Hephaestus’s Story by Guest Blogger Soren Stebbins
Hello, my name is Soren Stebbins and I am today’s guest blogger. Every now and then, I will return here to share stories from all across the world, from Mythology to fairy tales. Today I will be telling the story of Hephaestus, one of the 12 Greek Olympians.
What is your favorite god?
Some might say something along the lines of Thor, Zeus, or some other deity from any of the other variable religions. Mine is Hephaestus. Like all old Greek stories, there are many versions of it. To those of you who do not know the story, I will share the most widely known version.
Hephaestus is the son of Zeus and Hera—the king and queen of Olympus and the Greek Pantheon. When Hera first gave birth to him, he was a normal newly born god. One day when Hephaestus was older, Zeus and Hera got into one of their famous arguments. Hephaestus took the side of his mother’s argument. Zeus was outraged by this, and so he grabbed Hephaestus by his leg and threw him off Mount Olympus. It is said that it took him an entire day to hit the ground from his fall. He landed on an island named, Lemmos.
Unconscious, the inhabitants of the island, named Sintians, brought Hephaestus in and helped heal him back to health. His legs were extremely damaged after his fall, but he could still walk with much difficultly. One of the Sinitian people was an extremely talented and famed blacksmith. He taught Hephaestus as he recovered how to smith metals. Hephaestus took very fast and easily to the craft, and all that he made was so fine that he soon was much better than the Sintian that taught him.
Later, Zeus finally offered Hephaestus a place back at Olympus as a wine steward. He accepted and returned to his home. When he arrived back, he went to his mother, Hera, to show that he was back. But much to Hephaestus’s shock, she was horrified by his legs. Since his fall, they were still scarred and disfigured. This horrified Hera so much that she then grabbed her son by the leg and threw him off Olympus once more.
His Second Fall
At this point in his story, it is debated on where he landed. Some say he landed back in Lemmos, others say it was a different island like Sicily. Nevertheless, when he fell again, he met a sea nymph named Caberio. She nursed him back to health, but sadly, Hephaestus’s fall this time had an even worse effect on his body. His legs were useless to him now and he could not walk. His face was disfigured by the fall, and so were other parts of his body.
To show his gratitude to Caberio, Hephaestus made her fine and beautiful jewelry. For nine years, Hephaestus stayed on the island and continued his work in blacksmithing. Caberio was eventually called to Olympus by the gods for a party. Hephaestus being banished from Olympus remained on the island. While Caberio was attending the party, she met Hera, who was astonished by the jewelry that Caberio was wearing. Hera then questioned her about who had made it. Caberio told her that Hephaestus had made it. At this, Hera was anxious to have Hephaestus return to Olympus, so that he could make her such fine things.
Hera invited Hephaestus to return to his old home at Olympus. Once Caberio had returned to the island she told Hephaestus why it was Hera wished for him to return. At this point Hephaestus decided to exact revenge on his mother.
He crafted a beautiful throne for Hera, and sent it to Olympus in his place. When Hera saw the throne she was awestruck by its beauty, and naturally she sat on it, just as Hephaestus had planned her to. As soon as she sat in it, a magical net sprang from the seat and trapped her in the chair. She could not escape it, and every god tried to assist in freeing her to no avail. The gods then went to the Island Hephaestus lived on and begged him to return to Olympus and free Hera, but he refused.
The gods tried to figure out a way to convince Hephaestus to free Hera, but he was not swayed. It was then that Zeus came up with a great plan. Dionysus would offer Hephaestus great amounts of wine and get him drunk, then take him back to Olympus. So Dionysus did as Zeus wanted and got Hephaestus drunk. Once he had him in this state, he summoned a Mule for Hephaestus to ride back to Olympus.
After returning to his old home, the gods asked him to free Hera again. Much to Zeus’s astonishment and anger, he still refused. So now not knowing what else to do, he offered Hephaestus two things. One–to be one of the Olympians permanently, and Two– Hephaestus would have the hand of Aphroditie, the most beautiful goddess in Olympus. Hephaestus agreed to these terms and freed Hera from her bindings.
What sets aside Hephaestus from the rest of the Greek pantheon is the fact that he has suffered so much. Out of every Greek Olympian, he is the most human. He is also the only god who does not meddle with mortals much. After he was accepted back to Olympus, he became the god of blacksmithing, fire, and volcanoes. Hephaestus forged many powerful armors, weapons, and chariots for the gods. In many places around the world, he had secret forges, where he created great metal automants. One of his most famous ones was the great Talos, who was a great bronze robot the size of a mountain.
Hephaestus’s story continues on, and through it, he met even more tragedy, but that is a story best saved for a future post.
I hope that you all enjoyed reading my first blog post here, and that you will be looking forward to the next story I share.
Have nice day!
What story would you like to see next? 🙂