t h e  g o r g o n s  were three powerful, winged daemons named medusa, stheno, and euryale. while descriptions of gorgons vary across greek literature, the term commonly refers to any of three sisters who had hair made of living, venomous snakes, as well as a horrifying visage that turned those who beheld her to stone. of the three sisters, only medusa was mortal, and so it was her head which king polydectes of seriphos commanded the young hero perseus to fetch.