- Deities in The Belgariad and The Malloreon
David Eddings' fantasysaga " The Belgariad", and the later works that share the setting (" The Malloreon", " Belgarath the Sorcerer", " Polgara the Sorceress"), describes a pantheon of seven gods. The seven are brothers, and several of them are also significant characters in the plot. Certain other characters have similar stature, including the demons worshipped by the Morindim and Karands. There are no female deities encountered in the stories. The Universe is occasionally referred to as the Mother of the Gods, but the personification is vague.
Aldur is the eldest of the seven gods. He takes no race of people, but has a number of disciples: Belgarath, Beldin, the twins Belkira and Beltira, Belzedar, Polgara, Belmakor (deceased), Belsambar (deceased), Belgarion, Durnik (in the Malloreon), and Poledra, as mentioned in
Polgara the Sorceress. His totemanimal is the owl; this is never mentioned in the primary story (though the owl is commonly associated with his disciples in various ways), but appears in the Rivan Codex.
After Aldur and his brothers create the world in which the stories are set, Aldur refuses to take a
seventh part of mankind to worship him, leaving the ancestors of the Ulgos, Dals, Morindim, Karands and Melcenes Godless. Instead, he takes his disciples, prepending "Bel-" to their names. Polgara and Poledra are also counted among the Disciples, as is mentioned by the prefix "Pol-" being the feminine of "Bel-". At one stage, Aldur also names Polgara as his "Beloved daughter". The Disciples all at some time took residence at the Vale of Aldur, where each disciple has its own tower. Aldur also possesses a tower, wherein natural resources are apparently inexhaustible.
Orb of Alduris a powerful half of the stone at the centre of the Universe, polished into a roughly spherical shape by Aldur's hand, after it fell to earth. Torak coveted the stone; therefore he smote Aldur and stole it, causing the War of the Gods in which the world was cracked apart. The Orb did not appreciate such use; therefore Torak was maimed by the Orb's chastisement. After two thousand years, the stolen Orb was retrieved, and all the gods save Torak departed from the physical world. More so than his brothers, Aldur remained in spiritto guide his disciples and the course of the Prophecy of Light.
Belar is the youngest of the seven gods. He is the god of the Alorns, and his totem
animalis the bear.Belar is closely allied with Aldur in the War of Destinies, and is also described as being close to Mara. While he maintains a physical presencein the world, he appears as a young man, and is known for drinking and feasting with Alorn warriors, talking incessantly, and lavishing his attentions on young women.
Chaldan is the god of the Arends, and his totem animal is the bull.Chaldan emphasises
prideand militaristic traditionas virtues. For example, sermons at funerals are not concerned with the comforting of the bereaved, but with vengeance. Chaldan does not play a significant role in the stories. Many editions of Seeress of Kellmisspell his name in several places as Chamdar, which is actually a very different character.
Issa is the god of the Nyissans. His totem animal is the serpent.Even while he is physically present in the world, Issa spends long periods
sleeping. Whilst in slumber, his manifestation is a large statue behind Salmissra's throne. When all the gods save Torak left the world, he gave the governance of his people over to his beloved high priestess, Salmissra, but neglected to prolong her life. A series of replacement Salmissra-s ruled in her stead, and also kept certain secrets such as the abilityto summon a physical incarnation of Issa—calling his spirit into the stone statue. Salmissra eventually gets turned into a snake by the Sorceress Polgara.
Mara is the god of the Marags. His totem animal, never mentioned except in
the Rivan Codex, is the bat.Known as the weeping god for his long mourning after the Tolnedran massacre of the Marags, Mara nursed a hatred for the Tolnedrans. He stirred the ghosts of his dead people, so that few could ever enter his domain without being driven mad. The exception is the monastery at Mar Terrin, where Tolnedran monks attempt to comfort the spirits of the Marags. This monastery is often referred to in the books as "Tolnedra's Conscience".
Mara has the most constant spiritual presence after the departure of the gods; He is found to be always howling in the ruins of Mar Amon. His mad
griefended with the restoration of the Marags, when Taiba, a descendant of the massacre survivors, was found in the caverns below Rak Cthol.
Nedra is the second-oldest of the seven gods. He is the god of the Tolnedrans, and his totem animal is the
lion.Nedra instills the values of thrift and wealthinto his people. Tolnedrans are often associated with the idea of greedand Emperor Varana, as the representative for the Tolnedrans, is characterised as the archetypal skeptic. This suggests the Tolnedrans to be a materialistic race. Their culturethrives on enterprise and commerce.
Torak is the third of the seven Gods. His people are the Angaraks, and his is the only totem animal to be counted among the monstrous races (perhaps due to Torak's vain attempts to enhance the creature): the
The left side of his
body, most notably his faceand hand, are seriously maimed — burnt by the Orb of Aldur. Before this, he was apparently the most handsome of the Gods. His left eye, called The Eye That Was Not, continually burns with the fireof the Orb of Aldur. Beldin often referred to Torak as "Old burnt-face".
Alone among his brothers, Torak served the Dark in the War of Destinies. He fought them all in the War of the Gods, which he had brought about by stealing the Orb of Aldur; when almost defeated, he split the world using the power of the Orb, leaving the remaining Angaraks on one side of a new
ocean, and their enemies on the other. However, this act offended the spirit of the Orb, and it struck him with its fire in retaliation. Establishing a theocratic, military culture, Torak drove the Angaraks to exploit and dominate the new continent of Mallorea, integrating the Dals, Karands and Melcenes, and also taking much of the western continent. Eons later, Torak was slain by Belgarionin the ruins of Cthol Mishrak, at what was originally thought to be the ultimate meeting of the Child of Light and the Child of Dark.
In the Belgariad, Torak serves the role of the archetypical
Dark Lord. Like many fantasydark lords of his genre, Torak almost achieves domination of the world, only to be apparently killed in a great battle, but rises again many years later, which is usually the focus of the book or series.
Eriond, often called Errand, was originally meant to be the God of the Angaraks; the Great Accident caused Torak to be born instead. Eriond thereafter existed in spirit until about the time that Zedar began his journey in search of the Orb of Aldur. Errand then appeared as a child to Zedar, and allowed himself to be used in Zedar's plot to take the Orb. The
name"Errand" is not derived from "Eriond", but is simply the only word that he, in his child form, was able to remember for many years. In his child form, Errand was raised as Polgara's ward. By the time he had become an adult, by human terms, the time for the Great Choice was to be made. The Choice was made by the Seeress of Kell, and caused him to be made God of the Angaraks. It is stated, though not seen in the stories, that once ascending to his full Godhood, he would also become the God of the Dals, and eventually replace all of the other Gods, as the God of all races. He takes no totem animal, but is frequently accompanied by an unusual stallion who is simply named Horse.
UL is the mysterious god of the Ulgos, who originally were a tribe of the Godless Ones. He is not counted among the traditional seven, and theologians of their
religions are ambivalent in their treatment of him. At the end of The Belgariad, it is revealed that he is the father of the seven gods, older and more powerful than they, and omnipresent as well, causing significant upheaval in religious thought. He is also god of the monstrous beasts rejected by his sons. UL is served by a High Priest, who is always called Gorim. The successive Gorims throughout their world's historycan be said to be the disciples of UL, as they seem to learn some powers similar to sorcery. While they are not immortal, they live as long as UL requires them to serve. This is also true for disciples of Aldur. Poledra also served UL for many years, and so may also be considered a disciple of the Father of the Gods.In the War of Destinies, he is generally seen on the side of Light, often working closely with Aldur. The Ulgos look to UL much as monotheists in our reality look to Yahweh/ Allah: therefore, with awe, reverence, faith, and occasional zealotry.
At the end of the series, the other gods leave the "World" and leave Eriond as the god of all the races.
*The King of
Hellis the ruler of the demons' universe. He constantly strives to break the chains in which he was bound by UL. He once hatched a plot to obtain the Orb of Aldurand the Sardion, in an attempt to use their power to free himself from Hell, and hurl UL into a prison of his making, but failed.
*Demon Lords are Disciples of the King of Hell, and as such are the most powerful demons alive. They are far beyond the powers of most or all mortal summoners to control, only submitting as part of a deal (usually having ulterior motives in the Demon Lord's favour). It is not even certain that they flee from the power of the Orb, as lesser demons do, though a Demon Lord is shown to be outmatched by the power of a God on one occasion.
**Nahaz is the chief demon among the Karandese cult. He has waged a long war on Mordja, and sees his role in the War of Destinies, aiding
Urvon, as simply a continuation of this. He is defeated and banished by Durnikupon his raising to disciplehood under Aldur.
**Mordja appears to be the lord of the demons in contact with the Morindim. He enters the War of Destinies in aid of
Zandramas, opposing Nahaz but with similar goals. Near the end of the conflict, he is trapped in the bodyof a dragonand killed.
*"Lesser demons" appear numerous times in the stories. They are occasionally named, though these names seem to be inventions of their summoners. Their relative
rankand power seems to be indicated by size, with names attached to the varying degrees at one point. However, this is not an exact science: the Demon Lord Nahaz almost always used a human-sized form (although his true form was monstrously huge), and summoned demons' shapes (and therefore sizes) are determined by the imaginationof the summoner.
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