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Ήφαιστος

Hephaestus won the God/Goddess of the Month Poll competition for June 2013.


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Hephaestus
Hephaestus 2
It isn’t easy being a brilliant inventor, always alone. Always misunderstood. Easy to turn bitter, make horrible mistakes. People are more difficult to work with than machines. And when you break a person, he can’t be fixed.
Vital Statistics
Titles: God of Fire and the Forge
God of Volcanoes
Lord of Craftsmen and Smiths
Blacksmith of the Gods
Gender: Male
Status: Immortal
Species: God
Affiliation: Himself
Weapon: Hammer
Home: Olympus
Roman Form: Vulcan
Appearance: Varies
Family
Father: No father (Varies with Myth)
Mother: Hera
Spouse(s): Aphrodite
Sibling(s): Ares, Enyo
Demigod Children: Hephaestus' Cabin
Immortal Children: Cacus (Varies by Myth)
Lover(s): Aphrodite
Other:
Scopes/Patron of
Scopes/Patron Of:

Patron of: Metalworking, Fire, Volcanism, Stone Masonry, Carpentry, Sculpture

Favour: Unknown

Curse: Unknown

Other
Symbols:

Hammer; Tongs; Anvil

Attributes:

Hammer; Tongs; Olympus; Aphrodite

Plants/Flowers:

None

Animals:

Donkey or Ass (Greek "onos") ; Crane (Greek "geranos")

Other:

Planet of Hephaestus: The minor planet 2212 Hephaistos discovered in 1978 by Soviet astronomer Lyudmila Chernykh was named in Hephaestus' honour.

HEPHAESTUS was the great Olympian god of fire, metalworking, stonemasonry and the art of sculpture. He was usually depicted as a bearded man holding hammer and tongs--the tools of a smith--and riding a donkey.

Some of the more famous myths featuring the god include:

  • His fall from Olympos in which he was cast away by Hera at birth;
  • The trapping of Hera in a cursed throne and his return to Olympos;
  • The adultery of his wife Aphrodite who was trapped with Ares in a golden net;
  • The crafting of Pandora, the first woman, at the command of Zeus;
  • The attempted rape of Athena which resulted in the impregnation of Earth and the birth of Erikhthonios;
  • The crafting of the cursed necklace of Harmonia which doomed her descendants to a cycle of tragedy;
  • The Trojan War in which he fought the river-god Skamandros with fire;
  • The crafting of the armour of Akhilleus at the request of the hero's mother Thetis.
History

In Greek mythology, Hephaestus is the god of forges, fire and blacksmiths. Haphaestus was born directly from Hera, and is one of the Twelve Olympians. He was married to Aphrodite.

Due to Zeus' giving birth to Athena, Hera was angry at his actions. She then gave birth to Hephaestus. He was an ugly and deformed child. A rumor was spread by Hera that Zeus threw him from Mt. Olympus at birth due to his ugliness, when it was really Hera herself. Another story makes the claim that Hephaestus stepped in between his mother and father's argument and sided with Hera. In rage of his son's actions, Zeus seized Hephaestus by the legs and threw him from the top of Mt. Olympus, which caused his drastic injuries. After being nursed to health, Zeus (in a rare act) apologized and welcomed his son back with open arms.

Hephaestus is the Greek word for fire. This god had many cults around Ancient Greece and Rome. Hephaestus had many priests who worshiped in his name, usually paryed to before battle so that their swords and weapons would be strong in battle.

In Roman mythology Vulcan is the god of fire. As Vulcan, he becomes more disciplined, warlike, and militaristic. The Greeks envisioned Hephaestus as a benevolent and clever being. To the Romans, Vulcan was the god of volcanoes (which were named after him), giving him greater power than his Greek aspect.

Forge


Hephaestus and Aphrodite
Aphrodite

The goddess of love, Aphrodite, was causing a lot of problems in Olympus due to her radiant beauty. Zeus decided to wed her to Hephaestus to keep her off the market, though she still had multiple affairs with Ares,the god of War. Though these days the affair is considered old news and every one just accepts it but Hephaestus still tries to find ways to publicly embarrass his wife and her lover in front of the other gods with elaborate traps and tricks. The most famous one and the first one was when he caught the two lovers in a magical net and then invited the other gods to come and laugh at the unfortunate sight.


Other Myths

He also took part in creating the metal giant Talos, the Trojan Horse, and other various automatons.

More Information

Personality

Hephaestus tends to be gruff, and disappointed in life, in people and other "living organisms." He loves his wife Aphrodite, however he is sad and angry at her unfaithfulness. He is very bitter and hateful towards his "perfectionist" mother, Hera, and even once tricked her into sitting on a throne with hidden unbreakable chains. Hephaestus' tendency to bear grudges (namely against his mother) for a very long time make him similar to Hades. However, as shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Hephaestus is shown to have at least some love for his mother, and could not bear to see her chained over the Void of Chaos, and he finally rescues her. Hephaestus is somewhat bitter about his life, and puts his faith in machines rather than people, as machines "can't let you down." However, he appears to have a soft spot for Cyclopes like Tyson, and seems to be on very good terms with his half-sister Athena, while they both mutually despise Ares. He is also very good friends with Dionysus, who was the only one able to convince Hephaestus to unchain his mother Hera. Hephaestus also greatly admired Daedalus, above all other mortal men. Despite his bitterness, Hephaestus is the lover of many things, such as his unfaithful wife, Aphrodite, his many demigod children (especially Leo) and their mothers. He also pays Calypso friendly visits from time to time. However, there is also a darker side to Hephaestus, shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, when he gives Harmonia (the daughter of Aphrodite and Ares) a necklace with a horrible curse.

Appearance & Image Gallery

He is a huge and ugly lump of a man with his shoulders at different heights (so that he always seems to be leaning) and a huge, bulging, misshapen head and his leg in a creaking steel brace, with a wild brown beard that sparks fire from time to time. He is the only Olympian to show such extreme physical injuries; however, he is also very muscular from working in his forges. According to Leo, Hephaestus' face is red, lumpy and covered with welts, "as if he’d been bitten by a million bees, and then dragged across gravel." Inside his workshop, he wears a jumpsuit smeared with grime and oil with the name Hephaestus embroidered over the chest pocket. When he is on Olympus, however, he is much cleaner and elegant. In The Battle of the Labyrinth, Percy says "I guess he'd cleaned up when I saw him on Olympus or used magic to make his form seem a little less hideous." According to Percy, Hephaestus' voice is deep, booming, and rumbly. Hephaestus is also said to wear a "permanent scowl". According to Leo, Hephaestus' laugh is so loud, that it makes his tools rattle of their workbenches. In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, it is revealed that Hephaestus is extremely hairy, and had to shave multiple times a day, even as a child.

Image Gallery

Abilities

As a son of Zeus, Hephaestus is an extremely powerful god.

  • Prowess in Battle: Hephaestus is shown to be very strong (from constantly working in his forges), which makes him very formidable in battle. He successfully fought in the first Gigantomachy, and several other battles. However, during the gods' battles with Typhon, he was defeated and knocked out of the sky with such force, that a new lake was created when he landed.
    • He excels at fighting with a heavy hammer.
  • Pyrokinesis: As the god of fire, he has absolute control over heat, fire, and lava. This is a very dangerous and powerful ability, which is why only children that he chooses have this ability.
    • In The Battle of the Labyrinth, Hephaestus appeared, in a massive "column of fire".
  • Fire Immunity: Hephaestus is immune to fire and heat, as he works with them constantly.
  • Technokinesis: As the god of blacksmiths, he has unbelievable mechanical abilities which are second to none. As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Hephaestus' skills even surpass that of the Elder Cyclops and Hekatonknieres.
  • Enhanced Forging: Hephaestus can build any kind of machine out of any kind of material, as well as animate it and make it do things to suit his needs. He can even do this absentmindedly, fiddling with parts and gears when nervous or thinking hard over something.
  • In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Hephaestus was even able to use his tools to unchain his mother Hera, while simultaneously keeping himself and her from falling into the Void of Chaos.

Trivia
  • Hephaestus is the ugliest and most physically injured Olympian.
  • Hephaestus is the one who built all of the Olympians' thrones in the Hall of the Gods.
  • As revealed in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Hephaestus was flung off of Olympus twice: first by Hera (right after his birth), and then by Zeus (after he rescues Hera from Zeus' punishment).
  • As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Hephaestus is shown to have a crush on Athena.
  • Another name for Vulcan is Mulciber which means "fire" in Latin.
  • In the books, he is pictured with light skin. However, in the movie, he was played by an African-American actor.
  • In the books Hephaestus is still married where in Homer's account Hephaestus demands his bride-price back after catching his wife Aphrodite and her lover Ares, which means in the modern sense they divorced. Homer also has him remarry the goddess Thalia.
  • Hephaestus claims to have once admired the Hekatonknieres.
  • The word "Volcano" and "Volcanic" both derive from Vulcan, his Roman aspects' name.
  • Hephaestus has the most named demigod children out of all the other Olympians.

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