Demogorgon

[dee-muh-gawr-guhn] or [dem-uh-gawr-guhn]

What does Demogorgon mean?

RELATED WORDS

Demogorgon is a name used to refer to a hideous, primeval monster or demon in various mythology, literature, and media. It is notably featured in the Netflix sci-fi series Stranger Things.

RELATED WORDS
Examples of Demogorgon

Advertisement

Examples of Demogorgon
can’t even get mad at the demogorgon. that thing is ugly and broke. i’d act up too
@CaucasianJames, May 2019
I want a version of Stranger Things where instead of a demogorgon there's just a scary mean horse
@hella_mann, June 2019
When Mike Wheeler and his friends needed a name for the toothy, incredibly dangerous monster that was attacking the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana, in the first season of Stranger Things, there was only one option: The Demogorgon, which they lifted from one of Dungeons & Dragons' most dangerous foes.
James Grebey, Syfy Wire, June 2019

Where does Demogorgon come from?

Netflix

The Demogorgon notably appeared throughout most of the first season of Stranger Things (2016). The menacing, humanoid monster has a flower-like head full of teeth and can travel between dimensions, a power it uses to abduct (and kill) characters.

The Stranger Things monster was designed by concept artist Aaron Sims, approved by show creators the Duffer Brothers, and portrayed by Mark Steger. The name of the monster, as pointed out in the show, was a reference to a popular Dungeons & Dragons demon that first appeared in 1976. Smaller, Demogorgon-like monsters (apparently at different life stages of the Demogorgon) figure in the second season of the show.

Netflix

The idea—and name—of the demogorgon is far older, however. In the 1st-century epic The Thebiad by Publius Papinius Statius, a character claims to know the names of every deity, including one that is so feared that nobody dares speak its name. In a commentary on Statius’s work around the 4th century, Lactantius Placidus provides the name of this fearsome being as Demogorgon. Later scholars argued, however, Demogorgon was an error for a form of the Greek demiourgos, origin of demiurge, a kind of Platonic creator deity.

Regardless of what Placidus meant, his Demogorgon lived in the Middle Ages. Perhaps the most influential of which was Italian poet and scholar Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375), who figured the Demogorgon in his On the Genealogy of the Gods of the Gentiles (1360) as the oldest of all the mythological gods. Later works—including Edmund Spenser’s The Faire Queene (1590), Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus (c1592), and even John Milton’s Paradise Lost (1667)—would bolster the Demogorgon’s reputation as a demonic entity too terrifying to even invoke.

Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax indicated on 2002 role-playing game forum his Demogorgon, a demon prince in the game, was inspired by the mythological and historical depictions of the creature.

Who uses Demogorgon?

People may use Demogorgon in reference to ancient mythology, medieval writing and thought, Dungeons & Dragons, or, more more popularly, the character on Stranger Things.

Thanks to the popularity of Stranger Things, the Demogorgon is figured in everything from toys to cosplay. Other creatures or costumes that resembles its distinctive, mouth-flower form may be likened to the Demogorgon.

Due to the its frightfulness, the Demogorgon may popular stand in for monsters or demons for generally.

SIGN UP FOR A VOCABULARY BOOST IN YOUR EMAIL
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.