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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: Since the Greeks believed in Beauty Equals Goodness they all have been noted for being beautiful, save for Hephaestus.
  • 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: They're 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, Mars, Aphrodite and Artemis firmly remained barefooters even during times of cultural shifts.
  • Jerkass Gods: By modern standards, the Olympians could be extremely vindictive and cruel towards each other and especially towards humans. This trope is wholly averted by Hestia and generally averted by Demeter, Hermes, Hephaestus, Dionysus, Hades, and Athena, though they have their moments.
  • Physical God: The Gods are essentially humans with vast and nearly limitless power.
  • 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 them.
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    Zeus/Jupiter 

Ζεύς | Iūpiter/Iovis | ♃

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

Zeus was the father-god of the pantheon; his domain was the sky and thunder, associated with leadership and law. Nowadays he's just as well known, if not more, for his astronomical amount of lovers and children. His Roman equivalent is Jupiter, with whom he was identified. 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 Zeus' siblings all agreed that he should rule. To be fair, the rest of them spent their childhood in their father's stomach so Zeus 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/Kronos was as abusive to Zeus as Zeus was abusive to his children. He is not the best dad around, but depending on what myth you read, he is downright horrible to some of his children.
    • According to Orphic narratives, he sexually assaulted his daughter Persephone (he seduced her in the form of a serpent, committing rape by fraud). However, since the Orphic Narratives were retconned myths, Hades had originally been the one who seduced her in the form of a serpent (serpents were associated with the Underworld).
    • He also may have been responsible for making his son Hephaestus lame by throwing him off Olympus (although another version stated it was Hera who did that). He also badmouths Ares (though to be fair, everybody hates him) and let him get imprisoned by giants.
    • According to some myths, he swallowed his first wife Metis when she was pregnant with Athena, because he was afraid of a prophecy that said that his and Metis's son would eventually rise up to overthrow him like Zeus did with his own father Chronos and Chronos did his father Oranos, and did not know at the time if Metis was pregnant with a son or daughter.
  • 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's seen getting mad at him, it was for a perfectly understandable reason (namely, marrying off their daughter without telling her or giving her a say in the matter).
  • Angel Unaware: Like his Daughter Athena and his son Dionysus, he usually disguises himself whenever he has to interact with mortals, for various reasons.
  • Animal Motifs: The king sky god was often depicted with an eagle and also associated with bulls.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He was the toughest of the Olympians, and also their leader.
  • 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, most ending in divorce save for his marriage to Hera, and his first, and seemingly only happy marriage, ending in cannibalism.
  • Badass Beard: Had one in almost all interpretations.
  • Berserk Button: Zeus 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 of the gods, and after Prometheus' cow stunt, refused to let humans have it. When Prometheus stole fire and gave it to humans, Zeus furiously chained him to a rock and sent an eagle to feast on his liver every day. Later, when Apollo's son Asclepius became such a good healer that he could raise the dead, Zeus killed him with a thunderbolt for effectively giving humans immortality (although he may have done so to minimize damage given how Hades was so furious that he considered going after Apollo or destroying the whole town; even other Gods know that when Hades is hot under the collar, you mitigate the damage in any way possible before it's too late...)
    • Kin murder 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 Zeus, who was their guest at the time. Ixion first invited his father-in-law to visit and then threw 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.
  • Big Good: When he is not instigating any conflicts, he is this since he is the god of justice and law.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: Zeus is the Trope Codifier.
  • Canon Immigrant: It is believed that Zeus 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, he was still known, but not yet considered a Top God.
  • The Cape: His most admirable qualities are his hate for liars, oathbreakers and the unjust. Ironically, he was these very things in his personal life.
  • The Casanova: Often in trouble for charming mortal women.
  • Cool Horse: He kept Pegasus after Bellerophon's fall.
  • Depraved Bisexual: 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 Zeus 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, fails 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 lovers under the claim of not interfering in her domain all to make his life easier or avoid any risk to himself. Some stories also state he originally ran from Typhon and had to be goaded by Athena into fighting.
  • Doting Parent: Seems to love his daughters dearly. Athena is his favorite child to the point that she can borrow the Aegis whenever she wants it. He once gives Artemis one wish with no condition, although she simply asks him to never put her in an Arranged Marriage. And while his suggestion to Hades to kidnap Persephone seems to be a subversion, some versions of the myth note that some of Persephone's brothers, including Apollo and Hermes, already have their eyes on her, so it's understandable. There might be invokedValues Dissonance involved here, as getting your daughter a high-status husband probably would've qualified as good parenting back in a time where Arranged Marriage was the norm.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal: He's the trope image and around a third of the examples are devoted to his exploits.
  • A Family Affair: In the Orphic tales, he bedded his brother Hades' wife Persephone (who was also his daughter) by disguising himself as him. 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.
  • 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.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Date-rape - he is fine with, twenty "nos and a "yes" - he is fine with, cheating on your spouse - no problem, but outright attempting to hold-someone-down rape - he will smite you to Tartarus and back, as shown when Priapus tried to rape Hestia.
    • In addition as god of hospitality he tended to enforce the rules of kindness and etiquette... unless said party guests forced themselves on their hosts or stayed passed the point of welcome. You can ask Penelope's suitors how that goes.
  • 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-Eating: When Metis, Athena's mother and the original goddess/titaness of wisdom, got pregnant, Zeus ate her. 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 he had a daughter so, while she was powerful, she was not more powerful than him and was also completely loyal. Unfortunately for Metis, this made her being eaten unnecessary.
  • God of Order: As the king of gods Zeus is supposed to enforce law and leadership, with Sacred Hospitality as one his domains. In practice he 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.
  • Grandpa God: 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, to magnificent. Naturally no matter what form he takes he tends to turn up the charm until the ladies (and men) 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 less heroic afterwards, if you couldn't tell from the other tropes here.
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Would often impregnate women by making contact with them in the form of an animal.
  • Hypocrite: Zeus 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.
  • Humanoid Abomination: His true form is "the living embodiment of lightning and the tempest".
  • Iconic Item: The Aegis, a vague sort of device/weapon/armor usually made from the skin of a slain monster, 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".
  • Incest Is Relative: Had sex with many of his relatives. (Not that there were any non-relative options.) Heck, he had sex so many times that the majority of the mortal women he seduced are descended from him.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: The general excuse for not standing up to Hera or some of the other gods is he is not supposed to interfere in their domains. In Hera's case, she has the divine duty to punish adulterers. It comes across as more of an excuse than a reason given how Zeus is willing to violate his own responsibilities or the rules including the affairs of other gods whenever he wants something.
  • Jerkass: Depending on the Writer. He had been portrayed as a shapeshifting rapist, a womanizer, an egomaniac, an irresponsible person, a murderer, a cannibal, a liar, a callous parent and an abusive god. Also, according to one version of the myths, he ate his first wife Metis while she was pregnant with his first children.
  • Jerkass Gods: Not always, it must be said. Yes, he's often abusive to other gods and mortals, but he is also the god of justice and he DOES punish the truly vile, even if he has hypocrisy issues.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Pretty much how his character comes across overall. Of course, whether you encountered the "Jerk" or the "Heart of Gold" depended on who you were, what you had done, and whether you encountered the big guy on a good day.
  • Karma Houdini: Zeus pulls a lot of the same crap that his father, Kronos pulled and violates the very ethics he punishes others for violating like lying, incest, and oath-breaking. Yet, the closest he is ever 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: Zeus killed Iasion, his nephew, with a thunderbolt, for sleeping with Demeter after the wedding of Cadmus and Harmonia. Why did he do this? No apparent reason, he just disapproved of the pairing. Considering Zeus impregnated Demeter to have Persephone, it may have been jealousy.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: More perverse by modern standards but the ancient Greeks very much viewed him as such.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He orchestrated the Trojan War, causing the deaths of thousands, 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 Zeus wanted to keep her happy so she wouldn't create any more monsters like Typhon or the Giants. Either way, he 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).
  • Mother of a Thousand Young: Gender-inverted. The Other Wiki page of "Children of Zeus" has over a hundred entries.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Zeus' primary character flaw is his lust. He's not the Trope Codifier for Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal for nothing. However, he was treated more as a rogueish bad boy than a Jerk Ass God and was still regarded as a just and wise Top God by the Greeks.
  • Nephewism: Depending on the Writer. He's raised by Amalthea, who's either a goat, or Rhea's sister who own that goat.
  • 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 God of hospitality he practically embodies this trope; He was gracious both as and to party guests, invites even his rivals to Olympian feasts, freed the Hekagigas to avenge themselves on the other Titans and gave pardons out like candy to every titan who decided to abandon Kronos. 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, legitimate child and male-lover, so there is some bias there.
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: Zeus can be seen as the Roguish Male to Hades' Noble Male.
  • Not Quite the Almighty: Treated as the Top God, but there are gods greater than him like Nyx, Erebus, or the Fates. It's just that they aren't worshiped and he is.
  • "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: As far as Zeus 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.
  • Omniscient Morality License: Later sources attribute omniscience to him, but this is a trait very much not displayed in the actual myths.
  • Offing the Offspring: Has both been the victim of and perpetrated this.
  • One-Winged Angel: 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 a living embodiment of lightning and tempest. The only things left after that were Dionysus' fetus and Semele's ashes.
  • Parental Incest:
    • He had a creepy habit of taking on various forms (such as a serpent or Hades) to have sex with Persephone, resulting in several children in the Orphic tales. 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.
  • The Patriarch: He's the big daddy of the gods.
  • Physical God: Zeus tends to appear as a middle-aged man with a thick grey or white beard.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Make no mistake, the ancient Greeks had a vastly different standard of what made someone a lovable huckster, and what made someone a rampant sex-fiend, but even Zeus denounces outright, zero-romancing, hold-them-down, Lifetime-Movie-Of-The-Week rape, and he will use his lightning bolt as a dildo on whoever doesn't get that. Priapus found out that out the hard way.
  • Really Gets Around: Some myths say that he fathered one hundred children but Hera, his official wife, only birthed two of them.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Hades' Blue, but Blue compared to Poseidon's Red. He was far less stoic than Hades but far more prone to Pet the Dog moments than Poseidon.
  • Sacred Hospitality: Or Xenia, one of the domains he protected.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: A combination of this and Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!. Zeus 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 one of a Protogenoi.
  • Shapeshifting Lover: Perseus was conceived when Zeus rained on Perseus' mother in the form of gold, and 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 and his paternity was passed on to Zeus.
  • Shapeshifting Seducer: Zeus 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. He carried off Europa in the form of a bull and met Danae disguised as a "shower of gold." He was in swan form when he chased and raped Leda (or Nemesis, Depending on the Writer). He used the trope's more usual form with Alcmene, though, 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, as well, although unlike Alcmene she wasn't married.
  • Shock and Awe: The Bolt of Divine Retribution, it's his iconic weapon.
  • Shipper on Deck: In all versions, Hades asks his permission to marry Persephone. Zeus doesn't object at all and even suggests to Hades that the latter abducts his daughter.
  • 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 Kronos/Cronus treated Zeus and his siblings far worse than Zeus treats his own children.
  • Truly Single Parent: Athena sprang fully formed from Zeus' head with no mother to be seen, depending on some versions. In other versions, after hearing a prophecy to the effect of Metis' children would surpass him (and not having the self-restraint to not sleep with Metis anyway) Zeus ate Metis and subsequently gave birth to ther daughter Athena, who again comes out of his head full grown.
  • 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, Zeus 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 son of Kronos/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.
  • 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: Up to Eleven, but 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 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 even 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' various mistresses, regardless of whether they are gods or mortals. For example, she tried to prevent the goddess Leto from giving birth, and she tricked Semele into being burnt to cinders by Zeus. Her treatment of his children is worse — she forced Heracles to 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, 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.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Easily slighted, and as vengeful as they come.
  • 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. Considering their relationship consists of an endless cycle of spite...
  • Kick the Dog: She drives Herakles 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.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Hera couldn't act against Zeus for his infidelity. Punishing others was her only method of getting even.
  • 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.
  • Physical God: She, like the other gods, could and often would interact with mankind directly.
  • 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".
  • 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' opposite.
  • Wicked Stepmother: She manages to get this trope Older Than Feudalism. She often conspired against Zeus' mortal offspring as revenge for her husband's infidelities, like Apollo, Artemis, Dionysus and most famously was Heracles' Archenemy and the 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 opportunities for her to be so.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: If the hymns dedicated to her are to be believed, the ancient Greek actually considered Hera to be this, referring to her as "the greatest beauty among immortals or goddesses". Contrast Aphrodite, who, 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' 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, earthquakes and (to a lesser extent) horses, and brother of Zeus and Hades. 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: Is frequently associated with horses.
  • Anything That Moves: Like Zeus up there. 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.
  • 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. He also hates that Athena became patron of Athens, resulting in the praying to her before him.
  • Big Bad: Of The Odyssey. Basically all of the trials that Odysseus has to face are being thrown at him by Poseidon.
  • The Casanova: Overshadowed by Zeus' philandering since his affairs were literally hundreds, so nobody tends to remember him for them individually. 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, and Medusa was transformed into a monster by Athena as punishment for breaking her oath and desecrating her temple.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He outright rapes numerous sea-dwellers, he is fine with incest, as shown with Demeter, but he will not force himself on siblings, as demonstrated with Hestia - when he tried courting her and she said she wanted to stay a virgin, he immediately abandons ship.
  • Evil Uncle: To Athena in particular, over winning Athens.
  • 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 and rape..
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: He loved this trope.
  • 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.
  • Kill It with Water: He was fond of using tidal waves and whirlpools to punish those who offended him.
  • Lord of the Ocean: DUH!
  • Making a Splash: Duh, he's the God of the Sea!
  • Mood-Swinger: Much like the ocean itself, Poseidon was a very moody divinity 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, for his Weapon of Choice.
  • Polyamory: Poseidon slept around with everything, however as Amphitrite did not associate sex with love, Poseidon did not need to hide any of them.
  • Red Oni: To both Hades and Zeus. Poseidon puts even Zeus to shame when it comes to the whole divine wrath thing.
  • Really Gets Around: Even more than Zeus, but since so many of them were sea-creatures, he tends to be less famous for this.
  • The Rival: Had a notable rivalry with Athena and Zeus. He and Athena quarreled 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.
  • Shapeshifting Lover: For instance, some myths say he took the form of a bird to seduce Medusa.
  • 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, 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 grain, fertility, the "life" parts of the life-and-death cycle, and marriage laws. Her name literally means "Earth Mother" (de + meter). The Romans equated her with their agricultural goddess Ceres, from whom English gets the word cereal.


  • An Ice Person: To Person of Mass Destruction levels, but only when she gets pissed.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Big time. Excluding Chiron and Hades, she sleeps with two of her brothers to begat in order: Persephone (Zeus), Arion and Despoinanote  (Poseidon).
  • Casual Kink: Whenever she has sex it is in the form of an animal, as have been her partners when it is with other deities.
  • 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.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Turned a kid into a lizard for innocently laughing at the way she drinks.
  • Do You Want to Copulate?: Sex and love have nothing to do with each other as far as she is concerned. She not only has casual affairs with Zeus and Poseidon, she doesn't consider it rude toward their wives. Like the average animal, when she feels like sex, she has sex, and there is nothing more to it.
  • Fertile Feet: As the Goddess of Fertility.
  • 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.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Not very smart to anger her, unless of course you like starving from a lack of crops.
  • Green Thumb: Obviously, as the goddess of the harvest.
  • 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.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: For such an overprotective parent, one of the Orphic Fragments depicts her as being awfully keen on setting Persephone up with Apollo, aka the guy whose suitors usually end up either dead, cursed, transformed into various plant life or some combination thereof, sometimes at his hand. And then there's the fact that she's not keen at all about Persephone being married to Hades, despite the fact that everyone else seems to think it's nothing short of the best possible match (and it shows).
  • I Ate WHAT?!: She had no idea the feast Tantalus prepared for the gods was made of his son, while the other gods were somewhat suspicious she started absentmindedly gnawing at it while he was making a toast to them, and ate part of the shoulder (although this may have been because she was grieving over Persephone at the time, and wasn't paying full attention).
  • 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.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: It may have slipped Zeus' mind to mention to her he betrothed their daughter to someone.
  • Mama Bear: She almost destroyed humanity when her daughter went missing.
  • 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.
  • My Beloved Smother: To Persephone, to the point that a popular interpretation of the kidnapping myth is that Persephone went along with it just to get away from her. That said, other versions do emphasize that Persephone ended up missing her afterward.
  • 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: To Hades, due to My Beloved Smother status above.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Tries to exercise it. Zeus was ready to give in but Hades, and in most versions Persephone, were not and it fails.
  • 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 terrafied once she starts freezing 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.
  • 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.)
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: In most myths that don't involve her daughter. 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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? 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 weaving, industry, strategy, defensive war, justice, and skill. The Romans identified her with their goddess Minerva.


  • Action Girl: She wasn't Goddess of War for nothing.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In Ovid's works, and much more prominently than the other Olympians due to her being much more rational and level-headed than them. In them, she punishes Arachne not because she acted disrespectfully towards her father and uncle, but simply out of jealousy, and she wrongs Medusa by transforming her into a monster for having been raped by Poseidon.
  • Amazonian Beauty: She was incredibly good looking, but was visibly strong and more than capable of holding her own in a fight.
  • Angel Unaware: Like her younger brother Dionysus and her father Zeus, 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). In the Odyssey, she disguised herself as an old man and when she first met Arachne, she disguised herself as an elderly woman.
  • Animal Motifs: Often associated with owls, especially the little owl (Athene noctua).
  • Asexuality: One of the 3 virgin Goddesses and has zero interest in sex of any kind.
  • Badass Bookworm: Being the goddess of war and wisdom.
  • Berserk Button: In some versions of the myths surrounding her, she really did not 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, she 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, she 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: Was often teamed up with Hermes and Heracles due to them being Zeus' favorite children.
  • By-the-Book Cop: As a goddess of intelligence, 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.
  • 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 arts and crafts associated with it. And of course goddess of Athens which naturally considered itself the epitome of civilization.
  • Cool Big Sis: She was the oldest child of Zeus and for the most part, she 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 her wisdom and for helping them when they needed it.
  • Courtroom Antics: When she was tired of mortals and their cycles of revenge she invented the jury system.
  • Daddy's Girl: Depending on the Writer. She was intensely loyal to Zeus. Some versions of the Typhon vs. Zeus story say that she was the only one of the Gods who didn't flee when Typhon arrived. Though there was one story where she sided with Hera and Poseidon to overthrow him.
  • Dating Catwoman: Minerva was identified with Nerio (Enyo), who was the wife of Mars (Ares).
  • Demoted to Extra: Athena's 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?
  • Emotionless Girl: Only occasionally did she allow her emotions to get the better of her. The rest of the time, she only punishes people who break the rules.
  • The Fettered: Depending on the Writer. In some myths, she punished her own high priestess Medusa for losing her virginity to Poseidon. Regardless of whether it was rape or consensual, Medusa's vow had been broken, and there had to be a punishment. Other sources state that it was less an act of punishment and more a childish tantrum, since not only the act itself occurred in her own temple, and she couldn't really do anything to Poseidon, him being a fellow god, so she lashed out at Medusa instead. Other sources even say that Athena and Poseidon have nothing to do with Medusa's origin at all and that she was always a monstrous creature all along.
  • Flight, Strength, Heart: Besides the above, as patron of Athens she was also the goddess of olives, Athens' greatest export.
  • Friend to All Children: She's just a bit less strict with children. She mentored Telemachus while his father Odysseus is away, raised the child (named Erechtheus or Erichthonius) produced by Hephaestus and Gaia after a failed rape attempt, and gave Tiresias the ability to prophesy as compensation for being blinded.
  • Genius Bruiser: The epitome of brawny brainy beauty in Ancient Greece.
  • 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.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: 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 also be exceptionally vindictive to those who slighted her, even indirectly (as the Trojans discovered).
  • Hot Librarian: Intelligent and depicted as very beautiful, though she is often portrayed as having a rather masculine figure, strongly built instead of slender.
  • Iconic Item: Her Aegis, a vague sort of protective device/shield/armor usually made from the skin of a monster of some kind (sometimes a slain giant, other times either Medusa or some other Gorgon, sometimes a goat, etc.) and usually given to her as a gift from her father, who was its original owner.
  • Icy Gray Eyes: Athena’s often nicknamed the “Grey-Eyed Goddess”, perfectly suiting aloof and matter-of-factly demeanor.
  • Jerkass Gods: Depending on the Writer. And even then, if she was, then it was Downplayed, because she was still nicer than most of the other Olympians. Her portrayal varies from story to story. See Adaptational Villainy above.
  • Lady of War: Athena is the Goddess of War, and embodies things such as strategy and tactics — contrasting the violence and brutality embodied by Ares.
  • Legacy Character: If the myths saying that she's the daughter of Zeus and Metis (his first wife) are to be believed, then she's this to her mother, since Metis was the original goddess/titaness of wisdom.
  • Master of Threads: Athena is also the goddess of 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 an outsider? Worse there are two different Pallas 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.
  • The Omniscient: She wasn't Goddess of Wisdom for nothing, though in the modern sense, "intelligence" is likely a better word than wisdom; she is extremely smart, but she was sometimes downright cruel.
  • Only Sane Woman: Generally seen as such, though probably too war-like by today's standards.
  • OOC 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, she was absolutely livid, sent a storm to wreck the Acheans' 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 a flash of fire.
  • The Owl-Knowing One: She's associated with owls to symbolize her wisdom. Or perhaps she's associated with owls because they were associated with wisdom. 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 Heracles, 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.
  • Physical God: An incredibly active war goddess who fought mortals, monsters and her fellow gods alike.
  • Pimped-Out Cape: Her Aegis is an armored cloak fashioned from the skin of the giant Pallas, edged in serpents and often decorated with the likeness of Medusa's head.
  • The Power of the Sun: Appears to have been originally a sun goddess of some sort.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Athena is the Blue Oni to Ares' Red Oni.
  • The Rival: With Poseidon. The two competed over Athens.
  • Secret Test of Character: Sometimes, she can give these to measure the worth of a person before directly interacting with them. For example, in the story of Arachne, 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 of the old woman. 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 Illiad Homer writes about how she and Ares are constantly at each-other's throats but she still acknowledges him as someone Menelaus should avoid pissing off... She does however tell Menelaus 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.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Some translations call her Athene.
  • The Smart Gal: She likes to rely on battle strategy and is the goddess of Wisdom.
  • The Stoic: While truly passionate about justice deep down inside, she never lets them cloud her judgment.
    • Not So Stoic: The myth of Arachne shows that Athena can get quite angry. She also had a bloodthirsty side to her, as seen in the Iliad where she was determined to see Troy burn at all costs.
  • The Strategist: If the Athenian Ares was the god of war and the Roman Mars was the god of soldiers, Athena/Minerva was the goddess of generals in both cities.
  • Virgin Power: One of three virgin goddesses. However, whether that specifically means "never had sex" or "never married" isn't made entirely clear.
  • War Goddess: Athena is also associated with (strategic) 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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    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.
  • Blood Knight: He represented the brutality of war. This was the key difference between him and Athena.
  • Brainless Beauty: Ares was often said to be very handsome, but also very dim-witted.
  • The Brute: He's a war god and relies more on brute force than strategy.
  • Dating Catwoman: Mars was married to Nerio (Enyo), who was identified with Minerva (Athena). (Though really, he would be Catwoman.)
  • Desperately Craves Affection: Ares' 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Hate Sink: The Greeks saw him as embodying the barbaric aspects of war, and thus endowed him with foolhardy bloodlust and pettiness. They reserved the noble aspects of war for Athena.
  • 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 Queen Otrera of the Amazons with whom he had four daughters most of whom went on to become Amazon queens themselves.
  • 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: 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: 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/The Power of the Sun: Hesiod and Homer described him more or less as this.
  • Light Is Not Good: Perhaps the best embodiment of this trope in the whole mythology.
  • Miles Gloriosus: 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.
  • 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. See Harmonia's 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 the only god that actually has some reverence with women, contrary to popular belief where he's depicted as a Jerk Jock. 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. It make sense when you consider Ares was the patron deity of Sparta and we all know how the Spartans treated their women unlike most of the other Greek cities.
  • Physical God: Despite his frequent defeats in surviving Greek myths he was still a powerful and dangerous Olympian, and he was far more competent in surviving Roman myths.
  • Pretty Boy: Hilariously 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.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Athena is the Blue Oni to Ares' Red Oni.
  • Sibling Rivalry: With Athena in a few epic poems.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Ares is a handsome guy, but really kind of a stupid thug and sometimes a Dirty Coward as well, depending on the telling.
  • Smug Snake: Despite being a war god, Ares seems to consistently lose more wars than he wins. Doesn't stop him from always expecting to win, of course.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Ares is said to be the cruelest of the Olympians although, most of the Olympians were corrupt and arrogant jerks.
  • 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's 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: Is the personification of the darker aspects of war.
  • 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.

    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.
  • 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.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He did try to force himself on Athena once. (While he failed to do so, this resulted in Erechtheus/Erichthonius.)
  • 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 actually a Nice Guy, he was intelligent, creative, hardworking, gentle 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' 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' 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 cage 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.
  • Forged by the Gods: Everything he made; he endowed most of the Olympians with their Iconic Items. He also made Achilles' 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.
  • 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 does seem to love Hera almost as much as Ares. 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.
  • Shock and Awe: He could have had this power as he forged thunderbolts.
  • 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.

    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. 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 often portrayed as less curvy than she originally was.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bald Woman: According to Roman adviser Lactantius in his Divine Institutions, Book I, Rome had a temple dedicated to a Bald Venus.
    "When their city was occupied by the Gauls, and the Romans, who were besieged in the Capitol, had made military engines from the hair of the women, they dedicated a temple to the Bald Venus."
  • Beware the Silly Ones: To call her a "bimbo" would be an insult to bimbos. But her ability to emotionally influence 90ish % of her realatives - 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.
  • 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.
  • Chariot Pulled by Cats: Aphrodite's chariot is drawn by swans or geese when not being pulled by the Erotes.
  • Die for Our Ship: In-Universe. If you stand in the way of her OTPs and/or are the half of her NOTP she doesn't like, prepare to face her wrath.
  • 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 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. 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 Hepheastus' 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 that could have been innocent. Myrrha's mother boasting that Myrrha's more beautiful than Aphrodite? She curses Myrrha, not her mom, with incest. A lot of people worshipping Psyche instead of her and saying Psyche is more beautiful? Rather than subjecting her wrath to these false-worshippers she instead directed her wrath 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sibling Rivalry: A classic nerd vs glamor-puss example.
  • 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, which translates as "lover of members". Because she was born from them, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.

    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 hate 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.
    • 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.
  • Born Unlucky: Poor Apollo has the worst possible love life, as anyone he was interested in tended to be turned into plant life, be cursed, or die horribly when they weren't outright rejecting him.
  • The Casanova: This is kind of a thing that Greek Gods do.
  • Chariot Pulled by Cats: Apollo's sacred swans pulled his chariot.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • He skins the satyr Marsyas alive for daring to challenge him in music.
    • He also cursed King Midas to have donkey ears for being the only guy who voted Marsyas the winner.
    • 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.
  • 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 dicker. 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.
  • Guile Hero: He was initially the god of rhetoric and ritualistic speech.
  • Half Identical Twin: His sister Artemis.
  • 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 unremarkably or tragedies happen. As satirized here.
  • 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.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Artsy Feminine Boy to Artemis' rough-and-tumble Masculine Girl.
  • The Medic: Not just Apollo, but some of his children and grandchildren, specifically Asklepios and Hygeianote . Even today, physicians swear by them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 was often described as assisting Helios in his duties when required. 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.
  • 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 (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.
  • 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 Romand and Greek names, the final N is almost always lost in the English Speaking world, even when discussing his Greek incarnation. Another modern varation that is less commonly used cuts even more letters from his name and shortens it to "Apoll".
  • 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.


  • Action Girl: A talented archer and warrior.
  • 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 warrior nymphs assisting her in her hunts. They were sworn to virginity and severely punished if they broke their oath.
  • Animal Motifs: Heavily associated with deer.
  • Archer Archetype: She emulates Zeus by standing on the peak of a mountain and shooting down arrows on whatever she feels like.
  • Asexuality: Artemis stands as one of the three virgin Goddesses and has had no romantic encounter with neither man nor woman. The one possible exception was Orion.
  • Celibate Heroine: As the goddess of virginity, Artemis was famous for having a "no romance" rule among those who worshipped her.
  • Chariot Pulled by Cats: Artemis's chariot was pulled by a pair of her sacred 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.
  • Daddy's Girl: Despite her reputation for hating all men, she had a close and loving relationship with her father Zeus.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Actaeon was turned into a deer and hunted by his friends for the crime of seeing Artemis naked.
    • Her virgin follower Callisto was in love with Artemis and got 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, and says her body is better than Artemis's. Artemis complained to Nemesis, the goddess of divine retribution, who in turn had Eros strike Dionysus with an arrow, leading Dionysus to rape Aura. This drove Aura to insanity, so much so that when she gave birth to twins, she cannibalized one.
    • 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.
  • Does Not Like Men: And that's putting it mildly. Pretty much the only guys she was pleasant to were Apollo, Orion, and her priest Hippolytus. It's often subject to Flanderization in modern media. No, she didn't like men, but looking at her relationship with Orion, Apollo, Zeus, and others, she didn't dislike them either.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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), 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.
  • The Lad-ette: Commonly portrayed as such in modern media, but in the original myths she still had notable feminine traits.
  • Lunacy: She was associated with the moon.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Rough-and-tumble Masculine Girl to her brother's artsy Feminine Boy.
  • Naked First Impression:
    • This happened with Actaeon, when he accidentaly saw her bathing. It didn't end well.
    • It also happened to Sipriotes. Unlike Acteon he begged for mercy and didn't declare lustful intent to make Artemis his, so she let him live. She did turn him into a girl as a "or you die" option though.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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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.)
  • Biggus Dickus: 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.
  • Birds of a Feather: Had enough in common with Hecate to hook up with her. This ends her status as a virgin goddess.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Was often teamed up with Athena due to them both being Zeus' 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.
  • Good Parents: Hermes, in comparison to the rest of the gods aside from Ares, was a model parent. One could argue that he was even doting. Just see his reaction to Pan.
  • 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).
  • I Believe I Can Fly: His Iconic Item is his winged sandals.
  • Like Father, Like Son: His mother, the Titaness 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' 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.
  • Turtle Power: Hermes is associated with turtles and tortoises because, in some myths, he made the first lyre from a shell he found. In another he threw a house onto a nymph that refused an Olympian wedding invitation, squashing her into the first Chelone turtle.
  • 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 accordence 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.

    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, partially because Hestia gave up her seat to make room for him. 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, 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.
  • 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 killed King Lycurgus for forbidding his worship; some tales say Zeus helped in the deed. He 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 a similar fate.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Basically the main reason he exists, and for all sexes too.
  • 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: Oh boy, where do we begin? 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).
  • 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.

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. 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.
  • 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; his 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.
  • 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").
  • Incest Is Relative: Persephone is his niece (paternal and maternal; her parents are his younger brother Zeus and sister Demeter).
  • "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).
  • 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.
  • 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: Hades can be seen as the Noble Male to Zeus' Roguish Male.
  • 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 didn't age 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... Though this is also why Asclepius resurrecting the dead was over the line for him.
  • Prongs of Poseidon: When he has to take action, sometimes he is depicted with a bident.
  • 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.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Of all the Olympian deities, this has cropped up the most with him due to Everybody Hates Hades.
    • Hades never had eyes on Zeus's throne and drew his Underworld lot fairly, and the Underworld itself was a dark, misty place rather than a realm of fire. He and Zeus also got along well enough that Hades could just waltz in and ask him for a bride or request to have someone blasted with lightning. Some texts have Zeus or Helios emphasize the comparability of their lots when Demeter complains to him about the whole Persephone deal.
    • Hades was also never banished or barred from entering or inhabiting Olympus. He was more than welcome to come, go and stay there as freely as he wanted, once entering Olympus when Heracles wounded him with an arrow.
    • He's been famously portrayed in Disney's Hercules as being hot-headed with a violent temper when things don't go his way. In mythology Hades was calm and stoic most of the time.
  • 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.
  • Simple 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.
  • 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.
  • We Wait: The reason as to why Hades doesn't often interfere in mortal affairs. He doesn't need to interfere and go killing people; he'll get them in the end - everyone dies. People can slight him in life and, unlike Zeus, who'd strike people down at the simplest comment, Hades can - and, more importantly, will - wait; eventually, he'll have all eternity to punish the people who have wronged him.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Happily Married: She absolutely is. 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 Melione 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. Curiously, the Orphic Hymns also claim that Hades and Persephone were the parents of the Furies of all beings, 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).
  • 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.
  • 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: An interpretation of her marriage to Hades.
  • May–December Romance: Allegory of this trope. See Hades above.
  • 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.
  • The Missus and the Ex: At one point, Hades' ex-mistress Minthe started making trouble for her. Persephone turned the girl into a mint plant and stomped on her.
  • 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.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Zeus pledged her to Hades, by chance this turned out to be one of the happiest marriages in the entire pantheon.
  • Perky Goth: Some interpretations.
  • 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.

    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' ass; this includes Hades, who never interfered because he could wait for revenge. Assuming you buy Herodotus interpratio graeca'', she was also the queen of the Scythians.
  • Abdicate the Throne: In some stories, she gave up her seat as one of the Twelve Olympians to allow Dionysus to join without conflict.
  • Action Girl: She fought against Cronus along with the rest of her siblings.
  • Actual Pacifist: Post-Titanomachy, she never fights or argues and 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 six most powerful beings in Greek myth and she spends her days cooking, cleaning and giving her family a shoulder to cry on.
  • Asexuality: One of the 3 virgin Goddesses. And while Athena and Artemis just have high-standards in a mate, Hestia is genuinely not interested in sex of any kind.
  • 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 war, justice, and nature, 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.
  • The Chick: In a way. She doesn't especially contribute to the cohesion of her brethren (she mostly stays out of any argument), but she has all the classical traits otherwise.
  • 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.
  • 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 Dionysus nor Aphrodite 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.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Hestia idealizes traditionally feminine virtues and is considered the most skilled chef among the gods themselves.
  • 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:
    • She gives up her seat on Olympus solely so Dionysus doesn't need to feel left out.
    • 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, home, house, and family. She only uses fire to warm, cook, and cauterize, and is the most benevolent and beloved of the Olympians.
  • 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.
  • Heal It with Fire: Despite having one of the most destructive elements, she only uses fire to warm, cook and cauterize. Being a goddess, even when she cauterizes wounds she does so without pain.
  • The Heart: To her family/the entire Greek pantheon.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Although today, 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. It's still considered to have awesome power by some modern worshipers. She was traditionally 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. She is officially the goddess of political buildings. And as the goddess of the altar, she has, or at least had, a role in all religious ceremonies, and was even said to automatically deserve and receive a portion of every sacrifice to the gods. Heart is an awesome power indeed!
  • Irony: The impotent 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Also turns out that, despite his "never interfere in mortal affairs" shtick, Hades will interfere when Hestia is in trouble.
  • 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.
  • Only Sane Woman: By today's standards, anyway. As the goddess of hearth and home, she never felt the need to prove anything about her domains, engage in combat, or conquer anything. She just stuck around and made sure everything worked properly.
  • 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 was too level-headed to get into the kind of shenanigans her siblings did.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Subverted in that she never gave a shit about being awesome.
  • 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.
  • Physical God
  • 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/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 or hearth and home burning for her more extroverted siblings when they are done for the day and for the common man to be allowed basic creature comforts. Notable in that 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 one of the more beautiful goddesses, certainly the most beautiful of those not trying to look beautiful, but it has gotten her bad attention more than once; First there was Poseidon, but he stopped asking when she said she wanted 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.
  • Static Character: The whole reason why she exists is being like a pillar for her whole family. Because she never gets in fights and stays out of arguments so as to keep the fire of the hearth burning at all times, she remains in the background and seldom, if ever, gets involved in ways other than being like an oasis of peace amongst the usual shenanigans her relatives get themselves into.
  • 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.
  • Token Good Teammate: Hestia is by far the nicest and most approachable of the Greek Gods and is said to get along with anyone.
  • 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. Additionally, she is the only one of the three to chose to be a virgin for its own sake and not just because no one met her standards.
  • 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.

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