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Then you will see how far I am strongest of all the immortals. Come, you gods, make this endeavor, that you all may learn this. Let down out of the sky a cord of gold; lay hold of it all you who are gods and all who are goddesses, yet not even so can you drag down Zeus from the sky to the ground, not Zeus the high lord of counsel, though you try until you grow weary. Yet whenever I might strongly be minded to pull you, I could drag you up, earth and all and sea and all with you, then fetch the golden rope about the horn of Olympus and make it fast, so that all once more should dangle in mid air. So much stronger am I than the gods, and stronger than mortals.
~ Zeus

Zeus, also known as Jupiter, is the god of thunder, lighting, justice and ruler of the sky in Greek mythology. He ruled as King of the Gods of Mount Olympus along with being the Sovereign of the Heavens and Earth.

Overview

He was respected as an all-father who was chief of the gods, and assigned the others to their roles: "Even the gods who are not his natural children address him as Father, and all the gods rise in his presence." He was equated with many foreign weather gods, permitting Pausanias to observe "That Zeus is king in heaven is a saying common to all men". Zeus' symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle, bull, and oak.

History

Origins

Cronus, his father, had sired six children in this order with Rhea, his wife: Hestia, Hades, Demeter, Hera, Poseidon and Zeus himself. But Cronos swallowed them all because of a prophecy claiming that he would be overthrown by his son, as he had overthrown his own father. Rhea, seeking revenge, hid Zeus at birth and gave Cronus a rock wrapped in cloth to swallow instead.

After reaching manhood, Zeus forced Cronus to disgorge first the stone then his siblings in reverse order of swallowing. In some versions, Metis gave Cronus an emetic to force him to disgorge the babies, or Zeus cut Cronus's stomach open. Then Zeus released the brothers of Cronus, the Gigantes, the Hecatonchires and the Cyclopes, from their dungeon in Tartarus, killing their guard, Campe.

Titanomachy

As a token of their appreciation, the Cyclopes gave him the power of thunder and lightning with his weapon, the Master Bolt, which had previously been hidden by Gaia. Together, Zeus and his brothers and sisters, along with the Gigantes, Hecatonchires and Cyclopes overthrew Cronus and the other Titans, in the combat called the Titanomachy. The defeated Titans were then cast into a shadowy underworld region known as Tartarus. Atlas, one of the titans that fought against Zeus, was punished by having to hold up the sky.

Battle for the Heavens

After the battle with the Titans, Zeus shared the world with his elder brothers, Poseidon and Hades, by drawing lots: Zeus got the sky and air, Poseidon the waters, and Hades the world of the dead (the underworld). The ancient Earth, Gaia, could not be claimed; she was left to all three, each according to their capabilities, which explains why Poseidon was the "earth-shaker" (the god of earthquakes) and Hades claimed the humans that died. Gaia resented the way Zeus had treated the Titans, because they were her children.

Soon after taking the throne as king of the gods, Zeus had to fight Gaia's most powerful offspring, Typhon. At first he was defeated when Typhon ripped out his sinews until he recovered them thanks to Hermes and Pan. He vanquished Typhon and trapped him under Mount Etna, but left his consort Echidna and her children alive in order for future demigod heroes to face. Zeus's victory over Typhon cemented his ruling as the lord of the heavens and the king of the gods.

Tempting Fate

Soon after becoming king of the gods, Zeus took Metis as his consort and soon after she was pregnant. However, Zeus was told by Gaia that Metis would bear children that were more intelligent and more powerful than their father. Paranoid over the fact that his own children would usurp all that he has fought to achieve, Zeus imitated his father by tricking Metis to turn into a fly then swallow her, preventing the prophecy from coming true.

After Metis, Zeus later married Hera instead although the goddess continuously rejected his advances beforehand. Seeing her resistance, Zeus conjured a mighty storm outside of her palace and shapeshifted into a wounded bird. Feeling pity for the creature, Hera took the bird and nurtured it in her hands. However, Zeus suddenly revealed himself and forced himself unto Hera, taking away her cherished virtue, thus she had no other choice but to comply to Zeus's proposal.

Much later on, Zeus was plagued with a terrible and unbearable headache. He requested his son Hephaestus to deal with his pain and the smith god obliged by splitting his father's head open with an axe, and from his head burst forth none other than Athena, the goddess of wisdom, already fully grown and armored. Athena would serve as a foil to Ares, the god of war, since she embodies strategic warfare. While Athena had not been the one to usurp Zeus of his rulership, his lust towards females, both mortal and immortal, would only cause him to continuously tempt fate though he does stop himself only due to receiving Gaia's warnings.

A God of Many Affairs

Zeus was infamous for his lust of mortals, indeed the king of the gods transcended male or female and even species when it came to his many affairs. Zeus was known to have slept with many women aside from Hera, and he had many sons and daughters; his most well known children are Hermes, Ares, Apollo, Artemis, Athena, Hephaestus, Dionysus, Hebe and Heracles. Some of which were sired by Hera although the queen does not show particular love to some of her biological offspring while Zeus's bastard divine children are only treated with high contempt and disdain.

He has also sired numerous divine children that embodied numerous aspects of the Earth's workings along with having famous demigod children known for slaying the most fearsome of beasts and partaking in dangerous and daring adventures all while having the blessings and protection of their father. His affairs would result in the vengeful and wrathful retaliation of his wife Hera, as she would instead take her anger out on his consorts rather than Zeus himself and his own children as well. This would result in Zeus stepping in to protect them from Hera's wrath with even other gods interfering unless they were strictly ordered by Hera not to do so.

Personality

Zeus was the upholder of the universal order. He gave justice to mortals to help civilize them and was in charge of punishing oath-breakers, liars, and violators of sacred hospitality. He is a strict adherent and follower to the Divine Code, created and decreed by the Council of Godheads, and the celestial laws decreed by God and Asherah. Anyone who taints or breaks such laws, according to him must receive a rightful punishment. He is also possesses strong and moral sense of justice, and can be seen as a benevolent god, taking pity/mercy towards the innocents and people who ask for his forgiveness.

On the surface Zeus is shown to have a lively and almost cheerful disposition. He is depicted as gergarious, affable, and fatherly to in some aspects especially in contrast to his brusk brother, Hades. He is carefree, free-spirited and loves to laugh out loud. This is mainly when in the presence of his siblings but becomes firm, stern, and just in the presence of mortals and other gods. This rare showing of buoyancy is most likely related to him being the youngest of Cronus' children. Zeus also cares for and deeply loves his family, being highly protective of them as he would rain down his immense wrath on anyone that would dare harm them.

At his core, however, Zeus is a selfish god who does whatever he wants without the consideration of the feelings of others or the possible consequences of his actions. He is known to be quite arrogant, prideful, highly temperamental, as well as reckless and even childish. When things do not go his way he becomes cold and harsh to the point where he believes himself to be above all gods, including the gods of foreign pantheons, and it would take a literal beating to have him return to his senses that no matter how much he gloats over his power there are still entities that far surpass him; a fact that he bitterly acknowledges. He is also known to be rather unpredictable, as no one could guess the decisions he would make.

Even his acts of "kindness" are rooted in selfishness. If not done for his own self interest, they are based on what he feels is kind, not what others want and will even retaliate on those who spurn his gifts. His recklessness is also shown to where he is not above cheating over his own wife Hera as he fathered many children with mortal women despite knowing the consequences of his actions. Zeus was infamous for his lust of beautiful mortals, indeed the king of the gods transcended male or female and even species when it came to his many affairs. His lascivious actions in bed always left a very positive mark on the mortals he slept with which enraged Hera to no end.

Powers and Abilities

As the king of the Olympian gods and the god of the sky Zeus possesses the power to rightfully claim these titles. He has been regarded numerous times as the most powerful of all the Olympian gods with very few other deities in the Greek pantheon surpassing him, these particular deities being the Primordials, and the only ones to rival him are his elder brothers Poseidon and Hades. Compared to Hades and Poseidon, however, Zeus is a "shade" more powerful than the two. His power is noted by Gaia during her warning to Cronus that he would be strong enough to usurp his father which he successfully did and that he along with his siblings would be a new breed of divinity that outclass their own parents.

As the god of the sky Zeus has total control over the weather and storms being able to conjure powerful lightning at a whim and could throw said lightning with extreme percision. His control over storms is also notably prominent whenever he loses his temper, showing that his emotions like the other gods are tied to his powers demonstrated when he instinctively summons thunder and lightning when angered and could summon storm clouds when sufficiantly frustrated. Zeus' power in terms of lightning is so immense that a single lightning bolt tossed by him was said to have evaporated the oceans and another created tremors so strong the land was upheaved drastically. Moreover, his handling of his own power was made evident when he wielded the Master Bolt, arguably his most powerful weapon and symbol of office, and used it to defeat the Titans and other Eldritch beasts. The Master Bolt itself was more than capable of even making the mighty Cthulhu stagger from the sheer force of its blows.

Naturally, being a god, Zeus has a vast arsenal of abilities making him nigh-omnipotent in a sense. One of his more prominent abilities is shapeshifting as he would use it constantly to seduce and lay with many mortal women or goddesses. He could teleport from place to another in a flash to the point where he even appeared in Hades' realm without the need of any transportation. He was also capable of transmuting or metamorphing objects or people as well as in many myths Zeus would turn certain individuals into animals, objects, or even celestial bodies like stars. He could also breathe life into inanimate objects or create life in other things such as clouds. Zeus' power warrants him to be one of the leading heads of the Divine Council and was compared to the likes of his fellow chief gods Odin, Ra, and Indra.

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