[RPG] Were Illithids inspired by Cthulhu


Mind Flayers seem to look a whole lot like Cthulhu. Is there any relationship/inspiration between the two?

Best Answer

Indirectly, yes. Gary Gygax tells us that "the mind flayer I made up out of whole cloth using my imagination, but inspired by the cover of Brian Lumley's novel in paperback edition, The Burrowers Beneath." Said novel was firmly rooted in the Cthulhu mythos; in fact, Lovecraft's character Robert Harrison Blake wrote a short story titled "The Burrower Beneath." We may suspect that title was an influence on Brian Lumley's choice of titles.

The cover in question, for reference:

alt text