistic (such as "The Call of Cthulhu", "The Haunter of the Dark", and "The Lurking Fear", and even, to some degree, the Carter story "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" - it refers to "the vast conceit of those who had babbled of the malignant Ancient Ones, as if They could pause from Their everlasting dreams to wreak a wrath upon mankind.".) However, even some of Lovecraft's truly "Mythos" stories violate the "insignificance of humanity" idea, such as "At the Mountains of Madness"'s reference to the Old Ones in somewhat approving terms - "What, after all, had they done that we would not have done in their place? ... They were the men of another time and another order of being." So, maybe the good/evil thing isn't so On the other hand, in my POV, Derleth's elemental stuff is nonsense. Vultur


I maintain that this article is still too confusing for people who are not devotees of Lovecraft's work. The introduction is clear, and the sections themselves have a sort of internal clarity, but after reading the article several times I don't think I could explain it in detail to someone else other than to say its a set of stories Lovecraft developed involving mythological figures he made up (which I'm sure is a vast oversimplification.) "Another problem arises when applying the elemental theory to beings that function on a cosmic scale (such as Yog-Sothoth)—some authors have tried to get around this by creating a separate category of aethyr elementals for Azathoth, Shub-Niggurath, Nyarlathotep, and Yog-Sothoth." And "he developed Hastur into a Great Old One represented as an avatar by the King in Yellow of Robert W. Chambers from a passing reference linking Hastur and the Yellow Sign in Lovecraft's The Whisperer in Darkness." It's all just lacking an additional encyclopedic layer that would make all of this clearer to someone who is new to Lovecraft's work. Someone recently mentioned they wanted to nominate this as a featured article, but I don't think that could ever happen until the article clarified its own significance.

Part of the problem comes from having too much speculation and assumption that borders on violating Wikipedia's neutral point of view. The nature of the mythos leaves much up to debate but the page itself is not the place for that. There's a lot of good information here but someone knowledgeable in the mythos who can stick to the pure, established facts needs to clean this up. --Ryuukuro 02:18, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Request for a list of works[edit]

Perhaps a list of works that incorporate elements from this mythos would be appropriate? Or perhaps a list of works that 'define' the mythos?

NPOV violation?[edit]

"Moreover, it could be said that Lovecraft's Mythos was a kind of elaborate inside joke, propagating among the writers of his circle and wearing thin upon his death. Derleth seems to have not understood this and believed that Lovecraft wanted other authors to actively write about the myth-cycle rather than to simply allude to it in their stories." This sounds rather biased to me... ~Bengaley Summercat (I forgot my password. Sigh.)

I agree. Much of the article seems to be assuming the POV "there's a right and a wrong and Derleth got it wrong". However, this is pretty much contrary to NPOV. -- Antaeus Feldspar 09:05, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

WHAT THE HELL?????[edit]

OH GOD THAT PICTURE AT THE TOP HURTS MY MIND. WHAT PERSON IN GOOD CONCIENCE COULD EVER SHOW A PERSON THAT??? THINK IM GOING MAD —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 04:28, 20 March 2007 (UTC). I haven't read any of these stories, btu what I have heard seems to indicate that's the point Library Seraph (talk) 23:03, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Edited a bit[edit]

Removed The Thing on the Doorstep because of the lack of encounters with non-human beings, and because it is more a story about possession. Even if it is included in the mythos, it does not define it in the sense of hidden horror from beyond time and space other than in references. Also removed the minor works because they were either written before the new direction in his writings and its dreamlike descriptions, unlike the wide awake and realistic style which is known from the most famous stories in the mythos.
Like mentioned in the article, Lovecraft didn't find his own voice before around 1923 when after having discovered Arthur Machen and his decription of unknown terror amongst us, secret societies and inhuman hybrids and such, which Lovecraft combined with his own talent, the inspiration from Dunsany and Poe and created his most famous mythology (even if it was named by Derleth). Its breakthrough came as we know with The Call of Cthulhu, which is also why the mythology is called the Cthulhu mythos. The seven stories mentioned are the backbone of the mythos, the other stories containing references to necronomicon and others, are simply flesh to the bone. 01:18, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

So basically, we need to admit that this page is being edited by people who fancy themselves literary critics and historians rather than people who are just trying to assemble a straightforward encyclopedia article.-Apollo58 18:31, 23 August 2007 (UTC)


Can anyone tell me what is meant by "non-pseudo-legendary"? I know what the words mean but do not think I am correctly parsing any meaning from this particular arrangement. GLKeeney 18:20, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Extremely Biased Article[edit]

It seems to me that this entry reads a great deal more like an essay attempting to convince the reader why Derleth was wrong and enforce personal standards of how one SHOULD regard the Cthulhu Mythos than an article simply reporting what the Mythos is and how it came to be. Perhaps you ought to set aside your personal feelings regarding Derleth's contributions and simply report the facts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:58, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

The fact remains that Lovecraft never developed or intended to develop anything in the way of an organized mythology in his stories. Try reading any of his stuff next to Derleth's, and the differences are undeniable. Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of today's Mythos fiction (not to mention the CoC RPG) is based upon Derleth's systematized pantheon and good/evil dichotomy. Many people still wrongly attribute things such as the elemental system, for example, to Lovecraft, and this article dispels such misconceptions. Long story short, what most people think of when they hear "Cthulhu Mythos" in reality has little or nothing to do with Lovecraft. -- 22:16, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

While that fact may be true, it isn't the point of the article which should be a general overview of the ideas commonly known as the Cthulhu Mythos —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:13, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
The criticism appears relevent. I have recast the Derleth material into more neutral language so that his work is portrayed as a development rather than a perversion of the pre-existing material. The contrast between the Lovecraft and Derleth concepts of course remains, but judgment on their relative merits, if such should be made, is now left to the reader. BPK (talk) 15:57, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

The Elemental Theory section is still very biased. The person who wrote it makes the assumption that the Greek elemental system (as opposed to the Chinese or Indian) is the "correct" one, and outright states that Derleth is messing it up. (talk) 18:57, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Removed seven tales section[edit]

This part, as with most attempts to create a "central" list of Mythos stories, didn't make much sense. Why is direct encounter with the forces of the Mythos seen as making a tale more crucial to the Mythos? Aren't the sly allusions and deferral of revelation Lovecraft's trademarks? If encountering the Old Ones is crucial, shouldn't "Dagon" be on this list? What does it mean that these stories are the "main fundament" of Lovecraft's work, or that they follow the "classical elements and pattern"? What is "dark fantasy," and why is this an important defining element for three of the tales? Couldn't we put "The Colour out of Space" here just as easily? What about "The Dreams in the Witch-House," which effectively bridges the magic of "Dunwich" and the alien science of "Whisperer" and "Mountains"? Too much is assumed here. Danharms (talk) 03:19, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Suggestion: Lovecraft's own drawing[edit]

I'm not a Lovecraftian, but I read several of his writings in adolescence. I recently heard a BBC documentary about him and in the broadcast, it is mentioned that Lovecraft made a drawing of Cthulhu which survives. So, I did some Google-age and found

I think that the author's own conception is of greater historical interest than the many drawings that follow, including the one that now leads the article. How is the current drawing that leads the article of special merit? It's certainly a fine visualization, but surely the author's own sketch (however less polished!) is of greater historical interest.

Somebody has removed the entire Necronomicon folder from the Saubertech website. --Orange Mike | Talk 00:14, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
If we find another source with the image, will that solve the problem? Txmormon97 (talk) 14:33, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

Third Stage Development?[edit]

How come there is Third Stage when section heading say "Robert M. Price, in his essay "H. P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos", sees two stages in the development of the Cthulhu Mythos."? L-Zwei (talk) 03:10, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Well, I will just merge third stage with second... L-Zwei (talk) 08:01, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

List of Novels[edit]

Someone commented that this wiki was written with the assumption that the reader has prior knowledge of the works of HP Lovecraft, and that those who are new to the subject would be confused. I agree with this point absolutely, as I cannot grasp the idea of what the Dream Cycle is, and how it relates to the Cthulhu Mythos. Moreover, exactly which novels of his takes place in the Cthulhu Mythos universe? As a reference case, the wiki of Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series is very clearly written, despite the convoluted nature of the series itself. Apart from Asimov, other writers contributed to the universe, and the plot spans tens of thousands of years, with the plot being developed in a non-linear fashion. If such a clear and concise list could be done for the Cthulhu Mythos, it would make the situation crystal clear. As it is, I want to read all the major books set in the Cthulhu Mythos universe in the "right" order, but cannot find any such information on the web. It is frustrating when simple information is not included, simply because it is "common knowledge" to fans of Lovecraft. (talk) 08:32, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Totally agree. I came here looking for just that. It should be here.--Matt D (talk) 21:38, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

German master's thesis[edit]

There is no restriction on language in Wikipedia, save that preference should be given to English-language sources with comparable content. That argument needs to be made if such material is removed. Also, section 7 of this thesis is on Mythos merchandising and does not constitute advertising in and of itself. Danharms (talk) 19:45, 17 December 2008 (UTC)


It would seem to me that there is no reason to have a section entitled "conclusion" in an encyclopedia article. I note that previous editors noted that this article looked like an essay, and I assume that this "conclusion" is a remnant of that. I think it should be removed.Vote Cthulhu (talk) 09:04, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Haiyore! Nyar-Ko san[edit]

I move it to popolar culture page, it at least sound interesting enough. L-Zwei (talk) 03:56, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Japanese Cthulhu Mythos Section[edit]

Is this notable? Should it be here? If Makai Suikoden is a popular Japanese work that has introduced a large number of people in Japan to the Cthulhu Mythos, then it should probably remain. If it's just one Mythos story that has not really attained prominence, it should probably be removed. For what it's worth, a Google search for "Makai Suikoden" (with quotes) currently returns this Wikipedia article as the sixth result, which does not bode well. 0x539 (talk) 01:26, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

  • When searching Japanese content, please search with Japanese. As you see, there are 17200 result there. Consider that the series first publish in 1981, running 20 volumes plus 4 side-stories (not counting spin-off and sequel) and got reprint twice by other companies (click at that ja link, please). I actually think we need the full article here...L-Zwei (talk) 06:04, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
OK, there are many search result links there, provided by L-Zwei. I can't read Japanese, though, so I really don't know what Makai Suikoden is about. It appears (from other Googling) that Makai Suikoden is related to the Cthulhu Mythos, but I'm still not convinced that it belongs in this article. Why have a section on "Japanese Cthulhu Mythos," but none on "Spanish Cthulhu Mythos" or "Russian Cthulhu Mythos?" I'm leaning toward agreement with L-Zwei that Makai Suikoden should have its own article rather than being lumped in here. 0x539 (talk) 06:16, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Does anyone object to removing this section? If no one objects, I'm going to remove it, and let someone qualified create a new article for Makai Suikoden, apart from this article, if they are so inclined. 0x539 (talk) 22:06, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Right now? No. It should be expand to cover Mythos in non-English work instead. L-Zwei (talk) 05:43, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Well, at this point this section is two sentences, and, having looked at them again, I see no reason why they should be included. Makai Suikoden is certainly not as significant to the development of the Cthulhu Mythos as the Lovecraft, Derleth, or even Howard stories mentioned by this article. This is not a directory of Cthulhu Mythos stories, even successful or widely published ones. (For example, we do not include "In the Mouth of Madness.") L-Zwei, if you want to start a "Mythos in non-English" article, that is one thing, but it really doesn't belong here. Please see WP:DIRECTORY for details. 0x539 (talk) 07:56, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I've put the {{worldwide}} template on this page, as it doesn't discuss non-English versions of the mythos. For anyone who wishes to improve the article to make it more worldwide, the section that was deleted is here, and could be used to expand a section on the mythos in non-Anglophone countries. --Malkinann (talk) 22:51, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Repeat request for list of Lovecraft works defining/referencing Cthulhu mythos[edit]

"we ought to say when and in which stories Lovecraft started inventing his elements and combining them" - Nareek, 2006, this talk page

I second this motion. As an example, the Wikipedia article on Lovecraft's Dream Cycle (not included on the Lovecraft template) neatly lists the applicable Lovecraft Dream_Cycle#Stories_and_novels.

Is there a reason we can't do that here? I came here as a random web user to find out which original Lovecraft stories to read about Cthulhu. I found too many Cthulhu articles, but could not locate a list. Determined, I tried to hunt one down on the web. The website "The Cthulhu Mythos: An Annotated Bibliography" ( ) lists his stories only by indexed words. I combed them, but it needs review because I lack the background to ensure that the list is 100% correct:

  • The Call of Cthulhu
  • The Dunwich Horror
  • The Electric Executioner
  • Through the Gates of the Silver Key
  • History of the Necronomicon
  • The Shadow Over Innsmouth
  • Medusa's Coil (with Zealia Bishop)
  • The Mound (with Zealia Bishop)
  • At the Mountains of Madness
  • The Horror in the Museum
  • The Whisperer in Darkness

I can't argue that authors who expanded the mythos shouldn't be included here. But surely, as the originator, a list of Lovecraft's initial defining stories (which present his own concepts) deserve a section? Tkech (talk) 10:06, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

p.s. please note that existing Wikipedia articles seem to lack such a list. Cthulhu Mythos anthology#Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos includes only 2 stories by Lovecraft - most are by other authors; the H. P. Lovecraft bibliography lists all stories, with no subjects identified; Cthulhu Mythos reference codes and bibliography seems to list every story he wrote, as does one source for it, . Category:Cthulhu_Mythos_short_stories and The_Call_of_Cthulhu_and_Other_Weird_Stories do the same. Lovecraft Mythos has no list of works at all; the Category:Cthulhu Mythos novels includes works by other authors ... hopefully you can see the problem. Tkech (talk) 11:03, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

  • disregard the list above which was no good, I boldly added a list per the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Tkech (talk) 00:46, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
This comment - I found too many Cthulhu articles - encapsulates the problem perfectly. I am going to try and create a blended version of the Cthulhu and Lovecraft articles. They repeat some of the same information and it can all be abbreviated into a sourced article. PurpleHeartEditor (talk) 07:30, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Public Domain?[edit]

Is the Cthulhu Mythos in the public domain? (talk) 04:44, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

Which aspect? Some of this dates back to Lovecraft's own stuff, whose copyright status is kinda odd (see the Lovecraft article). Some of the rest comes from stories and essays by Derleth and others which are still under copyright. --Orange Mike | Talk 13:27, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
I did some digging and Arkham House is the copyright holder of the Cthulhu Mythos. That hasn't stopped things like the Necronomicon and Cthulhu himself appearing without credit in 3rd party works. (talk) 23:12, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Only Arkham House, and probably not everybody there, pretends to think that they have any special rights in the Mythos as a whole. Otherwise, see my note above. --Orange Mike | Talk 00:12, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

Template talk:Media based on H. P. Lovecraft works[edit]

So I just reverted my game additions, and also removed some possibly dubious film adaptation entries, and I'll post them here for a discussion so you can tell me what do you think about addition of the following (considering them separately):

Another possiblity is to just make a new template for just inspired works and not works "based on". --Niemti (talk) 20:42, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Hastur created by Derleth?[edit]

Why does the article say Hastur was created by Derleth? According to Hastur's own article, he was created by Ambrose Bierce and added into the Cthulhu Mythos by H.P. Lovecraft in The Whisperer in Darkness, based on his portrayal in Robert W. Chambers's The King in Yellow. Derleth merely expanded upon Hastur's role in the Mythos. (talk) 04:20, 15 December 2015 (UTC)



I will be working on this article.
I anticipate:

  • editing and revising sentences to make them clearer
  • correcting some citation, hyperlink, and ISBN formatting/placement
  • making small grammatical changes.
  • adding some clarifications and definitions (such as who Tierney is in respect to the Cthulhu Mythos and possibly defining myth-cycle)
  • adding some hyperlinks, such as for Yog-Sothoth in the 'History: First Stage' section.

I plan on keeping a list of potential edits on my personal page in case anyone is curious about specific changes. Once I have a comprehensive list, I plan on publishing it on this talk page. Thanks, Txmormon97 (talk) 16:01, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

Just FYI I editted my own comment so it would be clearer than what I previously had Txmormon97 (talk) 21:28, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

Potential Sentence Revisions[edit]

  • Original: The term was first coined by August Derleth, a contemporary correspondent of Lovecraft, who used the name of the creature Cthulhu — a central figure in Lovecraft literature[1][full citation needed] and the focus of Lovecraft's short story "The Call of Cthulhu" (first published in pulp magazine Weird Tales in 1928) — to identify the system of lore employed by Lovecraft and his literary successors. (Introduction)
  • Revision: The term was first coined by August Derleth, a contemporary correspondent of Lovecraft, who used the name of the creature Cthulhu — a central figure in Lovecraft literature and the focus of Lovecraft's short story "The Call of Cthulhu" (first published in pulp magazine Weird Tales in 1928) — to identify the system of lore employed by Lovecraft and his literary successors.
  • Original: In his essay "H. P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos", Robert M. Price described two stages in the development of the Cthulhu Mythos. Price called the first stage the "Cthulhu Mythos proper." This stage was formulated during Lovecraft's lifetime and was subject to his guidance. The second stage was guided by August Derleth who, in addition to publishing Lovecraft's stories after his death, attempted to categorize and expand the Mythos. (Introduction)
  • Revision: In his essay "H. P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos", Robert M. Price described two stages in the development of the Cthulhu Mythos. During his lifetime, Lovecraft guided and formulated “Cthulhu Mythos Proper,” as Price calls the first stage. After his death, August Derleth published Lovecraft’s stories which guided the second stage in attempt to expand and categorize the Mythos.

Txmormon97 (talk) 20:46, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Potential Clarity Changes[edit]

  • " the face of cosmic horrors that apparently exist in the universe." (History: First Stage: First ¶)
  • "...when faced with the cosmic horrors that exist in the universe."
  • " 'The Call of Cthulhu,' in which the minds of human characters deteriorated when afforded a glimpse of what exists outside their perceived reality." (History: First Stage: First ¶)
  • " 'The Call of Cthulhu' where the minds of human characters deteriorate when glimpsing what exists outside their perceived reality."
  • "Lovecraft emphasized the point by stating in the opening sentence of the story that..."(History: First Stage: First ¶)
  • "In the opening sentence of 'The Call of Cthulhu,' Lovecraft emphasized this point by stating that..."
  • "Writer Dirk W. Mosig notes that Lovecraft was a 'mechanistic materialist' who embraced the philosophy of cosmic indifferentism." (History: First Stage: Second ¶)
  • "Writer Dirk W. Mosig notes that Lovecraft, as a 'mechanistic materialist,' embraces the philosophy of cosmic indifferentism.
  • "Human beings, with their limited faculties, could never fully understand this universe, and the cognitive dissonance caused by limitation leads to insanity."(History: First Stage: Second ¶)
  • With their limited faculties and cognitive dissonance, human beings could never fully understand this universe without resulting in insanity."
ProfessorEditor commented to me earlier today: "I see what you did but I think this edit reduces the meaning of the original sentence too much."
  • "Lovecraft's viewpoint made no allowance for religious belief which could not be supported scientifically, ..." (History: First Stage: Second ¶)
  • "Lovecraft's viewpoint made no allowance for religious belief which could not be supported scientifically."
  • "...scientifically, with the incomprehensible, cosmic forces of his tales having as little regard for humanity as humans have for insects." (History: First Stage: Second ¶)
  • "scientifically. With regards to the incomprehensible in his stories, the cosmic forces of his tales have as little regard for humanity as humans have for insects."
  • "...this fictional group of beings." (History: First Stage: Third ¶)
  • "...this fictional group of cosmic beings."
  • "The view that there was no rigid structure is reinforced by S. T. Joshi who stated..." (History: First Stage: Fifth ¶)
  • "S. T. Joshi reinforced the view that there was no rigid structure stating that ..."
  • "Price, however, believed that Lovecraft's writings could at least be divided into categories and identified three distinct themes..." (History: First Stage: Sixth ¶)

  • "...latter's use of hope Derleth and that believed the Cthulhu..." (History: Second Stage: First ¶)
  • "...latter's use of hope. Derleth believed the Cthulhu..."
  • "Derleth is credited with creating the Elder Gods." (History: Second Stage: First ¶)
  • "He is credited with creating the Elder Gods."
  • "Derleth expanded the boundaries of the Mythos by including any passing reference to another author's story elements by Lovecraft as part of the genre: just as Lovecraft made passing reference to Clark Ashton Smith's Book of Eibon, Derleth in turn added Smith's Ubbo-Sathla to the Mythos."(History: Second Stage: Second ¶)
  • "Derleth expanded the boundaries of the Mythos by including references to other authors' story elements by Lovecraft as part of the genre: just as Lovecraft made references to Clark Ashton Smith's Book of Eibon. Derleth in turn added Smith's Ubbo-Sathla to the Mythos."

Txmormon97 (talk) 20:46, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Potential Grammar and Punctuation Changes[edit]

  • Deleted comma in History: Second Stage: Third ¶
  • Deleted ", being" and replace with a semicolon in "Lovecraft" Mythos.

Txmormon97 (talk) 20:49, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Suggested Integration of Quotes[edit]

  • Joshi's quote in the "History: First Stage section" should be integrated (and explained) into the paragraph to help bring about clarity and understanding.
  • Derleth's quote in the 'History: Second Stage' section should be integrated (and explained) into the paragraph to help bring about clarity and understanding.

I feel like quotes should be used in the same way in the rest of the article: small quotes with lots of explanation. Txmormon97 (talk) 20:49, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Suggested Clarification of Sections[edit]

  • "Lovecraft" mythos -- I personally do not understand why this section is pertinent. If it is, can someone explain it to me?

Txmormon97 (talk) 20:49, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

"Lovecraft" mythos
A lesser known term employed by the scholar S. T. Joshi to describe the works of Lovecraft.[b] Joshi identified four key elements in Lovecraft's mythos (that Price would later condense to three themes);, being the fundamental principle of cosmicism (which once again highlighted the irrelevance of mankind), the imaginary New England setting, a pantheon of recurring "pseudomythological" entities, and a collection of arcane books that supposedly yield insights into the mythology.[b]
I am taking it out for now. This is I will part I remove by the end of the week. Txmormon97 (talk) 18:12, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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