Mythological Creatures Reexamined: Part 3 – Golem to Troll

Of course, there seems to be a lot of Greek monsters and dragons from the west so far but I’ll soon get to other cultures and folklore as well as urban legends when I get the chance. Still, this selection has a lot of diversity as far as mythological creatures go. From Greek Mythology we have Talos and the Phoenix. From Scandanvian legend, Norse Mythology, and Northern European Folklore we have the Kraken, the Ogre, and the Troll. We also touch upon American Urban Legendary creatures like Mothman and the Jersey Devil as well as the Seed Eater from Canada and the Gremlin from World War II. Then there’s the Golem from Jewish Folklore, the Leucrocuta from Indian Mythology, the Kelpie from Celtic Mythology, the Thunderbird from Native American Legend, and the Kappa from Japanese Mythology. Finally we have one of the more universal creatures known as the Ghost. Talk about a United Nations of legendary creatures here. Now without further adieu, here is a list of even more mythological monsters.

 

31. Golem

Now the moral of the Golem story is that making a magical figurine out of rock, clay, or wood to have it serve your needs probably isn't a good idea. Nor is slavery in that matter.

Now the moral of the Golem story is that making a magical figurine out of rock, clay, or wood to have it serve your needs probably isn’t a good idea. Nor is slavery in that matter.

Type: Anthropomorphic Being, Humanoid
From: Jewish Folklore (mentioned in the Bible)
Features: Has a human like body made of clay, rock, or wood. Often have the word “emeth” written on their foreheads or a stone tablet placed on the monster’s mouth.
Behavior: Live in people’s households and generally peaceful until they grow up and learn about life by observing the people around them. Can’t speak very much.
Habitat: Czech Republic
Is It Dangerous?: Not at first, but as they grow strong and learn about life, their bursts of anger become increasingly violent.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Well, they can serve as slaves but will eventually grow too big and strong for their master to handle. Let’s just say domesticating one isn’t a good idea.
How to Get Rid of It: Say “meth” which is the Hebrew word for death.

 

32. Gremlin

Basically these are the little creatures who get into your machinery when they aren't working right. So if your car wouldn't start or can't get cell phone reception, it's probably the gremlins.

Basically these are the little creatures who get into your machinery when they aren’t working right. So if your car wouldn’t start or can’t get cell phone reception, it’s probably the gremlins.

Type: Imp
From: Superstitions from RAF pilots during WWII.
Features: Small creatures with oversized pointy ears. Resemble miniature gargoyles. Sometimes depicted with fur or wings.
Behavior: Usually travel in groups causing mayhem and mischief to people as they please. Love to hide from people so they could watch their frustrations over their pranks. They also like fooling around with electrical devices like cars and planes.
Habitat: Anywhere. Yet, machinery and electronics are ideal places.
Is It Dangerous?: Most of their pranks are harmless but some of these miniature monster pranks could have tragic outcomes like plane wrecks and car accidents.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not.
How to Get Rid of It: I’m not sure if you can but it will be difficult.

 

33. Leucrocuta (a. k. a. Corcotta or Leucrotta)

Sure this monster may seem harmless but it's basically a man eater Indian monster known to lure people in a trap just by calling their names.

Sure this monster may seem harmless but it’s basically a man eater Indian monster known to lure people in a trap just by calling their names.

Type: Hybrid
From: Indian and Ethiopian Mythology
Features: Has a horse’s head and hind quarters as well as front legs and body of a lion. About the size of a donkey with large bony gums stretching from ear to ear. Sometimes depicted with a badger’s head. Sometimes described as part lion, hyena, horse, and badger. Usually portrayed with cloven hooves and making hyena sounds.
Behavior: Solitary.
Habitat: India
Is It Dangerous?: Yes, said to call victims by name to lure them out and tear them to pieces. Sometimes imitate the sounds of a wounded person so it could attract curious dogs and feast on them. Very fast.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Don’t even think about it.
How to Get Rid of It: I’m not sure how or if you can.

 

34. Jersey Devil

Of course, the legend of the Jersey Devil predates New Jersey's reputation for superfund sites, gangsters, corruption, and Snooki. Still, if this monster was on MTV's Jersey Shore, I bet the show wouldn't be canceled.

Of course, the legend of the Jersey Devil predates New Jersey’s reputation for superfund sites, gangsters, corruption, and Snooki. Still, if this monster was on MTV’s Jersey Shore, I bet the show wouldn’t be canceled.

Type: Cryptid, Spirit
From: United States
Features: Has deformed body and head of a horse, horns, and large bat like wings. Sometimes depicted with antlers, claws, and/or tusks.
Behavior: Solitary and nocturnal.
Habitat: Pine Barrens in southern New Jersey. Lives near swamps and forests.
Is It Dangerous?: Yes, known to terrorize the neighboring villages. Sometimes would burst out of chimneys to attack people and animals as well as steal a pot of simmering stew. Prone to kill people and livestock as well as feast on small children.
Can It Be Domesticated?: No way in hell.
How to Get Rid of It: Well, I’m sure New Jersey’s superfund sites might take care of that creature.

 

35. Kraken

Of course, who's ever on that submarine isn't going to last once the Kraken is done playing with it. Still, Perseus didn't fight with this monster in the original myths, because it's a Scandinavian monster, not Greek. Having Thor fight it would make more sense.

Of course, who’s ever on that submarine isn’t going to last once the Kraken is done playing with it. Still, Perseus didn’t fight with this monster in the original myths, because it’s a Scandinavian monster, not Greek. Having Thor fight it would make more sense.

Type: Sea Monster, Cryptid
From: Norwegian and Scandinavian Legend (Not Greek Mythology despite it being the monster in Clash of the Titans. It was only there because Ray Harryhausen didn’t want to do another dragon and that “release the Cetus” didn’t have a nice ring to it.)
Features: Gigantic squid or octopus. Said to be the size of a small island that some sightings could be logged as pieces of land. Can be 100-150ft in length or more. Has an infinite lifespan. Sometimes depicted as a sea serpent or humanoid squid. Sometimes depicted with gnashing teeth.
Behavior: Solitary.
Habitat: Coasts of Norway, Greenland, and Iceland. Can survive both in land and water.
Is It Dangerous?: Oh, yes. Has superhuman strength that could easily wrap its tentacles around ships and drag them into deep waters with ease. Can create powerful whirlpools when they quickly submerge which can suck down anything caught with it, including large ships. Can rip apart huge fleets and destroy cities and humans with its might.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not.
How to Get Rid of It: You might want to use a harpoon or several. Perhaps a giant fishing net.

 

36. Kappa

The Kappa is a complex monster which can range from harmless prankster and sexual harassser to outright vicious. Of course, this one is an outright pervert watching women skinny dipping. Also kind of resembles a cross between a house elf and a turtle.

The Kappa is a complex monster which can range from harmless prankster and sexual harassser to outright vicious. Of course, this one is an outright pervert watching women skinny dipping. Also kind of resembles a cross between a house elf and a turtle.

Type: Cryptid, Imp, Yokai, Water Monster
From: Japanese Mythology
Features: Roughly humanoid in form and about the size of a child. Have scaly reptilian skin that could be green, yellow, or blue as well as webbed hands and feet. Can smell like fish. Appearance varies from region to region. Most consistent features are a beak for a mouth, a carapace, a flat hairless plate on the forehead called a sara which is always filled with water and a source of power. May have arms connected to each other that they could slide from one end to the other.
Behavior: Are expert swimmers, very intelligent, and knowledgeable in medicine. Are very mischievous and enjoy playing pranks on people. Obsess over politeness. Curious about human civilization and can speak Japanese. They can also be help farmers irrigate their land. Omnivores.
Habitat: Japan. Inhabit ponds and rivers. May venture on land occasionally and spend fall and winter in the mountains.
Is It Dangerous?: Their pranks can range from relatively harmless like looking up women’s kimonos and passing gas to the malevolent like drowning people and animals, kidnapping children, and raping women. They do love human flesh but their favorite food is cucumbers. Carve your name and birth date on a cucumber and throw it in the pond, they’ll leave you alone.
Can It Be Domesticated?: If you befriend one, it will be a friend for life or go against its word.
How to Get Rid of It: Trick it to hollow its head by making one bow. It will spill water and be powerless. Let its sara dry and it will die.

 

37. Mothman

Now I posted a picture of a Mothman sculpture in a previous post which I think is kind of creepy. Yet, it has appeared on TV shows now and then such as Spongebob Squarepants and The X Files which have absolutely nothing in common with each other. Also, has his own Syfy movie. Still, I wish he could be in a fight with Godzilla.

Now I posted a picture of a Mothman sculpture in a previous post which I think is kind of creepy. Yet, it has appeared on TV shows now and then such as Spongebob Squarepants and The X Files which have absolutely nothing in common with each other. Also, has his own Syfy movie. Still, I wish he could be in a fight with Godzilla.

Type: Cryptid, Humanoid, Hybrid
From: United States but might have roots in older folk tales
Features: Has torso, arms, and legs of a man as well as insect like head, 10ft wings, and hands and feet. Has large bright red eyes and is very tall.
Behavior: Solitary and nocturnal. Capable of teleportation and possesses superhuman strength.
Habitat: Point Pleasant area of West Virginia.
Is It Dangerous?: We’re not really sure about that since most of his stories are related to sightings. May predict or cause natural disasters. Yet, looking into his eyes may cause blindness and irritation.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not.
How to Get Rid of It: Again, we’re not sure about that either.

 

38. Seed Eater (a. k. a. Birdman or Rag Face)

If this guy was a muppet character on Sesame Street, I bet he'd be the neighborhood serial killer. Seriously, he totally looks the part to be in a muppet edition of Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

If this guy was a muppet character on Sesame Street, I bet he’d be the neighborhood serial killer. Seriously, he totally looks the part to be in a muppet edition of Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Type: Humanoid (Yet, despite the name, this monster isn’t known for eating seeds but children.)
From: Canada (created by a blogger named Cliff Howry.)
Features: Tall and has a vague human appearance, dark green or brown skin, and long dark hair. Wears a stitched rag mask with two eye holes to see and another for a mouth, beak, or snout. Emits a foul odor.
Behavior: Solitary and nocturnal. Can climb trees and make sudden noises or movements before disappearing.
Habitat: North America. Resides in woodlands.
Is It Dangerous?: Yes, has been known to hunt children for its prey every few years, which is why it tends to hunt playgrounds. Yet, it will attack anyone who interferes. Most adult abductions will result in the person being turned into another Seed Eater.
Can It Be Domesticated?: No way in hell.
How to Get Rid of It: Well, one boy managed to beat this monster with a baseball bat to repel. Yet, he was unable to speak again due what the monster did to his throat and now lives in a basement guarded 24/7.

 

39. Kelpie (a. k. a. Water Horse)

Sure this may be a lovely creature you'd want to ride on. Yet, bear in mind that you don't want to go on a water pony ride on this thing which tends to fake tameness to lure its prey: humans.

Sure this may be a lovely creature you’d want to ride on. Yet, bear in mind that you don’t want to go on a water pony ride on this thing which tends to fake tameness to lure its prey: humans.

Type: Water Monster
From: Celtic Mythology
Features: Often depicted with a horse’s head with finned front limbs and a fish tail. Mostly depicted as black but can be gray, green, or white. Mane is always wet and covered with seaweed. Howls and wails before upcoming storms. Loch Ness Monster is sometimes identified as one. Appearances vary on depiction.
Behavior: Solitary. Has shapeshifting abilities in its magic bridle and can adopt to human form. Said to have the strength of 10 horses.
Habitat: Near freshwater lakes, streams, and rivers.
Is It Dangerous?: Yes, eats humans. Despite being seemingly tame at first, it’s been known to lure people tempted to mount it for an apparently innocent ride. However, once a person saddles up, the creature would dive into the deepest waters and drown its victims. Can transform into a smoking hot man or woman to lure a victim of the opposite sex into a trap, usually to a watery grave where it could eat them.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Yes it can be harnessed to transport heavy millstones. However, it can’t be domesticated for long because it hates being enslaved at farms.
How to Get Rid of It: Can be captured using a halter stamped with a cross sign. Can be killed by being shot with a silver bullet.

 

40. Ogre

Now ogres may not always be completely stupid in legends but they are nothing like what you see in the Shrek movies. Of course, the Shrek in the original William Steig stories was pretty ugly than in the Dreamworks films.

Now ogres may not always be completely stupid in legends but they are nothing like what you see in the Shrek movies. Of course, the Shrek in the original William Steig stories was pretty ugly than in the Dreamworks films. Yet, Shrek is a parody.

Type: Humanoid
From: Northern European Folklore
Features: Large, muscular, and ugly with deformed facial features. Tend to smell bad. Often depicted as green. Sometimes portrayed with horns or fangs.
Behavior: Solitary. Often seen as stupid but many are highly intelligent and could even perform magic. Yet, mostly use primitive weapons in battle.
Habitat: Near villages in swamps and mountains.
Is It Dangerous?: Absolutely. They have tremendous strength and could easily rip apart their enemies with their bare hands. Can be brutal and exhibit cruel and vicious violence, especially when hungry. Doesn’t help you that human flesh is their favorite meal, especially the tender flesh of small children.
Can It Be Domesticated?: No way in hell. Well, Shrek, maybe but not as a pet. Then again, Shrek isn’t a bad ogre.
How to Get Rid of It: Depends on the story.

 

41. Talos

Now this is Talos as designed by Ray Harryhausen for Jason and the Argonauts. However, remember he's not the guy who's modeled for the Colossus of Rhodes. That would be Helios. Still, he does a Colossus of Rhodes pose in the movie.

Now this is Talos as designed by Ray Harryhausen for Jason and the Argonauts. However, remember he’s not the guy who’s modeled for the Colossus of Rhodes. That would be Helios. Still, he does a Colossus of Rhodes pose in the movie.

Type: Humanoid, Anthropomorphic Being
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Gigantic human-like body made of bronze. Ran on ichor, the blood of the gods with a bronze nail keeping the fluid from leaking out.
Behavior: Created by Hephaestus and is strong enough to move boulders at any ships. Charged with guarding Zeus’ lover Europa on Crete.
Habitat: Crete in Ancient Greece.
Is It Dangerous?: Yes. He can hurl huge boulders at ships and burned any captured pirates on his armor. Actually you can say he was made to be a killing machine.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Not as a pet but he was used by Zeus to guard his lover Europa on Crete.
How to Get Rid of It: Charmed and given a sleeping potion by Medea who removed the bronze nail from his heel and drained his lifeblood that finally killed him.

 

42. Phoenix (a. k. a. Firebird)

Despite the fact it's a firebird, the phoenixes are usually harmless creatures to anyone who's good. Of course, this doesn't mean it can't attack for Fawkes did blind a basilisk in Harry Potter.

Despite the fact it’s a firebird, the phoenixes are usually harmless creatures to anyone who’s good. Of course, this doesn’t mean it can’t attack for Fawkes did blind a basilisk in Harry Potter.

Type: Divine Bird
From: Greek Mythology (first described by Herodotus in 484-425 BCE.)
Features: Traditionally splendidly multi-colored firebird resembling an eagle. Usually depicted with orange, red, and yellow feathers but coloration varies by legend. Also portrayed as gigantic Its life cycles could last from 500 to 1000 years. Tears are pure and capable of extreme healing powers. Cry is the most soothing and captivating song one could ever grace to hear. Older images have them with nimbuses and seven rays.
Behavior: Solitary. Eats only spices and drinks dew.
Habitat: Greece.
Is It Dangerous?: Despite being a fire bird, they’re incapable of killing or crushing a single living creature. Yet, they can burn or peck you though.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Well, it’s been known to serve as a sidekick to heroes and warriors so yes. Also, Dumbledore owned one in Harry Potter.
How to Get Rid of It: Well, you can kill it, but all it’s going to do is combust and rise from its ashes all over again. I mean it’s immortal so destroying one is basically pointless.

 

43. Thunderbird

Now this is probably one of the few legendary creatures you've heard of from Native American Legend. Of course, this may be because this bird has a car from Ford as well as an e-mail service named after it.

Now this is probably one of the few legendary creatures you’ve heard of from Native American Legend. Of course, this may be because this bird has a car from Ford as well as an e-mail service named after it.

Type: Divine Bird, Cryptid
From: Native American Folklore
Features: An extremely large bird resembling an eagle capable of shooting lightning. Traditionally depicted as multicolored with two curling horns and teeth within its beak. Can be blue, purple, white, or yellow in depiction. Carries around golden snakes with it.
Behavior: Solitary. Wingbeats can pull clouds together. Its wing claps can generate thunder. Generates sheet lightning by flashing its eyes when it blinks. And throws lightning bolts made by glowing snakes it carries around with. Has variations that have other powers like shapeshifting, generating rainfall, and others.
Habitat: The Americas.
Is It Dangerous?: It’s best to be avoided at all costs, refrain from disturbing or upsetting it in anyway. Else, you might become a human lightning rod.
Can It Be Domesticated?: No way in hell.
How to Get Rid of It: You can’t since they’re probably immortal.

 

44. Ghost

Now ghosts can come in all shapes and sizes but I'm sure seeing one will certainly freak anyone help. I mean imagine if you're grandmother's spirit came back from the dead. You wouldn't want that.

Now ghosts can come in all shapes and sizes but I’m sure seeing one will certainly freak anyone help. I mean imagine if you’re grandmother’s spirit came back from the dead. You wouldn’t want that.

Type: Spirit, Undead
From: Worldwide
Features: Basically disembodied souls of humans or other creatures. Can be depicted white or transparent. Can be portrayed as a white mass or as normal people or animals. Have no density. Can moan, wail, whisper, scream, or cry.
Behavior: Depends on the ghost. Have superhuman speed and can pass through things. Also possess telekinesis and glow in the dark.
Habitat: Graveyards, haunted houses, old stomping grounds, and other places.
Is It Dangerous?: Depends on the particular ghost. Though they could possess other people’s bodies and minds. Yet, if you’re killed by a ghost, you usually end up becoming one since such demise is unnatural.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Nope. They’re dead.
How to Get Rid of It: Best to confront it with iron, salt, or Holy Relics. Also, burning the item that keeps them on earth also helps transport them to the afterlife.

 

45. Troll

Trolls are among the more familiar creatures in Norse Mythology which are known to be man-eaters that tend to turn into stone at sunrise. Today, they're just obnoxious internet commentars who rant on things they know nothing about.

Trolls are among the more familiar creatures in Norse Mythology which are known to be man-eaters that tend to turn into stone at sunrise. Today, they’re just obnoxious internet commentars who rant on things they know nothing about.

Type: Humanoid
From: Norse Mythology
Features: Very large, ugly, and beast like monsters that smell very bad. May have horns, long arms, warts, hairy skin, and humped backs. Also said to have disfigured faces, deformed teeth, and huge ears. Usually depicted as green or gray. There are a lot of different types.
Behavior: Either solitary or live together in family groups. Not very bright but very strong. Also nocturnal. Could behave more like human beings in some legends.
Habitat: Caves, under bridges, burrows, underground, and isolated mountains.
Is It Dangerous?: Yes, they are man eaters and are rarely helpful to human beings.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Hell, no.
How to Get Rid of It: Exposing them to sunlight may turn them into stone.

Mythological Creatures Reexamined: Part 2 – Peluda to Griffin

So we’re off to a good start with the monsters in legend and myth. Of course, we have many more to go though you’ve noticed that some of the Greek monsters were related to the Twelve Labors of Hercules. Well, he did fight a lot of ferocious monsters but that’s why you hire a super strong demi-god for the job. Still, in this selection we have even more creatures for your pleasure. Of course, we’ll look at a few from the Greeks like the Lernaean Hydra, the Nemean Lion, the Aetus Caucasius, the Gorgon, the Minotaur, the Sphinx, the Centaur, Pegasus, the Siren, and the Harpy. Yes, Greek Mythology has a lot of monsters. For the Middle East we have the Manticore and the Griffin. We also have Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Monster (though I’m not sure if this would qualify other than being an undead lab creation since Dr. Frankenstein was kind of the real monster in that story), the Peluda Dragon, and the Mermaid. So without further adieu I introduce you to these monsters from Greek Mythology and others.

16. Peluda (a. k. a. Occitan)

Sorry, but this isn't a dinosaur from Jurassic Park either. Just a dragon from French Folklore known to survive the Great Flood who was killed by a widower who cut its tail.

Sorry, but this isn’t a dinosaur from Jurassic Park either. Just a dragon from French Folklore known to survive the Great Flood who was killed by a widower who cut off its tail.

Type: Dragon
From: French Folklore
Features: Being green with spikes all over its body are its defining features. Yet, accounts depend whether it has an ox sized porcupine body or just a mess of green hair like projections that were actually poison quills. Traditionally depicted with a snake’s head, neck, and tail as well as large tortoise like feet. Often portrayed as a very shaggy dragon.
Behavior: Solitary and extremely aggressive.
Habitat: Huisne River in France. Resides in a cave where it waited out the Great Flood.
Is It Dangerous?: Absolutely. Has extremely poisonous quills it could fire off like arrows, breathe fire, wither crops with a searing breath, create floods by stepping into rivers, kill a full grown man with a single stroke of its tail, spit out a powerful stream of water or acid, and is practically invulnerable except in its tail. Has been known to terrorize Le Ferte-Bernard, France and devour humans and livestock.
Can It Be Domesticated?: No way in hell.
How to Get Rid of It: Simple, cut off its tail. One guy did this when the dragon killed his fiancée. Messed with the wrong dude there.

17. Lernaean Hydra (a. k. a. Hydra)

Of course, contrary to the Disney movie, the head slicing of this Hydra in the original myths went a lot differently. Still, Hercules knew what he was dealing with so he enlisted his nephew to help.

Of course, contrary to the Disney movie, the head slicing of this Hydra in the original myths went a lot differently. Still, Hercules knew what he was dealing with so he enlisted his nephew to help.

Type: Hybrid, Sea Monster, Serpent
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Gigantic water serpent with one large head and eight smaller ones. Largest head was immortal. All heads sprout very sharp razor fangs overflowing with deadly venom. Has very thick and strong body, webbed feet, and serpent tail.
Behavior: Solitary and extremely ferocious.
Habitat: Lerna in Ancient Greece, where he was blocking the town’s only water source when Hercules came along. Lives in a swamp.
Is It Dangerous?: Absolutely. Breath is extremely poisonous which could kill all living things in his territory. Blood and saliva are also poisonous.
Can It Be Domesticated?: You can forget about that. He hates humans.
How to Get Rid of It: You can forget trying to kill him in the conventional way because battle wounds would just make it stronger especially if you resort to decapitation. That only leads it to sprouting more heads. Hercules couldn’t defeat this monster without the help of his nephew Iolaus who burned the flesh from every hydra head his uncle decapitated. Hercules proceeded to bury the remaining immortal head deep underground. Hercules would use the monster’s poisonous blood for his later labors.

18. Nemean Lion

Of course, this may be a magnificent lion but its a real destructive force and has skin that's almost indestructible. That's why Hercules strangled it with his bare hands and wore its skin for armor.

Of course, this may be a magnificent lion but its a real destructive force and has skin that’s almost indestructible. That’s why Hercules strangled it with his bare hands and wore its skin for armor.

Type: Abnormal Animal
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Just a large lion with golden fur with very sharp claws (sharper than any mortal’s sword). Often depicted with a man which means he’s probably a male.
Behavior: Solitary but not looking for a group of lionesses to bang, which is outside of normal lone male lion behavior.
Habitat: Nemea in Ancient Greece. Lives in a cave.
Is It Dangerous?: Yes. He’s extremely strong with impenetrable skin. Can kill any human with a swipe of his claw. Has a ravenous taste for blood. Known to terrorize Nemea.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Don’t even think about it.
How to Get Rid of It: Strangled by Hercules’ bare hands. Skinned the beast with one if his claws and made a cloak he used as armor.

19. Frankenstein (a. k. a. Frankenstein’s Monster)

Of course, I know people would have a problem if I didn't go with the Boris Karloff edition of Frankenstein's Monster. Still, even if he did burn a windmill and drown that girl, you kind of have to feel pretty bad for him since everyone in the village was being a complete jerk. Still, what Dr. Frankenstein did to him was just cruel.

Of course, I know people would have a problem if I didn’t go with the Boris Karloff edition of Frankenstein’s Monster. Still, even if he did burn a windmill and drown that girl, you kind of have to feel pretty bad for him since everyone in the village was being a complete jerk. Still, what Dr. Frankenstein did to him was just cruel.

Type: Undead (created in a freak experiment by a medical student named Victor Frankenstein but calls himself Adam)
From: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein from the 19th century.
Features: A hideous monster made out of deceased body parts from various corpses. About as tall and muscular as an NBA player. Often depicted as green with bolts in his neck and surgical all over him. Mostly portrayed as having a flat-looking head, sunken eyes, and wearing ragged clothes. Movies have him possess an abnormal brain.
Behavior: Solitary but not by choice yet is also emotional and sensitive. In the novel, he is extremely intelligent, eloquent, well-mannered, and knows how to read as well as eager to learn and experience life. He’s even fluent in three languages. Seeks to connect with people but has a hard time due to his hideous appearance that makes people want to run away and shun him. Movies have him mute and almost infantile as well as afraid of fire.
Habitat: Germany but roamed the Arctic.
Is It Dangerous?: He’s generally peaceful but can be easily provoked with rage. Still, he’s very strong. The reason why he becomes so violent later on is because he’s very bad with first impressions which leads to him scaring people who ostracize him. Of course, he probably wouldn’t have killed Victor’s brother and bride if Victor had just at least accepted him or at least gave him a girlfriend. Victor is just revolted that his creation isn’t beautiful.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Well, not like a pet, but he could live in human society if Victor (or anyone else) just accepted him.
How to Get Rid of It: In the book, he perishes with Dr. Victor Frankenstein in the Arctic weeping over Victor’s corpse. Movies vary.

20. Aetus Caucasius (a. k. a. Caucasian Eagle, Griffin-Vulture, or Ethon)

You may not have heard of this creature, but this is the giant bird that pecked Prometheus' liver every day after Zeus punished him for giving fire to humans. Well, until Hercules killed it during his labor for the golden apples.

You may not have heard of this creature, but this is the giant bird that pecked Prometheus’ liver every day after Zeus punished him for giving fire to humans. Well, until Hercules killed it during his labor for the golden apples.

Type: Divine Bird
From: Greek Mythology
Features: A gigantic demonic eagle. Sometimes said to be automation by Hephaestus. Sometimes depicted as a vulture.
Behavior: Solitary. Basically is sent by Zeus to fly to Mount Kazbek to disembowel Prometheus on a daily basis as punishment for stealing fire for humanity.
Habitat: Mount Kazbek in the Caucasus.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, there’s no sign that it has ever harmed mortals. However, I’m sure that nobody in their right mind would want to go near it.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Only by Zeus.
How to Get Rid of It: Killed by Hercules with an arrow.

21. Gorgon

Of course, Medusa was best know for not being much to look at. Well, I don't mean she was ugly. It's just when people would look at her and her sisters, they'd turn to stone, literally.

Of course, Medusa was best know for not being much to look at. Well, I don’t mean she was ugly. It’s just when people would look at her and her sisters, they’d turn to stone, literally.

Type: Hybrid, Serpent, Humanoid
From: Greek Mythology (Medusa’s the most famous)
Features: Usually depicted as a woman with snakes in her hair or having snakes as hair. Traditionally they had a woman’s upper half, fangs, snake as hair (or in hair), and a serpent’s lower body. Have long pointed nails and forked tongues. Sometimes described as having golden wings, bronze claws, and boar tusks. Stheno and Euryale may be immortal while Medusa is certainly not. Either seen as completely hideous or beautiful but their looks were still pointless anyway.
Behavior: There are three of them named Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa who are sisters living together. Were originally humans but were transformed to such beasts because of excessive vanity (well, that or just born that way. Or Medusa became one after sex with Poseidon {though consent may vary}, thanks to Athena). Basically have hated them since.
Habitat: Greece.
Is It Dangerous?: Yes, anyone who looks at them turns to stone and they’d use such tactic to satisfy their complete hatred for humans and Stheno was said to kill more people than her sisters combined. Of course, if they look at you, then you’d just be petrified.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Since they used to be human, no.
How to Get Rid of It: Well, in Medusa’s case, Perseus basically beheaded her while using his shield as a mirror. The others may be immortal.

22. Minotaur

Of course, you don't want to face this man eating bull headed monster. Seriously, this guy is almost unstoppable for a human and bovine hybrid. Still, he was the monster in the original Hunger Games in the Ancient Greek legends.

Of course, you don’t want to face this man eating bull headed monster. Seriously, this guy is almost unstoppable for a human and bovine hybrid. Still, he was the monster in the original Hunger Games in the Ancient Greek legends.

Type: Hybrid, Humanoid
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Body of human male with head and tail of a bull. Named Prince Asterion. Medieval depictions have him with a bull body but a human torso and/or head. Has long sharp pointy nails. Sometimes depicted as hairy, sometimes not.
Behavior: Solitary but not really by choice. Has more to do with his stepdad (or biological dad) sealing him up in a Labyrinth for being bull headed and tailed.
Habitat: Crete in Ancient Greece. Sealed in a Labyrinth under Knossos palace.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, it’s known to have an insatiable appetite for human flesh which might have more to do with the fact that Minos tends to feed him slaves from Athens every year. Still, he’s very strong and extremely ferocious.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Unless you keep him in a Labyrinth under the Knossos like Minos would. Then again, he’s technically a man, so no.
How to Get Rid of It: Killed by Theseus with his bare hands.

23. Sphinx

Of course, the moral story of Oedipus and the Sphinx is that all those years in Quiz Bowl could amount to saving Thebes. Still, after Oedipus successfully answered the Riddles of the Sphinx, thinks don't go so well when he marries Jocasta and becomes King of Thebes. Still, Oedipus's tragedy would've been avoided if his legal parents just told him he was adopted.

Of course, the moral story of Oedipus and the Sphinx is that all those years in Quiz Bowl could amount to saving Thebes. Still, after Oedipus successfully answered the Riddles of the Sphinx, thinks don’t go so well when he marries Jocasta and becomes King of Thebes. Still, Oedipus’s tragedy would’ve been avoided if his legal parents just told him he was adopted.

Type: Hybrid, Humanoid
From: Greek, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian Mythology
Features: Head of a woman, body of a lion, feathered wings, and snake tail. Sometimes depicted with dragon wings. Sometimes depicted with a mane. Mesopotamian and Egyptian Sphinxes are usually male. The Greek Sphnix is always female. Some accounts have it containing the body of a wolf or head of a ram with massive horns. Tends to be portrayed with a woman’s upper body.
Behavior: Can talk but speaks in riddles which she’s absolutely confident you won’t answer. Solitary.
Habitat: Mount Phicium near Thebes in Ancient Greece.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, she terrorized Thebes and wouldn’t let people leave unless they could answer her riddles. She strangled and devoured those who didn’t.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not.
How to Get Rid of It: Leapt to her death off a cliff in a rage after Oedipus answered her riddles successfully.

24. Manticore

Of course, this may be magnificent but he's a man eater who nobody has been able to subdue. Seriously, if you see a lion with a man's face and scorpion tail, head for the hills. Oh, wait, too late for that.

Of course, this may be magnificent but he’s a man eater who nobody has been able to subdue. Seriously, if you see a lion with a man’s face and scorpion tail, head for the hills. Oh, wait, too late for that.

Type: Hybrid, Humanoid
From: Indian and Persian Legend
Features: Has lion’s body, a man’s head, and a scorpion like tail with poisonous spikes (or dragon’s). Has three rows of shark like teeth and an oversized mouth. Huge and muscular with a lion’s mane. Equipped with extremely long and sharp claws as well as a trumpet sounding voice. Sometimes is depicted with bat like wings. Can be portrayed with a tiger’s body as well as well as just a lion’s head.
Behavior: Solitary and very ferocious.
Habitat: Asia
Is It Dangerous?: Oh yes. Tail is poisonous and capable of shooting spikes at its victims at a distance which paralyzes them. Can kill and devour any man with a few simple bites. Has a hunger and taste strictly for human flesh. Leaves no clothes, possessions, or bones of prey behind.
Can It Be Domesticated?: No way in hell.
How to Get Rid of It: When you encounter a manticore, you’re basically screwed since its mythology states that not one victim has ever escaped its grasp to tell the tale.

25. Centaur

Some say that the Greeks' concept for a centaur came from seeing a bunch of guys mounted on horseback from Eastern Europe. Of course, these creatures have certain human and animal personality traits.

Some say that the Greeks’ concept for a centaur came from seeing a bunch of guys mounted on horseback from Eastern Europe. Of course, these creatures have certain human and animal personality traits.

Type: Hybrid, Humanoid
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Top half body and bottom half horse. Often depicted with long hair and sometimes with wings or antlers.
Behavior: Often live in herds with up to 50 members. Actively avoid humans. Can be pretty wise as well as be quite skilled with herbal healing, astronomy and archery.
Habitat: Greece. Tend to live in deep old growth forests and mountain areas.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, they’re not man eaters but they have enhanced strength, speed, and combat skills. Yet, they could also be wild and crazed creatures that could wreak havoc and pillaging with improvised weapons to satisfy their lusts. And yes, they can rape women (so think about that for a second when you read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix). Either way, you don’t want to mess with them.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not, since they’re semi-humanoid and prefer their own kind, socially.
How to Get Rid of It: Drive them off a cliff when they’re angry or horny since they aren’t easily defeated with weapons.

26. Pegasus

Now Pegasus was one of the coolest horses in Greek Mythology, and no, he didn't get his wings from drinking a bunch of Red Bull. Still, I can see why Zeus kept him after Bellephron fell off of him.

Now Pegasus was one of the coolest horses in Greek Mythology, and no, he didn’t get his wings from drinking a bunch of Red Bull. Still, I can see why Zeus kept him after Bellephron fell off of him.

Type: Divine Horse
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Magnificent white horse with feathered wings. Can be depicted other colors and with a horn.
Behavior: Solitary and is often used as a sidekick. Also, brings lightning and thunder from Mount Olympus under Zeus. Creator of the Hippocrene fountain at Mount Helicon.
Habitat: Greece and later Mount Olympus.
Is It Dangerous?: Not to humans and is perfectly tame.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Yes, goes through three owners in Greek mythology. First by Perseus after slaying Medusa and then captured by Bellephron. After Bellephron’s fall, Zeus keeps him.
How to Get Rid of It: He’s immortal so you can’t and so cool you don’t want to.

27. Siren

Contrary to most depictions, the Sirens weren't mermaids. They were birdwomen whose songs drove sailors to their gory demise. Also, they aren't very suited for the water anyway and were known to have drowned.

Contrary to most depictions, the Sirens weren’t mermaids. They were birdwomen whose songs drove sailors to their gory demise. Also, they aren’t very suited for the water anyway and were known to have drowned.

Type: Hybrid, Humanoid
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Head and body of a woman as well as legs and wings of a bird. Sang beautiful and hypnotic songs that no man can resist (except Odysseus). Said to be very beautiful and rather angelic looking and are sometimes depicted with golden wings and feathers. They aren’t mermaids but often mistaken as such. Sometimes they’re just depicted as women, usually naked though.
Behavior: Travel in groups. Odysseus encounters three of them. Were Persephone’s handmaidens and were transformed to their present state by Demeter after Hades kidnapped her daughter. Whether it was to punish them or help her search for Persephone is anyone’s guess. I mean Demeter is one of the nicest goddesses but she didn’t take her daughter’s abduction very well at all.
Habitat: Mediterranean Sea. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t fully aquatic.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, their songs have led to many drownings and shipwrecks on their island. They would also kill and devour survivors. Odysseus was the only guy known to hear their songs and tell the tale. Still, despite being beautiful and angelic, they’re evil little buggers.
Can It Be Domesticated?: They’re bird women so certainly not. Nor are they women you want to bring home, especially if you’re a married man.
How to Get Rid of It: Some say that when a Orpheus sang his song, they were so heartbroken at being outdone that they threw themselves from their island, died, and turned into rocks. Those ships who passed them unharmed would compel these beauties to drown themselves.

28. Mermaid

Of course, everyone's familiar with mermaids since they appear in Disney movies, tuna labels, fairy tales, and so much more. Of course, many of the legends are kind of in the reverse Disney's Little Mermaid but they don't end well.

Of course, everyone’s familiar with mermaids since they appear in Disney movies, tuna labels, fairy tales, and so much more. Of course, many of the legends are kind of in the reverse Disney’s Little Mermaid but they don’t end well.

Type: Hybrid, Sea Monster, Humanoid
From: Various Worldwide Mythologies.
Features: Has upper body of a woman and a fish like torso and tail. Said to be beautiful with long hair and semi-divine. Have sharp claws and teeth as well as underwater respiration. Known for singing their songs.
Behavior: Can be solitary or travel in groups. Can see in the dark and resist the cold. They can even read people’s thoughts.
Habitat: Seas and Oceans.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, they have been known to lure lonely sailors by overcoming them with lust and dragging them to their underwater kingdoms. The sailors usually drowned. Yet, whether they caused their deaths accidentally or out of pure spite, depends on the story. Also known to cause horrible storms that led to shipwrecks and a lot of sailors’ deaths. Have enhanced strength and are fast swimmers.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Well, they’re part human so no.
How to Get Rid of It: I don’t know, either break her heart, fish net, harpoon, or run her aground.

29. Harpy

Now while the Sirens may sing sailors just to eat them, these fearsome ladies tend to snatch and torture those on a one way ticket to Tartarus or Ancient Greek Hell.

Now while the Sirens may sing sailors just to eat them, these fearsome ladies tend to snatch and torture those on a one way ticket to Tartarus or Ancient Greek Hell.

Type: Hybrid, Humanoid
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Has the top half of a witch with extremely claws and wings of a vulture. Sometimes depicted as ugly hags with long greasy hair and faces covered in warts or beautiful women. Reek of decay and death and nearly impossible to bear everywhere they went.
Behavior: Travel in groups. Willing to steal any scrap of food they set eyes on and foul anything they didn’t consume. Charged with abducted and torturing souls on the way to Tartarus.
Habitat: Greece
Is It Dangerous?: Tended to torture the wicked by pecking and scratching their bodies endlessly as well as prevented a guy from eating his food by vomiting on it (or stealing it). Also, though they’d usually snatch the dead souls, sometimes they’d sneak out the Underworld in search of living prey. A lot of mysterious disappearances in Ancient Greece were blamed on them.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Since they’re part human, not really.
How to Get Rid of It: You can’t they’re immortal.

30. Griffin

Yes, these are awesome birds that guard treasure as well as eat horses. Still, pretty cool though despite the viciousness. Yes, I'd want a statue of one on my front door bannister.

Yes, these are awesome birds that guard treasure as well as eat horses. Still, pretty cool though despite the viciousness. Yes, I’d want a statue of one on my front door bannister.

Type: Hybrid, Divine Bird
From: Egyptian and Mesopotamian Mythology
Features: Has head, claws, and wings of an eagle and body and tail of a lion. Large, powerful, and majestic. Sometimes depicted with lion ears.
Behavior: Solitary. Fond of treasure and are eager to dig and guard it in their mountain lairs.
Habitat: Middle East as well as parts of Europe and Asia. Lives in the mountains near their treasure troves.
Is It Dangerous?: Oh, yes. They don’t take well to treasure seeking humans invading their nests, especially on horseback. They are prone to killing horses on sight, though they may occasionally mate with some of them. These birds are aggressive, very strong, and will use their claws if they have to.
Can It Be Domesticated?: No way in hell.
How to Get Rid of It: C’mon, despite killing horses, these birds are cool. I mean you don’t want to get rid of them.

Mythological Creatures Reexamined: Part 1 – Abominable Snowman to Tarrasque

Mythical creatures have always fascinated us since many of them do tend to look cool. Some of them have been  folk monsters in stories and superstitions that date back generations. Others are relatively recent creatures of urban legend. Some of these are monsters you may be familiar with or have dressed up for Halloween while others may not be so well known. Nevertheless, they are creatures that are well worth a look since Halloween will soon be upon us even if it’s just the month of September so I might as well get this series out of the way. In this selection we will look at a few cryptid monsters like the Abominable Snowman, Bigfoot, and the Chupacabra. We’ll see some dragons of legend like Cetus, Fafnir, Wyvern, and Tarrasque. We’ll look at a few monsters from Greek mythology like the Cyclops, Chimera, the Cretan Bull, Cerberus, and the Erymanthian Boar. Finally, we’ll take a glance at the legendary Basilisk as well as H. P.  Lovecraft’s best known Eldritch Abomination Cthulhu. So without further adieu, do I introduce the first installment of my series on mythological creatures.

1. Abominable Snowman (a. k. a. Yeti, Meteth, or Rakshasa)

Of course, this Yeti is angry with all the tourism that's going on Mt. Everest these days.

Of course, there’s a reason why the Yeti are known as the Abominable Snowmen for a reason because you don’t want to run into them.

Type: Cryptid, Humanoid
From: Tibetan Folklore
Features: Usually giant human-like body, white shaggy fur, big feet. Walks upright and is very strong and athletic. Said to make a whistling sound or roar like a lion but smells bad. Could have large yellow teeth and razor sharp fangs. Tibetan legends have three variations of Yeti called the Rimi (2-3m), the Nyalmot (2.5-4.5 m), and the Raksi-Bombo (1-1.5m), which all vary in height. Yet, their versions usually could be red or gray. Often portrayed as a tall ape-like figure covered in white hair akin to a Himalayan Sasquatch. Sometimes depicted with a bear, dog, or cat head though. Also could be depicted with horns. Said to live up to 1,000 years.
Behavior: They’re mostly solitary and only meet each other during mating season.
Habitat: Mostly in the Himalayan Mountains. Buddhist legends say they live in dense snow caves on the glaciers.
Is It Dangerous?: They’re known to be extremely territorial as well as very strong, athletic, could survive very harsh conditions, and have good sensory perception. Yet, they’re said to mainly eat greens and vegetables but will devour humans if they have the opportunity. They’re also rumored to be very fond of strong alcoholic drinks. Still, Buddhist legend states that they’re peaceful and shy. Some sources say they’re aggressive and will attack humans, especially if threatened. So yes, they’re dangerous.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not.
How to Get Rid of It: Other than have it run off a cliff at a high elevation, I really can’t say. Shooting them won’t do much damage.

2. Chupacabra

This Chupacabra looks as if it's a mix between a porcupine, hyena, and a bull dog with rabies.

This Chupacabra looks as if it’s a mix between a porcupine, hyena, and a bull dog with rabies.

Type: Cryptid
From: Latin America
Features: Most commonly depicted as a heavy creature about the size of a small bear (like 3-5ft tall) with spikes on its back from head to tail. Usually depicted as a green with leathery greenish gray skin and an alien shaped head bearing big red eyes, though it could be depicted as a hairless dog or a large mammalian predator with hair. Is mostly seen upright and hopping like a kangaroo. Sometimes depicted with bat wings wings or horns. Could have forked tongue, a wolf like nose, and large fangs. Said to hiss and screech when alarmed and leave a sulfuric stench behind. Is a shapeshifter.
Behavior: Primarily solitary and nocturnal at least in its normal form.
Habitat: The Americas particularly as north as the Southern US to South America.
Is It Dangerous?: Has a habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, particularly goats. Whether they’re dangerous to humans isn’t quite clear.
Can It Be Domesticated?: No, especially if you’re a goat farmer.
How to Get Rid of It: We’re not sure how.

3. Cretan Bull

You can never guess that this white bull was the father of the Minotaur making the latter a product of bestiality. Yeah, I know that's depraved but that's the Ancient Greeks for you.

You can never guess that this white bull was the father of the Minotaur making the latter a product of bestiality. Yeah, I know that’s fucked up but that’s the Ancient Greeks for you.

Type: Abnormal Animal
From: Greek Mythology
Features: A large white bull. Created and sent forth from the sea by Poseidon as a gift to King Minos, then later used as the sea god’s tool to get back at Minos. Yet, can be depicted other colors though.
Behavior: Depends on how Poseidon and Minos are getting along.
Habitat: Crete, naturally. Was later released to Marathon by Hercules.
Is It Dangerous?: It’s an uncontrollably angry bull thanks to Poseidon falling out with Minos, yet somehow his wife Pasiphae was able to fall in love and mate with it, producing the Minotaur.
Can It Be Domesticated?: It’s hard to say. It was owned by King Minos, but he caused a lot of trouble at Crete like levelling orchard walls and destroying crops. So domestication probably wouldn’t work out.
How to Get Rid of It: Send Hercules or Theseus to capture him while the latter had it finally sacrificed.

4. Cerberus

Though it bears a great resemblance in almost every way, this isn't the monster protecting the Sorcerer's Stone in the first Harry Potter book. Rather it's basically guarding the Underworld to keep souls from getting out.

Though it bears a great resemblance in almost every way, this isn’t the monster Fluffy protecting the Sorcerer’s Stone in the first Harry Potter book. Rather it’s basically Cerberus guarding the Underworld to keep souls from getting out.

Type: Hybrid
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Mostly depicted as a giant 3-headed dog about 16ft high. Yet, the Greek myths also said he had a spiked dragon’s tale and manes made out of live serpents. Very strong and immortal. Makes ear splitting howls day and night. Has razor sharp teeth that shoot with venom and breath fatal to humans.
Behavior: Basically guards the Underworld for Hades to keep mortals out and the place dead inside.
Habitat: The Greek Underworld.
Is It Dangerous?: Since Hades is one of the nicest Greek gods, Cerberus may be fierce demonic dog but he’s not known to bite or attack anyone. Yet, this doesn’t mean he’s not dangerous for Hades has him as a guard dog for a reason and he’s known to eat trespassers with his breath. However, he does have a weakness for soft flute music and cake if you want to get past him.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Yes, since its owned by Hades and only by him. He can also have you borrow him as long as you don’t hurt him and bring him back when you’re done. And Hercules did.
How to Get Rid of It: Since Hades owns it, to do so would be impossible.

5. Cthulhu

I'm sure there's no way in hell that woman and her dog are going to escape that Lovecraftian monstrosity.

I’m sure there’s no way in hell that woman and her dog are going to escape that Lovecraftian monstrosity. Sorry, but Beelzebub isn’t going to have the devil put aside in this case since Cthulhu is the devil here and won’t take no for an answer.

Type: Eldritch Abomination, Sea Monster
From: H. P. Lovecraft
Features: Has large green human like body, squid like head with long tentacles, giant bat like wings, and sharp eagle like talons. Depicted with thick green skin covered in scales and wart like bumps. Can shapeshift.
Behavior: Solitary yet he was a high priest of an ancient alien race called “the Great Old Ones.”
Habitat: Pacific Ocean
Is It Dangerous?: Absolutely. Can use his tentacles and talons to crush or tear apart his enemies. He is a bloodthirsty mythical beast that can invade people’s dreams and control them with his mind. He tends to have them perform human sacrifices to him to prove their loyalty. Has a tendency to go on a rampage of death and destruction to quench its thirst for bloodshed and violence. So if you come across him, you’re basically screwed.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not since he has the tendency to domesticate humans.
How to Get Rid of It: He’s immortal so you can’t. If you encounter him, you’re screwed.

6. Basilisk

I'm sure Harry Potter fans aren't going to be too happy using this picture for the Basilisk. Yet, this creature's appearance was said to have a chicken head in the earliest legends.

I’m sure Harry Potter fans aren’t going to be too happy using this picture for the Basilisk. Yet, this creature’s appearance was said to have a chicken head in the earliest legends.

Type: Hybrid, Serpent
From: Roman Mythology
Features: Usually depicted as a reptile though size and composition may vary according to depiction. Head and claws of a rooster with a reptile’s body and tail in a traditional sense. Said to be the size of a chicken and tend to be depicted with feathers or with dagger like teeth lined in their pointed beaks. In some depictions, they have fangs. Sometimes could be depicted as a giant snake like in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Sometimes depicted as a dragon.
Behavior: Solitary as far as we know.
Habitat: Europe.
Is It Dangerous?: Hell, yes. They could kill all but a few living things with a single glance even from afar. Also, have poisonous breath and could quickly kill their victims with strangulation. It’s venom is highly deadly that it one drop could kill in a matter of minutes and could contaminate water for 100 years. And as we learn from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, its glance through certain mediums like ghosts, mirrors, water, and cameras could result in petrification which can only be cured by mandrakes. Also one of the most dangerous creatures from that universe.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Unless you’re the heir of Slytherin, you should probably not even think about it.
How to Get Rid of It: Either get a weasel or crow to scare it away or trick it into seeing its own reflection in a mirror making it unintentionally kill itself. Having a rooster around is a good deterrent since a rooster crow could send it to a violent death through disorientation and seizures. If it’s a giant snake, then blinding it and putting a sword through its head would do. Yet, make sure you have a phoenix with you if you do the latter.

7. Cyclops

If this is the cyclops Polyphemus from Homer's Odyssey, then he's going to have it coming with Odysseus soon.

If this is the cyclops Polyphemus from Homer’s Odyssey, then he’s going to have it coming with Odysseus soon.

Type: Humanoid
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Bipedal with one eye are its defining features. Usually humanoid. Traditionally a hairy giant covered in insects and filth. They also smell terrible. However, it could take on a humanoid appearance and be normal size like Leela from Futurama, though I’m not sure if she’s technically one but she matches a lot of depictions. Could resemble anything from trolls to Sasquatch. Sometimes depicted with a horn on its head, too. In Greek mythology there are many different types such as the Steropes, Arges, and the Brontes (yet I’m sure they aren’t the sisters who wrote about madwomen in attics and women falling for awful men like Heathcliff or Mr. Rochester).
Behavior: Their social behavior varies. Can have repulsive grooming habits as well as spend a lot of time making tools and weapons for Hephaestus.
Habitat: Various regions of Greece and surrounding areas.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, they like to feast on raw flesh, including humans. Pounding their humongous hammers could cause earthquakes while heating from their furnaces could be responsible for volcanic eruptions, according to the Ancient Greeks. Yet, they possess great strength and stamina, have power over lightning, acute hearing and vision, and are invulnerable to heat. Still, since many of them are Poseidon’s kids, you don’t want to mess with them.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not, since they’re technically humanoid.
How to Get Rid of It: Well, according to Odysseus, getting one drunk and sticking a spear into its eye certainly did the trick. Let’s just say Polyphemus had no idea what he was dealing with. Still, most of the time you don’t want to get rid of them if they’re working under Hephaestus, not that you won’t be able to kill them anyway.

8. Chimera

Despite the butch appearance of a mane, the Chimera is actually a girl. Don't ask me I get this tidbit from Greek mythology here. Still, I'm sure the Chimera's masculine appearance won't get her labeled as a member of a lioness softball team or associated with the East German lionesses.

Despite the butch appearance of a mane, the Chimera is actually a girl. Don’t ask me I get this tidbit from Greek mythology here. Still, I’m sure the Chimera’s masculine appearance won’t get her labeled as a member of a lioness softball team or associated with the East German lionesses.

Type: Hybrid
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Traditionally depicted with three heads consisting of a snake, lioness, and goat, yet configuration varies. Has a body of a lioness. Some depictions have a lion mane even though the one in Greek Mythology is female. Sometimes depicted with another snake head, goat horns, and/or dragon wings. Sometimes portrayed with two snake heads and no goat head at all. Sometimes even has a dragon head or feather wings.
Behavior: Usually solitary.
Habitat: Lycia in Ancient Greece.
Is It Dangerous?: Oh, yes. Can breathe fire and have three heads attack independently. Has been known to kill people and resist many attempts on her life. Seeing her was a bad omen for storms, shipwrecks, and natural disasters. Is very strong, has enhanced senses, and very sharp claws.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not.
How to Get Rid of It: Poisoned spear by Bellerophon with the help of Pegasus.

9. Bigfoot (a. k. a. Sasquatch)

I'm sure you won't see this scene from Harry and the Hendersons. Still, you don't want to mess with this Sasquatch.

I’m sure you won’t see this scene from Harry and the Hendersons. Still, you don’t want to mess with this Sasquatch.

Type: Cryptid, Humanoid
From: United States, possibly from Native American Legend
Features: Usually depicted as a large, hairy, bipedal humanoid. Kind of a cross between a human and a large ape, particularly an orangutan or gorilla. Can be 7-9ft tall and weigh up to 500 pounds. Has big feet. Can live up to 123 years.
Behavior: Solitary. Omnivorous and mainly nocturnal.
Habitat: Mainly in forests in the Pacific Northwest.
Is It Dangerous?: It can be since it can crush trees with a single punch and has enhanced senses, particularly night vision and smell. Still, you don’t want to mess with it.
Can It Be Domesticated?: If domesticating one didn’t work out for the Hendersons, then it certainly won’t work out for you.
How to Get Rid of It: If you actually saw one, you wouldn’t want to get rid of it, especially if you work for the History Channel.

10. Cetus

Of course, "release the Cetus" doesn't seem to be quite badass. Still, this is the monster that Perseus saved Andromeda from and not the Kraken which would make more mythological sense if it was featured in Thor.

Of course, “release the Cetus” doesn’t seem to be quite badass. Still, this is the monster that Perseus saved Andromeda from and not the Kraken which would make more mythological sense if it was featured in Thor.

Type: Dragon, Sea Monster
From: Greek Mythology (it’s actually the monster Perseus fought to save Andromeda, the Kraken was just used for Clash of the Titans because Ray Harryhausen simply didn’t want to do another dragon. Of course, “Release the Cetus” doesn’t have a nice ring to it.)
Features: Has large head, clawed forearms, serpent-like body and tail. Could be depicted as a sea monster or serpentine fish. Said to have canine like front legs and a whale’s torso with a serpentine tail slit at the end.
Behavior: Solitary and only does Poseidon’s bidding.
Habitat: Western Asia. Is amphibious so it could live on sea or land.
Is It Dangerous?: Well, it nearly killed Andromeda who was chained to a rock for its dinner. Has been known to destroy an entire city. Still, you only have to worry about its viciousness if you’re not on good terms with Poseidon.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Only if you’re Poseidon since it’s his pet.
How to Get Rid of It: Perseus just used Medusa’s severed head and held it up to the creature’s eyes.

11. Ladon

Of course, if you want any of them golden apples, you'll have to get through this serpentine dragon first, Hercules.

Of course, if you want any of them golden apples, you’ll have to get through this serpentine dragon first, Hercules.

Type: Dragon, Serpent
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Snake like with numerous heads. Sometimes depicted as a standard dragon.
Behavior: Solitary. Guards the golden apples in the Garden of Hesperides.
Habitat: The Garden of the Hesperides. Resides twisted around the tree of the golden apples.
Is It Dangerous?: Yes, it’s dangerous since it’s pretty fierce and is charged to guard the golden apples.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Well, it’s charged to guard the golden apples for the gods so it must be answerable to somebody.
How to Get Rid of It: Killed by Hercules with an arrow in most versions, though it’s observed by Jason and the Argonauts sometime later.

12. Erymanthian Boar

Now here's one nasty pig that's big, mean, and wildly out of control. You don't want to get past this piece of bacon.

Now here’s one nasty pig that’s big, mean, and wildly out of control. You don’t want to get past this piece of bacon.

Type: Abnormal Animal
From: Greek Mythology
Features: Extremely large boar with razor sharp teeth. As tall as an adult human and weighs a ton. Said to have canine teeth and large upward tusks. Snored loudly.
Behavior: Solitary and very aggressive.
Habitat: Mount Erymanthus
Is It Dangerous?: Yep, very aggressive. Would descend Mount Erymanthus daily goring and ramming victims as well as rampaging the countryside. This is one very nasty pig.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Well, it was used by the gods at times to settle scores. May have been owned by Apollo.
How to Get Rid of It: Captured by Hercules who provoked to run outside its den into the deep snow.

13. Fafnir

Basically, the story of Fafnir guarding a large treasure trove in a mountain only to be defeated by a little person would later be ripped of by J. R. R. Tolkein. Look it up, LOTR and Hobbit fans. Still, my parents aren't to fond of the Peter Jackson movies.

Basically, the story of Fafnir guarding a large treasure trove in a mountain only to be defeated by a little person would later be ripped off by J. R. R. Tolkein. Look it up, LOTR and Hobbit fans. Still, my parents aren’t to fond of the Peter Jackson movies. Well, as far as The Hobbit is concerned.

Type: Dragon, Serpent
From: Norse Mythology (inspiration for Smaug from The Hobbit)
Features: Traditionally serpent-like and huge. Often depicted as a conventional dragon and occasionally with a horn on his head. Can also talk.
Behavior: Solitary. Used to be the son of a dwarf king until he got greedy and mean.
Habitat: Iceland. Lives in a cave where he greedily guards his cursed treasure of Andvari.
Is It Dangerous?: Yes, he breathes poison all around the countryside and is very strong.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Owing that he was once a dwarf and has an agenda, then no.
How to Get Rid of It: Mortally struck by Sigurd with a sword. Yet, he did say the guy’s foster father wanted to kill him and have the treasure himself.

14. Wyvern

Defeat one of these nasty dragons and you'll be a local legend in your town for life. Seriously, it's a very dangerous dragon, which should suit Hagrid just fine.

Defeat one of these nasty dragons and you’ll be a local legend in your town for life. Seriously, it’s a very dangerous dragon, which should suit Hagrid just fine.

Type: Dragon
From: Northern Europe Folklore
Features: Serpentine head, winged spiked body with pointed tail. Have very long legs and very terrible breath reminiscent of devoured meat and flesh. Has no arms. One of the largest species of dragons. Sometimes depicted with horns. A sea dwelling variant has a fish tail.
Behavior: Solitary. Always flying and looking for food.
Habitat: Europe.
Is It Dangerous?: Oh, yes. They could expel fire from their noses and are deemed exceptionally powerful and evil to the core. They eat just about any animal they could get their hands on and kill without remorse. Can squash crowds of people, herds of livestock, and even village buildings.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not.
How to Get Rid of It: Legend doesn’t quite say but those who do kill one are usually seen as heroes. Make that what you will.

15. Tarrasque (a. k. a. Tarasco)

No, contrary to its appearance, this fire breathing monster isn't a dinosaur from Jurassic Park. Actually it's a ferocious dragon from French Folklore.

No, contrary to its appearance, this fire breathing monster isn’t a dinosaur from Jurassic Park. Actually it’s a ferocious dragon from French Folklore.

Type: Dragon
From: French Folklore
Features: Sharp fangs, body covered in large iron-like scales, and whip like tail. Said to have a lion’s head, ox like body covered in turtle shell, spikes along its back, and a scorpion stinger tail. Often depicted as a giant spiked turtle-lizard.
Behavior: Solitary.
Habitat: Nerulac, France
Is It Dangerous?: Hell yes. Spews fire from its mouth, tail is poisonous, and could destroy buildings. Destroyed many villages and killed many peasants. Was invincible against knights and catapults. Yet, has a weakness for soft music.
Can It Be Domesticated?: Absolutely not unless you’re Saint Martha.
How to Get Rid of It: Calmed down by Saint Martha of Bethany (don’t ask me) by music and blinded it with her lock of hair made into a leash. Once she led it to Nerulac, the villagers killed it once and for all.

Celtic Mythology Reexamined: Figures from Arthurian Legend

Camelot_Avalon_Empowerment

Sorry, but the figures you won’t find in this post are Sir Robin, the fighting obsessed Black Knight, the women of Castle Anthrax, the Knights of Ni, Brother Maynard, Prince Herbert, Tim the Enchanter, the Killer Rabbit and the Monster of Aaaargh. King Arthur: “On second thought, let’s not go to Camelot. It’s a silly place.”

While Celtic mythology is rather influential in itself though you may not realize it with many popular legends and figures. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to sort out since Celts were largely spread out in Western Europe, had no writing system, and a lot were conquered and assimilated rather early (like before Jesus) so much of their legends didn’t survive save maybe those coming from Ireland or the British Isles. Not to mention, the fact that most of what we know in Celtic mythology was written down during the Middle Ages when most of Europe was Christian, which can muddle a few things as well as lots of characters with names hard to pronounce. Don’t get me wrong but there’s a reason why I’m doing a post on Celtic gods or goddesses. Nevertheless, one of the more popular stories revolves around a man named King Arthur with his Knights of the Round Table in Camelot, the renown wizard Merlin, his wife Guinevere, and so many others. Though we’re not sure whether Arthur was a real historical figure (if so then a Romano-British general of some outpost who fought against the Saxons) or a mythological king, these legends (though Christianized) enjoyed a lot of popularity in Medieval Europe (as well as up to today in fact) particularly in England where he’s been seen as a national figure (though the earliest stories came from Wales and Cornwall in the 5th century. Also, these stories have been very popular in France.). Nevertheless, these legends aren’t known for their consistency. So without further adieu, here are an assortment of figures from the Arthurian Legends.

1. King Arthur

King Arthur receiving Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake after the Sword in the Stone is broken. Known for glowing brightly as well as having an insanely sharp edge. Scabbard is said to stop the wearer from bleeding. It's said that who wielded Excalibur could never be defeated in battle, though this isn't set in stone.

King Arthur receiving Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake after the Sword in the Stone is broken. Known for glowing brightly as well as having an insanely sharp edge. Scabbard is said to stop the wearer from bleeding. It’s said that who wielded Excalibur could never be defeated in battle, though this isn’t set in stone.

You know him as: The perfect warrior king who ruled Great Britain during a Golden Age with Merlin at his side but fell to treachery and now sleeps, waiting for his land’s hour of need (or else has succumbed to his wounds after the Battle of Camlann). He’s a legendary and somewhat tragic figure who tries to overcome the land’s chaos and the notion of “might makes right” through noble chivalry but is ultimately undone. Son of Uther Pendragon and Igraine who was married to Duke Gorlois of Cornwall at the time her famous son was conceived through a rape by deception (assisted by Merlin no less, though Uther and Igraine got married before he was born but poor Gorlois {who got killed}, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth). Raised by Merlin (or Sir Ector depending on the version). Became king when he pulled the Sword in the Stone (which may not have been Excalibur depending on version. If not, then he received it as a gift from the Lady of the Lake after the Sword in the Stone breaks). United Britain, set up a Round Table with his Knights, drives off the Saxons, and reigns as a beloved king in an age of chivalry. Should’ve paid more attention to Guinevere if you know what I mean.

What you don’t know about him: Though always a warrior hero, he wasn’t always the clean-cut king we all know and love. In earlier traditions he was quite lustful, jealous, prideful, and greedy. He could be seen quarreling with churchmen, trying to steal Tristan’s pigs, killing a rival over a woman, and fathering several sons, none of them by Guinevere. Oh, and in the earlier legends, he was more of a warrior than king doing his own grunt work half the time as well as becomes king only because he’s the only guy to stall the Saxon invasion. Oh, and when he has Guinevere burned at the stake, he’s not conflicted about it at all in the original rendition. Yet, at least the early legends didn’t have him trying drown all the Mayday babies after finding out he knocked up his sister.

Earliest Mention: First surviving reference from Welsh and Breton sources at around 600 A. D. In the earlier stories, he’s only an allied commander and war hero and commander of lower birth who won a lot of battles against the Saxons in the 7th century Historia Brittonum (which has the first description of Arthur’s career.) He’s also said to have a dog named Cabal and kill his own son Amr.

2. Merlin

Merlin is perhaps the inspiration of the old wizard archetype that has taken the form of Albus Dumbledore and Gandalf the Gray. Yet, this doesn't mean that Merlin is wholly good since his portrayal is rather dependent on the writer who could cast him as a hero, anti-hero, or villain.

Merlin is perhaps the inspiration of the old wizard archetype that has taken the form of Albus Dumbledore and Gandalf the Gray. Yet, this doesn’t mean that Merlin is wholly good since his portrayal is rather dependent on the writer who could cast him as a hero, anti-hero, or villain.

You know him as: King Arthur’s wizard mentor who may have raised him (except in the stories in which Sir Ector does then Merlin is just the honorary uncle who leaves him at Sir Ector’s doorstep). In most versions, he’s the son of mortal nun raped by a demon explaining why he has magic powers he could only use for good and was said to be one of the last shape-changers during his childhood. Through magic and intrigue he’s responsible for King Arthur’s existence and rise to glory as well as many other events in Arthurian legend. Had a tendency to teach magic to younger women and his relationship with Nimue led to her betraying him and binding him to a tree, rock, or cave (depending on version).

What you don’t know about him: Though his mom is almost always a mortal woman, his dad’s identity varies through legend. Sometimes he’s a demon and in others he could be a fairy, deity, Satan, or nobody. Still, his actions could be highly questionable such as helping Uther to disguise himself as Gorlois so he could father Arthur with Igraine, snatching Arthur away and having someone else raise him, as well arranging the Sword in the Stone test so events would happen as prophesied. Not telling Arthur who his parents were caused many rebellions during the latter’s early reign, as well as Arthur knocking up his sister, and the May Day massacre.

Earliest Mention: Merlin as we know him appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britannae written around 1136 and was based on an amalgamation of previous historical and mythical figures. Geoffrey originally based his version on eccentric mystic Myrddin Wyllt and Romano-British war leader, Ambrosius Aurelianus. Referred as Merlin Ambrosius  by Geoffrey of Monmouth for this reason.

3. Queen Guinevere

Guinevere has been portrayed as everything from a weak and opportunistic traitor to a fatally flawed but noble and virtuous gentlewoman. She could be praised for her friendliness, intelligence, and gentility or depicted as a vindictive adultress disliked by well-bred knights. Sometimes she's portrayed inauspiciously or hardly at all.

Guinevere has been portrayed as everything from a weak and opportunistic traitor to a fatally flawed but noble and virtuous gentlewoman. She could be praised for her friendliness, intelligence, and gentility or depicted as a vindictive adultress disliked by well-bred knights. Sometimes she’s portrayed inauspiciously or hardly at all.

You know her as: King Arthur’s wife and consort as well as best known for dooming her husband’s kingdom by having an affair with Sir Lancelot (well, the later legends anyway). Daughter of King Leodegrance (in the non-Welsh medieval romance), she was known for her great beauty and intelligence. After her affair with Sir Lancelot was exposed, Arthur condemned her to burn at the stake though Lancelot eventually rescued her anyway which sent Arthur into a rage and pressure the king to confront the knight. While Arthur is in France, Mordred prepares to take over and marry her himself. Her fate after this depends according to version (either she assented, ran away to hide in the Tower of London, or spent the rest of her life in a convent.) After Camlann, she meets Lancelot one last time before returning to the convent to spend the rest of her life. She also had famous abduction story where she’s kidnapped by the king of the “Summer Country” and King Arthur had to spend a year to find her and are finally reunited by Saint Gildas (in one of the earlier renditions. In a later rendition, she’s rescued by Lancelot and their affair begins from here.)

What you don’t know about her: In the earlier Welsh legends, King Arthur is married to three Guineveres (or she just has 3 different dads) and her family composition varies by version. In early Welsh variants, she has a sister Gwenhwyfach and it’s their contention that led to the Battle of Camlann. In the stories where she’s the daughter of King Leodegrance, she has an evil identical half-sister with the same name who tries to get rid of her and ruin her life but was stopped thanks to the Pope. Though childless in most stories, one has her bearing two sons to Mordred and she sometimes takes up with him, too in some variants as well.  In Geoffrey of Monmouth’s account, she’s a beautiful educated Romano-British noblewoman in stories prior to the 13th century, she’s badass warrior and magic-user.

Earliest Mention: Earliest mention of her as King Arthur’s queen is in the Welsh tale Culhwch ac Olwen written in the early 1100s, but little more is said about her. Also, her name has a lot of spelling variations.

4. Sir Lancelot

Sir Lancelot may have been a latecomer in the Arthurian mythos but he quickly became very popular afterwards. In the later romances he's a main focus.

Sir Lancelot may have been a latecomer in the Arthurian mythos but he quickly became very popular afterwards. In the later romances he’s a main focus. Also, Guinevere isn’t the only woman he’s linked with in the legends.

You know him as: He’s probably the Knight of the Round Table you’re most familiar with and is seen as King Arthur’s greatest champion whose affair with Queen Guinevere brings Camelot’s downfall. Seen as the bravest knight, sometimes uniquely perfect in every way save his relationships with women as well as buddies with almost all the knights. Son of King Ban and Queen Elaine by was raised by the Lady of the Lake. Father of Sir Galahad with Elaine of Corbenic who had him sleep with her by tricking him into thinking she was Guinevere (though it’s said they were married for ten years after that.) Went on the Holy Grail quest to atone for his sins but he forgot everything about purity and all that as well as resumes his affair with Guinevere. When found out, he escaped before King Arthur could confront him but he rescues Guinevere from the stake. They meet one last time after Arthur’s death before he spends the rest of his life as a priest by her death.

What you don’t know about him: While known to go on a homicidal rampage in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it’s worth remembering that he was mentally unstable prone to slaughtering innocents at no provocation, only to collapse in abject apologies afterward in the Sir Thomas Malory rendition (this is exactly how Monty Python depicted him though they depict him as rather sexually ambiguous.) Also had the habit of wandering into the other knights’ pavilions and making himself at home. Not to mention, he’s actually a relative latecomer as a Knight of the Round Table he joins long after it’s assembled.

Earliest Mention: Introduced in the 12th century by French writer Chretien de Troyes in Erec and Enide. First appearance as a main character was in Le Chevelier de la Charette (or “Lancelot, Knight of the Cart”). His patron was one of Queen Eleanor of Acquitaine’s daughters who may have ordered de Troyes to add Lancelot’s infamous affair with Guinevere. Thus, it’s possible the entire crux of a huge portion of the Arthurian Romances was the result of a lady wanting to turn an adventure story into a medieval equivalent of a Harlequin Romance novel.

5. Sir Gawain

Sir Gawain was King Arthur's nephew and original champion. He's known for his unparallelled courteousness and his way with women. His symbol is a gold pentangle on a red background (at least from the Green Knight legend).

Sir Gawain was King Arthur’s nephew and original champion. He’s known for his unparallelled courteousness and his way with women. His symbol is a gold pentangle on a red background (at least from the Green Knight legend).

You know him as: Knight of the Round Table and King Arthur’s nephew. Son of Morgause and King Lot of Lothain and Orkney, he is the best known of the Orkney brothers (depending on whether you accept Mordred as one of them.) Before Sir Lancelot, he was King Arthur’s greatest champion. He’s often seen as formidable, courteous, and compassionate warrior who’s loyal to his king and family. He’s a friend to young knights, defender of the poor, and defender of women as “The Maiden’s Knight.” Some legends have the sun as his source of strength and is said to be a great healer through his knowledge of herbs. Best known stories of him are his struggles with the Green Knight and his wedding to Dame Ragnell (an early prot0-feminist tale. Yet, he’s been romantically linked to other women in legends particularly Lady Bertilak from the Green Knight legend. He’s also credited with fathering at least 3 kids.)  Accompanied King Arthur on the quest for the Holy Grail yet, is buddies with Sir Percival, and  feuded with Sir Lancelot after the latter killed a few of his brothers (save Mordred.) Dies in an attempt to prevent Mordred’s usurpation.

What you don’t know about him: In the earlier legends, it’s implied that he’s King Arthur’s second-in-command as well as the true and rightful heir to his uncle’s throne. Of course, he was later struck down by Mordred’s forces. The French legends about him weren’t as glowing about him and depict him as a proud and worldly knight demonstrating through his failures the danger of neglecting the spirit for futile gifts of the material world. On the Post-Vulgate Grail Quest, he always has the purest intentions but can’t see God’s grace to notice the error in his ways.

Earliest Mention: He’s been mentioned in some of the earliest Welsh Arthurian sources under the name Gwalchmei who was seen as a traditional Welsh hero.

6. Sir Percival

There are many versions of Sir Percival's birth and family. His father may be Alain de Gros, King Pellinore, or another worthy knight. If Pellinore, then his brothers are Sir Agovale, Sir Lamorak, Sir Dornar, and Sir Tor. Guess there's a reason why his mom didn't want him to be a knight.

There are many versions of Sir Percival’s birth and family. His father may be Alain de Gros, King Pellinore, or another worthy knight. If Pellinore, then his brothers are Sir Agovale, Sir Lamorak, Sir Dornar, and Sir Tor. Guess there’s a reason why his mom didn’t want him to be a knight.

You know him as: Knight of the Round Table and known as “the Best Knight of the World.” Said to be the youngest of King Arthur’s knights as well as rather naive with few social skills since his mom raised him in the Welsh forests ignorant of the ways of men until he was 15 (then he went to join the Round Table through beating Sir Kay.) Still, in a lot of stories, he’s either a virgin or has very little experience with women, which is okay since he’s a teenager. Yet, don’t attack anyone unarmed in front of him or he will beat you up as Sir Kay learned the hard way. In some stories he has a sword that could cut through anything and would never break except in the toughest battle of his life. Best known for his involvement in the Holy Grail quest in which he meets the Fisher King but fails to answer a question to heal him, resists a beautiful enchantress, and was one of the two knights who accompanied Sir Galahad at the Grail castle.

What you don’t know about him: In earlier Grail narratives, he’s the hero while Galahad takes over in the later legends. Also, while he has a girlfriend in the earlier works, he’s certainly sexually inexperienced in the later versions and almost certainly stays that way since he becomes a monk. In some tales, he’s best friends with Sir Gawain (who’s sometimes his cousin) and in one legend even chooses to share a curse Gawain brought upon himself. His willingness to save his friend’s life by splitting the curse in half though they each get wounded badly.

Earliest Mention: He’s a difficult case. While he first appears under his regular name during the 1100s in Chrietien de Troyes’ le Conte du Graal (“Perceval, the Story of the Grail”), there is a similar character named Peredur in the Welsh legends but to what extent de Troyes adapted such stories into his work is a matter of debate.

7. Sir Galahad

Sir Galahad is one of the more familiar Knights of the Round Table but he's one of the most recent and least interesting. Rather he's seen as "the world's greatest knight." Then again, his character may have been inspired by the practices of the Cistercian Order founded by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.

Sir Galahad is one of the more familiar Knights of the Round Table but he’s one of the most recent and least interesting. Rather he’s seen as “the world’s greatest knight.” Then again, his character may have been inspired by the practices of the Cistercian Order founded by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.

You know him as: Knight of the Round Table and hero of the Holy Grail legend. Though an illegitimate son (conceived through rape of deception) of Sir Lancelot and Elaine of Corbenic, he is known for his gallantry and purity. Upon reaching adulthood, he’s knighted by his dad and joins the Round Table after being the only person to survive the Siege Perilous and pulling a sword out of a rock. During the Grail Quest, he smites his enemies, saves Sir Percival from 20 knights, rescues damsels in distress, and what not. After receiving the Grail, he is taken up to Heaven and never to be seen again.

What you don’t know about him: He was actually named after his dad Sir Lancelot (who’s name was originally Galahad before changing it). Also, despite being one of the best known Knights of the Round Table, he doesn’t really do much except go on a quest for the Holy Grail which was what he was pretty much chosen for.

Earliest Mention: He’s a latecomer in Arthurian legend with his first appearance being in the 13th century French Lancelot-Grail cycle. Most of what he does in the Holy Grail quest, Sir Percival does in earlier versions.

8. Sir Kay

Though known for his bad mouth as well as bullying and boorish behavior, Sir Kay appeared in some of the earliest Arthurian legends as one of King Arthur's premier knights. Later legends have him as a jerk to get the crap beat out of him.

Though known for his bad mouth as well as bullying and boorish behavior, Sir Kay appeared in some of the earliest Arthurian legends as one of King Arthur’s premier knights. Later legends have him as a jerk to get the crap beat out of him.

You know him as: As son of Sir Ector, he’s King Arthur’s foster brother, seneschal, as well as one of the first Knights of the Round Table. Though a loyal and capable knight, he tends to manipulate the king to get his way and prior to the Sword of the Stone story (the story he’s best known in), Arthur was his squire at a tournament who only pulled the sword out because he couldn’t get the new knight’s sword due to being locked out of the house. Sure he tries to claim he pulled the sword but later relents it was Arthur. He’s also kind of a hothead with a fiery temper and sometimes could be bit of a bully who mainly serves either as a foil or to get the crap beat out of him by the new knight.

What you don’t know about him: While he’s not seen in a great light in the best known Arthurian legends, the Welsh legends have him as a really badass knight capable of magical powers like growing giant size, generating so much body heat he could keep dry in the rain, holding his breath underwater for 9 days as well as going without sleep the same amount of time. Also, it’s said that if no wounds could be healed from his sword.

Earliest Mention: He’s one of the earliest characters in Arthurian legend from the original Welsh tales.

9. Sir Bedivere

Sir Bedivere returning Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake. Though a prominent figure in the early Arthurian Mythos, this is what he's most remembered for. Well, that and trying women for witchcraft by weighing them against ducks.

Sir Bedivere returning Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake. Though a prominent figure in the early Arthurian Mythos, this is what he’s most remembered for. Well, that and trying women for witchcraft by weighing them against ducks.

You know him as: Early Knight of the Round Table and King Arthur’s marshal (or cup-bearer in later versions.) In the Arthurian mythos, he’s best known for being the only Round Table Knight to survive the Battle of Camlann and throws Excalibur back to the Lady of the Lake at the mortally wounded King Arthur’s request.  In pop culture, he’s best known for condemning a woman to death for witchcraft by weighing her against against a duck since he believes she’s made out of wood in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

What you don’t know about him: In older Welsh legends, he’s the handsome one handed knight with a four pronged spear and was known for using dark magic against his foes with great skill and aggression to the townspeople’s chagrin. He’s also said to be the best looking knight in Britain.

Earliest Mention: He’s one of the oldest characters in Arthurian legend from the original Welsh tales.

10. Sir Mordred

Sir Mordred once a capable knight only to become traitor when discovering he was a product of incest. In the Welsh sources, he's only King Arthur's nephew and in the earliest sources, they're not related at all.

Sir Mordred who was once a capable knight only to become traitor when discovering he was a product of incest. In the Welsh sources, he’s only King Arthur’s nephew and in the earliest sources, they’re not related at all.

You know him as: Knight of the Round Table and notorious traitor who fought King Arthur at the Battle of Camlann where that claimed both their lives (or at least his if you accept the King Arthur in sleep narrative). He’s popularly seen as King Arthur’s illegitimate son by his half-sister Morgause (if not, then Morgan Le Fay). At first, he’s a loyal and competent knight until he finds out about his real father. Let’s just say it’s goes downhill from there. Though two of his half-brothers expose Guinevere’s affair with Sir Lancelot, he nevertheless exploits it when King Arthur leaves him in charge of the kingdom so he could fight the guy who slept with his wife. Once his uncle dad is gone, he officially has himself declared king. Camlann is fought when King Arthur returns.

What you don’t know about him: In the Welsh legends, he’s only King Arthur’s nephew (if related at all) and foster son as well as was legitimately conceived between Morgause and her husband. In stories where he takes over the kingdom while King Arthur is away, he marries (or at least tries to marry) Guinevere though she didn’t have much choice in the matter. In stories he doesn’t, he’s married to Queen Guinevere’s sister Gwenhwyfach (making him King Arthur’s brother-in-law) and his inevitable confrontation with King Arthur at Camlann was due to a spat between their wives.

Earliest Mention: The first surviving mention of him is in the 10th century Annales Cambriae where he’s listed as Merdaut. All it says is that him and Arthur died at Camlann but it’s never certain whether they killed each other or were on opposite sides. He first plays role of traitor on Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britannae.

11. Sir Palomides

Sir Palomides may be the most famous Non-European Knight of the Round Table, but he has such rotten luck. Not only did he fall in love with a girl who had the hots for his best friend, but in some stories, he's killed after the Grail Quest for killing that woman's husband.

Sir Palomides may be the most famous Non-European Knight of the Round Table, but he has such rotten luck. Not only did he fall in love with a girl who had the hots for his best friend, but in some stories, he’s killed after the Grail Quest for killing that woman’s husband.

You know him as: Knight of the Round Table from the Middle East along with his brothers Segwarides and Safir. Originally a pagan prince of Esclabor before converting to Christianity (in some versions during the Grail Quest). While best friends with Sir Tristan, he sort of resents him when they both fall in love with Iseult the Fair, though he doesn’t want that to t ruin their relationship (also, because he lost a joust with Sir Tristan that determined which one called dibs). Best known for taking over King Pellinore’s hunt for the Questing Beast which proved to be just as fruitless as the hope of having a relationship with Iseult the Fair (though Sir Thomas Malory has him finally slay the beast after his conversion to Christianity which releases him from worldly entanglements).

What you don’t know about him: His fate differs according to version. In Sir Thomas Malory’s tale, he sides with Sir Lancelot after the latter’s affair with Queen Guinevere is exposed and is made a Duke of Provence. In the Post-Vulgate version, Sir Gawain kills him after the Holy Grail Quest since he killed King Mark of Cornwall for slaying Sir Tristan.

Earliest Mention: First appears in the 13th century Prose Tristan an expansion of the Tristan and Isolde story.

12. Sir Ywain

Sure Sir Ywain may have killed a supernatural fountain guardian who beat up his cousin and later married the guy's widow. But he at least has a cool lion despite that he's the Round Table Knight you probably never heard of.

Sure Sir Ywain may have killed a supernatural fountain guardian who beat up his cousin and later married the guy’s widow. But he at least has a cool lion despite that he’s the Round Table Knight you probably never heard of.

You know him as: Knight of the Round Table and son of King Urien (sometimes with Morgan Le Fay, which makes him King Arthur’s nephew). Best known for rescuing a lion from a serpent who proves to be a loyal companion and symbol of knightly virtue. As for him, not so much since he ended up killing a guardian of a supernatural storm-causing fountain because the guy beat up his cousin. Not to mention, he also marries the guy’s widow Laudine who later dumps him after Sir Gawain tempts him into another adventure (they make up thanks to the lion helping him to shape up after he’s basically devastated by the whole thing).

What you don’t know about him: He was a very popular character in the Arthurian legends during the Middle Ages though he’s not a well known knight nowadays though he’s more or less seen as “the one with the lion” if he is. Also, there’s a Welsh legend of him playing chess with King Arthur as the Saxons prepare to fight the Battle of Badon.

Earliest Mention: He’s one of the earliest characters associated with King Arthur from the Welsh legends. Also, he’s based on the historical figure Owain mab Urien, King of Reghed in Great Britain.

13. Sir Tristan

I don't know about Sir Tristan here, but I'm sure that sharing a love potion with your uncle's fiancee is never a good idea. Really not a good idea, on a positive note, he's not in the Harry Potter universe where love potions are date rape drugs.

I don’t know about Sir Tristan here, but I’m sure that sharing a love potion with your uncle’s fiancee is never a good idea. Really not a good idea, on a positive note, he’s not in the Harry Potter universe where love potions are date rape drugs.

You know him as: Knight of the Roundtable who was sent by his Uncle King Mark of Cornwall to fetch the Irish princess Iseult the Fair for the Cornish king’s wedding. Yet, on the way, they accidentally consume a love potion and fall helplessly in love. Though she marries King Mark as promised, the pair undergo a lot of trials and tribulations that test their secret affair. Of course, this goes on until their tragic deaths by despair (his by poison out of thinking she abandoned him) but they’re buried side by side as two star crossed lovers should be with a honeysuckle springing from her grave around a hazel tree growing from his (that or a briar twirling around a rose or just pain dead).

What you don’t know about him: Since he couldn’t marry his beloved Iseult the Fair, he married another woman named Iseult of the White Handsand is only attracted to her because she shared his beloved’s name. It goes as worse as you’d expect since this Iseult ended up indirectly killing him by saying his beloved was never coming back just as the girl arrives to cure him.

Earliest Mention: He makes his early appearance in the early 12th century in Celtic mythology and/or folklore though his affair with Iseult the Fair is incorporated into the Arthurian Mythos later.

14. Morgause

Though Queen of Lothain and Orkney and mother of five sons and a number of daughters, Morgause still has a heft sexual appetite. Yet, this is what did her in at the end when her son Gaheris lopped her head off.

Though Queen of Lothain and Orkney and mother of five sons and a number of daughters, Morgause still has a heft sexual appetite. Yet, this is what did her in at the end when her son Gaheris lopped her head off.

You know her as: King Arthur’s half-sister, wife of King Lot of Lothain and Orkney, and mother of the Orkney brothers: Sir Gawain, Sir Agavain, Sir Gareth, Sir Gaheris, and Sir Mordred. May have conceived Mordred with King Arthur in an act of inadvertent incest, but they’re estranged upon realization for good reason. Yet, despite five boys and a number of daughters, she manages to be some sort of cougar being very friendly with younger men (King Arthur included). After King Lot’s death, she has an affair with Sir Lamorak (son of the guy who killed her husband), which leads to her son Sir Gaheris beheading her in bed though tries to frame her lover leading Agavain, Gawain, and Mordred to get rid of him.

What you don’t know about her: In her earlier stories, she does nothing but be the mother of the Orkney brothers. She doesn’t become a fully formed character until Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. Also tends to be combined with Morgan Le Fay and some scholars think she was created due to a translation error.

Earliest Mention: She’s a later addition appearing in Chretien de Troyes Perceval as Orcades. Yet, she did have a few earlier counterparts before then.

15. Morgan Le Fay

Morgan Le Fay is perhaps one of the best known characters in Arthurian legend as well as one of the most popular. Somehow there's something hard to resist with such a complex scheming witch who feels that Queen Guinevere's a hypocrite for banishing her lover and taking up with Sir Lancelot. Of course, she also had the hots for him as well.

Morgan Le Fay is perhaps one of the best known characters in Arthurian legend as well as one of the most popular. Somehow there’s something hard to resist with such a complex scheming witch who feels that Queen Guinevere’s a hypocrite for banishing her lover and taking up with Sir Lancelot. Of course, she also had the hots for him as well.

You know her as: King Arthur’s half-sister, a powerful sorceress, and in later traditions, wife of King Uriens and mother of Sir Ywain. Though some modern renditions make her Mordred’s mother, she is not but like her sister Morgause, she has a string of lovers nevertheless (though Uriens doesn’t seem to mind when she’s married to him). Yet, while she sometimes has a adversarial relationship with King Arthur (to the point when she tries to arrange his downfall but fails), she’s more of a an arch-enemy toward Guinevere (who exposed her having an affair with her cousin). Also, part of her hatred for Guinevere stems from the fact she herself wanted to sleep with Sir Lancelot. She devotes a lot of her time in the legend to exposing Guinevere’s affair with Sir Lancelot though King Arthur didn’t believe her no matter how hard she tried to convince him. Yet, somehow she mellows, she and Arthur reconcile, and soon takes him up to Avalon after Camlann.

What you don’t know about her: She may have started out in Arthurian legend as a supernatural being possibly a goddess. Also, she didn’t start out as King Arthur’s half-sister and actually had nine in her early appearances. Not only that, but her early appearances have her as a benevolent sorceress who might’ve saved King Arthur’s life. She also plays a role assisting Sir Ywain in one story, too as a healer but the story doesn’t imply that they are mother and son. Oh, and she appears in stories that are unconnected with the Arthurian Mythos as well.

Earliest Mention: It’s hard to say whether she started out as a French character or as a Welsh one. She’s first mentioned by name in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Vita Merlini while the later French tales feature her with all her familiar traits.

16. Nyneve

She may not have given King Arthur Excalibur but Nyneve's a magical being who's closely identified as being the Lady of the Lake. Also, has many names like Nimue, Niniane, and Vivian.

She may not have given King Arthur Excalibur but Nyneve’s a magical being who’s closely identified as being the Lady of the Lake. Also, has many names like Nimue, Niniane, and Vivian.

You know her as: She’s best known as the Lady of the Lake (though she’s not the one who gave King Arthur Excalibur, though she was a servant of hers in some versions who’s later beheaded in the Sir Thomas Malory stories).  Learned magic from Merlin who fell for her yet she ends up betraying him and using her powers to lock him in a tree, (rock, or cave). Afterwards, she replaces Merlin as King Arthur’s adviser. Still, her love is Sir Pelleas who she used her magic to hate a girl who was thoroughly uninterested in him (yet, she ended up dying in despair). Nevertheless, the guy lived mostly because of her. Associated with Avalon and may have raised Sir Lancelot.

What you don’t know about her: Though one of the more familiar characters in Arthurian legend, there’s not a lot of stories about her and her character.

Earliest Mention: Either in the works by Chretian de Troyes or the Lancelot Grail cycle. About as early as the 1100s maybe even before that.

17. Iseult the Fair

Iseult's affair with Sir Tristan is one of the more enduring medieval love stories that has stood the test of time. Yet, this was originally a separate story before being part of the Arthur Mythos.

Iseult’s affair with Sir Tristan is one of the more enduring medieval love stories that has stood the test of time. Yet, this was originally a separate story before being part of the Arthur Mythos.

You know her as: An Irish princess who heals Sir Tristan and is arranged to marry his Uncle King Mark of Cornwall. Yet, when she and Tristan accidentally drink a love potion en route, they fall hopelessly in love. Once she’s married, they embark on a tragic love affair consisting of secret meetings until King Mark banishes Tristan from Cornwall. They meet again when Tristan is poisoned (or stabbed in the back by King Mark once he catches him playing a harp from a tree).

What you don’t know about her: In verse tradition, she and Tristan don’t meet again after he’s banished until he’s on his deathbed. Some versions have their affair go much longer and in some stories they even have kids. Also, she has a lot of guys attracted to her mostly so they could have a conflict with Tristan.

Earliest Mention: Like Sir Tristan, she makes her first appearance in the 12th century in Celtic mythology and/or folklore, though her affair was treated as a separate story and incorporated in the the King Arthur Mythos later.

18. King Pellinore

King Pellinore on the endless hunt of the legendary Questing Beast whose appearance can't be articulated in this post. Still, this guy probably should've been making less war and spend more time with his family or families.

King Pellinore on the endless hunt of the legendary Questing Beast whose appearance can’t be articulated in this post. Still, this guy probably should’ve been making less war and spend more time with his family or families.

You know him as: Best known for his endless hunt of the Questing Beast and beating King Arthur in three jousts which breaks the Sword in the Stone, which leads to the latter to fetch Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake (if the sword is Excalibur, Merlin just enchants Arthur to save his life. Both become friends afterwards and he’s invited to join the Round Table afterwards. Also, he’s known to have a lot of kids to different women and at least has three sons join the Round Table, too (though he’s sometimes referred to as Sir Percival’s father). Not to mention, he helps King Arthur put down a lot of rebellions of other kings including his brother-in-law Lot of Lothian. Kills King Lot of Orkney during a battle that results in a blood feud with the Orkney brothers and many other deaths including his own son Lamorak.

What you don’t know about him: When trying to rescue Nyneve, he refused to provide aid to a wounded knight and his ailing lady. Lady later killed herself with her dead lover’s sword before he would eventually find out she was his own daughter.

Earliest Mention: He’s at least in Arthurian legend as early as the Post-Vulgate cycle.

Egyptian Mythology Reexamined: The Gods

Ancient Egypt was the home of one of the oldest civilizations on earth that existed for more than half of recorded history known for building the pyramids as well as mummies. Yet, it’s mythology is ancient and complex as well as lacked central authority so many major cities and areas in the region had their own important gods. Myths often got mixed up with gods having different roles, being combined with others to form new composite gods, and different family relationships as old gods fell into obscurity and new gods rose to prominence. Like many of the prominent Egyptian historical figures such as the royal family, the Egyptian gods did screw around with their siblings. Yet, they had animal heads but they took various forms in art mostly taking on symbolic concepts. Also, it was believed that the Egyptian gods were abstract forces anyway so who knows what these people believed the looked like. So without further adieu, I’ll list the more important gods of Egyptian mythology.

1. Ra

The god of the sun and chief deity as well as one of the most important and worshiped deities in Ancient Egypt. Takes many forms and names. Benevolent, but aloof and withdrawn to his important duties.

The god of the sun and chief deity as well as one of the most important and worshiped deities in Ancient Egypt. Takes many forms and names. Benevolent, but aloof and withdrawn to his important duties.

Domain: Primary sun god as well as sometimes the creator and wind god. King of the Egyptian gods and one of the more important deities for thousands of years. Thus, it goes without saying that he’s the most widely worshiped Egyptian god. Has many other names with each part of the sun or time of day of the sun often having its own name. Also, has a lot of various forms and manifestations as well as traveled on a solar barge. Is often combined with other gods with Atum-Ra and Amun-Ra as the most famous.

Pro: He’s a benevolent deity who embodies the positive and life giving properties of the sun. Is often too busy to be involved with other god’s squabbles since he has many important duties, yet he makes an exception whenever it comes to his archenemy Apophis.

Con: Is often seen as aloof. Tried to avert a prophecy that a child of the sky goddess Nut would be evil by forbidding her to have children on any day of the year (though Thoth managed to find a loophole for her anyway). Also, as Atum-Ra may have created the universe through masturbation, just to let you know.

Symbols and Motifs: Depicted in artwork as a man with a head of a hawk, a scarab (in his form of Khepri), or a ram. Also pictured as a full bodied ram, beetle, phoenix, heron, serpent, bull, cat, or lion among others. His symbol is a sun disk. As Amun Ra, his symbols are two vertical plums and the ram headed sphinx.

City: Heliopolis as Atum-Ra and Thebes as Amun-Ra.

2. Hathor

An important goddess in Ancient Egypt, Hathor was one of the most popular and widely worshiped in Ancient Egypt. She was the goddess of love and fertility who helped protect women during childbirth. Yet, she was also a hard drinking party girl you didn't want to anger.

An important goddess in Ancient Egypt, Hathor was one of the most popular and widely worshiped in Ancient Egypt. She was the goddess of love and fertility who helped protect women during childbirth. Yet, she was also a hard drinking party girl you didn’t want to anger.

Domain: Goddess of love, music, dance, drunkedness, fertility, miners, foreign lands, motherhood, beauty, and joy. An important goddess for women and one of Egypt’s most paramount sky deities as well as one of the most significant in Ancient Egypt. Worshiped by royalty and common people alike in whose tombs she’s depicted as “Mistress of the West” welcoming the dead into the next life. In some stories she’s depicted as the wife, daughter, or mother of Ra and sometimes the wife and mother of Horus. Yet, like Ra, she has other manifestations as well. Also one of the oldest gods with predynastic origins.

Pro: She’s a benevolent fun personified goddess as well as said to help women in childbirth. Also, she was very popular among the Ancient Egyptians who had more festivals dedicated to her as well as more children named after her than any other deity in Ancient Egypt. Never suffered from depression or doubt.

Con: Don’t get me wrong but she has a bad side as well as is single minded in pursuit of her goals and has a real nasty alter ego in the form of Sekamet (depending on the version). Not to mention, she’s been linked with just about every major god in the Egyptian pantheon in different versions of the mythology. Also, she’s a hard drinking party girl.

Symbols and Motifs: Often pictured in the form of a cow or a human with cow ears. Her symbol is the sistrum.

City: Dendera.

3. Set

While he was originally depicted as a powerful badass deity, Set was later significantly demonized as a god of evil after he was worshiped as the chief god of the Hyskos. Then again, he did kill his brother and tried to rape his own nephew. Also, don't ask me what the animal his head is supposed to represent.

While he was originally depicted as a powerful badass deity, Set was later significantly demonized as a god of evil after he was worshiped as the chief god of the Hyskos. Then again, he did kill his brother and tried to rape his own nephew. Also, don’t ask me what the animal his head is supposed to represent.

Domain: God associated with chaos, storms, disorder, violence, foreigners, and the desert. Originally he was a powerful protective deity for Upper Egypt guarding Ra on his nightly trips to the underworld and was the only god who could defeat Apophis as well as resist his hypnotic gaze. He was increasingly villainized after Egypt united and Horus worship became dominant, particularly after the Hyskos invasion (a people who identified him as their chief god). Most famous for killing his brother Osiris for the Egyptian throne, and contesting his nephew Horus over it.

Pro: Before Egyptian unification, he was quite the badass in upper Egypt who was the only god capable of defeating Apophis, which was the main reason why Ra employed him on his solar boat in the first place. His favorite food was lettuce which he ate for his fertility problems (being a god of the desert could do that). Also, has ties to a trickster archetype since he’s also capable of shape shifting and he did relent when Horus got his throne back (though he was humiliated in the process). Also, had a following by the Ramaseid dynasty for a time in the New Kingdom who were great fans of his.

Con: Let’s just say that as Horus got popular, Set was increasingly demonized, especially after  Egypt was invaded by a people who worshiped him as their chief god. Killed his brother Osiris for the throne (and possibly for screwing his wife Nephthys {which was more her fault than his} or because Nephthys wasn’t as hot as Isis) and chopped him into 14 pieces and would later (rape or at least try to or perhaps had consensual sex with) his nephew Horus (who challenged him for the throne). His relationship with Nephthys is rather dependent on how people perceived him.

Symbols and Motifs: We’re not sure what animal on his head is supposed to represent which could either be completely made up or the depiction was stylized until it became unrecognizable. Yet, he’s also associated with many animals including jackals, antelopes, hippos, snakes, wild boars, asses, and crocodiles. His symbol is the was-scepter.

City: Ombos and Sepermeru.

4. Bastet

Bastet is the one and only cat goddess to the greatest cat loving civilization in history. Sure she may be a benevolent deity but she can also be quite fierce, especially since she originally appeared in Lower Egypt as an intimidating lioness goddess.

Bastet is the one and only cat goddess to the greatest cat loving civilization in history. Sure she may be a benevolent deity but she can also be quite fierce, especially since she originally appeared in Lower Egypt as an intimidating lioness goddess.

Domain: A cat goddess associated with the sun, fertility, music, dance, protection, joy, love, and lionesses. Was very popular with children and common folk because protected them and kept their fields safe from crop destroying pests (which cats do by eating rats and mice). Called “Lady of the East.”

Pro: She’s a kind hearted cat lover who uses cats to protect the fields from being invested by vermin. After all, she was very popular in Egypt since she in the pantheon of one of the great cat loving civilizations of history. I mean they even mummified cats for God’s sake. Also, kind of a badass since she was seen as the defender of the pharaoh.

Con: She was originally a savage lion goddess akin to Sekhmet in Lower Egypt and could be quite aggressive. When she became a protective deity, her role in the pantheon would diminish as Sekhmet became more prominent after unification.

Symbols and Motifs: She’s often appears as a lioness and, well, small domestic cat. Her symbols are the lion, cat, and sistrum.

City: Bubastis

5. Sekhmet

The lioness headed goddess Sekhmet is perhaps one of the fiercest goddesses in the Egyptian pantheon. You don't want to be caught in one of her violent rampages if you ask me. Still, please don't call her a cougar. Just don't.

The lioness headed goddess Sekhmet is perhaps one of the fiercest goddesses in the Egyptian pantheon. You don’t want to be caught in one of her violent rampages if you ask me. Still, please don’t call her a cougar. Just don’t.

Domain: A darker counterpart of Bastet and Hathor. A lioness goddess originating in Upper Egypt specializing in war, poisons, vengeance, medicine, menstruation, and plagues. It’s said that her breath formed the desert as well as was seen as a protector of pharaohs and led them in warfare. Sometimes seen as a daughter to Ra.

Pro: Well, she’s a badass who’s seen as the protector of pharoahs and led them in warfare. In Upper Egypt, she was also associated with healing. I mean they worshiped her and had festivals in her honor for a reason. One of her nicknames was “(One) Before Whom Evil Trembles” as well as “One Who Is Powerful.”

Con: She’s a bloodthirsty maniac who went on an almost unstoppable rampage until Ra tricked her into getting drunk with blood colored beer. Among her nicknames are, “Mistress of Dread”, “Lady of Slaughter” and “She Who Mauls.” She’s kind of like a female Ares though let’s just say Ares may be nicer than her in comparison.

Symbols and Motifs: Well, she’s often depicted as a lioness, of course. Her symbols are a sun disk, red linen, and a lioness.

City: Ijtawy, Leontopolis, and Memphis

6. Nephthys

As the more benevolent and more human looking gods, Nephthys is an embodiment of the death experience, divine assistance, and protective guardianship. She helped Isis put Osiris together as well as raise Horus. Yet, in the more popular legends, she's said to conceive Anubis with Osiris but dressing up as Isis.

As the more benevolent and more human looking gods, Nephthys is an embodiment of the death experience, divine assistance, and protective guardianship. She helped Isis put Osiris together as well as raise Horus. Yet, in the more popular legends, she’s said to conceive Anubis with Osiris but dressing up as Isis.

Domain: A funerary goddess associated with death, service, lamentation, and nighttime. Wife and sister of Set though the nature of their marriage is dependent on how the Egyptians perceived Set at the time and in some stories, the mother of Anubis (but with Set, Osiris, or Ra). As the cult of her brother Osiris took prominence, she eventually became associated with death and the afterlife despite her original nature being unknown.

Pro: In the underworld she protects and guides souls of the dead and is a rather benevolent goddess. Helped Isis raise Horus and gather pieces of Osiris after his murder. Said to represent divine assistance and protective guardianship.

Con: In some stories, she’s said to disguise herself as Isis and slept with Osiris, which was a way how Anubis was conceived. This was one of the reasons why Set wanted to kill Osiris.

Symbols and Motifs: She’s usually depicted as a young woman. Her symbols are the house and mummy wrappings.

City: Sepermeru, and Diospolis Parva.

7. Anubis

Anubis is the jackal headed god of mummification, judge of souls, and lesser god of the dead as well as the more recognizable of the Egyptian gods. Contrary to many depictions, isn't an evil guy but is certainly cool if you know what I mean. Yet, he's now a sex symbol among the furries for some reason.

Anubis is the jackal headed god of mummification, judge of souls, and lesser god of the dead as well as the more recognizable of the Egyptian gods. Contrary to many depictions, isn’t an evil guy but is certainly cool if you know what I mean. Yet, he’s now a sex symbol among the furries for some reason.

Domain: God of mummification, judge of souls, and lesser god of the dead as well as the most recognizable of Egyptian gods. Parentage is disputed and varies through source though the most famous account says he’s the son of Osiris and Nephthys through an affair (or rape by deception on her part) but raised as Set’s son. Known for weighing a dead person’s heart against the feather of Maat. Originally one of the more important gods of the dead before Osiris surpassed him. Now a modern sex symbol among the furries.

Pro: Despite being a jackal headed god of the dead, he had great compassion for humanity which led to Set abandoning him. Was also an ally of Horus against Set and helped Isis put Osiris together again.

Con: Has often been depicted as a bad guy in films like The Mummy even though he was far from it. Not to mention, despite his cool jackal head, he plays almost no role in the Egyptian myths. Oh, and if your heart is too heavy, he feeds it to Ammut, Devourer of the Dead.

Symbols and Motifs: Often depicted with a jackal head but is seen as a full jackal in Old Kingdom renditions. His symbols are the fetish and the flail.

City: Aysut and Cynopolis.

8. Osiris

Osiris may look badass in his picture with his blue-green skin but he is one of the big distressed dudes from Egyptian mythology who Set killed after tricking him into a coffin and throwing him in the Nile before chopping him up in several pieces across Egypt. Also, he died after being first resurrection following sex with Isis. Yet, he still got to be Lord of the Dead.

Domain: God of the afterlife, fertile vegetation of the Nile valley,  and of resurrection of rebirth. Son of the primordial gods Geb and Nut as well as husband and brother of Isis (as well as brother to Nephthys and Set) and father of Horus. Oversees the weighing of the heart and lets souls enter the afterlife if they pass the test. Very prominent example of a Life-Death-and-Rebirth god. King of Egypt after his father (or Ra) stepped down and before Set would murder and chop him into 14 pieces scattered around the Nile area. Yet, despite being resurrected, he was unable to return home and became the ruler of the land of the dead.

Pro: Considered a merciful judge of the dead in the afterlife as well as the underworld agency that granted all life, including spouting vegetation and the fertile flooding of the Nile River. Has nicknames like, “Lord of Love,” “He Who Is Permanently Benign and Youthful,” and “the Lord of Silence.” Pharaohs were often associated with Osiris in death as he would raise from the dead they would, in union with him, inherit eternal life through a process of imitative magic. Was widely worshiped as Lord of the Dead until the Christian Era and would soon eclipse Anubis and Set in popularity.

Con: He’s also one of the first examples of a distressed dude with the misfortune of unintentionally sleeping with Nephthys (in some stories) and trusting his power hungry brother Set afterwards which may have led to his murder when Set tricked him into entering in a coffin and threw him into the Nile. Oh, and when Isis found his body, Set tore it apart and scattered the pieces across Egypt. Thanks to Isis and Anubis, Osiris was reassembled and equipped with a new golden penis (his original got eaten by a fish) as well as resurrected twice, but was never allowed to rejoin the world of the living. The first time he was resurrected, he died almost immediately after having sex with Isis and impregnating her with Horus. The second time, he was shuffled off to the underworld to rule over the dead as a powerful god and venerated as one of Egypt’s chief deities, which is a pretty good deal since the Egyptian underworld is more akin to heaven than in other mythologies but still. Still, he was no badass.

Symbols and Motifs: Often depicted with blue or green skin since he’s well, dead, kind of like a zombie. His symbols are a crook and flail, the Atef crown, ostrich feathers, fish, and mummy gauze.

City: Abydos.

9. Isis

Isis is seen an ideal as the ideal wife and mother in Egyptian mythology as well as a competent queen and skilled sorceress to boot. Best known for restoring her husband-brother Osiris to life as well as securing her son Horus' claim to the throne of Egypt. Though seen as a benevolent goddess, she can be quite a bitch at times.

Isis is seen an ideal as the ideal wife and mother in Egyptian mythology as well as a competent queen and skilled sorceress to boot. Best known for restoring her husband-brother Osiris to life as well as securing her son Horus’ claim to the throne of Egypt. Though seen as a benevolent goddess, she can be quite a bitch at times.

Domain: Goddess of magic, healing, health, marriage, love, children and motherhood as well as protector of the dead. Best known for her struggles against her brother Set to rescue her husband and brother Osiris and secure the Egyptian throne for her son Horus. Seen as an important representation of the pharaoh’s power who was depicted as her child who sat on the throne she provided and artistic representations with the two of them had influence of the Madonna and Child paintings in Western iconography. Was a very popular goddess in Egypt as well as beyond.

Pro: Worshiped as the ideal mother and wife by the Egyptians and was a friend of slaves, sinners, artisans and the downtrodden. Yet, she also listened to the prayers of the wealthy, aristocrats, and rulers. Put Osiris back together and back to life (though only long enough to conceive Horus). Still, she is a skilled queen and very powerful sorceress. Also, she’s said to accept Anubis as her stepson at least in the stories in which Osiris is his father.

Con: Despite being seen as a benevolent goddess and paragon of motherly virtue, she has a dark side and was well known to be as deceptive as she is clever. She convinced Ra to tell her his secret name by poisoning him as well as tried to get him to step down so Horus could assume the throne. In one tale, when Horus informs her of Set either (raping or having consensual sex with him) and shows her his hand with Set’s semen, she berated him and cut off his hand. Doesn’t help that she shares a name with an Islamic terrorist organization. Then there’s how she managed to conceive Horus with Osiris, once the latter was, well, dead.

Symbols and Motifs: Usually depicted as a woman but can sometimes have wings. Her symbols are the throne, the sun disk with cow’s horns, sparrow, cobra, vulture, and sycamore tree.

City: Abydos and Philae.

10. Horus

Horus is the falcon headed god of the sky and is associated with the Pharaohs with each of them being his earthly incarnation. He’s best known as the god who struggles against Set to avenge his father’s death and claim the throne of Egypt as his own. Still, you don’t want him to serve you a salad.

Domain: God associated with the sun, moon, sky, righteous vengeance, protection, and kingship. While he’s usually seen as the son of Osiris and Isis, in some stories, he’s their brother (though this could be a different Horus since the name could apply to half a dozen gods and in other accounts he’s depicted as Hathor’s son and possibly his wife). Nevertheless, he’s one of the oldest Egyptian deities worshiped since the Predynastic era to Greco-Roman times. He was also the first known national god in Nekhen in Upper Egypt. Still, the Egyptians considered their pharaoh to be the avatar/personification of Horus on Earth and was one of the reasons why many of Egypt’s female Pharaohs wore fake beards and dressed up as men during their rule. His eyes were thought to be the sun and the moon.

Pro: Let’s just say when his mother Isis struggled secure Horus’ claim to the Egyptian throne over Set, she didn’t have to do much other than raise him, which seems to have paid off. Horus is a genuine badass and had many battles with Set not only to avenge his father’s death but also come on top as the rightful ruler of Egypt despite being blinded and perhaps raped by Set in the process (well, he’s said to lose one eye). Said to cover his wound with a divine serpent Ureaus.

Con: However, in some versions of the myths of his struggle against Set, he may have had what may amount to “hate sex.” Also, even when Set was seen as a not so evil deity, he was still the guy’s rival and their fight was originally a constant struggle. Not only that, but Horus used his own semen on a salad and served it to Set (don’t try this at home, please). Oh, and in one myth, he’s said to have chopped off his mom’s head in a fit of rage when he found out Isis couldn’t destroy Set since he was her brother. Then there’s the fact, he may not be the only Horus in Egyptian mythology.

Symbols and Motifs: He’s mostly depicted with a head of a falcon and sometimes as one himself. In his younger representation, he’s depicted as a normal stunted kid. His symbols are the wedjat eye and the pharaoh crown itself as well as the beard.

City: Nekhen and Behdet Edfu.

11. Bes

Sure he may not look like much but Bes is one of the oldest and most popular Egyptian gods. He was known as a champion for everything good and enemy to everything evil. Still, you didn't want to mess with him.

Sure he may not look like much but Bes is one of the oldest and most popular Egyptian gods. He was known as a champion for everything good and enemy to everything evil. Still, you didn’t want to mess with him.

Domain: Protector of households and in particular children, mothers, and childbirth. Later came to be regarded as defender of everything good and enemy of all that was bad as well as symbolized the enjoyment of life. Though originally thought to be an import from Nubia, recent archaeological evidence suggests he was one of the oldest Egyptian gods even though he wouldn’t enjoy widespread popularity until the New Kingdom.

Pro: Aside from being a deity, he was also a demon fighter as well as could strangle bears, lions, and snakes with his bare hands. Could scare off evil spirits by dancing, shouting, and shaking his rattle. His image appeared on many things in Ancient Egypt, including on the thighs of musicians and dancers.

Con: One of the ugliest gods in the Egyptian pantheon. Also, had no temples and no priests ordained in his name. Oh, and he’s not depicted much in the Egyptian myths.

Symbols and Motifs: Originally depicted as a lion and later as a bearded dwarf. His symbol is an ostrich feather.

City: None.

12. Thoth

The Ibis headed Thoth is a god that wears many hats as well as credited with inventing writing and most areas of knowledge. Plays a roles in a lot of myths as a mediator between good and evil.

The Ibis headed Thoth is a god that wears many hats as well as credited with inventing writing and most areas of knowledge. Plays a roles in a lot of myths as a mediator between good and evil.

Domain: God of the moon, wisdom, knowledge, hieroglyphics, medicine, astronomy, science, magic, and writing. Played many vital and prominent roles in Egyptian mythology such as maintaining the universe and along with Maat stood on Ra’s boat. He was later heavily associated with the arbitration of godly disputes, the arts of magic, the system of writing, the development of science, and the judgment of the dead. Served as scribe to the gods, Ra’s counselor and secretary, and the mediating power between good and evil as well as made sure that neither had a decisive victory over the other. Said to be master of physical and divine law and was believed to be self-created.

Pro: He was probably a true renaissance god credited by the Egyptians as the inventor of writing and most if not all the areas of knowledge. Whenever a god was seriously injured in a fight, he would heal them. As arbitrator, he oversaw three epic battles between good and evil and was a great help to Isis after Osiris was murdered.  He also restored Horus when he was slain and in one myth was responsible for tricking Sekhmet into drinking blood-colored wine which ended her rampage. Always spoke the words that fulfilled the wishes of Ra.

Con: Usually remains neutral in many situations. Also, he was credited by the Egyptians for inventing hieroglyphics which everyone knows was a very difficult writing system.

Symbols and Motifs: Usually depicted with the head of an ibis though sometimes appears as a baboon. His symbols are a moon disk and papyrus scroll.

City: Hermopolis.

13. Sobek

Sobek is the god of the Nile and fertility which basically makes him seem as a good Egyptian deity. However, as a god, he is violent and hedonistic who lives up to his sacred animal.

Sobek is the god of the Nile and fertility which basically makes him seem as a good Egyptian deity. However, as a god, he is violent and hedonistic who lives up to his sacred animal.

Domain: God of the Nile, water, the military, pharaonic power, and fertility. In Ancient Egypt, he was complex god who was sometime revered and sometimes reviled as well as rather ambiguous in terms of worship. Served as a protective deity against the Nile’s dangers. Was particularly popular during the Middle Kingdom.

Pro: During the Middle Kingdom, he was associated with Isis as a healer of Osiris and was said to assist her in Horus’ birth. His protective powers and strength were valued when used in the defense of Pharaoh and his people. Could protect the justified dead in the underworld as well as restore their sight and senses.

Con: He is considered a violent, hyper-sexual, and erratic deity prone to his primal whims. Among his nicknames were,  “he who loves robbery,” “he who eats while he also mates,” and “pointed of teeth.” Also, was said to be paired with a number of goddesses as well as was said to take women from their husbands whenever he felt like it.

Symbols and Motifs: His main symbol is the crocodile and is often depicted as either this or with a head of one. Crocodiles were raised and mummified in his name (yes, the Egyptians mummified those animals, too.)

City: Kom Ombo, Faiym, and the appropriately named Crocodilopolis.

14. Maat

Maat is the goddess of truth, justice, and order and it's her feather that is weighed against a person's heart to see if it goes to the afterlife. Other than that, it's all she does.

Maat is the goddess of truth, justice, and order and it’s her feather that is weighed against a person’s heart to see if it goes to the afterlife. Other than that, it’s all she does.

Domain: Personfication of truth, balance, order, law, mortality and justice. Seen as a goddess regulating the stars, seasons, and the actions of both mortals and deities, who set order of the universe from chaos at the moment of creation. She was more of an idea than a goddess yet her primary role dealt with the weighing of souls in the underworld that were considered to reside in the heart. Weighing someone’s heart against the feather determined which people got into the afterlife and who did not. Sometimes seen as the daughter of Ra as well as the wife of Thoth.

Pro: She was central to the conceptions of the Ancient Egyptian universe and was seen as a balance of divine order as well as prevents chaos from reigning supreme. It was thought everything would be lost without her.

Con: She has been represented in Egyptian mythology more as an idea than as a goddess. Also, doesn’t have much personality.

Symbols and Motifs: She’s usually represented as a young woman, sometimes with wings. Her symbol is an ostrich feather.

City: All ancient Egyptian cities.

15. Apophis

As the undisputed snake god monstrosity of evil Apophis seeks to reduce the entire universe to a void. Yet, he's literally invincible and can't really be permanently defeated so Ra has to battle him every night.

As the undisputed snake god monstrosity of evil Apophis seeks to reduce the entire universe to a void. Yet, he’s literally invincible and can’t really be permanently defeated so Ra has to battle him every night.

Domain: An embodiment of chaos and god of darkness, storms, earthquakes, and basically anything harmful. Attacked Ra and his entourage every night as they traveled through the underworld and had a hypnotic gaze he used to swallow them which caused a solar eclipse if he succeeded.

Pro: Well, he’s considered as all powerful and being from the land of the dead, he can’t be killed. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help Ra’s case.

Con: Where to begin? I mean he was considered as the Ancient Egyptian god of evil that even the other chaotic gods hate him. All the souls he devours cease to exist and used his hypnotic gaze to lure the gods before eating them which only Set could resist. His mission is to reduce the entire universe into a void and Egyptians wouldn’t dare speak his name, let alone worship him.

Symbols and Motifs: Always depicted as a giant snake.

City: None because he wasn’t worshiped at all.

16. Tawaret

Taweret is the big hippopotamus looking goddess known for protecting expectant mothers. Certainly doesn't adhere to traditional goddess beauty standards yet manages to have multiple lovers and is always seen pregnant. Guess she's doing something right.

Taweret is the big hippopotamus looking goddess known for protecting expectant mothers. Certainly doesn’t adhere to traditional goddess beauty standards yet manages to have multiple lovers and is always seen pregnant. Guess she’s doing something right.

Domain: A protective goddess of childbirth and fertility. Though not a chief god, she was a popular household deity, especially in Middle and New Kingdom Egypt. In the Old Kingdom, she was seen as the wet nurse of the Pharaoh. Said to look constantly pregnant and linked to be married to Apophis and Set (as well as romantically linked to other gods, particularly Sobek).

Pro: She’s seen as a benevolent goddess as well as a protector of women (especially if they’re pregnant). When married to Set, she tries to restrain his evil impulses to protect humanity.

Con: She was initially seen as a more aggressive and unpleasant goddess, before she was known as a protector of expectant mothers. She’s always unfaithful to her husband though nobody seemed to care. Yet, you’d wonder why how she gets around because she’s not an attractive goddess by any means.

Symbols and Motifs: Usually depicted as a bipedal hippopotamus with the paws of a lion, women’s breasts,  and the back of a Nile Crocodile. Her symbols are the sa, ivory dagger, and the hippopotamus, naturally.

City: Not applicable, she was a household deity worshiped throughout Egypt.

History of the World According to the Movies: Part 3- Ancient Greece and Other Things

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This is from the notorious historical disasterpiece 300. While there was a Battle of Thermopylae as well as a real King Leonidas and Queen Gorgo, they certainly didn’t dress like that. I mean Spartan warriors would fight without upper body protection while Spartan women wouldn’t wear their hair below shoulder length or don in outfits other tan a short tunic. Also, you don’t see any helots tending the fields, which they certainly would because slavery was actively enforced in Sparta. Not to mention, Leonidas’ son would have to be at the Spartan warrior school learning fighting, survival skills, and dirty tricks by now since there’s no way he looks younger than seven.

When telling the history of the western world, you can’t leave out the Greeks. Much of our vocabulary comes from them as well as the fact that they were the forerunners of a lot of things like science, medicine, theater, democracy (sort of), and other academic disciplines. Not to mention, the word “history” itself is a Greek word meaning “inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation.” Also, they had the Olympics (but not in way we’d be familiar with since they didn’t have women’s events and competed in the nude. Not to mention, they cheated a lot.) There’s even Greek mythology with a pantheon of many complete assholes save a few like Hades. Of course, Greece was never a very united entity and consisted of an array of city states, the most famous being Athens a naval power as well as a place of culture, quasi-democracy, and rampant misogyny and Sparta a oligarchical warrior slave state where everyone lived off the land supported by helots and the only place in Greece where women had any rights. Still, there are movies made on Ancient Greece most notably the gory historic trainwreck 300 and it’s sequel 300: Rise of an Empire as well as all those movies on Greek mythology like Clash of the Titans. Nevertheless, even though it was the Greeks who came up with the concept of history (though it’s hard to distinguish history from myth sometimes in this context), filmmakers still find ways to butcher theirs (as well as other civilizations, but at least they didn’t leave any written records).

Ancient Greece:

The Greeks carved marble statues. (The marble Greek statues you see are Roman copies. Actually the Greeks cast their statues in bronze using a marble prototype. Most of the original bronze Greek statues were melted during the Middle Ages for cannons and church bells.)

Oracles had leprosy and had naked girls danced around for them. (Bullshit, but the oracles were on drugs.)

Oracles were attractive women who danced naked in a trancelike state. (Sorry, but 300 gets this wrong. They were mostly old women.)

Most Greek city states looked like Athens. (A lot of Greek city states would later get fed up with Athens and fight against them so why would they want to emulate them? Also, filmmakers usually use Athens for Ancient Greece because it’s the most familiar Greek city most people know.)

Most men of Ancient Greece were clean shaven. (Contrary to what you see in the movies, a lot of guys in Ancient Greece had beards and dark hair.)

The Greek hoplites threw doru spears. (Actually they would be too long and heavy to be thrown. Javelins would’ve been used instead.)

Ancient Greece was a progressive beacon of reason. (Actually Ancient Greece consisted of over 1,000 city states that had their own unique culture as well as more or less resembled a sectarian war zone. Also, only less than 5% of the Ancient Greek population was literate. Of course, the Greeks were willing to lynch, exile, and execute some of the brighter among them like Socrates as well as possessed no qualms to enslave their fellow man, with Athens said to have more slaves than anybody. Also, whatever achievements the ancient Greeks made, they didn’t spread too far since most Greeks were illiterate rural farmers and herders who rarely ventured beyond their own city state. And your average ancient Greek didn’t really care about logic, literature, or theater. In fact, they’d prefer the comfort of familiarity and superstition.)

Ancient Greek Olympic athletes were amateurs who just believed in fair play and peace. (Yeah right. Actually Ancient Greek Olympians were nothing of the sort and the early Olympics were rife with cheating, corruption and commercialism. They didn’t have the spirit of sportsmanship like we do today. Sure punishments for cheating ranged from flogging to death, but in Ancient Greece, the Olympics were such a big deal with the prize being instant and lasting fame as well as riches and bitches, athletes took cheating to an art form as well as bribed judges and competitors. Thus, what made their games different than our games is that they didn’t allow women to watch or compete and that they competed in the nude.)

Crete:

The Cretans participated in human sacrifice. (There’s no evidence they actually did this, though there are mythological references to it, which might have been just propaganda.)

Sparta:

Spartan warriors were all buffed out with six-pack abs and bulging muscles as well as went into battle nearly naked. (Just because Spartan men devoted their lives as warriors doesn’t mean they had the bodies of Olympic athletes. As for clothes, they were covered in bronze armor in battle not speedos. A Spartan warrior knew better than that.)

Sparta was an unstoppable military juggernaut with an army of proud warrior race guys and badass warrior kings, only stopping to deliver witty lines to philosophers for posterity’s sake. (This might be what Sparta was like in 300 or how men like Plato or Xenophon saw it. Ditto the Romans who admired Sparta’s military spirit. But the real Sparta was very much like the North Korea of its day that had secret police as well as highly discouraged contact with the outside {then again, comparing ancient Sparta to North Korea may not be accurate militarily speaking, but it does fit with the repressive closed society bit}. Visitors were usually given the Spartan Disneyland treatment of all the things in which the Spartans would glorify about themselves. However, more modern assessments state that Sparta was a Peloponnese regional power that essentially cannibalized all the non-military functions of its own state, in order to continue a bitter war with the city-state of Argos, and was able to use the ensuing victory to bully its allies into fighting for them. Spartan military supremacy lasted less than 100 years and its hegemony over Greece lasted only 10. Furthermore, the Spartan  army lost more battles than it won and its central warrior caste was decimated by the city’s town leaders to profit from their “inalienable” land holdings. Let’s just say Disney’s Hercules has a better assessment of Sparta than 300, especially when an old Theban says, “That’s it, I’m moving to Sparta.”)

300 Spartans fought against the Persians in the Battle of Thermopylae under King Leonidas. (Actually, though there were 300 Spartans present at the Battle of Thermopylae, they didn’t fight alone like 300 suggests. And unlike what 300 suggests, only a fraction of their force for they wouldn’t send their whole army that far north. Though Leonidas did command the Spartan force personally, there were 4000 other troops under him as well such as 700 Thespiae, 400 Thebans, and 900 helots to assist. And out of Leonidas’ forces, 1500 of them were involved in the last stand. Some scholars even said that the Greeks had about 7000. And they weren’t against half a million Persians, but 80,000.)

Spartan men’s only occupation they were trained for was that of a solider. (Yes, but they also learned how to sing, dance, read, write, and perform in plays. And when a Spartan man got too old to fight, he spent the rest of his life either on the council or teaching other Spartan boys to fight in the warrior school.)

Sparta was the only Greek city state with a professional army. (Well, they were the only one that required that all male citizens participate in the army and sent their boys to boot camp from the age of seven though all Greek city states had some form of conscription. Also, every Greek city state had a professional army not as dedicated, hardened, and well trained as the Spartan Army but certainly not sculptors or potters.)

Spartans had manhood rituals such as slaying a wolf. (No, they didn’t. Actually it involved living in the wild for a week and killing a slave.)

Spartans left their weak babies to die. (No archaeological evidence has been found to support this. Rather, people with disabilities were cared for in Spartan society.)

Sparta sent a naval fleet at the Battle of Salamis. (Contrary to 300: Rise of an Empire, Sparta had no navy until the Peloponnesian Wars when they need one to fight the Athenians. Ironically, their navy was given by the Persians.)

The Spartans had hundreds of ships at the Battle of Salamis and turned up at the last minute to save the day. (Nice try, 300: Rise of an Empire, but they didn’t show up at the last minute and only had 16 ships. Oh, and they weren’t led by Queen Gorgo either.)

Adultery was shameful in Sparta. (It wasn’t.)

The Spartans had disdain for the ephors and the supernatural. (They were particularly religious for Ancient Greece and were big worshipers of Ares.)

The ephors were deformed molester priests who betrayed the people of Sparta. (They actually were five Senators who ran the Spartan government and democratically elected by each village but only served a year.)

Sparta was ruled by two democratically elected “kings” who held equal power and judged by the ephors. (While Sparta did have two kings ruling the land, the positions were hereditary.)

The Spartan Gerousia consisted of men of varying ages. (Spartan men had to be at least 60 before ever being considered for the Gerousia. Of course, there is the Apella made up of representatives of the Spartan citizenry but they didn’t have much power.)

The Spartan city state was mostly populated by Spartans. (They were a minority military caste in their own city-state where the state-owned helot serfs made up 90% of the population. Also, you have the perioci from Laconia who were autonomous civilians but were never considered citizens though they were required to fight when needed to.)

Sparta was a rural  and freedom loving society. (It was far from it than what you see in 300 but rather a dictatorship by a militant elite minority who lived by and continually repressed the majority helot population basically slaves who worked the land to produce food so the Spartans could spend all their time oppressing them and fighting other wars in between. Also, during some periods a Spartan could kill a helot and never be punished for it if he wanted. Oh, and they killed diplomats, were profoundly racist, and may have practiced eugenics. Not to mention, they regularly beat up boys during warrior training and taught them to be bullies {which can be somewhat justified}.)

Queen Gorgo killed a council member named Theron. (There’s no evidence she did this.)

Spartans referred Athenians as “boy lovers.” (This might be true, but Spartan soldiers and other Greeks weren’t so above being pederasts themselves either. As Television Tropes and Idioms says: “The relationship between adult men and adolescent boys was used like in all Greek states for education of the adolescent boy. However many Spartan sources, and even some outside of Sparta, insist that the relationship was not sexual in nature as that would have been similar to a father doing it with his son. The relationships were broken by the time the older man married as he would have to concentrate on his main job in peace: procreation. In Athens however the matter was completely different due to the locking up of women in gyneceums and their general lack of rights compared to Spartan women, the main sexual relationships of men were with other men. When it came to the relationship between adult men and adolescent boys it involved a lot of competition between the older men for the affections of the teens and the whole thing resembled soap operas with the older men serenading the boys writing them love poem and stuff like that, something that would have ended with two beheaded bodies in Sparta. That might have been what Leonidas meant by “boy lovers”.”)

The Spartans had an excellent military training program. (Spartan military training was especially harsh but it didn’t put them at a better advantage against other Greek city states.)

Ephialtes was a deformed Spartan tempted to join the Persian side when Xerxes showed him a tent full of naked ladies. (According to Herodotus, he was a non-deformed non-Spartan who showed the Persians a mountain trail around Thermopylae which led them to victory.)

Queen Gorgo had long flowing hair and wore long backless dresses. (Gorgo would’ve looked like any Spartan woman of the time such as a slit up dress called pelos as well as had hair that went no further than their shoulders. In fact, Gorgo wouldn’t be allowed to have her hair that long. Also, if a Spartan woman was just married, it would be very easy to tell because she’d have a shaved head. Thus, in 300, most female Spartan characters would’ve been way overdressed.)

Sparta saved Athenian democracy. (The Peloponnesian Wars show a very different story since they kicked the crap out of Athens.)

Athens:

The Ancient Athenians had a democracy. (Actually, though it may have been a democracy it was a only a democracy for adult male citizens who have completed military training which was 20%, for the rest like women, slaves, freed slaves, resident aliens, and disqualified citizens, it wasn’t.)

Themistocles said his only family was the Athenian fleet. (According to Plutarch, he was married at least once and had as many as ten kids. Not only that, but he was also a prominent politician in Athens as well so much of his life didn’t just revolve around the Athenian navy.)

Themistocles wasn’t present at the Battle of Thermopylae. (Contrary to 300, he was and made a very significant contribution to it by preventing the Persians to sail past the Spartan army as well as outflanking them. He only retreated once the pass was taken and defending the sea became irrelevant. In some respect, he held where Leonidas failed. However, Themistocles doesn’t get any recognition for this in movies solely because he’s Athenian. So if you aren’t Sparta in Thermopylae, you basically don’t get squat.)

Themistocles devised the strategy and led the charge in the Battle of Marathon as well as killed King Darius. (While he did fight at Marathon, he was only one of many captains involved in the struggle. But he didn’t devise the strategy or lead the charge. Also, he didn’t kill King Darius who wasn’t at the battle and died a few years later of completely natural causes. Oh, and Artemisia didn’t manipulate Xerxes into becoming king {Darius was his father}, have him to reshape himself into a god {which would’ve been blasphemy}, nor did she encourage him to declare war on Greece. Nor was she a lousy commander either or obsessed with revenge.)

Athenian warriors had six pack abs and went out scantily clad. (Seriously, I’m beginning to think that the 300 franchise is catered to guys deep in the closet. Besides, hopilites would’ve been clad with armor no matter where they came from.)

Macedonia:

The Macedonians spoke in an Irish accent. (Oliver Stone cast Irish actors in Alexander to show how hickish they were compared to the Greeks though {at least in their point of view}, which was true in fact.)

Trojan War:

The Trojan War was fought over a woman named Helen. (Yes, but there were a lot of other things. For instance, Menelaus only became king by marrying Helen {who was the actual queen and much more than a pretty face} and the fact that she made off with Paris not only endangered his position but also gave the Trojans a claim to Sparta. Menelaus just couldn’t let Helen go with Paris, even if she just wasn’t that into him. Also, Paris violated sacred hospitality which is never to run off with the wife of his host.This is according to Homer. As for the real Trojan War, well, we can’t really be sure but a recent theory of a Mycenaean Allied Hittite commander from Miletus who wanted to expand his territory and had spent 35 years attacking Hittite vassal states.)

The Greeks were the aggressors in the Trojan War. (Actually, archaeology squarely puts this on the Hittites, not the Mycenaean Greeks. Also, it’s fairly established in The Illiad that Paris caused the whole war.)

Llamas were present in the city of Troy and Zeus’ symbol was a bald eagle. (These are native to the Americas so the Ancient Greeks would have no knowledge of these animals.)

The Trojan War was fought with Iron Age weapons. (Actually it was fought in the Bronze Age if it was ever fought at all {most likely it was}.)

Menelaus and Agamemnon didn’t survive the Trojan War. (According to Homer, they did and even won the Trojan War {further Menelaus gets Helen back}. Not to mention, neither of them are the disgusting middle aged guys depicted in Troy. Still, in Agamemnon’s case, it wasn’t for long.)

Paris survived the Trojan War and gets to keep Helen. (According to Homer, Paris gets killed before the war is over and he is actually blamed for starting the whole thing {he’s actually even destined to doom Troy}. Also, Helen ends up with his brother for a time before being ultimately rescued by Menelaus. Not to mention, Hector’s son doesn’t survive the war either and his wife ends up a concubine to the Greeks.)

The heroes of the Trojan War were kings. (Archaeology casts doubt on this. However, it’s possible. Still, if you weren’t a king in Greek mythology, you probably didn’t mean much in some respects.)

Hector was an all around nice guy. (While he’s nicer than most of the Illiad characters, he does do dubious things in the original poem like stealing, bragging about killing his enemies, and running away from Achilles during their final confrontation until the gods convinced him to fight.)

Achilles and Patrolcus had a close relationship because they were cousins. (As far as the Ancient Greeks are concerned, they could’ve been “cousins” in the same contexts as some of Ava Gardner’s fuck buddies in The Barefoot Contessa or even more so. But Homer also said that Achilles had a son who went on to marry Helen’s daughter Hermione. But, then again, you can’t really tell with the Greeks. He’s also said to fall in love with an Amazon after killing her. So it’s very possible that Achilles went both ways as illustrated in the Homer poem, which was very typical for the Greeks at the time. It’s also possible for Patrolcus to be older than him, too.)

Aeneas was only a teenager when he fled Troy. (According to Homer, he was the best warrior in Troy after Hector and his fate is unknown. In Virgil’s Aeneid, he’s most definitely not a teenager.)

The Trojans worshiped the Greek gods. (We’re not sure whether they did or not or whether Troy was a dependent of the Hittites {it’s said to be located in modern Turkey by the way} or Mycenae. Also, the Greek architecture should look more like Knossos as well as more or less Egyptian. Besides, we don’t know whether the Greeks worshiped their gods in the same context then either.)

Agamemnon and Menelaus had an easy time getting other Greek kings to fight for them. (According to Homer, this was made easier by Odysseus’ meddling. In actuality, getting multiple kings to fight for each other makes cat herding look easy. Oh, and Mycenean Greeks were under a more feudal society more akin to medieval Europe or Medieval and Shogunate Japan.)

The Greeks won the Trojan War with sneaking themselves in Troy with a Trojan horse. (I’m not sure if the Trojans would be that stupid or if such tactics would work. Hell, Moses parting the Red Sea is more believable than this. Still, there’s a theory that the Trojan Horse is an allegory of a timely earthquake.)

Helen of Sparta chose to marry Menelaus. (Even The Illiad doesn’t make this bogus claim. Also, Menelaus had to marry her before he could become king of Sparta anyway.)

Helen of Sparta and Paris had a loving relationship. (According to Homer, Paris was a philandering and cowardly jerk even by Trojan standards who gets his ass beat by Menelaus {who’s no way considered the best Greek warrior}. Furthermore, when Helen is accused of being a slut, Paris doesn’t defend her thinking it’s Hector’s job. Also, we’re not sure if Helen even consented on leaving Sparta with Paris, but if she did, she certainly regretted it and feels very guilty about starting the Trojan War in the first place. Still, by The Illiad, their relationship has considerably cooled and let’s say that the only Trojans Helen generally respects are Prince Hector and King Priam since they’re actually nice to her.)

Troy was destroyed in the Trojan War. (Recent archaeology says it’s possible that it held on for a few centuries. Furthermore, there may have been other cities in present day Turkey attacked by the Greeks with Troy only being one of them.)

Alexander the Great:

Alexander the Great was straight. (Historians aren’t really sure what his sexual orientation was. Let’s say he just humped anything that moves.)

Alexander the Great was tall and imposing with blond hair. (It’s said he was more or less short and stocky by Macedonian standards as well as had twisty neck and eyes of two different colors. Nothing like Colin Farrell in the least.)

Herodotus recounted the events of Alexander the Great’s life. (He died 70 years before Alexander the Great was born.)

Alexander the Great was wounded with an arrow in his chest at the Hydapses and nearly died. (He was wounded in a later siege in what is now Mutan, Pakistan. Also, he won at Hydapses but you wouldn’t know it from Alexander.)

Ancient Europe:

The Celts were uncivilized barbarians who fought naked and participated in barbaric rituals like human sacrifice. (Sure the Celts were a warrior culture headed by kings and nobles but even though they didn’t have writing, they did have civilization and their women had more rights. Not to mention, the Celtic culture wasn’t homogenous as was the case with the Greeks and the Mayans. Besides, most civilizations in the ancient world had their share of barbarity. Same goes for the Germanic tribes.)

Celts usually had red or blond hair as well as blue, gray, and green eyes. (Brown haired and brown eyed Celts also existed. Same goes for Germanic tribes.)

Pictish is Scotch Gaelic. (No record of the Pictish language exists and the Scottish people in Centurion didn’t want to speak Welsh.)

Druids worshiped Zeus. (They were Celts so they most certainly did not.)

The Picts fought the Romans in the 2nd century. (They don’t appear in the historical records until 297 AD. If they were fighting the Scots in the 2nd century, it would’ve been the Caldones.)

Carthage:

The Arab women stripped the dead soldiers of their clothing during the Punic Wars. (There were no Arabs in North Africa during the Punic Wars, and no, Carthaginian civilians didn’t scavenge dead soldiers either.)

Unclassified:

The Hebrews looked just like modern-day white Americans while the Romans resembled Englishmen and spoke in English accents.

Greeks and Romans resembled Northern and Western Europeans.

The civilizations of Greece and Rome tend to look pretty much the same as if they existed around the same time and almost every ancient Greek city looks like Athens.

Greek and Roman galleys were rowed by slaves and condemned criminals. (Galley rowers were free men for it was a highly skilled job and only relied on slaves when they couldn’t get anyone else. And to a slave, galley rowing had good benefits like the potential for freedom. As for condemned criminals, there’s no evidence to support it, even if it is depicted in Ben Hur. Rather the use of galley slaves and prisoners was used far more frequently during the Middle Ages and beyond.)

The Greeks and Romans wore white. (Actually they wore clothes of all kinds of bright colors.)

Everything in Greece and Rome was written on scrolls. (The Romans used books.)

Hospitality wasn’t a big deal in the ancient world. (Are you kidding me? Being a bad host or guest could result in death or destruction. It was deemed so sacred that Sodom and Gomorrah were both destroyed over hospitality violations. Of course, as traveling conditions could be in the ancient world, there’s a good reason why hospitality was deemed so sacred. Heck, Jesus talks about it a lot, too.)

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.

Greek Mythology Reexamined: The Gods

Whether we like it or not, Greek mythology has always been part of our culture and these we’re constantly drawn to it for various reasons since it usually consists of one epic soap opera with monsters, fighting, and characters who suffer terrible fates for lacking common sense. Like many ancient cultures, Ancient Greece had a pantheon of gods who were just as human as themselves as well as deities you shouldn’t piss off. This did not mean that they also caused their share of trouble and piss off each other off (resulting in a very dysfunctional family like most pantheons). However, we must be aware that not all Greek mythologies are consistent here and sometimes modern culture has a habit of depicting them differently than they were originally presented. Still, there are plenty of Greek gods so I’m only going to name the most important of these deities who appear in most of the myths. And I’m not going to cover the previous generations either since that gets too complicated. So without further adieu, if you’re stuck in a Greek mythological world, here’s a short cheat sheet on what to expect from them.

1. Zeus

Apparently, being the King of Mount Olympus means being as much of an asshole as you want. Or maybe he's the boss because he knows how to keep a bunch of assholes in line. Either way, he's a major jerk who humps anything that moves without without considering his wife's feelings, treats his kids however he feels like it, and can screw mortals in anyway he sees fit. Yeah, major jackass.

Apparently, being the King of Mount Olympus means being as much of an asshole as you want. Or maybe he’s the boss because he knows how to keep a bunch of assholes in line. Either way, he’s a major jerk who humps anything that moves without without considering his wife’s feelings, treats his kids however he feels like it, and can screw mortals in anyway he sees fit. Yeah, major jackass.

AKA: Jupiter, Jove

Domain: King and Patriarch of the Gods on Mount Olympus and is associated with sky, thunder, leadership, law, oaths, rain, and hospitality then a very sacred thing in the ancient world.

Pro: He’s considered as perhaps the toughest and most powerful god in the bunch (and became king of the gods by triumphing over his dad Chronos and putting the end of the Titan’s rule) as well as someone even the other gods don’t want to piss off (considering the Greek mythos, this is an asset since someone needs to keep this bunch in line). Also, he hates liars, oath breakers, and the unjust and won’t hesitate to punish the truly vile. But he does tend to show up and help others on a good day. Still, despite his character flaws, he’s usually a guy you’d want on your side but usually tries to remain neutral.

Con: He’s been very prone to cause a lot of trouble in mythos because he can’t keep it in his pants and will go for anyone that moves in any form and whether they want it or not. As a parent, he doesn’t really treat all his kids equally and wouldn’t hesitate offing some of them either (and let me say, he has a shitload of kids divine and mortal). Also, has major hypocrisy issues despite being a god of justice, especially in his personal life as well as performed other highly questionable actions. Not to mention, will do everything he could to stay in power (for good reasons). Yet, he also could be unpredictable and the weather depended on his temper. Out of all the Greek gods, he’s probably the biggest asshole.

Patron City: Olympia where the big Statue of Zeus once stood and place of the Ancient Greek Olympic Games which was an event held on behalf of this guy.

Symbols: thunderbolt, eagle, bull, scepter, throne, and oak

2. Hera

Of course, she may be Queen of Mount Olympus but she has major issues with taking out most of her anger over Zeus infidelity on his sexual conquests and illegitimate kids. Of course, she does this since she can't really wring her wrath on Zeus but maybe she should. Still, she's not as much of a bitch as she seems and she and Zeus kind of deserve each other.

Of course, she may be Queen of Mount Olympus but she has major issues with taking out most of her anger over Zeus infidelity on his sexual conquests and illegitimate kids. Of course, she does this since she can’t really wring her wrath on Zeus but maybe she should. Still, she’s not as much of a bitch as she seems and she and Zeus kind of deserve each other.

AKA: Juno

Domain: Queen and Matriarch of the gods on Mount Olympus and is associated with marriage, women, and birth. Zeus’ wife and older sister (though incest is common in ancient pantheons).

Pro: Has Zeus’ weather powers and can also be formidable in a fight even with other gods. Can be a benevolent and fair queen who protects mothers and wives and is very nice toward faithful husbands. Also, it’s not easy having Zeus as a husband though the two seem to genuinely love each other.

Con: Like her husband, she’s extremely volatile and similar in his temperament though she sticks with a guy who constantly cheats on her. Has a tendency to be perpetually ticked off at anyone who wronged her, insulted her, had sex with Zeus, or being any of his love children. Still, though she may have an unjust tendency to unleash her wrath against Zeus’ conquests and love children, this is her only way of getting even since she can’t do anything to her husband besides yell at him. Other offending husbands aren’t so lucky. And while she’s a stepmother from hell (especially to her namesake Heracles {Hercules}), she’s not much better parent to her own children either.

Patron City: Argos but she had a temple in Olympia with a cult figure said to predate Zeus (it was the earliest there) and she was big in Mycenae.

Symbols: pomegranate, peacock, feather, diadem, cow, and lily

3. Poseidon

The old man of the sea who has a nasty temper and could cause all kinds of natural disasters when in a bad mood. On a positive note, he has a cool trident.

The old man of the sea who has a nasty temper and could cause all kinds of natural disasters when in a bad mood. On a positive note, he has a cool trident and likes horses.

AKA: Neptune

Domain: God of the ocean, rivers, floods, droughts, earthquakes, and horses. However, he does not have a fish tail since he wasn’t born the God of the sea but won his rule when he and his brothers drew lots amongst themselves.

Pro: He’s one of the toughest gods and let’s just say you don’t want to mess with any of his kids even if there was a good reason for it. Someone you might want to have on his good side.

Con: While not in his brother Zeus’ league, he does have his share of conquests as well as a shitload of kids (and shares a similar sexual appetite and conduct, though his wife didn’t seem to care since she didn’t want to marry him in the first place). And sometimes his philandering leads to the same problems (like some stories relating to his involvement with Medusa). He can also be very volatile causing storms, shipwrecks, earthquakes, chaotic springs, and drownings with his trident. Definitely not one to mess with.

Patron City: Corinth and most seafaring cities in Ancient Greece and Southern Italian colonies. Yet, he also has great importance in Athens since they had the best navy and Delphi. He may also be one of the oldest Greek gods with roots in the Bronze Age as a chief deity.

Symbols: trident, fish, dolphin, horse, and bull

4. Hades

Despite the image, he's actually one of the least malicious gods you'll ever meet. He's more or less a polite guy doing his job which happens to be on par with running the garbage dump that everybody hates. Oh, yeah, and he's usually makes good on his promises and can't be easily bribed.

Despite the image, he’s actually one of the least malicious gods you’ll ever meet (who is actually devoted and faithful to his wife even if he did kidnap her). He’s more or less a polite guy doing his job which happens to be on par with running the garbage dump that everybody hates. Oh, yeah, and he’s usually makes good on his promises and can’t be easily bribed.

AKA: Pluto, Dis, Clymenus, Polydegmon, Eubuleus, Orcus. Even his own name is a euphemism. Yet, many Ancient Greeks tried to avoid saying his name.

Domain: God of the Underworld reigning over the dead, wealth, and the underground in general. Is not a grim-reaper type figure.

Pro: Despite modern connotations, he isn’t a bad guy and is one of the nicest Greek gods around. He honors his deals and doesn’t screw around in mortal affairs. And he only lashes out when someone has really done him wrong or tries to cheat death (but he does make exceptions and can be rather helpful). Also, despite kidnapping and marrying his niece Persephone, he’s actually a loving, devoted, and faithful husband who actually consulted Zeus before he did the deed. Also, he’s used by the Ancient Greeks as to how terrifying something is and is stinking rich. And he has a cool helmet of invisibility.

Con: Well, he kidnapped Persephone and made her his wife under ambiguous consent (in Ancient Greece kidnapping in marriage was the norm). He’s also a very busy guy with the most subjects to govern in a job that’s rather unpopular but very important resulting in him having the biggest workload among the Greek gods. Also, though he does have a heart, you probably wouldn’t know it since he has the emotional range of a statue and doesn’t have the best personality. Not to mention, his association with death didn’t make him popular in Ancient Greece since they were terrified of it and him, especially since he’s impossible to sweet-talk out of doing something.

Patron City: None, since the Ancient Greeks were terrified of and loathed him due to his association with death and his temples are dedicated anonymously. And let’s just say their attitude of him was rather complex.

Symbols: Cerberus, drinking horn, scepter, cypress, narcissus, and key

5. Hestia

Sweet, mild mannered, personable goddess of the hearth. Also, minds her own business. But kind of boring and forgettable.

Sweet, mild mannered, personable goddess of the hearth. Also, minds her own business. But kind of boring and forgettable.

AKA: Vesta

Domain: Goddess of home, house, and family.

Pro: She’s one of the most moral out of all the Greek gods and usually stays out of her relatives’ antics. She’s also one of the more important deities in the pantheon and one Ancient Greeks would pray most to for their daily troubles as well as had a role in all their religious ceremonies. Has a modest and discreet nature.

Con: She doesn’t appear in most of the mythos despite her importance and is one of the more boring Greek Gods. Also, her discreet and modest nature makes many people forget of her existence in the Pantheon.

Patron City: None, but she was one of the first to have sacrificial offerings and among the most worshiped by Ancient Greeks and was seen as very significant to the center of community and home.

Symbols: hearth and its fire

6. Demeter

She may be the goddess of the harvest but almost destroyed humanity when Hades kidnapped her daughter Persephone. Luckily she gets to see her half the year. Still. starving the world over her daughter may be a bit extreme but understandable.

She may be the goddess of the harvest but almost destroyed humanity when Hades kidnapped her daughter Persephone. Luckily she gets to see her half the year. Still. starving the world over her daughter may be a bit extreme but understandable.

AKA: Ceres

Domain: Goddess of grain, fertility, sacred law, and cycle of life and death.

Pro: Really seems to love her daughter, Persephone that she almost destroyed humanity when she went missing though whether she did it intentionally or out of grief depends on the version. Yet, she’s usually nice unless provoked and once raised a mortal baby. She’s also well liked and widely worshiped by the Ancient Greeks since she was the goddess of agriculture.

Con: She nearly lost it when Hades kidnapped her daughter and doesn’t really seem to take it too kindly to him despite that Persephone gets a good arrangement out of seeing her mom for half a year. Also, she has her share fooling around with mortal and divine men and eight other children who rarely get mentioned (she’s a mother goddess after all).

Patron City: Eleusis since they were the center of the Eleusian Mysteries which pre-dated the Olympian Pantheon, but she had plenty of temples dedicated to her and may be one of the oldest Greek Gods with Bronze Age roots. In fact, she may have had a cult established in 1500 B.C.E. Her major festival is Thesmorphiora which was participated by women only.

Symbols: poppy

7. Aphrodite

Sure she may be the goddess of love and beauty but that doesn't mean she'd make the perfect girlfriend since she's just as much of a bitch as her fellow gods. She sleeps with everyone but her husband, is very fickle, isn't great to her kids, and you don't want to see her when she's angry. Also, is very much a diva and doesn't like other girls deemed prettier than her.

Sure she may be the goddess of love and beauty but that doesn’t mean she’d make the perfect girlfriend since she’s just as much of a bitch as her fellow gods. She sleeps with everyone but her husband, is very fickle, isn’t great to her kids, and you don’t want to see her when she’s angry. Also, is very much a diva and doesn’t like other girls deemed prettier than her.

AKA: Venus

Domain: Goddess of love, beauty, and sexuality as well as associated with looking after children. Well, at least when it comes to sex anyway.

Pro: She doesn’t get angry very often but just don’t piss her off. Not to mention, she’s very much in touch with her sexuality and nobody sees anything wrong with it.

Con: She may be the goddess of love, but has a tendency to stir trouble. For one, she has many lovers and several kids and is really not a great mother herself. Not to mention, she’s married to Hephaestus and he doesn’t get any action from her. Also, she’s very vain and gets pissed off at women deemed prettier even if it’s someone her son Eros wants to be with (Psyche).

Patron City: Cyprus, which was where she started as their chief deity.

Symbols: dolphin, rose, scallop shell, myrtle, dove, sparrow, girdle, mirror, and swan

8. Athena

As far as Greek goddesses go, she's probably the closest thing to being a role model for young girls, by today's standards. She's smart, fierce, and is fairly decent to those who follow the rules though she's not perfect. She's also known to assist heroes and kick other gods' asses. Get on her bad side and she'll give you no mercy.

As far as Greek goddesses go, she’s probably the closest thing to being a role model for young girls, by today’s standards. She’s smart, fierce, and is fairly decent to those who follow the rules though she’s not perfect. She’s also known to assist heroes and kick other gods’ asses. Get on her bad side and she’ll give you no mercy.

AKA: Minerva

Domain: Goddess of wisdom, strategy, industry, defensive war, justice, inspiration, civilization, mathematics, arts, crafts, intelligence and skill.

Pro: She’s one of the smartest and most powerful Greek Gods as well as very tough in her own right (she has taken many gods in a fight). But she’d rather not fight without reasonable cause (but is willing to own up to her mistakes). Yet, despite this she’s very loyal and is willing to help people as long as they were following the rules. She’s also kind to kids as well as raised a few herself and sometimes helps resolve trouble. Though passionate about justice, she’s pretty level headed most of the time.

Con: She doesn’t like being disrespected and can get quite angry and vindictive to those slighting her. Also, doesn’t like people thinking they’re better than her either. And she shows no mercy to people who break the rules.

Patron City: Athens though she may be one of the earliest Greek gods with varied origin stories. Also, the Parthenon is her temple.

Symbol: owl, olive tree, snake, Aegis, armor, helmet, spear, Gorgoneion

9. Apollo

He may be a good looking and popular cool guy who gets all the guys and girls. Yet he also wouldn't hesitate to pull dirty tricks on people if he didn't get his way. He may be a god of light but he's very much a big bully.

He may be a good looking and popular cool guy who gets all the guys and girls. Yet he also wouldn’t hesitate to pull dirty tricks on people if he didn’t get his way. He may be a god of light but he’s very much a big bully.

AKA: He has no other names in Classical mythology and even the Romans referred to him the same way.

Domain: God of light, sun, truth and prophecy, medicine, disease and darkness, music, poetry, archery, knowledge, purity, athleticism, manly beauty, rhetoric, enlightenment, and more. I mean, he has a lot of things associated with him.

Pro: He is very smart, powerful and can be very handy to have on your side. Not to mention, he’s the god of a lot of things and you don’t want to hurt any of his kids either or his mother and sister. Also, he’s one of the more popular Greek gods.

Con: He has a very bad side despite being a very good-looking god. For one, he has a string of lovers and many kids and not all his sexual encounters have been consensual. Not to mention, he’s a guy who always likes to have his way or else, he’d do something very terrible to either mortals or gods like spreading disease, setting them up for murder either way he’d leave them to fate after he’s done with them. And in many ways, he’s one of the biggest jerks on Mount Olympus. Doesn’t have best relationship with sister.

Patron City: Delphi and Delos where the oracles usually resided while he may have had Anatolian, Minoan, or Dorian origins though he’s one of the last to be included. Still, he’s one of the more popular ones though and the Pythian Games were held in his honor.

Symbols: lyre, laurel wreath, python, raven, bow and arrows, and others I can’t list.

10. Artemis

She may be a goddess of the hunt in the woods with her virgin entourage but she has a vicious streak about a mile wide and does not like men at all.

She may be a goddess of the hunt in the woods with her virgin entourage but she has a vicious streak about a mile wide and does not like men at all.

AKA: Diana

Domain: Goddess of young women, virginity, childbirth, the hunt, wild animals, women’s ailments, forests and hills, disease and sudden death, and the moon.

Pro: Is a very good archer as well as hunting and is a friend of nature as well as women in general. Also, as a goddess, she’s known to assist women in childbirth. Can be nice to tree huggers and kids as well. Not to mention, is more concerned with doing her own thing with her female attendants than anything else.

Con: She has a vicious streak about a mile wide and has a string of victims. There’s a lot of things that can piss her off such as boasting about being prettier or being a better hunter than her, being romantically pursued (save maybe one time it didn’t go well or having her attendants fool around), and others. Not to mention, she does not like men and can inflict disease.

Patron City: None, but there was a famous temple of her at Ephesus yet she didn’t want to be a city patron anyway. Also, she may have been one of the earliest Greek gods and might have had Neolithic origins.

Symbols: bow and arrows, stag, hunting dog, bear, deer, and the moon

11. Ares

He may be an imposing and manly god of war but he doesn't have many friends on Mount Olympus and loves going on bloodthirsty killing sprees just for the heck of it all. But if he gets hurt, he'll whine and run to daddy. Also, he's kind of worthless against most non-mortal enemies.

He may be an imposing and manly god of war but he doesn’t have many friends on Mount Olympus and loves going on bloodthirsty killing sprees just for the heck of it all. But if he gets hurt, he’ll whine and run to daddy. Also, he’s kind of worthless against most non-mortal enemies.

AKA: Mars

Domain: God of war, bloodshed, and violence. Some may say he’s the god of unhinged masculinity.

Pro: He’s depicted as a good dad who always supported his kids and tried to protect them unlike many of his fellow gods (and he has a lot of kids). He also loved his mother Hera (though she didn’t love him). He’s also a force to be reckoned with and the embodiment of physical valor in war.

Con: He’s one of the most despised gods in Greek mythology and most of the ancient Greeks didn’t have a high opinion of him either. Heck, even his own parents and other gods hate him. Also, usually goes on bloodthirsty killing sprees on default and has a huge ego but he loses against almost every non-mortal enemy he’s faced. Not to mention, he’s a shameful coward who’d run back and complain to Zeus whenever he was seriously injured. And he’s had a long string of lovers and isn’t always nice to them. He may be a war god, but his effectiveness is constantly in doubt.

Patron City: Sparta since they seem to have a much higher opinion of him than the other Greek city-states, yet he’s also associated with founding Thebes and places like Thrace, Macedonia, and Mani. Also, the Romans really like him as well as viewed him as the founder of their people.

Symbols: spear, helmet, dog, chariot, and boar

12. Hephaestus

He may not be the best looking or most popular god on Olympus, but the pantheon couldn't do without him. Still, no matter how much crap he gets, at least he doesn't take his angst out on mortals.

He may not be the best looking or most popular god on Olympus, but the pantheon couldn’t do without him. Still, no matter how much crap he gets, at least he doesn’t take his angst out on mortals.

AKA: Vulcan (but has nothing to do with Star Trek) however, it’s his nearest Roman equivalent though.

Domain: God of fire, blacksmiths, craftsmen, stone masonry, sculptors, metallurgy, and volcanoes.

Pro: Though crippled and ugly, is probably one of the handy gods who helps fashion things for his fellow Olympians and is associated with technology. He can even make his inanimate creations come to life. He’s also one of the nicer and humbler gods as well as peace loving who never takes his anger out on mortals. Not to mention, there’s a reason why his dad Zeus chose him to marry Aphrodite.

Con: Though he’s married to the constantly unfaithful Aphrodite, he does get around and sire children with others even though he does not take her infidelity well (though theirs is a sexless marriage). Not to mention, he has a tendency to be under appreciated by his fellow deities. Also, did a really sick trick on his mother, Hera even though that might not have been completely undeserved.

Patron City: Lemnos, though he had a considerable following and might have been of Pre-Greek origin, especially in manufacturing and industrial centers of Ancient Greece.

Symbols: hammer, anvil, tongs, and quail

13. Hermes

He deceives, cheats, steals, and whatnot but usually gets away with it, but compared to the others, he's one of the nicest Greek gods you'll meet. If he doesn't like you, then there's a good reason for it and you best watch your back.

He deceives, cheats, steals, and whatnot but usually gets away with it, but compared to the others, he’s one of the nicest Greek gods you’ll meet. If he doesn’t like you, then there’s a good reason for it and you best watch your back.

AKA: Mercury, well, closest Roman equivalent anyway

Domain: Messenger to the Gods and guide to the Underworld as well as associated with commerce, travelers, thieves, sports, athletes, shepherds, cowherds, wit, written language, literature, cunning, boundaries, communication, animal husbandry, and luck.

Pro: Compared to the rest of the gods besides Ares, he’s a model parent and one of the nicest gods who doesn’t judge people based on appearances. He was also nice to other people’s children as well as acted as foster parent to a few (also has a bunch of kids). Not to mention, he’s able to stop Zeus from destroying humanity. Is basically a good friend to anyone who’s nice to him and if he doesn’t like someone, there’s usually a good reason for it.

Con: He’s kind of mischievous but loveable rogue who deceives, cheats, steals, and whatnot as well as usually gets away with it. Like a lot of the Olympians, he also gets around with a string of lovers as well.

Patron City: None, but his oldest temple was in Arcadia and he had a very popular following in which the festival Hermaea consisted of sporting events for only young boys.

Symbols: Caduceus, Talaria, tortoise, lyre, rooster, and snake

14. Dionysus

The closest thing Ancient Greece had to a frat boy god. He's a hedonist party animal with unpredictable moods and bouts with insanity. Can be great fun or an insane sadist like many frat boys. So eat, drink, and be merry, or he'll kill you.

The closest thing Ancient Greece had to a frat boy god. He’s a hedonist party animal with unpredictable moods and bouts with insanity. Can be great fun or an insane sadist like many frat boys. So eat, drink, and be merry, or he’ll kill you.

AKA: Bacchus but also identified with Liber

Domain: God of wine, parties and festivals, drunkenness, drugs, ecstasy, theater, grape harvest, and agriculture. In some ways, he may be interpreted as the god of Greek life as far as modern college campuses are concerned.

Pro: Genuinely loves his wife, Ariadne in some versions despite not being completely faithful to her (well, what do you expect from a god of hedonism?) and cares about his mother to go to the Underworld for her. Is pretty much fun personified and has survived plenty of nasty shit since he was a baby.

Con: He does have a tendency to punish those who piss him off and does have his share of conquests (basically anything that moves but wife doesn’t seem to mind). Also, in some myths, he’s seen as an insane sadist and party animal as well as prone to violent mood swings. Not to mention, doesn’t take kindly to those who object to his debauch and hedonistic ways.

Patron City: None, but though considered a late arrival in the Olympian pantheon, he actually may have been worshiped as early as 1500 B.C.E. but his cult had been much marginalized for a long time. But he was highly popular for very explainable reasons.

Symbols: Thyrsus, grapevine, leopard skin, panther, tiger, and leopard

15. Persephone

She may be the goddess of spring but she's also Queen of the Underworld and is sometimes more feared than her husband, Hades. Still, whether Stockholm Syndrome or not, she must've felt something positive for Hades to be kind of possessive of him.

She may be the goddess of spring but she’s also Queen of the Underworld and is sometimes more feared than her husband, Hades. Still, Stockholm Syndrome or not, she must’ve felt something positive for Hades to be kind of possessive of him. Then again, she and Hades seem to have had a happy marriage by Ancient Greek standards.

AKA: Proserpina

Domain: Queen of the Underworld and associated with vegetation, spring, rejuvenation, and youth

Pro: Though stoic, she can be moved to tears if someone wants to either die in their spouse’s place or bring his or her spouse back. And whether or not she was really abducted by today’s standards, she seems to have loved Hades though missed her mother around the same time.

Con: She may love Hades but she’s not so much faithful to him (she and Aphrodite fought over Adonis). Not to mention, sometimes she’s even feared more by mortals than her own husband and is almost as stoic as he is. And if anyone dare try to seduce Hades, she would show no mercy.

Patron City: She was worshiped in Ancient Greece in ceremonies involving her mother like the Eleusian Mysteries that predated the Olympian pantheon and may have had Bronze Age or Near Eastern roots making her one of the oldest Greek gods. Still, she had more worshipers than Ares.

Symbols: white poplar and mint leaf