Remixed Myths: Vol 1 – Winter’s Beginning

Yes, I know this isn’t what any of you were expecting, but I decided to post it here. Sometimes it will be relevant to a story (such as the Worlds Trilogy), sometimes it won’t.

This is a remixed version of the Hades/Persephone myth. It can also be found in Thalassa’s Domain. Enjoy!

Hades and Persephone

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Long ago, there was a young goddess by the name of Kore. She was the only daughter of Demeter, goddess of agriculture, and her mother was very protective of her. Kore was so beautiful that she even attracted the eyes of Hades, the dread Lord of the Underworld and ruler of the dead.

Hades fell in love with Kore, and she soon did the same, intrigued by the dark god. Wanting her to be his wife, Hades asked Zeus, king of the gods, to allow their marriage. The two brothers knew that Demeter would never let her daughter be married to someone like Hades, so Zeus suggested a plan, one that would involve kidnapping the young maiden.

One day, while Kore was in the fields, she wandered away from her nymph attendants. Catching sight of a narcissus flower, she went to pick it. As she did, the ground suddenly opened up, and Hades appeared in his black chariot. Kore screamed in surprise. Hades quickly explained Zeus’ plan after she realized who it was. After she got into the chariot, the two vanished, the ground closing behind them.

The nymphs had heard Kore’s scream and rushed towards their mistress, but they were too late; Kore was already gone. Demeter was distraught when she heard the news and began to wander the earth for nine days and nights, searching for her lost daughter. In her sorrow, the crops withered and livestock died.

Finally, on the tenth day, Hecate, the goddess of magic, came to her, informing Demeter that Kore was taken, but by whom, she did not know. The two journeyed to Helios, the Titan of the sun, for he saw everything that happened on Earth. He told Demeter the truth: what Zeus’ plan was, how her daughter had gone willingly, and was now Persephone, wife of Hades.

Demeter refused to believe it. She thought that Hades had forced her daughter to marry him and was enraged that Zeus had allowed it. She refused to return to Olympus, wandering the earth in disguise, continuing to destroy the lands. Humans began to starve, and the earth grew barren.

The frantic Olympians tried to beg Demeter to let the crops grow again, for they only existed because of the humans’ faith in them. Yet Demeter remained adamant, refusing to do so until her daughter was returned to her. Zeus finally relented, and sent Hermes to fetch Persephone from Hades.

Persephone was torn: stay in the Underworld and let the humans perish, or go back to her overprotective mother and never see Hades again. She did the only thing she could: she ate six pomegranate seeds from Hades’ garden. She knew that if you ate the food of the dead, you were then bound to the Underworld. The deed was done.

Rhea, the mother of Zeus, Hades, Demeter, and the other elder Olympians, settled the dispute, stating that Persephone had to stay in the Underworld for six months of the year (one for each seed) and could be with her mother the other six. Demeter reluctantly agreed, and the famine ended.

Whenever Persephone was on earth with her mother, the lands flourished, letting herbs and plants grow, but whenever Persephone returned to the Underworld, the world grew cold and less fertile until the six months ended. Hecate became Persephone’s confidante and close companion. Because of this, Hades allowed her to stay in the Underworld as an honored guest.

And so, the couple lived happily ever after…

Mostly.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Hades and Persephone were said to have a daughter, Macaria, goddess of blessed death, but no other children are mentioned as both of their offspring. Melinoe, goddess of ghosts, was said to have been concieved when Zeus seduced Persephone in the guise of Hades; but that’s a story for another time.

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