I was thinking. (oh no! not again!) What do the Olympians think of the tv show "Hercules: the Legendary Journeys"? After all, it portrays so many of them differently than the myths of old do. I wonder, do they sit around bitching about it and throwing popcorn at their tv set?
SHOW: Hera is a screaming murdering harridan that hates her husband and his children (Hercules) and is always hungry for vengeance by trying to kill off all of Herc's friends and ruining all his plans.
MYTH: Alcemene was a Priestess of Hera who was *tricked* by Zeus and she *spurned* his child. Hera found the abandoned child and nursed him, feeding him his first meal and granting him incredible strength. Hera (not Zeus) blessed him with gifts and named him for herself (Heracles) and forced Alcemene to take him back. [interesting sidenote about Jason: his trip on the Argos for the Golden Fleece was sponsored by Hera. She blessed them and whispered in his ear the secrets to surviving the trials and making it past the traps on the journey]
SHOW: Hercules hates the Gods and bad mouths them everywhere. He trashes their temples and tries to get the mortals to stop following them. He wants nothing to do with Olympus or his family.
MYTH: Heracles wanted to live with his family (and stepmother specifically) on Olympus but he had to prove his worth by doing the 12 labors. He did and ascended to Olympus as the Gatekeeper. Um, I also think (but am not certain) that he married Hebe Goddess of Youth.
SHOW: Cupid is the son of Aphrodite and he calls Ares "uncle".
MYTH: Eros is the son of Aphrodite and Ares. He's less with the romance and more with the sexual pleasure and he doesn't carry a bow and arrow. [Cupid is the Roman cherub son of Venus and Mars]
SHOW: Aphrodite is happily married to Heph and Persephone is happily married to Hades. (with the exception of the Demeter thing six months of the year) Her personality is portrayed as vain, flighty and bubbly, but very friendly.
MYTH: Aphrodite was forced to marry Heph against her wishes. She was in love with Adonis. Persephone was tricked by Hades into eating a pomegranate grown in the underworld which *forced* her to live there against her will. Demeter's temper tantrum that won her six months on Olympus was *wanted* by Persephone. She was in love with Adonis. [she and Aphrodite fought over him constantly until he was turned into a plant to protect him from them] She was rude, demanding, cruel, vain, and had the habit of punishing all her lovers for daring to sleep with a Goddess even though she seduced them.
SHOW: Deimos (look! Spelled it right!) is the God of Fear.
MYTH: Deimos and Phobos are twins. Deimos is the God of Pain. Phobos is the God of Fear. They are shapeshifters that can assume the shape of giant dogs to pull Ares' Chariot. Whenever the Chariot of War rides through a mortal population, the three Gods leave a trail of pain, fear and violence in their wake.
SHOW: Apollo was shown as a spoilt kid with nothing on his mind but throwing parties and panting over girls.
MYTHS: Apollo was one of the smartest and busiest of all the Gods. Music, poetry, philosophy, medicine, the sun, etc...
SHOW: Iolaus was a friend of Hercules that pretty much followed him around like a puppy dog.
MYTH: Iolaus was the son of Iphicles and became the King of Corinth when he inherited it from his father after his father married Jason's daughter. (i think that's the way Iolaus got the throne - I could be wrong though)
Oddly enough, the show is pretty much on target with Ares. He was hated, feared and scorned, both by the mortals and his family. So was Eris. Although, in MYTHS, it was Eris who started the Trojan War and the show did not credit her with this.
The show also rarely focused on Artemis, Athena, Apollo, Demeter or Dionysos even though they are the focus of the majority of the myths of that time. Demeter is seen in an episode or two as a harridan although she was dearly loved and revered by the Greek farmers.
As I said, it would be interesting to see how the Olympians reacted to the show. I can see some being highly offended and others being amused. And Heracles? I bet he just wanted to sink through the floor in embarrassment.
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