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Characters: Classical Mythology Monsters
Kerberos (Cerberus)

An offspring of Echidna and Typhon. A three-headed hound with a tail and mane made of live serpents, although most artists stopped reading after the word "hound". Unlike his siblings, Hades took him as a guard dog of his realm. He prevents mortals from entering the underworld and keeps the dead inside. Although there is no tale where Hades actually pets him, the king of the underworld cared about his pet dog enough, and only allowed Heracles to take him for the twelfth labor if the hero didn't injure him.

  • Angry Guard Dog: He guarded the Gates of the Underworld.
  • Animalistic Abomination: A massive three-headed demonic dog covered in snakes? Yikes!
  • Gate Guardian: He's the one keeping the souls of the dead in the Underworld.
  • Hell Hound: The trope codifier.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: How Orpheus got past him.
  • Sole Survivor: He's the only child of Echidna and Typhon that's yet to be slain - obviously because Hades owns him.
    • Depending on who you count amoung their offspring and which versions of the stories you use.
  • Sweet Tooth: The Roman tale of Psyche had a girl get past him using cake. She was advised to use it because others had succeeded before with the same ploy.

Ladon

One of the oldest monsters in Classical Mythology, Ladon was an offsping of Typhon and Echidna (or of the sea gods Phorcys & Ceto, depending on which version you listen to). His form was that of a dragon, but one unlike either traditional European or Asian dragons, and indeed his own form is not even consistant in the different versions of the story. His job was to guard the golden apples of the Garden of Hesperides. Though tasked with retreiving them in his eleventh labour, Ladon was so fearsome an opponent that Hercules had to enlist the help of Atlas who was a relative of the Hesperide Nymphs to complete the task. Ladon was later seen by the passing Argonauts as well.

Geryon and Orthrus

Medusa's grandson Geryon was a giant who lived on the island Erytheia. He had either three heads on one body or three bodies, either way he also had six hands, six feet and sometimes even wings. Orthus was the two headed herd dog of Geryon and the brother of Cerberus. They guarded red cattle which Hercules was instructed to steal as his tenth labour.

Mares of Diomedes

Wild horses trained to eat human flesh by the giant Diomedes, King of Thrace, Son of Ares and Cyrene. Some versions of the story tell that they breathed fire as well. Hercules' eighth labour was to steal them.

The Cretan Bull

Father of the Minotaur by the king of Cete's, King Minos, wife who had angered Aphrodrite and was thus cursed with love for the king's prized but uncontolably angry bull. The bull was a gift from Poseidon, and its anger was the result of Poseidon later becoming displeased with King Minos. Captured by Hercules as his seventh labour, when released in became known as the Marathon Bull after its new home until it was captured by Theseus and sacrificed to the Gods.

The Stymphyalian Birds

Man eating birds with metal feather, bronze beaks and toxic poo that were driven to the Lake Stymphyalia by a pack of Arab wolves where they thrived in great numbers, much to the dismay of the local inhabitants. Hercules' sixth labour was to defeat them.

  • Big Badass Bird of Prey: They are huge birds of prey made out of living metal.
  • Death from Above: They dropped their razor-sharp feathers on their prey.
  • Feather Flechettes: Their feathers are weaponized metal razor blades, flying at your face!
  • Giant Flyer: Though less giant than some, they can take some pretty big prey.
  • Razor Wings: Their feathers are razor-sharp bronze blades, through they prefer dropping them on their prey.

Ermanthian Boar

A boar of immense size and ferocity that lived on Mount Ermanthos and was often sent by various gods in vengeance against villages. It may well have killed Adonis, unless that was Ares in the shape of a boar. Capturing it was Hercules' fourth labour.

The Ceryneian Hind

A hind is doe (female deer) of a one of the larger species, of which the male would be a hart, buck or stag. This one had antlers like the male, only golden in color and matching fur as well as being sacred to the Goddess Artemis and fast enough to outrun an arrow. Hercules' third labour was to catch it, alive.

  • Badass: A deer that can outrun an arrow and was sacred to Artemis.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Heracles couldn't shoot the Hind, so he had to chase it for a whole year. Finally, the Hind was so weary from the chase that it gave up and allowed Heracles to capture it.
  • Super Speed: It could move fast enough to dodge arrows.

The Lernaean Hydra

Another child of Typhon and Echidna: A many headed serpent of the swamps of Lerna. For every head you cut off, two more grow in it's place. Oh, and one head is immortal. Killing it was the challenge set forth in Heracles' second labour.

  • And I Must Scream: Ultimately hydra never died, Heracles just burned its body to ashes and them in a manner that ensured it would not grow back anymore, and then buried the immortal head under a rock.
  • Bloody Murder: The poisonous kind.
  • Evil Evolves: It would regrow two heads for each cut off.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: The Hydra called one of these to help it since Heracles was proving difficult to beat. Heracles in turn called his nephew Iolaus for help. Because of this help, the Hydra's defeat was deemed an unworthy labor for Heracles and he had to do another.
  • Healing Factor: Heracles did not even resort to cutting it: he just smashed its heads with his club, but that did not keep them from coming back either.
  • Hydra Problem: It is the Trope Namer.
  • Kill It with Fire: Can't grow heads from a cauterized stump.
  • Multiple Head Case: Usually depicted as starting off with nine heads, but it can grow more..
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Monsters called Hydra are often lumped together with dragons in many works.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Is occasionally described as being female, along with the Chimera.

The Nemean Lion

Lived in Nemea. Its fur was impervious to attack by all mortal weapons and its claws could cut through any armour without difficulty. Sometimes counted amoung the children of Typhon and Echidna, killing it was Hercules' first labour.

  • Nemean Skinning: Trope Namer.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Heracles first tried shooting the Lion with his arrows, but they just bounced off. Then he attacked it with his sword, but the blade just bent. And then he tried whacking the Lion with his club, but that only dazed the Lion. Heracles finally managed to kill it by wrestling with and strangling it to death. When he tried to skin the Lion to use the skin as armor, Heracles had to use one of the Lion's own claws to do it.

Crommyonian Sow & Calydonian Boar

The Crommyonian Sow was a wild pig named Phaea or Phaia, daughter of Echidna and Typhon and mother of the Calydonian Boar. It was killed by Theseus. The Calydonian Boar was hunted by a great gathering of heroes, which hurt a lot of their pride when the woman Atalanta was the only one among them to wound it.

  • Full Boar Action: Doesn't get more full-boar than a couple of giant, demonic piggies.

Laelaps & the Teumessian Fox (Cadmian Vixen)

A magical dog that would catch anything that it chased, and a giant fox destined never to be caught. The fox was also one of Echidna and Typhon's children. Zeus turned them into a constellation when Laelaps was set to chase the Cadmian Vixen.

  • Taken for Granite: One version of the myth has Zeus turning them both to stone instead when the mortal Amphitryon created a philosophical dilemma by sending Laelaps after the Fox.
  • Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object: Of a sort. The poor dog had the misfortune of being sent after the one thing it could never catch.

Aitos Kaukasios (Aetus Caucasius)

Another of Typhon and Echidna's offspring, this one is one of the less famous. A gigantic eagle, it roamed the Earth until Zeus found use for it and made it the tormenter of Prometheus, flying every day to eat his liver and killing whoever tried to free him, until Hercules/Heracles killed it. Occasionally referred to as Ethon, Aethonem Aquilam or the Griffin-Vulture (also the name of a real life bird of prey). Is the basis for the constellation Aquila.

  • Animal Stereotypes: Averted; the eagle was a symbol of Zeus and generally honoured as the king of the birds in the classical mythology, but Aethon was one of Typhon's monstrous offspring.
    • Still fitting, as he was part of Zeus' punishment for Prometheus.
  • Big Badass Bird of Prey: Only Hercules managed to kill him.
  • Feathered Fiend: It was tasked by Zeus with disembowelling Prometheus on a daily basis.
  • Giant Flyer: A massive demonic eagle.

Minotaur

Half-man half-bull, this beast the offspring of the Cretan Bull and King Minos' wife in an odd combination of punishments from different gods. Fearing that it would anger the gods further to kill the beast, King Mino sealed it away in a Labyrinth beneith the city and fed its man-eating appitite with the flesh of slaves taken as tribute from Athens. That is, until an Athenian prince named Theseus took the place of one of the slaves, seduced the kings daughter into helping him find his way out of the labyrinth and killed it with his bare hands.

The Gorgons

A set of three sisters: Stheno, Euryale and Medusa. Most people only know the story of Medusa, who is most well known for having snakes for hair and a visage that turned mortals to stone. In the original Greek myths and works based on them (like Hesiod's Theogony) she and her sisters were born either hideos or as beautiful yet still monstruos, but the Roman myths (and specially Ovid's Metamorphosis) it that all three were born beautiful and Medusa, a priestess of Athena who was raped by Poseidon in Athena's temple, was turned into a monster as punishment.

  • Axe Crazy: Stheno, who was said to have killed more men than either of her sisters combined.
  • Beauty to Beast: Some versions state that Medusa and her sisters were so beautiful that Athena got jealous of them and turned them into gorgons just for that.
  • Brown Note/Humanoid Abominations: The Taken for Granite thing? The initial idea for that wasn't as a superpower, but by merely looking at them you turn to stone. I.e, they're just THAT hideous!
  • Cry Cute: Euryale was said to have let out a mournful wail when Medusa was killed.
  • Hijacked by Jesus: Fun fact: Medusa was originally the name of a Libyan goddess, part of a triple divinity along with Athena and Metis. Her original manifestation was of a winged female centaur, which sounds suspiciously like the Pegasus.
  • Immortality: Stheno and Euryale are immortal. Medusa... well, isn't.
  • Ironic Hell: Some versions of the myth twist the Gorgeous Gorgon concept into this; they were still beautiful, but their beauty was pointless because no one could look at them without being turned to stone.
  • Living Prop: In the original Greek myths, Medusa was less of a character and more of an obstacle for Perseus to overcome. It wasn't until later that she was given a backstory.
  • Multiple Choice Past: Not only are there two options as to how the Gorgons came to be, but there are multiple variations on one of those options.
    • The older Greek versions say that the Gorgons were monsters from the very beginning, as the daughters of Sea Monsters Phorcys and Ceto.
    • The later Roman versions say that they were beautiful maidens, then Medusa was raped by Poseidon and turned into a monster by Athena as punishment.
      • The Roman version one has even more variations; some versions say that Medusa was (one of) Poseidon's (many) lover(s) and not a rape victim. Others say that when she and her sisters were cursed they remained beautiful but their beauty was rendered pointless because everyone who looked upon them would turn to stone anyway.
  • Off with Her Head!: How Medusa bit the dust.
  • Protective Magic: The Gorgons' image was often used this way, in hope that the user's enemies would be turned to stone.
  • Rape as Backstory: Medusa, in the Roman myths.
  • Reluctant Monster: Depending on which myth (more in the Roman one), Medusa will be played this way, being turned into a monster by Athena.
  • Taken for Granite: While it was technically the act of looking upon them that turned you to stone, it's popularly remembered as them looking upon you that results in petrification.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Stheno and Euryale. Where did they go after Medusa died and what happened to them?
  • Winged Humanoid: A forgotten fact about the Gorgons; they had claws of bronze and wings like eagles.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Find a description of a lone Gorgon anywhere, and it'll inevitably be Medusa. Her sisters, Euryale and Stheno, are relatively overlooked - or nonexistant - in most depictions.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: So very much. Of course, this depends on which myth you're going by - in the Greek myths they never were intended to be sympathetic.

Sphinx

One of the daughters of Typhon and Echidna (or in some versions, Orthrus & Chimera), the Sphinx had the head of a woman and the body of a winged lioness. She was born in Ethiopia, and tasked by Hera to block the path to Thebes, where she asked travellers a tricky riddle, and when they failed to answer she strangled and ate them. Oedipus managed to figure out the answer, and she was so enraged she threw herself off a cliff.

Manticore

This monster had the body of a lion, with a scorpion's tail and the head of a man, though this didn't mean it lacked the sharp teeth of any other man-eating predator. It could also shoot poisonous spines from its tail.

Chimera

One of Typhon and Echidna's children, the chimera was part lion, part goat and part snake, or dragon. Its body was that of a lioness, the snake or dragon head was its tail, and a goat head just popped out of its spine in the middle of its back. It breathed fire too. It lived in Lycia in Asia minor. It was eventually slain by Bellerophon with the help of Pegasus.

The Colchian Wyrm

This Dragon was a child of Typhon and Echidna and the guardian of the Golden Fleece sought by Jason and the Argonauts.

Scylla and Charybdis

Scylla was a drakaina with six heads on long necks, attached to a body with 4-6 more dogs heads around its waist, twelve tentacle-like legs, and a cat's tail. She lives on one side of a narrow straight with Charybdis on the other. Charybdis was a whirlpool, or in the earlier myths a whirlpool caused by a Nymph transformed into a sea monster that was essentially a giant bladder covered in mouths and flipper that sucked a great deal of water into its many mouths three times a day, and belching it forth the rest of the time. One or both of them may have been offspring of Typhon and Echidna.

Cetea (Kētea)

Perseus found a princess named Andromeda, who was being sacrificed to one of these sea creatures to appease Poseidon; he turned it to stone with the severed head of Medusa and they were married. Hercules is also credited with killing a cetus. The word has a very loose meaning and includes whales and big fish as well as more traditional sea monsters.

  • A Kind of One: Some myths have them as one or two individual monsters, but others pluralize them into a race of sea monsters.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: The Greek word Ketos is basically the same thing as the Hebrew Leviathan is its broad meaning, though the size of it qualifies it for this trope as well.
  • Sea Monster: It was Poseidon's pet, and its name is where the word cetacean comes from.

KampÍ (Campe)

A drakaina set to guard the Hecatonchires by Cronus. She is described as having the head and torso of a woman, a scorpionlike tail, and snaky legs.

The Kyklopes (Cyclopes)

Three brothers: Steropes, Brontes and Arges. They are sons of Ouranos and Gaia. Embodiments of brute strength and power, they each have one single eye in the middle of the foreheads. Ouranos feared them for their power and violent tempers, and then sealed them away in Tartaros shortly after they were born with their other brothers, the Hekatonkheires. In some versions, Kronos either freed them and put them back in some time later of just kept them inside Tartaros, guarded by the Dragon, Kampe. In the final year of the Titanomachy, Zeus freed them and they forged the Olympians' weapons for them (if Hephaestus didn't do so already). Afterwords, they served as assistants to Hephaestus in his forge. They had the same names in Roman myths, both individually and collectively.

They had four mortal sons named Euryales, Elatreus, Trakhios, and Halimedes, and there was also a mortal tribe of them that lived near the island of Sicily, the most famous of them being Poseidon's son Polyphemos. The original three can be seen to have been the Monster Progenitors of the larger cyclops population.For tropes relating specifically to Polyphemus, see the Mortals and Demigods section.

  • Always Chaotic Evil: The mortal ones that lived off the coast of Sicily, like Polyphemos.
  • Barbarian Tribe: The younger cyclopse were always hungry and had a taste for humans.
  • The Blacksmith: The original immortal trio.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: They were described as being very foul-mooded.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The mortal ones that lived off Sicily, like Polyphemos, would eat sailors who came ashore there..
  • Monster Progenitors: Starts with three, the rest of the race came latter.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: The original immortal trio.
  • Shock and Awe: Each of the immortal three represents a part of the nature of lightning that they each put into Zeus' thunderbolt: Steropes is lighting itself, Brontes is thunder, and Arges is its brightness.
  • With Friends Like These...: When Zeus killed Apollo's son Asclepius Apollo wanted revenge but could not directly injure Zeus. Some writers have him kill the cyclopes who forged the lightning bolt while others, noting that the sons of Gaia are immortal, have him kill the four sons instead. In some versions, the three had helped to make Apollo's bow beforehand.

Gigantes

The last children of Ouranus, born from his blood fertilizing Gaea when Kronos castrated him, possibly as Aphrodite was born from the sea. The didn't get involved much in the Titans' affairs, including when the Olympians took power in the Titanomachy and when their younger brother Typhon nearly overthrew the Olympians. However, they later fought the Olympians in the Gigantomachy, which they would have won if not for Hercules' aiding the Olympians. Many individuals are named, though again their are multiple different accounts of just what occured with each of the Gigantes.

Eurymedon was their king. The brothers Ephialtes and Otus of Aloadae were either caused to kill each other by accident by Artemis after they captured her in an attempt to take her and Hera for their wives, or else slain by the arrows of Apollo and Hercules. Alcyoneus and Porphyrion where amoung the strongest of them and slain by Hercules in the Gigantomachy, the latter being first wounded by Zeus's lighning bolt before taking Hercules arrow. Athena killed Pallas and Enceladus, burying the latter under Mt. Etna like Typhon. Artemis killed Gration with her arrows. Poseidon crush Polybotes under an island. Hephestus killed Mimas with molten iron. Hermes turned invisible to kill Hippolytus with a sword. Dionysus killed Eurytus with his thyrsus. Hecate immolated Clytius. Even the Moirae joined in, beating Agrios and Thoon to death with bronze clubs.

Typhon/Typhoeus

After the Olympians overthrew the Titans, Gaia gave birth to the biggest, nastiest, deadliest and most terrifying monster in Greek mythology, with arms that reached east and west - with a hundred dragon/serpent heads on each - huge wings that blackened the sky, fire blazing from his eyes and mouth, sometimes a head like a donkey, sometimes with the head of a man, and sometimes with a hundred dragon heads.... yeah, Zeus had a pretty hard time defeating this guy. He also had numerous monster babies with Echidna. Zeus eventually trapped him under Mount Etna, where he causes volcanic eruptions.

  • And I Must Scream: Trapped forever under Mount Etna.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: To say he was incomprehensibly massive is a major understatement.
  • Avenging the Villain: Birthed by Gaia to take revenge for the Titans.
  • Badass: He kicked Zeus' ass in their first throw down.
  • Big Bad: A good chunk of the horrible things that happened in Classical Mythology are at least indirectly his fault. He spawned almost all of the nastiest monsters and was specifically created to bring about Zeus' downfall.
  • Combat Tentacles: In some versions he has snake coils below his legs that he can catch Zeus with.
  • The Dreaded: The gods were terrified of this guy. To put it into perspective, when he showed up to fight Zeus, all the other Olympians fled in terror, leaving only Zeus (and in some versions, Athena) to fight him.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Not kidding about that above description. Not to mention he can go toe-to-toe with Zeus, the Top God of Greek Mythology.
    • Some myths say that he actually defeated Zeus and ripped off his sinews, but then Hermes (The Flash of Greek Mythology) recovered the sinews and gave them back to Zeus, healing him. Zeus won the second match and sealed Typhon.
  • Eye Scream: Some versions say that his eyes oozed with venom.
  • Father Of A Thousand Young: He's the daddy of most of the monsters in Greek Mythology.
  • God Couple: With Echidna.
  • Happily Married: None of the myths portray he and Echidna as anything other than this.
  • Hero Killer: Without a doubt the baddest monster in Greek myth. And depending on the version, whupped Zeus' ass in round one.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Some versions of the story say that Typhon was going to bury Zeus under Mt. Aetna. When he lifted the mountain over his head, Zeus through a few hundred bolts of lightning at Typhon and caused him to drop the mountain on top of himself.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Half humanoid anyway.
  • Incest Is Relative: Echnidna is his niece or sister, though at this point in the page you probably stopped caring.
  • The Juggernaut: It took a mountain getting dropped on him to stop his rampage, and he still didn't die.
  • Light Is Not Good: Though some esoteric traditions saw him as a type of solar deity (since there are at least three other gods that are solar as well, this doesn't sound very strange).
  • Multiple Head Case: Sometimes depicted as having a hundred dragon heads.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Makes Tiamat look like a gecko.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Emphasis on big. When he raises his hands above his head they can nearly touch the stars.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Even by Greek monster standards, his appearance was bizarre.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Sealed beneath Mount Etna (no relation).
  • Snake People: Not as obvious as Echidna, but it's still there.
  • Ultimate Evil: As close as Greek myth gets to having one, what with being the offspring of Mother Nature and Hell.
  • Unholy Matrimony: With Echidna.

Ekhidna (Echidna)

The "Mother of All Monsters" (no, not that "mother monster"), usually depicted as half nymph and half serpent. She was the mate of Typhon, mother to nearly all the notable monsters in Greek mythology.

The Harpies

Half-bird, half-human monstrosities. Jason encountered them on his quest and they were being used to punish a man who spoke out against Zeus.

Pegasus

A winged horse, and one of the most famous mythic creatures. Said to be borned from blood issuing from Medusa's neck as Perseus was beheading her, along with his human brother Chrysaor. Technically, they're children of Medusa and Poseidon (either the result of raped, or her blood mixed with sea foam). Later became hero Bellerophon's steed and helped him slay Chimera, as well as in battle against the Amazons. After Bellerophon's fall (literally and figurative), Zeus keeps him.

Sirens

A race of beautiful bird-women who sang hypnotic music. The only person to hear their song and live to tell the tale was Odysseus.

  • Affably Evil
  • Aroused by Their Voice: Practically the trope makers. Their singing is so beautiful that even strong willed Odysseus desperately begged his men to sail to their island so that he could be with them.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Little-known fact about the Sirens; they used to be Persephone's handmaidens. When they failed to find her after her kidnapping, a furious Demeter transformed them into bird-women, either as punishment or to assist in the search.
  • Beauty Is Bad
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
  • Brown Note: Their song.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Some adaptations say that their song only worked on men.
  • Driven to Suicide: Some say that when Orpheus played his song, the sirens were so heartbroken at being outdone that they threw themselves from their island, died and turned into rocks.
  • Enthralling Siren: Trope namers and codifiers.
  • Feathered Fiend: They were originally depicted as half women, half song-bird (often interpreted as canaries) creatures. It explains why they sing so well and why they fly.
  • For the Evulz: They didn't seem to have a reason to drown all of those people. They just did. Although Baleful Polymorph above gives the possibility of a Freudian Excuse.
  • Light Is Not Good: They weren't just pretty, but also had an angelic appearence, with golden bird feathers and wings. Suffice to say, they were evil little buggers.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Commonly remembered as part-fish, but they were traditionally viewed as part-bird.
  • Magic Music
  • Sadly Mythtaken: They were not mermaids. And they were not fully aquatic. This wouldn't make any sense; they are never stated to leave the rocks they live on and the one time they do, they drown. Additionally, Demeter turned them into Sirens to aid in the search for the kidnapped Persephone. So unless she thought Persephone was at the bottom of the oceannote , she wouldn't have made them part fish.
  • Terrible Trio: The ones Odysseus encountered.
  • The Trickster
  • The Vamps
  • Winged Humanoids
  • Your Heart's Desire: Their song can do this.
Classical Mythology Minor DeitiesCharacters/Classical MythologyClassical Mythology Mortals And Demigods

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