Golems are large humanoid creatures made from rock or clay. Golem is used to mean "dumb" or "helpless" and then "Golem" passed into Yiddish as Goylem to mean someone who is clumsy or slow and in modern Hebrew the word Golem literally means "cocoon", but can also mean "fool", "silly", or even "stupid". The name appears to derive from the word Gelem, which means "raw material".


A golem statue

According to Jewish stories a golem was a servant made of clay brought to life by a magic or special word. The creator must write a special word such as truth or one of the names of God was written on a piece of paper for the golem to follow and then place the paper in its forehead or in its mouth. It is said the golem functioned like a robot and could perform simple tasks. However, in some tales, the Golems became a violent monster that could not be controlled, even by its creator. To kill a golem the paper placed inside the golem must be removed. The controller uses a globe, mirror, or bowl of water to control it. Nowadays there are stories of golems of a range of materials including but not limited to stone, wood and metal.

In Popular Culture

Golems have since appeared in a massive number of various media including comic books, poems, video games, books, movies and more. Two notable appearances of golems include the snow and iron golems the the indie game Minecraft, and the stone golem in Apple's app Clash of Clans, though they were popularized by their appearance in the pen-and-paper roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons.


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