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"Seven is the number of the powers of Hell, and seven is the number of the Great Evils."

The Great Evils (a.k.a. Greater Evils)[1] are the seven most powerful demon lords of Hell. They are sub-divided into the three Prime Evils (comprised of Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal), and the four Lesser Evils (encompassing Andariel, Duriel, Belial, and Azmodan).


"It is with some reluctance that I write on the seven Lords of Hell, for they are the greatest of the demons, and even whispering their names seems to poison the air around me."

Early History

"Seven Evils spawned from seven heads. Seven realms birthed from death. Infested, unending, cycles upon cycles."

- Adria(src)

Creation Tree from the Book of Lorath (Diablo)

Creation Tree from the Book of Lorath

The Great Evils were formed from the seven heads of Tathamet. The three most powerful of them were spawned from Tathamet's dominant heads, and became known as the Prime Evils, holding the balance of power within Hell. The weaker four became known as the Lesser Evils. Each one of them ruled over their own domain in Hell. They led their legions against the forces of Heaven in the Eternal Conflict,[2] while also waging wars against each other, destroying entire realms in the process.[3]

The Eternal Conflict ground to a halt with the disappearance of the Worldstone. Because of the actions of Jere Harash however, the Prime Evils were alerted to the existence of Sanctuary, and humanity, which dwelt upon it. The Prime Evils sought to turn humanity to their own ends, to use as pawns against the forces of Heaven, instigating the Sin War. However, the Primes kept the existence of Sanctuary and humanity secret from the Lesser Evils.[2]

The Dark Exile

"How dare you question! How dare you deny yourselves victory! Long have the Primes lorded over us. Long have they thought themselves our betters. Diablo...Diablo will fall, as will the rest. Do not be swayed or led to fear by him. Do not, for each of you will reign. Each of you will share the power we will earn."

- Belial addressing Duriel and Andariel(src)

The Sin War ended with a truth brokered between Heaven and Hell, but the events had caused a wedge between the Prime and Lesser Evils.[2] The Primes turned their attention to the perversion of human souls, for they realized that mankind was key to their eventual victory over Heaven. This deviation from the norm caused many of the Lesser Evils to question the authority of the Three, and so brought about a great rift between the Prime Evils and their servitors.[4] That the Primes had not revealed the existence of Sanctuary to the Lesser Evils when they first discovered it prior to the Sin War had already soured relations between them and their lesser brothers, and Deckard Cain would speculate hundreds of years later that this deception added to the Lessers' decision to rebel.[2]

A civil war erupted in Hell between the Prime and Lesser Evils, ending in the Lesser Evils' victory, and the banishment of the Primes to Sanctuary in what would be called the Dark Exile. As the fires of war died down, however, Azmodan and Belial began to argue over which of them held the higher authority. The pact that they had made quickly fell to ashes as the two demon lords took up arms against each other. The legions of Hell that remained were polarized behind either warlord, launching themselves into a second civil war.[4]


By the Darkening of Tristram, the Great Evils were still sundered—the Primes sealed on Sanctuary,[2] while the civil war between Azmodan and Belial continued to rage.[5] However, Diablo escaped his prison from beneath the Tristram Cathedral by possessing Aidan, intent on reuniting with his brothers. Andariel and Duriel concluded that the Primes would inevitably reclaim their position in Hell. Therefore, they endeavored to gain favor with the Lord of Terror by protecting his human host. However, over the sequence of events,[2] five of the seven Evils were slain by a group of heroes, and furthermore, the spirits of the Primes banished to the Black Abyss, leaving Azmodan and Belial the last remaining Great Evils.

However, this was not the end, as over the next two decades, Adria enacted Diablo's master plan. The essences of the Great Evils sans Azmodan and Belial lingered on Sanctuary, and over the years, Adria marked the essences of Baal, Mephisto, Duriel, and Andariel.[6] As such, upon the moment of its completion, the essences of five of the Evils were drawn into the Black Soulstone, and upon their respective defeats in Sanctuary, Belial and Azmodan as well. The plan Adria presented to her allies was that they could destroy all the Evils by destroying the stone once it had their essences. In truth, she was simply enacting Diablo's plan.[7][8]

Leah, spawned of a union between Diablo and Adria, became Diablo's new vessel. All essences of the Great Evils were drawn into him, making Diablo a singular Prime Evil. Tathamet reborn.[9]


Diablo was ultimately defeated by the Nephalem,[9] and all seven of the Great Evils were drawn back into the Black Soulstone.[10] However, the stone was taken by Malthael, and in battle with the Nephalem, shattered the stone before drawing the essences of the Evils into himself. After his defeat, Malthael's body disintegrated, Diablo was released,[11] still containing the essences of the other Evils.[12] Eventually however, each of the Evils broke away from Diablo.[13]



Image Name Aspect Description
Tahameth 2
Tathamet The Prime Evil A seven-headed dragon composed of all darkness and vileness that Anu cast off itself before the universe was created. It is known that he was the only reason that the Burning Hells came into existence. Tathamet battled Anu, and when the two beings died the seven heads of Tathamet became the seven Great Evils. The three most prominent heads became Diablo, Mephisto and Baal, and the four lesser heads Azmodan, Belial, Andariel and Duriel. Tathamet's body meanwhile became the foundation for the Burning Hells.

Prime Evils

The Prime Evils comprise the Three Brothers - the de facto rulers of Hell:

Image Name Aspect Description
Mephisto -


Lord of Hatred

Spirit of Love (as Mefis)

The oldest of the Three Brothers. Father of Lilith and Lucion. Arguably the most intelligent and cunning demon in existence, though physically the weakest of the three brothers. His attacks in Diablo II are generally lightning and poison based, which are further compounded by assistance from corrupted Councilmembers.
Diablo -


Lord of Terror

Spirit of Determination (as Dialon)

The youngest of the Three Brothers. Father of Leah. Generally uses fire, lightning and physical in Diablo II. As the main antagonist of the series, he is believed to be the most dangerous of them all and has been described by Cain as an "artist of terror" who enjoys sowing fear into people's hearts the way a painter would make brushstrokes.
Baal -


Lord of Destruction

Spirit of Creation (as Bala)

The middle child of the Three Brothers. His attacks in Diablo II are mostly magical and of an assorted variety, likely due to having Tal Rasha as his host. Due to his corruption of it, he was also indirectly responsible for the destruction of the Worldstone.

Lesser Evils

The Lesser Evils are second only to the Three Brothers in terms of power and prestige but are nonetheless beneath them:

Image Name Aspect Description
Andariel Maiden of Anguish


Demon Queen

"Twin" sister of Duriel. Sent to guard the Rogue Monastery by Diablo himself. Her second title is a reference to being the first female demon in existence. She specializes in mid range poison attacks and is capable of killing a hero in melee quickly but is ridiculously weak against fire spells. She is the first of the Lesser Evils to be defeated.
Duriel Lord of Pain


Maggot King

"Twin" brother of Andariel. Though Duriel had his part in the Dark Exile, he has once again aligned with the Three. Sent to guard Tal Rasha's Chamber. His secondary title is a sobriquet pertaining to his status and appearance as a monarch among a certain kind of insect. Specializes in heavy melee attacks and radiates the grave chill. He is the second of the Lesser Evils to be defeated.
Belial Lord of Lies One of the leaders of the rebellion against the Three and a former protege of Mephisto. He somehow comes to take over Caldeum and controls its Emperor. Uses unholy locust swarms for both phases of his fight with heroes: on the 2nd phase, he'll dig his massive claws into the ground, breathe huge gusts of fel locust flame and make fiery eruptions. His powers are so great that he manages to fool everyone (including himself) into thinking that he is invincible. He is the third of the Lesser Evils to be defeated.
Azmodan Lord of Sin

One of the leaders of the rebellion against the Three. Brother and rival of Belial. Throws fire boulders, summons demon gates to call upon minions and call forth dark magic in a large area of effect. He is the greatest military tactitian in the Burning Hells, although such a claim is very much in doubt considering his arrogance and repeatedly telling his enemies his next plan is what cost him his victory during the Battle of Bastion's Keep and Arreat Crater. He is the fourth of the Lesser evils to be defeated and the last Great Evil to be sucked into the Black Soulstone.


  1. 2014-03-10, THE HISTORY BEHIND THE CRUSADE. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-06-29
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Book of Cain
  3. 2014-10-11, NEW HERO- Azmodan - Character Quotes, Skills and Skins- Heroes of the Storm!. YouTube, accessed on 2014-10-15
  4. 4.0 4.1 Diablo Manual
  5. Legacy of Blood
  6. Book of Adria: A Diablo Bestiary
  7. Diablo III, Act II
  8. Diablo III, Act III
  9. 9.0 9.1 Diablo III, Act IV
  10. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Intro Cinematic
  11. Diablo III, Act V
  12. 2014-05-19, More Info From The Anniversary Dev Stream. Diablo Fans.com, accessed on 2014-05-20
  13. 2019-11-11, BlizzCon 2019 Diablo IV: World and Lore Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2020-05-12
Great Evils

Prime Evil — Tathamet
Prime EvilsBaalDiabloMephisto
Lesser EvilsAndarielAzmodanBelialDuriel