“A man can have anything if he is willing to sacrifice.”
Sith Emperor Vitiate, Star Wars
In Norse mythology, Odin became the All-Father of the gods by enduring a series of painful trials. For instance, Odin sacrificed his eye in order to gain wisdom. Then he impaled himself on his own spear while hanging himself from the World Tree Yggdrasil in order to unlock the hidden secrets in runes and acquire a greater understanding of the universe. I am thinking of having the main character of Dawn of the Dark Ice endure a similar torturous transformation as Odin in future volumes.
It has come to my attention that My Hero Academia has a number of references to Greek mythology. In fact, a number of the characters and locations are based on characters in Greek mythology. If you know where to look, you can find those references.
Let us start with the most obvious reference in Greek mythology in My Hero Academia. Both All Might and Deku bear some similarities to Zeus, god of the heavens and King of Olympus. While in his prime, All Might defeated and imprisoned countless supervillains, which is similar to how Zeus defeated and imprisoned the Titans. When he gave One For All to Deku, it symbolically represented Deku receiving Zeus’s thunderbolt. Deku represents Zeus because he acts as a leadership figure amongst his classmates just as Zeus was the leader of the Olympians. Just as Zeus was the strongest of the Greek gods, Deku is going to be the strongest of his classmates. After the Paranormal Liberation War, Deku follows in All Might’s footsteps by defeating and imprisoning every supervillain he encounters, which again mirrors Zeus versus the Titans.
Due to his aggressive personality and his love of combat, Bakugo is obviously based on Ares the god of war. The fact that he has gauntlets shaped like grenades is not just because he has the power to generate explosions. It is also because grenades are a common weapon in modern warfare. Just as Ares was the most reviled god on Olympus, Bakugo is not liked by his classmates.
It is no secret that Uraraka loves Deku. Throughout the series, it seems that Uraraka will eventually end up with Deku. If Deku represents Zeus, then Uraraka represents Zeus’s wife Hera goddess of marriage.
Tenya Iida best represents Hermes because the way he has engines on his legs is similar to how Hermes had wings on his sandals. During the USJ Incident, Iida was the one who went to inform the teachers that the school was under attack. This is reminiscent to how Hermes is the messenger of the gods.
Mina Ashido likely represents Aphrodite goddess of love. Her skin and hair are pink and pink is the universal color of love. Also, Mina is a romantic, which is evidenced by her being the most vocal and staunchest supporter of Deku and Uraraka getting together.
Momo Yaoyorozu easily represents Athena goddess of wisdom. The reason for this is because Momo is the smartest student in Class 1A and a gifted strategist.
Red Riot seems to symbolize Hercules for two reasons. First, his quirk gives him superhuman strength and durability. Second, his headgear resembles the visage of a snarling lion, which could be a reference to the Nemean Lion.
Due to his shining and sparkling quirk, outfit, and personality, it would make sense that Aoyama represents Apollo god of the sun.
Due to the fact that Tokoyami’s quirk, aesthetic, and personality revolves around darkness, it would seem that he symbolizes Hades god of the Underworld.
Tartarus Prison was named after the most hellish section of the Underworld. It was where Zeus imprisoned the Titans. Therefore, all of the inmates of Tartarus Prison represent the Titans themselves. Now, in recent chapters, Tartarus is breached and the Titans are free again. The Second Titanomachy has begun!
All For One’s strongest minion, Gigantomachia’s name is a reference to a war called the Gigantomachy. The Gigantomachy was a war that was fought between the Gods of Olympus and giants. Gigantomachia is certainly a giant and he fought against superheroes, which are essentially the gods of hero society.
As the strongest and most sinister supervillain in the series, All For One may present the leader of the Titans Kronos. When he was imprisoned in Tartarus Prison, All For One joined the rest of the Titans. As the founder and leader of the League of Villains, All For One further symbolizes Kronos’s role as leader of the Titans.
Finally, Tomura Shigaraki seems to represent Typhon, who was one of the deadliest creatures in Greek mythology and the father of many infamous monsters. Due to this sinister nature and upgraded body, Shigaraki has definitely become a god among monsters. Typhon fought Zeus multiple times just as Shigaraki will fight Deku multiple times.
Overall, I am glad that My Hero Academia has so many references to Greek mythology because Greek gods and demigods were the original superheroes.
“And then, there was Achilles. Now there was a guy who had it all: the build, the foot-speed. He could jab! He could take a hit! He could keep on comin’! BUT THAT FORSLUGGINER HEEL OF HIS! He barely gets nicked there once, and kaboom! He’s history.”
One of the most famous heroes of ancient Greece would be Achilles, who is best known for his participation in the Trojan War. Achilles had a complex heritage. His father Peleus was the king of the Myrmidons while his mother was a nymph and sea goddess named Thetis. His grandfather on his mother’s side was a minor sea god named Nereus. So, Achilles was a demigod in the sense that his mother and grandfather were gods while everyone on his father’s side were mortals. When he was an infant, his mother tried to make him immortal by dipping him in the River Styx. However, Peleus thought Thetis was harming their son and interrupted the ritual before it could be completed. Even so, being immersed in the River Styx made Achilles virtually invulnerable and invincible in combat. His power became legendary during the Trojan War, where he slew countless foes including Prince Hector of Troy. Despite his invulnerability, Achilles’s heel was his only vulnerable spot because it was the only part of him his mother did not dip in the River Styx. As a result, Achilles was slain by Prince Paris near the end of the Trojan War. It was his death that gave us the phrase “Achilles heel”, which alludes to something’s weakness. Achilles has always been one of my favorite characters in Greek mythology. In my story on Greek mythology, my main character’s name will rhyme with Achilles. I will also draw inspiration from Achilles’s complex blood ties with the gods when creating my demigod characters. The River Styx will also be mentioned in the story along with its invulnerability properties.
“I am the King of Olympus and it is my way that is the way of the Gods.”
Zeus, God of War II
The main antagonist of my story on Greek mythology will be Zeus, god of the heavens and King of Olympus. However, I will not depict him as a pure villain. Instead, my version of Zeus will be a complex, deeply conflicted, and morally ambiguous character. As the King of Olympus, Zeus carries the heavy burden of all of creation on his shoulders. Because of this, he is often forced to make difficult and sometimes dubious choices for the greater good. Due to this, some of his choices draws the ire of the demigods.
Despite being the strongest of the Gods of Olympus, Zeus was the youngest of the first generation Olympians, which made him the runt of the litter. He was the younger brother of Hades, Poseidon, Hera, and Demeter. His wife was his sister Hera, goddess of marriage. Zeus was the father of many gods of demigods. Sadly, due to his constant womanizing, Hera would often seek vengeance on Zeus by taking it out on his illegitimate children. Zeus’s relationship with his brothers was one based on balance. While Zeus ruled the heavens, Poseidon ruled the sea and Hades ruled the Underworld. Shared between the three of them was the earth. Zeus was most famous for being able to cast bolts of lightning and create thunderstorms whenever he was in a bad mood.
I have started my book on Greek mythology, having completed the first chapter and started the second chapter. The first chapter will involve introducing the Gods of Olympus and the plans they have for the demigod population. The second chapter will introduce the main character and the demigod community. Something big is about to happen that will shake ancient Greece to the core. The wrath of the gods is about to be unleashed!
“Brothers, put aside the petty grievances that have splintered us for so long. We will unite. We will stand together, and I will wipe out this plague!”
Zeus, God of War II and God of War III
As I continue to write and brainstorm about my story on Greek mythology, I am starting to rethink a few things. While my original plans for my main demigod character will remain unchanged, I will be making some overarching changes to the overall story. Amongst those changes will be the inclusion of two more demigod characters. Initially, I have been struggling on finding ways to make the inclusion of other demigods work, but I think I may have found a way to make it work. Like my main demigod, the other two demigods will have complex blood ties to multiple Gods of Olympus instead of just one. I did this not just so my protagonist would have people to interact with on his quest, but also for a practical reason. One demigod going to war with all of Olympus would be the height of folly. Even almighty Zeus was not strong enough to defeat the Titans all by himself. Therefore, my main demigod will need additional allies for his war with the gods.
“And just like that, everything changed. At that terrible moment, in our hearts, we knew. Home was a pen; humanity, cattle.”
Eren Yeager, Attack on Titan
Before the Gods of Olympus ruled all of creation, the universe was ruled by a pantheon of primordial deities known as the Titans. The Titans were led by Kronos, who was the father of the first generation of Olympians. One day, Kronos feared that his children would rise against him. His paranoia was so great that he swallowed his children one by one. However, Kronos’s wife Rhea tricked him into swallowing a stone while she hid her last child, Zeus. Eventually, Zeus became strong enough to free his siblings and they went to war with the Titans. The colossal battle, which came to be known as the Titanomachy, between these two pantheons shaped the landscape of ancient Greece. In the end, the Titans were defeated and overthrown by the Gods of Olympus and were imprisoned in the deepest and darkest pits of Tartarus. Some Titans were spared, but they possessed far less power and influence than they had before. We have seen multiple scenarios of what could happen if the Titans were to escape Tartarus. In my story on Greek mythology, I will be depicting my own scenario of what could happen if the Titans were freed. After being imprisoned in Tartarus and tormented for untold millennia, I can imagine the Titans would be driven mad with rage, consumed by pain, fueled by spite, and starving for revenge.
At some point in my story of Greek mythology, I will depict a period in my demigod’s life where he serves as a mercenary. Can you imagine what a demigod mercenary would be worth? A warrior who possesses divine strength, speed, and durability! Such a mercenary would prove to be quite valuable on the battlefield. With this in mind, I looked for real life wars that have taken place in ancient Greece. I found the Peloponnesian War, which took place during the fifth century B.C. This war was between Athens and Sparta. I am thinking of having my demigod character participate in this war, but I won’t say which side he will be on.
In ancient Greece, the standard issue sword was the xiphos. The xiphos was a one-handed sword that was often used in conjunction with a shield. One of the most prominent examples of the xiphos would be the sword of Achilles, which he famously used to slay countless opponents during the Trojan War. Two-handed swords were virtually nonexistent in ancient Greece because to wield one would be to deprive yourself of a shield. Without a shield, you would become a target for archers and men with slingshots. However, I am thinking of giving my demigod character a two-handed variant of the xiphos.
One of the interesting aspects of demigods in Greek mythology is that their capabilities are not limited to their divine strength, durability, and speed. Some are armed with weapons and equipment that are mystically enhanced. A prominent example of this is Perseus, one of Zeus’s many demigod children. During his quest to slay the Gorgon Medusa, Perseus received a number of items from the Gods of Olympus. Those items included a helmet that granted him invisibility, the winged sandals of Hermes, a magical sword, a specialized pouch that would allow him to carry Medusa’s head, and a reflective shield that allowed Perseus to look at Medusa without turning to stone. The usage of such items can make a demigod an even more formidable warrior when combined with their augmented physiology. With this in mind, I will be giving the demigod in my Greek mythology story an arsenal of mystic items. Such weapons and equipment will enable my character to go toe-to-toe with the gods themselves.