The Whisperer in Darkness - Minor Mythos Names

Minor Mythos Names

A passage from "The Whisperer in Darkness" contains a series of Mythos names, some of which are briefly mentioned but are never explained (italics added for emphasis):

I found myself faced by names and terms that I had heard elsewhere in the most hideous of connections — Yuggoth, Great Cthulhu, Tsathoggua, Yog-Sothoth, R'lyeh, Nyarlathotep, Azathoth, Hastur, Yian, Leng, the Lake of Hali, Bethmoora, the Yellow Sign, L’mur-Kathulos, Bran, and the Magnum Innominandum . . .

While most of these places and things are well-known figures of the mythos, a few are harder to pin down, among them:

  • Bethmoora
Bethmoora was a fabled city in the eponymous story by Lord Dunsany, a favorite author of Lovecraft.
  • Bran
Bran is an ancient British pagan deity. However, in this context, Lovecraft was referring to Bran Mak Morn, last king of the Picts in Robert E. Howard's swords-and-sorcery fiction. The reference is an homage to Howard, one of his correspondents.
  • L'mur-Kathulos
L'mur may refer to Lemuria, a fabled land bridge but a sunken continent in the mythos. Kathulos is an Atlantean sorcerer, the titular character of Robert E. Howard's story Skull-Face. A fan had written to Howard asking if Kathulos was derived from Cthulhu, and Howard mentioned this in a letter to Lovecraft. Lovecraft liked the thought, and replied that he might adopt the name into the mythos in the future.
  • Magnum Innominandum
Magnum Innominandum means "the great not-to-be-named" in Latin.
  • Yian
Yian probably refers to Yian-Ho. In the short story "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" (1934), a collaboration between Lovecraft and E. Hoffman Price, Yian-Ho is a "dreadful and forbidden city" on the Plateau of Leng, but it also may refer to the fictional city of Yian, in the "weird" short story "The Maker of Moons", published in 1896 in the collection of the same name, by one of Lovecraft's most favourite authors, Robert W. Chambers

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