Bullying A Dragon / Mythology & Religion

  • The Bible:
    • A group of young men make fun of Elisha, one of God's prophets. Guess what happened next.
    • Earlier parts of the Bible have quite a few incidents where the Hebrews get tired of their god, with the most famous being the incident with the golden calf, only for Him to retract his protections and cause the Israelites to come running back.
    • Harassing Old Testament prophets frequently qualified for this trope. Elisha's mentor Elijah had a habit of calling down fire from heaven when disrespected, disbelieved, or threatened.
    • Jesus himself was almost stoned on several occasions, but he just walked through the crowd unharmed each time. His disciples wanted him to call down fire on one occasion, but he told them he wasn't into that sort of thing. Even when he was being arrested just prior to his resurrection, he very calmly points out that he has all of Heaven's angels on speed dial if he wanted a Big Damn Heroes moment. And while hanging on the cross, he was mocked: "If you really are the Son of God, then come down from there!" The Book of Revelation lays out the future comeuppance that those who reject(ed) him can look forward to.
    • See also The Wandering Jew, cursed by Jesus for mocking him on the cross.
  • Hercules fits this trope. Hercules was normally a nice guy and more than willing to help you out. However, there are several stories of kings cheating him out of payment only for Hercules to sometimes come back years later and kill them for having dared wrong him. The worst offender being King Laomedon of Troy who refused to pay Hercules AFTER he had witnessed the hero killing a sea monster sent by Poseidon. Hercules eventually killed Laomedon and nearly his entire family after sacking the city. What makes Laomedon even dumber? The monster was sent by Poseidon due to Laomedon refusing to pay him for building Troy's walls. The only guy that had any justification was Eurystheus, the guy who gave him his Labours. Because he had Hera on his side/back.
  • We also have Jason. His protector was the goddess of marriage Hera, and he had seen his wife Medea (who had been given to him by Hera herself) cutting her own brother into pieces to protect him and killing an unkillable bronze giant with a look (depending on the version, she either hypnotized it into killing itself or tortured him into suicide). Then Jason decided to dump her for the daughter of the king of Corinth. Cue Hera withdrawing her protection and letting Medea destroy Jason so much that killing him would have been merciful (in latter versions includes killing their own children to destroy Jason's line), burning alive the king and his daughter (she was actually aiming for the daughter, the king just tried to save her and died in the process) and destroying Corinth either as collateral damage or, in earlier versions, for the citizens trying to exact revenge on her by killing her children.
  • In Euripides The Bacchae, Dionysus is bullied by the local king Pentheus. Dionysus has just come back from a long trip to Asia Minor, and is excited to return to the city that his mother was from, and to have all the people in the city join in the festivities that have been established to worship the new god Dionysus. Pentheus is having none of that, so he outlaws the festival, kills a few of Dionysus' followers, and declares (loudly and openly) that Dionysus' mother did not in fact sleep with Zeus to produce Dionysus but was just a common whore and Dionysus is a bastard with delusions of grandeur and has him locked up in jail. This does not go over well with Dionysus. He causes the women of the city to go insane and go out to the forests to rave and dance and kill the soldiers in the surrounding towns, drives Pentheus crazy (and makes him cross-dress?), then lures Pentheus out into the woods, where his mother and aunt (along with the other women of the city) tear him into pieces and stick his head on a spear to parade it back into the city. Then he takes the madness off of them, letting them see exactly what they've done to their king.
  • A special mention goes to Peirithoos, who somehow decided it was a good idea to sneak into the Underworld along with Theseus (who knew it was a terrible idea but was bound to come by an oath) in an attempt to abduct Persephone, the spouse of Hades (the God of the Dead, and one of the three oldest and most powerful Gods) in order to take her as his wife. This didn't end well for him.
  • Quite a few damned souls in Tartarus are there because they tried to deceive, steal from, or otherwise abuse the gods themselves. Tantalus was invited to dine with them, but he misbehaved and stole ambrosia and nectar to bring it back to his people, then (if that weren't enough) invited them in return, serving them a meal made from the body of his murdered son Pelos simply to prove he could trick them. (He did not.) Ixion was also invited to dine with them, and lusted after Hera (doing this to the wife of your host is bad enough, but this was Zeus' wife.) Sisyphus was trusted with secrets by Zeus, and later betrayed those secrets, later held Thanatos hostage (or Hades, in some versions) and later tricked Hades into letting him go after purposely telling his wife not to give him funeral rites. (The odd thing with Sisyphus is, he actually got away with it all until he died of old age.)
  • In Norse Mythology, Loki does this to all of the Gods, but especially to Skadi, by gleefully telling her that he is the one who bares the responsibility for the death of her father Thjazi. He is able to do this due to the Sacred Hospitality law the Gods enforce and that he is Odin's blood-brother, making him untouchable. Then it backfires horribly when the Gods bind him for tricking Hödr into killing Baldr: Skadi places a snake above Loki that will drop poison into his eyes until Ragnarök comes.