More Wittering on Divine

So, gods in fantasy fiction.

In real world mythologies, it’s actually fairly rare (though not unheard of) to have a clearly defined "god of [specific thing]." Most gods were, well, messier. Poseidon, god of the sea, right?

Right. Also earthquakes. And HORSES.

Ares and Athena were both war gods, and while they’re definitely different, it’s not entirely clear where one starts and the other ends, influence-wise. Don’t even get me started on Apollo.

And the Greek pantheon was a lot more formal than some.

I mean, it makes sense. We’re looking back at a mythology that developed over a broad area over hundreds of years. Many of the gods evolved, or started as local/tutelary deities that were eventually more widely adopted.

Fiction, however, tends to be neater than reality, and that includes in its religion and mythology. In most fantasy novels or RPGs, the gods are much more tightly defined. Bobeseus is the god of lawnmowers and gardening tools, and nothing else. And nobody else has dominion over the lawn.

And that, too, makes sense. You want something that readers/players can easily identify with and keep track of. And even on the writer’s side of things, it’s just a lot easier to work with way. Cleaner. More efficient.

I’m curious, then, what you prefer as a reader and/or gamer. Are you good with your fictional deities fitting into neat slots? Or would you rather authors make more of an effort to mimic the chaotic feel of real-world myth, even if it comes at the expense of ease of use or efficiency of storytelling?

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