How to Survive a Western

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Ah, westerns, a classic American movie genre set at a time and place when everyone had to do everything themselves, especially when it came to fighting Indians or regular law enforcement. A time of cowboys and Indians, outlaws and gunfighters, and a time when people from far and wide moved away from the east to start a life of their own and grow up with the country. Of course, knowing that most of these are set between 1865-1920 so you won’t have access to the convenient 21st century technology. Still, surviving in a western isn’t easy and if you find yourself in one, here are some steps you should follow. (Of course, don’t count on working out all the time.)

1. Be black or Asian. (Because as far as race goes, these two have among the lowest death rates since most westerns don’t have either of them. Sure being black or Asian in a western may mean being susceptible to demeaning stereotypes or terrible jobs for pittance but at least it’s better not having people who want to kill you. And even so, chances are good you’ll survive anyway regardless of role except maybe villain.)

2. Listen to the hero no matter how much of jerk he is because he is always right. (Sure John Wayne may be bully and a complete asshole but if you don’t listen to him, well, there’s going to be trouble. Of course, unless you’re Maureen O’Hara you might want to avoid sleeping with him).

3. Don’t mess with the hero. (The hero’s motives may not be pure but if you do anything to him or try to hinder his goal, well, you’re going to get it.)

4. Avoid saloons and banks. (Sedentary indoor gun shootings happen at these places 90% of the time. Also, brothels, bars, hotels, and dance halls count as saloons since they also serve booze.)

5. Don’t be in anything by Sam Peckinpah. (I can’t help you there given his movies make Quentin Tarantino films look like something from Disney. Come to think of it, you might have better odds in The Hunger Games than in a Sam Peckinpah western.)

6. Stay indoors when the guns go off. (Or else, you’ll end up shot as an innocent bystander.)

7. Horseback riding and sharpshooting are valuable skills. (Being skilled in at least one will help you tremendously.)

8. Remember that most weapons fire rounds beyond their capacity without reloading. (Westerns are notorious for having six shooters that fire more than six at a time before reloading.)

9. Don’t board trains carrying gold or weapons in the baggage car. (It will be targeted for a train robbery which will involve shooting and dead bodies.)

10. Don’t travel by stagecoach. (Trust me, it will be Indians, bandits, or both.)

11. If you’re challenged to fight against a guy who’s known for his fast reflexes or excellent aiming skills, get the hell out of town as soon as you can. (Sure you might be called a coward but at least you’ll survive.)

12. Don’t challenge people to duels. (Just don’t. The challenger usually gets shot and killed in these. If he survives, then welcome to hell.)

13. If you’re white, stay out of the Indian settlements. (I don’t care if you’re in the US Army and it’s your job to get them to surrender peacefully {which won’t happen}, if the nearby Indians aren’t bothering you, either establish friendly relations or leave them alone. Otherwise, you’ll end up like Boromir.)

14. If you’re an Indian, stay out of white settlements and be prepared to face evacuation or the white man at all times. (Seriously it really sucks being an Indian in westerns, doesn’t it? Even if you do these things, there may be no hope for you but the reservation, which may be fate worse than death.)

15. Whenever you enter a town, make sure that there are no Wanted posters with your picture on them. (If there is, get the hell out before anyone sees you. You will either face armed confrontations, be chased by a posse, be arrested by the sheriff, deal with a bounty hunter, or possibly lynched.)

16. Remember your guns and horses are your prized possessions and traveling companions. (Take good care of them and they’ll take good care of you.)

17. If you get hurt, remember that a veterinarian is just is good as any doctor around. (And if you need medical care, you’ll need the nearest doctor you can get if there’s any around. Besides, most doctors in westerns usually treat both people and livestock anyways regardless of their specialty.)

18. Remember fire safety is really important. (Especially, since this is a time when most people don’t have access to electric lighting and that most structures are built out of wood.)

19. When the town needs a new sheriff, don’t volunteer or talk about your exploits. (You don’t want to be sheriff in that town, because the last guy probably got killed and crime is pretty bad.)

20. Don’t go in front of charging large animals. (You will get trampled.)

21. Forget codes of honor and perhaps try to do your best to survive. (I mean you don’t have to face the bad guy if it’s going to get you killed. An early grave is far worse than being called a coward.)

22. Gathering a large posse is a great defense against a band of violent criminals on the loose. (And in westerns, you most criminals are violent or at least armed robbers at best.)

23. Best leave fighting invading Indians to the army cavalry instead of doing it yourself. (Except if it’s Custer at Little Big Horn, Fort Apache, or in some unavoidable situations.)

24. Always show respect and courtesy toward the Indians. (They may be your enemy but will be less likely to kill you if you treat them politely and you’re not in a large group. Only applies when you actually have to go to the Indian camp or want to trade.)

25. Friendly Indian sidekicks are very reliable outside civilization. (When it comes to surviving the wilderness, there’s no one better. Outlaws, mountain men, and trappers are very good as well since they know how to handle a gun.)

26. On the trail, circling your wagon is a great defense against Indian attacks. (They always do this in western movies set on the trail. However, in real life, Indian attacks on wagon trains hardly ever happened {since the Indians knew raiding them would be a very stupid thing}. Also, the circling wagons was more for keeping cattle in and took hours.)

27. If you’re in a bank being robbed, do whatever the bank robber says. (Because it will get ugly if you don’t.)

28. If you’re a guy, never underestimate women in the frontier. (Sure there’s a lot of sexism at the time but many women in westerns do know how to load and shoot a gun, have helped built their own houses, and has seen her share of adversity, especially if she’s much older. And if you have the wrath of Mattie Ross, then God help you.)

29. On the cattle drive, watch out for stampedes, rustlers, snakes, storms, flash floods, droughts, etc. (On second thought, maybe working on a cattle train is not a good idea.)

30. Basic knowledge of first aid will help tremendously. (Especially since there will be no medical establishment within miles.)

31. If your town is besieged by violent criminals, don’t be afraid of enlisting outside help even if it’s just a drifter with a mysterious past. (Of course, he will be played by John Wayne or Clint Eastwood anyway, so you’ll be fine.)

32. Just because the hero can survive after going through a hail of bullets doesn’t mean you should. (Somehow western heroes tend to be somewhat immune to bullets at least until the very end than most of the other characters.)

33. If you’re a famous western hero, make sure the movie doesn’t depict anything related to the Alamo or anything related to your demise. (If you’re David Crockett or Jim Bowie and the movie’s title is The Alamo, you won’t last.)

34. Remember anything can be edible if you’re desperate enough. (Even if it’s dead human flesh or grasshoppers.)

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McDonald’s Employee Sold Heroin in Happy Meals

Can’t believe this and in my area out of all places. Kind of reminds me of something the Barksdales would do.

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Pittsburgh police say they have arrested a McDonald’s worker who was allegedly selling heroin in the fast food restaurant’s famed Happy Meals.

Undercover agents ran a sting operation at the restaurant Wednesday afternoon, the local CBS affiliate reports. Officers said customers looking for heroin were instructed to go through the drive-through and say, “I’d like to order a toy.” They would then be told to proceed to the first window, where they would receive a Happy Meal box containing the drugs in exchange for cash, CBS reports.

One employee was arrested in the bust. Officers do not know how long the drug-dealing operation has been going on, but they found 10 bags of heroin inside Happy Meal boxes and recovered another 50 bags from the suspect.

[KDKA]

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Why I Hate the History Channel

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I love history, so much such I decided to study it as a college major. There is so much to know about the past and understand ourselves like it was one big never ending story of mankind with all the intrigue included. I know that there’s a lot of violence, death, sex, and other unpleasant things (history isn’t a G-rated subject, you know) but I don’t mind reading about it or watching history documentaries. Actually, that’s how I find out most of history anyways apart from watching PBS, or studying it in college. However, I’m not a big fan of the History Channel and don’t like the content shown on there. In fact, I think it’s utter sensationalistic garbage in which the content has nothing to do with history, or is in any has any educational or cultural value whatsoever. Of course, I didn’t have cable as a kid, so I missed out on how the History Channel used to be back in the day when they showed actual historical documentaries with relevant information but at least there was PBS which still stays true to its original purpose. The History Channel, not so much since it has now become a network devoted to reality shows, pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, doomsday scenarios, and other things that have absolutely nothing to do with history. Of course, they went into a phase when that channel mostly showed stuff pertaining to WWII and Nazis but at least that was real history. Yet, whatever integrity this network used to have at an earlier time has now disintegrated into programming meant to appeal to the lowest common denominator and commercialism.

At an earlier time many would say that educational networks like the History Channel would replace PBS, a premise which has now become completely untrue. In fact, the decline of commercial educational television is all the more reason why PBS should continue receiving more government funding. Most of PBS’s content has remained unchanged since the 1970s and managed to retain it’s respected reputation as an outlet of quality programming regardless of their ratings. Sure it may air their crap during month long pledge breaks (at least my local affiliate does), but it’s not the end of the world. By contrast, the History Channel’s programming has changed drastically since its 1995 founding, from a network featuring documentaries to one producing almost anything to get ratings. Of course, straying from their formula has gotten big ratings (making me wonder what’s going on with America), but has lost it’s original soul and rarely airs something pertaining to history. And being a commercial for-profit network may be one of its reasons. Seeing how other commercial educational networks have declined considerably it’s no mystery why since media execs will likely sacrifice their content and identity for big ratings and big profits. Apparently educational programming doesn’t seem to attract big ratings so the commercial educational networks turn to reality shows and speculative stuff. Also, they’re cheaper to produce and don’t take much research. But just because the History Channel may get better ratings doesn’t mean the quality is good since they’ve already sacrificed that.

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Then there’s the notion on that The History Channel has changed it’s name to History even though it seems to be really stretching the definition. Back in the day, history used to mean the study of human events in the past since the invention of writing. Now thanks to The History Channel, it can have as mean almost anything you want it to be. Yeah, right. Still, here is a rough outline what content consists of history and which doesn’t:

History: wars, battles, ancient and medieval civilizations, documentary testimony and evidence, genuine artifacts and excavations, interpretations and analysis based on fact, and anything pertaining to the study of the past.

Not History: conspiracy theories, aliens, ghosts, anything set in the present, antiques selling, apocalyptic scenarios, doomsday prophecies, mythology, monsters, speculation on religion, pseudoscience, pseudohistory, and reality shows.

Guess which is on The History Channel? Whatever is on the “Not History” group.

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Look, when it comes to ancient ruins, I’m sure even the best archaeologists have their own theories on their construction but saying that they were built by aliens goes beyond ridiculous. Not to mention, it’s kind of insulting to the indigenous cultures of Africa, Asia, and the Americas who actually built such artifacts as if they weren’t intelligent or sophisticated enough to do so which we can’t fully understand in the all-knowing Western world. Well, maybe those cultures weren’t as uncivilized as people here make them out to be or that we don’t understand everything. Not to mention, we know most of the indigenous people built many of those structures themselves. And seriously, all the stuff about prophecies and apocalyptic scenarios may be appropriate on the Syfy Channel or The Twilight Zone but not on something with a name like History. Then you have stuff about conspiracy theories, which is all seen as speculative and subjective as well as probably not true. Besides, a lot of history’s mysteries don’t usually involve an elaborate conspiracy theory. As for reality shows, well, just don’t get me started. Sure you may have had ice truckers, pawn stores, and ax men in the past, but their shows examine their lives in the present yet unfortunately probably consists of the closest thing to educational programming on there besides Modern Marvels. At least The History Channel doesn’t have to make some stuff up from those shows but I’d usually refer reality shows as the bottom of the barrel in quality programming.

Yet, as with stuff they do show in the documentary style, much of it is filled with outright bullshit presented in an educational format. Look, I don’t mind the network talking about ancient religion or mythology since a significant portion of it can have some basis in fact and has cultural relevance. But saying something along the lines that “The Mayans were right,” is just beyond ludicrous. All the rest of the pseudoscience and pseudohistorical documentaries may be appropriate if we lived in the Dan Brown or L. Ron Hubbard universe but we don’t. But no matter how hair-brained the claim is, it’s still presented as historic truth while established fact is treated as up for speculation. It’s no wonder why people in history professions absolutely hate this channel. Apparently, when it comes to documentaries, The History Channel doesn’t seem to have people to check for facts or inaccuracies. Oh, wait, they already fired them years ago since they kept challenging “their version” of history which “if you don’t know, say it was aliens or some large conspiracy, they won’t know the difference.” As someone who has studied and read quite a bit about history, I do know the difference between accepted evidence and bullshit but there are plenty who don’t. And if people start associating history with conspiracy theories and pseudohistory, then we have a problem, big time. Yet, if The History Channel wants to call itself an “educational” network, then they should stop showing programs that either mislead or have dubious educational value. But of course, they won’t since many consider actual history “boring” and their shows get big ratings.

For now, a more appropriate name for The History Channel would be “The Bullshit Channel” or “The Hysterical Channel” because over there, the truth is history.

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And if I want to see actual history documentaries, I’ll watch PBS.

Superbowl Party Tips

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It’s becoming that time of year again when people all over the US are tuned into the biggest sports extravaganza of the year on Sunday night in February. This year it’s the Denver Broncos vs. the Seattle Seahawks playing in New Jersey. Of course, some of you big football fans actually will be watching the game in the stands but this will be a very small minority since Superbowl tickets are expensive and people like my dad would rather not spend all that money to watch something in the cold (especially if it’s not the Pittsburgh Steelers playing) while he could watch the game in the comfort in his home at the cost of practically nothing. Also, there are commercial breaks where my dad can get his snacks, beer, wood on the fire, and even use the bathroom. Still, most people in the country will be watching from home and some may use this occasion to host a Super Bowl party, which is why I’m writing this post today. So without further adieu, here is a list of do’s and don’ts for the game day party planners.

Do: Plan it around someone’s birthday party, especially if it’s your son is turning eight the same week and your team is playing. As long as you sing happy birthday and give your kid presents he or she probably won’t mind the slightest. Also, saves time and money if you just combine the two especially if they’re both family traditions. In fact, my fifteenth and sixteenth birthday parties were both planned around Steeler playoff games which very memorable and I don’t even like sports.

Don’t: Play a game of touch football during the game, especially if you’re not in your own home. You don’t want to break anything and have to pay for it do you?

Do: Use the bathroom during commercial break. Sure some of them may be funny but if the game’s more important to you, commercial breaks are better than nothing, unless there’s a line at the venue.

Don’t: Stage a drinking game during the whole thing, even if there are no kids around. For one, it’s not fair to the designated driver and the roads aren’t in the best shape this time of year. Second, this activity may lead to excessive irresponsible drinking behavior as well as make a mess for your host to clean up later. And he or she may be too wasted to clean it all up anyway which may leave your designated driver with the job.

Do: Use this occasion to show off your artistic or cooking skills. If you have some creative cooking idea for your Super Bowl party, use it even if it’s for a football field display for a snack platter. Like this:

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Don’t: Get into physical fights with each other since it will make a mess and cause injury to other guests, especially in front of the kids or relatives.

Do: Be inclusive and accommodating. After all your Super Bowl party should include family, friends, neighbors, or others like employees, for instance. After all, a lot of people treat Super Bowl Sunday as a holiday and it’s no wonder.

Don’t: Have your party outdoors if you live anywhere with colder temperatures. It’s winter so it’s not a good time to stage an outdoor party. Besides, your food will freeze and everyone will be in their winter garb. No one will have any fun there.

Do: Socialize since parties are social events anyway. You don’t even have to talk about the game or sports in general. You can even complain about the commercials or the half-time show.

Don’t: Throw your trash everywhere. Garbage disposal exists for a reason. Besides, you don’t want your host cleaning up after you.

Do: Use good manners and treat everyone graciously, even if they’re rooting for the other team to win. There’s no excuse to be rude or unfriendly.

Don’t: Drink irresponsibly, especially if you’re driving. If you have any beer, drink it when you’re actually thirsty and set limits. You don’t want to get pulled over on the way home or have your host clean up after you.

Do: Leave healthy food options for your guests since not all football snack food is actually good for you. Besides, you’ll never know if you meet a health nut or a vegetarian. For instance, you can go with this:

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Don’t: Offer just only healthy food options. Other people enjoy conventional football game fare, too, even if they do have poor health habits and diets. You might want to go with a mixed selection like this:

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Do: Wear your favorite team jersey if you’re team is playing to show some support. Other team merchandise wear and face painting is fine.

Don’t: Turn guests away just because they don’t support your team or don’t care for football at all. Treat this day as a holiday, remember? Be inclusive.

Do: Devise some indoor Super Bowl party games, especially if there are kids around who may be bored out of their minds during commercial break. They have plenty of these on the internet you can print out. Or you can devise one all on your own. Just practice safety. Bingo is a good choice:

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Don’t: Use the game as an opportunity to bet or gamble, especially if your friend is in Gambler’s Anonymous or doesn’t believe in that sort of thing.

Do: Enjoy yourself and have fun even if you don’t understand football, think the commercials are lame, or the half-time show sucks. If it’s a time to spend with your loved ones, that should be enough, even if you’d much rather watch TCM or Downton Abbey instead (which is what I’d rather do).

Don’t: Use your success on your Super Bowl party to plan a Pro-Bowl party. No one really cares about the Pro-Bowl game anyway.

Honest Movie Titles

1. High Noon: Surrounded by Chickenshits

2. Suspicion: Lowering Relationship Standards

3. Transformers: CGI Robo Explosion Porn, Two Hour CGI Masturbation

4. Psycho: Overclipped Shower Scene

5. Pearl Harbor: From the Guys Who Flunked American History

6. Shadow of a Doubt: Something’s Really Wrong with Uncle Charlie

7. 300: CGI Six Packs, Bad History

8. Rashomon: Eyewitnesses Aren’t Always Reliable

9. Bridge Over the River Kwai: Seriously, You Realize You’re Committing Treason, Right?, Obi Wan Kenobi Commits Treason

10. The Grapes of Wrath: Republicans’ Plan for the Middle Class

11. The Black Cat: Has Nothing to Do with the Edgar Allan Poe Story Whatsoever

12. Braveheart: Somewhere a Medieval Historian Is Crying

13. The Deer Hunter: Made By People Who’ve Never Been to Western Pennsylvania

14. Arsenic and Old Lace: Old Ladies Make Loveable Serial Killers

15. The Philadelphia Story: Last Minute Bachelorette Party

16. Gone with the Wind: Four Hour Long Love Story Depicting Negative Black Stereotypes and an Implied Rape Scene But Is Still Better Than Twilight

17. Now, Voyager: Fuck you, Mom, I Do What I Want!

18. A Face in the Crowd: Sheriff Andy Is an Asshole

19. The Quiet Man: Irish Like Spousal Abuse, Dragging Your Wife By Her Hair Solves Everything

20. The Searchers: How Is This Any Good?, Seriously, Critics, You Call This a Masterpiece?

21. Radio Days: Christmas Story for Jews

22. All About Eve: Backstabbing Stage Bitches

23. The Maltese Falcon: Three Deaths Over Rip-Off, Antiques Roadshow Saves Lives

24. Treasure of the Sierra Madre: Greed Makes You Crazy

25. Mildred Pierce: Love Leads to Bad Decision Making

26. Monty Python’s Life of Brian: Seriously Not About Jesus

27. Notorious: Pimping in Espionage

28. Double Indemnity: Keeping It in Your Pants Saves Lives, Love Actuary

29. The Apartment: Horribly Horny Bosses

30. My Favorite Year: Adventures in Celebrity Babysitting

31. West Side Story: Dance Fighting the Musical

32. How Green Was My Valley: Welsh Miners Live Depressing Lives

33. Galaxy Quest: Three Amigos Meets Star Trek, By Trekkies for Trekkies, Trekkie Aliens in Space

34. The Invisible Man: Unintentionally Hilarious Horror Movie, Invisible Naked Guy Runs in Snow

35. Out of the Past: I Like Bad Girls and I Can’t Help It

36. From Here to Eternity: Mermaid Man Beats Old Blue Eyes to Death

37. Rear Window: Peeping Tom Neighborhood Watch Squad

38. Vertigo: Jimmy Stewart Really Needs a Therapist

39. Becket: Brokeback Mountain Middle Ages Edition

40. A Matter of Life and Death: The Perks of Having a Girlfriend

41. The Man with the Golden Arm: Cheating on Your Wife Is Bad Unless Your Girlfriend Helps You Overcome Your Heroin Addiction by Locking You While You Experience Withdrawal Symptoms

42. The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex: More Accurate than the Cate Blanchett Movies

43. 12  O’Clock High: Not a Stoner Movie

44. The Lion in Winter: King Henry II’s Family Christmas

45. The Paleface: Bob Hope is Actually Funny

46. Son of Pale Face: Horses Make Strange Bedfellows

47. The Great Dictator: Thinly Veiled Satire on Nazi Germany

48. I Was a Male War Bride: Feminism for Men WWII Edition

49. The Bling Ring: Hermione Robs Legolas

50. The Princess Bride: Manly Movie, Girly Title

Norse Mythology Reexamined: The Gods

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While Greek mythology has remained one of the more influential canons with exception to those in The Bible, the Norse and Germanic tribes aren’t far behind. In fact, without their stories we wouldn’t have Wagner’s operas or Tolkein’s Middle Earth as well as a certain Marvel comics superhero. Yet, like the Greeks, their myths aren’t very consistent but many of them were written down after the turn to Christianity so there’s no set canon and beliefs differ from place to place. Still, unlike their Greek counterparts, the Norse gods are fallible and can be killed and are much more held accountable for their actions. But they still have their moments. Yet, sometimes you can’t really tell them apart from the giants, especially in the Marvel universe. I’m only going to list the most important gods here so without further adieu, here is the list of Norse gods you need to know if you’re stuck in Asgard or Yggdrasil. (I’ll only give you as much important information as I can.)

1. Odin

Allfather of the Norse gods who must do everything he can to avoid the inevitable Ragnarok apocalypse which will claim most of the pantheon. When it comes to Ragnarok to him, the ends justify the means no matter how morally ambiguous his actions are. Can also be a philandering jerk, too.

Allfather of the Norse gods who must do everything he can to avoid the inevitable Ragnarok apocalypse which will claim most of the pantheon. When it comes to Ragnarok to him, the ends justify the means no matter how morally ambiguous his actions are. Can also be a philandering jerk, too.

Domain: All-Father and King of Asgard as well as associated with wisdom, war (emphasis on strategy), the hunt, poetry, magic, frenzy, and death. Patron god of the Viking beserkers.Gathered the souls of beautiful women for the Valkyries and the souls of warriors for Valhalla (Norse Heaven). Popular among royalty and beserkers.

Pro: He is seen as a noble god and warrior whose aim is to prevent and delay Ragnarok (Norse apocalypse) as well as keep all the other gods in line. Knows whatever mistake he makes will eventually catch up to him as well as willing to face the consequences for his actions. Can also be the occasional trickster but likes people and generally helps them, well, anyone who’s nice to him anyway. Considers killing and harming women monstrous.

Con: He could be a philanderer and major league jerk at times (though not nearly as much as Zeus). He subsists on mead and wine (though doesn’t seem to suffer from the negative effects). Believes that any of his ruthless actions necessary at preventing Ragnarok are justified no matter how cruel and does plenty of terrible things to Loki. His devoted and competent followers tend to be killed in messy ways to join him at Valhalla for the upcoming Ragnarok, which is a battle he’s destined to lose and can do nothing to change that. Also, not very trustworthy.

2. Frigg

Queen of Asgard, regal and majestic yet considerably more benevolent than her husband Odin. Can't be fooled since she knows if you're lying. And she knows how to get her own way. Can see into the future but can do nothing to change it.

Queen of Asgard, regal and majestic yet considerably more benevolent than her husband Odin. Can’t be fooled since she knows if you’re lying. And she knows how to get her own way. Can see into the future but can do nothing to change it.

Domain: Queen of Asgard associated with motherhood, women, and the home.

Pro: She is regal and majestic as well as highly benevolent as well as can’t be easily fooled. She also knows how to get her own way and has much to teach her husband Odin. As far as the Norse pantheon goes, she’s one of the nicer gods as well as an attentive mother mostly.

Con: She can see into the future but can do nothing to change it. Also, doesn’t play a big role in Norse myths.

3. Baldr

Pretty boy god of light who's resistant to almost everything except mistletoe, which kills him. Best known for his death story though he may come back.

Pretty boy god of light who’s resistant to almost everything except mistletoe, which kills him. Best known for his death story though he may come back.

Domain: God of rebirth, light, love, and beauty as well as has a widely recounted death story.

Pro: Is one of the best looking gods and is invulnerable to almost anything. Not to mention, is one of the most pure and righteous of the gods that it’s scary. Doesn’t really do anything morally ambiguous.

Con: In some myths he’s not so nice (especially in the older ones when he has a rivalry with the brother who killed him) and isn’t immune to misteltoe (which could either be the plant or a sword) but doesn’t get it until after being tortured by the other gods. Best remembered for his death story than anything else as well as being the first to die though he may return to Ragnarok. Not to mention, his myths may have a Christian bias to them. His death is said to signal the end of times for the Norse gods.

4. Thor

God of Thunder and Protector of Mankind who was popular among Norse farmers and Thralls (slaves). Carries his iconic hammer Mjolnir. Would fight dangerous women and has a fiery temper. Now has his own Marvel comics franchise and an Avenger.

God of Thunder and Protector of Mankind who was popular among Norse farmers and Thralls (slaves). Carries his iconic hammer Mjolnir. Would fight dangerous women and has a fiery temper. Now has his own Marvel comics franchise and an Avenger.

Domain: God of thunder as well as order and favorite of the average Norse farmer. Also, protector of slaves as well as one of the best known Norse gods. I mean he’s a Marvel superhero and Avenger as well as Friend of Humans and Protector of Midgard (Middle Earth like in the Tolkein works).

Pro: He’s one of the more benevolent gods who’s willing to fight giants as well as demonic threats to mankind. He is widely feared by his enemies as well as surprisingly clever. Also has a badass wife he’s happily married to and his famous hammer. Seen as an honest, hardworking god who represented the common people and slaves.

Con: Well, he’s almost nowhere near the Shakespearean talking blonde you see in the movies or in the Marvel Comics. Can be a complete dick in the older myths though. Has a fiery temper you’d expect from a hot-blooded redhead like him and wouldn’t hesitate to hit a girl if he has to despite what his dad Odin may think. Also, will be fatally poisoned at Ragnarok so he’s not invulnerable.

5. Tyr

God of soldiers and justice who tackled a monster at the expense of his hand. May have been something greater once but doesn't appear much.

God of soldiers and justice who tackled a monster at the expense of his hand. May have been something greater once but doesn’t appear much.

Domain: God of war (emphasis on protection), law, soldiers, and heroic glory. Might’ve been the original head god before Odin became more popular in Scandinavia. Probably more liked in the Germanic tribes.

Pro: He’s a very brave warrior who’s not afraid to lose an arm and a leg over fighting a monster. Is the only god not afraid of a giant wolf in which binding it cost him his hand. Also, gets called upon in courts as a god of justice.

Con: Only appears in three myths and doesn’t have a high degree of specialization since almost every Norse god is a war god. Destined to be killed at Ragnarok. Also, myths about his family relations vary and was not nearly as popular as Thor or Odin.

6. Freyja

Goddess of love and fertility who's also not very pleasant and commander of the Valkyries. Also really gets around and really has an explosive temper. Cries golden tears.

Goddess of love and fertility who’s also not very pleasant and commander of the Valkyries. Also really gets around and really has an explosive temper. Cries golden tears.

Domain: Goddess of love, night magic, witches, warrioresses, and fertility yet also connected with bloodthirst and is commander of the Valkyries. Carries the souls of dead warriors in battle to Folkvang and takes the female warriors who go down with her.

Pro: She’s benevolent as well as someone you don’t want to piss off. Also, has an all girl soul army called the Valkyries. Not to mention, she knows magic and can go long ways looking for her husband Oder that she has a different name in every nation she searched for him. Not to mention, she’s part of the Vanir and originally came to Asgard as a hostage so she had to pull a few strings to get where she is. Cries tears of gold.

Con: She’s kind of really gets around (well, she’s a love and fertility goddess) despite being married. Has a really bad temper that can cause Asgard to shake during her tantrums as well as be very unpleasant. Also, most Germanic warriors would rather be with Odin in Valhalla than Folkvang (unless it’s a Viking Heaven for lady warriors even though it’s not that bad but not the same).

7. Freyr

God of fertility, sex, and fair weather who's more benevolent to his sister. Lord of the Elves who gave his magic weapon for love but his sacrifice comes back to bite him in Ragnarok.

God of fertility, sex, and fair weather who’s more benevolent to his sister. Lord of the Elves who gave his magic weapon for love but his sacrifice comes back to bite him in Ragnarok.

Domain: God of fertility, prosperity, sunshine and fair weather, kingship, and sex. Lord of the elf realm Alfheim

Pro: Generally seen as more benevolent than his sister Freyja and originally came to Asgard as a Vanir hostage but also somehow to get to be head of the Elves. Gives up his magic sword to win a giantess Gerd’s heart.

Con: He’s kind of gets around (since he’s a sex god). Oh, and he kills Gerd’s brother and sends a servant to threaten her family until she marries him. And despite being elf lord, his subjects can be quite unpleasant (but are very much like Tolkein’s). Also, giving up his magic sword costs his life at Ragnarok.

8. Loki

God of mischief is the closest definition. His enigmatic nature and alignment are unknown. Yet, treat him and his kids like crap long enough and he'll become the instigator of Ragnarok as soon as he gets out of prison.

God of mischief is the closest definition. His enigmatic nature and alignment are unknown. Yet, treat him and his kids like crap long enough and he’ll become the instigator of Ragnarok as soon as he gets out of prison. Also, has a diverse sexual appetite if you know what I mean.

Domain: God of mischief and possibly fire. The trickster and technically a god since he’s Odin’s blood brother. Most scholars aren’t really sure about his role and only appears in Scandinavia myths in which nobody is sure how he got there and almost has no common parallel in other Indo-European pantheons. His true nature is unknown, which is appropriate.

Pro: He keeps his word whether for good or for ill and goes on even when the likes of Odin have given up. Is good to his kids (like Odin and Thor are mostly) and sometimes can use his talents for trickery and deceit to benefit the gods though he isn’t praised for it.

Con: Where to begin? Has a tendency to cause a lot of trouble with his deceit and trickery (though usually forced by the other gods to fix) as well as humps anything that moves (whether it be man, woman, or horse). Also, tends to receive a lot of crap from the gods which results in him turning against them as well as his cave imprisonment as well as set the events of Ragnarok in motion when he breaks free (but he won’t survive it). In his antics he could range from trickster to outright troll and he does have his fiery redhead moments. Still, he’s pretty much an enigma and capable of doing anything but is usually unrepentant of his heinous deeds (like putting the blind Hoor to accidentally kill Baldr). As for his kids, some of them are literally monsters who also get a lot of crap from the other gods.

9. Angrbooa

Powerful sorceress, fierce fighter, and mother of monsters.

Powerful sorceress, fierce fighter, and mother of monsters.

Domain: Loki’s giantess consort.

Pro: She’s a competent fighter and has super strength. She’s also highly resistant to fire. May have been a very powerful witch who could see into the future.

Con: She may or may not know whether her monstrous kids will help their daddy end the world. Also, may have been consumed in flames or demoted as Loki’s mistress. Either way having kids turning out to be monsters didn’t do much good for her.

10. Hel

Goddess of death and ruler of Hel where she receives souls of those who don't die on the battlefield. Cold, dour, stoic, and a bit of a necrophile. Not a malicious type but an outcast not well perceived by gods and mortals alike.

Goddess of death and ruler of Hel where she receives souls of those who don’t die on the battlefield. Cold, dour, stoic, and a bit of a necrophile. Not a malicious type but an outcast not well perceived by gods and mortals alike.

Domain: Goddess of death and graves as well as ruler of Hel who welcomes souls who’ve died in old age, disease, or in accidents (a dark and shady place but a peaceful one, well, most of it anyway unless you’re a Norse warrior. Actual Viking Hell is Na-strond which monstrous fortress of torture with poison dripping serpent skeletons, sucking blood, and goat’s urine).

Pro: Usually keeps her word when she gives it but isn’t really a malevolent being per se. Only interferes with other Asgardians’ plans only when it concerned her directly.

Con: She’s stoic, dour, and cold as well as not well liked by both gods and mortals. She was said to use her broom and rake when plague would hit and is kind of a necrophile (though she wouldn’t really bang a corpse).

11. Sigyn

Loki's loving and devoted wife who tries to keep the poison from his eyes during his captivity and is rarely far behind him. Too bad Loki doesn't deserve her.

Loki’s loving and devoted wife who tries to keep the poison from his eyes during his captivity and is rarely far behind him. Too bad Loki doesn’t deserve her.

Domain: Loki’s Asgardian wife who assists him during his captivity holding a dish over his face to collect the venom and only leaving his side to empty it.

Pro: She’s devoted to Loki and never leaves his side despite the crap he gives her. Still, she’s not blind to his flaws either.

Con: Can come off as a doormat when Loki is depicted as a domestic abuser who may not go out of his way to be kind for her or even care about her loyalty either. Her sons don’t have nice fates either.

12. Vioarr

Quiet god of vengeance who can take down monsters  without injury in the process. Will survive Ragnarok.

Quiet god of vengeance who can take down monsters without injury in the process. Will survive Ragnarok.

Domain: God of Vengence, silence, space, and footwear, and associated with Vali.

Pro: Can fight and slay great monsters without breaking an arm in the process and even using a leather boot. Survives Ragnarock and avenges his father Odin’s death. Is often very quiet which may be due to his scheming.

Con: He and his half-brother Vali were mainly conceived for avenging their half-brother Baldr’s death. Also, doesn’t really keep himself clean until Baldr’s killer is dead. Too bad the culprit was Hoor who is blind and really didn’t mean it.

13. Vali

Conceived and born to avenge one half-brother's death and kills another as well as helps capture Loki. Went from infancy and adulthood in a single day. Will survive Ragnarok.

Conceived and born to avenge one half-brother’s death and kills another as well as helps capture Loki. Went from infancy and adulthood in a single day. Will survive Ragnarok.

Domain: Associated with Vioarr. God of Revenge.

Pro: Managed to kill someone despite being one day old as well as helped capture Loki. Also a great marksman. Destined to survive Ragnarok.

Con: He and his half-brother Vioarr were mainly conceived to avenge Baldr’s death and neither keep themselves clean until then. Also, has a very brief childhood in the course of a day and kills the blind Hoor who didn’t really mean to it. Not to mention, there’s really not much about him.

14. Skaoi

Goddess of winter who could be as cold as ice. Enters Asgard seeking vengeance on her father's death and really lets Loki have it when he's captured.

Goddess of winter who could be as cold as ice. Enters Asgard seeking vengeance on her father’s death and really lets Loki have it when he’s captured.

Domain: Goddess of hunting, winter, mountains and skiing. She’s a frost giant as well as goddess through her marriage to Freyr and Freyja’s dad Njoror she chose herself and Scandinavia may have been named after her so she has some importance to Vikings.

Pro: She is certainly not someone to mess with and though she originally goes to Asgard to avenge her dad’s death, the gods seem to treat her surprisingly well that she was allowed to choose a husband (considering her dad kidnapped Iounn).

Con: Once used a dead snake on Loki that dripped poison in his eyes in retaliation for him killing Baldr. Also, it’s very much a challenge to make her laugh.

15. Heimdall

Watchman of Asgard who hears all, sees all, and doesn't need to sleep. Also has nine mothers.

Watchman of Asgard who hears all, sees all, and doesn’t need to sleep. Also has nine mothers.

Domain: Watchman of the Aesir guarding the Bifrost Bridge against any threat as well as represents the benefits of fire and sired the humans and passed runes to them.

Pro: Can see and hear everything that happens in the world and never needs to sleep. Also, doesn’t talk much and almost never leaves his post (save once or twice).

Con: Has an ongoing rivalry with Loki and convinced Thor to dress in drag at one point. Might’ve had nine mothers (this is Norse mythology don’t ask me). Also, destined to die at Ragnarok.

16. Iounn

Keeper of the golden apples who may not play a major role but helps keep the gods from dying of natural causes. Her absence will spell trouble.

Keeper of the golden apples who may not play a major role but helps keep the gods from dying of natural causes. Her absence will spell trouble.

Domain: Goddess of agriculture and youth as well as keeper of the golden apples.

Pro: Though she doesn’t have much presence, she has a very important job since the golden apples preserve the gods’ youth and immortality. When she’s kidnapped, they progressively age, which are reversed when she comes back.

Con: Doesn’t appear much in myths unless she’s kidnapped or absent from Asgard. Also, will be no help at Ragnarok.

Greek Mythology Reexamined: Significant Mortals and Demi-Gods

Last time, I posted about the Greek gods an their great and not so great exploits if you’re stuck in their mythological universe. This time I write about the significant mortals and demi-gods most likely featured in Greek myths. In many ways, they’re a diverse lot with heroes, maidens, and other figures. Some were the children of gods and others were just regular people who made good. Yet, some might have suffered tragic fates since someone tried to avoid fulfilling a prophecy without using much common sense. Still, either way, they’ve inspired all kinds of literature and movies as well as tend being depicted better or worse than in actual mythology. So without further adieu, here is a cheat sheet of significant mortals and demi-gods in most Greek mythology mediums.

1. Heracles (or Hercules)

Heracles capturing Cerberus in the Underworld not to be confused with the resident ferocious three-headed dog Fluffy in Harry Potter. Sure he may have super strength to take on the gods, but he has a bad temper, kids all over the place, and had two episodes of insanity. Oh, and was killed by a poisoned shirt. Yet, to the ancient Greeks he was Superman.

Heracles capturing Cerberus in the Underworld not to be confused with the resident ferocious three-headed dog Fluffy in Harry Potter. Sure he may have super strength to take on the gods, but he has a bad temper, kids all over the place, and had two episodes of insanity. Oh, and was killed by a poisoned shirt. Yet, to the ancient Greeks he was Superman.

You know him as: One of Ancient Greece’s most beloved mythical heroes known for his super strength (which surpasses many Greek gods) and performing his Twelve Labors as well as whatever stepmother Hera threw at him. In many ways, an epitome of Greek manhood with his sexual prowess, athletic skill, and success in war though smart enough to use his wits when needed (the Spartans, Greek kings, and Alexander the Great claimed descent from him) who shows up whenever a strong man is needed. Upon his death he was made a god. In some ways, the Ancient Greek equivalent to a modern day superhero.

What you don’t know about him: That Heracles performed his Twelve Labors as penance for killing his first wife and children during a bout of insanity thanks to Hera. Though he’s said to do a world of good and was willing to help his friends, he’s not exactly a paragon of heroic virtue since he killed more than one innocent person for being to close to him during one of his temper flare-ups (he did  show remorse though). He was also prone for starting a huge war over a mere verbal insult. Also, had to live as a woman for three years after killing a king and his family. Still, didn’t take well being cheated by his enemies and was killed by his third wife with a poisoned shirt.

2. Perseus

Perseus is smart enough to realize that Medusa's head is a very effective weapon against bad kings who want to marry his mom as well as sea monsters. Still, he couldn't have done it without the gods help though. Add to the fact he was chosen to slew Medusa.

Perseus is smart enough to realize that Medusa’s head is a very effective weapon against bad kings who want to marry his mom as well as sea monsters. Still, he couldn’t have done it without the gods help though. Add to the fact he was chosen to slew Medusa.

You know him as: The guy who killed Medusa and saved Andromeda from a sea monster (which wasn’t a Kracken by the way) with quick thinking outside the box as well as gifts and stuff he stole from the gods. Was great to his mom and contrary to what Disney would’ve told you, he rode Pegasus, not Hercules.

What you don’t know about him: Actually killed Medusa just to save his mother from marrying the evil king Polydectes who he later killed by using her head at him. Still, he only killed Medusa because the gods wanted him to and she may not have deserved their wrath (said to be a priestess to Athena who Poseidon might’ve raped and was turned into a monster by Athena). Not to mention, he might’ve been involved with the death of his grandpa which was said to be an accident (of course, he did drive his mom out after the golden shower incident with Zeus). Also, said to be the founder of and king of Mycenae according to the Ancient Greeks. Still, though he might’ve been the chosen one, he was one of the nicer Greek heroes who was a loving son and faithful husband, rarity in Greek mythology.

3. Atalanta

Hangs out in the woods, kills ferocious animals, has guys compete with her in athletic competitions at the cost of their lives, and is distracted by shiny things. Yet, after she gets married and makes love to her husband in a temple, is turned into a lion.

Hangs out in the woods, kills ferocious animals, has guys compete with her in athletic competitions at the cost of their lives, and is distracted by shiny things. Yet, after she gets married and makes love to her husband in a temple, is turned into a lion.

You know her as: Greek mythology’s most famous heroine known for being very fast, unwilling to marry, and hunt in the woods. Her dad also abandoned her at infancy for not being a boy as well as won in a Calydonian boar hunt for drawing first blood. Made a deal to only marry a guy who’d beat her in a foot race and any guy who lost to her would be executed. However, with a guy like Hippomenes and a few golden apples, she met her match.

What you don’t know about her: That her winning the Calydonian boar hunt led to a family disintegration of one of her admirers which yielded fatal results. She also had a son named Parthenopaios though his paternity varies according to version (Hippomenes, Ares, or Melager were suggested) who’d also have his own story. Yet, she was also said to abandon him, too, in order to hide she wasn’t a virgin anymore. As for her and Hippomenes, they would be later turned into lions for having sex in one of Zeus’ temples (of course, Ancient Greeks thought that lions couldn’t mate with each other contrary to science). Also, said to be one of the Argonauts along with Heracles (and Philocetes who wasn’t a satyr).

4. Medea

With her great powers of sorcery she will do anything she could to help you obtain the Golden Fleece, even if she has to go against your family. However, if you promise to stay with her forever, don't ever cast her aside, or she will let all hell break loose before escaping on her golden chariot.

With her great powers of sorcery she will do anything she could to help you obtain the Golden Fleece, even if she has to go against your family. However, if you promise to stay with her forever, don’t ever cast her aside, or she will let all hell break loose before escaping on her golden chariot.

You know her as: A powerful demi-goddess and princess of a distant kingdom who falls in love with Jason as well as helps him obtain the Golden Fleece while betraying her father and brother (and killing him) in the process. She is said to restore the dead to a younger and healthier state as well as could kill immortals with a mere look. She even accompanied him on the return trip in which he promises to stay with her forever and they had two boys together. However, once home, Jason sets to marry Creusa to strengthen political ties with Corinth so she killed his fiancee an her dad as well as their kids (in some versions) before taking off on her grandfather Helios’ chariot to Athens (some say she might’ve set Corinth on fire or have the city hit by an earthquake). Of course, Ancient Greeks thought she was totally justified since a woman dumped at the time could result in having her children killed or enslaved anyway.

What you don’t know about her: After her life with Jason, she’s said to heal Heracles at Thebes before driven out of town as well as marry King Aegeus in Athens making her stepmother to Thesseus who she tried to poison to ensure her own son would get the throne but escaped when the scheme produced the exact opposite result. Some say returned home to kill her uncle and restore her dad to his throne or went to Iran depending on the version. Said to have become a goddess after her death.

5. Orpheus

So his wife is dead and he goes all the way to the Underworld just to bring her back and lose her just the same. Perhaps it would've been better if he'd just go there for a visit or seek grief counseling, seriously. Still, he ends up being ripped apart by the end anyway.

So his wife is dead and he goes all the way to the Underworld just to bring her back and lose her just the same. Perhaps it would’ve been better if he’d just go there for a visit or seek grief counseling, seriously. Still, he ends up being ripped apart by the end anyway.

You know him as: The guy who can charm all living things with his music as well as even Hades an Peresphone. Tries to get his wife Eurydice back from the Underworld after she dies but fails when he looks back at her during the journey to the upper world either for being careless or not fully trusting Hades, which leaves him heartbroken.

What you don’t know about him: He was an Argonaut with Jason as well as the son of the muse Calliope. He never recovered from losing Eurydice in the Underworld and disdained the worship of all gods save Apollo and was eventually ripped apart by the Maenad nymphs for not honoring his previous patron Dionysus (there are other versions though). Still, some accounts said he didn’t really die and was still singing sad songs until the people of Lesbos buried his head and built a shrine in his honor.

6. Odysseus

Spent ten years fighting a war in Troy he managed to win with his intelligence and cunning only to spend ten more years trying to get home to his family after blinding and pissing off a cyclops.

Spent ten years fighting a war in Troy he managed to win with his intelligence and cunning only to spend ten more years trying to get home to his family after blinding and pissing off a cyclops. Granted the cyclops wanted to eat his sailors but boasting about it to him?

You know him as: The king of Ithaca who left to fight the Trojan war and trying to return home while leaving a wife and son at home for twenty years. Of course, he also helped ally the Kings of Greece for Helen’s hand as well as came up with the idea of the Trojan Horse to capture the Troy and end the war (which lasted for ten years). However, he had to apply his intelligence and cunning as well as his willingness to take advice from Nestor or anyone else. Yet, he also spends the next ten years trying to get home to his family in Ithaca but his pride as well as gouging and boasting about blinding Poseidon’s son Polythemos doesn’t do him any favors and his daddy makes the trip a nightmare (though the cyclops also tried to eat his fellow sailors). Sure he may have had sexual relationships Circe and Calypso but they were goddesses and weren’t really consensual on his part. He does come home to his wife Penelope (thanks to Athena) and him and his son, Telamachus kill all her suitors and maids allied with them.

What you don’t know about him: That Penelope didn’t recognize him when he came back for obvious reasons (since it was twenty years since she last saw him) until she said their bed was moved but he says it would be impossible since he carved the thing. Not to mention, the citizens of Ithaca weren’t too pleased with him killing his wife’s suitors but Athena tries to get both sides to make peace. Also, he was an influential champion in the Trojan war with a long list of accomplishments including winning Achiles’ armor through persuasion as well as has a lot of fanfiction attributed to him in non-Homeric continuations (and yes, the ancient Greeks weren’t above doing this with some depicting him and his wife both cheating on each other and him dying at sea). And then there’s a dispute whether Laertes or Sisyphus was his real father.

7. Agamemnon

So he spent ten years fighting a war in Troy after his sister-in-law ran off with Paris and he successfully managed to win after sacrificing his daughter and having a bunch of other guys die under him. Comes home to find his wife cheating on him and eventually killing him. Apparently dysfunction runs in his family.

So he spent ten years fighting a war in Troy after his sister-in-law ran off with Paris and he successfully managed to win after sacrificing his daughter and having a bunch of other guys die under him. Comes home to find his wife cheating on him and eventually killing him. Apparently dysfunction runs in his family.

You know him as: The king of Mycenae as well as leader of the Greek forces during the Trojan War and Menelaus’  older brother who has the most ships than anyone else. Manages to get in a fight with Achilles which nearly results in his army’s defeat as well as pisses off Artemis after killing a deer in which he has to sacrifice his daughter Ipheginia for a favorable wind. May not be as smart as Odysseus but does give him good advice before they part ways. However, unlike Odysseus, he does not return to a happy home and is killed by his wife Clytemnestra and her boyfriend. His kids Orestes and Electra kill them both in retaliation and are driven insane by the Furies at least for awhile.

What you don’t know about him: That Agamemnon’s family was so screwed up with a family history that reads like a Game of Thrones marathon complete with rape, murder, incest, and treachery. And Menelaus is about one of the only adult members who doesn’t do something unforgivable and probably married Helen just to get the hell out of Mycenae (and become king of Sparta and the fact Agamemnon was married to her sister). Also, took Cassandra as a concubine from Troy but she was killed by Orestes and Electra. Still, he was no more evil than the other Greek or Trojan warriors.

8. Telamonean Ajax or Ajax the Great

Second best fighter of the Greeks who kept fighting even when the gods deserted the field despite being wounded. Has a body count roughly equal to his cousin Achilles and was never beaten in a fight. Name lives on as a brand for cleaning products.

Second best fighter of the Greeks who kept fighting even when the gods deserted the field despite being wounded. Has a body count roughly equal to his cousin Achilles and was never beaten in a fight. Name lives on as a brand for cleaning products.

You know him as: King of Salamis and the biggest soldier among the Greek forces during the Trojan War who’s determined to follow his will even without help from the gods as well as the second best warrior. He’s a cousin to Achilles and their dads were Argonauts and companions of Heracles. Still, when the gods stopped helping the Greeks, he’s the only hero standing who never stops fighting despite being wounded by several gods. He never gets beaten not even by the gods, has a body count roughly equal to Achilles, and would’ve killed Hector if the gods weren’t there to save his life. Just as smart as Odysseus who is close to his half-brother Teucer and could be a pretty decent guy outside the battlefield. His pride and individualism eventually lead him to be driven mad by Athena and he ends up committing suicide shortly after.

What you don’t know about him: That he fought against Hector twice and actually went on a sadistic sheep killing rampage. Also, he didn’t take it too well when Odysseus gets Achilles’ armor. Not to mention, archaeologists might have found a palace which might’ve been his home on Salamis and he’s been popular among the people there sort of like a folk hero. Still, while there’s no evidence that he existed, his house certainly did. Oh, and there’s a line of cleaning products named after him.

9. Achilles

Sure he's the best they got on the Greek side and all but he's only in it because he likes killing people. He cares more about himself than anyone else and is one of the biggest jerks in ancient literature. Yet, he spends less time than his compatriots on the battlefield and sometimes has to be coaxed out of his tent. Also, a bit weak in the heels if you know what I mean.

Sure he’s the best they got on the Greek side and all but he’s only in it because he likes killing people. He cares more about himself than anyone else and is one of the biggest jerks in ancient literature. Yet, he spends less time than his compatriots on the battlefield and sometimes has to be coaxed out of his tent. Also, a bit weak in the heels if you know what I mean.

You know him as: The Greek hero of the Trojan war and cousin of Ajax. Said to have his mother Thetis dip him in the river Styx when he was a kid in order to be invincible though she held him by the heels (we’ll get to that later). I mean he beats a local river god while crossing a river. Though one of the biggest jerks of ancient literature (since he has facing a lot of stiff competition even in Greek mythology in that department), he has his moments such as being upset at Agamemnon for justifiable reasons and bringing Hector’s body to his family after killing him. And then there’s him falling in love with a dead Amazonian queen as well as his relationship with Patroclus. Basically fights because he likes it and not for honor or gain even if it means an early death. Is killed by a poison arrow shot by Paris either in the heel or somewhere else depending on the version.

What you don’t know about him: Contrary to popular media, his experience in the battlefield is minimal compared to the other kings participating. Also, the judgement of Paris is supposed to take place at his parents wedding and that Zeus and Poseidon both had designs on his mom (and that Greek storytellers may not be very good at math or that Achilles was born some time before then but I highly doubt it). His father was king of the Myrmidons and his mother was a nymph and a goddess (and he was said to be a mamma’s boy with good reason). Not to mention, he didn’t give Hector’s body back to Priam after mutilating it in retaliation for killing Patroclus who may have been more than his best friend which he blamed himself for (you’d never know about these relationships in Greek mythology but he’s said to have kids though). Still, though he was a raging killing machine, he had a lot of trouble caring about anybody but himself and sometimes Agamemnon had to coax him into fighting. And when he does, he doesn’t learn the lesson of team work and friendship.

10. Hector

Just a decent family man whose crown prince of Troy and can cut you in a million pieces. Unless you're Achilles, which in this case, he will run away when he shows up because you don't want to meet him in a fight. Knew that kidnapping Helen was spectacularly stupid but has too much honor to do the reasonable thing. But when he dies, Troy will fall soon after him.

Just a decent family man whose crown prince of Troy and can cut you in a million pieces. Unless you’re Achilles, which in this case, he will run away when he shows up because you don’t want to meet him in a fight. Knew that kidnapping Helen was spectacularly stupid but has too much honor to do the reasonable thing. But when he dies, Troy will fall soon after him.

You know him as: The crown prince of Troy and Trojan hero of the Trojan War. A noted family man with wife Andromache and little boy Astyanax (seriously?). The only guy among the Trojans who thinks that kidnapping Helen from Menelaus was a spectacularly stupid idea (you think?) but can’t really avoid fighting once the war’s on. One of the only decent guys of the whole lot who just wants to live a quiet life. Too bad he never gets that chance since he’s killed by Achilles after he slays his best buddy Patroclus. Luckily his foe brings his body back to his dad Priam. Had a fan following during the Middle Ages as well as modern times. Doesn’t hurt that he has a name most would consider normal by today’s standards.

What you don’t know about him: That Hector probably would’ve died in the Trojan War earlier if the gods didn’t save him in some of the duels he fought. Also, he mutilated Patroclus’ corpse to Achilles’ ire and only attacked him with a swarm of men. And he tries to flee when Achilles (or whoever he thinks is Achilles) confronts him and is only willing to fight him when he thinks his brother Deiphobus is with him. Still, that’s kind of understandable since you don’t want to one-on-one with a Achilles and he kind of knew he was a goner in such situation. Yet, he’s one of the few people in Troy to treat Helen decently despite having every right not to and she actually mourns for him. However, while he may be a great warrior and decent guy, he’s nowhere near as heroic than his depiction in modern portrayals. And he doesn’t really listen to advice as well as overconfident. Also, after his death, his wife and sister become sex slaves (his mother becomes a slave, too) while his son is thrown from the city walls.

11. Paris

Started the whole Trojan War by judging a divine beauty contest and running off with somebody else's wife. Is destined to damn Troy and is seen as a philandering, cowardly jerk even by his own people and both sides want him dead. Ends up killing Achilles with a poisoned arrow instead until his own demise.

Started the whole Trojan War by judging a divine beauty contest and running off with somebody else’s wife. Is destined to damn Troy and is seen as a philandering, cowardly jerk even by his own people and both sides want him dead. Ends up killing Achilles with a poisoned arrow instead until his own demise.

You know him as: The guy who started this whole mess by choosing Aphrodite as a winner in a divine beauty contest and asked for Helen as his prize, despite her being already married to Menelaus. Oh, yes, and he goes to Sparta and runs off to Troy with Helen causing her husband to invoke an alliance with the other Greek kings, which kicks off the whole ten year Trojan War. Also, fights as an archer during the war and kills Achilles in retaliation for him killing his brother Hector as well as duels with Menelaus before Aphrodite spirits him away (of course, neither are said to be very good soldiers but the Spartan king could’ve kicked his ass even bare handed). Gets killed by Philocetes (who’s not a satyr.)

What you don’t know about him: That he already had a girlfriend who was a nymph named Onene who knew prophecy and medicine which he later dumped for Helen. Oh, and he usually relies on Aphrodite to bail his ass out as well as turns to archery due to his fear on the front lines (which in ancient Greek terms makes him a dirty coward). Also, even the Trojans think he’s a philandering, cowardly jerk responsible for the war and were rooting for Menelaus to crush his ass. Not to mention, everyone in Troy knew he was foretold to damn Troy since he was a baby and his dad took great pains to kill him but no one had the heart to do it (as with most Greek works). And though he abducts her, he doesn’t defend Helen when other Trojans call her a whore (Hector and Priam do though). Not to mention, his kidnapping Helen breaks serious hospitality values (taken very seriously in the ancient world) and has plenty of political ramifications for Menelaus.

12. Helen

Seen as the most beautiful woman in her day that she got plenty of unwanted attention since she was a little girl when Thesseus tried to abduct her. Fast forward when she's with Menelaus and she's abducted and brought to Troy by Paris which may not have been what she wanted. Has a miserable time in Troy and just when she may get to go home after Paris dies she gets passed to her brother Deiphobus. Luckily she gets to return to Menelaus again but it takes ten years and a lot of men dying in the process.

Seen as the most beautiful woman in her day that she got plenty of unwanted attention since she was a little girl when Thesseus tried to abduct her. Fast forward when she’s with Menelaus and she’s abducted and brought to Troy by Paris which may not have been what she wanted. Has a miserable time in Troy and just when she may get to go home after Paris dies she gets passed to her brother Deiphobus. Luckily she gets to return to Menelaus again but it takes ten years and a lot of men dying in the process.

You know her as: The woman who launched a thousand ships after she was abducted by Paris (though he more or less started it). She was also Queen of Sparta and Menelaus’ wife  (in an arranged marriage) as well as considered one of the most beautiful woman in the area and gets a lot of unwanted attention for it. Was in Troy during war as Paris’ wife and later married to his brother Deiphobus after he was killed. Once he’s killed during the Greek sack of Troy, she goes back to Menelaus. Also, she was nearly kidnapped by Thesseus and his buddy when she was a girl but brothers Castor and Pollux save her. Said to have been conceived during her mother’s encounter with Zeus disguised as a swan.

What you don’t know about her: That she probably may or may not have consented to running off with Paris to Troy and perhaps may or may not have had feelings for him depending on the version. Also, she calls Aphrodite a jerk when she urges her to sleep with him and only seems to have kind words for Hector and Priam (as far as Homer is concerned). Oh, and her brothers were both killed in the Trojan War as well as feels a lot of guilt over the whole thing but only because so many Greeks were killed. And it’s said when she and Menelaus get back together, their marriage is strained (which is understandable), but at least she gets a better deal than her sister Clytemnestra.

13. Theseus

Born an illegitimate prince, he had to do almost everything on his own and didn't have an easy time. Known for killing serial killers, bandits, and the Minotaur but abandons the woman who helped him and forgets to change the sails. As a result his dad kills himself. Has a nasty tendency of kidnapping women against their will or their husbands.'

Born an illegitimate prince, he had to do almost everything on his own and didn’t have an easy time. Known for killing serial killers, bandits, and the Minotaur but abandons the woman who helped him and forgets to change the sails. As a result his dad kills himself. Has a nasty tendency of kidnapping women against their will or their husbands.’

You know him as: The guy who slew the Minotaur in the Labyrinth at Crete during the regular sacrifice and with help from Ariadne (who was the Minotaur’s sister). He also slew and sacrificed the Marathonian Bull in order to be recognized as King Aegeus’ son (though he may have been Poseidon’s kid). Was king of Athens and married the Amazon queen Hippolyta and Phaedra (who later tries to bang her stepson Hippolytus which ends very badly). Also, known for killing serial killers and bandits (kind of like an ancient Greek version of Dexter that is if Dexter actually had to kill a guy with a bull head and everyone knew about his deeds). Not to mention, he appears in stories involving Heracles, Oedipus, and Medea with the first two turning to him for asylum.

What you don’t know about him: Although he may have been a son of a king (or god), he basically had to do almost everything on his own. After the Minotaur slaying, was a massive jerk to Ariadne and her sister Phaedra who he abandoned on the island (though some versions said he was forced to but at least Ariadne got a happy ending, Phaedra not so much). Also, forgot to change the sails when returning home resulting in Aegeus’ suicide. Had a nasty habit of kidnapping women against their will or their husbands.’ Notable abductions include kidnapping his first wife which started a war and him and his buddy’s attempt to kidnap Helen and Persephone even if he knew it wasn’t a good idea (but unlike his buddy, he lived). Almost got poisoned by Medea.

14. Oedipus

Kills his dad for cutting him in traffic and marries his mom to become King of Thebes. Twenty years and four kids later, plague strikes because someone killed the last king. Has to bring killer to justice but then finds out he's adopted and he's already committed patricide and incest. Proceeds to gouge his eyes out. Frankly, he's irony's bitch.

Kills his dad for cutting him in traffic and marries his mom to become King of Thebes. Twenty years and four kids later, plague strikes because someone killed the last king. Has to bring killer to justice but then finds out he’s adopted and he’s already committed patricide and incest. Proceeds to gouge his eyes out. Frankly, he’s irony’s bitch.

You know him as: Literally the most famous motherfucker who ever lived and where we get the term Oedipus Complex (though he didn’t really suffer from it since he killed his dad and married his mom without deliberation or knowingly). He also kills his dad for cutting him off in traffic and being an asshole. Of course, he didn’t know it until right before he gouged his eyes out at the revelation because the people he thought were his parents never told him he was adopted at a time as well as who his real parents were when having no known direct ancestry could cause no end in problems for a guy in a prominent position like King of Thebes. Also, known for solving the Riddle of the Sphinx. Of course, this would make his two sons his half-brothers and his two daughters his half-sisters. Though he was foretold to kill his dad and wind up with mom which his parents took great pains to avoid by abandoning him, the prophecy probably would’ve never been fulfilled if he was raised by his parents in the first place. Not to mention, if you follow Sophocles, his kids become pretty messed up as well.

What you don’t know about him: That the tragedy surrounding Oedipus is that he was actually a good king who committed patricide and two decades long incest without even knowing it before it was too late. However, eventually he had to find out about it twenty years later amid a crisis in Thebes in which whoever killed King Laius must be brought to justice. Well, guess who becomes irony’s bitch to the self-fulfilling prophecy? Of course, his fate depends on version since Sophocles says he gave up the throne and exiled himself while Homer states he ruled until his death. And in Greek mythology, prophecies will always come true.

15. Cassandra

The Trojan princess who would rather be a virgin than make good use on her talents for prophecy. Sure she could tell the future but no one's going to believe her and Troy burns anyway. Can only get worse from here like being raped, enslaved, and killed. No wonder she went nuts.

The Trojan princess who would rather be a virgin than make good use on her talents for prophecy. Sure she could tell the future but no one’s going to believe her and Troy burns anyway. Can only get worse from here like being raped, enslaved, and killed. No wonder she went nuts.

You know her as: The beautiful Trojan princess  who could tell the future but no one would believer because she was cursed by Apollo after his thwarted rape attempt. And all her prophecies would come true, especially when it pertained to Troy falling in a fiery blaze. She also ends up losing most of her male relatives as well as losing her sanity and gets to watch Troy burn. The Trojans should’ve listened to her big time.

What you don’t know about her: It gets worse. When the Trojan War is over, she hides in the Temple of Athena but is kidnapped and violently raped by Ajax the Lesser and later becomes Agamemnon’s concubine as well as taken to Mycenae. Oh, and she later gets killed by Clytemnestra. As a princess, her story veers in the exact opposite as you’d see in a Disney movie in which she doesn’t live happily ever after at all.