Nix (Greek: Νύξ, transl.: Nýx, lit. "Night"), in Greek mythology, is the personification of night. One of the best sources of information about this goddess comes from Hesiod's theogony.
Many references are made to Nix in that poem describing the birth of the Greek gods. Night played an important role in the myth as one of the first and most powerful beings to come into existence.
Hesiod states that Nix is the daughter of Chaos, being the second creature, followed by her twin brother Erebo, the darkness, to emerge from the void, soon after come Gaia, mother Earth, Tartarus, the abysmal darkness, Eros, the love of creation, who are considered brothers of Chaos. From these primordial forces came the others of the Greek deities.
In his Theogony, Hesiod also describes the forbidden residence of Night:
" There also is the melancholy house of Night; pale clouds envelop it in darkness; Before them, Atlas stands, erect, and over his head, with his untiring arms, holds firmly the broad sky, where Night and Day cross a bronze landing and then approach each other."
Nix is the Goddess of night secrets and mysteries, queen of the night stars. Nix was also believed to have total control over life and death, both of men and the Gods. Homer refers to Nix with the epithet "The tamer of men and gods", showing how the other Gods respected and feared this very powerful Deity.
Nix, like Hades, possesses a hood that makes her invisible to everyone, thus watching the universe unnoticed. It was Nix who placed Helios among her children (Hemera, Aether and Hesperides), when the other Titans tried to murder him.
Zeus has enormous respect and fearful dread for Nix, the Goddess of the Night, The sons of Nix are the Hierarchy in power to the Gods, their majority are deities that inhabit the underworld and represent indomitable forces that no other god could contain. In one version, the Erinias are the daughters of Nix (Aeschylus).
Nix appears sometimes as a beneficent Goddess who symbolizes the beauty of the night, and sometimes as the cruel Deity who curses and punishes with night terror (Hecate and Asteria).
Nix is also a Goddess of Death, the first queen of the world of Darkness. She also has prophetic gifts, and it was she who created the weapon that Gaia handed over to Kronos to dethrone Uranus. Nix knows the secret of the gods' immortality, and can take it away and turn a god into a mortal, as she did with Kronos after he was dethroned by Zeus.
Sometimes, like Hades, whose name is avoided, Nix is given the Greek names Euphron and Eulalia, that is, Mother of good counsel. There are some who mark her empire north of the Euxian Point, in the country of the Cimmerians; but the generally accepted situation is in the part of Spain, Hesperia, in the region of the west, near the columns of Hercules, the limits of the world known to the ancients.
She married her twin brother Erebo, from whom she had Ether (celestial light) and Hemera (Day). But alone, without uniting with any other divinity, she procreated the inevitable and inflexible Moros (Fate), Quer (Fate), the twins Tânato (Death) and Hypnos (Sleep),
the Oniros (the legion of Dreams), Momos (Scorn), Oizus (Misery), the Hesperides, the Hesperides, guardians of the golden pommes, the Queres (Death in battle), Nemesis (the Goddess of revenge, justice, and balance), Apáte (Deceit, fraud), Philotes (Friendship, affection), Geras (Old Age), Lissa (Madness), Eris (Discord), and many others.
In short, everything painful in life was considered the work of Nix. Most of the other descendants of the goddess are nothing more than personified concepts and abstractions; their importance in the myths varies greatly. She and her brother were the only primordial gods who could have children with humans.
In the Orphic tradition, the entire universe and the other primordial gods were born from Nix's cosmic egg. Certain poets regard her as the mother of Uranus and Gaia; Hesiod gives her the rank of Mother of the Gods, because Nix and Erebo were always believed to have preceded all things.
Hemera and the Hesperides were born to help Nix not to get tired, and thus the daily cycle was born, Hemera brings the day (relates to Eos, the Dawn, and Helios, the Sun); the Hesperides bring the afternoon, (relates to Selene, the Moon) and Nix brings the absolute Night, all these deities together lead the dance of the Hours;
Complementing these cycles we have other gods of other lineages, such as the Hours who represent monthly and yearly cycles; Leto and Hecate who receive the legacy of Nix as deity of the night.
Very often they place her in the underworld, between Hypnos and Tânato, her sons.
Almost all the peoples of Italy saw Nix sometimes with a flying mantle trimmed with stars above her head and downed torch, sometimes they represented her as a naked woman with long bat wings and a fan in her hand.
They also depict her crowned with poppies and wrapped in a great black, starry cloak. In Greek mythology, the poppy is related to Hypnos who had it as a favorite plant and was therefore represented with the fruits of this plant in his hand.
She is often depicted crowned with poppies and wrapped in a large black, starry cloak. Sometimes in a chariot dragged by black horses or by two owls, and the goddess covers her head with a vast veil dotted with stars and with a waning moon on her forehead or as earrings.
Nix in fiction
In Neil Gaiman's books referring to the character Sandman (or Morpheus), numerous references to the sons of Night appear, as being perpetuals. The perpetuals are: Dream (Sandman), Desire, Fate, Despair, Delirium, Death, and Destruction.
The Perpetuals would even be superior to the gods and came into existence before them. Such reference can be taken from the Greco-Roman mythology that Night was one of the first beings to exist (being daughter of Chaos or the first being, who gave birth to Phanes), Thus, her children (the Perpetuals, in this case) would be prior to the gods themselves.
Some of the Perpetuals are clearly references to the children of Night, such as Fate, Dream, Despair and Death. However, others make more subtle references, such as Delirium (being a character referring to Momo) and Desire (being closely linked to Discord).
In House of Night, by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast, Nix is always mentioned as the goddess creator of vampires.
In Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, the goddess Nix is the guardian of the Well of Wonders, which contains water with magical healing properties, but whoever dares to steal water from this well is cursed for all eternity and condemned to become a genius.
In the game Smite, Nix appears in his Roman version, Nox, as a playable character.
In the game Persona 3, Nix is the ultimate otherworldly entity who wields power over the shadows and, once awakened, threatens to bring about the extinction of the human race.
In the game Hades, Nix is the character responsible for starting the events of the game, encouraging Zagreu to escape, and asking the other Olympian gods to help him.
She also appears in The House of Hades, a book in The Heroes of Olympus series, where Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase find her in Tartarus.