Revolt of the Olympians

The screams of pain and pleas for help could be heard by all those residing in Greece. It was a nice night, slightly warm with a light, cool breeze to even it out. It would have been a wonderful night for mortals to go out to the ocean or walk with friends if the horrible shrieks of the queen of Olympus had not been filling the air. As my stepmother Hera–Queen of the Gods and Goddess of marriage–dangled from the sky by her ankles, golden chains holding her, no one dared to help her escape. They did not want to feel the wrath that her husband Zeus–King of the Gods and God of the sky–would inflict upon them if they interfered with the punishment he gave to her. I certainly did not intervene. My father Zeus was already displeased with me. I am only alive now because he had decided to show mercy to my family and me.  

The relationship between the queen and king of Olympus has never been great. Despite being married, Zeus has had many affairs with multiple women across Greece, knowing that Hera was the Goddess of marriage and held the sanctity of it over anything. Hera had tried multiple times to end the life of the son Zeus had with another woman. So it wasn’t a stretch to say that they had a failing marriage, but the predicament that led to this torture of Hera was unlike any other conflict they have experienced previously.  

My stepmother and I had never gotten along. She was angry that I was a child of her husband but not herself. But despite our differences we both agreed on one thing–Zeus was not fit to rule Olympus. I did not care for Zeus’ infidelity as Hera did, but being the Goddess of wisdom I knew that the way he ruled was unfair and uncivilized. I always watched with distaste as he ruled our people, seeing the mortals tremble in fear and bow down to him. As I watched I thought of 100 ways to do his job better than he ever could. 

One day I was sitting on a bench with my brother Apollo, listening to him playing a tune on his lyre, when Hera approached us. She demanded we meet her in the city of Argos before using her magic to disappear in a cloud of white smoke. Apollo turned to me, frown on his face and a single eyebrow raised. I had not heard of any meetings upcoming, and even when we do have meetings they are held in Olympus. My brother stood from where he was sitting on a marble bench and offered me a ride in his chariot. 

I accepted and we rode over to the city of Argos in Apollo’s chariot. During the trip I felt myself grow confused, which was not a regular emotion for me to experience; yet I was also filled with the curiosity and delight I often experience when solving a puzzle. When we arrived in the city Hera appeared before us, along with my uncle Poseidon–God of the sea. 

We’re in a secluded area of a forest, I remarked to myself, feeling slightly on guard. No one is around to witness what’s about to happen. 

“I have called you all here to discuss the ruling of Zeus.” Hera spoke. 

“Hera and I believe that you both think someone else would be a better ruler. Is this not true?” Poseidon added. 

“It is.” Apollo responded. “Why are you asking?”

Hera and Poseidon looked at each other for a moment, then Hera spoke up. 

“We have created a plan to dethrone him, and could do well with your assistance.”

I pondered about what was being said. A plan to overrule Zeus. Sure, it has been attempted before, but never by any of the Olympians. But, it could just work. It is known that Poseidon is more powerful than my father, along with the power of both my stepmother and brother, then with me using my knowledge to make a fool-proof plan. It could actually work.

I looked at them, “What do you have in mind?” 

“The sleep God Hypnos will assist me in making your father stay asleep while we chain him to his throne. He will be unable to escape and we can rule the new world,” said Hera, with a slight grin on her face, like she was already imagining the luxury she would live in with Zeus gone. 

“Does anyone have any objections?” Poseidon asked, an eyebrow raised. 

No one replied, and so we all gathered in Apollo’s chariot and headed for Olympus. The ride there I felt my hands tingle with hope and my heart fill with optimism. You could feel determination and anticipation glowing off all Gods in the chariot. Once we arrived at Olympus all four of us quickly snuck into the throne room to see Zeus sleeping in his seat, as it was currently nighttime. Hera chanted a sentence thrice and Hypnos appeared; after Hera ordered him to, he put his hand on the king’s head and placed a sleeping spell on him. Poseidon waved his hands in a line and golden chains appeared, giving one to each of us. We chained him down, one band of gold on each of his arms and legs. 

“Finally,” said Hera, voice filled with manic joy. “Finally, I can rule the new land without this fool. A new era has begun!”

A pause. “Why should you be the new ruler? I am the most powerful God here, it would only be right for me to lead!” Poseidon bellowed suddenly. 

“I am the queen of the Gods, who better fits than I?” Hera challenged. 

“I would be a much more ample ruler than you both. The two of you would rule in the same imprudent way as Zeus,” I spoke up. 

“How so?” Poseidon glared at me.

“I think I would be best as the new king,” Apollo chimed, but was ignored.

“This was my plan, I should be the next ruler of-” A loud voice interrupted Hera.

“Silence!” rumbled Zeus. 

The four Gods quickly spun around to see that Zeus had been released from his binds. Beside him stood Briares, the 100 handed and 100 faced Hecatonchire, and Zeus’ past lover–the sea nymph Thetis. 

The felonious Gods took a step back in surprise and terror, wondering how Zeus was released. 

“No… Thetis, you overheard our plan. You called Briares to free Zeus!” I choked out. 

“Indeed. You truly live up to your title of the wisdom Goddess, child,” said Thetis with a cold smile on her face. 

“You dare try to take my throne?!” screamed Zeus. “This act of treason is deserving of execution!” 

“Please my lord, have mercy on us. We are still family after all!” Hera begged with a tremble in her voice. 

“This heinous behaviour can not go unpunished. Poseidon and Apollo, you shall be sentenced to the strenuous labour of rebuilding the walls of Troy,” the king stated. “Hera, I have the utmost terrible punishment for you. Perhaps it will teach you to think twice before trying to affront me again.” He finished, cold gray eyes glaring into her. 

Zeus has not yet said my punishment, and I know that there is a way I can get out of this easier. I have always been Zeus’ favourite of all his children. Perhaps it is because I was born only by him, or because I am the eldest child. Or maybe because he always admired my strength and wit. Whatever the case may be, he was always the most compassionate towards me. So, I got down on my knees and started to beg.

“Father, I deeply apologize. I know now that I was mistaken and have committed terrible acts. I ask you to please find the kindness in your heart to forgive my wrongdoings,” I pleaded. It was a truly pitiful sight. The Goddess of war begging on her knees for the clemency of another. 

Zeus decided to show mercy, and I managed to get away from all of this without a punishment. Though the horrible screams of agony from my stepmother keeping me up all night was punishment enough.