main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
The Mythology we know is extremely exaggerated fan fiction.
It was a multimedia franchise that got really, really popular, and the fans were so devoted they made statues and temples and fan fiction. All of Zeus's lovers are OC's. Today, we are making fanfiction of fanfiction. The reason the gods are so imperfect was because fans wanted to Flanderize the characters for the sake of humor.
Atlantis was the capital of the Titans
It was said that the Titans lorded over a golden age of human civilization, which probably meant Atlantis, which was an advanced utopia. During the Golden Age, humanity never had to work for food, because the earth (a metaphor for technology) provided everything for them. But because of their hubris, Atlantis was destroyed by the "Gods", and so were the Titans. The "Gods" referred here might as well be Zeus and his siblings, who led a rebellion against his father, Cronus, who in his hubris tried to kill off his children and rule forever. However, the destruction of Atlantis meant the end of the Golden Age, and now humanity had to scavenge under the tyranny of the Olympians who are still too immature and childish to lord another golden age, paving the way for Prometheus giving humanity fire to restore their Lost Technology (and perhaps allowing humanity to rebel against the Olympians just like how they rebelled against the Titans).

  • Jossed by mythology itself, in which Atlantis occured after the age of the Titans, under the guidance of Poseidon. The over the top vilification of the Olympians is particularly silly considering this is the one instance in Greek mythology where Poseidon's more righteous side is shown.

Haruhi Suzumiya is the last descendant of the Greek Gods.
Specifically, the last child of Hera (Haruhi) and Zeus (Suzumiya). And because the Greek Gods are all dead thanks to Kratos' rebellion, Haruhi got all the Gods' Powers combined and became a near-omnipotent Reality Warper, and to escape the rebellion, hijacked a TARDIS and time-travelled to present-day Japan where she had amnesia. And of course, she also inherited the cosmos-sized ego and lust to boot, and that's why the other characters of the series should maintain her amnesia, lest....

Well, every WMG page should have at least one connecting it to Haruhi and the Time Lords.

  • Haruhi seems more likely to be related to Aphrodite and/or Dionysus.

The Greek gods screwed themselves over, leading to Yahweh's rule.
Considering what they've done, the Greeks must've been pissed deep down. Eventually they overstepped their line, leading to a Kratos-like figure that organised a rebellion. The gods were too arrogant to consider this, allowing several instances of Like a Badass out of Hell and developments in human technology courtesy of Prometheus' gifts (I can imagine use of automatons derived from Hephaestus' creations), topping it off with a massive civil war between the gods that led to their defeat, with only Athena and Hades remaining, and much of the God-killing technology forgotten. With little competition, Yahweh and the Jews took over, and the rest is history.
  • Yahweh, unfortunately, became as much of a tyrant as the Greek Gods, repeating the Oedipus Complex/Mandate of Heaven that plagues the Pantheon. Yahweh, in a hubristic attempt to rule forever, imprisons Lucifer, and any Prometheus-figures who want to give mankind knowledge, into Tartarus where they are tortured forever. This causes the the decline of the Roman Republic into the corrupt Roman Empire, and the ensuing Dark Ages and the tyranny of the Catholic Inquisition. A rebellion happened during the Renaissance, hence the rise of a new God: Science.
    • "Science" might be:
    • Jesus himself. Yahweh makes the mistake of Zeus-ing with a mortal woman and Jesus is born. Jesus sympathizes with the plight of the imprisoned knowledge-bearers and tried diplomacy and compromise with the old Order. That didn't work, and in response, Yahweh brands Jesus a heretic, and hires the Jews and Romans to crucify him. After Jesus goes through his whole resurrection deal, he goes into heaven and kills Yahweh, and tried to take over the kingdom as the Christian God of the New Testament. However, Yahweh also possessed the Resurrection ability and returns to life again and continues being God in the Medieval Era without Jesus finding out, corrupting Jesus' reputation in the process. It would be until the Renaissance where Jesus finally seals Yahweh into Tartarus for good, allowing Europe an opportunity for a rebellion against the Catholic Church.

      To break the Mandate of Heaven, he takes the mantle of Prometheus/Lucifer as the Bearer of Knowledge, and becomes the new God: Science. Jesus/Science then overthrows the rest of the tyrannical corrupt Old Gods in the world. With Science being the only God left, the Universe is in risk of being consumed back by the first and most powerful Protogenoi, Chaos, who is starting to manifest itself as Entropy. Thus, Science has to sacrifice much of his time and intellect into maintaining the universe in logical order to protect it from Chaos, and that's why he has to allow for humans to think for themselves and exercise their own capacity for science, hence the rise of Deism and Democracy.
    • Lucifer (the Angel of Enlightenment and bearer of the Fruit of Knowledge, who, inspired by Kratos, formed a second rebellion against Yahweh and then succeeded)
    • Prometheus (who gave humans technology and tried to guide humans into another golden age)
    • Athena (the goddess of wisdom and the scientific culture of Athens, who learned her lessons and became less of a bitch).
    • The Flying Spaghetti Monster, who took over for the lulz.
    • No, the Invisible Pink Unicorn.
  • Funnily enough, this is actually considered to be one of the reasons that Christianity eventually became so popular in Europe: the Greeks and Romans were tired of what they perceived as their gods' antics and weren't spiritually fulfilled.
    • So this is semi-confirmed?
    • Except that plenty of pagans did NOT willingly convert to Christianity, and the Christian emperors outlawed non-Christian religions (and non-Catholic denominations), persecuted everyone who wasn't Catholic, ordered the destruction or vandalism of non-Christian temples (and non-Catholic Gospels), and actively went out of their way to persecute the other religions into extinction. Even so, it took until the 20th century before the last secret adherents to the Etruscan religion were stamped out (an Anthropologist of the 19th century actually encountered them and documented their practices and myths), and the other pagan religions probably also lasted for a while underground. The idea that pagan religions died because they were inferior and doomed and the pagans never actually liked them is 1500 years of Christian propaganda, as is the myth that Catholicism was the only denomination before the Protestant Reformation.

Adjusting the above slightly, Yahweh simply got fed up of the Greek gods
He normally doesn't have much a problem with other gods until they pick on us, then he handles them.
  • So he attacked Hestia as well? That seems rather mean and unnecessary.
    • He may have probably just imprisoned Hestia. And considering that Yahweh is kind of a Knight Templar...

The Titans actually represent another pantheon worshipped before the Olympians
They weren't even demonised, since Chronos was apparently benevolent enough to lord over a "golden age". They simply were were buried by newer traditions, so mythology took that to a literal level.

Apollo and Dionysus are the same person.
This is actually less a WMG than a potential bit of theology that is invoked by some Classical writers (I don't remember who all, could link later). We have two gods who are both gods of destruction (literally in the case of Apollo [Apollwn works best, I think, from Apollumi, "I destroy," given how vengeful and related to "acts of God" his cult is; more figuratively in Dionysus, who destroys as in removes structure) who occupy Delphi and grant prophecies (Dionysus occupies it during the winter months, or so the story goes). As such, both share a prophet/seemingly submissive role with a fertility goddess (Gaia in both instances; Dionysus occasionally when associated with Demeter/Cybele/etc.). Both are renowned for their good looks (Dionysus is a Bishounen while Apollo is the god of beauty) and are patrons of gays (Dionysus is specifically listed as the patron of what is the Greek equivalent of BLGT matters and would be the patron of such modern things as Mardi Gras; Apollo's most memorable loves are those with his [usually doomed] male lovers). Both have a thing against Thebes (Dionysus: Pentheus as Apollo: Oedipus, but then again everything happens in Thebes). Both are associated with retinues of musical women (Maenads and nymphs, and Muses and other nymphs)...the list goes on, from how the origin myths make the two foreign gods (Dionysus is the alien god who has been with the Greeks since the Minoan era, while Apollo is the native god with contradictory paths of origin and no record in Linear B) to various symbols (snakes, musical instruments) and an association with youth.
  • It's a Jekyll & Hyde arrangement. Dionysus is the god of the wild creative highs that require completely forgetting yourself and setting about to a frenzy of expression; Apollo is the god who helps you out when you realize its faults and carefully craft it into a measured and more perfect art. In other words, when Apollo gets drunk, he turns into Dionysus.
    • Then this really changes the dynamics of character duos based on the two, like Enjolras and Grantaire from Les MisÚrables.

Aphrodite is a time-traveler.

She wasn't born rising out of the foam; that's just the earliest time in history where she exists. At some point in her personal timeline after she's fully grown and incredibly beautiful, she gets her memory erased and is sent back in time to her "birth".
  • Hephaestus also was a time traveler, or more correctly, he created a time machine that sent Aphrodite to the past (accident or not, is another WMG), himself time-travelled as well and helped to give birth to Athena in this form.
  • Alternatively, Aphrodite is a Time Lady and the seafoam is her TARDIS.

Athena would one day overthrow Zeus
The prophecy just stated that the child of Zeus and Metis would overthrow Zeus. Everyone just assumed this would only apply if it were a guy; because of cultural perceptions. A woman be the King of the Gods? As if.
  • She also one-ups Zeus in that even though he ate her the same way Kronus tried to eat him and his brethren; she busts out of his body anyways. (Zeus had to be sneaked away by Rhea)
    • Considering the fact Gaia already had a grudge against all generations of gods and each time used someone to kill the ruler she didn't like (she gave birth to Kronos to castrate Ouranos and raised Zeus against his father), it's not much of a stretch she motivated Athena to end with Zeus rule. This time, Gaia would probably be satisfied, as Athena seems fair compared to her precursors. Its just a matter of which gods will be killed and which ones will join her.
  • Hold on though; You literally CAN'T have a female chief deity on Olympus. What would her successor chop off?
    • Her breasts, of course.
      • Or her vagina.
      • The vagina is an internal structure and can't be "cut off." The closest fitting structure on the outside would probably be the clitoris.
      • You could carve around it, maybe...
      • Since the whole point is to render the previous ruler infertile, and Athena is a virgin goddess, it's sort of a moot point...
    • Athena didn't have a successor. That's why we don't see Greek gods any-morrr... God is a woman. You Can Panic Now.
  • And considering the Greek opinion on fighting fate...

Athena was a wholesome crossdresser
Going to above theory, Athena was actually a man, and knew that the best way to survive was to pretend that he wasn't the son that would overthrow Zeus.

Ares overthrew Zeus, with Athena and/or Hephaestus' help.
Depending on the myth, Hephaestus may not have a father. Father-son competition and the prophecy would prevent Athena from overthrowing Zeus. This leaves Ares, however he wasn't the brains behind the operation. Athena wanted the position of Top God, but because of Greek opinion couldn't directly become one. Hepaestus wanted to get back at his Karma Houdini of a father. They teamed up to train Ares to assasinate his father, which Athena planned to use as a puppet ruler. Mars is the chief god of Rome because its Ares, who has ascended to that role. Athena is either subtly manipulating Ares/Mars, or Ares/Mars got smart and removed her. His Papa Bear tendencies is him being Genre Savvy to prevent what happened to his male ancestry happening to him again.

Hades really is planning to take over Zeus's throne, but for benevolent reasons.
The God of the Underworld, being much more decent than the rest of the gods, is disgusted by their Jerkass tendencies and hates them all. He became ruler of the Underworld to both get some time away from the rest of the gods, and to have a good secret base to plan in secrecy.(His Helm of Darkness is handy too.)

Building on this interpretation, Hades generally leaves man alone because he wants to avoid bad publicity with them, so one day when they get tired of the rest of the Jerkass Gods of the pantheon, Hades will suddenly be much more beloved and be in a good position to take over. He's building an army in the Underworld in secret from all the souls of the dead who come into his domain, hence why he is so harsh on anyone who dares try to cheat death or bring someone Back from the Dead, thus depriving him of new recruits. He kidnapped Persephone in order to have an accomplice with which to plan, and a way of ensuring her mother Demeter's loyalty when the time comes to actually move against their brother, which is why he is so protective of her; in addition to being his wife, she also knows a lot of crucial information about his scheme and is too valuable in influencing Demeter to lose.

However, one of the other gods(or perhaps a mortal) found out about the plan, but wasn't believed by the other gods. So, they launched a campaign of Malicious Slander in an attempt to make Hades look like a God of Evil, which is why Everybody Hates Hades. However, the backlash against this slander will cause the intelligent fans of Classical Mythology to try to improve Hades's reputation. Phase one is his positive portrayal in The Percy Jackson Books. All of the above is part of Hades's plan.
  • So Hades is really Odin, and Valhalla is where he's training his ghost army, and the Olympians are the Jotuns?

Persephone was even the chief death goddess of her own pantheon before her adoption by the Greeks.
  • Also, Greece is Mediterranean. Winters are mild and wet, so Demeter's sorrow is the cause of blazing hot Summer.

Hephaestus is somehow related to the Cyclopes
  • brilliant craftsmen and smiths who are good with their hands.
  • have a paternal figure in Poseidon.
  • have contradictory origins that could be explained via time travel.
  • ugly but skilled.
  • survive things that should have killed them via repair. The Cyclopes were killed by Apollo for creating the lighting bolt that killed Phaeton, but were later stitched back together; Hephaestus was defenestrated, but made himself robot legs.
  • credited with the creation of one or more golden apples, the pantheon, and Zeus's lightning bolts.
  • possess severe handicaps. Cyclopes have one eye, Hephaestus has no legs.
  • lack a motherly character in their life.
  • seem to only have one parent.
  • are male.
Both seem to serve the same purpose in Greek Mythology: ugly, deformed, brilliant craftsmen hired by the gods to create things.
  • Maybe Hera had him in an affair?

OK, someone made a mistake: The cyclopes are Hephaestus' great uncles.

Hephaestus is an early Spark, possibly a Heterodyne
It fits in with his general characterization. Hephaestus's robots could have been clanks, and his assistants and/or the Cyclopes could have been constructs.

Caeneus asked for that gender flip not simply so that no man would victimize her, but to get revenge on Poseidon.

Tartarus was a Lovable Traitor
One of the lesser known facts about Tartarus was that in addition to being the closest thing the greeks had to Hell, he was also a deity like Gaia (and shacked up with her a few times, as well). He was also the go-to guy for the head god whenever they needed to imprison someone or something, first Uranus, then Cronos, then Zeus all had enemies to lock up in Tartarus. There's no record of Tartarus ever rebelling or fighting against the most recent usurpers, where-as Gaia rebelled against the reigns of each of them, and the fact that Tartarus was powerful enough to hold each of the beings that were imprisoned within him suggests that he probably could have put up a fight if he wanted to. None of the new God-Kings ever start to question Tartarus' loyalty, either; they all just seem to accept that he'll willingly act as a jailor for them. Anyway, end result of this theory; Tartarus is mentioned a few times in the New Testament, interchangeably with Hell, which suggests to me that Tartarus was simply a go with the flow type of guy who was perhaps biding his time, surviving the downfall of the Greek pantheon by being adopted into Christian lore as Hell.

Hephaestus was destined to overthrow his father.
Something of the Spear Counterpart to the Athena WMG. The prophecy that Prometheus was said to know, concerning Zeus's fall from grace in the future? That history would repeat itself: Zeus's last "true" heir (i.e. a child born within his wedlock) would devise the means to destroy him, and take his place on the throne. Chronologically, Hephaestus- lame, blind, arguably hideous, industrious, and technologically ingenious- is Zeus's and Hera's last son. Hera locked her ugly little son in a volcano out of disgust, but Zeus enforced this because of the prophecy.
  • Minor thing, but I heard it that Hera is actually very fond of Hephaestus, and Zeus threw him out of Olympus in the middle of a temper tantrum.
  • In some versions of the story of Hephaestus's birth, Hera conceived him on her own out of jealousy of Zeus's birthing of Athena without a female, with the implication that he's the only imperfect god because he doesn't have a father. But, obviously, this is Depending on the Writer.
The stone that Cronus ate so long ago has some deep connection with Zeus.
Besides it being an Omphalos stone (used to denote the "navel" of the world), why else would the oracle at Delphi had found it and saved it?
  • The fact that it sat in the stomach of the Titan King for quite some time would have to give it some powers. Dionysus gained divinity by simply being half-god and finishing up his gestation in Zeus' leg.

Hepheastus isn't actually ugly.
In fact, he may even be a bit handsome. Why do they say he's ugly? The gods' true forms are the absolute perfection of human physique, while Hepheastus looks more like us. By their standards, he's hideous(even more so, since they expect their own kind to have stunning beauty.) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all...

Heracles had stomach cancer.
In the Roman version of the 12 Labors myth, Hercules was attacked by a crab that distracted him from his tasks. Under the premise of the guess, the Romans heard "Heracles' task was made difficult by a bout with cancer" and thought that "Giant Enemy Crab" was a better translation than "stomach pains".

Hera founded the Amazons.
What better way to show up her adulterous husband and the other male deities than to create a society in total contrast to the sexism and misogyny of the time?
  • Except for the fact that Ares (a male god) was the father of the Amazons. Perhaps it was a joint venture between the two to get back at Zeus?
    • More likely, Ares sired a bunch of Amazons, then forgot about them, then Hera forged them into the Badass Army of misandrists we all know and love.
  • If that was Hera's plan, than it backfired pretty thoroughly, given that the Greeks used the Amazons as an example of why women shouldn't be allowed any power. "Look how evil and crazy the Amazons are? Women obviously can't rule! Let's not let that happen!"

Athena has some connection to hive insects, ants in particular
Firstly, there's her origin story. Her mother was turned into an ant and eaten by Zeus to stop her from giving birth, but Athena was born anyway, and burst out of Zeus's head. Secondly, Athena is sometimes viewed as a symbol of feminism, second only to Artemis, and most hives are ruled by a QUEEN. She is also the goddess of wisdom and battle, and hive insects are notoriously well coordinated. Finally, there's the famous myth about her and Arachnea, where she got jealous of her weaving skills and turned Arachnea into the first spider. Now think about it, what kind of animal preys on insects like the ant? Is it possible Arachnea's children are trying to take revenge?

Originally, guiding the souls of the dead to Hades was divided between Thanatos and Hermes. Thanatos took adults, and Hermes took children.
  • Distraught parents weren't comforted by knowing their deceased children would be led to the Underworld by a god who hates everyone, so they put in the cheerful god who likes everyone, especially children. Eventually the lines got blurred so that either Thanatos or Hermes took everyone.

The Greek gods are part of the domains of the Desire realm in Buddhist Cosmology
  • According to Buddhists, the "Wheel of Life" consists of three realms - The Desire Realm (Kama-dhatu) at the bottom, the Material Realm (Rupa-dhatu) above that and at the top the Immaterial Realm (Arupa-dhatu). Within the Desire Realm, there are five or six domains: (1) The God/Deva domain, (2) Titan domain, (3) Starving ghost domain, (4) Hell domain, (5) animal domain, and (6) human domain. Progress towards enlightenment can lead the soul to being reincarnated into higher tiers, like the God, Titan and Human domains, while those with unwholesome karma may be reincarnated in the lower tiers like the Animal, ghost and hell domains. Amongst the six realms, the God/Deva domain is the happiest, being populated by god-like beings who enjoy great power, wealth, and long life of splendor. However, the God domain is not the end goal, nor is any other domain, because each brings its own afflictions and defilements. The negative factor associated with birth in the realm of the gods is pride. In the case of the God domain, privilege and exalted status blind the inhabitants to the suffering of others, so in spite of their long lives they have neither wisdom nor compassion. Considering how cruel the gods could be towards humans for even the tiniest infractions (being turned into a deer to be ripped apart by the hounds for watching someone bathe naked) and their tendency to use them as pawns in their cosmic games, (Trojan war anyone?), as well as their hypocrisy when it comes to punishing hubris on anyone who gives them anything else other than praise and worship, one can see how the gods fit into one of the six realms of the wheel of life.
    • Doesn't really work beyond a superficial similarity, however. Some greek gods, and especially Helios, Apollo and Hecate, are associated with transcendence and rising in the cosmic hierarchy (that is what theurgy was about, after all), which if anything makes them more like the bodhisatavas.

Atreus died on his knees, pleading with Aigisthos for mercy.
To which Aigisthos would have replied with something along the lines of "Like you showed my brothers? I will free the world of a poisonous thing.!"

The Greek gods are dicks because they have no self-control.
Zeus spent his entire childhood being pampered and prep to fight dear old dad, and his five siblings spent their childhood isolated inside Cronus. At no point would that allow them to learn any self-control, and due to being gods no human could punish them doing wrong. As a result, the Olympians must have developed a rather screwed up sense of morality, or more likely no sense of morality whatsoever. The Titans dealt with something similar(being stuck in Gaia's womb for god knows how long), and the Protogenoi got no lessons from the grandpappy of all things, Chaos. And when the Olympians reproduced, the cycle only continued. The reason who the Greek gods can treat humanity as their personal toys the one minute and be benevolent, wise figures is because they're immature and amoral, instead of malevolent and immoral. If they want to do something nice, they'll do something really nice. If they want to do something selfish, they'll do something really selfish. Basically, the gods are incredibly immature, and their actions reflect that.

  • Note also that only the Olympians (aka the younger gods) are the ones engaged in the jerkish habits. Hestia, who is the oldest of the six siblings, is also the most responsible, as are some non-Olympian gods that also enjoyed popularity, like Persephone.

The Greeks got screwed because they forsook Helios

After a beginning as a popular deity, Helios seems to have been delegated to a minor role, often assimilated by Apollo, because Greeks disdained astrological cults. Fast forward some centuries latter, and what divinity that uses most of Helios' imagery and symbolism surfaces and ends Antiquity? To add even more to this, the latest classical pagans began to exalt Helios above the other gods (most famously in Emperor Julian's theology), almost as if desperately calling for the god's favour...

Hades didn't object to Persephone's relationship with Adonis because he was in love with him too.
First off, it's Ancient Greece. Second off, it would make sense, after all Zeus and Poseidon had their share of male lovers (Ganymede and Nerites, respectively), so why shouldn't their brother? The difference is that unlike Zeus and Poseidon, Hades is fairly faithful to his wife (unlike Zeus) who actually likes him (unlike Amphitrite) so what is a guy to do? Why, share the guy with his wife, of course!
The BibleWMG/Mythology & ReligionHinduism

alternative title(s): Greek Mythology
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy