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Webcomic / Lore Olympus

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A drama webcomic by Rachel Smythe retelling the story of The Taking of Persephone with a modern skin. After Hades casually states that Persephone rivals Aphrodite in beauty when he spots her at a party, the goddess's jealousy leads to her placing the sleeping Persephone in Hades' car. What follows is Persephone's journey of self-discovery, Hades finding an equal to rule by his side, and the two slowly falling deeper in love.The comic is currently still being written. It can be read here.


In October 2019, the Jim Henson Company announced plans to adapt Lore Olympus into an animated series aimed at young adults.

The webcomic provides examples of:

  • A-Cup Angst: Once she finds out about Persephone, Minthe starts becoming insecure about her body and checks out her breast size in the bathroom mirror. Humorously illustrated in the December 29th Q-and-A, which included an image of Minthe and Persephone based on a famous photo of Sophia Loren side-eyeing Jayne Mansfield.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • While versions of the original myth vary in how willing Persephone was and how much say she had in whether or not she would stay in the Underworld, they mostly agree on the point that Hades purposefully carried her off to be his wife. In this version the "abduction" is completely accidental, brought about by the machinations of Aphrodite, and Hades remains reluctant to pursue any kind of relationship with Persephone for quite a while after due to the difference in their ages (Persephone is 19 and Hades is 2000+) and his feeling that she can do better.
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    • In the Eros and Psyche myth, Aphrodite was very much the wicked stepmother, sending Psyche on a mission that might well have caused her death. In this comic she quickly regrets what she ordered her son to do, and when Eros abandons Psyche she takes the girl in and protects her, while teaching Eros a lesson about trust. Likewise, Eros in the original myth basically tricked her parents into giving Psyche to him and her consent in their initial sexual encounter is rather shady. Here, he rescues her from an abusive family, teaches her to read and write and doesn't touch her without her permission.
  • Adaptational Villainy: While in the original myth Minthe was just a fling of Hades, here she's a catty Alpha Bitch who regularly demeans Hades and treats him like a walking wallet. She does get slightly better about this after realizing that her awful behavior might drive him away but she still has no love for Persephone.
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  • Adorkable: Hades. He likes puns, sings to his dog on the way into work, and although Olympus is fully modern he still keeps a checkbook because he enjoys balancing it.
  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • Hades and Zeus both call Hera "Bunny," though she doesn't especially seem to appreciate it.
    • Hades also calls Minthe "Tadpole" as an endearment.
    • Apollo calls Persephone "Persie." She doesn't like it.
  • Always Night: The Underworld, which always has a starry sky. Hades explains that it's always dark there because he dislikes Apollo and doesn't want the sun god in his territory.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Hades is the ruler of the Underworld, but in all respects is quite the Nice Guy. See below.
  • The Bet: Faced with Hades' unwillingness to accept her as an intern, Persephone challenges him to a game of chess. If he wins, she'll take no for an answer, but if she wins, he has to give her a job. She beats him.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • How Hades handles getting payback at the photographer who caught him and Persephone is not unlike something out of a Mafia movie abduction and interrogation scene.
    • When another photographer attempts to know more about her and Hades' relationship, Persephone's eyes start turning red and she wears a rather forced looking grin as she grips the photographer's arm to the point of starting to hurt him.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Episode 40 features Hades speaking unsubtitled Greek. His command to the spirits in Tartarus, "Συγκαλεῖσθε," means "Assemble." His last line of the episode is "Εἰμί βασιλεύς ἀπαίσιος" - "I am a terrible king."
  • Bland-Name Product: In Episode 45, Hades tries looking up Persephone on Fatesbook and Oracle, which are thinly-veiled references to Facebook and Google respectively.
  • Breather Episode: After a highly emotional arc where Minthe is worried about her and Hades' relationship and Hades confesses his love for Persephone in a letter he never intends to send, we get the much more comedic Episode 48 about Hades sending the Furies to kidnap the photographer that snapped him and Persephone.
  • Can't Have Sex, Ever: Members of Hestia's organization, such as Artemis and Athena, take a vow of eternal celibacy. Demeter intends for Persephone to join them, and the group is providing Persephone's college scholarship.
  • Child Prodigy: Agape guides Persephone through the convoluted maze that is social media. Mocking Persephone's Innocence all the way through.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Minthe is not happy once she sees the article about Hades and Persephone. When Persephone subsequently shows up to start her internship at Underworld Corp, Minthe sends her off on a Snipe Hunt - into Tartarus.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each Olympian is a solid color that makes it easier to tell them apart.
  • Covered with Scars: When Hades is shown shirtless, his body is seamed with scars. Their origin has not yet been explained but it probably has to do with the war to overthrow the Titans, which is briefly referenced in dialogue; a flashback to the Olympians' younger days shows Hades swathed in bandages.
    • Athena and Hera have also been shown with multiple scars; Hera's, being mostly across her waist, are usually hidden by her outfit.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Hades tries to be as professional as possible while showing Persephone the ropes around Underworld Corp. Cue seeing her acting adorable in Megaera's borrowed Fury outfit and internal screaming.
  • The Cutie: Persephone fits this trope to a T, what with her easygoing nature, her kind spirit, and her gentle teasing of Hades.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: The dress that Persephone borrows from Artemis at the beginning of the webcomic is barely long enough to cover her butt. Most of the rest of her wardrobe is like this as well, probably because Eros bought it all for her.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: While the Underworld is a place to house the land of the dead, it's by all accounts a nice, if dark, place. Hades rules over it, and he has adopted seven dogs, treats his workers fairly, and takes care of Persephone when he finds her in his car. And between his brothers Zeus and Poseidon, he appears favorably.
  • Death Glare:
    • Hades occasionally has one when he gets angry at someone.
    • Hera sports a positively murderous glare when she crashes Zeus' family brunch to rake him, Poseidon, and Hades over the coals for their crude talk about Persephone.
  • Destructive Romance: Hades knows his relationship with Minthe is toxic and unhealthy, but decided that since they're both unhappy people they might as well be unhappy together. When Minthe thought Hades might be leaving her for Persephone, she admits that what they have might not be love but she's doesn't want it to end, showing that she's emotionally dependent on Hades to some extent.
  • Don't Try This at Home: The author has half-jokingly told the comic's fans to not try any of the tropes present to seduce their employees or their employer.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Lower tier gods and other non-mortal beings can be rather snippy and rude to the Olympians, who are supposedly the highest authority in universe. The Olympians themselves are also a lot more tolerant of disrespect than their original incarnations would ever be, although even they have their limits as seen when Zeus, Poseidon and Hades basically intimidate their way into a strip club they were banned from.
  • The Empath: Hera, in her auspices as the goddess of women, marriage, and family. She senses Persephone's suffering after the encounter with Apollo, though she's not aware of who it's coming from; later, shaking hands with Persephone is enough for Hera to sense Persephone's feelings of trauma and violation with such immediacy that Hera mentally checks out for a few seconds.
  • Everyone Hates Hades: A major conceit of the comic is to defy this, as it portrays Hades as a dark, lonely and brooding man who is in actuality an awkward Nice Guy who is self-aware enough to realize how uncomfortable his feelings for Persephone is. A telling example of this is while Zeus and Poseidon were banned from a strip club for sexual harassment (Zeus) and property damage (Poseidon), Hades was banned because he convinced the club's best dancer to quit and take a job at Underworld Corp.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Cerberus demonstrates an instant and intense dislike of Apollo. He may be able to sense Persephone's distress and discomfort regarding Apollo, considering that he manages to chase down Apollo's car at a time when Persephone is demanding that Apollo stop and let her out.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Any audience familiar with Greek Mythology will know that Hades and Persephone end up married at the end of their myth. In-universe, one story where Hades visits the Fates shows that Persephone will eventually be Hades' bride.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Hades and other gods usually wear modern clothing but change into more traditional togas when they go to Earth or interact with mortals.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Persephone quickly wins over Cerberus, which Hades indicates is quite unusual. She's also shown playing with another of Hades' dogs in the background while Hades is on the phone with Zeus.
  • Genius Bonus: While none of Eros's younger siblings are actual Greek gods, all of their names are different kinds of love in Ancient Greek.
  • Gold Digger: Minthe seems more interested in the expensive gifts Hades gives her than she is in the man himself, but as Persephone enters his life, Minthe realizes she has more attachment to Hades than she previously thought.
  • Higher-Tech Species: Ancient Greece is at an accurate level of culture and technology but Olympus and the Underworld have progressed into a 21st-century level society.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Artemis is suspicious of all men - except for Apollo, thus far the character in the webcomic she should be the most suspicious of where it concerns Persephone. Her enormous blind spot regard Apollo is no doubt because he is her twin brother, but it's an enormous blind spot nonetheless, as she repeatedly fails to recognize the obvious signs that Persephone is not comfortable around Apollo or the unpleasant undertones of Apollo's interest in Persephone.
  • Hustler: Persephone challenges Hades to a game of Chess, pretending she's a complete novice, rather than a high school champion. She nearly breaks character halfway through the game, but Hades is too flustered to notice.
  • Huge Guy T Iny Girl: Hades is close to twice Persephone's height and Eros is close to being two heads taller than Psyche.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Hades orders them to track down someone, the Furies laugh that such a task is beneath them. Gilligan Cut to Alecto and Tisiphone fighting over a piece of steak like two dogs as Hades watches from around the corner.
    Hades: Damn, that's unsavory.
  • Internal Reveal: There are 42 chapters between Apollo raping Persephone and Persephone telling Eros what happened.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: At first, Apollo appears to be a jerk who only becomes close to Persephone to sleep with her, until he reveals a more sensitive, caring side with her, healing her cut finger and displaying a level of concern with how nonchalant she was about the Underworld. And then he coerces her into sex, photographs her naked body without her permission, and repeatedly ignores her lack of consent to force himself on her. At the end of the strip, he leaves her confused and feeling violated, without a hint of remorse.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Hades appears to have a fondness for puns, to appropriately exasperated response from Persephone. In the midst of an otherwise serious discussion about how he feels that Persephone has seemed sad every time he's seen her:
    Hades: And I happen to know a lot about being blue.
    Persephone: [facepalm] Oh my gods.
  • Likes Older Men: While it seems her preference for Hades is mostly a circumstantial thing, the fact remains that Persephone has fallen in love with someone old enough to marry her mother.
  • Loving Details: Hades starts practically swooning when Hecate tells him about how pretty Persephone's handwriting is.
  • May–December Romance: Much to Hades' horror when he finds out, Persephone is 19 whereas he is over 2000 years old.
  • Momma's Boy: As a child, Hades was shown to be close with his mother Rhea.
  • Mood Whiplash: Can occasionally happen at the end of chapters, if the Hermes variation of the footer is used to cap a particularly emotional chapter.
  • My Beloved Smother: Demeter, natch. So far she's only appeared in flashbacks, but her overzealous drive to protect Persephone looms large over the story, to the point that Persephone is shown having a nightmare of her mother locking her in a greenhouse with no doors to "keep her safe."
  • Oh My Gods!: Even the Gods themselves do this: Aphrodite once says, "Oh sweet Gaia."
  • Older Than They Look/Vague Age: Hades and all the other gods from the Titanomachy still look the same as they did thousands of years ago. Aphrodite looks and acts like she's the same age as her son Eros. And while Eros, Artemis, Apollo and Hermes look like they're in the same age group as Persephone, they could easily be hundreds, if not thousands of years older.
  • The One That Got Away: Implied to be the mutual case between Hera and Hades. Explaining why he's not married, Hades implies that he might have been interested in Hera but she was "off limits" because of Zeus, and a flashback suggests that this had something to do with why he ended up with the Underworld as his domain.
  • Politically Correct History: Rachel Smythe has admitted that this trope is in full effect in the comic, applying modern morals and ethics to who are possibly the most infamously vindictive, hedonistic and amoral mythical pantheon in history.
    • The author has revealed she has no intention of depicting Hades abducting Persephone. Instead, the scene of him accidentally taking her home with him at the beginning of the comic was her "hat tip" to the original myth.
    • In the original myths, the concept of women giving consent to sex didn't exist. In fact, stories of Greek gods and heroes finding ways to trick or force unwilling women into sex was often used to show how "clever" they were. In the webcomic, when Apollo raped Persephone, it's treated as the serious crime that it is.
    • Surprisingly inverted in the tale of Psyche. In the original myths, she couldn't find a husband because Eros refused to have anyone else but him fall in love with her. Here, love has nothing to do with it as Psyche's parents force her into an marriage with an wealthy and abusive man for their own benefit.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: Persephone wears her hair short, but when she's stressed and feeling vulnerable her control over her goddess powers slips and she reverts to long, flowing Rapunzel Hair. She's had to cut it all off again twice over the course of the comic so far for this reason - once after her first stay in the Underworld, and again after her assault at the hands of Apollo.
  • Pretty in Mink: In episode 7, Hades gives Persephone a white fur jacket to ward off the chill of the Underworld. He bought it for Hera, but she didn't like it, so he just held on to it, and fortunately it also fit Persephone.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Hades' eyes flash red when he's angry. When Poseidon pretends to be interested in Persephone, Hades gets so worked up that his sclera turn completely red. Persephone takes this a step further by sprouting a crown of red vines when angry, as well as her eyes turning red.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Eros is very encouraging of Persephone's budding feelings for Hades.
    • Zeus and Poseidon are happy encourage Hades in pursuing his interest in Persephone. Their "help" is rarely all that helpful, but Zeus does point out to a disapproving Hera how rare it is for Hades to take such an interest in someone. This prompts Hera to reconsider her objections and meddle a little on Hades' behalf herself by assigning Persephone to an Underworld internship.
  • Shout-Out: By Episode 53, Hades is trying his damnedest not to be more attracted to Persephone, only to be hit with another big dose of Cuteness Proximity and his internal woe looks a bit familiar.
  • Smart People Play Chess: As shown in episode 43, Hades and Persephone are both skilled at chess. Persephone outright sharks Hades and beats him handily, and implies that he likely hasn't had to test his skills against serious opponents in a long time.
  • Snipe Hunt: When Persephone arrives at Underworld Corp for the internship assigned to her by Hera, Minthe recognizes her from the tabloid article. Rather than let her into Hades' office, Minthe lies that he's out on his rounds and sends Persephone off to look for him elsewhere in the building complex.
  • Spiteful Spit: Hera's reaction to Zeus brushing off her concerns over Apollo raping Persephone is to spit in his face.
  • Super-Deformed: Megaera spends most of Episode 48 in Chibi form because her babbling about how Hades is supposed to be with her is funnier that way.
  • Technicolor Population: all the gods are drawn in various different colors.
  • Truly Single Parent: Persephone has no father, her mother created her on her own.
  • There Are No Therapists: Refreshingly averted! Hades's therapist is the one who told him to write a letter to Persephone without sending it, and after he finds out about Apollo raping Persephone, Eros tells Persephone she should speak to his therapist.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: The comic's creator confirmed on her (now deactivated tumblr account)and on the comic's official FAQ page that she will be avoiding the incest present in some of the original myths. Consequently, none of the couples in the webcomic are blood relatives, regardless of their familial connections in the original myths. This means that while Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon are brothers as per classical mythology, Zeus and Hera are not siblings and Zeus is not Persephone's father (so Hades is not her uncle).
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Minthe and Thetis happily greet each other with insults.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Hebe calls Hera out on the fact that she's taking her anger at Zeus out on an undeserving Hades, forcing Hera to wonder if her eight-year-old daughter has more emotional intelligence than she does.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The gods, most notably Artemis, have been shown to be able to change their size and appearance at whim. Cerberus has also been shown to be able to switch between being a normal dog and a giant, three-headed hellhound.
  • Why Would Anyone Take Him Back?: Despite Minthe being a vicious, catty bitch to everyone she meets, Hades still seems loyal and affectionate towards her, and even considers marrying her at one point.

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