Ananke-spoiler.png "Once again, we return."

This article contains spoilers for Issue 22 of The Wicked + The Divine. Read at your own risk.

"Once again, we return."

Ananke is an enigmatic figure somehow connected to the Pantheon, and the Greek Goddess of inevitability, compulsion, and necessity. She has guided the gods of the Recurrence for many years. Although her physical body died millennia ago, Ananke has continued to incarnate herself by creating a Ritual, where she successfully divides her soul into two halves, with the other half of her soul manifesting during the beginning of each new Recurrence, every 90 years as her child self, who then consecutively takes on the persona of Minerva. She considers the 13th goddess, Persephone, the personal deity of her sister, a problem, and is shown to have obliterated every Persephone each Recurrence unknown to the other Gods.

History[edit | edit source]

Beginning[edit | edit source]

Ananke has been a part of the Recurrence since pre-historic times, along with her sister. 6000 years before the events in the present, Ananke having figure out a way to prolong her life by "incarnating" herself over and over in a younger body after seeing the effects of believing themselves, betrayed her former friends during the first "Recurrence" and killing four other Gods and gathering their living heads, which she carried in a bag on her back. She eventually sewed their lips shut to prevent them from talking. Chasing down her sister and her sister's grandson, she catches up to her sister in the desert. The two establish the rules for future Recurrences after her sister decides to open up her story for the two to meddle with it "according to the dance of desire and necessity". Seeing the chance to be able to reincarnate every Recurrence, Ananke accepts to the deal, and establishes herself as "maiden" and "crone" while her sister establishes herself as "mother". Her sister establishes that each Recurrence must have twelve gods and they all must be gone by the end of the two-year cycle. Ananke reserves the right to choose which gods are incarnated and in whom, save for the fact that her sister's God, Persephone, must be incarnated in each cycle, but is incarnated last. After a plea from her sister to stop before she “traps” herself forever, Ananke kills her, but not before her sister utters the words "And ... Four ...", before telling her that a "Great Darkness" would claim her forever, should a Persephone from any Recurrence beget a child. Claiming she can handle that, Ananke proceeds to, every recurrence, attempt to kill every Persephone immediately after their awakening, using their head for her Ritual.

Eventually after meeting up with her Younger Self, the both of them then proceeded to steal themselves for their continued existence and the sacrifices they would make along the way as the two proceeded to plan and plot on how to manipulate and undermine the new generation of 12 children.

3862 BC[edit | edit source]

Eventually the two made their way to the Upper Nile, where the two began identifying and locating the new generation of "gifted" children and proceeded to incarnate the 12 of them as "Gods" tailored to take advantage and exacerbate their individuals "flaws" to undermine them in the future.

Eventually after incarnating the other 11, Ananke finally incarnated the second Pantheon's "Persephone". Who after finishing her transformation, Ananke proceeded to trick her into "Singing" and letting her guard down long enough for her to swiftly behead her and claim her living head for her Ritual.

450 BC[edit | edit source]

Ananke arrives in Rome during the events of the 450s Recurrence to talk to Lucifer, the last god remaining of the current Pantheon, and who claims to be a reincarnation of Julius Caesar. As she attempts to explain why Lucifer must sacrifice himself, he attacks her, claiming he will survive. Ananke retreats, allowing Lucifer to run his course. When he dies after a failed offering to Jupiter in order to expand his lifetime (resulting later in a failed immolating), Ananke comes and drags him from Jupiter's temple to the banks of the Tiber River, where she cuts his body up and flings the pieces into the Tiber, giving him a pagan burial. Eventually this Ananke was killed by Minerva, who took up her persona in the next recurrence.

Sometime prior to Lucifer’s self destruction, it was shown that Ananke had also successfully incarnated a Persephone and successfully beheaded and collected her living head for her Ritual somewhere in an Germania Forest.

1370 AD[edit | edit source]

Prior to the beginning of the 1370s Recurrence and her locating the new Gods and initiating their Incarnation, Ananke had apparently infected herself with a highly infectious and voluminous plague created by the previous The Pantheon and during her voyage to the new location where the New Gods where born, Ananke had apparently spread the Plague from Asia to Europe via ship and from there continued to spread it using a carriage until reaching her destination of inner Europe, where due to the Plague having completely infected her body, rendered her completely bedridden and near immobile.

Eventually meeting up with her newly incarnated younger self, Minerva, Ananke began employing her primarily as her "Helper", who was given the task of locating each of the Gods and convincing them to visit her to "discern what they truly were". Upon Minerva successfully convincing a young woman who would become Lucifer, Ananke immediately deemed her to be trouble due to her not needing much persuasion to visit her and her immediately selecting the identity of Lucifer herself, immediately causing Ananke to deem her to be "trouble".

Ananke had also successfully incarnated a Persephone some time in France and successfully beheaded her and collected her head for her Ritual while bedridden without much difficulty.

Eventually the Pantheon of the 1370's, either succumbed to the immense selfishness, hedonism and destructive impulses of their divinities or where eliminated by Ananke in order to advance her own plans. However just as Ananke predicted, all but Lucifer, who somehow managed to keep control of herself, remained and successfully survived while the rest of her peers died. Ananke and Minerva continued to wait for Lucifer to succumb to her divinity, but somehow she continued to maintain control of herself past the two-year time limit. Eventually this began to have adverse effects on Minerva due to being separated from the rest of her soul for so long and her not yet accomplishing her Ritual despite having the needed heads due to Lucifer's continued survival, causing the two to then conclude that they would need to get rid of her themselves.

The two hatched a plan and Minerva successfully lured Lucifer to the Plague ridden village Ananke resided in. Where after a lengthy confession of all of her thousand-year murders and manipulations of the Pantheon to continue her life, Ananke successfully convinced her to kill her after revealing that she was the one who started the Plague, causing Lucifer to immolate the both of them alive, leaving Minerva to then remerge with Ananke's half of their soul and initiate their Ritual successfully.

1463 AD[edit | edit source]

Eventually this Minerva survived and grew old, before eventually retaking the mantle of Ananke and initiating the next Recurrence 90 years later in West Africa.

Ananke was seen to have successfully incarnated a Persephone and successfully beheaded and collected her living head for her Ritual With little trouble. The Ananke in this Recurrence was noted to have worn a thick Vale that completely shrowded her Face due to her facial scarring and was seen to be missing a few fingers due to the events of the Previous Recurrence.

1830 AD[edit | edit source]

During the 1830s Recurrence, after giving Woden and The Morrigan their respective godheads, she "offered" Inanna divinity in exchange for her help in killing Woden and Morrigan's newborn children, despite Inanna already being one of the twelve of the Recurrence. She later killed Hades with a sacrificial dagger, and then, for reasons yet unknown, gave his severed hand to Lucifer, who attempted to resurrect him. The result of this was the creation of a new Creature, which went on to outlive the other gods of that Recurrence. It is unknown to what extent Ananke was aware of the eventual outcome of these events, and to what extent they were engineered by her. However, she did remove Innana's head at the conclusion of the Recurrence, most likely as the last head needed to complete her ritual.

1920s[edit | edit source]

Ananke arrives on Lucifers island and from their acts as both advisor and spectator to the Gods as the murders began occurring. However, it became further evident that Ananke herself has been manipulating the Gods themselves to kill each other due to them managing to successfully maintain control of themselves during the two year time period and not falling into extreme hedonism for her to exploit. Eventually, upon successfully manipulating them to kill each other and secretly collecting the needed heads for her ritual, Ananke successfully convinced the four remaining Gods to kill each other to prevent the "great disaster" created by Baal and Set from severely affecting the world. Just as Amaterasu and Amon-Ra killed each other, Minerva instead chose to shield herself from Amaterasu's fire and protect herself and not kill Susanoo. Using her young age to get him to lower his guard, Minerva then proceeded to behead him as the final head for their ritual. Meeting up with her older self, who began expressing doubt at their continued existence and immortality, Minerva proceeded to annoyingly kill her, absorb that part of her back into herself before then proceeding with her ritual and successfully once again making her return complete.

It was also during this “Blood Retreat” did Ananke successfully capture The Creature created by 1830 Pantheon by using the “Woden” & Mimir of the 1920 Pantheon for future use in her plans for the next Recurrence.

This incarnation of Minerva continued to live until the 2010 Recurrence, during the middle of which at one point during the mid 1940's, she ended up talking to Robert Graves about her 6,000 year old life in a drunken binge, which ended inspiring him to write The White Goddess based on her exploits.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

The Faust Act[edit | edit source]

During the 2010s Recurrence, Ananke was present at all the gods' incarnations. She instructed them not to use miracles in public, but Lucifer disobeyed and was arrested. While Lucifer was in court, Ananke killed Judge Holmes and framed Lucifer for the crime. Lucifer, not realizing that Ananke was responsible, asked Amaterasu to get Ananke's help. However, she did not visit her in prison. Meanwhile, Ananke worked together with Woden, the only one of the gods who was aware of her plans. He built Valhalla at her request, and grew Ragnarock into an 'epic statement'.

When Laura began investigating the gods, Ananke summoned her to a meeting at Woden's Valhalla. She thanked Laura for helping Lucifer, but told her that the imprisonment was for Lucifer's own good, as if the humans turned on the gods, this may be the last Recurrence, and the gods would never be able to reincarnate.

After Lucifer's escape, Ananke sent Baal and Sakhmet to force her back into jail or kill her. When Lucifer evaded them, she arrived in person, and killed Lucifer by exploding her head. She then announced her existence to the press, and asked the world to respect that gods police their own kind. In order to ensure their freedom to do so, she spoke with the government and stressed that she was their only hope of controlling them.

Fandemonium[edit | edit source]

Ananke was concerned about Baphomet's fear of his own mortality, and told him that the Prometheus Gambit would work for death gods such as himself, in order to prevent him discovering this himself. She said she would hold him accountable for any gods murdered.

When she realized Cassandra was investigating the events around Lucifer's death, Ananke offered to give her an interview explaining her view of the Recurrence, resulting in Cassandra's incarnation as Urdr.

When Baphomet attacked Urdr at Ragnarock 2014, Ananke condemned him and sent Baal and Sakhmet after him. Later that night, she went to talk to Laura and caused her transformation into Persephone, then attempted to kill her unknown to the other Gods, as she had done in all previous cycles. However, she was stopped by Baphomet and Inanna, who had just arrived at Laura's house. Ananke killed Inanna instead but Baphomet and Laura managed to escape. When Laura's family witnessed this, she exploded the house, killing them. She subsequently framed Baphomet for Inanna's murder.

Commercial Suicide[edit | edit source]

Baal and Woden captured the Morrigan on Ananke's orders. Ananke then held a meeting with the rest of the gods, including Tara, to discuss the situation. Later that evening, she killed Tara at her request, but destroyed the suicide note she had left behind. She framed Baphomet for her death, and told the other gods that there may be a demon influencing him, warning of impending war.

Rising Action[edit | edit source]

Ananke ordered Woden to create a mysterious device for Minerva's birthday, refusing to explain what it was for. Woden asked if Minerva was going to be the fourth death, which Ananke denied. They then received word that there were sightings of a new god in Highbury & Islington (actually Persephone, returned to take revenge on Ananke). Ananke gathered the gods to inform them that 'The Destroyer' had returned, and commanded Woden and Sakhmet to accompany her. Amaterasu and Baal were to stay behind and guard Valhalla, despite Baal's protests.

They sent a bomb Woden had created to the bar Persephone was performing in, with the intention of pinning the crime on her. They then appeared there themselves and started to fight. However, Persephone proved more powerful than they expected and she managed to escape. Ananke and Woden realised that it had been a diversion and returned to Valhalla, where they found Baphomet, Morrigan and Minerva trying to escape. Persephone showed up once more and helped them get out of there, to Ananke's fury.

Following this, Ananke stormed into Minerva's room to find out she had been deceiving them with an illusion projected by her robotic owl. She examined the device Woden had built, and confessed, in full view of Minerva's owl, that she intended to kill Minerva as part of a ritual to complete the "core sacrament" and stop the "Great Darkness". She justified it to herself as necessity, at which point she was interrupted by Woden, who wanted to start the meeting. She then manipulated the remaining members of the Pantheon into turning against Persephone and the others. She used Minerva's owl to locate the missing gods, and sent Baal, Sakhmet and Amaterasu after them.

Although they returned with Minerva, they were pursued by the other gods, and a battle ensued. During the chaos, Ananke killed Minerva's parents directly in front of Minerva, Amaterasu, and Beth and her camera crew. Amaterasu teleported away in panic, enabling Ananke to drag Minerva with her to the machine. She lost a hand along the way dealing with Baphomet. She then threatened Woden into helping her and revealed that she planned to murder the entire Pantheon after she had sacrificed Minerva, which she implied would increase her powers. Before she could do so, however, the rest of the Pantheon appeared, ready to fight her. Once captured by them, she was killed by Persephone. Once this happened, Minerva, present at the moment, became whole once more and received Ananke's memories.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Ananke is an elderly white woman with white hair and pink/violet eyes. She typically dresses all in black, and wears a mask and/or veil which partially obscures her face. However, during the 1920s Recurrence she wore a mixture of black, gold and red. When she performs a miracle, or is present at an incarnation, her eyes glow pink.

Role[edit | edit source]

Ananke acts as advisor and guide to the Pantheon, training them in the use of their powers, actually leading them into their own cages so she can collect their heads and perform her immortality ritual. She claims to be the one who informs them they are gods and begins their incarnation. She appears to care a great deal for the other gods, but priorities continuing the cycle of Recurrence over the life of any individual. She frequently deceives the gods and has no regard for killing them to achieve her goal, whenever necessary.

Personality[edit | edit source]

During the initial events of the 2010 Recurrence and her interactions with the recent generation of "Gods", Ananke is shown to be a caring, empathetic, understanding matron to them and has shown to repeatedly comfort and soothe each of the Pantheon members during their difficulties coping with their "Godhood" and their "Death Sentences", and has offered to help them come to terms with it, as seen during in her relationships with Baal, Tara, Baphomet, Sakhmet, Lucifer and Minerva. However, as seen during the events of Lucifer's Arrest, Ananke was shown to primarily focus on the collective welfare of her wards and is not at all bothered at having to kill or sacrifice some of them for the rest of them. This is seen where she "killed" Lucifer after her escape from prison that further aggravated and caused the rest of the world to outright fear the other Pantheon members and later threatened to do the same to Baphomet should he also try to kill his fellow Gods.

However, underneath this caring facade, Ananke is shown to truly not care for any of the Pantheon members at all and simply sees each and every one of them as a means to an end in order to extend her own life for her Ritual. As seen where she orchestrated the events that lead to Lucifer's escape from prison that gave her the chance to "kill" her, slowly psychologically manipulate Tara into wanting to commit suicide in order to collect her living head for her ritual, manipulated Baphomet into trying to kill his fellow Gods in order to have a justifiable reason to "kill" him and collect his head for her ritual, manipulated and taken advantage of Woden to take use of his son, Mimir's divinity in order to live the life he wants in order to blackmail him as her servant, use The Creature to create a "Great Darkness" in order to create a substantial "threat" to manipulate Baal and manipulated Lucifer, Sakhmet, Urdr, The Morrigan, Nergal,Persephone and Dionysus by encouraging their worst "flaws" for later advantages through their Incarnation as Gods that would exacerbate these "flawed" tendencies for her further advantage of in order to either kill or manipulate them in the future.

This in turn shows Ananke's immense intelligence, cunning and patience due to her having successfully manipulated entire generations of Pantheons by using these methods for over 6,000 years of her existence. As seen where she manipulated and undermined the Pantheons of the 2010's,1920's, 1830's, 1370's and 450s using various different strategies, schemes and manipulations to push each “God” into their own path of self destruction, with each generation being practically oblivious to her plans and true intent until the end. This in turn has further illustrated Ananke's complete mastery over lying and manipulating, having been shown to completely and distinctly mix together lies together with her truths in order to mix together her genuine feelings with her lies to make the more believable and allow others to simply misunderstand her words in order to give them false conceptions of what she really meant.

This in turn shows how afraid Ananke is of "death" due to the sheer depths that she went through in order to prolong her life that was only further exacerbated upon her experiencing the Great Darknes, which left deep psychological scars in her mind and caused her to seemingly develop a phobia for being in the dark and the possible prospect of death.

Motivated by this, Ananke has become immensely amoral, selfish and apathetic to all of her "necessary" actions no matter how destructive they were in order to maintain her immortality. An example of this is when Ananke had no hesitation to unleash the global plague that killed million across China, Europe and the Middle East during the 1370s, which she did in order to slow down the progress of human society to a suitable level for her to continue to go unnoticed by human civilization and draw the connection between her and the previous Recurrences. In the 21th century, she was willing to do the same thing to again hide her connection to Minerva for the next cycle of the Recurrence.

However despite her immense ego and the sheer inhuman depths she went through to stay alive, Ananke did possess a seemingly genuine sense of love for her elder sister and until to this day still seems to recall their time together fondly.

Powers & Abilities[edit | edit source]

Ananke has shown immense power and control over her abilities, displaying feats very few gods seem to be able to challenge:

  • Divine Incarnation & Power Bestowal: As the guide of the Pantheon, Ananke is tasked with beginning their incarnation and ascension to godhood. As such, she is able to seemingly find the godly potential of the individual and access it, granting them divine powers, and what appears to be a new sense of identity. This was at one point was thought she didn't choose the Gods to be reincarnated, but now we know she can, with the status of their godhood in her hands.
  • Energy Projection & Manipulation: The nature of such an ability is unknown, but she has shown to be able to create mass amounts of energy for a variety of effects, the most notable being the explosion of heads (later suggested to be pinpointed teleportation, specifically allowing her to teleport the God's heads to a destination of her choosing). Her level of control seems to allow her to change the amount of harm her energy will do, as she seems to be able to make such power fatal or simple knock an opponent away. Her energy is typically pink and yellow, with her eyes also turning pink on occasion. Her power has proven strong enough to be capable of atomizing humans.
    • Force Field Projection: Possibly as an extension of energy manipulation, Ananke is capable of projecting a force field which has been shown to, at times, even stop the powerful vines that Persephone controls.
    • Energy Siphoning: To follow her cyclical immortal life, Ananke is able to siphon the energies of living gods, typically four, as a way of bestowing her life for the remainder of her time prior to the birth of her successor.
  • Pyrokinesis: Later as revealed by Woden, Ananke also possessed the ability of Pyrokinesis. As seen when she was able to spontaneously combust Judge Holmes's head and kill him with fire in order to frame Lucifer and set off the chain of events leading to her Escape in order to have the valid justification and chance to "Kill" her without drawing the suspicion of the other Pantheon members. During her flashbacks 6,000 years ago, Ananke was also seen creating a small fire in her thumb by snapping her fingers.
  • Tolerance to Pain: When facing Baphomet her hand began to burn and tear away against his fire, but she seemed to not feel any pain.
  • Immortality: Later it was revealed that during the age of the first Pantheon,Ananke had successfully figured out a method of successfully staving off death and functionally making herself immortal and near unkillable.
    • Division: This Immortality is done via splitting her own consciousness into two entirely different bodies,with a part of her mind staying in her old elderly body while the other half is incarnated into a newer younger body as the Recurrence begins by divining the location where the next generation of children would be born in.
      • Ritual: Later upon being successfully incarnated into her younger self,Ananke would then need to collect four heads of the current generation of Gods and sacrifice them in a ritual within a two year deadline,where she would then disintegrate the living heads into pure energy and absorb them in order to stabilize her younger body. If this is not done within the given deadline or if she is missing a sacrifice,Ananke's (Minerva) younger body would then disintegrate and her soul would then be trapped in some sort of Limbo in darkness until a newer younger body incarnates during the next Recurrence 90 years later.

Mythology[edit | edit source]

In Issue 2, Laura is seen reading the Wikipedia page for Ananke (mythology) on her phone, from which we learn that she is the 'personification of inevitability, compulsion and necessity'.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

By Ananke

"Do you know what a miracle is? It is beyond explanation."
"I love you, Lucifer."
"You have no idea what I've given up. I gave up my divinity for you. I am no god of death. I am no god at all. I am necessity. And "life" is the last thing I have, boy."
—Ananke to Baphomet[src]
"It is a poor critic who says that a lack of effect on them implies all others are insincere in their love."
"Some murders are necessary. Others are not."
"Hmph. It never ends."
—Ananke on killing Minerva[src]
"There is the Great Darkness. Defeating it is all that matters."
"You think you were in hell, Persephone? Hell is you children, forever!"
"You are selfish brats and you will destroy the world. I am old and tired. I tried for so long. You don't deserve me."


Minerva: "Tell me. Tell me it's going to be okay."
Ananke: "It will be, sweet child. It will always be okay."
―Ananke comforts Minerva[src]
Cassandra: "If you're going to go all high fantasy on me, you should know I'm a China Mieville girl."
Ananke: "Do you want to be smart or do you want to know things?"
―Cassandra and Ananke[src]
Woden: "I think you've mistaken me for your serf."
Ananke: "I have lived long enough to have known actual serfs. You are not a serf. You are considerably lower than a serf. You are but the pet of a god. We both know exactly what you are. And as long as I know what I know about you, you'll obey."
―Ananke and Woden[src]
Woden: "Have to say, this isn't a good time to start talking to yourself."
Ananke: "I like intelligent conversation. Given the available options, you cannot be too surprised if I choose to talk with myself."
―Woden and Ananke[src]
Baphomet: "How did you know about...what happened with Persephone and me?"
Ananke: "Two teenagers alone in the dark? For months? It hardly required prophecy."
―Baphomet and Ananke[src]
Woden: "Minerva?! You said she was too young."
Ananke: "Yesterday she was. Today's her birthday. Now she is not. If you are to play this game, Woden, you should pay attention to what I'm actually saying."
―Woden questions Ananke's murderous impulses[src]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

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