A group mind, hive mind, group ego, mind coalescence, or gestalt intelligence in science fiction is a plot device in which multiple minds, or consciousnesses, are linked into a single, collective consciousness or intelligence. Its use in literature goes back at least as far as Olaf Stapledon's science fiction novel Last and First Men (1930). A group mind might be formed by any fictional plot device that facilitates brain to brain communication, such as telepathy.
This term may be used interchangeably with hive mind. A hive mind describes a group mind in which the linked individuals have no identity or free will and are possessed or mind-controlled as extensions of the hive mind. It is frequently associated with the concept of an entity that spreads among individuals and suppresses or subsumes their consciousness in the process of integrating them into its own collective consciousness. The concept of the group or hive mind is an intelligent version of real-life superorganisms such as an ant colony or beehive.
List of hive minds
As conceived in speculative fiction, hive minds often imply (almost) complete loss (or lack) of individuality, identity, and personhood. The individuals forming the hive may specialize in different functions, similarly to social insects.
- The Bebebebeque in Larry Niven's The Draco Tavern.
- The Bicameral Order of posthuman monks who have integrated science as religion, in Peter Watts's novel Echopraxia
- The Boaty-Bits in the Saga of Cuckoo by Frederik Pohl and Jack Williamson.
- The Bugs in Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers. They include workers, warriors, brains, and queens; however the films and subsequent TV series feature several other castes.
- The Children in The Midwich Cuckoos (adapted as Village of the Damned) by John Wyndham.
- The Cho'ja in the Empire Trilogy by Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurts.
- The coalescent hives in Stephen Baxter's Destiny's Children series.
- The Compositions (such as the Bellipotent Composition) in The Golden Age and its sequels.
- The Comprise in Michael Swanwick's Vacuum Flowers.
- The Corelings in Peter V. Bretts Demon Cycle can be controlled by Coreling-Princes.
- The "Dark Ones" in Metro 2033.
- The Drummers in Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age.
- The Emperor in A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix
- The Formics or "Buggers" in Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game series (Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind).
- Gaia in Foundation's Edge by Isaac Asimov.
- The gestalt consciousness (called the homo gestalt) formed by individuals able to "blesh" (a portmanteau of "blend" and "mesh") their abilities together, in Theodore Sturgeon's novel More Than Human.
- The Hive Mind in Neal Asher's novel The Skinner.
- The Hive Mind in John G. Cramer's novel Einstein's Bridge.
- The Howlers in K. A. Applegate's books Animorphs (in the series, the Howlers have a collective memory).
- The Joined in The Light of Other Days by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter.
- The Killiks in The Dark Nest Trilogy by Troy Denning.
- The Majat in the novel Serpent's Reach by C. J. Cherryh.
- Man in The Last Question by Isaac Asimov.
- The extraterrestrial hive mind named Medusa in The Cosmic Rape (also known as To Marry Medusa) by Theodore Sturgeon.
- Mycroft Ward in Steven Hall's The Raw Shark Texts.
- The Network in Brian Falkner's Brain Jack.
- The Over-mind and the evolving children, in Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke.
- The Overlords in Dante D'Anthony's Tales from the Pandoran Age.
- Palador in Rescue Party by Arthur C. Clarke.
- The Phindin from the Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice book series by Dave Wolverton and Jude Watson.
- The Phoners in Cell by Stephen King.
- The Precogs in The Minority Report by Philip K. Dick (and its film adaptation).e
- The Predator in Dimension of Miracles by Robert Sheckley; multiple apparent individuals are only its "fingers".
- The Raxxor in Dark Swarm by Patrick Olajide are a polymorphic insect race controlled by a hive mind known as the Silent One or 'the Queen of Queens'.
- Rook Gestalt in The Rook (novel) by Daniel O'Malley is a group of four siblings who are controlled by a single individual intelligence.
- The Sand Beasts in Deltora Quest's The Shifting Sands.
- The Shub in Simon R. Green's Deathstalker (series).
- The Squeem in the Xeelee Sequence future history by Stephen Baxter: a group-minded aquatic race, and the first extrasolar intelligence contacted by mankind.
- The Swarm in Michael Crichton's novel Prey.
- The Swarm in Bruce Sterling's short story of the same name in Schismatrix.
- The Taurans and, later, Man in The Forever War by Joe Haldemann; Man in Forever Free.
- The Tines in A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge: a lone individual is like a dog; a pack of about 4–7 is equivalent to a human adult; in larger numbers they become confused, often nonsapient.
- The Tyr in C. S. Friedman's The Madness Season.
- Ygramul in The Neverending Story by Michael Ende.
- The Vord in Codex Alera by Jim Butcher
- The Yrr in The Swarm by German author Frank Schätzing
- The Akatsuki leader Nagato in the Naruto series via using special rods to transmit his consciousness into six corpses that he controls while his real body is hidden at a safe distance.
- In the Pocket Monsters Special Diamond and Pearl Saga, the members of Team Galaxia share a hive mind that controls their moves and actions.
- The alien children in the 1960 film Village of the Damned (and its 1995 remake), as well as its sequel, Children of the Damned (1963)
- Nestor, from the Roger Corman film Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
- The ghostly "Twins" in The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
- The Machines in the Matrix trilogy form a seemingly connected mind, especially at the end of The Matrix Revolutions, where they coalesce into a face to speak to Neo
- The children in Clive Barker's The Plague (2006)
- The Thirteen Crystal Skeletons in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, all separate knowledge-bearing entities that ultimately merge to become a single alien being. (2008)
- Eywa is formed by a complex neural network composed of many organisms on the moon Pandora, in the film Avatar (2009)
- The team of motorcycle Autobots in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) known as Arcee (including Arcee, Chromia, and Elita One) share a hive mind
- The Nanochips in Ben 10: Alien Swarm are composed of insect-like nanochips that are connected to a queen, and are able to inhabit humans to take over their bodies.
- The Kaiju from Pacific Rim (film) share a hive mind. The scientist Newton Geiszler creates a machine which allows him to create a mental link with a kaiju brain fragment, however the result is that it attracts two Kaiju; Leatherback and Otachi which attack Shangai, China. This mental link allows Newton to view the memories of the Kaiju and find out more about them.
- The Formics or Buggers in the film Enders Game (2013)
- The Omega in Edge of Tomorrow (film) (2014)
- People infected by the slugs from Slither (film) also acted as a hive mind.
- The Bringers of the First Evil in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- The various Clusters of species Homo sensorium in Sense8.
- The X7 transgenics in the Dark Angel series.
- The Daleks, The Cybermen and Cyberiad, the Ood, the Rutan Host, the Universal Mind, the Toclafane, and the Skithra in Doctor Who.
- The Delightful Children from Down the Lane in Code Name: Kids Next Door.
- The Replicators in Stargate SG-1 are linked via subspace, but each Replicator has its own "corner" of the space where it can think privately without the others knowing what it thinks. This, however, may be exclusive to the human-form Replicators.
- The Bebe robots in Kim Possible.
- The Borg in Star Trek. The Borg Queen takes a coordinator role; the drones, although having group consciousness, have species identifications and individual designations. Some Borg unconsciously retain their identities in "Unimatrix Zero".
- The Strigoi in the Strain TV Series on FX.
- The Inhuman known as Hive, who is possessing Grant Ward's corpse, in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is a parasite that can infect other inhumans, and forms a hive mind with them.
- Unity, a hive mind who appeared in the Rick and Morty episode "Auto Erotic Assimilation".
- Unity, an alien parasite that tried to infect the world in Superman: The Animated Series.
- Jasmine uses hive mind in the 4th season of Angel.
- A.L.I.E. in The 100.
- The Flayed in Stranger Things, a hive mind controlled by the Mind Flayer in the show’s third season.
- Legion A Gestalt entity - Red Dwarf series VI Episode 2
- Gestalt one mind in four human bodies from the series The Rook
- The Aparoids in Star Fox: Assault.
- The Beast in Homeworld: Cataclysm.
- The C-Consciousness (О-Сознание in Russian) in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl.
- The CABAL's cyborg army in the Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun's Firestorm expansion pack.
- The Dark People in The Longest Journey and Dreamfall.
- The Omar in Deus Ex: Invisible War.
- The Destroyers in Guild Wars: Eye of the North.
- The Flood parasite in Halo series kill and revive victims, stripping needed information from the brain. The Flood's collective consciousness manifests as a Gravemind, or "compound mind".
- The Necromorph Hive Mind in Dead Space.
- The Kharaa in Natural Selection.
- The Kytinn in Mortal Kombat.
- The Klackon in the Master of Orion series.
- The Lambent in the Gears of War series.
- The BlackLight infected in the video game Prototype.
- The Many in System Shock 2.
- The Orz in Star Control 2.
- The Overmind in the first-person shooter Tremulous.
- Planet in Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri.
- Multiple races in the Mass Effect universe, most prominently the rachni. The Reapers are sapient starships each composed of billions of organic minds; Sovereign, the vanguard of the Reaper fleet, addresses this by stating "We [the Reapers] are each a nation." The Collectors appear to have little or no consciousness of their own, being thralls to the Reaper known as Harbinger.
- The Shibito in the Siren series.
- The Skritt in Guild Wars 2. An individual Skritt is able to think for itself, however, is extremely unintelligent and vulnerable prey. However, the more Skritt you get together in a group, the more intelligent each member of the group becomes. In theory, an entire city of Skritt could be the most intelligent species in the game.
- Superhot in Superhot
- The Tuurngait in the Penumbra game series.
- The Uhlek race in Starflight.
- The Vex in Destiny.
- The X-Parasite organisms in Metroid Fusion kill and revive their living victims to turn them into zombies-like beings. The War Wasps in Metroid Prime culminate in a gigantic hive mind called the Hive Mecha in an attempt to prevent Samus Aran from receiving the missile launcher upgrade.
- The Zerg swarm in the Starcraft series is controlled by the Overmind and, later, Sarah Kerrigan.
- The Zoni in Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time.
- Ceph of the Crysis series.
- Corvus and humans with a Direct Neural Interface in "Call of Duty: Black Ops III", Causing the dead to coexist in the Frozen Forest as long as they have an active Direct Neural Interface.
- In Stellaris, you are able to play as a "Gestalt Consciousness"-civilization.
- The BETA from the Muv-Luv franchise.
- The Infested in Warframe.
- The Umbral Choir in Endless Space 2.
- The Harrower in the game Gloomhaven is made up of 1000s of insects, which together have intelligence via a hive mind.
- The Pokémon Exeggcute is made up of multiple eggs that have a hive mind, controlled by the largest egg.
- The Primes in Peter F. Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga.
- The Rat King in The Ballad of Halo Jones and in Terry Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents.
- The slivers in Magic: The Gathering storyline. They appear first on Rath but are seen again under the battle of Otaria, and once more during the temporal chaos of Time Spiral
- Slivers take the hive mind idea a step further: instead of sharing just a consciousness, they also share physical attributes, such as breathing fire, regenerating, growing wings, or an extra claw. They gain these attributes by being in close proximity to another.
- The Tachyons in Godzilla: The Series.
- The Xar-Ggothua in Xombie not only share thoughts with each other, but each one can be reborn into a new Xar or even a group of three by the Xin-Jithoth. It is assumed this can also be done to their "cousins", the Xi-Thyndri and the Xth Nthogg.
- Quatermass and the Pit.
- Star Maker
List of non-hive group minds
A group mind that is not a hive mind: the individuals retain their identities and free will, and can join or sever from the group mind of their own volition. Some examples can have characteristics of both a hive mind and group mind. There is not always a clear cut dividing line: some Star Trek Borg drones such as Seven of Nine have been forcibly split from the collective.
- The Monicans, a mysterious group of assassins in the movie Æon Flux, are able to secretly communicate with each telepathically, enabled by a pill. As it is not explained, it might also be possible that the message is carried via the pill in a way that the recipient might be able to interact, allowing the simple two-way dialogue that occurred in the second message.
- The Advent in Sins of a Solar Empire A subspecies of humans that is in constant mental contact with one another.
- The hyper-evolved Arisians of "Doc" Smith's Lensman series can form multi-mind fusions, as can highly trained Lensmen.
- The Founders (Changelings) in Star Trek are individuals, but form a group mind while connected in the Great Link.
- The Mind Whisper project in Dollhouse
- A group of telepathic child prodigies in Theodore Sturgeon's More Than Human.
- A group of telepathic child prodigies in Howard Fast's The First Men.
- The Conjoiners in Alastair Reynolds's Revelation Space, Chasm City, Redemption Ark, Absolution Gap, and short stories. They retain their identities, but communicate via implants and act as a group.
- The Divine Predecessors, a collection of disembodied brains taken from previous incarnations of His Divine Shadow in the television series Lexx.
- The Edenists in Peter F. Hamilton's The Night's Dawn Trilogy remain individuals, but rely on telepathic empathy for emotional support, personal stability, and colony-wide referendums on major decisions.
- The "Fold", a wireless network of nanites infecting humans and superhumans in "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2", altering the mind of the infected, leaving personality intact while changing all goals and desires to match those of the fold, with the infected not realizing it.
- The Vermillion, from [ninjago]. They are snakes that join with metal, usually armor, to form warriors. While most of them are hive minded, the three generals (Blunck, Raggmunk and Machia) have a mind of their own.
- The Geth in Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 although individual platforms not near other geth will be feral rather than sentient.
- Gaia and Galaxia in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series
- Kithkin from Wizards of the coasts card game Magic the Gathering. They have their identities intact but are linked by Thoughtweft, which binds their feelings.
- The Little People of Robert A. Heinlein's Methuselah's Children; the individual memories of the original bodies are retained.
- The Martians of A Miracle of Science use brain-to-brain FTL communication; they do not lose their individuality despite being members of the group mind.
- The Strangers in the film Dark City, a group of aliens who experiment on humans in search for their soul. Although each Stranger seems to be an individual, they can combine their psychokinetic powers to work the citywide Machine, have a hive memory set and have a library of human memories which their doctor can combine to create a new memory. The goal of the Strangers is to obtain human individuality.
- The Pods in Singularity's Ring by Paul Melko consist of up to five people each contributing their individual capabilities and strengths.
- Humanity is approaching Unity with the existing galactic group mind in Julian May's Galactic Milieu series. 'Operant' humans are also able to form smaller, temporary group minds, called metaconcerts with other operants.
- All of humanity at the end of Neon Genesis Evangelion, after being reduced to LCL.
- All of humanity in the last episode of Serial Experiments Lain, after everyone is subconsciously connected to each other through an advanced, global, wireless version of the internet.
- The Pokémon Doduo, Dodrio, and Exeggutor.
- Evroniani from the Disney comic series PKNA.
- The Franklin Collective from Accelerando by Charles Stross.
- Las Plagas, and, by extension, the Ganados, from Resident Evil 4.
- The Unity in Hosts by F. Paul Wilson; newly infected members can occasionally break free of the group mind and think for themselves, but are eventually overpowered completely.
- IT and the inhabitants of Camazotz, from Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time
- [to some extent] The Human Beings, according to Nature's Semi-consciousness/on going auto-learning process in Nature is seeing a shrink by Lucas Monaco Toledo
- The underground (Also referred to as "The Joined") in The Light of Other Days uses Brain-computer interfaces and wormhole communication.
- The telepathic people of Lys in The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke.
- The leader of the Individual Eleven, Kuze, in the anime Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG communicates with war refugees through their cybernetic implants. By constantly transmitting all his thoughts and feelings to the refugees through "the Network", Kuze becomes their friend, comrade and leader in their fight to establish a new state. The only difference from a mastermind is that he lets everyone decide, whether to follow his lead or not.
- The Cyberbrains of every cyborg in Ghost in the Shell, revealed even more so in Solid State Society, when Koshiki revealed that every cyborg shared the same consciousness.
- The Transcendence in Transcendent by Stephen Baxter
- The Keymasters in Spectrum by Sergey Lukyanenko
- The Fleetmind, or Petey, in Schlock Mercenary
- The Strogg from Quake 2 and Quake 4.
- The Protoss in the StarCraft series share a loose collective consciousness through a mental practice called the Khala. However, they still maintain their individuality.
- The Virindi, a race/species in the PC game Asheron's Call, are floating, invisible entities that wear physical hooded shrouds (mostly tattered shrouds, but some forms of Virindi wear what looks like armor), white masks (think Vega from Street Fighter II) that have glowing purple eye holes (some have red pupils) and sometimes have twisted smiles on masks. They fight using magic crop sickles. They are of a singular mind which calls itself "The Singularity". The Virindi speak only in the plural (i.e.: us, we, our, etc...) when talking about themselves. Some "individuals" have broken free of The Singularity, and are of their own individual consciousness.
- The Zilart in Final Fantasy XI, an ancient race connected by a kind of mental link they call the Whisper of Souls. Some are born without this link and are fearfully enslaved and forced to wear an amulet that artificially connects them to the Whisper.
- The Vortigaunts in the Half-Life series share a telepathic communal link.
- The Stepford Cuckoos from the X-Men comics share a group mind that can split up into its parts.
- The Agents from The Matrix series.
- The Asurans from Stargate Atlantis: Although their leadership can use the collective to reprogram deviant thoughts, they possess individual personalities beyond this, and can use it to transfer their consciousness to new bodies after their old ones are destroyed.
- The Babies from A Cage of Butterflies.
- The Cylons from Battlestar Galactica.
- The Vex machine race in the video game Destiny possess specialized commanders referred to as Axis Minds. These units are used to coordinate planetary troop deployment and terraforming while freeing minor units from complex strategy.
- The replica soldiers from F.E.A.R. universe are controlled by Telepathic commander.
- The Hypotheticals in Robert Charles Wilson's novel Spin, a highly advanced, billions-years-old galaxy spanning benevolent collective of Von Neumann machines.
- The Taelons of the TV series Earth: Final Conflict are connected to each other through the Commonality.
- The residents of the town of Santaroga in Frank Herbert's The Santaroga Barrier.
- The Sylvari race in Guild Wars 2 share a common Dream of Dreams, through which they learn basic understanding of the world.
- The werewolves in the Twilight Series are able to share thoughts among their own pack. Alpha wolves can also share thoughts with each other, but must think directly at each other.
- In David Alexander Smith's trilogy of science fiction books, starting with Marathon, the Cygnan species is revealed in the second book Rendezvous as capable of entering a trance-like state of consciousness with other members of their social unit called a djan. During this time the djan mind becomes aware and is capable of thought, caused by pheromones exchanged amongst the djan. The individual Cygnans come away with increased bonding and unconscious affections, but have no cognitive recollection of the experience.
- In David Alexander Smith's book "In the Cube", the Pheneri species are capable of seeing, re-enacting, and actually feeling each individual death of past members of its species.
- The telepathic Hydrans of Joan Vinge's Psion and Dreamfall. These vary; the ones in Psion seem more like a continuous fluid consciousness, but described as unusual due to hard circumstances, while the ones in Dreamfall are more recognizably human individuals typically in at least light mental contact with each other.
- The Patternists in Octavia Butler's novel Patternmaster.
- The scub coral from Eureka Seven
- The Nexus children in Ramez Naam's series Nexus. The children are able to telepathically communicate with one another and teach each other new information via a nano-tech known as "Nexus".
- The main characters in the Netflix series Sense8.
- Key decisions within an individual fleet in Yoon Ha Lee's Machineries of Empire series, may be undertaken by temporary hive-mind of Generals.
- Two or more Gems, an alien race in the cartoon Steven Universe, can form a ‘fusion’, in which both their minds and physical forms are combined into a single being, who displays all of the constituent Gems’ skills, abilities and personality traits.
- The vermillion, from LEGO