The Other Gods
Created: February 2017 | Updated:

This article uses material from the The Other Gods article on the Lovecraft wiki at Fandom and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


"The Other Gods" is a short story written by American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft on August 14, 1921. It was first published in the November 1933 issue of The Fantasy Fan.


Barzai the Wise, a high priest and prophet greatly learned in the lore of the "gods of earth", or Great Ones, attempts to scale the mountain of Hatheg-Kla in order to look upon their faces, accompanied by his young disciple Atal. Upon reaching the peak, Barzai at first seems overjoyed until he finds that the "gods of the earth" are not there alone, but rather are overseen by the "other gods, the gods of the outer hells that guard the feeble gods of earth!" Atal flees and Barzai is never seen again.


Though it's often assumed that "The Other Gods" is set in Lovecraft's Dreamlands, critic S. T. Joshi points out the connections to the story "Polaris", which seems to be set in Earth's distant past, in arguing that "the clear implication is that this tale too takes place in a prehistoric civilization."


The story resembles the many tales of hubris written by Lord Dunsany, like "The Revolt of the Home Gods" from The Gods of Pegana (1905).


The Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan (misprinted as "...of Earth" in the story's original publication) appear for the first time in "The Other Gods". The Pnakotic Manuscripts make their second appearance in "The Other Gods", having been introduced in "Polaris", along with Lomar. Both later reappear in Dream-Quest.


The Other Gods was adapted into a silent animated short by Subterranea Entertainment in 2006. The host website and opening credits present the film as a false document, claiming it is a restoration of a 1924 short created with permission by an associate of Lovecraft named Peter Rhodes which became lost after Rhodes' death. It approximates the look of early cutout animation.