The Olympian gods have appeared in countless books, motion pictures and comics, but many of the great myths about them, which could have made fantastic scenes, never found their way to an audience. Here are a few myths I collected that are due time in the spotlight:
1. A motherly love — Zeus was the last son of Cronus and Rhea, the Titans. Cronus, who feared that his descendants would overthrow him, devoured his children immediately after birth. Hence, Rhea secretly gave birth to Zeus in a cave and returned to Cronus' palace where she cunningly gave
the Titan a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes to swallow.
The divine infant fed on milk from the udders of Amalthea, a goat that was a descendant of Helios the Titan. Amalthea was so huge and terrible in form that the Titans could not even bear to see her, but Zeus loved her as a mother. Before Zeus' fiercest battle — the Clash of the Titans — Amalthea granted him one last gift: her skin, from which Zeus made the Aegis, the mighty shield that won him the campaign.
I bet Amalthea's unending generosity toward him has left an indelible mark on young Zeus' persona— one that can offer profound understanding to Zeus' character for anyone who wants to write future stories about the kindness of his nature.
2. The strange birth of Athena — Soon after Zeus impregnated Metis the Titan, an Oracle prophesied that Metis' first child would be a girl and her second child would be a boy that would overthrow Zeus. Zeus took this warning seriously: He tricked Metis into turning herself into a fly and swallowed her and her unborn child. But inside Zeus' head, Metis started crafting a helmet for her daughter.
Zeus' head began to grow and he had such excruciating headaches that he begged Hephaestus, the blacksmith god, to split his skull with an axe to explore the reason for the pain. As soon as his heavenly head was cracked opened, the Goddess Athena sprang out fully grown and in a full set of armor.
Now, Zeus' attempt to prevent his daughter from being born must have burdened their father-daughter relationship. It would be fun
to explore how.
3. A beaten son — Hephaestus was the son of Zeus and Hera. Once he interceded in a quarrel between his parents to protect his mother. In his wrath, Zeus grabbed Hephaestus by the foot and flung him down from the Olympus to the Earth far below.
Hephaestus fell for nine days and nine nights, not able to stop the tremendous thrust with which he was launched. Finally he crashed on a rocky island, inflicting the permanent physical disability of a severe limp.
We all agree such cruelty by a father is intolerable. Nonetheless, Hephaestus is known as a good and obedient son to Zeus.
I wonder if and how he got over this incident.
4. Winning her heart — Zeus fell in love with his older sister, Hera, but after a few unsuccessful courting attempts he resorted to trickery. He created a storm and took the form of a cuckoo. He then flew to Hera's window, pretending to be in distress. Hera, feeling sorry for the bird, brought the cuckoo into her room and held to her breast to keep it warm. Zeus turned back into himself and hugged her back. Hera was so moved by this gesture by the king of the gods that she agreed to marry him.
It's a real ugly thing Zeus did deceiving Hera, but Hera, who is known for her manipulations, must have seen it differently. Regardless, a wedding that starts with such a cunning act is a harbinger of a turbulent marriage that leaves much to be explored.
5. A scorching insult — During a battle between the Greeks and the Macedonians, while Ares was fighting for the Macedonian side, he saw Athena fighting for the Greeks. Without thinking twice, the god of war rushed toward her, and threw his terrible spear against her breast. Athena caught the spear point on her shield, and turned it aside. She then seized a great rock and hurled it at Ares. Her aim was so sure that it struck him squarely and knocked him flat upon his back. Ares was so injured by the blow that he gave up the fight and fled to Mount Olympus to tend his wound.
The laughter of the gods followed him all the way.
Three thousand years have passed since this battle, but Ares has not yet redeemed himself from that shame. Anybody who knows the god of war has no doubt he is just biding his time.