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Characters / Classical Mythology Olympians

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The major gods of Classical Mythology.

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  • Alien Blood: The Gods were said to have gold blood known as ichor.
  • Badass Family: Say what you will about their morals (or lack thereof), but one thing they have in common is they all can fight and sometimes they do it together.
  • The Beautiful Elite: They all have been noted for being beautiful, save for Hephaestus.
  • Berserk Button: Most have their individual ones, but collectively speaking, never disrespect Hestia, as Priapus learned.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: They are a family with issues, from which many, many kinds of Freudian Excuse can be taken. They are very wealthy and powerful, have many skeletons in their cupboards (sometimes literally), and are proud of their long history. Abusive behaviors of some kind are almost certain to have occurre, despite they may display affectionate behaviors as well. And of course, Brother–Sister Incest and other kinds of canonical incest are featured, and they have a Tangled Family Tree.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: The younger Olympians usually refer to Zeus by his name.
  • Characterization Marches On: The specifics of it are unclear, but it seems that in the Mycanean Ages they played different roles and had different relationships with each other, than what their later more well-known incarnations have.
    • Aphrodite, Apollo, and Hades weren't part of the pantheon.
    • Poseidon was also the god of the Underworld (and it's unclear if he was the god of the sea) and seems to have been more prominent than Zeus. He had a nature-goddess consort called 'Potnia' (Mistress), who may have been Demeter.
    • Dionysus was a god of death, rebirth, and madness, later associated with wine because grapes are 'killed' (crushed and fermented) and turned into maddening wine.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Hubris was a big-no-no in Ancient Greece for this very reason.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • The Olympics were considered a sacred festival and they all set aside their differences to observe them, as a result Greek city-states were expected to do the same and whole wars stopped on such festivals.
    • In the myth of Priapus when he tries to rape Hestia in her sleep we have the entire rest of the family of bitter rivals, Blood Knights, sex-fiends, Gray-and-Gray Morality abound all teaming up to find him and kill him repeatedly, and that included Priapus’s own mother.
    • Everyone single one of them was disgusted with Tantalus for sacrificing his own son as a stew to them, to the point where Zeus ordered the Fates to bring him back to life, and cast Tantalus into Tartarus, without any objections from Hades.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Well, nearly everyone. Hestia, Artemis, and Athena are either asexual or just not interested (although Pseudo-Apollodorus stated that Athena had an unspecified close relationship with a woman named Chariclo) and Hades and Persephone appear to have Single-Target Sexuality, but certainly none of them are specifically heterosexual.
  • Flanderization: It should be noted that many of the sources we have on Greek myths come from poets who did not consider it taboo to change or exaggerate the characterizations of the gods in their retellings of myths for dramatic or comedic effect. It should also be noted that the morals of the ancient world were much different to the modern day. Because of this, the Olympians were likely not as petty and cruel as the surviving myths make them out to be, or at the very least, their followers at the time didn't view them as such.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: The Gods are not naturally humanoid — Zeus alone is actually a being of pure light that passively liquifies/disintegrates people who see his true form. All the Gods are either like this once they drop their humanoid guise... or possibly even more alien.
  • Hot God: All of the gods were considered inhumanly attractive, with the possible exception of Hephaestus (who may only be Hollywood Homely by comparison). invoked
  • Humanoid Abomination: In their true forms, Gods are so alien the very sight of them would disintegrate a human, hence their never-static human forms.
  • I Gave My Word: Various moral levels and more than a few jerks and scoundrels in the bunch, but they all kept their oaths once made.
  • I Have Many Names: All of the gods had long lists of poetic and cult epithets that describe the capacities in which they were worshipped. See their trope folders for examples.
  • Jerkass Gods: They could be extremely vindictive and cruel towards each other and especially towards humans. This trope is wholly averted by Hestia and generally averted by Hades, Persephone, Demeter, Athena, Hephaestus, Hermes, and Dionysus, though they have their moments.
  • Moral Myopia: The major gods would frequently engage in behavior they condemned in mortals or lesser gods.
  • Only in It for the Money: Generally speaking, the Olympians weren't all that invested or concerned over the wellbeing of their mortal worshippers but they continued assisting humanity because they greatly enjoyed receiving frequent sacrifices and other tributes.
  • Physical God: They appear to be humans with vast and nearly limitless power.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: With the caveat of being applied to sworn-virgins. Even the gods who didn't take "no" for an answer all agreed that you are never to rape someone who took, and intended to keep, a Vow of Celibacy. Assaulting a Vestal Virgin was the single biggest act of heresy in Rome, and Roman citizens would kill you on-sight if they found you had raped one just to make sure the gods didn't take them down with you. When Priapus attempted to rape Hestia/Vesta while she was sleeping, the entire pantheon was ready to beat the crap out of him.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: Often got away with causing the sort of trouble that would get mortals smote with extreme prejudice by virtue of being too powerful for the wronged party to retaliate against (and the only people who were that powerful tended to be their direct relations). Zeus was the poster boy for this kind of behavior, regularly getting away with crimes against other gods (such as cheating on Hera, raping one of Artemis's hunters, etc.) because he was the Top God and stronger than the rest combined. The one exception was the Fates, whose decrees were final even to gods.
  • Serial Rapist: Almost all of them have myths where they rape humans or occasionally other gods. Though to be fair to them, almost all of said myths have alternate versions where the sex is consensual (Greek mythology isn't big on consistency) and due to differences in linguistics, many are unclear whether the encounters were rapes or just trysts- the Greek word usually taken to mean 'rape' could also mean 'illicit seduction' (so even if Zeus got his lovers' explicit and knowing consent, he wasn't their husband, so the same word for 'rape' would still be used because he still wasn't supposed to be sleeping with married women). And of course, the roman poet Ovid certainly didn't help matters by a) writing benign sexual encounters as explicit rapes in Metamorphoses (Ovid was something of a Naytheist and anti-authoritarian overall) and b) being massively popular and the most famous (and sometimes only) source for most myths. Poseidon, however, was always pretty skeevy.
  • Western Zodiac: In the Astronomica, a practical guide to astrology written in verse, Roman writer Manilius associates each god individual Zodiac signs. See their trope folders for specifics.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: One of the oldest examples of this, they invented and/or popularized a lot the tropes associated with it. It seems the only power they have in common with each other.note  They can appear disguised as mortals, turn themselves into animals (or weirder stuff like golden rain), and turn humans into animals (or inanimate objects like islands or rocks).