The gods and goddesses

Hestia

Although Hestia was the first born Olympian, she was the last one out of Kronos' stomach, so she was treated like the youngest. She was forgiving and only once got very angry. We'll get to that later. Anyway, Hestia became goddess of the hearth. She spent most of her time there, silently thinking. She decided to be maiden forever. One day, as Hestia was beside the hearth as usual, she was rudely disturbed by Poseidon and a young god called Apollo. She was annoyed with this, but she listened patiently to the two gods. They both asked for her hand in marriage, even though they knew she had decided to be maiden forever. Hestia stormed out of the room and could never trust Poseidon or Apollo again.

Hestia by the hearth

Demeter

Demeter became the goddess of crops and farming. She made all the trees and other plants grow. She, like her sister Hestia, also decided to become maiden forever. Unfortunately she had her older sister's kindness and her younger sister's (Hera) beauty, so she was a target for most of the male Olympians. She had children with Zeus, Poseidon and some mortals too. Her most famous child was one she had with Zeus. Demeter named the child Persephone. Demeter was very happy with her child until one day, Hades, god of the underworld captured Persephone. Hades wanted to marry her. At the time of the capture, Demeter was away planting and growing crops. When she found out, she got so mad she decided that no crops would grow until she got Persephone back. This went on for about a year, and plenty of humans died of starvation. Eventually, Hades cracked under the pressure. They made a compromise. For two thirds of the year Persephone would spend time with Demeter, and in the coldest third of the year she would travel to the underworld and stay with Hades.

Demeter and Persephone

Hera

Hera became the goddess of marriage and her sacred animal became the cow (don't ask me why). Hera eternally married Zeus and her most famous child was Hepheastus. When Hepheastus was born, he was all crippled and disgusting. Hera got such a shock at the ugliness of the child she threw him off Mount Olympus. Hepheastus stayed down there for a while. He began to craft things so amazing that he became the god of blacksmiths. He managed to find his way back to Mount Olympus and crafted thrones for all the Olympians. When Hera sat down on her chair she was instantly locked into it. She could not move and she could only just about breathe. Hepheastus had got his revenge.

Hera

Hades

Hades became god of the underworld. Him, Poseidon and Zeus rolled dice for the sky, the sea and the underworld. Zeus got first choice and he took the sky. Poseidon got second choice and he took the sea, leaving Hades with the underworld. All he did there was decide whether to send souls to the Fields of Punishment, the Fields of Asphodel or the Fields of Elysium. The only joy he got was when Persephone visited for one third of the year. He was not allowed in Mount Olympus, so had to spend all his time in the dark realm of the underworld.

Hades with his three-headed dog, Cerberus

Poseidon

Poseidon became god of the sea. He spent most of his time at the seafront. It was here that he immortally married Amphitrite. He then went and built an undersea palace for himself. He is known for having close links with all sea creatures, but his sacred animal is actually a horse. A long time ago, Poseidon was trying to impress Demeter. Demeter asked him to create something beautiful. Poseidon used his best skills to create a horse. The horse stood tall an galloped elegantly across the seafront. An interesting fact is that Poseidon was the god with the most children. Among the most famous were Theseus (Greek hero), Polyphemus (cyclops) and Percy Jackson (charachter from modern literature). Poseidon was generally calm and composed.

Poseidon with his trustworthy weapon, the trident

Zeus

Zeus became king of the gods. This was decided after he led them to victory in the Titan War. He also became god of the sky. HIs most trustworthy weapon was his lightning bolt. Like Poseidon, Zeus had many children. The most famous being Ares, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Dionysus, Hepheastus and Hermes. All of these became Olympians soon after their birth.The story of Zeus and Hera is very interesting. Zeus wanted Hera to marry him, but Hera simply refused. So one day Zeus asked 'If I can get you to say, "I love you," will you marry me?" Hera agreed. The next day Zeus turned into a bird and flew into Hera's window. The Zeus-bird acted all cute, and over time Hera grew to love the bird. One day, Hera said, "Oh you are such a cute bird, I love you." Next thing you know Zeus turned back into his usual self. Hera had been fooled and she had no choice but to marry Zeus.

Zeus wih his bolt of lightning

Athena

Athena was born inside Zeus's head. She slowly grew bigger inside, kicking at Zeus's skull. Zeus's head got so sore that he had to cut it open and let Athena out. Athena introduced herself. She was the goddess of wisdom and war strategy. She wanted to be queen of what was to become Athens. She was up against Poseidon, who wanted to be king. Poseidon tried to impress the people of the city, so he crafted his finest horse yet. Athena however, created an olive tree. This was much more valuable as it provided a source of food for the people in the city. Athena became queen of the city. This is why it is called Athens.

Athena with her shield

Apollo

Apollo was child of Zeus and Leto. He was a lot noisier than his twin sister, Artemis. When he was born, he started talking like an adult, mainly about music. He loved playing music. He became god of music archery, the sun and loads of other stuff. One time a man was playing the recorder in a bar. He was playing it so well that he got carried away and said, "I am even better than Apollo at playing music." Apollo got so mad at this that he flew to the bar in his sun-cart, raised his bow and arrow and shot with stunning speed and accuracy at the man. He was killed in an instant. Apollo took the recorder and cursed it. Next time someone played it they would be turned to stone for eternity. Apollo decided to never get married.

Apollo riding his sun-chariot

Artemis

Artemis was a quiet goddess and tended to stay alone most of the time. She became goddess of the hunt, a group of warriors, all female. The girls wer an average age of ten years old. They used sublime archery skills to slaughter their opponents. Any girl who decided to join the hunt had to agree to stay maiden forever, just like Artemis. They were then made immortal. Artemis only ever truly trusted them after they had made this vow.

Artemis with her bow and arrow

Aphrodite

Aphrodite came from the sea. She was the oldest goddess. She became an Olympian and eternally married Hepheastus. This was Hera's decision as she wanted to do Hepheastus a favour after throwing him off Mount Olympus. Aphrodite was not pleased with this. She became the goddess of love and had children with Ares straight after. She fooled plenty of mortals with her beauty.

Aphrodite in her usual white dress

Hepheastus

Hepheastus would not let Hera out of her chair, until one day a young god called Dionysus persuaded him to. He had become god of wine and he and Hepheastus drank until Hepheastus became drunk. He then freed Hera. Once, Aphrodite and Ares were in bed. Hepheastus made a trap and lowered it onto them. When they woke up they were trapped in a net. Everyone had a good laugh at them until Zeus ordered Hepheastus to free them. Aphrodite and Ares were filled with embarrasment and Hepheastus was filled with glee.

Hepheastus controlling fire

Ares

Ares became god of war. He was the god that not many of the other gods liked. The funny thing was, in the face of danger, he was the first one to chicken out. He had plenty of children, most famously Phobos and Deimos, minor moon gods. He did not have a sacred flower (Go figure). He got on particularly badly with Poseidon, until one day when Aphrodite was getting freed from Hepheastus' trap Poseidon decided to stick up for Ares and set him free too.

Ares in his warrior suit

Hermes

When Hermes was born he was hungry. He had no food so he decided to raid one of Apollo's farms. He captured fifty sheep (I don't know how) and ate them after cooking them. When Apollo found out, he sent Hermes to Juvie, a godly prison. Hermes became Zeus' messenger and ran around for him all the time. He had a faithful weapon, which was a staff with a snake on each side.

Hermes with his weapon

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