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This article is about the character. For the song of the same name, see Marielda: Friends At The Table Soundtrack, The Interlude.

Samothes is a god in Hieron associated with invention, knowledge, and tools. He is said to have created the sun and his crown from a mountain of fire and is worshipped by the paladin Hadrian.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Samothes is a muscular, brown-skinned man with slightly graying curly hair and a well-cropped beard. Austin has likened his appearance to the Indian-American actor Sendhil Ramamurthy.


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When seen during The Crosstown Job, he is described as a "man who is... his skin is dark, and he has a well-cropped beard ... Indian subcontinent dark, with close-cropped hair and a very simple ... golden crown. And like, dude is cut." He is also wearing an open robe and loose pants. During The Valentine Affair Pt. 4, Austin says that Samothes would be played by actor Sendhil Ramamurthy, specifically in his role as Mohinder from Heroes but older and more distinguished: "nice big curly hair, just graying a little bit." During his High Sun Day party, Samothes hosts wearing a humble maroon robe and leather thong sandals, seeming very relaxed despite everything. Later in the day, Samothes changes into a regal-looking blacksmith outfit with an apron "the deep red of the mountain", gloves, and a dark shirt buttoned almost the way up that still reveals some "holy chest hair". [2]


This section contains spoilers for Spring in Hieron.
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Samothes is seen again briefly at the end of Winter in Hieron 28, continuing into the beginning of Spring in Hieron. He has a few wrinkles and laugh lines. In Spring in Hieron, Austin describes Samothes: "His hair ... is a little longer. Not more unkempt, but it's ... I'm gonna look a little fiesty today, you know? He keeps a certain attitude in his look that is meant to be grounded and less kingly than I think we've seen him on screen before." When meeting the party in Aubade, he wears a blue and silver robe with grey pants and no shirt.[3] When meeting Lem at the library, he wears a white shirt with a tall collar and a blue and silver half cape. Austin notes that "he's really filling that shirt out, let me tell you ... it is like, a little tight, but in a way that he intends, you know? He big."[4] During a meeting with Adaire in his office, Samothes wears a blue tunic top with silver lining and silver detailing with a lace-up collar.[5]

History and Involvement[edit | edit source]

Pre-Marielda[edit | edit source]

When Samol saw the creatures that Severea brought into the world "dumb and unable to care for themselves"[6], Samothes was born, through the divine impulse. As such, he is a somewhat paternalistic caretaker, who builds things for his subjects and decides what is best for them from on high, but does not teach them to do things for themselves.

Some time after his birth, Samothes created the sun. Samol describes the event: "With his strength and wisdom, Samothes struck his hammer to scalding iron and built us the sun, placing it in the sky above, giving us not only light, but time, too. ... We were all united under his blazing star. Don't get me wrong, I am not sayin' that was his intention. For all that Samothes has done for us, sometimes it feels like it's a side effect. Like a whistle on a steam engine."[7]

Samothes would proceed to make many suns in his life, usually one for each stratum created in Hieron. Austin suggests that Samothes perhaps failed to make the first sun correctly and had to make a second one, and that one stratum may not have a sun because Samothes refused to make one out of petulance. Per Austin: "I bet there's one strata where Samothes was like, no. I'm not gonna do it. And then like the whole strata, all the lamina in that strata, just don't have a sun, because he refused. ... Like no, I'm gonna be a teen, and be like, no fuck off."[8]

At some point he entered a romantic relationship with the god Samot, who he would also marry. Together with Samot, they made the first book[9] and library[1], and Samothes agreed to loosen his control over knowledge enough to co-found the First University with him.[2]

After Samol began to fall ill, Samot and Samothes birthed their son Maelgwyn through the divine impulse, due to their lack of confidence on how to deal with the Heat and the Dark. They eventually split over personal differences and conflicting opinions on the matter, resulting in an ongoing war across Hieron between the two gods.

Marielda[edit | edit source]

Prior to Marielda, Samothes' domain was known as "The City of Light" or "The Divine Protectorate"[10].

Samothes splits part of his kingdom from mainland Hieron and surrounds it with a river of lava in order to protect it from Samot's army. The resulting city is named Marielda. Samothes is a distant and authoritarian ruler, spending much of his time in the volcano north of the city, further tightening his control on knowledge and information, and creating the Pala-din and the Golden Lance to police his citizens. He does intervene in Marielda sometimes when things go wrong, appearing at the end of the Crosstown Job to keep the crosstown train running correctly after the Six hijack it.

However, when Samothes interacts with the player characters, he is generally kind and interested in their choices. He speaks to Hitchcock several times, revealing that he knows that Samot, Maelgwyn, and the Six will come to kill him, and that he has largely accepted his own death. He believes there is no solution for the Heat and the Dark, and that the best choice is to simply live a good life before it destroys Hieron altogether.

Maelgwyn and the Six infiltrate Samothes' annual High Sun Day party in his volcano home. There, Maelgwyn confronts Samothes in his bedroom, but is told "not yet" and they both return to the main hall. He speaks briefly to Hitchcock and Sige and other guests before disappearing from the room. When the Six, Maelgwyn, and the mages finally make it to Samothes' forge, they see Samothes working on an unknown object. A battle ensues as Sige attempts to protect Samothes, but Samothes ignores them until his work is finished, finally turning around to reveal a golden sword that he presents to Maelgwyn. However, Maelgwyn has already started his attack and stabs his father with the Blade in the Dark. Samothes' divine life is shattered, much of it being absorbed into the Blade in the Dark.

Stricken with the feeling of loss and the desire to have his father back, Maelgwyn's divine impulse transforms him into an ashen-haired approximation of Samothes, and he is trapped beneath Marielda by the magic of his father's tomb.

Samothes also appears briefly during two Live at the Table episodes that take place during Marielda:

  • In Misspent Youth, he is off-screen but arbitrarily answers a child's prayer during a climactic moment.
  • In the 2019 GenCon live show, Samothes confronts Sige, Aubrey, and two other thieves from the Black Slacks, Beau and Cup, who wish to steal Hieron's first book. The book is revealed to be a collection of Samothes' blueprints that Samot bound and wrote love poems on. Cup attempts to persuade Samothes to let them take the book, and it is noted that Cup looks somewhat like Samot. Samothes, charmed by this, allows them to take it, remarking that he doesn't feel worthy of having it at that moment.

Seasons of Hieron[edit | edit source]

Samothes is trapped inside the Blade in the Dark and has little divine influence on Hieron, although he can exert a limited amount of power from inside the Blade in the Dark, and is at least once able to speak to Hella to send her to Hadrian's aid[11]. At the end of Winter in Hieron 28, the Blade in the Dark breaks open and Hadrian, Hella, Lem and Adaire are swept inside, arriving in Samothes' new kingdom of Aubade, populated by those killed by the blade and their descendants.


This section contains spoilers for Spring in Hieron.
Click here to reveal.

It is revealed in Spring in Hieron 02: Why Are You Here? that when Samothes first arrived inside the Blade, the space inside was consumed by the influence of Rector Sabinia, who had been corrupted by the Heat and the Dark before being killed. Samothes fought back her influence, but his priority immediately afterwards was to take revenge against the mages once known as the Disciples of Samot. He also raised the land that would become Aubade during this period of time.

Later, Samothes came upon Sabinia again and realized that her plight was because he had ordered her to research the Heat and the Dark, and he began to regret the way he had treated his people. He then used his power to cure Sabinia and worked with her to make Aubade a better place, eventually developing into the idyllic kingdom that the player characters visit, which is filled with the warmth of Samothes' love. Samothes is friendly and curious with the player characters, who spend several years in Aubade, although they struggle to adjust to the dissonance between life in Aubade and life in Hieron. Before they leave, Samothes reveals that he is planning to work with Chapter to seal Aubade off from Hieron using starstuff, granting it more protection against the Heat and the Dark. He gives Adaire a letter to pass on to Samol.

Lem gives him Samot's mask, which Samothes uses to speak to Samot one last time off-screen.

At the end of Spring in Hieron 38: See Where You're Standing, Hadrian breaks the star-shield over Aubade and has Samot killed with the Blade in the Dark so that he can reunite with Samothes.

Post-Erasure Samothes[edit | edit source]

Main article: Samothes (post-Erasure)


This section contains spoilers for Marielda.
Click here to reveal.

From the end of Marielda onwards, the name Samothes can refer to one of two entities: the original god Samothes, who was born of Samol and was killed by the Blade in the Dark, and the individual once known as Maelgwyn, who has become a version of Samothes in body and mind. It is ambiguous which Samothes communicates with Hadrian and grants him divine power during Autumn in Hieron and Winter in Hieron.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Tesday is named after him, based on the archaic form of his name.
  • Samothes was named by Art[12] after a legendary figure of the same name, purportedly the grandson of the biblical Noah, who was credited in forged archaeological findings with first settling Britain after the great flood.
  • After the Winter in Hieron Post-Mortem, Austin published a short fic to Twitter about Samot and Samothes building the first library. You can read it here.
  • Marieldacover.jpg

    This section contains spoilers for Marielda.
    Click here to reveal.

    After it was revealed in "The Killing of the King-God Samothes By The Traitor Prince Maelgwyn Pt. 4" that Maelgwyn had been transformed into a new incarnation of Samothes after killing his father, it became necessary for fans to distinguish the two. The version of the character who existed during Marielda has been referred to as "original", "og", "original flavor"[13] and "original recipe"[14] Samothes. In contrast, his son is often referred to as "Cool Ranch"[15], in an homage to the "alternate" flavor of Doritos corn chips, as well as more straightforward portmanteau nicknames such as "Maelothes" or "Samaelthes". This metaphor can then be reflected back onto original Samothes with the nickname "Nacho" or "Nacho Cheese", the presumed 'default' Doritos flavor[note 1].

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Appears in[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Much to Art's chagrin, this metaphor is based on the presumed existence of an "original flavor" of Doritos. In fact, Doritos were originally unflavored corn chips, and the first flavored Doritos were taco-flavored, not the more commonly seen nacho cheese flavor of the present day.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]