Friday, 10 October 2008

God of the Week: Dagon

Following my Cthulhu Mythos theme of the past few days, The Bad Witch's God of the Week is Dagon.

Dagon appears in HP Lovecraft's tales of horror as a loathsome fish-like monster, but the author took the name from that of an ancient Semitic god of grain and the harvest, who wasn't one of the bad guys at all.

According to my old copy of The Concise Mythological Dictionary by Peerage Books, Dagon is the Hebrew spelling of an ancient god of the Philistines, Dagan, which translates as "grain".

The description of Dagon on says he is the "Inventor of the Hebrew Plow, before it plowed itself into becoming a Plough if not a Pluff."

According to Wikipedia, the fishy version of Dagon makes a number of modern fiction and movie appearances, including in Conan the Destroyer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels and Pinky & The Brain, as well as in tales by HP Lovecraft.

The Concise Mythological Dictionary
Omnibus: At the Mountains of Madness and Other Novels of Terror No. 1 (H.P. Lovecraft Omnibus)
The Call of Cthulhu: And Other Weird Stories (Penguin Modern Classics)
Grimoire of the Necronomicon
Call of Cthulhu (Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying) (Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying)


Anonymous said...

I remember Dagon! It's been so long that I can't remember which Bible story he was included in. Anyway, the teacher would use a "flannel graph"--sort of like paper dolls that would stick to a variety of flannel backdrops. So there was a little Dagon figure, in this case, a fish (sounds like that isn't accurate). Of course, they always made him out to be the bad guy. Poor Dagon!

Badwitch said...

I think it was the Bible that first gave Dagon a bad press. I wonder if gods get annoyed at such drastic misrepresentation?