SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained is a column dedicated to introducing prospective players of SMITE to its massive back story of lore. From the Greek to Hindu, each week we’ll look at two characters from a major pantheon and provide a quick recap of their history and in what capacity their digital incarnation will represent on the field of Hi-Rez Studios’ new MOBA.
Lore: Living in the realm of the Underworld, Thanatos is the Greek daemon personification of Death. Relegated to a minor role in Greek mythology, Thanatos was mostly spoken about, yet rarely seen. Twin to Hypnos, God of Sleep, and the offspring of Nyx and Erebos, Goddess of Night and God of Darkness respectively, Thanatos didn’t experience much light. Feared among men and deathless gods alike, Thanatos was a sibling to numerous other negative gods, from Nemesis to Charon, the ferryman of Hades.
Despite being viewed as the peaceful god of death – Keres being the violent counterpart – Thanatos is no less merciless or indiscriminate. But he’s not infallible. The best known story of the Hand of Death describes him being outwitted by King Sisyphus. Twice. First, upon having his number called by Zeus, Sisyphus duped Thanatos into his own chains on Tartarus. No mortals died while he was shackled. This lack of bloodshed during battles encited by Ares enraged him, forcing the God of War to unshackle Thanatos from his folly.
The second foible involved lovely Persephone. She allowed Sisyphus to return to his wife for a proper goodbye, only to be dragged back to the Underworld by Hermes. Still refusing to accept his death, Sisyphus was tasked with pushing a boulder up a hill only to have it roll back down. For eternity. Be careful what you wish for.
In-Game: In SMITE, the Hand of Death is designed as a god that enjoys getting up close and personal, befitting his lore. A melee physical assassin, Thanatos features high sustain thanks to innate life steal abilities, despite trading his own HP for using those. Highly mobile with high damage, death around him only improves his capabilities.
Thanatos should be powered up to make him the most formidable assassin on the map. Grab movement items, like Ninja Tabi, to chase down weak souls as well as physical power from creations like Deathbringer. His focus on death makes Thanatos a perfect user of snowball items, such as Qin’s Sais. Hydra’s Lament will enable Thanatos to dispatch death more frequently. All creations should fear death’s power, immortal or not.
Be sure to follow us on Twitch.TV for SMITE giveaways, including god and skin codes!
Head over to SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained for details on all of the playable characters.