Unless you’re a veritable student of Greek mythology, the only chthonic god you might have heard of going into Hades was… well, Hades. But other than the big guy himself, the chthonic god most central to the game – and therefore most intriguing for the uninitiated – is Nyx, the goddess of Night. And similar to how she’s portrayed in Hades, the Nyx of Greek mythology is a major entity who prefers to work in the shadows.
Nyx’s “main myth” isn’t even really about Nyx; it’s about her son, Hypnos. In the story, Zeus’s wife, Hera, asks Hypnos to put Zeus to sleep so she can do some mischief. Zeus finds out, becomes outraged with Hypnos, and is going to kill him until Nyx shows up and tells Zeus to leave her son alone, please.
To give a clue as to her true power, Nyx even makes Zeus – the God of the freakin’ Heavens – apologize. Nyx is said to be the only goddess Zeus ever feared. She’s considered stronger than Zeus.
Sadly, as with Zagreus, any other myths featuring Nyx as a central character have been lost to time. Assuming there were any to begin with.
Nyx isn’t typically partnered with Hades in mythology; instead, she’s partnered with Erebus, the god of darkness. Erebus, incidentally, is also her brother. But considering Nyx and Erebus are two of Chaos’s five-or-six children and were born near the dawn of time itself, I guess they didn’t have many options. Just be glad Hades makes no mention of Akhlys, the daughter of Nyx and Chaos. Ew.
Nyx has a lot of kids – waaaay more than just Hypnos, Thanatos, Charon, and the Fates, but the ones Hades leaves out aren’t recognizable to the casual Greek mythology nerd anyway. But these kiddos don’t have a father. Except for the two kids she has with Erebus – which includes her counterpart, Hemera, the goddess of day – and, ahem, the aforementioned Akhlys, Nyx has all of her kids with herself. You go, girl.
In mythology, Nyx lives in Tartarus with her daughter, Hemera. When the time for night comes, Nyx flies out of the underworld and gathers up her shadowy brother-husband, Erebus, to make it night. In the morning, Hemera disperses him to bring the day.
However, in few surviving works – including poems attributed to Orpheus – Nyx is the progenitor god, instead of Chaos. However, while Nyx is placed in the Underworld in mythology, she’s never more-or-less the Underworld’s secret manager, or co-manager, or however she comes across to you in Hades though.
But is Nyx canonically, in mythology, also the low-key most powerful god around? Yes. Absolutely.
There’s the scoop on Nyx. What Greek God, Goddess, or Demigod/goddess will come next? Stay tuned to find out.