Welcome to a new year where we’re going to begin off M3 with a bang and tackle the myth of Persephone. Buckle up, this one’s intense.
Our story begins with Hades, who’s a lonely kind of guy, and has his eye on Core (who will become Persephone, later). Instead of behaving like all the other Greek gods and simply ravaging her, Hades approaches and asks Zeus for permission to marry her. Seeking out dad’s permission is very old-school, and classy on Hades’s part, even if she is Hades’s niece at the same time (Yes, it’s incest, but it’s the Greeks. What are you going to do?).Zeus being Zeus, he doesn’t say yes, and he doesn’t say no. hades, then acts, and takes Core back to his place in the underworld.
Demeter, Core’s mom, freaks out.
All she knows is Core is missing. In retaliation, she swears that she won’t allow any crops to grow until Core’s returned to her. As the goddess of agriculture, this is totally within her domain, and, well, it sucks to be us. She has no qualms about killing all humanity in order to get Core back.
Zeus, however, is not down with this idea, but this is the first (of many) interesting twists this myth takes. Zeus, king of the gods, wielder of the thunderbolt, the most powerful weapon among the gods, is stymied. He’s got no power over agriculture. He can’t undo what Demeter has done. Demeter also digs in her heels, and refuses to fix things. She will not relent until Core is returned to her.
This demonstrates quite clearly how limited the powers are of the Greek gods. Zeus, for all his power and threats, can’t force Demeter. He might be able to kill her—it’s unclear as to whether or not the Greek gods can actually be killed, but they can be wounded—but that wouldn’t solve the problem. In fact, it would probably make things worse.
So, naturally, if he can’t force Demeter, he should work Hades over.
We’ll pick it up next week to see how that goes (hint: predictably).