A demigod or demigoddess is a part-human and part-divine offspring of a deity and a human, or a human or non-human creature that is accorded divine status after death, or someone who has attained the "divine spark" (spiritual enlightenment). An immortal demigod(-dess) often has tutelary status and a religious cult following, while a mortal demigod(-dess) is one who has fallen or died, but is popular as a legendary hero in various polytheistic religions. Figuratively, it is used to describe a person whose talents or abilities are so superlative that they appear to approach being divine.
The first Roman to employ the term "demigod" may have been the poet Ovid (17 or 18 CE), who used the Latin semideus several times in reference to minor deities. The poet Lucan (39-65) also uses the term to speak of Pompey attaining divinity upon his death in 48 BCE. In later antiquity, the Roman writer Martianus Capella (fl. 410-420) proposed a hierarchy of gods as follows:
The Celtic warrior Cú Chulainn, a major protagonist in the Irish national epic the Táin Bo Cuailnge, ranks as a hero or as a demigod.He is the son of the Irish god Lugh and the mortal princess Deichtine.
The heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, the five Pandava brothers, fit the Western definition of demigods though they are generally not referred to as such. Queen Kunti, the wife of King Pandu, was given a mantra that, when recited, meant that one of the Gods would give her his child. When her husband was cursed to die if he ever engaged in sexual relations, Kunti used this mantra to provide her husband with children fathered by various deities. These children were Yudhishthira (child of Dharmaraj), Bhima (child of Vayu) and Arjuna (child of Indra). She taught this mantra to Madri, King Pandu's other wife, and she immaculately conceived twin boys named Nakula and Sahadeva (children of the Ashvins). Queen Kunti had previously conceived another son, Karna, when she had tested the mantra out. Despite her protests, Surya the sun god was compelled by the mantra to impregnate her. Bhishma is another figures who fits the western definition of demigod, as he was the son of king Shantanu and Goddess Ganga.
The Vaishnavites (who often translate deva as "demigod") cite various verses that speak of the devas' subordinate status. For example, the Rig Veda (1.22.20) reads, "oṃ tad viṣṇoḥ paramam padam sadā paśyanti sūrayaḥ", which translates to, "All the suras [i.e., the devas] look always toward the feet of Lord Vishnu". Similarly, in the Vishnu Sahasranama, the concluding verses, read, "The Rishis [great sages], the ancestors, the devas, the great elements, in fact, all things moving and unmoving constituting this universe, have originated from Narayana," (i.e., Vishnu). Thus the Devas are stated to be subordinate to Vishnu, or God.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) translates the Sanskrit word "deva" as "demigod" in his literature when the term referred to a God other than the Supreme Lord. This is because the ISKCON tradition teaches that there is only one Supreme Lord and that all others are but His servants. In an effort to emphasize their subservience, Prabhupada uses the word "demigod" as a translation of deva. However, there are at least three occurrences in the eleventh chapter of Bhagavad-Gita where the word deva, used in reference to Lord Krishna, is translated as "Lord". The word deva can be used to refer to the Supreme Lord, celestial beings, and saintly souls depending on the context. This is similar to the word Bhagavan, which is translated according to different contexts.
Among the demigods in Chinese mythology, Erlang Shen and Chen Xiang are most prominent. In the Journey to the West, the Jade Emperor's younger sister Yaoji is mentioned to have descended to the mortal realm and given birth to a child named Yang Jian. He would eventually grow up to become a deity himself known as Erlang Shen.
In the indigenous religions originating from the Philippines, collectively called Anitism, demigods abound in various ethnic stories. Many of these demigods equal major gods and goddesses in power and influence. Notable examples include Mayari, the Tagalog moon goddess who governs the world every night, Tala, the Tagalog star goddess, Hanan, the Tagalog morning goddess, Apo Anno, a Kankanaey demigod hero, Oryol, a Bicolano half-snake demi-goddess who brought peace to the land after defeating all beasts in Ibalon, Laon, a Hiligaynon demigod who can talk to animals and defeated the mad dragon at Mount Kanlaon, Ovug, an Ifugao thunder and lightning demigod who has separate animations in both the upper and earth worlds, Takyayen, a Tinguian demigod and son of the star goddess Gagayoma, and the three Suludnon demigod sons of Alunsina, namely Labaw Dongon, Humadapnon, and Dumalapdap.
The term demigod first appeared in English in the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century, when it was used to render the Greek and Roman concepts of semideus and daemon. Since then, it has frequently been applied figuratively to people of extraordinary ability. John Milton states in Paradise Lost that angels are demigods.
In Disney's Hercules: The Animated Series, based on the 1997 film, while the title character was only referred to as a mortal in the film, he was referred to as a demigod in the series. He also had cousins appear in the series, like Triton, the son of Poseidon.
In Inuyasha franchise, the Nintendo DS video game Inuyasha: Secret of the Divine Jewel, in the Heian period, a human named Tsugumi and fell in love with a god named Datara and gave birth to a demigod daughter. After Tsugumi killed her child from the hands of Gorai and the demon mask have been put on her husband as she sealed him by using the Lightning Sealing Arrow during the interruption of Tsugumi's and Datara's wedding ceremony in 1000 AD, it reincarnated to American girl named Janis. In Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon, in the Sengoku period, a human named Oharu who fell in love with a god named Mahiruma and gave birth to a demigod son named Goro.
In The Mummy Returns, a man named Mathayus the Scorpion King have been nearly dead in the Sahara Desert, and he was forced to make a deal with Anubis, where he would give Anubis his soul if Anubis helped him defeat his enemies. Anubis fulfilled his part of the deal and helped Mathayus destroy Thebes, providing him with command of his army of Anubis Warriors, jackal-headed warriors that can only be killed by beheading. Afterwards Anubis transformed Mathayus into a centaurid scorpion-monster possessing a humanoid head and torso with scorpion claws and main body in place of his hands and legs, condemned to serve him for all time as a demigod.
Demigods are important figures in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson & the Olympians books, in which many of the characters, including the titular character himself, are demigods. In Riordan's work, a demigod is defined as an individual born of one human and one divine parent.
In Moana the 2016 film, Maui have been abandoned by his human parents as a baby, the gods took pity on him and made him a demigod and gave him a magic fish hook that gives him the ability to shape-shift. In the song "Shiny" composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Mark Mancina, Tamatoa called Maui "Ya little semi-demi-mini-god".
While most demigods are created much like regular humans, children of Athena are born from their mother's thoughts merging with their father's. In this way, Athena remains a virgin goddess and it reflects how she herself was born, sprouting from the head of Zeus. It is unknown if other virgin goddesses or gods in general have a special way to have children like Athena. Apollo, a male god, is also capable of having children with mortal males, but the specifics of how this works are not mentioned.
When a demigod reaches a certain age, normally early teens, their powers begin to manifest. At this time, demigods will release a scent that monsters are able to detect and this scent will become stronger if the child learns they are a demigod. Also, if the demigod is a child of a powerful god, the scent can become even stronger. If the child never learns that they are a demigod or they are a child of a minor god, monsters may overlook them. It is around this time that they are escorted to Camp Half-Blood usually by satyrs, where they are placed in one of the cabins, each honoring a different god or goddess.
Most demigods wait to be claimed. Children of Athena are claimed at birth, while others have to demonstrate some form of their parents' trait to be noticed, either through cunning, powers, skills like archery, or even beauty. Otherwise, they are placed in Hermes' cabin, as he is the patron to travelers, anyone is welcomed there, including children of minor gods who aren't important enough to have a cabin. After the Second Titan War, Percy Jackson made all of the gods swear on the River Styx to recognize all of their children at the age of thirteen, and that each god and goddess (including the minor gods and goddesses) would get a cabin at Camp Half-Blood.
Few demigods have full-blooded siblings (with the exception of twins), as their godly parent will usually leave their mortal consorts not long after a child is born, or sometimes even before that. However, some examples of demigod siblings in the series include Hylla and Reyna Ramírez-Arellano, Nico and Bianca di Angelo, Connor and Travis Stoll, Jason and Thalia Grace (who have the same father, but in different aspects).
Greek demigods often go on quests given to them by the Oracle of Delphi, who is currently in the body of Rachel Elizabeth Dare. Roman demigods are usually issued a quest by an augur or, in at least one instance, a Roman god. 2b1af7f3a8