The Gods Must Be Idiots

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Gods tend to be extremely powerful. Many are said to be strong enough to create and/or destroy entire universes with a single thought.

That is...when they do think. In the world of fiction, there are just as many gods that are extremely dim-witted as there are gods that are very wise. These gods are so dense that they are either completely incompetent with their abilities or they utterly forget that they even have divine powers at all.

See also God Is Flawed for when deities are imperfect for other reasons and Jesus Was Crazy for deities that are depicted as being insane. Compare God Is Inept for when deities are not good at their job regardless of how intelligent they may be.

Examples of The Gods Must Be Idiots include:


  • Azathoth from various H.P. Lovecraft stories is known as the "Blind Idiot God". He's so powerful that he can destroy the universe with a single thought. Luckily for us, he's incredibly stupid and has very few, if any, thoughts.
  • The god in the first of John Brunner's "Traveller in Black" stories is basically a big powerful child.
  • Thor from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.[context?]
  • One of the thousand Styric gods from David Eddings' Elenium/Tamuli universe is this, needing things explained to him repeatedly in words of few syllables. The Troll Gods are also not very clever, but they are cunning, ruthless and extremely powerful, and what they're asked to do never seriously tests the limits of their understanding.

Sephrenia: Khwaj will understand your thoughts. Pray that you never understand his.

    • They are extremely specialized, however, and have a very hard time understanding things outside of their specialties (the concept of "hostage", for example).
  • Several of the gods in the Discworld. Small Gods notes the peculiar circumstance of men and women of immense strength and virtue devoting themselves to the service of completely stupid gods.

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