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The Hydra originated from a freshwater species of octopus
Long ago I'd heard someone suggest that some myths/legends could have come about from various people's exaggerations and storytellers and minstrels adding their own creative twist to catch people's attention. The story of Hydra has a serpent/dragon with nine heads, one of which is impossible to kill. When a head was cut off two grew in unless the stump was cauterized, and the last one was buried under a rock.

Now, imagine a fisherman telling a friend in a bar about the bizarre creature he encountered, unlike anything he'd seen before. He describes the eight snakelike "heads" and the last bizarre head, and the bizarre way each head remained alive even after being cut, while the stump continued moving as well, creating two dangers where there'd been only one, adding to the problem. And, when he finally finished "killing" the other "heads" by decapitation and burning them till they stopped moving, he was left with one head that couldn't be cut off because there was nothing to cut it off from. After some puzzlement over how to kill something that can apparently survive the impossible, he eventually settled for either burying it or smashing it with a rock. Now, take that story, pass it along a few hundred times over heavy drinking with little added twists for flare added every few retellings, and you could easily get something quite close to the Hydra.


  • Cephalopods are biochemically incompatible with freshwater. Sorry.
  • The Greeks certainly did know what cephalopods were, being familiar with the sea—- octopodes appear in Ancient Greek art from Minoan times onwards. Of course, given how people today sometimes mistake normal animals for monsters, it’s possible an Ancient Greek could have mistaken one for something else if circumstances conspired.

The Greek Gods were genetically enhanced supermen from the future
Possibly even Khan and his friends: it would certainly explain their megalomania. Their divine powers are the results of technology. Omnicience, weather control, and Lightning? Drones with lasers to trigger lightning bolts and carrying cloud seeding chemicals, decorated to look like Eagles. Shaking the earth and tsunamis? Nuclear weaponry. Spawning monsters? Genetic engineering, cybernetics and simple access to animals from the entire world. Realm of the dead and elysium people could visit? Labor camp for mining using enemies of the 'gods' as slave labor and a resort island with modern luxuries, respectively. Magically fertile crops? Modern knowledge of plant breeding and pesticides. The list goes on.

Hercules naturally produced too much testosterone
Hercules' incredible strength was due to naturally producing too much testosterone, essentially giving him a natural version of steroids. This also explains his bouts of uncontrollable rage. If tied in with the above guess about genetic supermen, it could be because he only inherited an incomplete set of augmentations and it doesn't quite work right without the entire package.

The Mythology we know is extremely exaggerated fan fiction.
It was a multimedia franchise that got really, really popular, and the fans were so devoted they made statues and temples and fan fiction. All of Zeus's lovers are OC's. Today, we are making fanfiction of fanfiction. The reason the gods are so imperfect was because fans wanted to Flanderize the characters for the sake of humor.
  • True, in a manner of speaking. What we think of greek paganism is mostly the sources most liked by Renaissance intellectuals. How the ancient hellenes perceived their religion was much more varied and radically different.

Atlantis was the capital of the Titans
It was said that the Titans lorded over a golden age of human civilization, which probably meant Atlantis, which was an advanced utopia. During the Golden Age, humanity never had to work for food, because the earth (a metaphor for technology) provided everything for them. But because of their hubris, Atlantis was destroyed by the "Gods", and so were the Titans. The "Gods" referred here might as well be Zeus and his siblings, who led a rebellion against his father, Cronus, who in his hubris tried to kill off his children and rule forever. However, the destruction of Atlantis meant the end of the Golden Age, and now humanity had to scavenge under the tyranny of the Olympians who are still too immature and childish to lord another golden age, paving the way for Prometheus giving humanity fire to restore their Lost Technology (and perhaps allowing humanity to rebel against the Olympians just like how they rebelled against the Titans).

  • Jossed by mythology itself, in which Atlantis occured after the age of the Titans, under the guidance of Poseidon. The over the top vilification of the Olympians is particularly silly considering this is the one instance in Greek mythology where Poseidon's more righteous side is shown.

Haruhi Suzumiya is the last descendant of the Greek Gods.
Specifically, the last child of Hera (Haruhi) and Zeus (Suzumiya). And because the Greek Gods are all dead thanks to Kratos' rebellion, Haruhi got all the Gods' Powers combined and became a near-omnipotent Reality Warper, and to escape the rebellion, hijacked a TARDIS and time-travelled to present-day Japan where she had amnesia. And of course, she also inherited the cosmos-sized ego and lust to boot, and that's why the other characters of the series should maintain her amnesia, lest....

Well, every WMG page should have at least one connecting it to Haruhi and the Time Lords.

  • Haruhi seems more likely to be related to Aphrodite and/or Dionysus.

Cronus is a Time Lord and the scythe is his TARDIS

The Greek gods screwed themselves over, leading to Yahweh's rule.
Considering what they've done, the Greeks must've been pissed deep down. Eventually they overstepped their line, leading to a Kratos-like figure that organised a rebellion. The gods were too arrogant to consider this, allowing several instances of someone escaping Hades and developments in human technology courtesy of Prometheus' gifts (I can imagine use of automatons derived from Hephaestus' creations), topping it off with a massive civil war between the gods that led to their defeat, with only Athena and Hades remaining, and much of the God-killing technology forgotten. With little competition, Yahweh and the Jews took over, and the rest is history.
  • Yahweh, unfortunately, became as much of a tyrant as the Greek Gods, repeating the Oedipus Complex/Mandate of Heaven that plagues the Pantheon. Yahweh, in a hubristic attempt to rule forever, imprisons Lucifer, and any Prometheus-figures who want to give mankind knowledge, into Tartarus where they are tortured forever. This causes the the decline of the Roman Republic into the corrupt Roman Empire, and the ensuing Dark Ages and the tyranny of the Catholic Inquisition. A rebellion happened during the Renaissance, hence the rise of a new God: Science.
    • "Science" might be:
      • Jesus himself. Yahweh makes the mistake of Zeus-ing with a mortal woman and Jesus is born. Jesus sympathizes with the plight of the imprisoned knowledge-bearers and tried diplomacy and compromise with the old Order. That didn't work, and in response, Yahweh brands Jesus a heretic, and hires the Jews and Romans to crucify him. After Jesus goes through his whole resurrection deal, he goes into heaven and kills Yahweh, and tried to take over the kingdom as the Christian God of the New Testament. However, Yahweh also possessed the Resurrection ability and returns to life again and continues being God in the Medieval Era without Jesus finding out, corrupting Jesus' reputation in the process. It would be until the Renaissance where Jesus finally seals Yahweh into Tartarus for good, allowing Europe an opportunity for a rebellion against the Catholic Church.

        To break the Mandate of Heaven, he takes the mantle of Prometheus/Lucifer as the Bearer of Knowledge, and becomes the new God: Science. Jesus/Science then overthrows the rest of the tyrannical corrupt Old Gods in the world. With Science being the only God left, the Universe is in risk of being consumed back by the first and most powerful Protogenoi, Chaos, who is starting to manifest itself as Entropy. Thus, Science has to sacrifice much of his time and intellect into maintaining the universe in logical order to protect it from Chaos, and that's why he has to allow for humans to think for themselves and exercise their own capacity for science, hence the rise of Deism and Democracy.
      • Lucifer (the Angel of Enlightenment and bearer of the Fruit of Knowledge, who, inspired by Kratos, formed a second rebellion against Yahweh and then succeeded)
      • Prometheus (who gave humans technology and tried to guide humans into another golden age)
      • Athena (the goddess of wisdom and the scientific culture of Athens, who learned her lessons and became less of a bitch).
      • The Flying Spaghetti Monster, who took over for the lulz.
      • No, the Invisible Pink Unicorn.
    • Funnily enough, this is actually considered to be one of the reasons that Christianity eventually became so popular in Europe: the Greeks and Romans were tired of what they perceived as their gods' antics and weren't spiritually fulfilled.
    • So this is semi-confirmed?
      • Except that plenty of pagans did NOT willingly convert to Christianity, and the Christian emperors outlawed non-Christian religions (and non-Catholic denominations), persecuted everyone who wasn't Catholic, ordered the destruction or vandalism of non-Christian temples (and non-Catholic Gospels), and actively went out of their way to persecute the other religions into extinction. Even so, it took until the 20th century before the last secret adherents to the Etruscan religion were stamped out (an Anthropologist of the 19th century actually encountered them and documented their practices and myths), and the other pagan religions probably also lasted for a while underground. The idea that pagan religions died because they were inferior and doomed and the pagans never actually liked them is 1500 years of Christian propaganda, as is the myth that Catholicism was the only denomination before the Protestant Reformation.

Adjusting the above slightly, Yahweh simply got fed up of the Greek gods
He normally doesn't have much a problem with other gods until they pick on us, then he handles them.
  • So he attacked Hestia as well? That seems rather mean and unnecessary.
    • He may have probably just imprisoned Hestia. And considering that Yahweh is kind of a Knight Templar...

Adjusting from the above adjustment of the above, Yahweh and the Olympians continue to be neighbors without major incident besides a mostly one-sided feud
Zeus: Lousy Yahweh...

The Titans actually represent another pantheon worshipped before the Olympians
They weren't even demonised, since Chronos was apparently benevolent enough to lord over a "golden age". They simply were were buried by newer traditions, so mythology took that to a literal level.
  • This is an actual theory. In very early accounts Cronus was portrayed simply as an agricultural deity, probably befitting an agricultural society, before being replaced by the more "civilized" Greeks, who preferred Gods of philosophy, art (their kind of art, anyway) and order.

Apollo and Dionysus are the same person.
This is actually less a WMG than a potential bit of theology that is invoked by some Classical writers (I don't remember who all, could link later). We have two gods who are both gods of destruction (literally in the case of Apollo [Apollwn works best, I think, from Apollumi, "I destroy," given how vengeful and related to "acts of God" his cult is; more figuratively in Dionysus, who destroys as in removes structure) who occupy Delphi and grant prophecies (Dionysus occupies it during the winter months, or so the story goes). As such, both share a prophet/seemingly submissive role with a fertility goddess (Gaia in both instances; Dionysus occasionally when associated with Demeter/Cybele/etc.). Both are renowned for their good looks (Dionysus is a Bishounen while Apollo is the god of beauty) and are patrons of gays (Dionysus is specifically listed as the patron of what is the Greek equivalent of BLGT matters and would be the patron of such modern things as Mardi Gras; Apollo's most memorable loves are those with his [usually doomed] male lovers). Both have a thing against Thebes (Dionysus: Pentheus as Apollo: Oedipus, but then again everything happens in Thebes). Both are associated with retinues of musical women (Maenads and nymphs, and Muses and other nymphs)...the list goes on, from how the origin myths make the two foreign gods (Dionysus is the alien god who has been with the Greeks since the Minoan era, while Apollo is the native god with contradictory paths of origin and no record in Linear B) to various symbols (snakes, musical instruments) and an association with youth.
  • It's a Jekyll & Hyde arrangement. Dionysus is the god of the wild creative highs that require completely forgetting yourself and setting about to a frenzy of expression; Apollo is the god who helps you out when you realize its faults and carefully craft it into a measured and more perfect art. In other words, when Apollo gets drunk, he turns into Dionysus.
    • Then this really changes the dynamics of character duos based on the two, like Enjolras and Grantaire from Les Misérables.
    • Jossed.Dionysus was actually seen as being Hades as spring was when he stayed in the living world being dionysus while winter was him "dying" and becoming hades.So while Apollo and Dionysus makes sense it's not correct.

Aphrodite is a time-traveler.
She wasn't born rising out of the foam; that's just the earliest time in history where she exists. At some point in her personal timeline after she's fully grown and incredibly beautiful, she gets her memory erased and is sent back in time to her "birth".
  • Hephaestus also was a time traveler, or more correctly, he created a time machine that sent Aphrodite to the past (accident or not, is another WMG), himself time-travelled as well and helped to give birth to Athena in this form.
  • Alternatively, Aphrodite is a Time Lady and the seafoam is her TARDIS.

Athena would one day overthrow Zeus
The prophecy just stated that the child of Zeus and Metis would overthrow Zeus. Everyone just assumed this would only apply if it were a guy; because of cultural perceptions. A woman be the King of the Gods? As if.
  • She also one-ups Zeus in that even though he ate her the same way Kronus tried to eat him and his brethren; she busts out of his body anyways. (Zeus had to be sneaked away by Rhea)
    • Considering the fact Gaia already had a grudge against all generations of gods and each time used someone to kill the ruler she didn't like (she gave birth to Kronos to castrate Ouranos and raised Zeus against his father), it's not much of a stretch she motivated Athena to end with Zeus rule. This time, Gaia would probably be satisfied, as Athena seems fair compared to her precursors. Its just a matter of which gods will be killed and which ones will join her.
  • Hold on though; You literally CAN'T have a female chief deity on Olympus. What would her successor chop off?
    • Her breasts, of course.
      • Or her vagina.
      • The vagina is an internal structure and can't be "cut off." The closest fitting structure on the outside would probably be the clitoris.
      • You could carve around it, maybe...
      • Since the whole point is to render the previous ruler infertile, and Athena is a virgin goddess, it's sort of a moot point...
    • It wasn't as much of a concern, as it was only a matter of time until she entered menopause, allowing for a non-violent succession typical of female deities.
    • Athena didn't have a successor. That's why we don't see Greek gods any-morrr... God is a woman. You Can Panic Now.
  • And considering the Greek opinion on fighting fate...

Zeus -was- overthrown
In some versions, it's specifically stated that Metis would have -two- children, the second of which would be the one to overthrow him. Thus, Zeus is considered to have defied fate by virtue of only producing one child from the relationship, regardless of who it was.
Except that, a second child -did- follow Athena, one who took after his mother's namesake, and who resembled and admired, but ultimately deposed not only Zeus, but the entire Greek pantheon... named Rome.

Athena was a wholesome crossdresser
Going to above theory, Athena was actually a man, and knew that the best way to survive was to pretend that he wasn't the son that would overthrow Zeus.

Athena is Hephaestus wife.
Reading between the lines of the above myth where he tries to rape her, it appears he succeeded and impregnated her with erichthonius.This makes sense when you consider the fact that they are Birds of a Feather and were jointly worshipped in Athens and in some myths, Hephaestus originally asked for Athena's hand in marriage and not Aphrodite's and was granted the request but she refused because she was an eternal virgin.

Ares overthrew Zeus, with Athena and/or Hephaestus' help.
Depending on the myth, Hephaestus may not have a father. Father-son competition and the prophecy would prevent Athena from overthrowing Zeus. This leaves Ares, however he wasn't the brains behind the operation. Athena wanted the position of Top God, but because of Greek opinion couldn't directly become one. Hepaestus wanted to get back at his Karma Houdini of a father. They teamed up to train Ares to assasinate his father, which Athena planned to use as a puppet ruler. Mars is the chief god of Rome because its Ares, who has ascended to that role. Athena is either subtly manipulating Ares/Mars, or Ares/Mars got smart and removed her. His Papa Bear tendencies is him being prepared to prevent what happened to his male ancestry happening to him again.

Hephaestus overthrew Zeus and is slowly ushering in a golden age.
Going from the two above WMG's, Hephaestus overthrew Zeus with Athena providing strategy as his wife and Ares/Mars and the The Roman Empire being the front cover of the coup.with him now on the throne he pays Ares back by letting him and the Romans conquer the world while spreading technology and science to the world.Now in the modern world he and Athena have brought western civilization to maturity while also rapidly improving technology and meanwhile Ares has benefited by causing two world wars and receiving upgrades to his weapons (thermonuclear weapons and the like).

Hades really is planning to take over Zeus's throne, but for benevolent reasons.
The God of the Underworld, being much more decent than the rest of the gods, is disgusted by their Jerkass tendencies and hates them all. He became ruler of the Underworld to both get some time away from the rest of the gods, and to have a good secret base to plan in secrecy.(His Helm of Darkness is handy too.)

Building on this interpretation, Hades generally leaves man alone because he wants to avoid bad publicity with them, so one day when they get tired of the rest of the Jerkass Gods of the pantheon, Hades will suddenly be much more beloved and be in a good position to take over. He's building an army in the Underworld in secret from all the souls of the dead who come into his domain, hence why he is so harsh on anyone who dares try to cheat death or bring someone Back from the Dead, thus depriving him of new recruits. He kidnapped Persephone in order to have an accomplice with which to plan, and a way of ensuring her mother Demeter's loyalty when the time comes to actually move against their brother, which is why he is so protective of her; in addition to being his wife, she also knows a lot of crucial information about his scheme and is too valuable in influencing Demeter to lose.

However, one of the other gods(or perhaps a mortal) found out about the plan, but wasn't believed by the other gods. So, they launched a campaign of Malicious Slander in an attempt to make Hades look like a God of Evil, which is why Everybody Hates Hades.However, the backlash against this slander will cause the intelligent fans of Classical Mythology to try to improve Hades's reputation. Phase one is his positive portrayal in The Percy Jackson Books. All of the above is part of Hades's plan.
  • So Hades is really Odin, and Valhalla is where he's training his ghost army, and the Olympians are the Jotuns?
Persephone was even the chief death goddess of her own pantheon before her adoption by the Greeks.
  • Also, Greece is Mediterranean. Winters are mild and wet, so Demeter's sorrow is the cause of blazing hot Summer.

Hades and Thanatos were once the same god
In euribides play "Alcestis" he pretty much says that hades and thanatos are the same person and one of hades epithets was Hesperos Theos(god of death and darkness). It seems that due to some sort of reverse syncretism that they became differentiated and became separate individuals.

Hephaestus is somehow related to the Cyclopes
  • brilliant craftsmen and smiths who are good with their hands.
  • have a paternal figure in Poseidon.
  • have contradictory origins that could be explained via time travel.
  • ugly but skilled.
  • survive things that should have killed them via repair. The Cyclopes were killed by Apollo for creating the lighting bolt that killed Phaeton, but were later stitched back together; Hephaestus was defenestrated, but made himself robot legs.
  • credited with the creation of one or more golden apples, the pantheon, and Zeus's lightning bolts.
  • possess severe handicaps. Cyclopes have one eye, Hephaestus has no legs.
  • lack a motherly character in their life.
  • seem to only have one parent.
  • are male.
Both seem to serve the same purpose in Greek Mythology: ugly, deformed, brilliant craftsmen hired by the gods to create things.
  • Maybe Hera had him in an affair?
    • Maybe both figures are based on stereotypes of smiths at the time the myths were told?
OK, someone made a mistake: The cyclopes are Hephaestus' great uncles.

Hephaestus is an early Spark, possibly a Heterodyne
It fits in with his general characterization. Hephaestus's robots could have been clanks, and his assistants and/or the Cyclopes could have been constructs.

If the whole Spark thing is true, then Hephaestus is actually the God of Sparks, and so now you have the picture of Hephaestus being in the Madness Place. Actually the Cyclopes were before Hephaestus, so congratulations Heph, you have minions.And also Hephaestus actually made golden robots, or Clanks as it were.
  • As a corollary: Sparks are demigod children of Hephaestus.

Caeneus asked for that gender flip not simply so that no man would victimize her, but to get revenge on Poseidon.

Tartarus was a Lovable Traitor
One of the lesser known facts about Tartarus was that in addition to being the closest thing the greeks had to Hell, he was also a deity like Gaia (and shacked up with her a few times, as well). He was also the go-to guy for the head god whenever they needed to imprison someone or something, first Uranus, then Cronos, then Zeus all had enemies to lock up in Tartarus. There's no record of Tartarus ever rebelling or fighting against the most recent usurpers, where-as Gaia rebelled against the reigns of each of them, and the fact that Tartarus was powerful enough to hold each of the beings that were imprisoned within him suggests that he probably could have put up a fight if he wanted to. None of the new God-Kings ever start to question Tartarus' loyalty, either; they all just seem to accept that he'll willingly act as a jailor for them. Anyway, end result of this theory; Tartarus is mentioned a few times in the New Testament, interchangeably with Hell, which suggests to me that Tartarus was simply a go with the flow type of guy who was perhaps biding his time, surviving the downfall of the Greek pantheon by being adopted into Christian lore as Hell.

Hephaestus was destined to overthrow his father.
Something of the Spear Counterpart to the Athena WMG. The prophecy that Prometheus was said to know, concerning Zeus's fall from grace in the future? That history would repeat itself: Zeus's last "true" heir (i.e. a child born within his wedlock) would devise the means to destroy him, and take his place on the throne. Chronologically, Hephaestus- lame, arguably hideous, industrious, and technologically ingenious- is Zeus's and Hera's last son. Hera locked her ugly little son in a volcano out of disgust, but Zeus enforced this because of the prophecy.
  • Minor thing, but I heard it that Hera is actually very fond of Hephaestus, and Zeus threw him out of Olympus in the middle of a temper tantrum.
  • In some versions of the story of Hephaestus's birth, Hera conceived him on her own out of jealousy of Zeus's birthing of Athena without a female, with the implication that he's the only imperfect god because he doesn't have a father. But, obviously, this is Depending on the Writer.
  • Hephaestus fits all the same parameters as the previous 2 kings. Like his father and grandfather he's the youngest child of the king and queen, most powerful among them (by being god of volcanoes and fire, knowing how to make thunderbolts and rivalling herc in strength), and he has a justifiable reason to do it. Zeus threw him off a mountain for trying to protect his mother from his father's abuse (Hera was in some sort of leg shackles) and that isn't something you just forgive.
  • Hephaestus seems like someone who had so much bad things happen to him, that he would snap. Couple that with a good dose of desire for justice, inventing of prosthetic limbs, Ingenuity, Genius Bruiser and Mighty Glacier/Lightning Bruiser with prosthetic limb traits from all the blacksmithing, Capable of playing with fire with required secondary powers, the all the other reindeer status, you get a power house of Fiery Vengeance. And he will not stop.
  • Some versions of his origin have Hera was his sole parent. A trait that a later religion, Gnosticism, has for The Demiurge, an artisan/craftsman god, who is not the creator of the universe. Who makes archons, which are sometimes described as automatons lacking free-will, which can also malfunction and turn against their maker. Not necessarily a problem, as he could just make more for his army of Mecha-Mooks.
    • There's even a version of the Hephaestus-marrying-Aphrodite myth, where he traps Hera on a magic throne and demanded the hand of Aphrodite in exchange for Hera's release. Later Top Gods are famous for having a throne of power as part of their shtick, something a disabled deity like Hephaestus would benefit from and know how to make. And where else has a flying wheeled throne (like Hephaestus's) shown up in literaturenote ?

The stone that Cronus ate so long ago has some deep connection with Zeus.
Besides it being an Omphalos stone (used to denote the "navel" of the world), why else would the oracle at Delphi had found it and saved it?
  • The fact that it sat in the stomach of the Titan King for quite some time would have to give it some powers. Dionysus gained divinity by simply being half-god and finishing up his gestation in Zeus' leg.

Hepheastus isn't actually ugly.
In fact, he may even be a bit handsome. Why do they say he's ugly? The gods' true forms are the absolute perfection of human physique, while Hepheastus looks more like us. By their standards, he's hideous(even more so, since they expect their own kind to have stunning beauty.) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all...

Or in another way Hephaestus is manly looking, not Godly looking.
  • God of Technology? Stumbles around a bit? Would rather be in his workshop than socializing? Handsome in a human way but not a godly one? Maybe Hephaestus is Adorkable!

Heracles had stomach cancer.
In the Roman version of the 12 Labors myth, Hercules was attacked by a crab that distracted him from his tasks. Under the premise of the guess, the Romans heard "Heracles' task was made difficult by a bout with cancer" and thought that "Giant Enemy Crab" was a better translation than "stomach pains".

Hera founded the Amazons.
What better way to show up her adulterous husband and the other male deities than to create a society in total contrast to the sexism and misogyny of the time?
  • Except for the fact that Ares (a male god) was the father of the Amazons. Perhaps it was a joint venture between the two to get back at Zeus?
    • More likely, Ares sired a bunch of Amazons, then forgot about them, then Hera forged them into the Badass Army of misandrists we all know and love.
  • If that was Hera's plan, than it backfired pretty thoroughly, given that the Greeks used the Amazons as an example of why women shouldn't be allowed any power. "Look how evil and crazy the Amazons are? Women obviously can't rule! Let's not let that happen!"

Athena has some connection to hive insects, ants in particular
Firstly, there's her origin story. Her mother was turned into an ant and eaten by Zeus to stop her from giving birth, but Athena was born anyway, and burst out of Zeus's head. Secondly, Athena is sometimes viewed as a symbol of feminism, second only to Artemis, and most hives are ruled by a QUEEN. She is also the goddess of wisdom and battle, and hive insects are notoriously well coordinated. Finally, there's the famous myth about her and Arachnea, where she got jealous of her weaving skills and turned Arachnea into the first spider. Now think about it, what kind of animal preys on insects like the ant? Is it possible Arachnea's children are trying to take revenge?

Originally, guiding the souls of the dead to Hades was divided between Thanatos and Hermes. Thanatos took adults, and Hermes took children.
  • Distraught parents weren't comforted by knowing their deceased children would be led to the Underworld by a god who hates everyone, so they put in the cheerful god who likes everyone, especially children. Eventually the lines got blurred so that either Thanatos or Hermes took everyone.
    • Kind of... Thanatos is just the personification of death, Hermes guides souls to the underworld, and Hades rules over everything under the earth (which happens to include dead people, given the usual means of corpse disposal). I agree that that is one pork-barrel system, though.
    • In the myth of Alcestis, it is always Thanatos who arrives to bring Alcestis to the underworld and upon being challenged by Heracles they have a wrestling match for her soul, implying that it wasn't unheard of for him to act as a guide.

The Greek gods are part of the domains of the Desire realm in Buddhist Cosmology
  • According to Buddhists, the "Wheel of Life" consists of three realms - The Desire Realm (Kama-dhatu) at the bottom, the Material Realm (Rupa-dhatu) above that and at the top the Immaterial Realm (Arupa-dhatu). Within the Desire Realm, there are five or six domains: (1) The God/Deva domain, (2) Titan domain, (3) Starving ghost domain, (4) Hell domain, (5) animal domain, and (6) human domain. Progress towards enlightenment can lead the soul to being reincarnated into higher tiers, like the God, Titan and Human domains, while those with unwholesome karma may be reincarnated in the lower tiers like the Animal, ghost and hell domains. Amongst the six realms, the God/Deva domain is the happiest, being populated by god-like beings who enjoy great power, wealth, and long life of splendor. However, the God domain is not the end goal, nor is any other domain, because each brings its own afflictions and defilements. The negative factor associated with birth in the realm of the gods is pride. In the case of the God domain, privilege and exalted status blind the inhabitants to the suffering of others, so in spite of their long lives they have neither wisdom nor compassion. Considering how cruel the gods could be towards humans for even the tiniest infractions (being turned into a deer to be ripped apart by the hounds for watching someone bathe naked) and their tendency to use them as pawns in their cosmic games, (Trojan war anyone?), as well as their hypocrisy when it comes to punishing hubris on anyone who gives them anything else other than praise and worship, one can see how the gods fit into one of the six realms of the wheel of life.
    • Doesn't really work beyond a superficial similarity, however. Some greek gods, and especially Helios, Apollo and Hecate, are associated with transcendence and rising in the cosmic hierarchy (that is what theurgy was about, after all), which if anything makes them more like the bodhisattvas.
      • Well, who's to say a bodhisattva can't be from the desire realm?

Atreus died on his knees, pleading with Aigisthos for mercy.
To which Aigisthos would have replied with something along the lines of "Like you showed my brothers? I will free the world of a poisonous thing!"

The Greek gods are dicks because they have no self-control.
Zeus spent his entire childhood being pampered and prep to fight dear old dad, and his five siblings spent their childhood isolated inside Cronus. At no point would that allow them to learn any self-control, and due to being gods no human could punish them doing wrong. As a result, the Olympians must have developed a rather screwed up sense of morality, or more likely no sense of morality whatsoever. The Titans dealt with something similar(being stuck in Gaia's womb for god knows how long), and the Protogenoi got no lessons from the grandpappy of all things, Chaos. And when the Olympians reproduced, the cycle only continued. The reason who the Greek gods can treat humanity as their personal toys the one minute and be benevolent, wise figures is because they're immature and amoral, instead of malevolent and immoral. If they want to do something nice, they'll do something really nice. If they want to do something selfish, they'll do something really selfish. Basically, the gods are incredibly immature, and their actions reflect that.
  • Or the gods are dicks because they represent primal nature and, like storms and plagues, don't really care who they hurt.
    • Note also that only the Olympians (aka the younger gods) are the ones engaged in the jerkish habits. Hestia, who is the oldest of the six siblings, is also the most responsible, as are some non-Olympian gods that also enjoyed popularity, like Persephone.

The Greeks got screwed because they forsook Helios
After a beginning as a popular deity, Helios seems to have been delegated to a minor role, often assimilated by Apollo, because Greeks disdained astrological cults. Fast forward some centuries latter, and what divinity that uses most of Helios' imagery and symbolism surfaces and ends Antiquity? To add even more to this, the latest classical pagans began to exalt Helios above the other gods (most famously in Emperor Julian's theology), almost as if desperately calling for the god's favour...

Hades didn't object to Persephone's relationship with Adonis because he was in love with him too.
First off, it's Ancient Greece. Second off, it would make sense, after all Zeus and Poseidon had their share of male lovers (Ganymede and Nerites, respectively), so why shouldn't their brother? The difference is that unlike Zeus and Poseidon, Hades is fairly faithful to his wife (unlike Zeus) who actually likes him (unlike Amphitrite) so what is a guy to do? Why, share the guy with his wife, of course!
  • It's possible that they were on of the few completely faithful couples, after all Minthe is Hades' ex in some myths and they could have also shared Leuce. Plus, there's a version where Minthe becomes a mint not due to cheating or jealousy but because she claimed to be more beautiful than Persephone. In other words they might have had an open marriage or simply wanted to keep things interesting after centuries and millenia.

Admit all that noise with the Roman nonsense, Zeus was deposed in a coup... by Hermes, of all people
Though he did lose an eye for his troubles.

Many secret societies were fronts for modern-day cults to the Greek gods
  • The Nazis were Hades worshippers (that he may not have approved of). Just take a look at Red Raven comics' version of Mercury and Rick Riordan's implications about WWII. Can't be a coincidence...
  • The American Founding Fathers were a branch of Freemasons who worshipped either Zeus or Athena.
  • The Templars are Discordians who have no idea that they're being trolled.
  • Plus Ultra was a cult that worshipped Prometheus. He was a deity of foresight and gave humanity its first invention, after all.
  • Wiccans worship Hecate. This is pretty much confirmed, isn't it?
  • Every comedy club worships Momus, the god of satire and dry wit.
  • Every sports association and gym worships Nike, the god of victory.

Hercules is Paul Bunyan
He adopted a new disguise in the New World. Babe the Blue Ox is actually Achelous, the blue bull-bodied river god he rescued his wife from, transformed into his loyal companion.

Gods lack the Westermarck Effect.
The Westermarck Effect is an in-built incest taboo, which exists for a good reason; inbreeding increases the chances of genetic disorders and weaknesses. That's why most people would be aversed to boning their sibling. The Greek gods, however, are meant to be physically flawless. They're genetically perfect, so they have no need for the Westmarck Effect and thus no repulsion to incest. Divine incest isn't an example of Values Dissonance, but another way of showing how the gods are different from people and above certain norms.

The Greek Gods became kinder later on.
Many tales of their assholiness are in legends, set hundreds or even thousands of years before the "present" of Classical Greece. The reason they came off as assholes then was due to being, in god terms, young. It's never explained how old the Olympiad was considered, but it could easily fit with them being merely in their first millennium by the Bronze Age where the myths took place. By the 5th century BC, they had matured and became less reckless. The Roman gods are simply the Greek Gods as more mature, which explains the Lighter and Softer characterization in some; Jupiter is more focused on law because he's gotten his "wild oats sowing" out of the way, Mars has Adaptational Heroism because he's learned the hard way that The Bully won't work, Vulcan is more respected because his father realizes his blacksmithery works more, and so on. They still tend to cause problems, but they're a lot better about it nowadays. This is also why the their cousins, who are all almost older than either Cronus' children/grandchildren, seem to have less issues in the myths.

Heracles and Theseus are more God than Mortal.
Unlike their MANY half-siblings both Heracles and Theseus are gifted with superhuman strength, stamina, and durability. Heracles is more well known given his labors but Theseus was able to move a giant rock hiding his sandles and sword, as well and beat the Minator to death with his bare hands. They both seemed more god than human, but why? Another thing they have in common is that both of their fathers slept with their mothers the same night as their husbands did. The head of a penis is shaped that way to scoop out the semen of other men to increase their chances of spreading their genes. What if Zeus and Poseidon unknowingly did this and thus ended up making their children more like 75-80% god as a result?
  • To add on this, maybe the reason Heracles is stronger is because of the order in which Zeus slept with his mother? Her husband slept with her first and Zeus scooped out the mortal semen and left more "god juice" for her and thus made Heracles 80% god. Theseus could have had this in reverse with Poseidon sleeping with his mother first and this had more godly semen scooped out by the mortal husband, thus making Theseus 75% god?
  • In some versions of the myth, Heracles is briefly nursed by Hera after he was rescued from being abandoned when his parents realized there was something up with him. Another god saved him and tricked Hera into nursing him—she either realized who Heracles was or Heracles bit her while nursing, so she rejected him, but too late. Perhaps Hera's breast milk endowed him with his superhuman strength... and might have made her feel even more spiteful to him later in life, seeing as she was doubly duped.

Combining some above theories, Ares, Athena, Hephaestus and Hades teamed up to overthrow Zeus.

Zeus had a second child with Metis
After Athena, their unnamed male second child was prophesied to overthrow him, but only Athena is recorded to have made it out of Zeus alive (he swallowed Metis alive after she turned into a fly). While in his stomach, Metis fashioned armor and weapons for Athena, so that when she escaped it was fully armed and armored. If Metis was that skilled at crafting and shapeshifting, it seems likely that she had the means to escape while Zeus was distracted at some point, such as when his head was being split open to let out the adult-at-birth Athena. Who would notice a little fly escaping as well? Zeus was also the sort to screw Anything That Moves, so Metis would have had plenty of opportunities to disguise herself later if she sought to fulfill the prophecy.

The question is, who was the child? One of Zeus's offspring with an unknown mother? One with a known mother whom Metis impersonated? Or a complete unknown raised in secret?
  • Aite (goddess of delusion / folly / hubris / mischief / mistakes): Not so much overthrew Zeus as eventually causing the downfall of the entire pantheon at some point.
  • Jupiter/Jove (the Roman equivalent): A Generation Xerox son of Zeus, took over after noticing and befriending a few Etruscan gods, whom he set up as his new pantheon and passed off as a Translation Convention to the Greeks when the Romans rolled in. Is around long enough to get planets named after his pantheon instead of his father's.
  • Dionysus, but Metis never escaped Zeus's body. When Zeus put the fetal Dionysus in his thigh, it was Metis that actually cared for the child until he came to term, and hence became Metis's second child and why despite having a mortal mother, was born a full god.

Fate is not as immutable as it seemed.
While some You Can't Fight Fate situations are just that, most are examples of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. The only reason why Cronus and Zeus went against their father was because he attacked first out of paranoia, and because Oedipus never knew about his biological parents he'd have no reason to avoid the prophecy. There's never been a case where someone is Genre Savvy and raises their kid with love and affection despite the prophecy saying they'll kill them, but it happens anyway. Zeus decided to be a good father to Metis' child, and she's never shown any interest in overthrowing him. While powerful, it's possible to Screw Destiny if you're not a dick about it. Presumably because karma is working overtime...relatively speaking given the Greek gods.

The Titanomachy destroyed humanity.
Hesoid describes different ages of man, with the first, the Golden Age, being the one Cronus ruled. The rest are ruled by Zeus, and have mankind destroyed-the Silver Age for their impiety, the Bronze Age due to the Flood of Deucalion, the Heroic Age where heroes went to Elysium and the Iron Age aka the current age to him. Despite being described as being created in Cronus' era, humanity is described as being made under Zeus' watch. Rather than being a Continuity Snarl, this could be Zeus having man recreated. But why? The giant war for control of the world. There has never been a full-out war before or sense of so many gods, and that's probably because of the enormous collateral. Zeus won, but his mortal subjects were wiped out in the process. He went on with or without Prometheus to help recreate humanity, but could never perfectly replicate the success his father had.

On a related note, it's possible Uranus is the reason that there's no age of man before the Golden Age. From what little we know of him he was a Control Freak who hated his kids and shoved them into the Earth, it's possible that he was uncomfortable with the idea of sentient life in general and didn't bother to make mortals. Cronus didn't have these reservations, and said "screw you" after castrating him and commissioned the first humans.

Ancient Rome was Ares' means of striking back at his family.
He's treated initially as a sort of brute and general asshole, however it's possible that over time he could have matured. The Heroic Age the myths took place had passed, the modern era the Greeks lived in came, and Ares grew up. He learned a bit form his sister Athena, and formulated a long-term plan. That plan? Create an empire that would eventually overthrow the whole of Greece and help him to overshadow and perhaps even overthrow Zeus one day. He used Romulus and Remus for this, taking the name of "Mars" and developing a militaristic, expansionist nation with the goal of one day conquering Greece. Rome would eventually overcome Greece, forcing the gods to adapt into their Roman incarnations. Minerva has far less of a role than Athena because of Ares' rivalry. He used Rome to be second to his father, and would have overthrown him had a certain carpenter not bungled things.

Hestia and Dionysus alternated "throne time"
It's often presumed that Hestia gave her throne to Dionysus, but this was never stated to have happened in the original myths. An alternate explanation is that they share the throne. Dionysus occupies it during the warm months when grapes grow and wine is fermented, while Hestia — being the hearth goddess — takes over to feed the flames during the cool months.

Dionysus was about the change in a state of being
Consider the things he's been associated with: death, rebirth, madness, wine, and theater. All of those things involve transformation in some way, like an actor getting into character or a sober person getting drunk on wine. This would explain why he more or less fell to the wayside during the Greek Dark Ages and didn't come back until sometime in the Classical era. During a time of uncertainty and instability, you're probably not going to wanna revere the god of stirring the pot.

Poseidon became a sea god because of a tsunami
Poseidon is believed to have started out as a chthonic god associated with earthquakes. So why did he become a sea god? Well, if there was a huge earthquake that triggered a tsunami, a lot of people might believe they were the actions of the same god. And since Poseidon already controlled the earthquakes, he must also have been responsible for the giant wave. Since the wave came from the sea, he must also be in charge of the sea. From there, he evolves (or just metamorphoses) into a sea god.

Zeus Really Gets Around because of Metis
Metis is a little miffed at being trapped in Zeus's head, so as revenge, she decides to mess with it: subconsciously influencing him to have a lot of extramarital affairs (and therefore a lot of children) in the hopes that he will sire at least one heir who will overthrow him and release her.

Alternately, Zeus keeps having kids because he recognized a certain pattern
Zeus was the youngest child of Cronos and usurped him. Cronos himself was the youngest child of Ouranos and usurped him. Why does Zeus keep having kids if he knows the risks? Because he identified a pattern of the youngest child overthrowing their father and taking over as ruler. So he keeps having children to prevent any one of his offspring from being the youngest long enough to overthrow him. This way, he never gets threatened by his youngest child, since that status is constantly changing.

Zeus isn't out of the woods yet regarding his prophesized child with Metis
If she's stuck hanging around in Zeus' brain, it makes sense that she could still conceive a child with him if he worries too much about having one with her.

Zeus is unfaithful to Hera because he doesn't love her the way he loved Metis
Self-explanatory, really.

Athena's brother would have been a God of...
Place your ideas here.
  • Instinct.

The other gods keep Dionysus drunk to prevent him from reverting to his older, scarier self
Because who would you rather be around: a fun party animal, or a horrifying being of madness and death?

Aphrodite's dominion is closer to passion than love
Think about it: love and sex could both be considered endeavors requiring passion, and Aphrodite's myths characterize her as a passionate individual. This could also explain her association with Hephaestus and Ares: war is also heavily associated with passion, and you'd expect dedicated craftsmen to be passionate about their work.

Chaos is just a jumble of atoms, and the gods’ powers are entirely due to their ability to manipulate atoms arbitrarily.
The pre-Socratic Greek philosophers were the first to propose that all matter is made from atoms, but the similarity to modern atomic theory is In Name Only. Meanwhile Greek mythology starts with Chaos existing from eternity, but one day spontaneously creates the Protogenoi which give rise to all the gods, at which point Chaos just disappears. Lucretius says that Chaos was just atoms going every which way and never staying in one place long enough to make anything, but over infinite time the atoms should start to stick together through pure chance. Since Chaos disappears after Gaia is made, the logical conclusion is that the atoms of Chaos all arranged themselves into something stable leaving nothing left over. Gaia gives rise to the Titans who give rise to the Olympians, so even the gods are made of purely physical matter, which implies that Chaos is the most powerful being in mythology by far, even though it’s not even sentient. But since the gods directly descend from Chaos, they retain the entropy-defying ability to rearrange atoms however they want, explaining their power over the forces of nature and the physical world, and their ability to turn anything into anything else. But they still cannot fight fate, because Fate is not a being: in the Orphic cosmology the three uncreated things at the beginning were Chaos, Time, and Fate. The latter is just how the other two interact. The Moirai and Apollo are able to reconstruct how atoms will interact ahead of time, but can’t stop it. This whole thing is why the atomists were accused of atheism: if the gods are made of physical matter and bound by the laws of nature, then are they truly divine at all?

Inklings worshipped Poseidon.

Helios attempted to become Top God in the 3rd century.
Twice there were Roman empires who attempted to push for a solar deity to have prominence. Wanting to take power over his fellow gods, Helios/Sol used Elagabalus to promote him in the form of El-Gabal and replace Jupiter as the main god. However he was too forceful and this, combined with Elagabalus banging Anything That Moves, made him unstable and led to his assassination. Learning his lesson, he later tried again with Aurelian and his Sol Invictus cult, being less forceful. Aurelian was so successful due to having Helios/Sol' backing, so Zeus/Jove requested Eris/Discordia to throw a bit of chaos into the mix by having him assassinated. She was no doubt having a lot of fun with the Crisis of the Third Century and given Aurelian would've ended it had he not been killed, she was on board. Before Helios had another opportunity his plans were foiled in advanced with Christianity taking over, so he instead decide to bum around in the Americas were more people recognized the sun as a Top God.

Chaos is the Azathoth of Greek Mythology.
Both predate all things, are the progenitor of the first cosmic beings and embody chaos. Chaos is never personified in any way, and is never described with some sort of sentience. It could very well be an Almighty Idiot. Unlike Azathoth the Protogenoi stopped caring about Chaos after giving them life, and it (hopefully) isn't dreaming reality like the Blind Idiot God so they don't fear not existing anymore from it.

Alternative Title(s): Greek Mythology


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