Lolth was created by Gary Gygax for the World of Greyhawk campaign setting, later appeared in the Forgotten Realms setting, and in 3rd edition became a member of the default pantheon of D&D gods. In those various settings, the drow pantheon of gods consists of the leader Lolth, as well as Kiaransalee, Vhaeraun, and Zinzerena and also the one good goddess Eilistraee. Other drow gods may be present in different campaign settings.
According to the Forgotten Realms storyline, Lolth began as an intermediary goddess abiding in the sixty-sixth layer of the Abyss, the Demonweb Pits. Through the events that transpired in War of the Spider Queen series, she transformed herself into a greater goddess as she is depicted now in 4th edition, the Demonweb Pits becoming its own plane.
Lolth was first mentioned in the modules Descent into the Depths of the Earth (1978) and more fully described in Vault of the Drow (1978), and was the main antagonist of the module Queen of the Demonweb Pits (1980). These modules were later reprinted as part of the Queen of the Spiders collection in 1986. Lolth's role as a deity was first explored in Deities and Demigods (1980). Her game statistics were reprinted in the Fiend Folio (1981).
Lolth's role in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting was first detailed in Ed Greenwood's second edition AD&D sourcebook, Drow of the Underdark (1991). Lolth was detailed as a deity in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about her priesthood. Her role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996). Lolth received a very detailed description of her role in the Forgotten Realms in Demihuman Deities (1998).
Lolth is detailed in Defenders of the Faith (2000), and Deities and Demigods (2002), and her role in the Forgotten Realms is revisited in Faiths and Pantheons (2002). Lolth's priesthood is detailed for this edition in Complete Divine (2004), and her role in the Abyss is detailed in the Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006). Lolth and the drow are further detailed in both Drow of the Underdark (2007), and the adventure Expedition to the Demonweb Pits (2007). Dragon #359 (September 2007), the final print issue of the magazine, described Lolth as one of the 20 most memorable villains of the Dungeons & Dragons game.
Lolth appears as one of the evil deities described in the Dungeon Master's Guide for the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons (2008). The story of her dissent from and war against Corellon and Sehanine is fleshed out in the supplements Underdark and The Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea. A slightly different (and arguably more powerful) version of Lolth is presented in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. The Forgotten Realms Lolth has different appearance, dogma and personality than the core Lolth. Wizards of the Coast's D&D Compendium and D&D Character Builder record the core Lolth and the Realms Lolth as separate entities. Lolth (Demon Queen of Spiders) appears in the 4th edition's Monster Manual 3 (2010). She is the mascot for this volume, which includes statistics for Lolth in both drow and spider form.
Lolth was named as one of the greatest villains in D&D history by the final issue of Dragon.
Lolth makes an appearance in the episode "Hall of Bones" of the 1983 Dungeons & Dragons animated series. Lolth initially appears as a beautiful elven woman who offers to lead the series' heroes through an underground passage to escape a horde of monsters. Having lured the heroes into her subterranean trap, Lolth transforms into her demonic spider form and drops her victims onto a giant web. She is then joined by the series' main villain Venger, with whom she is apparently allied, who introduces her as "Lolth, Demon Queen of Spiders." The animated version of Lolth appears far weaker than her depictions in the Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk settings, as she is quickly and easily defeated when her web is cut, causing her to fall helplessly down a bottomless pit.
In Rose Estes' novel The Eyes Have It, Lolth is killed by Kathryn Fern-Clyffe, Queen for Life of the Yeomanry, with the aid of a magic gem called the Eye of Tiros, stolen from the drow.
In Paul Kidd's novel Descent into the Depths of the Earth, Lolth's plans to conquer the Flanaess are foiled by the Justicar and Escalla (thanks to a magical bottle of fairy wine, vintage sixty-three); a few months later, in the Queen of the Demonweb Pits novel (also by Kidd), Lolth and her allies try to have their revenge on the adventurers, however, at the end of the novel, Lolth is destroyed in her native plane, supposedly for good.
The 2009 holiday publication of the Penny Arcade webcomic depicts a Drow holiday, "Lolthmas".
Lolth is spoken of in many of the books by R. A. Salvatore, and appears in the novel Siege of Darkness (1994).
Lolth and her history are prominently featured in Elaine Cunningham's book Evermeet: Island of Elves which depicts her fall from grace as a goddess of the elf pantheon and her rise back to godhood as a goddess of evil.
In the comic strip Yamara, the goddess of the dark elves is Denise Olthlay ("Lolth" in pig latin), demon princess of ticks.Races of the Wild
Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (Third Edition)
Dragon magazine #54 – "Down-to-earth divinity"