In 1926, writer H.P. Lovecraft first penned “The Call of Cthulhu”. In Lovecraftian mythology, Cthulhu is called a “Great Old One” – a creature so ancient and powerful that merely the sight of him would send humans spiraling into the depths of insanity.
Today, the mythos of Cthulhu has permeated our pop culture, even without most people knowing where the story originally came from. The famous Fallout games contain references to Lovecraftian horror, and the worldwide Cult of Cthulhu allegedly tries to summon Cthulhu every year in order to be granted immortality. William Shatner, Dan Aykroyd, and even Michael J. Fox are all rumored to be members of the ‘Cult of Cthulhu’.
The first Cthulhu movie, Cthulhu, came out in 2000. In 2005, The Call of Cthulhu was then made. Cthulhu is widely considered to be one of the most popular mythical monsters of all time, despite being an extremely young addition to the various accepted mythologies of the human race. And, while most of the time you’ll see the god’s name spelled ‘Cthulhu’, alternate spellings do exist, including Cthulu, Cathulu, Kutulu, Cthullu, and ka-Th’oo-loo.
H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulu” was first published in Weird Tales, an American pulp magazine, in 1928. Some people believe that the name was derived from the Greek ‘cthonic’, translated as ‘subterranean’.
The chant, “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn“, is a prayer uttered by members of the Cult of Cthulhu. It’s featured on the tee below, and roughly translates to: “In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming”.
Cthulhu, referred to as “The Old One”, is part of the Elder Gods. In Lovecraftian mythology, these are split into two alignments: the cosmic good, and the cosmic evil. The two factions are constantly at war, they’re all related, and they all take turns defeating each other, imprisoning each other, and being imprisoned themselves in turns.
According to Lovecraft (and the previously mentioned chant), Cthulhu lives in R’lyeh – an underwater kingdom in the South Pacific. Imprisoned, he’s a source of subconscious anxiety for all of humanity.
Someday, Cthulhu will return to claim dominion over all mankind. Which side are you on, little human?