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Residents of the Underworld

In general

  • Dark Is Not Evil: Many residents of Chthonia represent aspects of nature or command forces that both mortals and other gods find suspicious and terrifying. Yet, they are not evil, merely performing their divine duties that are essential for survival of the world above and keeping the balance of the universe (even Death).
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    Hades 
King of the Underworld, who oversees the judgment of souls, carrying out the sentence and their eventual rebirth; he is also the god of wealth. Despite being the oldest son of Cronus and Rhea he received the rulership of the Other Side instead of the heavens and the rest of the Gods, due to drawing the shortest straw when lots were divided. He was promised Persephone’s hand in marriage as a part of agreement with Zeus and Demeter during the war. Him trying to finally claim her is what kickstarts the plot.
  • Beneath the Mask: He often comes across as cold and aloof. More often than not it's a mask put on to hide his true emotions. Inside he has as many fears and insecurities as any other man, as well as a lingering sense of bitterness on how the lots were divided and how other gods treat him. However, a long time ago he decided to bury these emotions deep inside. He rarely shows his more vulnerable side to anyone, even his friends, and only Persephone seems to make him feel comfortable enough to truly open up.
  • Benevolent Boss: He addresses all of his subordinates by their names or calls them “friend” and seems to genuinely take interest in their well being. He also lets them do what they want in their free time as long as they fulfill their duties and don't spread mayhem or upset the balance of the world.
  • Broken Tears: After his desperate attempt to persuade Persephone to join him in the war against Olympus so they can remain together fails, he collapses with his face in her lap, holding her and sobbing uncontrollably.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He uses his Helm of Darkness to his full advantage, especially since, unlike Zeus and Poseidon, he fights at close range.
  • Cool Helmet: His Helm of Darkness.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: His father devoured him after he was born and he spent many years in darkness, before being freed and thrown into the ten year war with the Titans. All these events left scars on his body. He considers this part of his past to be very ugly and at the beginning does not wish to show it to Persephone
  • Despair Event Horizon: He almost crosses it when he receives orders from Zeus to send Persephone back to her mother. He ultimately loses all hope when Persephone leaves for the surface. He concludes that she will never succeed in talking down Zeus and Demeter and the only way she will be ever allowed to come back to rule Chthonia is if he is out of the way. He almost merges with his realm and disappears.
  • Distressed Dude: Minthe spikes Hades' drink with ergot so she can freely rape him. The ergot paralyses him and leaves him completely unable to fight back and has to be saved by Persephone.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted. The one who faces Persephone's wrath is Minthe, not Hades. After (unintentionally) killing Minthe, Persephone's immediate concern is to help her husband and ease the effects of the ergot drug Minthe used to paralyse him during her attempted rape.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: He becomes depressed after drawing the shortest straw and receiving the rule of the Underworld instead of the heavens. He spends some time holing up in his chambers and drowning his sorrows in wine, until Thanatos tells him to get his act together.
  • Everyone Hates Hades: Mortals are afraid of him and other gods shun him. Before the Pomegranate Agreement he didn't have any temples or shrines and very sporadic offerings. It takes Persephone returning and spreading the word about how the Underworld really works for him to become more revered.
  • Good Is Not Soft: He is just and compassionate, but at the same time he is also harsh and merciless when he delivers punishment to these who deserve it.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: His scars are the testament of abuse at hands of Cronus, but they also mark him as an experienced warrior.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: He was very short-tempered during his youth.
  • Happily Married: To Persephone
  • Heartbroken Badass: When he is forced to send Persephone away to her mother and thinks they will probably never see each other again.
  • I Have Many Names: He is worshipped all over the world under different names — Hades, Osiris, Nergal, Shiva, Yama...
  • Invisibility Cloak: His Helm of Darkness lets him become invisible not only to mortals but also to the other gods. It can work for others as well but only if he wishes it to.
  • Love Epiphany: In a way. When Persephone accuses him of loving her only because of the golden arrow, he realizes that he loved her long before that, through his feelings seems to have been muffed and only awakened in full force when he was scratched with the arrow.
  • Mind Link Mates: When he shares the Key with Persephone, they become able to speak with each other only through thoughts.
  • Not So Different: From Demeter. They both shun Olympus as a nest of vipers and take their duties to mortals very seriously. At the beginning Hades, like Demeter, tries to shield Persephone from any harm, but as the result he isolates her in his palace and doesn't tell her many things she should know as the Queen of the Underworld. During their first quarrel Persephone actually accuses him of being worse, since he ends up showing her what she could have become and then snatching it from her, when Demeter kept her oblivious the entire time. Later he also proves himself willing to tear down the order of the cosmos or even end the world if it would let him keep his wife by his side.
  • Physical Scars, Psychological Scars: Scars that were left after Cronus devoured him are also linked with a lot of bad memories and psychological pain.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He believes that the journey of a soul should not be stopped, unless it's completely necessary, and does not like sending people to Tartarus. Even if someone committed a crime he will always firstly speak with them to understand their motives and circumstances of their decision. If they did so believing what they were doing was right, necessary or regret it, they may be sent to stare into Cocytus to understand the pain they had caused. After the winter he also spends some time bending rules and giving coins for passage to souls, who were not properly buried.
  • Red Baron: Mortals greatly fear him, and prefer to use his various titles — the Receiver of Many, the Good Counselor, the Unseen One — rather than refer to him by name.
  • Revenge: When he was freed from Cronus his main objective became vengeance on his father.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: He takes his job as the King of the Underworld and his duties to mortals very seriously, unlike some of the other gods.
  • Scars Are Forever: Most of his scars are thousands years old.
  • Shadow Walker: His signal when entering and leaving ether is black smoke, signifying his connection to the Underworld.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Towards Persephone. Even before he claimed her as his wife he didn't have eyes for anyone else. The Word of God said that if he was ever alone with Aphrodite she would most certainly take form uncannily similar to his wife, as one that he finds the most beautiful.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: He looks very much like Cronus, especially when his beard is longer.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: He often comes across as aloof and hash, especially when fulfilling his official role as the King of the Underworld or when dealing with people he does not like, however, to his friends, his wife and shades who need consoling he shows his kinder, warmer side.
  • The Dreaded: Mortals refuse to even speak his name out of fear. Many gods are just as scared of him.
  • The Insomniac: He usually slept very little due to constant voices of shades and Cronus coming to him through the Key. He started sleeping better some time after Persephone arrived.
  • The Kindnapper: He is forced to hastily spirit Persephone away to prevent Demeter from permanently changing her into a tree. It puts a strain on their relationship, since at the beginning Persephone doesn't understand why he did it and later doesn't believe him outright, when he tells her the truth.
  • The Snark Knight: He puts himself to the same high standards he does everyone else.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"??: While he seems to have felt love for Persephone before he was shot with the golden arrow, this event awakened his feeling with new intensity and let him feel lust for the first time. He spends some time being terrible confused by what's happening to him.
  • Unexpected Virgin: In Chapter 8, Hades mentions to Persephone that it took eons for him to get used to living in the Underworld, mostly due to his loneliness. Persephone responds to this by pointing out that the male Olympians often have 'companions', Hades points out that he's not an Olympian and that he was aware that he'd someday marry Persephone. Persephone then mentions the Titanomachy, believing that Hades must have had a 'companion' during the war. Hades responds to this by placing his hands on her shoulders, smiling awkwardly and shaking his head, Persephone suddenly recalls how he'd reacted when they had sexual intercourse in the chariot in Erebus and realises to her own shock, that up until that moment, Hades had been a virgin.
  • Wild Hair: When he was freed from Cronus his hair and beard were long and tangled.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: In desperate attempt to not be forever separated from his wife, he starts considering waging war against Olympus and overthrowing the old order. However, he is ultimately talked down by Persephone.

    Persephone 
Daughter of Zeus and Demeter and the fated Queen of the Underworld. She spent most of her life as Kore, maiden goddess of flowers, shielded by her mother from the outside world. Her life ultimately changes when she meets Hades, to whom she was promised in a womb and is taken to the Underworld to finally fulfill her divine role as its Queen.
  • Afraid of Their Own Strength: When she discovers her new powers as the Queen of the Underworld are linked to Tartarus, she becomes scared and starts considering if she hasn't become something monstrous.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Being the Queen of Chthonia comes with having control over the whole realm and all gods and creatures dwelling there, as well as an impressive set of other powers, all of which lets her kick serious amounts of ass.
  • Berserk Button: Trying to hurt her husband will get your ass thrown into Tartarus.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: At the beginning of their marriage, despite her growing feelings for Hades, she finds herself unable to tell him openly that she loves him. She has doubts about the nature and fixity of his feelings for her. There are also trust problems between them, beginning but not ending with the issue of the kidnapping.
  • Character Development: She changes from a fearful, sheltered girl into a confident and wise Queen.
  • Cool Helmet: Hades gifts her with a copy of his own Helm of Darkness before they venture into Tartarus.
  • Fertile Feet: She can make plants grow in her wake.
  • Fisher King: When she catches Minthe trying to rape Hades her anger darkens and silences the whole Underworld for several minutes.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Her role as Praxidike is to exact justice on these who deserve to be punished. It's the best illustrated by how mercilessly she deals with Sisyphus at the end by inventing the most fitting and nasty punishment possible.
  • Green Thumb: Like her mother she has powers that allow her to grow plants.
  • Happily Married: To Hades.
  • Heartbroken Badass: When it becomes clear that she may never see her husband or kingdom again.
  • 100% Adoration Rating: She is almost universally loved and respected by her subjects. When she is to be taken away back to the surface, the whole Underworld cries.
  • I Have Many Names:
    Merope: Before you came here, the Arcadians and Thracians didn’t call you Kore. They called you Despoina. In the easternmost islands of Hellas and the lands of Phrygia your name isn't Persephone— it's Perephatta. Beyond Phrygia, in the crescent land of the two rivers, you are called Ereshkigal. And in the desert sands, across the water to the distant south, you are called Nephthys and also Isis. The stories they tell about you are different, but The Lady Beneath the Earth is one and the same. The same divine role; and in the end, the same destiny…
  • She is also associated with the Hindu goddess Parvati.
  • Innocent Flower Girl: She spends much of her life as Kore, maiden goddess of flowers. Her mother clearly believes that “childlike innocence is her nature.” Subverted later on when she grows into The High Queen, yet Demeter and others keeps insisting she is still the innocent flower maiden.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The name Demeter used for her, Kore literally means „maiden” and signifies her mother's desire to keep her innocent child forever.
    • The name given to her by Zeus, Persephone foreshadows both her role as the Queen of the Underworld and her Badass status.
  • Mind Link Mates: When Hades shares the Key with her they become able to speak with each other through thoughts.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • Persephone, name given to her by Zeus, means “destroyer of light” and heavily foreshadows her role as the badass Queen of the Underworld.
    • Praxidike, name she is called in Tartarus, may be translated as “justice”, but also as “vengeance”, since in the ancient Greek culture these two concepts were heavily intertwined. She makes good on this name, when she drops Sisyphus kicking and screaming into Tartarus.
  • Never Learned to Read: She can barely read and was never taught how to write. By the end of the story she and Hades decide to learn to write and read in Minos' long dead language in order to sent massages to each other that no other god can read.
  • No Periods, Period: Subverted. Her lack of period during her stay in the Underworld becomes important, when she starts considering if she may be with a child. She isn't. She starts menstruating again the moment she steps into the world above, which suggest that the Underworld itself must have stopped her from bleeding naturally. Her period again becomes important, when she bleeds several days after she and her husband have sex in the upper world, which once more shows that despite her hopes she isn't pregnant.
  • Not So Different: From Demeter. When she thinks she may be a child, yet faced with the possibility she will never see her husband again, she finally understands why her mother held on her so tightly and did everything in her power to protect her, and that she herself would do the same for her child by Hades.
  • Parental Neglect: Her father didn't get involved in raising her. His only contributions in her life so far seem to be siring her, giving her away to Hades and then trying to annul her marriage, when Demeter forced him to. Though considering the type of person Zeus is this may have been for the best.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Despite the fact that gods of the world above generally assume her role to be purely ceremonial, she takes an active part in ruling the Underworld alongside her husband. After her arrival she makes an actual effort to understand how her new kingdom is run, even being willing to venture into Tartarus to see it with her own eyes. She is the one who orders Merope freed, questions her and sends Thanatos and Hypnos after Sisyphus, and later oversees his judgment. She also storms Ephyra with the rest hosts of the Underworld to free Thanatos and is the one who catches fleeing Sisyphus and drops him into Tartarus.
  • Take a Level in Badass: She grows from a fearful girl into a fearsome, powerful Queen, who have terrors of Tartarus at her command and can make even other gods soil their pants in fear.
  • The High Queen: She was literally born for this role. Even under Demeter's smothering influence she still shows glimpses of natural ruler and when she is finally taken to the Underworld and allowed to blossom fully, she steps into the role with surprising ease.
  • The Ingenue: For most of her life Demeter tried to shield her from anything involving men and sex and gave her the bare minimum of needed information. While by the time Hades gets to her she already has a general idea of how her body works and where children come from, she still knows nothing real about sex and romantic relationships. As a consequence when she encounters weeding in Eleusis she starts perceiving love in an idealized way. When she is finally taken underground by Hades, she is ill-prepared for marriage life and has hard time building healthy relationship with her husband.
  • The Needs of the Many: She is ready to sacrifice her own happiness and her marriage to stop more mortals from dying due to famine and winter caused by Demeter. Even when she does find a way out of this situation, she still agrees to spend half of each year away from the Underworld and Hades to give mortals enough time to grow food and stock for the winter
  • Trophy Wife: Subverted. Many people assume she is simply the spoil of war, Hades has finally claimed. In reality she has just as much power as Hades himself.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Technically, a Violently Protective Wife to her husband. When Sisyphus attacks Hades with the exact purpose of killing him and later escapes, she pulls him out of ether kicking and screaming, breaks both of his legs and then literally drops him into Tartarus. She also burns Minthe alive, when the nymph drugs and tries to force herself on her husband.

    Thanatos 
Embodiment of death, son of Nyx and Erebus. In the world above he usually appears as a skeleton clad in black. He spends most of his free time sleeping with as many women as possible, especially Hecate's Lampades what irritates her to no end.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Of death. Before he was born the death didn't even exist and when he is imprisoned not only humans, but also animals and plants stop dying.
  • Bi the Way: While he seems to prefer women, several of his passing comments suggest that he has nothing against company of men as well.
  • Character Development: Appears to be going through this after he sees Voleta die trying to distract Sisyphus to enable his rescue. He stops sleeping around at all, which is a complete change from his usual attitude. The time will tell if this transformation sticks.
  • Creepy Good: His natural form in the world above is that of a skeleton. Naturally it freaks many people out.
  • Friends with Benefits: With Eris. She is the only one of his lovers he ever returned to.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: After what Sisyphus did to him and after seeing Voleta sacrifice herself for him he stops chasing women at all and no longer quarrels with Hecate. Such radical change in his behavior signifies how traumatic this experience was for him.
  • Really Gets Around: Each night he sleeps with at least one woman if he can help it. He never visits bed of the same person twice with the expectation of Eris. He very rarely even remembers their names.
  • Revenge: One of things that motivated him to hunt down Sisyphus is to take revenge for his previous escape and the way he hurt him.
  • Sex for Solace: Downplayed. He himself suggests that he seeks sex as a means of distraction from how unpleasant his job is.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Hades and Persephone.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: With Hecate.
  • The Atoner: Maybe. He certainly feels guilty and seems determined to not let anyone endure what Voleta had to suffer for him.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: He looks almost exactly like Hypnos, only with different color of hair and wings.
  • Winged Humanoid: He has two black wings.
  • Wisdom from the Gutter: He is the last person in the Underworld you would except to be able to give a meaningful relationship advice, yet it's he who points out to Hades that only spending time with Persephone outside of their bedroom and showing her some trust may improve their relations.

    Charon 
The Boatman and a son of Nyx and Erebus, whose main task is ferrying souls across the river to the Underworld.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: He refuses to say Hades why he demands coins for every passage on his boat.
  • Hidden Depths: The real reason behind him demanding a coin for every passage. When he was very young he fell in love with Styx, before she became one with her divine domain. He promised her everything he had if she spent her eternity with him. While she refused, because she loved another and soon became one with her river, Charon was soon put in charge of the rivers of the Underworld. So to fulfill his promise to her, Charon gives Styx every coin he gets.
  • In the Hood: He usually wears a hood.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: He refuses to take a coin from Persephone when she boards his boat. Hades is utterly shocked at this, since even he despite, being the King of the Underworld, has to pay. This behavior foreshadows Persephone's significance as the fated Queen of the Underworld, destined for this role long before her birth.
  • Psychopomp: He ferries souls to the Underworld.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Hades and Persephone.
  • The Ferry Man: Of course.

    Nyx 
Goddess of the night and one of Protogenoi, the first born of Chaos. She and her husband Erebus ruled the Underworld before Cronus took over and imprisoned them in their own realm. Along with her whole house she fought on the side of Olympians against the Titans.
  • Abdicate the Throne: She abdicated the throne of the Underworld and passed the Key to Hades, probably knowing that he will be the one fated to draw the shortest straw.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Of night.
  • Good Parents: Not overprotective and not neglectful, simply loving and caring for her children's wellbeing. Quite remarkable in the whole mess of dysfunctional families most Greek gods have.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Specifically stated to be the last of Protogenoi who still remain in her humanoid form, instead of becoming one with her divine domain.
  • Mother of a Thousand Young: She gave birth to many sons and daughters. To Charon, Thanatos, Hypnos, Morpheus, the Keres, the Tribe of the Oneiroi
  • The Omniscient: She sees all that happens in the night. She also seems to be privy to will of the Fates.
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Olympians

In general

  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: In contrast the gods of the Underworld, gods of the world above need prayers and worship to continue existing, though this knowledge is heavily guarded for obvious reasons. When Demeter causes famine and winter, mortals quickly turn away from their gods focusing instead simply on survival. All gods are severely weakened by this situation, including Demeter herself. She manages to get her strength back by establishing the Eleusian Mysteries, when other gods remain just as weak as before, which forces them to finally bend to her wishes.
  • Jerkass Gods: Like in the original mythology, they're not a very upstanding lot by modern standards. While some (Demeter, Hephaestus, Hermes, Athena, a few more) are portrayed as basically decent or at least as having understandable reasons for doing what they do, the rest are just as petty, self-centered and arrogant as in the myths — the men are constantly chasing women and have a poor record of sticking with any of them; Zeus is arrogant, petty, and extremely possessive; Poseidon is implied to the worst lecher of them all; Ares is a violent bully and a warmonger; Apollo is the worst when it comes to chasing women and forgetting who they even are, and takes rejection extremely poorly; and their collective low regard for women is surpassed only by their even lower regard for mortals.
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  • Your Cheating Heart: Married Olympians such as Zeus, Poseidon, or Aphrodite are just as prone to sleeping with whatever woman or man catches their eye as the unmarried ones. None of them tend to stick around very long around their lovers, either, going after new ones as soon the thrill of conquest fades.

    Zeus 
King of the Gods and god of heavens and thunder. He received his domain and rulership of all the Gods, despite being the youngest child of Cronus and Rhea, thanks to what lot he drew when cosmos was divided. During the war he fell in love with Demeter and sired Persephone with her during their hieros gamos, but quickly abandoned her to pursue other women. He helps kickstart the plot by giving Hades his ok to finally claim his daughter as his wife and having Eros shoot him a golden arrow of love.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Along with the rest of his siblings, he overthrew his father Cronus. Now he is worried that one of his children may do the same to him.
  • Anything That Moves: To great displeasure of his wife. He is mentioned to have had hundreds of lovers both mortal and immortal and many, many bastard children from these affairs. As Persephone notes during her visit to Olympus, he is completely open about it shamelessly flickering with a nymph in the middle of his court.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: He was leading the rebellion against Cronus, which ultimately let him claim the throne of the Gods.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Despite leaving Demeter after the war, he is still extremely jealous of her. He killed her mortal lover Iasion and the thought of Triptolemus putting his hands on “his Demeter” got his blood boiling.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He has shades of this. When he is forced to plead with Demeter to end the famine, he tries to play on feelings she had for him a long time ago, despite being the one who cast her aside. He promises her the role of Queen of the Gods by his side and his love, even through it's pretty much implied that he would go back to having affairs left and right, when the crisis is over, and treat Demeter not better than Hera. It's also suggested he tried to sabotage Hades' and Persephone's marriage by introducing her to Apollo in order to keep her on the surface for longer each year.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: He killed Iasion, Demeter's new lover and clearly implies he would be willing to the same thing to Triptolemus.
  • New Old Flame: He tries to invoke this with Demeter, when he asks her to end the famine. He promises her the position of the Queen of the gods and his love. Unfortunately for him Demeter knows better than to trust his words.
  • Not So Different: From Cronus. He seems really like having power and is very paranoid about keeping it. He also have a tendency to use honey sweet words and promises he may not even be willing to keep in order to get his way.
  • Properly Paranoid: He is very paranoid that one of his relatives may try to take over his throne. Seeing as gods have a history of Antagonistic Offspring and there was already at least one attempt to overthrow him, this attitude is pretty justified.
  • Tempting Fate: His promise to Hades and Persephone that he is going to make their first son his heir. It's heavily implied he does so to humiliate Hades, since they both believe Hades to be infertile, and that he thinks he is not going to have to fulfill it. But in the world where Fate is such a giant bitch, it's almost guaranteed to come into play later on. Especially since it's more or less confirmed that Hades ad Persephone are going to have children at one point.
  • The Oath-Breaker: He is willing to break vows he made in the past if it suits him, even Stygian oath. He is also ready to make promises he knows he is not going to keep in the future. Several characters call him out on this and note that it's a very dangerous trait for a king, since not only does it puts his honor in question, but also may cause his subjects to be unwilling to come to his aid or even make them step out against him.
  • The Patriarch: He is more or less the head of the Dysfunctional Family that gods are.
  • Top God: Officially he is the king of gods and men and actually one of the most powerful immortals around. The real scope and strength of his rule, however, is debated several times. Most inhabitants of the Underworld seem to recognize his authority only nominally and find it humorous that he believes himself to be the all powerful king. His will, like the will of any other gods, is also nothing compared to the Fate, which even he cannot change. Demeter's rebellion further undermines his position which he is aware of and not happy about.
  • Your Cheating Heart: While it seems that he honestly loved Demeter during the war, it didn't stop him from turning his attentions elsewhere, even before he cast her aside for Hera. He doesn't remain faithful to Hera either and constantly has affairs with other women.

    Demeter 
Goddess of harvest and bounty. During the war against Cronus, she fell in love with Zeus and ultimately chose him as her partner for hieros gamos, which produced their daughter Persephone. She was abandoned by him shortly after and found a solace in arms of a mortal farmer Iasion only to lose him to Zeus' jealous wrath. After this incident she moved to Nysa and devoted all her energy to rising Persephone and keeping her safe. She doesn't approve of Persephone's and Hades' marriage and a good part of the story is devoted to her efforts of first keeping Persephone hidden and later of getting her back from the Underworld.
  • A Man Is Always Eager: Seems to have this opinion at least about the Olympian men. Seeing how most of the Really Get Around, she is not far off.
  • Broken Bird: Even not taking into account years spent in darkness after Cronus imprisoned her, she still suffered a lot. Her mentor abandoned her at the mercy of a man, who broke her heart and left her when she was pregnant with his child. Said man later killed her second lover out of jealousy. While she insists that time had healed these wounds, it becomes apparent during the story that they still fester to some extent.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: After what she pulls at the end, Persephone makes it clear she has forgiven her, but that she will have to work hard to regain her trust.
  • God Was My Copilot: After denies earth its fertility, she spends some time roaming Hellas in disguise of an old woman. Only place she is not chased away is Eleusis, where she takes refuge with king Celeus and his family. As a wise woman Doso she nurses their oldest son Triptolemus back to health and plans on saving their youngest by making him immortal. She ultimately reveals her true nature, after Metaneira stops the process of immortalization thinking Demeter is trying to burn her son alive and calls her a witch.
  • Green Thumb: She holds domain over plants, especially crops. It's a big point in the story, since her actively denying earth its fertility kills the vegetation and causes famine and eventually winter.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: When Zeus started turning his attentions elsewhere, she tried to win him back with a show of bravery by stealing Iapetos's spear. She borrowed the Helm of Darkness, not knowing that it only works for others if Hades allows it to. As a result she didn't manage to sneak in unnoticed and had to flee leading Iapetos straight back to Hades.
  • My Beloved Smother: Oh, boy. She does everything she deems necessary to keep Persephone safe, which includes isolating her from gods and mortals alike, giving her as little information as possible about the world around her, exiling her nymph companions to keep her “innocence” and generally forbidding her from interacting with anyone Demeter herself does not approve of. She also keeps insisting that Persephone dresses and behaves like a child, despite Persephone already being an adult in body at least.
  • Noodle Incident: During an argument between Persephone and Demeter, Persephone points out that Demeter was afraid of her daughter learning that she was even more powerful than her (Demeter), so Demeter responds by pointing out that she "challenged Iapetus the Piercer before the Titans were in chains", in a vain attempt to try and demand respect. The reality is that she tried to steal Iapetus' spear while using Hades' helm so she could worm her way back into Zeus' affections; the thing is that the helm didn't work on her and she wound up running away from Iapetus and screaming for Hades to save her and her unborn child. Hades, not Demeter, was the one who challenged and defeated Iapetus by casting him into Tartarus; this led to a grateful Demeter and Zeus swearing an oath on the Styx to seal the alliance of the Olympians by betrothing their unborn daughter to Hades.
  • Not So Different: She is more similar to Hades than she would be willing to admit. They both shun Olympus as a nest of vipers, both seem to actually care about their duties to mortals unlike many other gods, both love Persephone and try to shield her from any harm but end up smothering and isolating her in the process, both are also willing to end the world to keep her by their side.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: She is completely against Persephone's marriage to Hades. She does everything in her power to annul this union and get her daughter back. When this is no longer an option due to the Pomegranate Agreement, she still shows her disapproval any way she can whenever her daughter speaks about Hades in a positive way. Ultimately, believing Hades will break Persephone's heart anyway she sets out to break their marriage by having Minthe seduce him and reveal the whole thing to Persephone.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: She doesn't wish to see her daughter married to anyone, especially not to Hades. Before he came to claim Persephone, Demeter had already rejected a number of suitors for her daughter's hand, including Ares. This being Bronze Age Greece Zeus doesn't really considers her veto valid and tells Hades to go ahead and take Persephone if he wants to. She quickly makes him regret this decision.
    • This is after she swore an unbreakable oath on the Styx that her daughter will marry Hades.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: She causes famine and winter that kill hundreds if not thousands of people.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: She is still bitter about Hecate abandoning her at mercy of Zeus, after she chose him for her partner during hieros gamos instead of Hades whom Hecate suggested her.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Tons and tons of this. She refuses to believe that Hades actually loves her daughter and that Persephone is not a helpless victim constantly being abused in the Underworld, but respected and powerful Queen. Even after she is showed evidences of this and told by several people, Persephone herself included. When Persephone reveals that she has eaten the seeds, Demeter immediately assumes that she was either forced to do so or manipulated by false promises. She insists on calling her daughter Kore and sees any changes in her previously naïve and childlike behavior as taint put into her by Hades. Even when she does finally acknowledge Persephone for a powerful goddess she is, Demeter still believes that Hades is incapable of love and that he will one day break her daughter's heart.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: She remembers Zeus breaking his promise to her and abandoning her to this day and feels quite bitter about it.
  • Walking Wasteland: Appears to become this at times of great distress or rage. Her anger at Hades for supposedly planting asphodel in her daughter's shrine makes crops around her turn brown. Later when she discovers that Persephone was taken during her absence grass under her feet dies and the earth becomes covered in frost, even before she starts actively killing plants.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Demeter certainly comes across as this; while the reader can't help but feel sorry for her grief over the loss of her daughter, her actions throughout the book negate any sympathy one would feel towards her.
    • To start she decides to forcibly take away her daughter's agency and life by turning her into a tree to prevent Hades from marrying her; prompting the legendary abduction. Persephone later calls her out on this because this last desperate scheme of Demeter leading to Hades' abducting her almost ruined her chance for a happy marriage; also pointing out that by doing so, she (Demeter) was trying to defy the very will of the Fates themselves.
    • She never bothered to properly teach Persephone to defend herself or even properly educate her; constantly removed her friends and forbade her from speaking to mortals. As Persephone herself points out, Demeter never truly had the decency to show her daughter any respect.
    • She decides to abandon to mortals who depend on her by causing widespread famine and winter, which result in hundreds, if not thousands, dying; all to get back at Zeus for allowing Hades to marry Persephone.
    • She completely ignores Hecate telling and showing her that Persephone is safe and provided for with Hades, by stating that Hades has "manipulated" her daughter into loving him.
    • When Persephone returns to the Upperworld, Demeter ups her My Beloved Smother tendencies, ignores Persephone constant outright stating that she wasn't raped and sees any sign of Persephone's maturity as "taint" from being in Hades' company.
    • She outright states her belief of Hades being a rapist to his face moments after Persephone had outright stated that she hadn't been raped. Later she whines about the fact that Persephone chose to spend a night in the company of her husband, rather than going to a festival, due to the fact that she hadn't seen him for three months. This is despite the fact that Demeter knows that the power need to spontaneously grow flowers like Persephone did, only happens during an act of love between an earth goddess and her mate.
    • Later she goes out of her way to completely attempt to sabotage her daughter's marriage to the point that it leads to Hades' being drugged and almost raped by Minthe.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: She causes famine and winter, which result in hundreds, if not thousands, dying and throw the world out of balance, almost destroying it completely. Her actions, however, are caused by her grief over losing her only daughter, whom she believes has been traded away like a sack of grain to the man she sees as heartless and cruel.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: She wants to spear her daughter the same pain she and many other goddesses and mortal women had to endure at hands of the gods. This attitude, while understandable, makes her try to keep her daughter isolated and ignorant of the outside world. When it becomes apparent that Hades is going to claim Persephone, she decides to change her daughter permanently into a tree. When she is taken anyway, Demeter causes famine and winter to get her back, which ends up with mortals dying like flies. She is called out on these extremist actions by several people, Persephone herself included.

    Hermes 
Messenger of the gods and patron of traders, travelers and thieves. His other task is bringing souls of the dead to the banks of Styx. Since he ventures into the Underworld much more often than the other gods, he also knows Hades better than any other Olympian and respects him greatly.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Discussed the idea with himself when he hears Hades trying to persuade Persephone to go to the war with Olympus. Ultimately defied as he notes that this doesn't really matter since there probably wouldn't a world to rule after the war; everything would end, even the gods themselves.
  • Dirty Business: After seeing the display of affection between Hades and Persephone he feels ashamed at the task given to him by Zeus to bring Persephone back to the surface. Nonetheless, he also knows that if this isn't done the whole world will soon end.
  • Psychopomp: One of his tasks is brining the souls of the dead to the Underworld.
  • Really Gets Around: Like many of his other relatives.
  • Super Speed: He is so fast he doesn't have to use ether like the other gods.
  • The Trickster: He known for his cunning.

    Aphrodite 
Goddess of love, lust and beauty. She was born out seeds of castrated Ouranos and sea foam. During Cronus' regime she fled to Mesopotamia, where she was worshiped as Innana. She came back at the last day of Gigantomachy and was almost immediately married off to Hephaestus.
  • Empathic Shapeshifter: She will usually automatically react to how people desire to see her and take such form. However, she can also change her appearance at will.
  • First Love: Dumuzi, sort of. He was her first lover and she apparently still holds him in her memory, despite having many different lovers since.
  • I Have Many Names: She is worshipped under many names: Aphrodite, Astarte, Inanna.
  • Love Goddess: Of course.
  • Really Gets Around: Faithfulnesses to the one partner is simply not in her nature, no matter how fond she may be of them.
  • Shapeshifter Default Form: Subverted. According to the Word of God, she once had a default form but lost it in Irkalla.
  • Shapeshifting Seducer: She will usually take on an appearance that people around her find the most beautiful and appealing. It's more or less automatic for her.
  • Sleeps with Everyone but You: She has many lovers, but Hephaestus makes it clear that they don't share a bed, despite being married.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Subverted towards Persephone. Unlike some of the other upper world gods, she seems to be fully aware of the extent of Persephone's power as the Queen of the Underworld.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: She usually appears as such to people.
  • Your Cheating Heart: She openly cheats on husband with Ares and several other men. Hephaestus has no delusions that she could ever remain faithful to him.

    Ares 
God of war and bloodshed. He is the only legitimate son of Zeus and Hera, but not very loved in the family due to his violent tendencies and cowardice. His is Aphrodite's current favorite lover.
  • Blood Knight: He enjoys brutal combat and bloodshed.
  • Dirty Coward: He likes to pass for a great warrior, but tends to cower whenever he encounters something that can really hurt him. To his own credit he does try to battle his own fears as much as he can. It doesn't always succeed through.
  • Double Standard: He would like to be the first and only lover to Aphrodite, yet he himself doesn't plan on remaining faithful. Aphrodite calls him out on this.
  • Glory Seeker: He wishes to be known and revered as a great warrior and won't pass an opportunity to gain fame and battle prestige.
  • Really Gets Around: Like most other Olympian males.
  • Second Love: He is this for Aphrodite, at least as much as possible. She is certainly very fond of him and holds him above all her other lovers (maybe excluding Damuzi).
  • Stealing the Credit: He tries to claim the credit of defeating Sisyphus for himself, but his lie is quickly exposed and he becomes the laughing stock of Olympus.
  • The Unfavorite: Zeus doesn't really care for him and shuns him for being blood-thirsty and cowardly. The fact that Zeus seems to favor more his bastard children, mainly Athena, infuriates Ares to no end.
  • Underestimating Badassery: He scoffs at Hades for bringing three women – Persephone, Hecate, Eris – and a blind man – Morpheus – to storm Ephyra. He is quickly proven wrong, when Hecate effortlessly dispels Sisyphus' protective charms and Hypnos and Morpheus put everyone in the city to a walking sleep letting gods sneak in unnoticed. Persephone gives him quite a demonstration of her power when she opens a portal straight to Tartarus and drops Sisyphus there.
  • War God: Like in the original mythology.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He seems to really want to prove himself to his father and show him that his is worthy to be his heir.

    Apollo 
God of prophecy, music, light and the healing arts. He is son of Zeus and Leto, and twin brother of Artemis.
  • Jerkass: First class one. Especially when he is rejected.
  • Not Good with Rejection: He doesn't take rejection well. The best example is probably Daphne who had to beg Gaia to permanently change her into a tree to escape his advances. Aphrodite and Athena lampshade this. He also reacts with really jerkass behavior when Persephone rejects him.
  • Really Gets Around: Like other Olympian gods he has multiple lovers. He doesn't seem to care to even remember their names as showed in case of Kyrene.

    Hephaestus 
God of fire and forge, the blacksmith of the gods. Hera gave birth to him all by herself, without a father. One of his legs is lame. Since because of his disability he is not viewed as a threat, he was decided to be the safest match for such powerful goddess like Aphrodite.
  • Disabled Deity: One of his legs is lame.
  • Honor Before Reason: He knows Aphrodite will never be faithful to him, yet he himself refuses to take a lover to not dishonor his wife or the girl he would choose.
  • The Confidant: He is one for Aphrodite. She appears to be consulting with him on almost anything, even matters he doesn't wish to hear about.

Titans

    Hecate 
Goddess of magic and crossroads, holding domain over ether. She was an acolyte of Nyx, who passed on her sacred knowledge, which Hecate in turn passed on Hades and Demeter during the war and currently teaches to the Lampades.
  • Honest Advisor: She sometimes tells Hades things he wouldn't wish to hear, but needs to nonetheless.
  • Mentor Archetype: She was a mentor to both Hades and Demeter during the war. She still often advises Hades in important matters.
  • Older Than They Look: Her young form, when she appear almost like a child.
  • Parental Substitute: She became this for Demeter and Hades when she took them to hide them from Cronus. She called them her son and daughter and passed on them most of their knowledge. Hades admits that she was more of a mother to him than Rhea was.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: When she holds Voleta in her arms after she is killed by Sisyphus.
  • Rapid Aging: She ages each month from a little girl to an old woman as the moon changes its shape.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Hades and Persephone.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Often with Thanatos.
  • Vow of Celibacy: She was forced to take vows of eternal virginity a long time ago in order to avoid being forcefully married to one of Cronus' allies.

    Cronus 
Son of Ouranos and Gaia, who castrated and overthrew his father to take his throne. During his regime he was called the Tyrant. When it was prophesized one of his offspring will overthrow him, he decided to devour any child his wife gave birth to. This plan didn't work, since Rhea saved her youngest son Zeus, who soon freed the others as well. Cronus was finally defeated after ten years of war and thrown into Tartarus.
  • Abusive Parents: He devoured his children after they were born.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: To Ouranos, whom he rebelled against and castrated.
  • Archnemesis Dad: To his six children.
  • Evil Overlord: He wasn't called the Tyrant for nothing.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He is right in saying that Olympians are not as good rulers of the cosmos as they may want to paint themselves as.
  • Large and in Charge: The leader of the Titans and larger than Hades, who is himself quite tall.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He knows which buttons to push to pull others in the direction he desires. He played on Hades feelings of bitterness and resentment towards the other gods and his sense of being cheated out of his birthright to try to persuade him to go against Olympus. He almost succeeded. He knows what to tell Hades to unnerve and anger him and what to show Persephone to make her fear him. He enjoys taunting Hades through the Key.
  • Master of Illusion: He shows Persephone two illusions: one of her and Hades as rulers of the world (if she frees him) and one where he destroys everything she ever loved and rapes her at the end (if she doesn't).
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Seems to think that raping his wife was ok since she was supposed to give him her body anyway. Other characters throughout the story hint he had very negative attitude towards women during his regime.
  • Terms of Endangerment: He uses Hades' affectionate name for Persephone, calling her “sweet one”. He knows very well that it will unnerve them and takes a great satisfaction from this.
  • We Can Rule Together: Claims to have learnt his lesson about absolute power and promises first Hades and then Persephone that if they free him, he will put them as rulers of the world answering only to him. Neither baits this at the end.

Nymphs

In general

  • The Ageless: Nymphs do not age but they can be killed if they go away from their divine domain.

    Merope 
One of the Pleiades. She was Persephone's playmate until Demeter exiled all the nymphs from her company. After she married Sisyphus and spent many years blissfully unaware of her husband's evil deeds. When she finally uncovered Sisyphus' true nature and betrayed him, her life became a living hell. Ultimately Sisyphus killed her and stole her immortality.
  • Forbidden Fruit: She becomes this to Thanatos after Hades explicitly forbids him from going near her, at least for a time.
  • Happily Married: Subverted. For many years she thought that Sisyphus loved her back. When she betrayed him he kept her alive but forced her to play a loving wife and devoted mother.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: After she betrayed her husband, she was forced by him to play a devoted and loving wife, since he threatened to kill their youngest son.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: She knew that her mortal husband is supposed to die before her, but she preferred several decades of happiness to being a plaything of a god for one night, like many other nymphs end up.
  • Murder by Cremation: She was put into a pyre and burnt alive, so Sisyphus could steal her immortality and put a show before his citizens of rising back from the dead as a new god.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Her husband kept her alive and forced her to play Happy Marriage Charade by threatening their youngest son. At the end he broke her legs, drugged her so she couldn't scream and burned her alive depraving her of her immortality. He also put glamour on her so she would be sent to Tartarus in his place. She spent three years in the Pit until she was rescued by Persephone.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Sisyphus used her from the beginning to the end and for the most part she wasn't even aware of this. He married her to have a nymph consort to make his new godly image more believable. He even shared some of his secrets with her to give her the impression he trusts her. When she understood how evil he really was and betrayed him, he kept her alive until he no longer had a need for her as his consort and instead he stole her immortality and used her as a decoy to fool the Gods into believing he was actually sent to Tartarus.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Sisyphus kills her when he no longer needs her to play his happy nymph wife and instead uses her to gain immortality.

    Minthe 
River naiad, who serves Demeter loyally and looks after Persephone when her mother is away.
  • Doomed by Canon: Played with. Anyone interest in Classical Mythology knows she is going to end up changed into a mint plant. However, here she is first burned alive and only from her ashes does the plant spring forth.
  • Lady-in-Waiting: For Persephone. Her role evolves into this after Persephone returns to the surface. Before she was more of a babysitter.
  • Murder by Cremation: She is burned alive by Persephone, when she catches her trying to violate her husband.
  • Parental Abandonment: Her mother died some time after she was born and her father didn't care that he sired her at all.
  • Revenge: One of the reasons she agrees to Demeter's plan is to avenge her mother.
  • Ship Tease: With Eumolpus. She dies before anything can come of it.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Demeter.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Why she agrees to Demeter's plan at the end. She believes that Hades will eventually break Persephone's heart and she is ready to hurt her to save her from this fate.

Humans

    Sisyphus 
King of Ephyra. He was condemned to Tartarus after he informed Asopus that his daughter was kidnapped by Zeus. To save himself he started studying forbidden knowledge and planned on becoming immortal and overthrowing the gods.
  • A God I Am: He orders his people to worship him and by the end he clearly believes himself to be equal if not more powerful than the gods.
  • Cain and Abel: With his brother Salmoneus.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: Persephone sends him kicking and screaming into Tartarus, having the Hundred-Handed One Kottos pull him through a portal she created.
  • Evil Uncle: To his niece, Tyro. He raped her and begot two sons on her, who were supposed to claim Salmoneus' throne for him.
  • Kill the God: He plans to kill the gods and rule the world himself.
  • Villainous Incest: He raped his niece, Tyro.
  • Wicked Cultured: Well-read, knowledgeable and very polite if he want to be.
  • Xanatos Gambit: What he did to Tyro. If the children he begot on her survived they would kill Salmoneus and claim his throne for their father. If not, Salmoneus still would be psychologically destroyed by what happened. Since Tryo decided to kill herself along with her children the second outcome came to pass. Sisyphus kept his hands practically clean.

    Triptolemus 
The oldest son of king Celeus and Queen Metaneira of Eleusis. Even before he meet Demeter in person he was her devoted worshipper and spent most of his free time improving agricultural methods. After Demeter saves him and makes him immortal, they become lovers.
  • Devoted to You: To Demeter.
  • Dreaming of Times Gone By: How memories of his past life manifest.
  • May–December Romance: Theoretically with Demeter, even if they are both deathless at this point, since there is gap of thousands of years between them. Demeter even puts this out as an argument against their relationship. Triptolemus doesn't care.
  • Past-Life Memories: He dreams about his previous life as Iasion. He sees himself making the first plow, making love to Demeter and finally his death and time in the Asphodel Fields.
  • Purpose-Driven Immortality: The main reason he accepted Demeter's offer of immortality is his wish to spread knowledge about agriculture and faming to all Hellas, which cannot be done in one lifetime.
  • Reincarnation: Of Iasion.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: He spends most of his time inventing and improving new farming methods. He even managed to create the first greenhouse that let him still grow plants even when Demeter denied earth its fertility and frost was killing the vegetation. After he is made immortal he teaches people of Eleusis about agriculture and plans to do the same for the rest of Hellas.
  • The Wise Prince: He is the prince of Eleusis and at the same time quite brilliant, when it comes to dealing with plans and farming.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Discussed. He doesn't like the idea that he will have to watch all people he ever loved die one day, yet at the end decides the chance to spread advanced knowledge about farming to the rest of the world is worth it.
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