In the Cthulhu Mythos, the gods of Earth's Dreamlands. Lovecraft tends to contrast them with the inhuman and incredibly powerful "Other Gods" (apparently the Outer Gods); the "mild gods of earth" are far less powerful in comparison, and far more human, even capable of interbreeding with humanity (the land of Inquanok has many people descended from the Great Ones).
Their home is on the mountain Kadath in the Cold Waste, where they dwell in a great onyx palace. In ancient times they also dwelt on the peaks of other mountains in Earth's dreamlands, but they retreated before humanity's advance, and now live only on Kadath and visit other mountains only rarely; climbing such mountains is very dangerous, especially if the Other Gods are also present.
At times, the Great Ones seem to be identified with the gods of Earthly mythologies (Neptune and Nodens appear in "The Strange High House in the Mist"). On the other hand, stories such as "The Doom that Came to Sarnath" list entirely invented names for the gods of the Dreamlands.
Jackie Gleason was also known as "The Great One". His connection, if any, to the Dreamlands is a matter of speculation.
H.P. Lovecraft: "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath", "The Doom that Came to Sarnath", "The Other Gods", and "The Strange High House in the Mist".
Game and Story Use
- The Great Ones can appear in a Mythos game that deals with the Dreamlands, serving as patrons or allies.