Everybody Loves Zeus


Light can blind and light is good. And by "light is good", I mean it is good you aren't struck down by lightning.

Zeus was lord of Mount Olympus and Top God that ran Greece. He got his throne by killing his father and taking it and condemned anyone else who did the same, he ate his first wife, he cheated on his second wife/older sister incessantly (including with one of his other sisters), allowed his wife to torment his demigod bastards to suicide, he chained Prometheus to a rock to have his liver eaten forever for giving mankind fire, he unleashed pain and suffering on the Earth and had a mortal girl take the blame for it, smiting random humans with lightning from his ivory tower and countless other horrible things. However, adaptations like to think Zeus as a cool guy that likes to party and is justified whenever he has to bring out a firm hand. Why? Cause Heaven and Light = Good.

Gods associated with light and lordship over other gods are typically portrayed as heroic and relatable while their darker counterparts are super violent and manipulative and other icky stuff.

Aversions typically portray such gods as good but ignorantly destructive, usually causing trouble due to ignorance or gross incompetence.

A subtrope of Sadly Mythtaken and a form of Adaptational Heroism.

Compare Disneyfication, God Is Good, Jesus Was Way Cool and Light is Good.

Contrast with Everybody Hates Hades and Everybody Hates Ares.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animation 
  • Hercules:
    • Zeus is portrayed as a light-hearted, if not buffoonish king and loyal husband to Hera. While the spin-off series brings up his flaws — like forgetting he and his wife's anniversary, occasionally losing his temper and the whole "Prometheus" thing — Zeus' frequent infidelity is never brought up (most likely non-existent to keep the G-Rating).
    • Hera gets this treatment even more so. In the original myth, Heracles was not Hera's child and was a product of her husband cheating on her. Feeling spiteful, Hera actively sabotaged his life and tried to make his suffer, even forcing him to kill his own family. Here, Hercules is her son and no mention of Zeus cheating on her is ever brought up, so the adaptation portraying Hera as the kind, patient and level-headed of the two. Even in the episode "Hercules and the Return of Typhon" it is revealed that she was the one who threw the lightning bolt that led to Typhon's defeat and that she allowed Zeus to take the credit for image reasons.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Hera from The Legend of Hercules allowed her husband to cheat on her with Alcmene so that Hercules could be born and become a hero to Greece.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Classical Mythology:
    • Helios (the charioteer of the Sun) is one of the more positively portrayed gods of Greek myth, probably because the best-known myth features him forced by his own oath to give his son Phaeton the reins of the sun chariot, leading to Phaeton's death.
    • He was later merged with Apollo, the god of poetry (who also gets a good rep, despite not being averse to chasing nymphs and mortals, and responsible for a few cases of Disproportionate Retribution as well).
  • Inverted for Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec sun god. The Aztec's infamous reputation for Human Sacrifice came from their rituals in which still-beating hearts were offered to him so as to give him the strength to prevent eternal night from covering the land. And yet the threat of daylight ending forever wasn't enough to prevent the Aztec's vassals (from who the sacrifices were taken) from joining the conquistadors.

    Video Games 
  • Pharaoh: The Sun god Ra holds power over the entire kingdom (in the campaign, especially after the Pharaoh declares him the king of the gods), which translates to him increasing your reputation, export prices and amount of goods traded if he's happy, and decreasing them if displeased. Having him as patron god allows you to have crimefighting priests and salaries lower than the national average.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Played straight In-Universe with Meridia, the goddess of light and spirit energy. Despite being a Daedric Prince (the setting's equivalent of demon lords), Meridia is one of the more beloved deities because her light is seen as purifying and she protects mortals against undead creatures and even other Daedric Princes like Molag Bal. In fact, Meridia is perfectly aware of this fact and in fact invokes it. Her actual personality is closer to that of a Knight Templar, whereas her followers love and serve her to combat the darker threats out there, but she would sacrifice them all without batting an eyelash if she found it necessary. She is also very vindictive if you reject her or question the morality of her actions in any way.
    • Kynareth is a member of the Nine Divines, and thus a more benevolent deity than a Daedric Prince. The Nords worship her as "Kyne", the shieldmaiden, war goddess, and weather goddess. She is one of the most beloved of the gods, with Nords invoking her name to grant them strength in battle and carry them to Sovngarde if they fall. When one character abandons her worship of Kyne after realizing what a blatant Catch-22 Dilemma this is note , she is unambiguously regarded as wrong by even her own son. Even though he only survived a Hopeless War because of cowardice and desertion, he vows to return to battle if Kyne spares his mother and gives her a chance to become faithful again.

    Web Comics 
  • Happens In-Universe in Slightly Damned with Mother Gaia who alongside Father Syndel both created Medius and the races living there but she and her angels received the glory while Syndel and his demons were shunned, eventually he grew jealous and had the demons invade Medius in retaliation and she sent the angels to drive them off but we see in the story that they could be every bit as brutal as the demons.