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Kiri ☂ ([personal profile] taotrooper) wrote2012-04-14 03:00 am
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100 things mythology [001/100]

Okay, I thought I'd start off with something basic but this shit can be so complicated that "basic" doesn't exist. So I can't even make introductions of the major gods of the major mythologies because... who are the major ones?

Mmmm, let's go simpler. We've all heard of the Twelve Olympians, right? But can you name them? Of course you can, but who the fuck knows if you'll say the same names than someone else will. That's right, there are a lot of versions of who are the 12. Probably even each person had their own list of twelve back then. It makes terribly difficult to, say, make a canon Olympus in LEGO minifigures.

By Dunechaser @ Flickr

There are some set ones, certainly. For example, Zeus and Hera are always on the list (duh.) But not every important god or goddess is One Of Them, so logic flies through the window like a pegasus who doesn't know how to use the door.

Take Hades and Hestia. They're both Cronus' children, so you'd imagine they'd make it to the cut all the time. But nope! Hades is one of the Big Cheese Trio, but apparently he's not Olympian most times because he doesn't live IN Olympus. Dude, what? I don't think Artemis lives in there either, with all the hunting and camping slumber parties to be done in the forest. Just say you're scared shitless of him, you wusses.

Hestia is a more delicate case because she was a Usual one, but then she stepped aside to give her spot to Dionysus. Except some people still count her in, mostly because it's cooler to have 6 goddesses, so yeah.

So ideally, we might alllllll go with the Classic list: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Hestia, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes, Dionysus?

LOLNOPE! Because some dorks were all screw canon, and added whatever gods they liked to the Twelve if Wikipedia is to be believed. Asclepius, nevermind he died! Eros, no one gets in his shit list (amirite, Apollo?)! Hebe, because... wait, does Hebe do anything besides nectar mojito shots? Pan, because uh... needs more furry! Persephone, because... hold on, that's a douche move because her hubby isn't invited to the fucking party. Heracles, because... MAN, SERIOUSLY? Are you going to include Heracles?! Okay, let's go home, I give up. Fuck everything.

See? It's terrible. It's not like the Twelve Apostles, where you can look them up and they're always the same dudes. At this point, I just wonder if instead of the ideal of 12 because it's a nice number, if Zeus couldn't ask Hephaestus to make him some extra chairs for the meetings.

So, when I got into Norse and I heard there are 12 Aesir, I was ready to look for the nicest wall to hit my head against it. But... that wasn't true. To be precise, the list (which is thankfully a less polemic one) consists of 12 gods and 14 goddesses and it doesn't count Odin (aka, the main guy) or Loki (he's complicated understatement of the millennium.) If you want to check it out it's here.

When I first checked the list I was baffled because... well, about half of the names or more are so obscure, only mythology hipsters have heard of them. Except for Hestia, and she still had a huge as balls cult, every Olympian has a very rich set of stories and attributes that make them memorable. Then you go looking for one of the lesser Aesir, and you get like a paragraph of info, max. It's even sadder with the goddess part of the list, because most are wives, handmaidens, or do things that sound kinda useful but you still never heard of them anyway. So you're like, who are these people?

The problem here is, if you expected the list to be Significant like the Twelve Olympians one, you're wrong. You get a list of all gods in Asgard, important or not, Aesir or (traded) Vanir. And there are important gods and goddesses who don't make it to the cut, a la Hades and Hestia. But then again, some dumbasses counted HERACLES as an Olympian, so fuck everything.

Man, these adventures with lists of gods made me think of how different monotheist religions are, with everyone well defined and counted for and--

--and then I looked up on the seven Archangels and angelologists can't even decide on four. No one is safe, fuck everything.

(Note: I know only two are canon, it's sarcasm)

Anyway, have something even nerdier than Greek gods in LEGO: fanart of Greek gods in JRPG.

I want this because of reasons