bfa: zagreus

sourbunny  asked:

Hey!! First of all, I love your blog!! Second of all, I remember a while ago someone had asked you if Hades ever had any children and I think you said he didn't/you weren't sure (i read it a loongg time ago so forgive me if I don't remember everything or get some things wrong) But don't Hades and Persephone have a child together? I forget her name but she's supposed to be the goddess of ghosts or something along those lines

You might be thinking of Macaria, who is mentioned in the Suda as being the daughter of Hades, although not of Persephone; her mother isn’t mentioned. In this text, Macaria is listed as the goddess of ‘blessed death’ (ie death that wasn’t caused by lame stuff like hiccoughs or cowardice). She’s not found in any other canons though, and is a very minor figure in the Suda, so it’s basically accepted that Hades and Persephone did not have children.

It’s also possible that you’re thinking of Mesperyian, who was invented in a 2009 fanfiction and was described as the daughter of Hades and Persephone. In this fanfiction, Mesperyian is given the title of goddess of pain and torture, and the story goes that Aphrodite was envious of her beauty and burned her face. However, I cannot stress enough that, despite the weird way the story has permeated Tumblr, it is fanfiction. Mesperyian does not appear in a single Greek myth. She’s, like, totally a poser. I discredited her here, but may end up doing a post in future about her, because so many people seem to think she was part of the pantheon when she wasn’t.

The more in depth post about Hades’ children in various canons is here, which discusses Zagreus as the son of Hades as well.

Finally relistened to Zagreus after four and a half years, now blessed with: 

  1. knowledge of what the fuck is going on and
  2. the ability to recognise voices!

Thoughts in roughly chronological order:

  • Paul McGann is amazing in this audio. His performance as Zagreus still sends shivers down my spine.
  • Saviltride! Lady Louisa! Cecilia Pollard before she became a Nazi! 
  • I love the list of alternate timelines… it’s very reminiscent of the cascade of origin stories from Unnatural History. Zagreus mentions Oblivion! The Horde! Events from the EDAs! The… Nestene?  
  • Also, explicit confirmation that they’re all canon. Which is fantastic. Why are we still debating that?
  • “YSSGAROTH CURSE YOU, GIRL!” — some creative Time Lord swearing from Zagreus, there. I wonder if by “curse”, he means “taint”… 
  • (Speaking of which, Zagreus infecting the TARDIS feels hauntingly similar to the Yssgaroth infecting House Lolita.)
  • Eight is wearing boots!
  • “For King And Country!” — is Dr. Stone part of the Forge!?
  • !! The Sisters Of The Flame !!
  • !!! The Starbreaker Eurydice !!!
  • Regeneration is based on molecules… the Time Lord brain rearranges itself with each new incarnation, and the memories and personality of the previous version are copied over. That’s very Heaven Sent, in a way. 
  • Compared to Interference these are like the kindergarten version of Vampires. In fact, the Divergence seem to be playing the same part here that the Vampires had in Interference. Interesting.
  • Aw, Vandekirian gets a mention. 
  • … Time Lords are dicks.
  • “Oh, well, blow that!” ❤ Charley. 
  • This is a very silly episode.
  • “Not going to risk taking her hand?” Yes, Doctor, take Charley’s hand. Surely nothing bad can come of that. 
  • I’d forgotten just own unctuous this Rassilon is.
  • HI BRAX!
  • BBV Audio: “Romana literally captured a dual singularity as an energy conduit to provide a sustainable power source and built her own timeship to escape from E-Space!” Big Finish: “lol she found a magic mirror idek”
  • And now Leela’s eating Rassilon’s brain. Charming. 
  • “Bandrilsnatch.” That’s a bit extra. 
  • This is a very silly episode.
  • “Tweedledum, Tweedledee and their friend Tweedle-Ego!” ❤ Charley.
  • “The Next Life…” I see what they did there!
  • If being a little bit in love with the “kill me” sequence is wrong I don’t want to be right. 
  • “And we all know what happened to San Francisco…” I see what they did there! 
  • Oh my god the TARDIS just punched a Nazi Zagreus in the face. 
  • Aww, the Grey Lady in the engine rooms. That’s really sweet.
  • Eight you are terrible at breakups.  
  • Charlotte you are also terrible at breakups.

So! Well! 

That was four hours of… something, alright. It got a bit messy in the third act but I still love it to bits. Props to Alan Barnes and Gary Russell for making it all work! 

Modern Mythology: Zagreus

“What would people look like if we could see them as they are, soaked in honey, stung and swollen, reckless, pinned against time?”

A modern Zagreus who can’t remember how to breathe without remembering how hollow his bones have become, his skin a gravestone. He was born with death on his tongue, grew black in his lungs, and even then, he was whole, as whole as he would ever be, as whole as he would ever hope to be with his cells only held together with the dust the underworld, veins like vines as if they were trying to hold his bones together, as if they knew where his heart would belong, as if they knew he would wander this earth searching for it again under each shadow. Put your to his chest, feel the pads of his fingertips, there is no warmth within him, no flush on his cheeks, he walks through flames, onto highways, blinded by light and begging for something, anything, anything besides the absent of the beat in his chest. They stitched him back together so long ago, but another already lived with his heart under their skin.

latent-thoughts  asked:

Hey its me again. Want to pick your brains, now that I have gotten my fangirling a bit in control. It was interesting reading your take on Ovid. How do you see the Orphic theogony? He wrote a lot about Persephone and Demeter, but made Zeus the father of Zagreus/Dionysus (and others). I personally like to think its Zeus Cthonius=Hades, and that that detail was lost in translation at some point. Also,its too creepy for me to imagine a father-daughter pair. I'm very curious what you think about it.

TW: Rape

I agree. Outside of the Protogenoi, and that lineage is debatable, there aren’t any other parent-child pairings in Greek myth that aren’t founded on the tragedy and downfall of mortal kings. While brother-sister pairings are common, parent-child pairings for all other mythological characters are taboo. There exists no other in mythology.

Here is what the translation of Melinoe’s hymn from the Orphic tradition says, as translated by Apostolos Athanassakis:

“I call upon Melinoe, saffron cloaked nymph of the earth, whom revered Persephone bore by the mouth of the Kokytos river upon the sacred bed of Kronian Zeus. In the guise of Plouton Zeus tricked Persephone and through wily plots bedded her.”

So the text says plainly, in the Orphic tradition, that Melinoe is Zeus’ child.


Remember that all of these myths are a result of something called syncretism. The Greek pantheon didn’t come about over night fully formed. There were many gods and goddesses that were similar to others and these were combined to make singular gods. For instance, nearly all the chief sky gods of the Greek city states become Zeus before the rise of the polis.

If we think about it this way, and remember that Zeus, Zeus Pater (Jupiter) and Deus all mean the same thing, then it can be inferred that Zeus is a title, much like Caesar or king. Most of Zeus’ epithets are related to the city in which he was worshiped. In the passage above, Kronian means ‘son of Kronos’, which was a title also widely applied to Hades.

The passage above quite possibly came about like this:

In several places like Locri, Eleusis, Corinth and Ephyra, Plouton (Hades) and Persephone were the chief deities, the ones responsible for the fertility of the earth, for the cycle of life and death. As a Father-Mother god pairing much like Zeus and Hera, they had children to rule over other aspects of their dominion.

But during the rise of the polis and the writing down of oral myth, Zeus became the chief dominant god in a fractious region united by a single pantheon ruled over by a single sky god. Chief deities of the sea became Poseidon in much the same way, and Hades was relegated from rulership over the earth with his wife to rulership over only the dead. To make the pantheon make sense and include all gods, there couldn’t be two chief deities of the living world. Those writing down the myths also surmised that Hades, as the ruler of the dead, was infertile and could not have produced children like Melinoe and Zagreus.

Hades, in his aspect of Zeus Katachthonios, the king beneath the earth, lost his role as father to his children because of syncretism.

Zagreus and especially Melinoe remained, and their paternity was quickly attributed to the most common source of paternity in Greek myth: Zeus Olympios.

But I personally think that it is possible to read between the lines in the Orphic hymns. For example, in Zagreus’ conception, the father appears as a snake, a creature who is deeply chthonic in its mythic origins. In this way, I think that the father is written into this myth in code, not outright, as Hades. A few lines are added to reference back to Zeus, but the deeper symbolism points to Hades.

In the conception of Melinoe above, Persephone bears her by the shores of the Cocytus, but strangely at the same time in the bed of Zeus Kronion, which here translates to the king son of Kronos, which could also be Hades. The line describing how Zeus took Hades’ form to conceive Melinoe on Persephone is about as clear an indication as we can have that the original source of the myth was ret-conned to have Zeus be the father.

Melinoe was important enough to enough people as the daughter of Hades and Persephone that the myth had to be written this way in order to say to the people that “we know you worshipped her this way, as the daughter of Hades and Persephone, but here is what actually happened. This is what everyone should believe now, but if you want to keep believing that Hades was her father, here is how you can go right on ahead and do that”.

If it is not meant to be interpreted this way, then why bother going to all the trouble of saying that Zeus had to take Hades’ form to conceive the child? Wouldn’t Melinoe’s birth have been just as equally valid if Zeus had simply done what he did with almost every other one of his bedmates and ravished Persephone unwillingly?

The answer is clearly no, and the fact that the text exists to so elaborately explain Melinoe’s conception is the signifier that her original myth was different.

So to conclude, I do agree with you. The text says otherwise, but if you read into it contextually, then the true meaning becomes clear: the “forms” that Zeus takes in myth are too chthonic in origin or are simply Hades himself. Because of this, the language could be interpreted as code for the original father of Melinoe and Zagreus, which would be Zeus Katachthonios. Hades. Plouton.