God of Sky and Thunder. Ruler of Mount Olympus. Father, King, and Protector of all gods and men
“Even the gods who are not his natural children address him as Father, and all the gods rise in his presence.”
Zeus was the King of the Gods and the god of the sky, weather, law and order, destiny and fate, and kingship. He was depicted as a strong, and imposing man with an impressive and regal figure, and with long hair and scruff of a beard. His usual attributes were a lightning bolt, a royal sceptre and an eagle. He carried the thunderbolt weapon at all times.
Zeus was a carefree god who loved to laugh out loud. He was regarded as wise, fair, just, merciful, and prudent. He was also unpredictable – nobody was able to guess the decisions he would make.
However, he was also easily angered and could be very destructive as a result. He was known to call lightning bolts and summon violent storms when in an ill mood.
Zeus fell in love easily and had many affairs with various women, and outright abducted or assaulted many more, however he would severely punish anybody who attempted to escort/fall in love with his wife Hera, such as Porphyrion whom Zeus struck dead with a lightning bolt in a blind rage for lusting after his wife.
Zeus was the mastermind behind Operation Kronos and overthrew the ruling Titans that preceded them. He allied with his two strongest brothers, Poseidon and Hades, and together the three led the war that saw the Titans defeated and imprisoned. Knowing that their brother, Hades, was the wisest and fairest among them, Zeus and Poseidon colluded to see Hades banished at the conclusion of the war. Knowing he could not stand against the two united brothers, Hades accepted his banishment and descended nearly out of sight and practically off world to the hellish dominion of the Underworld. There he took up guardianship of the prison of the Titans and all other vanquished foes from the war.
The betrayal was never rectified, and Hades spent the long years of his life in deep resentment of Zeus as a result.
Befitting his role as King of the Gods, Zeus was attended by a large complement of channelers.
His throne was guarded by four winged spirits, two male and two female, named Kratos (Strength), Zelos (Rivalry), Nike (Victory) and Bia (Force). Kratos and Bia functioned as muscular enforcers and were tasked with jobs such as the apprehension and imprisonment of the Titan Prometheus. Nike drove Zeus’ chariot and often accompanied him on his travels.
The god Hermes was Zeus’ personal herald who acted as diplomat, envoy and general agent of the god’s will.
His messenger was Iris, the winged goddess of the rainbow, who relayed messages and delivered commands to the other gods.
Zeus’ high councillor Themis, goddess of law and order, was seated beside his throne. She was attended by the Moirai (Fates) and the Horai (Seasons), goddesses who were collectively responsible for the orderly functioning of the cosmos. Themis was also charged with summoning all of the gods to assembly in the courtyard of Zeus.
The god’s virgin sister Hestia also resided in his palace where she tended the ever-burning, divine hearth-fire in the center of his hall.
Ganymede and Zeus’s daughter Hebe were Zeus’ cupbearers who served ambrosia and nectar at the feasts of the gods.
The winged Harpyiai (Harpies), known as the “hounds of Zeus”, were crude creatures tasked by the god with carrying off or harrassing mortals.
Pegasus, the winged horse, carried Zeus’ lightning bolts, and four other immortal horses drew his chariot through the sky.
The Family of Zeus
Zeus was a son of the Titans Kronos and Rheia, and a grandson of Ouranos and Gaia. He was a brother of the gods Poseidon, Hades, Hera, Demeter and Hestia.
Zeus married his sister, the sky-goddess Hera, and they had three children – Ares, Hebe and Eileithyia.
His other divine consorts and conquests included:
- his sister Demeter, mother of Persephone
- his cousins:
- Metis, mother of Athena
- Leto, mother of Apollo and Artemis
- Maia, mother of Hermes
- his aunts:
- Dione, mother of Aphrodite
- Themis, mother of the Moirai and Horai
- Mnemosyne, mother of the Mousai
- his descendant Semele, mother of Dionysos.
- Persephone, mother of Melinoe.
He was also the father of innumerable mortal kings and heroes, the most famous of which were Perseus, Heracles, and Helene of Troy.