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GREEK GODS BY THE NUMBERS: THE FIRST DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY

GREEK GODS BY THE NUMBERS: THE FIRST DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY

I know what you are thinking, this post is written by Trinity so it is probably another article telling us to write. Deng! Wrong! Today we are going to talk about something a little funnier- Greek mythology! Yay! Don’t roll your eyes just yet, I also find history boring. But you know the one thing I love? A good reality show! The life of the Greek gods would have made a pretty awesome reality show with off the chart ratings if reality shows existed back then. Seriously guys, Keeping up with the Kardashian, Judge Judy or Paternity Court have got nothing on the Greek gods. Trust me, you will love the strange, funny, dark and slightly twisted story of the first dysfunctional family ever! You think your family is weird? You ain’t seen nothing.

I love the Greek gods’ mythology— Rick Riordan made sure of it. I’ll admit, I fell in love with the Percy Jackson movie series because of Logan Lerman. You can’t really blame me; blame those cute blue eyes– But watching the movie got me very curious about the Greek gods’ history, so I delved into the Percy Jackson complete book series and had my eyes pinned to the book until my head hurt from massive screen time. As if that wasn’t enough, I went on to his Greek Heroes and Greek Gods which made me feel like I was in a reality show.

Anyway! Let’s not waste much time and get right to it. Shall we?

To understand, I must start from the very beginning.  In the beginning, the only element that existed was a form called Chaos (I know, gloomy, right?) Anyway, gloomy-Chaos got tired of just wandering around and decided to create an entity called Gaea, the Earth. Gaea became the earth materials, rocks, sand and she had power over plants and anything earth related.

After a few years, Gaea got lonely and decided to create the perfect 10-man called Ouranos. Ouranos was Gaea’s ideal man with shimmering sliver skin and silky black hair. He was as tall as the sky— but can change form to reduce his height and size; he had this incredible six-pack with Zac Efron’s dreamy-manly eyes and nice beards to match. I am just guessing. In any case, Ouranos was perfect and he was the god of the sky which kinda put a strain on their relationship because… well, it is obvious. The sky is freakishly far from the Earth! But they managed to make it work because Ouranos could change form and he’d always visit Earth.

The god of the sky and Earth Mother got married and popped twelve babies called the Titans. The Titans were huge, incredibly strong and powerful. Gaea should have just stopped and opted for family planning at that point but she wanted more babies. She gave birth to a set of triplets, the Elder Cyclops. The Elder Cyclops were big, rough-skinned with their signature one massive eye in the middle of their foreheads. Ouranos was repulsed when he saw the triplets, they were super ugly with drools and very slow. He bounded the triplets and threw them into Tartarus. Tartarus was the so much deeper level of the place we call hell (the Underworld). That was how much Ouranos hated the triplets. Of course, Gaea didn’t take this well. She screamed and cried but there was nothing she could do except cause a little rumble in the earth and uproot a few trees.

Again, someone should have really introduced family planning to Gaea back then because wait for it… she had another set of triplets. Newsflash, these kids were even more monstrous than the Cyclops. There was no way they wouldn’t be; at least the Cyclops didn’t have a hundred arms and fifty tiny heads. Yep! You heard right? The new triplets each had a hundred arms around their bodies and fifty heads each. Gaea called them the Hundred-handed Ones. What else could she have named them? And of course, Ouranos reacted the way a father with psychopathic tendency would have reacted, he bound the Hundred-Handed triplets and into Tartarus they went.

Gaea had had enough. She created the first scythe— you know that curve blade usually associated with serial killers on Halloween? Yep, that one! She showed the weapon to her normal children, the Titans, who were fully grown now. She won mother of the year award when she told them they have to kill their father, Ouranos. Now, let me see if I remember the name of the Titans. Kronos, Oceanus, Koios, Krios, Iapetus, Hyperion, Themis, Rhea… okay, that is as far as I remember.

Back to the story. The Titans were a little squeamish about killing their father, where would they even start? The dude was scary and he threw six of their siblings into Tartarus. You don’t want to plan to murder such person and fail. The backlash will be worse than when Uma Thurman woke from a coma in Kill Bill. Eventually, the last born, Kronos, stepped forward. He was dangerously ambitious and what better way to gain attention than murdering your father?

Gaea invited Ouranos for dinner, unknown to him, he was coming to be offered up. Kronos led his four brothers to murder their father. Koios, Krios, Iapetus, Hyperion held Ouranos down and Kronos did the final act, killing him with the scythe. Ouranos’s ichor (golden blood of the gods) spilt and created whole other creatures that we may or may not be able to talk about. But before he died, he cursed Kronos that his children would do to him the same thing he did. Kronos laughed it off, chopping Ouranos into bits and threw him into the sea.

Kronos became the main event! The lord of the universe, the whole nine yards with six-star treatment at the murder party they threw with their mother. Kronos gave control of the four corners of the Earth to his four brothers that helped him murder their father. Iapetus was appointed Titan of the west, Hyperion, east, Koios went north and Krios got south.

I have looked up the names of the remaining Titans. Let’s get that out of the way in case we need them later. …Tethys, Phoebe, Mnemosyne and Theia!

Kronos released the Elder Cyclops and Hundred-Handed Ones who constructed his palace on Mount Othrys. With Three hundred hands and a few extra, the magnificent fortress was built in no time. Kronos was also the Titan of time and the overall ultimate ruler of the universe. Whatever he said was the law and nobody dared to oppose him.

Alright! Straight to where things started getting weird (not that they weren’t before but you will see what I am talking about soon). Big old Kronos was starting to get lonely and with his loneliness came the grumpiness. His mother, Gaea, had slipped into the Earth for a nice long nap while his siblings had spread across the world, repopulating by getting married to themselves. Options were a little restricted then and they were immortals, so you can strike out most of what we consider today to be moral from their dictionary. Kronos was the uncle of several second-generation Titans like Prometheus (he brought fire from Olympus to the humans he created and was seriously punished for it) Atlas (the dude that held the sky), Klymeme (goddess of Fame, daughter of Titan Oceanus and Tethys), Helios (Titan of the Sun) and Selene (Titan of the Moon).

Kronos was the only one stuck in bachelorhood but he had his eyes set on Rhea. Rhea was said to be the most beautiful of the Titans and she was the Titan of motherhood which meant she was very motherly. Kronos would occasionally remember his father’s last word. The thought of being hacked into pieces and throw into the ocean didn’t sound fun to him but, my friends, loneliness is a pain in the —

Kronos and Rhea eventually got married. Big mistake! A few months later, Rhea had a child, a baby girl named Hestia. They noticed immediately that she was different. An ungraded, more stylish, more beautiful and stronger race had begun. The age of the gods! Hestia was smaller than a Titan baby but she was perfect. Kronos couldn’t deal, he hated change and he probably remembered his father’s curse again. Long story short, Kronos opened his mouth and swallowed the baby. Just like that.

It gets weirder, hold on. One would think swallowing a whole baby alive was enough to not want to have another baby for the “swallower”, but not Rhea. We can’t exactly blame her; Kronos was the ruler of the freaking universe. She could not run no matter how scared she was and she knew Hestia was still alive. Just inside Krono’s belly, mixing with his digestive fluids. She was an immortal and Kronos wasn’t exactly what you would call a normal human, so it made perfect sense that the baby kept growing in his gut. Rhea gave birth to her second daughter, Demeter. She was just as strong and pretty as Hestia, if not more. Guess what? Kronos freaked and cannibalised her too!

Poor Rhea. She was the Titan of motherhood, she was super fertile because soon enough, she gave birth to the lady who invented attitude, Hera. Hold on, Rhea wasn’t done, she kept hoping the last baby would be the last baby Kronos would swallow, it wasn’t. Her fourth child was Hades and the fifth, Poseidon, both soon joined their siblings in daddy’s gut.

At the sixth time, that was when sense finally visited Rhea. She gave birth to baby Zeus away from the palace and with the help of her mother, Gaea; she fooled Kronos by giving him a stone as baby Zeus.  Zeus grew up to be a strong, macho guy with cool golden beards and shining hair. His mother visited frequently and told him about his five siblings lounging away in the tummy of daddy Kronos. Zeus was ready for some ass-kicking when he was strong enough.

Okay, let’s speed things up a bit. Zeus couldn’t take his father down alone, he needed to get his sibling out first. He became a cupbearer to Kronos who did not recognise him. After gaining his trust, Zeus added muster to Kronos drink. His tummy did not like the taste and revolted. Kronos hurled the five gods growing in his tummy. Gods could change form and reduce their size. So the gods had been growing in his tummy all these years. It was very restrictive but not lethal, they were immortals. The gods came out of Kronos’ mouth in the reversed order they went in (not the strangest Olympian birth- you will see) Poseidon first and Hestia, the last one out.

With the lighting bolt of Zeus, Trident of Poseidon and the scary invisible- fear-inducing-death helmet of Hades (all the weapons were made for them by the Hundred-Handed Ones and the Elder Cyclops on their short trip to the Underworld)  and the strength of the other female gods, Kronos was defeated.

Newsflash: Zeus diced Kronos into teeny-weeny bits (seriously, it was a bloody horror film) and disposed his bits into Tartarus. The same way Ouranos said.

At last, the age of the Titan was over. Some Titans like Helios who didn’t stand against or for Zeus were left alone, while other supporters of Kronos like his nephew, Atlas received creative punishments like holding up the sky forever. A dice was rolled, Zeus was the lord of the sky, he did have lightning bolts. Poseidon was the god of the sea and dear Hades got the Underworld (he was always dark and gloomy anyway. It fits his personality and mood).

Zeus got his dream palace at the top of Mount Olympus, right beside the demolished Mount Othrys, built by…. Drum roll… the Hundred-handed Ones. The other gods lived with Zeus at Olympus and he operated a council-ish rule. Each god had their throne at Olympus except maybe Hades who was always in the Underworld. That was why Hades was always the bad guy in movies, his siblings always side-tracked him.

Woah! We finally covered the foundation. Time for things to get interesting! You think the Titans are a strange lot? Wait till you see the Olympias. They are the real Housewives of Beverly Hills with a little Twilight Zone.

Keep a weather eye out for the next episode.

S.A. TRINITY

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5 Responses

  1. I have always been interested in Greek mythology but always thought it would be a long and boring history.
    After reading this, well, it is long but very captivating delivery. I didn’t even realize how long it was until I finished reading it😂😂. Looking forward to the next part.

  2. Trinity never ceases to amaze me…
    Thank you for this creative masterpiece!
    Love your writing style!
    Now I know the creation story of the Greeks, all thanks to you!

    Keep it up, can’t wait for the series!

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