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The Golem is a creature from Jewish folklore which was a clay figure animated by a holy man. It was generally unable to speak, lacked a soul, and followed orders like an automaton. The original Hebrew word can mean an unshaped form or figuratively a stupid person. In some versions of the legend, the golem always obeyed its creator but could act as a Literal Genie; the idea of the golem deliberately rebelling was only introduced later. Note that even in the early versions, the Golem usually had to be destroyed for causing destruction or taking meaning from people's lives by making work too easy.
The most famous golem story is that of Rabbi Loew, said to have created the Prague golem in the 16th century to protect the Jewish community. In German-speaking countries, the bestselling novel The Golem (1915) by Gustav Meyrink brought it back to public consciousness and led to a series of silent films; the third film, a prequel from 1920 which shows the origin of the golem (who has the worst case of helmet hair in existence), survives today. The legend of a superhuman protector has been seen by some as a possible inspiration for Superman.
In some versions the golem was animated by writing the Hebrew word for "truth" (אֱמֶת ʼĕméth) on its forehead, and made inert again by erasing the first letter, converting it into the word for "dead" (מֵת mēth). However, other versions included using a "Shem", literally meaning a name and referring to one of the secret names of God. This could be put on its forehead or in the mouth.
The entry of the golem into popular culture as a fantasy monster is probably Dungeons and Dragons, which called the classic version a "clay golem", and included other types such as Stone, Iron, or the Frankenstein's Monster-like "Flesh Golem". Other fantasy worlds have expanded into substances such as Lead, Wood, Lava, Blood, Mithril, and even more unlikely substances, like Glass, Paper, Wax, Junk and Maggots. And don't even get me STARTED on the ones made of dirty laundry.
See also Improvised Golems, for when you don't have time to make a proper golem.
Anime and Manga Edit
- In Rune Soldier Louie, the titular hero summons a golem to guard Merrill's gold, with Merrill ordering it to "not let anyone touch my darling jar". The golem then acts as a Literal Genie and steals the jar.
- The "robot" Emeth from Shaman King is quite obviously a golem, even being created by an Ambiguously Jewish shaman. Hence the name (Emeth = emet.)
- It was actually originally a completely traditional clay golem, but he was then modified by the above-mentioned Ambiguously Jewish shaman with mechanical parts.
- The golems in Slayers. Zelgadis is also considered part golem. This is a bit odd, since Naga (the Serpent) makes and discards golems with impunity. They are occasionally implied to have free will to a degree (one of them even falls in love with the magical construct it was supposed to be fighting), which only increases the oddness. Then again, this is Slayers.
- Plus Zelgadis was only cursed to be part golem. He was originally human.
- The titular mecha from RahXephon is in fact one of these, as are the monsters it fights, the Dolems.
- Touran, a sand golem from Monster Soul. Actually she a half human hybrid due to having a human mother and a golem father.
- That sounds eye-wateringly painful whichever way it went...
- In the manga/anime Soul Eater, the protagonists Maka and Soul fight a golem wielding a chainsaw.
- And then the chainsaw turned back into his human form and started wielding himself...ThatCameOutWrong.
- Corona, one of Vivio's two friends from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, has the ability to create these in an instant.
- A golem named Golem is one of the secondary characters in Shukufuku no Campanella. Even if he is made of stone, he's owned by the comic relief Tortilla sisters, and gets into as many hijinks as they do. Witness him fall prey to gravity, wear an apron and blush over Leicester.
- A villain named Shelley Cromwell appears in the last few episodes of the first season of To Aru Majutsu no Index, and her magic allows her to summon a golem named "Ellis".
- The title character of Anpanman is a golem made of bread (his head is made of bread, anyway . . . the rest of him is never explicitly explained).
- In a Fairy Tail filler saga, the villain Dafne uses Lizardman-like monsters which are stated to be some kind of Golem by Wendy.
Comic Books Edit
- In the DC Universe, the Monolith is a golem (though he breaks the rule by being able to speak). Additionally, the Thing from the Marvel Universe was inspired by the golem (he's even Jewish).
- One appears, in Grant Morrison's Epic Seven Soliders of Victory, including the hebrew letters.
- In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles story "Kaddish", Donatello encounters one of these robbing stores in a Brooklyn neighborhood in order to support a boy in his care. The story makes mention of the main elements of the golem legend--Rabbi Lowe, "emet"/"met"--and subverts some of them.
- An iron golem under a permanent all-senses illusion (it looked like a sexy woman) was sent to attack the Elementals at one point.
- An old Jewish man creates a golem to attack his perceived persecutors (imagining skinheads as Nazis), and Batman has to force him to destroy it.
- In a really old issue of Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comic, Knuckles, on a quest to retrieve what basically amounts to an Expy of Excalibur, encounters an antagonistic sorceror who decides to ruin Knuckles' day, apparently just for fun (it actually turns out he's got the sword Knuckles is looking for). So he casts a few spells and "brings forth a golem made of metal". Knuckles bitches about how they should leave the robots to Robotnik.
- Wonder Woman is born from clay in some continuities.
- The titular character from Thessaly: Witch for Hire (a spinoff from Sandman) had a golem in her house that she used primarily as a coat-rack. When it comes alive to defend her, another character expresses surprise that she knows Jewish magic. She points out that when a magic user becomes as powerful as she is, magic loses all its cultural barriers.
- In Moon Cats, The Further Adventures of Luna and Artemis, a Sailor Moon fanfic there is a girl that can make golems. The senshi end up fighting some of them at one point.
- One episode of Simpson Moon R, a The Simpsons / Sailor Moon Crossover, features Origami Golems as mooks.
- A grimdark My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic fanfic, Sunset, posits that Twilight Sparkle is actually an extremely lifelike golem created by Celestia specifically to defeat Nightmare Moon, and deals with Twilight's discovery and reaction to the truth of her origin.
- The Dresden Files fanfic Enemy Mine features an OC named Tam Veda. Like Harry, (s)he's a magic-user for hire. Unlike Harry, (s)he makes ultra-realistic golems for clued-in clients - No Questions Asked.
- The above-mentioned silent movie classic The Golem (Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam), about the Golem of Prague, starring director Paul Wegener as the Golem, Albert Steinrück as Rabbi Loew and Ernst Deutsch as his helper.
- The protagonist from Jan Švankmajer's Faust briefly creates and then destroys a baby golem.
- Referred to in Inglourious Basterds where German soldiers are said to believe that Donny Donowitz "the Bear Jew" (Eli Roth) is really a vengeful golem.
- Harold Crick should have been happy to find out he was not a Golem.
- A quickly unhinged Roddy Mc Dowell gains control of a nigh-invincible Golem in the lesser known 1966 horror film It! Containment attempts also quickly become unhinged.
- The Garthim from the film The Dark Crystal may have been golems or a local equivalent. They appear to be made of a dark metal and, upon death/deactivation, fall apart to reveal that they are merely shaped plates surrounding a hollow interior.
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire: Atlantis' Deflector Shields are projected by several massive golems who stand at set spots around the border of the city.
- Famed reporter Egon Erwin Kisch, who came from a German-speaking Jewish Prague family that claimed descent from Rabbi Loew, started working at a German newspaper in Prague before World War 1. In the process of writing a series of articles on localities in Prague, he related how he tried to find the original golem in the rafters of the Altneuschul synagogue. This helped raise interest in the golem legend in Prague and, according to Kisch, led to Gustav Meyrink writing the novel Der Golem, which then led to a bit of a golem fashion in Germany as well as Austria.
- Hugo from the Fablehaven series.
- Golems in Xanth are made from various things. They do have different talents. Like the Discworld example, they can become real.
- Grundy Golem is rude and Silicia can alter a bit of reality. Also Grundy had a child, Surprise.
- In Percy Jackson: The Last Olympian, it is revealed that most of the statues in New York and quite a few elsewhere are actually golems built by Daedalus, requiring only a codephrase to turn them into an instant army.
- Golems on the Discworld are a bit like the classical golem from Hebrew folklore, and a bit more like Magitek versions of robots. Ancient priests would form a human-like figure out of clay, fire it, and then place a fragment of holy script, or chem, in their head, animating them. Golems can survive all manners of catastrophe and so the majority of modern-day golems are in fact surviving golems from destroyed civilizations that have been recovered from ruins. No "current" wizards or priests know how to make golems anymore, and most (unmodified) golems are unable to speak. They communicate by writing on slates (and in a nice bit of Painting the Fourth Wall, their writing is a Hebraic-looking script).
- In Interesting Times, Rincewind rediscovers the lost Red Army of the first ruler of the Agatean Empire. In reference to the terra cotta soldiers of his Real Life Chinese counterpart, it consists of thousands of lightning-powered golems.
- In Feet of Clay, the golem Dorfl gains full sentience, and becomes an atheist (in a world full of very active, lightning-happy gods, which is why he's lucky to be made out of clay).
- The method by which Dorfl is set free is worth a mention - Carrot bought him and amended his chem (the magic words in his head) with the sales receipt. It's implied that later golems have been doing something similar, as they save up and buy each other from their owners. They immediately go back to working for practically nothing, but on the other hand, golems do not sleep or rest, so as Dorfl notes, Vimes will have to pay them twice as much. Also, Golems know the secret of making more golems.
- Anhk-Morpork's economy was placed on the "golem" standard, each dollar's value being backed up by a fixed amount of work performed by the several thousand golems acquired by the city in Making Money. Much like the original myths, it became necessary to seal away the golems out of fear they would completely destroy the economy.
- The priests of Tsort apparently still construct golems, crafted in the image of their animal-headed gods, as tomb guardians for their royal pyramids (Mort).
- China Mieville's novel Iron Council from the Bas-Lag Cycle explores a magical discipline called "golemcrafting", wherein magicians channel power into anything that isn't living. Most of the Golems created are fairly standard (blade, flesh, metal, clay, wood), However the main character of Iron Council creates increasingly more fantastic golems some of the more memorable ones being: poison, light, dark, and TIME.
- In Book Two of The Bartimaeus Trilogy, the Golem is a tool controlled by the book's Big Bad, Henry Duvall. In this book series, the Golem manifests as a 10-foot tall man of clay, immensely strong, anathema to normal magic, wraps itself in a shroud of living darkness and freezing cold, is remotely controlled through a clay eye embedded in its forehead (making it really a giant war automaton), and can only be stopped by removing the scroll, placed in the Golem's mouth, that holds the spell that turned a quarry corner into a clay man. Nasty.
- The Wheel of Time series has the gholam, essentially vampiric T-1000s with invulnerability to magic and pretty much everything else. Yeah. They unnerved the Dark Side so much that only six were ever made, and only one is known to still exist in the present day.
- A golem is mentioned in passing as part of an army of gods and mythical beings in Neil Gaiman's American Gods. It's an original Jewish type golem, and is accompanied by a man implied to be Rabbi Loew.
- The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay features a theme of superheros as golems. The two Jewish protagonists attempt to make modern-day golems by creating comic book superheros who protect the innocent, as golems supposedly protected Jewish ghettos. Kavalier's first pitched superhero is a literal golem.
- Before he came to America Kavalier helped his rabbi steal & secret away the genuine Golem of Prague (which is in storage in a big box), so it wouldn't be destroyed by the Nazis.
- Magnus recalls once battling a golem that was the basis for the Frankenstein legend.
- In Simon R. Green's Nightside series, the local neo-Nazis quit putting on demonstrations after a gang of golems showed up at their last march and kicked their asses up and down the street.
- Foucault's Pendulum contains a story within the story in Belbo's diary, where John Dee encounters the Golem of Prague and destroys it in self-defense.
- Harry Turtledove wrote a short story about a traditional Golem which saves a Jewish family from the Holocaust during World War Two. He/it is "killed" when a Nazi bullet strikes the first letter of the word carved on his forehead and erases it, changing it from 'emet' to 'met'.
- The late David Wisniewski authored a children's book, simply titled Golem, which tells the story of the creation of the Golem. Although the story is fairly straightforward, the book is especially notable for its stunning use of cut-paper illustrations; an excellent example can be found here.
- Two large stone golems guards the Tarephen Shrine in Chronicles of the Emerged World. Nihal must destroy the central letter on their foreheads in order to beat them down.
- Marge Piercy's He, She, and It has a cyberpunk update to the tale. A free Jewish enclave builds a Ridiculously Human Robot to help their small settlement defend itself against a Mega Corp. The protagonist is a freshly-divorced programmer sent to teach it human mannerisms. The novel itself cuts between the tale of Prague golem of the 16th century and the Twenty Minutes Into the Future version programmed by the threatened enclave.
- Talus, the 'yron page' from The Faerie Queene. no points for guessing his names inspiration, though unlike that one, Talus is man sized, though still capable of pushing giants off cliffs and beating down an entire castle with his Epic Flail.
- In Keith Laumer's "Bolo" universe, Bolos are artificially intelligent tanks, often with their own personalities. A Bolo without its AI and under the control of human operators--essentially without a mind of its own--is called a Golem.
- In Neil Asher's Polity books, "Golem" is the official designation of the setting's combat androids.
- In The Twelfth Enchantment, one character Ms Emmett is a golem of the 'truth on the forehead' type. She ends up erasing her own letters to 'dead' to prevent being used against Lucy
- In the Cory Doctorow story "Return to Pleasure Island" golems (although the actual word is never used) are a sentient race of clay giants who reproduce by breaking off parts of themselves, usually the thumb, that then grow. A right thunb child is strong, even for a golem. A left thumb child is smarter. A child of the tongue is...a mistake.
- One was included during the conclusion of Snow In August.
Live Action TV Edit
- Used as an analogy in The Sarah Connor Chronicles where Sarah mentions the golem twice. The first time describes only the version of the story where it turns on its creator, as voice over for a scene where an evil Terminator is getting facial reconstruction. The second is at the end of the episode, describing other versions of the story and comparing the creator and golem to a parent and child (her and John).
- The X-Files, "Kaddish". A golem is created that looks like a Hasidic Jew killed by neo-Nazis, to get revenge on the murderers. Another episode of The X-Files features a golem. "Arcadia" has the agents undercover in a stepford-esque planned community, where a resident has created a golem of garbage (called The Ubermensch) to keep the neighbors in line.
- The Mooks in Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger are Golem Soldiers.
- Similarly, the Putty Patrol in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Both are actually good examples of Golems, as they're made from clay to none-too-brightly go about the makers' bidding (but then, the same goes for the Monster of the Week). Also, in Boukenger, Gaja's Mooks are stone, created from small stones that grow when thrown, and often compared to the Golems / Putties. (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive's Chillers are ice-based but there's little difference beyond that.)
- An actual Jewish-style golem appears as a Monster of the Week in Go Go Sentai Boukenger. It's even defeated in the traditional way, by destroying the first letter on its forehead. Weirdly, the Miniskirt Santa that brought the golem apparently meant for it to be a Christmas present.
- An evil wizard from Charmed had a golem as his minion which looked like the wizard when he was young.
- The Artifact of the Week in a Warehouse 13 episode could turn people to golems.
Oral Tradition Edit
- The above mentioned Talos may be the oldest example.
- One useful property of a golem was that it wasn't a Jew (or even human) and was therefore not subject to the laws of Shabbat. Golems could thus be used to light fires, etc. on days of rest.
- This isn't universal. In the most popular telling of the Golem of Prague, the Jews are distressed that the creature might end up killing all the Gentiles, leaving no one to light the Sabbath lamps. In the same story, there is some debate as to whether a golem counts toward a minyan, a quorum of ten Jewish men required to say Kaddish.
- A legend has the eleventh-century Rabbi Solomon ibn Gabirol of Spain create a woman "to serve him." When someone reports him to the authorities (presumably on suspicion of his engaging in hanky-panky with someone he wasn't married to) he shows them that the woman is made of wood, and disassembles it.
- In the tales of Rabbi Loew's golem, the creature has additional powers, namely invisibility (when given a special amulet) and the ability to heat up its body. Like the rule about a golem being unable to speak due to it not having a soul, these powers are often not used in adaptations.
- In a story retold by Jakob Grimm, a Jewish man creates a servant golem but neglects to deactivate him before he grows too big and potentially dangerous. Finally the man tells the golem to take off its boots. As it bends over to do so, the man erases the first letter of emet from its forehead, changing the word from "emet" to "met" which means dead in Hebrew, whereupon the now-shapeless clay falls over, crushing him to death.
Tabletop Games Edit
- Promethean: The Created has the Tammuz, nicknamed the Golems, who are based heavily on the stories of the golem. They're brought to life in the dirt, usually bear the word of life somewhere on their body, and were originally created for purposes of servitude.
- While the Tammuz are literally referred to as Golems, it's important to remember that basically all of the characters are a type of golem.
- Eldar Wraith-constructs in Warhammer 40000 are made of psychically-sensitive wraithbone and animated by the souls of the dead. The setting being what it is, of course, they are armed with one of the more horrible BFG's ever devised.
- Warhammer had the Ushabti, living statues carved into the likeness of the gods the Tomb Kings used to worship.
- Anything within the Tomb King's army labeled as a "construct" falls into this. While it's implied they did use the bones of long-dead creatures, they're still largely constructed out of wood and stone. The Sphinxes are the extremes, impossibly tall animated statues, some of which are capable of flying on stone wings.
- Warhammer had the Ushabti, living statues carved into the likeness of the gods the Tomb Kings used to worship.
- In the GURPS Infinite Worlds RPG, one of the alternate worlds is code-named "Kaballah". It is currently in the 17th century and is undergoing an early Industrial Revolution powered by mass-produced Golems. Since only Rabbis can produce Golems, this has significantly altered the way Jews are treated in that world ...
- Magic: The Gathering numbers quite a few golems among its artifact creatures. (Which is a bit of retcon for some of the older ones since artifact creatures originally didn't have creature types of their own.) Possibly the most famous of them is Karn, the pacifist silver golem who eventually became a planeswalker in his own right.
- In addition to the golems listed in the description, Dungeons and Dragons had golem-like monsters such as the Stone Guardian and the Caryatid Column.
- Also the half-golem template, which is a fantasy version of Cybernetics Eat Your Soul.
- The old Basic/Expert/etc rules had even more of these than AD&D, with "living statues" as low-level golem equivalents, and juggernauts or iron gargoyles for when regular golems just aren't a challenge anymore.
- In the spirit of Frankenstein, golems in the Ravenloft setting are often animated by the sheer power of their makers' obsessions, rather than by magic. Such "dread golems" have a nasty track-record for turning on their creators, to whom they have a psychic connection.
- The Eberron setting introduced golem player characters, in the form of the warforged race.
- As of 4th Edition, they also exist in Forgotten Realms as an enemy/NPC/possible player species.
- The urban fantasy game Underworld has Junkmen as golem PCs too, along with little bitty mini-golems that look like ambulatory soda cans.
- Exalted has the Alchemical Exalted, which are clay and magical material constructs, animated with the souls of repetitive (through reincarnation) heroes who are created to serve their people and Patropolis/Metropolis. As they advance in power they receive huge bodies, and ultimately become a living city themselves.
- Golems are the basic troops of AT-43's Therians only here they are made out of Nanomachines (the sci-fi clay), and have creepy doll faces.
Video Games Edit
- Nethack borrows the Dungeons and Dragons versions. Stoneing any other type of golem will turn it into a stone golem. Also, using a wand of cancellation on a clay golem erases the word of life on its forehead, destroying it. There's a gold golem which turns into a pile of gold coins when killed and a paper golem which turns into blank scrolls when killed. The Slash'EM variant additionally has a plastic golem which turns into credit cards when killed, a wax golem which turns into candles when killed, several gemstone golems which turn into their type of gem when killed, and a glass golem which turns into worthless fake gems when killed.
- Kingdom of Loathing plays with the idea of the golem, making them out of all sorts of unusual materials: candied yams, pencils, even one made out of a collapsed mineshaft.
- Don't forget that in the theoretically endless area (Fernswarthy's Basement?) one can encounter N Bottles of Beer on a Golem, which is about what it sounds like.
- Despite its name, the Pokémon Golem doesn't really count, as it is a rock monster that is formed naturally. The four Regis, however, do. The original trio were made of stone (Regirock), ice (Regice), and metal (Registeel) and possibly represent the three ages of humanity (Stone Age, Ice Age, and Iron/Metal/Modern Age). The jury's still out on what Regigigas is supposed to be.
- The Golems from Wild Arms, particular 1/Alter Code F and 3. Most turn against their creators.
- Warcraft 3 had a range of golems much like Dungeons and Dragons. Mud Golems could slow enemies, while the other versions tend to be tougher and can throw rocks to damage and stun.
- Golems also appear in World of Warcraft. They often appear in Titan ruins or alongside Dark Iron dwarfs (who have a large factory dedicated to creating golems in their capital). Blood Elfs use arcane golems, which are a Magitech version.
- the Burning Legion has Infernals, which are golems made out of rocks held in a humanoid shape by green Hellfire. They usually are deployed into battle in the form of flaming meteors. Warlocks can also summon Infernals when they gain enough levels.
- The necromancer of Diablo II can summon fighting golems made of clay, metal, blood, or fire. Clay Golems slow opponents and have HP, Metal Golems take on the properties of what they're created from, Blood Golems can steal life to heal itself and the Necromancer (prior to the final patch, this link functioned both ways, harming the Necromancer when the golem is hit), and Fire Golems are immune to fire and grow stronger when hit by fire attacks as well as having a damaging fire aura.
- All over the place in the Castlevania series. They run the gamut from your typical clay giant to an animated pile of rocks. In Judgment, a golem winds up with a soul for unexplained reasons and goes on a quest of self-identity.
- It's actually handwaved at the beginning of his story as the time rift's doing, and even plays a major plot point at the end.
- The Big Daddies from Bioshock are large bulky creatures sometimes compared to golems.
- Ohtsuchi, the Arcana of Earth in Arcana Heart, is a massive clay golem that Maori's family has been praying to for generations.
- Golems were a Monster Rancher staple.
- The Disgaea series has the Wood Golem monster class in every game after the first (Which had ones of the clay variety). They're the sentient, speaking sort of golem, and generally the most durable out of all the monsters, boasting high HP and defense on top of the ability to regenerate health after each turn.
- The Dragon Quest series features monsters named Golem (made of bricks) and Gold Golem (made of gold).
- The second boss of the little known arcade beat'em-up Night Slashers is a rock golem.
- The Heroes of Might and Magic series has given the opportunity to control iron golems, steel golems, and dragon golems (in one game, dragonoids made of animated crystal, in another game, dwarves controlling draconic machines).
- In the fourth game, during the academy campaign, Solymr is implied to compare golems to robots, when he remarks that he heard of humans that can create golems without magic.
- There is a cutscene video in Heroes III that shows golems being chiseled out of stone and animated.
- Some of the games also feature gold golems and diamond golems. The latter, unsurprisingly, boast a lot of elemental resistance.
- Ogre Battle offers golems, including one made of baldr. They become stronger when teamed with enchanters, who fight by magically controlling dolls.
- Enchanted Arms has Mons that are called Golems, but they do speak. (however, even in the English version, most speak Japanese. Leads to great confusion if you're trying to understand what they're saying. Thankfully the Devil Golems, counting the Big Bad Infinity speak the language the game is set to)
- Nimdok's portion of the video game adaptation of I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream features a steel-reinforced golem created by the Nazis- the design of which emerged from tortured Jewish prisoners. In order to activate it, it must be given eyes, told to wake up, told the truth, and kissed: what the player does with the Golem once it awakens will revisit Nimdok in the endgame.
- The Elder Scrolls:
- Arena contained golems of ice, iron, and stone.
- Daggerfall lacked literal golems, but featured "atronaches" of fire, ice, iron, and flesh that could be made by mages. In practice, and little mentioned in accompanying material, atronaches were actually Daedra induced to a less demonic, more humanoid form, and then contracted to service. In one notable example, an atronach had escaped the Mages Guild to a nearby dungeon; when found by the player, it claims that it'd rather die than go back.
- Morrowind and Oblivion feature Flame, Frost, and Storm Atronachs; Shivering Isles reintroduces Flesh Atronachs.
- Asura in Guild Wars create golems (in-universe, short for Genius Operated Living Enchanted Mechanisms). You can gain a golem named M.O.X. as a hero.
- A lot of the elementals in the game arguably qualify as well.
- Stone Man in Mega Man 5 is essentially a robot golem made of rocks, a core, and eyes. Earlier games had the Junk Golem enemy, and Mega Man 7 had Junk Man. The various Devils were golems made of shapeshifting blocks or green goo.
- Vampire: The Masquerade Redemption features a rampaging golem in the Jewish quarter of old Prague.
- The Black Mages in Final Fantasy IX are automatons created by an evil crossdresser from inert materials; however, they slowly gain a consciousness as the game progresses. In a somewhat unusual variant, their primary skill is offensive magic (eg fireballs), not physical strength. The party fights a couple of special winged models sent out as assassins. Unfortunately for Vivi, Black Mages also come with an expiration date.
- Many Final Fantasy games have golems as minor enemies, or summons.
- In the 2nd Fullmetal Alchemist videogame, the main antagonists are golems created by an ancient form of alchemy. Jack Crowley and Elma are also golems.
- Golems were the dwarves' ultimate weapon in the backstory of Dragon Age. However, the knowledge of how to make them was lost forever during the First Blight. The Player Character can gain one, Shale, as a party member, and later in the game can learn the truth about the lost art of creating them: they're made from living dwarves.
- Time Splitters 2's Aztec level has wood and stone golems protecting the time crystal.
- Just don't ask what's in his little sack.
- Jade Empire: Calls its magically-animated automata "golems" despite being otherwise based on Chinese mythology and folklore. Similar to Dragon Age, they're made from the souls of the recently, painfully killed.
- In the third game of the Exile series, the golems are a major plague destroying the plant's surface. All of them appear to be made of metal and gemstones, but they have different associated elements including fire, ice, and acid.
- Grim Grimoire has golems as an alchemy unit. They function as siege tanks because of their incredibly long attack range. Being technically mindless, they're also immune to the Homunculi's Psi Storm.
- Girl Stinky in Sam and Max Freelance Police is a cake golem, and a very intelligent and shifty one at that.
- Browser-based game Muelsfell is entirely based around the creation of Golems.
- Korean MMORPG Video Game/Mabinogi includes golems as boss monsters. These are all simply piles of magically-animated rocks in a vaguely humanoid shape; sometimes covered with plants or snow. As of G9, player characters can get an Alchemy skill that allows them to create and control golems.
- In the Fall From Heaven II mod for Civilization IV, the Luchuirp is a civilization made up of surface-dwelling Dwarves and golems. The problem is that the crude golems they can make now are incapable of learning (i.e. gaining XP) on their own. Barnaxus is an ancient golem from the old Khrad'Ke-zun Empire, of which only the Luchuirp remain, who can teach himself new things and then pass it on to Dwarves and other golems. Their cave-dwelling Khazad cousins don't use golems.
- One boss from Sonic&Knuckles is a golem (it appears at the end of an Ancient Egyptian-themed level, but whatever). You can't actually destroy it - it just rebuilds itself - and instead have to lure it into quicksand.
- The Egg Golem boss from Sonic Adventure 2, a gigantic mecha covered with stone whose only vulnerable point (in the Hero Story) is a control device on its head. In the Dark Story, Sonic scrambles the control device and the Egg Golem turns on Dr. Eggman, who's forced to blow off its rocky armor and destroy its power cores to stop it.
- Being based on Dungeons and Dragons, it is no surprise that these show up in Baldur's Gate. The first game had flesh golems which hit hard and required +2 weapons to defeat, of which there are only a handful in the game. The second game upped it with clay-, stone-, bone- and adamantite golems, which could be Demonic Spiders depending on your level and equipment.
- Echo Bazaar has the Clay Men. They are never called golems, but otherwise fit the description. The in-game art even shows that they have writing on their foreheads.
- Ancient Domains of Mystery features many golem types, including: flesh golems, clay golems, stone golems, stone statues, crystal statues, diamond statues, steel golems, steel zombies, steel horrors, iron golems, and eternium golems. Many of these also breathe fire. Oddly enough, most of them can be pickpocketed, even though fictional golems often don't wear clothes.
- In the third in The Legend of Spyro Trilogy, Golems are Kaiju-sized lava monsters from below the Earth. Only one appears and it serves as Malefor's Dragon in the game. It can regenerate by absorbing rock or rubble and the only way to permently kill it is to destroy the Dark Gem acting as it's brain. Spyro and Cynder shatter it's brain, sending it falling off a building. The Destroyer, a planet destroying Eldritch Abomination Malefor unleashes is pretty much a mountain-sized, much more frightening one.
- Astaroth in the Soul Calibur series was created after Rock the "White Giant" attacked a cult to rescue his adopted son. The cultists were so impressed by Rock's strength that they created Astaroth in his image. Astaroth eventually went rogue and tried to claim Soul Edge and kill Rock so that he could be a truly unique being instead of being just an Evil Knockoff. The remnants of the cult also created a feminine clockwork golem named Ashlotte to bring Astaroth back to them. In the time period between the fourth and fifth games, Astaroth was apparently Killed Off for Real by Maxi and Ashlotte retrieved his golem heart. The cultists, having failed to learn from their past mistakes, have created an entire series of Astaroth-like golems.
- A huge golem acts as a boss in Dark Souls. The descriptions of the weapons that can be forged from its core reveal that the gods used the remains of a dead dragon to forge the golem's core.
- Minecraft has iron golems and snow golems that the player can build. A snow golem looks like a snowman with a jack-o-lantern for a head, and it distracts enemies by throwing snowballs at them. Iron golems can be found in large NPC villages, where they defend villagers from zombies at night.
- Wizard 101 has these all over the spiral. The main ones are living mannequins, Clockworks, iron golems, and Homunculi.
- Erfworld: The comic contains golems, that true to their fantasic roots, are named after what they are made out of. As a side note, some of them are made to look like people from the genres from which they are also named, like soft rock golems, hard rock golems, acid rock golems, metal golems; and cloth golems look like stuffed animals. Oh, yeah, guess what the crap golems are made out of.
- Wapsi Square has the Golem Girls, drunken co-eds created from clay; their backstory gradually reveals that they were once human, their remains reanimated into immortal Artificial Human forms using an ancient technology resembling magic from Atlantis. Physical God Tepoztecal was also created by this method.
- Gwynn from Sluggy Freelance creates a golem out of all the clutter in the apartment. She dubs the creation "Clutter Monster."
- That sounds eerily similar to Klutter, a living pile of clothes and mess who featured in a segment of Eek the Cat.
- In 1/0 the "Golem" ability is one of the precious few non-natural abilities Tailsteak grants his creation. This allows them to reproduce by building bodies out of whatever they can find and then bringing them to life by speaking their "true name". The Golems aren't traditional Golems though, they speak and react in exactly the same way the "naturally" created characters do. As something of a possible nod to the original myth, the first golem to be created is given a name from the Old Testament (Zadok) and at times identifies himself as a "pseudo-Jew"
- HERO: The comic is about a golem, though he is something of a Our Monsters Are Different.
- Adorable Desolation has a good old fashioned classic clay version. That is, except for the fact he's rather chatty. That and he calls the wizard that made him "Dad"
- One of Beisaru's many tricks on Juathuur, shown here.
- Golems are possible to create in Dominic Deegan, but it takes a lot of effort and resources. Among others, we've seen a Golem of Law (Acibek, made from his creator's followers... whose first act was to expose his creator's crimes), a Leaf Golem (Leaflette, the (first) Forest Oracle), a Miscellaneous-Forest-Creature Golem (Dirk the Mighty), and a Flesh Golem (Quilt).
- In Impure Blood, some of the forces attacking them were machinery, but the smaller ones? Just dirt.
- Hieronymus Grubwiggler in Order of the Stick creates flesh golems and bone golems, including one made from the corpse of Roy Greenhilt.
Web Original Edit
- In the world of Tales of MU, golems are created as living tools who must obey orders. Their level of sentience varies; some have more developed personalities than others. They can be "emancipated" by ordering them to consider themselves free beings. The character Two is one such golem, with a rather uniquely constructed personality.
- In the Whateley Universe, the superpowered Charmer has several already-prepared charms she carries with her; one is a 'golem charm' that she has apparently used in self-defense class.
- And Eldritch is a former member of the academy's weapon range crew turned into something called an 'artificer', essentially a (still largely human-looking) golem with the potential to become the perfect magic-item crafting slave for whoever manages to get the proper tattoos on her body. As of this writing, she's still trying to figure out how to do the job herself and thereby retain her independence, which would apparently make her the first artificer to ever do so.
- Mortasheen has some very esoteric Bio Punk takes on this
- In the Global Guardians PBEM Universe one of the "superheroes" on the state-sponsored Israeli national hero team is a golem that seems to have stepped right out of the Rabbi Loew legend. Whether this is the actual Golem of Prague, or a new creation using the same process, is a carefully-guarded state secret.
- Mister Magic, a Jewish super-sorcerer who gets his powers from Kaballah, has occasinally employed golems in his fight against supervillains.
- Golems are much more popular in the fantasy fiction of the alternate world in Look to the West, as they can be a Recycled in Space stand-in for the Automata that dominate much of science fiction in that world, but for mediaeval settings where the technology to make real Automata would not yet exist.
Western Animation Edit
- Introduced, and manipulated by a villain into a weapon utterly impervious to normal human weapons in The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest episode "Rock of Rages." The episode's writer, Lance Falk, later explained in an interview that the episode was, at least in part, a dig at the 1980s attempt at the series and its addition of a living statue called Hard Rock to the main cast.
Lance Falk: "Actually, 'Rock of Rages' with the Golem, was an attempt to sort of tweak the nose of Hard Rock. I wanted to show how downright frightening a seven-foot tall rock creature is. A terrifying supernatural force, not a puppy dog."
- Batman Beyond: "Golem": A geeky high school student gets mental control of a giant construction robot through Lightning
- Gargoyles: In "The Golem", an episode with a lot of Shown Their Work moments, Goliath comes into contact with recurring character Halcyon Renard, who is attempting to resurrect the mythical Golem in Prague.
- The Extreme Ghostbusters episode "The True Face of a Monster" involved a young Jewish man creating a Golem to protect his synagogue from hooligans.
- A Halloween episode of The Simpsons features a Golem (visually based on the 1920 movie) and portrays its creation by a rabbi. Bart takes over the Golem and has it slaughter people until Lisa allows it to speak, at which point it's voiced by Richard Lewis and begins acting like a stereotypical Jew. The family make a female Golem out of play-doh, voiced by Fran Drescher, and the pair get married in a Jewish ceremony.
Lisa: Bart, did your mystical Jewish monster beat up those bullies?
Bart: (sarcastically) Oh, it's always the Jews' fault.
- In Huntik: Secrets & Seekers, Metagolem is one of Dante Vale's titans, and it is stated that he was the golem present in the Rabbi Lowe legend.