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Tiamat (Ghostbusters)

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I am a god after all. I know everything.
~ Tiamat

Tiamat is a primal Sumerian goddess of chaos and a major villainess in the Ghostbusters IDW Ongoing Series. She was once the entity who fought and banished another rival deity known as Gozer from Earth in the distant past.


Primary Canon

Ghostbusters: The Video Game

In 4th millennium BC, the "Gozerians", consisted of a large, ancient Sumerian sub-culture who once engaged in a long, protracted conflict with the worshippers of Tiamat. Eventually, Gozer and his diciples lost that war and Tiamat banished Gozer from this world.

Secondary Canon

IDW Comics

There are several conflicting legends in the mythology surrounding Tiamat. In some, she is a deity. In others, she is considered to be chaos incarnate. This version was killed by Marduk and he used her corpse to build the world. One aspect of the legends remained consistent, Tiamat was the sister and rival of Gozer. This goddess is more powerful than the Destructor himself. She is not bound by rules and as the goddess of chaos, the only constant has been her feud with Gozer. Even the followers of Tiamat and Gozer had been at odds with each other. It is believed she or her followers were responsible for banishing Gozer from this dimension and disbanding Gozer's devoted followers as well.

Tiamat took an interest in Earth after the Ghostbusters defeated her brother and had the power to suddenly rip holes in the fabric of the universe when they escaped from the Collectors' Limbo. She decided it was somewhere she would go to play. She was overcome with curiosity and wanted to toy with them. She detected Eduardo Rivera within her realm and tasked him with delivering the message of her impending arrival. Tiamat blasted Eduardo and he soon woke up back in Ray's Occult Books. Eduardo asked Ray Stantz and Kylie Griffin if they knew what Tiamat was.

Tiamat was present at the Field Museum of Natural History when the Chicago Ghostbusters examined the World of Gozer exhibit on Ilyssa Selwyn's behalf. She used her powers to activate a Gozerian artifact and influence the creation of the Two-Headed Man-Eaters of Tsavo. Tiamat left "Beware" in Gozerian on the artifact as a warning. After the Chicago Ghostbusters destroyed the artifact, they left the exhibit with Selwyn unaware Tiamat was observing them from the second floor.

A couple weeks later, in the springtime, Tiamat wanted to begin her "game" by having everything her brother Gozer had, including proxies. She manipulated Louis Tully's dreams and instilled an overwhelming desire to return to New York City. She then summoned Dana Barrett to her realm. Dana tried to run but was captured by one of Tiamat's Terror Birds. Tiamat then asked Dana if her being the host of Zuul was fate or a coincidence. Dana believed it was never supposed to happen all over again. Tiamat then retorted how she knew that and returned Dana back to her kitchen. Tiamat's presence on the physical plane began to induce strange phenomenon such as Blood Rain and gravitational anomalies.

Tiamat had Dana restrained and her female Terror Bird take possession. Tiamat then took on the form of a blonde woman and approached Louis at a bar. She soon became annoyed with Louis' "rigid mind" and ripped her face off, revealing her true form. Louis passed out. The bartender wanted nothing to do with the encounter. Tiamat grabbed Louis and took him back to Dana's apartment where he was possessed by the other Terror Bird. Once the possessed Dana lured Peter, and by extension the Ghostbusters to Dana's apartment, Tiamat had her servants declare she was ready to see them. Reenacting the Ghostbusters' first encounter with Gozer, Tiamat forced them to take the stairs. At some point, it appeared Tiamat's presence caused a simple minor chronal anomaly. Future versions of the original four Ghostbusters appeared before the team and presented cryptic advice on dealing with Tiamat - that while she was more powerful than Gozer the Traveller, she had a different agenda and that could be used to their advantage. In addition, they reiterated her addiction to chaos and hinted at what one needs for chaos. Winston then learned from his future self he would be the one to figure it out when the time was right. After making it to the roof, walking up her Temple, and encountering the Terror Birds, the Ghostbusters opened fire on Tiamat. The Proton Streams had little affect and Tiamat knocked them backwards with a shock wave of energy. Tiamat then transformed into a giant multi-headed dragon and declared she was amiable to skipping over the mind games to something else. The Ghostbusters took aim and crossed 11 streams onto her. Tiamat seemed to be able to contain the energy of the streams then vanished from sight in a white flash. As the Ghostbusters, Dana, and Louis contemplated the end, Blood Rain showered down on them amid Tiamat's laughter.

Over the next couple of weeks, relatively few of the symptoms of Tiamat's presence eased. Blood Rain continued. Kylie's research did not yield any actionable results. After tearing through everything in Ray's Occult Books for any clue or reference on defeating Tiamat, Kylie could only find advice on general appeasement and the baseline for that was sacrifice. Tiamat reveled in the fact she withstood the Ghostbusters' technology and sensed Gozer's remaining essence was in a dormant and anemic state. Tiamat continued to toy with the Ghostbusters in order to jilt Gozer back into fighting form. She was amused by the Ghostbusters and their unpredictability. Tiamat's presence on the physical plane finally awakened the remnants of Gozer. Awakened and energized, Gozer vowed to correct past mistakes and fulfill his purpose of destruction. He made direct mental contact with the Selector, Ray Stantz. After the Male Terror Bird was extracted from Louis and trapped, Tiamat briefly appeared on one of the lockers behind Egon and Kylie.

As Gozer continued to try to force Ray to submit to his will, Tiamat crossed over from her dimension to Ray's mind. The two god-like monsters did battle in various forms. All the while, Tiamat taunted Gozer repeatedly. To cement Gozer's impending defeat, Tiamat manipulated Ray's memories so that he and thus Gozer would never know the Containment Unit's biometric security measures would bar them access due to possession. Gozer would believe he could take back his captured essence and power up enough to defeat Tiamat once and for all. Once Gozer realized the truth, Tiamat reached into her brother and tore out his consciousness and feasted on his despair. By tossing him in her mouth, Tiamat banished Gozer to another dimension. Tiamat took complete control of Ray's body and declared the Ghostbusters' only hope of surviving was not boring her. Tiamat then punched the hull of the Containment Unit several times, threatening to cause a rupture and massive explosion. Tiamat was intrigued when Winston addressed her and offered to sacrifice his own life to appease her. Tiamat accepted.

Tiamat vacated Ray and stopped Winston before he could enter Heaven. Although Winston's sacrifice was crude and without proper ceremony, the real problem was she had Winston happily died the warrior's death to stop her. She wanted Winston to make a sacrifice and live to face the consequences. Tiamat insisted he choose another sacrifice. Winston refused then Tiamat shoved him away. Winston awoke back in his body and raced off to protect Tiyah. All the while, Tiamat appeared to Winston and taunted him. Once Winston entered the hallway leading to Tiyah's apartment unit, Tiamat appeared in a mirror and gave him one last chance to choose a sacrifice. Winston adamantly refused and shot at her. She simply became intangible and let the stream pass through her. Tiamat imitated Winston's voice and called for Tiyah then knocked on her door. When Tiyah answered, Tiamat lifted her up by the throat and was about to kill her when another idea came to mind. Tiamat extracted a portion of Tiyah's soul and erased her life experience with Winston from the world. Tiamat declared this sacrifice was acceptable and bid Winston goodbye... for now and then vacated the dimension.

Powers and Abilities

The mere presence of Tiamat alone can disrupt the fabric of its environment and disrupt that environment's rules of science. She can shape shift and so far, has taken on the form of an attractive, blonde female human and a green multi-headed dragon. She can also manipulate and alter physical surroundings like trapping Dana in her own apartment with brick walls, possessing the power to speak to the dead, can manifest on mirrored surfaces and even the face of the moon, make herself intangible, imitate the voice of others, extract souls, and erase memories of an event from an entire planet.


Tiamat takes joy in the feeling lesser beings get when hope is taken away from them.


  • Tiamat is named after the primal water goddess in Babylonian mythology who represents ocean.
  • In Ghostbusters Volume 2 Issue #19, 3 of Tiamat's forms are visually based on Necksa, one of Proteus' forms, and Quetzalcoatl from The Real Ghostbusters.
  • On page 7 of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters Issue #3, a picture of Tiamat is found on the white board.

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