H. P. Lovecraft pioneered the concept of cosmic horror, this idea that we are completely powerless in the presence of dark, god-like beings. While his mythos wasn’t exactly what we would now call a shared universe today, his ideas permeate his many stories, and fans have since found ways to piece them all together into a single continuity. This is the Cthulhu Mythos timeline.
What’s on the Cthulhu Mythos timeline?
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” – H. P. Lovecraft.
This timeline takes all of the works of H. P. Lovecraft that are set in the Cthulhu Mythos, or at least have undertones of the Mythos, and places them in chronological order. This includes collaborations and stories he wrote under a pseudonym.
Defining what is “canon” for the Cthulhu Mythos is not easy, and most would say that there shouldn’t be a canon at all, that Lovecraft’s work wasn’t meant to be a single shared universe, like we like to think of it today. Instead, Lovecraft created a number of themes and a few eldritch elements that appear throughout his work, even though he never really intended for this to implicate that it was all the same universe.
Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped fans from piecing it all together, and this timeline is the result of our research into that finished piece. We hope you enjoy.
Where to Start?
There is not great way to start delving into the Cthulhu Mythos. Chronological is one way to do it, but there’s not clear advatage to this. You could also go by publication date, but that doesn’t necessarily reflect the order in which they were written. However, most people do tend to agree that the following stories make up the core of this universe. We’d recommend you start with these:
- The Call of Cthulhu
- The Dunwich Horror
- The Whisperer in Darkness
- At the Mountains of Madness
- The Shadow Over Innsmouth
- The Shadow Out of Time
- The Haunter of the Dark
If you like this timeline, we recommend visiting some of our others, such as the Stephen King Multiverse timeline.