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Fridge / Classical Mythology

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Fridge Brilliance

  • The children of Ares (war, combat, bloodlust) and Aphrodite (beauty, sex) are: Eros (love), Anteros (requited love), Himeros (uncontrollable immediate desire), Pothos (longing desire), Harmonia (harmony), Phobos (fear), Deimos (panic/terror) and Adrestia (revenge); which are all of the emotions that can happen in a relationship between the foul-tempered abusive jock and the pretty girl. The ancient Greeks understood relationships.
    • In Latin, the word for beauty (associated with Venus/Aphrodite) is "bellus" and the word for war (associated with Mars/Ares) is "bellum". Although they have different root words, the similarities are brilliant.
    • In a similar manner, Ares himself is the son of Zeus and Hera, both stubborn, proud and with temper issues at times (no wonder their marriage never really went anywhere...), while the most well-known version of Aphrodite's origins is that she was born from the remains of the first murder, to be specific from Ouranos' penis fallen/thrown into the ocean. That explains everything...
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    • Aphrodite sprung forth from the severed genitals of Ouranos. How fitting she's the goddess of sexuality.
  • Perseus is the son of Zeus. Why didn't Hera go after him or his mother? Because they're from Argos, and she's the patron of that city.
    • Or she might have thought Danae's father attempting to kill them and the king of the place they wound up at constantly pestering Danae for marriage then sending Perseus on a suicide mission to get Medusa's head was enough. Also Perseus was really protective of his mother, a trait which Hera surely appreciates.
    • There is also the fact that Perseus was prophecized to kill his mortal grandfather. Not even a god can prevent a prophecy from coming true...
  • The story of Heracles states that Hera tricked Zeus into saying that the next king of Argos shall be the next male born. Of course, she manipulates events to happen so that Heracles's cousin Eurystheus is born first - thus making him the rightful king. But wait - Heracles has a twin. (Iphicles) So why go for his cousin, and not his fraternal twin to really rub salt in it with Zeus ("Hey, Alcmene's son is the next rightful king - Ain't no rule saying it had to be Heracles, haha!")? It makes a bit of sense actually - by making Eurystheus the next born child, she ensures that it's not Heracles. If she induced labour in Alcmene, there was still a chance Heracles could have been the first one born - and not Iphicles.
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  • Phaethon asks to drive Helios's chariot, after his god-father promises to give him whatever he asks for (even swearing by the River Styx). Helios tries to dissuade him by saying that it's a tricky job; even Zeus can't pull it off. This doesn't seem to stop Phaethon at all, and when you think about it, it makes sense why this would instead motivate him. Phaethon had originally gone to Helios to get proof that he was Helios's son, after the demigod Epaphus mocked his claim. Epaphus himself is a son of Zeus; by driving the sun chariot, Phaethon would not only be well known throughout the world, but in pulling off something that even Zeus couldn't do, would effectively be showing his superiority to Epaphus.
  • Why would the relatively amiable Hades kidnap Persephone to make her his bride? Well, according to some sources, he did that after asking Zeus for relationship advice. Given the fact that Zeus has raped and/or kidnapped plenty of women (and poor, minor Ganymede) just 'cause he felt like it, it isn't surprising that his advice would involve something like that.
    • Also, as some point out, he went to her father and announce his intentions to marry her. Which is actually... pretty much a proposal (at least in Ancient Greece that was the only requirement). Zeus just agreed.
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  • Every source and most people tend to think Hades got the worst and Zeus the best of the deal when they divided up the world, but actually it's kinda balanced because all three of the brothers' domains come with some great perks. Zeus' is obvious, but consider this: Poseidon got the element that covers about two thirds of the planet, with earthquakes to boot, and for Greeks travelling by sea was something of a necessity (remember Theseus having to kill all those bandits and monsters on the way to Athens? That was because he didn't take the sea route.), while Hades got all of the minerals and gemstones, and as many point out, the one biggest flaw of humanity is that the dead have always and will always outnumber the living.
  • Most stories of Andromeda mention that she was supposed to be eaten by a monster because her mother Cassiopeia blasphemed and made Poseidon mad by claiming Andromeda was more beautiful than the Nereids. All nice and good as the Nereids were supposed to be extremely beautiful, including Amphitrite, Poseidon's wife herself, but the fridge comes in when you remember that the Nereids, daughters of Nereus, Old Man of the Sea, had a brother called Nerites, who was even more beautiful than them, and who was Poseidon's first serious relationship besides his wife. No wonder he got pissed off, she was badmouthing both his wife and his boyfriend!
  • The parallels between Herakles/Hercules and Dionysus.
    • Both demigod children of Zeus,
    • Relentlessly hated by Hera who
    • Tried to kill both of them very early on (Herc when he was an infant and Dionysus when he was 3; true, Hera killing D's pregnant mother should have killed him too but the main object of wrath was the mother that time, the child dying as well was just an added bonus in Hera's eyes);
    • Both having death/near death experiences before fully ascending to godhood and by opposite elements too as Herakles had to die on the pyre before he was offered a place amongst the gods and Dionysus being chased into the sea could mean he almost drowned (remember, Dionysus takes a major level in badass after the episode, fully displaying his trademark powers of driving people insane and covering buildings in grapevines, whereas before he only really made wine with them);
    • Both being active combatants during the Gigantomachy (some say they even fought as a duo), and according to some sources, Herakles went along with Dionysus when the latter decided to take a trip to India to conquer it... I mean show them the wonderful values of wine.
  • The YMMV page points out what vast differences were between how the Greeks saw Ares and how the Romans saw Mars, and how that difference (the sheer unholy joy of war and bloodlust without regard to result and safety vs. determinators defending their homes) says everything you need to know about the respective people. But it's even exemplified in their sacred animals: Ares' sacred animal was the wild boar, notorious for being blinded by fury and fucking refusing to die, often taking you down with itself, and the carrion fowl (vultures, crows, ravens) gathering on the battlefield. Mars', by contrast, were the animals that raised his sons Romulus and Remus: wolves and woodpeckers who are known for taking care of trees by feeding on the insects that could damage them.
  • When she is not a daughter of Metis, a deity of wits and wisdom (swallowed by Zeus), Athena just pops out of Zeus' mind without any female influence previously like she was created out of thin air. No wonder she became a goddess of crafts among loads of other things!
    • Similarly, in all versions, after Athena's birth, Hera was obsessed to one-woman-up her husband by giving birth without a man. She succeeded... birthing Hephaestus, who became the god of the forge, blacksmiths and fire. With Athena, they covered pretty much every sort of activity that leads to humans creating objects.
  • There's some poetic justice in the fact that Narcissus, who saw himself as an unattainable treasure, got transformed into a flower — something that literally anybody can take and do with as they wish.
    • Not just any flower either. The flower he was turned into and which bears his name, the narcissus/daffodil, is one of the first to bloom and is quick to wilt even for a flower.
  • The anger the Olympians felt when they discovered Tantalus' crime makes even more sense when you remember that at least Hera, Poseidon, Hestia and Demeter (Hades wasn't present at the time) all know how it feels to be eaten by your own father.
    • For Hades' part, it certainly explains why he'd give Tantalus such a torturous punishment in the afterlife.
    • Made worse by Tantalus being the son of ZEUS.
  • Why are all the gods (save Hestia) prone to so much hypocrisy, violence, sexual assault, and abuse? Well, each god is typically associated with either an aspect of nature (such as the oceans, plants, weather, etc.) or emotions and biological reactions (bloodlust, love, sexuality). As such, the gods are less like people, and more akin to forces of nature; the gods, like nature, are indifferent to humanity, so sometimes they’ll harm people when they’re angry, reward people when they’re happy, etc.
    • On another note, none of the gods, progenoi, or the titans were raised by humans or had human principles instilled in them. Quite literally all of the gods are essentially a bunch of overgrown children who were raised with neglect, abused horribly, or spoiled beyond belief.
    • This would also explain why Hestia is the most reasonable; being the goddess of the hearth, she likely spends a lot of time peacefully interacting with humans, so she’s likelier a lot more empathetic.
  • While this may not quite account for the Ash Tree Nymphs and the Gigantes, the Furies being born from Ouranos' blood mixing with the Earth makes sense when you consider that they're literally being born from their parents' mutual fury—Ouranos' fury at being deposed and Gaia's fury at Ouranos for imprisoning her children.
  • Some of Typhon and Echidna's offspring, such as Cerberus, Ladon, the Caucasian Eagle and the Colchian Dragon were utilized by the Olympians in some way despite the fact that they were the offspring of their leader's Arch-Enemy. Sounds odd...but when you think about it, it's actually genius. It's an excellent way to prevent the monsters from running wild and destroying stuff, whilst simultaneously taking advantage of their destructive tendencies. Keeping Cerberus busy guarding the Underworld, Ladon with guarding the Apples of the Hesperides, the Caucasian Eagle with tormenting Prometheus and the Colchian Dragon keeping watch over the Golden Fleece all allow the Gods to keep these monsters occupied so that none of them ever end up going on deadly rampages.

Fridge Horror

  • Cronus ate five of his six children, with the sixth (Zeus) spending the next twenty-so years in fear that his father would do the same (and probably hearing all about how terrible his father is and how his siblings needed rescuing). Remember that Cronus' kids (and gods in general) are immortal, meaning that they spent upwards of twenty years cramped in Cronus' stomach. Ouch-no wonder they're jerks!
    • Hestia was in there the longest and turned out perfectly fine.
    • Perhaps she was in there long enough to do the 'jerk' version of Bored with Insanity and just got bored with being a jerk and became the opposite. To elaborate on this idea, the next oldest sibling is Hades, who is quite reasonable and nice, then Demeter, then Poseidon, then Hera and Zeus. While not a perfect graph, you could graph 'reasonable behavior' as being tied to 'who spent the longest in his stomach'.
    • Fridge Brilliance: The reason Hestia is the sanest and nicest of the six Olympians is because she as the oldest was forced to mature faster in order to take care of her younger siblings while they were trapped in their father's stomach. Hades being the second oldest and first son similarly assumed this role as well.
    • As mentioned above, it also provides a horrifying explanation for why cannibalism and killing one's own family members are both massive taboos in the Ancient Greek world and why the gods take so much offense at both crimes—their own father tried to kill them by eating them.
  • Zeus is this mixed with Paranoia Fuel, he's a Voluntary Shapeshifter (since that's part and parcel of being a god) with no respect for the word "No", for all you know he could be standing right behind you or impersonating your significant other right now.
    • And afterwards, there's his wife to worry about, circumstances of the encounter be damned...
    • In a similar vein, Hades has a helmet that makes him invisible and according to some even intangible (meaning he can go through walls while wearing it). While he IS one of the nicer ones, that does beg the question... How does someone know that he's down where his job is and not, uh, right behind you?

Both Fridge Brilliance and Fridge Horror

  • Scylla, Charybdis and Medusa and her sisters all used to be women that were turned into monsters. While unfair, why they might have been turned into monsters is linked to Pandora. The Gods created Pandora to bring evil upon men after Prometheus returned fire to them. As a result, the monstrous forms that they were turned into represented the "evil" in their hearts, as descendants of Pandora.

Fridge Logic

  • Norse gods are almost always depicted as tall and Nordic looking, to the point where people actually had a fit when the movie version of Thor had a black Heimdall. So, how come the Greek gods are never depicted as short, dark, and hairy?
    • Because not all Greeks look like that. Also, the Norse gods are often described to look a certain way, as are the Greek ones, and that description usually includes "tall".
    • Plus the Greek Gods are supposed to be the ideal image and form. They were often depicted far from the truth on what the Greeks normally look like.
  • According to Hesiod, the Golden Age ended when Prometheus gave fire to mankind. Afterwards was the Silver Age, followed by the Bronze Age, which ended with The Great Flood in the time of Deucalion and Pyrrha. Considering the Deucalion was Prometheus's son, and Pyrrha was the daughter of Epimetheus and Pandora, this means that the Silver and Bronze Ages combined lasted for only one generation.
  • Both Semele and Psyche were forbidden to look upon the faces of the gods sharing their bed. When Zeus appeared to Semele, she burst into flames. When Psyche peeked at Eros, she ended up only chastised. Why did one manage to survive, but not both?
    • Semele asked Zeus to appear in front of her in his true divine form and her mortal body couldn't bear standing by such a power. Psyche looked at Eros in human form while he was sleeping.
    • Also if memory serves, Psyche was also forbidden from finding out the identity of her husband (he never told her his name), and the moment she saw his human form's face and the wings, she knew it was Eros.
  • How does anyone know about Medusa if everyone who looks at her in the eyes turn to stone?
    • Two people happen upon Medusa. One looks her in the eyes and turns to stone. The other sees her only from an angle, possibly from behind, but sees his friend turn to stone from looking her in the face. The second guy runs away before Medusa stares him in the face, and goes on to spread the story.
    • Or the person who cursed Medusa in the first place told everyone?
  • What does Charon do with the money he earns? Does he have a hobby when he's not transporting the dead, who are constantly coming in? Because that seems very irresponsible of him with all the work he's got on his plate.
    • Maybe he blows it all on fancy suits.
    • Or he's collecting it for Hades. Hades was the god of precious metals, after all.
    • he keep it and he make mountains, when the gold coins touches the roof of tartarus, the dead will be free from it.

Both Fridge Logic and Fridge Horror

  • The story of King Midas plays on this trope: "OK, yippee, everything you touch turns to gold. Now go try to eat your dinner."
    • He could swallow it whole. It would just require Midas to bite out the one thing in his mouth with the sense of touch: his tongue.
    • Another bit of Fridge Horror about King Midas: everything he touches turns to gold, including food and water. Imagine if he unwittingly decided to swim in water that connects to the ocean-the Greek gods were lucky Midas only had this power briefly.
      • Slightly alleviated by the fact that, in some versions of the story, he gets rid of it by either washing his hands in salt water (the sea) or in running water (a river.) Sometimes, it's both. Either way, crisis averted.


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