The firstborn of Cthulhu and Idh-yaa, and sibling of Ythogtha, Zoth-Ommog and Cthylla, Ghatanothoa is an enormous, amorphous god-like being whose appearance is so hideous that anyone who looks upon it, or even an image of it, will be instantly immobilised, turned into what amounts to a living mummy, their skin assuming a leathery texture and their internal organs preserved for all time. Anybody unfortunate enough to fall victim to this fate will be completely paralysed yet still fully conscious and aware; only the destruction of the brain will free this poor soul from its torment.
HistoryEditSpawned by Cthulhu and Idh-yaa on the planet Xoth, Ghatanothoa was brought to Earth by an ancient alien race (possibly the Mi-go) millennia ago, who then entombed it beneath Mount Yaddith-Gho on the lost continent of Mu, which lies at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean in modern times. Since then, it has remained in bondage, worshipped by first the Lloigor, and later by the humans which resettled Mu.
Over the aeons, many have attempted to destroy Ghatanothoa. The most noteworthy attempt was in the Year of the Red Moon (173,148 B.C.), when T'yog, the high priest of Shub-Niggurath, created a magical scroll to protect himself from the dark god's petrifying appearance. This effort doomed him to a horrible fate when Ghatanothoa's own priests secretly replaced the artefact with a fake.
- Ghatanothoa made its debut in Out of the Aeons (1935), by Hazel Heald, revised by H.P. Lovecraft.
- It also features in Fantasy Flights' Call of Cthulhu Living Card Game, Elder Sign dice game, and Arkham Horror board game.