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"Nothing tears us apart. In Greek mythology, the Titans were greater even than the gods. They ruled their universe with absolute power. Well that football field out there, that's our universe. Let's rule it like titans."—Coach Boone, Remember the Titans
In Classical Mythology, the Titans (and their primordial parents before them) were ancient god-like beings that had ruled reality, until they were overthrown by the Olympians in the Titanomachy. Titans and primordials have since been featured in many works of fiction, and have several common traits among their varying depictions.
- Being more awesome than someone like you and almost every other being as well.
- Being incredibly huge in the conventional sense as well.
- Having tremendous power, which often rivals, if not surpassing, the gods themselves.
- Being extremely old. As in, they're the first things to ever exist, old. If this is the case, the Titans in question might be some kind of primordial entities, and may very well be Anthropomorphic Personifications or completely inhuman monsters. Due to their age, they often serve as Precursors to the gods.
- As a consequence of the above two traits, the titans often have a rivalry/animosity/connection with the gods of the setting. This may have led to their doom.
- They probably created the world/universe the setting takes place in. Or are the setting.
- The biggest variable would be their appearance. They often range from looking human-ish (if somewhat larger than normal), to something that can't be described by mere words.
- Their other big variable is their morality. This generally goes along with their appearance, for if they look human, they'll probably act human, and if they do look like Eldritch Abominations, they'll act accordingly. Occasionally, a writer may switch the two traits around.
- The Incredible Hercules - The Titans and Chronos are imprisoned behind sealed doors, and they break free when The Incredible Hulk accidentally breaks the seal. The exception is Atlas, who is placed at The Axis of the world (center of the world that sometimes moves, changing the political situation of the world, and can also serve as a nexus to all the mystical foundations of the world).
- The Titans from the New Titans story "Who Is Wonder Girl?" (one of the earlier attempts to give Donna Troy an actual origin) were absolute indistinguishable from their Greek and Roman children, falling on the "nice" end of the morality scale as a result by abducting random orphan baby girls throughout the cosmos and raising them to have super powers then rewriting their memories to forget this before sending them back to their homeworlds (which somehow atones for the whole "eating their offspring" bit from myth). This also subconsciously influenced Donna to suggest the name "Teen Titans" via retcon.
- The "aunts" and "uncles" (and presumably, parents) of Luna and Celestia in the fanfic Under The Northern Lights. They are vast elemental beings which created the world and its intelligent species (learning the latter from the much younger Luna and Celestia when their toys turned into the first ponies because the sisters loved them so much - so yeah, ponies originated as toys of two little girls). The one we have seen in the fic is the water being called Karhu-Akka by reindeer. She combines traits of bear, cow, squid and whale and now sleeps in the shape of a huge glacier. If she awakes, horrible things will happen. Her rolling over in her sleep when Discord got free is one of the causes for the crisis in the fic, one which might kill all life in a country. Luna, however, remembers her as a kind aunt who played with her and Celestia by the sea and gave them wonderful toys. Their greatuncles and greataunts, however, are pure Eldritch Abomination, seen in a vision as "lights... sounds... patterns of magic in a black sphere that itched the brain and made the soul cry". Discord is one of them.
- Discworld's mix-and-match approach to mythology means that while the Gods are mostly Greco-Roman in nature, the Titan-like figures they overthrew are the Ice Giants.
- Percy Jackson and The Olympians has the Titans looking almost exactly like normal humans, with the exception of Oceanus. Kronos is possessing Luke and so looks just like him except for having solid gold eyes. The Titans are about as tough as the Olympians, and Kronos is apparently even more so.
- In Xena: Warrior Princess, Gabrielle once read a scroll and woke up three Titans, 30 foot giants who repaired the town. The three Titans had a cunning plan to make Gabrielle read the second scroll which would awake a 1,000 other Titans and destroy the world.
- The word Asura in oriental mythology is usually translated as demon, or "fighting fiend", but in actuality, "Titan" would be the closest equivalent.
- Classical Mythology, of course, is the Trope Namer for Titans, and their Protogenoi/Primordial parents count as well.
- Norse Mythology is quite similar to the classical/greek one. The Jotunn (giants) are basically a mix of the Titans and Protogenoi.
- In Warhammer 40000, titans are Humongous Mecha that vary in size; the Warhound class is the smallest, and is about the size of a large house, and the titans increase in magnitude until you get to the Emperor class, which can have a full-sized cathedral built upon its shoulders and carries guns you could drive a tank into. A lot of them are also millennia old.
- In Dungeons and Dragons, titans are a race of outsiders (creatures native to the outer planes) who happen to be about 25 feet tall, so they're not only celestial giants, they are taller than the tallest "normal" giants. Every aspect of them is perfect. In addition, they can cast powerful spells and speak several languages as standard abilities for the race. At a starting CR of 21, a titan with no other skills is equal to an epic-level Player Character in battle. In contrast to their usual portrayals, they're also (slightly) weaker than the gods and act as their servants. They are traditionally Chaotic Good and live on the plane of Arborea (also known as Olympus), though the Greek titans (Cronus, et al) are imprisoned in Carceri (Tartarus).
- The Primordials (also known as Dawn Titans) of the 4th Edition are a mix of this trope and Elemental Embodiment. The class of creatures known as titans are the Primordials' first creations, who sided with their parents in the war against the gods and in turn created the various races of giants.
- In Pathfinder, titans were the first creations of the gods, and half of them rebelled against their creators in the equivalent of the Titanomachy. The giants are their degenerate descendants. The titans who fought against the gods were imprisoned in the Abyss, while those who remained loyal live in Elysium.
- In Scion, Titans are Eldritch Abominations who are free of human shaping, hard to comprehend and shape reality simply by existing. One of them is Hun Dun, who is Chaos itself and cannot be defined at all, even by itself.
- Exalted has the Primordials, eldritch beings of vast power who built Creation and then created the gods as their slave janitors. The gods got fed up with their cruddy jobs and had the Exalted overthrow the Primordials (while they stole their bosses' crack stash), but it turns out that killing some of them broke the universe.
To elaborate, the death of several Primordials in the setting's equivalent of the Titanomachy is the reason The Underworld exists. One of the Primordials who surrendered, as a parting shot before her imprisonment, erased ninety percent of Creation from existence down to a conceptual level.
The two remaining Primordials, who sided with the gods, are: Gaia (the Earth Mother, creator of the Five Elemental Dragons, who is in some way connected to Creation) and Autochthon (the inventor of Exaltation, the patron of technology, who later fled to Elsewhere and became a planet made of Steampunk).
- In the Role Aids supplement Giants, the Titans were the first giants. They had godlike abilities and powers, including the ability to cast any spell at will, and have artistic abilities that outmatch those of any other culture.
- The Titan unit from Age of Mythology: The Titans. In game, Titans serves as the Pantheon of the Atlantinean civilization, with Kronos, Uranus and Gaia as main gods, with others serving as minor ones. Barring Oceanus (who is blue-skinned, but otherwise human-looking) and Kronos (who is a giant, rock demon), all of them look like Olympians. Furthermore, it's possible for a civilization to summon a gargantuan, city-destroying Titan to fight for them: Greeks have Cerberus, Egyptians have Horus, Norse have Yimir and Atlantineans have Perses. Yes, they took a little artistic license here and there....
- Titans are powerful units, lightning-wielding-giants, on the Wizard/Academy side in the Heroes of Might and Magic games.
- Final Fantasy: Titan is an Earth-elemental summon who originally caused a great earthquake to do damage to enemies, but in Final Fantasy VII, for example, he picks up the ground the enemies are standing on, flips it over, and smashes it down. This guy dwarfs half of said game's bosses. The other half aren't dwarfed per se, but they're still smaller.
- In God of War,, barring those who look like Olympians like Helios, Prometheus and Rhea, all the other Titans are mountain-sized beings that look somewhat human-ish. Some also are Elemental Embodiment(s) like Perses (Lava), Oceanus (Water/Lightning), Epimetheus (Rock) and Gaea (Nature)
- Titan Quest: there are the Telkines, eldritch-looking sorcerers with tentacles instead of legs that are said to be remnants of the Titans. In the last part of the game you have to defeat Typhon, a huge four-armored behemoth with tons of attacks.
- The Titans in Ogre Battle March of the Black Queen are upgraded Giants, who are large, club-wielders, and are Wind/Lightning-aligned, and Palette Swap(s) of the other Giant upgrade classes like Frost/Fire Giants and vice versa.
- Titans in Dwarf Fortress are, essentially, ginormous randomized creatures spewing things like fire or random disease carrying clouds which can literally be made of anything. They're usually a bitch to kill, as they're immune to traps, temperature (including magma), pain, hunger, drowning, and a lot of other things. This varies significantly with what material, though: ones made of metals rival Bronze Colossi for Nigh Invulnerability, but you'll occasionally get one made of a liquid that breaks into pieces with a single strike. Forgotten Beasts are a similar class of creature except found underground instead of above-ground.
- Rygar has Titans as the main enemies. Some of them are living statues - some of them are apparently little worm-monsters.
- Titans of the Warcraft 'verse are, essentially, a race of demigods (stated to be more powerful than some of the gods themselves). Their powers are, untypically for a High Fantasy setting, entirely based on incredibly advanced technology. They created Azeroth as we know it, amongst thousands of other worlds; however, most creatures used to be robots, and beings made of flesh and bone are a side effect of corruption by The Old Gods.
- In Hercules, the Titans are Chaotic Evil elemental beings imprisoned by Zeus. Hades' Evil Plan is to free them and use them to storm Mount Olympus and take over.
- The animated series has appearances by Prometheus and Atlas, who are more human-looking and considerably more benign, though Atlas is still a self-centered jerk.
- The Animated Adaptation of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Hercules and Xena: The Battle for Mount Olympus: "Boom shakalakalaka boom shakalakalaka."
- ↑ The Titans were originally considered true gods, not merely "god-like beings." Later Classical writers started confusing them with Giants, but this was not the usual representation. Also, the name Titan sometimes only refers to the first generation, though usually the non-nymph, non-Olympian children of Titans are also called Titans.