By V. Macedo
Zeus was your average extremely powerful god. This included lifting mountains, striking lightning, creating thunderstorms, and practically everything else god related. He got the best end of the bargain, being known as not only god of the skies, but king of the gods and ruler of the cosmos. A peculiar side to his godliness is that everyone knew he was not a very faithful husband. He had hundreds of children (which checks out when you remember he is immortal), and not one of them were with his wife, Hera. However, before Hera, he was married to Metis. However, once she got pregnant, Zeus got scared and gulped the titan down. Like father, like son, am I right? But we’ll get back to that later. His symbols were the thunderbolt, eagles, bulls and oaks, all of which were therefore honored in the mortal’s world.
Dionysus is known as the wine and party god, and is a product of one of Zeus’ many, many affairs. Strangely enough, he wasn’t born a god. Just a normal son of a god. One day, him and his satyr friend were walking through the woods, looking for fruits and leaves to grind and make mixtures, Dionysus’ favorite pass-time. Suddenly, a purple fruit caught his eye, later known as the grape. Yet it was dangling over him, far out of his reach. So, his friend decided to be nice and climb the tree to get the viny fruit, and just as he was about to get down, he got tangled in the vines and fell, hitting his head on a rock with a sickening crack. Dionysus was terrorized. He yelled to the heavens “WHY ZEUS? WHY?” He used the fruit to make the first wine, and heart broken, brought the beverage to his mortal family. They adored it, the news spread fast and soon enough, he was the most popular guy in Greece. His father saw his success and decided he was worthy, and just like that, Dionysus became one of the Olympians.
Hephaestus had a very sad origin story. It all started when Zeus insulted Hera and she got mad. Mad to the point of trying to prove she didn’t need him and deciding to have a baby on her own. Now if you know a thing or two about biology, it us probably clear to you that that shouldn’t be possible. Yet you forget she is a goddess, so in the end, after months of isolation and concentration, a baby was made. However, because he wasn’t made in the “normal way”, he came with some issues. One leg was shorter than the other, he had hair tuffs in random places around his body, and well, I think you get what I mean. So, Hera, mother of the year, thought to herself “It won’t matter that I made a baby on my own! Not when he looks like this”. Harsh, right? So, she did what any normal goddess would do and chucked him out of the window. Of Olympus. Thousands of kilometers from the ground. Her own child. Needless to say, the plunge did not help with Hephaestus’ disabilities. Yet he turned out well, considering everything. He became the god of fire, metalworking, forges, volcanoes, and basically everything surrounding it. He also got married to Aphrodite, which seems like a pretty good deal until you find out that Zeus only got them together so that the other prettier gods couldn’t be jealous.
Athena was born in an extremely bizarre and awkward way. You might remember Metis, the titan Zeus swallowed whole. Well, she was pregnant, and I know what you’re thinking “You can’t tell me the baby was born. Please don’t tell me the baby was born!” I hate to break it to you, but the baby was born. The baby grew into a goddess known as Athena. I have no idea what happened to Metis if you were wondering, but that’s besides the point. As Athena grew, she got wiser and tired of living in her father’s body. So, she climbed her way to Zeus’ head and started banging. I don’t know how she got there either; maybe godly anatomy is different. She banged and banged and banged, giving Zeus nauseating headaches. Until he couldn’t stand it any longer and pleaded to Hephaestus to get him out of his misery. Not to kill him! No! Just to crack his head open and see what all the fuss was about. Well, he did, and Athena emerged as a full-grown goddess with battle armor and a Greek dress, godly perks, I guess. All the gods were shocked as she said “Hello, I am Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and weaving (kind of random, I know) and I shall be one of the Olympians.” I’m guessing the gods were so surprised they just obeyed her, and she became one of the most respected deities of Greece.
5) Apollo and Artemis
These two gods were twins, and they were, surprise, surprise, also children of Zeus with another human. Hera found out and hated them, which is expected, but Zeus did not care at all about her temper. He gave them all they wanted. You want to be the Sun, here you are! You want to be the Moon, no problem! And just like that Apollo and Artemis became the gods of the Sun and the Moon respectively. Artemis also led a group of huntresses through Greece, eternally in a wild girl scout. She also chose to be an eternal maiden, meaning she would never have kids, which is understandable when you remember who she grew up with. Apollo was your typical star-child. He wanted to be God of everything, and so he was God of archery, music and dance, healing and diseases, light, poetry and more. To be fair, Artemis was also God of a few things including archery, the moon, hunting and wildlife. They lived forever happily as two of the twelve Olympians and saw the humans everyday as they came out as the Sun and the Moon. Which is confusing to think about when you realize that is always night or day somewhere, meaning they would always be riding their chariots round and round the Earth, but I guess they didn’t care much about that, and just worked when it was night/day in Greece. Fortunately, the Sun and the Moon continued working just fine for the rest of the world.
Which Greek God do you relate to the most?