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The major gods of Classical Mythology.

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The Twelve Olympians

    General 
  • Badass Family: Say what you will about their morals (or lack thereof), but one thing they have in common is they all can fight and sometimes they do it together.
  • The Beautiful Elite: They all have been noted for being beautiful, save for Hephaestus.
  • Berserk Button: Most have their individual ones, but collectively speaking, never disrespect Hestia, as Priapus learned.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: They are a family with issues, from which many, many kinds of Freudian Excuse can be taken. They are very wealthy and powerful, have many skeletons in their cupboards (sometimes literally), and are proud of their long history. Abusive behaviors of some kind are almost certain to have occurre, despite they may display affectionate behaviors as well. And of course, Brother–Sister Incest and other kinds of canonical incest are featured, and they have a Tangled Family Tree.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: The younger Olympians usually refer to Zeus by his name.
  • Characterization Marches On: The specifics of it are unclear, but it seems that in the Mycanean Ages they played different roles and had different relationships with each other, than what their later more well known incarnations have.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Played With. They are gods, they don't need footwear. That being said, their earlier depictions were also the result of established norms of the ancient Greeks, who very rarely wore footwear due to Greece's temperate climate. While they did have simple sandals, not going barefoot was seen as "putting on airs", even by the more affluent. As Greece over time became influenced by other cultures - specifically Rome - sandals became more prominent, as evidenced by many of the Olympians adopting them in more recent sculptures, reliefs and art. That being said, Zeus, Artemis, Ares and Aphrodite firmly remained barefooters even during times of cultural shifts.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Hubris was a big-no-no in Ancient Greece for this very reason.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • The Olympics were considered a sacred festival and they all set aside their differences to observe them, as a result Greek city-states were expected to do the same and whole wars stopped on such festivals.
    • In the myth of Priapus when he tries to rape Hestia in her sleep we have the entire rest of the family of bitter rivals, Blood Knights, sex-fiends, Gray-and-Gray Morality abound all teaming up to find him and kill him repeatedly, and that included Priapus’s own mother.
    • Everyone single one of them was disgusted with Tantalus for sacrificing his own son as a stew to them, to the point where Zeus ordered the Fates to bring him back to life, and cast Tantalus into Tartarus, without any objections from Hades.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Well, nearly everyone. Hestia, Artemis, and Athena are either asexual or just not interested and Hades appears to have Single-Target Sexuality, but certainly none of them are specifically heterosexual.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: The Gods are not naturally humanoid - Zeus alone is actually a being of pure light that passively liquifies/designates people who see the true him. Either all the Gods are like this once they drop their humanoid guise... or possibly even more alien.
  • Humanoid Abomination: In their true forms, Gods are so alien the very sight of them would disintegrate a human, hence their never static human-forms.
  • I Gave My Word: Various moral levels and more than a few jerks and scoundrels in the bunch, but they all kept their oaths once made.
  • Jerkass Gods: They could be extremely vindictive and cruel towards each other and especially towards humans. This trope is wholly averted by Hestia and generally averted by Hades, Persephone, Demeter, Athena, Hermes, and Dionysus, though they have their moments.
  • Moral Myopia: The major gods would frequently engage in behavior they condemned in mortals or lesser gods.
  • Only in It for the Money: Generally speaking, the Olympians weren't all that invested or concerned over the wellbeing of their mortal worshippers but they continued assisting humanity because they greatly enjoyed receiving frequent sacrifices and other tributes.
  • Power Incontinence: In their true forms they are power personified and cannot help but passively harm those around them, which is apparently why they almost always assume humanoid form. Semele found this out the hard way.
  • Physical God: They are essentially humans with vast and nearly limitless power.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: With the caveat of being applied to sworn-virgins. Even the gods who didn’t take “no” for an answer all agreed that you are never to rape someone who took, and intended to keep, a Vow of Celibacy. This is the single biggest act of heresy in the ancient Hellenistic/Roman-religion and Greek and Roman citizens would kill you on-sight if they found you had raped a sacred-virgin just to make sure the Gods didn’t take them down with you.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: One of the oldest examples of this, they invented and/or popularized a lot the tropes associated with it. It seems the only power they have in common with each other.note  They can appear disguised as mortals, turn themselves into animals (or weirder stuff like golden rain), and turn humans into animals (or inanimate objects like islands or rocks).
  • Western Zodiac: They have been associated with the individual Zodiac signs, see their trope folders for specifics.
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    Zeus/Jupiter 

Ζεύς | Iūpiter/Iovis | ♃

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zeus_statue.jpg

The god-king of the pantheon; his domain is the sky and thunder, associated with leadership and law. He is just as well known, if not more, for his astronomical amount of lovers and children. The Romans identified him with their god Jupiter. note 


  • 0% Approval Rating: According to Hesiod, the other Olympians didn't want him as leader, but other sources state after the Titans were defeated him siblings all agreed that he should rule. To be fair, the rest of them spent their childhood in their father's stomach, so he was kinda the only one who had anything resembling the qualification to rule.
  • Abduction Is Love: He carried away several of his lovers, most notably Europa and Ganymede.
  • Abusive Parents: He was on both the giving and receiving ends of this trope. His father Cronus was as abusive to Zeus as he was abusive to his children. He is not the best dad around (if he is around in the case of his demigod children...), but depending on what myth you read, he is downright horrible to some of his children.
    • Crossed with God-Eating. According to some myths, he swallowed his first wife Metis, the titaness of wisdom, when she was pregnant with Athena, because he was afraid of a prophecy that said that his and Metis's second child would eventually rise up to overthrow him like Zeus did with his own father Cronus and Cronus did his father Ouranos, and did not want to risk a second pregnancy for Metis (and not had the self-restraint to not sleep with her anyway). Some versions state that any son Metis bore would overthrow his father, and Zeus ate her out of fear of such a son. Fortunately for Zeus, it turned out that Athena was a girl. Unfortunately for Athena and Metis, this made them being eaten unnecessary.
    • Crossed with A Family Affair. In the Orphic tales, he sexually assaulted his daughter Persephone at least twice (he seduced her in the form of a serpent - the symbol of her husband Hades, Zeus' brother - , committing rape by fraud), which resulted in the births of Melinoe and Zagreus. It should however be noted that even though Greek myths have no real canon or strict continuity, this is still considered to have never really happened, as that particular story is a retconned version when originally it really was Hades and not Zeus in disguise.
    • He may have been responsible for making Hephaestus lame by throwing him off Olympus, although another version stated it was Hera who did that.
    • He let Ares get imprisoned by giants and often badmouths him.
  • Amicable Exes: With some of his other goddess paramours, most notably Demeter, with whom he seems to be on relatively amiable terms after the birth of Persephone. The only time she is seen getting mad at him, it was for a perfectly understandable reason - namely, marrying off their daughter without telling her.
  • Angel Unaware: Like his daughter Athena and his sons Hermes and Dionysus, Zeus usually disguises himself whenever he has to interact with mortals, for various reasons.
  • Animal Motifs: He was often depicted with an eagle and also associated with bulls.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He is the strongest of the Olympians, and also their leader.
  • Anti-Hero: Pretty much how his character comes across overall. Of course, whether you encountered his favour or wrath depended on who you were, what you had done, and whether you encountered the big guy on a good day.
  • Awful Wedded Life: His marriage to Hera is famously acrimonious and toxic. Filled with adultery, acts of revenge, abuse, and at least on attempted coup. And outside of that, in some versions of the myths he's been married anywhere from two to six times (Metis, Themis, Eurynome, Mnemosyne, Demeter...), most ending in divorce save for his marriage to Hera, and his first - and seemingly only happy - marriage with Metis, ending in cannibalism.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Rhea is the only Titan Zeus not only permits to be worshiped, but actively encourages and over himself, not because she’s his mother, but rather because she saved his life at great risk to herself.
    • He immortalizes Baucis and Philemon together forever as trees to repay them for their kindness while he was slumming it as a mortal.
  • Berserk Button: He has a couple of them:
    • He hates it when anyone breaches the divisions between mortals and gods. He originally considered fire to be the divine property, and after Prometheus's cow stunt, refused to let humans have it. When Prometheus stole fire and gave it to humans, Zeus furiously chained the former to a rock and sent an eagle to feast on his liver every day. Later, when his son Apollo's own child, Asclepius, became such a good healer that he could raise the dead, Zeus killed his own grandson with a thunderbolt for effectively giving humans immortality, although he may have done so to minimize damage given how Hades was furious that a mortal had robbed him of a subject.
    • Kinslaying and violations of xenia, the Greek custom of Sacred Hospitality, also made Zeus pretty hot under the collar. Tantalus and Lycaon both murdered and cooked their sons into meals they tried to serve to Zeus, who was their guest at the time. Ixion first invited his father-in-law to visit before throwing him into a pit of burning coals and wood, fled to Zeus for purification, and eventually tried to rape Hera while he was Zeus's guest. In every case, Zeus made sure they lived to regret it. Let's also not forget the party guests who stay passed the point of welcome, too. You can ask Penelope's suitors how that goes.
  • Big Good: Despite his behavior in myths, the Greeks believed he held such a role in the cosmos. He was the patron deity of kingship, law, order, hospitality, and other things just about every ancient Greek citizen valued highly. Not to mention he was the father of several demigod heroes, thus playing a more direct role in some stories.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Hera, his queen, is also his sister. He also slept with his other sister Demeter, producing Persephone.
  • Canon Immigrant: It is believed that he is not actually of Greek origin, but seems to have arisen from the faith of the proto-Indo-European peoples, who had a sky god named *Dyēus. As late as the 1200s BCE, he was still known, but not yet considered a Top God.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: His iconic weapon is the Trope Codifier.
  • Cool Horse: He kept Pegasus after Bellerophon's fall.
  • Depending on the Writer: He's possibly the god who suffered from this trope the worst. Myths involving Zeus as a noble protector of justice and those featuring him as a selfish philanderer were so different in how he was portrayed that they bear almost no resemblance to one another. There was also potentially a significant disconnect from how Zeus was portrayed in myths and how his worshippers actually viewed him, as there were many ancient philosophers who decried the depiction of Zeus as a lecherous tyrant as blasphemous.
  • Depraved Bisexual: He usually went for beautiful women, but like most Greek men of his age, he was charmed by a Pretty Boy or two, most famously Ganymede.
  • Deus ex Machina: There are several stories where he shows up out of nowhere to magically solve a problem or end some poor sod's suffering only to then disappear.
  • Dirty Coward: He tends to pass any difficult decisions onto others and fail to protect said judges from the wrath of the losing god, will let injustices slide rather than deal with a powerful god, and will not stand up to his wife when she persecutes his (sometimes pregnant) lovers. Some stories also state he originally ran from Typhon and had to be goaded by Athena into fighting. The general excuse for not standing up to other gods is that Zeus is not supposed to interfere in their domains (e.g Hera has the divine duty to punish adulterers). It comes across as more of an excuse than a reason, given how he is willing to violate his own responsibilities or the rules including the affairs of other gods whenever he wants something.
  • Doting Parent: Played With. Seems to love his immortal daughters dearly, though that doesn't mean he won't treat them pretty badly once in a while. Athena is his favorite child to the point that she can borrow the Aegis whenever she wants it and to a lesser degree, his thunderbolt. He once gives Artemis one wish with no conditions, although she simply asks him to never put her in an Arranged Marriage. While his suggestion to Hades to kidnap Persephone seems to be a subversion, some versions of the myth note that two of her most troublesome, unmarried half-brothers, Apollo and Hermes, already have their eyes on her, so marrying her off to the calmer Hades to nip that in the bud is sort of understandable - and their actual life together may validate the whole thing.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal: The trope image and around a third of the examples are devoted to his "exploits". He chased Asteria, Nemesis, and Thetis (who managed to escape), as well as got forcibly involved with his own great-granddaughter Semele, Elara, Io, his own descendants Danae and Alcmene, Europa, Leda, Ganymide, and Callisto (Artemis' favorite hunter).
    Overly Sarcastic Productions: I will be the first to admit that I gloss over a lot of this stuff in my videos [...] And when I do talk about that stuff, it feels disingenuous to talk about anything else, as if that first thing isn't very much a dealbreaker for finding the characters heroic or compelling! Basically every modern retelling or reimagining of Greek mythology heavily sanitizes the stories in one way or another. [...] From a modern perspective, when we look back at the original tellings, it's very difficult to see Zeus doing his thing and conclude anything other than that the king of the gods is an omnipotent serial rapist who leaves a trail of shattered lives and bastard children in his wake and this pantheon is a fucking nightmare.
  • Flanderization: Many adaptations (which don't just Bowdlerize out all his less than moral deeds) tend to focus on his promiscuity and cruelty because of the many myths about how something came to be because Zeus slept with a mortal woman and/or killed someone. There were also stories where Zeus's benevolent aspects, such as the god of justice or patron of Sacred Hospitality, would be emphasized (a prime example is the story of Baucis and Philemon), but these are perhaps unsurprisingly not as well-remembered.
  • Freudian Trio: With his brothers, forming the Big Three of the Gods. He is The Ego, prone to grand acts of self-indulgence and numerous affairs, which is far less stoic than Hades but compared to Poseidon, at least he tries seducing his lovers first instead of just ravaging them. In addition, he is also far less methodical than Hades who can wait a literal lifetime to strike, but more in favor of poetic punishments than Poseidon.
  • Fusion Dance: Some interpretations of Metis' ultimate fate lean towards this - since she can't die inside him, she ends up subsumed completely and becomes part of him, with Zeus becoming wiser as a result.
  • Generation Xerox: In some versions of Dionysus' backstory, Zeus sends baby Dionysus to his mother Rhea to protect him from Hera, just as Rhea sent baby Zeus to her mother Gaia to protect him from Kronos.
  • God-Emperor: Of the Greek deities.
  • God of Light: Helios is frequently said to be his eye and the sun "Zeus borne light", particularly in Late Antiquity as both gods were equated. In Crete and in a few other regions Zeus was worshipped as an outright sun god.
  • God of Order: ZigZagged. As the king of gods, he is supposed to enforce law and leadership, with Sacred Hospitality as one his domains. His most admirable qualities are his hate for liars, oathbreakers and the unjust. Ironically, he was these very things in his personal life and often acts too much of a hedonist that a god of order is expected to act.
  • God of Thunder: One of the most famous examples, if not outright the Trope Codifier, of a deity having Shock and Awe powers.
  • The Good King: How his worshippers viewed him. Writers such as Hesiod depicted him in a very complimentary light, exemplifying his more noble traits and depicting as him a wise, respected and beloved ruler who frequently assisted humanity and created the core concepts of morality.
  • Grandpa God: Depending on the Writer. Often depicted with silver/white hair and a beard, although classical art frequently shows him looking younger with darker hair.
  • Handsome Lech: Though it is implied none of the gods have static physical forms, the ones he takes range from Bishonen, to regally masculine. Naturally no matter what form he takes, he tends to turn up the charm until the ladies (and gentlemen) feel like going for a roll in the clouds.
  • The Hero: Of the Titanomachy as the one leading the charge to overthrow his tyrannical father. He became much less heroic afterwards, if you couldn't tell from the other tropes here.
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: He would often impregnate women by making contact with them in the form of an animal.
  • Hypocrite:
    • He overthrew Kronos for trying to eat him and took offense at people who engaged in cannibalism, violated oaths or hospitality, punishing offenders severely. Yet Zeus engaged in the same behaviors himself and was at willing to let such behavior slide if it would cause him too much trouble like having a powerful god supporting you or if he liked you enough to do so.
    • Zeus hates Ares for constantly fighting, being a coward, being destructive, and causing mischief. And yet, Zeus had quite a temper that disrupted lives, godly and mortal; as his Dirty Coward section stated, Zeus tends to pass any difficult decisions onto others and fail to protect said judges from the wrath of the losing god (in spite of being the King of the gods), will let injustices slide rather than deal with a powerful god, and will not stand up to his wife when she persecutes his (sometimes pregnant) lovers. He let Athena fight a threat that he ran away from and is more than willing to violate his own responsibilities or the rules regarding the affairs of other gods whenever he wants something. It's also noteworthy that Ares was always a good lover, has no stories of him raping anyone (a rarity in these myths), and was always good father to his children to the point of killing someone who raped his daughter. It's also interesting to note that when the some of the gods tried to overthrow Zeus, Ares (the literal God of War whom Zeus claimed loved nothing more than war and causing trouble) wasn't part of it at all, but Zeus's favored child Athena was. Meanwhile, Zeus is infamous for constantly cheating on Hera, is the poster boy for Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal, and has been abusive to his children (aside from Ares) one way or another, one example being his rape of Callisto, his daughter Artemis's handmaiden and friend, who Artemis punished and exiled because she couldn't confront Zeus himself about it. One gets the sense that perhaps Zeus was just projecting his own flaws on Ares.
  • Humanoid Abomination / One-Winged Angel: His true form is "the living embodiment of lightning and the tempest". In the myth of the birth of Dionysus, Hera tricked Semele into asking Zeus to show his true divine form. Due to swearing by the River Styx, he couldn't refuse and turns into an Eldritch Abomination. The only things left after that were Dionysus' fetus and Semele's ashes.
  • Iconic Item: The Aegis, a vague sort of powerful protective device/shield/armor usually made from the skin of a slain monster (sometimes a slain giant, other times either Medusa or some other Gorgon, sometimes a goat, etc.) and tough enough to serve as the only defense against his thunderbolts, was this for him until he gave it to Athena as a gift, at which point it became her iconic item instead. In fact, an early epithet for Zeus was "holder of the Aegis".
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Possibly. He famously had one male lover, a youth who was said to be the most beautiful of the mortals named Ganymede. According to the myth, he abducted the boy in the form of an eagle and carried him off to Mount Olympus to become his cupbearer. Ganymede is also notable for being the only one of Zeus' lovers that he made immortal.
  • Immortality Inducer: Notably made Tithonus and Ganymede immortal... somehow. That said, unlike the unlucky Tithonus, Zeus actually remembered to grant Ganymede eternal youth along with his immortality.
  • Informed Attribute: Many Greek writers praise Zeus for his wisdom and strong sense of judgment, despite the fact that about half of the problems in the myths are caused by his terrible decisions.
  • Jerkass with a Heart of Gold: He's selfish, a hypocrite and a lecherous cheat to be sure but the Ancient Greeks still viewed him as a genuinely benevolent protector god who rewarded the righteous and punished evildoers.
  • Karma Houdini: He pulls a lot of the same crap that his father pulled and violates the very ethics he punishes others for violating, like lying, incest, and oath-breaking. Yet the closest he ever got to being punished is an unsuccessful rebellion when the other gods got tired of his crap. He quickly regained the throne and carried on as business as usual.
  • Kick the Dog: He killed his nephew Iasion with a thunderbolt, for sleeping with Demeter after the wedding of Cadmus and Harmonia. Why did Zeus do this? No apparent reason, he just disapproved of the pairing. Considering he impregnated Demeter to have Persephone, it may have been jealousy.
  • Kissing Cousins: Several of his lovers/wives were also his first cousins, for example Leto, Selene, Asteria, Metis, Eurynome.
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • He freed both the Cyclopes and Hekagigas to avenge themselves on the Titans AND gave pardons out like candy to every titan who decided to abandon Kronos, basically gaining their rather considerable support to defeat and overthrow his father.
    • He orchestrated the Trojan War by not invite the volatile goddess of strife, Eris, knowing she would cause mayhem among the gods, who could cause the deaths of thousands, especially with his help - given that he injured both the Greek and Trojan sides - , for two reasons. One was because he was concerned that some of the many demigods now populating the world would eventually overthrow him and the other Olympians. The other was that Gaia was complaining to him that there were too many people living on her, and he wanted to keep her happy so she wouldn't create any more monsters like Typhon or the Giants. Either way, Zeus had little remorse for causing a war that killed many of his own relatives and offspring so he could stay in power.
  • Mister Seahorse: To Athena (who was born from his head) and Dionysus (whose mother died before he was born, so Zeus put him under his thigh).
  • Mr. Vice Guy: He was so popular to worship because, in general, he is very affably pro-hedonism and will even tolerate the occasional heresy. You have to try to piss him off. Though with that in mind, DO NOT try to piss him off!
  • Moral Myopia: Perhaps worse than the other gods due to his hypocrisy. As God of Law and Justice Zeus would punish mortals and lesser gods for things he often engaged in:
    • Zeus hated it when goddesses had affairs with mortals, only to have no problem with male gods doing the same. Calypso actually called him out on it, and Hermes had no good response.
    • Zeus condemned Ixion for attempting to rape Hera, among other crimes, despite Zeus having no problem with raping with other men's wives. In fairness, Ixion had also violated ''xenia'' after Zeus took him in out of pity.
    • He cursed the King Lycaon and his own father Kronos for cannibalism...yet cannibalized Metis.
  • Mother of a Thousand Young: Gender-inverted. The Other Wiki page of "Children of Zeus" has over a hundred entries.
  • Nephewism: Depending on the Writer. He was raised by Amalthea, who's either a goat, or a sister of Rhea who own that goat.
  • Never My Fault: Kidnapped Aegina, daughter of the river god Asopus, and had to drive off the angry river god with a thunderbolt when Asopus found out. Zeus then sent Thanatos to chain Sisyphus, who had revealed to Asopus the identity of Aegina's kidnapper.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: A lot of the worse things that happened in the mythos is because of the fact that he Really Gets Around.
  • Nice to the Waiter: As part of following Sacred Hospitality, he was gracious both as a guest and when hosting them, since he invites even his rivals to Olympian feasts. And just for bonus points he was nice to literal waiters on Mt. Olympus like Hestia, Hebe and Ganymede - though they were respectively his favorite sister, one of his immortal daughters, and lover, so there is some bias there.
  • Not Quite the Almighty: Treated as the Top God, but there are gods greater than him like Nyx, or the Fates. It is just that they aren't worshipped as he is.
  • "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: As far as he was concerned as long as his lovers enjoyed it and/or said "yes" he could do whatever he liked to them, and shapeshifting was often at-play in these.
  • Offing the Offspring: He has both been the victim of and perpetrated this.
  • Overprotective Dad: Nope. He completely inverted this with Persephone. When Hades abducted her to be his bride, Zeus not only approved of the kidnapping but ignored her pleas for help and only intervened due to Demeter's Heroic BSoD keeping anything from growing on Earth for the starved mortals.
  • Parental Incest: Oh boy. Both ways, too.
    • In Orphic religion, he chased down his mother Rhea, both transformed into serpents, and raped her.
    • Also in Orphism, he raped his daughter Persephone twice; the first time, he took the form of a serpent and had Zagreus with her; the second he took the form of her husband Hades and had Melinoe.
    • Some versions state that Nemesis is his daughter, and that he forcibly mated with her to have Helen of Troy.
    • According to Nonnus, he also tried to sleep with another daughter, Aphrodite, only she escaped him. Another author says he had Priapus by her.
    • He had the Corybantes by the Muse Calliope.
  • The Patriarch: He is the big daddy of the gods.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • After abducting Ganymede, he takes pity on the boy's grieving father and compensates him by giving him high-stepping horses that carry the gods and reassures him that the boy was given an honorable position as his immortal cupbearer.
    • As a reward for their kindness to him and Hermes when they were disguised as poor travelers, he granted the elderly couple Baucis and Philemon their wish to die at the same moment by turning them into trees, an oak and a linder, embracing each other upon their deaths.
  • The Power of the Sun: He has traces of solar worship, especially in Crete and some islands, and he is identified with Helios, the sun god, in many texts.
  • Really Gets Around: Often in trouble for sleeping with female deities and mortal women. Just ask Leto, Maia, and Lamia.
  • Related in the Adaptation: One theory about why Zeus is such a philanderer is that ancient Greek cultures and cities all wanted their legendary heroes and founders to have divine parentage, and Zeus was the most popular choice for retellings.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: A combination of this and Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!. He is credited with establishing and maintaining the natural order of the universe and social order of mortals. Yet he violates both whenever he wants to even if it is wrong. He can get away with it thanks to a combination of no one being higher ranking than him and the fact to being the most powerful god short of a few Protogenoi.
  • Shapeshifting Seducer: He changed his form several times when he wanted to have an affair with a mortal woman, often with little apparent regard for what a woman would find attractive.
    • Zeus turned into Hades just to seduce Persephone! However, this story was a ret-con when the rise of Polis was occurring and Hades was re-written as simply being a chthonic god, with Zagreus's paternity passed on to Zeus.
    • Perseus was conceived when Zeus rained on Perseus's mother, Danae, in the form a "shower of gold."
    • Carried off Europa in the form of a bull.
    • Used the trope's more usual form with Alcmene by taking the shape of her husband so well she was totally fooled.
    • The story that he (initially) hid his true form from Semele presumably includes him taking an attractive mortal human form with her.
    • He was in swan form when he chased and raped Leda (or Nemesis, Depending on the Writer).
  • Shipper on Deck: In all versions, Hades asks Zeus' permission to marry Persephone. Zeus doesn't object at all and even suggests to Hades that the latter abducts his daughter.
  • Solar and Lunar: With Hera. Plutarch says that Zeus is Helios (Sun) in material form, and Hera Selene (Moon).
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: He was likely viewed as this by his worshippers. In Ancient Greece, the modern view of adultery didn't exist and husbands were allowed to take on as many mistresses and concubines as they wanted. This means that Zeus's behavior wouldn't be seen as immoral or at least no worse behavior than what the average Greek king got up to. Likewise, his many affairs led to the birth of many of Greece's most beloved heroes and allowed for the power fantasy that anyone could potentially have divine heritage.
  • Top God: The Trope Codifier for the "King of Gods" version, effectively gained by toppling Cronus.
  • Troubled Abuser: Sure, he treats his children like crap, but he didn't exactly have a happy childhood either. His father Cronus treated Zeus and his siblings far worse than Zeus treats his own children. Not that treatment justifies anything, of course.
  • Truly Single Parent: Depending on some versions, Athena sprang fully formed from Zeus' head with no mother to be seen. In other versions, Metis was the mother.
  • Western Zodiac: Traditionally associated with Leo, for obvious reasons.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Surprisingly subverted, considering how all attempts to avoid a prophecy ended in Classical Mythology, in The Theogony. After they married, Metis was destined to have a daughter with Zeus, then a son who would topple him. In order to avert this, he subsumes her into his being, essentially stopping her from bearing his son. Despite Athena's birth from Zeus' skull, the fated son of Metis and Zeus was never born.
  • Youngest Child Wins: The youngest child of Cronus and the one who ultimately triumphs over him and leads the Olympians.

    Hera/Juno 

Ἥρα | Iūnō | ⚵

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/divinit_sul_tipo_della_hera_borghese_copia_romana_da_originale_della_scuola_di_fidia_da_tor_bovacciana_ostia_inv_2246.JPG

Zeus' older sister and wife. She was the goddess of marriage and women. Perpetually ticked off at anyone who wronged her, such as insulting her, allowing themselves to be seduced by her husband or being the love-child of such an assignation. The Romans identified her with their goddess Juno.


  • Abusive Parents: In several versions of Hephaestus's origin myth, Hera throws him off the side of Olympus as a newborn because of his deformities.
  • Action Girl: While most people play up her submission to Zeus, it's worth to note that several myths cater to her war-like sensibilities, most notably in The Iliad where she is the charioteer of Athena, and in her confrontation with Artemis she effortlessly disarms Artemis of her bow and thrashes her with it, taunting her all the while to stick to hunting wild beasts.
  • Affair? Blame the Bastard: She can't do much against Zeus himself due to his position and power outranking her, so she takes it out on his lovers and bastards. Take Heracles for example: Zeus names him Heracles (literally, "Glory of Hera") specifically to try to appease her and defy this trope... but she's not having any of it, and tries to have Heracles killed at least once.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: One of the few gender-flipped versions and for a specific reason. As goddess of marriage she refused to be bedded by anyone not her husband. When Zeus shape-shifted his way into sharing a bed with her, she insisted the two get married to preserve her honor.
  • Animal Motifs: The peacock is her sacred animal though she was also associated with lions, cows and the cuckoo.
  • Arch-Enemy: Towards Herakles; while she hated a lot of Zeus' illegitimate children, she had it out for him the most, to the point that even his name was a futile attempt at appeasing her. She got over it when he saved her from the giant, Porphyrion, and allowed him to marry her daughter Hebe when he became an immortal.
  • Awful Wedded Life: It's honestly a wonder she never invoked her powers as the goddess of marriage to simply divorce Zeus the way their grandmother Gaia did Oranos.
  • Big Bad: Of Herakles' labors. She's the one who hates him for having the wrong dad.
  • Birds of a Feather: The whole point of her relationship is that she and Zeus are very much alike—that is to say, they're both volatile and capricious. She alone shares his ability to govern the weather, which none of their children (legitimate or otherwise) possess. Then again, the ability to change the weather might be one of those things that tends to skip a generation; Cronus didn't have them either, yet Ouranos before him was a sky deity.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Big time. Many of the myths involving her have her going after innocent mortal women and their children, because she can't take out her anger on Zeus.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: She and Zeus were siblings and wife/husband. Not that this was unusual in Classical Mythology, they're just the prime example of this.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl:
    • For justifiable reasons. Zeus is her husband, after all, and she has a right to feel slighted by his infidelity. However, her response to it is usually Disproportionate Retribution.
    • The only thing she hates more than her husband's infidelity is the idea that he might take another wife other than her. One myth has her leaving Olympus after a nasty quarrel with Zeus and refusing to return. To lure her back, Zeus dresses up a wooden statue in wedding clothes and announces that he is taking a river nymph as a new bride. Upon hearing about it, an enraged Hera immediately crashes the fake wedding and assaults the dummy, becoming so relieved that it was just a trick that she quickly forgets her anger and reconciles with Zeus.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: She's the goddess of marriage, but she can only stand by and seethe while her husband cheats on her over and over again.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Hera at one point rallies the other Olympians to join in on her rebellion against Zeus. They manage to successfully capture him and separate him from his lightning... and then the rebellion almost immediately crashes and burns because they get too wrapped up arguing who should actually become the new leader of the Olympians.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: May as well be her middle name. She is often excessively cruel to Zeus's various mistresses, regardless of whether they are gods or mortals. For example, she tried to prevent the goddess Leto from giving birth and tricked Semele into being burnt to cinders by Zeus. Her treatment of his children by his mistresses is worse — she made Heracles insane so that he'd kill his own family and then continued to plague him during his penance, and Dionysus had to be hidden away from her so she wouldn't try to kill him (again). According to some stories, she even flung her own son Hephaestus off Olympus simply for being ugly, permanently damaging his legs.
  • Domestic Abuse: Zeus has been known to beat her before. On one occasion, he even hung her by her wrists from the heavens, with anvils attached to her ankles weighing her down.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Hera has a lot of them and mostly goes full villain when they are not met, but even at her worst, Hera is still woefully embarrassed by Ares's actions. The tragedy of this is Ares learned most of it from watching her, but goes so far into Blood Knight territory, she is personally embarrassed by him.
    • She was initially Jason's patron (albeit partly due to her hatred of his Evil Uncle Pelias) and would often go to great lengths to help him, but after he abandoned his wife Medea despite promising to love her forever, Hera and all the other gods stopped favoring him and left him to miserably live out the rest of his life.
  • Freudian Excuse: Hey, Zeus cheated on her one too many times. That shit don't fly on Mount Olympus.
  • God of the Moon: Associated with the Moon/Selene as a goddess of childbirth, since in ancient Greece they believed women had the easiest labours during the full moon.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Easily slighted and as vengeful as they come. Granted, many myths are told of Zeus's illegitimate progeny, whom she is predisposed to dislike.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: A likely reason for her going after Zeus's illegitimate children is that he openly holds many of them in higher esteem than the children he has with her.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Doubly-so if you're one of Zeus's paramours.
  • The High Queen: When not wrathful, she's a benevolent and fair queen who protects mothers and wives and is generally well-disposed toward faithful husbands.
  • Ironic Name: One of the proposed etymologies for her name (proposed by Plato, before modern linguistics arose, so...) is "beloved," to convey that she married Zeus out of love. This is despite their relationship consisting of an endless cycle of spite, not to mention that in some versions, she married Zeus in shame after he seduced her in the form of a cuckoo bird and then raped her.
  • Kick the Dog: She drives Heracles into a temporary fit of madness, during which he kills his entire family.
  • Lady of War:
    • In some myths, she has the same power to control the weather as Zeus and goes to town with it. As the Roman Juno, she is more consistently so.
    • In The Iliad, she beats the stuffing out of Artemis, who goes off crying to her daddy Zeus.
  • Lunacy: As a lunar goddess.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Hera couldn't act against Zeus for his infidelity, so punishing others was her only method of getting even.
  • Moral Myopia: It should be noted that the modern-day view of adultery did not exist in ancient Greek culture and husbands were permitted to have mistresses and concubines. This implies that Hera, as the goddess of marriage, either condoned or didn't care about other husbands cheating on their wives but was enraged over Zeus being frequently unfaithful to her.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • There are a few myths where she's mostly neutral or even benign; the story of Jason (of Golden Fleece fame) is probably the most well-known, as she was his patron goddess and gave him a high blessing.
    • Despite her legendary hatred of Zeus' children, she didn't attack Perseus in any way, and nymphs attending her orchards aided him in his quest. It probably helps that Perseus is a Momma's Boy and a caring lover, qualities Hera is sure to appreciate.
    • While famous for her wrath, she inversely was quite grateful for faithful service to her and commemorated both Argus and Karkinos after their deaths with the peacock's tail being made to represent Argus' many eyes and the Cancer constellation resembling the crab Karkinos.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Since there's nothing she can do to directly confront Zeus about his serial infidelity, she harasses his mistresses and illegitimate children instead, especially Herakles.
  • Shipper on Deck: She along with her sister Demeter both supported Psyche in her attempts to reunite with her husband Eros after she took the time to clean their respective temples. Though they were unable to aid her directly, they did give her much-needed counsel.
  • Second Love: She is Zeus's second wife, and he devours Metis to be with her, ironically making Hera the first "other-woman".
  • Solar and Lunar: With Zeus. Plutarch says that Zeus is Helios (Sun) in material form, and Hera Selene (Moon).
  • Virgin Power:
    • According to a myth from Argos, Hera restores her virginity annually by bathing in the spring of Kanathos. According to other myths, she gave birth to Hephaestus without any male involvement.
    • According to a Roman myth, Juno gave birth to Mars (Ares) without any male involvement, but Vulcan (Hephaestus) was fathered by Jupiter.
  • Western Zodiac: Traditionally associated with Aquarius as Zeus's opposite.
  • Wicked Stepmother: She manages to get this trope Older Than Feudalism. She often conspired against Zeus's mortal offspring as revenge for her husband's infidelities, including Apollo, Artemis, Dionysus, and, most famously, Heracles, being the Archenemy and Big Bad of his arc.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Much is made of her having large, dark eyes. Common epithets are "sloe-eyed" and "cow-eyed."
  • Woman Scorned: Most myths about her focused on this aspect. If you know anything about Zeus, you'd know that he provided many reasons for her to feel this way.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: If the hymns dedicated to her are to be believed, the ancient Greeks actually considered Hera to be this, referring to her as "the greatest beauty among immortals or goddesses." In contrast, Aphrodite, despite modern presumptions, is rarely referred to this way.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: She the Big Bad of more than a few stories involving Zeus's children, but said antagonism is the result of Revenge by Proxy against the cheating husband who sired them.
  • Yandere: To a certain extent; most of her crazy is generally turned against Zeus's paramours, though he felt the lash of her scorn as well. It's just that she couldn't do anything to Zeus besides yell at him.

    Poseidon/Neptune 

Ποσειδῶν | Neptūnus | ♆

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/poseidon_4.jpg

God of the oceans and earthquakes. The Romans equated him with their god Neptune, related to the Etruscan god "Nethuns." In the Mycenean period, Poseidon was a chthonic deity who may have been Top God, but these elements were lost over time.


  • Abhorrent Admirer: Before he got married, he was this for Demeter.
  • Always Someone Better: Poseidon always resented being second to his younger brother Zeus, despite being master of the seas. In The Iliad he protests when Zeus commands him not to aid the Achaeans, saying he and Hades are Zeus's equals. In personality and stories, he comes off as being a lesser version of Zeus.
  • Animal Motifs: He is frequently associated with horses.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!:
    • He made the first horse as a tribute to win Demeter over, by the time it started working he was too bemused by his own creations to even notice Demeter.
    • He just sort of lost interest in tormenting Odysseus after his vacation.
  • Attention Whore: He fights with Zeus frequently out of resentment that his little brother gets all the literal praise and hates that Athena became patron of Athens.
  • Big Bad: Of The Odyssey. Basically all of the trials that Odysseus has to face are being thrown at him by Poseidon.
  • The Casanova: He Really Gets Around even more than Zeus, but since so many of them were sea-creatures, he tends to be less famous for this. That said, his wife didn't seem to care, probably because she didn't want to marry him in the first place, though one myth has her turning one of her husband's paramours, Scylla, into a monster out of jealousy. Poseidon's philandering does give us two major stories:
    • In the version current at the time of/popularized by Ovid, Medusa (originally a beautiful priestess) became a hideous monster because he slept with or raped her in a temple of Athena.
    • Poseidon slept with/raped Queen Aethra of Athens on the same night as her husband Aegeus. The resulting child, Theseus, was therefore partly Poseidon's son and partly Aegeus' (the Greeks, as mentioned before, didn't know how reproduction actually works). This is probably an after-the-fact myth to explain why Athens seemed to have such power over the sea.
  • Chariot Pulled by Cats: Poseidon has a pair of hippocamps draw his chariot.
  • Decomposite Character: Mycenean Poseidon seemed to also have dominion over everything chthonic, and, in the eyes of the chthonic-centric Myceneans, made him Top God rather than Mycenean Zeus. By the classical period, however, most of his chthonic elements were stripped and went to the god that became Hades, and he also lost his Top God status to Zeus when sky gods became more popular, leaving Poseidon Demoted to Extra.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: He's god of earthquakes, some of which are so strong they make Hades tremble.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal: In some versions of Medusa's origin myth, she was a priestess to Athena who had sworn an oath of chastity. Poseidon raped her in Athena's temple as an extension of his rivalry with Athena.
  • Father Neptune: As Neptune himself, Poseidon is certainly the Trope Namer, maybe the Trope Codifier.
  • Freudian Trio: With his brothers. He is The Id as he is the most likely of his brothers to smite humans for mild inconveniences and very much prone to things like fits of rage.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: He often quarreled with other gods over worship rights to cities, was more prone to holding grudges and Disproportionate Retribution compared to other gods, and being as changeable as the sea would be known to conjure storms when set off by nearly anything.
  • Homosexual Reproduction: Fell in love with Pretty Boy sea god Nerites, who returned Poseidon's affections. Their coupling gave birth to Anteros, the personification of requited love.
  • Hot-Blooded: Easily the most passionate of the Greek Gods, his intense feelings usually result in him acting aggressively hostile even at his most petty and vindictive.
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: He impregnated Demeter by making contact with her in the form of an animal.
  • Kill It with Water: He was fond of using tidal waves and whirlpools to punish those who offended him. He loved the Giant Wall of Watery Doom.
  • Lord of the Ocean: DUH!
  • Mood-Swinger: Much like the ocean itself, Poseidon was a very moody god and his temperament could sometimes result in violence.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: In some versions of the Olympian origin story, Rhea was able to save Poseidon from being eaten by hiding him after she gave Cronus a horse that she claimed to give birth to. In other versions, Poseidon gets swallowed just like his older siblings.
  • Papa Wolf: Odysseus messed with one of his kids and lived to regret it.
  • Pet the Dog: As listed under Pet Monstrosity, Poseidon was mostly known for creating sea monsters and fearsome creatures that terrorized humanity. But he did also create the horse, depending on which story either in an attempt to woo Demeter or to impress the humans in Cecropia. Neither attempt worked but it shows he could create things other than monsters when he wanted to.
  • Pet Monstrosity: Poseidon was not adverse to keeping sea monsters and aquatic Eldritch Abominations as pets, siccing them on mortals who incurred his wrath.
  • Prongs of Poseidon: The Trope Namer. Poseidon is traditionally associated with the trident, a modified fishing tool that became the cultural symbol of the god of the seas.
  • The Rival: He has a notable rivalry with Athena over Athens.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Poseidon never had a merman's fish tail. The fishy lower half actually belonged to Poseidon's son Triton, god of waves and his father's herald.
  • Settle for Sibling: He eventually marries Amphitrite, the older sister of his former lover Nerites.
  • Shapeshifting Lover: For instance, some myths say he took the form of a bird to seduce Medusa.
  • Sore Loser: While competing with Athena to become the patron deity of the city that would become Athens, he offered the citizenry a salt water spring, a useless gift even if the city wasn't already near the sea, while she offered to bless them with olive trees. When the Athenians picked Athena's gift, an angry Poseidon beset the city with violent floods.
  • Unwanted Spouse: To Amphitrite, who hid from him when he asked for her hand in marriage. He sent dolphins to try and persuade her into marrying him, which they did, making this a possible subversion (it's too hard to tell though since Amphitrite doesn't appear much).
  • Walking the Earth: As punishment from the failed rebellion against Zeus, he was temporarily punished by being forced to spend time in mortal form in lowly positions, like a shepherd.
  • Western Zodiac: Traditionally associated with Pisces, because fish.

    Demeter/Ceres 

Δημήτηρ | Cerēs | ⚳

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/demeter_altemps_inv8546.jpg

Goddess of the harvest and "life" parts of the life-and-death cycle. Her name literally means "Earth Mother" (de + meter). The Romans equated her with their agricultural goddess Ceres, from whom English gets the word cereal.


  • Abhorrent Admirer: Poseidon is this to her. She rejected him, he couldn't take 'no' for an answer, and chased her down until he caught her.
  • All Women Are Lustful: She had several romantic adventures.
  • Animal Motifs: Associated with pigs and snakes.
  • Appetite Equals Health: When Persephone is kidnapped, she falls into rage and depression, and accordingly stops to eat and drink.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Ate human meat. Granted, she did not know what is was, but apparently it didn't taste off to her.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Big time. She and Zeus are the parents of Persephone. She also had twins, Despoina and Arion the horse, by her other brother Poseidon, though it was not exactly her choice.
  • Chariot Pulled by Cats: Demeter gave Triptolemus a serpent-drawn winged chariot after she was reunited with her daughter Persephone. Her own chariot was drawn by her dragons.
  • Deus ex Machina: She tasked Triptolemus with scattering seeds across the world and teaching humans the art of agriculture. Triptolemus then ended up getting imprisoned by an evil king who wanted to take all credit for himself. Demeter then turned up out of nowhere, transformed the king into a lynx and set Triptolemus free.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Turned Ascalabus into a lizard for mockingly laughing at the way she drinks.
    • Turned the Sirens into half-birds for not saving Persephone.
  • Earth Mother: One of the older examples.
  • Empathic Environment: When Persephone was first kidnapped, and every time she leaves for Hades, nature dies and nothing grows, reflecting Demeter's emotions and state of mind.
  • The Famine: What she caused as a bargaining chip in order to get her kidnapped daughter back.
  • Fertility God: Comes with her being a goddess of agriculture.
  • Fill It with Flowers: The earth after Persephone is returned.
  • Fisher Queen: As detailed in the myth of how Persephone was kidnapped to be Hades' wife. Demeter's depression caused winter, the freezing season when plants cannot grow. Though after she found out where she was she deliberately kept the plants from growing as a way of holding the world as ransom.
  • Flowers of Femininity: The goddess of plants and flowers. The poppy in particular was sacred to her.
  • Food God: As goddess of agriculture, and while she is not the goddess in charge of animals, they *do* rely on her plants and crops to thrive.
  • Forgets to Eat: While Persephone was gone, she did not eat or drink. This led her to getting exhausted and thirsty, so when she finally asked for some drink, she drank very clumsily. Ascalabus mocked her over that, and she turned him into a gecko.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Not very smart to anger her, unless of course you like starving from a lack of crops.
    • Once, a mortal king named Erysichthon decided it was a good idea to chop down all of the trees in Demeter's sacred grove, killing a dryad nymph in the process. Demeter answered her by cursing him with insatiable hunger, and no matter how much he ate, he always craved for more. He ended up eating himself.
  • Green Thumb: Obviously, as the goddess of the harvest.
  • Good Is Not Nice: A genuinely helpful and nice goddess who gives humans food, but you do not want to cross her.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: A very nice goddess who has golden hair.
  • Happily Married: In some versions, she ended up marrying a demigod by the name of Iasion and mothered at least two children with him. In other versions, she wanted to marry him, but Zeus killed him after discovering that the two got intimate.
  • Heartbroken Badass: The goddess of the harvest, who had her daughter taken from her, and caused a great famine to get her back, bringing Zeus himself to his knees.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Blessed Pandareus to never suffer from indigestion. Pandareus, who then tried to steal a sacred dog that had guarded Zeus as an infant.
  • I Am a Humanitarian: Accidentally. Tantalus once served his own butchered son to the gods. They all saw through this except for her, who ate his shoulder.
  • I Do Not Drink Wine: While looking for Persephone, she came to Eleusis. Queen Metaneira offered her some red wine, only for Demeter to refuse.
  • I Want Grandkids: In one Orphic Fragment, Demeter expresses a desire for Persephone to have children with Apollo. It doesn't come to pass.
    Demeter: But going up to the fruitful bed of Apollo, thou shalt bear splendid children, with countenances of flaming fire.
  • Like Mother, Like Daughter: Is an earth and fertility goddess like her mother Rhea. Also counts as a father-daughter version, since Cronus too is a god associated with the harvest and the earth.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: It may have slipped Zeus' mind to mention to her he betrothed their daughter to someone.
  • The Lost Lenore: Iasion is this for her.
  • Mama Bear: She almost destroyed humanity when her daughter went missing. In one tale, she turned Minthe, a Naiad nymph, into a mint plant for suggesting she was better than Persephone and that Hades would make her the Queen of the Underworld. Dare to do anything to Persephone, and she'll come at you.
  • Meaningful Name: The meter part of her name means "mother." Some scholars suggested that the de- element means "earth", so that her name would translate to "mother earth," but this is far less certain.
  • Missing Child: Her daughter is away for many months a year.
  • Mood-Swinger: Put the polar in bipolar, her mood changing being what affects the seasons. She's usually pretty nice, but falls into sorrow when her daughter has to leave for the Underworld.
  • Mum Looks Like a Sister: Depictions of Demeter and Persephone clearly depict both as rather youthful and some accounts claim that they looked so alike as to be practically identical. Their Mycenean-era title of "The Two Queens" and some mystery cults thereafter suggest they had a history of being a pair of goddesses with connections beyond being mother and daughter.
  • Nature Is Not Nice: Though not outright cruel. She is not the type of nature goddess to punish you for eating, say, beef - after all animals eating other animals is normal... but, by that same logic, guess how many craps she gives about hunters that pray for help after getting cornered by wolves.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: She obviously does not like Hades for kidnapping her daughter and keeping them separate for 3/4 of the year.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Tries to exercise it. Zeus was ready to give in, but Persephone had already consumed food from the Underworld.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: While this applies to all the Children of Kronos, Demeter is of special note because once she goes into Berserk Mode she does not care about the balance of nature, obligations, or even human-life. Zeus is terrified once she starts creating a famine over Greece, because he realizes she can not be bribed, threatened or reasoned with until she gets Persephone back and would think nothing of destroying all life on earth until then.
  • Really Gets Around: Had surprisingly many lovers for a female god, including Zeus, Iasion, Carmanor and Mecon. Poseidon would count too if it wasn't for the fact that he raped her.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: In most myths actually. For example, when she counsels Psyche on how to get Aphrodite on her good side without pissing her off any further as thanks for cleaning up one of her temples.
  • Rape as Drama: Three different myths (depending on source) have Demeter being raped by Poseidon while she was grieving over Persephone. In all of them she turned into a horse to get away from him but he did the same thing and had his way with her (this is how the immortal horse Areion was conceived).
  • Revenge: When Erysichthon caused the death of one of her dryad nymphs, Demeter took revenge by cursing him with insatiable hunger until he ate himself to death.
  • Sanity Slippage: The poor lady is driven mad with grief at Persephone's disappearance that she leaves Olympus for the mortal realm and tries to claim her hosts' baby as her own in order to replace her lost daughter. The immortalization of the infant fails thanks to his mother interfering. Demeter eventually does snap out of her episode and manages to get Persephone back, even if it's for half of the year.
  • Seasonal Baggage: Persephone leaves to meet Hades for half of the year.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Psyche and Eros during Psyche's attempt to reunite with her husband. She and Hera tried to convince Aphrodite to let the two lovebirds be together, to no avail. In one Orphic Fragment, she's also this for Persephone and Apollo, though we ALL know how that turned out. This, interestingly, clashes with other versions, where Demeter not only chased Apollo away from Persephone when he started courting her, but also emphatically did so with any guy who had his eye on her, averting this trope.
  • Sinister Scythe: It may not be well known, but she does have a weapon of her own. One of her epithets means "Lady of the Golden Blade" or "Lady of the Golden Sword". And she has been depicted holding a sword. Other interpretations suggest the blade is a scythe, and some sources say she found the scythe of Cronus and used it to harvest grain.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: As goddess of food, Demeter's natural opposite is Limos, the god/goddess of starvation. In fact she and Limos live as far away from each other as possible. Though this didn't stop Demeter from asking for their help when she wanted to punish Erysichthon with insatiable hunger.
  • Too Unhappy to Be Hungry: She did not consume nectar or ambrosia after Persephone was abducted.
  • Walking the Earth: After Persephone was abducted, Demeter disguised herself as a mortal woman and searched the entire earth for her missing daughter, during which she had numerous other adventures, most notably at Eleusis.
  • Western Zodiac: Traditionally associated with Virgo, to the point where it is the only sign with her iconography.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Starving the entire world? Definitely extreme. Starving the entire world because your daughter went missing and neither of the parties involved, your brothers, even bothered to inform you? Still extreme, but understandable.

    Athena/Minerva 

Ἀθηνᾶ | Minerva

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/v0_large.jpg

Goddess of wisdom, which is a blanket term for things like strategy, defensive war, crafts, and justice. The Romans identified her with their goddess Minerva.


  • Adaptational Heroism: Nowadays, Athena often gets depicted as one of the nicer gods. Which she was, compared to some of the other ones, as long as people followed the rules. If they didn't, she would show no mercy—although of course, you can always say that Good Is Not Nice. She could be exceptionally vindictive to those who slighted her, though. See Not So Stoic below.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the Roman poet Ovid's works, which were likely anti-authority propaganda.
  • Angel Unaware: Like her father Zeus and her younger brother Dionysus, Athena likes to assume human disguises during her interactions with mortals, though unlike them, she does it mostly to guide them or to give them secret tests of character.
    • When she first met Arachne, Athena disguised herself as an elderly woman.
    • In the Odyssey, she disguised herself as an old man.
  • Animal Motifs: Often associated with owls, especially the little owl (Athene noctua).
  • Badass Bookworm: The epitome of brawny brainy beauty in Ancient Greece.
  • Berserk Button: In some versions of the myths surrounding her, she really didn't take kindly to being disrespected. It's a case of Depending on the Writer.
  • Big Sister Instinct: At times, she has been shown to be quite protective of her younger siblings, especially those who aren't related to Hera (because Hera being Hera, she would often try to kill her husband's illegitimate children). Sometimes, Athena would even go behind the backs of Zeus and Hera to discreetly protect them from Hera's wrath (Heracles and Dionysus's stories both have Athena intervening to save them from Hera at one point or another). Curiously, Athena didn't stop Hades from kidnapping Persephone despite being present for it, though Persephone's account of it implies that Athena didn't see it.
  • Blood Knight: One hymn describes her as such.
  • Born as an Adult: From her father's skull, no less!
  • Brother–Sister Team: Often teamed up with Hermes due to them being among Zeus's favorite children.
  • By-the-Book Cop: As a goddess who supports justice, she will help people as long as they are following the rules and/or striving to right injustice. But breaking them means she will allow no mercy. When she was tired of mortals and their cycles of revenge, she helped to invent the jury system.
  • Chest Burster: More like skull burster, as she was born out of Zeus's head.
  • City Mouse: While Artemis was a goddess of the wilderness, Athena was a goddess of civilization and of the crafts associated with it. And of course the patroness of Athens which naturally considered itself the epitome of civilization.
  • Cool Big Sis: She was the oldest child of Zeus and loved her younger siblings well (except Ares and depending on your interpretation of her parentage, Aphrodite). In turn, for the most part, they also respected her for helping them when they needed it. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, she and Artemis are both listed as Persephone's playmates, implying that she was close with her half-sisters.
  • Cool Helmet: Artistic depictions of her naturally varied with the times, but Athena being portrayed wearing a Corinthian-style helmet that's tipped upward over her face, as can be seen above, is no doubt the choice of helmet that's most distinctive to her.
  • Daddy's Girl: Depending on the Writer. She was intensely loyal to Zeus. Some versions of the Typhon vs. Zeus story say that she and Hermes were the only Olympians who didn't flee when Typhon arrived. There was one story where she sided with Hera, Poseidon, and Apollo to overthrow Zeus, however.
  • Demoted to Extra: Athena is the most highly-prominent War Goddess of the Greeks. This was not the case for the Romans - despite being equated to a new name, Minerva didn't keep her popularity among the Romans, and Bellona had Athena's title of their pantheon's most vital War Goddess.
  • Egopolis: Athens. And in Greek it just means "Athena-the city" as opposed to "Athena-the goddess." Are you going to tell her she can't have one of the greatest cities in the history of civilization named after her if she wants?
  • Female Misogynist: Athena can occasionally act as one of these, where she’ll work to preserve the patriarchal order of Ancient Greek society. This is most evident in her depiction in The Eumenides from the Oresteia, where she argues that because she was born from Zeus’ forehead and had no mother, only a father, she will always rule in favor of men over women. That being said, Athena’s characterization is inextricably tied to the city that bears her name: Athens, which was extremely repressive towards women, even among the other Greek city-states.
  • Foil: To Ares. Both are war deities, but they embody opposing aspects of it. Ares is the god of the bloodshed part of war and is therefore dumb and violent while Athena is the goddess of the tactical part and is therefore smart and calculating.
  • Friend to All Children: She is just a bit less strict with children. She raised the child (named Erechtheus or Erichthonius) produced by Hephaestus and Gaia after a failed rape attempt, gave Tiresias the ability to prophesy as compensation for being blinded, and mentored Telemachus while his father Odysseus is away.
  • Good with Numbers: She invented numbers and mathematics.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Older Than Feudalism it seems - Athena is commonly portrayed in art as having a face-concealing Corinthian helmet, but rarely is she ever actually wearing the helmet down - instead, she always has the helmet tipped upward off of her face. This tendency is actually consistent with the ancient Greeks, since soldiers wearing the helmet when out of combat would do this since it was more comfortable.
  • Hot Librarian: Intelligent and depicted as very beautiful, though she is often portrayed as having a rather strong build instead of slender.
  • Iconic Item: The Aegis, a vague sort of powerful protective device/shield/armor usually made from the skin of a slain monster (sometimes a slain giant, other times either Medusa or some other Gorgon, sometimes a goat, etc.) and tough enough to serve as the only defense against Zeus' thunderbolts. It was a gift from her father, who was the original owner.
  • Icy Gray Eyes: She is often nicknamed the "Grey-Eyed Goddess," perfectly suiting aloof and matter-of-factly demeanor.
  • Immortal Genius: Has a vast list of inventions attributed to her, including everything from chariots to flutes.
  • Karma Houdini: She once collaborated with Poseidon, Hera, and Apollo to overthrow Zeus. It proved to be unsuccessful, and Hera was hung from the heavens with heavy anvils chained to her feet as punishment, while Poseidon and Apollo were forced to serve the Trojan king Laomedon, who made them build walls around Troy and then refused to pay them like he promised. There's no mention of Athena being punished.
  • Lady of War: A graceful goddess who rivaled Aphrodite and Hera in beauty, as well as a fierce and powerful war deity.
  • Legacy Character: If the myths saying that she is the daughter of Zeus and his first wife Metis are to be believed, then she is this to her mother, since Metis was the original goddess/titaness of wisdom.
  • Master of Threads: As the goddess of industry, she invented weaving.
  • The Mentor: Trope Namer from The Odyssey, in which she played this role to Telemachus in the form of Mentor, an elderly man.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: She can be the daughter of Kronus, Zeus or Pallas, depending on who you ask, which has implications on all of her following stories. Is she Zeus's sister, daughter or a distant relative? Worse there are two different Pallas (a giant enemy, a nymph friend) for her to interact with and which does what is not always consistent. One story has Athena or Zeus kill Pallas and then Athena takes his/her name, hence Pallas-Athena. And then, there's also a few version that say she's the daughter of Zeus and his first wife Metis, the original Greek goddess (or rather titaness) of wisdom.
  • Naked First Impression: In one of the myths of the prophet Tiresias, he was a son of her attendants who accidentally stumbled on her bathing and was blinded when Athena covered his eyes. As she could not restore his sight, she gave him a long life, the ability to understand the language of birds, and his gift of prophecy. Contrast this with Artemis and Actaeon below. Same initial transgression, horrifyingly different consequences.
  • Not So Stoic: She also had a bloodthirsty side to her, as seen in The Iliad, where she was determined to see Troy burn at all costs.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Athena is one of the calmer and more rational goddesses and not one to wreak Disproportionate Retribution on the slightest offense. However, when Ajax the Lesser raped Cassandra in her temple's protection, Athena was absolutely livid, sent a storm to wreck the Achaeans' boats when they failed to kill Ajax, then destroyed his ship near the Whirling Rocks and left him to die, or lifted him in the sky during a storm and impaled him with her father's thunderbolt.
  • The Owl-Knowing One: She's associated with owls to symbolize her wisdom. Or perhaps owls are associated with wisdom because they were associated with her. Or maybe both she and owls were associated with wisdom because they were associated with Athens (which had a reputation for learning on one hand and had an unusually large population of Little Owls on the other). It's Ancient Greece; a lot got lost.
  • Pals with Jesus: She was known for taking a shine to various mortal heroes who displayed both courage and smarts, especially Diomedes and Odysseus, and repeatedly helped them in their adventures.
  • Parental Favoritism: By most accounts she's Zeus's favorite child, one of the many things that lead to her and Ares's Sibling Rivalry listed above.
  • Pimped-Out Cape: Her Aegis is an armored cloak fashioned from the skin of a giant, edged in serpents and often decorated with the likeness of Medusa's head.
  • The Power of the Sun: Appears to have originally been a sun goddess of some sort.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: With Ares, her fellow war god. Athena is the blue, being the (usually) calm and logical goddess of wisdom, while Ares is the fiery and bloodthirsty red.
  • The Rival: With Poseidon, over which of them would be patron god of Athens. She offered an olive tree, while Poseidon offered a saltwater spring, and the Athens people chose her because her gift was more useful (this was the "Just So" Story to explain why Athens had both olive trees and a saltwater spring).
  • Secret Test of Character: Sometimes, she can give these to measure the worth of a person before directly interacting with them. For example, when she heard of Arachne's boastful claims of having better weaving skills than the gods, Athena decided to meet her and test her character to see if she was really as arrogant as she seemed (because being the goddess of wisdom, Athena didn't want to be rash in judging mortals). And if Arachne failed the test, then Athena would instead try to subtly give Arachne advice about toning down her hubris before she gets into trouble. Of course, in order for her test of character to work, Athena took on the form of an elderly woman and visited Arachne directly, without Arachne knowing it was Athena...at first. Due to her ego, Arachne failed the test and wouldn't listen to the advice. Naturally, Arachne was surprised when Athena got exasperated with her antics and then decided to reveal her true form. Afterwards, they started their legendary tapestry weaving contest.
  • Sibling Rivalry: In The Iliad, Homer writes about how she and Ares are constantly at each-other's throats but she still acknowledges him as someone Diomedes should avoid pissing off... without help at least. She does however tell Diomedes to go nuts on Aphrodite since not only is she just as much a jerk as Ares is, but unlike Ares, she is a sissy who would run crying from battle if someone so much as miffed her hair.
  • The Smart Gal: She is the Goddess of Wisdom.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Some translations call her Athene.
  • The Stoic: While truly passionate about justice deep down inside, she never lets them cloud her judgment.
  • The Strategist: If the Athenian Ares is the god of war and the Roman Mars is the god of soldiers, Athena/Minerva was the goddess of generals in both cities. She won the patronage of a city against a more powerful deity, Poseidon, by offering the versatile olive tree and helped inspire Odysseus with the idea of the Trojan Horse.
  • Virgin Power: One of three virgin goddesses. However, whether that specifically means "never had sex" or "never married" isn't made entirely clear (Pseudo-Apollodorus states that she had an unspecified close relationship with Tiresias's mother Chariclo).
  • War Goddess: One of the first and prime examples. Possibly the first mythical Lady of War.
  • War Is Glorious: Athena represents the elements of war coming together both strategically and beautifully.
  • Western Zodiac: Traditionally associated with Aries, as an intellectual sign.
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    Hermes/Mercury 

Ἑρμῆς | Mercurius | ☿

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hermes_sculpture_1g.jpg

The messenger god and a Trickster God, Hermes is a good friend and a bad enemy. He is also the god of travelers, shepherds, cowherds, thieves, wit, written language, literature, commerce, cunning, and luck. The Roman god Mercurius (Mercury) was identified with him.


  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: His sword, which he loaned to Perseus so he could slay Medusa.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Expect modern works to conveniently forget that in the original myths, Hermes frequently went around wearing nothing but his helmet, winged sandals and a chlamys.
  • Age Lift: Earlier versions of him depict him having a bearded look, but he got more consistently portrayed as a clean-shaven younger man later on. This also happens to his younger brother Dionysus.
  • Almighty Janitor: He's just a simple messenger... who can borrow Hades' helm of darkness pretty much anytime he wants, talk Zeus out of destroying humanity, and he invented alphabets without suffering Athena's wrath.
  • Angel Unaware: He disguised himself as a mortal with Zeus, to assess the state of humanity. The first people they met were... awful, but Hermes persuaded his father to judge three households to avoid killing everyone.
  • The Archmage: Hermes' associations with writing and communication extends to incantations and magic spells. The Egyptians conflated him with Thoth, the god of writing and magic, and both of them were conflated into the pseudo-historical figure Hermes Trismegistus, who allegedly founded Hermeticism. Hermes later became the patron god of alchemy, representing the soul or life force, i.e. "mercurial" principal.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: One of the few gods who didn't judge people based on beauty, as his own son Pan was a half-goat.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: If Hermes doesn't like someone there's a damned good reason for it. (Though he still steals from people he's on good terms with like Apollo or Hades.)
  • Birds of a Feather: Had enough in common with Hecate to hook up with her. This ends her status as a virgin goddess.
  • Blatant Lies: His attempts to deny stealing Apollo's cattle. In some versions, he claims he doesn't even know what a cow is.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Was often teamed up with Athena due to them both being among Zeus's favorite children.
  • Cool Helmet: He is often depicted with a winged helmet.
  • Decomposite Character: Some theorize that he might actually be an offshoot of Pan, who's since been rewritten to be his son.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Iris, the goddess of the rainbow, also shares the role of the messenger with him.
  • Friend to All Children: Notably, he is entrusted with other people's children, as well as being protective of his own. In some myths, he was the one to raise Dionysus, and to take Persephone from the Underworld and back.
  • From a Certain Point of View: After stealing Apollo's cows as a toddler, he promised Zeus he would never lie again. As if a god of cunning and wit needs to lie to be dishonest.
  • Gag Penis: His symbol is his phallus, leading to herms. His son with Aphroditenote  has Aphrodite's body and his penis. It should speak to his nature that when depicted naked he was frequently erect, a state that was considered rude by the Greeks.
  • Good Parents: Hermes, in comparison to the rest of the gods aside from Athena and Ares, was a model parent. One could argue that he was even doting. Just see his reaction to the ugly Pan.
  • Guile Hero: The god of orators, speakers and politicians.
  • Healing Serpent: Hermes/Mercury's staff the Caduceus. Much like the Rod/Staff of Asclepius mentioned above, is also a symbol for medicine and health care around the world. This appears to be a case of Sadly Mythtaken, though, since Hermes/Mercury and his Caduceus had little if anything to do with healing or medicine.
  • The Heart: He is not only a messenger but a mediator, which is reflected in the downright paradoxical list of things he presides over (thieves and merchants, prophesy and lies, hawks, and tortoises).
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Hermes' payroll is huge, to say the least. He is the god of messengers, heralds, roads, journeys, boundaries, communication, trade, commerce, finance, orators, writing, eloquence, trickery, wit, cunning, thieves, flocks and herds, athletes, sports, speed, and also serves as a psychopomp.
  • I Believe I Can Fly: His Iconic Item is his winged sandals.
  • Like Father, Like Son: His mother, the Pleiad Maia, was mentioned as being quite shy and avoiding Olympus, which is how she escaped Hera's wrath.
  • Loveable Rogue: He deceives, cheats, steals, and whatnot, but is generally thought to be and portrayed as one of the nicest gods. Also, see Angel Unaware.
  • Mercury's Wings: The Trope Maker and Trope Namer. He wears magical winged sandals.
  • Morality Chain: To Zeus, strangely. Zeus called him when Semele died before giving birth, as he didn't want to let baby Dionysus die as well. Hermes also went with him when evaluating humanity. After the first people cooked the youngest son as dinner, he avoided all-out destruction by suggesting that they go for two out of three.
  • Nice Guy: Compared to most of the Olympians, anyway. Of course, that doesn't mean that he'll let you get away with doing something bad to him.
  • Papa Wolf: When Pelops killed Myrtilus, Hermes damned all of Pelops's descendants, essentially being the one responsible for all the tragedies of The House Of Atreus.
  • Pretty Boy: His literary appearances describe him as looking young and very beautiful. Then again, plenty of vase paintings give him a full beard, so it depends on the author.
  • Psychopomp: One of his duties was guiding souls to the Underworld.
  • Sarcastic Confession: In some versions of his origin story, he told his mother outright that he was going to hustle Apollo's cows, and Maia let him go because she didn't believe him.
  • Staff of Authority: His winged staff.
  • Super Speed: One of his most notable traits.
  • Tricked-Out Shoes: He is often represented with winged sandals, due to his Super Speed attribute.
  • The Trickster: Possibly the Trope Maker.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: He butchered a tortoise, used the guts and body parts to make a lyre, stole an entire herd of cattle from Apollo, sacrificed two of the cows, and then covered his tracks, all on the day he was born. Granted, he is a god, and he's shown to be well-adjusted in most of his appearances.
  • Unstoppable Mailman: He's the Messenger of the Gods, too curious to resist any challenge, and too smart to be thwarted.
  • Western Zodiac: Traditionally linked to Cancer, as the guide of the dead, and to Gemini, as the god of intellect and communication.
  • Wild Card: In accordance to being the God of thieves and luck, Hermes often does things on a whim, which can mean either good or bad things depending on the situation. That said, this was downplayed in that he was always loyal to Zeus and the Olympians.

    Apollon/Apollo 

Ἀπόλλων | Apollo

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/apollo_of_the_belvedere.jpg

God of "beardless youth", light, archery, music, reason, poetry, prophecy, etc. Later, he also became a solar deity, with the partial assimilation of Helios into Apollon. Romans also associated Phoebus with Helios and the sun itself. However, they also used a variation of his Greek name; Apollo.


  • Abhorrent Admirer:
    • Invoked in the myth between him and Daphne, where Eros struck Apollo with a love arrow to make him fall into frenzied lust for Daphne, while striking Daphne with a leaden-tipped arrow to make her utterly repulsed by him—resulting in Daphne desperately trying to flee from Apollo as he chases after and tries to rape her. She only manages to escape when her dad permanently turns her into a tree, but according to Ovid not even that stopped Apollo.
    • In some stories, he was this for Persephone before she married Hades.
  • The Ace: Apollo has a very wide divine portfolio and was considered the ideal Greek as a blend of physical superiority and moral virtue, and is also the only god to have beaten Hermes in a race.
  • Artists Are Attractive: The god of song, music, poetry, dance and the most beautiful Olympian.
  • Beautiful Singing Voice: Naturally, as the god of music.
  • Born Unlucky: Poor Apollo has the worst possible love life, as almost anyone he was interested in tended to be turned into plant life, be cursed, or die horribly when they weren't outright rejecting him.
  • Cartwright Curse: As mentioned in Born Unlucky, Apollo has pretty bad luck in love. This might've been invoked by Eros in revenge due to Apollo mocking him for using the bow and arrow as a toy to make people fall in love with each other instead of as a weapon. However, there are some notable exceptions that escaped the curse, such as Branchus who had a pretty successful love life with Apollo without anything befalling him.
  • The Casanova: This is kind of a thing that Greek Gods do.
  • Chariot Pulled by Cats: Apollo's sacred swans pulled his chariot.
  • Dances and Balls: The god of music, song and dance.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • He skins the satyr Marsyas alive for daring to challenge him in music.
    • He also cursed King Midas with donkey ears for having bad taste in music when the latter said Pan blew his pipes better than Apollo played his lyre.
    • He cursed Cassandra into having everyone believe whatever she said to be a lie either because she didn't want to sleep with him or because she ran away from her duty as a priestess of his cult.
    • How he dealt with that Orion, who tried to hook up with Artemis.
    • Niobe once boasted to Apollo's mother Leto about how much better her kids were than Apollo and Artemis. In retaliation, Apollo killed all of Niobe's sons, and her husband as well, depending on the myth.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: He fudges his initial attempt at seducing Branchus because he was so distracted by Branchus' good looks that he didn't realize he had begun "milking" a billygoat.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: At least one version of the Apollo and Hyacinthus myth recorded by Pausanias has Apollo successfully revive and immortalize Hyacinthus, after which he is spirited away to Heaven by Aphrodite, Athena, and Artemis.
  • Effeminate Misogynistic Guy: In the Oresteia, he saves Orestes from being convicted for murdering his mother by arguing that mothers aren't really that helpful in child-rearing beyond giving birth and that all the good stuff comes from the father. Given that the writer of the play was Athenian, there might have been a bit (read: a lot) of authorial bias there, though Apollo's own history with women certainly doesn't help his case.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: At his worst, Apollo can get up to some real divine dickery. He's still consistently portrayed as loving Leto. He and Artemis massacred the children of Niobe for insulting her and he killed Python as revenge for tormenting her whilst she was pregnant.
  • Girls Like Musicians: The logical takeaway from his long list of lovers and profession as a musician.
  • Good Parents: One of the most attentive parents of the Greek pantheon, if not the most. He adopted and raised an exposed Chiron, he raised Orpheus even in the version he is not his biological father, and he was ever close to some of his other children like Anius, Carnus and Iamus.
  • Guile Hero: He was initially the god of rhetoric and ritualistic speech.
  • Half Identical Twin: His sister Artemis.
  • Happiness in Slavery: In the myths where he and Admetus are lovers, he's so helplessly in love with Admetus that he serves him by choice rather than by force, casting away his pride as a God. Artemis isn't amused.
  • Hopeless Suitor:
    • To Hestia, who was asexual and thus completely uninterested in him. She ended up swearing to never marry.
    • Invoked by Eros, who shot Apollo with a golden arrow to make him fall in love with Daphne, then shot Daphne with a lead arrow to make her repulsed by Apollo (though even before that, she already begged her father to be a virgin forever). He ended up chasing after her, and when she realized she couldn't outrun him anymore, she begged her father to transform her to protect her from Apollo and was turned into a laurel tree.
  • If I Can't Have You…: Sometimes his relationships fail because of this.
  • Insufferable Genius: He's the god of reason.
  • Irony: Despite being the most handsome and prettiest man out all the male Olympians, he also had the most terrible luck when to getting girls (and guys) without something unremarkable or tragedies happening. As satirized here.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Let's count. Apollo has been variously recognized as the god of music, poetry, song, arts, prophecy, healing and medicine, light/sun, city-building, plague, sudden death of men, child-nursing, flocks and herds, male beauty, truth, dancing, and knowledge.
  • Light 'em Up: Is the god of the sun and daylight.
  • Light Is Not Good: Like most of the other Olympians, he had a bad side.
  • The Lost Lenore: He was fiercely in love with the mortal youth Hyacinth, who chose him over all of his other potential suitors. After accidentally killing him with a discus (with a jealous Zephyrus' assistance, depending on the myth), Apollo tried everything in his power to revive Hyacinth, but to no avail. As Hyacinth died, Apollo wept and said he would become mortal and join his lover in death, but is unable due to his nature as a god.
  • Love at First Sight: According to Callimachus' interpretation of how he first met Branchus, he saw Branchus tending to his flock and was immediately attracted to him. Apollo then proceeded to make an ass out of himself while attempting to seduce him in disguise as a goatherd and accidentally "milks" a billygoat while he was Distracted by the Sexy. Embarrassed by his mistake, he drops his disguise and reveals his divine nature to Branchus.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Artsy Feminine Boy to Artemis' rough-and-tumble Masculine Girl.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Marpessa chooses the mortal Idas over him to defy this trope, as she reasons that Apollo would get bored with her and move on once she started aging.
  • The Medic: Not just Apollo, but some of his children and grandchildren, specifically Asklepios and Hygeianote . Even today, physicians swear by them.
  • Misplaced Retribution:
    • Niobe boasted that because Apollo and Artemis's mother Leto only had one son and one daughter whereas Niobe had seven of each, she was better than Leto. To punish her, Apollo murdered all of Niobe's sons and Artemis Niobe's daughters, though this may have been more Revenge by Proxy, since Apollo seemed to realize they were innocent.
    • When Zeus used his thunderbolt to strike down Asclepius for bringing the dead to life and thus robbing Hades of a subject, Apollo retaliated by killing the Cyclopes who made Zeus his thunderbolt.
  • Momma's Boy: Was really protective of his mother Leto. He killed Python when Hera sent the giant snake to kill Leto and later killed the giant Tityos for trying to rape his mother. When Niobe boasted of her superiority to Leto because she had fourteen children, he killed all her male 7 children while Artemis did the same to her daughters, though some versions of the myth have them leave one of each alive.
  • Moving The Goal Posts: When Marsyas challenged Apollo to a music contest, the Muses, who were asked to judge, initially couldn't make up their minds, as Marsyas played his flute just as beautifully as Apollo did his lyre. Apollo then challenged Marsyas to turn his instrument upside down and then sing while playing it. Apollo was able to do both with his lyre, but Marsyas could do neither with his flute. The Muses thus declared Apollo the winner due to his versatility.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Often represented as a beautiful young man, the Distaff Counterpart to Aphrodite/Venus in this regard.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: Apollo disapproved of Orion's relationship with Artemis, and tricked Artemis into killing him by daring her to shoot at a far-off object in the water, which turned out to be Orion swimming.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: His name derives from the Greek word of destruction, referring to his ability to strike mortals with disease and plague through his arrows.
  • The One That Got Away:
    • Daphne is this for him, a nymph who turned into a tree avoid him.
    • Bolina, who jumped off a cliff while fleeing from him.
    • Marpessa, who chose the mortal Idas over him because Idas would age with her, whereas the immortal Apollo would leave Marpessa once she grew old and ugly.
    • Hestia, who rejected both him and Poseidon to become a virgin goddess.
  • Papa Wolf: Less notable than Ares, but he still has his moments. Apollo guided Paris in the killing of Achilles by guiding the arrow of his bow into Achilles' heel, as revenge for Achilles' sacrilege in murdering Troilus. After Zeus killed Asclepius with a lightning bolt for resurrecting Hippolytus from the dead, a berserk Apollo took revenge on the Cyclops who had fashioned the bolt for Zeus.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • His relationship with Admetus. When punished to live as a mortal for a year for killing the Python (or, in some versions, several Cyclops), Apollo became Admetus' herdsman and made all his cows (or ewes) birth twins, which was quite a boon for a king at the time. Apollo also helped Admetus win the hand of his wife, Alcestis, by completing the near-impossible task put forth by her father, Pelias (yoking a lion and a boar to a chariot). When Admetus forgot to sacrifice to Artemis during the wedding, Apollo soothed his sister's anger. Apollo also got the Fates drunk and made them promise that should another die willingly in his place, Admetus would avoid the day of his death. Unfortunately, Alcestis died for Admetus. Fortunately, Heracles was in the area and wrestled Thanatos for Alcestis's soul.
    • When Orestes fulfilled Apollo's command to kill his murderous mother Clytemnestra, Apollo tried to protect him from the vengeful Furies. Orestes ended up being prosecuted in Athens, and Apollo's speaking up for him helped him get acquitted.
    • He gave his lover Cyparissus a tame deer as a pet, and when Cyparissus accidentally killed it, he asked Apollo to let his tears fall forever out of sorrow. Apollo granted the request by turning him into the first Cypress tree.
  • Plague Master: Inflicting disease was one of his favorite punishments. He spreads them by shooting infected arrows into towns.
  • The Power of the Sun: Somewhat complicated. Helios, a second-generation Titan, is most often considered to be the Hellenics' chief sun deity. However, due to most Titans having counterparts in the gods' roster, Apollo became conflated with Helios somewhat. This has caused the lines to blur so much that some people simply see Apollo as the Sun God. Because he clearly hasn't been assigned enough powers or domains.
  • Pretty Boy: Is generally depicted as one of the most handsome of the male gods, with youthful features and long hair.
  • Princely Young Man: Apollo's perpetual youth made him the embodiment of the ephebe, a young man full of promise.
  • Really Gets Around: Like a true son of Zeus, Apollo has innumerable lovers, both male and female.
  • Retcon: Apollo was the last God to appear in myth and was retconned to be Artemis's twin.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Despite various claims, there was never any myth where Apollo replaced Helios as the god of the sun. Rather, Apollo and Helios came to be seen as the same god... but only in certain regions of Greece, and relatively late in time to what we would consider Ancient Greece (Rhodes kept Helios in their local pantheon until the end of Paganism).
  • The Smart Guy: As reason was in his domain, he was the one who figured out the weakness of Otos and Ephiantes: They could be killed by each other.
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: He acts like one in the versions of the myths where he and Admetus are lovers rather than just good friends. He casts aside his pride as a god and becomes a servant of love for Admetus. Humorously, Artemis is embarrassed by her brothers shameless display.
  • Soul Power: Associated with cemeteries and decay, he was the purifier of the souls of the dead before Thanatos or Hermes took them to Hades.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Actually referred to as Apollon, with an N at the end, in classical and homeric Greek sources. Later when the Romans adopted him into their pantheon they referred to him as Apollo, without the N. Due to the extensive use of the Roman God names in the Western World from the Renaissance on, and the similarities between his Roman and Greek names, the final N is almost always lost in the English Speaking world, even when discussing his Greek incarnation. Another modern variation that is less commonly used cuts even more letters from his name and shortens it to "Apoll".
  • Superpower Lottery: Apollo had a lot of domains to his name, including music, archery, prophecy, knowledge, healing, poetry, disease, male beauty, and light (often combined with the sun in modern takes, though in actual Ancient Greek times, this wasn't the case).
  • Swan Boats: Sometimes depicted as riding a large swan or a chariot being pulled by swans.
  • Walking the Earth: As Apollo tended to do jerkish things to both humans and gods, he was sometimes punished by being forced to spend time in mortal form, usually as some sort of lowly position like a shepherd.
  • Western Zodiac: Traditionally associated with Gemini as the sign of dualism and twins, being a sibling to Artemis.

    Artemis/Diana 

Ἄρτεμις | Diāna

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/louvre_artemis_deesse_de_la_chasse_dite_diane_de_versailles.jpg

Goddess of young women, of virginity, childbirth (yes, both at the same time), Women's Mysteries, forests and hills, hunting, and, later, the moon (along with Selene). Essentially a liminal goddess who protected women throughout their lives. The Romans equated her with their goddess Diana.


  • Accidental Murder: In one version of the story, she fell in love with Orion and was going to marry him, no matter how much Apollo tried to change her mind. So he pointed at a small "dot" in the sea (Orion who was swimming) and betted that she couldn't hit it with her arrows. Of course, she could, and ended up killing Orion.
  • Action Girl: A talented archer and hunter.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Despite her reputation as an Action Girl and myths does display her having some hunting skills and trickery, she wasn't shown as a full-blown warrior to an extent like Athena (see The Worf Effect below).
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Despite being said to be one of the 3 beings Aphrodite holds no power against, according to Pseudo-Hyginus the poet Istrus says that she was in love with Orion, though it was never consummated.
  • All Amazons Want Hercules: The only man she may have been interested in, depending on your myth, is the great hunter Orion. Unfortunately, Apollo disapproved of their relationship and tricked Artemis into killing him.
  • Amazon Brigade: Had a train of nymphs assisting her in her hunts. They were sworn to virginity and severely punished if they broke their oath.
  • Animal Motifs: She's heavily associated with deer. Bears were also sacred to her.
  • Animorphism: Transformed into a cat to escape Typhon, and into a doe to trick the Aloadae into killing each other.
  • Archer Archetype: She emulates Zeus by standing on the peak of a mountain and shooting down arrows on whatever she feels like.
  • Attempted Rape: Alpheus (a river god in Elis) and Actaeon (in some versions) both tried to rape her. It didn't end up well for either of them. One interpretation of her story with Orion has him try to do this to her as well.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Toward Apollo. When one of his lovers, Coronis, cheated on him, Artemis was quick to slay her with her arrows.
  • Blaming the Victim:
    • Even in the versions where Callisto is raped by Zeus, Artemis still punished her for not being a virgin by turning her into a bear or straight up killing her.
    • One account of the Aura myth has Artemis victim-blaming Aura for being raped by Dionysus without orchestrating for it to happen, and she threatens to kick her out of her company.
  • Brother–Sister Team: With Apollo. Both are archers, both are protectors of children, and both are associated with celestial bodies.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: Inverted trope. The reason she arranged to have Aura raped? Because Aura said that her small, mannish breasts are better than Artemis' voluptuous, womanly breasts and that she can't possibly be a virgin with a body like that. In fact, Aura compares Artemis's boobs to those of a pregnant woman.
  • Celibate Heroine: As the goddess of virginity, Artemis was famous for having a "no romance" rule among those who worshipped her. Also, while she wasn't treated as inherently asexual initially, this became what the Greeks viewed her as when it was established that she was one of the goddesses Aphrodite had no hold over.
  • Chariot Pulled by Cats: Artemis's chariot was pulled by a pair of her sacred golden-antlered deer.
  • Cool Big Sis: In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, she and Athena are both listed as Persephone's playmates, implying that they were close with their half-sister.
  • Dances and Balls: Something that doesn't come up a lot in modern pop culture, but Artemis was heavily associated with dancing. In myth, she is often seen dancing with the Muses or nymphs, and the ancient Greeks saw her as a patroness of dancing and festivals.
  • Daddy's Girl: She had a close and loving relationship with her father Zeus.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Actaeon was turned into a deer and mauled to death by his own hunting dogs for the crime of accidentally seeing Artemis naked. She also turns Siproites into a girl for the same reason. Though in some versions of the Actaeon myth, his intent was a lot more reprehensible.
    • Her virgin follower Callisto was seduced by Zeus in the form of Artemis. Artemis then punished Callisto by turning her into a bear.
    • Aura was a follower of Artemis who told Artemis, to her face, that Artemis couldn't possibly be a virgin with a voluptuous body like that and that her own mannish body was better. Offended, Artemis complained to Nemesis, the goddess of divine retribution, who had Eros strike Dionysus with an arrow, driving him to insanity and leading him to the drug, kidnap, and rape of Aura. Upon waking and finding that her virginity was no longer intact and because she lacked the knowledge of who had committed this crime against her, Aura went mad and rampaged the hills, killing mountain-ranging herdsmen and would later cannibalize her children after birthing them, and then kill herself. To make matters worse, in some versions of the myth, Artemis mocked Aura rather than feeling remorse for what she'd done, though another has Artemis spirit one of the children away to safety before Aura can kill him.
    • Niobe once boasted to Artemis' mother Leto about how much better her kids were than Apollo and Artemis. In retaliation Artemis killed all of Niobe's daughters.
    • In response to Chione boasting about being more beautiful than her, she either killed her with an arrow or shot off her tongue, rendering the woman mute.
  • Does Not Like Men: A fairly common interpretation of her character due to how often men were the victims of her wrath and how a majority of her hunting companions were women. This interpretation tends to ignore the fact that, despite being the protector of women, her mercilessness wasn't exclusive to men. Just ask Aura and Callisto. There is a list of men she was quite fond of as well:
    • She had a close and loving relationship with her father Zeus. In fact, to Callimachus' account of her childhood, she sat on his knee and carefreely gave him a list of demands, one of which was for her to remain a virgin forever.
    • She was also very close with her brother, Apollo, and in some stories, he was able to soothe her wrath.
    • Then there's Orion, mostly known as her one and an only love interest or a close hunting companion of hers. Either way, he dies and she mourns him, asking him to be placed among the stars.
    • Daphnis, a young boy and the son of Hermes became a follower of Artemis and accompanied her in her hunting. He would entertain her by singing pastoral songs and playing the panpipes.
    • Scamandrius, who she taught how to be a great archer.
    • Hippolytus, a hunter and sportsman who pledged a vow of celibacy to Artemis due to his disgust toward sex and marriage. As he dies, Artemis comforted him by promising to make him the subject of religious practices. In one version of the myth involving him, adonis is the cause of his death and Artemis strikes down Adonis to avenge him.
    • In one version of the Aura-Artemis myth, Artemis rescues one of the twin boys that Aura birthed in order to save him from being cannibalized by his mother.
    • While not often discussed, most of the men Artemis punishes aren't targeted without reason, as they attempted to rape her. The only exceptions are Siproites, who she turned female after he accidentally stumbled into her bathing place, and Adonis, who she slayed in order to avenge Hippolytus.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: She takes her status as a virgin Goddess very seriously and won't stand for jokes to be made about her breaking her vow. Case in point, she has her virgin companion Aura raped for teasing her about potentially not being a virgin and then mocks her when Aura has a breakdown over her pregnancy.
  • Feminine Mother, Tomboyish Daughter: Artemis is the goddess of hunting and wild animals, whereas her mother Leto is seen as a proper lady and the perfect model of demure wife/girlfriend.
  • Friend to All Children: In her role as protector of the young, especially girls.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: Renaissance artists really liked painting her and Callisto being intimate (of course, this is not Artemis but Zeus in truth).
  • God of the Moon: While originally strictly a deity of the hunt, she became tied to the Moon and the lunar goddesses Selene and Hecate in late in classical Greek era, and retained this role in her Roman incarnation as Diana.
  • The Hecate Sisters: In some parts of Greece she came to became part of a trinity like this, seen as a triple goddess who is "Selene in Heaven, Artemis on Earth and Hecate in the Underworld"
  • Half Identical Twin: Her brother Apollo.
  • Homosexual Reproduction: One of her attendants, Callisto, fell pregnant to Zeus who took Artemis' own form in order to deceive Callisto. When Artemis questions Callisto about her baby bump, Callisto (who hasn't realized a thing) says to her face that it was Artemis herself who got her pregnant. Needless to say, Artemis is not amused.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Allowed Orion in the retinue, who at this point had already violated (or tried to) a woman. Then he proceeded to attempt to rape her or one of her attendants.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Ephesian Artemis, who is mostly figured to have been an independent Asiatic nature goddess identified with Artemis after the Greeks arrived in the area, appears as a mummy-like figure growing a surplus of female breasts. So alien is she that some Cthulhu Mythos writers identify this representation as an image of Shub-Niggurath.
  • Human Sacrifice: Demanded that Agamemnon sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia to her. Subverted in the versions where she spared Iphigenia, spirited her away and left a deer in her place.
  • Implied Love Interest: Orion. In one account, Apollo tricks her into killing Orion because Artemis considered marrying him. In others, he's a hunting companion of Artemis, who, after he's killed by a scorpion (often from Gaia), grieves him and requests that Orion be put among the stars.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Was tricked into sniping Orion from an island while he was in the middle of the ocean.
  • Irony:
    • The goddess of childbirth and little children has no children herself, and is a virgin.
    • The goddess-protector of children demanded that a child (Iphigenia) be sacrificed to her.
  • The Lad-ette: Commonly portrayed as such in modern media, but in the original myths she still had notable feminine traits. Do not joke about her womanly traits being ironic to her virgin portfolio.
  • Lunacy: She was associated with the moon.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Rough-and-tumble Masculine Girl to her brother's artsy Feminine Boy.
  • Misplaced Retribution: When Niobe claimed to be a better mother than Leto for having more children, she (and Apollo) got mad at and killed...Niobe's children.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: As bad as Artemis' arrangement to have Aura raped and mock her for the pregnancy that was forced upon her, she seemed to have realized that she had caused a bit too much wrongness in her pursuit of revenge after Artemis saw Aura hurl one of her newborn sons into the air to kill him from the fall and cannibalized his corpse, and so Artemis spirited away the other son and saved him.
  • Naked First Impression:
    • This happened with Actaeon, when he accidentaly saw her bathing. It didn't end well.
    • It also happened to Siproites. He got to live and stay human, instead "merely" being turned into a girl.
  • Naked Freak-Out: Artemis was known for her virginity and purity, and was proud of having never been seen naked by a man before. So when the hunter Actaeon happened upon her bathing, she was extremely humiliated by him seeing her naked, since he "defiled" her body with his lustful gaze. So she punished him by turning him into a stag and he got ripped apart by his own hunting dogs.
  • Plague Master: She was also the goddess of disease, plague, and sudden death. However, unlike her brother, she only targets other women with these banes.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: In the versions of the myth where she and Orion are simply close friends and not lovers, they're this trope.
  • Real Women Have Curves: According to Aura, Artemis has a very voluptuous and curvaceous body. Inversely to the usual use of this trope, Aura used this to tease Artemis that this was unfitting for her Virgin Power portfolio. Artemis did not take this implication well.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Just like with her brother, there is no myth were Artemis takes over Selene's role as goddess of the moon, the two merely came to be seen as the same goddess in some parts of Greece.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: The only person Artemis might have been romantically involved with was Orion the Hunter. Some stories claim that Artemis loved Orion so much, she actually considered losing her virginity to him. Unfortunately, Apollo didn't approve.
  • Sins of the Father: Niobe's children may not have been the ones to make a Blasphemous Boast against Artemis' mother Leto, but Artemis killed them just the same.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: Given Artemis's vow of virginity, and the fact that many of her followers pursued the same practice, this put her in direct conflict with Aphrodite, who pretty much stood for the exact opposite. Needless to say, there have been more than a few stories of the two coming into conflict with one another. Hippolytus is a notable example.
  • Virgin Power: Was one of the three virgin goddesses, along with Athena and Hestia, and fiercely protective of her reputation as such; just ask Aura.
  • Vow of Celibacy: While still a little girl, she went to Zeus, and vowed to never marry and remain a virgin for all time.
  • Western Zodiac: Traditionally associated with Sagittarius, as the archer.
  • The Worf Effect: Suffered this to a degree, noticeably when she gets totally humiliated in her fight with Hera in The Iliad: Hera essentially calls her a jumped-up brat who should stick to hunting animals and easily overpowers her by grabbing her own weapons and thrashing her with them, causing Artemis to run off in tears to Zeus. In the obscure Indian War of Dionysus (Nonnus's Dionysiaca), Artemis and Hera face off again, with Hera easily beating Artemis.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Yes, despite being the goddess of children. She demanded that Iphigenia be sacrificed to her, killed Niobe's children, and in ancient Greece, sudden deaths of little girls (and women) were seen as Artemis's work.

    Hephaestus/Vulcan/Mulciber 

Ἥφαιστος | Vulcānus / Mulciber

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/43759319_1_x.jpg

The blacksmith god. He was rather hideously crippled: Authors differ whether he had been defenestrated during an argument between Mummy and Daddy, or just born with lame legs. His nearest Roman equivalent was the destructive volcano god Vulcanus (Vulcan).


  • Abusive Parents: Hera was hopeful her new baby would be impressive enough to show up Zeus after he'd given solo-birth to Athena (see Continuity Snarl below) but was disgusted by how ugly Hephaestus was. Ashamed of him, she chucked him off the side of Olympus to die. In another incident, when Zeus was angry at Hera, Hephaestus tried to stand up for her. Zeus threw him off Olympus.
  • Affair? Blame the Bastard: Him giving Harmonia, the product of Aphrodite's adultery with Ares, a cursed necklace as revenge counts as this.
  • Almighty Janitor: He forged the gods' weapons, chained Prometheus (a Physical God older than Hestia) to a rock, and was put in charge of Mount Etna by Zeus to guard Typhon, and yet, he was still not respected by the gods.
    • After beating Zeus the first time, Typhon goes out of his way to mention forging special chains for Hephaestus, as if to imply that he could 'easily' break out of the standard Physical God restraining chains.
    • Hephaestus is the only god sent to keep watch over Typhon, when supposedly better gods like Athena and Apollo are there, and he sets up a workshop there.
    • He regularly forges the weapons of the gods, so he presumably knows of their weaknesses or can put them there.
  • Attempted Rape: According to the Bibliotheca, Hephaestus tried to rape Athena when she approached him looking to get some new weapons forged. This ended poorly for him, but ended up giving rise to the ophidian Erichthonius, one of the legendary kings of Athens.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: The inverse assumption, Ugly Is Evil, is played viciously straight by the other gods.
  • The Blacksmith: As well as redsmith and goldsmith
  • Butt-Monkey: Being considered ugly, Hephaestus was the joke among the gods. Other gods ostracized, mocked, and pitied him because he was ugly. He was even disabled to add to it. But despite all this, he was intelligent, creative, hardworking, and loyal.
  • Chained to a Bed: Upon realizing that Aphrodite was cheating on him with Ares, he crafted a golden net so thin that it couldn't be seen and laid it on their bed. The two adulterers got tangled up in it, allowing Hephaestus to catch them in flagrante delicto.
  • Continuity Snarl: In some versions of Hephaestus's birth-myth, he was conceived by Hera without any help from Zeus; supposedly she was jealous over his apparent single-handed bearing of Athena. In some versions of Athena's birth-myth, Hephaestus helps dig her out of Zeus's head.
  • Disabled Deity: He has disabled legs. Some attribute this to being thrown from Olympus (either by Hera, Zeus, or both of them), though some say he was lame from birth.
  • Disabled Love Interest: To Aphrodite. It... doesn't work out.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Was treated like crap by the other Gods, but when pushed too far he got even. After his mother threw him off Olympus (for being born ugly), he gave her a golden throne that she couldn't get out of once she sat down. When he found out Ares was sleeping with his wife, he booby-trapped their bedchambers with an elaborate net so he could drag them in front of the other Gods to be mocked.
  • Double Standard: Had multiple lovers himself, but did not take his wife's infidelity well.
  • Drop the Hammer: Needless to say, since he is The Blacksmith.
  • Fire Is Masculine: God of fire and is male.
  • Forged by the Gods: Everything he made; he endowed most of the Olympians with their Iconic Items. He also made Achilles's armor as a favor to Thetis.
  • Genius Cripple: He was a brilliant forger.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: The Greek gods rely on him for this.
  • God Couple: Zeus put him together with Aphrodite in an Arranged Marriage. It was pretty much a disaster, and according to some versions he ended up divorcing her and marrying Aglaea of the three graces, which seemed to work out a lot better.
  • God of Fire: Hephaestus is the god of fire, craftsmen, and metalwork and is said to have had a forge beneath Mount Etna where he toiled away to build weapons for the other gods. The word "volcano" is derived from the name of his Roman counterpart Vulcan.
  • The Grotesque: He was rejected because he wasn't pretty.
  • Informed Flaw: By Greek standards, being crippled was enough to make a person ugly. Art says otherwise. However, given the ancient Greeks knew better than to offend their gods, this might be justified.
  • Kavorka Man: Despite being considered lame, still managed to fulfill the Double Standard above which would require him to get laid with different ladies regardless.
  • Like Parent, Like Child: Like his mother Hera, he gets cheated on and then takes revenge on the child born from the affair.
  • Magma Man: He was the god of volcanoes, and his workshop was said to be located under Mount Etna.
  • Momma's Boy:
    • Despite having a very rocky start, Hephaestus eventually grows to have a close relationship with Hera. An alternate story says that, rather than being lame from birth, Zeus threw him off for taking Hera's side in a fight.
    • He also seems to have this relationship with Thetis, one of his foster mothers.
  • Playing with Fire: Well, he was the God of the Forge.
  • Revenge by Proxy: He took revenge on Aphrodite and Ares, by giving their daughter, Harmonia, a cursed necklace on her wedding day.
  • Rules Lawyer: Some time after Hephaestus trapped Hera in a golden throne, Dionysus gets him drunk and tells him that Aphrodite's hand in marriage has been offered as a prize for whoever can get Hephaestus to return to Mount Olympus. He then points out that Hephaestus himself might be able to claim Aphrodite's hand if he returns of his own volition. Hephaestus takes his advice and succeeds, though he later seems to regret marrying Aphrodite.
  • Shock and Awe: He could have had this power as he forged thunderbolts.
  • Trophy Wife: Essentially the reason he married Aphrodite in one version; he trapped Hera in a throne and agreed to release her only if he got the hand of Aphrodite, the most beautiful goddess, in marriage. In some accounts, however, he asked for Athena's hand in marriage first and only settled for Aphrodite because Athena was not an option due to being one of the three virgin goddesses.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Again, with Aphrodite. By some accounts, also with his second wife after divorcing Aphrodite, Aglaea of the three Charites/Graces.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: It was his place in the pantheon.
  • Western Zodiac: Traditionally associated with Libra, due to his unjust life, and the mechanical nature of Libra being represented by scales. The only symbol that is a construct rather than a living thing.
  • You're Not My Father: When he was first asked to return to Mount Olympus to free his mother Hera from the throne he had trapped her in, he refused, saying he had no mother. Thankfully, they later developed a close relationship after reconciling.

    Ares/Mars 

Ἄρης | Mārs | ♂

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mg_8774.jpg

The most prominent god of war. While Athena ruled over strategy and wisdom, Ares ruled brute force and courage. His nearest Roman equivalent was Mars, who however was also a god of agriculture (because wars were mostly farmers fighting over land in early Rome). The more martial Romans put Mars in a much higher place in their religion than the Greeks (or at least the Athenians and Thebans, from whom we derive most of our knowledge about Greek myth)note  put Ares, and in fact the Romans believed themselves to be Mars's descendants.


  • Adaptational Badass: The Greek Ares lost far more battles and had fewer victories to his name than the Roman Mars, who was a genuine badass and not just a petty thug.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Hugely, when you compare the Roman Mars to the Greek Ares. Mars, being the god of citizen-soldiers, farmers, homesteaders, and one of three top gods of the Roman state, took on a patriotic role that Ares lacked.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Mars is a much kinder and nobler deity than the bloodthirsty bully Ares.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: On top of the above, Mars was fooled more than once but he was far less simple-minded than Ares.
  • Amazon Brigade: He was the father of the Amazons.
  • Animal Motifs: Not as well known in modern media as other Olympians, but he is classically associated with dogs, vultures, serpents, at least two species of owls and woodpeckers.
  • Ax-Crazy: Being the god of slaughter, bloodshed, and violence.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me:
    • Ares is very protective of Spartans and Amazons, because they were some of the only mortal societies that worshipped him instead of fearing or degrading him.
    • He also platonically adores both Eris and Hestia, In Eris’s case she is a Nightmare Fetishist so she liked him for the same reason most didn’t, Hestia on the other-hand loves everybody so naturally this includes Ares.
  • Blood Knight: He represented the brutality of war, even more than Athena.
  • Brother–Sister Incest:
    • Aphrodite is his half-sister in some accounts.
    • Also with Enyo, a full sister.
    • And Terpsichore, one of the Muses.
  • The Brute: He's a war god and relies more on brute force than strategy.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: Ares's open aggression was mostly nurtured (accidentally) by Hera's passive aggression - meaning most of his inherent character flaws come from his admiration for his mother, and most of the wars he started were to get Zeus's attention to prove he was a good son worthy of admiration. Needless to say both methodologies back-fired phenomenally.
  • Determined Homesteader: In his Roman incarnation he is pictured as the god of farming as well as war. The connection being that war was in the mind of early Romans (and early Greeks) turf fighting between farmers. Thus in the Roman interpretation Mars was a god of citizen-soldiers defending their crops, and the Greek Ares was a god of the horrors of war. More than one historian has noted that the respective treatments of Ares and Mars says everything that you need to know about the differences between the Greeks and the Romans.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Blood-thirsty brute? Absolutely. But he had a soft spot for feminists and was very pro-homosexuality. His treatment of the Amazons and Sparta's policy on homosexuality will show examples of this.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He's not the most pleasant god on Mount Olympus, but he really does love Hera.
  • Evil Cripple: Some descriptions of Ares give him a crippled or uneven leg, signifying his lack of sturdiness or battle finesse.
  • Feather Boa Constrictor: As serpents were considered his sacred animal by the Greeks he was depicted wearing them in sculpture.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Ares had a very difficult character to deal with and was therefore rather unpopular among the other deities (except Aphrodite and possibly Hestia) and mankind. For this reason, no Greek city (not even Sparta!) wanted to have him as its patron. He often had conflicts and fights with his half-sister Athena, especially during the Trojan War.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: Described as the most handsome of the gods and quite proud of it. Whether this was because he was just that good no one ever damaged his perfect looks or he was a Dirty Coward is a matter of interpretation.
  • Good Parents: Ares always supported his children and tried to protect them (namely the Amazons).
  • Green Thumb: Mars pulled double duty as an agricultural god.
  • Has Two Mommies: According to a Roman myth, Juno became pregnant with Mars by being touched with a herb grown by the goddess Flora.
  • I Have Many Names: Outside of his Greek name of Ares and Roman name of Mars he had over 15 cult titles and poetic epithets.
  • Hot Consort: He was the attractive god consort to Amazon Queen Otrera whom he had four daughters most of whom went on to become Amazon queens themselves.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Possibly. He had one known male lover in Alectryon, who was his companion in lovemaking. Unfortunately, or perhaps, per usual, their relationship ended tragically when Alectryon fell asleep while guarding the door of Ares' room as he had an affair with Aphrodite. This led to the affair being discovered by Helios, who informed Hephaestus. As a punishment, Ares cursed the boy to become a rooster so that he would never forget to crow in the morning and the two were never able to make amends.
  • Jerk Jock: Likely the Ur-Example.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Yes, he goes on bloodthirsty killing sprees during wartime, but he is quite devoted to his mother and various children—unlike a lot of the gods.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Crossed with Pragmatic Villainy. Sometimes, he dips into this instead of Heart of Gold, as seen in the Sisyphus incident. Ares personally saved Thanatos from imprisonment, but not because he's concerned with Thanatos or being enraged with Sisyphus doing that to a fellow God, but more like without Thanatos around, he couldn't do his job of bringing (terrible) war properly, war just felt meaningless if no one died from it.
  • Like Father, Like Son: A mother and son example - While giving him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, Zeus derisively observes that Ares takes after Hera in temperament. It's not that hard to see the resemblance, honestly...
  • Light 'em Up: Hesiod and Homer described Ares more or less as this. Perhaps the best embodiment of Light Is Not Good in the whole mythology.
  • Loser Deity: Despite his status as a Blood Knight War God, many Greek taleshave him be utterly humiliated, defeated, and insulted by his own kin.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Played with. Often boasted about how powerful he was as the god of war, an expert in military matters, loving to fight, etc. But virtually completely useless against anything beyond a mere mortal, although those mortals were under the protection of another god, namely his sister Athena and his mother Hera in the case of Diomedes.
  • Momma's Boy: He loved Hera, as he saved her from getting raped by two giants at the cost of being imprisoned in a jar.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: In Nonnus's poem Dinoysiaca, he killed Adonis for being Aphrodite's lover.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: His titles and epithets include Enyalius (meaning warlike), Miaephonus (meaning blood-stained), Brotoloegus (meaning man slaughtering), Thurus (meaning violent or furious), Aatus polemoeo (meaning insatiate of fighting and war), and Andreïphontes (meaning destroyer of men).
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Some poems describe him as getting off (in excruciating detail) at the sight of mass blood-shed.
  • Ominous Owl: While Athena is more well known for her association with the Little Owl, Ares had the Barn Owl and the Eagle Owl. Both highly ominous birds, associated with death and violence.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Athenians explained the name of the Areopagus by saying the first trial there was when Poseidon prosecuted Ares for murder, over the death of his son Alirrothios. Ares was acquitted on the defense that he was protecting his daughter Alkippe from being raped by Alirrothios.
    • This bit his daughter Harmonia hard. Her husband was Cadmus, the founder of Thebes who killed a dragon, son of Ares, to be able to found the city, so Ares was mad at him, and turned him into a snake. When Harmonia spoke out against this Ares took it as betrayal and turned her into a snake too.
  • Paper Tiger: Often depicted as physically fit, armed to the teeth, and the embodiment of the physical power and violence of war. However, he loses any fight against nearly any non-mortal enemy - Hercules, Athena, Apollo, The Alodae, a mortal Diomedes aided by Athena, etc. He has his moments in the Gigantomacy and killing the demi-god Halirrhothios.
  • Pet the Dog: Amazingly, Ares seems to be one of the only gods that actually has some reverence with women, contrary to popular belief where he's depicted as a Jerk Jock. Sure, there are many gods like Zeus, Apollo, or Dionysus who recognize the skills women can have, but they aren't the best lovers around (at least at first, in the latters' cases) and Hades was already ruling The Underworld alongside Persephone equally and threatens anybody who tries to mess with her. Ares was known to be a Papa Wolf towards his children, but especially his daughters when he murdered Alirrothios over the rape (or Attempted Rape depending on the myth) of Alkippe. He was devoted towards his mother Hera (see Momma's Boy above) and he is the father of the Amazons whom he liked very such. On top of all, there's barely any myths that involve Ares raping or seducing women, unlike most of the other Greek gods out there (and we mean really mean most...), excluding the Roman myth where Ares, as Mars, rape/seduce a vestal virgin.
  • Politically Correct Villain: He's a violent brute, that's for sure, but he was one of the few male Olympians who actually respected women and was accepting of homosexuals.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: When Thanatos had been chained by Sisyphus in an attempt cheat death, Ares is the one who eventually frees him. He could have cared less about Thanatos; he only did it because he felt his wars had lost their fun without anyone dying.
  • Pretty Boy: Contrasting with his brutal warlike demeanor, he was described more often as "beautiful" than simply handsome.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Homer's portrayal of Ares in his epic had this element; he'd charge into battle roaring and killing all who got in his way when on a mission, but when seriously injured he would run back to Zeus and complain about it.
  • Really Gets Around: Famous for being handsome and loved by many women, including Aphrodite.
  • Sibling Rivalry: With Athena in a few epic poems.
  • Team Rocket Wins: He lost a lot of battles for a Blood Knight, but he had his share of victories in the Gigantomachy and going Papa Wolf on Alirrothios.
  • Trope Namer: For anything "martial".
  • The Un-Favourite: His father Zeus made it clear that he detests Ares the most out of all the Olympians, due to his barbaric violence and lust for quarrelling, war, battles, and especially his habit of whining to daddy whenever he gets a beating on the battlefield; in fact, the only reason that he hadn't throttled him from the peak of Mount Olympus is because he is Zeus and Hera's son. Hera herself doesn't seem to be fond of him neither since she asked Athena to beat him in The Iliad.
    Zeus, book V, The Iliad: Zeus looked angrily at him and said, "Do not come whining here, Sir Facing-bothways. I hate you worst of all the gods in Olympus, for you are ever fighting and making mischief. You have the intolerable and stubborn spirit of your mother Hera: it is all I can do to manage her, and it is her doing that you are now in this plight: still, I cannot let you remain longer in such great pain; you are my own off-spring, and it was by me that your mother conceived you; if, however, you had been the son of any other god, you are so destructive that by this time you should have been lying lower than the Titans."
  • War God: One of the first and prime examples.
  • War Is Hell: Ares personifies war as bloodshed, violence and destruction.
  • The Worf Effect: Despite being the god of war, the Greeks handed the victory aspect to Athena, and in the myths, he doesn't win as many battles as one would expect.
  • Western Zodiac: Traditionally associated with Scorpio, as the death sign.
  • Yandere: For Aphrodite in some myths, such as one where Ares got jealous at Aphrodite courting Adonis and plotted his death. Others say that it was Artemis or Apollo.
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    Aphrodite/Venus 

Ἀφροδίτη | Venus | ♀

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/800px_cnidus_aphrodite_altemps_inv8619.jpg

The goddess of love, beauty, and sexuality, who was also associated with looking after children (and, in the Athenian tradition, with marriage). As Aphrodite Ourania, this was extended to include what literally translates to "heavenly" or "divine love." In Rome, she was called Venus.


  • Abusive Parents: Aphrodite had her moments such as leaving Eros with the Maniae and punishing him for "daring" to have a beautiful wife.
  • Adaptational Curves: Inverted, she's often portrayed as less curvy than she originally was (in keeping with modern, rather than ancient, beauty standards).
  • Adaptational Wimp: She was originally a fearsome war goddess because her cult of worship was related to that of the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar, who was associated with both love and warfare. Later myths downplayed this aspect of her.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys:
    • Had an affair with Ares, the bloodthirsty god of war, despite being married to the humble Hephaestus. According to the prevalent myths, Aphrodite gave birth to Ares' children Eros (love), Harmonia (harmony), Phobos (fear), and Deimos (terror).
    • She also had two sons by crafty Hermes, god of thieves: Priapos and Hermaphroditos, although according to another version Priapos was fathered by Dionysus.
  • All Women Are Lustful: What the Greek society believed.
  • Alpha Bitch: Aphrodite is frequently portrayed as one of the prettiest and most beloved of goddesses, but she was also catty, shallow and vindictive.
  • Anything That Moves: Almost as much as Zeus, though she at least has the reason that it's pretty much in her job description.
  • Attention Whore: Whether starting wars to be declared the prettiest, cursing mortals for comparison to her, or demanding eye-catching jewelry from her husband, Aphrodite is ravenous for attention.
  • Arranged Marriage: In many stories, this is why she's hitched with Hephaestus; she doesn't really want it, but Zeus married her off to him. Reasons vary from Hephaestus trapping Hera in a golden throne or simply to keep all the other Olympians from fighting over her.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: To call her a "bimbo" would be an insult to bimbos. But her ability to emotionally influence 90ish % of her relatives - even those stronger than her, means she can get pretty indirectly scary.
  • Big Bad: Essentially the antagonist of Eros and Psyche's story.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She's the lovely goddess of love yet she's as much of a jerkass as the others.
  • Born as an Adult: Was born from Ouranos's genitals. Even worse, in some versions, Aphrodite is born pregnant, by Ouranos, and gives birth to Eros almost immediately after she herself was born.
  • The Burlesque of Venus: The subject of the famous painting The Birth of Venus, which depicts, well, her birth, rising from seafoam, which has resulted in many parodies.
  • Canon Immigrant: She originated as the main deity of Cyprus, and is also identified with the Egyptian Isis, Semitic Astarte, and Mesopotamian Innana/Ishtar. She's one of the few Olympians who weren't found in records from Mycenaean Greece.
  • Casual Kink: Aphrodite's group of attractive male attendants the Erotes are usually depicted as nude save for a harness of leather straps across their chests when they accompany her, the better to pull her chariot with. Yes, it sounds a lot like something modern subs would be wearing and doing.
  • Chariot Pulled by Cats: Aphrodite's chariot is drawn by swans or geese when not being pulled by the Erotes.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Eros fell in love with Psyche, a mortal woman whom Aphrodite happend to loathe. She did everything to separate the two, but failed.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • In one account, she agreed to marry whoever could convince Hephaestus to return to Mount Olympus and free Hera from the throne he had trapped Hera in, thinking that Ares would succeed. It didn't seem to occur to her that someone whom she wouldn't want to marry might instead.
    • Her curse upon Eos/Aurora would probably seem a bit more of a problem for the men Eos took a fancy to rather than Eos herself. It wouldn't seem likely Aphrodite was trying to embarrass her by making her sexually promiscuous, because well, look at Aphrodite's portfolio. Then again, Eos's infatuations have humiliated her in other ways, such as with Tithonus.
  • Die for Our Ship: In-Universe. If you stand in the way of her favored romances and/or are the half of a romance she doesn't like, prepare to face her wrath.
  • Differing Priorities Breakup: In one version, she and Nerites, a minor sea god, were lovers until she became an Olympian. She wanted him to join her on Mount Olympus, but he refused to leave his parents and sisters in the ocean, even after Aphrodite gave him a pair of wings. This being Aphrodite, she responded by turning him into a shellfish, taking back the wings, and giving them to Eros.
  • Disaster Dominoes: She promised Paris the love of Helen. Helen was already married. It got worse from there - Helen left her husband Menelaus with Paris, all of Greece/Achaea fulfilled their oath to protect Menelaus' marriage, Troy was destroyed, very few of conquering Greeks would get to return back home alive, and according to The Aeneid, Aeneas escaped Troy to found Rome that would one day conquer the Greeks. This being said though, apparently the Trojan War was all part of Zeus' plan to reduce the population of humanity so it can't be all blamed on Aphrodite.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal: She straight up carried mortal men off to have her way with them, but they would accept their roles as her boy toys with no problem.
  • The Dreaded: Her power over romantic and sexual love means almost all gods are putty in her hand (only Athena, Artemis, and Hestia, who are asexual, are immune), and they all know better than enrage her.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: In The Iliad, Helen recognizes her by her "desirable breasts."
  • Everyone Has Standards: While she was the patroness of prostitutes, adultery, Polyamory and all things sexual, she doesn't play around with consent.(..except for Helen's consent to go with Paris, we're really not sure about that one) Just ask her son Priapus how she reacted when he tried to take Hestia's virginity during her sleep.
  • A Family Affair: While she'd go for Anything That Moves, Aphrodite's favorite lover was Ares, her husband Hephaestus' full-blooded brother.
  • Femme Fatale: She is the goddess of love, and her girdle makes her even more desirable.
  • Girls with Moustaches: Being the goddess of beauty was by no means incompatible with being portrayed as bearded in some of her cults on Cyprus. She was also sometimes depicted with a phallus.
  • Happily Adopted: With Hesiod's version of her birth:
    • Zeus took her in as an Olympian despite not actually siring her. Hilariously, they are technically already related—as the daughter of Ouranos, Aphrodite is Zeus' aunt.
    • Zig-Zagged with Hera (like the contest of beauty prior to The Trojan War), in that while Hera tended to be mighty temperamental with Aphrodite, she is no more or less temperamental with her than her birth children.
  • Head-Turning Beauty: Being the goddess of sexual love and beauty this is a given.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Power over love and desire may not be the most offense-heavy power, but when she gets angry, you do not want to be on the one who angered her. She knows how to use romantic drama to ruin someone's life.
  • Hot God: While most of the pantheon was considered inhumanly attractive, it was one of her main attributes seeing as she was the goddess of beauty.
  • I Broke a Nail: Menelaus manages to shoot her in the Trojan War while she is carrying off wounded soldiers. As a mere mortal his shot is utterly trival to her, but it scuffs her looks, so she she immediately dipsets.
  • Living Aphrodisiac: She's the Trope Namer. As the goddess of love she could inspire lust in nearly anyone who laid eyes on her.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: As mentioned above, she can be catty and vindictive, but underneath it all, she still does have a sweet side and will grant you great rewards so long as you're good to her.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Generally speaking, all her sleeping around wasn't painted in a bad light.
  • Love Goddess: Her dominions in the pantheon were love and beauty. In fact, she was worshipped under two distinct epithets that reflected different aspects of love. Aphrodite Urania was a version who represented pure, divine love in an abstract capacity. Aphrodite Pandemos, however, was the more well-known version who represented the physical aspects of love and beauty and sex, and was the version seen in most myths. There's also Aphrodite Areia, who combined aspects of love, sex, and war and was worshipped mostly by the Spartans and Kytherans, who had no issues with love and war being intertwined.
  • Mama Bear: While she had a lot of children from her various adultery, some of them she really cared for, like Aeneas. She got wounded by Diomedes for protecting him. There's also the darker side of this: She's such a Doting Parent to Eros that she flipped when Eros fell in love with Psyche, furthering her role as the Big Bad of her tale.
  • Manipulative Bastard: She is one in one version of the tale of Demeter and Persephone. Hades falling in love with Persephone was her idea (with Eros' help, of course), as doing so would a.) allow her power (love) to spread to the Underworld, thereby claiming it along with Earth and Sky as under her domain, and b.) doing so would prevent Persephone from remaining a virgin, thus allowing her to defy Aphrodite, as Athena and Artemis had done.
  • Misplaced Retribution: More well-known stories usually have Aphrodite dole out retribution not to the exact violator (who usually made a Blasphemous Boast about beauty) but someone else who could have been innocent. Myrrha's mother boasting that Myrrha's more beautiful than Aphrodite? She curses Myrrha, not her mom, with incestual desires. A lot of people worshipping Psyche instead of her and saying Psyche is more beautiful? Rather than subjecting her wrath to the false-worshippers, she instead directed it at Psyche.
  • Ms. Fanservice: One of the originals. She was often depicted topless, or fully nude, and well, just read her descriptions.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: She was either born from Ouranos' cut-off genitalia (making her one of the oldest goddesses), or from Zeus and either Dione or Thalassa. Later philosophers would differentiate between the older, heavenly Aphrodite (Ourania) and the younger, common Aphrodite (Pandemos, "of all the people").
    • George O'Connor's The Olympians resolves this elegantly: the cut-off "seat of Eros within Ouranos" floats in the sea for hundreds of years before giving rise to Aphrodite, who is then promptly adopted by Zeus as her foster-father (it's implied that this is both to head off the probable squabbling for her hand in marriage, and also to reassure Hera that he himself has no designs on her).
  • My Beloved Smother: To Eros. Sure she loves him a lot, but she did everything she could to separate him from Psyche, whom she hated and considered unworthy to be her son's bride, despite Eros' loving her and preferring to be with her.
  • My Girl Is a Slut: Her sexual nature was depicted as generally positive.
  • No-Sell: The Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite states that Aphrodite's power over romantic and sexual love cannot affect Athena, Artemis or Hestia and that they are the only beings immune to it. This was some Required Secondary Powers for them to remain virgin goddesses lest Aphrodite decide to mess around with them.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Put Psyche through the wringer when Eros presented Psyche as his wife-to-be, mostly because Psyche's beauty rivalled hers and because she (accidentally) wounded Eros. For that, Psyche underwent extremely hard tests monitored by Aphrodite so as to have her authorization to wed Eros.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Her relationship with Adonis, who was born from a woman who was boasted to be more beautiful than Aphrodite so she cursed her. But in later Roman fabrications, Aphrodite took pity on baby Adonis, entrusting his care to Persephone (of course she ended up bickering with Persephone, who refused to return him (in some myths) ). When Adonis was killed (possibly by Ares), Aphrodite was grieving for him greatly and then caused his blood to grow into flower called 'Anemone' in his honor.
    • In Echo and Narcissus' myth, when Echo is wasting away for love of the beautiful but conceited (and often cruel) Narcissus, Aphrodite can't bear to see Echo in needless pain and she curses Narcissus to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. He then either drowns in the pool or starves to death vainly trying to reach his "beloved." We get narcissus flowers AND the condition of narcissism from this. This is only in the Metamorphoses epic, though, other stories say that Narcissus pissed Nemesis off instead of Aphrodite.
  • Physical God: She is a goddess and takes part in several battles and confrontations with other gods.
  • The Power of Love: It was one of her dominions.
  • Proud Beauty: Every incarnation of Aphrodite has this trait. Justified since she is the goddess of love and beauty. But it is also her Berserk Button.
  • Really Gets Around: Aphrodite is more than happy to sleep with everyone except her husband.
  • Sexy Surfacing Shot: Depictions of her birth from Ouranos' severed genitalia involves her emerging from the sea in this manner.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: While the Ancient Greeks were never shy about nudity, Aphrodite was particularly notable for this trope, as she is depicted fully nude in a sexual context more often than any of the other gods.
  • Shipper on Deck: And not necessarily in a good way. Many of the couples she arranged usually end up with something incredibly bad happening. One of the biggest examples being The Trojan War.
  • Sleeps with Everyone but You: Her relationship with her husband, who she is disgusted by.
  • Spear Counterpart: Her son Priapus, the extremely well-endowed god of male sexuality and fertility, equally revered and feared but not as important since, as back in those times, men weren't supposed to be interested in sexuality that much.
  • Spontaneous Generation: In Hesiod's Theogony, she was born when Kronos cut off Ouranos' genitals and threw them into the ocean. This lends to one of her other names, Philommedes (Φιλομμηδης), which translates as "lover of members". Because she was born from them, and not any other reason, of course.
  • Swan Boats: Often depicted as riding a swan or a chariot pulled by swans. It's one of her signature animals.
  • Too Important to Walk: Aphrodite's chariot was oft depicted as being drawn by a pair or more of the Erotes, her group of young winged attendants that includes Eros.
  • The Trickster: She can be underhanded, as seen in the tale of Eros and Psyche.
  • Trophy Wife: To Hephaestus, as there was no love in their marriage.
  • The Vamp: Charisma and beauty are as deadly in her hands as a sword and shield are in Ares'.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Her husband Hephaestus, was said to be hideously ugly. In many stories their marriage wasn't really her choice; Zeus arranged for it to appease Hephaestus from trapping Hera or just to keep all the other Gods from fighting over Aphrodite's hand in marriage. Either way, in nearly all stories she sleeps around shamelessly.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Often said to be one of her characteristics.
  • Unwanted Spouse: Hephaestus is this for her, since in no story it is her choice to marry him.
  • War God: Her very earliest inscriptions refer to her as being a war goddess on Kythera and in Sparta. Aphrodite herself was an imported goddess brought to Kythera by the cult of Astarte, a Phoenician war goddess, who herself was brought to the Mediterranean from Mesopotamia and was originally the war goddess Ishtar. The Spartans, being Spartans, saw no issues with having a goddess of love, sex, beauty, and war, and worshipped her under the title of Aphrodite Areia. This wasn't quite so popular with the other Greek city-states, who toned down the war aspects and left those for Ares and Athena, and in The Iliad Diomedes easily injures her by chucking his spear at her hand, and Zeus even chastises her for being on the battlefield. They even tried to rationalize the Spartan statue of her wearing armor by either claiming that those crazy Spartans simply depicted all gods in armor anyway, or by trying to pretend that the statue was of Athena. Later on, as Venus, the Romans would again bring back her associations with war, venerating her as a goddess of victory in battle and as the mother of Aeneas, the mythical founder of Rome.
  • Water Is Womanly: The goddess of love and beauty, she is heavily associated with the sea, having been born from the sea foam formed when Uranus's genitals were thrown into the ocean.
  • Western Zodiac: Traditionally associated with Taurus, as a sensual sign.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Though she's not literally Psyche's stepmother, she otherwise plays this role in a very stereotypical fairy-tale sense, complete with demanding that Psyche sort lentils out of ashes!
  • The Worf Effect: She was the most beautiful goddess, yet often a human heroine or a semi-goddess with exceptional beauty would be compared to her and said to be her equal or a close runner-up or even surpassing her. Aphrodite would inevitably hear about this, and was often displeased.

    Dionysus/Bacchus/Liber 

Διόνυσος / Βάκχος | Bacchus | Līber

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/4bacchus.jpg

The god of wine, drunken debauchery, agriculture, theatre, and the freeing of self from normal behavior. He is always treated as a late arrival to Olympus, being one of the youngest of Zeus' children, born to a mortal woman. Romans called him Bacchus, from one of his many Greek titles, but also identified him with the Roman god Liber.


  • Age Lift: Originally represented as a Pretty Boy, but some representations age him up significantly and add a beard.
  • Agent Peacock: He's a hard-drinking, effeminate pretty boy... whose cultists tore goats apart for fun and feasted on raw meat. Also, his robes are women's.
  • Ambiguous Situation: His rapes of Nicaea and Aura. He did force himself on both of them, but only after he had been shot by Eros. Both occations Eros shot him multiple times until he was driven mad with lust, but if the raping was a choice he himself made is never clarified. He did at least seem remorseful for driving Nicaea to suicide.
  • Angel Unaware: Like his sister Athena and his father Zeus, he tends to disguise himself when he interacts with mortals. He even seems to spend half his time going around in disguise.
  • Animal Motifs: There were many animals associated with Dionysus, but bulls, snakes, and big cats in particular.
  • Anything That Moves: To be expected from the God of Hedonism. Humorously, there do not appear to be any myths stating that his wife had any problems with this, in stark contrast to the likes of Hera or Persephone. Although there was a Roman myth by Ovid where Dionysus (Bacchus) took a big liking to an Indian princess when he travels to India. This deeply upset Ariadne, and then make a huge rant about it at a beach and sobbed. Fortunately, unlike Zeus, Poseidon, or any other unfaithful god, Bacchus took consideration with Ariadne's feelings, embraces her, and tells her they will be together in heaven as equals and makes her crown into a constellation.
  • Ascended Extra: After his name was found in ancient Linear B inscription, researchers came to the conclusion that he was always a Greek god, but wasn't as popular with Ancient Greece until way later.
  • Back from the Dead: In some versions of Dionysus' origin story, he was originally the child of Zeus and Persephone, called Zagreus. Hera in her anger sent Titans to dismember and eat him. Zeus managed to save his heart, feed it to Semele (or eat it himself), and then the story proceeds as normal from there until he is reborn from Zeus' thigh as Dionysus. Because of this, he was known as "the twice-born," and had associations with death and rebirth that were de-emphasized overtime.
  • Bash Brothers: In some myths, after losing a drinking contest to Dionysus, Hercules joined Dionysus' attendants and they went warring together in India.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Dionysus is the God of Wine and insanity, and is known for having a very bad temper if you push him hard enough. Invoked since he represents both the good and bad sides of alcohol. One look at his Animal Motifs should be a warning.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Do not underestimate the cheerfully drunk god of wine. King Pentheus learned the hard way what happens to you when you do. In the Dionysiaca, Dionysus also went up against a clone of Typhon and defeated him almost effortlessly.
  • Canon Immigrant: Subverted. He was originally thought to be a foreign god absorbed into the main Classical pantheon, but then his name was found in a Linear B inscription, revealing that he had been worshipped in Mycenaean Greece.
  • Chariot Pulled by Cats: Dionysus is shown in artwork as being in a chariot drawn by panthers.
  • Chest Burster: Born out of Zeus's thigh. Interestingly, Zeus had actually stitched him up in there after his mother had died to preserve him before birth.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Depending on the myth.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Dionysus is often pictured as the bumbling drunk or Mr. Party including in ancient plays, but if pushed he would inflict madness or other horrible punishments. He also had the bravery to venture into the Underworld for his mother (and/or wife), and in one story, he defeated a demigod king named Deriades to conquer India.
  • Deathless and Debauched: Naturally well-known for regularly getting drunk and sleeping around.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Well, half-human and half-god origin. He also bestowed this upon his wife and mother.
  • Driven to Madness: He was driven insane by Hera, only to later be cured by his grandmother Rhea. He himself likes to inflict this as a punishment on mortals who displease him. His earlier interpretations also placed more emphasis on the madness aspect of his characterization, with the alcohol and hedonism being respectively a method and consequence of his worship as a god of madness, violence, death, and rebirth.
  • Drunken Master: As you might expect. Apparently, he conquered India while drunk. According to Lucian's Dialogues of the Gods, Zeus is proud of him for doing manly things like conquering even while drunk, despite his effeminate appearance and behavior. Hera is embarrassed by him.
    Zeus: ...what a handful the fellow would be if he were sober.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: One of his most common depictions is as an effeminate young man, with an androgynous face and long curly hair. Dionysus often crossdressed, and in some versions of his origin story, he was actually raised as a girl to protect him from Hera. He's sometimes even portrayed as female; for example, one of the Orphic Hymns refers to him both as Dionysos and as Mise, a goddess.
  • Ethical Slut: More ethical than many other Greek gods. There is one instance in which he rapes the Titaness Aura, but this was because Artemis asked Nemesis (the goddess of vengeance) to get Eros to drive Dionysus mad with lust so he would rape Aura, as punishment for her having slut-shamed Artemis. Who is the most at fault for this is up for debate.
  • Flanderization: He wasn't always just the hard-drinking party god, but a god associated with death and rebirth, madness and wildlife. But when he became more popular with the Greeks they almost exclusively focused on his status as a wine god.
  • Fun Personified: His definition of "fun" varies from time to time. It isn't always pretty.
  • God-Eating: In one version of his origin story, he was dismembered and eaten by Titans. His followers had a habit of dismembering wild animals (and sometimes people).
  • God Couple: With Ariadne after she is made immortal.
  • Green Thumb: He seems to be able to conjure and control plants that are sacred to him, especially ivy and grapevines. When he is kidnapped by the Tyrrhenian Pirates, he covers their ship in ivy and grapevines.
    Homeric Hymn to Dionysus: And all at once a vine spread out both ways along the top of the sail with many clusters hanging down from it, and a dark ivy-plant twined about the mast, blossoming with flowers, and with rich berries growing on it; and all the thole-pins were covered with garlands.
  • Happily Married: To Ariadne. He loved her enough to go down to the Underworld to take her back, after she was killed, and later made her immortal. Also, most of his demigod children are by her.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: A gender-inverted example; what else would you expect from the god of alcohol? His characterization was actually reduced to this overtime, with him having originally been a more complex deity of nature, duality, life and death.
  • The Hedonist: He was the God of Hedonism.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite being the god of madness and hedonism, all of Dionysus's relationships are completely consensual (except one) and he is shown to be deeply loyal and affectionate, most notably with his mother Semele, his first love Ampelos and his consort Ariadne.
  • Horned Humanoid: Earlier versions of Dionysus, especially his Mycenaean and later Orphic interpretations, depicted him as having horns (usually a bull's horns), with the Mycenaean version being a god of nature as well as death and rebirth and wine.
    Pentheus: You are a bull I see leading me forward now; A pair of horns seems to have grown upon your head. Were you a beast before? You are a bull.
  • Hijacked by Jesus: Dionysian Mysteries (i.e. the underground religious movements worshipping this god in Antiquity) have long been compared to Christianity, to the point that they have been integral to the discussion of its origins. While Jesus does have some interesting similarities to Dionysus, Jesus' existence as a person is not debated by most historians, and the fact that Jesus isn't that big on drunkenness or revelry is in pretty start contrast to Dionysus.
  • If I Can't Have You…: In one version of the myth, he asks Artemis to kill Ariadne, probably because they were already married/engaged and yet she still fell in love and run away with Theseus.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Sort of, as only half of Pan is a goat. They are often seen together as they both wander the earth and drink a lot. Dionysus had a lot of satyr friends, in fact, including Ampelos (who was also one of his lovers) and Marsyas.
  • Interspecies Romance: He had a Childhood Friend Romance with a satyr named Ampelos, though it didn't end well, especially since Dionysus knew from the start that Ampelos was going to die young. Sure enough, the young satyr was killed by a raging bull after Ampelos boasted of his bull riding skills and offended Selene in the process.
  • Illegal Religion: He is the only Olympian whose worship is persecuted in mythology, by multiple kings no less! It usually doesn't end well for them. (In Real Life, Dionysus' worship was very popular once he was established as an Olympian. The only time his cult was persecuted was in Rome, when it was suspected of political conspiracy, rather than for any religious reason.)
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Some versions of Theseus' myth had Dionysus take Ariadne to be his wife, completely ignoring the fact that she and Theseus were already in love. Some versions also explain Theseus leaving Ariadne behind on an island while she sleeps by having Dionysus order he do so.
    • He drove King Lycurgus mad so that he would murder how own family, as revenge for forbidding his (Dionysus’) worship; some tales say Zeus helped in the deed. Lycurgus forbade Dionysus’ worship because his followers were killing indiscriminately in their drunken frenzies. Based on this event, King Pentheus of Thebes tried to solve the problem early by preventing Dionysus’ worship from spreading to his city, but ended up meeting an even worse fate.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Basically the main reason he exists, and for all sexes too.
  • Mad God: He's the god of madness, and was driven mad by Hera at one point. Whether he ever regained his sanity, or learned to revel in his madness, is up to interpretation.
  • Mad Oracle: Though overshadowed by his status as The Hedonist, the Dionysian mysteries are heavily implied to be ecstatic or shamanistic in nature, which may be a reason for the participants' wild behavior. A number of his modern followers partake in ritualistic drug use, and Dionysus himself has an oracular side as well.
  • Married to the Job: Granted, his job is making and drinking winelots of wine. And beer, but mostly wine. In some myths, he asks for his mother's soul and is told to leave his most beloved in the Underworld. He responds by laying his staff on the ground, where a grapevine sprouts and Hades deems it adequate payment. In some versions, the grapevine is his first love Ampelos transformed after his death .
  • Mayfly–December Romance: With Ariadne before she was made immortal.
  • Meaningful Name: Bromius, his epithet, means "the noisy one," and Dionysus is a shortening of "The son of the god Zeus who lives on the mountain of Nysa"- as that was the mountain he grew up on. The name "Bacchus" refers to ecstatic ritual frenzy, and "Liber" means "the liberator."
  • Messianic Archetype: Oddly enough, he was seen to this to his worshippers, being portrayed as a saviour and bringing divine revelation. Except his idea of morality of the hedonistic kind.
  • Momma's Boy: He takes his mother's reputation very seriously to the point he will severely punish anyone who scorns her good name. In some myths, he also went down to the Underworld to bring Semele back, and made her immortal.
  • Mugging the Monster: At one point some sailors who saw him sitting by the shore believed him to be a prince, and could thus be either sold into slavery or held ransom at a great profit. After repeated requests to let him go or drop him off at Naxos, he either turned into a lion (and summoned a bear) and killed them, or turned them into dolphins. Either way, the only survivor was Acoetes, who recognized him as a god and tried to stop the others. Oddly enough, he ended up as his priest.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: One of the most common and widely accepted origins was that he was a child of Zeus and Semele. Semele was a mortal woman whom Hera tricked into requesting that Zeus show himself in his true form, which incinerated her. Zeus had to save her unborn immortal son and sew him to his thigh until he could be born. Outside from that, there were many other pasts depending on the writer or the belief system of the Greek people.
    • An older legend, and one retained by the Orphics, said he was born from Zeus and Persephone (or her mother Demeter), and torn apart and eaten by the Titans at Hera's behest. He was reborn after his heart was either consumed by Semele or was sewn into Zeus' thigh.
    • Alternate mothers include Dione, Io, and the nymph Arge.
    • He was also identified with other gods and Greek figures such as Demeter's son Iacchus, making things even more convoluted.
    • Sometimes he's raised by nymphs in the valley of Nysa, sometimes he's raised by his grandmother Rhea, and sometimes he's raised as a girl to further hide him from Hera.
    • We haven't even covered alternate parents such as Ammon and Amaltheia who hid the child from Hera's wrath until he was found by Athena.
    • The philosopher Heraclitus, unifying opposites, declared that Hades and Dionysus, the very essence of indestructible life (zoë), are the same god. Among other evidence Karl Kerényi notes that the grieving goddess Demeter refused to drink wine, which is the gift of Dionysus, after Persephone's abduction, because of this association, and suggests that Hades may in fact have been a "cover name" for the underworld Dionysus. He suggests that this dual identity may have been familiar to those who came into contact with the Mysteries. Ironically one of the epithets of Dionysus was "Chthonios", meaning "the subterranean".
    • Related to that is Zagreus, an underworld god whom we know very little about, but who may have been Dionysus (as Persephone's and possibly Hades' son) before he was dismembered.
  • Mushroom Samba: Getting high as a kite and blackout drunk goes hand in hand with being a god of wine and partying, but the Dionysus cults of Mycenaean Greece took it even further. Getting high and drunk was considered a way to let Dionysus possess the imbiber and inflict a bit of his divine power and insanity on his worshippers. By comparison, the later cult in Hellenistic Greece was more focused on just having a good time rather than tripping balls.
  • Naked on Arrival: Loved to drop in on the mortal world like this, and clothed himself in whatever animal skins his followers could scrounge up. Of course, if you go by the portrayal of him as a Pretty Boy, this might not be a particularly bad thing.
  • Nice Guy: Despite his theme of insanity and lethal temper when pushed, it's noted that he rarely does things JUST to be a jackass. Despite the inconsistent interpretations with Ariadne/Theseus and the aforementioned rape of Aura (after Eros sent him into uncontrollable lust), Dionysus has a strikingly good relationship with mortals and especially women, unusual in a pantheon notorious for its mistreatment of them. Compare his track record to his dad's, for example. It's also relatively difficult to piss him off in comparison to other gods, and he's unusually forgiving (for example, turning the pirates into dolphins to save them from drowning, and being willing to take back the Golden Touch when it proves a disaster). The only crimes for which he inflicts brutal punishments upon mortals are when they deny his divinity, or when they hurt his worshippers.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Somehow survived having his mother being burned to ashes after seeing Zeus's true form; while she was pregnant with him. Or, depending on the myth, having his entire body except for his heart eaten by Titans as a child. The Greeks thus gave him the epithet of dimētōr, which means "of two mothers", the second being either Semele (if Persephone was the first) or Zeus (who transferred him to his thigh until he was born [or regrown]).
  • Physical God
  • Pretty Boy: Described as being rather feminine-looking, and in fact, his first artistic representations were in the kouros style of pretty young males. Much later artists (especially the Romans) liked to depict him as a middle-aged man with a full beard, and Renaissance painters loved to make him fat (perhaps all that wine caught up to him in time). Overlaps with Long-Haired Pretty Boy and Dude Looks Like a Lady.
    Pentheus: Your body is not ill-formed, stranger, for women's purposes . . . For your hair is long, not through wrestling, scattered over your cheeks, full of desire; and you have a white skin from careful preparation, hunting after Aphrodite by your beauty not exposed to strokes of the sun, but beneath the shade.
  • Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: He leads one. His retinue includes a Cretan princess, his mother, Satyrs, Centaurs, insane women, nymphs, Pan and even Hercules for a while after he lost a drinking contest to Dionysus.
  • Raised by Grandparents: In one version of his backstory Hermes hands the infant Dionysus over to be raised by their grandmother, the Titaness Rhea, to protect him from Hera's wrath.
  • Resurrective Immortality: The older version of Dionysus during the earlier Greek periods included a myth that he was torn apart at Hera's order as a child and reborn by Zeus. In fact, earlier Dionysus cults - especially Orphic ones - focused as much on this aspect of rebirth as they did on wine and hedonism.
  • The Rival: Friedrich Nietzsche in a few words stated that all of Greek society was the result of a rivalry between Apollo (reason) and Dionysus (see the listed tropes). One of his less inflammatory remarks. Like a lot of things Nietzche said, this one has no basis in reality. Dionysus and Apollo almost never interact in myth, and they're certainly not active rivals (though there is that one myth where Apollo killed one of his friends). In fact, Dionysus and Apollo were most likely very good friends, because Apollo entrusted his most sacred oracular site, Delphi, to Dionysus when he left for the winter.
  • To Hell and Back: He went to the Underworld in order to bring back his mortal wife Ariadne and his mother Semele.
  • The Trickster: He fits the archetype, and like examples from other mythologies, can be Fun Personified or an insane sadist depending on the story. Unlike Hermes, he's less of a prankster, and more of a Troll who delights in making people uncomfortable.
  • Wacky Fratboy Hijinx: Played much straighter than Ares' version.
  • Walking the Earth: For a bit, after Hera curses him with insanity. He gets better eventually but keeps wandering around learning things, accumulating followers, and punishing people who piss him off.
  • Working-Class Hero: In addition to being the god of wine and ecstasy, to the Romans, Liber was also the protector of the rights and freedoms of the plebians. He was worshipped in this capacity alongside Ceres (Demeter) and Libera (either Persephone or Ariadne) in the Aventine Triad.
  • Young Conqueror: Most myths say that during his wandering before he was recognized as a god, he spent a good portion of that time conquering, among other places, India.

    Hestia/Vesta 

Ἑστία | Vesta | ⚶

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hestia_giustiniani_6.jpg

The Eldest child of Cronus and Rhea and Goddess of the hearth, meaning that she was the goddess of home, house, and family. An important goddess, but one whose domains did not lend to participation in many stories, which is why most people forget she exists. This, in addition to her modest and discreet nature, would keep her out of trouble. Her Roman equivalent was Vesta (as in "Vestal virgins").


  • 100% Adoration Rating: The only deity in the entire pantheon whom everyone could not only tolerate but actively adore. Everyone from Athena, to Ares, to Zeus himself not only gets along with her but become obsessively smite-happy if anyone disrespected their dear aunt/sister. Just ask Priapus. When he saw her snoozing after an Olympian party, he tried to ravish her in her sleep but never got the chance to, since she woke up, saw him, screamed, and every single Olympian rushed in to kick Priapus's ass; this includes Hades, who never interfered because he could wait for revenge. Assuming you buy Herodotus's interpretatio graeca, she was also the queen of the Scythians.
  • Abdicate the Throne: It's common for some modern authors to claim that she gave up her seat as one of the Twelve Olympians—preferring to sit in the centre and tend the hearth— to allow Dionysus to join without conflict. But no such story was recorded in ancient Greece.
  • Action Girl: She fought against Cronus along with the rest of her siblings.
  • Actual Pacifist: Post-Titanomachy, she is the only Olympian who never really took part in the antics of her siblings.
  • All-Loving Hero: The only deity in the entire pantheon that uniformly loves everyone and is loved in return by everyone, even the crueler gods such as Ares and Eris are fiercely protective of her since few others treat them nicely.
  • Almighty Janitor: Both as a trope and quite literally. Hestia is one of the most powerful beings in Greek myth and she spends her days cooking, cleaning, and giving her family a shoulder to cry on.
  • Bookends: All proper Greek prayers open with a prayer to Hestia, then the main prayer to whoever, then the same prayer to Hestia in closing.
  • Boring, but Practical: Hestia is Out of Focus amongst the Olympians because of her passive and uncontroversial nature compared to the Dysfunction Junction of the rest of her family and their more interesting domains, like nature, war, and justice. But the thing is that none of the other stuff matters if you have no home to return to, and as such, Hestia was a very important goddess.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The hearth that her Roman priestesses, the Vestal Virgins, cared for was never allowed to go out, and if a Vestal Virgin did allow it to go out they would be punished by scourging or beating, as it was a sign from Vesta of the continued prosperity and security of Rome.
  • Covert Pervert: As Vesta she has a few myths where she impregnated virgins with a phallus.
  • Dump Them All: Apollo and Poseidon were rivals for her hand in marriage. She wasn't interested in either of them and instead swore on her brother Zeus's head to never marry.
  • Embodiment of Virtue:
    • Kindness. A good chunk of her work is to ensure that everyone in her Big, Screwed-Up Family could at least count on her to be treated with kindness. In return, she's genuinely appreciated and she completely averts No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.
    • Chastity. Chose chastity of her own free will, having little to no interest in all things sexual. And since she never delves into Slut-Shaming and never looked down on Aphrodite nor Dionysus for their lustful apetites, both respect her wish to remain chaste and both gave Priapus a sound beating when he tried to force himself on her.
  • Fire of Comfort: Hestia's domain. She rarely partakes in myths due to having to keep the eternal celestial fire going, not that she minds, and the sound of fire crackling is said to be her laughter.
  • For Happiness: In general, this was the mind-set her priestesses engaged in as well, acts of kindness purely to spread contentment.
  • God of Fire: Hestia is the goddess of the hearth. Despite having one of the most destructive elements, she only uses fire to warm and cauterize. Being a goddess, even when she cauterizes wounds, she does so without pain.
  • God of Good: The most benevolent Olympian in and out of universe has domains featured in the warmer aspects of human nature, such as family bonds and the comfort of home.
  • The Heart: To her family and the entire Greek pantheon.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Although Hestia's domains are considered rather insignificant, she was one of the most important gods in the entire Greek Pantheon (though this isn't reflected in the myths). She was the goddess one would pray to for most of the daily troubles. She was the center of the home (where the hearth was located), the city (because there was a central hearth for every city) and the earth (because they thought there was a fire in the center of the earth and the stones and earth surrounding this fire kept it from blazing out of control... which is funnily enough, sorta close to the actual truth of the Earth's molten core). And since they believed in a geocentric universe, she could be interpreted as the center of the universe. Heart is an awesome power indeed!
  • Irony: The pacifist was equated by the Greeks with the queen of the Scythian gods.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Acted as this to all her relatives when they were going through hard times. Every Greek settlement, town, and city was required to have a temple to her because her family (including Hades who had a "never interfere in mortal affairs" clause) would consider it open season on smiting if she wasn't acknowledged. As a result, she had a role in all religious ceremonies, and was even said to automatically deserve and receive a portion of every sacrifice to the gods.
  • Loved by All: Hestia is a person loved and adored by her divine family which ranges from the likes of Hermès, Zeus and Eris among others. As demonstrated when they all united to beat the crap out of Priapus after he tried and failed to rape her.
  • Maiden Aunt: To all of her siblings' many children.
  • Morality Pet: Since she is the only goddess who got along with EVERYONE, she's pretty much the only reason they could/would share the same room. She's the only thing that keeps the Big, Screwed-Up Family from imploding.
  • Mystical Pregnancy: As Vesta, she has a few myths that she sent a phallus to impregnated virgins and they give birth to twins Romulus and Remus and King Servius Tullius.
  • Near-Rape Experience: She is nearly raped by Priapus, but screams before he can do anything and the other gods come running. The other gods do not take it well. Turns out even Zeus has standards.
  • Neutral Female: Vase-work depicting her often does so as a passive observer to other gods' quibbling. Goes hand-in-hand with being an Actual Pacifist.
  • No-Sell / Immune to Mind Control: She, along with fellow Virgin goddesses Athena and Artemis, were the only beings whose hearts Aphrodite had no power over. For context, not even Zeus or Aphrodite herself were immune.
  • Out of Focus: She was actually a very important goddess to the Greco-Roman religion, being patron of both home and community, but there aren't a lot of stories about her, largely because she didn't get into the kind of shenanigans the more well-known gods did.
  • The Paragon: She was used as the role-model. Worshiped mainly for the example she set rather than to placate her.
  • The Pollyanna: Very often portrayed as this. She is the only god who never gives into anger.
  • Promoted to Parent: Considering many sources list her as the eldest of the original six Olympians, it's safe to assume she took on the maternal role for her siblings while they were trapped in Cronus' stomach.
  • Proper Lady: You know the whole 'divine dignity' thing? She's the best example with her proper behavior. The other gods are too Jerkass to mortals and each other.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: One of, if not the most moral of the Olympians.
  • The Reliable One: Hestia is not involved in any of the epics of ancient Greek poems, plays, or stories. However, she is the single most reliable background character. Rather than fighting monsters or propping up kingdoms, she is concerned only with keeping the fires of the hearth and home burning for her more extroverted siblings when they are done for the day, as well as for the commonfolk enjoy basic creature comforts. Notably, she is the only deity in Greek folklore (and one of the few religious figures worldwide) who never strikes, quits, quibbles, or withholds her services in any way; she is simply there, ready to keep the home and community of others functional.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: She is said to be a beautiful goddess despite not caring about her appearance, but it has gotten her bad attention more than once. First, Poseidon and Apollo were unwanted suitors for her hand, but they stopped asking when she swore to stay a virgin. Priapus, on the other hand, did not take "no" for an answer; thankfully, he never got the chance, but it was a very close call.
  • Supreme Chef: The only god the others consider fit to make Ambrosia and Nectar - food so delicious it renews youth and drink so refreshing it renews power.
  • Team Mom: Essentially the role she plays among the Olympians, not that she's very good at maintaining them.
  • Virgin in a White Dress: Her priestesses all wore exclusively white garments to signify their virginity and chastity to mirror their patroness. Modern depictions of Hestia tend to avert this by giving her orange robes instead.
  • Virgin Power: One of the three virgin goddesses, along with Artemis and Athena.
  • Vow of Celibacy: She takes one shortly after the defeat of Kronos - notable in that her most rape-prone brother was about to marry her before he found out she made said vow yet honors it out of pure respect.
    • She is also the goddess mortals made such vows to, and while she will not punish you for breaking said vow, the rest of her family will curse you for daring to lie to their favorite relative; And don’t even started on what happens to people who made you break said a vow. As such said vows were considered highly sacred.
  • Western Zodiac: Traditionally associated with Capricorn. Who is hardworking, calm and nurturing among the Olympians? As the lady of the hearth, she also bears an earthly role of centralization.
  • White Magician Girl: Since she does not fight, this was the role she took to help her kin.

Other Major Deities

    Hades/Pluto/Dis 

ᾍδης/Πλούτων | Pluto/Dis | ♇

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/7334833988_dc7cb7153d_b.jpg

The god of the Underworld, though not a Grim Reaper-type figure (that would be Thanatos, who is often depicted as Hades's lieutenant). Reigned over the dead, wealth hidden in the ground and the earth as an element in general. Despite his association with death, his original depiction and characterization were never as despicable as the usual modern interpretation (though understandably, the Greeks still weren't too fond of the guy). In fact, he was a rather ambivalent figure towards mortals. note  Romans called him Pluto, latinizing the Greek epithet Plouton/Ploutos (meaning "wealthy"; gold and silver come from underground, he's the lord of the underworld—makes sense, right?), and also named him Dis (Latin for "wealthy").


  • Abduction Is Love: As noted, he brought his wife Persephone to the Underworld by force but isn't presented as all that unhappy. It's worth mentioning that in Ancient Greece, this wasn't an abduction, but instead a marriage. In the Homeric Hymn To Demeter it's directly mentioned that Hades spoke to Zeus about his intentions to marry Persephone and Zeus gave Hades permission to do so. And it was Zeus who came up with the kidnapping plot, not Hades. And before Persephone, there was Leuce, which he also kidnapped and made his lover. Although this only occurs in Roman Mythology.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: The reason he is in relatively few myths is he did not interfere in mortal affairs. This is mostly due to him eventually getting a crack at all mortals anyway. He doesn't have to interfere; he gets all mortals in the end. He can wait, though then again death happens all the time.
  • The Almighty Dollar: He was a wealth god, mostly associated with the mineral wealth beneath the earth.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Both a stickler for due process and a master of the creating Ironic Hells.
  • Battle Couple: In at least one (unfinished) text from antiquity about the Giant War, Hades is described with Persephone riding in chariots side by side, leading an army of the dead against the attacking giants.
  • Berserk Button: Often cool as a corpse unless someone messes with his wife, his dog, or his job.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • What happens when you mess with his wife? Pirithous found out quickly that Hades can go from mild to wrecking your shit if you mess with Persephone. In addition, Sisyphus played games with all of the death-related Gods and Hades gave him his famous task.
    • In some versions of Asclepius' myths, the reason Zeus killed the famous healer was because Hades was going to unleash his wrath on Apollo himself or destroy Asclepius' entire city.
    • Hades also seems to disapprove of murdering innocent kin. A man named Tantalus cut up his own son, Pelops, boiled him, and served him up in a stew to test the omnipotence of the Gods. Except for Demeter, who was mourning her lost daughter Persephone and absentmindedly ate one of Pelops' shoulders, not one of the Gods ate it. Zeus ordered Clotho, one of the three Fates, to bring Pelops back to life. She collected his body parts and boiled them in a sacred shoulder (replacing the missing shoulder with one wrought of ivory made by Hephaestus and presented by Demeter.) Zeus also banished Tantalus to Tartarus. At no point is Hades, who hates letting people come back to life, known to have protested against Clotho restoring Pelops; nor is he known to have protested when Zeus banished Tantalus to Tartarus, implying he would have done the same.
  • Blue Oni: With Zeus and Poseidon as the fiery Red Onis.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: With Demeter. In some myths, they had Ploutus, the god of wealth.
  • Canine Companion: His pet companion dog Cerberus is an Ur-Example in fiction.
  • Casting a Shadow: The night itself is credited as one of his domains (in spite of other deities like Nyx, though she is night itself instead of simply being a god of it).
  • Cool Helmet: It's often forgotten in adaptations, but just as Zeus has his lightning bolt and Poseidon his trident, Hades has his own iconic item forged by the Cyclops, namely the Helm of Darkness that allowed him to become invisible.
  • Cool Uncle: For the children of Zeus, Hades was the closest thing they had to one, at least when compared to Poseidon. With the exception of Apollo (and not without good reason), he had a good relationship with his neices and nephews, especially Hermes.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He was one of a very few gods who was never a Jerkass to mortals, although the Greeks, understandably, still weren't that fond of him due to his inexorable nature.
  • Decomposite Character: Hades doesn't seem to have existed in the Mycenaean period's myths, instead being a result of Poseidon's demotion in the Greek Dark Ages that sent his Top God status to Zeus and his chthonic elements to Hades.
  • The Dreaded: The Greeks were terrified of Death, and by default, of Hades as well. It didn't help that, unlike the other theoi, he was almost impossible to sweet-talk out of doing something; even his beloved wife only managed it once. There's also the fact that part of his job is keeping the denizens of Tartarus, which include the Titans, giants, and some very horrifying monsters, from escaping and causing untold havoc. Part of what keeps them from leaving is pure fear of Hades himself!
  • Dream Weaver: Because dreams were thought to originate in the underworld, he was also the master of dreams.
  • The Dutiful Son: Given the overall behavior of his brothers, it's safe to assume this.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: Hades is a complicated case. Contrary to pop culture portrayals, he wasn't evil and—abduction of Persephone aside—he was generally a reasonable deity who just did his job and hardly messed around with mortals like his brothers did. However, the Greeks greatly feared him and saw him as terrifying for what he represented, as death wasn't exactly something you could reason with. They loathed to say his name and called him intimidating epithets, such as Agesander (roughly meaning "he who carries away all").
  • The Fatalist: Why he hates mortals who try to cheat death.
  • Fiction 500: The richest of all gods in terms of material wealth, because gold, silver, and gems come from underground and as such fall under his dominion.
  • Fluffy Tamer: This guy was able to tie Cerberus to a post and tell him to "stay." You know, Cerberus the gigantic three-headed dog monster with a serpent's tail, a mane of snakes, and a lion's claws? In addition, "Cerberus" means "spotted", meaning Hades named his dog "Spot", thus fulfilling the "Fluffy" portion of the Trope.
  • Freudian Trio: With his brothers. He is The Superego, lawful to a fault, stoic and the least hot-headed of the group.
  • God Couple: Married to Persephone, goddess of spring. In contrast to the acrimonious and adultery filled marriage of Zeus and Hera, and Poseidon treating Amphitrite like a trophy wife, Persephone and Hades are a healthy couple and Persephone is very active as co-ruler of the Underworld.
  • God of the Dead: He was the god of the dead and lord of the underworld, ruling over the bleak fields where the shades of the dead wander forever. He was a grim and uncompromising figure, refusing to allow the dead to escape their fate when their time came to pass into death. That being said, he was still a fair god, rewarding those who lived heroic or virtuous lives, and he also ruled over the paradise realm of Elysium.
  • God of Order: Holding people to their oaths was one of his duties, in part because the Styx, the river of oaths, was part of his domain. One of the most common things that could get the Furies sent after someone was breaking a sacred oath of some kind. The pre-Olympian era Underworld was also said to be a chaotic mess until Hades arrived and organized it so that souls/shades would go to their proper resting places based on their deeds in life.
  • Good Is Not Nice: He has one of the more important jobs in the pantheon and is one of the least malicious of the gods who honors his deals and generally doesn't screw around in mortal affairs. That said, his dark and dour nature also means he's incredibly well-suited to his task.
  • Hands Off My Fluffy!: Heracles was not the brightest demi-god on Zeus's dependants list, but even he recognized what a bad idea it would have been to complete his labor to fight Cerberus without first getting Hades' permission.
  • Happily Married: He completely loves his wife Persephone and she loves him back just as much. He's one of the only gods in the entire pantheon who never cheated on his spouse (Minthe tried to get him to cheat, but Persephone nipped that in the bud). Sometimes it borders on Single-Target Sexuality.
  • He Who Must Not Be Named: Mortals and even the other gods don't like speaking his name. His temples are always dedicated anonymously because death worship is considered taboo.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite his at times a fearsome and imposing exterior, Hades has a softer, gentler side, especially when it comes to his wife Persephone. In fact after the abduction that started their marriage (said abduction having been Zeus' idea to begin with) he sincerely apologizes for his actions both immediately after the act and right before sending her back to her mother for the first time.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: A stoic keeper of death who took in a stray monstrosity as a puppy, has a Wide-Eyed Idealist wife who adores him, and even was willing to give love a chance to conquer death when he heard Orpheus's story.
  • I Have Many Names: Since the Greeks didn't like to refer to him by name, they had a whole list of other names to call him instead. The most common was Plouton ("Giver of Wealth") but, according to Sophocles, he was also referred to as Clymenus ("notorious"), Polydegmon ("who receives many") and Eubuleus ("well-intentioned"). Even his usual name is a euphemism ("Unseen One").
  • "Instant Death" Radius: The reason he was never invoked by even his few cults was the Greeks believed he had this as a default.
  • Invisibility Cloak: The Helm of Darkness (obviously not actually a cloak).
  • Irony : He's the eldest son of Cronos in Classical mythology; however as mentioned above, both of his "younger" brothers actually predate him by centuries, having existed in different forms in Mycenean Greece, where as Hades was a later invention spun off of Mycenean Posidon.
  • The Lost Lenore: In the Roman canon, before he met Persephone, Hades was in love with a nymph named Leuce. Unfortunately, she died, leading to Hades turning her into a white poplar tree which he planted in Elysium in memoriam.
  • Magic Staff: Had a scepter that could split gaping chasms in the earth that led straight to the depths of the Underworld and control armies of shades.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: In the Sibylline Hymns, it's mentioned that he and Persephone made love on the banks of the Cocytus. Incidentally, on the banks of the Cocytus is where their daughter Melinoe was born.
  • Manly Tears: Orpheus was able to get Hades to shed "iron tears" by playing his lyre, which is probably just about the manliest possible tears ever. Noteworthy because many, many people begged him to let their loved ones back into the world of the living, and he would almost always refuse them because a) it was his job, and b) a simple fact of nature that people die, so he was obligated to be cold and professional about it. The music of Orpheus was just that sad.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: His Roman incarnation, Pluto, is the God of Wealth (although Taste is less certain). Not a villain, although he is the Trope Namer for Everybody Hates Hades, and early Christians adopted aspects of him for their depiction of Satan.
  • Marriage Before Romance: While he was in love with Persephone from the start, Persephone was initially frightened by Hades. Which is understandable, since Zeus, her father, had kept her out of the loop regarding her engagement so she didn't know Hades was coming to claim her in secret and that she had nothing to be afraid of. However, she did fall in love with Hades afterwards and she not only had one of the rare stable Olympian marriages with him, but it would turn out they had a lot more in common than one would expect.
  • May–December Romance: Even though Greek gods don't age, there is still a generational gap between him and Persephone.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: As is the case in Greek Mythology.
    • In some stories, it's mentioned that Persephone's brother Ploutos was fathered by Hades. As in Demeter and Hades had a son together. While in others Ploutos was parented by either Hades and Persephone or Demeter and Iasion.
    • As mentioned above, Melinoe and Zagreus are either fathered by Hades or Zeus in the guise of Hades.
    • The philosopher Heraclitus, unifying opposites, declared that Hades and Dionysus, the very essence of indestructible life (zoë), are the same god. Among other evidence Karl Kerényi notes that the grieving goddess Demeter refused to drink wine, which is the gift of Dionysus, after Persephone's abduction, because of this association, and suggests that Hades may in fact have been a "cover name" for the underworld Dionysus. He suggests that this dual identity may have been familiar to those who came into contact with the Mysteries. Ironically one of the epithets of Dionysus was "Chthonios", meaning "the subterranean".
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: Compared to his brothers, Zeus and Poseidon, who were...let's say tempestuous in their dealings with mortals (and their extra-marital misadventures), Hades was very even-handed with mortals and he never cheated on his wife.
  • Non-Idle Rich: Hades is the god of wealth and is generally portrayed as the god with the most subjects to govern, as everyone dies eventually.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • Orpheus made such a convincingly sad case Hades was moved to tears and gave him permission to return his love Eurydice back to the world of the living, something he really doesn't like doing. And after all that Eurydice didn't even get to leave. Though to Hades' credit that last part was Orpheus' fault. And he made sure they were together in Elysium once Orpheus passed.
    • Then we have Asclepius resurrecting the dead. Hades' exact reaction varies depending on source but Zeus had to strike Asclepius down to keep Hades from either dragging Apollo to the Underworld for encouraging him and/or killing all of Asclepius's hometown of Epidaurus in revenge.
    • Hades is rarely frightened and is seen by most as cold and inexorable, but he was visibly trembling at his post when Typhon attacked, and in The Iliad Poseidon makes an earthquake so strong Hades jumps out of his chair in fear that the Underworld will be exposed due to the quake.
  • Odd Friendship: With Hermes, who apparently doesn't mind working with him on a regular basis, or asking for the Helm of Darkness.
  • Older Than He Looks. He was the eldest of his brothers but, as Olympians never aged, he maintained a younger visage.
  • Orcus on His Throne: How humans entering the Underworld (Hercules, Theseus, Orpheus, etc.) would find him and Persephone.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Zeus pledged Persephone to Hades (a fairly common diplomatic practice between royalty in the day) - though he did forget to mention the arrangement to Demeter leading to shenanigans. Despite the calculated nature of the union and the need to abduct her to make good on the betrothal, Hades and Persephone actually have one of the best marriages in the entire pantheon. For instance, there are no stories about them cheating on each other.
  • Pet the Dog: The way he treats Persephone, kidnapping apart. A more literary example with Cerberus: as the legend of Hercules shows, Hades was rather protective of his dog and didn't want Hercules to injure him.
  • Pet Monstrosity: He keeps Cerberus, a three-headed canine Animalistic Abomination, as a guard dog.
  • Pretty Boy: While usually portrayed as a bearded adult, in some pieces of art, most notably the Morgantina Terracottas, Hades is depicted as a slender, handsome youth.
  • The Problem with Fighting Death: The main implication of why Hades acts so cool-headed to the point of lethargic is this - no matter what a mortal does Hades can just wait them out... although this is also why Asclepius resurrecting the dead was over the line for him.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Hades treated the dead according to their actions in life - the most virtuous went to the Elysian Fields, those who were neither very good or very evil existed in a state not that different from life, and only the wicked truly suffered. He also kept his deals, such as allowing Dionysus to leave Hades in exchange for his "best beloved" (his grapevines) and allowing Heracles to take Cerberus when he overcame the hellhound without the use of weapons. He only got pissed off when he was actually crossed, such as when Apollo's son Asclepius learned to raise the dead and Hades complained to Zeus about being cheated out of the deal that allowed him to reign over the souls of the dead. When Theseus and Pirithous tried to sneak into the Underworld to abduct Persephone, Hades imprisoned them in stone seats, and while he eventually allowed Heracles to free Theseus, he did not extend that forgiveness to Pirithous, who'd come up with the harebrained plan in the first place. Essentially, Hades was reasonable but had three very serious dealbreakers: don't try to raise the dead without his express permission, don't try to cheat death (as Sisyphus did), and do not try to steal his wife.
  • Right-Hand Attack Dog: Cerberus, his three-headed, venomous hound with a live viper for a tail.
  • The Sacred Darkness: Of the "does an unpopular, but important job" variety.
  • Seduction-Proof Marriage: At least on his end. Even in the Roman additions where he had Leuce and Minthe, they were former concubines who could not win him back after he met Persephone - it still did not end well for them.
  • Shapeshifting Lover: Pre-Orphic Hymns state that this was the case of Zagreus' birth. After falling in love with Persephone and before he decided to marry her, Hades turned himself into a snake to get past Demeter and into the bed of Persephone, resulting in Zagreus' conception.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Towards Persephone. In the earliest known versions of his myths, he is never described with anyone but Persephone. Leuce and Minthe seem to be later Roman additions and even then they are rejected for Persephone.
  • The Smart Guy: Hades is extremely intelligent (even smarter than his siblings) and he's also the most industrious strategist and tactical thinker.
  • The Stoic: The one time he is driven to Tender Tears, they are tears of iron. Though it should be mentioned that, off the job, Hades did seem to have a passionate side, especially when it came to his wife Persephone.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: While he is on-the-job he is The Dreaded to mortals-and-most gods alike, to his wife, kids and soul-chewing-doggy he is a loving family-man.
  • We All Die Someday: Nearly any story involving Hades making a personal appearance has this as its moral. In-fact he states this to Orpheus almost word for word.
  • We Can Rule Together: Non-villainous example. In the oldest versions, when Hades offers Persephone the pomegranate, he speaks of, among other things, how as long as they are together, she rule by his side as an equal and that he will ensure that she is honored and respected. It is after this that she eats the pomegranate seeds.
  • Workaholic: As the God of the Dead, he has the biggest workload among the Gods. He oughta slow down, or he'll work himself to death!

    Persephone/Proserpina 

Περσεφόνη | Proserpina

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pluto_serapis_and_persephone_isis_heraklion_museum.jpg

Goddess of spring, vegetation/flowers, and Queen of the Underworld. Daughter of Zeus and Demeter, she was abducted (theoretically) by Hades to be his queen. She spends half of the year with her mother and half of it with him. Though not numbered among the Twelve Olympians, she had more Greek worshippers than Ares, and she was a major goddess of the Eleusinian Mysteries alongside Demeter and Hecate. To Romans, she was known as Proserpina.


  • 100% Adoration Rating:
    • Kidnapped or not, Persephone must have felt something positive for Hades if she was willing to turn his ex-girlfriend into a mint leaf and stomp her into the dust just for making a move on him.
    • Persephone herself is feared and respected among the kingdom of the underworld as much as her husband is.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • Despite common interpretations saying that Demeter's mother smothering annoyed her, the kidnapping myth emphasizes the fact that Persephone missed her terribly while in the Underworld.
    • There's also the fact that, outside of having a rough start, Hades and Persephone had a very happy marriage.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She is equally as respected among the Kingdom of the Underworld as much as Hades is, but Olympus help you if you make her angry; she is known as the Iron Queen for a reason. And many myths refer to her as, "Dread Persephone". Make her angry - and run, because she'll have you eventually... or her vengeful husband will...They can, and will, wait.
  • Broken Bird: Some interpretations take her early life in Underworld as a Break the Cutie process. Though she quickly grows out of this and becomes a confident queen alongside her husband, who treats her as an equal.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl:
    • When the naiad Minthe tried to seduce Hades, Persephone turned her into a mint plant and stomped on her. It's good that Hades is a pretty faithful husband.
    • Subverted in the version involving the nymph Leuce. Persephone seemed to like her enough that after Leuce died naturally, she turned her into the first white poplar tree, which became her sacred tree. Other myths (and the original one) say that Pluto (Hades) turned Leuce into a poplar tree, after her death. She was also (usually) said to have been the wife of Hades, before Persephone.
  • Daddy's Girl: In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, Persephone cries out for Zeus when abducted by Hades and the story puts a lot of emphasis on how Zeus is very important to her. Averted in some other stories, where Zeus rapes her, although these are considered non-canonical.
  • Death and the Maiden: Much classical art depicts her swooning while being carried off by Hades, with her epithet 'Kore' even meaning maiden.
  • Decomposite Character: Her original Roman counterpart was Libera, who was a part of the Aventine Triad alongside Ceres (Demeter) and Liber (Dionysus), which served as a plebian counterpart to the patrician Capitoline Triad. However, as the Greek Gods became more integrated with the Romans around the time of the Punic wars, the relationship between Liber and Libera caused a bit of Continuity Snarl. Liber and Libera were considered to be the children of Ceres and married to each other, while Dionysus and Persephone weren't. Libera was therefore divided between the imported Proserpina and Dionysus's consort Ariadne. Proserpina was also presented as an example of female patrician morality and modesty, as opposed to Libera and Liber's roles as the protectors of the rights and freedoms of the plebians, especially those of plebian women in Libera's case.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: In the Mycenaean period, Persephone was so closely equated with her mother that they were called the Two Goddesses or even Two Demeters. She became more of her own person through meeting Hades and becoming Queen of the Underworld.
  • The Dreaded: Like Hades. Homer specifically calls her, "Dread Persephone," in the Odyssey, and Odysseus is terrified of her. A lot of her older references also seem to be intentionally avoiding directly referencing her name, using alternate names like Kore.
  • Emotionless Girl:
    • As the Queen of the Underworld, she is as cold as Hades when she was performing her duties. Although she does have a case of Not So Stoic once in a while.
    • She also was touched by Orpheus's playing and was fine with him getting his wife back.
  • Fertile Feet: Literally. When she returns to earth plants and flowers will grow in her presence (thus creating springtime).
  • Generation Xerox: In the version where her love for Adonis is maternal, she ends up having to split the time she spends with her child just like Demeter did.
  • God Couple: With Hades.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Sometimes, Persephone is said to have blonde hair like wheat/grain, as the goddess of plants and fertility, especially since her mother Demeter is also blonde.
  • Happily Married: Abduction aside, Hades and Persephon have one of the happiest, healthiest marriages in the entire pantheon, ruling the Underworld side by side and never having an unequal partnership.
  • The High Queen: Of the Underworld. A known epithet of her is the Iron Queen, who is dreaded by mortals as much as her husband Hades.
  • The Ingenue: Before her abduction. Her title, "Kore," meant maiden. She most likely leveled up into some kind of Perky Goth after that. Hey, being the queen of the underworld isn't all bad...
  • Innocent Flower Girl: Literally before her abduction. Afterwards she became The High Queen.
  • Leg Focus: Her legs are described as being "trim-ankled."
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: One of the Sibylline Hymns mentions she and Hades getting intimate by the banks of the river Cocytus, the same river which would become the birthplace of their daughter Melinoe.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Many have interpreted her as this for Hades, being a sweet, beautiful young woman who makes the gloomy Lord of the Dead's life a little brighter.
  • A Match Made in Stockholm: One interpretation of her marriage with Hades in the versions where he did abduct her. She ended up falling in love with him as well and they had a very healthy and faithful relationship and an equal partnership in ruling the Underworld.
  • The Missus and the Ex: In the Roman canon, Hades' ex-mistress Minthe started making trouble for her by trying to seduce Hades. Persephone turned the girl into a mint plant and stomped on her.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The Homeric Hymn to Demeter describes Persephone as "trim-ankled" and "buxom", and Eros and Psyche's myth even claims her beauty rivaled that of Aphrodite.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: As is standard for Greek myths, the amount of children she had and with whom varies. Pre-Orphic and polis myths state that she mothered two children with Hades (Melinoe and Zagreus). However the Orphic hymns re-wrote these stories to portray Melinoe and Zagreus as 'rape babies', Zagreus being the product of Zeus seducing her in the form of a serpent (Originally it was Hades and serpents were associated with the Underworld). And Melinoe was re-written to have been the result of 'Zeus disguising himself as Hades'. Reading between the lines of the Hymn to Melinoe, it is easy to realize that Melinoe was originally Hades' daughter. The Orphic Hymns also claim that Hades and Persephone were the parents of the Furies, while one Orphic Fragment claims that she would bear "nine azure-eyed flower-producing daughters" (the father of whom isn't explicitly stated, but the Fragment strongly implies is Hades). Macaria and Plutus are also occasionally given as Hades and Persephone's children.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The etymology of her name is not clear, it probably comes from the words meaning to kill or to destroy, referencing her function as the ruler of the Underworld.
  • Orcus on His Throne: How most people would see her and her husband when they entered the Underworld.
  • Parental Incest: In the Orphic Mysteries, her father Zeus tricked her into sleeping with him at least twice. Pre-Orphic Hymns argue that this was not originally the stories of Melinoe and Zagreus and that they were changed to fit that particular cult and instead Hades was their father.
  • Perky Goth: Some interpretations.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Zeus pledged her to Hades, and by chance this turned out to be one of the happiest marriages in the entire pantheon.
  • Pet the Dog: While stern in her role as queen, she was moved by Psyche's quest and agreed to give her a box of beauty, warning the girl not to open it, and helped Odysseus talk with dead heroes and scholars once he made the proper sacrificial rites.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Is typically described as dark-haired and with fair skin.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Underestimating Persephone simply because of her Innocent Flower Girl image is a big mistake—she was feared as "The Iron Queen" for a reason.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: A more symbolic example, but she was frequently associated with pomegranates, for obvious reasons.
  • Trapped in Another World: Subverted. She is in the Underworld for half of the year. Though not truly, "trapped," since she has a very comfortable life there as Queen of the Underworld, and is treated as an equal by its King, her loving husband Hades.
  • Wife Husbandry: She took turns with Aphrodite in raising Adonis (symbolic of the contrast between love/life and death, as Persephone was queen of the underworld) and fought with her over his affections when he was an adult. Depending on the version, her love was either romantic (making it this trope) or a case of My Beloved Smother, not unlike her own mother Demeter.
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