A character in my book is a (small g) goddess, who has limited knowledge of all her worshippers and the natural world. She and a group of others were raised to godhood by their friends many years ago, and they rule a world of their own design.

Now, in an attempt to save their world from an invasion of evil she and another god sacrificed their godhood to combat two other gods, leaving godhood for a few minutes. While this happened they were removed from godhood.

How would a hugely powerful character show their disappointment for the events, and their acceptance of the events?


I realise that my original question was lacking some detail so here is what I know about her:

  1. Before she was cast down she had full dominion and control of all her worshippers and many elements of the natural world that were not contested against other gods.
  2. She could only be reduced to humanity and killed by a unanimous vote of all the gods - this is the reason she was only removed when she was human, as she could not defend herself.
  3. The effect on the world is minimal as she only had a few worshippers. However, the effect could be considered much larger if you consider that she is one of the only gods actively working against the evil invasion.
  4. She is a kind, motherly woman, and loves children, learning and magic.
  5. Being a god was only important to her in the capacity to fight the evil invasion and to stay alive.

Also, in case this is useful the tenets of this goddess are:

  1. To be the light in the all-consuming dark.
  2. To study until your skills are unmatched.
  3. To seek the arcane powers for the safety of the realm.
  4. To protect the innocent and take power from those unworthy
  5. To be ready to sacrifice yourself for the greater good.
  • 1
    Read the beginning of Trials of Apollo Book 1. The author shows Apollo being cast down to a mortal's body. It might help a bit with their feelings on that matter - although his style is more humorous than anything else, in my experience.
    – Tasch
    May 20, 2020 at 22:31
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    Not enough info. How she was 'removed'. As consequences for her own actions (which were honorable?), or a technicality of the god rulebook, or because of an opportunist enemy who acted on her moment of vulnerability… In otherwords, does she see it as another fight, or as some sort of 'moral' exile because of the battle… and whether she is the type to center herself as at fault or project blame onto others… Also whether her fellow demoted compatriot is handling it worse or better than she is (and how she feels about them). Does she have a 'domain' or holiday as her deity role?
    – wetcircuit
    May 20, 2020 at 23:45

3 Answers 3


There are a huge amount of possible reactions your demoted goddess could have, such as despair at losing so much of her power to help, frustration at losing it at all, insecurity regarding her worth without her powers, anger at the people or situation that caused her to lose her godhood, determination to regain it, denial of her inability to regain it, joy at being able to experience something new, relief at being free from her role, guilt for being relieved...

I'd have two main pieces of advice:

Make it complex

People are complicated, contradictory things, and their emotions aren't constant - especially not to such a sweeping change as this. Your goddess is going to have multiple reactions, most likely both positive and negative, selfish and altruistic, and how she feels is going to change over time. Maybe she feels terrible because she knows how much her side has lost now... but part of her is delighted that she'll be able to truly learn and discover in a way she couldn't as a god... but she's in denial about that because it feels like such a selfish reaction. And maybe then she starts thinking that it's fine for her to be selfish since she's sacrificed so much for the cause! Or she becomes determined to learn as much as she can to help the battle against evil as a mortal... there are many options here.

Honestly, this seems like the start of a character arc to me. Especially if you want to show her accepting the loss - that's a really unlikely reaction for her to have to such a fundamental change immediately, unless she was desperately unhappy as a god. That calls for time, plot and character development.

Remember the little things

So she's mortal now, after having been a god for a long time. How does this immediately physically affect her? Do gods have to eat or sleep - if not, how does she like it now? How does losing her powers actually feel - does she still reflexively try to do things by divinity and end up stumbling? How has the way she experiences the world changed - has she lost or gained something like a sense? I would expect a god's experience from the world to be really, fundamentally different from a mortal's, and would expect to see some of the shock and adjustment of going from one to the other! Whether that's her delightedly sampling every cuisine around because having a sense of taste again is fantastic, or suffering blinding migraines because she keeps trying to use godly powers she no longer has, or former worshippers having to guide her around because she hasn't quite grasped what her body's limitations are and keeps trying to jump out of second-story windows and the like. You don't have to go overboard, but including details like these can IMO make a story much more realistic and compelling.


You have to answer a few questions first:

  1. What power did she have before?

  2. Was she immortal?

  3. How does this affect the world?

  4. What kind of personality does she have?

  5. How does she react when she loses something?

  6. How important was being god-like to her?

Once you answer these questions, and any others that may come to mind, you can see how she reacts. It will also give you greater insight into your character. Keep note of your answers! (You'll need to know these later in the story, when it comes time)

  • 3
    4 and 5 are very important: Just look at former celebrities. Some of them rant, rave and act out in an attempt to recapture a shadow of their former fame. Others shrug, and get a job working in a supermarket or something. Whether she chooses to live happily as a mortal, strives to regain her godhood, or lashes out in anger is entirely story based. May 20, 2020 at 22:47

the tenets of this goddess are:

  • To be the light in the all-consuming dark.
  • To study until your skills are unmatched.
  • To seek the arcane powers for the safety of the realm.
  • To protect the innocent and take power from those unworthy
  • To be ready to sacrifice yourself for the greater good.

I don't see a conflict with her suddenly becoming human – she would continue to be the same person with the same values and goals. She would be naive and inexperienced, but her value system would still hold. She will see injustice and feel the urge to protect the innocent. She'll be a light in the darkness, and there will be many new skills to learn.

She actually sounds a little too perfect, so you may need to put more obstacles in her way – plopping her down in a part of the world where the innocent are universally mistreated by ignorant tyrants. The injustice might be overwhelming to the point she questions her beliefs.

The one tenet that will get her in trouble is the self-sacrificing part, here such things are permanent. This might make an interesting plot point. If the god rulebook forbids deicide, a clever enemy might expect her to self-sacrifice herself right out of existence – bonus points if that enemy's tenets say self-sacrifice is a character flaw (a god of accumulating wealth, for instance).

Her new circumstances will test her resolve. It will force her to experience her own tenets in a directly personal way, but there's no reason for her to suddenly become a different personality unless these values were false or shallow to begin with.

The situation seems like an opportunity to connect with her mortal followers who share her values. This would actually be an empowering change to the realm of the backstabbing gods (a 'home' she did not choose for herself, and where her tenets are just abstract words). After an adjustment period as a fish-out-of-water, she might be happier among like-minded humans, seeing with her own eyes how her tenets are applied in practical ways. Gods don't need to collect esoteric knowledge or ponder their usefulness, purpose, and life goals. Her human devotees have already committed to many of her own ideals and they would welcome her as one of their own – whether or not they knew she was their deity. She would find a home in her own temples without being worshiped.

Contrast with a goddess of blinding beauty who has suddenly become ordinary, or a ruthless god of war who finds himself mortal and defenseless. These other gods would have a much harder adjustment. They would likely be rejected by their own worshipers, leading to a crisis of faith with their own tenets. They might even vow revenge on their own followers once they've been restored to power.

You mention another god is demoted at the same time. They could serve as a foil to your MC's experience when their tenets work against them in the mortal world. Your goddess might eventually feel conflicted that restoring this fellow god – a friend and ally in the battle – would be terrible for the human world.

  • 1
    Good answer, although to one point you mention - she is not naive or stupid, she knows tyranny and evil exists. Therefore being reduced to mortal form would not make her question her beliefs. May 21, 2020 at 15:36
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    @ArtickokeAndAnchovyPizza I didn't mean 'stupid', but she probably hasn't seen her own tenets be applied in life/death situations – the 'ultimate' sacrifice – something she was incapable of before… The idea is there's something profound and character-affirming she needs to be taught from the mortals (from the experience of being mortal) which she couldn't learn on her own.
    – wetcircuit
    May 21, 2020 at 15:58
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    @wetcircuit She hasn't actually risked her life since she was human, but she can see many of her followers dying/.risking their lives. May 21, 2020 at 16:08
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    @AcidKritana She is perfect to an extent. However, her flaws are to do with her love of knowledge - she is blunt and in your face, not subtle, and possibly her love of magic can overshadow her love of humanity in moments of stress - but only very rarely. She is a very introverted, introspective character, who has had hundreds of years to keep themselves calm and remove character flaws. May 21, 2020 at 16:11
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    @AcidKritana Ok. I will work on this part of her character and may update the question if it is pertinent. Thanks May 21, 2020 at 16:16

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